PS Pro – 2020 Land Ho! Championship Sunday

Posted: January 25, 2021 in All Things Power Spread

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

Aggressive Flexible Variety. The exploration began with Aggression early last Century. Moved into Variety in the 2nd part of that Century. Now, early in this Century Flexibility will fully be explored.

Change can be tough, but if resistance is released and the “new” embraced, it can be miraculously transformative.

Perfection found not from our limited perceptions, but from our higher selves.

Power dynamically linked to Spread.

2020 – Ushering in the Age of Flexibility

For Playoff Preview - scroll below

I called for Age of Flexibility last year and we got it. Big time. 2020 ushered in THE CHANGE. Adapt and grow or move on. It took the stubborn NFL 20 years to catch up to what was going on in the College Game. Let’s hope our World adapts a little quicker.

Football Evolution – Pro vs College

Last year I spoke of the complete “merging” of NFL and College concepts for the first time since they effectively separated in the 1940s.

At that time, the NFL developed the Modern T, while College gravitated to the burgeoning Option Football Ideal. Timing & Execution vs Repetition & Improvisation. SpaceTimeTeam explored from within the details of knowledge vs knowledgable exploration into the unknown. Truth + Discovery. Power Spread.

The Yin and the Yang – The Power and the Spread

As the 1960s approached, the NFL began to explore the Pro Concepts of Sid Gillman in both the Spread Run Game (Packer Sweep/Zone Blocking) and the Spread Pass Game (The Original West Coast Offense), while Colleges were meshing a simpler version of Pass and Option Run Concepts (Wishbone/Flexbone/Twin Veer/Pro Veer).

By the 80s, Don Coryell’s Gillman Spread Pass Attack gave way to Bill Walsh’s evolved West Coast Spread Pass Scheme, while Joe Gibbs perfected the West Coast Power Run Scheme. Colleges began to perfect their own WC Offense in the form of BYU’s Pass Spread Attack. Again, a simpler WC pass design with more improvisation.

The College Option Game – a game of Improvisation – led to a QB improvised BYU Offense and finally a WR improvised Run & Shoot Passing Spread. Originally created by Tiger Ellison in the 60s – a precursor to Power Spread – Mouse Davis turned it into the first true Spread Pass attack.

In the meantime, Hal Mumme & Mike Leach were morphing the BYU Scheme into a pure Spread attack by marrying ideas from both the WC and R&S pass attacks. This new Air Raid Offense of the 90s led to both the Pro and College Spreads of the 00s.

In the middle of all of this came Rich Rodriquez’s accidental discovery of the Read Option while coaching his R&S Offense in the 90s. Option Run Power seamlessly integrated with Option Pass Spread. Finally after 50 years, Football found a way to match together Power + Spread.

Power Spread – A Dynamic Dichotomy

The Seed of Evolution was planted. The PS Triumvirate in the 00s – Urban Meyer / Gus Malzahn / Art Briles – grew the Tree from all the concepts described above.

Colleges implemented an integrated, improvised, option-oriented version of Spread – Power Spread, while the NFL struggled to find a cohesive balance between their Pro Power Runs and Pro Spread Passing Attacks. A fractured Pro-Multiple or Multiple-Pro Offense.

Finally in the decade that followed, the Pro Multiple WC Spread System was married to PS. First by Jim Harbaugh in a Pro based PS Option system, then cemented by BYU Alum, Andy Reid, in a full RunPassOption(RPO) or Pro PS Offense.

As Defenses reacted accordingly, PS concepts spread fast. By the time we got to 2020, NFL and College Schemes – both on Offense & Defense – looked more similar than they had in 80 years.

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!

Drew Pagliari
Pro+College Reunited – Pro PS > PS Pro > PS 2020 > Full PS

Almost every Football Team at any level now uses some version of PS Concepts. One thing that keeps the Pro game slightly separated from College is the actual term, “PRO”.

