Justin Herbert Soars; Lions Roar

Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert
Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 14 - In this jam-packed NFL Week 14 edition of Monday Walkthrough...

  • Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa try to wreck the Internet on SNF;
  • Brock Purdy bullies a man twice his age and gets away with it;
  • A backup quarterback lifts the Baltimore Ravens past the Pittsburgh Steelers, and his name is Mitchell Trubisky;
  • The Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, and Kansas City Chiefs all win, though only one of those teams made it look easy;

and much more!

But first...

A Very Important Walkthrough Mea Culpa

Walkthrough rarely admits that we are wrong, because we are very rarely wrong and we very, VERY rarely admit to it when it happens.

But once in a while we deliver a take so volcanic and erroneous that we are forced by decency and common sense to retract it. So here it goes:

We were wrong to suggest in early October that the Detroit Lions were frauds and that Dan Campbell should be tied in a rucksack drenched in deer urine and hung in a forest tree stand until some Texas college coordinator finds him and claims him as a tight ends coach. Those weren't our exact words, but it's a pretty accurate paraphrase.

The Lions beat the Minnesota Vikings 34-23 in Week 14, keeping their slim playoff hopes alive. They did so by holding Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison to just 22 rushing yards. The Lions offensive line, one of the two or three best in the NFL, held the Vikings sack-less so Jared Goff could throw three touchdown passes, one to rookie Jameson Williams in his first meaningful action of the year. The Lions won with the help of a very Campbellian decision: a 41-yard fake punt run by C.J. Moore. And they won because they used right tackle Penei Sewell as a motion receiver on third-and-8 when they needed a first down to salt away the game:

Swoon. Walkthrough's shriveled little heart grew three sizes when we saw that.

The Lions have won five of their last six games. Their loss was a hard-fought Thanksgiving effort against the Bills. They have convincingly beaten 2022-caliber bantamweights such as the Giants, Jaguars, and … OK, the Vikings are more of a middleweight. Campbell's Lions are officially Trending in the Right Direction.

Now, let's be clear here. Trending in the Right Direction does not mean Guaranteed to Win Super Bowl LVIII after the 2023 season. It doesn't mean they "won" the Matthew Stafford trade or some other wackadoodle talking point. It's not somehow better or more exciting than, say, reaching the playoffs. There's no trophy or banner for it, no matter how many garlands of flowers the Lions may receive from mid-January through next September.

But that offensive line looks awesome. The defense is coming together. Goff is doing what Goff does within a strong offensive environment. Williams' de facto debut was auspicious. It's fun to have two picks in both the first and second rounds in an upcoming draft, especially with a dwindling list of needs. By Lions fandom standards, these are awesome times.

And Campbell? It was always about what was beneath the tough-guy aphorisms. It didn't look like there was much there after the Lions were shut out by the Patriots in Week 5. But if the Lions are going to really deliver rugged play in both trenches, thrilling fourth-down calls, and the occasional big-man catch, we're on board.

Oh, and making the Vikings look silly is always a shortcut to Walkthrough's Grinch-like heart.

Game Spotlight: Los Angeles Chargers 23, Miami Dolphins 17

What Happened: The Chargers took a 17-7 first-half lead on several crisp drives (including one that ended in a goal-line stop) by a Justin Herbert-led offense reinvigorated by the returns of Mike Williams (4-58-1 in the first half) and center Corey Linsley. Meanwhile, all the Dolphins could accomplish offensively was this goofiness:

The Chargers offense slowed in the second half, but Tua Tagovailoa—off-target and looking a little rattled all night—mustered just one walk-in bomb to Hill. Herbert led an eight-plus-minute field goal drive to put the game out of reach.

What it Means: The Chargers played their most complete game of the season in all three phases: even returner DeAndre Carter and punter JK Scott delivered on special teams in the first half.

Herbert looked sharp, particularly when side-stepping pass-rushers and delivering the ball to underneath receivers in the touchdown drive near the end of the second quarter and on a second-half bomb to Williams.

As stated in Friday's controversially accurate edition of Walkthrough, Herbert can prove he is back on track to being one of the NFL's best young quarterbacks by:

  • Leading the Chargers to a playoff berth; and
  • Finishing among the top 15 in both passing DVOA and DYAR.

Sunday's victory pushes Herbert toward achieving both goals!

On the other side of the ball, opponents have learned that they can disrupt Tagovailoa's receivers by jamming them on the line. Tagovailoa hasn't counter-adjusted and is now misfiring when receivers are open. Mike McDaniel must figure out the issue quickly because…

What's Next: The Dolphins wrap up their three-week cross-country road trip with a Saturday night visit to Buffalo. The Chargers can continue their pursuit of Herbert's first playoff appearance when they host the sputtering Titans.

Game Spotlight: Buffalo Bills 20, New York Jets 12

What Happened: Sometimes, a solid defense starts pressing and making mistakes when tasked with playing perfect football to protect a pea-shooter offense.

Ever wonder what that looks like? Well, it looks something like this:


Super-Mosley's fly to glory set up the Bills' first touchdown in the final seconds before halftime. Meanwhile, Mike White left with an injury, returned, left, and returned again. White could barely move the offense on a soggy afternoon, and Joe Flacco got strip-sacked by Greg Rousseau near midfield to give the Bills a 17-7 third-quarter lead.

The Jets made things interesting with a blocked-punt safety in the fourth quarter, but Michael Carter fumbled away their last, best chance for a comeback.

White was taken to the hospital after the game, and Walkthrough had flashbacks to when Chris Simms finished a game for the Buccaneers despite a ruptured spleen. White was reportedly able to join the team on the flight home.

What it Means: The Von Miller-less Bills defensive line passed its second-straight test against an AFC wild-card also-ran. Rousseau had two sacks, A.J. Epenesa one sack and a batted pass, and Shaq Lawson also delivered a sack. We'll get a better sense of the Bills pass rush on Saturday night against Miami and against the Bengals in Week 17. For now, it doesn't look like anything to panic about.

In addition to White's injury, defensive lineman Quinnen Williams suffered a non-contact calf injury which bears watching. The Jets should still be capable of manufacturing enough late-season wins to remain relevant with White and Flacco trading mediocrity under center. But they are less likely to do so without Williams, who has been playing at an All-Pro level in 2022.

What's Next: A Bills-Dolphins Saturday Night Special: the Dolphins won the first meeting in steambath conditions in Miami, but there are snow showers in the early forecast for Week 15.

The Jets face the Lions and Jaguars, both of whom looked pretty darn good on Sunday.

Game Spotlight: Baltimore Ravens 16, Pittsburgh Steelers 14

What Happened: Kenny Pickett got knocked out early in the game after a bodyslam from Roquan Smith. Tyler Huntley nearly got decapitated by Minkah Fitzpatrick midway through the third quarter.

Mitchell Trubisky threw three interceptions in relief of Pickett, leading Smith and Patrick Queen straight to the ball with his eyes on passes over the middle and launching a herp-derp ball to safety Marcus Williams in the end zone. Undrafted rookie Anthony Brown replaced Huntley, handed off to J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, let the Ravens special teams do what they do, and survived the Ravens' latest effort to hand a winnable game back to the opponent in the fourth quarter.

What it Means: The Ravens blundered away another fourth-and-1 attempt early in the contest and helped the Steelers remain in the game with 30 yards in foolish defensive roughness fouls in the fourth quarter, but they sealed the win with a blocked field goal and a tough third-and-3 run by Edwards to ice the clock in the final moments. It was their second straight gutsy fourth-quarter performance in a tight game: an encouraging development after so many early-season late-game collapses.

The Ravens banked an important win on a day when the Steelers, Browns, and Jets all lost, giving them some wild-card breathing room as they await Lamar Jackson's return.

Trubisky looked more like a rookie than Pickett on Sunday. The Steelers defense, particularly against the run, couldn't produce the stops a stops-and-ball-control team needs to be taken seriously as a wild-card hopeful.

The Steelers will remain at the bottom of the chase thanks to a soft schedule, but their real concern should be the fact that Pickett has suffered two concussions in his rookie season. They must be careful not to rush Pickett back in the name of a playoff chase that even their fans are unlikely to find very satisfying.

What's Next: The Steelers face the pesky Panthers and Raiders before their New Year's Day rematch with the Ravens in Baltimore. The Ravens could deliver a knockout blow to the Browns' relevance in Cleveland next Saturday, and gosh wouldn't that be a shame.

Game Spotlight: Philadelphia Eagles 48, New York Giants 22

What Happened: The best team in the NFL beat the absolute dickens out of the fast-fading feel-good story of the early autumn. The gory details are not all that relevant.

What It Means: The Eagles spent the last three weeks pounding the tar out of the NFL's kinda-sorta-playoff-team tier; the Packers are grandfathered in to the category. Doubting the Eagles' Super Bowl bona fides at this point is silly. And it's hard to argue against their "best team in the NFL" status when they have the league's best record and coasted to victory on a Sunday when the other contenders survived close calls. (Check back later on Monday to see what DVOA thinks.)

Punter Arryn Siposs suffered an injury late in the second quarter after recovering his own blocked punt in the end zone during the 10 minutes on Sunday when the Eagles looked less than utterly dominant. Whomever the Eagles claim off waivers will probably not be as effective as Siposs. But it will be close.

The Giants are still in the NFC playoff chase, but they are 0-3-1 in their last four games. The Brian Daboll Administration has done a heck of a job this year, but it's time to take a serious look at how the Giants can build on their success in 2023. Perhaps that will be the subject of a mid-week Walkthrough.

What's Next: The Eagles kick off a two-week road trip by trying not to look past Justin Fields and the Scramblin' Eggs; they'll then climb down Jerry Jones' chimney on Christmas Eve. (Sorry about any images that plants in your subconscious.)

The Giants will try to avenge their tie against the Commanders next Sunday night by once again tying the Commanders.

Quick Notes on Other Games

San Francisco 49ers 35, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7

This matchup was originally slated to be a "Game Spotlight," but there's little to be said about the blowout that cannot be summarized quickly:

The 49ers were the better team at every position except quarterback, and the gap at quarterback wasn't all that wide. The Buccaneers looked like a team that would have happily dried up and blown away on Monday night, but the NFC South just won't let them.

Brock Purdy had the Kyle Shanahan-buffed version of the "poised rookie playing all afternoon with the lead in his first start" performance. Tom Brady aged six months per minute against the 49ers defense. Deebo Samuel likely survived a scare, leaving the game with what was later reported as a "twisted" ankle. Purdy also suffered a late-game injury that appears to be minor.

One of these teams is going to scare the heck out of playoff opponents. It's not Brady and the Buccaneers.

Carolina Panthers 30, Seattle Seahawks 24

Geno Smith's magic ran out (he finished with three touchdowns but threw two first-half interceptions to help the Panthers mount a lead) just in time to ruin a Walkthrough three-legged Seahawks-49ers-Chiefs parlay. Thanks Geno! Just make sure you sew up Comeback Player of the Year, big guy.

A large segment of Panthers Twitter boils with rage each time the team wins; these fans wanted Brian Burns and DJ Moore sold for scrap at the trade deadline so they could spend three months fiddling with mock draft simulators. Yep, it sure must stink watching players suck as Jaycee Horn, Ickey Ekwonu, and Derrick Brown develop in competitive games every week! But seriously: fans of weekly buffoonery in the name of future draft capital should check out the Texans.

Kansas City Chiefs 34, Denver Broncos 28

The Chiefs did that thing where they race out to a huge lead and then spend a quarter playing idiotic football. For their sake, let's hope they got that out of their system so it doesn't happen in the AFC Championship Game.

Russell Wilson did that thing where he looked pathetic for a chunk of the game before roaring toward a heroic comeback; that was his routine even when he was successful. But Wilson suffered a concussion, forcing Brett Rypien into the game to: a) finish a touchdown drive to pull the Broncos within one score, but b) go three-and-out and toss a hit-as-he-threw moonball interception on the final two series.

The spirited Broncos comeback effort may have saved Nathaniel Hackett's job for one more week but not for four more.

Jacksonville Jaguars 35, Tennessee Titans 22

Exhibit C in the case of why Titans general manager John Robinson was fired last week. Exhibits A and B were the Bengals and Eagles losses. The Titans aren't fooling anyone with their record: their (injury-riddled) secondary is awful, and they may be the NFL's slowest team on both sides of the ball. They should be forced to face the Buccaneers in a postseason play-in game.

Dallas Cowboys 27, Houston Texans 23

Dak Prescott threw an interception late in the fourth quarter to give the Texans the ball at the Cowboys 3-yard line leading by three points. The Texans failed to punch the ball in on four tries, and Prescott led a 98-yard game-winning scoring drive to beat 17-point underdogs whose third-string quarterback was under center for part of the game.

Walkthrough would point out that Prescott is the best quarterback to routinely throw two interceptions per game in the heat of a playoff chase since about 1977, but we're already in enough trouble with the Internet's quarterback IPA sniffers.

Cincinnati Bengals 23, Cleveland Browns 10

Awww, is the Browns widdle $250-million scuzzwaffle of a quarterback a teensy bit rusty after an 11-game suspension and a 2021 glorified paid leave of absence? Such a shame.

Around the League

News 'n' notes from the Sunday morning NFL news dump.

NFL levies over $160,000 in fines for unsportsmanlike conduct from Week 13, most for unbelievably silly infractions.

Courageously keeping the world safe from end zone celebrations, if not from Dan Snyder or Deshaun Watson.

Tom Brady "considering all options" as a potential free agent in 2023.

