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I'll start us off.  I haven't really gone through the stats yet to pick trends and look for teams likely to improve or regress but I'll make some guesses based on eyeball knowledge from last season.  Remember, we don't know anything until week four.

Cam Newton sucked the last few times I saw him play and he probably had a better cast around him than he has now in New England.  He does still get to play the Jets, Fins and Bills 6 times and Brady was pretty average last year I'll try and watch him the first couple weeks, but I've got to think the Pats can win 10 games with a high school QB in that division.  

The Jets have the worst coach in the league.

I'm a Tau skeptic, there is literally no useful game film on a Bama QB.  In what situation in the NFL do you have receivers bigger, faster and better than every DB on the field and 5-7 seconds to throw every time?  I was impressed with how hard the Fins played last year.

I'm pretty sure when I do look at the stats the Ravens will show a big down trend.  The Steelers played without a NFL QB last year and won 8 games.  I expect they'll win 10+ this year.  The Brown are who we thought they were, or I thought they were anyway.  Maybe 8 wins this year.  Maybe 4.

The AFC West might be the new patsy division.  The Chargers I blew it on last year and I can't see how Taylor is an upgrade on anyone at QB, even as shaky as Rivers was last year.  A good side bet is how many weeks/loses before Hebert comes in?  Gruden still thinks he can do something with Peterman.  That might be the biggest ego in the history of sports.

I like the Titans, except it's disturbing that the coaching was so bad they never tried to fix Mariota.  The Jags, man that's a F'ed up franchise.  Colts didn't get any better at QB.

Cowboys of course have the best paper team in the history of the universe.  This is probably it for them.  Starting next season the salary cap really screws them, or rather signing Amari Cooper really screws them.  I like the Eagles in this division.  It's a pretty easy division with the Midgets and NoNames in it.

The Packers looked so over matched against the Niners, I had to wonder how they won 13 games, then I remember what an easy schedule they had.  Bet they show up on my top teams to regress.  I'll leave you Bear fans alone for now, but signing Jimmy Graham was a sign how poor this front office is at talent evaluation . 

Now the beef.

I don't have to dig into the stats to predict the Niners will show the highest likely hood to regress.  The turnover margin change is unsustainable and key talent already left.  There's no WR on the roster who would make the 53 man roster in New Orleans.  Still a great team, but 10 wins seems more likely than 13.  I'll want to see if the Rams are any better than the one man defense they had last year.

I'll just ignore the Falcons and Panthers for now.  Tampa Bay.  Last year about half a dozen times I said that was a real good football team with an idiot of a quarterback.  Thing is I don't really like any of the signings.  Gronk- it's really hard to miss a year and perform at close to the level you were at, and his level was slipping.  DO you think he'll play more than 10 games?  McCoy is 32.  Fournette is a 2 down back, which is fundamentally worthless in the NFL, and Brady.  Well, playing against good teams last year the most points he put up on the board for the Pats was....wait for it....take a guess....20.  Twenty.  Two Zero.  Almost anyone would have been an upgrade from Jamies Mashpotatohead, but is Brady really an upgrade at this point?  I think they can win more than the 7 games they won with Brickhead, and the schedule looks pretty easy, but I'll wait and see.  I don't think they can win a playoff game if they get there.

Maybe the best free agent signing this off season was Sanders.  The Saints were a one man show at receiver.  They're still light at TE, and their #3 receiver, but a healthy Kamara added with Sanders makes this a much better offensive team.  LB is a weakness, and RG, but this is a solid team every where else.  The injury bug hit last year on the D-Line and Kamara.  That will be key to a Super Bowl run this year.

 

 

 

 

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Browns going to Browns, 15 straight season opening losses 

I expected them to lose (not only bc of their streak) but figured the veteran players and coaches on the Ravens would give them a distinct edge over the new Browns coach and his schemes.  I didn't think it would be that ugly.  

Have the Bengals on Thursday, I hate to say 'must win' this early, but it really is. 

Busy Week, new heater installed for the hot tub, new kitchen hood installed, cord of wood split, missed posting something on Tuesday.

Watson looked pretty bad in the first game.  Accuracy was not existent, I wondered if that would be a theme for the weekend without preseason games but it really wasn't.

The Pats surprised everyone running Newton so much.  I think that was to get that on film and force teams to plan for it.  The Fins hadn't and it showed.  Really compared to the start of last year they looked much better.  

I'll lump in Sunday and Thursday for the Browns and CinCInConvicts.  So, if we pulled a face mask in practice, coach Lee (fresh from a stint with the Steelers) would grab you by the mask, drag you 15 yards, kick you in the ass and bump you down a rotation.  You don't give up 15 yard stupid penalties.  The Browns seem good for 4-5 a game.  They need coach Lee.

Commercial Boy was up to his old roll right tricks against the Raven's who loaded that side for him.  Against the Bengals they made an effort to roll him left,early in the game.  I think it's progress that they at least recognize the problem.  

And that strip sack helmet to the chest double whammy sack against Burrows, there's a summary of my dig on SEC quarterbacks.  You play at Purdue, you play at Cal, you learn that ball needs to be out in 2.5 seconds.  He showed it all.  Chased down from behind, spin move/slammed to the ground, hold too long in the pocket double smack down.  It's a steep learning curve.  

I've figured out the Lions, they're really the Red Wings.  3 periods and they're in the locker room drinking beer.

Niners, maybe 10 was optimistic.  Eight. 

Rams looked like they had a defense.  Hard to tell playing against the best team put together since Jesus and those 12 guys, but maybe when they play Seattle we'll be able to tell how good they might be.

Thomas out, that hurts.  That was a pretty average performance by the Saints, but there best opener in 10 years.  

Brady was literally no improvement from Winston - 2 horrible turnovers.  Gronk was missing, the free agent running backs no factor.  Still think Tampa is a good team, it was a tough team to open against.

Monday night I barely managed to stay awake.  I thought it was me, that was the day I split all the wood.  Turns out boring was the headline the next day.

One week down.  Three more to go before we know anything.

Weekend Summary

First of all, in this time of sports overload, I spent the entire afternoon watching the US Open. I am amazed at the talents of the pros and how they are playing brutal Winged Foot.

The season has now reached three weeks and we are seeing some cancellations, some games without fans and some games with limited fans. The big hope is that the season continues. The other sports have survived some early COVID cases, but college athletes on a campus is a different animal.

As far as the games played, some are entertaining both nothing noteworthy yet. The ACC has a good set of QBs. Clemson toyed with Citadel as Dabo knows how to score enough points to keep his ranking but not to run it up. Miami is better this season as transfer D'Eric King has helped the offense. For those who care, King is the reason Gators QB Kyle Trask never started a game in high school at Manville Texas. Notre Dame beat South Florida 52-0. NC State outlasted Wake 45-42 and UCF piled it on Ga Tech 49-21.

Louisiana edged Ga State 34-31 in OT as aspiring coaches Billy Napier and Shawn Elliot dueled. If you are looking for some coaching prospects, here they are. Coastal Carolina got their second consecutive ESPN game, great exposure, and the Chants handled Campbell. They face Louisiana soon.

Finally, the SEC begins play next weekend. For those of you who wanted more carnage within the league, you get it this year as it will be a 10 game slate all within the conference. Two losses may still be good enough to qualify for the playoff. The Big 10 is now planning to start in mid to late October. And in this crazy year, rankings are meaningless as of now.

 

Louis Riddick makes me miss Gruden or Theismann or really anyone else.

I watched the Niners, and the two night games, and a good chunk of the Chargers.

The turf in New York was almost as brutally incompetent as the Jet's coaching staff.  Worst D Coordinator in the league, worst head coach in the league.  Maybe they can bring in O'Brien or Coughlin as GM and round it out.

I did watch the Cowboys comeback.  The Falcons coaching is pretty bad also.

Poor Texans, what a brutal schedule to start off with.  We really won't know about them until week 5-6 I think.

Hebert was pretty damn impressive in the Charges game.   One silly rookie cross field off balance against the body Int, otherwise pretty solid.  Ball came out, movement was good and not predictable.  He gave the Chiefs a good run.

Man the Saints defense looks like the Browns.  Killed by dumb penalties.  Jenkins was obviously over matched and targeted.  As it was most teams avoid Lattimore completely, so things aren't going to get easier for him.  

The Packers v Saints should tell us a lot this week.  The Pack win against the Vikings looked pretty good until Minnesota went out and put an 0-2 turd on the field against the Colts.  Lions and turd laying Vikings doesn't look like a strong 2-0 team.  Will the Saints do their usual game 3 defensive turn around, or is it an average team trying to win in a weak division?  We will know more about everyone by Tuesday.

Fins and Jags tonight.  If you're watching that with me, you really love football or have run out of anything to watch on Netflix.

Well I've been absent.  Have been watching some but seems like there's been lots of distractions.  What a weird season.  It reminds me of the strike season in the 80's.  Usually there's that 'any given Sunday' thing, but this year the gap between the good teams and the average teams seems huge.  The bottom feeders look like those 87 Giants that Parcell rounded up from guys hanging around the parking lot at the practice facility.  Makes it really hard to tell how good the teams between 5 and 25 are.

Rams are a great example, they come in with 4 wins, except all four are against the NFC East.  They play a pretty average to below average Niners team and get there asses handed to them.   The Niners only other wins were against the Giants and Jets, so who knows maybe they are #8 in the power rankings, maybe #24.  No real way to tell.

What you can tell.

Mike Tomlin, I've always had mixed feeling about him, but he did get 130 games out of Brown and every other coach in the league combined got 1.  Steelers were any easy pick for biggest improvement and they're an easy top 5.

The Titans are the real deal and Tannehill is a real good QB.  You could say he's average on a good team with a good scheme, but Mariota failed in the same situation.  It says all you need to know about Adam the Waste Gase.  What did it take for Tannehill to be real good?  Get the hell away from Gase.

If you're the #1 pick in the 2021 draft do you demand the Jets trade the pick?  I think you make it clear you won't sign with them.  I've been saying Williams is the worst DC in the game, but somehow it slipped my attention Mike Nolan had been promoted in Dallas.  You know, Mike who stood up in the post game press conference and confirmed he could not add 8 and 3 and give you the right answer.

How about them super paper talented , best fantasy team in the Universe Boys?  They might actually go to the playoffs with 5 wins.  I though Dalton wouldn't be a drop off from Prescott, but who could really tell.

I'm surprised by the Vikings collapse.   The Falcons need to go Dolphins and get rid of that lazy team.  The Dolphins could win the AFC East.  They are well coached, well prepared, make good in game adjustments and play hard.  With average talent that's better than half the teams in the league.

About them Bears.  They really only need to win one of their next 3 games to make the playoffs.  They have a silly easy schedule after that.

I've watched the Browns a bit.  They've got 5 easy games in the schedule ahead of them.  9 wins is really possible, so is 10.  They are better coached this year.  They seem to be getting the penalty problem under control.  Still too many 15 yard penalties on defense, but it's better than it was.  They've done a lot with the playbook to minimize Mayfield's problems.  There are lots of designed roll left plays now to keep teams from stacking the right side and taking away half the field on every play.

The thing is Mayfield is 36 games in, every team in the league knows his issues (except the Boys and Jets), and he's not doing anything to get better.  Great QB's get better every game.  QB's who don't make any improvements in 36 wear their hats backwards and carry clipboards before going into alumni relations at their college.

Hebert is the real deal.

And that's it for this week I guess.

My Play of the Year so far is Jones' self tackle.

The Saints still are not generating pressure with 4 guys like they did last year.  Still not bad for having the top two WR's out.  It's going to be a tough haul the next few weeks.

That's what Cam Newton looked like the last few times I saw him play the Saints.  The Niners dominated on defense and ran all over the Pats offense with the #4 guy on their depth chart.  That's really been my point about spending high draft picks or high cap money on a running back.  There's just no need.  Invest in your line.

The Cards are much much better across the board than they've been in the past.  There's not really a dominate defense in the NFC.  You could say the Bears, but they spend so much time on the field and defending bad field position from their lame ass offense that they are never really in a position to really shut down the other team.

So how do you power rank this mess?  The Bears beat the Bucs.  The Niners blow out the Rams, the Rams dominate the Bears.  That would seem to imply the Niners are the best of those four teams, but they're the team in that group with the worst record and least likely to make the playoffs.  Logic would imply the Bucs are the worst of those teams, but I think they are easily the best.

And how about that quit in them Boys.  I'm just hoping that we can get some flex out of their remaining national games.  Who wants to watch that shit show?

So how do you power rank this mess?  The Bears beat the Bucs.  The Niners blow out the Rams, the Rams dominate the Bears.  That would seem to imply the Niners are the best of those four teams, but they're the team in that group with the worst record and least likely to make the playoffs.  Logic would imply the Bucs are the worst of those teams, but I think they are easily the best

And got their butts kicked by the stinky Dolphins (or very average) - I know they had injuries, wah, wah but still its the Dolphins.

