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06 Jan 2012
Here is the thread for discussion of Saturday's NFL Wild Card games: Cincinnati at Houston and Detroit at New Orleans.
Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 06 Jan 2012
95 replies , Last at
08 Jan 2012, 10:37pm by
What a great day for Boston fans--
Josh McDaniels coming back
Patriots find out next week's opponent
The Pats only find out next week's opponent if the Bengals win.
I do not believe the Broncos have any chance at all to win.
Although I wold love them to!
Screwier things happen annually in the playoffs.
Yeah, you'd think year after year of playoff upsets would persuade people that the playoffs are, in fact, not a place for certainties. Good job, Denver. Now, please please please kick the Patriots around the field.
Be sure to join a star-studded cast of your favorite FO posters for IRC playoff football chat! Point your favorite IRC client to bendenweyr.dyndns.org, channel #fo
Or for a web-based solution, just use this mibbit link: http://chat.mibbit.com/?channel=%23fo&server=bendenweyr.dyndns.org
That was a pretty terrible decision to challenge a 3rd down spot there by Marvin Lewis.
Yeah. Even if you win you lose a challenge. 3rd and inches isn't so terrible.
And now the Bengals have no challenges left. I don't know why he's so desperate
this early in the game.
I haven't seen any Cinci games all year...Dalton's pretty impressive
I think stepping out of the end zone with posession of the ball should be a safety. Also when it's the kick returner.
 wait, then it also should be for interceptions... I don't know if I agree anymore.
Is the rule now that you should be under pressure??
And now the Bengals are out of challenges with 34 minutes left in the game.
Anybody have "JJ Watt" in today's TD pool?
Am I being too harsh for thinking Dalton didn't really try to chase Watt down on the
I think so. One Texan fell, and inadvertently blocked him initially. Then he has to catch up to and then tackle a 280-pounder with a 5-yard headstart before he reaches thee end-zone 30 yards down field. Impossible.
Really impressive play by JJ Watt! Better hands than a lot of receivers.
Nice play to bat the pass, but I put the fact he caught it more down to luck, and whatever sticky substance they put on gloves these days.
I am surprised Cincinnati didn't try to do more with 50 seconds left on the clock.
Then they run a play, and call a timeout.
The AI in madden 08 does that too.
Nice focus by Andre Johnson on juggle/catch.
Andre Johnson totally hosed Pacman Jones on that TD pass.
Pacman Jones gets buuuuurned.
It's fun when defenders try to tackle Jerome Simpson low.
So 4th-and-3 i enemy territory down 14 in the fourth quarter. This is a no-brainer GO FOR IT!
Bat it down, silly.
People congratulate Joseph... they shouldn't be on an NFL sideline.
didn't Jacksonville convert a Hail Mary against Houston last year because the DB did the smart thing and batted it down -- right to the trailing WR?
Wisconsin had that happen to them against MSU, too.
I had the same sequence of thoughts while watching the game. At first I was ticked that it wasn't batted down. Then I remembered the Jacksonville game and figured the equivalent of a short punt when up by two scores was better than the slight, but real, risk that the ball gets batted to one of the two Bengals in the vicinity. If the Texans were trailing at the time then it would have been a much worse play for Joseph to intercept it, but at that point in the game it was a wash.
Some nice running by Foster, but try and go down in bounds........
He listened to you on that TD run.
2 scores behind, 7 minutes on the clock.
All first down runs and all screens on 2nd and long should go out of the window now.
Chris Crocker...talk about a whiff
Chris Crocker fail. Holeee cow thats pathetic.
Did anyone else pick up on the fact that when the bangals were in punt formation, the announcer said "on 4th and 3 the bengals will go for it". How did the announcer know they were going to go for it? NFL scripted?????????
I noticed that.
When they came back from the timeout, the announcers pretended they had never said any such thing.
Maybe they assumed Marvin Lewis wasn't an idiot.
Faith Hill, who sings NBC's opener is pretty but not sexy. Just a conclusion I made just now.
I appear to have just paid £50-odd to not see playoff games until 6 days after they're played. Is my drunkenness causing greater-than-average stupidity, or is the NFL really that evil?
Yeah the NFL's website is a little dishonest about what it is people are actually subscribing to with their streaming service.
At least on some pages it is carefully phrased so that it looks as though you can watch live games, and then after you have bought it gives you the full terms.
"Watch all of 2011 Postseason's upcoming Playoff games LIVE in high-definition. During the Postseason, access all completed 2011 Regular Season games on-demand."
Then in the Terms and Conditions there is no mentioning of the post season.
Doubtless from the same people who brought us "you can pay $100 to go to the Superbowl and stand outside to watch the game on a big-screen TV"
Does the NBC streaming website not work for people outside of the States?
On the upside, in your case, you can probably sue the NFL in British courts.
On the downside, the UK likely has at least a minimal barrier of entry for a lawsuit.
