Tag Archives: Playoffs

Will Tom Coughlin D again be kryptonite for #Patriots Supermen Belichick and Brady?

16 Jan

By Jonathan Simmons

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in almost 20 years years together have put together a standard of excellence that will be hard to break. The 2 future Hall of Famers have won 5 Super Bowls, 9 AFC titles. They are in the AFC championship game this year for the seventh year in a row. As great as those accomplishments are, there is a man in Jacksonville that has had his way with Belichick and Brady. That is director of Football operations Tom Coughlin.

Coughlin as a coach vs Belichick is 5 – 1  and has won the last 3 meetings which of course include Super Bowl wins in ’08 and ’12. The last time in his team played at Gillette stadium they stopped a 3 year home win streak for the Patriots. *

The formula Coughlin uses appears to be based on 3 things :

  1. familiarity with Belichick style/scheme
  2. lack of fear, not intimidated by Patriot prowess
  3. physical style play and strong pass rush up the middle

Coughlin and Belichick were assistant coaches with the Giants in the late 80’s under Bill Parcells. They opposed each then as Coughlin was the receivers coach, Belichick the defense. They also spent lots of time together talking football. ** So if anyone has insight on the mind of Belichick, it shoild be Tom Coughlin .

When you spend time with someone and have had success against them, the aura of invincibility seen by others is not shared. Also Tom Coughlin close ties with US military brass has rubbed off on him.+  So there is no fear of the Patriots and their mystique mystique by ‘Colonel ‘ Coughlin ( as he was called in his days coaching as Parcells’ assistant) **

Tom Brady like most great pocket passers do better when that pocket of protection allows them to scan the field, and step up into their throws. Also Brady is deadly when a team decides to blitz him in order to break down the protection. Tom Coughlin’s defenses have been able to get pressure on Brady most of time with just 4 pass rushers. In addition most of rush in channeled to the middle thus disrupting his sight lines and often leads to a sack. In their 2 Super Bowl wins the Giants sacked Brady a total of 7 times. Brady has been sacked 8 more times in their 2 reg season meetings. The Patriots are 1-1 in those games.

These things are the keys to beating the New England supermen. It has been used by the only other coach/team to beat the dynamic duo twice in postseason John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens.***  But nobody has done better vs Belichick than Coughlin. Even though he won’t be coaching the Jaguars hope the Coughlin dominance over the Patriot supermen holds up for another game

*

** https://nesn.com/2015/11/tom-coughlins-success-vs-bill-belichick-started-on-giants-practice-fields/
https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2012/01/27/common-coaching-grounds/qzzqD1rjhRbM0WW7UpmB8L/story.html

+ http://www.titansonline.com/news/article-1/Fisher-NFL-Coaches-Meet-the-Troops/658cc4aa-0589-401a-b0ef-d8d0ac557915

*** http://patriotswire.usatoday.com/2018/01/12/new-england-patriots-five-bill-belichick-playoff-stats-that-might-surprise-you/

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#Falcons snatch win from hands of #Saints on #DeionJones end zone INT

9 Dec
IMG_8966

#InBrotherhood

Saints Falcons Football

Debo Time -atlantafalcons.com

The Atlanta Falcons continue their season in the year of living dangerously. Matt Ryan throws 3 interceptions, including 2 in the Red Zone. But in another strange and miraculous finish, the Falcons intercept Drew Brees in the end zone with less than a minute to go to preserve a 20-17 victory in Atlanta.

Falcons star middle linebacker Deion Jones, a Louisiana native, once again stung his home state with a game changing interception. He intercepted a Brees pass 2 years ago in New Orleans in his rookie year to help the Falcons win that game.

The offense was doing what it needed to do…. control the ball to keep it away from Drew Brees and the Saints Offense.  Early on it was the Saints who had  control and held a  2-1 time of possession edge. but it was still a 3-3 tie in the 1st quarter. Atlanta seemed to take charge midway through the 2nd quarter with a beautiful 15 play 90 yard drive lasting  8:17. Austin Hooper had 2 catches to keep the drive alive. Devonta Freeman had 5 carries, 19 yds and caps off long drive with a TD with 4:35 left 2nd quarter.
After score however  it seems like Atlanta’s defense relaxed. First they gave up a big 31 yard kickoff return. Then Brees took Saints on nifty TD drive in just 2:30
When the Falcons get the ball back and the offense moves the ball right back down the field to the Saints 42 yard. Matt Ryan looks at Julio all the way and throws his 1st of 3 interceptions. Saints return it 33 yards and kick FG to take the lead. Or so they thought. Atlanta got it’s first break of the day as a Saints penalty causes a 10 second runoff, negates the field goal, and keeps the game tied at 10.

