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Ten Thoughts on the NFL

Give Lester’s Thoughts a gander this week and leave a few thoughts of your own in the comment section.

New York Jets v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

1) I was completely wrong about Taysom Hill.

I was surprised that the New Orleans Saints went with him over Jameis Winston, but even more surprised at how capable Hill looked as a passer on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Sure, it was against the atrocious Falcon defense, but he didn’t look like a gimmick player. He looked like an NFL quarterback, which is exactly what Saint head coach Sean Peyton has been telling everyone for a while now.

Also, how many of you guys started Hill at tight end in your fantasy football leagues?

2) I also never thought that Justin Herbert would be racking up these kind of numbers for the Los Angeles Changers.

And to think the only reason he started in the first place was the accidental punctured lung to starting QB Tyrod Taylor before their week 2 contest.

3) The Cincinnati Bengals lost rookie quarterback Joe Burrow to a knee injury on Sunday, and Monday’s MRI confirmed that there was a tear to the ACL, MCL, plus other structural issues. Recovery could take a year, which would give them plenty of time to overhaul their offensive line.

I would imagine a couple early draft picks plus a hefty investment in free agency is on the horizon at the position for the Bengals.

4) The Colts had some questionable time management down the stretch in their game against the Packers, but the referees tried their damnedest to give Green Bay every chance possible to get the ball back.

Aaron Rodgers did get the ball back and he led the Packers down for a game tying field goal, but the Football Gods saw to it that Green Bay wide out Marquez Valdes-Scantling would fumble for the first time in his NFL career to give Indianapolis the ball in overtime.

Rookie kicker Rodrigo Blankenship nailed a 39-yard field goal to give Indy the win.

5) And speaking of Blankenship...

6) What a cool story with quarterback P.J. Walker getting his first career start for the Carolina Panthers and helping them to a 20-0 win against the Detroit Lions.

Walker, who was cut several times, spent parts of three seasons with the Colts (mostly on their practice squad) before the XFL gave him a chance to shine. He was the leagues top passer before they had to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, but he then signed a 2-year deal with the Panthers and won their QB2 job behind Teddy Bridgewater.

I really hope the next version of the XFL finds an audience and thrives.

7) Speaking of the 4-6 Lions, they host the 3-7 Houston Texans in the early game on Thursday.

Their loss in Carolina has Detroit media calling for head coach Matt Patricia to get fired, with some speculating that a loss in their annual Thanksgiving game could be the last straw. He’s now 13-28-1 as Detroit’s head coach, and just a remainder that the man he replaced, Jim Caldwell, was 36-28 in his four years with the Lions.

8) The NFC East is heating up!

Washington travels to paly the Dallas Cowboys in Thanksgiving’s second game, and while their records aren’t any good, the playoff ramifications will be high as they try to keep pace with the first place Eagles.

9) Tom Brady didn’t have a very Tom Brady like game last night against the Los Angeles Rams, so I look forward to all the NFL pundits speculating if he’s at the end before he goes for 300 yards and 4 YDs against the Chiefs next week.

And while we’re on the subject of that Monday Nighter, the Rams are looking damn good as their defense is playing at a very high level right now.

10) Last week the NFL had a neat statistical nugget that mentioned former Chicago Bears All-Pro Johnny Lujack, and this week they had one that mentioned another Bears All-Pro, wide out Harlon Hill.

Pittsburgh rookie wide receiver CHASE CLAYPOOL had a touchdown reception in Week 11 and has 10 touchdowns (eight receiving, two rushing) this season.

Claypool is the first wide receiver in the Super Bowl era and the fourth in league history with at least 10 touchdowns in his first 10 career games, joining BILLY HOWTON (11 touchdowns in 1952), BILL GROMAN (10 in 1960) and HARLON HILL (10 in 1954).

Hill was a phenomenal receiver for the Bears back in the day, and his first three years in Chicago saw him rack up 3,041 yards receiving, good for an incredible 22.7 yards per catch, with 32 touchdowns.