FMQB: Tale of 2 games
For the 2nd week in a row, the Sunday afternoon game was the most exciting game of the week, only to get trumped by the Sunday night game. The Raiders took a 17 point lead on the Panthers, who stormed back with 25 unanswered points of their own and an 8 point lead. The Raiders tied it up and hit a late FG to win it; definitely some good back and forth. The David Carr finger injury had everybody including me holding their breath.
We very nearly had the 3rd tie of the season between division rivals. The Chiefs had a 9 point swing, with a rare Safety and then return of the Free Kick. After a bit of a sleeper of a 1st half, they combined for 36 points in the 2nd, with 3 lead changes and 2 TD’s in the final 3 minutes. An amazing final drive for the Chiefs, they had to convert a 4th and 10, and then caught a ball at the 1 yd line with the clock ticking down to 1 second before the refs reviewed it and determined it was a TD. Scary 50-50 play to tie the game, but the Chiefs got the 2pt conversion. The OT consisted of FG, FG, Missed FG, and FG to use the full 15 minutes. The final FG, ironically the same distance as an extra point, was clanked in HARD off the upright and somehow went through. Broncos players were cheering and Chiefs had heads bowed before the refs threw his hands up. Chris Collinsworth said it best “that’s the only way a game like this could end.”
Coaching is a tough profession, because everybody second guesses your decisions after the fact. It’s 10-fold if it doesn’t pan out (and they’re not even in control of the outcome, the players are). Yet they rarely get credit when it is successful. A lot was said about the Broncos field goal decision at the end of OT, but I’m going to come out and say he made the correct call. He had to take a timeout to think about it, but there are a myriad of situations going on here. The Broncos had 3 options:
- Punt: which nearly guarantees a tie with the time remaining, and a Tie hurts Denver just as much as a loss (Oak and KC have better tiebreakers).
- Go for it: It’s 4th and 10, you’d have to think there’s a lower percentage of converting that than the FG. Even if you don’t convert it, the Chiefs get the ball pretty much where they did after the missed kick. Even if you make it? You’re still looking at a 52 yd Field Goal which is far from a gimme.
- Kick the Field Goal. Apparently McManus hits 70 yarders in practice, so he has the leg. You also have one of the best defenses in the league, and are setting KC up for needing 15 yards for a decent shot.
I think after reviewing the options, it was the right call. The only chance they had to win the game then and there. Crazy thing is, Kubiak had to figure this out on the fly. I’m sure no coach goes into games thinking of the implications of a tie. And at the end of the day, the kick was long enough but hooked.
Stat of the Week:
The Lions have trailed in the 4th quarter of all 11 of their games, and are still 7-4 and leading their division. All 11 games have been within 7 points or less. Never count this team out!
Stat of the Week #2:
Bengals K Mike Nugent has missed 3 extra points in a row
Stolen Stat of the Week #3:
Over the past 8 games, Marcus Mariotta has a passer rating of 117.7 and 21 TD’s vs. 3 INTs. In his first 2 seasons, he also has 32 redzone TD’s vs 0 INTs.
Stat of the Week #4:
The Giants and Dolphins have each won 6 in a row. Extra factoid, they are both led by rookie head coaches.
Stat of the Week #5:
Khalil Mack had an INT, Sack, Forced Fumble, Fumble Recovery, and a TD
Stat of the Week #6:
Tyreek Hill was the first person since Gale Sayers to have a rushing, receiving, and return TD. That’s some serious company! That’s almost as impressive as Mario Lemieux scoring 5 goals 5 different ways.
Stat of the Week #7:
Justin Tucker had 199 yards of Field Goals on Sunday!
Stolen Stat of the Week #8:
Ryan Tannehill has 9 TD’s and 1 INT in his last 6 games.
For the Record:
- The Panthers went 0-3 on 2pt plays. Had they merely kicked the extra point each time, they would have gone into OT instead of losing by 3.
- The Buccaneers are a force, and have taken down the Chiefs and Seahawks in back to back weeks.
- The Colts played very tough, could have won that game even with a backup QB
- The Vikings played the best team in the league tough. Minus a few plays, they completely shut them down.
- Cam Newton had the first roughing the passer penalty called in his favor since 2014. And it wasn’t even that bad
- If Jared Goff can play consistently like he did in the 1st half, I’m excited as a Rams fan!
- I think the Titans end up winning their division. Impressive for year 2 of rebuilding
- The Panthers have had 3 absolutely sickening losses, and 2 more games they could have easily won. Big difference between 4-7 and 9-2.
- Which Packer team will show up this week? Nobody seems to know
- Dallas can already clinch a playoff spot on Sunday, there’s still 5 weeks left in the season
- You can blame the offensive line issues, but giving up a 1st round pick for a 5-6 QB is turning into a disaster for the Vikings
I don’t normally talk about the announcers, heck I don’t normally even notice! But need to give a shoutout to NBC’s team. Al Michaels is still the voice of football in my opinion, but #2 is easily Mike Tirico. It has been nice to get him back in the action for some primetime games. It almost makes him leaving ESPN palpable knowing that he’s in line to take over Michaels. The next best team is Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. I could live without Jim Nance and Phil Simms, they bring that “golf” monotone to the commentating which finds me taking a nice afternoon nap during their games. Jon Gruden holds the Monday night crew together, because Sean (whatever his last name is) just isn’t cutting it.
In addition to the NBC team, Chris Collinsworth is hands down the best color commentator out there. Sunday night showcased this, but he’s so passionate about the game that he was as giddy as a schoolboy when it went into OT. He also seems to be one of the most intelligent broadcasters out there. More often than not, he’ll make some sort of comment that ends up ringing true later in the game. He also brings out nuances in the games incredibly quickly, that I don’t think 95% of fans would find if they studied film for a week.
The Browns are now 0-10 since Terrell Pryor suggested the team could win out
Photo Credit: NFL.com