Kansas City completely steamrolled Indianapolis 31-13 and it was surprising to see how good the Chiefs’ defense was playing. That’s been that team’s achilles heel for a while now but things seem to be changing. Dee Ford in particular was lightning fast off the edge. This is a former 1st round pick and now after five seasons in the league we’re realizing why he was taken so high coming out of Auburn in the 2014 NFL Draft. It’s because he has the ability to collapse on quarterbacks so quickly. Ford has also been very good against the run too and between Justin Houston and him the Chiefs are dangerous at the outside linebacker position. Of course Chris Jones is anchoring the trenches as well and that proves how many key pieces there are for this group. Dee Ford couldn’t have taken that next step at a better time and the fact that’s he performing well against playoff teams says a lot. The later in the season you go the harder each game becomes and everyone knows what the Colts did to the Texans. For Ford and company to shut down Andrew Luck and the rest of Indianapolis’ playmakers sends a message. Basically they’re saying “Patrick Mahomes isn’t the only thing you have to worry about when you go up against Kansas City.” Which makes this franchise more dangerous than they’ve been in a very long time. Don’t expect Ford to take his foot off the gas anytime soon either. He went for 13 sacks in 2018 and now his confidence is soaring. With a good initial burst and refined technique the Chiefs are hoping the best has yet to come for Dee Ford. There’s no doubt he has the ability to take over a game and it kind of limits opposing offenses to one side of the field. The New England Patriots will have come up with a scheme that accounts for Houston, Jones, and Ford pass protection wise. Which is asking a lot and that match-up could determine the outcome of this AFC bout.
Lets face it the Detroit Lions struggle to run the football. It had been five years since they rushed for over 100 yards but Kerryon Johnson finally put that awful streak behind them. Johnson rushed for 100 yards twice as a rookie and clearly there’s some substance to his game. The former Auburn standout is already one of the shiftiest players in the entire NFL. He uses jump cuts and hops to change angles and running lanes. A lot of times players will whiff when they’re trying to connect with Johnson on a tackle. And the 21 year old also showed off a little power and we saw that when he stiff armed Kiko Alonso (Dolphins) and Justin Coleman (Seahawks). Detroit passes the ball so much with Matthew Stafford but Johnson made such a case for the running game that Jim Bob Cooter had to feed him. That’s when the Lions are at their best and the young tailback does make this ball club a flashier team. The Motor City has been waiting for something to get excited about and Johnson has shown some promise. Now if Kerryon has any weakness it’s certainly his durability. He missed the last six games and the offense suffered because of his absence. Johnson is only 205 pounds so you have to wonder if his frame can withstand the punishment that comes with being a pro football running back? Obviously beefing up will be the challenge moving forward but there’s still so much to be optimistic about if you’re a Lions fan. Kerryon Johnson is the real deal when he’s healthy and look for this guy to be one of the focal points of the offense moving forward. Between Kenny Golladay and Johnson Detroit has a couple of rising stars who can really make an impact. With a couple more pieces this organization could make a jump.
Charity of the day: Trust for Public Land
Go donate! www.tpl.org
Kerryon Johnson puts on a show when he runs the football. That’s why he was the Lions first 100 yard rusher in 5 years.
