National Football League

Page 230 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
I'd love to see Kansas City go far, have always liked them from back in the Christian Okoye days.

Even with a number of teams doing their best to try and lose and play unspectacular football (I'm looking at you Cleveland and the entire NFC East and up until the season was all but over for them and all expectations for year 2015 were gone, Detroit) I'm still finding this year a really entertaining year.

A couple of teams that everyone thought were going to steamroll all before them now have some serious obstacles between them and Superbowl 50, the Packers have to regain form and then I think will have at least 2 roadgames in the playoffs (yes?), the Patriots will probably have at least 1 road game in the playoffs.

Denver looks like it could be significant but with a completely different QB at the helm, Carolina should be in the box seat, oh and Cincinatti, could this finally be their year?

Then there's the Cardinals, kinda off the radar but they've been really good when I've seen them.

*rubs hands* good times ahead
 
I have to say I was a little underwhelmed by Arizona's offense last night. They seemed to squander numerous chances to KO Minnesota, and barely hang on in the end. Good game though, fun to watch.

Right now I'd say there are maybe 5-7 teams left who could win the Super Bowl. Carolina, Cincinnati, New England, Denver, Seattle, and maybe Green Bay or Pittsburgh.

Others will make the playoffs, and might win a playoff game or even two, but I don't see these teams winning it all: KC or Minnesota could upend a team. Plus the NY Giants, Indy or Houston will have a home wild card game, and they could win it. These teams could also face favorable match-ups in the second round, and win that game, but I don't see them going all the way. Anyone else who makes the playoffs, NY Jets, Washington, Philly, Buffalo, I don't see them winning. Even though Washington or Philly would have a home game. I don't see it.

As to the Patriots getting the 1st or second seed, it's definitely possible still, if you look at the schedule. @Houston, Tenn, @NY Jets, Dolphins. To me Houston presents the most trouble, as the Pats are hurting. However, while they've lost 2 in a row, and could have lost 3 (NY Giants), and Gronk is still out, Marcus Cannon, Tre Jackson and Sebastian Vollmer are now back, and possibly full strength. While Nate Solder is out for the season, the OL is now back to where it was...if they can stay healthy. Amondola was limited last week but is healing, as is LB Jamie Collins. Patrick Chung has also been hurt. Before the end of the season they will get Gronk and Hightower back. And possibly Edelman. This returns the team to near full strength. Presuming they can mostly stay healthy, this team can beat any team in the NFL. Even if they don't get a bye.

The Broncos on the other hand play the Raiders, @Pittsburgh, the Bengals and Chargers. This is definitely tougher, considering the Steelers are fighting for a playoff spot, and the Bengals will be fighting them for the bye.

The Bengals play the Steelers, 49ers, @Denver, and Baltimore. They also have two tough games, in Pittsburgh and Denver.

The point is this, if the Patriots can run the table, they'll get a bye. If they can win 3 of 4, there's still a good chance they'll get a bye. If they go 2-2, they'll likely miss the bye, but have the best record of the division teams remaining. Though this means they'd likely have to host either Pittsburgh, or KC at this point.
 
This week's picks and thoughts.

BUF@PHI - Almost a pick 'em, depends on who shows up for each team.
SEA@BAL - Lock.
SF@CLE Both teams not good, but Browns get spark from Johnny at home.
DET@STL - Rams a mess, Lions playing better.
TEN@NYJ - Better team, and at home.
PIT@CIN - Steelers are playing very well, but so is Cincy.
IND@JAX - Jags improving, but not enough.
SD@KC - Chiefs better all around, Rivers ill.
WASH@CHI - Bears a little more well rounded. A little.
ATL@CAR Divisional games are tough, but Panthers just better.
NO@TB - This could take Bucs to 7-6.
OAK@DEN - Someday the Raiders will beat Denver. Not this week.
DAL@GB - Strangely, even if they lose, Cowboys not out of it.
NE@TEX - This will be close and tough.
NYG@MIA- No faith in Fins.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Amsterhammer said:
I will chance my luck by going for a home win tonight.

