Vince Lombardi

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QC's Week 12 Thought

The philosophical change between Minnesota interim OC Pat Shurmur and former OC Norv Turner is obvious. In a 16-13 loss to the Lions, Vikings QB Sam Bradford was not sacked and completed 31 of 37 passes and was not sacked. But those completions generated virtually no productivity. Bradford looked like a MVP candidate weeks 2 through 5 when he was utilizing Turner's downfield designs. HC Mike Zimmer chose Shurmur's super-duper virus protection software when the Minnesota O-line disintegrated. The approach keeps the Vikings in games. But they will need scores from special teams and Zimmer's defense if they are going to hoist themselves back up over the Lions because the most that can be expected from Shurmur's design is that Bradford will stay on the field and time of possession will not become too imbalanced. The virus protection slows down the operating system too much for the system to provide much of any performance productivity.

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QC long ago determined that play design usually contributes more to victory than playmaking. But, occassionally, an individual playmaking performance occurs that nearly single-handedly lifts a team to a win. It happened twice in Week 2. In Kansas City's 30-27 OT win over Denver, Chiefs WR Tyreke Hill scored on a kick return, a run and a reception. He was was the first NFL player to do so in a single game since Chicago HOF RB Gale Sayers did so in 1965. In Oakland's 33-30 win over Carolina, Raiders LB Khalid Mack had an interception, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a TD. He was the first player to accomplish those 5 items since Charles Woodson in 2009.

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New Orleans play designer Sean Payton put it to the DC who helped him and the Saints to the 2009 Super Bowl, Gregg Williams, in a 49-21 beat down of Los Angeles. The Rams got off to a good start as rookie QB Jared Goff tossed 2 TD passes and LA led 14-7. But Payton's offense piled up 555 total yards, including 209 yards rushing, and Drew Brees and the Saints ran away and hid. Williams always has been a guesser on defense. When his guesses work, his D creates turnovers and is effective. But when his guesses do not work, it leaves his defense vulnerable. Payton looked like he knew that the entire game. Ouch.

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Seattle fans have to be worried if the Seahawsk have to go on the road in the playoffs. Tampa Bay throttled Russell Wilson in a 14-5 win in which Wilson's production was well below the JaMarcus Cable. It was the third time this year Seattle failed to score more than 6 points a road game. The Seahawks were held to 3 points in a 9-3 loss at LA and tallied only 6 in a 6-6 tie at Arizona. Just a week ago, many so-called experts were starting to sing about the Hawks being the best team in the NFC. But right now it is hard to imagine Seattle winning any road game in the playoffs and not hard to imagine them getting blown out at Dallas or Atlanta.

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