NIAGARA FALLS, NY – Happy New Year! To hell with Jake Sternberg and Larry David, I think we can still say that for another week or so. First full week of the year so isn’t excited about that!?! Anyway… Here are today’s topics: NFL Eye-Catchers, Jets vs Patriots, Eagles vs Giants, Bills vs Dolphins.
1) Black Monday is coming. We have already seen two midseason firings but before I even started to type. The Falcons parted with their head coach. Not sure who else will be gone but the guys with losing records will be in danger.
2) According to stats people, this year’s new playoff teams, (“new” as in didn’t make it last year), are the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers. I am shocked to see the Pack in there but special shout-out to Houston, who did it with a rookie coach and QB.
3) With 5 back-up QBs starting this weekend, there were a total of 66 different QBs used this season. The Jets certainly did their part going through 4. However, this comes to about 2 per team, so it is very clear that you can’t just bet the farm on one guy and have to spend good money on a capable back-up that can still make you competitive should things go wrong.
Jets vs Patriots
The Jets finally beat the Patriots for the first time in 8 years – or 15 games – but who’s counting? If the Jets lost they could have gotten the 6th or 7th pick but now they get the 10th. I was talking to a friend and said I wasn’t sure if I wanted the win. As a Bills fan, he told me there is no bad time to beat Belichick. And he was right. The Patriots looked terrible this year and it’s clear they don’t have a good QB. Yes, this goes to how awesome Brady was, but as good as he was, the stars aligned for that 7th ring – the one without Billy Boy. Belichick now will possibly go somewhere else and find his QB. He is not gonna rest until he wins one without Tom. You can bet on it. The current Patriot QB (Zappe?) had 3 interceptions and was sacked 6 times as the Jets defense did their job. Meanwhile, running back Breece Hall finally got a chance to just run down hill in the 4th quarter and pull away. The Jets did a great job getting 7 wins this year and it makes your wonder what they would have been like if they had been able to do that all season in terms of running it late and letting the defense tee-off.
Eagles vs Giants
The Giants finished the season on high note, too. They ended their 8-game losing streak vs the Eagles (I think that’s what I heard the commentator say). The Big Blue defense was relentless in the first half and shut down the Philly attack. We are talking sacks, pressure and in Marcus Mariotta was in for Jalen Hurts. They knew the game was over. As for the Giants attack, it took them a minute to get going but once they did, Saquon Barkley was hard to stop. Wan’Dale Robinson is coming into his own as threat and the receiving core is starting to look dangerous. Maybe next year, if they don’t have too many injuries and have a kinder schedule, they may be more of a threat.