The Opening – The landscape of the league is coming to fruition. At this point, we have a firm grasp on what team’s are contenders and pretenders. It is December, which means the good teams are beginning to tighten up on both sides of the ball…putting to bed any bullshit slung toward them during the season.
Hotard Huddle Podcast – It’s been a while since doing one because 3 adult schedules aligning be like that sometimes. The big 50th episode is TBD.
As per usual, start this off with the Weekly Picks.
- Bucs -3.5 (Win)
- Giants +9 (Loss)
- Seahawks -9 (Win)
- Football Team +6.5 (Loss)
- Chiefs -9.5 (Win)
Season Record: 31-41-1…thank God fantasy is going better this year so far.
Biggest Overreactions of the 2021 Season Thus Far
- Green Bay Steamrolled by Saints (Aaron Rodgers)
Remember in Week 1 when the Saints beat the ever living shit out of the Packers 38-3? It seems like a lifetime ago. But, it happened. Following the loss, headlines emerged about Aaron Rodgers not caring. I also took part in this. He looked emotionless in that game indicating he did not care. Maybe he just cut his losses because Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers threw 2 INTs in that game with only 133 yards. Arguably the worst game of his career. Those 2 INTs make up 50% of his season total. He may make headlines for the wrong reasons and appear to be a pretty shitty person at this point. Dude can still ball.
- Patrick Mahomes and Chiefs Struggling
I did not take part in this hype train. In fact, I made fun of both of my podcast co-hosts about this one. The Chiefs went through a bit of an identity crisis and rough patch to say the least. The defense was miserable. The offense, which you expect to be a firework show, was flat. Great QBs always seem to rebound. The Chiefs have been steamrolling teams lately thanks to a new found defense. On this one, I will happily say I fucking told you so.
- Trevon Diggs as a lockdown DB
While Diggs is certainly explosive and an absolute asset to the Dallas defense, he is not lockdown at all. I heralded him when he was at 7 INTs with less than 300 yards given up on the season. He is on pace to give up 1,000 yards on the season, currently 2nd in most yards. He has given up 3 TDs (pretty low number). That being said, he creates turnovers in bunches because of the bait and switch style of play, very similar to the legendary Deion Sanders. Diggs is damn good at it. As long as he produces consistent turnovers, that is never going to be a problem. While he isn’t lockdown, there aren’t many corners I would take over him. Jalen Ramsey and Tre’Davious White are the only two definitive names that come to mind.
- Lamar Jackson MVP
During the beginning of the year, I thought it was silly Jackson was being mentioned for MVP because his numbers were similar to his MVP season. This in and of itself is silly because each season is very different. Sometimes those numbers don’t hold water because of the ups and downs of the league. For example, Matt Ryan’s MVP season…if he had that same season last year, he wouldn’t have even been in the conversation.
The fact he has lasted this long is just unbelievable. The guy doesn’t belong nor deserve to be in the NFL. He benched James Robinson (his best offensive player) because of a fumble two weeks ago. He called his assistant coaches losers because they haven’t won. Like what? What the fuck have you done? Because you won in college, you think you have some sort of clout? What the hell is that? That would be like Tim Tebow going to the NFL HOF and demanding to be inducted based on his legendary college career.
Fire Urban and please never return. The guy is walking argument for why being an alpha douche doesn’t work. You’re not even an alpha. The only coach who can do it is Belichick.
Micah Parsons is Everything Chase Young Was Supposed to Be
I am going to die on the hill that Chase Young is a bust. Yes, his season was ended due to injury. No, I did not want to see that happen obviously. Dare I say it, I even like his personality on the sidelines. But, my God, they hyped him up so much as a transcendent all-timer and he was the second overall pick last year. He won defensive rookie of the year in a weaker rookie class. I said he would fall somewhere in between Jadeveon Clowney and Keke Mingo. The former being a spot rusher who gets overpaid everywhere he goes. The latter being a dud. The verdict…TBD.
Just to recap why I believed that. All of his sacks his final year at Ohio State were him gaining the outside on tackles. Sure he would get there quickly on some. The majority were from collapsed pockets brought by the interior and him on clean up duty. Read it here: https://hotardhuddle.com/2020/04/08/nfl-draft-i-said-chase-young-would-be-a-bust-and-placed-a-bet-on-it/
It just drives me nuts how so many scouts and experts just raved and raved about this dude. It took me watching one highlight reel of his final season to say “what the fuck is this hype about?”
Anyway, on to Parsons. Cowboys were trying to sure up their secondary with either Jaycee Horn or Patrick Surtain this year. Unfortunately, those plans were spoiled. But, they damn sure may have won that deal. Parsons is looking like his IS going to be a transcendent superstar. In his rookie year, the Cowboys have used him at LB and DE as a chess piece to help that defense. To say he has delivered would be a total understatement.
The reason I am making this comparison is because it still baffles me the hype Young is still getting.
Upon the time of writing this and not including his 2 sacks today against WFT (ironically)….
Parsons – 12 Games, 10 Sacks, 38 Pressures (when he has a job that expands pinning his ears back and going after QBs)
Young – 24 Games, 9 Sacks, 37 Pressures
Chase Young sucks. Kbye.
NFL Awards Race
Now that we have just a few weeks left, the award races have narrowed. So here they are…
Driver Seat – Tom Brady
In the Hunt – Kyler Murray, Josh Allen
I have maintained that this is Brady’s award to lose. The MVP is often convoluted with storylines because that is just the way it is. At 44, Brady is still very much the best overall situational QB in football (3rd Down, Redzone and 4th Quarter). That hasn’t changed. But he is leading the way in yards and TDs while keeping the INTs to a minimum given how much the Bucs throw. He has 500 more yards than Allen and almost double the passing TDs of Murray.
Driver Seat – Cooper Kupp
In the Hunt – Jonathan Taylor, Kyler Murray, Matthew Stafford, Lamar Jackson
Much like Brady, I think it would take a bad downfall at this point for Kupp to lose this. He currently leads the NFL in receptions, yards and receiving TDs. He is on pace for 140 receptions and 1,900 yards.
Driver Seat – TJ Watt
In the Hunt – Myles Garret, Trevon Diggs, Micah Parsons
This one is interesting. Week 6, it was Diggs all the way. Week 10, it was Garrett. Now, TJ Watt. It is still very close with the two pass rushers battling it out. I think Diggs is in the mix but losing ground, especially with his teammate Parsons catching fire. Myles Garret leads the league in pressures. Meanwhile, Watt leads in sacks while playing one less game. If Watt doesn’t win, it’ll be another unlucky year for him. Then you have Parsons in the top 5 in both as well.
Driver Seat – Mac Jones
In the Hunt – Ja’Marr Chase
This is a two horse race that is very much wide open. A few weeks ago, I would have said Chase is a dead runaway because he was. Thanks to the Pats winning streak and Mac Jones (while conservative) performance, he is currently in the driver seat. Being a QB certainly helps. While my personal vote would still be Chase, this is incredibly close.
Driver Seat – Micah Parsons
In the Hunt – No one
This is in the bag. It’s Parsons, period.
Driver Seat – Bill Belichick
In the Hunt – Kliff Kingsbury, Matt LaFleur
To be honest, the coach of the year is probably my least favorite award because it’s about wins and playoffs. It should be to some degree. There are just coaches who clearly over perform given their rosters. When the Dolphins went 5-11 under Brian Flores a few years ago, that team had no business winning 5 games and it was a testament to him. My personal choice right now would be Harbaugh due to the injuries he has dealt with this year. That roster is unbelievably banged up and they’re still winning games with playoffs on the horizon. That being said, out of the options, Belichick seems like a lock considering he lost Brady, grabbed his next guy and the Pats are currently on top of the AFC.
Week 15 Power Rankings
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-3)
- Green Bay Packers (10-3)
- Kansas City Chiefs (9-4)
- Dallas Cowboys (9-4)
- New England Patriots (9-4)
- Arizona Cardinals (10-3)
- Los Angeles Rams (9-4)
- Tennessee Titans (9-4)
- Buffalo Bills (7-6)
- Indianapolis Colts (7-6)
- Baltimore Ravens (8-5)
- Los Angeles Chargers (8-5)
- San Francisco 49ers (7-6)
- Minnesota Vikings (6-7)
- Cleveland Browns (7-6)
- Cincinnati Bengals (7-6)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6-1)
- New Orleans Saints (6-7)
- Denver Broncos (7-6)
- Seattle Seahawks (5-8)
- Las Vegas Raiders (6-7)
- Washington Football Team (6-7)
- Carolina Panthers (5-8)
- Atlanta Falcons (6-7)
- Chicago Bears (4-9)
- Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)
- Miami Dolphins (6-7)
- New York Giants (4-9)
- New York Jets (3-10)
- Detroit Lions (1-11-1)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11)
- Houston Texans (2-11)
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