Week 3 NFL Pickem

PSF is undergoing some site changes right now so the PSF pickems and Jack Geary’s power rankings will be here this week. Plus maybe more depending on how long the site is down for.  If you’re reading this still you are a true PSF savant and we love you very much. Get on board with this site though too. Shameless plug, subscribe and or follow me on twitter @Eric18utah.

Note: Eric Jensen left Falcons Lions blank, he is taking the Falcons.

PSF LOCK OF THE WEEK: DOLPHINS

PSF GAME OF THE WEEK FALCONS@LIONS

 

 

Jon Butler Falcons Lions
The Falcons are traveling to Detroit this week looking to end the Lions great start to the season while looking to reach the 3-0 mark as they did in 2015.  The Lions haven’t started 3-0 since 2011, but need to win this game to keep the pressure on Green Bay for the division crown.  The Falcons are currently 3-point favorites on the road and I think the Falcons will be able to beat the spread in this game because of all the offensive weapons they have.
The Falcons have shown they look to be back at full strength after trouncing the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football 34 to 23.  Dan Quinn and his Falcons are looking to make a Super Bowl run once again and they won’t let the Detroit Lions stand in their way.  The Detroit Lions have looked great all year, a lot of which can be credited to a consistent offense and great defensive line.  The Lions have only allowed 53.5 rushing yards per game and 235 passing yards per game, but this Falcons offense is going to be the first real test of the season.  The Falcons will be sure to feature Julio Jones early and often like they did against the Packers this past week, but Steve Sarkisian has shown that he can find creative ways to use all of his offensive pieces.  The biggest question about this game is whether the Lions offense can keep up with Matt Ryan and the rest of the offense.  Ever since Jim Bob Cooter became the OC in Detroit, they have had a very consistent offense, but never an explosive one like this.  I like the Lions over the long haul of the season, but they don’t have enough firepower to keep up with the likes of Atlanta, even at home.
Pick: Atlanta Falcons over the Detroit Lions 34-24

Ian Cusick
Atlanta vs Detroit will be one of the better games this week. Atlanta’s high-power offense doesn’t seem to have skipped a beat since last season. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Devonta Freeman all seem ready to put up big numbers like the past season. Coming off a big win against the Packers in a rematch of the NFC Title Game, this offense looks to keep their momentum going against a decent Detroit defense. This Atlanta defense looks much more formidable with the return of Desmond Trufant. Detroit has looked pretty good, beating Arizona and New York, but both of those teams look like they’ve regressed a bit since last season. I see Atlanta beating Detroit because I don’t think Detroit can keep up. Atlanta 27, Detroit 21.

Dustin Beard

The Falcons and Lions have both gotten off to hot starts to the NFL season. The Lions have been better than expected, while the Falcons have started exactly how the defending NFC Champs should. However while the Lions have gotten off to the more impressive start, it’s been against two mediocre teams in the Cardinals and Giants. The Falcons might have struggled a little in week one against the Bears, but they responded big last week against the Packers. The Lions have been great on defense so far, but the Falcons dynamic offense is going to give them a serious reality check. Matthew Stafford and the rest of the Lions are going to have to wait to dethrone Matt Ryan’s Falcons, as Atlanta storms off with the W, 34-17 to improve to 3-0.

 

Patrick Norton
With both teams sitting with two wins and zero losses, it’s no wonder why the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions matchup has been deemed the Game of the Week. The Falcons have started off their season with two victories off of the NFC North with the Bears and Packers succumbing to the offense of the defending NFC Champs. Meanwhile, the Lions have pulled off impressive victories against the Arizona Cardinals and the New York Giants this past Monday night. While both teams have offenses led by a couple of the top arms in the game today with Matt Ryan and Matt Stafford, the edge in this matchup goes to the Lions. Personally, I underrated the Lions this season, but their defense has proven me wrong through the first two weeks of the 2017 season. After holding the Giants (with Odell) to 10 points, they’ve proved their legitimacy. Falcons suffer their first loss of the season with a thrashing against the Lions, 35-17.

Eric Jensen
This game has so many layers to it and i really can’t decide who to pick. You have the number one and two QBs in the NFC in my opinion right now squaring off. That’s right I said it right now at least Matthew Stafford has had a better two weeks than Aaron Rodgers. You have two defenses who have really surprised in the first two weeks. More notably the Lions who have forced more turnovers in the past two weeks then they did in the first half of the season last year. Not to mention Ziggy Ansah who had a fantastic performance against the Giants. While Atlanta’s line is stronger than the Cardinals and Giants it is still a fascinating matchup to watch. All that being said i think this game comes down to the running game. Whoever has the Ball longer will win this game. While Ammeer Abdullah impressed me Monday night i trust Devonte Freeman more. Falcons 34 Lions 27

 

 

CFB Week 3 pickem

You open this article and think, hey what is this? This isn’t PSF, oh my dear god Eric what have you done. Have you cast the power completely to your site and started the Drama of it all era? Is this the new king in sports blogging? Pfft please I already was the king of sports blogging.

In all seriousness though PSF is undergoing some site changes right now so the PSF pickems and Jack Geary’s power rankings will be here this week. Plus maybe more depending on how long the site is down for.  If you’re reading this still you are a true PSF savant and we love you very much. Get on board with this site though too. Shameless plug, subscribe and or follow me on twitter @Eric18utah.

Without Further ado though here are the PSF college football picks of the week. (ya it looks different I’m not Tristan I’m just here so I don’t get fined)

PSF GAME AND LOCK OF THE WEEK OKLAHOMA STATE VS TCU

LOCK OKLAHOMA STATE

Heath Kyser: TCU @ Oklahoma St:  Mason Rudolph and the high flying Cowboys bring their show to Stillwater for a date with TCU.  I had a chance to see Oklahoma State in person a couple weeks ago when they came to Mobile to play South Alabama.  Even though the competition wasn’t much to shake at, Rudolph showed me that he throws one of the best deep balls in the country.  Gary Patterson will have his Horned Frog defense prepared as they can be, but I think OSU has too much firepower in this game.  Rudolph continues toward a showdown for what I think may determine the Heisman Trophy when Bedlam occurs at the end of the season.  OSU 42 TCU 24

Jon Butler: TCU at Oklahoma State
This is the game of the week and I can see why. The TCU Horned Frogs are 3-0 this season (as are the Oklahoma State Cowboys) and have won nine of their last twelve road games dating back to last season.  That is an impressive streak by any college team, especially by the 16th ranked team that are forced to march into Boone Pickens Stadium with confidence.
However, Oklahoma State is a great all-around team this year with an offense that has scored no less than 44 points while also allowing no more than 24 points.  These Oklahoma State Cowboys are led by senior quarterback Mason Rudolph, who has averaged 378 yards per game in his first 3 games while throwing 11 touchdowns and only 1 interception.  TCU is going to have a tough time containing the offense of Oklahoma State, even though I really like TCU this season.  The Horned Frogs have only allowed 14.3 points and 265 offensive yards per game, but that will not continue this week because of the team that Coach Mike Gundy has built.  The Cowboys offense has shown they are tough to stop and I don’t think that the Horned Frogs have enough to contain everything that the Cowboys can do, especially at home.

Jack Geary:

Mason Rudolph is fueling a magnificent Heisman run every week. This week he is presented with the greatest opportunity to perform on a high stage. This game should have been Game Day but the crew decided to hit New York… not sure why. Anyways, Rudolph will be too hard to stop and he put up some berserk numbers this week.
Oklahoma State 40 TCU 34

Dustin Beard
This Big 12 battle between two top 25 teams has shootout written all over that. Each of these teams have been impressive starting out the season with 3 big wins, but they haven’t been against tough competition. Though against lesser competition Oklahoma State’s QB Mason Rudolph, and TCU’s QB Kenny Hill have come out of the gates roaring. TCU has the slight edge over Oklahoma State on defense, but that won’t stop the 3rd ranked offense in the country from putting up enough points to squeak out with a W. TCU will give the upset a bid, but the Cowboys win 48-34

Eric Jensen
Pretty hard to pick against Rudolph and the Cowboys. The kids got a pop gun arm and the horned frogs didn’t really impress upon me offense fire power when they played Arkansas. Cowboys win and it’s not even close Oklahoma State 51 TCU 24

What we learned from week 2

1. Kareem Hunt continues to impress. This young man is just so impressive when he runs the ball. He is by every measure of the term a power back. Hunt has the rare ability to carry the pile with him to score as he did on the game winning touchdown, if he continues at this rate OROY honors could be in his future.

2. The Philadelphia defense is top 3 in the NFL. Philly got to the Qaurterback twice every drive the Chiefs had, whether that be sacks QB hits or Hurries. While the Secondary isn’t as strong with Ronald Darby if offenses don’t have time to throw the Philly back end can’t be exposed, and that is Jim Schwartz game plan.

3. The QB play in this game gave us more questions than answers. Carson Wentz didn’t blow up in the box score but other than a tip pass that was intercepted at the line of scrimmage he didn’t make any mistakes either. The Kansas City Secondary even without Eric Berry was able to shut down the Eagles passing game, so Wentz really had limited options in the passing game. Alex Smith on the other hand looked like the Alex Smith of old only throwing two deep shots in the game on the first and last drive of the day. It was a truly luke warm performance from the definition of a luke warm QB.

4. The Patriots are alive and well, but they may have lost another weapon. Tom Brady smoked a Saints defense that looked dead in the water from the beginning of the game. Although if Rob Gronkowskis injury is serious it would mean that the Pats have lost yet another weapon. You can’t play the Saints every week.

