Packers’ time is up, Vikings-Cowboys response and extra
On Thursday evening, the Inexperienced Bay Packers misplaced to the Tennessee Titans. Additionally they misplaced any phantasm of salvaging each this season and the close to future.
It ended because it ought to have.
At Lambeau Subject, on a chilly evening, with the coolness of snow within the air.
On Thursday night, the Inexperienced Bay Packers fell 27-17 to the Tennessee Titans, dropping their document to 4-7. The defeat left little doubt of Inexperienced Bay’s demise.
It’s over. And it may be over for a while.
The query now could be whether or not the Packers settle for their actuality, or plunge into denial.
Common supervisor Brian Gutekunst has no simple resolution. Inexperienced Bay’s first resolution regards Aaron Rodgers, who has a 2023 cap cost of $31.6 million with a cash payout of $59 million guaranteed, per Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.
To commerce Rodgers, the Packers would eat $40 million except they did so after June 1, which might cut up the lifeless cash as $15.8 million and $24.5 million over the upcoming two years.
In fact, the latter is a better option, but it surely comes with a worth. By June 1, most groups have already got their quarterbacks, and only a few will be capable to soak up Rodgers’ $59.5 million value.
Whereas there are different issues dealing with Gutekunst — extra on these in a second — the Rodgers query looms. Maintain the Corridor of Fame quarterback on a declining workforce, or take the lifeless cap hits and get what you possibly can?
As for the opposite points, there are vital ones.
Inexperienced Bay is projected to have $4.4 million in cap house this offseason, and but has notable free brokers led by offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins, receiver Allen Lazard and tight finish Robert Tonyan. Moreover, there are bloated salaries on the books for left deal with David Bakhtiari and operating again Aaron Jones, at $29 million and $20 million, respectively.
On the floor, Bakhtiari is a cap casualty. This till you notice Inexperienced Bay would eat $23.1 million in lifeless cash. Jones might be despatched out for $10.4 million recouped, however he’s the offense’s finest weapon.
Once more, what’s the finest route for Gutekunst? There are two sane paths:
1) Maintain Rodgers, Bakhtiari and Jones. Then, hope to hit a number of dwelling runs within the draft which can ease the cap state of affairs and replenish the roster.
That is what occurred for the cap-strapped New Orleans Saints in 2017, when their rookie class included nook Marshon Lattimore, proper deal with Ryan Ramczyk, security Marcus Williams, operating again Alvin Kamara and edge rusher Trey Hendrickson. This group propelled the Saints to the NFC title recreation in ’18 and the playoffs in 4 consecutive years.
2) Unload post-June 1. Commerce Rodgers and Jones, and launch Bakhtiari. Get the cap sheet so as and switch the newfound cap house into rollover financial savings for ’24, protecting the lifeless cash. In the meantime, decide up Jordan Love’s fifth-year possibility and decide to him for at the least one season because the beginning quarterback.
This path offers Inexperienced Bay flexibility a lot faster, however tanks it within the rapid. This additionally avoids throwing unhealthy cash at an ageing core, one thing New Orleans did and now has an annual bout of cap hell with due to. Lastly, it means premium draft place.
No matter Gutekunst decides, he must commit. No half-measures. No mistaking hope for a method.
No matter his selection, Thursday evening rendered the state of affairs in Inexperienced Bay clear because the evening sky.
The Packers of their present kind are completed, and headed for a reckoning within the coming months.
Prime 10 cold-weather venues in NFL historical past
1. Lambeau Subject – Inexperienced Bay Packers
2. Metropolitan Stadium – Minnesota Vikings
3. Highmark Stadium – Buffalo Payments
4. Mile Excessive Stadium – Denver Broncos
5. Cleveland Municipal Stadium – Cleveland Browns
6. Three Rivers Stadium – Pittsburgh Steelers
7. Foxboro Stadium – New England Patriots
8. Soldier Subject – Chicago Bears
9. Veterans Stadium – Philadelphia Eagles
10. Giants Stadium – New York Giants/Jets
– New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson on whether he let his defense down in a 10-3 loss
If Wilson wasn’t shedding respect within the locker room for his on-field efficiency, this reply gained’t assist issues. As former All-Pro corner and current Amazon analyst Richard Sherman identified on Twitter, the Jets had extra punts (10) than Wilson had completions (9).
Linebacker Larry Ball is the one participant to ever play for an unbeaten and winless workforce, doing so with the 1972 Miami Dolphins and ’76 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Information discovered this week
1. Jets cower, then lose after Zach Wilson meltdown
Robert Saleh needed to be cursing himself as Marcus Jones was crossing the objective line.
The New York Jets fell 10-3 in excruciating vogue at Gillette Stadium to the New England Patriots, with the deciding rating being Jones’ 84-yard punt return with 5 second remaining. Saleh, who helmed New York to a 6-4 begin, finds his workforce within the AFC East basement after one of many extra dumbfounding sequences you’ll ever see.
Tied 3-3, the Jets had possession with 1:40 left in regulation. New York quarterback Zach Wilson entered the drive 8-of-19 for 79 yards and a number of dropped interceptions. Saleh watched Wilson throw one other near-pick earlier than deciding to run the ball, bleed the clock and punt.
Whereas having no religion in Wilson is comprehensible, it’s an indefensible technique. If Saleh is that low on Wilson, bench him. Herald Mike White and provides him an opportunity, whether or not it’s strictly for the sport’s stability or past.
Saleh’s selection needed to infuriate the protection, which allowed three factors and nonetheless misplaced. It’s one factor to be aggressive and lose. It’s one other to enter the equal of the fetal place and drop a important recreation.
The Jets selected to not pursue profitable, and finally discovered shedding.
2. Mahomes’ MVP chase takes massive step in comeback over Chargers
Patrick Mahomes as soon as had 5,097 passing yards and 50 touchdowns throughout an MVP marketing campaign. This one may show even higher.
On Sunday, Mahomes was at his swashbuckling finest towards the Los Angeles Chargers, rallying his Kansas Metropolis Chiefs within the remaining minute along with his third landing cross — all to tight finish Travis Kelce — for a 30-27 win, effectively finishing off the AFC West.
All advised, Mahomes threw for 329 yards and the aforementioned three scores. These touchdowns all got here when Kansas Metropolis trailed Los Angeles, together with two within the second half. For the season, Mahomes leads the NFL with 3,265 passing yards, greater than 300 higher than second-place Josh Allen. He’s additionally thrown 28 touchdowns. No one else has greater than 22. Mahomes is on tempo to interrupt the single-season passing yardage document as nicely, trending in direction of 5,550.
From a workforce standpoint, the Chiefs stay the AFC’s prime seed at 8-2 and will likely be heavy favorites in six of their seven remaining video games. Kansas Metropolis nonetheless has two video games with the Denver Broncos together with tilts towards the Houston Texans, Los Angeles Rams and Las Vegas Raiders.
Backside line: Mahomes and the Chiefs might get very fats within the coming months.
3. Cowboys make assertion in resounding win over Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings have seven one-score wins. On Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys made certain the sport by no means approached such closeness.
Dallas successfully ended the competition by halftime, taking a 23-3 lead into the break earlier than profitable 40-3. The Cowboys out-gained Minnesota by a 249-98 margin within the first half. Dak Prescott was 15-of-17 for 141 yards with a landing, whereas Kirk Cousins went 7-of-15 for 69 yards with a misplaced fumble. All the pieces which got here afterwards was educational.
It was a clinic from the Cowboys, who at 7-3, try to push the Philadelphia Eagles within the NFC East. This present day was about Dallas, who put every part collectively in a showcase efficiency. When every part is clicking, the Cowboys have the look of a contender. The query is whether or not they can uncover consistency on a weekly foundation.
If Dallas goes to make a deep run for the primary time in almost 30 years, it’ll be as a result of the protection wins up entrance, head coach Mike McCarthy is a caretaker and never a storyline, and the Cowboys are keen to make the most of operating again Tony Pollard as they need to. Pollard was a drive on Sunday, notching 189 complete yards and two touchdowns.
After faltering in Inexperienced Bay, Dallas made certain to remind the NFC who it’s.
4. Payments win by turning round dashing developments vs. Browns
After a chaotic week, the Buffalo Payments obtained their outcome. However there’s extra to be finished.
Buffalo allowed 396 yards to the Cleveland Browns in a 31-23 win, and was helped by Cleveland’s ineptitude for a lot of the day. Josh Allen was uneven, throwing for 197 yards whereas Jacoby Brissett had two landing passes dropped, misplaced a fumble and had two consecutive quarterback sneaks stuffed in a rollercoaster afternoon.
Nevertheless, there was a crush of fine information for Buffalo. The Payments ran for 171 yards on 5.2 yards per carry, and Allen was accountable for solely eight yards. Buffalo noticed manufacturing from Devin Singletary and James Prepare dinner, with every again amassing 86 floor yards. This stability is essential for the Payments to get rolling because the climate turns and groups more and more gameplan to close Allen’s legs down.
Conversely, the push protection stepped up. Buffalo allowed solely 80 dashing yards on 3.1 YPC, holding Nick Chubb to 19 yards. This after allowing 529 dashing yards over the earlier three video games.
At 7-3, the Payments are in a tie with the Miami Dolphins for first place within the AFC East. Now, a seven-game match race.
5. Bengals earn key win with brutal schedule forward
Uncommon is the workforce dealing with a must-win at 5-4, however such was the Cincinnati Bengals’ plight on Sunday towards the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With the league’s hardest remaining schedule forward, the Bengals wanted to beat the restricted Steelers and did so with a 37-30 victory. Cincinnati is now 6-4 and within the AFC playoff image as a wild card, one recreation behind the Baltimore Ravens, who’ve a cakewalk the remainder of the best way.
For the Bengals, the objective needs to be a minimal of 4-3 going ahead. It gained’t be simple. Right here’s the slate:
Week 12: at Tennessee
Week 13: vs. Kansas Metropolis
Week 14: vs. Cleveland
Week 15: at Tampa Bay
Week 16: at New England
Week 17: vs. Buffalo (MNF)
Week 18: vs. Baltimore
Of these seven tilts, the Bengals draw 5 division leaders, a Patriots workforce within the postseason chase and Cleveland, who already pummeled Cincinnati, 32-13. And this time, the Browns may have Deshaun Watson.
And not using a victory in Pittsburgh, the Bengals would have been in terrible place. However with it, they’ve a shot.
The Arizona Cardinals paid Kyler Murray $230.5 million this season. But earlier than we reached Thanksgiving, there are columns within the local paper about why Colt McCoy should be the starter.
We’re at a tipping level for not solely Murray, however head coach Kliff Kingsbury and normal supervisor Steve Kim, who additionally obtained extensions this offseason.
Proprietor Michael Bidwill has by no means been often called financially beneficiant, and so transferring on from his GM-coach combo with years to pay can be shocking. With Murray, he’s at the least in Arizona till the ’26 season, when the lifeless cash can be palatable.
So this isn’t a query of imminent firings, as a lot as maintaining the fanbase energized.
Most groups don’t fear about filling their seats. Within the NFL, there are solely eight or 9 regular-season dates. Followers will present. The Cardinals are a workforce with out that luxurious. If Arizona begins to lose public backing, it’ll be ugly. There will likely be ample empty seats. Then we’ll get firings.
The perfect treatment for that is, after all, to win. The Cardinals are 4-6 and solely a recreation out of a playoff spot. Murray can dazzle with anyone, and a win over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday evening in Mexico would go a great distance in direction of getting issues again beneath management.
However a loss, and an unsightly one at that? The spiral would solely intensify in Arizona.
Contained in the league
It’s unimaginable how shortly fortunes change within the NFL.
Two years in the past, Baker Mayfield gained a playoff recreation in Cleveland, giving the Browns their first such victory since 1994. Coming into the fourth 12 months of his rookie deal, many felt Mayfield ought to obtain an extension value round $40 million yearly. Cleveland determined to make Mayfield play out his pact a bit longer, and the proverbial backside fell out.
Now, Mayfield is preventing making an attempt to carry off P.J. Walker for the beginning job with the Carolina Panthers earlier than turning into a low-interest free agent this winter.
This shouldn’t have been misplaced on Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson when the 2 squared off Sunday.
Jackson watched Mayfield go 31 slots sooner than him on their draft evening, and since has vastly outplayed the previous No. 1 decide. Nevertheless, he’s nonetheless with no new contract, despite Baltimore attempting to engage in extension talks. This season, Jackson has as soon as once more been terrific, however his future stays unclear.
As soon as this season ends, Jackson will both be tagged by Baltimore or come to phrases on a brand new deal. After two years of enjoying on a relatively meager wage all whereas being extension eligible, it’ll be fascinating to see if Jackson decides the time is correct to money in.
BetSided‘s finest wager
Ravens -3.5 at Jaguars
Baltimore sneaked by at dwelling towards the hapless Carolina Panthers in Week 11, persevering with an odd development of enjoying horrible at dwelling. To this point in 2022, Baltimore is 0-4-1 towards the unfold (ATS).
On the highway, nonetheless, they’re a totally completely different squad. The Ravens are 4-1-0 ATS away from M&T Financial institution Stadium with the third-highest margin of victory within the league. They’re additionally 3-1-0 ATS as a highway favourite, and since John Harbaugh entered the NFL in 2008, no workforce has extra wins ATS on the highway than Harbaugh, going 71-58-8; protecting 58.2% of his video games.
This matchup comes right down to the Jags not with the ability to cease groups within the purple zone, and never placing strain on the quarterback. Jacksonville ranks twenty second in purple zone protection, and Third-worst in sack share.
The Ravens obtained their dwelling get up name final week, and I believe they’ll reply on the highway; protecting the three.5 in Duval.
— Ben Heisler
Historical past lesson
When the Los Angeles Rams visited the New Orleans Saints this weekend on the Superdome, it recalled one of many wildest playoff video games ever.
In 2000, the defending-champion Rams met the Saints, the NFC West champs who had by no means gained a playoff recreation. Main 31-7 with 9:41 remaining, New Orleans appeared able to occasion. Then, instantly, St. Louis exploded for 21 factors in seven minutes earlier than forcing a punt with 1:51 on the clock.
In a single remaining twist, Rams receiver Az-Zahir Hakim muffed the punt, with the Saints recovering to earn their first playoff victory in franchise historical past.
I used to be able to rail towards the NFL custom of the Detroit Lions enjoying on Thanksgiving. It was going to be a simple part.
In spite of everything, since 2004, the Lions are 4-15 on Thanksgiving. Most years, the video games haven’t been aggressive, with Detroit sustaining 9 double-digit losses over that span.
However with Detroit on a enjoyable three-game profitable streak, maybe the Lions can exchange their regular facet dish of stress and aggravation for his or her followers, changing it with high quality leisure as thousands and thousands across the nation battle off the inevitable afternoon nap.
Taking up the Payments, Detroit has an opportunity to creep again in direction of the NFC playoff image and rating a nationwide victory towards a prime opponent.
For as soon as, possibly the Lions gained’t be the turkeys.