EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – Happy Monday… These NFL playoffs have been something else. The Super Bowl is supposed to draw all the attention but I have never seen so many instant classics in one playoff year. Let’s get to the headline: NFL Conference Championship Games & NFL News.
Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs
Joltin’ Joe Burrow and the Bengals have done what nobody gave them a shot in hell of doing. Burrow is often forgotten about, as he plays in a small market. He was a #1 pick but people were looking at Tua Tagovailoa to have better season. Not to mention Baker Mayfield and/or Kyler Murray. The Chiefs started the game hot and were up by 11 at the half. However, in the second half the Cincinnati defense grew into the game and came up with some stops, which allowed Burrow and the offense to score to tie the game. Both sides traded field goals in the 4th quarter and we were headed for overtime once again. After watching last week, the smart bet was Chiefs win coin toss and take it all the way. BUT.. not this time. This time Pat “The Kid” Mahomes couldn’t work his magic. He had a pass tipped that led to a Cincy interception. Funny enough, this was similar to how the Bengals won against the Titans with a late interception. Burrow marched his Bengals to the 10 of KC, and then called the kicker on. Just like last week, the kick split the uprights. Game over, thanks for coming. Good night and good luck.
Fun Fact for Ben Whitney: Hey Ben, Eli Apple is going to the Super Bowl, lol.
San Fransisco 49ers vs Los Angeles Rams
Cooper Kupp cannot be covered. I will get to the game but the guy had 11 catches for 142 yards and 2 TDs. How is the guy that is best receiver in the game that open? Schemes, good routes and a QB that will get him the ball regardless of coverage. It didn’t hurt that he had OBJ catching 9 for 113 on the field to keep the defense honest. The LA Rams would need this kind of effort as the faced a 49ers for a 3rd time, hoping to win this time. The odds were in LA’s favor because beating a team for the third time is a very mighty task. However, it seemed like San Fran was on their way to do it again, they were even getting good play from QB Jimmy Grappolo. However, once it got to the fourth quarter, Rams QB Matthew Stafford shook off his Detroit ghosts and found Kupp and Beckham for a touchdown and two field goals in the 4th quarter, making the game winner with 1:46 left. Then the Rams defense went to work as they pressured Jimmy Garoppolo into a hurried pass that was intercepted. Game over.
Brady Retires – Reports indicate that Tom Brady is retiring. (Or do they?) He had the chance to ride off into the sunset last season but chose to go for ring number 8. Now watch all the guys that signed on for a chance at the ring, jump ship. They only came for the ring and if there is no chance at a ring they are out.
Coaching Hires – The Raiders hired New England Head of Player Personnel Dave Ziegler to be GM – so it looks like they will hire New England Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels. What shocks me is Rich Bisaccia coached the Raiders to 10 wins and a playoff spot after being promoted because Jon Gruden got fired for his inappropriate emails. How does he not get the full time job? …The NY Giants hired Brian Daboll, the former Buffalo Bills Offensive Coordinator to be head coach after hiring Joe Schoen, who was the Bills former assistant general manager to be general manager… The biggest shock is Kwesi Adofo-Mensah becoming the general manager of Angry Ward’s Vikings. Considering the lack of black coaches, a black GM is a big deal. For more updates on who is hired at all levels, go here.
Black Coaching News – Here is a list for you: Todd Bowles, Jim Caldwell, Leslie Frazier, Vance Joseph, Marvin Lewis and Raheem Morris are all coaches with NFL coaching experience waiting for another chance. And then there are these coordinators: Eric Bieniemy, Teryl Austin, Marcus Brady, Jerry Gray and Byron Leftwich. All of these are black coaches waiting for a chance to be head coaches. I am hoping my fellow Ghanaian Adofo-Mensah can do a service and bring Bieniemy back to Minnesota, where he started his career as a coach. Besides that I don’t see any of these other guys getting hired. If you accept that Jon Gruden’s email was filled with racially insensitive comments, it would be no surprise that owners and GMs wouldn’t want black coaches potentially hearing how they speak in private company. This may be a stretch but it is tough to see what the issues are with these coaches that they can’t get a chance to coach a team. It is pretty clear what the unspoken issue is when guys fresh from college can be selected as head coaches, instead of seasoned NFL talent.
Thanks for reading, comment below and come back tomorrow for our Ben Whitney, who is will no doubt be talking about the NY Giants.