The NFL Competition Committee will host it’s annual meetings March 25-28 in Orlando, FL. There are two really “hot” topics on this year’s agenda: Pass Interference Penalties and Catch/No-Catch.
Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, and Rich McKay, Competition Committee Chairman and President/CEO of the Atlanta Falcons, hosted a conference call today with some insights into what they saw happen during the 2017-18 season and to preview some of the items up for discussion at this year’s meeting.
To recap 2017, parity seems to be alive and well in the NFL. Eight of the twelve playoff teams this year were not in the playoffs in 2016. Two of this year’s playoff teams were last in their division last year and moved to first, one actually won the Super Bowl. In fact, eight of the past fifteen seasons have seen at least one team move from “worst to first.”
As the free agent period approaches, one of the hottest names and biggest difference makers for a franchise is Kirk Cousins. I think it’s safe to say that, with the signing of Alex Smith, Washington will not be putting a Franchise Tag on Cousins which means he can start looking for his next team on March 14th.
There are quite a few teams desperately searching for a franchise quarterback, but are they all viable options at this point? Do they have the money to pay Cousins the huge contract he wants? Do they have the cap space? Are they the type of organization that he would want to play for? Let’s look at the front runners…
The Denver Broncos have a Thursday night game in the ‘House that Peyton Built’. Because of this, I will combine the Jets and Colts as one article, it could show a trend for the other.
First up, let’s start with special teams. In a move that should’ve been made weeks ago, wide receiver Jordan Taylor was the return man and wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie was benched. This resulted in no drops or fumbles and positive yardage each time. He will be repeating those duties on Thursday.
Second, with the defense holding the Jets to three and outs, the offense got the ball, on average, at the 40-yard line. That could very well happen again against Indy’s poor offense. Now, a win is a win. And for the first time since week four, the ball wasn’t turned over. However, the problems are not solved.
The Patriots went into the Meadowlands Sunday with a record identical to their opponents’, something no one could have predicted at the start of the season. The media had been talking about an 0-16 season for the Jets, but coach Todd Bowles, quarterback Josh McCown and the rest of the team have proved the media wrong. Whoever came out on top in this game would lead the AFC East, but this didn’t look like 2 good teams fighting it out for the division.
Let’s get the bad out of the way first – the defense, especially in passing, looked awful. I would have never predicted that the Super Bowl Champions would return and deliver the 32nd ranked defense in the National Football League, but here we are. They have given up an average, an AVERAGE of 440 yards of offense per game. Most of that, of course, through the air.