A periodic Playmakers preorder plug

PublicAffairs

In fewer than five months, Playmakers will launch. Until then, I’m trying to get as many of you to buy it as I can.

I know it’s a tough sell, since the book isn’t available for nearly five months. One benefit, as previously mentioned, is the Playmakers podcast, a weekly (sometime more than that) exclusive audio product that features my take on relevant NFL topics. Only those who have preordered qualify for the podcast.

Here’s another reason to preorder, and I’ll freely admit the selfish motive. I want to sell as many of these as I can, obviously. Preordering the book is, in a strange sort of way, your endorsement of what we do. (I know, visiting the website on a regular basis should be enough. And it is. I just always want a little more.)

It’s been a delicate couple of weeks, as you can imagine. We’ve been pushing the Gruden/WFT emails situation aggressively, primarily because I believe someone high in the league’s power structure is deliberately hiding something — and because I believe that whatever it is should be exposed. Buying the book supports the take-no-crap spirit that has fueled this operation for nearly 20 years. And it will give you more than 300 pages of anecdotes and lessons and other content that peels back the curtain on the way the NFL really works, and doesn’t.

So, yes, I’m asking blatantly. Buy the book. Show that you’re behind what we do. Let them know that you are. The stronger the chorus that constantly pushes for the truth, the harder it becomes to hide it.

We’ve seen multiple examples in recent weeks of the cozy access journalism that incentivizes going along to get along. We’ve tried to develop access while also being committed to writing what needs to be written, saying what needs to be said. It’s not easy, especially when some in the business have sold out when it comes to covering the NFL with fierce and stubborn independence.

Playmakers was written with fierce and stubborn independence. After my wife read an early draft, she said, “This is going to piss off a lot of people.” Maybe it will. I didn’t write it with the goal of gratuitously pissing anyone off. I wrote it with the goal of telling the truth.

Truth be told, I’d like you to preorder it. It’s a small price to pay for your lifetime subscription to PFT.

Now that we’ve sold you (unless we haven’t), buy, buy, buy. Here’s the Amazon link. If you prefer to purchase it from Barnes and Noble, you can preorder it there. Or you can preorder it from Book-A-Million. Or through Bookshop.org. Or if you’d like to preorder through an independent bookstore, IndieBound.org can hook you up. A signed copy also can be purchased from Premiere Collectibles.

Daniel Snyder denies leaking WFT emails

Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins
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The NFL won’t say whether it’s investigating the origin of the leaks of emails that brought down Raiders coach Jon Gruden and exposed a too-cozy relationship between NFL general counsel Jeff Pash and former Washington president Bruce Allen. One of the few potential suspects has denied on the record any role in the leaking of emails.

In response to former Washington cheerleader and cheerleading marketing director Melanie Coburn expressing a belief that Snyder leaked the emails, Snyder mobilized his lawyer to deny, deny, deny.

“Any suggestion by Ms. Coburn that anyone associated with the Washington Football Team was behind any leaks concerning Jon Gruden is categorically false and part of a pattern of misinformation being spread by Ms. Coburn,” Jordan Siev said in a statement issued to Fox News, via the New York Post.

Coburn believes Snyder leaked the emails in order to place all blame for the workplace dysfunction on Allen. However, the leaks have created major issues for the WFT, renewing calls for transparency in the investigation and, more specifically, the release of 650,000 emails that, according to the league, were sent to and from Allen over a 10-year period.

It makes no sense for Snyder to invite that scrutiny. Then again, it wouldn’t be the first time Snyder did something that makes no sense.

Regardless, someone with access to the emails leaked the Gruden emails and then the Pash emails. The leaks, which possibly came from different people, could have come only from someone who had the ability to leak the emails. Not many did, or do.

Thus, if the NFL wanted to get to the bottom of the leaks, it quite possibly could. If it did, however, it then would potentially have to impose discipline on an owner. If, of course, the league office’s investigation didn’t ultimately point a finger right back at the league office.

The league won’t investigate, because the league doesn’t want to identify the leaker or, more importantly, to disclose the leaker. The league also has no desire to released the emails or any other information regarding the investigation, and the league hopes to run out the clock before anyone gets to whatever it is that someone is trying to hide.

