Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

2018 Divisional Discussion Thread

Here's the open thread for discussing all of this weekend's divisional-round action. On Saturday, we've got Atlanta at Philadelphia followed by Tennessee at New England. On Sunday, we start with Jacksonville at Pittsburgh, then New Orleans at Minnesota.


by drillz :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 5:02pm

(ATL-24 vs PHI-14) (N.E.-27 vs TEN-17) (PIT-21 vs JAC-10) (N.O.-20 vs MIN-17)

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 6:27pm

Predictions: Pats lose, Brady demands to be cut, signs with Washington to be around his buddy Trump. FO.com traffic is decimated after 90% of readers' heads explode

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 6:36pm

So are Vikings and Saints fans cheering for Philly here?

Edit: no, you'll all want Atlanta to win because then the NFCCG is in the Twins or Nawlins

by joe football :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 6:33pm

It's chat or go home for all the marbles in FO slack gameday chat! For people who are already in, just go to https://kotakuites.slack.com/messages/fo/details/. For anyone that wants to join a star-studded cast of their favorite FO posters for gameday chat, we're getting lazy at this point in the season so just follow https://tinyurl.com/ydyqh626 for an invite

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 7:18pm

Those were some seriously non-sensical scoring drives.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 7:40pm

Collinsworth: "I wish I could show America what the Falcons defense looked like last year"

Isn't it fortunate then that you're employed as a commentator for national football broadcasts and you can actually do that. You also had a week to prepare some tape...

Re: Jay Ajayi I wonder what kind of message the other Dolphins got when Ajayi was traded out of the Miami dumpster fire to the Eagles. If you want to send the locker room a message, it probably works a lot better to do it like Belichick and send Jamie Collins to Cleveland. But then lots of things work better if you do them like Belichick.

Whatever happened to this being a copycat league? I could do with seeing more teams copy Belichick.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 8:16pm

Terrible decision by Pederson to not go for it there. Did he get cold feet after the time out?

by sbond101 :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 8:26pm

And of course a high profile playoff game involves a high leverage "catch-rule" play. Makes you proud to be an NFL fan.

by Steve in WI :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 8:28pm

I feel like that one was fairly obviously not a catch though, at least by current standards.

by JIPanick :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 8:29pm

Was that a catch by any standards they've ever used? I feel it was a clear incomplete and Collinsworth was just trying to promote controversy.

by Rocco :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 8:50pm

It's only a catch if it's a Pats receiver.

by sbond101 :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 8:33pm

What do people think about the Eagles waiting until 1:19 to take their time outs?

by Sifter :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 9:06pm

I thought it was fine. They waited until the time Atlanta might have started running out the clock ie. first and goal. Earlier than that would have been speculative and most likely wasteful IMO.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 8:44pm

Really weak playcalling on that last Falcons goal-to-go series

1st down: obvious fade to 11, well defended and incomplete
2nd down: inexplicable middle shovel screen, incomplete
3rd down: slant to 11 short of goal line, could have been a good call if they followed it with a handoff to Coleman or at least PA
4th down: I'm not against the general idea of the bootleg, but even if Jones didn't fall I'm not sure how it could have worked

by JIPanick :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 8:51pm

Pederson tried to give the game away with that field goal, but Atlanta's OC does not accept charity.

by duh :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 8:51pm

This is a little hindsight bias I think. They took 3 shots to get the ball to their best player and arguably the best receiver in the league when he was single covered. A better throw on the slant probably would have meant 6.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 9:37pm

My issue with the first down play is there's single coverage, and then there's single coverage

by Will Allen :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 8:26am

It could have worked if the Falcons best player doesn't mistime his jump/ catch. It wasn't an easy catch, but it was an eminently catchable ball. I was very surprised to see it go through his hands.

by deus01 :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 9:08am

He also would have almost surely been out of bounds even if he did manage to catch the ball.

by Will Allen :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 9:18am

Yeah, his normal body control really seemed to be out of whack, after getting off the turf. Normally, if you asked the Falcons if they'd like a road playoff game, with Jones given the chance to win with that catch, they probably say that was ok with them.

by Will Allen :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 9:18am

Yeah, his normal body control really seemed to be out of whack, after getting off the turf. Normally, if you asked the Falcons if they'd like a road playoff game, with Jones given the chance to win with that catch, they probably say that was ok with them.

by Steve B :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 9:00pm

Nothing hindsight about that 2nd down shovel pass call. I thought it was horrible as I saw it unfold. I understand wanting to get Julio the ball, but Coleman was averaging almost eight ypc. He should've got it at least once.

by duh :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 9:15pm

Yeah to be clear I was no fan of that call either

by Steve B :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 9:02pm

And pretty clear there was no backup plan on fourth down if Julio wasn't open

by Cythammer :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 9:08pm

Pederson eschewing a fourth down attempt on that last Eagles drive may have been questionable, but he did go for it in the first half to get the Eagles their only TD. Outside of the Falcons' final attempt, that might've been the play of the game.

On the subject of that last play, I would have liked to surprise them with a run. You only needed two yards.

Anyway, I think DVOA is going to have the Eagles as being solidly the better team in that game. They had advantages in total yards and yards per play, while Atlanta had good fortunate in the fumble luck department.

by RobotBoy :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 9:16pm

And mere hours after I predict the importance of Alan Branch in stuffing the Titan's run game, he is declared inactive.

by BJR :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 9:30pm

Tremendous coaching effort from Pederson, Schwartz and co.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 9:48pm

Did someone kidnap Mike Mularky before the game and replace him with a Westworld robot? This is some unpredictable and aggressive play calling by the Titans offense so far.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 9:50pm

The only good Tom Brady is a bored Tom Brady

by ChrisLong :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 9:53pm

Pats D has been garbage most of the year, and we saw it on that Tennessee drive. If they don't get it together they will lose, Henry is too good of a clock-killer.

by Hextall_27 :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 7:27pm

They have given up 141 points in their last 11 games for 12.8 per game.

Garbage? I don't think that word means what you think it means.

They had a rough first 6 games as they figured things out. I'm not sure what that has to do with the last few months though.

by stoste :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 9:53pm

Great start to the game. Trying not to get too excited but that catch was amazing and the playcalling by Mularkey is surprisingly adventurous. I really like the way we've opened the game.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:00pm

The Titans only path to keeping this game competitive is to zig when the Patriots expect them to zag.

by Steve B :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:00pm

So guess we shouldn't expect holding to be called on NE tonight

by Steve B :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:07pm

A BS OPI call wipes out a first down for TN. Shocking.

by stoste :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:09pm

OPI? Seriously?!?!?!?

by Cheesehead_Canuck :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:12pm

There’s the mandatory bullshit PI call everyone outside New England knew was coming.

by Steve B :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:12pm

Blindside block not called

by duh :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:55pm

There were some terrible calls last night but this wasn't one of them Hogan hit him shoulder to shoulder which is completely legal.


by Rocco :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:28pm

Must be nice to be able to get announced penalties reversed.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:35pm

NE got the NFL to bury a video that had been subpeonaed by the Senate.

Reversing a call is nothing.

by Rocco :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:36pm

I'm sure Pats fans will have GIFs of an uncalled hold they'll post without any sense of self-awareness.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:29pm

When does a penalty call become set in stone? I don't remember the refs announcing one call, then switching to another one like that

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:32pm

Detroit at Dallas, couple years ago. They annosynced PI, marked it off, then reversed it.

Purely as a coincidence, the head of officials spent the week on Jones's yacht.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:40pm

I looked this up, and it was a "party bus" with Stephen Jones, but it's hardly different


by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:30pm

Man, when the announcers are talking about shady officiating, something is badly wrong.

Somehow NE manages to get a first down on 4th from a false start. Only after a position coach walks down and whispers sweet nothings to the side judge. Clearly no conspiracies, though. That would be silly.

by Steve B :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:30pm

Refs just going in with no lube on TN tonight

by morganja :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:30pm

There we go. No reason to watch any more of this nonsense. I didn't think it was going to be that incredibly bad. But wow. Those were some really bad calls there.
And the NFL can't figure out why people are watching less and less every year....

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:33pm

I think McDaniels got upset Mularkey was upstaging him so he opened up the good playbook they were saving for Pittsburgh. Some really beautiful play designs by NE

by Steve B :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:35pm

That and Alberto Riveron made a call to Gillette Stadium

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:37pm

We know Kraft has connections to Putin. Do you think he'd have a contrary ref killed?

Maybe just their family.

by morganja :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:41pm

Sheldon Adelson. Best friend. Gangster.

by roguerouge :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:39pm

This anti-semitism again? Another data point for an irrational conspiracy theory thread for this site.

by morganja :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:02am

Why don't you stop with the antisemitism nonsense? Who is being irrational here? Me stating irrefutable, documented, facts:

1) Robert Kraft and Sheldon Adelson are very close friends.
2) Sheldon Adelson is a mobster whose racket is gambling. Especially sports gambling.
3) The Patriots are perceived to benefit from otherwise inexplicable reffing, as evidenced, for the umpteenth time, by this game.

You on the other hand, are equating criticism of the Patriots with the most horrible genocidal holocaust the world has ever endured. Men, women and children, starved, tortured and murdered.

That is not something to be trivialized. Just stop.

by RobotBoy :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 1:26am

V.I. Lenin was an ally of Leon Trotsky who had an affair with Frida Kahlo who was married to Diego Rivera who painted political murals and helped make public them popular in the U.S. Therefore, all public murals are obviously part of a communist plot to overthrow the West.

by morganja :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 1:50am

But why did Ramón Mercader pick Leon Trotsky?

by PatsFan :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:13am

Because anti-semites like you never ever have prattled on about how people who just, accidentally happen to be Jewish control this, or run that, or are involved in shady conspiracies, etc.

No, that's never ever happened.

And they've never every tried to excuse it with the same tired crap you keep pulling.

Just keep on reading your Protocols of the Elders of Zion so you can figure out what your next set of excuses for why you're not, really you're not an anti-semite. You're just asking questions.

by deus01 :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 9:27am

While I think the that the Patriots conspiracy theory is crazy I wouldn't call it anti-Semitic. If he was making claims about other conspiracy theories that invovled Jewish people in positions of power than I would agree that the motivation would likely be anti-Semitic, however, as far as I know that hasn't been the case and this specifically involves the Patriots and gambling magnate and the religion of either is not important.

This conspiracy nonsense is starting to spread into ever comment section though, can we all just stop responding to any of those comments and just agree that it's crazy?

by Noah Arkadia :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:06pm

I think the anti-semitic discourse idea was started by Aaron the other day on a thread and I didn't get it there, either. Every "bad guy" belongs to a group of people - religious, race, nationality, etc. Accusing any one certain guy of being a bad guy shouldn't lead to accusations of being anti that group of people. Unless I'm missing some major context here.

by justanothersteve :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:35pm

I was confused where the anti-Semitic claims originated. Thanks for the context.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:42pm

I was *trying* to comment about football instead of refereeing

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:45pm

We were trying to watch football, but officiating shenanigans broke out.

by voytron :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:23pm

The only reason the crap Titans are even playing in this game, and I use the term "playing" loosely, is because of bad officiating. The bad calls in that game changed the outcome. This game is currently 21 to 7. Bad calls happen, and in this game, they're having minimal effect.

by Steve B :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:31pm

Here comes the Pats' homers...

Again, people would have an easier time with a "bad calls happen" explanation if we didn't see this regularly with NE.

by Cheesehead_Canuck :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:43pm

Minimal effect? Penalties are as much situational than they are “yards agains”

by sbond101 :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:56pm

This is a fair comment; especially in a matchup like this where which team is playing with the lead really changes the game. The Pats leveraged a couple of relatively minor favorable calls into a decent lead, which has eliminated the power run game from the Titans game plan, which makes the matchup ridiculously one sided.

by Steve B :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:05am

Lol at " a couple of relatively minor favorable calls"

by sbond101 :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:28am


In terms of actually questionable calls at the leverage point of the game, were talking about am OPI & a special teams false start. Maybe throw in calling the Eric Rowe play late in the second quarter illegal contact rather than PI for a third if your generous. That's 2-3 penalties for <30 yards.

Two of them were pretty high leverage, but get some perspective. The fact that they were an important part of the game really says more about the nature of the matchup and all the things that had to go right for the Titans than anything else.

by Steve B :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:45am

I thought they were "a couple of relatively minor favorable calls"? Now they were "pretty high leverage"? My perspective is that I see stuff like this routinely go in NE's favor.

Both things can be true - As expected, NE was clearly the better team, but the officials had their thumbs on the scale just in case.

by Lyford :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:50am

"the officials had their thumbs on the scale just in case..."

The Decker OPI looked right live, but on replay, was clearly wrong. The officials got that one wrong, and it cost the Titans a completion for a first down.

I don't see any other calls worth mentioning. Tennessee clearly jumped on the punt. What else would qualify as a bad, or even a questionable, call?

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 10:47am

Would NE have rather faced KC?

