NFL 2017 Conference Championship Thread

ccesarano wrote:

I think one of the reasons people don't care about Philly is, to the rest of America, they're probably just another team. ...

That's true of most of the teams in the league except for, oh, four or so (New England, Dallas, Green Bay and Pittsburgh). Those teams move the needle nationally. Everyone else just doesn't.

At least you guys can fill the stadium with your own fans. When the Panthers are having a down year (which is every other year), at least half the stadium is filled with the fans of other teams. It stinks.

Some consolation, though: You'll have two weeks to build a big ol' Eagles bandwagon. It'll be huge not so much because it's the Eagles but because it's the Not Patriots. Enjoy the next two weeks. Who knows when it'll come back around?

ccesarano wrote:

And when you take into account things like my friend's anecdote – where at that same Giants game a jeering Giants fan got a beer can thrown at him, and when security showed up the rest of the crowd said it was the Giants fan starting sh*t – I can see why Philly fans would get a bad reputation. To us, that's a real sense of communal spirit and teaching a guy not to be an asshole on our turf. But then... how do Philly fans act on other turf? Win or lose, how are Philly fans going to treat the city of Minnesota

We were discussing this at our playoff party last night. Minneapolis (the city, not the state ) has gone all out to create a winter wonderland to welcome visitors for the Super Bowl. With Boston and Philly fans coming to town I hope: 1) we have enough beer stocked and 2) everyone will behave themselves on their likely once-in-a-lifetime visit to the frozen tundra.

For the Superbowl, most MN fans really want the Pats to lose, so we're Eagles fans, much as it hurt yesterday.

Congrats to Philly and NE - was sort of hoping it would be a Minnesota vs Jacksonville match-up but oh well.

I'm really hoping a new team wins it, but I've come to accept that the Patriots are the big league Alabama and will continue to win every year (or every other year) for the next decade.

Speaking of buying tickets, this is nucking futs.

I just can't root for the Eagles, as much as I am fully aboard Not New England.

I am a Cowboys fan.

jdzappa wrote:

Congrats to Philly and NE - was sort of hoping it would be a Minnesota vs Jacksonville match-up but oh well.

I'm really hoping a new team wins it, but I've come to accept that the Patriots are the big league Alabama and will continue to win every year (or every other year) for the next decade.

Speaking of buying tickets, this is nucking futs.

Wow! How about just buy a big TV, buy beer and pretzels, have the 9 people over, and keep the other 130k in the bank.

Well, congrats to GG and cc on your team getting to the SB. I remember how nuts I felt when Ronde ran that interception back for a TD. This is almost the worst for me. I was just getting used to being apathetic to the Eagles during a season but no way will I be able to handle Philly fan with an actual SB trophy. I also definitely don't want Belichek to get another trophy. (Can't complain about Brady because he is the one earning those trophies)

Now I have to spend a week considering who I want to lose more.

ccesarano wrote:

I think one of the reasons people don't care about Philly is, to the rest of America, they're probably just another team. What makes it worse is the fans, who, of the many "up and down" fans in terms of team quality, can be awfully obnoxious. I still feel Eagles fans aren't as obnoxious as constantly-winning teams, and I think part of the fandom is having to constantly hear pundits and ESPN be down on Eagles whenever possible. When Beckham imitated a dog pissing on Eagles territory ESPN was trying to argue that the fine he was charged with for unsportsmanlike conduct was too harsh. If an Eagles player did that, do you think they'd argue the same thing? Because I don't.

Dude, you're taking things way too serious. Talking heads, and people in general, like OBJ because he's fun and spectacular. He's also a nut case. The Eagles simply don't have anyone like that on their team ATM and if they did the talking heads would take that player's side. It has nothing to do with him being on the Giants. The Giants have won Super Bowls, sure, but they're not in the upper echelon like the Pats, Steelers and Cowboys. I think you're letting your division rivalry bias show.

Does anyone else feel like Minnesota was overlooking the Eagles the same way Pittsburgh overlooked Jacksonville? I can understand them losing, but losing that badly? I was so excited to see that game on Saturday, and then to have it be such a boring mess. Even as a (bad) Pats fan, I thought Jacksonville would bring their A-game and make it close. Thankfully, that game was fantastic! The Jags played so well, they are well set-up to be the dynasty of the next few years with such a strong defense, young running backs and really excellent coaching. Bortles played his ass off, and was by far the more impressive QB for half the game. It sucks when your season ends early, but Jacksonville had a great one, so congratulations to them.

