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Old 12-31-2018, 04:47 PM
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NFL Playoffs - 2018 Edition


It's that time. Let's go.
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:40 PM
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Here’s the Wild Card round schedule (times are PST time zone):

Saturday the 5th, 1:35 PM
Colts at Texans

Saturday the 5th, 5:15 PM
Seahawks at Cowboys

Sunday the 6th, 10:05 AM
Chargers at Ravens

Sunday the 6th, 1:40 PM
Eagles at Bears

Interesting that both Saturday games are played in Texas.
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:04 PM
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Hereís the Wild Card round schedule (times are PST time zone):

Saturday the 5th, 1:35 PM
Colts at Texans

Saturday the 5th, 5:15 PM
Seahawks at Cowboys

Sunday the 6th, 10:05 AM
Chargers at Ravens

Sunday the 6th, 1:40 PM
Eagles at Bears

Interesting that both Saturday games are played in Texas.
Right now on vegasinsider.com, the home team is favored by 2 1/2 points in each of the first 3 games. Bears are a 6 point favorite. These might be all really fun games to watch.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:37 PM
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Let's go, COLTS!
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Old 01-01-2019, 08:21 PM
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Interesting that none of the 5 teams that that Patriots lost to this season (Jaguars, Lions, Titans, Dolphins, and Steelers) made the playoffs.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:20 AM
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And they're 4-0 against playoff teams. Undefeated at home, too.

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 01-02-2019 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:02 PM
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And they're 4-0 against playoff teams. Undefeated at home, too.
Yep. And after the Pats win their first playoff game, and the Chiefs lose their playoff game at Arrowhead (again), NE will be defending its AFC crown in Foxboro.
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:27 PM
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Yep. And after the Pats win their first playoff game, and the Chiefs lose their playoff game at Arrowhead (again), NE will be defending its AFC crown in Foxboro.
The Chiefs should be able to beat the Ravens, Chargers or Colts in Arrowhead. History doesn't favor them but this year's team seems pretty well balanced. I think the Pats would beat Houston, but the Ravens or Chargers would be tight games.
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:46 PM
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A west coast team having to travel to the east coast, and play what's going to feel like 10 AM to them, is just going to be brutal for the Chargers. Add to it that the weather is supposed to be in the 30s with a potential wintry mix, and I like the Ravens' chances here. While on a neutral field, or indoors, I'd be confident laying 7 or more with the Chargers.

I easily can see the Colts running away with this one at Houston. Houston's secondary is held together with spit and bubble gum at this point, not that they were able to stop guys like T.Y. Hilton while mostly healthy.

The other two? You've got me. Bears defense is awfully imposing this year.
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:53 PM
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The Chiefs should be able to beat the Ravens, Chargers or Colts in Arrowhead. History doesn't favor them but this year's team seems pretty well balanced. I think the Pats would beat Houston, but the Ravens or Chargers would be tight games.
I'm speaking as a Chiefs fan. They just lost to the Chargers in Arrowhead 3 weeks ago. The week before that, in Arrowhead, they beat the Ravens in OT in a game that they really should have lost in regulation. Colts are playing as well as anybody in the AFC right now.

KC has the highest-scoring offense in the league but their defense is down near the bottom in many statistical categories, and they have trouble stopping the run. I don't like their chances on a cold Saturday evening in Kansas City.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:41 PM
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The problem with the Chiefs is that they don't appear to step up in big games. Did they even have a winning record in their nationally televised games this year? I watched two of their games over here in Connecticut and they lost both of them. I'm sure those weren't their only two national games, but still.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:10 AM
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The problem with the Chiefs is that they don't appear to step up in big games. Did they even have a winning record in their nationally televised games this year? I watched two of their games over here in Connecticut and they lost both of them. I'm sure those weren't their only two national games, but still.
I like the Chiefs new-look offense, and I think Mahomes is a special quarterback. His stats are obviously impressive, but what impresses me more are his poise and fearlessness when he plays. He likes to go on the attack, and he can shrug off an interception or two by responding with a touchdown or two.

The potential problem I see is Andy Reid's tendency to want to slow the game down as the game progresses. He came of age at a time when ball-control football was a thing, when you could hand the ball off to Edgar Bennett, William Floyd, or Rickey Watters and run out the clock. The game doesn't work like that now, and while I think Reid's offense is definitely modernizing, it remains to be seen whether his new-look offense will win over his career-long tendencies...especially when the game gets tight.

My guess is that, when it comes down to it, Andy Reid will end up being Andy Reid again. He'll script out a great game plan for the first half, probably take a lead into the locker room, and then blow it late by becoming too predictable. If the Chiefs are lucky, maybe they'll blow out their opposition so badly in the first half that it'll be too late for Reid to screw it up.

