‘Wildcard Weekend-was Wild’
Surprises-Shocks in the NFL this first weekend in the NFL. Thoughts and comments about the survivors and the losers.
BENGALS…Joe Cool beat the Silver and Black with a (244Y) passing day in the face of a pretty intense pass rush. The Raiders could not cope with JaMarr Chase (9R-116Y). and rookie K-Evan McPherson kicked 4-more field goals when Burrow could not get Cincinnati into the end zone. Derek Carr showed guts to hang in there and give his team a chance to win. Josh Jacobs has strung together back to back good games (127APY) but the Bengals kept a lid on Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller to send the Raiders back to Las Vegas with a loss.
RAIDERS…Self destructed with horrible offensive line penalties that negated plays of 9-14-30 and 39-yards. And the Raiders mishandled a kickoff at their own two, stepping out of bounds, that put Carr in terrible field position. That plus 3-pass drops on guys running side open. Carr ran out of good luck at the end, in losing the only playoff game of his career. Now we wait to see what owner Mark Davis does about this head coaching situation, Rich Bisaccia or Jim Harbaugh?
BILLS…Remember the stretch when the Bills went (3-33) vs Tom Brady when he was the Patriots QB? Now the Bills took out all those years of resentment but buried Bill Belichick (47-17) in the worst postseason beating Belichick has had in 21-years wearing Patriots colors. Josh Allen worked his magic. RB-Devin Singletary had (81Y) rushing and the Buffalo defense battered the Pats offense. Playing home games in the cold helped too, same thing for next weekends game.
PATRIOTS…They are not the same team we saw destroy the Chargers at midseason. They finish the season getting blown out, and losing 3-of their last 4-games. They gave up (482Y) in the horror show loss. QB-Mac Jones looks as if he hit a wall, with a ton of turnovers at the back end of the schedule. He had 2-more picks, another fumble, sacked 3-times. Some big time off season evaluation coming about the makeup of the New England roster. They look a long ways away,, closer to being mediocre rather than very good.
TAMPA BAY…Typical Tom Brady, driving the Bucs to an early (31-0) lead over Philadelphia.. Even without Chris Godwin-Antonio Brown-Leonard Fournette, the Bucs still made plays and got them scores. And the Bucs defense, getting injured guys back and throttling the Philadelphia offense until the game was in their pocket. Next week will be tougher.
EAGLES…Young teams in the playoffs have to learn about what the post-season is like and it was painful for Jalen Hurts and his young teammages. Yes they will learn alot by virtue of the beating they took. Only concern there, defense has alot of age on it and still haven’t been rewarded with a postseason win.
49ers….They won is the hostile venue in Dallas. They are so tough, now getting healthy, and playing with bold confidence. They throw it to George Kittle and Deebo Samuels, and they run it with Elijah Matichell and Samuel. They beat your brains out on defense. There are so many components that Jim Garoppolo manages so well on that offense. You know you will be in a street fight if you have to play then, and they are hot right now under Kyle Shanahan.
COWBOYS..What a devastating loss st home. Dak Prescott did not have much help. Amari Cooper makes lots of money but isn’t targeted enough for me. Where was Cee Dee Lamb on Sunday? Ced Wilson this weekend? What happened to the run game. The offensie line melted down with all these penalties. By the time they finished Dallas had 14-penalties that ruined the game and negated a strong defensive performance. What an awful finish to what had been a good season
CHIEFS…It took them awhile to get going, TJ Watt had alot to do with that, but then Patrick Mahomes started spraying the ball around, and the Chiefs speed just took over the game. Holding KC without a TD for an entire quarter was impressive. But then it was over. You can stop the Chiefs for 3-possessions, but what do you do over the next 7-times they get the ball. 21-points in the second quarter proved my point. KC scored 35-points in a row. Patrick Mahomes was typical Mahomes, over 400-yards passing and 5-TD passes, to anyone-everyone.
STEELERS…Same old same old situation. Offensive line, with so many new pieces, can’t run block, can’t protect, and Ben Roesthlisberger is left staging a one man war. Was not helped by all of his receivers dropping passes and his reliable tight end not betting open. The Steelers had 40-yards on offense at halftime. Their QB was (4-12) passing just before halftime. And his offense had just 43-yards in offense by halftime. Not his fault, but him being a victim of what was happening around him. His career ends on a down note, but what a big man, big time producer, and leader of men in Pittsburgh. And life after Ben begins on Monday. This was long season, going to be a longer off season.
RAMS-CARDINALS….Quarterback duel coming Monday night. Matthew Stafford and Kyler Murray will make big plays. The question who turns it over. Which pass rush gets to the quarterback. Should be a good game.
CHARGERS….Somewhere in my heart I think the Chargers deserved to be in one of these playoff games. Think they would have done better than the Raiders in Cincinnati or Steelers in Kansas City? Sorry but Brandon Staley’s in game decisions betrayed his quarterback and took his team out of the playoffs. Anybody not named Spanos feels that way. What a shame