NFL Summation: Week 11

Summationweek11The Case Keenum concussion situation is a disaster for the NFL. The backup QB saw there was a problem. The spotter saw there was a problem. The trainer talked to the QB and decided there wasn’t a problem? Talk about opening themselves up to liability.

This sparked a conference call with the 32 trainers and the NFL. Great. If Case Keenum develops CTE I’m sure he will take great solace in the fact that he can know it was after his was patient zero for mistreatment in the new NFL concussion policy. If he can even remember he ever played in the NFL. That’s not a joke for fun’s sake, that’s a joke for effect sake. He might not ever remember that play that where he fumbled the game away, and right now that is on the NFL.

Come on NFL, get your shit together. I know you really don’t give a fuck about the player’s health because your actions (Thursday games being the most obvious example) speak louder than your platitudes about player safety. But if you are going to say there is a system of precautionary measures, you have to at least follow them. And if the people you hire to do that job fail, they need to be punished. Maybe it’s a first offense fine, and second time you are fired, but it has to be something. If not you just continue the theme that most of us who follow the sport closely believe, you don’t actually care, you just want to be perceived as caring. Which is too often how you are coming across these days, with refs, player safety and most notably women and domestic violence.

Thurs
TEN (2-7) @ JAC (3-6)
Sun 1pm
OAK (4-5) @ DET (2-7) IND (4-5) @ ATL (6-3)
STL (4-5) @ BAL (2-7) TB (4-5) @ PHI (4-5)
DEN (7-2) @ CHI (4-5) NYJ (5-4) @ HOU (4-5)
WAS (4-5) @ CAR (9-0) DAL (2-7) @ MIA (4-5)
Sun 4pm
KC (4-5) @ SD (2-7) GB (6-2) @ MIN (7-2)
SF (3-6) @ SEA (4-5)
Sun 8pm
CIN (8-1) @ ARZ (7-2)
Mon
BUF (5-4) @ NE (9-0)

GAME NOTES – THURSDAY NIGHT EDITION

Jaguars (3-6) 38, Titans (2-7) 24
Jaguars (4-6) 19, Titans (2-8) 13

Despite some shoddy ofensive play from the Jaguars the defense held them in the game long enough for them to score just enough points to win. I feel the Jaguars played a bit down to their competition on a Thursday night, at least on offense. Blake Bortles is a good talent as a QB, but he isn’t a good QB yet. His accuracy wanes and his decision making can be completely questioned. They need to take more pressure off him with a strong run presence, and it looks like TJ Yeldon can be that guy if they let him.

It’s a Titanic style mess in Tennessee these days and it starts at the top, and I mean the very top with the ownership. Here is what should happen, it won’t, but it should. Peyton Manning retires and becomes the face of a group of investors that buy the Titans and he becomes the John Elway of the Titans. Peyton is so big in Tennessee getting investors shouldn’t be hard, and worst case is you get Papa John involved.

  • 1-0 for the week, 89-58 for the season.

GAME NOTES – 1 O’CLOCK EDITION

Pick
Actual

Raiders (4-5) 35, Lions (2-7) 10
Lions (3-7) 18, Raiders (4-6) 13

Oh no Oakland. Has all the hot air left the balloon on the offense? It sure seems like it. This was a big step back for the Raiders, both in franchise momentum and in playoff aspirations. The future’s still bright in Oakland, or should I say for the Raiders. Even with the news that LA may have to wait for the NFL until 2017, the Raiders are likely headed out of Oakland ASAP.

It’s not clear what anyone’s plan is in Detroit right now. That’s not a big deal because the president has only been in place for a weekish. The questions tend to become how much do you try to win while also trying to evaluate what talent is on hand for the future. Well since the coaching staff likely won’t be back, and the GM is an interim they just seem to be trying to win at any cost. I think they need to establish the power structure sooner rather than later and decide what they want to do to get back to relevancy in the NFC, which shouldn’t be too far off, as long as someone can come in and remold Matthew Stafford.

Pick
Actual

Falcons (6-3) 31, Colts (4-5) 17
Colts (5-5) 24, Falcons (6-4) 21

Well, shame on my Falcons, shame the fuck on me. I trusted you against an old man back up QB and you fucked me again. I don’t know where the defense from the first few weeks went that swarmed the ball and looked poised to be a top 5 unit in the next couple of years. Sadly they now look like they have returned to their proverbial bottom feeder status.

The Colts are in the worst division in the NFL so that benefits them, but the Texans seem to be coming on and the Jags defense is legit and the Colts have lost Andrew Luck. I don’t see Matt Hasselbeck getting this team to the playoffs, even if the team is 3-0 when he starts this season.

Pick
Actual

Rams (4-5) 24, Ravens (2-7) 17
Ravens (3-7) 16, Rams (4-6) 13

This is a terrible loss for the Rams and it crushes their playoff hopes almost to a pulp.I mean they could of course go on a run and make the playoffs, but they damn near need to run the table because of how crowded the playoff picture is in the NFC.

The Ravens may have gotten the win, but in the end they lost far more than that victory was worth. Joe Flacco is done for the year and probably about half of next year. A huge blow to a team who spends as much on the QB position as the Ravens do. They also lost Justin Forsett, which is a big blow to 2015, but they should be able to find out in Buck Allen is a legitimate piece going forward or if they need to find the future Ravens RB.

Pick
Actual

Buccaneers (4-5) 21, Eagles (4-5) 10
Buccaneers (5-5) 45, Eagles (4-6) 17

I loved the Bucs getting points like they were because I thought they could win going away, but I didn’t see THAT coming. What an ass kicking. Almost 300 rushing yards, with no rushing touchdowns, but 5 touchdown passes. A crazy day in terms of both offensive production and fantasy production.

Chip Kelly probably isn’t humbled at all by his team’s struggles this year, but he should be. He set out to prove that he could control both personnel and the play calling and it’s looking like quite a big mistake. For him to equal the 10 wins he got in his first 2 years, they will need to run the table, and I don’t see that happening. Could Chip run back to college realizing he made a mess in Philly?

Pick
Actual

Bears (4-5) 27, Broncos (7-2) 13
Broncos (8-2) 17, Bears (4-6) 15

The Bears have made some poor game day coaching decisions that have left with 4-6, when they should be 6-4 and in the thick of the playoff hunt. Well they are still in the thick of the playoff hunt, but it’s almost by accident. They went for it on 4th down inside the 5 yard line against the Broncos instead of kicking the gimme field goal, and look what happened, they lost by 2.

It would appear that the Peyton Manning Era is over in Denver. I don’t want to give Brock Osweiler too much credit here, but it’s what he didn’t do that stuck out in Chicago, he didn’t turn the ball over. Now I’m not going to anoint the kid a 12 year starter, but he is better than Manning right now and gives the Broncos a far better chance of competing for a title with that defense going forward.

Pick
Actual

Jets (5-4) 16, Texans (4-5) 10
Texans (5-5) 24, Jets (5-5) 17

What a slide the Jets are on. These up and downs are exactly what I expected from this Jets team in 2015, but I didn’t expect it to be in strings of games like it has, I expected it to be more of a good week, bad week situation. I also didn’t expect the defense to struggle as mightily as it has. Also the reign of Darrelle Revis is over. When TJ Yates isn’t afraid to throw at you, no one should be.

This is an amazing rebound for the Texans. It’s not completely surprising that it’s coincided with Bill O’Brien actually picking a QB and sticking with him. I knew that was a bad idea when it happened and it followed them for weeks. The line in the sand is now drawn though and even though TJ Yates performed well against the Jets, when Hoyer is healthy (looks like this week) he will continue to be the starter. The Texans defense has been the real story and they obviously feel they can win with Hoyer because they have returned to full effort, after a few weeks of mediocre effort at best.

Pick
Actual

Panthers (9-0) 34, Redskins (4-5) 24
Panthers (10-0) 44, Redskins (4-6) 16

The Panthers continue to roll through their schedule. Cam Newton ate the Redskins up and gave the game balls to the kiddos. Seriously why aren’t more teams following suit with how the entire Panthers offense are finding kid fans after they score TDs and getting them the ball they just scored a TD with. Cam specifically sprinted across the end zone with one after spotting a kid. The broadcast highlighted it well and it is exactly the type of press the NFL needs right now. After the MLB strike in 1994, the 1995 season saw MLB change its policy on baseball at the end of the inning and foul balls that didn’t enter the stands. Before they were brought back to the dugout and considered for continued use in the game and if not they became batting practice balls. In the wake of the strike the MLB knew they needed to reach out to their fans and as such told players to give the balls to fans at the end of innings and told ball boys and girls to give the foul balls they collected to fans, specifically young fans. Why young fans? I’ll paraphrase Steve Mariucci on the NFL Network’s NFL Gameday because they become ‘Fans for life.’ It’s a no brainer where the NFL is right now, come on Roger Goodell start encouraging this and don’t give me shit about the cost. If you have to prepare a few more footballs for each game so be it.

The Redskins showed some fight early, but they weren’t able to maintain it after they committed a few bad penalties. And yes the defensive TD they had called back was the correct call. I don’t think that means they are a lost cause, they have had to face the 2 still undefeated teams in a span of 3 weeks and showed better fight against the Panthers than they did against the Patriots. The problem is turnovers. They didn’t take care of the ball and that is soul crushing against a team you have to play perfect against just to have a chance at maybe beating.

Pick
Actual

Dolphins (4-5) 24, Cowboys (2-7) 21
Cowboys (3-7) 24, Dolphins (4-6) 14

The Dolphins are playing harder than they did with Joe Philbin in charge, but they still seem to lack a solid game in, game out game plan. There are so many skill players that could be difference makers on this team that don’t seem to get the opportunity to do so. Part of that is a lack of protection along the offensive line in both the running and passing games. Ryan Tannehill hasn’t been good, but he also hasn’t had time to be good. The need for physicality hasn’t translated to the offensive line as a whole.

Tony Romo came back and the Cowboys won. Where would they be if he could have played all season and how big would next week’s Thanksgiving day game against the Panthers be? It could be 2 10-0 teams battling for home field advantage. Sadly its’ not and the Cowboys hardly rolled against the Dolphins, but the more Romo is under center the better for the Cowboys chances to run the table and win the NFC East. A situation that I don’t think is likely, but I do think is possible.

  • So that’s 2-6 for the 1 o’clock games, 3-6 for the week and 91-64 for the season.

GAME NOTES – 4 O’CLOCK EDITION

Pick
Actual

Chiefs (4-5) 35, Chargers (2-7) 17
Chiefs (5-5) 33, Chargers (5-5) 3

The Chiefs are BACK. It seems to not matter who their RB is either. Spencer Ware played the next man up role and it was like Jamaal Charles never left. Ok maybe not completely, but he was still very good. The defense is completely in control right now and is making bad teams look like Pop Warner teams. Can they keep the momentum? Sure, until Andy Reid has to make a critical game changing decision of course.

Where do we go from here the Chargers are asking themselves and of course for ownership the answer is Los Angeles. The coaches and players on the other hand probably just want to mail in the rest of the season and get a start on their golf games. I mean it’s San Diego, it’s gorgeous all the time, who wants to waste that while getting crushed on the football field?

Pick
Actual

Vikings (7-2) 21, Packers (6-3) 17
Packers (7-3) 30, Vikings (7-3) 13

The Vikings let this game get away from them with some poor penalties and some surprisingly sloppy play from Adrian Peterson. The Vikings are a better team than they showed on Sunday and this smelled of them kind of choking in the moment, as youthful teams tend to do. I expect them to bounce back and continue to fight for the NFC North crown.

The Packers, and more specifically Aaron Rodgers, used his experience to take down the young whippersnapper Vikings. I hardly think the Pack is Back though. Randall Cobb is supposed to be Rodgers best weapon and he dropped passes like he was allergic to the ball. Sure Eddie Lacy looked a little better, but being benched for a week is great motivation for a week, but does it carry over going forward? It almost has to for the Packers to be good.

Pick
Actual
Seahawks (4-5) 27, 49ers (3-6) 9
Seahawks (5-5) 27, 49ers (3-7) 13

The biggest news of this game is that Marshawn Lynch didn’t play and that Thomas Rawls looks better than the Lynch has all year. There was never any doubt and one tweet stood out as funny in saying that playing the second half of this game would be the ultimate in redundancy, and the tweeter was correct.

The 49ers probably won’t have the first pick in the draft because they were dumb enough to win 3 games. They need just about everything and they aren’t going to pick til probably 4th? That’s good, but it has to be mildly disconcerting.

  • So that’s 2-1 for the 4 o’clock game, 5-7 for the week, and 93-65 for the season.

GAME NOTES – SUNDAY NIGHT EDITION

Pick
Actual

Cardinals (7-2) 27, Bengals (8-1) 24
Cardinals (8-2) 34, Bengals (8-2) 31

This is a very good home win for the Cards coming off a very good road win. I’m tempted to say that I like them to win the NFC better than the Panthers, but here is the problem with that, the Cards have shown they can lose and their defense isn’t a staunch as they may want you to believe. I think the offense when it is good is great, but when it is bad it’s terrible. They need to prove some more consistency for me to truly believe they can go to Carolina and beat the Panthers with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

I said this wasn’t a place the Bengals had to win, which is good because they didn’t win, but they did what they needed to, compete. They were in it until the end and made it a game. That’s 2 losses in a row though so the Bengals need to bounce back and prove they are still a serious contender to the AFC throne or they will be dismissed soundly by their critics, whom are plentiful.

  • So that’s a win on Sunday night, 6-7 for the week, and 94-65 for the season.

GAME NOTES – MONDAY NIGHT EDITION

Pick
Actual

Patriots (9-0) 38, Bills (5-4) 34
Patriots (10-0) 20, Bills (5-5) 13

The Patriots are down another 2 WRs and I don’t know how much more they can take before guys are coming in and not even knowing the route tree. Let alone the Pats complicated option route tree that is based on QB Tom Brady and the WR seeing the same things in the defense’s secondary and running routes based on those coverages. That isn’t even talking about the offensive line and it’s struggles with protecting Tom Brady or opening up holes in the running game.

The Bills didn’t cost themselves the game as poorly as they have at some points this season, but there are serious question marks about effort in some places. I think the biggest problem is that the line between effort and over exuberance hasn’t been adequately drawn for the Bills and they are now afraid of being penalized and in turn are losing some of their effort level.

  • So the Monday night loss makes me 7-7 for the week and 95-65 for the year.

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