NFL Coaches good on offense needed for next season
January 03, 2018 1:25 PM
by Dennis Ball
The blood bath has begun. Hours after the regular season ended, several head coaching jobs ended as well.
Chuck Pagano and Jim Caldwell finished their stints with winning records but were still issued walking papers. Jack Del Rio was 12-4 a year ago and he was given the axe. John Fox never had a winning season in Chicago so his firing wasn’t a surprise.
One trend for sure has clearly been established. NFL teams are looking for offensive minded head coaches. All of the guys saying good-bye were once best known as defensive coordinators and labeled as defensive minded. The NFL is a quarterback driven league. And we know what NFL really stands for. If you don’t have a quarterback, how long will you hang around for? Not For Long! Yes, it has been quite a blood bath and we haven’t even started the playoffs.
In regards to each team’s QBs, you’ll probably be moving from the blood bath to the bird bath. QBs could be hopping and flying all over the league during the off-season. Possible QBs on the move would be Alex Smith, Eli Manning, Kirk Cousins, Tyrod Taylor and Blake Bortles. All sorts of decisions need to be made by GMs and owners regarding many different signal callers.
Will the Vikings keep both Teddy Bridgewater and Case Keenum? Which team will pay Kirk Cousins the big bucks he has earned? The Broncos need a quarterback desperately. It will certainly be an entertaining bird bath to watch. It is always a special treat.
One thing is for sure, there is no room in the head coaching or quarterback world for mediocrity. Whether its head coaches or QBs, if you’re not a playoff winner the NFL will move on from you in a hurry. Sometimes even making the playoffs consistently isn’t enough. Just ask Andy Reid.
Last week: 9-7
Titans +7 at Chiefs: Titans limped into the money games by squeezing by the Jaguars. The Jags happened to have a couple key injuries and rested a couple of players to boot. The Chiefs have the more experienced QB and won four straight games to close the regular season. The Chiefs were able to rest several key players last Sunday and still managed to beat the Broncos on the road. KC has lost five consecutive playoff games at Arrowhead and will be extremely hungry for a first home playoff win in 30 years.
The ground will be shaking and the stadium will be rumbling. It’s a tough environment for any team to play in. I believe Mariota will be in for a rough experience. I also like the Andy Reid advantage over Mike Mularkey. CHIEFS
Falcons +5.5 at Rams: Ironically, after blowing a 28-3 lead in last year’s Super Bowl, the Falcons were the only NFC team from last season’s playoff line-up to make it back to the money games. But I’ve never felt good about Atlanta since that blown Super Bowl. They did get the job done in week 17 when the chips were all in, but they haven’t been as consistent as the Rams for the entire season. I like the Rams on both sides of the ball. The top scoring offense at 29.9 points per game is tough to bet against.
Todd Gurley can hurt you with his legs and he is a top notch receiver. Gurley rushed over 100 yards in 12 of the 15 games he played in during the regular season. The Rams defense is led by Aaron Donald in the middle with 11 sacks. In addition, Robert Quinn comes off the edge to add another eight sacks. The Rams defense should be able to pressure Matt Ryan into a few turnovers. RAMS
Bills +8 at Jaguars: Where have you been Jacksonville? It’s your first playoff appearance in 10 seasons. Bills’ fans aren’t laughing though, it’s been a long and painful 17 years since Buffalo last danced in the playoffs. Shady McCoy’s ankle injury could be the difference in this game. But I’m going out on a limb with the underdog Bills plus the points. The Bills might have the QB least likely to give the game away. Bortles has struggled the last couple of games.
The Jaguars as a team haven’t looked as sharp as they did a few weeks ago. They’ve struggled to run the ball when they want to run it and when they need to run it. That’s been going on for a couple of weeks now. So if Buffalo can stop the run and force Bortles to throw more than he wants to I think the Bills can make this game extremely close. The Jags need Cam Robinson to get healthy in a hurry. The young receivers for Jacksonville who were playing lights out earlier in the season are now looking shaky. Westbrook, Mickens and Cole aren’t playing as consistent. BILLS
Panthers +6 at Saints: They always say it’s tough to beat a team three times in the same season. Well, I’d rather have the side of the clear winner in both games than the loser. I think the most accurate and more consistent QB in all facets of the quarterbacking game is clearly Drew Brees. The Panthers are coming off a week 17 game where a win would have clinched a division title for them. And, what did they respond with – a nothing burger.
The Panthers came out flat and Cam Newton opened the game 0-for-9. He had the lowest QB rating of his career and finished with three interceptions. Carolina was only able to score two touchdowns over the last two weeks of the regular season. All of this looks bad for Carolina. The Saints scored over 30 points in both victories over Carolina. The Panthers also allowed their two highest rushing totals of the season in those two losses to the Saints. I will take the Saints at home and swallow the points. SAINTS