There wasn’t a lot to say about the Arizona Cardinals in 2018. Honestly, it was basically a throwaway season. However, with the Cards having a new coach and the first pick in the draft, can 2019 bring a turnaround?
After going 3-13, the Cardinals knew things had to change. They started with firing head coach Steve Wilks after just one season, and hiring college football coach, Kliff Kingsbury. Kingsbury started coaching in 2008 moving from the University of Houston, then on to Texas A&M, and finally to Texas Tech. He had been hired as the offensive coordinator at USC in December, but obviously, let that go to coach at the NFL level.
Reaction to the Kingsbury hire was, to say the least, cool from fans and media. However, he coached quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, Johnny Manziel, and Case Keenum. So there is reason to think his system could carry over to the NFL. Add to that the fact they brought in former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph as defensive coordinator, this team has a completely fresh start in coaching.
The Los Angeles Rams are going to the Super Bowl. However, that’s not the biggest news surrounding the team this after their win over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game Sunday. A missed call late in regulation is.
Yes, there was an obvious third-down pass interference. Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman hit Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis and the Saints didn’t get the chance for a first down that could have run out the clock.
Instead, New Orleans was left with having to kick a field goal, giving the Rams 15 seconds to tie the game. While the field goal gave the Saints the lead, a penalty MIGHT have given them the win. But would it have? We will never know. What would the narrative be today had that potential field goal NOT gone in?
As they always do this time of year, we are being inundated with opinions. The arguments over end of season awards, conversations regarding which team most improved, which teams took the biggest step back. Yet every year, since the end of the 2012 season, there is one thing most reporters and media members can apparently agree on.
That Russell Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, yet chronically underrated.
Anyone who reads my articles or listens to the Our Turf Football Podcast knows I’m not a huge fan of quarterbacks. Its always been my observation that they get more credit for wins than they deserve, yet rarely have the burden of being responsible for defeats. However, today I put my “defense lover” hat away and focus on the one player that has been the cornerstone for Seattle’s string of successes.
Steve Wilks is out as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals after just one season. Wilks will be the first one and done head coach since Chip Kelly’s firing in San Francisco two years ago.
Wilks started his coaching career at the college level for Savannah State University. He then moved up to the NFL, working for the Chicago Bears and the San Diego Chargers. When Ron Rivera became head coach for the Carolina Panthers, he brought Wilks with him, moving up from secondary coach to assistant head coach in 2015.
Wilks interviewed with both the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants before landing the job in Arizona.
Admit it. You (read: ME!) were a bit scared upon learning that LA Rams running back Todd Gurley wasn’t going to be playing Sunday. Sidelined with a bum left knee, I WAS nervous that might have the potential to lead us to a third consecutive loss. Luckily, the Rams newest pickup, running back C.J. Anderson more than stepped up in Gurley’s absence, rushing for more than 160 yards and getting a touchdown.
It’s not that I don’t have confidence in the team. I still think the Rams will win the Super Bowl. Losing two games in a row was just so odd and not something we have seen the Rams do this season. So, ok. I got nervous. I’m over it now and when a friend texted me late Sunday night asking “Do you think we can beat the 49ers?” I immediately replied with an enthusiastic “Yes!”
For the Seattle Seahawks, last nights win against the Kansas City Chiefs was about more than getting a 17-2 record in prime time games. Even about more than clinching a playoff spot. This was a game about proving that the last few years weren’t a fluke. This game and this season has been about showing the NFL that the system, the Pete Carroll philosophy, still works.
I’ll admit it. Anyone who follows me on Twitter already knows. I didn’t watch this game live. Couldn’t watch this game live. December football stresses me out too much so I often have to watch games the next morning to save my sanity and my blood pressure. After watching the game this morning I can tell you, I’ve seen this team before. I’ve seen this energy before. And although wide receiver Doug Baldwin won’t say it, I will. It feels like 2012 all over again.
Let’s be honest, it wasn’t a pretty win… but it was my favorite kind of win. It was a win that could have easily gotten away from Seattle. But it didn’t, and now the Seahawks are one win away from clinching a playoff berth. In a year where they weren’t expected to win more than four or five games, they are the team no one wants to face.
Lisa Johnson and I argue about this all the time on the OTFB podcast. Defense or offense, which is more important? But it’s not just a shtick we do for the show. She truly believes offense wins games, I say, quite adamantly, the defense is most important.
What last night’s Monday Night Football game against the Minnesota Vikings showed was that what truly wins games is a balance. What makes the Seahawks so dangerous right now is that balance, and it’s alive and well in Seattle.
The Chicago Bears will be hosting the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday night at Soldier Field and Bears fans are both excited and nervous.
And for good reason.
The Rams are the number one seeded team in the NFC with a record of 11-1. The Bears hold the 3rd seed spot at 8-4 and currently first in the NFC North division.
With Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky back under center, after he sustained a shoulder injury against the Minnesota Vikings, it will be interesting to see what kind of game churns out. Currently, the Bears have a 5-1 record at home and fans have been coming out in droves to bring some noise to opposing teams.
December, the time of year that brings us fun holidays, great times with family and friends, and a bright new year. But for Seattle Seahawks fans, it also brings their teams best football of the year. This year seems to be no different. Lets look at the gifts Seattle fans are receiving this year. Gifts that will help take the Seahawks to the post season.
Could anyone ask for a better present than the gift of having linebacker Bobby Wagner on their team? Wagner is the best linebacker in football and I dare you to argue it with me. After his insane game on Sunday against San Francisco, Wagner has 100 tackles, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, and a beautiful interception that was run back 98 yards for a touchdown. Without question, he is in his prime and we as Seahawks fans are lucky to have him.
Among linebackers, Bobby Wagner has the highest grade in run defense, tackling, pass-rushing, and coverage. #Seahawks