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!

Week 15 NFL Game predictions, He Said/She Said

Week 15 NFL Game predictions, He Said/She Said

Last week, had the predictions done, but things came up and didn’t get them posted. Even though we don’t do Thursday games because we feel they’re too far out, I did tweet the result would be Chargers 31-30. If I’m losing on Sunday, I’m going to count it. 🙂 Here’s our Week 15 NFL Game predictions, He Said/She Said

SATURDAY GAMES

Texans (9-4) vs Jets (4-9) NFL Network 4:30

Jay: I’ll take the better team here on the short week, Houston was woken up last week against Indy.

Jules: If Jax could smack the Jets, seriously doubt the Texans can’t. Houston is clicking and Darnold is a rookie with lots up down and some ups.

Browns (5-7-1) vs Broncos (6-7) 8:20 CBS

Jay: Boy this is a tough one…I’ll take the home team, but I don’t have a lot of confidence in this pick. Cleveland is very tough.

Jules: It’ll be the Chubb show as viewers will get to see the cousins face off. Chubb’s’s legs or Lindsay’s legs? These two teams are almost identical when it comes to scoring and allowing points. Home field the advantage? No, Denver is struggling with stopping the run and Nick Chubb gives Mayfield a chance vs a secondary without Chris Harris.

SUNDAY 1:00 GAMES

Titans (7-6) vs Giants (5-8) CBS

Jay: Which Titan team do we see? Which NYG team do we see? I trust the Titan defense. I don’t trust the Giant defense, therefore I will take Tennessee.

Jules: Can’t believe I’m picking NYG even without OBJ. The reason is, the Titans are inconsistent, are poor at scoring points and after the Jax blow-out, they may drop back. Plus, Shumur has Eli looking pretty good.

Dolphins (7-6) vs Vikings (6-6-1) CBS

Jay: Pressure bursts pipes. The Vikings need this one (as do the Dolphins) and the Dolphins are coming off an emotional high that is extremely difficult to come down from. YOU LIKE THAT?!?!

Jules: I’ve said all season, I’m not a Cousins fan and don’t trust him. Tough to see Cousins stinking at home though; however, Miami does have a winning record. I could see Cousins trying too hard to show he’s better and make dumb decisions to get more.

Redskins (6-7) vs Jaguars (4-9) CBS

Jay: Redskins are like Fife and Drum at this point. I’ll go against my previous rule of picking against Jacksonville here and take them, but I’m not happy nor comfortable with it.

Jules: I know I always pick them, but this is the last home game, they’re coming off a bye, the Redskins have Johnson as QB, a guy Wash knows well and I’ll be there. Not to mention, there’s a few players that must show they’re worth being kept and/or getting paid elsewhere. Oh, and Washington is as beat up as us. As an aside, Kevin Harlan is doing this game (yay!).

Cowboys (8-5) vs Colts (7-6) CBS

Jay: Both teams gotta have it. Low scoring, field goal affair. 16-13 either way. I’ll take the home team.

Jules: Colts, better QB by far and Indy has gotten pretty good lately vs the pass. Don’t see Prescott, especially with questions over Zeke, doing well or the Cowboys secondary keeping up.

Raiders (3-10) vs Bengals (5-8) CBS

Jay: Crappy game…I’ll take the Raiders who have the better QB

Jules: Crap game (JINX!) and who cares? I’m saying Oakland because they seem to be clicking a little better and the Bengals are a mess.

Packers (5-7-1) vs Bears (9-4) FOX

Jay: This is a “gotta have it” game for Green Bay…must have. I also love the Bears here, but don’t love it.

Jules: Yes, GB looked better without McCarthy, but I love this Bears team. They’re fun, creative and surprising. If Tribisky can keep mistakes to a minimum, should be a win.

Lions (5-8) vs Bills (4-9) FOX

Jay: This is garbage. Bills

Jules: Yawn. Bills. Don’t see Detroit having the will to chase Allen around all day. Side note, what is Detroit going to do with Stafford? He’s like Cousins, you just can’t bet on him.

Buccaneers (5-8) vs Ravens (7-6) FOX

Jay: Jameis will throw 3 picks and we’ll all still be wondering whether they should pay him $20 Million next year (Answer: they shouldn’t).

Jules: Big game for Baltimore…and Jameis Winston. The Ravens defense is really good, can Winston outsmart their safeties which make mistakes? I think I trust them more than TB who may be losing a head coach.

Cardinals (3-10) vs Falcons (4-9) FOX

Jay: Falcons are better but Arizona is playing with some pride. Falcons at home.

Jules: Both bird teams are grounded and wingless. Going with home team.

4:05 GAME FOX

Seahawks (8-5) vs 49ers (3-10)

Jay: Seattle runs the ball 43 times and this game is over in 2 and a half hours.

Jules: Seattle keeps their wild card status alive.

4:25 GAME CBS

Patriots* (9-4) vs Steelers (7-5-1)

Jay: Patriots. What have the Steelers done this year to show they deserve to be picked in a tight spot?

Jules: NE* is tied for the worst road record of all winning teams. 3-4 and the Pats have lost back-to-back away games this season. In addition, the Bears are the only away team with a winning record they beat. Which is why I’m going with Pitt, but not with much faith.

8:20 GAME NBC

Eagles (6-7) vs Rams (11-2)

Jay: I’ll take the Rams here but there will be a massive contingency of Eagles fans in that crowd.

Jules: Luckiy for the Rams, there is enough film on Foles for them to have an idea of what’s coming. If they don’t win, I don’t see a trophy in Goff’s hands.

MONDAY 8:15 GAME ESPN

Saints (11-2) vs Panthers (6-7)

Jay: Saints. Just too good right now.

Jules: Newton is hurt, give me Brees and the Saints.

