2021-2 NFL Pro Football (pls, no other sports!)

Lethe200

Senior Member
What We Learned From NFL Week 5 – Pt 1 of 2
Twelve active coaches have been to the Super Bowl. Over a quarter through 2021, half of them – Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin, Pete Carroll, Andy Reid, Ron Rivera and Kyle Shanahan – are under .500.
Oct. 11, 2021, NY Times/WashPost/SB Nation/local media

Packers 25, Bengals 22
GBay Packers’ kicker Mason Crosby had a very bad day flip into very good in the final 2 minutes of OT. After missing three attempts to win the game, he finally connected from 49 yds out. Bengals kicker Evan McPherson’ day remained bad, after missed two in a row, both of which would have won the game for the Bengals. There were no freak winds on the field, so why two good kickers missed six kicks – five in the final 10 minutes of Q4/OT – must be chalked up to Just One Of Those Days.

RB Aaron Jones rushed for 103 yds. Davante Adams caught a 59-yd beauty from Rodgers, finishing with 11 receptions for 206 yds and a TD. GBay is now 4-1 despite a struggle with a feisty Cincinnati team.

Cardinals 17, Niners 10
The Niners D rediscovered their pass rush and put AZ QB Kyler Murray to the test. Unfortunately, Niners rookie QB Trey Lance managed an acceptable but not exceptional job under equal pressures. The Niners offense marched up and down the field without ever accomplishing much. They were a wimpy 3 of 11 on third downs. Lance is a very raw talent, having not thrown more than a couple of passes before being drafted. But he’s a quick learner, and needs to be since he lacked the instincts to slide instead of smashing helmets with defenders that outweigh him by 30 lbs.

Playcalling by HC Shanahan is coming in for plenty of post-game criticism, as the Niners tried five times on fourth down but only succeeded once. The most critical failure was fourth-and-goal from the 1 near the close of the first half. The Cards’ D stuffed Lance hard, when he tried to run it in. That kind of physical punishment has left the Niners at the mercy of third-string QB Nate Sudfeld if Lance doesn’t recover quickly from the sprained knee he suffered this week. The injury-riddled Niners have a Bye in Week 6, and it’s badly needed.

Cards’ safety Budda Baker had an interception, DE J.J. Watt had three QB hits and Arizona produced the kind of grimy win that’s necessary to compete in the cutthroat NFC West and beyond. The Cardinals are now 5-0 heading into Week 6 against the Browns in Cleveland.

Buccaneers 45, Dolphins 17
Expectations are low for the Miami Dolphins, who started the backup Jacoby Brissett against Tom Brady and the Bucs’ tremendous pass rush. This loss to the reigning champion TBay Buccaneers was no shocker. Jacoby Brissett was 27 of 39 passing for 279 yds, but was sacked three times.

But team owner Stephen M. Ross should be asking himself why his Dolphins have not built their own Florida powerhouse. Miami tanked in 2019, traded away as many assets as possible to get draft positioning and remain a hamster on a spinning wheel.

After the 2019 season, TBay wooed Brady, signed a slew of veterans and are now the toast of the NFL. Miami Coach Brian Flores and GM Chris Grier chose QB Tua Tagovailoa, fifth pick in the 2020 draft, over Justin Herbert, who has lit up the AFC West in his first two years as a Charger. Sunday’s loss at TBay was a troubling revelation that Flores, who made his bones as a defensive assistant with the Patriots, hasn’t been able to build a defensive power in Miami.

If anyone should know how to stop a Tom Brady attack, it’s Flores. In Year 3, Flores’s defense should be humming. Instead, it’s floundering. One week after a tough win over Belichick’s Pats, Brady was back to his terminator ways, completing 30 of 41 passes for 411 yds with five TDs. The Bucs finished with 33 first downs and 558 total yds, going 8 of 11 on third down, and never turned the ball over.

The Dolphins’ potential trade for Deshaun Watson will hang over the team until the Nov. 2 trade deadline. Watson faces a possible suspension as part of the investigation of 22 sexual misconduct lawsuits against him.

So where do the Dolphins go from here? Likely toward another massive roster reconstruction and a change at general manager and coach, too. Unless, of course, the Dolphins can woo their own future Hall of Famer via trade.

Chargers 47, Browns 42
Just another 398-yard, four-TD passing outing from Chargers Justin Herbert (see Miami; above). He also scored a rushing TD, dominating a Browns defense that has embarrassed other opposing QBs. The Chargers scored all four TDs in Q4 to ruin Cleveland’s Sunday. LAC coach Brandon Staley is the most aggressive NFL coach in going on fourth down, and it’s been paying off. These are two smart, excellent teams that could meet again in January.
 

Lethe200

Senior Member
What We Learned From NFL Week 5 – Pt 2 of 2
Oct. 11, 2021, NY Times/WashPost/SB Nation/local media

Bills 38, Chiefs 20
Leaping tacklers and averaging 21 yds per completion, Bills QB Josh Allen was a force against a KC defense that has completely lost its way. It’s unreal to see the KC Chiefs (2-3) at the bottom of the AFC West, but that’s how 2021 has gone. KC’s pass rush has faltered and the once-solid receiving corps has struggled with fumbles. It’s never been a Top Ten in rushing D, but lately it’s become 4th worst in the NFL in passing D as well. That’s putting too much pressure on the offense.

