• We're giving away a Cyclingnews water bottle! Find out more here!

National Football League

Page 406 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
I too thought both teams had real chances to put that game away, but did not. That call against Clay Matthews also really hurt the Rams. But there were several plays, by both teams that almost cost the game, such as the prevent defense. Of course, Norton could come on here and remind us Seattle won the game.

Otherwise, this was a typical Thursday game with some sloppy play, but at least no season ending injuries (I believe, hope). I'm left with one reason to watch though, as you are able to see teams that you don't normally see in your region. I can't recall the last time I saw a full Tampa, Arizona, or Detroit game for example.

Peculiar that SF is in first at 3-0, followed by Seattle at 4-1. By the numbers though, the Rams are still probably the best team in that division. But it's really hard to stay on top, and very frequently teams who lose the Super Bowl, become average the next year, often fading late in the season.

As to Buffalo, they are on almost every week where I live. Josh Allen must be hard to coach, but he has huge potential, he really does. He has an incredible arm, moves across the entire field well, and plays relatively calm. When plays develop quickly, when he pulls the trigger, he's had drives where he marches the team right down the field looking a little like Jim Kelly in the process (did I just go there?!). When plays break down, and he gets outside the pocket he's able to sometimes make things happen with his legs, often saving drives. But somewhere between there, 3rd, 4th options, protection slowly breaking down as he moves around, he doesn't always make the best decision, often forcing balls with his arm, thinking defenders won't get to where he's throwing it as quick as they do. He's thrown 6 interceptions this year, but over half of those were deep bombs, not too different than a punt.

I didn't make any predictions last week, at least I don't think so. I'll see if I can do that later today or tomorrow morning.
The Falcons SB hangover continues. How much of that is due to the loss of Shanahan and some of their offense is open to discussion. Also getting trigger happy after the SB and canning some defensive staff mainly on the basis of one game also possibly didn't help. They look better than Miami, Denver and Washington which isn't saying much.
 
Looking forward to the Niners/ Browns game. A lot will depend on the defensive battle. Browns looked better last week but if the 49ers can get the win they will like their chances against the Rams next week as the Rams are still not clicking like they were last year.
 
WTF Ken Norton ?! "we pride ourselves on defense so in crunch time lets play soft". Prevent defense usually prevents you from winning. LAME LAME LAME! SEA got lucky that Z choked.
Seattle's biggest weakness on defense is secondary. There are two players starting in their base D I don't trust too much. Flowers & Thompson. Rewatching the final Rams possession, Seattle was playing cover 3 & cover 4 with over-the-top (cloud, or whatever they call it) coverage, as opposed to underneath coverage. IMO, the best in that situation (if they had the quality personnel) would be cover 2 man with 2 safties over the top. What they did was allow everything underneath. I have the feeling they do not trust S Tedric Thompson in cover 2 man. I don't. If I was a QB & saw Tedric with over the top in cover 2, I'd pick on that for a quick deep pass. So I think that's what Norton was trying to prevent, gambling the clock would help. So that is Seattle's defensive liability, and I expect to see more of that junk happening this season. Maybe it gets better in a couple weeks if Anzah & Clowney get going, & Jaran Reed returns to help pressuring QBs.
 
The Falcons SB hangover continues. How much of that is due to the loss of Shanahan and some of their offense is open to discussion. Also getting trigger happy after the SB and canning some defensive staff mainly on the basis of one game also possibly didn't help. They look better than Miami, Denver and Washington which isn't saying much.
Interesting observation. That seems like a long time for a hangover, but I'm not going to say you're wrong either. This team should have a much more potent offense than they are delivering, making your Shanahan observation seem true as well. But the talent is there, the experience is there.

There were quite a few people who thought Atlanta would be a serious contender this year. I thought they'd be pretty good. I think I said they could go 11-5 and challenge the Saints for the division. Rex Ryan picked them to go to the SB. For this team to lose to Minnesota, and Tennessee by two TD's, the latter at home, putting up only 12 and 10 points in the process is very telling. They also have some tough games coming up: @ Houston, Rams, Seattle, @ Saints in a game where Brees should be back, maybe playing his second game. I only skipped one "easy" game, at Arizona. They could possibly be looking at 2-7 at that point.
 