MIN @ ARI
BUF @ PHI - Iggles suck as bad as we do.
SF @ CLE - Niners might just edge this, zero interest to anyone but fans.
DET @ STL - Lions for me.
NO @ TB - Who would have thought that Buccs could look like a home banker?
TEN @ NYJ - Home banker.
PIT @ CIN - Could be tight, I'll stick with Dalton.
IND @ JAX - Colts slowly clawing back.
SD @ KC - Home banker.
WSH @ CHI - Not a complete home banker, but pretty much.
ATL @ CAR - Home banker with bells on.
SEA @ BAL - Not totally an away banker, but pretty much.
OAK @ DEN - Should be a mile too high for the Raiders.
DAL @ GB - Despite the Packers recent awful form, still a home banker.
NE @ HOU - Meh, don't see them losing this one either.
NYG @ MIA - Another Monday night match up of two sucking teams. Giants, maybe.
 
Texans and Patriots should be good and Pittsburgh Vs Bengals. I think the 49ers will beat Cleveland not that too many people will care either way. Kansas should rack up another win.and the Bills should win. Quite a few one sided games this week at least on paper.
 
Did you know that the NFC East is so bad, there's a chance that the Cowboys can go 2-2, finish 6-10, and make the playoffs? In fact, it won't take much for 6-10 to win that division. It's almost scary, and embarrassing. If this happens, heck even if a team just goes 7-9, it's going to increase the calls for playoff re-alignment. Or at least some rule saying you can't have a home field playoff game if you finished the season with a losing record. Look at this graphic.

 
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So Bradford has been playing good last few weeks while Foles is, ummm, is he still in the NFL?

Anyone know where I can find Foxxy :D

The Hitch said:
I think Bradford is a better qb than Foles. The trade really isn't that bad. The big downside is they lose cap space but for qbs cap space is less important than having the better player. People say injuries, well Bradford's injuries have been more freak ones than some recurring problem.

FoxxyBrown1111 said:
Conclusion: Only a imbecile would trade a cheaper, better, less injured QB for one that is worse in all categories. And to make it worse: Kelly gave up draft picks on top... Kelly gambles. For what? There was no need for that, his offense worked. Thus: Kelly the imbecile. Its so simple...
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
Did you know that the NFC East is so bad, there's a chance that the Cowboys can go 2-2, finish 6-10, and make the playoffs? In fact, it won't take much for 6-10 to win that division. It's almost scary, and embarrassing. If this happens, heck even if a team just goes 7-9, it's going to increase the calls for playoff re-alignment. Or at least some rule saying you can't have a home field playoff game if you finished the season with a losing record. Look at this graphic.

As an Australian, I've never really understood the purpose behind the Conference systems in US sports. I get how it works, but not really the purpose, other than a guarantee that team(s) from each region are represented post season. Wouldn't a better way be to simply have one ladder for each of the two leagues and then take the playoff spots from the top places?

It would certainly take away potentially embarassing situations like this, where teams that miss playoffs in one conference would have comfortably won a different conference.
 
Re: Re:

The Hitch said:
So Bradford has been playing good last few weeks while Foles is, ummm, is he still in the NFL?

Anyone know where I can find Foxxy :D
I'd say the jury is still out on Bradford. He's been better than Foles, yes, but hardly the second coming of Drew Brees, which was what Kelly implied he was hoping for when he went after him.

But Foxxy was officially wrong today on the Eagles, as he predicted they would win five games max. Though to be fair, they have been pretty poor this season, it's not like he was far off the mark. It appears he was also wrong on SE and Wilson, who started off poorly as he predicted, but have come on like gang-busters in the past few weeks. If Wilson had started doing this a little sooner, he might be the top candidate for MVP now.

OTOH, Foxxy would love to be in the politics thread now, singing the praises of Trump. :)

Meanwhile, our other banned poster, Chewy, must be frustrated as he!! that he can't post here. For sure, he would be gloating about his undefeated Cats, predicting they're going to run the table and win the SB. But their first playoff game just might be vs. SE.

In other news, NE must be feeling good now. Who would have thought both Denver and Cincy would lose this weekend? And if the Bengals don't get Dalton back, they can probably look forward to another one and done in the postseason. If KC hadn't blown their first game vs. Denver, they'd be leading the division now, instead of fighting for a WC.

Anyone notice that this year we may have not one but two division winners with a losing record?

42x16ss said:
As an Australian, I've never really understood the purpose behind the Conference systems in US sports. I get how it works, but not really the purpose, other than a guarantee that team(s) from each region are represented post season. Wouldn't a better way be to simply have one ladder for each of the two leagues and then take the playoff spots from the top places?
That's the way the NBA works, and it's certainly been suggested for the NFL. The counter-argument is that divisions allow for regional rivalries, and also keep more fan bases interested late in the season.
 
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Merckx index said:
The Hitch said:
So Bradford has been playing good last few weeks while Foles is, ummm, is he still in the NFL?

Anyone know where I can find Foxxy :D
I'd say the jury is still out on Bradford. He's been better than Foles, yes, but hardly the second coming of Drew Brees, which was what Kelly implied he was hoping for when he went after him.

But Foxxy was officially wrong today on the Eagles, as he predicted they would win five games max. Though to be fair, they have been pretty poor this season, it's not like he was far off the mark. It appears he was also wrong on SE and Wilson, who started off poorly as he predicted, but have come on like gang-busters in the past few weeks. If Wilson had started doing this a little sooner, he might be the top candidate for MVP now.

OTOH, Foxxy would love to be in the politics thread now, singing the praises of Trump. :)

Meanwhile, our other banned poster, Chewy, must be frustrated as he!! that he can't post here. For sure, he would be gloating about his undefeated Cats, predicting they're going to run the table and win the SB. But their first playoff game just might be vs. SE.

In other news, NE must be feeling good now. Who would have thought both Denver and Cincy would lose this weekend? And if the Bengals don't get Dalton back, they can probably look forward to another one and done in the postseason.

Anyone notice that this year we may have not one but two division winners with a losing record?

42x16ss said:
As an Australian, I've never really understood the purpose behind the Conference systems in US sports. I get how it works, but not really the purpose, other than a guarantee that team(s) from each region are represented post season. Wouldn't a better way be to simply have one ladder for each of the two leagues and then take the playoff spots from the top places?
That's the way the NBA works, and it's certainly been suggested for the NFL. The counter-argument is that divisions allow for regional rivalries, and also keep more fan bases interested late in the season.
What's worse? An unrepresented conference or a team with a 6-10 record taking a top playoff spot? Because the latter seems quite possible.
 
WOW! As an Oakland fan, I need to buy me a Mack jersey (before the team moves to LA). Good win for Oakland, but what an ugly loss for Denver. When does Payton Manning come back to "save" the Broncos? Is that even possible?

The four-letter network is reporting that Dalton's thumb is broken on his throwing hand. He's likely to miss the rest of the regular season, and possibly most of the playoffs. What a huge let down. AJ McCarren had some nice throws, and some bad ones, but wasn't Dalton and the whole team seemed to have the wind go out of their sails after Dalton left. So, all those fans who were saying he was no good, you're going to soon find out just how unimportant he really is to his team.

Big props to the Steelers though. They looked damned good in that win, on both sides of the ball, but especially their offense.

The Panthers continue to look like a steamroller. And the Falcons just stink. If this week was any indication, Carolina has no intention of taking it's foot off the gas. Even up 31-0, they still had Newton and most of the top players in, and tried to pile it on. What do they do now? It's a bigger decision than people may think. And the pressure to stay unbeaten will really start to build now. The team will face that question over and over, constantly, from here on out.

While Rawles is out for the season, the Seahawks played...even better without him. It is impressive how Wilson has really earned his money the last few weeks. Pete Carroll won't say when Lynch is going to return, but speculation remains it will be before the end of the season. What this says to me, is what One@my posted recently about how Tom Cable really has the patchwork Seahawks OL finally working well together. Really well.

Speaking of Seattle, and Pittsburgh, Jeffrey Gorman (former VP of Colts) said he likes a Super Bowl XL rematch this year, of Pittsburgh and Seattle. What about the Panthers and the Patriots? "Mark my words" he said. I think it's quite possible. They played a couple weeks ago with Seattle winning 39-30, and Wilson tossing 5 TDs. The game was tied at the start of the 4th quarter.