Opponents have not figured out how to stop the Chiefs’ offense, but they have figured out how to slow it down. Defenses play two deep safeties and rarely blitz. Mahomes is sometimes disciplined enough to move the ball downfield slowly, but the key to the Chiefs’ success, especially their patented comebacks, has been how fast everything happens. What they’re now seeing from opponents does not make the Chiefs worse, but it makes them less special. And with their shoddy defense, that’s a problem.

The Chiefs are now tied for the league lead with 11 turnovers. Mahomes already has as many interceptions - six - as he had all of 2020. It won’t help that RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire is banged up and out for a couple of weeks, either. Mahomes is on a level of his own, but he can’t throw the ball and defend against it at the same time. On the good side, the Chiefs go face Washington next week.

Cowboys 44, Giants 20
Credit to Dallas Coach Mike McCarthy and OC Kellen Moore, who mixed in the run as much as possible, gashing the Giants for 201 yds on the ground, including 110 from Ezekiel Elliot. The Cowboys throttled the injury-ravaged New York Giants and took complete control of the NFC East. In the first half, Giants Saquon Barkley was lost to an ugly ankle injury, and QB Daniel Jones to a possible concussion after a vicious hit on the goal line. One good sign for NYG: rookie WR Kadarius Toney caught 10 passes for 189 yards and showed his elite running ability after the catch (he was also ejected for throwing a punch.)

Bears 20, Raiders 9
Raiders HC Jon Gruden’s e-mail troubles culminated in an ugly post-game resignation. The controversy probably didn’t help the Raiders, whose offense was a mess at home. Both teams are now 3-2, but the Bears and rookie QB Justin Fields are looking good, while the Raiders look to be heading in reverse after going 3-0 to start.

Steelers 27, Broncos 19
For the first time since Week 1, the Steelers looked like a playoff contender. They finally took the ball out of Ben Roethlisberger’s hands. Big Ben attempted 14 passes versus 17 RB Najee Harris carries in the first half, and that was the difference. Harris’s talent was on full display against an excellent Denver defense. Denver QB Teddy Bridgewater was cleared to play but struggled against a fierce pass rush. The Broncos were terrible in third down conversions (two for twelve) and will need to improve when they meet their division rivals, the Raiders, in LVegas next week.

Patriots 25, Texans 22
Bill Belichick and the Patriots were on the ropes after an unexpected 312-yard, three-TD day from the Texans rookie Davis Mills. NE came up with a 15-play, 84-yard field-goal drive in Q4 to win. But they had to perform a 13-point comeback against the woeful Texans, and there’s no evidence they are better than average, with an 11-16 record since Nov 2019.

Titans 37, Jaguars 19
As expected, Titans RB Derrick Henry (130 yds on 29 carries, three TDs) ground out this win over Urban Meyer’s beleaguered team. Trevor Lawrence has been good for one or two true “wow” moments a game, but the Jaguars’ game plan continues to perplex everyone. Receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. - Jacksonville’s best playmaker last week - was targeted only three times Sunday.

Saints 33, Washington Football Team 22
Jameis Winston finally delivered some big plays, with a 72-yard TD pass to Deonte Harris and a 49-yard Hail Mary score to Marquez Callaway. Winston hasn’t resembled the turnover machine he was at TBay; Coach Sean Payton has held him back from unleashing one of the strongest arms in the league.

Vikings 19, Lions 17
The Detroit Lions found a new way to lose, and they have lost more ways than most. Pity the Lions. If not for 110 yards of field goals in two of the past three weeks, the team would be 2-3. They are instead 0-5, even after they took the lead with 37 seconds left in the fourth quarter with a touchdown and a two-point conversion. But Vikings QB Kirk Cousins set up a 54-yard field goal for Greg Joseph, who booted it through for the Vikes’ win.

Falcons 27, Jets 20
TE Kyle Pitts finally became the dominant force Atlanta hoped he would be when it drafted him as the fourth overall pick in April. The Jets had no answer for Pitts, who caught nine balls for 119 yds with a TD score.

Eagles 21, Panthers 18
One moment, the Panthers are an undefeated 3-0. The next, they’re without their star RB Christian McCaffrey, riding a two-game losing streak. Jalen Hurts ran in two TD scores in the second half for Philadelphia, rallying his team from a 12-point deficit to beat Carolina.
 

Lethe200

Senior Member
QB power rankings: Familiar face is back on top, but where does 49ers’ Lance land?
Bay Area News Group: October 12, 2021

The greatest of all time is back on top. Monster performances by Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens has vaulted them into the top two spots in this week’s quarterback power rankings. Let’s get to it:

1. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay (at Philadelphia) Last week: 5
Brady passed for 411 yards and five touchdowns in a 45-17 win over Miami. It’s the first time he’s passed for more than 400 yards and had five TD passes in one game in his career. At age 44. It’s beyond ridiculous at this point.

2. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (vs. L.A. Chargers) Last week: 9
Guess we can put those “can Jackson win with his arm” questions to rest. Led his team to a 31-25 win over Indianapolis after trailing 25-9. Was 37 of 43 for 442 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions before a national Monday night audience. Oh, and he rushed for 62 yards on 14 carries. That’s 504 yards of total offense.

