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NFL Wild Card Weekend Taught Us That Anthony Lynn’s Time Is Now

After surviving the NFL Black Head Coaching purge of 2018, Anthony Lynn needs to seize the moment.

 

San Diego Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn is one of just two remaining Black NFL head coaches that survived the 2018 NFL regular season purge of the league’s Black field generals. 

Looking at the head coaches that are favorites to win the Super Bowl heading into the Divisional Playoff round, they all have top-flight quarterbacks. New England has Brady and Kansas City have been blessed with the incredible Patrick Mahomes Jr. The Eagles are playing with last year’s Super Bowl MVP. The Colts’ Andrew Luck is playing like he’s back at Stanford and Lynn’s surging Chargers with Philip Rivers.

First Things First on Twitter

If Nick Foles wins another playoff game, then it becomes a real discussion in the front office. If he beats Drew Brees, who’s never lost a playoff game in the Superdome, then you have to have a legitimate conversation.” – @ChrisCanty99 on Foles potentially unseating Wentz https://t.co/thPLdXu0pQ

 

The Black coaches who were fired (Todd Bowles, Steve Wilks, Vance Joseph, Marvin Lewis, Hue Jackson) all had to coach using either inexperienced rookie QBs or subpar veterans who only served as stop gaps.

That one common denominator tells me that these coaches were doomed from the beginning. Teams that make Super Bowls and have consistent playoff success usually have a Top 10, veteran quarterback leading the way, plus solid playmakers on both sides of the ball. 

That’s why Anthony Lynn, the most successful of the African-American coach of 2018  has to go for the gusto right now. Lynn and Co. came up with a way to defeat Baltimore and neutralize Jackson after getting blown out by the Ravens during the regular season.

ProFootballTalk on Twitter

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn initially wondered if seven-DB alignment was “insane,” but it worked https://t.co/p0ZMp1A000

Now, Lynn has to come up with a way to defeat the Patriots in the playoffs, which is something that Philip Rivers has never done in his illustrious career.

The North Carolina State product is 0-7 in his career against Tom Brady, including an 0-2 record in the playoffs.

Patriots Militia on Twitter

Just a reminder that Phillip Rivers is 0-7 against Brady

The first loss came in the 2006 AFC Divisional Round when the 14-2 Chargers hosted the Patriots with a berth in the AFC Championship Game on the line. Rivers threw for 230 yards and an interception, while Brady  managed the 24-21 win

The second loss was a career-defining moment in Rivers, but it also ended in defeat. Brady and Rivers met again in the 2007 AFC Championship Game with the Chargers quarterback playing on a torn ACL. New England won the game 21-12.

Rivers is a Hall of Famer who lacks the hardware that other QBs of his caliber have. Rivers’ claim to fame is that he’s the only member of the Treacherous Three QBs drafted in 2004 (Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Rivers) to never play in or win a Superbowl. He’s still playing at an elite level at times, but at age 37, his days are numbered.

To his advantage, this is as vulnerable as New England’s ever been. NFL Network analyst Nate Burleson says the Chargers have a mindset “that is better than any other team in these playoffs.”

It’s a mentality that should be attributed to Lynn and Rivers.

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The fate of a head coach and quarterback is tied to each other. The day Rivers leaves the Chargers, is the day that Lynn’s job security starts seriously decreasing (unless by some stroke of luck the Chargers find a franchise QB to replace him).

Lynn needs to secure a Super Bowl championship this season. When that rough spot hits and Rivers is gone and the franchise is scrambling for a replacement and not winning as many games, Lynn might possibly be able to rest on his Super Bowl win — the first in franchise history — and keep his job.

It might just be the beginning for Lynn as a second-year head coach, but the end is always closer than one might think if it doesn’t get the job done this season.

 

Lamar Jackson Is Officially The Future of The Ravens

Despite Lamar Jackson’s 23-17 loss on Sunday in the AFC Wild Card Round against the Chargers, head coach John Harbaugh gave him a ringing endorsement after the game.

Harbaugh said that Jackson was the franchise quarterback moving forward and he basically let everyone know that Joe Flacco wouldn’t be with the Ravens next season. He endorsed his former Super Bowl winning QB and said that he expected Flacco to have success wherever he ended up.

ESPN on Twitter

Lamar Jackson’s rookie season: *4 QBs drafted ahead of him *Gets starting job in Week 11, with Ravens 4-5 *Goes 6-1 to finish the season *Only first-round QB to make the playoffs *Youngest QB ever to start a playoff game His future is bright 🙌

Flacco responded to questions about his future after the game:

“I love the people of Baltimore…It’s been 11 years…I can’t imagine a better 11 years than this place becoming my home and children’s home and the different life changes…and how we won here…”

Jackson went 6-2 with the Ravens this season and totally revamped their offense, making them the most lethal ground game in the league. The former Heisman winner will only get better from here and once he improves on his 13 fumbles, which is the most fumbles by a rookie over his first 8 starts since 1991, the sky’s the limit.

 

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