The new Off The Charts football podcast reviews the conference championship games. We talk about the defensive focus of the NFC Championship, and we have some ideas to improve replay review. Then we give out some season awards for the best individual games and seasons using both SIS and FO stats. (Click for audio link.)
Hold that shootout narrative for a moment! Over the last three months, the New Orleans Saints are the one remaining NFL team that could really play good defense. That should lead them to a win over Los Angeles and a trip to Super Bowl LIII. But what if Drew Brees struggles like he has since the start of December? And what will the presence of Aqib Talib really mean for slowing down the unguardable Michael Thomas?
9 comments, Last at 20 Jan 2019, 05:54pm by LionInAZ
The new Off The Charts football podcast goes in depth on the conference championship games. We start with a big conversation on whether distinct home-field advantages for different teams in different years are "real" or not. Plus: we discuss how Eli Apple changed the way the Saints brought pressure, how the Rams win on the ground with scheme, and how each team this week will set up its cornerback coverage. (Click for audio link.)
The Off The Charts football podcast looks at the new coaches that have landed around the NFL, and looks forward to this weekend's divisional round of the playoffs. We look at how the big weaknesses for the Colts and Chiefs defenses match the strength on the other side, why Philip Rivers' man/zone splits may be a problem against the Patriots, and what Nick Foles needs to do to continue his postseason magic against the New Orleans Saints. Go deep, young man!
Two more head coach hirings have made the news this morning, from very opposite poles of possibility. Cleveland will be elevating interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens to premanent head coach. He had never been anything more than a position coach until midseason, but he led Cleveland to 23.5% offensive DVOA from Week 9 onward. The Browns essentially had no choice here... if they kept Kitchens as OC with a different head coach, and then had a good season in 2019, another team was almost guaranteed to hire Kitchens away. So they might as well just give him a try at the head job now.
Retirement? I don't think this word means what you think it means. After a year off, 66-year-old Bruce Arians is back in the league. This pairs a head coach who loves to go deep with a quarterback who's best throwing deep, so it seems like a good marriage. Arians apparently will come as a package with his former Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, and say what you want about Bowles as a head coach, but he ran some pretty good defenses for Arians with the Cardinals.
7 comments, Last at 09 Jan 2019, 04:25pm by Will Allen
Jason Lisk makes the right point over at The Big Lead... this is all about salvaging Josh Rosen after his dismal (second-lowest quarterback DYAR ever) rookie season. Kingsbury is thought of as a cutting-edge offensive mind, but he was only 35-40 at Texas Tech. He couldn't win there with Patrick Mahomes as his quarterback. But there's a big difference between a) trying to recruit defensive players to Lubbock and b) starting with Chandler Jones, Patrick Peterson, and the No.
21 comments, Last at 12 Jan 2019, 06:23am by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual
The first coach-hiring domino has fallen, with Green Bay offering its head coaching position to Tennessee offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. They wanted a young offensive mind, and they got one, as LaFleur is only 39 years old. But he's also only called plays in the NFL for one year. He didn't call plays as Rams offensive coordinator in 2017 or as Atlanta quarterbacks coach in 2015-2016. Despite the one year with Sean McVay, LaFleur is a Kyle Shanahan guy through-and-through; he was also Washington quarterbacks coach under Shanahan in 2010-2013.