NFL News & Views @ NFLRT 10/27

This week’s questions…

1) The Arizona Cardinals lost Carson Palmer got hit by Rams’ LB  Alec Ogletree in the 2nd quarter of Sundays game and suffered a broken arm, Reports say he will be lost to the Cardinals for at least 6 weeks.  

Backup QB Drew Stanton came in and to be kind, he was essentially ineffective.

(a) What do you see Arizona doing to replace Palmer while he recovers from his injury?

(b) And, simply put, is Arizona’s season now toast?

Carson Palmer (3) is sacked during the first half vs Rams

Chad: A) The same options Green Bay has… go with get Tony Romo or Kaepernick, attempt a trade, or stand apt. I think they stand pat because they trust Drew Stanton for some reason.

B) Yes, with the Rams playing like they are and no real QB in the mix, I say they are done.

Dan: Right now, with their bye week, I think they will end up sticking with Stanton for a while. The team wasn’t all that great to begin with, so I don’t think it effects a missed playoff appearance other than better draft position.

They could make a push for Teddy Bridgewater if they feel he’s ready to play and Minnesota wants to let him go since he doesn’t seem to be in their plans for 2018. I don’t see a trade happening and they’ll ride out their season with Stanton until Palmer can come back, if he does.

Joe:
Romo says he has no interest in coming back to the NFL. If, true smart on his part. Kaepernick was being blackballed in my opinion and with his lawsuit against the NFL for collision, his chances of being hired by any NFL team went from nil to hell, no.

I strongly doubt any team is going to trade QB that good unless Arizona is willing to overpay and I don’t see them doing that.

Finally, it’s not like they were setting the league on fire with their play this year. I had them doing much better than their present 3-4 record at this point. And they don’t seem capable of scoring many points as their average right now stand at about 17 a game with Palmer. Only once have they exploded for a lot and that was in their 38-33 win against Tampa.

So, at this point what do they have to lose if they stick with what they got? Not a whole hell of a lot and with Stanton they just might catch lightning in a bottle. 

2) Ezekiel Elliot was dominant in the Cowboy win over San Francisco as he ran for 147 yards with two runs for TDs. He also added a catch of a screen pass that went for a 72-yard TD.

As early as next week his six-game suspension may be upheld and he will be lost to the Cowboys. 

If, the Cowboys lose Elliot for 6 weeks can they still make the playoffs?

And, in hindsight should Elliot had just accepted a suspension much earlier in the season?

Can Dallas win without Elliott?

Chad: Absolutely, for the fact that at this point this mess would be done with and we’d be talking about the impact of his return.

Right now, with no Elliot for 6 weeks the Cowboys might miss the playoffs.

Dan: I think that Dallas certainly can make the playoffs without Elliot for six games. They have Alfred Morris who has put up 102 yards on 10 carries this season, granted 70 did come on one play. Darren McFadden is also a back who’ll see time, who also hasn’t seen the end zone but is rushing 3.6 yards a carry (87 yards on 24 attempts). I think Dak can make them work in their offense and they can push for the divisional lead after Philadelphia lost two defensive players in their win over Washington.

Here’s why they will make the playoffs:

They’ll still have Elliott for Sunday’s game against Washington. I definitely see Dallas winning this game. They make Dallas a game ahead of Washington and holding the tie-breaker.

They only play two home games in their next six games (if Elliott does get suspended starting against the Chiefs. We can count that as a loss. On the road in Atlanta, another loss. But they definitely could win both games as both teams have been hit or miss this season. Eagles at home is a loss, they definitely can beat San Diego and at home against the Redskins. Win easily against NYG in New York.

When Elliott gets back, They’re at the Raiders, home against Seattle, in Philly in a scenario where Philly sits a lot of their players. They can still have a solid season without Elliott for six games.

In hindsight, he should’ve appealed like he did. And keep going with it. Why punish someone who wasn’t punished in a court of law as well as a lot of conflicting stories from the woman?

Joe: Well, if Zeke gets suspended after this week’s game versus the Redskins the schedule looks like this for the next six games… Chiefs, Falcons, Eagles, Chargers, Redskins and Giants. And just in case it’s later… they finish the season with Raiders, Seahawks and Eagles.

Can Dak Prescott thrive without Ezekiel Elliott on the gridiron?

Without Zeke in the lineup I don’t see them beating the Chiefs, Falcons, Eagles (who they play regardless of when the suspension would take place and possibly twice during it). Giants vs Cowboys is always a tossup regardless of how either team is doing in a season… they always play for blood and more times than not the underdog comes out with a win. Chargers and Seahawks are toss up games and who knows what Raiders team will show up but I think the Cowboys could beat them without Zeke.

What does it all mean?

Without Zeke I see them losing  four game sand possibly six. I’ll give them a win this week versus Washington with Zeke in the lineup… but without Zeke they may go 9-7 which I don’t think will get them in the playoffs but it could deepening on what shakes out with other teams, or 7-9 which means no playoffs.

UNLESS… Dak Prescott steps his game up big time and shows that he is ready to lead the Cowboys ala Troy Aikman or Roger Staubach. If, Dak can do that then who the hell knows, they could still win their division, especially if they sweep the Redskins, break even withe Eagles and beat the Giants.

In hindsight, yeah, he should have just taken the suspension earlier and then be ready for a big finish to the season.

In more hindsight… the damn NFL should not have given him a six-game suspension. Two would have been sufficient to send the message they wanted to send. 

3) With the  Patriots beating the Falcons 23-7 on Sunday, have the Pats’ defense finally started to right the ship? Why or Why not?

Patriot defense finally coming together?

Chad: Well, the Fog helped and the Falcons haven’t been right since the 1st half of the Super Bowl, but this is a positive step for the Pats defense moving forward.

Dan: I think it’s beginning to turn around. They allowed 17 to Tampa and the Jets, but they went on a 24-3 run after going down 14-0, so that’s definitely an improvement. Then they held a very good Atlanta offense to only seven points. This week will be another test with the San Diego Chargers coming to Foxborough. Can they stop Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon?

Joe: Yes… a very tentative yes. I got to see them do it again and then again before I say a definitive yes. But that damn guy with the hoodie keeps pulling miracles out of his ass.

4) Not many people had the Chicago Bears being a contender in 2017 yet here they are playing competitive ball and winning some games early on. Yes, they are only 3-4, but if they can continue playing the way they have so far, can they steal enough wins to get into the playoffs?

Chad: I think the there is a chance but to me their road games remaining are too tough to overcome a favorable home schedule to get a winning record and a playoff record.

Dan: I don’t see Chicago making the playoffs. They’re on a surprising impressive streak in the past couple of weeks, but I don’t think they’ll be able to make the playoffs.

They can, however, steal wins these next three weeks, then they still have Philly, Cincy, Cleveland, San Francisco and the Lions and Vikings on the road remaining. Three of the four out-of-conference games are all winnable for games for Chicago with how they’re playing. If they win the next three weeks, they’re making the playoffs.

Joe: I only give them three definite wins right now. Every other game is a potential loss. But, if they somehow manage to beat the Saints this weekend… then everything is off the board and who knows, it could happen. 

Weeks 8: Texans vs Seahawks

5) Handicap the Texans vs Seahawks game in week 8… who wins and why?

Chad: Seattle’s D against Deshaun Watson and the Texans new explosive Offense. The game will be in Seattle which is almost impossible to play in when the crowd is jacked up. Seattle does just enough and wins. 

Dan: I think Houston wins by a score of 24-21. I think Deshaun Watson will be too powerful for the Seattle defense and he’ll take advantage of their weaker run defense against quarterbacks (although most of their yardage was allowed in the first couple of weeks). The Texans offense is running extremely smooth at the moment and while I think Seattle can definitely slow Watson down some, I think the return of Duane Brown will help a lot with Watson’s protection and the running game. I think this is going to be a very close game, but Houston comes out on top.

Joe: Seattle defense versus young gunslinger QB led offense. And I’m taking the gunslinger Watson to minimize his mistakes and coming out on top withe just enough to overcome the defense this time around… Texans win 21-14.

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