Who called it? WHOOOOOOO CALLED IT? Boom, Steelers lost. Then again, the Broncos lost too, so it was all for naught. Also, who has ultimately been proven right about Kirk (or is it Kurt) Cousins being a loser QB who will put up decent fantasy stats, but is completely incapable of winning games against winning teams? I want thrones of people to line up for the “we should have trusted you Pete” apologies.
Regarding last week, I’m still struggling with what we witnessed. That was the Jets game all over again. We were out of it from the opening snap.
Is that on the players or the coaches though? I think it’s both, but ultimately the players have to play, and USUALLY the starters are starters for a reason, and the backups and backups to the backups aren’t playing for a reason.
People are bemoaning Vance Joseph, Bill Musgrave, and Joe Woods. But here’s the thing: They can only coach the players they have, and if the players they have aren’t talented enough to run the gameplan, then they are doomed from the time they boarded the plane.
I didn’t see anything wrong with Musgrave’s gameplan. I saw players who couldn’t execute it (again, starters are starters for a reason, and backups aren’t starters for a reason). I didn’t see much wrong with Woods’/VJ’s second half defense either. Holding a team to 20 SHOULD be enough. Now, I don’t like not covering Kittle in the first half, but was that players not being good enough (physically and mentally)? I saw players who were confused and players who proved that they aren’t starters being incapable of executing it.
The thing is that the Broncos are loaded with talent, but there’s some talent that just isn’t playing right now due to injury. It’s most noticeable in the most noticeable positions: WR and CB. I also warned about tempering expectations with how many rookies we were starting. Rookies are up and down and sometimes flat terrible. I liked what we saw from most of them, but all of them showed that they are still rookies.
So lets temper the “clean house” mentality that is the easy low hanging fruit. We are playing games with the deck stacked against us because of key injuries at very thin positions. Now, I’m not using it as an excuse against the Niners, because they are equally injured as Denver. I’m simply saying that we need to temper the scorch the earth mentality that is popular right now. I’m still on the fence with our coaching staff. I want them gone because of production (the same as I wanted McDipsh*t gone because of production), but I want them to stay because they are going through growing pains, and I want the damn fruit of the growth instead of ripping out the tree. But then again, that’s hope, and I’m not sure hope is the best plan going forward.
Plus, honestly, Vance Joseph still makes waaaaaay too many dumb mistakes. He’s either too stupid as a head coach, too scared, too ignorant, or a combination of all three. My fear is that it’s a combo of all three, and if that’s the case, then he probably needs to go because you can’t change those inherent flaws. Crap, I just talked myself into the “fire VJ” crowd. Then again, I think it was Von calling the coach out that pushed me over the edge.
Last Week: 11-5
Los Angeles Chargers (10-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (11-2) 6:20pm FOX/NFLN TNF
This is going to be a great game. The two best teams in the AFC in Arrowhead in December, and oh by the way, it’s a divisional game so you know it’ll be close! Both teams have injury concerns, so that’s a tossup even though I think the Chiefs are more vulnerable than the Chargers from that standpoint. It’ll take more Mahomes special sauce to pull this out unless the KC defense steps up big time. I’m just not sure if they can. Prediction: Chargers 34, Chiefs 37
Houston Texans (9-4) at New York Jets (4-9) 2:30pm NFLN/CBS (if local) - SATURDAY
After tasting their first defeat in 10 weeks, I anticipate them pouring it on the Jets. Sam Darnold is still up and down, i.e. “a rookie”, so I’m not expecting much from him. Prediction: Texans 31, Jets 20
Cleveland Browns (5-7-1) at Denver Broncos (6-7) 6:20pm NFLN/CBS (if local) - SATURDAY
Here’s my concern about this game: If we let Nick freaking Mullens destroy us, how in the hell are we going to rein in Baker Mayfield? The Broncos ONLY HOPE is that its in Denver, and in Denver, we’ve shut down the Chiefs twice, Rams, and Steelers. But that’s honestly our only hope. If we play down to the competition like we have a propensity to do, we will lose. Prediction: Browns 27, Broncos 24
Arizona Cardinals (3-10) at Atlanta Falcons (4-9) 11:00am FOX
This should be easy for Atlanta, but then you remember that it’s Atlanta and they just simply can’t get out of their own way. Still though, they have a better offense than the Cardinals, who are just piss poor pathetic. Prediction: Cardinals 9, Falcons 20
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-8) at Baltimore Ravens (7-6) 11:00am FOX
Lamar Jackson is the starter for the remainder of the season. This may or may not mean Joe Flacco will be available for trade. But that’s talk for another day. The Bucs can score in bunches, but they can also have a drought in bunches. Plus, I just flat our trust Jackson more than Winston. Prediction: Bucs 23, Ravens 24
Detroit Lions (5-8) at Buffalo Bills (4-9) 11:00am FOX
Why does the NFL hate us? Wait, this isn’t a national game, so screw it. The only fans suffering through this game live in Detroit and Buffalo, and they are use to pain and suffering. Prediction: Lions 20, Bills 23
Green Bay Packers (5-7-1) at Chicago Bears (9-4) 11:00am FOX
On paper this should be a great game. Two great QBs going head to head in a heated divisional rivalry. And this very well might live up to the paper hype. But will it? Is the “boost” teams usually get when a head coach is fired worn off of the Packers? Will they crash back down to their 4 win self? Prediction: Packers 24, Bears 30
Oakland Raiders (3-10) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-8) 11:00am CBS
The only thing worse than living in Cincinnati is living in Oakland. My goodness this game will be impossible to watch. For some reason, the Raiders keep trying, and every once in a while their talent shows itself. Then there are the Bengals who just appear to be in a death spiral. But it’s in Cincy, so there is that. Prediction: Raiders 17, Bengals 20
Dallas Cowboys (8-5) at Indianapolis Colts (7-6) 11:00am FOX
Am I the only one who really doesn’t give a crap about the Cowboys? Then again, the Colts just can’t seem to pull it together for any stretch of time, as their record indicates. Still, I think the Cowboys are the hotter team, but Andrew Luck is a much better QB. I’m honestly torn on this game. I want to pick the Cowboys, but I just can’t pull the trigger. Prediction: Cowboys 24, Colts 26
My buddy sent me this could this be true?— mark schlereth (@markschlereth) December 11, 2018
Kirk Cousin Career Stats
Record In Primetime Games: 5-13
Record vs Winning Teams: 4-24
Record vs Winning Teams This Year: 0-5
Career Road Record: 12-23-2
Career Record On Monday Night Football: 0-7
So honestly, Cousins will lose, which means the Vikings will lose. The only real issue is that I think the Dolphins are a bad team that’s getting incredibly lucky. I know the Dolphins have a winning record, but I don’t consider them a winning team. What to do? What to do? Perhaps the Vikings will have that “coach is fired” bump the way Green Bay and most teams do? Prediction: Dolphins 24, Vikings 27
Tennessee Titans (7-6) at New York Giants (5-8) 11:00am CBS
I’m scratching my head at how the Giants have 5 victories. I mean, they damn near had the #1 overall pick locked up! There’s no way to really sugar coat this game; it’s going to be awful. But I think the Giants do just enough at home to squeak by and keep tanking their draft pick order, not their record. Prediction: Titans 20, Giants 21
Seattle Seahawks (8-5) at San Francisco 49ers (3-10) 2:05pm FOX
This should be a laughable game in all honestly. It still pains me to see 3 wins for the Niners. Remember, Pete Carroll said Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay are the two most innovated and genius offensive minds in the game. I think the respect he has for them will show up in his film study and preparation to go against Kyle’s team. Prediction: Seahawks 24, Niners 20
New England Patriots (9-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5-1) 2:25pm CBS
This should be another really good and close game. Both teams lost last week and both teams have historically been great. I think the Steelers have the more talented team, but the Patriots (with respect to the very last play of the game last week) are the much better coached team. Belichick put the loss squarely on his shoulders and you could see it in his face and hear it in his voice that it wasn’t coach speak. He’s pissed at himself. And a pissed off Belicheat is a scary thing. Prediction: Patriots 31, Steelers 27
Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) at Los Angeles Rams (11-2) 6:20pm NBC SNF
The Eagles suck and the Rams don’t. Carson Wentz likely won’t play this week or the remainder of the year because of his back, and Jared Goff has got to be pissed off and motivated. But hey, at least the Broncos enter this week and likely exit this week with the same record as the defending champs. There’s pride in that, no? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Lets see if our boy Aqib Talib has a better game now that he might be in better game shape. Prediction: Eagles 27, Rams 31
New Orleans Saints (11-2) at Carolina Panthers (6-7) 6:15pm ESPN MNF
This game was suppose to be for the division, then the Panthers decided to go on a five game losing streak and completely destroy that notion. I believe the Saints have the division locked up, right? Does that mean they’ll ease up? Hell no! They are gunning for that #1 seed. Look for Drew Brees to have a good game and Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara to have great games. Prediction: Saints 36, Panthers 27