The Eagles... what a dominant performance. I gave up all hope for Minnesota to come back in the third quarter, which sucks, but if they can maintain that level of play, Superbowl LII could easily be revenge for 2004. It's pretty exciting when two good teams make the big game (I'm looking at you, Rex Grossman's Bears).

Atras wrote:

Does anyone else feel like Minnesota was overlooking the Eagles the same way Pittsburgh overlooked Jacksonville? I can understand them losing, but losing that badly? I was so excited to see that game on Saturday, and then to have it be such a boring mess. Even as a (bad) Pats fan, I thought Jacksonville would bring their A-game and make it close. Thankfully, that game was fantastic! The Jags played so well, they are well set-up to be the dynasty of the next few years with such a strong defense, young running backs and really excellent coaching. Bortles played his ass off, and was by far the more impressive QB for half the game. It sucks when your season ends early, but Jacksonville had a great one, so congratulations to them.

The Eagles... what a dominant performance. I gave up all hope for Minnesota to come back in the third quarter, which sucks, but if they can maintain that level of play, Superbowl LII could easily be revenge for 2004. It's pretty exciting when two good teams make the big game (I'm looking at you, Rex Grossman's Bears).

No doubt they were; after that ridiculous win over the Saints, it had to be hard to focus for a few days and get ready. So, maybe not as much specifically overlooking the Eagles as much as having that amazing finish make them feel like an official TEAM OF DESTINY or something like that.

I was surprised and disappointed at the lack of adjustments from Zimmer, and it reminded me of Ron Rivera's "coaching" during that loss to the Broncos a few years ago. The Vikings, who have had a great pass rush all year, couldn't get pressure with their four down linemen, so . . . they kept rushing their four down linemen. Foles had all day to throw, and with all that time he had loads of opportunities to pick apart the secondary.

That's one of the things that makes Darth Hoodie a truly great coach; he always adjusts. The Jaguars had a great mix of runs, play action passes, and easy wide-open throws in the middle of the field in the first half. The second half, the Patriots shifted their defense, and Bortles wasn't vaguely as good.

Also, kneeling out the clock with 55 seconds left in the first half, two timeouts, and needing maybe 40 yards for a FG attempt (with a very good kicker) is the singly most terrified coaching move I've ever seen. I mean, I know it's Blake Bortles, but . . . really?

I'm ready for the draft thread.

garion333 wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

I think one of the reasons people don't care about Philly is, to the rest of America, they're probably just another team. What makes it worse is the fans, who, of the many "up and down" fans in terms of team quality, can be awfully obnoxious. I still feel Eagles fans aren't as obnoxious as constantly-winning teams, and I think part of the fandom is having to constantly hear pundits and ESPN be down on Eagles whenever possible. When Beckham imitated a dog pissing on Eagles territory ESPN was trying to argue that the fine he was charged with for unsportsmanlike conduct was too harsh. If an Eagles player did that, do you think they'd argue the same thing? Because I don't.

Dude, you're taking things way too serious. Talking heads, and people in general, like OBJ because he's fun and spectacular. He's also a nut case. The Eagles simply don't have anyone like that on their team ATM and if they did the talking heads would take that player's side. It has nothing to do with him being on the Giants. The Giants have won Super Bowls, sure, but they're not in the upper echelon like the Pats, Steelers and Cowboys. I think you're letting your division rivalry bias show.

Huh.. Giants have 4 Super Bowls.. they are one behind the Patriots and the Cowboys.. they are for sure in the upper echelon of teams.

What are the Chiefs going to get for Alex Smith? At one point I thought they could get a 1stand 2nd or 3rd. But there seems to be a done off QB options out there this year. Many are not great, but Alex Smith comes with his own set of baggage.

Do the chiefs get back into the first round at least? But is it a sh*tty first round pick like Jacksonville, or can they find a top 5 pick for him?

I'm ready for the offseason, because I'm excited for Mahomes, and the chiefs have a ton of holes to fill because they have some serious age showing on their roster. But they also have a pretty deep roster of younger players. I think they need to focus on defense, in pretty much every area. They need some DL, a mLB, and CB that can play opposite of Peters. On offense, I would still like to see them upgrade their OL, but that may not bet the cards except for the draft. I also want a big, tall WR to line up opposite Hill.

Cowboys haven't won a Superbowl in over twenty years. I would suggest they are not an upper echelon team. Over the last two decades, I think they are not even the upper echelon in the NFC East. With no looking up records and such, I'd say they are probably third after NYG and Philly.