@patespo1 posted:

Baker with 5 TDs and Offensive Player of the Week, left off the weekly summary.  It's the lowly Bengals, and it doesn't mean he's going to have an illustrious career now, but going to give him a little shine instead of the normal bashing he gets here.

I generally only comment on games I’ve watched at least 1/4 of. There was no channel flipping or split screens with the Saints in a close game and the battle of Ohio would not have made my top 10 to watch anyway.

The Browns are much improved. Much better coaching, better game planning and playing with more discipline. They have an easy schedule and should win 10 games and get a playoff spot.

Browns invested a lot in Baker. For sure they could have had him with that fourth pick and probably could have traded down as far as 15 and had a shot at him.   That’s a huge gamble and I’d really like to see him work harder and smarter. I’ve said before he has a lot of the same traits good and bad as a young Montana and Brees so there’s huge upside.

@winetarelli posted:

So far, it appears Brady is winning the "who was a bigger influence on the Patriots' success?" argument.

Read up or last years thread.  Tampa had a very good team with a horrible QB last year.  Any QB you'd rank in the top 30 and the Bucs were going to win 10-12 games this year.  Brady is currently 2-2, average, against teams with winning records.  Tampa has 3 games left against teams with winning records. 

Last year Winston was sacked 47 times (mostly from holding the ball forever), 30 Int, 12 fumbles, with 5 lost.  That's 89 drives killed.  Brady is on pace for 20/8/8/2 or 38 drives killed.  I picked out David Carr as an average QB on an average team and his numbers project out to 26/4/14/8.  I'd bet Tampa would be 6-2 with Carr at QB also.

Not taking anything from Brady's career but the record in Tampa this year has much more to do with the quality of the team than the quality of the QB.

Watched the night National games, skipped around on the Sunday morning games, but got the LV-CLE and PIT-Bal mostly.  Afternoon was Saints-Bears.

It occurred to me that the Falcons are exactly the same team as the Cowboys.  Better QB and WR in ATL, better RB in Dallas.  31st and 32nd defense.  How is it the media talks about blowing up the Falcons (which needs to be done) and that the Boys are just a hair away from a Super Bowl run next year?  Really weird.

Someone on the Falcons staff, Morris or Ulbrich spotted on tape that the Panthers have the worst center I can remember seeing.  I actually made an effort to single him out for viewing and man he's terrible.  He was lost and ineffective and that combined with a RB duo that never got their reads right was a disaster. Pretty simple scheme: hit the A or B gap, force the center to decide quick.  Bring wide pressure from the C gap to clear the RB out there.  The Falcons brought pressure up the middle all game.  Allen and the Saints didn't see that the previous week, but the Panthers might not win again until they get that fixed.

I tried to watch a little of the Fins but it didn't hold my attention.  The Steelers game held my attention.  Team to beat right now obviously.

I watched the Raiders Browns a fair bit in the second half.  For the hell of it this week I sent a note to someone I played HS football with and asked him if he remembered Coach Lee and the facemask butt kick.  I asked how many facemask penalties he ever had (4 years at USC - 4 with the Bears).  He replied - zero, none in HS, College or the NFL.  Then unsolicited he asked if I'd been watching the Browns.   He remembered the 5 facemasks they had against the Niners last year.  He did point out in our exchange that now it's really hard to fix at the pro level because there's almost no tackling in practice.  Still that was the game.  Instead of 3rd and 15 with a chance to get the ball back down 7 with 10 minutes left it ended up down 10 and only 4 :30 left in the game.  Killer.

Saints game was a lot of fun.  Game of the day.  Really would be nice to get a receiver or two back.

So who is the new Winston?  Is it Wentz or Jones?  They seem to be battling it out neck and neck for worst decision making.  The Eagles can cruise into the playoffs and a home game if Wentz just makes one bone head play a game instead of 3 or 4.

I did watch the Niners practice squad get their asses kicked last night.  Don't make a lot out of those late Dak Prescott style late touchdowns.  The Packers where already picking out their Netflix choices for the plane ride home when the Niners scored those touchdowns.

In most years this quarter of the season is the most predictable.   Only one real upset in my eyes and that was Hawks v Bills.  Everything else played out as I would have called it.  Yes I would have taken the Fins.  At very least that was a toss up.

I need to watch the Bills.  A couple years ago talking about the Cutler era Fins I said they were the hardest team to get a handle on.  They'd win 7-8 games, and when I'd watch them (v Saints, Niners or on a night game) I couldn't figure out how they won any games. 

The times I've watched the Bills they've been hugely unimpressive.  Allen in particular seems to just blow up in a big game.  Time for a relook at them.  Until I can fit that in, I'm still picking the Fins.

It was a big game for the Saints.  The team loves Drew Brees.  They knew it was a big game for him personally to match up against Tom Brady on national TV.  They rose to the occasion.  Tom Brady's teammates hate him.  So maybe that's the difference. 

With Thomas and Sanders in the line up it really changes the Saints defense.  I know that seems odd, but Allen plays complimentary defense.  With those guys out he took the risk out of the defense.  Bend don't break.  With them in, and the ability to break big field stretching plays returned, the Saints played pressure defense.  They tempted Brady to go long, getting in a shootout was ok.  He couldn't deliver.  That performance was why I predicted poor playoff performance for the Bucs.

The highlight of the week though was Gregg Williams on the sideline Monday night covering his mouth covered by a face mask with his play chart, over and over again.  Habit?  Maybe, but there's also that IQ hovering around 85 thing.

If you want to see something dismal look up the Jet's defensive team stats.

Usually the bit about special teams being a 1/3 of the game is total BS.   For the Titans it cost them the game.  I've not loved that Titans coaching staff, the team is better than they're being coached.

I mostly watched the Bucs in the morning, but none of the games was very interesting. 

I guess we get to see if Payton has had any impact on J. Bubblehead over the last few months.  Every game is 10+ million on the line for him.  Just don't fuck up and you've got a great contract somewhere next year.  So far in his life though he's not shown any ability to not fuck up.

Lost season for the Niners.  They're one team playing far worse than their record.  It's hard to watch.