Funny how these always break NE's way.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:18pm

Right, you'd think they'd have to be the #1 seed to get to play the Titans

by Hextall_27 :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 7:37pm

Amen to that. I am hearing rumors that Triplette will *retire* (forced out)

The Chiefs won that game by a point on that 2 point conversion and they also should have had the ball after the sack fumble earlier. Those are not questionable calls that people can have an opinion on (like the loons who think Gronk does not get called for offensive PI often and that DBs don't get to hang on him like barnacles on the Vikings party boat)

Jesse James did not make a catch, but it was close enough to debate.
There is no debate that Triplette made the 100% wrong call on the sack fumble.
The 2 point conversion was also horrible but not as obviously blatant since he did back up a bunch and deal with a bunch of contact (still a very bad call)

by Steve B :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:42pm

Should've at least let one of the refs spike the ball after TD

by stoste :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:42pm

The refs are bad but I don't believe the conspiracy stuff. They just make bad calls. As a Titans fan who benefited from this last week I certainly don't think they were on our payroll at Arrowhead. Great, Pats just scored again...

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:00pm

Up until today I thought the whole ref conspiracy thing was funny (at least theoretically), but seeing it dominate the discussion like this is getting tedious. There were a couple of bad calls, sure, but there's always a couple bad calls. Even the "false start no wait neutral zone infraction" was more clumsy than nefarious.

by Steve B :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:14pm

You're forgetting or leaving out all the NON-calls. Name the last you watched a NE game and thought the officiating wasn't in their favor.

by Will Allen :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:35pm

I keep requesting an irrational conspiracy thread, for those who like to howl at the moon. I used to be half-kidding. Not anymore.

by Steve B :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:36pm

Don't like it? Skip over it.

by Will Allen :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:42pm


by roguerouge :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:41pm

Seconded. I'm not going to support a site with this kind of anti-semitism going un-moderated.

by Steve B :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:51pm

People posting anti-Semitic stuff should be removed. Most of the posts calling out the officiating don't have that.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:18am

Its utterly amazing that a poster who provides almost no content outside bitching about the Patriots is the one they're willing to let hang around after all the anti-semitic nonsense.

by morganja :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:30am

What is wrong with you? If you have a an accusation to make of antisemitism, state what it is. Otherwise, just stop. You might think its funny to equate criticism of the Patriots with the genocide of men, women and children in the Holocaust, but its not.
It's sick. Get some perspective. Or get some therapy. Either way, just stop with that nonsense.

by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:38am

I'm not talking about your Patriots nonsense, I'm talking about the Sheldon Adelson, Robert Kraft anti-semitism nonsense.

The fact that you're a garbage poster otherwise is just icing on the cake.

by morganja :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:57am

What specifically have I said about Robert Kraft and Sheldon Adelson that is antisemitic?

by Hextall_27 :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 7:40pm

Your anti-Patriots prattle is boring and pathetic. Why not just stop on that basis?
The benefit is that it also stops the character attacks.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 10:55am

Is Kraft Jewish?

I've always assumed he was descended from James Kraft (of the cheese company).

by Athelas :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:54pm

Yes, he is Jewish. No to the Kraft Foods connection. Most of his wealth came from the packaging company of his wife's family (which he greatly increased in value).

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:03pm

Now I lose out on the Cheese Bowl in XXXI

by PatsFan :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:18am

Another strawman to cover your anti-semitism.

No one's comparing your criticism of the Pats to the Holocaust. And you're giving yourself far to much credit to compare anything you do to something at that a high level of evil, planning, etc.

You're the banal, casual anti-semite (though one who still enables the badness of the competent anti-semites of the world) by going on about how those Jooooooz control the media, Hollywood, money, sports leagues, and so on.

by justanothersteve :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:47pm

I wonder if we'd have heard the same conspiracy stuff about the Walsh 49'ers or the 70's Steelers had the Internet existed back then. Immaculate Reception anyone?

by Steve B :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:49pm

Nice deflection

by Cheesehead_Canuck :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:03am

Who was being anti-Semitic? Honest question

by Steve B :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:06am

I'm wondering this, too.

by Alternator :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 1:09am

morganja's done it in the past, though he hasn't here. His conspiracy theories read like Alt-Reich posts sometimes, with the names changed to slander the innocent.

Mostly he's just a teenage troll pouring out his angst to the world, but it's pretty tedious to slog through after so long.

by morganja :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 1:38am

Really? Quote me. Copy and paste any comment I have ever made that is antisemitic. Quote any comment I have ever made that is Alt-Reich.
Those are some despicable accusations. One might say slander.
Once again, I am going to refrain from making any personal attacks. Most likely, Your comments are meant to be just trolling and you might think them funny. Get some perspective. Go visit Auschwitz. Tour the Holocaust museum.
Don't trivialize genocide.
There are still survivors alive. Go talk to them. The Holocaust isn't a joke to be used to troll people who don't like your sports team.
Have some respect.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 7:37am

Yea, I’m wondering myself. I roll my eyes when Morganja starts posting his anti-Patriots conspiracy nonsense, and I disagree with pretty much everything he posts, but I honestly don’t think he has ever posted anything that can possibly interpreted as anti-Semitic.

by Alternator :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 10:12am

Overtly, no. Implied, yes.

Sheldon Adelson actively promotes Jewish causes, both political (he's staunchly pro-Israel and donates accordingly) and and philanthropic (among the many charities he donates to, many are focused on helping Jews). Robert Kraft is an observant Orthodox Jew, and his charitable donations match that (to a lesser degree than Adelson, though).

Now mix in the "They secretly Rule The [NFL] World!" conspiracy nonsense, along with the unfounded gangster accusations, and sprinkle with frothing hatred, and it's not hard to see bigotry.

by morganja :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 1:59pm

Unfounded gangster accusations? What is it exactly you think Adelson does for a living?

You know who else believes the 'gangster accusations'?

The NFL.

Read the Sin City article about the Raider relocation to Las Vegas. Or any article about it for that matter.


The NFL owners refused to let Adelson own a part of the team because of his 'ties to gambling'. Which is a very polite way of putting it.

From the Guardian:

Or the notoriously antisemitic paper the Jerusalem Post:


In Israel, where I gather you have never spent any time, Adelson is a known gangster, and his 'pro-Israeli charities', as you put it, is his anti-democratic backing of Netanyahu.


I don't want to discuss any of that here. But if someone is going to hurl the despicable accusation of antisemitism at me, then I am going to refute it.