Brady may be reconsidering them after Sunday's loss. Potential employers certainly are.

Detroit Lions consider Jared Goff their starter. "Period."

The 28-year-old two-time Pro Bowler who led his team to the playoffs three times, the Super Bowl once, and ranked third in DYAR entering Sunday? What evidence do they have that he can be successful?

Odell Beckham free agency tour "in a holding pattern."

Someone please tell OBJ that he cannot just sign with the team that's leading the Super Bowl at halftime (and get seven game checks for it).

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans on the 2023 head coaching shortlist.

DENVER BRONCOS: We would love to talk to you about restoring trust in our locker room and helping us get the most out of Russell Wilson next year!

DeMECO RYANS: You know what? Imma move Nick Bosa to edge rusher and start playing prevent defense on first-and-10.

Lamar Jackson might not play until Christmas Eve.

That's just two weeks from now. OMG, that's JUST TWO WEEKS FROM NOW. (logs onto Amazon.) What does my wife like again? Lawnmowers? Of course! Gotta find a lawnmower in her size…

Week 14 Awards

Let's ride...

Defender of the Week

Josey Jewell's first diving interception of Patrick Mahomes spurred a Broncos comeback when they trailed 27-0. Jewell's second interception stopped a fourth-quarter drive that would likely have ended with at least a game-icing field goal. Jewell also had 10 total tackles in a losing effort.

Offensive Line of the Week

Trent Williams, Aaron Banks, Jake Brendel, Spencer Burford, and Mike McGlinchey kept the fearsome Buccaneers defense front away from Brock Purdy (more or less) and helped Christian McCaffrey and friends rack up 209 rushing yards.

Special Teamer of the Week

Calais Campbell's fourth-quarter blocked field goal helped the Ravens stave off another late-game meltdown.

If you prefer an actual special teamer as opposed to a veteran defensive star, C.J. Moore earns honorable mention for his 41-yard scamper on a Lions fake punt.

Best Supporting Actor in Someone Else's Highlight

He's called Dameon "Three Pitbulls" Pierce because he's the proud doggo-dad of three pitbulls, and also because this is what happens when someone like Malik Hooker gets in the way of three pitbulls charging toward a dropped butterscotch Tastykake.

The Cowboys eventually beat the Texans 27-23, but it only should have counted for about two-thirds of a win.

Honorable mention goes to Giants safety Julian Love, who thought he had an interception on DeVonta Smith's fourth-and-long touchdown, realized he didn't, and just kept going until he could flag down a Lyft on Route 17.

Burn This Play!

OK, Ravens. It's fourth-and-short, the laws of probability don't apply to you due to some weird Wanda Maximoff hex, Tyler Huntley is your quarterback, and it's raining. Just sneak it. Or maybe hand off. But don't tempt fate with some jet sweep to Devin Devoh, crap…

The Ravens should just practice nothing but fourth-and-short situations for the rest of the year, until they are eliminated from the playoffs on a failed two-point conversion.

Rando of the Week

Eagles special teamer Britain Covey has been the secret team's secret weapon over the past two weeks. His 105 yards on six punt returns helped the Eagles pull away from the Titans in Week 13. On Sunday, Covey took over as the place-kick holder when punter Arryn Siposs was injured and held without incident for two field goals and three extra points in the rain

Covey is an undrafted 180-pound rookie from Utah. He has kept the Eagles' rickety special teams from becoming a significant problem. He may never be a star. But an all-purpose return man who doubles as a capable backup holder could end up in the NFL for a long time.

Say, whatever happened to the Eagles' former punt returner? You know, the disaster artist they squandered a first-round pick on?




104 comments, Last at 13 Dec 2022, 11:06am

#4 by Mike B. In Va // Dec 12, 2022 - 6:53am

then climb down Jerry Jones' chimney on Christmas Eve. (Sorry about any images that plants in your subconscious.)

Will Jerry be watching from the stairs? 

Points: 1

#5 by poplar cove // Dec 12, 2022 - 6:54am

The lions were hit hard with injuries earlier in the season including the first Vikings game in week 3 where they were the better team that game until late when BOTH St Brown and Swift got hurt during the contest.


Now most of their injured guys are back and they've added a few others as well and witha young improving defense that's figuring things out and a decent pass rush this team becomes very scary in a weak NFC

Points: 2

#6 by anthonytwotimes // Dec 12, 2022 - 7:30am

Maybe next year. But they have beat a bunch of injured or just bad teams in this run. Vikings are more like a 3-10 team than they are 10-3 team. 

Points: 0

#106 by RevBackjoy // Dec 13, 2022 - 2:10am

Do you double up on all of your comments, Tony Two Times?

Points: 0

#7 by anthonytwotimes // Dec 12, 2022 - 7:30am

Maybe next year. But they have beat a bunch of injured or just bad teams in this run. Vikings are more like a 3-10 team than they are 10-3 team. 

Points: 0

#109 by theslothook // Dec 13, 2022 - 11:05am

Did you know one of the wise guys mentioned in that scene has a YouTube channel? It's not Jimmy 2 times unfortunately.

Also fun fact. One of the actors playing one of the wise guys in that scene was in fact a ny pd detective / hired hitman for the mob who eventually was sent to prison for life.

Points: 0

#9 by Joey-Harringto… // Dec 12, 2022 - 9:45am

I doubt playoffs this year.  They need to win out to even have a chance.  The Jets and Packers are still dangerous road opponents, and even the Panthers are frisky.  As an encouraging as their recent play has been, they still have a lot of holes.  Hard to see them not come out of that trio of opponents with at least one loss, and 9-8 probably won't get in.  That NYG-WAS tie just killed them (their head to head tiebreaker won't apply to either team anymore,).  

And that's fine.  Back in September, my threshold for a successful season was 6 or 7 wins (I always thought the post-Hard Knocks hype was a little overboard), along with clear improvement and player development.  They're pretty much already there.  They have plenty of draft capital and enough cap space to make the leap to solid playoff contender next year.

Points: 1

#17 by Kaepernicus // Dec 12, 2022 - 11:30am

The only way the Lions win a playoff game is if they draw the Vikings in round one. I have seen Goff try to beat the Shanahan 49ers multiple times, since the roster rebuild was finished it has been terrible. The Lions O line has been pretty incredible all year. I just don't see them being very successful against this defense trying to keep up with the SF offense against their bad trending to mediocre defense. The NFC may be weak in general this year, but the top 3 teams are very strong.

Points: 1

#8 by johonny // Dec 12, 2022 - 9:28am

Miami has a problem. Howard looks done. When you have street free agents playing opposite you and teams aren't afraid to toss the ball constantly your way, that means something.


In the should Miami have drafted Tua over Herbert debate, it might have helped if Tua didn't play like Rex Grossman without the arm strength in the big match up.


I can't imagine Miami's offense without Hill. Him and Wilson, who got hurt, were the only people that did anything all night. 


