Can Cleveland ever win…
Not this week but then they can’t lose either… it’s their bye week.
Miami vs Baltimore who wins? And lots more in this week’s NFL Roundtable…
1) The Miami Dolphins are now standing at 7-4. The Baltimore Ravens are tied with Pittsburgh at the top of the AFC North… handicap the upcoming Miami vs Baltimore game on Sunday… who wins and why?
Chad: Miami…because I have more faith in Jay Ajayi and the balance of the Dolphins than in the Ravens with West, Dixon and company.
Dan: I think Baltimore wins. This is a tough match-up for the Miami defense. Remember a little while ago when they played the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football and everyone said how terrible Miami was? Well, I don’t think they’re all of a sudden a great team. They almost lost to San Fran last week if not for a goal line stop late in the fourth quarter. I think Baltimore wins this. They have a stellar defense led by Joe Flacco and a nice two-headed monster with West and Dixon. I think Baltimore also gets an added favor since the game is a home game for them and it’ll be nice and cold, completely out of the element for Miami. I think it’ll be close, but Baltimore will pull out by a score.
David: I’m taking Baltimore.
I’m still not convinced that Tanny is a solid QB for 4 quarters, and, I think, there is a coaching gap there. Miami is playing well on defense, but still hasn’t shown me that under the bright lights of pressure they can perform.
Earl: The Dolphins being 7-4 is a bit of a surprise, but they have discovered a gem in running back Jay Ajayi. Running the ball the way they have, has taken some pressure off of Ryan Tannehill, but I like the Ravens in this game.
The Ravens are not a sexy team by any means, but they do just enough to win. They will do so against the Dolphins, by snuffing out Ajayi and forcing Tannehill to beat them, and I don’t think he’s capable of that.
2) The Cleveland Browns are now winless with a 0-12 record. They now have Cincinnati, Buffalo, San Diego and Pittsburgh left on their schedule. Is it a foregone conclusion that they go winless for the season or do you think they can pull off what would be considered an “upset” and win at least one game? Either way… why?
Chad: They can pull of a win…
It would be when San Diego has to fly across the country to play a winter game in Cleveland… that is when the Browns have a shot.
Dan: No, Cleveland cannot pull an upset. While I was thinking they’d finish 2-14 or 3-13 this season, this team is worse than that. They’re a winless football team. They’re absolutely terrible. I can’t see them beating any of these remaining teams.
While Cincy’s offense took a big blow with the loss of AJ Green and Giovanni, they still have enough pieces with Dalton, Eifert and Boyd to role right through Cleveland.
Buffalo has a very dangerous running attack and Tyrod Taylor isn’t have an all that bad season with a pretty solid defense. They beat New England already this year. This game won’t be a good match-up either.
San Diego will throw all over Cleveland with Gordon running and running and running.
Pittsburgh? They might be able to snatch a victory depending if they already have the divisional lead and aren’t playing for home field or any advantage in the playoffs, they could sneak out a victory. But that’s a big if and Pitt would need to sit Bell, Big Ben and Antonio Brown while also sitting some key contributors on D. I don’t see that happening and I can’t see Cleveland surprising any of these teams.
David: Cincy has fallen down and is fighting for Marvin’s job. They have been treating the last few weeks as playoff games, and we know how the Bengals play as a playoff team.
San Diego is an up and down team, catch them down and that could be a win.
As for the Bills, they are just as bad as San Diego, only with a higher floor and a better ceiling.
The Steelers are the only one for sure loss. They should be fighting for a playoff position all the way to week 17.
Earl: I like their chances against Buffalo or San Diego. Neither one of those teams have nothing to play for (other than pride of course) and can be beaten. The Browns are 0-12 but they are not that bad of a football team. They’ve come close to winning several times, and, if, they can get all phases of their game clicking on that any given Sunday, they can win.
What I’m saying is that I give them a slim shot at 0-16 because I think they can at least win a game or two down the stretch.
3) The Raiders eked by Carolina on Sunday 35-32. This is the 7th game this season that they have given up at least 24 points and the 3rd time their defense has let the opposition score over 30.
As they continue to march on to what appears to be a playoff appearance this season… barring a catastrophic late collapse… is their defense going to be a major problem for them in the playoffs?
