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PFT’s Week Eight picks


The good news is that MDS and I both stayed on the right side of .500 last week. The bad news is that it we weren’t very far above.

With 15 Week Seven games, we each went 8-7, splitting the two games on which we disagreed. This week, we disagree on three games.

Hopefully, we’ll be more that slightly above .500.

And by the way I’m still up by two games on the season. Which is all that really matters to me.

Jaguars at Titans

MDS’s take: It’s the annual Thursday night Jaguars-Titans game. That’s sure to bolster the NFL’s ratings. The Titans are actually a better team than most people thought, and the Jaguars are worse.

MDS’s pick: Titans 28, Jaguars 13.

Florio’s take: With the Mr. Spock/Captain Kirk Color Rush debacle returning on Thursday night and in light of the growing discontent of Jacksonville’s owner, it really will be Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan.

Florio’s pick: Titans 24, Jaguars 16.

Washington at Cincinnati

MDS’s take: The Bengals’ defense and special teams have been a disappointment, but I like Andy Dalton and A.J. Green to have a big game with Josh Norman in the concussion protocol.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 31, Washington 28.

Florio’s take: Marvin Lewis just beat his most recent offensive coordinator. And now he gets a chance to beat the guy Hue Jackson replaced. The Bengals quietly are putting the pieces together after a slow start; the process continues in England.

Florio’s pick: Bengals 24, Washington 17.

Chiefs at Colts

MDS’s take: Andrew Luck is playing well, but he’s been getting very little support, and no quarterback can do it himself. The Colts’ defense is terrible, and the Chiefs should rack up plenty of points on them.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 31, Colts 21.

Florio’s take: One of the great moments in Colts franchise history came not long ago in a playoff game against the Chiefs. Sunday will prove just how long gone those days are.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 30, Colts 21.

Raiders at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: I don’t think the Raiders are quite as good as their 5-2 record suggests, and I think the Buccaneers showed last week that they can take advantage of a bad defense. Tampa Bay wins a close one.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 24, Raiders 23.

Florio’s take: The Raiders are 4-0 at 1:00 p.m. ET this year. Their biggest regret should be that, after Sunday’s game in Tampa, Oakland won’t have another.

Florio’s pick: Raiders 31, Buccaneers 28.

Seahawks at Saints

MDS’s take: The Seahawks’ offense hasn’t been playing well, but a meeting with the weak Saints’ defense could be just what the doctor ordered.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 28, Saints 21.

Florio’s take: Seattle’s gaudy record conceals deeper concerns about the offense, which hasn’t been the same since Russell Wilson suffered a pair of injuries. The Saints have the offense to outpace Wilson and company.

Florio’s pick: Saints 27, Seahawks 20.

Lions at Texans

MDS’s take: Detroit’s defense is bad, but Brock Osweiler is worse. The Lions will manage to hold Osweiler in check and win what could be an ugly game.

MDS’s pick: Lions 17, Texans 16.

Florio’s take: The Texans win the games they’re supposed to win, and they lose the games they’re supposed to lose. It’s harder to categorize this one, but the home-field advantage gives them the edge.

Florio’s pick: Texans 27, Lions 24.

Jets at Browns

MDS’s take: These may be the two worst teams in the league right now, and if Cody Kessler or Josh McCown were completely healthy I’d pick the Browns to get their first win of the season. But with Kessler suffering from a concussion and McCown still recovering from a broken collarbone, I’ll take the Jets.

MDS’s pick: Jets 17, Browns 10.

Florio’s take: It could be the last, best chance for the Browns to win a game. But for Geno Smith’s torn ACL, maybe they would.

Florio’s pick: Jets 23, Browns 13.

Patriots at Bills

MDS’s take: The Bills dominated their first meeting, but that was with Tom Brady suspended. Now that Brady is back, I’d expect the Patriots to win this game and take total control of the AFC East.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 27, Bills 20.

Florio’s take: The Bills haven’t swept the Patriots during the Brady-Belichick era. That streak continues.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 30, Bills 20.

Cardinals at Panthers

MDS’s take: This may be the Panthers’ last chance to turn their season around, as a loss here would essentially mean there’s no hope of making the playoffs. I think they’ll rally with a big win.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 31, Cardinals 17.

Florio’s take: It’s a rematch of the NFC title game; the loser has little chance to get back there. The winner doesn’t have much more of a shot. It’s the last stand for the Panthers, who played 75 minutes less football than the Cardinals in Week Seven.

Florio’s pick: Panthers 28, Cardinals 23.

Chargers at Broncos

MDS’s take: The Chargers’ offense is playing well, but playing well in Denver is a tall order for any offense. I see a low-scoring game with the Broncos coming out on top.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 14, Chargers 13.

Florio’s take: The Chargers have an excellent opportunity to legitimize their season, shove the Broncos against the ropes, shake up the AFC West, and maybe nail down some votes for their futile stadium effort. They’ll nearly pull it off.

Florio’s pick: Broncos 24, Chargers 23.

Packers at Falcons

MDS’s take: Stopping Matt Ryan and Julio Jones is going to be too much to ask of the Packers’ secondary. The Falcons will put a lot of points on the board.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 35, Packers 28.

Florio’s take: Six years ago, the sixth-seeded Packers took down the top-seeded Falcons, 48-20. That was a long time ago, and the Falcons have new urgency to get things back on track against a still-flawed Packers team.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 27, Packers 23.

Eagles at Cowboys

MDS’s take: In one of this year’s better prime time games, the Cowboys should beat the Eagles and take control of the NFC East.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 28, Eagles 21.

Florio’s take: Has a game this consequential ever had three rookies in such key roles? This one does, and the team with two of the key rookies has the edge.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 27, Eagles 24.

Vikings at Bears

MDS’s take: Jay Cutler is back, and he’s about to get a rude awakening against the Vikings’ defense. This could get ugly.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 20, Bears 3.

Florio’s take: The Vikings have a tough five-game stretch coming up; if they stub their toe in Chicago, things could quickly fall apart.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 27, Bears 17.

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With a loss tonight, will the Jaguars make a coaching change?

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 23: Head coach Gus Bradley of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks on after the game against the Oakland Raiders at EverBank Field on October 23, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Kirk-and-Spock uniforms that the Jaguars and Titans will wear for the second time are appropriate, given that the aftermath of Thursday’s game could be a remake of Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan has made it clear that, after several years of bad football, he expects improvement this year. Earlier this week, he popped in to the team facility to get answers regarding the team’s unexpected struggles in 2016.

And so it’s reasonable to ask whether a prime-time loss on Thursday night in Nashville will result in Khan making a change at the coaching position. With the bye week gone, the mini-bye that comes after the annual short-week game is the next best opportunity to give an interim head coach extra time to adjust.

While Khan may indeed opt to stay the course for the balance of the season, PFT Planet has spoken loudly in response to the simple up-or-down question of whether Khan should make a change in the event of a loss. The primary in-house option is former Bills coach Doug Marrone, who currently serves as offensive line coach and assistant head coach.

For 2017, the most intriguing option would be former Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin, who led the team to a far more significant date with the Titans, nearly a generation ago. In 1999, the 14-2 Jaguars hosted the 13-3 Titans in the AFC title game, with Tennessee scoring the upset and nearly winning the Super Bowl.

The rivalry, which started in the AFC Central and migrated to the AFC South in 2002, has deteriorated into a punchline. Khan may soon decide to give at least one half of that twice-per-year series some pop.

The decision could come as soon as tonight.

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Goodell sees “tremendous progress” on domestic violence

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 13:  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (L) and Chris Berman of ESPN talk before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Los Angeles Rams at the Los Angeles Coliseum during preseason on August 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) Getty Images

In the wake of harsh criticism over the league’s handling of the Josh Brown case, Roger Goodell is claiming the NFL has moved in the right direction on domestic violence.

