Tag Archives: Steven Jackson

NFL Divisional Playoffs: Chiefs vs Patriots (Preview)

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Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) vs New England Patriots (12-4)

January 16th – 4:35 PM ET/ 3:35 Central

 

Winners of 11 straight games, The Kansas City Chiefs are rolling on all cylinders. The defense is stout. The special teams group is solid. The offense is in sync. And above all else Alex Smith is comfortable and in rhythm.

This past weekend, in which many thought would be a nice competitive game, the Chiefs man handled the Houston Texans by 30 points all while playing on the road.

The defense forced 5 turnovers and pitched a shutout. On the offensive side of the ball Kansas City didn’t have much trouble moving up and down the field tallying 314 yards of total offense. They were able to move the ball in the air as well as on the ground. And let’s not forget about how the special teams scored a touchdown on the opening kick to start off the game.

Kansas City is the real deal.

After starting off the season on a roll New England started to let up off the gas a bit due to the injuries that hit their star players. Tom Brady was banged up. Wide Reciever Julian Edelman was out. Starting Running Back Dion Lewis was lost for the season. And All-Pro Tight End Rob Gronkowski was in and out of the lineup. The Patriots ended the season with a 12-4 record (losing 4 of their last 6) despite starting off the season 10-0.

The four teams that beat the New England Patriots were:

The Denver Broncos

The Philadelphia Eagles

The New York Jets

The Miami Dolphins

Each team did a nice job of stifling New England’s receivers and getting pressure on Tom Brady. Denver, New York and Miami managed to takeaway the Patriots ground game, thus making them one dimensional. Philadelphia, on the other hand forced multiple turnovers and had a defensive touchdown along with a touchdown created by the special teams unit.

All four teams manipulated the Patriots in ways the Chiefs can mirror.

For New England to win this weekend the offensive line must protect Brady (38 sacks this season) much better than they have been with Kansas City coming to town with a defense that has 47 sacks on the season (ranked 4th) and has forced 29 turnovers (ranked 5th).

Outside of protecting Brady the Patriots will need someone to step up. Gronk appears to be injured and Edelman is just now returning so counting on them to be their selves isn’t the ideal scenario. Guys like Steven Jackson, Danny Amendola and Brandon LaFell need to be ready. Or else things could get ugly (see Houston last week.)

PREDICTION: KCCC.png win 31-20

The last time these two teams met the Chiefs won 41-14. They forced Brady into three turnovers, scored a defensive touchdown and ultimately shut down New England’s receiving core. On the offensive end that game Kansas City was able to accumulate 200+  yards rushing and toss a few touchdown passes.

In this meeting I think it’ll be more of the same. Kansas City is much better defensively and offensively this season when compared to last year. The same can’t be said for New England.

If Kansas City can consistently get to Brady and suffocate his receivers they’ll be good. As for the offense all they have to do is play smart and protect the football; establish a ground game first that way guys like Jeremy Maclin (if available) and Travis Kelce can beat them over the top later.

My Game of the Week

FUN FACT: Andy Reid is 1-4 vs Bill Belichick (1-0 with the Chiefs)

 

 

 

 

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Time To Move On

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From 1999 to 2003 the St. Louis Rams were a dominant force having perhaps one of the most explosive offense’s ever assembled. Led by QB Kurt Warner, RB Marshall Faulk and WRs Issac Bruce and Torry Holt the Rams were dangerous and put fear into the eyes of many.

They dominated their competition in route to seasons that saw the likes of 13-3, 10-6, 14-2 and 12-4. During that span they went to two Superbowls winning one (99) and losing the other (01).

After losing the SB in 2002 (season of 01) to the Patriots the Rams went down hill,

They finished the following season with a 7-9 record having found a replacement, Marc Bulger, for QB Kurt Warner who’s play was sort of diminishing. The 2003 season was the last of the Rams as they finished 12-4 losing to the Panthers in the divisional game.

Ever since the “Greatest Show On Turf” ended St.Louis has been bad. Having gone through the rebuilding stage twice.

The fist rebuilding project occurred when Marc Bulger first took over. Having led them to 12-4 record his first year some thought he was the next guy up. When in reality he was just a mediocre QB. They eventually brought in RB Steven Jackson to take over for Marshall Faulk and let Holt and Bruce finish their careers off.

Following the GSOT’s exit the Rams went on to have records that consisted of a 8-8 (a pair), 6-10, 3-13, 2-14 and 1-15. They went from being respected to being laughed at in a short time span. After finishing the 09-10 season 1-15 placing last in the NFL, they were awarded the first pick in the NFL Draft (2010).

The talk of that draft (QB wise) was Sam Bradford (OU), Tim Tebow (Florida, Two Time Heisman Winner) and Colt McCoy (Texas). ( Hmph Jimmy Clausen as well.) Many believed Bradford had the potential to be very good if not great; stating that he was head and shoulders above the other QBs in his class.

With all of the hype surrounding Bradford and a glaring hole at the QB position the Rams selected the Oklahoma QB number one.

Alot of fans were enthused with the pick. And now some may have questions surrounding it.

Having missed most of his final college season (shoulder injury) Bradford started in every game his rookie year. He was Rookie of The Year (ROY) and broke a few rookie records.He finished the season with 3512 yards, 18tds, 15ints a QB percentage of 76.5 and completed 60% of his passes. The Rams as a team went on to finish with a 7-9 record, which was a decent turnaround from the previous year.

After showing a little bit of promise in his first year Bradford’s encore for the next season saw him miss six games and finish the season with stats of 6tds, 6ints, 2164 yards a 70.5 QB rating and a 53.5 completion percentage on his passes. 2-14 was the record the Rams finished with in year two of the Bradford era.

With that being his second year in the league it’s fair to give him the benefit of the doubt. Quarterbacks generally do worse in year two because they’re game planned alot better and teams know some of their tendencies. Add that in with the fact that Bradford was hurt a pass must be given.

So I’ll let him off the hook…For now.

In year three Bradford had totals of 21tds 13ints 3702 yards 82.6 QB rating and a completion percentage of 59.5. He also played in all sixteen games. He improved a bit from his rookie season individually but when you look at the team’s record they finished 7-8. (One game was postponed.) Better quarterback yet same result.

Year four, which was last year saw Bradford miss nine games. His stats were nice (14tds 4ints 1687 yards 90.9 QBR and 60.7% completion wise) but his absence wasn’t felt like in year two. Last year the Rams still managed to win seven games without Bradford for most of the season which leaves me with this thought.

Is it time to abort the Bradford project?

If you look at it even with Bradford intact this team was still mediocre. They have a decent defense but the inconsistency or should I say absence of a mobile QB seems to throw them off from time to time. They’ve never been over .500 as a ball club and alot of the blame has to be put on Bradford. It may not be fair to him but that’s how it is in the NFL.

If a QB can’t stay healthy and hasn’t done much to make a case in why he should be the franchise guy, why should the team continue to give him chances? Some may say fours years is too small of a sample to evaluate on if a QB is franchise caliber or not. I think it’s just enough if the QB can’t remain healthy.

Oh and if you think this year is going to be a different story you’re wrong. Bradford is already out for the season with an ACL tear and who’s to say he’ll be healthy next year?

For three out of five years now Sam Bradford has failed to be there when his team needed him. This season was supposed to be the year of the Rams. A breakout year if you will that has now been ruined because of Bradford’s cliched departure. Eleven years ago it was okay to wait and build. But now with a division that’s currently on the rise and primed for years of dominance (Seattle, Arizona, San Francisco) the time to act is now.

It doesn’t make sense to pay for a broken product…….. Time is money and money is time. It’s time for the Bradford project to be resigned. Or another decade of mediocrity will be all but enshrined.

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Ryan Fort
FMOT: RyanDFort