Chiefs Lucky to Win!

You can’t take any team lightly in the NFL!

It was a good thing the Chiefs played the AZ Cardinals.  If they had played any other team, with maybe the exception of the NY Jets, they would have lost.  They were lucky to have won that game!

Pass protection was horrible, 5 sacks on potentially the league MVP.  At least in my opinion Patrick Mahomes is one of three contenders, Todd Gurley  and  Drew Brees are the other two.  Make no doubt about it, the Chiefs are where they are today because of the play of Patrick Mahomes.  Up until this game against the Cardinals, the offensive line has played very well, but the NFL does not allow for any team to take another team lightly, just ask the Falcons, Patriots, Jaguars and Eagles.

The glaring issue is still the Chiefs deffese.  From my prospective watching the game in person, whoever is resonsible for calling the defensive plays, fronts, coverages and blitzes, are totally confused or have no clue.  When I can see from the stands that no one on the Chiefs defence is in postion to cover a back to the  single receiver side (TE) you can assume the apposing quarterback can see the same thing.  Sure enought the back runs a swing route and no one picked him up.  The back catches an uncontested pass for a touchdown.  I can assure you, when they ran that play in practice, he was never that open!

In the NFL you have to put your players in position to win every play.  It then comes down to are your players better than your apponnets on that play.  You can never allow your defense to be so out of postion that they don’t have the opportunity to succeed.    This has happened time after time this year.  Sometimes you get beat because someone, on a particular play, is better than you or your defense.  But to be put in situations where no matter how well you play the play, you can’t defend, and it is frustrating and demoralizing.  If it weren’t for an instinctive play by Justin Houston, when he intercepted a screen pass, the Chiefs could have easily lost this game.

Sometime changes are needed to get to where you want to go!

The Outdoor Quarterback

Looking Good So Far!

I can’t see anyone stopping the offensive engine of the Chiefs, at least for now. Keep the foot on the throttle.

I know it is only three games into the 2018 NFL season, but the Chiefs look good so far, at least on offense.  Patrick Mahomes is the real deal.  Playing like a seasoned veteran.  I am really impressed with his poise under pressure, nothing seams to rattle him.  The stage doesn’t appear to be to big for him either.  He is seeing the whole field very well and reading coverage’s quickly.  I can tell you that being in the system for one year and playing behind Alex Smith has taught him what it takes to be a professional NFL Quarterback.  It is one of the major factors in Patrick’s early success.  Having thrown 13 touchdown passes to nine different players with no interceptions is impressive, and not to mention historical!

Now for he Chiefs defense.  Talking with former Chiefs defensive players, they are literally embarrassed with the Chiefs performances to date.  It amazes me, and them, that a defensive team can give up points as quickly as the Chiefs do, particularly when they have a 21 or 28 point lead.  The Chiefs have several good defensive players so that convinces me, and all my fellow Chiefs alumni, that the play calling on defense and the overall scheme is not up to the level of playoff teams.  There is a time and place to play soft and keep plays in front of you, but I am not sure the Chiefs know when that is.

The only thing that could stop the Chiefs offensive machine are injuries.  If this team can stay healthy, I look for them to win 11 games and make the playoffs.  How far they go is up to the defense.

The Chiefs Kingdom  is on the Patrick Mahomes bandwagon, and rightfully so.  I know I am!

The Outdoor Quarterback.

Preseason Done, Thank God!

It will take three regular season games for most starters to be in game shape.

In all the years I either played played professional football or have been associated with the NFL, I have never seen such terrible performances by virtually every team I watched, including the Chiefs.

The other part of my observation was, several veteran players, starters specifically, haven’t played a complete half of football, in total, in the four preseason games.  My question is, how are any of these players going to be in game shape come the first regular season games?  The answer: they aren’t!  If you disagree, just watch the sidelines of the first half of the opening regular season games.  Watch how the offensive players look and act after a long drive.  Check out the defensive players after a 10 play drive by their opponents.  They will be bent over hands on hips and towels around their necks.  I promise the most popular guy on the sidelines will be the trainer with the oxygen bottles.  Now with the limited practice time the players have, due to the current CBA, none of them can get in the shape and condition they need to be in without substantial playing time in preseason games.  From what I saw this preseason, there were more than usual missed tackles, dropped balls, bad throws, players who couldn’t finish plays and just overall inconsistent play.  In my opinion it will be that way until about the third week in the regular season.  That’s about how long it will take for most of the players to get in game shape.

There is light at the end of the tunnel: fantasy football is just about to start.  Fantasy Football does make the season much more fun to watch.  Now if I could just pick the right players this year, the season will be far more enjoyable.  Two years in a row my top pick in the draft got injured in the first game and was out for the entire season.  Is that bad luck or terrible drafting?

The Outdoor Quarterback

Testing The RV Road!

Recently we purchased and RV, a Unity FX Leisure Travel Van, and we are about to take it on our and its madden voyage!  As a private pilot I feel very comfortable getting in the cockpit and operating any single engine and some multi engine airplanes.  But the RV has me really nervous.  Dealing with the hook ups and then emptying the grey and black tanks, filling up the fresh water tank, getting everything leveled and then, the most important function, making sure both TV’s work, has me a little concerned.  No pun intended, you just have to go get your hands dirty!  This is one of those situations that the practical experience is the only thing that will build your confidence!  Looking at videos and dvd’s can only take your so far.  At some point you need to take the plunge.  That time has come.

I know there will be some frustrating moments, it’s handling the challenges as they come up will be the real test.  Also, being in close quarters with your spouse when something goes wrong and neither one of you have clue what to do, will be the biggest challenge!  We have always traveled really well together, but in a confined space and nowhere to escape, per say, the situation exists for a little tension.  Only time will tell, that’s why the first adventure is only going to be 360 miles and relatively close to the dealership where we bought the RV.  Why take a chance!

Don’t get me wrong, we are both very excited about traveling around the country, seeing new places and experiencing new things like the worlds largest ball of twine –  as long as those experiences don’t include RV break downs.

I intend to write the Outdoor Quarterback Blog on the road.  Our intentions will be to travel to NFL Cities, watch and report on NFL games as well as fish, hunt, bike and explore other outdoor adventures when the opportunities present themselves.  We are both history buffs and are looking forward to seeing as many of the historical sites as we can.  We have a lot to look forward to.

I know this is going to be an adventure in many ways.  I will keep you posted on the good, the bad and the ugly!

The Outdoor Quarterback

Honor The Contract!

Julio needs to honor at least one or two more years of his existing contract.

Since coming into the league, one of my favorite players, and has always been my number one pick in fantasy football, Julio Jones, is absolutely wrong holding out for an extension on his current contract.  I have always been, and will always side with the players, for getting as much money as they can.  But in this situation Julio needs to play and honor his current contract for at least one or two more years.  The Falcons gave him a great deal with a substantial amount of guaranteed money.  Now that a few other receivers have signed contracts making more annual salary then he is, Julio feels he needs to hold out and not honor his current contract, which still has three years remaining.  He wants a new deal making him the highest payed receiver in the NFL.  With his guarantee money (signing bonus) and his annual salary, he is right there with any of the new contracts being signed.

The Falcons just secured Matt Ryan to an incredible contract.  That means Julio has his quarterback in place for several years, a huge security blanket for him.  Why not go to the Falcons, tell them he will honor his current contract and work towards an extension including more guaranteed money.  That will help the Falcons get other pieces of the puzzle put together to complete their team.  I have no question that the Falcons will be contending for the NFC Championship this coming season.  Distractions like this, with arguably their best player, can become a real problem for the organization.  He will get his extension, no question.  If he just waits to see what some of the other outstanding receivers sign for, Julio can set the mark on what the top receiver in the NFL will be paid.

How does it go, pigs get fat but hogs get slaughtered!

I am still going to make Julio my top choice in fantasy football.  If I could give him any advice it would to be smart, continue to prove to the Falcons you are the best wide receiver in the NFL and that winning the Super Bowl is all that matters and is his top priority.  That will get their attention.

The Outdoor Quarterback

Post Draft Vol 1!

Even with a young quarterback, the Chiefs could go deep in the NFL playoffs.

