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NFL insider notebook: Jets botching QB situation (again), plus Jon Gruden suing the NFL and Week 11 picks

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That the New York Jets have to turn to 36-year-old, unvaccinated, been-with-the-team-less-than-a-month Joe Flacco says just about everything you need it to for this franchise.

On Tuesday night the Jets rang Flacco, for whom they traded in late October, to tell him he’d start Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. He can handle the blitzing better than young Mike White, and with Zach Wilson out, he’s their only hope. Or so it goes.

It shows just how bad off this franchise is. It has mangled its quarterback position at various points across a decade and a couple of general managers, including current GM Joe Douglas. Not that Wilson isn’t the long-term answer — he might be! and it’s far too early to make that assessment — but that this is what they have when the No. 2 overall pick misses a few weeks is putrid.

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The Jets said they wanted Flacco back once Robert Saleh took over as head coach. But the former Super Bowl MVP wasn’t going to wait around on what the franchise would do with Sam Darnold, so he signed with Philadelphia in late March. About two weeks later, the Jets traded Darnold to Carolina, and the entire league knew they’d be selecting Wilson after the Jaguars took Trevor Lawrence.

So the J-E-T-S went without a veteran in the room for months. It’s not like Flacco is Josh McCown, jumping at the chance to mentor a younger guy, but at least a veteran could have shown the rookie the ropes. Instead the Jets played contract games with Wilson and forced him to miss the start of training camp.

Fast-forward to the midpoint in the season: White’s first five quarters looked better than any five quarters Wilson put on tape. The knee injury has already sidelined Wilson for three games, but Saleh, as recently as this week, called Wilson “day-to-day.”

But…

Calling Flacco on Tuesday to give him the starting job, and stating Wednesday that White will be the backup, inherently means that Wilson is not day-to-day. Unless you’re using some sort of funky, Genesis 1 meaning for the word “day.”

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The Jets feel Flacco’s experience gives him a better shot against the Dolphins than a young, prospective QB in White or a hobbled Wilson. And I don’t mind they aren’t playing Wilson. Whether he’s healthy enough to go or not, it seemed clear he needed a rookie reset anyway. Take another week off if needed.

But to not see what you have in White? To start an immobile Flacco against a blitz-heavy Dolphins defense that’s on the rise? It must be because of Flacco’s experience against Miami, right?

“Well listen, it wasn’t like they were lining up crazy and bringing guys from, oh, they’re chilling over here and bringing over here and then they’re doing the opposite,” Flacco said of watching film of the Dolphins. “It looks like the last couple of weeks, and I can go back to when we played them last year in Miami and I was playing in that game.”

Except… Flacco went 21-of-44 for 186 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. They sent at least one extra pass-rusher 23 times. They pressured Flacco 17 times in total.

“Last year is irrelevant,” Saleh said to that point. “Completely different O-line, different receivers, different coach, different coordinator, different everything.”

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Lastly, the Jets brought in an unvaccinated backup quarterback midway through the season. I’m not sure how many unvaccinated players were traded for this year, but it can’t be many. Flacco brought (and brings) with him the threat of being out for a week due to being a close contact, as well as being more susceptible to testing positive himself and threatening the entire quarterbacks room. A mind-numbing decision all around.

So Flacco goes out Sunday, not as the Jets’ best hope to win, but as the best hope to not lose the game by 40. And he likely won’t be there next year. And White, who may very well be with the Jets next year, will be on the sidelines.

And the Jets will be no better for any of this.

Gruden lawsuit

I do not at all get the sense the NFL is shaking in its boots at the sight of the Jon Gruden lawsuit.

It was an obvious lawsuit for Gruden to file, and although there are some Very Serious Words in there, folks I speak with don’t imagine it’ll amount to much. The league contends it didn’t leak the emails, and the contents of those emails would get most people in high-profile jobs canned in 2021.

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Perhaps the league settles with Gruden to make it go away. It may even be likely, considering the league’s propensity to do such a thing. But don’t expect this to be a protracted suit that takes years.

Week 11 picks

Another ho-hum week for me at 7-6-1, where I picked some good upsets but missed on the others. That’s OK, though. My season-long record improves to 96-53-1 (thanks Pittsburgh) as we move into Week 11. On Thursday, I took the rejuvenated Patriots.

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

I know Frank Reich will have some good stuff dialed up for his old team, but I don’t think it’s going to matter that much. The league’s best defense is going to leave Carson Wentz befuddled.

The pick: Bills

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Football Team at Panthers

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here

I cannot wait for this game. As much as I want to see Ron Rivera get the win back in Charlotte, it’s hard to trust Taylor Heinicke on a week-to-week basis. Also… Cam has to win, right?

