May 18, 2021

Pro Football

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It was a day for road teams

4 min read
It was a day for road teams

Michael from Winfield, IL

Watching Detroit v. Kansas City and Chicago v. Minnesota combined with all three teams’ performances in the other non-division games leaves me more impressed with the wins over Chicago and Minnesota. This could be a four-horse race going into Week 17. What does Green Bay need to do to build a cushion other than taking care of division games?

Cushion? Don’t concern yourself with a cushion. Just concern yourself with the next game. Just look how difficult it was to get to 4-0 for all the teams that tried this week. Kansas City and New England barely pulled it off and everyone else with a shot failed. Every week is a new adventure in the NFL.

With the players having the weekend off, will most of them have watched the Cowboys-Saints game to get a head start studying their opponent? Or, is the film broken down by the Packers’ video department such that they benefit more from that source?

In these circumstances, it’s often both. The players will watch the game on TV and then study the film breakdowns as well.

Why was Vontaze Burfict ejected for his helmet-to-helmet hit but not Derek Barnett? Burfict was the first to make contact with his opponent while Barnett hit Williams while he was being held up and driven backwards by his teammates. Was this an ejection based on reputation?

I have to believe it factored in. While I applaud the officials for the ejection, I read it was after a replay review. To which I add, hallelujah. My face is finally a little less blue, except of course it makes one wonder why Barnett’s hit wasn’t reviewed. At least I’m not aware that it was.

Mike, we Brewer fans need a group hug and a prayer! Do you have any tried-and-true magic rituals that could help the team heal up fast and shock the baseball world? If you do, then IT…IS…TIME…

I have no magic words. Baseball was never meant to have everything on the line in a one-shot deal, but it is what it is. With everything they’ve done the past month, the Brewers have no reason to doubt themselves.

Wow, some very surprising scores this week. I think on any given day, any team can beat anyone (with the obvious exception of the Miami Minnows). What score shocked you the most?

Probably the Buccaneers putting up 55 to beat the Rams in LA. But the bigger shocker is that of all the games played Sunday afternoon, home teams won only two of them. It was a day for road teams, for whatever reason.

Liam from Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Two years later and the Packers go into their fifth game of the season at Dallas with a 3-1 record. The schedule-makers surely are talented. Can we expect the same drama as 2017?

All four games the Packers have played in that stadium have been filled with drama, right? Why should we expect any different?

If you were the Packers coach in last Thursday’s game and if the Packers had scored with 20 seconds to go, would you kick the point and take your chances in OT or would you go for two to win the game?

I don’t normally answer hypotheticals, but this one intrigues me because I was thinking about it during the game and there were so many arguments on both sides. Playing at home, coming from behind with momentum, the conventional move is to play for OT. But as much as the defense was struggling on the night, maybe you should take your shot to win. Then again, after so many failed go-to-go tries in the fourth quarter, how confident are you in any single play from the 2-yard line? I never settled on an answer because I didn’t have to.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

A problem not being discussed is the officials deferring to replay when in doubt by ruling that the play is a score or turnover. And the officiating experts seem to endorse this view. The problem is that it shifts the burden of proof (so to speak) on close plays involving a score or turnover. I prefer officials calling what they see rather than intentionally swallowing the whistle or signaling a score as the default and hoping for a camera angle.

I’ve discussed this issue several times in this space in the past. I think letting the action play out is, generally speaking, the best course of action. But I no longer agree with giving the call on the field the weight and precedence it’s given. Everyone knows on these bang-bang plays, the call on the field is an official’s best guess. He can’t be expected to do any better. So why should a best guess matter? Replay will always provide a clearer, more comprehensive look at the play, so for plays that go to review, call it how you see it on the video. Period.

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