Do the Jets have Deep Pockets for the Deep Threat, Robby Anderson?

Do the Jets have Deep Pockets for the Deep Threat, Robby Anderson?

We all knew Robby Anderson’s contract with the Jets was ending at the end of this season but we didn’t know how depleted the entire team would be. The 26 year old wide receiver has surely grown into himself. Anderson has had a decent year with 5 touchdowns on 49 receptions at Week 17. But if the rumors are true, that he’s looking for a 4 year, 10 million dollar contract the Jets might not be able to resign him.

Robby Anderson was once labeled a “One Trick Pony” since most of his plays were speedy deep routes. This year he was utilized in more plays and short passes. He has had his ups and downs with this team but the fact remains that Sam Darnold loves him. Unfortunately, the might not be able to afford to the Sam and Robby duo.

Robby’s career high is 63 catches for 941 yards – two years ago. That’s definitely not a $10 million dollar caliber receiver. Many have tried to compare him to his wide receiver counterparts such as Tyler Lockett, Emmanuel Sanders and Larry Fitzgerald. All are getting paid between 10-12 millions dollars a year. Yet they all have more receptions and/or yards than Anderson. A valid argument could be made for an 8 million dollar a year contract with performance incentives. Outside of that, 10 million for a number 2 wide receiver with mediocre numbers seems outlandish.

Joe Douglas will have his hands full this off season as he tries to rebuild the Jets from the ground up. The team is depleted and needs a new offensive line, pass rush, and corner backs which will be quite costly! What a difference a year can make in the NFL. The Jets went from having the 2nd highest cap in the league to having to try and get position players on a budget. After addressing these issues he will have little left to figure out how to address his wide receiver and running back situation. If Anderson is unwilling to negotiate, his return is highly unlikely.

All That Glitters Isn’t (Red and) Gold

All That Glitters Isn’t (Red and) Gold

Last nights nail biter regular season finale game between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers wasn’t pretty. After last nights game, I think we saw two teams that are flawed and not Super Bowl bound. Unfortunately, the Seahawks flaws seem to come from injuries. They have lost their 3 starting running backs, #1 tight end, their star offensive tackle, all cornerbacks and Clowney on defense is believed to playing hurt. They lost their receiver Jaron Brown in the first series of last nights game leaving only Lockett, Metcalf, Moore and Ursula, making any kind of offense very challenging. The 49ers on the other hand are all healthy with the exception of Tart and Dee Ford. They had all of their starters including Bosa and Staley that they didn’t have in the first Seattle matchup. Why is this important to know? A Super Bowl destined team that’s almost completely healthy doesn’t let Russell Wilson come back from such a lead in the 2nd half with a completely decimated team.

The Niners appeared to dominate the whole first half when they went up by 13 at the half. The return of Marshawn Lynch this week actually Appeared to hurt the Seahawks as the Niners defense could almost guarantee he wouldn’t be involved in the pass game. Getting the offense started for Seattle seemed to be a real struggle going into half-time as they trailed 13-0.

The 2nd half Seattle offense definitely picked up the pace at the helm of Russell Wilson but the Niners seemed to have dropped off. Wilson led 3 touchdown drives and on the next drive he brought them back within 4 points. With the game on the line and seconds to play Wilson spiked the ball to stop the clock since there were no timeouts remaining. He had one incomplete pass and then game the first game changing moment. Jacob Hollister was completely draped by Fred Warner as a clear and blatant pass interference. The ball actually hits off of Hollister’s face mask as he couldn’t move his arms to catch it! This became a no call and no New York review that actually cost the Seahawks the game as they would’ve had a fresh set of downs at the goal line. The game ended with a costly delay of game and a 4th down stoppage of a Hollister catch within inches at a score of 26-21. The refs managed to make that call but ignored the pass interference that could’ve won the game for Seattle.

Strong teams don’t allow leads to slip away in over a third of their games. They put the final nail in the coffin and move on. Some say that’s what the 49ers do on a technicality because it’s a win but football is more intricate than that. From the Cardinals, first Seahawks matchup Saints, Rams and last nights game vs Seattle we watch them continually struggle to win games.

They’re very fortunate to have clinched the Bye and after last night they’ve showed the world they’re going to need it. This Seahawks-Niners game could very well have a part 2 in 2 weeks at Levi Stadium where the Hawks beat the Niners back in November and broke their undefeated record. More will be revealed in this playoff contention. One thing for sure, there is a team that knows how to get it done and they’re led by the man who set the Highest Comletion Record in NFL history. Just a friendly reminder to fans: All that Glitters Isn’t Gold.

Today’s NFL: Teams Don’t just have to beat their opponent; They have to beat the Refs!

Today’s NFL: Teams Don’t just have to beat their opponent; They have to beat the Refs!

This Sunday’s New Orleans Saints vs San Francisco Forty Niners game was an epic battle of two great teams. Both had a lot at stake fighting for the #1 seed in the playoffs. The game was immediately impacted by an illegal hit on the Saints star tight end Jared Cook which resulted in a game ending concussion. While this was a huge loss, Drew Brees and the Saints kept attacking. They held the lead of 13 points in the first half but they definitely felt the loss of Cook.

Coaches Sean Payton and Kyle Shanahan had to go deep into their playbooks in this game. Punch for punch, every penalty or non penatly call was vital to the outcome. The game changing play call by Payton of a fake punt to QB Taysom Hill will be long talked about after this season ends. Hill quickly received the fake punt and threw down field to Tre’Quan Smith. As soon as the Niners defensive back, Tarvarius Moore saw the pass, he held Smith for a good 15 yards. While Smith went up to catch the pass, Moore completely kept his back turned. This was not only clearly a defensive pass interference but knocking him out of bounds before the ball could be caught.

Most fans did not know the league rule that pass interference can not be called on a fake punt play. But what can be called is a holding prior to the pass interference which happened for the better part of the whole play. That’s exactly what we saw Sean Payton screaming about on the sidelines. Since holding is not reviewable, the ruling on the field stands and therefor a holding call that would’ve given the Saints a first down, turned the ball over to the Niners with great field position. Unfortunately, this is not the first or second time the Saints have been the victim of horrible missed calls. In fact it well known in the NFL that the new offensive pass interference rule is directly related to the missed call in last years Saints vs Rams NFC Championship game.

Expect that this fake punt rule in particular be scrutinized in the off season as it really is quite ridiculous. Especially that Offensive interference can still be called on the play. This is just another example of ridiculous rules and simple unreviewable missed calls that can change the momentum and outcome of critical games.

Elsewhere in the league, the New England Patriots faced referee challenges of their own in their face off with the Kansas City Chiefs. While the Patriots are on the hot seat again for what could be SpyGate 2.0, it does not justify the game-blowing officiating on Sunday.

At the end of the third quarter, with 5 seconds left, Devin McCourty knocked the ball from Kelce’s hands after the pass was completed. Stephon Gilmore recovered what appeared to be a legitimate fumble and took off downfield to what would have surely been a touchdown. The play was blown dead by head Official Jerome Boger’s staff. Bill Belichick was forced to challenge the play. The Patriots ultimately kicked a field after losing crucial time (and 4 extra points) on the drive.

To add insult to injury, shortly after the Patriots’ N’Kneal Harry scores a touchdown diving for the pilon but was ruled out of bounds on the sideline before he reached the goal line. The clock was at 13:22 so it was not an automatic review and the Patriots were now out of challenges. Harry was a good 2 inches in bounds of the sideline and every camera angle proved it. The ruling on the field stood in this situation and once again the NE Patriots were robbed of a game changing score. Three plays later they had to settle for yet another field goal due to the referees ineptitude. The score was now 23-16.

They say third times a charm but in this case, third time put the nail in the coffin for the Pats. 3:31 left in the 4th quarter and because of Patriots stealth defense, their chance of winning was still alive and well. On third and 6 at the Chiefs 29 yard line, Brady fires a pass to Dorsett while Chiefs cornerback, Kendall Fuller initiated contact before the ball was caught. This wasn’t just pass interference, some would liken it to a full on “Holiday Hug.” Once again Bill Belichick’s hands were tied as he was out of challenges.

These are just two team examples of the inconsistent and downright atrocious play calling we have been seeing in recent years. Obviously officiating will never be perfect since there will always be a human element to the game. But some serious talks need to be had regarding new rules, old rules and keeping the calls consistent thruout the league. As well, the NFL needs to take a long hard look at whether they have the “best of the best” officials calling these games. Fans can deal with being outperformed or beaten by a better team but having to beat the Refs is absolutely unacceptable.

