Four Days of the NFL, It must be Christmas!
It’s the time of the year where the NFL likes to give fans its own version of the twelve days of Christmas, but instead of twelve, it’s the “four days of….”, in this case—starting with the game played last night between the Chargers and Chiefs. There are two games on Saturday, then the usual plethora on Sunday, capped off by the Monday nighter.
Chargers and the Chiefs
The Chargers and Chiefs game would have easily been showcased in one of my games of the week. Unfortunately, I can never cover the Thursday night games due to timing. This game was another prime-time success, The Chiefs went into this game with a half-game lead over the Chargers, and with just a handful of games left in the season, the winner will be in much better shape than the loser. The Chiefs headed into last night were winners of six in a row and now seem to be the only real team that can threaten the Patriots in the conference. Justin Herbert on the Chargers has become either the first or the first quarterback in a wildly, long time to throw 30 touchdowns or more in his first two seasons. Brady, Manning, Brees, Mahomes, four of the most pass-happy quarterbacks in history, were never able to accomplish this, not even the gunslinger Brett Favre was. I said it last year, and I said it earlier this season, “watch out for Justin Herbert”! Last week against the Giants, he threw a 66-yard touchdown pass, which may not seem like much, as we often hear about 75 or 80-yard passing strikes. Absolutely, but the quarterback, in many cases like Brady’s game-winner last week against Buffalo, he might have tossed that for 20 yards, and the receiver carried it the other 35 or so. Justin Herberts was about 66 yards in the air. I can’t say enough about the ability of this young man. In any case, we now have our answer as to who controls the AFC West, as the game is obviously over.
New England Patriots
A few people wonder how the New England Patriots are all of a sudden so good. The answer to that is simple. It’s called motivation. Belichick is a very motivated coach, and regardless of how you may feel about him, he’s a heck of a coach and, at this point, is a shoo-in to win the coach of the year. He can deny it all he wants, he can say he’s happy for Brady all he wants, but nothing hit his ego harder than Brady going to Tampa, and taking a perennial losing team, to the Superbowl and winning it in his first season. All of a sudden, it’s like, wait, it’s been Tom all along. Let’s be clear here it’s been both all along! Bill would scheme up the game, well a coach can scheme up games repeatedly, but they are not the ones who execute. For the most part, the quarterbacks job is to implement the scheme. So yeah, they were both equally important. Brady is 44; he is older than some NFL coaches. In essence, he is now a coach, heck he is a general manager too. So Brady doesn’t need Belichick anymore. Belichick subsequently doesn’t need Brady anymore, and we are just now starting to see it. If COVID didn’t happen, the Patriots would have challenged the Bills for the division last year. I believe they were one of the teams which had the most players sit out the season. Last year, the Patriots could have challenged had Cam Newton been able to learn a new offense and attract key free agents. He couldn’t, and after one mediocre at best season, was cut. The New England Patriots spent $160 million in the off-season to build a team around rookie QB Mac Jones. That’s an incredible amount of money, and well, the team is starting to gel, which is terrible news for Belichick doubters. Mac Jones is no Brady; he will never break half his records. That said, Mac Jones is a winner, and he is highly motivated. Last year he helped the Alabama Crimson Tide win what seems like the hundredth championship in ten years. Jones torched the formidable Ohio State Buckeyes. He was 36/45 C/ATT, 464 YDS, and 5 TDs. As I said, he’s a winner. It was interesting when the Patriots lost to the Buccaneers earlier in the season. Jones sat on the bench just glaring out he was undoubtedly sad and angry, which has fueled his motivation. Since that nail-biter loss to the Bucs, the Patriots are eight wins and one loss! The only loss came against a good Dallas team in overtime. Defensively the Patriots are a top 5 defense, surrendering as a team the fewest points in the NFL this season, and they have played high flying offenses like the Bills, Buccaneers, Chargers, and Cowboys. They have played some divisional rivals, some quality teams, and some weak teams in their last five games. The Patriots D has only surrendered 36 points in those five games. Yes, their D is that good and can carry this team all the way. On the offensive side, Is Mac Jones an offensive stud? No! But what he does is play error-free football for the most part. He is 23 years old and has an undergrad degree with a 4.0 GPA and a Master’s degree with a 4.0 GPA. He apparently is also intelligent! When the Patriots defeated the Rams for their first Superbowl victory 20 years ago, they did it the same with a stingy defense and a young QB who was motivated and intelligent and played error-free football. The smart money right now should money placing a futures bet on the Patriots to win the Superbowl, the second week of February 2022.
Urban Meyer and a bit of Nick Saban
In less than one entire season, the Jacksonville Jaguars have moved on from legendary college coach Urban Meyer. To be honest, I am tired of how the media treated Meyer this season. It placed lofty expectations on literally the worst team in the NFL a year ago. That’s why they had the first overall pick, which they wasted, on Trevor Lawrence. He is and will be a bust! If the draft happened again today – Jones mentioned above is your number one pick. I realize it’s unfair to say that. Perhaps Lawrence would have excelled on the Patriots as well. I know for a fact he wouldn’t. It is essential to build a culture in business and a winning culture at that. Jacksonville doesn’t have a culture; it’s never had a winning one either. Meyer needed time! Jacksonville has won two games this year. That is double the amount of games they won last year, and there are still four games to go. Meyer was a first-year head coach; I don’t care what he did at the college level; this is the league of big boy cry babies with egos that bruise easily. They are tough to control. Let me repeat it; he needed time! A former Jaguar player came out this week and said Meyer kicked him. Like give me a break; you’re a grown man who is undoubtedly bigger than someone approaching 60 years of age. Clearly, you were terrible at your job. Have the players become that soft? Regardless of how I feel about Lawrence, he is also a rookie. Honestly, I think Meyer was a victim of cancel culture! On a side note, Nick Saban is the winningest coach in college football history, and he lost to Meyer a few times. In fact, in Saban’s one year in the NFL, he won one game with the Miami Dolphins. So Meyer got the best of him here to since he won two games. After Saban left the NFL, he returned to college and has won six Championships since 2009. It’s easier to control players at the college level than the professional level. Meyer just needed time and not unrealistic expectations set forth by ownership and the media, who don’t have a clue.
Game of the week
Green Bay Packers @ Baltimore Ravens
The Packers currently control the NFC with a half-game lead over Tampa Bay and Arizona. Baltimore, who was once in control of the AFC, has seen better days. This game has huge playoff implications for the winner and loser and is my must-watch game of the week. Baltimore is riddled with injuries, including a severe one to Lamar Jackson. The Packers are in for a letdown game sooner than later and are playing on the road in a tough stadium.
Players of the week (WEEK 14)
The first time I have had co-weekly leaders. Surprise, surprise, it’s Brady and Rodgers. Combined, they threw for 700 YDS and seven total touchdowns. While Rodgers did slightly outplay Brady in the numbers category, with only failing to complete eight passes and producing one more total touchdown. Brady was up against a far superior team than Rodgers was. Buffalo is still a Division, Connference, and Superbowl contender, with an MVP caliber QB and a good overall defense. The Chicago Bears are the exact opposite of that. For their combined efforts, they get to share the award this week. It was such a sight to see when Brady had the Bucs up 24-3, only to see the Bills storm back in the dying moments to force overtime. Only to take a stake through the heart on Brady’s 50-yard walk-off touchdown strike. Tight End George Kittle has managed to make the list for the second time in as many weeks. He must be good! Dalvin Cook crushed the opposing defense with over 205 yards rushing and a couple of scores.
Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
31/46 C/ATT, 363 YDS, 3 Total TD’s ( 2 Pass, 1 Rush)
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers: 29/37 C/ATT, 341 YDS, 4 TD’s
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings:
27 CAR, 205 YDS, 2 TD’s
George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers:
13 REC, 151 YDS, 1 TD
Adam’s NFL weekly picks. Last Week ATS: (8-5) / Season Total ATS: (104 – 87 – 1)
Saturday – 4:30 PM
Las Vegas Raiders -1.5 @ Cleveland Browns: Las Vegas -1.5
Saturday – 8:20 PM
New England Patriots @ Indianapolis Colts: Patriots +2.5
Sunday – 1:00 PM
Tennessee Titans -1.5 @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Steelers +1.5
Carolina Panthers +10.5 @ Buffalo Bills: Panthers +10.5
Washington Football Team +7.0 @ Phil. Eagles:
Dallas Cowboys -10.5 @ New York Giants:
New York +10.5
Arizona Cardinals -13.0 @ Detroit Lions:
New York Jets +10.0 @ Miami Dolphins:
New York +10.0
Houston Texans +3.5 @ Jacksonville Jaguars: Houston +3.5
Sunday – 4:05 PM
Atlanta Falcons +9.0 @ San Francisco 49ers: Atlanta +9.0
Cincinnati Bengals +2.5 @ Denver Broncos: Denver -2.5
Sunday – 4:25 PM
Green Bay Packers -5.5 @ Baltimore Ravens: Green Bay -5.5
Seattle Seahawks +4.5 @ Los Angeles Rams: Los Angeles -4.5
Sunday – 8:20 PM
New Orleans Saints +11.0 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Tampa Bay -11.0
Monday – 8:15 PM
Minnesota Vikings -3.5 @ Chicago Bears: