Championship Sunday did not disappoint, with two more very close matches, including another overtime thriller at Arrowhead. Let’s quickly catch up on the NFL events this morning, before returning to the team we actually care about here.
In Kansas City, the Chiefs once again jumped to a big lead over the Bengals, just like when the teams met in Week 17. The home team took a 21-3 lead and took a 28-10 lead before the half. In the worst case, they should have been 24-10 ahead. Instead, Patrick Mahomes, after being his usual otherworldly self for the game’s first 29-plus minutes, made the first of what would lapse into very costly mistakes that left #ChiefsKingdom in disbelief this Monday morning.
Needed that one. 😤
Watch CBS pic.twitter.com/ow5LCbmk5u
– Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) 30 January 2022
Instead of 24-10 or 28-10, it was 21-10. But KC would certainly not take the lead at home (Week 17 was in Cincy), not with this play-off-tested coach, full-back and team, right?
Mahomes were completely out of sorts for the entire second half, and KC only scored a field goal, which came at the very end of regulation to enforce overtime. The Chiefs won the toss again and gave everyone flashbacks from a week ago, and it looked like Reid & Paddy were going to escape and progress again. Instead, the football gods laughed, Mahomes was immediately (again) intercepted and the Bengals… yes, the Cincinnati Bengals… will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
– NFL (@NFL) 30 January 2022
While it’s nice to see the Chiefs, who should have lost a week ago (why not fired any Bills coaches yet, seriously?), Have been eliminated, I’m certainly not excited about the Bengals suddenly * here * able to see. While I’m happy for those long-suffering fans, the idea of handling this version of Joe Burrow for a decade, just when Fat Ben retires, as a fan of an AFC North rival, is really annoying. I think I would take comfort in the fact that Mike Brown is one of the cheapest owners in sports, and would not put the kind of money in that team that other owners would do, so hopefully it will keep them a bit? I do not know man. If I told you in September – or December! – that an AFC North team would play in the Super Bowl, but it would not be the Steelers… or Browns… you would have booked tickets to Los Angeles.
The Bengals. Crazy…
In the NFC, the Rams pulled past the 49ers, despite a 17-7 deficit in the second half, in what looked like a roadside game, thanks to the hordes of San Francisco fans who made the journey south. This was probably Jimmy Garoppolo’s last pass as a Niner.
– NFL (@NFL) 31 January 2022
Here’s something fun to celebrate, and another reason to root for the Rams in two weeks: Eric Weddle is playing!
Therefore @troubaard came out of a 2-year retirement at age 37 for one reason and only one reason: Super Bowl
Then yesterday he played EVERY snap and led the Rams into dives to help make his dream come true.
So stay for him. GREAT guy!
– Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) 31 January 2022
Weddle, who was expected to only bite a rotation player when he came out of retirement, rather played every snap (last week too, I think). Keep it out there for us old guys. Get that ring, Beard!
Okay, back to the purple and black.
The Ravens signed a new coach last week, defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, but lost one just hours later.
With TE coach Bobby Engram leaving for Wisconsin OC, John Harbaugh has at least one opening on his staff to fill. But there could very well be more before everything is said than done, especially on the defensive side of the ball with Mike Macdonald coming in.
Jeff Zrebiec @jeffzrebiec 29 January 2022
Engram may not be the only one going. After passing for the DC job, an interview is conducted with Anthony Weaver for that job in Denver.
Denver filed a slip for Ravens’ asst. coach Anthony Weaver to conduct a defense coordinator interview, per source.
– Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) 29 January 2022
Unfortunately for #RavensFlock, no one seems to have asked to interview Greg Roman. We’ll probably hear Roman stay on board when John Harbaugh addresses the media at One Winning Drive later today.
Ravens also announces the timing of three press conferences next week.
Monday: John Harbaugh’s season finale
Tuesday: Mike Macdonald’s introductory computer
Friday: Eric DeCosta’s season finale
Jeff Zrebiec @jeffzrebiec 28 January 2022
If anything of interest comes from Harbaugh’s press conference, we’ll get quick responses from our staff here at Russell Street Report. However, with the knowledge of the continuity-loving Steve Bisciotti, Eric DeCosta and Harbaugh, any earth-shattering news will come as a big surprise.
Tuesday’s printer may actually be the more interesting of the two, as Macdonald sets out his vision for the future of the Baltimore defense. Friday’s DeCosta musings will also be a must-see.
Until then, enjoy your week, Herd!