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View Full Version : BeerBaron's Divisional Round Thoughts


BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 09:45 AM
First, the music:


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(This is for the Zombie Mafia Game:
http://i.imgur.com/9i1Zq.jpg
INFECTION VACCINE!


1.) Saints/49ers
Well this was an epic game. I've heard it mentioned several times as an "Instant Classic" and I can't say that I disagree. We had 4 lead changes in the final 5 minutes I believe and the 49ers added "The Catch: Pt. III" to their storied history.

Let's start with the 49ers. Their defense had to show up big and they did. It wasn't a great statistical performance, but they took advantage every time the Saints put the ball on the ground. They covered just well enough to keep the Saints contained and got after Drew Brees just enough to keep him uneasy.

Offensively, the 49ers stepped up when they had to. If you had told me before the game that Alex Smith would attempt 42 passes while Frank Gore carried only 13 times, I would have laughed and asked you "when did the 49ers get Cam Cameron?" I would have assumed that the Saints blew out the 49ers...but they didn't. Alex Smith and Vernon Davis had a coming out party on the national stage which propelled the 49ers to victory.

And I think this only further solidifies John Harbaugh as the Coach of the Year. Much of this team's talent was already in place the last several seasons, but he has absolutely brought it out this year.

The 49ers are probably the most truly balanced team remaining in this postseason as long as Alex Smith keeps up this level of play. That o-line can be downright nasty (when Anthony Davis isn't letting blitzers come free on the edge) and they have the best defensive front 7 in the sport right now.

Now they get a home game against the Giants. This is going to be a good one. The Giants are rolling and the first meeting between these teams was a great game. I expect nothing less coming up this week.

As for the Saints...turnovers. Turnovers absolutely killed the Saints. You can't be -4 in the turnover battle and expect to win, though they kept it tighter than most teams would in that situation.

Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles make this offense absolutely unstoppable when it gets rolling. It makes me think they won't really pay too much to keep Colston and Meachem if those guys are offered huge deals on the open market. The receivers are mostly interchangeable, but Sproles and Graham are matchup nightmares that make everyone else's job easier on the offense.

Defensively...not a great day. They are a defense predicated on bending but not breaking, sending blitzers, and forcing turnovers. Towards the end of the game, they badly broke several times and definitely lost the turnover battle on the day.

The Saints have a lot of issues to contend with this upcoming offseason, not the least of which is Drew Brees. He'll almost certainly be franchised while they work out a new deal, but that will likely prevent them from being as competitive in bringing back the WRs mentioned earlier and Carl Nicks. Also, it sounds like DC Gregg Williams is almost certainly out, so that situation will need to be addressed.

2.) Broncos/Pats

Finally...the Tebow talk will end for this season. That took far too long and got far too out of control.

The guy simply is not an NFL QB and if the Broncos are wise, they'll line up a quality backup QB "just in case." (Aka, someone who isn't Brady Quinn.) This is simply not an offensive system you can justifiably commit to in the modern NFL. When teams got 2nd cracks at Tebow this season, they played him far tougher, most notably are the KC game and this playoff game. The Pats defense was fully prepared to stop Tebow and did so beautifully. The option plays were completely snuffed out and in the relatively few instances where Tebow snuck out of the pocket, the Patriots stayed disciplined in the secondary and didn't allow the big plays that doomed Pittsburgh last week.

At the end of the day, Tim Tebow is a fullback playing QB. His release remains a major issue, not just for having the ball knocked out, but for allowing defenders to knock down his passes. The Pats deflected 6 of his passes yesterday. When the defenders see that Tebow is beginning his windup, they may not always be able to get to him, but it does give them that split second to throw their hands up and bat it down.

Additionally, his accuracy simply is not there. Blame what you will on dropped passes and whatnot, the Tebow apologists always will, but the guy does not make it easy on his receivers.

Even more additionally, the apologists will talk about how Tebow will now have a full blown offseason to try and improve. "Improve what?" I ask. His release is locked in by the literally tens of thousands of passes he has thrown in games and practices since high school. You aren't going to change that. There is not one instance I can think of where a QBs release was drastically altered and the QB went on to have success, and if there is one, it is most certainly an exception to the rule. He can't read defenses and his pocket presence is completely non-existent. Not an NFL QB and not things that, even in a million offseasons, can be improved enough to make him a competent NFL QB.

And while he will have an offseason to "improve," so will opposing defenses. I trust the defensive minds of this league to study the tape and find the same weaknesses the Chiefs and Pats did in their 2nd go arounds with the Tebow offense.

Beyond Tebow, the Broncos do not have a playoff contending defense. Von Miller is a nice piece, but outside of him, the team seems to have very little. While multiple teams made this post season with awful defenses, only the Patriots now remain. Having at least an average defense is still key to championship caliber success in the NFL. Aside from getting a "backup" (successor) to Tebow, they need to go all out in finding more/better defensive upgrades.

That felt good...now onto the Patriots. They've finally broken out of their playoff slump and look as dangerous as ever.

Brady was machine like in his destruction the Broncos defense. There is no good answer for how to shut down Gronk...you can only hope to minimize the damage. And leave it to the Pats to come up with an answer to their rushing woes by handing it to Aaron Hernandez. That's actually a brilliant move on their part. They trap the defense in their nickel or dime with two TEs on the field, and then hand off to Hernandez who is just so much bigger and stronger than the extra DBs the opposing defense is stuck with.

Defensively, they had a fantastic anti-Tebow game plan. They completely snuffed out the option and forced negative play after negative play. Absolutely brilliant.

Now, how will that defense fair against a less completely idiotic offensive scheme? (If you can call something involving Cam Cameron less idiotic...) We'll see...the Patriots best friend this week might very well be Cam Cameron. (More on him later...)

3.) Texans/Ravens

The Texans just couldn't overcome the mistakes in this one. Arian Foster was brilliant, as was Andre Johnson. And the defense was great. Take away the Jacoby Jones fumble giving the Ravens a free red zone possession and the Texans probably win this one.

If they had a healthy Matt Schaub, I truly think they would be the best, most well-rounded team in the playoffs. They are capable of running the ball, passing the ball and playing great defense. They also probably have the best o-line in football to boot. (No sacks and only 2 hits on a rookie QB yesterday? Brilliant.) But you're only going so far with a 3rd string rookie QB...which is unfortunate.

I think the Texans will absolutely be back next year barring more injuries. The core players of this team will be in tact and hopefully healthy, making them a serious threat in my mind. JJ Watt and Brooks Reed also looked fantastic, likely making Mario Williams expendable.

As for the Ravens...you won, THIS time. Defensively, Tom Brady is no TJ Yates. And the Ravens pass rush absolutely has to show up. If Brady has the time TJ Yates got (0 sacks, 2 QB hits) then this is going to be a long, long LONG day for the Ravens defensively.

And on offense, there is the Cam Cameron factor. One series towards the end of the game epitomized what I hate about him. He chose to throw twice, both incomplete passes, allowing the Texans to save both time AND their timeouts. If both of those were simply runs up the middle, the Texans would either have lost at least a minute off the game clock or had to use their timeouts. He got bailed out because TJ Yates couldn't help but unleash the dragon, but had the Texans just methodically drove down the field against that soft prevent the Ravens defense was running, things could have been very, very different.

The Ravens also cannot afford Joe Flacco 50% completion days or Ray Rice getting less than 3.0 ypc. If that happens again next week, no matter how well your defense plays, the Ravens are going to find themselves behind New England and struggling to catch up.

The Ravens are the team I feel least confident/comfortable with remaining in the playoffs. I just feel like a New England beat-down of them is in the works for next week...

4.) Giants/Packers

Crowned as Superbowl champs in the regular season, mentioned as a G.O.A.T team, Rodgers mentioned as having a G.O.A.T season...pfft. The Giants did not give a ****. This core group once faced down an undefeated Patriots team after going on a road run in the playoffs and didn't back down. They weren't scared of the Packers.

If you take away TDs on drives where the Packers were bailed out by horrible, horrible calls by the officials (more on that later,) the Packers scored all of 6 points on their own. I truly think that the football gods looked at that fumble and decided to make up for it by allowing the Giants to score that hail mary TD at the end of the first half.

The Packers looked cold and sluggish on both sides of the ball. The Giants had their way with that defense. They couldn't cover, they couldn't get pressure and they badly lost the turnover battle. Even the supposedly good players in the secondary like Woodson and Williams were getting toasted left and right. The Giants simply moved the ball with ease.

On offense, the drops killed the Packers. But Rodgers had his off moments too, simply missing on passes that he otherwise made all season long. He also led the team in rushing, which is always a bad sign for an offense. Ryan Grant and James Starks both had one fairly long run each, but if you take those away, they had sub-par days overall.

And unlike the Packers, the Giants defense was disruptive all day long. They forced fumbles and got into the backfield plenty. The only reason this day wasn't worse for the Packers was because of Rodgers ability to scramble away from the pressure. Even then, the Giants cornered him for 4 sacks and 5 QB hits...and horrible call penalty that extended a drive late.

The Giants look awfully dangerous moving forward. Perry Fewell finally wised up (it only took him like 14 weeks...) and got more aggressive. I was watching and saw the Giants rushing at least 4 guys the vast majority of the time. They manned up defensively and choked the Packers out.

On offense, Eli is playing like the top 5 QB I've been saying since the preseason that he is. (Alright, I had him 6th/7th before Peyton sat out the year and Rivers decided to suck.) But still, I was one of the few non-Giants fans who seemed to feel that he was even that good. And he's so clutch...I don't know how many 3rd and longs he converted yesterday, but it seemed like every time they faced that situation, Eli threw a strike to keep the drive alive. I LOVE QBs who can do that.

Throw in those WRs and their ability to run the ball just well enough to maintain some balance, and this is easily the most dangerous team left in the playoffs.

Like I said earlier, I'm eagerly awaiting the Giants/49ers battle. Should be a great, great game.

5.) Horrible Officiating
The Giants/Packers game had two of the worst officiating blunders I've ever seen. It was right on par, if not worse than, the Seahawks/Steelers Superbowl a few years back.

And what do those have in common? Why, Bill Leavy as the referee of course!

Anyone with a pair of working eyes knows that was a fumble. Everyone except Bill Leavy apparently. Even Mike Periera came onto Fox and said that he thought it should be a fumble. And that Roughing the QB...come the **** on. It was a full blown chest/shoulder tackle. If there was any helmet contact at all, it was very slight and a result of Rodgers helmet bumping the defenders AFTER the initial impact of the hit.

What a joke...how this guy has a job, much less is officiating playoff games which are supposed to be rewards for the officials who have good years, is beyond me.

And this brings me to another point: Why in the bloody hell are officials not full time employees of the NFL? PFT points out some arguments in favor of this here:
http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/15/league-will-consider-hiring-some-full-time-officials-next-season/

To sum up a few of the points as well as add some of my own, the league basically hasn't done it already because it would cost more money.

Right now, all of the NFL officials are part-timers. They have regular day jobs and officiate NFL games on the side.

I say **** that. The NFL, in TV money alone, is worth BILLIONS WITH A ******* "B" of dollars... Use some of that to help reduce errors!

With officiating being only a side job for these guys, they can't focus on it year round. If they are made full time employees, they can spend the offseasons reviewing tape and really getting into the nitty gritty of the rulebook.

Even if it results in just a few more correct rulings each week, it is well worth it.

I think less of a deal will be made of this since the Giants still won yesterday, but if that non-fumble fumble and roughing call helped the Packers to victory, I think there would be a serious **** storm in the media today.

6.) Defense STILL Wins Championships
Well, only one of the 4 teams who entered the playoffs with what I'd call "abysmal" defenses remains. The Pats, Packers, Saints and Lions couldn't stop a Pop Warner offense most weeks and all but the Pats have met their end. (The Giants statistically had a low ranking defense, but over the past 4 weeks they've allowed 14, 14, 0 and 6 points not counting the safety or drives extended by horrific officiating blunders, so they're peaking at the right time and have always had more raw talent than those other defenses.)

And even the Patriots had a great defensive showing this past weekend, scheming perfectly to stop Tebow.

So what does this tell us? Well, you still need an adequate defense to win championships. Come playoff time, you're typically facing a string of elite teams all in a row. There are no more garbage teams like the Colts or Bucs or Vikings on the schedule to beat on between playing tougher teams.

And you can't beat truly good teams solely on offense. The 49ers/Saints is a great example of this. The 49ers defense slowed down the Saints offense just enough for the 49ers offense to get a lead.

I think most people (idiot casual fans and the media) have this idea in their head that in order for the statement "defenses win championships" to be true, the team needs to have an 85 Bears or 2000 Ravens defense. Not true.

It simply must be above average on the day of the playoff game to count, and this weekend, each defense was.

Along that same vein is running the ball. You don't need to have a 2000 yard rusher who gets the ball 35 times a game to count towards this, you just need to strive for a little balance and get a few key rushes in big spots. The Giants did this. The 49ers did this. Hell, even the Ravens did a little bit (Rice still got a good amount of carries, they just weren't going for much.)

At the end of the day, you need 3 things to win a championship in the NFL:

A.) A good QB
B.) Balance on offense and the ability to rush when you have to
C.) A defense that doesn't melt vs. every team it faces

It doesn't seem like much to ask for, but it's harder than it looks to put those 3 elements together at once.

7.) This is the league of the Tight End.
Good god were there some epic TE performances this weekend. Vernon Davis - 7 for 180, 2 TD, Jimmy Graham - 5 for 103, 2 TD, Rob Gronkowski - 10 for 145 and 3 TD.

And even though they weren't nearly as epic, even the Ravens and Giants get contributions for their TEs.

There has never been a better time for the TE position in the NFL. Most of these guys play like receivers in giant bodies. But everyone mentioned here is also a willing blocker, which only adds to the devastation they can cause to an opposing defense. Instead of needing to come off the field to be replaced with a better blocker, the guy can stay in as the team switches gears to running the ball.

And the mismatch nightmares...so many. Do you put a LB on someone like Gronk or Graham? Probably too slow. A safety? Probably too small and not physical enough. A nickel cornerback? Forget about it.

If you want to be a competitive team in today's NFL, you better damn well have a quality TE.

And **** you Mike Martz for making us get rid of Greg Olsen.

8.) Reader Question

This one comes from Hockey619:


4 teams left, only one is a team that is really leaning on its passing. and they really havent been tested yet, they only had a scrimmage against a very overmatched opponent from the worst division in football. the rest all at least try (giants) to lean on the run (as long as cam cam keeps his **** together).
so what did we all learn this weekend folks? running and defense still get it done when it matters. suck it bill polian.

Also: i said a while back that needing an elite qb may be a thing of the past because playing QB is becoming so much easier, a solid qb who can keep his cool is all youll really need. case in point: alex smith. 3 of the 4 qbs have never really been considered elite, with eli being on that edge and brady being a beast. so what else did we learn? Great TEAMS are what get wins in the playoffs, not great QBs.

Well, I already touched on the first part in the #6 above. Running the ball and playing defense, even if you aren't doing it at a great level, are still required to win in the modern NFL.

As to the 2nd part, I disagree. I actually think it's MORE important than ever to have an elite QB. It's easier to play now that ever before, but having an elite QB is the most surefire way to have consistent success.

If you have that Tom Brady, or Drew Brees, or Aaron Rodgers, or even an Eli Manning or healthy Ben Roethlisberger, you're a team who is going to make the playoffs. A LOT would have to go wrong for you to miss out with a guy of that caliber under center.

Having a guy like that is like having a free ticket to the playoffs every year. After that is when the other things start to become important. Once you are in the post season, you have to stay balanced on offense and your defense has to show up.

The Colts made the playoffs for a decade with Peyton Manning...and came away with one Superbowl win. Why? Because they were too reliant on Peyton to carry the team. Good opposing defenses shut down the finesse offense and they Colts couldn't run the ball consistently enough to force the defense into easing up on the coverage. And defensively, they couldn't stop the run. It's hard for Peyton to win you a game sitting on the bench while the other team runs up and down the field against your defense.

As with all things in the NFL, balance is key. All of the rules aimed to boost the passing game have made having a good QB more invaluable than ever. You can get by without a truly great player at the position, as the 49ers and Ravens have demonstrated by getting this far this year, but it's so much better to have a truly great QB to lean on in a pinch.

But your run game and defense must be there to help out. And in the case of each of the remaining teams, the run game and defense showed up this most recent week to help out.

Sloopy
01-16-2012, 10:00 AM
I see where you might think that the Ravens are likely to go out this coming week. I still think people are weighing the win against the Bronco's too heavily. Meanwhile, people seem to be weighing the Texans team too lightly.

As you said: the Texans might have been the most well rounded team in the playoffs. The other facets of their team nearly overcame a 3rd string rookie QB starting for them to take home the win. It wasn't like the Ravens barely squeaked by against an easy team.

On the other hand you have an relatively untested Pats team. Yes they slaughtered the Broncos; without trying to insight another debate, so should have almost every team that played them.

Your right in saying that Flacco has to complete more than 50% of his passes and Rice needs more than 3 ypc but against this porous defense, it really shouldn't be a problem.

The D needs to get more pressure for sure, but the Pats OL is hardly the Texans OL. Just as much as the lack of pressure last week was an aberration on Baltimores part, I feel the elevated OL play of the Pats line against the Broncos was equally an aberration.

I'm not trying to say that the Ravens are guaranteed a win, but I think that anyone who is claiming this will be an easy one for the Pats is kidding themselves.

Should be a good game

BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 10:04 AM
I see where you might think that the Ravens are likely to go out this coming week. I still think people are weighing the win against the Bronco's too heavily. Meanwhile, people seem to be weighing the Texans team too lightly.

As you said: the Texans might have been the most well rounded team in the playoffs. The other facets of their team nearly overcame a 3rd string rookie QB starting for them to take home the win. It wasn't like the Ravens barely squeaked by against an easy team.

On the other hand you have an relatively untested Pats team. Yes they slaughtered the Broncos; without trying to insight another debate, so should have almost every team that played them.

Your right in saying that Flacco has to complete more than 50% of his passes and Rice needs more than 3 ypc but against this porous defense, it really shouldn't be a problem.

The D needs to get more pressure for sure, but the Pats OL is hardly the Texans OL. Just as much as the lack of pressure last week was an aberration on Baltimores part, I feel the elevated OL play of the Pats line against the Broncos was equally an aberration.

I'm not trying to say that the Ravens are guaranteed a win, but I think that anyone who is claiming this will be an easy one for the Pats is kidding themselves.

Should be a good game

COULD be a good game is more like it. I see either team winning close, or the Pats in a blowout.

I take the Texans game lightly because the Ravens badly struggled for much of it. TJ Yates throwing picks was really the sole reason you won, and I don't anticipate Tom Brady doing that...especially without pressuring him.

The lack of a pass rush was the scariest thing. If the Pats are allowed to just throw all over the Ravens defense, the Ravens offense isn't going to keep up.

Also, and I didn't mention this above but it applies, the Ravens will be away from home. This season: 8-0 at home, 4-4 on the road with 4 horrendous losses to some truly terrible teams like the Jaguars.

I do not like the Ravens in Foxboro at all.

SuperPacker
01-16-2012, 10:07 AM
Im begging for a Ravens/49ers superbowl. It would be such good game!

49erNation85
01-16-2012, 10:08 AM
I bet your just so ha e happy tebow got crushed again by the pats . I have to agree that his throwing motion probably won't ever change sad but true . But any dont matter to me because the 49ers are on their way to a great game against the giants this sunday in sf. Which will be an epic game. If SF can do the same this sunday against the nyg it will be all over but still close in the end . Just sad I have to work a closing shift boo.

Sloopy
01-16-2012, 10:14 AM
COULD be a good game is more like it. I see either team winning close, or the Pats in a blowout.

I take the Texans game lightly because the Ravens badly struggled for much of it. TJ Yates throwing picks was really the sole reason you won, and I don't anticipate Tom Brady doing that...especially without pressuring him.

The lack of a pass rush was the scariest thing. If the Pats are allowed to just throw all over the Ravens defense, the Ravens offense isn't going to keep up.

Also, and I didn't mention this above but it applies, the Ravens will be away from home. This season: 8-0 at home, 4-4 on the road with 4 horrendous losses to some truly terrible teams like the Jaguars.

I do not like the Ravens in Foxboro at all.