Chad: Looking at possible matchups it will be a problem if they run into New England in the playoffs. I don’t see another strong offense in the AFC that can exploit it.
Dan: Yes, they will be hurt by their defense.
Playoffs is the time where an offense doesn’t do the team justice anymore because the top teams are defensive teams. Look at the Broncos last year. They had the best defense in the league. The year before that, had defense. Goes all the way back with the Packers in 2010 who had an amazing shut down defense with an amazing pass rush and secondary. Offense wins regular season, defense wins championships.
I think while Oakland will surprisingly compete with New England in the playoffs, I think the defense will be the downfall for Oakland. But they defense isn’t all that terrible to completely shut them out first round. They do have some talent led by Khalil Mack. I still think they get to the AFC Championship Game.
David: Really? I come on the RT and you have to throw this at me?
The Raiders have an up and down team as well, but the problem… that can be in the same game. Mack is an unreal player, and Carr can be a great QB when Crabtree plays to his potential. I’m not sold on Jack Del Rio, but this team can make some noise.
It comes down to who they play. Avoid the teams with a solid ground game, and they could go far.
Earl: Defense is going to be a problem, but I think they can overcome that in the playoffs. Right now, they are the #2 seed, and, they look like they will be no worse than the #3 seed barring an epic collapse. So, that means they would be at home to open the playoffs and that advantage should cancel out their defense.
With that said, I could see the Raiders make the AFC Championship Game but nobody, and, I mean nobody, will beat the Patriots. So it won’t even matter how their defense plays.
In your opinion if this were to happen… which according to the report would not happen before the 2018 season… is this a good or bad move by the NFL?
Chad: Good move…
NFL is over-saturated with games Thursday, Sunday, Monday, this year Saturday because of X-Mas.
Dan: I think, before they completely eliminate it after 2017 season, they should change it to how it was pre-2012… like also rumored. Have Thursday Night Football played only after Thanksgiving. That way, you can have solid match-ups and it doesn’t seem like a force.
What’s the point of putting Cleveland, San Francisco, Chicago, Jacksonville, etc… all on prime time? Who wants to watch them get blown out? And, who wants to watch a San Francisco-Cleveland game? Or, a Chicago-Cleveland game? Nobody.
I hate the Thursday Night games. They are a pain from a picking games POV, they screw up fantasy weeks and I don’t see how they benefit anyone. Can even the fans in those cities enjoy it? No tailgating, because you work, and you spend all day Friday either happy and hungover or sad and hungover, plus no Sunday football.
Earl: I would absolutely eliminate it. Football on Thursdays is not special. Football should be on Sundays and Mondays, with the exception of Thanksgiving and late season games. That’s it.
Football is over exposed right now, and one way to fix that would be to limit it a bit. So, yes, I think eliminating Thursday night games would be an excellent move.
5) According to CBS.com, The Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh and their kicker Justin Tucker think it would be worth exploring making kicks that go through the opposing uprights on kickoffs be worth one point… aka “kickoff field goals.”
In your opinion is this an idea worth exploring and maybe implementing down the road?
Chad: It is certainly worth exploring I know when I do it playing Madden 17, I wish I got a point for it.
Dan: While the idea is interesting, I wouldn’t implement it. I just don’t like that idea. I wasn’t a fan of moving the extra point back to 33 yards and am still not a fan of it. But, that’s me. I’m probably in the minority but I don’t see this happening in the NFL either.
If, a team is tied with 10 seconds remaining and most likely will go into OT and just kicks the ball, it happens to go through the up rights, now they’re up 1 point and win? That’d take away the whole game from both sides on a lucky kick off. I’m completely against this.
If, this became a rule, I would hire one guy with nothing to do but kick 70 yards in a straight line. You have, what? 4-5 kickoffs a game? That’s an extra FG worth of points for no reason. Find a soccer guy that has unlimited range and some kind of aim, so you don’t blow your regular kickers leg off when you need a 35 yarder for real.
Earl: Sounds interesting. It’s not something I’m for or against to be honest, but, I wouldn’t be too mad if something like this was implemented by the NFL in the near or distant future.
Tiny URL for this post: