Tuesday, November 22, 2016

NFL's Thanksgiving Feast

The struggles of Brock Osweiler against the Raiders testified to his weakness as a quarterback and is a bad sign for the Texans going forward.

The NFL now hits Thanksgiving week and the smorgasboard becomes more appetizing as the final run to the playoffs kicks off on Thursday.  


Lions over Vikings - The Lions now lead the NFC North and would host the Redskins in the playoffs as of right now.   The Lions' run from a 1-3 start has been strong and the Vikings continue to look shaky as Sam Bradford's effectiveness may have already peaked.

Cowboys over Redskins - The Cowboys are officially back, 9-1 and hosting the 6-3-1 Redskins after Week Two's close loss at FedEx Field.   Right now the only thing stopping the Cowboys would seem to be the question of whether they can win in the playoffs.  

Steelers over Colts -  Neither team is looking strong enough to take control of their scenarios, both at 5-5 and shaky as such.   Pittsburgh, though, has won four of the last five meetings and Andrew Luck may not even play after being beaten up in the Titans game.

Texans over Chargers - The Chargers season looks now to be over, despite reportage from Bert Breer than they will in fact give San Diego one more season to try and get a new stadium there - though again it begs why the Chargers can't simply refurbish Qualcomm the way the Dolphins redid Joe Robbie Stadium.   The Chargers have gagged up twenty-two turnovers and Philip Rivers has not been clutch for several years now, going against a Houston team that's unbeaten at home despite Brock Osweiler's struggle.  

Dolphins over 49ers - Total mismatch.   Colin Kaepernick has quit on winning; Ryan Tannehill appears now to be getting a new lease on life under Adam Gase.  One wonders if the Niners front office kicks out Chip Kelly after one year; certainly Kaepernick has to go.

Saints over Rams  - Remember the old NFC West and how the Saints were division foes with the Rams?  The Saints would like to resurrect memories of Los Angeles, as thirteen of New Orleans' 31 wins against the Rams came in the 1987-94 period when they were still in LA.  The Rams' poor performance against the Dolphins showcased why Jared Goff was kept on the bench until now, as he did nothing indicative of a quarterback of the future.   The Saints' much-mocked defense has improved the last five games despite a 2-3 record in that span.

Bills over Jaguars - What has happened to Blake Bortles?  It doesn't get any easier against a Bills team that is in the top-12 in points on both sides of the ball and has only gagged up six turnovers where Bortles now has thirteen INTs.  

Titans over Bears - Another bitterly close loss to the Colts; one of these days, Morton, wunna these days, POW! RIGHT IN THE KISSER!  That has to be the Titans attitude toward the Colts as they travel to face the moribund Bears, 2-8 and stuck with Jay Cutler.   Marcus Mariota's quarterbacking keeps getting better and this should begin a late-season turnaround for a Titans squad whose improvement by now is obvious.

Bengals over Ravens -  The Bengals are out of the playoffs, but the Ravens have not shown they belong in them, and the recent history has been all Bengals in this rivalry.   The big question mark is whether Andy Dalton can make other receivers into weapons with AJ Green presumably on the shelf.

Falcons over Cardinals - The Falcons have lost three of their last five but get a Cardinals team that has not shown it can take advantage of it.   Carson Palmer's effectiveness may be at an end.  

NY Giants over Browns - It's a case of no hope for the Browns this year - and maybe a long time down the road.   Nothing has been done right by the Browns almost since their rebirth, and the Giants, with the playoffs there for the taking in the tough NFC East, are in no mood for sympathy.  

Buccaneers over Seahawks - The Seahawks are clearly back to playoff muscle, but their past as road non-warriors has curiously crept back into the fore, with both losses plus the tie at Arizona being road games.   They travel to a Bucs team that's been putting up points the last five games and has won three of them, with Jameis Winston now at twenty touchdowns.  

Patriots over NY Jets - Never an easy matchup for the Patriots, the Jets benched Bryce Petty because of a poor performance against the Rams and are restarting Ryan Fitzpatrick.   The Patriots have come under fire for defensive struggles but the benching or trading of several players has hidden that there was some improvement in discipline on defense after the loss to the Seahawks - a game where the defense improved in the game's second half.   Injuries on offense should be more worrisome to the Patriots with Rob Gronkowski possibly out for awhile due to a lung injury.

Raiders over Panthers - It's not the same Panthers of 2015, and it's definitely not the same Raiders, who are now the AFC's top seed.   The rebirth of the Raiders has been one of the stories of the season - to where the conspiracy buffs have come out of the woodworks regarding officiating in the Raiders' favor.

Broncos over Chiefs - The Broncos are not as good as often hyped to be, but the Chiefs after a tough loss to the Bucs aren't in better shape, though they lead the league in turnover differential (plus-thirteen) and are fifth in points allowed compared to Denver's ninth.    This could be a lot closer than it looks.

Eagles over Packers - The Packers are now in freefall and staring at falling to nine losses with this game plus upcoming tilts with the Vikings, Lions, and Seahawks beckoning.   Aaron Rodgers is not a winning quarterback now as his weaknesses as a quarterback have become more prevalent - lack of reads, insistence on freelancing - against an Eagles team still fourth in points allowed despite losing five of their last seven games.  

So Happy Thanksgiving

No comments: