"That was extremely heartbreaking for me. I knew I had to say goodbye to a coach who is also a very good friend. I do not think people really understand what a good person he is. He treats the janitor in the building as well as the quarterback. "
It's been nearly six years since Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie made that the day he fired Andy Reid, his 14-season head coach. It was this press conference that I remembered when I saw the Packers announcement early Sunday night – just as a surprise that it was now, not four weeks ̵
I have not talked to McCarthy over the past few weeks, believing the guy forgot how to exercise. Most people still like him very much. And so many people associated with Packer are rooting for their now ex-coach, wherever he lands next.
It was about time.
KAHLER: Mike McCarthy, Aaron Rodgers and everything went wrong in Packerland
The reality? If you have a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, the clock is always ticking. McCarthy is not blind to that. In fact, he admitted that he and I were sitting down in the summer, and he was looking forward to a season in which Packers franchise, the worthy successor to Brett Favre, would celebrate his 100th season.
"I get where he is," McCarthy said. "There is an urgency every season. It's clear. From my point of view, in my view, I do everything to improve the program. Sure, I understand the value of the quarterback. Sure, I understand the value of Aaron Rodgers. But that's the ultimate team game. We have to be the best team. If all this was based on how the quarterback plays, we could win them all, just to be honest.
"It's the other 52, that's the part we always have to focus on. Yes, I hope that when we sit here in ten years, we will look back and this question will not be asked. "
In fact, the question of how the Packers will maximize Rodgers' remaining years, Still, it's not all that McCarthy has done, not that eight years later, when Rodgers and Rodgers made their sole appearance, they did not go to the front-and-center in Green Bay The remainder of the list, as McCarthy has mentioned, is part of the problem, and Rodgers should also take some guilt.
As was Reid's in & # 12; 12 a great run became obsolete and when it became clear that things were wrong – this happened long before the embarrassing loss of Sunday to the Cardinals – someone had to pay the price, and now McCarthy has left.
Those who were involved and affected on Sunday can only hope they do. Get the kind of mutually beneficial aftermath that ended the Eagles and Reid.
Angry Sunday in the NFL! It turned out that the cowboys building the Saints power plant on Thursday were just a table-top setting for a weekend when the bears fell on the Giants, the Jaguars extinguished the Colts, and the Buccaneers took out the Panthers. So, we have a lot to do this week, including:
• Joey Bosa flares up against the Steelers on Sunday night – and it was the Capper on a long, frustrating road back to the field for Chargers' 23-year-old defensive Dynamo.
• Why Bill O & # 39; Brien loves his Texans, and goes well beyond their ability to break a nine-step winning streak after the start of season 0-3.
• At the other end of the spectrum, Jaguar's DL Calais Campbell takes personal responsibility for a lost season and declares what he and his teammates are fighting for, now that a year that started with the highest expectations has been reversed.
• Where the problem with the investigation of the league against Kareem Hunt lies.
• Some exciting things from the title games of the college conference.
And we will start with the biggest surprise of all – and what a Super Bowl-winning coach looked like looking for a job.
• Rea Everything that happened on Sunday afternoon and overreacted: Andy Benoit and Gary Gramling completed the full breakdown for Sunday on The Monday Morning NFL Podcast . Subscribe now to the MMQB podcasts that will appear first in your feed on Monday morning
Of course it starts with the quarterback coach relationship, because that's where almost every team starts. And that Rodgers was not the hunk of the year – he was human on a big stage against Tom Brady (89.2 passer rating) a month ago, had a messy night against Minnesota last week (94.0) and was worse off cardinals game (79,8) – just accentuated the problem.
The friction between McCarthy and Rodgers is well documented. As far as I understand it, it has come to the point where Rodgers – who has the autonomy to adjust at his discretion – regularly changes the game, which would make it hard for McCarthy to find his rhythm as a caller. A trainer who knew both told me, "It's almost" who has the better reputation? "Two really smart guys, extremely competitive guys."
To tighten all that was, McCarthy noted in the summer.
He would go to ex-GM Ted Thompson and ask for specific supplements to help Rodgers. And when Thompson's health became a problem, McCarthy became increasingly frustrated, feeling that his wishes were being ignored. It finally reached the point where McCarthy did not see the value of the question. So he stopped.
