Talk amongst yourselves
12 Jan 2014
This thread is for discussing the Sunday Divisional round games, San Francisco at Carolina followed by San Diego at Denver.
Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 12 Jan 2014
206 replies , Last at
13 Jan 2014, 10:20am by
Blandino has to go. Refs are garbage, and that is his fault.
Be sure join a star-studded cast of your favorite FO posters for playoff internet relay football chat!
Instructions moved to a pastebin due to overzealous spam filter: http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=Qjf3ZzvE
I never understand the passing rules. So it is ok to to run straight into a receiver within 5 yards and basically block him, but it's not ok to leave your arm in front of them and slow them half a step?
If you hook him, that's holding.
Just like offensive linemen can't stop someone by having their arm around someone.
I understand how it is called, I don't understand the rule. One of them is much more disruptive than the other. And the holding frequently will get called when it is just an arm across the path and little to know actual "holding". More like using you arm as a turnstile they have to run through.
Using your arms outside your body to impede someone is always called holding, even if there's no grabbing. You have to keep your body in front of the person you're blocking/impeding, and your hands inside your shoulders. (Of course, there's some gray area there, as there is with any holding call.)
Rule 8, Section 4, Article 6 of the rule book has the definition :
"Defensive Holding. It is defensive holding if a player grasps an eligible offensive player (or his jersey) with his hands, or extends an arm or arms to cut off or encircle him."
Yeah I know the rules I don't understand how they make sense.
I think it makes sense... reaching my arm out in front of you to impede you can be just as bad as grabbing your jersey. Turnstiles can be tough to push through sometimes, and reduces the impetus on the defender to move his feet and stay in position.
And putting your shoulder into someone doesn't do this?
Look: holding is always against the rules, and that includes wrapping an arm around an opponent. Chucking a player in the 5-yd zone is specifically allowed. This isn't that difficult.
And you aren't reading what I wrote. I understand it is allowed, it doesn't make sense when you think about it. You know use your brain.
It doesn't take much thinking to understand why holding is disallowed, but blocking might be. I suggest using your brain instead.
I'm not sure what you're asking anymore. A defensive back is given 5 yards to essentially block the receiver all he wants. If he can put his shoulder into the receiver and knock him on his backside, that's prefectly legal.
It used to be that a DB could do that the whole way down the field, and it was up to the receiver to get away from him. They've changed this over the years to give the receiver more of an advantage, limiting to the first 5 yards.
Within that area, you can still impede the receiver, but it's treated like blocking - you can't tackle, grab, or reach.
If you're objecting to why you can hit them, but not grab or turnstile them (which is what I thought), then I think I've explained, and it makes sense to me.
If you're objecting to why DBs are allowed to hit the receivers at all, then you have to look at history, and not wanting to make it too easy on receivers. If they couldn't hit them, it would swing the advantage even more to the receiver than it already has, and the NFL is just looking for a balance.
It's hard for rules to make sense when they aren't always called. Offensive holding has to be the worst.
Juv- since when do football rules have to make sense?
Tolbert is the fire hydrant? Can anybody explain what this means?
He's a target for dogs everywhere?
I'm pretty sure it's a reference to his size/build.
Have you ever tried to tackle a fire hydrant?
The things are short, strong and have a solid base.
He's a couple of feet tall and made of red metal and if you crash your car into him water squirts up
Really? I thought that happens only when you crash a giant baby into one.
Haha right, on a clear sunny day
Wow nice pass/catch, these guys are professionals.
4th and 1 was bound to fail eventually. But credit to Aikman and Buck for not criticizing the call. Panthers' next possession starts on the 31.
"Riverboat Ron" has always been known for his wild gamblin' ways
Go for it!!
I've always been a fan of Greg Olson, because I just loved him in Madden 08 from the start. (I moved him to fullback/second TE mostly)
He has always been hovering around the 50 catches for 500 yards and 5 TDs per season.
The last 2 years he has grown to 70 catches and 800 yards.
Ugh such uncreative playcalling on the goal line, no wonder they're getting stuffed.
As a friend just pointed out; you don't need a jumbo formation on a QB sneak (previously when they went for it).
Why doesn't he go for it now?
It was 2 yards out instead of 1. Also, they don't think they have a play that will work.
Agreed... I'm a fan of the "even if you don't make it, they have to go 99.5 yards" mindset.
Well their offense hasn't displayed any ability to get short yardage at the goaline. I think the play calling has been crap, but regardless it effects your decision tree. Plus they were a couple more yards out. I still would have went for it, but after several failed goal to go's I can see being sheepish.
The FG here means the 49ers need a TD to retake the lead. Better than being up by only 1 if the attempt fails.
"These are 2 of the top 3 scoring defenses meaning they don't get a lot of points against them"
I thought it means that they score the most points themselves?
No, it's how much they allow. The standard ranking of defenses is yards allowed per game, so the word scoring is to differentiate it from that.
ah didn't know that
Not sure if you're being sarcastic, but "scoring defense" is usually used to indicate how much scoring you allow. But I have heard it used the other way on occasion as well, which is why I think the announcer explained.
I can't find an official definition for the NFL, but the NCAA football stats site lists defenses who gave up the least point if you select "Scoring Defense" on their stats page. (http://www.ncaa.com/stats/football/fbs/current/team/28)
Technically it's a measure of which defenses want it more
And Boldin didn't get flagged for the exact same head butt, why?
That's the second personal foul call in SF's favor now (since the headbutt either is or is not a foul, and the early late hit was clearly wrong.)
Agreed on the headbutts, but I thought the unnecessary roughness call on Mitchell was the proper call. The pass had already clearly hit the ground and he lit up Davis.
I'm rooting for the Panthers in this game.
Yeah, probably should have been called there. The 49ers have been trying to goad the Panthers into retaliation the entire half. Need to put an end to it.
If you're going to call the head butt in the first quarter, you have to call that one too. The umpire was standing right there looking at it.
Yeah the calls have been odd.
I hope they've reached their hyperbole quotum with the "best catcher of all time" remark.
Seems like SF gets the homefield advantage with the refs. Not that the calls their way are wrong, just that they seem to be getting them where Carolina doesn't.
Carolina has one of the worst homefield advantages of any team, which basically means the refs don't support them.
That was a great catch by Davis, these teams seem a lot better than be ones from yesterday.
It sort of looked to me like the receiver went out of bounds out the back of the endzone on that supposed touchdown. Is that not a penalty? Did he not step out? It sure looked like he did.
I checked the replay, but I didn't see him step oob on the route.
It would be, but I haven't been able to find a clear shot of it.
Right after the play they had a shot with the camera straight behind Vernon Davis, I didn't see a foot oob.
I was thinking he had too. Pretty annoyed they didn't show the whole replay playing attention to Boldin before the ball is thrown.
Maybe Danny will stop whining about officials now.
Maybe, but then he'll still interpret this 3-point halftime edge as a massive lead that should have resulted in a blowout win.
Skiing on NBC > halftime nitwits
I am gobsmacked that Joe Buck and Troy Aikman have ben the best announcing crew this weekend. Yesterday was just brutal.
I thought the Panthers were running Cam more than usual, and a quick look at the stats bears that out. He already has 7 runs, which is his per game average for the season.
Bleh, more bad reffing. So frustrating.
12 men in the huddle too apparently. Awful game for the refs, they're looking like they got paid.
Never attribute to malice what could be explained by incompetence.
Cock-up before conspiracy.
The general lack of consequences for poor reffing performance tends to make me believe in conspiracy more than I otherwise might.
It leads me to believe that more than just the on-field officials are incompetent.
The officiating seems blatantly one sided to me too and I'm not rooting for either side. Panthers getting screwed.
Geez are these the Carolina Panthers or the financial panthers?
Of course it's rigged. If the Niners don't win today, that Beats by Dre commercial is a fail.
49ers slowly strangling the life out of Carolina…
Okay, so now the Panthers need two touchdown drives. Even if they get the first one, I think it's likely they never get the ball back the way the 49ers are moving down the field.
