Sunday Divisional Round Open Discussion

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce
Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Divisional - Division champions square off as Tampa Bay (14-4) hosts the L.A. Rams (13-5), then the Kansas City Chiefs (13-5) host the Buffalo Bills (12-6).


463 comments, Last at 25 Jan 2022, 5:08pm

36 I hope so

I'd love to see a super bowl with Matt Stafford and Josh Allen in it. I feel like their styles of play would make for a really fun shootout.

4 That was weird

Tampa Bay lined up to punt on their second drive, and Los Angeles put three guys out there to cover the Bucs’ left gunner. I’ve seen doubles on the past, but never a triple. Who deserves that much coverage? And why?

5 What a completely awful…

What a completely awful taunting penalty call. What is wrong with these officials? They don't get fired often enough. Or at all. 

7 Nothing

I'd be more inclined to agree with you, except Suh has a very long track record of being nasty and pushing the line of roughing and good sportsmanship. I'm not going to complain if he keeps his head down and mouth shut the rest of the game because his normal behavior doesn't make the game more enjoyable.

10 That's not the role of a ref…

In reply to by coltsandrew

That's not the role of a ref. Like Hochuli's bs "You aren't old enough to get that call" on Cam Newton. The refs need to ref what is on the field. Not interpret it based on their personal prejudices. Is he going to call the same penalty on everyone else on the field for the same behavior? No. Then he shouldn't be calling it on Suh. If he can't handle that, than perhaps he can make a half million a year doing a different job.

39 That's the thing, though…

That's the thing, though. Suh has usually been the worst-behaved player on the field, so I don't doubt that what he said was worth penalizing. His past behavior means he doesn't merit the benefit of the doubt. I'm also not going to blame officials for wanting to put him, in particular, on notice early in the game if he does start running his mouth.

44 The difficult thing is that…

The difficult thing is that I'm sure he felt legitimately aggrieved.  On the brief replay shown, I couldn't see the alleged kick by Stafford, but that's irrelevant, anyway.  Suh believed that he was kicked and he responded like he and people of his personality will always respond when they believe they were wronged.  Some people would rather burn down the house than stay silent on a perceived slight.  I suspect a large number, if not all, of Suh's past disciplinary actions can be traced to him feeling justified about his actions due to something else that had happened recently.

9 I’m not really sure how…

I’m not really sure how Hochuli is calling this game. His crew (I know it’s not his crew in this game) was among the worst this season.

15 Hochuli should not be a ref…

Hochuli should not be a ref to begin with. After that call on Brady, he should not be allowed to even finish the game. This is completely about Hochuli's ego. FFS, Brady's lip is bleeding. 

19 No

OK, I lived long enough to see the day that I am defending Brady, maybe I should see a doctor this week for possibility of early onset dementia.

20 I am famous for how I feel…

I am famous for how I feel about Brady, but that is just a stupid thing to say. In this instance, he was not whining about nothing. He had a legitimate complaint. Hochuli has absolutely no reason to throw a flag after missing a clear and obvious hit to the head. 

23 The hit was to the chest…

The hit was to the chest. His head snapped down and his chin hit the top of the helmet. There is no way that should be called.

Without knowing exactly what Brady said we can’t judge whether the call was good or not, but I’m not a fan of any player in any support whining and to the officials. State your case, then shut up. 

29 You are entitled to your…

You are entitled to your opinion.
If you are attempting to make the argument that the hit Brady took there is not called in the NFL, well, you are welcome to live in your fantasy world, but the rest of us have been watching football for the past several decades. We know better.
I note that every player in every sport makes their case to the refs. Brady didn't do anything there no one else in professional sports does, and he was stating his legitimate case.
You can make whatever pathetic excuse you want for Hochuli, but I don't like to watch sports in which the game is decided by the refs. This is a game that has been totally ruined by Hochuli's ego. And probably side financial dealings.

50 I don’t give a shit about…

I don’t give a shit about hochuli. I honestly didn’t even know who was reffing the game. But this game has not been decided by the refs. Two penalties are not why the Bucs are losing. 

Have hits like that been called? Sure, but complaining that Brady doesn’t get enough calls  is pretty silly for anyone who has been watching football for the last decade. 

24 Brady

Brady forcing the ball to Evans and Gronk like Rogers forced it to Adams yesterday.

27 I think Akers fumbled

If so, HUUUUUGE break for the Bucs, who were very close to being dead and buried. 

38 I don’t know he does it

In reply to by jheidelberg

Chokes against the Chargers? No problem: the idiot who picks him off will fumble the ball back so he can finish the comeback. Throws a terrible pick-six against the Falcons to put his team in a massive hole? No worries: the Falcons will derp it up hard and come up with the biggest choke of all time! Throws a terrible pick just before halftime that should finish off this game? Don’t worry: Cam Akers will drop the ball and bail him out. It’s uncanny. 

64 But Pat does not agree

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

So please do me a favor and respond to him, it is much more fun for me to watch someone refute Pat’s foolish arguments than to refute them myself.

67 No thank you

I don't understand how the Rams players would be mad. Or their fans. I mean sure the Bucs might but you're trying to beat them lol

72 Ok we can agree on this one…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Ok we can agree on this one and both stay on the sidelines.  I do not want either of us thrown off the site for taunting, the theme of the day.

48 It's a dick move to screw…

It's a dick move to screw with plays like that. It probably would've been smart for the Rams to rush hard to force them to try to gain yardage, but you're just going to piss everyone off, quite possibly even your own players.

40 Nobody wants Brady to win

But, lets be honest, there's no difference between 7 and 8 rings. Maybe it'll make him retire faster.

42 Drops

It seems like there have been an awful lot of dropped passes in all the games this weekend. Weather was a factor in the GB game, but not in the other two.

43 Interesting that the 20 yard…

Interesting that the 20 yard play before the Tampa player crossed the line was also snapped after the play clock was at zero. Hochuli won't do what he is supposed to be doing, when it comes to the Rams anyhow.

47 If you were just following…

If you were just following this comment thread and not watching the game, you'd think this would be a close game that was being decided by the refs, not the one sided blowout that it actually is. Rams are completely controlling both sides of the line of scrimmage.

66 For starters, the Bucs…

For starters, the Bucs immediately converted after the taunting penalty on Brady. They've failed to convert a lot of other plays when penalties weren't called, which suggests the problem isn't so much yards to go as much as failure to execute.

57 It's about watching a fair…

It's about watching a fair contest between two teams. I don't care who wins. I do want to see a game that isn't being majorly impacted by the a terrible ref. You can't let Hochuli do what he has done all day, or not do, in the case of not calling clear and obvious penalties. 
Hochuli is an NFL ref because his father was an NFL ref. He is terrible. There are probably 200 million people in the US who would make a better ref than Hochuli. 

59 Exactly! Have the Bucs…

Exactly! Have the Bucs gotten some tough penalties? Sure. But that isn’t why they are getting blown out. 

As you said, it’s mostly getting dominated on the line of scrimmage. Throw in dropped passes and some bad special teams plays, and that is why the game isn’t even close. 

61 Tampa's OL injuries from…

Tampa's OL injuries from last week are really showing up here. I don't know if they would've been OK with Donald if Jensen hadn't gotten hurt (and Wirfs was in) but they couldn't really be worse.

I *do not* understand why Marpet is handling Donald one on one so much. He's, um, not doing well.

73 Weird, after a drive with…

Weird, after a drive with Donald over left guard most of the time, they shuffle him around and Tampa handles him a lot better. After Brady settles a bit, they actually hit stuff and score a TD.

Not sure why you move Donald outside when he's wrecking things inside.

77 Nah, both Philly and…

Nah, both Philly and Washington could be respectable. Not great, but respectable.

NFC South definitely has the least potential without Brady. Bucs basically become Washington, but Saints are in cap hell and Panthers have a head coach problem. So it basically comes down to the Falcons, and their best shot for relevancy next year is Ryan, but that's a long term mistake probably. Could end up with Bucs and utter garbage.

63 Eleven yards is a ways to go…

Eleven yards is a ways to go, but I don't think you can kick there. You still need three TDs and have limited time left.

70 Suffice to say

Whatever the Rams give up exactly, the Von Miller trade was worth it. Risky but they are pulling it off. 