That was probably Tua's easiest defense left and Tua was 3 for 17 for 25 yards at one point. Whoa.

Points: 9

#19 by Kaepernicus // Dec 12, 2022 - 11:38am

Tua looks like Jimmy G+ in that offense. He also seems to have Jimmy's trait of being terrible when not 100% healthy. I think that ankle injury is a bigger deal than people are letting on and could be the biggest reason he has fallen back to earth so hard. Tua just needs his whole body to be right when throwing. Also their offensive line is getting pretty bad quickly.

Points: 1

#26 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:13pm

Only watched Tua the last two weeks, which may be something of a biased sample, but man he throws lollipops. It seems like the ball takes forever to get to the receiver.

Manning could get away with that, but Tua doesn't have Manning's precision, timing, or manipulation of the defense.

Points: 2

#59 by Tutenkharnage // Dec 12, 2022 - 1:27pm

Tua has been taught to read the defense presnap, figure out where the open receiver will be, and either throw a short pass to an open player or to throw downfield to a zone; McDaniel schemes the receivers to get them into an area and be ready to just come down with the football. So he will often throw short to the first read, and if he doesn't, he's usually not going through progressions and finding the open player: he's simply decided that the defense will give him a shot at connecting with Hill fifteen yards deep in the middle of the field, Waddle twenty yards deep between the sidelines and the safety, etc. This is why you often see him look at one player, turn, and fire down the field without checking where his receiver is, and it's why disrupting his receivers at the line—as San Francisco and Los Angeles have done the last two weeks—immediately turns him into a JAG, especially when he's pressured. He doesn't do well at creating outside of scheme because he's fundamentally a system quarterback playing in an offense that relies on a quick release and good accuracy but doesn't ask him to stand in the pocket and go through his progressions. 

Fortunately for him, Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier are slavishly committed to their zone defense, so they might not do the smart thing (i.e., copy large chunks of the SF and LA game plans). But if Tyreek is hobbled and Jeff Wilson is out, Tua's gonna find the sledding awfully tough against Buffalo's front seven.

Points: 4

#66 by Kaepernicus // Dec 12, 2022 - 1:52pm

Even worse for them when looking at the weather. Looks like 40 mph wind and snow with temps in the 20's. This game has the potential of being one of the worst beat downs of the year if Allen comes out slinging it like he did all last year in bad weather home games.

Points: 1

#70 by Mike B. In Va // Dec 12, 2022 - 2:14pm

Honestly, other than the one play that gave the Mammals the winning points, they held him in check last time. I'll bet you see more man combo coverages, and expect some running yards to be given up because Edmunds will be eliminating the deep middle.

Points: 1

#87 by Rufus R. Jones // Dec 12, 2022 - 3:20pm

Would like to know the # of times LAC gave him split field coverages last night. Seemed to be often.

Points: 0

#10 by Joey-Harringto… // Dec 12, 2022 - 9:48am

I found it humorous that Penei Sewell had more impact as a receiver than Jalen Reagor did.

Points: 8

#11 by Harris // Dec 12, 2022 - 10:14am

Parents in New York make their kids go to bed by threatening them with Boston Scott.

Points: 0

#12 by Led // Dec 12, 2022 - 10:27am

I'm biased, both as a Jets fan and a fan of defense, but that Bills play ought to be a false start.  If a QB false starts by aggressively head bobbing (which they ought to call more), then a guy in motion making a sudden movement forward behind the center on 4th and 1 should do it.  Slot WRs and H-backs get called for false start when they just flinch.  Knox did a lot more than flinch.   

Points: 0

#14 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 12, 2022 - 10:38am

I would have sympathy if he were not directly over the ball.

Points: 0

#18 by Rufus R. Jones // Dec 12, 2022 - 11:32am

Agreed. Uncalled false starts are an epidemic. Not really sure I understand what constitutes a penalty anymore. 

Points: 3

#60 by Tutenkharnage // Dec 12, 2022 - 1:30pm

Just watch the RT in any game, especially any Chargers game. These guys are coming out of their stance early all the time now.

Anyway, Mosley literally flew to the line when he saw Knox go under the center and then, without hesitating, dove over the center. That's the easiest encroachment call an official will ever make, and if you watch it without a biased eye, you'll notice that Knox does not, in fact, give a big head-bob; Mosley just went on auto-pilot and lost his marbles for a moment.

Points: 2

#13 by Will Allen // Dec 12, 2022 - 10:38am

My only knock on the Lions is that it shouldn't take 40 yards on a fake punt for a decent offense to score 34 points on the Vikings. Getting into the mid 30s really is just baseline competency for any offense when playing the Vikings defense.

Points: 1

#23 by jmaron // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:00pm

yes that seems to be the case. This fortuitous run of luck will likely lead to a home playoff game, but almost zero chance of any playoff success, I still think it was a major miscalculation to run it back with a mediocre group. 

I was disappointed when the new group came in and decided to keep Cousins and the vets rather than blow it up and get what they could for the older players and Cousins. Subsequently the draft is looking like a disaster, your top two picks have been injured, which is a bad break, but those two guys couldn't get on the field for one of the weaker defences in the league when they were healthy. The only contributor in this crop is a right guard who is one of the worst guards in the league. On top of that, they have traded away a 3rd, 5th and 7th already from next years draft. 

I think this is going to be some lean years coming for the Vikings. In 2001 a good run collapsed to the 3rd pick in the draft, 1 too many wins to get Andrew Luck. My hope is they completely tank in 2023 and get the number 1 pick as a result (Caleb Williams). I think this team has a fairly decent chance of a dead last pick even if this GM decides to try and keep things going. Other than Jefferson and a LT with potential serious concussion issues, they really don't have any other top tier or even promising young players. 



Points: 0

#28 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:16pm

I was disappointed when the new group came in and decided to keep Cousins and the vets rather than blow it up and get what they could for the older players and Cousins. Subsequently the draft is looking like a disaster, your top two picks have been injured, which is a bad break, but those two guys couldn't get on the field for one of the weaker defences in the league when they were healthy. The only contributor in this crop is a right guard who is one of the worst guards in the league.

So, in summary:

  1. We should have broken up this team who is 10-3 and will host at least one playoff game.
  2. Why didn't we blow it up and ruin the season in order to get draft picks?
  3. We can't draft!

#3 answers #2, and there's no rule that says you need to give back winnings made via luck. And yes, bad defenses have ridden a hot hand and a great receiver to the SB. Where they lost, but you're still the Vikings.

Points: 3

#31 by jmaron // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:26pm

making the decision to blow it up when you have zero chance of winning has nothing to do with whether you can draft or not, at the time the 1st decision was made I'm pretty certain the management didn't think "wow we suck at drafting so we'd better keep what we got". I only pointed out the crappy drafting as further disappointment in this new management group. 


