£100 Challenge

By Tim Monk and Adam Walford

It’s 1-1 in the £100 challenge stakes with Tim winning the NFL 2018 season but Adam winning the 2019 draft. Here is the third installment! we have included Rob Grimwood’s challenge to as we have a forfeit for the loser of clucking like a chicken for 1 minute!

Scroll through below to find out what we fancy!

Where Do They Go From Here? Vikings

After our divisional season review podcasts, we are now looking to the future and asking where each franchise goes from here. We put ourselves in the chair of being GM or the owner and going over what moves we would make in order to win a Superbowl, make the playoffs or just regain some pride…

Today we take a look at the Minnesota Vikings.

Don’t forget to check out the NFC North podcast where we talked to Paul Berryman who plays for the Dunfermline Kings and asked for his thoughts.

How Did Last Season Go?

Comparing to most recent previous seasons, this season was nothing short of a disaster.

After getting to the Championship game in the 2017 season and “upgrading” at the QB position, the Vikings fell well short of expectations which would’ve been to appear in the Super Bowl. Dalvin Cook could not stay healthy again and there were more holes in the o line than a extra large cheese grater. There were more than eyebrows raised when Buffalo came in to town in week 3 and annihilated them in the first half.

Firing their OC John DeFillippo midway through the season, which showed how happy they were with the way the team were playing on offence.

That said, apart from that, not really any surprising results in the season, with all their other losses coming to teams who made the playoffs so it’s fair to say the winners’s schedule could be as much to blame as any other excuses.

Bottom line is that there was no January football for Minnesota thus, a failure of a season.

Housekeeping

Minnesota pick at 18, 50 and 81 within the top 100 and are 2nd worst in terms of cap space available at the time of writing.

Outgoings

Anthony Barr, Sheldon Richardson and Latavius Murray are the most notable names on the Free Agency market. Oh, and Trevor Siemian. Silly me.

Incomings

Due to the lack of cap space, I’m not sure we’ll be troubled too much by the Entrance door apart from the draft. Depth on the offensive line is an obvious need as well as a bit or two on defence to cover the departures. They will need to replace Latavius Murray due to Cook’s unreliability in terms of staying on the field too.

Wouldn’t be surprised to see Minnesota take a Tight End in the draft considering the talent in the 2019 class.

Outlook for Next Year

Looking at the landscape of the division, the outlook is a murky one.

The schedule will ease up slightly but have a difficult away schedule including visits to Dallas, Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas City and Seattle to add on top to their divisional away trips to Lambeau and Soldier Field. As always, a lot will come down to the divisional games, where the Vikings went 3-2-1 last season.

I’m not sure how much more Cousins can improve from last season after passing for over 4000 yards, 30 TDs and 10INT.

Prediction

They will need to be more effective on the ground behind an improved Offensive line and have a healthy Dalvin Cook to play January football next season. That said, I’m not convinced Green Bay are totally right at the moment so the chances are there for 2 teams to come from the North for the playoffs next season. Minnesota Vikings to be one of those teams. If they can sort out their line issues, they could quite easily take the division title back.

Fantasy Football

Kirk Cousins – later round QB, low QB 1/QB2

Dalvin Cook – 2nd Round , mid/low RB1

Adam Thielen – 3rd Round, WR2/ WR1 upside

Stefon Diggs – 3rd Round, WR2 / WR1 upside

Kyle Rudolph – just no.

Where Do They Go From Here? Bears

After our divisional season review podcasts, we are now looking to the future and asking where each franchise goes from here. We put ourselves in the chair of being GM or the owner and going over what moves we would make in order to win a Superbowl, make the playoffs or just regain some pride…

Today we take a look at the Chicago Bears.

Don’t forget to check out the NFC North podcast where we talked to Martin from BearDownUK and get their thoughts on them!

How Did Last Season Go?

It couldn’t have gone any better really, even with all the hype surrounding the team and the bandwagon getting overbooked. If you’d have offered a Bears fan a playoff spot, they’d have bitten your hand off like a bear would if you offered it a salmon…

Top of the North with a 12-4 record and if it wasn’t for Cody Parkey’s exceptional accuracy for connecting pigskin with metal, they would have seen the divisional round of the playoffs and maybe more.

A week 17 win vs the Vikings and knocking them out of the playoffs would’ve tasted sweet for those at Soldier Field, though. The Bears won 9 of their last 10 with the only loss coming in OT vs the Giants in a strange one.

The defence gave up the fewest points I the NFL over the regular season and were top 10 on offence in points scored, which may surprise some.

Housekeeping

The Bears are not rich in the Salary Cap or Draft Pick stakes after their trades last year.