Plenty continue to encourage us to push for the truth. Anyone who knows anything and would like to help us keep nudge the rock of concealment toward the cliff of transparency, let us know if you have any information.

Tom Brady (thumb) fully participates in practice

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Philadelphia Eagles
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Last week, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady‘s thumb was an issue in practice. It wasn’t an issue during the team’s short-week game against the Eagles.

This week, it wasn’t much of an issue for the first day of practice.

Brady fully participated on Wednesday, but he was still listed on the report as having a thumb injury.

Also participating fully in practice were running back Giovani Bernard (knee, chest), kicker Ryan Succop (back), and safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. (concussion).

Officially not practicing were receiver Antonio Brown (ankle), linebacker Lavonte David (ankle), tight end Rob Gronkowski (ribs), tight end O.J. Howard (ankle), linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder, hand), and cornerback Richard Sherman (hamstring).

The 5-1 Bears host the 3-3 Bears on Sunday.

Bruce Allen sent questionable photo to multiple members of league office in 2011

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Slowly but surely, we’re gathering more information about the 650,000 emails that the league persistently refuses to release. And some of the information makes the reasons for keeping the emails secret even more obvious.

Per a source with knowledge of the contents of the trove of emails sent to and received by former Washington president Bruce Allen, he sent a questionable photo to multiple members of the league office. The photo depicted two scantily clad women. One was bent over, and the other one was giving her a shot in the buttocks with a fake needle. Allen wrote, “For our next meeting on HGH” or words to that effect.

The NFL confirmed that the email was sent, but the league points out it was sent in 2011. The league also confirmed that recipients included Dennis Curran, Senior Vice-President and General Counsel for the NFL Management Council, and Adolpho Birch, the NFL’s former Senior Vice President of Labor Policy & League Affairs. Neither responded to the email, according to the NFL.

The fact that they didn’t respond cuts both ways. On one hand, they didn’t engage in any discourse on the matter. On the other hand, they didn’t express disapproval or instruct Allen not to send similar emails in the future, at least not via email. (To be fair, it’s possible that he was called, for example, and told to not do that. We don’t know whether that did or didn’t happen.)

This is just another reason why all 650,000 emails need to be seen. And why the NFL, frankly, doesn’t want them all to be revealed.

PFT’s 2021 MVP watch, Week Seven

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Kyler Murray is back on top.

Like every Wednesday, here are our current leading candidates, with odds from the PointsBet sportsbook. And there’s another new favorite again.

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (+350, last week +650): Arizona is the last unbeaten team, and Kyler Murray would win the award if it were awarded today.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen (+500, last week +500): Holding firm in the odds, Allen continues to be a serious contender — especially with a soft schedule on the horizon.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (+1000, last week +1200): The Ravens hold the No. 1 seed in the AFC, one of the keys to getting serious consideration.

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (+600, last week +500): If the Bucs finish with the No. 1 in the NFC, he’ll likely win it.

Titans running back Derrick Henry (+2500; last week +5000): We pegged Henry as a major value at +8000. Given that he’s on pace to shatter the single-season rushing record, +2500 is still a good value.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (+1100, last week +1000): There’s no reason for his odds to have dropped, making him an even better value.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (+500, last week +700): That calf injury makes him a risky bet, until we know whether he’ll miss time because of it.

Others to watch: Patrick Mahomes (+1600), Justin Herbert (+1200), Matthew Stafford (+800), Joe Burrow (+10000).

Oddity: Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs, at +15000, has better odds than his older brother, Bills WR Stefon Diggs, at +20000.

Davis Mills starts again for the Texans

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Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor is day-to-day with a lingering hamstring injury. The day of his return won’t be Sunday.

Houston coach David Culley told reporters on Wednesday that rookie Davis Mills will start against the Cardinals.

Mills has started four games for the Texans. He also played in the second half of the Week Two loss to the Browns.

For the year, Mills has completed 88 of 139 passes for 912 yards, with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has a passer rating of 73.2.

The 6-0 Cardinals are currently 17.5-point favorites against the Texans, who have lost five in a row after winning in Week One over Jacksonville.

Olin Kreutz wants to punch Aaron Rodgers in the face

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On Sunday, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made his thoughts regarding the Bears known to their fans. Then, a former Bears player made his thoughts regarding Rodgers known.

