Tuesday Leftovers: Hash And Rehash Of NFL Playoffs

What You May Have Missed Before we get to Wednesday’s inevitable lookahead to the AFC and NFC conference championship games, let’s finish the leftovers from the weekend past. There’s...

What You May Have Missed

Before we get to Wednesday’s inevitable lookahead to the AFC and NFC conference championship games, let’s finish the leftovers from the weekend past. There’s certainly enough to chew on:

Tennessee disputes malarkey about dumping coach, dumps coach Mularkey: No, no, it’s all sweetness and light and we hate rumor-mongers, ownership said a not long ago when word filtered out that the coach was in trouble. Then, over the weekend, talks began about extending coach Mike Mularkey’s contract after he piloted the team (a bit unsteadily) to the playoffs and an upset road playoff victor at Kansas City. Different vision, ownership said Monday, to success in the future. Bye, coach. Your friendly neighborhood blog (FNB) says: Mularkey was asked to make staff changes and wouldn’t, then paid for it.

Coach’s anthem is “Won’t Back Down:” Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told the media to “have at it” after the 45-42 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. FNB’s turn. Your FNB still can’t believe the Steelers went with the onside kick with 2:18 left and two times-out in their pocket. True, they hadn’t gotten the Jags off the field off day, but pinning them deep and doing it once would have given the Steelers a chance to win. Instead they surrendered another field goal and trailed by 10. Tomlin, of course, defended this onside kick that was both a poor strategy and a terribly executed one.

A case for Case: As well as he has played, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum seems yet to completely win coach Mike Zimmer’s support. Next season the Vikings will have a healthy Sam Bradford (for about an hour, based on history) and Teddy Bridgewater. If offensive coordinator Pat Shumur becomes the New York Giants coach, might the free-agent Keenum tag along?

Officiating and commercials, equally awful: This league needs to make clear what a catch is, what a touchdown is, what a turnover is, what pass interference is. The officials are spending as much time in front of a monitor as the fans at home. Heck, why not let us vote on replays? But at least the referee doesn’t have to see awful ads over and over. Your FNB particularly despises DirecTV and GEICO spots. Which ones do you hate? Another thought: Some games (Atlanta-Philadelphia) featured Mercedes-Benz commercials (MB owns the naming rights to the Falcons’ stadium), while others were strictly trucks. How do the car companies figure this?

More NFL playoff fun later this week.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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