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National Football League

Page 285 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Agree pretty much with playoff talk here. And YES, lawdy, have to feel bad for Oakland's QB situation heading into playoffs.

For Seattle, I'm not quite as optimistic as some. Some say their defense will be key, others say the run game. I think the defense will do their usual thing. So I think their success will depend some on the run game, but more on the OL. I have noticed some technique issues, specifically linemen getting off balance by getting their head and shoulders way out in front of their feet as if trying to knock defenders into next week. That makes it easy for defenders to get past. Is that over aggressieness from coach Cable, or will Cable correct that? IMO, better to stay square and lock on. Then either seal or drive, but stay balanced. OLmen dont need to hit homers every run play. Watch Dallas. They seal well individually or as a unit. They can also drive. But they always seem to be balanced and in control of their body.
 
Seattle appears to be very weak right now. In the last 5 games opposing QBR went from 77 up to 99. That is a huge increase. And, they have played some weak competition, except for GB. I don't know if Stafford can take advantage of that, the Lions have no run game at all. Seattle is still a better team but a win by Lions is very possible. I'll definitely take the points.
Oakland will beat Houston, even with Cook at QB. I've watched him at MSU and while his numbers were never that good, he is a competitor and does manage to win. They ran a pro style offense. I expect a good game from him
 
Seattle has been up and down since SB 49 (when they lost New England). Last year they had a slow start and had to really scamper to make the playoffs. They've had some good games this season, but overall, it's been about the same as last year, perhaps worse. The only difference is that the rest of the division was bad. Of course, those two tight games vs Arizona that they could have so easily won, meant they dropped to the 3rd seed rather than a 2nd seed and a first round bye. Plus they would have had a 12-4 record instead of 10-5-1, but even so, a 12-4 record with too many spotty performances. Many people are not convinced by Dallas, yet they are are 13-3 and have looked much better than Seattle has, generally speaking. First and foremost, Seattle's OL is still terrible. Management seems to have completely ignored that issue since they won the SB, and now it's really starting to haunt them. It wasn't a big deal when Wilson was in full flow and their running game was better (Lynch, healthy Rawls...) and their top ranked defense helped rest the offense by making stops and giving better field position. Add to the fact that they've had more injury problems this year and you get a team full of uncertainty. Yes, I agree that they don't look like a SB contender and it wouldn't be a shocker to see them lose to Detroit, but it's in Seattle and I think they have too much pride to lose a playoff game at home, so I think they'll get the job done, but it will probably be an ugly game, especially if they have another slow opening quarter. They've had this problem last year and they are having it again this year. They may get away with it against Detroit, but they'll lose to Atlanta for sure. The Falcons have too much firepower to overcome should the Seahawks start slow, but let's get by the Lions first.

As I've said once or twice before regarding the bracket, I actually think this is a better side for the Seahawks to be in. Lions then Falcons and if they get to the conference championship and the Cowboys lose, they'll have home field advantage. The other bracket is, in my opinion, a little tougher: Cowboys, Packers, Giants.
 
Pretty much agree with what you Vegan & Bulls men said about Seattle. But must say reading between the lines veganrob must be a Lions fan ;). But true Lions can win this one.

Seattle will probably need some help to go deeper in playoffs by someone knocking off Dallas or NYG.

As for Cook at helm for Oakland, experience at MSU may not help much vs NFL speed. I think Oakland will need game plan to help him get ball out of hands quick. Say by some rollouts, which cuts the field in half and his decisions in half. Oakland has good WRs, so they can help by getting separation and therefore not requiring Cook to go through progressions. And they can run it.
 
Re:

veganrob said:
Seattle appears to be very weak right now. In the last 5 games opposing QBR went from 77 up to 99. That is a huge increase. And, they have played some weak competition, except for GB. I don't know if Stafford can take advantage of that, the Lions have no run game at all. Seattle is still a better team but a win by Lions is very possible. I'll definitely take the points.
Oakland will beat Houston, even with Cook at QB. I've watched him at MSU and while his numbers were never that good, he is a competitor and does manage to win. They ran a pro style offense. I expect a good game from him
And MSU got shut-out by Bama 38-0 in last year's college playoff game with Cook at the helm. He couldn't even beat out McGloin for the backup spot during preseason competition. I think he needs a lot of development before becoming a reliable backup.