Sheldon Adelson is, putting it politely, involved in organized crime. That has nothing to do with his ethnicity, and certainly nothing to do with his alleged religion. It has to do with Sheldon Adelson.

by justanothersteve :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:33pm

LOL. Heaven forbid my speculation interferes with your paranoid delusions.

by Will Allen :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:10am

There is a certain subset of Vikings fan who has been convinced for decades now that Walt Disney, the Rothschild dynasty, the Rockefeller clan, the Queen of England, and the College of Cardinals at the Vatican, bring in Spanish dubloons in a fleet of black helicopters,the night before any Viking elimination game, to persuade the zebras to cast the purple headed favorites into the pit, just as they seem to be about to advance.

by morganja :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:33am

It's not a conspiracy, every one of those people you mentioned are alien space lizards. They've come here to infiltrate and conquer the earth, and to make sure the Vikings never win a Super Bowl.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 10:57am

The Lizard Prople were in the AFC when the documentary, They Live, came out.

by BJR :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:45pm

After the callous, cowardly decision to punt on 4th & 2 from midfield, I'm cheering New England to win by as many as possible. Mularkey deserves to be embarrassed.

by Rocco :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:50pm

That's the Mularkey we know and love.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:03pm


by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:03pm


by Will Allen :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:51pm

That is awful preparation

by BJR :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:53pm

This is a coaching mismatch of monumental proportions.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:55pm

Has he considered letting Magic 8-Ball make his decisions?

That might at least confuse Belichick.

by Steve B :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:56pm

Henry missed a HUGE hole on the backside on that 4th down play

by The Ninjalectual :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:02pm

I saw that too but I'm not sure it would actually have worked like that. TV angles can be really misleading about this kind of thing

by BJR :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:07pm

Even so, what was the thinking behind the play call? What were they going to had they gained the first down with a run up the middle? Spike it and throw a hail mary? And that was after the hideous time-out. Just an unacceptable sequence of events.

by RobotBoy :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:36pm

And I wrote on a roll of toilet paper, 'Game over.'

by Steve B :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:54pm

This is WWE level stuff. The league should be embarrassed.

by stoste :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:56pm

Poor play call, bad running by Henry, horrific use of a timeout. Mularkey needs to go.

by stoste :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:15pm

Mularkey said he wants the players to "overcome everyone" in the second half.....that would include himself then.

by Cythammer :: Sat, 01/13/2018 - 11:59pm

Funny how the result of last week's Chiefs-Titans game ended up being bad for almost everyone. Bad for Chiefs fans for obvious reasons. Bad for neutrals because it resulted in this horrible Titans-Pats matchup. And finally, bad even for Titans fans because it meant that Mike Mularkey got to keep his job.

by Cheesehead_Canuck :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:04am

I can think of one team/fan base it wasn’t bad for.

by Yu Narukami :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:08am

Buffalo, since KC's round 1 pick stays lower.

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:09am

No need to mention them since everything always goes their way anyway, it's simply assumed.

by MC2 :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 1:45am

I'm not sure which is worse: the posters who constantly gripe about conspiracies to fix games, or the posters who constantly accuse other posters of bigotry.

by ChrisS :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 11:24am


by RobotBoy :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:15am

Out of all the places available to vent conspiracy theories and gripe about the diabolical Bob Kraft, FO seems one of the more unlikely. Until now, I assumed most readers came here specifically to escape. 'Your team sucks', blah blah blah, 'Oh yeah, deflate this,' blah 'Goodell hates us, that's why the refs..' blargh 'the Illuminati are among us!'

by RobotBoy :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:37am

I noticed a few times that the refs were letting DBs get away with hooking the arm of a receiver as he went up for a reception. Happened on the Davis TD, hence the one-handed catch, and on a third down play during the Pats second possession (I think). It's hard to see the DB doing it if you're a sideline official and the receiver is on the outside. All you can see is the one handed grab which isn't always enough to make the call.

by PatsFan :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:56am

Can't say I can remember ever seeing a false start flag reversed to a penalty on the other team.

For all the fawning in the press about NE after this, TEN made NE look better than it really is. Some (many) truly head-scratching coaching decisions. And it seems like TEN stopped trying way too early.

Should NE be lucky enough to advance out of the AFCCG, I don't see them beating NO or MIN. Not that they can't, but I think the odds are against it.

by RobotBoy :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 7:36am

NE has major flaws but some of the most gaping have been pretty well paved over. Yes the Titans lost their right tackle early but the run defense was excellent, the pass rush had seven sacks and some of those were coverage sacks, which speaks to a fairly solid game by the secondary (although Malcolm Butler is still struggling and McCourty seems to have lost a step). Also, it seems like TB 12 has recovered from the injuries that nagged him toward the end of the season.
That said, the difference in coaching talent was the true takeaway. Didn't Mularkey consider the possibility that the Patriots would run no huddle or throw to running backs? The Titans tried a few things early, especially on that TD drive but afterwards, they were as predictable and depressing as Monday morning.
The tongue bath from the local media is to be expected but even if these aren't the 2007 Pats, they were on a different planet than the Titans. The game seemed over by the middle of the second quarter. People were right to pay attention to the calls that went against the Titans, as those calls extinguished the team's already minute chances of winning.

by Athelas :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 9:42am

I appreciate this thread that is actually about football analysis!
(I really wish there was an ignore button for some posters.)

by Athelas :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 9:42am


by PatsFan :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:58am

And watching the PHI-ATL game and reflecting on the past few weeks, how can there be such inconsistent catch/no-catch calls when a single person is doing all those reviews??

(Oh, and why the hell did Belichick challenge that completion call with about 4:30 left in the NE game? Does he hate Mularkey and wanted to try for an FU? Was wondering about that with the failed garbage time bomb to Cooks, too.)

by coboney :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 8:18am

Belichick doesn't have a filter for 'game over' or for where the line really is. he pushes it constantly in everyway he can, and that includes not taking his foot off the gas pedal generally.

That sort of edge is part of what has made him a great coach. It's also led to the investigations of sorts by the NFL and it's also why a lot of folks dislike him.

That said, he's still probably the best coach of all time - and I say that as a 49ers fan who would normally take Bill Walsh on anyone there. Brady imo is a great QB and stands among a group of peers - Belichick is the great coach and leads that group - or is part of a very small group that has Walsh and a couple others.