I was really surprised by the patters slow methodical drive in the third quarter. I am surprised more team don't have a hurry up look. When you are behind you really want make the game longer. Taking 8 minutes to go 40 yards is not smart. Possibly even counterproductive.
Hey look a bad call going against the 49ers
You need a few of those to get more camera time with Harbaugh acting like a petulant child.
I really liked Harbaugh's pirouette of rage.
Next week his head will blow up as if Daryl Revok's standing next to him. Seattle's not a place to expect fair officiating for the road team, much less the kind the Niners got today.
That is a terrible call.
Why? Every other QB in the NFL gets that call.
The next market efficiency, QBs with Merton Hanks type necks taking sacks on purpose but quickly moving their heads into defenders shoulders.
Not sure it was physically possible for the Panthers to come back anyway considering how slow they play, but yeah that was awful.
Look, you don't have to agree with the rules, but the QB was running around in the backfield - he didn't tuck the ball or was not a runner in the open field.
So QB rules that you can't hit him in the head still apply as far as I know. I don't think the rules are off after a playfake or when he's rolling - or did I miss the memo?
I think the idea is that it isn't a penalty on the defender when the quarterback slams his head into a defender's head. You know, because we don't want to encourage quarterbacks to hurt themselves and others just to get a free 15 yards.
What are we supposed to watch now, for the hour until the Broncos game starts?
Twilight Zone episodes.
I found the Sassoulo - AC Milan match to be quite entertaining.
Massimiliano Allegri disagrees.
And once again the difference between an athletic guy that can throw and a real QB is shown in the playoffs.
Yeah, that Colin Kaepernick character has no business in the NFL!
he's saying Kaep is the 'real' qb and Newton is just athletic who's asked to throw.
Yeah, I got that.
Let me just say, I don't see it. Both looked like good QBs to me. I certainly don't think Kaepernick was significantly better than Newton.
He'd have a better argument trying to claim Andrew Luck is the athletic guy who shouldn't be throwing.
I think it's more accurate to say that the Panthers offensive playbook is a bit too simple, and they don't have enough playmakers on offense. They need someone like Boldin to make them better.
Hell, the 49ers looked like they were in trouble until they started getting the ball to Boldin rather than forcing it to Crabtree.
Can anyone who's watched a lot of Panthers games say whether OC Mike Shula is always this bad? The narrative I see today is the Panthers offensive failures leaving their defense in increasingly bad situations.
It isn't a particularly dynamic offense, even at its best. In particular, the Panthers lack reliable receivers, especially when Steve Smith isn't fully healthy. Also lost in a lot of discussion on the Panthers offense: two of their opening-day starters on the offensive line -- right tackle Garry Williams and left guard Amini Silatolu -- are on injured reserve.
Williams was actually at guard this year, but your point stands. Taking his place is a DT who they converted to guard after they drafted Short and Lotulelei.
Regarding recievers, even Smith is starting to decline, which can only be expected at his age.
The big disappointment regarding Shula was the short yardage calls. He doesn't usually call consecutive runs right into the line of scrimmage, at least occasionally using a screen pass or play action.
I'd argue that the difference in the performances by Newton and Kaepernick is due to the surrounding talent and coaching than differences in QB quality. Kaepernick threw several potential INTs this game that were dropped.
One thing that stood out to me in this discussion is how frequently Carolina had two receivers in the same area on their patterns. It was really weird, and a sign of sloppy coaching. It can't be that that's what their routes were meant to do, so they obviously didn't practice much against the kind of checking-at-the-line chippiness that San Francisco brought. It seemed like poor offensive coaching. Otherwise, they seemed like very evenly matched teams to me.
Yep. Andy Lee's definitely no match for Colin Kaepernick.
Anyone who thinks that San Diego will win raise their hand!
What the hell. I'm not proud -- or tired.
The refs didn't end up influencing this one, luckily. Impressive game from the 49ers. A convincing, almost dominant win over one of the best teams in the league on the road means this has to be one of the best results of the season for any team outside of the Cardinals win in Seattle.
I find it hard to call it anything close to dominant unless you want to totally dismiss the first thirty minutes.
The 49ers were somewhat fortunate to be up at halftime; they did dominate the second half, though.
I suppose, but all told the 49ers were fantastic on offense against a great defense and solid on defense themselves. Admittedly the fact that Steve Smith was limited probably helped them a lot.
Back-to-back goal-line stands really set the tone. That was just excruciating for Carolina.
They weren't back-to-back, there was a quick touchdown on a pass to Steve Smith in between.
Now to the game where winner actually has a chance to the super bowl....
Manning vs Brady will be the real superbowl.
The REAL Super Bowl takes place only in our hearts.
...and the Ravens never win it!
Atria to pull the upset over Ventricles.
Didn't we already talk about this?
Pretty sure I had this conversation yesterday with respect to Brees vs Wilson, and it didn't go so well for the "real QB".
I've yet to hear him explain why Aaron Rodgers is sitting at home now.
Obviously Aaron Rodgers is an athletic guy who can throw, not a real QB.
Andrew Luck as well, I assume.
If yesterday was the Saturday of Awful Announcing, is today going to be the Sunday of Crappy Coaching? As a Broncos fan, I'm hoping the answer is no.
It could also end up being the Sunday of REDACTED refereeing.
Den needs to set the tone early if they want to be successful. First quarter is key.
Well, on the plus side it's a lot warmer indoors in Colorado Springs today than it was in the third deck a year ago.
It looks windy in Denver right now. Who does that favor?
Defenses. So, probably San Diego.
Some say that Manning doesn't do well, relatively speaking, in the wind.
Big mistake with that facemask.
Pass rush looking good so far for Den.
Or maybe just DJ Fluker looks bad
And Rivers scramble ability...
That's a given.
So what exactly is the "rule" concerning pick plays?
Blocking within a yard of the LOS is OK, based on a rule I saw yesterday.
This is exactly what I was looking for: http://www.milehighreport.com/mhr-film-study/2013/12/10/5195218/nfl-rule.... You're right about the 1 yard rule.
You are allowed to run your routes so defenders run into you or each other.
You can't block the defender, or stop to make him run into you.
I'm really impressed with Chris Clark, in pass protection he's been outstanding. Broncos have hardly missed Clady at all.
I'd second that but Manning makes it easier.
If that is a completion and fumble a lot of people are owed a lot of completions.
Apparently the Broncos lead the league in lost fumbles. That doesn't help.
Bad call, if it was a completion then he was already down.
WHAT? How is that possibly a completed pass?
I am dumbfounded as well.
It could have easily been called incomplete. Official's judgement.
Inexcusably atrocious one-sided officiating in the Panthers game once again benefiting the visiting team. The Panthers have the worst home-field advantage of any team in the NFL, an advantage which has been shown to be mostly due to officiating.
There really is no sense supporting the Panthers when the NFL treats their fans like this.
Get a real QB and stop crying about the officials.
Go learn how to be more objective when evaluating QB's, Luigi.
And if I were a Panther's fan, I'd be pretty pissed. Lots of judgment calls, and they almost all went against the Panthers.
I am objective, Newton has won nothing so far.
First of all that college title Newton collected is more championships than Kaep has 'won'. Secondly, football is a team game and judging a quarterback on the accomplishments of his team as a whole is stupid. If you don't understand that than this is not the site for you.
He's a troll, ignore him.
You're right, my mistake.
I welcome you to this discussion board.
Now, the fact that you say this says to me you have no idea what this site is about.
So pretty please, with sugar on top, read a little about the analysis here.
Until then: you're out of your element.
"There really is no sense supporting the Panthers when the NFL treats their fans like this."
I don't understand this sentiment. Are you saying it would be better to arbitrarily change teams or just stop watching the NFL?
I'm surprised you haven't found a way to blame Tom Brady for this yet.
Maybe the refs got confused and thought the 49ers were the Patriots?
Decker tripped and fell in the open field against the Chargers last year. Immediately preceded the pick six that put Denver down huge.
"Omaha" not "hike" number 55.
The chargers are getting hustled by Manning's hard count.
Did Ingram actually cross the LOS on that offsides call? Getting the impression the officials are letting Denver OL make the calls for them.
Wow. That was an incredible interception.
Okay, I know Denver's offense is much better than Cincinnati's, but does anyone else feel like SD's defense is substantially worse this week than it was last week? Maybe it's just because I'm a Bengals fan, but their defense seemed mildly terrifying last week.
San Deigo's offense looks substantially worse this week, their defense, on the other hand, seems about the same. Say hi to Ndnd for me.
I think you're grafting your terror at the performance of your quarterback on to San Diego's defense. Cincinnati moved the ball last week when not handing it away on a platter.
Hell of a kick.
Thought Denver's front seven was their strength, but the secondary has been great today.
Lots of injuries in the secondary. I'm not surprised if the week off has made a real difference to this Broncos roster, they were really putting slightly hobbled players out a lot in the second half of the season to keep enough warm bodies out there.
Several injuries up front as well, Derek Wolfe is not back yet, but he is the only person on the roster (except those on IR) who is worse than probable on the Bronco injury list this week.
Then Chris Harris goes out, and his replacement (Jammer) is beaten for a TD.
Did u see that?
Another bad call against the 49ers!
How can they beat the Broncos with this kind of officiating?
Oh wait! Is that Jim Harbaugh going for it on fourth down? He's channelling his inner weasel Schiano.
Are you luigi?
Nope. Just someone who's disappointed that the NFC Championship game will be totally devoid of any class.
Jim and Pete are not the dudes I am happy to see succeed.
Congrats to their players who have done well anyway.
Must be a disgruntled Packers fan. They're the only ones who talk about class when they're not good enough to win on the field.
Come on Phillip.
Throw it in front of your guys. That pass to Woodhead was atrocious.
Here we go. San Diego comeback inevitable.
Denver has missed too many opportunities to put up more points this game, and it's going to cost them in the end.
Unless one believes in momentum, there's still no reason to predict a Chargers win, even if their chances are bit better than they were.
Random question: why was Welker allowed to change the helmet he uses for this game? I thought the NFL instituted a rule requiring players to where one single helmet for the whole season (this is why the Buccaneers couldn't wear their old white-helmeted throwbacks).
Weird. Is that a real rule? What happens if a helmet gets damaged? Don't understand the reason for it. Or how they could enforce it anyway.
I was told it was a real rule. I'm not sure, though, which is why I'm asking.
The reasoning behind it was explained that the helmets are fitted for players' heads, to help prevent concussions. So it's better to have one you "know" fits correctly, as opposed to several, which could lead to one being worse.
I assumed it gets waived if a helmet is damaged.
I thought the NFL instituted a rule requiring players to where one single helmet for the whole season
That cannot possibly be true, as it's possible for helmets to be damaged.
It's more likely, however, that teams could only use one helmet design for the season.
How I heard the rule, that's not part of it. In fact, several teams (the Bears were one) simply removed the decals from their helmets - keeping the same shells - as part of their throwback looks. The Rams, for example, simply used different decals (yellow instead of gold).
But again, I'm not 100% sure there is a "one helmet only" rule. Which is why I was asking, haha.
I've just checked with David Chao (former Chargers team physician). The league has a list of approved helmets and the team equipment manager will offer his players a selection, but the player is free to choose game-by-game as he wishes. Most prefer to stick to one helmet, but there's no requirement to do so.
Thank you very much for the information.
I've never heard of this and can't imagine this being true.
It's impossible to enforce (helmets also consist of different parts) and helmets damage, so it's not even safe.
Pretty sure you've misheard it or confusing it with another rule.
This may be the source of the discussion...
Almost certainly. Good find.
Based on Andrew's explanation, it sounds like it was described to me improperly.
It was explained to me when the Buccaneers couldn't wear their white helmets. I'm now inferring that those helmets probably weren't on the approved list, so Tampa Bay had to cancel their throwback plans.
Sounds like the enforcement due to helmets having different parts isn't really an issue if the league is able to pre-approve equipment. They would just pre-approve fully-assembled helmets.
Why couldn't the Bucs simply find an approved white helmet?
See the article RedZone linked above. The league "recommended" they don't use them.
