NFL Week 18 Best Bets

We have reached the end of the NFL regular season. Where did the time go? This weekend is the last full slate of games until September. Savor every moment. Watch every snap. Hell, bet every game (responsibly). After a 1-3 record in Week 17, I’m going out on top in Week 18.

Before you place a bet, check to see if the team is resting any players. Some teams need to win to improve their playoff seeding, and some teams need to lose to receive a better draft pick. Take advantage of these elements.

*Lines as of 1/7 at 12 p.m. ET on FanDuel

NFL Week 18 Best Bets

Vikings -5.5 vs. Bears

After getting their doors blown off by the Packers, the Vikings dropped to the 3-seed in the NFC. If the 49ers defeat the Cardinals, the Vikings will be the 3-seed. If the 49ers lose and the Vikings win, Minnesota is the 2-seed. San Fran is a 14.5-point favorite, so the odds of losing are slim to none. What does this mean? The Vikings are going to rest their starters in the second half. Should I be worried? No, because Nathan Peterman is starting for the Bears, not Justin Fields. Yes, the same Peterman with three touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his career. If the Bears lose and the Texans win, the Bears get the number-one pick. The Bears are tanking, and the Vikings would like to win. It’s the perfect storm.

Steelers -2.5 vs. Browns

Death, taxes, and Mike Tomlin finishing the season over .500. After a disastrous 2-6 start, Pittsburgh has won six of their last eight, including a crucial divisional win over the Ravens a week ago. Is Kenny Pickett knocking my socks off with his three touchdown passes in five games? No, but he’s not turning the ball over (1 INT over that same span), and the Steelers are winning one-score games. For the Steelers to make the playoffs, they need to win, and the Patriots and Dolphins need to lose. That’s not far-fetched. The Browns have nothing to play for, but they also don’t have a first-round pick in 2023, so they will be looking to play the role of spoiler. Give me the Steelers at home by a field goal.

NFL Week 18 Underdog of the Week

Raiders +9.5 vs. Chiefs

The Chiefs are a good team. They have the MVP at quarterback. In all likelihood, Kansas City will make the AFC Championship Game for the fifth straight year. However, Kansas City has a fatal flaw. They don’t cover. The Chiefs’ record ATS is alarmingly bad. The Chiefs are 5-10-1 ATS, second-worst in the NFL. Against AFC opponents, the Chiefs are a league-worse 1-10 ATS. Not good, Mike! Let me lay out the situation. The Chiefs need to win to lock up the one-seed in the playoffs so they will defeat the Raiders. However, the Chiefs are on the road playing a division rival who just scored 34 points on the ‘̶8̶5̶ ̶B̶e̶a̶r̶s̶ 49ers. The chiefs win by a touchdown, but the Raiders cover.

NFL Week 18 Teaser of the Week

7 POINTS: Vikings -6.5>+.5, Bills -7.5>-.5

The entire world will be rooting for the Bills in their first game after the terrifying situation with Damar Hamlin. The medical staff is heroes for saving that young man’s life. It’s a miracle that Hamlin will pull through, and I couldn’t be happier. Emotions will be high in Buffalo as they’re looking to secure the two-seed. Josh Allen owns the Patriots. Since 2020, Allen is 4-1 with ten touchdowns and one interception. The Bills are going to pull this one out.

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 15-14-1

Underdog of the Week: 8-7

Teaser of the Week: 8-7

Total: 31-28-1

NFL Week 17 Best Bets

I have an announcement to make. I am seeing the board, and I am seeing it well. After a 3-1 record in Week 16, my NFL record is starting to look more respectable by the day. With only two weeks left in the regular season, I plan on keeping the momentum going in Week 17.

