Five NFL stats you shouldn’t let fool you

Stats can tell you a lot, and most of the time they’re accurate. However, sometimes stats tell lies. Sometimes stats tell you teams or players are better or worse than they actually are. Through five weeks of the NFL season, that’s been the case. Here are five NFL stats you shouldn’t let fool you as the season goes on. 

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DSC_0048” by Brian J. McDermott is licensed under CC BY 2.0

1. New England Patriots – 6.8 points allowed per game

Through five games, the New England defense has allowed an average of 6.8 points per game. This number has put them in the conversation with some of the best defensive units of all-time. While the Patriots are a good defensive team, they shouldn’t be in that conversation.

In their first five games, the Patriots have played the Steelers, Dolphins, Jets, Bills and Redskins. The only team on that list with a winning record is the Bills (4-1), but they have the interception prone Josh Allen as their quarterback. Between the other four teams, there’s a combined one win. To this point in the season, the Patriots have had the easiest schedule in the NFL.

There’s not one offense the Patriots have played that’s averaging more than 20 points per game right now. The best offense they’ve faced was the Steelers’, who are averaging 19.8 points. Three of the other four teams are averaging 15 points or less and are currently the three worst offensive teams in the league (Redskins, Jets and Dolphins).

Basically what I’m saying is, the 6.8 points allowed per game average won’t last through the season. The last team to average less than 10 points allowed was the 1977 Atlanta Falcons, who averaged 9.2 points allowed per game. Since then, the closest team to doing it was the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. They averaged 10.3 points allowed.

New England will likely keep their points per game average below 10 points per game over the next few weeks, as they play the Giants, Jets and Browns in their next three games. After that, the Patriots take on the Ravens, Eagles, Cowboys, Texans and Chiefs in five straight weeks.

I’ll give the Patriots credit for what they’ve done, because averaging 6.8 points allowed per game isn’t easy, regardless of who you play. However, this number makes the Patriots seem way better than they actually are.

 

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Von Miller, Kirk Cousins” by KA Sports Photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

2. Von Miller – 2.0 sacks

We’ve all been a little surprised by the lack of sacks Von Miller has totaled through the first five game of the season. It’s not often we see a player of Miller’s caliber with just 2.0 sacks in five games. It has been a rough season for Miller and the Broncos’ defense so far, and it’s even tougher now that Bradley Chubb is out for the year.

We shouldn’t worry too much about Miller though. There has only been one time in Miller’s career he’s had less than 10 sacks. That season came in 2013 when Miller played in just nine games. Every other year of his career, Miller has finished with 10.0 sacks or more.

Bradley Chubb being out will definitely make things harder for Von Miller, but there have been years when Miller’s been the only real sack artist on his team. Most recently was in 2017 when the second leading sack artist had 5.5 sacks. Don’t expect Miller’s sack total to stay this low.

 

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Cleveland Browns vs. Washington Redskins” by Erik Drost is licensed under CC BY 2.0

3. Baker Mayfield – 68.5 passer rating

If there’s ever been a sophomore slump from an NFL quarterback, it’s Baker Mayfield’s 2019 season so far. Mayfield finished his rookie season with a passer rating of 93.7 after completing 63.8% of his passes for 3,725 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

So far in his second season, Mayfield has a passer rating of just 68.5. One of the biggest reasons for that is Mayfield’s completion percentage. Through five weeks, Mayfield has completed 55.9% of his passes. He’s also thrown twice as many interceptions (eight) as he has touchdowns (four).

Being an inaccurate passer has never been who Baker Mayfield is. In college, Mayfield completed 68.5% of his passes. He completed more than 70% of his passes in his last two seasons at Oklahoma.

I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with Mayfield, but it seems like he’s trying to do too much. As the season goes on, expect him to calm down and start playing like who he really is.

 

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DeAngelo Hall, Adam Thielen” by KA Sports Photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

4. Minnesota Vikings – 191.0 passing yards per game

As things currently stand, the Minnesota Vikings rank 29th in passing yards per game, averaging 191.0. That number is down from the 252.2 per game they averaged last season, which ranked 13th.

It’s no secret the Minnesota wide receivers have been frustrated with the passing game so far. They’ve made it clear the Vikings need to pass the ball more. That’s exactly what they did last week against the Giants. In that game, Kirk Cousins threw for 306 yards. 130 of those yards were to receiver Adam Thielen alone.

I think the Vikings’ coaching staff may have got a little too excited about the 111 yard game running back Dalvin Cook had on the ground in their first game of the season. That game was followed up by 154 and 110 yard rushing performances in their second and third games.

With Cook running so well, the Vikings thought they didn’t need to pass the ball. That was until the Bears held Cook to 35 yards in Week 4. The Vikings found a balance against the Giants, leading to Cook having another rushing performance over 100 yards and the passing offense looking good.

The 191.0 passing yards per game the Vikings have averaged through five weeks will quickly go up. This is a much better passing team than they’ve shown so far, especially with one of the best wide receiver tandems in the league in Thielen and Diggs.

 

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Dallas Cowboys” by KA Sports Photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

5. Ezekiel Elliott – 77.2 rush yards per game

With 386 rushing yards in five games, running back Ezekiel Elliott is currently ranked 8th in the NFL in rushing. The lowest he’s finished in his career is 10th, and that was in a season in which he missed six games due to suspension.

The biggest reason why Elliott is further down on the rushing list this season than we’re used to seeing, is because he’s averaging 77.2 rushing yards per game. Prior to this season, the lowest rushing yards per game Elliott has averaged is 95.6, which happened last season when Elliott led the NFL in rushing for the second time in three seasons.

I wouldn’t expect this current pattern to continue as the season goes on. The Dallas Cowboys have relied heavily upon the run game for years, and I don’t see any reason why it’s going to stop now. Dallas hasn’t had much opportunity to run the ball over the last few weeks because they’ve dug themselves into early holes. That should change against the Jets, and then moving forward.

Running the ball is what the Cowboys do best, and they must get back to that if they want to have another successful season. Rookie running back Tony Pollard may be another reason why Elliott’s numbers have taken a hit, but when it comes down to it, the Cowboys should soon realize they have to rely on their best offensive player to carry them.

2019 NFL Season: Week 5 picks

Week 5 NFL
Source: https://www.norebbo.com/?s=nfl

Current Standings

Adam: 39-23-1

Aman: 37-25-1

Dan: 43-19-1

Joel: 37-25-1

Rahim: 38-24-1

 

Rams @ Seahawks (Thursday night)

Not sure what happened to the Rams last week on defense, but it was a poor effort. That was against Jameis Winston. If they play that poorly against the Seahawks, Russell Wilson will crush them. I believe their defensive effort will be much better in this game. The Rams and Seahawks always seem to have close games, and I expect this to be another one.

Predictions

Adam: Seahawks

Aman: Seahawks

Dan: Seahawks

Joel: Rams

Rahim: Rams

 

Jets @ Eagles

The Eagles dominated the Packers last week offensively, and I believe they’ll do the same against the Jets. With Sam Darnold still out, the Jets don’t really stand a chance. The Eagles looked good, and the Jets aren’t.

Predictions

Adam: Eagles

Aman: Eagles

Dan: Eagles

Joel: Eagles

Rahim: Eagles

 

Jaguars @ Panthers

The Minshew magic is real! I’m not sure how Minshew continues to do it, but he does. He’s been fun to watch this season. Another quarterback who has been fun to watch is Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen, who has two wins in his two starts this season. Will Allen be able to manage the game enough for the Panthers against a tough Jaguars defense, or will Minshew’s magic continue?

Predictions

Adam: Jaguars

Aman: Panthers

Dan: Jaguars

Joel: Jaguars

Rahim: Jaguars

 

Vikings @ Giants

The Vikings by far have the toughest defense Daniel Jones has faced up to this point. Last week Jones got the win, but he didn’t look great along the way like he did the week before. Despite the Giants not allowing the Redskins to do much on offense last week, I don’t believe their defense is that good. The Vikings will have a much better day against this defense, especially with Dalvin Cook seeking to rebound from a poor showing on the ground.

Predictions

Adam: Giants

Aman: Giants

Dan: Vikings

Joel: Vikings

Rahim: Vikings

 

Falcons @ Texans

The Falcons continue to struggle because they get off to slow starts and can’t catch up later in the game. The Texans continue to struggle because they continue allowing Deshaun Watson to be under pressure and take sacks. Which team will overcome their weakness?

Predictions

Adam: Texans

Aman: Texans

Dan: Texans

Joel: Texans

Rahim: Texans

 

Buccaneers @ Saints

It’s obvious the Saints have built their team to succeed past the Drew Brees era. They dominated defensively last week. They have a tough matchup against the Buccaneers this week, especially after the 50+ points they put up against the Rams a week ago. Can they slow down a hot Buccaneers offense like they did against Dallas last week?

Predictions

Adam: Buccaneers

Aman: Saints

Dan: Buccaneers

Joel: Saints

Rahim: Saints

 

Bills @ Titans

Josh Allen showed his true self against the Patriots last week, throwing multiple interceptions and completing less than 50% of his passes. He may not even play in this game because of an injury, so we’ll have to wait and see there. If he’s out, Matt Barkley will take over. He didn’t look good last week either. Regardless of who plays quarterback for the Bills, their defense can keep them in this game, especially against a Titans offense who has been very inconsistent all season long.

Predictions

Adam: Titans

Aman: Titans

Dan: Bills

Joel: Bills

Rahim: Bills

 

Cardinals @ Bengals

One of these teams will get their first win of the season. I’m leaning towards the Cardinals because they’ve been the more competitive team between the two so far, but the Bengals have been competitive at times this season too. Expect a good game between two teams seeking their first victories.

Predictions

Adam: Bengals

Aman: Cardinals

Dan: Cardinals

Joel: Cardinals

Rahim: Cardinals

 

Patriots @ Redskins

The Redskins have yet to win a game, and now they play the Patriots. They’ll be waiting at least one more week for their first win.

Predictions

Adam: Patriots

Aman: Patriots

Dan: Patriots

Joel: Patriots

Rahim: Patriots

 

Ravens @ Steelers

The Steelers got their first win of the season last week, but it was against the winless Bengals. Will they be able to keep up with the high powered offense of the Ravens? After the Ravens have lost two straight games to the Chiefs and Browns, they’ll likely come out ready to score a lot of points and get back in the win column. The Steelers will have to play almost perfectly offensively to keep up with what Lamar Jackson might do.

Predictions

Adam: Steelers

Aman: Ravens

Dan: Ravens

Joel: Ravens

Rahim: Ravens

 

Bears @ Raiders

You already know Khalil Mack can’t wait to destroy the Raiders! The Bears dominated defensively last week against the Vikings, and I don’t see any reason why they won’t do so again this week. The Bears may be without Trubisky due to injury, but if the defense can put the offense in good spots, they won’t need him to win this one.

Predictions

Adam: Bears

Aman: Bears

Dan: Bears

Joel: Bears

Rahim: Bears

 

Broncos @ Chargers

The Chargers are the easy choice here because the Broncos have yet to win a game, but this is a division game, so the Chargers should already know it’s not an easy win. The Chargers do get Melvin Gordon back, but how much will he play? With the way Austin Ekeler has been playing, they could take their time to get him all the way back.

Predictions

Adam: Chargers

Aman: Chargers

Dan: Chargers

Joel: Chargers

Rahim: Broncos

 

Packers @ Cowboys

Both teams suffered their first loss of the season last week and will be looking to rebound in this one. After both taking a loss, a win here is very important for each team because of who plays in their division. Both teams are leading their divisions right now, but it may not be the case for long if they lose.

The Packers were good offensively last week for the most part, but their defense gave up a ton of points. On the other side, Dallas had their worst offensive outing by far, scoring just 10 points. However, their defense didn’t allow a touchdown and gave up just 12 points. Who will rebound in this game, the Packers’ defense or the Cowboys’ offense?

Predictions

Adam: Cowboys

Aman: Cowboys

Dan: Cowboys

Joel: Packers

Rahim: Packers

 

Colts @ Chiefs (Sunday night)

Considering the fact that the Colts lost to the Raiders last week, I can’t pick them to beat the Chiefs. The Chiefs are just too good.

Predictions

Adam: Chiefs

Aman: Chiefs

Dan: Chiefs

Joel: Chiefs

Rahim: Chiefs

 

Browns @ 49ers (Monday night)

The 49ers are one of the few undefeated teams left, but now they play a Browns team who all of a sudden turned it on and is now leading their division. Having played the Buccaneers, Bengals and Steelers, the 49ers haven’t really been tested yet. Now they play a Browns team who hung in their with the Rams and beat the Baltimore Ravens. Can the Browns keep this up? Can the 49ers prove they can beat a team who isn’t at the bottom of the league?

Predictions

Adam: 49ers

Aman: 49ers

Dan: 49ers

Joel: Browns

Rahim: Browns

2019 NFL Season: Week 2 picks

Week 2
Source: https://www.norebbo.com/?s=nfl

Current Standings

Adam: 10-5-1

Aman: 12-3-1

Dan: 12-3-1

Joel: 11-4-1

Rahim: 10-5-1

The first week of the NFL gave us a small view of what we might see the rest of the season. We saw explosive offense, explosive defense and unforgettable plays. We expect much more of the same this week. Our weekly game predictions went well for all of us last week, as all five of us came out of Week 1 with double digits games predicted correctly. Aman and Dan hold a slight lead after the first week after predicting 12 games correctly. The rest of us already have some ground to make up, but we still have plenty of time, although we can’t afford to lose anymore ground. Let’s see who we’re picking for each Week 2 game!

 

Buccaneers @ Panthers (Thursday night)

Despite scoring 17 points, the Buccaneers looked terrible offensively. Technically, the Bucs scored just 10 points, as the other seven points came from a pick-six by the defense. Jameis Winston looked pretty much the same as he always has. He threw a touchdown pass, but he also threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns by the 49ers. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to him throwing more interceptions against the Panthers.

Despite losing to the Rams, the Panthers actually looked pretty good offensively. Their offensive success came mostly because of Christian McCaffrey, who ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns and added another 81 yards as a receiver. If the Bucs want to win this game, they have to stop McCaffrey. They held the 49ers to 98 rushing yards, but McCaffrey is far better than anyone they have in the backfield.

Predictions

Adam: Panthers

Aman: Panthers

Dan: Panthers

Joel: Panthers

Rahim: Panthers

 

Cardinals @ Ravens

Lamar Jackson was “Not bad for a running back” on Sunday, completing 85% of his passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns against the Miami Dolphins. The scary part is, he didn’t do much with his legs. It’ll definitely be interesting to see if he can keep up that kind of play. If he can, and then adds in the running, the NFL better watch out. This week will be a little bit of a tougher test against the Cardinals, but we should expect Jackson to keep balling out.

Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray and his offense took a while to get going, but they came back to force a tie against the Lions, looking really good in the second half. We’re interested to see how Murray reacts to playing against the Ravens’ defense, as they’re on of the best in the NFL. They dominated the Dolphins. Can they do the same to Murray?

Predictions

Adam: Ravens

Aman: Ravens

Dan: Ravens

Joel: Ravens

Rahim: Ravens

 

Chargers @ Lions

I think it’s safe to say the Chargers didn’t miss Melvin Gordon at all. Austin Ekeler stepped up big time for the Chargers, as he ran for 58 yards and a touchdown and added 96 yards and two touchdowns as a receiver. I knew I drafted him on my fantasy team for a reason! Stopping Ekeler should be a focus for the Lions, but they’ll also have to figure out how to stop Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and more! As we saw against the Cardinals, they struggled down the stretch to cover all the weapons Murray had available to him. Rivers has several targets at his disposal, which doesn’t spell good news for the Lions.

There should be some concern for the Chargers defense against the Lions too. They game up 24 points to the Colts, and allowed a 120.7 passer rating to Jacoby Brissett. Matthew Stafford looked great against the Cardinals, throwing for 385 yards and three touchdowns. With multiple running backs and receiving threats on the Lions’ offense, the Chargers also have their work cut out for them. The difference in this one will likely come down to the running game. Which quarterback will get more from his running backs?

Predictions

Adam: Chargers

Aman: Chargers

Dan: Chargers

Joel: Chargers

Rahim: Chargers

 

Colts @ Titans

The Tennessee Titans looked great last week, putting up 43 points against the Cleveland Browns. Marcus Mariota threw three touchdowns, Derrick Henry was good on the ground and as a receiver, and rookie receiver A.J. Brown had himself a nice game. This offense looked better than it has in a long time. Oh, and the defense didn’t look too bad either. They allowed just 13 points to a Browns team who had been hyped up all offseason. They picked off Baker Mayfield three times!

This week they’ll face off against Jacoby Brissett and the Colts. Brissett had a nice game despite losing last week. Can he have another good performance. He didn’t turn the ball over against the Chargers, and as made obvious by the Titans forcing turnovers against the Browns, that will be key heading into this game.

Predictions

Adam: Titans

Aman: Titans

Dan: Colts

Joel: Titans

Rahim: Colts

 

49ers @ Bengals

Both teams looked a lot better to start the season than they did a year ago, although they faced different outcomes. The 49ers got a win against the Buccaneers, while the Bengals lost by one to the Seahawks. Despite the loss for the Bengals, things did look a little different. Andy Dalton threw for 418 yards and two touchdowns, while receiver John Ross emerged as a real threat with seven catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns. They lacked a running game, but the offense overall looked much improved.

The 49ers looked really good on defense, recording three interceptions, two of which went for touchdowns. The 49ers were flying around on defense at every position, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Bengals handle that. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looked average last week, but he’ll need to be better as the season goes on for this team to succeed. Will he improve this week against the 49ers, or will he have another mediocre performance?

Predictions

Adam: Bengals

Aman: Bengals

Dan: 49ers

Joel: 49ers

Rahim: 49ers

 

Jaguars @ Texans

The Jaguars have already lost Nick Foles due to injury, and now the fate of their team lies on the shoulders of rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew. Minshew actually looked pretty good in his time against the Chiefs, missing on just three of his 25 passes and throwing for 275 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. While Minshew did look good in relief of Foles, I have to wonder if it was him or the Chiefs’ defense that made him look good. We’ll see how he does against the Texans.

The Texans will be looking to rebound after a tough loss to the Saints on Monday night. They were so close, but just couldn’t get the job done defensively against Drew Brees. Part of the problem for the Texans was their offensive line. Even after making moves to address this weakness, they gave up six sacks. The Jaguars got minimal pressure on Mahomes, getting just four quarterback hits and zero sacks. If the Texans can prevent the Jags from pressuring Watson, the Texans should win, but we know we can’t count on it.

Predictions

Adam: Texans

Aman: Texans

Dan: Texans

Joel: Texans

Rahim: Texans

 

Vikings @ Packers

Regardless of if you love or hate the Packers and Vikings, you have to love watching this matchup between the two division rivals. These games always seem to be great, and we’re likely to get another great one between two teams who have been revamped.

The Vikings looked good on offense last week against the Falcons, especially in the running game. Dalvin Cook ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns on two carries. Alexander Mattison also added 49 rushing yards on nine carries. Kirk Cousins only had to throw the ball 10 times, which is probably what the Vikings want. For the Packers offensively, they didn’t look great. They scored just 10 points, but it was against one of the best defensive units in the NFL.

The defensive units for the Vikings and Packers looked good last week, so this game could come down to which defense plays better. The Packers’ revamped defense held the Bears to three points, while the Vikings held the Falcons to just 12. Can Dalvin Cook carry the load against this new Packers defense? Can Aaron Rodgers lead his offense against another tough defense?

Predictions

Adam: Packers

Aman: Vikings

Dan: Vikings

Joel: Vikings

Rahim: Packers

 

Cowboys @ Redskins

Dak Prescott finished last week’s game against the Giants with a perfect passer rating after throwing for 405 yards and four touchdowns. He had five receivers with at least three receptions, found four different receivers for touchdowns and had two receivers over 100 yards. The passing game looked great for Dallas. The offensive line didn’t allow a single sack, giving Prescott the time he needed, and Prescott delivered. Ezekiel Elliott ran for just 53 yards, but he only had 13 carries, and he did score a touchdown. He’ll get more carries in this game, and will only get stronger as the season goes on, as he always does. Can Prescott keep his offense looking explosive against the Redskins?

Washington’s quarterback Case Keenum looked pretty good himself, throwing for 380 yards and three touchdowns. The Redskins got off to a hot start, but they couldn’t hold on to their lead, as they let the Eagles come back. Where the Redskins need to be better is in the running game. They failed to control the clock against the Eagles, which obviously cost them the game. If they can’t do so against the Cowboys, Prescott might just make them pay.

Predictions

Adam: Cowboys

Aman: Redskins

Dan: Cowboys

Joel: Cowboys

Rahim: Cowboys

 

Seahawks @ Steelers

Can the Steelers rebound from the beating the Patriots put on them? Are they really that bad, or are the Patriots really that good? I’ll go with the Patriots being that good, so don’t count the Steelers out just yet. The Patriots forced Roethlisberger to make short throws that didn’t move the offense. This could be the case against the Seahawks too.

Seattle got five sacks against the Bengals last week. If they can put that sort of pressure on Roethlisberger, he won’t have time to throw and will have to make those short throws once again. Will Roethlisberger be able to find open receivers, or will the Seahawks get the best of them defensively?

Predictions

Adam: Seahawks

Aman: Seahawks

Dan: Seahawks

Joel: Seahawks

Rahim: Steelers

 

Bills @ Giants

The Giants got burned by the receivers of the Dallas Cowboys last week, and I can’t help but seeing the same thing happen to them against the Bills. Bills quarterback Josh Allen isn’t the most accurate thrower, but he can throw the ball down field. Receiver John Brown had seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown against the Jets last week. If the Giants want to win this game, they must prevent that from happening.

However, as you know, the Giants have a running back in Saquon Barkley who must accounted for at all times. The Bills did a nice job against Le’Veon Bell, holding him to just 60 yards rushing. How will they fare against Barkley?

Predictions

Adam: Bills

Aman: Giants

Dan: Bills

Joel: Bills

Rahim: Bills

 

Patriots @ Dolphins

The Patriots put a 33-3 beatdown on the Steelers last week, proving their still the best team in football. The Dolphins got beat down 59-10 by the Ravens, proving they’re probably the worst team in football. Dolphins players are already demanding trades, so that’s about all you need to know heading into this game.

Predictions

Adam: Patriots

Aman: Patriots

Dan: Patriots

Joel: Patriots

Rahim: Patriots

 

Chiefs @ Raiders

The Raiders had a nice season debut against the Broncos, but can they keep up with the explosive offense of the Chiefs? They may be able to if the Chiefs continue to play poor defense. They made Gardner Minshew look awesome last week. How will Derek Carr fare?

This one will come down to the defense. The Chiefs aren’t great defensively, so the Raiders could put up a lot of points. The Raiders looked a lot better defensively than they did a year ago, but how will they look when they face Patrick Mahomes and all his weapons?

Predictions

Adam: Chiefs

Aman: Chiefs

Dan: Chiefs

Joel: Chiefs

Rahim: Chiefs

 

Saints @ Rams

A rematch of the NFC Championship game. The Rams won last time and went to the Super Bowl, but we all know who really should have won that game. The Saints will be seeking revenge in this game, and after a big time win against the Texans, it’s likely they’ll come out firing on all cylinders.

The Rams will need to get their explosive offense back if they want to keep up with Brees and company in this one. They scored 30 points last week, but Goff threw for just 186 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The running game looked fine, but Goff needs to be better in order to beat the Saints.

Predictions

Adam: Rams

Aman: Rams

Dan: Rams

Joel: Saints

Rahim: Rams

 

Bears @ Broncos

Which offense will find their groove? The Bears scored just three points last week, while the Broncos scored just 16. We have to expect that both teams will put up more of a fight on offense this time around. However, the defense will likely be the real story here. The Bears still have a tough defense, and the Broncos struggled against the Raiders’ new look defensive unit. The Broncos seemed to struggle a bit defensively last week, but we’ll see which defense can make the bigger impact this time around.

Predictions

Adam: Bears

Aman: Bears

Dan: Bears

Joel: Bears

Rahim: Bears

 

Eagles @ Falcons (Sunday night)

The defense of the Vikings made life very difficult for the Falcons. Can the Eagles duplicate that? They allowed 27 points to the Redskins, but they held them off when it really mattered. The key seems to be shutting down the Falcons’ running game. They were held to just 73 yards rushing against the Vikings, and we saw the problems it created for them in the passing game.

The defense of the Falcons looked poor, especially against the run. They allowed 172 yards rushing against the Vikings, and the Eagles ran for 123 yards last week. If they can’t stop the Eagles on the ground, they may not stop them at all.

Predictions

Adam: Falcons

Aman: Eagles

Dan: Eagles

Joel: Eagles

Rahim: Eagles

 

Browns @ Jets (Monday night)

The Browns couldn’t have had a worse start to the season than what they had against the Titans. Baker Mayfield threw three interceptions and the Browns scored just 13 points. If they’re going to rebound, this game against the Jets may be a good opportunity. The Jets scored just 16 points against the Bills last week, and gave up a lead to end up losing 17-16. There didn’t seem to be anything explosive about this Jets offense. If the Browns can hold them to a low point total, the Browns will have a good opportunity to get back on track offensively.

Predictions

Adam: Browns

Aman: Browns

Dan: Browns

Joel: Browns

Rahim: Browns

2019 NFL Season: Week 1 picks

The 2019 NFL season kicks off tomorrow night! That means it’s time for us to bring back our friendly competition to see who can predict the most games correctly throughout the season. Last season our winner was Cullen Jekel, but he has since moved on and is no longer with us. Now we start our competition over to see who can claim the new title! Let the picks begin!

nfl-week-1
2009 NFL Black Logo” by Michael Tipton is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Packers @ Bears (Thursday night)

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the Bears and Packers face off in their first game of the season. It was just last season we saw the division rivals in a Week 1 matchup. The Bears held a 20-0 lead on the Packers with just over four minutes to go in the third quarter. What came next was Aaron Rodgers at his finest. Rodgers led the Packers back to a 24-23 victory. 

Anything can happen when Aaron Rodgers is on the field. However, the Packers have a very different team than they had a season ago. Between coaching and player changes, this is a very different Packers team. Although the Bears made a few changes as well, they feature the NFL’s best defense from a season ago. Can the Packers come together with all their new pieces, or will the Bears’ defense get the best of them?

Predictions

Adam: Bears

Aman: Bears

Dan: Bears

Joel: Bears

Rahim: Bears

 

Chiefs @ Jaguars

After missing the playoffs last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars aim to make it back this year. A win against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs would certainly place them in the playoff conversation early on. This offense should get back to its 2018 form because of a healthy Leonard Fournette. He’ll carry the load for this offense once again, but there are still question marks surrounding the passing game. Nick Foles is an upgrade at quarterback, but their doesn’t seem to be a number one receiver for this offense. If the offense can’t move the ball, they’ll have to rely on their defense, who didn’t get as much credit as they deserved last season. 

Although the Jaguars have one of the best defensive units in the league, they’ll face a tough test against the electrifying offense of the Chiefs. With Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, they’re already hard enough to stop. Now they’ve added Shady McCoy to the mix, as if they weren’t hard enough to stop already. 

Predictions

Adam: Chiefs

Aman: Chiefs

Dan: Chiefs

Joel: Chiefs

Rahim: Chiefs

 

Falcons @ Vikings

The Vikings didn’t get what they were hoping for from quarterback Kirk Cousins last season. Now it’s time for Cousins to step up and prove he was worth the investment. Their offensive line should be better, and running back Dalvin Cook is back and healthy. This adds dynamics they didn’t have a season ago. 

For the Falcons, they’ll be looking to regain their form defensively after suffering many significant injuries on that side of the ball last season. In 2017, they were a top eight defense, but they fell all the way to 25th last season. With a healthy team, can they regain their form defensively. We’re not worried about the offense. 

Predictions

Adam: Falcons

Aman: Vikings

Dan: Vikings

Joel: Vikings

Rahim: Falcons

 

Titans @ Browns

This is probably one of, if not the most anticipated Browns opener in the history of their franchise. Baker Mayfield looks to have a strong second season. They added Odell Beckham Jr. to their group of receivers. Their backfield is absolutely loaded. This defense is led by one of the best pass rushers in the league in Myles Garrett. Is this finally the year the Browns make it back to the playoffs. That’s been the talk all offseason. Now let’s see if they can back it up against the third best defense in the NFL last season. 

We know what the Titans can do on defense, but questions remain about their offense. Can Derrick Henry pick up where he left off? He started off slow last season, but was one of the best runners in the league the second half of the season. They’ll need him to start off fast for this offense to get going. Then there’s Marcus Mariota. Can he finally take the next step? If he can, can he stay healthy long enough to take that step? We’ll see how they look against a Brown defense that should be much improved from a season ago.

Predictions

Adam: Browns

Aman: Browns

Dan: Browns

Joel: Browns

Rahim: Browns

 

Bills @ Jets

With McCoy no longer part of their offense, the Bills will lean more heavily on second year quarterback Josh Allen. Last season, Allen completed just 52.8% of his passes, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns in 12 games. If the Bills really are going to rely on Allen to carry this offense, they’re going to need much more from him than what they got a season ago.

The Jets also have a second year quarterback in Sam Darnold, who will also be relied upon to carry this team. Darnold was better than Allen last season, but not by much. He completed 57.7% of his passes. He did throw more touchdowns than interceptions, but not by much, throwing 17 touchdowns to his 15 picks. Look for the winner of this game to be the team who has the best second year quarterback. Will Allen or Darnold step up?

Predictions

Adam: Bills

Aman: Bills

Dan: Jets

Joel: Jets

Rahim: Bills

 

Ravens @ Dolphins

After trading away some of their best players recently, the Dolphins look to be in perfect tanking form. Maybe they know something we don’t. They do have Ryan FitzMagic as their quarterback, but if this Ravens defense is anything like it was a season ago, there’s a greater chance we’re going to see FitzTragic instead. 

Lamar Jackson looked much improved in the preseason, but now it’s time to really put him to the test. After the Dolphins were second in the league in interceptions last season (21), we know their defense is no slouch. Will we see Jackson simply using his legs to make plays, or will he show us he’s made strides as a passer? This game will be a good first test for Jackson and his receivers.

Predictions

Adam: Ravens

Aman: Ravens

Dan: Ravens

Joel: Ravens

Rahim: Ravens 

 

Redskins @ Eagles

Case Keenum won the starting quarterback job over rookie Dwayne Haskins. How long can he keep it? He has a tough first test against the Philadelphia Eagles, who are looking to regain their title as the NFC East division champs. While how long Keenum can keep his starting job is the question for the Redskins, how long Carson Wentz can stay healthy for the Eagles is a question. We know Carson Wentz can play at a high level when he’s on the field, and we expect him to do so to start the season, but can he be there the entire year? We’ll keep an eye on him as the season goes on.

Although most people are picking the Eagles in this game, we can’t count out the Redskins. This team was leading the division before Alex Smith got hurt last season. With a solid quarterback once again, can the defense carry the load for this team? They look to be one of the best defensive units in the NFL this season.

Predictions

Adam: Eagles

Aman: Eagles

Dan: Eagles

Joel: Eagles

Rahim: Eagles

 

Rams @ Panthers

After their offense was held in check by the Patriots in the Super Bowl, the Rams want to come out and prove they can bounce back. With a healthy Todd Gurley back and a recently paid Jared Goff, expect nothing less than what we saw from the Rams during the regular season last year. This was the second best scoring team in the league last season, and we expect them to be right there once again.

The Rams’ 20th ranked defense from a season ago remains the biggest question, but they have a great chance to get off on the right foot against Cam Newton and the Panthers. The Panthers can be good on offense, but it only seems to happen when Cam Newton is healthy. He’s coming back from an ankle injury during preseason. Will he be 100% come game time? We shall see.

Predictions

Adam: Panthers

Aman: Rams

Dan: Rams

Joel: Rams

Rahim: Rams

 

Colts @ Chargers

Both teams are missing key players heading into this game. Andrew Luck recently retired, leaving the Colts a hole at the quarterback spot. However, the Colts are smart to have Jacoby Brissett as their backup. He’s an experienced guy who may be able to keep this offense afloat. 

On the other hand, the Chargers are missing one of the better running backs in the league in Melvin Gordon. No progress has been made on a new deal, and Gordon will miss games until he gets what he wants. 

Predictions

Adam: Chargers

Aman: Chargers

Dan: Chargers

Joel: Chargers

Rahim: Chargers

 

Bengals @ Seahawks

Bengals star wide receiver A.J. Green isn’t playing in the season opener. It’s unfortunate, because injuries seem to be a very common problem for the Bengals recently. Green is their best player, and without him, can Andy Dalton get this offense going? It’ll be tough to do against a Seattle defense who ranked 11th in the league last season. This defense also added two dynamic pass rushers this offseason in Ezekiel Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney. Can the Bengals hold up along the offensive line long enough to give Dalton time to throw? Oh, and then there’s Russell Wilson, who’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He got paid this offseason, and he’ll continue showing us why this year. 

Predictions

Adam: Seahawks

Aman: Seahawks

Dan: Seahawks

Joel: Seahawks

Rahim: Seahawks

 

Giants @ Cowboys

Feed Zeke! The Dallas Cowboys open their season at home against their division rivals. To make it even better, Ezekiel Elliott will be on the field after signing a six-year, $90 million contract to make him the NFL’s highest paid running back. This will also give us our first real look at a Dak Prescott who’s on a mission to prove he’s among the NFL’s best quarterbacks. Don’t forget about this defense. Last season they were the NFL’s sixth best defense, but they want more this year.

For the Giants, the play of Eli Manning will be closely monitored. He’s got rookie quarterback Daniel Jones breathing down his neck for the starting job, so he needs to perform well. Can he do it after the Giants got rid of their best receiver in Odell Beckham Jr.? Manning has Saquon Barkley in the backfield, but his worst performance came against the Cowboys last season. Can Dallas shut him down once again?

Predictions

Adam: Cowboys

Aman: Cowboys

Dan: Cowboys

Joel: Cowboys

Rahim: Cowboys

 

49ers @ Buccaneers

Is this the year the 49ers make their way back to relevance? Jimmy Garoppolo is back and ready to play at a high level. Can this team finally put things together under Kyle Shanahan? We’ll see how it all comes together. 

The 49ers take on a team also wanting to put things together. With Bruce Arians now in Tampa Bay, will this be the year Jameis Winston finally takes the next step and lives up to his draft status? How far this team goes will all be dependent on how Winston progresses under Arians.

Predictions

Adam: 49ers

Aman: Buccaneers

Dan: 49ers

Joel: 49ers

Rahim: Buccaneers

 

Lions @ Cardinals

The debut of the number one overall pick, Kyler Murray, is upon us! We finally get to see how Murray will adjust to the NFL game. He looked good at times during the preseason, but he also had some struggles. Can he put it all together against the Lions, or will it take him more time to get things going?

It’ll also be a challenge for Murray going against veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford. Although the Lions weren’t a great team last season, this will be their second year under Head Coach Matt Patricia. Will another offseason in his system change how this team performs?

Predictions

Adam: Cardinals

Aman: Lions

Dan: Cardinals

Joel: Lions

Rahim: Cardinals

 

Steelers @ Patriots (Sunday night)

The reigning Super Bowl champs take on a Steelers team who has been trying to get past them for several seasons now. However, this Steelers team looks a little different, as now they no longer have Antonio Brown. We finally get to see how things will look with JuJu Smith-Schuster as Big Ben’s number one target, but they’ll need more than him to step up for this passing game to be effective. Who will step up for this offense?

There’s not much to worry about for the Patriots. They no longer have Rob Gronkowski, but we all know the Patriots are the best at using the strengths of the players they do have.

Predictions

Adam: Patriots

Aman: Patriots

Dan: Patriots

Joel: Patriots

Rahim: Patriots

 

Texans @ Saints (Monday night)

After starting off the season 0-3 last year, the Houston Texans ended up winning their division and finishing 11-5. This year they’ll look to have a much better start, but it’ll be tough against the New Orleans Saints, especially with the Saints at home. However, the Texans feel like they’ve made some moves that can take them to the next level. Their biggest problem last season was their offensive line, as Deshaun Watson was sacked more than any other quarterback in the league. They’ve recently addressed that problem by trading for Laremy Tunsil. They hope he solidifies their offensive line. If they can fix that problem, they’re in good shape.

For the Saints, this season feels like a revenge tour of sorts. Not against the Texans, but against everyone standing in their way of a Super Bowl title. We all know they should have gone to the Super Bowl last season, but a blown no call stood in their way. This year they don’t care who it is, they plan on lighting them up. It will be a tough start against a Texans defense who ranked fourth in the NFL last season.

Predictions

Adam: Saints

Aman: Saints

Dan: Saints

Joel: Saints

Rahim: Saints

 

Broncos @ Raiders (Monday night)

We’ll finally get to see Antonio Brown take the field with the Oakland Raiders. What will he do to create attention for himself this time? We all know Brown has caused many distractions this offseason. How will that impact the Raiders on the field? I can’t help but think it’s going to cause problems. We’ll see how Brown reacts the first time Derek Carr doesn’t throw him the ball.

The Broncos don’t have an Antonio Brown level distraction, but they do have a new quarterback in Joe Flacco. Can Flacco take this offense to a new level this season? The defense of the Broncos was good last year, but their offense couldn’t do enough to help them out. With a defense that should be one of the best once again, can the offense give them enough help?

Predictions

Adam: Broncos

Aman: Raiders

Dan: Raiders

Joel: Broncos

Rahim: Broncos

Tyreek Hill suspension

No Tyreek Hill suspension shows NFL’s lack of consistency and fairness

After four months of investigating a domestic violence case against Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill, the NFL decided not to come down with a suspension. No suspension for Hill proves once again the NFL has no consistency when it comes to suspending players. 

Tyreek Hill suspension
Tyreek Hill” by Brook Ward is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill was being investigated by the NFL for potentially violating its personal conduct policy after allegations of a domestic violence charge involving his 3-year-old son came out a few months back.

Yesterday, the NFL stated it would not be suspending Hill after they could not conclude that he violated the league’s personal conduct policy. The NFL released the following statement about their investigation:

“In conducting our investigation, we have taken great care to ensure that we do not interfere with the county’s proceedings or compromise the privacy or welfare of the child in any way. The information developed in the court proceeding is confidential and has not been shared with us, and the court has sealed all law enforcement records. Local law enforcement authorities have publicly advised that the available evidence does not permit them to determine who caused the child’s injuries.

“Similarly, based on the evidence presently available, the NFL cannot conclude that Mr. Hill violated the Personal Conduct Policy. Accordingly, he may attend Kansas City’s training camp and participate in all club activities. He has been and will continue to be subject to conditions set forth by the District Court, Commissioner Goodell, and the Chiefs, which include clinical evaluation and therapeutic intervention.

“If further information becomes available through law enforcement, the pending court proceeding, or other sources, we will promptly consider it and take all appropriate steps at that time.”

I understand that the NFL couldn’t prove anything with the information they were given, but I think it’s a load of garbage that Hill isn’t being given any sort of suspension for being involved in this.

First off, Hill has a history of similar actions. Back in 2015, Hill pled guilty to domestic assault and battery charges after attacking his fiancee, Crystal Espinal. The NFL may not have been able to prove anything in this case, but the fact that Hill has a history of similar actions should suggest something is up. If Hill has done it before, that should be even more reason to believe he’s involved with it again.

 

Recent NFL suspensions

If we look at some recent NFL suspensions, what the NFL has done with Hill is very inconsistent and unfair to those who have been suspended recently. For this article, I’m going to look at two other cases of NFL stars. Those two stars are running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Kareem Hunt.

Ezekiel Elliott

37344971184_388161564d_o.jpg
Ezekiel Elliott” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

When Ezekiel Elliott first came into the league, allegations against him came out about him being violent toward a woman. After a year long investigation into the case, Elliott was suspended for six games during the 2017 NFL season.

This case is very similar to that of Hill’s. In Hill’s case, law enforcement doesn’t have evidence to prove Hill was the one who injured his 3-year-old son. Since there is no evidence to prove it, there are no charges against him.

Similarly, when Elliott was being investigated by law enforcement, they dropped all charges against him because there wasn’t enough evidence to prove he was actually violent toward the woman.

Neither Hill or Elliott received charges against them, yet Elliott received a six game suspension and Hill received no suspension at all. Makes perfect sense.

Yes, there are some differences in the two cases. One difference is that the NFL didn’t have any information from the court in Hill’s case, but did have it for Ezekiel Elliott’s case. However, if law enforcement couldn’t prove Elliott was guilty, I don’t see how the NFL could have came to a different conclusion.

The NFL doesn’t need law enforcement to say a player is guilty for them to be suspended. Instead, they determine if the player violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy on their own. Elliott just being accused of accusations, along with his not so perfect past, led to the NFL suspending him for six games.

In Hill’s case, he’s already pled guilty to something like this just a few years back. If he’s being accused of it again, shouldn’t the NFL have suspended him for at least six games? Again, they don’t need a guilty verdict to suspend a player. Elliott being accused was enough, but apparently Hill being accused wasn’t, even after he’s done this before.

 

Kareem Hunt

kareem hunt.jpg
Source: shorturl.at/bwEFH

Now onto Kareem Hunt. His case is a little different than those of Hill and Elliott, but it still shows us how inconsistent the NFL is with their suspensions.

It wasn’t too long ago that Hunt was released by the Kansas City Chiefs after a video surfaced of him pushing and kicking a woman in a hotel. Hunt has since received an eight game suspension for his actions.

What I don’t understand about this, is how can Hunt only get eight games when there is actual proof of him abusing this woman? Ezekiel Elliott got six games when there were no charges against him and no conclusive evidence he actually did anything wrong.

You can actually see Kareem Hunt abusing a woman, but he only got two more games than Elliott? This makes no sense! If Elliott got six games for having no conclusive evidence and no charges, Hunt should get at least twice that, if not an entire season suspension!

 

No consistency

By not suspending Hill for the allegations against him, the NFL has proven once again that they have no sort of consistency when it comes to suspending their players.

  • Hill gets nothing because there’s no conclusive evidence against him, even though he has a history of this behavior.
  • Elliott got six games even though there were no charges against him and no conclusive evidence.
  • Hunt gets eight games, just two more than Elliott, even though there’s a video for the entire world to see of him abusing a woman.

Is it just me, or does it seem like the NFL is picking and choosing who they want to suspend and who they don’t? I get that every situation is different, but the NFL has to come up with some sort of system that actually makes sense when it comes to suspending its players.

 

NFL offseason trades

The official start of the NFL offseason was March 11th, 2019, and what a crazy few days it has been since the start. There has been so much happening that will change the course of the upcoming season and some franchises going forward. For the purpose of making everything easier to read, I’m going to write two different articles. The grouping will consist of an article about the trades and an article about the free agency signings.

Joe Flacco in 2018” by 2012champs is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

For this article I’m going to focus on the trades that have happened so far. Ten trades have gone down since the start of the offseason, so lets talk about all ten of them individually.

 

  • WR, Odell Beckham Jr.

o   The Giants will receive Safety Jabrill Peppers, a 2019 1st round pick, and a 2019 3rd round pick.

o   The Browns will receive Odell Beckham Jr.

This trade definitely shocked the entire league. Beckham Jr. has spent his entire career with the Giants and had a nice comeback season last year after his 2017 season was injury plagued. He was the 2014 Offensive Rookie of the Year and has made three Pro-Bowl appearances. Beckham Jr. will certainly make the revamped Browns offense even more dangerous going into this season.

 

  • DE, Dee Ford

o   The 49ers receive Pro-Bowl Defensive End Dee Ford.

o   The Chiefs receive a 2020 2nd, round pick.

Ford had a breakout season in 2018 for the Chiefs, as he forced seven fumbles and tallied 13 sacks. Ford also had 55 combo tackles, 42 solo tackles, and 29 QB hits on his way to his first pro bowl selection. Ford will bring a dangerous edge to San Francisco’s pass rushing for at least the next five years, as he also got a new contract.

 

  • WR, Antonio Brown

o   The Raiders receive Pro-Bowl Wide Receiver Antonio Brown.

o   The Steelers receive a 2019 3rd and 5th round draft pick.

Yes, this trade did come as a shock, but only because of what Pittsburgh got back for probably the best receiver in football today. Derek Carr will now have a top receiver to throw to, while Pittsburgh is stuck with two low round picks. It makes you wonder why they were willing to give up Brown for this deal. Brown will have a tough task in front of him trying to get Oakland back to the playoffs after a rough last couple seasons.

 

  • DE, Oliver Vernon and G, Kevin Zeitler

o   The Browns receive Defensive End Oliver Vernon.

o   The Giants receive Guard Kevin Zeitler.

This trade came before the OBJ trade, and seemed like a questionable one because of how good Vernon was for the Giants last season. He was selected to his first Pro-Bowl after seven years in the league. These are two trades that have really confused football fans around the league. I guess only time will tell if these risky moves pay off.

 

  • WR, DeSean Jackson

o   The Eagles receive Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson

o   The Buccaneers receive a 2019 6th round pick

This trade just seems fitting for a feel-good story. Jackson started out in Philly back in 2008 and was with the team until 2013. All three of his Pro-Bowl appearances came with Philly (2009, 2010, 2013) before he spent time in Washington and then Tampa Bay. Now being 32-years-old, who knows how long Jackson has left as he enters his 12th year in the league. His production has certainly gone down recently, but this is just an instance where a player wants to finish where he started.

 

  • DE, Michael Bennett

o   The Patriots receive Defensive End Michael Bennett and a 2020 7th round pick.

o   The Eagles receive a 2020 5th round pick.

Bennett has been widely regarded as one of the top defensive ends in the league since his arrival in 2009. Bennett will undoubtedly make an immediate impact for the defending Super Bowl Champions, as he made three straight pro bowls from 2015-2017 before having an average year for Philadelphia last year.

 

  • RT, Marcus Gilbert and G, Kelechi Osemele

o   The Cardinals receive Right Tackle Marcus Gilbert.

o   The Steelers receive a 2019 6th round pick.

o   The Jets receive Guard Kelechi Osemele and a 2019 6th round pick.

o   The Raiders receive a 2019 5th round pick.

I combined these two trades because they just aren’t big trades, I just felt that they should still be mentioned.

 

  • QB’s Case Keenum and Joe Flacco

o   The Redskins receive Case Keenum and a 2020 7th round pick.

o   The Broncos receive a 2020 6th round pick.

o   The Broncos receive Joe Flacco.

o   The Ravens receive a 2019 4th round pick.

These ones were combined simply because they are both Quarterbacks and the trades kind of tie together. The Ravens and Broncos made a verbal agreement a couple months ago to trade Flacco, which ultimately meant that Keenum was going to get traded. Flacco will now get another chance to start after losing his job to Lamar Jackson last season, and it’s presumed that Keenum will start in Washington after Alex Smith’s leg injury last season.

 

**********************

The NFL offseason is just getting started, and there has already been so many waves made around the league. Stay tuned for our article on the free agency signings!

Odell Beckham Jr. trade

Grading the Odell Beckham Jr. trade

After going 0-16 just two seasons ago, the Cleveland Browns improved their record to 7-8-1 after several great moves in free agency and the NFL Draft. The Browns are looking to continue their improvement next season, as they just traded for Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. Like every time there’s a trade of this caliber, we have to grade the trade. Let’s give grades to both the Giants and Browns on the deal they got in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade.

Odell Beckham Jr. trade
“Odell Beckham Jr.” by Erik Drost is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I think the Browns won the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, but not by much. Both teams actually did pretty well. This trade is more of a win now move for the Browns, but for the Giants, it’s a move that will help them build for the future. Let’s take a look at my grades and break down what each team received.

 

Cleveland Browns: A

One of the biggest needs the Browns had this offseason, was getting a legit number one WR for their young QB, Baker Mayfield. Mayfield had Jarvis Landry, and while he’s a good WR, he’s not the number one guy teams are looking for. Odell Beckham Jr. is that guy. You can easily make the case that Odell Beckham is the best WR in the NFL.

His presence for this team almost completes this offense. Mayfield had a phenomenal rookie season, and will only get better. WR Antonio Callaway and RB Nick Chubb had solid rookie seasons. Cleveland signed RB Kareem Hunt this offseason, although he may not be around every game because of suspension issues. With a young core and established veterans in Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., this offense could be one of the best in the NFL next season.

Now let’s get into what the Browns gave up. The first thing that sticks out is the first-round pick. The Browns gave the 17th overall pick to the Giants. In addition to that, they gave up a third-round pick and DB Jabrill Peppers.

Just focusing on the picks, it may seem like a lot, especially when you consider what the Raiders got Antonio Brown for. However, if you think about it, there was a good chance the Browns would have drafted a WR with the 17th overall pick anyway. The Browns won the Odell Beckham Jr. trade because they got a WR who’s far better than any WR they could have drafted in this draft.

Jabrill Peppers is a young DB who’s shown promise, but I think Odell Beckham Jr. is a far better player. A talent like Odell Beckham Jr. is far better than a player like Jabrill Peppers, despite what side of the ball they play on.

 

New York Giants: B+

I’m not giving the Giants as high of a grade in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, but I do think they still did really well.

One of the main reasons why the Giants get a B+ and not an A in this trade, is because they gave up one of, if not the best WR in the NFL. You never want to lose a talent like that. You can make the argument the Giants didn’t want to deal with Beckham’s drama anymore, which is valid, but are they better without him? The answer is no.

Remember when Odell Beckham was injured two seasons ago? Eli Manning was significantly worse. Just look at his stats. The entire offense struggled because he wasn’t there. I kinda feel sorry for RB Saquon Barkley, because now he’s the only threat on this offense. Teams no longer have to worry about Odell Beckham, so now they can focus just on stopping Barkley.

Where the Giants won this trade comes from the picks and getting DB Jabrill Peppers. After losing S Landon Collins to the Redskins, the Giants had to get someone to replace him. Peppers isn’t the same caliber of player Collins is, but he does give them someone with at least some experience who can play a nice role for this defense.

In addition to getting Jabrill Peppers, the Giants got the 17th overall pick and a third-round pick in the draft. Let’s focus on the first-rounder. Having the No. 6 pick and No. 17 pick, the Giants can now get two players at positions of need to build this team for the future.

Most people believe the Giants will go QB at No. 6, whether that be Dwayne Haskins, Kyler Murray, Drew Lock or someone else. If they do go QB, they could then target a WR with the 17th pick. If they got both a QB and WR in the first-round, it’d give this offense a young QB and WR to grow together with their young star RB, Saquon Barkley.

Cleveland won this trade for the now, but the Giants received great compensation to build their team for the future.

 

Breaking down the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell.

Le’Veon Bell will finally become a free agent! After watching their star RB sit out last season because of his contract, the Pittsburgh Steelers are moving on. Reports are that Bell will become a free agent after the Steelers say they won’t use any tags on him. Le’Veon Bell will soon be able to choose where he’d like to next play football.

Best landing spot for Le'Veon Bell
-Pittsburgh Steelers Le’Veon Bell” by Jack Kurzenknabe is licensed under Public Domain

As an RB who’s obviously demanding a lot of money, Bell’s options are somewhat limited on where he can go. Because of his high salary demand, many have cited the following list in reference to Bell’s name. Why? This list holds the names of the top 10 teams with the most cap space this offseason. Chances are, Le’Veon Bell’s next destination is somewhere on this list.

Just because these 10 teams have the most cap space, it doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell. Not only is Bell wanting a high salary, he’s likely looking for a place where he can dominate carries, and more importantly, win football games. That limits the options on the above list. We’re going to break down this top 10 list, ultimately coming up with the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell.

 

Round 1: Winning (Potential)

Of the list of top 10 teams with the most cap space, how many teams can really offer Le’Veon Bell a winning situation? The Colts, Texans, Seahawks and Cowboys were all in the playoffs this past season, so they automatically make it on to the next round.

Just because a team wasn’t in the playoffs last season, it doesn’t mean they can’t offer a winning situation. The Cleveland Browns were much improved this past season, and will likely continue their upward trend after a string a great moves last offseason. They’re an intriguing option, so we’ll move them on to round 2. The Jets only won four games a season ago, but Sam Darnold showed why he’s the next franchise QB for the Jets. They should be much improved next season, and Bell could help them get there, so we’ll include them too.

If I’m including the Jets, I have to include the 49ers. They were also 4-12 last season, but that was without their starting QB for most of the year. With Garoppolo back and some good moves this offseason, they should be much more competitive next season.

That leaves us with the Bills, Raiders and Bengals. Does anyone want to play for the Bills? No. Raiders? Definitely no. Bengals? I don’t think so. These three get eliminated, while seven teams move on in their quest to be the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell.

 

Round 2: Bulk of the carries 

We’ve got the Colts, Texans, Seahawks, Cowboys, Browns, Jets and 49ers left. Let’s get rid of some easy eliminations in this round. Which teams already have a featured RB?

  • Cowboys: Dallas has Ezekiel Elliott. I think Le’Veon Bell could fit in with this offense if used correctly, but he’s not going to want to share time with Zeke.
  • Browns: They’ve got a young RB in Nick Chubb. They also just signed RB Kareem Hunt. Not enough room for Bell in this backfield.
  • Texans: Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue make a pretty good combination. I don’t see room for Bell here.
  • Seahawks: Seattle has a 1,000 yard rusher in Chris Carson. They also have Mike Davis and Rashad Penny, who both ran for over 400 yards last season. Russell Wilson with Le’Veon Bell would be dangerous, but I don’t see it happening.

One could argue the Colts could be eliminated, but I’m not sure Marlon Mack is a true starting RB. I think he’s more of a really good backup. Four more teams have been eliminated, leaving us with the Colts, Jets and 49ers as the potential teams to be named the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell.

 

Round 3: Best QB

The third and final round is too easy. The Colts have Andrew Luck, the Jets have Sam Darnold and the 49ers have Jimmy Garoppolo. Going back to round 1, I gave the Jets and 49ers a pass because of their potential to win, but that heavily depends on how well Darnold processes and how well Garoppolo comes back from his injury.

If Le’Veon Bell wants to play with the best QB available, picking the Colts is the easy choice. An Andrew Luck and Le’Veon Bell combination would be lethal. Throw in T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron. Don’t forget about Marlon Mack being the backup RB. That’s quite the combination.

The Indianapolis Colts are the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell. They can give him everything he wants. They’ve got the most money to spend, a place where he can dominate carries, one of the best QBs in the league, and a place where he can win football games and have a real chance at competing for a Super Bowl title.

It’s not my decision to make, but if I’m Le’Veon Bell, the Indianapolis Colts are the team I’m pushing to play for.