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Week 12 Open Discussion

Tennessee Titans WR A.J. Brown
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Yes, there's still football to be played. Notable Sunday games include Tennessee (7-3) at Indianapolis (7-3) for first place in the AFC South; New Orleans (8-2) at Denver (4-6) in an experiment to see what happens when you take quarterbacks away from an NFL team; and Kansas City (9-1) at Tampa Bay (7-4). The Sunday night game sees Chicago (5-5) visit Green Bay (7-3), while the winner of the Monday night game between Seattle (7-3) and Philadelphia (3-6-1) will be at least tied for first place in their respective division. Oh, and we'll get a Tuesday game between Baltimore (6-4) and Pittsburgh (10-0) unless it gets postponed again. Use this thread to discuss them all. 


172 comments, Last at 02 Dec 2020, 5:39pm

1 Week 12

LAC / BUF: should be fun to watch strictly from QB play perspective.  The Bills have playoff seeding and a division to win, so I'm hope they aren't sleeping on LAC.

TENN / IND: Can TENN get back on a roll and seize control of the division? Or is IND well rounded enough to hold them off?  Both teams should make the playoffs right?

ARZ / NE: Arizona should handle them, but with their inconsistency and also possibly hiding an arm injury for Murray?  Cam might be able to will this game to be more competitive for NE if the defense plays better.

SF / LAR:  Shanahan worked them over last time and they are getting some key players back from injury.  Unfortunately, none of them are George Kittle who had a huge game.  Will McVay take back the "Genuis" crown?

CHI / GB: I heard a stat that blew my mind the other day, CHI is 3-17 against GB since 2010.  I mean seriously is this even a rivalry anymore?  Mitch Trubisky to the rescue I guess....

KC / TB:  Based on how they are playing coming into this matchup it might get ugly for TB.  For seeding. I'm hoping that's what happens, though it will be a major letdown for entertainment.  We can all then watch Brady skip shaking MaHomes hand if so.

SEA / PHI:  I have enough grey hair and want to see SEA continue to improve defensively and put PHI away early.  PHI does have a decent pass rush, and if the bad secondary play returns, Wentz has the ability to punish them. (He can but will he?)  Cris Carson being back should get the offense for SEA into a good place.

3 "CHI / GB: I heard a stat…

In reply to by Kopalec

"CHI / GB: I heard a stat that blew my mind the other day, CHI is 3-17 against GB since 2010."

Wow, you just blew my mind, too.  I thought the Packers-Lions series was pretty one-sided, but Detroit is 8-13 against Green Bay during the same time period.

76 I've been trying to find an…

I've been trying to find an article I remember where someone did an objective (or objective-ish) ranking of all the NFL divisional rivalries, and Packers-Bears was actually the worst - i.e. most lopsided - of the Packers' 3. I'm 90% sure it's this one, but the full list (referenced in these hallowed pages) isn't loading for me for some reason.

And Detroit always plays the Packers strong. It's just one of those things. Before this year's blowout, the last time the Packers beat the Lions by more than 13 was 2009 - in that span, the Lions beat the Packers 31-0, 35-11, and 40-10. The Packers beat them more often, but those were almost always one-score affairs.

9 Fresh Picks.

In reply to by Kopalec

LAC / BUF: Should be a walkover for Buffalo with the Chargers blowing games like it's a sport.  Between them and Detroit, I don't know who is more consistent in regards to giving games away.

TENN / IND: The Titans are building momentum after an existential crisis, but the Colts are home and have a better defense.  Game will be close with a TO probably being the difference either way.  

ARZ / NE: It was popular this week to pick the Pats in an upset due to Hoodie Wizardry, but these two teams are seemingly world's apart in terms of quality.  It may be close, but Arizona pulls away and wins comfortably.

SF / LAR:  In a division game, it's more about the scheme and particular matchups along with familiarity that decide games.  At this point, I don't know what the Niners are due to injuries and ineffective QB play.  Should be a Rams comfortable win, but never say never.

CHI / GB: Walkover Green Bay.  

KC / TB:  Conventional wisdom says KC comfortably based on how both teams are playing, but Brady has pride and will summon a win.  Expect the TB defense to come up big as well.  If TB has anything left this season heading to the playoffs they need to win this game. A loss dooms them to the last WC spot in the NFC.

SEA / PHI: Most pundits have the Hawks winning this game comfortably but I don't trust the Seahawks in any way, even RW.  Philly will make this game ugly and win close at home because they are in their own division race.  I see Wentz hitting a few crazy plays against the Seattle secondary that effectively end this game.  


2 Is Kendall Hinton-Taysom…

Is Kendall Hinton-Taysom Hill the lowest-quality starting QB matchup in NFL history? A week ago it would've looked even worse, but Taysom Hill actually played adequately in his first chance as a starter. I still think the presence of Hill as the Saints QB means the Broncos have a slightly better chance of winning than it seems like they should.


The latest report, by the way, is that the Broncos actually wanted to start an offensive assistant named Rob Calabrese instead of Hinton. The NFL wouldn't allow them to put a coach on the roster.


I have to admit I love the underdog story quality of a practice squad WR getting to start at QB in an NFL game. Hinton was apparently working a regular job just a month ago. It's reminiscent of when injuries force regular Joes into NHL games at goalie.

52 He certainly did. It was one…

He certainly did. It was one of the most miraculous games of the 2011 Broncos' season. Denver trailed 10-0 with four minutes left, but won in OT after Marion Barber ran out of bounds and Matt Prater made a 59-yard FG as time expired. Barber also fumbled in OT with the Bears in FG range. Cale Hanie was the opposing QB so it was definitely a bad QB matchup.

72 Oh, yes, I remember the “let…

Oh, yes, I remember the “let’s run out of bounds for no reason” play... that Tebow run of games was just bizarre. Got to wonder if he’d put in the obvious work that Allen has in Buffalo, to improve his passing mechanics, if Tebow could have been functional at QB.

I wish Allen luck just for his willingness to try to change and improve as that is hard work, and probably requires an ego check as well to admit that you need the work and can’t just do it all on raw talent. Reminds me of all the stuff about Jerry Rice’s training routines in the 80s, or the old saying about getting luckier the more your practice. 

4 NFL, please no absurd games due to COVID-19

Today's game between Denver and the Saints is the most absurd game since replacement players were used during the strike in the 1980's.  The NFL dared to use imposters (replacement players) and counted the games in the standings.  If you want to make Denver forfeit and/or lose a draft pick, if and only if they are shown to have broken protocol, that is fine by me, however, do not give the Saint a free win.  Many teams in the NFC are chasing the Saints for the number 1 seed. This is tainting the season.  Please make up the game in week 18 with Denver charged with a loss today, but do not give the Saints a win (Denver can get a win by beating the Saints in week 18).

Same goes for the Ravens.  They clearly can not field a team.  It is not safe to play the game today, but it will be on Tuesday?  That is hard to believe.  Again the Ravens can be charged with a loss for a forfeit, and or lose a draft pick if they are shown to have broken protocol, but do not penalize the Chiefs who are trying to catch the Steelers.  Make up the game in week 18 with the Ravens having an extra loss, hurting their playoff chances.  Give the Ravens a win if they win week 18.  

To go a step further, I would make up all missed games in week 17, and move week 17 back to week 18.  The Ravens may benefit from a week 18 game, as the Steelers may not care and sit players.  Let Cleveland have that edge and move their week 17 game to week 18.

Does the NFL really think that these will be the only two instances for the rest of the season?  If so, why did they recently add the rule that if tow games were missed, that there would be an 8 team per conference playoff format?  What if no protocol is violated?

Baseball had to cancel many games and reschedule as doubleheaders when COVID-19 was not at the high rate that it is at this time.  It will likely be a struggle to finish the season in a timely manner.  

10 It feels... though some teams are being punished more by COVID-related issues than others.

Denver playing without a starting QB?

Pittsburgh had no official bye.

The Ravens are going up against Pittsburgh on Tuesday without their starting QB and a few other players.  That's almost a guaranteed loss for them.

I suppose we should have expected this, but the quality of play is starting to suffer in terms of the product on the field.



12 I think a big part of this…

In reply to by DIVISION

I think a big part of this is that, true to form, the NFL has completely changed the rules as the season has gone on without telling anybody. Titans-Steelers got moved and we got a week of histrionic drama because a trainer and a couple practice squad guys caught it. Now we have Covid spreading in the weight room and multiple teams that can't field a complete roster are still expected to play.

I know they are always like this, but it's so obnoxious to hear a 10-0 team keep whining about "not having" their bye week. No one cares.

51 typical Goodell

He doesn't believe in having firm policies.  He's a "put a finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing" guy.  That works for getting deals done, but it's a terrible attitude for a commissioner to have.  Goodell is essentially changing the rules week to week.

97 If the situation were due to…

In reply to by RickD

If the situation were due to injuries, would you expect any different treatment?

Teams and players have much more control over Covid-19 than they do over injuries. Everyone knows the protocols. Teams and players who don 't follow the protocols strictly deserve to be punished, just as if they were poorly managed like the Jets.

106 When was the last time an…

When was the last time an entire position room got injured the day before a game?

I also don't believe in the collective punishment argument anymore. Here in Baltimore, a strength coach caught it, hid his symptoms and went to work as usual and got half the team sick. Who do you punish besides the trainer in this case?

