Matt Ryan for MVP? @ NFLRT




Matt Ryan for MVP?

This week the Roundtable talks about that and full-time refs as well as some thoughts on how the Falcons and Raiders are playing this season.

1) Recently New Orleans Saints’ coach Sean Payton said, “We’re the only league with officials that have primary other jobs, which is really madness. We can pay these guys. They should be full-time officials, and they should be working throughout the week, communicating.”

Has the time come for the NFL to follow through and hire league officials full-time?

Chad: After watching MNF this past week I would say, yes. Some of these calls, that happen even befuddle the people in the booths and who cover the game, have to stop.

Sean Payton thinks having part-time refs is "madness"
Sean Payton thinks having part-time refs is “madness”

It is time for full time officials.

Dan: I don’t think so. Not yet, at least.

They run the risk of losing a lot of referees, if they do go to a full-time official rule. A lot of them have other jobs that offer stability as well as retirement funds, 401ks, etc. Not sure if the NFL will have that set up like their current jobs do as well as having the stability and guaranty that their full-time positions do.

Also, some of the referees do other sports as well. Like one referee does college basketball games as well as NFL games.

Another thing is that if you do have them become full-time referees, who is to say that they get the call right still? The MLB have full-time umpires and they’re still missing calls. Same with NBA. You won’t get it perfect.

And, the last reason is that if you have them become full-time, what are they going do in the off-season? What are they going to do during the week? Watch film? Read the rule book? There’s only so much they can do. Keep them how they are currently. They don’t want to become full-time, so why force it?

Earl: The NFL is an all year business and it might as well be that way for officials too. Although, that is going to entail coming up with a yearly salary, and insurance, and other legalities, but, as rich as the NFL is, it is something that can be done.refs

So, yes, I agree with Sean Payton. It really is madness that officials are essentially part-time employees of the NFL.

Jim: Sean Payton is a fool.  Baseball, basketball and hockey have full-time refs because they have games every night.  NFL officials work 17 a max of 25 days a year with preseason and post season.  DAYS A YEAR.  You want to play people a full time wage, prevent them from working anywhere else, for TWENTY FIVE DAYS A YEAR OF WORK??????  What the heck would they be “communicating.”

I’ve always felt Sean Payton was a big drinker. This kind of confirms it.

2) The Atlanta Falcons now stand at 6-3 and are threatening to run away with their division. They currently lead the NFL in scoring… by a lot… but they also are yielding the most points by a fair amount.

Is there anything they can do to try and shore up their defense… by trade or otherwise? Or, is this a case where they just better hope Matt Ryan and company have no serious injuries and they just continue to outscore whichever team they play against each weekend?

Chad: I think it is a case like the ’98 Vikings where the offense is great and you hope that they stay healthy, and, that the defense just makes 1 or 2 important plays to win you the game 35-31 or 35-17.

Still counts as 1 W.

Will the Falcons continue to roll along with the league’s best offense?
Will the Falcons continue to roll along with the league’s best offense?

Dan: At this point it’s just about improving their defense in practice. Unless they get an absolute steal off the waiver wire or free agency, their defense isn’t going to improve all that much. They just need to accept the fact that they’ll have to rely on Julio Jones, their running tandem of Freeman and Coleman as well as their QB Matt Ryan.

I would suggest trade, since that’s their best bet, but the trade deadline has passed.So, that’s out of the equation. They just need to work on it in practice and especially work on closing out games. If, the Packers, while missing their top three corners, can shut down Julio Jones, I think Atlanta can handle their poor defense.

Earl: I’m surprised their defense is as bad as it is, considering their head coach was a former defensive assistant with the Seattle Seahawks, but, so far, the way the Falcons are playing works for them. They are winning these games.

Yes, it will bite them in the ass at some point, and, I, for one, don’t look at the Falcons as a Super Bowl team, but, they can at least win the NFC South playing the way they are. It will hurt them at some point in the playoffs, but for now they are fine.

Jim: Their head coach is one of the best defensive minds in the country.  Dan Quinn built the mighty defense in Seattle that won a Super Bowl.  If, he can’t shore up their defense…who can?

3) Speaking of Matt Ryan… he has an outside shot at breaking the record for most passing yards in a season, and, he probably won’t set the mark for passing TDs in a season but should get close, if he stays injury free. Is he a legitimate MVP candidate? Top two or three?

Chad: I would definitely say he is a candidate in what can be considered a wide open field at this point as most of the league, except for the Patriots, seem to be pretty even.

Dan: I think so.

The NFC is weak this season. Aaron Rodgers has gotten better but still not having a season that’s up to par with his career numbers and isn’t doing much for the Packers. Minnesota has fallen flat on their face after their loss to Chicago on Monday night and their loss to Detroit so they’re out.NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

You might as well skip right past the West since nobody on Seattle really deserves the MVP besides Sherman or someone on their D, since their offense isn’t doing anything.