“What you see here is a policy that’s evolved,” Goodell told Gary Myers of the New York Daily News. “We’ve learned a lot, but these are complex matters. When you talk to the domestic violence experts, these are difficult matters to deal with. You have rights, you have families that you have to be concerned with, privacy issues. Yes, you want to make sure you’re doing everything possible to address these [alleged incidents] when they happen, but you also want to deal with them to prevent them from happening. I think we’ve made tremendous progress. Can we make more and will we make more? Of course.”

Goodell said Brown’s one-game suspension at the start of the season was solely for one incident that the NFL had information about.

“Here’s the issue, the discipline that occurred on the one game was for the event on May of 2015,” Goodell said. “That was the only one that we were able to get of all the different things that we’ve heard. The decision was made by our team after we had the evidence to be able to support the one game. We knew we would get challenged [by the NFL Players Association] and we were able to uphold it.”

Now that additional information alleging other domestic violence incidents has come out, Goodell said the league is investigating that as well.

“That’s what we’ll do now that we have additional information. We’ll aggressively pursue that and apply our personal conduct policy,” said Goodell.

Of course, Brown has now been released by the Giants, and his reputation has been tarnished to the point that no NFL team will sign him again. Any additional discipline the league hands out is irrelevant.

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Jordan Matthews: Wentz-Prescott could be new Manning-Brady

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 24:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos and Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots speak after the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Patriots 20-18.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

Members of the Eagles organization haven’t been shy about dropping big names when making comparisons between Carson Wentz and other quarterbacks during the impressive start to his rookie season.

Wentz hasn’t been the only impressive rookie quarterback in the NFC East, of course. There’s also Dak Prescott of the Cowboys, who will be on the other side of the field from Wentz in Dallas this weekend. It’s the first meeting between the two quarterbacks and it led to a question for Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews about whether this could be the replacement for the last great quarterback rivalry in the league.

“Peyton [Manning] and [Tom] Brady, that’s an extremely high honor to be mentioned with those guys,” Matthews said, via “I have spoken highly of Carson and know that he could be named with those guys just with more years of playing. And I have a high respect for Dak, too. … You’re talking about a guy who is a poised quarterback, he knows what it means to be a leader, he knows what it means to be game-planned for. And I feel like Carson is the same way. The thing I love about Carson is he has that same ability but he also has a chip on his shoulder. So you’re talking about two guys that could potentially be like a Brady and Peyton rivalry. The only difference is, you’re going to get this two times a year, and possibly playoffs.”

Going from the first two months of a career to anything approaching Manning-Brady proportions is obviously a pretty big stretch, but it would make for a lot of happy people in both Dallas and Philadelphia because it would mean there’s no reason to look for a quarterback for the next decade or so.

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Mike Tomlin benched Eli Rogers over discipline issue

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 12: Wide receiver Eli Rogers #17 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates with teammates tight end Jesse James #81 and center Maurkice Pouncey after scoring a second quarter touchdown while inside linebacker Will Compton #51 of the Washington Redskins looks on at FedExField on September 12, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Steelers receiver Eli Rogers has emerged from a little-known undrafted rookie who spent last year on injured reserve to a starter this year. So when Rogers didn’t play at all on Sunday against the Patriots, it raised eyebrows.

The Steelers haven’t explained why Rogers didn’t play, but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Rogers was being disciplined by coach Mike Tomlin.

There’s no word on what Rogers did to draw Tomlin’s ire, but Tomlin has a history of benching players for not working hard enough in practice or getting in trouble off the field. Even important starters like Santonio Holmes and Rashard Mendenhall have been benched by Tomlin. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said in a radio interview that Rogers needs to “stay focused,” suggesting that poor work habits may have been the reason for Tomlin’s decision.

Pittsburgh could have used Rogers on Sunday, as receiver Markus Wheaton missed the game with a shoulder injury, receiver Sammie Coates has been limited by a hand injury and receiver Antonio Brown suffered an injury late in the game. But Tomlin had made his decision, and Rogers was planted firmly on the bench.

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Lions’ Glover Quin is rich, but doesn’t spend like it

Glover Quin AP

NFL players who make millions of dollars only to go broke shortly after retiring are commonplace. They wouldn’t be if more players lived like Lions safety Glover Quin.

Quin is in the fourth year of a five-year, $23.5 million contract, but he’s still driving the same car he bought before he signed that contract, and he and his family live on just 30 percent of his take-home pay, with the other 70 percent going toward investments.

“You see so many guys around you buying cars, buying jewelry, doing this, spending money, talking about the money that they spend,” Quin told ESPN. “And you’re sitting there like, ‘Man, I’m living off this much money every month, and this cat spending this much money every day.'”

Quin invests 50 to 60 percent of his take-home pay in blue-chip stocks, and 10 to 20 percent in higher-risk private equity. He estimates that his investments have earned about as much for him as he’s earned from his NFL contracts.

“I’ve played for eight years and made this much money, I was in a couple investments for five years and kind of made the same amount of money,” Quin said. “It’s kind of like having a double NFL career.”

Quin said that early in his career, some of his teammates accused him of being cheap. By living comfortably if not lavishly, Quin is setting himself up to be rich for the rest of his life, long after some of those teammates have gone bankrupt.

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No changes to pregame procedures for Patriots-Bills rematch

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 02:  The officials discuss a penalty in the fourth quarter diuring a football game between the Tennessee Titans and the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) Getty Images

The last time the Bills and Patriots got together, a pregame scuffle resulted in thousands in fines but no penalties. In turn, no players received the first of two unsportsmanlike conduct fouls under the new automatic ejection formula.

No penalty flags were thrown because the incident occurred without the officials on the field. The officials weren’t on the field because they don’t arrive until 50 minutes before kickoff.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, no changes will be made to the current pregame procedures in advance of the rematch. Which means that the officials won’t enter the field until 50 minutes before kickoff. Which means that, with more than 50 minutes before kickoff, another scuffle could happen.

While extra attention will be paid to the pregame warmups, if game officials aren’t present to impose pregame penalties, the threat of an eventual ejection won’t apply. And with players like Bills cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman already saying he’ll gladly take another fine, where’s the deterrent?

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Cam Newton: Running is my edge, I’m not going to give it up

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 16:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after his team scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Getty Images

When Panthers quarterback Cam Newton met the media after the team’s Week Six loss to the Saints, he cut the session off after 90 seconds.

He was more expansive in his Wednesday press conference. Newton talked about the concussion he suffered against the Falcons in Week Four, saying he knew he was “messed up” by the hit he took while running the ball for a two-point conversion and that he learned he can’t take his guard down at any point while he’s on the field.

What he won’t do is take running out of his game. Newton only ran once against the Saints, a two-yard touchdown run, but said that his ability to run between the tackles is “forever my edge” in the NFL.

“I look at the game different. That makes defenses prepare for extra things,” Newton said. “So if you take that away, the defense is like ‘Yes, we don’t have to prepare for a quarterback.’ I’m trying to find any and every way to create edges for us, whether that’s me running around, that’s me blocking. I’m just trying to win football games.”

The Panthers haven’t had much luck winning football games this season and losing Newton again won’t do them any favors on that front over the final 10 games. Having Newton play a style that’s uncomfortable to him without taking full advantage of his talent won’t do them any favors either, though, so it seems the Cardinals should be ready to see Newton carrying the ball this Sunday.

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Artis Hicks: Vikings had a bounty program like the Saints’

MINNEAPOLIS - DECEMBER 31: Artis Hicks #79 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during the game against the St. Louis Rams on December 31, 2006 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Rams defeated the Vikings 41-21. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

The NFL cracked down severely on the Saints and many of their players and coaches after an investigation revealed a bounty program with cash payouts to players who injured opponents. The game most frequently cited as an example of the Saints attempting to injure an opponent was the NFC Championship Game victory over the Vikings after the 2009 season.

