QUICK NFL THOUGHTS–WEEK 10

Here are some random and very delayed, random thoughts about Week 10 in the NFL…

  • Anyone who believes Teddy Bridgewater should replace Case Keenum as Minnesota’s starting quarterback needs to report to their local drug testing facility immediately.
  • Father Time has issued an Amber Alert for Tom Brady.  He shouldn’t expect to find him anytime soon.
  • The four NFC Division leaders, Philadelphia, Minnesota, New Orleans and the Los Angeles Rams, failed to make the playoffs last year.  If the standings remain the same at the end of the season, it will mark the first time that the four division champions failed to make the playoffs in the previous season.
  • Before the excoriating of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones begins because of his attempts to stall and stop the contract extension negotiations of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, consider what Goodell is demanding.  He is asking, among other things, a $50 million annual salary, the lifetime use of a private plane and lifetime health insurance for him and his family.  Considering that Mark Parker, CEO of Nike, a company that earned the twice the revenue as the NFL did last year, receives a $14 million annual salary, it’s not so unreasonable for Jones, who was able to purchase the Cowboys and make it the most valuable professional sports franchise because he is an astute businessman, to put the brakes on what appears to be a very one-sided and inequitable business deal.
  • Once NFL Network host Rich Eisen tweeted on Sunday, “The Browns just tried to QB sneak on goal line with no timeouts left.  Of course it was stopped.  No points, No time.  No clue,”, Cleveland should have fired head coach Hue Jackson on the spot.
  • You have to wonder what Fox broadcasters Chris Myers and Darryl Johnson did to management for the both of them to have inglorious assignment of calling the titanic struggle between the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers.
  • New Orleans is a legitimate Super Bowl contender because they’re not asking quarterback Drew Brees to do everything for them.  Thanks to Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, the Saints have discovered a running game, rushing for 110.9 yards per game and 4.7 yards per attempt through their first nine games.  Last Sunday, on the road against Buffalo, New Orleans rushed 48 times for 298 yards and six touchdowns, including 24 straight plays in which they ran the ball.  With their emphasis on the running game, no longer do the Saints need to play in an offensive shoot-out with Brees throwing all over the field to have a chance at winning.  More importantly, their ball control philosophy keeps their defense, the team’s Achilles Heel since their Super Bowl victory in 2010 off the field for longer periods of time.
  • It’s been well documented that Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton has struggled this season due to a weak offensive line.  But before placing all the blame on the offensive line for the team’s sub-par passing attack this season, Dalton himself is responsible for some of the problems as well.  This is not the same quarterback who led the Bengals to the post-season in each of his first five years in the league.  In those five seasons, Dalton completed all types of passes, short, medium and long, to all places on the field.  This year, however, is vastly different.  Dalton has been extremely inconsistent, rarely completing a pass greater than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage and mainly only between the numbers.  Dalton’s ability to accurately throw outside the numbers is practically non-existent as evidenced by his two misfires to A.J. Green deep down the right sidelines in the last two games.  Those were passes Dalton routinely completed in his previous six seasons.  It is true that the inability of the offensive line to provide decent pass protection has made life difficult for Dalton in 2017.  But it is just as obvious that Dalton’s inefficient and ineffective play is compounding the problem.
  • Vontaze Burfict’s ejection last Sunday proved four things about him and the Bengals current and future state:
    • Game officials are signaling out Burfict and are giving him absolutely no benefit of the doubt when it comes to a borderline or marginal infraction on the field.  There’s no question Burfict’s reputation precedes him.
    • It’s painfully obvious that Burfict only cares about himself who ignores the impact his actions have on the rest of the team.  After being ejected, he was only concerned with complaining to someone he knew in the stands and taunting the Tennessee fans as he was leaving the field.  Burfict’s selfishness is readily apparent and detrimental to the team’s chances at success.
    •  Burfict’s actions are emblematic of what the Bengals have become under head coach Marvin Lewis, who condones and defends the behavior of Burfict and is responsible for setting the tone for the rest of the team:  A group of undisciplined, ill-prepared, and selfish players who do not, under any circumstances, resemble a team.
    • It’s time for the good of the franchise for the Bengals to cut ties with both Burfict and Lewis no later than the end of the season.

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