Reactions: movingtarget
Interesting observation. That seems like a long time for a hangover, but I'm not going to say you're wrong either. This team should have a much more potent offense than they are delivering, making your Shanahan observation seem true as well. But the talent is there, the experience is there.

There were quite a few people who thought Atlanta would be a serious contender this year. I thought they'd be pretty good. I think I said they could go 11-5 and challenge the Saints for the division. Rex Ryan picked them to go to the SB. For this team to lose to Minnesota, and Tennessee by two TD's, the latter at home, putting up only 12 and 10 points in the process is very telling. They also have some tough games coming up: @ Houston, Rams, Seattle, @ Saints in a game where Brees should be back, maybe playing his second game. I only skipped one "easy" game, at Arizona. They could possibly be looking at 2-7 at that point.
After today not getting any better for the Falcons.

My God what a sloppy game with the Cowboys and Packers. Packers making it much more difficult than it should have been with some idiot penalties but the Cowboys just missed a kick so it's game over. Great game by the Packers RB. Denver fall in for their first win. Raiders get the job done. Tending to think the Bears are overrated this year like the Rams. Carolina getting back on track.
 
Pretty surprised with all the injuries and distractions that the Raiders were able to win in London. Pretty surprised they're 3-2 at this point. Jacobs is outstanding. Looks like he could be great.

Bears got no sacks in the Khalil Mack revenge game. This with a line riddled with injuries. Trent Brown and Kolton Miller appear to be the real deal.
 
Pretty surprised with all the injuries and distractions that the Raiders were able to win in London. Pretty surprised they're 3-2 at this point. Jacobs is outstanding. Looks like he could be great.

Bears got no sacks in the Khalil Mack revenge game. This with a line riddled with injuries. Trent Brown and Kolton Miller appear to be the real deal.
49ers probably wish they had persevered with Trent Brown. But to be fair, when the let him go and he went off to the Patriots he was playing mediocre football and without the Patriots move he wouldn't be on the contract he is now............
 
If the Colts can keep the pressure going this game will be close. Good back and forth so far.

Reid still saving his timeouts. Could have tried saving time for the offense with 3 timeouts (especially how explosive they can be) to get points. Chiefs still getting helped by refs (and before anyone brings it up, the chiefsfot away with holding and pass interference on Edelman with the roughing the passer on Brady).

These challenges on penalties has been a useless change. It has almost never been overturned.
 
Last edited:
If the Colts can keep the pressure going this game will be close. Good back and forth so far.

Reid still saving his timeouts. Could have tried saving time for the offense with 3 timeouts (especially how explosive they can be) to get points. Chiefs still getting helped by refs (and before anyone brings it up, the chiefsfot away with holding and pass interference on Edelman with the roughing the passer on Brady).

These challenges on penalties has been a useless change. It has almost never been overturned.
Great win for the Colts. Haven't seen a run offense like that for quite a while backed up by great defense.
 
Apr 20, 2016
457
7
3,295
Great win for the Colts. Haven't seen a run offense like that for quite a while backed up by great defense.
That was a good win over KC and the Colts are 3-2 now without Luck....who would have thought. Some concern with Mahomes though; he reaggravated that ankle sprain from earlier in the year when a teammate stepped on him in the 1st half. He didn't look very mobile in the 2nd half and didn't seem throw that well off that foot either. You lose Mahomes' mobility and that team loses an awful lot. Plus Tyreek Hill still out is hurting them.

Jay Gruden "finally" fired....no surprises there.

And glad to hear that Mason Rudolph was released from the hospital after the concussion he suffered from that vicious hit to the chin in the Baltimore game. You can see on the replay the initial hit knocks him out and he helplessly falls to the ground impacting his head on the turf. Scary moment as he laid there lifelessly - reminiscent of the Shazier incident a few years back.

