2020 NFL Draft: Wither Jalen Hurts – Shameful Impatience with Black QBs Take Two

As we approach the 2020 NFL Draft one of the interesting questions is “Why isn’t Jalen Hurts thought of as a 1st round draft pick?” At first glance this is a throw back to the plight of the disrespected black quarterback.

Another take is how Hurts and Oklahoma were overwhelmed in a 63-28 Peach Bowl loss to eventual champion LSU with Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. Was the moment too big for Hurts??

Of course not..

Didn’t Jalen Hurts quarterback Alabama to the National Championship Game as a freshman 4 years ago?? How did he become the most forgotten signal caller in this year’s draft class??

One of the attributes Hurts has been able to forge was his strength of character after his controversial benching during the 2018 National Championship Game. Hurts had struggled all season in maturing with hitting the open receiver downfield. Speculation loomed that Coach Saban would turn to the new flavor of the month in Tua Tagovailoa. When he did at halftime of the championship game, Hurts took it admirably. He didn’t sulk, make any tense moments on the sideline and displayed a team first mentality throughout. This was a benching with 50 million viewers watching.

Isn’t this an attribute NFL teams profess they want to know all the time? How will a franchise QB respond when things go against him??

Hurts didn’t say a word backing up Tua the next season and then became a graduate transfer to become an Oklahoma Sooner. Under the watchful eye of Coach Lincoln Riley, Hurts developed into a QB no one saw when he left Alabama. The ability to read coverage and deliver the medium to deep throw was now a sharply refined part of his game. Hurts became the 1st QB to lead two different teams into the College Football Playoff and was a Heisman Trophy Finalist.

His passing improvement in Norman vs. his last full season at Alabama?

  • Alabama 2017 – 154 of 255 (60.4%) for 2,081 yds 17 TDs 1 int. (150.2 rating)
  • Oklahoma 2019 – 237 of 340 (69.7%) for 3,821 yds 32 TDs 8 ints (191.6 rating)

He learned a completely new offense and improved on his skill under a new coach to this degree in 4 months while being voted a captain!

Isn’t this the number one issue with quarterbacks making the jump to the NFL?? Quarterbacks ability to learn in the classroom then translate it to the practice field then into the game. Talk to me about Marcus Mariota, Mitch Trubisky, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, Jameis Winston, Dwayne Haskins over the last two years.

Now add his rushing statistics from Oklahoma: 233 att for 1,298 yards and 20 TDs and now you’re in Lamar Jackson territory. Upon further review Hurts had 52 combined TDs to Jackson’s 51in his last season at Louisville. Wasn’t Jackson last year’s Taylor Blitz Player of the Year along with a unanimous NFL MVP??

If Hurts is perceived a better passer than Jackson how is he thought of as a 3rd round selection?? This is the next in line of dual threat QBs behind Super Bowl MVP and former NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and last year’s MVP Lamar Jackson and is given the cold shoulder by a media that keeps devaluing black quarterbacks at draft time.

So here we are again with the sequel to The NFL’s Shameful Impatience With Black Quarterbacks.

Heisman winner Joe Burrow had a season for the ages and deserves to be the number one pick but no one else should be up with Hurts. Google the top QBs in the 2020 draft class and Hurts isn’t even in the top 5 according to Athlon Sports. They have him 8th behind Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Jordan Love, Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason, and Nate Stanley of Iowa. These guys can’t be serious…

Nate Stanley of Iowa??

Justin Herbert of Oregon??

Jacob Eason of Washington??

Jordan Love of Utah State??

Hurts starred facing SEC defenses and faced ‘Bama’s 2nd string in practice which is better than any Pac 12 defense. These guys are going to try to match up to NFL speed on defense based on what? Thanks to the Corona Virus… no OTAs either so when are they going to be up to speed?

No wonder I stopped reading Athlon and started writing. These teams that keep drafting by the book and have been losing for 30 years need to do something different and look at the trend at QB. Hurts’ entire college career has been a trial by fire to match what he will have to go through entering the pro ranks. No one, including Joe Burrow has proven they have the mettle to do it more than Hurts.

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Hardy Nickerson Belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

When most sportswriters chronicle a franchise’s turning point its usually attributed to the hiring of a coach or a number one draft pick QB who goes on to a Hall of Fame career. One where the culture of an organization completely shifts as the team has a pivotal player & focal point to build around. Enter Hardy Nickerson.

