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Tuesday Tackle – Jared Goff slipping?

Jared Goff

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Tis the season to be jolly,

Fa La La La La, La La La La

The Rams are tanking and the Pats are sucky,

Fa La La La La, La La La La

Don’t we know the playoff picture,

Fa La La, La La La, La La La

While I tell of Cleveland’s treasure

Fa la La La La



Go Ahead Touchdown (Best of the Week)

Those Feel Good Browns

If I had a quid for every time that I’ve written off the Browns and then flip flopped back to saying they can snag a playoff berth, my family would be getting much nicer Christmas presents.

After sneaking past the Denver Broncos, they’re now sat at 6-7-1 with two games to go. Their chances of a playoff place are limited by the fact the Ravens and Steelers both won, but there are still some very far flung scenarios which could see the Browns limp into the playoffs. As papers usually say about England in a major tournament, “their fate is out of their own hands.”

Despite the Browns’ unrealistic postseason hopes I can’t help but look at them and feel good about the world. They’re the little train that could, and when the Browns win the world is just full of puppy dogs and rainbows.

Obviously there is a lot of good happening on the field with Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, et al gaining in confidence and prowess. The feel good story which is being ignored, though, is what’s happening off the field with interim head coach Gregg Williams.

Longtime NFL fans will know Gregg Williams for one reason and one reason only: The Bounty Scandal. For the uninitiated, when Williams was defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints he was found to have run a bounty system where his players would get cash rewards for causing serious injuries to the opposition. It was inexcusable, covered up for far too long, and when details leaked out he was promptly exiled from the league.

When his suspension was over, Williams dipped his toe back in and bounced between the St Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans before winding up at the Browns. With Hue Jackson’s dismissal earlier this year, Williams was put into the driver’s seat while the Browns searched for someone to take their rebuild project over. However, the team’s marked improvement may have meant that the coach they were looking for was right under their nose this whole time.

The Browns are playing with a belief and competence under Williams which was unseen for years. Whatever he’s doing it’s working, and it’s been a long time since the Browns were given a gift horse. They’d be foolish to look it in the mouth.

And for Williams, the turnaround from league exile to respected head coach would be nothing short of miraculous.


First and Long (Worst of the Week)

Good Quarterbacks

Santa’s icicles, did the ‘good’ quarterbacks have stinky, stinky weeks this week. And I’m not just saying this as a Pats fan who also had Aaron Rodgers and Jared Goff amongst his fantasy choices…

Tom Brady has decided his late-career aesthetic is going to be that of Brett Favre, and spent most of the must-win against the Steelers overthrowing receivers and giving away easy picks. If Jimmy Garoppolo was still in New England, there would 100% be a quarterback controversy going on right now. All Brady can do is overthrow to Gronk, who doesn’t have the athleticism to pluck balls out of thin air anymore, and dump off to Rex Burkhead or Chris Hogan to let them do the hard work. He finished this week at 279 yards, one TD and one INT. You played sucky.

Sir Aaron of Rodgers, you only put up 13.5 fantasy points and I hate you for that. I know you’ve been injured, and I know you had our lord and saviour Khalil Mack chasing you all day, but I hoped for more. We all did. The Packers need to shut Rodgers down for the rest of the season to let him heal up, as their playoff chances died when the Bears rolled them. He limped to 274 yards, no touchdowns, one INT, and ate five sacks.

Jared Goff, though… I’m not mad. I’m worried. Talk to me. You okay? Since the bye week you’ve thrown for one touchdown and seven interceptions. You only threw six in the first eleven weeks. Your offense is stalling, and you seem ready to go from NFC juggernauts to playoff flops. Just try to be less sucky, okay?


Fantasy Stud (Player of the Week)

Mike Williams, LA Chargers

There is a lot to hate about the LA Chargers. A bit of it is Philip Rivers’ face. A lot of it is how they burned their bridges in San Diego to move to LA and play in front of a half empty stadium and fans who don’t care but wanted to see a game and couldn’t get Rams tickets. One bright spot, though is Mike Williams.

He managed seven receptions for seventy six yards and two touchdowns, along with another rush for 19 yards and a score. Most importantly, he picked up the two point conversion when the Chargers went for the win with seconds to go.

Well done, Mike. You earned your 29.5 fantasy points and the title of Fantasy Stud.


Mr Irrelevant (Worst Player of the Week)

Todd Gurley/Jared Goff, LA Rams

Jared, we’ve already covered you. You might have thrown for 339 yards, but the zero TDs and two picks mean you’re on the naughty chair. Sit there and think about what you’ve done.

Todd, you know I love you, but if you’ve got no timeouts and have a chance to go out of bounds, stop the damned clock. You cost your team. You’re the best running back in the league, but you’re not literally Superman.

You two allowed Nick Foles to stroll back into the lineup and outscore you. The pair of you need to bang your heads together because, while your season may be dead rubber thanks to its early success, you’re only a few weeks away for playing meaningful games again.


Khalil Mack Award for Being Khalil Mack

Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears

Return of the Mack… Return of the Mack…  

Khalil feasted on a defeated Green Bay offense and picked up 2.5 sacks and five tackles as he made sure his Bears won their division. This is why loyalty matters, and an in-form Khalil Mack is a great tool for the Bears to have heading into the postseason.


Sunday Night Hail Mary (Bold Prediction for Next Week)

Christmas Apathy

I am very apathetic about this game so won’t keep you here long.

The Seahawks have their much vaulted Legion of Boom 2.0 pass defence, but they also just got brushed aside by a San Francisco team held together with spackle and good intentions. They’re a hit and miss team, and are essentially in playoff mode already as one loss and their record could easily be gazumped on the last day of the season.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, are getting to that time of year where head coach Andy Reid starts to get cold sweats and bottle it. He is infamous for late season and playoff collapses, and their late loss to the Chargers is the start of a very familiar story.

This’ll be close, but not close in a good way. More like if you blindfold two of your grandparents after Christmas dinner and see who can do a 1000 piece puzzle first.

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