Top 10 NFL quarterbacks going into 2020

By Kieran Patterson (@DCCYTFootball)

Every season there is one position valued above all others, a position that’s scrutinized and picked apart more than any other…the quarterback.

With the position being so varied between teams, players styles and schemes I think it would be interesting to take a look at the top 10 signal callers in the league, break them down and see who is going to be exciting to watch going into the 2020 season.


Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans


I know off the bat I’m going to get flack for this. I know it. Not only was the former number 8 overall pick a complete bust in Miami, he was also injury prone. Every season he played the full 16 games he threw double digit interceptions and struggled to help the Dolphins get anywhere.

So what changed in Tennessee?

Better coaching? More motivation? Better culture? Regardless of what changed at the Titans, it worked. In the 12 games he took the field (only started 10) he put up 2,742 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He had 4 less touchdowns than Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes while only starting 10 games!

Tennessee Titans' Ryan Tannehill named best QB at 4 types of throws
Jim Brown – USA Today Sports

Behind a dynamic hardnosed offence that includes man mountain Derrick Henry and dynamic Wide Receivers like AJ Brown, Cory Davis and Adam Humphries this offence has all the power it needs to take them deep into the playoffs again. Possibly even a Superbowl appearance.

This isn’t just me jumping onto a player who had a hot season, this is me telling you that the Titans are dangerous and can beat any team they face off against this year. Good luck stopping them.


Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers


You might be asking why I have a future all of famer this far down this list. Well it’s not only his lack of weapons but actually his recent productivity.

Last year Rodgers posted a respectable 4,002 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Couple that with the fact that not only is he missing weapons he’s not getting any younger. The Packers realized this and that’s why they brought in Jordan Love.

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Now my personal opinions on Rodgers aside he is in fact a future first ballot Hall of Famer and an all time great. But I think we see him start to wind his career down now. With little to no offensive weapons to help him move the ball I don’t see Rodgers living up to any of the hype we see around him and the Packers every year.

Sure he’s one of the best…but he can’t win games alone anymore.


Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49er’s


Now many people might call Patriots bias due to who drafted Jimmy Garoppolo and his history with the Patriots but if you’re familiar with my work then you know that I know what I’m talking about (I’m pretty good at this whole football lark).

The 49er’s are 19-5 with Jimmy G under center since he suited up in red and gold and 3-10 without him…now you tell me he’s not a difference maker. People love to hate on Jimmy G but watching him play is sensational, his release is one of the fastest in the league, he can make throws downfield, he makes fast reads and isn’t afraid to take a hit.

Jimmy Garoppolo back to throwing after torn ACL
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Last year Jimmy racked up 3,978 passing yards for 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Oh no he’s terrible despite having a stat line almost identical to Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson and Aaron Rodgers. With just a few more interceptions. Yeah tell me he’s bad again.

Despite coming up short in the Superbowl I think it would be foolish to not expect this even stronger 49er’s team to not tear it up next year and make another run at the Superbowl behind this super-powered offense.  


Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans


After Deandre Hopkins was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in the off-season there was rumors that Deshaun Watson was looking from a way to escape Bill O’Brian too and the Patriots got mentioned…to say I was excited was an understatement.

Watson is unquestionably one of the most exciting signal callers in the league he’s a great athlete with a really accurate arm and despite his O-Line failing to keep him upright most of the time he still manages to make plays and as long as he’s on the field the Texans are still in the game. Watson has taken the Texans to playoffs for 2 of his 3 seasons, the exception being his rookie year.

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Last year he had a great season but unfortunately fell to the eventual Superbowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs. He went into the playoffs with  3,852 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also tallied 413 ground yards taking 7 touchdowns in with his feet.

Despite losing Hopkins, Watson still has a strong defense and competent offensive pieces to aid him going into the 2020 season which will be crucial in helping the Texans to their 3 playoffs berth in as many years.

Hopefully Watson wears a visor this year so he doesn’t nearly lose an eye while escaping the pocket.


Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints


When it was reported that Drew Brees has already signed a TV deal ahead of the 2020 season I think that was almost a confirmation that this was his last 2 years as a player.

Despite playing at a high level his whole career an MVP award has always alluded this man, not that he hasn’t deserved it. The future hall of famer has one last shot at the MVP and he’s in a great position to do it with the team around him.

Drew Brees responds to Donald Trump on national anthem: 'I realize ...
Mark Zaleski/AP

With a pro-bowl supporting cast including players like Alvin Kamara, Micheal Thomas and Taysom Hill it’s not hard to picture this Saints team making it back to the playoffs. Last season Brees unfortunately missed 5 games due to a thumb injury he picked up in week 2 against the rams. After back up Teddy Bridgewater came in and went 5-0 in his absence Brees returned and managed to finish with 2,079 passing yards, 27 Touchdowns and 4 interceptions.

Despite struggling against the Vikings in the playoffs in the past 3 years Brees has all the tools to finally make it to the big game and despite Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Jimmy G all being in the NFC it’s not smart money to bet against this man.


Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks


Now if I had to pick one quarterback to extend a play as long as possible until someone gets open, I’d pick Russell Wilson.

For pretty much his whole career Wilson had played behind one of the worst O-Lines in history, no matter what he’s tried to make plays and subsequently pulled off some of the most jaw dropping plays in NFL history.

Seahawks' Russell Wilson using Google to prep for Pittsburgh ...
Joshua Bessex

A true leader of men Wilson would earn a place on this list for almost every year he’s been in the NFL. Last season the Seahawks signal caller threw for 4,110 yards, 31 touchdowns and 5 interceptions taking the Seahawks to the playoffs for the 7th time in Wilson’s 8 year tenure with the Seahawks.

It seems a this point a guarantee that Wilson and the Seahawks will see post season action, with stiff competition now in the NFC how far can Wilson take his men?

Time will tell, but with this man as a signal caller the Seahawks won’t go down without a fight.


Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Tom Brady will be 43 years old when the NFL season kicks off this year. 43. Just let that sink in for a moment.

So after one of his worst seasons in 2019 Brady decided to leave for pastures new in Tampa Bay. Whether it was him butting heads with Bill Belichick or him feeling under appreciated by the team he spent the last 20 years of his life leading, Brady left the Patriots. He’s walked into a great situation in Tampa. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, OJ Howards, JF3 and oh…Rob Gronkowski are just a few reasons why Tampa Bay is looking to be the best team in the NFC this year.

At 43 Brady will 100% slow down, it’s just nature but if that Tampa Bay pocket gives him 2-3 seconds every snap then no doubt they’re dangerous. Now last year on a team plagued with injuries, young players making mistakes and an O-Line made out of paper Brady managed to throw for 4,057 yards, 24 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Pretty good considering.

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So now put him on a team with Gronk who’s in the conversation for best tight end ever, Mike Evans a rough and ready wide receiver who can out muscle anyone covering and high points balls like a man twice his size, Chris Godwin who can take the top off a secondary and might be one of the fastest guys in the league and the little mentioned JF3 a Taysom Hill type player with 4.19 speed and agility to match. SCARY.

I think if this Tampa Bay team doesn’t make the playoffs it will be the biggest shock the league has ever seen. They’re almost a lock for the Superbowl and Brady vs Mahomes would be one of the most fun matchups ever. This Tampa Bay team is going to be fun to watch with the GOAT at the helm.


Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills


If it wasn’t for Lamar Jackson winning the MVP then Josh Allen would’ve been number 2 instead of here. Josh Allen is my favorite quarterback in the league and that’s coming from a Patriots fan. He’s got a bazooka for an arm, he’s athletic and he’s tough.

Josh Allen has come into a long snakebitten franchise and completely changed the energy. In his Rookie season he played in 12 games throwing for 2,074 yards for 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also added a further 631 rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns. Oh and he hurdled over Anthony Barr against the Vikings. That was pretty great.

ESPN highlights where Bills QB Josh Allen needs to improve
John Munson / AP

In his sophomore season he really improved starting in all 16 games putting up 3,089 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 9 interceptions while adding 510 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.

Between his huge frame and cannon arm he really does look like a movie quarterback in every sense of the word. He came into the league with so much potential and only last year did he scratch the surface in terms of what he’s really capable of. The Bills unfortunately dropped out of the playoffs early another one and done situation.

Look for them to make a deep run this year taking on the likes of the Ravens, Titans and Chiefs along the way. If they can beat a team like the Chiefs in the playoffs I’d say they’d be a safe bet to win the big game come February.


Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens


Honestly the number 2 on this list was hotly contested for a whole host of reasons but reigning MVP Lamar Jackson just edged it.

Showing massive improvements in his passing game during his sophomore season Jackson was one of the most electric playmakers in the league. With a mix of great throws and ridiculous speed and agility on the ground Jackson was a true duel threat.

The year he was drafted I was on record saying he might be one of the best quarterbacks we’ve seen in a long time and 100% the best quarterback in his class. Not only did he stick to his guns when teams wanted him to work out as receiver he showed true improvement in his passing game taking his completion percentage from 58.2% in his rookie season to 66.1% in his sophomore year.

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In his first season as a starter (starting all 16 games) he put up 3,127 passing yards, 36 touchdowns and 6 interceptions plus his staggering 1,206 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns there’s a reason why he won MVP. While he does look like he struggles in the playoffs it clear that Jackson is a true duel threat and more than a handful for any NFL defense.

Expect the Ravens to appear in the playoffs again this year as they finally try as Lamar finally tries to break the one and done showings of his first 2 years.

He is on the cover of Madden though…but then again Patrick Mahomes may have ended the Madden curse for good


Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs


Former MVP and reigning Superbowl champion, Patrick Mahomes might be the best quarterback in the league right now.

The former 2017 first round pick sat his full rookie season, which is something I actually recommend for most quarterbacks coming into the league.

Fresh from blinding stat lines at Texas Tech one of which was throwing for 734 yards in a game (819 combined yards) against Oklahoma. It was clear Mahomes had talent and the Chiefs coaching staff realized sitting him behind a veteran like Alex Smith was a great idea.

It paid off.

In his first season as a starter Mahomes threw for 5,097 yards, 50 touchdowns and 12 interceptions on the road to an MVP award and AFC championship game. In his first year as a starter…that’s crazy. His stats saw a slight drop in 2019 where he threw for 4,031 yards, 26 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He did go on to win the Superbowl though so I’m sure he’s not too upset.