71 Brady

The Tom Brady Reality Distortion Field is set to the ON position (Kupp fumble), but it isn't going to be enough, partly because Brady isn't playing very well.

81 Now

In reply to by JS

Now it's set to EXTREMELY ON


These last few plays are hilarious 

83 Back and forth turnovers

First, von Miller gets the strip sack and puts the game away, and then Stafford isn't ready for the snap and hands the ball right back to the Bucs? What is going on?

93 As I so often do, I look at…

As I so often do, I look at this situation and think "what would Joe Judge do?"  And I think the answer is clear ... three QB sneaks to set up a game clinching FG - then fake the FG and throw a pick six.

Anyway, somehow TB-LAR came up with something even sillier than my sarcasm: a TB drive that ends with a LAR 15 yard roughing foul that still gives the Rams the ball on a turnover on downs, just 15 yards back.  

85 Back to back turnovers…

Back to back turnovers resulting in a huge gain for the Bucs is some more goofy, random luck for TB...

161 Now we see why the Rams…

Now we see why the Rams traded for a Lions QB. They are perfectly comfortable being given an entire eptitude implosion and no time to lead a drive to take the lead.

88 Brady

I’ve seen him suck in a lot of games—last year’s NFCCG comes to mind—and just get some mind-blowing luck on his side to cover it up. Unreal. 

90 It's like

It's like Brady's juju is fighting behind the scenes with some opposing juju, and the game is insane as a result. Like there are two sets of people somewhere frantically making incantations and sticking pins in dolls.

91 Bucs offense is still…

Bucs offense is still performing poorly. It's the defense and some luck that is getting the game closer.

94 "The ball only hit the…

"The ball only hit the ground a fraction before the hit!" isn't making the case Collinsworth thinks it is.

97 LA wastes a time out

now 4th.

And he he's short a yard on a 47 yarder! Yikes!

0/1 success rate this half. 

107 I didn't think there were…

I didn't think there were any kickers still employed in the NFL who don't regularly kick the ball 50+ yards.  Accuracy is one thing, but I can't recall the last time I saw a 47-yard kick come up short, even in the CFL, other than in unusual wind conditions.  I have the sound off, though, so maybe there's a strong wind in TB that affected things.  (And no, I'm not going to turn the sound on to find out - I passed my annual tolerance threshold for Al Michaels' voice a few weeks ago.)

463 Short field goal by Gay

In defense of Gay, on the german telecast there was talk of an apparent injury to his knee during warmups. McVay said after the game he had not been aware if it. Just as odd as his usage-ratio between Akers/Michel. Will be interesting to watch that split come CS-Sunday. Kupp redeemed himself for his fumble, Cam added another one. Can they fix him? Will he be benched? I imagine even winning such a game can still be a dissappointment. He might become the least happiest ring winning person ever. The odds are low, though.

102 Can’t ever remember a game…

Can’t ever remember a game like this where a two touchdown lead deep into the 4th quarter felt so flimsy.

111 Right? I know Michaels and…

Right? I know Michaels and Colinsworth are both checked-out dinosaurs, but why on earth would a competent team want to "make it an 11-point game" with under 5 minutes left? Turning a two-possession game into a two-possession game doesn't accomplish a whole heck of a lot at that point.

106 That's a total of 20 yards…

That's a total of 20 yards gained, one turnover, and two fourth-down failures in the last three drives for the Bucs.

108 Still not over, but now the…

Still not over, but now the Bucs would need an onside kick recovery, a forced turnover, or an extremely fast first score.

114 What

NFL scriptwriter wants nothing but chaos

115 Wow.  Well if the Rams blow…

Wow.  Well if the Rams blow this, Stafford is good friends with Matt Ryan, so at least he has a built in support group.

117 Well, run the ball three…

Well, run the ball three times and there will only be about 1:05 left. I think I'd do that rather than pass... I think.

131 Cam Akers: 24 carries, 48…

Cam Akers: 24 carries, 48 yards, 2 lost fumbles. And yet why has he gotten nearly all the touches for the offense in the 4th quarter?

137 I know you want to get your…

I know you want to get your defense set, but Rams TO to let them respot the ball more favorably for TB seems like a mistake.

160 Well

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

letting the top WR in the game get behind your defense in that situation is a bigger mistake.