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.
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: 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: 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!