AFCS Week 15 Game Previews with stats, passing charts, injury reports, TV areas and referee crews

AFCS week 15 game previews
When games are on Saturdays, you know the season is winding down. Why do these AFCS Week 15 Game Previews when the Jaguars are out of the play off hunt? Because it’s football. Secondly, we will face our divisional opponents next season and most likely many of the same players and/or teams. Why not keep track of their stats, passing charts, injury reports and referee crews? Screen Shot 2018-12-15 at 2.32.46 PM

FOX GAMESScreen Shot 2018-12-15 at 2.32.14 PM

SATURDAY 4:30 NFL Network

Texans (9-4) vs Jets (4-9)

This should be an easy win for the Texans, but as they say, on any given Sunday… Referee Crew: brad allen ref crew The Texans look healthy with only three “questionables” which also gives them an edge. Don’t trust Bill O’Brian though, I swear he adds guys with a hang nail just to make other teams think they’re messed up and don’t need to play as hard. For the Jets, their secondary is the uh-oh.

Before we get to stats, let’s take a look at Misters Watson and Darnold. Last week, several were sure Sam was a bust, but then he found a groove and they flipped like a politician. Since Darnold didn’t play a few games, only showing last week and the overall chart. Obviously, the 21 year old rookie is far behind Watson. Neither one is tearing anyone up, though. sam darnold passing charts These passing charts tell a story and that’s both teams need a run game and a defense to win and that Watson has become comfortable with the middle of the field. Which may be the key to beating him: force him to throw to the left sidelines. Houston is 5th in allowing points – a paltry 19.9 per game. Unless your QB is Blake Bortles or someone close, allowing so little should be enough to win every game. Of the top ten teams against points, only Jacksonville and Denver have losing records and both have crappy QB’s. The Jets defense is down at 22nd and have a rookie QB, so that explains all you need to know about which team should win this game and do so handily. The area both teams are equal in is stopping passing TDs and sacks. Watson may not throw a whole bunch, but he helps the run game and that’s crucial. He tends to make critical strikes at the right moments that put his team in the best spot to win. The Jets passing game is like a ghost, only Arizona and Buffalo are worse (fellow rookies).   In short, because why drag out the conclusion, NY can’t run the ball well without Crowell, can’t pass well and their defense tries to do the best they can, but they’re on the field so much. The Jets’ weapon they used to beat Denver is on IR, they beat the Colts with FG’s and the Bills stink.

SUNDAY 1:00 GAMES

Titans (7-6) vs Giants (5-8)

This should be a good game, who would have thought that a month ago? The NFL is crazy this year. Referee Crew: shawn hochuli ref crew On Friday, Marcus Mariota was added to the injury report, a place he seems to live on. Will it matter? Probably not unless they need to rely on a passing game. With an ab injury, it means he’ll need to muscle throws in. He doesn’t have the strongest arm, so my guess is, any tight window throws beyond five yards will be an issue. For the Giants, who are so healthy it should be a crime, Odell Beckham is the concern. However, Sterling Shepard has shown he’s a weapon, too. titans week 15 friday injury reportgiants week 15 friday injury report When it comes to passing, Manning is throwing some slow flying ducks, but they’ve found ways around it, one of which is using Saquon Barkley. Pat Shumur is showing why he was chosen to be a head coach as the team is starting to click. eli manning passing charts For some reason, there isn’t a cumulative chart for Mariota, but I looked it up. He’s 11/8, 2,330 yards, 69.1% completion, with a rating of 93.4. Fairly close to Manning which kind of makes sense in that his arm strength is off from injuries, so they have to use him differently, too. marcus mariota passing charts The Giants are 16th in scoring points, the Titans 27th. Tennessee would have the same rushing TD’s as NY if not for the Jaguars showing they forgot how to stop the run and allowed Derrick Henry to do what he wanted. Could he do it again vs the Giants? Sure because they’re not very good stopping the run, they’re down in the 20’s for rushing yards and TD’s. Tennessee is 5th for not allowing TD’s. Tennessee is also far superior against the pass, for yards, but for points? Only one TD separates them. The key to the game is the run for the Titans. Whether it’s a tailback or Mariota, they’re going to need to run the ball for several reasons:
  • limit the hits Mariota takes
  • NY is good against the pass
  • they need to keep the better offense off the field, running burns more clock
  • NYG is poor vs the run
For NYG to win they need to force Mariota to throw and contain him the pocket. When Mariota throws, take away the short hops and ones to the middle. For Manning, keep the pass count under 30. Overall, the more he throws, the less efficient he is. Play action will work since Barkley is a threat. My money is on the home team because as good as the Titans defense is, their offense will need to put up some points.

Redskins (6-7) vs Jaguars (4-9) CBS

Two things have hurt the Jaguars more than anything this season: injuries and referees. They’re playing a team as beat up as them which should eliminate that issue as a factor, but the reffing may decide (again) who wins. They’re why I started adding ref crews to these scouting reports. Referee crew: clete blakeman ref crew The Redskins make me feel sorry them and that’s a big thing considering how beat up our team is. If the Jags don’t win, it’s one of three things: bad coaching, coaches are bad, the coaches’ game plan. redskins week 15 friday injury report It’s a shocker, but the OL will be missing two. I hope Kessler has been doing wind sprints because I believe the OL is down to the bag boys from Publix. Jaguars week 15 friday injury report I’m not posting passing charts for these quarterbacks because they look like what a Pop Warner Midget game would show, plus they have 2 games, combined. Based on what we don’t know about Cody Kessler and Josh Johnson, let’s look at rushing and defenses. It’s tough to imagine either team will try to put the game in their QB’s hands, but one should. In case you didn’t know, the Jags’ run game has been poor. Between an OL that spends more time at the ER than the games and Fournette who was out for weeks, they’re ranked in a tie for dead last for TD’s. Washington has twice as many at 12 and an average 4.4 yards per carry to Jacksonville’s 4.1. They also average 114 yards a game to Jax’s 104. Not exactly the stats a run-first team should have. Since Jacksonville is supposed to have a stout defense, I’m sure stopping the run must be good, right? Looks at Derrick Henry and sighs. Jax has allowed 14 TD’s to Washington’s 11. SO, there is a little light. Maybe Fournette, Hyde and Yeldon can do something. Both teams are allowing 4.5 a rush. That’s just so pitiful I want to punch something. Moving on to rainbows. As much crap as the national media wants to throw at Jalen Ramsey and the secondary, they seem to overlook that when it comes to stopping the pass, no one is better. They are tied with Minnesota in only allowing 15. Washington is 18th in allowing 23. Dearest wide receivers, CATCH THE DANG BALL and you will win. They’re allowing a 66.8 completion percentage. Do your jobs and make that number so.

