1. The New England Patriots are the road team against the Oakland Raiders, but this graph provided by redditor /u/edwin85 shows that perhaps the Patriots will have more support in Mexico City.
The Patriots are the third-most popular team in Mexico, behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys, and ahead of the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens. The Raiders are in 10th place with a fanbase a quarter of the size of the Patriots’.
Maybe Mexico City will be a home away from home.
Also, how are the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins the seventh and eighth most popular teams in Mexico, sandwiched between the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos? They must be carryovers from the Jim Kelly and Dan Marino eras, right?
2. Another redditor /u/TurnTwo analyzed the 2017 schedule to see which teams benefit the most from rest, and which teams get absolutely jobbed by the league. So if Team A and Team B play on a Sunday, but Team A played the previous Monday Night, while Team B played a standard Sunday game, then Team B gets +1 rest differential because they had an extra day of rest. Make sense?
Well, the Kansas City Chiefs have the cushiest schedule in the league from a rest perspective, benefiting from +12 extra days of rest compared to their opponents. The Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Chargers, and Philadelphia Eagles tie for second place with a +8 rest differential.
On the other side of the spectrum, the New York Giants have a horrendously unfair -22 rest differential by virtue of facing four teams coming off of bye weeks. The Detroit Lions have a -12, the Green Bay Packers have a -9, and the San Francisco 49ers have a -8. Don’t be surprised if these teams retract from their 2016 performances (although the 49ers can’t really get worse).
The Patriots have a -3 rest differential, which isn’t a bad deal; it’d be almost impossible to have every team equal zero. The worst stretch comes in weeks 11 and 12 when the Patriots face the Raiders and Dolphins coming off byes in consecutive weeks.
3. I wanted to go back to see how our community reacted to draft picks in recent years to see how measured we can be immediately following a selection. Here are the open threads from the first two days of the 2013 NFL Draft (Day 1; Day 2a; Day 2b).
All Pro LB Jamie Collins, now with the Cleveland Browns
WR Aaron Dobson, out of football
CB Logan Ryan, a $10 million per year man
FS Duron Harmon, last remaining member of Patriots 2013 draft class
So it seems like a lot were: 1) confused about drafting another linebacker in Collins with Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, and Dont’a Hightower under contract; 2) waaaaaay too excited about the Dobson pick; 3) absolutely correct about the Ryan selection; 4) completely off the mark about the Harmon selection.
4. Anonymous scout season is out in full force where scouts tell media members random evaluations/red flags in attempt to help a player reach their team in the draft order. This has to be the dumbest part of the draft.
Last year, a scout said that Eli Apple deserved a red flag because he couldn’t cook, despite the fact that Apple’s dad is a five-star chef. Andy Dalton was flagged because he had red hair. Watch out for more of these stories on the coming days.
5. ESPN hosted a draft special where the brought former executives in to pretend they were the Cleveland Browns front office about to make the first overall pick.
Just A+ acting here, folks. Seriously. Legitimately impressed that no one broke character when they were receiving phone calls of trade offers. We all know the Browns will take the full 10 minutes to make their selection because the league wants to build up suspense, but there probably shouldn’t be much of a discussion on draft day. If the Browns haven’t figured out their choice by the time the draft starts, then everyone should be fired.
I’m also 100% convinced the Browns have no interest in North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky and are hoping that some team- the Buffalo Bills- trades up to take Trubisky. The Browns and the Jets might have a trade lined up, so the Bills might leap-frog the Jets at #6 to select their quarterback. The Browns have been talking a lot about Trubisky and I think it’s a smokescreen with the goal of having Clemson QB Deshaun Watson slip down the board to when the Browns make their pick.
6. In this simulation, the Patriots are brought up because everyone believes that Jimmy Garoppolo is a better option than any quarterback in this draft. They call “Nick Caserio” and offer the #12 and #52 picks to nab Garoppolo from New England, and robo-Caserio counters by saying the Patriots want the #1, #12, #33, and #52 overall picks.
Caserio takes no prisoners, apparently.
This is obviously a fake scenario where the Browns are supposed to draft Texas A&M EDGE Myles Garrett in the draft, but there’s no way the Patriots would ask that much for Garoppolo, right? The most I’ve seen the Patriots looking for was a pair of firsts and the #1 overall pick alone would qualify with equivalent trade value.
If the Browns offer the #12, #52, and a 2017 second round pick, the Patriots have to consider that. If the Browns offer #12 and #33, the Patriots have to consider it. If the Browns offer #12, their third round pick #65, and a pair of 2017 second round picks, the Patriots have to listen.
I feel like Bill Belichick himself would say, “Sorry, I don’t know what came over me,” if he came to the negotiating table asking for #1, #12, #33, and #52.