Tygrrrr Express February 2020 South Carolina Speaking Schedule

February 6th, 2020

After 2 weeks of events in Hawaii, I was able to relax at home for 3 days. Now to begin a 7 week tour. 2 weeks in South Carolina, 1 week in Maryland, Virginia and DC including CPAC, and 4 weeks in March in Florida. 

Here is the TYGRRRR EXPRESS February 2020 South Carolina and beyond speaking schedule.

Thursday, February, 6, 2020 — Redeye flight from Los Angeles to New York (stopover).

Friday, February 7 — Morning flight from New York to Charleston, South Carolina.

SOUTH CAROLINA:

Monday, February 10 — Charleston Republican Women. Lunch. 

Monday, February 10 — Charleston GOP. Evening.       

Tuesday, February 11 — Myrtle Beach Republican Women. Lunch. 

Tuesday, February 11 — Jasper GOP near Hilton Head. Evening. 

Wednesday, February 12 — Rotary Club of Beaufort. Noon. 

Thursday, February 13 — Aiken GOP. Evening.

Monday, February 17 — Hilton Head Republican Women. 5:30pm. 

Tuesday, February 18 — Low Country Conservatives in Action in Summerville near Charleston. Evening.

Thursday, February 20 — Newberry County GOP. 6:30pm. 

Friday, February 21 — Flight from Charleston to DC.

POTOMAC:

Saturday, February 22 — Northern Virginia Tea Party. Afternoon.

Sunday, February 23 — Chevy Chase Republican Women in Maryland near DC at 4pm. 

Monday, February 24 — Montgomery County Conservatives in Maryland. 6:30pm. 

Wednesday, February 26 — Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform Wednesday meeting in DC. 10am. 

Wednesday-Saturday, February 26-29 — CPAC in National Harbour, Maryland near DC.

Saturday, February, 29 — Flight from DC to Palm Beach, South Florida.

eric

 

Super Bowl LIV (54) Recap

February 5th, 2020

Super Bowl LIV (54) Recap

The 2019-2020 NFL regular season, Wildcards, Divisionals, Conference Title Games and Pro Bowl are in the history books. One more game stood between the end of football season and the Daytona 500 to kickstart NASCAR.

The game featured the AFC Champion and Lamar Hunt Trophy winning Kansas City Chiefs against the NFC Champion and George Halas Trophy winning San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs lost the first Super Bowl in 1966 and won the fourth Super Bowl in 1969. Exactly 50 years after winning their only Super Bowl, the Chiefs were back in the big game for the third time. The 49ers won four Super Bowls in the 1980s and a fifth Super Bowl in 1994. They lost the Super Bowl in 2012 and were back in it for the seventh time.

These teams were built completely differently. The Chiefs came in with a high-flying offense led by phenom quarterback Patrick Mahomes, speedsters Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins, and big tight end Travis Kelce. The 49ers were built with defense. One year after going 4-12, a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo has benefitted from a trio of running backs and an imposing tight end in George Kittle.

Both coaches were desperate to exorcise playoff demons. Walrus Lite Andy Reid had been to the Conference Title Game seven times. He lost five of those games as well as the 2004 Super Bowl. Mike Shanahan won two Super Bowls, but his son Kyle presided over the biggest collapse in Super Bowl history. As the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons in 2016, his play-calling allowed the Falcons to blow a 28-3 third quarter lead. Atlanta lost that game to the Patriots 34-28 in overtime.

With politics and pop culture dividing us, the final football game of every season brings approximately one out of every three Americans together.

Then came the kickoff. San Francisco won the toss and for some bizarre reason decided to defer. The logic is to get the ball near the end of the half and then get it to start the third quarter to keep the other team’s offense cooling their heels for up to an hour. However, the last thing any sane coach should do is let Patrick Mahomes have the football. The only way to beat the Chiefs is to keep him off the field. The 1990 Giants held the ball for over 40 minutes, allowing them to shock the seemingly unstoppable Bills. Yet Kyle Shanahan let Mahomes start the game.

The strategy appeared to work when the Chiefs went 3 and out. Mahomes was off the mark with his passes. The 49ers faced 2nd and 11 at their own 17. Jimmy Garoppolo hit Greg Kittle for 11 yards. Deebo Samuel broke free for a 32 yard gain. On 3rd and 2 from the Chiefs 32, Samuel gained 7. On 3rd and 5 from the Chiefs 20, Garoppolo threw incomplete. The 10 play, 62 yard, 6 minute drive had the 49ers settling for a 38 yard Robbie Gould field goal and a 3-0 lead.

Mahomes rebounded after a touchback, hitting Tyreek Hill for 9 and again for 8. On 3rd and 2 from the their own 44, pass-happy Andy Reid ran the ball. Damien Williams gained 5. Mahomes hit Kelce for 9 and Williams ran for 14. On 4th and 1 at the Frisco 5, the ultra-conservative Andy Reid went ultra-aggressive. Bill Parcells once said that you have to have big balls to win the biggest games. Parcells called a fake punt in the 1990 NFC Title Game, and one of his disciples Sean Payton called a surprise onsides kick to start the second half of the 2009 Super Bowl. Obviously pass-happy Andy Reid would throw it in this situation. Again, he ran the ball. Williams took the direct snap and gained four yards down to the one. At this point everyone knew that West Coast Offense dink and dunker pass-happy Andy Reid would throw it. Again, he ran the ball and Mahomes got in. After the first quarter, the Chiefs led 7-3. Andy Reid was gambling on 4th and 1. He was running the ball.

