Observation After a November Football Weekend
Mizzou football coach Gary Pinkel says people remember teams that win in November.
That is especially true in high school and college. The NFL can be an exception, mostly because their season runs through December. Arizona Cardinals beware… but that’s another blog post.
Saturday was very enjoyable. Palmyra knocked off Lutheran North 14-7 in the snow flurries at Palmyra. The Crusaders had difficulty blocking—and sometimes even making contact--with Palmyra’s linemen and blitzers all afternoon. The Panthers had their ups and downs through the regular season. Post season has been remarkable so far, highlighted by the convincing win at Bowling Green in the district title game and the win over Lutheran North. Hats off to coach Kevin Miles, his assistants and the players. I've been covering high school football for a very long time and the improvement during the course of this season is very impressive.
Missouri won again. At Texas A&M. Winning on the road anywhere in the Southeastern Conference is tough. Mizzou now has wins this season at South Carolina, at Florida and at Texas A&M. I strongly suspect the non-SEC teams in the hunt for those four playoff berths could not be relied on to duplicate that.
The Swamp and Kyle Field are about as intimidating as it gets in football. You don’t win in those places without being a quality football team. The Tiger defense has been solid all year. It was great to see a lot of signs of life from the Mizzou offense Saturday night in College Station… and to see Kyle Field empty out like Faurot used to in the second half during the infamous Woody’s Wagon era.
Yes, we’ve seen a lot of road wins in SEC matchups this year. I attribute that to the depth and quality of the league.
Sunday brought a St. Louis Rams win over the Denver Broncos. The Rams defense stifled Peyton Manning and his associates in the 22-7 win. That Rams defense—especially the front 7—is as stout as they come in the NFL. Getting to the playoffs from here is a tall order, but the Rams can have considerable influence over who is in the NFC playoffs. They may have also opened the door for the Kansas City Chiefs to win the AFC West.
The Chiefs were too much for Seattle. More power football from KC on Sunday, and more empty possessions for the opponent in the red zone and a couple of big fourth down stops. Best visuals of the day both involved Dontari Poe. In the first half, he chased Russell Wilson to the sideline and out of bounds. Wilson didn't gain any distance on the 350 pounder. The other was a key second half sack where Poe basically ignored the attempt to block him.
One great weekend behind with another coming. Semifinal weekend for Palmyra and Raiders week for the Chiefs.