30 thoughts on “2019-2020 NFL: Week 14

  1. Thu
    Cowboys-Bears

    Sun
    Colts-Buccaneers
    Ravens-Bills
    Lions-Vikings
    Redskins-Packers
    Broncos-Texans
    49ers-Saints
    Bengals-Browns
    Panthers-Falcons
    Dolphins-Jets
    Chargers-Jaguars
    Chiefs-Patriots
    Titans-Raiders
    Steelers-Cardinals
    Seahawks-Rams

    Mon
    Giants-Eagles

    There are the games I’m interested in seeing:

    Ravens-Bills
    I want to see if the Bills defense can slow the Ravens offense down. Also, I want to see if Allen can play like he did against the Cowboys. If the Bills can do both, they are a playoff team that can do damage

    49ers-Saints
    For obvious reasons. I think some people think the Saints are the best team in the NFC. I’m not one of them. I think the 49ers are better, at least if Garappolo can take care of the football.

    Chiefs-Patriots
    It’ll be interesting to see how the Patriots respond after their loss to the Texans. The Chiefs defense is not very strong, but the Patriots offense isn’t very strong either. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

    Seahawks-Rams
    I feel like the Rams are one of the more dangerous teams lurking. Well, they’re dangerous if their OL do a decent job. If Seahawks get to the playoffs, the Rams would be a team I’d worry about.

    Which team does better in the trenches will be the key in this, I think.

  2. Power Rankings

    Tier 1
    1a. Ravens
    1b. 49ers

    All the other teams have flaws in a way that the Ravens do not–or at least they haven’t displayed it, yet. The flaw could be passing a lot when it’s predictable, but I don’t think they’ve really been in that situation, so it’s hard to know if this is a flaw.

    For the 49ers, their flaw has to do with their passing game, specifically Garappolo’s ball security and ability to handle pressure. If Jimmy G can be a really good game manager–i.e., protect the football, and make a handful key plays–the difference with the Ravens isn’t all that much.

    Tier 2
    2a. Seahawks, Saints, Patriots, Vikings
    2b. Bills, Packers, Cowboys, Chiefs, Texans

    I tried to put these teams in order–strongest to weakest from left to right–the first line of teams being slightly better than the second. If I were to rank all the teams, the order would be Ravens, Niners, Seahawks, Saints, etc. But really the difference between the tier 2 teams is negligible.

    I think the tier 1 teams are better, but the tier 2 teams have a legitimate shot of winning the Super Bowl, especially if any of them get on a roll during the playoffs.

    Looking at the Seahawks, I see a lot of flaws (shaky ball security, uncertainty about their pass rush and blocking). But then I think about most of the other teams–they all have notable flaws, too, with the exception of the Ravens. Most of the teams are good, but not much more than that. The Patriots and Saints offenses can be a bit anemic at times; The 49er QB can be shaky and not secure with the football; The Vikings defense and OL seems vulnerable at times (They need Thielen back, too); The Packers are too one-dimensional, and with suspect pass-catchers, and their defense isn’t rock solid; The Cowboys should be a lot better–I don’t know really know what’s wrong. I need to see more from the Bills; The Chiefs defense doesn’t seem strong enough, and their offense isn’t as good as last year’s.

    Basically, they’re good teams, but not much more. If they play well, most of them could be very good. I don’t think any are great. The Ravens, so far, have a great offense, especially running the ball. The 49ers have a defense that seems close to great to me. They’re not in the same ballpark as the ’15 Broncos, ’13 Seahawks. But they seem close to ’17 Jaguars, the good Panther defenses, or really good 49er defenses under Harbaugh. I’m not totally sure. They have the potential to be in that category, though. In any event, they seem a notch above the other defenses.

    Tier 3

    Colts, Rams, Titans, Steelers

    I think these teams could beat the teams above, but I would favor the teams above.

    1. Alternate form of power rankings

      Well, I guess this isn’t an alternate form, as it will still rank teams or put them in tiers. The difference involves designating each team with a won-loss record, with the designation not being a prediction, but a way to convey a sense about the overall quality of the team. For example, a 10-6 team could end up with an 8-8, especially in a year with a lot of good teams and a tough schedule. Now, I’m also wavering between using the number of wins a team could expect to have, instead of using a won-loss record. For example, instead of a 10-6 team, I might say a 10-11 team–i.e., a team good enough to win 10-11 games.