Things got worse for the 49ers when Garoppolo was intercepted early in the second quarter to set up the Chiefs at their own 44.  Mahomes went deep to Sammy Watkins for a 28 yard gain. On 4th and 1 from the Frisco 19, Andy Reid again decided to go for it. Again the pass-happy coach opted to run the ball. Williams gained 3. On 3rd and 7 from the 49ers 13, Mahomes threw incomplete. Harrison Butker hit a 31 yard field goal to make it 10-3 Chiefs. The 49ers took over at their own 20 and Raheem Mostert ran for one and 9. Garoppolo hit Samuel for 16. Mostert added 11 and Tevin Coleman ran for 17 more. Garoppolo hit Samuel for 11 and Kyle Juszczyk for a 15 yard touchdown. With 5 minutes left in the half, the game was tied 10-10. Kyle Shanahan’s defense was playing well and his plan to shorten the game was clearly working. His plan to have the last possession of the half and the first possession of the second half worked. Yet in a stunning turn of events, Shanahan made a horrendous coaching decision at the end of the first half.

With 1:53 left in the half, the Chiefs faced 3rd and 14 at their own 48. A short completion gained only one yard. A quick timeout followed buy a punt would have given the 49ers about 1:40 to work with. Yet Shanahan never took a timeout even though he had all 3 of them. After a punt and a touchback, only one minute remained. Rather than even try to set up for a field goal, Shanahan called two conservative runs. He was giving up. Then Andy Reid made one of the rare bad decisions on his side. He has been criticized for bad clock management in the past, and this time he should have let the clock go to the half. Instead with 20 seconds left in the half, he called a timeout on defense with the 49ers facing 3rd and 5 at their own 25. It was too little time for the Chiefs to do anything, and it nearly blew up in the Chiefs faces. Garoppolo hit Wilson for 20 yards and the 49ers called timeout with 14 seconds left. Garoppolo then went deep to George Kittle for a 42 yard gain. Despite Shanahan’s decision to initially give up, Reid’s return mistake still gave the 49ers a chance to take the lead on a field goal. However, they never got that chance. Kittle was called for offensive pass interference, wiping out the big game. At that point Shanahan had Garoppolo take a knee as the teams went to the locker rooms deadlocked 10-10.

While Shakira and Jennifer Lopez did a great job shaking their practically naked asses, the halftime show should still be abolished and replaced with football highlights. This concludes all discussion of non-football related matters.

The 49ers began the third quarter at their own 16. Garoppolo hit Emanuel Sanders for gains of 5 and 15. Samuel got around the end for 14 more yards to midfield. Garoppolo hit Juszczyk for 14 and kittle for 5. On 3rd and 5 from the Chiefs 27, Groppolo hit Coleman for only 3 yards. On 4th and 2, Shanahan decided not to gamble. Gould hit the 42 yard field goal and the 49ers led 13-10. The Chiefs offense finally took the field after what seemed like forever. They moved from their own 9 to a 3rd and 12 at their own 39. Mahomes went deep and was intercepted by Fred Warner. The 49ers took over at their own 45. Garoppolo hit Samuel for 16, Kendrick Bourne for 26, and Juszczyk for 10. Mostert got in from the one as the 49ers led 20-10 after three quarters. The Chiefs after a touchback moved 52 yards in 12 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 6 from the 49ers 23 yard line, Mahomes threw a pass off the mark that deflected off the receiver’s hands and was intercepted by Moore, who returned it 7 yards to his own 20. With 12 minutes left in regulation, the 49ers were in complete control. They needed to just run the ball and grind out a win.

Instead, Shanahan made the exact same set of mistakes he made 3 years ago in blowing the Super Bowl. His stubborn refusal to run the ball in 2016 led to sacks, turnovers and penalties. In that game, he could have just taken 3 knees and iced the game with a field goal. Instead, he kept throwing. Last week in the NFC Title Game, Garoppolo threw only 8 passes. Despite having 3 good running backs, Shanahan in this game kept throwing. on 2nd and 9 from this own 39, Garoppolo threw incomplete. Then came a false start.

The Chiefs got the ball back with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation at their own 20. They dodged what would have been a death blow when the fumbled punt made it out of bounds. Mahomes ran for 9 and hit Hill for 9. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Chiefs were in desperation mode facing 3rd and 15 at their own 35. The 49ers defense had been suffocating the whole game. Then came the breakdown. Mahomes did what he does. He threw a wounded duck, but because his arm is so strong, it still went to Hill for a 44 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from the Frisco 21, Mahomes went deep incomplete. However, defensive pass interference on Moore meant 1st and goal at the one. Moore never looked back to see where the ball was. Mahomes then went to Travis Kelce for the touchdown. With 6 minutes left, the Chiefs were within 20-17.

Again, Shanahan needed to run the ball. Again, he refused to do so. Despite Mostert running for 5 yards, 2nd and 5 from their own 25 saw Garoppolo throw incomplete twice. The Chiefs got it back at their own 35 with a full 5 minutes left. Mahomes hit Hill for 5, Kelce for 9, Hill for 3, and then a deep ball to Watkins for a 38 yard gain. On 3rd and goal at the 5, one play would determine whether the game would be tied. Instead, Mahomes hit Williams for the touchdown. With 2:44 to play, the Chiefs had retaken the lead 24-20.

The 49ers got the ball back at their own 15. Now needing to pass, Shanahan called a run. Mostert did gain 17 yards, but it took the clock down nearly to the 2 minute warning. Grinding out clock is not good when you are losing. Garoppolo hit Kittle for 8 and Bourne for 16. With 1:49 left, the 49ers had 1st and 10 just past midfield. Garoppolo threw incomplete twice. With 1:40 left and needing a first down, Shanahan decided to go for it all. Garoppolo went for the bomb and had an open receiver. The winning touchdown pass would add to the list of 49ers quarterbacks and Super Bowl heroics. It was not to be. The ball was overthrown for Garoppolo’s third straight incompletion. Some 49ers fans groused that Joe Montana would have completed the pass. No, he would not have. He was a system quarterback with no arm strength. On 4th and 10 with 1:25 left, Garoppolo was sacked for a 9 yard loss.

