Week Three power rankings

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1. Jaguars (2-0; last week No. 4): They’ve finally made it to the top. How long will they stick around?

2. Rams (2-0; No. 5): The best team in the NFC gets a chance to prove it’s the best team in L.A. this weekend.

3. Chiefs (2-0; No. 7): There’s no need for 65 Toss Power Trap with Patrick Mahomes around.

4. Buccaneers (2-0; No. 14): It’s shocking that DeSean Jackson would prefer the quarterback who actually throws Jackson the ball.

5. Eagles (1-1; No. 1): With Carson Wentz back at quarterback and with plenty of receivers injured, maybe Nick Foles should change positions.

6. Falcons (1-1; No. 6): Who needs Devonta Freeman when Matt Ryan can get two rushing touchdowns on his own?

7. Vikings (1-0-1; No. 8): A tie is like cutting your kicker.

8. Packers (1-0-1; No. 3): With DeShone Kizer, the Packers would have lost by 20 or more.

9. Patriots (1-1; No. 2): Josh Gordon was acquired for one reason — the inevitable Jacksonville rematch.

10. Chargers (1-1; No. 15): The Fight for L.A. becomes literal on Sunday, and it could be the closest the Chargers come to a Super Bowl for a while.

11. Bengals (2-0; No. 20): The Bengals are making it hard to forget about the league’s most forgettable team.

12. Saints (1-1; No. 9): Complain all you want, Who Dats, but barely beating the woebegone Browns more than justifies a three-spot drop.

13. Dolphins (2-0; No. 16): Jay Cutler isn’t impressed.

14. Ravens (1-1; No. 11): Few win road games when they spot the opponent 21. When that doesn’t happen, the Ravens will win far more than they lose.

15. Panthers (1-1; No. 12): Every stride the NFL claims to make in concussion awareness is undermined by every concussion evaluation Cam Newton avoids.

16. Steelers (0-1-1; No. 10): The Steel Curtain has become a soggy piece of construction paper.

17. 49ers (1-1; No. 18): For Kyle Shanahan, 30-13 almost went the way of 28-3.

18. Broncos (2-0; No. 19): Things may change once the team has to play on the road.

19. Bears (1-1; No. 21): Eight days after blowing a 17-point fourth-quarter lead, they tried hard to blow a 14-point fourth-quarter lead.

20. Seahawks (0-2; No. 13): It’s not too early to say the season hinges on beating the Cowboys this weekend.

21. Titans (1-1; No. 23): What’s more amazing, the fact that Blaine Gabbert is still in the NFL or the fact that he won an NFL game?

22. Colts (1-1; No. 28): 2018 Andrew Luck is starting to look like pre-2016 Andrew Luck.

23. Texans (0-2; No. 17): 2018 Deshaun Watson is not looking like 2017 Deshaun Watson.

24. Cowboys (1-1; No. 24): For at least one night, 2018 Dak Prescott looked like 2016 Dak Prescott.

25. Jets (1-1; No. 25): The Jets once again look like the Jets.

26. Washington (1-1; No. 22): It’s good they’re hoping to build a new stadium that fans won’t come to.

27. Raiders (0-2; No. 26): Outscored 23-0 in the final 15 minutes of the first two games, the fourth quarter is triggering extra four-letter words from Chucky.

28. Giants (0-2; No. 27): Maybe Pat Shurmur should wear a big suit and slick back his hair, because he’s quickly becoming Ben McAdoo.

29. Lions (0-2; No. 30): A close loss on the road gives the Lions hope. Until the Patriots blow them out.

30. Browns (0-1-1; No. 31): They only moved up a spot because the two teams below them should be relegated.

31. Cardinals (0-2; No. 29): Sam Bradford is averaging 4.0 yards per pass this season, which means that maybe they should just run the ball on every play.

32. Bills (0-2; No. 32): Vontae Davis quit at halftime. The rest of the team hasn’t been showing up at all.

A radical idea for creating clarity as to roughing the passer

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The NFL rule book continues to grow every year, with new rules always added and few if any rules ever taken away. While in many respects a byproduct of unforeseen situations creating undesirable outcomes that the league hopes to ensure will be unrepeated, the end result is that more rules and regulations and points of emphasis and interpretations continue to emerge, making it harder for players, coaches, media, and fans to ever know what is and what isn’t a foul, and why it is and isn’t a foul.

Roughing the passer presents a prime example of this phenomenon. That specific portion of the rule book currently consists of more than 1,000 words, with eight different parts aimed at protecting the passer from unwarranted violence and, in turn, unacceptable risk of injury. And the end result, as many have noticed, is that defensive players can’t hit the quarterback high, can’t hit the quarterback low, and can’t hit him in the middle for fear of driving him into the ground or land.

So if people are going to both hate the rule and not understand it, why not go with a rule that they’ll hate but understand?

This one came from a half-joking response to a question posed to me by Big Cat and PFT Commenter on the Pardon My Take podcast regarding the controversial Clay Matthews call from Sunday. If the NFL is so intent on protecting quarterbacks that defensive players feel like they can’t hit quarterbacks, why not just keep them from hitting quarterbacks?

Specifically, why not apply to passers the same rules that apply to punters and kickers? Once the ball is away (and if the ball isn’t tipped behind the line of scrimmage), the quarterback can’t be touched.

Punters and kickers, who are easily replaceable, have enjoyed that protection for decades because of the vulnerable position they assume when punting or kicking as players swarm around them. The vulnerability is similar for quarterbacks when stepping into a throw, and the importance of the quarterback is far greater.

The revised rule would apply only while the passer in the pocket, and it would entail the two levels that apply to punters and kickers: Five yards for running into the kicker and 15 yards and a first down for roughing him.

Yes, it’s a radical concept. But if many (if not most) hits by defensive players on quarterbacks will be penalized under current rules, why not change make all post-pass hits a foul? Protections would still apply before the pass is thrown, but perhaps they would be a bit more relaxed. And perhaps defensive players would be more measured in their pursuit of a quarterback if they know that failure to hit him before the ball is out will automatically trigger a penalty.

It’s not the ideal solution. But it’s a far better solution than a convoluted set of rules that no one really understands and that contains far more gray than black and white. In situations like this, resorting to something more clear and understandable could be a major improvement. Especially if the overriding goal is to keep quarterbacks as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

FMIA Week 2: Players Make Plays, and Patrick Mahomes Has Made a Perfect 10 For The High-Flying Chiefs

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The NFL season is two weeks old and it’s been quite a ride so far. Today, Peter King’s Football Morning in America column covers:

Patrick Mahomes’ insane start … the Chiefs quarterback has 10 touchdowns in two games and his major-league dad tells some tales about his son’s past that help show why he’s so ready for this moment. The rest of Week 2 … Fitzmagic continues for Tampa (while Jameis texts his teammates); Kirk Cousins shines, refs blow call in odd Packers-Vikings tie; Jags avenge loss to Patriots.

A must-read book … and a must-read Patriots-Hooters comparison from the timely tome by probing political writer Mark Leibovich, who turns his sharp eye on the NFL landscape today. How to stay in shape … an NFL veteran explains the methods to his madness, including his super-secret P.E.D. and how he manages to regularly choke down kale.

Thoughts, notes, opinions on Vontae Davis’ halftime retirement; Josh Gordon’s next chapter; the Week 2 awards; the super early MVP front-runners; and more. Plus 10 things, factoids, coffeenerdness and a travel note about uncomfortable conversations with inanimate objects. [more]

Week Two early inactives

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Every week we bring you all the inactives from the early games in one post, constantly updated with the latest information. Check back to see the full list as it becomes available 90 minutes ahead of the 1 p.m. ET kickoffs.

Dolphins at Jets

Dolphins: QB Luke Falk, QB David Fales, WR DeVante Parker, CB Cordrea Tankersley, RB Kalen Ballage, T Zach Sterup

Jets: LB Josh Martin, S Marcus Maye, TE Jordan Leggett, CB Juston Burris, OL Dakota Dozier, DL Foley Fatukasi, CB Derrick Jones

Browns at Saints

Browns: DE Emmanuel Ogbah, QB Drew Stanton, WR Josh Gordon, LB Christian Kirksey, TE Seth DeValve, DL Devaroe Lawrence, DL Ifeadi Odenigbo

Saints: DT Tyeler Davison, DE Trey Hendrickson, WR Cameron Meredith, C Will Clapp, TE Dan Arnold, CB Arthur Maulet, OL Cameron Tom

Chargers at Bills

Chargers: WR Travis Benjamin, LB Emmanuel Ellerbee, C Cole Toner, RT Joe Barksdale, G Forrest Lamp, DT T.Y. McGill, DE Joey Bosa

Bills: WR Ray-Ray McCloud, TE Khari Lee, G Wyatt Teller, OT Conor McDermott, G Ike Boettger, CB Taron Johnson, DE Shaq Lawson

Chiefs at Steelers

Chiefs: S Eric Berry, RB Darrel Williams, CB Charvarius Ward, LB Ben Niemann, OL Austin Reiter, OL Kahlil McKenzie, DL Justin Hamilton

Steelers: QB Mason Rudolph, WR Justin Hunter, CB Joe Haden, S Marcus Allen, G David DeCastro, T Zach Banner, DE Tyson Alualu

Colts at Washington

Colts: T Anthony Castonzo, T Denzelle Good, DT Denico Autry, CB Chris Milton, DE Tarell Basham, RB Christine Michael, CB Lenzy Pipkins

Washington: S Troy Apke, WR Maurice Harris, RB Samaje Perine, CB Adonis Alexander, C Casey Dunn, OL Geron Christian, DL Caleb Brantley

Eagles at Buccaneers

Eagles: WR Alshon Jeffery, OL Jordan Maialata, OL Matt Pryor, RB Darren Sproles, DL Josh Sweat, G Chance Warmack, QB Carson Wentz

Buccaneers: OL Alex Cappa, CB Brent Grimes, RB Ronald Jones, OL Mike Liedtke, DE Noah Spence, DT Vita Vea, WR Justin Watson

Panthers at Falcons

Panthers: TE Greg Olsen, WR Damiere Byrd, WR Curtis Samuel, G Trai Turner, DE Bryan Cox Jr., DE Efe Obada, LB Andre Smith

Falcons: RB Devonta Freeman, G Ben Garland, DE Steven Means, CB Isaiah Oliver, WR Russell Gage, T Matt Gono, DT Justin Zimmer

Texans at Titans

Texans: WR Sammie Coates, WR Keke Coutee, LB Jadeveon Clowney, CB Kayvon Webster, T Roderick Johnson, DE Carlos Watkins, DE Christian Covington

Titans: T Taylor Lewan, T Jack Conklin, T Dennis Kelly, S Kendrick Lewis, LB Aaron Wallace, WR Cameron Batson, DL Matt Dickerson

Vikings at Packers

Vikings: C Pat Elflein, QB Kyle Sloter, RB Mike Boone, RB Roc Thomas, OL Bryan Witzmann, DT Jalyn Holmes, DE Tashawn Bower

Packers: LB Oren Burks, WR Equanimeous St. Brown, S Josh Jones, S Raven Greene, CB Deante Burton, T/G Alex Light, WR J'Mon Moore

Dirk Koetter: Percentages say go for it on fourth down, but if I fail I’m out of here

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Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter says there are two choices on fourth down: Play the percentages, or play it safe. And he usually chooses to play it safe.

The Buccaneers kicked on every fourth down in Sunday’s win over the Saints, and when Koetter was asked about that afterward, he acknowledged that the analytics have shown that going for it on fourth down is often the wise move. But in the next breath, Koetter said he doesn’t want to risk going for it on fourth down at the wrong time, perhaps costing his team a game and himself a job.

“The percentages say you should go for it almost every time,” Koetter said. “We’ve studied the analytics on it and the problem with looking at it like that – those are all looking at all fourth downs over the course of the season. You might get three in a row, but if I don’t get it in this particular game, we might be losing, and I might be out of here. We’ve got a plan for every game. We have a plan for the season and then we do an analytical plan based on the team we’re playing. There’s analytic number that tell you what to do on every play, but this game isn’t played by computers. It’s combination there – you’ve got to make decisions in real time and not look back.”

