T Nation

2018 NFL Thread

I kind of want you to be right about this now, as Flacco has now thrown 5 TDs all to people who weren’t on the team last season.

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I’m a Bears fan and I’m cautiously optimistic for this season. Realistically, we’re looking at a wild card spot at best. 9-7 or 10-6. Trubisky is too young and inexperienced to be a true force in the NFL right now, although he has several weapons at receiver and a very reliable running back in Jordan Howard.

Their strength is their defense, of course. A defense that was already pretty good, led by Leonard Floyd and Danny Trevathan, now has Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith. Roy Robertson-Harris had a strong showing in week 1. I think since Smith and Mack held out for the majority of the preseason and camp, they just aren’t in great football shape right now. I look for them to start playing their best football in week 3 or week 4, which unfortunately may be too late. You rarely see a team start 0-4 or 1-3 make the playoffs.

They have the talent on the defensive side of the ball. The offense just needs time to work together and get used to all the new additions and learn how to function as a unit. Trubisky is young and inexperienced, but he is gifted, and I think that’s enough for him to lead this Bears team to the best season they’ve had in years.

Elsewhere around the league, the Eagles and Rams have scary defenses too. I think the Browns could pull off a 3-13 or 4-12 season which would be huge for Cleveland. The Packers will always be playoff contenders as long as they have Aaron Rodgers. I’m not just saying this because I’m a Bears fan, but without Rodgers, the Packers are an 8-8 team at best. The Vikings and Lions are always sneaky good. It’s interesting to see how teams like the Panthers and Seahawks have somewhat fallen off after dominating the league just a couple years ago. If I’m not mistaken, the Panthers started off the 2015-2016 season 15-0… I could be wrong, and if I am, then correct me.

I’m currently going through a phase of playing Madden 2008 so I’ll pop back with a list of big names from 2008 that will take some of you guys way back.

He didn’t look very good last night (the first INT was awful), but he ended up with 376 yds and 2 TDs. The Ravens always struggle against the Bengals. They’ve lost their last 4 games to them. They can’t contain AJ Green.

The stats that ESPN and the NFL come up with absolutely blows my mind, “He hasn’t thrown an interception on a Thursday Night game in the last 3 years to the (insert team) while playing with a golden retriever. The only other quarterback to do that was Bart Starr in the early 1700s, who did it for a 5 year stretch before being picked off by an Irish Springer.”

Edit: And just saw that my 'Phins lost a starting OL for the season, but Parker is coming back, and Frank Gore will outlive us all haha

Lol, ya, they come up with some wild stats…

My Cowboys are looking at another long year. No outside threat receiver and no safety valve tight end. The rest of those guys can’t get open and are not much of a threat. Dax and zeke will see 8 in the box all year long. This offense is dismal.

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Yaaaa, gonna have to drop Prescott from my fantasy team I think.

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Still pissed at Fuller for dropping that interception to seal the game.

I think the bears offense needs another year. Kissin titties Trubisky still looks shaky but the bears defense looks legit scary(aside from that 4th quarter meltdown,) but Rodgers gonna Rodger. I can see you guys going 8-8 maybe 9-7. NFC North is going to be a dog fight this year. SKOL!

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The difference in a guy playing receiver or DB is whether he can catch or not. They mainly have the same skill sets other than the hands.

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  • LAST @CLE, 9/9 4.4 Yds/Ru, 135 RuYd, 2 RuTD

Conner had a lights out day against Cleveland. Even with the fumble he looked world class and ready for the NFL. He’s a decent human afaik which would be nice to have a guy you can root for (volunteering with kids etc…). That haircut though, he sat in the chair and said “can you mess this shit up real good?”

I hope Lev Bell gets traded to a team with no O-line and spends the rest of his career averaging 4 yards per carry or less (like he did last year). Don’t ask for more money when you shaved a whole yard per carry off your previous average.

After the Bungals stomped the Ravens and the hapless road Steelers tied the Browns I think Bungals run away with the North. I’m good with that.

Ben is upset they drafted a real backup and then has a 5 pick 2 strip sack game. Dufus. Steelers drama is getting old. Every week some other distraction.

TJ Watt is looking really good. Heyward and Tuitt are both healthy at the same time. The pass rush is going to be real.

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It pains me, but the Bengals with Andy fucking Dalton do look pretty good…

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Conner is a beast. Really pulling for him.

LeVeon is in a tough spot (inasmuch as anyone turning down $14.5 million for one season of football can be in a tough spot). To working schmoes like us who will never be offered that much money for anything, it’s crazy that anyone could complain of being underpaid when making that much money to play football. But you’re a smart guy, you understand economics of professional sports; you know that it’s at least on some level unfair that he played on a pre-slotted rookie contract, then got franchise-tagged twice in a row with no opportunity to negotiate a longer-term deal at what he felt was fair market value.

This isn’t communism. Not everyone gets paid the same. People that add more value get paid more, and sometimes those people might try to drive a hard bargain to negotiate for what they’re worth. I’m really not a fan of how all major professional sports are set up that players are cost-controlled for several of their best and most valuable years, only getting to true “free agency” in their late 20’s in most cases. I’d like to see a much freer professional sports labor market for younger athletes.

Also, despite my spirited defense of Bell, the Steelers are probably right not to sign him to that big deal. Conner looks to be 85% as capable if not more, and Bell is getting to that age where some RB’s fall off a cliff. The Steeets have slapped a ton of mileage on him in five years. It’s a good chance they would regret that contract.

Eh, I wouldn’t overreact that much to the Steelers hacking up a tie with the Brownies. They’re still a pretty deep and talented team (more on this below). Antonio Brown, also, somehow feels underrated to me. I sincerely believe that in four or five years, “AB or Jerry Rice?” becomes a legitimate debate. The dude is always freaking open even when he’s not. For a small guy, he catches a ridiculous proportion of contested balls.

This was dumb, not because Ben is slipping (IMO) but because he has literally talked about retirement. Don’t get pissy if you start making occasional noises about retirement and the team decides maybe they need a plan to replace you. Once in a while I find myself defending Ben, but that was really dumb.

TJ is a beast.

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I’m going to withhold judgment until the haircut is completed. When’s their bye week?

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I completely agree. I think if the Steelers thought he was worth $40mil guaranteed then they’d pay him what he asked for. But they didn’t.

I think he should do what’s right for himself all day. If that means playing only 6 games to stay healthy and get a mega contract, good for him.

The CBA and the union actually prevent Lev and the back office from making a deal now. The market for their labor is less free because artificial rules were negotiated by a union… hmmm.

But don’t lie to your team mates about when you’re showing up to work. Do what you say you’re going to do. Also him being disingenuous wasted $14.5M in cap space that could’ve gone towards an ILB or something that would actually help them win.

He destroyed any rapport he had with his line pulling that move. Let’s hope they’re over it by week 11 when he shows up. If they don’t sit him. I think at this point they’ll either sit him or run him 45 times per game through the post season.

$14.5M would make him the highest paid running back in the league iirc. I get he wants a long term contract, but come on…

Two names: Larry Johnson, Edgerrin James.

And to BG’s point -in a season with 400 touches (rushes + receptions), that decline in yards per carry is a huge red flag imo. The Steelers would be crazy to give Bell the deal he wants/wanted.

Larry Johnson fell off a cliff after that huge season with 450+ touches (got his huge contract first though). Even Edge had some bad (injuries) seasons after 400+ touches as a youngster; he recovered, but Indy gave him his last big deal that all non-Indy fans knew was not going to end well…

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Plus neither of those guys got suspended for popping positive for MJ multiple times.

Skipping camp and skipping games is never a good idea as a RB:

@flappinit[quote=“flappinit, post:20, topic:246054, full:true”]
As for the Brady-centric game plan, I won’t disagree there except to say that had the Pats not given up Jimmy G to SF I think they could have extended their dominance by another decade.
[/quote]

I am not a Belichik fan. So my “explanation” for BB giving up Jimmy G to SF (besides saving money by not having an expensive backup QB) is that BB is retiring when Brady retires, so BB could give two shits what happens after (yeah, I think BB’s like that). Also, I’d bet that at this point, Jimmy G’s arm strength is better (lots?) than Brady’s, no words needed about their respective athleticism…so on paper JimmyG is probably already “better” than Brady, and Brady being Brady didn’t want JimmyG around (I remember reading about that iirc).

BB is a great GM because he absolutely has no sentimentality when it comes to who to pay, who is replaceable, etc., -it’s all about cost vs. talent vs. replacement options. Plus he has the Brady System in place on offense -Phillip Dorsett (former 1st rounder) already has a career game under his belt after being a bust in Indy with Luck; and the Pats got him for peanuts. Keep an eye on the Corey Coleman signing -another former 1st rounder whose comparable college career #s would be…OBJ.

Bell turned down a 70 million dollar deal worth 14 per year, biggest contract of all running backs in the NFL, with 33 mil guaranteed. He wanted 17 mil per year despite his decline in YPC and frequent injuries at the most frequently injured position. I think the highest paid RB deal in the NFL is a fair value.

Lifelong Jets fan here. I hate the Pats. I hate the Celtics, the Bruins, and the Red Sox. But you can’t simultaneously discount the athleticism of a 40 year old QB vs a 26 year old one, or the perceived cookie-cutterness of a coach that turns undrafted no-names into stars, when the combination of both people in question has led to possibly the most dominant team in football history. Aaron Rodgers is a better QB than Tom Brady. Peyton Manning, in my opinion, is the smartest QB of all time. Both don’t add up to Brady’s rings, so either Brady is the greatest of all time - which is an arguable position but easily undermined - or Belichick is the greatest of all time. He seems to be an asshole, I do agree that he cares more about himself than the team, hence Malcolm Butler’s benching and the resulting loss (no way Eagles win if Butler was at CB), I’m not a “fan”, and I decry his history of cheap/outright cheating tactics, but he’s incredible, and having any sort of system that stays unchanged and continues to win conference championships and super bowls in a constantly changing league is nothing short of incredible.