Super Bowl 2020: Several Super Bowl records set or tied as Chiefs ...
Robert Deutsch / USA Today Sports

Mahomes looks to be the best quarterback in the league for years to come, he’s got a cannon for an arm, great feet and awareness which allow him to extend plays and he understands football. If you could pick the best quarterback in the league at this exact moment, it’s Mahomes.

I can’t wait to see how the rest of his career plays out. Honestly I feel like it’s a given that the Chiefs at least appear in the AFC Championship game behind one of the best offences the NFL has ever seen, appearing to have broke the Madden curse with a Superbowl win and Superbowl MVP award to boot.

Fantasy Football Nightmares part 2

By Tim Monk (@Tim_MonkF10Y)

Welcome back to part 2 of the Fantasy Nightmares series. If you are one that enjoys having sleepless nights and are good mates with Freddy Krueger, this article is going to suit you down to the ground. You can find the first installment of this article here, where I took a look at some other examples of Running Back rooms or Wide Receiver groups that are going to cause more than their fair share of sweats in 2020.

Be sure to let us know on Social Media Channels what your Fantasy Football nightmares are for 2020 and maybe i’ll put together a part 3 of this horrifying series. @Tim_MonkF10Y or @F10YFantasy is where you can find us.


Denver Running Backs


Why cant simple things be left simple?

Phillip Lindsay, their undrafted FA running back who has shot to fame in the NFL with back to back 1,000+ rushing seasons, looked to have a stronghold on the backfield going in to 2020. With him in said backfield was Royce Freeman, who totalled 752 all purpose yards on 175 touches of the rock. We knew the roles, we knew the production levels…everything was as Hear’say once sung, “pure and simple”.

In 2020 however, it’s going to get a bit murkier in the backfield.

Enter Melvin Gordon, last year’s running back holdout perpetrator. The 27 year old running back out of Wisconsin comes in to the fray with a chip on his shoulder and out to prove his worth. Melvin Gordon is a talented running back held in high regard throughout the league, but if you look at his impact in the league since being drafted #15 overall in 2015, it doesn’t make for pleasant reading and is yet another reason why running backs find themselves in relative contract poverty.

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For a variety of reasons as shown above in his career stats, Gordon has only completed 1 full season in which he totalled over 1,000 yards on the ground, the only time he’s been able to accomplish that feat thus far in his career. Only once (2018) was Gordon able to muster over 4 yards per carry (not great bob) and got completely cast into the shadows with Austin Ekeler’s breakout year in 2019, even when he came back with his tail between his legs during the middle of last season. Despite all these underwhelming achievements on his CV, the Broncos decided to hand Gordon a 2 year $16m deal. So what do we do with this backfield?

Looking at the contracts of the backfield between the top 2 on the depth chart in greater detail helps unravel some clues. The contract for Gordon is a bit more team friendly in year 2 in terms of dead cap ($6.5m), which indicates to me that the Broncos could ride with Gordon this season to their heart’s content meaning Gordon gets the biggest slice of the pie and Lindsay getting sloppy seconds and Royce Freeman potentially being the 2020 version of the 2019 Devontae Booker.

I doubt that using Rookie QB Drew Lock’s contract to help pay for Melvin Gordon over the next 2 years will be awarded most shrewd investment in building a Super Bowl winning team, but seeing as though their 2019 star Lindsay is on just $755,000, I can see why they might want to try out the Melvin Gordon experiment. Keep your eyes peeled for any new deal that may come Lindsay’s way (don’t bank on it), but it is telling that the Broncos decided to go out and pay Gordon the money they did, instead of giving it to Lindsay who’s been there and done it twice since getting on the field.

Broncos running backs showed room for improvement in 2019
Matthew Stockman / Getty

The conundrum we have to try and unpick here is who fills what role; Gordon is capable both on the ground and through the air. Lindsay is excellent on the ground and Royce Freeman is more of the pass catcher tasked back.

Putting numbers in to the equation, Denver amassed 1662 yards on the ground (ranked 20th in the NFL). Drew Lock came in for the last 5 games as a rookie and ranked 22nd in the league in terms of total rushing TDs (11). The team were inconsistent at best and finished 7-9. You’d have to think that you can extend the ceiling of the teams rushing stats with a step forward from Drew Lock and better O-Line play. Only 7/16 games in 2019 did the Broncos manage to surpass 100 yards on the ground, despite being ranked 14th in the league for rush attempts

On the face of it this looks to be a fantasy nightmare, and it could still prove to be considering draft prices (Melvin Gordon currently being drafted as RB12 at the back of the 2nd, Lindsay much cheaper in the 8th), the contracts and the current ADP tell you what you need to know for this backfield. Investing that draft capital on Gordon as the RB12 though is as risky as it gets.

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The good news for those at the 2/3 turn though is that you will already have a stud RB from your first round pick. If Gordon falls to those at the 3/4 turn, where WR or possibly TEs have been taken, it could potentially be a shrewd investment if the contracts are the biggest indicator on who will get the lion’s share of work in this backfield. If the contracts lie, this is where your nightmares will come to haunt you.


Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receivers


This is a nightmare that even Freddy Krueger wouldn’t want a part of. Firstly you have the question at Quarterback: Is Super Bowl winning stalwart Ben Roethlisberger going to be fit and is it going to last for 16 games. The nightmare starts before the season starts here because you have to decide whether or not you trust Big Ben to start and complete the season. I have my doubts but let’s assume that he does, there is a chance that the nightmare becomes the stuff dreams are made of.

Ben Roethlisberger needs surgery, out for the season
Matt Sunday – DKPS

In seasons that Big Ben completed at least 15 games from 2012, his fantasy finishes have been #3, #9 (15 games), #6 and #9. He has averaged 305 fantasy points over the course of those 4 seasons and was the reason behind Antonio Brown being a top 4 WR between 2013-2018 and current WR JuJu Smith-Schuster a top 16 QB in each of his first two seasons.

We know it’s in the locker, but is the locker there to be opened?

Part 2 of the nightmare are the Wide Receivers themselves.

Gone are the days of guaranteed production from Antonio Brown and his successor JuJu Smith-Schuster has had a tough go of it sans “AB” throughout his shot at being “the guy” in 2019. I appreciate that he had Mason Rudolph and a professional Duck caller at QB, but “elite” WR find ways to get it done, no matter the signal caller is under Center. JuJu ended up as WR66 (!), mainly due to his 4 games on the sidelines at the back end of the season. Even so, he was a top 10 WR just once (vs Miami) and a WR2 on 2 further occasions. This after finishing the WR8 in 2018. Looking at Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception, this further illustrates JuJu’s struggles. He fell below the 24th percentile in success rate vs. man coverage and the 12th percentile in success rate vs. press for the third-straight year.

Simply put, JuJu is not your go to WR1 on the outside who will just dominate. He needs a certain type of role, preferably from the slot, where he lined up for 63% of snaps in 2019. The good news for JuJu fans is that there are plenty of candidates in the WR room with him to allow him to move there on a more regular basis.

Dionate Johnson, their 2019 3rd round pick showed flashes in his rookie year with 59 receptions, 680 yards and 5 touchdowns with the aforementioned below average QBs (good enough for a WR41 finish in half ppr leagues where he would have been a waiver wire pickup and had 5/16 games as a WR2 or better, 2 of which were in the last 4 games of the season).

NFL: AFC Divisional Playoff-Jacksonville at Pittsburgh Steelers
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Claypool is this year’s shiny new toy. As a 2nd round selection you’d have to figure he is battling to be James Washington’s replacement. Washington, a previous 2nd pick himself in 2018 probably wont be a threat to the other guys mentioned and likely to be no more than a bit part player despite tripling his output from year 1 to year 2, but he and Claypool have a role to play.

So you get 2 nightmares for the price of one with the Pittsburgh WR with the QB being the collapsing floor on the noose block for all of these guys. If Big Ben stays healthy you can expect perhaps up to 2 WRs returning a healthy profit from their potential ADPs as it stands. However, if Big Ben goes down once more (and maybe for the final time) and the trap door lever gets pulled, all of these WRs are going to hung from a fantasy perspective.

Current prices for the WR show JuJu at a heavily discounted 6th round price, though I’d expect that to rise come drafting in redraft leagues in August. Diontae Johnson is next best in the 10th round – again, expect that to rise a tad as the months pass and we get some conductors selling tickets for carriages on his hype train. You’ll also have James Washington and 2020 2nd round draft pick Chase Claypool in the mix, with the latter likely getting more than a few darts thrown at him if camp shows potential promise.


Carolina Panthers Wide Receivers


If you thought Pittsburgh was difficult and 2 nightmares for the price of 1 was bad enough, let’s take a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. We have 3 variables coming into effect for 2020.

First up change in the Head Coach and coaching setup. Matt Rhule comes over from Baylor where he spent the last 3 years and is coming off an impressive 11-1 final season in College ball, falling to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game. Matt Rhule, the 5th Carolina HC in Panthers history taking over from Ron Rivera brings a experience in turning teams around. Baylor went from a team with a bad reputation both on and off the field and change the entire culture, culminating in a championship appearance.

Matt Rhule: After rebuilding Bears & Owls, can he rebuild the ...
Mark Dolejs

A change in HC generally means a change in offensive co-ordinator and that Rhule (sorry) applies here. Joe Brady, passing game co-ordinator also jumps the CFB ship from National Championship winners LSU, no less. It’s well documented how impressive the 2019 LSU season was when winning it all and is a fundamental reason why joe burrow went from mid round pick to #1 overall in this year’s draft. It’s an intriguing mesh Rhule and the Panthers have put together but change is hard to overcome in year 1 of any scheme in any level of this sport.

Part 2 of the nightmare is the change in quarterback. Teddy Bridgewater was much maligned during 2019 when deputising for Drew Brees when he sat on the sidelines with a thumb injury, this despite going 5-0 in the games he started. The Panthers organisation opted to sign Bridgewater to a 3 year $63m deal which in today’s quarterback salaries is peanuts. Bridgewater is known as a dink and dunk quarterback who will not push the ball down field. However his yards per attempt (7.1) are around the middle in terms of league rank, but does average outside the top 32 with an average of 6.2 yards on depth of target (Brees around the same mark with 6.4yds).

Panthers OC Joe Brady on Teddy Bridgewater: 'He lights up the room'
Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images

Teddy Bridgewater has only completed one full season as a starter, which was back in 2015 and threw for 3,231. That’s not a lot of yardage to go around. However, if you extrapolate Bridgewater’s 5 games out over the course of last season with the Saints though, you get to well over 4,000 yards. That eases the pain somewhat.

The nightmare you have to try and erase from your mind is whether Teddy Bridgewater will have enough production to return the value for these Wide Receivers. I have my doubts.

Next comes the real nightmare though, the Wide Receivers themselves. Let’s start off with the easy bit;

Most people will be envisioning a pack of wolves trying to live off of Teddy Bridgewater’s yardage and targets. That being said, you only have to look back at last season and see that DJ Moore is going to get his no matter what. Carolina trotted out Kyle Allen and Will Grier last season with Cam Newton down yet DJ Moore still managed to record 87 receptions for 1,175 yards and 4TDs. It’s safe to say that the upgrade at QB for this year will see DJ Moore easily surpass the century milestone and notch a few more scratches on the endzone goalpost. Averaging at just shy of 6 receptions per game, it’s safe to say that DJ Moore could be bulletproof and well worth the 4th round investment for those that have gone RB heavy. Dare I say it you COULD trot him out as your WR1. He is currently going around the Calvin Ridley/Allen Robinson/Robert Woods area of drafts. Lock DJ Moore in for 100-110 receptions, 1,200 yards and around 7TDs plus some small rushing shrapnel. This is good enough for a WR1 return and would’ve nabbed WR 4.

But what to do with the others?

Carolina Panthers wide receiver competition expected to be fierce
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Curtis Samuel, their other main protagonist last season didn’t fare so well in a struggling offence. 54 receptions for 627 yards and 7 TDs (1 rushing) when many were particularly high on him. He is now competing with Robby Anderson, who interestingly, Matt Rhule coached in college at Temple in 2016.

Robby Anderson is another whom we are all waiting for monster numbers. Let’s face it, he was never going to get what we all wanted in New York because Todd Bowles and Adam Gase were not good Head Coaches and the teams they ordered out on to the field every Sunday were way below average. Anderson has never reached the 1,000 yard season landmark in his 4 years in the league and is unlikely too here change that record in 2020. Yes these 2 guys are cheap as chips, but you are going to continually be pulling your hair out when they will let you down more often than not in roster management leagues.

To tie the knot on the Panthers’ fantasy options, Christian McCaffrey will ciphen a heavy % of the targets and Tight End Ian Thomas could make a bit of a step forward this season with no Greg Olsen.

It has all the hallmarks of chasing points with these two WR so Bestball may be the best route to go with these guys. In a team where, as Keane put it “Everybody’s changing”, back DJ Moore and leave the rest of the headaches to someone else.


LA Rams Tight Ends


As soon as you see the word Tight End, you know there is a nightmare attached to it. We have 3 to contend with here in the Rams half of Los Angeles. Their uniforms may be “bone” ugly and so is trying to unravel this position group for fantasy purposes.

We have Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett and 2020 4th round pick Brycen Hopkins. We can readily push Hopkins aside but don’t be surprised if you hear his name a couple of times out of the gate. Hopkins found the redzone regularly, especially in his final college season at Purdue and totalled 61 receptions for 830 yards and 7 celebrations in the endzone. He was named to the first team All-Big 10 and was named Kwalick–Clark Tight End of the Year, the one they all want to win. He could be the classic case of you think your guy has scored a touchdown for fantasy to win you the week, only for Scott Hanson to call out Brycen Hopkins name. We’ve all been there.

So let’s focus on the 2 names we are more familiar with and probably helped you win some titles last season. The Rams started homing in on their Tight Ends as the season wore on and between weeks 5-10 Gerald Everett produced 4 top 10 finishes at the positions. As Higbee went down with injury missing 3 games from week 13, Higbee stepped up and produced weeks of TE1, TE5, TE3, TE9 and TE1, averaging 17.1pts in half PPR leagues.

Tight End finishes taken from UDK

Now that they’ll both (assumedly) be healthy heading in to 2020, is there room for both to succeed?

The short answer is no, so which one is more likely to be more reliable next season?

Looking at some datapoints when both were healthy in 2019, Gerald Everett got the nod (or at the very least the best of it) in terms of targets and snap %. However, looking at off-season actions, Tyler Higbee (27 years old) was rewarded with a 4year $29m deal with over half in guarantees whilst Gerald Everett (25 years old), is on the last year of his rookie deal. It’s not to say that Everett won’t re-sign , but indications are that they like what they have in Higbee, perhaps drafted Hopkins to replace Everett once the season is up.

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Cost wise, Tyler Higbee will cost you a late 7th round pick, which screams recency bias, whilst Everett is looking like he’ll be undrafted in most startups/redraft leagues.

The 7th round also sees TEs Evan Engram, Hayden Hurst and Hunter Henry in the vicinity so you have to weigh up whether Higbee is worth that investment. Me personally, I’ll take Hurst and Henry or just wait until later on a punt the position. One saving grace though for Higbee buyers is that Jared Goff tied for the most attempts in 2019 with 626. He managed to get 4,638 yards out of those attempts and 22 TDs.

With no more Todd Gurley catching dumps offs and perhaps more of an allegiance to 12 personnel formations, you could see the Tight Ends contributing on a fairly regular basis for a position that doesn’t need much production to help you win any given fantasy week.


Baltimore Ravens Running Backs


I know what you are shouting at me; How can one of the most dominant rushing attacks be a nightmare to choose from. Well let me tell you.

Let’s get the running back  Quarterback out of the way first.

Lamar Jackson had an historic year with his legs accounting for 1,206 yards or 36% of his teams rushing yards in 2019. 36%! He finished 6th in the season total rushing yards leaderboard, yes that’s including Running Backs. You’d think that the guys in the backfield would be in production poverty but the 30year old former Alabama and Saints RB Mark Ingram finished 14th on that same leaderboard and had himself yet another 1,000+ yard season along with 15 total touchdowns despite edging ever more closer to the running back production cliff. Gus continued his bus tour to the tune of 711 yards and 2019 rookie Justice Hill played a small part too.

The headache this year comes in the form of 2nd round pick JK Dobbins. Clearly, he is the successor to Mark Ingram when he hangs up his battered cleats, but what is his impact in year 1? Does he come in a devour a big chunk of Mark Ingram’s production and push him off the cliff? Or does he get eased in more as the season wears on?

Where will Ohio State's J.K. Dobbins be taken in NFL Draft 2020 ...
David Petkiewicz

Running backs not named Frank Gore or Adrian Peterson (and Mark Ingram I guess you could add) don’t have a long shelf life so there is a big question mark about what these guy’s stats will look like come the end of week 17. JK Dobbins will have the rookie hype train with carriages packed to the brim and that’s baked into the current 7th round ADP price you are currently paying.

If the status quo remains, that price is only going to increase, or as Status Quo fans may say “Down Down”. Mark Ingram is currently going around the end of the 4th/start of the 5th round at the moment and again will be a target for those who have gone Zero RB or have not been looked upon by the RB gods in drafts as they try and squeeze the lat bit of juice out of the former Heisman trophy winner.

You could assume that Lamar Jackson’s watermark for rushing yards will not be surpassed in any of his future years, meaning that there are some ceded yards to go to the backfield but it will most likely be a full committee as Dobbins takes over the reins from Mark Ingram (you can leave Gus and his bus at the station and he will likely fizzle out and be decommissioned).

Lamar Jackson 2020 MVP hopes: How ex-MVPs have fared after winning ...
Robert Hanashiro / USA Today Sports

I envision a smaller pie to eat from in this rushing attacked and I’ll go and stick my neck out and say that it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that NO Ravens RB achieves 1,000 yards on the ground this season (I think Lamar will make it back to back seasons barring injury), meaning that I’d rather take the upside of JK Dobbins taking over earlier than the Ravens may want him to a few rounds later than Mark Ingram and especially a few more rounds earlier than Lamar Jackson will be going this year.

One extra thought before I leave this backfield – If Lamar Jackson gets injured, perhaps both Ingram and Dobbins could go over 1,000 yards so you could argue there is a bit of a bittersweet scenario there.

Five teams that nailed the 2020 NFL Draft

By Sean Tyler @seantyleruk

From the record-breaking television ratings to the lack of technical issues, the NFL’s first virtual draft was an undoubted success (unless you’re a Green Bay fan). Like a bizarre episode of Through The Keyhole, we also saw inside the homes of the star players, and the makeshift war rooms of the general managers and coaches: Kliff Kingsbury’s huge villa, Dave Gettleman’s basement and Mike Vrabel’s total madhouse. As I alluded to earlier this week, some teams left us with more questions than answers but here’s a quick round-up on who ‘won’ the 2020 NFL draft.


BALTIMORE RAVENS


Most analysts concur that Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta and Head Coach John Harbaugh knocked this draft out of the ballpark, with A and A+ grades being handed out like candy. They made their 10 picks count with good value on both sides of the ball and didn’t seem to reach. Instead, they waited for the likes of LSU linebacker Patrick Queen (#28) to fall into their laps, as well as Ohio State running back JK Dobbins and speedster WR Devin Duvernay on Day 2.

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Queen should make an impact in the heart of the defence with his sideline-to-sideline speed, especially after Patrick Onwuasor and Josh Bynes left in free agency. Texas A&M’s Justin Madubuike also had many a pundit purring, with the defensive tackle getting snaffled at pick #71 despite being widely predicted to go in the 30s.

Alongside Mark Ingram, Dobbins should give yet more oomph to their league-leading rushing offense, while linebacker Malik Harrison and guard Ben Bredeson add depth across the board. Baltimore also picked up a couple of late steals, with receiver James Proche, who logged almost 4,000 receiving yards and 39 receiving touchdowns over four seasons at SMU, and Iowa safety Geno Stone, rated by both Move the Sticks’ Daniel Jeremiah and PFF’s Mike Renner as the best value pick of the final round.

Baltimore were exceptional last season and didn’t have many needs. But even so, they improved even more over the weekend, staying neck and neck with the Chiefs as the team to beat in the AFC Conference.

In short: they smashed it.


DALLAS COWBOYS


When drafting, the big question that faces every team now and again is whether you go for the best player available or fill your biggest need. The Cowboys entered the 2020 draft with the league’s top offense and obvious needs in defence, yet opted to spend their first-round pick on Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. Bullseye.

Alonzo Adams/AP

Lounging around on his quarter-of-a-billion-dollar super-yacht, team owner/president Jerry Jones must have been laughing into his champagne cocktail when he picked Lamb at #17. Arguably the best receiver in this loaded class, there was no way he should have been the third off the board. With the ‘Boys having signed Amari Cooper to a $100 million extension, Lamb probably wasn’t on the radar but taking him was a no-brainer: Christmas came early in Texas. Preventing their receiver-needy rivals in Philadelphia from securing his run-after-catch abilities was just the icing on the cake.

Only then did Dallas move on to address their two main areas of need, cornerback and defensive tackle, and they did so with great value picks. Stefon’s lil’ brother Trevon Diggs, mocked by many to go (to Dallas, as it happens) on Day 1, landed in the second round to help fill the void left by CB Byron Jones. Oklahoma’s huge defensive lineman Neville Gallimore also came a day later than many expected. Steals? All three picks border on daylight robbery.

Rewriting the draft textbook, the Cowboys also picked up Utah edge rusher Bradlee Anae with pick #179 (90 picks later than predicted by Mel Kiper of EPSN). I saw a comparison with Maxx Crosby recently, which means he should be a viable replacement for the departed Robert Quinn. They also snatched up another corner in Reggie Robinson, adding depth in a weak spot, and Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz, arguably this year’s top center. If he can stay healthy, he could step straight in for the retired Travis Frederick.

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After a disappointing campaign in which they didn’t seem to want to win the NFC East, despite the stuttering Eagles handing them chance after chance, Dallas are shaping up nicely to boss the division in 2020. Jones can now start to focus on getting Dak Prescott’s deal inked. With a mouth-watering trio of targets at his disposal – Lamb, Cooper and Michael Gallup – it’s time to keep the franchise QB (and his bank manager) happy.


MINNESOTA VIKINGS


Vikes GM Rick Spielman is probably still resting up after selecting a massive 15 players in the 2020 NFL Draft, the biggest haul since the seven-round format was introduced in 1994.

He did a great job addressing the team’s needs, particularly in the first three rounds. To replace wide receiver Stefon Diggs, he used the 22nd pick to take LSU’s Justin Jefferson. Jefferson can play out wide or in the slot, and should give Kirk Cousins a tasty option alongside Adam Thielen, if his 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns last year are anything to go by.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

They then moved down a few spots, giving #25 to the 49ers in return for the 31st and two later selections, but still found another would-be star in TCU corner Jeff Gladney. Minnesota then double-dipped to take Cameron Dantzler (#89) to boost a depleted cornerback room missing Xavier Rhodes, Mackensie Alexander and Trae Waynes, while Ezra Cleveland should add useful depth at left tackle.

A total of 11 picks on Day 3 brought several more decent pick-ups, including James Lynch, a defensive tackle from Baylor, Oregon LB Troy Dye and defensive end Kenny Willekes.  

Boom. Job done.


CINCINNATI BENGALS


Who knows if any trade offers were received and rejected but with the first pick in the draft, the Bengals held fast to secure their quarterback of the future and their franchise poster boy.

Joe Burrow was the obvious choice, having just completed the best college football season by anyone, ever. He starts from the get-go as the incumbent QB, Andy Dalton, was finally released (while I was writing this article) after a lack of trade interest. If Burrow’s success at LSU is any guide, the 2019 Heisman winner could eventually end Cincy’s three-decade playoff win drought and have the Who Dey Nation eating out of his hands. I bet they’re already planning a statue outside Paul Brown Stadium.

Associated Press

After last season’s struggles, just picking the Ohio native makes Cincinnati a winner in this draft. Admittedly, he can’t reverse their fortunes alone, so it’s just as well de facto GM Duke Tobin and HC Zac Taylor kept their foot on the gas. Mirroring the 2011 draft when they picked AJ Green and Andy Dalton in the first two rounds, they paired Burrow with WR Tee Higgins with the first pick of Day 2. The 6’4” jump-ball specialist notched 1,100 yards and 13 touchdowns in his final season at Clemson, and has been compared to Green, his new teammate (and favourite player). Higgins may even replace the franchise-tagged wideout in time.

With the only slight gripe being a (misguided) belief that their O-line didn’t need help, three of their five remaining selections were used to beef up their underperforming linebacker corps. Cincinnati opened Round 3 with Logan Wilson, who excels in pass coverage, while Akeem Davis-Gaither is a one-man highlight reel who might see some special teams action early doors. The Bengals chose a third linebacker in Purdue’s Markus Bailey with their final pick. Touted to break the Top 100 before suffering a season-ending ACL injury last season, Bailey may yet prove to be a real find, if he can stay healthy.


TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS


Let’s face it. Before Cincinnati was even on the clock, Tampa had probably won the offseason, having replaced turnover merchant Jameis Winston with GOAT Tom Brady, and then enticed TE Rob Gronkowski out of retirement for one last hurrah alongside his ol’ pal. But the Buccs complemented their trade prowess with a strong draft, focusing on giving their new (but old) QB some much-needed O-line help and more offensive weapons.

In Round 1, Tampa traded up one place to #13, coughing up their 14th and 117th picks to the 49ers, to ensure Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, arguably the draft’s top tackle, was theirs. He wasn’t expected to drop that far after storming the Combine, so I bet the Buccaneers did some last-minute big-board shuffling.

Getty Images

In the third round, they turned to skill positions, collaring Vanderbilt running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn (#76) to beef up their backfield before diving into the deep wide receiver class to come up with Tyler Johnson (#161). Johnson’s Minnesota teammate, safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (#45), is a versatile ball hawk could yet turn out to be one of the best snares over the three days. For added spice, his dad was a Pro-Bowl defensive back who intercepted Brady in 2001 when playing for the Bills.

If Bruce Arians deploys the battle-weary Gronk sparingly, alongside his other tight ends OJ Howard and Cameron Brate, the Buccaneers could be a team to watch next season.


HONOURABLE MENTIONS


INDIANAPOLIS COLTS GM Chris Ballard filled a lot of needs, even without a first-round pick (traded for 49ers DT DeForest Buckner, which won’t do them any harm). Second-rounder Michael Pittman Jr. from USC could become a top receiver, while explosive RB Jonathan Taylor – averaging 2,000 yards a year over three years – is a hot prospect, despite some concern about the tread left on his tyres after his heavy workload in Wisconsin. A day later than many predicted, the 6’6” Washington quarterback Jacob Eason got picked up in Day 3. The big-armed gunslinger won’t play next year but, under HC Frank Reich, he’ll be groomed to take over from Philip Rivers in due course.


The MIAMI DOLPHINS had 14 darts – including three first-rounders – and most hit the target (though they did use one on a long snapper). Despite some pre-draft smoke and mirrors, GM Chris Grier and HC Brian Flores selected Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa first. Who knows if his injury woes are behind him but the Dolphins had to take the risk on the most naturally talented QB out there. His hip injury was bad luck but it made him available at #5, an equivalent slice of good fortune after Miami didn’t quite #TankForTua. Tua will line up behind a shiny new offensive line including another Round 1 pick, tackle Austin Jackson, and while cornerback Noah Igbinoghene was one of Day 1’s biggest reaches, they got better value in later rounds with DE Jason Strowbridge and edge rusher Curtis Weaver. Outside the draft bubble, acquiring Kyle Van Noy, Shaq Lawson, Byron Jones and Matt Breida only increases the sense that Miami will be much, much better next year.

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY

Earlier this month, I suggested going best defensive player available for a few rounds might be a wise tactic for the CAROLINA PANTHERS. Well, whaddya know? Despite having a new offensively minded Head Coach in Matt Rhule, GM Marty Hurney used all seven of his picks on defence, including a big ol’ run stuffer in Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown (#7) and athletic Penn State DE Yetur Gross-Matos (#38). Later on, they traded up to the last pick in Round 2 to get safety Jeremy Chinn, while cornerback Troy Pride Jr. was also good value in the fourth. The moves they made in free agency – replacing Cam Newton with Teddy Bridgewater and adding Jets receiver Robbie Anderson – should also reinvigorate the team’s offence, making the Panthers a contender again.


I also liked the high-risk, high-reward approach of the ARIZONA CARDINALS. Picking at #8, GM Steve Keim somehow ignored the team’s needs at offensive tackle and went for Clemson linebacker/safety hybrid Isiah Simmons. It might have been a risk (especially having shipped out their second-round pick in the DeAndre Hopkins trade) but 63 picks later, the ace in the pack came up when they snaffled Houston left tackle Josh Jones. After standing out at the Senior Bowl, there was some Day 1 hype about him but he fell… and fell… and fell. Apparently, Kliff Kingsbury even called Jones’ college coaches to ask if there was something he ought to know about. Some steals feel like pick-pocketing but getting Jones in Round 3 was a ram-raid.

F10Y 2019 Divisional Playoffs takeaways

by Lawrence Vos (@F10YRetro and @NFLFANINENGLAND)

DID that really just happen?

Photo caption: Rantsports.com

Not sure if I had too much coffee over the weekend and started hallucinating but I swear I just watched an NFL game where the road team went 21-0 by the end of the first quarter, then allowed their opponents to score 28 in the second, before allowing a further 23 second half points, resulting in a 20 point loss. That doesn’t happen in the real world does it? That’s a Madden score when your cousin has unlocked a cheat code after playing possum for a quarter. Believe it or not it was what happened when the Houston Texans travelled to K.C. to take on the Chiefs on Saturday. Not all playoff loses have the same magnitude or embed the same emotional scars, but this game will take a lot of recovery time for the Texans, especially QB DeShaun Watson and head man Bill O’Brien, who will have to take it right on the chin (where incidentally a small family of sparrows have nested).

King Henry looking for more than the rushing crown

Photo credit: David Boclair (SI)

It’s pretty much in the can that Lamar Jackson will win the NFLs Most Valuable Player award for his incredible season, 13 wins in 15 starts and his destruction of the QB single-season rushing record, but in the cold light of day the most valuable player in the entire league is not a Ravens one. Titans RB Derek Henry, with help from a superb offensive line, are all still alive in the playoffs, and will not be daunted by a third consecutive road playoff game. Baltimore’s 14-2 record and number one seed meant nothing on Sunday as Henry ploughed, slashed, pummelled, drove, and executed his will over the Ravens, becoming the first RB in NFL history to have three consecutive 180+ yard rushing games. Already the newly anointed owner of the 2019 NFL rushing crown, and unlikely to get the regular season MVP award, the man with a beavers tail sticking out of his helmet is 120 minutes away from winning a Super Bowl MVP.