I don’t think Oakland will beat Houston simply for the fact that they lost Carr. Carr was ranked 5th in QB rating before his injury; only behiind veteran stars Brady, Rogers, Ryan & rookie Dak Prescott:

http://www.ibtimes.com/best-nfl-quarterbacks-2016-ranking-all-32-starting-qbs-season-2466942

The Raiders have won seven games in which they’ve given up at least 24 points because of their offense with Carr. That's hugh, and not only demonstrates Carr's ability but his leadership qualities which is critical in close games that go down to the wire. When Oakland played Denver in the first meeting this year their defense gave up 20 pts, but the offense pulled through and hung 30 on a very good Broncos defense winning the game. Last week against Denver, their D gave up 24, but the offense with Cook could only muster 6 pts, and were pretty out of it by the 3rd quarter. And now Cook is going to face a Houston club that is ranked #1 in total defense and #2 in passing defense. Plus Oakland is playing on the road. Doesn't add up very well for a completely inexperienced QB thrown into the spotlight of a playoff game.

Since Houston is having offensive problems themselves with their QB debacle, it might a defensive struggle between two bad offenses. Maybe it'll come down to special teams play, penalties, turnovers, etc. But I give a slight edge to Houston playing at home against an inexperienced Connor Cook.
 
I have to agree on Oakland's chances with Cook are fairly small, even if the rest of the team is playing well. You're talking about going from an MVP candidate, to a third string rookie, playing against a very good defense. I'm not even sure rolling out and cutting the field in half is going to do it. The Raiders are going to have to run well, when Houston knows they're going to run, and when Carr passes, he has to both pull the trigger, because plays develop much quicker in the NFL than college, and he's going to have to not turn the ball over, even if he makes few great plays. Also, Donald Penn isn't practicing, with a sore knee.

As to Seattle, if the Giants beat Green Bay, the Seahawks go to Dallas, and I can't see them winning that game. They do have a better shot against Atlanta, as Atlanta is all offense, with one good pass rusher. I'll say what I did before, the Giants have to like what they see. They've played well against Green Bay and Rodgers in big games in the past, plus cold weather is an equalizer with single digit temps looming. I also like their match-up against the Falcons, and they've twice shown they can beat Dallas.

Someone tell me I'm underrating Atlanta if you will, but I still think of them as being an average team, with some explosive receivers, a QB that can throw down the field, and a decent OL. Not much more.

Saints fired Joe Vitt, and a few other coaches.
 
Plucked off the NFL website, these are the most interesting coaching interviews to me. In italics, I put where they'd be most likely to go, IMO. The actual list is longer than this.

As far as openings go, I think Denver and Jacksonville are the places to go, talent wise, followed by Los Angeles, for the prestige, rebuilding, new stadium, nice weather. San Francisco has to be the dungeon talent wise, they are going to need 2-3 years to rebuild, but it is a prestigious franchise. San Diego maybe the worst place, because of such an uncertain future.

Kyle Shanahan: Broncos, Jaguars, Rams, 49ers

Anthony Lynn: Bills, 49ers, Rams, Jaguars, Chargers

Josh McDaniels: Jaguars, Rams, 49ers

Matt Patricia: Rams, Chargers

Sean McDermott: Bills, Chargers, 49ers

Tom Coughlin: Jaguars, Bills.
 
Nomad said:
on3m@n@rmy said:
http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.co...interview-tom-cable-seahawks-execs-next-week/
Recent news above that 9ers will interview Seattle OL coach Tom Cable for the HC job. Sweet! Pls take him. Cable has good rep as OL coach, but I have grown tired of him letting OLmen lunge on blocks to get off balance.
If your 9ers hire Cable, I hope he's does much better than the line coach they hired in that Tomsula character. Lol.
Nein. Nein. Nein. You blaspheme! Not MY 9ers. :lol:
#GoHawks
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
As to Seattle, if the Giants beat Green Bay, the Seahawks go to Dallas, and I can't see them winning that game. They do have a better shot against Atlanta, as Atlanta is all offense, with one good pass rusher. I'll say what I did before, the Giants have to like what they see. They've played well against Green Bay and Rodgers in big games in the past, plus cold weather is an equalizer with single digit temps looming. I also like their match-up against the Falcons, and they've twice shown they can beat Dallas.

Someone tell me I'm underrating Atlanta if you will, but I still think of them as being an average team, with some explosive receivers, a QB that can throw down the field, and a decent OL. Not much more.

Saints fired Joe Vitt, and a few other coaches.
Giants secondary, especially corners, match up very well vs Packers, which can help rushers get to Rodgers. That's another reason for Giants to like what they see there, in addition to the past as you mention.

I will not be the one to say you underrate Atlanta. Cuz I agree, tho maybe not average, but a shade above the average. But that would be splitting hairs.

Joe Vitt. Actually fired by HC Sean Payton. Kind of amazing considering Vitt has been with Peyton as an assistant etc for about 10 years. So IMO Joe became Peyton's scapegoat. Kind of sleazy by Sean. This is an example of why it is not good for head coaches to have that kind of power. HC's with that power can be just trying to save their own skin. But for it to work in an organization where the HC does not have that power, then the front office top dog(s) or owner needs to be solid (UNLIKE the case right now being revealed in Buffalo and SF). If you think I may be crazy, you may be right (plagiarized from Billy Joel).

Kyle Shanny says he thinks the Denver opening is the best job open at the moment. I'd have to agree. Bills, 9ers, and the Bolts in SD have either poor orgs or owners. Rams mortgaged their future giving up too many picks for Goff. The JAGS might be the next best position after Denver.

AND the Colts just announce they will keep Pagano. That is a smart move considering 1) what are the options, and 2) sometimes best to stick with what you know like the Steelers who have had just 3 HC's in the past 30 or so years.

We had some recent discussion here about the relative success Chip Kelly actually had in Philly. But today the Philly GM has casted major "shade" on Kelly. My first thought seeing that report was 'OK this is just that time of year when stuff like this gets reported'. But let us not forget all those crazy nuts player personnel moves Kelly made in Philly. Not sure I'd want the power of personnel decisions in the hands of someone with that history.
 
Re: Re:

on3m@n@rmy said:
AND the Colts just announce they will keep Pagano... sometimes best to stick with what you know like the Steelers who have had just 3 HC's in the past 30 or so years.
Try 48 years. Noll started coaching the Steelers in 1969. Since then, only Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin have held that same job. Astounding, really.

Otherwise, agree with your theory. The same goes with Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati as Pagano in Indy. If you fire them, who are you going to get? And if they truly want to stay on, and everyone gets along and sees eye to eye for the most part, why dump them?

Trent Baalke made perhaps worse personnel decisions in SF than Kelly did in Philly.

Here are my picks:

OAK@HOU - With first Cook, and now Donald Penn now out, you'd think I'd pick against my team, but I just can't. It helps that the Texans aren't very good, and Osweiller is playing. Game could be one of those 16-13 affairs.

DET@SEA - I agree with what everyone else has posted. Despite the OL issues, depsite the secondary a step down without Thomas, I'm not picking Seattle to lose at home here. Experience counts too. Something like 27-20.

MIA@PITT - To me the Steelers are the best team playing this weekend. Miami did beat them earlier in the season, but the Steelers were banged up then, and healthy now. I expect them to win easily, one of those 30-10 games. Weather may play a factor and reduce the scoring, and gap.

NYG@GB - This is the hardest game to pick. It's going to be freezing cold and windy, which tends to equalize things. I just think the Packers don't have cornerbacks to stop the Giants receivers, and the Giants new fangled short passing game will play okay in the cold. Rodgers and the Packers offense can be explosive, but as On3@m said, the Giant DB's match up well enough against the Packers receivers, giving the DL enough time to pester Rodgers enough. Eli will turn the ball over, but not enough to make the difference. I'm thinking 24-23.
 
I think Texans will win against the Raiders despite Osweiler (losing Carr was a B*tch) and i have that uneasy feeling that the Giants will take the Super Bowl and Giants fans like Max Kellerman will say that Eli is the best playoff QB in history.
 
I wasn't entirely kidding when I said the Giants could win the SB. If you look at who they will likely play, almost every matchup favors them. First, they play Green Bay, and we discussed why earlier. They have also beaten the Packers twice in Lambeau on their way to SB runs, including the year the Packers were 15-1. Then, they'll likely go to Atlanta, where I think they match up even better than they do against Green Bay, for the same reason. Presuming the Giants win that game, they go to Dallas, whom they beat twice this season. Then, the most likely team they'd play in the Super Bowl is New England, who they beat twice under similar circumstances. Having said that, this is not thinking objectively, it's 2017, not 2007 or 2011.

As to Cook, if there's one positive, it's that there's almost zero film on him in the NFL. Some very conservative play last week with almost no prep. Who knows what Oakland will try to do with him. An equally big loss, as I noted, was Donald Penn is out. He was one of two OT's with 400 or more pass blocks and just one sack allowed all season. Remarkable, actually.

Bleacher Report gave picks from their 12 experts. They are as follows.

Houston 7-5 over Oakland.
Seattle 12-0 over Detroit.
Pittsburgh 12-0 over Miami.
Green Bay 9-3 over New York.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2684952-bleacher-reports-expert-consensus-wild-card-picks
 
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Houston up 13-7 over Oakland right now. Some big plays from the Houston defense including a nice Clowney interception have helped limit Oakland. Crabtree with a couple big drops as well. Cook has been alright considering this is his first start. Oakland O-line did get to the Houston defense on one drive resulting in their touchdown.

On offense for Houston, they are finding moderate success with Miller running the ball and throwing to the TE over the middle. Good game from Mack so far and the defense has done well so far to limit the Houston offense to field goals with the TD coming when they were setup inside the 5 from the Clowney int.
 
Solid win for Houston, though the story is a big "what if" for Oakland. Houston now likely goes to New England, and likely loses badly.

Great game by Seattle, their defense, Rawls, the receivers. I have to like their chances going to Atlanta.

I should note I made wrong assumptions on the Giants earlier, implying they'd go to Atlanta before Dallas if they beat GB, that's wrong, they'd play Dallas first. But if they can avoid Seattle, in Seattle, they could run the NFC table.
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
Solid win for Houston, though the story is a big "what if" for Oakland. Houston now likely goes to New England, and likely loses badly.

Great game by Seattle, their defense, Rawls, the receivers. I have to like their chances going to Atlanta.

I should note I made wrong assumptions on the Giants earlier, implying they'd go to Atlanta before Dallas if they beat GB, that's wrong, they'd play Dallas first. But if they can avoid Seattle, in Seattle, they could run the NFC table.


So you are thinking Giants vs Seahawks for the NFC title game?
 
Also, I feel bad for the Raiders. A great regular season, really good on the road (which bodes well for the playoffs) to only hit a brick wall with Carr's injury. It's like their season never really happened. Maybe it's not right to say 'all for naught.'

Patriots were probably the favorites in the AFC, but without Carr and the Raiders there, it opens it up a little bit more. If the Dolphins somehow shock the Steelers, well, then the Patriots will essentially have three byes to the SB.
 
Also, I feel bad for the Raiders. A great regular season, really good on the road (which bodes well for the playoffs) to only hit a brick wall with Carr's injury. It's like their season never really happened. Maybe it's not right to say 'all for naught.'

Patriots were probably the favorites in the AFC, but without Carr and the Raiders there, it opens it up a little bit more. If the Dolphins somehow shock the Steelers, well, then the Patriots will essentially have three byes to the SB.
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
Solid win for Houston, though the story is a big "what if" for Oakland. Houston now likely goes to New England, and likely loses badly.

Great game by Seattle, their defense, Rawls, the receivers. I have to like their chances going to Atlanta.

I should note I made wrong assumptions on the Giants earlier, implying they'd go to Atlanta before Dallas if they beat GB, that's wrong, they'd play Dallas first. But if they can avoid Seattle, in Seattle, they could run the NFC table.
Solid win against a deflated team that lost the best QB they've had in years. That being said though, Osweiler had a good game and looked more in control of the offense with the audibles & adjustments he regulary made throughout the game (a little Peyton Manning stuff there). He even showed a little athleticism with that nice run to the corner of the endzone (not bad for a 6-8 guy).

As expected Cook was overwhelmed missing defensive schemes, not making adjustments, and forcing throws. Houston clearly stuffed the Raider's run game forcing Cook to throw (3 picks/3 sacks/139 yds). But the lad did the best he could given the circumstances, and he's got a good arm, so we'll see if he can beat out McGloin for the backup next season.

And Oakland's defense hasn't played the same since the Carr injury. A total of 51 pts given up between the Denver and Houston game. IMO, the defense lacked intensity and looked passive at times. I guess when you know your offense has been decimated by losing your star QB, and not having a competent backup, why give 100% every play in trying to stop the other team. Raider Nation must be sinking to an all-time low with the best team they've had in years missing out at a legitimate chance at a SB run.

If Houston plays KC in the next round, I think they might actually have a chance if Osweiler stays consistent and puts together another decent game. Houston did, in fact, beat KC 19-12 in week #2. However, they had J.J. Watt and played at home. If it's KC, they go to Arrowhead...one of the most difficult venues to play at. If it's New England - it's lights out and better luck next year Houston. In fact, I think it's all over for everyone else and hello Patriots to the SB:

Brady (#1 QB rating) + Belichick + Home Field Advantage = AFC Champions.
 
The Lions just self destructed against the Seahawks. Seattle is a better team than them but I was expecting a better effort than that. When Thomas Rawls was going off knew it was over. As has been the case all year, Detroit has been able to put in pretty good first half then the second they have nothing. Just not good enough. need players.
 
Re:

veganrob said:
The Lions just self destructed against the Seahawks. Seattle is a better team than them but I was expecting a better effort than that. When Thomas Rawls was going off knew it was over. As has been the case all year, Detroit has been able to put in pretty good first half then the second they have nothing. Just not good enough. need players.
First about the Houston- Oakland game, really is too bad for Oakland due to the injuries. I was hoping they could have gone deeper in playoffs. But hats off to Houston. Fun zeeing them excited.

Yeah, Lions WRs had way too many dropped balls that shoulda been caught, which compounded the problems Stafford was clearly having with the injury to his throwing hand finger. Even so, when I saw the Lion OL could not get much going by running (Lions struggled dealing with Chancellor in the box and the LBs) I thought they shoulda passed more. As for Lion defense, they need more interior DL help to hold gaps which lets LBs flow. Seattle's OL double teams against DL really helped neutralize LBs which helped Rawls get going. And when Rawls gets going he is more dangerous than the last year or two of Lynch because he is a bit more explosive than Lynch was late in his career.

Rabbit trail on interior DL, Oakland could use some help there.

Offensively for Seattle, we saw how bad George Fant is at LT. Seattle had/has to put TEs off his hip to help (vs tough Ziggy Anzah). LG and C were solid, and RG Ifedi shows promise. But I again caught Ifedi lunging and completely whiffing on blocks. Had me wanting to drag out my foam Hawk Block from the pre-Holmgren years to toss at the TV. Ifedi was better when helping with double teams.
 
Most of the games have gone to script so far. No real surprises. The Carr injury was too much for the Raiders to overcome as expected. Seattle win without impressing too much. Don't see them getting past the Falcons not this year anyway. Next weeks games will be much better contests. Was never convinced that Miami would match the Steelers at this stage of the season.