After the weekend’s games, things will change in both the Top Four and the Top Ten of the Playoff Rankings. #3 Ohio State got beat up at home versus Michigan State. They looked so bad that it wouldn’t surprise me if Ohio State gets beaten badly in Ann Arbor against rival Michigan this Saturday. Personally, I feel Ohio State has been a fraud all season. They have underachieved and could very well have lost another two or three games.
The comments by some of the Ohio State players after the loss to Michigan State showed that some of these players are nothing but hired mercenaries. Get in there three years and kiss college football goodbye. Zeke Elliott’s and Cardale Jones’s words and tweets are telling. These kids are not team players and it will affect their draft standing.
Like I have been saying for weeks, there would not be an undefeated Big 12 team at season’s end. Baylor easily beat #6 Oklahoma State in Stillwater to knock the Cowboys from the unbeaten ranks. The next big conference game is Oklahoma at Oklahoma State this Saturday. If Oklahoma wins they have an outside chance to get into the Playoff, but only if a beaten up #4 Notre Dame loses at Stanford.
Notre Dame’s only loss is a two pointer at #1 Clemson in a hurricane. With all the injuries Notre Dame has suffered, it is remarkable that they are 10-1. In the preseason they lost starting nose tackle Jarron Jones to an ACL. In the opening game they lost starting running back Tarean Folston In game two they lost their starting quarterback Malik Zaire to an ankle fracture and then this past week they lost starting corner KaiVarae Russell to a leg fracture. While Notre Dame had the depth to make up for the other injuries, they don’t have strong secondary depth and the Russell loss could be huge in this week’s game at Stanford. Running back C.J. Procise will also miss the Stanford game with an ankle sprain.
#5 Iowa seems to look stronger every week, but let’s face it, they haven’t played a tough schedule. Their toughest game of the season could well be this week when they travel to Nebraska. While the Cornhuskers have only won five games, they have won two straight including a won over Michigan State. This game will be very important in Iowa’s drive to the Playoff. If they win this week, they will have to most likely beat Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship. The winner of the Big Championship will almost assuredly be in the Playoff.
Barring an upset, Clemson and Alabama look like locks to be in the Playoff as each will be heavily favored in their respective conference championship games.
The Carolina Panthers keep rolling along. They now stand at a perfect 10-0 after their 44 – 16 win over Washington. Looking at their remaining schedule, the Panthers are better than even money to go 16-0 in the regular season.
Carolina could very well lock up the NFC South in another two weeks. Three and maybe four more wins will give them home field advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs, and they don’t have to play any of the teams they are in contention with. Their biggest competition for home field is Arizona, and the Cardinals remaining schedule is much tougher than Carolina’s.
The most disappointing team in the NFL this season has to be the Philadelphia Eagles. Right now they sit at 4-6 and are coming off two straight home field losses. Yesterday’s 38 – 17 loss to Tampa Bay was telling as the Eagle defense didn’t show up and the offense wasn’t much better.
Early in the season, their Thanksgiving Day matchup in Detroit looked like an easy win, but right now the Lions are playing much improved football and will be favorites. I would say it is a good bet that Chip Kelly won’t be the Eagles’ Head Coach in 2016. If that happens, there will be changes in the Eagles front office as well.
Follow Greg on Twitter @Greggabe
This season’s new medical timeout rule was supposed to prevent another Julian Edelman Super Bowl situation. Sunday we see that rule failed Case Keenum as he appeared dazed, was not removed from the game, but later found to have a concussion.
The play should have never have happened anyways. Elvis Dumervil was standing well across the line of scrimmage when he thought there was a false start. It seemed like some of the players didn’t even play on the snap as they anticipated an unabated to the QB or false start call. During the free play, the back of Keenum’s head hit the turf.
Immediately, both of Keenum’s hands go to his head. Right tackle Garrett Reynolds goes to help pull his somewhat limp QB up, but is unable to as Keenum slumps back to his side and then rolls onto all fours. Center Tim Barnes comes to check on Keenum as well but the QB slowly gets up and walks off to the side. The next play, Keenum throws high to Wes Welker. The following play, Keenum drops back to pass and is nonchalantly holding the ball in one hand at his waist and fumbles when his arm is hit. Ironically, staying in the game is likely what cost the Rams the game.
