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Saturday, January 06, 2018

Wildcard Saturday

Are we seeing the last ride of the Patriots? Discuss amongst yourselves.

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84 Comments:

Blogger Gordon Scott January 06, 2018 2:16 PM  

When other members of the band resent the presence of another's annoying guru and insist that Ono not be part of the team's rehearsals and performances, you know that the end is nigh.

Anonymous 360 January 06, 2018 2:23 PM  

Belichick to the Giants.

Anonymous JAG January 06, 2018 2:25 PM  

So Kraft is going to pull a Jerry Jones if the rumors are true. He must be jealous of Jones' unique NFL accomplishment of running off a defending back to back SB winning coach.

Anonymous JAG January 06, 2018 2:29 PM  

Also, notice how the Packers were allowed to break the rules without so much as a peep from anyone.

Redskins and Cowboys both got penalized for violating the cap in an uncapped year. penalized for not breaking a rule while the special snowflake Packers can cheat the IR rules with impunity.

Some franchises are more equal than others.

Anonymous patrick kelly January 06, 2018 2:32 PM  

I'll be cheering for a Vikings vs. Jags Super Bowl just so someone who hasn't won one will bring home the trophy.

Blogger Billy January 06, 2018 2:39 PM  

Pats vs Viking. It's amazing how white friendly the Vikings have become

Blogger RC January 06, 2018 2:46 PM  

@5 Patrick, The Chiefs have been not winning the SB for a lot longer than the Jags. The Vikes, yes, I would root for those guys. 56 years is a long time.

Anonymous Freestater January 06, 2018 2:48 PM  

Nah this is just the first 2 decades of the Pats 1,000 year reich.

Blogger BassmanCO January 06, 2018 2:56 PM  

The Chefs have won a Superbowl. Jags have never even been there. Not the same.

Anonymous Difster January 06, 2018 2:56 PM  

I think we're looking at a Vikings vs. Steelers Super Bowl this year and it's going to be a close game either way despite home field advantage for Minnesota.

Blogger Gordon Scott January 06, 2018 3:05 PM  

I watched a "worst play" compilation of every Super Bowl. One commenter wrote, "You'll never see the Lions execute so poorly in a championship game."

Blogger Retrenched January 06, 2018 3:10 PM  

The Bills finally made the playoffs for the 1st time since 1999. The longest postseason drought now belongs to the Brownies (15 years and counting).

Blogger Jakob Niedzwiecki January 06, 2018 3:31 PM  

Vikings vs. Bills. 0-4 no more!

Blogger tublecane January 06, 2018 4:19 PM  

@7-Incidentally, the Chiefs beat the Vikings in Superbowl IV. Would be nice for the Vikings to get revenge.

Sweeter still would be revenge against the Saints, of course.

Blogger tublecane January 06, 2018 4:23 PM  

I'm unfamiliar with Patriots rumors. Did Kraft finally order Belichick to stop dressing like a homeless man?

Blogger Johnny January 06, 2018 4:35 PM  

JAG wrote:Also, notice how the Packers were allowed to break the rules without so much as a peep from anyone.

Not so much the Packers as the big shot quarterback Rogers. Too much collateral damage if the mess with him. Plus the owners don't really take the game as seriously as the fans.

Anonymous The Original Arrogant Steelers Fan January 06, 2018 4:38 PM  

The Patriots-Belicheat-Brady thing is just a psyop.

Now that their defense is truly pedestrian they have to really dig down in the bag of dirty tricks... you know, the psychological stuff.

Anonymous Rambam January 06, 2018 4:42 PM  

Saints over Patriots in overtime. Brees defeats both Manning and Brady for his titles.

Blogger YIH January 06, 2018 5:07 PM  

Mike Mularkey (Titans coach) needs to win this. He's likely gone if they don't. The good news for him is the Chefs are the weakest division winner, they've been just mediocre enough to win. Oh, and they're quietly shopping around Alex Smith.

Blogger YIH January 06, 2018 5:13 PM  

Retrenched wrote:The Bills finally made the playoffs for the 1st time since 1999. The longest postseason drought now belongs to the Brownies (15 years and counting).
Ironically, the last time the Bills made the playoffs it was against the Jags. Guess what happened...

Blogger Lazarus January 06, 2018 5:23 PM  

Titans forgot to show up for the game.

Blogger sappbe January 06, 2018 5:26 PM  

If word of his personal rule is true, that once the owner starts overriding the football people it's time to get out of Dodge, then he will leave at the end of the season. At which point he will come to the Browns, have the greatest draft of all time, and win multiple Superbowls before retiring at 105. If you're going to dream, dream big.

Blogger YIH January 06, 2018 5:38 PM  

Lazarus wrote:Titans forgot to show up for the game.
And just when it looked like they'd finally woken up, they get picked.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) January 06, 2018 5:41 PM  

Freaking titans...

Blogger VD January 06, 2018 5:42 PM  

I do not understand why the Chiefs want to get rid of Alex Smith. It was stupid for the 49ers to do it. It will be stupid for the Chiefs to do it.

Do they not understand it is a QB-driven league? 5 INTs all season with 4k yards? That's not just good, that's excellent.

Blogger YIH January 06, 2018 5:55 PM  

VD wrote:I do not understand why the Chiefs want to get rid of Alex Smith. It was stupid for the 49ers to do it. It will be stupid for the Chiefs to do it.

Do they not understand it is a QB-driven league? 5 INTs all season with 4k yards? That's not just good, that's excellent.

It seems they're not eager to get rid of him, more like they're hoping for someone to offer a nice deal. With the QBs in the draft and several teams set on their starters, I don't think anyone is going to make a stupid offer for him.
But of course, I could be wrong...

Blogger Jakob Niedzwiecki January 06, 2018 6:11 PM  

Against the Titans, not Jags. "Music City Miracle."

Blogger Dave January 06, 2018 6:31 PM  

More excellence: Alex Smith 1st half 19 of 23 for 231 yards, 2 TDs and no turnovers.

The question now is whether Andy Reid will win his 2nd ever playoff game as the Chief's coach or will they find some way to cough it up?

Blogger Dave January 06, 2018 6:35 PM  

A miracle!

Blogger YIH January 06, 2018 6:46 PM  

Dave wrote:More excellence: Alex Smith 1st half 19 of 23 for 231 yards, 2 TDs and no turnovers.

The question now is whether Andy Reid will win his 2nd ever playoff game as the Chief's coach or will they find some way to cough it up?

Four words: Andy Reid's clock management.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 06, 2018 6:49 PM  

VD wrote:I do not understand why the Chiefs want to get rid of Alex Smith. It was stupid for the 49ers to do it. It will be stupid for the Chiefs to do it.

Do they not understand it is a QB-driven league? 5 INTs all season with 4k yards? That's not just good, that's excellent.


Everyone always wants to get rid of Alex Smith, but he's been consistently a top 10 QB for a decade. The issue always seems like 1) he hasn't hired the right PR agents and 2) he runs a System you give him almost as well as it can be. That's a problem because he brings out the flaws in the System, which probably pisses off the Coaches at a fundamental level. He does what he's asked and that makes the coaches look wrong.


@28 Dave

It's Andy Reid, so very good chance.

Blogger Dave January 06, 2018 6:56 PM  

Marcus Mariota trivia question that will be asked every future playoff game he plays in: who caught Mariota's first career playoff touchdown pass?

Anonymous Beauty of football January 06, 2018 7:02 PM  

The baby blue pants of the Titans contrasted with the candy red Chiefs tops is just nice and its a good game as well.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 06, 2018 7:25 PM  

@32 Dave

Yup. And it was the first in the playoffs.

During the live broadcast, you don't see it too much, but they showed an angle from behind Mariota and his receivers get no separation. I thought he was scrambling too much, but if they're not running a 4 vertical play, they've got no passing game.

Blogger YIH January 06, 2018 7:26 PM  

And the Titans pull ahead! By a point. They tried for 2, to up by 3, didn't work, Mariota sacked.

Blogger Lazarus January 06, 2018 7:27 PM  

Now we get to see if Alex Smith's good numbers mean anything.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 06, 2018 7:30 PM  

@36 Lazarus

No, we'll see if Andy Reid has learned anything about Clock Management.

Blogger Lazarus January 06, 2018 7:33 PM  

No, we'll see if Andy Reid has learned anything about Clock Management.

Can't teach an old dog new tricks. Plus, he has apparently failed Food Management, so its not looking good.

Blogger Lazarus January 06, 2018 7:39 PM  

Belichick does not have a giant color coded play chart for dummies when he is on the sideline.

Just sayin'

Anonymous Looking Glass January 06, 2018 7:40 PM  

@38 Lazarus

Those last 6 minutes of a NFL game are the highest leverage aspect of the entire season. The best coaches eke out wins there, which is why Belichik is such an all-timer.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 06, 2018 7:43 PM  

Do they not understand it is a QB-driven league? 5 INTs all season with 4k yards? That's not just good, that's excellent.

