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BSJ Daily Briefing 01.15.18: NFL Final 4 — Jaguars are coming to Gillette

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(Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports)

Good morning!

A few random thoughts on this weekend's NFL playoffs while I make reservations for Minneapolis ...

  • I still don't believe what I just saw in Minneapolis:

  • There was nothing wrong with the coverage call (even though with 10 seconds left, I would have junked the two CBs near the sideline because now the Vikings need yards) because you still had to protect against the field goal. If Marcus Williams makes the tackle and Stefon Diggs gets out of bounds, there's about 3 seconds left with about a 50-yard field goal. Williams just choked. He's never going to live that down.
  • I'm sorry, but Rahim Moore in 2012 was just as bad. The only reason this play against the Ravens didn't look as bad was because Moore was such a circus that he didn't get to where he was supposed to be (on top of the receiver). Seriously, the guy was spinning around like a top.

  • That was a fabulous final 5 minutes in that game. Could have gone either way.
  • Man, what a crap show in Pittsburgh but, obviously, totally predictable. Steelers mouthing off, thinking they're just going to win by showing up. And Mike Tomlin was nowhere to be seen to rein them in.
  • I have no idea how Tomlin's job is not in danger. That team was way too talented to be out already. And this isn't a new revelation in Pittsburgh.
  • But friend Dejan Kovacevic in Pittsburgh said firing Tomlin would be ridiculous:

Mike Tomlin will still be the head coach, as he will for the foreseeable future. There will be all the requisite grousing about decisions on this day, or the sluggish start, or the overall underperformance. Much of that will be fair, particularly as related to the failed onside kick late in the game. (More on that in a spell.) But the rational perspective spotlights that we’re talking about the most successful first 11 years of any NFL head coach other than Don Shula. And about winning 22 of the past 27 games, with four of those five losses coming to the Patriots and these Jaguars. And about having guided the group through all manner of bona fide adversity.

Repeating for emphasis: There’s no rational discussion about the Steelers that begins with replacing Tomlin.

  • What's the definition of insanity again?
  • His solution: both the coordinators get fired. Who hired them? Who oversees them? Who allowed Todd Haley to call that toss play on 4th and 3 inches?
  • Give the Jaguars credit, but know this: there is no way the Jaguars beat the Patriots on Sunday. If the Patriots lose, it's because they beat themselves. Blake Bortles is not beating Tom Brady in his home stadium with a Super Bowl berth on the line.
  • But it will be fun to watch Patriots fans tie themselves into pretzels trying not to jinx themselves. "Yeah, Tom Coughlin totally has Belichick's numbah. He's totally going to give Marroney the blueprint."
  • And it will be fun to watch the radio hosts lament the Patriots' path, and the fans hitting back at them. Let's go!
  • I will say this, Doug Marrone is a pretty good coach. I didn't like his paranoia and thin-skinness with the Bills, but when he cuts out the B.S. (that's what Coughlin is there for), he's a pretty good coach. That 4th-and-2 call on the opening drive was awesome. He's on top of it situationally.

And away we go...

CATCHING UP

Patriots

View from Pittsburgh: Jaguars fired up about Steelers’ perceived disrespect
View from Pittsburgh: Stunned Steelers ’embarrass’ themselves within devastating loss to Jaguars
Completed Q&A: Bedard on Jaguars-Patriots AFC Championship Game
5 Patriots’ takeaways from Sunday’s Jaguars-Steelers divisional playoff game
Notebook: Source says ‘minor’ knee sprain for LaAdrian Waddle
Lively Live Coverage: Jaguars 45, Steelers 42 — Pittsburgh is stunned by Jacksonville
NFL Notebook: If he leaves to become a head coach, Brian Flores could face unique challenge

Celtics

NBA Notebook: Will the Cavs figure things out or are they vulnerable in the East?
Podcast: Talking Celtics, Hayward, trade options on Gasper and Murray

Bruins

NHL Notebook: O’Gara honing skills, Marchand anxious, Kelly representing

Red Sox

MLB Notebook: Red Sox, Betts can’t get on same page; Rookie camp upcoming and more

ON TAP

11 a.m.: Patriots conference calls (Price)
1 p.m.: Stars at Bruins, NESN (McDonald)
4:30 p.m.: Men's CBB – Butler at Providence (FS1)
5 p.m.: Live Q&A — Sean McAdam on Red Sox/MLB.
7 p.m.: Men's CBB – Florida St. at Boston College (ESPNU)

PARTING THOUGHT

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