Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today I want to just quickly go over the biggest stories from Week 15 in the NFL. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow. Also, it's a busy time in school, so this may be my last article before I take a Christmas break, so if there's nothing else posted after this Happy Holidays to everyone.
Patriots Controversial Win Over Steelers:
I'm going to have a hard time not being biased in this section because of the hatred I possess towards the Patriots. I'm going to try and keep it short and simple. Everyone watching that game understands that Jesse James caught the football, turned his body up field, and dove across the goal line to win the game. Everyone also should understand, though, that the NFL has spent so much time messing with the definition of a catch, that by rule, technically, James did not catch the football. I've heard people say this is a Dez Bryant situation, so they had to stay consistent with the call. This is not a Dez Bryant situation because Dez was sprinting with the ball, didn't clearly catch it, and THEN make a move towards the endzone. Dez was running, tried to possess the ball in stride and made a move towards the endzone too quickly for me to believe he actually caught it. James very clearly caught the ball, had possession, and then turned his body up field towards the endzone. Unlike Dez, the play was not all one motion, there were two very different portions to the play. The NFL needs to turn back towards common sense in deciphering what is and isn't a catch, and less about confusing phrases that have multiple interpretations. Otherwise, fans and players will continue to be frustrated with the league and its officials.
Quick side note on this play as well--not only does common sense show that he caught the ball, but he crossed the plain (goal line) with the ball, so the part where the ball shifts in James's hands shouldn't even be looked at. The NFL's rules about what goes on in the endzone are also screwed up, so that's something they need to fix (I'll talk about that more on a later date).
Rams Smash Seahawks:
As Colin Cowherd said, "This was not a passing of the baton, this was the Rams yanking it out of Pete Carroll's hands." The Rams thrashed Seattle 42-7 at the Seahawks home field. L.A. looked younger, faster, smarter, more creative, and like a cohesive unit; on the contrary Seattle had players calling each other out on Twitter after the game was over. I liked Seattle coming into this season, but the injuries have proven to be too much to overcome, and the Seahawks are now faced with the question of whether or not they need to rebuild. They clearly can't keep pace with younger teems anymore, and I'm saddened and scared that this year could be the end of the Legion of Boom.
Lets all be honest now, and admit despite widespread predictions for the Jaguars to be good this year, nobody thought they would be THIS good. Their defense is the best in the NFL in my opinion, and the offense has found rhythm, especially since they seem to get the ball around the 35 yard line every time a possession starts. This team could be dangerous in the Playoffs now that it's official, and they're in. They could also be hosting a Playoff game for the first time in about 20 years. This is crazy, as one of the leagues biggest laughing stocks is now looking like a powerhouse.
Dallas's Win Over Raiders:
This was a crazy game to watch, as it was close all of the way to the end. The game was host to a mind boggling moment though, as the referees had to take a folded over piece of paper, slide it in between the ball and first down marker, and judge whether the ball was far enough for the first. The referees gave Dallas what was a crucial first down, but there was a huge reaction across social media, as a sheet of paper pretty much decided the outcome of the game. The game was also important in that it kept Dallas's Playoff hopes alive for another week. These hopes are also getting a boost because of...
Zeke's Upcoming Return:
This week Ezekiel Elliot is returning to the Cowboys from his suspension, and he could provide them a lift as the regular season comes to its close. This is a huge boost for a Cowboys offense that has struggled at times without him.
Aaron Rodgers Shut Down For Season:
Today Aaron Rodgers was shut down for the season, as the Packers placed him on season ending IR. Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers took too many hits in that game, which is fair since he was sacked three times and hit seven times. After last night's win for the Falcons on MNF, the Packers were officially eliminated from the Playoffs, so I agree with this move, because the Packers should insure Rodgers is 100% healthy at the start of next season.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Sorry for my absence as of late, I've had a lot of work to do lately. Now that I have some time though, I'm ready to break down some of last week's games and what that means heading into this week and the playoffs. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
Game Spotlight - Jacksonville Jaguars 30 vs. 24 Seattle Seahawks
This was a huge game last week as it increased Jacksonville's chances to make the playoffs to over 90%, and pretty much sealed their chances of winning the division. It also was a statement victory, as the team who was a laughing stock just a year ago beat a perennial contender in the Seahawks.
