Archive for February, 2018

Many superstar college quarterbacks have come to the NFL and failed to transition to the NFL. Tim Tebow. Johnny Manziel. Jake Locker. Robert Griffin III. Jamarcus Russell. Many of these passers won a Heisman and/or a national championship. Robert Griffin could’ve probably been an Olympic sprinter out of college if he had set his sights on track instead of football. These are not unmotivated, lazy, college kids. They are some of the world’s most accomplished athletes, and they had less success in the NFL than Trevor Siemian.

Lamar Jackson could be described as a dual threat QB. He gained 1,600 yards rushing with eighteen rushing touchdowns. Lamar Jackson completed his junior season with a higher completion percentage and yards per attempt score than the apparently highly-loved Josh Allen out of Wyoming. Most NFL writers are grading Jackson as a low first/high second round passer because what he does well does not translate to the NFL..?

If Josh Allen is in play for the first overall pick, as Mike Mayock has suggested, Lamar Jackson warrants a top ten selection at the worst. Jackson played stiff competition in 2017, and while he didn’t always win against top-tier competition he’s steadily improved throughout his college career. Jackson will benefit from an offensive coordinator who can structure offenses around non-traditional passers. Mike McCoy legendarily led Denver to a win IN Pittsburgh against Pittsburgh in the playoffs with Timothy Richard Tebow as QB1. The Cardinals have a gaping hole at the QB position and should be in position to draft Jackson at the fifteen overall position. The Cardinals QB coach, Byron Leftwich has received high praise with head coaching vacancy mentions in the past two seasons.

Jackson shouldn’t switch to wide receiver, he should play the position that he won a Heisman playing. But he’s going to need a coaching staff with mentors that will guide him to be successful in ways that so many have failed to do before him.


The Chicago Bears faced the toughest schedule in 2017 with a rookie QB and and an offensive so lacking in playmakers they swung a trade deadline deal for backup Chargers wide receiver Dontrelle Inman who became one of Trubisky’s most targeted players upon arrival. The Bears showed signs of life in 2017 with wins over Carolina and Pittsburgh early in the season. The Bears new head coach, Matt Nagy, is expected to resurrect the Bears offense like he did for Kansas City in 2017 with Alex Smith. While there is no scientific basis for assuming Fox’s departure will make Chicago competitive, the Denver Broncos won the SuperBowl immediately after firing John Fox as HC in 2015.

Assuming the Bears have even a moderately softer schedule in 2018, see some development out of Mitchell Trubisky, and bring in some receiving options for Trubisky, the Bears will take opponents by surprise and contend for a wild card spot.

The Houston Texans could take the AFC South as division champs if DeShaun Watson can stay healthy for sixteen games. More than one thing went wrong for the Texans last season. Stalwart defenders J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus were lost to injury. The Texans were 3-3 when Watson went down, and had only lost to playoff teams (Jax, NE, KC) and by one possession or less at that. Other teams fared better than Houston without their starting QB (see Philadelphia) but it’s clear that the version of the Texans that features DeShaun Watson behind center is extremely entertaining and just as competitive. Tennessee and Jacksonville who tied for the league’s easiest schedule both scraped by with barely nine wins or more. If Bill O’Brien can protect his blue chip passer he will reclaim the AFC South crown in 2018.

The San Francisco 49ersĀ may not be much of a dark horse playoff contender after finishing the season five and O and garnering a dark horse mention by human-energizer bunny Colin Cowherd. The fourth place NFC West team seemed to improve all over the field when Jimmy Garoppolo became the full time starter. The 49ers, like most teams, lost core pieces to injury during the season, like ILB Reuben Foster, SS Jaquiski Tartt, and RT Trent Brown. Important for San Francisco will be winning key matchups with Seattle and Arizona who should be fighting until the very end of the season for playoff status. Seattle looks to take a step back from their grip on the playoffs with so much uncertainty around Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, and Sheldon Richardson for the future. If Shanahan can find a Julio Jones-esque wide receiver this offseason, the 49ers will push deep for the playoffs after a last place finish in 2017.



The Eagles have every right to brag

Posted: February 13, 2018 in Football, NFL

Every team in the NFL gets bruised with injuries by the end of the season. The Vikings were on their third quarterback and lost their star rookie running back. The Texans went four and twelve and have a QB injury to excuse themselves. The Packers lost Aaron Rodgers for several games at a key juncture during the season. The Cowboys were without their star running back late into the season and even lost pro bowl left tackle Tyron Smith for a few games. The Seahawks were without a number of core defensive starters throughout the season; including Seattle mainstay Richard Sherman. The Colts haven’t had Andrew Luck since Obama was in office.

The Eagles had some injuries as well. They lost possibly the best left tackle in football, Jason Peters half way through the season. They lost super QB Carson Wentz late in the season. They had no right beating more experienced teams in the postseason. Scrappy Atlanta was supposed to beat them in dramatic fashion with a Julio Jones touchdown to close the game with 00:00 on the clock. The “better on paper” Vikings should have beaten Philadelphia with an arguably stronger defense and a much hotter (at the time) Case Keenum at QB.

And then the Eagles faced the Final Boss of the NFL. Bill Belichick and forty year old Tom Brady’s Patriots. The Patriots themselves were dealing with injuries. Wide Receiver Julian Edelman, linebacker, Dont’a Hightower, two top performers from seasons past were out. Even Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Butler had been benched because of illness..?

Ultimately the Eagles variety of weapons and mature play of Nick Foles proved too much for Belichick’s defense. Some point to Brady’s last minute fumble as a key point for the Patriots’ loss. I don’t see that. I see a defense that allowed forty-one points and expected their forty year old quarterback to still win them the game. That’s not reasonable. You can’t reliably win games like that. Brady did his job that game. Nick Foles did his job that game too. Maybe even better than Carson Wentz would have done. Ultimately the Eagles didn’t beat the Patriots because they signed LeGarrette Blount. They beat the Patriots because they found a way to build quality depth. Their backup tight ends are better than most teams’ starting tight ends. They lost their starting left tackle and still had the best offensive line in football. Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman deserve all the credit for building this roster, and for transforming Nick Foles into a Super Bowl MVP.