As for the catch/no catch thing. I'm HOPING that someone got to the officiating room at New York and explained the whole clear and incontrovertible evidence thing and we'll stop seeing so many overturns on plays that are borderline. Today looked good that way - more stands and let it go with what was on the field.

by Athelas :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 9:58am

About that challenge--the PFW guys, with only a little joking, suggested Ernie Adams, who calls the challenges, might have already left his seat and Bill was left adrift.

by Hextall_27 :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 7:53pm

How about this:

Bill, go ahead and challenge. It is obviously a catch but lets savor this win for a few minutes. I'd leave my seat and join you early, but leaving early is for Home Depot guys.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 11:01am

Watching live, I thought the Jones catch was, but was not at all confident about how replay would rule on it.

by stoste :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 9:08am

Although NE held up against the run, I think they were there for the taking in the air but Mariota was didn't see the open man a few times and instead pulled it down to run, then took a sack. I'd need to go back and look at the all-22 but you could see on multiple occasions Romo pointing out that Mariota had an open receiver and brought the ball down too early. I've got high hopes for our future as we've been steadily improving since we drafted Mariota but I really don't see him developing to that next level with Murlarkey as the HC. It was great to make the playoffs and that victory over the Chiefs was like a dream but now we're stuck with a HC that can't manage a game when the stakes are at their highest and is adverse to having a modern offense. As for the rest of the playoffs, I don't care who wins the SB as long as it isn't Pittsburgh or NE. 11 titles between them - I really hope we get a different team hoisting the Lombardi.

by Athelas :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 9:43am

Although I am a Patriots fan, I totally understand. The joy of the Philly or Minny fans would be fun to watch!

by morganja :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 1:30pm

I would love to see the Vikings, Eagles or Saints win it all.
I didn't follow the Titans this year. I had no idea they were anywhere close to being in the playoffs. How much of the issue is Mularkey and how much of it is the pieces that he has? Is it something that can be fixed as he acquires the players that his system needs? Or is it just bad coaching?

by amin purshottam :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:30pm

Really? I was pretty sure you would want the Patriots to win it all!

by BJR :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 10:01am

It was depressing to witness the chasm in coaching competence last night, and we can assuredly expect Belichick to run rings around whichever of Tomlin or Marrone he faces next week. So short of outstanding performances from Pittsburgh's offensive stars (much less likely now that it is evident that Brown is nowhere near full health), or an heroic defensive effort from Jacksonville, he will be coaching in another Super Bowl.

If there's a reason for optimism among neutral NFL fans wishing to see competitive football, it's that the remaining coaches in the NFC all appear to be of high quality. Zimmer/Shurmur against Belichick/McDaniels should be a terrific matchup. Pederson/Schwartz showed yesterday that they could conjure up a game-plan to knock off a team with a large advantage at QB (although of course Brady is another step up in class). Sean Payton has his faults as a coach, but we know he is willing to be extremely aggressive situationally, which will of course be required to defeat New England.

I honestly don't care who wins, I just want to see competitive, competently coached/executed games unlike last night's in Foxboro.

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:33pm

I think you are way over-emphasizing the importance of coaching, as people on anlytics-oriented sites often do. The game is still played by the players, and we could find many, many times in Belichick's career that he lost to inferior coaches. They'll be favorites next week, but no way can you just pencil in NE already.

by Athelas :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:57pm

I hate to agree with one of my least favorite posters, but it seemed to me that the Steeler coaches lost that game.

by RobotBoy :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 9:18pm

And yet far more often than he's lost to inferior coaches, Belichick has beaten them, often with a team that was less talented than the one they lined up across from. No one is penciling in the Patriots but it's ridiculous to argue that Belichick doesn't provide NE an enormous advantage.

by t.d. :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 10:45pm

not sure i'm ready to put him in canton yet, but so far, marrone has had buffalo's best record in 18 years and then won as many games as gus bradley did in four years in one season-plus, and he's already won in gilette as a head coach, so i'm perplexed as to where the supposed incompetence lies. not sure the jags will be able to do as well defensively against whatever the hell new england runs, but there's no way in hell brady completes any of roethlesberger's zero-margin-for-error touchdown passes against coverage that tight. guess we'll see

by BJR :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 10:10am

Man the Eagles look like championship team if only they had good QBing. In the interests of football fans everywhere, should they reach the Super Bowl, can they not arrange with the Vikings to loan back Sam Bradford?

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 11:04am

It would be easier to Pollard Brady early in the game, and just deal with Garop... err Hoyer.

Schwartz is the kind of asshole who would do it, too.

by JIPanick :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:57pm

Maybe they can talk Romo out of the booth with a shot at a ring...

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:19pm


by Raiderfan :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:15pm

Wow, on the opening drive it looked as if the Steelers think they do not have to play.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:32pm

That would be an interesting attitude, considering what happened the last time the Jags came to Pittsburgh.

by BJR :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:18pm

Pitt D didn't look ready to play on that opening drive, what the heck was going on?

by Anger...rising :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:26pm

The inconsistency in forward progress is so annoying. Fournette ran into a scrum and initially got pushed back a yard, but nobody blew a whistle, so Jacksonville's entire offensive line came and pushed the pile five yards.

by BJR :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:33pm

I hate that. As much as anything it seems incredibly dangerous inviting guys from both sides to pile into a prone ball carrier.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:34pm

Jacksonville looks like the clearly superior team so far. The wildcard is Bortles. That guy is a ticking time bomb for his own team. The problem for Pittsburgh is, the longer the Jags have a multi-possession lead, the more they can just keep handing off to Fournette and minimize the Blake-tanic's impact on the game.

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:51pm

I'm not sure Bortles is quite as bad as you're saying. He was 15th in DYAR and 16th in DVOA this year, which is at least mediocre.

by RickD :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:00pm

He's no Blaine Gabbert.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:10pm

It's not his baseline performance in 2017 I worry about. It's his wild swings...specifically his sometimes insane turnovers. He lost the Jets game single-handedly. And remember the Jaguars would have missed the playoffs if it weren't for the fact that the Chargers somehow couldn't close out the game after Bortles threw them TWO terrible interceptions after the two minute warning.

by t.d. :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 10:26pm

that isn't really how a decision tree works (if things were different, they wouldn't be the same) and barnwell would probably point out the jags were about even with the 13-3 pats in pythagorean performance

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:07pm

I'm not trying to argue that the Jaguars aren't a good team. They clearly are a very good team that belongs in the AFCCG. I was just pointing out that they have a clear weakness at quarterback relative to the rest of their team, and it came very close to sinking them.

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:40pm

A dream start for the Jags. But the way this latest drive is going for the Steelers, they aren't going to have nearly as bad a day on offense as in Week 5.

by Anger...rising :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:43pm

Why in the world are you running a toss play? You have INCHES to go.

by RickD :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:58pm

I'm sure our Mike Tomlin fan would have some thoughts about that play call.

Saw stat on Twitter: the Steelers were 1 for 6 converting 4th down this season when they ran.

Given they have Bell and Roethlisberger as rushing options, that's astonishing.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:39pm

I haven't seen him in a couple months. I hope he's okay!

