PS Pro – Here we go! – Wildcard Saturday

Posted: January 4, 2020 in All Things Power Spread

Welcome to the 2020s. PS Pro synching up College and Pro Football for the first time in 80 yrs!

Power Spread has brought us Back to the Future. Aggressive Flexible Variety. The exploration Flexibility – the “glue” that holds it all together. Exploring all Space- spanning all Time – evolving all Team. Present, Past, Future as One. PS and beyond…

2020 – A New Vision – Back to the Future

When I started the idea of Power Spread – some 10+ years ago – I began to form an idea around this concept of Dynamic Opposition. I saw two disparate elements – Power and Spread – more powerful as One. Just as we could see on the playing field. Spread to Power the middle. Power the middle to Spread.

PS=st2

Thus the more advanced concept of Team. United we Stand, Divided we Fall. Soon after I realized the great Energy that this synergy creates. A Game Energy if you will. So PS became Game Energy. A microcosm of Energy using Space / Time / Team on the field and off. Sport as a microcosm of Life.

Aggressive Flexible Variety

I then added the precepts Aggressive Flexible Variety, but soon left Flexible out the formula. The Football world – the world in general – wasn’t ready. Exploration in Variety is still a relatively new thing over the last few hundred years or so.

Evolution is happening fast now. Variety is more accepted and explored than ever before. In Football, Sport and the World at large. The time has come for the precept -Flexible – to be entered back into the mix.

2010s – The Beginning of the Merge

We saw it start forming in this past decade. As the College “Spread” started evolving, it combined with other Spreads and Power Spreads – the most popular of which was the Air Raid. Thus PSAR.

The NFL started experimenting with the Power Spread. Quicker than I expected, to be honest. The Talent that was coming into the league dictated a different type of scheme, concept, way of thinking. Still based largely on the Pro style offense, but with PS sprinkled throughout. Pro PS.

Pro PS – Power of One

Now we see something amazing happening. Power Spread really is the epitome of Dynamic Opposition exploring the Power of One. College has now added more Pro concepts back to its PS base, while NFL Teams are experimenting with PS as their base as well. PS Pro!

Colleges are taking it a step further. Experimenting with all sorts of schemes and concepts from All Football History. Combining it all into one powerful dynamic. We will see this at the NFL level soon. PS2020.

PS2020 – Dynamic Opposition Full Circle – Back to the Future

While most NFL teams still use a Pro Style base, the lean towards PS is stronger than ever before. Baltimore with Lamar Jackson, for sure, is a PS Pro Offense at this point. There will be more.

The distinction between Pro and College is dwindling every year. PS is everywhere and will continue to grow into new forms throughout the Roaring 20s! Back to the Future we go! PS2020 and beyond…

Wildcard Saturday

All four teams today have more interesting schemes on Defense than on Offense. This is still relatively common in the NFL as it’s still a push&pull to fully give into the a Power Spread Philosophy.

Offense

That being said, Buffalo has an Offensive Coordinator who has run a PS Style offense at the College level. They use their QB in the power run game and mix a lot of PS into their Pro PS system. Almost PS Pro.

The other three have a lot of PS elements, but are still strictly Pro PS. Disappointing in the case of Tennessee and Houston as they each possess very talented Dual Threat QBs in the mold of a Lamar Jackson, but don’t use that powerful tool.

Defense

On Defense all 4 Teams are very similar. In fact there are coaching ties amongst all four. Head Coach Mike Vrabel of Tennesse is a protege of NE’s Bill Belichick. So is HC and Defensive Coordinator Bill OBrien and Romeo Crennel of Houston.

HC Sean McDermott of Buffalo is from the amazing Jim Johnson legacy of the Eagles, but also has Ron Rivera in his most recent background. Rivera is connected to the Ryans, which is connected back to the Belichick guys.

Defense sets the tone for these teams

With anything connected to the Ryans you are talking about “Psycho” Defense. Massive Aggression. Anything Jim Johnson is Deception with a Zone Blitz Mix of Coverages. The Union of which is a massive blitz heavy defense coming from all directions with a mix of different coverage to fool the Offense.