*Lines as of 12/30 at 11 a.m. ET on FanDuel

NFL Week 17 Best Bets

Eagles -6.5 vs. Saints

I was happy to see my guy Gardner Minshew thrive on national television. Against the Cowboys, Minshew threw for 355 yards with 2 TDs, 2 INTs, and 1 rushing TD. The Eagles lost the game, 40-34, but Minshew proved he should be a starter in this league. There is a shot that Jalen Hurts plays against the Saints, but Minshew will probably start again for the second-straight week. The Eagles have not clinched the one-seed or the NFC East, so they want to win and not have to rush Hurts back next week. I’m all about fast starts, and the Eagles are the highest-scoring first-half team in the NFL (18.7 points). The Saints rank 24th with 9.0 points. As long as Andy Dalton is still playing QB, I’m betting against the Saints whenever I can.

Bucs -3.5 vs. Panthers

This bet makes me a little queasy, considering how poorly the Bucs have played all season. Yet, the Bucs are still in the driver’s seat in the NFC South. If the Bucs win, the division is theirs. But this will be no easy task, as the Panthers have somehow turned things around under Steve Wilks. The Panthers rushing attack is the team’s strength, as evidenced by their 320 rushing yards a week ago. Look for the Bucs to stack the box and force Sam Darnold to throw against a Bucs defense that allows the fourth least passing yards per game. Let’s be honest. This game comes down to Tom Brady. If he does GOAT things, the Bucs win and cover. If he struggles, he’ll lose to the Panthers for the second time this season. I’m going with the former.

NFL Week 17 Underdog of the Week

Vikings +3 vs. Packers

The Vikings are a strange team. After breaking my heart last week against the Giants, Minnesota moved to 12-3 on the year. They’ve clinched the NFC North and still have a shot at the one-seed in the NFC. Yet, the Vikings are three-point underdogs in Lambeau against a Packers team that’s 7-8. If I could throw in a soundbite right, it would be a “HUH” from Chris Berman. The Vikings might be the most disrespected 12-win team, but with the lowest scoring differential (5 points) ever for a team with 12 wins, it’s hard to see them beating a team like Philly or San Fran. However, the Vikings are playing the red-hot Packers, and Aaron Rodgers will look to torch the worst passing defense in the league. But, the Vikings have won 11 one-score games and I expect the Vikings to keep this close and cover. It also helps to have Justin Jefferson on your side. I’m just saying.

NFL Week 17 Teaser of the Week

6.5 points: Eagles -6.5>PK, Chiefs -12.5 > -6

You already know why I like the Eagles. Now, let’s quickly talk about the Chiefs. If I had to pick one team to use in a teaser every week, it would be the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes is the best QB in football and this year’s MVP. More importantly, Mahomes is 10-0 against the Broncos. Do I expect Mr. Unlimited and the Broncos to go into Arrowhead and keep this close? No, I do not. The Chiefs are still hoping to secure the one seed in the AFC, so they have everything to play for. Chiefs should cover the 12.5, but they will cover the 6 in the tease.

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 14-13-1

Underdog of the Week: 8-6

Teaser of the Week: 8-6

Total: 30-25-1

NFL Week 16 Best Bets

So last week, I messed up. I had my NFL Week 15 bets ready but never finished my weekly column. I had to take care of an urgent matter while writing the piece. I never returned to finish. If you hate excuses, I understand. My apologies. These were going to be the picks:

  • Eagles -8.5 vs. Bears (L)
  • Steelers +2.5 vs. Saints (W)
  • Patriots +2.5 vs. Raiders (L, gross)
  • Teaser: 6 points: Eagles -8.5 > -2.5, Steelers +2.5 > +8.5 (W)

Enough housekeeping. Happy Chrismukkah! Here are my Week 16 bets.

Tip: Make sure to check the weather before betting. It’s going to be cold and windy throughout most of the country.

*Lines as of 12/24 at 11 a.m. ET on FanDuel

NFL Week 16 Best Bets

Steelers -1.5 vs. Raiders

For this game, I’m going with my heart over my head. I loved the Steelers going into the week because they’re facing a warm-weather team in the cold on a Saturday night. Pittsburgh has won 3 out of 4, and all four games have been low-scoring defensive battles. However, Pittsburgh is not losing because of Franco Harris, who tragically died this past week. It’s the anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, and the Steelers were set to retire Harris’s jersey. There is no chance the Steelers come out flat. The Steelers win on an emotional night.

