“When I put that jersey on I represent the history of the Knicks. I represent Brooklyn. I represent the city. I represent home.”—Bernard King
Longshot…But what if?
When I think about Urban Meyer going to Jacksonville, I think about two things.
One, he knows college football. Coach, analyst, he is in touch with a finger on the pulse of all the talent.
Two, the Jaguars have 11 draft picks, including two in the first, two in the second, and another in the third. Five picks total in the first 65 slots.
So…what if…since Meyer knows talent—and has been employed, engaged, involved since leaving the Ohio State sideline—he decides there’s something about Trevor Lawrence he doesn’t like?
I like Trevor Lawrence, but there’s something—I don’t know what—that I don’t like. What if Meyer thinks the same thing and deals out of the number one spot?
With what he could get for Lawrence and multiple draft picks to play with, he could turn them into more picks and/or a proven veteran or two to turn Jacksonville around much quicker than expected.
Yes, they need a quarterback (Lawrence, Josh Fields, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Mac Jones available), but they also need offensive linemen and help on defense. Especially a pass rusher.
Jaguars’ fans are salivating at the thought of a regional hero like Trevor Lawrence wearing the black and teal. And a young, new coach would have to draft him.
But Urban Meyer, because he’s Urban Meyer, would not.
Last Add Coaches: Thank goodness, the New York Jets got Robert Saleh (new HC) out of the NFC West.
Last Add Brad Holmes: Yesterday, I shared that Rams college scouting director, Brad Holmes, excellent at his job, was named General Manager of the Detroit Lions. By the way, did you know he was black? I didn’t. All I knew–as someone who would like to see more of the best uniforms (Lions) in football–is that he wasn’t “He Who Must Not Be Named”–Matt Millen.
(And all Lions fans say, hallelujah!)
I recently learned that Robert Saleh (Lebanese-American) is a person of color and that the Jets get extra draft picks for hiring him. Saleh looks like a white guy to me.
But if Saleh is a person of color, then so am I (I got the DNA test to prove it), and I’d like some draft some picks. And if I’m given those draft picks, I’ll give them to the Rams to sweeten a deal for Deshaun Watson.
(And all Rams fans say, hallelujah!)
Note About Riff-Raff: It’s perfectly acceptable not to want to be around people when your team is in the playoffs. The only exception I make when the Rams are in the playoffs—is that I will watch it with like-minded Rams fans.
No matter how loved, no matter how much you care about them, everyone else is riff-raff and thieves of mojo.
It might sound immature (but it is the result of 47 seasons of study), but there are two things football (Rams) fans must do when watching a playoff game:
1.) Go to Church: If it’s part of your routine, then keep your routine. Record the game and skip through the commercials. Miss the opening kickoff if you have to because but you want the Big Guy on your side. There’s still debate in my family that I cost the Rams Super Bowl 14 because I didn’t go to church that morning.
2.) Zero Riff-Raff: Don’t let anyone into your domain (RamCave) to view the game. No one who is just interested in hanging out or only likes the commercials. Also, your team (Rams) in the playoffs is not a time to make friends and have a good time. I have watched Super Bowls alone. I have watched NFC title games alone—I don’t need company or friends.
Last Add: No real fan ever—EVER!—watches the game at a sports bar.
As of Right Now (subject to change):
Rams at Green Bay:
So John Wolford is out at quarterback, the weather will be cold, and Jared Goff still has a bad thumb. Mmm… it sounds like Blake Bortles will be getting snaps in Lambeau tomorrow afternoon.
On the positive side, Bortles is only 28. Even though he has hardly played since 2018, he has 103 touchdown passes to 75 interceptions. He can run the football (6.2yds per crack). He has 73 career starts. In the 2017 playoffs, he beat the Bills, won at Pittsburgh, and scared New England. In those three games, Bortles threw three touchdowns and had a passer rating of 91.
On the negative, no one let him throw a pass in 2020. Last week Rams HC Sean McVay preferred a wholly untested John Wolford over the guy who had been the third overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.
What does this all add up to? Aaron Donald needs to get healthy!
Final: Green Bay 21, Rams 13. (But, a healthy Donald moves the needle/Stay tuned.)
Baltimore at Buffalo:
Belief in the Ravens is growing because, right now, everyone loves Lamar Jackson. I agree they’re playing well, but remember they only scored 20-points against a weak defense (Tennessee Titans) last week. And seven of those points were courtesy of a broken play and Jackson’s ability to make something out of nothing.
The Bills defense is not perfect, but it’s good enough. And, heretical as it may sound, Josh Allen is better than Lamar Jackson. The elements might make it a struggle, but right now, I see a shootout.
Final: Buffalo 34, Baltimore 28.
Cleveland at Kansas City:
Given it’s the Browns, with a history of collapse in the AFC title game…there is part of me that would like to give them that opportunity again. But that would be too cruel.
Cleveland fans need to appreciate the moment, not overstay their welcome, and after Patrick Mahomes secures the contest with a 50-yard TD strike to Tyreek Hill, go put on Draft Day with Kevin Costner and dream of 2021.
This could be the blowout no one saw coming.
Final: Kansas City 34, Cleveland 20.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans:
I spoke about the Saints Alvin Kamara yesterday, but the Buccaneers have an excellent run defense. They often get torched by a gambling secondary, but they are more than capable at stopping the run.
New Orleans can stop the run as well, but if Leonard Fournette’s head is right—because it’s not always right—he can take some of Tom Brady’s pressure. And if Brady isn’t stumbling for his life, Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin, and Mike Evans will create havoc.
I am feeling very good about the Bucs right now.
Final: Tampa Bay 38, New Orleans 30.
MLB/Dodger Question: Clayton Kershaw is a free agent after 2021…Is this his last season in Los Angeles?
Golden State at Denver—Nuggets win—114-104
I hope Steph Curry keeps playing for a long time. And given the level of play in the NBA, that hope will be realized. Dude is just fun to watch.
By the way, the Warriors’ (6-6) defense that I praised the other day? Forget about it. They didn’t bring it to Denver with them.
The more I see the Nuggets (6-6) Jamal Murray play, the less impressed I am. Murray is all-world for stretches but often disappears or goes into periods of terrible decision making.
On the flip side—Denver’s Nikola Jokić (Aka: The Joker) is the bright Euro light that shines on all the shortcomings of American basketball.
NBA Games Seen: 31
The Dude abides…
1 Corinthians 2:4-5
Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…all five available through Amazon.com.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b
MeWe: Joe Torosian