Peter King, Mike Florio and Erik Kuselias give their picks for all of the games in Week 10.
ProFootballTalk: Who ya got in Week 10?
The Seahawks played to a tie with the Cardinals on Sunday night, and quarterback Russell Wilson wasn’t happy about it.
Wilson said after thinking about the 6-6 tie in Arizona that the league needs to come up with a tiebreaking rule. Wilson’s idea is an interesting one: A final field goal to either win or lose.
“Let’s say we’re the away team. We win the coin toss, we get the ball on the 35-yard line going in. You kick one field goal,” Wilson said. “You can’t do anything else but a field goal. You make the field goal, the game’s over. If you miss the field goal, the game’s over and the other team wins. I just think that if you play that long, you’re putting your lives on the line. You should find a way to win. I don’t like ending in a tie.”
Wilson’s idea is wacky and has no hope of being implemented. But as long as we’re talking about wacky ideas that have no hope of being implemented, let’s think about some alternatives.
How about, instead of one field goal, each kicker attempting five field goals, and the team whose kicker makes more of them wins? That would make the ending like penalty kicks in soccer. Or they could have the kickers start with a chip-shot 20-yard field goal and then move back five yards until someone misses. Whenever they reach a distance where one kicker makes it and the other kicker misses it, the kicker who makes it wins the game for his team.
Or if you want to get really fun, how about having five 35-yard field goals attempted by five different players? Every team could have its kicker try one of those field goals, but then it would have to choose four other players who can try a field goal. It would be fascinating to find out which non-kickers are good at kicking field goals when the game is on the line. Ndamukong Suh and Odell Beckham are among the players who have been floated as fill-in kickers when their teams’ primary kickers have been injured. How fun would it be to see Suh and Beckham trying field goals with the pressure on at the end of a tied Dolphins-Giants game?
Or maybe kicking shouldn’t be involved in the tiebreaking procedure at all. How about a “shootout” with a one-on-one pass coverage format? The offense could have its quarterback and best receiver on the field, the defense could have its best cornerback on the field, and the quarterback would have one chance to throw a touchdown pass to his receiver with the cornerback in coverage.
Or the NFL could turn the Oklahoma drill into the tiebreaking procedure: The home team goes on offense with one player on the field as a ball carrier. The road team goes on defense with one player on the field as a tackler. If the offensive player gets into the end zone, his team wins. If the defensive player makes the tackle, his team wins.
The possibilities are endless. An XFL-style scramble for the ball? Each team picks its fastest player to race in a 100-yard dash? Each quarterback throws the ball as far as he can? Maybe you’ve got a better idea. Or maybe we should just accept that some games will end in a tie.
The Seahawks signed defensive end Malliciah Goodman on Tuesday.
Goodman played in 34 games over three seasons with the Falcons, starting 11. The Falcons released him in September when they trimmed their roster to the regular-season size of 53.
A fourth-round pick in 2013, he has two career forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
The Dolphins kicked the tires on veteran safeties James Ihedigbo, Sergio Brown and Major Wright on Tuesday as they tried to fill out the position with Reshad Jones done for the season with a shoulder injury.
They’ll be adding a veteran safety to the roster, but it won’t be any of those three men. Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reports that Bacarri Rambo will be the new addition to the Dolphins secondary.
Rambo was a sixth-round pick by the Redskins in 2013 and played 13 games for them over his first two seasons before moving on to the Bills. Rambo played 15 games and started eight times for Buffalo last season. He had 62 tackles, a sack, an interception and two forced fumbles with the interception and both forced fumbles coming in a November win over the Jets. Rambo was named the AFC defensive player of the week for that effort.
The Cardinals worked out wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Jonathan Krause on Tuesday, PFT has learned.
Dobson, a second-round pick in 2013, was cut by the Patriots in September and had two brief stints with the Lions this season. He visited the Colts last week.
Krause played in two games last year for the Eagles. He’s had brief stints with the Chargers and Buccaneers this season.
The Cardinals also worked out quarterback Mike Bercovici and linebacker Zaviar Gooden.
Will that approach continue for the 5-2 team?
“I sure hope so,” coach Gary Kubiak told reporters on Tuesday. “Hopefully we can have that many touches in a course of a game, but I saw two guys competing. I saw fresh guys on the field and I think that was good for us, but we were also getting more room to run. Those things go hand-in-hand.”
The competition with Booker has sparked a positive response from Anderson, according to Kubiak.
“I think C.J. has been playing well,” Kubiak said. “I think last night we did a better job up front; we gave him some more room to run. I think when guys push each other, last year it was C.J. and Ronnie [Hillman] pushing each other and I think [Booker] . . . is becoming more comfortable with what we’re doing. We’re more comfortable with [Booker] on the field in pass protection right now. We’re just growing as a group. Here we go in Week Eight and hopeful those kids keep coming along. It’s going to make us better if they do.”
With a quarterback who is still finding his way in his second NFL season and first year as a starter, it’s critical to have a strong running game. With 190 yards on Monday night from the team’s top two tailbacks, it doesn’t get much stronger than that.
The lawsuit arising from the cancellation of the Hall of Fame game is getting nearly as nasty as the ongoing presidential campaign.
The latest salvo comes not in the form of a court filing, but through comments from lawyer Michael Avenatti to Julia Marsh of the New York Post regarding the hiring of Hall of Fame president David Baker in 2014.
Under an article titled “How Roger Goodell let a check-forging politician run the Hall of Fame,” Marsh explains that Baker “once forged a signature on a check to himself for $48,000 from a health care nonprofit where he was the director.” Although Baker stopped payment shortly after writing the check, he was sentenced in 1988 to a one-year suspended sentence, probation, and community service for attempting to use the money for a failed Congressional bid. He had faced up to three years in prison for the felony forgery charges.
“Either they did not know about it or they knew about it and blew it off,” Avenatti told the Post regarding the decision to make Baker, a former AFL Commissioner, the head of the Hall of Fame.
The article in the Post generally touts “strong ties” between Goodell and Baker, but specifically cites only that Goodell was Baker’s main NFL contact when Baker ran the Arena League, and that the pair “regularly dined together and discussed how to bolster the sport.”
The connection has little or no relevance to the pending litigation against the Hall of Fame and the league, but that’s what happens in litigation, which often can be every bit as nasty as a political race.
The team announced that they have signed veteran Stevan Ridley and promoted Terron Ward from the practice squad.
Ridley spent the summer with the Lions and Colts, but failed to crack the backfield rotation in either spot. He played eight games for the Jets last season, running 36 times for 90 yards after wrapping up rehab for the torn ACL he suffered with the Patriots in 2014. Ward played in 13 games for the Falcons last season.
To make room on the roster, the Falcons released linebacker A.J. Hawk and offensive lineman Mike Person. Hawk signed with the team a few weeks ago when they needed some depth due to injuries, but never saw a defensive snap and may be at the end of the line after 11 years in the NFL.
Crooks with the brainpower of the Wet Bandits decided to burglarize the home of an NFL player while he was at a game.
“After a great win, came home to find my house was robbed,” Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware tweeted after Monday night’s 27-9 victory over the Texans. “Never about the material things for me but my safety. Thank God for hidden cameras.”
That’s right, Ware had hidden cameras in his house. Which, via the Denver Post, obtained clear images of the faces of the perps.
They were at least smart enough to wear blue gloves to conceal their fingerprints. They should have opted for masks, too.
Police said that “valuables” were taken from the home, but they did not specify what was stolen. Meanwhile, perhaps one of them will be selling a Broncos Super Bowl ring on eBay soon.
Through an account that creates no electronic paper trail. But with a picture of the ring that has his face reflected in it.
For the second time today, the Patriots have made a trade.
New England has sent tight end A.J. Derby to Denver, ESPN reports. The Broncos gave up a draft pick for Derby, likely a conditional late-round pick next year.
The Patriots drafted Derby out of Arkansas with a sixth-round pick in 2015. He spent his entire rookie year on injured reserve. He has played in four games this year, but only sparingly.
In Denver, Derby will add some depth at tight end and contribute on special teams.
New England also acquired linebacker Kyle Van Noy in a trade with the Lions. Trading Derby and acquiring Van Noy keeps the Patriots at 53 players on the roster.
The Bills have promoted rookie wide receiver Ed Eagan from the practice squad.
Eagan had spent the last four weeks on the Bills’ practice squad. The Bills released offensive tackle Michael Ola to make room for Eagan, who could see immediate action in a receiving corps that’s been hit hard by injuries.
Eagan, an undrafted rookie, spent the offseason with the Cowboys and Browns.
The Texans offense failed to produce a touchdown in Monday night’s loss to the Broncos and quarterback Brock Osweiler turned in the latest poor performance in a season that’s seen more of them than the Texans were hoping to see when they signed him to a four-year, $72 million contract as a free agent.
The Texans also weren’t hoping to hear any questions about whether they plan to stick with Osweiler as their starter, but coach Bill O’Brien got that query when he met with the media on Tuesday. O’Brien said that he has not considered turning to Tom Savage or Brandon Weeden while admitting that the quarterback and everyone else on the offense needs to do a better job.
Plenty of others have pinpointed Osweiler’s play as a major problem for the Houston offense and another bad outing against the Lions this weekend will send the Texans into a bye week where their quarterback’s struggles will continue to be a major issue.
Have you heard that plenty of football players are walking away from football before football walks away from them? It’s the latest #narrative of the anti-football crowd. You know, that very real contingent of Fainaru-Wada-inspired media types who either want to see football go away or would prefer to see other sports eclipse it in popularity and profitability.
The anti-football crowd has made an appearance in connection with the abrupt retirement of running back Arian Foster, and the sentiment is best captured by this tweet from the New York Times: “Arian Foster is the latest N.F.L. star to walk away near the top of his game.”
Foster isn’t near the top of his game; he’s not even close to being near the top of his game. And he knows it. To his credit, Foster became one of the first to admit it. Typically (spoiler alert), aging players pay unintentional homage to Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense by becoming the last to realize their careers been dead, for a while.
Arian Foster isn’t Chris Borland or Robert Smith or even Calvin Johnson (who has suggested that he would have kept playing if the Lions were true contenders). Arian Foster, due to ongoing injuries and the sudden and significant emergence of Jay Ajayi, has simply acknowledged the obvious. He wasn’t going to be the guy he was a couple of years ago, when he rushed for more than 1,200 yards for the Texans. And the guy who led the league in rushing six years ago is long gone.
Foster deserves praise for admitting that the time has come. Precious few players are willing to come to grips with the fact that, essentially, part of their lives has died.
That’s still a far cry from the handful of players who decide to call it quits while they still are in their prime, with a tank containing enough gas to carry them for at least several more years, if not longer. But the anti-football crowd would never let that fact get in the way of a good #narrative.
That’s just what happened, as Josh Bynes is re-signing with the Lions, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Bynes already knows Detroit’s defense, having played his entire five-year career for Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, first in Baltimore and then in Detroit. Last year Bynes played all 16 games for the Lions, with 11 starts. The Lions released him with an injury settlement in September, but now he’s healthy and ready to return. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Bynes on the field Sunday against the Texans.
Van Noy was a former second-round pick and a starter this year, but he was a disappointing player and the Lions were ready to move on from him: According to multiple reports, Detroit gave Van Noy up for just a swap of late-round picks, with the Lions getting the Patriots’ 2017 sixth-round pick in exchange for Van Noy and the Lions’ 2017 seventh-round pick.
Indefinite paid suspensions are a bad idea in the NFL, in part because in plenty of cases the teams will decide to convert those indefinite paid suspensions into permanent unpaid suspensions.
That’s precisely what the Giants have done to kicker Josh Brown. Faced with the prospect of paying him $72,058 per week until the NFL’s reopened investigation of Brown becomes a final, appealed suspension, the Giants have severed ties with Brown.
Sure, there’s a chance that the move was aimed at giving the team a sliver of moral high ground after nearly a weekly of gutter-level optics. Regardless of the specific reason(s) for the move, Brown has now been cut — which means that his NFL cash pipeline has been cut off, likely for good. No one will sign him until the outcome of the NFL’s reopened investigation is known, at the earliest. Even then, there’s a strong chance Brown eventually will become the new Ray Rice: Free and clear to play in the NFL, but shunned by all 32 teams.
Against that background, Brown must decide whether to pursue the balance of his 2016 salary from the Giants. While he’s a vested veteran, which ordinarily would give him the right to receive the rest of his 2016 salary as termination pay, he wasn’t on the 53-man roster as of Week One, due to his suspension.
With 10 weeks left in the season, the Giants owed Brown another $720,480 before cutting him. Brown can file a grievance, like Rice did, arguing that he already has been punished by the NFL for the May 2015 incident of domestic violence, that the league already has commenced the process of disciplining him for any other incidents of domestic violence (blocking the Giants from taking action), and that the Giants already knew or should have known about any and all of his alleged indiscretions before signing him to a two-year, $4 million deal earlier this year.
There’s a chance the Giants wouldn’t fight it, or that they’d do so half-heartedly, honoring their commitment to Brown but making the roster move in order to restore some sense of honor to an organization that typically exudes a sense that it peers down its nose at the team with which it shares stadium, along with the rest of the league.
Either way, Brown has rights. The league may eventually violate those rights. By cutting Brown for reasons clearly unrelated to his football abilities or to any new evidence of misconduct that wasn’t already available to the team, the Giants arguably already have.
Cutler came back to practice Tuesday after missing five games with a right thumb injury, just in time to replace injured replacement Brian Hoyer, and was asked if he felt confident he had the support of his coach.
“He doesn’t have a choice, I guess, at this point,” Cutler said, via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune. “Brian is out, so I’ve got to go. I’ve had good conversations with Foxy this week, last week, the week before. There’s never been any strain in our relationship. We’re both very open and honest, and we’re on the same page. We just want to win football games.”
Asked about how he felt when Fox left the starting job open-ended while he was on the sideline and Hoyer was playing reasonably well, Cutler busted out one of Fox’s favorite cliches.
“It is what it is,” Cutler said. “Anytime you have a backup quarterback—and to Brian’s credit, he played well. I think as a team, we wish we would have won some more of those ball games. But Brian went in there and did a great job. My discussions with everybody that I have relationships with in here were positive, and whenever I was ready to go, I’d be ready to go.
“There was never any discussion regarding [whether I’d take back over] with me.”
It was a solid moment of #selfawareness from Cutler, who seems to get that he’s no longer the quarterback of the future there. He acknowledged as much, saying those would be conversations that happened at the end of the year, which is his eighth in Chicago.