NFL Divisional Round Game Previews

Last week in the game previews, I also gave some game predictions. Although I thought deep down inside the Cowboys would win, I didn’t pick them because they’re the NFC equivalent to the Patriots* – we can’t stand them. The other game I got wrong was the Bears. That was a shocker. Not so much the loss, but not using Khalil Mack to get after an injured Nick Foles.

This week, let’s take a look at the divisional rounds. Every once in a while, two teams face off that the seeding is wanky, this year there are two – the Colts and Chargers. Both had early losses which landed them here and while on paper, usually you’d want to face a 5 or 6 seed, in these two cases, not so much.

SATURDAY

6 Seed Colts (10-6) vs 1 Seed Chiefs (12-4) 4:35 NBC

Referee Crew

John Hussey ref crew

No Walt Anderson for any team this weekend, so they should be cheering (except he is an alternate for this match-up so pray no one gets sick). Offensively, these teams aren’t that far off, especially if you look at the last month, not the first. Defensively, they’re worlds apart.

On offense, you have the veteran QB vs the newbie and the better defense vs the putrid. What Kansas City has going for them is home field advantage. Arrowhead stadium is LOUD. Arrowhead will be cold, snowy/rainy and miserable. Arrowhead on a good day for an outdoor team is a struggle, for a traveling dome team, it’s got to be counted as a 12th and 13th man.

I did see the Colts were outside practicing a little bit in their own nasty weather, so at least they’re trying to get ready. However, this will be their first snow game and it can’t be ignored. In poor conditions, throwing is usually kept to a minimum and the run game rules. This is where Indianapolis can gain some ground, their rushing attack was mediocre; however, over the last month, Marlon Mack and co have turned it on, while KC without Hunt has lost a lot of ground.

If teams go to the air, it’ll be up to the best defensive scheme and I don’t see KC’s man working well when trying to cover guys in a tough to see sky and slippery field.

This is bad news for KC who is ranked 29th with 19 rushing TD’s allowed and 132 yards per game. Indy is ranked 10th with 12 TDs and slightly over 100 yards. Marlon Mack was the leader last weekend in yards, plus he had a TD. This isn’t a good match-up for KC who would’ve had a chance to cream the Ravens or Texans.

Obviously, when it comes to Total points scored and TDs thrown, the Chiefs are leading with 50 TDs and 35 points per game, with Indy in second having 39 TD’s and 27 points per game. However, Luck’s short game is better than Mahones and that will be a big deal this week.

An area Kansas has better defensive stats is in the sack department with 52 compared to Indianapolis’ 38. However, the Colts have allowed a league low of 18 sacks, so something has to give. Mahones was sacked 26 times. When it comes total defense, Indy is 11th, and 10th in points allowed (21.5). KC is 31st in total and 24th in points allowed (26.30).

When it comes to defending the pass, Mahones may have a long day, Indy is tied for third in only giving up 21, but KC is 22nd with 30. As far as stopping the run, the Colts are 10th allowing 12 TD’s and the Chiefs are 29th with 19. The question is, what happens when a team that is tied for third least passing TD’s meets a team that is first in throwing them? KC gains 35 points a game, but Indy allows 21.

Indy gains 27 a game, while KC allows 26.  In bad conditions, will Mahones with Travis Kelce in the short (safe) passing game do slightly better than Andrew Luck and Eric Ebron? No one on the Colts defense can keep up with Tyreek Hill, but in a bad weather game, nature may even things out by negating the deep pass and his chance to streak away for a score.

I like the chances of Indy’s DL vs Mahanoes’ OL more than KC’s vs’s Indy OL. This game will come down to the run game and defense in bad weather – that’s Andrew Luck and Marlon Mack with some doses of TE’s. More than anything though, in a tight clash, I’m not sold on Andy Reid and his clock management skills.

4 Seed Cowboys (10-6) vs 3 Seed Rams (13-3) 8:15 FOX

Referee Crew

john parry referree crew

I don’t watch a lot of NFC games and never seek out the Cowboys, but since the NFL has anointed them, I’ve watched enough to know that the Rams have two jobs if they want to win: stop Zeke and protect Goff.

Dak Prescott needs everything perfect to win, remove one item and he can’t carry this team and I don’t think Jason Garret can, either. I’m not so sure Jared Goff is all that great with missing pieces, either, so this match-up should be a fun defensive one to watch.

Can Wade Philips and his squad draw up some plays to confuse Dak and keep him in the pocket? Prescott on the run is pretty good, in the pocket against good coverage? Not so much, his passes become wild too much of the time.

Not to mention, he’s among the worst for sacks being his fault (56 of them!). Dallas’s front seven is pretty dang good and could see them giving Todd Gurley fits, which in turn will force Goff to throw more. In a throwing match-up, I’ll take the Cali dude, his 10 more touchdowns and better accuracy.

Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliot should be the stars of the game…or why one team loses because whichever defense shuts down the run game, wins. The Rams give up more yards than Dallas, but they’re tied in scores allowed at 22 a piece. To be honest, I’m not sure if that’s due to LA’s goal line stance or teams decided to throw in the red zone instead since they stunk at defending passing TD’s. Maybe getting Aqib Talib back in form will help (please).

Meanwhile, Dallas has allowed ten less, so this will be a clash that LA could find itself on the wrong side of. However, when it comes to interceptions, the Rams are killing it and that is very bad news for Prescott. He’s pretty safe with the ball, but this could force him to be more cautious which means a slower release and more chance for sacks.

IF LA can keep him contained. LA has 41 sacks which could equal a very bruised Dak. A better defense facing a better passer on one side with a worse quarterback and worse defense on the other side. This could even out the passing side and as I said above, becomes a run game duel. If that’s the case, I’ll take the team with better rushing stats, more sacks and more interceptions.

SUNDAY GAMES

5 Seed Chargers (12-4) vs 2 Seed Patriots* 1:05 CBS

Referee Crew

ron torbert ref crew

My dearest Ron, America begs on its knees for you to go against every stat in New England and please call a fair game. Amen. The snow Patriot* fans were hoping for isn’t coming. The weather forecast shows sunny and around 25. Not ideal for a warm weather team, but there won’t be winds, so that helps.

Based on the weather, we should see both sides play fairly close to what we’ve seen on offense. My guess is both quarterbacks will play a bit cautious as turnovers will be in their mind. Tom Brady‘s arm lacks the juice it once had, don’t get me wrong, he can still make deadly throws, but he’s tossing far more, what was that?, balls than before.