The New England Patriots were firing on all cylinders in their 41-28 destruction of the Los Angeles Chargers. At one point Bill Belichick’s team was up 35-7 and they looked so disciplined in every facet of the game. This organization was crisp on both sides of the ball and they didn’t seem to miss Josh Gordon at all. It’s because everyone played their best football and it all started with Sony Michel. The rookie running back was very impressive rushing for 129 yards and 3 touchdowns. Los Angeles had no answer for Michel and ultimately it doomed them. Tom Brady was also great in this game throwing for 343 yards, 1 touchdown, and no interceptions. It looked like the 41 year old QB turned back the clock because some of those throws were the best we’ve seen all season. Julian Edelman was also a monster in this contest racking up 151 receiving yards and this is who the Patriots are. They all mesh together and are the epitome of a team and now they’re clicking at the right time. Philip Rivers played well too but LA just started too slow. Rivers threw for 331 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Most of those passes went to Tyrell Williams who had a team high of 94 receiving yards. While Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates scored both of the touchdowns for the losing side. Stephon Gilmore had an interception and 1 tackle leading the way for New England’s defense. Devin McCourty also contributed 7 tackles. Melvin Ingram was LA’s top guy on defense he went for 12 tackles and 1 TFL. Derwin James had 10 tackles and 2 TFLs as well. Belichick and Brady are heading to their 8th straight AFC Championship game. The road gets a little bit tougher with the Kansas City Chiefs being the next team on the schedule. However if the Pats play like they did against the Chargers it’s hard to bet against them.
Author: Jon Kuzma
The New Orleans Saints fell behind early in the NFC divisional round and found themselves trailing the Philadelphia Eagles 14-0. That’s when Michael Thomas put on his hard hat and went to work. One of the sport’s brightest young players took over for the Saints and he willed this team back into the game. It seems like Thomas came up big on every single third down and his stats were off the charts. Thomas racked up 171 yards and 1 touchdown before the night was over and was hands down the best player for either team. Drew Brees also showed up Nick Foles and threw for 301 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Brees was able to create just a little bit more offense than the Eagles and the score reflected that. Alvin Kamara had 71 yards too but most of New Orleans’ plays came through the air. On the opposite sideline Foles recorded 201 yards, 1 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. He started the game off strong but completely faded in the second half. Jordan Matthews hauled in a touchdown pass on a 37 yard reception. Where Philly went wrong though is they totally abandoned the running game and that made their offense one dimensional. That was clear in the fact that Wendell Smallwood led the Eagles with only 33 rushing yards. You need a little bit more from your ball carriers when you’re in these high stakes match ups. Defensively the Saints were led by Marshon Lattimore who came up with 4 tackles and 2 interceptions. Damario Davis chipped in 8 tackles too and this group did such a good job of containing the defending champs. The Eagles’ defense also played well but they couldn’t get enough plays on the other side of the ball. Cre’Von LeBlanc had 3 tackles and 1 interception. Malcolm Jenkins was tough as well he recorded 10 tackles and 2 TFLs. New Orleans will advance to the NFC Championship round where they’ll face the Los Angeles Rams. These two teams met up in week 9 of the regular season and the Saints won 45-35.
The Kansas City Chiefs played some great football in the AFC divisional round and Indianapolis was outgunned in every phase of the game. This is a different Andy Reid team and you can tell everyone in that organization feels the same way. The Chiefs are known for struggling in the playoffs but Patrick Mahomes gives this ball club something special. Even though Mahomes didn’t throw for a touchdown in this contest he still delivered the ball with zip and accuracy. That gets those passes to the receivers quicker and it allows Kansas City to make a play after the catch. Travis Kelce really showed how beneficial that can be by hauling in 108 receiving yards and moving the chains several times for Reid’s offense. Damien Williams was the other standout and he continues to be one of best stories around the league. Williams took over the full-time running back job and has dominated ever since. The 26 year old ball carrier rattled off 129 yards on the ground and 1 touchdown. This whole group was explosive and Arrowhead Stadium was rocking for all four quarters. Indianapolis on the other hand struggled to create the plays that they did a week ago against Houston. Andrew Luck threw for 203 yards, 1 touchdown, and no interceptions but the weapons around Luck didn’t step up. No running back or receiver had more than 60 yards and it’s hard to win with that lack of output. T.Y Hilton did catch a touchdown pass but that was about it. Defensively the Chiefs were very impressive in this victory. Dee Ford was firing off the edge all day and he had 4 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 TFL. Justin Houston was also stellar with 2 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 TFLs. Darius Leonard played lights out for Indianapolis he recorded 14 tackles and 1 TFL. Kenny Moore had 12 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 TFLs but Kansas City was just the more well rounded team.