I hated that sequence on the last Detroit possession. 2nd down deep throw (off his back foot), 3rd down deep throw (off his back foot), 4th down punt from midfield.
Why not try to gain yards and give yourself a reasonable chance at the one first down needed to get you into a reasonable scoring range? It's not as if you're going to stop the Saints offense... and they didn't. And now it is tied.
Especially against the Saints, whose LBs are terrible. Detroit are gashing them in every way imagineable, so there is no need to resort to throwing prayers to Megatron - at least not yet.
I hate Stafford's mechanics. Almost every throw he makes, it comes out of his hand and I think "well that's not going to succeed." But then it's a great throw for a touchdown.
If Lions keep getting turnovers, they have a very good chance at an upset here.
That was a very call on the Brees fumble/incomplete turnover. As the ball was still flying through the air they were blowing it dead, then DET recovers, and they keep blowing it dead, so everyone assume incomplete, and then they annoyance DET ball.
I guess one ref must have been sure it was incomplete and blew it dead inappropriately, and then his compatriots quickly straightened him out? It must have been quick because there was very little delay.
Refs blew that one. The ball was clearly loose when the whistle blew. According to 7.4.4:
If an official inadvertently sounds his whistle during a play, the ball becomes
(b) If the ball is a loose ball resulting from a fumble, backward pass, or illegal pass, the
team last in possession may elect to put the ball in play at the spot possession was
lost or to replay the down.
Should have been Saints ball, down over.
Yup, they managed to screw up twice with the same action. That's efficiency.
Why on Earth would part (b) of that rule ever exist?
Under that rule, the team that was victimized by the incorrect ruling is further victimized by (b) by replaying the down if they lost yardage (sack-fumble) or taking the yardage at the spot if they gained it!
It's interesting, reading through the NFL rules about inadvertent whistles and what is and is not challengeable, how much more susceptible the NFL rules are to corruption than the NCAA rules. Much more is reviewable in the NCAA, and the balancing of injury due to official misconduct is far more correctly weighted. It's shockingly easy to assist one team versus another in the NFL, simply by blowing the whistle early any time the ball is not that team's grasp. Hell, giving a team a 6th or 7th down isn't reviewable, nor is changing the time on the clock.
It's amazing that a league as awash in money as the NFL, and with amateur referees, doesn't have more controls over the magnitude of the effect that can be delivered by simply buying off one ref.
Wow, great job by the official there. Throw a horrible flag for contact to the head of a WR, then miss the fact that the ball hit the ground. Terrific.
Yeah that was pretty weak. Saints also got some home field clock on that play from 16 seconds, which lasted at least 10, yet only 8 seconds ran off.
But they ended up with a FG anyway so no big deal.
Good game so far, DET is playing a lot better defense than I anticipated. Surprised they aren't bringing more pressure, but it appears that is smart.
I'm gobsmacked at how favorable the refs are for the Saints tonight.
Questionable spots, hands to the helmet, whistles to stop the TD recovery.
One-sided o-line holding. This is terrible.
/Not a Lions fan
Officiating is always swinging games +/- 10 pts. It is just part of the randomness of the game. Would feel better if DET got a call though.
Giving Brees forward progress on that play, when he voluntarily pulled the ball back short of the line to gain after sticking it across, is tantamount to giving forward progress to a receiver who catches a pass beyond the sticks, then gives ground attempting to break a long gain and gets tackled short.
Agreed. I made the same comment in the chat.
I saw that!
edit: oh you mean IRC not SNF Extra
That's the rule, isn't it?
I've never seen anything resembling consistency when it comes to forward progress rulings.
I was wondering the same thing, but I watched the Bruins-Canucks game earlier, so I'm already desensitized to terrible officiating.
But I think the Bruins made the point they wanted to make last June, but couldn't.
When he breaks the goal line, the play is over. Whatever happens after that, doesn't matter.
When a receiver runs backwards (voluntarily) he won't be given forward progress. I think you're confusing it with when the guy is tackled backwards, only then because he isn't going backwards voluntarily, he gets forward progress.
They weren't on the goal line. A play doesn't end when the ball carrier sticks the ball past the first down marker in the middle of the field, it ends when he goes down by contact or is deemed to be under the control of the defense.
hmmm... somehow I read goal line, while it was about the first down dive. My bad.
Well, I agree with his point then. And mine isn't untrue either.
Calvin Johnson is really good at football.
Quite a lot.
You can't say Sean Payton is afraid to go for it on 4th down.
Is Detroit really bad at tackling, or are the Saints just great at
Tackling in general seems bad - lack of padded practices?
I have no problem believing that the larger the impact between 2 players, the harder it is for the defender to wrap up.
So with players getting bigger, the wrap up tackling is getting more difficult.
That and less padded practices.
What's the over/under on Calvin Johnson yards on this drive?
