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Pretty big buzz about how poor the officiating was in KC. I've said this before so sorry for the broken record, but when the officials can't keep up with the plays, they can't be effective. These guys are supposed to be professionals, they should have to meet a physical standard. Every guy on this crew was a step or two behind most of the time yesterday. I think that some of their long conferences were because they needed to recover.

RE: "Blowing a lead": Foxxy and I used to go-round with this one. The Superbowl last year, the Chiefs yesterday, aren't "blowing games" IMO. Some games go back and forth, other games come in chunks. ATL scored more in the first half (3Q), NE scored more in the second half. KC scored more in the first half, TEN scored more in the second. I guess technically anytime you lose, you 'blew' the game, but if TEN would have lost, did they blow the game because of their poor first half (scoring).

Smith should still be the starter in KC, but if they do go to the TX Gunslinger, CLE better grab Smith!

EDIT: I didn't read on3's link first...maybe AS will end up in CLE?
 
CAR lost the game when (he doesn't deserve to have his name typed) dropped a pretty easy TD catch in Q1. Cam is mentally fragile and that missed catch changed his posture so you know it changed his mind set. He did come around again, but not until they were playing from behind.

The missed chip shot field goal...

I'm ready for the Nat champs tomorrow and then the playoff match ups next weekend!
 
Like you said about blowing games, I mostly saw the Saints converting when they needed to, more than the Panthers blowing it. Like Tennessee, and Atlanta and Jacksonville, I'd prefer to credit the winning team. Having said that, how Carolina didn't think the Saints might blitz on a 4th and 23, and be ready to protect it, is beyond me. I mean, they HAD to get 23 yards, and hurry or get out of bounds. They weren't going to run, they weren't going to screen, they weren't going for a quick slant, hook, rub, etc. They had to know there would be a wall of Saints DB's roughly 15-20 yards back in a cover 4 dime defense mostly protecting the outs, meaning any offensive play would take more than 3 seconds to develop, which is ripe for any defense to send 5+ guys after the QB. Weak protection almost guarantees a sack there, even against someone like Cam.

That Jacksonville Buffalo game was pretty messy. Loved the Bills grit though.

I have mostly been a supporter of Smith, but I won't be surprised at all if he's gone next season either. But those who seem to think Mahomes is going to lead them to more wins, let alone better stats than Smith, are in for a real surprise. In 3-5 years? Who knows though I guess. But KC may be thinking next season is time to rebuild before they absolutely have to and sit in the cellar. They have cap issues already, and it's likely Oakland and LAR are going to fight for that division next year anyway.

Thoughts on next weeks games soon.
 
First, the AFC.

I loved the game that Mariota and the Titans showed in beating the Chiefs, but Foxboro has to be the end of the line for them. Even if the Pats play a poor game, even if ESPN's "distractions" are true, I'll still take them to win. Tennessee's only real chance is to test the Pats front seven with a lot of runs, and hope for some bounced balls on defense.

As bad as Jacksonville played against Buffalo, they do have a remote chance against Pittsburgh. First, no one expects them to win, at all. So a lot of the nerves they showed, mostly Bortles, will be a lot lower. Also, for half their season Pittsburgh did a very good job of playing to the level of their competition, including down to many teams. If the do that here, Jacksonville has a chance. I just don't see it.

NFC

Here's where all the good games are.

I felt good in predicting a Falcon win over the Rams, but don't think because they ran through one tough defense, they can do the same against Philadelphia. The Eagles DL is better than any in the NFL, and they will get after Ryan. They also press and push more on short routes, believing they can get pressure up front. Also, the Eagle offense doesn't play the same short game the Rams do. Yes, Foles is not Wentz, and they don't have Gurley, but the Eagles run the ball well, with multiple backs, in different ways. The Falcon defense is built with strength in the middle, and speed everywhere else. The Eagles have the running tools to attack that, and some of the passing ones as well. Foles could lose this game for Philly, but with the extra week of prep, I doubt it. The Falcons would have to be on fire I think to win this. But the key is if they can get ahead by more than about 8, especially in the 2nd half. They do that, the Eagles may not be able to come back.

I said mid-season the Saints were a favorite of mine, but I also think the Vikings are maybe the most complete team in the NFL right now. I like them on offense, defense, special teams, against the run, and pass. Case Keenum may be the weakest element of the team, but he's actually pretty good. He doesn't need to win, the same way the Eagles don't need Foles to win games. But like the Eagles-Falcons matchup, if the Vikings fall behind against the Saints in the 2nd half, they may not be able to come back. The Saints can do so much, and against the Panthers they seemed to know Carolina would try to stop the run, and mostly did, but Brees was completely comfortable throwing one beautiful pass after another in pressure situations. Saints are very dangerous. 2nd best team in the NFC behind only Minnesota, who they may actually beat.
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
First, the AFC.

I loved the game that Mariota and the Titans showed in beating the Chiefs, but Foxboro has to be the end of the line for them. Even if the Pats play a poor game, even if ESPN's "distractions" are true, I'll still take them to win. Tennessee's only real chance is to test the Pats front seven with a lot of runs, and hope for some bounced balls on defense.

As bad as Jacksonville played against Buffalo, they do have a remote chance against Pittsburgh. First, no one expects them to win, at all. So a lot of the nerves they showed, mostly Bortles, will be a lot lower. Also, for half their season Pittsburgh did a very good job of playing to the level of their competition, including down to many teams. If the do that here, Jacksonville has a chance. I just don't see it.

NFC

Here's where all the good games are.

I felt good in predicting a Falcon win over the Rams, but don't think because they ran through one tough defense, they can do the same against Philadelphia. The Eagles DL is better than any in the NFL, and they will get after Ryan. They also press and push more on short routes, believing they can get pressure up front. Also, the Eagle offense doesn't play the same short game the Rams do. Yes, Foles is not Wentz, and they don't have Gurley, but the Eagles run the ball well, with multiple backs, in different ways. The Falcon defense is built with strength in the middle, and speed everywhere else. The Eagles have the running tools to attack that, and some of the passing ones as well. Foles could lose this game for Philly, but with the extra week of prep, I doubt it. The Falcons would have to be on fire I think to win this. But the key is if they can get ahead by more than about 8, especially in the 2nd half. They do that, the Eagles may not be able to come back.

I said mid-season the Saints were a favorite of mine, but I also think the Vikings are maybe the most complete team in the NFL right now. I like them on offense, defense, special teams, against the run, and pass. Case Keenum may be the weakest element of the team, but he's actually pretty good. He doesn't need to win, the same way the Eagles don't need Foles to win games. But like the Eagles-Falcons matchup, if the Vikings fall behind against the Saints in the 2nd half, they may not be able to come back. The Saints can do so much, and against the Panthers they seemed to know Carolina would try to stop the run, and mostly did, but Brees was completely comfortable throwing one beautiful pass after another in pressure situations. Saints are very dangerous. 2nd best team in the NFC behind only Minnesota, who they may actually beat.
Yeah I think the Saints are starting to believe they can do it. Some interesting match ups there. Would rather see the Vikings or Saints take out the SB. The Jags QB is a liability even though he has been playing better this season. Mariota has been pretty hot and cold as well. I think the Eagles with Wentz would have made it to the SB.
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
First, the AFC.

I loved the game that Mariota and the Titans showed in beating the Chiefs, but Foxboro has to be the end of the line for them. Even if the Pats play a poor game, even if ESPN's "distractions" are true, I'll still take them to win. Tennessee's only real chance is to test the Pats front seven with a lot of runs, and hope for some bounced balls on defense.

As bad as Jacksonville played against Buffalo, they do have a remote chance against Pittsburgh. First, no one expects them to win, at all. So a lot of the nerves they showed, mostly Bortles, will be a lot lower. Also, for half their season Pittsburgh did a very good job of playing to the level of their competition, including down to many teams. If the do that here, Jacksonville has a chance. I just don't see it.

NFC

Here's where all the good games are.

I felt good in predicting a Falcon win over the Rams, but don't think because they ran through one tough defense, they can do the same against Philadelphia. The Eagles DL is better than any in the NFL, and they will get after Ryan. They also press and push more on short routes, believing they can get pressure up front. Also, the Eagle offense doesn't play the same short game the Rams do. Yes, Foles is not Wentz, and they don't have Gurley, but the Eagles run the ball well, with multiple backs, in different ways. The Falcon defense is built with strength in the middle, and speed everywhere else. The Eagles have the running tools to attack that, and some of the passing ones as well. Foles could lose this game for Philly, but with the extra week of prep, I doubt it. The Falcons would have to be on fire I think to win this. But the key is if they can get ahead by more than about 8, especially in the 2nd half. They do that, the Eagles may not be able to come back.

I said mid-season the Saints were a favorite of mine, but I also think the Vikings are maybe the most complete team in the NFL right now. I like them on offense, defense, special teams, against the run, and pass. Case Keenum may be the weakest element of the team, but he's actually pretty good. He doesn't need to win, the same way the Eagles don't need Foles to win games. But like the Eagles-Falcons matchup, if the Vikings fall behind against the Saints in the 2nd half, they may not be able to come back. The Saints can do so much, and against the Panthers they seemed to know Carolina would try to stop the run, and mostly did, but Brees was completely comfortable throwing one beautiful pass after another in pressure situations. Saints are very dangerous. 2nd best team in the NFC behind only Minnesota, who they may actually beat.
I'll take:
NE
Pit
ATL
Min
 
Re:

jmdirt said:
Seattle fan take:
-Too many attitudes
--too many penalties that kill SEA drives/extend opp drives, too many distractions, pouty play
-Too many injures
-Poor roster selection
-Poor coaching
-Poor execution

I would like to see Pete stay, but Cable and Bevell need to go so that may include Pete if they are his guys. They need to clear the attitudes, bring in a few solid vets, and draft well (including a kicker).
EDIT: it looks like Bevell is out...Cable next?
 
Re: Re:

jmdirt said:
jmdirt said:
Seattle fan take:
-Too many attitudes
--too many penalties that kill SEA drives/extend opp drives, too many distractions, pouty play
-Too many injures
-Poor roster selection
-Poor coaching
-Poor execution

I would like to see Pete stay, but Cable and Bevell need to go so that may include Pete if they are his guys. They need to clear the attitudes, bring in a few solid vets, and draft well (including a kicker).
EDIT: it looks like Bevell is out...Cable next?
As of this morning, Cable has been fired. Those are the two people I've been saying for some time need to go before before they destroy young talent.

But wait, there's more. Not fired, but Seattle DC Kris Richard would be allowed out of his contract for another opportunity. Generally means he probably will not return to Seattle.

Are these guys scapegoats? And who of value is available? Better have a plan before cutting coaches loose!
 
Re: Re:

jmdirt said:
jmdirt said:
Seattle fan take:
-Too many attitudes
--too many penalties that kill SEA drives/extend opp drives, too many distractions, pouty play
-Too many injures
-Poor roster selection
-Poor coaching
-Poor execution

I would like to see Pete stay, but Cable and Bevell need to go so that may include Pete if they are his guys. They need to clear the attitudes, bring in a few solid vets, and draft well (including a kicker).
EDIT: it looks like Bevell is out...Cable next?

I pretty much agree on the above reasons for Seattle's disappointing season. But the poor execution is partly due to injuries and a roster that changing every other week due to injuries. Wilson had to literally and figuratively create things for himself and others. He accounted for 80% + of the total Seahawk offense. Of course some plays will be poorly executed. They had virtually no running game and when they did have something, it was, guess who, Wilson who provided that.

But I think many of the issues are connected. There are reasons for all of these problems and it's like the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon....if that makes sense. No one problem isn't connected with one or more problems.

If Carroll (if Carroll stays) and the front office are smart this offseason, they would address every single thing that went wrong. Not necessarily individual plays, but personnel and how the new OC can address the above problems. But with Bevell out, and possibly Cable out as well, perhaps it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if Pete also leaves? Maybe a fresh outlook is the best. That said, those players that have been there with Carroll would probably not immediately take to the new coaching staff's methods and tactics, and can cause an immediate rift and probably more losses, then it's Murphy's law...
 
Re: Re:

jmdirt said:
jmdirt said:
Seattle fan take:
-Too many attitudes
--too many penalties that kill SEA drives/extend opp drives, too many distractions, pouty play
-Too many injures
-Poor roster selection
-Poor coaching
-Poor execution

I would like to see Pete stay, but Cable and Bevell need to go so that may include Pete if they are his guys. They need to clear the attitudes, bring in a few solid vets, and draft well (including a kicker).
EDIT: it looks like Bevell is out...Cable next?
I should have added one to that list:
- poor OL technique of the type that can be taught
 
Re: Re:

on3m@n@rmy said:
jmdirt said:
jmdirt said:
Seattle fan take:
-Too many attitudes
--too many penalties that kill SEA drives/extend opp drives, too many distractions, pouty play
-Too many injures
-Poor roster selection
-Poor coaching
-Poor execution

I would like to see Pete stay, but Cable and Bevell need to go so that may include Pete if they are his guys. They need to clear the attitudes, bring in a few solid vets, and draft well (including a kicker).
EDIT: it looks like Bevell is out...Cable next?
I should have added one to that list:
- poor OL technique of the type that can be taught
That's one of several things that fall under poor execution.
 
Not going to snow in New England on Saturday, looks like rain off and on, and breezy conditions. Maybe some light snow and a bit colder in Pittsburgh, a little more wind there. Possible light rain snow mix early in Philly, otherwise, just cloudy and some wind. Minnesota plays in a glass house, so weather won't be a factor.

The worse the weather gets, wind, snow, sleet, mud, etc. the more it equalizes the game. But I don't see any forecast in any of these games that should change the outcome. Maybe some of the wind gusts will affect some longer passes and kicks, that's about it.

I don't gamble, but here's the consensus of odds, as of today anyway:

Phil +3 over Atlanta
NE +13.5 over Tennessee
Pitt +7 over Jacksonville
Min +3.5 over New Orleans
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
Not going to snow in New England on Saturday, looks like rain off and on, and breezy conditions. Maybe some light snow and a bit colder in Pittsburgh, a little more wind there. Possible light rain snow mix early in Philly, otherwise, just cloudy and some wind. Minnesota plays in a glass house, so weather won't be a factor.

The worse the weather gets, wind, snow, sleet, mud, etc. the more it equalizes the game. But I don't see any forecast in any of these games that should change the outcome. Maybe some of the wind gusts will affect some longer passes and kicks, that's about it.

I don't gamble, but here's the consensus of odds, as of today anyway:

Phil +3 over Atlanta
NE +13.5 over Tennessee
Pitt +7 over Jacksonville
Min +3.5 over New Orleans
Some interesting match ups and I see the bookmakers aren't taking many risks with their odds. If the Falcons win I expect that their momentum will only increase. The Vikings/Saints game could be a really good one. Falcons don't need motivating just revisit the tape of last years SB.
 
Not a huge surprise. Money comes before humanity in this economy.

Historically, this has been maybe the best weekend of football of the year, with 3 of the 4 games on average close, and exciting. As I noted earlier, I think the NFC is where all the fun is. We have two road teams that are hot, played in the best division in the NFL, and have great QB's. And great QB's tend to rise up in the playoffs. But the home teams here are both very strong. As I see it, any team from the NFC who gets to the SB at this point is fully worth being there already, and winning it. In fact, no matter who plays at this point, I'm rooting for the NFC.

I think everyone in the world expects the Patriots and Steelers to win. As I noted earlier, I'd throw out that early Jax win over the Steelers. I see no way Pittsburgh plays that poorly again, and Fourette just isn't as fresh, and unscouted as before. Never the less, the Steelers have a history of playing down to their opponents this year. If they do that, and a ball bonces the Jags way...

Sam Bradford cleared waivers after what had to seem a very long season of a nagging injury that didn't need surgery, but just wouldn't heal. Whether he suits up tomorrow or not, who knows. If he does, Minnesota now has three QB's who could start. So, if Keenum struggles, what do the Vikings do?

Tom Cable apparently hired as Raiders OL coach. Gruden has been very aggressive right out of the gate building his new staff.
 
Great win for the Eagles, a really solid win for Foles, silencing some doubters. Game was a nail biter, but in the end, the Eagles defense showed why they were the #1 seed, great stop at the end there. They have to feel great about this win, plus having a home game next week.

Patriots looked impossibly good. Surgical like win.
 
PHI played a pretty complete game. If the D can hold teams to 10 points they have a shot moving forward. They might want to look at their strategy on scoring, how can they adjust so that NF can lead them into the end zone (more) instead of three FGs?

NE...Alpe hit that, surgical offense. Solid D too.
 

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