Caldwell was seen as a modern-day George Seifert when he coached the Colts to Super Bowl XLIV during Stafford’s rookie season in Detroit. As Seifert could pick up where Bill Walsh and Joe Montana were leaving off, that Indianapolis run had the feeling of extending what Tony Dungy had established with Peyton Manning.
Stafford was headed in that bad direction again with Joe Lombardi in 2014 and ’15, but he became an efficiency expert in Caldwell’s wise move to JIm Bob Cooter. Because Stafford had gotten more into the zone of getting the ball out quickly and spreading it around to more receivers, it got to the point he could absorb Calvin Johnson’s sudden retirement in 2016 without his play dropping off much.
Jared Goff and Todd Gurley look like an unstoppable first-round combination as they continue to lead an explosive charge not seen since the last days of The Greatest Show On Turf. But this is great timing for the Seahawks to put the Rams in their place. Their defense “got well” against the Colts, while Russell Wilson looks to be back in his late 2016 groove.
That line shows no respect for Buffalo, a team that has shut down the run and has been even nastier against the pass under new coach Sean McDermott. The Bengals are pretty much a one-dimensional, Andy Dalton-to-A.J. Green passing offense, and that won’t cut it here. Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy will be in control of this game with the better rushing attack.