What Does It Mean This Week?
It means that if Seattle wants to keep its playoff hopes alive, it needs a win this week. They'll be taking on the L.A. Rams at home in a game that could give Seattle the division lead, since Seattle is 8-5 and the Rams are 9-4. This should be a great game, and one that holds huge value in terms of playoff seeding. The Jaguars are taking on the Texans who have been a mess ever since Deshaun Watson went down with a season ending ACL tear. This should be a division win for the Jags, and one that'll put them at 10-4.
What Does It Mean For The Playoffs?
This game pretty much proved that the Jaguars are a playoff caliber team, with a Super Bowl caliber defense. They intercepted Russell Wilson, my MVP pick, three times in that game showing why they are the most feared pass defense in the NFL. For the Seahawks, their loss makes this weeks game against the Rams almost a must win, especially since Aaron Rodgers is returning this week in hopes of leading the Packers back into the playoff picture. If Seattle drops to 8-6 this week, their two straight losses will make it hard to compete for a playoff spot.
Game Spotlight - Philadelphia Eagles 43 @ 35 Los Angeles Rams
This was the game of the week, as it was a battle to the end. It was also a huge story, since Carson Wentz, leading many MVP polls, was lost for the season after tearing his ACL. His backup, Nick Foles, is a decent quarterback but there is a huge drop off between an MVP candidate and someone incapable of starting for a team. The Eagles are a talented team, so it'll be interesting to see if they can continue their success without Wentz.
What Does It Mean This Week?
I've already talked a bit about the Rams playing the Seahawks this week, so I'll just quickly say that I see things in a similar light for L.A. as I do Seattle. One of those two teams is likely to be a wild card team this year, and the winner could hold home field advantages in some playoff matches due to a division title. The Eagles play the dumpster fire New York Giants this week. If they can't win this game, Wentz should win MVP just based on the assumption that he must have been the only one winning this team games.
What Does It Mean For The Playoffs?
The Rams are still right in the thick of things, but it showed they are vulnerable against strong teams. This doesn't bode well for them if opposing defenses find ways to get pressure on Goff and contain Todd Gurley, who accounts for almost 35% on L.A.'s offense. With the Eagles, this is obviously a huge blow. A lot of people are still taking them to come out of the NFC and make the Super Bowl, but I can't believe that unless Nick Foles plays really well. As of right now, I give Philly one playoff victory at most. The loss of Wentz killed their season, in my eyes.
Game Spotlight - Miami Dolphins 27 vs. 20 New England Patriots
I'm a Dolphins fan, so I've been ecstatic all week. I love seeing Tom Brady scream at everyone on the sideline because of his inability to play well in Miami. It makes my heart soar. Anyways, this was a huge game for the AFC playoff race. It has a lot of implications, but I'll talk about that in a second. Specific to this game, the Dolphins exposed a couple things the Patriots did. One, is they didn't allow Brandin Cooks to burn them deep forcing Brady to only throw underneath all game...which is usually what works. Miami consistently kept its linebackers in underneath coverage though, sometimes with underneath safety coverage as well, to contain those dump offs to running backs. That meant Brady was never able to catch the defense sleeping on the deep ball, and he had no success moving the ball with his quick underneath throws. Also, on offense Miami exposed the Patriots secondary with lots of misdirection, motion, and subtle pick plays, which is actually a page out of Bill Belicheat's book. Overall this game was dominated by Miami, and the close score due to garbage time points doesn't do it justice.
What Does It Mean This Week?
This week Miami plays the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo, where they sometimes struggle. This is a must win for both teams involved, as they are both fighting for the six seed in the AFC playoffs. Right now Buffalo is in that last spot, but with four other teams right in the mix this is a must win game. The Patriots play the Steelers in what should be the game of the week. Everyone expected this game to be the battle of two teams tied for the one seed in the AFC, but after Miami's win the Pats are one game behind Pittsburgh. That makes this a must win if New England wants to own home field advantage through the playoffs.
What Does It Mean For The Playoffs?
