1) What a fantastic week 10 of NFL football.
The only two blowout games were the Bears getting embarrassed 36-10 by the Buccaneers and the Packers getting rocked by the Titans 47-25.
Well there was that 28-7 Ravens win on Thursday against the Browns, but were all used to awful Thursday Night Football, so does that even count?
In the other 11 games, the average margin of victory was 4.5 points, with 6 of the games being decided by 3 points or less. and only one game ending up with a 2 score difference.
2) I love the fact that extra point tries can now be returned for 2 points, but I’d suppose Saints’ fans aren’t all that fired up over the rule. I’ll bet they also hate that defenders can leap over the long snapper these days.
I wonder how long until kicking teams motion a blocker over to thwart that leapfrogger?
3) I was listening to sports radio on Monday morning and they were talking about MVP candidates and they brought up a name I hadn’t thought much about, but Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott makes a lot of sense.
Sure the Cowboys have an outstanding offensive line, and yes, quarterback Dak Prescott is playing better than anyone could have imagined, but Elliot is the catalyst for that O. He has a real chance at 2,000 yards rushing if the dreaded rookie wall doesn’t stop him
4) Sticking with the Cowboys, it sure seems like there’s no way that quarterback Tony Romo gets his job back. Prescott is playing a perfect brand of football right now and Dallas may be the best team in the NFC.
While the Cowboys don’t need to dump Romo’s deal after the season, having a back up make close to $25 million isn’t very common. Then again, with Prescott and Romo carrying a combined 2017 cap hit of “only” $25,335,848, maybe owner Jerry Jones is OK with that much tied into the position.
Cutting Romo this offseason would result in nearly $20 in dead cap space for the 2017 season.
5) The Los Angeles Rams, 1-4 in their last 5 games and 4-5 overall, are finally giving rookie QB Jared Goff the reigns. After Ram QB Case Keenum had another meh game on Sunday, head coach Jeff Fisher is pulling the trigger on Goff.
6) The Atlanta Falcons are another team struggling, losing 3 of their last 5 games, after looking like a legit NFC title contender back when they were 5-1 following an impressive victory in Denver. But at 6-4, they are coming back to the pack and I wouldn’t even rule out the 3-6 Carolina Panthers from getting back in the NFC South race.
7) It’s never a good look when your star QB is questioning the head coach, but that’s exactly what’s happening with the Green Bay Packers. Mike McCarthy has been head coach in Green Bay for 11 of Aaron Rodgers’ 12 professional seasons so maybe this is just a case of the two needing a break from each other.
If there is a power struggle between the two, I can’t imagine it working out for McCarthy, especially if the Packers continue to struggle.
If the Packers do make a change, I’d have no problem if Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace gives McCarthy a call.
8) Staying with the Pack, that throttling at the hands of the Tennessee Titans was a thing of beauty.
At 5-5 the Titans seem to be on the right path under head coach Mike Mularkey. They have a smash mouth offense that is perfectly orchestrated by quarterback Marcus Mariota who is really becoming a good player. On Sunday he threw for 295 yards and four touchdowns and on the season he has 21 TDs to 8 interceptions with a 99.6 passer rating.
9) A head coach holding his struggling team accountable by putting jobs on the line?
“We’re going to have competition in a lot of different spots this week and give guys an opportunity to earn starting nods,” Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan told the USA Today’s Democrat and Chronicle. “We’ll let it play out. In the secondary there’ll be competition, maybe the offensive line.” The Bills are 4-5 and trying to stay in the AFC wild card hunt. “We’ve got to do what’s best for our football team,” said Ryan. “Whoever’s playing best will be out there.”
The key to putting jobs on the line is having decent enough depth behind the starters to actually push for playing time. Some teams (cough - Bears - cough) simply don’t have decent on the bench.
10) At 2-7 we might be ramping up Mock Draft season around these parts pretty soon and with that comes some scouting reports form our draft guru EJ Snyder. Be sure you’re following him on Twitter @thedraftsmanFB and be sure to tweet him some player’s that you think would look good in the Navy and Orange next year.
As of right now the Bears are slate dto draft 4th in the 2017 NFL Draft and NFL.com as their needs and analysis as follows;
Top needs: QB, DB, TE
Analysis: Jay Cutler's dead cap money drops dramatically, which could lead to his departure. The Bears have spent their last couple of early round picks on their defensive front, but now they need to look to sharpen their secondary. Adding a well-rounded tight end should be a possibility.
Hard to disagree with those top 2 needs.
What are your thoughts on my thoughts this week?