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Amazing win for the Vikings in the dome, and it’s always nice to see the Saints blow it in the playoffs again. Brees just couldn’t really get going and that late strip-sack when they did have the momentum was costly.

As feared, the Hawks/Eagles game was the poorest of the wildcard weekend, and the Eagles chance was gone when Wentz received that late hit to the head. Some very interesting games to look forward to next weekend.
 
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Amazing win for the Vikings in the dome, and it’s always nice to see the Saints blow it in the playoffs again. Brees just couldn’t really get going and that late strip-sack when they did have the momentum was costly.

As feared, the Hawks/Eagles game was the poorest of the wildcard weekend, and the Eagles chance was gone when Wentz received that late hit to the head. Some very interesting games to look forward to next weekend.
I like Brees. Sean Peyton not so much.

There was one interesting aspect of that SE/PH game, to me. While DK Metcalf & Wilson are getting all the accolades, what was PH doing defensively? So SE has backup RBs in Homer, Lynch & Turbin; are playing backup LT, LG, &C (& trying to block Fletcher Cox); but PH had SE in quite a few 2nd down & 3rd down & long situations (including SEs final play of the game, that rainbow bomb to Metcalf that sealed it for SE), yet PH were playing a lot of goal line D (cover 0, cover 1, 8 men in the box) just tempting SE to go deep! And finally, going against tendency, SE did when they needed to and it counted most. Old dog (not by age) OC Shottenheimer can learn new tricks I guess. But was PH trying to hide defensive secondary weakness by using those positions in cover 0 & 1 roles? Or just trying to pressure Wilson, the escape artist?

Mike McCarthy interviews for the Dallas HC job, then Jason Garrett finally fired by Cowboys owner JJones. Jerry doesn't take a S::: without a plan. So, McCarthy to Dallas?
 
Most QBs--not just Manning, but Montana, Marino, Elway, Young--are done by their late 30s. Aaron Rodgers--the best QB of his generation, better than Brady, would have won all those titles if he'd been playing for NE--is 36, and clearly is not the player he once was. It will be very interesting to see how he performs next week. Rivers is 38, and showing definite signs of being close to the finish. Ben is 37, and his days are numbered. Eli is 39, and easing out. Brees, like Brady, is past 40, and everyone talks about how great he is, but what happened today? It really shouldn't be a surprise. He's shown definite signs of decline recently, it's just that he's been inconsistent. Every time he has a great game, people think he's as good as ever. He might be in moments, but at his age he can no longer count on those moments happening all the time.

As long as Beli is coach, NE can be a playoff contender--remember, they won their first three SB when Brady was considered nothing but a game manager--and despite all their offensive problems this year, they were still 12-4. So I think they can win with Brady or without him, so I guess the decision might come down to how much they have to pay him, and whether they can get an adequate replacement cheaper.
Sure Brady is showing some decline but he's still better than most. One of the advantages he has over some of the guys you mentioned (P. Manning, Rodgers, Big Ben, etc) is his low injury history which is one of the most critical factors for an NFL QB. His only injury of significance was the ACL reconstruction back in 2008 which is simply amazing given his 19 yrs as a starter (and the knee dosen't seem to show any signs of post-traumatic osteoarthritis - again remarkable!).

P. Manning's decline was his injuries starting with the major neck injury at Indy (anterior cervical discectomy and fusion) in which he was lucky to be able to even play again. He struggled badly his last year with Denver from chronic PF which cost him several games. He couldn't move very well in the pocket at all. He fell down or dumped the ball a lot instead of trying to avoid a sack and extent the play. Going into 2016 after the SB, Manning wouldn't have been able to play the last year of his contract even if he wanted to.

And Rodgers has had plenty of injuries costing time missed over the years and looks like he's one hard hit away from not getting up. Big Ben has also sustained many significant injuries and looks gimpy everytime he takes the field. And to completely rupture a ligament/tendon in your elbow from just throwing a routine pass - well that says it all right there for this aging QB.

You don't see these things with Brady. Sure he's a step slower and some arm strength has diminished but he's still better than many of current starting QBs in the league. His stats this year weren't reminiscent of some of the Brady glory seasons but still not bad with 4,057 yards (60.8) 24/8 & 88 QBR. This year was very similar to 2013 (4300, 60.5, 25/11, 87) where NE won the division at 12-4 (won the first round game but lost in AFC championship game to the Manning-led Broncos).

So NE loses in the first round at home - well that happens once in awhile. The 2012 Broncos, division winners at 13-3, lost their first playoff game at home against Baltimore with Manning at the helm. And if I recall correctly back in 97, the 9-7 Jaguars came into Denver and thumped the Elway-led 13-3 Broncos in the first round. And don't forget the nightmare with the LAC where they do a complete reversal going from 12-4 to 4-12 with Rivers actually losing games for them. Lol. Brady & NE were nothing like this.

And who knows if Belichick can win without Brady. Maybe he could land a top free agent and keep it going at NE or get lucky and draft a top QB along the lines of a Mahomes or Jackson. But top free agents don't come along very often and drafting a QB in the first round these days seems nothing more than rolling the dice with more busts than grand slams in the last several years.
 
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I like Brees. Sean Peyton not so much.

There was one interesting aspect of that SE/PH game, to me. While DK Metcalf & Wilson are getting all the accolades, what was PH doing defensively? So SE has backup RBs in Homer, Lynch & Turbin; are playing backup LT, LG, &C (& trying to block Fletcher Cox); but PH had SE in quite a few 2nd down & 3rd down & long situations (including SEs final play of the game, that rainbow bomb to Metcalf that sealed it for SE), yet PH were playing a lot of goal line D (cover 0, cover 1, 8 men in the box) just tempting SE to go deep! And finally, going against tendency, SE did when they needed to and it counted most. Old dog (not by age) OC Shottenheimer can learn new tricks I guess. But was PH trying to hide defensive secondary weakness by using those positions in cover 0 & 1 roles? Or just trying to pressure Wilson, the escape artist?

Mike McCarthy interviews for the Dallas HC job, then Jason Garrett finally fired by Cowboys owner JJones. Jerry doesn't take a S::: without a plan. So, McCarthy to Dallas?
...or Marvin Lewis?
 
Feel bad for Wentz. He's waited to finally play in the playoffs and he has to leave the game early. I don't doubt that Clowney's hit was not intential, but it was late and he'll likely get a fine. I don't see a suspension. The hit was not malicious and Clowney doesn't have a history of violence. He's a hard nosed player, but not dirty.

The game against Packers will test the Seahawks OL. Not that other games don't, but the Packers have a good line and they will pressure Wilson. He's going to have to be sharp. He's used to that, having played with a mediocre at best OL for years now. Interesting to see if Carroll mixes it up again or if he'll go back to wanting to be more active with the run game. Considering the cold conditions, maybe that's what they'll do. Hopefully it doesn't snow.
 
C'mon, Hitch, this was sweet, enjoy it. For the entire second half, all they needed to win was a FG, and they couldn't get one. What could have been the last play of Brady's NE career--or even his career, period--was a pick-six, and this is the first time in his entire career that he threw pick-sixes in consecutive games. The last two plays by the Pats were turnovers. If time hadn't run out, TE would have scored two TDs in handful of seconds.



Didn't hear anyone saying that at the beginning of the season, though. They were ranked no. 1 in I think all the preseason polls, and when they started out 8-0, they seemed unchallengeable:





Well, the last sentence was right.






I wouldn't automatically assume that Brady will be a good QB next year, and that he can start for the Patriots or someone else. He's already an extreme outlier, the benefit of very rare protracted and gentle decline. Even as it is, he's no longer an elite QB, raising legitimate questions about how much better he can make a team. And that's assuming he won't be worse next year, when he easily could be finished entirely, not suitable for any role but a backup. Just because his decline has been gradual so far doesn't mean he can't fall off a cliff. Manning had his statistically best season his second year at Denver, set all kinds of QB records, and two years later he was one of the worst QB s in the league, starting mostly because of reputation and lack of a reliable alternative. The end can come very fast.

Most QBs--not just Manning, but Montana, Marino, Elway, Young--are done by their late 30s. Aaron Rodgers--the best QB of his generation, better than Brady, would have won all those titles if he'd been playing for NE--is 36, and clearly is not the player he once was. It will be very interesting to see how he performs next week. Rivers is 38, and showing definite signs of being close to the finish. Ben is 37, and his days are numbered. Eli is 39, and easing out. Brees, like Brady, is past 40, and everyone talks about how great he is, but what happened today? It really shouldn't be a surprise. He's shown definite signs of decline recently, it's just that he's been inconsistent. Every time he has a great game, people think he's as good as ever. He might be in moments, but at his age he can no longer count on those moments happening all the time.

As long as Beli is coach, NE can be a playoff contender--remember, they won their first three SB when Brady was considered nothing but a game manager--and despite all their offensive problems this year, they were still 12-4. So I think they can win with Brady or without him, so I guess the decision might come down to how much they have to pay him, and whether they can get an adequate replacement cheaper.

MN@SF is not the first time these two teams meet in the postseason. They met in the playoffs three years in a row in the late 1980s, and the first meeting was one of the biggest upsets in NFL history. This is some really interesting history.

The 49ers won 4 SB in the 1980s, but their best team might have been in 1987, when they didn't even get close to the SB. They started out poorly, losing their first game and winning the second only by a miracle, when the Bengals, leading with less than a minute to go and around their own 20, elected not to punt but to try to run out the clock by having the QB take the snap and run around in the backfield, avoiding getting tackled. It didn't work, he got tackled with a few seconds left in the game, and the 49ers had just enough time for a Montana to Rice TD pass that won the game.

After that, there was a strike. The games the following week were cancelled, then games were resumed, but mostly with replacement players, since most of the starters remained on strike. The 49ers won all three of their strike games, helped by the fact that one notorious scab was Montana. When the strike ended, and the regular players returned, the 49ers kept winning, going 9-1 the rest of the way. They finished the season 13-2, and averaging > 30 points a game and giving up less than 17 a game, a historically great point differential.

For those who believe in momentum, the 49ers won their final three games by a combined score of 124-7. The Vikings lost three of their last four games, and finished the season the definition of average: 8-7, with almost exactly as many points allowed as points scored. Yet the Vikings dominated the 49ers on the road, leading 20-3 at the half. Montana was benched in favour of Young, who got the offence going in the second half, but too little, too late.

The 49ers got revenge the following year, beating the Vikings handily in another division game, and blowing them out yet again the year after that. They won the SB each of those years.

Well when I said obviously the Pats weren't gonna win it this year - it was clear after the Miami loss, not mid season. Earlier this season they were favorites in the AFC of course- KC was losing 3 straight home games Ravens were a 2 loss team that got crushed by the Browns, and the Pats schedule was again so soft it looked like it had been put together but the world's most advanced AI.
 
Sure Brady is showing some decline but he's still better than most. One of the advantages he has over some of the guys you mentioned (P. Manning, Rodgers, Big Ben, etc) is his low injury history which is one of the most critical factors for an NFL QB. His only injury of significance was the ACL reconstruction back in 2008 which is simply amazing given his 19 yrs as a starter (and the knee dosen't seem to show any signs of post-traumatic osteoarthritis - again remarkable!).

P. Manning's decline was his injuries starting with the major neck injury at Indy (anterior cervical discectomy and fusion) in which he was lucky to be able to even play again. He struggled badly his last year with Denver from chronic PF which cost him several games. He couldn't move very well in the pocket at all. He fell down or dumped the ball a lot instead of trying to avoid a sack and extent the play. Going into 2016 after the SB, Manning wouldn't have been able to play the last year of his contract even if he wanted to.

And Rodgers has had plenty of injuries costing time missed over the years and looks like he's one hard hit away from not getting up. Big Ben has also sustained many significant injuries and looks gimpy everytime he takes the field. And to completely rupture a ligament/tendon in your elbow from just throwing a routine pass - well that says it all right there for this aging QB.

You don't see these things with Brady. Sure he's a step slower and some arm strength has diminished but he's still better than many of current starting QBs in the league. His stats this year weren't reminiscent of some of the Brady glory seasons but still not bad with 4,057 yards (60.8) 24/8 & 88 QBR. This year was very similar to 2013 (4300, 60.5, 25/11, 87) where NE won the division at 12-4 (won the first round game but lost in AFC championship game to the Manning-led Broncos).

So NE loses in the first round at home - well that happens once in awhile. The 2012 Broncos, division winners at 13-3, lost their first playoff game at home against Baltimore with Manning at the helm. And if I recall correctly back in 97, the 9-7 Jaguars came into Denver and thumped the Elway-led 13-3 Broncos in the first round. And don't forget the nightmare with the LAC where they do a complete reversal going from 12-4 to 4-12 with Rivers actually losing games for them. Lol. Brady & NE were nothing like this.

And who knows if Belichick can win without Brady. Maybe he could land a top free agent and keep it going at NE or get lucky and draft a top QB along the lines of a Mahomes or Jackson. But top free agents don't come along very often and drafting a QB in the first round these days seems nothing more than rolling the dice with more busts than grand slams in the last several years.

I think Belichik absolutely can win without Brady. All 6 of the Pats SB's have come in years when there were obviously better QBS's in the NFL, just never had the Pats team strenght. Conversely the years where Brady balled out and was the league MVP, no SB.

The real sign though was 3 years ago when Brady missed 4 games and they won 2 with the backup quarterback and 1 with the backup backup, as well as 10 wins with Matt Cassel in 2008.
 
Vikings Saints- i'm disapointed as I was hoping for Saints to avenge the ref stuff from the last two years.

I have seen some Saints fans complaining that they should still be in the playoffs because they should have had the bye over GB -100% agree.


But to criticise a little bit, the Saints have had all their 3 playoff games at home in the last year, and have been flat in all of them. They needed a lot of luck to beat a weaker Eagles team last year. They deserved to beat the Rams last year but only by the skin of their teeth. And they let a good but not all world VIkings team come in and outplay them this weekend.


A great team would have shown it in at least one of these 3 home playoff games with an allegedly amazing Home field advantage.

Theyve failed to turn up, Even the Vikings game 2 years ago they had 0 points until deep into the 3rd quarter iirc.

So I don't think this Saints team was winning the SB, even if they got the bye. They let too many games go down to coin toss territory. On Sunday, literall

From the other side, to what extend did the VIkings benefit by resting their starters last week? They sort of came into this like after a bye, and this might make them a dangerous wildcard team - they go into SF in form having played last weekend, but also having rested just the week before.
 
I think Belichik absolutely can win without Brady. All 6 of the Pats SB's have come in years when there were obviously better QBS's in the NFL, just never had the Pats team strenght. Conversely the years where Brady balled out and was the league MVP, no SB.

The real sign though was 3 years ago when Brady missed 4 games and they won 2 with the backup quarterback and 1 with the backup backup, as well as 10 wins with Matt Cassel in 2008.
All those 3 Super Bowl losses the offense put the team in the lead late in the 4th. In 08 Cassel had the majority of the 18-1 Patriots team and went 11-5. With 1200 and 29 less yards and TDs and 3 more INTS. Than went to the Chiefs in 09 where they went 4-12 and 2-14 in 07 and 08. 09 he was playing for the starting job back and forth, Chiefs finished 4-12. Than as the starter they went 10-6 making the playoffs and pro bowl.

Grappolo has shown that he is a good quarterback, was ready, and far better than Cassel. Brissett is as well but at the time he wasn't. They beat the Texans my the run game and defense with him finishing with 100 yards passing.

Bill is 5-13 with Drew Bledsoe( the qb they thought was their franchise and led them to a super bowl) and a 36-45 with the Browns before they became the Ravens. Not to mention that he is rarely shown talking to the offense, it's almost always Brady and coordinator. Would love to see how he would do with a different quarterback in this offense.
 
Brees is another great regular season QB who often doesn't show up in the playoffs. But there seems to be a changing of the guard in the air. Manning, Ben, Brady, Rodgers and Rivers have all noticeably dropped off in their performances and also Brees. All close to retirement. Brady may not have been injured much but he is still the oldest QB in the league. In the last 12 months he has deteriorated and his stats say as much. The lack of good offense around him has certainly contributed and Edelman has also noticeably slipped in performance but Brady certainly has to shoulder some of the blame this season. Can't see any way that Gronk returns either.

The Bills game showed the best and worst of Allen but he is certainly on the way.

Two intriguing match ups coming up with the Ravens and Titans plus the Vikings and 49ers.

The result that shocked me the most was the Saints game. Patriots not at all, Bills was a 50/50 game and Eagles game was probably 60/40 to the Hawks but I don't think anyone expected the Eagles to do much post season especially with their depleted roster. Journeyman McCown played his first playoff game at age 40. Nice interview after the game and he was understandably emotional.
 
Sure Brady is showing some decline but he's still better than most. One of the advantages he has over some of the guys you mentioned (P. Manning, Rodgers, Big Ben, etc) is his low injury history which is one of the most critical factors for an NFL QB. His only injury of significance was the ACL reconstruction back in 2008 which is simply amazing given his 19 yrs as a starter (and the knee dosen't seem to show any signs of post-traumatic osteoarthritis - again remarkable!).
This and the following paragraphs make good points. Could also note that Montana had spinal fusion after he got knocked out of the divisional game in 1986--many 49er fans thought he was finished at the time--plus he missed two years with an injury before he was traded to KC. As has been pointed out in this thread before, Montana has had maybe a dozen or more operations since he retired, and is an absolute mess physically. So I guess you could argue that injuries played a big part in his retirement, too.

That said, the numbers suggest Brady has declined quite a bit. Consider the older passer rating. Brady first shed the game manager image when Randy Moss joined the team in 2007, and both players had career seasons. In the ten years he played from then to 2017, he averaged a 103 rating per season. His last two seasons have been 98 and 88.

To be fair, he's had seasons like that before, so one could view the last two seasons as just random lows. OTOH, the old passer rating doesn't take into account other factors like what his teammates do, as well as avoiding sacks, and in general, actions that contribute to winning. Using the newer QBR, which does, Brady rated 75 on average for 2007-17. For the past two years, he's been 66.6 and 52.5. The latter value is by far the lowest of his career (though the rating only goes back to 2006), while the 66.6 value is the third lowest.

Even that doesn't fairly indicate his decline, because during that period, passing offence has increased in the NFL, due to rule changes, and teams's taking advantage of those changes. You can get a better idea of how Brady has done during that period by considering his rank (old/new) for each season:

2007: 1/1
2009: 9/6
2010: 1/1
2011: 3/3
2012: 6/2
2013: 17/12
2014: 5/3
2015: 4/7
2016: 2/2
2017: 3/3
2018: 12/9
2019: 18/19

Until 2018, he had never ranked below top 10 in either stat except for 2013 . In fact, except for 2013, he had almost always been in the top 5 in at least one stat. You can even go all the way back to 2001, his first year, and he has never been out of the top 10 in the older rating or the newer one (which, again, only begins in 2006), except for 2013. But he was out of the top 10 in one and almost the other in 2018, and well out of the top 10 in both this past season. By these metrics, he has been a little below average in a 32 team league.

The real sign though was 3 years ago when Brady missed 4 games and they won 2 with the backup quarterback and 1 with the backup backup, as well as 10 wins with Matt Cassel in 2008.
Yep, that and 2008. Small sample size, though, and if Brady retires or signs with another team, it will be interesting to get a larger sample size with Beli/no Brady.

In 08 Cassel had the majority of the 18-1 Patriots team and went 11-5.
The 16-0 season was an outlier. There is far too much role of chance in any single season to use that as a standard of comparison. A better standard is to take the four years preceding 2007/2008, and the four years following them. During that eight year period, the Pats averaged 12.4 wins per season. So you can say there was a little bit of a falloff under Cassel in 2008, but not that much.

Which is what you'd expect for other reasons. Offence contributes about 45% to a team's success (45/45/10 for special teams). The QB is obviously the most important player on offence, but he's not more important than all the other ten players combined. I'd say he contributes 15-20%, at most.
 
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This and the following paragraphs make good points. Could also note that Montana had spinal fusion after he got knocked out of the divisional game in 1986--many 49er fans thought he was finished at the time--plus he missed two years with an injury before he was traded to KC. As has been pointed out in this thread before, Montana has had maybe a dozen or more operations since he retired, and is an absolute mess physically. So I guess you could argue that injuries played a big part in his retirement, too.

That said, the numbers suggest Brady has declined quite a bit. Consider the older passer rating. Brady first shed the game manager image when Randy Moss joined the team in 2007, and both players had career seasons. In the ten years he played from then to 2017, he averaged a 103 rating per season. His last two seasons have been 98 and 88.

To be fair, he's had seasons like that before, so one could view the last two seasons as just random lows. OTOH, the old passer rating doesn't take into account other factors like what his teammates do, as well as avoiding sacks, and in general, actions that contribute to winning. Using the newer QBR, which does, Brady rated 75 on average for 2007-17. For the past two years, he's been 66.6 and 52.5. The latter value is by far the lowest of his career (though the rating only goes back to 2006), while the 66.6 value is the third lowest.

Even that doesn't fairly indicate his decline, because during that period, passing offence has increased in the NFL, due to rule changes, and teams's taking advantage of those changes. You can get a better idea of how Brady has done during that period by considering his rank (old/new) for each season:

2007: 1/1
2009: 9/6
2010: 1/1
2011: 3/3
2012: 6/2
2013: 17/12
2014: 5/3
2015: 4/7
2016: 2/2
2017: 3/3
2018: 12/9
2019: 18/19

Until 2018, he had never ranked below top 10 in either stat except for 2013 . In fact, except for 2013, he had almost always been in the top 5 in at least one stat. You can even go all the way back to 2001, his first year, and he has never been out of the top 10 in the older rating or the newer one (which, again, only begins in 2006), except for 2013. But he was out of the top 10 in one and almost the other in 2018, and well out of the top 10 in both this past season. By these metrics, he has been a little below average in a 32 team league.



Yep, that and 2008. Small sample size, though, and if Brady retires or signs with another team, it will be interesting to get a larger sample size with Beli/no Brady.



The 16-0 season was an outlier. There is far too much role of chance in any single season to use that as a standard of comparison. A better standard is to take the four years preceding 2007/2008, and the four years following them. During that eight year period, the Pats averaged 12.4 wins per season. So you can say there was a little bit of a falloff under Cassel in 2008, but not that much.

Which is what you'd expect for other reasons. Offence contributes about 45% to a team's success (45/45/10 for special teams). The QB is obviously the most important player on offence, but he's not more important than all the other ten players combined. I'd say he contributes 15-20%, at most.
I agree. QB is 15%-20% of the offense. So 7-10% of the whole team (not even counting special teams)

Which makes it truly bizzare that the prevailing logic in America seems to be that the qb is just under 100% of the entire team. I know the narrative of 1 player being the whole team is easier to sell, but its so devoid of logic.
 
FiveThirtyEight odds have Ravens as a big favourite to win the SB, at 48%, while the Chiefs, to my surprise, are (a distant) second at 17%, and the 49ers third at 14%. The Ravens's odds of winning their divisional game vs. TE are 87%, while their odds of winning the AFC championship and the SB, given they get there, are over 70% in each game. I don't get that last one. Certainly if they play the 49ers in the SB, I wouldn't give them odds that high. I'd say it was more like 50-50.

But the 49ers's odds are only 67% in the divisional game, about the same in the NFC championship, if they get there, and just 32% in the SB. I really don't get that 32% figure, either. Even if they most likely face the Ravens, their odds should be much higher than that. At 14% to win the SB starting from now, I think they're a pretty attractive bet. I'd certainly rate their chances of winning the SB as better than the Chiefs, given that the Chiefs will probably have to beat the Ravens to get there, and probably would be underdogs vs. the 49ers.

Some of the other odds are also puzzling to me. KC has 83% odds vs. Houston. Really? I'd take a bet with those odds. If the Chiefs get to the SB, their odds are 63% to win that. WTF? I guess that reflects a sizeable probability that they play some team other than the 49ers, I'd think SF would be at least even money against the Chiefs, if not better.

Another one that doesn't make sense to me is SE. They have only 26% odds, about 1 in 4, of beating GB in the divisional game, and if they win that, odds of about 40% of winning the NFC championship. I would give them a much better chance of beating GB (surely their odds of beating GB should be better than MN's odds of beating SF? According to these odds, the 49ers are the least favoured home team to win the divisional game), which appears quite vulnerable to me, and if they do win, they will either face the 49ers, which they've already played in two could-go-either-way games, or MN, in which case they would be at home, where they beat the Vikings earlier in the season.

Overall, FiveThirtyEight says the AFC is a two team race, with odds of 93% that either Baltimore or KC will go to the SB, while the NFC is much more even, with the 49ers at 44% of going to the SB, GB 32%, MN 15% and SE 10%.

 
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On age brady also has 2.5 seasons extra on him game wise from postseason. All those are all old. Changing of the guard next 1-2 years with all those retiring and none showing interest in backup qb.
Manning is definitely not interested in a backup role:


"On Monday, the day after the Giants finished the regular season with a 4-12 record and fired head coach Pat Shurmur, Manning was a bit more honest about the reality of being Jones's backup, calling the job "no fun." When asked if he would consider being a backup for another year, Manning rejected the idea."

I couldn't imagine any of these legendary SB winning MVP QBs the likes of Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Flacco, etc., taking a massive pay cut to stand on the sidelines for 16 games holding a clipboard. Lol.
 
I wouldn't be surprised to see Brady transition straight into coaching at NE when he hangs up his cleats.

I think he'll play another season, but I expect to see NE looking for some new receivers (great insight, I know). All season they seem to have struggled to find space and Brady no longer has the feet to get out of trouble and keep plays alive every time his receivers can't drop the coverage. I feel like he's been throwing to the backs a lot more this season and that's a symptom of this.



Disappointed that the Saints lost. Looked like they just couldn't get it going. Surely after Bridgewater playing well and Hill showing talent the discussion about Brees' retirement is going to start soon?
 
This may have been the last chance for Brees to get that second SB. I am not sure he'll call it quits or asked to be traded. I bet he goes for it for another season, but winning another SB is going to be very difficult.

The Saints have been on the losing end of some epic playoff games since their SB win in February 2010. This year just added to the list.
 
Man, I've already reached severe burnout listening to talking heads predicting everything 2020 (TB12, coaching, next year's starters, next year's records...). I know they have air time to fill, but holy crapola, there's no more to slice and its still only January. Its kinda fun here for us to guess what might happen though:
-TB12 plays for NE 2020
-McD stays in NE 2020
-McC and DAL win 12, but not because of McC as much as because of helping DP understand the game
-The new CLE coach gets six wins (its just not good there even with lots of good players)
-AZ, MIA, CAR will be (much) better
-Raiders make LV hate them
-Manning to SD :)
-Steven A(ss) Smith will ramble on about nothing forever
-more...
 
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FiveThirtyEight odds have Ravens as a big favourite to win the SB, at 48%, while the Chiefs, to my surprise, are (a distant) second at 17%, and the 49ers third at 14%. The Ravens's odds of winning their divisional game vs. TE are 87%, while their odds of winning the AFC championship and the SB, given they get there, are over 70% in each game. I don't get that last one. Certainly if they play the 49ers in the SB, I wouldn't give them odds that high. I'd say it was more like 50-50.

But the 49ers's odds are only 67% in the divisional game, about the same in the NFC championship, if they get there, and just 32% in the SB. I really don't get that 32% figure, either. Even if they most likely face the Ravens, their odds should be much higher than that. At 14% to win the SB starting from now, I think they're a pretty attractive bet. I'd certainly rate their chances of winning the SB as better than the Chiefs, given that the Chiefs will probably have to beat the Ravens to get there, and probably would be underdogs vs. the 49ers.

Some of the other odds are also puzzling to me. KC has 83% odds vs. Houston. Really? I'd take a bet with those odds. If the Chiefs get to the SB, their odds are 63% to win that. WTF? I guess that reflects a sizeable probability that they play some team other than the 49ers, I'd think SF would be at least even money against the Chiefs, if not better.

Another one that doesn't make sense to me is SE. They have only 26% odds, about 1 in 4, of beating GB in the divisional game, and if they win that, odds of about 40% of winning the NFC championship. I would give them a much better chance of beating GB (surely their odds of beating GB should be better than MN's odds of beating SF? According to these odds, the 49ers are the least favoured home team to win the divisional game), which appears quite vulnerable to me, and if they do win, they will either face the 49ers, which they've already played in two could-go-either-way games, or MN, in which case they would be at home, where they beat the Vikings earlier in the season.

Overall, FiveThirtyEight says the AFC is a two team race, with odds of 93% that either Baltimore or KC will go to the SB, while the NFC is much more even, with the 49ers at 44% of going to the SB, GB 32%, MN 15% and SE 10%.

Very bizarre. Seattle is 8-1 on the road this season. But then the Rams odds to win the SB last year were quite skinny as well. Odds makers often get it wrong. Not sure what odds the Vikings and Titans were..............seems with the 49ers, the lack of playoff experience with a young team is being factored in which is reasonable up to a point. But they also have home field as well.
 
Rams have let their DC Wade Phillips go. Some interesting coaching hires at the Panthers and Giants ! Be also interesting to see how the Mike McCarthy hire turns out at the Cowboys along with Mike Holman as the probable DC Some people seem to think that McCarthy is another vanilla hire by Jerry but he has won a SB and has an impressive win record in the league. Skip Bayless isn't too impressed which probably means that McCarthy will do well. There is talk about Garrett as the possible OC at the Giants.
 
Rams have let their DC Wade Phillips go. Some interesting coaching hires at the Panthers and Giants ! Be also interesting to see how the Mike McCarthy hire turns out at the Cowboys along with Mike Holman as the probable DC Some people seem to think that McCarthy is another vanilla hire by Jerry but he has won a SB and has an impressive win record in the league. Skip Bayless isn't too impressed which probably means that McCarthy will do well. There is talk about Garrett as the possible OC at the Giants.
I saw that too...crazy if JG goes to NYG!
 
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I agree. QB is 15%-20% of the offense. So 7-10% of the whole team (not even counting special teams)

Which makes it truly bizzare that the prevailing logic in America seems to be that the qb is just under 100% of the entire team. I know the narrative of 1 player being the whole team is easier to sell, but its so devoid of logic.
C'mon now - that's not the prevailing logic in America. However, I would submit that in some cases, particularly with a dual-threat QB, it'll be higher than "15%-20%."

Haven't you been paying attention to LJ? A pure dual-threat QB running a college style RPO-Pistol offense and turning the NFL upside down.

LJ is the team's leading rusher (1206) and ended up as the 6th leading rusher in the league (15 games). He averaged ~12 carries a game and rushed for 200 yds more than Ingram. His 1206 yds accounts for 36% of the teams total rushing offense! He is essentially fulfilling the role of a second RB (many of his rushing attempts are designed plays).

He also ended up as the league's 3rd best passer with 3127 yds and 36 strikes (113.3). That's a 4330 yds of total offense which accounted for 65% of the team's offensive production! (6646). LJ is the first player in NFL history to have 3,000-plus passing yards and 1,500-plus rushing yards in his first two seasons.

I watched him at Louisville where he did the same thing with crazy rushing/passing stats (4100 rushing/ 9000 passing in just 3 seasons). He's a one man wrecking crew. He's got blazing speed (4.3) and moves that reminds me of Sanders & Payton. And his arm strength is good and accuracy is spot on.

Baltimore's offense goes solely on the performance of LJ. They didn't add much to that offense from the previous year where Flacco started before getting injured mid-way. They acquired Ingram and drafted Hollywood Brown as some definite weapons, but more importantly completely changed the offense under Greg Brown to suit the talent of LJ.

Nothing short of incredible - the last pick of the 2018 1st round with several teams blowing him off as a RB or WR as far as his future in the NFL.

 
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