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National Football League

Page 108 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Excellent points about clutch performances, turnovers, offense vs. defense, Foxxy.

I’m very curious to see how Foles performs this week. He needs just eighteen PAs in this upcoming game to qualify for QB efficiency. His current rating of 132.5 is off the charts—much higher than Manning’s or the single season record. He has 16 TD passes with zero picks, and also leads the NFL with 9.2 Y/A. Of course those numbers will decline as he plays more, but Washington’s weak defense would appear to give him a chance to put up some more great numbers. Remember how Vick torched them the first time around.

Vick also has a very high Y/A, and the Eagles as a team are about tied for second in that category, with Seattle, after Denver/Manning. But the Eagles are also leading the NFL in rushing, and second in Y/A rush. Their overall Y/A, 6.3, is second only to Denver. Chip Kelly must be doing something right.

It’s crossed my mind that if he finishes out the season as starter and continues to perform well, Foles actually has a shot at the Pro Bowl. Who’s going to go ahead of him in the NFC? Brees, for sure. Probably Rodgers, but let’s see how many games he misses. After that, no one who stands out as a sure thing. Maybe Stafford or Wilson, possibly Newton. But if Foles plays out the rest of the season and ends up at or near the top in QB rating, IMO he’s going to be hard to ignore.

To put this in perspective: let's say Foles crashed back to earth in his remaining six games, with an average QB rating in these games of only 80. Assuming about 32 PAs per game, which is the Eagles’ current average, he would finish with a rating of about 101. With an average rating of 90 in those six games, he would finish at about 107, about where Brees and Rodgers are now.
 
Foxxy, you read too much stat geek stuff.

Here's an example of how defense can lose a game, but should have won. Georgia (white unis) is on defense, and is on top of Auburn 38-37 with about 30 seconds left in the game. Auburn has the ball with 4th and 18 to go on their own 26 yard line. All Georgia has to do is knock the ball down and they win. Oopsy daisy... they lose.

tigerswin_medium.gif


See it all here on Sb*Nation
 
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I agree with you here. A defense can lose you (many) games, like bad coaches can.
But as great coaches can´t win you games alone (as discussed earlier, he needs talent in the roster & thus draft luck), defenses can´t win you games alone. They need help from their own offense (see my examples). And at the end of the day, a defense can´t win you a championship in pro football. Even BAL 2000 neded 96 & 58 yd big pass play TDs to keep the playoff run on plus great special teams play.
BTW, Dilf Dilfer posted a solid 84 passer rating, and more importantly a very good 8.1 Y/A in that post season. Even the worst SB winning offense had to have some big plays to support one of the greatest defenses ever. W/o that BAL would have ended like the 70s Rams or the 84+86 Bears...
 
FoxxyBrown1111 said:
I always remember the commentator in the IND-GB contest in 2004: "there is no way to defend a perfect pass".
Ahhhh yes, another myth. Remember the 1984 Superbowl? How there was no way the 49er defense could stop Marino's perfect passing? How did that game turn out?

Well, the 2000 Raven defense really did win that year. It was not Dilfer, that team had a sub average offense, but the best defense I have ever seen. (At least in the playoffs, culminating with the SB.)

As to Foles, that's a pretty interesting stat. I think Vick is inconsistent, fragile, and aging. But is Foles the answer?
 
Sure enough, after playing their best game of the season and knocking Oregon out of the national championship, Stanford loses to USC. Oregon at least now has a clear path to the Rose Bowl, if they keep winning. What I’d really like to see in the national championship, though it will never happen, is Oregon and Baylor. RGIII’s old team is averaging more than 60 points and nearly 700 yards per game. Actually, I’d like to see how they’d fare against Bama.

Speaking of Bama, they could have lost to lowly MS State! State did not have its starting QB, and their second stringer went down in the 3d quarter. They also missed a chip shot FG. Despite all that, the game was close. Man, the national championship picture sure would have been interesting if Bama had lost that game.