Most try to equate the turnaround with the drafting of Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks when the direction was set in motion several years before these two Hall of Famers were drafted in ’95.

Let’s take you back to the early 1990’s Tampa was a desolate outpost no one wanted to play for. It was a rudderless franchise that had just finished 1992 having set an NFL record with their 10th straight double digit loss season.

The culture was so demoralized just 8 years before 1st round draft pick Bo Jackson refused to play for Tampa. He elected baseball instead. USFL refugee Steve Young was so disheartened with the situation he only played 2 seasons. After a 3-16 record as the starter in ’85 and ’86, Young asked owner Hugh Culverhouse to allow him to leave. His trade paved the way for a Hall of Fame career out in San Francisco and the chance to draft ’86 Heisman winner Vinny Testaverde.

Testaverde toiled in Tampa for six seasons, never winning more than 6 starts and exited in the first season of free agency for a backup assignment in Cleveland. Yet before the door shut Hardy Nickerson was the first big free agent to sign on and step through.

Nickerson became the centerpiece of Defensive Coordinator Floyd Peters’ 4-3 at Middle Linebacker and a terror was set loose. He became a sideline to sideline tracker and hit everything in sight. In ’93 he led the NFL in tackles with a team record 214 while making his 1st Pro Bowl and voted 1st team All Pro. It was only the 4th time a Tampa Bay defender was voted to the Pro Bowl in Hawai’i and the 2nd all pro selection since the team’s inception.

His play was so dominant he broke the team season tackle record in a week 15 win over Chicago. There were still 3 games to go in 1993! So his 1st season ended with 214 tackles, recorded a sack, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and had an interception.

Or think of it like this… he recorded 96 more tackles than his Hall of Fame teammate Derrick Brooks (118) recorded in ’02 when he was NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Chew on that for a second…

He brought an intensity that was infectious and the Bucs began to stand and fight with their foes instead of conceding defeat. In 1993 Nickerson and the Bucs weren’t highly ranked but held 4 teams to 10 points or less. To match that not including season finales where teams and the Bucs had packed it in… you have to go back 6 years to 1988 to tally 4 teams held to 10 or fewer.

Earlier in his career he shared the inside linebacking duties in the Steelers 3-4. Yet now he became the successor to Mike Singletary’s Middle Linebacker throne in the old NFC Central. Over the next 7 years Nickerson averaged 119 tackles 2 forced fumbles every year as he led his young teammates in to battle as they chased the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North who had become league champion.

From that point on the organization geared their personnel decisions on teaming Nickerson with blue chip defensive talent. Gone were the high profile offensive players that turned the “Yucs” into the laughing stock of the NFL. Replaced by one forged of grit and toughness that thrived on the visceral edge of football. This culiminated with the 96 draft and twin #1 selections Derrick Brooks & Warren Sapp along with promoting SS John Lynch up from special teams.

The season opener in ’97 saw the seminole moment Nickerson’s defensive mates had grown to match his intensity and tenacity. Perennial power San Francisco came to Tampa and were hammered 13-6 as Steve Young was sacked and knocked from the game by Sapp. He returned a few quarters later where Nickerson sacked him again along with his 6 tackles on the game. Brooks had 10 tackles and Sapp finished with 2 1/2 sacks.

With playmakers all over the field in Tony Dungy’s new “Tampa 2” Nickerson’s stats took a hit. Yet in ’97 he recorded his 2nd highest career total with 147 tackles, the 1 sack and 2 forced fumbles. Hardy made 2 different All Pro teams while being named to the 1st unit and made the 3rd of his 5 Pro Bowl appearances.

However had he made the ’95 Pro Bowl he would have finished on the last 5 straight Pro Bowl teams to finish the 90’s with 6 overall.  Yes Ken Norton and Jesse Tuggle were great that year but…

  • Nickerson – 143 combined tackles, 1 1/2 sacks 3 forced fumbles 3 fumble recoveries
  • Ken Norton – 96 combined tackles, 1 sack, 1 ff, 3ints for 2 TDs (same game)
  • Jessie Tuggle – 152 combined tackles, 1sack, 1ff, 3ints

Kenny, Kenny, Kenny Norton…. sigh..  yet this is what the players voted and he was on a #1 defense in San Fran that year. This catapulted Norton’s profile that year and Nickerson was robbed.. I meant snubbed. Yet I digress

The ’97 Bucs finished 3rd in defense and made the playoffs for the first time in 15 years where they lost to the Packers. Ushering in the era where the Bucs finished in the top 3 in both 98 and 99.

