“Always Be Adding Weapons”
No one has embraced the modern NFL more than Andy Reid. He’s never content with the offensive firepower on his roster.
Tyreek Hill was not on most teams’ draft boards. The heinous crimes he committed in college were considered a bridge too far. What did Reid do? He drafted Hill. He took the risk because he recognized Hill’s speed would be indefensible in the NFL. You can rightfully criticize this decision but do you think Reid cares now? Do Chiefs fans?
After winning the Super Bowl in 2019 on the back of his offense, did Reid concentrate his off-season efforts on the defense? Don’t be silly. He used the team’s first round pick on a running back and added Le’Veon Bell mid-season. Reid had spent the previous three seasons stockpiling speed on the outside. Now he’s doing the same in the backfield.
Is Patrick Mahomes going to play in the AFC Championship Game? It would be shocking if he doesn’t but concussion protocols in the NFL are draped in mystery. Yet nobody would rule the Chiefs out of that game without Mahomes. The reason is the roster of weapons assembled by Reid.
“Turnovers Leave a Bad Taste”
Bruce Arians got as much production out of the quarterback position in 2019 as any other coach. Jameis Winston threw for over 5,000 yards. He threw 30 touchdown passes. But Arians did not even consider bringing him back to Tampa and no other team so much as floated the opportunity for Winston to compete for their starting job. Why? Because Winston added 30 interceptions to his tally and Tampa’s turnover differential in 2019 was -13. They missed the playoffs.
Saturday 3:35 PM CT – Rams @ Packers
Aaron Rodgers to score a touchdown: +550
There’s logic here.
The Packers are going to move the ball. They’re going to get the ball into the red zone. And then they’ll have two major issues when it comes to scoring: Aaron Donald disrupting the run game and Jalen Ramsey taking Davante Adams away. Rodgers’ improvisational skills will be on full display when he takes the ball over the goal line.
Saturday 7:15 PM CT – Ravens @ Bills
Total points even: +106
Five of the the last eight Bills games have ended in even points. So if you’re getting plus odds on that bet, you have to take it. This game was looking like a low-scorer when the forecast called for a snow storm at kickoff but now that forecast has changed and it’s just going to be a typical, cold, blustery Buffalo evening.
For those of you who don’t follow DBB on Twitter, I spent most of Wednesday thinking it was Thursday. As a result, the Game Preview was readied a day early, leaving a hole in the content calendar. So I asked Twitter to come through with some predictions. Here are the best ones.
First, the bold…
Nagy responds immediately to criticism, as does Foles. Bears offense explodes.
Bears 34 – Saints 24
Foles: 320 yds, 3 TDs
Trubisky: 1 Rushing TD
Mooney: >100 yds receiving, 60+ yd. TD
Santos: 2/3 on FGs
Drew Brees sacked 3x, intercepted twice.
Kamara scores 3 TDs
— Furious George (@KEGeorge94) October 29, 2020
This ain’t good…
Gonna go with my brain and not my heart on this prediction…
Saints team rushing yards: 194
— Trey Lance To the Bears PRETTY PRETTY PLEASE (@Muzzkill7) October 29, 2020
Four games. I’ll give you a bet for each. (All odds courtesy of DraftKing Sportsbook.)
Saturday 3:35 PM Central
Bills at Texans (-2.5)
My heart is all-in for the boys from 716 but Josh Allen, facing a good pass rush, on the road, terrifies me. Look for Allen to use his legs a bunch in this one but I still don’t see Buffalo producing enough offense. If this line were a point higher, I’d go the other way. Begrudging Bet: Houston -2.5.
Saturday 7:15 PM Central
Titans at Patriots (-5)
Bill Belichick will go into this game with a one-track mind. If the Patriots stop Derrick Henry, they win. But Henry has quietly become the best back in football and New England struggles upfront against these bruising-type runners. I don’t know if Tennessee wins this game but I like them to keep it close. Bet: Tennessee +5.
Sunday 12:05 PM Central
Vikings at Saints (-8)
I thought the Saints were in the best team in football in 2017. They lost in the playoffs on a ridiculous play.
I thought the Saints were the best team in football in 2018. They lost in the playoffs on a ridiculous call.
I think the Saints are the best team in football in 2019. They’re not losing to Kirk Cousins. Bet: New Orleans -8.
(This column first ran after the Saints game. There’s no point in rewriting it.)
If you want to spend this Monday criticizing the defensive performance over the last two weeks, go right ahead. But I’m not going to join you. Sure they have struggled getting off the field but the Bears have a collection of terrific defensive players and they’ll be just fine in the long run.
If you want to question the vision and direction of the head coach over your morning coffee, go right ahead. Matt Nagy’s play-calling has been suspect (at best) and the offense lacks any semblance of coherence. But Nagy’s going to get time to right this ship because unlike his most recent predecessors, he has a 12-4 division title on his resume.
If you want to discuss the fumbling or the blocked punts or whatever other mistakes are on your mind before lunch, feel free to do just that. Those things shouldn’t happen to championship-caliber clubs and championship-caliber is what was expected from the 2019 Chicago Bears.
But those things aren’t the story today.
The story was picked number two and wears number ten.
The story plays the most important position in professional sports.
The story is Mitch Trubisky.
And the story is over.