6 I for one

Welcome the QBless DEN-NO game

Will be more interesting than Drew Lock

11 Should be...

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

...a walkover for NO but it could be an ugly game based on the running game.

I suppose that kind of game gives Denver a better chance.

13 Derrick Henry with an…

Derrick Henry with an incredible day in just the first half... He has 140 yards and three TDs. This could turn into a historic performance since the Titans are up by 14 and will presumably be running the ball a lot in the second half.

20 The Colts are without…

The Colts are without several of their best d-lineman. It certainly shows in this game. Henry had 109 yards in the first matchup, and that was the most the Colts had given up to any RB this season until today. 

Give the Titans coaches credit though. They attacked the Colts obvious weakness this game instead of trying to get cute. 

As a Colts fan, unfortunately the offense has regressed to early season form, and can’t even make it a shootout like last week with the Packers. 

21 I put $5 on Denver to win…

I put $5 on Denver to win outright and the over of 36.5 points. 20-17 Denver win! If it happens I have a great story. If not, oh well, only $5.

22 Chargers, down 10 in the 4th…

Chargers, down 10 in the 4th quarter, have 4th and 1 at about the Bills' 25. They go for it and fail (slow handoff from shotgun was not what the doctor ordered there). Bills almost immediately turn it over; very nice play by the Chargers player to strip Singletary from behind. Chargers don't do a lot on the ensuing drive but get a couple of friendly penalties to take them down to the 10, then stall out: line up to go for it on 4th and about 4, take a timeout, then kick the FG.

The announcers were yelping to kick the FG already, but I thought if you're going to go for it from the 25, you obviously go for it from the 10, don't you? I see some logic to kicking the FG early in the 4th down 10 from the 25 - make it a one-score game, and the turnover on downs wouldn't pin them that deep - but later and deeper in their territory, the urgency to convert the TD opportunity increases and the cost of turning it over decreases (since they'll get pinned deep).

Anyway, on the ensuing drive Josh Allen delivers the full Josh Allen experience, hitting a ridiculous long pass then fumbling the snap over to the Chargers on the very next play. Chargers don't do anything and punt. A few plays later, Josh Allen throws a terrible interception. 3 turnovers in 7 plays for the Bills now.

But as I write that, Herbert answers with an even worse interception.

No one wants to win this game. But it's a pretty good time from a popcorn-munching standpoint.

31 Desperation time for the…

Desperation time for the Chargers, a minute left and 4th and 17 from about midfield - Herbert throws a bomb... and it's complete inside the 1!

Except... OPI. Deserved, but I've seen worse.

But now it's 4th and 27 from Chargers territory - Herbert escapes the rush, throws a bomb... and it's complete inside the 1!

And this one stands!

So you've hit two consecutive Hail Marys - that's got to be about literally one in a million - but the clock is running and you're down two scores. What do you do? Hand it off, of course. Fails. Clock runs down too late to do anything.

A few incomplete passes and a fumbled snap seals the loss for the Chargers (EDIT: not a fumbled snap, that was just the world's worst-executed QB sneak), although the Bills cruelly called timeout with literally 3 seconds left up 10. Are you really so concerned about your defense that you're worried they'll give up 2 TDs on one play?

Like I said, no one wanted to win this game. Bills did, though.

23 A pointless holding penalty…

A pointless holding penalty wipes out a game-cliching first down by the Giants. One play later the punt is returned to midfield, and suddenly Cincinnati is only 15 or so yards away from getting a shot at a winning FG with almost a minute left.

... But as I'm writing this the Giants force a fumble and will win.

25 Starting to question whether Kingsbury should be the coach.

You're trying to close out a game and run out the clock.  3 and 2.  So instead of doing something the Patriots don't expect, you run right in to the middle of the line, like something Mike McCarthy would do.

4 &1 your kicker missed a FG wide right.

Then your rookie gets a roughing penalty on Newton all but assuring a loss.

Absolutely hard to fathom.  

Kingsbury has way too many weapons to be this bad at play calling.  Murray might be injured from the Seattle game, but to have this kind of performance is pathetic for a team trying to make the playoffs.

I'm absolutely disgusted with this team.  I put it mostly on the coach.  You have 10 days to prepare for NE who is not a complex team with very little talent and you come out and lose a game you had won.

If I was the Cards GM, I'd be having "the talk" with Kingsbury because coaches get fired for losing these types of game.


That's losses to Carolina, Detroit, Miami and now NE.  All games that should have been won against bad teams.


124 Lots of fans, especially…

Lots of fans, especially ones who are not more analytically oriented, majorly overrate their teams when they are winning and think their teams are terrible when they are losing. It's hard to not overweight short-term trends, especially when the right answer is to be humble about the limits of what you can know and say "well, we will see in a month if this trend is real or just a blip".