To me, there was clear visual evidence of potential head injury; however, a medical timeout was not called. When the rule was ratified, I wrote how that was not going to solve all concussion detection issues.
Here the system failed Case Keenum. I am not blaming any one person, but the spotter, referee, ATCs, team doctors, unaffiliated neuro consultant (UNC), coaches and players all share in the responsibility. I doubt there was a conspiracy to keep Keenum in the game, rather a confluence of factors that lead to his not being removed.
The “eye-in-the-sky” has gotten the most criticism but that may be fair. Visually there was enough to call a medical timeout but perhaps the spotter saw team medical personnel come onto the field to tend to Keenum so the spotter saw no need to stop the game. During the referees adjudication of the offsides penalty and explanation of the in the grasp call, the Rams head Athletic Trainer speaks to Keenum on the field including pointing to his own head.
I know the Rams to have a quality head athletic trainer. He saw enough to come onto the field to check on Keenum; however, had he seen the video as the viewers at home and the spotter did, I am also sure he would have removed his QB from the game for further evaluation.
The concussion happened on the 30-yard line in the open and not away from the play or in a pile of bodies. Clearly coaches saw enough to have Nick Foles warm up and put his helmet on. They could have removed Keenum from the game. The team doctors and sideline UNC could have seen it as well and stepped in. Rams offensive linemen saw their QB struggle after the hit and players need to take care of their teammate by notifying medical staff or pointing their signal caller to the sideline.
Referees have the ability to send a player off but here the head man was too busy doing his main job. The referee hurried right past a struggling Keenum to spot the ball for “in the grasp” rather than an incomplete pass, determines the pre-snap penalty and makes the public announcement.
I guarantee the league will look into this. In my NFL experience, it is common for New York to call medical personnel and spotters to discuss what happened. Although I doubt there was a conspiracy to keep Keenum in the game, it still is not a good look for the NFL and something must change. Everyone on the sidelines, field and booth need to step up.
MMMD 1: Joe Flacco done for season
The Ravens QB was rolled up on his lead leg on the first play of the game winning mini-drive after a late turnover. Flacco limped but stayed in the game for three more plays before the game-winning field goal.
After the game, head coach John Harbaugh announced ACL tear and likely MCL tear. Based on video analysis, Flacco does not have a true mutli-ligament knee injury. His MCL may be sprained but this is not like the ACL and MCL tear that NaVorro Bowman suffered where he missed the entire next season.
Because Flacco’s ACL/MCL is much less severe than Bowman’s ACL/MCL injury, I believe Ravens signal caller will have an excellent chance to be under center for the first snap of the 2016 season.
MMMD 2: Justin Forsett breaks forearm
In more Ravens bad luck, their starting RB suffered an obvious radius and ulna fracture. He will need surgery that will likely consist of plates and screws. Recovery is a minimum of six weeks so his season is done.
The good news is Forsett should make a full recovery (barring infection like Rob Gronkowski had) for the offseason program. He can play with the plates in his forearm as they will usually stay in for his playing career.
MMMD 3: Marshawn Lynch likely surgery
When Beast Mode was reported to have abdomen and groin issues weeks ago, I worried about sports hernia despite reports of a normal MRI. Now the Seahawks RB is headed across the country for a second opinion and probable surgery. Even Pete Carroll admits “the surgery thing is always an option in there.”
Athletic pubalgia and core muscle injury are other names for sports hernia. Physicians have moved to use other names as there is no true hernia in this injury. The issue is with muscle insertions from the abdomen and groin on the pubic bone.
Look for the surgery to be done immediately as typical recovery is six weeks and the hope would be a playoff return for Lynch.
MMMD 4: Colin Kaepernick surgery signals the end in SF
The 49ers demoted their starter and he will now be on injured reserve for a shoulder surgery. There may be more to this story than meets the eye. In my NFL experience, a QB could play through a non-throwing shoulder labral tear and have offseason surgery. He apparently played with it since the October 4th Packers game. The 4-6 months recovery leaves time for that.
This likely means that one or both parties are done with each other and just looking to move on rather than stay available if Blaine Gabbert is hurt or performs poorly. It will be interesting to see whether a trade will happen or if Kaepernick will be released. I do not believe this procedure will reduce his market values since it is his non-throwing shoulder.