Now a player who was on that Vikings team is saying Minnesota ran a similar bounty program.

Artis Hicks, an offensive lineman on the 2009 Vikings, told Jeff Pearlman, the author of a new Brett Favre biography, that the Vikings were doing the same thing that got the Saints busted.

“It was part of the culture,” Hicks said, in a book excerpt published by Deadspin. “I had coaches start a pot and all the veterans put in an extra $100, $200, and if you hurt someone special, you get the money. There was a bottom line, and I think we all bought in: you’re there to win, and if taking out the other team’s best player helps you win, hey, it’s nothing personal. Just business.”

Brad Childress was the head coach of the Vikings for Hicks’ entire four-year stint with the team. Childress informed the NFL after that NFC Championship Game that he had heard that the Saints had a bounty on Favre, and Childress testified in former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue’s appeals hearing on Bountygate. He has stayed quiet about the matter publicly, perhaps not wanting to say anything that could see him accused of hypocrisy, given Hicks’ accusation.

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Jaguars owner meets with players and coaches

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 28:  Shahid Khan, the billionaire owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, waits on the field before their game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on December 28, 2014 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Getty Images

Jaguars owner Shad Khan wants to know what’s going on.

According to the Associated Press, Khan met with players and coaches Monday, asking “why are we not winning and what can we do to fix it?

Khan has generally been upbeat and low-profile, but his team is now 14-40 under coach Gus Bradley, and Sunday’s embarrassing home loss to the Raiders included two ejections, one player penalized for a racial slur and way too many flags in general.

Khan reportedly had an open forum, where players and coaches were encouraged to talk about the problems the franchise had, and why they didn’t make the leap so many expected (including someone who picked them to go to the playoffs).

What makes this meeting a concern for everyone with a job there is it’s the second time in a month he spoke to the team. He talked to them prior to their London game, and they responded with a win that time.

If they don’t Thursday night against the Titans, it’s worth wondering how many of the participants in Monday’s meeting (other than Khan) will be around for the next one.

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Robey-Coleman vows Bills will react again to pregame agitation

ap_16276796242133-e1475785431202 AP

When the Bills and Patriots got together in Week Four, a pregame scrum occurred before the officials took the field. No flags were thrown (because the officials, you know, weren’t there to throw the flags), but several Bills players were fined after the fact.

The fact that no Patriots were fined suggests that the home team wasn’t in the wrong. The Bills, who will be the home team for Sunday’s rematch, didn’t see it that way. Buffalo safety Robert Blanton called the decision of quarterback Jacoby Brissett and receiver Malcolm Mitchell to jog through the defensive back’s pregame drills “extremely disrespectful.”

Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman vows to retaliate again, if there’s a repeat of the jogging through their pregame drills, via Mike Rodak of Robey-Coleman, who was fined $10,000 for the Week Four incident, also said he doesn’t mind being fined again.

It’s unknown whether the NFL has altered the pregame procedures, ensuring that officials will be present when players from both teams are on the field. The officials typically don’t come out until 50 minutes before kickoff. The incident from Bills-Pats Round One happened more than 50 minutes before kickoff.

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Tony Romo throws at practice for the first time

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Injured Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys throws prior to a game against the Chicago Bears at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Getty Images

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was back at practice on Wednesday. In a very loose sense that hardly suggests his return to the field is imminent.

Via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Romo threw in individual drills on Wednesday. It’s the first time he has thrown at practice since suffering a compression fracture in his back during the preseason, at Seattle.

Romo has been throwing regularly in recent weeks. His most notable effort came in Week Two, when Romo threw passes before the team’s win at Washington.

With rookie Dak Prescott rolling, the Cowboys have no reason to rush Romo back. Indeed, like most difficult decisions, they seem to be delaying this one as long as they can. Which means that the team is, in a roundabout way, applying the “100 percent” rule to Romo, holding him back until he’s fully and completely healed — and determining whether he’s fully and completely healed based in part on the performance of Prescott.

As long as they’re winning with Prescott, why make any decisions about Romo? As long as Romo, who’s getting $500,000 per week whether he plays or doesn’t, isn’t publicly complaining about the situation, the Cowboys can keep kicking the can unless and until Prescott hits the proverbial rookie wall.

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NFL: No ejection for Jarvis Landry because we can’t tell intent

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 23:  Jarvis Landry #14 of the Miami Dolphins is tackled by  Ronald Darby #28 of the Buffalo Bills at the Hard Rock Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) Getty Images

Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry put Bills safety Aaron Williams in the hospital with a brutal hit to the head on Sunday. That hit drew a 15-yard penalty, but Bills coach Rex Ryan suggested afterward that ejecting Landry would have been appropriate as well.

NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino said on NFL Network that Landry wasn’t ejected because the officials can’t say for sure that Landry was specifically aiming for Williams’ head, as opposed to just making a block and going too high.

“It’s certainly a foul,” Blandino said. “It’s certainly something that we’ll review for potential discipline, but it’s still a football play, and it’s tough to read intent there. That’s why the officials kept him in the game. It’s not an automatic ejection. It’s up to the discretion of the crew and they didn’t feel like it was flagrant enough to throw the player out of the game.”

In college football, a hit like that would be an automatic targeting ejection. In the NFL, there are fewer plays that result in automatic ejections.

“We have very few automatic ejections in the game today,” Blandino said. “If you get two unsportsmanlike conduct fouls in the same game, if you put your hands on a game official in an aggressive way, those are automatic ejections. Punching an opponent.”

That’s an area where college football’s rules make more sense than the NFL’s. If there are going to be automatic ejections at all, an illegal hit to the head that sends a player to the hospital should be something that draws an automatic ejection. College football’s targeting rule has its problems, but it’s a rule that makes more sense than the NFL’s rule of ejecting a player for two taunting fouls, but letting a player stay in the game after a vicious and illegal hit to the head.

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Jay Ajayi takes second straight AFC offensive player of the week

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 23: Jay Ajayi #23 of the Miami Dolphins rushes during a game against the Buffalo Bills on October 23, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Getty Images

Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi joined a small group last Sunday against the Bills.

Ajayi ran for 214 yards in the 28-25 victory, which made him the fourth player in NFL history to run for more than 200 yards in two straight games. Ajayi joins O.J. Simpson, Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams on that list and his running has helped the Dolphins to two straight wins.

It’s also made Ajayi the choice as the AFC offensive player of the week for two weeks in a row. It’s a major turnaround for Ajayi, who was left home at the behest of head coach Adam Gase for the team’s opening game of the season and never ran the ball more than 13 times in a game before breaking out for 204 yards against the Steelers in Week Six.

Ajayi won’t get a chance to make it three straight this week because the Dolphins are on a bye. Should he pick up where he left off come Week Nine, the Dolphins’ outlook for the season will look a lot better than it did when they lost four of their first five games.

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NFL says Bobby Wagner’s leap was legal

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Head coach Bruce Arians of the Arizona Cardinals reacts to referee Terry McAulay #77 during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was furious that Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner wasn’t penalized for jumping over the line to block a field goal on Sunday, saying after the game that he was expecting a “bulls–t” explanation of it from the league.

Now Arians has his explanation.

NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino said on NFL Network that Wagner did not commit a penalty because he did not land on a player. If Wagner had landed on someone after jumping up to block a kick, that would have been a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down. Wagner didn’t do that.

“There’s contact and then there’s incidental contact,” he said. “He can run up and jump, but he can’t land on players. Now if he brushes a player or brushes a teammate with incidental contact, that would be legal. So he’s gonna run, jump and clear the line, block the kick. You look at the TV copy replay and you can see that there is some contact. His foot is going to brush the back of the snapper, but that is not significant contact. It’s incidental. He didn’t land on players. So that’s what made it legal.”

We’ll leave it to others to determine whether that explanation is “bulls–t.”

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