Those Who Know The situation says McCarthy has done much to help Rodgers from this point of view others did not know. As the roster's schedule deteriorated, McCarthy did not reverse Rodger's anger, he took it upon himself.
It's not hard to see where the mistakes were. No single member of the draft class 2015 for the team is now represented in the 53-strong squad of Packers. And with most teams tackling the issues left in the veteran market, Thompson remained true to his design and development model, even though others in the organization saw the needs that were not addressed.
Thompson Wounded After last year's retirement, and the man believed largely to take McCarthy's advantage, the young manager Brian Gutekunst took over the job. Under his well-known GM, the team even showed a small aggression with veterinarians that brought the end of Jimmy Graham and Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson in Seattle. At the time, however, other problems cropped up.
After the 2016 season left the deputy head coach Tom Clements. Quarterback coach Alex Van Pelt was dismissed a year later. The two served as a buffer between McCarthy and Rodgers when something went off track and proved effective in the role. No wonder Rodgers got angry with the changes.
2019 MOCK DRAFT: Bosa at Niners, Herbert and Haskins are Top QBs
"Well, my quarterback coach has not been retained. "Rodgers told ESPN Radio Mike Golic and Trey Wingo in the Super Bowl LII. "I found that an interesting change without asking myself. There is a close connection between the quarterback and the quarterback coach, and that was an interesting decision.
Rodgers was injured on the opening night in a dramatic comeback win this year, when off center, and Green Bay won only two of them. The next seven games after that – the basis for the relationship between McCarthy and Rodgers was not more as strong as before. Which brought everyone to Sunday on which the Packers did not recover after losing last week's win against Minnesota against a 2-9 Arizona team.
To be honest, it was no secret that this conclusion was on the table. Losing the cardinals only gave the packers the opportunity to ask: Maybe we should not wait? That's why Team President Mark Murphy, along with Gutekunst, decided to take the step to gain a head start in the search for a coach and give McCarthy the opportunity to prepare for his next job.
And again, despite the public's criticism of the coach, Lambeau Field officials do not believe that McCarthy has suddenly lost the ability to do his job. Moreover, his path had taken its course, and sometimes these things are not attributable to one person or another.
That's how it was in Philly in 2012. At that time, few in the public saw Reid an offensive innovator anymore. Then he went to Kansas City, where he first introduced himself again for Alex Smith and then for Patrick Mahomes. Today he is considered one of the most forward-looking coaches in football. Meanwhile, the Eagles lived and learned through the Chip Kelly era, and two years later she came out with a Lombardi trophy.
In the end, everyone won. Well, we'll see if this could happen again, under similar circumstances.
BOSA'S BACK AND CHARGERS IN PRIME TIME
19659003] A sequence of games on Sunday night might have turned the dynamics of the AFC race – and it should come as no surprise that Charger's Joey phenomenon Bosa was right in the middle. So let's explain what happened on the second and 19th rounds of the Steelers 21. Ben Roethlisberger and his company hold the ball and lead the field with 23-15.
"I really did not expect it to fall behind the piece," Bosa said from the locker room of the visitors to Heinz Field. "I thought it would be a fast screen or something, but they left me on an island, and I sort of set myself up with speed, moving outside all day, doing everything perfectly well. It was a really clean move, but Ben saw me and jumped outside.
"I thought he would come out of me. But JJ [Justin Jones] did an incredible job of hiding and unwrapping me, and when the second Ben saw him coming, he stepped right back into me. It was a big, big rush for the D-Line.
Bosa dropped Roethliberger on his own team, setting up Desmond Kings 73-yard boxing return for a touchdown, pulling the Chargers within two seconds. Philip Rivers found Keenan Allen in the ensuing two-point attempt to tie it, and the Chargers had to survive their hosts 33-30. 19659016 For Bosa, that felt more than another win. He now has three sacks in three games after returning from a foot injury that cost him the first nine games of the season. And for one, those bags were one of the biggest moments in which Momentum was crucial in a crucial primetime game.