Brady might not throw picks but it should be easier to get pressure.

I see what you are saying about playing terrible on the road. We also have had some pretty good games on the road.

In the end, I think that we can both agree that the main thing holding us back will be Cam Cameron.

A Perfect Score
01-16-2012, 10:34 AM
Cam Cameron should be fired solely based on what happened with under 3 minutes left in the game yesterday. You outlined it BB, but we needed all of 2 yards to get a first down and quite literally finish that game. Instead of 2 running plays, we get two passes, stopping the clock and giving the Texans the damn ball back with their timeouts. It was horrendous playcalling and clock management and if I was Harbaugh, I would have fired Cameron on the spot.

I love the Ravens as much as anyone, but this was not a strong showing for us. There is no way we can expect to win if we play like this in Foxborough next week. However, there are some things to look at positively. While the defense didn't play as well as I hoped, the Texans did have several first downs inside the red zone where they were forced to kick field goals, so I can take solace in the fact that our red zone D wasn't awful. Unfortunately, the only counter I can think of for Gronk is to have Ngata knock his ass down on every passing play, so I don't see that trend continuing into next week.

It's going to be a hell of a game, but if we don't get pressure on Brady it's game over. He'll eat our secondary alive.

Rosebud
01-16-2012, 10:41 AM
I'm so excited for this game. If our D keeps it's head out its ass and the 9ers passing game keeps it's momentum this should be epic. They'll shut down our running game unless they go overboard in trying to counter eli, but I still think we'll be able to move the ball the way we did in the last game. Hopefully Killdrive avoids the goal-line draws to Jacobs in the redzone.

Defensively I'm kinda worried, the giants run D hasn't really been tested yet in the playoffs and I'm still worried that if Smith can make some big plays early to back the D off, they'll run all over us. Hopefully the giants pass D shuts them down early and Boley or Jacquan Williams is able to keep Vernon quie. So that we can stay big against the run.

scottyboy
01-16-2012, 10:42 AM
are you saying jake ballard isn't a nightmare for opposing defenses because of his ability to bring mismatches with his blazing speed? I'm appalled

Rosebud
01-16-2012, 10:45 AM
are you saying jake ballard isn't a nightmare for opposing defenses because of his ability to bring mismatches with his blazing speed? I'm appalled

He's got "deceptive speed", in that it doesn't look like he's going anywhere, but still he ends up wide open by deceiving the defenders into thinking he's staying into block.

SuperPacker
01-16-2012, 10:47 AM
are you saying jake ballard isn't a nightmare for opposing defenses because of his ability to bring mismatches with his blazing speed? I'm appalled

Wasnt Ballards 40 time someting like 5 seconds? To be fair he doesnt look that slow on the field

scottyboy
01-16-2012, 10:47 AM
He's got "deceptive speed", in that it doesn't look like he's going anywhere, but still he ends up wide open by deceiving the defenders into thinking he's staying into block.

exactly. best post ever.

the funniest play was one time we did like a 4 verticals type play where Manningham, Nicks and Cruz all did streaks and Ballard did a 15 yard hitch. The 3 WR's were in the end zone by the time Ballard settled down

BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 10:49 AM
Cam Cameron should be fired solely based on what happened with under 3 minutes left in the game yesterday. You outlined it BB, but we needed all of 2 yards to get a first down and quite literally finish that game. Instead of 2 running plays, we get two passes, stopping the clock and giving the Texans the damn ball back with their timeouts. It was horrendous playcalling and clock management and if I was Harbaugh, I would have fired Cameron on the spot.

I love the Ravens as much as anyone, but this was not a strong showing for us. There is no way we can expect to win if we play like this in Foxborough next week. However, there are some things to look at positively. While the defense didn't play as well as I hoped, the Texans did have several first downs inside the red zone where they were forced to kick field goals, so I can take solace in the fact that our red zone D wasn't awful. Unfortunately, the only counter I can think of for Gronk is to have Ngata knock his ass down on every passing play, so I don't see that trend continuing into next week.

It's going to be a hell of a game, but if we don't get pressure on Brady it's game over. He'll eat our secondary alive.

I don't think you're winning a Superbowl with Cam Cameron. I just don't. He'll **** things up eventually.

I'm so excited for this game. If our D keeps it's head out its ass and the 9ers passing game keeps it's momentum this should be epic. They'll shut down our running game unless they go overboard in trying to counter eli, but I still think we'll be able to move the ball the way we did in the last game. Hopefully Killdrive avoids the goal-line draws to Jacobs in the redzone.

Defensively I'm kinda worried, the giants run D hasn't really been tested yet in the playoffs and I'm still worried that if Smith can make some big plays early to back the D off, they'll run all over us. Hopefully the giants pass D shuts them down early and Boley or Jacquan Williams is able to keep Vernon quie. So that we can stay big against the run.

Yeah, this is a different type of matchup than the Packers.

And I think that, after last week where Smith threw 42 times, Harbaugh is going to look to get back to ground and pound. I don't think they used many sets that involved two extra o-lineman, but they may this week. Especially if you sell out to stop the run.

are you saying jake ballard isn't a nightmare for opposing defenses because of his ability to bring mismatches with his blazing speed? I'm appalled

Yes, I am so scared of his 5.00 flat speed! ZOMG look out for Jake Ballard! If he, Jimmy Graham, Gronk and Vernon Davis had a race, Ballard would miss next week's game trying to get to the finish.

Rosebud
01-16-2012, 10:49 AM
exactly. best post ever.

the funniest play was one time we did like a 4 verticals type play where Manningham, Nicks and Cruz all did streaks and Ballard did a 15 yard hitch. The 3 WR's were in the end zone by the time Ballard settled down

Plus it just tickles me because BBD used to rage about how slow Kevin Boss was...and now we've got Jake...

Jughead10
01-16-2012, 10:57 AM
Yeah I thought it was an ugly win for the Ravens as well. You won't get a fumble like that again, and Brady won't throw picks like that. You'll have to work for picks against him.

But that being said the Ravens should be able to move the ball more easily against the Pats defense. But that's not the type of game they are going to want to play.

Jughead10
01-16-2012, 10:59 AM
Plus it just tickles me because BBD used to rage about how slow Kevin Boss was...and now we've got Jake...

Beckum actually got a few a catches yesterday. Imagine our offense with a real receiving threat at TE.

Rosebud
01-16-2012, 11:04 AM
Beckum actually got a few a catches yesterday. Imagine our offense with a real receiving threat at TE.

Now imagine it with a real receiving threat at TE, and a competent redzone play caller and quality OL...sigh...maybe this'll be the offseason that some poor team makes Gilbride their HC and we just let Eli call his own plays next year.

BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 11:06 AM
Yeah I thought it was an ugly win for the Ravens as well. You won't get a fumble like that again, and Brady won't throw picks like that. You'll have to work for picks against him.

But that being said the Ravens should be able to move the ball more easily against the Pats defense. But that's not the type of game they are going to want to play.

