I turn 29 tomorrow. It's almost like turning 20 again. When you turn 21, you're excited because you can go out and get drinks. But at 20, you're not quite there. Turning 29, I feel like I'm getting older, but not quite an "adult." I still feel like some of my colleagues see me as a young person, but at 30 I'm a "Real Adult." It reminds me of some teams who are just not quite there. They shouldn't be sitting at the kids table, but they don't get to sit at the "Real Adult" table. Here are some of those teams;
Raiders: They rank 31st against the pass. They can't stop anyone from throwing the ball. They spent big money on Bruce Irvin and Sean Smith to help their defense, and it's not exactly working. Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and Khalil Mack are all very good. But as a team it feels like the Raiders are still just too young. They don't quite have the experience required to sit at the adult table.
Bengals: Really good skill players. Really good defense. They win games, but does anyone ever really think they will go to even the Conference Championship? No. So what's the problem, is it the Ginger QB? Is it the coach who has never won a playoff game? Is it the fact that they are the Bengals? Does anyone know?
Falcons: Their QB is Matt Ryan. They have to give tickets away. Their QB is Matt Ryan.
Cardinals: Love their coach. From purely a throwing the ball perspective there are few who can spin it like their QB. Larry Fitz? LEGEND. But, they just aren't allowed. They've been to one Super Bowl, lost. They got blown out in the NFC Championship last year. They also barely beat Aaron Rodgers who was basically playing alone in the playoffs last year. They're good, but not quite allowed at the Grown-up table.
When I was 21 I didn't have the ideal living situation. I was working on moving in with a few of my friends, but that takes time. Where I was living at this in-between time it put me in the position that I thought living in my car was my best option. So I was homeless, living in my car, and utilizing my gym membership to shower before work. There are some NFL player's who won't quite be homeless, but would be best served changing their situation.
Andrew Luck: His GM traded a First Round Pick for Trent Richardson. He has missed on more draft picks than Matt Millen. His coach keeps putting him in 7-Step drops for deep passes despite the lack of pass protection. In NFL terms, Andrew Luck is being abused. I hope his situation gets better, or he finds a way out. It would be a fucking shame to see a dumb team ruin a great QB.
Marcus Mariota: During his rookie year, Mariota was a top 5 QB in the redzone. You know, when it matters most. During 4 point situations (A term used to describe the difference between getting a FG and a TD) he threw 18 TD's and zero interceptions. Now, he's got Mike Mularkey as coach. Mularkey who is something like 5-36 in his last 41 games as a Head Coach. How is this ok? Mariota keeps taking the blame for the offense not performing, when it's coaching. I hope, for the sake of a potentially exciting career he's traded or they get a new coach. His situation is terrible, and it isn't right the Titans might ruin him like they did Vince Young.
Hue Jackson: He's a coach I like. He's a damn good football coach. Why did he have to go to Cleveland though? Did he think LeBron was going to come play QB? If he can turn around Cleveland he's a Hall of Fame coach. NO discussion needed. Jackson has had to coach for the Raiders under Al Davis corpse, and now the Browns. Not ideal at all.
Phillip Rivers: It might be too late. It really might, but here is a guy that just keeps playing ball at a high level. Name the best player he's had more than 2 years besides Antonio Gates? It's probably Vincent Jackson or Malcolm Floyd. He only had LT for one year. The second year LT's decline had started and he wasn't the same. Rivers has also never played for a great coach. Imagine if Rivers was on the Harbaugh 49ers teams. I do all the time. 3 straight Super Bowls if we're being honest, and they're probably together right now. That would have been ideal, but Phillip stuck in SD? Not ideal.
Jets sack Russell Wilson 5 times. People ask Pete Carroll "Why didn't you sit him?" It's Reggie Bush on the sideline all over again. Another bad coaching decision by Petey boy.
Blaine Gabbert will be benched at half time.
Julian Edelman will take a few snaps at QB.
Another Starting QB will be lost for a number of weeks.
Colts over Jaguars
Andrew Luck owns the Jaguars and I'm not talking cars. Also, Gus Bradley sucks. He's supposed to be a defensive coach but he can't coordinate a defense.
Texans over Titans
When your coaches last name is Mularkey, you aren't going to win much. Texans will be OK in division games with out JJ Watt because their division is terrible.
DC Football Team over Browns
Kirk Cousin's is going to put up big fantasy numbers and some how people will over look how he's actually bad at playing QB. Such is life in 2016.
Jets over Seahawks
Teams with Defensive Lines full of Bad asses are the Seahawks biggest issue. The Jets have 3 dudes on their Dline who will maul any offensive lineman in their way. Also, the Jets coach has seen the Seahawks as he was the Cardinals Defensive coordinator two years ago. And for good measure, long flight and 10AM start, always tough for west coast teams.
Patriots over Bills
Respect the hoodie.
Panthers over Falcons
Panthers aren't dropping two in a row. Also, Matt Ryan plays for the Falcons, he's due for a melt down.
Ravens over Raiders
Raiders can't defend the pass. Ravens have Joe Flacco. Raiders are taking a long flight, and starting at 10AM. Again, tough for west coast teams.
Lions over Bears
Matt Stafford has quietly been playing the QB position really well, and the Bears are just a bad team.
Broncos over Buccaneers
That Broncos defense is one of the best things in Football to watch. SO AMAZING. A Bucs upset wouldn't surprise me, but the Broncos have been shutting down every QB they see.
Cardinals over Rams
Arizona can't be as bad as they were last week right? The Rams can't score that many points again right? I'll tell you this though, if the Cardinals lose they'll be looking for a QB this off-season because it will be the fault of Carson Palmer.
Chargers over Saints
This will definitely be a high scoring game. But the Saints are all that good outside of the Super Dome. This will be a game worth watching though for those of you who love offense. Two Hall of Fame QB's just going to have an old fashioned shoot out.
49ers over Cowboys
49ers play better defense at home. Cowboys are likely to be missing 3 starting olineman and Dez Bryant. If the 49ers can't win this one, they need to Cut Gabbert because it will be his fault.
Steelers over Chiefs
Always pick the team coming off an embarrassing loss, if they're a good team and the Steelers are.
Vikings over Giants
I am just going to stop picking against Minnesota for now on. It's rule #131 for this season. They're so good and their coach is phenomenal.
Take the Chargers and Saints over. It's currently 53.5. This seems like a 38-35 type game to me. Does either team really play defense? Also don't discount Garbage time TD's.
Take the points in Carolina over Atlanta. Panthers are currently giving 3, seems like a win there will be by a bit more.
Take the 49ers to cover against the Cowboys. Currently 2 point under dogs, they're going to win so it can be any spread and they'll cover.