Of course, it's also possible that I'm wrong and Andy Reid really has changed and decides to keep the foot on the gas pedal offensively for the entire game. I mean, he's kinda done that this year, so maybe that carries into the playoffs. I just worry that Mahomes will throw an interception or two and that will be enough to convince Reid of the need to run out the clock. If the Chiefs are to do what they've not done in decades and advance to the Super Bowl, they need to trust their stud. Mahomes reminds me a lot of a modernized Joe Montana, and I'm not trying to be hyperbolic. The kid has what all elite athletes have: a high percentage of intelligent play, coupled with the emotional balance to not let the occasional mistake or error discourage him. He's mentally resilient. He comes back from errors. He doesn't let it bother him. Mahomes is *the* key for KC. Of course it would be good if their defense could step up to being a reliably bend-don't break type defense to complement the Mahomes offensive machine.

Last edited by asahi; 01-03-2019 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:16 AM
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The Chiefs should be able to beat the Ravens, Chargers or Colts in Arrowhead. History doesn't favor them but this year's team seems pretty well balanced. I think the Pats would beat Houston, but the Ravens or Chargers would be tight games.
Balanced in that the defense gives up almost as many points as the offense scores? They're my team, but hoo boy, the only thing worse then their run defense is their secondary. Or maybe reverse that.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:22 AM
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I'm speaking as a Chiefs fan. They just lost to the Chargers in Arrowhead 3 weeks ago. The week before that, in Arrowhead, they beat the Ravens in OT in a game that they really should have lost in regulation. Colts are playing as well as anybody in the AFC right now.

KC has the highest-scoring offense in the league but their defense is down near the bottom in many statistical categories, and they have trouble stopping the run. I don't like their chances on a cold Saturday evening in Kansas City.
The Colts are my sleeper pick to make it out of the AFC, though I'm not at all confident about it considering incredible parity in the league this year. I don't think there's any team that doesn't have some serious questions, and I can't think of any team that's really a lock.

But the Colts have a few things going for them. One is the fact that Andrew Luck doesn't necessarily have to win the game by himself. Frank Reich as head coach and de facto QB coach is a potential game-changer for Luck, and the Colts, in the same way that Jim Harbaugh was for Alex Smith. I think Reich has given Luck a better sense of his approach to the game, and he has the tools in the backfield and at the WR position to mix it up.

That said, I've seen several instances in which Luck seems like he's telegraphing his plays. Defenses sometimes know what he's going to do next. He makes mistakes, and sometimes he still makes rather big mistakes. He's a pick-six danger. But he's slowly improving in this area, and he compensates by being resilient and making adjustments as the game goes on.

Andrew Luck reminds me of a starting pitcher that takes an inning or two to settle into the game. If you're going to rattle Luck, the time to do it is in the first 15-20 minutes of the game, and to preferably get the crowd into the game. Once he settles into the game, he tends to start settling into the game and he recognizes what the defenses are and are not giving him in terms of spaces to throw. He starts to throw strikes, and he can dominate a defense when he's feeling it.

The Colts have to get by Houston, which is no given - I think the odds are pretty much even, IMO. Moreover, I've been reading that they're dealing with some injuries, which can obviously affect the outcome. But if they do get by Houston and remain relatively healthy, one reason why I'd probably give the Colts an ever-so-slight edge over KC is Adam Vinatieri, who could be consequential in pretty much every game they play from here on out.

Last edited by asahi; 01-03-2019 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:32 AM
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Yep. And after the Pats win their first playoff game, and the Chiefs lose their playoff game at Arrowhead (again), NE will be defending its AFC crown in Foxboro.
The Pats have as good a chance as any, but their offense is starting to show some signs of age. It's really hard to gauge the Pats right now because the only team they played in the last few weeks of the season that could be considered above average was Pittsburgh - and they lost.

I think physical teams like Houston or Baltimore would give Tom Brady and his offense fits. On the other hand, I think that Bill Belichick would scheme his ass off and probably make life hell for either Lamar Jackson or Deshaun Watson. I think Watson would probably be a tougher test for the Pats, but neither the Ravens nor the Texans really have what could be considered a balanced offense attack. There's just too much of their offense that revolves around one player, and that's not really the kind of offense you want to take into Foxborough. But a game against either of those teams would be a street fight.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:39 AM
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Andrew Luck threw for 4,590 yards this season with 39 TD's to 15 INT's (not a bad ratio) and completed 67% of his passes (very, very good).

And all this in a season where the team started off 1-5. Eight of those picks happened in those games, and then only 7 INT's over the next 10 games while having an 8 game stretch where he threw for three or more TD's in each game.