Although it appeared over, the 49ers still had all 3 timeouts. A defensive stop would give the 49ers one more chance. From the Frisco 42, Williams gained 4 yards and the 49ers took their first timeout with 1:20 left. Williams got the carry again. This time he would not be denied as he ran over everyone for a 38 yard touchdown. 2 plays later Garoppolo’s desperation Hail Mary was intercepted with one minute left. The 49ers led 20-10 after 3 1/2 quarters, but a 21-0 Chiefs barrage in the final 6 minutes including 2 touchdowns in the final 3 minutes completely turned around the game. Mahomes was the MVP of the game. Both coaches came in obsessed with passing the ball, but the winning coach adapted. Shanahan played too conservative at the end of the first half and was for the second time in four years far too aggressive late in the game. Andy Reid was aggressive early but pounded the rock when necessary. Walrus Lite Andy Reid after 21 years as a head coach finally became a Super Bowl winning head coach. He is no longer Walrus Lite. With the win, the future Hall of Fame coach has now finally been upgraded to full walrus status. After 50 years, the Chiefs will no longer have to live on only Hank Stram and Len Dawson. Now they are Super Bowl Champions with Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. Reid announced that if invited, he would definitely go to the White House. A bunch of his players concurred. The 2019 NFL season, and 100th overall NFL season, is now in the history books. 31-20 Chiefs

  

Super Bowl LIV (54) Prequel

January 31st, 2020

The road to Super Bowl (54) LIV: Preview and Bettor’s Guide

NFL 2019-2020 Pro Bowl Recap

January 31st, 2020

NFL 2019-2020 Pro Bowl Recap

The Week between the NFL Conference Title Games and the Super Bowl is known as dead week. This year, that term took on tragic new meaning. The Pro Bowl is often an afterthought, and this year real life and death issues made the game tertiary at best. Just as the football game was starting, news out of the basketball world rocked sports fans and non-fans alike. A helicopter crash in Los Angeles took the lives of 9 people. Among the dead were basketball great Kobe Bryant and his teenage daughter Gianna. NFL players got the news as the game was started.

As horrific a tragedy as this is, Elton John once sang, “The show must go on.” So from Orlando, Florida, here is the Recap of this year’s AFC vs. NFC Pro Bowl.

The NFL is desperately trying to find ways to make the game meaningful. Various experiments including teams led by Deion Sanders, Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin have not moved the needle. The game often resembles a game of two-hand touch rather than tackle football. So this year the NFL just eliminated tackling. Yes. You read that correctly. In this Pro Bowl, there was no tackling. It was slightly more than 2-hand touch. Once a player was wrapped up, the play ended. Even seeing a quarterback knocked to the ground was unusual, and that was a shove with two hands rather than an actual hit. Because of this, passing was emphasized over running. John Harbaugh and the Ravens staff coached the AFC while Sean Payton and the Saints staff led the NFC.

There were no kickoffs. The NFC got the ball first at their own 25 automatically, as did every team after a score. Russell Wilson of the Seahawks was supposed to be the starter, but in a very classy move he deferred to Saints great Drew Brees. Lamar Jackson of the Ravens started for the AFC. Jackson moved the AFC from their own 37 to a 1st and 10 goal at the 10. After a pair of incompletions, Jackson went to the end zone and was intercepted by Baker. The NFC took over at their own 10. Brees went to Saints teammate Michael Thomas for 11 yards. Brees then went deep to Kenny Golladay of the Seahawks for 59 yards. Brees then went to Thomas for a 16 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 NFC. Jackson went to Mark Andrews for 11, Andre Roberts for 25, Jack Doyle for 16, Andrews for 3 and 4, and Roberts for a 5 yard touchdown. After one quarter, the game was tied 7-7.

Brees was done for the day. The second quarter began with a sack of Wilson giving the NFC 2nd and 17 at their own 18. Wilson went to Thomas for 20 yards. On 2nd and 4 from the NFC 44, Wilson fumbled a snap out of the shotgun. He picked it up and went to Jared Cook of the Saints for a 45 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the AFC 6, Wilson went to Amari Cooper of the Cowboys for a touchdown and a 14-7 NFC lead. After that the AFC took over. On 4th and 1 from their own 34, John Harbaugh decided to go for it. Jackson ran for 3.Jackson went deep to Doyle for 34 and to Cortland Sutton of the Broncos for 12 and 11 more. On 4th and goal at the 3, again Harbaugh went for it. Jackson hit Andrews for the touchdown to make it 14-14 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the half.

At the 2 minute warning, a false start had the NFC facing 4th and 13 at the AFC 44. In a regular season or playoff game, this means a punt. In the Pro Bowl, it means Sean Payton going for it. Wilson threw incomplete. Jackson played the first 28 minutes, but now it was Deshaun Watson of the Texans taking over. Watson hit Andrews for 5, Keenan Allen of the Chargers for 9, Andrews for 29, and Doyle for the 13 yard touchdown. With 40 seconds left in the half, the AFC led 21-14. Wilson threw 3 straight incompletions. The AFC got it back at their own 38 with 20 seconds left. Watson hit Mark Ingram of the Ravens for 17 and Jarvis Landry of the Browns for 13. Justin Tucker of the Ravens nailed a 50 yard field goal as the half expired to put the AFC up 24-14.

In the third quarter Watson led a 13 play, 55 yard drive that took 7 1/2 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and 12 from the NFC, Watson was intercepted at the goal line. The ball was then lateraled to Fletcher Cox. Big man with football rumbled past people who had no interest in trying to touch much less tackle him. In the regular season or playoff he doesn’t even get the lateral. Only in the Pro Bowl could men much faster than him all but let him score. The 100 yard interception return including 61 yards by Cox had the NFC within 24-21 midway through the third quarter. 2 minutes later the NFC got the ball back at their own 31. Kirk Cousins of the Vikings took over for the NFC. He hit Devontae Adams of the rival Packers for 11, Thomas for 7, Thomas again deep for 38 yards, and back to Adams for the 13 yard touchdown. With 3 minutes left in the third quarter, the NFC had retaken the lead 27-24.  The extra point try by Wil Lutz of the Saints was blocked in spectacular fashion by Josh Allen of the Jaguars. Initially a flag was thrown, but after a brief conference, it was determined that Allen jumped over the line cleanly without leveraging any other players. The move first done by Bobby Wagner of the Seahawks led to a rule change. The play in this game was legal, but highly aggressive given the low-key nature of the Pro Bowl. This was a good thing.

This time the AFC responded quickly. Ryan Tannehill of the Titans took over for the AFC. Nick Chubb of the Browns ran for 8 and 7. Tannehill’s first pass was a 60 yard touchdown to DJ Chark to put the AFC back on top 31-27. Then came 3 straight turnovers. First Sean Payton went to the bag of tricks and had Ezekiel Elliott of the Cowboys try a halfback option pass. It was intercepted. 2 plays later Tannehill was intercepted as the NFC began the fourth quarter just shy of midfield. Despite 1st and goal at the 9, Cousins threw 3 straight incompletions. Sean Payton decided to go for it on 4th and goal. Disaster struck as a fumble was picked by by TJ Watt and returned 82 yards for a score. The defensive touchdown had the AFC up 38-27 with 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

Needing 2 score, the NFC came back 75 yards in 11 plays and nearly 6 minutes. Cousins hit Cooper for 8, Adams for 13, Cooper for 10, Adams for 8, Elliott for 11, and Golladay for 16. On 3rd and goal from the 4, Cousins hit Adams for the touchdown. Because of the earlier blocked extra point, the NFC needed to go for the 2 point conversion. Cousins was sacked as the NFC trailed by 5 rather than just a field goal. A new rule change implemented just for the Pro Bowl eliminated the onsides kick. The NFC was given one chance on 4th and 15 from their own 20. If they convert, they keep the ball. Instead, Cousins was intercepted. 4 1/2 minutes still remained. Although the Pro Bowl is a passing bonanza, the AFC closed out the game the traditional way on the ground. On 3rd and 1 from the NFC 26, Derrick Henry of the Titans gained 4. On 2nd and 2 from the NFC 14, Mark Ingram gained 4. Tannehill took three knees to end it. There would be no running up the score. Jackson was the offensive player of the game. Calais Campbell of the Jaguars was the defensive MVP. In 7 days, the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will play in Super Bowl (54) XLIV. That game will be tackling football. The Pro Bowl from Florida and not Hawaii is now in the books. Four years ago Orlando stole the game from Waikiki in Honolulu. The AFC has won all 4 times in the Disney hub. 38-33 AFC

Tygrrrr Express January 2020 Hawaii Speaking Schedule

January 20th, 2020

Monday, January 20 — Flying from Los Angeles to Hawaii.

Tuesday, January 21 — Kauai GOP at 6pm.

Wednesday, January 22 — Kailua-Kona Kiwanis Club on the Big Island at 5:30pm. 

Thursday, January 23 — Kona Rotary Club on the Big Island at Noon.

Saturday, January 25 — East Hawaii GOP on the Big Island in Hilo. 5pm.

Tuesday, January 28 — Lahaina Sunrise Rotary Club in Maui. 7am.

Thursday, January 30 — Lahaina Rotary Club in Maui. Lunch.

Saturday, February 1 — Maui GOP. Morning.

Sunday, February 2 — Conservative Super Bowl Party in Honolulu, Oahu at 11:30am.

Sunday, February 2 — Redeye flight back to Los Angeles. .

NFL 2019-2020 Conference Title Games Recap

January 19th, 2020

NFL 2019-2020 Conference Title Games Recap

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs was the AFC Title Game. One week ago the Chiefs trailed 24-0 yet had the lead by halftime and outscored their opponent 51-7 the rest of the way. Different week, same result. Tennessee won the toss. On the second play of the game on 2nd and 6 from their own 34, Ryan Tannehill and AJ Brown connected on a 37 yard gain. Despite 2nd and 6 from the Chiefs 12, Tannehill threw incomplete twice. Joseph hit the 30 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Chiefs. The Chiefs got it back at their own 42. Derrick Henry ran for 11 and 5. On 3rd and 5 from the Chiefs 42, the Chiefs jumped offsides on defense on 2 straight plays. On 4th and 2 from the Chiefs 29, Mike Vrabel decided to go for it. Tannehill hit Humphries for 3 yards. Tannehill then went to Smith for a 22 yard gain. On the next pay Henry took the direct snap and ran it in for the touchdown to make it 10-0 Titans. 

The Chiefs got it back at their own 26. Patrick Mahomes hit Damien Williams for 9 and Tyreek Hill for 26. On 4th and 2 from the Titans 28, Andy Reid decided to go for it. Mahomes hit Kelce for 4 yards. On 1st and goal from the 8, Mahomes hit Hill for the touchdown to get the Chiefs within 10-7. The Titans came back with a 15 play, 75 yard, 9 minute drive. The second quarter began with the Titans facing 2nd and 6 at their own 29. Tannehill hit Davis for 18. Henry ran for 13. On 3rd and 22 from the Chiefs 25, a completion only gained 10 but defensive pass interference meant 11 yards and an automatic first down. On 3rd and 1 5, Henry gained 3. on 2nd and goal from the one, Tannehill hit Kelly on a tackle eligible for the the touchdown. The Titans led 17-7 with 6:43 left in the half. Then reality set in.

The Chiefs took over at their own 37. From their 43, Mahomes hit Robinson for 24, Sammy Watkins for 13, and Hill for the 20 yard touchdown. With 4 minutes left in the half the Chiefs were within 17-14. The Chiefs got it back at their own 14. Mahomes hit Williams for 17 and 8. On 3rd and 4 from their own 37, Mahomes hit Kelce for 18 and ran for 7. On 3rd and 3 from the Titans 38, Mahomes hit Watkins for 11. Mahomes then scrambled near the sideline, escaped, and barreled over tacklers for a 27 yard touchdown run. With 11 seconds left in the half, the Chiefs had the 21-17 lead. Midway through the third quarter, the Chiefs moved to put the game away. On 3rd and 1 from their own 36, Williams gained 5. On 3rd and 2 just shy of midfield, Mahomes ran for 4. Thompson ran for 7, Mahomes added 11 and Williams gained 4. Mahomes hit Hill for 15. The fourth quarter began with Williams running it in for a 3 yard touchdown to make it 28-17 Chiefs. The Chiefs got it back at their own 12 and delivered the kill shot. Mahomes hit Watkins for 11 and 7. On 3rd and 6 from their own 40, Mahomes went bombs away to Watkins for a 60 yard touchdown. Midway through the fourth quarter, 28 unanswered points had the Chiefs up 35-17. One Titans garbage touchdown did not change the outcome. The Chiefs won the Lamar Hunt Trophy named after their late owner and are header to the Super Bowl. Walrus Lite Andy Reid is going to the big game for the second time in his career. The Chiefs are going for the first time in 50 years. Walrus Lite Andy Reid is one more win from getting his upgrade to full walrus status.  35-24 Chiefs

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers was the NFC Title Game. In the regular season, the 49ers blasted the Packers 37-8. For those looking for a thrilling rematch, this was not that game. The 49ers from their own 11. Jimmy Garoppolo hit Deebo Samuel for 16 yards and again for 30 more. On 3rd and 8 from the Green Bay 36, Raheem Mostert burst free on the ground for the touchdown and the 7-0 49ers lead. A 26 yard punt return had the 49ers getting it back just sh you midfield. A roughing the passer call had the 49ers deep on the move. On 3rd and 6 from the Green Bay 28, Garoppolo was sacked. Robbie Gould drilled a 54 yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter to make it 10-0 49ers. A shanked 23 yard punt gave the 49ers gift field position at the Green Bay 37. Mostert ran for 13 and 9 and capped the drive with a 9 yard touchdown run to make it 17-0 49ers. Rodgers then got belted and fumbled and the 49ers took over at the Green Bay 25. Gould hit from 27 to make it 20-0 49ers. 3 plays later Rodgers was intercepted as the 49ers again had excellent field position at the Packers 30. Moster ran for 11, one, and then the 18 yard touchdown. The 49ers took a 27-0 lead to the locker rooms as NFL regulations required that the second half not be canceled.

The second half was pointless. Rodgers threw a 9 yard touchdown pass to Aaron Jones to get the Packers within 27-7 in the third quarter. From their own 21, Mostert ran for 7 and 5. Samuel ran for 11. Moster added two. Samuel ran for 32 and Moster ran for the 22 yard touchdown. Garoppolo threw 0 passes on the drive. He only threw 6 passes in the first 52 minutes. Garoppolo had 0 passes in the third quarter as the 49ers led 34-7 after three quarters. The Packers got in the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter to get within 34-13, but this was never a contest. Even a 65 yard bomb from Rodgers to Devontae Adams against Richard Sherman did not change the outcome. It did lead to an 8 yard touchdown from Rodgers to Jay Sternberger to get the Packers within 34-20 midway through the fourth quarter. The 49ers gashed the Green Bay defense for nearly 300 yards on the ground, including over 220 by Mostert. With 3 1/2 minutes left, Gould nailed a 42 yard field goal to officially lock up the win. With 1:48, another Rodgers bomb was intercepted by Sherman, ending any chance of a quiet postgame. 25 years after the 49ers won their last Super Bowl, they were back in it with Jerry Rice and Steve Young in attendance. The 49ers last won the George Halas Trophy seven years ago and will again be trying to win it all with running and defense against a pinball offense. 37-20 49ers

Super Bowl LIV (54) is set. The AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs will take on the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers. The game is being played in Miami on Sunday, February 2, 2020, and kickoff is around 6:30 p.m. Eastern time.

NFL 2019-2020 Conference Title Games Prequel

January 19th, 2020

Top 10 Conference Title Game upsets in NFL history

January 19th, 2020

Top 10 Divisionals upsets in NFL history

January 19th, 2020

NFL 2019-2020 Divisionals Recap

January 11th, 2020

NFL 2019-2020 Divisionals Recap

NFC: Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers was the Saturday afternoon game. One week after going on the road and shocking New Orleans, the Vikings tried to pull off another upset against the well-rested 49ers. Kirk Cousins got his first playoff win, and now Jimmy Garoppolo sought to do the same. The 49ers faced 2nd and 8 from their own 41 and Garoppolo hit Deebo Samuel for 10 and Emanuel Sanders for gains of 22 and 11. On 2nd and 8 from the Minnesota 14, Garoppolo hit Greg Kittle for 11 and to Kevin Bourne for the 3 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 49ers. The Vikings took over on their own 21 and an 8 yard defensive pass interference call moved them to their own 31. On 3rd and 2 from their own 39, Cousins hit Adam Thielen for 12. On 3rd and 2 from the Frisco 41, Cousins went deep to Stefan Diggs for the touchdown and a 7-7 game. 

In the second quarter, a field position game had the 49ers facing 3rd and 12 at their own 45. Garoppolo hit Samuel for 14 yards. On the next play after a 6 yard gain, a 49ers fumble recovered by the Vikings was reversed back to the 49ers. Tevin Coleman then ran for 5, 7 and 4. Garoppolo went to Samuel for 18 yards down to the one. Coleman got in to make it 14-7 49ers. the 49ers got it back but an interception of Garoppolo had the Vikings facing 1st and 10 at the San Francisco 29 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the half. On 3rd and 11 from the Frisco 17, Cousins was sacked. Dan Bailey hit the 39 yard field goal as the Vikings only trailed 14-10 at halftime.

In the third quarter the 49ers took over. On 3rd and 5 from their own 42, Garoppolo went to Bourne for 21 yards. Coleman gained 5, 7 and 6. On 3rd and 2 from the Minnesota 17, Garoppolo threw incomplete. The 49ers were held to a 35 yard Robbie Gould field goal to lead 17-10. The Vikings soon faced 3rd and 9 at their own 34. Cousins went at Richard Sherman and Sherman won, intercepting the ball. The 49ers took over at the Minnesota 44. Coleman gained 4, 6 and 6. Then it was time for Mostert, and he gained 7, 4, and 4. On 3rd and 2 from the Minnesota 13, it was back to Coleman. He gained 11 and then the 2 yard touchdown. Without throwing a single pass on the drive, the 49ers led 24-10 with 5 minutes left in the third quarter. Minnesota’s defense got a key stop on the next series but then the Vikings self-destructed on special teams. Sherels fumbled a punt and the 49ers recovered at the Minnesota 10 with a chance to turn out the lights. The fourth quarter began with the 49ers facing 3rd and goal at the 4. A short pass from Garoppolo to Kittle only gained one yard. Again, Mike Zimmer’s defense kept them in the game, albeit barely. Gould hit the 21 yard field goal and San Francisco’s defense turned out the lights the rest of the way. For the first time in six years, the 49ers are back in the NFC Title Game. It’ll be at home. 27-10 49ers

AFC: Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens was the Saturday night game. Ray Lewis and Eddie George are long retired. Brian Billcik and Jeff Fisher are out of coaching. Memories of bare-fisted slobber-knockers between these teams are in the past. Tennessee eked into the playoffs with a 9-7 record. Although they went on the road and stunned New England, now they had to take on the well-rested 14-2 Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens were heavy favorites, but the last 3 times these teams met in the playoffs, the road team won. When the opening bell for this rang, it was the Titans who answered the call. The Ravens moved from their own 20 to a 2nd and 10 at the Tennessee 36. Lamar Jackson went deep and had his pass bounce off of a receiver and get intercepted by Byard. Byard returned it 31 yards to midfield. There was even a personal foul on Jackson for a horse-collar tackle as the Titans took over at the Baltimore 35. Derrick Henry gained 3, 9, 7 and 1. On 3rd and 2 from the Baltimore 15, Ryan Tannehill gained 3 with unnecessary roughness on the defense adding 6 more. A sack of Tannehill meant 3rd and goal at the 12. Tannehill went to Smith in the end zone. Smith did not get both feet down, but his behind hit the ground inbounds. One behind equals two feet as the Titans led 7-0. The Ravens moved from their own 25 to a 4th and 1 at the Baltimore 45 to start the second quarter. John Harbaugh decided to go for it. Jackson kept it himself and ran into a Tennessee brick wall. One play later Tannehill went deep to Raymond for a 45 yard touchdown as the Ravens led 14-0 in front of a shell-shocked home crowd at the Big Crabcake.

The Ravens got it back at their own 10 yard line. On 3rd and 10 from their own 21, Jackson went deep to Brown for 30 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Tennessee 45, Jackson went to Andrews for 16 more. On 3rd and 12 from the Tennessee 31, Jackson threw incomplete. Justin Tucker hit a 49 yard field goal as the Ravens were finally on the board down 14-3 with 6 minutes left in the half. Baltimore got it back at their own 5 and with 1:43 left in the half faced 3rd and 16 at their own 9. Jackson went deep to Seth Roberts for 26 yards. Jackson then hit Brown for 16 and Willie Snead for 7 more. With 18 seconds left in the half the Ravens faced 3rd and 14 at the Titans 42. Jackson threw a Hail Mary between 3 defenders and Brown made a one-handed catch and came down with it for a 38 yard gain. The Ravens took a timeout with 11 seconds left. On 1st and goal at the 4, there should have been enough time for 2 shots at the end zone. Rather than a quick throw, Jackson scrambled around and threw incomplete. Only 3 seconds remained. The only sane option was the field goal. Tucker hit from 22 as the Ravens trailed 14-6 at halftime. In the third quarter the Ravens moved from their own 24 to a 3rd and 2 at the Tennessee 19. Edwards only gained one yard. On 4th and inches, John Harbaugh again decided to go for it. Again, Jackson got stopped for no gain.

From their own 19, then came Henry. He gained 5 and 4 to set up the Titans with 3rd and 1 at their own 28. Henry got the carry and banged up the gut. Running over and through tacklers, Henry was off to the races and was finally brought down after a 66 yard gain to the Baltimore 6. On 3rd and goal at the 3, Mike Vrabel went to the bag of tricks. Tannehill was on the sideline. Henry took the direct snap and looked to run up the middle. At the last second he lobbed a pass basketball style to the back of the end zone. Davis came down with it for the touchdown to make it 21-6 Titans. On the next play after a touchback, disaster struck the Ravens. Jackson was sacked and fumbled. The Titans took over at the Baltimore 20. On 3rd and 6 from the 16, Tannehill hit AJ Brown for 9 yards. On 3rd and goal from the one, Tannehill kept the ball. At the last moment he was expected to pitch it. Instead he crashed into the defense and somehow got through to the end zone. With 4:20 left in the third quarter, the Titans were dominating 28-6. The Ravens quickly moved from their 25 to a 3rd and 5 at the Baltimore 31. Jackson threw a sideline pass and Boykin made a fingertip interception. 

Baltimore held on defense and began the fourth quarter at their own 12. Jackson ran for 11. On 3rd and 2 from his own 31, Jackson bobbed and weaved through defenders for a 27 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 from the Tennessee 33, Jackson this time got 2 yards. Jackson went to Mark Ingram for 9, Snead for 7, and then to the end zone to Hurst. Hurst made a juggling catch for the 15 yard touchdown. On the 2 point try, Jackson’s pass was deflected in the air and then batted away at the last moment. The Ravens were clinging to life down 28-12 with 11 minutes left in regulation. Baltimore got it back at their own 20 with 6 1/2 minutes left. On 3rd and 10 Jackson went deep to Snead for 26 and to Brown for 7 and 9. On 1st and 15 from the Tennessee 43, Jackson scrambled for 22 yards. On 3rd and 5 from the Titans 16, Jackson scrambled around forever but could not find anyone and threw incomplete. On 4th and 5, a pass over the middle was perfectly defended incomplete with 4 1/2 minutes left. Baltimore got it back and with 55 seconds left faced 4th and 11 at the Tennessee 22. Jackson’s pass was low but catchable and Boykin dropped it. 

