Gregg Rosenthal captures everything you need to know when we turn from week 8 to week 9. Browns made the…
Gregg Rosenthal captures everything you need to know when we turn from week 8 to week 9.
Browns made the move on October 29, which was apparent on January 1st. Hue Jackson is no longer Browns coach, and it is fair to wonder if the entire organization delayed another season recovery plan just because they could not bear Jackson, a nice man for all accounts, on a 17-match loss distance last offseason.
The situation between Jackson and Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley was untenable. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Haley “did not listen to Jackson” and “did his own thing”. Owner Jimmy Haslam believed to be among those who leaned to keep Jackson over Haley into Sunday’s match against Steelers, but in the end, both Jackson and Haley were released, with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams who went in as interim head coach. The decision to fire both scabbard parties in a power struggle is known in Cleveland.
This type of dysfunction has been visible to the public with greater frequency since Haslam became owner half way in the 201
2 season, and this latest section raises questions about whether the organization has learned from its previous mistakes. Haslam has kicked coach Pat Shurmur, Rob Chudzinski, Mike Pettine and Jackson, in addition to bosses Mike Holmgren, Tom Heckert, Joe Banner, Michael Lombardi, Ray Farmer and Sashi Brown. It has been a long six years.
Browns seem to have found a good GM in John Dorsey and they have one of the most promising young quarterbacks to enter the league this year in Baker Mayfield. They have some extra picks in next year’s draft, although all premium choices like Sashi Brown have been built up. Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward, Larry Ogunjobi and Emmanuel Ogbah are the core of a talented game defense, but it is worth remembering that they will learn a new defense concept next year after Williams has probably shown the door.
Mayfield’s presence undoubtedly makes it all the better. Mayfield is the perfect spotlight for performing some of the wide open offensive innovations that take the league by storm, and he should make life easier on the next head coach. After all the “new regime” press conferences Brown’s fans have been exposed in the last six seasons, but it’s reasonable to doubt the organization’s ability to get the next decision for the franchise savior. Especially when they wasted everyone’s time after they got the space again by January 1st.
Marcus Davenport makes the defense of the hein scary.
There is at least one play each week in which rookie Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport makes it look insecure for opponents to work in his vicinity. On one of his two sacks on Sunday night in Minnesota, Davenport appeared to use Kirk Cousins as a shovel to dig the vikings grave in the field grass.
Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins put two bags on himself on Sunday evening. Saints’ defense still begins with Cameron Jordan, who is back to play at his All-Pro level. But the increased effect of Davenport and Rankins helps to round out an improving Saints front seven.
Think of it a very scary view for the rest of the NFC that the Saints only needed 120 yards from Drew Brees to win comfortably along the way. After winning in Baltimore, the Saints can relax at home every week … against Rams.
The NFC tanks are here.
Ramsna faces the two closest NFC teams in the next two weeks (Saints and Seahawks) before heading to Mexico City for a matchup with the managers in week 11. Seattles four November games do not have a single opponent with a lost record, including a trespel slalom against Rams, Packers and Panthers. The packs are part of the weeks’ stretch of three straight NFC competitions before Minnesota has road games in New England and Seattle. Lions next five games are against NFC enemies with winning entries.
In short: Many of the best games and drama in the NFC race will happen in the third quarter, with Rams-Saints in week 9, setting the table for the battle of the home field’s advantage.
Blake Bortles is far from the only problem in Jacksonville.
After a week of Blake bashing, the reality during Jacksonville’s 24-18 loss for the eagles in London introduced. Even when Bortles gives the team an above average bet (24 of 41 for 268 meters with a touchdown and zero pickings), this team has many other problems. The offensive line has not played well, which happens when a team is on its third string left tack. The record contract awarded to Andrew Norwell has not paid dividends. Team recipients released five passing Sunday, including a potential touchdown. Keelan Cole fumbled a ball away for the second time in three weeks. The secondary who has been injured by injuries has not been a difference group. Even the All-Pro corner Jalen Ramsey was hit by Alshon Jeffery a few times on key third downs and did not rank among the top 30 in his position, according to Pro Football Focus.
With the game on the line late in the fourth quarter, the Jaguar’s crimes encountered six short-term situations near the midfield. They called six straight passports, resulting in five incompletions and a successful scramble by Bortles. This is Jaguar’s team of coach Doug Marron’s nightmares, too fear of driving the ball in clear driving situations and too addicted to Bortles to make games. The defense has played well, but not good. Just like any defense in 2018, they can not rely on stopping when they absolutely need it. Now 3-5 on a four-player game, making the play a steep rise for a team that appeared to have won its Super Bowl in week 2.
Steel’s defensive improvement stops.
After an unfortunate start of the season, the Steelers Falcons held 17 points in week 5 and then held Bengals and Browns to 512 meters in combination. It’s a small sample size, but Steelers has given up the smallest yards per game of any team in football over their last three games. Baker Mayfield threw 107 yards before a senseless late touchdown device in week 8. Stephon Tuitt fired against Cleveland, led a deep Steelers front seven and the secondary no longer give up big games, perhaps because Mike Tomlin no longer gives snaps to Cornerback Artie Burns.
Nobody expects this group to be Steel Curtain against the other AFC participants. They just need to be good enough and let the crime bear the day, which is essentially the same formula as the other top AFC teams, such as Kansas City, New England and Los Angeles. The Steelers is right back on track.
If the improved Seahawks will make playoffs.
The Seahawks are not the team they were for the season since the defense was filled with brand names. They are not even the team they were five weeks ago, before weaknesses that were calcified to clichés became forces. They are one of the best 10 teams in NFL.
The Seahawks are 4-1 over their last five matches, which match the opponents 99-47 in their four wins. The team’s loss in that stretch was a two-point defeat against Rams, perhaps the most valuable loss in NFL this season. The Seahawks left that game understood that they were not so far from their goals, especially on crimes.
Offensive is no longer a weakness. While helping the team’s passport as Russell Wilson barely made an average of 20 games per game over the past three weeks, the team’s blowout is unquestionably now a force. Wilson’s stroke rate on his shot every week plays rivals like Patrick Mahomes, as well as Wilson’s touchdowns per-throw mark (8.8 percent, with Mahomes setting up a league high 9.1 percent). Chris Carson and Mike Davis are the rugged jump combination Pete Carroll did not see coming, while the first round picker Rashaad Penny collects dust on the bench. Co-ordinator Brian Schottenheimer helps . Getting rid of former offensive line traffic Tom Cable may have helped even more. A thin recipient group has been inflated by the emergence of 2017 seventh round David Moore (11 catches for 221 yards and four points), Doug Baldwin’s return, the benchmark of Brandon Marshall and a career year by Tyler Lockett (25 catches for 394 meters and six touchdowns ). Like almost all teams on the team, the recipients were more physical than their Lions counterparts during Sunday’s convincing road win.
Seattle has a brutal range of quality opponents coming up, but the overall schedule is beneficial when looking through another prism. Seahawks hosts six of their last nine matches at home in front of a dangerously tied audience who must be proud that the Pete Carroll party was given only a second life.
Return of Linebacker K.J. Wright on Sunday added a level of familiarity for an unprecedented defense showing off Carroll’s coaching chops. Security duo Bradley McDougald and Tedric Thompson play over their heads. I do not know if the Seahawks will survive their upcoming galaxy and make the playoffs, but they are a better team that’s more fun to watch than they were a year ago when all Super Bowl champions remained on roster.
About Carson Wentz can keep this up.
On Sunday, Wentz was one of the most impressive games, for a day that started with two sales. Eagles offensive begins to resemble Seahawk’s crimes against the old in an uncomfortable way and count on the quarterback to create third-down magic on its own to keep the ball moving. Losing right tack Lane Johnson to a knee injury will not help.
Wentz has been up to the task so far and plays on one level only one field during the 2017 beat. At 4-4 on the way into week 9 bye, the eagles have many questions to figure out around Wentz in a season full of bad injury happiness on both sides of the ball. If the rest of the team and coaching staff can raise their level, Wentz sees more than being able to take up the battle.
How much better could Cam Newton’s career be if he had started working with Norv Turner earlier.
Panther’s offensive is sensible now when you look at it, which was almost never the case with former co-ordinator Mike Shula in addition to the short shine in 2015. Even before General Manager Dave Gettleman fired in 2017, the plan was to stop loading on plodding power-forward wide receiver and surround Newton with the kind of speed threat that would make Cam is even more difficult to defend.
That vision is realized. The best game of rookie recipients D.J. Moore’s career on Sunday against Baltimore (five catches for 90 yards) should be a sign of things to come, with Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel also giving great games.
This is Carolina’s first season since 2012 where team crimes are ranked higher in effectiveness than defense and most years the crime was not even close. With such young players surrounding Newton and offensive co-ordinator Norv Turner’s system still taking shape, there is potential to be much better. The South is easily the most likely NFC division to send two teams to the playoffs, because the Saints and Panthers can win in so many different ways.