4th and own goal 

Photo credit: Billie Weiss/Getty Images

When you enter the playoffs having gone 8-8 of 4th and 1, and the opportunity arrises to go 9-9 on these plays in a home playoff game that you are losing, but only by a TD, then its understandable to be brave. On their own 45 Coach Harbaugh decided to make s statement in the opening play of the second quarter. Problem was Lamar Jackson didn’t get any kind of exquisite block, and he was stuffed for no gain. On the very next play the Titans dialled up a miracle and Kalif Raymond picked up the receiver, or to put it another way the receiver connected with the ball. That two play series effectively ended the game there and then as the Titans didn’t need the last two touchdowns to win – they had the W when they went 14-0 up. Unlike some other AFC team that melted worse than that flying white guy in Raymond Briggs The Snowman the Titans defense stayed strong all game. 

By the time the Ravens packed their playoff bags they managed to fail to convert their second, third and fourth 4th down conversions. 

Miami motivation for revolutionary Ryan

Photo credit: Jeremy Brevard – USA TODAY Sports

There is no doubt about it, stats lie. You can make a series of stats paint a masterpiece or a dirty protest, depending on the contextual angle you adopt. Let’s look at Titans QB Ryan Tannehill’s passing output in Tennessee’s two playoff games. In two full contests Tannehill has passed for 160 yards on 15 of 29 completions and thrown an interception. In those same three contests Tannehill has thrown three touchdown passes, gained two wins (his first playoff victories) and thrown the single most important touchdown in the 2019 playoffs. When the former Dolphins passer struck gold, following a Ravens failed 4th and 1, and hit Kalif Raymond (pictured above) for his first post-season catch of his career, it was single-handedly the point the air came out of the Ravens magnificent ambition balloons. After that completion, with just 7 seconds gone in the second quarter, Tannehill only competed three more passes all game, as King Henry and the Titans defense locked down the W. Ryan is now one game from going back to Miami to play in the Super Bowl. Just let that sink in.  

RETRO – The under 100 club 

Photo credit: Malcolm Emmons – USA TODAY Sports

Throwing for under 100 yards as the starting QB (playing the vast vast majority or all snaps) and winning in the playoffs is nothing new. Back in 1974 Terry Bradshaw  the Pittsburgh Steelers signal caller won the AFC Championship against the Raiders and then Super Bowl IX with passing performances of 96 and 96 yards (17 of 36). It gets better/worse as two quarterbacks played every offensive snap of their respective victories whilst managing to throw for under 35 yards. The first time this occurred was unsurprisingly in the 1970s as Bob Griese led the Dolphins to a 27-10 win by going 3-6 for 34 yards. The second time this happened was incredibly in 2010 by none other than Joe Flacco. He led the Ravens to a 33-14 Wild Card win against the New England Patriots. Flacco’s stat line that day was 4 of 10 for 34 yards and 6 runs for 5 yards. 

Can you Adams and Eve it the Pack are back

Picture credit: Clutchpoints.com

The Green Bay Packers have been criticised as the worst 13-3 team ever, barely mustering wins week after week. Now they are the 14-3 Packers after another just about good enough performance against the Seattle Seahawks. One Packers star to shine brightly was WR Davante Adams who led all Divisional Games receivers with 160 yards, on 8 catches. His two touchdowns were the difference makers in the game, and the first time he has caught a pair of six pointers in the post-season. We know the Seahawks secondary is not the finest, after the dissolution of the Legion of Boom. One former legionnaire, the not shy Richard Sherman, now with the San Francisco 49ers, will be licking his lips as he waits for Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams to travel over to the West Coast for the NFC Championship.

A-ROD on the brink of a TITLE SHOT

Picture credit: Jflanland.blogspot.com

Wrestling fan and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers wants a chance to pin down his second Super Bowl ring, and after forcing the Seahawks to tap out he is one game away from a title shot. Rodgers will now enter his fourth NFC Championship this weekend, having won his fifth Divisional round playoff contest. He did suit up in the 2007 NFC final but this was in the third year of the apprenticeship he was serving under Brett Favre, and he didn’t get on the field. Rodgers has faced the Bears, Seahawks and Falcons in the conference championship games, and in the three games scored 21, 20 and 21. In his 18 playoff games Rodgers threw his lowest amount of completions (16) in the home win at the weekend, but that doesn’t really matter when you convert 9 of 13 third downs. In his 15th season Rodgers is easily the oldest starting QB left with a shot to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy, can he dial one up from the top rope or will he be suplexed into submission by Bosa and co. ?

GOLD RUN – CAN I HAVE A ‘W’ PLEASE BOB

Photo caption: Cbssports.com

Amongst all the bonkers momentum shifts, mind bending play calling and chaotic turnovers that took place in the Divisional Playoffs there was one team that emerged from the battlefield like Bruce Willis in Unbreakable, mildly perspiration but without a scratch or a bruise on their collective bodies. The San Francisco 49ers looked calm and composed, and with the exception of a late second quarter interception by Jimmy Garoppolo, ruthless in their efficiency. When you hold Dalvin Cook and the impressive rookie Alex Mattison to a team total of 21 yards, execute six sacks, and don’t allow a second half point, you become the Super Bowl favourite. For a team that had not made the playoffs from 2014-2018 this was a statement win and also Jimmy G’s first as a starting QB. He already has two Super Bowl rings without taking a single snap in either big game. Staying in California the Niners now remain the only #1 seed still alive. As someone who lived through a significant period of time of San Francisco dominance, including watching four Super Bowl wins, I’m not sure I can deal with another Gold Run. Might be time for me to take a ‘P’.

RETRO – Divisional playoffs 50 burgers

Photo credit: Stephen Jaffe/AFP/Getty Images)

Following the Chiefs firing up the playoffs grill and cooking a 50 burger (51) on the Houston Texans I was curious to see who had served up a similar culinary treat in the Divisional round of the playoffs in the Super Bowl era and scored over half a century. Surprisingly Mahomes and co. were the fifth team to exceed 50 points in the final eight stage (see below). Just imagine being a Jaguars fan 20 years ago as your team went up 41-0 in the first half, in only their fifth season of existence. This was a team that also went 24-0 up early, but unlike the Texans they didn’t take their foot off the playoff points pedal. The opposing QB that day – none other than Hall of Famer Dan Marino.

Jaguars beat Dolphins 62-7 (January 2000) 

Raiders beat Oilers 56-7 (December 1969) 

Cowboys beat Browns 52-14 (December 1967) 

Redskins beat Rams 51-7 (January 1984) 

Chiefs beat Texans 51-31 (January 2020) 

Thanks FOR THE MEMORIES

Picture credit: Halilsrealfootballtalk.com

Two big requirement announcements this week, one inevitable, and one on the Andrew Luck scale of shock. Happy trails to TE Antonio Gates who leaves the NFL with the most touchdown catches in league history for his position. Gates was an outstanding route runner, sticky handed and a favourite of Philip Rivers for many years. Gates only won 5 playoff games in his career and bizarrely only scored post-season touchdowns in his first and last of 12 playoff games. The much more surprising news was the retirement of Luke Kuechly the outstanding Carolina Panthers LB. The 9th overall pick of the 2012 has called it a day after 8 seasons, 1,092 tackles and one Super Bowl appearance. Kuechly may have announced his retirement but he does have to make one more decision, does he suit up one last time with his team mate Christian McCaffrey for the 2020 Pro Bowl?

FULL10 TAKEAWAYS – WEEK 13

by Lawrence Vos (@NFLFANINENGLAND & @F10YRetro)

Appetisers – Bite size NFL news from Week 13

  • Miami Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders was the first NFL kicker to score a receiving touchdown in the regular season since Denver Broncos booted caught a 25 yard TD in 1977 from Punter/QB Norris Weese. 
  • Talking of rare touchdowns Houston’s QB Deshaun Watson’s receiving touchdown was only the third time in the Super Bowl era a QB has thrown 3 tds and caught one. We all know the last one was Nick Foles in the big game in 2018. The other was Bears QB Jim McMahon back in 1985. 
  • The Washington Redskins win was the only one registered by an NFC East this week, just as it was in the division last week too. With four games left the Redskins can still clinch the division crown. 
  • The Bengals finally won a game and became the final team to register a victory in the 2019 season. Their worst ever season finish was in 2002 when they started 1-13 before beating the Saints in Week 16 to then finish 2-14. With their #1 pick in 2003 they drafted Carson Palmer who went on to become the 13th most prolific passer in NFL history.
  • With the Buffalo Bills Thanksgiving win they move just one game behind the New England Patriots in the AFC East. Considering they have made the playoffs just once since the Milllennium this is their best record after 12 games since 1991, when they went 10-1 before reaching Super Bowl XXVI.
  • In a meaningless game Denver Broncos rookie QB made a winning start to his career with an overtime win against a bad Chargers team. Lock threw for only 134 yards but his two scores were enough. He is the 7th Broncos QB in just over two seasons. 

The top three Week 13 games everyone is talking about

Patriots (10-2) @ Texans (8-4)

You take a look at the final box score and you might be misled to believe the Texans somehow pulled this one out the bag late with some DeShaun Watson body contorting heroics.

Nothing could be further from the truth as the Texans took a 19 point lead with under 10 minutes left in the game before Tom Brady and his faithful servants (James White and Julian Edelman) made the score look respectable. Brady made up late for a first half shocker. The immortal one went 7 of 19 in the opening half with no TDs and one INT, and 15 of 30 in the second, with three scores and no picks.

Brady looked lost in the first 30 minutes and despite being in a dome he looked like he was fighting through a ginormous wind and rain storm.

For the Texans WR Deandre Hopkins was heading for another quiet one, considering his talent, before making a minor bit of NFL history as he ended a 9-play 75-yard Patriots-style drive by passing to none other than Deshaun Watson for the score. This was Hopkins first career completion, his first pass was an interception against the Panthers in Week 4.

Truth be told the Texans dominated for three quarters and the 28-22 final scoreline flattered a flatfooted Patriots team. One ever-present Patriots contributor was WR Julian Edelman who on one third-quarter route managed to wipe out not one but two Texans defensive backs on a downfield block.

The Texans are hitting some form at the right time, and the once invincible Patriots defense finally could not make up for an offense that is looking like the worst it has in 20 years. 

49ers (10-2) @ Ravens (10-2) 

In a game that could become a Super Bowl rematch the 49ers and the Ravens fought of the the wet and blustery conditions to deliver a game that oozed defensive quality and showed flashes of offensive brilliance.

