John's Well-Educated Guesses: AFCCG - The Recap
Boy did that game play out differently than I thought it would. As we will see in a second, my predictions were damn good. And I said we would win. It's just how we got there that was way off in my brain.
I thought we'd be able to run on the Jags all day. Not even close. And I thought we would use their speed up front against them by attacking vertically up the seams and to the outside by flooding zones, forcing corners and safeties into tough decisions. We did that, but not until the third quarter. We started the game with screens and reverses and stretch plays that were snuffed out by the quickness of the Jags so fast I barely had time to dip my wing in blue cheese.
On defense we knew the Jags were going to be predictable to a degree. Bortles, who is a fucking gamer I have to say, just isn't good enough to really open up the playbook. Romo said that during the broadcast and I thought it was great analysis. They were running the same simple plays over again to not make a mistake, but if he wanted to put us away he would have to do something special. He did not. But early on they had us guessing big time. Our linebackers we're geared up to stop the run on early downs, forcing 3rd and longs just like I wanted. The problem was we bit every play fake so hard that WRs were running NUDE on crossing routes for the entire first half. Bortles would bootleg and see nothing but daylight. I'm actually shocked they only scored 14 points in that first 30 minutes.
And don't even get me started on third downs. We converted a 3rd and long, 10 I think, to Hoags with about 9 minutes left in the third quarter. That was our FIRST third down conversion of the day. We finished 3 for 12 for crying out loud. If we lose the Super Bowl it will be one billion percent because of third downs. On both sides of the ball. Because while we were sitting there with our dicks in our hand on the most important down, the Jags were something like 4 for 6 or 5 for 7 in the first half. We cleaned it up for sure, I want to say they finished 6 of 15, but that first half is a JOKE. Bortles completed like 12 straight passes at one point.
My "We Want Six" crew were rage texting each other until our thumbs were bleeding over that disaster. On a huge third and 8 in the second half we sent Malcolm on a corner blitz which forced a Bortles throw away. Flip and Trygg said right away we would see that blitz again on another huge 3rd down. Sure enough, right before our game winning tuddy drive, when we stalled out and kicked it back to them, we got a necessary stop. There was Malcolm flying in off the corner on third down. The Jags adjusted and hit Hurns (I think) in the space Malcolm vacated. But Dev played the zone blitz scheme perfectly and had a HEROIC form tackle right at the sticks to force the punt. We Want Six stamped that as the play of the game in real time, and bless their souls they just might be right.
Take a deep breath, its over, we won. Let's see how I did.
Prediction: This one shouldn't even count, but apparently people are still talking about it. Tommy will play. Nothing more need be said.
Prediction: We hold Fournette under 80 yards. Not that bold actually. Counting the playoffs he has been over 80 yards 7 times, and under 80 yards 8 times. But don't get it twisted, this will be key. If we can bottle him up early and get a lead, the Jags become one dimensional and have to throw to Marquis Lee?? Please.
Result: Fournette finished with 24 carries for 76 yards and a tuddy. Another check in the JO column. He sure was close, and he did more than I thought he would TBCFHWY, but bottling him up on first downs in the fourth quarter was very important.
Prediction: Hoags is back at it again. The AFCCG hero from last year dusts off his cape and pulls out another super human performance. I think Gronk will get his to a degree, but he will be the focus of their D. I think Cooks will no show again unfortunately, and Dola will Dola. So where do the game changing plays come from? My man Chris Hogan. Lets say he goes over 80 and a tuddy for me to be right, but I think he catches a deep one that is a huge momentum play.
Result: STINK. Hoags had 2 catches for 20 yards. He did have that aforementioned 17 yarder for a big first down, but that was pretty much the only sign of a pulse. I was very wrong about Cooks, he did exactly what I thought Hoags would do. And "Dola will Dola" is the understatement of the century.
Prediction: The Pats are headed to Minnesota ladies and gents. It's ugly for a while, but with 2, count em, 2 Blake Bortles picks this train rolls on. Final score: Pats 24 - Jags 16
Result: Winner, winner, chicken dinner. No picks from Bortles who played a hell of a game, but I was all over this one. Pats 24-20. If we held the Jags to a FG on just one of their tuddy drives in the first half I would have sniped this exactly.