Saturday, January 11, 2014

NFL '13 Dread News - Week 18

In only one of the four 1st round playoff games did the team playing at home have a better record than their opponent, so I guess it's not very surprising that only one home team won last weekend. Ever since New England won back-to-back Super Bowls after going 14-2 in both 2003 and 2004, 6 of the last 8 Super Bowl winners have been teams that did not get a 1st round bye. If that trend continues this season, that means either the Colts, Saints, Chargers, or 49ers will be raising the Vince Lombardi Trophy three weeks from now. Which one will it be? 

The Indianapolis Colts were the only home team to advance to round 2, and they had to come back from the dead  before barely defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 45-44. Despite finishing 11-5, the Chiefs didn't really beat any teams that were any good during the regular season. Only one of their 11 victories came against a team that finished with a winning record, and even that victory wasn't all that impressive because the Eagles weren't very good back in Week 3 when the Chiefs beat them. Whenever they played a good team, they lost, and that includes a 23-7 home loss to the Colts in Week 16. I thought the Chiefs were certainly very capable of beating a good team; but until they actually did it, it was hard to get very excited about all their success.
Well, the Chiefs are still looking for that victory over a quality team after incredibly blowing a four-touchdown lead in the 1-point loss at Indianapolis last Saturday. 

I had a lot of different emotions watching the game; but after all the ups and downs during the game, at the end of the game all I felt was crushing disappointment. So many things went against the Chiefs during the game; but despite everything that went wrong, they still could and should have won the game. Instead they somehow found a way to lose it, extending their losing streak in playoff games to an agonizing 7 in a row.

The adversity started almost immediately, as RB Jamaal Charles, on the 6th play of the Chiefs' opening drive, was tackled by CB Greg Toler on his 3rd carry of the game (photo below) and hit the ground so hard that he suffered a concussion (photo above). Charles, one of the best players in the league and a major part of the Chiefs' offense, had already gained 18 yards on his 3 carries, and you got the feeling he was about to have a really big game. As disappointing as it was to see him leave, I didn't at all think his absence would cripple the Chiefs' offense. Maybe make it less explosive, but I was still confident the Chiefs would be able to score enough to win without him. WR Dwayne Bowe finished the drive with a 6-yard TD catch; but the Colts came right back.
I've been a big fan of CB Dunta Robinson for most of his career - and still am. But now in his 10th NFL season and showing his age, he isn't nearly as fast as he used to be. So after watching speedy WR T.Y. Hilton burn him a couple of times on the Colts' opening drive, including on a 10-yard TD catch (photos below), I was like, "This is the game plan? Having Robinson cover T.Y. Hilton?" I wonder why the Chiefs' coaching staff thought that had any chance of being successful. I didn't see Robinson on the field much after that. I don't know if he was injured or just being benched. Either way I was OK with not seeing his great dreads on the field, because he figured to be a liability to the Chiefs' defense all day. Dunta finished with 1 tackle (1-0).

The Colts also have a CB with sick dreads who shouldn't have been on the field. Slowed by a groin injury, the aforementioned Greg Toler was directly responsible for Kansas City's next 10 points. First he missed a tackle, allowing Bowe to turn a short pass into a 63-yard gain (photos below), setting up a FG. Then on the Chiefs' next drive he was beaten badly deep by speedy WR Donnie Avery for a 79-yard TD, making the score 17-7. That's was it for Greg (not just for the game, for the season - he was put on injured reserve after the game), but after seeing how poorly he was running, you wonder why he was even in uniform to begin with. I don't know, maybe he was OK at the start and aggravated the injury at some point in the 1st quarter.

Things quickly got worse for the Colts, as RB Trent Richardson, on his 1st carry of the game, fumbled without being hit. The Chiefs recovered and drove 17 yards for another TD on the ensuing possession to make it 24-7 early in the 2nd quarter. That was it for Trent. He spent the remainder of his 1st career playoff game on the bench. After the Colts drove for a FG, the Chiefs scored on their 5th straight possession, upping their lead to 31-10 on a 4-yard TD run by Charles' replacement, RB Knile Davis. 

