Welcome to the Week 16 version of the Sunday FreakOut, the place we react and overreact to the whole lot that occurred in the Sunday afternoon video games. For the complete Sunday roundup podcast-style, remember to subscribe to The MMQB Podcast, in your feed each Monday morning…
(*16*)Issues That Made Me Giddy
Josh Allen Vs. the Patriots: To not overstate this, however the Patriots’ wind-blown Monday evening victory over the Payments a couple of weeks in the past birthed a thousand horrible takes. It was a weird recreation with a singular field rating because of the climate circumstances, however basically it was a Patriots teaching employees that knew its quarterback didn’t have the arm expertise to succeed in these circumstances and known as the sport accordingly. The underside of the barrel of the aforementioned horrible takes went alongside the strains of: Belichick solely threw it 3 times as a result of he thinks so little of Josh Allen and Brian Daboll. It’s bonkers to argue that any coach—not to mention the best coach in the game’s historical past—put collectively a recreation plan that banked on a number of red-zone stops whereas defending a four-point lead. However extra absurd is failing to grasp that Belichick not solely respects Allen and Daboll, however in all probability sees this Payments offense in his darkest nightmares (solely in his darkest nightmares Belichick additionally is not sporting any pants). For the second straight matchup (in non-hurricane circumstances), Belichick couldn’t resolve Allen—in giant half as a result of Stefon Diggs obtained the higher of J.C. Jackson, Isaiah McKenzie did the whole lot however steal Myles Bryant’s lunch cash, and Allen could not be tackled in some big moments. And now the Payments management the AFC East.
Isaiah McKenzie Makes Cole Beasley’s Absence Irrelevant: With security assist dedicated to the Stefon Diggs/J.C. Jackson matchup, McKenzie on Myles Bryant was the mismatch of the day in Foxboro. McKenzie ended up catching 11 of his 12 targets (the one miss was a drop) for 125 yards and a landing. (His earlier profession highs have been six catches and 65 yards.)
Joe Burrow Has Earned Your MVP Buzz: Tom Brady must be the frontrunner, seeing as he’s not solely the quarterback but in addition the de facto head coach, offensive coordinator and basic supervisor of his crew. However even coming into this week, Burrow deserved to be in that second-tier dialog, together with Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes (and, till Sunday’s performances, Justin Herbert and Matthew Stafford). Burrow is being requested to run a really veteran system that requires high-level processing earlier than and after the snap, and the one knock against him is deceptive box-score interception numbers, half of which weren’t on him. And on Sunday—although against a shorthanded Ravens protection—he put up 525 yards on 46 move try (an absurd 11.41 per throw).
Damiere Byrd’s Clincher: Matt Nagy wasn’t going to make anybody keep on the market in the chilly any longer than they needed to. Congratulatory mylar balloons for all concerned!
The Raiders Are Nonetheless in This!: They gutted one out against the Broncos to remain in the wild-card race, an unimaginable accomplishment by the remaining gamers and coaches contemplating what has occurred to this franchise over the previous three months. In the event that they get to the playoffs, Wealthy Bisaccia and/or Derek Carr deserve statues outdoors that stadium.
Rams Survive Matthew Stafford’s Rocky Day: File it underneath “get it out of your system” for Stafford, who threw one other ugly late-in-the-down interception harking back to that Sunday evening loss to Tennessee, and underthrew a designer deep shot (that wasn’t open anyway) for one more choose amongst his three interceptions. However the Rams had sufficient protection and even (very uncharacteristically) obtained a giant play from particular groups in the victory at Minnesota.
The Texans Don’t Simply Compete: They went out and steamrolled the Chargers, working for 189, making Justin Herbert uncomfortable all afternoon, and actually simply outclassing the Chargers. Once more, put David Culley in the Coach of the Yr dialogue for profitable 4 video games—equaling final yr’s whole for the Texans—with the NFL’s worst roster.