"It's ecstasy," he said. "No better feeling of not only being able to play well and make an effective game, but to make a profit from it – I mean, obviously the game did not lead to victory – but it does have such an impact after being out there It has been incredible for so long. Apart from a Michigan victory and the National Championship [for his Ohio State alma mater]this had to be the most incredible victory of my life.
JONES: Chargers Focus on Sunday Night Victory in Pittsburgh […] 19659003] This is the result of all the uncertainties of the last three months, from the injury of the foot to a specialist in Green Bay, who drove him into a boot until he finally finds a doctor in California who can find out the injury. It was a long way back.
The final doctor told Bosa that he would have pain for about 12 weeks and that he would have to differentiate the pain from a more severe pain – when he realized it was just pain. he could play again. There he is now. With the exception that he occasionally has to rest to calm his foot, he says he really feels like himself. Better yet, he really appreciates feeling that way.
"They take so many things for granted, and this process was terrible for me," said Bosa. "I've been depressed for a while, but now that I'm well again, it's really important to look back and think about how much this game really means to me. I mean, there's nothing better in the world for such games.
The chargers are also pretty excited. Being 9-3 and having one of the best defensive players on the planet turning into a game is a pretty good place to be.
Episodes 1 to 6 Available Now: An exclusive True Crime podcast series by SI, re-examining the murder of Titans great Steve McNair. Subscribe to iTunes or wherever you download your podcasts. Visit the podcast homepage for more materials and updates.
THE TEXANS KEEP ROLLS THANKS TO CHEMISTRY
During the weekend, Deshaun Watson went by bus to Jacksonville, Texas coach Bill O'Brien and I, he talked about his quarterback's decision to do so – a result from doctors who told Watson, who suffered from a chest injury, not to fly. And O'Brien kept channeling our discussion on how Watson's decision embodied how his players felt about each other. So over the following weeks, I kept listening to O'Brien.
This led me to a really simple conclusion. O'Brien loves the group he has in Houston. And that's not just because the Texans won nine straight lines to defeat Cleveland 29-13 on Sunday to turn them 3-0 in 9: 3.
"I mean, they really do what we do Ask them for it," says O & Brien. "They work hard during the week. They work hard in the weight room. They work hard in the meeting room. They pay attention in the meeting room. They practice hard. We have a really good leadership. So it was a really nice group for coaches.
"I really enjoy coming to work every day because I know there are only a few really good people who want to do well."  [19459006BENOIT: It's time To speak Super Bowl for Deshaun Watson and the Texans?
The Texans are doing really well what the Plan O'Brien and the redesigned Front Office under the direction of the new GM Brian Gaine occupy to work well together. This plan can actually explain why it was so easy for the coach to fall into the group – the kind of guys they have in the locker room is not a mistake.
The common features of the Texans included the signing of free agents in March and drawing of boys in May …
• Love football.
• Good teammate.
• Be reliable.
• Good work habits.
• Good learner.
• Good preparation habits.
• Good personal character and football character.
"We're trying," O & Brien continued, talking about his aftermath. "I think every team is probably trying. It is difficult. You have enough time in the design to really get to know a man. Free agency is different You do not always have enough time to meet a guy. But I think we're trying to have an instinct about a man, we're researching the boys. You want guys in this locker room who are good teammates and really love their roles, who accept their roles, who really have a passion for football.
"In the end, this has to go on for us."
The coach believes it shows The team broke down their 3-0 start – when the Texans seemed to have obvious offensive and corner problems – and started making profits demolish. And how, a week ago, he was thrown back against the Titans from an early 10-0 deficit with 27 points en route to a 34-17 win.
Sunday's game against Cleveland was a bit different. Houston scored impressively in the offensive game (10 games, 82 yards one-third behind), in defense (a Zach Cunningham six) and in special teams (Ka & # 39; imi Fairbairn (53 Yard Field Field Goal)). And that may be the best indication of who the Texans are.
It's a team that's able to win different ways and withstand every blow you throw at it.
"We have a phrase," answer the bell, "says O'Brien. "For example, if a unit, whether it's an offense, a defense, or a special team, can really answer the bell when we need it, then we're looking for it. If you're in a boxing match and cornering, you have to the bell is ringing. They must find a way to return and stem the tide. And I think this team has a pretty good way to do that.