The Colts turned the ball over again on their 1st play from scrimmage in the 2nd half, with CB Husain Abdullah getting an INT and returning it 4 yards to the Colts' 18-yard line. 3 plays later it was 38-10. At that point I was feeling pretty good; but at no point did I think the lead, even as large as it was, was safe. Having seen how porous the Chiefs' defense has been late in the season and having watched the Chiefs nearly blow a 35-10 lead at Oakland in Week 15, I thought the Colts, if they ever stopped turning the ball over, would score a bunch of points.

The Colts drove 80 yards for a TD on their next drive then finally made a play on defense, with a sack by DE Robert Mathis causing QB Alex Smith to fumble. DT Ricardo Mathews tried to recover the ball (top right photo) but only knocked it closer to the sideline before LB Kelvin Sheppard (reaching for the ball in bottom right photo) got the FR. Actually it looked like Sheppard slid out of bounds before securing possession, but the officials ruled otherwise. The Colts cashed that in with a 41-yard TD drive and followed that by forcing the Chiefs to go three-and-out for the first time all game, with CB Josh Gordy breaking up a pass to Bowe on 3rd and 5.   

But after the Chiefs punted the Colts went back into self-destruct mode with their 4th turnover (Abdullah's 2nd INT) of the game, at their own 28-yard line. The Chiefs turned that into a FG, and the Colts then drove 80 yards for a TD to pull within 41-31 at the end of the 3rd quarter. With all the momentum on the Colts' side, the Chiefs' task continued to get even more difficult as injuries to key players kept piling up. Davis and Pro Bowl LB Justin Houston left the game with knee injuries, and Pro Bowl CB Brandon Flowers left with a concussion. And then there were two plays that went against the Chiefs early in the 4th that convinced me it just wasn't going to be their day.

On the 1st play of the 4th, on 3rd and 8 a blown coverage left RB Cyrus Gray wide open along the sideline for what should have been an easy 41-yard TD; but instead Smith overthrew the pass.The Chiefs punted to the 10-yard line, and the Colts marched right back down the field - to the 2-yard line. On 2nd and goal RB Donald Brown took the handoff and was hit and fumbled the ball at the 2. So hard was the hit by S Eric Berry that the ball had enough velocity to land well behind the line of scrimmage and off to the side - a location where the Chiefs likely would have been in good position for a scoop and score. But before the ball got into the backfield it first hit C Samson Satele and then deflected directly back to QB Andrew Luck, who not only recovered the fumble at the 5-yard line, he ran it into the end zone for a TD to make it 41-38.  

After seeing that play, I knew the Chiefs were in trouble. Although they still led, I felt like from there it wasn't a matter of if they would lose, only how they would lose. The how came on the Colts' next possession. After the Chiefs settled for another FG to make it 44-38, the Colts took the lead as Hilton got open deep behind safeties Kendrick Lewis and Quintin Demps for a 64-yard TD catch (photo below), capping a ridiculously easy 4-play, 80-yard drive.
Trailing for the first time but only needing a FG to win, the Chiefs on three plays drove from their 20-yard line to the Colts' 39 and could have gotten into FG range without making another first down. But the Colts' D forced Smith into a crucial intentional grounding penalty; and on 4th and 11 two plays later Bowe made the catch against coverage by Gordy but landed with both feet out of bounds (photo below), clinching the victory for the Colts.
The Colts finished with a 536-513 edge in total yards (how often do you see a playoff game with both teams over 500 yards?) and averaged 8.2 yards per play. Almost always a -3 turnover margin in the playoffs equals defeat, but the Colts overcame even that. Hilton took the early lead for the postseason head dread (you think?) with 13 catches for 224 yards and the 2 TD. Gordy, who did well in place of Toler, had 5 tackles (4-1) and 1 PBU. Sheppard finished with 4 tackles (2-2) and that big FR. LB Erik Walden had 3 tackles (1-2), 1 TFL, and 1 PBU. Toler (2-0), Mathews (1-1), and DT Ricky Jean Francois (1-1) each had 2 tackles, with 1 of Jean Francois' tackles being a sack. For the Chiefs, Lewis finished with 5 tackles (3-2) and 1 PBU. WR Dexter McCluster had 7 catches for 52 yards, and WR Junior Hemingway caught 2 passes for 30 yards ..... I would love to have seen the Chiefs advance to the next round; but with as many injuries as they had, no doubt the Colts will be able to give the Patriots a much better game than the Chiefs would have.