      Tier 1
      Ravens 13-3 (13-14)
      49ers 12-4 (12-13)

      Tier 2
      Seahawks 10-6 (10-11)
      Saints 10-6 (10-11)
      Patriots 10-6 (10-13)*
      Vikings 10-6 (10)
      Packers 10-6 (10)
      Texans 10-6 (10)

      Tier 3
      Bills 10-6 (9-10)
      Rams 10-6 (9-10)
      Chiefs 10-6 (10)
      Cowboys 10-6 (9-10)

      Chargers 9-7 (9-10)
      Colts 8-8 (8-9)
      Titans 8-8 (8-9)
      Eagles 8-8 (8-9)

      Tier 4
      Browns 8-8 (8-9)
      Raiders 7-9 (7-8)
      Broncos 7-9 (6-7)
      Panthers 7-9 (6-7)
      Bears 7-9 (6-7)
      Falcons 6-10 (6-7)
      Buccaneers 6-10 (6)
      Cardinals 6-10 (5-6)
      Jaguars 5-11 (5-6)

      Lions 4-12 (4-5)
      Jets 4-12 (4-5)
      Dolphins 4-12 (3-4)
      Bengals 4-12 (3-4)
      Giants 4-12 (3-4)
      Redskins 4-12 (3-4)

      Comments

      I was conflicted about three teams–the Cowboys and Chargers. I might be ranking them too high–just because I think they should be better. Or maybe I feel like they could very well play better from here on out. At the same time, I don’t feel comfortable moving them higher. I might be scoring the Browns higher than they should be too, but, again, I feel like they should be better.

      I feel like the Rams might be the a dark horse. It depends on their OL and how well their defense can play. I tend to think both are not likely, though.

      With the Patriots, they’re a wildcard. They frequently look like a 10-6 team, but then end up winning the Super Bowl. Indeed, I want to say that every time they’ve won the Super Bowl they were a 10-6 type of team or maybe even 9-7. So 10-6 for the Patriots could actually be 13-3. At the same, time, I have a hard time putting them above the Seahawks and the Saints.

      With the Bills, I need to see more. Whether they win or lose against the Ravens, if they play well, I think I would move them into the next tier.

      1. I think the Saints could be above the Niners. Like I think if they played each other in a four out of seven series on a neutral field, I think I would take the Saints. I’m not sure why the Saints look so flat now, though. They almost looked better with Teddy, and yet Brees has played better than Teddy, so who knows. Maybe when Teddy was their QB, they played with a greater sense of urgency. Or maybe Kamara, who isn’t playing well right now, is still banged up. But I would still keep the Niners in that tier 1. So I would reluctantly put the Saints up in tier one with the other two teams.

        Those tier two teams all don’t look good for one reason or another, yet I don’t know if I can have the Texans up there with the rest of those teams. They have all the potential, but man if I had to put money on the Texans to beat any of those other tier two teams in a playoff game, I couldn’t do it.

        I forgot to comment on Trubisky last week. He looked pretty good in that game against the Lions and I thought he looked okay against the Saints (I think I saw parts of that game.). To me Trubisky is a legitimate starter in the NFL. If he was drafted in the fourth round, he wouldn’t get as much criticism (and not playing under Nagy). Is he a top 10 to 15 guy, of course not, but he is a top 32 guy for sure. I’m not sure I would take Gardner Minshew or anyone with the last name Allen over him. It might not be a slam dunk, but I would lean Trubisky I think.

        What is your rankings of the teams if it was based on their chances of winning it all? Based on our past conversation about Lamar, I’m guessing the Ravens wouldn’t be number one on that list.

    2. I’m not sure why the Saints look so flat now, though.

      This is one of the main reasons they’re below the Niners, and why I use the 10-6 designation. They’ve actually looked flat from last year. My sense is that they’re missing pass-catching weapons. I thought Cook would address this, but that doesn’t seem to be the case (although he’s been hurt). The other possibility is that Brees is getting older and the OL has slipped a bit. (They also have some injuries–missing Peat and their starting LT is banged up.) Finally, as you intimated, their run game isn’t strong enough to carry them. I’d like their chances if it could.

      The other factor is their defense. The defense is good, but not as good as the 49ers in my opinion.

