So I love the fact where we’re at as a team. I want my focus and energy to be where it needs to be, which is on the biggest game of the year. That’s what I know I’ll personally accomplish, and I know that’s going to be a big goal for our team this week, too.
The Rams will get into Ryan’s face with Aaron Donald, while the Falcons won’t have the same success winning on the edge against tackles Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein to get to Goff. The Falcons’ shaky offensive coaching with Steve Sarkisian will cost them here in the stark contrast to McVay.
These editions of the Eagles, Vikings and Rams haven’t faced playoff success or failure. Beyond Brees, this a new feeling for most of the Saints. Only the Panthers have had the same recent run of winning the NFC and then losing in the Super Bowl.
The Falcons’ ability to avoid the full hangover and finish almost as well as they did last season was the first major step in overcoming the devastation of blowing that huge lead against the Patriots. It was similar to the resolve they had in 2016, when they rebounded from not making the playoffs despite a 5-0 start in ’15.
Gutekunst, 44, has been with the Packers since 2002 and became the team’s director of player personnel in 2016. He will replace Ted Thompson, who previously served as the team’s GM for 13 seasons before transitioning to a different role within the organization.
The Packers had to tread through some drama. One of the rumors was that Green Bay could have Gutekunst split the GM role with Russ Ball. That is not the case, and it’s unclear if Ball will stay in his current position as vice president.
That’s good news for Mike McCarthy, who reportedly isn’t in good graces with Ball and could’ve been out as the Packers’ head coach if Ball was named GM. By hiring Gutekunst, Green Bay is likely sticking with McCarthy for another season.
He was able to play when the Chargers came to town 15 days later, but the Steelers didn’t mount a scoring drive until the final possession of the first half. It didn’t seem playing that empty game against Cleveland did much to keep the offense in rhythm, and it almost cost Roethlisberger the chance to compete in the playoffs.
Dan Fouts (CBS Sports): Before Romo’s arrival, many thought CBS’s No. 2 announce team of Fouts and Ian Eagle were actually better than the former No. 1 team of Phil Simms and Jim Nantz.