As far as Philip Rivers, he’s a gunslinger at heart. Taming that (like we saw vs the Ravens) will be a game plan I’m guessing. Let their better defense and close run game lead the way. While NE* does have more yards, their yards per carry are lower and the touchdowns are only two more than LA’s no doubt due to the absence of Melvin Gordon. I’d say these two are about equal in this department.

When it comes to passing, both teams are also very close. Rivers has three more touchdowns. Where the two differ is LA’s offensive line is offensive, they’ve allowed 34 sacks and unlike in places like Houston and Dallas, it’s not on him, they just aren’t good.

That is the key for NE* (in a fair called game), abuse the OL. Of course, the same is true for Brady*, not that his OL stinks, they don’t, but he struggles when pressure is his face. LA has two really good pass rushers, but Gus Bradley will need to find creative ways with some stunts to send them through the A and B gaps, not just the C’s. Or send Joey Bosa up the middle with Melvin Ingram screeching around the edge. Whatever it takes to disrupt Brady*. Rivers is better used to pressure in his face, so for him, they’ll need to actually sack him.

The key to this game is turnovers. The Chargers haven’t been very good in the differential, but the Pat’s have been and maybe last week was a trial run of how much LA can get away with without passing. Anyway, as I wrote, both QB’s are pretty close with Rivers a tad better. Including last week, they are 8-1 on the road and that’s huge. If they make it to the Super Bowl, that will weigh heavily in their favor no matter who they face. The Saints would be the worst though.

The Chargers have 38 sacks, 13 interceptions, have given up 23 passing TD’s, 228 air yards and 11 rushing. New England* has 30 sacks, 18 interceptions, allowed 29 passing TDs, 246 air yards per game and seven rushing touchdowns. In total, NE* gave up 2 more TD’s. This also is close.

Overall, the Chargers are ranked 9th in defense to the Patriots’ 21st, but when it comes to stopping scores (not including kicking ones) they’re really close. Only .3 per game separates them. We’re talking 4 points for the season.

HOWEVER, when you look at their DVOA’s, the Chargers are better – DVOA takes into consideration the teams they played. With all this said, it’s going to be a close game. Hopefully, LA learned last week that if you’re ahead a bunch, don’t take the foot off the gas and NE* is the most lethal to pounce when a team does.

If LA plays a clean game, limits mistakes and pressures Brady* all game they win. If they commit dumb penalties, they lose, that’s how close these teams are.

6 Seed Eagles (9-7) vs 1 Seed Saints (13-3) FOX

carl cheffers ref crew

This game does have the right ranking, the Eagles are the worst of the NFC teams that got in and the Rams, the best. Even so, it’s tough to say this will be a blow-out only because Philadelphia has a way of doing the impossible.

In my predictions above, I picked the most balanced teams to win. Going with that again. The Saints are far and away a better team; however, when it comes to scores against them, Philly isn’t that far behind.

Against the pass, both defenses stink. I can see Drew Brees and Nick Foles having a bunch of air yards. To note though is the Saints have given up eight more passing touchdowns. This game is inside and that will help Foles.

When it comes to stopping the run, New Orleans is a little better, that might not matter much, both teams are keeping offenses under 100 yards. Where the Saints have the run away stats is for that – the run. 26 rushing TD’s, 126 yards a game and 4.3 per rush.

That’s the game right there. If the Eagles can’t stop the run, they’re done. The Eagles are only averaging 98 yards a game, so there’s no break out chance for them in this category – they’re facing a decent run stop team.

If the Eagles want to win, they’re going to need to pass and pass often. When it comes to TD’s they only have four less. They may need to pass because of time of possession. If the Saints go with the run heavy game with short passes, they’ll use up the clock.

To counter that, Philly will need to run more hurry up unless they score first. If they can get a TD up first, now they can be more balanced, but with only 12 rushing touchdowns, not sure how.

Since this game is in the Saints’ dome, crowd noise will make the Eagles go silent snap count and I’m not so sure about that success because getting the defensive line to jump will be tougher. Little things like that will matter. I’m going with the run game and Drew Brees.

NFL Wild Card game predictions.

NFL Wild Card game predictions
Here it is, the first week of playoffs and while the Jaguars aren’t in it, the best teams, are. Instead of doing an AFCS game preview, this will replace that with my NFL Wild Card game predictions.

SATURDAY 4:35 ESPN

6th Seed Colts (10-6) vs 3rd Seed Texans (11-5)

This is a home game for Houston, they have a better record and therefore should get the nod. I disagree. Indy has a better offense, slightly better defense, much better passing and about even rushing.
In the cold of January, that rushing stat would be worrisome, but the Texans play in a dome, as do the Colts. Which means, passing and defense is what will matter more – for this game.
Houston’s defense only allows 19.8 points a game, while Indy gives up 21.5. Against QB’s, Houston is 13th and Indy 16th in total QBR. I look at this number because it shows how they did in allowing completions. The real eye opener though is how many each allowed in passing TD’s and for Indy it was only 21, for the Texans is was 28.
The Colts score 27.1 a game and the Texans 25.1.
Against the rush, Houston is third in TD’s allowed, while Indy is 10th. Both teams have the same interceptions, but Houston has five more sacks. Since the Colts have protected Luck the best in the league, the big advantage goes to Indy since Deshaun Watson has been creamed the most.
Away teams tend to do far worse in the playoffs than the home teams, usually it’s because the home team earned it by being better. In this case, Indy got off to a slow start because they have a new head coach and had a rusty QB. Both are now clicking. I chose Indy by 6.

8:15 FOX

5th Seed Seahawks (10-6) vs 4th Cowboys (10-6)

Lord, I don’t like Dallas and can’t be objective when looking at stats. Nine is the number that matters. That’s how many rushing TD’s Seattle has allowed. In the red zone, they’re keeping teams out of the end zone.
Dallas’ offense is wrapped around Zeke Elliot and the run game. Take him away and stick a dagger in their heart, their defense be damned.
Seattle allows one more point a game than Dallas and that’s coming from the pass. They’re not great against it, but when it comes to tossing them, they’ve got Dallas beat by 13 TD’s.
Dallas has to find a way to keep up in scoring in order to win. They lag by 5 points per game, hence nine is the key. Nine means the Seahawks have had games with zero rushing TD’s allowed. Do that vs Dallas and you’ve got a big win for Seattle.
In my subjective view point, Seattle plays bend don’t break defense while Dallas plays more flashy, that can get them into trouble. And FYI, Seattle has more rushing TD’s than Dallas. 15 to 13. My prediction, Seahawks by 7 because Dak Prescott will be strip sacked.

SUNDAY 1:05 CBS

5th Seed Chargers (12-4) vs 4th Seed Ravens (10-6)

LA has a big thing going for them, they travel well. 7-1 to be exact which means they aren’t afraid of playing in loud stadiums, plus they have shown time changes don’t bother them, either. In their first match-up, offensive penalties killed them. This is an area to see if it was cleaned up – it’ll go to coaching.
The Chargers have to stop the run, which they’re not bad at, but they’re going to need to be great. Baltimore is number 3rd at the run TD’s, so not a good match-up.
Against the pass, Baltimore is second in QBR and LA is 9th. Both teams on total defense is top ten. Offense is where the gap is.
When it comes to points on the board, LA has scored almost twice as many TD’s. So, this game is about slowing Rivers through the air and stopping the Ravens on the ground. Kind of funny that rivers run on the ground and ravens fly through the air but each team is the reverse. Yes, I’m goofy.
In January (outside), the run game and defense, win. No one is really talking up the Charger’s run game, but they have three less TD’s than Baltimore and more yards per carry and that’s with Melvin Gordon missing time. Both defenses have given up 11 rushing TD’s.
Baltimore keeps points to 17.9 a game while LA scores 26.8. Baltimore is scoring 24.3, while LA gives up 20.6. Based on just this, LA wins by a FG in a slug fest.

4:40 NBC

6th Seed Eagles (9-7) vs 3rd Seed Bears (12-4)

The Eagles are the feel good team this season, once Nick Foles came in and won. The difference between this season and last is one, teams have now seen enough of him in this offense to know him and two, da Bears.
When it comes to consistency, I’ll take Foles over Mitch Trubisky, but Matt Nagy has found a way to scheme around him and it works. Plus, Chicago has 50 sacks. I don’t think Nick or that OL is ready for Khalil Mack.
Where the two teams are equal is on defending the pass for the score. Both have allowed 22. This opens the door for the quarterbacks to have a decent day provided they don’t get creamed, first. However, Chicago has intercepted the pass an amazing 27 times, needless to say, that’s very bad for Foles. His mental game must be on high alert.
Foles’ total QBR is ranked lower middle, Trubisky is ranked third. Which shows he makes plays even in his inconsistency and that’s what matters. Not to mention, Nick has bruised ribs – against a team with 50 sacks. I’m not seeing a happy ending for the fairytale.
Philadelphia has done better as the season wore on, their defense found its legs, but they’re not a top team and on the road in Chicago, I predict da Bears by 14. This is my one blow-out game.

The thing is…why the Jacksonville Jaguars may not draft a quarterback.

why the Jacksonville Jaguars may not draft a quarterback

Most of us would LOVE a shiny new toy at quarterback, one the franchise can have for twenty years. Of course, that’s my gut and heart wishing…then the cold-hearted logic side of the brain kicks in and throws icy water all over the happy party. There are three (or four) reasons why the Jacksonville Jaguars may not draft a quarterback.

First, none of the rookie candidates are setting the world on fire. One could say Dwayne Haskins is the most well-rounded and best choice; he’s the right size, accurate, mobile, and played for a top school. But then, so have a slew of other college QB’s who didn’t pan out. The main reason: they often don’t need to call plays in a huddle, be a leader, diagnosis defenses…exhibit the mental side of the game that makes the difference.

This leads to why drafting quarterbacks is difficult. A franchise should have a guy who is methodical, can march his team down the field, played against defenses that are tough, and played in a pro-system because it shows he can handle a huddle. He must make pinpoint throws and lead his receiver.

Let’s say this guy is found so everything is peachy now, right? Not really. A franchise must also have a good offensive line AND a run game, because no matter how smart the rookie is, the NFL will be faster than what he knows and that requires time to think and help to carry the load.

Without that, you have a guy more focused on avoiding getting hit instead of reading defenses and working on his pocket presence.

Next, does he have the right scheme and coaches? Does the general manager and the coaches want the same things and are on the same page? Often quarterbacks drafted high aren’t busts, they merely landed on teams where the above answers were “no”.

Coaching is Everything.

To keep this brief, let’s jump to a biggest factor that seems to be overlooked by those weighing in: weapons.

Jacksonville doesn’t have any – skill positions on offense that can give a rookie quarterback confidence to make iffy throws because his tight end or wide receiver has good hands.

The Jaguars ranked first in dropped passes. Some of that can go to the passer, but some of it is lack of talent. That must change, Jax has to draft guys with good hands, including a running back that can catch.

The logic could be: “Great, let’s draft a quarterback plus the above and have them grow together!” Sounds perfect in theory. However, the reality is, WR’s and TE’s rarely, and I mean rarely, do well as rookies. The reason is because of the stem route, and the best way for rookies to grasp that is a veteran signal caller.

(If you want to learn more about stem routes and why they’re so important, click the link.)

If Dede Westbrook and a slew of rookies is all he has, he’s going to be in a tough spot. It’ll be the blind leading the blind. We saw that already with Blake Bortles, Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee.

A good veteran quarterback can help receivers and tight ends get better. They know the playbook well, know defensive schemes, often know the players they’re facing. He can give tips to his guys, be their guide on the field. That won’t happen with a rookie QB.

Rookies are at the mercy of his OC and his center. Yes, the center. I’ve written two articles about the OL, one simple and one more detailed. You can find them under offense. The entire Jaguars OL went down this season, leading to all the backups playing. IF the OL can stay healthy all season, a rookie QB will be ok in that department; if not, he’s in big trouble.

The Jaguars, knowing they need a slew of help on offense, may choose to sign a veteran and develop the skill guys so that in a year or two they can draft a quarterback into a team that has experienced players to help him. This would show that Dave Caldwell learned a lesson.

The flip side could be sign (pay) for veteran skill players and draft the rookie. The downfall to that is…the Jaguars will have a new offensive coaching staff.

For the future, it might be best if this new staff has a vet under center that they don’t need to babysit while they work on rookies. Doing this will set up the future so when they draft, that guy has a smooth functioning offense, one easier to learn behind.

  • a rookie needs a good OL
  • weapons
  • coaching stability
  • vets to help him learn

Until all those boxes are checked, the Jacksonville Jaguars may not draft a quarterback.

AFCS Week 17 Friday Injury Report/Game Status

AFCS Week 17 Friday injury report for the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans

This is it, the final injury report for the 2019 season. I won’t be doing an injury report for whichever team in our division makes the Play-offs. I hope that team (Colts) is one and done. Read below for the AFCS Week 17 Friday Injury Report/Game Status for the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans.

SUNDAY 1:00

Jaguars (5-10) vs Texans (10-5) CBS

Remember Tanner Lee? I didn’t. He’ll be Blake Bortles’ back-up and I’d guess he will see playing time. It would be dumb not to since they should evaluate what he’s got before they head into next season.