28 Down by 6 the Vikings get…

Down by 6 the Vikings get the ball with 1:54. They go through the Panthers defense like a knife through butter, which actually means the Panthers will get the ball back with a chance for a drive of their own. There are still 46 seconds left. I assume this is a big improvement from the Vikings offense late, because if they had been playing this way all game they would have 50+ points.

63 You haven't been paying attention to the farce in Denver then

Midway through the 3rd and Hinton has completed 3 passes, unfortunately 2 of them to the Saints.

This is a farce.  Denver lost their bye week to the league bending over backwards to much bigger violations by the Patriots.  Titans screw everything up early in the season and get rescheduled ad nauseam.  Pittsburgh and Baltimore can reschedule twice, apparently.  But Denver?  No mercy or understanding for them.  Probably going to lose a draft pick too.  This is not to excuse the players who screwed up, but the double standard is astonishing.

F--- off NFL.

And now apparently Lindsey and Callahan are out injured too.

103 i'm sorry, but

I'm fine with punishing the Broncos extra hard.  Those quarterbacks did not even try to follow the instructions, and it's not like it's a technical violation.  "Double standard" would mean all violations are pretty much the same; I don't think so.


67 Sadly, either Lindsay or…

Sadly, either Lindsay or Hinton (do I have the kid's name right?) getting hurt was one of the more predictable outcomes of the NFL's stupid decision to allow this game to go on.  QB's a dangerous position for someone unaccustomed to making the quick decisions needed to play the position safely.

I honestly feel like DEN should have punted on first down each possession, to limit the potential for injury.  There was no realistic chance they could win.  As I posted in the Covid thread, their only objective for this game should have been to get out of it without injury.  If they could embarrass the league by punting the ball away every time they got it, that would have been even better.


104 but of course

the game does have playoff implications. Just not for the Broncos. (Ask a Seahawks fan if that game hasn't any playoff implications.  I want the Broncos to win very much.)  

34 Bridgewater hits a huge pass…

Bridgewater hits a huge pass and a few plays later the Panthers are in position to with with a FG from 54 yards, but Joey Slye's kick is well wide. What a final two minutes.

35 Both of these teams...

...are bad.  Nothing surprised me.

When you know Carolina needed a chunk play to get in to FG position, the last thing you do is leave anyone in the middle of the field open.

Neither of these teams are going anywhere.


160 If both are bad, what are the Cards?

The Cardinals are worse than the Vikings in both offensive and defensive DVOA so far.  Their special teams are less bad by enough to put them in the lead for overall DVOA over the Vikings.  True.  But what can we say about a team whose offense and defense have been worse than those of a "bad" team so far? 

Also, Cousins has been better than Murray by DVOA so far. 

Funny how you see the Vikings and Panthers as "bad" teams, but the Cardinals as a good team that makes some mistakes. 

40 All the drives of Niners…

All the drives of Niners-Rams so far:









7-3 Niners by points, even at 2-2 by turnovers, still in the 1st quarter.

41 Brady.

He's just off with his receivers and that is enough to hurt them on offense.

Not looking good early.

Maybe the Bucs defense can gets some takeaways?

46 Chiefs.

They're virtually unguardable on offense.

They look like a machine.

They may hang 30 points on the Bucs by halftime and this game will be over...



50 Turned on the Broncos game…

Turned on the Broncos game just in time to see both turnovers. This isn't entertaining, this is just sad. Game should never have been allowed to go on

54 The last team to not have…

The last team to not have any completions at the half was the Tebow Broncos, unsurprisingly. Also unsurprising: the Broncos still won that game. I don't think that'll happen today.

60 Jags just fired GM Caldwell…

Jags just fired GM Caldwell after today's loss.

I'm confused.  Wasn't being terrible so they could draft a QB the entire objective for the 2020 season?  They were generally ranked by experts as the least competitive team in the NFL this year.  Did Khan somehow believe they were supposed to be better than 1-for for the year?

65 Khan.

I watched an interview with him sometime back, I believe after they fired Coughlin.

He's a rather impatient type of guy with unrealistic expectations.

You may have figured they were tanking, but apparently the owner didn't share that outlook.

Also, the Jets are and were regarding as the worst team in the NFL.

70 I don't recall that being…

In reply to by DIVISION

I don't recall that being true, preseason.  NYJ was roundly considered to have the worst (or near worst) coach, but talent wise I don't recall them being rated that low, certainly not as low as JAX.

But my memory is crap and I can't be bothered to go look up preseason projections, now.