I would be surprised if they got a first rounder for Smith. I think many teams would rather take their chances in the draft. I'm guessing maybe a high second rounder.

That's one of the things that makes Darth Hoodie a truly great coach; he always adjusts. The Jaguars had a great mix of runs, play action passes, and easy wide-open throws in the middle of the field in the first half. The second half, the Patriots shifted their defense, and Bortles wasn't vaguely as good.

This is the main reason I think the Patriots have been so successful.. obviously having Tom Brady is super key.. you can't have that kind of consistency without an all time great QB. In addition he never is hurt.. so not only is he the best he's also remarkable durable. That being said I think as long as Darth Hoodie is their coach and they have an above average QB they will be successful because of his ability to make adjustments during halftime. You almost have to beat the Patriots in any given game twice.. you have to beat them initially and get to halftime either up or at least close.. and then you have to tear everything you did in the first half up and put out a whole new gameplan in the 2nd half... because nothing you did in the first half will carry over on either side of the ball.

It also helps to have a Manning as your QB and some miracle type luck.

For the Eagles to win it will take a game like the Body Bag game.. only that level of physicality from the defense will do if the Eagles have a chance to win. That being said Schwartz does have a bit of Ryan "mischievousness" in him so who knows.

Jayhawker wrote:

What are the Chiefs going to get for Alex Smith? At one point I thought they could get a 1stand 2nd or 3rd. But there seems to be a done off QB options out there this year. Many are not great, but Alex Smith comes with his own set of baggage.

Do the chiefs get back into the first round at least? But is it a sh*tty first round pick like Jacksonville, or can they find a top 5 pick for him?

I'm ready for the offseason, because I'm excited for Mahomes, and the chiefs have a ton of holes to fill because they have some serious age showing on their roster. But they also have a pretty deep roster of younger players. I think they need to focus on defense, in pretty much every area. They need some DL, a mLB, and CB that can play opposite of Peters. On offense, I would still like to see them upgrade their OL, but that may not bet the cards except for the draft. I also want a big, tall WR to line up opposite Hill.

I expect the Chiefs will get the opportunity to cut Alex Smith. The Chiefs drafted their QB of the future and it seems pretty clear that want to give Mahomes the reins, and, well, Alex Smith is still Alex Smith. The Vikings wound up paying a first for San Bradford because they panicked when Bridgewater went down right before the season; Smith, if the Chiefs don't want him anymore, is likely to be cut well before that point, and there are a lot of comparable "meh, I guess he's OK" guys around this offseason.

I don't think there will be a trade market at all for Alex Smith. Teams who are interested will just wait for him to be released.

*Legion* wrote:

I'm ready for the draft thread.

Bring it on, please.

TheGameguru wrote:

For the Eagles to win it will take a game like the Body Bag game.. only that level of physicality from the defense will do if the Eagles have a chance to win. That being said Schwartz does have a bit of Ryan "mischievousness" in him so who knows.

I was actually surprised looking at the Eagles D stats. I hadn't realized that they are monsters against the run and solid against the pass too. That D has a lot of potential to give the Pats a tough time.

And on the other side if you through the Eagles offense in the second half of the Patriots game yesterday I think they could have moved the ball where the Jags couldn't. They just have so many more options.

tboon wrote:

Cowboys haven't won a Superbowl in over twenty years. I would suggest they are not an upper echelon team. Over the last two decades, I think they are not even the upper echelon in the NFC East. With no looking up records and such, I'd say they are probably third after NYG and Philly.

They are in perception and popularity, just not on-field results. Kind of like the Lakers, even when they suck they still get a lot of attention and press.

JeffreyLSmith wrote:

We were discussing this at our playoff party last night. Minneapolis (the city, not the state )

God dammit... I always have to self-correct on this and today it just slipped on by.

garion333 wrote:

I think you're letting your division rivalry bias show.

Quite possibly! One of the reasons I like reading these threads is it's a chance to see the thoughts of people that pay way more attention to the entire league than I do, as well as get a more level-headed and objective response regarding what's happening with the team. I'm still new to this and am only now getting a chance to hear pundits talking, and that's going to run through a filter of all the fans around me. The closest ones are obviously Philly fans, and while I'm learning who to filter out it's tough to escape the influence.

Maybe in five years I'll be ready to discuss sports like an adult.