How do you get injured on a final walkthrough of the season? Carlos Hyde, DJ Hayden and Jalen Ramsey must be rolling their eyes. Are we supposed to believe they’re injured? Or an excuse to only play them a little to make sure they don’t get hurt going into 2019?

On the Texans side, what a crock.

Jaguars week 17 friday injury reporttexans week 17 friday injury report

They should cream us, but would be dope to be the spoiler. Screw draft order, if your entire team revolves around being up five spots, you’re not very good in drafting and coaching.

8:20 NBC

Colts (9-6) vs Titans (9-6)

I’d like the Colts to thump the Texans. When Peyton Manning was there, it was tough to hate Indy because it was him and not some no-name guy that creamed us every year. Houston and Tennessee is another story, they both need to lose and go home crying.

Yes the Colts look like half a team, but Tennessee has half of Marcus Mariota. That should even things somewhat. It’s Andrew Luck being down weapons and their almost entire secondary on this list that is the, oh crap. At least none of the DL is on here because it’s tough to see the Titans throwing a lot.

colts week 17 friday injury reporttitans week 17 friday injury report

That’s all folks, see you in August, happy new year and may it bring the Jags circa 2017.

AFCS Week 17 Thursday Injury Report

AFCS Week 17 Thursday Injury Report

Everyone, but the Jaguars, are still in the play off hunt and so their injury reports matter – for the Jags, seems like 1/2 their team is on IR. This AFCS Week 17 Thursday Injury Report is short and sweet.

SUNDAY 1:00

Jaguars (5-10) vs Texans (10-5) CBS

It doesn’t matter Fournette is on here, again. I wouldn’t play him even if healthy. The dude needs to be shut down, rolled in bubble wrap and put away until a regular season game we need him. I’m glad to see DJ Chark is healthy.

jaguars week 17 injury repoert

Texans looking a little road weary. but it hasn’t seem to hurt them much because their Injured Reserves list is short.

texans week 17 thursday injury report

8:20 NBC

Colts (9-6) vs Titans (9-6)

Colts list has grown again after shrinking little. Their team may struggle looking like this especially with their offensive weapons and the secondary.

colts week 17 thursday injury report

Flipping the Titans off, way too healthy; however, I’m thinking having a qb say he couldn’t feel half is a body is’t a good thing.

titans week 17 thursday injury report

 

That’s it for the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans – AFCS Week 17 Thursday Injury Report.

Week 16 NFL game predictions – He Said/She Said.

Week 16 NFL game predictions - He Said/She Said.

Even though it’s been a crazy season, He and She are actually doing pretty well compared to the men behind desks who get paid to make predictions. We’re hovering between 70 and 75%.

These last two games shouldn’t have any surprises, but who knows? This is typically when high flying offenses start getting grounded because the best defenses have adapted and the run game wins in bad weather.

SATURDAY GAMES

Redskins (7-7) vs Titans (8-6) 4:30 NFL Network

Jay: Home team, short week, better defense, better quarterback…Titans by 7.

Jules: Titans, and I don’t care who wins, neither team is in any condition to get to Atlanta, but the game is in TN and they have a better defense and run game.

Ravens (8-6) vs Chargers (11-3) 8:20 NFL Network

Jay: This is going to be a very fun game and I have a sneaking suspicion that Baltimore walks into LA and wins by 3. I’m looking forward to being proven wrong though.

Jules: The word is Baltimore will give LA’s defense fits because of Lamar Jackson and their defense. The thing is, LA’s run game and defense is very close, but they have a better passing game. In warm LA, I’m going with Rivers.

SUNDAY 1:00 GAMES

Texans (10-4) vs Eagles (7-7) CBS

Jay: Wentz-Magic….I just trust Houston’s defense more here. Houston by 4

Jules: I’m reluctantly picking Houston, but with little film on Foles, I think Philly has a good chance to win. If Wentz plays, the Teams win.

Packers (5-8-1) vs Jets (4-10) FOX

Jay: Blah. Jets

Jules: Who cares? I’m going with home team.

Bills (5-9) vs Patriots (9-5) CBS

Jay: New England in a game that will be tougher than most people think it should be.

Jules: NE* because the game is there.

Vikings (7-6-1) vs Lions (5-9) FOX

Jay: Lean on Dalvin and Latavius…lean away from Stafford.

Jules: Dalvin Cook, not Cousins. Dude can’t carry a team.

Buccaneers (5-9) vs Cowboys (8-6) FOX

Jules: I trust Jameis over Dak, but the game is in Dallas, so I’m picking Zeke to be responsible for a win.

Jay: I have zero trust in Jameis Winston, and the game is in Dallas, so I will go with Dallas here.

Bengals (6-8) vs Browns (6-7-1) CBS

Jay: Browns in the battle for mediocrity (which is a huge upgrade for Cleveland).

Jules: Williams over Lewis. Cincy needs to make bold changes at HC and QB.

Falcons (5-9) vs Panthers (6-8) FOX

Jay: My guess is go with the better QB here. I’ll take Atlanta even with or without Julio.

Jules: Last season, this would’ve been a good game. Newton is playing poorly due to injury, even so, I’m going with them because their run game will give the Falcons fits.

Jaguars (4-10) vs Dolphins (7-7) CBS

Jay: Miami…they need this and Jacksonville stinks out loud.

Jules: Miami, two sons will be at the game, but I think they may leave heartbroken, Jax offense is pitiful.

Giants (5-9) vs Colts (8-6) CBS

Jay: Colts need this. Giants don’t. Home team.

Jules: While NY has looked better with Shumur, Eli is so hit or miss, tough to see him outscoring Luck.

4:05 GAMES

Bears (10-4) vs 49ers (4-10) FOX

Jules: the one fear is this could be a trap game. First year starter vs this defense and they made Denver look silly, but Chicago has seeding on the line, so going to say Nagy doesn’t let them take any W for granted.

Jay: Very much a trap game, but the 2 seed is still technically in play here, so Chicago gives it their all and wins by 3 in San Francisco.

Rams (11-3) vs Cardinals (3-11) FOX

Jay: LA. Blah

Jules: Just what LA needs, a team they should beat to get their confidence back. If they lose, and the Bears win, I say Chicago is SB bound.

4:25 GAME CBS

Steelers (8-5-1) vs Saints (12-2)

Jay: Saints at home is very safe

Jules: Saints, that home crowd will be rocking and NO is 2/3’s better.

8:20 GAME NBC

Chiefs (11-3) vs Seahawks (8-6)

Jay: I love this game. Just because my brother in law is a Chargers fan, I’m taking Seattle just out of family loyalty.

Jules: Oh, this could be a real slugfest. Three top games this week – Chargers, Bears and this one. If Russell Wilson is on his game, I think they could pull off the win in that loud stadium. Losing Kareem Hunt hurt KC and Gus Bradley is a Pete Carroll disciple.

MONDAY 8:15 ESPN

Broncos (6-8) vs Raiders (3-11)

Jay: Home team because of sentimental, nonsense reasons. Oh, and Denver is checked out.

Jules: Why these two teams have a Monday night game is beyond me. Gruden’s job is safe, Vance is out the door, so could see an easy win go out the same door with him. The players have bad-mouthed him, so can see them playing without any heart.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

AFCS Week 16 Game Previews – TV Viewing, Referees, Stats, Passing Charts, Injury Reports

AFCS Week 16 Game Previews - TV Viewing, Referees, Stats, Passing Charts, Injury Reports

As we enter week 16, three teams in our division has something to play for, and the Jaguars do not. However, the cards need to fall exactly right for the Titans and Colts to have a shot at a Wild Card. Take a gander at the AFCS Week 16 Game Previews – TV Viewing, Referees, Stats, Passing Charts, Injury Reports.

All Saturday games will be nationally broadcast as will the Sunday 4:00 and night game, and Monday’s, too.

Here is FOX’s 1:00 games

NFL week 16 TV viewing map FOXNFL week 16 viewing map CBS

SATURDAY 4:30 NFL NETWORK

Redskins (7-7)  vs Titans (8-6)

I put ref crews each week because this season has seen some really crappy reffing and you may not think much this week, but you can come back here and see who officiated for future reference.

Referee Crew:

john hussey referree crew

The Redskins are a game back from the Cowboys, but with their beat-up team and QB situation, tough to see them winning this game or the next.

REDSKINS WEEK 16 THURSDAY INJURY REPORTTITANS week 16 friday injury report

Look at these charts and one has to wonder, how long do the Titans accept that Marcus Mariota is always hurt and while he has moments of good quarterbacking, he’s 20th in total QBR with a 54 which is just barely above average (75 is pro bowl caliber) and that is a trend. His rating is 91.9.

Josh Johnson hasn’t had enough games to get a QBR (it bases its scores on each play by difficulty, right decision, was the receiver wrong, etc and takes into account garbage time). However, just based on his straight passing stats, he’s 98.2. Against Jax he was very careful with the ball and I see that continuing vs TN.

josh johnson passing chartsmarcus mariota passing charts

This game will be won from the legs of their running backs. Tennessee’s defense is tied for third with 8 in allowed rushing touchdowns. That puts Washington at a huge disadvantage right from the jump. Washington is 13th with 11.

When it comes to passing TD’s allowed, the Titans are third again with 17. The skins are 15th with 23. Clearly one defense is better.

Tennessee is 30th in passing yards and TD’s, so that’s the one area Washington has a chance. Keep the injured Mariota throwing. Yes, let him throw; however, rush him up the middle when he does.

Johnson is such a new face so late in the season, I’ve no idea what he can do and that could help them win. It’s a slim chance, but if the skins can keep the run game down, they have a good chance at winning. If they can’t, it won’t be close.

It’s important to know that only recently has Tennessee got their running going, two games with Derrick Henry balling out has pushed their numbers up. Stop Henry, stop the Titans. Washington’s run game is ok, nothing to write home about, but if Johnson can be efficient, the two together could work.

While the pundits think this is a slam dunk game, I’m not so sure just because Tennessee is so one-dimensional on offense, hence their record. If the Redkins can pull it off, it wouldn’t be shocking.

SUNDAY 1:00 GAMES

Jaguars (4-10) vs Dolphins (7-7) CBS

There’s something that seems to happen to referees when they officiate IN Jacksonville, they turn into brain dead zombies. Most teams get a home field advantage with refs (I did an article once tracking flags/yards and it’s clear home teams have less), but that’s not the case for the Jaguars.

Based on that, we could see a “fair” game. I didn’t see Martin reffing a game for the AFCS this season, so no idea how he did, not that it matters, now.

Referee Crew:

Clay Martin referee crew.png

Ryan Tannehill is hurt, again. I could see Calais Campbell sacking him and Asweiler ends up playing. If that’s the case, I’ll bet six Christmas cookies he throws a pick. That man thinks he has an arm of the gods and Jacksonville’s secondary isn’t the team to play  like that against.

Jaguars week 16 friday injury reportdolphins week 16 friday injury report

Here’s the deal. Tannehill looked good vs NE* because their secondary isn’t very good and their linebackers are slow. His QBR (not Rating) is actually lower than Bortles and that’s saying something. Ryan is 31st. Only Josh Rosen is worse.

I’m not going to post passing charts because there’s not enough on Cody Kessler and Tannehill has been hurt all season, plus he missed games. What we do know is Kessler has thrown one TD in three games and Tannehill has thrown 16.

Adam Gase loves the passing game, so Ramsey and Co better be on their toes. However, stopping Kenyon Drake and Kalen Ballage is the real trial and based on how Jax has done vs the run, I’m not shaking any pom poms.

The key to this game is Jax’s defense because that seems to be the only way get points. Miami has something to play for, the Jaguars don’t and sad to say, that matters. However, there are several players who need a good game for a chance to stick around.

The flip side is, Marrone is now heavily playing all the young (and cheap) players to get evaluations for next season. These young bucks will play hard, but they will make mistakes. We saw it vs Washington.

Could Jacksonville play spoiler vs Miami? Yes, Dave Williams could bust out and the Dolphins don’t have an answer, their defense isn’t great (as in, sucks). Just because they beat Brady* (who’s not Brady* anymore), doesn’t mean that defense can stop lowly Jacksonville.

If Williams can get a run game going and the receivers remember how to catch, the Jaguars can win. I didn’t say Leonard Fournette because if I was Doug Marrone, I’d shut him down for the season. Why take a chance he gets hurt?

The only thing holding them back is themselves. Period. Seriously, they have the better defense by far which should keep Miami from scoring a lot. Add Miami being poor on defense, the answer is the run game for Jax.

Giants (5-9) vs Colts (8-6) CBS

This makes me kind of sick to say, but I’m pulling for the Colts, any teams to stop NE* from having home field berthing.

Referee Crew:

brad allen ref crew

Giants are really healthy, and the Colts are still banged up, but it hasn’t seemed to stop them.

GIANTS WEEK 16 FRIDAY INJURY REPORT

COLTS WEEK 16 FRIDAY INJURY REPORT

Eli Manning with Odell Beckham and without is stark. Not even Saquon Barkley can save him. These passing charts show that New York’s defense, which is ranked 4th best in passing TD’s, will be a busy bunch.

Indy is right behind them with only one more allowed touchdown. Advantage Colts because I don’t see their secondary being afraid of Eli.

Andrew Luck passing chartseli manning passing charts

Eli is careful with the ball and his numbers aren’t bad at all, until you look at how few times he’s scored. Right now, he’s the guy who does well between the 30’s, but too often peters out in the red zone.

Andrew Luck has 14 more TDs. The chart above isn’t current, Luck has 34 TD’s now and Manning, 20.

Indy has 9 rushing touchdowns and New York has 10, so not as if we’ll see much of a ground and pound game especially since it’s in a dome. However, Darius Leonard is out and that could help NY in the center of the field, plus two safeties are hobbled which should help Manning.

However, this contest is still the Colts’ to lose. They have the better passing game by far, their defenses are about equal in passing and both have similar offensive rushing. In outdoors games I go with best defense and run game (at this time year), but passing rules inside.

Overall, Indy is 11th in allowing points and NY is 22. There’s just no area when you can say the Giants have an advantage, unless the Colts have a bad day. OR Indy loses another offensive lineman, they’re the key to Luck having a great season, with Cosonzo out, that could be an issue.

Home team.

Texans (10-4) vs Eagles (7-7)

Both are fighting for different reasons. Houston wants a first round bye and Eagles want to win their division.

Referee Crew:

john parry referree crew

Carson Wentz is a better QB than Nick Foles, even banged up; however, a healthy Foles can do things a hurt Wentz can’t. Right now, Foles has the hot hand, so it’s good they ruled Carson, out. Both teams are beat up, neither has an advantage, here.

TEXANS WEEK 16 FRIDAY INJURY REPORTEAGLES WEEK 16 FRIDAY INJURY REPORT

Neither QB is lighting the world on fire, but both have a knack of getting their teams in good positions with the right throws, at the right times.

Nick Foles passing chartdeshaun watson passing charts

As you can see, Houston has a weapon Philly doesn’t and that’s a mobile QB who will tear you up when you’re not expecting it.

I’m not going to use the Eagles passing stats because with two QB’s, it’s too tough, but will use Houston’s and both defenses.

When it comes to defense, Houston is 4th in stopping total yards, 5th in points allowed, and third in not allowing rushing touchdowns. They do struggle against the pass, they’ve allowed 24 air TD’s.

For the Eagles, they’re 18th in allowing rushing TD’s, 10th in air touchdowns and 27th overall in allowing yards. They’re giving up 22 points a game.

Neither team is great in sacks or interceptions; however Philly is tied for 10th in INTs.

Where the Eagles have an advantage is their run game, they have 12 TD’s to Houston’s 8. Strange, but true. It’s going to be cold and in a hostile environment which means this game will come down to defense and rushing.

When boiled down to that, it’s almost a wash. However, Foles has been practicing in this weather while Watson is a dome guy and that could help Philly on the passing side. I don’t see an easy game for either team, it could end up being a real slugfest.

Philly could pull off a win because I think the weather may take away the passing advantage for Houston, plus their rush defense isn’t great.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE, see ya next week.

AFCS Week 16 Friday Injury report and game statuses.

AFCS Week 16 Friday Injury report and game statuses

I’d like to say oh, look, the Dolphins are really banged up and we’re not, but the truth is, half our starters are on injured reserve while Miami is still fighting for a play-off chance. As far as the rest of the AFCS Week 16 Friday Injury report and game statuses, not a lot of changes.

SATURDAY 4:30 NFL NETWORK

Redskins (7-7)  vs Titans (8-6)

The Redskins are a hurt bunch, the Titans aren’t in great shape, either, but it shouldn’t matter.

REDSKINS WEEK 16 THURSDAY INJURY REPORTTITANS week 16 friday injury report

SUNDAY 1:00 GAMES

Jaguars (4-10) vs Dolphins (7-7) CBS

The gave ups vs the mediocre. Tannehill was still limited so there’s a chance Brock Osweiler could play towards the end.

Jaguars week 16 friday injury reportdolphins week 16 friday injury report

Giants (5-9) vs Colts (8-6) CBS

If the Giants play Manning, they’re idiots. They’re out of the PO race and Shumur says he thinks Eli will play for a few more years. Then why risk him? You’ve got a rookie you drafted, play him to see where he is at.

GIANTS WEEK 16 FRIDAY INJURY REPORT

COLTS WEEK 16 FRIDAY INJURY REPORT

Texans (10-4) vs Eagles (7-7)

Not great for either team.

TEXANS WEEK 16 FRIDAY INJURY REPORTEAGLES WEEK 16 FRIDAY INJURY REPORT

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE, see ya next week.

To tank or not to tank, that is the question for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

to tank or not to tank

There are two streams of thoughts when it comes to what the Jaguars should do for these last games: win for pride or lose for a higher draft pick. Pride shouldn’t be a choice. Players should have that every game. It should be, win for next season. To tank or not to tank?

Wins help the team more for 2019, or does drafting top 5 or 10 ? Most believe the Jaguars need to draft a quarterback. At this point, there are three on the table: Dwayne Haskins, Will Greir and Justin Herbert.

There are three teams in the same boat as Jacksonville: Denver, Giants and Redskins. All three could finish with six wins. There are other teams with quarterbacks that may want to draft because of contract issues or age. However, do the Buccaneers and Titans feel one of these rookies is better than what they have?

No matter how you look at it, teams with rookie QB’s almost always tank. Most often it’s due to youth, but in addition, teams that draft quarterbacks at the top, have issues beyond a signal caller. This often is a toxic mix.

This season there were five QB’s taken in the first round and their records aren’t good. Browns finally got a good GM who made the right coaching calls, and now they’ve won because Mayfield was the missing piece to team that was loaded with talent, but needed better coaching. Before some house cleaning, they’d been drafting in the top ten for years without wins.

The Cardinals are 3-10, The Bills and Jets are 4-9. The Ravens are 7-6, but they drafted LAST.

Four quarterbacks drafted top ten and four have losing records, the one drafted last is on a winning team. Can it all be blamed on the young guns? No, because poor coaching or other issues plagued the teams going into 2018.

To tank or not to tank?

That is why it is NOT in the best interest of the Jags to tank. They need to show they can win the last three. The team has a very talented defense, but injures decimated the offense. Before the players started dropping like dominoes, Jax was 3-1.

Look around the league, KC lost last night and part of that was due to their secondary, which is hurt. They could lose the next two because of it and now become a wild card. The Redskins were up two games in the NFCE and then injuries struck.

The Texans started the season with a phone book of injuries, same for the Colts and then they got players back and they started to win.

