Some would call a display of heartbreaking injuries, drug videos, and a whole lot of wasted tax dollars, a failed community play; the NFL called it Week 5.
All of JJ Watt, Odell Beckham Jr, Whitney Mercilus, Brandon Marshall, and more suffered season-ending injuries over the weekend. But that was far from the only drama we experienced. A stripper has chosen to fight social injustices by releasing a video of the (now former) Miami Dolphins offensive line coach snorting what appears to be cocaine, and VP Mike Pence tried to make a statement by walking out of the Indianapolis Colts game.
So this week’s NFL odds are a mishmash of real, honest-to-god football props mixed in with some walkout odds and the favorites to be the next NFL-er to star in a drug video.
Oh, and Adrian Peterson was traded, but that’s second-page news.
No team is playing better football right now than the Kansas City Chiefs. Andy Reid’s squad showed last week that even if you are able to slow OROY favorite Kareem Hunt, Alex Smith is more than capable of shouldering the offensive load. The Chiefs defense hasn’t been as impressive, but they’ve been opportunistic – seven takeaways – and have shown great durability in their bend-but-don’t-break philosophy.
Though Kansas City has seemingly gotten their toughest test out of the way – Week 1 in New England – a perfect season is nearly unattainable. The Chiefs will slip-up at some point, and still have difficult games against the Steelers (Week 6) and in Dallas (Week 9), as well as having to deal with their strong divisional foes five more times.
Remember how bad the Giants offense looked in Week 1, without Odell Beckham Jr? To refresh your memory, they amassed 233 total yards and three points against a Cowboys defense that has since surrendered an average of 32.25 PPG.
Well, now they’ll have to find a way to move the ball without OBJ the rest of the season, and won’t have the services of Brandon Marshall for several weeks, either. Adding to the injury report, Dwayne Harris is out for the season and Sterling Shepard is also nursing an ankle sprain. (Also read: scoring is going to be very difficult for Eli Manning and the Giants.)
As bad as it looks for the G-Men, it’s still too early to start worrying about becoming the second winless team in NFL history. Games at San Francisco and Arizona stand out as opportunities to pick up a win, and their defense could even win them a divisional game, too. If they do leave The Bay Area without a W in Week 10, though, I’d start hiding the Giants gear and prepare yourself for what the future may hold.
The Browns are stuck in a horrible dilemma right now: their best chance of winning a game this season is with Kevin Hogan at QB; while their best chance of being good in the future means figuring out if DeShone Kizer is a franchise pivot. Whichever direction they go, any more than a few wins is highly unlikely.
One team that will give the Browns a strong push for the first-overall pick is the 49ers. Brian Hoyer has been inconsistent under center for Kyle Shanahan, and their schedule doesn’t get much easier. They should be able to pick up a couple wins when they host the Cardinals, Giants, Titans, and Jaguars later this season, though.
If it’s either the Browns, Giants, or 49ers at the top, it’s likely a QB is going to be taken first. And though he hasn’t had a lights-out 2017 season, Sam Darnold is still the best QB prospect available. If none of the organizations are sold on Darnold, Josh Rosen is quickly repairing his image by leading the NCAA in passing yards (2,135). The Bruin also sits second in passing TDs with 17.
If all of these teams decide they are content with their current QB situation – puke – Trey Adams is every inch the bookend left tackle all NFL teams need, while Saquon Barkley could be the next running back to take the NFL by storm as a rookie.
Before Ben McAdoo took over as head coach, the Giants ranked in the top ten in total offense in two consecutive seasons; they were also sixth in points scored the year prior to McAdoo’s promotion. Now the offense is so deplorable that it’s making a solid Giant defense look almost as bad (26th in total defense). McAdoo was supposed to be the offensive mind that would take the Eli Manning-Odell Beckham Jr connection to the next level and take New York back to the Super Bowl. It’s safe to say he’s been a major disappointment.
If not McAdoo, Chuck Pagano’s failure to pair Andrew Luck with a respectable defense or offensive line has him on the hot seat, Luck’s constant injuries notwithstanding.
Even if Ben Roethlisberger were to suffer a season-ending injury, he’s not going to retire until the conclusion of 2017. If his play keeps costing the Steelers games, Pittsburgh will just start handing the ball to Le’Veon Bell more — actually that’s a good idea either way. There’s no way Mike Tomlin is going to opt to go with Landry Jones or Josh Dobbs under center, not while Big Ben still has a pulse.
The Packers have won seven of the last eight meeting between the two, but Aaron Rodgers has to retire, eventually.
The Arizona Cardinals needed to take some of the heat off Carson Palmer, who has been sacked 19 times, tied for second-most in the NFL. Adrian Peterson not only takes a beating a lot better than Palmer, but can also dish it out, as well. (No, that wasn’t a joke about him beating his kid with a tree branch.) Just don’t expect AP to return to his 2015 form behind that awful Cardinal offensive line.
There’s an equal chance the Cowboys never beat the Packers again.
AP certainly believes he should have been getting carries in New Orleans and has no doubt he can still play in the NFL. He isn’t likely to retire unless he’s forced into, i.e. unless 32 GMs decline his services. As last offseason showed, when you’re named “Adrian Peterson,” someone will sign you, because they remember just how dominant Adrian Peterson used to be.
In case you were wondering, the effect of this trade on the Super Bowl LII futures is about the same as when Jay Cutler came out of retirement.
I left today's Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.
— Vice President Pence (@VP) October 8, 2017
NFL players may not have appreciated Mike Pence’s actions, but at the end of the day, he didn’t violate any rules of conduct. He was not, in the strictest sense, disruptive, and he did not behave in an unruly manner. The NFL does not have the right to keep him from attending games any more than Donald Trump has the right to insist players be fired for kneeling during the National Anthem. The league will take the high road.
Like it or not, the odds of Donald Trump getting banned from an NFL stadium are nearly as long as the Giants winning the Super Bowl. Although the President’s views may not be popular with many players and owners, they are popular with millions of football fans. A recent survey found that 49 of respondents oppose player protests, while only 43 percent support them. The NFL understands that harsh reality and wouldn’t dare jeopardize its bottom line by banning the “leader of the free world” from attending a game.
We sincerely hope that the Vice President of the United States has better things to do than to make sweeping political statements at football games every weekend, but that would be giving Trump far too much credit. The President’s pettiness knows no bounds and it’s easy to imagine him sending his VP to games three days a week just to drive home his point and keep his name in the news.
Pence’s walk-out was nearly as staged as a presentation of Hamilton (something the VP knows a thing or two about). The VP was reportedly so certain that he would walk out that the pool of journalists covering him were told to wait in their vans outside the stadium since “there may be an early departure from the game.” Sounds to us like he followed the President’s script to a tee.
NBA players across the league have been extremely vocal about their distaste for Trump and his administration. The Golden State Warriors have openly mocked him, Gregg Popovich has suggested he’s delusional, and LeBron James has called him a “bum.” Those are fighting words, and it’s not hard to imagine Trump or Pence leaving an NBA game in a huff just to make a statement.
Bruce Arians continues to have Carson Palmer take seven-step drops, and thinks maybe one of these times his offensive line will block. This is either the definition of insanity, or a man who is really high.
And I certainly hope Hue Jackson is on some form of painkiller, considering what he has to go through every week with the Browns.
Jerry Jones has made it very clear: he wants the NFL to allow cannabis use. But I’m not sure the billionaire would allow a stripper to release any videos of him testing the product. Spanos may be rather quiet on the drug front, but there are many people in San Diego who know how to edit a video.
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