Colleges use Power Spread as its base concept – PS Pro, PSAR, PS 2020 – while most of the NFL still uses Pro concepts as its base- Pro PS, Pro PSAR, Pro PS 2020 or PS Pro 2020. Now, the NFL is also experimenting with PS based concepts in the form of PS Pro and PSAR Pro.

The NFL still loves to work within the details of their knowledge, while Colleges press forward into unchartered territory. Pro PS and PS Pro 2020 differ from PS 2020 in their approach. Reaching back to old concepts and refurbishing them into something new. Gillman+, Pro PS Gillman and PSWC, along with older concepts dating back to the Modern T and Single Wing, have been explored over the last two years.

The NFL has the Time & Talent to experiment with such details, while College has the Space – in terms of leeway – to take chances with new ideas. Over the next decade, these Pro PS 2020, PS Pro 2020 and PS 2020 Schemes will begin to form the Full PS, which will be Aggressive, with Variety and Flexibility, so as to be Executable for any type of Player, yet Deceptive for any type of Opponent.

Simple Brilliance. Aggressive Flexible Variety in Personnel – to suit any style of scheme. Where Timing does not get bogged down in execution, but creates Space Exploration. Where Space does not get bogged down in repetition, but creates Timing Improvisation. The Power of Discovery is allowed to flourish within the Spread of Knowledge. The Full Power Spread.

~DP

Championship Sunday

As I said in my Divisional Previews, I was looking at a “home favorites weekend” last week and we almost got it. 3 out of 3 home favorite wins with a 4th on the way, when the unimaginable happened.

Tampa Bay – How a Punch Changed a Game

In a game rather devoid of energy, Antoine Winfield’s one punch gave his Buccaneers exactly that – a blast of Energy – carrying them to 2 more turnovers, 17 unanswered points and the only upset of the week over a more experienced Saints team in control and looking to seal the deal.

A shocking and sudden turn around, but not one that totally caught me by surprise. Without the full use of Taysom Hill, the Saints were handicapped. For me, without Hill, the Saints were no longer the decisive favorite and needed some type of scheme adjustment to pull off the win.

On the other hand, if Hill doesn’t play, then Bowles will make it tough on the Saints Offense, forcing Brees’ hand. Payton is an offensive mastermind and may come up with a scheme adjustment neither Bowles or I expect. If he doesn’t, and the Bucs don’t have more injuries on Offense, then they may just be the one upset of this “favorites” weekend. – PS

Sean Payton did come up with a well designed Trick Play that kept the Saints in control for a time, but in the end he didn’t make enough of an adjustment to deal with his mastermind counterpart on the other side. Are we headed toward another last minute surprise or two this weekend?

A Championship Switch?

Originally, I had the same outlook for Championship Sunday as I had for the previous weekend – home favorites winning handily to set up a replay of Super Bowl I – Kansas City vs Green Bay. Now I’m not so sure.

Overall, both Kansas City and Green Bay have had the best years and are talented teams with excellent schemes on Offense. They will each have a handful of fans in the stands to give them some sort of home field advantage. They also have the edge overall in playoff experience as they each were in the Championship Game last year and KC won the Super Bowl.

Still, Green Bay, in my mind, was always less of a favorite for two reasons. They struggle some with their DScheme and they don’t have quite as big an advantage in playoff experience.

Of the 8 Coordinators this weekend – two for each team – 7 of them run excellent PS Schemes with top notch play-calling. The only one I question is GB’s DC Mike Pettine. His Ravens “psycho” mix on D isn’t bad and has some Aggressive Variety, but his play calling is not as aggressive as the other 3 DCs.

As for playoff experience, Tampa is younger and less experienced than GB, but does have some major playoff dudes. Tom Brady #1. Add in Brady’s long time teammate, Rob Gronkowski, plus veteran LBs Barrett & Pierre-Paul, and whatever edge exists for Green Bay, isn’t as significant as KC’s edge over a very inexperienced Buffalo group.

The last and biggest mitigating factor that has me questioning my original picks is the Covid Factor. Which in this case has manifested in terms of injuries and banged up players.

The Covid Factor

In spite of many out there who try to say, everyone is dealing with Covid, the truth of the matter is not all teams were dealt the same hand. Nor did each team deal with it in the same way.

At this point in the season, we may be getting to that grey area, where all 4 teams are beat up and worn down to some degree from this crazy year. Still, there is a significant variation amongst these four teams.

Green Bay started getting banged up early in the year, but has dealt with it very well. Partly due to their Talent, Schemes and Culture. Partly due to a fortunate schedule at the end of the year. Even getting to play Tennessee at home on a snow covered field.

Kansas City started to get beat up in the middle of the year, but with their own Talent, Schemes and Culture were able to squeak out a lot of close wins.

Tampa and Buffalo actually had a relatively fortunate Covid year, though Buffalo has had to deal with some up and downs all year and Tampa is getting hit harder late in the season. Still, both are in better shape than their opponents coming into Championship weekend.

Age Factor = Beat Up Teams in a Covid Year?

Does Age play a greater part in sports during a Covid Year? Good question. One that I have been studying. We know the virus generally effects the older population much more than the young, though there have been wide ranging exceptions. In such a massive Team Sport as Football, individuals not able to do their job to the best of their abilities creates as much disruption as injury, scheduling and other less subtle forms of disruption.

What I’ve noticed about this year in the NFL – a much wider age range than College Football – is that the older players and teams do seem to suffer more from letdowns and disruptions in this crazy year. The Rams, Browns and Bucs – all younger teams – have either dealt with less disruption OR dealt with disruption more efficiently than older teams, where it seems the effects of this year – be it emotionally, mentally, physically, or all three – have caught up to these teams at some point.

GB vs TB – Oldest vs Youngest

Green Bay is the oldest Team left and has been banged up all year. Buffalo and KC are somewhere in between, while Tampa is the youngest, albeit they have some veterans including the player that generates most of the attention – Tom Brady.

Coming off a bye week helped Green Bay. Their Injury Report for last week’s game looked the best it has since early in the year. But this week it doesn’t look so good again. While most of the starters are playing, their CB King has been banged up all year and they are missing their All-Pro LT, though that was the case last week as well.

Their situation is a #s game more than newly injured starters who may not play. While most do not look at this as an issue – as long as the Starters are available – having a lot of banged up players on the field can affect Depth and Continuity, not to mention, Special Teams. This is part of the reason GB has struggled on SpTeams all year.

As I said above, Tampa is now finally starting to deal with a lot of banged up players. We will now see if this younger team handles it well and if the long year for GB is finally going to catch up? In the Championship Game? The Super Bowl? As I said from the start of these playoffs – the Covid Factor is very unpredictable.

KC vs Buffalo – Mixed Bag

Kansas City’s bye week didn’t seem to help them as much as Green Bay. Their Injury Report last week wasn’t a lot different than it has been through the second half of the year. Then they lost star QB Pat Mahomes during the game. Ironically, the report looks better for this week and Mahomes is expected to play. Again, the Covid Factor is unpredictable.

Buffalo has dealt with their ups and downs since the start of the year. Though nothing too serious compared to many other teams. Their schemes and the players comfortability in these schemes got better and better as the year progressed. Their big question this week is the availability of their star rookie WR Gabriel Davis, but again, relatively speaking, the Bills are in the best shape at the moment of the 4 Teams left in the Playoffs.

The Chiefs issues aren’t as numerous as Green Bay or Tampa, but they have the biggest questions with their top starters. Is Mahomes really healthy? Are RB Edwards-Helaire and WR Watkins going to be effective? Is their 3rd String LG and 2nd String RT – both replacements for long time top starters who have missed part or all of the year – going to continue to hold up and keep the Offense going and Mahomes healthy?

So What Now?

The Chiefs have a few lingering questions to big players. They may be greatly effected. Or not.

Green Bay will most definitely be effected – at least in terms of Depth and Special Teams – and maybe more. Can they once again overcome or will it finally catch up to them? And what of Tampa’s own beat up players? Will they be able to hold it together? Especially on Offense with the WR corp and Oline banged up.

I’d love to see a rematch of Super Bowl I – Green Bay vs Kansas City – but the Covid Factor has me “wondering” if this is still the pick. Especially in the case of the NFC Championship Game where Tampa has a couple of veterans with big playoff experience and the definite edge with their DScheme.

Tampa Bay at Green Bay

Tom Brady and his young offensive talent was all the talk heading into these playoffs, but it’s been Todd Bowles Defense that has been up to the task. Much of the Football World ranted about the Rams young DC Brandon Staley this year and while he’s definitely a top-notch teacher and communicator, he’s no Bowles when it comes to Scheme.

Bowles PS DScheme = Aggressive Variety

Todd Bowles has been an innovator on Defense for quite some time now, going back to when he was the DC under the same Bruce Arians during his tenure in Arizona. Arians wisely hired Bowles when he got the Tampa job last year and his decision has played big dividends this postseason.

Bowles switched from Zone to Man Blitz early in the Divisional Playoff Game last week and Drew Brees struggled to adjust. More importantly, Bowles move energized a somewhat flat Bucs team.

Brees adjusted in the 2nd Half and the Saints seized control of the game, then BAM! – a big punch by Antoine Winfield Jr (son of the famous Ohio State DB with the same name) – Blast of Energy – 2 more Turnovers -and Tampa Bay found themselves in the Championship Game!

On the second of three straight turnovers, Bowles surprised Brees by sliding back into a Zone Coverage. Talented youngster, LB Devin White, filled the Space beautifully and used his superior athleticism for a great pick and return. Bowles continued to mix – back to M2M – and created one more interception as Brees began to panic and tried to force the ball into coverage.

As I said earlier, the Saints played most of the game without WC Taysom Hill, which definitely hampered HC Sean Payton and Saints. A WR Flea Flicker to a backup QB with a big arm – Jameis Winston – was a great call and play design, but it wasn’t enough.

Tampa’s talented Secondary is dinged up, but with Bowles working the sideline, this Defense will be tougher for Green Bay’s elite Offense than what they faced last week.

Arians – Pro Spread to Pro PS 2020

In an effort to accommodate Tom Brady, Arians is evolving his old Pro Spread Pass Scheme into a full blast Pro PS Offense. A combo of Tom Brady’s old OCs Charlie Weiss (EP – PowerRun>PassSpread) and Josh McDaniels (WCPS – West Coast Power Spread) plus Sean McVay’s Pro Gillman+. It may not look a lot different from his old Pro Spread that he used with Arizona, but trust me, it is.

The Saints own powerful PS Defense pretty much shut down Brady and co. early on. So Arians went to his Power Packages with an extra lineman and caught the Saints D by surprise. Big runs by power back Fournette set up the play-action late in the game that completely knocked the wind out of the Saints.

Green Bay’s DC Pettine is decent, but not as aggressive as the Saints DC Allen. Especially as a play-caller. If Arians starts to mix in some PS reverses with his talented wideouts – spread with run and pass – to set up Brady down the field, then it could be a long day for Green Bay’s D.

The Resurrection of No Huddle Tempo

I have already said so much about LaFleur’s PS Pro 2020 Offense. He is going to need a great game plan for his players to compete against Bowles talented Defense. Especially because I feel that the Bucs are going to score some points on Green Bay’s D.

One thing I like from a lot of the more progressive offensive minds in the NFL is the use of No-Huddle and Tempo. This was something that was becoming a “thing” back in the 00s with New England, Indianapolis and Atlanta. Tempo creates more reward – but more risk. Both on Offense and Defense. More, in the form of plays and points, requiring more depth and/or possibly more injuries.

NFL Defensive Minds struggled to “reduce” the risk of points without reducing the reward of wins. All minds struggled with the idea of using more depth in a “STAR”oriented league – both economically as well as conceptually. Of course, in this high pressure / high priced game, no one wanted to see injuries. Especially to their Stars.

So the Tempo No Huddle disappeared. But not for long.

