Oh, it’s a random Monday edition of FMQB! Had to get my thoughts on the crazy week that was…
In what was one of the most newsworthy weeks in NFL history, we have to also remember there were 2 games that set up Super Bowl LVI. So we’ll start there. Both games included double digit comebacks!
Bengals vs. Chiefs
A typical “Tale of Two Halves” game, the Chiefs were really piling it on the Bengals in the 1st, but proof that no lead is safe. A few pivotal points to the game. 1st, with the Chiefs up 21-10 in the 1st, they drove down the field and had 2 plays from the 1 yard line and a decision. I think you take 1 shot and then kick a FG to go up by 14. The Chiefs got greedy though, and failed to score, meaning even a FG drive by CIN would make it a 1 score game. This was a huge momentum killer in my opinion, sure if you go up by 18 that’s big, but Cincy gets the ball after the half, if I were there coaches you tell your defense that if they score on the 1st drive, the D gets just 1 stop, then all of a sudden it’s a 1 possession game and a deficit at halftime doesn’t look that bad. Sure enough, the Bengals had the game tied by the end of the 3rd quarter.
3 other plays were make or break. First, Mahomes’ pass 2 yards into the hands of the Bengals D lineman was awful and set them up for a short field for a TD.
The Final drive of the 4th had chess match written all over it. KC needed a FG to tie, but would get to the 15 yard line with 2 minutes left. Do you score too soon? Do the Bengals let them score? Then when Mahomes fumbled, there was a gasp that the Bengals could have walked off there!
Finally, as if the football Gods were all playing with us, in OT the Chiefs won the coin toss AGAIN! But, in a reversal, as the clock hit 13 seconds into OT, the Bengals had just picked off Mahomes and would seal the deal with a GW FG.
Rams vs. 49ers.
After an uneventful 1st quarter, the rams seemed to be outplaying the 49ers quite a bit and dominating the time of possession, and the Rams having 40 plays vs the 49ers 19. Went into halftime with the Rams down 10-7. After a few long drives, the Rams found themselves down by 10 going into the 4th quarter. The 49ers went Punt, Punt, Interception in the 4th while the Rams went TD, FG, FG, Kneeldowns. The 2 main plays I’ll talk about: 1st, Stafford has had a major issue of tossing up 40+ yard bombs and getting picked off this year. He threw one right to the bread basket of the 49ers, who dropped it, which likely would have changed the outcome of the game. Finally, the 3rd and 13 that Garropolo faced and hucked one underhand for an INT iced the game. The Rams came back from being down 10 in the 4th quarter to play a Super Bowl at home!
Stats of the Week
- Bengals tied biggest championship round deficit with 18
- Bengals kicker Evan McPherson has the most FGs by a rookie in playoff history with 11, the old record was 9
- The Rams set the record for the largest deficit overcome in the 4th quarter of a Championship game by 10 points, old record was 9 by the 2004 Seahawks
- No team has won back to back OT games in playoffs
- Odell Beckham recorded his 1st 100 yard game in his last 33 games
- Cooper Kupp has the most 100 yard receiving games in a season with 13
- We’ve gotten through 20 games which is the most any NFL player has ever played before. And Cooper Kupp now officially smashed a record of most receiving yards by any WR. He has 2333, beating Larry Fitzgerald by 356 yards in the same amount of games.
- Mahomes scored 21 points on his first 3 drives, and 3 points on his next 8.
For the Record
- Mahomes is now 37-1 when up by 15 points
- Matthew Stafford is 86-94-1 in his career. Crazy to see what getting a QB into the right situation can accomplish
- The Bengals are 373-459-5, and 8-14 in the playoffs which puts their win percentage 26th in the league. Sort of amusing that their chant is “Who Dey think gonna beat them Bengals,” my response would be “Everybody!”
- The Buccaneers have the worst win percentage of any franchise, yet has 2 Super Bowl wins. The Vikings have the 7th best and have never won.
- Coming into this season, Zac Taylor was 6-25-1 and is now a Super Bowl Coach
365 days from when Matthew Stafford was traded to the Rams, he punched their ticket to the Super Bowl
Josh McDaniels hiring:
This would have been bigger news without the other 3 massive stories. But a few things of note. I find McDaniels team choice a bit odd compared to his other choices. He famously accepted then turned down the Colts offer 2 years ago, and rumor was he was going to replace Bill Belichick who is now 2 years older. So why the Raiders? You’re going into a division that has Justin Herbert, a team that has been to 4 straight AFC title games, and the other team is making a run at Aaron Rodgers? The Colts have way more upside and youth in their roster, and in a cakewalk division. The Pats also have the Bills but a super easy division. But overall surprised at his choice.
I have to have a section here about Brady. My thoughts on him have changed a few times throughout the years. Definitely had a vengeful vitriol for him for his first 10 or so years, he beat my Rams to kick off his dynasty and just got sick of seeing him winning Super Bowls. At a certain point, his personality came around to me and while I never rooted for him, I respected his game. I think towards the past 3-4 years (minus the 2nd Rams Super Bowl victory), there was a part of me that was excited that I got to be a part of the generation to watch the GOAT’s entire career. I still vividly remember the Tuck Rule game as a Sophomore in High School, and now I wake up with back pain if I sleep wrong.
The news/leak of his retirement was a bit of a shitshow though. Adam Schefter announced it on Saturday and the sports world went into a tizzy with highlight videos and thank yous. Within a couple hours, the Bucs said Brady had not contacted them at all, Brady’s dad and agent came out saying it was premature, and rumors were Brady was so upset with the leak that he was considering coming back for another year. The news sat for 3 days until he officially announced it. And then his announcement had a pic of him in a Bucs uniform and thanking about 6 different Buccaneer staff, GLARINGLY omitting any mention of the Patriots and his 20 years and 6 Super Bowls won there. Then rumors were Robert Kraft “had a temper tantrum” seeing nothing about the Patriots. Kraft did release a statement thanking Brady a day later, and Belichick released a statement the following day, both commented on positively from Brady, but still wasn’t much.
- Brady retired with more Super Bowl rings (7) than any other franchise’s entire history in the NFL (multiple with 6)
- Tom Brady threw more TDs in his 40s (168) than Troy Aikman did in his entire hall of fame career (165)
- 4 of Brady’s 7 rings came after the age of 36
- His career high in passing yards came his final year at age 44, was also his 2nd most TD passes
- Tom Brady is #1 in NFL history in these categories: Super Bowl Wins, Super Bowl Appearances, Super Bowl MVPs, Pro Bowls, Games started, Playoff Games started, Regular season wins, Playoff wins, Completions, Passing Yards, Passing TD’s (204 more than Marino), Playoff passing yards, Playoff Passing TD’s, Game Winning Drives, and 4th quarter comebacks.
- Including playoffs, Brady did not have a losing record to any NFL team
- BUT, for the record, Brady has never beaten the Washington Commanders…
Brian Flores lawsuit:
We later had a complete bombshell lawsuit from Brian Flores, the ex-Dolphins coach that accused the Broncos and Giants of “sham” interviews to abide by the Rooney rule, and being paid to lose games. A few things, first, the Rooney rule was well intentioned but has never really successful in accomplishing the diversity the NFL was desiring. It’s no different than any company “posting” a job but already having their candidate in mind. There ends up being sham interviews or candidates don’t get taken very seriously, but obviously in this case, race is front and center in every one of those interviews. So the fact that “sham” interviews happen across the NFL really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. The question is how to fix it. In a league with nearly 80% of players being black, currently 3% of coaches are. Many of these players study football for 20+ years in their playing career, and work on sidelines after they retire, so they should theoretically be qualified.
Not ignoring the sham interview piece, but I think the biggest revelation from Flores was that Dolphins owner offered to pay him $100,000 for every loss so they could tank and get get the top pick (eventually ended up being Joe Burrow). There is an unnamed witness corroborating this story. Additionally Hue Jackson the old Browns coach said the same thing happened to him! I know that it’s no fun watching a 3-10 team, but this story brings up a HUGE concern about the competitive teams that are being put onto the field each week. There are jokes about “Tanking for Tua” or “Suck for Luck,” but if teams are actually being incentivized to throw games, there is zero distinction between that and the Blacksox Scandal in 1919. If those allegations turn out to be true, I would expect “Death Penalty” style sanctions, including Stephen Ross being forced to sell the team.
Faithful FMQB readers will know that I was rooting hard for the Redtails, but Washington came out with the Commanders this week. Meh, although I think most name changes take quite awhile to have people come around to. With a big reveal and a month waiting for February 2nd, the Commanders had to have been the worst kept secret in football. Joe Theisman leaked the name on a radio interview, a news helicopter zoomed in to FedEx Field and you could clearly see “Commanders” painted in the concourse, and internet sleuths realized that WashingtonCommanders’ website was registered to the domain that hosts every other NFL team. So a bit anticlimactic. And of course there were plenty of jokes, such as realizing that the team is in Washington DC, wearing red, and shortening the name goes to “Commies.” Or that they really went from a name disparaging Native Americans and changed it to the people who killed them in battle. BUT, I will say their desire for it to be military themed is pretty cool, I think there’s a lot they can do with that. Nonetheless, I think a lot of people got used to and even liked Washington Football Team.
Memes of the Week: