Self-inflicted team distractions are a staple of NFL conference championship weeks and Super Bowls. The 49ers Monday became the first conference finalist to stumble when defensive lineman Charles Omenihu was arrested for misdemeanor domestic abuse following an alleged altercation with his girlfriend. We’ll see where this leads.
The four conference finalists share many characteristics and tendencies. They all run the hell out of the ball. With the occasional exception of the Chiefs, they don’t blitz very much. They all can really get after the opposing passer with a four or even three-man rush.
The 49ers and Eagles are particularly similar. That game will look a lot like ‘Niners-Cowboys last Sunday. With this exception. Philly will get more pressure on ‘Niner rookie QB Brock Purdy than Dallas did.
We’ve all heard the football bromide that, “It’s really hard to beat a good team three times.” Remember, the Bengals will be trying to defeat the Chiefs for the FOURTH straight time.
If Mahomes pulls this off despite that high ankle sprain, he will be elevated from legend to mythological god.
While he says he has not made up his mind, it appears to me that Brady is going to play next season, albeit with a different team.
Rodgers will play, period, IMO. He now says he is open to re-working his gargantuan contract, whether that is to provide the Packers with some salary cap relief or perhaps to help facilitate a trade.
This could be the end of the road for Ezekiel Elliott in Dallas, despite Jerry Jones’ longstanding tendency to hang on to spent, overpaid players. Zeke says he’s willing to take a pay cut to stay in Dallas. He has already taken a large “yards per carry” cut.
Tony Pollard’s surgery to stabilize his high ankle sprain and fractured fibula reportedly went well. He should be fully healed well before training camp. Remember, though, that he is scheduled to become a free agent in March. I see a franchise tag in his future.
Remember that after Pollard left the 49ers game late in the second quarter, the Cowboys rushed for only 21 yards in the second half.
Bill O’Brien is back in the NFL after leaving Alabama to take the Patriots’ offensive coordinator job. That should restore some direction for a Pats offense that in 2022 often appeared to be stumbling around with a blindfold, a cane and a guide dog.