5. Drew Brees looks like he might be fighting off father time this season. Brees has missed some questionable throws early and looks like he has lost some arm strength it is still early of course but something to watch.

6. Carson Palmer had over 300 yards but the Cards barely beat Indy in OT.

7. The Steelers offense continues to find its groove and it only got better in week 2. Against a great Minnesota defense Ben Rothlisberger threw for 240 plus yards and two touchdowns. More importantly though Martavias Bryant announced his return with 91 yards and a touchdown. Leveon Bell looked better in week 2 but expect the break out next week. Bell slowly but steadily is regaining his running legs after missing everything from Training camp to the regular season.

8. Tennessee has a new toy but the same identity. It was all ground and pound against the Jags but Derrick Henry not Demarco Murray was doing the grounding and pounding. Henry looks legit and had a 33 yard touchdown run on the day. Expect to see more touches from him in week 3.

9. The Panthers are still finding their identity. Christian Mccaffery still isn’t a big enough part of this offense and the Panthers still can’t score in the Red zone. The Defense may be this team’s identity though as they only allowed Buffalo 3 points.

10. The Ravens defense continues to dominate and the offense is catching up. That is a scary sentence. The Ravens Secondary carried the day against the Browns and it looked like Cleveland took 5 steps back.

11. The Raiders blew out the Jets. No surprise here.

12. Younghoe Koo missed a clutch kick for the second week in a row. It’s the same ol Chargers just in a new city. Jay Cutler looked Sharp in Adam Gases system and minimized mistakes as the Dolphins opened the year with a win.

13. Seattles offensive line is going to lose them a shot at a playoff run and maybe even the Division. The Niners defensive line manhandled the Seahawks in the Trenches and allowed only two field goals and a touchdown in a 9-12 loss in Seattle. The Seattle defense is a double edged sword while they don’t allow offenses to put up huge numbers they cannot win a game for this team because they do not force enough turnovers.

14. The Redskins offense found its groove. Although Kirk Cousins struggled early when Washington found there run game they became an entirely different team. Rob Kelley Chris Thompson and Samaje Perinee all ran for over 60 yards. Speaking of Running game renaissance Todd Gurley ran for 88 yards averaged 5.5 yards a carry and scored a touchdown. Although the Rams lost the offense continues to look good as Jared Goff threw for 224 yards a touchdown and an interception.

 

15. The Broncos offense continues to look good as Denver blew out the Cowboys at home. Running back CJ Anderson dominated on the ground and Emmanuel Sanders caught two touchdowns. Trevor Siemian threw four touchdowns, the bad news for the Broncos is that LT Garret Bolles went down with an apparent leg injury. While the hope is that it is only a high ankle sprain it could be much worse namely sources fear an Achilles injury, we will learn more later today. On defense the Broncos held Ezekiel Elliott to the worst game of his career running for only 8 yards. Von Miller also ended a five game sack less streak, getting Dak Prescott twice in the fourth quarter.

16. The Falcons are once again for real and Aaron Rodgers looks like he’s in one of his September funks again. The Falcons dominated the Packers Sunday night marching up and down the field and the defense flustered Rodgers early and often throughout the night. On the other side of the ball the Martellus Bennet Hookup doesn’t look right yet as Rodgers and Bennett could not connect in this game. Nothing to worry about though, Rodgers will just be the most dominant QB in the league after mid-October Packers fans.

What We learned from week 1

1. Carson Wentz is electric. Wentz escaped the entire Washington defensive line of the Eagles first touchdown of the day. While his mechanics still look a little bit shaky they are not nearly as bad as last year. He certainly has more pocket awareness.

2. Wentz improves a lot due to his receiving core. Alshon Jeffery and Torey Smith give Wentz to big targets down the field. Which he must learn to use correctly, Wentz threw a lot of near deep picks. His chemistry and decision making must get better as the year goes on.

 

3. This is not the Kirk Cousins we saw last year. The Washington offense looks like a tire fire. Cousins had several high throws and seemed to lack timing with Terelle Pryor. Pryor also had issues with two bad drops. Robert Kelley might be the bright spot in this offense and that is not a good thing.

4. If Ronald Darby misses extended time that isn’t a good sign for this Eagles defense. Until Darby went down this Eagles defense looked shut down in coverage. He adds speed to that secondary without Darby though the secondary becomes a weakness. The front 7 is dominant though Derek Barnett continues to impress. Frederick Cox won the game for Philly on a strip sack.

 

5. Tarik Cohen is a speedy quick guy that can make it in this league. Yes, it is only week one but I believe in Cohen he has the receiving prowess as well, reminds me of a Daren Sproles type.

6. Austin Hooper dominated. Hooper had just two receptions but had 128 yards and a touchdown on which he threw a nasty stiff arm to a bears defender and dragged himself to the pylon.