Miami currently sits at 6-7, and is one game out of the playoffs. The teams ahead of them right now either by tiebreaker or a one game better record are the Raiders, Chargers, Ravens, and Bills. The Fins play the Bills, Chiefs, Bills to end the season, all of which are winnable games. If Miami ends 9-7, the Bills would be out of playoff contention, the Chiefs would be at best 9-7 and Miami would own the tiebreaker, the Chargers would at best be 10-6, but in that scenario Miami automatically makes the playoffs, and the Raiders at best would be 9-7, and they would take the six seed. That is the least likely scenario though, so Miami, if they win out, could very well make the playoffs. The Patriots, like I already said, need to win this week if they want to hold the one seed, and if they lose they'll likely head to the postseason without home field advantage. That could be an issue if they need to play in Pittsburgh for the AFC title.
In my opinion, those were the three most important games of this week, since they seriously affected the paths teams need to take to make the playoffs, or get a high seed in the playoffs.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today there is a lot to talk about, so I'm going to try and let everyone know everything going on with Sunday Night Football, and Monday Night Football. Hopefully I can hit on everything you've been wondering about those two games from this week. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
If last night's MNF game wasn't so hectic, this would easily be the game everyone was still talking about. The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, who had previously held the best record in the NFL at 10-1. The 24-10 final score doesn't justify my feeling throughout the game, which is that the Eagles were completely outmatched, and subsequently beat down. Seattle's decimated defense, missing two Pro Bowlers in Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman, held the Eagles previously number one ranked scoring offense to only 10 points, despite giving up 425 yards. Many people defended Philadelphia for that reason, saying they just couldn't find the end zone and the yards prove this offense is one to fear. I can agree that this one game doesn't define Philly's offense, but it has to be disconcerting. Carson Wentz, an MVP candidate, played poorly against a playoff defense in a playoff environment. This is what the Eagles are going to be seeing this Postseason, so this lackluster performance is not encouraging.
Speaking of MVP candidates, how about Russell Wilson? He easily has my vote, as he has been putting up historic numbers all year long. He accounts for 29 of Seattle's 30 touchdowns, and is accounted for 82% of Seattle's offense. If the season ended today, that percentage would be an NFL record. The numbers don't say it all, by the way. There were a number of plays on Sunday in which Wilson should have been sacked for a huge loss, and yet he turned the play into a large gain. Those plays seem almost routine when Wilson is on the field, and are what make him the clear MVP pick for me.
This style of play has to be concerning for the Seahawks though. They cannot possibly count on Wilson to bail out their average receivers, below average running backs, and garbage offensive line every single game. He has done it throughout the regular season, but at some point in the Playoffs it won't hold up anymore. That brings me to my next point about Seattle and Philly, which is what this game means for them and their Playoff status. Obviously, I don't see either of these teams missing the Postseason, but this game does say a lot about how they should perform in Playoff football. The young Philadelphia team looked overwhelmed by Seattle, and since the Eagles have played mainly poor teams this year this game doesn't look good for their future performances this January. Hopefully this was a wake up call for them. For Seattle this game is great in that their backups have done a great job stepping up on defense, but the offense would keep me up at night. They can't go very far if it's just Russell leading the way.
I don't want to talk much about this games playing, and more about its politics. This, to many, was an atrocity. First, Ryan Shazier, an incredibly talented and well respected linebacker for the Steelers, went down with a horrible injury when making a tackle. He sniffed the play out, ran for the receiver running an underneath route, and when the offensive player shifted Shazier's momentum took the crown of his helmet straight into the hip of the Bengal. He dropped to the ground, reached for his back, and then started flexing his right hand. Shazier couldn't move his legs, was carted off the field, and remains in the hospital. Today, reports have come out saying that he has regained some feeling in his lower half, but this is still scary. Many think that it was a spinal contusion, and that is what's causing this temporary paralyzation.
With head injuries already at the front of everyone's minds due to the physical and dangerous history of the Steelers Bengals rivalry, this emphasized the danger of the NFL. That didn't stop each team from getting in their physical and unnecessary shots though. Late in the game, Ben Roethlisberger threw a quick pass to Leveon Bell, who turned up field to pick up the first down. JuJu Smith Shuster, a slot receiver, layed down a vicious block of Vontez Burfict who was in pursuit of Bell, placing his helmet right underneath the face mask of the linebacker. Then, as Burfict lay motionless of the ground, Shuster stood over Burfict staring down at him for what seemed like an eternity. Burfict is okay, but he had to be taken off of the field of a stretcher.
On that same drive, Antonio Brown caught the game tying touchdown pass in the back of the endzone, but that play was also riddled with extracurricular activity. Safety George Ikola launched himself right into the head of Brown as he jumped up to catch the touchdown. It's incredible Brown doesn't have a concussion.
After the game, when Shuster was giving an apology to Burfict in an interview, Brown can be heard screaming "karma" in the background repeatedly. Brown also said in his interview that the game was filled with karma, and that he would pay Shuster's fine for him, clearly approving of the hit. This was all, obviously, related to when Burfict laid a hit on Brown straight to his head as he was a defenseless receiver running over the middle of the field a couple of years ago in the Playoffs.
All of that from the game was then dismissed as "NFC North" football by Ben Roethlisberger after the game, but it is clearly more than that. This is not the view the NFL wants or needs, as the game was one of violence and scary injuries. Like I said at the beginning, a lot of people found this game to be an atrocity, but I can't bring myself to agree. This is football. The players know what they are signing up for, and they understand each and every game that there will be hits to their head, legal or not, and they will have lasting impacts from that as life goes on. I think that the NFL needs to do more to try and stop this as player safety is obviously a huge priority, but it bothers me that people are acting like all of this was out of the blue. This has been happening for years upon years, it just hasn't been seen on a stage like this before. Just yesterday the NFL suspended Rob Gronkowski for his cheap hit to the head of Tre'Davious White, who is now in the concussion protocol.
That suspension brings me to my last thoughts for today. Gronk was given a one game suspension for a very cheap hit to the head of a defenseless player (if you want more info check out yesterday's article). Today both JuJu and Ikola were given one game suspensions by the league for their hits, but this, for me, just brought up more image questions for the NFL. How is it that JuJu was given the same suspension as Gronkowski when Shuster's hit was not intended to hurt Burfict, and it was a bang-bang play. Gronkowski purposely, after the play, layed out to smash White's head into the ground, while Shuster gave a block that wouldn't be disciplined by any coach in the league. I think Shuster does deserve a game suspension since the NFL needs to further push that there can't be hits to the head, but that means Gronk and Ikola deserve at least two games. If Talib and Crabtree were given two game sentences each for having a fight that injured nobody and had nothing to do with brain trauma, then Gronk and Ikola deserved at least that.
Again, I think that this has to be expected to a certain extent from a game as violent as football, and last night was an extreme showing of those dangers, but there is obviously work the NFL can do to fix that. The biggest thing I think they can do, is to start giving out punishments that actually fit the crimes.
Sorry for how scattered this article is, I just had a lot to talk about and not very much time. I hope I hit on everything about those two games that anyone wanted to hear, even if it was just briefly. Thanks for reading.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today I just wanted to highlight a couple big stories that came out today in the NFL. Hopefully tomorrow I can get out my game analysis article for Week 13. Make sure to share this as it helps TTR grow.
Giants Shake Things Up: Today the New York Giants made what seems like every fan of their team happy by ending Ben McAdoo's stint as head coach. He went 13-15 over the almost two season long job, going 2-10 this season. The Giants also fired General Manager Jerry Reese, who won two Super Bowls with the team. This move came with some backlash, but I agree with the decision. He had failed for years to put together a respectable offensive line, hindering the offense almost ineffective on multiple occasions. Steve Spagnuolo, the teams defensive coordinator, is taking over as interim head coach to finish the season. Personally, I'm happy for Spagnuolo as he was the defensive coordinator for their Super Bowl winning team in 2007. Hopefully these moves start a successful turnaround for New York.
