Link – Bill Belichick’s latest masterpiece involved a rookie third-string QB running circles around Texans

NFLBelichick certainly has more complete testaments to his coaching acumen – 13 AFC East titles in 15 seasons; four Super Bowls rings; a space waiting in the Hall of Fame. But few will be sweeter than this one: A 13-5 record with the three quarterbacks who have stepped in and started for Brady. That’s right. Brissett is now a piece of the answer to, “What has Belichick done without Brady?” Belichick still wins. Just like he did with Matt Cassel. Just like he did with Garoppolo.

The most surprising thing to me about the Thursday night game was not necessarily that the Patriots won, but that they just drilled the Texans with Brissett. Yeah sure, we all figured Belichick would have a game plan to help out the young QB, but I think we also all figured that with only 3 days ti implement that game plan, it wouldn’t work to perfection the way this one did. Nor did we think Houston would kind of be a mess on offense, though maybe we shouldn’t ever assume that Houston wouldn’t be a mess on offense against a well-coached defense in retrospect.

Tip of the cap to the Patriots. Still not a fan, but you have to respect it. Especially after your own team went 1-11 last year without it’s top QB. 😉

Link – Jerry Jones of Dallas Cowboys defends investment in DraftKings

1. He’s right, fantasy, and gambling, increases the interest in the sport.
2. On the other hand, it is gambling, and once you have that out there, it muddies the water a bit when you start to look at in game decisions. Was a decision made to simply increase one players fantasy points? (Or decrease them?). For example, was Arian Foster still playing in the 4th quarter of a blowout because of fantasy stats when he injured his Achilles? See how easy this becomes?

Jerry can say what he wants about his business interests, but once the league, and it’s owners, are involved in a big money enterprise who’s winners are determined by what happens on the field, it leaves room for the public to wonder.

Jerry Jones of Dallas Cowboys defends investment in DraftKings

So Your Team Started 0-2 Is It Time to Panic?

NFLWell yes, in the National Football League, it’s always time to panic!

You’ve all seen the numbers, the low percentage of teams who start the season 0-2 who actually make the playoffs. But, it does happen. So what are the chances your currently 0-2 team could still make the playoffs?

The “aren’t that bad” group:

Seattle, Baltimore, Detroit.

Seattle is a good team, who happens to have opened the season with two tough road games. They’ll be fine, and should manage to get into playoff contention.

Baltimore has one loss where the offense was terrible, and one where the defense was terrible. There’s hope that they’ll get it together once the shock of losing Suggs for the season wears off, but it needs to happen now. There division doesn’t allow for too much of a whole with solid Steeler and Bengal teams.

Detroit isn’t as bad as they seem, but they definitely have problems, and it’s going to be tough for them to dig out of the 0-2 hole. Not impossible, but difficult. They aren’t a hopeless team though.

The “they are that bad, but it might not matter” group:

Philly, NY Giants, Indianapolis*.

Philly and the Giants have been awful, and their fans should be worried that they might be awful all season long, but with their division competition being Washington and Dallas, who has to go with Brandon Weedon starting half the season, this division is still wide open.
The “they are that bad, maybe, but we just can’t seem to admit it” group:
New Oreleans – Forget Manning, is Drew Brees aging right before our eyes? There are still a lot of tools in the shed in New Orleans, but it is not working, and it’s confounding.
The “yeah, they aren’t good” group:
Houston, Chicago
There’s nothing there for either of these teams that would lead me to believe they will be anything but awful. They are 0-2 when even teams like the Raiders and Browns, who we assumed would be awful this season, have a win. Start scouting the NCAA games fans. A QB would go a long way toward helping things, but lacking a fix there, this season is going to be painful. Houston’s defense, frankly, deserves better.

On the other hand, there is the outside possibility that Indy and Houston could wind up switching places in these groups. Someone has to win that division, after all!




JJ Watt is the Best Player in the NFL, but not the MVP

jj watt photo

There’s been a push for JJ Watt to named the MVP this season, and after the season he’s had you’re not going to get any argument from me that he’s not a great football player, maybe even the best player in the entire league this year.

But he’s not the MVP. In fact, they should just go ahead and change the awards around and call the MVP award the “best quarterback” award. Here’s the thing, in 2014 teams in the league are absolutely, 100%, dependent on quality quarterback play, and the rest is less important. Not completely unimportant, but significantly less.

Just look at the “elite” quarterbacks in the league. Who are the top seeds going into the playoffs? Brady, Manning, Rodgers, Wilson. That is not a coincidence. Look at the teams with the top draft picks? Who played QB for them this year? Again, not a coincidence.

Look at all the teams not in the playoffs, including the Texans. How many of them can honestly say that they had fantastic QB play, but other areas kept them out of the playoffs? Even the Saints, who have one of the best in Drew Brees, did not get a very good season from Brees. Teams that got solid, sometimes spectacular, QB play are at the top of the standings, teams who’s QB’s turned the ball over, or were very inconsistent, are not.

For another example, just look at Arizona. When they were getting decent QB play, they combined that with a great defense to jump out to a great record. Since going to their third stringer, the defense isn’t enough to get them in the win column, and they are a pretty big underdog to Carolina, of all teams! Because no one trusts their quarterback.

The bottom line is that the most important driving factor for every team, for better or worse, is the play of their quarterback. How then, could someone playing another position be the league’s Most Valuable Player?

Now if JJ starts playing QB for the Texans on top of everything else, we can talk.

Photo by The Brit_2