NFL News & Views @ NFLRT 11/24


This week’s questions and discussion…

1) The KC Chiefs have gone from a 42-27 winner over the reigning Super Bowl Champion Patriots in the first game of the season, to losing to the woeful one-win NY Giants (now two-win Giants) this past Sunday. They have now lost four out of the last five games and no longer look like a team that can go deep into the playoffs…assuming they don’t completely fall apart in their last six games and hold on to win the AFC West. Their last five games are against teams with records of .500 or less… the Bills are 5-5, while the Raiders, Chargers, Dolphins and Jets are all 4-6…  and prior to their recent tailspin did look like a veritable cinch to win a minimum of four of those games.

In your opinion, what the hell is going on with Chiefs and are they still a probable shoo-in to make the playoffs by winning their division?   

Alex Smith

Chad: I think that injuries on Defense in addition to other teasm’s defenses figuring out Alex Smith have hurt the Chiefs to where they may struggle to get into the playoffs.

Alex Smith is Alex Smithing, Andy Reid is Andy Reiding. Anyone really stunned with this?

I do think they can right the ship, but I don’t think they are the major threat everyone thought they were. Let’s also keep in mind the losses have been to the Steelers, Raiders, Cowboys and Giants, 4 teams everyone (but me) had as deep playoff contenders, but still teams with talent.

Joe: Up front before  the season began, I had predicted the Chiefs would suck this season. They surprised the hell out of me by opening the season by whupping the Patriots and then running out to five straight early wins. But in the last five games I think they are finally proving me right in my initial assessment. They just didn’t do enough in the offseason to improve this team all that much but combined with everyone else sucking in their division (they are all playing sub-500 ball) and Alex Smith playing like an MVP early on  they were able to somehow stay in first place.  

Simply put, this is what I expected from the Chiefs from the get go and I am not surprised at all by how they are playing.

2) In addition to the aforementioned four teams in Question 1 that have 4-6 records in the AFC, add the Bengals and the Texans.

Which, if any, of these teams can still make the playoffs? Why?

Do either the Chargers or the Texans have a playoff run left in their season?

Chad: The Bills can’t decide on a QB so they won’t make; the Dolphins have Cutler so they won’t make it. The Jets are the Jets, so no. The Raiders don’t have a pass defense, so no. The Texans can’t win with Tom Savage and the Bengals and Chargers don’t have enough to keep up in the league.

Miami has the best team, but they have a difficult schedule. The Bengals still have the Browns and Bears to go, my pick? The Texans. They have the Niners and Colts, but also the Ravens, Titans and the Jags in a spotlight game. Could be interesting, since the Bills did everything but miss the kickoff last week. 

Joe: Miami sucks and can’t buy a win and I don’t see that changing any time soon. The Browns are the Browns. For whatever reason the Raiders just seem snake bit this year… I really expected more from this team but I just don’t see them turning things around this season. The Bill are another team I picked to finish near the bottom and i think they are now proving me right in that analysis just like the Chiefs are. The Bengals will be lucky to win two games in their last six .. this Sunday they should beat the Browns and maybe in two weeks they might take the Bears.

That leaves the Chargers, Texans and the Jets.

The Chargers actually might have a decent run left in them and they have a relatively “soft” schedule… Browns, Redskins, Chiefs, Jets and Raiders. I’ll give them a W for the Browns and if they beat both division rivals (Chiefs and Raiders) they actually could sneak in as division winners by limiting their losses to just one game between the Redskins and Jets.

The Texans have the Ravens, Titans, 49ers, Jaguars, Steelers and Colts. I don’t think they can go better than 3-3 versus that schedule. They get close but no cigar this year.

And the Jets… I am a Jets’ fan so my instinct is to say they somehow sneak in but the realist in me says the last six games on their schedule… Panthers, Chiefs, Broncos, Saints, Chargers and Patriots… are just too tough for them to go better than 3-3 and that is if they play flawless football and their QB keeps playing the best ball ever in his career.

3) Larry Fitzgerald made a nifty 20-yard TD reception in the second quarter on Sunday that moved him past Tony Gonzalez and into fifth place on the all-time receiving yards list. Jerry Rice heads the list with 22,895 yards and is followed by Terrell Owens (15,934), Randy Moss (15, 292), Isaac Bruce (15,208) and then Larry Fitzgerald (15,131.) 

Fitzgerald will in all likelihood will pass Isaac Bruce and Randy Moss sometime in the next couple of weeks, leaving only Terrell Owens and Jerry Rice between Fitzgerald and the all-time record. Considering he signed a one-year extension to play for the Cardinals in 2018 (in which he will then be 35), it’s a safe assumption, barring any severe injury, that Fitzgerald will get to second on this list. 

Does he have any chance at all of even sniffing the all-time record held by Rice, who played for 20 years and retired at age 42?

Larry Fitzgerald

Chad: Unfortunately, as I don’t see him playing much past this extension and Rice is far and away ahead of the #2 spot, I say no.

David: No. He has stated he wants to retire, not have to try and stick on a team (no Raiders version of Rice for Larryland) reports are he might not even play after this year, even with the contract. I don’t think he wants to uproot everything to chase a ring in Carolina or Atlanta, and the Cardinals are going to have to rebuild. I think he quits after this year.

Joe: Even if he plays another year or three before he retires he couldn’t possibly gain enough yards to catch  Jerry Rice. And rumors are he is thinking about not even playing that long. Pity, because it would be something to see if he could make a run at the all time record. 

4) To be kind, Brett Hundley has been hard to watch since taking over as QB of the Green Bay Packers offense after Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury.  In Sundays 23-0 loss to the Ravens, his first eight drives went: INT, INT, Fumble, Punt, Punt, Downs, Punt, Downs. Hundley finished 21 of 36 for 239 yards with three picks. 

In the five games he has played, the Packers are 1-4, with 67 total points scored, an average of 13.4 points per game. On the season he is 96-for-158 (60.7%) for 940 yards (6 yards per attempt/188 yards per game) with 2 TDs and 7 INTs and a rating of 63.26. Not too good.

Brett Hundley

Do the Packers have any chance to even get a wild card into the playoffs with Hundley at QB? And, what are the odds the Packers accept reality and try to find another QB somehow, some way?

Chad: The Packers cannot succeed with Hundley and Rodgers and Green Bay’s championship window may be closing with Goff and Wentz coming into their own.

David: They are not going to get another QB. They really like the next man up idea, and will be happy to try and let the new guys play, and get a top 12 pick and get a top lineman for Rodgers. Aaron is gone, lets suck and get some talent in here for next year.

Joe: Seriously, who is out there that they could pick up this late in the season? Kaepernick? Forget him. The dude ain’t played all year and would take too long to get any sense of rhythm down plus learn the Packers system. Besides with him suing the NFL that’ s a nonstarter anyway. Who else is there?

The Pack stays with what they got and hope for the best.

5) Let’s make this really simple… 

Who wins the now very public and venomous battle going on for the arguable control of a $15 billion dollar business called the NFL… the NFL Compensation Committee (headed by Falcon’s owner Arthur Blank) and commissioner Roger Goodell or the Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones?  Why?

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, from left, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

Chad: Honestly, either way the fan loses, I think.

But, I guess I’ll go with Goodell because of how much money they are making with him.

David: Jones is going to lose this fight. He’s angry over EE, and its transparent. Jones’ Cowboys have been in trouble more than any other team, and now Roger has come down on some very popular players. If Roger can survive nailing Brady, and take a first rounder from the Pats, then Jones trying to rip his job is not going to fly. I do think Roger is gone come the collective barganing agreement, but I don’t think it’s Jones that does him in.

Joe: Jones is already backing down from his threat to sue the NFL from rumors that I’ve heard.

I predict he struts his stuff around; makes lot of noise that ultimately signifies not a damn thing and the finds a way to sit his old ass down with his honor somewhat intact.

He will be the loser in this grand old pissing contest.

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