The San Francisco 49ers continued their recent run of success against the Green Bay Packers, defeating them for the 4th time in the last 2 seasons and the 2nd time in the playoffs, 23-20 in frigid Green Bay on a 33-yard FG on the last play of the game, to advance to round 2. QB Colin Kaepernick, who shredded the Packers' defense for 181 yards rushing in last year's 45-31 2nd round playoff victory and for 412 yards passing in a 34-28 victory to begin this season, was a bit less prolific this time but still remained a major thorn in the side of the Packers' finishing with 227 yards passing and 98 yards rushing on 7 carries.
77 of Kaepernick's rushing yards came on 3 key plays that were the major reason the 49ers won. On the drive after the Packers scored a TD to take a 7-6 lead in the 2nd quarter, he ran for 42 yards to the 13-yard line, and 2 plays later the 49ers regained the lead. On the drive after the Packers scored a TD to take a 17-13 lead in the 4th quarter, Kaepernick ran for 24 yards to the Green Bay 33-yard line on 3rd 4, and 2 plays later the 49ers regained the lead. And on the 49ers' final drive, after the Packers had scored a FG to tie the game at 20 with 5:06 remaining, Kaepernick did in the Packers yet again, scrambling for a gain of 11 (photo above) on 3rd and 8 and moving the ball into FG range at the 27-yard line with 1:07 remaining. 5 plays later the 49ers were on their way to the 2nd round.
DE Ray McDonald had a good game for the 49ers, finishing with 4 tackles (2-2), including a half sack. He might have gotten another sack on a key play early in the 4th but didn't because he was blatantly held by one of Green Bay's O-linemen. I'm not quite sure how the officials missed it, but no penalty was called, and the Packers converted on 4th and 2 and scored a TD two plays later. Reserve RB Anthony Dixon, who like McDonald has dreads too short to be seen easily, had a 10-yard reception (photo above) to the GB 30 in the 3rd quarter on his only touch of the game; but the drive ended with a punt when Kaepernick was sacked on 3rd down, taking SF out of FG range.
Trailing 6-0 and with their offense having gone three-and-out on their first three possessions of the afternoon, the Packers got a spark when CB Tramon Williams got an INT to end the 49ers' third possession. Suddenly their offense came alive, cashing in the turnover with a 14-play, 70-yard TD drive. Williams, who nearly got an INT on 1st and goal on the 49ers' opening drive (photo above), finished with 2 tackles (2-0) and 2 PBU in addition to the INT. The Packers had two CBs with dreads on the field for most of the game, with Davon House filling in for starter Sam Shields, who was injured on the second play from scrimmage. House's PBU on 3rd and goal in the end zone (left photo below) forced the 49ers to settle for a FG on their opening drive. And he again had the coverage on a 3rd and 6 pass into the end zone intended for WR Michael Crabtree that fell incomplete (right photo below), causing SF to again have to settle for a FG on their second drive and a 6-0 lead. Crabtree vehemently complained to the officials both times that House should have been called for pass interference, but no flags were thrown. (You know, in games like this one where it's really cold, it sure seems officials call fewer penalties. I think they just want to get the game over with ASAP.)