So, how did your team do in the 2018 NFL Draft?  I will tell you what I think about the Chiefs and few other teams I follow.  The Chiefs made a decision that defense was a major concern.  Loosing Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson a couple of corners, Marcus Peters being one, left very little doubt what the Chiefs were going to do.  Without a first round selection, the Chiefs had to wait for the opportunity to pick their guy, edge rusher Breeland Speaks, from Ole Miss.  Along with Dee Ford and Justin Houston, Breeland Speaks adds another pressure player to the Chiefs defense.

Another key free agent was wide receiver Sammy Watkins.  The question I have is how the rest of the league is going to defend the Chiefs offense.  If Patrick Mahomes plays to his potential, who is going to cover Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, Chris Conley and DeAnthoy Thomas?  Not to mention the leading rusher in the NFL, Kareem Hunt.  For the first time in many years the Chiefs have as good of skill players on offense as they have ever had.  Should be exciting to watch.

If the defense can improve to the middle of the defensive statistical charts, the Chiefs have a very good chance to go deep in the playoffs, even with a young quarterback in Patrick Mahomes.  The Chiefs are playing in the most difficult division, the AFC West, in the NFL.  I like their chances based on the new additions to their roster.

Mandatory off season mini camps around the NFL are just about to conclude.  The Chiefs will have a, “First Look “, for sponsors and special guest this week.  I am looking forward to seeing how they look on defense, just as much as I am interested in watching Patrick Mahomes lead the offense.

Times are changing at Arrowhead stadium and appears to be for the good!

The Outdoor Quarterback

NFL Scouting Combine, Something For NFL Junkies!

The NFL Combine is now must watch TV, football junkie or not!

If you are a NFL football junkie, then this weekend you were in heaven watching the NFL Scouting Combine.  I will admit I watched it off and on from start until the last day.  Of course I spent a lot of time watching the quarterbacks.  A couple of the guys I really like threw very well and were faster than I thought, Josh Allen from Wyoming and Baker Mayfield from Oklahoma.  There were a few others I thought helped themselves and a couple quarterbacks, I think, may have hurt their draft position.

The wide receivers and tight ends looked good.  The Alabama receiver, Calvin Ridley, lived up to his billing.  Ran very well, showed soft hands and ran  great routes.  I was most impressed with the tight end from Oklahoma, Mark Andrews.  Caught the ball very well, looked comfortable running his routes and appeared to always be under control.  The question I have would have about Andrews is his ability to block at the next level.  The Stanford TE, Dalton Schultz, caught my eye as well, and my guess is he can block.

The one player that may have moved himself from the second overall pick to possibly the number overall pick is running back Saquon Barkley.  Saquon stood out in every activity he participated in.  His performance at the combine was very impressive.  I think the Browns would be making a devastating mistake if they down’t take him with the first pick.  Having the fourth overall pick as well, Cleveland should be able to grab one of the top three quarterbacks.  I can guarantee that one of these three quarterbacks, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold will be on the board at pick number 4.  Now that all changes if they can sign a veteran free agent quarterback before the draft.

We will find out in late April!

The Outdoor Quarterback

My Top Three Quarterbacks In This Years Draft?

The three quarterbacks I like in this years NFL draft.

Every year I am drawn to the group of college quarterbacks being talked about and evaluated for the NFL draft.  Over the years the one conclusion I have been able to reach is, everyone sees something different in each of the quarterback prospects.  I have watched all the top rated quarterbacks play this past season, many of them several times.  There are a few I really like and think will develop into NFL starting quarterbacks.

There are three that stand out at the present time.  Those three have the key characteristics and skills to play in the NFL, they are Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Mason Rudolph.  In my opinion these three quarterbacks have next level talent.  I don’t think any of them are ready to step in and start as a rookie for any team.  Although there is one wild card among the top 8 or 9 talked about quarterbacks; Baker Mayfield.  He reminds me of Drew Brees with the running ability of Michael Vick.  Baker is a winner, plays with an uncontrollable desire to win.  He has the kind of attitude that he will do whatever it takes to win.  A player like that is hard to evaluate from a pure NFL style quarterback.  I know one thing, I would want him on my team.  I still don’t see him as one of the top quarterbacks being drafted, at least early.  Someone is going to select him, for sure.