As to Bradford, I have to agree with Merckx. He's played fairly well, he's been more durable than expected, but he hasn't been what Chip Kelly seemed to imply he was getting. Though he has showed more arm strength and savvy than Foxxy expected. Recall, even I said they would finish about 6-10. I think at one point Foxxy mused they would go 0-16, so Chip could get a sweet college deal.

As to Nick Foles, it's really hard to say. St. Louis offense has been so inconsistently bad, and while Gurley had another good game this week (after some said he was done), Keenum was bad and his numbers weren't any better than Foles when Nick was playing.
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
WOW! As an Oakland fan, I need to buy me a Mack jersey (before the team moves to LA). Good win for Oakland, but what an ugly loss for Denver. When does Payton Manning come back to "save" the Broncos? Is that even possible?

The four-letter network is reporting that Dalton's thumb is broken on his throwing hand. He's likely to miss the rest of the regular season, and possibly most of the playoffs. What a huge let down. AJ McCarren had some nice throws, and some bad ones, but wasn't Dalton and the whole team seemed to have the wind go out of their sails after Dalton left. So, all those fans who were saying he was no good, you're going to soon find out just how unimportant he really is to his team.

Big props to the Steelers though. They looked damned good in that win, on both sides of the ball, but especially their offense.

The Panthers continue to look like a steamroller. And the Falcons just stink. If this week was any indication, Carolina has no intention of taking it's foot off the gas. Even up 31-0, they still had Newton and most of the top players in, and tried to pile it on. What do they do now? It's a bigger decision than people may think. And the pressure to stay unbeaten will really start to build now. The team will face that question over and over, constantly, from here on out.

While Rawles is out for the season, the Seahawks played...even better without him. It is impressive how Wilson has really earned his money the last few weeks. Pete Carroll won't say when Lynch is going to return, but speculation remains it will be before the end of the season. What this says to me, is what One@my posted recently about how Tom Cable really has the patchwork Seahawks OL finally working well together. Really well.

Speaking of Seattle, and Pittsburgh, Jeffrey Gorman (former VP of Colts) said he likes a Super Bowl XL rematch this year, of Pittsburgh and Seattle. What about the Panthers and the Patriots? "Mark my words" he said. I think it's quite possible. They played a couple weeks ago with Seattle winning 39-30, and Wilson tossing 5 TDs. The game was tied at the start of the 4th quarter.

As to Bradford, I have to agree with Merckx. He's played fairly well, he's been more durable than expected, but he hasn't been what Chip Kelly seemed to imply he was getting. Though he has showed more arm strength and savvy than Foxxy expected. Recall, even I said they would finish about 6-10. I think at one point Foxxy mused they would go 0-16, so Chip could get a sweet college deal.

As to Nick Foles, it's really hard to say. St. Louis offense has been so inconsistently bad, and while Gurley had another good game this week (after some said he was done), Keenum was bad and his numbers weren't any better than Foles when Nick was playing.
Of course they were let down, their O leader was out of the game. The team will be over his absence, and AJ will be better next week, but as you said he's not Dalton, and those who doubt Andy will see.
 
USA Today and NFL.com are both reporting that Dalton will not need surgery on the thumb, and the team is not placing him on IR and instead evaluating him week to week. But I have to imagine he's got to be out at least a few weeks. The Bengals have SF, @Denver, and Baltimore. Realistically, if McCarron can play mistake free, they could win two of these games. But they'll need help from someone to beat Denver in order to get a bye if they lose to them.

Things may get tougher in the playoffs. Right now the Chiefs and Jets are the WC seeds, but Pittsburgh is right there and playing better than both. All three teams could definitely beat a McCarron-led Bengals, even in Cincy. But even if Dalton is healthy enough to return then, how rusty would he be? A bye would have to help the Bengals more than any other team in the NFL I'd think.

Devin McCourtey has a high ankle sprain for the Patriots, which some players miss weeks, while others just deal with the pain.
 