Watching the night game I was wondering what was up with the Ravens.  Always go check the schedule is a good place to start.  They've had a pretty easy run of it and are just 2-2 against teams with winning records.  A tougher schedule and they would have likely come in 4-4 or 5-3 I think and the result would have been less surprising.  That division is going to be tough to tell how good any of those teams are.  They get 7 games against easy teams (NFC East, Jags, Texans and Bengals)  Really if you have less than 12 wins with that schedule you're an average team.

I said the Bears just needed to win one of those three non-division games to have a shot at the playoffs and they managed to lose four in a row.  I wonder what the betting line is on them scoring an offensive touchdown again the rest of the season?

Fins still my AFC East Pick.  Remember you heard it here first.

Mostly uneventful week.    The biggest surprise was the Fins laying an egg against the Broncos of all teams.  Full on display of the fault of holding the ball.  Practice this week should be 1-2-SACK.

Could it be possible the Rams are the best team in the NFC West?  The Thursday night game was pretty uninspiring to think otherwise.

Tom Brady is 2-4 against teams with winning records this year.  Same sort of performance as last year with the Pats although the Bucs do score more points against good teams than last years Pats did.  That's why I didn't see a playoff run for them.

The crowning is official.  Winston is dead, long live the new king - Carson Wentz.  The Eagles would be a playoff team if they'd just have a guy who didn't give the game away week after week.

So the Blog-Chat Board rumor mill was Payton lost any confidence in Winston when he threw an almost interception in relief.  He was forcing the ball and made a bad throw, and I guess that sealed the deal.  No big paydays for him, and it sounds like the Saints are 100% not interested in resigning him.

If you missed Hill's performance, maybe the most impressive thing was he was running the Saints offense without any major changes.  That and the ball came out fast.  It's always a concern that a QB who can run, will run.  More often than not those unplanned runs are drive killers, and he didn't do that. 

I've got to wonder if the Chiefs can play enough defense to defend their title.  The Raiders are not a bad team and Carr is a good QB, but they made him look like an All Pro.

Turkey and football tomorrow during the day.  By that I mean the games are turkeys.  I can't recall a more uninteresting slate of day games which is pretty amazing because the Lions always make up 1/4 of the line up.

@irwin posted:

And now postponed until Tuesday.   Rather ridiculous.  The ravens should just forfeit this week’s game against the Steelers and move on

If they forfeit both team lose game checks, so not likely to happen.

Shitsburgh players were very vocal about having the game moved twice, and then had multiple players test positive on their team.  Don't throw rocks if you live in a glass house....

Yes, the mighty dollar.

I think at last count, around 22 Ravens are out due to Covid.  Besides the quarterback, the two top running backs are out, (plus a third), the centers are out including the "long snapper", several key defensive players are out, including the pass rushers.  Best receiver is out. I can't see the Ravens scoring more than 10 points and will be lucky to do that.

Dolphins are what they are - a slightly better than average team.  Offensive line still a problem (as it has been for many years).

Anyone who saw their score and thought another blowout over the Jets - frankly Dolphins did not appear all that much better than the now 0-11 Jets.  Was 13-3 only for quite a long time.  At least Fitzpatrick did not make any of his normal stupid plays -

I got just bits of the first half of the Lions game and it looked like it would be interesting to be able to sit down and watch the second half uninterrupted.  Then the Lions showed up for the second half.  Boo.

Someone on one of the pregame shows actually said the game was a must win for the Cowboys Super Bowl hopes.  Super Bowl?

Anyway if you hate the Cowboys, Jerry Jones, or Texan things in general it was a great game for you.  Not just the blow out but the whacked out play calling of McCarthy.  It completely assures that Jones and his staff won't deal with the major issues they have with talent and salary cap issues, instead they've got a scapegoat.  Nolan and McCarthy will be gone.  The Greatest Roster in History on Paper will return, minus the parts that will need to be offloaded to pay for: Lawrence, Cooper, Elliot and Prescott, and the Cowboys will have another bad season next year, and probably for many years to come.

I guess now it's very clear to everyone why Aaron Rodgers didn't think Mike McCarthy knew what the hell he was doing.

The Browns have one of the best records in the NFL.

Just putting that out there.

It was pretty clear early in the Raiders game that they had no interest in playing football.  I've seen teams quit at this stage of the season before but teams in a playoff spot doing it is rare.  I kept up on the Titans-Colts for the rest of the morning.  Hardly seemed like the same Titans team that played the Colts on that Thursday night.

Mostly I watched the Saints, with commercial breaks flipping to the Niners.  I'm sure most of you didn't see that Saints - Broncos game.  It was worse than the highlights let on.  The Saints dropped 3 interceptions.  Not the close play could have had it type, but just dropped balls in their hands with no receiver in the play.  Hill had a bad game.  He held the ball forever, almost like he thought the Broncos defensive line was in the same shape as it offense. 

I'm not a conspiracy theory kind of guy, but here's a situation with two tiny market teams, with one wrapped up a division and another out of the playoffs playing at the same time as a prime match up (Mahomes v Brady).  No one is watching who doesn't love one of those two teams, and even then a lot of them probably went shopping.  What you got was an embarrassment of a football game not seen since the strike era replacement games, and no one saw it.  No one was outraged at what the NFL let happen.  They should have been, no matter what the 'logic' in moving the Ravens all over the calendar vs moving the Broncos, it was an NFL team whip assing on a team without a chance.  The only thing I could wonder was if it was a message to the other teams to get their shit in order, least they be served up as fodder like the Broncos.

Can't be too mad, Saints won.

And the best team in the NFC West is not the Rams.

Anyone ever seen Le Diner le Cons?  The French version not the lame ass American one.  The beauty of that movie is just at the moment when your about to feel sorry for the Idiot he does something so completely stupid you can't help it and you laugh at him, even though you know it's cruel and wrong.  Mitch Trubisky we laugh at you, we can't help it.

After watching Pittsburg play a pretty average game against a Ravens squad at 50% capacity and almost get beat by a washed up has been and a tiny never will be it cast the strength of the whole division in question for me.  I went to the schedule and as a division The AFC North is 2-7 against teams with 5 wins or more outside of their division.

First that's amazing to only play 9 out of 28 against teams with good records and it's actually not even that good.  Against teams with 8 or more wins they are 1-3, with one game against the Chiefs (0-1) and 3 v the Titans (1-2).  Ari's much maligned Fins have 3 games against 8 win teams and they're 1-2.  No Seahawks, Bills, Rams, Saints or Packers to measure the division against.

The 12/13 Steelers v Bills game is the only one remaining in the division against a 'good' team.  I'd save any bets for how far the Steelers go in the playoffs until after that game.



Anyone ever seen Le Diner le Cons? ...The beauty of that movie is just at the moment when your about to feel sorry for the Idiot he does something so completely stupid you can't help it and you laugh at him, even though you know it's cruel and wrong.  Mitch Trubisky we laugh at you, we can't help it.

The other comedic device used in the movie is every now and then you think the Idiot is finally going to do something smart and not make a dumb mistake.  It usually builds for a bit and you think, he's finally not going to be an idiot, he's finally going to get out of his own way....

Mitch is using all the techniques.  We laugh again.  Can't help it.

So is Gregg Williams finally done?  I mean who left in the football universe hasn't called him a moron in the last 18 hours?  Including his own players.  Even Jon 'Kiss Every Coaches Ass" Gruden had to think: "What a moron".  Well maybe Gruden will hire him because he thinks he can fix anything.

My clarity was November 13th 2011.  Saints up by three with 1:55 left. the Falcons are on their own 6 with no time outs.  Ryan isn't a runner, you can drop 7-8 in coverage, force the middle of the field, the clocks going to run out on them as long as you don't give up anything big. 

Williams calls a Fire Zone Blitz.  Leaving a defense end to cover the slot receiver.  Not only that, the assignment is cross formation, so the DE has to drop back and pick up the slot receiver by running across the field.  If you're not a geek like me what that basically means is the slot receiver is uncovered.  Ryan reads it rolls right to open a throwing lane and hits the slot for 20+ yards.

Next play.  Same exact fucking thing for 20+ yards.

Falcons hurry to the line and the Saints are showing the same defense.  I can't believe it.  Matt Ryan can't believe it.  No fucking way, he's just burned them for 45 yards.  It's got to be a trap.  They wouldn't leave the slot open again.  They do.  Ryan didn't believe it though, he had to think it was a trap, or he wanted to take a shot against a deep zone to win.  Whatever, he throws an incompletion deep down the middle. 

Clock stops.  Chance to breath.  Maybe Williams just got caught by the hurry up and was having trouble changing defenses.  Maybe he was confused and didn't know what to call besides that Fire Blitz.  Now he has time.

The play call?  Fire Zone Blitz with weakside DE dropping back into coverage.  The same mutter fucking moron play again.  I can't imagine what Matt Ryan is thinking.  This couldn't be happening?  Am I in some sort of Ground Hog Day loop where I get sacked and killed at the end if I keep doing the same thing?  Did the Saints Defensive Coordinator have a heart attack on the sideline and the Saints are just stuck in the same play call?

20+ yards to the Saints 30.  Field Goal range.  Game tied. Overtime.

Gregg would not be invited back after the season.  Most outlets reported it was because of a very similar fiasco in the playoffs against the 49ers that allowed two touchdowns with less than 5 minutes.  It was that Falcons game though when Payton made up his mind according to everything I was reading.

Bounty Gate would hit 2 months after his 'unsigning" then he'd get rehired three time by, get this list of idiots: Jeff Fisher, Hue Jackson, Adam Gase.   I mean maybe he'll get another job?  Are we out of idiot head coaches yet?

I'll start working back from last night.

It appears that Troy Aikman might have finally kicked the universe awake (at least outside of Texas where delusion is hard to overcome it seems).  Serious lack of talent, poor coaching, poor preparation, no effort and most important they have a rash of well paid players who are not close to returning value for the salary cap hit they're taking.

He hinted around the QB injury situation as well, but I think it needed to be called out.  The 49ers have won 2 games and looked better with worse injuries and a back up QB, Washington has won 3 games in a row with a player who started the year on the practice squad, the Giants won with Colt McCoy and the Saints are 3-0 with Hill.  Let's face it, you didn't even know Colt McCoy was still playing.

The Cowboys were supposed to have the best back up QB in the league, and they might actually, but it hasn't mattered.

I only saw the end of the Steelers game and I wasn't really surprised given how they'd played against a Ravens team at 1/2 strength. 

Allen and the Bills looked like the real deal.  Better than any other time I've seen them.  The National TV game didn't throw him like I've seen happen in the past.  The 49ers are a severely wounded team but the Bills did what you're supposed to do and put them away.

I watched the Saints take care of business in the morning.  Hill gave me the impression that the weak performance last week was just operating under instructions to take the sacks, don't force the ball.  He's got throws that Brees has never had, he threw a 20 yard out for a first down on 3rd and 18 that covered 40 yards in the air.

I wish I could have seen some of the Browns - Titans.    I'll make an effort this week to see the Brownies live.

The Giants did a great job of forcing Wilson to stay in the pocket or up the middle.  He was rarely able to move left or right, and that's when he gets so dangerous.  Still a shocking upset.  I for one did not know Colt McCoy was still in the league.

The Carson Wentz implosion seems complete. 

I know I watched the late game.  I wish I could say something interesting about it, but I got nothing.

Anyone want to take bets on Williams next job?

I'll start working back from last night.

It appears that Troy Aikman might have finally kicked the universe awake (at least outside of Texas where delusion is hard to overcome it seems).  Serious lack of talent, poor coaching, poor preparation, no effort and most important they have a rash of well paid players who are not close to returning value for the salary cap hit they're taking.

He hinted around the QB injury situation as well, but I think it needed to be called out.  The 49ers have won 2 games and looked better with worse injuries and a back up QB, Washington has won 3 games in a row with a player who started the year on the practice squad, the Giants won with Colt McCoy and the Saints are 3-0 with Hill.  Let's face it, you didn't even know Colt McCoy was still playing.

The Cowboys were supposed to have the best back up QB in the league, and they might actually, but it hasn't mattered.

I only saw the end of the Steelers game and I wasn't really surprised given how they'd played against a Ravens team at 1/2 strength.

Allen and the Bills looked like the real deal.  Better than any other time I've seen them.  The National TV game didn't throw him like I've seen happen in the past.  The 49ers are a severely wounded team but the Bills did what you're supposed to do and put them away.

I watched the Saints take care of business in the morning.  Hill gave me the impression that the weak performance last week was just operating under instructions to take the sacks, don't force the ball.  He's got throws that Brees has never had, he threw a 20 yard out for a first down on 3rd and 18 that covered 40 yards in the air.

I wish I could have seen some of the Browns - Titans.    I'll make an effort this week to see the Brownies live.

The Giants did a great job of forcing Wilson to stay in the pocket or up the middle.  He was rarely able to move left or right, and that's when he gets so dangerous.  Still a shocking upset.  I for one did not know Colt McCoy was still in the league.

The Carson Wentz implosion seems complete.

I know I watched the late game.  I wish I could say something interesting about it, but I got nothing.

Anyone want to take bets on Williams next job?

Browns - Ravens is MNF.  After a statement game against the Titans, I hope they follow it up with one of their hated rivals on National tv. 

Huge upgrades at LT and RT have made a big difference this year, but really it comes back to Stefanski who has done a terrific job as Head Coach.  Going from Fat F*ck Freddie (as he was affectionately known in NE Ohio) to Stefanski is like going from Boone's farm to a First Growth. 

Still, as with all Browns fans, cautiously optimistic while waiting for the bottom to drop out. 

@billhike posted:

Bears HC.

That made me laugh. 

I think you're safe.  Pace was in New Orleans when Williams was there.  He should 100% know better.

The Cowboys are my top contender after the Raiders.  Gruden thinks he can fix anything.  Peterman is still on the roster for the Raiders.

I can hear Jerry Jones: "We could use him, he's aggressive and he won't put in anything the players think is too complicated"  That's the dig on Nolan in the Dallas blogesphere.  How someone who can't add to 12 can make something too complicated for 11 grown men to understand is beyond me though. 

The 49ers have some sort of magic mojo dust they use against the Rams.

I've seen four complete Rams games now.  Twice they looked like the best team in the division, and on par with the Pack and Saints. 

Against the 49ers they looked like crap both times, and the 49ers are pretty bad this year.

Outside of the Niners the Rams loses are to the Fins and Bills - two playoff teams.

Stephania, did you coach some football in your past? Do you do film study? Impressed with your knowledge.

I have not watched as much NFL as past years but still a bit. KC has to still be the favorite IMO.

It looks as though the Panthers made the right call on Cam. Love him as a player but the hits he has taken have caught up to him.

Finally, is the "rag to riches" story of Gator QB Kyle Trask going to place him in New England. He seems to be a Belichick kind of QB and his overall less than perceived physical talent may allow him to drop in the draft.

Thanks SCbeerman.  No one's ever really asked here.  I think they just figure I'm winging it.

My Dad played QB and End at a good public school in SF.  That started my education.  My HS football program was/is the best public program in CA. My firsts year of varsity my QB was Marty Mornhinweg and the OC was Mike Holmgren. Coach H had played QB and End with my dad at Lincoln.  He kind of took me under his wing and I think I was just on varsity that first year so I could sit in the room and learn with him and Marty.  Not often you get to play HS ball with two future NFL head coaches.

Coach H recruited me to go to BYU, but I wanted to stay close to home and wasn't keen on the whole LDS thing.  I only dressed for three D1 games before a practice injury pretty much wrapped things up and sent me to the film room.

When I graduated I didn't know what the hell to do, I usually describe these years as 'playing poker', but Coach H gave me a job.  I think now they'd call it 'quality control coordinator' but back then I was the VCR guy.  I did get to sit in the room, at least for a little time, before most of the home games with Coach Walsh, Joe and Steve.

I hated the hours and didn't really like the other guys in the facility doing the same things I was doing trying to get into coaching so I eventually took a better paying tech job that was a regular 9-5 / 40.  Coach H did ask me if I was interested in going to Green Bay with him a couple years later, but I wasn't.  I guess that makes me a dead branch on the Holmgren coaching tree.

By the way have you been able to watch all the undefeated D1 teams?  Because my Spartans are having the best year they've ever had.

@irwin posted:

pretty remarkable game last night between the Ravens and the Browns.

Game of the year maybe.  As a Browns fan, I can say I'm mad at the outcome but not depressed (as I've been the last 20 years).  Cleveland didn't blow it, the Ravens beat them.  I'm excited about this team, and I think Stefanski is the real deal as HC.  Losing to the Ratbirds sucks, but a lot to be happy about coming out of that game. 

I'd say it was game of the year that I've seen.  The Browns coaching staff has done an impressive job this year.  They put a game plan together that maximizes strengths and minimizes weaknesses.   The Browns still took a lot of penalties but they were not the drive extending or ending selfish ones I've seen in the past.  They've done a lot with Mayfield to force him out of bad habits and patterns.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xYOB7kSCIk

At 9:25 run the play and you'll see what I guess we can call the Mayfield Defense.  This is what I saw the Rams run first against him.  All the pressure from his left.  No rush on the right, watch the middle and right line not rush and drop parallel to the line to contain him running.  The wide out on the left is single covered and all the other coverage overloads the right.  He rolls right, can't find anyone, because there are 5 guys in coverage on the right side and he rolls for a short gain.

In that game against the Rams I must have seen them run this 20 times.  Against the Ravens I saw it a few times, but Stefanski is mixing in called roll lefts and run middles against it that makes it less effective.  At this point it's a second and long and third and long option against the Browns, but not every play like it was.  You'd still like to see Mayfield be able to see that defense at the line and check to a quick ball to the wide out on the left, or even change the formation to overload the left with the other receivers.  I've not seen him recognize this defense and change the play yet. 

After watching all the Steelers v Bills game my conclusion is all three of these AFC North teams records are highly suspect.  All three are likely to make the playoffs and a good parlay would be all three lose their opening game.

At this point Allen is the best QB out of that draft.  Jackson is exciting as hell, and you'll win games with him, but neither he or Mayfield have shown the progress in all parts of their game that Allen has.  His strengths are getting stronger, his weaknesses are getting fixed and his bad habits are gone from what I saw.

It makes an interesting situation for both the Browns and the Ravens.  The rookie contracts will be up and both are going to want huge raises.  It's a really tough decision.  I think, to steal a quote, " They are who we thought they were".  Do you give max payout to a player who is at their peak performance with no obvious upside at this point?  I think it creates an 'all in' situation for both teams over the next two years. 

And my Saints stunk up the joint.  Took the first half off.  Lattimore is having a very rough stretch of games which makes me think he's more hurt than they've let on.  He's being targeted now and I saw teams in the past not throw to his side of the field all game.

The Eagles played well, and just having a QB out there not shooting the team in the foot 3-4 times a game made the difference.  The Eagles are in good shape for a long shot playoff run.  IT's going to take the league 4-6 games to get game plans down against Hurts and that makes a window for them. 

The highlight of the week though?  Gruden clearing a spot for Williams on his staff   Any takers on that bet?





Hebert is the real deal.

And that's it for this week I guess.

No secret anymore.  Have you ever seen such love from Terry Bradshaw? 