Eagles Had Sufficient of the Nonsense: After a gradual and sloppy begin against a Giants crew that upset them a couple of weeks in the past, Philly went into halftime tied 3–3 however put collectively 4 straight scoring drives—three of them touchdowns—then obtained a pick-six to attain 31 unanswered factors to open the second half.
Kyle Pitts Is Fantastic: Although it doesn’t change the truth that this Falcons crew is the worst seven-win crew in NFL historical past.
The Jets Win Twice: The victory over the Jaguars (appearing head coach Ron Middleton is on the board!) was adopted by the excellent news of the Seahawks, who owe the Jets their first-round choose as a part of the regrettable Jamal Adams commerce, gacking one away against the Nick Foles-led Bears. That Seattle choose is at the moment seventh general.
Table of Contents
J.C. Jackson’s Departure From the AFC East: He’s an excellent participant who’s going to receives a commission by somebody this offseason. And plenty of good males have been victimized by the Stefon Diggs-Josh Allen mixture. However Jackson can’t maintain subjecting himself to Diggs and Allen twice a yr. Together with getting toasted by Diggs on a second-quarter landing, Jackson had three possibilities to finish the Payments’ eventual game-clinching drive. He dropped an interception on an Allen/Diggs miscommunication, later didn’t get Allen on the bottom on a fourth-and-inches, after which there was this key third down—the missed sort out, adopted by the utter destruction by the hands of Dion Dawkins—that just about encapsulated his afternoon.
Brandon Staley’s Protection No-Reveals: It’s commonplace for this crew to get gashed on the bottom—Staley usually chooses to go lighter in the field and fear concerning the move first, second and third. However Sunday was a reminder that, except for Joey Bosa (who missed the sport whereas on the COVID-19/reserve checklist), this crew can be not superb in the entrance seven. On Sunday in Houston, they performed a supporting position in Rex Burkhead’s one-man play paying tribute to the profession of Earl Campbell. Burkhead carried 22 occasions for 149 yards, and Houston went for 190 dashing yards and 5.4 yards per rush (excluding kneeldowns) in a convincing Texans victory.
All This Time You Thought It Was Ben Roethlisberger and the Offense: However all alongside it was really this Steelers protection. And likewise Ben Roethlisberger and the offense. Defensively although, the Steelers are shockingly, and uncharacteristically, missing physicality. They’re having a traditionally unhealthy yr defending the run, and as a rule they only… don’t sort out individuals.
Steelers’ First-Half Offense: They haven’t scored a first-half landing in 5 straight video games.
Diontae Johnson Forgets He’s Carrying a Soccer: He’s a very good younger receiver, however holy cow…
The Josh Johnson Ravens: Johnson was really fairly good (lots of his 304 passing yards got here when the sport was already out of attain, however 304 is 304). However Baltimore’s short-handed protection and lack of a run recreation principally meant Johnson was going to should go shot-for-shot with (once more, reliable MVP candidate) Joe Burrow, and that wasn’t going to occur.
Panthers Can’t Choose a Quarterback, an Offensive Coordinator, or Even an Offensive Identification to Construct Towards: It’s a crew that ought to have come into the season with one thing in the vary of 5–12 or 6–11 expectations, however the 3–0 begin appears to have induced many in that constructing to lose contact with actuality. Matt Rhule, apparently underneath the impression in November that he was teaching for his job, started the NFL teaching equal of mashing all of the Madden controller buttons directly. Carolina fired their finest coach, offensive coordinator Joe Brady, presumably to re-write the offensive playbook round Cam Newton’s strengths. However they haven’t even been in a position to decide to Newton, and on Sunday turned issues again over to Sam Darnold in the most recent signal of devolution for this offense, this crew and this group.