SuperBowl LIV Could Be a “Battle of the Birds”

The 2019 NFL season has been a wild year. Ups and downs, record breaking quarterback injuries and wild shifts in weekly power rankings. We’ve watched teams like the Ravens And the Seahawks get stronger game over game, while some of the early predictions for Super Bowl contenders showed us the their “humanness.”
The once undefeated Patriots lack the offensive weapons around Brady to score points. This will be a huge problem for them in the post season. As well the 49ers have fallen victim to the running quarterback not once but twice. Their 2 losses came at the hands of Russell Wilson and the Seahawks and the red hot Ravens with Lamar Jackson at the helm.
Both the Seattle Seahawks and the Baltimore Ravens currently sit [at 10-2|]. Each have beaten both the Patriots and the Niners, the NFL leaders for the better part of 2019. Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson are dangerous inside and outside of the pocket. Their speed and strength coupled with both team’s resilient defenses are stacking up integral wins. As well, Wilson and Jackson are the front runners for this year’s MVP.
What we are seeing here is the Running Quarterback Revolution. Running quarterbacks are not to be confused with mobile quarterbacks. A mobile quarterback can run for a few yards and escape a tackle or two to prolong the play. Running quarterbacks have the speed of a running back, the arm of a pocket passer and can make accurate passes in motion. Michael Vick, McNabb, RG3 were a few of the pioneers of the Running quarterback style but unfortunately they were well before their time. The NFL wasn’t ready for that kind of player then but now these quarterbacks are Faster, stronger and more accurate. Running quarterbacks could very well be the standard in the league within the next 10 years or sooner. Perhaps as soon as Super Bowl LIV. We could very well witness the “new” quarterback showdown in the Battle of the Birds [on Feb 20th 2020|]. One thing for sure, a Ravens v Seahawks most certainly wouldnt end in 16 total points.

The Best Records Don’t Always Equal The Best Teams

Last night, the two best NFL record teams both played separate games. The NE Patriots snuck out a win over the Philadelphia Eagles 17-10. While on the other coast, the San Francisco 49ers struggled to pull out a win against the (3-7-1) AZ Cardinals late in the 2nd half. The Pats and the Niners moved on to 9-1 records but does the age old adage “you are what your record says you are” hold true?

Looking at both teams schedules, it’s fair to say they both had relatively easier schedules the first half of the season. We have seen both of these organizations fall victim to strong divisional teams. With the Patriots losing to the Ravens on November 3rd by a score of 37-20 and the 49ers taking their first loss to Seattle 27-24 in Week 10. This proved something we all knew, both teams were and are beatable.

The NE Patriots have an outstanding defense this year but their offense pales in comparison. In fact, Tom Brady has thrown passes to 17 different receivers this year. With his favorite receiver, Julian Edelman still playing injured and his first year without his star tight end (or any tight end), this Pats offense can’t seem to find any momentum. They’re even short their star kicker, Steve Gostkowski. Without an offense they will surely flounder in the playoffs. Historically, Bill Belichick and company find a way to rally back. But with the trade deadline come and gone, the injuries and lack of depth will surely work against them in the post season.

The SF 49ers have found themselves in a comparable situation. Undoubtedly, this team is the most improved in the NFL. From their 4-12 record in 2018 to having one of the best records in the league, we must give Kyle Shanahan and his defense major credit. That front 4 on defense can be lethal. But similarly that offense can be very inconsistent. We see glimpses of hope in their run game and some decent passes by Jimmy Garoppolo. But what we all want to know is, are they for real? Can they withstand the talented teams on the back half of their schedule? They’re struggling with injuries but so is every team in the league. We can’t ignore the elephant in the room that there’s a big question mark around Jimmy G. He has shown to panic and be turn-over prone in difficult situations. The lack of receiver depth does not help his case. There are solid teams in the NFC that can stop their run game and power punch with a pass rush which proved to be Jimmy’s kryptonite in their loss to the Seahawks. It’s important to note that the defensive line can only do so much especially when faced with a running quarterback.

Both 9-1 teams have started to show us who they are as their schedules have toughened up. There are some highly competitive teams with worse records but that are playing better, more balanced football. 2 of these teams, the Baltimore Ravens and the Seattle Seahawks, have proved that you don’t need to have the best record in the NFL to beat the best team or even “be” the best team.