The pick: Panthers

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

The Eagles are playing extremely well right now and Jalen Hurts is better than folks allowed a month ago. But Dennis Allen’s defense is playing too well right now for whatever Nick Sirianni has cooked up.

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The pick: Saints

Which picks can you make with confidence, and which Super Bowl contender goes down hard this week? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams will win and cover the spread, all from a model that has returned almost $7,500 since its inception.

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Andy Reid Joins A Group Of Coaches Focused On Revenge

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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

 

One of the most talked about storylines around Super Bowl is Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid facing his former team.

Reid was the Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach from 1999-2012.

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Over those 14 seasons, Reid had a record of 130-93-1, making him the winningest coach in Eagles history.

Reid led the Eagles to one Super Bowl in those years, which was a loss to the New England Patriots in 04-05.

Despite never winning the big game in Philadelphia, he is still beloved by many Eagles fans.

Now Reid is looking for his second Super Bowl title with the Chiefs with his former team standing in the way.

He joins a list of five coaches facing their former teams in the Super Bowl.

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The last time we saw it was in 2015.

When Pete Carroll’s Seahawks faced the New England Patriots.

That game was played in Arizona, just like the one we will see this weekend.

Carroll’s team heartbreakingly lost that game, and Reid is hoping to avoid a similar outcome.

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Plenty of pressure will be on Reid in this game, being the offensive guru of the Chiefs.

He will need to come up with a great game plan to slow down an elite Eagles pass rush.

Kansas City had the top offense in the NFL this season.

Leading the league in both yards (413.6) and points per game (29.2).

The Chiefs will have to put forth another scoring outburst if they hope to come out on top.

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Reid has plenty to gain from this game when it comes to his coaching legacy.

With a win, he moves to 2-2 in Super Bowls, but a loss drops him to 1-3 and questions will arise about his ability to win the big game.

Reid is one of the top coaches of all time, be he needs to win this game to further cement his legacy.

The post Andy Reid Joins A Group Of Coaches Focused On Revenge appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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NFL Analyst Shuts Down Viral Trent Dilfer Complaint

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(Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for Bai)

 

Yesterday, Trent Dilfer went viral across NFL media for his comments about Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

Brady and Rodgers are often touted as two of the top-ten quarterbacks in NFL history, yet, Dilfer had a contrarian opinion about those two.

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However, one analyst quickly called out Dilfer, citing his career statistics as a major talking point.

Dilfer played in the league for 14 seasons, with his most notable achievement coming in 2000, when he led the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl victory.

However, his career stats are significantly less impressive than that of Rodgers and Brady, which has made many members of the NFL media question his journalistic integrity.

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In 14 years, Dilfer threw for 20,518 yards, 113 touchdowns, and 129 interceptions.

To put this into perspective, Rodgers has played in the league for 17 seasons, and he has thrown just 104 career interceptions, a full 25 less than Dilfer, who started in 110 fewer games than Rodgers has.

Brady, on the other hand, played in the NFL for 23 seasons and threw 212 career interceptions in 333 games.

That means, that, on average, Brady threw an interception every 1.5 games.

For context, Dilfer averaged one interception in each of his games and had a negative touchdown to interception ratio.

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As one might imagine, many are throwing these statistics back in Dilfer’s face, citing that he played in the league when Brady and Rodgers did but was unable to achieve similar success.

Dilfer’s credibility is being called into question, but this certainly isn’t the first time.

Will he continue to be an NFL media personality moving forward?

The post NFL Analyst Shuts Down Viral Trent Dilfer Complaint appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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NFL Insider Reveals Stunning Fact About Chiefs And Eagles

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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

 

Super Bowl 57 has the two best NFL teams facing each other for the biggest prize of them all.

While the path for the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles wasn’t easy, they made it to the Super Bowl.

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Both teams come into the Super Bowl as the number one seed from their conference, something that fans haven’t seen since Super Bowl 52.

While that fact is stunning, NFL insider Field Yates had another stunning fact about the Chiefs and Eagles.

He reveals how neither team trailed at any point during their postseason games.

With both number one seeds dominating their opponents in the playoffs, fans will see one team finally break.

While the Eagles are terrorizing opposing offenses, the Chiefs offense has been on fire this season.

However, the Eagles hope to exploit injuries to key players to maintain their status as a team who hasn’t trailed this postseason.

But doing this will require stopping Patrick Mahomes, the NFL’s top passer this season.

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While both teams come into the Super Bowl without trailing during the playoffs, the Eagles feat has been more impressive.

Their playoff games saw them allowing only one touchdown in each game.

While the Chiefs won by only one score in their playoff games, the Eagles only allowed one score in their games.

This edge by them might be enough to help them strike first against their opponent.

They will also hope this allows them to get a lead, and keep it, in the biggest game of their NFL season.

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The post NFL Insider Reveals Stunning Fact About Chiefs And Eagles appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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