Around $18m in cap at the time of writing and their 1st and 2nd round picks have been traded away for Mack and Miller respectively. So it’s pretty much as you were in terms of personnel for the Bears.

Outgoings

Rumours of Jordan Howard going out the exit door are interesting. The tandem of Howard and Cohen seem to do the trick, its just a question of perhaps having them both in the backfield to help with trying to not be too predictable for playcalling when one of them are in on the snap. Apart from that, don’t expect too much change for a team that feel like they are almost there.

UPDATE: Amos has signed with the Packers

Incomings

After all of the outlay last season, I’d be surprised if we see much movement from the Bears this offseason. They have most of their pieces in place on both sides of the ball. Maybe a sprinkle here or there for depth. Baked in to that is their lack of options with their salary cap position and draft picks for 2019. Expect a replacement for Howard if he leaves and also maybe an addition or two on the O Line.

UPDATE: Mike Davis has signed from the Seahawks

Outlook for Next Year

Things look great for the Bears and now look to maintain rather than be a part of the chasing pack, which may come as a weird feeling to Bears fans. The microscope will be on Trubisky to see if he can take another (needed) step forward.

The Bears will face a division winners schedule and the collective W% of their opponents last season stands at .520 with matches against the Chiefs, Saints, Rams, Chargers, Cowboys to add on top of 2 matches vs Green Bay and the Vikings. If they retain their division title, they’d have earned it.

Prediction

You’d expect the Packers and Vikings to be much more competitive so things could be a lot tighter this season.

The defence will probably be leaned on once more and grinding out results, which was the winning formula last season. In Nagy’s 2nd season, maybe expect a bit more effectiveness on offence with a few more tricks up his sleeve to come out on the field. I’m not sure Trubisky progresses as much as most will hope and this may just come back to bite them in 2019.

That said, a playoff berth should await them again, but as a 5 or 6 seed.

Fantasy Football

Mitch Trubisky – No thanks. (likely undrafted in redraft, mid/low QB2 range. Maybe one for a late round bestball)

Jordan Howard – 5th Round, low RB 2 range

Tarik Cohen – 4th Round, High RB 2 range (higher in PPR)

Allen Robinson – 3rd Round, low WR2 range

Anthony Miller – 8th/9th Round, low WR3 range

Taylor Gabriel – Late rounds, low WR4

Trey Burton – 9th Round, low TE1

Where Do They Go From Here; Bengals

After our divisional season review podcasts, we are now looking to the future and asking where each franchise goes from here. We put ourselves in the chair of being GM or the owner and going over what moves we would make in order to win a Superbowl, make the playoffs or just regain some pride…

Today we take a look at the Cincinnati Bengals . Don’t forget to check out the AFC North podcast where we talk to a fan and get their thoughts on them!

How Did Last Season Go?

After 5 weeks, you were wondering if it had finally all come together for the Red Rifle and Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati. But no, it wasn’t to be.

From those highs of a 5-3 record in the AFC North prior to their bye week, to the lows of hiring Hue Jackson, things quickly got out of hand *insert Ron Burgundy GIF* ending in a 6-10 end of season record.

Andy Dalton got injured week 12 vs Cleveland which saw his season end prematurely and the replacement Jeff Driskell was not asked to do anything spectacular. Coupled with that, a tough schedule after the bye week (Saints, Ravens, a good Browns x2, Chargers and Steelers in the schedule).

The season will probably be mainly remembered for the Cleveland trollings from Baker and Randall with Hue Jackson on the sidelines and also the end of Marvin Lewis’s tenure as the head coach after 16 seasons as head coach (and no playoff wins).

Bengals had some injuries to deal with on both sides of the ball to their main talents including Joe Mixon, AJ Green, Vontaze Burfict, Nick Vigil, Carl Lawson and Dre Kirkpatrick which didn’t help their cause but once Dalton went down, so did the curtains. Despite that, there were bright spots on offence for Mixon and also Tyler Boyd who both had 1000 yard seasons rushing and receiving respectively whilst John Ross somehow managed to get himself into the endzone 7 times also.

Housekeeping

Long term Head Coach Marvin Lewis has been relieved of his duties and Zac “Sean McVay disciple” Taylor has been brought in to invigorate the team.

The Bengals have the 9th most cap space and pick 11 in the first round of the draft. 2 more picks in the top 100 (42 & 72) means that they will have to hit on a lot of their selections.

With Zac Taylor coming in as the new HC, it will be interesting to see how much of that he is allowed to play with and how much trust he is given in compiling the squad he wants.

