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Ten Thoughts on the NFL

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NFL: Tennessee Titans at Chicago Bears Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

1) I’m not a big fan of ties in the NFL, but with that being said, I think I would have played for the tie if I was making the call in the Sunday Nighter for the Denver Broncos.

I’ll set the scene in case you missed it. Denver had a 4th and 10 from Kansas City’s 44 yard line with about a minute left in overtime. Bronco head coach Gary Kubiak elected to have Brandon McManus try a 62 yard field goal to win the game, knowing that a miss would leave the Chiefs a chance to get into position for their own game winning field goal.

McManus missed and the Chiefs took over from the Denver 48 with 1:03 left and 1 time out. A few plays later and K.C. was in position for a 34 yard field goal, which they made.

The Broncos, now at 7-4, are in 3rd place in the AFC West, behind the 9-2 Oakland Raiders and the 8-3 Chiefs. A tie obviously would have been better for Denver’s playoff positioning, so thinking big picture would have benefited Kubiak.

2) Speaking of the Broncos, I wonder how happy they are by not re-signing quarterback Brock Osweiler?

He’s now tied with Blake Bortles and Ryan Fitzpatrick for the NFL lead in interceptions with 13.

The good news for the Houston Texans is that almost all of Osweiler’s guaranteed money is gone after the 2017 season.

3) Sticking with Bortles, are the Jacksonville Jaguars content going into next season with him as their #1 QB?

He seems to have regressed, but he is only in his 3rd year as a pro. Will the Jags try and build up the supporting cast around him for another season before looking for some real competition at his position?

Finding a capable quarterback may be the toughest job for an NFL franchise.

4) Every time people try and write off Aaron Rodgers, he seems to come back with a stellar game to silence the critics. Last night against the Philadelphia Eagles he helped the Packers break their 4 game losing streak by completing 76.9% of his passes for 313 yards, with 2 TDs. Green Bay is a flawed team in a lot of places, but quarterback isn’t one of them.

4a) But what the Hell is Rodgers doing here?

5) The Thursday Night Football experiment may be coming to an end.

ProFootballTalk is reporting that the NFL “will be considering the possibility of ending, or at least limiting, Thursday Night Football.”

I have a feeling they’ll keep it in a limited capacity, like maybe only have games take place during the middle of the season when teams have byes, so they can ensure teams only play on TNF if they didn’t play the previous Sunday.

I still think an 18 week schedule with 2 bye weeks is the best option for the NFL. It’s a step in the right direction for player safety and it gives the NFL one more week of television.

EDIT: The NFL has denied the PFT report with league spokesman Brian McCarthy saying, “We are fully committed to Thursday Night Football and any reports to the contrary are unfounded.”

OK then.

6) #Respect

It pays to be the G.O.A.T.

7) I like when teams take advantage of rules.

I’m sure the NFL will figure out a way to alter this in the offseason.

8) Ken Mitchell, our Den master extraordinaire, floated a thought in one of our daily WCG emails. He wonders if teams that had a need for a running back, like let’s say the Packers, Vikings or Lions, are getting criticized by some of their fans for passing on Jordan Howard, who went to the Bears in the 5th round.

9) Staying in the NFC North, I find myself rooting for the Detroit Lions to win the NFC North, if for no other reason than my dislike for them is less than my dislike for the Packers and Vikings. The Chicago Bears have a chance to play spoiler down the stretch as they travel to Detroit in 2 weeks, host the Packers on December 18th and end the 2016 season in Minnesota on New Year’s Day.

The odds are that the Bears lose all three, but if a week 17 win can knock the Vikes from playoff contention, I’d be OK with that W.

10) I guess when Matt Barkley lights up your defense, someone has to pay. The Titans cut corner Parrish Cox after being part of the defense let Barkley put up over 300 yards and 3 TDs. Cox was the guy that slipped in coverage, allowing Bears’ wide out Josh Bellamy to catch drop the game winning TD.