It’s not rocket science, guys. Football is offense and defense. The better you are at one, the more deficiencies in the other that can be overcome. And big plays at the right time—forgetting all the chance elements that Foxxy noted—can be offensive as likely as defensive. The Ravens beat the Broncos last year in the playoffs because of a defensive lapse, but that wouldn’t have been possible without a cannon-armed QB who could throw the ball accurately for 50 yards. That was not a Hail Mary. And SBs were won by Montana, the younger Manning and Rothlisberger with great passes in the final minute.

A great defense can win championships, in the sense that if the defense is really good, it may carry a mediocre offense. That was clearly the case with the 2000 Ravens.

But the reverse is also true. A great offense can carry a mediocre defense. The 2009 Saints, for example, did not have a very good defense. They were in the bottom quarter of the NFL in both points and yards allowed. For that matter, as I think Foxxy alluded to, the Ravens last year did not have a very good defense, they were about in the middle in both points and yards.

You could argue (I would) that the Ravens were lucky, that they really weren’t the best team. But the best regular season teams often don’t have very good defenses, either. Remember the 15-1 Packers a couple of years ago, the SB favorites before they were shocked by the NY LuckyStrikes? Worst defense in the NFL. And the Broncos this year are close to the bottom defensively.

That said, the two do help each other. A good offense that controls the ball with long drives keeps the defense off the field and rested. A good defense that wins the field position battle gives the offense better opportunities.
 
I'm taking the under on the Den-KC game. I will stick to my previous prediction, which I think came out to 49 points (33-16). I do think Denver will jump out to a lead and the game will essentially be over by halftime.

I'm rethinking my Jets-Bills pick. While the Jets have been very hot/cold, they really shouldn't lose this game. The Bills are so banged up, and Ed Reed is going to have to have some sort of positive influence for the Jets, which despite his age, is a good fit for him. And despite the mistakes, Geno is improving.

I'm also starting to think the Giants are going to lose to the Packers if Tolzien has any sort of decent game at all. Remember, the Giants have been beating QB's like Matt Barkley, a hurt Pryor, Josh Freeman straight out of street clothes... Now they get Tolzien. I wonder what would happen if they had to play anyone good? Oh wait, they did have a few of those games, and started out 0-6.

Regarding Foles. If he continues to play well, he's obviously got the job. He's been more mobile and athletic in Kelly's system than I would have expected. Considering their offense is pretty good, I have to wonder what the Eagles will be like in 2-3 years when Chip has most of the guys he wants in there, on both sides of the ball. The Eagles look like a team for the future.
 
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Ahhhh yes, another myth. Remember the 1984 Superbowl? How there was no way the 49er defense could stop Marino's perfect passing? How did that game turn out?

Well, the 2000 Raven defense really did win that year. It was not Dilfer, that team had a sub average offense, but the best defense I have ever seen. (At least in the playoffs, culminating with the SB.)

You clearly missunderstood me here. "You can´t defend a perfect pass" means what it says. It doesn´t mean that you can´t interrupt a good pass offense by successful pass rushing, which forces erratic throws. After all is said and done, it comes down to the "games are won and lost in the trenches".
Remember WAS 1991? They won with the "off-target-Ryper". Every game i saw he had like 10 secs to throw. Opposing teams were so desperate that Glanville came up with a "master plan": Heavy blitzing trou-out the game. The result was a disaster, b/c most of time the pocket held. Ryper wrecked ATL with 442 aerial yds vs man coverage in only 31 attempts. 56 points were scored by the Redskins. As one scout said back in the 80s "every NFL QB will tear a D apart if giving time to throw". Spot on.

And why was Marino so successful? B/c of his trademark quick release. Rushers just couldn´t get to him in time. He didn´t depend on a great OL, but after his injury he got slower. The big numbers were gone...
I didn´t saw the 49ers-MIA SB, but i guess Marino was nervous, or somehow SF were the only team that season that came close to rush Marino... One year later Marino was back to normal, tearing apart the greatest defense ever and handing them their only loss in a blow-out.