90 Preseason...

Well I don't know how to find any preseason "talent list", but in terms of expected record I don't think Jax was that bad off. The bottom of CBS' Power Rankings was:

  • 28. Dolphins
  • 29. Jets
  • 30. Panthers
  • 31. Jaguars
  • 32. Washington FT

ESPN did have Jax last in their Power Rankings:

  • 28. Panthers
  • 29. Giants
  • 30. Bengals
  • 31. Washington FT
  • 32. Jaguars

And FO had this as the bottom of the league:

  • 28. Jets
  • 29. Panthers
  • 30. Bengals
  • 31. Dolphins
  • 32. Washington FT

Jacksonville was 27th.

68 Surely another year of…

Surely another year of getting rid of everyone except Doug Marrone will do the trick! Even Jay Gruden would be an upgrade at this point. 

I'm still holding out hope that Minshew recovers, gets signed by the Saints, and goes on to be Dazed and Confused Drew Brees for 10 years.

69 Norm Van Brocklin's single…

Norm Van Brocklin's single game passing yards record has stood since 1951. Mahomes needs 196 yards in the second half to finally break the record.

75 Division games.

I was telling you people at the beginning of the year that the NFC West would be won within division.  If the Niners sweep L.A., that really hurts them for the division.

Next week's Zona/L.A. game is huge.

Tampa is a year away, IMO, from doing anything major in the playoffs.  Brady and the offense still isn't on the same page and that's not good enough against the best teams.

Also Tampa's defense is not as good as advertised.  Mahomes shredding them underneath and over the top.  It's like a horror movie where you know the ending, and Tampa was the latest victim.

DVOA is obviously infallible because our eyes tell us a different story.  

84 Yes, you have, but I'm…

In reply to by DIVISION

Yes, you have, but I'm curious how you feel this distinguishes the NFC West from the rest of the league?  Is there a division you think will be primarily determined by out-of-division games?  Divisional games are always more important than any other games in determining the divisional winner, aren't they?  BUF-MIA is going to decide the AFC East, TEN-IND the AFC South, PIT-BAL-CLE the AFC North, KC-LV the AFC West, TB-NO the NFC South, GB-over-everyone else the NFC North, everybody-vs-everybody the NFC East.

77 TB has a good pass rush, and…

TB has a good pass rush, and an O that can field Evans, Godwin, and now Brown as WRs, Gronk as a blocking TE who's still a dangerous threat (see long completion today).  Even with the "Plodding Oxcart" as their brand-name RB (Jones seems to be better), this TB team should be putting up more points than they are, and their D should be keeping other teams in check.

"Should", of course, need bear no resemblance to reality.  But I don't think DVOA was out-to-lunch to rate TB as highly as it did earlier in the season.  The better question, to me, is why do the Bucs suck so much since then?

81 Team play is systemic in nature.

IOW, each side of the ball feeds off of what the other does.  When you have imbalance, you're going to see some residual effect.  There's a psychological trickle down effect.

In a vacuum, yes, Tampa's D is Top 3 in the NFL, but when their offense is continually squandering great field position and scoring opportunities, they are going to let down eventually.  

Brady isn't in-sync with the receivers and that is why they're leaving points on the field.  Until they become more efficient (as Brady throws his 2nd INT in the game), the Bucs will look less impressive than their numbers suggest.

86 The better question, to me,…

The better question, to me, is why do the Bucs suck so much since then?

Bad QB.

EDIT: I may have spoken too soon.

Brady's been so weird this year - he'll look totally washed, then make the most perfect throw you've ever seen. With Brees and Rivers it's a more consistent, general decline - they don't throw as hard or as far, it takes a little longer to get the ball out, etc. Brady vacillates between extremes drive-to-drive and even throw-to-throw. They're not winning anything of significance unless and until until he gets more consistent, but he does make things spicy.

Stepping back, it is very weird how Brady began his career as a game manager extraordinaire, and is ending it as basically Josh Allen without the legs.

102 I think you're right. …

I think you're right.  Physically, he's managed to keep his arm speed / strength up, even if he does need to get his feet squared to throw downfield.  Pre snap, I think he's reading the D as well as he ever has.  But he makes more bone-headed plays than typical, and that seems to be related mostly to not recognizing what's unfolding after the snap as quickly as he once did.

Last year, I thought that was primarily related to him not having anyone but Edelman capable of getting open, so it was throw to Edelman or check down to White or throw it away.  This year his guys do get open, but Brady seems to be making more errors.  My hypothesis is that if his first read isn't open, he's not accurately assessing who else he can get the ball to fast enough to get the ball to him before a defender shuts him down.

131 It's the same issue as last…

It's the same issue as last year. 


His receivers weren't great, but he was basically staring edelman down for the first 3-4 seconds of every play. He was way behind on his progressions, and often not even looking at other guys. 


The decline last year was teams realizing that if you just stacked people on Edelman he'd throw into traffic or wait long enough to be throwing while getting hit/etc.  


There were plays where Brady forced a ball to Edelman 4 yards downfield, and other guys were literally not being covered. 


There's still a ton of good left - but he's not mentally fast enough to do a ton of post snap adjustments. 

80 Mecole Hardiman drops an…

Mecole Hardiman drops an easy pass that should've been an 88 yard TD and two plays later the Chiefs punt. Bucs still have some chance in this one... Both to win the game and keep Mahomes from setting the passing yards record.

87 Game is over...

Bucs have left too many points on the field already and still trail by 17.

I haven't seen anything resembling continuity on the Bucs offense to have faith that they'll make that up in 12 minutes.

It's not just about Brady, but the imbalance on the team.  

109 What imbalance? They have…

In reply to by DIVISION

What imbalance? They have Brady, better receivers than he had last year in NE, and a better defense. 

On the other hand, the Small Birds are on a losing streak to inferior teams despite their supposedly superior "balance".

88 After the Lions…

After the Lions housecleaning yesterday, I had sudden visions of Matt Stafford throwing for 6,000 yards and waltzing to a Lombardi Trophy with the Bucs in 2021.

89 Stafford.

In reply to by Spanosian Magn…

I think the Lions will keep Stafford, but more importantly, who can they attract to coach that team?

Maybe ask Caldwell to come back?

92 After all that domination…

After all that domination early on, the Chiefs offense has been very scratchy since the first drive of the second half. They don't have this game in the bag at all.

96 Niners sweep Rams.

At least I have that to be happy about.

That's a really bad loss for the Rams.  

They're 3-3 on the road, 1-2 in division, and now play at my Cards in the late game next week.


98 Romo was talking about...

...about Bucs/Chiefs rematch in the SB.

I can definitely see the Chiefs cruising through the AFC.  Maybe Pittsburgh can knock them off with a crazy game from their defense?

I can't see the Bucs making it through the NFC as a WC team.  Their defense overall looks solid, but is inconsistent and not exactly a shut-down unit.  Offensively, they're a mess.  They need another year to get everything in-sync.


100 Great game NO-DEN Ha ha

As I mentioned before play started today, this game is absurd, and it even was worse than my incredibly low expectations.  It was nice to hear the name Ryan Leaf again, as he was the last QB to throw more INT's than completions in a game before this game.  Congratulations to Ryan Leaf, your name lives in infamy.  At least you allegedly were an NFL QB, unlike Kendall Hinton.

114 I thought there was a pretty…

I thought there was a pretty good chance the Packers would lose this game, facing a (hypothetically) disruptive defense, a fresh, run-capable QB, and a team desperate to save a once-promising season. Instead, it's 41-17 in the 4th. This is why I don't gamble.

The Packers' main skill position players (including St. Brown) are all active for, I believe, the first time this season, and it shows. Aikeem Hicks is out for the Bears, and it also shows - the Packers have consistently gotten 10+ yard runs right up the middle.

Trubisky's the same as ever - mostly stinky, but every now and then he makes a run or a throw that makes you think he might have something. But that's not gonna cut it for a 4th-year player. Realistically, his starting days are over after this season, unless he absolutely balls out over whatever chances he might get between now and January, and I see no indication that he will. This is a pretty good situation for him, being rested and facing a not-great defense that hasn't seen him in awhile, and he's 25/45 with 2 picks (and 2 TDs).

117 games lost to hits

Bernard Pollard teams listed after incident

I'm tom brady fan. he was robbed of 15 regular season games and probably one playoff game 09/07/2008 KC

wes welker houston

rob gronkowski 01/03/2010 Baltimore

stevan ridley 01/26/2013 Baltimore


Has anybody made a list of this?   tks

118 Trubisky

It suddenly hit me watching today’s game.  Mitch Trubisky looks like a guy learning the quarterback position.  He makes some good plays and tries hard, but doesn’t grasp the nuances or all the semi-basics yet.  Theory:  this is what one would expect of a collegian who was the starting quarterback for only one year before being drafted.  In hindsight — well, not entirely, there were critics from the start — unless a draft candidate with such limited high level experience has either extraordinary raw skills (such as arm strength or speed) and/or an extraordinary one-year resume (Kyler Murray, Cam Newton), far better than Mitch’s one starting year at UNC (where he made third team all-ACC), it’s very risky to draft him as high as number two in the entire draft, if only due to the pressure the selection places on him.  Sadly I don’t know if Mitch will be given the time to finish his education in Chicago.  Ryan Tannehill had a similar college resume (1 season as a full starter and 1 season as a shared starter) and eventually got over the hump.

119 The Bears Made History

As flawed as Portland picking Sam Bowie over MJ in the 1984 NBA draft was, even worse was the Bears trading up to pick Trubisky when they could have had Mahomes. Or Watson. It will cost their coach and the entire front office their jobs-- it will probably go down as the single worst organizational mistake in the history of the NFL. Yes, teams passed up on Brady and Rodgers, but Mahomes was the next QB picked in that draft. It was A or B-- and the Bears blew it.

