Freud on the NFL: Get the hook for Trevor and bring in Brock
1. Patriots (6-2)… They need a backup QB.
2. Eagles (7-1) … Wentz is nice. The D is better.
3. Steelers (6-2) … Holy Smith-Schuster, Batman.
4. Chiefs (6-2) … They have a light second-half slate.
5. Saints (5-2) … In Breesus, we trust.
1. Niners (0-8) … The Brian Hoyer Era ends.
2. Browns (0-8) … At least they lost in a new time zone.
3. Giants (1-6) … Did anyone notice they had a bye?
4. Colts (2-6) … Still Luck-less.
5. Bucs (2-5) … ‘Hard Knocks’ curse.
OK, we are officially in full panic mode, if you’re a Broncos fan.
Denver lost in Kansas City, 29-19, on Monday, Oct. 30, and it wasn’t even that close. Jamaal Charles’ not-so-triumphant return to K.C. set the tone with a fumble upon which the Chiefs’ Marcus Peters did the old scoop-and-score.
And that just started the turnover nightmare for the Broncos with a muffed punt and three Trevor Siemian picks.
We know the offensive line isn’t helping Siemian. On the other hand, his three picks against the Chiefs were just bad throws.
We documented last week why the Broncos should go to Brock Osweiler last week. At this point, what does Denver have to lose? Next stop is 7-1 Philadelphia. Gulp.
Editor’s note: The Broncos announced Wednesday, Nov. 1 that Osweiler will indeed supplant Siemian as the starting QB
Instead of repeating the obvious reasons the Broncos lost, let’s take a look at the NFL as teams are roughly halfway through the season.
This is why we don’t go nuts after the first few weeks.
At the beginning of the season, the Cowboys, Packers and Falcons would have been the favorites.
Now? Not so much.
The Cowboys have been struggling with Ezekiel Elliott. As of 6:14 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17, he’s suspended again. Your mileage may vary.
The Packers are in big trouble without Aaron Rodgers, and the Falcons have forgotten how to play offense.
The Eagles started quickly last year with Carson Wentz, and then fell off the map. This year, they seem to be the class of the NFC.
The Vikings seem to be capitalizing on Rodgers’ injury. They should win the NFC North, but they will doubtless do something Vikings-like in the playoffs.
The conference’s other two divisions are looking downright weird. After an 0-2 start when they couldn’t stop a pee-wee team on defense, the Saints are 5-2. We’ll still stick with the Panthers in the South, while out in the NFC West, are we seeing a changing of the guard? The “aging” Seahawks are 5-2, and so are the Rams, who apparently are playing again in Los Angeles. (I called the Rams, “Los Angeles,” for the 20-or-so years they were in St. Louis.)
I’m thinking the Seahawks hold off the Rams for one more year.
As opposed to the NFC, the conference’s power players are familiar suspects, but they’ve gotten here through tortured routes.
The Patriots were done because they couldn’t play defense. The Steelers are 6-2, despite some serious internal division. And the Chiefs command the AFC West because of, not in spite of, Alex Smith.
Who joins these three in the playoffs? Not the Raiders. They’ve been exposed after a 2-0 start. Meanwhile, the Dolphins actually want to get Jay Cutler back from injury. (Yes, folks, we live in a scary world.)
Are the Bills for real? Everyone thought Buffalo was shooting for the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft after trading Sammy Watkins. Can the Ravens join the mix? The defense is Baltimore-like again. (By the way, the hit on Joe Flacco is why pro football can’t be made a safe game. The players move too fast.)
And who’s going to emerge out of the primordial ooze that is the AFC South? Watch out for Deshaun Watson and the Texans.
In other news …
• So who got up at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29, to watch the Browns and Vikings from London? (Crickets.)
• “Thursday Night Football” is Bills at Jets. This is too much of a good thing. A Thursday game to open the season? Fantastic. Thursday games on Thanksgiving? A national imperative. Every Thursday? Nope.
• The Niners have acquired Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots, which means they’ll be trading the No. 1 pick, should they go 0-16. Meanwhile in the quest for 0-16, the Browns have a bye this week. Bye is favored by two touchdowns.
Onto Week 9.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.