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Enjoyed the Saints game purely for the offense on both sides. SF defense didn't live up to their usual standards. Jimmy G had his best game of the season. They kept the Ravens to 20 points the week before which no one else has done. The only surprising result for me was the Texans game. Patriots offense let them down again. Rams offense has looked much better in the past two weeks as has Gurley. Hawks never looked likely. After seeing the Eagles past few games, not sure I could take another one..............Jags have flat lined. Bills gave the Ravens a game as expected.
 
Sean Payton absolutely blew it for the Saints today. For some reason going for 2 pts at the beginning, which cost them dearly at the end .

And then the extremely dumb fake punt on 4th and forever.

Saints can also feel very aggrieved by the ref call that gave SF a TD in the 4th quarter.
According to the rules, the ref made the correct call as the commentators and tech expert agreed. Payton obviously doesn't know the rule neither do some of the Saints fans. Or do you mean the head contact penalty ? Saints never really recovered after they let the Niners back into the game in the second quarter. SF were making easy yards on minimal plays but some missed tackles in the secondary cost them big. Worst game their secondary has played all season. They still have the best pass defense I think.
 
As many mistakes the refs made the Patriot game, they were spot on near perfect in the Saints game, including some very tricky calls. I have little sympathy for the Pats though. In fact, they had several chances to win the game and couldn't execute on offense.

There's wasn't quite enough defensive execution in the 49ers-Saints game, but I have to admit it was fun to watch.

I continue to be impressed by two teams chasing playoff spots in the AFC. The Steelers, and the Titans. Both have quietly put together winning streaks with backup QBs. Tannehill's rebirth in Tennessee is nothing short of amazing, and Mike Tomlin is my coach of the year. Think about it, they started the season 0-3 and 1-4 and people were calling for Tomlin's head. Only one ugly loss to Cleveland (since, avenged) and they are in the playoff hunt with a superb defense and solid play from a 3rd string QB nicknamed Duck. They play BUF, @NYJ and @BAL.

Tennessee hosts Houston, then NO, and then at Houston. At this point I'll be surprised if they don't take the division, especially with the way Houston lost this week, which was worse than their blowout loss to Baltimore. Though Houston's in between game is Tampa.

Seattle fell flat, worse than they did against Baltimore. The Rams have come alive in the last two weeks, but it was more surprising how flat Seattle looked, including MVP candidate Wilson.

Packers now 10-3 and with games hosting Chicago, then @MIN, and @DET, hold their own destiny for a playoff bye. I like the way they have piled up wins, but that ugly loss to SF still sticks in my mind.

I'll agree at this point Baltimore is the best team in the NFL. The AFC for certain, though I think a few teams in the NFC could give them trouble if they met them in the SB.
 
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Even worse with the reviewable penalties rule now. I forgot which game it was but they overturned a noncalled penalty as DPI for the first time. Then you have the different perspective penalties on different refs thinking differently on something. Guaranteed if you had two ref teams watch video of a game they will have different penalties called on some things. On top of player biase on how that player treats refs. Take an example of a Youtube video used of Brady vs Newton: Brady is more likely to get calls benefiting his team because he is nicer to the refs compared to Newton.

It's all crazy and the arguments can go either way like the catch rule from before.
One of the commentators said something to the effect of : if the officials could use the yellow flag correctly, the coaches wouldn't need to use the red flag. :)
 
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Agree with Alpe, they left points off the board with the interception and blocked field goal that could have won them the game. They had a chance to win all three games and they blew them. Maybe by playoffs they will be more in sync.
 
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As many mistakes the refs made the Patriot game, they were spot on near perfect in the Saints game, including some very tricky calls. I have little sympathy for the Pats though. In fact, they had several chances to win the game and couldn't execute on offense.

There's wasn't quite enough defensive execution in the 49ers-Saints game, but I have to admit it was fun to watch.

I continue to be impressed by two teams chasing playoff spots in the AFC. The Steelers, and the Titans. Both have quietly put together winning streaks with backup QBs. Tannehill's rebirth in Tennessee is nothing short of amazing, and Mike Tomlin is my coach of the year. Think about it, they started the season 0-3 and 1-4 and people were calling for Tomlin's head. Only one ugly loss to Cleveland (since, avenged) and they are in the playoff hunt with a superb defense and solid play from a 3rd string QB nicknamed Duck. They play BUF, @NYJ and @BAL.

Tennessee hosts Houston, then NO, and then at Houston. At this point I'll be surprised if they don't take the division, especially with the way Houston lost this week, which was worse than their blowout loss to Baltimore. Though Houston's in between game is Tampa.

Seattle fell flat, worse than they did against Baltimore. The Rams have come alive in the last two weeks, but it was more surprising how flat Seattle looked, including MVP candidate Wilson.

Packers now 10-3 and with games hosting Chicago, then @MIN, and @DET, hold their own destiny for a playoff bye. I like the way they have piled up wins, but that ugly loss to SF still sticks in my mind.

I'll agree at this point Baltimore is the best team in the NFL. The AFC for certain, though I think a few teams in the NFC could give them trouble if they met them in the SB.
I came back from a restful vacation to that dog of a Seahawks performance. McDougal being injured did not help the pass containment but didn't explain the horrible offensive play. Dropped passes and predictable play-calling will not get them deep into the playoffs. Their best hope is to win out and have the #1seed and a bye to rest up.
That said, I think the Saints will take round 2 from SF. Garapolo gets twitchy when rushed hard and he pretty much flowed this weekend. If that is the new normal for him the can go the NFC distance. Not sure past that.

I'm going back to the beach.....
 
As many mistakes the refs made the Patriot game, they were spot on near perfect in the Saints game, including some very tricky calls. I have little sympathy for the Pats though. In fact, they had several chances to win the game and couldn't execute on offense.
Don't know if the pats had a chance to win the game. They were 7pts down marching to tie.
In fact they had the reverse situation from of last year where they had to get down the field and tie but not with enough time for mahomes to march down the field.

But I do think the refs screwed the pats this time.

Absolutely amazing how bill keeps his team in games where they are being outplayed with a special teams play pretty much every week and a crazy turnover d.

Two more wins for the ravens and they will have the -rest players for week 17 dilema which usually goes bad. Lamar will probably want to play
 
Don't know if the pats had a chance to win the game. They were 7pts down marching to tie.
In fact they had the reverse situation from of last year where they had to get down the field and tie but not with enough time for mahomes to march down the field.

But I do think the refs screwed the pats this time.

Absolutely amazing how bill keeps his team in games where they are being outplayed with a special teams play pretty much every week and a crazy turnover d.

Two more wins for the ravens and they will have the -rest players for week 17 dilema which usually goes bad. Lamar will probably want to play
No doubt the Pats got screwed but in the same way the Cowboys got screwed against the Pats with some ridiculous calls. The challenge system isn't working simply because there are not enough challenges for each team. I guess the NFL is mindful of slowing the pace of the game down even more.
 
As many mistakes the refs made the Patriot game, they were spot on near perfect in the Saints game, including some very tricky calls. I have little sympathy for the Pats though. In fact, they had several chances to win the game and couldn't execute on offense.

There's wasn't quite enough defensive execution in the 49ers-Saints game, but I have to admit it was fun to watch.

I continue to be impressed by two teams chasing playoff spots in the AFC. The Steelers, and the Titans. Both have quietly put together winning streaks with backup QBs. Tannehill's rebirth in Tennessee is nothing short of amazing, and Mike Tomlin is my coach of the year. Think about it, they started the season 0-3 and 1-4 and people were calling for Tomlin's head. Only one ugly loss to Cleveland (since, avenged) and they are in the playoff hunt with a superb defense and solid play from a 3rd string QB nicknamed Duck. They play BUF, @NYJ and @BAL.

Tennessee hosts Houston, then NO, and then at Houston. At this point I'll be surprised if they don't take the division, especially with the way Houston lost this week, which was worse than their blowout loss to Baltimore. Though Houston's in between game is Tampa.

Seattle fell flat, worse than they did against Baltimore. The Rams have come alive in the last two weeks, but it was more surprising how flat Seattle looked, including MVP candidate Wilson.

Packers now 10-3 and with games hosting Chicago, then @MIN, and @DET, hold their own destiny for a playoff bye. I like the way they have piled up wins, but that ugly loss to SF still sticks in my mind.

I'll agree at this point Baltimore is the best team in the NFL. The AFC for certain, though I think a few teams in the NFC could give them trouble if they met them in the SB.
I believe in the Titans more than the Texans. Not getting my hopes up about the Eagles game but they surely need a performance as does Wentz. Packers racking up wins but I find it hard to see them in the SB. SF and the Bills showed it's possible to keep the Ravens offense in check. Trouble is how to get the win over them. I put GB and the Chiefs on the second tier at the moment.
 
But I do think the refs screwed the pats this time.
Not only that, but the Pats could have won the game without even playing it. It hasn't been a big story, but KC almost had to forfeit the game, because a container with much of the team's needed equipment was mistakenly sent to the wrong city. The team got it sent to the right place just in time to play the game. I've never heard this happening before, but what a stink there would have been if KC really had to forfeit. That could have had major implications for seeding in the AFC.


Absolutely amazing how bill keeps his team in games where they are being outplayed with a special teams play pretty much every week and a crazy turnover d.
Maybe by cheating? The Pats are being accused of spying again, though it's hard to believe it would be worth it against their next opponent, 1-12 Cincy.

But the Pats have caught a big break in another way. There hasn't been much talk about this, but the Bills play NE in two weeks. If they win that game, and don't lose any ground in their other two remaining games, they would finish the season tied with NE for the division. The first tie-breaker, head-to-head, would be even. The s second tie-breaker, division record, would be even. What used to be the third tie-breaker, conference record, would go to the Bills. But in a switch I hadn't even noticed before, record vs. common opponents, which used to be the fourth tie-breaker, has been moved to third. NE would win that. So unless the Pats lose two of their remaining games, one of them being to Buffalo, they do have the division locked up. They still could end up as a no. 3 seed though, if they lose one game and KC wins out.

Speaking of tie-breakers, consider the NFC W. The division will almost certainly be decided by the SF@SE game at the end of the regular season. There are very few scenarios in which the team that wins that game doesn't win the division:

a) SE could win that game and not win the division if they lose at least one of their next two games, and SF wins both of its next two games (or one of them if SE loses both of its next two games). But SE has the easier schedule, CAR and AZ vs. ATL and LAR for SF.

b) If SF loses both of its next two games, and SE wins both of its next two games, SF could beat SE and maybe not win the division. In that case, the two teams would finish tied. They would be even through the first four tie-breakers. The fifth is strength of victory, i.e., the number of games won by all the teams the team in question beat. It appears SE would win that tie-breaker, but it's not at all certain at this point. It depends on how various teams do in the last three games. It also appears likely that SE would win the sixth tie-breaker, the number of games won by all the team's opponents, but again, that isn't certain. The seventh tie-breaker, ranking in points scored and allowed, would almost definitely go to the 49ers, if it actually got to that point.

If SF loses that game and the division, Shanahan's decision not to run the ball late in OT in the first game vs. SE, keeping alive the possibility of a tie, could come back to haunt him. If that game had ended in a tie, SF could lock up the division--and probably the top seed--by winning its next two games.

As for the NFC E, at this point I'm hoping that Dallas and Philly both lose their next two games, then play to a tie in the final game. Then the winner of the division would be 6-9-1, worst ever. And if you think it's a scandal that that team could host a 12-4 or 13-3 WC team, consider that neither SF nor SE has yet even clinched a postseason berth. Though it's very unlikely, one of these teams, or the Rams, could finish 11-5 and not make the postseason. Think about being 11-5 and not playing in the postseason while a team with a losing record does. Ugh.
 
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No doubt the Pats got screwed but in the same way the Cowboys got screwed against the Pats with some ridiculous calls. The challenge system isn't working simply because there are not enough challenges for each team. I guess the NFL is mindful of slowing the pace of the game down even more.
I still contend that every play should be looked at. Using the example from the NE/KC game the guys upstairs or in NY would quickly see that he wasn't out of bounds just like the rest of us did without any slowing of play.
 
Every team "spys" on their opponents and record signals, it is all on from where. That's what Spygate was, filming from the field instead of the press box. Which became a new rule the year of Spygate and Belichick could have avoided it as harsh but he was basically telling Goodell to shove it.

"Videotaping opposing coaches is not illegal in the NFL de jure, but there are designated areas allowed by the league to do such taping. "
 
Bengals may have the worst record in the league but I dont think they are the worst team in the league.
at Seattle Seahawks L 20–21
at Buffalo Bills L 17–21
at Baltimore Ravens L 17–23

Those were all early in the season too and probably they got deflated by all the losses. But they actually have enough talent that they can play good teams close.

Now I do think the Pats will win. Defense will smother Dalton and I can see multiple turnovers crushing the Bengals.

But it is possible that they play the Pats close this week, at home. With a lucky bounce of the ball or a bad ref call in their favour (more realistic these days) even the unthinkable could happen.
 