 

7. Akiem Hicks and this defense held tight against the Falcons. Hicks had 2 sacks on the day but the more impressive stat is the fact that the bears held the Falcons to only 23 points and under 400 yards. That may not sound super impressive but considering the power of this offense it is. Chicago has a lot more to be excited about than I thought but until they start Trubisky they will continue to lose.

8. The Bills won against the Jets, decisively and that’s a big deal. Maybe the Bills aren’t as bad as we originally thought. I’m not saying there a playoff team but maybe they won’t be a bottom two team in the league.

 

9. The Jags defense can win some games. The Jacksonville defense is insane. Myles Jack dominated with 8 tackles and Calais Campbell had four sacks on the Texans offense which was stonewalled all day. It isn’t anything to get playoff hopes up for but I am excited to watch this defense every week.

10. Beast mode is still beast mode. Im not buying in on Lynch as a fantasy option yet but he can still play and adds another dimension to that offense.

 

11. Derek Carr is going to be a consensus top 3 QB at the end of this year. Carr worked the Titans pass defense. Throwing for 262 yards and 2 touchdowns.

12. The Ravens defense is fierce. That’s it they stonewalled the Bengals who look pretty damn awful on offense. Joe Mixon needs more work he only had 9 yards in his debut. Man this Ravens d reminds me of the 2015 Broncos though.

 

13. Though the Browns lost, Deshone Kizer was a winner. Kizer threw for over 200 yards a touchdown and an interception. It’s a good start, Kizer makes the Browns fun to watch.

14. TJ Watt played better than his big brother. Watt had 7 tackles 2 sacks and an interception. Watt shouldn’t surprise anyone, he dominated in the preseason. He adds a much needed true pass rusher to the Black and Gold defense.

 

15. Lev Bell let fantasy owners down. Maybe you shouldn’t have skipped all offseason programming Lev! Also, Martavis Bryant let me down in a big spot.

16. Seattle’s O line is the worst I have ever seen. I’m a Broncos fan and I have seen some bad o lines. The fact Green Bay dominated the O line is proof enough. This defense is one of the worst in the league and the Seattle line made them look elite.

 

17. Seattle’s defense held Rodgers down for most of the game. They look fantastic and will have to be the best if Seattle wants to win any games this year. In other words my Super Bowl pick is completely ruined this team is going to have a hard time winning over 10 games.

18. Chuck Pagano is gone. Sorry but when you get blown out by the Rams one of the worst offensive teams last year in week one 47-9 with or without Andrew Luck your teams needs a re boot. On the other side Jared Goff has hope. He destroyed a team he was supposed to destroy and Todd Gurley looks like a boss.

 

19. Cam Newton was the highlight in a game that was supposed to be dominated by the running backs. That shoulder looks fine Newton hit guys deep all day long and looked spectacular from the pocket. It was good to see Cam be Cam again.

20. The Giants offense is nothing without Odell. Eli Manning looked awful, I have been preaching this all offseason, the guy is going to fall off a cliff this year. Manning looked like a game manager and threw a terrible pick. Brandon Marshall finally got his first catch with 14 seconds left that’s not a good thing.

21. The Cowboys offense concerns me. Dak did look like a game manager and I was really hoping they would open up the playbook for him. Zeke looks tired, that’s not good. In week 2 the Cowboys play Denver they will need to be much improved if they want to win that game. I’m not sure if they can be.

Top 25 Way To early Week 2 projections

1. Alabama
2. Oklahoma
3. Clemson
4. USC
5. Penn State
6. Washington
7. Michigan
8. Louisville
9. Wisconsin
10. Ohio State
11. Oklahoma State
12. LSU
13. Kansas State
14. Georgia
15. Kansas State
16. TCU
17. Tenesee
18. Virginia Tech
19. Auburn
20. Miami
21. FSU
22. USF
23. Oregon
24. Washington State
25. UCLA

Whats going on?

While the fantastic www.prosportsfandom.com is undergoing inside restructuring I will be writing much more here. Stay tuned for more what we learned pieces and pick em pieces as well. Endzone Podcast is in no way affected by this we will keep grinding out pieces and episodes. Keep it tuned here for now though. Also a big thanks to Alex the Editor in Chief at PSF. He is working his butt off to get the site back up and running properly. Until then welcome back to my extended vacation writing here. Cant wait there is so much to talk about this time of year. Stay Tuned here and go check out PSF. You guys are awesome!

To Church Or To Football? The age old Question

Attention this is Satire

As we move through time and space towards the football season we come to the most major theological debate in the western hemisphere. What should you do if your favorite football team is playing at that fateful 11 am time slot? Do you go to church or do you stay home to kick up the recliner enjoy the pre game and consume the liturgy of football?

 

It is a tough question and it really depends on the following guide lines. First, you have to ask yourself, is my team any good? More importantly, you must ask, is the team we’re playing leaps and bounds better than our squad? If your team has a less than 40 percent chance of winning head to those church doors. If you far and above outclass the other team go to church and duck out after communion maybe you can catch the second half.

 

Of course, if you chose the leave after communion or right after service you run the risk of the dreaded time suck of, announcements. I love a good announcement as much as the next guy but listen sometimes they can go ridiculously long. In fact, on one occasion this past year our announcements lasted one-quarter of a Broncos game. Now we should all give ourselves a pat on the back, we are one sociable congregation. However, if you need to get back to catch that crucial fourth quarter that can be a major issue. So if you plan on making a quick exit be aware delays may occur.
So In what situations do you always chose your team over church attendance?

There are five.
1. Week one if your team has the 11 am game you have to watch it. God will forgive you, missing the season opener is non-negotiable.
2. Your team is undefeated. Whether it’s 1-0 or 10-0 you can’t risk jinxing the streak. May I suggest saying a quick pre-game prayer to get your god in for the day.
3. If your team is playing their division rival or: The Patriots, Steelers, Packers, Cowboys are playing against your team. These are the NFL’s premiere teams and if they play yours at the 11 o’clock spot maybe it’s time to consider turning to televangelism.
4. If your team plays the day game on Christmas, which means Christmas has fallen on a Sunday. I get it, it’s Christmas, but if you’re a diehard fan and your team is playing on Christmas watch them. You went to church on Christmas Eve.
5. If they are in the playoffs including the Super Bowl, there are no exceptions. If your team is playing Sunday morning in a playoff game you need to watch it. A quick note on the Super Bowl. I know it’s at night but if your team is playing in the biggest game of the year you should really skip church. Listen I’ve seen two Broncos Super Bowls, one of them I stayed home from church for the other, well I went to church and acolyte, the Broncos got blown out by the Seahawks.

So, as we approach Americas most trying ethical times, football season vs church, take the tips I’ve given and make a good judgment call. Or by NFL game pass and watch football on your phone under the cover of a hymnal.

NFL Season Predictions

AFC
1. Patriots
2. Steelers
3. Chargers
4. Titans
5. Raiders
6. Bengals

NFC
1. Atlanta
2. Seattle
3. Green Bay
4. New York Giants
5. Dallas
6. Tampa Bay

Wild Card

Los Angeles Chargers 38, Cincinnati Bengals 24: Dalton and Co. come close once again. San Diego is too much for this defense though. The Chargers roll on.
Oakland Raiders 35, Tennessee Titans 24: Derek Carr’s first playoff performance doesn’t disappoint. The Raiders QB carves up an underwhelming Titans defense. This is in part because a dominant Raiders line headed by Kahlil Mack shuts down a Titans ground game that hides the defense all year.
Green Bay Packers 24, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21: Rodgers continues his dominance in games in the playoffs not called conference championships. Jameis can’t minimize mistakes and  rookie jitters send Tampa back home to the citrus state empty handed.
Dallas Cowboys 38, New York Giants 17: It’s a blowout. Why? Because the Dallas offense is on fire and rips apart what was the league’s best regular season defense. Because Eli Manning falls off a cliff in late December and this offense falls into utter failure without a serviceable QB. The Dallas defense out plays there potential in one game to get the playoff monkey off the Cowboys backs.

Divisional Championships

New England Patriots 34, Oakland Raiders 24: Derek Carr is a talented QB, but he’s never seen playoff football in Foxborough. Tom Brady and the offense struggle early but eventually figure out the Raiders d and run away with the game in the second half.
Los Angeles Chargers 35, Pittsburgh Steelers 21: The Chargers shock the world. Joey Bosa and a defensive line that has improved drastically over the shutdown Lev Bell. Roethlisberger falters in the playoffs for the final time and retires. That’s right, I think this is Big Ben’s last year.
Dallas Cowboys 42, Atlanta Falcons 35: Dak Continues to dominate, Zeke pounds through and the Atlanta defense can’t keep up despite the fact this will be Matt Ryan’s best game all year.
Seattle Seahawks 31, Green Bay Packers 17: The unstoppable Seattle D shuts down Aaron Rodgers yet again. Russell Wilson demolishes a lackluster Packers defense. The Super Bowl window for the Packers appears.

