More chalk than a classroom in the NFL Playoffs
The good, bad and ugly from NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round
There wasn't much drama in the Divisional round of the playoffs. The underdogs didn't put up too much of a fight against the Chiefs, Rams, and Patriots. Here's how I saw the first three games this weekend:
-Tom Brady is still the GOAT, especially in the playoffs. He led the Patriots to a 41-28 beatdown of the Chargers. The Chargers came into this game with a better record than the Pats, but couldn't overcome Brady and his playoff mojo. At 41, Brady added to his league record with his 14th 300-plus yard passing performance in a playoff game.
-The Rams defense finally showed the flashes of brilliance people expected after their offseason acquisitions. They held the Cowboys to 308 total yards, with only 50 of those yards coming on the ground. 93 of those yards came on three pass plays. If this defense plays like this next week, they could be Super Bowl bound.
-The Chiefs opened their game against the Colts scoring with relative ease. After the first quarter, the score was 14-0 and they outgained the Colts 185-12. They ended the first half up 24-7 and seemed to go on cruise control after that. Some may say they fell flat, but credit their defense for stepping up as well because…
-…the Colts first three possessions ended in three and outs. On their third possession, they had a 3rd and 2, but decided to pass. It fell incomplete and they punted. Sure the Chiefs defense deserved some credit, but this Colts offensive line has been lauded all season. How come they couldn't protect Andrew Luck or open lanes for their triumvirate of running backs?
-Dak Prescott's inaccuracy will continue to hold the Cowboys back. He did finish 20 of 32, but there were several throws he missed that he should've easily made. One that comes to mind was him missing Michael Gallup on a 3rd & short by throwing the ball behind him when he was wide open. Itbringsmethisclose to feeling sorry for Cowboys fans.
-For as good as the Chargers pass rush has been and can be, they did nothing to bother Brady. They didn't register a sack against him after getting to Lamar Jackson seven times last week. It goes to show you that no matter how mobile a quarterback can be, pocket awareness and a quick release can beat a good pass rush.
-Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed his first ever field goal from 25 yards or closer in the playoffs when he missed from 23 yards out just before halftime. He also missed his first ever extra point in the playoffs in the fourth quarter. Those four missed points could have put them down by seven instead of 11 with about five minutes left. Talk about a bad time for a couple firsts.
-The "in the grasp" called sack on Prescott was complete BS! The Rams had a couple guys that were in the vicinity, but neither grabbed hold of him enough to say they were going to bring him down. His own teammate La'el Collins picked him up and moved him away from the pass rush. This knocked them out of field goal range and forced a punt when they were attempting to make the game interesting.
-Philip Rivers is a Hall of Famer in my opinion. However, the Patriots made him look like member of the Hall of Pretty Unimpressive. He was held to 25/51 for 331 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Although he was only sacked twice, they pressured and knocked him down enough to make a difference.
Next weekend is setting up to be a battle of quarterbacks. There will be either a young gunslinger or a grizzled vet/future Hall of Famer on every team and I'm looking forward to it. This weekend and next are two of my favorite football weekends in the NFL. Let's enjoy it while we still have it!