Let’s start first with the tiers. I’ve added a few categories that I think give it some more nuance:
I know the Eagles won and improved to 9-1, which is the best record in the league, but I still have some serious concerns about them. They seemed to get their run defense figured out in the second half after getting lit up by Jonathan Taylor in the first half, but their offense was bogged down in the mud for most of that game against a Colts defense that doesn’t even have its best player.
I think Philly kind of got back on track, but I still have some concerns about them.
As for the Vikings, I think it was expected for them to lose that game to the Cowboys, even though it was at home, just because of how taxing and emotional their game against the Bills was last weekend. This was an obvious let-down spot for Minnesota. I didn’t expect them to lose 40-3, of course, but I expected them to lose.
I want to talk about the Jets right now, because they have some major problems on offense. Their offense is terrible.
Or as head coach Robert Saleh put it, “dogshit.”
You may think that’s harsh for an NFL coach to describe his own offense as “dogshit,” but it’s true and no one can deny it.
Look at this:
6 first downs, 103 total yards. The Jets averaged a grand total of 2.3 yards per play.
They had ZERO turnovers, too.
They just can’t move the ball.
They were better with Joe Flacco. Zach Wilson can’t play. All he can do is escape the pocket and roll out, but he can’t complete passes.
And that doesn’t even tell the full story. In the first half, the Jets had 96 yards of offense:
They got almost all of their offensive yards in the first half.
In the second half, they did almost nothing:
Look at those drives. The Jets came out of the locker room after halftime and went three-and-out 5 times in a row.
Or, I think a better way to put it is that during the second half, the Jets offense average 2.7 INCHES per play:
Just to provide you a visual.
I’m a Bears fan. I went to Iowa for college. I know terrible offense. I’m accustomed to it. My NFL team is the most offensively incompetent and stuck in the past team in the league (although with Justin Fields it seems like that could finally be changing at long last). My college team is stuck in 1946 offensively. Bad offenses are my life as a football fan. It’s pretty much all I know. I often wonder what it would be like to root for a team like the Chiefs and have quarterback like Mahomes. I literally don’t know what it’s like to be a fan of an NFL team that is competent offensively. It’s a foreign concept to me. When it’s third down I assume we’re never going to get it, when my team has to drive 70+ yards I know it’s not going to happen. There are a lot of other fanbases that have confidence when their teams are in those situations but not me. I am accustomed to offensive ineptitude. Again, it’s all I know. I expect offensive failure as the baseline.
And even I thought the Jets offense was spectacularly bad.
I’ve seen a ton of bad offense in my life, but this was worse than anything I’ve seen. And that is saying a lot. I’ve seen Rex Grossman and Mitch Trubisky and so many other incapable quarterbacks try to score points in the NFL, contrasted twice a year for a decade and a half against Aaron Rodgers. I’ve watched Spencer Petras try to play quarterback.
Zach Wilson is bad, folks. He’s trash. He can’t throw the ball. The Jets took him over Justin Fields. Justin Fields in that offense with Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore would be lighting it up.
I said before the 2021 draft that I did not believe Zach Wilson was better than Fields and that Fields should be taken before him. I pointed out that his stats in 2018 and 2019 were not impressive, and that he only had a breakout season when Covid hit and BYU played a schedule with no Power Five opponents. That wasn’t a coincidence. The media happily ignored that fact and hyped him up into the next Aaron Rodgers because he flashed an ability to improvise against teams like North Alabama and Texas State.
But I never thought Zach Wilson was this bad. I never went as far as to say he shouldn’t even be a first round pick.
Right now he looks like a guy who not only shouldn’t have been drafted second overall, he shouldn’t have even been drafted in the second round.
Dan Orlovsky broke down a play from that game yesterday and postulated that Zach Wilson doesn’t even know the playbook:
If that truly is the explanation for why he’s so bad, then that’s unacceptable.
We’re now looking at a situation where Wilson is about to become one of the biggest draft busts of the 21st century. The dude can’t play. He wears a headband, he’s got #Swag, he allegedly bags MILFs—but he’s terrible at football. Now all the #swag and MILF rumors seem like massive red flags.
The Patriots were able to move the ball in that game. Not well, of course, but at least there’s an excuse for why the Patriots only had 3 points through 59 and a half minutes of that game: their kicker Nick Folk went 1 for 3.
The Jets were 1 for 1 on field goals. They didn’t miss any. They just couldn’t move the ball at all. And yes, the Patriots have a good defense and Belichick always confounds young, inexperienced quarterbacks. But to muster only 103 yards of offense in a game, that’s more than just getting dominated by the opposing defense. That means your offense is broken and incompetent as well. No NFL team should be that bad on offense. This Patriots defense isn’t the ‘85 Bears.
This was a combination of good defense by the Pats and atrocious offense by the Jets.
Look at this:
That was late in the game with the scored tied 3-3. He just missed a wide open Tyler Conklin. It should’ve been a pick.
And then this was a guaranteed touchdown that Denzel Mims could’ve had, Wilson didn’t even pull the trigger:
Zach Wilson is going to be benched soon. There’s no way you can keep going like this. The Jets are still 6-4 and have a chance to make the playoffs. They have to bench Zach Wilson while their season is still alive. They can’t wait until they’re 6-7.
Right now, the verdict on Zach Wilson is that he’s an arrogant, reckless, immature showboat who can’t even be bothered to learn the playbook.
You can’t have that dude leading your team.
Start Flacco, start Mike White–either of them would be better than Zach Wilson.
I know this is cheap and probably unfair, but it’s going around on social media:
Either way, it’s not looking good for Zach Wilson.
It’s in the Jets’ best interest to bench him while they still have a shot at the playoffs. They are going absolutely nowhere with him under center.
I think he’s already lost the locker room, too. That’s the way it seems after seeing stuff like this:
His teammates have already had enough.
If you can believe it, the Zach Wilson era will be even shorter than the Sam Darnold era.
You could’ve had Justin Fields, Jets fans.
You could’ve had Justin Fields.
The Chiefs are now the only team in the top tier. I’m getting real sick of them to be quite honest, but I have to respect them and what they’ve done this year.
But they’re starting to get annoying. Like, can someone just fucking double Travis Kelce? I mean holy shit, he’s wide open on every play. He’s not that fast! And he always somehow finds a way to run for massive yards after the catch. How do teams let that happen? Just bracket him!
And how do teams allow Mahomes to run for so many yards, too? He’s slow as fuck yet it feels like every week he’ll scramble for like 30-40 yards on one play. How do teams continually let that happen? Any time he starts running there’s never anybody close to him until he’s already picked up like 25-30 yards.
Watching defenses play against the Chiefs is like the football equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters against the Washington Generals. It’s a clown show. I feel like teams just piss down their leg whenever they play the Chiefs. It’s pathetic.
That’s my rant on the Chiefs. Somebody fucking stop these guys because I’m getting annoyed with them. It’s the same thing every time: Oh look, the Chiefs are down late, they’re going to lose! Nevermind, no they’re not, Travis Kelce is wide open on every single route he runs and the Chiefs just came back to take the lead late.
I’m sick of the Chiefs.
And it’s not just the fact that they always win no matter how much they’re down in the fourth quarter. It’s that they’ve become noticeably whiny when it comes to the refs. I swear Mahomes is bitching at the refs every single time he throws an incompletion, like he thinks there’s no legitimate way the defense can ever win even one play against him. And Chiefs fans are CONSTANTLY booing and bitching at the refs. It just feels like they’ve become entitled, and that’s annoying.
I wrote back in 2020 that it was getting close to the point where the Chiefs become the villains of the NFL. It happens quickly: before you win a championship, you’re the lovable underdog that everyone pulls for. Then you become a threat to everyone else, and then you become the Goliath.
The Chiefs are now the villains; they’re now the Goliaths that everyone outside of Kansas Citywants to see lose.
Okay, the last thing I want to talk about here is something that a lot of people are noticing with the 2022 World Cup now under way. It’s the VAR (video assistant referee) replay system they use in soccer to determine offsides, and how it can obviously be applied to the NFL.
If you haven’t seen it yet, this is what it looks like:
They are able to digitally recreate the entire playing field and easily ascertain if a player was offsides or not. The rule for offsides in soccer is that you, as the offensive player (in this case the guy in white, who is attacking toward the left side) cannot be fully behind the defender (the guy in red, defending the left side) at the moment the ball is passed to him.
So this is a snapshot of where #9 was the moment the pass left his teammates foot. He ran down the field and scored a goal, but they were able to determine that he was offsides so the goal was disallowed.
This has to make its way to the NFL eventually, no?
You have that vertical line on the goal line, or the first down line, and you should be easily able to tell if the ball breaks the plane or gets over the line.
You’ll be able to tell when a ball carrier’s knee is down and where, exactly, the ball is when that knee is down.
It might be a bit more complicated in American football because there is usually a big scrum of guys around the ball, so it’s possible that the VAR cameras’ vision could be obscured and rendered useless, but there’s no way implementing a VAR-style review system int he NFL wouldn’t be a net positive, even if it isn’t totally foolproof.
I expect the NFL to eventually explore implementing the VAR system. I don’t see why they wouldn’t at least consider it.
A lot of Americans are going to watch the World Cup, see the VAR system on display, and come to the conclusion that it would benefit the NFL. That should get the ball rolling.
I think it’ll eventually be implemented by the NFL, and in 10 years or so it will be an integral part of the game that we will wonder how we ever lived without–like regular old instant replay is viewed nowadays. It will eventually be so normal it will be taken for granted. The question is how long it will take the NFL to make the move.