Points: 0

#32 by jmaron // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:31pm

Having said all that, I do prefer the positive outlook and the lack of internal bickering that got so tiresome with the previous GM and Coach. 

Points: 0

#37 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:41pm

At worst you guys are going to be the 3-seed. You might sneak up to #2 if you keep riding a hot hand and The Brock Purdy Experience fades under accumulating scouting reports.

You're looking at getting Washington, NYG, Detroit, or Seattle. You are 2-1 against the list so far. Seattle is Detroit, except switch "run" for "pass" in the phrase "cannot defend the..." NYG is a worse version of you. 

Basically, you can get to the NFCCG without facing a full team. Even if you draw the SF defense, you're facing their 3rd-string QB. You only need to beat one team who is better than your true level to reach the Super Bowl. Both of those teams have smoked you already, but rematches get funky and injuries happen.

97% of teams end the season badly. You're closer to that 3% than most.


Points: 7

#38 by theslothook // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:42pm

I think you are underselling what potential outcomes "blow it up" can mean.

It's easy to envision an Andrew Luck / Peyton Manning rescuing your franchise. But there are many more examples of teams chaining first round bust after first round bust and before you know it, it's been a 10 year period of sadness. That is, in fact, the most likely end game. 

The Vikings aren't a real 10 win team, but they aren't a 3 win team either. It is very possible to build from the middle and angle for a QB upgrade rather than take a blowtorch to everything.

Points: 3

#49 by Will Allen // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:56pm

I don't blame them for taking the hit on Cousins this year. I blame Spielman for tying the Vikings to Spielman to start with. I know Zimmer never wanted him, at that cap number.

Points: 0

#56 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 12, 2022 - 1:02pm

I blame Spielman for tying the Vikings to Spielman to start with.

Did this involve time-travel in some manner?

Points: 6

#57 by Will Allen // Dec 12, 2022 - 1:07pm

That Spielman is one dastardly fellow, I'm tellin' 'ya,!

Points: 3

#88 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 12, 2022 - 3:26pm

Every time Vikings fans harp about Spielman I always initially think "I know he was a good linebacker, but I don't think he ruined the Vikings."

Points: 1

#46 by Will Allen // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:49pm

At  this point, I'm pulling for this bunch to one-up the marshmallows of 2000. They have 5 more regular season games to fully establish themselves as a historically bad defense, just like what was done in December of 2000. If they really go all-out, and the Lions forget to be the Lions for another month, they could still lose the division! Maybe miss the playoffs! Absent those uber- entertaining fiascos, our current softies could still better the 2000 bunch by getting destroyed by like, I dunno, 49-6, in their 1st playoff game! Maybe a home playoff game! KEEP HOPE ALIVE!!!!

Oh, and it would be great to re-read all the nonsense about how the team was doing so much better, because the head coach wasn't a grumpy old meany who glared at people in the hallway.


Points: 3

#50 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:57pm

and the Lions forget to be the Lions for another month

Man, that's like a resistable legacy running smack into a vincible one.

Points: 3

#81 by RevBackjoy // Dec 12, 2022 - 3:06pm

Maybe we'll finally find out what 0 divided by 0 really equals.

Points: 2

#97 by RevBackjoy // Dec 12, 2022 - 4:41pm

Whatever it is, it's higher than the odds of the Vikings or Lions winning a Super Bowl.

Points: 0

#92 by riri // Dec 12, 2022 - 3:37pm

I hate tanking in the NFL. There's no guarantee you get a franchise QB from a high pick, and in many cases that high pick turns out to be Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold. I don't mind the process the Vikings have taken of "stay the course, and wait to get lucky".

That said, I do agree that the draft/player development side of "getting lucky" hasn't been going well. Spielman's legion of day 3/undrafted receivers has been reduced to just KJ Osborn, who has been mostly anonymous. Pat Jones II and DJ Wonnum haven't really stepped up to compensate for Za'Darius Smith's knee problems and Danielle Hunter's...whatever has happened to him. And they have had atrocious luck with developing a secondary, going back to Mike Hughes in 2018, continuing to now with Andrew Booth, Lewis Cine, and Akayleb Evans all being unable to stay on the field.

Points: 0

#33 by Scott P. // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:33pm

Tough crowd. Only one team has scored 34 points or more on the Vikings all season.

Points: 2

#35 by jmaron // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:38pm

valid point, but I prefer to get all my negative energy out on the Monday's following a Viking loss. It's my mental health process. 

Points: 2

#40 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:43pm

On one hand, the Lions had to throw to their tackle for a must-have conversion.

On the other hand, they totally fooled the defense and the play was both well-executed and looked well-planned.

There are times I don't know what to make of the Campbell Lions. 

Points: 2

#47 by Will Allen // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:52pm

One other team, and we have 5 more games to fully establish a late season trend.

Points: 0

#52 by Joey-Harringto… // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:59pm

There was a missed FG in there, too  They also spend much of the first half running ineffectively, until they finally figured out the Vikings pass rush couldn't bother Goff, at which point they starting being more pass-happy in the 2nd half.

Points: 0

#79 by RevBackjoy // Dec 12, 2022 - 3:03pm

If that's the case, then the Vikings have only played 2 decent offenses, since only two of their 13 opponents have hit the mid 30s threshold (Cowboys 40, Lions 34). Given they've faced one of the tougher schedules in the league so far, you might be selling them a wee bit short ;-)

I agree that the D is very soft overall. They've allowed opponents to march up and down the field, yet have yielded far fewer points than expected due to timely turnovers and red zone stops- i.e. a good dosage of Lady Luck. Let's hope they can keep it up for 2 more months.

Points: 1

#15 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 12, 2022 - 10:42am

Detroit still has half a defense and the most points allowed* in the NFL. They are basically the Seahawks.

Campbell is doing quite a bit with not enough, but this is still a fair distance from a playoff roster. What's different is it is now visible how to get there.

\The Cardinals have fewer, but have also played one fewer game

Points: 0

#21 by serutan // Dec 12, 2022 - 11:41am

[nitpick]Given the extra wildcard these days, they might be a playoff roster right now given that the defense seems to have improved from abysmal to bad.   But change that to "have a chance to do anything in the playoffs" and you have hit the nail on the head. [/nitpick]

Points: 2

#29 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:19pm

By playoff roster what I really meant was "roster than can consistently, reasonably expect to make the playoffs." 

The Lions have gone from putrid to middling. Which isn't nothing, but still is not enough.

Points: 4

#16 by theslothook // Dec 12, 2022 - 11:19am

It doesn't mean they "won" the Matthew Stafford trade or some other wackadoodle talking point.

Leave aside the optics of the rams winning the super bowl, Matthew Stafford on the Lions last year isn't going to change a damn thing and I'm not convinced he changes much on this team either.