House finished with 4 tackles (4-0) and 2 PBU. S M.D. Jennings had 3 tackles (3-0) but unfortunately was unable to make the tackle in time on RB Frank Gore's 10-yard TD run in the 2nd quarter (photo below). 230-pound rookie RB Eddie Lacy battered the 49ers' defense, carrying 21 times. Or was it the 49ers' defense battering him? His longest run was for an 8-yard gain, and he finished with 81 yards rushing ....... As for the 49ers' chances moving forward, remember that they lost the Super Bowl last season, and it's been two decades since the last time a Super Bowl loser got back to the Super Bowl the following season.
The San Diego Chargers, fortunate just to be in the playoffs, proved they belong, whipping the Bengals 27-10 in Cincinnati. The Bengals dominated in total yards 439-318, but that meant absolutely nothing because they were -4 in turnover margin. A killer fumble by rookie RB Giovani Bernard at the SD 4-yard line ended a 2nd quarter drive, keeping the game tied at 7. Then QB Andy Dalton had turnovers on three consecutive drives in the 2nd half - 2 INTs and a fumble on a play on which he wasn't even hit. The Chargers cashed in Dalton's miscues for only 6 points, but that upped their lead from 14-10 to 20-10. The Chargers outscored the Bengals 20-0 in the 2nd half.

CB Adam Jones (7-0) and LB Vontaze Burfict (2-5) each had 7 tackles for Cincinnati. S Reggie Nelson had 4 tackles (4-0), and CB Dre Kirkpatrick had 2 (2-0), one of them coming when he stopped RB Danny Woodhead for a 3-yard gain on the game's 2nd play from scrimmage (right photo above). RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (left photo above) was effective, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. But evidently the Bengals' game plan wasn't for him to get very many carries, no matter how well he was doing. He finished with 42 yards rushing on 8 carries.
With all the great dreads there are in Bengals uniforms, I was hoping they would win. But lessening the disappointment is that we'll have at least one more chance to see the awesome dreads of one of my favorite players, Chargers rookie S Jahleel Addae (photo above, celebrating his FR in the 3rd quarter). I was a bit worried Addae wouldn't make it to the NFL after he went undrafted last April. But after signing with San Diego as a free agent, he easily made the team and has been on the field often this season (although too often with his dreads reduced). He finished this game with 5 tackles (4-1) and had the FR on Dalton's fumble. LB Reggie Walker contributed for the Chargers with 5 tackles (3-2) and 1 PBU, and DT Cam Thomas had 2 tackles (2-0), including 1 sack.


I could say that I was so devastated after seeing the Chiefs lose that I didn't feel like watching the second game last Saturday between the Saints and Eagles. But that would only be half true. In reality there's so great a lack of dreads on these two teams that I wouldn't have been very interested watching no matter when they played. The Saints pulled off the mini-upset, kicking a 32-yard FG on the last play of the game to win a thriller 26-24 at Philadelphia for the franchise's first ever playoff road victory. The stats say that rookie RB Khiry Robinson rushed for 45 yards on 8 carries and rookie DT John Jenkins had 4 tackles (4-0) for New Orleans; but I'll have to take their word for it because I didn't see any of it. Robinson (photo on left but don't bother looking for any dreads because he has them reduced), getting a chance because regular RB Pierre Thomas was injured, gained 22 of his 45 yards on 3 carries on the Saints' game-winning drive. I may have missed this game, but I won't miss the Saints' 2nd round game at Seattle.


OK. Let's now start our look at the players with dreads on every team in the 2013 season. I tried to keep up with all the player transactions; but I know I probably missed a few, so the info for some players might not be entirely accurate. The grade I assign for each team's dreads is my own opinion and mostly is determined by three factors: how many players with dreads a team has, how good (or not) those players are, and how sick (or not) their dreads are. There's no scientific formula. The three categories don't weigh equally for each team. Also, new for this year I'll be listing a best player and best dreads for each division. This too is my opinion, and I'd love to hear from you if you disagree.
The roster of players with dreads is current for teams still playing. For all other teams the I used their rosters as they stood when they played their final game of the season (regular season or playoffs). Players listed as active are/were on a team's 53-man roster. Players listed as inactive are/were either on the practice squad (PS) or the injured reserve list (IR). I was going to lead off with a look at 2 divisions this week; but since this report was already gone on too long, I'll only do one. 


Best player with dreads: Stephon Gilmore (BUF)
Player with the best dreads: Philip Wheeler (MIA)


Four CBs, who combined for only 3 INT in 2013, comprise the bulk of the Bills' roster. Stephon Gilmore one of the best young corners in the league; but it's hard to get Pro Bowl recognition playing for a losing team and while getting only 2 INT. Ron Brooks, who missed Weeks 2-5 with a broken foot, arguably with the most colorful dreads in the league (right photo below, from an OTA practice on May 30). Nickell Robey, who for some reason wasn't drafted, got beat for a TD by WR Kenny Stills in Week 8 (left photo below) but also scored team's only TD by a player with dreads on a 19-yard pick 6 at Miami a week earlier. Brandon Smith signed in early October after spending training camp with Packers and starting season on Bills' practice squad. Ronnie Wingo, in his 1st season with dreads, didn't play much (1 carry for 4 yards). Great dreads on the PS.

ACTIVE                                     INACTIVE

CB Ron Brooks                         CB Mario Butler (PS)
CB Stephon Gilmore                OT Edawn Coughman (PS)

CB Nickell Robey
CB Brandon Smith
RB Ronnie Wingo

GRADE: B ..... (Grade last year: B)


Not many players with dreads here, but still a lot more than last year; and the few on the team have some of the best dreads in the league. Free agent signees Philip Wheeler (#52) and Dannell Ellerbe (both tackling RB C.J. Spiller in photo on right) played most of the snaps for Dolphins' defense; but apparently Wheeler played so poorly that he might be released during the offseason. Rookie Dallas Thomas appeared in 6 games but didn't play much. DEs Jared Odrick and Olivier Vernon have been growing their hair and might have turned it into dreads already; but after seeing videos of them both, I want to wait a little longer just to be sure before welcoming them to the house. 

ACTIVE                         INACTIVE

LB Dannell Ellerbe       OT Jason Weaver (PS)
OT Dallas Thomas
LB Philip Wheeler

GRADE: B+ ..... (LY: D-)


Number of players with dreads dropped significantly from last year after Deion Branch and Brandon Lloyd were not re-signed, and Jermaine Cunningham didn't make the team. Also, CB Marquice Cole, cut and re-signed at least twice during the season, was cut after Week 16 and is not currently on the team. Brandon Spikes has best dreads on the team but unfortunately will miss playoffs after being put on IR list after Week 17 with a bad knee. Dont'a Hightower's dreads now easily visible (photo) - when he doesn't have them reduced, that is. LeGarrette Blount outstanding in his 1st season with team and should be major factor in the seasons ahead.

ACTIVE                                    INACTIVE
RB LeGarrette Blount              LB Taylor Reed (PS)
RB Brandon Bolden                 LB Brandon Spikes (IR)
LB Dont'a Hightower

GRADE: C ...... (LY: A-)

Who woulda thunk it? The Jets have the most players with dreads in this division. And that's even after CBs Kyle Wilson and Isaiah Trufant (during the offseason) and Antonio Cromartie (after Week 14) cut off their dreads. Chris Ivory, acquired in a trade with the Saints, and free agent signee Willie Colon (both in bottom photo) both were major assets for Jets' offense. Colon played in all 16 games for first time since 2009. Ivory's excellent season unfortunately meant there was little playing time for Alex Green, who was picked up after being released by Packers at end of training camp. WR Clyde Gates still prefers reduced dreads but at least had them flowing freely for a few more games than in previous seasons. After he went on IR after Week 6, veteran Josh Cribbs was signed and upgraded Jets' special teams' play until he too went on IR after Week 13. Youngster Damon Harrison (sacking Tom Brady in Week 7 in top photo) looks like he's headed for a very nice career on the D-line. And look out next season for talented WR Dwight Jones, signed to practice squad near end of season, who is giving the NFL another shot after missing his rookie season in 2012 to care for his ailing infant son (who sadly has now died).

ACTIVE                                          INACTIVE

G Willie Colon                                WR Josh Cribbs (IR)
LB Jermaine Cunningham              WR Clyde Gates (IR)
RB Alex Green                               WR Dwight Jones (PS)
WR Saalim Hakim
DT Damon Harrison
RB Chris Ivory
CB Ellis Lankster

GRADE: A- ...... (LY: C-)


1. After gaining 5 yards on the first play from scrimmage, Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles runs for 6 more on the second play and picks up the 1st down as Colts LB Kelvin Sheppard makes the tackle at the Chiefs' 29-yard line. It was the 1st of 4 tackles (2-2) for Sheppard, who later in the game also had a key FR.


2. 7 plays later, still on the opening drive, RB Knile Davis is stopped by CB Greg Toler after a 5-yard run to the Colts' 16-yard line, converting a 2nd and 5. 5 plays later Chiefs scored a TD to complete a 14-play, 82-yard drive. Toler finished the game with 2 tackles (2-0), both on this drive, and left the game later in 1st quarter after giving up 2 big pass plays. Toler was placed on injured reserve after the game with a groin injury, ending his season.


3. Jamaal Charles also left the game early, as a Chiefs' staff member assists him on his way to the locker room after he suffered a concussion on the opening drive. Charles had gained 5, 6, and 7 yards on his first 3 carries and seemed headed for a very big afternoon; but instead Chiefs had to play most of the game without their top offensive threat.


4. On 2nd and 12, after a Ricky Jean Francois sack on 1st down, WR Junior Hemingway makes the catch for a 17-yard gain as S Antoine Bethea makes the tackle at the KC 37-yard line with 11:00 remaining in 3rd quarter. But the drive ended three plays later when QB Alex Smith was sacked and fumbled the ball. Hemingway finished with 2 catches for 30 yards.


5. On Chiefs' next possession, CB Josh Gordy breaks up a pass intended for WR Dwayne Bowe on 3rd and 5 with 5:58 remaining in the 3rd. Chiefs punted for the first time in the game on the next play. This was the only PBU for Gordy, who finished with 5 tackles (4-1).


6. On 2nd and goal from the KC 2, after recovering a fumble by RB Donald Brown at the 5-yard line, QB Andrew Luck scores the TD, diving into the end zone past DE Tyson Jackson - a key play that cut Chiefs' lead to 41-38 with 10:38 remaining in the game. Jackson finished with 0 tackles.


7. After taking a handoff on 1st and 10, WR Dexter McCluster stiff-arms Antoine Bethea but can't break away from him and ends up getting shoved out of bounds at the Colts' 26-yard line after a gain of 3 midway through 4th quarter. McCluster finished with these 3 yards rushing, 7 catches for 52 yards, and 1 punt return for 6 yards. Chiefs kicked a FG 3 plays later to increase their lead to 44-38; but Colts scored a TD on their next drive and stopped Chiefs' final drive to pull out a wild 45-44 victory, extending Chiefs' losing streak in playoff games to 7 in a row since their last win in 1993.


8. 49ers DE Ray McDonald (#91) helps CB Tramaine Brock and S Eric Reid tackle Packers rookie RB Eddie Lacy after a gain of 1 on the first play from scrimmage at Green Bay. Packers went three-and-out on their opening drive. McDonald, who was not given credit for the tackle on this play, finished with 4 tackles (2-2), including a half sack. You can't see McDonald's dreads here because he has a head scarf on and his dreads are now so short they don't extend out from the bottom of the scarf.


9. After kicking field goals on their first two drives of the game, 49ers' third possession comes to an end when CB Tramon Williams intercepts a deep pass by QB Colin Kaepernick at the Green Bay 14-yard line on 2nd and 7 early in 2nd quarter .....


10. ..... Not satisfied with just getting the INT, Williams tries to knock Kaepernick out of the game, lowering his head and attempting to spear Kaepernick as the QB tries to tackle him on the return at the GB 28-yard line .....


11. ..... Both players go down after the collision, with Williams getting credit for a 17-yard return to the 30-yard line. Both players survived the collision and remained in the game. Tramon had a good game, finishing with 2 tackles (2-0) and 2 PBU in addition to the pick.


12. Eddie Lacy tries to avoid being tackled by LB Ahmad Brooks while carrying the ball during 1st half. Lacy fought for every yard all game against 49ers' rugged run defense. He carried 22 times and never gained more than 8 yards on any of them, finishing with 81 yards rushing and 2 catches for 7 yards and no TD.
Packers gave 49ers all they could handle but fell short, as the defending NFC champs advanced to 2nd round with a last-second 23-20 victory.


13. Bengals WR Marvin Jones tries to put a move on Chargers' sick rookie S Jahleel Addae but can't shake him, and Addae is able to make the tackle at the San Diego 48-yard line for a 9-yard reception on 3rd and 13 midway through 1st quarter, ending Bengals' opening drive of the day.


14. Jahleel Addae goes airborne as he helps S Eric Weddle tackle RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis at the SD 44-yard line with 10:50 remaining in 2nd quarter. Green-Ellis picked up 7 yards on the play to convert a 3rd and 1. Bengals scored a TD 7 plays later to tie the game 7-7. Green-Ellis finished with 42 yards rushing on only 8 carries. This was one of 5 tackles (4-1) for Addae, who also had a FR later in the game.


15. LB Vontaze Burfict stops RB Danny Woodhead after a 1-yard run to the SD 10-yard line on 2nd and 12 late in 2nd quarter. Chargers punted 2 plays later, and Bengals were able to drive for a FG just before halftime to take a 10-7 lead. Burfict finished with 7 tackles (2-5), including a half sack.


16. S Reggie Nelson knocks WR Eddie Royal off his feet at the 6-yard line after a 33-yard reception to the 3-yard line on a key play midway through 3rd quarter, as CB Dre Kirkpatrick looks on. Kirkpatrick had the coverage on the play but stumbled after jamming Royal at the line of scrimmage, and Royal got open 5 yards behind him. Nelson came over to save the TD, but Chargers got the TD anyway on the next play to take the lead for good at 14-10.


17. After Chargers upped their lead to 20-10, DT Cam Thomas (sorry, but you have to look hard to see the dreads) sacks QB Andy Dalton for a 3-yard loss at the SD 40 on 1st and 10 with 3:40 to play in the game. The next 3 plays were incomplete passes, ending Bengals' last hope for a comeback. Thomas finished with 2 tackles (2-0).


18. On the 2nd play of Chargers next drive, RB Ronnie Brown finishes off Bengals with 58-yard run to the house, cutting to the right to elude Dre Kirkpatrick, who nearly caught him from behind at the 10-yard line.


19. With most of the fans gone, Dre Kirkpatrick deals with the disappointment while Bengals' offense futilely tries to score on their final drive in the final 2 minutes. Dre finished with 2 tackles (2-0), and we'll never know what would have happened if he hadn't allowed Royal to make that big play. Chargers advanced to round 2 with a 27-10 road victory over Bengals, as Bengals lose in the 1st round for the 3rd straight year. It's also their 5th straight playoff defeat since their last win in 1990. Maybe next year they can play the Chiefs.


We'll find out if the 1st round winners are serious contenders or not as they take on the top teams in the league. And we'll focus on the dreads in two NFC divisions.


  1. Are you going to do a college dread bowl review? (Also I really want ex-Packer Jerron McMillian to be re-signed)

    1. You probably noticed that I didn't do my bowl review last year until April. Hopefully I'll have this year's report ready before then, but it's not going to be anytime soon.
      The Packers cut Jeremy Ross during the season and he went on to have a good season with the Lions; so hopefully the same will happen with McMillian next season.
      I'm sure we all want to see McMillian in the league, but he's got to play much better. GB is a team dying for better play from their safeties, and yet they still cut him right in the middle of the season - which they never do with players they draft. That's how poorly he was playing. Too many missed tackles and too many mistakes. And then NOBODY picks him up. That must have been pretty humbling for him. Hopefully this will be a wake-up call, and he'll be ready to do better when he gets another chance.

  2. Wait I JUST read that the Chiefs signed him to a reserve-future deal!

  3. It looks like davone bess Is growing his dreads. Look at his latest mugshot

    1. Good to see the dreads back, but .......

      Davone Bess has been acting very strange lately. I don't know, maybe he's bipolar. Or maybe he's just been smoking too much weed.
      Whatever his problem is, he better get some help, or else he'll be gone from the NFL pretty quick.