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Ten Thoughts on the NFL and the Bears

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Our Ten Thoughts are back for the 2019 season!

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

1) I remember when some internet scouts refused to even rank Lamar Jackson as a quarterback when he was coming out of Louisville. There was also real buzz form inside the NFL that he had to switch to wide receiver to get a fair chance as a pro, but just look at him now.

After some nice moments as a rookie in 2018, he exploded out of the blocks in week one, albeit against an awful Miami Dolphins team, by going 17 of 20 for 324 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions, with a 158.3 passer rating in the Baltimore Ravens’ 50 to 10 win.

Their passing attack couldn’t be stopped at all as even back up quarterback Robert Griffin III got in on the fun by completing 6 of 6 for 55 yard and a TD.

I’m not sure if the Ravens are gong to roll like this each week, but I think it’s safe to say the Dolphins are a candidate to get rolled like this a few more times this season.

1a) I know you don’t care, but I’m one of the guys that had Jackson on my fantasy football bench.

2) Reports out of Miami was that several veterans are begging their agents to force a trade out of south beach. The Dolphins, who have made no secret about their tanking intentions in 2019, would be wise to dump whatever dead weight they can and acquire as many draft picks as possible for the future.

Armchair general managers that employ that exact strategy in every Madden Franchise they play will be watching closely.

3) The next team to take on the ‘Fins is the New England Patriots, and they looked as good as always on Sunday Night Football by smoking the Pittsburgh Steelers 33 to 3.

And now they get Antonio Brown.

Pittsburgh refused to trade Brown to the Pats during the offseason, so they shipped him to the Oakland Raiders instead, only to watch Brown act like a buffoon until the Raiders were forced to release him.

The Patriots play the long game better than anybody.

4) The Tennessee Titans made a statement by dropping 43 points on many people’s sexy AFC Super Bowl pick, the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland had no answer for the Titans’ balanced offense, and the Titan defense gave Brown quarterback Baker Mayfield fits all afternoon.

But the best part of Tennessee’s win came after the fact.

5) The other dominating performance from Sunday was from the Kansas City Chiefs, and they throttled the a team that many pundits thought was going to bounce back in 2019, the Jacksonville Jaguars. K.C. won 40 to 26, but it seems someone was trying a little too hard to make it on to the Sportscenter Top 10 Plays.

6) The Jags lost quarterback Nick Foles to a shoulder injury during that game, but rookie Gardner Minshew stepped in and completed 22 of 25 attempts (88%), which is the highest completion percentage (minimum 15 attempts) by a quarterback in his NFL debut. In Minshew’s four preseason games he only went 54 of 96 (56.2%), which goes to show you that back-ups don’t always light it up playing with other back-ups.

7) And speaking of preseason games;

I’m not sure if Potash deliberately chose to leave out the players that Bill highlighted, but if you’re looking for trends you should probably get as big a sample size as possible.

8) And speaking of cherry picking things to fit a specific narrative;

I could understand a Cleveland writer trying to squeeze some good out of Mayfield’s performance for Browns’ fans, but this smells like a guy that has been hyping Mayfield all offseason trying too hard not to criticize.

9) Fun ending to the Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints game.

10) Vic Fangio’s Denver Broncos’ defense didn’t record a single sack last night against the Oakland Raiders, in fact they weren’t even credited with a quarterback hit on Raider QB Derek Carr.

The Raider defense meanwhile, recorded 3 sacks on Denver’s Joe Flacco, and keep in mind they only had 13 total sacks in 2018.

Denver plays differently at home, especially in September with 14 straight victories at Mile High Stadium, so I would expect their week 2 match up against the Chicago Bears (Denver’s home opener) to be a hard fought affair with both teams scrambling to even their records.