Rob Gronkowski Suspended: Today the NFL suspended Rob Gronkowski for what Max Kellerman called, "the worst hit I've seen all year." After Tre'Davious White picked off Tom Brady, Gronk ran over to where White was on the ground and dove, elbow first, into the upper back/head area. It was a hard and dirty hit, but Gronkowski wasn't ejected (because Patriots are favored by the referees...not a hunch it's a fact). This suspension will mean that Gronk misses next week's Monday Night Football match up against the Dolphins, who are fighting for their lives right now. After beating Denver this week, if Miami can win at home against the Pats they are back in the Playoff picture, so that should be a hard fought game. The loss of Gronk would be big for the Patriots, so Pats fans should hope his appeal goes through this week. I'll make sure to keep everyone posted.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today I'm going to quickly be giving my pick for tonight's Thursday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. This game has meaning for both teams as this is the Cowboys last hope in sparking a run towards a wildcard spot in the playoffs, and a game that could also get the Redskins closer to a wildcard birth. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins:
With this game being a divisional battle between two rivals, it should be close. I know that the Cowboys haven't performed well recently without Ezekiel Elliott, but that doesn't change the fact that they have historically kept their divisional match ups close. What I don't like about Dallas right now, though, is that they have no identity. They've abandoned the run putting games on the shoulders of Dak Prescott, who lets just say has underwhelmed (no 200 yard games, 0 TDs, 5 INTs). By not playing a ball control offense anymore, the Cowboys defense is on the field for much longer than usual making their job much harder, which is why in the time without Elliott they have surrendered 27, 37, and 28 points. This also means that Dak is having to play from behind increasing the likelihood he makes mistakes. This is not how Dallas was built to play, and Jason Garrett should be getting more of the blame for how he has run this team without Zeke.
The Redskins on the other hand do have an identity this season, and its name is mediocrity. The defense is okay at 20th in the league and the offense is 11th (11th passing and 18th rushing). The team currently sits below .500 at 5-6, but the way Dallas' defense has performed I think that changes tonight. I'm taking the Redskins in a close one because of Kirk Cousins recent connection with Jamison Crowder, who has been a great receiver lately. The Cowboys secondary has been a disaster and I see Kirk and Crowder exploiting that tonight. If I'm choosing a score, I'm taking neither a high or low scoring game, saying 24-16 will be the final. Sorry Dallas, but your season basically ends tonight.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today's topic is one close to my heart, as the New York Giants are my second favorite team in the NFL (giving me the worst taste in history...honestly, the Dolphins and Giants?! I couldn't have chosen worse teams to root for this year). The first Super Bowl I remember watching is 47, when Eli led the Giants to the biggest upset in history, as New York ended the Patriots undefeated season. I haven't been happier in my entire life. It's been a long time since those glory days though, so I want to analyze what's going on for them right now, and give my opinion on what they should do from here on out. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
The State of the New York Football Giants:
This team may be one of the biggest disappointments this season, as they were supposed to be NFC East Champions, and make a Super Bowl run this year. I don't think anything more the opposite of that could have happened. The team currently sits at 2-9, the bottom of the NFC East, and the third worst team in the NFL. The offense has been terrible, the defense not much better, and just today, the Giants announced they were basically conceding the season by benching Eli Manning...in favor of Geno Smith. The team wants to see how its younger quarterbacks play, and that's fine, except for the fact that that is THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THEY SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT RIGHT NOW. Imploding is not, I repeat, is not, the direct New York should be headed.
The Giants heading into the season arguably had the best receiving core in the NFL with Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard being the three starters. They also had special teams aficionado Dwayne Harris as the fourth stringer. Three of those receivers were out for the season early in the year, and Sterling Shepard has missed multiple games with reoccurring injuries.
The Giants defense was in a similar spot as the offense, with all the talent in the world. Here is the issue though, when an offense is rendered completely ineffective due to injuries, the defense is on the field too long to perform well. This is especially the case with a team lacking a good offensive line and/or a good running back. So, instead of having an incredible defense, this team has had to watch as close games become blowouts in the second half. Once the missing offensive pieces return, though, the scoring will be back on track, and defense will be back to its original form.
To go along with all of this, the Giants poor performance this season will grant them most likely a top five pick in the upcoming draft, so they should be able to improve glaring holes on their roster as well heading into next year. All of this very clearly shows the Giants should not be worried about their QB of the future right now, because they are built to win today, not tomorrow.
Now, I'm not saying there shouldn't be any change. In fact, I think there should be lots of it, but only in terms of management and coaching. Multiple players now have come out and said Ben McAdoo has lost the locker room, and it doesn't take a genius to see that translating to the team's performance on Sundays. The general manager, Jerry Reese, should also be gone. I hate to say that because he built two Super Bowl winning squads that I got the benefit of rooting for, but his recent failures trump those past successes. His inability to draft well (of course excluding Odell) and build an offensive line have plagued the team the last multiple years, and he shouldn't get a pass for that.
I know that usually only imploding teams clear house, but that's not what I expect from this Giants team. They need a new head coach because the players won't play for McAdoo anymore, and they need a new general manager for the hopes of making this years high draft pick a cornerstone of the franchise. If they can get a good coach, do well in the draft this year, and lets not forget, GET HELP FOR THE OFFENSIVE LINE, this Giants team will be great next year, just under new leadership.
All of this is why I'm mourning the loss of Eli Manning's 210 game start streak, the longest of all active players. He is a two time champion who deserves better than what he has been given this season. I agree with Plaxico, Osi, and Coughlin: It's a shame this is what the Giants have come to.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today I'll be quickly giving my pick for tonight's Thursday Night Football game. Expect an NBA post soon, since I'll want to breakdown some of the biggest stories through the first quarter of the season. Also, make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
Tennessee Titans @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Tonight may not seem like a very important game, but trust me, it is. Both of these teams are in the thick of things in the AFC, with Pittsburgh being the number one team and the Titans being number four. Home field advantage has been huge to the Steelers playoff success in the past, so this game would be big in keeping them atop the AFC (their in conference record would be 6-1). Tennessee is currently tied with Jacksonville at 6-3, and they are both vying for a division win. A win tonight for them would be vital in that they could end up with head to head victories that Jacksonville wasn't able to attain.
Now that I got the hype up out of the way, I'm going to be real with you guys. I don't see this being a very close game. Tennessee's offense is the 22nd in the league, and has struggled in the passing game. Against the leagues number one defense, I don't see that panning out. In terms of Pittsburgh's offensive match up, the Steelers have the number 12 offense against the Titans 16th ranked defense. Statistically, this should be a tough fight, but I think the Steelers play makers are going to go off tonight. After being held in check against the Colts last week I expect this offense to explode.
I'm taking Pittsburgh in a 30-13 game, and I think that either Leveon Bell, Antonio Brown, Juju Smith Schuster, or all of them will go off tonight. Juju has played well each of the last three weeks, but Brown and Bell have underwhelmed. If you have them on your fantasy squad, I think you'll be happy tonight.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today I want to touch on what I found to be the most interesting stories from week ten of the NFL. I'll bring up records, predictions, scheme, and of course, a couple hot takes. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
This game was a huge 45-21 blowout in favor of the Carolina Panthers. Miami is now on their third straight week with an embarrassing prime time loss, and after starting 4-2 they are 4-5. I first want to talk about the Panthers. Everybody is freaking out today about them today, claiming they could be the best in the NFC. I'll talk a bit more about that later, but for starters I want to eliminate Carolina from that conversation. Miami is the team everyone beats when they need to either right the ship, or when they need to make a statement. Last night was statement night. Carolina put up 548 yards (a franchise record) and scored a touchdown on five straight possessions. Here's the thing though, this win isn't as impressive as it looks. Miami has been terrible recently, and this game was close until Jay Cutler threw what was probably the worst interception of the year. After that, Miami's defense was on the field for so long without much of a break that Carolina walked all over them. Everyone has been able to do that though, so using this game as an example and justification for calling Carolina one of the best isn't valid.
Now it's time for a hot take. Miami is going to end this season 6-10. I know it doesn't sound like much right now, but I'll add more in a moment. Miami has the third hardest end schedule playing the Patriots twice, the Bills twice, the Broncos, Chiefs, and Buccaneers. I see no way Miami stays in Playoff contention and beat these teams the way both sides of the ball have performed. Here is the second part of the take though: next season, if the majority of the roster stays intact and Ryan Tannehill is healthy, Miami is either the five or six seed in the AFC. The loss of our (I'm a Dolphins fan that's why I say "our") starting quarterback was extremely detrimental (last night for example, Tannehill would have never thrown that interception, and the game would have been much closer), and we had to completely change our identity halfway through the season due to the Jay Ajayi trade. We should be facing the AFC South and NFC East, both of which feature solid teams, as well as dumpster fires. Miami had one of the hardest schedules this year, but next year we should come by wins more easily. We have shown flashes all season, but this year the Dolphins clearly can't put things together. Next year should be different.
The Patriots and Broncos also had what wasn't a very competitive game, with the final score coming out to be 41-16. The Broncos lost this game early, allowing 14 special teams points, which you cannot spot Tom Brady and the Patriots. Unlike the Falcons, New England isn't known for blowing leads. After this game, many are talking about how the Pats are back and how impressive this win was. Just like my evaluation of MNF, I don't see this being true. The Pats defense played well because they faced...sorry I started laughing just thinking about it...BROCK OSWEILER and the anemic Denver offense. Also, the Pats offense looked good partially because of Denver's scheme. The Miami defensive coordinator, Matt Burke, and Denver head coach, Vance Joseph, run the same scheme. Both have had success with it in the past but this season both Denver's defense, a very talented unit, and Miami's, not nearly as talented, have struggled. Both defenses have had their bright spot, but when you look at the tape it's usually great players making great plays, and not the scheme and play calling putting the players in the best spot to succeed. I think New England is dangerous, but in no way are they "back." Denver is not the team they used to be.
We are headed back to the best team in the NFC conversation. To date, I still see the Eagles being number one but my god I didn't not expect this from New Orleans;I don't think anyone did. Their defense has been over performing week by week, forcing the Bills to bench Tyrod Taylor this past week. The offense, despite the trade of Brandin Cooks, has still been successful, lighting teams up less through the air and more on the ground than usual. Drew Brees is still playing a high level of football, but running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara have taken the load of of his shoulders. They look, especially after beating one of the better teams in the AFC (Buffalo), like at least a top three team in the NFC.
Some people say I hate the Cowboys more than Steven A. Smith, if that helps you get a visual of how happy I was to see Dak Prescott sacked eight times. The Cowboys without Ezekiel Elliot are lost, and although the absence of Tyron Smith was more to account for the sacks than Zeke, you can still see that this team lacks an identity. Alfred Morris struggled running the ball in the first half which put Dallas in the hole, forcing obvious passing situations over and over again. This lead to the sacks, and the physical (as well as mental) beat down of what many people thought would be the best team in the NFC. Now, in all honesty (hot take alert), I don't even see Dallas making the Playoffs. They end the year with the Eagles, Chargers, Redskins, Giants, Raiders, and Seahawks making for a very difficult end of year schedule. I can only realistically see them winning 3 of these games, max, leaving them an eight win team. Sorry Jerry Jones, everything can't always go your way.
I predicted the Jaguars winning a close one this week, and boy was I right. A blocked field goal that somehow still went through the uprights gave the Jags an overtime victory against the Chargers, who were widely taken to upset Jacksonville. Now the Jags are 6-3, and in the thick of things in the AFC. I like them to win the division over the Titans, but if they can't do that I don't see a world in which they miss the Playoffs. Leonard Fournette was held in check this weekend getting only around 40 yards from scrimmage, but that isn't going to happen every week. He will continue to lead this team, and in my opinion, win rookie of the year. I like the Jags right now, and I think that this win really shut up those who didn't believe in this team.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. I'll be giving my picks for this weekend's NFL games today. Expect a NBA post either this weekend or early next week because I have a lot to say about the start of this season. Also, make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
Jets @ Buccaneers:
I'm taking the Bucs in this game. I like their ability to run the football, and against the 29th ranked team in run defense Doug Martin should have a good game. Also, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be starting for Tampa Bay which could either be a colossal failure, or a success, which is the side I'm leaning on. New York may have looked like the better team so far this year, but I like Tampa in a close game.
Saints @ Bills:
At the beginning of the year this game was marked as one that we could ignore. Right now though, that is the opposite of the reality. If the playoffs were to start today both the Saints and Bills would be in. Both teams defenses have outperformed their expectations this season (especially the Saints) but it is the offenses of these teams that are the deciding factor in this weeks game. I like the Saints to win, but with Kelvin Benjamin most likely getting his first start as a Buffalo Bill the AFC squad has a chance.
Browns @ Lions:
Lions win...obviously. The Browns literally can't make a decision as a front office, since the coaches have accused the general manager of purposely sabotaging a trade for the Bengals A.J. McCarron. I expect this to be a blowout, and it should boost Matthew Stafford's MVP case.
Bengals @ Titans:
I like the Titans in this game. It should be close, but I feel like Tennessee has more to gain, and to lose, this week. The AFC South is up for grabs currently and the Titans have a chance to capitalize. I think Marcus Mariota should have a good day despite the Bengals number four pass defense. A successful rushing attack, which the Titans possess, always leads to big plays in the passing attack late in games.
Packers @ Bears:
My gut says to take the Bears in an upset since the game is in Chicago. I'm gonna go with my brain this time though, since I know that despite the Packers recent struggles, they aren't as terrible as to lose to the Bears. I do think, though, that this would be a great game for Chicago to get an upset. Either way, I'm taking Green Bay in what I see as at least a ten point game.
Chargers @ Jaguars:
All I've seen lately is that the Chargers are going to upset the Jags this week. I say NO. The Jaguars have been exceptional on defense this season, and running back Leonard Fournette is my pick for Rookie of the Year. As a Dolphins fan I understand what Jags fans are feeling right now--and that is disrespect. When you have a good season the media always is against the up and coming teams, so I'm not going to take that route. Jacksonville deserves to be favored this week, so I'm taking them to win.
Vikings @ Redskins:
I like Minnesota this week. The Redskins won by the skin of their teeth last week against Seattle, and I don't see them doing that two weeks in a row. They have to face arguably an even tougher defense in Minnesota now, so I don't see the offense doing enough to win. Minnesota on the other hand, has been good with Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray splitting carries. I like them to win.
Steelers @ Colts:
Just like the Lions and Browns game, this is an easy game to pick. On one side you have the Steelers, a playoff contender with a solid team on both sides of the ball. On the other side you have a dumpster fire. For the Colts fans out there saying "we can win because we beat Houston last week"--I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Pittsburgh is on a whole different level. Their pass defense is second in the league, and their offense is in the top half of the league. Steelers in a blowout.
Texans @ Rams:
I'm taking L.A. in this one. The Rams are one of the best teams is the NFC this year, while the Texans went from a powerhouse to a mess with the season ending injury to Deshaun Watson. Seeing the Colts offense have success against the Texans defense means that the Rams, the second best scoring team in the NFL, should have no worries. I think the game will be close, but I like L.A.
Giants @ 49ers:
For the better of the Giants future, I want Ben McAdoo gone. For that to happen, the Giants need to lose to one of the worst teams in the NFL, and they have that chance this weekend. The Niners have an underrated defense, especially in the front seven. I think that this will take away the Giants ability to run the football and wreck havoc on Eli Manning in the passing game. Also, multiple reports have come out that McAdoo has lost the Giants locker room, and it shows in their defensive performances. The Niners are going to get what could be their only win of the second half of this season.
Cowboys @ Falcons:
I am a Dallas Cowboys hater. I'm happy to admit that, but I'm not letting that affect my pick for this game. Dallas is going to win, and it's because Atlanta is dysfunctional this year. The offense isn't what is was last year now that their offensive coordinator is coaching San Francisco, and the defense is on the field too long to be effective. Despite the loss of Ezekiel Elliot, Dallas will be fine and I like them to win.
Patriots @ Broncos:
I like New England in this one. I think it'll be close is Denver can successfully take away the short routes from the Pats, which they usually do, but if not this could be a blowout. Denver's offense is so bad they have to start Brock Osweiler, and that is not a recipe for success even against the worst defense in the league in New England.
Dolphins @ Panthers:
This is going to be Miami's third straight prime time game. This will also be their third straight prime time loss. They are facing the best defense in the NFL, and their offense is the worst in the NFL. The Dolphins defense also won't be able to contain Carolina because the time of possession will be so far skewed in favor of the Panthers that Miami's defense is going to be gassed.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. I haven't had time to post anything this week, and I'm short on time today, but I wanted to give my choice for tonight's game. Make sure to share this and my other articles as it helps TTR grow.
Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals:
I think that the obvious decision in this game is the Seahawks. They have been rolling lately, winning four straight until last weeks last minute loss to the Redskins. I don't see that loss causing Seattle any trouble tonight though, as I think the team will be ready to bounce back. The offense has its great days and its terrible ones, and I think against an Arizona team that's struggling offensivley Seattle will have the ball long enough to control this game.
For Arizona I don't see how their offense will be able to function. Seattle's defense is one of the best in the league allowing only 18.6 points per game (second in the NFC) while Arizona is only scoring 17.4. I don't see things boding well for Arizona offensivley which means defensivly they will be tired and give up plays late in the game.
I'm taking Seattle 27-17
High School Senior from Connecticut obsessed with sports stats, facts, and management.