Bengals -3 vs. Patriots

If you believe the Bengals are the best team in football, I do not argue against that statement. After losing to the Browns on Halloween night, the Bengals are 6-0 with wins over the Chiefs, Bucs, and Titans. Burrow and Chase get all the attention (rightfully so), but their defense seems to make big plays at the right time as Cincy is the 5th best in turnover differential (+5). After last week’s humiliating loss, do Bill Belichick and the Patriots have anything left in them? It’s probably a mistake to write the Pats off, but I’m grabbing my nicest pen and signing their death certificate. Cincy wins and covers.

NFL Week 16 Underdog of the Week

Eagles +4 vs. Cowboys

My love for Gardner Minshew has been well-documented. He deserves to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He can be the next Ryan Fitzpatrick without all of the interceptions. I don’t care who you play for, but if you have thrown for 41 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions in your career, you deserve a chance to start in this league. Plus, Philly has a better team than Dallas. A shaky showing against the Texans and a collapse against the Jaguars have the Cowboys in the A-block on every debate show. This comes down to the trenches. The Eagles boast the 4th best rushing attack (158.6 ypg), and Dallas ranks 25th in stopping the run (133.1 ypg), so I expect this game to be within a field goal either way.

NFL Week 16 Teaser of the Week

7 POINTS: Niners -7>PK, Chiefs -10.5>-3.5

This was my Super Bowl pick at the beginning of the season. I’m happy with where both teams stand. The Niners and Chiefs are a combined 13-1 since October 30. The Niners get a scrappy Commanders team at home while the Chiefs face off against the injured Seahawks. While the Niners game should be close because the Commies rank 3rd in yards allowed per game

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 12-13-1

Underdog of the Week: 8-5

Teaser of the Week: 7-6

Total: 27-24-1

Justin Herbert vs Tua Tagovailoa Was Never (And Will Never Be) A Rivalry

We need to talk about the rivalry between Tua Tagovailoa vs Justin Herbert.

I mean we don’t, because it’s not a rivalry, and it will never be a rivalry.. but for some reason enough of you got tricked into engaging in something that has no business being a debate, so here we are.

The only thing Tua and Herbert have in common, besides the position they play, is that if I had to name two NFL quarterbacks that would rather face a free-rushing Aaron Donald than be included in a synthetic rivalry for the sake of ’embracing debate,’ it would be these two men right here. Both are humble, hard working, and embrace the challenge before them without any prima donna tendencies. 

If anything, they could both use a bit more ego. Maybe then, Herbert would protect his ribcage and Tua would protect his medulla oblongata, instead of putting their health at risk for the benefit of their teammates and the fans that root for them.

 But for some reason, we’ve been roped into comparing their skillsets.

Are you kidding me? 

I get that most sports debates are subjective. Statistics go a long way to scaffold and support an argument you’re presenting in one of those debates, but for the most part, a person makes up their mind, AND THEN finds the numbers that will buttress their claim. But that’s only a process people go through when there’s a debate worth having. Or at least, it used to be.

If you were walking a busy downtown street and saw a man holding up a sign that said “Tom Brady or Peyton Manning?” You might stop and give the question your time and energy. But if that same man held up a sign that said “Puppies or Tax Audits?” You don’t need to add your voice to that. 

It’s not anyone’s fault Herbert went after Tua in the draft. He had some training wheels on him in Eugene, and despite the fact that he was clearly built in the same quarterback lab that gave us Josh Allen, at the time of the 2020 draft, Allen hadn’t finished evolving into his highest form yet. And to even become the sixth pick in the draft, Herbert had to outshine his initial three star ranking out of Sheldon High, while also languishing on Larry Scott’s inaccessible television network.

Tua was always that dude. ESPN and Rivals had him as a top 60 prospect. 247 had him as a five star, which if you’re not familiar with the rankings, five star means projected first round NFL draft pick. Nick Saban clearly thought he was worthy of a spot on a championship roster out of Alabama, and he lived up to every bit of the hype while in Tuscaloosa. 