Re: Re:

42x16ss said:
As an Australian, I've never really understood the purpose behind the Conference systems in US sports. I get how it works, but not really the purpose, other than a guarantee that team(s) from each region are represented post season. Wouldn't a better way be to simply have one ladder for each of the two leagues and then take the playoff spots from the top places?

It would certainly take away potentially embarassing situations like this, where teams that miss playoffs in one conference would have comfortably won a different conference.
Your two-ladder system wouldn't fix what has been going in the NBA for the last decade or so where .500 or worse teams are competing for playoffs in the EC and much better teams are also-rans in the WC. If the NFL wants regional rivalries with home and home series each year, the only practical setup is the divisional format. A single table in each conference would only work with a 15 game schedule where every team plays the others in its conference one time and there would be no out of conference games. Otherwise, quirks due to the small schedule size inherent to football would kill that idea. Plus, I don't see the NFL shrinking its schedule ($$$) anytime soon. They seem more inclined to go to 18 games.
 
Ever wonder how much of an impact injuries make? Instead of looking at what teams have lost; Romo out in Dallas, Dalton out in Cincy, look at what we're left with. This coming Sunday we'll have a late season showdown for first place supremacy in the AFC South, where the Indianapolis Colts lead by Charlie Whitehurst, will face off against the Houston Texans and TJ Yates.

Charlie Whitehurst Superstar versus Taylor Johnson Yates.

Scintillating isn't it? Must see football.

Between them they have completed a whopping total of 28 passes this season. Yates started the season in street clothes, unable to even make the practice squad. In the last four seasons, he has completed a grand total of 44 passes. And Whitehurst has been hanging on as a back-up for years now with several teams, sometimes even only making squads because of injuries (easy money, if you can get it). In 10 years he's amassed career totals of 195/356 for 2,190 yards. No, that's not what Andrew Luck had in the first six games this season before getting hurt. That's Whitehurst's entire 10-year career.

Colts fans. Texan fans. These are your starters, leading you to the division title, and a home field playoff game.
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
Ever wonder how much of an impact injuries make?
Here's a funny one I heard the Doctor John Clayton make today on the heels of talking about injured Ravens QB Joe Flacco as being the consummate pro by being consistently on-time or early. The discussion diverted to just signed QB Ryan Mallett, who Clayton says was the sleeper of his draft :D, and he literally meant sleeper for having missed meetings with other teams and recently for turning up late for a team meeting and then missing the teams chartered flight to Miami for their game against the Dolphins (leading to Texans cutting him in October 2011):
- Panthers in April 2011 (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/672026-ryan-mallett-reports-indicate-hungover-qb-misses-carolina-panthers-meeting)
- Titans pre-draft meeting in May 2011 (http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl-news/185149-ryan-mallett-reportedly-late-for-pre-draft-meeting-with-titans)
others?
- Texan cut Mallett in Oct 2015 (http://lastwordonsports.com/2015/10/27/ryan-mallett-cut-texans/)
Ho Ho Ho!

Seattle O-Line is playing better, as Cable said it would. But it's not just the O-Line. Other factors are contributing beyond the stellar play of Russell Wilson of late; 1) Wilson is taking quite a few 3-step drops (a good way to defeat the pass rush) and getting rid of the ball much quicker than he was, 2) which starts with the play calling by Bevell who came under fire in Seattle for his play calling early in the season. Wilson was also doing the line calls at the start of the season, so the one thing I do not know is if Center Pat Lewis has learned to make the line calls now taking that pressure off Wilson, or if the blocking scheme has been simplified. All in all, it has likely been a complete offensive team effort.
 
In another blow to the Patriots, Legarrette Blount is now out for the season. The Patriots have lost both of their primary RB's leading into the season. Dion Lewis started out as the mobile guy, and exceeded all expectations until an ACL tear took him out, now Blount, the power back, who had been very durable in his career, is done. This leaves Brandon Bolden (who?) And the freshly signed Monte Ball, who was cut by the Broncos.

