FMQB: Philly Special
I’m really not too sure what to say about this year’s game. It for sure was an exciting game, I think I’m a bit still in shock at the outcome. Nick Foles was tasked with outdueling the best QB of all time, and even despite a couple strong comeback attempts, he was able to do so.
Both teams opened with opening drive field goals. The Patriots scored points for the 1st time in the 1st quarter under Belichick, which should have been an ominous sign of what was to come. It only got more bizarre from there. Philly scored a TD but missed the extra point to give it a strange 9-3 score at the end of 1.
New England opened the second with a rare missed FG by Gostkowski. So rare, that yours truly used that play to run to the bathroom (in order to not miss commercials), and was surprised to see the score when it came back on. The first and only punt of the game came next, and then the Patriots turned the ball over on downs. Then came NE field goal, PHI interception, NE touchdown. Then PHI drove 70 yards in under 2 minutes and set up “The Philly Special.” Earlier in the game the Patriots tried a pass to Brady but he failed to catch it. The Eagles ran the play to perfection and TE Burton threw it to Foles in the endzone. 2 things I loved about this: First, watching Foles stand like a statue while the play developed before running took an insane amount of patience. Second, NFL films caught Foles and Coach Pederson discussing it. It was 4th and 1 (which is gutsy as all get out in the Super Bowl), and Foles asks Pederson “Philly Special?” Doug takes about 5 seconds but says “Yeah let’s do it.” Trick plays in that scenario when you’re guaranteed 3 points is just so high risk high reward that it’s hard to call. But that’s the only way to beat the Patriots, is to keep the foot on the gas. Philly up 22-12 at halftime (guarantee nobody had that in their pools).
FMQB: Welcome to the Bold North
This football on the field is from the Super Bowl LII style guide for useage of logo.
The city is abuzz, the game is 48 hours away, and much like our last election you’re basically going to be upset with whoever wins! It’s pretty sweet to have the Super Bowl in my own town, I live 4 miles from the festivities and it’s neat to actually have Minneapolis put on the map for once. More info next week, but I got to work at the Super Bowl experience!!!
Welcome to Minneapolis:
Despite me wanting nothing more than winter to be over, we’ve actually had a surprisingly mild January for Minnesota. Have had at least two 40 degree days, probably four other 30+ degree days. But the football gods laughed and laughed when they sent down single digit weather for all the tourists at the end of this week. This will look great for scheduling another Super Bowl here… For the record, Minnesota has a tendency to overuse slogans. My main pet peeve is the “State of Hockey,” but the “Bold North” slogan is really starting to inch up there for me.
Awards: Continue Reading
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.
I’m going to start off by saying, it was one game people. But wow did Sam Bradford look like the #1 overall draft pick he should have been all along! This has to have been the highest pressure situation in a Week 2 game in NFL history. New stadium, bitter rivalry game, new team, he has been studying the offense for 15 days, first start with the team. It’s so dire, you almost can’t blame him if he loses! But instead he thrived. He found a favorite target in Stefon Diggs, who now leads the league in receiving yards. He is famous for his injuries, and being skittish in the pocket. But he held strong and got crushed several times, only to sit up and see that he completed the ball. Bravo Bradford, on your best day as a pro. I think if you ask most Vikings or Packers fans after Teddy’s injury, very few TRULY thought that the Vikings would be alone in 1st place after 2 weeks. On a side note, that defense is starting to look a little scary.
Stat of the Week:
Browns are starting their 5th QB in 5 games. Only the 2nd Team since the merger to ever do this. They should make a jersey for this!
Stat of the Week #2:
Rams have yet to score a TD this season, but are in a tie for 1st in the division
Photo Credit: NFL.com
The Broncos and Panthers played to their style on Sunday, with the Broncos winning their 11th game that was decided by 7 or fewer points, and the Panthers getting out to a fast lead and blowing out a team by 10 or more for the 8th time this season. One game wasn’t over until the final play of the game, while the second felt over in the 1st quarter yet.
