After the Niners lost the Super Bowl Game in OT last Sunday, head coach Kyle Shanahan said that he hoped to have everyone on his staff back for next year. Teams that make it to the Super Bowl need to expect that their coaching staff is ripe for poaching while agents for assistant coaches on Super Bowl teams look at the situation as a way to enhance the bankroll of their clients. We are 4 days removed from the Super Bowl game and here is the toll to date on the 2023/2024 Niners’ coaching staff:
- Asst. OL coach, James Cregg => Raiders as OL Line coach
- Pass game Coordinator, Klint Kubiak => Saints as Offensive Coordinator
- RB coach, Anthony Lynn => Commanders as Run game Coordinator
- Asst. DL coach, Darryl Tapp => Commanders as DL Line coach
- Def, Coordinator Steve Wilks => ??? (He was “relieved of his duties.”)
So much for keeping the coaching staff intact…
After the Super Bowl game was over and the Lombardi Trophy was being handed around to notables on the raised platform, Patrick Mahomes declared that the KC Chiefs are never underdogs. That had been their status three times during the playoffs this season and they obviously overcame that underdog status as the “last team standing”. When I heard that, I took it for what I thought it was – – an emotional statement in a time when there was an awful lot of emotion overflowing the situation. Then I ran across some data at ProFootballTalk that indicates Patrick Mahomes is onto something:
- Since Mahomes took over as the Chiefs’ starting QB, the Chiefs have been underdogs 13 times (9 regular season games and 4 playoff games) when he started the game. The Chiefs are 10-3 straight up in those games and 11-1-1 against the spread in those 13 games. It does not take a mathematical prodigy to realize that a bettor who had backed the Chiefs and Mahomes whenever they were in underdog status would have done quite well.
- Mahomes and the Chiefs win percentage in those 13 “underdog games” is a whopping .769. Looking at all the games that Mahomes has started for the Chiefs when the Chiefs were the favorites in the game, the Chiefs’ record is 79-22 which is a win percentage of .782.
- In other words, the Chiefs “pull an upset”/win as the underdog almost as frequently as they win as favorites.
- Maybe Patrick Mahomes was not venting an emotion last Sunday evening; perhaps, he was simply speaking verifiable truth…
[Aside: According to ProFootballTalk, the only time the Chiefs did not cover as an underdog in the Patrick Mahomes Era, was in 2022 when the Chiefs were 2.5-point underdogs to the Bills and lost the game by 4 points.]
The NFL schedule for next season will not be revealed in its entirety until sometime in May but we already know something about Week 1. On Friday, September 6, 2024, the Eagles will open as the “home team” against an opponent to be announced later in the first-ever NFL game in Brazil. The game will be played in Sao Paulo, and it is part of the NFL’s ongoing effort to expand the NFL brand to new overseas markets.
It is not an all-time first, but it has been more than 50 years since the NFL has scheduled a Week 1 game for a Friday night. The last time that happened was in 1970 when the Rams hosted the Cards on September 18th. To give you a perspective on how long ago that was, Jimi Hendrix died on September 18,1970.
In addition to the game in Sao Paulo in Week 1, the NFL will stage these other international games:
- The Panthers will play a game in Munich.
- The Bears, Jags and Vikes will each play a game in London.
- The opponents in these other international games are still TBD.
Moving on … There is a trend these days in online sites that comment on sports that I find annoying. There are too many headlines out there that take this form:
- “A Way-Too-Early Look At XYZ …”
XYZ could be “World Series Teams in 2024” or perhaps “CFP Selections in 2024” or even “NFL Rookie of the Year Candidates for next season”.
What is annoying is that indeed there is little to no solid information in such pieces and the headline is nothing but an attempt to harvest online clicks. So, whenever I see such a headline on a posting – no matter if the site itself is highly reputable – I refuse to click on it. For the record, here is my take:
- If the author admits that it is “way too early” to write such a piece, why should I expend any effort to read it now. I’ll wait until it is no longer “way too early” and the “time is right”.
Finally, today’s closing words came to me from a former colleague; he attributed them to novelist, Barbara Cartland:
“After forty, a woman has to choose between losing her figure or her face. My advice is to keep your face and stay sitting down.”
Ms. Cartland is the ultimate pragmatist …
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………