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Sunday NFL Thoughts: Garbage Time, Cameron Wake, and Stork vs Andrews

We look around the NFL to see what could have been if players took advantage of their opportunities.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1. Some of you were wondering about the Garbage Time statistics where a ridiculous 47% of the Patriots points allowed have come after the team attained a 99% chance of victory. An easy question what whether or not that crazy high percentage was due to the offense putting on a dominating performance, or whether it actually showed the skill of the Patriots defense.

Here are the points where the Patriots achieved 99% chance of victory:

Steelers: 10:21 left in the 4th quarter

Bills: 4:15 left in the 3rd quarter

Jaguars: 0:36 left in the 2nd quarter

Cowboys: 9:55 left in the 3rd quarter

Colts: 12:56 left in the 4th quarter

Jets: 1:18 left in the 4th quarter

Dolphins: 0:29 left in the 2nd quarter

This means that the Patriots have spent 30.1% of their games in garbage time, and this is where they've allowed 47.4% of their points. You can draw your own conclusions, but you would expect the percentage of garbage time to be equal to the percentage of points allowed if you believed garbage time doesn't matter. The Patriots don't actually have the best defense in the league, but they're a perfect complement to the offense, and that is exactly what is needed.

2. Former Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett has been released by the Houston Texans. Mallett was regarded as a knucklehead coming out of the draft, and that prevented him from being selected in the first round. The Patriots snagged him in the third and used him as a primary back-up to Tom Brady. Mallett lost the starting job to other Brady-back-up Brian Hoyer, and Mallett subsequently missed practice, saying that he overslept.

He was given the starting job after Hoyer had a terrible opener, lost the job back to Hoyer and in confusion he left the field before halftime, and then he missed the team's flight to Miami.

Brady was asked whether or not Mallett was like this in New England, and he paused for an awkward period of time before taking the high road by saying, "I don't know." Brady's body language was a book.

The Patriots are very happy with Jimmy Garoppolo.

3. The NFL lost star veterans Arian Foster and Cameron Wake to Achilles injuries this past week. Both are players that could have become all time greats in different circumstances. Foster has only played in 76 games after being an undrafted free agent. He has averaged 115.0 yards per game, which ranks third most all time behind just Jim Brown (125.5 YPG) and Barry Sanders (118.9). Imagine if Foster had a full career, especially outside of Houston?

And Wake didn't enter the league until he was 27 after going undrafted. He spent time in the CFL before he got his chance. In six seasons, prior to this one, he earned three All Pro nods and four Pro Bowls. His 70.0 sacks since he entered the league in 2009 are third most over that span of time. He's always been a thorn in the Patriots side.

Best of luck to these players in their recoveries. Foster will be 30 next season. Wake will be 34. If only. If only.

4. The Patriots will get Bryan Stork back from his neck/head injury and he comes right after right guard Tre Jackson suffered a knee injury that is expected to be minor. The big debate is whether or not Stork or David Andrews will get the starting center spot. Bill Belichick has never been afraid of giving an undrafted rookie a key start over a 4th round pick.

Andrews is the only Patriots player to take every single snap this year. Handling the ball is of the utmost importance and I don't think New England will want to use a rotation at their pivot. Andrews has been a center his whole career. He was a center in high school, a center in college, and a center in the NFL.

Stork? He was a tight end in high school. He played right guard as a freshman. He played left guard as a sophomore. He worked at tackle as a junior, but ultimately started at center. He's bigger than Andrews (6'4, 315 vs 6'2, 300) and he's more athletic.

If I'm moving a player to increase their flexibility, Stork is a pretty good choice to play at guard. If anyone can pick up the crazy eyes from Logan Mankins, it'll be Stork. A future of Nate Solder, Shaq Mason, David Andrews, Bryan Stork, and Sebastian Vollmer is a pretty solid grouping.

5. The NFL has fined players over the years for violating uniform policies. For the month of October, the NFL likes to project that they care about causes as they promote support and awareness for Breast Cancer cures. The league loves to talk the talk, but hates walking the walk as they've fined multiple NFL players for showing support through messages of hope on their eye black. The NFL issues these fines under the guise of we have to support the rules!

This is absolutely stupid. Here's an easy solution: during the month of October, players can receive NFL approval to support in the way they want. Players like Cameron Heyward can support his dad or they can be like DeAngelo Williams and support their mom.

Cornerback William Gay can work out a way to support domestic violence survivors, or wide receiver Brandon Marshall can support mental health awareness.

The league can approve whether or not messages fall within an allowable range. They can sign off on whether anything would cross a line. and they can absolutely stop fining players for the dumbest of reasons.