It’s true that a coach who goes for it on fourth down more often might make three in a row and then get stopped on a key fourth down that costs his team a game, and if that happens the coach will be criticized and maybe even fired. But a coach refuses to go for it on fourth down also risks losing, being criticized and fired. In NFL coaching, your job is always on the line. You might as well fight for your job with every weapon available to you, and one of those weapons is analytics, which have consistently shown that going for it more often on fourth down is wise.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson understands that. Pederson has embraced analytics and was the NFL’s most aggressive coach on fourth down last year during the regular season, and continued his analytical approach in winning the Super Bowl.

Pederson’s success ought to be a lesson to other coaches about going for it on fourth down, but some coaches are stubborn. Shortly before Koetter was promoted from the Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator to head coach, he scoffed at analytics, saying, “I don’t need a freaking piece of paper with a bunch of numbers on there” to make his decisions. That mindset may be changing thanks to Pederson’s success, but it’s changing slowly.

Week Two injury report roundup

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Week Two of the 2018 NFL season kicked off on Thursday with a win by the Bengals and it continues with 14 more games on Sunday, which means that the 28 teams in those games submitted their final injury reports of the week on Friday.

Questionable players are uncertain to play, doubtful players are unlikely to play and out should be self-explanatory. Players who are on active rosters and don’t appear below should be considered healthy enough to play barring any announcements on Saturday. The teams playing on Monday night won’t release their injury reports until Saturday and are not listed here.

With that housekeeping out of the way, here are all the injury reports for Sunday.

Dolphins at Jets

LS John Denney (shoulder), DE William Hayes (finger) and WR DeVante Parker (finger) are listed as questionable for the Dolphins.

Jets S Marcus Maye (foot) is set to miss his second straight game. LB Josh Martin (concussion) is definitely out and S Doug Middleton (finger) is deemed questionable to play in the AFC East clash.

Browns at Saints

DE Emmanuel Ogbah (ankle) will be out of the lineup for the Browns. LB Christian Kirksey (shoulder, ankle) is listed as questionable.

DT Tyeler Davison (foot) is the only Saints player with an injury designation. He has been ruled out.

Chargers at Bills

The Chargers ruled out T Joe Barksdale (knee), DE Joey Bosa (foot) and CB Craig Mager (hamstring). WR Travis Benjamin (foot) is considered questionable.

CB Taron Johnson (shoulder) and DE Shaq Lawson (hamstring) will miss the game for the Bills. WR Ray-Ray McCloud (knee) is listed as questionable.

Chiefs at Steelers

The Chiefs are set to play without S Eric Berry (heel) again this week after listing him as doubtful. LB Ben Niemann (hamstring) has been ruled out.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) is listed as questionable after returning to practice on Friday. CB Artie Burns (toe), DT Cameron Heyward (knee) and TE Vance McDonald (foot) are also questionable for Pittsburgh. DE Tyson Alualu (shoulder), G David DeCastro (hand) and CB Joe Haden (hamstring) are likely out after being listed as doubtful.

Colts at Washington

The Colts ruled out Denico Autry (ankle), T Anthony Castonzo (hamstring), T Denzelle Good (knee, wrist) and CB Chris Milton (concussion). S Clayton Geathers (knee), RB Marlon Mack (hamstring) and DT Grover Stewart (shoulder) drew questionable tags.

Washington S Troy Apke (hamstring) is out this weekend. WR Maurice Harris (concussion), T Morgan Moses (knee) and WR Paul Richardson (shoulder) were listed as questionable.

Eagles at Buccaneers 

Eagles RB Darren Sproles (hamstring) got hurt in practice this week and will miss the game. WR Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) and QB Carson Wentz (knee) remain out. WR Shelton Gibson (knee) is listed as questionable.

CB Brent Grimes (groin) and DT Vita Vea (calf) remain out for the Buccaneers. WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder, concussion) and DE Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) were listed as questionable after returning to practice for the final two days of the week.

Panthers at Falcons

The Panthers will take on their NFC South rivals without WR Damiere Byrd (knee), TE Greg Olsen (foot), WR Curtis Samuel (medical illness) and G Trai Turner (concussion).

The Falcons won’t have RB Devonta Freeman (knee), WR Russell Gage (knee) or G Ben Garland (calf). CB Isaiah Oliver (ankle) is listed as questionable.

Texans at Titans

CB Kayvon Webster (Achilles) is the only Texans player ruled out ahead of Sunday’s game. CB Johnson Bademosi (knee), LB Jadeveon Clowney (back, elbow), WR Sammie Coates (hamstring), WR Keke Coutee (hamstring), DE Christian Covington (thigh, knee), LB Duke Ejiofor (hamstring), WR Will Fuller (hamstring), and WR DeAndre Hopkins (foot) are all listed as questionable.

QB Marcus Mariota (right elbow) is questionable for the Titans and head coach Mike Vrabel said on Friday that he expects Mariota and Blaine Gabbert to play this weekend. T Jack Conklin (knee), T Taylor Lewan (concussion) and S Kendrick Lewis (foot) are definitely out. T Dennis Kelly (illness), LB Harold Landry (ankle), LB Derrick Morgan (knee) and TE Luke Stocker (calf) join Mariota with questionable tags.

Vikings at Packers

C Pat Elflein (ankle, shoulder) is out again for the Vikings, but they are otherwise healthy.

The Packers will wait to make a call on QB Aaron Rodgers (knee), who is listed as questionable along with WR Davante Adams (shoulder) and LB Oren Burks (shoulder). S Josh Jones (ankle) has been ruled out.

Cardinals at Rams

Cardinals DE Markus Golden (knee) may make his 2018 debut after being listed as questionable. DT Olsen Pierre (toe) and T Andre Smith (elbow) have been ruled out while TE Jermaine Gresham (Achilles) and LB Haason Reddick (ankle) are also listed as questionable.

The Rams ruled out WR Mike Thomas (hip) and listed LB Mark Barron (ankle) as doubtful to play.

Lions at 49ers

DE Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder) said Friday that he’s “optimistic” about his chances of playing after joining RB LeGarrette Blount (shoulder) in the questionable column for the Lions. T Andrew Donnal (knee) and G T.J. Lang (back) have been ruled out, however.

The 49ers will play without G Joshua Garnett (toe), WR Marquise Goodwin (quadricep) and C Erik Magnuson (hamstring). They’ll wait to make calls on S Adrian Colbert (hamstring), G Mike Person (foot) and LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring) after listing them as questionable.