3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (at Chicago) Last week: 2
Completed 27 of 39 passes for 344 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 25-22 overtime win against Cincinnati but wasn’t one of his better games. Relying too much on field goal attempts by Mason Crosby almost cost the Packers.

4. Justin Herbert, LA Chargers (at Baltimore) Last week: 7
What’s new with Herbert? Just produced 26 points in the fourth quarter in a 47-42 win over Cleveland. Was 26 of 43 for 398 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions. Those of you who reached out to say Herbert had been ranked too low? You were right.

5. Josh Allen, Buffalo (at Tennessee) Last week: 6
Had his big night in out-playing Patrick Mahomes by a considerable margin, comleting 15 of 26 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns and running 11 times for 59 yards and another score. Had completions of 61, 53 and 35 yards. The Bills are rolling at 4-1.

6. Kyler Murray, Arizona (at Cleveland) Last week: 1
Murray has his team at 5-0, but he looked mortal against the 49ers (22 of 31, 239 yards), produced just 17 points, and seemed to have an issue with his right arm in the second half.

7. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (at Washington) Last week: 3
Mahomes has been throwing many more careless passes of late, and it showed in completing 33 of 54 passes for 272 yards, two touchdowns and two picks in a 38-20 loss to Buffalo. Ran eight times for 61 yards. That was never the plan.

8. Dak Prescott, Dallas (at New England) Last week: 4
As ridiculous as it sounds, the Cowboys left a lot of yardage and points on the field in a 44-20 win over the NY Giants. Prescott was 22 of 32 for three touchdowns and a pick. Dallas ran the ball 39 times for 201 yards, making his life much easier.

9. Matt Stafford, LA Rams (at N.Y. Giants) Last week: 10
One attempted throwaway that was picked off by Quandre Diggs against Seattle,but Stafford rebounded well from big loss to Arizona. He was 27 of 35 for 365 yards and a touchdown. Robert Woods, Cooper Cupp, DeSean Jackson all doing damage as receivers.

10. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland (vs. Arizona) Last week: 13
Hard to have a problem with a quarterback who was 23 of 32 for 305 yards, two touchdowns and no picks. Problem was he was on the same field as Herbert in a 47-42 loss. And he’s playing with a bad left shoulder. Don’t kid yourself, that matters in terms of driving the ball downfield.

11. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (vs. Seattle) Last week: 24
Well, what do you know. Najee Harris runs for 122 yards on 23 carries, the Steelers ran it more than the passed it 35 rushes, 25 passes, and suddenly Big Ben is effective again. Was 15 of 25 for 253 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

12. Jameis Winston, New Orleans (at Washington) Last week: 19
Coach Sean Payton is proving he carried Drew Brees as much as Brees carried him. Winston was just 15 of 30 but for 279 yards and four touchdowns in a 33-22 win over Washington. New Orleans is 3-2 with Payton having dealt with a major transition at quarterback.

13. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati (at Detroit) Last week: 15
Battled Green Bay on Aaron Rodgers on relatively even terms, completing 26 of 38 passes for 281 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in 25-22 overtime loss. But his overtime pick was a killer, setting up the winning points for the Packers.

14. Derek Carr, Las Vegas (at Denver) Last week: 11
Feeling the effects of a shaky offensive line and no running game in a big way, Carr looks nothing like the guy who had the Raiders at 3-0. Was 22 of 35 for 206 yards and an interception in 20-9 loss to Bears. Sacked three times, faced pressure throughout. And now the man who taught him most everything he knows about playing quarterback has resigned.

15. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee (vs. Buffalo) Last week: 14
It’s usually a good day for Tannehill when he hands the ball off to Derrick Henry (29 carries for 130 yards, 3 TDs), more than he passes it (14 of 22, 197 yards, 1 TD). Titans beat Jacksonville 37-19.

16. Matt Ryan, Atlanta (bye) Last week: 16
Completed 33 of 45 passes for 342 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in win over the Jets. That’s impressive no matter the competition.

17. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota (at Carolina) Last week: 17
Another solid, workman-like game (25 of 34, 275 yards, 1 TD, 1 pick) that wasn’t explosively productive but got the job done in 19-17 win over Detroit. His 19-yard pass to Adam Theilen set up Greg Joseph’s game-winning 53-yard field goal with three seconds left.

18. Carson Wentz, Indianapolis (vs. Houston) Last week: 26
The Colts are crushed to be 1-4 after blowing a 25-9 lead against Baltimore, but they’ve got to feel a lot better about Wentz. For the first time he resembled the guy who was considered a future star in Philadelphia, completing 25 of 35 passes for 402 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions against the Ravens.

19. Sam Darnold, Carolina (vs. Minnesota) Last week: 12
A big step back for Darnold with three interceptions and passing for just 177 yards on 21 of 37 completions in 21-18 loss to Eagles. One of his interceptions brought back Jets flashbacks.

20. Teddy Bridgewater, Denver (vs. Raiders) Last week: 18
As the schedule has gotten tougher, Bridgewater has lost some of his luster. Was 24 of 38 for 288 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in 27-19 loss in Pittsburgh but Broncos didn’t reach the end zone until the fourth quarter until it was too late.