Yeah, but see, they've got this exciting bi-racial young QB waiting to take his place...

Blogger Lazarus January 06, 2018 7:47 PM  

Belichick's defensive call in the Superbowl against Seattle won the game, and he did it on instinct, apparently.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) January 06, 2018 7:48 PM  

Mariota is a stud

Anonymous Looking Glass January 06, 2018 7:52 PM  

@42 Lazarus

That no time-out call against Seattle was one of the greatest out-coaching moments in NFL history. Only a terrible coach (who'd never get to the playoffs) or Bill would have not called timeout there. Seattle actually blinked and it cost them the Super Bowl, as a result.

Blogger YIH January 06, 2018 7:52 PM  

Did I mention Andy Reid's sucky clock management?
Looks like the Titans coach survives to coach at least one more game :)

Blogger Lazarus January 06, 2018 7:52 PM  

Congratulations to Josh and Nate, their extended families, friends and acquaintances, dogs and other other anipals.

Blogger Dave January 06, 2018 7:57 PM  

Not so much clock management but Andy Reid once again doesn't make the right in-game adjustments after half-time and Dick LeBeau does. LeBeau did the same thing last season when the Titans shut out the Chiefs in the 2nd half of that game.

Anonymous Anonymous January 06, 2018 8:00 PM  

"Are we seeing the last ride of the Patriots?"

No and yes. No, none of them are leaving this offseason. Belichick is in his late 60s. He's not going anywhere.

Yes, in that they've entered the backbiting and blameshifting stage.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) January 06, 2018 8:03 PM  

Thanks Lazarus

Blogger VD January 06, 2018 8:05 PM  

Andy Reid is Denny Green without Randy Moss or clock management skills. It's like neither of them had ever heard of halftime adjustments.

Blogger van helsing January 06, 2018 8:09 PM  

I dont have cable but i get the idea revis deflected a pass right back to mariota, who then scored. some free agent pick up, that revis... kc's defense hasnt been so hot this year anyway. ten covered, so i am ok.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 06, 2018 8:15 PM  

@49 VD

Belichick started the trend of deferring the kickoff because those 2nd half adjustments on Offense allowed for a much higher rate of TDs on the first drive out of half-time. NFL games start in the 2nd half.

Heck, the entire Tebow Time event happened because of 4th Quarter adjustments.

Blogger Dave January 06, 2018 8:28 PM  

The question for the Chiefs and their fans is do they settle for making the playoffs every year and getting bounced with a coach that has won one playoff game in five years (against the 9-7 Texans that turned the ball over 5 times) or do they lure Belichick from NE?

No doubt in my mind the Chiefs should have been in at least one SB the last five years. With the talent on their roster I think Belichick would take them to a SB next year.

Blogger Dave January 06, 2018 8:31 PM  

And Belichick would be driven to be the first coach to win a SB with two different teams.

Anonymous Weak January 06, 2018 8:50 PM  

The knock on Smith is that he's a system QB who makes accurate short throws and doesn't make mistakes, but can't throw deep or improvise. Which is great. You could make that same description of Brady or Montana. But Smith doesn't elevate his game in crunch time, he seems to get worse if he HAS to make a play. Whereas Brady and Montana obviously improve in crunch time.

Today is what Alex Smith is. A good, not great QB, who can get a team to the first round of the playoffs. But not enough to win a title. There is a ceiling on his success.

Blogger YIH January 06, 2018 9:07 PM  

Just began the 2nd, and two fumbles. This is not how to win a playoff game LA.

Blogger DJ | AMDG January 06, 2018 9:11 PM  

It seems like a good argument, but every time I hear a QB described in this way I feel compelled to ask, is he a better QB than Trent Dilfer?

Anonymous Looking Glass January 06, 2018 9:15 PM  

@54 Weak

Smith is a very good QB, generally top 10 every year in the NFL since about 2008, which is more than enough to win a SB. Issue might be he works the System too well, rather than throwing things out with lots of audible calls late in the game.

Other issue is that he's not really been with the most competent of organizations, so no one really builds around him well. He apparently has WR, but that's a questionable issue.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 06, 2018 9:23 PM  

@DJ | AMDG wrote:It seems like a good argument, but every time I hear a QB described in this way I feel compelled to ask, is he a better QB than Trent Dilfer?

Fairly significantly, actually. Which is why Alex Smith is more than capable of winning a SB.

Blogger Ransom Smith January 06, 2018 9:37 PM  

LeBeau did the same thing last season when the Titans shut out the Chiefs in the 2nd half of that game.
My relatives in WVA are Steelers fans and I read a lot about him during his tenure there
Still 10th all time in picks if memory serves. The man knows his way around a defense.

Anonymous WaterBoy January 06, 2018 10:09 PM  

Dave @32: "Marcus Mariota trivia question...: who caught Mariota's first career playoff touchdown pass?"

FFL Trivia Question: Does Mariota score both a passing TD AND a receiving TD on that play?

Anonymous Looking Glass January 06, 2018 10:28 PM  

@60 WaterBoy

Per the Box Score: yes.

http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2018010600/2017/POST18/titans@chiefs#menu=gameinfo&tab=analyze&analyze=boxscore

Blogger YIH January 06, 2018 10:53 PM  

The Falcons have done a great job keeping the Rams offense bottled up... Until just now.

Blogger YIH January 06, 2018 10:56 PM  

Even after that they managed to hold 'em to a FG.

Anonymous WaterBoy January 06, 2018 10:59 PM  

Great, now if I can just convince Russell Wilson to toss the ball up in the air to himself on a scamper to the end zone, I'll be all set.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 06, 2018 11:07 PM  

@64 WaterBoy

With the exception of the Superbowl year, I've yet to figure out what Seattle's actual offense is. They have the same thing going as the Packers: your QB is good outside the pocket & on the run, but your set Passing Offense seems bad.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 06, 2018 11:09 PM  

Hopefully this doesn't come up, but ATL went up 12 with the TD. Why would you not go for 2? 12 or 13 almost doesn't matter, but 14 forces 2 TDs.

Anonymous WaterBoy January 06, 2018 11:39 PM  

Looking Glass @66: "12 or 13 almost doesn't matter, but 14 forces 2 TDs."

12 or 13 also forces 2TDs (8+3=11); even if LAR get one TD + 2 PAT, they'd still need another TD to win.

Remote as it might be, there's a slim possibility that a 2pt PAT might be intercepted or fumbled/recovered by LA for a conversion, putting them down by only 10 where a TD+FG gets them a tie or win. Best to go for the "sure" 1pt in that instance.

Don't know what Seattle's problem was, other than not having a top O-line; the only reason he wasn't sacked more was because he could run. That and the lack of a decent running game puts more pressure on the QB. Just look at Stafford -- facing the same problems, he was the second-most sacked QB this year, because he's just not as nimble.

Anonymous Houston Astros January 06, 2018 11:47 PM  

#7 56 years is a long time.


"Yeah, know what you mean."

Blogger DJ | AMDG January 06, 2018 11:55 PM  

Exactly my point.

Blogger Shamgar January 07, 2018 12:08 AM  

Didn't see the game but looks like Andy Reid did it again...

Blogger Rebel Skate January 07, 2018 2:12 AM  

@14 tublecane
Vikings get revenge against the Saints? For what? In post-season play (of which the Saints have little) the Vikings own the Saints 2-1. The two Viking victories were blowouts and the Saints barely managed to get their one win in OT.
Don't blame the Saints for Brett Farve's interceptions. The Vikings knew who he was when they hired him. Farve is the NFL's all-time interception leader. It's what Farve does.

Blogger David Power January 07, 2018 7:04 AM  

Bombing being reported at Stockholm metro station.

Anonymous Feel the need to say it. Deal with it. January 07, 2018 8:25 AM  

I think Reid has always been one of the top coaches. I thought some of the Chiefs players for whatever reason (sometimes i have noticed in the NFL and NBA some black players develop hatred and envy for succesful white players even on their own team) colluded in the second half to let the Titans win.

Anonymous Sports January 07, 2018 8:42 AM  

Part of this is probly a reaction to heavy often unfair criticizms that successful black athletes have to endure from haterish envious white people... I suppose this happens both ways. I had a funny thought. I recall watching early Michael Jordan games on classic sports programs when he was in North Carolina and it appeared to me that some white players on his team were not passing him the ball as much as they should have. (He was much much better than them) It was somewhat comical watching it in hindsight many years later.

Anonymous patrick kelly January 07, 2018 10:43 AM  

The Chiefs didn't lose because Mariota is a better quarterback then Smith.

I think Smith is as good a quarterback as Brady if you plugged him into the Patriots system with Belichick he would have the same or better results

Anonymous Baseball Savant January 07, 2018 10:56 AM  

Yeah, but see, they've got this exciting bi-racial young QB waiting to take his place...

This hits the nail squarely on the head. I don't understand the excitement for Patrick Mahomes. Some scouts last year had a back up grade on him. Small hands, stands 6'2. Trouble with ball security. Bad at reading defenses. Footwork isn't great. Locks in on his first read. Played at Texas Tech which is about as far away from a pro system as you can get under Kliff Kingsbury. Never took a single snap under center in college. Texas Tech went 7-6 & 5-7 in his two years as a starter. On a per pass basis, Texas Tech QB Nic Shimonek put up similar numbers this year replacing Mahomes. Shimonek is not going in the top-10.

One thing that always struck me as odd is how the adjective "Big" was used to describe Mahomes. At the combine he was 6'2/225lbs. That's below average for NFL starting QBs.

But he's got swagger. So there you go. I love NFL scouting and all that goes with it, but the Mahomes pick inside the top-10 doesn't make sense unless you start thinking about organizational convergence with SJWs. Then it makes all the sense in the world.

Blogger RC January 07, 2018 10:57 AM  

Smith is a fine QB. People have called him a game manager because that's the role Reid created for him. During their early season run this year they opened up the offense and he looked HOF capable.

But when the pressure is on, Reid reverts to Reid, plays small ball and cheats victory.

There were several questionable officiating calls too, but losing Kelsey was the key, allowing the Titans to concentrate on the remaining threats to good effect.

Reid should have let the kid attempt the field goal. He has the leg.

Anonymous Baseball Savant January 07, 2018 11:06 AM  

I had a funny thought. I recall watching early Michael Jordan games on classic sports programs when he was in North Carolina and it appeared to me that some white players on his team were not passing him the ball as much as they should have. (He was much much better than them) It was somewhat comical watching it in hindsight many years later.

Comical because you had no idea what the hell you were watching. Jordan led Carolina in shot attempts his freshman year. UNC had a 5-man rotation that year: Jordan, Perkins, Worthy, Black & Doherty. Only Doherty was white. Was he not passing to the other 3 black kids? Doherty was 2nd on the team in assists per game. Was Jordan too black?

In his sophomore year Jordan led UNC in attempts again and scored 20 per game. He was Sporting News player of the year. His junior year he once again led the Tar Heels in attempts and averaged 20PPG. I'm sure the white players on the team openly defied Dean Smith and specifically didn't pass the ball to Jordan so they could pass it to........other black players?

And which players? Jordan only played with Doherty all 3 years. I mean was Joe Wolf, Jim Braddock, Steve Hale or Buzz Peterson not giving Jordan the ball?

Anonymous easily baited into pointless arguments that I dont even care about January 07, 2018 12:57 PM  

re 7:08

maybe he was playing with backup white players in the action I saw. I definitely recall a short (basketball standards) thin dark haired white guard not passing him the ball that much in the action that I saw. Perhaps Jordan came off the bench as a Freshman in the beginning? And then eventually became a starter and led the team in field goal attempts.

Anonymous apparently conversation starved January 07, 2018 1:18 PM  

I mean was Joe Wolf, Jim Braddock, Steve Hale or Buzz Peterson not giving Jordan the ball?

that was probably it, He was playing with them in the action I saw and I felt they were treating him a bit like a step child not giving him the ball, and that's comical because he became Jordan,.

Blogger James Dixon January 07, 2018 3:23 PM  

> ...and that's comical because he became Jordan,.

Which doesn't rate anywhere near the stature you seem to think it does.

Blogger tublecane January 07, 2018 3:27 PM  

@71-"For what?"

You know. There's a reason it's called the Bountygate game.

"Don't blame the Saints for Brett Farve's interceptions"

I think you mean interception. People remember that play because it fits into the "Favre is a loose cannon" narrative. But that play wasn't all that meaningful. Surely it would have been nice to have another shot, but a 12-men on the field call shortly beforehand put them out of field goal range. That was infinitely more meaningful. The interception mere threw it into overtime.

The Vikings had like six fumbles that game, all of which probably meant more than the interception.

Blogger tublecane January 07, 2018 3:33 PM  

@54-"not enough to win a title"

Pfft. If Trent Dilfer or Zombie Manning are enough, why not Smith?

His 49ers went to the superbowl the year he was replaced by famed civil rights activist Colin Pumpernickel. Due to injury, not poor play. They didn't win, but they might have. There's no way Pumpernickel is a superior quarterback.

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