Also, it could be that each individual helmet has to go through an approval process. So if they didn't acquire the white ones early enough, it could be logistically problematic.
Helmets can be styled however the team wants. That isn't the issue.
It appears that teams wearing throwback uniforms used to entail them also using older helmet designs. That's what the league mandated against: they required teams to use modern, approved helmet designs with throwback decals, instead of older helmet designs with the throwback decals.
I'm not saying you're wrong, but this isn't what the PFT article said.
Also, when the league makes a "recommendation," you best consider it part of the goddamn rulebook. Just ask the Redskins about "actual rules" vs. memos.
So I've done some more digging. Apparently a safety commission concluded that it's safer for players to wear the same fitted helmet throughout the season, so they don't want players using different helmets simply for aesthetics. It looks like if it's for a specific reason, such as Welker's, then that's fine but if it's just to go throwback that isn't okay.
This being the NFL, there's little public regarding the actual rule and the reasoning behind it.
Did Natz/Simms just imply that Tony Gonzalez owes his career to Antonio Gates?
I think Simms was tracing all basketball tightends to Gates and Nantz quietly inserted Gonzalez into the discussion to show Simms that he was wrong and Simms was so dense, he didn't miss a beat.
There is a lot of holding in this game by everyone.
Someone get Jammer a fire extinguisher...
Wes Weller is apparently 206 feet tall, which is the only way that ball was catchable.
The now famous double post, abd the first version was not all that insightful.
Fun fact: The last unsuccessful onside kick attempt in the NFL to date it was by the Dayton Triangles.
That Old Spice commercial is creepier every time I see it.
my 9 year old was sitting next to me and he just looked at me with a horrified look on his face, like WTF was that?
So much better than the Will Ferrell 100 hairs of old spice arm pit commercial. This one actually makes you sit up in your chair. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhSisRkXuJY
I really hate seeing teams down by 7+ points kicking the ball away with 3 minutes left, especially against teams with good offenses, and not even questioning whether or not to onside.
There's a very real chance you're not getting it back.
Phil Simms thought this was an "easy decision". That might tell you all you need to know.
I can understand it - if you don't get the onside, they will kick a FG and you're behind 2 scores.
When you kick it deep, you can assume they're going to run, run, pass. They run on first to run the clock, you expect it, so you stop it. Same on second down.
Then on 3rd and long you just need to stop the pass you know is coming.
With 2 timeouts and the 2 minute warning, you have 3 of these series to stop them before you get the ball back with some clock remaining.
You know this is going to be the situation so your chances of stopping it is greatly improved.
You still need to stop them though, leaving receivers open 17 yards downfield is not the smart thing to do.
It is a little strange having made one onside kick already. Unless you have a really new wrinkle to the onside kick (which is hard with the rules on formations these days) you have as much chance of doing it each time as it isn't likely the opposition can significantly coach up their hands team in the short time available. But I guess there is a bit of subconscious "we've had our onside luck already today" feeling that stops coaches going for 2 in a row unless they really have no other option.
Either way, I think you need to aim for a three-and-out or a turnover. An opponent first down all-but-ends the game in either scenario.
If you kick, that means you're probably receiving a punt around your own 30-to-40-yard line.
If you onside kick and make it, you're in business.
If you onside and don't recover ... kickoffs are from the 35. Assuming the ball goes ten yards, a three-and-out places your opponent somewhere around the 50-40 yard line, meaning a 67 to 57-yard field goal attempt. I think Fox would have punted, getting the ball back to the Chargers somewhere between the 1- and 20-yard-line. Is the 20-yard difference worth the recovery chance? Absolutely, definitely yes.
Yeah, I understand that, I just don't think the chances are very good when you're dealing with something like the Broncos offense, and even if you do stop them, you're getting the ball back with less time, and probably at your own 20.
As much as failing to recover the onside is an instant game over, so is giving up a first down.
Well, no matter what happens next week my prediction is the Super bowl theme from the media will be the young gun vs the old pro, although top of the line O vs top of the line D could give it a run for the money ...
© Football Outsiders, Inc. // Site powered by Stein-Wein // Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties