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: 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…
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: Midway Point
Hard to believe we’re already halfway through the season! The best part of there being no true powerhouse in the NFL this year, is the playoff picture is already looking like a close, muddy mess. In the AFC, the top 6 teams are either 6-2 or 5-3. Meaning the Bills are currently the last team in, but just 1 game back from having home field advantage. The NFC is the same (minus the Eagles securely in the top seed). One week could completely change the orders of numbers 2 through 6.
- Jared Goff has to be #1. This isn’t 1 or 2 good games, he has proven he can be a franchise QB in this league
- Carson Wentz to a certain extent. He had a better rookie year, but he is looking like he’ll be a playoff contender every year
- Where did the Jaguars come from? Remember the QB controversy with Bortles in the preseason? Not that he’s playing great, but he’s not losing games for them either. Their defense has them at 5-3
- What happened to the Giants and Buccaneers? The Ben McAdoo looked like a coach of the future last year, and he could easily be out of a job in a few weeks
Even though they are division rivals, I feel just terrible for the Cardinals. I know every fan base minus maybe the Patriots has the “woe is me” approach, but the Cardinals can definitely be up there. They’ve had YEARS of mediocrity, never in the playoffs but too good for the #1 pick. All of a sudden they get Kurt Warner, and have a Super Bowl win locked down only to have heartbreak happen. They’ve been solid since, but have lost several playoff games. They finally get Adrian Peterson, who absolutely goes off in his resurgence. Enough so that Larry Fitz was talking about the “rings” they would have had if AP had been there the whole time. Flash forward 1 week, Palmer gets hurt and is out for the season, Bruce Arians (a coaching genius) is talking about not returning, and AP regresses to Saints-like numbers. They were a playoff caliber team as of last week, and it looks like they’ll lock up pick #8 again.
Stat of the Week:
Bears CB Eddie Jackson is the first defensive player to have 2 75+ yard defensive return TD’s in a game.
Stat of the Week #2:
There are 3 QB’s in the league who have thrown for more INT’s than TD’s this season (looking at at least 75 attempts). Two of them play for Cleveland…Fun fact, I decided to save a stat for next week but didn’t want to re-number all of these. I had to come up with one more stat, which is how I discovered this gem!
FMQB: Elliot, out of this World!
“And with the 4th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, Jerry Jones and the Cowboys select, in their best ET impression, Ezekiel Elllliiiiooootttt.” Sorry for the cheesy line, just had to tie this article in with the picture. Ezekiel Elliot is out of this world! Not only is he leading the Rookie of the Year, I can legitimately see Ezekiel Elliot as leading the MVP race right now. He has 1000 yards through 9 games, 10 TD’s (including single-handedly winning Sunday’s game). Only other rookie who has won MVP (and Rookie of the year of course) was Hall of Famer Earl Campbell in 1978. Only Eric Dickerson and Adrian Peterson had more yards than Elliot does through their first 9 games.
Game of the Year #1:
We had a pair of Super Bowl rematches this week, both of which ended up being the most entertaining football we’ve seen so far. The Cowboys Magical Season continued with an all out slugfest against the Steelers. There were six 2 point conversions attempted in this game, and 7 lead changes. Dak went out there and answered every single time the Steelers took the lead. The crazy back and forth yielded a fake spike for a TD (which rarely work), and then a 32 yard game winning TD run with only 9 seconds left! One thing I noticed from this game, granted you could argue that Elliott won it for them with his 114 yard 2 TD day. But they’re holding nothing back from Prescott. And even so, he’s not merely managing these games, he’s putting them in position to win every single time; more often than not he’s leading them to wins.