The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Week 17

Michael Lipscomb

My weekly review of the games around the league. Recognizing greatness and talking a little trash! Got a problem with it? Hit me up on Twitter: @TheAceWriter or tweet at the website’s page @TFINS_

Follow the site on Instagram for debates, updates, and post notifications. IG: thefutureisnowsports

Check out the Underrated Performance of the Week at the bottom of the page too!

The Good – Philly clinches 4th seed in NFC. Will host Seattle during wildcard weekend.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants. Eagles win 34-17.

Ben Solomon for The New York Times

The Eagles were able to control their own destiny to earn their playoff spot. After conquering the Dallas Cowboys in week 16, Philly had to win their final game against the New York Giants to clinch the 4th seed in the NFC.

This game wasn’t a cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination. The Eagles didn’t take command of this game until late in the 3rd quarter. The Giants were down 20-17, and had possession of the ball. 

Quarterback Daniel Jones was unable to handle a low snap, and the Eagles recovered the ball on the Giants 2-yard line. Philly would punch the ball into the end zone on the following play. The lead would balloon to 34-17 by the end of the game.

The Eagles have been one of the most up and down teams this season. It was good to see them step up and dominate the most crucial quarter of their season.

Carson Wentz completed his first full season this year. He reached 4,000 passing yards, and broke the single season Eagles passing yards record. Wentz is also the first player to record 4,000 career passing yards without having 500 yards to a single wide receiver. 

Wentz and coach Doug Pederson have battled injuries and adversity all season. This offense has struggled for sure, but this tandem was able to get the job done over the month of December.

I believe Philly will be able to win their matchup with Seattle over wildcard weekend.

The Bad – Seattle Seahawks lose division title game, drop to 5th seed in NFC.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks. Niners win 26-21.

The NFC West has been a war zone the entire season. The third best team in this division is the 9-7 Los Angeles Rams. The Rams won’t be making the playoffs this year, after losing in the Super Bowl just last season

The two big dawgs in this division are the Niners and the Seahawks. Both teams have had outstanding performances from their respective players and coaching staffs this season. 

The Niners were able to travel to Seattle and claim the division title. They played a well-rounded game, and Jimmy Garrapolo made plays in the passing game to get them out to an early lead. 

The Seahawks offense took forever to get going. They were down 13-0 until Tyler Lockett found the end zone late in the third quarter. As usual, Russell Wilson still found a way to rally his guys late. 

Wilson and the Seahawks were able to scrap back into this game, and give themselves a chance to win on the last drive. With 2:18 left in regulation, the Seahawks worked their way down the field, but were ultimately stopped in the red zone.

The drive would end up covering 72 yards over 15 plays, but the Seahawks were denied on the 1-yard line. 

In the red zone, the Seahawks made life difficult for themselves by having a delay of game on 2nd & 1, from the 1-yard line. After two incomplete passes, the Seahawks were faced with 4th & 5.

Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister was able to make the catch, but was stopped short of the end zone on 4th down. The ball was turned back over to the Niners with just 9 seconds left, and the game was over. 

The Seahawks had the chance to host a home playoff game and win their division. As a 5th seed, they will be traveling to Philadelphia during wildcard weekend.

The Ugly – Patriots lose home game against Miami. Finishes with the 3rd seed in conference, missing chance for wildcard bye.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots. Dolphins win 27-24.

Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The Patriots will be hosting a home wild card game for the first time since 2009. New England has been to 11 straight playoff appearances, and they are a team that usually has the first round playoff bye.

Going into week 17, New England was scheduled to earn the 2nd seed in the AFC if they could beat the 4-11 Miami Dolphins. The Patriots were treating this game as a must-win situation and played all of their healthy starting players.

The Dolphins were able to take care of the defending champions on the road. The Patriots offense started out flat, and the defense kept them in the game. As the New England offense got itself together, their defense began to unravel.

Tom Brady and the Pats offense gave the team a 24-20 lead with 4 minutes left in the game. The Dolphins had nothing to play for in this game, but were determined to get this win.

The Dolphins maneuvered their way back down the field. Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick found tight end Mike Geisecki in the back of the end zone to retake the lead with 24 seconds remaining in the game. 

Geisecki did a good job of winning his route against a safety in man coverage, on the 5-yard touchdown catch. The skinny post route from the 6’6” tight end would seal the deal on the regular season, for these two teams.

As the 3rd seed, New England is scheduled to face the Tennessee Titans in the wildcard round. The Titans are a surging team that has found their offensive stride since making Ryan Tannehil the starting quarterback. The Titans defense is also elite, and they threaten to knock New England out in the first round.

The Patriots could have avoided this wild card matchup by beating the worst team in their division. Instead, they have to try and stop the strong running game that the Titans present. I predict the Titans win this game in Foxborough. 

No Underrated Performance of the Week this week. Instead here are my wildcard weekend predictions!

  • Bills over Texans
  • Titans over Patriots
  • Saints over Vikings
  • Eagles over Seahawks

This will be a GREAT weekend of football.


The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Week 16

Michael Lipscomb

My weekly review of the games around the league. Recognizing greatness and talking a little trash! Got a problem with it? Hit me up on Twitter: @TheAceWriter or tweet at the website’s page @TFINS_

Follow the site on Instagram for debates, updates, and post notifications. IG: thefutureisnowsports

Check out the Underrated Performance of the Week at the bottom of the page too!

The Good – Packers’ defense stands up on Monday Night Football. Green Bay solidifies themselves as elite team of NFC North. 
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings. Packers win 23-10.

 Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers are the least respected 12-3 team in the NFL. It’s not difficult to understand why. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has shown signs of regression. They have a lack of explosive offense weapons on offense, and their defense has struggled to stop the run at times this season.

With all of that being said, this team is still 12-3, and will clinch a first round bye in the playoffs if they can win in Week 17.

Green Bay held strong against the 10-5 Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. This win secured the divisional crown, and put them in a prime position to make a deep playoff run.

