Oh, hey, look who forgot to do the Wild Card round thread.
The Bills and Jaguars are in the playoffs. Not only that, but either the Bills or Jaguars will win a playoff game. All things are possible.
Except Cleveland winning. You have to hand it to Corey Coleman. I mean, literally; if you throw it to him, he’ll drop it.
Andy Dalton pulls out an amazing play to give the Bengals the win over the Ravens, and Joe Flacco pulls out . . . himself. No, not like that. Gross.
Being I root for a bad team and am already tracking the draft, it’s going to be interesting; Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen are likely to all be top picks, and that’s even before the hype machine really kicks in for guys like Lamar Jackson or Baker Mayfield. There’s a solid chance Darnold, Rosen, and Allen don’t make it out of the top four of the draft.
News came out this week of a pending crisis in New England; rumor has it Belichick wanted to move on from Brady after this offseason and move on to a dreamy future with his young, strapping mid-life crisis of a QB in Jimmy G, but Tom Brady went to Robert Kraft and got Jimmy G traded. It seems very plausible, as Belichick would stab his mother in order to improve his team, and Kraft and Brady both have a desire to preserve a legacy. Presuming this is true, it feels like everybody really kind of has a valid point here.
Jim Caldwell was fired by Detroit after failing to make the playoffs. He had three winning records in four years, making the playoffs twice. Because that is somehow not good enough. In Detroit.
Jon Gruden has been offered a ten-year, $100 million contract to coach the Raiders. Jon Gruden is known as an offensive genius. Jon Gruden is not an offensive genius; in his seven years coaching the Bucs, the team’s highest finish in points scored was 18th, and had top ten in yards once (they were 10th). Jon Gruden is a marketing campaign who lucked into one of the singly best defenses of all time, and this move is so bad the Browns wouldn’t even consider it. I’m basically just pasting in a post I put on Football Outsiders, for convenience sake:
Gruden was coach in Tampa from 2002-2008. Here's a link to PFR, showing the team's drafting during that era:
Using Career AV as a convenient short-cut for quality of career, Gruden's draft record is somewhere between "abysmal" and "drunk Matt Millen". 61 players were drafted. Of those:
-50+ Career AV: Aqib Talib (57). Most with somebody else, obviously.
-40+ Career AV: Jeremy Zuttah (47), Davin Joseph (45), Barrett Ruud (41). When two decent linemen fall 2-3 over the course of your drafting history, not really a good sign, right?
-30+ Career AV: Jeremy Trueblood (36), Jermaine Philips (32), Geno Hayes (31).
I'll stop there, because, conveniently enough, that's seven players with 30+ Career AV in seven drafts. Outside of Talib (who, being a moron aside, is an excellent CB) and Zuttah (who provided a lot of value for a third-round pick), there's basically nothing there to be excited by considering draft position. Sure, Gruden was not solely responsible for drafting (thanks, Rich McKay), but he's in that process, and the team drafted consistently god-freaking-awfully. Gruden feuded with his players, cycled through a series of awful veteran QBs in order to try to find the second coming of Rich Gannon (seriously, how sad is that sentence), drafted badly, failed to create good offenses even with his much-touted GENIUS, and, even with the benefit of that 12-4 record that first year thanks to one of the singly-greatest defenses ever field, still managed to leave the Bucs with an aggregate losing record.
Hiring Gruden on a normal contract is something I would think would be a bad idea. This contract is so bad it makes me wonder if Al crawled out of the grave and started making decisions again.
No more game picks.
Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs: There’s always one incredibly uninspiring “well, I guess someone had to make it” team, and that’s the Titans. It feels like they went 6-10, which they probably would have without Indianapolis and Watson-less Texans teams on the schedule. Both these teams are just playing so they can lose badly in the next round.
Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars: I’m really tempted to go Buffalo here, largely for pure humor value. Bortles is starting to look more and more Bortle-y in recent weeks, and there’s a solid chance he has a four TD this weekend, with one of those TDs even going to his own team.
Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams: The Rams hosting a playoff game? Screw Jeff Fisher and his utter incompetence. Anyways, the Falcons need to score a lot to win this, and Aaron Donald is going to spend half the game sitting on Matt Ryan’s face.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints: Cam Newton was freaking awful last weekend, and the Saints are far better indoors than out. Feels like a very ugly game.