21. Mac Jones, New England (vs. Dallas) Last week: 20
Slow and steady wins the race. That’s how the Patriots have played it with Jones and it worked in a 25-22 win over Houston. Last drive (15 plays, 84 yards) led to Nick Folk’s game-winning field goal. Was 23 of 31 for 231 yards, one TD and one pick.

22. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia (vs. Tampa Bay) Last week: 21
Not a hugely productive day as a passer (22 of 37, 198 yards, one interception) but his 6-yard run on a short-field drive (27 yards) with 2:38 left gave the Eagles a 21-18 win over Carolina.

23. Jared Goff, Detroit (vs. Cincinnati) Last week: 22
Season has all the earmarks of being a caretaker for whoever the Lions eventually decide is their quarterback of the future. Completed 21 of 35 passes for 203 yards and an interceptions, was in position for win until last-second field goal against the Vikings.

24. Daniel Jones, NY Giants (vs. LA Rams) Last week: 23
Lost to a concussion in 44-20 loss to Dallas after completing 5 of 13 passes for 98 yards. Mike Glennon finished up and was 16 of 25 for 196 yards with a touchdown but two interceptions.

25. Justin Fields, Chicago (vs. Green Bay) Last week: 29
Want to see how to properly manage a rookie quarterback if game circumstance allows? Look no further than Matt Nagy and the Bears. Fields was 12 of 20 for 111 yards, a touchdown and no gain longer than 18 yards. So what? Bears ran the ball 37 times and never trailed against the Raiders.

26. Trey Lance, 49ERS (bye) Last week: 27
Passed the eye test for sure, but not the productivity test. Impressive as a runner-passer but 49ers produced just a touchdown and a field goal in nine possessions. Interesting to see what the bye week brings.

27. Zach Wilson, NY Jets (at Atlanta) Last week: 28
Couldn’t replicate magic of previous week against Tennessee. Was 19 of 32 for 192 yards, no touchdowns and a pick against Atlanta. Not helped by the fact that no Jets runner had a gain more than nine yards and they averaged 3.6 as a team.

28. Taylor Heineke, Washington (vs. Kansas City) Last week: 25
Proving at this point he’ll be a good backup for someone else should Washington recalibrate and look for a franchise quarterback. Heineke was 20 of 48 for 248 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions in 33-22 loss to New Orleans.

29. Davis Mills, Houston (at Indianapolis) Last week: 32
Statistically deserved better than a loss (21 of 29, 312 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions) but on their last five possessions the Texans had three punts, a missed field goal and a lost fumble in 25-22 loss to Patriots.

30. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville (vs. Miami) Last week: 30
Continues to show progress despite another defeat, completing 23 of 33 passes for 273 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Had an 8-yard scramble for a touchdown. The good news? Sacked only eight times in five games for a poor team.

31. Geno Smith, Seattle (at Pittsburgh) Last week: 8 (Wilson)
Smith was better than expected after Russell Wilson fractured a finger that will keep him out anywhere from a month to eight weeks. But make no mistake, if it’s eight weeks, Seattle’s playoff hopes are nil.

32. Jacoby Brissett, Miami (at Jacksonville) Last week: 31
Destined to be a caretaker or a backup at this point. Was 27 of 39 for 275 yards, one touchdown and one interception in blowout loss to New England. Won’t get much of a chance to succeed in Miami, which appears headed for a fall after winning 10 games last season.
 

Irwin

Senior Member
I'm jumping on the Bills bandwagon. They're fun to watch.

Now, how can I watch their next game which is on Monday night and we don't get ESPN? (other than going out to a bar or restaurant)
 
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jerry old

Texas Crude
I'm jumping on the Bills bandwagon. They're fun to watch.

Now, how can I watch their next game which is on Monday night and we don't get ESPN? (other than going out to a bar or restaurant)O

Okay, but if they play the Vikings in the Super Bowl who would root for?
 

Lethe200

Senior Member
NFL Week 6 Predictions Pt 1 of 2
Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson play for AFC supremacy and the Cardinals travel to Cleveland looking to go 6-0.
NY Times/WashPost/SBNation Oct. 14, 2021

Week 6 Byes: Falcons, Saints, Jets, 49ers | All times Eastern

Week 6 Thursday Night Football
Buccaneers 28, Ravens 22
Philadelphia’s D had a great game last week vs Carolina’s Sam Darnold to set up the Eagles’ (2-3) Q4 comeback. But Bucs QB Tom Brady is not Sam Darnold. For the second week in a row, the Eagles got off to an incredibly slow start. The Birds had just 99 yards of offense entering the fourth quarter. They made a valiant comeback, cutting the lead to six points in the fourth quarter. But the Bucs closed it out in true Brady style: on a 3rd-and-7 from the Eagles’ 45-yard line, Brady hit Antonio Brown on a tight window for a big Tampa conversion. Coverage was excellent but the throw was perfect. That first down enabled Brady to run the clock off for the win. At 44, Brady leads the league in pass attempts, completions, and yds for the NFL’s third-ranked offense.