TheGameguru wrote:
garion333 wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

I think one of the reasons people don't care about Philly is, to the rest of America, they're probably just another team. What makes it worse is the fans, who, of the many "up and down" fans in terms of team quality, can be awfully obnoxious. I still feel Eagles fans aren't as obnoxious as constantly-winning teams, and I think part of the fandom is having to constantly hear pundits and ESPN be down on Eagles whenever possible. When Beckham imitated a dog pissing on Eagles territory ESPN was trying to argue that the fine he was charged with for unsportsmanlike conduct was too harsh. If an Eagles player did that, do you think they'd argue the same thing? Because I don't.

Dude, you're taking things way too serious. Talking heads, and people in general, like OBJ because he's fun and spectacular. He's also a nut case. The Eagles simply don't have anyone like that on their team ATM and if they did the talking heads would take that player's side. It has nothing to do with him being on the Giants. The Giants have won Super Bowls, sure, but they're not in the upper echelon like the Pats, Steelers and Cowboys. I think you're letting your division rivalry bias show.

Huh.. Giants have 4 Super Bowls.. they are one behind the Patriots and the Cowboys.. they are for sure in the upper echelon of teams.

LeapingGnome wrote:
tboon wrote:

Cowboys haven't won a Superbowl in over twenty years. I would suggest they are not an upper echelon team. Over the last two decades, I think they are not even the upper echelon in the NFC East. With no looking up records and such, I'd say they are probably third after NYG and Philly.

They are in perception and popularity, just not on-field results. Kind of like the Lakers, even when they suck they still get a lot of attention and press.

I went back and forth on whether to mention the Cowboys and feel like they still deserved a mention because they rarely suck but that may be a 20th Century opinion and not a 21st Century opinion. Looking over their results in the 21st Century and, well, they've sucked. Back of the line, Jerrah! You belong with the 49ers and Raiders!

I'll stand behind the Giants, they have certainly won enough Super Bowls but they've been spread out over the years and outside of having a dominating pass rush (sometimes) they don't have an identity. Maybe it's years and years of Manning Face, but they're an average team who sometimes gets hot at the right time (and takes Brady down).

I feel like the Packers are generally a better team than the Giants, year-in, year-out.

Also, Phil Simms.

ccesarano wrote:
garion333 wrote:

I think you're letting your division rivalry bias show.

Quite possibly! One of the reasons I like reading these threads is it's a chance to see the thoughts of people that pay way more attention to the entire league than I do, as well as get a more level-headed and objective response regarding what's happening with the team. I'm still new to this and am only now getting a chance to hear pundits talking, and that's going to run through a filter of all the fans around me. The closest ones are obviously Philly fans, and while I'm learning who to filter out it's tough to escape the influence.

Maybe in five years I'll be ready to discuss sports like an adult. :P

Maybe don't listen to what they and the announcers are saying. Most of the time it's just empty air, especially on TV where they're filling space. Older, ex-NFL guys like Phil Simms repeat sh*t that's so old and out of date that they get moved out from calling games for a guy who had never called a game in his life (I think).

I tend to prefer reading about the NFL to watching the NFL, unless the person talking is doing some sort of film breakdown.

T-t-t-triple post!

:wow:

I'll stand behind the Giants, they have certainly won enough Super Bowls but they've been spread out over the years and outside of having a dominating pass rush (sometimes) they don't have an identity. Maybe it's years and years of Manning Face, but they're an average team who sometimes gets hot at the right time (and takes Brady down).

Just strange given their history over the years.. they have NFL championships to go with Super Bowl Championships across several time periods. Historically they are a storied franchise and right up there with the Cowboys and Packers as all time storied franchises.

TheGameguru wrote:
I'll stand behind the Giants, they have certainly won enough Super Bowls but they've been spread out over the years and outside of having a dominating pass rush (sometimes) they don't have an identity. Maybe it's years and years of Manning Face, but they're an average team who sometimes gets hot at the right time (and takes Brady down).

Just strange given their history over the years.. they have NFL championships to go with Super Bowl Championships across several time periods. Historically they are a storied franchise and right up there with the Cowboys and Packers as all time storied franchises.

The Giants have a weird franchise history in recent years, though; they're barely about .500 since Eli took over, his TD/INT ratio is as close to 1:1 as you're going to find for a modern-day long-term starter, and they've managed to win a playoff game in only two of Eli's 14 seasons as a starter, where they managed to win the Super Bowl even though they were 10-6 and 9-7 in the regular season. The Giants pretty much feel like a decent team that's managed to Flacco their way through the playoffs for two magical runs.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

What are the Chiefs going to get for Alex Smith? At one point I thought they could get a 1stand 2nd or 3rd. But there seems to be a done off QB options out there this year. Many are not great, but Alex Smith comes with his own set of baggage.