But one of these men is 6-6, 240, has Michael Vick’s arm, and Rob Gronkowski’s athleticism, and was drafted with the full understanding that all those tools had yet to be tapped into to their fullest extent. And all he’s done since landing with the Chargers is save the entire franchise from drowning in the irrelevance that moving out of San Diego created.

Meanwhile, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, Stephen Ross, has his entire franchise being sanctioned over trying to get rid of Tua for everyone from Deshaun Watshon to Tom Brady. Tua is a very good quarterback, but not good enough to have the man that signs his paychecks convinced he’s the future. 

Do you understand how concerning that is? It’s pretty clear that Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill might hate his starting quarterback, and vice versa, but even that dysfunctional mess of a relationship doesn’t go as far as denying that Kyler is the future of the franchise.

Herbert and Tua’s skillsets, and their place with both their own franchises, and as the future of the NFL aren’t even in the same neighborhood. And the worst part about engaging in this conversation at all is that it steals the joy from Dolphins fans who should be able to enjoy being competitive in the AFC East for the first time in decades.

Instead they have to mount up and defend a point that they don’t even believe. 

Imagine being a Dolphins fan last night when Justin Herbert and the Chargers had a two-score lead in the fourth quarter, and Herbert had thrown for more yards against your defense this year than anyone outside Josh Allen. Imagine sitting there knowing that your franchise quarterback, who had been artificially inserted into a debate he wanted no part of, was simultaneously putting together the worst game of his career. Instead of just taking the L and moving on to next week, you’re having to consider whether to delete all the social media apps off of your phone, or to mentally deconstruct your own understanding of both facts and truth so that you can engage in living an obvious lie without it causing permanent brain damage.

Last night should be the end of a conversation that never should have started, but in the hot take economy anything can happen. And if Justin Herbert vs Tua can heat up the internet streets, anything can. Guard your hearts and minds, folks, because if not, you might find yourself skipping dinner with the family to write ten paragraphs about why Jalen Hurts is better than Davis Mills.

When a thing is true, it should be able to Speak for Itself. 

Let that sink in.

NFL Week 14 Best Bets

Is this heaven? No, it’s the column of a man who clawed his way back over .500 in NFL gambling. I’m officially back over .500, thanks to a 4-0 record in Week 13. Let’s do that again in Week 14, shall we?

*Lines as of 12/11 at noon ET on FanDuel

NFL Week 14 Best Bets

Titans -3.5 vs. Jaguars

The Titans, who pride themselves on toughness, got punched in the face last weekend in their 35-10 loss to the Eagles. This is a good spot for them to bounce back against a Jaguars team they typically dominate. The Titans pick apart teams with losing records as they are 6-0 ATS against those losing teams. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are 2-5-1 ATS against a team with a winning record. Plus, the Jags are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 against the Titans. No Treylon Burks hurts, but Derrick Henry will do enough on the ground to cover the 3.5

Niners -1 1H vs. Bucs

The Niners are my guys. I ride them with them in good times and in bad. I feel awful for Jimmy Garoppolo as his season is done. Get well soon, my king. However, the train keeps rolling for the Niners. The offense now belongs to Brock Purdy aka Big Cock Brock. Kyle Shanahan will do whatever it takes to put Brock in a position to succeed. Tom Brady may be 6-0 in games where the opposing QB is making his first career start, but that doesn’t change the fact that Tampa is 29th in first half scoring. The Niners are 10th in first half scoring. Give me the Niners to cover the first half.

NFL Week 14 Underdog of the Week

Vikings +1.5 vs. Lions

Out of principle, I have to bet on this game. Just about every advanced stat says the Vikings are the worst 10-2 team ever. That may be the case, but Minnesota is 10-2. Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook are still on this team. The Vikings have won nine of the last ten games in this matchup. They should not be an underdog. Clap those hands, we’re chanting, “Skol.”