The Packers defensive line overwhelmed the Vikings offense. Vikings’ Quarterback Kirk Cousins was sacked five (5) times in this game, and the Vikings offense totaled a measly 132 yards for the game.

The Vikings were without star running back Dalvin Cook, but they did have their two star receivers available to them in this game. Adam Thielen was targeted four (4) times and did not make a single catch, while Stefon Diggs only had three (3) catches for 57 yards. 

The Packers defense has continued to play at a high level late in the season. They have not allowed more than 15 points in any game, during the month of December. If this team can keep that momentum on defense, they will be a dangerous opponent to play against, come playoff time.

The Bad – Wounded Seahawks can’t get going against Cardinals. Hawks fall to 5th spot in NFC playoff seeding.
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks. Cardinals win 27-13.

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

The NFC playoff picture will be a toss up until the last week of the regular season is played. The Seahawks are in the middle of a heated race with the 49ers for the divisional crown. After week 16, the Saints, Packers, and 49ers all have a record of 12-3.

The Seahawks missed their chance at getting to 12-3, after losing at home to the Arizona Cardinals. This loss drops them to a wildcard spot in the NFC playoff bracket, which means they would be looking at an away game against the winner of the NFC East as the 5th seed.

The Seahawks still have a chance to win their division, but this loss probably cost them their chance to grab the top seed in the conference. With the amount of injuries they currently have, they would have benefited from having a first round bye in the playoffs.

The Cardinals pass rush gave Russell Wilson problems all game, as he was sacked five (5) times. The pass rush, along with good coverage from the Arizona secondary, limited the Seattle passing attack. Wilson completed just over 50% of his passes and gained just 169 yards through the air. He ended the game averaging just 5.5 yards per attempt.

Running the ball wasn’t an option either for the Seahawks. During the second quarter, running back Chris Carson suffered a hip injury. Later in the same quarter, backup running back C.J. Prosise exited the game with a broken arm. After the game, Pete Carroll announced that both players were done for the season.

The Seahawks run defense was also exposed on Sunday. The Cardinals ran for a total of 253 yards on 40 attempts in this game. The Seahawks will have to stop the run, no matter which team they face in the playoffs.

Seattle has a chance to bounce back after a subpar effort against Arizona. They have signed running back Marshawn Lynch in hopes of replacing the injured members of the backfield. They face the 49ers next week, and the winner takes the division title. The Hawks need to win this game and save themselves from a road trip, on wild card weekend.

The Ugly – Cowboys come out flat in battle for NFC East. Prescott and the offense gets grounded in Philadelphia.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles. Eagles win 17-9.

Corey Perrine/Getty Images

Cowboys fans set themselves up for heartbreak if they had hope in this football team. The team suffered its 8th loss of the season at the hands of their bitter division rivals in Philly.

The Cowboys continued their trend of not showing up in big games. The team looked unmotivated, uninspired, and most importantly, unprepared. 

Compared to Philadelphia, Dallas was relatively healthy in this football game. Their quarterback, Dak Prescott, was injured last week during their win to the rams and was clearly affected in this game. Outside of Prescott playing injured and an injury to linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas had most of their star players available.

I predicted that Dallas would win this game, and I wasn’t confident that it would be a close game, either. The Cowboys had just come off of a strong performance against the Los Angeles Rams, and racked up 44 points in the blowout.

They must’ve left their offense in Dallas, because they were unable to find the end zone against the Eagles. This same Eagles defense had trouble stopping Redskins’ rookie QB Dwayne Haskins, the week prior.

The Eagles played with a different level of intensity than the Cowboys in this game. Credit Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson, for having his guys ready to play. The winner of this game was most likely making the playoffs, and the better coached team came away with the win.

How many more seasons will Cowboys’ fans have to endure the Jason Garrett era?

Underrated Performance of the Week – Daniel Jones, Quarterback, New York Giants

From a national standpoint, I’m sure no one was paying attention to this lousy game. 

The two basement dwellers of the NFC East faced off on Sunday afternoon, but the Giants rookie quarterback was able to catch fire.

Daniel Jones finished the game completing 28 of 42 pass attempts, for 352 yards and five (5) touchdowns. The biggest takeaway was the lack of turnovers! No fumbles, no picks thrown.

Watch all five of his scores, here!

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Week 15

Michael Lipscomb

My weekly review of the games around the league. Recognizing greatness and talking a little trash! Got a problem with it? Hit me up on Twitter: @TheAceWriter or tweet at the website’s page @TFINS_

Follow the site on Instagram for debates, updates, and post notifications. IG: thefutureisnowsports

Check out the Underrated Performance of the Week at the bottom of the page too!

The Good- Drew Brees becomes the NFL all-time leader in passing touchdowns. Saints get big win at home.
Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints. Saints win 34-7

Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images

Congratulations to Drew Brees for breaking another NFL record. Brees broke Peyton Manning’s touchdown record with a 5-yard throw to tight end Josh Hill, in the third quarter of Monday night’s game. It was the 540th touchdown pass of his NFL career.

I used to hear a lot of conversation about Brees being considered a second tier quarterback to Manning, Rodgers, etc. 

With the Saints having so much success in recent years, I’ve noticed Drew Brees get a lot more respect from casual fans.

Good for Brees, who has had one of the most interesting and inspiring careers in NFL history. He’s got a chance to add to his resume this season, if he can bring home another Lombardi trophy.

It’s almost impossible to win a Super Bowl without a tenacious defense, and the Saints definitely have that. The Indianapolis Colts were held to just 46 rushing yards against New Orleans.

The Colts entire offense revolves around their strong rushing attack. The Saints shut that all the way down, and caused problems all night. The Saints dominated this football game on both sides of the football.

The battle for NFC supremacy will be a good win. The Saints, Packers, 49ers, Seahawks, etc., have strong coaching, talented rosters, and respectable quarterback play. This may end up being one of the best playoffs in recent memory.

