Now, today, we are going to see the good, the bad and the ugly of the NFL. 5 or 6 coaches seem to be on their way out. Chip Kelly is already gone in Philadelphia. I think that Jason Garrett is safe in Dallas. Tom Coughlin is out in New York. (I kind of feel sorry for him. Without JPP and Victor Cruz, whose career I think is over in the NFL, there was no way from him to really put a winning team together this year.) San Fransisco is a disaster. I have no idea what’s going on there. Chuck Pangiano is rumored to be leaving Indianapolis after being unable to get on the same page as the GM.
In order to win in the NFL, you need a quarterback who can throw strikes in the 4th quarter. You need an offensive line that can protect the QB. You need a running back who can get first downs in the 4th quarter and NOT fumble the ball. Finally, you need a group of receivers who know how to get away from press coverage and catch those high velocity strikes in tight windows. Finally, you need a defense that will bend but not break. Although this formula is easy to write down, it is hard to find the right personnel. Look at the Atlanta Falcons. They looked great for about 6 weeks this year. Then they fell apart. On the other hand, the Lions looked awful at the beginning of the year, then fired several coaches and played with fire the last 7 weeks.
I’ll type some more on the NFL this evening. For now, I’m going to sit back and enjoy an afternoon of football!
Today is Free Agent Day. General Managers… grown men, can make some curious decisions based on hope. They are all hoping that these players can and will play hard.
Ndamukong Suh goes to the Miami Dolphins. Over $100 million.
The craziness of today was epic. Darrelle Revis, an all- world cornerback who helped the Patriots win the SuperBowl, is out with the Patriots. He signed with the New York Jets. Really? Darrelle is getting $70 million for five years with $39 million guaranteed for three years.
Julius Thomas goes to the Jaguars. I’m not sure what this is about. Oh, it is about money. Julius is getting paid. I have no idea what the Jags are thinking. Julius Thomas is not going to pull this team out of the basement. Continue reading NFL: Hope Day 2.0
Well, it has only been a week. It seems longer. Super Bowl!!! The New England Patriots versus the Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson versus Tom Brady. Legion of Boom. Revis. Edelman. Matthews!! In the end, it was a perfect game to end a perfectly wacky play-off season.
As a whole, I think most people would say the game unfolded kind of like we thought it would. Most people thought it was going to be a close game. Most people thought that the New England Patriots offense would find a way to move the ball through short passing and by using their nearly uncoverable tight end Gronkowski. On one side of the ball, most experts thought that the Seattle Seahawks would have a hard time running the ball but should have been able to make some plays down the field.
For the most part, this game was a chess match between two master coaches. The Seattle Seahawks were able to stop the run without difficulty. Unfortunately, they were extremely vulnerable to short passes. At key points of the game, Ron Gronkowski and Edelman were able to get open and really burn the Legion of Boom (over 320 yrds on the ground). At the same time, Tom Brady made two critical mistakes which killed drives. Interceptions. Tom Brady never throws critical intercerptions; well, almost never. It was surprising. On the other side of the ball, for nearly the first 25 minutes of the game, the Seattle Seahawks continued to try to ram the ball through the Patriots without success. Their third-down efficiency was abysmal.
Before I spend a lot of time talking about “the play” it should be mentioned that Pete Carroll did decide not to kick a field goal with six seconds on the clock and the ball at the New England 11-yard line at the end of the 1st half. Instead, he instructed Russell Wilson to throw a high back shoulder bullet to Chris Matthews, a previously unheard of wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks. It was a brilliant play. Touchdown. The game was tied at half-time.
Now, the play. The Seattle Seahawks have miraculously moved the ball from their own 35-yard line down inside the New England one-yard line. With 26 seconds on the clock, the Seattle Seahawks have one timeout.
If you’re sitting around wondering what really makes NFL football great, it is plays like this. The complexity of football is sometimes mind-boggling. On the other hand, it is really a simple game. It is about putting that stupid football into the end zone.
Continue reading Super Bowl XLIX: Revisited (Update)