Inside the Huddle – Weekend Update 11/19

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This weekend in the NFL was certainly eventful as there were many upsets, growling coaches, unsatisfied players, big performances, and a narrowing playoff picture. Let’s start with the upsets. The upsets included a Rams 22-7 victory over the Broncos, a 27-7 win by the Buccaneers over the Redskins, a 24-20 win by the Chiefs over the Seahawks, and a 27-10 win by the Bengals over the Saints. As you can see, many of the upsets were blow outs, but only one game was close: the Seahawks and Chiefs. The other games were almost not worth watching.

Now let’s go to the growling coaches. After RG3’s horrid performance against the Buccaneers, coach Jay Gruden was not happy with him at all and expressed it at the post game press conference. “Robert had some fundamental flaws,” said Gruden. “His footwork was below average, he stepped when he didn’t need to step up, and he stepped into pressure. He read the wrong side of the field a couple times.” Lastly, Gruden stated “From his basic performance just critiquing Robert, it’s not even close to good enough to what we expect from the quarterback position.” Ouch, it sounds like RG3’s days in our nation’s capital could be numbered.

Did someone say big performances? How about four rushing touchdowns for the Patriots Jonas Gray on Sunday Night Football against the Indianapolis Colts. During the Patriots 42-20 blowout win over the Colts, a new star emerged at the running back position for New England. This young stud is an undrafted free agent, Jonas Gray. He was handed the ball multiple times against the Colts respected defense and continuously gouged them for big yards and multiple scores.

Finally, let’s talk about the playoff picture, who is in the driver’s seat, who’s in the passenger’s seat, and who is the rear view mirror, choking on the dust of the other teams that left them  behind. The AFC playoff picture shifted focus over the weekend with some meaningful games that could change the landscape. The Broncos lost to the Rams which opened up the AFC West to teams like the Chargers and Chiefs to gain ground in the West. It also opened the door for the Colts or Bengals or whoever wins their respective divisions to sneak up on Denver and whisk away that 1st round bye. Speaking of the Bengals, they control the AFC North with their win and the loss by the Browns to the Texans. Teams that could still make the playoffs with help includes the Chiefs, Ravens, Dolphins, Texans, and Bills.

The NFC, however, is a bit more complicated. The NFC picture currently looks like this:  The Cardinals and the team with the lowest winning seed left from the wildcard round. The Lions, in contrast, would get the highest winning seed still left. The wildcard round shows the Cowboys and Eagles squaring off as of now, and the Packers and Falcons are on the other side. The lame part of this whole thing though, is that the Falcons are sub .500 at 4-6, and still lead their pathetic division. No one in that division is .500 or better. However, with six weeks still left in the season, anything could happen. The 49’ers and Seahawks are on the outside looking in, each sitting at 6-4, and the less likely Bears and Saints are sitting at 4-6. Now it seems that  Cardinals QB Carson Palmer is done for the year and the team now has to use Drew Stanton. They will still drop some games and open the door for about five teams to steal the #1 spot. Teams that would most likely contest for the 1st spot would be the Lions, Cowboys, Packers, and Eagles, who all rest at 7-3 currently. If there was an NFC re-shuffling then the seedings would most likely read in order, Cowboys, Lions, Packers, Cardinals, Eagles, Falcons.

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