Unfortunately ’99 was the last season for Nickerson with the Bucs. Although he was 34 he finished with 110 combined tackles, 1/2 sack, 3 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions. He made his 5th and final Pro Bowl. His final game  in Tampa was the NFC Championship where the Bucs held The Greatest Show on Turf to 11 points and held a 6-5 lead in the 4th quarter.’

Nickerson left Tampa after that stellar defensive performance and played for both Jacksonville and Green Bay before retiring.

Yet the men he helped usher in defensive excellence with went on to win Super Bowl XXXVII a few years later. Once the final minutes counted down the first two members of the Tampa Bay family I thought of first were former coach Sam Wyche and Nickerson. It was the late Wyche who signed Nickerson and set him loose in his defense.

For his career Nickerson made All Pro 4 times, the Pro Bowl 5 times and was a member of The All Decade Team of the 1990’s. Do you realize he is the only true Middle Linebacker on the all decade team?

Where Heisman Trophy winners Vinny Testaverde, Bo Jackson, and Hall of Famer Steve Young failed to change the culture of the organization, Nickerson succeeded. The relative wealth and fortune of the franchise changed from the moment he took the field.

Name a better and more consistent Middle Linebacker from the NFC side of the ledger from the 1990’s?? I’ll wait here.

To see his number isn’t retired nor in the Buccaneer Ring of Honor is a complete travesty. The relative wealth and prestige took off the moment Nickerson signed on and they should have a statue out front. Well one place this historian believes he should be is in Canton.

For induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame I present to you Hardy Nickerson.

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The Chancellor’s past articles advocating for players to be in Canton: prior to induction:

 

With Kevin Greene after the Induction ceremony.

Kevin Greene

 

 

Terrell Davis

 

“Hey big guy!” The laughs at the Hall of Fame party were priceless.

Jerry Kramer

Randy Moss

Andre Reed

Edgerrin James

Ken Stabler

Cris Carter

Robert Brazile

brazile.chancellor

Met Robert Brazile after the Gold Jacket Dinner. Great time.

The Beta Quarterback Revisited

When you look at life from a psychological standpoint, you have leaders and you have followers. Well in the Taylor Blitz Times lexicon of NFL football describing the quarterback position, you have the alpha and the beta.

The alpha infuses confidence in his football team through his play and leadership. His teammates are inspired through his verve, spirit, and fight which in turn raises their level of play to meet his.  You can see the confidence in their eyes when the game is tight. He doesn’t shrink when games are on the line or when the team is up against a superior opponent. This is what every coach covets each year in the NFL draft.

dakslumped

Dak was 0-5 against playoff teams in ’19 and 5-9 over the last 3 years. Beta Quarerback

Then you have the beta quarterback that many teams seem to be afflicted with. He comes through with the physical gifts that scouts and coaches can see where he can improve, and can possibly sculpt a winner from. He shows promise and can win you a few football games yet isn’t a leader. This is the guy that looks to his teammates for confidence when they’re looking to him for theirs.

Subsequently when the situations get tight or they’re up against tough teams, he shrinks at the moment of truth.  Sure they win games they are supposed to win but the superior opponent he needs to beat to become a champion, he will always come up short. Late game interceptions, missed connections in crucial times, & mangled last minute drives which short ciruit his team’s efforts. Most important he always loses when an alpha quarterback is leading the other team. Constant big game heartbreak follows this guy….always.

Well this is how The Chancellor of Football sees the game. As you read those first two paragraphs, certain quarterbacks started to form in your mind.

One play after overthrowing a streaking Emmanuel Sanders in the endzone, Jimmy G took a sack and forced fumble that ended Super Bowl LIV.

One of the most unique aspect of the beta quarterback is he almost rises to prominence in the same way. Usually they are under appreciated talents that are among the best of the back-up quarterbacks.

Good enough to make the roster, run the scout team offense, and if we lose our starter he can pilot the ship for 3 or 4 games. Yet with the advent of complete NFL free agency, these are the guys signed after they have done well when they have relieved an injured starter. Jimmy Garoppolo was signed after performing admirably for Tom Brady in New England and is the poster boy for the beta quarterback.

The San Francisco 49ers had fallen on hard times and were in the middle of a meltdown under overmatched Coach Chip Kelly.  The Niners were struggling with Colin Kaepernick finding rhythm in Chip Kelly’s offense after a successful run with Coach Jim Harbaugh.

Then the 49ers brought in Kyle Shanahan who was the hotshot offensive coordinator who had taken the Atlanta offense to Super Bowl LI. To run his offense he needed a franchise QB and the team jettisoned Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert as each appeared damaged goods. They brought in Jimmy Garoppolo who had gone 2-0 during Tom Brady’s suspension at the beginning of the 2016 season.

Kirk Cousins is another beta quarterback

The 49ers surprised opponents in 2017 when they went 5-0 under Garoppolo. However the sample size wasn’t large enough to make a full judgment. He couldnt finish the ’17 or ’18 seasons and in 8 games he had thrown 12 TDs yet had an eyebrow raising 8 interceptions. Desperate for any competent quarterbacking after the last few years GM John Lynch & Shanahan had tied their success to Garoppolo’s wagon.They began to assemble talent around him. The team made progress and when Garoppolo didn’t do so well, the thought process was: “Once he matures, he won’t throw those passes.”

However that incessant tic never seems to leave this guy. It’s in his DNA and it becomes glaring once the rest of the team assembled with him should thrive with his leadership.

All season long as it became apparent the 49ers had turned the corner experts held out Jimmy G was the weak link that would let San Fran down. The Chancellor of Football was one of them. 49er fans would point to games he performed well in yet didn’t notice how he struggled in a prime time game at home with Western division leading Seattle. He played well as long as the team was out in front and they could sic that front four on opponents.

Once the 49ers outlasted New Orleans and Drew Brees 48-46 it looked like Garoppolo was on the precipice of proving his doubters wrong. Yet a knock kneed performance in a 29-22 home loss and a mundane Monday Night performance when they beat Seattle 26-21 raised suspicions.

When Shanahan started to cover up his QB in the 2nd quarter of the 49ers divisional playoff win over Minnesota, it appeared he lost confidence in him. He turned the game over to his rushing game and defense and nearly won a title. Lost in 49er euphoria was Shanahan only allowed his QB to throw the football 27 times total in 2 playoff games. He really didnt beat any Alpha QBs as the 49ers used smoke and mirrors to keep him from throwing in obvious situations.

Then came Super Bowl LIV and alpha QB Patrick Mahomes. For 3 quarters it looked like the Niners were about to pull the upset and Jimmy G was on the precipice of proving his doubters wrong.

Then the moment of truth… San Francisco was up 10 and the pilot light in the alpha Patrick Mahomes came on. He made play after play to will his team back in the game. The beta?? Jimmy G went 2 for 9 in the 4th quarter when his team desperately needed a play from him. All we got were deer in the headlights looks on television closeups. He had one last chance to bail his team out with 1:40 to go… Emmanuel Sanders split two Chiefs defensive backs and was streaking to a game winning touchdown… all he needed was one Garoppolo throw from a clean pocket. Jimmy overthrew him then had a sack and forced fumble on the next play to kill the 49ers Super Bowl chances.

Beta!!

Had he completed it he would be have gone into the pantheon of Super Bowl champions and would have completed his winning touchdown in about the same spot Joe Montana completed his to John Taylor to win Super Bowl XXIII. Same spot in the same stadium some 30 years earlier…

Like Dak Prescott and Kirk Cousins, Garoppolo is a beta QB….fools gold. They don’t have an alpha and they know it. The rest of us had already come to that conclusion before Super Bowl Sunday. This game just cemented it. Like S

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Super Bowl LIV Preview: Kansas City Chiefs v. San Francisco 49ers

We’re just 36 hours from crowning the 100th NFL champion with the conclusion of Super Bowl LIV. The narrative has largely been framed around the coaching experience of the Chief’s Andy Reid against the youthful brilliance of Kyle Shanahan. It should be as both have earned their way to football’s summit.

However the narrative that has dominated the headlines concerning both teams on the field is how can the 49ers 2nd ranked defense stop they dynamics Chiefs offense and all world QB Patrick Mahomes??

Kelce is crucial in moving the chains in LIV.

Over the last two seasons Mahomes has thrown for 76 TDs to just 17 interceptions. With TE Travis Kelce (97 rec. 1,229 yds/ 5TDs) Sammy Watkins, Tyreek Hill, and Mecole Hardman the NFL  hasn’t seen this type of lethal speed since The Greatest Show on Turf St Louis Rams. This team can get deep on anyone.

One matchup to keep your eye on is LT Eric Fisher protecting against super rookie Nick Bosa. Each are former 1st round draft picks and had Fisher started all 16 games he might have been a Pro Bowl performer as he had been in 2018. Yet Bosa (9 sacks) Erik Armstead (10 sacks) and DeForest Buckner (7.5 sacks) have benefitted with the return of Dee Ford. They have to collapse the pocket and protect their secondary. If Mahomes can buy time he has the arm to get deep to Hill, Mecole, or Watkins on a 31 year old Richard Sherman.

Mahomes has only been sacked 17 times in the 14 games he’s started and the Niners plan to get after him. Watch for Kansas City to attack with screens early on to slow the pass rush down. Reid and OC Eric Bienemy did adjust to a 2TE alignment and run the Titans, a run heavy offense, out of their gameplan. Can they do that on the 2nd ranked 49er defense though??

However…Did you know the San Francisco 49ers outscored the Kansas City Chiefs this season 479-451?? Did you know the Kansas City Chiefs allowed fewer points than the 49ers 308-310??

Can Mostert continue his hot hand??

Over the last 5 games of the season the 49ers gave up 147 points which included 46 given up to the Saints on the road. However the defense coming in hot is Kansas City where they only gave up 32 points over the last 5 games. For all the talk of 49er DC Robert Saleh it’s Chief DC Steve Spagnuolo whose defense has jelled as the season concluded.

He put the Chiefs in goalline defense on 4th and 1in the middle of the field in the AFC Championship Game. “Spags” has lined up his defense with 4 and 5 down linemen to stop bruising NFL rushing champion Derrick Henry when he had to. Now that Pro Bowl DT Chris Jones is healthy he has a pivotal role stopping the 49er running game.

Mathieu has been putting the smack down on receivers in 2019.

All Pro and Pro Bowl S Tyrann Mathieu will be pit against 49er Pro Bowl TE Kerry Kittle. Number 85 (85 rec / 1053 yds / 5 TDs) has to have a dominant game against Mathieu and Sorenson. Don’t know if Kittle can get lose on the instinctive athletic safety. Spagnuolo had to learn the strengths of his new defense and Mathieu as his wildcard defender

Shanahan’s running game is the key to the 49ers winning it. He has taken the ball out of Jimmy G’s hands in these last two playoff games. He’s only thrown 27 passes while the offense ran 89 times and controlled the flow of both games. What is going to happen if forced out of that game plan?? Can they unhide Garoppolo??

murray.49ersThe 49ers defense in games against mobile QBs Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, and Lamar Jackson, they went 3-2 in those games giving up 27, 21, 25, 26, and 20 points while allowing an average of 147.6 yards rushing in those games. The Chancellor was front and center during the Halloween contest when they let Kyler Murray run 5 times for 34 yards to keep drives alive in a 28-25 loss. Keep in mind this is with 4 games played against division rivals they knew best.

When they faced a Lamar Jackson they didn’t know… he burst for 101 yards rushing. Mahomes will keep his eyes up and buy time for Hill and Watkins to get deep. In figuring the winner of this game the best defense will win.

Kansas City will win this game as they can be stopped for half the game and explode for 24 in just a few minutes. Patrick Mahomes will bring the Lombardi back to Kansas City 38-21.

Andy Reid finally wins that elusive Super Bowl!derrick.thomas

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Eli Manning Belongs In The Pro Football Hall of Fame

With Eli Manning calling it a career we have been inundated with sportswriters and t.v. pundits debating his Hall of Fame candidacy. Over the last 15 years we have seen the pendulum swing where weak pundits want to equate everything to just a series of stats. For those of us who know this game and it’s vast history, players also make the Pro Football Hall of Fame based on performing heroic feats.

Manning’s detractors will point to his 117-117 record and try to reduce his influence to just his Super Bowl XLII upset of the undefeated New England Patriots. “Oh he only won because of the great Giants pass rush.” is a scoff we hear when Eli and this game is brought up.

Yet before we get started let The Chancellor share with you several of his feats:

  • 1 of 5 two time Super Bowl MVPs XLII & XLVI (3 of 4 are in the PFHOF/ Brady awaits)
  • 1 of 3 QBs to win 2 conference championships on road (Elway in PFHOF/Brady awaits)
  • 1 of 2 QBs to lead game winning Super Bowl drives twice (Brady other with 4)
  • Tied with Tom Brady with 4 postseason wins over teams with 13 regular season wins.
  • Only QB in history with 2 postseason wins over teams with 15 regular season wins (07 Pats 16-0 & ’11 Packers 15-1)
  • 2nd in road /neutral site playoff wins in NFL history with 7 (Brady 1st with 9)
  • Won the Super Bowl in 2011 with the worst regular season record ever at 9-7. (broke Joe Montana’s ’88 team who went 10-6/ Montana in PFHOF)

When every other QB Manning has performed these feats next to are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame…?? Ok not yet.

Now to crush a few misnomers about Eli… Did you know when Manning led the Giants XLVI championship he won it with the lowest rated defense in Super Bowl history ranked 27th? Take a guess who passed for the most yardage in a regular season (4,933 yards) to win the Super Bowl? You guessed it Eli Manning in XLVI.

Did you notice Peyton Manning didn’t come up once in any of these feats? Most would assume his name would come up and not Eli by the way the media shaped their narratives.

Stop and think of the signature games Eli has in his back pocket. Everyone remembers the run to the Super Bowl in 2007 especially the Dallas Cowboys. Remember that group?? An emerging Tony Romo and Terrell Owens sparkled as they ran to an NFC best 13-3 record and the championship of the Eastern Division. Then in a frigid Lambeau Field took down the 13-3 Green Bay in Brett Favre’s last game as a Packer. Don’t forget he returned to win a 2nd in Lambeau when he gunned down Aaron Rodgers 37-20 in the 2011 NFC Divisional.

Keep in mind he is the only QB in history with 2 playoff wins on the road at Lambeau Field and the only one to beat both Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre in postseason play.

We have to remember he was a 2 time Super Bowl winning quarterback although the sporting press doesn’t cover him like one. He isn’t coddled like his brother when it comes to his short comings. Think about it for a second…. Had Eli Manning thrown a 4th quarter interception to seal his team’s fate in a Super Bowl you would never have heard the end of it. Peyton did that in Super Bowl XLIV to New Orleans’ Tracy Porter.

We hardly hear of his triumph in Super Bowl XLII, he’s treated like a supporting actor to the upset itself or even David Tyree’s helmet catch. Neither of which could have taken place without Eli’s heroics. If you can remember Eli had to break free of two linemen and scrambled before throwing that famous pass to Tyree.

One of the best throws in Super Bowl history. Who knew he would upstage it with the best throw ever in XLVI?? With just 3:46 remaining and down 17-15 and at his 12 yard line, Manning facing a Cover 2 had Mario Manningham break outside CB Sterling Moore when…

Quite simply it’s a pass that shouldn’t have been thrown when it comes to football schematics. Not against Cover 2 yet if the pass was 1 yard shorter it would have been knocked away by Moore. If the pass was to the outside 1 yard Mario Manningham doesn’t get his feet in. If the pass was 1 yard over in the field of play FS Chung would have intercepted or knocked the ball down. Yet in the money time with his team losing Eli delivered this 38 yard “Rembrandt” which was the centerpiece to a game winning drive and a 21-17 win.

It was Eli’s 6th 4th quarter comeback in 2011 alone…and by the way since he did it the week before in the NFC Championship against the 49ers, Eli is the only QB in history with back to back 4th quarter comebacks to win a conference championship and Super Bowl in the same season. Yet I digress…

 

It was Eli who spotted Manningham break a cardinal rule in Cover 2, reroute the receiver to the inside and funnel him up to the safety. When he didn’t Manning took two steps toward the receiver to change the trajectory and let fly. Great great throw.

Eli finished with an 8-4 record in the playoffs and get this he was 7-2 away from home in the playoffs including the Super Bowl, for his career. Contrast that against Peyton’s 3-6 record away from home in the playoffs, which includes a 41-0 devastating loss to the New York Jets. Understand Eli doesn’t have a lopsided postseason loss to that degree on his resume’.

No one even comes close to his road post season record. He’s quiet and tremendously unassuming off the field. Yet it’s at this moment your mind has to change when it comes to Hall of Fame worthiness. You’d think that the coddling the media gave his brother would have rubbed off on him. That it hasn’t gave him a thicker skin and stronger resolve. One exhibited time after time in 2 tremendous playoff runs.

He’s had other moments like when he came within 45 yards of the all time NFL record of 554 yards passing in 2012. Remember that? Yes he threw for an NFL record 245 yards 25 points in the 4th quarter to beat the Bucs 41-34 in week 2. Manning threw for 510 yards in another come from behind win.

For his career he completed 4,895 of 8,119 for 57,023 yards 366 TDs and 244 interceptions. His performance was that of a great “B” student yet when the money was on the line he delivered “A+” material.

With his total of 27 4th quarter come from behind wins Eli has more than Hall of Famers Jim Kelly, Joe Montana, Warren Moon, & Dan Fouts. Only one short of Brett Favre Yet you don’t think he belongs??

Then many of you want to call Tom Brady the greatest quarterback ever for winning 6 Super Bowls…well .. What do you call Eli who holds a winning record against him 3-2, twice beating Brady in Super Bowls?? For good measure is the only starting QB to beat him twice in the same season in 2011. What do you call Eli?? Not elite Tiki Barber… you call him a Hall of Famer!

For induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame I present Eli Manning!

The Chancellor’s other pieces written advocating players Hall of Fame candidacy:

Kevin Greene (written Mar 2, 2011 / enshrined 2016)

Robert Brazile (written Mar 2, 2011/ enshrined 2018)

Jerry Kramer (written July 26, 2011 / enshrined 2018)

Ken Stabler (written July 12, 2015 / enshrined 2016)

Terrell Davis (written July 5, 2011 / enshrined 2017)

Randy Moss (written Aug 2, 2011/ enshrined 2018)

Cris Carter (written Dec 2, 2011/ enshrined 2013)

Andre Reed (written Aug 11, 2013 / enshrined 2014)

Edgerrin James (written Jan 19, 2013/ induction year 2020)

 

2019 NFC Championship Preview: Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers

There is a tremendous amount of shared history between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers. Of course there is a tremendous amount of history dating back to the Bill Walsh coaching tree bearing fruit with Mike Holmgren heading to win in Lambeau to Steve Mariucci leaving Green Bay and coahing by the bay. Well this generation has Packers Head Coach Matt Lafleur having coached with Kyle Shanahan over the last 8 years.

Both Coaches are making their 1st appearance in a championship game and there are several questions:

  • Which coach will abandon the run first?
  • Which coach has self scouted their tendencies and know when and how to break them?

All year long the 49ers have boasted one of if not the best front 7 in all of football. With the return of Kwon Alexander, last week San Fran returned to the emotion & speed they played with earlier in the season.

Dee Ford has come back from injury and with NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Joey Bosa (9 sacks) and Arik Armstead (10 sacks) have their complete package of pass rushers to get after Aaron Rodgers.

The unsung hero on the defense this year in The Chancellor’s eyes is Fred Warner. He’s made several splash plays this year (118 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 int & 3 forced fumbles) has become the Novorro Bowman of this incarnation of a Niner championship defense. Warner & Alexander will eat up the intermediate throws if the Packers can’t establish the run. Which is the key to this game…

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Jones runs during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

The Packers have to take the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hand and feed Aaron Jones. They can’t get impatient and sit in shotgun and throw the football 30 plus times or they’re traveling back to Lambeau a loser. Surprisingly this is a weakness on an otherwise rugged #2 ranked defense. San Fran ranks 17th against the run but will LaFleur stay with it long enough??

In the last 5 games Green Bay has rushed the football more than 30 times, including 3 in the last 5 games. Even in last week’s playoff game when the run didn’t produce splash plays, they kept feeding Jones the football. His 21 carries for 62 yards allowed them to keep the ball out of Russell Wilson’s hands just enough in a 28-23 win. However on the road it’s real easy for a young coach to try to show his genius and throw the football more than he should.

The problem is the 3 headed monster in San Francisco with Tevin Coleman (544 yds) Raheem Mostert (772 yds) & Matt Breida (623 yds) has shown the penchaant to stay with the run. Last week they ran it 43 times and wore Minnesota down. Green Bay is 18th in defense 23rd against the run and tied for 24th allowing 4.7 yards per carry.

To win this game Green Bay needs to force several turnovers to steal the momentum. One of the problems is they haven’t forced any opponent with a winning record into just 2 in any game this season. In fact they haven’t forced more than 2 since they saw Mitch Trubisky (3) on December 15. Can they force Jimmy G into turning it over?? He has the most interceptions thrown of all QBs in the playoffs.

However we can’t bank on that… San Francisco wins 38-17 and make the trek to Miami for Super Bowl LIV.

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