"There I see her personality, I see all the things I'm talking about coming out."
THE JAGUARS GIVE A LOOK AT WHAT POSSIBLE HAS BEEN – AND WHAT MIGHT ?
The Colts reached five winners in a row in Jacksonville. They had an average of 34.6 points per game during this time and reached the fourth highest point in the league. Andrew Luck had at least three touchdown passes in eight games. And Indy had hung up on the jags just three weeks ago.
Too bad for the angry Colts who decided the Jaguars 2017 to emerge.
That was a kind of frustrating part for the players of Jacksonville – this 6-0 victory over a divisional rival was a real example of what might have been. The defense efforts included two takeaways, a series of five consecutive targeted punts, and a second quarter stand where the Colts had the first goal from the 5th goal.
"We knew we were able to play in every game like this," Captain Calais Campbell said shortly afterwards on the phone. "I will not make any excuses – we did not make it, they can go through many different things and put them together, we just did not make it, we showed today that we can do it and hopefully we can do it again
ORR: Jalen Ramsey is the heel that the NFL needs right now
If this one seemed to come out of nowhere then I'll be with you for Campbell, the ultimate However, this was no coincidence.
This was Campbell's personal for two reasons.
The first was an ex-offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and quarterback Blake Bortles – the former was fired last Monday and the latter
"I think a lot of people felt bad because we feel like we've left our teammates and our coaches up," Campbell said Never want to be a reason why someone gets fired and loses his job. I have so much respect for Hackett and the way he came to work every day. I felt like I could have done more pieces that helped him to keep his job. And I wanted to do these pieces. I felt like I could just do more.
And he wants to get the chance, which brings us to the second motivator for Campbell.
Like everyone in the organization, he knows big changes are imminent. The team is already above the limit of 2019, wherever it lands, with its commitments for next year, and will have to do in the most expensive position of all .
GRAMLING: Pats in control, Mayfield = Peterman for a Day, Angry and More in Freakout
That almost always makes big changes in wholesale. Campbell wants the team to post those changes for another year so that he and a talented core can finish what started in 2017.
"T has my personal reason," said Campbell. "I feel the window was there and we just dropped the ball. We played below our level and did not make it. If we can go out and fight and maybe get some momentum to take off into the offseason, we will be able to run next year. There will always be changes. That's just nature. But I think the better we play these last four games, the more people will keep their jobs here and make it possible for us to keep this family together. "
We will see.
THE KAREEM HUNT FALLOUT
Just a few brief thoughts on the situation of Kareem Hunt, about which you could read about the MMQB all weekend:
• I do I think the NFL and the Chiefs tried to find out the truth in February and March. I also think it's fair to question the intensity of these efforts. The league was looking for the video of Hunt's hotel dispute, but the chiefs did not. The Chiefs did not discuss the matter with Kareem Hunt, but NFL did. This feels like ticking boxes for me, as well as a serious attempt to find out what really happened.
• I think it's also fair to compare this situation to Ezekiel Elliott's last year. The NFL was prosecuted while investigating Elliott. So why not go to Hunt as hard as you did a few months ago with another player? It was believed that Elliott was a matter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, but I tend to think that it's probably more about how high-ranking Elliottts cases were compared to Hunts. And that's not a great look – they would let the public's interest in a case decide on the amount of the investigation.
KLEMKO: Has not the NFL learned anything since Ray Rice?
Give credit to the Chiefs for quickly working for Hunt's release on Friday after news release. As we reported on the weekend, the team did not want to create a competitive advantage for someone who waited until Hunt was put on the list of exceptions (which is virtually certain that he will not play the rest of the year) to release him. The decision that he would never play for the team again was made when the video was released that contradicted the story Hunt had given the team.