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:46pm

He's made himself scare since Aaron gave him a subtle verbal smack-down over his unprovoked bellicosity towards other posters.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:43pm

Terrible play call by the Steelers on that 4th down. Big Ben probably could have just leaned over the center to pick up the 1st down.

by Cheesehead_Canuck :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:19pm

I can’t believe Jacksonville is our last hope to preventing another New England SB appearance.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:24pm

On the bright side, Jacksonville is a high-variance team, and Doug Marrone seems okay with taking risks.

by RickD :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:25pm

I had just posted to Twitter a "There's lot of time left" comment before that fumble recovery/TD.

Steelers have a great offense and could certainly catch up. But they are not playing well at all. And as the minutes tick by, it will be harder and harder, as they have to pass against a great passing D with great corners and a great pass rush.

The Jags present a different kind of problem than than Steelers would. Given the Pats' record vs. Pittsburgh in recent years, the Jaguars might be a more credible obstacle. They have the kind of defense that could stop the Pats cold.

But then there is the Bortles issue...

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:27pm

I can't believe the AFC has one team who would be favored over any of the NFC playoff teams.

by Cheesehead_Canuck :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:35pm

You don’t think the Pats would be favoured over any of the 3 remaining NFC teams?

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:52pm

Pats would be favored over maybe all but Minnesota or New Orleans. Maybe Philly with Wentz.

I think Atlanta would have been favored over everyone else in the AFC field.

by RickD :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:57pm

...and yet they couldn't beat the Eagles w/o Wentz.

No, the Falcons wouldn't have been favored over either the Pats or the Steelers.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:23pm

OK this game is officially over.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:25pm

I thought the first time the Jags blew out Pittsburgh it was a bit flukey because of all the interceptions. I guess not.

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:24pm

If the Steelers get a TD before the half here, it's still far from over. Fournette getting injured could still prove to be very important.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:33pm

How's that for high-variance?

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:33pm

I liked going for it on fourth down there, since it would be a long kick and down 21, a FG doesn't help you much. But letting that much time drain off the clock before calling a timeout was terrible. Of course it doesn't matter when you just go right for a TD anyway.

by stoste :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:48pm

Definitely not over. Even if Pitt don't score on the drive to open the 2nd half there is still plenty of time left but the offense would be helped by the Steelers stepping up and getting some 3 and outs. If Fournette doesn't come back into the game and they have to lean on Yeldon then that would be interesting although even if he does come back how good will he be now he's hurt? A turnover by the Steelers D would also flip this game. Can Bortles go the entire 2nd half without a killer mistake?

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:53pm

Wow, that was a FIFA-level dive by Bell against Ramsey on the personal foul.

by stoste :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:54pm

Questionable personal foul there.

by RickD :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:54pm

Juju Smith-Schuster pushes Jalen Ramsey into out-of-bounds Le'Veon Bell. Officials flag Ramsey for unnecessary roughness.

This is the kind of call that underscores the need for _all_ plays to be reviewable.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:03pm

This is all a conspiracy, and somehow the Patriots' fault.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:10pm

If they reviewed it, it would have been ruled an incomplete pass.

by drillz :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:58pm

pittsburgh listen up! you run at speed, and away from power. sheesh!

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 3:59pm

This was already apparent in the first half, but the Jags aren't really stopping the Steelers except via turnovers. Otherwise Pittsburgh is going up and down the field pretty easily. Jacksonville's offense is going to have to keep scoring to secure this game.

by t.d. :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 10:17pm

ok, they say

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:01pm

The play-by-play guy was moved to tears by the beauty of that touchdown. He would change his tune real fast though if he knew how the refs were favoring New England in this game

by Cheesehead_Canuck :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:01pm

What a sneaky dirty move by JSS.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:16pm

He deserved to have his bike stolen!

But seriously, you think he was trying for that outcome? I thought he might have been surprised, like he was pushing him just to push

by AHBM :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:02pm

All three of the Steelers touchdowns thus far have been thread-the-needle throws from distance (outside or just inside the red zone). It seems like they're trying to test their luck since the first interception (and 1 or 2 near misses) and it's playing out for them.

by AHBM :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:47pm

This game is wrecking the curve for ALEX.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:19pm

It's hard to make ALEX's correlation worse.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:29pm

Yeah I spoke a little too soon. Jax still in the lead though. I can feel a Bortles turnover coming soon though.

by stoste :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:35pm

I was thinking the same thing but didn't see that bomb coming. This is a great back and forth game.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:56pm

Wow! What are the chances the Jax player on the defensive right stepped forward aggressively before the 4th down snap specifically to get Ben to give away the play? When he audibled it seemed obvious he was calling off a run

While this is probably an optimal strategy against Pittsburgh, let's hope they're smart enough not to try it in New England next week.

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:36pm

Steelers have dominated this second half. But suddenly it's 7-7 in second half scoring and the Steelers haven't even made any progress in cutting into that 14-point lead.

by deus01 :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:43pm

Brown is so f'ing amazing.

by stoste :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:44pm

Wow, does it get any better than Roethlisberger to Brown?

by mathesond :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:45pm

Wow. Great touchdown play. Can't believe Haley finally hit on a fourth down playcall!

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:50pm

That was the second fourth down TD for the Steelers though, that's also how they got their TD right before the half.

by big10freak :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:49pm

Looked like the Jax db had a hold of Brown the whole down the field and Brown still made the catch

by big10freak :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:50pm

The lack of a pass rush by Pittsburgh today is killing them

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:02pm

Yea, when he's pressured is when Bortles starts to do silly things.

by Cheesehead_Canuck :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:51pm

The Steelers can’t stop the Jaguars.

Things you don’t expect to say.

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:59pm

At least in the first and fourth quarters. In between, after the Jags' offense did nothing, which is why the Steelers tying the game seemed inevitable for a while there.

by big10freak :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:52pm

Good play call. Pittsburgh D totally fooled

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:53pm


by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:55pm

Couple of gigantic third down conversions. Bortles hasn't been exactly good, but I think he's played the role of game manager... Which seems weird to say about a QB for an offense that now, as I type, has scored 35 points.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:55pm

Raise your hand if you thought Roethlisberger vs. Bortles would be the highest-scoring, most exciting game of the weekend.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:56pm

deleted double post

by drillz :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 4:54pm

i have to go to the store, i'm out of toilet paper, does anyone have a terrible towel i could borrow?

by big10freak :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:01pm

Ben showing the moves.

by stoste :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:02pm

Pitt's D has been gashed today and not come up with any turnovers. I truly didn't see this coming.

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:02pm

Steelers should really have tried to avoid using timeouts on offense.

by big10freak :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:03pm

How is that not PI on 26??

