Any weekend you can introduce people to Harold’s Chicken for the first time is a good one.
• Joe Burrow and the Bengals picked up a playoff win against a Raiders team that overcame so much just to get to that point. And while the Bengals beating the Raiders reminds me that the Bears beat both teams this year, the story of Wild Card Weekend’s opening salvo was Brian Daboll and the Buffalo Bills offense.
• Last night summed up in one tweet:
— PFF (@PFF) January 16, 2022
• It truly was the Brian Daboll Show: 47 points, 482 yards of offense, touchdowns on every possession until the game-ending kneel-down, no punts or field goals, pure domination. It was almost as if Daboll told QB Josh Allen “I need you to put me on.” It was a thorough dismantling of the Patriots. And it was a game in which the Bills sent a message that hopefully came through loud and clear over at Halas Hall.
• I’ve had my reservations about Daboll. But that offense doing those things on a big stage gave me everything I was hoping to see. Not just in terms of yards and points, but also when it comes to scheme. Every play felt like it was ran with a purpose. Each series was seemingly built on plays that were working together in chorus. That is what a modern offense should look like.
• For me, the biggest takeaway is that Daboll’s offense made the adjustments I wasn’t sure he’d be able to make from the last time the Pats and Bills were playing in Buffalo. And I think this tweet from ESPN’s Mina Kimes captures it:
This is something I like about Daboll as a HC candidate as he does interviews today–his offense has evolved every year, as well as week to week. I dunno a lot about predicting HC success but adaptability seems like it ought to be a desirable trait.
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) January 16, 2022
• Indeed! Adaptability is a desirable trait. Especially after four years of trying to make “fetch” happen with a system that was spinning its wheels for the most part.
• There is no way I was the only one thinking this last night:
I can’t wait until this September when it’s Justin Fields and Cole Kmet doing thispic.twitter.com/diHXY3To88
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) January 16, 2022
Cole Kmet is watching this sending Bill Polian “u watching this?” texts pic.twitter.com/BF7l07U7Vg
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) January 16, 2022
• This isn’t to say Justin Fields will be Josh Allen. Buffalo’s quarterback is a unicorn. But Fields has loud tools and impressive athleticism. And while there isn’t a direct comp between Dawson Knox and Cole Kmet, it sure was nice to see a tight end use their frame in the end zone and secure touchdown catches.
• Yeah, I was definitely not alone:
It's really hard to watch that game and not wonder what Brian Daboll could do with Justin Fields. Josh Allen has rare, rare ability. But it's so tempting to drift down that road in your head.
— Robert Mays (@robertmays) January 16, 2022
• Brian Daboll might not need to bring a résumé to that Bears interview. Just show up with game tape from last night’s game.
• And if that fails, just show Bill Polian, George McCaskey, and the rest of the gang these tweet:
hang it in the louvre pic.twitter.com/sC21lVe2QT
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) January 16, 2022
• Imagine building an offense around the players. What a concept:
The Bills have the most QB centric offense in the league.
So, if the Bears did hire Daboll, we should expect a system designed around Fields. https://t.co/WDAeHLUf7T
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) January 16, 2022
• The Bears really tried to tuck away that they interviewed a Packers coordinator and a former Lions coach around 9 p.m. CT on a Saturday like folks weren’t going to see it:
We have completed interviews with general manager candidate Monti Ossenfort and head coach candidates Jim Caldwell & Nathaniel Hackett.https://t.co/fIWyc0sVgh
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 16, 2022
• Patrick explored Nathaniel Hackett’s candidacy earlier in the week. And on Saturday, we were discussing Jim Caldwell as someone expecting an interview at some point. GM Candidate Monti Ossenfort is someone new to our scene, so we’ll dig into him later.
• Speaking of Bears coach candidate, it was interesting to see ESPN’s Adam Schefter walking back his earlier tweet pinning Miami’s pursuit of Deshaun Watson on former coach Brian Flores:
Another source insisted today that that the Dolphins were all on the same page and that they all wanted Deshaun Watson. “100 percent,” one source said.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 15, 2022
• PFT’s Mike Florio has some “inside baseball” perspective on how things like this happen.
• I almost regret joking with my friends “it’s a Jerome Boger game, something weird is gonna happen” before that Bengals-Raiders game:
The refs said the whistle came "after the receiver caught the ball." pic.twitter.com/xZmblLnlAs
— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) January 16, 2022
• Thankfully, that crew won’t be working again this postseason. (ESPN)
• With the Raiders’ elimination from the postseason being officially official, we’re on Jim Harbaugh watch. The Raiders connections are real and impossible to ignore. As is the reality that Harbaugh is using interest from Vegas (and possibly, Chicago) to leverage a pay raise from Michigan after taking a pay cut last year. Nevertheless, it’s a fascinating situation to watch because the trickle-down effect could impact the Bears at some point or another. Stay tuned.
• Can’t wait to have a feeling like this at Soldier Field, because I don’t have 31 years to waste:
— NFL (@NFL) January 16, 2022
• Kindles, books, pillows, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad
• Thank goodness!
Initial Read on Zach LaVine’s MRI is Positive, “Not Expected to Miss Significant Time”https://t.co/eVXcHu6waj
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 15, 2022
• Some pretty nifty scoring:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) January 16, 2022