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Be interested to see what adjustments GB make against the 49ers. I don't see the 49ers changing much after what they did to GB last time and that was without Kittle and some of their defense ! To be honest I would be shocked if the 49ers lost. GB beat a Seattle team riddled by injuries who also had a hard schedule like the 49er at the end of the season and the NFC West is probably the best division in the league at the moment. The Rams were just one win away from also qualifying for the playoffs. The Hawks last two games showed that they are struggling especially with the o line and run game. Their injuries came at a critical time while the 49ers luckily had the majority of their injured players back last week. The bye week was critical for the 49ers. Been an unpredictable playoffs so far but last week the games were mostly close and this week they were one sided wins except for GB. I'm still not convinced by GB especially against the remaining three teams.
it's interesting you mention the Rams in a post about the Packers... Lafleur having come from McVay's crew, then GB improving while the Rams slide backwards...
 
it's interesting you mention the Rams in a post about the Packers... Lafleur having come from McVay's crew, then GB improving while the Rams slide backwards...
Also interesting seeing the success of the young guys with Shanahan, McVay and LaFleur all working together at different points in their careers. The Rams drop off might be explained by Gurley's indifferent form earlier in the season and Goff's and maybe also teams being more familiar with McVay's offense as well. Compared to the previous season they looked off their game but also on defense as well and now their DC has been let go. They have also kind of painted themselves into a corner with losing a lot of their draft picks for the next two seasons re player trades. If they get a run of injuries like the Eagles and other teams had this season, they could be in trouble. I really expected the Rams and Niners to make the playoffs but it soon became apparent that the Hawks and Niners were the consistent teams that would head to the post season. When the Buccs put 55 on the Rams the alarm bells were ringing !
 
He's choked in the past, but why today? Against Houston of all teams?

Yes, I said the same thing, agree completely. Also agree you can't take anything away from the Titans, they played an excellent game.
I said they would beat Houston. even when they were down 24 points I thought KC would come back to win. Houston is just not that good and Bill O'Brien is a terrible coach. I'm surprised he still has a job.
 
I said they would beat Houston. even when they were down 24 points I thought KC would come back to win. Houston is just not that good and Bill O'Brien is a terrible coach. I'm surprised he still has a job.
I agree with you there. He's had teams stacked with talent, and has blown games, seasons. As I said before, if I were the owner of Houston I'd fire him and hire the guy who just beat him, Eric Biemeny.

A post of mine from last week:
My gut tells me (the Browns) are going to go after Kevin Stefanski...

What I find fascinating is that the Browns have kept Paul Podestra and David Jenkins in the front office through all the turmoil the last few years... If Stefanski is the guy, then it's very likely Andrew Berry will be the GM. He was the Browns VP who Podestra liked, and Dorsey pushed out. Berry ended up in Minnesota this year. So this all makes sense. ... The smartest thing the Haslem's can do is to let them work, and stay the hell away from virtually any management decisions for at least three seasons.
So far I'm on point, with Stefanski. Let's see if Andrew Berry ends up GM. One negative I heard is that Podestra was somewhat heavy handed in the interview, at one point mentioning that it was important that the coach meet with Jimmy Haslem every Monday "for hours". That's almost the exactly wrong message, but I wasn't there, and wonder what Stefanski agreed to, what his expectations were, because a Jerry Jones-Jason Garrett type situation will result in another 6-10 season, or worse if Mayfield regresses.
 
I think the home team wins both Championship games very easily. Things worked out very well for both.

Especially KC. Needed Tannehil to march down field to get the bye week.
Titans took out the team they would have had to travel to.

And then, Lets be honest. Against any other divisional playoff team this year, or any of the last 5 years probably, they would have lost a game they went into it.

After the way they came back, I don't see KC choking at home
 
I think the home team wins both Championship games very easily. Things worked out very well for both.

Especially KC. Needed Tannehil to march down field to get the bye week.
Titans took out the team they would have had to travel to.

And then, Lets be honest. Against any other divisional playoff team this year, or any of the last 5 years probably, they would have lost a game they went into it.

After the way they came back, I don't see KC choking at home
The 49ers should win. I think it will take a classic game from Rodgers to keep GB in it.

As for the other game, the Titans had a win against a very scratchy Patriots offense and a mistake ridden Ravens team who looked rusty and unprepared. I think Tannehill and Henry will be able to make plays and put on points. The Titans will be much more disciplined than the Texans and better coached. If the Titans can keep Mahomes off the field and run the clock and not turn the ball over, I give them a chance and if Henry can make his usual amount of yards it could get interesting especially if the Chiefs start the game in similar fashion to last week. All of the pressure is on Andy Reid. The Chiefs have more firepower but they can't afford too many mistakes and wasted opportunities. Reid will know that with this QB and offense he has a real opportunity to win a SB while the Titans will be buoyant and gathering confidence knowing what they have already done.
 
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Also interesting seeing the success of the young guys with Shanahan, McVay and LaFleur all working together at different points in their careers. The Rams drop off might be explained by Gurley's indifferent form earlier in the season and Goff's and maybe also teams being more familiar with McVay's offense as well. Compared to the previous season they looked off their game but also on defense as well and now their DC has been let go. They have also kind of painted themselves into a corner with losing a lot of their draft picks for the next two seasons re player trades. If they get a run of injuries like the Eagles and other teams had this season, they could be in trouble. I really expected the Rams and Niners to make the playoffs but it soon became apparent that the Hawks and Niners were the consistent teams that would head to the post season. When the Buccs put 55 on the Rams the alarm bells were ringing !
I think their D's alarm bells were sounding long before that. They seemed to falter during the latter part of last season, which also coincided with the Gurley issue(s).
McVay didn't really have a proper 'plan B' that has worked ever since, which is likely not helped by the revolving doors of the OL for the majority of this season. Almost a bit of a perfect storm in terms of the timing of several issues, coupled with the resurgence of the niners and hawks.
Will be interesting to see how things pan out next season
 
Henry has to be the Chiefs defensive game plan, and if he puts up big yards you have to watch out for Tannehill killing you with playaction. If the scores are close late, Titans will win. The Titans like the Patriots last year are set up personnel wise best to beat the Chiefs. Their ability to score fast is absolutely amazing but it's also their major flaw offensively. They aren't good at killing clock when they need to and if game is close that means their defense will have been on the field for a long time. Which finally brings it back tp Reid, who has constantly shown an ineptitude at managing his time. Either be a 2 score Chiefs win or another hard fought loss.

In the NFC, 49ers should win on the defense with Packers putting up more of a performance. I don't know if it is actually true, but I read that the Packers allegedly went out and partied before the niners game. Either way it should come down to Grappolo trying to get "3 rings".
 
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Good for Luke. The Panthers are heading into rebuilding, and he's at the age where his body is going to start to give out. In fact, is has in the last couple years.

As to this weekend, one fact is that both games are re-matches from this season. I think people are forgetting that Tennessee actually beat KC 35-32 in week 10. The Chiefs did put up more yards, and had the ball longer, but the Titans had some key stops, and drives where they got the ball in the end zone when they most needed to. Yes, this was Mahomes first game back after injury, but he played pretty well.

Everyone is talking about how the 49ers blew out the Packers and completely stifled Rodgers. Talk also about how Green Bay is going to prepare completely differently. Most people (including me) expect SF to still win, but funny things happen when one team flattens another, and remembers it too much a few weeks later. In 2003 the Colts were hot and hosted Denver in week 16 fighting for the top seed. The Broncos blew them out 31-17. It was a total beat down. When the playoff seeds were announced Peyton Manning found out they were going to have to play Denver in the WC and seemed taken back by it. By all accounts Denver should have won the game. What happened? One team came prepared, the other team came overconfident. The Colts beat them 41-10. It was actually 41-3 after the 3rd quarter. I'm not implying Green Bay is going to beat the 49ers, but I wouldn't expect a repeat of the first game.
 
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Not that I'm some sort of wizard (I just read a lot), but it looks like my prediction is correct about Andrew Berry as GM of the Browns. This is the "best possible" scenario for Cleveland, so far. DePodestra's and his sabermertics gets the two guys he wanted, and who will likely fit into his ideas. It appears also that Cleveland will hire Wade Phillips as their DC. One huge thing he should bring is a quiet discipline, which is what the team badly needs espcially on defense. Phillips is older than both Stefanski and Berry combined!

One rumor is that they are looking for John DeFilippo to come on as OC. This is interesting as he was Stefanski's mentor of sorts when he got to Minnesota. He too has Browns experience as he was their OC in 2015. That team threw for 3,782 yards. Not a huge amount you say. Well, their QBs were Josh McCown, Johnny Manziel, and Austin Davis and they finished 3-13 in what was a disaster of a year. DeFilippo was with Jacksonville last year. He has been a coach for nearly 20 seasons, going back to his early 20s, and a QB coach for much of that, but also an OC. It goes without saying that Mayfield needs more than an offensive/QB minded coach (Stefanski) and just a good OC, he needs one who can set his career straight before he does indeed bust. But one guy isn't an entire team, and it remains to be seen if Stefanski thinks Mayfield really is his guy for the long run.

https://www.si.com/nfl/browns/news/reports-cleveland-browns-to-hire-wade-phillips-andrew-berry
 
Brady, a name associated with QB greatness, is moving on. No, not Tom Brady. Joe Brady, credited for LSU's Joe Burrow's having what may have been the greatest season by a college QB ever,, is going to be the OC at Carolina.

Flores has 4 SB rings, one as a player, one an assistant, and two as an HC. He had a knack of taking players thought to be finished, or teams thought to have marginal talent, and turning them into winners. In both SB wins as a coach his teams were big underdogs, who won and won big. Flores was also the first Hispanic QB in the NFL, and first Hispanic coach.
If Flores belongs in the HOF, how about a certain Hispanic QB (one of those players who was definitely thought to be finished) who was a big reason for Flores's winning those two SB as a coach?

In 2003 the Colts were hot and hosted Denver in week 16 fighting for the top seed. The Broncos blew them out 31-17. It was a total beat down. When the playoff seeds were announced Peyton Manning found out they were going to have to play Denver in the WC and seemed taken back by it. By all accounts Denver should have won the game. What happened? One team came prepared, the other team came overconfident. The Colts beat them 41-10. It was actually 41-3 after the 3rd quarter. I'm not implying Green Bay is going to beat the 49ers, but I wouldn't expect a repeat of the first game.
Remember in 2010, the Patriots annihilated the Jets, 46-3, near the end of the season. No one picked the Jets to win when the two teams met in the playoffs, but they pulled it off.

There have been 23 times in the Super Bowl era, excluding one replacement player game in 1987, that a team lost a regular-season game by at least 28 points to a team it met again in the playoffs. In nine of those cases, the team that got blown out earlier in the season came back to win in the playoffs, and in six other games the team lost by a touchdown or less.

Phillips is older than both Stefanski and Berry combined!
Good grief, what does that make me? I can remember watching Philips's father coaching. One of the more colourful characters in NFL history.

FiveThirtyEight is at it again. They seem to think the AFC teams are stronger than the NFC teams. The 49ers are given a 64% probability to beat the Packers, but only a 26% chance to win the SB. That means if they get to the SB, they will be big underdogs, with only a 41% chance of winning. KC’s win probability over TE is about the same as the 49ers over GB, 69%, but they are given a 61% chance of winning the SB if they get there. Even more puzzling to me, TE is given a 55% chance of winning the SB if they get there. GB's chances are 39%.

So the 49ers are given no more chance of winning the SB, if they get there, than the Packers? Huh? And it seems that the Titans would be favoured over the 49ers? Seriously? They're actually fairly similar teams, strong running game, don't ask a lot of the QB. But SF has a much better defence.

Surely the most likely--and IMO, the most entertaining--SB would be SF vs. KC. The best QB vs. the best pass defense. With SF in the SB, we probably won't see 40+ points by both teams, but with KC there, the score won't be like 17-13, either. The 49ers defence sagged a lot late in the season when a lot of players were out with injuries, but most of them are back now. When that defense was healthy in the first half of the season, they were holding teams to an average of about 130 yards passing per game. GB had less than 70 yards. Very interesting SB to see that defense try to contain Mahomes.

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2019-nfl-predictions/

Rankings of the four teams this past season:

Offense Pts (Yards)
SF 2 (5)
KC 5 (7)
TE 10 (8)
GB 15 (19)

Defense Pts (Yards)
KC 7 (17)
SF 8 (2)
GB 9 (18)
TE 12 (21)

SF is clearly the best of the four teams by these and other measures, but KC seems to be the trendy pick, based on its past five games, when their defense was much improved.
 
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As a Panthers fan, it was a bit of a shock to learn that Luke Kuechly is retiring, but I’m glad he gets to retire on his own terms and relatively healthy. He’s taken a lot of hits over the years and already suffered from several bad concussion injuries. He’s been immense and you only have to look at the reaction from other players to his retirement to see the respect he has earned.

A lot of rebuilding to do in Carolina, but I’m pleased with the appointments of Rhule and Brady so far, while the money saved from Kuechly should give them a bit more clout in free agency.
 
As to this weekend, one fact is that both games are re-matches from this season. I think people are forgetting that Tennessee actually beat KC 35-32 in week 10. The Chiefs did put up more yards, and had the ball longer, but the Titans had some key stops, and drives where they got the ball in the end zone when they most needed to. Yes, this was Mahomes first game back after injury, but he played pretty well.
Well yes, but the game was in Tenessee, was Mahomes first game back iirc and I remember that there was some controversy at the end with an offside not being called on the final kick.

Chiefs also aided titans by botching a snap.I think everything went right for the titans and they still won narrowly.
 
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I think everything went right for the titans and they still won narrowly.
You're right, I'm just saying people forgot about the game.
If Flores belongs in the HOF, how about a certain Hispanic QB (one of those players who was definitely thought to be finished) who was a big reason for Flores's winning those two SB as a coach?
Plunkett is one of a few Raiders who could be in the hall, but aren't. There's been a long line of Raiders who have either waited too long to get in (Casper, Guy, Wolf. Stabler had to die first), or still aren't there. The two who aren't, but really should be IMO are Flores, and Cliff Branch. Good arguments can be made for and against several other Raiders. Lester Hayes, Greg Townsend, Dave Dalby, Raymond Chester, Christensen, Lamonica, Wisniewski, Powell, and yes, Plunkett. You could even add Rich Gannon and Jack Tatum (who will never get in, because of one hit), and compare them to guys who are in.

One can easily understand why. For many years the Raiders had the reputation of being cheaters and rule breakers. They even played this up. Stickum was maybe the best example (though it was legal when they used it most). But also the way Al Davis thumbed his nose at the league, and many others, filing lawsuits to move the team to LA, then back. Here's a good article on the subject.


One can compile a list of players from all teams who should be in the HOF, or the hall took too long to put them in, and it seems about a third or so of those players have been Raiders. I'm biased, I admit that, but even a naysayer has to admit there's truth to this.

Good grief, what does that make me? I can remember watching Philips's father coaching. One of the more colourful characters in NFL history.
It makes you decrepit. :oops:

If it makes you feel any better, I remember Bum as well. :cool:

I agree with you that the most entertaining SB should be SF and KC. I could even see the Chiefs favored in such a game. But at the same time I can see SF marching down the field by both running and throwing, and matching KC in points, similar to their win over NO.

Why anyone would favor Tennessee over SF is beyond me. I have to admit though a GB-Tennessee game would be intriguing.
 
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That is an interesting stat indeed. I personally like to see it, and wish they'd remove the wind flags from the posts making kicking even harder. Games decided by FG's are less interesting to me.

The other interesting stat was average punt. I'm old enough to remember when Ray Guy was flirting with a 45 yard punt average, and talk was he could have gotten there if he didn't have so many "coffin corner" punts. Now, the entire league is averaging higher than 45 yards for almost ten seasons in a row!
 
That is an interesting stat indeed. I personally like to see it, and wish they'd remove the wind flags from the posts making kicking even harder. Games decided by FG's are less interesting to me.

The other interesting stat was average punt. I'm old enough to remember when Ray Guy was flirting with a 45 yard punt average, and talk was he could have gotten there if he didn't have so many "coffin corner" punts. Now, the entire league is averaging higher than 45 yards for almost ten seasons in a row!
The Texans picked the wrong time for a fake punt last week !
 

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