Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Wildcard Weekend

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Stop by for my thoughts on the Wildcard weekend, and other NFL related stuff. Be sure to chime in on my thoughts and leave a few of your own in the comment thread.

1) As soon as that fumble recovery and subsequent touchdown run by Andrew Luck happened, I felt like I just watched an historic moment unfold. I think when his career is all said and done, NFL historians will look back on this wildcard win by the Indianapolis Colts as a turning point in Luck's career.

Footballgod_medium

Not sure if I'd place him with the other football Deities quite yet, but this was a great play.

2) As to the game itself, I don't think anyone expected an offensive explosion like that. Both Luck and Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith had four passing TDs. Luck threw for 443 yards while rushing for 45, and Smith passed for 378 and added 57 on the ground. The total combined 89 points is third on the all time post season list, and their combined 1,049 yards is a playoff record.

3) One final thought on that game, but you do realize that the Colts offensive coordinator is Pep Hamilton? The same Pep Hamilton that was the Chicago Bears QB coach from 2007-09. I remember when he was in Chicago he was knocked for being one of "Lovie's guys", but the fact is that he's a good, young, up and coming coach, that has 16 years of coaching experience at the collegiate and NFL level, and he's not yet reached 40 years of age.

I would not be surprised to see Hamilton as a legit head coaching candidate in a couple of years.

4) The 9-7, 3rd place in the AFC West San Diego Chargers have the look of a team that is getting hot at the right time, and they could ride that momentum all the way to the Super Bowl. Their wildcard win in Cincinnati was their 5th straight, and among them was a victory in Denver, whom they play next.

5) Even with the playoff loss, I think the Chip Kelly offense is here to stay in the NFL. The NFL is such a copycat league, that it wouldn't surprise me to see more teams incorporate his fast break style of play next season, and at some point even his giant picture boards.

6) That Nick Foles pump fake, which really isn't a pump fake, is a very deceptive move, and a big reason why he had such a successful 2013 season. He may not be the ideal athlete for his coaches' offense, but his pocket awareness and smarts will keep him under center in Philadelphia for a very long time.

7) Whenever I saw a player playing in freezing temperatures without sleeves, I always though they were a goofball. There's nothing intimidating about going sleeveless when it's that cold outside.

8) Since I forgot to get in my Wildcard predictions in on last weeks Thoughts, I'll give you my Divisional Round predictions this week. Patriots over Colts, San Francisco over Carolina, Seattle over New Orleans, and Denver over San Diego. And yes, I know I called the Chargers the "hot" team, but I think Denver is too good.

9) When asked who the best receiver is in the NFL, Chicago's Brandon Marshall offered up the Detroit Lions' Calvin Johnson. When asked who was next on that list he named teammate Alshon Jeffery.

I'd like to see the Bears extend Marshall for a few more years. His current deal, that expires after the 2014 season, has a a base of $9.1 million for '14, and a workout bonus for $200,000. He could be extended, to ensure he remains with Jay Cutler for a few more years, and bring down his cap hit

10) I was very impressed, yet again, with the transparency displayed by Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman in last week's presser. It's refreshing to see a GM admit mistakes, then discuss how he plans to rectify those mistakes.

Marc Trestman had impressed me all season long with his press conference professionalism. He answered every question honestly, and if he wasn't prepared with a response, he complimented the reporter and asked to revisit the question once he could review the game film.

Now it's your turn, gimme your thoughts!

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