Because the NFL still tends towards a conservative mindset, you won’t see these Massive Blitz packages until 3rd down situations. Usually. Still, there is a lot of Aggressive Variety and some Flexibility in all 4 of these Defenses. Top schemes that will press the Offenses to be at their best.

Buffalo at Houston

Houston Defensive Issues

So Defenses dominate this game, right? Not necessarily. Of the 4 defenses playing today, Houston has, by far, had the worst year. They lost their most explosive player, Jadeveon Clowney, to start the year. Then their second most explosive player, JJ Watt, went down AGAIN with an injury. Injuries to an aging defensive backfield made matters worse.

Crennel is still a very good DC, but is working short handed. JJ Watt may play a lot in this game. If he’s effective this will help. A lot. Still, Houston is trying to piece together their Secondary and recently lost one of their star Safeties Deshaun Gipson. This is a problem because Buffalo’s QB Josh Allen has a big arm and can unleash the deep pass off of heavy power play action.

Watson stuck in a Pro Pass Spread

The other worry I have about Houston is there philosophy on Offense. O’Brien is a smart offensive mind who has proven to be a good Head Coach, but he’s stuck in Pass Spread mode. He doesn’t really think in terms of Power Spread. Yet he has one of the most athletic QBs in the league in Deshaun Watson.

Watson’s skill set is very similar to Lamar Jackson of Baltimore. Houston could literally be taking the league by storm with a PS Pro Offense just like the Ravens.

OBrien’s Pro Pass Spread is good, but limiting. Defenses today can handle it. Even with the talent he has accumulated. OBrien has added more RPOs to his scheme, but not many ROs or QB runs. He still tends to make Watson a one dimensional QB.

Prognostication – Buffalo

Buffalo has played a great mix of zone coverages to perfection this year. They are in synch as a team. Watson will have some problems from the pocket. Buffalo does have issues up front with size, so I expect Carlos Hyde to rumble for some yardage. But….

With the problems on Houston’s Defense right now, combined with their misuse of Watson at QB, I think Buffalo has got to be the favorite. Even as a road team. Their Offense, run by Brian Daboll – another Belichick protege – has better potential than most think. Allen is a good PS QB who is big and can run as well as pass.

I feel that the mix of power and spread by Buffalo will eat up the clock and create some big plays for Allen and his WRs. Houston actually has better talent on Offense and will have their yards, but not enough points.

Houston wins if…

IF Crennel can come up with a great game plan, shut down the Bills run game, and create pressure led by Watt, then Houston definitely can win this game. I wouldn’t be surprised. They are at home and O’Brien has made a lot of moves to bring in talent and combat all the injuries.

Of course if Allen gets hurt, this could be a big problem as Barkley looks shaky as his backup. If Watson gets hurt and as great as he has been, McCarron seems to have a much better feel for O’Brien’s Offense as a backup QB.

Pick – Buffalo, but is Houston due?

Overall, I think Buffalo has had the better year and momentum. I will take them in a relatively close – but not too close a game. But a Houston win would not be a shocker. In some ways, I feel they are due.

Tennessee at New England

People continue to pick against the Pats

Unlike the previous game, I really don’t see this pick being anything else than New England all the way!

I am actually surprised at how many people are picking Tennessee. Yes, they have better momentum, but overall, New England has had the better year. Plus, the experience and home field!

Is this really it? Is it really the end?

Also, the public continues to discount the talent and schemes of this Team under Belichick. Yes, they are getting old, but is it really the end? Yet?

Every year we say – this is it – New England will go down this year. Every year they have a good regular season, but coast into the playoffs – then turn it on!

I fell into that mindset myself the last couple of years. I was right about the Eagles having a good shot of beating NE in the SB 2 years ago, but I definitely thought NE was not going to make it all the way last year.

It will end soon, but is today the day?

NE really should have lost to KC last year in the AFC Championship. Actually, by the score I predicted – 28-24. An improbably offsides penalty let them off the hook. Still, they got through and won yet another SB!

Year after year. Possibly the greatest run we have ever seen in the NFL. It will end. Some day. The question is when? I certainly don’t think it’s today versus Tennessee.

Prognostication – New England

The Pats have a top Defense this year. They still have Brady and some good WRs/RBs on Offense. Their OLine is still decent. McDaniels is still a very good Offensive Coordinator. Belichick’s Defensive Scheme is more aggressive and effective since Matt Patricia left as DC. They have experience and they are at h

Tennessee has improved through the course of the year. Dean Pees is a very good Defensive Coordinator and runs the Baltimore Psycho D of Rex Ryan with elements of the zone blitz master Dick LeBeau – recently the Titans DC. QB Tannehill has done a good job in the OScheme run by the Titans. RB Henry has flourished behind one of the best Olines in the league.

Still, the Pats have the experience and the home field. Tennessee may make it a fight, but even then, it comes down to experience and scheme. Pats have both.

Pats Defense vs Titans Offense

Everyone is looking at the last game of the year versus Miami. Throw that game out! That was the Pat’s worst defensive effort of the year. They are better than that. Top CB Gilmore is way better than that.

HC Vrabel has really simplified the Tennessee Offense when he benched Dual Threat QB Marcus Mariota for Ryan Tannehill. I know it has had some success, but against who and in what circumstance?

Vrabel and his staff never figured out how to maximize Mariota’s talents. Tannehill is easier to work with if you don’t run a Power Spread style scheme. Better doesn’t necessarily mean good.

I don’t think this watered down Tennessee Pro PS Offense will work as well versus a top notch defense. I actually believe that Henry will get some yards. Tannehill will hit some passes. But I also believe Vrabel will play it conservative and still there will be mistakes. Especially on 3rd&Long situations, when Belichick likes to let it fly!

Good luck with that.

Pats Offense vs Titans Defense

I know the Pats Offense hasn’t been as strong as recent years. Age is catching up. Not only to Brady, but others. C Andrews has missed the season. RT Cannon missed time due to injury. Edelman is showing wear and tear.

Still, the Pats have talent and depth. Backups have performed relatively well. RB Michel is top notch. Rookie WR Harry is showing signs. And Brady still knows what he’s doing.

McDaniels runs a Pro PS, but can be tricky. He will mix in some really interesting PS Concepts and throw the Defense Offense. Expect some Jet Sweeps, reverses, and tricky play action. Maybe Brady catches a pass – who knows.

Titans DC Pees runs a tough aggressive scheme. They will pressure Brady and at times trick him. There may be an interception or two. But I really believe Brady will make big plays as well. More so, I expect the power game of NE to come through today. Michel, Burkhead, White and company will get yards. Maybe Harry on Reverses as well.

Kicking Game – Both teams struggling with injury

One thing that does worry me for the Pats is their Kicking situation. They still have their usual great Special Teams, but K Gostkowski has been out a lot of the year. His replacement is old vet Nick Folk. This is a big dropoff and could cause a problem in a close game.

Then again, Tennessee’s kicking situation may be worse. They lost their top guy, Succop, to start the year. Had him back for a time then lost him again. The dropoff has been significant for them as well. In fact, their new kicker Joseph, hasn’t even attempted a FG for the Titans yet!

So in the end, I’m back to what I said before. Tennessee is in trouble.

Pick – New England all the way

Does Tennessee even have a chance? Sure. They are on a bit of a roll. Have a good defense. A better Offense for now. But I have New England. Too much on their side. Don’t expect a performance like the one they gave last week.

Possibly close. Possibly not. If this is the year NE goes down, I believe it has to be KC or Baltimore. For this week, at least, I won’t make the repeated mistake of betting against New England.

~DP

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  1. […] PS Pro – Here we go! – Wildcard Saturday […]

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