Packers fall down; Patriots wobble @ NFLRT 11/18

 

 

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Packers lose again… what’s up with the Pack?

And… Patriots lose to Seattle… just a misstep on their journey to the Super Bowl… or… something else entirely?

Is this do or die for both Tennessee and Baltimore for the playoffs?

Check out what the NFL Roundtable crew have to say about it all right now…

1) The question must be asked… how shocked are you that the New England Patriots lost to the Seattle Seahawks? And, is this a chink in their armor that could cost them in the long run, or, is it just a blip on their radar screen as they march into the playoffs and their spot in the Super Bowl?

Dan: 

Patriots missed tackles hurt.
Patriots missed tackles hurt.

I’m not really all that shocked. Seattle has a great defense and I knew they were going to hold the Patriots down a little bit.

What I am surprised about is how well Doug Baldwin has been playing lately with 16 TDs in his last 16 games and only 1 drop. He’s caught over 84% of his passes as well. And, he scored 3 TDs against the Patriots.

Still, I don’t think this is a chink in the armor. I think this is just a game where they lost. It happens to every team. Every team loses games they should win. This is just a blip on the radar for their push to the playoffs and the Super Bowl.

Earl: I’m surprised yet I am not surprised. Despite my bashing of the Seahawks after the draw with Arizona, the Seattle Seahawks are still a good team with a ton of experience. So, beating the Patriots should not be much of a surprise at all.brady1

However, the Patriots should treat this game as a blip in the radar because they are still far and away the best team in the AFC and they should make the Super Bowl.

Jim: I was very shocked.  The Seahawks are pitiful this year.  But, in the NFL, those are the teams good teams lose to. They lose their focus. They get too confident. And, they get beat.

I think it’s no big deal though.  Nobody wins them all, anymore.  Take the loss, get ready for next week, and right the ship.  Lesser teams would be worried.  The Patriots have already moved on.

2) In week 11 the Tennessee Titans are playing an away game with the Baltimore Ravens.

Is this a make or break game for the Titans and their playoff hopes?  

Dan: In week 11, the Titans are playing the Colts. Which is a huge game for not only the divisional race, but, for both teams’ playoff hopes. I think that if the Colts win, it’s going to propel them in the division and could possibly lead them to a divisional title (since I expect Houston to lose to Oakland, and, you can see that in our weekly NFL picks on this same website).t-c

If, Tennessee wins, it’s going to make or break their season, especially, coming off of a big win at home against Green Bay. This game will be big for Tennessee. A loss can ruin and end the season. DeMarco Murray was out of practice today (Wednesday, 11/16) so that definitely is a sign for concern.

I picked the Colts to win, but we’ll see if Tennessee can surprise me again and win.

Earl: Absolutely. At 5-5 and just behind the Texans in the division race, the Titans cannot afford any slip ups and they cannot be in a position to lose more ground to the Texans. Only one team will make it out of the AFC South and the Titans need to keep on winning to have a chance.

Jim: No, I think the Titans are pretty much headed to the playoffs regardless.  NO game against the Ravens is a make or break game.  They’re one of those average NFL teams.

In the end, Tennessee will win the South, and, that’s the playoffs, right?

3) In the run up to this NFL season, the Green Bay Packers were being touted as a potential Super Bowl team. And, while at 4-5 they aren’t exactly dead in the water… they even still have a real shot at first place in their division… the Packers appear to be in deep trouble right now and have to be considered one of the biggest disappointments of the season so far.

Can the Pack right the ship or are they broke beyond all repair and is it time for big changes in Green Bay… starting with the head coach?

Dan: I wrote a blog post about this team and you can read that here: https://mublingsfromdansbrain.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/whats-going-on-with-the-green-bay-packers/

But, there are a lot of problems with the Packers. Rodgers is having issues throwing the football, reading the receivers and with his timing. He also looks nervous in the pocket. While he did improve from what he used to look like up until the Detroit game from last season against the Panthers, he just still isn’t fully the same.

Packers sacked...
Packers sacked…

I don’t think all the blame should go on him, though. Coaching is part of the problem. The offensive schemes are horrible. The receivers aren’t getting open and are constantly covered. It’s partly due to their route running. It’s also partly due to Rodgers not hitting his receivers  right when they hit corners, hit their curl, etc… He needs to throw them when they are open as well.