I think I said 'wow' on at least 4 different throws.  I swear on one throw he threw a slider with about a two foot down ward and left break to get it in an 18 inch window for the receiver. 

If you missed the game at very least watch the first Chargers drive:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQRVin-cQxc

Re-watching it just now I said outload "fucking A".  Every throw is perfect.  Receiver puts their hands up at their chest, and there's the ball, not only on time and on target but leading the right way each time so the receiver is going to get maximum YAC.

All other things being equal, I'm going to watch every Chargers game I can.

Not to say I think the Chargers suddenly are a good team.  All their wins this year are against poor teams, and beating a Raiders team in overtime that is 0-4 over the last five weeks against all teams not coached by Adam Gase is not really an impressive win.

It was really impressive quarterback play, and I love watching great QB play.  Watching him get even better is going to be fun.

The thing is with that talent, you don't need a ton around him.  O-line above all else.  Receivers who don't drop balls.  Backs who pick up their assignments and don't drop balls.  Invest on the D-Line, because you want to play pressure defense and force teams into shootouts if you need to.  Basically build the Manning Colts, which were pretty average teams.

I'll work backwards.  Not a lot of channel surfing Sunday with the Niners the early game and the Saints the late.

If there was a theme for the weekend it might be 'TURD'.  Steelers and Rams laid turds, giant stinking ones.  Watching the Steelers a coupe weeks ago against the Ravens I thought they looked pretty poor.  I wouldn't have bet they would drop their next three, but there you go.

I didn't see the Rams-Jets game but I guess based on the Rams-Niners games I saw I'm not surprised at their ability to lose to anyone.

The Browns looked good.  It was against the Giants, but it was a really good game plan and the coaching improvement is really obvious on this team.  That last game of the season should be a good one.  I don't see this team beating the Bills or Chiefs, but they've shown they can handle the Titans and Colts.  If they can overcome the Steelers voodoo hold on them, they should get a home game and a good shot at a playoff win.

I wanted to be hard on the Saints but they did lose by just 3 to the best team in football with a busted up QB.  I just don't know about this team at this point in the season.  They're not playing their best football anywhere on the team at a time of the year when you want to be peaking at at least a couple places (think of last years Titans).  I wouldn't bet on them beating the Hawks or Pac right now.

Aaron Rodgers was too hard on himself and the team about the second half of the Saturday night game.  It's ok to take the second half off against a team at this point in the season with the game in hand.

Finally I missed the Saturday day game because I was watching the most amazing football story of the year take place.  My homeless, wandering picked to finish 10th in their conference Spartans man handled the big boogieman of the Mountain West who they were 0-15 against for an undefeated season and a conference championship.  7-0 all by double digits and Boise State was never really a threat.

If you haven't read the story of their season it's worth looking up.

Last edited by stefaniawine

I watched a ton of football over the weekend.

When I was 10 or 11 I read a book about the 5 greatest accomplishments in pro football history and one was Sayers scoring six touchdowns in a game.  I guess I was expecting people would have made a bigger deal about it.  It was like an after thought in the highlights shows.  Kamara could have had seven.  It was the only time I've every heard Sean Payton booed at the Superdome.  Still can't see beating the Pack with that defense right now.

The Fins Raiders game was pretty damn close to that Ravens-Browns game at the end.  The Fins have had one of the harder schedules in the league and keep winning.  They'll be a sexy pick next year to win big, and it's probably deserved.  The issue is what do you do at QB?   I started off this thread saying I'm a Tua skeptic.  Farve and Young if you would have written off after their first 20 games, you'd have been so wrong.  Still I haven't seen anything he does that's above average.  He looks like a completely in over his head rookie.  I thought about it this way, do you think the Fins could get a top 10 draft pick for him this year?  I don't think they could.

The Lions are losers.  The announcers talked about keeping Stafford and building around him since he's still just 32.  Stafford is a loser.  Leadership starts with the QB and that team hasn't given a fuck in his entire time there.  Maybe he's too nice, maybe its not his fault.  Whatever, that whole house needs cleaning.

And what the hell did the Lions ever do to Arians that he's going for it on 4th down up by 4 scores and throwing bombs?

Beathard looked so much better than Mullins.  Not just that he didn't give the ball away like crazy but he seemed to have control of the game instead of the game controlling him.

And that's how it ends for the Cardinals.  You have a 5'8" 170 pound QB who runs around all the time for 3 yard gains.  Sure he throws a pretty bomb every now and then, and sometimes he gets loose for 30 yard runs, but we all know it ends with him laying on the turf with his teammates on their knees waiting for the cart to come get him.  It's just a matter of when.

So Brownies, I know there's a lot of sensitivity, but the Saints played Friday with just one WR who started the season on the roster.  In fact all season they've only had their top 3 receivers active for two games.  That's not really an excuse then for that performance.

What Rams team is going to show up next week?

Pack firing on all cylinders.  Who is going to go up there in January and beat them on the road?

Go Bills!

As for Tua, I think it is impossible to know until they: loosen the reins; and call better plays.   

Chan Gailey blows first off.  I think Fiyz largely ignores his play calls and does what he wants which sometimes works out amd others is a complete disaster

Between the fact they habe clearly told Tua to take care of the ball, not take risks, dont call any down field plays and have lost what mediocre playmakers they have to injury, it is impossible to know at this point

I like him and remain optimistic

@jcocktosten posted:

Reports are than Chan Gailey may be out - god I hope so - I really think he is a bad play caller and don't know how he keeps getting jobs.

It's a league where Gregg Williams and Mike Nolan keep getting jobs.  Marc Trestman has coached for 25 years after Jerry Rice and the 49er fan base ran him out of San Francisco as an incompetent idiot.  Someone will hire Adam the Waste Gase.  It's not what you know, it's who you know and how many hours you're willing to put in doing silly tasks. 

You're too hard on the Fins.  They handed the Niners a bucket of whop ass and there's a strong foundation there.

The Ravens punter, Sam Koch, was unable to play last week because of the covid thing.  They go out and get a 25 year old punter on the Wednesday before the Sunday game -- some guy just cut by someone.  He punts twice, averaging 50 yards per punt, no returns.  I guess each time he ran on the field to punt, from snap to end of play was maybe 7 seconds or so.  I wonder what he got paid for the 14 seconds of playing.

