Spiderfan's 2018 Divisional Round Random Thoughts & Stuff Jan 15, 2019 16:58:06 GMT -8
Post by spiderfan on Jan 15, 2019 16:58:06 GMT -8
You are reading live from somewhere that is not Tokyo, Japan. Ok, the Brent Musburger intro doesn't work for a column. With that bad idea out of the way, let us begin this edition of Random Thoughts & Stuff.
Indianapolis Colts vs Kansas City Chiefs
This game was defined by one thing: The Chiefs surprisingly dominant defense. All year, the weakness of the Chiefs was their defense, which ranked close to the bottom of the entire NFL. Going into the game, I thought that it would be a shootout and that the game would come down to who made the most mistakes. Because of the performance by the Chiefs defense, the Colts had an uphill climb from the 1st quarter onward. Offensively, Andy Reid (unlike Bill O'Brien) figured out how to adjust to the Colts zone defensive scheme. The Chiefs ran the ball effectively with RB Damien Williams, who had over 100 yards rushing and passed the ball underneath to Travis Kelce, who had over 100 receiving yards. With that recipe, the Chiefs won 31-13 (with 7 of the Colts points coming off a blocked punt). Also, for the first time since January 1994, the Chiefs won a home playoff game. The QB who won that playoff game for the Chiefs? Joe Montana.
Dallas Ostriches vs Los Angeles Rams
This game was defined by the LA Rams run game. When you have 2 RBs, in this case, CJ Anderson and Todd Gurley, have over 100 yards rushing it is clear that your defense is literally being run over. The Rams defensive line came to play and the Ostriches were dominated on the line of scrimmage on both ends. Despite that, the Ostriches managed to hang in there by the skin of their teeth and ultimately the game down to a great run by Rams QB Jared Goff of all people. The Rams won 30-22.
Something has become apparent in the days after this game: The Dallas Ostriches are the worst franchise in the National Football League as of this writing. But, why? You are asking yourself. The Cardinals went 3-13, the Raiders are tanking, and the Browns and Bucs have been awful for years! The Ostriches can't be the worst. As Arizona State HC Herm Edwards once said, "you play to win the game". For as bad as the Raiders, Browns, and Buccaneers each franchise has actively tried to improve things. Young coaches, retreads, college coaches, defensive coaches, offensive coaches, analytics, non-analytics, hotshot QBs, journeyman QBs, all have been tried in an attempt to win games. I think the owner's of the respective franchises all deserve some sort of credit for trying new things even though they haven't worked out. What about the Redskins? In the past few years, the Redskins have had so many injuries, I don't think the team can properly be assessed. What about the Bengals? Mike Brown kept Marvin Lewis for almost 20 years despite no playoff wins! They finally made a change, and it sounds like they are going to hire someone from outside the Bengals family (due to the Josh McDaniels fiasco last season, I will not discuss "hire" until it is actually a hire).
The Ostriches are just good enough that Farther and Son Ostrich won't fire Coach Ostrich and Coach Ostrich won't make changes to his coaching staff. No changes. anywhere. An organization that needed to be cleaned out years ago, continues on without changes. IMO, that is the worst a franchise in the NFL can be.
Los Angeles Comebacks vs New England Patriots
Y'know if the Comebacks defense had shown up the entire game, maybe the Patriots wouldn't have been up 38-7, and maybe the Comebacks would have had a better shot at winning. Instead, the Patriots took advantage of their home field and the Comebacks defense, and booked their ticket to Kansas City, winning 41-28. I questioned whether the Comebacks style of play was sustainable and it wasn't. Thus they are no longer the Comebacks and have resumed being the Chargers at least until further notice.
Philadelphia Eagles vs New Orleans Saints
This game IMO comes down to one play: The first Nick Foles interception. At that point, the Eagles were up 14-0 and the Saints were so shook you would have thought they were in an AC/DC song. If Eagles TE Zack Ertz plays defense on that play and makes that pass incomplete, I think the Eagles win the game because after that play all the momentum swung in favor of the Saints and the Eagles lost their mojo. With Eagles HC Doug Pederson saying that Carson Wentz is going to be the Eagles starter, the biggest storyline in the offseason is now where does Nick Foles go? That will be fun to keep up with.
Head Coaching Hires
Browns hire Freddie Kitchens
I like this hire by the Browns. Initially, the thought by the Browns was something to the effect of "let us hire a coach who will keep Kitchens as his OC" until they realized "wait if Kitchens and Mayfield are still cooking in 2019, then Kitchens will become a HC somewhere else" so instead of taking that risk, the Browns kept Kitchens in the building and while it might not be the most flashy hire in the world, I think in a couple years it could turn out to be the best hire of this cycle because the connection between him and Danger Mayfield appears to be something special.
Broncos hire Vic Fangio
This hire is interesting because the word was originally that Fangio would be hired to the HC and being a defensive guy, he would let Gary Kubiak be in control of the offense. Well, Gary Kubiak has since left the Broncos organization entirely and now it isn't clear who the Broncos OC is going to be. This is an important thing because Bill Musgrave wasn't cutting it last year as the Broncos OC. If Fangio could somehow get Marc Helfrich in that building, then the hire of Fangio by the Broncos is a success. If Fangio can't get Helfrich or someone else good, then Fangio could very well end up like Vance Joseph.
Jets hire Adam Gase
In an unpopular move, the Jets decided to not hire Mike McCarthy and instead hire Adam Gase. I 100 percent agree with the tweet above. Maybe, Gase turns Sam Darnold into a Hall of Famer or maybe this entire Jets regime plus Darnold will go into the Hall of Fame of Disasters. I'm thinking the latter is much more likely than the earlier. Also, this list of Adam Gase memes is hysterical.
With that said, I hope you enjoyed this edition of Random Thoughts & Stuff and I hope to see you for the conference title games. This is Spiderfan out.