122 In defense of Portland

Agreed on the Bears making a bad decision, although I’d have to think whether it was the worst ever.  There’s a similar argument that the 49ers blew it by choosing Alex Smith over Rodgers (and I say this as a Smith fan), it was A or B there too and that choice was reported real time.  (I fundamentally disagree with after the fact draft criticisms where the player not selected was not one that at the time anyone suggested should have been selected — such as the Bill Simmons-fostered inanity about the Warriors “passing” on Kobe Bryant.). That being said, for Rodgers v. Smith there’s a nature vs nurture issue here, it’s been written about in this forum.

I’ve always thought the Blazers criticism unfair because many teams would have made the same decision, and the 2012 ESPN documentary on Bowie added to my position.  The fact of the matter is that the Blazers were lied to.  Sam Bowie said his leg felt okay when it did not, as he later admitted in the documentary.  Young adults make mistakes like that so I might not judge him too harshly, but I’m not a hardcore Blazers fan or one of the team’s executives at the time — and they have every right to be very upset, including because Bowie was not apologetic about his lie after the fact.


126 Revisionist argument…

Revisionist argument. Mahomes was a reach at 10.

QBase liked Mahomes the most on points, although the difference between the top QBs was tiny that year, and included this cautionary tale:

Nonetheless, Mahomes' projection sets off alarm bells -- or more specifically, very loud Air Raid sirens. Every single prospect from an Air Raid offense has underperformed his QBASE projection in the NFL, although obviously you can't shut the book on Jared Goff after just one season. Playing in the Air Raid doesn't mean Mahomes' skills can't translate to the NFL, but it seems clear at this point that the scheme juices passing stats in a way that leads to QBASE overestimating these prospects. Any team that wants to draft Mahomes probably needs to discount his college performance and be very sure that his skills fit its offensive scheme.

But it basically thought Trubisky, Watson, Mahomes, Dobbs, and Webb were the same guy. The difference between Mahomes and Trubisky was basically only experience.


But graders didn't like the pick. They hated Trubisky, too, but also Watson and McCaffery. (Tanier hated Mahomes) (this one is sunnier; basically that Reid is the QB whisperer)

The evals and comments are hilarious, and many have not aged well. The Newton/Tannehill comp for Trubisky is still true, although the players have switched positions. 

128 Baby Oakster.

Bowie over Jordan is the #1

I'm not sure if Mahomes would become the Jordan of the NFL, though.  Time will tell.

Even if the Bears had drafted Watson, they'd be in a much different situation.

Arians recently said that he tried to draft Mahomes but couldn't get high enough in the draft to beat KC to him.

Then again, if Arians had Mahomes, he might not be Mahomes...

133 Everyone forgets that Jordan…

In reply to by DIVISION

Everyone forgets that Jordan went third.

No one criticizes Houston for taking Olajuwon.

\every also forgets Portland also could have had Barkley

147 Ken O'Brien made the Pro…

In reply to by ahzroc

Ken O'Brien made the Pro Bowl twice, and led the league in passer rating one year.  Your bias is showing; you should be pointing out that Kansas City took the one real bust in the 1983 quarterback draft, passing on O'Brien, Tony Eason (not a Pro Bowler but did end up in the Super Bowl), Jim Kelly and Marino as well as a ton of other Hall of Famers (Darrell Green, anyone) for Todd Blackledge, the only guy in the group who couldn't make the playoffs as a starter.

Calling the Jets out for taking Al Toon before Jerry Rice and Ken O'Brien before Marino when there are plenty of really terrible picks out there, by the Jets and other teams, is just bias. Not even recency bias, because then you would be pointing at Mark Sanchez and Vernon Gholston, two actual terrible picks.

166 RE: 1984 NBA Draft

IMO, the real questionable decision at the top of the 1984 NBA Draft, based on what teams and fans knew at the time, is why Houston didn't trade down with Chicago to the #3 pick or Dallas to the #4 pick and pick up additional assets as part of the trade.  You see, Portland at #2 really wanted a center, Chicago at #3 really wanted a center, AND Dallas at #4 really wanted a center, but Houston at #1 already had a center, and a young, good one at that - Ralph Sampson, who the Rockets drafted #1 overall one year earlier.  Considering the Rockets' needs at positions besides center, it made little sense for them to draft Hakeem (then known as Akeem) Olajuwon.  If they trade with the Bulls or Mavericks, Houston still has a high draft pick at #3 or #4 where they could pick a really good non-center and gain some additional assets as part of trading down.  Meanwhile, Chicago or Dallas is able to leapfrog Portland (and in Dallas' case, Chicago as well) and get the center they wanted (either Olajuwon or Sam Bowie).  If the Rockets trade down to #3 and Chicago takes Olajuwon at #1 and Portland takes Bowie at #2, Houston probably ends up with Michael Jordan, and Phi Slamma Jamma comes back to life in Houston in NBA form.

