Quick Reaction to NFL Week 14
Hello all. This is a formal note to let you all know that the playoff picture is starting to shape up. The weak teams are starting to get exposed, and we are getting a better and better idea of who the Patriots will play in the Super Bowl.
On the real, this AFC race will be a lot of fun come playoff time. There’s quite a few teams that have a real chance. On the other hand, I think the NFC East should probably cease to exist. It’s hilarious to see Philly and Dallas fans arguing about who will get into the playoffs. The rivalry between Eagles and Cowboys fans is like Pontiac and Saturn car dealers comparing sales numbers. Can’t lie, it’s pretty nice to see those two teams struggling, but it does piss me off that a 6–7 Cowboys team is currently on pace to make the playoffs.
Anyway, let’s get into these reactions.
Mitch “Lamar Jackson” Trubisky continues to add to his MVP campaign. The future hall of famer had four total TDs along with 63 rushing yards. Maybe Mitch should be getting the Mike Vick comparisons.
The Bears are as “in the hunt” as ever. And the offense is finally rolling now that Mitch is consistently running the ball. Mitch is sneaky athletic, just like any other white guy who has some athleticism, and he’s been proving it with some of these rushing attempts. I said all the stuff last week about Trubisky getting unfair comparisons to guys like Deshaun Watson and Mahomes, and I think you can’t compare him to those guys because Mitch isn’t in a great system, and he doesn’t have the play-callers that those other guys have. Fortunately for #10, it looks like Mark Helfrich and the offensive staff are starting to figure things out. (I wish Mark had figured things out at Oregon). People want to compare stats for Trubisky vs Mahomes, yet Mitch doesn’t have the offensive weapons or the offensive line that these guys have. Sure, Watson and Mahomes have been great, but Mitch has shown promise as well. Regardless of all the hate towards this man, it was fun to watch him shred up this Dallas defense. The Bears are rolling with three wins in a row and I’m sure Nagy is ready for his 10-year extension.
As for the Cowboys… this team continues to let Jerry down, and surprisingly they are still at the top of the NFC East. What an absolute dumpster fire of a conference this is. What’s funny is that I’m sure Skip Bayless and the rest of these delusional Dallas fans think that they have a true shot once they even get in the playoffs. I can’t imagine what will happen when the Cowboys actually win a Super Bowl. I think I’d have to delete every form of social media.
How ‘bout that performance from Dak! The dude sure knows how to run up those stats in garbage time. He was bottled up entirely in the first three quarters and it was too far too late for the Cowboys when he made his push in the fourth quarter. I will give Dak some credit though for standing in there against a tough Chicago defense. It has to be pretty damn intimidating when you’ve got Khalil Mack staring you down before each play. Despite a three game losing streak, the Cowboys are hilariously still in first place of an atrocious NFC East. Hopefully a situation like this will cause Roger Goodell and the league to rethink the current playoff structuring . There’s no way in hell a team with a losing record should be making it into the playoffs. Sure, one could argue that they’ll just get destroyed in the first round. But I don’t even want to give them that opportunity. And I don’t want a bunch of Cowboys fans in my ear, saying “the playoffs go through Dallas” or some ridiculous shit like that.
The Niners vs Saints game was one for the ages on Sunday. The Niners defense looked way worse than expected, and Emmanuel Sanders might be a better quarterback than Jimmy G. Just a week after holding Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense to 20 points, the Niners secondary said “Imma head out” and just let Drew Brees throw all over them. The Purdue alum had five passing TDs and a rushing touchdown to go with it. Talk about an insane fantasy performance. I don’t think anybody saw an offensive explosion like this coming from the Saints. But unfortunately, it was their defense that let them down in this one. This game was truly reminiscent of a Big 12 matchup where the offenses go to town and the defenses are just abysmal. It’s that mentality of “let’s just let them score because we have more fun playing offense.”
For the Niners, George Kittle is proving to be the best Tight End in the league, and I’m sure Gronk is getting pretty jealous of all of Kittle’s success. Hopefully some of George’s excellent play will push Gronk to return to the Pats within the next few weeks. They could certainly use him.
Like Brees, Garoppolo also played a great game, throwing four TDs and just one interception. Emmanuel Sanders had a big baller performance with over 150 receiving yards and TD. But more importantly, he threw a dime TD pass that now has Niners fans questioning who their starter should be. Jimmy G only had to throw like 5 passes for the Niners before he got his max contract, so Sanders should be getting that same kind of money thrown at him. Jimmy threw a pick on Sunday and Sanders didn’t so, I think we know who to trust in the pocket. The Niners have a tough last three games, so it’s possible that they’ll give Emmanuel’s arm a rest for the playoffs.
Remember Minshew Mania? Me neither. Those glory days are long gone for the Washington State alum, and I’m sure ESPN is upset that they can no longer capitalize on all the hype. The Jags looked terrible on Sunday, only managing to put up 10 points against a Chargers team that has struggled all season. The Chargers defense, however, has been a stronger area for the Bolts as they were on full display on Sunday, holding Leonard Fournette to just 50 yards on the ground. It’s pretty wild to not see Nick Foles in the starting line up for the Jags. I realize he was pretty terrible in that loss to the Bucs, but I don’t think a guy named Gardner is going to do any better for you. I’m a big supporter of Foles and I think the Jags need to surround him with an offense similar to what he had in Philly. It also wouldn’t hurt to have him running some go routs, as he has proved what he can do at the receiver position. Either way, I have faith in Big D*** Nick and I think he can have success with this Jags team. Let’s just hope they trade Minshew before the hype dies completely.