Ryan threw interception #2 to start the 2nd half, as TE Austin Hooper fumbled the pass right into the hands of the Saints Chris Banjo leading to a short TD drive as New Orleans took the lead 17-10. Atlanta responded by driving to the Saints 5 when Ryan, again staring down Julio Jones throws into triple coverage and interception number three blowing another opportunity to score, and gave the Saints the ball back again.

The Falcons defense was on a mission though and stopped Saints drives twice.  The  second drive stop was highlighted by a key 3rd down sack by Atlanta’s huge interior lineman Dontari Poe. Matt Ryan and Atlanta’s offense then showed they had some resilience and grit.

First with about 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, the Falcons began a 15 play, 69 yard drive that ended with nifty 8 yard TD pass for Ryan to wide open Mohamad Sanu in the end zone to tie the game at 17. On their next drive they moved from their own 28 to the Saints 34 when the drive stalled. Mr. Reliable Matt Bryant came on nailed a 52 yard FG to give Atlanta a 20-17 lead with 3:49 to play. A lot of time for future Hall of Famer Drew Brees to get something done. Brees did not disappoint. He led the Saints quickly downfield from their 20 to the Falcons 34 in just a minute and a half. The final moments left everyone there buzzing. On 3rd and 1, 2 minutes left in the game, the Saints are charged with offensive holding, a 10 yard penalty. This would make it 3rd and 11 and the ball on the Falcons 35. Not so fast. Atlanta head coach starts the chess match. He declines the 1st down. It’s now 4th and 1. Saints head coach passes on the 42 yard FG and elects to go for it on 1st down. New Orleans gets the 1st down on a Drew Brees QB sneak. Brees fires an 11 yard pass to Ted Ginn for a 1st down. But Ginn is injured on the play forcing New Orleans to take a timeout and the clock is stopped at 1:39. Brees throws again this time for no gain and Atlanta takes their 2nd timeout. The Saints are clearly playing for the win on the road as Brees is throwing, even though they are easy FG range. On the next play the strategy backfires. Brees throws towards Josh Hill in the end zone but middle linebacker Deion Jones jumps about 3-4 feet in the air for a spectacular interception to kill the drive.

There was still some drama left though. After a New Orleans timeout, on 2nd down Falcons RB Devonta Freeman fumbles. Atlanta recovers however, and is able to kneel down twice and hang on for a hard fought, but strange 20-17 win. The victory puts Atlanta just one game behind the Saints with 3 games left to play. All the games remaining are in the division, including a rematch with the Saints in New Orleans on Christmas eve. The Falcons have it all in front of them, and control their own playoff chances.

It should be an interesting finish as the Falcons fight to return to playoffs to defend their NFC Championship and head back to the Super Bowl.

#Falcons miss opportunity to solidify playoff spot in loss to #Vikings

4 Dec
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Photo- Greg C

It was there for the taking The Atlanta had things working in their favor. Star RB Devonta Freeman was back and running with the same violence as always. The offensive line had kept QB Matt Ryan from being sacked. The defense was avoiding big plays in the passing game and held Minnesota to 1 TD in each half.  But Falcons wasn’t able to score a touchdown, and Matt Bryant missed a 45 yard in the 4th quarter as they lost to the Vikings 14-9. The key problem was the Falcons offense was unable to convert on third down. Atlanta was only 1 of 10. Most of the problems came from the fact that the offensive line had negating gains and putting them in third and long situations. That down and distance are difficult for any team to convert. Meanwhile QB Case Keenum was almost perfect connecting on 25 of 30 for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Vikings unlike the Falcons had most of their 3rd down conversions with less than 5 yards needed.

The Birds don’t have long to regroup. They host their arch rivals the NFC South leading  N.O. Saints in just 3 days for a huge Thursday night clash. The Falcon still have their playoff hopes in their own hands. Hope they don’t drop the ball.

#Falcons vs #Seahawks – No room for error in #NFLPlayoff chase

21 Nov

The 2017 Atlanta Falcons have played their way into a precarious position in their quest to return to the postseason.

