Week 15 Open Discussion

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

The 15th week of the NFL season brings us a Super Bowl preview and Saturday football.

It kicks off tonight with the L.A. Chargers (4-9) traveling to Las Vegas, hoping to play spoiler to the Raiders (7-6), who are fighting to stay alive in the AFC wild-card hunt.

We've got two games on Saturday: Buffalo (10-3) at Denver (5-8) and San Francisco (5-8) at Green Bay (10-3). Not the most enticing matchups we've ever seen, but hey: it's football! On Saturday!

Sunday brings us a possible Super Bowl preview when Kansas City (12-1) visits New Orleans (10-3). Otherwise ... um ... there's not much going on. That's the only game of the day -- of the weekend, for that matter -- where both teams have winning records. The other Sunday afternoon game with significant playoff implications sees division leaders square off when Seattle (9-4) head to Washington to face the Football Team (6-7). The Sunday night game pits Cleveland (9-4) against the Giants (5-8), while Pittsburgh (11-2) heads to Cincinnati (2-10-1) on Monday night. 

Use this thread to discuss them all.


149 comments, Last at 22 Dec 2020, 7:40am

#1 by theTDC // Dec 17, 2020 - 7:25pm

For those curious, Jets are back in the running for worst net points ever. '77 Bucs have the record at -277. Jets are at -210 with three games to go. Those games are against the 9-4 Rams, the 9-4 Browns, and the 6-7 Patriots. They need to lose by a cumulative 67 points. That's 22.34 points per game. I know, it's a tough ask, but if anyone can do it, the Jets can.

I'd give them a 1:1 shot at having a net negative points differential of -255. The Rams under McVay don't really run the score up. Same with the Patriots and that anemic passing attack. The Browns might, but I think the Jets will lose by only about 15 points per game from here on out.

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#2 by RevBackjoy // Dec 17, 2020 - 8:21pm

1. It was the 1976 Bucs.

2. Their differential was -287 (125-412).

3. So they need to lose by 25.7 per game!

P.S. 67/3 rounds to 23.33333... not 22.34

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#3 by Bobman // Dec 17, 2020 - 10:13pm

 Anybody else get that reference that Joe Buck made a couple minutes ago during the game?

It was a Mel Brooks line from blazing saddles. 

Awesome.   I told my sons when we first saw the movie that they could never discuss it outside the house or quote it in front of others. At least Buck   didn’t say anything that was risky. 

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#4 by Theo // Dec 17, 2020 - 10:43pm

What are the odds that the 2008 Lions and 2017 Browns can uncork their stale champagne this season? 

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#68 by LionInAZ // Dec 20, 2020 - 5:55pm

Nobody in Detroit drinks PBR. At least no one worth consideration.

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#5 by jheidelberg // Dec 17, 2020 - 10:57pm

Kick a FG from 4 yard line.   Punt on 4th and 5 from just outside opponents 40 (net 18 yards), try 46 yard FG on 4th and 3 under 4 minutes left.   If he read Pro Football Outsiders he would know two things, one analytics and two is to keep his awful special teams off the field.  

Meanwhile Raiders have three 4th down conversions. 

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#6 by Noahrk // Dec 17, 2020 - 11:10pm

All great points. And then the Chargers do the most Charger thing ever and get sacked on 3rd down to force a long FG. Which of course they miss.

When Harris got tackled returning the interception I thought it might be a good thing, giving them a chance to run out the clock and kick a FG to win it. But Chargers gonna Charger.

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#7 by jheidelberg // Dec 17, 2020 - 11:15pm

Botched long snapper holder exchange on record long FG attempt of 65 yards by Raiders time expires denying Badgley of Chargers the opportunity to miss 3 FG attempts in the last four minutes of regulation. 

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#8 by vrao81 // Dec 17, 2020 - 11:15pm

Raiders have a chance at a game winning 65 yard FG. But the snap is fumbled. Raiders gonna raider? Headed to OT!

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#9 by vrao81 // Dec 17, 2020 - 11:30pm

Raiders kick a FG to go up 3. Now the chargers need to answer.

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#10 by vrao81 // Dec 17, 2020 - 11:42pm

And they do answer! Herbert with the td and the chargers ain't gonna charger!

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#13 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Dec 17, 2020 - 11:47pm

Oh, they chargered.  Multiple times.  Raiders and referees just kept giving them more opportunities to charger, until eventually they didn't.  And even that play was oh so close to being knocked out of Herbert's hands.

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#14 by Noahrk // Dec 18, 2020 - 12:21am

They chargered so hard, but it just wasn't in the cards tonight.

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#11 by jheidelberg // Dec 17, 2020 - 11:43pm

It would have been a Chargers classic to lose a fumble inside the 1 and turn a W into an L. But the Chargers recover and win game on next play.  Oh so close, talk about fumble luck!!!

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#12 by vrao81 // Dec 17, 2020 - 11:44pm

This might be the win that allows Lynn to keep his job...

