Dec. 15, 2016
"The Stack" 12-13-16
The Stack is back on this Tuesday with plenty of football to talk about. Not necessarily going to be a long blog post, but let’s see what is all in “the stack” for today, Tuesday, December 13th:
Brady’s big night leads Patriots past Ravens on MNF
Tom Brady had himself a game. The New England Patriots quarterback had 406 yards and three touchdowns as the Patriots beat the Baltimore Ravens 30-23. The Patriots were in control of this game almost the entire way through, but the Ravens hung around in large part thanks to the special teams blunders the Patriots had. A punt grazed them and the Ravens recovered inside the five-yard line. They fumble a kickoff. The Patriots lead the NFL with the most fumbles on special teams this season. That is no good and something that you wouldn’t think would happen to a Bill Belichick coached Patriots team. When the Patriots needed a big play though, Brady delivered especially with his 80-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan to put the Patriots up ten, 30-20 with under seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Ravens kicked a field goal on their next possession and had a chance late, but it wasn’t enough. The Patriots are just that good at home and the Ravens didn’t play well enough early on in this game to win and this game could cost the Ravens a shot at the playoffs.
Rams fire Jeff Fisher
The Los Angeles Rams extended head coach Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead during the offseason, but decided not to announce anything until last week. Why? Who knows. One of the two (at least for now) will not be around for that extension into next season. That would be Fisher who was fired by the Rams on Monday following the team’s 42-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Since a 3-1 start, the Rams are 1-8. They have been badly outplayed in the last two games and Fisher’s feud with Rams legendary running back Eric Dickerson didn’t help matters. It also didn’t help that Fisher was seemingly placing blame on the Rams front office for some of the personnel moves that had been made. Fisher likely would have lasted and been given one more year if the Rams didn’t look like they had given up last week or if they didn’t look so dysfunctional across the board. Dickerson wants the Rams to go after Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. It very well could happen, but this is the big problem the Rams are going to face now having moved to L.A. Former star players and other celebrities are going to put in their two cents and help sway public opinion and what the fans think. We’ll see where the Rams go and if they keep listening to Dickerson.
Lane Kiffin goes to Florida Atlantic
Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin was desperate. He was so desperate to get a head coaching job that after he didn’t get the Houston job he decided to become the head coach of Florida Atlantic. Boca Raton is a lovely town, but Florida Atlantic sucks. Surely wouldn’t being the offensive coordinator at Alabama under Nick Saban or the offensive coordinator at LSU under good friend Eddie Orgeron be a better job than being a head coach at one of the worst college football teams in the country? I get it, being a head coach means you have control over the entire program, but I don’t see how Kiffin is going to have success at Florida Atlantic. This isn’t Gus Malzahn leaving his offensive coordinator position at Auburn to take the head coaching job at Arkansas State only to return to Auburn to become their head coach a year later. Maybe Kiffin will prove me wrong, but right now, this move is a puzzling move and leaves many scratching their heads.
Tannehill injury better than expected
The Miami Dolphins received good news on Monday regarding quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill has a sprained ACL and MCL, not a torn ACL like the Dolphins originally feared on Sunday. The injury still puts Tannehill’s season in doubt, but the news is better meaning he won’t face a rigorous rehab like he would have had he torn his ACL. Matt Moore will be the Dolphins starting quarterback for now. The Dolphins have a good chance to make the playoffs this year, but they needed Tannehill to help really solidify that playoff push. It will be interesting to see how the Dolphins play the final three games of the season and where they finish. If they make the playoffs, maybe we’ll see Tannehill.
In other news, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will practice this week for the first time since injuring his knee and having surgery on his meniscus after week two’s win over Green Bay. He’s hoping to play week 16 at Green Bay on Christmas Eve, but that would mean that the Vikings would have to remain in the playoff discussion. That means they have to beat the Indianapolis Colts this week. I think they can.
Lamar Jackson wins Heisman
Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday. His winning margin was the sixth highest all-time. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was a distant second. At the end of the day, Jackson won the Heisman in September and October. He cooled off in November, but the field was so weak that Jackson still was able to run away with the Heisman. He was very deserving of the award. Maybe he can win it again next year. Certainly wouldn’t put it past him.
Coming up Thursday: TNF preview plus other top stories in sports