Great Endings after a Wild Ride

Rarely do we have Great Endings after enjoying a wild ride unless we’re in a Theme Park. This week had plenty wild rides with Unbelievable Endings in some cases. The NFL fans had very wild rides and stunning endings in all Four NFL playoff games over the weekend. Due to the Stan’s stabbing of St Louis, its still the Nearly Forgotten League in the Lou. While it barely budges in the Lou, the excitement meter goes off the chart. It probably was the greatest collection of NFL games in 1 weekend EVER!!
….The Chiefs game was a super wild ride! KC took the lead with 1 minute remaining when Tyreek Hill took a pass down the sideline and then outran the Bills secondary for a TD. It gave KC a 33-29 lead. Then on a 3 play drive, Buffalo scored a TD with 13 seconds left in the game as Gabriel Davis caught his 4th TD pass from Josh Allen. The Kickoff went into the end zone..ball goes to the 25 yd line. Now there was a scant 13 seconds left in the game. But..this great ending wasn’t over! Hill advanced the ball 19 yards followed by a pass reception to the 44 yd line. Then Travis Kelce caught a 25 yd pass to put the Chiefs in position for the game ending & game tying 49 yard FG. The NFL overtime rules state that if a team scores a TD in the 1st possession of the OT…they are the winners (without the other team touching the ball). KC won the toss and took the ball! 1st play, Kelce’s reception takes it to the 44 yd line. Mecole Hardman rushed for 16 yards followed by another run of 26 yards down to the 8 yard line. Travis Kelce caught the 8 yd TD pass from Mahomes and KC ran off the field as 42-36 winners!
…As I Coached from my lounge chair after Buffalo scored its late TD that I would have put the KO on the ground in a hard kick…down to 20-25 yd line. Keep it in play, make the “up” man handle it. Buffalo was playing the clock as well as the Chiefs. There were only 13 seconds left in the game. With that much time, KC had time for 2 plays & a FG. On the KO grounder, the clock starts when the ball is touched. Every second counts. The hope would be to get it down to 2 total plays..not 3 plays. That shortens KC’s time by a seconds. 2nd) The favorite receiver of Mahomes is Travis Kelce. You gotta play m/m on him even if you’re playing a zone coverage with the other defenders 3rd) Buffalo’s defense looked “tanked” after the 1st KC gainer. They needed a time out…even if you only have ONE time out—USE IT!! Don’t save it for next season 😊
…The wild game in Green Bay had just the right GB weather– light snow with a 14 degree temp and a wind chill of zero degrees! GB led 10-3 when SF blocked a punt with just 4:41 left and scored a TD as Talanoa Hufanga picked up the ball at the 6-yard line and ran it in to make it 10-10. GB had suffered miscues on their special teams all year long—so nothing new there. SF then took their 1st lead of the game with the winning FG when Robbie Gould continued his playoff perfection with a 45-yard field goal as time expired for a 13-10 upset of Green Bay on Saturday night. Aaron Rodgers is now 0-4 v SF in the playoffs.
… In yet another great Ending, Cincy, despite having QB Joe Burrow being sacked 9 times beat the Titans 19-16. It’s the 1st time that the Bengals have EVER won a road playoff game. They snapped a 0-7 road record. They advance to the Conference title game for the 1st time since 1988~ Burrow hit the “late” key passes as he led the Bengals to the AFC Title Game.
….some fans are wondering if Mizzou have a great ending ahead after an up & down ride with Cuonzo Martin. Not necessarily with his in-game strategies or his relationship with his players but his recruiting. Oh…the players are good but where’s the point guard that’s needed to settle things in hectic moments and the Big Post Player who gives us an inside force? Our mix-match group of good athletes doesn’t fill those 2 requirements to win. His $6m buy-out closes the door on an early exit for Martin. Sooo…. we’re all staying on this same ride.
….Suffering through a bad ride, Cooper Manning, has seen it turn into a great ending. The older brother of Peyton & Eli, Cooper’s speed seemed to have destined to be a Wide Receiver as a HS player. Colleges were very interested in him as a receiver. However, at 18 years of age, it was found that he had spinal Stenosis. That ended his playing career instantly and forever. His 2 younger brothers went on to achieve greater fame than his Dad (Archie) as QB’s. However, Cooper’s son, Arch, he is viewed as the #1 QB of the class of ’23. Arch was visited recently by Nick Saban(Alabama). Arch may pick any school without rattling family protocol. His Dad, Cooper, initially committed to Ole Miss, and Eli Manning went there as well. Peyton’s alma mater is Tennessee. Both schools have already offered Arch a scholarship. It’ll be fun to see who closes this deal with Arch.
…the Cards seemed to have intentions for a long, fun ride with Nolan Arenado. However, his deal impacts the Cards in totally different way this year. Last year, Colorado “picked up” his entire $30m contract. This year it moves to the Cardinals desk. Acquiring another “big” name with a big salary isn’t in the cards for the Cards with this additional obligation who will keep the same riders on their ride.
….St Louis U’s hopes for a wild ride got sidelined with the pre-season season-ending injury to Javonte Perkins. Perkins, viewed as the top player on the team by many, averaged 17.1 ppg with 3.9 reb/gm last year. SLU really hasn’t been able to fill that spot. Further, teams are pressuring Yuri Collins hard throughout the game to “wear” on him and make others handle the ball & set up plays. This is a new tactic…for his first 2 years, teams played “off” Collins since he didn’t shoot often. But, they’ve realized now, that his slick passing ignites the Bills offense. Hence, they’re working on wearing him down.
….Maybe, our “home town” bias in hoping for a wild ride for our favorite teams leads us to a disappointing ride. Looking back, we realize that our basketball expectations for the wild ride was unfounded. A SI pre-season poll on all D-1 Basketball teams had St Louis U ranked #95 and Mizzou #97. Now, that was prior to the Perkins injury. I doubt that many of us would have viewed our “team” with same expectations had we seen those numbers in November.
…boy, sometimes fans get on a ride that barely moves, much less be have any excitement. How about the sports fans in Arizona? They are living through a really bad deal in their sports year. In baseball the D-Backs were 52-110 last year (not even winning 1/3 of the games). Now in hockey, the Coyotes are 10-26-4 as they sit in last place also!
… I’m always interested in YOUR thoughts—pro or con. Put your thoughts on my Facebook page (Bob Ryan). Or..send to me & I’ll publish them with your initials. You may catch up on earlier blogs on http://www.bobryansportsblog.com or respond there also. Thanks for the read! Bob

2 thoughts on “Great Endings after a Wild Ride

  1. Bob, following the thrilling KC overtime game, do you feel that the NFL ought to change its overtime rules to allow each team one possession?

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