The point is, good coaches find a way to win even with a depleted team. The Redskins are beatable. The Dolphins could be a problem, but the Texans could end up sitting their starters week 17. So, two or three winnable games left.

Another reason to win is cap space. Doug Marrone needs the rookies and second year players to ball out which allows Dave Caldwell to make cuts. While it’s always sad to see favored players leave, the team needs the future to step up.

In addition, despite fans wanting to fire everyone, it’s rare for franchises to hire new coaching staffs and then get to the play-offs the following season. It’s for three reasons: this typically happens because the franchise is a mess and/or they don’t have a good head coach or QB.

The franchises that have been successful at it, had a great quarterback like Peyton Manning who also acted like a coach. There is no Manning available to sign, or anyone remotely like him to come save this franchise if they lose the next three.

NE* hasn’t drafted in the top ten in a decade, and have had drafts without a first round pick and yet, every year, there they are, going to the playoffs.

COACHING IS EVERYTHING.

Many would say it’s because Brady*, but it was Belichick who found him, it’s Belichick who coached him, it’s Belichick who has players people never heard of, winning. If you believe it was all Brady*, where was he drafted?

Meanwhile, teams like the Browns and Jacksonville repeatedly have had top ten picks and where did it get them? We need Marrone to show he can motivate this team to keep their head in it. He can’t do much about having Kessler, but if they lose, it needs to be solely because of him, not the team lacking effort.

If this team loses the next three, the players are listless, and they need a new quarterback, the Jags won’t be winning for a while. Maybe three years from now. However, if the franchise is just missing a QB and a few healthy players, then 2019 should be a big improvement.

Will a rookie QB make the difference between making the play-offs and not? Extremely doubtful because it goes to coaching. A franchise must have a plan in place and be in full agreement on how to develop him.

The owner, president, VP, GM, head coach and offensive coordinator must be on the same page, have the same vision and commitment to their drafted quarterback. They also can’t pick a quarterback and then the next season bring in another new staff. If so, you have incompetent Denver who chose Paxton Lynch and wasted that pick.

If Jacksonville loses and does it by looking like they did in some of these games this season, then Shad Khan will need to clean house from top to bottom and I don’t believe there’s a franchise out there that put in a place a brand new staff, drafted a quarterback, and won the next season.

The fans need these wins if they want to see them next season. While they may not get the top quarterback, they could get the second best one and based on the drafts lately, that’s not a bad thing.

Better to have the next (healthy) Carson Wentz and a steady staff on the same page, than Jared Goff and a revolving coaching carousel. Goff, who stunk, until he got the right coach for him.

Speaking of which, the reason franchises that keep changing coaches tend to stink is because they change schemes, playbooks, and styles of players they like. Plus, they want their guys. Jon Gruden is in Oakland cleaning house so he and his coaches have who they picked.

This often means second and third year players are wasted and not fully developed because they don’t fit their new coaches’ preferences. Nor do coaching techniques or personalities mesh. When that happens, you end up with a boatload of dead money, wasted cap space and rosters of players riding the bench.

Readers, cheer for the win, not root for the loss in the dreams 2019 will be all better because the next Peyton Manning, or whomever drafted in the top ten is your GOAT., is walking through the door.

COACHING IS EVERYTHING

I’m cheering the coaches show they can be the answer next season. I’m cheering for a coaching staff on the same page when choosing the next quarterback, and they stick around to develop him. I’m cheering for continuity and consistency, a crucial key to success. I’m cheering Khan has made the right choices in front office staff. I’m cheering for #DUUUVAL to shine, not tank.

I’m cheering for WINS!

How to fix the NFL Referee problem: 10 simple and common sense solutions.

NFL referee problem

Don’t know about you dear readers, but it seems to me we’ve seen some truly bad reffing this season. Full-time refs were supposed to be the answer, but that hasn’t happened. It’s because it was done half-assed. There is a NFL Referee problem and I’ve got a list on how to fix this.

*I write “he” for ease, but assume there will be females here or there in a crew. Also, I use the word referee to encompass all the officials*

  • Draft referees from the NCAA like the NFL does.
  • House them in a non-Pro football city that’s in the central time zone like Birmingham, Alabama. Since Birmingham has three, maybe four college teams (and a couple top notch high school teams) within fairly close proximity, they can use their players and facilities for practice.
  • They will act like players – practice or watch film during the week. This way all referees are on the same page. In addition, during practices, players will fake penalties and supervisors will watch and rank how the refs do
  • They draft enough refs to have two crews at every NFL game. This way if a ref or line judge, etc. stinks during a game, his replacement is there. Just like players. There will also be a crew of third teamers left in the home city to fill a “B” team crew due to any benchings (see below). for future games.
  • Like the NFL, have awards for best refs at each position. They will get bonuses and get to officiate the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl. Refs who officiated throughout the season, but receive no votes, get the heave-ho.
  • If a ref has two failed challenges in a game, he is benched during the game and suspended from reffing the team(s) he messed up on for the rest of the season and/or the next one. His calls will also be under review to see if he needs to be benched for other games.
  • If a ref has more than one game with two overturned calls, he’s fired.
  • Each year, refs will go under a review board made up of members of the NFL officiating committee, an owner rep, a HC rep and a player rep.
  • Top ones get a raise and are kept. Bottom ones are sent back to the NCAA.
  • Each year a referee is kept, he gets more perks, like his choice of what games to call, a 401 type savings plan and better living quarters.

The plan is find the cream of the crop, and make it pay to do their best.

As far the current referees, the review board I suggested weighs in on them. The top ones (the non-NFL staff decides on how many) are given seniority for 2019 and can be the instructors (with an additional bonus) at the training city.

They are also given choices on whose crew they want to be on or pick the crew they want of the current refs, but no more than two per crew. After officials are drafted, they will be parceled out to be as balanced as possible.

The NFL is a multi-billion dollar business and can afford to do this. Especially since bad NFL referees can and do cost franchises millions when games are lost.

It’s time they become serious about this and get tough. The NFL this season feels like the officiating crews, not the teams, are deciding who wins, which in turn makes the NFL seem corrupt. It’s tough not believe this has come about for two reasons: legal gambling and ratings.

Actually, I believe gambling is why viewership is up – bettors want to see how their players are doing. With the NFL now in bed with gambling organizations, they absolutely want certain endings, to think otherwise is naive.

Give fans competent and impartial refereeing and you’ll grow the fan base by having butts in seats. How many stadiums are selling out? That should be the measuring stick, not who’s watching their money perform on their TV’s.

Soapbox over.

AFCS Week 11 Wednesday Injury Report

AFSC Week 11 Wednesday injury reports

We have three games on the slate for the AFC South. Match-ups between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts, plus the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins. Take a look at the AFCS Week 11 Wednesday Injury Report.

