NFL 2019: Week 1

On the Giants, the bizarre decision wasn't drafting Barkley (though there were perhaps smarter uses of that pick); the unfathomable decision was drafting Barkley and then letting go of OBJ the following season!

That decision all-but guaranteed that Saquon's cheapest and best years will be spent on a un-competitive team.

That said, I don't think Barry Sanders is the right comparison, because I don't think Saquon will have that long a career sadly. He's a running and passing threat, so I expect the Giants to lean on him too heavily, and I think they will burn him out in 4 years.

To jowner's point about players risking injury on terrible teams. I think THAT is the major issue for the Dolphins now. I expect them to get progressively worse as the players start thinking more about the future than the present. I expect to see a lot Deion Sanders-esque "business decisions" as the season wears on.

You made some good points but If yesterday was any indication, he won’t get many touches because Shurmur loves to pass.

You tend to do that when you're losing.

Though targeting Cody Latimer over Barkley is weird.

Sure but not when the score is close and he just ripped off a 59 yard run. I’m not saying run the guy for 30 carries, he has some talented backups but I felt that when the game was 7-7, it was air show time.

Oh, here's something interesting.

Adrian Peterson was a healthy scratch against the Eagles.

Jay Gruden, a coach who I can't stand because he makes poor decisions so he's a perfect fit for Washington, had this to say:

"On game day, we're punting to Darren Sproles about five or six times. We need as many guys that can cover," Gruden explained, per ESPN. "We had to get the linebacker up for special teams, and obviously Smallwood. So it had to be done.

"If I can have the luxury of dressing four running backs or three, some other time if I have enough special team guys, I'll do that."

I get it. Special teams is important and stopping Sproles is a big deal.

They also had Guice back from injury, seemingly making AP irrelevant:

"He's a first- and second-down back. So is Derrius," Gruden said, per The Washington Post. "So, really, what do we have? About 20 first downs a game. Probably eight of those are passes, 12 of those might be runs, and Derrius can handle those 12 ...

"So if we have a game where we think we can run the ball 55 times in a game in an I-formation, then sure, I'll get him up."

I'm going to peg this one as valid, but unsound. Gruden seems to make valid choices, in that his explanations always tend to make sense, it's just that he's using sh*t values. Too often he likes to play his guys and sits people in his dog house.

Seeing as Guice was playing in his first ever real NFL game, you maybe don't want to put him in a bad position where he runs the ball 10 times for a total of 18 yards.

Perhaps running it a few times from the I with AP would've drained the clock a bit better.

If anyone was wondering how long it would be before my learned helplessness as a Browns fan would take to set in, the answer is one game.

UpToIsomorphism wrote:

If anyone was wondering how long it would be before my learned helplessness as a Browns fan would take to set in, the answer is one game.

The Guardian occasionally carries informative articles about US sport. They made this observation about the Miami Dolphins:

Tanking makes sense on a spreadsheet or in video games. But things like human emotions and contracts and salaries make it more complex in the real world. Pro Football Talk reported on Sunday evening that the Dolphins locker room is already close to a “mutiny” over the team’s direction.

The players’ future income will be tied to whatever they put on tape during this season. Their current income will be tied to team performance and gameday bonuses. Multiple players have already been in contact with their agents in order to get trade wheels in motion, according to the report.

We must admire the irony of a player clamoring to get away from a team that was specifically built to lose. We don’t want to be on this team that’s intentionally losing.

But they’re on the team precisely because management thinks they stink. Only three players hold any kind of league-wide value: 2018 first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick; Xavien Howard an All-Pro caliber cornerback; and 2019 first-round pick Christian Wilkins.

I don't think the Dolphins are tanking as hard as folks are making it out to be. Their roster was bloated with guys on starter-worthy $$ contracts who would be reserves most other places. So, gutting the roster had to be done.

But then they traded their LT.

Admittedly, Tunsil isn't a great LT and his value in the trade probably made it worthwhile, but the Dolphins have an even worse line than the Cardinals did last year. You just can't do sh*t when your OL is getting everyone killed left and right.

Also, see: Browns.

(Admittedly, Mayfield brought some of it on himself via his play style.)

Not posting this because anyone is particularly worried about Tyreek Hill's health, but his injury is kind of interesting. This is just a doc explaining injury and the treatment.

garion333 wrote:

A really smart kid with some upside, though only so much you can expect given that he hasn't beaten out Mason Rudolph for the QB2 job in Pittsburgh (but at least did enough for Pittsburgh to roster 3 QBs). I guess they like Dobbs better than what is available in free agency (they didn't even practice squad their training camp QB3, Alex McGough, so not surprised it wasn't him).

The team had an extra 5th round pick that was part of the Dante Fowler trade, I assume that's the 5th they're sending to Pittsburgh.

I checked this thread just now for the first time since Friday and I found *174* unread posts. I'm going to assume that most of them are:

* My god the Patriots are good
* My god Miami is terrible
* Haha Browns (which might be the funniest thing I saw all week)
* Legion bitching about Foles' injury, Jack's meltdown, etc (the over/under on those posts is 80)

Meanwhile, Carolina was ... OK -- they weren't good enough to beat a good Rams team, but it wasn't a Miami/Cleveland/Pittsburgh level of embarrassment by any stretch.

McCaffrey was terrific. Cam was good in spots but bad when he needed to be better. Turning the ball over at your own 10 because of a terrible screen pass was the worst.

On the good side, Carolina found itself an OK kicker, and the O-line kept Cam upright and made Aaron Donald vanish. Until the Fox announcers said something, I had forgotten that Donald played for the Rams.

Meanwhile, about half of the Carolina fan base is calling for Will Grier to start on Thursday. I hate our fans.

Cam kept overthrowing stuff. Jitters? Rust?

So according to the producer of AB's video that went live on Friday, Gruden signed off on using the phone conversation. Yeah, the consensus that Mayock ought to get out now is growing fast.

Edit: Video of the interview on the Dan Le Batard show. Skip to 1:17 for Dan's reaction.

garion333 wrote:

Cam kept overthrowing stuff. Jitters? Rust?

He said it was rust. He played 1-2 series in preseason, and he didn't seem to be throwing much in practice. His touch isn't the best normally, and he short-armed a couple of throws (like that dumb screen) and managed to overthrow Greg Olsen a couple of times. Cam normally throws a couple of high balls early just to get them out of the system, but he chucked a few too high late in the game.

The one INT was a great read by the Rams LB, whom Cam didn't see.

Cam's arm looked fine, and he had a few really great series where he drilled the balls he had to drill. Lots of folks are on Norv for not dialing up any long stuff, but it seemed that Cam was checking down a lot to the short/intermediate/McCaffrey route. I don't think Cam's completely confident in his O-line yet, so he wasn't going to spend an extra second or two waiting for someone to get open deep and risk Aaron Donald smashing him into the turf.

That might have been the big issue on offense, honestly. Norv and the Riverboat gave strict orders to the line to not let Cam get hit hard. That might have knocked everything else off just a wee bit.

My boss is convinced that this was absolutely AB writing his ticket out the door. My boss is from Pittsburgh and has some connections to the NFL (as a reminder/aside, my boss was just a groomsman in this guy's wedding this past summer) so he heard more crap about AB's antics in Pittsburgh than we all heard on PFT and whatnot.

He's absolutely certain that AB used the first thing he could to get out of Oakland and that was the helmet. AB wanted to be a free agent a couple years ago so he could choose where to go, but the Steelers wouldn't release him. He managed to not have to go to the Bills, but accepted the trade to the Raiders. Reluctantly, probably, but better than the Bills.

Why not play a season in Oakland for $30 mil? Because Oakland would still have rights to him. He wanted to be free and at 31 probably didn't want to risk injury while playing on a team that isn't likely to be in the playoffs. So, he pushed every angle he could for as little $$ out of his pocket. AB's got a team of folks working the social media angle. All the vids, all the posts, all of it was calculated for maximum effect.

I mean, did you see this sh*t:

The conspiracy theory that Rosenhaus was already shopping him around the league and working numbers out ahead of time? 100% likely. 100%.

I'm a believer.

Considering that he signed a detailed contract immediately after, yeah I buy all of that.

If Goodell is worth a sh*t as commissioner, he voids the contract and bans AB from the NFL. And if he can prove the Patriots were aware, that is tampering and they need to lose serious draft picks. They can restore the picks Oakland lost, at the very least.

But then, Goodell is not worth a sh*t.

Also, if Goodell does nothing, it provides legal cover to kick any Pats fan in the nuts anytime you want, for any reason. Those are the rules.

Kraft and Belichick are in the Trump vein. Break the rules and dare anyone to stop you.

On and on they keep cheating with minor fines down the road but nobody takes away the wins.

If you want to throw another log onto the conspiracy fire: the Pats reportedly offered the Steelers a 1st round pick for AB in March. So, clearly, their level of interest in AB has existed for some time now.

Drew Brees can sure still do the pregame yelling session like few others.

So . . . either (A) AB is playing seventh-level chess and engineered a trade to a badly-run team where he could throw a fit, cause a huge commotion, and get cut, giving up a massive pile of money and then enact his long-running plan to join his secret bros of Belichick and Brady, or (B) he's a childish asshat and his tantrum is just another in the long run of diva moves, and he joined the Pats as a middle finger to the Steelers in particular, but he wanted to go somewhere to win, get a chunk of money on a shorter-term contract, and then be able to cash in for another paycheck down the road.

Hmmmmm . . .

It doesn't have to be (A) or (B). It's (A) and (B) with the actual orchestrating being done by his agent and entourage.

Vector wrote:

It doesn't have to be (A) or (B). It's (A) and (B) with the actual orchestrating being done by his agent and entourage.

Pretty much.

More like B that slid into A once they realized they had an out to the Patriots. The suspect parts for me is he's still getting paid well and it happened very fast.

If AB is actually such a diva why not stretch this out little longer for best offer and competing team.

The Patriots defense to being ready to sign AB that quickly could just simply be saying, "We watched television."

Yeah I don't buy the idea that AB had some master plan from the beginning, especially since if the end goal was to get released, getting the Raiders to commit $30 million in guaranteed money works against those purposes. AB in the end managed to give the Raiders what they need to get out of those guarantees, but it could have ended up being a sticking point.

But I don't doubt for one second that there was some point in time in which Drew Rosenhaus pivoted away from trying to rescue the situation with the Raiders and towards steering things to a new landing spot, and that AB's rapid escalation at the end was helped along by Rosenhaus whispering in his ear, "hey we could guide this to getting you somewhere else". AB's reaction to being "free" of the Raiders sure came across like a guy that had expectations of what comes next, rather than someone that just lost a whole lot of millions. It doesn't jive with what he had been projecting up to that point, what with his concern over $40,000 and $200,000 fines.

Rosenhaus would have known about New England's interest in AB back in March. That the Patriots signed him to a contract so quickly after this flame-out sequence of events makes me extremely skeptical that the conversations between Rosenhaus and the Patriots started *after* AB's release.

If they get called on it, the Patriots will just destroy their cell phones again and get a slap on the wrist again.

At this point, they should test out the robot refs in New Orleans because there's no way in hell any more humans are going to wear stripes in that town again.

Also, enough complaining in the first half convinced ESPN to switch the color of the Down and Distance indicator from yellow to black. Anyone got any other things they want changed while they're in a receptive mood?