Around the League: 5 Big Stories in the NFL This Week
As we enter the Divisional Round of the NFL Postseason, there are plenty of headlines to share, especially when it comes to this weekend’s matchups as well as the head coaching carousel that’s going full-speed.
Here’s our list of “5 Big Stories in the NFL This Week”:
David Banks via AP
Divisional Round Schedule
The Cowboys-Rams game is one of two contests on Saturday.
The #1 seed in the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs, host the red-hot Colts on Saturday afternoon. Kickoff is 3:35pm central and the game will be broadcast on NBC. This is a great opportunity to watch two awesome QBs: the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Colts’ Andrew Luck. Matt Eberflus, the former Cowboys linebacker coach who took over this season as the Colts defensive coordinator, will have his hands full on Saturday trying to slow down the high-octane Chiefs offense.
The Cowboys-Rams game at the L.A. Coliseum kicks off on Saturday night at 7:15pm central. You can watch the game on FOX or listen to the radio broadcast on the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network.
Sunday’s Divisional Round double-header begins with the Patriots hosting the Chargers at 12:05pm central on CBS, followed by the Saints hosting the Eagles at 3:40pm on FOX.
Musical Chairs Among Head Coaching Candidates
The music is still playing, but the chairs are starting to fill up in the 2019 version of NFL Musical Chairs. As of Wednesday morning, 5 head coaching positions are still open. Three of the vacancies are already filled.
Rick Scuteri via AP
Former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury is headed to Arizona to take over the Cardinals.
Former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is headed to Tampa Bay to take over the Buccaneers. And Arians is taking former Jets head coach Todd Bowles with him to be the Bucs’ defensive coordinator.
The Packers have hired former Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur as their new head coach. The guy that the Packers fired in December, Super Bowl winning head coach Mike McCarthy, is a leading candidate to take over the Jets.
The jobs that are still open (as of Tuesday night) are the Jets, Dolphins, Browns, Bengals, and Broncos.
James D. Smith via AP
What’s Going to Happen with Kris Richard?
Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard interviewed with three teams on Sunday: the Jets, the Bucs, and the Dolphins. The Bucs job went to Bruce Arians and the Jets continue to consider multiple candidates. The Dolphins reportedly have the most interest in Richard. In fact, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and a contingent of Dolphins’ personnel attended Saturday’s Wild Card game at AT&T Stadium and stayed overnight to interview Richard on Sunday.
Adrian Kraus via AP
Josh McDaniels Staying Put in New England
The past several years, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ name seems to have been mentioned whenever a head coaching position opens up. But earlier this week McDaniels said that he’s staying put in New England and won’t interview for any more open jobs. McDaniels had interviewed with the Packers last week. McDaniels decision to stay with the Patriots takes one big name out of the hat and helps the prospects of Richard and other candidates who are still in the hunt for a coveted head coaching job.
Cody Parkey’s Missed Field Goal Is Changed to a “Blocked Field Goal”
Were you watching the end of Sunday’s Eagles-Bears Wild Card game?
USA TODAY Sports
Did you feel terrible when Bears kicker Cody Parkey “double-doinked” his field goal attempt in the closing seconds? Parkey’s miss cost the Bears the chance to advance to the Divisional Round.
Well, this won’t make Parkey feel any better, but the NFL reviewed videotape of the play and determined that rather than a “missed field goal”, the result of the play is a “blocked field goal”.
Upon further review, Eagles defensive tackle Treyvon Hester got a finger on Parkey’s 43-yard attempt, affecting the ball just enough to send it askew…and into the left upright.
Not everyone in Chicago is blaming Parkey for losing the game. For example, the folks at Goose Island Brewery in Chicago have come to Parkey’s defense. In fact, they’re setting up a goal post in front of their brewery and have offered a free beer to anyone who can successfully kick a 43-yard field goal. There’s not word yet if Parkey has shown up to drown his sorrows with some suds.