Winnable games vs the Bills, Dolphins at home, and Panthers on the road have left them in 3rd place in the NFC South. Even after a big home win against a depleted Cowboys team, Atlanta needs to win 5 or 6 of their last 7 games to get back in the playoffs. The good news is all but 2 of those games are against teams that are ahead of them in the standings. The bad news is those teams are playing well.

The Falcons offense looked the best it has since the opening game vs Green Bay. 6 different players caught at least 2 passes from Matt Ryan who looked loose and confident even when forced out of the pocket. Atlanta even ran some hurry up offense a few times (finally)

Once again the Falcons opponent will be missing key players from their roster. All Pro defenders Cam Chancellor, Richard Sherman and Cliff Averil are all out due to injury.  The Falcons offense should be able to move the ball against Seattle IF they have the cohesiveness and execution of last Sunday.

On defense for the 3rd week in a row Atlanta has the challenge of stopping a dual threat QB. Against the Panthers the D had huge problems stopping Cam Newton. They fared much better against Dak Prescott and the Cowboys sacking him 8 times.  With Russell Wilson they face their stiffest challenge yet. Not only is he elusive but his ability to make big plays of a scramble is amazing

If the Falcons can contain Wilson and maintain their offensive efficiency from last week. Atlanta will have the same record they had after 10 games last year, 6-4.  They also will find themselves right back in the middle of the playoff hunt.

Opportunity knocks-Falcons can’t afford not to answer the door

26 Dec

The #AtlantaFalcons can go to and even win the Super Bowl this year. That’s right the Atlanta Falcons can win it all. This sentiment seems mostly to be held by die hard Falcon fans and the team itself. But based on the numbers, and looking at the playoff landscape, these Dirty Birds have a good a chance of any to win it all. (Click picture above to play Falcons Head Coach Dec. 26th Press Conference)

This team has remained on point during the highs of breaking several team and league offensive records, and the lows of a mid season losing streak when many people jumped off the bandwagon.

If the Falcons win their last game vs the Saints, they will be the # 2 seed in the NFC. This would earn them a 1st round bye and at least one home game. It may be more advantageous for them to be on the road considering their excellent 6-2 road record. The Falcons have 6 Pro Bowlers and great depth at the skill positions. Atlanta’s other theme for the rest of the season should be – ‘Why not us, why not now’

Check out our LIVE call in Sports Talk Radio show every Tues 830-10 pm EST on WIGO 1570 in South Metro Atlanta area; anywhere else on http://www.realtalksports.net , and mobile via the TuneIn app

By Jonathan Simmons

Then there were 6 – Penn State win helps keep #CFBplayoffs in chaos

4 Dec
cfb-championship-2017

Pic – Forbes.com

The #CFBplayoffs committee have a problem. There are six teams with compelling reasons, using THEIR criteria, to be part of playoff that consists of only four teams. Of those teams, Penn State looks to have the most compelling case to be in.

Penn State had only 1 reg season Big 10 loss, and won on the field the Big 10 championship arguably the best conference in football this year. Their Sagarin strength of schedule ranking is better than #3 Clemson or #4 Washington. They beat #2 Ohio State. They have won 9 straight games. These are all the things the committee says are reasons to be in the CFB playoffs. It would appear that Penn State should be in ahead of Washington, Clemson or Ohio State even though they have 2 losses and the rest have have 1.

The problem is that the Nittany Lions are not a exciting pick. They don’t have the media popularity and fan notoriety of Ohio State or Michigan. Plus their may be some lingering dislike of the program because of the past sex abuse/molestation scandal. This could impact revenue generated by the game which we believe is as important to those in charge than getting the champion that did best in competition on the field.

To find out more about the committee and the process click HERE to go to CFB playoffs page. We shall see how the committee proceeds in the process. Is it business at usual for behind the scene power brokers? Is more money the mission, or producing a true on the field champion. We shall soon find out.
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By: Minister Jonathan Simmons

#CardonPalmer and #LarryFitzgerald join #Manning in #SuperBowl of Old Men #AZvsCAR

25 Jan

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Cam Newton has been the best in the NFL this year. But Cardinal vets QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald know this could be their last opportunity to go to the Super Bowl. This may be just enough steam to get Arizona past the Panthers and into SB 50.