Conference Championships

New England Patriots 35, Los Angeles Chargers 34: I so desperately want to believe that the Chargers in all their glory could knock off the Pats but I just don’t see them doing it. They get so close though with Edelman gone. Yes you may say this pick is stupid because the Chargers are in this game but if they stay healthy it’s not crazy to think they could make this kind of a splash. I just got a gut feeling about Los Angeles but it’s not strong enough to pick them over the Patriots. Although as I write this it gets ever stronger.
Seattle Seahawks 42, Dallas Cowboys 21: I know the Seahawks O line could be a major issue but the Cowboys  front 7 are as bad as they come. I think a protected Russell Wilson can tear this defense apart. Dallas might keep it close in the second half but if there is an answer to this offensive line it is Seattle’s front seven and Sheldon Richardson. Seahawks to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl

Seattle Seahawks 35, New England Patriots 31: A rematch of the greatest super bowl of the past decade. Yes the Patriots are a fantastic offense but this year there is defense is a little bit weak on the front end. Who am I kidding, there’s no logic that goes into these picks. You can stare at tape and game film all you want in the end these are just educated shots at the moon that we sports writers hope will land among the stars but usually end up careening back to earth. The Seahawks win the super bowl there is just something about them this year. They can be that good team that flies under the radar and shocks people. These picks may all be wrong but I believe in them and can make an argument for each of them and that’s all you can ask for. For all you out there who ask about statistics, question did statistics tell you the Falcons would dominate last year? Did they tell you the Packers would start the season looking like a mid tier offense? Did they tell you Derek Carr would get hurt and that would change the entire complexity of the AFC playoffs? No. In the end, predictions are just that. I don’t think mine are that far out of the park. Don’t @ me.

Money Ball in the NFL long form

A quick thought on the NFL. The league prides itself on a Cap system that keeps a level financial playing field. It isn’t like the MLB where big teams with big money win. That may soon change though. People are freaking out about a Matthew Stafford contract that frankly isn’t that crazy. Stafford is a solid NFL starter, solid NFL QBs are hard to come by, it’s simple economics. You pay a premium for a premium service, Stafford’s service is premium. That’s not the point though. I come to you today with a proclamation, the golden Salary Cap of the NFL is going to crumble into nothingness. Making way for the next glorious cycle, the free market era of the NFL.
So what does a free market look like? Jon Butler @JButlerPSF on twitter to explain.
“So basically every team has a team salary and it is all based on the team owners. A team’s owner sets the team salary based on the money they have coming in from ticket prices, concession sales, team memorabilia sales, etc. Teams that have a higher team salary can cross into the luxury tax, which causes them to pay more on top of the players’ salaries along with scouts, coaches, and more. The luxury tax is there to help keep a team’s roster salary below that level. If a team’s owner has to pay the luxury tax, it means less profit off of the team or higher prices for fans, which no one would want of course. Basically, there isn’t a salary cap for teams because it is based on the team’s income from many different ways (concerts, concessions, jersey sales, ticket prices). That’s why teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs are able to have higher payrolls than the Padres, Brewers, Athletics. The lower teams have a harder time keeping better players because of it and competing, but the teams paying the luxury tax lose out on profit. The NFL is also different because they have a shared revenue deal with each other rather than every team having their own revenue stream.”
It’s a simple principle that has existed since capital was first used in the river valley civilizations. If you have money you use it to buy the best products available. A free market would be good for the NFL as a whole as well, NFL teams would have to start pushing there brand more to get better players. If you have a more popular team and gain more revenue you are the first in line to the premium players. Is it unfair? Is the MLB system unfair? The Oakland Athletics have found a way around it for years by trading young players for draft picks and gaining new first class young talent every year. Imagine how much more exciting the trade deadline would be with a free market in the NFL? You wouldn’t have to suffer through good players on bad teams.
Take Allen Robinson of the Jacksonville Jaguars for example. He is one of the most talented young wide receivers in the league. The problem is the fact he is stuck on a team where his QB is Blake Bortles the Hindenburg of NFL Quarterbacks. In a Free Market NFL he would not have to suffer his current fate. To survive and stay competitive the Jags would have to trade Robinson to another team with draft picks. This benefits every party involved. The seller, the Jags get draft picks to start looking for there next QB project. The buyer, whoever gets Robinson gains a quality wide receiver. The fans, if you’re a Jags fan you always get to see the most exciting young talent because you can’t afford veteran talent. In other words lower class teams become developmental spots for young players and better teams get contending players. I see no down side to this, all around it is still competitive fun football.
Why? We are approaching the point in time that the salary cap is becoming something of a restraint. Why does a relief pitcher in the MLB make more than the GOAT Tom Brady? Brady would never ask that question because he’s the quintessential team player, but young players will. When Odell comes to the end of his contract do you really think he’s going to play for anything less than the biggest NFL salary in the leagues history? What about Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston? Those two are the next faces of the NFL at QB. They will want lavish amounts of money. Winston and Mariota won’t settle for less than breaking the bank wide open, crushing the leagues precious cap as they fill their pockets with green.
Will this happen overnight? No. In the next five years though the financial landscape in the NFL will drastically change whether you want it to or not. It really isn’t your choice. The players will rise and demand the kind of money MLB and NBA players make. The only way to get that kind of money will be to break the salary cap wide open. It’s the only way for the NFL to exist in the current economic climate and still produce entertaining football. The Qin dynasty of China is a fantastic analogy for the NFL at the moment. The Qin fell mainly due to fundamental failures, and opium too, but focus on fundamentals. The Qin dynasty was built on the mandate of heaven (NFL salary cap) When that mandate was broken because of the outside influence of Europeans (players needing more money) the dynasty collapsed into chaos. The NFL needs to pre- emptily look into the next stage of Economic development or a collapse is likely and it could be minor or lead to major problems for the league. The golden mandate of the NFL salary cap is coming to a crashing conclusion, prepare yourself.

