Football Outsiders

Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis

Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Your weekend viewing plans (all times Eastern): SATURDAY: Indianapolis at Houston, 4:35 p.m.; Seattle at Dallas, 8:15 p.m. SUNDAY: L.A. Chargers at Baltimore, 1:05 p.m.; Philadelphia at Chicago, 4:40 p.m. Win or go home. Use this thread to discuss them all.


249 comments, Last at 21 Feb 2019, 7:57pm

37 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

If this TD becomes a touchback, that is the most horrible thing if you're a Houston fan looking for hope.

47 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

That was clearly a TD. Ball crossed the plane before it hit the ground. Didn't come lose until it hit the ground.

Having said that, if I were the coach, I would flagellate any player who did the "extend-and-fumble" move at the goal line. It's a great was to lose possession. And, really, what's the downside of having the ball at the 1 yard line?

41 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I'm late to the predictions thread but I won't cheat, I was picking the Texans.
Chargers. (or is that Chargees?) Love ya Raiderjoe :)

43 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Haven't been paying much attention but Watson seems to feel phantom pressure a good bit leading to bad throws.

Luck on the other hand has been so solid in the face of legitimate pressure.

Stoked to see Deshaun with a chance to do his thing in the final 5 minutes.

50 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Hold on tight, KC!
Here come the Colts!

(But really, the Chiefs should be able to handle the Colts.)

(Not that "should be" has meant much for the Chiefs in recent years.)

81 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I haven't looked at the money line, but it isn't hard to envision the Colts offense (man, is it ever great to see Luck playing behind a good line) pulling off an upset by never getting off the field. Of course, if the Chiefs score tds on their first two possessions, the task become much more difficult, but you could do worse in shopping for a road upset than excellent blocking and quarterbacking against a bad defense.

83 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

This is true. What I can't get a gauge on from the last two weeks is the strength of the Colts defense, and whether they will be able to slow the Chiefs in any meaningful way. Shutting down Blaine Gabbert in week 17 was obviously meaningless, and once it became evident yesterday that Hopkins was in no way healthy, Houston had nothing to offer beyond some Watson scrambling.

Keeping the Chiefs off the field will undoubtedly help, but not giving up multiple massive plays to this offense is still a huge challenge.

52 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

If the Texans had held on against the Eagles two weeks ago they would've been hosting a game in the Divisional round. Instead they are blown out and eliminated a whole week earlier.

Anyway, this result is good for the Chiefs and bad for the Patriots. Ravens and Chargers are both considerably better than the Texans. Colts are better too but I would still put them behind LA and Baltimore.

78 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

But, by looking at long-term scenarios and from Pats' perspective, the Colts are a nice road team (better than Ravens, and you can't trust the Chargers to have a clean PO game) to put an high-score upset in KC and let NE hosting the AFCCG. And I can't see the Pats winning in KC this year.

Yeah, I know there still a divisional before, but that's currently Belichick's problem. :)

55 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Pretty much I see SEA struggling immensely against DAL as it is just a horrible matchup. That said Wilson should be good for 17 points or so.

Dallas could very well completely implode but really if they just take what is there then I think they will win at home.

56 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Red Zone defense already stepping up as expected. Dallas really poor in the red zone, Seattle exceptionally good in the red zone.

57 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

3rd and 2 seems like the perfect time to go play action with Davis or Carson. Don't get that empty backfield.

62 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

And Lockett makes an amazing catch to maintain the perfect Wilson to Lockett passer rating. 158.3
They're Nadia baby.

64 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Even if Seattle hangs on to win this one, it's hard to see them having very good chances going forward without a FG kicker.

65 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

There are a lot more guys who are good at play-by-play than there are good "color" announcers, yet Fox has a terrible color guy paired with a terrible pbp guy. I think Aikman has been having a relatively good year, compared to his usual suckitude, but Buck has been horrible too.

"Prescott keeps it," Buck informs us, as the QB is clearly on a designed bootleg as he's throwing the ball…

69 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I'd probably put Aikman as more slightly below average (I mean there are a lot of bad color guys), but Buck is possibly the worst play-by-play guy in football, and then he's even worse at baseball. And yet he somehow remains Fox's top broadcaster for some reason. It's baffling.

66 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Good God, Seattle’s offense is awful. Whoever came up with this game plan should be fired immediately.

68 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Seattle has been second best all day and is lucky to be this close. If they manage a stop here they still have some hope left though.

71 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Well, that game was just frustrating to watch if you were cheering for the Seahawks. Terrible offense from Seattle.

76 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Absolutely hilarious way to cover a 2.5 point spread: have your kicker get injured early on so when you get a meaningless TD in garbage time you have to go for two to make it 24-22 instead of 24-21. Funniest and most unlikely win I’ve had for my limited betting career

153 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I think going for two makes more sense there anyway. If you miss, you can still go for a TD to win. Make it and a FG lets you escape with a win in a game you had no business winning. Plus, if you are down two and the other team scores a quick TD and misses the XP, you can tie the game with a TD and two point conversion. You're unlikely to win the game anyway, so you might as well go for broke.

79 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

so far what I got from sat games:
a) Watson is totally innacurate...he'll win games in reg season, then when pressured or
even without it, he's a liability to that team
b) if you can stop Seattle's run game, they are toast...RW is great guy but can't carry a team
(needs run game and great D to make it)...hey even Trent Dilfer won a SB
c) Dak & the boys will lose next game (Dak holds onto the ball too long)...doesn't see field well
d) Colts are good this year & possibly great next year...Luck(y) benefited greatly wi/HC..he
used to call on his genes & be like his dad (Oliver) & tuck 'n run too quickly but now is
efficient QB-possible SB pick next year & even this year!

91 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

a) Watson is not, and probably never will be the most accurate QB. But the overall package of extreme elusiveness and arm strength still makes him a very dangerous opponent. Last night Hopkins was playing through a serious knee injury, and they were already down to practice squad players at the other receiver positions because of injury. The offensive line has been bad all season long. It was too much for almost any QB in history to overcome. Labeling him a liability is ridiculous.

b) If you can stop Seattle's run game and they continue to relentlessly run the ball anyway then yes, they are toast. There is no defense for Seattle's gameplan, and refusal to adjust yesterday. Wilson has shown many times he can turn it loose and win games on his own. Mentioning him in the same sentence as Trent Dilfer is beyond nonsensical.

c) Agree that the Dallas offense is not good enough in terms of personnel or coaching to win a road game in January with any degree of likelihood. Barring a truly exceptional defensive effort, or random opponent meltdown, they will lose next week.

d) The Colts coaching staff/FO deserve credit, but they have also been lucky that Andrew Luck appears to have almost fully regained his physical prowess, which for a long time appeared very unlikely. Luck also won multiple playoff games under Chuck Pagano, so whilst Reich has undoubtedly done a good job thus far, I'm not ready to hail him as the next coming of Belichick just yet.

229 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Watson insights will prove out (to my way of thinking)-give it time. Yes he's dangerous, but
50/50 dangerous in a good way/bad way, doesn't bode well for the overall arch of success.
BTW I threw in Dilfer because a fair QB that doesn't turn it over & a unbelievable defense can do it-Wilson apparently
needs that type of D (and hfa-home field advantage)...its shown (over time) to be true
Cowboys will lose next week, they have better personel (you don't think so but I do) but they'll lose...Dak
is/was a good college QB & he still is
Its pretty hard to see someone compare Pagano to Reich..night and day. Anyone worth their salt, in
NFL knowledge should be able to see that, even at this early stage. Most do. They are my SB pick for
next year. You see I *saw* Luck's father play in the NFL (ducked 'n ran WAY too much)....his son played
much the same for years, but now he's just a real NFL QB...pre-reads, stays in pocket & slides/vs run, goes
thru progressions, gets rid of ball is approx. 2-3 seconds (not 5-6 like Dak/Watson/Wilson et al), looks off safety.....
those qualities have proven time 'n time and TIME again, to be what a QB needs to get to (and win) the SB...yes there
are exceptions to the rule but 95% of time, its the proven path.

82 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

And what I learned from your comments (especially the first two) is that coming to conclusions on players and teams based on single games, rather than entire seasons or careers, is just maybe not the best method. Russell Wilson is Trent Dilfer? LOL. Wilson is probably on a HOF track.

88 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Echoing what the posters above said, I'm having hard time seeing how you're blaming Russell Wilson for this loss. He averaged over 8 Y/A. It's not his fault that his coaches chose to keep trying to run the ball when it clearly wasn't working.

89 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Three fumbles inside of 8 plays and 5 and a half minutes of playing time. Amazing in a very bad way.

90 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

Well, I said that LAC and BAL would have an equal amount of turnovers, but BAL would be fumbles and LAC would be INTs, 2 or 3 to be specific. Half of it just became true.

92 Re: Wild-Card Open Game Discussion

I'd like to see Jackson run out of bounds two yards sooner, rather than running into a hit to get every last possible cm.