CATCH THE DANG BALL, JAGS

That’s the key to this game. While the Jaguars may want to keep the game plan conservative with Kessler, they ought to open it wide open, unless, or until he does bad. BAD, not mediocre. What have they got to lose, a play off spot? If it works, the fans are happy, they can keep him for next season as a security blanket or get a high trade partner for him. If it doesn’t, oh well. Do you hear me, Milanovich? Balls to the walls. For Washington to win, they need to run the ball. Johnson may know ten plays and Todd Wash has experience with him, plus he’s facing a damn good secondary. His best shot is at screens and shallow crossers since the edge rushing seems to have died this season along with tackling. I’m going to be at TIAA – I’m not hurt, no funeral to go to and no ER visit for puking. Knock on wood. SO, it better not rain and turn into a plodding run game. I didn’t get to the field to eat the grass, if I did, I’d say this was in the bag. If they lose, heads should roll.

Go Jags!

Cowboys (8-5) vs Colts (7-6)

You should never root for a divisional opponent to win, but dang I detest the Cowboys and since Jacksonville is out of the PO race, I hope Dallas loses. Three reasons: when Jerry Jones loses he looks like a South Park character. Secondly, every year the national media says this is the team to go a Super Bowl. Finally, they get so many unwarranted national TV games. Referee crew: carl cheffers ref crew Neither team looks all that healthy, it may be a wash, except, Andrew Luck has had a good season because this OL has done a great job protecting him. Quenton Nelson has a back issue and that could allow him to get run over. cowboys week 15 friday injury reportcolts week 15 friday injury Dak Prescott is too erratic for me to think he’s a QB I’d bet on to win a game. He throws a few elite passes a game to make people forget all the boneheaded ones. His passing charts can’t show those. They do show he’s thrown less TD’s than he’s played games. dak Prescott passing charts Meanwhile, Andrew Luck is throwing almost 2x times as many (Jags put a wrench in his record). andrew luck passing charts.png This game should be a good one. Dallas defense vs Indy offense. Jacksonville showed how it can be done, but the Cowboys don’t have the same talent. Remember, Jax also kept Mahones from throwing a TD. Indy and Dallas both have allowed the same number of passing TD’s – 19. That gives the advantage to Luck since he’s thrown more than their average and Prescott has thrown less. When it comes to air yards, there’s a .2 difference between them. Both teams allow a 97 passer rating, advantage Indy, again. So, when it comes to passing, the game is Indy’s to lose. Both teams have the same amount defensive sacks (35); however, when it comes to taking sacks, Prescott has gone down 48 times for a staggering 293 lost yards. As far as rushing defense, Indy has allowed 10 TD’s to Dallas’s seven. .2 yards also separate them for rushing yards per play. Overall, Dallas is better at stopping the run on all levels, but not by much. Which may not matter for Dallas since Indy doesn’t run a whole lot; however, Dallas does. Their offense is built off of it. Dallas has 11 to Indy’s 8 rushing TD’s. The bottom line is, the Colts are a better team. In order for Dallas to win, they will need their secondary to find a way to stop Luck and keep them from scoring because the boys lag far behind in that category. Indy is scoring one more TD a game than Dallas. That’s where their run game can help – keep Luck off the field. For Indy, the answer is to get after Dak. Sacking him shouldn’t be too difficult. If they can contain the edges, all the better because he’s better on the run than from the pocket. Obviously, Elliot is the weapon and they can only do so much, but flustering Prescott will force three and outs. Indy’s best defense is Luck throwing TDs. If Luck stays to form, they win. I’ll take his passing game over Dallas’s run game. Until next week…

GO JAGS!

AFCS Week 15 Friday injury report and game status.

AFCS Week 15 Friday injury report and game status.

Here is the final report for the AFCS games. There is some additions from yesterday which stinks for the Jaguars, but worse for the Redskins. 

SATURDAY 4:30 NFL Network

Texans (9-4) vs Jets (4-9)

This is a repeat of yesterday since they play tomorrow, so no changes.

 

SUNDAY 1:00 GAMES

Titans (7-6) vs Giants (5-8)

New York added Nate Solder, who hasn’t been all that great protecting Manning as it was. Marcus Mariota is on the list, again. Yes, he’ll play, but he’ll most likely need to arm throw.

titans week 15 friday injury reportgiants week 15 friday injury report

 

Redskins (6-7) vs Jaguars (4-9) CBS

As if the Redskins needed more injuries, they added three today, that’s 7 that are questionable. They’ll play because who else do they have? I know it’s shocking, but the Jags have two OL who will be out. Also, since the Jags brought in a kicker, I’d guess things don’t look good Josh Lambo. Which is bad for Jacksonville since he’s our offense.

redskins week 15 friday injury reportJaguars week 15 friday injury report

Cowboys (8-5) vs Colts (7-6)

Dallas added a WR to their Q list and right now, they’re not looking so great; however, their weapon, Zeke Elliot was a full go.

The Colts did not have a good day with the addition of three to the list, including their rookie G Quenton Nelson. That is bad news for them because Luck has been doing well since he has had a good OL.

cowboys week 15 friday injury reportcolts week 15 friday injury

That’s a wrap for week 15 – GO JAGS!