• It is worth noting here that at least some owners want the NFL to get out of the investigative process altogether, and this case shows another reason for it: too often they will look without a subpoena or other law enforcement tools like the Keystone Kops ,
• We & # 39; I find it around 4pm today, when someone claims Hunt (not likely). I think the next step will be down the line, Hunt Agent asks for clarity about the impending suspension. On paper, Hunt has five games by the end of this year, and the chance the league will have him in the field for the 2019 kick-off weekend is close to zero. MCCANN: Five Legal Issues Regarding Kareem Hunt
As far as the bosses are concerned, the team does not believe there is only one There are limited options, from Hunt to Spencer Ware and Damien Williams, versatile backs, that bring a bit of everything to that. Where will the Chiefs Hunt miss? His ability to maintain his balance is rare and has led to a large number of games over the past few years.
The record result saw Ware and Williams on Sunday against Raiders for 99 yards and a touchdown to 23 carries and three balls caught for 12 yards between them. In his last game as Chief, Hunt had 70 yards on 14 transports and another 41 yards and a touchdown on three catches.
… OF THE WEEK
QUOTE QUOTE 19659016] "It is sad because I do not even know who you are talking about. It was a personal hit for me that I just have to take care of the ball. There is a small percentage chance that you will win a football game if you flip the ball four times. That's just carefree football. We can not have that. I can not let that happen and accept that for me. I just have to do a better job with my accuracy and decision-making.
– Panthers QB Cam Newton when asked about his second of four interceptions lost to the Buccaneers on Sunday. Honestly, I think this is a good moment for Newton – taking full responsibility for a bad afternoon. Until that time, he really had such a good season as he did as a pro. So I expect him to jump back. The problem? For Newton, it's a relapse of Carolina, who is now 6-6, and the Panthers have to play the saints twice more.
If you missed it, Vikings will receive Adam Thielen's eyebrows The safety of Patriots increased when Patrick Chung was injured just when New England needed time to court to challenge a quarter financing in Minnesota. And Thielen informed Bill Belichick that he thought the move was … cow droppings. Belichick responded when he told Thielen to "shut up [bleep]" if my lip-reading skills and lip-reading ability are worth anything to everyone. I agree with Ryen. Just another phase of courting between the two.
Sometimes you need to remember that tremendous athletes are able to do hideous things athletically, and even some things that are not directly related to their particular work. This is one of those. Odell Beckham uncorks this with a movement of his right wrist, and without putting his feet, 50 yards nearby for a touchdown. And that's not very surprising. I remember that Dez Bryant was able to hit the midfield player from 60 yards away.
Tell you Polamalu can hit the head.
Just in case you have not heard the periodic reminders during the college games on Saturday, this is a good ad that players out there are not in the first- Down line can see how we can on TV. If they could see this, they would probably have been pretty distracted.
S / O
… to TMZ, and I'm not joking. For ethical reasons, we can not pay in the mainstream media for the video that became public on Friday afternoon. Due to their close relationships with law enforcement agencies, the league and teams usually have no chance to buy them. So I'm glad that a piece of evidence like the hunt video found its way into the public and Hunt was held accountable for his actions. Langfristig wird es ihm auch besser gehen.
SIX FROM SAMURDAY
College-Football-Meisterschaftswochenende aus einer NFL-Perspektive.
. 1 Manchmal haben die Bluebloods eine Tiefe in Positionen, die sehr gute Spieler davon abhalten, auf das Feld zu gelangen – und das scheint der Fall zu sein, der im ersten Jahr (19459006) Georgiens OLB D'Andre Walker (19459007) begann. Seine Produktion als Backup-Per-Play im letzten Jahr übertraf die Starter, und er hält dieses Versprechen jetzt ein und hatte einen Sack, zwei Tackles für Verluste und einen gegen Alabama verteidigten Pass. Als Randspieler sagt ein Veteran-Gutachter: „Er ist schwer zu blockieren, weil er athletisch, kraftvoll und körperlich ist.“ Behalte ihn im Auge.
. 2 Und wenn Sie möchten, dass ein Bulldog in der Zukunft beobachtet wird, verdient D'Andre Swift, ein echter Zweitstecher, einen Blick – und Zahlen werden im Entwurf von 2020 eine sehr hohe Punktzahl. Ein Personalchef der AFC hat ihn am Sonntagmorgen in einem Wort charakterisiert: „Badass.“ Ich stimme zu.