Olin Kreutz, appearing on WSCR radio in Chicago, said of Rodgers, “I’d like to punch him in his face.”

“When you see that, that’s your first reaction, right?,” Kreutz added regarding Rodgers’s interaction with Chicago fans after scoring a touchdown at Soldier Field, via NBCChicago.com. “I don’t care if you’re right. I don’t care what his excuse is, that just is your first reaction. To me, that’s a lame excuse. . . . Just because you’re right doesn’t make you right for doing it.”

Rodgers addressed Kreutz’s remarks during his weekly appearance with Pat McAfee.

“Are we getting that soft as a society that we can’t have a back and forth now?” Rodgers said, via NBCSportsChicago.com. “Somebody can pay for a ticket and say whatever the hell they want, which I think they should be able to, that’s fine, but the one time you say something back to them, that gets caught on hot mic . . . now it’s that I’ve disrespected an entire city and organization and my own organization.”

Yeah, it’s a damn shame that people would be so sensitive.

Meanwhile, Kreutz may not have engaged in mere hyperbole. In 2005, he punched Bears teammate Fred Miller in the face, breaking his jaw. Kreutz reportedly did the same thing prior to the 1998 draft with a University of Washington teammate, based on an ESPN.com item regarding the Miller injury.

So, basically, Rodgers should keep his head on a swivel. Of all the people who’d possibly like to punch him in the face, Kreutz is one with a clear track record of punching faces.

Bruce Allen, Jeff Pash exchanged more than 1,000 emails

NFL: DEC 15 Eagles at Redskins
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There are plenty of questions that remain unanswered regarding the developments that culminated in the resignation of Raiders coach Jon Gruden.

Here’s one to which we’ve recently gotten an answer. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the 650,000 emails sent to or by former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen includes more than 1,000 emails exchanged with NFL general counsel Jeff Pash.

The NFL did not confirm or deny the number, but pointed out that 1,000 emails over 10 years would work out to roughly two per week.

Last week, someone with access to the 650,000 emails leaked a few of them to the media. There definitely are more. The question is whether there are more that would be problematic for Pash.

Although none of the emails Pash sent to Allen contain the kind of blatantly offensive content seen in the Gruden emails, there are more subtle concerns arising from Pash’s flippant remarks about the wall on the Mexican border, Allen’s effort to reduce a player’s salary (Pash called it “the Lord’s work), and commentary on whether players exercise their right to vote (Allen guessed it’s one percent, and Pash said “maybe even take the under“). The emails also raise competitive concerns regarding possible favoritism to the Washington Football Team (if so, it didn’t help much).

Obviously, there are many more emails between Pash and Allen than those that have been leaked. All should be released and reviewed. And, yes, it would be very appropriate at this point to explore the text messages between Allen and Pash. As noted last night, text messages were not reviewed as part of the investigation.

They still could be. Maybe they should be. Before that, the NFL should release all of the 650,000 emails, starting with those exchanged by Allen and Pash.

DeMaurice Smith: The owners, not Roger Goodell, will make the decision on WFT transparency

NFL: OCT 28 Hearing on NFL Head Injuries
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The NFL may never release any evidence regarding the Washington Football Team workplace misconduct investigation or the 650,000 emails supposedly sent to and from former WFT president Bruce Allen that fell beyond the scope of the investigation. But that doesn’t mean people will, or should, stop asking.

Appearing on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith reiterated his call for transparency regarding the 650,000 emails, and more.

“To be precise, I’m calling on or we’re calling on and I think the country should call on the release of any information within the league’s possession that is evidence of racial animus, sexism, misogyny, bias, homophobia,” Smith told Gumbel.

Although Smith may have legal avenues that he can pursue, the easiest path would be for the NFL to do the right thing and release the 650,000 emails, for starters. Does Smith trust Commissioner Roger Goodell to do the right thing?

“Roger and I have had an interesting relationship over time,” Smith said in response to that specific question. “And there are times when, as you know, he and I have gone at it on behalf of our respective members in brutal fashion, and I make no apology for that at all. . . . While both of us bring a level of skill to our job, there are aspects of our job that require more than just skill. It requires a dedication and a belief to something bigger. . . .”