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:04pm

Definitely should have been. Love this mad bombing by Big Ben. Not only fun to watch, but paying off (should have paid off there).

by Anger...rising :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:07pm

Roethlisberger was so eager to lateral the ball on that drive.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:07pm

Steelers only down by 7 now. Best playoff game so far?

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:12pm

I think so. I'm at work, and having trouble getting work done because I can't tear myself away from this game on my phone.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 9:02pm

Lol not anymore.

by voytron :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:08pm

“We’re going to play [the Patriots] again,” Steeler's safety Mike Mitchell told Sports Illustrated. “We can play them in hell, we can play them in Haiti, we can play them in New England. … We’re gonna win.”

But can he play them from his living room?


by RobotBoy :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:18pm

Yeah, how do you overlook a team that thrashed you so badly? But all you heard coming out of Pittsburgh was Patriots talk.

by CaffeineMan :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:08pm

Listening to, but not watching the game: how's the Jags pass rush doing at this point? Rushing 3 or 4 and playing coverage? Rushing 5 and not getting home? It doesn't sound effective.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:23pm

Appear to mostly be playing coverage. I've rarely noticed any blitzing. Pittsburgh's offensive line has had a good game.

by CaffeineMan :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:27pm


by AHBM :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:09pm

"Questionable decision" doesn't begin to describe that onside kick.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:13pm

For a minute there I was worried they'd do the smart thing by kicking deep!

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:10pm

Onside kick was way overaggressive there. If they were down be 3 or 4, I would be okay with it. However, a Jacksonville FG puts the game away in this case.

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:14pm

Most onside kicks don't result in the receiving team already being in FG range, so you don't anticipate that. You have to get a three and out either way, so might as well try for the onside. I think it's the right call. The big problem was only kicking it five yards.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:19pm

Even if it went 10 yards, the Jaguars would only need 7-8 yards to get into makeable range.

I wonder if anyone has studied the probability of recovering an onside kick vs getting a 3 and out on defense. I'd be shocked if the latter weren't more likely.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:26pm

53 is a bomb at Heinz

by CaffeineMan :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:26pm

Wrong thread.

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:27pm

I think it's rare for onside kicks be recovered at exactly ten yards. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like most recovered onside kicks are not in a position where a few yards will set you for a FG. Not to mention it's in Heinz Field, where FGs are difficult.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:46pm

In a very chunky PFR search, you convert about 25% of onside kicks and force a 3-and-out (or better) about 40% of the time.

I'm not confident in that onside search, though.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:11pm

My gestault is that sounds about right. The onside kick number seems a bit high, however. In any case, I think if you have the timeouts and at least a competent defense, you kick it away.

by big10freak :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:16pm

The decision making by the Steelers coaching staff has been really strange.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:21pm

Every non-Patriots coaching staff has looked questionable at best in the playoffs thus far (I guess Marrone hasn't made a huge blunder yet).

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:28pm

What was Pederson's mistake?

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:31pm

Kicking the field goal to make it 15-10 instead of going for the game-sealing touchdown would have come back to bite Pederson in the ass if the Falcons had better goal-to-go playcalling/execution.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:58pm

But if they hadn't converted, Atlanta kicks the chipshot FG to win.

That seems like a wash to me.

I'd have gone for it, but I get the thinking.

Belichick has kicked to go up by one score on 3/4 opportunities.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:15pm

But they would have had to start from inside their own 5 yard line, which is a much different proposition than receiving a kickoff. I can see kicking when you're up by 4. But anything less, and you're still allowing a touchdown to beat you.

by Coaldale Joe :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 11:32pm

If the Eagles don't score there, the Falcons need just 60 yards to have a legit shot at a FG to win the game. By kicking the FG, the Falcons have to drive ~75 yards for a TD. As we found out, scoring a TD is a lot more difficult than kicking a FG. There's no way you can go for it in that situation and risk a FG beating you. Especially when you consider that the longest TD drive Atlanta had on the night was about 20 yards after a muffed punt. They hadn't been moving the ball at all. Give the defense a little more margin for error and let them seal the deal.

by MC2 :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 11:53pm

I agree. People always underestimate how much harder it is to score a last-second TD than it is to kick a last-second FG.

by Coaldale Joe :: Mon, 01/15/2018 - 2:28am

It's especially funny given that Atlanta ended up in roughly the same spot 4th and Goal from the 2, and didn't make it. It was probably 50/50 if the Eagle score or turn the ball over on downs if they go for it. And it seems like it has become fairly common for teams to move into FG territory in ~30 seconds at the end of a game. Hell, the Eagles did it themselves at the end of the 1st half.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:26pm

duplicate post

by big10freak :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:21pm

Jax defense cannot be concerning the Pats that much

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:24pm

The Patriots don't have Antonio Brown. Gronk, however, will pose some problems.

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:32pm

Because judging a unit based on one game when you have an entire season at your disposal always makes sense.

by big10freak :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:39pm

I wrote that based on the notion that before this game the Pats were likely not concerned and nothing in this game would catch their attention and lead to them consider otherwise.

but hey, thanks for the sarcasm. Always welcome

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:46pm

If you think any Bill Belichick coached team is going to be "not concerned" about any opponent, I don't know what planet you're from. The Patriots could be playing a peewee team and Belichick would still require his team to focus like they were a squad of all pros.

by big10freak :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:48pm

Ok. Pretty clear you want to be hyper literal and fight on every post. Have at it.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:48pm

It's not his fault you were so unclear

by big10freak :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:49pm

It was a seemingly benign comment the elicited immediate nasty tone. Is that the MO now here?

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:59pm

Key word "seemingly." You saw it one way, he read it another. If you don't want people interpreting your comments through the filter of their own perspective, it's on you to communicate more. I don't see what the big deal about it is anyway

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:14pm

I don't think mild sarcasm qualifies as nasty tone. Especially to a comment that was pretty silly (any team would be rightly concerned when facing one of the best defenses in the league, one supbar game doesn't change that).

by hrudey :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 8:24pm

Well, why should it? They'll be playing the Steelers, because they had nothing to be concerned about the Jaguars' offense after last weekend, right? I only wish that New England would fall victim to that type of overconfidence.

by Alternator :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:23pm

Darth Brady and Emperor Belichick lurk in their fully armed and operational homefield advantage, daring Jar-Jar Bortles and Qui-Gon Fournette to make a trench run.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:44pm

"That defense is a hunk o' junk!"

"She might not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. She'll do -27.5% DVOA against the pass"

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:09pm


Maybe Mark Brunell and Jimmy Smith can use their Force illusions to help out the Jaguar's offense.

by Anger...rising :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:24pm

Great clock management, there.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:25pm

Yea, that clock management was an Andy Reid fever dream. Took the Steelers' win probability from single digits to zero.

by Anger...rising :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:36pm

Once they got to the five so quickly, the only real obstacle should've been the onside kick. Quick throws to the end zone leave plenty of time on the other side for a completion or two to set up a field goal, but instead it's hold and hold and hold the ball leading to a 10-second runoff, then an inexplicable screen and failure to get out of bounds and, presto, like 45 seconds have disappeared in the space of two plays. Unreal.

by amin purshottam :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:27pm

Hey Steelers,
Maybe overlooking the Jags and looking forward to next weeks rematch against the Pats was not a good idea eh??
Way to prepare your team Mike Tomlin!
Oh and loosing to Blake Brothel! Wow

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:33pm

I think Jacksonville has a better chance of beating NE than Pittsburgh ever did. Honestly I can't really see either of them pulling it off, but Jax is more of a wild card. They match up strength/strength and weakness/weakness; if Jax's weakness plays like they did today, we'll have a close game on our hands. If Jalen Ramsey has a Richard Sherman-esque coming out party, we'll have a Jax vs. [Minn/NO] Bowl!

Jacksonville's deficiencies are more difficult to exploit. You can force B.Roeth into making mistakes, but you can't force Bortles into doing anything. You also don't *need* to, he'll make mistakes all on his own. But maybe not!

by Steve in WI :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:34pm

I know recovering the onside kick and returning it for a TD has to be like a 0.001% probability, but maybe try it because it’s your only shot? The squib kick makes no sense...the Jaguars player was so far away from anyone that even if he fumbled it he’d have had all the time in the world to recover.

Talk about terrible coaching by Tomlin in the last few minutes.

by Eddo :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:52pm

It's actually a flat zero percent. Like a muffed punt, a recovered onside kick cannot be advanced by the kicking team.

Pittsburgh's only real hope was Jacksonville receiving the kick, having full possession, then fumbling.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:00pm

Muff in the end zone.

by Eddo :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:06pm

True. That's actually what I suggested they do at the time, but for some reason I neglected to write that here. Oops.

by RobotBoy :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:35pm

More interesting than another Steeler's matchup for Pats. More of a test for Hoodie to play an unfamiliar opponent that has scored 45 and 10 points in the playoffs.
McCourty was on the injury report for yesterday's game and he got hurt again yesterday. I thought he looked hobbled. Would be a big blow to Pats secondary if he was out.

by Cheesehead_Canuck :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:41pm

My opinion is the winner of this game is the team best suited to beat the Patriots. I’m so sick of the Pats that this Packers fan would cheer for the Vikings if it came down to it!

by big10freak :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:43pm


by Cheesehead_Canuck :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:45pm

I know, i know...
I’ve been around too many Pats fans for too long to be able to ever cheer for them.

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:41pm

I'm just soooo glad that the Jags have saved us from having to hear James Harrison's name mentioned a million times (even if he didn't play a snap) next week.

by RickD :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:48pm

Harrison has been getting a decent number of snaps. He really has filled a huge need in the Pats' defense. So you won't hear his name a million times, but you will hear it.

by Cythammer :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:10pm

Oh, I just meant the narrative of Harrison playing against his former team of 17 years after their ugly breakup would super annoying. Against any team other than the Steelers he'll just be another guy in terms of storylines.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:13pm

Did you know Jerome Bettis is from Detroit?

by Alternator :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 7:09pm


Did you know the Vikings could be the first team to play a Super Bowl in their own stadium?

by justanothersteve :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:42pm

And now we get to watch Troy Aikman and Jack Buck suck out all the excitement in the game I've been looking forward to all week.

by Anger...rising :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:46pm

I wish it were Jack Buck.

by justanothersteve :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:50pm

Oops. It's his evil son Joe.

by RickD :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:46pm

CBS guys are really ripping Tomlin for the onside kick. But really, I question how they let the Jaguars score 45 points!!

Blake Bortles is now Dan Fouts??

by big10freak :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:50pm

I give Fouts credit for being all over the Pittsburgh playcalling on those 4th downs earlier.

by RickD :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:10pm

Yes, Fouts was good today.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:42pm

He's been good all year. Romo's making everyone step their games up

by t.d. :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 10:05pm

this was the jags third 40+ point game (also against baltimore, so, against dvoa's top 2 afc defenses apart from their own). pats scored 40 once this year

by RickD :: Mon, 01/15/2018 - 1:24am

Are you arguing something?

by stoste :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:50pm

I think Steelers with Antonio Brown would have beaten the Pats, even in Foxboro but I'm glad that matchup isn't happening so we have a chance to have a different team representing the AFC in the Superbowl. It's hard to take what we saw today and apply that to the next matchup because NE and Pitt are so different.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:52pm

The Vikings in the super bowl at home has got to be our best shot against the Pats, I'd think. Sorry Brees

by RickD :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:13pm

I don't disagree. Since the Wentz injury, the Vikings have been the best coached and most complete team in the NFC.

The Pats beat the Saints back in September. Both teams are better now, but I would still give the Pats the advantage there.

The Vikings are more physical and match up well with New England. And they'd be playing at home. Though given how the NFL distributes Super Bowl tickets, that would be far less of a home field advantage than they have today.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:22pm

I'm curious how SB week would go for that game if MIN is in it.

Spectacularly unfriendly to out-of-towners I'd expect. Lots of fire alarm pulls.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 7:05pm

You mean the refs would be pulling the fire alarms to keep the Vikings from resting? Those black and white bastards. Nothing is too low for them

by Alternator :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 7:11pm

You're not nearly far enough down the rabbit hole.

The fire alarms will pull themselves.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 7:23pm

I didn't know they even had rabbits that far north, but I wouldn't put it past the refs to use whatever rodents they can to further their evil plans


by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 7:41pm


Watership Down is set in Hampshire, which is north of Minnesota.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 9:15pm


Oh my god I hated that book

by Athelas :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 7:45pm

I know from experience there are rabbits in Alaska.

by amin purshottam :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:53pm

Even though the Jags are good, I cannot see B.B. losing to the Brothel. However, the Vikings and Saints have me worried. Not so much the eagles without Wentz.

by milo :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:06pm

Vikings get 4 times as much yardage on PI in one drive than the Saints have gotten all season.

by Athelas :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:09pm

The one at the 5 looked like a soccer dive to me.

by amin purshottam :: Sun, 01/14/2018 - 6:13pm

Vikings looking strong early up 10. I think they will have quite the conundrum on their hands as to which QBthey will sign for next year.