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#17 by Drunken5yearold // Dec 18, 2020 - 12:32pm

No way. The Charger's management is saying they still have faith in him and his job is safe until the end of the year, but I don't think they intend on keeping him at all.

The Chargers have issues that should be fixable (mostly bad coaching and special teams) and other issues that they have struggled with for a while now (finding good offensive linemen). They have lots of good players though and with good injury luck and a good offseason they could be in line for a 12-4 season next year.

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#18 by theTDC // Dec 18, 2020 - 4:25pm

At this point, there has to be something in the water for Chargers special teams. Maybe it's just that with 32 teams, eventually one is going to go on a run of unluckiness, and they will finally revert back to the mean next year. 

However, while expecting 12-4 is unrealistic, them being a winning team next year is, I think, a 50-50 proposition if not better. Herbert looks like the real deal. They've had injuries on defence, and are mediocre but not awful anyway. If those special teams do in fact regress to the mean, they could probably have an average team as is, and if Herbert takes another step forwards, I think they're a very likely 6-7th seed in the AFC.

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#21 by BJR // Dec 19, 2020 - 7:28am

A reminder that this Chargers coaching staff went into the season with Tyrod Taylor as its starting QB, and it took a crazy set of events to unseat him. I might be tempted to give the benefit of the doubt here, given the unlikely nature of this year's off-season/training camp, but it fits right in with the rest of Anthony Lynn's painfully conservative, team-hindering decision making.

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#24 by jheidelberg // Dec 19, 2020 - 2:34pm

When Aaron pointed out during his DVOA column last week how historic the Chargers special teams are, I put in a comment that the Ravens special teams had positive DVOA for 22 of the past 24 years.  Then Vincent Verhei of Football Outsiders replied that the Patriots have had positive special teams DVOA for 25 consecutive years!!!  And since making that comment they have surged to number 1 this year.

During the past 7 years the best Chargers special teams unit was 10th worst in the league (2014).  Since that "peak" they have twice finished worst (2019 and 2020 as I am giving them the title for this year), twice finished second worst, finished 4th worst and 8th worst.

There is certainly a problem here with the Chargers.  Regressing to the Chargers mean of recent times would be becoming the 4th worst special teams unit.  It would be a huge step up from this year's disaster, but other improvements will be needed to play winning football.

I'll always take the young QB, Herbert is currently arguably the biggest wasted talent in the NFL right now.  The Chargers need to right the ship quickly as there appears to be so much potential here.

I was rooting for the Chargers to win the game against the Raiders.  That was 3+ hours of torture.  I can not imagine being a Chargers fan.  I am used to rooting for John Harbaugh and Justin Tucker, not Anthony Lynn and Michael Badgley.  Since coaches don't count against the cap, imagine how little cap space it will take to replace the coach and FG kicker and improve the team.

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#62 by Raiderfan // Dec 20, 2020 - 5:10pm

“I'll always take the young QB, Herbert is currently arguably the biggest wasted talent in the NFL right now. ”

Deshaun Watson would like a word with you.

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#37 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 19, 2020 - 11:02pm

Long forgotten now, but they actually had Younghoe Koo kicking for them in 2017, Anthony Lynn's first year as coach. He missed a game-tying and then a game-winning FG the first two weeks of the season, then was perfect for a couple of weeks, and then got cut. And of course since getting picked up by the Falcons last year, he's been one of the better kickers around.

Obviously that's just one example, but I think it's indicative of both bad coaching and bad, short-sighted decision-making.

More generally, it's weird how bad they've been in close-and-late situations for such an extended period - the last two weeks (arguably) excepted, I guess. Not sure if it's actually been that way since Marlon McCree's fumble, but in my head this is the Curse of McCree.

(And/or consistently mediocre-to-awful coaching and management, which is remarkable since they've gone through several coaches and complete roster turnover in that span, not to mention a relocation and a couple of stadium changes. I wonder what's been consistent that whole time, maybe someone or someones in a position of supreme power in the organization who make consistently poor, short-sighted decisions......................)

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#15 by ammek // Dec 18, 2020 - 3:26am

We've got two games on Saturday: Buffalo (10-3) at Denver (5-8) and San Francisco (5-8) at Green Bay (10-3). Not the most enticing matchups we've ever seen, but hey: it's football! On Saturday!

Green Bay is actually hosting Carolina (4-9), which is one of the more fun teams to watch this season, even if the matchup doesn't have the spicy history of Packers-49ers.

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#19 by MaineRaider // Dec 18, 2020 - 4:27pm

The Silver and Black, teaching me again not to get my hopes up ever.

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#22 by Bob Smith // Dec 19, 2020 - 10:49am

Aaron Rodgers could hit the 40 TD pass milestone for the season tonight. He would be the only QB in history to do that 3 times. Keep in mind however that only 1 QB in history hit that milestone and then went on to win the S.B. in that same year. That was Kurt Warner and the Rams in '99.