Trevor Lawrence Must Be Higher: Lawrence goes to be good. In all probability superb and, extra possible than not, nice so long as the melvins working that group don’t get in the best way. Lawrence outfitted himself nicely against a (very unhealthy) Jets protection on Sunday, although the tip of the sport was a comedy of errors. Going through second-and-goal on the Jets’ 5-yard line with the Jaguars trailing by 5, Lawrence put a ball into linebacker C.J. Mosley’s palms that ought to have ended the sport, however as an alternative ended up together with his receiver, Marvin Jones, on the 1-yard line. The Jaguars had loads of time for 2 extra performs, however as an alternative spiked the ball to cease the clock with 12 seconds left, making it fourth-and-goal and giving them one likelihood to win it as an alternative of two. It’s a product of the utter lack of preparation City Meyer constructed into this program—they usually have been known as for an unlawful shift on fourth down (an incomplete move anyway) that truly would have erased that additional down and presumably ended the sport. (It’s additionally price noting this crew hardly ever makes use of movement and shifts, presumably due to Meyer’s resolution to throw away a lot of the summer season as he devoted preparation time to Gardner Minshew.) Regardless, it was a stunningly inefficient resolution to make in an end-game scenario.
Choosing Up This Flag?: It’s not essentially a unclean play—it’s a multitude as a result of Jerry Hughes regrets committing the plain foul and is attempting to carry Mac Jones up, however in the end that makes issues much more harmful. Regardless, Hughes shoved a quarterback when that quarterback was just about on the opposite aspect of the white. That’s completely a penalty. (After which Trent Brown attracts a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct flag for persevering with to argue about it nicely after the flag had been picked up, which erased any likelihood for the Patriots to get factors earlier than halftime and was simply tremendous dumb.)
To Be Honest, This Is Additionally a Penalty: And, not like Hughes’s push, that is a completely filthy play as Judon goes after Josh Allen’s injured left foot. (Additionally, I’m not likely positive who I’m being “honest” to, however I’ll depart that phrasing in anyway.)
CBS’s Sport Administration: They introduced they have been switching from the Chiefs-Steelers blowout to the aggressive Raiders-Broncos recreation (good!), then proceeded to play an prolonged block of commercials and failed to indicate the game-clinching collection in Vegas. By the point they reduce to the motion the Raiders have been in victory formation, and viewers have been subjected to an ungainly Tiki Barber filibuster.
Jaguars at Jets, Dec. 26: God bless you for enduring this season, John Shipley and the remainder of the assembled Jaguars media.
Moments We’ll Inform Our Grandkids About
These Sort out Makes an attempt by Jacksonville’s Beginning Safeties: Rudy Ford and Andrew Wingard. You don’t often see this type of incompetence on a soccer discipline except the Make-A-Want people are concerned.
What We’ll Be Speaking About This Week
Chiefs Are the Finest Staff in Soccer: As has been the case since September, you have been simply all labored up over fluky turnovers.
Present Temperature of Numerous Seats: It appears Matt Rhule has joined Matt Nagy in the “it’s inevitable” group, whereas Joe Decide’s job safety definitely deserves a re-assessment.
There Are Too Many Playoff Groups: Final yr, we have been subjected to the Mitchell Trubisky-led Bears on Wild-Card weekend. With two weeks left in the season, the specter of the completely unwatchable offenses of the Dolphins and Steelers nonetheless looms over us. That’s no method to ring in the brand new yr.
The Continued Enablement of Antonio Brown: Brown nonetheless considers himself a sufferer. He’s not attempting to be higher as a result of the Bucs group has by no means made it a requirement, regardless of Bruce Arians and the empty phrases of a small, unhappy man. The quotes under, from Brown (in response to an applicable query posed by ESPN’s Jenna Laine, extra quote through The Athletic’s Greg Auman) are the phrases of a person who is completely misplaced. Brown is answerable for his personal actions, however Arians, Tom Brady, the teammate with the crappy podcast (which was the one time Brown has personally addressed the fake-vaccine card scandal, at which period he once more spoke in obscure phrases about how he’s a sufferer) and your entire Bucs group is answerable for making a world in which Brown by no means has to face any vital penalties for his actions, and stays, upsettingly, untethered from actuality.
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