BAL 2000 indeed needed one of the greatest D of all time desperately to win. But even that wasn´t enough if the O didn´t got lucky with some big plays and great special teams play. As i said "Butter Ball" don´t work. You can´t win 0-0 games...

Finally, I never said the opposite of "defense wins championships". That would be the same absurd saying. All i say and am underlying this with facts and numbers is that (pass)offenses have a slight advantage over defenses trou-out the history of pro football. In other words, when a great (pass) O meets a great D, the O beats them more often than not. Expected points are more often up than not. That´s why playoff numbers are up besides the ugly conditions in outdoor stadiums. But that knowledge wouldn´t help you make money, b/c Vegas´ experts have included this facts in their lines and o/u.
 
Merckx index said:
It’s not rocket science, guys. Football is offense and defense. The better you are at one, the more deficiencies in the other that can be overcome. And big plays at the right time—forgetting all the chance elements that Foxxy noted—can be offensive as likely as defensive. The Ravens beat the Broncos last year in the playoffs because of a defensive lapse, but that wouldn’t have been possible without a cannon-armed QB who could throw the ball accurately for 50 yards. That was not a Hail Mary. And SBs were won by Montana, the younger Manning and Rothlisberger with great passes in the final minute.

A great defense can win championships, in the sense that if the defense is really good, it may carry a mediocre offense. That was clearly the case with the 2000 Ravens.

But the reverse is also true. A great offense can carry a mediocre defense. The 2009 Saints, for example, did not have a very good defense. They were in the bottom quarter of the NFL in both points and yards allowed. For that matter, as I think Foxxy alluded to, the Ravens last year did not have a very good defense, they were about in the middle in both points and yards...ETC

This is the most common sense post by far of the stat geek vs defensive saying talk. But since I'm a defensive redneck I'll stick with the defensive saying as it all goes back to attitude and the idea if team A does not let team B score, team A wins. :D That's the attitude another team Z (who's record is Oh-fer) has to have to compete.
 
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Merckx index said:
Football is offense and defense... big plays at the right time can be offensive as likely as defensive.

Amen. That´s why i wonder how this "defense myth" is repeated year-in year-out. It´s simply not true...

Merckx index said:
great passes in the final minute.

Amen, again. Just to add a little: The all so great defense couldn´t prevent the Rams to comeback against all odds, cheating and refs vs. the Pats, erasing a 14 point deficit. But i hear ya all. The turnovers put the Rams in that big hole. Well, that wasn´t to master Beli-Cheats credit. That was how the Rams played. High risk high varriance football. Ints came by the dozens. But even for this team, -3 turnovers was just too much. Warner had his usual efficiency (44 passes for 365 = very good 8.3 Y/A which is normally enough to win), ... and then came the prevent D. :mad:

PIT No. 1 defense could do nothing against Warners heroics as he erased a 13 point deficit where he got trou a "1000 uncalled holding penalties in that (for me) infamous 100-yd-Harrison return", when he threw for 250+ yds in less than 15 minutes. They watched, prayed, and Big Ben saved them with his perfectly thrown last minute pass. And the refs had their part too, for ignoring the "Tuck-Rule". Those basterds. Still hurting. Warner got robbed twice. :mad:

We talked about BAL last year... and so on. Many great defenses just couldn´t stop great offenses more often than not.

Merckx index said:
A great defense can win championships, in the sense that if the defense is really good, it may carry a mediocre offense. That was clearly the case with the 2000 Ravens.

But the reverse is also true

Amen, again.

Merckx index said:
You could argue (I would) that the Ravens were lucky, that they really weren’t the best team.

I do too. But that doesn´t take away the great postseason Flacco had. And it was needed. Actually both good/great defenses couldn´t stop each other in that SB, until... well, the refs stepped in again. :mad:

Alpe d'Huez said:
Remember, the Giants have been beating QB's like Matt Barkley, a hurt Pryor, Josh Freeman straight out of street clothes... Now they get Tolzien. I wonder what would happen if they had to play anyone good? Oh wait, they did have a few of those games, and started out 0-6.

You said it first some weeks ago. The random lucky Giants will sneak into the SB with a 7-9 record. And average performing little sister will get hailed again for his "clutch performance". Omg! Please football gods spare us of that nightmare.
 
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Too bad. In germany they were too slow. They didn´t correct the HOU-OAK line. Vegas had them at my wished for 10.5/11 closing line,... and on sunday sportbooks seem to sleep in germany. :mad:

"My" backup is playing and beating the line by 18 (!!) now (current score is 14-7 OAK and having the ball in HOU territory). No way HOU will erase that.

on3m@n@rmy said:
A does not let team B score, team A wins.

Team C scores more points than team D, and wins. :p
Thank you offense.
 
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What the hell is Kelly doing?
I preach passing all day, aggresivness, gutsy play-calling and all. But not even me would be crazy to go no-huddle when protecting a lead. This is not college football. Even Martz knew how to run down the clock. I am shaking my head. Let´s just hope PHI keeps the lead.
Go out passing on every down, stick it to them again and again, until the D is feeded, ... but please, the clock is your friend once you lead by 14+

Edit: Take it all back. That happens when "watching" online nfl.com. I thought he was going no-huddle fast. But he did it slow. All ok. The D just can´t protect... well, that happens. Not his fault.
Love you Kelly. :)
 
Loads of high scoring today. 5 games already today (+ Colts on Thursday) beat 50 points and Bears Ravens seems to be going that way too.

What happened in that game though. It started at the same time as all the others yet when the others were finishing, they were still in the first half at soldier field
 
The Hitch said:
Loads of high scoring today. 5 games already today (+ Colts on Thursday) beat 50 points and Bears Ravens seems to be going that way too.

What happened in that game though. It started at the same time as all the others yet when the others were finishing, they were still in the first half at soldier field

How come your post count does not go above 20k :mad:
 
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Oh Reid is lovely. 1st he let his kicker cowardly swing the leg from the opp 1. Is he thinking FGs is enough vs. No. 1 offense?
But the real stunner is punting at opps 41 yL down 14 pts in 4th Qtr. Is he thinking punting help you erase deficits vs the best Offense?

Anyway, Reid was the same coward in PHI.His "greatest call" there was punting from the opp39 (!) when down 3 points vs. NO in the playoffs when there is no tomorrow if you lose (!!), with only 1.56 to go (!!!). Of course he had to waste his last two timeouts when he handed the ball to NO. And still, of course, they kneeled down to win.

Serious he is an idiot. Just short of Norv the smurf.

BTW, DEN covered the "gain" of the punt today in just 2 plays.

Reid will win nothing this year, no AFC West, no AFC championship, and certainly no SB. Not like this...
 
FoxxyBrown1111 said:
Oh Reid is lovely. 1st he let his kicker cowardly swing the leg from the opp 1. Is he thinking FGs is enough vs. No. 1 offense?
But the real stunner is punting at opps 41 yL down 14 pts in 4th Qtr. Is he thinking punting help you erase deficits vs the best Offense?
...

I hear ya. But at same time I understand Reid. You always want to come away with points vs no points. Hence the FG from the 1.

Then the punt... if he goes for 1st down instead of punting and does not make the 1st down then he gives the #1 offense, who takes over on downs, great field position. Reid was playing the field position game and hoping his #1 defense would get a quick stop. Reid is not much of a riverboat gambler. I myself might have gone for the TD instead of kicking that first FG. But I prolly would have punted.

It just did not work out. Defensively, KC did a pretty good job on Denver from the standpoint Denver was scoring an average 41 PPG, and KC held them to 27. Going into the game KC likely felt if they held Denver to the 12 PPG the Chiefs were allowing, that KC would win. And if they had done that they would have won. I think where the KC defense failed was they did not get enough QB rushes, hits, and/or sacks on Manning. KC got zero QB hits and no sacks on Peyton, and I think they may have gotten 2 QB rushes is all. Terrible if you want to beat the Broncos.