Portland at #2 was never going to draft Michael Jordan; they already had a very similar, young player on their roster with a lot of upside, a guy named Clyde Drexler.  In retrospect, it's obvious Drexler turned into the kind of player the Blazers thought he'd be, even if he didn't turn into the player Jordan became.  Unless Portland wanted to guarantee themselves Hakeem Olajuwon and move up one spot in the draft by trading with Houston, they were going to select Sam Bowie at #2 if they thought he was healthy.  That ended up being an incorrect assumption.  If the Blazers knew Bowie was still going to the Bill Walton school of foot problems, they could have traded down from #2 and picked up additional assets, plus another good player with the lower first round pick.

One final thing - if Dallas doesn't trade with their in-state rivals further to the south on I-45 and stays at #4 in the draft, they could have chosen Charles Barkley instead of Sam Perkins.  Perkins was a good NBA pro for many years, but he never turned into the great player Barkley became.  Barkley would have given the Mavericks a stronger rebounding and scoring presence than Perkins did.

121 MVP

All the noise about Kyler Murray, Dalvin Cook, Tom Brady, Aaron Donald and even, yes, Russell Wilson, has faded into the distance, This is quite simply a three horse race.  Mahomes is out front if he can finish strong and avoid injury-- it should be his. Rodgers and Henry are the next best logical candidates if Patrick stumbles. Henry may be leading his team to a 3 seed with another chance to make the AFC championship game and is the one truly game changing RB left in the league. Rodgers has a decent shot at the One Seed and is on pace to throw nearly 50TDs with only 6-7 INTS-- his best season since 2014 and not that far off from his 2011 peak.

123 We'll see what happens tonight

In reply to by oaktoon

..and beyond.

The majority of what you just said about Rodgers is also true for Wilson.  Acknowledging Henry is warranted, but be real he has no chance.  Hopefully he will win OPOY.

Go back to Tyreek Hill's cute statement about him not needing to chase down any pick six for MaHomes.  It made for a nice sound bite, but if you care about the truth after that game Wilson had thrown 19 INT's  since Mahomes became a starter.  The exact same amount as Patrick had over that span.

The first few Wilson threw this year were also along the lines of hitting Greg Olsen in the hands and ending up tipped for a pick six.  (While Mahomes had a horrible throw tonight that won't count because of a RTP penalty)

Wilson did go on to have another bad couple games and earned more TO's.  It was out of the ordinary for his career though.  We'll see how the remainder of this year pans out. 

Rodgers on the other hand is actually extremely good at not throwing INT's, having only thrown a little over 5 a year over 16 years.  Now that's something to boast about.

127 I agree with your point…

I agree with your point about Rodgers being great at avoiding ints. But your details are a bit off, he only threw 35 passes over his first 3 years and had double digit ints twice early in his career but he has not had more than 8 in this last ten seasons. 

129 Kyler was a borderline candidate.

In reply to by oaktoon

For him just to be in consideration, they would have needed to beat Seattle and probably win the division.

They can still win the division, but he's too far behind now for MVP.

Then again, so is RW and TB.

It's literally Rodgers or Mahomes.

I don't see Henry getting it because the Titans are merely coming back to being "good" after a rough stretch.

Also, Henry is not a game changer like Barry Sanders.  He'd have to be that kind of back to be in serious consideration.

If the Chiefs cruise along as they have been, it's basically a shoe-in for Mahomes.

He needs to falter and Rodgers/Pack have to have a dominant run for him to make up that distance.


134 SEA may have just run the…

SEA may have just run the worst 4th-and-goal play I've ever seen.  Not only did they not score, they lost about 5 yards, so PHI will not have to start their drive with Wentz lined up in the end zone.

135 This feels like a division game to me.

If you rough up Seattle, it significantly helps you win the game.

The Eagles are pushing Seattle around a bit early.

Nice goal-line stand.

Still, watching Wentz and their offense is painful.  The receivers dropped two balls that were catchable.  Refs missed a likely DPI just now.

This looks like a sluggish low-scoring game.

I hope the Eagles can somehow win it.

140 Yeah...

That might be why Caroll is going for it.  He doesn't fear Wentz at all.

I think you still take the points there, especially on the road.

141 For those of you who think the Seahawks are a SB contender...

It's games like this which makes me question why you'd ever think that.

Bad play-calling and no energy on either side of the ball.

They may end up winning this game, but they in no way, shape or form look like a team that would win the NFC.