FMQB: Super Bowl Set
As what seems to be the norm in this year’s playoffs, we had one super exciting game followed by a game where it was over in the first half hour. Somehow with a wild playoff year, we still have both #1 seeds going at it again. The Super Bowl is set, and we’re ready for the big game in 9 days!!!
Will be weird to have a “bye” week in football, but per usual I’ll do a short post on the Championship round this week, and a post on the Super Bowl next week.
Patriots vs. Jaguars:
From the little I saw the Jaguars this year, and if you don’t count the Bills game, they were an interesting team when it came to leads. Even though their offense can be suspect, their defense was able to hold while they put up a considerable lead. Then come the 2nd half or 4th quarter, it would slowly be whittled away. For the Steelers game, had the game been 4 minutes longer the Steelers would have won that game easily. The same thing happened on Sunday, getting up 20-10 in the 4th quarter and holding Brady to 0 TD passes in the first 51 minutes of gametime. Gronk’s injury was huge, yet the Patriots only scored when he was off the field.
Don’t worry, I’m getting there, I’m getting there.
Let’s take it one game at a time, since in reality the weekend was just a big crescendo to one of the best plays you’ll ever see in playoff history. I would first like to point out, that I didn’t see any of this coming, and went 1 for 3 on my picks. To be fair, there were 4 QB’s who have made it to and/or won Super Bowls against QB’s with extremely little playoff experience, and somehow the New QB’s went 3-1 in this weekend’s matchups.
Falcons at Eagles:
Little bit of a weird game, didn’t really seem like either team could get much going. The Eagles defense looks legit though. I was also surprised at with how much Foles seemed to be struggling early, he ended up going a respectable 23-30. The Falcons had a shot, drove down 74 yards and had 4 plays from 1st and Goal. But it was painfully obvious who Ryan wanted to go to, throwing 3 of the 4 passes to Julio. It came down to the final play from the 2 yard line, but they couldn’t punch it in. Good ending to a defensive game.
FMQB: Ghosts of Playoffs Past
We had our excitement, we had our duds, we had our duds that turned into excitement. That pretty much sums up this past weekend. BRIEF analysis below.
Titans at Chiefs:
The first half made this game look like a dud. Alex Smith had a dominant first half, going 19-23, 231 yards, 2 TD’s and 1 secret admirer with John Gruden. They took a 21-3 halftime lead and yours truly almost went to do something productive for the weekend. Unbelievably, the Titans didn’t give up and held Smith to only 33 yards in the 2nd half while racking up their own points. They botched two 2 pt conversions but took a 22-21 lead. The play where Henry fumbled the ball and the Chiefs ran it back would have been one we saw on replay for years to come had it actually been a fumble. But they shocked the Chiefs with a wicked comebackon the road to advance.
Falcons at Rams:
I’ve told many people that I distinctly remember being depressed in 2005 when the Rams lost to the Vick led Falcons, but this time I feel really good about where our team is and where we are going. The Rams should have done two things and they could have won that game. First, Gurley averaged 7.2 yards per carry, yet only got the ball 14 times. Still enough for 100 yards, but what the heck? He found a major weakness in the defense and they didn’t exploit it at all! Second, for the love of God stop Julio Jones! Only 3 WR’s caught passes in the game; Jones, Sanu, and a guy nobody’s heard of had 1 catch.
FMQB: Drop Your Buffs
Sorry for the Survivor reference, but now that all the riff-raff are out, it’s time to get down to business.
I missed a week, despite some time off. Here’s a snapshot of what Week 16-17 was going to look like.
- The Eagles suddenly aren’t looking invincible anymore
- Hope you didn’t bet on the Eagles game, their spread was 9.5. Scored a flukey TD at the end of the game to go up 9, and then kneeled during the extra point to be sportsmen. That’s a bad beat!
- 2 TD’s got called back against the Bills using the stupid catch rule. Go figure it was the Patriots who benefited
- Interesting situation in the NFC, where you almost want the 4th seed so if you win the first game you play the Wentz-less Eagles. Both the Panthers and Saints will be fighting for the NFC South, so one of them wants to win to get a home game. So if you’re the Rams, I think resting your starters and letting Garrapolo go 5-0 as a 49er makes perfect sense.
Back to Week 17, and the culmination of 20 team’s seasons.
FMQB: Ramblin Along
I’m not going to make any more player predictions the rest of this year. In back to back weeks, I’ve made bold predictions about Adrian Peterson (who was put on IR the next week) and Antonio Brown (who will miss the next 2 games).
There are obviously two games to talk about as the back to back endings were two of the best this year. Both included rules that fans absolutely hate and the NFL should look at this offseason. Both included teams that went for it all when they were guaranteed a FG to take it into overtime.
The Race for 1st:
The Steelers were up and not dominating but steadily beating the Patriots in every aspect of the game. The Patriots score to seemingly tie it at 17, but the extra point is no good! Pittsburgh scores to go up 8, and it stays 24-16 deep into the 4th. The Patriots are forced to kick a FG with 3:56 left in the game to bring it to within 5. Steelers go 3 and out, and then New England marches 77 yards in 1:10 in an amazing drive which basically only featured Gronkowski. They make a 2pt conversion to go up 3. Taking a step back, I along with Steeler nation was utterly surprised that all of a sudden the Patriots were ahead. Watching the 2nd half, it truly felt like Pittsburgh was in control and going to win until the final 4 minutes, so we were all pretty much shocked. They scored 11 points in exactly 3 minutes. Continue Reading
FMQB: Short, Sweet and Late
Ugh, this years injuries are insane. Carson Wentz going down became the 16th team (half the league!) who have had season ending injuries or benchings. They were Super Bowl favorites until this week. He tore his ACL and stayed in the game for 4 plays, including throwing a TD. I vaguely remember Phillip Rivers doing the same thing several years back, but this is unheard of. That’s North Dakota tough.
- Apparently diving at a player’s knees during the victory formation and then trying to climb into the stands to fight a fan doesn’t warrant a suspension anymore….
- My second point about this, is that we’re hearing how egregious the fans’ actions were to throw drinks onto the field, yet nobody is talking about both Bennett and Jefferson literally trying to end a lineman’s season and inflict both physical and financial
- The NFL will never get any credibility regarding the safety of its players if they don’t start enforcing concussion protocol rules. Tom Savage’s incident was, well, savage. But they need to be able to take out Russell Wilson caliber players if they suspect concussions.
- The Pittsburgh Ravens game was one of the better ones of the year. 39-38 against bitter rivals.
- How did the Patriots lose on Monday night? Looks like that Gronk suspension actually meant something.
- Packers almost lost to the Browns, needed a 14 point comeback just to take it into OT! But Aaron Rodgers is back baby!!!
FMQB: Office Space
Thanks to all who stuck with me after last week’s political tangent. I hate to say it, but it was my highest read article this year, which wasn’t my goal. So we’re back to purely football this week. We’re ¾ of the way through the season, final quadrant left before playoffs! Which means…