Some insiders are thinking that the Panthers are going to keep their foot to the pedal for the rest of the season. They play @Giants, @Atlanta, who they just blew out, and Tampa. The general assumption isn't so much the perfect season, as much as it is keeping their players fresh. So if someone is at all hurt, they'll sit. If the team gets to garbage time, stars will rest more. But Rivera seems to have the same mindset as Belicheck in that if they're not hurt, you play your best guys. We'll know more on Sunday. Of those three teams, the Giants have the most to play for, but they've been maddening to watch this season. At 6-7 they could be 3-10, or 10-3 with the way they've played. The Panthers bench would have a good chance of beating Atlanta and Tampa.

Since I may not be able to pick in time, TB@STL - Barely. Maybe.
 
Aug 21, 2015
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Ravens defense has made a lot of people look good so I can't get too high on Seattle(although their game against the Vikings was impressive). They have looked good though, not a team people will want to play come January.
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
In another blow to the Patriots, Legarrette Blount is now out for the season. The Patriots have lost both of their primary RB's leading into the season. Dion Lewis started out as the mobile guy, and exceeded all expectations until an ACL tear took him out, now Blount, the power back, who had been very durable in his career, is done. This leaves Brandon Bolden (who?) And the freshly signed Monte Ball, who was cut by the Broncos.
James White has been a good 3rd down back, catching 16 passes over the last two weeks. He and Montee Ball made a good tailback tandem at the Univ of Wisconsin. They kept Melvin Gordon on the bench.
 
Re: Re:

djpbaltimore said:
42x16ss said:
As an Australian, I've never really understood the purpose behind the Conference systems in US sports. I get how it works, but not really the purpose, other than a guarantee that team(s) from each region are represented post season. Wouldn't a better way be to simply have one ladder for each of the two leagues and then take the playoff spots from the top places?

It would certainly take away potentially embarassing situations like this, where teams that miss playoffs in one conference would have comfortably won a different conference.
Your two-ladder system wouldn't fix what has been going in the NBA for the last decade or so where .500 or worse teams are competing for playoffs in the EC and much better teams are also-rans in the WC. If the NFL wants regional rivalries with home and home series each year, the only practical setup is the divisional format. A single table in each conference would only work with a 15 game schedule where every team plays the others in its conference one time and there would be no out of conference games. Otherwise, quirks due to the small schedule size inherent to football would kill that idea. Plus, I don't see the NFL shrinking its schedule ($$$) anytime soon. They seem more inclined to go to 18 games.
Then you could even go to a single ladder. As for shrinking the calendar, that doesn't have to happen, and by eliminating conferences and leagues extending it could actually be easier. You also get teams that have never (or very rarely) playing each other a lot more.

Ok, so might not got get the regional representation some years, but people get by knowing that the best teams are represented post season. An example happened in Australia with the National Rugby League this year where the two finalists were from the same state (QLD) leaving the main contributor to the competition unrepresented (NSW, who has 11 teams in the competition). There was a little bit of snark about it initially but everyone got over it quickly as the two best teams all season were playing and we were treated to an exceptionally played, well attended final.
 
Re: Re:

42x16ss said:
Then you could even go to a single ladder. As for shrinking the calendar, that doesn't have to happen, and by eliminating conferences and leagues extending it could actually be easier. You also get teams that have never (or very rarely) playing each other a lot more.

Ok, so might not got get the regional representation some years, but people get by knowing that the best teams are represented post season. An example happened in Australia with the National Rugby League this year where the two finalists were from the same state (QLD) leaving the main contributor to the competition unrepresented (NSW, who has 11 teams in the competition). There was a little bit of snark about it initially but everyone got over it quickly as the two best teams all season were playing and we were treated to an exceptionally played, well attended final.
A single table would be the fairest way to seed the playoffs, but there are a few tradeoffs that won't be acceptable to many fans and NFL execs. I grew up in Packerland (as a Viking fan unfortunately), and no Packer fan would want to trade two games a year with Da Bears so they can play Jacksonville or Tennessee more often. Same with the rivalry here in Baltimore between the Steelers and the Ravens. Plus, those games are often the prime time spotlight matchups, raking in big time money for the networks. My only rule suggestion would be that division winners not be given home field if their record is inferior to the Wild Card team that they are playing (i.e. Eagles should have to play in Seatle.) I would keep the division setup as is. The last realignment really improved the system to make them more regional.
 

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