“All Things NFL”
Lots of topics and lots of opinions too.
CHARGERS-CHIEFS….If the Bolts win this Monday night game, they put themselves in the fight for first place in the AFC West. The Raiders have already moved into a tie for Kansas City, and Oakland has the easier schedule. A Bolts victory puts them within 1-game of first place, but their schedule is tougher. The real story, do the Bolts have enough people to defends all the weapons that QB-Patrick Mahomes has at his discretion? This offense its averaging (404YPG) and what makes KC different than anyone else is that the Chiefs wideouts and tights ends pile up massive yards after catch. The second biggest question for the Chargers, have Rivers make it a shootout and come out throwing, or try to run the ball with Melvin Gordon-Austin Ekeler, control the clock, shorten the game, and beat up a bad KC defense. Make Mahomes stand on the sidelines. You surely do not want him on the field with all that firepower.
RAMS-BEARS….LA is just not the same offensive juggernaut it used to be. People say Todd Gurley is not the same explosive running back he used to be because of the arthritic knee issue. Robert Woods big play production has gone away. Brandin Cooks is out with the lingering concussion issues. And an offensive line that let Roger Scaffold and John Sullivan go in the offseason, and now they are best with injuries on top of that. Hard to believe the Rams might not even make the postseason as a wildcard team.
BROWNS-STEELERS….Ugly fight, really dark moment in the NFL. Now Myles Garrett is going to appeal the suspension that could last from 6-weeks to into next season. The equally big issue is the culture of football taught by Coach Freddy Kitchens. ‘Nobody pushes us around etc..etc…. His team has 87-penalites for 822-yards, leads the league in personal fouls and fines. His team, his players,his philosophy. This is more than the stupidity of Myles Garrett.
RAIDERS….Virtually all the big names Jon Gruen wanted to bring in are now off the team, from Antonio Brown to Vontaze Burfict, but what has happened is a collection of young players at tight end, wide receiver and the pass rushers are growing, learning, producing.. That and Derek Carr is playing mistake free football under Gruen’s guidance.
CAROLINA…This is a mess. Two great players left on the roster, the do-everything star running back Christian McCaffrey and great linebacker Luke Kuechly. After that, not much, surely no longer is there a Cam Newton to bail you out. Who knows what the outcome of his ongoing health issues with this Lisfranc foot surgery might be. You always wonder, why not Colin Kaepernick to Carolina on a look-see contract?
NEW ENGLAND..They lost a week ago, struggled all day but put away the Eagles, so we don’t really know yet if the Patriots are a complete team. They played really hard to hold off Carson Wentz at the end of the game…but a bulk of that Patriots record was built on beating up the Giants-Jets-Miami-Cleveland early on in the schedule.
49ers…They are not sneaking up on anyone anymore, and Jim Garoppolo has lots of challenges but he’s making enough passes to get the ball in the end zone. The other issue, you have to play four quarters against that violent San Francisco defensive front.
BALTIMORE…Lamar Jackson’s numbers are spectacular, maybe as brilliant of Russell Wilson’s production up in Seattle. The Ravens defense are warriors and they are really hard to drive against each series and points on the board are hard to get. They really look the ‘Beast in the East’.
BUFFALO…Surprise team of the year, with rock solid defense, young diverse quarterback. Now they won a bunch of games early in the season at home in good weather. Now a lot of road games, but you cannot take away the 7-wins they have already.
COWBOYS…Dak Prescott putting up spectacular numbers throwing it. Zeke Elliott looks like he has become an after-thought in the offense. Dak is piling up 400-yards per Sunday throwing. Will see if this continues.
MINNESOTA…Kirk Cousins is putting up huge numbers, so is the RB-Dalvin Cook, and that defense is pretty tough. The Vikings seem to have a lot components to be really good. Very explosive and very physical on the other side of the ball.
BRONCOS…Who would have thought this group would be (3-7) on the year, and for rumblings of a lot of negative vibes from Coach Vic Fangio, and strife on his staff too. John Elway hasn’t made a lot of right decisions in recent years, has he?
TAMPA BAY…Bruce Arians thought he had solved all the Bucs woes and they would win this year. No so, not as long as Jameis Winston makes as many bad players as good plays each weekend. Interceptions, sacks, fumbles. Doesn’t matter how many 383-yard games you have, if you keep giving the ball back. Not sure what this coach is going to do with that quarterback.
WASHINGTON…Next man up, Dwayne Haskins, the rookie QB from Ohio State. He is playing regardless of whether he’s ready or not. Weird way to run a franchise, but that’s the Daniel Snyder way of constant change at the most important position in the game.
CINCINNATI…Winless, not competitive, playing a kid at quarterback. Just not a good atmosphere for a once successful franchise.
BEARS….Let’s see what you solve first. The ineffective offense, with games like 9-yards at halftime of one game, 115-yards in another game. Or is the regression of QB-Mitch Trubisky? Or the ragged field goal kicking over the last year plus. What a mess.