That said, give Denver credit for an offensive game plan that was balanced. They ended up with 40 pass attempts, many of those short to get the ball out of his hands fast (he was nursing an ankle), and 36 run plays. That kind of balance keeps defenses guessing.
 
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on3m@n@rmy said:
I hear ya. But at same time I understand Reid. You always want to come away with points vs no points. Hence the FG from the 1.

But you lose 4 points. If your goal is to score pts, just kick a FG once you reach opp 20yL. Kickers nowadays are almost perfect w/under 40yFGs. Seriously: If you miss (the 4th down conversion), you have DEN pinned at their own 1yL. If you trust your D, you can expect a stop at least at the 20yL. Then DEN punts, KC gets the ball back in almost FG position. It´s an (almost) win-win situation. And if your D wouldn´t stop DEN, they also wouldn´t stop them after the coward FG kickoff. Anyway, this example was calculated a million times. It´s a no brainer, you always go for it from the opp 1yL (unless you lead big in the TMW, you just kneel down in fairness).

on3m@n@rmy said:
Then the punt... if he goes for 1st down instead of punting and does not make the 1st down then he gives the #1 offense, who takes over on downs, great field position. Reid was playing the field position game and hoping his #1 defense would get a quick stop.

And you know what? Later he goes for it from the 43yL. The difference? Much less time left, and desparation modus. Also calculated a million times. Also a no brainer, you go for it when you still have time to erase a big deficit. Not just when it´s (almost all the time) too late.
You can´t play your little field position crap if you are down by 14 in the 4th.
Look at Payton: He goes for it on 4th, misses, and the football gods favoured the bold (again): NO went on to win.

on3m@n@rmy said:
Reid is not much of a riverboat gambler. I myself might have gone for the TD instead of kicking that first FG. But I prolly would have punted.

You see that is what coaches missunderstand. It´s not a gamble. It´s a calculated risk. Something Reid, Norv the smurf and other cowards will never learn. I know why Rivera doesn´t like his new nickname (but, heh, it´s funny anyway), b/c he´s not gambling but listening and learning.

on3m@n@rmy said:
Defensively, KC did a pretty good job on Denver from the standpoint Denver was scoring an average 41 PPG, and KC held them to 27.

They played a little above of an average game. DEN came into the game w/a 41.2 PPG-Avg., KC´s defense w/a 12.3 PPG-Avg. = 26.8 points expected for DEN. They hit it right on. 27.
But I say a little above average performance by the KC defense, b/c good offenses tend to outplay good defenses, and DEN had homefield, OTOH PM wasn´t 100% and you have to discount his nervousness in big games (since PM wasn´t touched in the game, indeed it seems he didn´t came with his A-Game). After all I expected 30 by DEN...
But what really surprised me was that KC´s offense is worse than I tought. Not only does their coach leave points on the field, but to score only 17 vs. an average D is truly weak.

on3m@n@rmy said:
Going into the game KC likely felt if they held Denver to the 12 PPG the Chiefs were allowing, that KC would win. And if they had done that they would have won.

Of course they should have won a 13-12 game. But I guess that was more of a dream than an expection.

I guess DEN was dreaming on their side of scoring the usual 41 and win. Had they done that, commentators might have cried "running up the score in a blow-out"...
 
The Eagles now have the no. 1 rated QB and the no. 1 rusher in the NFL. I’m not an historian of the game, but I bet that hasn’t been done in a while. I thought of Favre and Peterson in 2009. Favre did finish no. 2 that year, and probably led at some point, but AP was far behind Chris Johnson.

So relax, fellow Giants haters. Take a deep breath, and repeat after me, ten times:

The Giants are NOT going to win the division...

49ers got a really bad QB roughing call that probably cost them the game. But they didn't really play well enough to deserve to win it. The offense was held to less than 200 yards, even Gore gained less than 50 yards. Not saying they made the wrong decision in going with Kaep, but the 2011 team under Alex Smith moved the ball better than that. The one bright spot is that their defense played quite well again. You expect the Saints at home not just to win, but to score 40+, and they really struggled offensively.

I still think if they get Crabtree back (and he's been practicing, and supposedly has to be activated within a week or two if he's to stay off the DL), they could be a formidable team again. They can lose to Seattle again and still make the playoffs if they win their other games, which are all against fairly weak opposition.

P.S. - Foxxy, the 49ers stopped Marino in SB19 by getting pressure up the middle, something other teams had not been able to do. He was never very mobile, of course, not good at avoiding a pass rush if one could be mounted. He was sacked four times, I'm pretty sure he was never sacked even three times in a game before that. He was totally unprepared for that, and was complaining about his OL during the second half. Miami had no ground game (25 total yards rushing), so the 49ers were able to go after Marino on every down. And the 49ers also had a great secondary, of Lott, Hicks, Williamson and Wright.

The 49ers also had a very potent offense, of course, not only Montana, but Tyler and Craig, the third best rushing game in the NFL. They would have scored on anyone, but against the Dolphins, who had one of the worst defenses in the NFL in the second half of the regular season, they moved at will most of the game, keeping Marino off the field much of the time and putting pressure on him to score when he wasn't. The game was basically won in the second quarter, when the 49ers scored three TDs, i think on consecutive drives.
 
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Merckx index said:
So relax, fellow Giants haters. Take a deep breath, and repeat after me, ten times:

The Giants are NOT going to win the division...

I can´t. I relax when (if) the Giants are eliminated 100%. Until then, I expect the worst. :eek:

Merckx index said:
Foxxy, the 49ers stopped Marino in SB19 by getting pressure up the middle, something other teams had not been able to do. He was never very mobile, of course, not good at avoiding a pass rush if one could be mounted. He was sacked four times, I'm pretty sure he was never sacked even three times in a game before that. He was totally unprepared for that, and was complaining about his OL during the second half. Miami had no ground game (25 total yards rushing), so the 49ers were able to go after Marino on every down. And the 49ers also had a great secondary, of Lott, Hicks, Williamson and Wright.

The 49ers also had a very potent offense, of course, not only Montana, but Tyler and Craig, the third best rushing game in the NFL. They would have scored on anyone, but against the Dolphins, who had one of the worst defenses in the NFL in the second half of the regular season, they moved at will most of the game, keeping Marino off the field much of the time and putting pressure on him to score when he wasn't. The game was basically won in the second quarter, when the 49ers scored three TDs, i think on consecutive drives.

Thanks for enlighten me. It seems that SB was won in the trenches. Not un-common.
4 times sacked is a lot (& I guess he was hit much more times, thus interrupting his effective passing). Until his injury he was sacked on average 12 times... per season.
Yop, that 49ers offense, the best of the 80s, and one of the best ever. Unstoppable... the highlite (ok, for me a low-light) being the 28-3 dropping of the Bears in Soldier field. The greatest D ever couldn´t do anything against them, and later the 49ers went on to win another SB...
 
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Merckx index said:
The Eagles now have the no. 1 rated QB and the no. 1 rusher in the NFL.

Isn´t that funny? A backup with a monster Rating. And Kelly was written off already. The hardest critics came from Easteregg. Well, who is laughing last? :)
Even I did (mistakenly) critisise Kelly today. Won´t happen again... :cool:
 
FoxxyBrown1111 said:
the highlite (ok, for me a low-light) being the 28-3 dropping of the Bears in Soldier field. The greatest D ever couldn´t do anything against them, and later the 49ers went on to win another SB...

Though the 49ers offense in the 80s had plenty of highlight reel games, I always thought that win over the Bears was one of their best—on the road, in sub-zero weather, against a team they had had trouble scoring against in the past (when the two teams met during the regular season that year, the Bears won 10-9, holding the 49ers to their lowest offensive total to date under Bill Walsh.) But to be fair, the Bears did not have Richard Dent for that title game, a key component of their defense.
 
