After the Chicago Bears lost to Napoleon Dynamite look-alike, Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles, I came away confused and stunned. The same muddled feelings returned earlier this week after seeing Clemson dominate Nick Saban’s seemingly untouchable Crimson Tide. It’s been an unusually emotional week for me.
Nevertheless, here we are. Tomorrow the Divisional Round begins. Let’s dive into this week’s column!
Out With the Old, In With the New
The NFL is no doubt a copycat league. Trendsetters rule this league.
After doing some in-depth research, which took about five minutes, I discovered that there is a new trend that has found it’s way to the table.
Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams has been that trendsetter among coaching staffs. McVay’s perfect five o’clock shadow, fabulous hair (not nearly as nice as mine) and jawline that is certain to split the state of California before the San Andreas Fault, has impacted most NFL coaching jobs this offseason.
What trend, you ask? To keep it simple, NFL owners and general managers are out with the old and in with the new. Coaches are getting younger thanks to McVay’s rapid success and model-like appearance.
Based on six teams that have fired and hired new coaches so far, this trend proves to be true. The average age of the coaches fired is 52.8, 53 to keep the math simple. On the other hand, the average age of the new coaches is 48. I would argue the number for those hired is a bit skewed because of dinosaurs like Bruce Arians (66) and Vic Fangio (60) who drastically add years to the average. The other four coaches who were hired are all under 45 years of age, two of which are 39.
For whatever reason, teams like the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets hired young and denied hiring 55-year-old Mike McCarthy who has years of success in the league. Instead it appears that the new trend of youth, defined biceps and relatability have replaced the older, experienced coaches in the NFL. That trend doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon either.
But seriously, I have better hair than McVay.
Flack Friday Mailbag
I promised you bigger and better things in 2019 for the Flack Friday column. This week I’m implementing one of those ideas which I call the “Flack Friday Mailbag.” To make this column more of a conversation, I’m relying on your help.
Here’s how it works. You send in your thoughts, comments or questions to me (email@example.com or feel free to message SweetwaterNOW’s Facebook page.) Your submissions can be about anything relating to sports whether that be local or nationally. This is your column, not mine. I write what you want to read if we’re being honest. After you send in your comments, I’ll respond and include them in the following week’s Flack Friday.
Here’s this week’s submission:
Chris Fletcher, Rock Springs, Wyoming
Submission Comment: “You should do predictions on this week’s playoff games with scores. I’ll take Kansas City over Indianapolis 38-31. I think Mahomes will show that he can make big plays in the playoffs as well. I’ll take Dallas over the Los Angeles Rams 28-24. I think Dallas has that grit to be good enough in the playoffs. I’ll take New England over the Los Angeles Chargers 21-17. Brady is Brady and it’s going to be hard to beat him in the playoffs especially since he knows what it takes to win in January. I’ll take New Orleans over Philadelphia 31-24. The magic of Nick Foles will end to the Saints.”
Flack’s Reply: Thanks for your submission this week, Chris!
Strangely enough our picks are pretty much the same. As beautiful as NFL Playoff football is and can be, I feel very confident in the home teams this weekend, except for the Los Angeles Rams.
As you mentioned, Dallas does have “grit.” Dallas’ defense has been phenomenal this season and I don’t see why their front seven would disappoint this weekend. The only thing that has made a noticeable difference is the run game. Last week Dallas established a run game against Seattle which is essential for Dak Prescott’s game. Los Angeles is unpredictable week to week. I think the Cowboys win their last playoff game of the year, 24-21.
I’ve jumped on the Indianapolis Colts’ bandwagon. They truly have something special brewing in that locker room. Unfortunately I have to hop off this weekend in Kansas City to catch a ride to the Super Bowl. Even if the Colts played like they did last week, I still don’t see it being enough to take out the number one offense in the league. It’s as simple as that. The Rams had to put up 54 to beat them earlier this season. Give me Kansas City 38-21.
I completely agree with you Chris in the sense that Brady is Brady. While the Chargers obviously have the better roster, they haven’t had the necessary preparation. You have to think that every Los Angeles player has had some kind of nightmare this week. Imagine Brady having two weeks off sitting in his personal film room. That scares me if I’m on the opposite side. Toss in the facts that the Brady has won 85-percent of his home games and is 12-2 in the Divisional Round. I’ll take New England 28-17.
There really are people out there who believe the Eagles are going to march into New Orleans and come out on top. I beg to differ. The Saints have been one of the hottest teams this season. I shouldn’t have to spell it out. Foles will play his last game in an Eagles jersey and unfortunately for him it will result in a Saints victory 31-14.
Brayden a sports and community reporter for SweetwaterNOW. His column, Flack Friday, will be posted every Friday. You can submit comments, questions or ideas regarding the column to firstname.lastname@example.org.