He comes on the defensive line


Hey Mike, would you describe him as you’re Felix Unger to Wes’s Oscar Madison? What was Oscar’s profession?

We’re both sports journalists, so the dichotomy doesn’t quite fit, and for the record, Felix wouldn’t approve of my office either.

Nathan from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I loved the retrospective on TD’s important milestones in Rodgers’ career. Twenty years ago there were only two guys with over 300 career TD assists; there are now 12 (with Russell Wilson likely to join the club next year). Who do you think will be the all-time leader 20 years from now?

I’ll guess Patrick Mahomes. He is 26 and already has 144 TD passes. Assuming he hits 150 by the end of this season, his fourth as a starter, that puts him on track to have 600, maybe more, in a dozen or so years when he turns 38. year.

Patrick from Burlington, Illinois

Do you know what wins games? NOT analyzes, but points. When will common sense win over analytics hype?

Maybe when the teams lose more games like the Chargers just did. I know I’m pretty conservative when it comes to these decisions in general, so I’m probably leaning too far the other way, but can be okay with going almost anytime on the fourth and 1 ( except deep within your own territory). Fourth and 2 or more, I will always be inclined to take the points before the fourth quarter or in a close game. Two baskets is almost as good as a touchdown. It can be easy to forget that.

James of Ottawa, Ontario

Hey II, not a question, just a comment: I (like most) have been incredibly disappointed with the news coming out of Jacksonville for most of the season – and especially over the past week or so. Treating players and employees in this way has no place in the league. As an NFL fan, I hope the Jags can now straighten the ship and the crop over the next four weeks and come back stronger for wear next year.

They have potential generational talent as a quarterback. It would be a shame for them to waste it because of poor leadership and organizational management. This is another lesson that the hotshot college coach who succeeds in the NFL is the exception, not the rule. Urban Meyer, Bobby Petrino, Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier and Greg Schiano were massive failures. Bill O’Brien and Chip Kelly did well. Kliff Kingsbury is doing well. The jury is still out on Matt Rhule. Jim Harbaugh was very successful but was a (fairly recent) NFL QB. I say it all the time in this column, it’s not the same game on or off the pitch at this level. It just isn’t.

Larry’s #no cake McCarren face was a stumbling block. I recommend a new game plan next year.

I think Wes got the message.

This week’s game will feature two teams battling a litany of injuries. What do you think is the most important aspect of staying competitive in the face of injury?

First, it’s a culture that allows no excuses, which means that expectations and level of play don’t change. The responsibility remains with everyone, regardless of who is in or out. Second, it is also a matter of the coaching staff adjusting the plans accordingly to play with the strengths of the players. You don’t ask Yosh Nijman to be David Bakhtiari, but you put a plan in place to get Nijman to the best possible level of play and move forward from there.

Larissa from Minnetonka, MN

The last MVP to win the Super Bowl was Warner and I think the last COY to do so was Belichick in 2003. So while it pains me to say it, I say embrace the spell: please pay personal accolades to Arians / Brady / Kingsbury / Murray / McVay and all the other members of the NFC so that we can achieve greater collective glory. I’m sure ML and AR would agree.

People wondered what was the benefit of having the # 1 seed. For me, the advantage is in the opponent of the division round. If the results hold, we won’t have to play TB or Arizona / LA in the second round assuming they beat their opponents in the first round. We’ll get the NFC East winner assuming chalk wins. I think avoiding TB for as long as possible will maximize our chances of reaching the Super Bowl. First-round byes are cool, but a better second-round showdown is the real value of the IMO bye.

For me, hands down, the bye advantage is that you only have to win two games to reach the Super Bowl when everyone should win three. I know it didn’t work out as expected last year, but I would still try my luck every time to win one game less.


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