I think Tanier is being a little too dismissive with the line that Goff is doing Goff things with a good supporting cast. Goff's an usual QB with a high ceiling but a low floor compared to other tier 3 QBs who have a more compressed living space. That makes him a hard QB to stomach long term, but short-term I could be compelled to believe he's even better on the current Lions than Matthew Stafford would be. 

Points: 4

#25 by jmaron // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:07pm

I think the Lions are the 4th best team in the NFC, but it's a long drop from Phil, Dall, SF to Det. 

Points: 1

#30 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:20pm

Goff is an accurate barometer of the performance of his line, receiving talent, and playcaller.

He cannot carry an offense in their absence, but will also not disappoint an offense with their presence.

Points: 7

#45 by theslothook // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:49pm

I think you can make a real argument that with a pristine supporting cast, you are getting more than just acceptable QB play. The dude can look like an honest to God all pro when things are working for him.

Goff, to me, when he feels comfortable and has a good sense of field, is incredibly accurate and surveys the whole field well. There's a reason I never sold my goff stock even after horrible season after horrible season.

That said, his limitations are pretty limiting which makes him forever a risky player to tie your franchise to.

Points: 2

#54 by colonialbob // Dec 12, 2022 - 1:00pm

I think Goff is a "has to be the right dollar number" type of QB. If you can get him relatively cheap and use that money to fill out the rest of your roster, in particular keeping the OL together, it could work. But if he gets a large enough salary that you're forced to rely on him to win you games, it's probably not going to end well.

Points: 4

#58 by Joey-Harringto… // Dec 12, 2022 - 1:07pm

There's an argument to be made for the Lions to keep Goff (as long as they don't make the same mistake the Rams did and give him a new big contract), but it really reduces their margin for error.  Eventually, keeping this offensive line together will get prohibitively expensive.  And they're going to have to pay St. Brown and Jameson Williams at around the same time.  This is years in the future, yes, but they need to be clear-eyed about what Goff needs around him to succeed.  The worst thing they can do is fool themselves into thinking Goff has "turned a corner" and can elevate a weaker supporting cast.  I also worry about Ben Johnson getting head coaching buzz.  His creative play design and play-calling is what's really, IMO, lead to the offense's turnaround.

Points: 3

#98 by theslothook // Dec 12, 2022 - 4:46pm

This is indeed very correct. It's incumbent on the Lions not to misread what Goff is.

However,  there will be some team out there desperate enough for some quick wins to pay Goff. There is an idiot team in the AFC South who's recent track record suggests Goff is all but destined to go there and fail there. Then one year from now, I'll be writing the same thing about Kirk Cousins.

Points: 2

#103 by Joey-Harringto… // Dec 12, 2022 - 7:22pm

37 year old Matt Stafford is probably destined to be in there somewhere.

Points: 2

#68 by Kaepernicus // Dec 12, 2022 - 1:58pm

He's literally the new Andy Dalton. I think that is how his career will play out too. 2015 Dalton was an MVP dark horse. Goff is Dalton with less mobility and a better arm

Points: 0

#76 by mathesond // Dec 12, 2022 - 2:44pm

Andy Dalton is literally the only Andy Dalton (among NFL players, anyway).

Points: 2

#20 by Ryan // Dec 12, 2022 - 11:40am

Mike out here referencing his own "takes," a step away from auditioning for cable morning shouting shows :(

Points: 1

#22 by bravehoptoad // Dec 12, 2022 - 11:56am

The Titans aren't fooling anyone with their record....

There's more proof that Analytics has won in football.  Can you imagine saying anything like that pre-Football Outsiders? Can you imagine, pre-Football Outsiders, that the 10-2 Vikings would be an underdog to the 5-7 Lions, and that would arouse no particular furor at all?  

Points: 8

#99 by RevBackjoy // Dec 12, 2022 - 4:55pm

Lions actually have a higher point differential than the Vikes now (+2 vs -1). Their SRS's are virtually identical (both +2.0). They are what their (Pythagorean expected) records say they are!

Points: 1

#24 by Kaepernicus // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:00pm

If Brock Purdy continues to shine and turns into Jeff Garcia 2.0 then the 49ers will be looking for a trade partner for Trey Lance. Trey is still 22, which is nuts, and has shown some serious arm talent and pocket movement skills in his minimal playing time. The 2 most disappointing things about him are his already big injury history, broke his finger in the pre-season last year too, and how poor his vision has been as a runner. Considering how unknown this QB class is after Bryce Young, why wouldn't a smart team send a late 1st rounder and a few mid-rounders to the 49ers for a guy with a significantly higher ceiling than Will Levis? Trey is actually the guy draftniks thought Malik Willis was in the 2022 draft. What if the Panthers land DeMeco as their next HC and trade for Lance? You could put him in immediately and get an upgrade over PJ Walker/Sam Darnold with a chance to have him grow into a top shelf player. Zero Brock Purdy's play down the stretch could be the most important data point in figuring out the QB market in 2023. It's incredible that any of this comment even exists or makes sense.

Points: 3

#39 by serutan // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:42pm

In a vacuum that makes sense, but IMO less so in the context of the draft capital they gave up for Lance, and what seens to be Shanny's obsession with him.   Assuming the Niners make a real playoff run, I think it more likely they'll trade Purdy to a QB desperate team to keep Lance from looking over his shoulder.

Points: 3

#42 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:45pm

The 49ers have spent 40 years desperately trying to replace an efficient pocket-passer with a running QB.

Points: 0

#84 by Kaepernicus // Dec 12, 2022 - 3:11pm

I was laying out a hypothetical scenario where Purdy continues playing at this level through a deep playoff run. That could easily not happen. We still haven't even seen him play on the road. That test is coming this Thursday in Seattle on prime time to clinch the division. That is a huge test that will tell us even more. As for Lance. He has played so little thus far that I could see them easily moving on if Purdy continues to play at this level. Right now Lance would get you more assets than Purdy in a trade. I do not see anything resembling the RG3/Kirk fiasco in Washington because Trey never had the OROY dream rookie season for fans to hang onto. Purdy and Lance are the same age and Purdy is clearly closer to him athletically than I ever realized. The arm strength difference and pocket awareness are the 2 biggest things that favor Lance. Either way this plays out it will create some interesting scenarios in the off season.

Points: 1

#96 by theslothook // Dec 12, 2022 - 4:33pm

I maintain, no one has a clue about what Lance is. He has played basically three games in his NFL career. It's hard draw conclusions with such a tiny sample size.

Points: 0

#78 by Kaepernicus // Dec 12, 2022 - 2:54pm

Cooper Rush is a 29 year old in his 5th season whose best full game wasn't even as good as Purdy in the first half against TB. Purdy is a rookie who just demolished a top 10 defense in his first start at 22. Bad comparison. The better comp for the negative Purdy scenario is Gardner Minshew as a rookie. The fact that a 7th round draft pick rookie just ran the best half of offense the 49ers have played since the second half in Mexico City is pretty insane.