2019 ENTWURF: Teambedürfnisse passen in die obere Hälfte der Liga
3. Jalen Hurts wurde von NFL-Typen die in diesem Jahr in den Handel kamen, vor allem als Rückblick betrachtet, aber die Show, die er gegen Georgia ablegte, könnte für ihn der Anfang sein. Der neue Bama-Assistent Dan Enos war für Hurts 'Entwicklung als Passant von großer Bedeutung, was nur wenige von uns gesehen haben, bis Tua Tagovailoa am Samstag verletzt wurde. Es wird interessant sein zu sehen, ob Hurts mit dem Transfer fertig ist und wo er landen könnte.
. 4 Apropos Dual-Threat-Quarterbacks: Die Aufmerksamkeit von Kyler Murray wurde jetzt im College-Football und auch auf viele NFL-Leute gerichtet. "Was Kyler mit Bewegung, Zeit, Laufen und wie er den Ball drehen kann", schrieb ein Manager, "ich denke einfach, dass er der beste Spieler im College-Football ist." Was seine Profis anbelangt, wissen wir bereits Die Vertragsbedingungen, die er als neunte Wahl im MLB-Entwurf von 2018 unterschrieb – er ist zum Oakland A-System gegangen und hat sich nach diesem Jahr vom Fußball getrennt. Aber wenn er zur NFL gehen würde? Er ist nicht Baker Mayfield. "Bakers Intelligenz, Verarbeitung und Erwartung unterscheiden ihn – er war in dieser Hinsicht etwas Besonderes", sagte der Geschäftsführer. "Kyler ist ein spezieller Athlet, der einen Quarterback spielt."
2019 ENTWURF: Teambedarf, passt für die untere Hälfte der Liga
5. Apropos Oklahoma, Die Verletzung von WR Marquise Brown – er wurde vom Big-12-Titel-Spiel auf einem Karren abgesetzt und in einem Wanderschuh zur Seite gestellt – eine große Handlung für das College-Football-Playoff. Es wird auch groß sein, dem Entwurf zu folgen. Wie wir letzte Woche sagten, wurde "Hollywood" als eine der besten 40 ausgewählt.
. 6 Der nordwestliche Nationaltrainer Pat Fitzgerald zeigte am Samstagabend erneut, dass er seine Wildkatzen im Big-10-Titelspiel überrumpelte, weshalb sich NFL-Teams nach seiner Verfügbarkeit erkundigen. Und mit einem Mangel an großartigen Kandidaten wird es im nächsten Monat absolut wieder passieren. Fitzgerald erschien übrigens zum ersten Mal Ende 2011 auf dem Radar der NFL, als ihn die Rams auf ihre frühe Kandidatenliste gesetzt hatten.
1 . This version of the New England offense looks like it’s morphing into what the Patriots became in 2010 after Randy Moss was traded away—there was no dominant No. 1, but there were numbers, which allowed Tom Brady to win an MVP playing point guard. Along those lines, Brady hit nine different receivers on Sunday against the vaunted Vikings defense, and looked more aggressive in doing it. “That makes it hard for them to defend us,” Brady said of the variety of receivers he threw to. “Hopefully we can keep it going.” New England, as it stands right now, would be the No. 2 seed behind the Chiefs. That, by the way, would make nine straight first-round byes for the defending conference champs.
BREER: Is this the last stand for the Patriots dynasty?
2. Good to see the fiery Todd Bowles in the Jets’ postgame on Sunday. “I don’t know how many [penalties] we had, but it felt we had one every play,” he said. “It cost us, and it’s disgusting.” Bowles then characterized the postgame locker room—“Pissed off. Frustrated. Look in the mirror, just look in the mirror. We won’t be a good football team until we’re a smart football team.” At this point it doesn’t look like Bowles, a good coach and a good man, will be the one to get them there. But I really wouldn’t be surprised if team chairman Christopher Johnson waited until Black Monday to make a move. He’s been pretty deliberate in differentiating from his brother Woody—the Jets owner who is serving as Ambassador to the UK—and being measured in dealing with Bowles is another way to accomplish that.
