So here we are again, there is controversy surrounding the officials in the NFL. Surprise surprise, this isn’t new, it has been a subject of discussion forever, but yet it seems it has been more prevalent lately, what with the new PI challenge rule after after what happened in the NFC championship last year. Then last night during the Lions-Packers Monday night game there were two supposed ”phantom” hands to the face calls against the Lions, the second of which led to a game-winning FG by Green Bay as time ran out. Listen, I am all for better officiating, and would like to technology take a bigger role (see Sky Judge), but it has been really bad the few seasons, and it feels like to me that the Refs are trying to hard to make sure the game is called fairly, but the result has been some of the worst calls I have seen in 25 years. I actually remember a time before replay was part of the game, and yes the Refs missed calls back then too but because of the increased television exposure and better camera angles than they had back then, the calls seem more egregious in today’s game. I think the NFL really needs to sit down in the offseason and get a strict policy in place as well as making refs accountable for their bad calls. it just doesn’t seem like they are being held accountable. If you or I screw up at our job, the boss holds us accountable in some way that affects how we get paid when it comes time for review. It just doesn’t seem like these guys (and gal) are being held to the standard that is required at this level. I do not have the silver bullet that would solve all the issues, but it seems that in today’s NFL, something can be done to minimize errors so that yet another team is denied a super Bowl berth because a Ref didn’t see a foul, or as in last nights situation, call a penalty that didn’t actually occur.
The common theme I am seeing this year is that it is becoming the year of the backup QB. With injuries to Drew Brees, Nick Foles, Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger, the backups for those teams have been thrown into the spotlight. Teddy Bridgewater (Saints) Gardner Minshew (Jags) Kyle Allen (Panthers) and Delvin Hodges (Steelers) have suddenly lit the NFL on fire with their play. Bridgewater and Allen are both undefeated since taking over their respective teams under center, and Minshew has evolved into a cult hero with his personality and porn star mustache. Hodges is actually the third string QB for the Steelers because of injury to Mason Rudolph a week ago against the Ravens. All of these backups have been thrown into the limelight and making cases for themselves as potential starters for any team that would be willing to give them chance should they become available. Add to that controversies surrounding the play of a few select starters in the league now such as Jameis Winston for the Bucs and Marcus Mariota of the Titans, both of whom were #1 and #2 overall draft picks in 2015 are not playing up to expectations and with both of them in the last year of their rookie contracts, they may be on different teams next year if they don’t right the ship and get back to top form. Mariota was benched in favor of Ryan Tannehill against the Broncos last week, and he didn’t fare much better than Marcus, but that is a situation worth watching. As we move on to week seven in the 2019 season, QB play will be the focus of nearly half of the teams in the NFL, especially when Brees and Newton are healed and are ready to come back. I mentioned on the show Sunday night that you put Brees back in once he is healthy… but what about Cam, he wasn’t exactly playing up to his MVP talent. Riverboat Ron may decide that to keep the momentum going, Allen may be the best chance for the Panthers to keep winning.
Things that I believe after week six…
- The Dallas Cowboys have a lot of injuries on their roster, including two O-linemen, but I still feel they are not the best team in the NFC East, the Eagles come to town on Sunday night, this will be the measuring stone to see how good they are/aren’t, and may end up costing Jason Garret his job.
- The Atlanta Falcons are a shit-show. They got beat by the Cardinals Sunday and it seems like their defense has more holes in it than swiss cheese. Plus the offense, despite all of it’s weapons cant seem to get moving. they had a nice rally late in that game, but the defense once again let them down. this team has not been the same since they blew a 25 point lead in the SB against the Patriots.
- San Francisco is for real. This defense is no joke and Jimmy G looks in mid-season form. They dominated the Rams Sunday and it wasn’t even that close. Kyle Shanahan has this team running on all cylinders and they lead the NFC West. they have a date with the Seahawks Week 10 at home and they could very possibly still be undefeated when that game kicks off in 4 weeks.
- Kansas City looks mortal. A lot of pundits and “experts” are saying the Detroit lions, of all teams, produced the blueprint for the rest of the league on how to beat the Chiefs. that is play man to man coverage and get constant pressure to Mahomes, and you will throw them off their game. the Chiefs have now lost back to back games at home to the Colts and the Texans, and they looked pretty bad in the process.
- Breaking news as I was typing this. The LA Rams have traded for disgruntled Jacksonville defensive back Jalen Ramsey for two first round picks (2020 & 2021) and a 4th round pick (2021). With Aqib Talib on IR with fractured ribs, this is the perfect acquisition for the Rams and he will make an immediate impact to that defense.
- I believe that my beloved Browns are about to go on a tear after the bye week. I believe in them, I have faith that they will right the ship, and I believe these rose colored glasses I bought over the weekend are making me blind… Go Browns
Have great night everyone… until next time.. be kind to each other…
Scott “The Sports Nerd”