The Bad – Niners fall to Falcons on miraculous last play. Miss opportunity to hold No. 1 seed in NFC.
Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers. Falcons win 29-22.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images/TNS

I want to start of by giving respect to the Falcons. They played a great game, and gave the Niners everything they had. The Niners didn’t play great, but they didn’t play poorly either.

This game is a bad loss because of the war the 49ers are currently in at the top of the conference.

The Seahawks (11-3), Packers (11-3), and Saints (11-3) are all fighting for the No.1 seed and every loss hurts a chance at claiming it. The first seed gets home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Niners had the opportunity to move to 12-2, but came up short against the Falcons. I believe a young team like this needs to get home field advantage if they’re going to get to the Super Bowl.

With star cornerback Richard Sherman missing this game with an injury, the Niners had trouble defending Julio Jones. Jones ended the game with 13 catches, 134 yards, and two touchdowns.

The superstar receiver was able to convert several 3rd downs opportunities, into 1st downs. Jones also drew a key pass interference call late in the 4th quarter. That flag lead to a touchdown on the next play, and the score was 19-17, 49ers.

The Niners would drive down on the ensuing drive and get a field goal. The score was 22-17 with under two minutes left. 

Matt Ryan drove his offense down the field and the drive came down to one play. With 5 seconds left on a 3rd & Goal. Ryan was able to find Jones who barely crossed the plane of the goal line. It was one of the most incredible plays that you will see all season.

The 49ers have a huge game coming up next week. They battle their divisional rivals the Los Angeles Rams. I want to see the Niners go out and dominate this game. This team can’t afford to let up if they want to end the season as kings of the NFC, and champions of the NFL.

The Ugly – Browns get floored by Cards. Freddie Kitchens has to go.
Cleveland Browns at Arizona Cardinals. Cardinals win 38-24.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

I’ve always been a fan of the “wait-and-see” approach when it comes to head coaches. I believe that too much organizational turnover can be just as bad (or worse) than doing nothing at all.

With all of that being said, the Cleveland Browns need to show Freddie Kitchens the nearest exit. The Browns lost another game to a team with lesser talent.

The Arizona Cardinals jumped out to a fast start, and the Browns simply had no answer. Cleveland’s defense looked lost. The offense looked stagnant. The entire game was a mess. This was a below average performance, all the way around.

The Cardinals snapped a 6-game losing streak against the Browns. Prior to this game, Cleveland was still “in the hunt” for the playoffs. With this loss, it appears that their season is all but over.

The Cardinals have some talented players, but the Browns have more talent and should be competing at a different level. They should have dominated this game from start to finish. The way the players failed to respond in a do-or-die situation, tells me all I need to know about the head coach.

The Browns risk losing their locker room if they don’t replace Kitchens. There are a lot of rumors that players on the team are requesting trades to other destinations. 

There is a simple solution to getting the Browns back on the path to success. Keep the players, get rid of the coach.

Underrated performance of the Week – Joe Mixon, Running back, Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals predictably got blown out by New England, but it wasn’t because of their running game!

Mixon had a fantastic game against the defending Super Bowl champs, rushing for 135 yards on 25 carries. He also caught three passes for another 20 yards.

Hopefully we get to see him play with LSU Quarterback Joe Burrow, in 2020…

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Week 14

Michael Lipscomb

My weekly review of the games around the league. Recognizing greatness and talking a little trash! Got a problem with it? Hit me up on Twitter: @TheAceWriter or tweet at the website’s page @TFINS_

Follow the site on Instagram for debates, updates, and post notifications. IG: thefutureisnowsports

Check out the Underrated Performance of the Week at the bottom of the page too!

The Good – Shootout in the SuperDome. Niners win a high scoring game to claim top spot in NFC.
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints. Niners win 48-46.

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

I’ll get straight to the point. This game was amazing! Two of the best offensive minds in football faced off in a war, and there were fireworks everywhere. Kudos to head coaches Sean Payton and Kyle Shannahan.

If you like big plays, this was a game for you. These two teams combined for 981 yards in this battle! These head coaches did a masterful job of getting the football to their playmakers in space.

Both teams received strong performances from multiple players, at different offensive positions. The play calling was outstanding from both teams, and the offenses went berserk. 

I was very impressed with what I saw from San Francisco’s quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers have been one of the most well-rounded teams this season, and the passing game has consistently been identified as the weakness of this team.

Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t Peyton Manning, but he showed that he can produce against an elite defense. He completed 26 of 35 passing attempts for four (4) touchdowns, with 1 interception. He also made the right throws on the game winning drive, which ended in a 30 yard field goal.

Both of these teams are talented on both sides of the football. These teams have built through the draft and have young, exciting players on their rosters. I would not be surprised if this game ended up being the NFC Championship. If this rematch ends up being one of the final four contests, we’re all in for a show.

The Bad – Texans get ambushed by Broncos. AFC South tied at 8-5.
Denver Broncos at Houston Texans. Broncos win 38-24.

AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

The Texans had one of the biggest wins of the season in Week 13. I actually highlighted them as The Good for their big time win against the New England Patriots.

The win against the Pats looks like it may have went to their heads, as the Texans were completely caught off guard by the Denver Broncos. 

The Broncos came out with an admirable intensity, led by veteran defensive back Kareem Jackson. This was a homecoming game for Jackson, as the corner was drafted by the Houston Texans back in 2010. Jackson had played all nine (9) seasons of his career in Houston, before signing with Denver this past offseason.

Kareem Jackson played like an absolute maniac against his former team. He recorded 11 total tackles, 3 pass deflections and an interception. He also returned a fumble recovery 70 yards  for a touchdown, after the ball was lateraled to him by a teammate. This man was all over the field, making big hits and attacking the football. He had a major impact on this game.

The Texans can’t afford to have let ups like this going forward. They seemed to be sleepwalking through the first two quarters, as the Broncos jumped out to a 31-3 lead at halftime. The lead would balloon to 38-3, before the Texans had their first touchdown midway through the 3rd quarter.