      Those tier two teams all don’t look good for one reason or another, yet I don’t know if I can have the Texans up there with the rest of those teams. They have all the potential, but man if I had to put money on the Texans to beat any of those other tier two teams in a playoff game, I couldn’t do it.

      That’s totally fair–and I listed them last in that tier. They’re right on that line between the two tiers in my view.

      I’m not sure I would take Gardner Minshew or anyone with the last name Allen over him.

      If Josh Allen plays like how he did against the Cowboys, I would definitely choose him over Trubisky.

      What is your rankings of the teams if it was based on their chances of winning it all? Based on our past conversation about Lamar, I’m guessing the Ravens wouldn’t be number one on that list.

      That’s a good question. Off the top of my head, I would say it’s fairly close to what I have. There are weaknesses and uncertainties about all the teams–and even if I were to rank teams, the differences among the top 4-5 would be negligible. I would say these teams are the Ravens, 49ers, Seahawks, Saints, and Patriots. If the Patriots were any other team, they would not be in here, but they’re the Patriots so….

      I guess if I were forced to choose, I would say the Ravens. Their run game looks unstoppable now. On the other hand, I would assume that one team will really force them to make plays in the passing game. Lamar looks super confident and in a good groove including in the pass game. Unless the defense really stymies their offense, that might be enough to get them to win it. Their defense seems good enough to win as well.

      But ask me again, and I could change my mind. I could make a case for every team in this group.

      If I see the Bills playing well, they could move in this group. I tend to think the Packers, Vikings, Texans, or Chiefs won’t. (Man, the Vikings defense has been a real disappointment.)

  3. The way the Dallas D has been playing I would doubt if Trubisky puts up a similar performance today as Allen did last week.

    I heard Allen was last of all starters in terms of passing accuracy, which is an advance analytic stat. How that stat works, though, I have no clue. I just heard that, and I didn’t find that surprising.

    1. The way the Dallas D has been playing I would doubt if Trubisky puts up a similar performance today as Allen did last week.

      I feel the same, although I don’t think the Cowboys defense has been playing great, not as much as I would expect and not for four quarters. I don’t think they have to play great for Trubisky to struggle, though. I have a lower opinion of him than you do.

      I just heard that, and I didn’t find that surprising.

      Me neither. Prior to the the Cowboy games, he did not impress me and his accuracy was part of this (although I didn’t watch all of the Bills games). However, what’d you think you about his accuracy and overall play in the Cowboys game? He looked good to me–throwing like a good NFL QB. If he keeps doing that, and protecting the football, I think the Bills are a serious playoff team.

  4. An aside about interdependent nature of the QB position.

    I think most football fans can and would acknowledge that the QB’s performance depends heavily on the players around him–like the OL, pass catchers and even RBs and running game. I think many would also acknowledge that the offensive system, play calling can have an impact, as well as the quality of the opponent.

    But my sense is that many fans seem to forget about this–or at least they underestimate the contributions of the supporting cast. I thought of this recently after hearing Sean Salisbury talk about the decline in Tom Brady’s play. He mentioned that Brady can’t “elevate” the players around him as much as he could in the past.

    The notion of a QB elevating the players around him is a complex issue. I think a QB can enhance the performance of the supporting cast, but at the same time they’re still highly dependent on the performance of the supporting cast. This seems like a contradiction or at least something difficult to understand. How do you know when a QB is failing to elevate his supporting cast or when the supporting cast isn’t providing enough support? I think it’s almost impossible to answer.

    Having said that, I bristled a bit at Salisbury’s comment. I do think you could make a case that Brady’s skills have declined. On the other hand, it seems like most acknowledge that his supporting cast–specifically the ability of his pass-catchers to get separation isn’t all that good. Does the Patriot passing game look anemic because Brady’s skills have declined significantly or is it because the pass catchers aren’t that good? The answer could be a little of both.

    However, for me, I can’t confidently blame the QB unless I’m fairly confident the supporting cast is good or at least adequate. An exception might be if the QB’s deficiencies are really obvious. While I do think Brady’s skills have declined, his skills aren’t so diminished that I’m sure the offense would struggle if he didn’t have better pass-catchers. Indeed, I suspect the offense–and Brady–would look significantly better with one or two good pass catchers. At least I lean a little more towards that expectation.