MMMD 5: QB updates
Andrew Luck was on the sidelines with his team but that doesn’t mean he is ready to go soon. The short end of the Colts initial 2-6 week timeline was never realistic. Kidney lacerations are kept out of contact for a minimum of a month or longer.
Peyton Manning did not travel to Chicago with the team. If his foot bothered him to be on the sideline, he could have sat in the box with headset on. Afterall, everyone says he is essentially an on field coach. In any case, his plantar fasciitis could be improved but will not heal with just one week’s rest. It will be interesting to see how long Manning will be held out.
Tony Romo had no issues with his clavicle and lead the Cowboys to a much needed victory. Jerry Jones said he had six fractures; however, medically we would say one fracture with comminution (multiple pieces). He played Sunday nine weeks after injury and should continue to do well but his collarbone will not be as strong as the other side for months.
MMMD 6: Medical potpourri
Charcandrick West injured his hamstring and is said to be day-to-day. Hamstring injury severity is hard to determine by video so we will just have to go by the team reports.
Glen Dorsey is feared by the 49ers to have torn his ACL. I did not see the play but a MRI is pending.
Rodney Hudson re-aggravated his high ankle sprain. Although the mechanism seemed mild, re-injury likely means some missed tine for the Raiders center.
Nick Mangold was seen on the sidelines with a splint that is normally used for metacarpal fractures. Turns out he suffered a laceration not a fracture. Must have been significant as one can usually play through cuts even on the snapping hand. I hope his underlying tendons were sparred. He could move to guard if the injury is an issue with snapping.
Devonta Freeman and Zach Ertz left with head injuries. In 2015, with concussions seemingly being held out longer, it would be surprising if both returned next week.
Ryan Fitzpatrick appeared dazed after his touchdown run but after the game he said he was checked for concussion and cleared on the sidelines. He did play without missing time as expected after his thumb ulnar collateral ligament repair.
Jordan Reed was reported to have a MCL injury. Severity is not known as I did not see the video, but it will be hard for a skill player to retrun in one week.
Carlos Hyde missed a third straight week with stress fracture. I still suspect Jones fracture and would not be surprised if eventual surgery was announced.
Julian Edelman had his Jones fracture surgery. Recovery is typically 6-8 weeks but the Patriots WR may have a harder time with early return due to his style of multiple quick cuts and underneath routes.
Reggie Bush did not have ACL or MCL injury as initially announced. He had meniscus surgery. By the timeline, he likely had repair rather than trimming, which takes longer to return.
Breshard Perriman confirmed PCL injury only in his first comments to media after he was placed on IR. No additional surgery is needed. I just hope he doesn’t have associated cartilage injury.
Victor Cruz said he needed surgery for his calf and was placed on IR. The procedure has not been done yet. I am curious as to what will be done. Typically, one does not do surgery to fix calf strains as muscle doesn’t hold suture, making repair difficult.
MMMD 7: ProFootballDoc scorecard
I was fooled by the splint Nick Mangold had on. Without seeing the injury video, I made the wrong assumption of fracture based on the splint he wore on the sideline. It was reported after the game to be a severe laceration. This makes five misses for the year.
Marshawn Lynch does indeed have sports hernia symptoms. Despite going down non-contact and pointing to his Achilles, Byron Jones injury seems to be mild as the video indicated. Tony Romo did well with his clavicle fracture as expected. Ryan Fitzpatrick did have Friday thumb surgery and return to play as predicted.
The 2015 season started the week at 94-4 record. Adding in this week, the tally is now 98-5.
Follow David on Twitter: @profootballdoc
Dr. David Chao is a former NFL head team physician with 17 years of sideline, locker and training room experience. He currently has a successful orthopedic/sports medicine practice in San Diego.
Welcome back everyone for another week of NFP DFS Corner. Last weekend was a very low scoring weekend in fantasy, very similar to week 2 earlier this year. The usual studs took a backseat to some lesser known players who lit up the box scores. For anyone who hasn’t played DraftKings yet and would like to sign up, you can sign up here.
Week 11 Byes: Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 11 Weather Report can be found here.
It looks like rain will be a factor in Sunday’s Cowboys and Dolphins game.
Below you will see Vegas’s Spreads and O/U Totals for week 11. This is helpful in determining potential game scripts based off Vegas’s projections.
|Jaguars||Titans||JAC -3||43||Thurs. Nov 19th||8:25pm|
|Lions||Raiders||OAK -1.5||48||Sun. Nov 22nd||1pm|
|47.5||Sun. Nov 22nd||1pm|
|Texans||Jets||NYJ -2.5||42||Sun. Nov 22nd||1pm|
|Eagles||Buccaneers||PHI -6||45.5||Sun. Nov 22nd||1pm|
|Bears||Broncos||DEN -2||43||Sun. Nov 22nd||1pm|
|Vikings||Packers||MIN -1||45||Sun. Nov 22nd||1pm|
|Ravens||Rams||BAL -1.5||42||Sun. Nov 22nd||1pm|
|Dolphins||Cowboys||DAL -1||47||Sun. Nov 22nd||1pm|
|Panthers||Redskins||CAR -7||45||Sun. Nov 22nd||1pm|
|Cardinals||Bengals||ARI -3||48||Sun. Nov 22nd||4:05pm|
|Seahawks||49ers||SEA -12||40.5||Sun. Nov 22nd||4:25pm|
|Chargers||Chiefs||KC -3||44.5||Sun. Nov 22nd||8:30pm|
|Patriots||Bills||NE -7||48.5||Mon. Nov 23rd||8:30pm|
High Priced Options:
I will not be paying up for any high priced Quarterbacks this week, but if I did, it would be for Tom Brady.
Mid Priced Options
Cam Netwon ($6,900) vs. Washington Redskins: Cam Newton has been a very consistent cash game QB this year given his rushing upside and touchdown production. He threw for 217 yards last week to go along with one passing and one rushing touchdown. Washington is an average defense, and they are coming off a huge win and have a big road test this week at Carolina. The Panthers are touchdown favorites and this offense runs through Cam Newton. I expect at least 200 passing yards to go along with a touchdown in the air as well as on the ground.
Derek Carr ($6,300) @ Detroit Lions: Derek Carr is quickly ascending into a Franchise caliber QB in his second season with the Raiders. He has a great matchup this week versus the Lions, who are giving up the 4th most points to opposing QBs. Although their defense played well last week, I am not buying it as they have allowed over 16 touchdowns through the air to go along with only 4 interceptions. Carr has been very consistent the past few weeks since their bye, putting up 22.3, 30.3, 32.1 and 23.9 points. He has averaged over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns over those past 4 games.
Low Priced Options:
Matt Stafford ($5,400) vs. Oakland Raiders: While Stafford has been very up and down this year, he has been better as of late. He has reached 3x value 3 out of the past 4 weeks and has a favorable matchup this week versus an Oakland defense that is giving up over 20 points a game to opposing QBs and just lost their second best pass rusher in Aldon Smith for the remainder of the year. The Oakland pass defense ranks 31st in passing yards allowed per game and have given up 16 touchdowns through the air. The Raiders have been solid against the run and the Lions have no running game so I am expecting them to air out in this game which Vegas has the O/U at 48.5.
Mark Sanchez ($5,000) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sanchez should get the start in this one as Sam Bradford suffered a separated shoulder and a concussion last week vs. the Dolphins. The selection of Sanchez here is simple, he is $5k and should easily reach his value in a game that Vegas is predicting the Eagles to put up 28 points in this game. Sanchez knows this offense and runs it with a faster pace than Bradford does. I don’t think there will be much drop of in terms of fantasy. The Bucs are allowing opposing QBs to put up over 19 points against them which would be almost 4x value given Sanchez current price.
Other QB’s to target: Marcus Mariota (Tournaments), Brock Osweiler (Tournaments), Case Keenum (Tournaments)
Running Back Plays
High Priced Options
Devonta Freeman ($8,400) vs. Indianapolis Colts: Freeman and the Falcons should be fresh for this matchup as they are coming off a bye. Despite only receiving 12 carries in a very disappointing loss against the 49ers, Freeman was still able to bring in 8 receptions and a receiving touchdown. Regardless, I am expecting the Falcons to come out focused in this game and Freeman is very active in the passing game and a focal point of this offense. The Colts’ rush D has allowed the 22nd most rushing yards on the season and the -6.5 game script and O/U of 47.5 provides a high scoring game and a favorable game script for Freeman.
Mid Priced Options:
Adrian Peterson ($6,800) vs. Green Bay Packers: I had to double check and make sure that Adrian Peterson was actually priced at $6.8k and that it wasn’t an error. AP is coming into full stride as he just rushed for 203 yards and 1 touchdown. This is a big divisional matchup versus a struggling Packers team. The Packers rush D is ranked 24th in the NFL allowing over 116 rushing yards per game. The Vikings offense is built around AP and he usually tends to have big games against the Cheese Heads.
Lamar Miller ($6,200) vs. Dallas Cowboys: Despite the emergence of rookie Jay Ajayi, Miller is still the lead back in Miami. Since the firing of Joe Philbin, Miller has been a very consistent play. Since Dan Campbell took over, Miller has had 21.3, 33.1, 14.4, 41.6 and 22.8 points over that span. Over the last 3 games he is averaging over 6 catches a game which presents a very nice floor. Furthermore, he is facing a Dallas defense that is allowing over 108 rushing yards per game and over 30 points per game to opposing fantasy running backs.
DeMarco Murray ($6,000) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Murray was solid again last week rushing for 61 yards and hauling in 6 catches for 58 receiving yards. It looks like Ryan Matthews will not be playing this week, so continue to monitor his status as he goes through the leagues concussion protocol. Without the threat of Matthews, Murray shouldn’t have any of his touchdowns vultured away. Despite the Bucs being solid against the run, I recommend this pick due to Murray’s high floor given his touches and involvement in the passing game. Sanchez does not really stretch the field so I am expecting a lot of dump offs to Murray.
Low Priced Options
Charcandrick West ($4,500) @ San Diego Chargers: I will have a lot of exposure to West this week as he gets to face off against a Chargers defense that is giving up the most points to opposing running backs. West put up 31.1 points against a very good Broncos defense, albeit missing some key players due to injuries. Nonetheless, he has seen over 25 touches since he took over the job and has posted scores of 31.1, 22.2 and 23.9 points.
Darren McFadden ($5,000) @ Miami Dolphins: The Cowboys offense was completely underwhelming last week in a losing effort to Tampa Bay. Tony Romo is slated to make his return this week and the offense should drastically improve even if Romo is rusty and not 100%. I would imagine they would try to lean on the run and ease Romo back into play. The Cowboys just cut Christine Michael this week leaving no threat to McFadden behind him. His volume should be high and he gets to face a Miami run defense that is ranked 31st in the NFL allowing over 130 rushing yards per game.
Other Running backs to target: Marshawn Lynch ($6,700), Frank Gore ($4,700), and Jonathan Stewart ($4,400), Darren Sproles (Tournaments)
Wide Receiver Plays
High Priced Options
Demaryius Thomas ($7,300) @ Chicago Bears: A lot of people will be fading DT this weekend due to Brock Osweiler making his first NFL start of the season and the struggles of the Broncos’ offense. But I don’t think Osweiler will be a hindrance to DT whatsoever and might actually provide an upgrade over the weak armed Manning. DT is still a target machine, but the touchdowns haven’t been there this year as he has only 1 on the season. I am expecting Brock to get the ball down the field and rely on DT as a security blanket for him.
Calvin Johnson ($7,200) vs Oakland Raiders: Johnson has been hobbled yet again by an ankle injury but should be good to go this weekend. While he is not the dominant Megatron of the past, he is still Matt Stafford’s most targeted receiver in a game where a lot of passing is expected. None of the Raiders corners are very good and this presents a very good matchup for both Calvin and Golden Tate.
Middle Priced Options
Michael Crabtree ($6,000) @ Detroit Lions: Crabtree has reinvented himself in Oakland this year. Crabtree has been a target monster on the year despite only getting 5 targets last week. Lets hope his average game last week scares some people away in what will be a very good matchup for the Raiders passing attack. The Lions are giving up over 40 fantasy points to opposing receivers and I am expecting Slay to guard Cooper in this one which should allow Crabtree to garner more targets.
Jordan Matthews ($6,000) vs. Tampa Bay Bucaneers: For most of the reasons I stated above, Sanchez doesnt love to stretch the field veritcally but throws a lot of underneath stuff and short passes over the middle. Sanchez had great chemistry last year with Matthews and was the main reason for his strong finish. Matthews also has a great matchup against struggling nickel cornerback, Alterraun Verner.