I remember years ago, John Brodie was a highly paid QB for San Francisco, but they had promoted Steve Spurrier to 1st string QB.  Brodie still held the ball for field goals and extra points, and was still paid a very high salary for that.  After a game, a TV guy asked Brodie why he got paid so much for just holding the ball.  He said something like, “If I didn’t hold the ball, it would fall over” or words to that effect.

It's a league where Gregg Williams and Mike Nolan keep getting jobs.  Marc Trestman has coached for 25 years after Jerry Rice and the 49er fan base ran him out of San Francisco as an incompetent idiot.  Someone will hire Adam the Waste Gase.  It's not what you know, it's who you know and how many hours you're willing to put in doing silly tasks.

You're too hard on the Fins.  They handed the Niners a bucket of whop ass and there's a strong foundation there.

I know - I don't think I have been hard on them - I have been very happy with their improvement, think Flores is excellent and am optimistic -

Unlike many, I have tried to be realistic about them though - the season was a huge success - but watching them they are what they are - a slightly better than average team (first time they have been that in a while) that played very hard and was very disciplined for most of the season - Extremely limited offensive playmakers and generally poor offensive play calling in my opinion anyway.

Still remarkable season

$38125 is the one game minimum this year.

Story in the NOLA press a few weeks ago was Sanders asked all the WRs to bring their pay stub to the position meeting.  He was the only one who started the season on the active roster so everyone else in the meeting had been making the $8000 a week practice squad salary.  He told them this was their chance, if they liked the pay raise.  Play well and that $30k a week pay raise was there for the taking. 

At the end of his career Brodie stopped coming to practice on a regular.  I remember my Dad stealing the joke that he was the third highest payed golfer in the world behind Johnny Miller and Jack Nicklaus.  I found out later that was an older joke about Paul Brown.

Regular review delayed a day while my country tries to fight off a coup attempt.....

Anyway.

It's a hard call on the Fins for next year.  Their improvement in turnover differential was huge.  Normally that's a sign for regression next season, but the 2020 Fins really had nothing to do with the Fins of the first 8 games of 2019.  I expect they'll add talent, get coaching and discipline that keeps them positive in the T.O.M category.  Really it will come down to QB play on how much better they might get.  Still a skeptic.

If there's a sleeper team this year that mimics last years Titans, it's the Washington Team of Football (WTFs).  They're 5-1 with Alex Smith starting 2-8 with guys who aren't NFL QB's.  I don't think I'd bet it, but I won't be surprised to see them bounce the Bucs.

The Ravens come in hot, but of course their schedule has been a not.  Really that entire group is suspect. Colts, Ravens, Browns, Titans, Steelers.  The Browns are 4-3 against playoff teams, the Steelers 5-3.  Ravens and Titans 4-4, Colts 3-4  Anyone of these teams could beat any of the other and they mostly have all season, and none of them I can see beating the Chiefs or Bills.

The Bills come in the hottest team in the league.  The Chiefs kind of limp in on a string of single score games.  If you can limp in 14-2 that is.  They were 4-0 against playoff teams, and I guess that they just played 4 playoff teams is the most shocking.  The Saints only played 5.  Seahawks also 4 (2-2)

I'll probably just watch 3 of the games this weekend.  Wood to split and chores to do.

@The Old Man posted:

I don't really know who Bill Belichick is but I salute him.

"New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick won’t accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom he was scheduled to receive from President Donald Trump, he announced Monday."

Hard to believe you don’t know who he is. If true, then man you know how to ignore sports. Assuming you have heard of Tom Brady, this is the coach that benefited from TB to the tune of 6 Super Bowl rings. And BB is kind of a dick.

Last edited by billhike
@billhike posted:

Hard to believe you don’t know who he is. If true, then man you know how to ignore sports. Assuming you have heard of Tom Brady, this is the coach that benefited from TB to the tune of 6 Super Bowl rings. And BB is kind of a dick.

I am very upset that Annika and Gary showed up for the award, just after the riots,   Sad for the sport.  Gary's son, Marc, came out against it yesterday.

Also a slap on the wrist.  The R&A will not schedule any events on Trump facility, in the foreseeable future.   All we need now is for the USGA to get a backbone

@billhike posted:

Hard to believe you don’t know who he is. If true, then man you know how to ignore sports. Assuming you have heard of Tom Brady, this is the coach that benefited from TB to the tune of 6 Super Bowl rings. And BB is kind of a dick.

If you said to me just his name I would need more of a hint to come up with who he is. I guess he was a Trumper who needed to be "talked down from the ledge" of accepting the medal.

He claimed Trump has been a personal friend for years and he knows nothing and cares nothing about politics.  I rather believe him given he has a history of not talking about anything ever except the next game the Patriots are playing.  If there's a job in this country than demands as it's entry, complete myopia on all things other than task at hand, it's head football coach.  Nike Nolan remember can't even add to 12.

His statement was obviously crafted for him.  It was probably longer and more in depth than anything he's said in a press conference in 20 years.

As everyone knows, the Ravens actually won the game last night.  The referees counted the points incorrectly. Football Fraud. We should file suit and demand a recount, because the Ravens won by a lot.

It was the greatest win ever. HUGE win.  The two field goal attempts that hit the uprights were actually good, because Buffalo had fraudulently built a misleading set of goal posts with the uprights too close together.

Football is the greatest game.   

I did get about 1/2 of each of the early games and both of the late games.  I think the 4 best teams made it through. 

I can say I was wrong about McDermott based on the Peterman thing.  Sometimes getting to see just a little of a team it's easy to get wrong conclusions. 

All four of these teams came in pretty healthy and that's huge this time of year when the teams get to be more evenly matched.  I think we will have two good games and a good Super Bowl.

You know over in the college football thread there's so much love for the SEC and the players coming out of the deep south, but three of the four quarterbacks left standing are from Northern California.  I like Josh Allen more every time I see him.

Sad ending for the Saints.  For 15 years the fate of the team has laid with the defense.  The offense could always perform and put huge points on the board.  How far the team went always came down to how well the defense played.  From the Super Bowl interception to the Minnesota Miracle.  When the defense was horrible under Williams, it almost wrecked the franchise, but the offense held the team together.

Then in 2020 they have the best defense they've had in those 15 years, and maybe the best defense in the league, and the offense implodes.  I hope Brees comes back, but the reality is if he does, he's very unlikely to play 16 full games.

Finally I read a long piece in Bleacher Report summarizing the coaching and GM changes around the league.  Each one had an in depth multi paragraph assessment of the outgoing coach and what went wrong.  Then you got to the Jets and the entire summary was:

"Adam Gase is terrible"

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