It’s a good thing that the Falcons and the Raiders lost or this could have been the worst weekend the Jaguars have experienced this season. If you are a believer in other teams having an impact on how your team is perceived in the NFL, take a gander at this kind of karma working against this team.
The Atlanta Falcons, although mired in a three-game losing streak, have a winning record. They lost to the San Francisco 49ers, who were quarterbacked by Blaine Gabbert, who was one of the worst signal callers in Jaguars history.
The Oakland Raiders are relevant again, thanks in part to the coaching of Jack Del Rio – and an offense that can score in bunches thanks to Derek Carr and Amari Cooper – who was the coach of the Jaguars for nine seasons.
The loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers was crushing, but Oakland is a player in the playoff picture.
And to make matters worse, the man Gus Bradley replaced here in Jacksonville, Mike Mularkey, replaced Ken Whisenhunt in Tennessee and the Titans came back to beat New Orleans in his coaching debut with the team.
Instant Karma, I say.
The Jacksonville Jaguars had opportunities to make a statement with a road win on Sunday, which would be the Jags first road win in 13 attempts. They failed. Blake Bortles may have thrown for 381 yards, but he also threw two crucial interceptions and had a crushing fumble that stopped a drive in the fourth quarter, which sealed the 28-23 loss. Now, Bradley must be feeling some heat as the team prepares for Baltimore.
NEW ORLEANS CAN’T PROTECT A LEAD
Sunday morning started out with stories all over the Internet about New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton possibly leaving town after the season. Conor Orr of NFL.com spelled it out in a story which appears on the website.
Per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, the language in Payton’s contract allows for a “change of control” clause, where Payton could be freed from his deal if owner Tom Benson is no longer in charge.
More importantly, it seems like both sides could be exploring a mutual breakup regardless of what happens regarding ownership succession.
This is not the first time we have heard this rumor. But the 34-38 loss in overtime to the Tennessee Titans might ratchet those rumors up a bit more. The defense collapsed in the loss – even with Drew Brees firing on all cylinders and the Saints offense moving the ball down the field.
Maybe more important, some (really more than some) have to ask how the heck defensive coordinator Rob Ryan still has a job down in the Big Easy.
Orr went on to say With a pronounced lack of quality head coaching across the board in the NFL, Payton’s experience, Lombardi Trophy, and age (he’s only 51) would make him a desirable candidate for current openings, and openings that may occur because Payton is available.
My guess is Miami gets in line first to pitch the idea of coaching up Ryan Tannehill in south Florida. Payton would go from Bourbon Street to South Beach – not a bad travel plan if you ask me.
FIGHTING DOESN’T SOLVE ANYTHING
Denver lost to Indianapolis, meaning New England, Cincinnati and Carolina are the only undefeated teams remaining in the NFL. We all might have expected New England to be there in the mix this late in the season, but Cincinnati and Carolina are certainly surprise teams that haven’t suffered a loss this year.
Cincinnati disposed of Cleveland on Thursday. Carolina took care of a reeling Green Bay Packers team.
Yes, reeling – with two straight losses and a roster that appears to have turned on itself during the 37-29 loss on Sunday. Here’s how it was reported and viewed on video.
If the Packers needed more heat to deal with, the Minnesota Vikings are hot on their heels and despite a concussion for Teddy Bridgewater, suffered in the game against the Rams, this team appears to be a contender for the NFC North.
Green Bay needs to make sure its players are on the same page before it can focus on playing other teams this season. Two losses in a row does do not bode well for a potential Super Bowl contender.