This past weekend saw some great football, some controversial football, really bad coaching and a miraculous finish. So what did we learn? Let’s break it down.
1) Mike Tomlin and Todd Haley were the biggest goats of the week
Everyone thinks it was the whiff tackle in Minnesota, but it was the Steelers coaching staff because they screwed up more than just once in this one. We will begin at 4th and one and a sweep against a Jaguars defense that at linebacker and defensive back are as fast as any in the NFL, of course the Steelers got stopped. Another 4th and one saw a pass play that did not work, anybody ever think about taking the monster Quarterback and sneaking the ball?
I am not done with the Steelers. With over two minutes left and three timeouts, the Steelers attempted an onside kick which did not work. Wait! They stopped the Jaguars with 2:10 left and did not use any of their three timeouts! This game was decided by poor play-calling by Todd Haley and bad clock and game management by Mike Tomlin and there can be no question about this, the Steelers blew it.
2) Blake Bortles is not a terrible quarterback
Bortles is now 2-0 in the playoffs. The combined playoff record for Alex Smith, AJ McCarron, Kirk Cousins, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford — is 2-9, with both wins earned by Smith (2-5). Sure sometimes Bortles looks lost on the field but other occasions he looks like a good NFL Quarterback and look at it this way two seasons ago he was very good. Last year on a bad team he was bad and this year, he has been inconsistent but overall his first three seasons in the NFL have been over all solid and he is one win away from a Super Bowl.
3) Defense does win championships
Defensively all four teams left are very good and the Patriots are maybe the worst of the four?
4) All 3 teams left are tough matchups for the Patriots
As old Cardinals Head Coach Dennis Green would say “Don’t Crown their asses yet”! To beat the Patriots, you have to have a front three or four that can rush the passer without having to blitz and all three of the teams left have that. You have to have athletic linebackers that can cover a Tight End and all three have that. You also need an excellent secondary and all three have that, so if you think a cake walk is going to present itself to the Patriots, you are wrong! Not saying they won’t win, just saying don’t be shocked if they don’t.
5) Big Ben lights it up, and that was a bad thing
Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger becomes the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to have over 400 yards (469) and five TD passes in a playoff game. He’s the only passer in postseason history to lose despite throwing five TDs. Should have added this in with the Steelers bad coaching, but how can you come out and not try to establish the best running back in all of football at the start of the game. Once down 14-0 the Steelers were forced to play catch up and abandon what would have won them the game.
6) If your team is not still in the playoffs, you should cheer for the Vikings
What’s not to love about a coach like Mike Zimmer and of course there’s third string quarterback Case Keenum and you have the beginning of a Disney movie. Vikings fans are longsuffering and have always been snake-bitten and I, for one, hope that is over this year. Mike Zimmer and all Vikings fans deserve this. The only people cheering against the Vikings will be jealous Packers fans who are still upset about a hit on Rodgers that wasn’t cheap and also the Vikings fans taking over Lambeau field and chanting Skol at the end of the game. You know deep down if you are a Packers fan, you would love to have a man like Mike Zimmer coaching your team, admit it!
7) Tom Brady is nowhere near retirement
Anybody seeing any signs of slippage here? I’m not and whoever can stop the Patriots will have to play the game of their lives.
8) Fly Eagles Fly
The Eagles have not won a World Championship since 1960 and most thought quarterback Nick Foles would be a disaster for the Eagles but on Saturday, Foles outplayed Matt Ryan. Can he continue to get it done? Not sure but after what we saw on Saturday, the Eagles and Vikings should be a great game.
9) Officials are bad
I won’t list all of the bad calls this past weekend because let’s face it this article would become a book.
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