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Open Thread: Divisional Playoffs, Saturday 1/11

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In no way did I think that the Arizona Cardinals were for real, so I admit to being more than a little surprised when they beat the Panthers last night. Classic case of why I don't bet on football games. 

Some coaching updates from the PD this morning. Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is a finalist and will have a second interview with Devaney, Rams owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez, and senior advisor John Shaw. Devaney seems to think enough of Frazier to skip the first round interview. Frazier's a popular guy around the league, interviewing for several vacancies and considered a finalist for the Broncos job as well. And you can bet the Donkeys won't be spare with their offer. Word is he had a good interview in Detroit too. The Vikings defensive coordinator job is kind of an ivy league program for head coaches with notable alums Mike Tomlin and Tony Dungy. Compare that to the recent list of Baltimore defensive coordinators who became head coaches, Marvin Lewis and Mike Nolan, hmmm. 

Anyway, here's a scouting report on Frazier. Interestingly, one observer thinks that Frazier would shift to a Tampa-2 scheme in the defensive backfield. How does that effect the Rams current personnel? With so many DBs coming off the books this year, it's probably easier to shift from man coverage to the Tampa-2. How would Bartell and Atogwe fit in that scheme, both of whom have been identified by Devaney as priorities to resign for the coming season (they'll use the franchise or transition tag on Atogwe, and Bartell might be apt to follow Haslett if he goes elsewhere). 

Here's the updated coaching matrix.

Two more games today to decide the conference championship lineup. On top of my strike out on the Cardinals prediction, I was shocked to see the Titans go down as well. Yeah, you can blame the missed delay of game penalty, but they made their fair share of mistakes too. Credit B-more's defense;they made the stops when it mattered despite the box score numbers favoring the Titans, except for the turnovers. A missed field goal never helps either, as Rams fans know all too well.  

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