Low Priced Options
Danny Amendola ($4,000) vs. Buffalo Bills: Amendola will be a very popular and highly owned pick this week but you must take advantage of his current $4k price for the volume that is expected. Amendola will be replacing Julian Edelman and should immediately see 8 plus targets a game playing out of the slot. He gets a very favorable matchup against struggling corner Nickell Robey as Darby and Gilmore will lock down the outside receivers.
Stevie Johnson ($3,900) vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Stevie Johnson is strictly a value play here as he has become one of River’s top targets due to the slew of injuries the Chargers have had on offense. Johnson has the best matchup out of the receivers facing Ron Parker and had 10 targets last game. He should see a lot of targets due to the amount of passes Rivers has been throwing this year so it shouldn’t be hard for Johnson to hit 3x value in this matchup.
Other Wide Receivers to target: Mike Evans, Stefon Diggs
Tight End Plays
High Priced Options
Rob Gronkowski ($7,700) vs. Buffalo Bills: Gronk is always a consideration each week given his TD upside. With the Patriots losing Edelman and Dion Lewis, Brady is running out of comfortable/familiar faces. I am expecting to see a bump in Gronk’s volume moving forward and with all the price savings at other positions it will not be hard to squeeze him in our lineups.
Mid Priced Options
Antonio Gates ($4,800) vs. Kansas City: As mentioned above, Gates is one of the few remaining targets Rivers has left. Despite not the greatest matchup, Gates is essentially matchup proof. He is averaging over 11 targets, 7 catches and 78 yards per game and is $2,900 less than Gronk
Jacob Tamme ($3,600) vs. Indianapolis Colts: Tamme has been quitely on a nice little stretch since week 5. Going into the bye, he saw a total of 22 targets in the two previous games. His scoring output since week 5 has been 12.1, 29.3, 6.6, 6.2, 17.4 points. The Colts are giving up the 5th most points to tight ends, so Tamme should be able to reach value with low ownership.
Zach Ertz ($3,100) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The injuries up front for the Eagles’ offensive line have resulted in the Eagles using more 2 tight end sets recently. Ertz has been exceeding value over the past weeks with performances of 13.8, 9.4, 11.3, 8.3 and 11 points. He had a touchdown called back last week, and we all remember how much Mark Sanchez utilized him last year down the stretch and ended the season with a 15 catch effort against Washington. As stated before, Sanchez throws a lot of short and intermediate passes so Ertz is a good punt TE with plenty of upside.
Other Tight Ends to target: Travis Kelce ($4,700)
Defenses to Target
Seattle Seahawks ($4,000) vs. San Francisco 49ers
Carolina Panthers ($3,600) vs. Washington Redskins
New York Jets ($3,000) @ Houston
Kansas City Chiefs ($2,600) vs. San Diego Chargers
Best of luck to everyone this weekend. Make sure to check the Active/Inactive list as the come out tomorrow morning.
Taylor Decker – OT – Ohio State
Decker is a true fourth year senior and a three year starter for Ohio State. He is a former four star recruit who originally committed to Notre Dame but changed his commitment when Notre Dame made a change with the offensive line coach. He has been a dominant player and strong leader for the Buckeyes.
Size – 6064 – 317 – 5.20 all estimates
Strong Points – Very good size to go along with excellent strength and power. Has good length. Is a very good athlete for the position, light on his feet with very good lateral agility and recovery quicks. He is explosive on contact and consistently get movement with his run blocks. Takes good angles to the second level and makes productive blocks. Good in space. Sets quickly in pass pro, has a strong punch and keeps good position. Can slide and recover versus moves. Plays with bend and has very good ability to anchor. Plays a very physical type game.
Weak Points – Can be a bit slow off the ball (more so in 2014).
Summation – Taylor will be an early draft pick and will come in and play right away for most NFL clubs. Like many rookies, he may start out on the right side or at guard but will eventually line up on the left side and be a winning NFL offensive tackle. He is very competitive and likes to win and that will help him at the next level.
Laremy Tunsil – OT – Mississippi
Tunsil is a third year junior and a three year starter at left tackle for Ole Miss. Was suspended for the first seven games of the 2015 season for receiving improper benefits. Came back to play in the Texas A&M game. Was a former 5-star recruit who was offered by the best programs in the USA. Will most likely enter the 2016 NFL Draft as an underclassmen.
