If you believe that the best thing that can happen to your favorite NFL team is to make the playoffs (or secure the No.1 pick) than you need to think again.
Let’s start with the Dallas Cowboys, America’s Team, coached by America’s buffoon, Mike McCarthy. Dallas clinched a playoff spot when the Commanders lost 20-12 to the Giants. The Boys are in the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2006-07 and it’s the first time the Pokes will have same coach heading into the playoffs in consecutive seasons since 1998-99, when Chan Gailey was the top guy at The Star.
This is a worse scenario than when the Cowboys went 4-1 under backup QB Cooper Rush and McCarthy was being mentioned as a Coach of the Year candidate. Good grief. That talk hit Skid Row when the Cowboys surrendered a 28-14 lead and lost 31-28 in OT to a Green Bay team that lost five straight.
The Cowboys should have clinched a playoff spot Saturday when they got on top of the Jaguars 27-10 only to lose 40-34 in overtime. Instead, they backed in the next day with the Washington loss.
“Dallas is soft,” said former NFL coach Rex Ryan. “Simple as that.”
The Chargers may not be soft but they’re a Brandon Staley brain fart away from turning victory into defeat. The team that never should have left majestic San Diego is getting exactly what it deserves.
They’re currently sitting in the sixth playoff spot with a soft, schedule remaining – at the Colts, blowers of a 33-0 lead, vs the Baker Mayfield-quarterbacked Rams and at the Russell Wilson-less, offensively-challenged Broncos.
Staley makes every fourth down seem like it’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma. There was the time he went for it on fourth-and-two at his 46 with 1:14 left and the Chargers clinging to a 30-28 in Cleveland. Justin Herbert missed on a quick slant to Mike Williams and the Browns had a chance they shouldn’t have heard.
Lucky for Staley that rookie Cade York missed a 54-yard field goal attempt and San Diego held on.
“We believe in our process and we believe in our players,” Staley told reporters. We’re willing to live with that decision. There was no way I’m taking our offense off the field.”
Maybe Staley believes in his players because they don’t seem to believe in him. Star receiver Keenan Allen, who was injured at the time, immediately took to Twitter to ask, “WTF are we doing?” when Staley went for it. That’s been the question way too often in Staley’s one and one-half seasons. QB Justin Herbert deserves better.
JETS Pick ’Em over Jaguars – The top two picks in the 2021 NFL Draft go head to head – No.1 Trevor Lawrence vs Zach Wilson. Lawrence has blossomed in his sophomore season and looks like a franchise QB. Wilson has done the wrong things, said the wrong things, looks like the wrong thing. But that defense, wow.
LOSER LOOK BACK – Last week’s “expert” advice in italics. It was not a good week for The Loser who suffered a nine-loss week because his picks were, uh, soft.
Ravens +3 over BROWNS We like former Ute Tyler Huntley, a lot. He’s not Lamar Jackson. No one is. But the kid has moxie. Moxie is good. Going 17-of-30 for 138 yards with no touchdowns and one pick, is not.
+BILLS -7 over Dolphins – The Fish can’t buy chemistry and tenacity and they don’t have a mafia. Gained a lot of respect for Miami which matched Buffalo’s toughness. This is an example of a team that should be comfortable with its coach going forward.
SAINTS -4 over Falcons – This essentially is an NFC South elimination game. The Falcons (5-8) can catch the Bucs (6-7). The Saints (4-9) must win to have a sliver of a chance. Saints now a game behind the crumbling Buccaneers
PANTHERS -3 over Steelers – If Kenny Pickett can’t go, it’s Mitch Trubisky at QB for the Steelers. ‘Nuff said. Trubisky was solid. Steelers defense was sensational.
+Chiefs -14 over TEXANS – Chiefs were reminded about no letdowns last week when they almost blew a win over Denver. Apparently not. K.C. needs a cattle prod.
JAGUARS +4 over Cowboys – Trevor Lawrence is starting to get it. Five straight games without throwing a pick. He threw one pick. He also threw four touchdown passes against the soft ‘Boys.
JETS +1 over Lions – No sensible reason to make this pick. So why did I?
Patriots at RAIDERS Pick ‘Em – We pick the teacher, Bill Belichick, over the student, Josh McDaniels. Belichick needs to hold Rhamondre Stevenson back a year.
REDSKINS -5 over Giants – That Washington defense is going to put a hurt on Daniel Jones.
Could blame the officials but Commanders gave up three sacks and lost two fumbles, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
HOME team in CAPS
Last Week: 5-9-1; Best Bets: 1-2
Overall: 100-93-5; +Best bets: 21-18