• Blitz Picks 2015: Week Thirteen



    Some seasons are already over. In Cleveland, this has become a normal thing by the beginning of December. After a 7-4 beginning to his coaching career, Mike Pettine is 2-14 in his last 16 games. We start his week's questions with one about the league's most snake-bitten franchise.

    IT COMES IN THREES

    1) I'm a new fan of the NFL. Give me a reason to become a fan of the Browns.

    BW: As a lifelong fan of the team with the longest string of losing seasons in professional sports history, this is easy. For 21 seasons, I had no idea when, but I knew that eventually the Pirates were going to have that one season I’d never forget. In nearly every season, it was not only clear they had no chance, there was also no hope for the future. But enduring along with them through every failed prospect, cost-saving draft pick, roster dump, operation shutdown, and never leaving the seemingly eternal sinking ship enhanced my resolve, and built the deepest bond between fan and team that you could possibly imagine. I have never been as invested in the Steelers or Penguins as I am with the Pirates thanks to never once turning my back on them.

    It’s one thing to win when you’re expected to, but when it’s completely unexpected, you get to enjoy every last step of the process. The Pirates still haven’t won a championship in my lifetime, but I can honestly say that no season that I’ve followed in any sport has ever matched the level of satisfaction than the 2013 season when they finally broke the string of losing seasons and made it back into the playoffs. As a fan, I can’t fully describe the emotions other than to say that it was almost child-like. When they won that wild card game, for that night, it was sheer joy without reservation. It was having the radio call, on a 30 second delay, queued up on my phone so that I could revisit the win through the eyes of “my” announcers, and then revisit it over and over for the next couple of hours while watching the champagne flow in the clubhouse.

    And they didn’t even win a championship. They didn’t have to. Sticking with them through it all gave exhilaration without any regret. I can’t even imagine how I’d have reacted had they finished off the Cards in the NLDS (a series they led 2-1), let alone had they advanced even further. Those feelings will continue to come back as they inch closer to finally winning a championship. As a child, we had nothing to do but throw ourselves completely into the teams we root for. As we get older, there are so many factors that help to jade our perspective. Our own responsibilities and realities slap us in the face, and we begin to realize the insignificance of sports. We still enjoy them, obviously, but it’s different. I can tell you that I had a child-like connection to that 2013 team.

    All of that is what Browns fans have to look forward to. For a new fan, there’s no better time to jump on a train than when everyone else is jumping off. There’s nothing to lose. Even if it takes your whole lifetime to get there (and it might).

    RG: I think that's a perfectly acceptable answer for someone in our age group. However, I have to wonder how much the "need for now" applies to sports teams. As a kid, I was guilty of being a front-runner for the players I watched first. Those players happened to be Walter Payton and Darryl Strawberry. They were a part of what were championship teams. Once I became a fan of those teams, I never wavered. It helped that I had (and still have) family on Long Island, so it wasn't that hard explaining that I was a Bears fan and a Mets fan despite living in Cleveland. Now, I wonder how much the speed of information and quickness to get to the next thought can affect this conversation.

    How do we tell someone that isn't used to waiting for anything that they have to wait for a championship? Is it easier for kids to just root for the big-name players (like I did initially) and make the rooting for the team secondary? We just had a weekend that constitutes the definition for needing things "now." Black Friday used to actually be on Friday. Now, it starts at 3pm on Thursday. I think the whole thing is terrible and refuse let my family participate in Black Friday. I think it has become something that flies in the face of the schedules of families and in the way holidays should be celebrated. Anyway, I worked in a restaurant that was open on Thanksgiving during the year before I left for college. That was awful. I can only imagine how bad it is for teenagers in retail work now.

