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Wow! The Patriots backing into the playoffs, to play a WC game next week.

I'm not sure about you guys, but I would love to see KC head to Baltimore in the AFC Championship game.

If any team needed a bye, it's Green Bay. I'm not so sure they can get to the Superbowl, but having a rest with time to heal and prep, then a game at home, is going to do them a great deal of good.

Anyone have a list for Black Monday? I'll start: Jason Garrett...
Kitchens was fired (no surprises there). Shurmur was fired but Geddleman stays.


I don't have list for Black Monday but this is who I think should be fired:

Garrett
Nagy
Lynn
Patricia
Marrone
Taylor
Jon Gruden
 
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Seahawks played another awful first half. It took them midway through the 3rd quarter to actually get going. The injuries have taken a toll. When your DL is depleted, when you are missing your three best RB's, your top center, no Dissly, Josh Gordon released, the Seahawks literally are cut down in half due to injuries. They fought back valiantly in the 3rd and 4th, but some questionable playcalling from Carroll and Schottenheimer plus getting hosed by the refs a couple times in the final part of the game really sealed Seattle's fate. The fact that they were still in an excellent position to win the game and division is a small miracle, but when you get that close and you can't punch it in, it's very disappointing.

The positives? Well, the second half and in particular the 4th quarter was good from the Hawks. Wilson played like the elite quarterback and perennial MVP candidate that he is, some nice plays by Hollister, Lockett, Homer, and Lynch (yes he bludgeoned his way to some yards and a TD), and the defense made stops in crucial moments late in the game. Also, they are getting some of those players from the injuries. Still missing key players, but come next week it should be a different, stronger lineup against the Eagles. They'll be favored against Philly, but I expect another relatively close game. After that you'd think that those that weren't indefinitely out due to injuries will have come back. Lynch and Turbin would have some yards in their legs and the Seahawks will be competitive, against, likely the Niners again. Can't wait for the rematch.
 
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Well I guess well done 49ers on the 1 seed. Even though I dont like them, I will admit they were just about the best team in the NFC.

Now The Saints fan who sued the league should sue Pete Caroll for that 5 yard penalty he took for delay of game. Was he trying to lose on purpose?

And the refs not calling that pass interference at the end, felt like it was a *** you to Sean Peyton, since Saints were the ones with almost as much to lose as the 9ers. He worked out Brown this week and we know the refs have a war with Peyton.

Seahawks i dont think are very good at all. Eagles can absolutely beat them next week. I'll pull for the Seahawks though because Eagles at 49ers would not be a playoff game worth wasting time on.
 
49ers continue to give me chest pains. They looked well in control of the game at halftime and then the defense started to slip again and let Wilson back into the game. 49ers are paying for ignoring their secondary issues for too long. At least Tartt should be back for the playoffs. Who would have bet against Wilson on the final drive ? I thought the Niners had lost it with a bit of help from the refs who were as good as usual.........with some bizarre calls.
chest pains = good, tight, interesting game in the end right?

As for betting against Wilson & what was bizarre, how about that poor clock management by Seattle (in order of blame, Carroll, Shotty, Wilson) that resulted in a 5-yard delay of game penalty? That was reminisce of some HS coaching blunders. Afterwards, Carroll even admitted thinking he had 40 seconds, not the actual 30 seconds. So, I'm sitting there on the couch thinking "cool, hand it off to Lynch 4 times if you have to and punch it in from the 1-yard line (to, you know, kind of exorcise those 2014 SB demons)". But NOOOOO, let's make it more challenging and fun to try it from the 6-yard line.

Oh well, live to die another day! Whether you win or whether you lose, experience the joy that few people choose. (In other words, trying to not lose my mind).
 
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Seahawks i dont think are very good at all. Eagles can absolutely beat them next week. I'll pull for the Seahawks though because Eagles at 49ers would not be a playoff game worth wasting time on.
I don't disagree, but SEA actually matches up very well vs PHL. SEA won in their week 12 meeting in PHL (recap of that game: https://www.seahawks.com/news/2019-week-12-rapid-reaction-seahawks-17-eagles-9
Injury situation is different now than that game, but I'd give the edge to SEA even though it's an away game for them. But as you say, PHL can win. Especially if SEA shoots themselves in the foot like they did yesterday vs SF.
 
chest pains = good, tight, interesting game in the end right?