Patriots at Jaguars

The Patriots listed four players — RB Rex Burkhead (concussion), T Marcus Cannon (calf), CB Keion Crossen (hamstring), RB Sony Michel (knee) — as questionable for their trip to Jacksonville.

The Jaguars have just one questionable player, but RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring) is an important one and he did not practice at all this week.

Raiders at Broncos

DT P.J. Hall (ankle) will be missing from the Raiders defensive line. WR Dwayne Harris (foot), G Gabe Jackson (pectoral) and RB DeAndre Washington (knee) are listed as questionable.

The Broncos have no players with injury designations this weekend.

Giants at Cowboys

LB Olivier Vernon (ankle) will miss a second straight Giants game. LB Tae Davis (hamstring) may play after being listed as questionable.

The Cowboys ruled out C Travis Frederick (illness), DT Datone Jones (knee) and S Xavier Woods (hamstring). DE Randy Gregory (concussion) is expected to miss the game after being listed as doubtful.

PFT’s Week Two picks

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And we’re off. Literally.

Through Week One, MDS and I are in midseason pick form. He went 10-6 in the first slate of games. I was one behind, at 9-7.

We disagree on only one game this week. All picks appear below.

For picks against the spread, check out the “Best Bets” video. He was 2-1 last week, and I went 1-1-1, with a push coming from Seattle’s three-point loss at Denver.

Ravens at Bengals

MDS’s take: The winner of this one is all alone in first place in the AFC North after Week Two. I think it’s the Ravens, coming off a dominating performance over the Bills.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 24, Bengals 17.

Florio’s take: The winner of this one takes over first place in the AFC North. And the Ravens will never look back.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 30, Bengals 20.


Panthers at Falcons

MDS’s take: Matt Ryan turned in a disappointing performance against the Eagles, but I think he’ll bounce back and the Falcons will match the Panthers at 1-1 in the NFC South.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 28, Panthers 20.

Florio’s take: The best division in football delivers a great Week Two contest. Edge goes to the team with three days of extra rest, and the privilege of playing at home.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 24, Panthers 21.


Colts at Washington

MDS’s take: Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson looked like an excellent pair of running backs in Week One, and I think they’ll have a big game against a suspect Colts defense.

MDS’s pick: Washington 23, Colts 20.

Florio’s take: Just as the home team’s 50-year sellout streak prepares to end, the home team prepares to potentially be pretty good.

Florio’s pick: Washington 23, Colts 14.


Texans at Titans

MDS’s take: Deshaun Watson looked a little rusty in Week One, but I think he’s going to have a good Week Two against a Titans defense that looked like it had some holes in it last week.

MDS’s pick: Texans 30, Titans 20.

Florio’s take: Houston’s new team visits Houston’s old team and the better team erases a bad AFC East road memory from Week One.

Florio’s pick: Texans 21, Titans 16.


Eagles at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: I’m tempted to pick the Buccaneers to keep rolling with Ryan Fitzpatrick, but I just can’t pull the trigger on an upset of the defending champions.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 21, Buccaneers 20.

Florio’s take: Doug Pederson understands the challenge of making key decisions during the flow of the game well enough to find a way to deliver. The fact that the Bucs are banged up makes that a little easier.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 30, Buccaneers 24.


Chiefs at Steelers

MDS’s take: I loved the Chiefs’ new-look offense in Week One, and I think Patrick Mahomes will continue to play well in Week Two.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 34, Steelers 31.

Florio’s take: The Chiefs navigate a tough early-season road schedule with a pair of wins, thanks to a potent offense and a good-enough defense.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 23, Steelers 20.


Dolphins at Jets

MDS’s take: I thought the Jets’ Week One win was more about the Lions being bad than the Jets being good, but I think Sam Darnold will be a little better in his second start and the Jets will move to 2-0.

MDS’s pick: Jets 24, Dolphins 21.

Florio’s take: The overlooked Miami resurgence continues with an outcome that, after Monday night, will be regarded as an upset. It shouldn’t be.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 20, Jets 17.


Chargers at Bills

MDS’s take: You could look at the Bills one of two ways: “This team sucks so Nathan Peterman has to be benched,” or “This team sucks so they’d be crazy to throw Josh Allen to the wolves.” Either way, the Bills lose.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 30, Bills 14.

Florio’s take: Poor Josh Allen.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 27, Bills 10.


Vikings at Packers

MDS’s take: I wish I could know for sure whether Aaron Rodgers will be healthy on Sunday. If he is I think the Packers win, if he’s not I think the Vikings win. I think Rodgers will be able to go.

MDS’s pick: Packers 20, Vikings 17.

Florio’s take: If Aaron Rodgers plays, Green Bay wins. If he doesn’t play Green Bay loses. Best guess at this point is that Rodgers finds a way.

Florio’s pick: Packers 27, Vikings 20.


Browns at Saints

MDS’s take: The Saints did not look good in Week One, but a visit from the Browns always helps a team turn things around.

MDS’s pick: Saints 31, Browns 17.

Florio’s take: Hey, 0-1-1 is still better than 0-2.

Florio’s pick: Saints 42, Browns 27.


Lions at 49ers

MDS’s take: Jimmy Garoppolo should bounce back against a Lions defense that looked lost in its first game under new coach Matt Patricia.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 35, Lions 21.

Florio’s take: Matt Patricia faces a quarterback with whom he has plenty of first-hand experience, and Kyle Shanahan faces a former defensive coordinator whom Shanahan wishes he didn’t have one specific experience with a/k/a 28-3.

Florio’s pick: 49ers 31, Lions 20.


Cardinals at Rams

MDS’s take: Sam Bradford stunk in Week One, and Aaron Donald will make his life miserable in Week Two.

MDS’s pick: Rams 24, Cardinals 10.

Florio’s take: At least when the Cardinals limp home, they won’t have to go very far.

Florio’s pick: Rams 34, Cardinals 17.


Patriots at Jaguars

MDS’s take: The AFC Championship Game rematch should be a good one, and I think Tom Brady will have some fourth-quarter heroics.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 30, Jaguars 27.

Florio’s take: Go ahead and put your best corner on Gronk, Jags, and watch what happens when that corner isn’t available to cover any of the team’s receivers. Also, Blake Bortles.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 24, Jaguars 20.


