ITP Chat: Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans

Saturday playoff games are a treat, mostly because we at Inside The Pylon are not publishing the next day, and can just watch the games. When we do watch, we chat. And here, for your reading pleasure, our Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans Wild Card chat.

Craig Craker: Marshawn Lynch was just ruled as OUT for Sunday’s game. Oh boy. Couldn’t have ruled yourself out a bit earlier in the day, Marshawn?

John Harrington: Point spread hasn’t moved yet on the Seattle game.

Craig: I don’t know if it will. Did people really think he was going to carry the ball 25 times?

John: Yeah, unlikely.

Craig: I assumed he would carry like 10 times and mainly be used as a decoy. I mean, I was dreaming old Lynch would show up, but didn’t seem likely.

Shane Alexander: Doug Baldwin tha Gawd. Seattle will be fine. And the Ghost of Fred Jackson will make an appearance.

Dave Archibald: Christine Michael has fumble issues, no? And isn’t the weather going to be very cold?

Mark Schofield: Yep.

Hey, remember when Joe Webb started a playoff game for the Vikings? He hit for a big gain on their first offensive play and then it all went as expected after that.

Dave A: That would be a fun article – the top 5 or 10 unlikeliest players to start a playoff game. Did Lindley start a playoff game for Arizona last year?

Mark: Yep.


Dave A: Cardinals had 78 total yards. T.J. Yates started one for Houston a couple years back if I recall correctly. I think Scott Zolak started one for the Pats after Bledsoe broke his finger. (1998)

Mark: Frank Reich started in that Buffalo Bills huge comeback over the Houston Oilers.

John: Seattle down to -4.5. Not sure if that’s Lynch or the weather or some combination.

Craig: Michael has only lost one fumble in his career. I think his bad reputation is more that he carries the ball in the wrong hand.

Dave A: Someone named Sean Salisbury started a playoff game for the Vikings in 1992. He went 6 of 20 for 113 yards, zero touchdowns and 2 interceptions.

Mark: His post-NFL career was just as rough.

[Editor’s Note: The Kansas City at Houston game has just started.]

Philip Kibbey: Welp.

Pete: That was quick. Where was the kicker? Or the safety?

Philip: Talk about unlikely starts to a playoff game.

Chuck Zodda: Ok, looks like I have some stuff already for this week. Double-teamed R3 and ran right off that block, I think.

Shane: Knile Davis was really good once upon a time.

At Arkansas.

Aidan Curran: Texans were close to stuffing him at the 10, then one missed tackle and he gone.

Philip: 32nd-ranked ST unit, Chuck.

David R. McCullough: “2nd most punting yards in NFL history” is … a completely worthless statistic. Like, it tells us that Lechler has been active for a very long time. But past that, it is utterly useless at telling us if Lechler isany good at his job.

Pete: It’s ESPN, of course they’re speaking of worthless statistics.

David M: 13 Personnel reference. Thanks Gruden!

Aidan: Well things are going well for the Texans!

David M: Oh Hoyer.

Pete: That was a fine catch.

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

Aidan: Vince Wilfork on offense

Pete: That play was… uninspired?

Aidan: And J.J. Watt as a wildcat QB… Shaking my head, George Godsey.

David M: Gruden just did a Dan Fouts in the Waterboy impression.

Shane: Where is ITP on the love/hate scale for J.J. Watt?

Aidan: I can’t stand him.

Chuck Z: I dig him. He’s probably a little over the top but I enjoy seeing different personalities.

David M: Shane, I think you’ll find that there are few consensus opinions here other than Bill Belichick is a God, playing 3D chess while all others are mortal, and playing checkers

Mark: And that Jimmy Garoppolo is dreamy.

David M: Jimmy is very dreamy.

Pete: I think we can all agree that Hoyer is not very good.

Craig: Wow. Nice throw, Hoyer.

David M: Hoyer is probably still concussed.

Chuck Z: Put Schofield in.

Mark: I got a few throws left in this beaten-down arm.

David M: No you don’t.