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Yeah, that 88 regular season was not the best for the 49ers. But if one 10-6 team was ever justified to be a champ, it was this one (ok, and that 10-6 GB team which lost six close games by 4 pts or less b/c of multiple play call blunders by McCarthy).

After the lowlight of losing 3-9 to the Raiders, they re-grouped and dominated 6 of their last 8 games. In the playoffs they reached perfection again... culminating in that famous 92-yd-Drive.

Edit: Just had a look at the game stats; Surprisingly the 49ers were 2 point favourites at CHI, the No 1 seed in the NFC. Geez, these Vegas guys are good...
 
FoxxyBrown1111 said:
But you lose 4 points. If your goal is to score pts, just kick a FG once you reach opp 20yL. Kickers nowadays are almost perfect w/under 40yFGs. Seriously: If you miss (the 4th down conversion), you have DEN pinned at their own 1yL. If you trust your D, you can expect a stop at least at the 20yL. Then DEN punts, KC gets the ball back in almost FG position. It´s an (almost) win-win situation. And if your D wouldn´t stop DEN, they also wouldn´t stop them after the coward FG kickoff. Anyway, this example was calculated a million times. It´s a no brainer, you always go for it from the opp 1yL (unless you lead big in the TMW, you just kneel down in fairness)....

I can see it going either way, and not blaming Reid for either choice. Reid was playing %'s and that early in the game my bet is he is thinking "take the 3 points then my #1 D holds Denver to no score"... so he's ahead. Most NFL & NCAA coaches would do that. But true, if he elects to go for the TD then DEN gets the ball at 1 yard line. And if the #1 defense holds you are right, KC gets ball back and almost in FG position. But, we both have seen teams go for the TD many a time, not make it, and then the defense does not hold. So I don't blame him for taking the safe 3. But if he had decided ahead of time to go for the TD, he would have known that it's a 4 down series, and he could have mixed up the plays a little better rather than (what was it??) 3 runs into the line. I would not blame him for going for the TD either, and if they convert it then he's a genius.

Back in the 80's if defenses held opponents to less than 17 PPG the winning percentage of a team that could do that was high (like 80%). Offenses what they are today, that 17 PPG number is probably higher now. I'd be curious what it is today. But let's just say teams win 80% of the time they keep opponents to less than 20 PPG, then KC did not do enough defensively to win. Nor did they score enough to win.

The next time these 2 teams meet in 2 weeks in KC I won't be surprised if it's a different outcome. But to do it, KC is going to have to get to Manning, and they are going to have to stop the run. Hali Tamba is going to have to have a better game, and he should have been better tonight with DEN LT Clady out with a torn Lisfranc. Clady is out for the season so Tamba will get Denver's backup LT again. Now that they have film of the LT Tamba better be studying it, and KC will have to game plan better defensively.
 
After that SNF game, AFC divisional winners and the first wild card look pretty well sorted out.
East - NE, no other real competition
North - Cincy, Pitt has chance & has 2 wins in a row, but not with Cincy's D
South - Indy, in what is turning out to be weak division
West - Denver/KC, one wins division, the other the 1st wild card spot
I don't think any of those teams above are going to blow up and miss out of the playoffs.

After that, it's a mess and a lot can happen in the remaining 6 games. Current AFC team records fighting for final wild card spot:
........W...L...Streak
NYJ...5...5...Lost 1
MIA...5...5...Won 1
PIT...4...6...Won 2
CLE..4...6...Lost 1
BAL..4...6...Lost 1
TEN..4...6...Lost 2
A couple weeks ago I might have said the Jets, but not after recent performances. PIT is on a roll so maybe they get in. I guess can't count out BAL, and MIA has a chance. I don't see CLE or TEN making it. But I don't know what teams remaining schedule looks like either.