NFL Week 14 Teaser of the Week

7 POINTS: Cowboys -17.5 > -10.5, Vikings +1.5 > + 8.5

The Browns beat the Texans last week, 27-14, without scoring a single offensive touchdown. Now I’m supposed to believe they’ll stop the Dallas offense for four quarters? I don’t think so. 17.5 is too risky for me, but taking the Boys to 10.5 is a no-brainer.

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 10-11-1

Underdog of the Week: 7-4

Teaser of the Week: 6-5

Total: 23-20-1

NFL Week 13 Best Bets

Folks, we’re starting to gain some momentum. After a 3-1 record in Week 12, we’re on the cusp of .500. For some, that might be embarrassing. For others like myself, it’s exhilarating. NFL Week 13 best bets are coming right up.

*Lines as of 12/3 at noon ET on FanDuel

NFL Week 13 Best Bets

Browns -7.5 VS. Texans

The Texans are a bad team. Very bad, actually. I would go as far as to say the worst team in the NFL. The Texans are 4-6-1 ATS and have zero incentive to win. Today will be their Super Bowl because Deshaun Watson will be lined up at QB for the Browns. I fully expect the Texans to jump out to a 7-0 lead. When the dust settles, Nick Chubb, the NFL’s third-leading rusher at 1039 yards, will lead a Browns offense to score 21 unanswered and cover.

Vikings-3 VS. Jets

Do you believe in Mike White? After another 300+ yard performance, White might be the guy to lead the Jets to the playoffs. However, he did it against a Bears defense that has surrendered over 27 points in each of the last five games. The game will be close because of the Jets defense, but I’m taking 1 PM Kirk Cousins and the Vikings to cover at home.

NFL Week 12 Underdog of the Week

Bengals +2.5 VS. Chiefs

There is one team that can hold something over the Chiefs, and that team is the Bengals. Last year, Cincinnati beat the Chiefs in a shootout in the regular season and then somehow held Kansas City to 3 second-half points in their 27-24 playoff victory. Cincy is getting hot at the right time, and they’ve been doing it without Ja’Maar Chase, who is expected to play for the first time since 10/23. Whichever team has the ball last will win, and I believe that team will be the Bengals.

NFL Week 12 Teaser of the Week

7 POINTS: Browns -7.5 > -.5, Bengals +2.5 > +9.5

Am I a little nervous about trusting the state of Ohio for this teaser? Yes! However, the Browns will beat the Texans, and the Bengals will play a close game against the Chiefs so this teaser makes a lot of sense.

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 8-11-1

Underdog of the Week: 6-4

Teaser of the Week: 5-5

Total: 19-20-1

Jerry Jones Doesn’t Need to Apologize for his North Little Rock 6 “Curiosity,”- He Needs to Elaborate

We need to talk about Jerry Jones. Again. 

The Washington Post recently published an article chronicling Jerry Jones’ history as an employer of black men in a league that has been at the forefront of debates over the relationship between race and opportunity for decades now. 

As its “jumping off point,” the article used a 1957 photo of a then 14-year-old Jerry Jones standing in the background while his white classmates attempted to intimidate six black students as they became the first to desegregate schools in Little Rock Arkansas. 

That photo has understandably ignited some furious debate online, and it’s been fascinating to watch people put fairly recent historical events through the modern meat grinder of what some refer to as cancel culture, and others maintain as consequence culture.

I’m not here to talk about the way we’ve come to conflate social justice and social media justice. There’s not anything you or I can do to stem the tide of social media platforming everyone’s feelings all at once. The reality of the situation is that Jerry Jones isn’t losing the Cowboys over this. I’m asking you to acknowledge that reality so that we can talk about one way that Jerry Jones could actually do some good here. 

Tensions in this country might feel at an all-time high right now, but the truth is this might not even be a top 5 era for American division. Sometimes we get caught up in the idea that because white people don’t agree on major issues across party lines, that’s the definition of division. How about the division that existed in the 1950’s- when it was an everyday public debate whether or not Melanized people like myself were worthy of basic Constitutional protections? There wasn’t a public consensus on whether or not we were even human beings.

Jerry Jones cited “curiosity” as his reason for making his way into the photo that day. On some level, I believe him. After all, curiosity isn’t the absence of hate, it’s often just attraction to spectacle. Cowboys fans should know this better than anyone- 90% of the people tuned in to watch the Boys in Blue on any given Sunday are active haters who are attracted to spectacle.

Jerry Jones likely spent his childhood in a homogenized environment surrounded by people that carried the popular public sentiment of the time, which was one that was coming to grips with the idea that black people weren’t quite property, but they also weren’t quite people. And it’s Jerry Jones’ direct connection to that time period that gives him an opportunity to talk about the exact path he and others like him had to travel to evolve out of that mindset. 

I know for some, it’s never going to be enough for someone to repeatedly denounce the popular sentiment of the era they were raised in, they have to be a leader in every facet of every kind of socially progressive movement to perpetually atone for the sins of themselves and their kin. My message isn’t for people that carry that standard.

But for everyone else, with more realistic expectations of a billionaire born in the American South at the height of Jim Crow, what we really need is honesty. 

We’re living in a time when the very idea of educating people on the history of how the dehumanization of black people has shaped our experience as a nation has become too bitter a pill to include in the educational curriculum of some Southern states. We can spend a semester talking about the revolutionary spilling of unjustly taxed tea, but we can’t spill the tea on the subsequent injustice of an unfairly taxed race.

Jerry Jones’ experience as a still-living, still-thriving, white, southern, American billionaire whose boyhood friends gathered to hatefully block the path of children whose only crime was desiring equal access to education has value. 

Encouraging Jerry Jones to slink away into obscurity with billions in cash like Donald Sterling isn’t going to bring society maximum value here. Forcing an apology for something that happened seven years before the Civil Rights Act was passed, and 20 years before Tom Brady was born isn’t going to accomplish anything either. What we need from Jerry Jones at this moment is for him to open up about his time in a segregated south, and to use his platform to put context to all facets of that photograph. The visible anger. The fear. The spectacle. The bravery of the North Little Rock 6.

I’m not suggesting that Jerry Jones can solve racism, but I am saying that there are plenty of curious people gathered around the spectacle of this story- craning their necks for a better view. A story that at its root is one of triumph over hate. A story whose main characters shouldn’t be Jerry Jones, but instead be about Richard Lindsey, Gerald Persons, Harold Smith, Eugene Hall, Frank Henderson, and William Henderson, who showed up to North Little Rock High despite the school board telling them not to. 

Jerry Jones has the opportunity here to make sure we know those names, and how their courage in the face of his “curiosity” helped push this country toward a more just future for everyone. 

It’s an opportunity I hope he’s curious enough to take. 

Let that sink in. 

NFL Week 12 Best Bets

Time to take stock of my NFL bets. The good: I continue to nail the underdog of the week. The bad: The best bets have been mediocre. That said, Week 12 is when I get back to .500.

*Lines as of 11/27 at 9:00 AM ET on FanDuel

NFL Week 12 Best Bets

Dolphins -14 vs. Texans

I hate betting double-digit lines. However, the Texans are the NFL’s worst team by a country mile. Houston will turn to QB Kyle Allen in this game, which means the fourth-worst offense in terms of rushing yards per game will try to run the ball, run the ball, and run the ball some more. There is the trap game narrative with the Dolphins facing the 49ers this week, but I don’t see the Dolphins’ offense struggling against a Texans defense that allows 389.6 yards per game. Coach Mike McDiesel will have the Fins ready.

49ers -8.5 vs. Saints

Not to be that guy, but I predicted the 49ers to make the Super Bowl before the season began. After last week’s beatdown against the Cardinals, I feel great about my selection. The Niners have arguably the best roster in the NFL, with studs at every key position besides QB. I’m a Jimmy G guy, and I believe he can make the Super Bowl for the second time. Five of the Niners’ six wins have been by double digits, and the injury-riddled Saints could be missing DE Cam Jordan and CB Marshon Lattimore, who hasn’t played since Week 5. I’ll take the Niners to suck the life out of the Saints.

NFL Week 12 Underdog of the Week

Falcons +3.5 vs. Commanders

As someone who has nailed the underdog of the week all season, this is the first week where a game did not jump out to me upon my first viewing of the lines. After perusing the lines, I settled on the Falcons +3.5, who are 7-4 ATS in 2022. The Commies might be the hottest team in football, with a record of 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6. Taylor Heincke is a fun story as the Commies make a play for a wild card. This will come down to the Falcons’ third-best rushing attack (159.4 yards per game) vs. the sixth-best rushing defense (103.1 yards per game). The Falcons might be missing RB Caleb Huntley while the Commies will be without LB Cole Holcomb, and Chase Young will not make his debut. I’ll take the Falcons to cover in a close one.

NFL Week 12 Teaser of the Week

7 POINTS: Dolphins -14 > -7, 49ers -8.5 > -1.5

I have to stop overthinking things. The Dolphins and the 49ers are going to win this week. Why bring other teams into the mix? If the Dolphins win, it’s not going to be close. If the Niners win, recent history says it won’t be close. Don’t let me down, Mike and Kyle.

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 6-11-1

Underdog of the Week: 6-3

Teaser of the Week: 4-5

Total: 16-19-1

If The New York Jets Want To Salvage Their Season, Zach Wilson Needs To Be Benched

We need to talk about the New York Jets and their quarterback problem.

Yesterday, the New York Jets had more punts (10) than pass completions (9). 

They lost a 10-3 game on a last second punt return to the rival New England Patriots, and after the game, second year QB Zach Wilson, who is supposed to be the franchise player, told the media that he didn’t feel like the offense let the defense down. 

The New York Jets defense had six sacks, eight tackles for a loss, and didn’t allow a touchdown for the first time since 2019, and Zach Wilson stood in front of the New York media and said “not my problem.”

Wilson is young. He’s going to make mistakes as he learns about the act of taking public accountability in this league. There are a lot of people piling on to Wilson for what he said, and I’m not going to join in. 

Partly because I’m not going to say anything that Dan Orlovsky or Colin Cowherd haven’t already said. But mainly because there’s no point in wasting energy scolding a quarterback that shouldn’t even be in the game. 

The Jets are in last place right now in what looks like the best division in football, and are wasting an opportunity to go to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years by attempting to develop a QB that might be ready for the moment someday, but definitely isn’t ready right now. 

Head Coach Robert Saleh choosing to play Zach Wilson over Joe Flacco, who has started four less games this season than Wilson but still has more touchdown passes, is going to alienate Wilson from his teammates, and stunt the development of everyone on the team for the sake of trying to bring along one guy. 

Wilson is having trouble seeing open receivers downfield, he’s repeatedly floating balls on short to intermediate routes, there’s no zip or urgency on his checkdown throws, and when he does hit an open receiver, the balls often get dropped because receivers start pressing when their opportunities are limited. 

Maybe the Jets are afraid of another Geno Smith situation, who got his jaw broken by a teammate in 2015, leading to Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing for a team-record 31 TDs in a 10-win season that still didn’t result in a playoff berth. Maybe they see Geno Smith balling out for the Seahawks seven years later and don’t want to miss out on a chance to patiently develop their own franchise QB- but Geno Smith is an extreme outlier. 

The Jets are much closer to ruining Zach Wilson the way they ruined Sam Darnold. The New York media has already latched onto Wilson saying he didn’t let the defense down the same way they latched onto Darnold saying that he was seeing ghosts on the field. The chances that Wilson lives that moment down are slim to none, especially if he can’t lead the team to a win this weekend against the QB the Jets passed on in Justin Fields.

The right thing to do for the New York Jets fans, the locker room, and for Zach Wilson himself, is to let Joe Flacco go out there and be the boring statue he’s always been, so you can limit mistakes and let this defense cook. 

The goal for the Jets down the stretch needs to be reaching 10 wins, and they’re not going to do that behind the arm of a man who can’t even get 10 completions in a game.

Let that sink in.