Official NFL Thread: 2016-2017 Season

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KnowItAll
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thanks GB for eliminating both the giants and the cowboys. Now if only KC can take care of those nasty steelers, then all will be well.


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Interesting divisional-round playoff games this weekend.

Seahawks-Falcons. A very disappointing end to the Seahawks' season. And Michael Bennett's bizarre and profane meltdown after the game sure didn't help. It took Richard Sherman, of all people, to get Bennett under control.

The loss of Earl Thomas has hurt the defense much more than first imagined. Matt Ryan carved up the Seahawks' D with lots of quick throws into the middle where Thomas would have been effective. CB DeShawn Shead has suffered a serious knee injury--maybe ACL. Falcons full value for the win. Seahawks' deficiencies very clear, and what's needed in the off-season is obvious. First, abandon the notion of skimping on the O-line. Pick up at least one experienced free agent O tackle (preferably LT) and either a RT or get one via trade or in the draft. The George Fant experiment seems like a complete failure--a guy with one year of college football as a tight end manning the most important position on the O-line, LT. Garry Gilliam at RT has been just as bad (another converted college tight end). The interior of the O-line seems serviceable, but new tackles are desperately needed. Second, consider bringing in a guy to take Jermaine Kearse's place as third receiver. They need a big, strong possession guy with good hands like Anquan Boldin. Third, consider signing a big RB to complement Thomas Rawls and C. J. Prosise. That's for the offense. Fourth, consider picking up a D tackle who can rush the QB to complement Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, and Frank Clark who are all (very good) outside rushers. Fifth, consider replacing DeShawn Shead (who may need surgery and may not be back in time for the 2017 season anyway). Needed is a true shutdown corner like Richard Sherman to complement Sherman on the right side. The Seahawks are still one of the best teams in the NFL, but not quite good enough to win it all as they now stand. I think John Schneider and Pete Carroll will firm up this team in the off-season.

The Falcons look elite. Great QBing and probably the best one-two running back punch in the NFL. Add to that great receivers--with Julio Jones probably the best receiver at the moment in the NFL--and a solid O-line, and they're about as solid offensively as any team in the NFL. Dan Quinn's defense (modeled a lot after the Seahawks' D, which Quinn helped to develop) has grown through the season and now are pretty stout.

Texans-Patriots. Game went as expected--not exciting, but it wasn't expected to be. Texans have no offense, but their defense is pretty fabulous. Brock Osweiler seems to have been a $70M bust so far. When J.J. Watt returns next year, an already formidable D will be just that much better. The Patriots just continue to roll along, and Tom Brady just continues to be stellar.

Packers-Cowboys. Happiest outcome of the weekend for me. Just completely pumped to see Jerry Jones's team beaten. It's odd, I guess, in that I have absolutely nothing against Jason Garrett or any of the players, but I find Jerry Jones--after dumping Tom Landry and running Jimmy Johnson out of Dallas--just really odious (although it's more his sleaziness and egotism than his dubious personnel decisions). Not quite as bad as Dan Snyder, but close. The Packers continue to amaze me. They have what I think would have to be considered a mediocre defense--particularly in the secondary (although some of their starters there have been injured)--and usually defense wins championships. However, I guess that is to ignore the guy who is my nominee (and has been for about three years now) for best QB in the NFL and one of the very best of all time--Aaron Rodgers. (I think that Troy Aikman's observation that Rodgers is playing the QB position at the highest level it has ever been played was spot on.) That incredible pass on 3rd and 20 for 35 yards down the left sideline to tight end Jared Cook (who somehow kept his toes in bounds) with 3 seconds left in the game has to be seen to be believed. Here's a clip of it (it takes a few seconds to load):

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/aaron-rodg ... 51928.html

Just a great game and all the excitement a healthy heart can take. Packers-Falcons next Sunday in Atlanta should be a great conference title game.

Steelers-Chiefs. I was disappointed in the outcome, although the game was pretty exciting. I'd have liked to see Andy Reid and Alex Smith win this one, and the Steelers are one of the very few NFL teams I like to see lose. Still, the Steelers were the better team. Their offense lived up to its billing, and the defense seems to have rounded into a pretty solid unit, especially with their agile, quick linebackers. Steelers-Patriots next Sunday in Foxborough should be another great conference title game.


TheLionKing
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Good to see "America's team" get eliminated.


