“Firing Passes-Here-There-Everywhere around the NFL”
FINAL WEEKEND…..The Chargers play their final home game Sunday against the Raiders in the Carson soccer stadium that has been their home for three years. Per the norm, the Silver & Black fans will overwhelm the Stadium, because tickets are always available for Chargers home games, either thru brokers in LA, or from what few Chargers fans there are, who are reselling them at profit. In the 3-years they have been gone, I have not come across a San Diego fan that goes up there, and I’m in the community a lot. Home field, what home field? The Chargers are just (11-10) at Carson in the three seasons there. Now the national media has taken the public stance of the disaster Dean Spanos brought his franchise with the move to a market no one wants them in.
RAIDER NATION….They are not happy, and they showed that booing the home team off the field after an ugly loss last Sunday to lowly Jacksonville. They threw garbage on the field as the players left after the Jaguars setback. So much for Jon Gruden being a difference maker as head coach. He is (10-20) since taking over the Raiders job, and despite two years of drafts and free agency, and despite having Derek Carr as quarterback, they seem years away from having a playoff team.
RAMS OFF TRACK….Not the same team as the one that went to the Super Bowl a year ago. Jared Goff has regressed to the turnover prone quarterback he was his rookie year. Sacks and picks are his problem. And second guessing has begun of ancient defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Giving up points and TDs and not the dominant team of a year ago. May be too many roster changes the last two years have robbed the team of its overall edge in playing defense.
49ers….What a special defense, the 48-sacks, the 27-takeaways, but you have to wonder if they have anywhere enough offense to go deep in the playoffs. Outside Jim Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle, there does not seem to be any game-changer anywhere else in the offensive formations. As good a season as it has been, they might not go far into January.
SEAHAWKS….A quick two year-turnaround rebuild by the Seattle front office. Russell Wilson is having a magical year on offense, they have 3-big play receivers, two power running backs, a very athletic defense, and have even patched the offensive line with journeyman they took off the waiver wire. It’s impressive.
BUFFALO….A nice season, triggered by a rugged defense, but the Bills probably need another draft to go get some playmakers to help the young QB Josh Allen.
BALTIMORE….Can you say MVP-Lamar Jackson, over 3900-yards in offense and now 40-TDs with two games left. Compliment that with a really tough defense. Home field for the entire AFC playoffs. Next stop Super Bowl. Think so.
PATRIOTS…Tom Brady doesn’t make the Pro Bowl for the first time in a long time, but it’s not on him. No tight ends, battered wide receivers, a less than efficient run game. an awful lot of pressure on a pretty good defense.
CHIEFS…Patrick Mahomes can make anyone look great, as witnessed by the nagging injury they have had on offense, and his ability to take replacement parts and see making plays. Good enough to withstand a leaky defense.
SAINTS….How can you not root for all the things Drew Brees is to the Saints and to that community. Mike Thomas is about to shatter the single season pass catching record. If you have to go thru the Superdome in the playoffs, you might have trouble winning in the postseason.
HOUSTON…Quite a job by Coach Bill O’Brien to keep his team in the mix, with all the injuries they have had on defense and the nagging injuries to the wide receiver corps. Luckily Deshawn Watson has stayed on the field, and his put up awesome numbers. But there may not be much hope for a postseason run.
VIKINGS…Lots of firepower and a pretty rugged defense, the Kirk Cousins led team would be a problem for anyone. Mike Zimmer has willed this team to a pretty good season and playing at home will be a key.
PACKERS…Can a two man team carry a team deep into January? We find out, because the Packers and the combo of Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones will carry this team. The two lousy West Coast losses have denied them home field advantage thru the entire NFC. Think what it would be like if you had to go win a game in Lambeau in January. They could have had all home games, but won’t now.