Each year I anticipate Marvin Lewis and the Bengals success to come to an end. I thought this was it. The year both of their coordinators became head coaches elsewhere. I was confident that this year was going to be a similar ending to what happened with Andy Reid and the Eagles or the Titans and Jeff Fisher. One of those situations where a coach has been there so long that the players kind of get sick of listening to him. I thought this would be the year...but they made the playoffs again. Serious questions should be asked about Lewis and Dalton. The Bengals have to figure out: are we OK with just making the playoffs or do we want to do more? If more is the answer, they may need to make a change at coach and quarterback.
The Colts moved the ball fairly easy throughout the game. The opening drive was one of the easiest drives I have seen in a playoff game. They ran the ball successfully, Luck used some tempo to "quick snap" the Bengals before they were set, and he made plays with his arm throughout the game. My favorite play was his touchdown to Moncrief in the third quarter. What an athletic play!
Bengals offense was poor. Jeremy Hill showed some flashes, Rex Burkhead played good considering he is a RB turned WR, and the O-line protected Dalton. Unfortunately the WR's didnt make a play all night. They didn't seem to get much separation and I don't think they made a contested catch all game.
Detroit vs Dallas
What a great start for Detroit. They put up 14 quick points and Golden Tate III looked like the dude I used to love watching at Notre Dame.
I saw something that I thought I'd never see: Matt Stafford making a DB miss and running for a first down. Tyler Patmon, thank you for being a part of that and totally whiffing on the tackle.
I am not a big fan of Jim Caldwell. After initially making it to Super Bowl in his first year with the Colts, it went downhill in a hurry and the team was picking first overall. I think he did an awesome job with this talented Detroit roster but one decision stood out to me in this game: the decision to punt when they had a 4th and short around midfield with a 4 point lead. Just yesterday we saw John Harbaugh go for it in a similar situation and convert in a big way. I think this cautious approach defines who Jimmy Caldwell is and it will continue to cost his team football games.
Detroit got some great pressure on Romo. He kept some plays alive with his feet and he also took some costly sacks. My favorite play was how he maneuvered in the pocket on the go-ahead touchdown pass. Great footwork and a great throw to Terrance Williams.
How about DeMarcus Lawrence on that last drive. He scoops a fumble to seal the game, but then he fumbles it right back to Detroit. Then on the final play, he gets the big strip sack that ends the game. Good for him, I bet that dude was neeerrrvvvooouuusss on that last drive!