Yeah, they can't afford to get into that kind of game. Joe Flacco vs. Tom Brady in a shootout? Who ya got there I wonder?

I can see it now...Ravens start with the football. Rice carries twice up the middle for 2 yards, Flacco throws incomplete on 3rd down.

Patriots come out, storm down the field for a TD.

Cam Cameron calls 115% pass plays (he calls so many passes that Ray Rice is literally cast from existence) as the Ravens lose a shootout.

Beckum actually got a few a catches yesterday. Imagine our offense with a real receiving threat at TE.

It would be scary. In the last forum mock we did, Scotty got Dwayne Allen in the 2nd round. That would be beastly.

Jughead10
01-16-2012, 11:09 AM
Now imagine it with a real receiving threat at TE, and a competent redzone play caller and quality OL...sigh...maybe this'll be the offseason that some poor team makes Gilbride their HC and we just let Eli call his own plays next year.

I'm tired of the Gilbride complaining. Our offense is top of the league. No one is going to be happy with every play call. But for every draw that you complain about who knows if a different OC calls the right play on 3rd and 9 at midfield, that even gives us a chance to run a draw in the redzone. The offense has shown it works, and works extremely well, when everyone understands it.

Brent
01-16-2012, 11:11 AM
I want that SF/NYG game to get here.

Jughead10
01-16-2012, 11:11 AM
It would be scary. In the last forum mock we did, Scotty got Dwayne Allen in the 2nd round. That would be beastly.

Beckum actually has receiving skills, he's just not a TE. Bottom line is that our TEs under this coaching staff will always have to block first. Guys like Graham and Hernandez would never be selected.

Rosebud
01-16-2012, 11:11 AM
I'm tired of the Gilbride complaining. Our offense is top of the league. No one is going to be happy with every play call. But for every draw that you complain about who knows if a different OC calls the right play on 3rd and 9 at midfield, that even gives us a chance to run a draw in the redzone. The offense has shown it works, and works extremely well, when everyone understands it.

I don't really gripe about Gilbride outside of our redzone play calling. On that I agree with NYG a little because we become horribly predictable. If he just let Eli call the plays then I think we'd see a lot less redzone FGs, without losing the big plays.

BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 11:11 AM
I'm tired of the Gilbride complaining. Our offense is top of the league. No one is going to be happy with every play call. But for every draw that you complain about who knows if a different OC calls the right play on 3rd and 9 at midfield, that even gives us a chance to run a draw in the redzone. The offense has shown it works, and works extremely well, when everyone understands it.

He'll have his bat **** crazy moments though. Not as bad as Cam Cameron or Brian Schottenheimer, but when the team isn't rolling quite as well, we get those "3rd and 2...better hand it to Jacobs on a draw play out of the shotgun!"

It's like Jason Garrett and his TE screens. They work like, once ever 5000 attempts, but they just keep trying them long after any reasonable person would have pulled the play from the playbook.

Offensive coordinators man...what can be done?

Jughead10
01-16-2012, 11:12 AM
I liked the call yesterday to put the game away basically. We normally don't see anyone but a TE running across the back of the end zone.

Rosebud
01-16-2012, 11:13 AM
He'll have his bat **** crazy moments though. Not as bad as Cam Cameron or Brian Schottenheimer, but when the team isn't rolling quite as well, we get those "3rd and 2...better hand it to Jacobs on a draw play out of the shotgun!"

It's like Jason Garrett and his TE screens. They work like, once ever 5000 attempts, but they just keep trying them long after any reasonable person would have pulled the play from the playbook.

Offensive coordinators man...what can be done?

The same thing the Colts have done with Peyton, let the QB get more and more authority as he gains greater and greater mastery of the offense.

Jughead10
01-16-2012, 11:15 AM
He'll have his bat **** crazy moments though. Not as bad as Cam Cameron or Brian Schottenheimer, but when the team isn't rolling quite as well, we get those "3rd and 2...better hand it to Jacobs on a draw play out of the shotgun!"

It's like Jason Garrett and his TE screens. They work like, once ever 5000 attempts, but they just keep trying them long after any reasonable person would have pulled the play from the playbook.

Offensive coordinators man...what can be done?

The draw does work sometimes. It's gotten us two key 2pt conversions this year. It's main job is to keep the defense honest. Yeah on third down it can drive you crazy, but it needs to stay in the playbook to keep the defense honest when we run shotgun. It used to work a lot better. Our O-line in general just can't run block like it used to.

And Eli calls a lot of the draws himself.

BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 11:16 AM
The same thing the Colts have done with Peyton, let the QB get more and more authority as he gains greater and greater mastery of the offense.

The problem is though, that offensive coordinators are by nature prideful.

Tom Moore just didn't give a **** and preferred winning to looking like a genius playcaller out for another head coaching job.

Someone like Cam Cameron would never do that. Someone like Mike Martz would never do that. The vast majority would never do that.

You have to find that Dick LeBeau of offense that isn't really interested in a head coaching job elsewhere and just does what is best for the offense.

The draw does work sometimes. It's gotten us two key 2pt conversions this year. It's main job is to keep the defense honest. Yeah on third down it can drive you crazy, but it needs to stay in the playbook to keep the defense honest when we run shotgun. It used to work a lot better. Our O-line in general just can't run block like it used to.

And Eli calls a lot of the draws himself.

So it has worked like, two of the past 5000 attempts.

Jughead10
01-16-2012, 11:19 AM
So it has worked like, two of the past 5000 attempts.

It keeps the linebackers flat footed though. If we don't run it, no one will ever hesitate when Eli fakes it. All those deep in and curls to Cruz and Nicks in the middle might not be open.

Brent
01-16-2012, 11:23 AM
I'm tired of the Gilbride complaining. Our offense is top of the league. No one is going to be happy with every play call. But for every draw that you complain about who knows if a different OC calls the right play on 3rd and 9 at midfield, that even gives us a chance to run a draw in the redzone. The offense has shown it works, and works extremely well, when everyone understands it.
Go back and read the gameday thread from the SF/NO game. Everyone was saying the Niners should run the ball more, but the Saints were bringing 8-9 guys in the box and leaving Vernon in one-on-one coverage, of course they are going to throw the ball.

ShutDwn
01-16-2012, 01:15 PM
Go back and read the gameday thread from the SF/NO game. Everyone was saying the Niners should run the ball more, but the Saints were bringing 8-9 guys in the box and leaving Vernon in one-on-one coverage, of course they are going to throw the ball.

I agree, but they looked inept the entire time trying to throw. I felt like they ran the same slant routes the entire time with Crabtree who came up really small in this game. They also had that pick play twice. Alex's heroics late in the game really saved his ass/statline. They really looked like they were going to lose the entire game when they tried that Ginn end around and then the terrible Gore throw back to Alex on the left side.

They will need to be much better next week if they want to win. The Giants won't need to bring as many men as the Saints did.

