Local Football Bloggers
It’s debatable whether the 2013 New England Patriots season was a success or a failure, but it certainly wasn’t boring.
The 2013 New England Patriots overachieved this season, but they couldn’t overcome a powerful Denver Broncos squad in the AFC Championship Game.
Thanks to big games by running back LaGarrette Blount and linebacker Jamie Collins, the New England Patriots are in the AFC Championship Game once again.
This AFC Divisional Playoff Game features legendary New England quarterback Tom Brady against Indy’s Andrew Luck, who seems to be a legend in the making.
A season of transition brought a new coach with a breath of fresh air and a new identity as a team. There were adjustments along the way as Chip Kelly adjusted to life as an NFL coach after serving an entire career at the college level, but his players bought in to the mentality Kelly introduced to them and fought their way to an NFC East division title few saw coming before the season started.
A last-second field goal by Shayne Graham brought an end to the first season of the Chip Kelly era as the Saints left Philadelphia with a 26-24 victory in the NFC Wild Card playoff. The time for season-long evaluations will come over the coming week, but for now let’s take a quick look at how the Eagles performed in this game.
The Philadelphia Eagles will need their defensive secondary to be on their toes this weekend with Drew Brees leading the New Orleans Saints in to town with a monster of a passing offense. Fortunately for the Eagles, the defensive backfield is getting healthier in time for the playoffs.
Drew Brees can be patient behind a steady offensive line. The Eagles struggled to bring a pass rush on Kyle Orton many times on Sunday night, so look for the defensive line to try and correct that this week against New Orleans. Easier said than done of course.
The Green Bay Packers pulled off a huge win to make the playoffs, but now they have to face off with the San Francisco 49ers. They will have to work to prevent a repeat of what happened when these two met last season.
The Minnesota Vikings had higher expectations than the 5-10-1 record the team finished with in the 2013 season. The Vikings pass defense was abysmal in 2013 with five game-tying or game-winning scores in the final minute of the game. The team used three starting quarterbacks, including Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel for small stretches twice. The team fired head coach Leslie Frazier very early Monday morning.
The 2013 season might be the best performance of Bill Belichick’s coaching career.
Drew Brees will be much more successful against the Eagles defense than back-up Kyle Orton was in the final game of the regular season. But, if the Eagles can knock Brees off his game, then the Saints could quickly run out of options to try and keep up wit the Eagles offense.
Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier talked with to the team about his job status Tuesday morning. He believes that could have been reason the team lost focus in last week’s blow out loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Vikings will have a ceremony to say goodbye to Mall of America Field.
The Minnesota Vikings play the Detroit Lions Sunday in the last game ever in Mall of America Field. The Lions have a dynamic passing offense. They boast stout front-seven on their defense. Running back Reggie Bush and defensive tackle Nick Fairley are a pair of players to watch for the Lions.
The Heisman Trophy will be presented Saturday evening in New York City. Winston’s name should be at the top of the list as college football’s most impressive player from the start of the season through the championship games. Everything else after that is purely a guess.