Their defense was picked apart by rookie quarterback Drew Lock, who threw for over 300 yards and three (3) touchdowns. 

If the Texans want to be considered one of the top teams in the league, they will have to avoid outings like this in the future. They now tie the Tennessee Titans for the AFC South division lead.

The Ugly – Jaguars look sloppy in loss to Chargers. Jags fall to 4-9 after an awful game.
Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars. Chargers win 45-10.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

I want to start this off by saying that I feel really bad for whoever had to sit through this game. There were flags, missed tackles, blown coverage assignments, dropped passes, and more from BOTH teams in this dreadful game.

This is a familiar sight for Jacksonville Jaguars fans. The team is floundering at 4-9, and is seated firmly at the bottom of the AFC South.

Quarterback Gardner Minshew finished the game completing 24 of his 37 pass attempts, for 162 yards, and one (1) touchdown. He also ran the ball six (6) times for 31 yards.

Minshew wasn’t the biggest reason for the Jags lackluster offense, but he didn’t do much to help, either. At this stage of his career, Minshew is a game manager, and can’t operate when the rest of his team is not playing well.

The Jaguars offensive line was MISERABLE. Holding calls left and right. Poor pass protection. Even worse run blocking. It was just a bad game all around, for this unit. 

The defense was even worse than the offense. The tackling was horrendous. There were blown coverages all over the field, and they didn’t get pressure on the quarterback. 
I was under the impression that this was a Tom Coughlin built team. I didn’t see any of that from the Jaguars performance on Sunday afternoon. What a disappointing performance in front of their home crowd.

Underrated performance of the Week – A.J. Brown, Wide Receiver, Tennessee Titans

The Titans have been scraping and fighting for the playoffs this season.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill had the offensive in rhythm against Oakland and he got a lot of help from his rookie wide receiver!

Brown got busy against the silver & black. Have a look at his 91 yard touchdown this past weekend!

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Week 13

Michael Lipscomb

My weekly review of the games around the league. Recognizing greatness and talking a little trash! Got a problem with it? Hit me up on Twitter: @TheAceWriter or tweet at the website’s page @TFINS_

Follow the site on Instagram for debates, updates, and post notifications. IG: thefutureisnowsports

Check out the Underrated Performance of the Week at the bottom of the page too!

The Good – Texans maul Brady and Patriots, maintain control of AFC South.
New England Patriots at Houston Texans. Texans win 29-22.

David J. Phillip/AP

Deshaun Watson is a baller, man. Watching this guy play quarterback is a treat, and I hope the fans are appreciating his talents.

Knocking off the Patriots is no easy feat. The Pats have the best pass defense in the league and are coached by defensive mastermind Bill Belichick. This defense strikes fear in the hearts of opposing quarterbacks, as they should.

Watson clearly has no fear, throwing for three (3) touchdown passes and no interceptions against New England. He also scored a receiving touchdown on a cool trick play.

The Texans played a really good game, all around. They committed a few penalties, but did not turn the ball over all game. The Texans defense also forced an interception early in the game. The interception setup Watson and the offense in the red zone, and they were punch the ball in for a touchdown.

Although the final score was a 6 point differential, the Texans dominated this game. Houston was up 19 points until their were about 4 minutes remaining in the game. Their defense fell asleep towards the end, which is a habit they will have to break if they plan on going deep into the playoffs.

Sunday’s game was a great win for Watson and the Houston Texans. They lead the AFC South with an 8-4 record.

The Bad – Carolina gets jammed up by Washington. Carolina loses another game following a goal line stand.
Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers. Panthers win 29-21.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Kyle Allen and the Panthers offense came out firing against the Redskins. They immediately orchestrated two strong scoring drives, and flared out to a 14-0 lead.

The offense never seemed to get back into a rhythm after the hot start. Washington has had an average-to-below average defense this year. It’s inexcusable that the Panthers were completely shut down for the remainder of the game.

Carolina’s offense was atrocious to watch for the majority of this matchup. They had plenty of opportunities, as Washington had trouble generating offense themselves.

The Panthers defense deserves some blame for the loss. Redskins’ running backs Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice combined for 228 yards rushing and scored three (3) touchdowns. The Panthers run defense has been a problem a few different times this season. There’s no reason Washington should have been able to run the ball with that much success.

Carolina still had an opportunity to come away with a victory. After scoring a touchdown to pull within 8 points of Washington, the Panthers kicked an onside kick and recovered it!

Kyle Allen worked the ball down the field, and the Panthers had a 1st & Goal from the 1-yard line. The Panthers gave the ball to their best player, running back Christian McCaffrey, who was stopped on first and second down. The Panthers tried passing plays on third and fourth down. No dice.

This was the fourth time the Panthers had a chance to win, with the ball within 5 yards of the end zone, in the final minutes of the game. They’ve failed on all four situations, this season. That’s bad football, to say the least.

The Ugly – Philly flops against Fins. Miss opportunity to tie for NFC East lead.
Philadelphia Eagles at Miami Dolphins. Dolphins win 37-31. 

Mark Brown/Getty Images

It’s very clear that no team wants to win the NFC East. The Giants are at the very bottom of the division with a terrible record of 2-10. The Redskins beat the Panthers this weekend to move to 3-9.

The Eagles entered Sunday’s game with a chance to move to 6-6, which would have tied the Cowboys for the division lead. Just beat the 2-9 Miami Dolphins…

Nope. Too easy. Too simple. The Eagles defense absolutely collapsed against Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitz carved the secondary up for 365 yards and three (3) touchdowns. He got comfortable with wide receiver Devante Parker, who looked like a man amongst boys in this game.

Parker is a big, 6’3” target at wide receiver. The former Louisville Cardinal is a great athlete, and has the ability to jump up and “high-point” the football to make contested catches. That skill was on display all game, against Philadelphia.

Until this game, the Eagles defense had been playing its best football of the season. Eagles cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby had returned from injury, and were a major reason for the defense’s success over the past couple of weeks. Their atrocious play against the Dolphins was surprising, to say the least.

The Eagles still have a chance to make the playoffs. They have games against the Giants (twice), Washington, and Dallas. If they win all of those games, they’re in.

The problem with Philly is that they have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the entire league. You don’t know which team you’re going to see from week to week.

This seems to be a common theme with every team in the NFC (L)East. The Eagles have the clearest path into the postseason. They won’t be getting there, if the team continues to play at such a low level.

Underrated performance of the Week – Devin White, Linebacker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

White was the fifth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He’s got speed, and a lot of it! 

We covered the playmaking potential of Devin White as a draft prospect, here in his Quick Profile. 

Watch him record his first career interception!

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Week 12

Michael Lipscomb

My weekly review of the games around the league. Recognizing greatness and talking a little trash! Got a problem with it? Hit me up on Twitter: @TheAceWriter or tweet at the website’s page @TFINS_

Follow the site on Instagram for debates, updates, and post notifications. IG: thefutureisnowsports

Check out the Underrated Performance of the Week at the bottom of the page too!

The Good – Sam Darnold continues his superior play. Jets stomp Oakland to continue their winning streak.
Oakland Raiders at New York Jets. Jets win 34-3.

Tony Gonzales/Oakland Raiders

The New York Jets have won their last three games, and they’ve looked damn good doing it. Quarterback Sam Darnold is comfortable, and this team is suddenly dangerous.

The success starts with their defense. The Jets are ranked #1 in rushing defense this season. They tackle very well, and are sound in their assignments.

The Jets defense sealed this game against the Raiders with a pick-six late in the 3rd Quarter. This unit is finally coming together, despite injuries at all three levels of the defense.

Sam Darnold is on FIRE, in his last three games. Over that span, he has completed 58 of 89 passes, for 838 yards with 7 passing TD’s, 2 rushing TD’s and just 1 interception.

Those are franchise quarterback numbers, and the kind of production I expected to see out of Darnold this year. We predicted Sam Darnold would be the Jets Breakout Player for the season, prior to the start of the 2019 campaign.

Credit needs to be given to Head Coach Adam Gase, as well. He is calling plays that are making Darnold comfortable, and allowing him to thrive with the weapons on their offense. 

I don’t want to let the Raiders off the hook here. They played poorly, as receivers were dropping passes left and right. If they are going to earn a wild card spot, they’ll need to step it up in the last five games of this season.

New York Jets fans have been floundering for a long time. I’m happy to see them excited about their quarterback and young roster. I wouldn’t want to line up against Gang Green, with the way they’re playing right now.

The Bad – Packers get punked by the 49ers. Who can block this San Francisco pass rush? 
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers. Niners win 37-8.

Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers are one of the most difficult teams to figure out this year. They’ve looked dominant in some games this season, while looking average in others. Average would be a nice way to describe the trash they put out there against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Green Bay looked completely overwhelmed and outmatched in their contest against San Francisco. The Packers offense couldn’t get anything going all game, and they looked like they didn’t belong on the field with the Niners.

A big mistake cost the Packers early, as their first drive ended in a fumble by Aaron Rodgers. The fumble happened deep in Packers territory, and San Francisco was able to get the ball into the end zone from 2 yards out after the turnover.

The rest of the game was a really poor performance from the Packers offense. The 49ers run defense was suffocating, while the passing defense was all over the Packers’ receivers. The Packers offensive line was abused all game long.

Green Bay’s defense wasn’t awful, but they still weren’t able to create any turnovers to help their offense out. Altogether, this game was an uninspiring effort from the leaders of the NFC North.

I have previously expressed that I feel the 49ers are the best team in the NFC. This prime time game should have shown the rest of the world, what this young team has to offer. Let’s see how they handle the Baltimore Ravens in their Week 13 matchup.

The Ugly – The Rams continue their downward spiral. Baltimore outclasses them on Monday Night Football.
Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Rams. Ravens win 45-6.

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Have you ever seen a bully in action? The bully usually sizes up his victim, finds a weakness, and attacks it relentlessly until they come away with whatever they want.

The Baltimore Ravens were the bullies on Monday Night Football, and the Los Angeles Rams were the kids who ran home crying.

This game was an absolute beat down from start to finish. Quarterback Lamar Jackson continues to strengthen his case for MVP, throwing for 5 passing touchdowns in a fantastic performance. 

Success in the running game set the tone, and caused the Rams to react by putting multiple players near the line of scrimmage. An over commitment to stopping the run opens up the passing lanes, and Jackson took advantage of a flustered defense by throwing with anticipation and poise. 

The Rams continue to disappoint. This team is stale on offense and lacks intensity on defense. They clearly need an influx of talent on both sides of the football.

Unfortunately for them, they won’t have another 1st round pick until the year 2022. In situations like this, the coaching staff has got to develop talent and improve the team from within. All eyes on you, Sean McVay.

Underrated performance of the Week – Derrick Henry, Running Back, Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry must really hate the Jacksonville Jaguars. Or maybe they just really hate tackling him. Either way, he got in that ass again this week! Check out this dope side by side courtesy of @thecheckdown.

Roll tide roll!!

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Week 11

Michael Lipscomb

My weekly review of the games around the league. Recognizing greatness and talking a little trash! Got a problem with it? Hit me up on Twitter: @TheAceWriter or tweet at the website’s page @TFINS_

Follow the site on Instagram for debates, updates, and post notifications. IG: thefutureisnowsports

Check out the Underrated Performance of the Week at the bottom of the page too!

The Good – Jacoby Brissett and Nick Foles both return from injury. Colts lay beat down on Jags, and are tied for 1st in the AFC South.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts. Colts win 33-13.

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

This game featured two starting quarterbacks that were both returning from injury.

Jacoby Brissett missed last week and exited early against the Steelers in week 9. Nick Foles was injured during the first game of the season, and has missed the last 10 weeks of action.

Injuries to Quarterbacks has been a common theme this season, so it was really good to see both of these starters get back on the field. As far as the actual game was considered, this one was all Colts.