LA Chargers at Baltimore Ravens, 1p, CBS
Pick: Ravens
Honestly, the NFL should flex this game to 4:25p or to Sunday night. It is a broadcaster’s dream: two exciting young QBs who’ve led frantic winning rallies in recent games in a battle for who gets to drive the conference with KC abdicating (altho the Bills may also have something to say about it).

Justin Herbert ranks fourth in the NFL in passing yds (1,576), with Lamar Jackson on his heels in fifth (1,519). With the teams so evenly matched, this one should come down to the fine points. The Ravens (4-1) have triaged the running game with free-agent pickups and the second-year back Ty’Son Williams, the team’s second-leading rusher behind Jackson. If Chargers Coach Brandon Staley, one of the league’s best defensive minds, can shut Williams down and force Baltimore to match their passing, the Chargers (4-1) should win. But another variable will be LA’s penalties; their 397 yds lead the NFL.

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns, 4:05p, Fox
Pick: Cardinals
To match the Cardinals (5-0), Cleveland needs to be ready for another shootout. The Browns (3-2) narrowly lost, 47-42, an emotionally draining game to the Chargers last weekend, when the teams combined for more than 1,000 yds of offense.

Both Cleveland and Arizona rank in the top 10 in points per game, but the edge here goes to the undefeated team.

Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers, 1p, Fox
Pick: Panthers
Both the Panthers (3-2) and the Vikings (2-3) are optimistic that their star RBs will return after multiple-game absences. Carolina Coach Matt Rhule said he was “hopeful” Christian McCaffrey would play after attempting to come back last week from a hamstring injury. Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook (ankle) was a game-time decision last week and should play barring any setbacks.

The difference here will be how the QBs fare. Kirk Cousins struggles under pressure and that should continue against the league’s third-leading sack (16) producer. Minnesota’s defense has given up only six passing TDs this season, but if Ravens QB Sam Darnold protects the football (he threw three interceptions last week), Carolina should roll.

Dallas Cowboys at NE Patriots, 4:25p, CBS
Pick: Cowboys
Dallas (4-1) is riding a three-game winning streak, thanks to an offense that converts a first down or scores a touchdown on 79% of its downs. Only the LA Chargers and Chiefs are better at moving the chains or finding the end zone. Dak Prescott’s 13 TD passes are tied for third-best in the league, and the D looks legit.

The Patriots (2-3) haven’t found such consistency. NE needed a Q4 rally to beat the Texans last week. With injuries along the Patriots’ OL (tackle Trent Brown went on IR this week) mean rookie QB Mac Jones will have to think fast against pressure - not a good scenario against a team with rising star Trevon Diggs in its secondary.

The defenses are almost a wash in terms of performance. Both are allowing three more points per game than expected, giving the nod to Dallas and its superior offense.

Sunday’s Other Games

Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars (in London), 9:30 a.m., CBS
Pick: Dolphins
The NFL exports another matchup of sub-.500 teams, a contest most Americans will again probably sleep through. The Dolphins (1-4) expect Tua Tagovailoa to return from his three-game absence after fracturing his ribs. The Jaguars (0-5) should be a good “welcome-back” assignment, as their defense ranks 26th in passing yds allowed per game (286.6). Miami’s defense led the league in turnovers last season, keeping the team in playoff contention, but this season it ranks 24th in rushing defense and 27th against the pass. It could revive itself against Jaguars rookie QB Trevor Lawrence, who has thrown at least one interception in four of his five games.

GBay Packers at Chicago Bears, 1p, Fox
Pick: Packers
It’s the NFL’s oldest rivalry but the Packers (4-1) and Bears (3-2) are focused on entirely different futures. Aaron Rodgers is leading a win-now GBay team, who will want a convincing win this week. In two of its last three games, GBay ended drives with walk-off FGs. Chicago is developing rookie QB Justin Fields, who attempted only 20 passes in a win against the Raiders, in which the Bears relied on 139 yds rushing from its RBs. Why coach Nagy hasn’t released Fields’ extremely strong (and accurate) arm more often is a mystery to everyone.
 

Lethe200

Senior Member
NFL Week 6 Predictions Pt 2 of 2
NY Times/WashPost/SBNation Oct. 14, 2021
Week 6 Byes: Falcons, Saints, Jets, 49ers | All times Eastern

Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions, 1p, Fox
Pick: Bengals
After losing their fifth straight game last week - their second loss on a last-second FG - Detroit Coach Dan Campbell teared up in the postgame news conference. “Our days of being on the winning side of that are coming,” he said.

Probably not this week. But the Bengals (3-2) will be without RB Samaje Perine (positive for coronavirus) this week, putting more of the load on RB Joe Mixon, who already ranks third in attempts and is battling an ankle injury. Even with an improved OL protecting Joe Burrow and receiver Ja’Marr Chase’s emergence as a front-runner for offensive rookie of the year, Cincinnati might struggle against a Lions defense that’s playing for pride.

LA Rams at Giants, 1p, Fox
Pick: Rams
With QB Daniel Jones (concussion) out and a long list of injuries hindering the entire receiver corps and RB Saquon Barkley, the Giants (1-4) will try to hurry back anyone who can catch a ball from backup Mike Glennon. The Rams (4-1) might look a little shellshocked because of the early East Coast start, but this one should be decided quickly.

