To the millions (And millions!) of regular readers to my NFL Thoughts post, you may notice I've omitted the 'and Beyond' from the title these last couple weeks. I'll still touch on a few Bears related topics during my regularly scheduled Thought posts, I just don't feel right adding that to the title with the Bears home for the playoffs... again. Maybe next year.
After last weekends Wildcard round received the thumbs down from most sports fans, this weekends games made for some compelling television. I went 2 for 4 in my predictions, totally whiffing on Saturdays picks. On to my Thoughts!
1) I googled "Is Joe Flacco elite" and had nearly 80,000 hits come back. Why are people so infatuated with whether a quarterback is elite or not? At any given time there are only a handful of "elite" QBs playing in the NFL. Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers definitely fit that bill in 2012. Peyton Manning still is probably at that level, Ben Roethlisberger is probably right there too, and a good argument could be made for a few others, but why does it matter?
The more important question a franchise has to ask themselves, is whether or not they can with a championship with a particular QB leading their team, and in my opinion you can win with Joe Flacco.
2) A tough break, no pun intended, for New England tight end, Rob Gronkowski. I've always been a fan of the TE position, and I'll miss watching Gronk play.
3) Does any team get more from their entire roster than the Patriots? Back up running back Shane Vereen had 8 receptions on the entire regular season, and he picks up 5 in the playoff win. Not to mention 2 receiving TDs and 1 rushing TD.
4) Why would Broncos head coach John Fox decide to waive the white flag at the end of regulation? He has Peyton Manning, 31 seconds, and two timeouts, but he has Manning take as knee? I don't care if the Broncos would have won the game, that was a silly decision.
5) In that same vein... Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons had 25 seconds, two timeouts, and they managed to traverse 41 yards in just two plays to get in position for the game winning field goal to beat the Seahawks.
6) The four winning teams this weekend gave up 35, 31, 28, and 28 points. They allowed 398, 352, 491, and 425 yards. It's been time to retire the "Defense wins championships" mantra for a while now, but this weekend should put the nail in the coffin on that phrase once and for all.
I still believe you need a good defense to win in the NFL, but an offense will always have the Xs & Os advantage over the defense. The four losing teams were all ranked in the top 11 in total yards allowed and in total points allowed for the regular season.
Seattle - 1st in points allowed, 4th in yards allowed
Denver - 4th in points allowed, 2nd in yards allowed
Houston - 9th in points allowed, 7th in yards allowed
Green Bay - 11th in points allowed, 11th in yards allowed
A good offense will always put up points on a good defense.
7) I think the stage would be too big for Colin Kaepernick. I was really wrong.
8) Did anyone else have visions of Brett Favre as a Viking in 2009, when Peyton Manning threw that final interception across his body? "This is not Detroit, man. This is the Superbowl!!"
9) I'm really hoping for a Jim Harbaugh vs. Bill Belichick Super Bowl. I would love to see what those two would come up with from a scheme standpoint. And for the record, I'm picking San Fran and New England this weekend.
10) Why would fans be OK in hiring a hotshot college coach to lead their favorite team, but hiring a guy from the CFL brings trepidation? The #1 argument fluttering about is that Marc Trestman has been out of the NFL for far too long, but with most college coaches, they've never even been in the NFL.
Jim Harbaugh, who created his coaching buzz at the NCAA level, was out of the NFL since 2003 when he was the QB coach in Oakland, before being hired by the 49ers in 2011. There wasn't this big concern about his time away from the league. I don't recall anyone saying 'there has to be a reason he's not in the NFL' about Harbaugh.
Here's Trestman's time away from the NFL, along with a couple other 2013 hot coaching commodities.
Marc Trestman - Out of the NFL since 2004
Chip Kelly - Out of the NFL since forever
- Out of the NFL since forever
But yet the two Kellys were high on the list of a few teams looking for a coach.