If they are able to join Denver Broncos Petyon Manning and Demarcus Ware, Super Bowl 50 will certainly be a place for old men.

Does color or star power determine how the media covers athletes?

23 Jan

After watching an #ESPN E:60 story on the Patriots Rob Gronkowski the question again came to my mind. Is their a difference in how athletes actions are portrayed in the media and viewed by the public based on their race?

Rob Gronkowski is one of the best TE in the NFL right now. If he continues to produce at this rate for a few more years, he will be considered one of the greatest ever. He also is a bit wild off the field with a penchant for partying.

In the E:60 story his antics were often talked about by family and friends as simply those of big goofy kid. One who likes to push the limits placed on him as his dad said. Even his mom talked about him doing the things that any single 20-23 year old would want to do.

Just a guy from a blue collar family that is celebrating his success and enjoying life with those around him.

When I hear stories like this involving a black athlete the terms seem different. Family members and friends are often described  with terms like ‘posse’, ‘entourage’, etc.  Imagine what would be said about that mom if she made similar comments? Many people would talk about her not raising her son right.

What would be the commentary have been about Marshawn Lynch if he had been spotted in the club throwing back a few shots after Seattle lost to New England in the Super Bowl last year? Or if there was video of him playing around with a porn star? How about dancing naked in a video? Based on the heat he got just for not talking to the media one can only imagine.

Why are players Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane who had repeated problems with drinking and partying in his career, or former Atlanta Brave star Chipper Jones who cheated on his 1st wife, and may have on his 2nd seemingly not chastised with the same vehemence?

It is star power? Is it being the face of the franchise? Is it skin color? Or may a combination of them all. Whatever the answer is the debate remains. Do you think there is color or cultural bias in news reporting?

By Minister Jonathan Simmons (@MinisterJSimm)

#Falcons lose again Ryan interceptions costly

30 Nov

Falcons vs Vikings Ryan huddle (800x599)

There are almost no words to describe the frustration which emanated from the GA Dome today. The Falcons lost their 4th straight game, and 5th of their last 6 played. This time to they fall to the Minn. Vikings led by Adrian ‘All Day’Peterson 20-10.

What is so irritating is that like rest of their previous 3 losses this is a game they could, and probably should have won. The defense held the Vikings to just 10 points through 3 quarters. But the offense kept turning the ball over.

The crowd’s pent up disgust in the poor play of late came out as the Dome echoed with boos. They rained down on the Falcons after their 1st drive stalled. They poured out at halftime as the team left the field. We heard a collective groan after both Ryan interceptions, and the almost comical fumble by Tevin Coleman after a explosive burst of over 40 yards.

Atlanta’s defense played well for much of the game. But they finally succumbed as Vikes put the game away in the 4t quarter with a FG and and a nifty 35 yard TD dash by Peterson.  The Falcons are reeling. With 5 games left and optimistic finish of 3-2 would give them a 9-7 record. That may not be enough to get into the playoffs. What a disappointing end to a season that started with such promise would be

 

#Warriors undone by two big 3 pt plays and another King like game from #James #Cavs win 96-91

10 Jun

Lebron James set another #NBAFinals record with the 40 points he tallied in game 3. He now stands alone for scoring most total points in 1st 3 gmes of an NBA Final with 123. That’s an avg of 41 points per game!

Even with those heroic exploits this game was really decided by 2 huge plays. James Jones 3 pt basket at .9 secs before the end of the 1st half to stretch Cleveland’s lead from 41-37 to 44-37  and the unbelievable Dellavedova basket and free throw when the Cavs were clinging to a 81-80 with time running out. The Warriors were on a tremendous run having cut a 20 point 3rd qtr deficit down to one.

Dellavedova’s basket and free throw was one of the many HUGE plays he made throughout the game. He set the ‘Hustle’ bar high and teammates followed by seemingly getting to every loose ball.

The Warriors however had the energy and body language of spoiled children who were told they could not have dessert because they didn’t eat their vegetables. Also Steve Kerr also looked as nervous and unsure on the sidelines as his team did on the court. The only real bright spots were Steph Curry seeming to find his shooting stroke in the 4th and the ‘discovery’ of former All Star C/F David Lee.

Lee was outstanding with 11 pts, 4 rebounds in 13 minutes.

Click for Lebron James post game comments

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