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 15 Thursday Injury Report & game status

AFCS, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, injury reports, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins

This week the AFCS teams face three losing teams, and one with a winning record. This is the time of year where the healthiest teams tend to win and for sure win in the play-offs, hence keeping an eye on who’s healing and who’s not. Check out the  AFCS Week 15 Wednesday Injury Report.

SATURDAY 4:30 NFL Network

Texans (9-4) vs Jets (4-9)

The Jets look a mess and without a chance at the PO’s it’s tough to see them playing hard. While Houston’s list looks fairy beat-up, too, they only need to this win to seal up the AFCS (bastards), tough to see they won’t, they can sit everyone if they want.

The Jets added Tremaine Johnson to their list ad he’s questionable.



SUNDAY 1:00 GAMES

Titans (7-6) vs Giants (5-8)

These two teams are sickeningly healthy, especially NY and that could be the difference in the game. The one thing to note though is five of the Titans ( and a couple more not listed this week) are constantly on the report. So, nagging injuries.

Redskins (6-7) vs Jaguars (4-9) CBS

Jacksonville is finally playing a team more beat up than they are, that’s a miracle like Miami’s last play vs NE*. What’s not great for the Jags is even after a mini-bye, the same guys from ten days ago are still on this list.

The good news is Calais Campbell and Jalen Ramsey aren’t on it. However, their best scorer is on it, Josh Lambo, which is NOT good. He’s like losing a QB.

Cowboys (8-5) vs Colts (7-6)

Want to know why Dallas is winning? Their injury report is half what it was when they were losing. Same for the Colts. Theirs and the Texans used to be a phone book and then both teams got a lot healthier and boom, wins came.

For the Colts having Hilton and Cox banged up doesn’t help them and for Dallas it’s having three OL and Elliot. That’s a lot of offense. The cowboys have Elliot back today and that’s huge for them because Prescott without him is not good, at all.

Cap Space and the Jaguars, don’t let the number scare you, it’s all an illusion.

We keep hearing that the Jacksonville Jaguars are in the hole concerning cap space going into 2019 and the franchise will lose all kinds of talent. Like most things, there is a grain of salt to it and a whole lot of BS.

It’s good to know that salary, dead money and cap space are three separate things. To keep this short, teams and players can work out varied ways in contracts to help a team stay within the suggested 2019 190M cap space. 

When a player is released, traded or retired, some of his salary and cap can go with him, sometimes not because of the way they are structured. As of right now, going into the 2019 season, the Jags have to remove $7,098,827 in cap space. Sounds awful, right? 

First off, Jacksonville will roll over their 11M surplus this year to cover next and that puts them with almost 4M to the good. In addition, the cap will go up, as it always does – right now it’s projected to be about 190M, up about 13. That’s almost 17M to work with.

I doubt they’re going to keep Donte Moncrief who cost 9.6M, or several others regardless of the money. 

When you look at the contracts, you realize there are several players who are worth more gone, than on the team. Like Barry Church. It’s clear he’s not being kept, hence Ronnie Harrison starting instead of him.

No matter how you slice it, Blake Bortles, whether cut or someone trades for him (don’t laugh), will cost the Jags 16.5 in dead money; however, they can write off 4.5M in CAP. That would give them about 16.8M in dead money for next season. Tanner Lee and Don Carey make the other 299,669. That’s not great, but it could be worse.

While the dead money goes against what they can spend, freeing up cap space allows them to sign players they want, they only need to be creative with contracts. Since Jacksonville is one of the cheapest NFL cities to live in, that helps in negotiations. 

Typically, QB’s and OL want and get big guaranteed money and they want it upfront. This front loaded money can be spread out over the life of the contract, as long as the second year is half or more of the first year. That’s the kicker. So, a two year contract has the money split in half because there’s no other way to make it add up. 

On three years for a 70M contract, you could have 33, 16.5 and 20.5. Teams usually like to push the cap hit out because as we see, each year the cap limit goes up and money is worth less. Pay the cash up front, spread the cap accounting out.

Most big name players do this, especially ones on their third contract. They don’t care about the accounting, only that the money makes it to the bank. New England is a master of paying Brady*, but finding creative ways to keep spreading the hit out. 

In addition, a player can restructure his contract, instead of taking a huge salary each week, take a big chunk up front in a signing bonus or whatever they want to call it. The player makes the same money, the only difference is how its paid out. 

If you love Bortles, he could do the same. Restructure his contract, so the 16.5 in dead gets spread out and they keep him as a back-up and mentor for a draft pick. What’s he going to do, say no? What team out there will pay him more and take him to be their starter?

Right now, injured Andrew Norwell is the big money miss. If they cut him before June 1 2019, the hit is 9M and dead is 25, if traded, the dead is 12M and cap savings is 4M. If he’s traded post 1 June, the dead is 3M, cap save is 13M; however, if he’s healthy and playing well, why trade? If he’s not, no one will take him. He, not Bortles, is the oh, crap. If the Jags are smart, they get him to redo his contract, to lessen the hit if he’s injured again next season.

AJ Bouye is another player who should rework a contract. He gives the Jags 9.5M cap savings by cut/trade, with 6M in dead money if cut before 1 June. 

Malik Jackson is among the top candidates of who’s most likely gone. Not only did he lose his starting gig this season and his production was low, the Jags will save 11M be removing him, dead money is 4M. 

These three players will allow the Jacksonville to save 25M in cap space, but racks up 25.5 in dead money. Which basically equates to a loss of 1.5M of cap space, better than 7, but not the best way to get there.

Tons of dead money is a bad thing because it means the front office is picking bad players, or making bad contracts or have bad coaches. None of which is a good, but it’s easier to fix the bad contract part than the other two.

It now becomes about releasing players who get more than counterparts at their position group and keeping the dead money far less than cap savings.

Calais Cambell, who spent a lot of 2018 on the injury list, would save them 9.5M compared to the 5M in dead money. We want the Mayor, but this article is about cold hard numbers, not love in our hearts. 

Marcel Darius is the must-cut player, though. His production was down and by removing him they save 10.585M with no dead. That’s a big un.