Sloppy win for the Eagles but a win all the same. Not what the Cowboys wanted. Hard to see either team being any more than filler in the playoffs.
I don't know.

The Eagles iirc are more just heavily injured than flat out bad. If they get some of their players back over the next month (don't know if that is the case), its a team that could get hot for the playoffs.

Sort of like last year when they became a force in the playoffs after a mediocre season.

They beat GB in Green Bay on a thursday night earlier in the season. They also crushed Buffalo in Buffalo. Put up 31 points on a team that only gave up 24 to Lamar Jackson and every other team to 21 or less.

Considering playoffs are 1 game at a time, they can definately win a wildcard game and then shock someone on a divisional. Especially if its GB which it could very well be.

Cowboys, I don't think they can win a divisional game, but a home playoff wildcard game at AT&T. Sure.
 
I still contend that every play should be looked at. Using the example from the NE/KC game the guys upstairs or in NY would quickly see that he wasn't out of bounds just like the rest of us did without any slowing of play.
I've stated this exact same thing for some years now. It's absolutely maddening that everyone at home knows if a call is good or bad within about 30 seconds after a play ends on 99% of all calls, even the most complicated calls (Music City Miracle comes to mind) still doesn't take as long for fans to get right than the officials. Why the officials, on the field or elsewhere have to take so long, even go under the hood or stare at a tablet to verify it is Y2K technology thinking, absurd and time wasting.

This could easily be fixed by having a team of booth referees sit in a studio in NY and watch every play from every game. If they see something wrong, they buzz the refs in the game and reverse calls. Coaches would still be able to challenge, simply because teams could try to still hurry and beat the booth refs to the snap, but they'd have to be quick. Referees on the field would rotate in and out of this studio a game or two a year, to better understand the system. Over time this system would get quite refined, and certainly speed up the game.

This may sound crazy, but with the advent of ultra high definition cameras all over the place at games, we could actually see a day when only one referee is on the field, merely to mediate and relay messages, with the game entirely officiated remotely.
As for the NFC E, at this point I'm hoping that Dallas and Philly both lose their next two games, then play to a tie in the final game. Then the winner of the division would be 6-9-1, worst ever...
And you're hoping for this because...? My gut tells me that it would compel the NFL to change the rules to where teams with better records get to host playoff games, not division winners. Am I correct? If so, I imagine there would be a lot of resistance to this.

The Eagles iirc are more just heavily injured than flat out bad.... Considering playoffs are 1 game at a time, they can definately win a wildcard game and then shock someone on a divisional. Especially if its GB which it could very well be.

Cowboys, I don't think they can win a divisional game, but a home playoff wildcard game at AT&T. Sure.
After the way Seattle played this weekend, an "on" Dallas could beat this version of the Seahwaks, so could Philadelphia.

I agree with you on the Eagles. The team is still loaded with talent, and if they can come together could have a run like you say: Seattle shows up flat to Philadelphia, and in bad weather (which can equalize games) the Eagles prevail. Then, they go to Green Bay and in more sketchy weather the Packers play like they did in SF or against the Chargers and the Eagles beat them (again). Likely? Maybe not, but possible. Could the Eagles then go to NO or SF and win that game? This is stretching it too much I think.

Was it just me or were the announcers way off in last night's game? So many misleading analysis and calls. Also the way they love Eli and all the "future hall of fame" talk. I can't think of another player in NFL history whose positive stats and wins have been inflated to showcase him, with the negatives so ignored by the media and broadcasters. I can only conclude as I have before it's his surname, and the fact he plays for NY, with the homers in the media.
 
Finding it hard to watch any of the NFC Least games at the moment. Can't see the Cowboys beating the Rams.

The 49ers final two games against the Rams and Hawks will be important to the NFC seed order. 49ers play the Falcons at home this week. Both coaches should know each other pretty well. More injuries for the Niners as well with Richburg gone for the season which is a blow and Sherman and Ford out with hamstrings. Don't know why they rushed Ford back last week as now he has reinjured himself. Having Tartt out against the Saints cost them badly and their secondary was mediocre, missing a lot of tackles. Fortunately the Saints defense was no better.
 
I don't know.

The Eagles iirc are more just heavily injured than flat out bad. If they get some of their players back over the next month (don't know if that is the case), its a team that could get hot for the playoffs.

Sort of like last year when they became a force in the playoffs after a mediocre season.

They beat GB in Green Bay on a thursday night earlier in the season. They also crushed Buffalo in Buffalo. Put up 31 points on a team that only gave up 24 to Lamar Jackson and every other team to 21 or less.

Considering playoffs are 1 game at a time, they can definately win a wildcard game and then shock someone on a divisional. Especially if its GB which it could very well be.

Cowboys, I don't think they can win a divisional game, but a home playoff wildcard game at AT&T. Sure.
Going into the playoffs, Green Bay is the least convincing team for me of the teams near the top of the NFC. The Sea Hawks have a lot of close games but know how to win usually. Last week they looked flat against a rejuvenated Rams. 49ers will have a lot of players that have never seen the playoffs before, remains to be seen whether Jimmy and the younger players can maintain their form under more pressure. Their offense has definitely improved though with Kittle and Sanders back from injury and all of their RB's healthy. Jimmy G had his best game of the season against the Saints and Kittle just never has bad games. For me the best TE in the league.
 
On the Patriots advanced scouting Eric Mangini, a player, and I believe Pat on his show have said they have as much info as possible on the refs for on what they usually call and don't call, what calls they're more biased to calling etc.
 
Lamar with a quad injury but will play Thursday.


And teams are going for his legs more.

 
Lamar with a quad injury but will play Thursday.


And teams are going for his legs more.

They need to tone him down or it won't be too long before he sustains a major injury. He's currently the 9th leading rusher in the NFL with 1,017 yds on 151 carries! Very risky to be having your franchise QB rushing the ball that much. And from what I've seen he isn't exactly sliding down or running out of bounds all the time - he's been hit pretty hard at times.

He could get away with this at Louisville when he ran for an unbelievable 4,132 yds on 655 carries in just 3 seasons! But this is the NFL - he didn't see many 250 lb linebackers with 4.5 speed that want to take your head off when he was playing in the ACC.

I still think Baltimore looks like geniuses drafting him and dumping Flacco, who's looking like an aging injury-prone QB that needs to retire (no surprises there). Jackson is an incredible 17-4 as a starter since taking over mid-season last year. I believe they have the inside track to the SB. And running the RPO with a variety of pistol & spread formations suits his style perfectly (similar to what he ran in college). But if they don't toned his rushing down or at least have him slide down and run out of bounds all the time he could be one hit away from a major injury.

 
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Lamar Jackson is a little injured. That was my big worry for Bmore. He is apparently ok and will play but they need him healthy for the playoffs.

If he is not, then AFC becomes wide open. Titans, Texans, Bills and Chiefs can all win in Baltimore then.
Pats probably still get the 2 seed (would need Bills to win in Foxborough and Chiefs to win out to overturn that), which makes them favourites again. It wont be easy against Chiefs at some point, but look how close this week was.

Pat McAfee said this morning that he knows for a fact that NE didn't record Bengals plays...because the Bengals don't call plays! :D
Speaking of Pat McAfee I remember watching an interview he did with Kyle Van Noy (Pats LB) a few months ago. He asked Kyle to talk about how special Bill Bellichick is. Kyle told a story about how last year in a game before the playoffs, Bill pointed to someone on the opposing team and said - if they do this with their hands its a run, if they do this its a pass.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpkTTmq5qtg
(about 1 minute in)


I still contend that every play should be looked at. Using the example from the NE/KC game the guys upstairs or in NY would quickly see that he wasn't out of bounds just like the rest of us did without any slowing of play.
Sky judge. 100%. But i still contend the NFL deliberately keeps it this way to keep controversy and potentially have some control.

After the way Seattle played this weekend, an "on" Dallas could beat this version of the Seahwaks, so could Philadelphia.

I agree with you on the Eagles. The team is still loaded with talent, and if they can come together could have a run like you say: Seattle shows up flat to Philadelphia, and in bad weather (which can equalize games) the Eagles prevail. Then, they go to Green Bay and in more sketchy weather the Packers play like they did in SF or against the Chargers and the Eagles beat them (again). Likely? Maybe not, but possible.
Or the Packers play like they played against the Eagles the first time. Which was also in GB. And Eagles won. Or the Packers play like how they played against Detroit also at home, when Detroit outplayed GB to win the game but the refs went full NFC Championship mode to make sure the wrong team got the W.

I don't know if Packers get the 2 seed though. Lions should be an easy win - they are the worst team in the league without Stafford, but I favor the Vikings on Chrismas Eve and even the Bears on Sunday could be very difficult.
 
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