Outgoings

You shouldn’t see too many heading for the exit door in terms of players but one to keep an eye on is Andy Dalton; If Taylor decides to cut ties with the Red Rifle, he would cost absolutely nothing to toss to the gutter.

Incomings

Ryan Tannehill, Nick Foles, Tyrod Taylor or Teddy Bridgewater could plausibly be the week 1 starter for the Bengals should Andy Dalton be cut. Yikes. If you put a gun to my head (and let’s face it, talking about the Bengals QB situation can drive you to that) I would say Dalton stays. If he goes, I expect Tannehill to come in.

The Bengals will probably address the defence in the draft as well as the Free Agency considering the state of affairs. I would expect a number of players to come in via Free Agency but may be tough to attract the top end talent. But as Shane McMahon’s theme music would tell you, “money talks”.

Oh yeah and Zac Taylor is in at HC. A 35 year old who has never had experience as an OC in the NFL (did so at the College level for 1 year in 2016), let alone a Head Coaching position. It’s who you know that gets you a job, it’s what you know that keeps you there. I wonder how much Taylor knows.

The former Rams and prior to that, Miami Dolphins QB coach gets his shot at a head coaching gig and there are a wide range of outcomes for next year…

Outlook for Next Year

The aforementioned Zac Taylor needs to make a decision early at QB. It’s a no brainer in my eyes, but I wear glasses soooo….

If Dalton is cut by the Bengals, a transition year with a new QB could put the Bengals behind the 8 ball early. The good thing is that they are a run first team and I expect Mixon to carry the team on his back once again. They have the pieces on offence to make a challenge when all cylinders are on fire, especially with Dalton. Let’s not forget they were the pacemakers for the early part of last season. They have some pieces on defence too, but there is nothing screaming out at me about this team to say that they are going to be challenging for the division. I think the best outcome is the 6 seed with Dalton, without him, I don’t see them having a sniff. Don’t @ me. In terms of personnel, AJ Green will be 31 when the season starts and struggled with injury last season, so it’s not a reach to think he could fall off a cliff in terms of production, meaning Tyler Boyd, John Ross or any new offseason acquisitions will need to step up.

Prediction

I think the Bengals are not in the greatest of positions on any front. The only thing they do have going for them is age; going in to the season, they were the youngest team in the NFL with regards to average team age. In a division where a few teams are ascending, I’m not sure we can apply that statement to the Bengals.

Zac Taylor, despite Marvin Lewis’s long leash, may not be able to get too comfy and coming from the historically legendary coaching tree of Sean McVay (insert Ryan Reynolds The Proposal face palm plane GIF), the wonder if Mike Brown and the gang allow him time. I think it’s doomed personally.

4th place finish seems most likely. Main reason being the changes at HC and potentially at QB. You don’t see many teams making the playoffs where those 2 positions changed prior to the start of the season…

Again, don’t @ me.

Fantasy Football

Andy Dalton – QB2 – will go undrafted in 1QB leagues.

Joe Mixon – RB1 – Late 1st/early 2nd round pick

AJ Green – low WR 1 /high WR 2 – late 2nd/3rd round pick

Tyler Boyd – low WR 2/ high WR 3 – 5th / 6th round pick

John Ross – WR4/WR5 – may go undrafted in most leagues.

Tyler Eifert – Do I have to?

 

Exit Interviews – NFC North

Time to go North once more for the NFC side.

Bears leapfrogged the Vikings and the Packers to take the throne, but can they stay there?
And what do the Vikings and Packers fans have to say about that?
And then there are the Lions who haven’t had much to roar about recently.
Many thanks to Martin, Paul, Charlie and Rob for their help putting this podcast together.
Tomorrow sees the last in the series with the NFC West.
Enjoy!

Exit Interviews – AFC North

AFC North time in our mammoth review series.
Ravens – @chibsRSR
Steelers – @DFF_JamesH
Browns – @UK_Browns , @all32Shaun
Bengals – @trequartbeasta (@bengalsUK)
As said in the pod, Ravens segment was recorded prior to Flacco and Crabtree stuff soooooo yeah.
Thanks to those that participated for the podcast!
Enjoy!

Podcast 28 – Britball Week Part 5 – Tamworth

In the penultimate stop on our tour of Britball, Coach Scott honours us with his presence and gives us the low down on the all conquering Prem North champions Tamworth Phoenix.

He breaks down what makes their team so dominant, paying homage to his coaching teams but also gives us insight into his adventures over the pond whilst also filling us in on the American Football University scene. He can be found on social media @fastboatcoach and @TamworthPhoenix.

Our final stop will be Tamworth’s opponents on Sunday, Sheffield with Coach Chesters.