After not seeing so much Tempo this past decade, it is selectively starting to come back. It is such a great tool that there was no way it would stay away for long. I saw it in both games last Saturday – from all 4 Teams – Los Angeles, Green Bay, Baltimore, and Buffalo.

LaFleur has the benefit of the quick mind and experience of QB Aaron Rodgers. If Bowles is winning the Scheme Battle, this is one way that LaFleur and the Pack can swing the odds back in their favor. I wouldn’t be surprised to see LaFleur go the No-Huddle if GB falls behind early. This may force Bowles to go to a vanilla scheme to keep pace and Rodgers and the Pack Offense will eat that up alive.

Prognostication – Staying with Green Bay in a late Toss Up

Last week, LaFleur’s game plan resembled that of his opponent and former team – the Rams. Spread to Power / Power to Spread. Mixing in Heavy Run Packages with his Spread Sets and setting up big Play-Action Pass Designs that eventually sealed the deal. McVay Style.

The Rams were able to stay in the game due to the conservative play calling of the Packers DC Mike Pettine. They did get more aggressive towards the end, using more of a M2M Pressure Mix to slow down McVay’s offense and let their own offense take over.

Tampa has really good Schemes going on both sides of the ball right now. Players are buying in and having fun. If their beat up WR, Oline and DB corp can stay healthy, then they can win this game.

The Pack have been more beat up this year than most fans realize. Without their LT, Green Bay’s Offense needs to Mix Tempo and a Quick Pass Spread + Heavy Power Runs to keep Bowles Blitz Attack at bay. On Defense they also need to stay Aggressive with a Variety of Coverages and a mix of surprise blitzes .

If the Pack play with Aggressive Variety on both sides of the ball, in spite of their banged up players, they should win this game. If neither happens, then it will be a long day for the Pack.

Time for Flexibility?

As early as 3 weeks ago, I thought we were heading towards a replay of SB I – KC vs GB – but now I’m not so sure. Experience and Home Field favor KC & GB. DScheme favors TB. Covid/Inj Factor maybe favors Buffalo.

Basing my prognostication on the health of a Team is somewhat foolish, TB also has the youth edge. Add that to the DScheme edge and they are the pick I struggle with the most. Can I really stick with Green Bay? Or do I need to show my own flexibility and switch at the last minute to Brady and his young Team?

Do I switch my pick at the last minute?

No. Smart money is on Tampa and maybe I’m sticking too stubbornly on my original pick, but I just have a feeling that the beat up Pack have another good game in them.

As long as Pettine gets aggressive on his D calls at some point, they will have a chance. Especially if a lot of those younger guys of Tampa feel the heat of playoff time late in the game. That’s when Green Bay’s experience can give them the final advantage.

IF their banged up depth doesn’t hurt them in Special Teams and Continuity at crunch time. Big IF, but I can’t change my pick based on the unpredictability of injuries amongst players who are playing. A last minute Toss Up for sure – but one where if I am forced to pick – I’m sticking with the Pack.

Buffalo at Kansas City

The one blowout I thought we might see last weekend was Kansas City versus a Cleveland team coming off one of their biggest wins in franchise history. We almost got it.

KC survived more Cleveland Magic

Early on, Cleveland’s DC Joe Woods was way too conservative, as he had been vs the Steelers. Mahomes and company were eating the Browns D alive!

Up 19-3 early in the 2nd Half and just getting a turnover deep in Cleveland territory, the Chiefs stumbled. Their Energy let down and then their Kicker missed a short FG (to go along with an Extra Point earlier).

From there, those amazing Browns did it again. They went back to pounding the rock vs a suddenly lifeless KC Defense. Then Mahomes got hurt and the Energy dipped further.

To the credit of DC Steve Spagnuolo, the Chiefs upped their Blitz aggression – mixed more in Coverage – and had Mayfield and the Browns under pressure again late.

Amazingly the Browns were able to convert three 3rd Downs and two 4th Downs on their way to making it a one score game!

That’s when Mahomes replacement, Chad Henne, saved the day. With a little help from the brilliant mind of Andy Reid.

Andy Reid Brilliance

Once Henne went in, Cleveland upped its aggression on Defense, without the fear of Mahomes playmaking ability. Still, thanks to the brilliant Play and Route Designs of Reid, Henne had chances to make plays.

On the drive he replaced Mahomes, he led the Chiefs to the 15 and a 4th&1, where they kicked the FG. On his first full drive later, he again led the Chiefs down the field, but made one bad pass – a sloppy long pass into the endzone for an interception.

His third and last drive required a clock runout and this is where Reid was at his brilliant best! Knowing that Cleveland was playing more aggressive man to man coverage with Henne in the game – Reid went to his own style of Man Beaters.

  1. On the first play he brought his star WR Hill in motion to the right and focused all the Defense over to the 2 best WRs on the field. That set up an easy swing pass to the RB out on the left. The LB who had that RB had his eyes on the WRs. Brilliant Simplicity by Reid.
  2. He then used the classic Crossers that beat Man Press Coverage, but the Cleveland DBs were all over it and the pressure got to Henne for a Sack.
  3. On 3rd&Long Reid sent all the WRs deep with the RB again swinging out into the flat. That would have been an easy pass and run, but Henne had all kinds of daylight himself and took off, coming up just short of the 1st Down. Again – Reid’s simple brilliance making it so easy for his QB.
  4. Finally on 4th&1, Reid set Henne up in the Shotgun in a Half Roll right. Trips right with lightening quick Hill as the inside WR. A quick move outside. Easy completion. Game over.

THIS is a big part of the reason Mahomes is so good. Yes, he has more talent than Henne, but Reid’s schemes create huge opportunities for ANY player. Let alone an ultra talented one.

The Bills own Brilliance on Both Sides of the Ball

As I wrote in my last Preview, the Bills have had great Schemes happening all year. DC Leslie Frazier along with HC Greg McDermott have put together an Aggressive PS Defense with a lot of Variety that would make their former Mentor – the great DC Jim Johnson – proud. On Offense, Brian Daboll has really come into his own with a PS Pro 2020 style of Offense. McDermott has built the Talent and Culture for all this to work.

The wind in Buffalo Saturday night wrecked havoc with both the Kicking and Passing games. The inability of the Teams to throw deep with any sort of accuracy, shrank the Field Space Vertically, only enabling a short Horizontal Spread with Power Runs.

For Baltimore that was fine at first as their own PS Pro 2020 Offense, led by PS QB Lamar Jackson, ran all over the Bills with Read Options. The Bills then clamped down and made Jackson have to throw. Jackson was up to the task early on. Then it all came apart on one play.

To begin, Bills OC Daboll called a great drive to start the 2nd Half. Designed to spread the Ravens Defense wide, work the middle, to then open space wide again. Like an Accordion – Spread, Power, Spread. Variety in both Space and Time in the form of Design and Play Calls.

With the Aggressive Ravens D jamming up the middle, the Bills started with Play Action to fake power runs and throw quick passes wide. Then they used Motion wide to set up passes over the middle, setting up passes wide. Finally, Daboll used a Reverse Motion Screen to RB Singletary set up a WR Screen to the other side for the TD. (see above video)

Baltimore’s OC Greg Roman had a great plan to start the 2nd Half as well, calling for the Ravens own Play Action Pass Game – set up by all the Power Runs earlier in the game. Unfortunately, when the Ravens were ready to score and tie up the game, McDermott and Frazier’s Defense utilized a beautiful simple DScheme that fooled QB Lamar Jackson and basically ended the game.

McDermott/Frazier Tampa 5

Tampa 2 is a Design created by Monte Kiffen and Tony Dungy in the 80s where the Safeties are in Cover 2 – covering each Sideline – while a Linebacker races back to cover the middle third of the field – like a Cover 3. There’s more to this scheme that I won’t explain here, but for a long time Defenses used this Coverage as a sound “safety” net with aggressive pressure upfront.

Leslie Frazier actually worked with Tony Dungy at Indianapolis. Today, he and other coaches use different variants of this scheme in their Coverage Mix.

On the Interception of Jackson, the Bills really ran a Tampa 2, but because of the proximity near the goaline it looked like a Tampa 5. In other words, the CBs were also a part of the deep zone. A Cover 4 rather than Cover 2. Four DBs (2CBs+2Ss) into the endzone to cover the field in Quarters with the 2 Ss stretched toward the sideline to let a LB take the Middle 5th of the Field.

I think Lamar read this tricky coverage as Cover 2 Man underneath. In other words, the LB in man coverage on athletic TE Mark Andrews. Because the LB was positioned well for the deep zone in the Tampa 2 scheme, Andrews cut his route short once reached the endzone, which enabled NB Taver Johnson to race back from his underneath zone spot and intercept the ball.

If Jackson had known this was a Tampa 2 or Tampa 5, with a LB racing back into the endzone, then he would have looked off the underneath coverage, causing Johnson to cover the WR to his right, leaving Andrews an opening for either a TD or incompletion. Definitely not an Interception Return for Touchdown.

Why it was so easy for Johnson to race the other way 100+ yds for a TD, I’m not sure. On the Video above you can hear me say that I think that the Ravens were initially shocked. Especially Andrews, who had the best chance to tackle Johnson right away. That momentary hesitation enabled the Bills LB Milano to make the block on Andrews and spring Johnson. By the time the Ravens WRs and Oline reacted it was too late.

Prognostication – Kansas City in another possible Toss Up

Just like the NFC game, I had this pick in my head for a while, but now I’m not so sure. Kansas City’s Dline looked worn down late in their last game as the Browns pounded on them late. Add in some key injuries and this game is definitely not a gimme for the home favorite and defending Super Bowl Champ.

Unlike the NFC game, KC doesn’t have any deficit in Scheme. I mentioned Buffalo’s O and D and of course Andy Reid’s great Offensive Attack, but I also need to include KC DC Spagnuolo as well. He mixes well in both Pressure & Coverage and holds his own as a top notch Coordinator.

No Huddle Tempo?

Yes, these are 2 more Teams that will run No Huddle Tempo and they employed it at times during their games last week. In fact, both the Ravens and the Bills used the No-Huddle early on in their game. I think the No-Huddle will be more crucial for Buffalo than KC in this game.

Like Green Bay in the NFC game, Buffalo is facing a tricky DC in Spagnuolo. Though they did use some Tempo last week, they did not in use it at all in that long opening TD Drive to start the 2nd Half. The Ravens weren’t mixing as much at that point and maybe even a bit over-aggressive, without enough variety.

Spagnuolo’s KC Defense will probably keep mixing coverages throughout the game. That kind of Variety on Defense becomes more difficult to execute when the opponent runs their Offense at a quick Tempo, without much Time between plays. The Bills Drive I analyzed above would have been even more effective with Tempo.

If the Bills apply Tempo to Daboll’s top schemes and play-calling, then they will be tough to control. IF they do not, then Spagnuolo’s schemes will slow them down. IF KC applies Tempo, then it’s lights out Buffalo as Mahomes and co will rack up the points.

One more chance for Flexibility in my Pick..

I have another chance as I couldn’t pull the trigger on my last pick. Wanting to switch to Tampa, but feeling that I had to stick with a beat up Green Bay team due to their experience and home field edge.

No one really knows the health of Mahomes, Edwards-Helaire and Watkins, but if I didn’t switch to Tampa on the last one, then I most certainly can’t switch to Buffalo now.

Besides KC’s top schemes, they also have a distinct experience edge that Green Bay doesn’t possess to the same degree over Tampa. Buffalo really is lacking in playoff experience when compared to the other 3 teams. For me, that counts for a lot this deep in the playoffs.

Here’s hoping for a repeat of the very First Super Bowl and a blast from the past in such a Crazy Time that will definitely last!

~PS

Comments
  1. C Woods says:

    Well done DP! Informative, insightful, and helpful for an understanding of the games we watch. Even after the fact.

  2. […] PS Pro – 2020 Land Ho! Championship Sunday […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.