Fanview: 1/24/22

Joe Torosian

By Joe Torosian —

“”I know the world isn’t fair, but why isn’t it ever unfair in my favor?”.”—Bill Watterson

Kick it!

The coin flip in overtime did not decide the Bills-Chiefs playoff game. It decided which team got the ball first. The rules are well-established, and every team in, every game, is given four quarters to avoid overtime.

Overtime, where you get a possession if you make a defensive stop.

With 13-seconds left to play last night at Arrowhead, both defenses were punch-drunk—exhausted. The Chiefs had three timeouts, which guaranteed (with the QB they have) a near eternity for them to score.

The Bills couldn’t do anything about the timeouts, but they could do something about the ticks. They needed to squib the kick to get one or, possibly, three ticks off the clock. They didn’t.

Yes, there’s a risk kicking a squib. Yes, there’s potential for disaster, but this is the playoffs, and you’re playing against the best quarterback of the last half-decade, and your defense is spaghetti-legged. You don’t want to go to overtime. It would have been worth the risk.

Instead, the Bills ended up going to overtime, and their punch-drunk, spaghetti-legged defense couldn’t get off the field, and they lost. It wasn’t the NFL’s overtime rules, and it wasn’t a coin flip. It was a case of the last quarterback—Patrick Mahomes—standing that ended Buffalo’s season.

Complaints about the overtime rules reek of “Everybody Gets a Trophy” sponsorship. Fairness in football is four quarters. Period. Anything other is at your own risk.

I am asking grace for Cam Akers. I think the double-fumble performance won’t be repeated. Regarding Jalen Ramsey getting beat by Mike Evans, I believe it will make Ramsey better.

Last Add Akers: However, if double-fumble performance is repeated…Hello USFL!

The collapse and subsequent (stressful) survival were not what Rams fans wanted to see. But maybe it was what Matthew Stafford needed to unhinge the perpetual monkey off his back. Perhaps the cosmic powers behind football allowed the Tampa rally to give Stafford an audience/jury to take his team to victory in the final 42-seconds.

“Have you reached a verdict?”
“We find the defendant, John Matthew Stafford, an excellent NFL quarterback.”
Judge slams the gavel: “Criticism, dismissed!”

Sunday against the Buccaneers was the Rams’ best defensive performance of the season.

Tampa running back Leonard Fournette picked up 21 yards on his first two carries. And that means he gained only 30 yards on his last 11 carries. Maybe an argument could be made the Bucs didn’t give him the ball enough or that the Rams defense shut him down.

Safety Nick Scott has rendered Taylor Rapp expendable. (See chart at the bottom.) In Friday’s “From The RamCave” column, we said that Travin Howard needed to play a minimum of 40 snaps. Howard played 57 snaps, 45 in coverage. He was marvelous.

Offensively.

For all of its troubles in the interior, the Rams offensive line was solid against Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh yesterday. Austin Corbett and Dave Edwards didn’t grade out well, but they contributed to keeping Stafford upright. 

Joseph Noteboom (playing for Andrew Whitworth) graded out as the Rams’ best offensive lineman in pass protection. The highest-graded lineman overall was Rob Havenstein.

After the botched Brian Allen snap at the top of the fourth quarter (which resulted in a Tampa turnover on downs because of the defense), the Rams had 16 offensive snaps. Eleven of them were under center, but only two had an empty backfield. On the deep shot to Cooper Kupp to seal the game, Sony Michel was in the backfield with Stafford to take the snap.

Tangent Dreams

Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel (Available thru Amazon–click on pic)

The Buccaneers “botched” blitz was another case of Stafford excelling against the blitz all season.

Never bet against a quarterback named “Joe.” Joe Burrow will be the next great “Joe” if he can be spared, separated, or protected from prolonged exposure to the Bengal experience. 

I declared the Tennessee Titans the Luca Brasi of the NFL in Friday’s column. They’re so physical that every touchdown they scored was a “masculine touchdown.”

Well, if they are the Luca Brasi of the NFL, then they’re sleeping with the fishes this morning…thanks to Joe Burrow.

