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: 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: 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
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!
I’m back, wow, Season 7 of Friday Morning Quarterback! Expect a few changes this year, fewer dissertations and more quick hitting fun facts. We all watch the games, I don’t need to turn into Joe Buck 2.0 and explain what happened. I know I promised to go back to the goofy team names last year, and like Digiorno I didn’t deliver. So I’ll try again folks!
Quick Recap from Last year’s Predictions
- Predicted Packers Patriots Super Bowl. Got one right, the second lost in the NFC Championship
- “Last year as starting QB for Jay Cutler (I’ve held onto him too long)”…I was close until he was yanked out of retirement
- Picked 6 of 32 records dead on
- Picked both Offensive and Defensive rookies of the year, that’s a first!
- Predicted the QB controversy in Dallas, said Dak would keep the starting job
- Said Jared Goff would get and keep the starting job in Week 9, happened in Week 10!
- “Blake Bortles is a top 5 QB in either yards or TD’s.” Nope, #15 in both
- “RGIII sees a resurgence this year before getting injured at the end of the season. Comeback player of the year.” Call it a push, his resurgence (if you want to call it that) essentially came in preseason but he got hurt way too early.
- “Kelvin Benjamin is back with a vengeance. Top 5 receiver in the league” He showed promise, but was 31st in yards, 16th in TDs