Size – 6050 – 307 – 4.90 all estimates
Strong Points – Has good natural size and long arms with the frame to easily carry 315+ and not lose any mobility. Has exceptional overall athletic ability with very quick feet and is a natural bender. Will probably run a sub 5.0 40 at the Combine. Shows very good lateral agility, stays in balance and can recover. Never off his feet. He is a natural bender who is always in good football position. Has very good overall strength and explosion. Is able to get movement with his run blocks and is excellent at playing in space and getting to the second level. Excellent ability to adjust on the move. Has a quick set in pass pro and is very good at shutting off outside speed. Has quick hands and does a good job keeping his hands inside. Plays a physical competitive game.
Weak Points – Needs to add a little more bulk and strength especially in the lower body. While he is good versus bull rushers at the college level, added lower strength and bulk will be needed versus NFL bull rushers. Clubs will looks closely as to the reasons for his NCAA suspension.
Summation – Few can match the athleticism of Laremy Tunsil. He has the feet, quickness and agility to be a star at left tackle in the NFL. After he came back from his suspension he had to battle Texas A&M’s well known sack artist Myles Garrett. Tunsil for the most part won the battle. Any plays Garrett made were when Tunsil wasn’t blocking him.
Tunsil has unlimited upside and may be the first offensive lineman drafted. While he is not as physical as Ohio State’s Decker, he is a much better athlete. Tunsil is just 21 years old and hasn’t yet gotten to where he eventually will be physically. You don’t see offensive linemen with his natural skill set in every draft.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe
The Patriots almost lost to the New York Giants last week – but they didn’t. Instead, the Patriots are undefeated and look for all the world like they’re ready to repeat as Super Bowl champions. Among the AFC teams, only the Bengals look truly capable of standing in their way – and there are matchup concerns there, as the Bengals play a similar offensive-minded brand of football but have been unable to put up the same point differentials as the Patriots have.
The Patriots seem destined to make the Super Bowl again, and if they do so, there’s reason to believe that they’ll triumph. That said, the New York Giants showed that there was a way to stay competitive with the Patriots: you just have to pick on their secondary and pit a strong pass rush and secondary against their offense. Can any playoff-bound NFC teams manage to do that? Yes: the Arizona Cardinals can.
Beating the Butler
The New England Patriots have few weaknesses, but their secondary is one of them. The New England Patriots let CB Darrelle Revis walk in the offseason, replacing him with Super Bowl star Malcolm Butler. Butler is a solid player, but he’s no superstar, and it shows: the Patriots are 22nd of 32 teams in pass defense. They’ve played only a couple of strong passing teams (the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts), so matchups haven’t been the issue. The likes of the Bills, Jaguars, Cowboys (who started their backup quarterback), Jets, Dolphins, and Redskins have been the ones pushing the Pats down the list, so this is a matter of real concern.
Enter the Cardinals, who lead the league in total offense and are fourth in the league in pass offense. The Cardinals have gotten it done against tough defenses like Seattle’s and St. Louis’, and they should be more than capable of making life miserable for the Patriots defense. Malcolm Butler would have to line up against Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals’ legendary and seemingly ageless receiver. That’s a tough matchup, and it favors the Cardinals.
Stopping the Pass
The other key to beating the Patriots is perhaps the more important of the two, and that’s defending the pass. The Patriots have scored practically at will against their opposition, but they looked more than a little thrown off when they had to deal with the New York Giants’ game plan. Pressuring Brady can lead to results if it’s paired with strong secondary play, and the Cardinals have what it takes to use that formula. They’re the third-best defense in the league (trailing only Denver, a team that seems lost on offense, and Seattle, a team that will likely miss the playoffs). They’re sixth best in pass defense. They’re likely to be the best defense in the NFC playoff picture, and that could serve them well in the postseason.
Putting it All Together
There are other teams in both conferences that can match one or the other part of this formula. Pittsburgh could use Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown to light up the Patriots’ secondary, but they can’t defend well enough to stop Brady. Denver could do wonders against the Patriots’ passing attack, but Peyton Manning is injured and the Broncos can’t seem to score. The Packers, among other NFC teams, feature strong passing games but mediocre defenses. The Panthers have a good pass rush, but Cam Newton may not be the quarterback that can pick apart the Patriots’ secondary.
Only the Arizona Cardinals have both parts of this crucial formula, and it seems clear that they’re the best matchup for the Patriots. If the Super Bowl comes down to a showdown between the Cards and Pats, it will be a matchup to remember – and one that will favor Arizona.