What We Learned week 3 of the preseason

Thursday

1. Chad Henne is not a better nor worse option than Blake Bortles. Henne wont score the Jags points this year but he won’t turn the ball over either. Fantasy tip stay away from the Jags passing game Allen Robinson is a tempting name but he isn’t worth it until the late, late rounds. Henne threw for ten yards in the first half that’s disgusting for an NFL QB.
2. Cam Newton looked…. Well he didn’t look like anything. We really didn’t see anything from Cam who threw two completions for 21 yards and a Touchdown. Not a lot to learn from that performance.
3. Jay Cutler looks in command of the Dolphins offense. He threw five of eight passes complete for 105 yards. A touchdown to add to that stat line as well. Cutler looks like he has this QB thing handled pretty well again. Bold Prediction: Cutler will have his best career year in this system and throw 30 touchdowns, 24 at least.
4. Jay Ajayi is the most underrated back in the league. He ran for 53 yards and two touchdowns. I am sneaky way high on this offense. If Cutler can be as good as I think he will be and the running game can work just as well, I don’t want to say it because it would shove the Titans out of a playoff spot but I think the Dolphins could make it back to the playoffs.
5. Carson Wentz looks like a new QB with fixed mechanics. They still look weird but not bad. It’s hard to explain on paper. He doesn’t throw all the through. He stops at the highest realease point like a follow through in basketball. He still has a slightly longer wind up but nothing as criminal as last year though. However, Wentz and his pocket presence has improved noticeably.

Friday

Julian Edelman is out for the season. Is it a crushing blow for the Patriots offense? No. But it provides a chink, not a large one, but a chink in the Patriots armor. Will it make them miss the playoffs? No. Take them out of the number one seed? No. Will it give them a hurdle to cross in the post season? Most definitely Edelman shines in the playoffs and is the difference between an unstoppable and beatable Patriots team in January.
The Patriots already have Edelman’s replacement. Chris Hogan dominated in this game and was by far Tom Brady’s favorite target. Two touchdowns and 70 yards on four receptions make Hogan a must get in your fantasy league.
The Lions starting offense is depressing. It took Stafford three preseason quarters to throw 2 touchdowns. Starting offenses are supposed to have more than seven points in the first half of a preseason game, unless you’re the Jacksonville Jaguars. Steer clear of all Lions players even Stafford in your fantasy drafts.
Russell Wilson looked Russell Wilson like. Wilson threw the ball well and his mobility looks to be back. He had 3 or 4 throws that missed the target by a long shot and one bad floater towards Jimmy Graham that should have been picked. All in all Wilson looked good and the Seahawks offense has got me excited this year. As for all the talk about leaning less heavily on the run. I think that’s false combined the Seahawks ran the ball 16 times in the first half. Don’t go to early on any one of these backs in your fantasy draft but Seahawks backs will be prime waiver wire bait when your starter has a bye.
Patrick Mahomes outplayed Alex Smith. Smith looked like himself, short pass, after short pass to wide open receivers. Mahomes just looks like a better QB. Honestly, I’m surprised there hasn’t been more competition. With Smith, the Chiefs are low risk low reward. It completely flips with Mahomes. I think either guy would give the Chiefs a shot at the playoffs. If Smith struggles it would not surprise me if we saw Mahomes start this year. That’s my hot take.

Saturday

The Chargers offense is one to watch this year. While the offensive line has struggled at point Philip Rivers continues to look like a top ten QB. Keenan Allen looks fully recovered from the knee injury. Travis Benjamin looked great as well. Though his career started rocky in Cleveland he has found his niche in the NFL as one of the leagues best slot receivers. I would be shocked if he wasn’t featured heavily in this offense.
2. Jared Goff, started strong, then collapsed. Goff started the game with a nice drive and several great throws. Then he got to the red zone, fumbled the ball and on the very next drive threw a head scratcher into a group of three Chargers that resulted in an interception. Goff has moments, has promise, has potential to be a Russell Wilson like QB. He also has moments where you wonder how he went first overall. He’s an intriguing guy to watch, make sure you tune into the Rams this year.

3. Jon Brown looks back in form, so does Carson Palmer, that spells success for the Cards. Brown dominated in 2015 when the Cards were at the height of their power. This offense looks like it’s ticking again, and that’s good, not only for the Cardinals but for football. The NFL is a better place when the NFC West is competitive and it’s shaping up to be an intriguing division.
4. As my good friend, @Chicubscoverage on Twitter told me, we can learn very little from the preseason, stay away from sweeping predictions. I will. This Falcons offense looked lackluster in the first half. Nothing to worry about with the Falcons though this offense has looked good in the past two preseason games. The Super Bowl hangover will be brief for Atlanta, if there is one at all.
5. The Tampa Bay offense struggled once again though. It’s something to watch going into the season. Perhaps this offense will need some time to warm up.
6. Brock Osweiler is not going to be on the Cleveland Browns come week one. He was not the first or second QB to start. Cody Kessler is the backup for this team but the Browns need to keep Brock for a little while longer because……
7. If Kizer starts it is not going to end well. The Browns first four games are insanely hard. Kizer struggled mightily.
8. Jordan Taylor is quickly becoming Trevor Siemian’s favorite target. Siemian needs to find a third guy to look too and Taylor provides that.
9. CJ Anderson looks good. Anderson found the holes and punished this Packers defense. I said it about a month ago and I will say it again. Anderson could have a big year if he stays healthy. Jamal Charles showed one or two flashes of what he used to be. He may not make this team but if he does, expect him to be a third down burst back.
10. The Boys will be fine without Zeke. Dak Prescott has once again dominated the pre season. The kid is an undeniable talent. Also, that offensive line is so dominant. Alfred Morris and Darren Mcfadden put up combined Zeke like numbers. Speaking of Zeke he got a drive in, 6 runs for 18 yards.
11. Amari Cooper torched the Cowboys defense. Four receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown. Cooper struggled near the end of last year. It is clear those struggles are no more.
12. Tom Savage has the Texans job, for now. It would not shock me if we saw Watson come in and steal the starting job before week 3. Yes, he is a raw, young, QB who likes to throw into coverage. He is also a young QB who loves to take shots and open up this offense. Bill Obrien usually will choose the latter over the former.
13. The Saints defense is sneaky good. They have been all pre-season. Will they change games? Probably not but don’t be shocked if they move from worst in the league to lower mid tier.
14. The Giants defense is dominant. It’s time to start putting them in the same group as the Texans and Broncos. This D score three times Saturday night. Yes, it’s the pre-season but they are primed to make the jump from the top tier of defense, to game changing. That’s scary considering who that team has on offense.

Sunday

1. This Washington offense is something of a mystery. The Capitol cities team struggled mightily on offense throughout this preseason. The biggest problem Washington has is that offensive line. If they continue to struggle Cousins won’t last a full season. This Line has serious problems but it’s not too late to remedy them.
2. Joe Mixon is one of the better running backs I have ever seen. Yes, he had a rookie jitter fumble Sunday but the guy makes explosive cuts and has incredible burst. He reminds me so much of Leveon Bell. However, like Bell he must stay out of trouble off the field to stay on it.
3. AJ Green is going to get a ton of targets this year. Forget about John Ross or Tyler Boyd or Brandon Lafell. The man who will run this offense is going to be AJ Green. He’s going to be a ppr monster this year if you play fantasy.
4. The Chicago Bears front 7 can shut down the run. The Titans have been dominating the ground game all pre-season, not today though. Derrick Henry and Demarco Murray combined for only 40 yards against the Bears front. This defense has the potential to be sneaky great this year. Considering the division, they are in it seems they are set. Minus the Packers both the Vikings and Lions are going to rely heavily on the ground game this year. Will they win the division? No. Will they be the dregs of the division? Definitely not.
5. I need to see Trubisky in action early in the year. If this team starts Glennon it’s an admission that they are just totally giving up and the end of Fox and Pace in Chicago. If Trubisky starts this team becomes interesting. The loss of Cameron Meredith hurt, yes, but this team has the potential to be an upset maker week in and week out. Bears fans have to be considered winners this pre-season, this team can be a playoff maker within the next 3 years.
6. Winners of the preseason. Sure, there’s one week left but be honest week four is not real football. So, winners: Jared Goff, though Goff had a rough third pre-season game you could see confidence building, there is hope. Derrick Henry, if you aren’t picking up Henry in fantasy your making a huge mistake. Henry is going to steal carries away from Murray and by the end of the year be the number one back in Tennessee. The guy is the next big thing, which brings us to our last winner.
7. The next generation of great NFL backs. It seems we just got Bell, Johnson, and Zeke. Now we have our next generation. Mixon, Mccaffery, Fournette, Cook, and Kamara. Why Alvon Kamara? If All day fails to be himself in New Orleans Kamara is a better option for this team than Ingram simply because he is younger and has fresh legs. Like it or not, the new NFL schedule is run backs to death and drop them after four to five years. There’s about two more years of Bell and Johnson fantasy fever. Then we move to the new backs.
8. Losers, the casual football fan. Unless you are obsessed 24 7 365 with the game of pig skin like I am chances are you hate the preseason. Good news, only a week and a half until real football!!