Titans (5-4) vs Colts (4-5) 1:00 CBS

This is a game the Colts need to win for the Jaguars because it would tie these two teams up and Titans need a division loss. Taylor is still dealing with turf toe and Conklin remains under the concussion protocol. They look pretty healthy which isn’t great for Indy.

Not sure how this happened, but Indy’s injury report used to give me cramps from typing, is now down to half its size. They came out better from the Jags game then we did. Some names on this list are on it almost every week.

Texans (6-3) vs Redskins (6-3)  1:00 CBS

This game will have the rest of the AFCS in agreement: the Texans must lose even though they’d still be in first due to division wins because it has another cache to defeat them.

Another team that has halved its report is the Texans, it’s not coincidence both are winning.

The Redskins somehow keep winning, but after their OL became a carbon copy of the Jaguars, those W’s may be turning into L’s because it’s tough to do much without protection or blocking.

Steelers (6-2-1) vs Jaguars (3-6) 1:00 CBS

The scum sucking NFL flexed this game to 1:00 because why show this game when they can always play the Cowboys, again? This game is a must-win to coin a cliche. Period. If they want any chance, they’ve got to win.

The Steelers look so damn healthy it’s disgusting.

Good News is Jax has two healthy tight ends and Fournette is off the injury report. The bad news is Gibson is on it, we lost center Linder and both LT’s are on here. Plus, Bouye is still injured, along with Meeks and the secondary, which is already showing cracks and this isn’t good news.

 

Hope things begin to look up quickly and we’ve got a full roster.

Hit or be Hit: 16 reasons why the Jags struggled.

Hit or be Hit: 16 reasons why the Jags struggled.

There’s been lots of angst among the fans about who to blame, who to fire, etc. but, sometimes it isn’t one thing, it’s a whole lot of things. However, it’s easy to look at this team with the same coaches from last season and almost the same defensive roster and think, what happened?

Some missteps could be seen, but oftentimes there’s not much you can do to fix them. I’ve listed the misstep or mistake or unforeseen circumstance that has lead us here.

16 reasons why the Jags struggled.

  1. Blake Bortles. For his team friendly deal, they really had no choice but to keep him because of the free agents and their price tags that were available. Do you see Case Keenum being an upgrade at the same price? They could’ve drafted a rookie, but that would’ve for sure sent them back. Look around, how are they doing? Granted, the Jags are 3-5, doing as poorly as the drafted teams; however, who saw that coming?
  2. If the defense gave up after the offense stumbled week 3, then that’s on coaching and the fact we keep seeing such a disconnect in the linebacking and secondary goes to coaching. But it also goes to losing Paul Posluszny. No, he didn’t play a lot, but he was a leader and when he was out there, the defense knew what they were doing.
  3. Myles Jack was moved inside to Poz’s spot and there hasn’t been the same production. We’re missing an edge guy. Leon Jacobs hasn’t filled that role, Telvin Smith, either. There’s a void at the LB position that’s affecting the entire defense. An unseen outcome?
  4. Losing Aaron Colvin hurt, too because that changed the DB dynamic, but that was a cap issue and one they thought DJ Hayden and Tyler Patmon could fill. Unseen? Maybe.
  5. Last season, Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue and Malik Jackson had sacks because of two reasons: the DB’s playing man, shutting down the WR’s/TE’s and a legit edge guy that made Olines change their assignments. The lines losing their gap integrity allowed those three to barrel through.
  6. An offense that kept them on the field too long, lead to injuries and apathy. This should have been seen once they realized they had no receiving stars. That’s a front office fail.
  7. Too much zone because of injuries. The defense has seen DJ Hayden miss weeks, Tre Herndon, AJ Bouye and Tyler Patmon and a time or two Jalen Ramsey was also on the injury report.
  8. Man takes far more energy than zone. Zone takes more communication and trust. Trust that comes from spending lots of time together as a unit, not having a hodgepodge. That’s the issue Jacksonville has in the back half – there has been no continuity which leads to good communication and trust. The most crucial elements needed to play zone.
  9. Tashaun Gibson and Barry Church have been silent, Gibson was injured weeks ago and while he’s not on the injury report, he could be dealing with a power zapping ailment. Church showed he’s no longer invested in the team after his London outing.
  10. Jacksonville’s claim to fame was how fast they played. Have you seen that this season? No, but that could go to the injuries. It’s easier to play man when you’ve got a 5th DB out there, not a linebacker in coverage.
  11. Right now, you’ve got each player kind of doing his own thing on each play, a combo of man/zone and it’s not working. That goes to coaching.
  12. As far as offense, beyond Bortles, they lost their star WR in Marquis Lee and then their number one running back and number one tight end. Not until Carlos Hyde was brought in were any of those holes filled. That’s on Doug Marrone or Dave caldwell or Tom Coughin. One them thought these three holes were ok. It wasn’t.
  13. When you’ve been through four left tackles and the remaining O-Lineman are the walking wounded, bad things happen to mediocre quarterbacks. Add no weapons and I think even good QB’s would fail. To me though, broken record here, the lack of tight ends was the worst fail of all. Against the Colts was the first time we saw just what has been missing.
  14. The Jags lost their power back, and three tight ends, but didn’t use Tommy Bohanon more. That’s on Nate Hackett. A run-first team without the run needs a FB. In addition, a team built for the run, put a passing game on Bortles and then gave him no weapons.
  15. With all that said, the D-Line has been the most disappointing. Sure, sacks are splashy, but stopping the run is crucial and they’ve been failing at it. If teams can run the ball, they don’t turn the ball over, they can win. Is Campbell dealing with an injury most of the season why? If so, what isn’t Taven Bryan playing more?
  16. One or more of those four should be doing something and they’re not. Name one player who week after week is a guy OC’s fear. Granted, with the backend not doing a great job, it’s tougher to get sacks, but maybe if they made bigger pushes, they’d force QB’s to dump the ball quicker, setting up mistakes.

How can this be fixed? The easy answer is, stay healthy. That’s what the team had going their way last season. Since that’s not feasible, it goes to coaching and players taking responsibility for playing their guts out.

Maybe that’s the real culprit. It’s been said the easiest way to not get hurt, is to not play, to not get hurt. Yes, that needs to be re-read. The pursuer is the one hitting instead of being hit, having more control. More control equals less punishment and injuries.

Right now, the players and coaches are getting punched in the mouth from being passive. It’s time this team got proactive, accepted what’s going on, get on the same page and go HIT SOMEBODY. It’s simple, but football is about HIT or BE HIT. Fix that and we could salvage this season.