3. One more for the magic of Sean McVay—Sunday’s win meant the Rams have posted 11 wins in back-to-back years for the first time in their historywhich dates to 1937. And the cool thing about the win over the Lions is that it came in totally different fashion from the shootout victory over Kansas City. The 30-16 win in Detroit was a rock fight from the start, and so the Rams rode Todd Gurley (23 carries, 132 yards, two TDs) as much as they could.
4. We mentioned Beckham as superhuman earlier. Saquon Barkley makes two supermen in the Giants’ skill-position group. His 29-yard burst up the right sideline in overtime was almost as crazy as the third-down hurdle he had over the head of Bears safety Adrian Amos in the third quarter. Credit to Pat Shurmur, too, for keeping the Giants engaged through a really rough start to the season that could’ve been a “here we go again” situation for the guys who were there last year. But …
5. … Man, that would’ve been a cool story if Matt Nagy rode Chase Daniel, an onside kick and a new take on Philly Special to a comeback win at the Meadowlands. Good news for the Bears is that the Vikings and Packers also fell, so neither made up any ground on Chicago in the NFC North.
6. Speculation on Bengals coach Marvin Lewis’ future has begunand I think the first thing to remember is how important familiarity is to the Brown family. If they were going to make a change last year, I believe it would’ve been in pursuit of then-Browns coach Hue Jackson and/or Redskins coach Jay Gruden. And if there’s a change this year, the safe money says Mike Brown would pursue someone of that ilk.
7. The Seahawks keep on rolling—they’re 7-5 now in a year that was supposed to be a teardown season. But at 4:10 a.m. I got fixated on this “scorigami” thing that Seattle’s coaches were talking about postgame. The concept? Get a score that’s never happened before in NFL history. For the ninth straight year the Seahawks have achieved that. Sunday’s win over San Francisco was the first 43-16 NFL game ever.
8. Jameis Winston’s been … not terrible … the last three weekscompleting 61-of-84 (72.6 percent) of his throws for 760 yards, six touchdowns and a single pick. I’d still expect Bucs coach Dirk Koetter to be gone (I’m a little less sure on GM Jason Licht), which means Koetter’s successor will have an interesting decision to make on whether or not to hang on to the former No. 1 overall pick. Winston’s option for next year is set at $20.9 million, which would make him the NFL’s 14th highest paid player at the position (as 2019 contracts stand right now). It might actually be worth it for the Bucs to go through with the option, just to see what they have, since you know the talent is there.
9. We wronte something on Denver’s rookie class last week, but it’s worth doubling back to really look at what undrafted tailback Phillip Lindsay has pulled off: He has 937 yards and eight touchdowns on 154 carries (a 6.1-yard average), and another 189 yards and a touchdown on 25 catches. By comparison, Saquon Barkley has 954 yards and eight touchdowns on 195 carries (4.9-yard average), plus 602 yards and four touchdowns on 74 catches. Denver, by the way, saw a lot of what they’re getting now in Lindsay when he was playing collegiately down the road in Boulder. Their question was whether, at 5’8” and 190 pounds, he was big enough to shoulder a sizeable NFL workload. So far, so good, and suddenly the Broncos are right in the thick of the AFC wild-card race.
10. Right there with Denver in the wild-card race are the Dolphins—who survived a Charles Clay drop in the end zone to beat a very feisty Bills team 21-17 at home. There have been murmurs of change coming at some level of Miami’s football operation, going back all the way to the summer. As is the case in Denver, making the playoffs is always a good way to stave those things off.
I think an appreciation of Jay Gruden is in order tonight.
The Redskins coach survived the Robert Griffin III divorce and the Kirk Cousins fallout, and this year has kept the ship steady through a rash of injuries (RB Derrius Guice, G Shawn Lauvao, G Brandon Scherff, QB Alex Smith, etc.) So if anyone’s equipped to navigate a week infiltrated by the Reuben Foster waiver claim, it’s the younger Gruden brother.
Tonight I think the Redskins, behind Colt McCoy, come out firing. And I think the Eagles, and Carson Wentz fire back with their second straight comeback win.
My pick: Eagles 27, Redskins 24.
Then we’ll be on to the traditional TNF Jaguars/Titans color rush clash (they’ll still wear the color rush for it this week, right?)
Check back on Monday afternoon for my regular follow-up notes column.
Question or comment? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.