View: https://youtu.be/FC51pSyZBpM
 
I watched that hit a few times, and I'm really surprised by Thomas, who has never been a dirty player. But he's not an LB and rarely in this kind of play where he's going after a lateral moving QB. He should have had one hand in front of his body. Lowering his shoulder some, considering both of their trajectory, and height, was a recipe for disaster.

Awesome win for the Colts. Their secondary is mostly out with injury, but their DL really got after Mahomes, and their run game on offense just wore the Colts down.

If I were to guess who's going to the SB today, I'll guess the Saints. They look very solid across the board, and Bridgewater finally had a game closer to how he can play. This tells me Brees can get all the rest he needs, making a shorter season for him, less wear and tear on his overall body as they head to the playoffs.
 
Watching the highlights of the 49ers - Browns, I can't work out if the 49ers D is that good or the Browns OL is just terrible. Nick Bosa was good against TB but he was in another world in this game. Too big and too strong for the OL to handle, he seemed to get to Mayfield whenever he wanted. This had BM running scared all game and he seemed too busy looking for where the hit was going to come from to check the coverage and find the open receivers. I have no idea if the receivers were open and Mayfield couldn't find them, or if they were well covered? It's a problem with camera angles. With big screen TVs these days I wonder if they could run two cameras, one on the line of scrimmage and one on the secondary and split the screen?


49ers are second only to the Patriots for points conceded and, I think, for/against difference, they look really strong at the moment. Rams next week who are scoring well but also leaking points. If the 49ers can shut down Goff they could be going to Carolina at 6-0.


At the end of the highlights for the Washington - Patriots game it looked like, after a helmet to helmet by Davis on McCoy, the Patriots players rushed to check he was ok, is that what happened? Was good to see. I was surprised Thomas wasn't on the field to check Rudolph was ok. It didn't look intentional, I'm wondering if getting hit from both sides at the same time as changing direction made it worse than it would have been if he'd still been moving left?
 
Reactions: movingtarget
Seattle's biggest weakness on defense is secondary. There are two players starting in their base D I don't trust too much. Flowers & Thompson. Rewatching the final Rams possession, Seattle was playing cover 3 & cover 4 with over-the-top (cloud, or whatever they call it) coverage, as opposed to underneath coverage. IMO, the best in that situation (if they had the quality personnel) would be cover 2 man with 2 safties over the top. What they did was allow everything underneath. I have the feeling they do not trust S Tedric Thompson in cover 2 man. I don't. If I was a QB & saw Tedric with over the top in cover 2, I'd pick on that for a quick deep pass. So I think that's what Norton was trying to prevent, gambling the clock would help. So that is Seattle's defensive liability, and I expect to see more of that junk happening this season. Maybe it gets better in a couple weeks if Anzah & Clowney get going, & Jaran Reed returns to help pressuring QBs.
Actually getting to the QB on top of pressure is what it'll take to get past the better teams. I agree with your coverage observations and was anxious every time that coverage left them exposed. Rams didn't challenge it like they should have.
 
Regarding not seeing the Cleveland players last night, having been involved in some form of video production, broadcasting, etc. for my entire career, here's an observation:

Watch NBC, CBS or FOX and most of their "A" camera operators (the main camera from the side) try to show all 11 players before the play starts. Then, upon the snap, they pan with the play. Most of the ESPN "A" camera operators are what I think of as old school, they start in a little tighter on the line, ignoring the safeties mostly. Then they zoom in once the ball is snapped, following the ball. This style of camera work worked well when TV screens were a 4:3 aspect ratio, and no bigger than about 19". But in today's giant UHD TV's, it's not necessary to me. It may arguably be more dramatic as you can see the players closer. But you can't see what's going on across the field (your complaint, mine too). For whatever the reason, ESPN has not chosen to follow the other networks, and stuck with the "zoom in" style.

Sorry if I just ruined your watching experience, and you're going to now forever analyze broadcasts of games. :oops:
 
I will never understand why teams down 10 with 2 or less timeouts with about 2:30 left in field goal range; don't take the field goal and instead hope for onside kick.
Why is that the better option though?

For me the better choice is to keep your options open and go for the TD with the fg in your back pocket if you stall.

Because say on the first drive you get to 2nd 7 on the 35 and take the fg
Get the onside kick

But then a penalty takes you to 4th and 10 on the 35 on the final drive.

Now the long fg isnt an option. Now you limited yourself to having to go for the TD on the final drive.

You will wish you had pushed on from 2nd and 7 when you were already in fg range.

Of course if on the first drive you get stalled at 4th and 10, then you kick the fg (basically what the chiefs did) and hope you get the onside and the second drive goes better.
 
I watched that hit a few times, and I'm really surprised by Thomas, who has never been a dirty player. But he's not an LB and rarely in this kind of play where he's going after a lateral moving QB. He should have had one hand in front of his body. Lowering his shoulder some, considering both of their trajectory, and height, was a recipe for disaster.

Awesome win for the Colts. Their secondary is mostly out with injury, but their DL really got after Mahomes, and their run game on offense just wore the Colts down.

If I were to guess who's going to the SB today, I'll guess the Saints. They look very solid across the board, and Bridgewater finally had a game closer to how he can play. This tells me Brees can get all the rest he needs, making a shorter season for him, less wear and tear on his overall body as they head to the playoffs.
Im rooting for the Saints, but the football gods and refs just have it out for them.

NFC again looks like the way tougher conference. Even more than usual.

NFC South is not easy. The whipping boys of the division - falcons are still dangerous . TB can on their day beat anyone and lose to anyone. Panthers are undefeated since they changed QB's.

But NFC North and West are more hardcore so Saints could have the inside line to the number 1 seed.

But in the playoffs, there are still very dangerous teams.
I think the Saints Packers, Eagles, 49ers, Seahawks and Rams are all better than anyone in the AFC apart from NE and KC. 6 of the top 8 teams.

So even if you get the number 1 seed, its not like a New England number 1 seed, where the divisional game is a write off. Any of those 5 teams could all go into the Superdome and win on their day. Detroit and Bears are also potentially dangerous.
 
Why is that the better option though?

For me the better choice is to keep your options open and go for the TD with the fg in your back pocket if you stall.

Because say on the first drive you get to 2nd 7 on the 35 and take the fg
Get the onside kick

But then a penalty takes you to 4th and 10 on the 35 on the final drive.

Now the long fg isnt an option. Now you limited yourself to having to go for the TD on the final drive.

You will wish you had pushed on from 2nd and 7 when you were already in fg range.

Of course if on the first drive you get stalled at 4th and 10, then you kick the fg (basically what the chiefs did) and hope you get the onside and the second drive goes better.
Unless I misunderstand what you wrote, that I believe is essentially what SHADOW93 said. The question is, what does the offense do on 4th down? (Should they go for the FG, or should they try to use 4th down to get a TD or 1st down?) SHADOW suggests teams should go for the FG on 4th down (on the premise the chances of success for making the FG are greater than making the TD) instead of thinking they are limited to just attempting to go for the TD on 4th down, which would result in turnover on downs to the other team if the TD attempt fails. But after making the FG, then try the onside kick, recover the ball, and go for the TD. [OFC, the rationale changes if the line of scrimmage was inside the 5 yard line, at which spot teams would likely be more willing to go for the TD.]

To address SHADOW93's original question (when the offense is down by 10 pts), the onside kickoff rules have been changed this year as follows. The most critical rule changes that could effect coaching play decisions are:
  • Players on the kickoff team are no longer able to get a running start before the kick, and
  • Players must be distributed evenly on either side of the kicker, five to his right and five to his left.
In other words, this season the kicking team cannot bunch up players to one side of the ball. In that kind of formation, the role of some players (with a running start under the old rules) was to bust up or block the recovery team players, hopefully to keep the ball alive and recoverable. This was a formation and practice the league wanted to change because kickoffs, including onside kicks, are probably the most dangerous play in the game. So, these two rule changes, IMO, would seem to significantly reduce the odds of a recovery of the ball by the kicking team. And that reduction of odds might significantly effect coaching decisions to either go for the TD on 4th down, or kick the FG on 4th down. (only time will tell how these rule changes ultimately effects odds of recovery )

I have not looked up the rules in the official NFL rulebook, but here is what was posted on twitter (by https://twitter.com/NFLFootballOps) regarding the onside kick rule changes:


As to the rest of what Hitch said, no team would attempt a FG on 2nd and 7, unless they were down in score by 3 or less with almost no time left on the game clock. So, I don't understand the case you make with the 2nd and 7 discussion. Also, I don't understand what you mean when you say a FG is not an option on 4th and 10 on the 35, because with the line of scrimmage at the 35 the FG attempt would be a 53 yarder (if the holder spots the ball 8 yards behind the line of scrimmage), which is well within reach for most kickers. At that distance, percent of success will be lower, but it depends on the kicker and weather conditions.
 
Last edited:
Apr 20, 2016
457
7
3,295
Im rooting for the Saints, but the football gods and refs just have it out for them.

NFC again looks like the way tougher conference. Even more than usual.

NFC South is not easy. The whipping boys of the division - falcons are still dangerous . TB can on their day beat anyone and lose to anyone. Panthers are undefeated since they changed QB's.

But NFC North and West are more hardcore so Saints could have the inside line to the number 1 seed.

But in the playoffs, there are still very dangerous teams.
I think the Saints Packers, Eagles, 49ers, Seahawks and Rams are all better than anyone in the AFC apart from NE and KC. 6 of the top 8 teams.

So even if you get the number 1 seed, its not like a New England number 1 seed, where the divisional game is a write off. Any of those 5 teams could all go into the Superdome and win on their day. Detroit and Bears are also potentially dangerous.
Apart from just "NE & KC?" I think you're overlooking the Bills at 4-1 who were very much in the game with NE, and I also like what I'm seeing with Houston. They are ranked #10 & #12, respectively, on the NFL power rankings.

I know it's early in the season but Buffalo's defense is spectacular giving up only 70 pts which is 3rd in the league right now behind NE & SF. And what can you say about Watson and his performance in that shellacking of Atlanta last week: 28 of 33 for 426 yds, 5 TDs, no picks and a perfect 158.3 passer rating! Though 5 games he's thrown 11 TDs against 1 pick and a near 70% completion rate. And their defense isn't too bad either. I'll take them as my dark horse in the AFC.

Bad news with the 49ers and their power running game that's been averaging an impressive 200 yds PG: "Juice" Juszczyk out 4-6 weeks with a MCL injury and Mike McGlinchey also out 4-6 for knee surgery. McGlinchey was the 9th OA pick and 2nd lineman selected in 2018 draft. One is bad enough but two key players in their running game out for over a month...Wow!
 
On3m@n@rmy is on point for the most part and I didn't make it clear since I was intoxicated.

Especially it was in regards to the new kicking rules making an onside kick a very very remote possibility. I don't know the statistic but I believe in the Cowboy v Packer game they stated an onside kick has not been recovered by the kicking team since the rule change. If it's that extreme low of a percent chance to recover the onside, they have an extremely small chance of winning when down by 8-11 points.

So we'll do a scenario for the most likely occurence. Let's say a teams is down 10 with one timeout left 2:30 remaining, first and 10 on the opponents 35. If they attempt to score they will be well in the low minute or less for time (not all teams have an explosive offense like Chiefs) and out of timeouts and no two minute warning. That's even if they get a touchdown, from the games I've seen at least half end up with a field goal and maybe 25% a turnover.