As for betting against Wilson & what was bizarre, how about that poor clock management by Seattle (in order of blame, Carroll, Shotty, Wilson) that resulted in a 5-yard delay of game penalty? That was reminisce of some HS coaching blunders. Afterwards, Carroll even admitted thinking he had 40 seconds, not the actual 30 seconds. So, I'm sitting there on the couch thinking "cool, hand it off to Lynch 4 times if you have to and punch it in from the 1-yard line (to, you know, kind of exorcise those 2014 SB demons)". But NOOOOO, let's make it more challenging and fun to try it from the 6-yard line.

Oh well, live to die another day! Whether you win or whether you lose, experience the joy that few people choose. (In other words, trying to not lose my mind).
Yes bad mistake by Carroll. But the 49ers somehow survived a PI non call which looked pretty blatant and two ridiculous calls against the 49ers helped the Hawks put points on the board . One for a PI, and one for a defender being penalized when he was already comitted to the tackle. Both were harsh calls that affected the game. I don't know why Carroll just didn't trust Wilson to handle the final drive, it would have been quicker and more practical. Typical game for these two teams though. Some interesting match ups next week but I think Seattle should get past the Eagles. The Eagles have looked better over tha past few weeks against mediocre opposition but Seattle and Wilson looked poor in the first half against the Niners. .Titans /Patriots is another matter..............little wonder that the NFL is conducting a review into the refereeing standards. Some refs should obviously be demoted for poor performances.
 
Seahawks played another awful first half. It took them midway through the 3rd quarter to actually get going. The injuries have taken a toll. When your DL is depleted, when you are missing your three best RB's, your top center, no Dissly, Josh Gordon released, the Seahawks literally are cut down in half due to injuries. They fought back valiantly in the 3rd and 4th, but some questionable playcalling from Carroll and Schottenheimer plus getting hosed by the refs a couple times in the final part of the game really sealed Seattle's fate. The fact that they were still in an excellent position to win the game and division is a small miracle, but when you get that close and you can't punch it in, it's very disappointing.

The positives? Well, the second half and in particular the 4th quarter was good from the Hawks. Wilson played like the elite quarterback and perennial MVP candidate that he is, some nice plays by Hollister, Lockett, Homer, and Lynch (yes he bludgeoned his way to some yards and a TD), and the defense made stops in crucial moments late in the game. Also, they are getting some of those players from the injuries. Still missing key players, but come next week it should be a different, stronger lineup against the Eagles. They'll be favored against Philly, but I expect another relatively close game. After that you'd think that those that weren't indefinitely out due to injuries will have come back. Lynch and Turbin would have some yards in their legs and the Seahawks will be competitive, against, likely the Niners again. Can't wait for the rematch.
Homer kept Seattle in the game and Wilson wisely kept using him. Lynch went better than I expected. Hollister is a handy player and Metcalf has a future. He gave Witherspoon nightmares. 49ers made a mistake not benching Witherspoon earlier.
 
The effect of that delay of game by SE has been greatly exaggerated. When the call was made, there were 22 seconds left and it was second down. SE was out of time outs. If you run the ball at that point and don't make it, the game is probably over (yep, similar to the dilemma SE faced in the SB vs. NE). At best, you have one more down left. So you probably have to pass on all three downs. Passing from the six yard line is not much worse than passing from the one. On the one hand, there are some short passes you might make from the one that you can't try from the six. But against that, the defense has to cover more ground when the ball is on the six.

For the same reason, the PI that SF appeared to commit but didn't get called for also was not as big a deal as it might have appeared. On the very next play, SE completed a pass to the one. So they had essentially exactly the same situation as they would have had with the PI, except less time. If PI had been called, they could have run the ball once, but that was probably all.

I thought both the 49er defense and Wilson were magnificent in those closing seconds. The defense was on him on just about every play, though they were up against a depleted SE OL. Again and again, he barely had time to throw before he was hit. But he did get all the passes off, and while a few were misguided because of the pressure, he didn't get sacked or throw an interception. You really can't ask more from a QB in that situation. SE did have eight downs to make twelve yards, and came up short, but not by much.

