Welcome back to the Yahoo Sports NFL Mailbag, where we’re answering your questions sent in via Twitter, Facebook, email, and screaming into the void. Today, our teams discussed include the Rams, Chiefs, Packers and Jaguars. Let’s roll!
Could the 2018 Rams be as good as the “Greatest Show On Turf” Rams?
-Thomas, via Facebook
Oh man, I hope so. Those turn-of-the-millennium Rams were some of the most fun, unhinged, video-game-come-to-life teams in NFL history. (Aside: I am as jacked for the Week 11 showdown between the Rams and the Chiefs as I’ve been for any regular-season game in a long time.)
But how do the Goff-Gurley Rams match up with their two-decade-past counterparts? Surprisingly well. For instance, the Rams of 1999 and 2000 totaled 526 and 540 points, respectively; the 2018 Rams, through seven games, are on pace for 537. The 2000 Rams had 7,335 total yards; the current crew is on pace for 7,124. The 2000 Rams had 63 offensive touchdowns; the 2018 Rams are on pace for 57.
Really, what this shows is how far ahead of the curve those GSOT Rams were. We all know that offensive schemes, penalty structures, and offensive protections have shot scoring and offense into the stratosphere. The fact that one of today’s most explosive teams is only on pace to roughly match the GSOT marks is a testament to how amazing that crew was. Here’s more on that crew:
Also, turf is hell on your knees, and it’s probably best to leave that in the past.
Will the Chiefs burn through another regular season, only to lose in the first round of the playoffs yet again?
-Rob, via Facebook
Yeah, you’re nailing the narrative that’s going to gather locomotive strength when we hit December. Can the Chiefs get it done in the playoffs, or will they continue to be the Los Angeles Dodgers … minus, you know, the appearances in the championship game.
Andy Reid’s now in his sixth season coaching the Chiefs, and he made the playoffs in four of the previous five. (The fifth, 2015, the Chiefs finished a game out of the wild card with a 1-4 Thanksgiving-to-Christmas stretch.) And in those four playoff appearances, the Chiefs have won exactly one game: a 30-0 waxing of the Texans after the 2015 season. So, yeah, the past isn’t exactly encouraging for the Chiefs.
But! There is hope. This is a team that can slice you from five different directions. Neutralize the running game, and Tyreek Hill will just bust out a 75-yard run on you. Clamp down on Hill, and Kareem Hunt will bowling-ball his way through your line. And in the midst of it all is Patrick Mahomes, looking exactly nothing like a guy in his first year as a starter.
We’ll learn a lot more about the Chiefs between now and the playoffs. But there’s every indication that they’ve overloaded themselves to the point that they’ve got a date with the Super Bowl. What could possibly go wrong with that prediction, huh?
This mid-70s Xerox commercial is just a beauty, 90 seconds that feels like 90 minutes, with a hysterical-for-the-time premise: the players on the field have the exact play right there in front of them! Don’t laugh, this is going to be the Giants next week. And they’ll still lose.
Where are all the Jaguars fans who said Bortles was good to go after the 2-0 start? *crickets*
-Burger King Trump, via comments
Was anybody really saying that? I mean, yeah, the Jaguars looked really good last season, good enough to maybe possibly almost beat the Patriots, but still — Blake Bortles is Blake Bortles. The best you can hope for with him is that he’s a quarterbacking cipher, a net zero who does nothing badly enough to actively harm his team while the defense just chews up the opposition. Sadly, that’s not been the case this year, and as we’ve seen in reverse with the Atlanta Falcons, a good defense isn’t enough to outrun a terrible offense.
We’re now at the point where we can legitimately start calling games “must win,” and this weekend’s Merrie Olde England matchup between Jacksonville and Philly qualifies as that for both teams. I think Philly’s going to roll, and Jacksonville’s going to “lose” Bortles coming through customs.
Will the week off help the Packers get their act together and be able to play well in both halves of a game?
-Stuart, via Facebook
Well, they’ve got the Rams, New England and Minnesota coming in the next five weeks, and that’s not exactly a recipe for easy success. What’s interesting is that the Packers rank fourth in total yardage but only 16th in points per game, which is a crude but effective way of saying they’re running up and down the field a lot. Plus, they’re ranked 15th in points allowed, right in the literal middle of the pack, so it’s not like they’re getting blown off the field defensively. Even so, this team currently holds the sixth and final playoff spot, so if the season ended today — which it probably won’t, but you never know — they’d still be in the playoffs.
That’ll do it for this week. We want your questions! Hit us up via email at email@example.com, on Twitter using the hashtag #AskYahooNFL, on Facebook here, or in the comments below. See you next week!
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• Jeff Passan: The 15 minutes that may have swung the World Series
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