Manning vs. Brady XVII:
As was predicted, this wasn’t QB vs. QB, but more “will the Broncos defense give Brady fits” vs. “Can Manning’s arm hold up enough to let the run game win it for them.” The Patriots shocked all by electing to receive the kick, but had to punt on their first possession. The Broncos then scored a TD on their opening drive which was rare for them this season, and ultimately hold the lead until the end of the game. When the Patriots scored to finish out the 1st quarter, the amazing happened. Stephen Gostkowski, arguably the most accurate kicker in the NFL right now, missed an extra point! The year the rule was changed and everybody was clamoring on how great the rule change was, he missed the extra point!!! Arguably more people are in favor of this rule since it cost the Patriots the game, but I digress….it truly made the difference in the game. The Patriots were down by 8 for most of the game because of it. It also didn’t help that Brady seemed to be getting hit every single play. He looked frazzled. In the 4th quarter, on 3 consecutive drives, the Patriots faced 4th down tries while in FG range. The first 2 failed and they turned the ball over. The final drive of the game they went 3 and out at the 50, and faced 4th and 10 with 1:34 left. Brady amazingly hit Gronkowski for a 40 yard gain, and all of a sudden it was a game with 1st and Goal with a minute left. A few plays later it was 4th and 4, the 4th time the Patriots had a 4th down in the 4th quarter (sorry for all the 4’s). Brady seemed to throw the ball away, in between two Denver defenders, but miraculously Rob Gronkowski jumped through the middle and caught the ball for a TD! It was then 20-18 and the Patriots had a chance to tie the game with a 2 point conversion. Their entire season had come down to one play, only needing 2 yards. You could cut the suspense with a knife! Brady threw the ball to Edelman, it got tipped and intercepted, icing the game for Denver. It was a game for the ages between two of the best QB’s of all time.
Wow, what a Super Bowl! A running theme to most people I have spoken to was that nobody really cared who won the game, and if that’s the case they might as well give us a game worth watching! It seemed to have nearly as many story lines as the Packer Seahawks game, and it was like a movie where you can tell exactly where it’s going until the last minute twist that has your jaw on the floor.
The first quarter started, and it seemed that both teams were kind of feeling each other out, not wanting to make a mistake. It was extremely fast and it flew by thanks to a Patriot 8 minute drive that was picked off in the endzone. As dull as the 1st quarter was, both teams came out with a bang and put up 28 points in the 2nd. Three of the TD’s were scored within the last 2:16 of the half. The Seahawks tied it up at 7 which seemed like a miracle at the time. Then the Patriots had a great 2 minute drill to score with :31, and reminding fans that the best teams score right at the end of the half. The Seahawks could have taken the ball into halftime down 14-7, but after 2 run plays got them 36 yards, they were smelling the endzone.
Time for the Super Bowl preview post, and we’re a mere 2 days away! As most of you know, Sunday I will be like a kid at Christmas, and I’ll actually be IN Glendale the day of the game!!!! AAHHHHHHH!!!! It’s my favorite day of the year, there are a lot of story lines to cover, and of course it wouldn’t be FMQB without a prediction or two. So let’s take a quick look at the penultimate game.
Proof of Passion:
For the last 14 years (which is half of my life), I have extremely disliked 3 teams. One of these teams was the Broncos, which I have flipped on since Manning arrived 3 years ago. The other 2 teams were the Patriots and Seahawks. I eluded to it last week, but it’s something only a hardcore Rams fan can feel. The Patriots beat the Greatest Show on Turf and stole our dynasty status back in 2001. As an impressionable 14 year old kid, that was tough on me and that kick is still hard for me to watch. On the flip note, in the mid-2000s, the Seahawks started to become a contender with Hasselbeck and now Wilson. Any time the Rams had a shot at the division, the Seahawks would steal it away from them. What I’m getting at is this: I’m still incredibly pumped for the game on Sunday despite my 2 least favorite teams being in it, which I think borderlines on obsession. I suppose it’s a similar feeling to when somebody asks if you want a beer, but they only have Keystone Light; you’ll still take the beer.
Valiant Attempt Sir Thad:
The Bills have had a rough season so far with injuries, especially at the quarterback position. With EJ Manuel’s injury, and Kolb out for the season with a concussion, the Bills had to sign Thad Lewis from their practice squad. This is usually a recipe for disaster, especially against a playoff team, but Lewis rose to the occasion, throwing two 4th quarter touchdowns to take the game into overtime. The Bills may have lost, but Lewis had a surprisingly good game, completing 60% of his throws and zero INTs.
The Patriots didn’t win, the Saints lost it:
Game of the day was definitely the squeeker between the Patriots and undefeated Saints. The Pats were up by 6 late in the 4th quarter, until Brees threw a bomb to whoever Kenny Stills is for a TD. I’m still baffled with what happened next, and let me paint the picture why. The Patriots would get the ball back with 3:29 in the game, down by 1 with 2 timeouts. Should be plenty of time for a game winning drive. But the Pats got more than 1 chance, they even got more than 2 chances, somehow with 3:29 left in the game, the Saints had the ball twice and the Patriots 3 times! It is inexplicable that the Saints can’t run that time off the clock with 5 possessions! Back to 3:29, the Patriots went 4 and out. Saints run twice, throw (incomplete, stops the clock) and kick a field goal to go up by 4. The Patriots then throw an INT right away (all Saints coaches start celebrating, keep this in mind). Saints then go 3 and out, but at least they’re running it! Pats get the ball with 1:13 with no timeouts and 70 yards to go. This also shouldn’t be possible, yet Brady drives the field with a shot at the endzone. With 5 seconds left, somehow Kenbrell Thompkins gets behind the defender in the endzone (the only place he can go) for the touch down. For a different angle of it, click here. Keep in mind, if Saints had run it on that play 2 series ago instead of pass, the Pats wouldn’t have that 5 seconds. The reason for the huge Saints turnaround is coaching, but coaching lost them this game and their chance to stay undefeated. Continue Reading
FMQB Has some Big News! In case nobody has noticed yet, I’ll see if you can figure it out and let you know later in the blog. It was kind of a weird week of games last Sunday with unheard of rules and lackluster games. The lineup didn’t look great, but there always seems to be some good games that surprise people. But not this week. Only 2 (maybe 3) games ended up being truly worth watching. Ironically each game involved 4th quarter comebacks by more than 10 (of which only 1 team completed the comeback).
Don’t Call it a Comeback:
The first comeback of the day was the Steelers vs. Vikings game. The Vikings dominated all day, and for an 0-4 team, was looking pretty sharp. But the Steelers held the Vikings scoreless for the last 20 minutes of the game while their offense scored 10. Making it to a 1st and Goal situation, the Vikings defense held, forced a fumble and won.
The Second comeback could also be considered a major meltdown. The Texans were beating the undefeated Seahawks 20-3 at halftime, and would go on to not score in the 2nd half and lose the game. The Texans were up 20-6 with 7 minutes remaining before the Seahawks finally scored their first TD. Then with 2:40 left in the game, Schaub was heaving up a prayer that got picked off by Richard Sherman (now to be referred to as “Shoeless Sherman” since he outran the Texans with only one shoe). First off, why are the Texans throwing in that situation? Even if the Seahawks have timeouts, your D has stopped them all day! Instead the game was quickly tied up and Houston would go on to lose in OT.
The Third comeback happened in the Sunday Night game, where it was 30-13 with 6 minutes left. Normally the game is over, but I stayed up to watch the end just to get some extra football in for the week. Boy was I glad I did! Atlanta scored 10 quick points, got an onside kick, and held the Patriots to give the Falcons one last shot. They made it within 10 yards AGAIN, but lost 30-23 in another thriller. Continue Reading