Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 Jan 2013

MMQB: Ugly Wild Card Weekend

Mr. King looks at the events that transpired over Saturday and Sunday, adds some color to the hirings of Doug Marrone and Andy Reid, and goes over Chip Kelly's decision to stay.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 07 Jan 2013

22 comments, Last at 08 Jan 2013, 12:05pm by Kyle D.


by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 11:04am

Was wekeeknd of crap games. Don"t recall worse playoff weekend ever as far as playoff weekends that had 4 hames.

by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 11:42am

There have been a few weekends where the first three games have been bad but were redeemed by the last game. Three that come to mind were the first two rounds of the 2009 Playoffs and the Wild Card round last year.

From what I remember, the 2000 playoffs was mostly a disaster, but not sure if any singly round had all boring games.

by Ryan W (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 3:34pm

The 2009 Wildcard game between the Packers & Cardinals was one of the greatest ever.

by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 5:40pm

Yeah, I mentioned that the last game of each of those weekends kind of made up for three average at best games.

The 4:30 Sunday games have done a good job of that overall. This year, though, I can see that game ending the weekend with a thud. (though in 6 of the last 7 years, the road team won that game in the divisional round).

by QCIC (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 11:28am

What was wrong with the games? Why does everyone hate defense? If Jared Allen had been unable to play instead of Ponder and the Packers had torched the Vikings for 40 pts would the games have suddenly been better?

Sure none of them came down to the wire, but all games cannot come down to the wire.

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 2:30pm

Would rather see 10-7 game rhan 43-38 grane. Problem this weekend was games were not close. Not thrilling in the 4th quarters.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 11:32am

"Until told otherwise, I'll believe this was about Kelly's trepidation about the difficulty of building a consistent winner in Cleveland (which is on the verge of hiring its seventh coach in 13 years), or rebuilding one in Philadelphia."

He's got a pretty sweet gig at Oregon, so I totally can see him thinking twice about leaving. But by definition he's going to wind up with a team that's rebuilding since winners don't often dump their coaches. That's like the #1 draft pick hoping he ends up on a winner...probably not going to happen.

The thing that doesn't get mentioned enough is how very short Kelly's track record is even in major college football. I think he gets flattered when NFL teams call probably more than some other guys simply due to the nature of how he rose to where he is today. He basically hit the one-in-a-million jackpot where he fell into an amazing gig without any previous major school experience as a head coach. And that's something which would be a cause for concern if I were an NFL GM. Maybe he's got it all figured out, but having done something once in a pretty insulated environment isn't the same thing as repeating it in unfamiliar surroundings.

by DenverCheeze (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 12:42pm

I cannot agree with you more on Kelly. Short track record of success in one single situation is not an indicator of a highly successful coach. He has been insulated by the multitude of great players coming there simply for the (from what I understand well known but not highly publicized) benefits from Nike (new uniforms weekly, shoes, etc.) and other sponsors that dwarf even other huge programs like UCLA, Ohio State, ND, and others. I cannot see him being successful in the NFL at all.

Didnt some other highly touted fast rising college coach fail in the NFL, go back to college for a few years for some more 'training' then come to the NFL to successfully lead a team into the playoffs this year?

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 1:12pm

The other thing I don't really understand about the allure of Kelly is that the examples that keep getting trotted out to show how his offense will work in the NFL are the Pats and Redskins using parts of it. That's two extremely successful, longtime NFL coaches incorporating it--which shows that any good coach can implement the offense provided they have the personnel. (With the advantage being that those teams can also run more traditional offenses which there's some question about concerning Kelly.) And the offense is a fairly small part of the equation for an NFL coach... Does anybody know how he'd handle NFL players or a pro coaching staff? I don't have anything against him, but it's easy to imagine him being overwhelmed by it all.

by dryheat :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 5:12pm

I don't think that scenario describes one of the 12 HCs in the playoff field this year. Carroll? He was a very successful NFL assistant and went 15 years between college gigs. I don't think it was a case of being unready.

by markus (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 5:41pm

Along with being a successful assistant, Carroll had a winning record as an NFL head coach prior to getting the Seattle job. The popular belief that he was horrible during his first NFL stint is total fiction.

But I also question whether Kelly would be ready to run an NFL team and whether his offense could work over time. If it takes the likes of Tom Brady and RG3 to make it successful in the NFL then not too many teams will have a prayer. And that offense contributed to getting RG3 hurt.

by Dennis :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 6:19pm

He was 6-10 with the Jets in his first NFL stint. It depends on your definition of horrible, but he wasn't good.

by Lyford :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 7:08pm

"He was 6-10 with the Jets in his first NFL stint."

Of course, six wins is the average of what the Jets had the previous four seasons and two more than they managed in the next two seasons combined, so the talent on the roster may have had something to do with it...

by Dennis :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 11:20pm

The point is Markus was clearly referring to Carroll's time in NE as his first NFL stint and overlooking his time with the Jets.

by markus (not verified) :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 11:31am

No, I was counting the Jets and New England combined as his first stint because he never coached in college between those jobs. He had a winning record overall even including the time with the Jets. (And the Jets went from 6-10 in Carroll's year there to 3-13 the next season and 1-15 the next, making his record look not all that bad in comparison.) Again, it's total fiction that Carroll was terrible anywhere he coached. He wasn't great, either, but to hear some talk you'd think he'd never won a game.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Tue, 01/08/2013 - 12:05pm

"Carroll had a winning record as an NFL head coach prior to getting the Seattle job."

Uh, speaking of being clear... How exactly did you read this and decide he had to be only talking about NE? You seem to be making his point about people going out of their way to try and make Carroll seem worse than he really was.

by Spielman :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 2:24pm

"This is what I loved about what Russell Wilson did in his first playoff game Sunday: His best play was a busted play. Seattle trailed 14-13 with 8:50 left in the game. Time was Seattle's enemy. It was 3rd-and-10 at the Seattle 46, and Washington sent a blitz, an extra linebacker and extra defensive back, and Wilson had three receivers out in the route as he faced heavy pressure. He stepped up in the pocket, and tight end Zach Miller, the hot guy if Wilson got blitzed, leaked out of the mass of bodies. Wilson tossed it to Miller, who, uncovered, ran down the left flank for 22 yards."

Am I missing something? Based on this description, the Skins blitzed, and Russell Wilson threw the ball to the guy he was supposed to throw it to if there was a blitz. That's not a busted play, at least based on this description.

by QCIC (not verified) :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 4:18pm

It is a bizarre description.

by dryheat :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 5:15pm

You're not missing anything. King is. And really, Miller made that play on his own.

by coltrane23 :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 5:30pm

Yup. Wilson did appear to turn a busted play into a positive gain by following Lynch through a hole up the middle during the game, perhaps that was the play King was thinking about. Not the one he wrote about, though.

by dryheat :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 7:05pm

Even on that play, Wilson should've given Lynch the ball.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 4:55pm

Unlike PFF I'd say that having no passing game whatsoever is how Green Bay slowed Peterson down.