Y’all know how I feel about quarterback play. If you have a better quarterback, you tend to win. Football can be that simple. The Divisional Round this weekend is headlined by the quarterbacks who are proven and those who aren’t.
The proven quarterbacks — Tom Brady, Big Ben, Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan — have all been there, and three of the four have won a Super Bowl. They all face unproven commodities under center this weekend: Marcus Mariota, Blake Bortles, Case Keenum, and Nick Foles.
The Eagles are home underdogs against the Falcons, the first time a No. 1 seed has been an underdog in the Divisional Round. The reason is clear: Nick Foles.
The final result has been pretty enviable. The Falcons offense returned largely intact this year, and yet, with the loss of Shanahan, stumbled out of the gate. But because a handful of young defensive players took the next step, that unit evolved into a Top 10 group capable of buying its counterpart time to work its problems out. It created an environment where the Falcons don’t have to score 30 points every week to win anymore.
And where there were holes, like the one created by Chester’s retirement, the program had new talent ready. It’s how Schweizer became such a good example of what’s going on there.
The Bengals jumped out to a 17-3 lead, but would later squander that lead and fall behind 27-24 with just under nine minutes to go in the game.
Faced with a fourth-and-12 with under a minute to go, Dalton threw a strike to Tyler Boyd for a 49-yard touchdown:
There are a number of ways your season could end poorly — but this is just brutal. At least there was some good to come out of it, as the Bills were able to celebrate a long-awaited postseason berth.
“The first thing you’ll notice, you want plays that start out looking the same that are different—your run actions, whether it’s play-action, or some of your movements, where you’re bootlegging him,” McVay said. “Those are the things he’s really done a good job with, especially when you take into account the stuff in the preseason where early-down plays, you’re running play-actions and movements.
“He’s good at it, he’s gotten really comfortable with it. And that’s where there’s a good chance to open up some things down the field.”
This week, the challenge changes, of course, with an opponent that knows McVay and his scheme exceedingly well, because it’s their scheme, too. And so, as the coach is quick to point out, they’ll have to keep what he calls “the progression going.”