Best thing about the NFL Truths column is the random emails and letters I get from celebrities.
My publicty-ist was reading me your collum last week and I gotta say I became aroused hearing about football and stuff. You no I broke up wit Offside. We getting divorced. He couldn’t handle this #WAP. Robert Craft and Joe Biding are trying to holla. But I need Big Sexy.
Here are your NFL Truths for Week 2:
10) The MVP race is over.
Russell Wilson won the award last night in week 2, with a five-TD performance against the New England Patriots.
Wilson is going to go from never receiving an MVP vote in his eight-year career to being the third unanimous choice for the award, joining Lamar Jackson and Tom Brady.
It’s Wilson’s year. Only two things can stop Wilson’s MVP campaign — injury and Aaron Rodgers.
And I really don’t see the Packers quarterback posing much of a threat. Rodgers might end up challenging Wilson statistically. The 2-0 Packers might end up with a better record than the 2-0 Seahawks. None of it will matter. Rodgers isn’t beloved by the media the way Wilson is. And in the year of faux “racial justice” it’s going to be quite difficult for Rodgers to out-poll a beloved black quarterback.
That isn’t said to denigrate Wilson’s performance. So far, he’s playing quarterback at the same level as Jackson in 2019 and Brady in 2007, arguably the two greatest QB seasons in NFL history. The addition of Randy Moss in 2007 made Brady unstoppable and the Patriots unbeatable during the regular season.
Is it too early to speculate about the Seahawks running the table? Probably. But I will. I love their schedule. The NFC West is loaded. The Rams and Cardinals are 2-0. The defending NFC-champion 49ers have major injury issues.
Outside their division, Seattle gets to feast on the NFC East and the AFC East. The Patriots posed their stiffest challenge, and Wilson just carved up Bill Belichick’s defense.
Barring an injury that cost him more than four games, Wilson is going to win the MVP. Place your bets now.
9) There’s no reason to fire Dan Quinn until after the conclusion of the season.
Having said that, Quinn should be fired even if the Falcons win their next 14 games. The only thing that would stop me from firing Quinn at the conclusion of the season is a Super Bowl title.
Quinn, once again, proved Atlanta’s appearance in the 2017 Super Bowl was solely tied to then-offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. It had nothing to do with Quinn.
The Falcons collapsed on Sunday, blowing a 26-7 lead to the Cowboys. Everyone is blaming Quinn and his coaching staff for Falcons players botching the game-deciding onside kick in the final minute. The NFL needlessly ruined the onside the kick a few years ago out of alleged safety concerns. Recovering an onside kick is now one of the most difficult tasks in all of sports.
The Cowboys did it on Sunday thanks to three Falcons players acting like the kick was a punt.
But, to me, Quinn opened the door for the collapse when he went for 2 points in the second quarter after Atlanta went up 26-7. The 2-point conversion failed. I hate it when coaches go for 2 points before the last 5 minutes in the fourth quarter. It’s stupid.
Atlanta lost 40-39.
Fire Quinn in January. There’s no fixing the Falcons in this COVID-decimated season.
8) Is Kirk Cousins better than Gardner Minshew?
It’s a fair question. Minshew sliced and diced the Indianapolis Colts in week 1, completing 19 of 20 passes for three touchdowns. A week later, Cousins completed 11 of 24 passes for three interceptions and zero TDs against the Colts.
The Vikings are 0-2 this season. Cousins averages $33 million a year in salary. Minnesota extended him this offseason. Washington’s Dan Snyder is allegedly the worst owner in pro football. Snyder was smart enough to avoid giving Cousins a long-term contract.
Cousins is no better than Minshew.
7) Tampa Bay’s defense is more impressive than Tompa Bay’s Tom Brady-led offense.
Brady rebounded from his awful season-opening performance and led the Bucs to victory over the Carolina Panthers. Brady looked sharp in the first half. He could’ve had a monster day had his receivers not dropped two perfectly thrown balls in the end zone.
I’m not going to knock Brady’s performance.
But Tampa’s defense is what jumps out at me, particularly the play of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Suh had two sacks on Sunday. He didn’t just make plays in the backfield. He made hustle plays downfield. Sunday is the best I’ve seen Suh play.
The Tampa D intercepted Teddy Bridgewater twice. In week 1, Tampa’s defense kept the Bucs in the game when Brady was struggling. The story in Tompa Bay is Todd Bowles’ defensive unit.
