The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Pro Football / 11 Grueling Truth’s we learned during week 18 of the 2021 NFL season

11 Grueling Truth’s we learned during week 18 of the 2021 NFL season

What did we learn?
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 9: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks for an open receiver during the regular season game between the Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on January 9, 2022 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

1) Brandon Staley should be fired

4th and one on your own 18 early in a game, you are down a touchdown, you punt the ball. Will Staley decided to go for it and failed miserably, which led to an easy three points by the Raiders. Those three points were the difference in the game. I get it. Staley is another one of the N.F.L. boy geniuses, and he likes to take chances; the only problem here is this was a chance that nobody in their right mind would take. Then in overtime, as the Raiders looked content to run the clock out and take the tie, Staley burned a timeout to stop the clock! Staley’s play-calling, for the most part, the entire season on offense and defense, has been puzzling! The Chargers need to get a coach to help a young quarterback like Herbert progress, and Staley is not that guy.

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2) The Dolphins front office is amazingly stupid

Brian Flores won 8 out of his last nine games, and he gets fired! Really? I was not expecting to see this when I woke up this morning, but it happened. Flores won eight of nine games with a mediocre quarterback, and he deserves an extension, not a firing. You would think the Dolphins must have a great hire lined up, and they better justify this. Flores should have a new gig within the next week.

3) The Giants are a total mess

Joe Judge is losing many games; the biggest issue with Judge is that his team has quit on him. The Giants need to fire Judge, but everybody in the front office needs fired! The Giants are an embarrassment from the front office to the field, and it will worsen if Judge stays as head coach.

4) The Rams are about to learn that you can’t buy chemistry

On the outside, the Rams look like they have the best roster in football, and they probably do with that being said though the chemistry on this team is severely lacking. The addition of Beckham has not worked from what I have seen. Sure, he will make plays, but he has a knack for running the wrong routes, which happened more than a few times yesterday. Matthew Stafford is still throwing interceptions that shouldn’t be thrown by a player who has the ability. Could it all fall in place for the Rams during the playoffs? Sure it could, but will it? Probably not!

5) Ties should never happen in football

No N.F.L. football game should ever end in a freaking tie! This is America, not Europe! Americans play until there is a winner! The greatest thing that could have happened in the Chargers/Raiders game would have been a tie! Then maybe the N.F.L. would have realized how stupid ties are.

6) The Indianapolis Colts screwed up trading for Carson Wentz

Frank Reich knew what he was getting with Carson Wentz, so much of the blame has to fall on Reich’s shoulders. The Colts missed the playoffs on Sunday by losing to the worst team in the N.F.L. Reich’s play-calling was atrocious, and Wentz was, well, he was Carson Wentz! This season, Wentz has mainly been a caretaker, working off play-action and hitting the occasional deep throw. But Sunday, with the Jaguars holding Taylor to 77 yards on 15 carries, Wentz needed to be a playmaker. He took six sacks, lost a fumble and threw a pick against a Jacksonville defense that ranks as the second-worst unit in the N.F.L. Will changes be made in Indy? No, probably not both Reich and Wentz will be safe, but I do not see how adding Wentz as the Quarterback can ever be a safe bet. It’s only a matter of time before Reich gets fired if he keeps Wentz at Quarterback.

7) The Patriots are playing their worst football at the worst possible time

A month ago, the Patriots were the number one seed in the A.F.C.; now, they are a wild card team that has lost three of their last four games. The Patriots ordinarily tough defense allowed almost 200 yards rushing to the Miami Dolphins, and with a trip to Buffalo looming, things do not look promising for the Patriots.

8) A new Head Coach is not needed in Las Vegas

Rich Bisaccia is the first interim coach to lead a team to the playoffs in the Super Bowl era. I think a coach of the year could be his! The Raiders overcame the loss of head coach Jon Gruden, the Henry Rugg’s incident, the death of John Madden. Quarterback Derek Carr has proven that he is at the very least a top-12 quarterback in this league, and Josh Jacobs was a beast at the end of the game running the ball. Maxx Crosby introduced himself last night to a national audience, and the Raiders are now playoff-bound.

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9) The 49ers did not need to draft a Quarterback

It seems like everybody in San Fran is looking to replace Jimmy G. The problem with that is Jimmy G is a damn good quarterback that just two years ago led the 49ers to the Super Bowl. The 49ers, with Jimmy G at the helm, are a very dangerous football team that could make a run over the next three weeks. Jimmy Garoppolo, playing through a broken thumb, overcame two turnovers and a dreadful first half by leading three T.D. Drives and sets up a chip-shot field goal in overtime. Jimmy G is as underrated as any quarterback in football.

10) The Buccaneers are deeper and better than you think and could win another Super Bowl

The loss of Chris Goodwin and Antonio Brown may leave many people with the impression that the Bucs are ripe for the taking, but that is not true. The Bucs still have Gronk, who went off on Sunday, and Mike Evans is still there, and Scotty Miller proved he could make plays on Sunday. A lot will depend on the defense playing like it did last year in the playoffs for the Bucs to win another Lombardi. If they do, watch out because Tom Brady could get yet another ring.

11) The Houston Texans might have their Quarterback of the future

Davis Mills shook off a scoreless first half to give the Titans defense fits in the second. He finished 23 of 33 for 301 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He did it with poise, accuracy, and very little help from his running game. Mills was a third-round pick, and nobody expected him to play as well as he did this year. The jury is still out for me, but Mills could be the real deal.


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