    Similar comments have been made about Carson Wentz as well–and questions have been raised about whether he’s actually a good QB. In my view, this kind of talk should be put on hold–at least until he can get a better supporting cast. (Now, I do think he could regress and develop bad habits; his confidence could get shaken as well.) Wentz did seem a lot better when D-Jax and Jefferey were playing, so that points to the supporting cast. Still, even in that situation, I’m not entirely confident that the supporting cast is completely the issue. It’s hard to say, and that’s the overall point–namely, I think it’s hard to know when a QB is really great or not. Unless they’re playing well in spite of their supporting cast, it’s hard to judge a QB when they don’t have much help.

    1. I’m in agreement with your take on Brady. However, the one drawback is we’ve seen him do it with very little before. Yes he had Gronk in the recent past, but Gronk would get injured frequently. Was Brady this bad when Gronk was not playing those games? I don’t really recall that. And the coaching and system has all stayed the same. The one thing that it could be, is the o-line. This is one of the worse o-lines that Brady has played with. Although as I stated on my take with the Cowboy, Pats game, the o-line looked pretty good in the pass pro in the second half, which was a stark comparison to the first half of that game.

    2. Yes he had Gronk in the recent past, but Gronk would get injured frequently.

      This is something to consider. You could go back before Gronk, Moss. Who did they have in the early to mid 2000s? David Patten? They had that WR that got paid in Seattle. Maybe they were better than we thought. Maybe opponents weren’t as a used to the amoeba style. Or maybe Brady has declined quite a bit. Again, there is evidence for this.

      What I don’t like is the certitude behind some of the pronouncements. The position is so interdependent, it’s really, really hard to be certain in a situation like this.

  5. Cowboys-Bears

    OK, Trubisky looked decent to good in this. If he plays like this consistently, he’s a good starter. The Bears defense was OK, but they’ve really missed Akiem Hicks. Kinda sucks that he got hurt. Mack hasn’t been much of a factor, and I wonder if losing Hicks is a big reason for this.

    1. OK, I didn’t want to write too much about this game because I figure Don must not be feeling good. But I have some thoughts about the situation that I want to get off my chest–some things I haven’t heard from the cable sports talk show guys. Don, don’t read this if you’re feeling bad. I’m not trying to rub it in.

      First, here’s a clip of from a talk show. I’m showing it because I really agree with Schlereth (and Wiley). It’s something I’ve felt for a long time, and I think I’ve expressed before, but I want to put it up to set up my comments afterward.

      One reason I put this is up is because one or two other talk shows have talked about firing Jason Garrett. But if Schlereth is right, firing Garrett will not solve the problem. There are three viable solutions in my opinion: 1) Jerry Jones gives the HC full authority and doesn’t do things to undercut that authority; 2) Jerry Jones makes himself head coach; 3) Jerry Jones sells the team. (Note: #2 may solve the specific problem I’m mentioning, but I doubt it will lead to a Super Bowl.)

      Now, I said earlier that if the Cowboys don’t get into the playoffs, Jones should fire Garrett. Given what I said above, why would I advocate for that? Since the three options above are unlikely, then Jones can either stick with Garrett or move on. If those are the two options, then moving on is probably warranted. But the problem is likely to not go away.

      Now, I want to suggest a fourth option that could enable the Cowboys to get to the Super Bowl. To understand this option, I have to suggest a hypothesis as to why the Cowboys are struggling. Here it is: The Cowboys have too many stars on the team–that is, talented player, who feel entitled because of that talent. The opposite of no-name players. Part of the reason I think this may be happening is when I reflect on the 2014-2018 period. In the earlier part of that period, I feel like the overall roster had less stars/name players, especially on defense. Over time the team seemed to accumulate more name players. Now, the defenses in the earlier part of this period wasn’t all that great, but they played hard–they swarmed to the ball. Marinelli got them to play well, given the lack of talent. Compare that to this season, especially last night. The defense didn’t look like a Marinelli defense in my opinion. If they have more players with cache, and these players can do an end around on the coaching staff, that would explain the way the defense is playing. When you got no name players, they’re more apt to listen to the coach. Let me also add that prior to 2014, there were periods where the Cowboys had a lot of talent, and they played like how they’ve been playing in 2019. At least that’s what I recall. In a way, the 2014-2016 period was one of the best in the post-Jimmy Johnson era. Indeed, I forgot about the problems with the more talented rosters in the past. It seemed like something finally changed. But 2019 is bringing up the old memories.

      What this suggests to me is a possible way out (not that Jones would do this)–namely, have less star players on the team. That may sound dumb, but in some sense you’re going to have to make those type of decisions, you can’t keep all the high priced players. One option might be to follow the 2014 blue print: Build a great run-first offense and have a decent defense. That is, have less stars on defense. In this period I’m talking about, while the Cowboy defense may never have been great, I was surprised at how good they could be with so many no name guys. They had some good players, too, but a lot less than they do now in my opinion. In short, under the current arrangement between owner and head coach, the Cowboys can’t win a Super Bowl if they have too many star players–players with egos. (I would add players with off field issues as well.) They need to sacrifice talent for better authority of the coach and better team culture.

      1. The pushback on Schlereth’s comment is that if Dez’s catch was considered a catch or if Aaron Rodgers didn’t make a spectacular play to end the playoff game, no one knows the success of those Cowboy teams. So to say they will never win, is sort of out there, I think.

        No one knows for sure or can never measure the damage that Jerry does to the Cowboy success. But I think times have definitely changed from when Willey was playing to today. I believe that at this point Jerry Jones doesn’t do much except talk. Steven Jones handles pretty much everything. Should Steven Jones be the one taking the brunt of this right now, maybe, but I have a feeling it shouldn’t be Jerry. How much actual decisions he makes versus Steven, my guess is that it isn’t many and I doubt that if Steven disagreed, that Jerry would override him. I could be completely wrong, but that’s the feeling I get from the outside looking in.

    2. The pushback on Schlereth’s comment is that if Dez’s catch was considered a catch or if Aaron Rodgers didn’t make a spectacular play to end the playoff game, no one knows the success of those Cowboy teams.

      I don’t blame if you didn’t read my entire post, but, in it, basically say that the 2014-2018 (more 2014-2016) was the exception–the Cowboys teams performed well. And yes, I think the ’14 team could have won the Super Bowl. I hypothesize that those teams had less stars, name players–players that would feel more entitled and could challenge the authority of the head coach, especially if Jerry favored them. This seemed especially true on defense–compared to now.

      But if Jerry is undercutting Garrett’s authority, I think it’s really hard for Garrett to succeed, and not totally fair to judge him as a coach.

      But I think times have definitely changed from when Willey was playing to today.

      I think you could make that case for the 2014-2018 period, but 2019 feels like some of those past teams. What’s the other plausible explanation for the quality of play? In that ’14-’18 period, especially early on, the defense played hard–even if they weren’t that great. I don’t see the same intensity. I don’t think Marinelli or Richard became bad coaches all of a sudden.

      Arrington gave the analogy of two parents not being on the same page. I’d add that if one parent has more of the power, and if that parent undercuts the other’s authority, the other parent–and the parenting in general–won’t be very good. If this is the situation Jones is creating, then he’s the problem, and finding a new coach won’t solve this.

      (But I also suggested that maybe if they had less star players, they could have success.)

      1. My comment on Schlereth wasn’t really a response to your post as you barely mentioned him not did you really side with his view. It was more a response to Schlereth himself in the video you posted.

        I agree that the team could be like when Willey was playing. I’m not sure about that. My comment about a difference between Willey’s time and now more had to do with how much Jerry is in charge. And again my response was more to Willey’s comments in the video. I just see a lot of Stephen Jones doing things now that seem to be Jerry in past. It almost look like the torch had been past.

        I don’t have an answer on why the defense is so bad. Maybe I was wrong and Richard and Marinelli’s style is just incompatible or Richard taking the play calling duties has hurt this team. All could be plausible. I’m also not a fan of the way Marinelli loves to shoot the gaps, but as you said he has always coached that way and they weren’t as bad as they seem this year.

    3. as you barely mentioned him not did you really side with his view.

      I’m guessing “not” is a typo and you meant “nor.” If so, I actually agree with a lot of what he says. However, I do think that, for whatever reason, the organizational structure we both criticize, didn’t seem like it was preventing the Cowboys from winning a Super Bowl between the 2014-2018 seasons.

      I just see a lot of Stephen Jones doing things now that seem to be Jerry in past. It almost look like the torch had been past.