KC at Washington Footballers, 1p, CBS
Pick: KC
KC’s offense has had to be mind-bogglingly efficient to even contend so far this season, and its three losses have followed a common script: Opponents that can limit Tyreek Hill to under 100 receiving yds and convert aggressive play calls against KC’s defense can come out with a win. The Ravens, Chargers and Bills wrote the blueprint, but Washington (2-3) is unlikely to execute it well.

The Washington defense surrenders 31 points per game, second-worst in the league, and allows opponents to convert 56 percent of the time on third down. (The league average is less than 41 percent.) It’s allowed the fifth-most passing yds (1,467) and has only nine sacks in six games, despite the Chase Young-Montez Sweat defensive line pairing. Mahomes, whose six interceptions are tied for third in the NFL, has shown he can quickly find receivers with his shovel pass and Hill gives him a deep target against a less-talented secondary. KC (2-3) should get a confidence boost.

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts, 1p, CBS
Pick: Colts
How does a team recover from blowing a 19-point lead? Playing the Texans (1-4) is a start. In surrendering their second-half lead last week to the Patriots, the Texans squandered rookie Davis Mills’s best game (312 yds and three TDs).

Before the Colts (1-4) allowed Ravens QB Lamar Jackson to rally from behind on“Monday Night Football, they looked shockingly efficient on both sides of the ball. Carson Wentz is more experienced than Mills and working with a better all-around roster. In theory, the Colts should win.

LVegas Raiders at Denver Broncos, 4:25p, CBS
Pick: Broncos
After Jon Gruden’s resignation Monday night, the Raiders (3-2) have to prepare to face a hellish Broncos defense under interim coach Rich Bisaccia. The Broncos (3-2), losers of two straight, will pounce on a LVegas team that’s facing organizational turmoil and a shuffling OL, including shifting the first-round draft pick Alex Leatherwood from tackle to guard, because of injuries.

This game may define both teams’ seasons. Like Denver, the Raiders are on a two game skid after a hot start. As Gruden did all the play-calling, what kind of offense the Raiders will mount is completely unknown. It’s expected OC Greg Olson will call plays, but Derek Carr will probably have more autonomy than before. If they can get dangerous Darren Waller involved early, that will give RB Henry Ruggs the opportunity to gash the secondary. Denver’s secondary is good, but Ruggs runs a 4.27 40 and has blown past some good cornerbacks.

Expect a Denver strategy to send future Hall of Famer OL Von Miller to make Leatherwood’s season – already a bad one, due more to inexperience than inability – even worse. It may be a long day for Raiders QB Derek Carr again if he can’t jumpstart the offense. Pass protection and run defense are LVegas’ two biggest deficiencies so playing against a lead can expose both.

The Raiders win if they can stick to the short passes and force Bridgewater to beat them defensively. Von Miller will eat them alive if Carr is forced to take five- and seven-step drops as he did in the loss to Chicago.

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:20p, NBC
Pick: Steelers
Russell Wilson will miss his first start in his 10-year career with the Seahawks (2-3) after undergoing finger surgery on his throwing hand. Geno Smith will take over the role for the next 6 weeks. Seattle RB Chris Carson has also gone on IR this week. Even with Ben Roethlisberger’s struggles, he will be a safer bet than Smith, who has not started since 2017 with the Giants.

Monday’s Matchup

Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans, 8:15p, ESPN
Pick: Bills
The Bills’ defense ranks first in turnovers (15), second in passing yds allowed (867) and third in rushing yds allowed (392), showing it can carry its weight while Josh Allen and the offense have their fun. That’s trouble for the Titans (3-2), who lean heavily on RB Derrick Henry, the league’s leading rusher. It’s unclear whether Titans receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) will return after missing two straight games, though he practiced Wednesday. The Bills (4-1) demolished KC and are, along with the Ravens and Chargers, fighting for control of the AFC.
 

Lethe200

Senior Member
Jerry will be happy with this post!

NFL Week 6 power rankings: Buffalo Bills are the new kings, Dallas Cowboys inside the top 5
The Dallas Cowboys are one of the best teams in the NFL.
SB Nation by RJ Ochoa Oct 12, 2021

Time is flying by at an unbelievably fast rate and we are now all the way at Week 6 of the 2021 NFL season. The Dallas Cowboys are 4-1 and just one game separates them from their bye. At present time many are starting to acknowledge them as one of the best teams in the NFL, but just where should they be ranked?

Every week here at BTB we put together our own power rankings of every team in the NFL and gather rankings from around the internet to see how people are in fact evaluating America’s Team.

(You can visit our rankings from last week #5 right here, to compare: https://www.bloggingtheboys.com/202...ys-look-like-one-of-the-best-teams-in-the-nfl)

1 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 6)
They are not the league’s last undefeated team, but the Buffalo Bills look like the NFL’s most unstoppable force through five weeks. The AFC goes through them.

2 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 2)
It had been a while since we’d seen Tampa Bay just have their way with an opponent and that is exactly what happened on Sunday. Life is very different with Tom Brady, the one and true GOAT.

3 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 1)
Ultimately the Cardinals are the league’s only undefeated squad, but they hardly look like the best team. They outlasted the 49ers which is a credit to them (it was a divisional game after all), but let’s see how they fare against Cleveland this week.

4 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 7)
Hello. The Dallas Cowboys are one of the very best teams in the NFL. Yes. That’s correct.

5 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 8)
What a game on Sunday afternoon. Justin Herbert looks every bit like the next great quarterback and someone who can challenge (and may actually surpass?!) Patrick Mahomes. They are in contention to win it all.

6 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 4)
It feels like it has been forever since we’ve seen the Rams play and when we did they won to be fair, but the beginning of the season feels even further in the rearview mirror right now. The Rams look insane when all things are clicking, but when they aren’t they just look like an ordinary good team.

7 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 9)
Ultimately wins are wins and there are likely no Packers fans upset with victory in Cincinnati. However, Green Bay arguably should have lost to the Bengals. It feels like they have a bottoming-out on the way.

8 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 3)
They gave the Chargers all they had and that is certainly respect. Cleveland will be in the mix later on through the season, but they might be a notch below the AFC’s top units.

9 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 11)
What an impressive win on Monday night. They have a thing for the dramatics, but they are a hard out. Lamar Jackson is a stud.

10 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 15)
It was a weird week across the league and so weird that the Bengals rose a few slots after losing. But what Cincinnati did on Sunday was impressive. They can clearly hang with some of the best groups in the NFL. Are they playoff-bound?

11 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 20)
I’m reluctant to buy all the way into Tennessee since they lost to the Jets last week, but as mentioned, it was a weird week. The Titans can roll over people when they’re on and that’s what happened in Jacksonville.

12 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 5)
How the mighty have fallen. Thankfully for Kansas City’s sake they drew Washington this week, but they are a shell of their former selves.

13 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 10)
Their loss on Sunday wasn’t great, but there is a lot going on with this organization that has nothing to do with football right now.

14 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 12)
It is unfortunate that Russell Wilson is hurt because he is one of the best players in the NFL and one that is extremely fun to watch. As Cowboys fans we know how much a finger can derail a quarterback’s season. Without him it is difficult to see Seattle competing.

15 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 17)
The win in Washington was nice, but this team is so up and down. Who are they going to be when all of the waters stabilize?

16 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 13)
Perhaps the Cowboys exposed them a bit or perhaps they just really miss Christian McCaffrey. Either way, they played down to the Philadelphia Eagles and are a long ways removed from being undefeated.

17 - Chicago Bears (LW: 19)
Justin Fields didn’t exactly light up the box score in his first game as the unquestioned starter, but theoretically things should get better. Chicago has a chance to be a playoff team this season as long as he can help stabilize their offense.

18 - New England Patriots (LW: 18)
Weirdly enough I think people felt better about them (like the Cowboys) following their loss to the Buccaneers as opposed to this win. We still don’t entirely know who the Brady-less Patriots can totally be, but hopefully this week it isn’t anybody too good.

19 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 14)
There is no reason for Kyle Shanahan to trot Jimmy Garoppolo out as his starting quarterback when they are back from bye. If he does, well, yikes.

20 - Washington Football Team (LW: 21)
Are they the second-best team in the NFC East? Would that even mean anything?
 

Lethe200

Senior Member
NFL Week 6 power rankings: Buffalo Bills are the new kings, Dallas Cowboys inside the top 5
Pt 2 of 2
SB Nation by RJ Ochoa Oct 12, 2021

21 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 30)
It is important to remember that they beat the Jets of all teams, but the Falcons looked somewhat competent across the pond over the weekend. Perhaps Arthur Smith’s philosophies are starting to take hold?

22 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 22)
Early on I felt like the Vikings were an 0-2 team that had legitimate potential. They have gone 2-1 since then, but it’s hard to see how they can put it together for an entire game. Justin Jefferson remains special, but overall this team just can’t get out of their own way sometimes. At least they won.

23 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 26)
There were some ugly moments for the Eagles in this one, but they beat a Panthers team that impressed a lot of us last week. Jalen Hurts does not at all look like the guy moving forward. Up next for them is the world champions on a short week.

24 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 23)
They built a nice lead against Baltimore, but then they blew it! Not exactly an encouraging sign.

25 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 24)
They won and finally scored in the first quarter which is notable, but it was the Broncos. Pittsburgh still remains trapped by their quarterback and likely to finish below .500 this season.

26 - Denver Broncos (LW: 16)
If there was ever a paper tiger team among those that were undefeated this season it was surely the Broncos.

27 - Detroit Lions (LW: 29)
Dan Campbell’s team definitely fights for him and that is commendable. Eventually the Lions are going to not be on the wrong side of miraculous field goals, but unfortunately that day was not on Sunday.

28 - New York Giants (LW: 27)
Injuries are going to see them look even worse for a little while, but ultimately the Giants just lack juice right now. Kadarius Toney is awesome, but what else is there to be excited about if you’re a fan of that team?

29 - Houston Texans (LW: 31)
They continue to have moments where many are surprised because they are better than we originally thought they would be, but it wasn’t enough in Week 5.

30 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 25)
Losing your starting quarterback makes life difficult and playing a team like the Buccaneers only exacerbates the problem. Unfortunately the Dolphins are in a bit of a rut right now and it’s hard to see them getting out of it.

