1. The Packers Are In BIG Trouble

For the first time since 2010, the Packers have lost two consecutive games in which Aaron Rodgers was the team’s starting quarterback. This offense which just six weeks ago looked unstoppable, has been abysmal over the previous month; averaging a mere 21.4 points per game. The team has been riddled with injuries all season. We severely overlooked Jordy Nelson’s season ending injury in August. Without Nelson, the offense has been a shell of it’s self.

But, the indicator of trouble for the Packers is Eddie Lacy. We all read the reports from a few weeks ago that Lacy was out of shape and dealing with a severe ankle injury, but coming into this week, reports said, Lacy looked “healthier than ever”. This was far from the truth, as Lacy ran for a mere 10 yards on five carries, fumbling the ball once. Lacy has given us zero indications that he will get back to his 2014 form, something that will be very problematic for the Packers’ offense. With Lacy struggling, an inexperienced receiving core, and a suddenly human looking Aaron Rodgers, the 6-2 Packers are in for a long second half of the season.

 

  1. The Falcons Fooled Us For Six Weeks

It was only three weeks ago that we were all saying the Falcons could easily finish the season 14-2. We were praising their prolific offense, calling their defense one of the most underrated in the entire league, and we were ready to name Dan Quinn the coach of the year. Well, here we are, three weeks later, and the Falcons have lost three of their last four games, and their only win was a three point victory over a Zach Mettenberger led Titans’ team.

Yesterday, they lost to a 49ers’ team led by Blaine Gabbert. YES, YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY. THEY LOST TO A TEAM LED BY BLAINE GABBERT. THE SAME BLANE GABBERT, WHO COMPLETED LESS THAN 48 PERCENT OF HIS PASSES TWO SEASONS AGO. THE SAME BLAINE GABBERT WHO AVERAGED FEWER THAN 5.5 YARDS PER COMPLETION. YES, THIS FALCONS TEAM LOST TO BLAINE GABBERT.

If you want to be taken seriously in the NFL, you have to win the games that you are supposed to win, and the Falcons continue to not to do that.

 

  1. Derek Carr Is A Franchise Quarterback

Derek Carr is the real deal. He has six games, in which he has thrown multiple touchdown passes, four games of over 300 yards passing, and has thrown for at least three touchdowns in three straight games (the first Raider to do so since Rich Gannon). On top of recording terrific statistics, Carr looks like a leader on the field. He has that charisma that every team wants out of their starting quarterback. He looks poised and comfortable in the pocket.

In yesterday’s game against the Steelers, I counted six, maybe seven different times in which I watched Derek Carr and thought, “there are only a few other quarterbacks who could have made that throw”. Compared to his fellow young quarterbacks, Carr’s talent jumps off the screen. It grabs you. At 4-4, the Raiders are right in the thick of the AFC wild card race, and in the end, I think they get one of those final two wild card spots.

 

  1. Rob Ryan Is The Most Overrated Coordinator In The History Of The NFL

Ask yourself this, has their ever been a coordinator that we think great who’s defense gives up over 400 yards and 29 points per game? The answer is no.

Since taking over the Saints’ defense in 2013, the team has gotten worse. Since then, they rank 30th in the league in yards allowed, 31st in points allowed, and have recorded fewer takeaways each consecutive season. The team is abysmal.

Yesterday, the team allowed a rookie quarterback in Marcus Mariota, to throw for four touchdowns and zero interceptions on the road, in what is supposed to be a hostile environment in New Orleans.

 

  1. The Dan Campbell Honeymoon Is Officially Over In Miami

After becoming interim head coach a few weeks ago, Campbell established a new culture in the locker room, but after two straight embarrassing losses it seems that the Dolphins are right back where they started.

At 3-5, I am officially eliminating the Dolphins from playoff contention. Outside of two wins against mediocre teams, Dan Campbell has been just as bad, if not worse, than Joe Philibin.

 

Sean Mason

Spark Sports NFL Analyst

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