The rest of the South is shot with Tampa playing poor, the Panthers look like they forgot the season started and are really missing Norman. New Orleans has no defense and Drew Brees is leading them but Ryan is doing a much better job of that in Atlanta while putting up a lot better stats.

Only competition Ryan really has, in my opinion, is in the East against Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot.

In the AFC you have Tom Brady who came back with a torch under his ass but I can’t put him top 3 because of the start New England had without him. Don’t even mention the AFC South. The North doesn’t have anybody either. You can look out west to maybe Derek Carr but that wouldn’t be a good option, in my opinion, either since he didn’t do anything against Denver and they really won the game from Murray. By default, and the overall season he’s having, with the success of the team as well, Matt Ryan would win MVP or be top two behind either Elliot or Prescott (and, in all likelihood, they’ll end up canceling each other out since they’re on the same team).

Earl: If he stays healthy, he is absolutely a legitimate MVP candidate. He could even win it, if the Falcons end up with the best or second best record in the NFC. He is having an MVP season to date, so, yes, he is worthy of all consideration.

Jim: He’s the #1 contender right now. Until the end of the season, when Tom Brady wins it.

4) The Jets’ season, for all extents and purposes, and to put it as politely as possible… is headed south and in the toilet.  Ryan Fitzpatrick twisted his knee during the game, although he was able to return and complete the game while wearing a brace on his knee. However, his stats weren’t exactly eye-popping… he had 2 INTs while not even throwing for 200 yards.  

Is it finally time to start Bryce Petty? If, for no other reason than to see what they have going into the 2017 season at QB?  

Chad: Him and/or Hackenberg.

The Jets need to see what they have in the QB bank before going into the offseason potentially overpaying for a proven QB or a high draft pick.

Dan: Yes. It’s time. Their season looks shot unless they can find some magic and sneak into the second Wild Card slot.

Bryce Petty (left) and Ryan Fitzpatrick
Bryce Petty (left) and Ryan Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick is playing like trash after sitting out for a long time and demanding he get paid more. Why? Because he had one good season so he needed a huge payday. Not sure how that works, exactly, without a proven track record, but so be it. With him hurt… and playing like absolute garbage…- I think it’s time to move along and start Petty. He’ll likely be seeing a starter role next season so might as well get him equipped to the big time. Plus, you’re kind of out of options at QB in order to attempt to salvage what you can of this season.

Earl: The Jets have absolutely no chance at the playoffs. Not at 3-6 and with two games against the Patriots still to play. However, I would wait until after the bye week to turn to Petty.

So, that means the last start of the Fitzpatrick era, considering he’s healthy to play this Sunday will be against the Rams. The Jets know what they have in Fitzpatrick, they know what they have in Geno Smith, and, it is about time they find out what they have in Bryce Petty.

However, as I said in an earlier roundtable the Jets’ quarterback of the future is not on the roster. It’s not Fitz, it’s not Geno, it’s not Petty, nor is it Hackenburg. Might as well keep losing and keep drafting guys until someone pans out.

Jim: Rex Ryan left the Jets in shambles.  Look at how long it’s taking Tampa Bay to rebuild from the destruction known as Jon Gruden.  And, Rex Ryan isn’t 1/2 the coach Gruden was.

Fitzpatrick is a fantastic quarterback.  He can’t help that the rest of his team sucks.  So, sure, start Bryce, and, trade Fitz to a team that will appreciate him.

5) The Oakland Raiders beat the Denver Broncos by a score of 30-20 this past Sunday. Are the Raiders the real deal going forward and a possible force to be reckoned with during the playoffs?

Chad: The way Carr has the offense going… that is not a team I would want to run into in the Playoffs especially in Oakland. Which could very well happen, if the Raiders keep this pace up.

Dan: I think the Raiders are the real deal and, currently, they’re on pace to make it to the AFC Championship Game only to get topped by New England, which is always a tough place to play for Oakland (since New England likely will end with the best record in AFC).

Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders look like real deal...
Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders look like real deal…

They’ve looked good all season, their defense is clicking, offense is moving and they beat Denver while looking rather good doing so. I think they’re for real and have a lot of opportunity ahead of them.

Can they cash it? We’ll see.

Earl: The Raiders are absolutely the real deal. They drafted well, signed key free agents and it’s all panning out.

Derek Carr is a gunslinger just like the man he idolized in Brett Favre. He’s got an arm, loves to sling it through the air and put up big numbers week in and week out. However, what’s even better about these Raiders are that they pound the ball as well as they throw it. Offensively they are a complete team. The defense is good enough, that they should be able to hold on and make the playoffs in what is a tight AFC West race.

A force to be reckoned with? Depends on the playoff matchups, but, I think, they have a fair shot at least making a little run depending on how the seeding shakes out.

Jim: Did you watch the game?  Did you see the complete domination?  Of course, the Raiders are for real.

They’re not only the best team in the AFC West, they’re in the argument for the best team in the AFC, and, possibly the NFL.


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