      I get that sense, too–but I tend to think this has to do with selecting who to draft. Jerry seems have to deferred more of this to Stephen or others. But what about who gets paid? Who’s the head coach? It seems like Jerry’s the guy for that. And the pundits mentioned how this can undermine the authority of the coach, which I agree with.

      But as I mention, this didn’t seem to be a fatal flaw during the period I mention–they had legitimate chances to win the Super Bowl. We know about the catch call against Green Bay. In ’15 doesn’t Romo get hurt and miss a lot of games? In ’16, Prescott was good, but he was a rookie. Bottom line, I think I could point to failures besides the undermining of Garrett’s authority.

      But in 2019, undermining authority and credibility of Garrett seems like a compelling explanation for how the team is playing. Someone suggested Garrett is a lame duck coach–i.e., the players know he’s gone–so why play hard or take him seriously? If that’s going on it would explain the performance on the field.

      Maybe I was wrong and Richard and Marinelli’s style is just incompatible or Richard taking the play calling duties has hurt this team. All could be plausible.

      Those are possible explanations, but I don’t find them compelling. The defense looked great at times, last year. They would flash this year as well. And the other night, what stood out was the lack of effort. One thing I’ve noticed about Marinelli’s defenses with the Cowboys–they play hard, swarming to the ball–although I feel like as the talent has increased this has been less and less true. No name guys tend to listen to the coach and respect their authority. It’s the more talented players that may be less responsive–and if the owner favors them, even more so.

      (By the way, did Wiley say that Antonio Bryant hit Bill Parcells? Man, I never knew that. I gotta believe it was more inadvertent. Still, it seems crazy that it took several weeks before they cut him. I’m guessing I’m missing important details, though. It’s hard to imagine Parcells would be cool with waiting that long, unless he thought it was warranted.

      By the way, while hitting a coach is far worse than a defensive player yelling at the OC on the sidelines, what Sherm did–especially if he believed he didn’t do anything wrong–is in a similar ballpark. Both cross a line, albeit the former more egregiously. The authority and respect of the coach is going to take a significant hit–enough where I think they’ll begin to lose control of the team.)

  6. Ravens-Bills

    Bills defense played really well. I was frustrated with Josh Allen, especially on the deep throws. To be fair, the Bills OL struggled to pass protect.

    49ers-Saints

    If you like scoring and excitement, this was a good game. The Saints defense was a sieve for a lot of the game, although they were missing two of their starting LBs. 49ers used a few gadget plays for big gains.

    Saints ST teams, especially in the return game, contributed significantly.

    1. Yeah the parts I saw, the Saints defense was horrible. Their offense though, looked much better than in the past few weeks. I still think something is wrong with Kamara, as he was pretty much a nonfactor in the parts I watched. With Kamara not productive, this team could really use Ingram.

    2. Their offense though, looked much better than in the past few weeks.

      Yeah, I agree, and it’s worth mentioning because this was a key reason I designated them as more of a 10-6 team. They’re offense played more like an 12 win team, but they’re defense (except for a few stretches) played more like a 5 win team.

      As for Kamara, between him and Murray I thought they were OK. I think they could use Ingram, but, on the other hand, I don’t know how much impact Ingram would have. (That is, I’m not sure how much of it is the RB or OL or play calling.)

  7. Chiefs-Patriots

    I’m happy the Chiefs won, but what stands out is the resourcefulness of the Patriots. Their offense and OL struggled mightily. They generated turnovers (one later in the game that was important), and blocked a punt. They ran a trick play that gained 35 yards. The way they scheme things to help their players is unmatched.

    Still, the Chiefs offense inability to run helped a lot. By the way, what also stood out was the Chiefs’ offensive success on the Patriots, given how one-dimensional they were.

    1. For once the Pats didn’t get any calls. Actually the opposite happen, and they were actually hosed in this one. That’s payback for the tripping calls. Hahaha

      When Brady runs for a huge first down, Belichick does the first down move. That’s awesome. First time I seen that robot show any emotion.

    2. For once the Pats didn’t get any calls.

      I’ve seen several games with blown calls, so they’re all a blur now. Which ones are you thinking of?

      1. The Kelce fumble would have probably be a TD for the Pats defense, but the whistle blown it dead. Pats got the ball after the challenge, but at the spot of recovery.

        Pats didn’t have a challenge when the receiver was called out of bounds, but actually scored a TD. Pats ended up kicking a field goal in that possession.

        And the play before Brady ran for the first down, the Chief guy clearly had a pass interference. It was right before the two minute warning and the Pats had no more challenges. With the way pass interference is being called during the challenges, there is no guarantee it would have been overturned, but the official should have called it in real time anyway. It was pretty blatant.

    3. The Kelce fumble would have probably be a TD for the Pats defense, but the whistle blown it dead. Pats got the ball after the challenge, but at the spot of recovery.

      I didn’t think blowing the whistle to call the play dead seemed egregiously wrong, though. If I recall correctly, I can see why they thought it wasn’t a fumble.

      Pats didn’t have a challenge when the receiver was called out of bounds, but actually scored a TD. Pats ended up kicking a field goal in that possession.

      And the play before Brady ran for the first down, the Chief guy clearly had a pass interference.

      Yeah, these two seemed like wrong calls. The TD was clearly wrong.

      As an aside, I think I’ve minimized these mistakes as time has gone on, and I think it’s largely a reaction to the outrage over officiating mistakes. I feel like we’re getting to the point where any mistake is intolerable. If so, that’s not a reasonable expectation or a good place to be. If we can’t remove 100% of the mistakes, a few are reasonable, and our response should reflect that. That doesn’t mean a fan can’t or shouldn’t get frustrated at a call. But claiming the officials are really bad or that there’s a huge problem–I feel like that’s going too far. And it’s hard to enjoy the game with this type of attitude and standard.

      I think my attitude as a coach is one that is healthier, if I can say that–namely, don’t focus on officiating errors, focus on the errors you or your team made. Almost all the time these failures determine the outcome of the game more than the officiating. If fans adopt that attitude, I think they have a better chance of enjoying the game.

  8. Seahawks-Rams

    Rams beat the Seahawks–and beat them handily, on both sides of the ball. I don’t know if it was a butt kicking, but it’s pretty close. What’s worrisome is how easy the Rams moved the ball up the field at times. If the defense didn’t get a pick 6, I guess it would have definitely have been a butt kicking.

    I just hope the Seahawks were not playing their best, taking this lightly, because if not, that really diminishes their chances of winning it all.

    1. Yeah the Rams make the playoffs and they could do some damage. Those who thought, “Why would they go for Ramsey, when they are nearly out of it?”, should take notice. Dallas will have to pound them with the run game to loosen those corners.

      Seahawks were completely dominated. The play that really cost them was the fourth down play in which Seattle couldn’t convert. They were down 14 to 3 at the time, and I thought it was the right call to go for it. Maybe the play call was a risky one, but credit to the Rams defense.

    2. Those who thought, “Why would they go for Ramsey, when they are nearly out of it?”, should take notice

      On the other hand, if the Rams OL doesn’t function well, I don’t think that trade will matter. Also, the Rams cap situation and draft situation doesn’t seem great.

      The play that really cost them was the fourth down play in which Seattle couldn’t convert.

      Yeah, I thought so too, but I don’t think the Rams defense was great. Turner should have had that. (Also, Hollister dropped an easy 3rd down conversion, which felt really big.)

  9. You guys know I like Rivers, but if he’s like this all the time, I’m going to start rooting for him to get nailed.

    Man, and Ngakoue is cool, too, and Rivers gotta do him like that. I’m going be watching and rooting for Ngakoue the next time these two teams play each other.

    1. I’m pretty sure that’s River’s reputation.

      What about guys like Bird and Jordan? I’m guessing there isn’t a difference between what Rivers did in this clip versus what those guys always did.

    2. That’s his reputation, but I haven’t actually heard a lot of his trash talk.

      What about guys like Bird and Jordan?

      I was going to say I think there is a difference, especially with QBs. When QBs get tantalan, I want to them to get hit. (Long ago, when Mark Gastineau did his “sack dance,” I hated that, too, and I wanted him to get nailed. But now I don’t mind those celebrations, so maybe it’s by position. Then again, I hate when Zeke does that eating gesture. (If Russ did some celebration like Cam’s superman thing or Rodgers’s discount double-check, I think that would bug me, too. I’m glad he doesn’t do something like that.)

      With basketball, I think if I heard the specific trash talk, I think I’d might want to see the guy get swatted or dunked on–for sure if I heard MJ or Bird talk trash to Doc, and Doc was all cool about it.

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