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KnowItAll
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TheLionKing wrote:Good to see "America's team" get eliminated.
America's team......naah, that would be Ottawa


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Just ran across this from the Seattle Times:

http://www.seattletimes.com/sports/seah ... unlikable/

Unfortunately, I think a lot of what the writer says is true. From Richard Sherman's blasting OC Darrell Bevell's offensive play-calling earlier in the season, to Michael Bennett's complete lack of perspective and disgusting treatment of a reporter yesterday, with Earl Thomas's offensive--and asinine--tweets along the way, it's getting harder to like this team. Thomas's stupid tweet a couple of days ago about how Tom Brady wouldn't have much success if he played in the NFC-West division is typical of his tweets since his injury, and Brady, once he heard it, did as he usually does and took the high road, suggesting that Thomas was a great player and moving on without addressing Thomas's claim.

I guess we shouldn't let this crap change our opinion of the team--what with the many Seahawks who are really good guys: guys like Russell Wilson, Cliff Avril, Bobby Wagner, Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, and Thomas Rawls who donate a lot of their time to charities and, when interviewed, do admirably, displaying little or no arrogance and narcissism.

This must bother Pete Carroll, and it may be something he tries to deal with in the off-season. Pete's values and style of letting the players be themselves without tight constraints can lead to this, I guess; it's hard to imagine these incidents happening with a Bill Belichick team. Maybe negative public opinion will help get some of the offenders to moderate their public utterances, but the underlying attitudes will , unfortunately, probably remain.


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South Pender wrote:Just ran across this from the Seattle Times:

http://www.seattletimes.com/sports/seah ... unlikable/

Unfortunately, I think a lot of what the writer says is true. From Richard Sherman's blasting OC Darrell Bevell's offensive play-calling earlier in the season, to Michael Bennett's complete lack of perspective and disgusting treatment of a reporter yesterday, with Earl Thomas's offensive--and asinine--tweets along the way, it's getting harder to like this team. Thomas's stupid tweet a couple of days ago about how Tom Brady wouldn't have much success if he played in the NFC-West division is typical of his tweets since his injury, and Brady, once he heard it, did as he usually does and took the high road, suggesting that Thomas was a great player and moving on without addressing Thomas's claim.

I guess we shouldn't let this crap change our opinion of the team--what with the many Seahawks who are really good guys: guys like Russell Wilson, Cliff Avril, Bobby Wagner, Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, and Thomas Rawls who donate a lot of their time to charities and, when interviewed, do admirably, displaying little or no arrogance and narcissism.

This must bother Pete Carroll, and it may be something he tries to deal with in the off-season. Pete's values and style of letting the players be themselves without tight constraints can lead to this, I guess; it's hard to imagine these incidents happening with a Bill Belichick team. Maybe negative public opinion will help get some of the offenders to moderate their public utterances, but the underlying attitudes will , unfortunately, probably remain.
Very interesting article, South Pender. Thanks for posting. Disappointing to hear about these behaviours.

Some coaches insist on good attitudes, character and behaviour in the players they acquire. What we see with these guys does seem to fit with the tolerant approach of Pete Carroll. It is disappointing, as I say, because Pete Carroll is an easy coach to like and admire. This football fan has been pleased with his football success. Is he too soft as a Head Coach? Seems like it. One kind of expects a downward spiral now for the Seahawks. Don't know if the good guys like Russell Wilson can prevent that. Possibly. And even if they continue to win, will they be as unlikeable as they have become?

Athletes do have the attitude of combatants in war. Non-combatants are on the outside, sometimes tolerated, but sometimes the contempt of the athletes shows through. There is that arrogance. And they have been privileged, fawned over and entitled throughout their careers.
Matt Calkins of the Seattle Times wrote:
About 20 minutes after Seattle’s 36-20 loss to Atlanta on Saturday, Q13 reporter Bill Wixey asked defensive end Michael Bennett why the pass rush struggled to pressure Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Bennett responded with a profanity-laced tirade centered on belittling Wixey for never having strapped it up in the NFL.

"You non-playing (expletive). What did you do with your life?!” Bennett screamed. “What did you do with your lifetime?!”

Then came the kicker, when Bennett asked “What injury you play through?! What adversity you went through?!”

Actually, (reporter Bill) Wixey survived Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Matt Calkins of the Seattle Times wrote:
Then came 2016, when he (Richard Sherman) was blasting his defensive coordinator one day, trashing his offensive coordinator’s play-calling the next, and when questioned about his antics, threatening reporters’ careers. And as has become tradition with high-profile athletes, his cover-up amplified the crime.

Despite Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s words to the contrary, Sherman insisted he was justified in criticizing OC Darrell Bevell. And despite expressing “regret” for saying he would ruin radio host Jim Moore’s career, Sherman shut down his weekly news conferences because it was a “privilege” to talk to him.
South Pender wrote:Pete's values and style of letting the players be themselves without tight constraints can lead to this, I guess; it's hard to imagine these incidents happening with a Bill Belichick team.
Yes, it is difficult to imagine Bill Belichick's Patriots behaving like this. Pete Carroll's approach and methods have brought him one Super Bowl title, and almost another. It is hard to see him changing. He chose these guys. They exhibited this behaviour on his watch.


John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.
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WestCoastJoe
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Falcons' offence dissecting the Packers' D. 31-0, early in the third Q.

Matt Ryan razor sharp. Julio Jones amazing. So big. So fast. So talented.

Dan Quinn seems like a very, very capable Head Coach. Spent some time with Pete Carroll and the Seahawks.
.......

31-7 now. Rodgers has played well, but mistakes have stopped the Packers' O. Five drops. Key fumble.


John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.
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KnowItAll
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yahoo atlanta :rockin:


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Over and over, the Patriots show the depth, sophistication and quality of their game preparation.

Handoff. Lateral back to Brady. Hogan is released by short zone, runs towards safety. Safety has stepped up vs the fake run. Hogan blows by. Pass. TD.

Ages' old play. But the prep sees the zone. Sees the safety tendency. Detailed prep. Deception. Then the execution.

Zone pass D by Pittsburgh? No doubt they felt they would get carved up even more by MTM defence. Play it safe philosophy against a highly efficient offence = bad idea.

One more example. Ben R pass to end zone. Receiver backpedaling, looking towards the QB as the ball approaches. DB, his back to the QB, does not have hands in face of receiver, cannot look back, but is closely watching the receiver, moving with him. Hands quietly at receiver's waist, like a basketball check, watching the receiver's eyes and hands, ready to react. Ball comes just over the DB's head to chest of receiver. DB strips it. No penalty. Sensational defensive play. Coached in great detail on technique.


John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.
TheLionKing
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Quit watching when both games became blowouts.


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Interesting conference finals.

Packers vs. Falcons. I was surprised at how poorly the Packers played. The Falcons were favored, but they were light years better than the Packers on Sunday. Packers' D couldn't keep up with the Falcons' speed, which is exceptional. The Packers have struggled now for several years with a mediocre defense, counting on their stellar offense (and particularly their stellar QB) to win games for them. Dom Capers' 3-4 D just isn't up to stopping the better teams. It's true that they had some key injuries in their secondary this year, and that undoubtedly played a role in their getting steamrolled by the Falcons, but that's the side of the ball the Packers need to address in the off-season.

The Falcons, on the other hand, look really good. Great team speed, great running game, great passing game, super quarterbacking, and now a defense that Dan Quinn has brought to a very competitive level. I find the Falcons an easy team to like. Their owner, Arthur Blank, a co-founder of Home Depot, seems like one of the more likeable owners, and Dan Quinn is easy to take, as are most of the players. I'd be happy to see them win Super Bowl LI.

Steelers vs. Patriots. I had thought that this one would go down to the wire, but, once again, Bill Belichick's preparation and solid team management easily won the day. Actually, I think that a lot of the credit for the Patriots' success lies with OC Josh McDaniels, who always seems to have a creative and effective game plan. I think it's telling that McDaniels turned down a chance at the HC job with the 49ers (where he was considered the favored candidate) to stay with the Patriots as OC. Belichick is from the D side of the game, but his DC, Matt Patricia, seems to dial up the right defense almost all the time. I find the Patriots an easy team to like also. For some reason, they attract a ton of hate on most football forums, and I'm not sure why. Owner Robert Kraft seems like a solid and likeable guy. Perhaps it goes back to 2007 and the Spygate case that seems to have tarnished Belichick from that point on. Maybe it's just that they've been so good for so long, that resentment towards them has set in. Still, I like the way the team is run: very few, if any, narcissistic loudmouth players like Antonio Brown and Richard Sherman spouting off about the coaching and their own greatness. I just heard that someone asked Tom Brady how it was that he and Belichick had been able to maintain a solid, friction-free relationship for so many years (17), and Brady mentioned that it was because he understood that he was a player and Belichick was the coach. Says it all, I think. The Patriots' players understand their place in things, unlike many players on other teams.

Super Bowl LI is shaping up as a good game. The Patriots are currently favored by 3, but I think they'll have their hands full with the Falcons' team speed and great offense. I'd be happy with either team winning.


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One of the worst off-season transactions for the Seahawks.

Seahawks sign former Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh who missed several notable field goals for the Vikings including the playoff game against the Seattle, while allowing unrestricted free agent kicker Stephen Hauschka to sign for Buffalo Bills. :shock: :dizzy: :sigh:


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