NFL Season Epilogue: News and Notes (2017-18)
The Playoffs Begin Saturday.
One of the wackiest NFL seasons in recent history is over and the playoff intrigue has just started. Six NFL franchises need to hire new head coaches. Eight teams are new to the playoffs compared to last year. Lastly, the Buffalo Bills ended the longest playoff drought in history and made the postseason after 18 years. Let’s review the biggest headlines around the league from Black Monday, Fantasy Football, and this weekend’s playoffs now that the seedings are set.
New York Giants
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Finally! The Giants are officially cleaning house! Steve Spagnoulo will be taking over as interim HC, and asst. GM Kevin Abrams will take over as interim GM. TUNE IN TONIGHT at 10pm-12 join the debate !! #lasttake #wvmr #GiantsPride #GiantsNation #NYG #OdellBeckhamJr #Giants #EliManning #Blue #NFL #NewYork #NFCEast #HelmetCatch #Mcadoo #Snacks #TheCatch #Champions #Playoffs #GiantsFans #GiantsWin #GiantsFan #NewYorkGiants
The Giants fired Head Coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese in December. Owner John Mara got busy immediately and hired ex-Panthers executive Dave Gettleman as general manager. Gettleman has made moves already. He fired Marc Ross, the former vice president of player evaluation. The front office then waived RT Bobby Hart and benched LT Ereck Flowers for Sunday’s season finale.
Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is the leading candidate to become the Giants head coach. The big questions for the organization are the futures of QB Eli Manning and superstar WR Odell Beckham Jr. Gettleman must decide what to do with the number 2 draft pick too. Does he go, quarterback of the future, running back, or offensive tackle?
The Colts have fired Head Coach Chuck Pagano, who coached the team for six seasons. His record was 53-43 and he led the team to three playoff appearances. His last two seasons have been hampered by his own cancer diagnosis and franchise quarterback Andrew Luck’s right torn labrum. Owner Jim Irsay and Luck have gone on record stating Luck will be healthy next season. We will believe when we see it.
Mark Davis fired Jack Del Rio on Monday. During Del Rio’s tenure, the Oakland Raiders finally got back to their winning tradition. The team had a 12-4 record and made the playoffs in 2016. But, the NFL is a cutthroat business. You lead your team back from ridicule and your reward is a pink slip. What are the Raiders thinking? Jon Gruden, the current Monday Night Football analyst, and former Oakland head coach is expected to be named head coach very soon.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 1, 2018
Head Coach John Fox has been fired for the second time in two years. His players and coaching colleagues seemingly respect his talent, but that talent isn’t leading to sustained success. Since 2002, Fox has coached Panthers, then the Broncos, and the Bears. Fox should take some time off, go back to coordinating defenses and rebuilt his resume.
FTS does not understand this firing. In four seasons, Caldwell and the Lions had a 36-28 record. Coaching is not Detroit’s weakness. The lack of a sustained running game is. Lions’ ownership will learn that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. A recycled head coach or that young, hot coordinator isn’t the best solution for a new coach every time.
It’s not a firing, but the Arizona Cardinals have a head coaching vacancy. The Cardinals need to fill vital positions in their organization, including coaching staff, and a starting quarterback. We’ll be interested in analyzing what direction Arizona will go.
For the second time in three years, Pablo, the FTS head writer has come in second in his Fantasy Football League. His team, “Don’t Eli To My Face,” dominated the regular season, but lost at the worst time possible, Championship Sunday. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
News and Notes
This year’s NFL playoffs includes eight teams new to the postseason from last year. Those teams include perennial losers The Bills, The Titans, Los Angeles Rams, and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The “Marrone Bowl” will pit the Bills traveling to Florida to face the Jaguars. The Patriots path to the Super Bowl could come down to how well Jags’ QB Blake Bortles plays in the postseason. Bortles gets his first chance to silence the haters on Sunday.
NFL Playoff Bracket