I really get disappointed at how teams don't try to develop the run throughout the game. They give up after a few carries. I think it's a result of the scoring sprees, teams have no patience.

Jughead10
01-16-2012, 01:18 PM
I agree, but they looked inept the entire time trying to throw. I felt like they ran the same slant routes the entire time with Crabtree who came up really small in this game. They also had that pick play twice. Alex's heroics late in the game really saved his ass/statline. They really looked like they were going to lose the entire game when they tried that Ginn end around and then the terrible Gore throw back to Alex on the left side.

Isn't that the whole San Fran passing attack? Slants and double crosses?

BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 01:18 PM
I agree, but they looked inept the entire time trying to throw. I felt like they ran the same slant routes the entire time with Crabtree who came up really small in this game. They also had that pick play twice. Alex's heroics late in the game really saved his ass/statline. They really looked like they were going to lose the entire game when they tried that Ginn end around and then the terrible Gore throw back to Alex on the left side.

They will need to be much better next week if they want to win. The Giants won't need to bring as many men as the Saints did.

I really get disappointed at how teams don't try to develop the run throughout the game. They give up after a few carries. I think it's a result of the scoring sprees, teams have no patience.

That's what happens a good chunk of the time. I was sort of joking, but not really, in regards to this with Cam Cameron.

Team A is on offense first. Comes out, runs twice for minimal gain and throws incomplete on 3rd down. Punts to Team B. Team B offense marches down the field for a TD.

Team A throws like a maniac from that point forward.

Two scores is not a death sentence in this league. There is no need to abandon the run like some teams do at the first sign of failure.

Brent
01-16-2012, 02:09 PM
Isn't that the whole San Fran passing attack? Slants and double crosses?
Yes, we throw a lot of short passes, and then the occasional deep ball.

Lots of mid-range stuff out of the shotgun.

hockey619
01-16-2012, 03:04 PM
BB i like your thoughts on the TE's comin up huge lately. im really curious, what do you all think D's can do in the future to combat them?

A team like the Giants could cover Gronk with say JPP because theyd be good matchups athletically, but can he cover? and they also lose that rush ability which you never want to give up.

im not saying thats what they WOULD do, its just that on defense most teams have their best big athlete at DE or LB and no one else is really going to match up with those kinds of TEs. are teams going to start looking for rangy ends to convert into coverage OLB like manny lawson or something like that?

gronk and graham have torn the league apart this year and I dont see how they wont continue on record breaking paces next season.

Jughead10
01-16-2012, 03:08 PM
A team like the Giants could cover Gronk with say JPP because theyd be good matchups athletically, but can he cover? and they also lose that rush ability which you never want to give up.

The Giants would never stick JPP on Gronk to cover but they had JPP hit Finley a ton coming off the LOS, when he lined up as a true TE, before continuing with his rush. It slowed JPP's pass rush but Finley admitted that at least 3 times JPP put him on his rear and other time screwed up timing a bit.

Giantsfan1080
01-16-2012, 03:10 PM
Does Davis line up more on the line or do they spread him out a lot?

hockey619
01-16-2012, 03:22 PM
The Giants would never stick JPP on Gronk to cover

A team like the Giants could cover Gronk with say JPP because theyd be good matchups athletically, but can he cover? and they also lose that rush ability which you never want to give up.

im not saying thats what they WOULD do


.......................

im just saying it would take that caliber of an athlete to play with a guy like gronk/graham. im wondering how teams will handle this down the line.

BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 03:23 PM
BB i like your thoughts on the TE's comin up huge lately. im really curious, what do you all think D's can do in the future to combat them?

A team like the Giants could cover Gronk with say JPP because theyd be good matchups athletically, but can he cover? and they also lose that rush ability which you never want to give up.

im not saying thats what they WOULD do, its just that on defense most teams have their best big athlete at DE or LB and no one else is really going to match up with those kinds of TEs. are teams going to start looking for rangy ends to convert into coverage OLB like manny lawson or something like that?

gronk and graham have torn the league apart this year and I dont see how they wont continue on record breaking paces next season.

I don't have a way to combat it in mind right now. It'd be a real challenge, I know that.

I think you almost certainly have to do a combination of things. Like Jughead said, have your pass rush "chip" the TE. Teams will chip the pass rusher to slow him down, so doing the same to the TE will have the same result.

With the TE slightly delayed in his route, it would make it easier for someone to cover him. I think you have to do that with a safety, or at least that would be the safer way to do it.

Even the most athletic linebackers in this league will be hard pressed to cover beast TEs like Graham or Gronk. You give up some size if you put a safety on the TE, but the speed would be closer. The safety would have a disadvantage in those tight, over the middle, in traffic type plays where the TE could outmuscle him, but a safety would be less likely to get burnt by the TEs speed than a linebacker.

It'll require a combination of things to slow them down and the league hasn't quite figure it out yet, but defenses are always evolving to combat the new quirks the offenses throw at them.

Rosebud
01-16-2012, 03:26 PM
coverage linebackers, your ware, lawson, briggs and boley types that have the speed and athleticism to stick with these TEs while not giving up as much size as DBs do. Either that or DBs with Revis-esque ball skills.

Ness
01-16-2012, 03:29 PM
I want that SF/NYG game to get here.

Nice to know Candlestick has at least one more NFC Championship game left.

Does Davis line up more on the line or do they spread him out a lot?
Both. He is on the line sometimes because he's actually a very good blocker. I'd say more so he's spread out wide due to Harbaugh and the 49es passing a lot more.

BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 03:37 PM
coverage linebackers, your ware, lawson, briggs and boley types that have the speed and athleticism to stick with these TEs while not giving up as much size as DBs do. Either that or DBs with Revis-esque ball skills.

Those guys are rare and even with all of their athleticism, they're not going to keep up with someone like a Graham or Davis every time.

Ness
01-16-2012, 03:39 PM
By the way I never want to play New Orleans again. Jimmy Graham is got damn annoying. Sproles too.

Ness
01-16-2012, 03:49 PM
Packers looked like they took a vacation.

BradysKnee
01-16-2012, 03:57 PM
The problem is though, that offensive coordinators are by nature prideful.

Tom Moore just didn't give a **** and preferred winning to looking like a genius playcaller out for another head coaching job.

Someone like Cam Cameron would never do that. Someone like Mike Martz would never do that. The vast majority would never do that.

You have to find that Dick LeBeau of offense that isn't really interested in a head coaching job elsewhere and just does what is best for the offense.



So it has worked like, two of the past 5000 attempts.

You are 100% right. OCs are controlling and egotistical. In fact, I once had the pleasure of having a drink with Kevin Gilbride and the guy is a real dick.

YAYareaRB
01-16-2012, 06:25 PM
Totally agree. This is the year of the TE. Every successful team had a good one this year minus the broncos? Can you imagine if Tebow had a safety valve in a TE this season?

BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 06:29 PM
Totally agree. This is the year of the TE. Every successful team had a good one this year minus the broncos? Can you imagine if Tebow had a safety valve in a TE this season?

He'd probably just overthrow him...or worse.

Throwing to the TE usually means throwing into traffic, and with Tebow's release and accuracy, that would get eaten alive by defenses.

BradysKnee
01-16-2012, 06:32 PM
He'd probably just overthrow him...or worse.

Throwing to the TE usually means throwing into traffic, and with Tebow's release and accuracy, that would get eaten alive by defenses.

Man BB. If I didn't know any better. I'd think you had something against Tim Tebow :P.

BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 06:49 PM
Man BB. If I didn't know any better. I'd think you had something against Tim Tebow :P.

Think about what I said. Tebow has a slow release and struggles with accuracy. Neither of those statements is untrue.

Giantsfan1080
01-16-2012, 06:50 PM
Giants don't have a great TE.

BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 06:51 PM
Giants don't have a great TE.

I don't think I said that at any point. Now, will Ballard have a Heath Miller-esque key catch or two every game that extends a drive? Absolutely.

Brent
01-16-2012, 06:51 PM
Giants don't have a great TE.
You have plenty of WRs, you stop it!

Giantsfan1080
01-16-2012, 06:53 PM
I don't think I said that at any point. Now, will Ballard have a Heath Miller-esque key catch or two every game that extends a drive? Absolutely.

I was responding to YAY, not you. He said every successful team had a great TE so I was just saying that we didn't. Ballard's been very solid though.

Giantsfan1080
01-16-2012, 06:54 PM
You have plenty of WRs, you stop it!

I'm not complaining. A great TE would be a waste in our offense anyway so I'm perfectly happy with what we have. I'd like a TE like Fleener for help in the red zone though.

wogitalia
01-16-2012, 07:14 PM
Great write up...

The TE thing is easy, they are the single biggest benefactors of all the rule changes. You can't touch them down field(which basically takes away how LBs are taught to cover a TE from the first game they play) and then you can't hit them after they catch it. TE's have always been able to find space in the middle but it would have taken a sadistic mofo at QB to actually throw them the passes that a guy like Davis was catching all day, now you basically freeze the secondary when you throw across the middle. They know if they hit a receiver too hard it will be flag regardless of if you hit them high, they know if they hit them high it will be a flag regardless of how hard you hit them, they know if they play the ball and miss it's a TD, they know if they touch you a half second early its a flag. So they end up basically stopping and waiting and then try and tackle without any kind of momentum with which to do it.

TE's benefit even more because they are in that area of the field that has the most doubt(over the middle) more and because they are bigger and stronger which makes the only real option that has been left that much harder. I'd dare say that half the yards Davis got were after contact on the weekend and they were all from a defender waiting for him to catch it and then trying not to give away a penalty.

I love watching a great TE dominate, I hate the way the rule changes make me feel like the TEs right now are as much a symptom of those changes as any inherent greatness they have.

I love that defenses are dominating.

I have my own point as well... resting players. When are teams going to stop doing it, it's an awful tactic. You lose all of the momentum that got you to a position to rest. You tell the entire team which guys you think are better and more important than the team as a whole, you tell the team that winning isn't that important. It's a pathetic losers mentality and it flat out doesn't work.

Green Bay this year were the only team to rest players, they came out looking complacent, lazy and rusty. Both the Falcons and Pats rested their starters last year, though at least they both played for a part of the game. I remember the Colts resting players the year before and never getting any rhythm throughout the playoffs.

It's just an awful idea, imo, that has far more negatives than positives. The Giants and Packers have shown in consecutive years that staying battle tested and having momentum and continuity entering the playoffs is huge. Pretty sure you can look at the Cards as another example of that and that is just in the last few years.

BradysKnee
01-16-2012, 07:25 PM
Think about what I said. Tebow has a slow release and struggles with accuracy. Neither of those statements is untrue.

Nope I agree with you on everything you've said about Tebow.

Bucs147
01-16-2012, 07:45 PM
Green Bay this year were the only team to rest players, they came out looking complacent, lazy and rusty. Both the Falcons and Pats rested their starters last year, though at least they both played for a part of the game. I remember the Colts resting players the year before and never getting any rhythm throughout the playoffs.

They got to the Super Bowl that year and were a pick 6 and an onside kick away from winning it. They lost to the New Orleans Saints, who also rest must of their starters at the end of that season. In fact, after going 13-0, the Saints lost their last 3 games... and they had zero problem in the playoffs.

I don't think there's a true answer to the whole "Rest or Play your starters" situation. It just depends on each situation.

Borat
01-16-2012, 07:55 PM
1.) Saints/49ers

And I think this only further solidifies John Harbaugh as the Coach of the Year. Much of this team's talent was already in place the last several seasons, but he has absolutely brought it out this year.



Hehehe. Ooops.

BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 08:16 PM
Hehehe. Ooops.

Ehhhhh, bound to happen.

LonghornsLegend
01-16-2012, 08:21 PM
I have my own point as well... resting players. When are teams going to stop doing it, it's an awful tactic. You lose all of the momentum that got you to a position to rest. You tell the entire team which guys you think are better and more important than the team as a whole, you tell the team that winning isn't that important. It's a pathetic losers mentality and it flat out doesn't work.

Green Bay this year were the only team to rest players, they came out looking complacent, lazy and rusty. Both the Falcons and Pats rested their starters last year, though at least they both played for a part of the game. I remember the Colts resting players the year before and never getting any rhythm throughout the playoffs.

It's just an awful idea, imo, that has far more negatives than positives. The Giants and Packers have shown in consecutive years that staying battle tested and having momentum and continuity entering the playoffs is huge. Pretty sure you can look at the Cards as another example of that and that is just in the last few years.



Really? Sorry but I'd rather be rusty, then like the Pats the year that Welker destroyed his knee in a meaningless game. I'm pretty sure that losing an impact player to a significant injury is a far greater negative then being rusty. No way you can argue that.

BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 08:26 PM
Really? Sorry but I'd rather be rusty, then like the Pats the year that Welker destroyed his knee in a meaningless game. I'm pretty sure that losing an impact player to a significant injury is a far greater negative then being rusty. No way you can argue that.

It's starting to look debatable. For example, 4 of the last 5 #1 seeds in the NFC have lost in the divisional round. Locking up the #1 seed early has hurt more teams than it has helped in recent years.

It's just one of those things where there's no good "always do ________" answer.

As a coach, you just have to make sure your team is prepared coming out of the bye week. The Packers looked extremely sluggish and never got into a rhythm.

Basileus777
01-16-2012, 09:03 PM
There isn't even any evidence that the Packers loss has anything to do with their extended rest. They played the Giants exactly the same way the did against KC. Most of the problems they had (poor defense, drops) were issues before the playoffs started. The Packers peaked earlier in the season and these things became problems before they rested their starters.

Bucs_Rule
01-16-2012, 09:09 PM
I don't see how taking an extra week off would affect your ability to catch the ball.

Basileus777
01-16-2012, 09:13 PM
Every year you get some bye team laying an egg, and the rust argument is convenient because there is no way to prove or disprove whether or not it really was the cause.

BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 09:19 PM
It's a trend though. There's something to it. I'm not saying I know what it is, but it's beyond happenstance or coincidence to have 4 of 5 #1 seeds lose like that.

Borat
01-16-2012, 09:21 PM
It's a trend though. There's something to it. I'm not saying I know what it is, but it's beyond happenstance or coincidence to have 4 of 5 #1 seeds lose like that.

I'm not arguing, just wondering how the #2 seeds have fared.

Ness
01-16-2012, 09:24 PM
Green Bay just had a bad day. But it did look like The Packers hadn't practiced at all. But apparently they did have a good week of practice. That being said, when was the last time Rodgers and Jennings played in a game together? Wasn't it like week 15 or something? Over a month ago.

Basileus777
01-16-2012, 09:26 PM
Jennings hadn't played since week 14, so that's over a month. Maybe he chose a bad time to get injured.

BeerBaron
01-16-2012, 09:43 PM
yup. it's like... think of every *good* pass (i know, all 8 of them) that tebow threw this year. now, what did they have in common?

The receiver got open behind the defense and Tebow managed to hit him?

Brent
01-16-2012, 09:47 PM
I really hope John Elway is like, "**** Tim Tebow" and takes a guy like Tannehill in the first.

Rosebud
01-16-2012, 11:30 PM
I'm not arguing, just wondering how the #2 seeds have fared.

Now this isn't always true, but #2 seeds usually have more a battle for that final bye spot than the #1 seed and so have had less opportunities to rest their starters the way a run away #1 seed does.

wogitalia
01-16-2012, 11:55 PM
I'm not arguing, just wondering how the #2 seeds have fared.

2011
1st seeds - Atlanta and New England both lost
2nd seeds - Pittsburgh and Chicago both won

2010
1st seeds - New Orleans and Indy both won
2nd seeds - Minny won, SD lost.

2009
1st seeds - Tenn and NYG both lost
2nd seeds - Pitts won, Carolina lost

2008
1st seeds - NE won, Dallas lost
2nd seeds - GB won, Indy lost

2008 may be the best example, Colts rested players, Pats went for the unbeaten season just to upset the apple cart on the traditional seeds of resting players.

Basically that doesn't say a lot though because it doesn't factor who rested and who didn't. Still the regularity with which the top teams are losing at home is noteworthy to me. Especially given that most years they rest players heading in.

Bucs147
01-17-2012, 07:52 AM
It's a trend though. There's something to it. I'm not saying I know what it is, but it's beyond happenstance or coincidence to have 4 of 5 #1 seeds lose like that.

Well, look at each of these 5 games:

2011
It's all about match-ups. The Giants matches up perfectly versus the Packers. To beat GB's O, you need a great pass rush, the Giants have that. They also have pretty good DBs that can covers GB WRs. Their poor LB core and rushing D didn't really matter versus that offense. They had the passing offense to exploit Packers' crappy DBs. All about the match-ups.

2010
Let's be honest, the Falcons were a poor #1 seed here. Sure they had a 13-3 record, but they had tons of breaks that work in their favor during the season. They were a playoff caliber team, but not a #1 seed. On the other sidde, the Packers had injuriezzzz throughout the season, which gave them additionnal losses that they shouldn't have. The better team won the game here, there's nothing to see.

2009
The Saints detroyed the Cards. Nothing to add.

2008
The Eagles know how to play the Giants in the Giants stadium. They already beat them in that same field before during the season. And for that last few years, NYG always had great starts to the season, but poor endings. The same thing happened in 2008. They were already having problems during the end of the regular season.

2007
Duh, it's the Cowboys. They always find a way to completly choke their season away.

BeerBaron
01-17-2012, 07:54 AM
Justify it however you want, but something happening 4 out of 5 times is a pretty big trend. Like I said, I don't have an explanation for it, but something is happening to cause it.

The #1 seed in the NFC would need to win each of the next 3 years just to bring their record in divisional round games to .500 over the past 8 years.

There's something at play here.

And even the AFC isn't fairing all that much better. A #1 seed playing at home should probably be better than 3-2, and one of those wins was by a nigh unstoppable undefeated Patriots.

Bucs147
01-17-2012, 08:10 AM
Justify it however you want, but something happening 4 out of 5 times is a pretty big trend. Like I said, I don't have an explanation for it, but something is happening to cause it.

The #1 seed in the NFC would need to win each of the next 3 years just to bring their record in divisional round games to .500 over the past 8 years.

There's something at play here.

And even the AFC isn't fairing all that much better. A #1 seed playing at home should probably be better than 3-2, and one of those wins was by a nigh unstoppable undefeated Patriots.

It's not like these #1 seed losses were major upset that came out of nowhere. In fact, looking back a these 5 games, I think I correctly predict all of the outcomes. And I'm not saying that to say that I'm a super-sayan who knows everything (I'm really not). But a lot of people were taking the Giants this year. A lot of people were taking the Packers last year, etc.

I think we're overrating seeds. In today's NFL, the difference of caliber between the #6 and the #1 seed is really small (unless you've got some **** team like the 2011 Broncos or the 2010 Seahawks). Every team has their strenghts and their weaknesses. The important thing now is the homefield advantage and even then, if you've got a team that knows how to play away, it's not really important.

This is not the 1980's where there was like 5 powerhouse followed by tons of crappy teams.

Damix
01-17-2012, 08:13 AM
Justify it however you want, but something happening 4 out of 5 times is a pretty big trend. Like I said, I don't have an explanation for it, but something is happening to cause it.

The #1 seed in the NFC would need to win each of the next 3 years just to bring their record in divisional round games to .500 over the past 8 years.

There's something at play here.

And even the AFC isn't fairing all that much better. A #1 seed playing at home should probably be better than 3-2, and one of those wins was by a nigh unstoppable undefeated Patriots.

http://content.ytmnd.com/content/0/0/f/00fb45ed7409233b7f1ee7ff34cec469.gif

BeerBaron
01-17-2012, 08:15 AM
http://content.ytmnd.com/content/0/0/f/00fb45ed7409233b7f1ee7ff34cec469.gif

Hence the "nigh" in there. I also could have worked "nary" in there I suppose.

A Perfect Score
01-17-2012, 10:07 AM
Hence the "nigh" in there. I also could have worked "nary" in there I suppose.

I would have went with "seemingly".

LonghornsLegend
01-17-2012, 04:11 PM
yup. it's like... think of every *good* pass (i know, all 8 of them) that tebow threw this year. now, what did they have in common?

I was gonna guess that everyone in the stadium, and the defense thought it was going to be a run, so 11 people were running full sprint towards the LOS immediately. It's pretty easy to hit an open WR like that vs having to go through progressions and read coverages.