Colts’ Head Coach Frank Reich has been one of the best offensive play callers throughout the entire season. He has used a variety of plays and schemes to create movement and rhythm for his offense.

The Colts run a variety of different formations, using their running backs and tight ends to give defenses trouble. Running backs Marlon Mack, Johnathan Williams, and Nyheim Hines were lined up all over the offense, and each made big plays in this game. Williams and Mack both ran for over 100 yards, while Hines added a touchdown himself.

The Colts are now in a prime position to win their division. They battle the Texans for the division lead on Thursday Night Football.

The Bad – The Eagles offense struggles. Carson Wentz has an up and down game and continues to be let down by his wide receivers.
New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles. Patriots win 17-10.

Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Patriots defense is undoubtedly the best passing defense in football. Their secondary is always on the same page, while their linebackers are smart, and can figure out what the offense is doing based on how they line up.

This game was guaranteed to be a struggle for the Eagles’ offense. Running back Jordan Howard missed the game with a shoulder injury while wide receiver Alshon Jefferey was out as well.

The Eagles have been one of the most banged up rosters in the league this season, but they let an opportunity slip out of their hands this past weekend.

The Patriots scored their last touchdown on the opening drive of the second half. Neither team scored again. The Eagles were completely shut out after opening up a 10 point lead to start the game.

For all the criticism that the Eagles pass defense receives, they held it down against Tom Brady and the Pats’ offense. Brady was pressured all night, and never got comfortable in the pocket. This was an opportunity for Carson Wentz to will his team to a win with a superhero effort. The Eagles needed one next level drive out of Wentz, and simply couldn’t get it.

The second to last drive of the game really sums up the Eagles season as a whole. With about a minute left, Wentz gets the team in the red zone. He then misses two routine passes that would have kept the offense headed towards a tying touchdown. On the ensuing 4th down, the Patriots blitz everyone. Wentz heaves a beautiful pass to the back of the end zone, and Nelson Agholor does a horrific job tracking it and can’t bring it in. The ball hits off his hands and it falls incomplete.

The Eagles have no reason to panic. They have the easiest schedule in the NFL following their Week 12 game against Seattle. Even if they drop to 5-6 after playing the Seahawks, they have a great chance to win 5 straight and make the playoffs. Let’s see how Wentz and the offense responds.

The Ugly – Panthers get dominated by Falcons at home. Kyle Allen throws four interceptions in a losing effort.
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers. Falcons win 29-3.

acob Kupferman/Getty Images

Are those clowns in Carolina still calling for Kyle Allen to be the long term solution for the Panthers? I mean, seriously?

Kyle Allen was AWFUL is their loss to the Falcons. Allen’s final stat line was 31 for 50 on passing attempts, for 325 yards, and four (4) interceptions. He was also sacked 5 times.

This is the guy that threatened Cam Newton for his starting job? Give me a break. Allen was rattled all night. The Falcons defense was swarming and took away his easy reads. Allen started forcing throws early, and threw three (3) interceptions in the first half.

I don’t want to pin all of this on Kyle Allen. He got next to no help from his offensive line and the Panthers’ special teams allowed a punt return touchdown as well. This game was poor from all aspects for the Panthers, and football is truly the ultimate team sport.

The Panthers, as a team, did not show up for the biggest home game of the year. You had a 2-7 division rival walk into your house, and dominate you from start to finish.

The Panthers are now 5-5, clinging to the hope of making the NFC playoffs as a wild card. They will certainly need to play better than they did Sunday, if they’re going to make that happen.

Underrated performance of the Week – Jamal Adams, Safety, New York Jets

Jamal Adams recorded THREE (3) sacks this week against the Washington Redskins.

Adams is clearly the best blitzing Safety in the NFL. He’s a nightmare for offenses, and gave Washington hell, all game. Here’s one of the sacks from last week.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Week 10

Michael Lipscomb

My weekly review of the games around the league. Recognizing greatness and talking a little trash! Got a problem with it? Hit me up on Twitter: @TheAceWriter or tweet at the website’s page @TFINS_

Follow the site on Instagram for debates, updates, and post notifications. IG: thefutureisnowsports

Check out the Underrated Performance of the Week at the bottom of the page too!

The Good – Seahawks knock off the Niners in an overtime thriller, pulling within 1 game of the division lead.
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers. Seahawks win 27-24 in OT.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The NFC West has been the best division in football to this point in the season. Entering Week 10, San Francisco was the only remaining undefeated team in the league. 

This game was what you would expect from two NFC West rivals. The 49ers gave the ball away 3 times, while the Seahawks had 4 turnovers themselves. Both defenses played very well, and caused havoc for the opposing offense.

Russell Wilson struggled in this game, but I think he helped his MVP campaign. Winning tight games is important and Wilson was able to make enough big plays to put his team in a position to win.

Wilson completed 24 of 34 for 232 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. He also added 53 rushing yards on 6 carries.

Give credit to the 49ers’ defense. They harassed Wilson all night, recording 5 sacks in this game. They played a well rounded game for the most part, as they were also able to score a defensive touchdown after forcing a fumble.

A cleaner offensive performance would have been the difference for San Francisco. The 4 turnovers really hurt them in this game. One of the fumbles by quarterback Jimmy Garrapolo was returned for a touchdown. The interception that Garrapolo threw was returned deep into Niners’ territory, which lead to a Seahawks touchdown. 

I thought the 49ers outplayed the Seahawks for the most part. The Niners defense didn’t allow an offensive touchdown until late in the third quarter, but turnovers will kill you in this league.

Both of these teams are legitimate contenders. Their opportunistic defenses and talent on offense make them a formidable opponent for anyone. We’ll see if they can keep this momentum as the weather gets colder, this season.

The Bad – What happened to the Rams offense? Steelers lock them down in Pittsburgh.
Los Angeles Rams at Pittsburgh Steelers. Steelers win 17-12.

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Can the Sean McVay fan club please report to the front? You all have some serious questions to answer. 

The Rams offensive line has been miserable all season. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks missed this game with a concussion. And quarterback Jared Goff looks like a shell of himself. 

With all of that being said, you only score 3 offensive points against the Steelers? With the way the mainstream media talks about McVay, you would think that could never happen in a million years.

The Rams defense did their part in this game. They only allowed 10 points, forced a safety, and found the end zone themselves after a fumbled snap. The Los Angeles offense was absolutely atrocious, and it’s incredibly surprising to see based on their success over the previous two seasons.

I have to take a moment to shout out the Steelers defense. This defense is the most underrated defensive unit in the league. They are young, hungry, and improving every week. They’ll have an opportunity to dominate next week, as they take on a struggling division rival in the Cleveland Browns.

The Rams sit at 5-4 after this tough loss. Making the playoffs in the NFC will be a fierce battle this year, and they won’t make it unless their offense finds a way to wake up.

The Ugly – The Giants lose the battle of New York (technically New Jersey) and drop to 2-8 on the season. Can somebody find Saqoun Barkley?
New York Giants at New York Jets. Jets win 34-27.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Before the season began, expectations were not very high for either of these teams. Personally, I thought the Giants would be the better team. 

I believe the Giants are the more talented team, and most likely have the brightest future of the two franchises. After losing to the Jets in Week 10, I may have overestimated the G-men after all.

The Giants looked awful on Sunday. Their best offensive player is running back Saquon Barkley, and he was held to 1 rushing yard on 13 carries. ONE YARD. That is absolutely ridiculous, and the offensive line should be embarrassed.

On the bright side, quarterback Daniel Jones had a good game throwing the football. He ended up throwing for 308 yards and 4 touchdowns with no interceptions. Jones still managed to fumble the ball three times, including this mugging by Jets safety Jamal Adams.

Both of these teams are a long way away from contending. They are clearly in the bottom tier of NFL teams. In fairness, I will say that both teams have new general managers. It takes time for new management to bring in the players that they want.

I like a lot of the draft picks that both teams made last year. They have young players on their rosters that can develop into really good players in a few years. As of now, both of these teams suck. Congrats to the Jets for winning the battle of my home state (New Jersey) this season.

Underrated performance of the Week – Clelin Ferrell, Defensive End, Oakland Raiders

The Raiders made the first shocking pick of the 2019 NFL Draft when they selected Clelin Ferrell 4th overall. 

Although I didn’t think he should have been picked in the top 5, I was very impressed with Ferrell’s college film at Clemson. We competed a Quick Profile analyzing Ferrell as a draft prospect.

He was able to pick up 2.5 sacks on Thursday Night football against the Chargers! Watch him win with a nice rip move on a 3rd down pass rush.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Week 9

Michael Lipscomb

My weekly review of the games around the league. Recognizing greatness and talking a little trash! Got a problem with it? Hit me up on Twitter: @TheAceWriter or tweet at the website’s page @TFINS_

Follow the site on Instagram for debates, updates, and post notifications. IG: thefutureisnowsports

Check out the Underrated Performance of the Week at the bottom of the page too!

The Good – Lamar Jackson and the Ravens knock off the last undefeated team in the AFC. Pats’ defense gets exposed.
New England Patriots vs Baltimore Ravens. Ravens win 37-20.

Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

The Ravens picked up the biggest win of the season on Sunday Night Football. The Patriots walked through the first half of their schedule this year, dominating teams with an overwhelming defense.

The strength of the Pats’ defense is clearly in their secondary. Stephon Gilmore leads an elite cornerback group for New England. The talented safeties on the roster make plays all over the field, as well.

The Patriots have the best secondary in the league, but they haven’t invested the same amount of resources into their front seven. Dont’a Hightower remains a household name at linebacker, but who else scares you up front?

The Ravens entered this game as the #1 rushing offense in the league. Their dynamic running game was put on display against New England, as they ran for a total of 210 yards.

A big takeaway from this game was the different run plays that the Ravens used. The Patriots linebackers simply aren’t good enough to keep up with the Ravens offensive line and playmakers. Lamar Jackson was running past defenders all night, and Belichick’s defense had no answer for it.

Baltimore put on a rushing clinic in their biggest game of the season. It will be interesting to see if other teams start to find success on the ground, against New England.

The Bad – Green Bay’s offense gets flattened by the LA Chargers. The Packers’ defense doesn’t hold their own, either.
Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Chargers. Chargers win 26-11.

Harry How/Getty Images

Green Bay entered this game with a resounding, 7-1 record. Despite injuries at several different positions, they put the NFL on notice with their performances this season.

Aaron Rodgers continues to play at a high level. His playmaking ability, with improved production from the running back position, has made Green Bay a dangerous offense to this point in the season.

The Packers’ defense has looked formidable as well. Pass rushers Za’darius Smith and Preston Smith appear to be two of the best free agent pickups of the 2019 offseason. An athletic, young secondary, paired with a great pass rush, has lead to success for this defensive unit.

The Packers’ latest road trip to Los Angeles has caused analysts and pundits to take a second look at Aaron Rodgers and the gang.

Rodgers ended the game completing 23-35 passes for 161 yards and 1 touchdown. He was also sacked three times. The Packers’ running game wasn’t much better, as lead running back Aaron Jones was held to just 30 yards rushing.

It’s hard to blame the Packers’ defense too much. They held the Chargers out of the end zone until late in the 3rd quarter. This was the type of game where the defense needed to force a turnover to spark the rest of the team, but they were unable to deliver. The Packers’ run defense could have done a better job, as well.

The Ugly – Cleveland still can’t get it together. A Brandon Allen lead Denver team, drops them to 2-6.
Cleveland Browns vs Denver Broncos. Broncos win 24-19.

AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post

We had the Browns listed as the ugly, after a poor offensive performance in Week 8. Apparently they like this list, as they looked like trash again, in Week 9.

Baker Mayfield didn’t play as poorly as he did last week, but their offense still looks clunky. This week, the red zone offense let Cleveland down. The Browns kicked FOUR field goals before finally finding the end zone. They scored their first touchdown with 10:47 left in the 4th quarter.

The Broncos run defense had a very strong game, as Breakout Star Nick Chubb was held to just 65 yards on 20 rushing attempts. Between the two star receivers, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, these are the games where you expect the playmakers to spark the passing game. For whatever reason, Mayfield can’t get them the ball in positions to make those plays.

I have usually come to the support of the Browns defense, but they deserve some blame here, too. Brandon Allen comes out and throws two touchdown passes in his career debut against this defense? He also leads the offense to 24 points and doesn’t have a single turnover? Unacceptable.

Odell Beckham has just one touchdown on the entire season. This man is arguably the most talented receiver in the entire league. There’s no decent explanation for his lack of production. It’s on the coach. It’s on the quarterback.

The Browns were thought of as Super Bowl contenders in the preseason. Through nine weeks, they have been the biggest pretenders in the national football league.

Underrated Performance of the Week – Minkah Fitzpatrick, Safety, Pittsburgh Steelers

It was real cute and funny to laugh at the Steelers for trading their 2020 1st round draft pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick. I even questioned the move myself.

Since joining the Steelers, Fitzpatrick has been a  force. The Steelers defense is criminally underrated, and they are right in the playoff hunt with a 4-4 record.

The Alabama alum balled out this week, recording 7 tackles, a pass deflection, and an interception that was returned for a touchdown. 

Watch him take this pick to the crib! Eat up Mink!

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Week 8

Michael Lipscomb

My weekly review of the games around the league. Recognizing greatness and talking a little trash! Got a problem with it? Hit me up on Twitter: @TheAceWriter or tweet at the website’s page @TFINS_

Follow the site on Instagram for debates, updates, and post notifications. IG: thefutureisnowsports

Check out the Underrated Performance of the Week at the bottom of the page too!

The Good – The Niners continue to dominate. A strong running game steam rolls the Panthers.
Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers. Niners win 51-13.

Chris Victorio | S.F. Examiner

The 49ers continue to impress as the season moves along. The Niners haven’t had the toughest schedule, but these guys are playing at a very high level.

The offensive play calling continues to dominate opposing teams. The play design and scheme remains the same, but Kyle Shannahan continues to keep defenses on edge. I was impressed with how well the offense was able to manipulate the well respected linebackers of the Carolina Panthers. The Niners’ running game kicked Carolina straight in the teeth.

There were some “rumblings” about Kyle Allen taking over Cam Newton’s job as a starter. I hope the people yelling for that quarterback change, watched this game. Allen got exposed by the 49ers defense, and it wasn’t pretty. That defensive unit is really good at all three levels.

The Niners’ defensive line was fantastic, yet again. Nick Bosa was a freaking monster, recording 3 sacks and an interception. This team is really good, and clearly the best team in the NFC to this point. I’ll be locked in on their November 11th matchup, on Monday Night Football, against the Seattle Seahawks. It might end up being the game of the year.

The Bad – Scared play-calling costs Denver a victory.
Denver Broncos vs Indianapolis Colts. Colts win 15-13.

Robert Scheer/IndyStar

In this league, some teams just can’t get out of their own way. The Denver Broncos had a golden opportunity to win this game, but passive play calling was their downfall. At the 2:00 warning, up 13-12, the Broncos had the ball on the Colts 43 yard line. It was 3rd & 5, while the Colts only had 1 timeout left.

The Broncos had a choice to make. One choice was to be aggressive, and throw a pass past the first down marker to try and earn a new set of downs and seal the game. The other option is to run the ball up the middle, probably get tackled well short of the first down, and make the Colts use their last timeout.

Denver opted to take the safe route, and running back Phillip Lindsey was predictably stopped for no gain. The Broncos would go on to punt the ball back to the Colts. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett would go on to maneuver a fantastic drive, and was able to get his team in field goal range to steal this win.

Broncos fans have to be crushed by yet another close loss. This team doesn’t have much upside this season, and wasn’t able to trade away a lot of their veteran players for more draft picks (outside of Emmanuel Sanders to the 49ers).

General Manager John Elway seems committed to trying to compete and win now. These aspirations seem more far fetched than ever, and Elway may need to think about a complete overhaul of this roster.

The Ugly – Cleveland’s passing offense looks miserable, again. Turnovers seal their fate.
New England Patriots vs Cleveland Browns. Patriots win 27-13.

Billie Weiss/Getty Images

The struggles of the Cleveland Browns’ offense is undoubtedly one of the biggest stories of this season. The combination of having Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and Nick Chubb as offensive weapons, should spark any offense into the elite categories of this league.

Baker Mayfield was believed to be the next rising star at quarterback, and Head Coach Freddie Kitchens was trusted to be the mastermind that put all of these great players in positions to win.

Needless to say, that has not happened for the 2-5 Cleveland Browns. The defense has struggled with injuries, but has held up well for the most part. The offense has been stagnant, prone to turnovers, and underwhelming on too many occasions this year.

This week against the Patriots, they turned the ball over three times. Nick Chubb fumbled on back-to-back possessions late in the first quarter, with one of those fumbles being returned for a touchdown. Baker Mayfield would only throw one interception, but it happened on a goofy looking toss pass to Jarvis Landry. Mayfield was also sacked five (5) times, and the offense would only register 13 points in this game.

The Patriots have the best defense in the league, but the Browns were supposed to have the talent on offense to compete in a game like this. The season isn’t over yet, but Cleveland fans are surely disappointed with what they’ve seen so far. Over the years, the Browns have given these fans enough ugly football, to last a lifetime.

Underrated performance of the Week – Cooper Kupp, Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Rams

I expected a big year from Kupp, but DAMN! This dude is going absolutely crazy for the Rams this season.

(I predicated Kupp as the Rams’ Breakout Player for the 2019 season)

He took advantage of a sorry Bengals defense, catching 7 passes, for 220 yards, and one touchdown.

Check out the highlights from his big game, here!