The benefit of the Bears bye week? I get to see more football than any other Sunday of the season. Here are a bunch of thoughts from around the league.
(1) Text from my buddy, a Bills fan, during the Yahoo! streaming of Buffalo vs. Jacksonville: “If this is the future of the NFL, they need to rethink it.” Stream was choppy and inconsistent across the country. Football on television is the perfect sports commodity. If NFL wants to adapt to a world moving beyond the traditional cable packages they’ll need to partner with existing streaming systems.
(2) Don’t want to hear the Eagles complain about dropped passes. Crap players drop passes. Philadelphia HAD good players. They got rid of them all. Now they have crap ones.
(3) Watching the NFC East & AFC South makes one thing clear: we will be having the old “should we reseed the playoffs” debate again in a few months.
(4) Shocked to see a gentlemen like Greg Hardy behave poorly on the sideline. It’s almost like he’s the type of man to throw his girlfriend on a futon stacked with guns while she cried and begged for her life. Almost.
(5) Pittsburgh, Dallas, Buffalo, Tennessee. All three learned how difficult it is to overcome mistakes of backup quarterbacks. You can’t win in this league without your starter.
(5a) Cowboys are three games better than the rest of the NFC East with their QB and WR.
(6) Said all week the Lions were overestimating their win over the Bears. After a hot start Detroit was embarrassed by Minnesota for three quarters, including 7 sacks and a 20+ point deficit. (Ignore the late safety.)
(7) Lovie Smith’s defenses have a track record of being ripped apart by mediocre quarterbacks (Matt Leinart, Joey Harrington…etc). Now we can add Kirk Cousins to that list. How do you blow a 24 point lead to Kirk Cousins when you’re supposed to be a great defensive coach? (You don’t.)
(8) Jim Irsay needs to fire Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano before he ends up wasting the tenure of one of the league’s best quarterbacks. Grigson botched the roster beyond repair. Pagano is a dimwit. (And I got this game wildly wrong in the picks. Pagano and this roster can absolutely keep Luck from thriving.)
(9) I can’t confidently say Todd Gurley isn’t the best runner in the league already. Cleveland had no chance to stop him yesterday. Not sure who does. With Gurley and that defense, all Nick Foles needs to be is average for the Rams to make the postseason.
(10) Fine, Joe Philbin was an awful head coach. But that doesn’t excuse the change in effort level from the Dolphins defense. They quit on Philbin, a good man who didn’t deserve that. Pathetic.
(11) Enough with the Aaron Rodgers is the greatest quarterback stuff. I’ll take the guy who has been to six Super Bowls, won four and put up a thirty spot against the league’s best defense yesterday. Brady did it to the Jets with a tool he rarely uses: his fastball.
(12) When I heard Arian Foster tore something, I thought…nothing.
(12a) No assistant coach is doing a worse job than Romeo Crennel with the Texans defense.
(13) Blake Bortles is good.
(14) Does Phil Rivers ever get called out for never winning anything? Or does he get a pass because he’s “fiery” and has thirty-four kids?
(15) How did the Bears shut down Amari Cooper?
(16) Officiating in the league has found rock bottom. A phantom pass interference call cost the Bills a victory and sent their team running to Twitter afterwards. Giants/Cowboys was a trainwreck of bad calls. In four different games yesterday (FOUR!) the announcers had no idea if what they’d just seen was a catch. The rule book needs a cleaning and these game-altering calls need to become reviewable. Immediately.