One MNF game and NFL Week 14 will be done. Did we learn anything this week we didn't already know? What did we know that was reinforced? What did we think we know that got turned on its head? Let's take a ride in the Sports Van and find out!
NFL Week 14 Review
Referees Blow it Again
NFL referees took two touchdowns off the Patriots scoreboard in a game that was won by the opposing team 23-16.
After years of resisting the call for full-time officials in 2017, the league took 20% of its part-time force of 122 referees and put them in a "Full-Time Program." This program worked with the officials in the offseason on sharpening their game.
This season they quietly killed the program and have been running on the old part-time only scheme for the entire year. Let's break this down to the base fact. The league is making money hand-over-foot and even though they have had officials egregiously blow critical calls (last years Rams/Saints no-call when the DB trucked the WR in coverage) at an epic rate they would rather take a program that directly impacts the quality of officiating and kill it for one reason. They are having a hard time in negotiations with the officials union.
So the next time you see an official stand there with a whistle in their mouth and look blind while a mugging is happening in front of him you only have to look at his billionaire boss who thinks the product as-is works just fine.
Seahawks vs Rams 12-28
The LA Rams found their stroke. They left the line with tires smoking and they never took their foot off the gas. The Rams D showed up holding Russell Wilson to 22/36 for 245 yards 0 TD, 1 INT and 25 yards on the ground. RB Chris Carson only got 76 yards on 15 carries and rookie D.K. Metcalf was the most productive receiver with 78 yards as the Rams back seven shut down the primary outlets. Goff was 22/31 for 293 yards, 2 TD and 2 picks. Gurley got 79 yards and a TD on 23 carries. The offense was balanced and keyed off the defense which had a spectacular day. If you are a Rams fan it felt good after weeks of the opposite. If you are a Seahawks fan the upswing the team was on has been anything but lately and you are left wondering.
Check out the highlights!
Chiefs vs Patriots 23-16
What many thought would be the game of the day (for that see 49ers vs Saints below) was a gripping contest as you watched one of the faces of the NFL take another step forward and one of the old-guard refusing to take a step back. Mahomes was 26/40 for 283 yds, 1 TD and 1 INT. He did this on a gimpy knee and a thumb that had him palming the ball on certain throws. Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill made big plays in the passing game but it was rookie Mecole Hardman who took his one target 48 yards to the house. Brady was 19/36 for 169 yards, 1 TD and 1 pick but seriously, I can not count the drops and bad routes. Julian Edelman was the only receiver for the Pats that has reliable skills and he is not best suited to WR1 duty. The Patriots need a TE. They need some help at WR and they need it now. I don't see it coming and change is the only constant. Hello KC, good night New England.
Check out the highlights!
49ers vs Saints 48-46
Brees took the Saints on a 9 play TD drive to open the game. Actually, he did it the first four times and he wasn't done turning in an epic performance before the day was done. Garoppolo used the first drive to send a message about how unimpressed he was with completions of 19 yards, 31 yards, 25 yards, an incompletion, and then a 6-yard score. He finished the night 26/35 for 349 yards, 4 TD and 1 INT. Brees was 29/40, 249 yards and 5 TD's! A line that would win 9 times out of 8. But not yesterday. Not with RB Raheem Mostert getting it done through the air as well as on the ground. Not with Sanders racking up 157 yards on critical downs, not with the defense coming up with huge stops and turnovers and certainly not while the best TE in the NFL put the game and the team on his back at the end of regulation to rumble 53 yards on 4th and 2 while carrying 3 defenders on his back the last 30 feet to put them in position for the winning field goal with 02 seconds left on the clock.
Check out the highlights. Be amazed!
Another Left Coast Sports Post