Do the chiefs get back into the first round at least? But is it a sh*tty first round pick like Jacksonville, or can they find a top 5 pick for him?

I'm ready for the offseason, because I'm excited for Mahomes, and the chiefs have a ton of holes to fill because they have some serious age showing on their roster. But they also have a pretty deep roster of younger players. I think they need to focus on defense, in pretty much every area. They need some DL, a mLB, and CB that can play opposite of Peters. On offense, I would still like to see them upgrade their OL, but that may not bet the cards except for the draft. I also want a big, tall WR to line up opposite Hill.

I expect the Chiefs will get the opportunity to cut Alex Smith. The Chiefs drafted their QB of the future and it seems pretty clear that want to give Mahomes the reins, and, well, Alex Smith is still Alex Smith. The Vikings wound up paying a first for San Bradford because they panicked when Bridgewater went down right before the season; Smith, if the Chiefs don't want him anymore, is likely to be cut well before that point, and there are a lot of comparable "meh, I guess he's OK" guys around this offseason.

I don't think there will be a trade market at all for Alex Smith. Teams who are interested will just wait for him to be released.

I agree. Legion or someone can break the numbers down, but with a current cap hit of $20 mil he's gonna get cut while a trade would involve someone taking on his $14.5 mil cap hit (unless bonus goes also, which I'm fuzzy on).

Stranger things have happened, but I don't think anyone is giving up a 1st or even 2nd round pick for a 33 year old QB who mostly throws short passes.

Then again, maybe John Dorsey still loves him enough to trade some of the Browns' draft capital for Smith.

Part of the Eagles’ success against the Vikings’ front came from thorough game planning and preparation. As one of the more complicated defensive schemes in the NFL, Minnesota plays plenty of games with its stunts and blitzes, and the Eagles responded by playing some of their own. Johnson, Coors Light in hand, told reporters after the game that Philly’s line would intentionally point to the wrong linebacker before a snap when the Vikings were using head coach Mike Zimmer’s trademark double-A-gap pressure. The idea was to dupe Minnesota into sending the rusher whom the Eagles intended to block. Johnson also noted that the Eagles spotted a tell from the Vikings’ defensive ends that signaled a Harrison Smith blitz. When the ends aligned head-up over the tackle, a difference of about a foot or two from their usual positioning, the offensive line knew that extra pressure was coming. It’s just one more example of the standout job that Pederson and his staff have done all season.

Nicely done, coach.

From here.

It would be more like $16.5 million trading for for Alex Smith's current deal, as there's a $2m roster bonus earned at training camp. Presumably Smith would be moved before then, so it would end up on the receiving team's dime. Prorated signing bonus would, of course, not.

A team willing to trade for Alex Smith would have no problem with the $16.5 million price tag, that'll probably be around 20th or so among starting QBs once all the signings for 2018 are said and done.

As for the question of trade value, it's hard to say given how many QBs are likely to move early in the draft, as well as the names that will be out there in free agency, who won't require any picks in return (presumably Cousins, Bradford, Bridgewater, and, quite possibly after a release... Bortles).

I think a good deal would be the Browns sending the lowest of their three 2nd round picks (Philadelphia) to Kansas City for Smith and like a 5th in return. I think it'd be ideal for Cleveland if they could bring in Smith in a "start ahead of a rookie now, be the highly-paid backup later" capacity. Depends on where Smith and his agent's head is at in terms of monetary value, but if they were amenable, an extension that gives him some guaranteed money now in exchange for a high-backup salary in 2019 and 2020 would be an idea worth exploring.

I don't know if Smith is ready to value himself there yet, though, so it could instead be a "trade for his deal now, try and sign him to a backup deal in the next offseason" thing too. I'd be a little less inclined to trade draft capital for that situation though.

New head coach in Arizona: Steve Wilks, formerly the DC in Carolina.

The Ron Rivera coaching tree now has three roots (shoots? whatever): Sean McDermott in Buffalo, Rob Chudzinski (just one year as a HC, and it was in Cleveland) and now Wilks.

If you're looking to explain the recent downturn in NFL rankings, you could do worse, I suppose.

Pat Shurmur's taking over the G-Men.