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Is Marty as bad as his record?

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    In handicapping these NFL playoffs, it is probably the single most relevant question: How responsible is Marty Schottenheimer for his own 5-12 playoff record?

    Sometimes a coach is largely responsible for his team winning a playoff game (see Bill Belichick, Super Bowl XXXVI). Sometimes a coach is largely responsible for his team losing a playoff game (see Mike Martz, Super Bowl XXXVI). Sometimes a coach's impact is negligible (see Jimmie Johnson and Marv Levy, Super Bowl XXVII). So how often during his wretched playoff run has Marty's impact been the difference? How often has it been positive, how often negative and how often neutral?


    In a thoroughly unscientific breakdown of Schottenheimer's 17 playoff games, I will determine once and for all if Marty is as bad as he seems in the postseason or merely the relatively innocent victim of circumstance. He is, after all, 5-4 in playoff games when not opposing John Elway, Dan Marino or Jim Kelly.
    Let the Martyball begin.
    1. Jan. 4, 1986 — Dolphins 24, Browns 21


    In 1985, Schottenheimer and the 8-8 Browns limped into the playoffs, where they lost in the Orange Bowl to a 12-4 Miami team, 24-21. Marty haters will see the Browns' 21-3 third-quarter lead and point to this as the beginning of Schottenheimer's familiar playoff storyline in which hyper-conservatism dooms him. But given that the Browns, led by Earnest Byner's two scores, piled up 251 yards on the ground, Marty could hardly be blamed for conservative play-calling in this one. Taking a .500 team on the road against Dan Marino at the peak of his powers and losing by three is no choke.
    Marty impact: Positive
    2. Jan. 4, 1987 — Browns 23, Jets 20 (2 OT)


    The top-seeded 12-4 Browns hosted a Jets team that had backed into the playoffs at 10-6, losing its last five games. New York had righted its leaky ship the previous week with a wild card win over Kansas City and looked to be in charge after taking a 20-10 lead with just over four minutes to play on a Freeman McNeil touchdown. But thanks to a Mark Gastineau roughing-the-passer penalty that saved the Browns from what would have been 3rd-and-24, Bernie Kosar led Cleveland on a 68-yard TD drive that brought Cleveland within a field goal with just under two minutes left. After a Jets' three-and-out, Kosar hit Webster Slaughter for 37 yards to set up Mark Moseley's OT-forcing field goal. After missing a chip shot earlier in overtime, Moseley won it from 27 in the second OT. Needing a propitious roughing-the-passer call and two overtimes to beat a team that ended the season on a five-game losing streak while playing at home in front of 78,000 fans can't go down as a great coaching job.
    Marty impact: Negative
    3. Jan. 11, 1987 — Broncos 23, Browns 20 (OT)


    A date that will live in infamy in Cleveland. If you've built your rep as a defense-first coach and then preside over a unit that allows a 98-yard, game-tying touchdown drive in the final minutes, you have to shoulder the blame.
    Marty impact: Negative
    4. Jan. 9, 1988 — Browns 38, Colts 21


    The 10-5 AFC Central champion Browns hosted the 9-6 AFC East champion Colts. Kosar threw two touchdown passes, Byner ran for two and the Browns D held Eric Dickerson in check as Cleveland won going away in workmanlike fashion.
    Marty impact: Positive
    5. Jan. 17, 1988 — Broncos 38, Browns 33


    In a thoroughly unscientific breakdown of Schottenheimer's 17 playoff games, I will determine once and for all if Marty is as bad as he seems in the postseason or merely the relatively innocent victim of circumstance. He is, after all, 5-4 in playoff games when not opposing John Elway, Dan Marino or Jim Kelly.
    Let the Martyball begin.
    1. Jan. 4, 1986 — Dolphins 24, Browns 21