Then, you look at the running game which has struggled all season for the most part.  Then, injuries hurt; the decision not to add another RB against Dallas, they lost Lacy and only adding a RB off the practice squad and Knile Davis. who both don’t seem to be working out. They have Starks back, and now just added Christine Michael, but they need to be able to have more going on offense.

Defense is also a struggle. Corners are getting blown off the line, the tackling isn’t looking very good, there’s no pressure on the quarterback. I could go on and on about the defensive struggles. They got blown apart by Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott. They got blown apart by Marcus Mariota. They’re simply just getting blown apart. They let Detroit come all the way back from a big first half lead. Granted they do have multiple injuries, which is their 3 top corners as well as Clay Matthews. Get them all healthy, which won’t happen, but get them all healthy, I still don’t think it makes a complete difference. They just don’t look good.

There’s a lot of problems. Some are coaching. Some are front office/upper management. Most are execution and game play. And, until they fix the problem on the field, they’ll have problems everywhere else.  

Earl: Something is wrong in Green Bay. But, no one is running away the NFC North. The Lions and Vikings are both 5-4 and both have struggled, at points, this season.

I think the Packers have tuned out the head coach, and that could cost them as far as making the playoffs. But, but as of right now, the NFC North is too close to call. For that reason alone, I think the Packers have a good shot at righting the ship and head back to the playoffs.

Jim: Stick a marble grave marker on the 50 yard line of Lambeau Field.  The Packers are dead for 2016.  Their season is over and they might as well play for a better draft choice.  I’ve rarely seen a team just fall apart like they have in 2016.  No offense, no defense, no motivation, no nothing.

The only thing keeping them out of last place is the Bears stinking up the joint.

4) After being down 17-3 to the Carolina Panthers, the Kansas City Chiefs managed to come back and eke out a win. Now, the Chiefs are tied with the Patriots and the Oakland Raiders for the best record in the AFC and the 2nd best record in the NFL.

How good are the Chiefs?

Dan: I think the Chiefs are a very talented team. They’ve won something ridiculous like 18 of their last 21 games. They’ve been on fire for a while and it’s showing. Their defense is clicking on all cylinders. Their offense is playing well. They need to keep up the momentum and stay afloat. I think they can do some damage in the playoffs especially with their defense.

They get an easy match-up (on paper) against the Buccaneers this week which they should win easily. As long as they continue taking care of business, this team can compete against New England for a Super Bowl berth.  kc-vs-car

Earl: The Chiefs are a team that knows how to win. Even when they do not play their best, they seem to come from behind and pull out the victory. Credit to Andy Reid’s team for knowing how to do that.

The AFC West is the best division in football and one very good football team could miss out on the playoffs, but, I don’t think it will be the Chiefs. I think, they’ll win the division, and, I think, they will end up with the second best record in the AFC and land a precious first round bye.

Jim: The Chiefs are tied for 1st in the AFC.  They’re that good.  You are what your record says you are.  And, that says they’re pretty dang good.

5) Let’s stay in the AFC West… as was just stated, Kansas City and Oakland have only 2 losses and stand atop the division with 7-2 records; Denver is ½ game behind at 7-3.

Who wins the division? Why?  

Dan: Right now, at this rate, I think the Chiefs are good enough to win the AFC West, and, I think they’ll be the team on top. Oakland will be a game out and Denver will be right with Oakland.

The reason why I put KC above Oakland is due to the last four games for Oakland. They have to go to Denver, go to KC and go to San Diego. While they do have a home game thrown in there which they should win, that just doesn’t stack in their favor.

Denver has shown they can be exposed and I’m not all that high on the offense especially with their QB and C J Anderson out. Their defense is top notch, but I don’t think it’s going to be enough to put them above the Chiefs in the division.Oakland Raiders Atlanta Falcons Coliseum NFL

Earl: I think Kansas City, for what I said in question four, will win the AFC West. They know how to win and they cannot be counted out at any point in the game.

The Raiders, as good as they have been this season, won’t win the division. And, the Broncos won’t win either.

However, the Broncos and Raiders are good teams as well and it wouldn’t shock me if they lock down the wildcard spots and three teams from the West make the playoffs.

Jim: I’m sticking with Oakland.  They win the tiebreaker with Denver, and, I think they’re better than the Chiefs.  The Raiders are back, and in a very big way.

 



 

 

 

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