By the end of Monday night, both the Vikings and the Lions could be in the NFC North with the Bears in the loss column, and game two of the NFC playoff picture. And it is very remarkable, seeing where both have been for the last two months. till then …
• The revelation that Drew Breeze has five broken ribs and a collapsed lung should, first and foremost, exemplify for everyone that pro football players are not like everyone else. Most people would not be able to leave the bed in that situation, and the trees were rolling through an NFL game with a few. After that, of course, we can look ahead and see where the really, really good Saints team goes next.
So let’s start with Sean Peyton’s Sunday game against the Niners. I am told that Jemis Winston has actually been an on-paper backup to New Orleans all year, but for a very specific reason. That’s because Taysom Hill’s offense and other responsibilities on special teams have increased to the point where he could not make the time to back up for the Brees, which explains why Payton quickly turned to Winston on Sunday Gone. Hill, of course, will get more practice reps at quarterback this week.
That said, I am also confident that Peyton will go with Winston against Atlanta this weekend. He is solid in practice and has a good control over the offense, and has a lot more starts to experience being leaner than Hill. On top of that, the Saint would continue to use Hill in his gadget role by playing the role of Winston. And then there’s the simple part: I think Winston just gives New Orleans the best chance to win, with a win-now team, and I guess the Saints feel the same.
This will, of course, raise big questions about the status of the team. But for now, I don’t think it’s a 7-2 mind for a team and are chasing the NFC playoffs with the Packers.
• Want more game-in-the-game stuff on Hell Mary of the Cardinals? The concept is actually one that Arizona runs once a week – and the ball was not really designed to take on DeAndre Hopkins on a Sunday call. The idea, in fact, is for Hopkins (all divided to the left of the offense alone) to take coverage with him and clear the middle path for Andy Isabella, who is coming out of the formation of trips to the right and theory. In form, there is a lining for Kylar. Murray as he rolls the left.
The problem with this time drama, I’m told, was the pressure from Mario Edison to force Murray to sideline. That time period ended – Isabella had not even crossed from the middle of the field until Murray fired Edison from the past. So Isabella was not flat out. Which left Murray with a decision to make. He can throw it to Hopkins, the only receiver in the field of vision, or he can throw it away.
We all know which way he went. Oh, and by force of hand the ball was 55 yards in getting there while he was running left and going away? It was an incredible, incredible moment for a team on the rise only in Arizona.
• This week’s Rains-Titans matchup is an important- and an interesting one. We all have talked about how Lamar Jackson and Baltimore have been caught trespassing. Would you believe that Tennessee is pursuing a similar issue with Ryan Tannehill. As I understand it happening, with the Bengals, the Bears and Colts have a fairly simple blueprint to counter what Titan OC Arthur Smith has done to make Tannehill.
In essence, the idea is committed to slowing down the Titans’ run game, while flooding the middle of the field with defenders – with the idea of getting the teeth out of play-action, and forcing Tannehill to play from the pocket Doing and throwing outside the number will change the dynamic completely for that offense. And it is. In the last three weeks, here are 32 years of numbers:
In Cincinnati: 18-for-30, 233 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT.
Vs. Chicago: 10-for-21, 158 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs.
Vs. Indianapolis: 15-for-27, 147 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs.
Sure, Tannehill does not fall off a cliff. But the last two games have been the least productive from a young age point of view since he became Tennessee’s starter last October, and the team has lost two out of three. Now, Smith is very bright, Tannehill has got nearly a decade of NFL experience and Tennessee is getting 10 days to prepare for the Ravens. So my guess is that they worked on finding some answers.
But at the very least, we can say that now here are some questions we were not asking three weeks ago.
• Here’s an under-radar move I liked on Monday: The Jets claimed former Vikings c / g Pat Elfelin. The former Ohio State All-American and third-round pick started 43 games in Minnesota, but slowly fell out of favor, and then out of the starting lineup. Chances are, he won’t make a big impact in his new home, and I get that.
But to me, this is an example of the GM Joe Douglas pulling every lever he could possibly do to fix the offensive line. They have a building block in April 11th pick, Mekhi Becton, plus guard Alex Lewis and a bunch of shots that Douglas took in free agency (George Fant, Greg Van Rotten, Connor McGovern, etc.). And if they wind up with one or more building blocks of that group to go with Becton, it would be worth the effort.
Add as many of those in the capital next April, and it’s not really hard to see how Douglas could form a very decent group in front of Sam Darnold (or Trevor Lawrence) in 2021 in short order.
• I felt this was an interesting response from the presence of Cameron Newton and the new Patriots’ Bell Guy Damian Harris at Foxborough’s level of comfort: “I don’t want to speak for Cam, but Cam did as a leader for this team Worked in. We go as he goes. We know what a great player he is, and he is a better leader, even better teammate. I can speak for myself when I say that I cam So lucky to play with. “
No matter how the rest of the season is played, I hope this reinforces the question of Newton somehow fitting into the team. Those who knew him had little doubt that he would quickly assimilate New England, and he has. The only issue I ever really heard Newton had with teammates was that he would be a bit mopey after the loss – a dynamic we all saw in overdrive after Super Bowl 50.
Other than that? I think people like Ryan Kalil, Greg Olsen, Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis would tell you that they loved Newton as teammates, and the Patriots feel the same about him.
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When Washington and Baltimore withdrew their inauguration to limit crowds, the two would play at the vacant home stadium on Sunday – it’s surprising how the last two months of the season would look. For teams like the Jets, Giants, Patriots, 49ers, Chargers and Rams, it seems highly unlikely, given how the governors in those states have dealt with COVID, that we fans in the stands before the 2021 season will see. And others may return like Ravens and the football team.
The Super Bowl, of course, is now the elephant in the room. The league was planning on 7 February in Tampa at around 20% capacity. And while the Florida governor was aggressive about encouraging everyone to return to life, as we knew, it’s hard to believe the NFL would decide to be a gong between now and the beginning of February. In fact, at this point, a rollback is more likely than not to add to the number of fans who will be at Raymond James Stadium in less than three months.
New deals for head coach Andy Reid and GM Brett Veitch were pushed to the goal line in the last few days – each lasting through the 2025 season. So, if you want to play this game now, we can: Reid is currently ranked sixth in the win by an NFL coach, with 215 (two previous Paul Browns!). In his first seven-and-a-half years in Kansas City, he averages over 11 wins per year, and he has already gained eight this year.
Let’s say, conservatively, he is 13-3 this year. That would put him at 220. And if he wins 11 per year over the life of his new deal (which may be a bit lighter with Patrick Mahomes as his quarterback) And Program of expansion in 17 games), it will reach 275 by its end. That would mean putting Curley Lambue in fifth and Tom Landry in fourth. And the fourth is probably his roof, given his age. Don Shula (328) and George Halas (318) are out of reach and Bill Belichick (277 and counting) will probably still be there when all is said and done.
Veitch also deserves credit, while we’re here, for building a permanent core of players – since he took over in the summer of 2017, the chiefs have found a way to fix their defense, and the young G.M. Strikes off veteran acquisitions (named Frank Clarke and Tyron Matthews). And he also kept the pipeline of young skill players like Clyde Edwards-Hellier and Mekol Hardman flowing.
There is no doubt that the chieftain actually has work at the moment.
• I love what Ram has done, and have written about his defensive renaissance in MMQB this morning, but the Left is looking at the situation. There’s a reason LA worked so hard to convince the now-injured Andrew Whitworth to return in the final two years, and that’s not because they see Joe Notbom as the next Walter Jones.
Now, Knottboom – who started being watched and battling injuries for the past two years – deserved a fair shot over the next few weeks. Maybe he is better than any of us. If he is not? Well, that would only confirm how valuable Weinworth is to that franchise because he was coaching a single game in LA in 2017 before Sean McVay brought him along.
• Guilty or innocent, the Bucs are meeting today what they signed up with Antonio Brown. always happens something Is walking with him. And something happened today that was really strange.