Biggest Takeaway: The NFL needs a tiebreaker
Let’s start with some fun facts. The last time the NFL had two ties in one season was 1997. In that year, the Marlins defeated the Indians in game 7 of the World Series. As all of us should know, the Cubs beat the Indians in game 7 of the World Series this year. It’s insane how some of these events just align. Next, the Bengals tied the Redskins in London a week after the Seahawks tied the Cardinals. Now, the English faithful shouldn’t be unfamiliar with ties since there are ties all the time in their version of futbol. I just think the NFL needs to implement some type of tiebreaker. I know ties have helped teams make it into the playoffs in the past by a half game, example is the 2008 Philadelphia Eagles, but I’m all in favor for a tiebreaker
I don’t care what they decide, but I’m done with tied football games. What if after overtime and the game was still tied they just brought both kickers out for a one on one kickoff? Start both out at the 45 yard line and if the first kicker makes it, the second one has to. If they both make the kick, they move it back to the 50, then the 53, then the 55 and so on until one makes the kick and the other misses. A lot of people probably wouldn’t like this idea, but it would be so intense watching that go down. The NFL’s version of an NHL shootout. I will propose it in an eloquent letter to Mr. Goodell.
Best Week 8 Win: Atlanta Falcons
This was a great game to watch. A dynamic matchup between two top tier QBs. At the end, the Falcons were able to outlast the Packers. The Packers were pretty banged up and Rodgers had to do a lot with a little. He finished with four touchdowns and led the team in rushing. For the most part his TD passes were to no name WRs. But it wasn’t enough as the Packers dropped another game in the close NFC North.
This was a huge win for Atlanta. They snapped a two game losing streak after Ryan hooked up with Sanu with :31 on the clock. Ryan had a great game as well throwing for three touchdowns. A player that wasn’t featured was Julio Jones. Jones was held to twenty-nine total yards. It’s a great sign that the Falcons can still beat a good team even with their pro bowl WR held in check. You can’t count out the Saints and Panthers yet, but this was a great win for the Falcons to increase their divisional lead.
Worst Week 8 Loss: Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles absolutely blew this game in Dallas. Before we get to the Philly blunders, Dak played a great second half/OT. He bounced back from a shaky first half, led a 10 point 4th quarter comeback, and topped it off with an OT touchdown to Jason Witten to give Dallas a commanding NFC East lead. As for the Eagles, woof! Carson Wentz played a good game for this team. The problem many fans are having is with the WR’s, play calling and RBs fumbling in key situations.
Philadelphia had to settle for three points many times because the WRs cannot catch a football. Agholor and DGB are so pathetic. Smallwood fumbled when they were up ten in the second half and the Cowboys were able to capitalize with a field goal. This could have really put the game to bed if the Eagles were able to score on this drive. The play calling confused me the most. With 7-8 minutes left in the game and the ball on the Cowboys 32, Doug Pederson calls two lateral plays which gives Philadelphia a tougher 53 yard field. But, he punts the ball here…. Dallas then gets a TD and the games tied. Late in the game, Dallas is pinned deep in its zone but instead of forcing a punt he lets them run out the clock. I just don’t think you play timid with a lead like this. Big loss for the Eagles, great with for the Cowboys.
Week 9 Predictions:
Can’t Miss Win: New Orleans Saints
I have no interest in watching the 49ers play the Saints. But if you’re in a suicide pool looking for a winner, the Saints should be a great pick this week. Both of these teams aren’t great, but the 49ers are awful. Neither team has a defense so this one comes down to the offenses. Drew Brees will be the dominating factor this week. He will clearly be the best player on the field, no question. The Saints will score plenty of points and the Niners don’t have the personnel to keep up.
Believe it or not, but the Saints are still playing for a playoff spot after upsetting the Seahawks last week. They may be 3-4 but with Drew Brees anything is possible. As for San Francisco, they are playing for the first pick in the draft. To do this, they will need to extend their six game losing streak to seven. It’ll be tough to keep pace with the Browns but the 49ers have the lack of talent to do so. Start your Saints fantasy players since they will score 40+ this week. New Orleans by a million.
Intriguing Matchup: Denver at Oakland
I can’t wait for this game. For me, this is the most intriguing matchup so far and the most excited I’ve been for an NFL game outside of the Eagles. The 6-2 defending Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos visit the 6-2 Oakland Raiders. The AFC West is loaded this year. The now Nick Foles led Chiefs are 5-3. So there’s a chance the loser of this matchup will fall to third in the division. Let’s start with the atmosphere. The Oakland Coliseum will feel like a gladiator ring. The Raiders haven’t played on Sunday Night Football since 2006. Outside an occasional 10pm EST Monday night game to start the season, or a who cares whose playing Thursday night game, this team hasn’t seen much primetime spotlight. Well this Sunday they will. I expect the fans to be electric, atmosphere to be bone chilling, and home field advantage will be huge.
Now, on to the matchup. This is the first matchup between these two teams this season. Either the Broncos or the Raiders will most likely win the AFC West, so this first matchup is pivotal. The Broncos have the better defense, but the Raiders have the better offense. Trevor Siemien has been hit or miss for me. There’s no question Derek Carr is the better QB in this matchup. The Raiders defense has improved, but the Broncos are clearly one of the league’s best. The Raiders need to keep their QB upright and establish some type of rushing attack. I think this group gets it done under Jack del Rio. The Raiders were my preseason AFC West champions and I’m sticking with the Silver & Black. Raiders in a close, fantastic Sunday night showdown in Oakland. Be careful Broncos fans that will be in Black Hole territory for this one.
Biggest Upset: Detroit Lions
I picked the Lions to upset the Texans last week and I was wrong. But it was a close game. I’m taking them again in the now wide open NFC North. The Packers and Vikings both lost last week. The Lions have been playing the best football amongst the group and I have them upsetting the Vikings in Minnesota. It’s simple; the Vikings offense is absolutely abysmal. On top of their lackluster offense, their coordinator Norv Turner just resigned. This will cause a hectic turnaround for who will step into his position.
Sam Bradford is only good for check down passes, the offensive line can’t block, and with no AP the rushing attack just isn’t there. I feel for their defense that has been nothing short of great this year. Matthew Stafford and the Lions need to find a way to put up some points. I love the way he’s played this year and think this offense will do enough to outscore the Vikings. The Lions will have a test playing on the road, but I like them to win and make a real push for the playoffs. The Lion defense should have little to no trouble this week as well. Lions with a big road division win by 7.
Now, let’s enjoy looking forward, and hope we were right when we take a look back. Enjoy week 9 everyone.
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