1. Are the New York Jets fun to watch now?
You can’t help but love the swagger of the defense, even if Muhammad Wilkerson is not fully committed. New York is 4-5 but they could easily be 6-3 if they had a few bounces go their way, but either way they have infinitely more than the zero wins I expected them to have in 2017.
I still don’t think the Jets are going to make the postseason because they have a tough stretch to close out the year, with games against the Buccaneers, Panthers, Chiefs, Broncos, Saints, Chargers, and Patriots. They could lose all of them, or maybe they could win five of them. I think they’d have to win out, or have just one more loss all year, to make the postseason. That’s a tall order.
Still, they’ve done an impressive job turning around the season and playing with an attitude that goes a long way towards developing a franchise identity.
2. Although maybe they could sneak into the playoffs with 9 wins. Other than the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Kansas City Chiefs tied at 6-2, there are 11 teams within two games of .500, or in other words have a 3-4, 3-5, 4-3, 4-4, 4-5, or 5-3 records.
There is little differentiating these 11 teams and other than the fact that one of them has to win the AFC South, that means the other 10 are all still in contention for the wild card slots. The race for the AFC playoffs could be a lot of fun in the final weeks, especially with the Patriots playing an AFC opponent in every game and an AFC East opponent in 5 of the last 6 weeks. If New England finally turns a corner, they could play spoiler for the Jets, Bills, or Dolphins down the stretch.
3. I hate seeing injuries in the NFL and the loss of Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson to a noncontact ACL injury during a routine drill in practice is simply terrible. Watson is a rising star and his 19 touchdown passes lead the league- an impressive stat for a rookie that didn’t even start the season opener.
The Colts also placed quarterback Andrew Luck on the injured reserve, too, as Watson and Luck join the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, the Dolphins’ Ryan Tannehill, and the Cardinals’ Carson Palmer. Texans DL J.J. Watt, Ravens OG Marshal Yanda, Patriots WR Julian Edelman, LT Joe Thomas, Chiefs S Eric Berry, Texans EDGE Whitney Mercilus, Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr., and so many other great players have seen their season ruined by injury, too.
I honestly think it would just be better for the league if an unlimited number of players had the ability to return from the injured reserve. Increasing the number from one to two was a step in the right direction, and not all players that are injured are able to return in the middle of the year.
But if you have a player that could possibly make it back, then for the sake of the quality of the game of football, they should be allowed to come back.
4. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that multiple NFL owners have to provide their phone records and e-mails about quarterback Colin Kaepernick as part of the legal case against the NFL. Kaepernick claims that the NFL owners colluded to keep him out of the league. Among the owners are Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and Texans owner Bob McNair.
The request to hand over phone and e-mails sounds awfully familiar to the request of Tom Brady during DeflateGate, so let’s take a look at how some of these owners responded.
“Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Texans owner Bob McNair, amongst others, will be deposed and asked to turn over all cell phone records and emails in relation to the Colin Kaepernick collusion case against the NFL, a league source confirmed. Others owners, teams and league officials also will be deposed, but those individuals have been confirmed for now.”
5. Texans owner Bob McNair was a vocal supported of commissioner Roger Goodell during DeflateGate and even mentioned how one of his own superstars would have had no problem handing over their phone....
"What escalated the whole thing is that Brady and the Patriots were going to cooperate fully, and then when it came down to it, they didn't," McNair told Houston's Sports Radio 610, via ESPN. "If it was J.J. Watt, I think he would have been cooperative, and it wouldn't be a question. ... I don't think J.J. would destroy his cellphone."
...we’ll see how McNair responds now that he is in the spotlight on his own.
6. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also credited the “fairness” of Goodell during DeflateGate, but suddenly wanted to limit the power of the commissioner as soon as Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was the target of an NFL investigation for domestic violence.
“The NFL requested that Elliott provide his texts and call logs with Thompson over a certain period, but he provided ‘redacted, incomplete’ records,” Deadspin reported. “‘None of the records provided contained the substance of any text messages, nor the call logs from from Mr. Elliott’s two cell phones and to date, such evidence has not been provided.’”
Jones still thinks that Elliott and Brady deserve different outcomes, and I’m sure that Jones’ opposition to a Goodell extension has nothing to do with the status of the running back.
Remember that Jones publicly expressed that Goodell had been doing “an outstanding job” in July of 2015 in the middle of DeflateGate, and expressed “I'm all for the power of the commissioner,” in August of 2016.
Now Elliott maintains his innocence, as did Brady, and regardless of guilt Goodell has done a terrible job managing the image of the league for a while now.
But the question now is whether Jones and McNair and the other owners will provide all necessary documentation that have been requested and whether this will change their mind about the incredible and unfair power the commissioner wields over the players.
Apparently if Kaepernick wins this case, the Collective Bargaining Agreement is terminated and would be a huge favor to the players.