Raiders at Broncos

MDS’s take: I’m expecting a better game from Case Keenum in Week Two, after he looked a little shaky but still managed to pull out a win in Week One. The Broncos should win comfortably.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 28, Raiders 17.

Florio’s take: The skunk at the Oakland Coliseum will be glad to see the Raiders on the road for a week, if only to improve temporarily the scent of the place.

Florio’s pick: Broncos 27, Raiders 17.


Giants at Cowboys

MDS’s take: This looks like an ugly, low-scoring game to me, but I think Dak Prescott will put just enough points on the board for the Cowboys to win it.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 13, Giants 10.

Florio’s take: This has the feel of an all-too-early elimination game, even if it isn’t. Home team gets the edge, primarily because the offensive line is better than New York’s wall of blockers.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 17, Giants 13.


Seahawks at Bears

MDS’s take: I think the Bears will be reeling after Sunday night’s meltdown.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 20, Bears 10.

Florio’s take: The Bears may need a while to recover from Week One. With road games at Denver and Chicago to start the season, the Seahawks may need to figure out who they pissed off at the league office.

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 23, Bears 17.

Week Two power rankings

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1. Eagles (1-0; last week No. 1): The “let’s just use a gadget play to wake up the quarterback” routine is not going to be sustainable.

2. Patriots (1-0; No. 2): Forget the post-#Tommy plan. The Patriots need a good post-#Gronk plan.

3. Packers (1-0; No. 4): One-legged Aaron Rodgers is actually a better thrower of the football than two-legged Aaron Rodgers.

4. Jaguars (1-0; No. 5): No-legged Aaron Rodgers would be a better thrower of the football than two-legged Blake Bortles.

5. Rams (1-0; No. 8): So much for the “starters need to play in the preseason” argument.

6. Falcons (0-1; No. 6): It was deja vu all over again for the Falcons.

7. Chiefs (1-0; No. 10): Mahomes to Hill could eventually become the new Montana to Rice.

8. Vikings (1-0; No. 9): The Vikings still need to figure out how to deliver a knockout blow.

9. Saints (0-1; No. 3): Throw out Week One’s outcome, except when losing at home to a division rival. And when giving up 48 points in the process.

10. Steelers (0-0-1; No. 7): Elite teams don’t blow 14-point fourth-quarter leads to teams that have won one game in two-plus seasons.

11. Ravens (1-0; No. 17): Lost in the “Bills blow!” narrative? The Ravens may be pretty damn good this year.

12. Panthers (1-0; No. 12): They get a chance this weekend against the Falcons to prove that they are still a major factor in the NFC South.

13. Seahawks (0-1; No. 11): Trying to run away from Von Miller will at least make Russell Wilson more prepared to try to run away from Khalil Mack.

14. Buccaneers (1-0; No. 31): Everyone expected them to start 0-3 without Jameis Winston. Is it now crazy to think they’ll start 3-0?

15. Chargers (0-1; No. 13): The annual “this is their year” team proves yet again that it’s not.

16. Dolphins (1-0; No. 18): A year after their Week One game was scrapped due to a hurricane, they essentially played a weather-induced doubleheader.

17. Texans (0-1; No. 15): It’s hard for an MVP candidate to play like one if he has no blocking.

18. 49ers (0-1; No. 16): When it’s time to sort out the final standings, the 49ers will regret letting this one get away.

19. Broncos (1-0; No. 26): It doesn’t quite avenge Super Bowl XLVIII, but for a Broncos team that often couldn’t get out of its own way a year ago, knocking of Seattle was a great way to start the season.

20. Bengals (1-0; No. 22): Sure, it’s only Week Two. But how often in the last two years have the Bengals been playing for sole possession of first place in the AFC North?

21. Bears (0-1; No. 23): It will take a while to get Bears fans to find the pearl in the pile of poo that the Packers plopped onto them.

22. Washington (1-0; No. 30): This team will go as far as Adrian Peterson can take them. Based on his recent injury history, that may not be very far. (Disclaimer: I’d still never bet against the guy.)

23. Titans (0-1; No. 14): The Titans added injury to interminable.

24. Cowboys (0-1; No. 19): A sports book needs to set the week when Jerry Jones does a 180 on Jason Garrett.

25. Jets (1-0; No. 28): Perhaps all that talk about the quarterback position was aimed at getting us not to notice that the defense is pretty damn good.

26. Raiders (0-1; No. 24): Wade Phillips figured out Jon Gruden faster than Paul Guenther figured out Sean McVay.

27. Giants (0-1; No. 25): How many Giants fans are already thinking, “We should have taken Sam Darnold“?

28. Colts (0-1; No. 27): Snowboarding or not, it’s when not if Andrew Luck gets injured again.

29. Cardinals (0-1; No. 29): Good news . . . Sam Bradford was able to play the whole game. Bad news . . . Sam Bradford was able to play the whole game.

30. Lions (0-1; No. 20): At this point, not even Adam and Eve would be tempted by the fruit of the Belichick coaching tree.

31. Browns (0-0-1; No. 32): “BEST START SINCE 2004!”

32. Bills (0-1; No. 21): This Sunday, Bills fans should just stay home and watch the video of last year’s Bengals-Ravens game.

FMIA Week 1: On Seven-Hour Games, Undefeated Browns and the Greatest Game Aaron Rodgers Ever Played

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With a wild Week 1 nearly in the books, Peter King’s latest Football Morning in America column covers:

The greatest game Aaron Rodgers ever played … the anatomy of a comeback, with the perspective of one of the key players, as Chicago’s nightmares in Green Bay continue. Fitzmagic … the Bucs quarterback on why his team’s 48-point explosion didn’t surprise him and why his son might be the smartest fantasy football player out there.

Best of the rest … come for the story of the seven-hour game, stay for why a team being ticked off about a tie is a good thing. Sean McVay’s rookie notes … the Rams coach on what he learned in season one, plus more in the walkup to the final two Week 1 games: Rams-Raiders and Jets-Lions. Thoughts, notes, opinions on Colin Kaepernick’s new Nike ad; Le’Veon Bell’s holdout; the best players, coaches from Week 1; and much more. [more]

Week One early inactives

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Every week we bring you all the inactives from the early games in one post, constantly updated with the latest information. Check back to see the full list as it becomes available 90 minutes ahead of the 1 p.m. ET kickoffs.

Bills at Ravens

Bills: WR Ray-Ray McCloud, LB Julian Stanford, G Wyatt Teller, CB Vontae Davis, OL Conor McDermott, TE Khari Lee, CB Ryan Lewis

Ravens: DT Willie Henry, TE Hayden Hurst, QB Robert Griffin III, WR Jordan Lasley, OL Jermaine Eluemunor, DT Zach Sieler, CB Darious Williams

Steelers at Browns

Steelers: TE Vance McDonald, T Zach Banner, QB Mason Rudolph, OL Matt Feiler, S Marcus Allen, DE LT Walton, CB Coty Sensabaugh

Browns: CB E.J. Gaines, QB Drew Stanton, DE Anthony Zettel, OL Austin Corbett, WR Damion Ratley, LB James Burgess, DL Ifeadi Odenigbo

Bengals at Colts

Bengals: WR Cody Core, WR Auden Tate, RB Mark Walton, LB Malik Jefferson, OL Christian Westerman, OL Cedric Ogbuehi, DT Josh Tupou

Colts: T Denzelle Good, RB Marlon Mack, T Anthony Castonzo, WR Marcus Johnson, TE Ryan Hewitt, OL Le'Raven Clark, DT Hassan Ridgeway

Titans at Dolphins

Titans: LB Rashaan Evans, LB Harold Landry, T Jack Conklin, S Kendrick Lewis, TE Anthony Firkser, OL Aaron Stinnie, WR Cameron Batson

Dolphins: WR DeVante Parker, QB Luke Falk, QB David Fales, CB Cornell Armstrong, RB Kalen Ballage, T Zach Sterup, TE Gavin Escobar

49ers at Vikings

49ers: T Erik Magnuson, WR Richie James, LB Malcolm Smith, OL Matt Tobin, T Shon Coleman, DT Julian Taylor

Vikings: C Pat Elflein, T Aviante Collins, RB Roc Thomas, CB Mackensie Alexander, QB Kyle Sloter, RB Mike Boone, DT Jalyn Holmes

Texans at Patriots

Texans: CB Kayvon Webster, WR Will Fuller, WR Keke Coutee, LB Duke Ejiofor, T Kendall Lamm, DE Carlos Watkins, DE Joel Heath

Patriots: TE Jacob Hollister, CB J.C. Jackson, RB Sony Michel, CB Keion Crossen, DE Derek Rivers, WR Chad Hansen, OL Brian Schwenke

Buccaneers at Saints

Buccaneers: DT Vita Vea, WR Justin Watson, CB Brent Grimes, RB Ronald Jones, OL Alex Cappa, Mike Liedtke, OL Adam Gettis

Saints: CB P.J. Williams, C Will Clapp, DL Michael Loewen, T Austin Peat, DT Taylor Stallworth, WR Cameron Meredith, TE Dan Arnold

Jaguars at Giants

Jaguars: WR Rashad Greene, DT Eli Ankou, G Chris Reed, G Josh Walker, T Will Richardson, DE Dawuane Smoot, DT Michael Bennett

Giants: LB Olivier Vernon, LB Tae Davis, QB Kyle Lauletta, CB Michael Jordan, C Evan Brown, C Spencer Pulley, S Kamrin Moore

Kickoff remains in jeopardy of going away

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At 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, or at least within a few minutes thereafter, half the league will assume their respective positions in the new kickoff formation, as eight games begin nearly simultaneously. It could be the last first Sunday of the season that starts this way.

Per a source with knowledge of the internal conversations, the kickoff continues to be at risk of completely going away, even with radical changes aimed at reducing the number of high-impact collisions that happen when two players run at each other, unimpeded and with an opportunity to reach top speed.

Prior changes had successfully reduced the number of returned kickoffs. In 2003, 88.7 percent of all kickoffs were returned, according to NFL data. In 2011, the first year the kickoff point moved from the 30 back to the 35, the percentage of returned kicks fell from 80.1 percent to 53.5 percent. In 2017, the percentage of returned kickoffs had fallen 40.6 percent, well under half of the 15-year high-water mark of 2003.

Recent efforts to reduce the number of kickoffs have backfired, to a certain extent. When the touchback point moved from the 20 to the 25, kickoffs that went into the end zone fell from 2,193 in 2015 to 1,955 in 2016 and 1,878 in 2017. Kickoffs falling short of the end zone increased from 434 to 2015 to 677 in 2016 and 672 in 2017.

So instead of trying to further tinker with kickoff and touchback points to reduce the total number of kickoffs, the NFL finally has made dramatic changes to the formation, with the goal of reducing the number of concussions and, perhaps more importantly, the risk of a catastrophic head or neck injury when two large, fast bodies moving at full speed in opposite directions collide in a cacophony of Newtonian physics.

It’s still not clear how much safer the kickoff needs to be. Packers CEO Mark Murphy publicly has said that a player is five times more likely to suffer a concussion on a kickoff return than on a scrimmage play. Others within the league have cited a four-to-one ratio. No one, however, has been able to articulate an acceptable concussion rate for the revamped kickoff play.

The absence of a goal suggests that there’s no clear plan for what will happen beyond 2018. Maybe the new formation gets another year. Maybe more changes are made. Or maybe the kickoff goes away.

Regardless, as the kickoff as we’ve known it changes significantly in 2018, it could still go away entirely in 2019.

Week One injury report roundup

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The NFL season kicked off on Thursday with a win by the Eagles and it continues with 13 more games on Sunday, which means that the 26 teams in those games submitted their final injury reports of the week on Friday.

Questionable players are uncertain to play, doubtful players are unlikely to play and out should be self-explanatory. Players who are on active rosters and don’t appear below should be considered healthy enough to play barring any announcements on Saturday. The teams playing on Monday night won’t release their injury reports until Saturday and are not listed here.

With that housekeeping out of the way, here are all the injury reports for Sunday.

49ers at Vikings

The 49ers won’t have T Erik Magnuson (hamstring) or LB Dekoda Watson (hamstring) in the lineup on Sunday. LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring) is expected to be out as well after drawing a doubtful tag.

The Vikings ruled out T Aviante Collins (elbow), C Pat Elflein (ankle, shoulder) and RB Roc Thomas (ankle). CB Mackensie Alexander (ankle) is likely out after being listed as doubtful, but hopes are higher for CB Xavier Rhodes (hamstring) thanks to his questionable status.

Bengals at Colts

Bengals WR Cody Core (back) is not expected to play after being listed as doubtful.

The Colts will wait to see if LT Anthony Castonzo (hamstring) and RB Marlon Mack (hamstring) can play after being listed as questionable. T Denzelle Good (knee, wrist) has been ruled out.

Bills at Ravens

The Bills ruled out WR Ray-Ray McCloud (knee) and listed LB Julian Stanford (nose) as questionable to play in the opener.

DT Willie Henry (abdomen) and TE Hayden Hurst (foot) won’t play for the Ravens. CB Maurice Canady (thigh) and LB Kenny Young (knee) drew questionable tags.

Buccaneers at Saints

Buccaneers first-round DT Vita Vea (calf) will not play this week. CB Brent Grimes (groin) and CB De'Vante Harris (hamstring) are both considered doubtful to play while T Donovan Smith (knee) is questionable.

Two Saints offensive linemen — G Jermon Bushrod (not injury related) and T Andrus Peat (quadricep) — are listed as questionable for Sunday.

Jaguars at Giants

The Jaguars did not issue any injury designations.

LB Tae Davis (hamstring) and DE Olivier Vernon (ankle) will not play for the Giants.

Steelers at Browns

Steelers TE Vance McDonald (foot) will have to wait at least a week to make his 2018 debut.

The Browns ruled out CB E.J. Gaines (knee) and listed LB James Burgess (concussion) as doubtful.

Texans at Patriots

The Texans ruled out CB Kayvon Webster (achilles) and listed four players — WR Sammie Coates (hamstring), WR Keke Coutee (hamstring), LB Duke Ejiofor (hamstring), and WR Will Fuller (hamstring) — as questionable to face New England.

Patriots RT Marcus Cannon (calf), S Nate Ebner (knee), TE Jacob Hollister (hamstring) and RB Sony Michel (knee) are listed as questionable.

Titans at Dolphins

The Titans will not have RT Jack Conklin (knee), LB Rashaan Evans (hamstring), LB Harold Landry (ankle) and S Kendrick Lewis (foot) in this week’s lineup.

WR DeVante Parker (finger) is the only Dolphins player with an injury designation and he is listed as doubtful to play.

Chiefs at Chargers

Chiefs S Eric Berry (heel) didn’t practice all week and was tagged as doubtful to play on Sunday.

The Chargers will also be down a key defender as DE Joey Bosa (foot) was ruled out for Week One.

Cowboys at Panthers

C Travis Frederick (illness), DE Datone Jones (knee) and S Xavier Woods (hamstring) are out for the Cowboys. CB Chidobe Awuzie (back) and S Kavon Frazier (shoulder) are listed as questionable.

Panthers WR Curtis Samuel (medical illness) has been ruled out. TE Chris Manhertz (foot), G Amini Silatolu (knee) and T Daryl Williams (knee) are all listed as questionable for Sunday’s opener.

Washington at Cardinals

WR Maurice Harris (concussion) is out for Washington.

DE Markus Golden (knee) isn’t ready to go for the Cardinals. TE Jermaine Gresham (achilles), RB T.J. Logan (ankle), DT Robert Nkemdiche (foot) and DT Olsen Pierre (toe) are listed as questionable to play.

Seahawks at Broncos

The Seahawks will open the season without G D.J. Fluker (hamstring) and LB K.J. Wright (knee). CB Dontae Johnson (hip) has been listed as questionable.

The Broncos are injury free for the season opener.

Bears at Packers

Bears S DeAndre Houston-Carson (forearm, back) has been ruled out and TE Daniel Brown (shoulder) is listed as doubtful.

The Packers ruled out S Josh Jones (ankle). Linebackers Oren Burks (shoulder) and James Crawford (hamstring) are both listed as questionable for the home team.

Replay review seems to be repaired

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Falcons receiver Julio Jones caught it. Unless he didn’t.

The ruling in Philadelphia was that he didn’t. And the second ruling in New York was the right one.

Setting aside for now whether the officials properly concluded that the Falcons receiver failed to secure what would have been a 52-yard gain in Thursday night’s opener against the Eagles, NFL senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron properly applied the replay standard when considering, in response to a challenge from Falcons coach Dan Quinn, whether a mistake had been made.

In a frame-by-frame review of the super-slow motion video, it looked like Jones secured the catch. But no angle provided clear and obvious evidence that Jones had made the catch. Or, to apply the more colorful standard, 50 drunks in a bar wouldn’t have shouted in unison that a mistake had been made.

As a league source acknowledged on Friday, the ruling on the field would have stood regardless of whether the ruling was catch or no catch. Just as there was no clear and obvious evidence that Jones did catch it, there was no clear and obvious that Jones didn’t.

And that’s the way the replay standard should be applied. It wasn’t applied that way last year, with Riveron on multiple occasions ignoring the rules and attempting to fashion a ruling based on what he saw — or what he thought he saw — from the remote confines of 345 Park Avenue.

The shift arrived most notably during Super Bowl XLII, when a pair of key touchdown catches by the Eagles were upheld via replay review. In Thursday night’s game, the biggest play that wasn’t also fell in favor of the Eagles, with the Falcons not picking up more than half the length of the field because Riveron opted not to attempt to replace the judgment of the officials with his own.

Last night, the new, and correct, approach to replay didn’t only benefit the Eagles. A catch in the first half by Falcons tight end Austin Hooper seemed to be incomplete after the ball seemed to not just move but to end up flat on the ground under Hooper. But the 50-drunks-in-a-bar bar wasn’t met, and the ruling on the field stood.

And while this approach may require coaches, players, media, and fans to tolerate periodic mistakes by officials, replay doesn’t attempt to correct mistakes. It attempts to correct clear mistakes only.

Donald Trump, USFL owner: An excerpt from “Football for a Buck”

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Editor’s Note: In this excerpt from Jeff Pearlman’s upcoming release, Football for a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL, we find ourselves in the waning days of 1983, when two bombastic multi-millionaires with large wallets and larger egos take control of two of the league’s marquee franchises. One, J. William Oldenburg, is the new owner of the Los Angeles Express. The other, a New York City real estate developer, is now the head of the New Jersey Generals. His name: Donald J. Trump . . .

The press conferences were held exactly three months and 2,805 miles apart, and both were dizzying, luxurious, and, for the USFL, potentially life-saving. On the afternoon of September 22, 1983, inside the atrium of the 58-story Midtown Manhattan skyscraper he humbly named Trump Tower, Donald J. Trump, a relatively obscure New York real estate developer, introduced himself as the new owner of the New Jersey Generals.

On the afternoon of December 22, 1983, inside a ballroom at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, J. William Oldenburg, a relatively obscure chairman of the board of a billion-dollar mortgage banking company, introduced himself as the new owner of the Los Angeles Express. Happy days were here again.

Chet Simmons, the USFL’s second-year commissioner, couldn’t believe his good fortune. While the league’s first season featured many successes, the New Jersey and Los Angeles franchises—cornerstones that needed to soar — largely flopped. At the Meadowlands, the Generals drew pretty well on the strength of Herschel Walker’s presence, but went a forgettable 6-12. And at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Express finished 8-10 before a proud crowd of invisibles. Neither team’s ownership was particularly enamored by the idea of continuing with the grand USFL experiment, especially considering the two franchises lost a combined $6 million.

That’s why, when Trump offered J. Walter Duncan nearly $10 million to purchase the Generals, the 67-year-old Oklahoma oilman (who would have gladly taken $8.5 million) didn’t have to think twice. “I found that, for me, owning a professional business in the New York–New Jersey area was just too much to handle personally,” Duncan said. “I live in Oklahoma City, and I had to attend 18 games about 1,500 miles from home. It was very difficult for me to be at the games, attend league meetings, and look after the organization the way I felt it should have been looked after. The Generals are too important a franchise to the league to have absentee ownership.” Translation: Yip! Yip! Yippee! That’s why, when Oldenburg offered Bill Daniels and Alan Harmon $7.5 million to purchase the Express, the two cable TV executives didn’t have to think twice. They took their $2 million profit and bolted. “It is not practical to be an absentee owner in this day,” Daniels said from his Denver home. “This was something we needed to do.” Translation: Yip! Yip! Yippee! Though Trump and Oldenburg had never met, commonalities existed. At 37 (Trump) and 45 (Oldenburg), they were two of the USFL’s younger owners, as well as the most bombastic and narcissistic. They both fancied blonde, large-breasted women, automobiles that cost more than most houses, and anyone (and everyone) to quiver in their presences. They reveled in being referred to as “Mister,” and would happily tell you how much they spent on this, how much they spent on that. Trump’s family crest was stitched onto every piece of clothing he wore. Oldenburg’s initials were stitched onto the sleeve of every shirt he wore. For Trump and Oldenburg, linen was never merely linen. It was imported 1,600-count Greek Utopian. (more…)

Week One power rankings

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1. Eagles (0-0): The champs get the top spot until they lose. These champs may not have the top spot for as long as Rocky Balboa did.

2. Patriots (0-0): Brady is still there. Belichick is still there. The rest of the AFC East is still there. So the Patriots are still here, near the top of the stack.

3. Saints (0-0): Falcons fans will spend the whole year worrying that the Saints will be celebrating their second Super Bowl win to cap the second season of Atlanta’s new stadium.

4. Packers (0-0): The arrival of Jimmy Graham and the long-needed termination of Dom Capers could be the thing that catapults the Packers back to the Super Bowl.

5. Jaguars (0-0): Can a young, talented team handle the weight of their sky-high expectations?

6. Falcons (0-0): The best team that no one seems to be talking about.

7. Steelers (0-0): They’ll be relegated to also-rans as long as the Patriots remain the Patriots, and possibly as long as the Jaguars remain the Jaguars.

8. Rams (0-0): Can Wade Phillips keep a highly talented but volatile defense from imploding?

9. Vikings (0-0): Expectations are way too high for a team that dumped three starting-caliber quarterbacks and paid a ton of money for a potential franchise quarterback who is new to the franchise.

10. Chiefs (0-0): Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill could be the one-two punch that could propel the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl, sooner than later.

11. Seahawks (0-0): Too many people are writing off a team that boasts one of the best coach-quarterback combinations in the league.

12. Panthers (0-0): If Christian McCaffrey stays healthy and produces, the Carolina offense could go a long way toward helping the team thrive in a very tough division.

13. Chargers (0-0): The Chargers have become the new annual “this is their year” team.

14. Titans (0-0): A final-eight team underwent too much change to stay there in 2018.

15. Texans (0-0): If Deshaun Watson stays healthy, the Texans win the division.

16. 49ers (0-0): The presumption of a resurgence may be a little premature.

17. Ravens (0-0): They start here, and they quite possibly will finish at or near the top.

18. Dolphins (0-0): They start here, and they quite possibly will finish in the postseason.

19. Cowboys (0-0): They start here, and they quite possibly will finish by just missing the playoffs.

20. Lions (0-0): They start here, and they quite possibly will finish right here.

21. Bills (0-0): They start here, and they quite possibly will finish at or near the bottom.

22. Bengals (0-0): Is is better to lose in the first round of the playoffs or not to make the playoffs at all?

23. Bears (0-0): Khalil Mack makes them relevant, which is something they haven’t been in a while.

24. Raiders (0-0): The last year in Oakland has gotten off to a bad start, and they still haven’t played a game that counts.

25. Giants (0-0): The Giants look like a resurgent team, until you look at their schedule.

26. Broncos (0-0): The over/under on Chad Kelly starting is Halloween.

27. Colts (0-0): Andrew Luck is getting healthy just as the rest of the AFC South is becoming dominant.

28. Jets (0-0): Sam Darnold may eventually become Joe Namath. For now, Darnold will be closer to Joe Houlihan Callahan.

29. Cardinals (0-0): Hey, someone has to be No. 29.

30. Washington (0-0): Hey, someone has to be No. 30.

31. Buccaneers (0-0): Hey, someone has to be No. 31.

32. Browns (0-0): It’s a new day in Cleveland. With a coach who has gone 1-31 in two years.