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: 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.
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: 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: The Only Person who should be benched is McAdoo’s Barber!
I swear on everything Holy I wrote this on Monday!
“One really has to wonder if Eli Manning will be a Giant next year. QB’s like Josh McCown, Tyrod Taylor, Jameis Winston, Jacoby Brissett, and Ryan Fitzpatrick all have better passer ratings than Manning. He would be 37 going into next season, I think there’s a high likelihood he either retires, or sticks around to groom a top 3 pick in the draft.”
I promise you I wrote that on Monday before the news! He was officially benched on Tuesday. In my opinion, this is complete crap. First off, you’re not going to learn anything new or get reps for a QB you’ve never seen before (Geno has been a starter for multiple years). Second, it’s Week 13 and they’re officially out of the playoff race. Third, this is your franchise QB and one who has brought you two Lombardi trophies. You owe it to him and his 13 year career not to end his streak of starts. Just let him ride out the season, and have a closed door meeting with him saying that he’s not your franchise QB, and they can either trade or release him. This action alone makes McAdoo’s firing justified.
- Rams have a tough schedule to end the year, but pretty surprised to see them knock off the 8 game win-streaking Saints.
- Wow, the Chiefs have fallen on hard times.
- I’m no doctor, but Aaron Rodgers sure seemed like he could throw the ball fine going into Sunday night.
- In 3 plays, Garrapolo had the first TD for the 49ers after Beathard played the entire game. Just saying…
- Two surprises of the week: Cardinals and Blaine Gabbert knocking off the Jaguars, and the Packers playing tough against the Steelers and barely losing.
- You have Antonio Brown and Julio Jones on one level, and then there’s every other receiver in the league.
FMQB: Dilly Dilly
Alright, I know I promised at the beginning of the season I wouldn’t dissect plays or sequences, but the Jaguars and Chargers game was just too crazy to not address. If you know what happened, skip this, but otherwise it’s worth reading! Let’s set the scene. Chargers up 17-14 with 2:51 left in the game, they are just punting the ball to Jacksonville.
- After 49 seconds and crossing midfield, Bortles throws an interception. Should be game over, right?
- 1st play, Chargers Fumble! Jags run it back for a score, but it’s reversed. But hey, they have the ball in FG range already
- Hold your horses, at the 22 yard line (so a 39 yard Field Goal), Bortles throws ANOTHER interception. Game over, right?
- Nope, Jags have all 3 timeouts since they fumbled the first play last time. 3 runs and 3 timeouts later, there’s 1:08 in the game and Chargers have to punt
- Josh Lambo, ex Charger, nails a short FG to tie the game as time expires. Overtime
- Jags punt first possession
- Chargers throw deep and it’s caught by Travis Benjamin only to be ripped out of his hands and ruled an interception. Guy runs it back 51 yards and gets tackled at the 2 yd line
- Now fun with penalties. There’s a 15 yard penalty on the INT for taunting. Ball at the 17. Jags go nowhere in 3 plays and line up to kick a field goal, but there’s a delay of game on the defense, march the ball forward 5 yards.
- Field Goal is BLOCKED! But trickles barely over the uprights. Jags win! BUT, had that delay of game not been called, the ball would have fallen short.
- “I’m exhausted” Jag’s head coach Doug Marrone afterwards