Sam, Josh and Mason all are big strong throwers who have the athletic ability to run.  The can and will keep drives alive with their mobility.  All of my top three have the ability stand and deliver from the pocket.  It looks like  they can read coverage’s, follow their progressions and make decisions quickly.  The three of them fit the Carson Wentz quarterback mold, something most teams are looking for.  They are all exceptional athletes.  They play with no fear and will put the ball in tight spots when needed.  I personally like their physical size, arm strength and athletic abilities.  I have been impressed with their foot work in the pocket.  Even with great arms you must have your feet in the right position to be an accurate passer.

There will be several other top quarterbacks drafted.  I just don’t see them in the same light as I do in Darnold, Allen and Rudolph, including Baker Mayfield.  From what I have seen, Josh Rosen may throw the best deep ball of any of the quarterbacks in this years draft.  There is just something about him and his foot work that concerns me.  He appears to lack the mobility and instincts to avoid a NFL rush.  For him it will depend on how quickly he can process the information he sees at the snap of the ball.

I am interested to see how they all perform at the NFL Combine.

The Outdoor Quarterback

A Super Bowl To Remember!

The Eagles and Nick Foles bring home the Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia.

What a Super Bowl, one to remember for sure.  Nick Foles played like Tom Brady and Tom played like everyone thought he would.  A lot of records set in this game.  Tom threw for over 500 yards, a new Super Bowl record.  Nick threw 3 touchdown passes and caught one himself, something never done in a Super Bowl.  Combine yardage for both teams was over 1100 yards, and new Super Bowl record.  Longest field goal kicked by a rookie kicker in a Super Bowl, 46 yards.  One punt in the game, another SB record.  All and all, a great game to watch.  Great throws and catches, outstanding runs and gutsy fourth down play calling.

My only question is what happened to both teams defenses?  They were no shows!  The Eagles blew coverage’s several times and both teams missed tackles on critical plays throughout the game.  Only one sack by either team.  Fortunately it came at the right time for the Eagles.

I have always said that one or two plays can determine the outcome of a game.  In this Super Bowl I can think of three.  The missed field goal by Gostkowski, which wasn’t his fault.  The hit on Brandin Cooks, which knocked him out of the game.  The missed pass play to Tom Brady.  Loosing Cooks really hurt the Patriots.  I think his loss may have been the difference in the game.  The missed field goal was a momentum changer.  The pass play to Tom stopped a drive which kept them from scoring.  All of these plays had some affect on the outcome of the game.

The most impressive aspect of this Super Bowl was the play of Eagles quarterback, Nick Foles.  It seemed like he had an answer for every time the Patriots scored.  He matched Tom’s performance play for play.  Watching the game you would have thought Nick had played in several Super Bowls.  It never looked like that the game was too big for him.  Played like a veteran, calm and with focus.

Congratulations to Doug Pederson and the Eagles.

The Outdoor Quarterback

 

Will It Be The Patriots or The Eagles?

Weather won’t be a factor in the Super Bowl, but turnovers will be.

It’s time to pick, will it be the Patriots or the Eagles that will become Super Bowl Champions.  It comes down to this, if the Eagles can win the time of possession battle, no turnovers and win the field possession game, I predict they will win.  Of course there are several other factors.  Example, if the Patriots get off to a quick start and get up by 10 or more, It will be very difficult for the Eagles to come back.  Tom Brady and the Patriots are not the type of team to sit on a lead, they understand the value of playing to the last whistle.

There is something about this game, hard to put a finger on it but I just get the sense that the Eagles defense is ready to play.  They should be the difference maker.  I know the Eagles have a few key players who have come down with some kind of illness this week, which could play a major role in the game.  If they can recover in time to play in the game, it could be the determining factor for the Eagles to win.  One of the things that needs to happen is for Eagles quarterback, Nick Foles to play with confidence early.  Whatever pregame nerves he will have, and he will have them, need to be put aside on the first snap of the game.  If he is focused and does not let the game get to big for him, I am going with the Eagles.  This is against my better judgement, picking against Tom Brady and the Patriots.  I just feel like the Eagle’s defense will be the difference.

I am an AFC guy and normally pull for the them, in this case that would be the Patriots.  But there is something I like about the Eagles.  When coach Doug Pederson was with the Chiefs, I got to know him a little.  What I really like about him is his offensive philosophy. He is always playing to win game instead of playing not to lose.

The Outdoor Quarterback