Tennessee’s second straight shocking upset had them headed to the AFC Title Game. They will be on the road, which has not stopped them so far. On paper, Baltimore was practically invincible. Jackson was 31 of 59 for 365 yards with an additional 143 yards on the ground. 508 yards of total offense were undone by his three turnovers. Henry finished with 195 yards rushing on 30 carries. He became the first back in NFL history to have at least 180 yards rushing in 3 straight games. He also had the one touchdown pass. Tannehill threw for only 88 yards, but he only needed to throw 14 passes, completing 7 of them. This was one of the great Divisionals upsets of all time. As ESPN uber-announer Chris Berman reminds us, “THAT’s why they PLAY the games!” 28-12 Titans

AFC: Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs was the Sunday afternoon game. With Baltimore losing in stunning fashion the day before, the Chiefs came in knowing a win would have them hosting the AFC Title Game. All they had to do was steamroll over an overmatched Houston team. Houston came into Kansas City in the regular season, fell behind 17-3 after the first quarter, led 23-17 at the half, trailed 24-23 after three, and won 31-24. This game was even more insane. The first half was an earthquake with endless aftershocks.

The Texans began the game facing 3rd and 7 at their own 28. Deshaun Watson hit Wil Fuller for 9 yards. On 3rd and 1 from their own 46, Watson went bombs away to a wide open Kenny Stills for a 54 yard touchdown. The Texans led 7-0 only 3 minutes into the game. The Chiefs took over at their own 21. On 3rd and 6 from their own 35, a short pass from Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce was just dropped. Things went from bad to worse went the punt was blocked. The ball bounced straight to Lonnie Johnson, who returned it for a touchdown and a 14-0 Texans lead less than 5 minutes into the game. Things got even worse for the Chiefs on special teams when Tyreek Hill fumbled a punt and the Texans recovered at the Chiefs 6 yard line. Watson hit Darren Fells for a 4 yard touchdown to make it 21-0 Texans after the first quarter. Mahomes then threw 3 straight incompletions and the Texans took over just shy of midfield. On 3rd and 11 from the Houston 48, Watson went to Deandre Hopkins for 13 yards. On 3rd and 9 from the Chiefs 21, a completion from Watson to Johnson only gained 8. After initially deciding to go for it, Bill O’Brien smartly decided not to gamble on 4th and 1. Kaimi Fairbairn hit the 31 yard field goal. With 11 minutes left in the half, the Texans led 24-0 in front of a shell-shocked home crowd at Arrowhead. Andy Reid was a most concerned Walrus Lite indeed. The rest of the half was insanity for the ages.

Momentum changed when Mecole Hardman returned the ensuing kickoff 58 yards to the Houston 42. Mahomes quickly went to Kelce for 25 yards and to Damien Williams for the 17 yard touchdown. The Chiefs were down 24-7 and just getting started. On 3rd and 1 from their own 31, Watson threw incomplete. Bill O’Brien then gambled on a fake punt. Reid took the direct snap and gained only 2 yards. The Chiefs took over at the Houston 33 and needed only 23 seconds to score. Defensive pass interference meant a 28 yard gain. Mahomes went to Kelce for the 5 yard touchdown to get the Chiefs within 24-14. Only 9 seconds later the Chiefs had the ball again as the Texans fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Thompson picked up the fumble and returned it 18 yards to the Houston 6 yard line. On 3rd and goal, Mahomes went to Kelce for the touchdown. Just like that, the Chiefs were within 24-21. With 2:47 left in the half, the Chiefs took over at their own 10. Defensive pass interference added 15 yards. Mahomes then went to Hill for 20 and ran for 21. On 2nd and 15 from the Houston 39, Mahomes hit Kelce for 20 and ran for 14. With 50 seconds left in the half, Mahomes again hit Kelce for the 5 yard touchdown. 4 touchdown passes by Mahomes in the second quarter had the Chiefs up 28-24. In the final 44 seconds from their own 23, Watson hit Hopkins for 38 yards. Yet Fairbairn’s 51 yard field goal try to end the half was no good by a mile. 

After a post-season record for points in the first half, the Chiefs began the third quarter at their own 15. Mahomes was only 4 touchdown passes away from 8. Surely the pace would slow up in the second half. Mahomes went to Yelder for 11 and then went deep to Sammy Watkins for a 48 yard gain. Mahomes then ran for 14 yards and 7 more to set up 1st and goal at the one. Williams ran it in to make it 34-24 Chiefs. The extra point was no good. The Chiefs got it back at their own 23. Mahomes went deep to Kelce for 28 yards. Mahomes then went to Watkins for 14 and defensive pass interference added 19 more. On 3rd and goal at the 10, Mahomes threw incomplete. However, defensive holding meant 1st and goal at the 5. Williams ran straight up the gut for the touchdown to make it 41-24 Chiefs. 

The Chiefs scored 41 unanswered points on 6 straight touchdown drives. After a touchback, the Texans finally woke up. Watson hit Hopkins for 21 yards and Stills for 11 more. On 3rd and 6 from the Chiefs 39, Watson went to Hopkins, who made a gorgeous toe-tape catch on the sideline for a 9 yard gain. A trick play half-back pass was blown up for a 14 yard loss. On 2nd and 24 from the Chiefs 44, Watson went deep to Fuller for a 39 yard gain. On the next play Watson got around the end for a 5 yard touchdown. The ball did come out, but only after Watson had just barely passed the pylon. After three quarters, the Texans were within 41-31. The Chiefs began the fourth quarter at their own 28. Mahomes went to Kelce for 23 , Hardman for 13, Watkins for 28, and Bell for the 8 yard touchdown. One minute into the fourth quarter, the Chiefs led 48-31 on Mahomes’s 5th touchdown pass and 7th consecutive touchdown drive.     

After a touchback, the Texans moved to a 2nd and 4 at the Chiefs 42. Watson then threw 3 straight incompletions as the Chiefs took over with 11:45 left in regulation. Mahomes on a pair of end arounds that counted as forward passes hit Bell for 7 and Williams for 11. Williams then took an end around that counted as a lateral 26 yards. On 3rd and 6 at the Houston 10, a completion to Williams only gained 5 yards. Mahomes lobbied to go for it, but Andy Reid was having none of it. There would not be an 8th straight touchdown. Harrison Butker hit the 24 yard field goal as 8 straight scoring drives had the Chiefs up 51-31 midway through the fourth quarter. There would be no garbage touchdown. Despite 1st and goal at the 8 with 1:54 to play, Watson threw 3 straight incompletions. Then on 4th and goal he was sacked for a 17 yard loss. Walrus Lite Andy Reid will be going to the Conference Title Game for the 7th time in his career, where he is 1-5 overall. For the 2nd straight year the Chiefs are hosting the AFC Title Game, making Andy Reid a most happy Walrus Lite indeed. 51-31 Chiefs  

NFC: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers was the Sunday night game. From the Fail Mary game to to Al Harris intercepting Matt Hasselbeck to a 2014 NFC Title Game for the ages,  the 2019 season led us to another Walrus Bowl. mike Holmgren is long retired, but the two teams he led faced off again for the right to travel to San Francisco for the NFC Title Game. Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers both have one Super Bowl ring and feel like they were robbed of a second one. The Packers started the game from their 25 and Aaron Jones quickly ran for 23 yards. Rodgers hit Devontae Adams for 14. On 3rd and 8 from the Seattle 36, Rodgers hit Jimmy Graham for 13. On 3rd and 7 from the Seattle 20, Rodgers went to Adams for the touchdown as the Packers led 7-0. A field position game in the second quarter had the Seahawks taking over at their own 42. Wilson went to Tyler Lockett for 28 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the Green Bay 26, Wilson threw incomplete. Myers hit the 45 yard field goal to get the Seahawks within 7-3. 

After a touchback to start the second quarter, Rodgers hit Adams for big gains of 11, 18 and 15, and Valdes-scantling for 8. Defensive pass interference added 18. On 3rd and goal at the one, Jones got the carry and appeared stopped. Officials called it a touchdown. On review, his helmet was over the goal but nobody could see where the ball was. Despite no view of him crossing the goal, the touchdown stood and the Packers led 14-3. The Seahawks moved from their own 18 to a 3rd and 8 at the Seattle 32. Wilson threw incomplete. Myers’s 50 yard field goal try was no good. From their own 42, Ervin got around the end for an 18 yard gain. Rodgers then hit Adams for 10. A defensive facemask on Jadavean Clowney added 15 yards. Jones gained 9. On 3rd and 1 from the Seattle 4, Rodgers took the quarterback sneak up the middle 2 yards. On 3rd and goal at the one, Rodgers threw incomplete but the play was blown dead because Clowney entered the neutral zone. This time on 3rd and goal at the one, Jones got in without any doubt. With 90 seconds left in the half, the Packers had a comfortable 21-3 lead.   

The Seahawks began the third quarter facing 3rd and 6 at their own 35. Wilson scrambled for 22 and then went to DK Metcalf for 24. On 3rd and 4 from the Green Bay 8, Wilson went to Hollister for only 3 yards. Pete Carroll decided to go for it on 4th and 1 from the 5. Wilson rolled out and hit Lockett for 4 yards. Marshawn Lynch banged up the gut for the last yard. The 10 play, 69 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive got the Seahawks within 21-10. The Packers returned fire quickly. On 3rd and 6 from their own 29. Rodgers went to Graham for 27. Then he went deep to Adams, who escaped a potential tackle and raced for a 40 yard touchdown to make it 28-10 Packers.

The Seahawks got it back at their own 16. From his own 28, Wilson hit Lockett for 13, Homer for 11, and Hollister for 9. Wilson ran for 11. On 3rd and 1 from the Green Bay 16, Wilson ran for 9 and then hit Lockett for the 7 yard touchdown. The 12 play, 84 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive and the Seahawks within 28-17 after three quarters. The Packers quickly went 3 and out to start the fourth quarter. The Seahawks took over at their own 21. Wilson went to Lockett for 19, Metcalf for 14, and Hollister for 19. Homer ran for 5 and caught a pass for 16 more. From the one, Lynch banged in. With 9 1/2 minutes left, Pete Carroll decided to go for the 2 point conversion. Alexander came on a blindside blitz and leveled Wilson. Nevertheless, the Seahawks were within 28-23.

The Packers soon faced 3rd and 10 at their own 27. Rodgers hit Greg Allison for 11 yards. Rodgers then ran for 14 with 5 more tacked on for defensive holding. Yet on 3rd and 9 from the Seattle 40, Rodgers was buried by two Seattle rushers for an 8 yard loss. A shanked 25 yard punt had the Seahawks taking over at their own 23 with 5 minutes left. On 3rd and 5 from their own 42, Wilson was sacked for a 6 yard loss. On 4th and 11, Pete Carroll decided to punt and trust his defense. The Packers took over at their own 20 with 2 1/2 minutes left. Seattle had all 3 timeouts. On 2nd and 8, Aaron Rodgers threw the ball away incomplete, allowing the Seahawks to preserve a timeout. On 3rd and 8 Rodgers went deep to Adams for a 32 yard gain. 2:12 remained and the Seahawks still had 2 timeouts plus the 2 minute warning. At the 2 minute warning, everything came down to 3rd and 9 from the Seattle 45. The Seahawks still had one timeouts left but a first down would end it. Seattle sent an all out blitz  and Rodgers fired a laser to Graham. As Graham was about to land short of the sticks, he ended up on the defenders body and did not hit the ground until he was just past the marker. The Seahawks were game, but it is the Packers moving on after winning another classic. 28-23 Packers

The Conference Title Games are set. Both games will be played on Sunday, December 19, 2020. 

AFC: Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs at 3:00pm Eastern on CBS.

NFC: Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers at 6:30pm Eastern on FOX.

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