It began with a gutsy 4th down attempt that resulted in a 33 yard TD between Jimmy Garoppolo and rising star WR Deebo Samuel and ended with the number one ice-veined K Justin Tucker driving a soggy pigskin through the dampness for the winning score with no tickets left on the clock.

Both teams only committed one turnover, including a rare fumble lost for MVP in waiting Lamar Jackson. Lamar was bottled up passing, managing just one td and barely over 100 yards, but he did continue his assault on the NFL record books as the first QB in NFL history to have four 100+ rushing games. By the end of Week 14 against Buffalo LJax could be sitting atop the all-time rushing throne by a QB – with three games to spare.

For the 49ers RB Raheem Mostert, who has always had a healthy YPC throughout his career, earned his own damp Wilson branded souvenir with 146 yards on the ground. If this is to be a rematch in Miami in a few months then there will be no complaints. 

Seahawks (10-2) @ Vikings (8-4) 

Monday Night Football and Vikings QB Kirk Cousins added another notch to his unwanted NFL record. Entering the game he had a historically bad 0-7 record on MNF, now it stands at 0-8.

Seattle started slowly as did Russell Wilson who threw his second pick-six of the season on a bizarre attempt that went awry that he tried to bat down that instead went into Anthony Harris’s welcome mitts.

17-10 to the Vikings at the half and all sorts of confidence in the lower room for the road team. That confidence crumbled away as the Seahawks in their colour rush luminous green uni’s went on a third-quarter tear with 17 unanswered points including a 60 yard David Moore catch from Wilson.

Wanting to put the game to bed Rashaad Penny’s second score in just over 10 minutes early in the 4th gave the Seahawks an apparently unassailable 17 point lead. This was where Kirk Cousins woke up, and in under 6 minutes he tossed two TDs, one on possibly the biggest blown coverage of the season to the career underperforming Laquon Treadwell, and one to Santa’s right hand man TE Kyle Rudolph.

With seven minutes left it was a 4 point game. The Vikes D held the Seahawks to a 5 play drive that ended in a punt and with just over 3 minutes left Cousins had the chance to become a hero. It was then he realised that he chokes on MNF and his final two passes, including a 4th down attempt were incomplete.

To add a kick in the balls to the punch in the face received Seattle recovered a late onside kick. Seattle now take over the NFC West and will be determined to stay there for the last four weeks. For the men with purple helmets and red faces they remain a game behind the Packers in the NFC North.

Dessert – somethings light and fluffy to finish the meal 

Who gets to wear the rushing crown?

With four weeks still to go, and a quarter of the regular season left, five RBs have already eclipsed 1,000 yards, and three more have over 980 yards. We also cannot forget that the number nine rusher is none other than QB Lamar Jackson. In other words there are legitimately almost ten players capable of winning the rushing crown. 

Week 13 saw a few rushing milestones met, including Raiders RB Josh Jacobs become the first Raiders rookie to hit the 1k milestone. Elsewhere Titans RB Derrick Henry moved over 1,000 yards too. Vikings RB Dalvin Cook had the opportunity to move to #1 but he got hurt against the Seahawks, and ended up with only 29 yards.

The current king of the hill is Browns second year back Nick Chubb with 1,175 but with the Panthers Christian McCaffrey just 8 yards behind, and the man who lives with a beavers tail poking out the back of his lid, Titans Derrick Henry just 35 yards behind him, its the best rushing race since Norris McWhirter announced Roger Bannister had broken the four minute mile over 65 years ago.

Despite being the third highest fumbler in the league I am going to stick my rather grubby and stubbly neck out and predict Derrick Henry to lift the crown when the season ends. 

A little side note – with their 8 game current win streak the Baltimore Ravens have three of the top five YPA (yards per attempt) players for anyone who has had over 75 carries. Obviously Lamar at 7.0, Gus Edwards at 5.1 and Mark Ingram at 5.0. 


Full10Lookaheads – Week 13

By Tim Monk (@Tim_MonkF10Y) and Euan De Ste Croix (@dissy89)


Who’ll be the Turkey at Thanksgiving?

Image result for thanksgiving nfl turkey

Although they’ve done away with the Galloping Gobbler award on thanksgiving, many people will be looking to see if Jason Garrett will be ripe for roasting once again as they host the Buffalo Bills in their traditional home Thanksgiving game.

A lot of criticism went Garrett’s way after his decision to kick a field goal late in the game at Foxboro’ and the dangerous Buffalo Bills could put Garrett and his coaching qualities under the spotlight once again.

The Cowboys missed an opportunity to steal a march on the NFC East, which would have given him a bit less of a hotseat. With the Eagles now having an easy stretch of schedule, the Cowboys cannot afford to slip up, although it’s likely the NFC East title will come down to their Week 16 game, even if the Cowboys fall to a game behind. IF that scenario does play out, will Garrett even be the coach then?

Other potential Turkeys include third stringer QB David Blough for the Lions who goes up against a Bears defence that’s actually giving up less points than they did last year (funny how our opinions see them as less fearsome), Mitchell Trubisky (no explanation needed) and the Atlanta Falcons, who have to prove it all again after their defeat to the Bucs as they host the Saints.


Helmets collide again

Image result for browns vs steelers
Image Credit: Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports

Usually, the game between the Steelers and Browns needs no introduction but this particular fixture will have more spice than Jamie Oliver’s cookbook.

There will be a few key protagonists missing from the game that were involved in the skirmish 2 weeks ago, some through suspension (Garrett, Pouncey) and some through inability to function as an NFL player (Rudolph).

What wont be lost is the heavy hitting, cheap shots between the players looking to continue their scuffles.

Keep an eye on the referees in this one as they will try to maintain order in the AFC North battle. The Browns will want the win more as they still have an outside shot at the playoffs, but can they keep their composure, can they execute their plans, something they’ve struggled with all season.


49ers and Ravens

Image result for lamar jackson jimmy garoppolo
Image Credit: Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports

The mouthwatering clashes keep on coming for the neutrals as 49ers and the Ravens, the 2 trailblazers with a combined record of 19-3, meet this Sunday. Yet again the 10-1 49ers are the ones who seemingly have to prove their credential for the Super Bowl whilst many are quick to brandish Lamar Jackson the MVP award and the Ravens a Super Bowl berth.

This is of course a Super Bowl rematch from the “Harbaugh Bowl” back in Super Bowl XLVII when the Flacco led Ravens came out victorious of the Colin Kaepernick led 49ers in the Mercedes Benz Super dome (and of course that famous blackout).

Can the 49ers now do it on the road after recording home victories the past few weeks against the Packers and Cardinals. Teams usually get their due when travelling to tough environments in the NFL as home comforts can usually get you bye in case of any struggles.

There will be no room to hide with the spotlight currently beaming down on these two teams and it will be fascinating to see who comes out victorious when the dust settles.


LA-st chance Saloon

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Image Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

That Jared Goff Contract is not looking like it will be conducive to them reappearing in the Super Bowl anytime soon.

With their embarrassing loss to the Ravens at home on MNF, the Rams are now 6-5 and 3 games back off Seattle, 4 off of the 49ers and 2 games back in the Wildcard race where the Vikings currently sit with the #6 seed.

It’s amazing how not even a year ago, the Rams annihilated everyone that was put in front of them and it was about this time last year when we were treated to the 100+ game in LA vs the Chiefs.

That Rams team is a far cry away from what it is now and you have to wonder whether or not McVay and co have the ability to turn it around.

Their recent trade for Jalen Ramsey means they don’t have any picks of great value for the next couple of years and Jared Goff’s salary means that they can’t move on from him (nor Todd Gurley’s for that mattter).

It could be a spiral out of control situation and it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility that the whole organisation is blown up.

PS: Dallas, send the Rams a 1st round or 2nd rounder for McVay.


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Playoff INDTEN-tions

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Image Credit: Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

An AFC South battle sees the current #8 and #9 seeds going toe to toe in effectively a playoff matchup.

Indianapolis and Tennessee will leave it all out on the field in Lucas Oil Stadium as the winner could potentially move in to the 6th seed which the Steelers currently hold. Pittsburgh face the Browns and the #7 seeded Raiders face the Chiefs, so chances are the winner here leap frogs all of them.

The Titans has seen a resurgence under Ryan Tannehill, currently the highest rated QB since he took over from Mariota. HC Mike Vrabel and OC Arthur Smith will look to keep on rolling as they face a slightly banged up Jacoby Brissett, Marlon Mack-less Colts team. Indy have won the last 3 between these two so recent history is against them but this wasn’t a Ryan Tannehill led Titans team.

The Titans then travel to Oakland before facing Houston in 2 of their last 3 games.

You have to feel the Titans have it all in their hands. The question is can they grab it?


Can the decibel best the mentor?

Image Credit: Boston Herald

Bill O’Brien is comfortably the most successful graduate from the Bill Beikchick coaching tree but that is hardly a seismic feat. After serving under the most successful head coach of the modern era from 2007-11, O’Brien must be considering privately, this Sunday Primetime game, would represent his best chance to finally claim a victory against the New England dynasty. But Bill is currently 0-5 against them and 0-2 since the drafting of franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Perhaps the closest the the Texans have come was in Watson’s rookie season. Not going for a 4th & 1, saw the Texans hand the ball back to new England and miss out on their best chance to beat their perennial superiors rivals since 2011.

The New England offence, post the loss of Gronkowski, is still attempting to find an identity and it’s output won’t be one that will scare any potential opponents and particularly Watson and the Texans offence who will likely fancy their chances, all things being equal. The key will be – can O’Brien’s Houston team learn from the great one and play mistake free football? A central theme to the success for footballs ever persistent powerhouse.

The Texans have their not so secret weapon in speedster, Will Fuller, who O’Brien publicly declared the up turn in Hopkins and Watson’s game when he’s on the field. Fuller, often injured, but immeasurably effective when on the field, has missed the previous two clashes with Watson under centre.

If O’Brien and his coaching staff can come out of the headlights of a primetime game win against his professor, prior to move Pat’s personnel chief, Nick Caserio, to Houston as GM this off season. Then the Texans will possibly have their first one over New England in a long time, until at least the play-off’s.


A Cross-State Battle with more Questions than Answers at QB.

Image Credit: Douglas R. Clifford

Tampa Bay visit their Florida rivals in Jacksonville this Sunday in a game that will likely be shunned by neutrals and for good reason. The visiting side perhaps put their best performance of the season against division rivals in Atlanta, last Sunday. Jameis Winston, continues to the show up short of his draft status and the franchise is at a cross roads on what to do with the 5th year passer.

Taking last weeks game in isolation, that alone would suggest Winston would be in line for an off-season extension, but his interception filled stint would not in Tampa, would not. Winston has 5 games to avoid a career as eternal back-up. Regardless the outcome, a year on the franchise tag may be all he can hope for, if he’s to stay in south Florida.

On the other side of the field, a similarly intriguing proposition lies, as big money free agent and former super bowl MVP, since returning form injury has appeared to take Jacksonville backwards. In his absence, Gardner Minshew appeared to have won the job in 9 games posting, 13 touchdowns to 5 interceptions and racking up 2,285 yards at a completion rate of above 60%.  Losing both games since his return, albeit putting up more accurate passing numbers, Foles has thrown two TD’s but the team doesn’t appear to carry the same spark as it did, when Foles was watching from the sidelines.

The Jag’s are not so far removed and from an AFC championship berth but have had many salary-cap casualties when signing Foles to a his deal. It could be argued that the lack of cap space was the initial driver of the Jalen Ramsey trade and it would seem they are lily to lose edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue. A lot is riding on Foles to be successful in Duval county but it would seem, the rest of their roster has suffered in an attempt to replace the Blake Bortles saga.

Both teams are looking for reasons for optimism but it would seem change lies ahead in either coaching or personnel to revive either teams fortunes.


Games to Get Right Or Quelling underlying fears?

Image Credit: David Maialetti

Both Philadelphia and Carolina face two games which on the surface of it would seem automatic wins. Both are 10 point favourites. Both, on the surface have strong rosters and will feel their respective records should be healthier than they currently read.

Regardless if they win by the outlined margin, does the 6.25% step forward, really represent anything other than short term progress. The Eagles, at the outset would have been set for a Super Bowl run or at least deep into the play-offs, by many on lookers. Hindered by a poor secondary and a quarterback – who after a number of injuries and changes to his offensive personnel – seems lost, in not overwhelmed. Wentz’s regression is stark and in spite of a bounce back game on Sunday against Miami, there are longer terms concerns for a team who were heralded for Howie Roseman’s roster building acumen. This is now the second consecutive season of under achievement after their Super Bowl win and concern has to be there and unaffected, even by a 50-point win on Sunday.

The Carolina Panthers, have a quandary at the most important position in all of sports also. The continual decline of Cam Newton’s health has seen Kyle Allen step in a lead the ship admirably. An underachiever in the college game has never been doubted talent-wise but it would appear his consistency and application has. There have been some strong outings for Allen. But he also has has some games to forget, the showing at home versus at Atlanta, rightly called into question his decision making. Even with a strong follow up performance against a struggling Washington team, Kyle will be looking to re-assert some positively  after their narrow loss to New Orleans. A game they should have won, if not for the missed five points by their rookie kicker Joey Slye.

There are question to be asked about how much Allen’s play is bolstered by Christian McCaffery’s all-pro and possibly MVP calibre season at running back. As limitations have been shown, so is there enough there to give confidence to ambitions new owner, David Tepper? A many who made his fortune in investments, will shortly tell us how willing he is to invest the future of the franchise in Kyle Allen.


Does Defence win Championships still?

Image Credit: Pete Smith

The adage has been echoed round NFL-based discussions for decades. If you didn’t have a league leading defence with multiple blue-chip players, at all three levels your chances were nullified. This uprising of the San Francisco 49er’s has perhaps shown that the notion is alive and well. The undoubted strength of the team is it’s defence. The litany of first round draft picks across its front seven make it difficult for the opposition to move the ball. Whether it’s, Ford, Bosa, Armstead, Thomas or Bucker. There isn’t 5 tougher blocking assignments for an offensive line in the game.

This front has allowed the linebackers and secondary to flourish with the additional pressures this unit brings. Witherspoon finally seems to be realising his talent at corner and Richard Sherman appears to be having a plus year, after looking not his former self last season. So the leading statement has proven to have varying levels of validity across the season. So much so, the performances have been questionable from their quarterback but Jimmy-G plays within a system that he suited to and it doesn’t require him to chase big plays outside of it. The running game the defence will ensure that’s not the case. But Sunday they face their biggest test of the year.

An apposing body evidence to this argument would be the Baltimore Ravens who, defence is strong in its own right and have done an amicable job of letting players go and finding replacements throughout the draft. But their real revelation has been the improvements show in the game of second year quarterback, come magic man, Lamar Jackson.

After crashing out the play-off’s he has come back with vengeance. Their unique brand of offence is an intriguing one which relies on the run. The league seem to have changed and in a way that has allowed Jackson to flourish rather than one that would have traditionally rejected his athleticism. His play and level at the offence is running at, is unrivalled through this point of the year. The two and three tight end sets have allow Baltimore to control the line of scrimmage and pick off high percentage throws and run the ball to the tune of over 200 yards per game.

The 49ers perhaps pose the strongest test of their system to get the best out of Jackson. This Sunday, will likely be one for the old school lovers of ground and pound running game. Whilst the game could provide a timely reminder that in 2019 offence may well win championships. Or is the old platitude still correct? The number 1 rushing team plays the number 2 team in a clash which should help us in that understanding, come Sunday.


Only the Young & Offensive Minded need apply

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Image Credit: Steve Dykes

When a failed college head-coach in Cliff Kingsbury was hired by the Arizona Cardinals it seemed odd. Relieved from his duties at Texas Tech, he had only just taken up the Role of USC’s offensive co-oridnator in the weeks prior. But some how he had landed one of the prized 32 gigs to coach at the highest level. It seemed odd on the face of it. Kingsburry was allowed to draft Kyler Murray No1 overall in this years draft, re-make an offence and a team with limited talent for year one of a multi-year project.

Last off season – that was the latest trend for every franchise who wanted to get ahead of the curve or at least join it, was to hire a specific model of coach, to take them into the next decade of a changing league. At one point last off-season the common joke was: “I once cleaned Sean McVey’s pool so I’d like to apply for the Head Coaching job.”

Fast forward not even three quarters of a season and those remarks certainly won’t contain the same level of relevancy, compared to when team owners/GM’s were looking for a new team leader, last off season. Often referred to as an acronym off ‘Not For Long’ the NFL has a habit of building you up just as quickly as it will bring you down with a crash. The Ram’s offence appears to have embodied a typical NFL cycle and crash it has done, but with such alarm. After letting linemen leave the building and extending Jared Geoff, no longer receives to the same level of protection and wide open targets he previously enjoyed. It would seem that their once heralded system appears to have dropped in effectiveness. Just as the brightest head coach in the NFL galaxy doesn’t appear quite as bright as it once gleamed.

Now, Sunday represent a milestrone game and clear barometer of how these two young coaches are set for the following seasons and beyond. Both need a further influx of talent to be competitive with the play-off calibre teams. But it will show, how was has Geoff fallen from his perch of league leading offence against a questionable defence – out with safety Budda Baker. But it will also show how the QB of choice, young dream coach experiment is rounding into shape.

It will be an intriguing watch if this archetype is desired for the next round of, off-season, head coach carousel, in 2020.

Full10Takeaways – Week 12

By Tim Monk and Lawrence Vos

Garrett of my pub!

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Image Credit: Adam Hunger / AP

Jason Garrett, the bane of Cowboys’s fans since 2011, has come under fire yet again this season for his conservative play calling and coaching decisions. This is mainly in relation to his decision to kick a field goal when down a touchdown with just over 6mins to go in the 4th Quarter.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, and you only actually have to go back 2 weeks where it was exactly the same situation against the Vikings.

Some will point to the fact that despite the conservative nature of playcalling, Dallas has a chance to win the game on their final drive which would have rendered this conversation to be a little less under the spotlight.

However, when you play the better ranked teams or when you are up against it and need a spark, you just have to push down on the throttle. Jason Garrett simply did not do that.

Everyone is aware of the coaches that are more conservative than the Tories (#politicsjoke) and there is a reason why the Dallas Cowboys HC has his own special segment on our NFL podcast to highlight instances of poor HC decisions.

If you switched the coaching staff from both teams, the Cowboys would have won by 30 as the Cowboys have elite talent on their roster worthy of a double digit team. The coaching style and quality of Garrett however, is of a top 3 draft pick team.

This is why they are 6-5 and a middle of the road team and Jerry Jones is not happy. But until he Cowboys move on from Garrett, they will NEVER win a Super Bowl.


Turning on the JETS

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Image Credit: Adam Hunger / AP

Yes, the Jets have not had the most formidable of opponents the last 3 weeks but even so, the way they have gone about their business has been impressive and it’s a timely morale boost to their 2nd year QB Sam Darnold.

The Jets 34-3 mauling of the Oakland Raiders was perhaps their most impressive of the three most recent games as the Raiders are legitimate playoff/wildcard contenders and the reason being that they did it on both sides of the ball.

Darnold finished with an impressive 20/29, 315 yards 3TDs and 0 turnovers, a problem that’s dogged him since he has been in the league. He finally got Robby Anderson more involved and Ryan Griffin has been a great addition to the team leading to the front office inking him to a 3 year, $10m deal this week.

Next on the slate is the Bengals and the Dolphins. Expect the Jets to keep rolling not just in the NFL but for the start of your fantasy playoffs too.


Bengals go back to D’oh-lton

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Image Credit: Frank Victores / AP

Zac Taylor has announced that the team will be going back to Andy Dalton as Quarter Back for the rest of the season taking over from Ryan Finley, who started 3 games.

Finley has consistently struggled to push the ball downfield and accuracy has also been an issue with just a 47% completion rate on 87 pass attempts which has accounted for 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and 3 fumbles. He failed to reach 200 yards passing in any of the three games and has a 62.1 passer rating, 17 points below that of Dalton’s this season.

It’s clear that the team who have a 2 game “lead” for the #1 overall pick in 2020 have done their evaluation of Finley and you can expect Finley to never see the field in a Bengals Jersey again unless it’s through injury or suspension.

The low level production filtered through to the players as Tyler Boyd recently expressed his displeasure at a lack of targets from the 2019 draft pick which led to him being fed in the game against the Steelers. Fellow WR AJ Green has been MIA for the season and you have to wonder if their QB selection had anything to do with it, look out for AJ Green to make a miraculous recovery and return to the field catching passes from Dalton.


Stop Interfering!

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 24: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints challenges a play against the Carolina Panthers during the first quarter in the game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on November 24, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Image Credit: Chris Graythen / Getty Images

Pass Interference became a challengeable element this season after the Saints were, let’s face it, robbed in last year’s NFC title game against the Rams.

This season, it’s not stayed away from the front pages of the NFL news outlets.

PI not being overturned enough, inconsistent ruling on it and has led to many teams, fans and players not understanding exactly what is or isn’t worth challenging.

The game between the Panthers and Saints nearly allowed PI to rear it’s ugly head once more as the Panthers challenged a non PI call which was overturned to a PI penalty. You can imagine how irate Sean Payton was at the overturn, something that has happened on less than 10% of the time so far this year.

The Saints though, were able to overcome with a little bit of Slye help and the win could end up being the difference between the #1 seed or the #2 seed and now gives the Saints huge momentum and morale boost as they look forward to extracting revenge against the Falcons on Thanksgiving night.


Derrick Henry Szn

Image Credit: AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

It’s almost December, that means Christmas is coming.

It also means it’s Derrick Henry time.

In games Derrick Henry has played after November 10, he has racked up a whopping 1493 yards, averaging 5.74yards per carry and scored 16 touchdowns.

He is definitely a polarising player in terms of fantasy football and even at the head coaching level as previous Head Coaches have seemingly refused to put the rock in his hands.

You cannot argue his production as the season wears on though and anyone entering their fantasy playoffs will hope for Henry to continue the trends on the ground.


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Socially inept

Image Credit: Patrick Semansky / AP

On the verge of your first win as a rookie NFL quarterback you can excuse doing a Thurman Thomas and maybe losing your helmet, but to do what the Redskins Dwayne Haskins did was inexcusable. With eight seconds left in the game and the Detroit Lions looking for a miracle Jeff Driskel was picked off for a third time.

Meanwhile Haskins was wandering the sidelines and borrowed a fans ‘cellphone’ to take a selfie. As Haskins was increasing his Insta profile poor old Case Keenum had to run onto the field to take the victory kneel.

We all know crazy things happen at the end of NFL games, but for Dwayne Haskins his pursuit of socialness will far outlast his first professional victory in NFL history. 


Lineman’s dream comes true 

Image Credit: Getty Images

“It was all a dream…” is a famous opening lyric from a Biggie Smalls song, it was also what happened to Tampa Bay Buccaneers DL Vita Vea who hauled in a touchdown pass against the Atlanta Falcons. Talking of biggie size frames Vea became the heaviest NFL player to catch a TD since 1950. at 347lb the behemoth first round draft pick was all kinds of excited when he hauled in the 1 yard score from Jamies Winston.

We all love seeing the big guys get some love and Vea’s score was particularly pleasing and helped the Buccs to gain a win against the in form Falcons.

To compare Vea against one of the most famous big guys to have an offensive cameo every now and then he weighed 12lb more than William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry. 


ABC its as easy as 1-2-3-4-5. 

Image Credit: Michael Reaves / Getty Images

It feels wrong even making a humorous reference to the dethroned King of Pop, but when one commentator blurted out ‘that’s a Jackson Five’ after Ravens QB Lamar Jackson tossed his fifth TD of the game against the Rams it did raise a small chuckle.

LJax is making an awfully convincing march towards the NFL MVP award after yet another jaw-dropping performance both in the air and on the ground. With another blowout victory in the can Lamar could unwind and watch his older backup Robert Griffin III steer the ship in the final period.

By the time we hit the end of the 2019 regular season it’s likely the 2020 NFL Record and Fact Book (well PDF) will need a new #8 annex. 


Making a big moustake

Image Credit: Clutchpoints.com

Down by 32 points at one point against the dictionary definition of an average NFL team the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff must be seriously wondering if they made a mistake bringing back Nick Foles into the starting lineup.

Since his return Foles led teams have lost by a combined 42 points. Yes Gardner Minshew had a poor outing at Wembley, but the buzz he generated up to that point was at a Lin-Sanity type level. Nobody I saw walking up Wembley way a few weeks ago was dressed up like Napoleon Dynamite, but there were plenty of Fu-Man-Chu moustaches.

The Jaguars season, currently boasting a 4-7 record, is all but over so why not throw Minshew back in the spotlight. The Jags have three winnable games and two that they could play spoilers. #Unleashthemoustace 


10 carat Gold

Image Credit: Robert Reiners / Getty Images

With 12 weeks in the books only two teams have reached 10 wins. One was predictable and one certainly wasn’t.

In the past 5 seasons prior’s to 2019 the San Francisco 49ers registered 25 wins – averaging five wins and exactly zero playoff performances. Under head coach Kyle Shanahan and most likely the single most impressive offseason the Niners already have the same amount of wins they managed in 2017 and 2018 combined. It’s going to be the single best divisional race to the finish in the NFL as the 49ers will go toe to to with the Seahawks for the division and home field advantage.

Jimmy G and top target TE George Kittle looked magical against the Packers, but the Niners D is the real reason for such a superb season. If only that pesky Russell Wilson wasn’t around San Fran would still be undefeated. Roll on the rematch in Week 17. 

Full10Lookaheads – Week 12

By Tim Monk (@Tim_MonkF10Y)

The business end of the season is here and the games get more important as the weeks go by. That is even the case for Bengals, Dolphins and Redskins fans as they are on the edge of their seats hoping their teams continue to lose so they don’t have to stay up as long come draft night.

For (pretty much) everyone else, your teams will still be vying for January football and we have some great matchups including Dallas, New England, Green Bay, San Francisco, Baltimore and the LA Rams. So let’s see what’s on the menu for week 12.


AFC South Battle

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Image Credit: Bob Levey / Getty Images

Thursday Night Football sees one of the games that hold the most importance.

The Colts and Texans get it on in Houston in the first game of week 12 and the Colts must win otherwise the Texans will have a game lead in the division but also the tiebreaker, thus essentially giving them a 2 game lead with just 6 games remaining.

The Colts will be hoping that star wideout T.Y. Hilton can check in to the game after missing the past few weeks with a calf problem whilst the Texans will be hoping the epitome of boom or bust Will Fuller can return from a hamstring niggle.

Expect both teams to leave it all out on the field and let’s all hope that Quenton Nelson gets a legitimate touchdown this week!


The Hippy Hippy Shakes

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Image Credit: Larry Brown Sports

Dak and his pre match warmup routine head over to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro for a tasty match in the late window (why are there only 2 games on the late slate btw?!?)

Many are trying to nudge Dak into the MVP conversation considering how he has overcome the average defence, inconsistent run game and Jason Garrett captaining the ship.

The Cowboys are in focus over the next 5 weeks, either being in primetime or on America’s game of the week so we’ll get a real good look at his credentials to take the end of season award.

His toughest matchup to date awaits him though and will be fascinating what weapon Bill Belichick tries to take away from the no.1 ranked offence in the league. It will also be fascinating to see if Garrett and Kellen Moore try to utilize Dak’s legs a bit more in this one.

Dallas need the win to stay 1 ahead of the Eagles, whilst the Patriots need the win to cling on to the coveted #1 seed in the AFC.


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Browns response

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Image Credit: Kirk Irwin / Getty

We don’t need to go back in to detail about what happened on TNF last week. That being said, it will be intriguing to see the Browns response to the adversity.

Freddy Kitchens, Baker Mayfield and the Browns have endured a lot of criticism this season for a varying reasons, and rightly so, but that can all dissipate if they can make a run (with a favourable schedule) at the playoffs which starts this week at home to the maybe tanking Dolphins.

Can Baker put a marker down and take the situation by the scruff of the neck and become the leader that the Browns need him to be, or will the Browns continue to be plagued by their continuing allegiance to underachieving?


Do the 49ers Pack a punch?

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at San Francisco 49ers
Image Credit: Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports

Whenever you think of this matchup in recent times, you think of the playoff game between these two in 2012 where Colin Kaepernick ripped the Packers to shreds and the Fox commentators got rather excited about it.

No Kaepernick in this game, despite his efforts, but there is the small matter of the #1 seed potentially up for grabs in this one on Sunday Night Football.

Jimmy Garoppolo, fresh off his career day last week vs the Cardinals, travels to Wisconsin to face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers fresh off their bye week in one of the games of the week. If the Garoppolo and the 49ers are able to take the W here, it will answer a lot of critics that they still have chomping at their ankles, despite their record.

A loss coupled with a Seahawks win however, could actually see the 49ers drop to the #5 seed. Fine margins, high stakes, all reasons we love late season football.


battle of the birds

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Image Credit: Fanduel.com

Talking of the Seahawks, in another fascinating battle on Sunday, the Eagles host the Seattle who are coming off a bye in the battle of the birds. Whilst there are many birds in the NFL, these two predators will be looking for easy prey on the football field.

Carson Wentz has not been able to show his MVP capabilities much this season, but this matchup poses a chance to get the better of a beatable defence that ranks bottom 5 against the pass in terms of yardage and a defensive line that averages only 1.5 sacks and 3 Quarterback hurries per game.

On the other side, the masterful Russell Wilson was eclipsed by Lamar Jackson in his bye week with regards to MVP consideration, maybe he’ll came and remind everyone not to forget about old Russ.

This game like another few this week, has implications for both divisions and the wildcard race so there is a lot on the line here for both teams.


Late Slate isn’t great, mate

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What is up with the scheduling this year?

This Sunday sees just 2 games in the late window. Unfortunately this isn’t the first time that the Sunday scheduling has seen the entertainment become very front heavy.

For those in the UK that do not have Sky Sports, the late window sees us being treated to an absolute classic between…the Titans and Jags.

The Eagles/Seahawks game was flex out of Primetime to the early games. Why?

Seattle are a mainstay in the late slate for the majority of their home games being on the west coast, so what’s changed?

The one saving grace is that you’ll still be able to watch the majority of the Patriots/Cowboys game on RedZone because there’ll be no highlights to show in the Titans game in the late slate, so there is that I suppose. Scott Hanson will be working hard to find the content filler, that’s for sure.


Ram Slam?

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Image Credit: Fanduel.com

The Lamar Jackson hype train steam rolls into the Los Angeles Coliseum on Monday Night Football.

Massive game for obvious reasons, but it can’t be understated how much more it means for the Rams. Loss here coupled with a possible SF and/or Seattle wins, could see them be cut too far adrift from the others in the wildcard race.

Just 10 months removed from the biggest game of them all, the Rams may even not have the chance of trying to get there once again, with questions being asked of McVay and his team. Funny how the NFL landscape changes so quickly.