As per usual, start this off with the Weekly Picks.

  • Saints -3 (W)
  • Titans -5 (L)
  • Raiders -7.5 (L)
  • Colts -3 (W)
  • Bills +1 (W)

Season Record: 36-28-1

NFL Viewership Update

When I began my Monday Not So Morning Thoughts column for 2020, I wanted to follow the NFL viewership and keep you up to date. There was a big fear in the beginning of the year that the NFL ratings could tank due to their support of Black Lives Matter and on-going protesting. While the NFL ratings have taken a small 5-6% decline, it certainly isn’t alarming like the 20% dip they experienced in 2018. Quite frankly, only dipping 5-6% in an election year is better than par for the course.

As I talked about in the beginning, there are countless factors in 2020 which can be attributed to the small decline. However, I would chalk up the NFL season as a win thus far despite being down.

After years of messaging and protesting, I believe more people are openly supporting Black Lives Matter, which is why we have not seen a sharp decline in the NFL viewership like we had in the past.

To those who have to make it point to let us know they won’t be watching tHoSe CrYbAbY MiLLiOnAiReS or pOLiTiCs DoN’T BeLoNg iN SpOrTs, there is only thing that needs to be said here. Get absolutely fucking bent.

NFL Playoff Picture

Before diving into my thoughts into the playoffs, here are the standings for both the NFC and AFC as of now…

AFC Standings

  1. Steelers 11-1
  2. Chiefs 11-1
  3. Bills 9-3
  4. Titans 8-4
  5. Browns 9-3
  6. Dolphins 8-4
  7. Colts 8-4

Knocking on the door:
Raiders 7-5
Ravens 6-5
Patriots 6-6

NFC Standings

  1. Saints 10-2
  2. Packers 9-3
  3. Rams 8-4
  4. Giants 5-7
  5. Seahawks 8-4
  6. Buccaneers 7-5
  7. Vikings 6-6

Knocking on the door:
Cardinals 6-6
Bears 5-7
Lions 5-7
49ers 5-7
Football Team 5-7

Most NFL seasons, there are a handful of teams in each conference who I can definitively see winning the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, there are other teams who I don’t give much of a chance to. This is a bit of a weird year. I am calling the Chiefs to repeat. I feel most strongly about them winning it all. Even then, I wouldn’t send the confidence meter past 6.5. Packers are not too far behind them at maybe a 6 or 5.5. Beyond that, it becomes a bit of a clusterfuck.

From top to bottom, I think every team is being hindered by a major hole somewhere on that roster, making them fair game for just about any team to expose that vulnerability. While teams like the Steelers, Rams, Browns, Colts and Dolphins have stout defenses, I don’t trust the Steelers offensive line and I don’t fully trust the QBs of the other four. I sure as hell don’t trust Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield or Tua or Fitz to play from behind should it happen.

Then you have defenses that are just absolutely horrendous like the Titans, Seahawks or Vikings. I trust Russell Wilson to play from behind or win a shootout if he has to, but not so much with Ryan Tannehill or Kirk Cousins.

Saints Super Bowl Chances

I purposefully left out this elephant in the room. That is of course the Saints. The defense has been unbelievably great since Taysom Hill took over as the starter for the injured Drew Brees. We saw something similar happen last year with Teddy Bridgewater.

Top to bottom, the roster is more than good enough. In fact, I would say the roster is more equipped than anyone in the league including the Chiefs or Packers. As much as I have railed on Drew Brees’ dead arm in the beginning of the year, he can still win because of the supporting cast around him. Brees has been at his best when facing sub par pass rushes. Fortunately for them, only Rams and Packers could be problematic in that regard. Bucs should be, but the Saints appear to be their kryptonite.

The reason I am scared to say the Saints have the best shot in the NFC is because of their inability to establish the run and throw themselves out of postseason games. With an aging Drew Brees, I don’t trust him to win games behind his arm. Unfortunately, the Saints have a long history of trying to do that in the playoffs.

The Saints are 1-6 when they throw the ball 40 times. The only game they were out of it was of course the 2006 NFC Championship against the Bears. They are 7-1 when they keep the throws under 40. The one loss was last year when the play call balance was 36 dropbacks to 12 handoffs for Brees. The Vikings went full Nascar pinning their ears back and bull rushing the Saints interior line.

Aside from the losses in 2010 and 2011 (God Mode Brees) to the Seahawks and 49ers, the Saints failed to score more than 24 in any of those games. We will see what happens come postseason for the Saints. I am certainly not holding my breath on them not throwing themselves out of another playoff game.

NFL Awards

MVP – Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
OPOY – Alvin Kamara, Saints
DPOY – Aaron Donald, Rams
OROY – Justin Herbert, Chargers
DROY – Antoine Winfield Jr, Bucs
Comeback Player – Alex Smith, Football Team
Coach – Brian Flores, Dolphins

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