31 - New York Jets (LW: 28)
It is still extremely early, but Zach Wilson does not look good at all. London, we are sorry for sending this team to you and acting like that was some sort of gift.

32 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 32)
London, we are sorry that this is the next team that you have to watch along with the Dolphins. Thank you for the Premier League!
 

jerry old

Texas Crude
Yes indeed, happy, happy, happy that Cowboys woke up, but, but, but they have no experience in winning playoff games, lots of experience
in losing them:oops:
Currently have laid crying towel aside, but still close by...

LV Raiders and Jon Gruden
1, they are the LA Raiders, they are not suppose to be in LV
How long before we have the Haight-asbury 49 niners?

2. Gruden had a reputation of being good a coach; fire the guy at the end of season, do not wreck playoff hopes.
"Insensitive," more than that, all these NFL people are now public figures.

If the Raiders go into the tank, fans will blame firing, and they are headed for the tank.

Football used to concern only football, no longer.
In the past, if a NFL player could tie his shoes he was elected spokeman's for his team.

appreciate Lethe 200, AFL is a forgotten child in my weekly musing about winners/losers, 'Who are these guys'?
kind'a like Denver when John Elway, darn he could throw that ball.
We have a Denver fan on this thread
 
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Irwin

Senior Member
Yes indeed, happy, happy, happy that Cowboys woke up, but, but, but they have no experience in winning playoff games, lots of experience
in losing them:oops:
Currently have laid crying towel aside, but still close by...

LV Raiders and Jon Gruden
1, they are the LA Raiders, they are not suppose to be in LV
How long before we have the Haight-asbury 49 niners?

2. Gruden had a reputation of being good a coach; fire the guy at the end of season, do not wreck playoff hopes.
"Insensitive," more than that, all these NFL people are now public figures.

If the Raiders go into the tank, fans will blame firing, and they are headed for the tank.

Football used to concern only football, no longer.
In the past, if a NFL player could tie his shoes he was elected spokeman's for his team.

appreciate Lethe 200, AFL is a forgotten child in my weekly musing about winners/losers, 'Who are these guys'?
kind'a like Denver when John Elway, darn he could throw that ball.
We have a Denver fan on this thread
Elway was fun to watch. No matter how bad they were losing, there was always a chance they could come from behind and win it in the final few minutes because of Elway. He played some of his worst games in Super Bowls, though. He played probably the best game of his career in his final Super Bowl. Combined with Terrell Davis and their bad-ass defense, they were one of the great teams in history... when was that? 1998?
 

Lethe200

Senior Member
Inside the Patriots’ winning machine: ‘The Super Bowls are an offshoot of two extremists’
In his new book, Seth Wickersham explores how Tom Brady and Bill Belichick built one of the most successful teams in history
London Guardian U.S. 16 Oct 2021

Free access article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2...super-bowls-are-an-offshoot-of-two-extremists

(excerpt) For most of the past two decades, the New England Patriots’ dynasty monopolized the NFL. Between nine Super Bowl appearances, multiple scandals, a global superstar quarterback, and a coaching wizard, the Patriots machine churned and churned until Tom Brady joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.

The organization’s historical run resulted in an infinite amount of reporting, yet a cloud of mystery has always been present. ESPN Senior Writer Seth Wickersham, who has covered Brady and company since the early 2000s, presents the deepest dive yet into the Pats’ dynasty in his debut book, “It’s Better to be Feared”.

The Guardian caught up with Wickersham to talk about what he learned reporting the book, the evolution of the Brady-Belichick breakup, Brady’s happier world in Tampa, and much more.
 

Don M.

Well-known Member
Location
central Missouri
I just finished watching the Chiefs beat the Washington team, by a nice margin. In spite of several "mistakes", the Chiefs managed to get back to .500. Hopefully KC can get it's act together for the rest of the season.....they have started out "mediocre" this year.
 

jerry old

Texas Crude
Pats vs Cowboys:
Today: Patroits 7 plays in five minutes resulting in 14 points
You gott'a be kidding me!
Nope, real

Was prepared for usual duck and run...

(Cowboy's Corner, Diggs=seven Int in 6 games)
 
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jerry old

Texas Crude
I've started following the Cardinals this year, and I like what I see.
They've got the best of the local guys running the team now .. (y). So I'm on board.
We need to start paying attention, they've forgotten how to lose.
I guess their meetings with LA will tell the tale.
 

Irwin

Senior Member
I tend to favor teams from cities or regions that I have visited or have lived and towards which I have an affinity, which is one reason I've become a Bills fan. I grew up in NY (state) and visit when I can. It's a great state and NYC is the second greatest city in the world — second only to Paris! (IMO)

While I'd like to support the Broncos, their total lack of substantial offensive talent keeps them from winning, and until they solve the problem of their total lack of substantial offensive talent, they will continue to lose against good teams. Other teams can get great quarterbacks and runningbacks... why can't the Broncos? It can only be blamed on management.
 

Buckeye

Well-known Member
Watched the last couple of minutes of the Jacksonville/Miami game being played in London, since I am a Buckeye and I was glad to see Urban finally put one in the W column.

Beyond that, I just can't watch the pros any more. It used to be football, but now it's theater.
 


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