Tashaun Gibson would save them 7.45M, with 1.6M dead. Barry Church is a must cut. Besides his London behavior, he was benched and that’s because there’s no dead money and 6.250M cap savings.

If you add up Campbell, Darius and Church, that’s 20.835 in CAP with only 5M in dead. These three make sense. If they cut/trade the players from up above and add in these, that’s 15.335 in cap for 2019, which factors in the dead money.

Obviously, those six will need to be replaced (if gone), but 15, plus 13 (new cap #), plus 11 (carry over) minus the 7, gives them 20M cap space (this is with 12M deducted for rookies and accounts for the dead money) to play with on replacing 6 players. 

How do you feel about the below players who spent almost every week on the injury report?:

Brandon Linder – 6M savings, no dead.

Jeremey Parnell – same

AJ Cann will be a FA. 

Abry Jones would be 4M savings, no dead. That’s an additional 16M cap savings with no dead on players who they may or may not want back. The money is there to pay them.

There are several lesser players who could be released/traded for more savings, but they’re all in the hundred thousand ranges, not millions. 

This draft will be crucial to some of the names in this article. If they can pick up some top talent, why pay Church if there’s another safety out there for way less? Or, even an ex-CB like Richard Sherman who will swap to S?

The defense and OL is top heavy and it’s where cuts need to be made. The Jaguars aren’t in serious money trouble, they’ll have enough to sign a vet QB even someone like Joe Flacco if he works with them on a contract, pay most everyone they want back, minus ones they shouldn’t, sign some FA’s and pay the draft class. 

Flacco, if you want him, could take his “guaranteed” money as bonuses which can be spread out over the life of the contract, so they can give him a 44M bonus and spread that out over five years (even if it’s really only for two). It would require several players to restructure, but it can be done.

In case you didn’t know, teams have to spend their cap in a revolving four year window, it’s not as if you can escape spending it, it’s just a matter when.

Bottom line, the Jaguars are only screwed if they can’t bring in younger talent who costs less, which points to the front office. So far, they’ve done a fairly good job of being creative with the money, so don’t worry Jags fans. 

 

For Justin Simmons, the NFL is an affirmation of his hard work and faith.

* Below is a repost from my time writing about the Broncos. The Simmons are such a great family, I wanted to send it out again. Besides, you never know, he could move back to his home state and become a Jaguar.*

This article started out about Justin Simmons and football, but what was unearthed grew it into far more. It became not just a tale of his love of football, but a tale of two sets of couples and their love for each other. Of a son learning from his parents about loyalty and commitment to both football and family.

It began with an interracial couple fighting the odds

Kimberly and Victor Simmons first met at West Virginia Wesleyan. He was there for football, she for a degree. Even though she moved on to Marshall University to get her MBA, the two stayed in touch through old-fashioned love letters. Their long distance relationship of poetry turned into marriage, three sons, and a winding journey to the NFL.

For them, being an interracial couple required more than just a great love, it took deep faith and strength.

A star is born

That faith, not just in each other and their religion, but family itself was passed on to their sons, Justin, Nate (DB-WV Wesleyan) and Tristan (DB-Arizona Western).

After the Simmons finished college, they moved to Manassas, Virginia where Victor did ten years in the Air Force Reserves. This is where their sons were born and Justin honed his leaping skills. Kim shares a story of him loving his bouncy chair so much as a toddler, he’d try to reach the top of the door frame. They’d raise the height to keep him from being so crazy; however, he’d just try harder. 

Those powerful legs built as a youth, can be seen on Sundays. It was no fluke in New Orleans he blocked that kick–the little Tigger has been practicing his jump skills since he was a toddler.

Virginia was also where he first played football. His keen feel for the game was seen even as a child. During one play when he was eight, while running for a TD, a faster kid chased him down. As he was about to be tackled, he did a quick side step leaving the defender eating dirt. When asked after the game how did he know to juke, his reply was, “I saw his shadow.”

Athletic genes run in the family, from an Uncle who was a pro basketball player, to his father and a grandfather who played football in NJ. Back then, it was tough for blacks to get a chance to play, but he persevered. Showing grit and determination is another Simmons’ family trait.

Kimberly was born in Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It gives one pause to consider someday Justin may have family members from there, watching him don a gold jacket and no doubt give a well thought out speech.

His gift was seen at a young age 

When asked if any play or game gave an indication Justin may be good enough to make it at a higher level, his parents said it was during a Jr. Pee Wee Super Bowl game in Orlando, Florida. They lost against an Indiana team, but Justin made plays beyond his age. It was the catalyst that set the future in motion.

Unless you grew up in Florida, especially along the east coast, it’s tough to describe to outsiders how sports dominate the culture. Some states like Texas, know about the football side, or states like Indiana and basketball, but in Florida, minus under 32° sports, it’s all sports, all the time.

Not only does the wildlife flourish in Florida, but so many athletes do as well, that it’s tough for most to get noticed. This is especially true at small schools like Sandalwood, Trinity or Martin County. The athletes who perform extraordinarily and make it into top colleges, worked harder to gain the spotlight than their peers in other states.

The right mentor

This is why Victor Simmons moved his family to sleepy Stuart. He figured if his sons could make it in Florida, they could make it anywhere. The NFL wasn’t really a dream, though. Because of his slender build, basketball was more of a reality, especially since his team went to State. It wasn’t until his sophomore year did his defensive backs coach, Gary Blackney, say he had a shot.

It was Blackney who taught Justin about playing the DB position well, and to watch game film. Simmons often discusses the importance of film study as a tool to improve reading offenses, quarterbacks and the opposing team’s tendencies. Peyton Manning would have liked having Simmons as a teammate, his cerebral approach would have found a kindred rewind connoisseur.

Gary Blackney told Justin his grades would need to be more of a focus if he wanted a chance to play in college. That carrot motivated Simmons to do better in school, a message he shares with school-aged kids. While Justin knows the importance of talking to kids about education and hard work to achieve their dreams, he also feels he needs to use his standing to spread the word of God. His faith is part of the fabric of who he is and his family.

Philanthropy is a given

His history of giving back and learning to be a leader, began in high school when he was a Best Buddy and a Safe School Ambassador. The former was teaming up with special needs kids and taking them under his wing. The latter was mentoring children how to stand up to bullying. Being involved in his community lead to he and a friend starting an Athletes in Action chapter at Boston College. He also belonged to the Student-Athlete Advisory Council.

While in high school, he learned how to balance family, school, church, giving back and sports. That’s always an issue for most athletes, finding the right combo and right hierarchy of what’s most important and fulfilling those commitments. Kids who make it to the NFL, rarely do so in a vacuum. At home, there’s someone pushing them, believing in them, making sacrifices and these parents or grandparents are just as important to each player’s success.

Overcoming the odds

Simmons has always been a coachable kid who learned from his dad how to “cheat well”. That doesn’t imply being a Patriot*, it means learning to find ways around what you don’t do well. To mask the less, with the more. Simmons isn’t quick off the line, but he’s fast once he gets going. He might not get to point ‘A’ stride for stride with a slot, but Simmons will out think or out jump him.

Some of it came from years of baseball and basketball, but mostly from being on both sides of the ball. Simmons grew up playing wide receiver and on defense. It helped him become so good, so quickly in the NFL. His 70 tackles, 2 interceptions and a sack, while being a back-up in the No Fly Zone, wasn’t from lucky play.

As a former WR, he knows more than most how to read routes, to know where the QB is going and anticipate. Cheat well. Add in his length, plus Tigger legs and you’ve got a special talent.

He’s around the ball all the time. He’s a guy that has a high football IQ. He’s long and tall, so when he’s in those windows, he’s made two or three interceptions that nobody else could make out there because of the height and the length. He’s a very smart player that we’re counting on this year.”-Vance Joseph

Mind over matter

To truly get a feel for how mentally tough Justin is, understanding his Boston College challenge will give you a better idea. As often happens with coaching changes, the one that ‘brung ya’ sometimes leaves and you’re left without a dance partner to cover your back. That’s exactly what happened to Simmons when the coach who recruited him, departed for a better opportunity.

When Don Brown became the new Defensive Coordinator, he and his staff wanted to clean house. Not just remove players, but free up scholarships for the players they selected. To achieve this, he rode the guys hard. Turned practice into basic training, military style. It worked. Players left in droves.

Not For Justin, though. He refused to cave and be gotten rid of. He kept ahead of that shadow of doom. He worked hard and made it through a tough, emotional year. He survived Brown chewing him out during a nationally televised game, and he played through injury in another. For his perseverance, he became part of the #1 pass defense in the NCAA. Even in college, Simmons was, ‘No Fly’. The end result was he and Brown became good friends.

The women in his life give him strength

Through his high school and tough college days, he’s had two women in his life who have been there. His mom, Kim, the “silent glue” as Victor calls her and his wife, Taryn.

Taryn Simmons was a 1,000 point basketball player and on the homecoming court in high school. The two parted ways physically and scholastically when she became a Seminole and he a Screaming Eagle. Fall games must have been fun since BC and FSU are ACC rivals.

Like his parents before him, Justin weathered a college induced long distance relationship and it, too evolved into marriage. Although they’re often still a part from the traveling and many obligations that comes with being in the NFL, he has great mentors to lean on for guidance.

Taryn and Justin often speak together at seminars to give wisdom on dating, marriage and relationships using their experience with God and each other’s life stories. Taryn is also who holds down the fort. She keeps the thousands of little details that NFL players need to deal with, off Justin’s plate. There’s more to being in the NFL than shoulder pads. All the game film he talks about watching, is able to happen because he has his partner carrying some of the load.

As far as the woman who gave him life, Simmons’ mom once watched her baby during a divisional championship game, be loaded into an ambulance after he landed on his head. At the ER, they sawed his helmet off. His younger brother Nate was still playing, so Victor had to stay for him while Kim coped at the hospital.

Justin Simmons pop warner
(photo courtesy of the Simmons family)

A higher power

Faith, a constant in this tight knit family, kept them going. Kim may be the silent glue, but for ‘#TeamJesus,’ a higher power is the motivator. Even though Justin heard a ‘pop’ during that neck injury, he didn’t panic, and mom and son survived the scare. Steel spines indeed. The team lost without him, however.

When an athlete comes from a college without a ton of NFL players, and he doesn’t check all the boxes for that position, questions abound over what round he’ll go. His family figured he’d be a late second round, early third because of his record combine and pro day, but as he fell, they got nervous. Dad stepped outside to pace when the call came in. Had no idea it was John Elway.

When asked if they had any clue their son would get chosen by the (then) best secondary on the planet, the answer was a laughing, “NO”! They still are shocked it happened, Denver had not called or interviewed him. It’s still new to them, having Justin not only play for the No Fly Zone, but see him on TV making interceptions.

Since he had worked out for the Cowboys, the Simmons’ family thought it would be Dallas drafting Justin. Jerry Jones may have indeed wanted him as the third pick in the fourth, but Elway out scooped Jones.

From feeling anxious about falling to day two, to being selected by the best secondary in football, the Simmons family ran the full gauntlet of emotions. Agony to ecstasy in one phone call. Not long after, came a text from TJ Ward, making it even more surreal.

The will to achieve what the mind can conceive 

He admits during his rookie season, he was focused on trying to stay afloat, learning as much as he could about football and not mess up. As he enters his sophomore season, he says he’s more confident in what he’s doing during a play and why. Based on his off season of wreaking havoc against both quarterbacks, it appears he’s made the leap with flying colors. He wasn’t shoddy at it as a rookie, either.

Want to know why Justin Simmons has been succeeding and will continue to? He has every tool in the box. He’s learned courage and commitment from his parents, has a strong and loving partner, has the will to achieve what his mind can conceive, and he believes.

There is something to the phrase so many athletes use: faith, family, football. It’s real. It’s powerful. Together it’s powerfully real and it is what drives Justin Simmons, husband, son, free safety for the Denver Broncos. 

 

AFCS Week 15 Wednesday Injury Report

AFCS Week 15 Wednesday Injury Report

This week the AFCS teams face three losing teams, and one with a winning record. This is the time of year where the healthiest teams tend to win and for sure win in the play-offs, hence keeping an eye on who’s healing and who’s not. Check out the  AFCS Week 15 Wednesday Injury Report.

SATURDAY 4:30 NFL Network

Texans (9-4) vs Jets (4-9)

The Jets look a mess and without a chance at the PO’s it’s tough to see them playing hard. While Houston’s list looks fairy beat-up, too, they only need to this win to seal up the AFCS (bastards), tough to see they won’t, they can sit everyone if they want.

texans week 15 wednesday injury reportjets week 15 wednesday injury report

SUNDAY 1:00 GAMES

Titans (7-6) vs Giants (5-8)

These two teams are sickeningly healthy, especially NY and that could be the difference in the game. The one thing to note though is five of the Titans ( and a couple more not listed this week) are constantly on the report. So, nagging injuries.

titans week 15 wednesday injury reportGiants week 15 wednesday injury report

Redskins (6-7) vs Jaguars (4-9) CBS

Jacksonville is finally playing a team more beat up than they are, that’s a miracle like Miami’s last play vs NE*. What’s not great for the Jags is even after a mini-bye, the same guys from ten days ago are still on this list.

The good news is Calais Campbell and Jalen Ramsey aren’t on it.

redskins week 15 wednesday injury reportJaguars week 15 wednesday injury report

Cowboys (8-5) vs Colts (7-6)

Want to know why Dallas is winning? Their injury report is half what it was when they were losing. Same for the Colts. Theirs and the Texans used to be a phone book and then both teams got a lot healthier and boom, wins came.

For the Colts having Hilton and Cox banged up doesn’t help them and for Dallas it’s having three OL and Elliot. That’s a lot of offense.

cowboys week 15 wednesday injury reportcolts week 15 wednesday injury report

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Tennessee Titans Game Preview. Barry Church & the Refs are the keys.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Tennessee Titans Game Preview. Barry Church & the Refs are the keys.

Round Two match-up is about to go down and if the Jags can pull off a win, they could shatter all hope the Titans have to make the play-offs and that’s worth a whoop. Jacksonville Jaguars vs Tennessee Titans Game Preview. Barry Church & the Refs are the keys.

What’s Important to know is this: will this ref crew be fair or be the same crapfest we’ve seen most of the year?

Referee Crew: 

The last time the Jags faced the Titans, we saw a couple of bad calls that helped Tennessee get their win and the worst call helped them get the FG that made all the difference.

As far as injuries go, no surprises except for Abry Jones who’s managed to stay off the injury report all season until now. This might hurt because the best way to bother Mariota is right up the middle.

Tennessee looks beat up, but really they’re in the same boat. Sure, Mariota is hurt, but so is our NT. Marcus been really good at eluding pressure from the sides and making a run for it, so pressure up the middle is key. Good thing starting NT Marcel Darius is off the injury report or Jax would be in deep trouble.

Several of their names are like the Jags, off and on you see the many of the same players – sometimes the same injury, sometimes a different one. Both teams are about what most franchises look like in terms of injuries. The difference is the size of the Jaguars Injured Reserve List. That’s a phone book.

When these two teams faced off back in week 3, they looked fairly similar and I’d say the same is true. Defenses that are unpredictable and offenses that are crap.

Jax defense is third in least amount of points allowed and Tennessee is fifth. When it comes to allowing passing TD’s, The Jags are tied for first with Minnesota at 15 and the Titans are right behind with 16.

When it comes rushing TD’s, the Titans have allowed eight and the Jaguars, ten. So, almost mirror images of each other on defense.

Defense is the key for both teams

As far as offense, I usually put passing charts, but this would be a waste of space and time. Cody Kessler is in his second start and Mariota has been all over the place due to a season long injury.

When it comes to Total Offense, they’re ranked 17 and 18. To me, yards don’t matter a whole lot, it’s points that do. Case in point is Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing hundreds of yards in a game and not a single TD. 

Based on that, when it comes to passing TD’s, both teams are tied for 14; however, that was with Bortles. Kessler threw zip. I’d say advantage TT, just because that’s all we’ve got to go on.

As far as rushing, the Titans have eight TD’s and the Jags have six. To note though is Leonard Fournette will be playing and he usually is good for a score. I’m going to give the advantage to Jax here because he is a better rusher than what Tennessee has.

Bottom line is these two teams are an evenly matched mess. But, here are my keys:

For the Jags:

*Pray, bribe and beg for fair reffing. This isn’t a joke, I’m dead serious. This game will come down to them as is often the case with two teams that are similar.

*Keep Barry Church reps down to a minimum. Last week, Church was hurt, so Ronnie Harrison took the helm and boy the defense looked good. That happened because it seemed like they were pulling the same way and had good communication.

*Because they were doing their jobs, Luck had to hold the ball a touch longer which allowed the DL to get after him. As I’ve written before, when the secondary was disjointed, QB’s could get rid of the ball quickly which is why sacks were down.

The secondary must be white on rice, so the DL can get to Mariota and harass him and hope the refs call a fair game.

*Finally, which is a big DUH, Jacksonville must win the turn over differential.

For the Titans:

Screw y’all, hope you lose and if your readers want to know how to defeat Jacksonville, it’s pretty simple since we have a back-up QB. That’s all I’m saying.

*On a side note – Jay believe the Jags will lose because the locker room is a mess.

I say Jags win with fair reffing, yes, I’m a broken record. If it’s the usual bad reffing, they’re not good enough on offense to overcome and will lose.*

GO JAGS!

Jaguars vs Bills Inactive List – Week 12

Jaguars vs Bills Inactive List

Week 12 Jacksonville Jaguars vs Buffalo Bill Inactive List. For the Jaguars, the one surprising, and maybe potentially devastating blow, is to the run game. Also of concern, with the OL being so thin, is two being out.

JAGUARS INACTIVES

WR DJ Chark

RB David Williams

CB Quenton Meeks

DE Lerentee McCray

OL Josh Walker

OL Corey Robinson

DT Marcell Dareus

BILLS INACTIVES

QB Derek Anderson

G Vladimir Ducasse

T Conor McDermott

WR Ray-Ray Mc Cloud III

G Ike Boettger

TE Charles Clay

CB Ryan Lewis

 

Week 12 NFL Game Predictions – He Said, She Said

Week 12 NFL Game Predictions

This week, we only chose 12 games because the editor forgot about the three Thanksgiving match-ups. The following teams have byes: Chiefs and Rams. Last week, he got five, she got eight and they missed on two (only 10 were predicted as 6 teams were on bye). Read our Week 12 NFL Game Predictions:

1:00 GAMES

49ers (2-8) vs Buccaneers (3-7) FOX

Jay: Couldn’t care less. Bucs at home in a bad football game.

Jules: Tampa has a QB turnover issue, but SF hasn’t shown they can be a complete team. I’ll take TB only because I don’t think the niners have the defense to stop the Bucs.

Giants (3-7) vs Eagles (4-6) FOX

Jay: Just because Philadelphia is the reigning super bowl champion, they don’t look anything like that team from last year. But they look better than the Giants. Philly

Jules: Just because Eli finally had a game that he looked like an NFL QB doesn’t mean I think he can string back to back games like that (plus there was some questionable reffing). Philly is certainly missing their coaches; however, at home, think the crowd helps them win.

Patriots* (7-3) vs Jets (3-7) CBS

Jay: Patriots in a tough football game. There has been a lot of “is this the end of the Patriot run?” in the media over the last two weeks. My guess is that it’s not going to come to an end against the Jets.

Jules: NE* is two teams – one at home with the refs helping them and another on the road. Not to mention, Brady has looked poor this season; however, he’s coming off a rest and the Jets don’t have the firepower to rush him every play or the offense to match them.

Browns (3-6-1) vs Bengals (5-5) CBS

Jay: Browns will play hard, but Cincinnati in a nail biter.

Jules: Bengals are so sporadic, but Cleveland on the road isn’t good, so taking Cincy in a squeaker. If they lose, fire Marv Lewis, this is getting ridiculous.

Seahawks (5-5) vs Panthers (6-4) FOX

Jay: Carolina, but I have no confidence in this pick. These two teams are like looking each other in the mirror, so I’ll take the home team in an equal game that will have BIG playoff implications

Jules: Carolina. They’re a slightly better team, the loss last week has got to have them fired up and the game is at home.

Jaguars (3-7) vs Bills (3-7) CBS

Jay: We gotta stop with the fire the staff narrative all across the NFL. Teams that keep firing coaches are typically at the bottom of the heap and that’s not by accident or coincidence. I’ll take the Bills because I think Jacksonville has some player issues in that locker room and I think that some things need to be addressed at the player level, especially looking in a mirror (speaking to you, defense).

Jules: Bills fans want this win so badly; however, Jax defense (which looks a lot better with DJ Hayden at 100%) vs Josh Allen doesn’t seem like a good match-up for him or the Bills. If they lose, fire Marrone and his staff at the end of the season. 😉 Not really, who should go though is Blake Bortles, sad to say.

Raiders (2-8) vs Ravens (5-5) CBS

Jay: Ravens because the Raiders suck

Jules: Not sure which QB is starting at this writing, but it doesn’t matter. If Baltimore can’t win at home against Oakland, fire Harbough. I’m channeling a certain orange person pre-2016. That defense has way too much talent to lose.

4:05 GAME

Cardinals (2-8) vs Chargers (7-3) FOX

Jay: Chargers cause the Cardinals suck.

Jules: Seems like every time I pick a duh team to win, they lose. Even still, the Chargers can’t blow this can they? Just don’t kick.

4:25 GAMES

Steelers (7-2-1) vs Broncos (4-6) CBS

Jay: Steelers cause the Broncos are not very good and they won’t let the Broncos hang around like LA did last week.

Jules: Ben looked bad vs Jax and if not for about the worst reffing I’ve ever seen, he’d not have come back to win. Based on that, Denver would be the clear choice; however, Ben rarely has two crappy games back-to back.

Dolphins (5-5) vs Colts (5-5) CBS

Jay: This is a very important playoff game here. I’ll take the Colts in a nail biter.

Jules: Why this is a 4:25 game beats the hell out of me. The good news for Dolphin fans is no more Osweiler, the bad news is they’re getting a rusty Tannehill back. I don’t see Miami’s defense stopping Luck (dammit).

8:20 GAME

Packers (4-5-1) vs Vikings (5-4-1) NBC

Jay: This is a de-facto playoff game and I’ll take Minnesota as I see them as a better team right now, but an “Aaron Game” would not shock me either.

Jules: At the beginning of the season, this would’ve seemed like a must-watch game, but now it’s, whatever. In fact, none of the games this week get me excited. Rodgers, outside of a few jaw-drop throws, has looked, eh and Minnesota got ripped off (no surprise) with their bank robbery from Cousins. If GB loses, add McCarthy to the fire list or at least bring in a better OC to call plays.

MONDAY 8:15 ESPN

Titans (5-5) vs Texans (7-3)

Jay: This is big for playoff positioning. You’ve got an owner who died on Friday, and you never know what that can do to a locker room. My guess is that BOB will be just fine here. His teams play tough no matter the circumstances and I have no reason to pick against them again today.

Jules: I don’t care. Jags season isn’t mathematically over, but I’m going to guess that by the time this game rolls around, it will be. Based on that only, I pick Bob McNair’s team. My grandmother died today, so I’m going with the weepy win.