With free agents and age creeping up on them, you have to wonder if Saturday night was Zen Rodgers and the Packers’ last hurrah. If Zen moves on and Davante Adams signs elsewhere, then the Pack will be in the wilderness offensively for the first time in 30 years. Back to the likes of Don Majkowski, Blair Kiel, and Anthony Dilweg lining up under center.

San Francisco 49ers HC (& Sean McVay’s paterfamilias) Kyle Shanahan has to look around the NFL with wonder. He just got by Zen Rodgers and watched Tom Brady, Matt Stafford, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and Patrick Mahomes, but the QB he’s going to war with in the NFC title game is Jimmy Garoppolo.

I hear the ghost Chick Hearn declaring: “And it’s nervous time at the Forum.”

Last Add Bills-Chiefs: I heard Allen versus Mahomes is akin to Manning-Brady. I get it, but when I watched Manning and Brady, I watched players who mastered their positions without dynamic physical abilities.

When I watch Allen-Mahomes, I see great quarterbacks with dynamic physical abilities. Those guys were positively trans-human (meaning more than human) last night.

***

Below is a chart of Rams players who contributed Sunday that were not acquired via major trade/signing, or drafted in the first round.

2015 2018 2019 2020
Rob Havenstein—2nd, #57, 2015 Joseph Noteboom—3rd, #89, 2018  David Long Jr.—3rd, #79, 2019  Cam Akers—2nd, #52, 2020 
2016 Brian Allen—4th, #111, 2018  Greg Gaines—4th, #134, 2019  Van Jefferson—2nd, #57, 2020
Tyler Higbee—4th, #110, 2016 Ogo Okoronkwo—5th, #160, 2018 Dave Edwards—5th, #169, 2019 Terrell Burgess—3rd, #104, 2020
2017 Travin Howard—7th, #231, 2018 Nick Scott—7th, #243, 2019  2021
Cooper Kupp—3rd, #69, 2017 Darious Williams—Free Agent/Signed 2018 Troy Reeder—Free Agent/Signed 2019 Ben Skowronek—7th, #251, 2021
Kendall Blanton—Free Agent/Signed 2019

Players who didn’t play yesterday, but contributed in 2021: Taylor Rapp (#61-2019),  Jordan Fuller (#199-2020), Robert Rochelle (#131-2021), Ernest Jones (#104-2021), Sebastian Joseph-Day (#195-2018), Alaric Jackson (FA-2021), Darrell Henderson (#70-2019).

When everyone starts to fret that the Rams don’t have draft picks. This is what they’ll have to work with the last weekend in April when the draft commences.

Round 3, Comp pick for Brad Holmes (GM Detroit).
Round 4, Comp pick for John Johnson (Signing with Cleveland).
Round 5, Rams own pick.
Round 6, Three comp picks for Samson Ebukam (49ers), Gerald Everett (Seahawks), and Troy Hill (Cleveland).
Round 7, Two picks, the Rams own and another for 2019 Aquib Talib trade to Miami.

This team knows what it’s doing.

Temple City & The Company of The Ages

Temple City & The Company of The Ages (available thru Amazon. Click on pic)

The Dude abides…
1,207
2 Corinthians 10:5

Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…and, the recently released, “Sin Virus.” All six available through Amazon.com.

www.JoeTorosian.com
jtbank1964@yahoo.com (Join his newsletter)
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b
Instagram: @joet13b

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3 Responses to Fanview: 1/24/22

  1. Dale says:

    Nice commentary. Can’t find much to disagree with.

    For all the Raheem Morris detractors out there, I think we have another “case dismissed”. The defense has steadily improved all year. The players love him. The results are hard to argue with. The youngsters are maturing and stepping up. The veteran acquisitions are proving their value.

    • joetadmin says:

      Thanks for the click and comment, Dale. I’m still not BIG on Raheem…but, yes, the defense has improved. I still think we’re a little soft in coverage sometimes…but we’re winning. “When you got wine you don’t need bread!” Winning is all that matters…and we desperately need this one Sunday.

      • Dale says:

        Stop the run, make JG beat you through the air. We do that, I think we win. We really should have beat them last time. The 3rd down call at the end of the first half killed us.

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