As for the Chargers, I’m sure Phil Rivers celebrated the win with his 20 kids at a McDonald’s play place. Or perhaps a Chuck E Cheese. Rivers likely played his best game of the season, and he had a little smack talk for the Jags after throwing a 90 yard touchdown. This man might be the only athlete in the world who knows how to talk trash without swearing. It’s a pretty impressive skill if you ask me.
Another highlight for the Chargers offense is Austin Ekeler, who I expected to see more of after their week 1 win against Indianapolis. Which I was at that game by the way (slight flex). On Sunday Ekeler had over 200 all-purpose yards and a TD to go with. After seeing Ekeler dominate in Week 1, I thought he would be the next big thing in the league, especially since Melvin Gordon was unsuccessfully holding out from the team at the time. Ekeler hasn’t been able to reach his full potential since splitting carries with Gordon, so it should be interesting to see what he does when becoming a free agent. If there’s anything to take from this, it’s that running backs are pretty damn accessible, and there’s no reason to pay someone max money when you’ve got someone else who can do the job just as well. The Cowboys made the mistake of paying Zeke when they easily could have found someone else to play just as poorly as he has this season.
Baker was feeling dangerous on Sunday as he managed to only throw two picks against an elite Bengals defense. Not much was going through the air for Cleveland and it was mainly their running game that secured the win. Nick Chubb has been silently killing it this year. And you would never guess that he’s the league leading rusher from how humble he is. Perhaps other players on the team could learn from him. Always interesting how great things happen to the ones who work in silence.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Browns offense has been horrible this year. Baker has been in way too many commercials to be playing this poorly. Although I’ll give some credit to his agent for hooking him up with TV deals before his rapid decline performance. The Brown’s passing game has struggled a lot this year, and Odell has performed way below everyone’s expectations. Remember when everyone was talking about the Browns as a Super Bowl contender? The Brown’s currently have 4% chance to make the playoffs, and after LeBron left the Cavs, I never expected Cleveland’s football team to be worse than the basketball team. But here we are.
Odell stated that “he’s not sure what the future holds” when asked about returning to Cleveland next season. He’s clearly not happy with how things have gone so far, and I can’t really blame him. Wearing nice Patek watches is probably the only cool thing that Odell has done this season. With just two TDs through 14 weeks of the NFL season, OBJ can’t be thrilled with the lack of dancing. I’m sure he misses Eli at least a little bit.
For the Bengals, Andy Dalton only had one pick in this game, and he still has more touchdown passes (10) than interceptions this season (9). We unfortunately can’t say the same thing about Baker, who now has 16 picks on the season. The Bengals really don’t have much going for them this season aside from the fact that they’ll probably get the number one pick in the draft. And Joe Mixon actually played a decent game this week. I know fantasy owners have been pissed at him all season long, so it’s good to see that he finally awarded the one or two people who are still holding on to him.
All in all, both teams are pretty terrible and it’s a shame that the pro sports teams in Ohio are getting out shined by OSU.
Unlike the battle of Ohio, this matchup between the Pats and Chiefs had playoff preview written all over it. Mahomes finally got his revenge after falling to the Pats in last year’s AFC Championship game. The reigning MVP hasn’t had the year that we expected, and I think most of that is due to injury. One thing is for sure though: The Madden Curse is real, and it’s shocking that players continue to agree to be on the cover. If I’m Andy Reid, I’m telling Pat to stay the hell away from any video game cover. Mahomes is nowhere near that 50 touchdown season he had a year ago and the Madden cover has likely played a big role in that outcome. Despite the decline, the third year QB is still having a solid season and the Chiefs are in good shape to make another playoff run.
The Chiefs were able to operate pretty well against this Pats defense and did a good job of getting Travis Kelce involved. It’s a toss up for best Tight End in the league, but I’d say it’s between Kelce and George Kittle for that top spot. Gronk might take the title from both of them though when he comes back for the playoffs.
The Chiefs were cooking against this New England secondary. Mahomes only threw one interception, which is pretty good considering these defensive backs on the Patriots are total fiends. Remember when they had Sam Darnold seeing ghosts? Yeah, they’ve been known to give QBs some trouble. However, the Pats defense has struggled more recently, especially against the other top talent in the AFC. This defense was looking so deadly to start the season, but mobile QBs like Lamar, Deshaun Watson and now Mahomes have exposed them to a certain extent.
Despite their recent struggles, you can never count the Patriots out. The scary thing about Belichick and the Pats is that, now that they have film and experience against these other AFC threats, they’ll probably be ready with some big time adjustments for the rematch. I don’t want to give Belichick too much credit or make excuses for him, but it’s very well possible that he’s being conservative for these regular season matchups. He obviously doesn’t want to give all his plays away in a regular season game that isn’t as important. I feel like more often than not, Belichick is playing chess when everyone else is playing checkers. And then Freddie Kitchens is playing some game that involves self-destruction. Another note about Belichick, if he’s cheating against the 1–12 Bengals, you know damn well he’ll have his film staff sitting in on some Ravens practices.
Once again, I am only reacting to the games I actually watched, so we will call it there. We will be back again next week to discuss the games for week 15. The Jets play the Ravens on Thursday and I am absolutely terrified for Sam Darnold. Should be great.