He's not flashy and doesn't have gaudy stats, but Luck is just good, and the way the team is playing right now, they are going to be a tough out for Houston.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:17 PM
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Andrew Luck threw for 4,590 yards this season with 39 TD's to 15 INT's (not a bad ratio) and completed 67% of his passes (very, very good).

And all this in a season where the team started off 1-5. Eight of those picks happened in those games, and then only 7 INT's over the next 10 games while having an 8 game stretch where he threw for three or more TD's in each game.

He's not flashy and doesn't have gaudy stats, but Luck is just good, and the way the team is playing right now, they are going to be a tough out for Houston.
I'm not sure that I saw any Colts games this year until the last month. But when they won in Houston and followed that with a shutout of a Cowboys team that had won 5 games in a row, everybody, including me, had to take notice. And, yes, Luck is good and is having a good year after his early-season struggles.

The Texans-Colts game is probably going to be the best game of the weekend. Houston is now down to a 1 to 1 1/2 point favorite.

I was curious as to how Luck's stats compared to Mahomes this year. Mahomes threw for 5,097 yards this year with 50 TDs to 12 INTs, with a completion percentage of 66%.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:26 PM
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Missed the edit window. Roethlisberger led the NFL in passing yards this year. Big Ben threw for 5,129 yards with 34 TDs, 16 picks, and had a 67% completion percentage. He had 452 completions in 675 attempts. Mahomes was 383-580; Luck was 430-639.
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:45 PM
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I doubt the Texans are advancing to the next round.
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:51 PM
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Is there an announcer anywhere with a worse case of motormouth than "Booger" McFarland?
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:59 PM
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Is there an announcer anywhere with a worse case of motormouth than "Booger" McFarland?
I like Boog!
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:03 PM
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John Madden and Chris Berman spring immediately to mind
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:49 PM
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So is it set in stone that the Colts must now travel to Foxboro and beat B&B? Or is there some other combination of outcomes based on the results of tomorrow's games that has the Colts going to Arrowhead?
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:51 PM
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I thought the Colts were the #6 seed, which means they're definitely going to KC to play the Chiefs.
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:58 PM
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I thought the Colts were the #6 seed, which means they're definitely going to KC to play the Chiefs.
Yeah, NFL.com says they go to KC
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:13 PM
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The #1 seed will play against the lowest remaining seed (that’s the advantage of being #1 over #2 which plays the highest remaining seed). Since #6 is the lowest seed in the playoffs, with a Colts win they will play KC no matter what else happens.

The same way that if the Eagles win, they will go to New Orleans no matter what else happens.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:20 PM
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And similarly if the Bears win, they play the Rams next for sure.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:50 PM
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The #1 seed will play against the lowest remaining seed (thatís the advantage of being #1 over #2 which plays the highest remaining seed). Since #6 is the lowest seed in the playoffs, with a Colts win they will play KC no matter what else happens.

The same way that if the Eagles win, they will go to New Orleans no matter what else happens.
The Chargers have to like this outcome if they manage to get past Baltimore. I think that they'd prefer NE and they now have a chance of a home game in the Conference Championship.
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:27 PM
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I like watching great defensive teams impose their will on NFL offenses. But this Cowboys/Seahawks game is much more solid defenses containing mediocre offenses. Ugly to watch.
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Old 01-05-2019, 09:59 PM
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Anyone have any paint they need watched until its dry?
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Old 01-05-2019, 10:16 PM
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I sort of figured the Seahawks couldn’t finish when they lost their only kicker.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:41 AM
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Just got back from the Cowboys game. Yes it was mostly a dreary slog. And the noise was ear-rattling.
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:50 AM
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I sort of figured the Seahawks couldnít finish when they lost their only kicker.
They really lost their "only" kicker? What happened? What did they do?
Is this a common way to organize your roster, to have no backup at the kicking position?

My knowledge of football isn't especially strong...
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:04 AM
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They really lost their "only" kicker? What happened? What did they do?
Is this a common way to organize your roster, to have no backup at the kicking position?

My knowledge of football isn't especially strong...
Yes, it's rare to have more than 1 kicker, because roster size is limited and kickers are very rarely injured.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:25 AM
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A team normally has 1 placekicker and 1 punter, in addition to a long snapper. The punter and placekicker are normally each other's backups, and do practice each other's trades during practice, but just aren't as good at it. The Seahawks punter, Chris Dickson, is an Australian-rules veteran who turned out hadn't practiced placekicking at all adequately, so the loss of Sebastian Janikowski to a hamstring pull substantially limited Seattle's strategy for the rest of the game. They had to go for it on every fourth down instead of trying the field goal, go for two on every conversion, and accept Dickson's inability to kick onside at the end. The guy did the best he could, of course, he just hadn't grown up kicking an American football like most players at his position.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:48 AM
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I didn't watch the entire second half, but I think that Seattle really didn't miss not having a kicker until the onside kick. They converted a couple of fourth down attempts, and also converted both their two-point conversion attempts.

But the onside kick after their last touchdown was quite possibly the weakest effort I've ever seen. As Elvis noted, it's not something that their punter has practiced very much, if at all.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:21 PM
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I'm excited to watch the games today. The Ravens defense is playing great, and watching to see if they can contain Rivers, Gordon, and Allen should be interesting. But Lamar Jackson makes that Raven's offense pretty one dimensional (0 games with more than 210 yards passing), and the Chargers defense has some playmakers. Should be fun.

The Eagles/Bears game should be a ton less interesting. Unless Trubisky sucks horribly or Foles has another magic trick up his sleeve, it should be a boring win for the Bears. Their defense is pretty special.

ETA: Jackson has put the ball on the ground twice already, but got lucky bounces.

ETAA: Edward's is not as lucky.

Last edited by Hamlet; 01-06-2019 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:39 PM
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Chargers have 2 FGs based solely on defense and special teams. Offense isn't doing anything, but Baltimore keeps giving it to them in range.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:07 PM
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Chargers have 2 FGs based solely on defense and special teams. Offense isn't doing anything, but Baltimore keeps giving it to them in range.
Kind of like last week.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:30 PM
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I was away from the TV and missed the Hurns injury yesterday.
I just caught it now on a web replay

I much preferred the state of having missed it.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:31 PM
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I was away from the TV and missed the Hurns injury yesterday.
I just caught it now on a web replay

I much preferred the state of having missed it.
I have finally learned my lesson and have intentionally not watched the video. Can you describe it for me please?
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:33 PM
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A team normally has 1 placekicker and 1 punter, in addition to a long snapper. The punter and placekicker are normally each other's backups, and do practice each other's trades during practice, but just aren't as good at it. The Seahawks punter, Chris Dickson, is an Australian-rules veteran who turned out hadn't practiced placekicking at all adequately, so the loss of Sebastian Janikowski to a hamstring pull substantially limited Seattle's strategy for the rest of the game. They had to go for it on every fourth down instead of trying the field goal, go for two on every conversion, and accept Dickson's inability to kick onside at the end. The guy did the best he could, of course, he just hadn't grown up kicking an American football like most players at his position.
Dickson tried the dropkick onside against the Bears this year and had negative results with that play as well. I'm all for introducing innovation into an NFL game and I think dropkicks are cool but a dropkick onside attempt doesn't seem like the best idea.

I didn't watch much of the game but was there any opportunity for him to dropkick PATs or field goals?
  #43  
Old 01-06-2019, 01:33 PM
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Having RG3 flashbacks watching Lamar Jackson right now.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:40 PM
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I have finally learned my lesson and have intentionally not watched the video. Can you describe it for me please?
Basically his foot is completely caught in the ground, as the tackler rolls over his leg, and looks like it being steam rolled from ankle to mid shin, while the upper part is still vertical.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:02 PM
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I was away from the TV and missed the Hurns injury yesterday.
I just caught it now on a web replay

I much preferred the state of having missed it.
I was watching the game live and they did not show a single replay of the injury during the game. They even announced that it was gruesome enough they were not going to give a replay. I think most people watching the game didnít see it. I also wonít watch it; the Alex Smith leg break this year was really bad and they replayed that. Iíd hate to see what they wonít replay.

I felt for the guy though. That man was in serious pain, you could see it on his face.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:24 PM
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Refs, and the Chargers, trying hard to give the Ravens a shot.

Last edited by Hamlet; 01-06-2019 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:35 PM
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I think it would eliminate some of these questionable goal-line calls if the NFL went (back?) to the rule that a runner has to actually be IN the end zone in order for it to be ruled a touchdown. Isn't that how it used to be many years ago? Before someone dreamed up the idea of "breaking the plane?"
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:37 PM
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I actually thought the calls were fine, and I hate the Ravens.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:44 PM
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But the onside kick after their last touchdown was quite possibly the weakest effort I've ever seen. As Elvis noted, it's not something that their punter has practiced very much, if at all.
He basically flat-out punted the ball to the Cowboys. A lot of people in the stadium were baffled.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:46 PM
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I think it would eliminate some of these questionable goal-line calls if the NFL went (back?) to the rule that a runner has to actually be IN the end zone in order for it to be ruled a touchdown. Isn't that how it used to be many years ago? Before someone dreamed up the idea of "breaking the plane?"
"Breaking the plane" is actually a simpler concept. Otherwise you could have a situation of where the runner's body is fully in or partially in the end zone, but the ball isn't. Also, there would still be the rule on catches - you have to have 2 feet inbounds in the end zone for the catch to count. It's simpler to just go by whether the plane was broken or not.
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