1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Tuesday “NFL COACHES–DIFFERENCE MAKERS”

Posted by on January 30th, 2024  •  0 Comments  • 


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Players make the plays in the AFC-NFC Championship games.
Coaches create the X’s and O’s that let the players make plays.

The NFL post season is so hard, so competitive, so pressurized, that when you see coaching records of guys in post-season, you know you are watching greatness.

I recall the 1985-Chicago Bears destruction of the New England Patriots, the (45-10) bashing Mike Ditka’s team laid on the Pats, a byproduct of a fierce defense and tons of offensive talent.  The Bears use of personnel overwhelmed the Patriots on both sides of the ball.

I flashback to the 1995 Chargers destruction at the hand of the Steve Young 6-TD outing for the San Francisco 49ers.  The Bolts saw formations they had never seen before on videos, and the Niners had a (14-0) lead after six snaps and San Francisco used 7-different formations the Chargers had never seen..

So we sat and watched everything that happened on Sunday.

Andy Reid is now (25-16) in the playoffs in this illustrious career.  He ran motion formations with all his skill people, creating mismatches all over the field.  Baltimore went zone early and Reid was ready for that, using the magic of Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce, targeted 11-times on 11-completions.  They ran wildcat formations for yards with running back Isaiah Pacheco.  When they doubled Kelce, they threw to the other tight ends.  It was Reid’s creative juice at its finest moments.

Kyle Shanahan is now (8-3) in post season play in his career in San Francisco and Atlanta.  His young QB moved the pocket to break off 4-big runs against the Lions.  They threw deep, threw outs, threw crossing patterns and threw to their running back.  From Deebo Samuel to Brandon Aiyuk to George Kittle, to Christian McCaffrey, they figured out Detroit’s defense and roared back to win that game.

John Harbaugh had a (12-9) record heading into that playoff game, but he was one-upped across the field.  The Ravens were on their back heels all night long, right from the start.  Why they stayed in the zone as long as they did was a shocker.  The Ravens coach never was able to help Lamar Jackson deal with the constant blitz pressure the Chiefs unleashed right from the start.  Jackson finished completing 54% of his throws, including 47% under bilitz.  There was so much heat in run gaps, that the Ravens gave up their run game, the staple of what makes everything work.  Harbaugh never had an answer.

Dan Campbell fell on his sword.  The Lions won the way they won all year and he thought it would work in the playoffs.  Jared Goff got knocked around.  His top WR-Amon St-Brown faced all types of coverages all night long and never had any rhythm.  They ran for 182-yards, a superb outing, but fell behind negating that run game in the second half.  Campbell will be a better coach the next time the Lions get to the playoffs, but he saw things he never had to deal with before.

The players made the plays, the coaches drew up for them.  KC and SF flashed new things.  The Ravens and Lions never recovered.

These coaches, this time of the year, win games like this.


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