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#25 by jheidelberg // Dec 19, 2020 - 5:28pm

3 Buffalo defensive stops on 3 Denver possessions, (one was a missed long FG) 2 Buffalo TD ‘s on two possessions.   And a muffed punt by Buffalo recovered by Denver turns a game that was becoming a total blowout into a 14-7 game.

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#26 by ChrisLong // Dec 19, 2020 - 5:43pm

I’m verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves. Here’s a topic:

Is Drew Lock realistically salvageable or should the Broncos move on? Discuss.

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#49 by MarkV // Dec 20, 2020 - 12:12pm

I think it depends on your definition of salvageable.

Is he worth a starting qb money contract?  No.  Will he develope into someone worth one.  Almost certainly not.


Is he a plausible candidate to outperform his contract over the next two years?  Yes.

Will that be the solution to Denver's problems ?  No.

Denver's problem is not qb play - it's the gm.  It's a gm whose burned 3 2nd round picks in 5 years on run stopping DEs and had none of them develope into starters, and draft 3 3rd round cbs in 4 years and have only one be remotely playable. Who overpays veterans to fill the holes his bad drafting creates, making it so the team doesn't have salary cap space for the great players developed in system to be signed when they are affordable.

QB is a distraction for Denver.  Denver has had a comically large number of mediocre qbs and keeps throwing too many resources at them.  So if I was Denver's GM, id offer Texans two 1s for Watson and see if they budge. Then offer rams a 2 for Goff (again just seeing if there is any interest).  If no trade is available, keep lock draft defense and keep looking



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#51 by ImNewAroundThe… // Dec 20, 2020 - 12:40pm

But I think just like all situations, if a better QB (specifically in the draft) presents it's self when it's your turn, you take them. Trevor Lawrence is one, but certainly he'll be gone. Same situation with Fields. Unfortunately no top 3 pick though.

After that...yall sit 10th (big part in due to Drew Lock not being very good) and maybe that gets QB3? But is QB3 in this draft worth it there? I'm not as high as others are on the rest of the class as of right now. Ask me in a month and Ill have likely changed my mind (and we'll know where Denver is picking exactly).

But it'd probably be smart to draft one sometime this upcoming year as Drew Lock is not an above average QB (except at not taking sacks). Dont leave it to UDFA. Cut Rypien and then have that rookie, Lock and Driskel battle it out. Maybe not the most exciting room, probably worse out there, but be careful trading up as you dont want to Darnold or Trubisky yourself. 

Sidenote: QB DEriq King is a weapon that should be drafted by every team, including Denver, on day 3 without much hesitation. 

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#60 by MarkV // Dec 20, 2020 - 5:01pm

I think if you are confident in the qb, you should draft him, but almost every team is terrible at figuring out QBs.  Only matt ryan and matt Stafford have been top of draft qbs who ended up being the best in class since peyton went #1.  And in most of these cases, the best qb was drafted low enough that any team could have fairly easily traded into drafting him.  Lawrence probably has the best chance of being the best qb drafted this year, but his chances are still very low.


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#70 by ImNewAroundThe… // Dec 20, 2020 - 5:56pm

Depends on how they value them (I bet Elway is a big Zach Wilson fan). No guarantee your guy doesnt not make it too you in the first place anyway even though the thought process behind it is, he wont make it that far. 

Trading up could get you Lamar...or it could get you Rosen. 

Carson Palmer was the best and first QB in his '03 class. Same with Bradford in his '10 class. Newtown in '11. Winston in '15. Murray in '19 too. Sucks not having a top 3 pick and having a lot of control on whether you get your guy (QB) or trading down. 

When trading up for (any)one you deplete (usually cheap, young) assets that can be used to help them. The draft is hard and trading multiple cheap contracts for 1 more expensive one is dangerous. How do the Bears look now if they sat at 3, watched the 49ers pass on him as all expected at 2, and help Mitch with Kamara, Tedric Thompson, and Fred Warner? Who knows, probably better though. Same goes for the Jets and Darnold theoretically alongside Braden Smith, Dallas Goedert and Rock Ya-Sin. Because maybe the Mitch and Darnold truthers are right (probably not), they just need more help. Too bad they traded up for them and made that harder. 

That's why in any random draft (in the NFL at least) it's almost quantity>"quality". #1 overall is obviously > #200 + #201 but  #2 + #50 > #1 even though they're the same total value on the Jimmy Johnson draft chart, as usually more stabs is better since we just dont know exactly what these guys are in the NFL and are somewhat unknown quantities. 

You gotta be pretty confident in them and even then you can be wrong. 

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#27 by jheidelberg // Dec 19, 2020 - 5:59pm

So I ll consider this the end of his rookie year, and stay the course.

I am more excited about I’m verklempt talk among yourselves and Blazing Saddles references so that I know that others like myself that are not young, spend time having these discussions on this site while watching football.