    For the Browns, it is awfully hard to give a young fan a name to follow. Johnny Manziel could have been that guy, but he manages to portray all the qualities of an addict who hasn't really grown that much and has not managed himself enough to use his tendencies in a positive manner. The "easiest" thing to do would be to become addicted to being a good NFL player. Obviously, that is much, much harder to do than it is write sentences or condemn his actions. It seems only fitting that the revolving door style of management since 1999 is now being seen in other areas. The team might be forced to play Manziel before the end of the season due to the constant injuries to Josh McCown when the better move would be to bench Manziel for the rest of season in order to make him earn the job next year. That way, the team could actually support him and not act as an enabler when the supposed punishment doesn't last long. Also, if Manziel did anything besides concentrate on football during the off-season, they would be well within their rights to throw their hands up.

    I'm sorry, I am sure I could come up with some sort of similar argument about your Pirates for the Browns, but I don't know how I could convincingly sell it.

    2) The age-old question-- Would it benefit the Panthers to lose at least one game prior to the playoffs?

    BW: I’m a firm believer that mistakes help us grow, and that we should never live in fear of making mistakes. I’m also a believer that there’s something to be learned in everything, and always room to improve.

    It’s tough to ever envision a loss being a good thing. I guess when a team gets a bit too caught up in themselves, a loss is great at bringing them back down to earth. I’m certainly not privy to what’s going on in the Panther locker room, but they come across as a mature team with strong leadership. It’s amazing the leadership transformation of Cam Newton in just the 5 years from his time at Auburn to now. There will certainly be pressure as they get closer to the achievement, but I think going for the perfect record would be huge for an organization that hasn’t always had a national identity, and despite the added scrutiny, I have a hard time seeing how it would have a negative impact on their playoff run. That’s not to say they’ll win. Arizona is just as good as Carolina, so it would not be a shock at all to see a team like the Cardinals knock them off. I just don’t think whether or not they enter the playoffs with a perfect record will have any impact on whether or not they defeat Arizona, Seattle, Green Bay, or any other team they may face.

    RG: Yes. The Panthers are better off losing a game. Roman Harper even said that he didn't like seeing the Pats lose because that meant the whole spotlight was on them. We have five games left in the season! If a vet like him is saying that now, imagine how things might get with another 50 days of hype. They may be a strong team mentally, but a comment like that shows scratches on the armor.

    The funny thing is that when we decided that the Panthers would lose last, I pegged the Pats for losing in Denver (with completely different circumstances) and I said the Panthers would lose in New Orleans, accounting for a random upset. I've been wrong about a lot this season, so it would be really cool to get the games right on something like that.

    3) What supposedly contending team do you think is toast?

    BW: Maybe this is just a normal rough patch and they’ll ultimately be fine, but I’m just not feeling it with the Packers this year. They are no longer the dynamic offensive team we remember, and the defense isn’t good enough to carry them through the postseason. Aaron Rodgers is clearly missing Jordy Nelson this year. Without that deep threat, Randall Cobb and the entire receiving corps is having a much tougher time getting open, and other than showing a few signs of life recently, Eddie Lacy has been mostly worthless to them this year. Plus, there’s something about Rodgers that looks a little off, like he’s trying to do too much. The TD/INT numbers are fine, but everything else is significantly down across the board.

    Green Bay never loses to Detroit or Chicago, yet they’re coming off a stretch where they not only lost to both, but they lost to both at Lambeau Field, which is completely unheard of. They were also physically dominated by Denver, and against Carolina, while the final score doesn’t look too bad, they were down 23 in the 4th quarter before a late rally made the game respectable.

    The Packers have not been invincible at Lambeau, and will have to travel in the playoffs anyway in order to take down the NFC. It’s rarely wise to count out Aaron Rodgers, but with well-rounded teams like Arizona and Carolina boasting defenses that can keep the Packers offense in check, and offenses that can physically dominate the Green Bay defense, I can’t see the Packers honoring the 50th anniversary of their 1st Super Bowl appearance with another trip this season. The Packers are toast.

    RG: Being a Bears fan, I wanted to say the very same thing. Losing to Detroit and Chicago in Lambeau is just ridiculous. However, I think the contender that is toast is Seattle.

    Yes, they are not even in the playoffs yet, but here is how it is going to go. I am jumping in front of the hype train and pulling all the workers who are building the tracks. I'm doubling their pay and giving better benefits. There's not enough time to get another crew up and running due to the rules surrounding union cards and such. Seattle is going to have an impressive finish to the month and make it as the 5th seed.

    Almost every pundit in the world is going to get behind them. They will say how great Russell Wilson has been without the need to target Jimmy Graham a set amount of times per game while going back to the idea that any decent player on their team might catch a big pass at any time. He will rush for 300 yards in the final five games. The pass defense will look even better when the same pundits ignore the quarterbacks they face during the last month of the regular season (includes Baltimore, Cleveland, Minnesota and St. Louis).

    Then, Aaron Rodgers is going to throw for 350 and 4 scores during the Wild Card game. Seattle is a farce this season.

    FANTASY MINUTE
    Best desperation injury replacements-

    QB- Jay Cutler (SF)
    RB- C.J. Anderson (@SD- he’s this year’s C.J. Anderson)
    RB- David Johnson (@StL)
    WR- Devante Parker (Bal- finally getting a shot)
    TE- Scott Chandler (reminder- he’s not Gronk)


    THE PICKS

    Thursday, Dec. 3
    Packers at Lions, 8:25 p.m.- BW: History does not favor the Lions on Thursday night. After last week’s loss to the Bears, the Packers have now lost 2 home games within the division for the first time since 1992, and they have not lost more than 2 games within their division in any season under Mike McCarthy. While Green Bay has struggled to find any offensive rhythm since their bye, Detroit’s defense has awakened following theirs, allowing just over 14 points and just under 56 yards rushing to their opponents over the last 3 games. The Lions are still struggling to run the ball, though their 3.5 YPC on the season is much greater than the 2.8 Barry Sanders averaged against the Packers in 1991, which was also the last time Detroit swept the season series. PICK: (GB 5-2)

    Sunday, Dec. 6
    Texans at Bills, 1 p.m.- The closest thing we have to a bovine war in the NFL actually has some playoff ramifications. The Bills are fighting for the final spot in the AFC and the Texans are fighting for an unlikely division title. There are two questions that I just can’t get past when I think about this game. Would the Texans easily win the division if they had Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback? Can we even consider the idea that J.J. Watt is getting better? According to PFF, Watt has 67 (sacks, hits, hurries) impact plays in the passing game and 44 stops. He’s making about 3 impact plays per quarter. If I miss a Sunday and find out he led the team in passing yardage, I wouldn’t be surprised. PICK: (BUF 5-2)

    49ers at Bears, 1 p.m.- It certainly feels like the Bears can do a little better this time in what has historically been a horrible match-up for the Bears. I have written before about the 20 point difference between these teams in the last 30 years, but Vic Fangio probably has a good idea about the remaining players in San Francisco. Sure, it’s easy to look at a sheet that says “Blaine Gabbert” on it and decide to take down a few Mai Tais instead of installing a game plan. Still, the Bears can’t relax too much because they have to run the table in order to make the playoffs since their tie-breakers stink. Those three losses to NFC teams in September actually did matter. Weird. Finally, expect a lot of penalties in the game with Boger's crew working this one.PICK: (CHI 6-1)

    Bengals at Browns, 1 p.m.- I said a lot of my piece about this above. Cleveland isn’t even the Factory of Sadness anymore, they are a Vortex of Sadness. I fear that if Ernie Banks ever got close to it, he would have hated baseball. He probably would have ended up as the 34th best typewriter salesman in Cook County. PICK: (CIN 7-0)

    Ravens at Dolphins, 1 p.m.- Quick prediction: This game will be decided by 8 points or less. The Ravens have managed to do that for every game this season. There is some fear, though, that the streak could be broken by a key pick six thrown by Matt Schaub in the later moments of game. It is still amazing to me that Schaub went from MVP of the Pro Bowl to washed-up in less than a year. Sure, the Pro Bowl thing was no more than a participation trophy, but he did get there. All I'm saying is that Schaub had to have good stats to make the Pro Bowl in the first place. PICK: (MIA 4-3)

    Seahawks at Vikings, 1 p.m.- It’s clear now that there is no reason to ever throw to Richard Sherman’s side of the field. After he managed to get the better of Antonio Brown last week, it is clear that he is still the best corner in the league. However, the rest of the pass defense stinks. What makes this game interesting is not just the idea that a new team built in a similar to Seattle was from 2012-2014 could have the mantle passed to them, it’s also a wonder if the Vikings offense can be successful in a favorable situation. PICK: (SEA 5-2)

    Panthers at Saints, 1 p.m.- The Sean Payton trade rumors have started with five games to go in the regular season. Writers for ESPN and NFL.com has both mentioned the idea of Payton working with Marcus Mariota, perhaps turning him into a taller version of Drew Brees. The idea certainly has merit, but I am also curious about what other fits there would be. Could he do something for Bortles if Bradley is let go? The constant battle with the salary cap for New Orleans since 2012 has really started to hurt the product on the field. The worst thing is that it is not over yet. Dead money will account for a little less than 10% of the cap for 2016. The poor decision to give Junior Galette a bunch of money is the bulk of that amount. However, everything is cleaned up by 2017...for now. In short, it seems as if the Saints might be better off trading Payton and Brees in order to underpay young talent to help with a quick turn-around after next year. PICK: (CAR 6-1)

    Jets at Giants, 1 p.m.- BW: The Snoopy Bowl, or something, and probably a true playoff eliminator. The Giants are in direct competition with the Redskins for the NFC East title, and after last week’s lackadaisical effort in a must-win against those same Redskins, many are counting them out. This is much like it was in 2007 and 2011, the last two times they faced the Jets in the regular season. In 2011, following an equally disappointing effort against the Redskins, the Giants beat the Jets, thanks in large part to a 99 yard TD by Victor Cruz, then didn’t lose again en route to a win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. In 2007, the Giants beat the Jets early in the season, entered the playoffs as a wild card, then ended Brett Favre’s career in Green Bay before upsetting the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. The Jets are stuck in a logjam at 6-5 in the AFC, and will be looking for their first victory over the Giants since the days of Boomer Esiason and Bruce Coslet (1993). Unfortunately for the Jets (and the entire football-viewing world), Darrell Revis vs. Odell Beckham is unlikely to happen due to the lingering effects from a concussion Revis suffered a couple of weeks ago in Houston. PICK: (NYG 5-2)

    Cardinals at Rams, 1 p.m.- BW: This game has all the makings of a classic Chris Farley sketch. “Remember early in the season, when the Rams went into Arizona and beat the Cardinals? That was awesome.” “Remember when Jeff Fisher had a mustache so great, he temporarily changed his name to Ron? That was awesome.” “Remember when Jeff Fisher was fired by the Rams, and spent the entire 2016 football season in a van down by the river?...” PICK: (ARZ 6-1)

    Falcons at Buccaneers, 1 p.m.- Well, I thought the Falcons would win a few more before proving to the world that they just aren’t that good yet. Nope. I also thought that Jameis Winston would take a year or more before becoming a solid NFL quarterback. Nope. The good news is that I am not planning to start giving stock advice in this column; not that any of you would actually listen to it. PICK: (TB 4-3)

    Jaguars at Titans, 1 p.m.- The Most Likely to Finish 0-0 Game of the Week. This is sort of a historical look at my weekly award since this might be the last time I could possibly defend this selection of teams. Over the years, we had some great match-ups of ineptitude. Here are a few of them from recent history: Whitehurst v. Rookie Bortles, Pre-2014 Fitzy v. Henne, Locker v. Henne I-IV, Gabbert- Pre-Rejuvination Machine Hasselbeck, McCown- Pre-Rejuvination Machine Hasselbeck, Garrard-Collins and Collins-Edwards. Plus, there’s a dash of good and bad Vince Young. There’s a part of me that’s going to miss all of that. Can any one of these coaches ruin their decent young quarterbacks before the Sean Payton Recruitment Tour of March 2016? T-Shirts for that historic tour will be available on my web site. PICK: (JAC 5-2)

    Chiefs at Raiders, 4:05 p.m.- The Chiefs had five turnovers in that famous loss at home against Denver early in the season. Since then, the team has just 3 turnovers, giving them 8 for the season. They haven't had any since October 18. Alex Smith hasn't thrown a pick since September. Sure, his passes only travel 4 feet or so, but he's really good within that distance. Also, the defense is playing much better (as we detailed last week). Andy Reid is studying furiously over his notes for bad clock management. If Alex Smith can't sabotage this run for the playoffs, Reid might have to take things within his own hands. PICK: (KC 6-1)

    Broncos at Chargers, 4:05 p.m.- Usually, I am a little scared of this game for Denver. While I do not think that Philip Rivers is incapable of pulling off a great game, I am less inclined to believe in the possibility when every San Diego home game has turned into a road game. It also doesn’t help when we see someone like Rivers fighting with Antonio Gates. The good news is that since no one in Los Angeles really likes football enough to really support a team, Rivers can just use this for practice when no one shows up to root for him next year, either. Plus, since the Rivers clan has enough people in it now to overtake San Diego, Los Angeles is a logical next step. I do think that they could do some good things in the color scheme and logo for the LA Chargers. PICK: (DEN 6-1)

    Eagles at Patriots, 4:25 p.m.- I don’t care if Tom Brady is throwing to the London Sillynannies, he’s going to find a way to beat a team who managed to make Matt Stafford look good. Maybe that is the new measure to figure out just how good at defense is playing at any particular time. The Bears made him look good, but they have improved since then. The Chargers and the Eagles are also guilty of making Stafford look good and their seasons are over. Is that a compliment for John Fox? I dunno, but I am pretty sure that Brady might throw a touchdown pass to Troy Aikman in this game. PICK: (NE 7-0)

    Colts at Steelers, 8:30 p.m.- BW: Just a few days ago, the NFL announced that referee Pete Morelli and his crew have been reassigned from this game, presumably due to a poor performance evaluation. For those that don’t remember, in their divisional playoff matchup a decade ago, Morelli was the referee, and as far as I remember, helped to trigger one of the craziest endings in NFL history by introducing us to the rule that would eventually become known as the “Calvin Johnson rule” for the first time. Troy Polamalu secured what looked to be a game-sealing interception in the 4th quarter, catching the ball, taking a few steps, falling to the ground, rolling over, then attempting to get back up before losing control of the ball by knocking it out of his own hands with his knee. After an interminably long replay, Morelli ruled the play incomplete since he failed to maintain possession once going to the ground (a decision the NFL later said was incorrect). The Colts took advantage of Morelli’s failed call and cut the lead to 3 late in the 4th. After a defensive stop deep in Indianapolis territory late in the game, Jerome Bettis famously fumbled away the potential game-sealing TD, and Indy had new life as Nick Harper broke away with the ball, only Ben Roethlisberger between he and the end zone. Harper, who had been stabbed the night before by his wife and spent the morning in the hospital, inexplicably turned upfield instead of toward the sideline, allowing Roethlisberger to make a shoestring tackle for the ages. Peyton Manning then moved the Colts into FG range, but after a perfect regular season, Vanderjagt happened. The Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XL over the Matt Hasselbeck-led Seattle Seahawks. The Colts were nice enough to invite Hasselbeck to the 10-year reunion on Sunday night. PICK: (PIT 7-0)

    Monday, Dec. 7
    Cowboys at Redskins, 8:30 p.m.- As we discussed last week in this very column, a win here by the Washingtonians means that they have a stranglehold on the tie-breakers for the NFC East. We have all heard and read about how bad the division is and someone out there is writing about the best decision in team history may have to NOT play RGIII. Ironically, that might have been the best decision they could have made on one Wild Card weekend a few years back. I love themes like that. PICK: (WAS 6-1)

    WRITER'S VETO
    BW: After a rough start, Bill O'Brien must be given a lot of credit for turning the Houston season around. The defense has been great over the past few weeks, and Brian Hoyer has quietly been playing like a fringe pro bowler. The Bills are at home, and have just as much on the line as the Texans, but JJ Watt can't be blocked right now. I'm seriously fearing for the health of Tyrod Taylor. Official veto- Houston Texans over Buffalo Bills

    LAST WEEK: 11-5
    SEASON: 108-68 (61%)
    WRITER'S VETO: 2-5, 5 abstain
    UNANIMOUS: 32-13 (71%)

    Comments 20 Comments
    1. Amy's Avatar
      For question 3, my answer would be Indianapolis.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
      For question 3, my answer would be Indianapolis.
      Yeah, I agree, but I guess I kind of wrote them off as a contender once I saw them play in the regular season. But, in the spirit of the question, Indy is a great choice.

      Also, for the Cleveland question..... my answer is based on the assumption that the person wants to pick a team. It is my opinion that Cleveland so downtrodden that really everyone should be somewhat rooting for good things for them.
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      As a kid, I was guilty of being a front-runner for the players I watched first. Those players happened to be Walter Payton and Darryl Strawberry. They were a part of what were championship teams. Once I became a fan of those teams, I never wavered.
      Those were my two players as well. My dad has been a Mets fan since 1962, so that helped too. Plus, the Pirates were less than nothing in the mid-80s, and it was a whole lot easier to find Mets games on TV (WOR) than Pirates games (KDKA only showed a select few). The difference is, I did waver, and eventually (quickly) gravitated to the hometown teams.
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
      For question 3, my answer would be Indianapolis.
      I didn't consider them to be a legit contender, and I thought the spirit of the question was to go with something less obvious. I feel like most think it's conceivable Green Bay could make a run in the postseason, simply because Aaron Rodgers is running the ship. I don't think they have a chance.
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      I don't think Indianapolis is toast in that division. Indy seems to have their way with the AFC South and they seem to play well enough against the rest of the NFL. And I'm not really buying Houston or Jacksonville to steal the division from Indy.

      What is considered as a team in contention?
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      FWIW, five thirty eight did simulations to assess which teams have the best odds of winning the superbowl. Right now New England is at 28%. Green Bay and Indy are both over 70% chance of making the playoffs according to the simulations.

      http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/...l-predictions/
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by hobbes27 View Post
      FWIW, five thirty eight did simulations to assess which teams have the best odds of winning the superbowl. Right now New England is at 28%. Green Bay and Indy are both over 70% chance of making the playoffs according to the simulations.

      http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/...l-predictions/
      I looked at the question more as a championship question than simply a playoff question. GB probably gets in, but as far as winning a championship, it's not happening. I'm sure the odds give them a decent chance of coming out of the NFC. My gut opinion is giving them a none chance.

      I'm sure I could have written off Buffalo or Atlanta, but there's not much bold insight in either of those claims.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by hobbes27 View Post
      I don't think Indianapolis is toast in that division. Indy seems to have their way with the AFC South and they seem to play well enough against the rest of the NFL. And I'm not really buying Houston or Jacksonville to steal the division from Indy.

      What is considered as a team in contention?
      The definition is whatever you want it to be. Brian and I took teams that we thought most of the sports world might consider as contenders, but it can be any team. We did in this way so we can be told we are wrong later.
    1. Brian Williams's Avatar
      I heard Jason Whitlock say yesterday that the NFL should go to an 18 game season, but should cap player participation at 14 regular season games.

      Dumbest idea ever, or so crazy it just might work?
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      About the effects of winning streaks, Shan Battier (who had 2 very long streaks with Hosuton and Miami), brought up 2 points in a podcast with Zach Lowe:

      1) You don't correct bad habits when you are on a streak. It's hard to fix mistakes when they didn't cost you, or you made up for them. But those mistakes might become ingrained. Carolina was winning during the streak but allowing teams to catch up to them, they seem to have fixed that lately. But they might have some other bad habits forming that they are not adressing.

      2) The mental energy spent during the streak is huge. Players are superticous, they don't talk about streaks when they happen. But that doesn't mean they don't think about it. And worry about it. And that tension adds up. And gets in your head. And NFL players need to react, not think, when they are ion the field, because the game is so fast.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Brian Williams View Post
      I heard Jason Whitlock say yesterday that the NFL should go to an 18 game season, but should cap player participation at 14 regular season games.

      Dumbest idea ever, or so crazy it just might work?
      I've heard this one before and Whitlock is not the first to mention it.

      The only team that should like that is the 1972 Miami Dolphins. It also adds a level of complexity with the amount of injuries in the league that makes it incredibly stupid under the current roster rules. Many coaches already ruin their lives trying run these teams as is. Imagine the logistical nightmares in game-planning this idea would create.

      I dislike any addition to the number of weeks on the schedule that involves adding games.
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Rich Gapinski View Post
      The definition is whatever you want it to be. Brian and I took teams that we thought most of the sports world might consider as contenders, but it can be any team. We did in this way so we can be told we are wrong later.
      I would probably say the Seahawks. They just don't look right to me. They might make the playoffs, but I don't see them getting to the superbowl.
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Brian Williams View Post
      I heard Jason Whitlock say yesterday that the NFL should go to an 18 game season, but should cap player participation at 14 regular season games.

      Dumbest idea ever, or so crazy it just might work?
      16 games is enough. What I would like to see is an 18-week season, with each team getting a bye before their Thursday Night game. You really don't change much except just adding the bye and starting the Thursday Night games on Week 3. You can still have the kickoff Thursday game for week 1.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Brian Williams View Post
      I heard Jason Whitlock say yesterday that the NFL should go to an 18 game season, but should cap player participation at 14 regular season games.

      Dumbest idea ever, or so crazy it just might work?

      dumbest idea ever.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Brian Williams View Post
      I heard Jason Whitlock say yesterday that the NFL should go to an 18 game season, but should cap player participation at 14 regular season games.

      Dumbest idea ever, or so crazy it just might work?
      I'm going with dumbest idea ever. The last thing football needs right now is more rules. This requires roster expansion, complicates the injury report, probably creates some sort of new 'designated inactive list.' When do teams have to announce who's not playing? Are players appearing on the injury report eligible? How many players need to be added to the roster, and at what position, to do this? How does this affect the salary cap, in terms of overall dollars, how they're allocated, and how paychecks are disbursed? This is a regulatory nightmare and the NFL has enough problems managing its franchises as it is.
    1. Matt Kocsan's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Matt Kocsan View Post
      I'm going with dumbest idea ever. The last thing football needs right now is more rules. This requires roster expansion, complicates the injury report, probably creates some sort of new 'designated inactive list.' When do teams have to announce who's not playing? Are players appearing on the injury report eligible? How many players need to be added to the roster, and at what position, to do this? How does this affect the salary cap, in terms of overall dollars, how they're allocated, and how paychecks are disbursed? This is a regulatory nightmare and the NFL has enough problems managing its franchises as it is.
      ...although it would be awesome when the Lions or the Browns accidentally play someone in a fifteenth game and they have to forfeit a win because of it.
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Matt Kocsan View Post
      ...although it would be awesome when the Lions or the Browns accidentally play someone in a fifteenth game and they have to forfeit a win because of it.
      I think it would be awesome when the Patriots did something devious to exploit the pure idiocy of this and everyone accuses them of cheating. Then we have something like "rostergate" to be entertained by.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      New podcast is up. Plenty of football, but some NBA, MLB and Scott Weiland. https://soundcloud.com/polishguy00/p...podcast12-4-15
    1. Evan Vracar's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Rich Gapinski View Post
      New podcast is up. Plenty of football, but some NBA, MLB and Scott Weiland. https://soundcloud.com/polishguy00/p...podcast12-4-15
      Haven't listened yet, but I'm assuming that during the Weiland part there's some mention of how Keith Richards must have made a blood pact with some demon for immortality.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Evan Vracar View Post
      Haven't listened yet, but I'm assuming that during the Weiland part there's some mention of how Keith Richards must have made a blood pact with some demon for immortality.
      Sort of.... We ended up delving into a quick story about seeing STP.