Gumbel then became more blunt and direct. Does Smith think Goodell has the courage to do the right thing?

“Yes,” Smith said. “Yes. I do. And does that mean the right thing is going to occur? I don’t know. Because the National Football League is less a corporation than it is a feudal, oligarch system. And the decision, the ultimate decision, I believe about what will happen with the direction that this league will take will fall to the 32 [owners] more than it will fall to the decision of the Commissioner.”

That’s an excellent point. Although these matters are being handled at the highest levels of the NFL, Goodell only has so much power over what ultimately will occur. He serves at the will and pleasure of the owners. They hired him. They pay him. They run the show. And he has survived long enough to know when to stand down and let the men behind the curtain pull the levers and press the buttons.

And so the question becomes not whether Goodell will do the right thing or whether he’ll have the courage to do the right thing. The question becomes whether those who run the “feudal, oligarch system” will let him do the right thing.

So far, the league hasn’t done the right thing. As Gumbel noted at one point during the interview, it was the leak of the Jon Gruden emails that prompted his departure as coach of the Raiders. Someone within the broader NFL power structure had those emails for weeks if not months before the leaks of specific messages began.

“That’s a problem,” Smith said regarding the fact that the NFL had these emails long before they became public. “I love football, and I love the game. But we should be aspiring to the best nature of ourselves and in our sport and in our business, and I don’t understand how the critical party of that business can be aware of these emails for so long and do nothing about it.”

He’s right. And I still don’t understand how an issue that could have come to a head well before the start of the season exploded during it, forcing the Raiders to pivot to an interim coach for 11 regular-season games. Aside from the important workplace and cultural issues raised by this entire situation, someone with access to those emails used them to take out Gruden in a way that directly undermined the competitive integrity of the 2021 NFL season.

With Baker Mayfield banged up, are Browns better off with Case Keenum?

Arizona Cardinals v Cleveland Browns
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Whenever the health of a starter at any position dips below 100 percent, the team must ask itself when and if it makes more sense to go with a backup who has no injuries over the starter who does.

In Cleveland, given the recent performances of quarterback Baker Mayfield, who suffered a left shoulder injury in Week Two and another in Week Six, it’s fair to ask whether the team is currently better off with Case Keenum under center.

It’s one of the cold, hard realities of pro football. No one is entitled to play. No one should regard their job as a birthright. At times on Tuesday, however, Mayfield sounded like someone who views his position as beyond question, and that he regards the ultimate decision on whether to play to be his and his alone.

“I think whenever you decide to get some of these reps, get the pads on and simulate some of these game throws, if I am not able to do and be 100 percent, that is where I would be out,” Mayfield told reporters. “I have to make that decision. Only I know how my body feels. If anyone questions whether I am hindering the team and going out there injured, that is just not right. It is my decision. I get to say whether I am able to play or not, and that is just how it is.”

It is absolutely right for people to question whether Mayfield is hindering the team when playing while injured. As Charean Williams put it very bluntly on Tuesday’s #PFTPM, if Mayfield’s injury hasn’t been hindering him or the team, then the only other explanation for his recent performance is that he’s just not very good.

Either way, the Browns need to be thinking about giving Keenum a shot.

Yes, Keenum, who stepped in for Sam Bradford in Week Two of the 2017 season and took the Vikings all the way to the NFC Championship. His quarterback coach at the time was Kevin Stefanski. As in current Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski.

Mayfield’s attitude, his drive, his stubbornness, his moxie is a big part of what makes him great. It becomes an impediment in situations like this, however, where the Browns have to manage a strong personality that refuses to take “maybe you should take a seat” for an answer.

Then again, it’s those traits that got him in his jam in the first place. By deciding to try to make a tackle after throwing an interception, Mayfield injured himself. He violated the basic concept of living to play another day, a critical factor for all starting quarterbacks.

With the 3-3 Browns at an important crossroads as they deal with a rash of key injuries, Mayfield is the last one who should be deciding whether he plays while injured. He’s wired to not stand down. Someone who is wired to think only in the best interests of the team should be deciding whether Mayfield keeps playing despite the ongoing issue with his left shoulder.

Jaguars defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot delivers his own daughter

Denver Broncos v Jacksonville Jaguars
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The Jaguars got back from London just in time.

Early Tuesday, the wife of defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot went into labor. As they headed for the hospital, Aumari Smoot fell to her knees. After Dawuane caught his wife, he then delivered his daughter in his living room.

Paramedics helped him with the tying of the umbilical cord.

The baby’s name is Ahlani Moon Smoot. She’ll always have an interesting story to tell of how she made her official entrance to the world.

Smoot, a third-round pick of the Jaguars in 2017, is in his fifth year with the team.

Investigation of Washington Football Team didn’t include text messages

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While investigating the Washington Football Team’s workplace issues, attorney Beth Wilkinson stumbled over enough to get her to gather more than 650,000 emails that, per the league, were sent by or to former team president Bruce Allen and that fell beyond the scope of the investigation.

For some reason (still not disclosed by the league), Wilkinson did not examine emails sent by or to other current or former team employees. For some reason (still not disclosed by the league), the investigation did not extend to text messages. The NFL informed PFT on Tuesday, in response to an email inquiry from PFT, that the investigation did not include text messages.

You know, text messages. The format where people tend to be WAY more relaxed and revealing than they are when typing emails. The format that the NFL aggressively harvested when trying to jam the square peg of prevailing atmospheric conditions into the round hole of evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs used by the Patriots in the 2014 AFC Championship.

The more we learn, the less sense any of this makes. How did Bruce Allen send or receive, on average, 178 emails per day every day for a decade? How did the emails sent to Allen by Jon Gruden and Jeff Pash leak? Why won’t the NFL, which has hidden information about the WFT investigation by citing confidentiality concerns as to employees who came forward, release 650,000 emails that by the league’s admission fall beyond the scope of the investigation?

They’re hiding something. They’re hiding a lot. They’re hoping that the passage of time and the playing of more games will cause the issue to die down.

It most definitely should not. But we can only do so much. Others with investigative resources need to be chasing answers to the unanswered questions. Others with standing to sue need to be exploring all legal options for compelling the materials to be produced. Others with license to hold hearings on the inner workings of a sports league that relies heavily on the attention, funding, and confidence of the public need to demand transparency.

I’ve been encourage by multiple people with multiple teams and, frankly, within the league office to keep pushing this issue. To not let the story go away. To continue to press for the truth to come out.

There’s plenty of truth that is currently being hidden behind the curtain. They want us to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. That’s all the more reason to be zealous and vigilant about peeling it back and getting a look at what’s really going on.

Ronnie Stanley to have season-ending ankle surgery

Baltimore Ravens v Washington Football Team
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The Ravens won’t have tackle Ronnie Stanley for the rest of the year.

Stanley, who suffered a broken ankle after signing a long-term deal in 2020, played in the regular-season opener before exiting, due to lingering issues with the ankle. The team announced on Tuesday that he’ll have another surgery on the ankle, and that he’ll miss the rest of the season.

“This is not what I wanted or expected when coming into the season,” Stanley said. “Throughout the year, I did everything I could to be 100 percent healthy so I could be out there playing for our team and city. As a competitor, I have a mindset of sacrificing my body for my brothers and my team to reach our goals. At this point in time, my ankle isn’t where it should be.”

Stanley added that he hopes to return at full health in 2022.

Signed through 2025, Stanley inked a five-year $98.75 million extension in 2020. Of the amount, more than $64 million is guaranteed.

NFL: The 650,000 emails were sent to and from Bruce Allen on his WFT team account

Washington Redskins v Miami Dolphins
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Many questions remain regarding the 650,000 emails from which a handful were leaked in recent days, ending the coaching career of Jon Gruden and creating at a minimum discomfort for NFL general counsel Jeff Pash. One of the questions now has an answer.

Where did the 650,000 emails come from? Per the NFL, they were sent to and from former Washington president Bruce Allen on his team account, and they also were “outside the scope of the workplace culture investigation.”

Allen worked for the team from December 17, 2009 through December 31, 2019. So that’s an average of 65,000 emails sent or received per year. Which works out to 178 sent or received per day.

The answer as to the nature and origin of the 650,000 emails raises another important question. How many other emails were sent to and from current and former WFT employees during the period covered by the investigation? The NFL, through the investigation conducted by attorney Beth Wilkinson, did not review any of those.

Finally (for now), the fact that the Bruce Allen emails fall “outside the scope of the workplace culture investigation” undercuts the NFL’s stated reason for keeping the 650,000 Bruce Allen emails secret. The league continues to hide behind the notion that everything must be kept confidential in deference to the current and former WFT employees who came forward and provided information as part of the workplace culture investigation. If the 650,000 Bruce Allen emails fell outside the scope of the workplace culture investigation, there’s no reason to hide them.

Putting it more accurately, there’s no legitimate reason. For now, the NFL is relying on an illegitimate reason for refusing to release all of the emails for inspection, scrutiny, and any/all consequences that would flow therefrom.

PFT’s Week Seven 2021 power rankings

NFL: OCT 17 Cardinals at Browns
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1. Cardinals (6-0, last week No. 2): I keep saying “it won’t last.” And it keeps lasting.

2. Buccaneers (5-1, No. 3): They’ll be No. 1 again, in time.

3. Ravens (5-1, No. 4): To those who complained about the Ravens being No. 4, well, they’re no longer No. 4.

4. Rams (5-1, No. 5): Jared Goff returning to L.A. to face the Rams lacks the sizzle of Brady vs. the Patriots, for some reason.

5. Packers (5-1, No. 6): With each passing week, the Week One outcome becomes more confusing.

6. Bills (4-2, No. 1): The upcoming schedule is littered with wins.

7. Cowboys (5-1, No. 7): Cowboys fans need to brace for the possibility that, after the bye, it could be Cooper Rush at QB for a bit.

8. Bengals (4-2, No. 10): The Bengals may not be a Super Bowl team in 2021, but it feels like it’s coming.

9. Titans (4-2, No. 14): We’re witnessing history from Derrick Henry. And we need to start noticing.

10. Chargers (4-2, No. 8): Battleship 1, Strawberry 0.

11. Chiefs (3-3, No. 11): The Chiefs are trying to fix a flat tire on a moving car. With Patrick Mahomes, it’s not impossible.

12. Saints (3-2, No. 12): With so many great teams in the NFC, the Saints need to start stringing wins together now.

13. Raiders (4-2, No. 15): Everyone should be pulling for the Raiders, given the obvious and blatant efforts by someone with plenty of power and influence to torpedo their entire season by forcing an October coaching change.

14. Browns (3-3, No. 9): The Browns don’t do high expectations very well.

15. Vikings (3-3, No. 16): The next two games (Cowboys, Ravens) will go a long way toward determining whether this team can get to the playoffs.

16. Panthers (3-3, No. 13): 3-0 with Christian McCaffrey. And 0-3 without him.

17. Steelers (3-3, No. 21): Never, ever, ever write off the Steelers.

18. Patriots (2-4, No. 17): There’s no column in the standings for moral victories.

19. Seahawks (2-4, No. 18): Could Pete Carroll actually be sliding toward the hot seat?

20. 49ers (2-3, No. 20): Could Kyle Shanahan actually be sliding toward the hot seat?

21. Bears (3-3, No. 19): The Bears would welcome having a player-owner again.

22. Eagles (2-4, No. 22): The “hey we didn’t get our asses kicked by a much better team” thing only works for so long.

23. Falcons (2-3, No. 24): They’re good enough to make plenty of their games interesting.

24. Colts (2-4, No. 27): Give them credit for quickly getting past a heartbreaking loss to the Ravens.

25. Broncos (3-3, No. 23): If the season ended today, the Broncos would be the No. 7 seed in the AFC. When the season actually ends, they will not be.

26. Washington (2-4, No. 25): Their regression in 2021 makes their division title in 2020 even more impressive.

27. Jaguars (1-5, No. 32): Matthew Wright won a job by saving the head coach’s.

28. Jets (1-4, No. 29): “Thank you, Giants.”

29. Giants (1-5, No. 26): The person most responsible for the chronic mess in New York should be fired. John Mara, however, likely won’t fire himself.

30. Dolphins (1-5, No. 28): Stephen Ross’s finger is inching closer to the reset button.

31. Texans (1-5, No. 30): Well, at least they got their own win.

32. Lions (0-6, No. 31): Are the 2008 Lions rooting for the 2021 Lions to keep losing?