No Sleep Till Football

Like Brooklyn Except It's Football

4 DOWNS: THOUGHTS ON WILD CARD SATURDAY

Saturday didn’t disappoint when it comes to drama in the NFL! The KC/HOU game might not look so dramatic at 30-0, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the contest out of shock that a playoff quarterback could be that terrible. Pittsburgh & Cincinnati definitely lived up to the hype with brutal penalties determining the outcome of that game. Here are 4 thoughts I had tonight.

1ST DOWN – BRIAN HOYER WAS ABYSMAL

What a day for Brian Hoyer! The Houston QB threw four interceptions, was sacked three times, fumbled twice and lost one fumble as Houston was destroyed at home by the Chiefs 30-0! Watching the game I thought that Hoyer must have been injured, but what was even more puzzling was HC Bill O’Brien not going to Brandon Weeden to try & spark Houston’s offense in any way possible. For the most part, this was another game showing how limited Houston is as a franchise by their QB situation. The problem is that they aren’t likely to get a franchise QB in the 2016 NFL Draft unless they trade up meaning they’ll have to land a QB via free agency. I would not be shocked if Peyton Manning ended up in Houston. It’s an AFC team playing in a rather weak division that Peyton is intimately familiar with. The defense is fantastic & having DeAndre Hopkins around certainly doesn’t hurt. It could be pie in the sky thinking, but it really does look as if this might be Manning’s last season in Denver & if #18 wants to keep playing, he’ll look for another home in 2016. The situation in Houston (don’t discount the weather!) would be an ideal fit.

2ND DOWN – WILL KANSAS CITY OVERCOME INJURIES?

The 30-0 win over Houston was certainly impressive, but KC’s offense wasn’t as good as the 30 points showed it to be. Knile Davis’ game opening kick-off return TD for 106 yards was a miracle catalyst for the Chiefs while Brian Hoyer was all about giving Kansas City optimal field position the entire game. If you actually watched the entire game, you wonder how Kansas City didn’t win this one 59-0. The Chiefs left plenty of points on the board which underscores their limited offensive abilities. With that in mind, KC is looking at a serious blow if WR Jeremy Maclin cannot suit up against New England in the divisional round. If Maclin can’t go then KC’s offense is going to depend on Travis Kelce dominating and hoping that Charcandrick West & Spencer Ware having the game of their lives. Alex Smith isn’t going to lose the game for the Chiefs, but I also don’t believe Kansas City can hope that Tom Brady will throw 4 interceptions. Another injury that hurts Kansas City is Justin Houston. Houston was gimpy a bit in the win, but he needs to be 100% or close to it in order for KC to really put heat on Brady. The Patriots have a lot of O-Line issues to contend with so having a healthy Houston to compound those worries only gives Kansas City a bigger advantage. It’s unfortunate that both Maclin & Houston don’t look 100%, but hopefully they will be close to that in a week’s time.

3RD DOWN – DOES CINCINNATI FIRE MARVIN LEWIS?

There is something to be said about continuity. Marvin Lewis has been the HC for the Bengals over the last 13 seasons & during those 13 seasons, the Bengals have made the playoffs 7 times (currently the Bengals have made the playoffs for 5 straight years) and on average have won 8-9 wins per season. The big problem is that Lewis is now 0-7 in playoff games. Given today’s world of “the only thing that you are judged on is playoff success” then Lewis should probably be shown the door. The fact that he had players like Pacman Jones & Vontaze Burfict acting the way they did at the end of the CIN/PIT playoff game is another reason why a change is leadership is probably at hand. What’s interesting about Lewis isn’t Lewis but what happened before Marvin took over. From 1991 (Sam Wyche’s last year in Cincinnati) to 2002 (the year before Lewis took over in 2003), the Bengals went 55-137 with zero playoff appearances in that 12-year span. In Lewis’ 13-year span, the Bengals have won 112 games & been to the postseason 7 times! That’s quite a contrast, but Cincinnati is at a point where they need a head coach to take them to the next step and I’m not sure Marvin Lewis is the guy that gets them there. A couple of years ago he lost outstanding coordinators in Jay Gruden & Mike Zimmer, two coaches who are in the playoffs themselves. This year he’s almost sure to lose Hue Jackson as OC and I wouldn’t be surprised to see DC Paul Guenther get a HC job either. Maybe it’s time for Cincinnati to clean house a bit & start with Lewis. What we do know is that no HC in NFL history has started 0-7 in their first 7 playoff games. Ownership is typically never that patient.

4TH DOWN – ADAM JONES & VONTAZE BURFICT COST CINCINNATI

Cincinnati had the game won until Burfict hit a defenseless Antonio Brown and then Jones bumped a ref in a tirade that he wouldn’t stop. At the time the Bengals were up 16-15 in a game it looked like the Steelers simply couldn’t win after AJ McCarron led a Herculean effort to get Cincinnati the lead after being down 15-0. Jones is gone now. I highly doubt the Bengals want anything to do with him although he’s been a pretty good player during this time in Cincinnati. The Bengals are stuck with Burfict which is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because he’s actually a helluva linebacker.  A curse because the guy is nothing but a total embarrassment. These two boneheads cost Cincinnati their first playoff win since the 1990 season & potentially cost HC Marvin Lewis his job. There is no question this was a heated game played with extreme emotion but at the end, all the Bengals had to do is strap it up and calm down & they’d be off to Foxboro with a legit shot at beating the Patriots. Instead they are going home after one playoff game. This was the best season the Bengals had since 1988. That year the Bengals lost the Super Bowl to a Joe Montana led 49ers team that made an incredible comeback to spoil the Bengals Super Bowl hopes. This year, the Bengals lost because of a couple of players who aren’t good enough to hold Joe Montana’s jock strap. Cincinnati’s fans deserve better than this.

Advertisements

January 10, 2016 - Posted by | 4 Downs, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, Playoffs, Wild Card

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: