LAS VEGAS, NV – It’s two days after a thrilling NFL Championship Sunday and you’ve probably heard all you want to hear about it. Junoir B decided that the Monday after was a good day to write about a rugby documentary and the LA Chargers, yet still find time to complain about how he wont have anything to write about next week. So, I feel that a little more on the topic is warranted. In the words of the great Adam Sandler, “you will listen to every goddamn word I have to say.” Or don’t. It’s a free country. Sort of.
Pedigree Pays Off
Both games were similar in that the inexperienced playoff teams panicked when things started going south. The Ravens and Lions played the fourth quarter with clenched buttholes. The Niners and Chiefs stuck to the plan and stayed poised. And they’re going to Vegas, Bob.
Lions vs Niners
My wife is from just outside of Detroit, but my father’s side of the family is originally from the Bay Area. Who did I side with you ask? My buddy Johnny Walker, that’s who.
Anyway, like everyone else, I think Campbell deserves a lot of the blame. But I don’t mind him going for the first fourth down. They were up two TDs and we’re going in for the kill. But if you go for the King, you best not miss. They missed. Reynolds dropped an easy one and the momentum turned like Aaron Judge turning on a hanging curve. Follow that by an amazing Aiyuk catch and a Gibbs fumble and we’ve got a different game. If Reynolds makes that easy catch, then Campbell is the probably the toast of Motown right now.
Campbell played it fast and loose all year and it wasn’t a surprise too see it come back to bite him in the end. A strictly analytical approach makes more sense in baseball because the season is so long. If something works 55 percent of the time, over 162 games it will make a difference. But football only has 17 games. You have to play it by ear. Read the room, Dan.
On the second fourth down attempt, they had given up 20 straight points and were fighting to get the momentum back. Take the three, tie it up, right the ship, and stay alive. There was seven and half minutes left, they were likely to get the ball back. Bad decision.
Who knew Brock had those wheels? He didn’t just exploit open spaces, he was juking linebackers. Those big runs in key spots were huge. The man played a great second half to lead his team back. Is it okay if we give this guy a little credit now?
Chiefs vs Ravens
You can definitely make the case that the Chiefs’ defense won this game, as they held the mighty Ravens to 10 points, and got three key turnovers. But it was huge when the Chiefs’ offense scored their two touchdowns. Scoring on their first two drives really put the pressure on Baltimore’s offense to keep up. Lamar probably started thinking about his losing record in the playoffs. Kelce was a beast and Reid’s scripted plays were working out of the gate.
The Ravens only ran the ball 8 times with someone other than Lamar. That’s not their game. And while the Flowers fumble hurt, they got it right back and were marching again. But Jackson panic-flipped one into the end zone teeming with red jerseys. That interception was a back-breaker.
And let’s not forget freaking Marquez Valdez-Scantling. The much-maligned receiver had memorably huge drops this year against the Eagles and Bengals, but reeled in a tough catch to ice this one. The Ravens’ strategy on that play was to bring the house, double Kelce, and make someone else beat them. That’s probably what most teams would have done. But the wily Reid and the Chiefs were ready for it. I’m a bit surprised MVS was even on the field in that spot, but he came through.
Kadarius Toney will probably suit up for the Super Bowl, play four snaps, catch a gadget TD, and walk away with his second ring. Life isn’t fair.
Super Bowl LVIII
It should be an interesting game. Can Shanahan slay his demons from the 28-3 collapse to the Patriots when he was the OC of the Falcons? It won’t be easy, Mahomes has flipped the switch and is Fonzie-cool under pressure. He’s not yet to the Tom Brady “this bleeping guy is in the Super Bowl again” level of annoying, but he’s getting there.
That’s it for me. Come back tomorrow for Angry Ward, who has said he won’t even watch if Tay Tay doesn’t make it back from Tokyo in time.