Mark: Every season Brady still plays gives me hope.

Chuck Z: You wearing lifts?

Mark: I envision a players’ strike, and Belichick just starts calling around to see if any former Wesleyan QBs can still run the flexbone. That’s a short list and one I might just top.

David M: So, basically the plot from The Replacements?

Gene Hackman, The Replacements

Gene Hackman, The Replacements

Mark: Minus the Sugar Bowl and first-round pick thing.

David M: You know what we need more of, Mark?

Mark: Football film reviews?

David M: Close.

Heart. We need heart.

Aidan: So uh, back to this game… Brandon Weeden time????

Shane: J.J. Watt as a wildcat QB is Bill O’Brien throwing in the towel on any credibility offensively. It’s just gimmicks and DeAndre Hopkins.

And yes, Belichick is a God and Brady is the greatest living American. Unquestionably.

Mark: You get a raise.

David M: O’Brien made the playoffs with Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, Yates, and Weeden. That’s being asked to make bricks without straw. Or mud.

Shane: I love O’Brien. Not a shot at him. More of a credit that he made chicken soup out of chicken shit. In his head and heart, I bet BOB hates the fact he has to gimmick his way to wins.

Aidan: In his head & heart, I bet BOB hates the fact that he has no viable options at QB. Watch Houston trade a 1st for Jimmy in the offseason.

David M: In what round does BOB start begging Rick Smith to take Christian Hackenberg?

Shane: 2nd.

Mark: Hackendberg to Houston is like that Navy long snapper (Joe Cardona) to New England last draft. Stone cold locks.

Chuck Z: Texans are probably drafting what, 21-24?

David M: It is likely that no Texans QB from 2015 makes the 2016 roster. That probably doesn’t happen with playoff teams very often. Arizona brought back Drew Stanton from last year’s pu-pu platter, FWIW.

Craig: I just remembered B.J. Daniels is Houston’s third-string QB. I’m dreaming of him leading the Texans to the comeback victory.

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

Aidan: Red is not a flattering color on Andy Reid.

Mark: Color is not a flattering color on Andy Reid.

Chuck: We were just talking about that here. He needs a neutral like navy or gray.

Pete: Or a poncho.

David M: Was the phrase “earth tones” used Chuck?

Chuck Z: Earthy would be good. But no one wants to coach the Browns.

Aidan: The Eagles shade of green worked well for him.

Mark: Andy left Philly cheesesteaks for Kansas City BBQ. His next gig needs to be in San Francisco. Some raw fish would be good for that diet.

David M: Ya know, as bad they’ve been, the Texans score here and this is a 1-score game at the half.

Aidan: That’s asking a lot David.

Pete: And the Texans get the ball.


David M: HOYER SHIT. For when holy shit is not enough incredulity.

Chuck Z: You have to pull Hoyer now, right?

Pete: Yeah.

Aidan: Brandon Weeden thinking about coming into this game like:

Slack for iOS Upload-1

David M: What do you suppose Hoyer’s looking at on those papers the coach is showing him? Just how much he overthrew that ball? The double coverage?

Pete: Guy in the white jersey was wide open.

David M: Lost in the Hoyer mess is that Alex Smith still sucks. That this is still a game, despite Hoyer’s efforts to provide KC with an insurmountable lead is proof.

Aidan: It’s gonna be really awkward for this Houston crowd when Hoyer engineers the game-winning drive to win the game 14-13

Shane: The Chiefs are good enough to sustain the growing pains of any of the Top 5 2016 QB prospects if they wanted to go in that direction. I’d love to see Jeremy Maclin, Jamaal Charles, and Travis Kelce in a few years with a high-ceiling, ballsy QB.

Aidan: I’m struggling to decide whether this Chiefs team can give the Patriots a scare. I’m leaning towards yes.

David M: Do they have any healthy defensive linemen? If so, then yes, they can give the Patriots more than a scare.

Aidan: If Houston is out or plays injured…Smith-Red-Zoen

Shane: Alex Smith isn’t getting playoff QB win over Bill and Tom…

David M: Probably not, but the OL is about as bad as it can get and everyone but Gronk is badly banged up. Edelman, Amendola, and LaFell might be 100% combined.

Aidan: I think Edelman will be fine. Amendola should be good enough to go… Lafell stands to benefit from having both of them back together on the field.

David M: LaFell has been quietly awful and re-injured his foot, so I’d give him the best % because he’s not missed any time, just played poorly.

Shane: LaFell cost me money in DFS on multiple weekends this season. He’s dead to me.

David M: LaFell is a very nice 5th option. Asking more than that is exceeding the manufacturer’s recommended usage settings and voids the warranty.

Amendola re-injured the knee last week and before that was hobbling around. And no one – not even the Ortho– knows whether Edelman can cut with his foot injury. All we’ve seen is some light jogging before practices.

So… no, I have no confidence in any of them being better than a decoy next week. Gronk and three decoys is better than nothing – but it ain’t good.

Aidan: Dave you’re making me sad.

Pete: Dave will do that. Don’t listen to him, that’s what I do.

DavidM: Crazy Steve is the best Steve Smith. All the other Steve Smiths are just imitating.

Chuck Z: That’s actually a nice read by Brian Hoyer there

Mark: He read a bus map and decided how best to leave Houston?

Aidan: Holy crap Hoyer just begged Sean Smith to intercept him again.

Aidan: What a strong catch by Conley there. Game over for Houston.

Shane: Conley is in that “too athletic to fail” realm.

Chuck Z: I know Hoyer has no help, but he’s not your QB next year and he’s not giving you any chance here.

Pete: I’m with Chuck, season only has 19 minutes left. You have to do something different.

David M: Are you guys REALLY calling for Weeden?

Chuck Z: It could be worse, but it could also be better. #fencesitter

Pete: If it doesn’t get better then they’re going to lose. Hoyer isn’t going to magically stop sucking.

Aidan: How could you not? You have nothing to lose.

Shane: Too bad Macho Man Tom Savage is on injured reserve.

Chuck Z: Like, in most situations you stick with the guy. But there’s no chance Hoyer is a long-term guy. Unless you just don’t want to burn the relationship for some reason.

Shane: Depending on the day, twitter thinks Paxton Lynch, Carson Wentz, Connor Cook, Jared Goff, and Christian Hackenberg all suck. But I just sat through Brian Hoyer and Alex Smith playing a playoff game that their head coaches willingly started them in. So.

You tell me.

Mark: I like the new guy.

David M: I don’t get why people think 22-year-olds are going to be easy to project or fully-formed. Then again, a fair number of the people opining about these QBs are themselves younger than the QBs, and they think they know it all… so why doesn’t Goff?

Pete: Do you wish that they would vacate your lawn?

John: Funny, that’s my twitter bio.

Shane: Yes. Yes, I do.

David M: Have you seen my twitter follower list? None of those guys are on my lawn. They can’t even find my house.

Shane: Twitter can have Jacoby Brissett in Round 5 or Trevone Boykin in Round 7 & keep waiting on Johnny Manziel to be the great white hope. I’ll take A.J. McCarron or Kirk Cousins & sleep well at night.

Now, I’m going to step down off my high horse and fix a drink before the next game starts.

Mark: Might be time to revisit that Jacoby Brissett piece I shelved that ended with “now get off my fucking lawn.”

David M: Not after editing, it didn’t.

I moved it to the introduction.

Mark: More the concept. But still not dying on Brissett Hill. I’d love Brissett in the 5th to Pittsburgh to learn from Ben. Similar playing style. There was a time when I was high on him, but…

Shane: Oh, as a developmental QB, I like Brissett. But this “pass on the Top 5 and wait for Brissett in Round 5” mentality will get a lot of people fired.

Mark: Wait… people advocate that? Hoyer shit, indeed.

David MAdam Gase gets the Miami Dolphins job. I think he’s a good hire. They’re all-in with Tannehill and either Gase makes him work OR they draft another guy at the end of this season and Gase grooms him.

John: They need someone to fix Tannehill, so ok.

Aidan: If I were an NFL team I’d be a little bit worried that Guenther would be Cincy’s pick as next HC instead of Jackson.

David M: Plus, Gase’s resume had nowhere to go but down; he made it work with Tim Tebow, he set records with Peyton Manning, he got Jay Cutler back on track. Staying in Chicago was all risk for no reward.

I wonder if the Titans patient approach cost them a chance at him.

Shane: Tennessee should’ve thrown Graceland at him. They’ve got nothing to offer normally and now they have this gem in Marcus Mariota. Gase would’ve been perfect to mold his talent.

David M: Aidan, I admit I hadn’t thought of it before LaCanfora reported it, but it makes sense. I was ​*strongly*​ against Hue ever getting another chance – what he did after Al Davis died will disqualify him from a lot a places/jobs – but I’ve softened as I’ve been convinced that Al would have made the Carson Palmer trade had he lived.Palmer-feat

But it is a ​BIG​ problem for Hue in any interview. “Why’d you go rogue and trade multiple picks without anyone’s approval right after the owner died?”

Shane, I think Mariota can work for​ any of the top OCs; Hue included.

Aidan: I like Hue as an offensive coordinator but not as a head coach. Everyone thinks that just because you’re good as a coordinator that’ll translate to the top job.

David M: Well, fewer people think that since Norvell Turner exists. But some still do.

Shane: I’m a huge Mariota fan. He was my QB1. I just want a team of competent players put around him. He’s too fun to waste.

David M: I like him too, and think he’ll be good with Chip Kelly or Josh McDaniels, or Jackson, or even Greg Roman.

Mark: Okay. Now I really like the new guy.

Chuck Z: HC is the classic management problem. People think because you’re good at managing one aspect of a business that you can guide the whole thing. And often you can’t. A head coach needs vision, with the ability to hire people to execute. Not the ability to run half the shop.

Shane: McDaniels is someone I think will be better in his second act having learned some stuff the hard way. Much like Will Muschamp at South Carolina but that’s another topic for another day.

I don’t really want Matt Patricia cutting his teeth in Cleveland, because he’s my favorite non-HC in football, at their level, right now. I’d hate to see him leave NE, but I think he’s going to be really good eventually.

David M: Belichick talked in his PC this week about how it took 3-4 years for him to have the proper machine in place, and that once it was, he could do his​ job and let all the other talented people around him do their job.

Too many HC try to do all the jobs, or don’t delegate fast enough.

Chuck Z: Not exclusive to HC. Delegation is a really hard skill to learn. But if I were picking a HC, it’d be at the top of my list.

Dave A: I think that’s an argument for an experienced HC. Tough skill to learn second-hand.

David M: Well, you can delegate at a HOF level and if you don’t have a QB you’re fired no matter what.

Dave A: I don’t see why Cincy would fire Lewis for losing a playoff game with his backup QB.

David M: I don’t either but he’s been there ​forever​ without winning a playoff game, so if they want to, they can. Who would blink?

Chuck Z: Dave A, that almost makes the case for the HC retreads as much as people don’t like them.

Dave A: Yep. Wait until my HC analysis piece comes out. Data definitely points towards experience. By the way, I missed entire KC / HOU game to go to a cookie party. Looks like I made the right call.

Mark: Cookie party?

Pete: I would have rather had cookies.

Mark: (I don’t get out much.)

Dave A: It’s exactly what it sounds like Mark.

John: Cookies. That’s awesome. You take a tray of cookies, and you take one or two cookies from everyone else’s tray and leave with a delightful assortment. And a stomachache.

Still no CBS here in the northern Rockies so it looks like I’ll be consuming this one via radio. No CBS in all of Montana. You can bet they’ll have it resolved before the Broncos play next week.

Aidan: I really hope Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh is more competitive.

Pete: As do I.

Admiral Adama: So say we all.

Follow us on Twitter @ITPylon.

Inside The Pylon covers the NFL and college football, reviewing the film, breaking downmatchups, and looking at the issues, on and off the field.

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