• Author:
  • Published: Jan 19th, 2010
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What did we learn from the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs?

What did we learn from the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs?

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Note: I will discuss the NFC tomorrow.

Ravens 3 @ Colts 20

Ravens

The Raven O just couldn’t match the fire power of the Colts. RB Rice had only 13 carries because the Ravs fell 14 points behind in the 2nd quarter. Flacco played better than expected going 20-35 for 185 but had 2 very costly picks. Rice also lost a fumble.

The Ravens’ D was hoping that they would create turnovers. They picked off Manning once but the Ravs were unable to convert that to a touchdown because S Reed fumbled the ball returning it.

Reed is considering retirement and that would hurt the D badly. Reed and LB Lewis are the heart of the D. In 2010, the O is going to have to provide more points because the D will be older and not as versatile.

Colts

The Colts O was a little rusty but thanks to the D was able to win the game and move on to face the Jets. They were not able to run the ball effectively. They averaged only 1.7 yards per carry. That could cost them against the Jet D. The most important stat from the game is 6 runs resulted in lost yardage. There could be a lot more than 6 against the Jets. Manning had a good not great game. He was 30-44 for 246 and 2 TDs with 1 pick.

The Colts D allowed only 87 yards but that is misleading. They gave up 4.6 per carry. Had the Ravs not fallen so far behind, the Colt D would have had to deal with a lot more than the 19 running plays by the Ravs. The Jets are the top running team in the league. Unless the Colts’ D can do better against their run, they could be in some trouble.

Jets 17 @ Chargers 14

Jets

The Jets pulled off the only upset of the weekend. The key to the game was the ability of the Jets to run the ball. They ran 39 times for 169 yards and a 4.3 yard average. The Charger D could not stand up to the ground game. The injuries at NT cost the Chargers the chance to move on. Pro Bowl C Mangold handled the NT man to man allowing the guards to get to the second level to block the backers. The running game also allowed the Jets to throw when they wanted to rather than in only 3rd and long situations. QB Sanchez was just good enough to get the win. He was 12-23 for 100 yards and 1 TD with 1 pick. If the Jets can run the ball as well against the Colts, they will have a real shot at a win.

The Jets D was outstanding. They were helped by the fact that the Charger O was not as sharp in the last month of the season. The Jets D shut down the Charger running game and made the team one dimensional. That allowed the pass rush to pressure Rivers. That pressure resulted in 2 interceptions.

Chargers

The Chargers were on an 11 game winning streak going into the playoffs. However, they had not been sharp offensively. The Chargers had struggled with the Browns, Cowboys, Bengals and Redskins in December and had in those games averaged 25 points a game against those teams. Their only blowout was a 42-17 win at the Titans in week 16. That offensive sluggishness continued into the Jets game.

The biggest problem was the total lack of a running game. RB Thomlinson had 12 carries for 24 yards. There were no big runs like there were in previous playoff games. The lack of a running game was devastating to the Charger O.

The Charger D struggled with the Jet running game. The inside backers were not able to get to the ball because they were being blocked by the OGs of the Jets. That put a great deal of pressure on the DBs to make the tackle. Some times they did but often they did not. When the Charger safeties came up to help against the run, the Jets passed.

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That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday morning at 11. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 15th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Tuesday Morning QB on a Thursday night.

Tuesday Morning QB on a Thursday night.

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After 5 games there are two kinds of teams—The quick and the dead. The quick are off to a fast start and the dead are just that for any chance to get to the post season. The secret to getting into the playoffs is beating up on the teams that you should and at least splitting with the top teams that you play. This season there are 9 really bad teams in the league. That is more than in most years and points to a lot of coaching vacancies after the season.

The Quick:

5-0

The Vikings are everything I said they would be before the season but there are some danger signs. Three of their wins are on the dead list—Cleveland, Detroit, and St. Louis. When they played better quality teams they have struggled at home on the O or the D. In the game against the 49ers the O struggled to a 27-24 win. Against the Pack the D struggled to get off the field and just won 30-23.

The Indy Colts have gotten off to a fast start but it is a little deceiving. They also played 3 games against teams on the dead list and one at the Cards where the home team didn’t show up for the game. The key to the D is S Sanders. If he is there, the team can stop the run but they can’t without him. The O has a problem as well—The running game is not getting it done. Addai and Brown are averaging less than 3.6 yards per carry. That is not enough balance to win on the road against a good D in the post season.

The NY Giants have looked good but they too have had a majority of their games against the dead. The only good team they have played is at Dallas and they squeaked by 33-31. The D is playing OK but the O has struggled with the running game. Now QB Manning has a foot injury and that could spell trouble for the team when the schedule gets tougher.

4-0

The Saints looked unbeatable at Philly winning 48-22 but the Eagles didn’t have McNabb. They also looked good against the Jets at home. This is probably one of the best teams in the league IF the D continues to play well. Their offense with Breez at QB is outstanding throwing the ball but have to continue to run the ball. They have some problems on the O line as well. We will know a lot more about the Saints after they host the Giants this week.

4-1

The Bengals are playing way beyond the level of talent on the team particularly on D. They have had the toughest schedule so far among the Fast teams. They own wins over the Ravens, Steelers, and Pack. Their only loss was a freak tipped pass against the Broncos on the first game of the season. They are playing well and are the best 1 loss team.

3-1

The Bears are playing well without Urlacker and Cutler. But can they keep it up?

The Falcons looked really bad against the Pats but great against the 49ers. Which is the real team?

The Eagles lost only one game in McNabb’s absence and that is really good news for the team. But can he stay healthy?

The DEAD

0-5

The Titans are the deadest of the dead. No chance to do anything. They got old all at once and are the oldest starting 22 in the league.

The Bucs are a close second on the dead list. This team is just bad and will take a lot of work and good drafts to get better.

All the Kansas teams. The Rams have some potential on O with QB Bulger and RB Jackson but Bulger is hurt. The Chiefs are actually showing some signs of life after death but injuries have hurt them.

1-4

The Browns won a game by default. They are bad and do not have an offense.

The Raiders are without a QB or a front office. Things in Raider land will not get better as long as Davis is running the team.

The Bills are not going to get better soon. Edwards is not the answer at QB.

The Lions have shown improvement. Of course that would not be hard after the 0-16 season.

1-3

The Panthers are the best of the dead teams. Some thought they had a pulse after a win over Washington but that team is near dead as well. No pulse no chance for the playoffs.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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