Points: 1

#80 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 12, 2022 - 3:04pm

The fact that a 7th round draft pick rookie just ran the best half of offense the 49ers have played since the second half in Mexico City is pretty insane.

That was only three weeks ago. You're not exactly breaking out the Wayback Machine here.

Points: 2

#71 by Mike B. In Va // Dec 12, 2022 - 2:19pm

We've seen this before, from this team. I wouldn't be counting those chickens just yet.

Points: 0

#27 by IlluminatusUIUC // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:16pm

Buffalo's offense is dealing with the effects of having boom-or-bust (or "high variance") skill position players all having off periods at the same time. Knox, Davis, Cook, and McKenzie all had very bad days catching the football in the rain/snow mix and it was absolutely killing drives. Even getting open looks against that Jets D is so difficult and then dropping 1st downs when they hit you in the hands... Maybe Allen needs to take mustard off it, maybe they need to hit the JUGS machine or what, but someone other than Diggs has to become a reliable target on this offense.

Points: 0

#44 by Mike B. In Va // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:48pm

That weather was a real problem, but it does look like Knox's step forward last year an an anomaly, unfortunately. Davis I'm still confused on, and MacKenzie always drops catchable balls, it's who he is at this point.

Points: 1

#63 by Tutenkharnage // Dec 12, 2022 - 1:47pm

In general, I think the Bills lack reliable playmakers. Knox isn't being asked to contribute much in the passing game this year, in part because they used him to chip a lot early in the season. I don't understand why he had to be signed for big money midseason if they weren't going to use him much in the passing game this year; seems to me that the better play would have been to ask him to chip, then negotiate a deal after the season when his receiving numbers were down.

Davis has never had great hands. Going back to 2020, most of his best catches came on scramble drills that ended with Allen finding him along the sidelines. He is reportedly not a great route runner and runs a limited tree, so it seems that he's closer to a #3 masquerading as a #2 due to a lack of options on the roster. Cook is great if no one can lay a glove on him but goes down almost immediately when hit, so don't ask me why he was out there when the Bills needed to burn clock at the end of the game. And McKenzie has never been reliable; he hits every so often, but he makes too many regular mistakes to count on him.

With regard to yesterday's game, Allen was off—not much, mind you, but enough that the ball wasn't arriving in the best spot—on a handful of throws, particularly to Knox and McKenzie and Davis, and those players just aren't good enough to bail out those tiny misses. Cole Beasley was toast last year, but he was good enough to do that. Crowder was supposed to be that kind of player, but we never got to find out whether it would work. The weather had little effect on the throws, IMO, except that Allen tried to finesse what should have been a touchdown pass to John Brown against Gardner, plus the Knox throw near the end of the game. Allen doesn't do finesse very well, so it works when the receiver is wide open but can allow a defender to catch up otherwise, which happened on both those throws.

This team needs to focus on improving the offensive line and getting some talented young wide receivers. And if they go the free agent route on the former, they need to grab guaranteed studs, not injury-plagued players like Mitch Morse. I'd prefer to see them draft the next Creed Humphrey and a weapon like Pickens, Elijah Moore, Rondale Moore, or Skyy Moore with their first two picks in the 2023 draft. They need to start drafting players like that and stop sinking so many resources into the AJ Epenesas and Boogie Bashams of the world; they've invested enough in their rotational DL, IMO.

Points: 2

#72 by Mike B. In Va // Dec 12, 2022 - 2:21pm

Draft I will agree with. They're not going to be hunting many free agents without some serious cuts or restructuring, because they're already over next year's projected cap.

Points: 2

#93 by IlluminatusUIUC // Dec 12, 2022 - 3:38pm

This team needs to focus on improving the offensive line and getting some talented young wide receivers. And if they go the free agent route on the former, they need to grab guaranteed studs, not injury-plagued players like Mitch Morse.

I agree on the OL and wideout situation, but guaranteed stud linemen without injury concerns almost never hit the market - even if we had the money (which we don't) you really only get stud or healthy, rarely both.

a weapon like Pickens, Elijah Moore, Rondale Moore, or Skyy Moore with their first two picks in the 2023 draft. They need to start drafting players like that and stop sinking so many resources into the AJ Epenesas and Boogie Bashams of the world; they've invested enough in their rotational DL, IMO.

For whatever reason, McDermott has a bigtime preference for veteran players at every position but corner (and even there it shows up a bit, TYVM Josh Norman and EJ Gaines). At midseason he was focusing on getting the band back together with guys like AJ Klein and Dean Marlowe, or grabbing Hines to return kicks rather than letting someone like Shakir or Cook earn it. While I love the idea of grabbing 2nd round wideouts because the hit rate seems high (though I wouldn't have chosen those three examples), we wouldn't see them on the field until 2025.


Points: 0

#34 by jheidelberg // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:34pm

  • A backup quarterback lifts the Baltimore Ravens past the Pittsburgh Steelers, and his name is Mitchell Trubisky.

In the 2022 offseason, Trubisky signed a two-year, $14.285 million contract with the Steelers. The deal has $5.25 million in guarantees. His cap hit for the 2023 season, should he remain with the team, sits at $8 million.Sep 22, 2022.

OK, what is his cap hit if he does not remain with the team?  The Steelers are a great organization, but as I'm New Around These Parts says, pay your backup QB minimum.  I could not agree more.  The Steelers really blew it here.

Trubisky is an absurd waste,  you can get an undrafted free agent, or Brock Purdy, if you want to splurge on a 5th round pick as a backup, go ahead, anything but this guy.

He took total blame for his 3 INT's in a postgame interview, saying that he forced the first two in to Friermuth and by not looking off the free safety for his third INT.  I appreciate that he is a stand up guy and takes responsibility for his failure.  However, he is not a rookie, he was drafted in 2017.  

Trubisky was a miserable failure earlier in the year, I do not believe that Pittsburgh wanted to start Pickett so early on in the season, let alone get his first action as a 2nd half replacement to Trubisky in game 4.  

He will be a backup somewhere, as yeah he probably is a top 64 NFL QB, but you must pay this guy minimum as he has learned very little despite being in the NFL since 2017.



Points: 0

#41 by Mike B. In Va // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:44pm

They signed him as their "bridge QB". It wasn't much of a bridge.

Points: 0

#75 by Mike B. In Va // Dec 12, 2022 - 2:31pm

Somehow I knew what that pic was going to be of before I clicked the link...

Points: 0

#43 by theslothook // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:46pm

If you subscribe to the view that Trubisky's career pratfalls were all or mostly all Chicago's fault, then he makes some sense especially if you don't want your fresh faced rookie starting the season or even playing in year one. 

I have never subscribed to the view that busts are busts because of the organization. They might underachieve and be worth a reclamation a la Ryan Tannehill, but Tanny wasn't a bust in the traditional sense in Miami the way Trubisky was.

Points: 1

#51 by colonialbob // Dec 12, 2022 - 12:57pm

I don't think a contract they can get out of next year for ~$2.6 mil dead money is "really blowing it" by any definition, even if you think Trubisky is the worst thing since Peterman.

Points: 1

#55 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 12, 2022 - 1:01pm

Who still has a career!

\I swear he's a worse QB than I am.

Points: 0

#85 by young curmudgeon // Dec 12, 2022 - 3:13pm

Yeah, I was not thrilled at the Trubisky signing and even less so after the drafting of Pickett.  With the disappeared Mason Rudolph, my opinion was that now the Steelers had three flawed quarterbacks on the roster.  I'd have let Rudolph have a shot, drafted Pickett when he became available, and let things play out--Trubisky was simply not enough of an upgrade over Rudolph.

Points: 0

#95 by DGL // Dec 12, 2022 - 4:29pm

It is remarkable how the same Pittsburgh sports noisemakers that insisted that Rudolph be shown the door based on ten career starts are now insisting that he start next week if Pickett is unavailable.

Points: 0

#104 by Pat // Dec 12, 2022 - 7:50pm

OK, what is his cap hit if he does not remain with the team?

$2.625M. In which case it'll be ~$6M total for one year.

He's a backup QB. They basically spent like $5M with a bit extra to hold onto him in case things really worked out. Which, by the way, I'm betting that the Seahawks wish they had done with Geno Smith.

 but you must pay this guy minimum

The vast majority of teams pay vet QBs right around $3-4M. Min is around $1M. Quibbling about $2-3M's pretty silly. Teams burn more than that on injury replacements during the year.

Points: 1

#105 by theslothook // Dec 12, 2022 - 8:18pm

Really what this debate comes down to is, are you better off hoping that some random low round draft pick becomes Brock Purdy or in the extreme case Tom Brady versus Going with somewhat of a known quantity in Mitch Trubisky.

But even that phrasing is pretty misleading. We still don't know what Brock Purdy is and most of the time these low round Mr. Irrelevant types play like Sam Ellinger, not the second coming of Romo. Meanwhile, maybe Geno Smith is not a pro bowl caliber QB after all, but he's good enough where if you need to ride out an injury to your quarterback for a few weeks, he's a better choice than turning your offense to a complete unknown and hoping for the best.

Points: 1

#61 by zenbitz // Dec 12, 2022 - 1:35pm

On the other side of the ball, opponents have learned that they can disrupt Tagovailoa's receivers by jamming them on the line.

I didn't see the 49ers doing this but I didn't watch the all-22.  It seemed like they were playing their base/nickel zone with the occasional 3rd down blitz but just getting pressure.

Points: 0

#62 by JoelBarlow // Dec 12, 2022 - 1:43pm

congrats to the Chargers on scoring 23 points in a dome

epic performance 

Points: 1

#64 by Tutenkharnage // Dec 12, 2022 - 1:48pm

And congrats to the Dolphins for putting up a fluke fumble-return touchdown on offense, a 60-yard "bomb" when the defender flat-out fell down while having the route covered, and a 55-yard field goal, all against a defense that reminds everybody of the '85 Bears. Really warmed my heart, I gotta tell ya :)

Points: 1

#69 by theslothook // Dec 12, 2022 - 2:05pm

Honestly,  the Offense did much better than the 23 points implies. They got to the deep red zone a few times and the drives just stalled out. The game was far more lopsided than the final score would indicate. 

Points: 1

#74 by Mike B. In Va // Dec 12, 2022 - 2:30pm

I suspect their DVOA will be quite a bit higher than you would think from the score, for sure. Miami was...erratic, and had one totally fluke score.

Points: 0

#77 by TomC // Dec 12, 2022 - 2:50pm

The Eagles kick off a two-week road trip by trying not to look past Justin Fields and the Scramblin' Eggs

I feel like, especially as a Bears fan, I should know what this means. But I do not.

Points: 1

#86 by young curmudgeon // Dec 12, 2022 - 3:17pm

I hate the argument (all too frequently heard on radio and message boards and one of the reasons I don't listen to/read those) that "we drafted player X, when we could have had player Y."  Now, Brock Purdy has made it possible for every single draft choice that did not immediately yield a rookie of the year candidate to fit into that narrative--EVERY SINGLE ONE! 

Points: 2

#89 by jonsilver // Dec 12, 2022 - 3:26pm

Lions Nation (Is there such a thing? "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...") no doubt appreciates Mike's mea maxima culpa. Meanwhile, the tiny cohort of Lions/Jets fans approaches Sunday's game with dread. One team (both in case of a tie) probably loses all hope of the playoffs, and god forbid any injuries...

Points: 1

#91 by Aaron Brooks G… // Dec 12, 2022 - 3:33pm

"Lions Nation" is one of those obnoxious micronations with a shortwave pirate radio station, like Sealand or something.

Points: 5

#100 by Scott P. // Dec 12, 2022 - 5:36pm

Meanwhile, the tiny cohort of Lions/Jets fans approaches Sunday's game with dread.


Given that they are self-evidently masochists, I think the only thing they dread is one of their teams has to win.

Points: 1

#101 by jonsilver // Dec 12, 2022 - 6:15pm

Incorrect conclusion jumped to, sir...I became a Lions fan not long before they won the NFL Championship in 1957, destroying Paul Brown's/Jim Brown's Browns 59-14 in the title game (4 TD passes from Tobin Rote, who became the starter late in the season, after Bobby Layne's leg was broken)...reason for that decision/emotional commitment: 9 year old me was over the moon about the Lions drafting Heisman Trophy winner Howard Cassady out of Ohio State...why? Young boys watched one thing on early-mid-50's TV: western movie serials, with Gene, Roy and Hoppy...Cassady's nickname was Hopalong...and then lifelong Brooklyn Boy me became a Titans of NY fan when they were created by the AFL in 1960...a few years later they became the Jets, and a few years later, they won SB III...so both teams had major winning either before (Detroit was probably the best NFL team of the 50's) or not long after I became a fan...I do not assume anyone would advocate transferring team allegiance* due to mere losing (although the two Matt regimes were sorely trying)...and, in general, there have been few conflicts, since they meet only once every 4 years...

*I do have two instances of such in MLB, however, but not caused by losing: I became an ex-Dodgers fan in 1957 (I'm sure I don't have to tell you why) and an ex-Mets fan when M. Donald Grant traded Seaver...couldn't swallow it.

Points: 4

#108 by TomC // Dec 13, 2022 - 10:53am

This is great, thank you for sharing. My only sports divorce is also in baseball and also had nothing to do with losing. I grew up half a mile from Wrigley Field in the 70s and put up with all manner of awful baseball, but 30 years of treating the fan base like dogs, culminating in opening a team-operated ticket broker to scalp their own fans, finally broke me. 

Points: 1

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