Meanwhile, don't look now, but SF's next game will probably be...vs. Seattle. If SE beats Philly to move on, they will play SF if NO beats MN, which is certainly what you would expect. Will it be another cliff-hanger? The first meeting was the MNF game of the season. The second was the SNF game of the season. Could the third meeting be the best game of the postseason? SE was 10-1 in games decided by one score or less until last night, while SF hasn't lost a game by more than a FG (not counting a meaningless TD by Atlanta on an onside kick turnover). In fact, that record even extends to the preseason, when SF's only loss came by a FG. This is the only team in the NFL that hasn't been beaten decisively. Six of their last eight games were essentially decided on the final play:

SE1: Hawks win on a FG on the last play of OT
BA: Ravens win on a FG on the last play of regulation
NO: 49ers win on a FG on the last play of regulation
AT: Falcons win on a barely-breaks-the-plane TD with 2 seconds left
LAR; 49ers win on a FG on the last play of regulation
SE2: 49ers win on a barely-misses-the-plane 4th down stop with 9 seconds left

Plus in a seventh, vs. AZ, the49ers scored the winning TD with 30 seconds left. Only one game in the second half of the season, the blowout of GB, was not decided in the final seconds

A lot of the drama for SF in the second half of the season was due to a very tough schedule; none of their first eight games was vs. a team that ended up making the playoffs, while five of their last eight games were. But even allowing for this, their defense definitely had problems:

First 8 games: 8-0, 12.8 points, 138 passing yards per game allowed
Last 8 games: 5-3, 25.3 points, 200 passing yards allowed (31.8, 274 in last four games)

The two games vs. the Rams were night and day. In the first game, SF held Goff and the Rams to an unreal 48 yards passing; in the second game, the Rams had 323 yards through the air, an increase of almost seven-fold.
 
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A lot of people are saying that by losing, the Seahawks got the easier road to the NFC title game. I agree, on paper at least, it's an easier route, but I still would have liked to see Seattle snatching the division title away on that final drive and getting at least one home game during the playoffs. The Vikings are a more dangerous team than the Eagles, but the Seahawks were rolling along nicely in the 2nd half of that game until they decided to take the foot off the gas with some (predictably) poor play-calling from Pete Carroll. The Eagles game was just a sloppy, ugly game. A lot of turnovers, unforced turnovers. That may happen again, seeing how depleted both teams are at the moment. When they played in week 12, they were more healthy, so this one could truly be ugly. The thing is one just doesn't know with the Seahawks, and most of their games come down to the last couple plays in the 4th quarter.

The other route would have been the Vikings at home, then the Packers on the road, then the Saints/Niners for the NFC title. Either way it's tough. The NFC is loaded with the top 5 teams all with at least 10 wins. The Eagles finished the season strong with 4 wins in a row, but they are for sure the weakest NFC playoff team.
 
The effect of that delay of game by SE has been greatly exaggerated. When the call was made, there were 22 seconds left and it was second down. SE was out of time outs. If you run the ball at that point and don't make it, the game is probably over (yep, similar to the dilemma SE faced in the SB vs. NE). At best, you have one more down left. So you probably have to pass on all three downs. Passing from the six yard line is not much worse than passing from the one. On the one hand, there are some short passes you might make from the one that you can't try from the six. But against that, the defense has to cover more ground when the ball is on the six.

For the same reason, the PI that SF appeared to commit but didn't get called for also was not as big a deal as it might have appeared. On the very next play, SE completed a pass to the one. So they had essentially exactly the same situation as they would have had with the PI, except less time. If PI had been called, they could have run the ball once, but that was probably all.

I thought both the 49er defense and Wilson were magnificent in those closing seconds. The defense was on him on just about every play, though they were up against a depleted SE OL. Again and again, he barely had time to throw before he was hit. But he did get all the passes off, and while a few were misguided because of the pressure, he didn't get sacked or throw an interception. You really can't ask more from a QB in that situation. SE did have eight downs to make twelve yards, and came up short, but not by much.

Meanwhile, don't look now, but SF's next game will probably be...vs. Seattle. If SE beats Philly to move on, they will play SF if NO beats MN, which is certainly what you would expect. Will it be another cliff-hanger? The first meeting was the MNF game of the season. The second was the SNF game of the season. Could the third meeting be the best game of the postseason? SE was 10-1 in games decided by one score or less until last night, while SF hasn't lost a game by more than a FG (not counting a meaningless TD by Atlanta on an onside kick turnover). In fact, that record even extends to the preseason, when SF's only loss came by a FG. This is the only team in the NFL that hasn't been beaten decisively. Six of their last eight games were essentially decided on the final play:

SE1: Hawks win on a FG on the last play of OT
BA: Ravens win on a FG on the last play of regulation
NO: 49ers win on a FG on the last play of regulation
AT: Falcons win on a barely-breaks-the-plane TD with 2 seconds left
LAR; 49ers win on a FG on the last play of regulation
SE2: 49ers win on a barely-misses-the-plane 4th down stop with 9 seconds left

Plus in a seventh, vs. AZ, the49ers scored the winning TD with 30 seconds left. Only one game in the second half of the season, the blowout of GB, was not decided in the final seconds

A lot of the drama for SF in the second half of the season was due to a very tough schedule; none of their first eight games was vs. a team that ended up making the playoffs, while five of their last eight games were. But even allowing for this, their defense definitely had problems:

First 8 games: 8-0, 12.8 points, 138 passing yards per game allowed
Last 8 games: 5-3, 25.3 points, 200 passing yards allowed (31.8, 274 in last four games)

The two games vs. the Rams were night and day. In the first game, SF held Goff and the Rams to an unreal 48 yards passing; in the second game, the Rams had 323 yards through the air, an increase of almost seven-fold.
Nice breakdown. I have no doubt that the 49ers have to feature in at least a couple of the top five games of the season. The defense was humming along nicely until injuries started happening. Yes they have those first round picks on the front seven but they are still a young team that doesn't have the defensive depth of other teams. You could argue that with their finishing schedule especially the final six games they did a very good job plugging the gaps and getting the wins. The shootout against NO was an oddity. Their only high scoring affair with bad defense until the second Rams game, where defense just went out the window, and Jimmy outgunned Brees with his best performance of the season. Their defensive rotation worked fine until the injuries but now the starters are playing longer minutes especially players like Bosa and once again their defense went off in the second half even though they were great in the final few minutes with help from Seattle. Losing Jones and Alexander for the season, as well as Dee Ford who could be back in the playoffs, and Richburg from the O line was a major hit. The tiring frontal defense is also affecting the secondary which has been a weakness for the 49ers for a few seasons now and overdue for change.

Having Tartt back will help. Whether the defense holds up in the playoffs remains to be seen. Even though there wasn't that many points on the board they dominated Seattle in the first half but then wasted receiving the ball after halftime with some mediocre sets of offense and some penalties helped Seattle get better field position while Wilson started to find his receivers. After only four wins last season it's been a big turnaround and the 49ers fans have enjoyed the ride so far. Hope it continues. Close games and all. Next draft I expect them to look for secondary and o line players plus another WR but they will also have the usual problem of retaining quality players with contract years coming up for players like Kittle which will eat into their cap space. For me he is the best TE in the league at the moment and he is about to be well paid.
 
The effect of that delay of game by SE has been greatly exaggerated.
22 secs left & no TOs or not, the ball spotted at the 1yd line with Lynch in opens up the offensive play options immensely & makes the defense play more honest, knowing at least 1 run play is possible with that time left. Spotted at the 6yd line takes away any run option, making it easier on the defense. No coach in their right mind would prefer to run a play from the 6yd line instead of the 1yd line under those circumstances.
 
22 secs left & no TOs or not, the ball spotted at the 1yd line with Lynch in opens up the offensive play options immensely & makes the defense play more honest, knowing at least 1 run play is possible with that time left. Spotted at the 6yd line takes away any run option, making it easier on the defense. No coach in their right mind would prefer to run a play from the 6yd line instead of the 1yd line under those circumstances.
The momentum was fimly with Seattle until that happened.
 
No coach in their right mind would prefer to run a play from the 6yd line instead of the 1yd line under those circumstances.
Some would say that no coach in his right mind would pass when he had a prime Lynch and the ball on the 1 yard line with 30 seconds left in the SB. :)

The WC schedule this year breaks with tradition. There have usually been one AFC game and one NFC game on Saturday, and one of each on Sunday. This year, both AFC games are on Saturday, and the two NFC games are on Sunday. One thing that doesn't change is that some poor team will get one less day of rest than the usual full week. The 49ers divisional game is on a Saturday, but they will play a WC winner that plays on the previous Sunday. Even worse, both NFC WC games are played on or near the East coast, so the winner will have to fly across the country, further cutting into its rest.

This is clearly preventable. Just schedule both AFC divisional games on Saturday, and the NFC ones on Sunday. There will always be some unfairness, because two WC games will always be on Saturday, whereas the regular season ends on Sunday. So some WC teams get short rest. But at least there is no relative disadvantage, since both teams playing in a WC will be on the short rest.

The irony of this is that NCAA football goes out of its way to avoid short rest in the postseason, even when it's equal. Look at the CFP this year. The semifinals were originally scheduled for New Year's Eve, Dec.31. The championship game is played on a Monday. The next Monday would have been Jan. 6, only six days away, so it was moved to Jan. 13. Then the semifinals were moved up to Dec. 28. It's too late to change the championship date, so now there are sixteen days between the semifinals and the finals. All because college won't allow what the pros do every year.
 
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Some would say that no coach in his right mind would pass when he had a prime Lynch and the ball on the 1 yard line with 30 seconds left in the SB. :)

The WC schedule this year breaks with tradition. There have usually been one AFC game and one NFC game on Saturday, and one of each on Sunday. This year, both AFC games are on Saturday, and the two NFC games are on Sunday. One thing that doesn't change is that some poor team will get one less day of rest than its opponent. The 49ers divisional game is on a Saturday, but they will play a WC winner that plays on the previous Sunday. Even worse, both NFC WC games are played on or near the East coast, so the winner will have to fly across the country, further cutting into its rest.

This is clearly preventable. Just schedule both AFC divisional games on Saturday, and the NFC ones on Sunday. There will always be some unfairness, because two WC games will always be on Saturday, whereas the regular season ends on Sunday. So some WC teams get short rest. But at least there is no relative disadvantage, since both teams playing in a WC will be on the short rest.

The irony of this is that NCAA football goes out of its way to avoid short rest in the postseason, even when it's equal. Look at the CFP this year. The semifinals were originally scheduled for New Year's Eve, Dec.31. The championship game is played on a Monday. The next Monday would have been Jan. 6, only six days away, so it was moved to Jan. 13. Then the semifinals were moved up to Dec. 28. It's too late to change the championship date, so now there are sixteen days between the semifinals and the finals. All because college won't allow what the pros do every year.
Scheduling is an easy fix you would think................this is a backward step. NFL make some strange decisions.
 
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Honestly, I think they should give everyone a week off in the NFL after the regular season. I know that beats the purpose of having a bye week and fighting for that top 2 seed, but to me it doesn't make much sense to head right into the playoffs the following week. For some teams it's less than a week. The top two teams in each conference that have the bye will get another week, and then it may become a question of 'too much' time off but having a week off after the regular season would benefit everyone.
 
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The Seahawks got bit in the butt from the Kearse catch. They got to d
Honestly, I think they should give everyone a week off in the NFL after the regular season. I know that beats the purpose of having a bye week and fighting for that top 2 seed, but to me it doesn't make much sense to head right into the playoffs the following week. For some teams it's less than a week. The top two teams in each conference that have the bye will get another week, and then it may become a question of 'too much' time off but having a week off after the regular season would benefit everyone.
And give more time for the teams employees to prepare and the NFL to hype the playoffs up more. Maybe have the pro bowl then or season highlights playing.

Edit: or better yet on the Saturday and Sunday or just keeping sunday for the rest week. They do 30 mins on each playoff team showing highlights and talking about them starting with the 6th seat up to 1st.
 
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Some would say that no coach in his right mind would pass when he had a prime Lynch and the ball on the 1 yard line with 30 seconds left in the SB. :)

The WC schedule this year breaks with tradition. There have usually been one AFC game and one NFC game on Saturday, and one of each on Sunday. This year, both AFC games are on Saturday, and the two NFC games are on Sunday.
I'm pretty sure I remember this happening before.

Looking it up, it was 2016.
 
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I'm pretty sure I remember this happening before.

Looking it up, it was 2016.
Right you are. I missed that. But that year and this year are the only times it’s been that way since the start of the century, if not earlier.

Another aspect of the playoffs I’ve complained about in the past, and which continues this year, is the start times of the games. The first Saturday game is in Houston, the later one in NE. The first Sunday game is in NO; the later one in Philly. What’s wrong with that? For starters, it makes more sense to start the east coast game first, since that’s in an earlier time zone. That means you have more flexibility of when a game starts. For example, if the east coast game starts at 1 PM, the usual time during the regular season, the second game, in the central time zone, can start any time beginning 3:30 PM, providing the usual three and a half hours gap so that the first game will probably be over.

But the more important reason is the weather. In January, it’s likely to be very cold on the east coast, and it will be colder later in the day than earlier. So why start the game in NE in the evening, around 8:30? It’s Saturday, so it’s not a prime time issue. The game in Philly starts around 4:30 local time, a little better, but it still means it will get dark and colder not long after it begins. Why not give the players a break, and start the game at 1 PM, when it will be warmest?

It's the same situation with the divisional games. Saturday, the games will be played in relatively warm SF on the west coast, and in cold Baltimore on the east coast. Yet the SF game begins about 1:30 PM local time, while the Ravens game begins around 8:30 PM. Why??? I really don't get it. It's like the NFL goes out of its way to make east coast games as cold as possible. On Sunday, you have games in two cold weather cities, but Green Bay, which has hosted some of the coldest playoff games in history, is usually colder, and starts unnecessarily late, around 5:30 PM, because the game in KC begins around 2 PM.

Maybe the thinking is if the east coast games begin at 1 PM, that's 10 AM, which is too early, on the west coast. But I would have thought that time would conflict less with other sports and competition later in the day. Anyway, MN@NO begins at 10 AM on the west coast, and the KC divisional game begins at noon WC time.

How difficult is it for the teams seeded Nos. 3-6?

Since 1990, when the current 12-team playoff format was introduced, it's happened only 12 times and none since the 2012 Ravens.

Meanwhile, teams with a first-round bye have reached the Super Bowl 46 times in that span. Only two No. 3 seeds, seven No. 4s, one No. 5 and two No. 6s have advanced.
Since the league instituted a seeding system in 1975, the No. 1 or No. 2 seeds have reached the Super Bowl 71 times while all other seeds got there 17 times. Only 10 of the 44 champions in that span were seeded Nos. 3-6.

So one of the top 2 seeds in each conference reaches the SB about 80% of the time. Another way to look at it is that your chances of reaching the SB if you have a bye are about eight times that if you don't. That's because a) you have to play an extra game; even if you're heavily favoured in that game, your odds of losing it are significant; 2) you have to play at least two games on the road, which works out to about six points vs. playing at home; and c) if you don't get a bye, it's usually because you weren't as good during the regular season as the teams that do. The sample size is small, but supports my point that SE didn't have that much to gain by winning its last game and becoming a third seed. Notice, though, that only c) is relevant if a lower seed actually makes the SB, which may explain why 10/17 of these seeds ended up winning the SB. Not significantly > 50-50, but that it's even around 50-50 indicates that once one of these lower seeds gets to the SB, it's not that inferior to the other team.
 
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Right you are. I missed that. But that year and this year are the only times it’s been that way since the start of the century, if not earlier.

Another aspect of the playoffs I’ve complained about in the past, and which continues this year, is the start times of the games. The first Saturday game is in Houston, the later one in NE. The first Sunday game is in NO; the later one in Philly. What’s wrong with that? For starters, it makes more sense to start the east coast game first, since that’s in an earlier time zone. That means you have more flexibility of when a game starts. For example, if the east coast game starts at 1 PM, the usual time during the regular season, the second game, in the central time zone, can start any time beginning 3:30 PM, providing the usual three and a half hours gap so that the first game will probably be over.

But the more important reason is the weather. In January, it’s likely to be very cold on the east coast, and it will be colder later in the day than earlier. So why start the game in NE in the evening, around 8:30? It’s Saturday, so it’s not a prime time issue. The game in Philly starts around 4:30 local time, a little better, but it still means it will get dark and colder not long after it begins. Why not give the players a break, and start the game at 1 PM, when it will be warmest?

It's the same situation with the divisional games. Saturday, the games will be played in relatively warm SF on the west coast, and in cold Baltimore on the east coast. Yet the SF game begins about 1:30 PM local time, while the Ravens game begins around 8:30 PM. Why??? I really don't get it. It's like the NFL goes out of its way to make east coast games as cold as possible. On Sunday, you have games in two cold weather cities, but Green Bay, which has hosted some of the coldest playoff games in history, is usually colder, and starts unnecessarily late, around 5:30 PM, because the game in KC begins around 2 PM.






So one of the top 2 seeds in each conference reaches the SB about 80% of the time. Another way to look at it is that your chances of reaching the SB if you have a bye are about eight times that if you don't. That's because a) you have to play an extra game; even if you're heavily favoured in that game, your odds of losing it are significant; 2) you have to play at least two games on the road, which works out to about six points vs. playing at home; and c) if you don't get a bye, it's usually because you weren't as good during the regular season as the teams that do. The sample size is small, but supports my point that SE didn't have that much to gain by winning its last game and becoming a third seed. Notice, though, that only c) is relevant if a lower seed actually makes the SB, which may explain why 10/17 of these seeds ended up winning the SB. Not significantly > 50-50, but that it's even around 50-50 indicates that once one of these lower seeds gets to the SB, it's not that inferior to the other team.
Its 2020! All teams should have indoor stadiums so that weather isn't a (or THE) factor! I don't want to hear any romantic stories about the ice bowl blah, blah, blah. I want to see both teams play their best, not whatever they can manage on a frozen field with frozen hands.
 
Late games make no sense in the playoffs when it's easy to schedule around it. Prime time in TV land probably runs from 5.30 to 10.30. But it's the NFL...........call me a romantic but I still like the outdoor games, wind rain, snow etc and both teams get the same conditions. I always thought indoors was anaemic but I'm sure many of the fans at the game disagree !
 
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Here's a thought, maybe playing in the wild card will give the Patriots offense more game time to get it together and as a wake up call for all players. It would be amazing if they can reach the Super Bowl but I think best case is championship unless something crazy happens to Ravens.
 
Here's a thought, maybe playing in the wild card will give the Patriots offense more game time to get it together and as a wake up call for all players. It would be amazing if they can reach the Super Bowl but I think best case is championship unless something crazy happens to Ravens.
A lot of people don't seem to be too confident that they will get past the Titans. I am tipping the Titans, I just get the sense that the Patriots are ripe for the picking. I think the Bills will win the other game with their defense.
 
Late games make no sense in the playoffs when it's easy to schedule around it. Prime time in TV land probably runs from 5.30 to 10.30. But it's the NFL...........call me a romantic but I still like the outdoor games, wind rain, snow etc and both teams get the same conditions. I always thought indoors was anaemic but I'm sure many of the fans at the game disagree !
Sure they have the same conditions, but one or maybe both won't be able to play their game. As I said above, I want to see both play their best game (or have the opportunity to). Teams play their game all season and then in Dec/Jan they have to play a different game, how much sense does that make? Sure, that's why being versatile is good and usually good teams can overcome, adjusting their play for the playoffs, but that's not what I want to see.

As a fan, cold sucks and snow ...don't get me started, Not NFL, but I went to a BSU game this year that was in the 20s. Even though I wasn't drinking, I found myself jumping up and down cheering for no apparent reason with the drunk people behind me just to keep warm! :D Same scenario with snow a few years ago and I couldn't really even see the game, and I had the illusion of snow falling for two days afterwards! o_O
 
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Hard for me to completely rule out the Patriots. I just don't believe they'll lose until they actually do. This may be one of those occasions where a team is doubted, a lot of people are picking them to lose to the Titans, but they find a way to grind out a win and they just keep the momentum and make the SB again.

I see two scenarios, the first one which I mentioned above. The second, the Titans get to Brady early and frustrate the Pats offense. On the offensive end, Tannehill plays very well and the Titans, through a balanced team effort, rout the Patriots.

What will happen next, if the second scenario comes to being? Who knows.
 
Why not give the players a break, and start the game at 1 PM, when it will be warmest?
I'm with you for most of what you wrote, including times, but I'd say it's the fans who need the break, not the players. Rarely, if ever, do you find players complaining about the weather. In fact, outside of less games than you can count on one hand players often comment on games played in horrid conditions as "fun". Even the worst weather games in history (Ice Bowl, Freezer Bowl) players later talk about playing in them as a badge of honor.
Its 2020! All teams should have indoor stadiums so that weather isn't a (or THE) factor!
The sport you are thinking of is basketball. :)
Here's a thought, maybe playing in the wild card will give the Patriots offense more game time to get it together and as a wake up call for all players.
I thought similar. If any team could actually use a game to get it's offense sorted out, it's New England, now. I think each of us can picture the possibility of the Patriots having a very prepared game-plan, followed by a solid offensive performance this week, then the following week, improving more. We already know they have an outstanding defense, but there have been times this season where the Patriots have come alive on offense, and it's plausible they can do that again. I still see them having a tough time getting through either Baltimore or KC on the road, but to rule them out would be foolish.
 

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