With such a low chance to actually score a touchdown and an even extremely lower chance to recover, why not kick the field goal then. It would take around 5 seconds off the clock and you'll have two time stoppages. You kick an onside kick and hope to recover, if not you're already trusting your defense to get a 3 and out if you just kicked a regular kickoff. With the onside they won't be in field goal range and you have 3 chances to stop them from getting a first with an even greater chance of a turnover happening. It just seems like better odds then losing time on the clock. The more time you lose down multiple scores, the less chance you have to win.

Now opposite that with the Chiefs game. Andy Reid had absolutely zero reason not to use one of his three timeouts when the Colts were within field goal range at the end of the half and killing time. You have three timeouts with an explosive offense and a trash defense. If I remember correctly the Colts received the kickoff for the second half. Believe me, I understand not wanting to give your opponents point but you need to see their game plan and the fact your team is being bullied and sometimes it is wiser to let the opponent score fast so you get the ball. You have no excuse not to use one of your timeouts in order to save time and try and get points, especially since you might end up double scored on with your team again being bullied. With a team you're a coach of that you know teams game plan is to keep your offense off the field and tire your defense out.
 
Apart from just "NE & KC?" I think you're overlooking the Bills at 4-1 who were very much in the game with NE, and I also like what I'm seeing with Houston. They are ranked #10 & #12, respectively, on the NFL power rankings.
Re Bills, While I'm rooting for them, they did lose the game you mention At home. In what was billed as biggest game the team has had in a decade. Even championship Pats teams lose those kind of games away, more often than not. Last year they lose to Titans, Jags, Lions in that kind of game. So that Bills couldn't get it done tells me a lot.

They can make up for it by winning in Boston I guess. But until then I dont have faith.

You may say that it is just one game. But, lets remember that the Bills are the one team this year that has an even easier schedule than New England. In fact it might even be the easiest schedule of all time.

And if its impressive that they played the Pats close, then its also worth noting that they made the Bengals and Jets look like good teams as well. I have hope for the Bills, but they haven't proven anything yet.

Re Houston, yeah they could be good. Maybe better than some of the teams i mentioned in the NFC. Maybe Rams maybe Eagles, maybe Seahawks.

But for me their loss at home to Carolina which doesn't even look like playoff team in the NFC put me off them. Ok so its one game but we only had 5 so far.

Meanwhile Ive seen impressive wins from those NFC teams. They could go into a tough environment and pull it off. Texans? They have a history of never fulfilling potential as well. At least Ravens have a history of being able to do something in tough games.

Colts also impressed me more, but their defense is decimated. That win against KC tho was something. Almost like a playoff win in how it was done.
 
Apart from just "NE & KC?" I think you're overlooking the Bills at 4-1 who were very much in the game with NE, and I also like what I'm seeing with Houston. They are ranked #10 & #12, respectively, on the NFL power rankings.

I know it's early in the season but Buffalo's defense is spectacular giving up only 70 pts which is 3rd in the league right now behind NE & SF. And what can you say about Watson and his performance in that shellacking of Atlanta last week: 28 of 33 for 426 yds, 5 TDs, no picks and a perfect 158.3 passer rating! Though 5 games he's thrown 11 TDs against 1 pick and a near 70% completion rate. And their defense isn't too bad either. I'll take them as my dark horse in the AFC.

Bad news with the 49ers and their power running game that's been averaging an impressive 200 yds PG: "Juice" Juszczyk out 4-6 weeks with a MCL injury and Mike McGlinchey also out 4-6 for knee surgery. McGlinchey was the 9th OA pick and 2nd lineman selected in 2018 draft. One is bad enough but two key players in their running game out for over a month...Wow!
Yeah if Buffalo can sort their offense out they will be a threat. The Bears probably the same. The 49ers injuries have come at the wrong time with Joe Staley already out. The Rams also have a few injury issues which will offset it somewhat. Juice is very important to the running game with his great blocking and versatility and McGlinchey is also a big loss. I still think that the 49ers defense and run game can get the job done against the Rams and the Rams O Line hasn't been good.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS