Interesting debate thread; I just wonder how most people will feel IF Mcd sticks with the same roster ( no duke , Yeldon , Sweeney as Foster, L Smith , and DiMarco stay active ) and we happen to lose 18+ vs our 17 point production that we have even struggled to produce the final month of the season. Yes , imo it is a successful season overall with team , roster improvement etc, but is a one and done playoff appearance acceptable for a Staff with its second playoff appearance in a season where the AFC title is not a forgone Pats certainty ? We all
now expect to keep making the playoffs in the future but why let an opportunity go by when just perhaps taking some roster “ risks” could have a huge payoff given our D consistency?
Many have advanced the argument about not losing special team efficiency by removing a gunner , Foster, who we might all agree has had little to zero offensive impact. I think his role is being overstated. I have watched every game , play , and Imo our field position battle is mostly dependent on our punters effectiveness. Rarely has the gunner determined the outcome of field position. I would argue if we are so concerned about returns that we have to keep a roster spot just for Foster, why not take the returns out of the equation and punt directionally to eliminate returns? Other teams do this and if there is a chance we can add one more weapon for our anemic pass production ( we are what 24, 25 th in the nfl ?) in a one game win or go home scenario, I would favor that. How about some creative special teams coaching, and do something the Texans don’t expect. Do I think Mcd will “ stay in the foxhole “ as another poster coined an analogy, unfortunately yes. I hope I am wrong and Mcd has the courage to take a small risk for a possible large return. One and done with no attempt to help this offensive lack of production would feel like a let down and would raise some concern about if our staff can adjust to produce a super bowl winner, contender consistently as is their mission statement.
So I don’t see adding Duke at the expense of Foster or a safety as scrapping our prior whole season of special team or defensive game plan. What I am suggesting is that this offense, based on the last month, is not capable of winning without a stellar defensive game, and now we face teams who have shown they are capable of easily putting 20 plus up even despite the best defenses. I don’t see us winning in the playoffs with less than 20 points. I would love to see us take a chance to jump start this offense with more creative play calling ( how bout another Smoke td pass), some unexpected personnel moves ( Duke , Yeldon to active squad ) , urgency to score ( only one td on our opening drive in 2019, can’t we script more effectively early to help Josh?), go deep more like the 2 successful plays against the pats, be willing to throw some 50/50 balls if we get in the red zone because fgs aren’t going to cut it, knock off the predictable first down handoffs to Singletary plunging into the line, etc.
One person I wouldn’t mess with is Roberts ; he may not have returned any for tds yet but the guy is money on punts and he never lets the ball hit the ground. That alone always helps us win the field position battle and he has been close to breaking it in several punt returns. So, we all saw what Yeldon , Sweeney, Williams did against a good jets D. Williams caught the game winning td against the Titans yet has barely seen the field since. It’s all on the line this Saturday and if Mcd sticks with keeping all those options off the table and we should lose because our O fails to produce again, will you be satisfied that “we showed we could play with them and it came down to that last drive”? Hey , a loss is a loss and you still go home for a long off season. I think this is a winnable game IF we step up to “ championship caliber “ coaching and chance to win , not to just not lose. Willing to be humble, rejoice if the process stays the same and we win a low scoring ( offense scores less than 20) game, but I think a few tweaks and we end up in the AFC championship!