    In 1985, Schottenheimer and the 8-8 Browns limped into the playoffs, where they lost in the Orange Bowl to a 12-4 Miami team, 24-21. Marty haters will see the Browns' 21-3 third-quarter lead and point to this as the beginning of Schottenheimer's familiar playoff storyline in which hyper-conservatism dooms him. But given that the Browns, led by Earnest Byner's two scores, piled up 251 yards on the ground, Marty could hardly be blamed for conservative play-calling in this one. Taking a .500 team on the road against Dan Marino at the peak of his powers and losing by three is no choke.
    Marty impact: Positive
    2. Jan. 4, 1987 — Browns 23, Jets 20 (2 OT)


    The top-seeded 12-4 Browns hosted a Jets team that had backed into the playoffs at 10-6, losing its last five games. New York had righted its leaky ship the previous week with a wild card win over Kansas City and looked to be in charge after taking a 20-10 lead with just over four minutes to play on a Freeman McNeil touchdown. But thanks to a Mark Gastineau roughing-the-passer penalty that saved the Browns from what would have been 3rd-and-24, Bernie Kosar led Cleveland on a 68-yard TD drive that brought Cleveland within a field goal with just under two minutes left. After a Jets' three-and-out, Kosar hit Webster Slaughter for 37 yards to set up Mark Moseley's OT-forcing field goal. After missing a chip shot earlier in overtime, Moseley won it from 27 in the second OT. Needing a propitious roughing-the-passer call and two overtimes to beat a team that ended the season on a five-game losing streak while playing at home in front of 78,000 fans can't go down as a great coaching job.
    Marty impact: Negative
    3. Jan. 11, 1987 — Broncos 23, Browns 20 (OT)


    A date that will live in infamy in Cleveland. If you've built your rep as a defense-first coach and then preside over a unit that allows a 98-yard, game-tying touchdown drive in the final minutes, you have to shoulder the blame.
    Marty impact: Negative
    4. Jan. 9, 1988 — Browns 38, Colts 21


    The 10-5 AFC Central champion Browns hosted the 9-6 AFC East champion Colts. Kosar threw two touchdown passes, Byner ran for two and the Browns D held Eric Dickerson in check as Cleveland won going away in workmanlike fashion.
    Marty impact: Positive
    5. Jan. 17, 1988 — Broncos 38, Browns 33


    The 11-5 Chiefs trailed the 9-7 Steelers 10-7 nearing the end of the first half when Schottenheimer made a very un-Marty decision, opting to go for it on fourth down near midfield. K.C. was stopped, the Steelers took over and Neil O'Donnell connected on the second of his three TD passes just before the break to put Pittsburgh up 17-7. Marty must have aired his lungs out at halftime because the Chiefs took charge in the second half, tying it in the fourth quarter at 17-17 before O'Donnell and Joe Montana exchanged TD passes to make it 24-24 late in the game. K.C. had a chance to win it in regulation, but Lowery missed a 43-yarder, sending the game into OT, where he atoned with a 32-yard game-winner. Any time a team comes from double-digits down to win, the coach deserves credit.
    Marty impact: Positive
    12. Jan. 16, 1994 — Chiefs 28, Oilers 20


    It's one thing to be down double figures at home, but the following week K.C. spotted Houston (which was 12-4 and on an 11-game winning streak) 10 points in the Astrodome. The Oilers still led 13-7 with less than 10 minutes to play when Montana and Marcus Allen took over. Montana threw two TD passes to put K.C. up 21-13. Then, after the Oilers had cut it to 21-20, Allen capped a 79-yard drive with a 21-yard touchdown run. Schottenheimer gets extra credit for erasing a double-digit road deficit in what stands as his last playoff victory.
    Marty impact: Positive
    13. January 23, 1994 — Bills 30, Chiefs 13


    Back to the Orchard Park house of horrors, where Thurman Thomas (33 carries, 186 yards, 3 touchdowns) rampaged through the overmatched Chiefs. This predictable loss dropped Schottenheimer to 0-3 in AFC title games.
    Marty impact: Neutral
    14. Dec. 31, 1994 — Dolphins 27, Chiefs 17


    Schottenheimer took his 9-7 wild card Chiefs on the road to Miami to square off once again against Dan Marino and the AFC East champion Dolphins. Montana and Marino dueled to a 17-17 draw in the first half, but critical fourth-quarter turnovers by Montana — a goal-line pick — and Allen doomed Kansas City. When Hall of Famers start coughing it up, the coach is absolved. It's not like he ran a double reverse with an undrafted free agent off the taxi squad. This was Montana's last game.
    Marty impact: Neutral
    15. Jan. 7, 1996 — Colts 10, Chiefs 7


    This is the really rotten apple in a bunch of mealy, overripe Granny Smiths. The Colts (9-7) barely eked out a 10-7 home win against the Patriots (6-10) just to sneak into the playoffs. They averaged 20.7 points per game and allowed 19.8. The Chiefs, meanwhile, went 13-3, including an incredible 8-0 against an AFC West that did not have a single sub-.500 team. Excluding their games against the division champs, the Chargers, Seahawks, Broncos and Raiders went a combined 33-23 (.589). To run the table against those teams was a measure of how dominant this K.C. team was, particularly its defense, which allowed the fewest points in the NFL. Then the team with the best record in the league went out and produced one of the all-time choke jobs. The offense turned it over four times and kicker Lin Elliott missed three field goals. Even the vaunted defense yielded two third-and-long conversions on the Colts' only TD drive of the day. Kicking calamities aside, the coach has to take one in the neck for this disaster.
    Marty impact: Negative




    http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/6354154
     
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    16. Jan. 4, 1998 — Broncos 14, Chiefs 10


    As unforgivable as the loss to the Colts was after the 1995 season, this one — though at home — was understandable enough. After all, it was John Elway vs. Elvis Grbac. The Broncos also had Terrell Davis, who ran for 101 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown after Elway hooked up with Ed McCaffrey for 43 yards to the 1-yard line. The Chiefs didn't have a running back reach 600 yards for the season and were led by Allen's 37 yards in this loss. The fact that K.C. went 13-3 and claimed the top seed was amazing given how superior the eventual champion Broncos were on offense. That the Chiefs held the Broncos (who averaged 29.5 a game during the season) to 14 and had a chance to win it on Grbac's 4th-and-2 pass to the end zone with 19 seconds left is testament to Schottenheimer and the defense. People like to talk about all the No. 1 seeds that have laid playoff eggs under this coach, but the '97 Chiefs were one top seed that simply wasn't as good as the team that beat them. Playing at home but with an inferior team cancel each other out.
    Marty impact: Neutral
    17. Jan. 8, 2005 — Jets 20, Chargers 17 (OT)


    It's easy to blame rookie kicker Nate Kaeding for missing a 40-yard field goal in overtime — and joining a list of kickers that have killed Marty — but the truth is the Chargers had no business even reaching overtime against the Jets in this totally uninspired effort. The final should have been 17-10 Jets in regulation, but a roughing-the-passer penalty after a fourth-down incompletion gave Drew Brees a reprieve and he tied it on a 1-yard TD pass to Antonio Gates with 11 seconds left. Not only was Schottenheimer's preparation questionable in this one, but he actually cost his team big time when he got flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for running onto the field. The penalty helped set up the Jets' first TD.
    Marty impact: Negative
    So there you have it.
    In 17 playoff games, Marty's impact has been positive five times, negative four times and neutral eight times. I knew it. There's no way a coach this good (200-126-1, .613) could truly be that bad in the postseason.
    These things have a way of evening out. Just ask Bill Cowher who finally won the big one last year after three home losses in the AFC title game. If Marty Schottenheimer goes 3-0 this postseason, it won't quite have leveled his playoff record, but 8-12 will be good enough to shut 'em up for awhile.

    We will beat the Pats...:abq2:
     

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