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#30 by Ben // Dec 19, 2020 - 7:50pm

Lock’s pass to Fant for the TD was nice, but I just don’t see a lot to be excited about. 

Though, looking to the other sideline, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills when I see Josh Allen thread the needle between two defenders. However, with Allen, it was always “if he could fix his accuracy issues, he’d be a good QB”. I never thought he would, but he seems to have done it. 

With Lock, there isn’t one issue to put your finger on though. It’s more “if he could get better at football, he’d be a good QB”. 

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#32 by tjb // Dec 19, 2020 - 8:46pm

I really hate to sound repetitive on this but there is very little to be learned from Josh Allen.  He is a ridiculously talented QB who somehow fell through the cracks of the giant and generally efficient system that identifies top QB prospects early in high school and then proceeds to coach them to be good QBs.

Allen had basically never been instructed on how to throw - he was a pure project.  Lock has been on everyone's radar since he was 15 - if he hasn't figured it out by now it likely isn't going to happen.

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#28 by jheidelberg // Dec 19, 2020 - 6:09pm

Teams combine for two muffed punts, a missed FG and missed extra point and the Chargers are not playing.  

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#29 by jheidelberg // Dec 19, 2020 - 7:47pm

Just to be sure that they want to cut Russolino and they do as he misses.   At least he got to play one NFL game

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#31 by ImNewAroundThe… // Dec 19, 2020 - 8:23pm


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#33 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 19, 2020 - 8:58pm

I wouldn’t play that game unless you have a spare liver on call.

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#35 by jheidelberg // Dec 19, 2020 - 9:08pm

Being so aggressive with reach for end zone.  Just tuck and if no progress its 2nd down inside one.   Now with fumble its doom.

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#36 by jheidelberg // Dec 19, 2020 - 11:01pm

Panthers 11 points lost on fumble and holding penalty then settle for FG,  and also that the fumble was returned to Carolina territory leading to a GB TD.  I dont think DVOA will be kind to this Packer effort.  But barring a great comeback, its a win.

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#38 by ChrisLong // Dec 19, 2020 - 11:11pm

They’ll probably end up with a below average offense DVOA, above average defensive DVOA (Caro was #9 O coming in), and average ST

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#39 by jheidelberg // Dec 19, 2020 - 11:15pm

Its the situation discussed endlessly by the Football Outsiders staff as to why you go for 2 down 21-3 then getting TD.   They would not have taken the FG at the 4 yard line if they knew that the 2 had failed.  

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#40 by ChrisLong // Dec 19, 2020 - 11:16pm

Packers have to be guaranteed to fire their ST coordinator after the season

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#41 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 19, 2020 - 11:16pm

Looks like the Panthers are abusing the Packers LG (Lucas Patrick) up front on their recent defensive stops. Not sure if they're doing anything other than "employing Derrick Brown" to take advantage, but it's working - and points to an exploitable weakness if he has to keep playing.

Although that last sack wasn't on anybody but Rodgers...

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#42 by ImNewAroundThe… // Dec 19, 2020 - 11:18pm

Would've like to see teams take more shots here. The two minute warnings gonna stop the clock anyway so be aggressive and try to finish the game, coming out of the two min warning on another 1st and 10 if successful. 


And the game ends with the same score they had in last years meeting.

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#44 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 19, 2020 - 11:31pm

I think the idea was that with their timeout and the TMW, they could kick it to the Packers and preserve enough time (with the 3-and-out) for a real drive, whereas if they went for it they'd certainly use the TMW on their own drive and realistically be stuck relying on recovering the onside kick and chucking hail marys, regardless of how they scored. Given how hard it is to recover onside kicks these days, I think it's a defensible call.

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#45 by ChrisLong // Dec 19, 2020 - 11:33pm

I think the OP was referring to the Packers on O. First play before 2 minutes is going to stop the clock anyway, might as well try a pass play. (Not that they had much success passing tonight)

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#46 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 20, 2020 - 2:44am

Ooh that makes sense. Then yes, absolutely agree. I guess they worry that if the pass is thrown too quickly, it's an extra stop, but that seems avoidable with even marginally competent execution.

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#48 by ImNewAroundThe… // Dec 20, 2020 - 12:07pm

Sorry if not clear. 4 seconds should be pretty easy when you can always just chuck it deep if nothing is open. 

After that though you can run the clock out. Worked out in the end for the Pack but this isnt the 1st time I've seen a situation like this where they couldve ended the game earlier. 

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#50 by oaktoon // Dec 20, 2020 - 12:32pm

The problem was the second down and 3 call coming out of the two minute warning-- That's is where a simple pass to the flat probably ends the game...

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#52 by ImNewAroundThe… // Dec 20, 2020 - 12:46pm

7 yard runs arent typical (4.3 ypc). 7 yard passes are though (7.2 ypa)

And passing after the 2 min warning could stop the clock. Or have you lose 14 yards on 3rd and 4.

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#107 by ImNewAroundThe… // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:53pm

Provides ANOTHER example. 2:06 1st and 10, Bell 2 yards. Add those up and it's 2 attempts for 9 yards, 4.5 ypc closer to the average run play

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#108 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:56pm

And the run plus face mask is scored as a what?

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#47 by oaktoon // Dec 20, 2020 - 11:09am

They picked the one and only week they could get away with it. Play like that against TENN next week or any playoff matchup and out you go.... I thought the incessant attempts to find Adams or Jones on the flank for a short catch and release pass got tedious. Obviously Panthers sniffed them out or had players capable of short-circuiting them. LaFleur and Rodgers have to show some more imagination going forward. MVS disappeared... Rodgers was under more pressure than in any game this season other than TB.. A few pretty bad drops. Ugly but necessary win is all I'll say.

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#53 by ImNewAroundThe… // Dec 20, 2020 - 1:10pm

Seems like their job is almost solely mental (when it's in the leg strength range) and although Bailey had a rough game last week (and the week before), I think giving him a clean slate the next week is the way to go. Acting as if those days didnt happen and allowing him to take chances (in his range at least) when given the opportunity on things like 4th and longs. Maybe if he misses something like a 39 yarder then you can start going for it when he'd be asked to kick longer (maybe do some fakes if it's not that much longer than the one he missed). But reset that mentality when the next game comes as not to hurt his/their  "confidence". 

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#54 by Pen // Dec 20, 2020 - 2:10pm

franchise record.  Guys been money.

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#55 by BJR // Dec 20, 2020 - 2:28pm

Nasty looking injury for Stephon Gilmore

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#56 by Pen // Dec 20, 2020 - 3:02pm

WFT's vaunted edge rushers held in check.  Wilson not sacked and only 2 QB hits.  I'm pretty sure that's because the Hawks are running the ball so much and the FT can't pin their ears back and go after the QB. 

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#58 by Pen // Dec 20, 2020 - 3:58pm

to put their heads down and slide headfirst into the defender to pick up an additional 15 yards on each catch.

NFL needs to do better.

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#59 by vrao81 // Dec 20, 2020 - 4:58pm

Jets surprisingly up 13-0. I still think Rams come back and win, but this is surprising. 

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#80 by Pen // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:00pm

It seemed like both teams were trying to outdo the other team in ways to lose.  Frank Gore decided enough is enough and went ahead and won.

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#81 by scraps // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:01pm

Jets have the ball, 1st down, at the Rams 42....

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#86 by vrao81 // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:05pm

In reply to by scraps

First W of the season! Now, does this screw up their chance at Lawrence?

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#118 by mehllageman56 // Dec 20, 2020 - 10:10pm

I'm happy they won a game.  I'm fine with the 2nd pick, because I've watched a lot of Lawrence footage and not been that impressed.  He's inconsistent with his ball placement, and will throw into triple coverage.  Watching Darnold's highlights from today's game, Sam looks more like a pro quarterback than the footage from Trevor's last couple of games.  Maybe it's because I've been burned too many times (I thought Geno Smith was going to be good, as did this site, boy were we wrong).  I'm not impressed with Fields, who has played worse than Lawrence this year.  Zach Wilson has impressed me, but he's not exactly the guy you take first overall.  Again, perhaps I don't trust my judgement, but I see more accuracy from the BYU guy (who plays in cold weather as well) than the other two.  Of course, the left tackle from Oregon is a better prospect than all of them, but maybe the NFL will tell the Jets they need to let Cinci have him so Joe Burrow can stay alive.

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#61 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Dec 20, 2020 - 5:04pm

MIA's WRs without Parker in the lineup look a lot like NE's WRs.  That's not a complement. 

Fortunately, MIA stopped trying to throw in H2 and ran all over NE's D-line for an important win.

Lots of questionable decisions by Belichick in Q4.  Kicking to go down 3 instead of trying 4th-and-4ish.  Not kicking the FG before the 2 minute mark to give them a chance to kick off with enough time to get a stop and so not need to recover an onside kick.  And then even worse, not kicking the FG on 4th-and-something inside of 2 minutes when they needed two scores.  

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#63 by Raiderfan // Dec 20, 2020 - 5:13pm

Looking at the splits it seems as if the TB coaching staff is really good at in game adjustments...and really bad at during the week game planning.

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#69 by BJR // Dec 20, 2020 - 5:56pm

Saints/Chiefs is borderline unwatchable. So slow. Refs taking forever to make rulings and get calls in. Extremely frustrating. 

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#74 by BJR // Dec 20, 2020 - 6:20pm

A near two hour first half. Granted there have been a couple of particularly weird plays, but that is too slow for me to enjoy. 

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#76 by Digger // Dec 20, 2020 - 6:38pm

Weird, but it seems like there is always something bizarre that happens on a football field that would perplex even King Solomon.  I kind of geek out over the weird plays.  But, maybe that's just me...

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#71 by LionInAZ // Dec 20, 2020 - 6:03pm

Some weird plays today. 

How many times have receiving teams returned an onside kick for a TD, as Dallas did today?

And was the 25-46 Lions loss today Scorigami?


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#77 by scraps // Dec 20, 2020 - 6:42pm

but someone returned an onside kick for a touchdown in the last two weeks....

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#92 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:14pm

CeeDee Lamb returned one against the Niners today too.

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#100 by LionInAZ // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:28pm


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#101 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:35pm

Sorry, I can't read. I thought scraps was implying Brown was the only one in the last two weeks.

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#96 by scraps // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:24pm

we go.

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#73 by LionInAZ // Dec 20, 2020 - 6:10pm

Very stupid play by Robinson. Why are you running backwards with less than 20 secs left in the half? Why are you even trying to return the punt?


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#75 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 20, 2020 - 6:37pm

He’s a WR.

These are players who just drop the ball before crossing the goal line and are confused when people get angry. They are functionally giant toddlers; they make the occasional diaper.

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#90 by LionInAZ // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:11pm

Cordarelle Patterson is a WR too, except he's better as a kick returner than receiver.

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#79 by Trinian // Dec 20, 2020 - 6:56pm

And with today's loss, the Patriots' string of winning seasons comes to an end. The Patriots had a winning record in every season from 2001 to 2019. The Patriots' 19 consecutive winning seasons falls one short of the NFL record of 20 set by the Dallas Cowboys from 1966 - 1985.

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#84 by jheidelberg // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:04pm

Jets win in part due to their punter making a clean open field tackle on a long punt return by the Rams near the Jets 40.  Then the defense gets a 4 and out and Jets run out the clock.  


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#87 by oaktoon // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:06pm

One of the more improbable results of an improbable season. So aside from the Tank for Trevor implications, for the #1 seed in the NFC now, if KC beats NO, and the Rams beat the Seahawks next week, all the Packers have to do is beat TENN or CHI. Not that either game is a given-- Bears may be fighting for a playoff spot if ARIZ loses to Eagles.

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#93 by LionInAZ // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:16pm

You just doomed the Packers to lose to one of them, possibly both.

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#117 by ChrisLong // Dec 20, 2020 - 9:51pm

If Packers end up in a tie by record with Seattle, they have to have beaten the Bears to win the tiebreak. If they go 12-4 by beating Tenn but not Chi, then they lose tie break to Seattle (based on conference record, I think)

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#88 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:07pm

Break up the Jets!

That's amazing - and just shameful for the Rams, who had seemed like a strong dark-horse contender in the NFC of late.

Apparently the Jags are now more likely to get the #1 pick. They will both probably lose out, but the Jets' next 2 games (Cleveland, New England) look somewhat more winnable than the Jags' (Bears - fighting for their postseason lives with this little Trubisky-led run, and Indy). Not sure who owns the tiebreaker if they're both 1-15.

UDPATE: KC-NO announcers said Jags have the tiebreaker over the Jets due to easier strength of schedule.

Everyone who said the Jets were gonna Jets their way out of Lawrence, you appear to have been right. Congratulations?

Points: 0

#94 by Digger // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:16pm

In the grand scheme of things, the Jets probably ended up screwing themselves. But, I can't imagine that any NFL player wants to be part of an 0-16 season.    

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#103 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:37pm

Fortunately the Jets don’t have any NFL players.

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#97 by LionInAZ // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:25pm

The shame of going winless outwins the drive to get the top draft pick. No surprise. The biggest question here is WTF did the Rams screw this up?

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#119 by mehllageman56 // Dec 20, 2020 - 10:17pm

The Rams offense depends too much on the running game.  The Jets actually defend the run relatively well.  Goff didn't take advantage of the Jets terrible cornerbacks.  Bryce Hall playing (he was out for the first part of the year) probably helped as well.

They also didn't turn the ball over against a formidable defense, and had a blocked punt.  Watching the highlights, it seems the Rams were outplayed but the Jets settling for field goals on short fields almost led to them losing again.

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#91 by ImNewAroundThe… // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:14pm

And unsurprisingly Jets homers are now wanting to build around Darnold instead a ...Fields

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#120 by mehllageman56 // Dec 20, 2020 - 10:24pm

Did you watch Justin Fields against Indiana?  Would you draft him second?  Personally, I'd go for Zach Wilson or Trask instead. Wilson has started three years, and Trask about 2 and a half.  With Fields it's last year, and whatever this year is for Ohio State (what, 5, 6 games?).  I think the Jets need to draft somebody this year, but starting them right away isn't the best idea; it didn't work for Sanchez or Darnold.  Sitting for a year did work for Pennington and Ken O'Brien.  So why trade off Darnold if all you're going to get is a 4th round pick.  It should depend on the coach they get what they do with Darnold now.

Points: 0

#121 by ImNewAroundThe… // Dec 20, 2020 - 10:39pm

Ah one game scouting.

Zach Wilson or Trask? Holy cow you're just telling on yourself. Not even gonna touch on how games started is an outdated measurement when Drew Lock is stinking up the place.

Points: 0

#95 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:21pm

Brees is just not right. I don't know if they'd be winning with Hill or Winston, but they could not be doing worse. I get that it's a bad look to pull him, but leaving him in is a de facto forfeit.

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#99 by LionInAZ // Dec 20, 2020 - 7:26pm

Brees is smarter than Hill and Winston combined. That's why you leave him in.

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#130 by Bobman // Dec 21, 2020 - 6:49pm

That's just plain cruel... and it took me a moment to figure it out. And then I laughed, of course.

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#110 by vrao81 // Dec 20, 2020 - 8:06pm

Same old lions. Fired their coach but the results are the same. Give up 4 tds to Tannehill and Henry gets 150+ yards.

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#111 by scraps // Dec 20, 2020 - 8:15pm

Because of the Rams loss this week, if the Seahawks win over the Rams at Seattle next week, they would clinch the division.  It's kind of weird, but that would fit in Pete Carroll's way of winning the division.  All four previous NFC West Division championships in Carroll's coaching were won at home against the Rams:

2010: Seahawks 16 Rams 6 

2013: Seahawks 27 Rams 9 

2014: Seahawks 20 Rams 6 

2016: Seahawks 24 Rams 3 

(I really like the Rams less-than-ten-points scores....)

Points: 0

#112 by RevBackjoy // Dec 20, 2020 - 8:16pm

Chiefs just got their 6th non-spread-covering win in a row... that has to be a record!

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#113 by jheidelberg // Dec 20, 2020 - 8:19pm

Its an impossible job but this really happened today.  After a touchback Mark Andrews catches a pass marked just short of the 35.   The refs call for a measurement and it is a first down.  You NEVER have to measure this after a touchback.  The chains were in the wrong spot.  You know every time that you make or miss by inches its luck.  The chains could be in the wrong place.   

So Jacksonville challenged the spot and the ball was moved further back and it was no first down.  He really did catch the ball further back but Jacksonville was forced to waste a challenge.

Points: 0

#115 by jheidelberg // Dec 20, 2020 - 8:50pm

So a challenge can be wasted depending upon next one.   The point is the no need to measure after a touchback.

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#116 by oaktoon // Dec 20, 2020 - 9:13pm

ATL coaches and announcers were dumbfounded as it was clearly short. They even wondered if league had an agenda making sure Bucs got to playoffs....

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#123 by LionInAZ // Dec 21, 2020 - 12:08am

I don't understand. The spot of a ball should never be subject to measurement on a play that occurs after a touchback?

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#125 by jheidelberg // Dec 21, 2020 - 10:23am

The ball is automatically placed at the 25, thus it should be known exactly where you need to get to in order to get a first down.  The Ravens were given a first down with the ball marked short of the 35.  No measurement is needed as you know exactly the line to gave after a touchback.  It is exactly 10 yards from the 25 yard line, not short of the 35 yard line.

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#126 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 21, 2020 - 1:30pm

But what if the sideline marker is wrong? =)

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#128 by Bobman // Dec 21, 2020 - 6:43pm

It's all in the camera angles....

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#129 by Bobman // Dec 21, 2020 - 6:45pm

From the perspective of a Colts fan, oh please, oh please, oh puleeeeze!

He's a fine man, but I'm not sure he's really NFL HC material.  It could have been the "replacing a legend" status in Indy, but I don't think that was the issue in Detroit. I'd love for the Colts to face his teams twice a year.


Points: 0

#131 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 21, 2020 - 8:59pm

The issue in Detroit was the management was as smart as a bag of hammers and half as useful.

He got Indy to a SB and Detroit reliably into the playoffs. He’s a good coach, but his teams rise to their talent level, which is a problem in Houston.

Sorry, Rivers.

Points: 0

#145 by Bobman // Dec 21, 2020 - 11:50pm

I am pretty sure most astute Colt fans felt Caldwell was a bit like a harpooner who gets pulled out of his longboat by a whale and is described as having ridden the whale.  Basically he hung on and got where the whale was going.  (He started out as Manning's QB coach--that's helps you get good HC jobs--ask Adam Gase--that you don't necessarily merit.  

I don't recall a lot of specifics from the season, but generally felt like he was holding the team back.  (And Polian shares blame for their final two voluntary losses that may or may not have dulled the team's edge.)  I also don't blame him for losing the SB but they were hurt by several managerial mistakes such as mismanaging Freeney's bad ankle at halftime and not being ready for the (extraordinarily unexpected) onside kick to start the second half.  (Thanks Hank Baskett)  Freeney was still taping up his ankle and missed the whole first series of the second half, resulting in a NO TD.  If I can hang 7 pts on Caldwell at that point, then Manning isn't in desperation mode with four minutes left when he throws the pick-six. They lost by 14.  It's a different game without that first series in the second half (and if Freeney had Steve McNair caliber pain killers in his ankle).

They followed that season with a tepid (for them at that time) 10-6 campaign and then the poop-fest that was 2011 when the Manning injury was handled with hands of stone by everybody.  Yeah, he'll be back next week.  Maybe two weeks.  Or the week after that.  I think he went on IR like week 11 or 12.

He DID win a SB as the OC of the Ravens in that magic year when Joe Flacco went from a tall paperboy to Zeus in a helmet for four weeks, before returning to deliver the daily news and eventually losing his job.  And the the Lions, which you noted above was a tenure beset with administrative woes from above. There, too, he started hot and then faded. 

I'd rather have him on the opposite sideline than my own. 

Points: 0

#132 by Digger // Dec 21, 2020 - 9:13pm

It wasn't that long ago that the Steelers were the only undefeated team in the NFL.  Now they are struggling against the Bengals.   

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#133 by Digger // Dec 21, 2020 - 9:19pm

Not that he wants advice from me, but JuJu might reconsider that whole dancing on the logo thing.  The NFL is a good gig.  No  sense making it any shorter than it has to be.

Points: 0

#134 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 21, 2020 - 9:27pm

Is there statistical evidence that the Steelers consistently play down to inferior competition?

Because that's always been the narrative, anecdotally, and today is providing a particularly compelling anecdote...

Points: 0

#135 by vrao81 // Dec 21, 2020 - 9:29pm

Bengals up 17-0, Steelers offense has done diddly poo. 24 yards including -2 yards (!) passing.

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#136 by Digger // Dec 21, 2020 - 9:31pm

They can't pass, and they can't run.   So maybe there's a third option?

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#137 by jheidelberg // Dec 21, 2020 - 9:40pm

The 1986 New York Jets made the playoffs riding a 5  game losing streak. No one else had ever made the playoffs finishing with such a streak.  They were 10-1 fell to 10-6 and then won a playoff game.  Steelers have a shot.

Points: 0

#141 by oaktoon // Dec 21, 2020 - 10:00pm

Comparing what has been perhaps the most successful NFL franchise over the entire Super Bowl Era to the Jets is probably not what will ease any fears Pittsburgh fans now have over this team.

Points: 0

#138 by oaktoon // Dec 21, 2020 - 9:42pm

Like a kid likes candy, Pittsburgh is clearly a fraud. The worst AFC playoff team? Right now, it certainly appears so....

Points: 0

#140 by jheidelberg // Dec 21, 2020 - 9:52pm

I assume it would make history to have two 1-15 teams in the same season.   I am wondering even with  a 14 game season in the old days if we ever had two 1-13.  Can we possibly have JAX over Colts, Jets over Rams and Cincinnati over Pittsburgh?

Points: 0

#139 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 21, 2020 - 9:44pm

Roethlisberger needs some coffee or something. He looks lethargic and has made some dumb mental errors, including missing that LB sitting on the pass route for the pick, and wandering right into the pass-rusher just now.

Points: 0

#142 by Digger // Dec 21, 2020 - 10:46pm

Steelers have beat the Bengals eleven straight times.   That streak is in danger of ending.

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#143 by Digger // Dec 21, 2020 - 11:16pm

Kick the field goal.

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#144 by AHBM // Dec 21, 2020 - 11:27pm

This is rapidly sliding into yet another What Could Have Been year for the Steelers just like when Shazier went down in 2017.  I'm heartsick to go along with regular sick.

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#146 by Spanosian Magn… // Dec 21, 2020 - 11:54pm

Steelers apparently only the 3rd team to start 11-0 and go on a 3 game losing streak. The 2009 Saints did but that was different, they had the division sewed up early with an inside track on the #1 seed and mostly just tried not to get hurt before cruising to the Super Bowl. The other was... I don't remember anymore, but someone in the '60s I think - who lost their only playoff game that year.

Points: 0

#147 by Bobman // Dec 21, 2020 - 11:56pm

OMG, which team do they prepare for?  Will Pittsburgh come out with fire in their eyes and malice in their hearts after a three-game losing streak, or are they toast?

As a Colt fan, I'm much more nervous now than I was four hours ago, when I figured Indy would be a trap game between an easy Cincy win and a tough Browns finale.  Now... grown professionals with injured pride and the means to reassert themselves can be quite formidable.

Then again, if the warmed over corpse of AJ Green can lead the winning team in receiving yardage (89 passing yards total is not much to brag about, I know), anything's possible.

Points: 0

#149 by BigBen07 // Dec 22, 2020 - 7:40am

Villy was clearly overmatched at left tackle yet neither Tomlin nor Fichter made sure he had any TE help on those last critical throws. Don’t understand the complete lack of adjustments.

Points: 0

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