Goodnight Detroit. See you next season.
throwing every deep pass off his back foot finally bites stafford in the ass
If you let people run past by your coverage like that, you don't deserve to go past the wild card week.
I never quite understood the concept of a comer "handing off" a WR on a play like that. The corner is already 15 yards down the field and unable to do anything else useful on the play, why doesn't he just stay with his man.
If it's zone, the defender has responsibility for the underneath receiver. So he passes the receiver going deep to the safety and then concentrates on the receiver not going deep.
But on this play, it looked like the defenders didn't know each other's coverage and just did nothing to Meachem.
NO ran three men on deep routes against Cover-2. Delmas had to pick a man to cover, and picked incorrectly. It was a good call against that coverage.
still throwing off his back foot, that time not even with pressure in his face... he's as bad as Cutler
Detroit onside kicks here, right?
No defense at all for the Lions after the 1st quarter.
I've made as many punts today as the Saints' punter.
What happened to the last 35 seconds of the game in New Orleans? Kneel down on 4th down, change of possession, clock should stop. Doesn't affect the outcome, but completes a night of sloppy officiating, including the bad spot on Brees's QB sneak and the quick whistle on the fumble ruled incomplete.
Ugly, boring game in NO. For all the hype, the Saints look pretty darned mortal and the Lions D-line (and defense as a whole) appeared to be absent.
Lions defense absent? Maybe, but shouldn't we credit the Saints for making them seem absent?
The evidence at hand is that the Saints put up +600 yards of offense and 45 points on the 9th ranked defense (4th in pass defense). The only reason this wasn't 60 points is those fumbles early on. The Saints were absolutely unstoppable - ZERO punts - against the best pass defense they'll face on this side of the super bowl (3rd best defense overall).
Defense, of course is shaky at best, but we knew that. And if the offense keeps "looking mortal" you'll still have to score on every possesion to keep up with these guys.
/In a dome at least.
I counted four potential INTs dropped by Lions DBs, across three separate drives. Two just before halftime, one on a quick out, and one underthrown deep ball when Brees had pressure in his face. All occurred with the outcome of the game in doubt.
If the Lions D could catch the game might have turned out very differently. Brees deserves credit for a lot of very good throws, but got away with bad ones as well.
In addition to the dropped INTs, the how many missed tackles did the Lions commit? There's a lot an offense can do to beat up a defense, but those two things specifically aren't good offense. They're defensive failures.
Defense as a whole looked mortal this season.
Which I suspect will be a problem for the NFL at some point going forward. Just how popular is the Arena League versus the NFL? Because we're rapidly approaching Arena League rules.
That said, NO has the best offensive line in the league, so long as their tackles get a little help. DET's D-line actually did pretty well against them. What killed them was poor tackling by the LBs on runs and screens, and the Lions not having enough DB depth to adequately play in nickle full-time.
So much for the parity theory as the 6 seeds go down by 21 and 17 pts, respectively. Tomorrow's games are inconsequential in terms of whether this was a huge parity issue as two very weak home seeds play one strong team with huge injury issues and a pretty good team in a 50-50 game.
The Atlanta/NY winner will be at least 10 pt underdogs against GB; Denver will be more like 13 pt underdogs to the Patriots-- the one real "parity" issue of course is a fluke of the divisions-- Pittsburgh is a very good team (and has been all year) masquerading as a 5 seed.
GB or NO will be the NFC representative in the Super Bowl-- and one of the top 3 teams will be the AFC representative-- and the Bengals, Lions, Broncos, Giants, Falcons and Texans are simply not in the same class-- they do represent the true parity but downward compared to the likes of San Diego, Philadephia, Chicago, Oakland, and Dallas, not upwards compared to the elite. The 49ers may upset the applecart at Candlestick because of a huge stylistic difference-- but they won't beat NO and GB back to back.
Parity is not whether some teams are better than others or are stable enough to remain good. Parity is whether a given integer is even or odd.
Enough of this parody!
It's easy to misjudge how close a game was simply by looking at the final score. The Lions gave a good account of themselves and only fell so far behind at the end because they felt forced to try an onside kick, which failed and then gave the Saints great field position.
As for the Bengals/Texans game, I would argue that the Bengals looked like the better team for the first 25 minutes. But the Watt pick 6 really broke their spirit, while rejuvenating the Texans.
So yeah, the better teams won, but the games were not routs.
Those were my impressions as well, and I wouldn't even go that far on the Bengals/Texans game since that remained a contest until quite late.
DET-NO was a 3-pt game entering the 4th, and featured a relevant onside kick.
Cincinnati dropped a pick-6 late in the 3rd against Houston that would have given them the lead.
Despite the final margins, both games were competitive into the 4th quarters.
The TJ Yates Texans certainly aren't in the same class. The Matt Schaub Texans with only one of Johnson and Foster healthy and no Mario Williams are. The full strength Texans might be the best team in football.
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