6) The Los Angeles Chargers were the most impressive loser this weekend.
The Chargers outplayed the Super Bowl-champion Chiefs. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert made one boneheaded play that cost Los Angeles the upset. Leading 17-9 late in the third quarter, Herbert scrambled out of the pocket and flung the ball across his body and the field on second-and-2 at the KC 39.
The pass was intercepted. It was a really dumb decision. Herbert could’ve walked to the first-down stick. The interception turned the game.
Other than that play, the Chargers dominated. Herbert threw for 311 yards and the Chargers rushed for 183. Their defense bottled up Patrick Mahomes for much of the day.
Los Angeles head coach Anthony Lynn stated that Tyrod Taylor is his starting QB when healthy. I actually agree with that decision for now. No reason to rush Herbert out of the oven.
5) I still believe in Philly quarterback Carson Wentz, the first quarterback booed inside an empty stadium.
Wentz has to get out of Philadelphia. He can’t escape the ghost of Nick Foles. Fox Sports piped in boo-birds after Wentz tossed a terrible interception in the end zone.
If Wentz played in Indianapolis, I don’t believe Fox Sports would have piped in boos. The whole thing is probably unfair. Wentz and the Eagles probably have every reason to be upset at the television crew. Fox Sports manufactured a negative story on Wentz.
It only happens in Philly though. The reputation of Philly sports fans drove the decision. Wentz needs to exit Philly. He’d be perfect in Indianapolis.
4) I’m proud of Deion Sanders taking the Jackson State head-coaching job.
Who knows if he’ll be successful? I just respect the fact he had the balls to go for it and take on the challenge.
Last offseason, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy removed his name from consideration to be the head coach at the University of Colorado. His defenders in the media claimed he’s entitled to be an NFL head coach.
Bieniemy’s unwillingness to coach his alma mater is a red flag. Great head coaches have humongous egos. They believe they can win anywhere, anytime.
Maybe Deion’s ego will cost him at Jackson State. Who knows? Deion wanted to be the head coach at his alma mater, Florida State. He couldn’t get that job. So now he’ll go to Jackson State to prove he’s a legitimate, big-time head coach.
I hope his former peers across football rally around him and support Jackson State, an HBCU with a rich football history. Walter Payton played at JSU.
Good luck, Deion. I will be $upporting Jackson State.
3) Of the 11 winless teams in the NFL, Houston is the only one with a chance to make the playoffs.
The Texans opened the season with the roughest two-game stretch in football — the Chiefs and the Ravens.
Houston has been outscored 67-36. Forty-million-dollar quarterback Deshaun Watson has thrown two TDs and two interceptions. He’s been outplayed by Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson.
There’s a decent chance the Texans will fall to Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers this weekend. I’ll still believe the Texans can recover from an 0-3 start and make the playoffs.
I’m not predicting the Texans can make the postseason. I’m saying I think they can win 9 games and that might be good enough to qualify.
I like them to “upset” the Steelers this weekend. JJ Watt will have a good game against Pittsburgh’s battered offensive line. Don’t count out Houston.
You can count out all the other 0-2 teams.
2) Of the ten 2-0 teams, my money is on the Bears and the Cardinals missing the playoffs.
We all know the Bears are frauds. They beat the Lions and the Giants, two terrible teams. The Bears ain’t making the playoffs.
As for the Cardinals? I have a bias against short quarterbacks. Always have. Always will. Sue me. I’m not buying tiny Kyler Murray. It took me years to buy completely into Russell Wilson. I call Drew Brees the Dirty Little Secret because I think his stature causes him to throw interceptions a 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4 quarterback wouldn’t.
Tiny Murray is too small to be a consistent winner in the NFL. Plus, I’m not sold on thirst-trapping Kliff Kingsbury. You remember his draft war room pose? The scene of him sitting in front of that fireplace baiting Instagram models across the internet. It made me as jealous as the stories of him dating Holly Sonders.
Short quarterback and a thirsty head coach … I’m not sold on the 2-0 Cardinals.
1*) The Patriots final offensive play of the game was terrible.
I had no problem with Cam running the ball on first-and-goal from the 1. But why not spread the field and give Cam a run-pass option? The dude threw for nearly 400 yards last night.
It’s probably a good thing the Patriots lost last night. Keeps Cam humble. The Patriots are going to win 11 or 12 games this season.
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