Welcome to the NFL Roundtable!
This week we come into the last third of the NFL season, and with one undefeated team left, lets look at the Panthers the Pats and other things going on in the National Footbawl League!
Joe: Some people might say that but I still think Arizona is going to make some noise before all is said and done. In fact, I still maintain they will make it to the Super Bowl and beat the Pats… or whoever they play… in the SB’s first OT game.
Chad: Seeing what the defense did do over thanksgiving I am going to say. Yes the Panthers are the favorite to win the NFC they are 2 games up for home field; have a favorable schedule down the stretch; and they have the NFC (L)East winner; you have a Green Bay team that suddenly has no offense; and a Seattle squad they have beaten. The only team I could see possibly stopping would be Arizona who would be in a position to get the other bye.
Jim: The Panthers have been the favorite in the NFC since game 1, so yes, nothing has changed.
Bill: While they’re certainly impressive, I’ve seen them called the worst 11-0 team in a long time. They’re in an utterly terrible division and have what could be argued as maybe two, perhaps three, quality wins. They’ve put in work and that can’t be taken from them, but I find it hard justifying them as the very best the conference has to offer… undefeated record to this point or otherwise.
Steve: I think they have to be the favorite.They are 11-0 and have a pretty good lead for the #1 seed in the NFC. They should lock up the top seed in the NFC and that means the Super Bowl will have to go through Charlotte NC. The Panthers are looking really good, and maybe other than the Cardinals there really is not another team that I can see representing the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Joe: See my answer to question 1… I still think the Patriots are the AFC favorite to make the Super Bowl this year. So, bump in the road.
Chad: With the reports coming in their favor on Gronk; I would say bump in the road; I believe they still have time to get the pieces back that they need to get back to make a run at a 7th Super Bowl appearance for Tom Brady. Plus the loss was in overtime on the road; I don’t hold much to that.
Jim: Bump in the road. Terrible refereeing in the 4th quarter. Key fumble by a guy now unemployed. And some mistakes made on defense. But they’ll fix them. If it were another team, I’d say worry. But it’s the Patriots. They’re already figuring out how to fix what went wrong. They’ll be fine.
Bill: Concern. Brady is now without his top four receivers and that’s got to really hurt. Gronk is the 1a to Brady’s 1. Without him, even with a relatively soft schedule remaining, it’s going to be hard to predict how they finish out. Seeing that Gronk’s knee has no damage but is just bruised and even though there’s currently no timetable for his return, I fully expect him to be back come playoff time.
Steve: This is just a bump in the road, they will be fine, they will be the likely AFC representative in the Super Bowl. I don’t see them losing more than one more game and will end 14-2. So they are fine……pisses me off.
Joe: Lack of football discipline… e.g., four turnovers in both losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts… is one reason, and, the other big reason is bad coaching… at least on the offensive side of the ball.
And, things ain’t going to get any easier for the Falcons what with two games still to come against Carolina.
Chad: I think that teams starting figuring how to contain the run and at least not letting Julio Jones catch and run all over them to where the offense becomes pedestrian in nature and makes the Falcons a team that could go from 5-0 to out of the playoffs which would not be good for the higher-ups in Atlanta
Jim: Atlanta is the same team as last year with better coaching. He can’t perform miracles. They only won 6 games last year. Their new head coach is going to be a winner soon. Give him another year to rebuild the homeless camp he was given.
Bill: What happened? The competition got tougher is what happened. The fact that they’re giving the ball away like crazy surely doesn’t help their cause, either. Looking at the remaining schedule, seeing them finish 8-8 is a strong possibility. They definitely need to turn it around coming into the home stretch if they stand any chance of not getting sent home in the first round (or wild card).
Steve: Simple, there 5-0 start was a fluke. They are not that great of a Football team. They lack a defense, and the only thing they have going for them is Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. If you can contain that, they cant score. They also cannot finish games. They are not going to be in the playoffs.
Joe: Yeah… and the Cowboys should try and trade Romo… but who the hell would take either player at the money they are still owed. At least with Brees, the salary is only what’s still owed for the rest of the year and next year.
My offer? A second rounder this year and a second rounder next year… and Saints pick up a chunk of his salary.
Chad: He’s in his late 30’s; in a contract year; owed 19.75 million; and his coach is probably heading out the door so yes I would say that New Orleans is definitely in the market to trade Brees. All of those being said it would hard to gauge how much Brees has left in the tank and trying to learn a new system. I would give multiple picks nothing higher than a 2nd round just because of the factors of age and what a new city/system will do his effectiveness.
Jim: Oh come on. Brees? One of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, and the key to their renewed success is to trade him? Offense is not their problem. Defense is their problem. The defense puts them in such bad shape every game that the offense is desperate. Give Brees a defense that gives up 15 points a game and he’ll go 16-0.
Bill: Absolutely not. Parting ways with Brees would decimate the offensive attack of NO and looking at who is out there that could come in and produce in his place, I’m just not seeing anyone better. Brees is getting old but even still, he still has a great arm and a knack for making big plays happen. The Saints trading Jimmy Graham was stupid and the team’s struggles as of late makes that clearer each week.
Steve: Brees still is a really good QB so with the Saints doing a whole lot of nothing over the past couple seasons it may be time to rebuild this team. Brees should be worth a couple 2 or 3 draft picks.
Joe: They were probably two of the most talked about QB prospects before this year’s collegiate season and I think they are probably still on many pro teams’ radars… Paxton Lynch of Memphis and Jared Goff of California.
Chad: I think that Jared Goff from Cal and Connor Cook from Michigan State are locks for the first round next year in addition to a name I’ve seen coming up especially his team’s strong start this year and that is Paxton Lynch out of Memphis.
Jim: There is no guaranteed first round quarterback in the 2016 draft. Some teams may take a flyer on Jared Goff, California, late in the 1st round. Paxton Lynch, Memphis, has all the tools, but let’s be honest…Memphis. Besides them, and even with them, you could easily see the first QB taken in 2016 around pick 36.
Bill: I’m going to have to take a pass (no pun intended… or was it?) on this one. I don’t follow college football enough to really take a stab as who could go that early. Is this year’s talent markedly better than last year? Is there a truly stand out player or three to have a team make that commitment? I don’t know for sure, but I doubt it. I’ve always been a draft-for-need kind of guy and unless my QB is a total wreck either physically or mentally, I’m not likely to look for that spot until the second round. While a difference maker is a possibility, it’s also far from a guarantee.
Steve: I’m not gonna lie. I love me some college Football, but there is no one this season that really stands out as a top pick in the draft. However, Paxton Lynch of Memphis seems to be the guy right now that could be a top pick in the draft. A team like Cleveland may benefit from a guy like this. Jared Goff of California will probably be taken in the first round. Connor Cook of Michigan State, and Cardale Jones should be a late first rounder.
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