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

195 They escaped

In reply to by andeux

But process over results

151 One of the worst timeouts I…

One of the worst timeouts I've ever seen. TB didn't even seem to realize it was 4th down until after they'd gotten into formation, Brady was in the shotgun and all. They were at least as discombobulated as the defense, and in a worse position, and the Rams bailed them out.

138 This can only happen to Brady

He has not played well and as I said earlier to those who said he wasn’t, if you get enough gifts a comeback is possible.

140 I told my Dad at the half…

I told my Dad at the half that the game was basically over, 20-3 and should've been 27-3. He said "Stafford always screws up in the 4th quarter, and Brady always comes back." I guess I still have not yet learned all his wisdom.

141 Wow, what a joke/choke

Atlanta should have annihilated Brady and screwed it up; now the Rams are repeating the same errors. If I have to read anything about Brady’s greatness after this game, I’ll throw up, because he’s been very, very bad. 

148 Oooffftt

I don’t even have the words 

150 So. As it turns out. Hochuli…

So. As it turns out. Hochuli did make the difference in the game. Maybe the Rams can keep Hochuli all the way to the Super Bowl! What an embarrassment for the NFL. Yet again.

347 Completely Agree

It was really unprofessional for Hochuli to bat down all those Brady passes, and trip all those Bucs defenders to help the Rams get their big plays. Even WWE refs are more subtle.

152 Yeesh

The comment number through 1 game.

Also Matt Gay revenge game lol 

153 This is the short of game…

This is the short of game that should cure anyone of believing in momentum. Of course, it won't, but it should.

156 I'm reading some tweets from…

I'm reading some tweets from media members and you can just feel the disappointment emanating from them. They had their narratives all set up. Lol.

227 Matt Stafford: "My entire…

Matt Stafford: "My entire team is collapsing around me and there's only one receiver I can trust to bail us out.  It's like my entire NFL career has prepared me for this moment."

165 How nuts is it that the Bucs…

How nuts is it that the Bucs were down 14 with no TOs and four minutes left and ended up losing because they tied the game up with too much time left on the clock? Lol.

178 No matter what happens tonight

It’s incumbent on the Bills to get home-field advantage next year and secure that #1 bye. That was the goal this year, and they came up short. No slip-ups next year, whether it be on the road against a bottom-feeder (the Jacksonville game) or on fourth down against another top-seed contender (the Tennessee game). This is especially true of Rodgers leaves Green Bay (provided that he doesn’t end up in Miami with Waddle and Adams, that is).

192 Buffalo is playing like they…

Buffalo is playing like they want to win, and like they understand what they need to do if they want to win. I'm curious how long this aggression holds up because you can plan aggression all you want going into a game, but as the clock ticks down the pressure mounts. Hopefully McDermott keeps his nerve and keeps his foot on the pedal.

183 Four fumbles. Four. Akers on…

Four fumbles. Four. Akers on the two yard line when the rams are at least guaranteed 3 points. Kupp on first down after an almost 10 yard gain. That botched snap on first down, where the Bucs managed to gain a nice 30 yards. Then Akers on second down almost on the first down marker.

It wasn’t just the fumbles, it was that they were all so utterly game changing. And yet, the rams still won the game. Absolutely glorious to not have to see another story about Tom freakin Brady.

191 Rams won rams won rams won…

Rams won rams won rams won rams won rams won rams won rams won rams won rams won rams won rams won rams won rams won rams won rams won rams won rams won. 

That felt good.

Rams won rams won rams won rams won Rams won. 

185 Rams-49ers will be a…

Rams-49ers will be a championship game matchup between a team that could have eliminated the other in the closing weeks of the regular season with a win. The last time I can recall that happening was 2009 when the Colts played the Jets in the AFC title game.

188 Since the NFL moved to…

Since the NFL moved to having 7 playoff teams, we've seen two of the three 2. seeds lose in the divisional round as favorites. It will be interesting if the Chiefs make it three out of four. Not getting that week off could be playing a factor.

189 Great response by KC

Buffalo’s defensive linemen just need to finish the deal. They’ve been all around Mahomes on most of his dropbacks. 

194 Why does it feel like I'm…

Why does it feel like I'm watching the Super Bowl right now?

Long way to go, but man these two teams look like the class of the league after this weekend.

200 I think these are the two…

I think these are the two best teams in the playoff, but the Rams aren’t much of a step down. If they were half of the clown fiesta they were against Tampa Bay they run away with that game. 

That said, this game should be something special.

203 That's what I mean, though:…

That's what I mean, though: the Rams looked nowhere near as clean as I would expect in that game. So far both the Bills and Chiefs look crisp.

If it's one of these teams vs the Rams do you really trust Stafford not to blow it? I don't.

207 I’ve seen the Bills and…

I’ve seen the Bills and Chiefs self-destruct plenty of times in the past couple of seasons, and the Rams mostly fell apart in ways unlikely to be repeated. I don’t think Stafford is that much less trustworthy than Mahomes or Allen. He’s unlikely to lose the Rams a game, he’s just less likely than those two to win them a game.

but that’s what Aaron Donald is for.

224 What have you been watching?

Stafford has played close to flawless football in these two playoff games...and his late drive was no surprise...when the Lions had a semi-competitive team in 2016 (under Caldwell), Stafford had 8 game-winning drives at the end of fourth quarters. 

237 "Stafford has played close…

"Stafford has played close to flawless football in these two playoff games..."

Apparently not the same game you were. I saw quite a few mistakes by Stafford in the Bucs game. Plus a bunch of plays he was bailed out by his receivers.

I mean, he looked better than Brady, sure, but Brady had a pretty bad game.

265 He also looked quite a bit…

He also looked quite a bit better than either winning quarterback on Saturday.  

He had the near INT in the end zone in the first drive, and another one that was a great play by Devin White more than it was a bad throw by him.  The aborted snap doesn’t seem like his fault.  The fumble on the last drive wasn’t great, and he was lucky to recover it.  Not flawless, but not “quite a few mistakes” (that would be Jimmy G’s game).

Not sure what you’re referring to with his receivers bailing him out.  There were no early career Megatron jump balls out there.  Kupp’s touchdown was underthrown, but that happens.  On the last pass, Kupp of course deserves credit for getting by his man, but Stafford also made a nice throw that was dead on target.  An over or under throw there is incomplete.

But of course Allen and Mahomes are both better (but I don’t think anyone was arguing that).

421 You  said it better than I…

You  said it better than I could have, caveat: I had the sense Stafford's knee touched down before the ball came loose...if Tampa had recovered, there would have been a review...of course, we'll never know...

461 He also looked quite a bit…

He also looked quite a bit better than either winning quarterback on Saturday.  

That's not a high bar!

But of course Allen and Mahomes are both better (but I don’t think anyone was arguing that).

That's where this conversation started, actually. As in, who would I trust more, Allen versus the Rams defense or Stafford versus the Bills defense? Um, after Sunday? Allen. Hell yes.

That's the difficulty here - we are talking playoff teams. Stafford didn't play horribly. Absolutely not! But he didn't play perfectly, and holy crap, both Allen and Mahomes basically are playing perfectly.

226 I know playoffs and reg…

I know playoffs and reg season are different, but it would be fair to point out that the Titans, who just got eliminated, beat both of these teams (the Chiefs by 24 points).  Teams can look really good or really bad in individual games.  The fact that the Rams had every random and weird thing possible go wrong for them in the second half, yet won anyway, should bode well for them.

256 It's still just one week of…

It's still just one week of games. The Chiefs almost lost to the Broncos a few weeks ago. The week before that they did lose to the Bengals. The Bills have looked solid for a while now but did lose to the Jags earlier this season.

199 Sure was

The Bills were in on both trades and couldn’t close the deal. Very disappointing then, and even more disappointing in hindsight. Buffalo’s defensive line has a high adjust sack rate and a high pass-rush win rate but doesn’t have that singular talent who can close the deal with regularity. 

209 Here’s a comment that’s…

Here’s a comment that’s guaranteed to age well.

”I mean, the 9ers can’t beat our Rams 7 times in a row can they?”

I said it ironically so I think I’m safe.

215 Kind of funny

But this crew (most of it) had the lowest rate of defensive holding calls in the league this year. That call against the Bills for holding Hill … eh, “weak” might be too strong, but not by much.

Great play by Mahomes for the touchdown on the subsequent third down. Bills need points before KC can add to this lead, either before halftime or on the opening drive of the second half. 

217 Now THAT was holding

In reply to by Tutenkharnage

Should have held Hill on the play afterward. Much better option than letting him run down the field uncovered.  

216 Bills

Bills have been reluctant to throw downfield for some reason. Maybe now they will get more aggressive. Especially with no Mathieu.

219 Phew

This game is living up to its billing so far.

Buffalo is a bit lucky to come out with a tie. They've played well, and need to play even better.

220 Harrison Butker just misses wide right from 50 yards out

And these teams will head to the locker rooms tied at 14-all. Feels about right, although I’d give a slight edge to the Chiefs in that half. Some of that is because of how the Bills chose to attack the defense early, with a heavy dose of running that was almost certain to produce a lower YPP figure. 

221 Holding calls

Are the refs missing some holding calls on the chiefs online here ?

232 On that last play

On that last play before the FG one OL held two different guys in succession. Definitely getting a bit of home cooking. Nothing egregious that I've noticed, but a little. Then again I'm pulling for Buf.

Edit: Meant to reply to one above

235 Weird

I can not understand all the running by Buf. Anyone understand this?

240 No idea

In reply to by JS

Daboll (or McDermott) seems locked into this idea of keeping Gilliam on the field and playing bully ball. Singletary is fine up to the tackle’s inside hip, but that’s about it; he looks a bit slow tonight and shouldn’t be running wide like this. 

247 Singletary has missed some…

In reply to by Tutenkharnage

Singletary has missed some huge holes tonight. Allen has been on fire. 


Kinda hope DaBoll gets that head-coaching jerb

253 Very conservative offensive…

In reply to by JS

Very conservative offensive game plan.  Even more conservative punt on 4th-and-1, which turned out smashingly.

Now down by 10 - oops, scratch that, 9 - likely Bills get more aggressive.

EDIT: err, yeah aggressive like that.


239 McDermott should not have…

McDermott should not have punted there. Bills need a stop on D — a field goal is fine, but I don’t think they can afford to fall behind by multiple scores. 

242 Our defensive ends keep…

Our defensive ends keep rushing too far upfield, Mahomes is constantly escaping right through the B gap and our tackles can't catch him. 

243 Our defensive ends keep…

Our defensive ends keep rushing too far upfield, Mahomes is constantly escaping right through the B gap and our tackles can't catch him. 

248 Ugh

Instant karma after the scaredycat punt. Now the pressure is really on.

251 McDermott Just Threw Away the Game

4th and 1-- on the road v Mahomes-- of course you go for it... LaFleur had a failure of nerve for GB last night too on a 4th and 2 near midfield....  You'd think they would know better

254 Buffalo’s lack of top-flight talent on defense is showing

This defense has always been more than the sum of its parts. Communication and scheme familiarity have gone a long way, but they don’t have that top-end DL who can seal the deal, the game-changing LB Edmunds was drafted to be, or the ball-hawking cornerback (even if Tre was healthy). It’s proving to be the difference against Kansas City’s offensive playmakers, almost all of whom can break loose at any time. It’s like watching the Golden State Warriors: they’re playing a different game than everyone else, and their roster feeds right into it. 

277 Yeah

It's funny. Statistically (both traditional stats and DVOA) we had a defense that was great and an offense that was merely good this year.

But it sure feels the other way around. The offense had a couple stinkers, to be sure, but when they're on (as last week) there really isn't much room for improvement. Whereas the defense has really benefited from the lack of games against top-flight QBs. As you say, they're solid, but without a true game-changing player.

257 otoh....

when you can do that, maybe you do have to trust your defense... This may be last one with ball wins

310 Touche, Sir!  At 29-26, your…

Touche, Sir!  At 29-26, your scenario is now in play and my, much more general scenario, looks to be out (although with these teams and all their time outs, each, two FG attempts in the final minute-fifty isn't impossible).

263 I wonder if the Bills should…

I wonder if the Bills should have gone for two in the hope of catching up via two-point conversions. If the teams keep trading scores that would allow them a way to tie the game anyway.

267 The chances of a crazy…

The chances of a crazy forced pass INT by Mahomes are rising, as BUF continues to pressure him.  KC possessions feel like they are likely going to end in either a score or a turnover for the remainder of this game.

EDIT: well, the second part of that prediction didn't last even 5 minutes LOL

271 I don't like punting from…

I don't like punting from the other side of midfield, not when Mahomes is your quarterback.

This game has not exactly been a coaching clinic.

273 Its not 4th and 1 but I…

Its not 4th and 1 but I expect 4th and 4 punt from Reid to get poor marks.

I am letting my offense win this game from both sidelines

274 I don't understand why we're…

I don't understand why we're featuring Reggie Gilliam so much. Has he even played 30 snaps in a game to this point?. 

278 Wait

5-yard penalty against Buffalo, and 15-yard penalty against KC, and KC got the option of having a re-kick? Is it because the Buffalo penalty was earlier?

280 Since the announcers were…

Since the announcers were busy with their small talk, can anyone explain why the personal foul on the punt was ignored? It seemed relevant to the game to me. 

296 Maybe it's because…

Maybe it's because possession had already changed by the time the two penalties occurred.  There's no KC-possession play to replay, so instead KC gets the option of keeping the ball and applying the penalties or giving the ball back to BUF for a replay?  I'm guessing.

281 That punt reminds me of…

That punt reminds me of Tyreek Hill at Oklahoma State, when OU accepted a penalty and punted to Hill a second time, which he returned to the house. Never punt to Hill twice.

(I know KC was the one who accepted the penalty, but Hill is a truly dangerous return man)