What. A. Game! I admit I shed a few tears out of sheer relief after that game. It was such an emotional roller coaster from beginning to end.
Not to be a negative Nancy, but I have to point out the obvious. Playing like he did the first half, quarterback Nick Foles, will not be able to get away with that against the Minnesota Vikings. Luckily, the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense came through and it resulted in a win.
During the 4th quarter in Heinz Stadium, chants of, DUUUUVAAAAL could be heard unabated in the AFC Divisional playoff game. While the score seems as if it was a close contest, not even Pittsburgh Steelers fans believed it as the camera showed large sections of empty yellow seats.
From their touchdown drive on their first possession to a game-sealing field goal kick by kicker Josh Lambo, the Jacksonville Jaguars shocked Steelers Nation. The Jags weren’t pretty and once again, lost most stats like first downs 22-28, yards 378-544, yards per play 6.2-7.0 and total plays, 61-78.
Jacksonville did win the stats that matter: third downs 8-14-57% 7-16-44%, 4th down 100% and 5 compared to 3 red zone trips with scores.
It is the offseason. One thing that kicks into full gear in the offseason is the Coaching Carousel, and boy is it going with the Seattle Seahawks.
Coaching has dominated the week for Seattle. It started last Wednesday with the announcement that offensive coordinator Darrel Bevell had been fired, then followed closely with the announcement that offensive line coach/assistant head coach Tom Cable was also let go. Rumors abounded about defensive coordinator Kris Richard had a tenuous hold on that position.
Hopes were high for the Tennessee Titans. They were relishing the “underdog” role against the number one seed New England Patriots and were confident after getting an upset victory last week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Titans players were quoted in the press saying “it’s our time”. They were confident in their quarterback, Marcus Mariota, insinuating that the Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady might be past his prime and due for a fall from the NFL throne.
At the beginning of the game, it looked like the Titans had a good chance to beat the Patriots; the Titans were first to score late in the first quarter when Mariota threw a 15-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Corey Davis for a touchdown. It was Davis’ first NFL touchdown, a one-handed catch that got the Titans on the board and it felt like a breakthrough for the Titans first-round draft pick. Finally, during a playoff game, Davis made a big play. The glee didn’t last for long as the Patriots were able to score on their next possession and even the score.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, a hard-luck team for a decade, are readying for round two in Pittsburgh. On their last outing, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger turned the ball over five times. The final score was 30-9. Can they do it, again? Be the upset winner in these playoffs?
Steelers fans will be quick to point out that the interceptions were flukes, and despite the Jags getting the ball back so many times, they didn’t put up many points. They’ll say the game was close until the second half. Finally, they’ll say that minus an 80 yard bust out touchdown, running backLeonard Fournette was kept under 100 yards.
The Minnesota Vikings offensive line may be a weak link the New Orleans Saints can exploit in Sunday’s Divisional playoff game.
The Vikings most recent game loss was on December 10 when they played the Carolina Panthers. The loss to the Panthers is notable because the offensive line had to be reshuffled, and the Vikings gave up a season-high six sacks to the Panthers, including a strip-sack that lead to a Panthers field goal.
I’m sure by now everyone has heard about how the Philadelphia Eagles are the first number one seed to have a higher probability to lose to a number six seed. In this case, the Atlanta Falcons.
There have been so many stats all week about this particular game, that I have toned down my social media usage by a ton because I didn’t want to hear any negativity. I personally don’t like the statistics these sports analysts come up with because most of them are useless, and as I always say “rules are meant to be broken”. Except, in this case, statistics are meant to be broken.
Looking back at the Saints since the pinnacle of their 2009 Super Bowl success, you would have to say this team is full of survivors who know how to change and become better. A list of what they have survived:
The Seattle Seahawks missed the playoffs for the first time in 5 years. The team was riddled with injuries, but other problems were very evident. Fans had been screaming for changes in the coaching staff, and today, those fans got their wish.
The Seahawks lost 3 Pro Bowl players on defense to injuries this year. Cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Kam Chancellor, and defensive end Cliff Avril were lost for the season leaving a large hole in the normally stout defense. Surprisingly, the defense wasn’t the problem for a team that struggled more this season than in years past. The real problem seemed to be found in the offense.
Over a week has passed since the end of the Seattle Seahawks 2017 season. To say that this year has been tumultuous would not even raise an eyebrow in Seattle. The Seahawks were making news, whether it was good, bad, polarizing, thought-provoking, and outrageous, off or on the field.
But that it wasn’t any different than any other year under head coach Pete Carroll. So why did this season end in disappointment? Not the sudden devastation of losing a playoff game, but a slow death-rattle-like loss of identity. As the season progressed, we kept waiting; waiting for something to turn, something to change. When the season ended, it looked like nothing changed.
Last January, after they were eliminated from the playoffs, the main concerns were the offensive line and the running game. But the kicking game became surprisingly unpredictable too.
Seahawks went to fix the concerns that followed them into the off-season by signing kicker Blair Walsh. They continued to acquire free agents like running back Eddie Lacy. Before the regular season began Seahawks traded wide receiver Jermaine Kearse to New York Jets for defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.