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  • Published: Dec 19th, 2015
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NFL Week 15 Sunday game preview from NNR.

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NFL Week 15

NFL Week 15

NOTE: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discussed the news of the day, injuries from the previous week, and previewed all of this week’s games including a detailed analysis of the Browns game.

NEWS CL RB Raheem Mostert was claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens.

WR Darius Jennings was waived.

ST David Hunn of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, NFL Com Roger Goodell is balking at the idea of providing the city with the necessary $300 million to aid in the local authority’s attempts to get that new stadium erected in St. Louis.

If you are in ST and hear someone talking about “the Donald” it has nothing to do with the election.

TB23 ST31 TB DT Donald was in the backfield as much as QB Winston. O line doubled & tripled him but couldn’t stop him.

6-8 6-8 Penetration allowed the other 10 to focus on the TB run.

D has been solid vs the run (8th) but struggled to stop Gurley.

Winston drove TB to 17 pts in the 4th quarter but fell 8 pts short.

ST The trade of Bradford for Foles has been a disaster for ST. It was 31st in ppg but put up 21 in the 1st half.

Despite turnovers by the O the D has been solid. 12th in ppg, 13th in pass ypg & 21st in rush ypg.

The D & Donald dominated TB.

NJ-3 DA NJ Fitzpatrick has been better than expected. He has NJ at 10th in ppg (25.0) & 12th in passing. 0 TOS in the 3 game win streak.

8-5 4-9 The D has been solid but not as good vs the pass as expected (19th). But it is still 10th in ppg.

DA Even when Romo was healthy the O was not that good. Without him it is 30th in ppg.

The D has been better than expected but lacks play makers at all 3 levels. It is 16th in ppg but 4th vs the pass.

KC-7 BA KC Smith is a limited QB. But he has been better in the red zone. KC is 8th in ppg but 27th in pass ypg.

8-5 4-9 The D started slowly due to the lack of pass rush. It has gotten much better now & is 4th in ppg & 8th in yards pg.

BA Without Flacco & Forsett the O has died. It has fallen to 20th in ppg & 25th in rush ypg.

The D has suffered a ton of injuries & no Suggs. It is 25th in ppg 7 21st in pass ypg.

HO IN HO Hoyer was decent but he is out. Now Yates plays QB in the biggest game of the year for HO.

6-7 6-7 HO is 25th in ppg but 15th in pass ypg.

The D seems to be back on track. It is now 13th in ppg 7th in yards pg & 3rd in pass ypg.

IN Hasselbeck should be back. If not 6-16 Whitehurst will start. Either way IN has no O. It is 21st in PPG & 26th in ypg.

The D stinks. When it gave up 51 pts vs JK, what else can you say?

AT-3 JK AT The AT O has flown south for the winter. The run game has been very inconsistent & WRS can’t seem to catch the ball.

6-7 5-8 Even so Ryan has AT at 7th in pass ypg.

The D has been better than expected. It is 14th in ppg & 17th in ypg.

JK Bortles has gotten better and has O at 9th in ppg & 14th in pass ypg.

The biggest issue is the D. It is 31st in ppg, 22nd in ypg but 13th against the run.

CH MN-5 CH HC Fox has a mess & it will take him a couple of drafts to get the team competitive.

5-8 8-5 Cutler has as much arm talent as any QB but a 5 cent head. CH is 22nd in ppg & 20th in pass ypg.

D has been better than last year & is 18th in ppg but 2nd in pass ypg.

MN Bridgewater is developing nicely but MN is a run 1st team. It is 5th in rushing but 26th in ppg.

The D has been nothing short of outstanding. It is 9th in ppg (19.6) & 8th in pass ypg.

TN NE-14 TN TN has lost 2 of the last 3 games. Things don’t get any better against NE.

3-10 11-2 Part of the problem has been Mariota. He has 19TDS but 10 picks. TN is 27th in ppg.

The D has struggled to kept teams out of the endzone (24th in ppg) but are 9th vs the pass.

NE Two recent losses has NE at 3rd in ppg (30.9) but 1st in pass ypg.

WRS, RBS & O line are all hurt. But as long as they have Brady, they will be OK.

The D is young but very good. It is 8th in ppg (19.5) 6th in ypg & 7th in pass ypg.

CR-5 NG CR CR is 1st in ppg (31.6) & 2nd in rush ypg but 25th in pass ypg.

13-0 6-7 When Wilson was in a run 1st O nobody talked about him as MVP but now Newton is a candidate.

The D is incredible. It is 5th in ppg (18.7) 3rd in ypg 5th vs pass & 4th vs run.

NG NG is a mystery. They played tough vs NE then rolled over against WA.

Eli Manning has 28 TDS & 10 picks with a QB rating of 96. NG is 7th in ppg & 6th in pass ypg.

The problem is no run game or D. D is 20th in ppg but 32nd in yards & vs the pass.

BF-1 WA BF Taylor has been solid. BF is 13th in ppg & 3rd in rushing. Taylor’s run threat has opened up the run lanes for RBS.

6-7 6-7 The D has been hurt by injuries including DT Williams but is still 15th in ppg & 14th vs the run.

WA Cousins has been OK with 18 TDS 11 picks & a pass rating of 93.2.

He has the O 17th in ppg & pass ypg.

The D has also been middle of the league at 17th in ppg & 16th vs the pass.

GB-3 OK GB Rodgers has better numbers than most expect. He has 28 TDS & 5 picks with a pass rating of 97.5.

9-4 6-7 Despite the 4 losses GB is still 12th in ppg (24.4) but 23rd in pass ypg. Run game is back with Lynch (8th).

D has kept teams out of the endzone & are 6th in ppg (18.8). It struggles vs the run giving up 116 ypg.

OK Carr has been good throwing 28TDS & 9 picks with a pass rating of 96.5.

He has had to carry the O with no run game (26th).

GB better find a way to block OLB Mack. He had 5 sacks last week.

DV-6 PT DV OK showed how to beat Osweiler & Co. Pressure Pressure Pressure. PT will do just that.

10-3 8-5 He has just 5 TDS but 3 picks. The run game is middle of the league (18th).

The D has been outstanding. 1st in ppg (17.3) yards & pass yards.

PT Nobody wants to face the O of PT. Roethlisberger has too many weapons to throw to & Williams at RB.

The O line has solidified giving him time to throw. O is 5th in ppg & pass yards 9th in rush yards.

The D is young but aggressive. 11th in ppg & 6th vs the run.

MI-1.5 SD MI The Campbell experiment is nearly over. MI will do a complete house cleaning at the end of the year.

5-8 3-10 Tannehill has not developed. The O is 24th in ppg & 22nd in pass yards.

The D is over paid & has under performed. Suh & Co is 30th vs the run & 26th in ppg.

SD Rivers vs the world. That is how he must feel. Nobody can catch or run the ball. O line is a sieve.

SD is 4th in pass ypg but 31st in rushing & 28th in ppg.

The D is pathetic. 27th in ppg, 24th in yards & 27th vs the run.

CN-4.5 SF CN McCarron is lucky to face SF. But he must take care of the ball to give CN any chance to succeed.

10-3 4-9 The D is solid. 2nd in ppg (17.6) but they are a little soft vs the pass (17th).

SF Gabbert is the guy but not much of a QB. He has a noodle for an arm, a bad O line & no WRS.

How bad is the run game? Kaepernick is 2nd on the team in rush yards & hasn’t played in 6 weeks.

The D allowed 24 pts to CL & is 27th vs the pass & 31st vs the run.

AZ-3.5 PH AZ As long as Palmer is healthy the O will be fine. It is 2nd in ppg (31.2) & 1st in yds.

11-2 6-7 The D is solid. 7th in ppg 4th in yards 5th vs the run.

PH The O has muddled through the season. Bradford is 21st in pass ypg & 14th in ppg.

The D has spent a lot of time on the field. But it has not been as bad as expected. 22nd in ppg 24th vs the pass.

CL SE-14 CL SE is the place a struggling O goes to die. RIP Johnny. Will this be the game in which Bowe breaks out?

3-10 8-5 Don’t expect another 100 y rushing game or a 200+ yard passing game.

The D will have nightmares of Wilson after the game.

SE Rawls is out so the game will depend more on the arm of Wilson than ever.

He has the team 6th in ppg & has had a near perfect pass rating in the last 5 games.

The D has come around. It is now 3rd in ppg 2nd in yards & rush ypg.

QB 3 Wilson, Russell 12/3 7 JACKSON, TARVARIS U/Min

Wilson opens up run lanes with his run threat but is best in the pocket throwing down field.

LWR 89 Baldwin, Doug CF11 16 Lockett, Tyler 15/3

RWR 15 Kearse, Jermaine CF12 17 Smith, Kevin SF14

TE 82 Willson, Luke 13/5 84 Helfet, Cooper CF12 85 McCoy, Anthony 10/6 86 Coffman, Chase SF15

Nobody knew Baldwin or Kearse before they got to SE & had Wilson throwing them the ball.

Lockett was drafted as a KR but has turned into a mini-mite down field WR.

Luke Wilson is an athletic TE with speed.

These guys are going to be a huge problem for CL DBS.

RB 36 Brown, Bryce SF15 22 JACKSON, FRED SF15 32 Michael, Christine 13/2 24 Lynch, Marshawn T/BUF

FB 46 TUKUAFU, WILL SF14 40 Coleman, Derrick SF12

Without Lynch & Rawls the run game is very suspect. But CL can’t stop any run game.

LT 76 Okung, Russell 10/1 78 Bailey, Alvin CF13

LG 68 Britt, Justin 14/2 78 Bailey, Alvin CF13 67 Sokoli, Kristjan 15/6

C 65 Lewis, Patrick P/Cle 61 Jeanpierre, Lemuel SF10

RG 64 Sweezy, JR 12/7 78 Bailey, Alvin CF13 63 Glowinski, Mark 15/4

RT 79 Gilliam, Garry CF14 78 Bailey, Alvin CF13

The O line has been better since Lewis was installed at C.

While it is still struggles to pass block Wilson can usually make time to throw.

Gilliam & Britt are the weak points of the O line.

LDE 72 BENNETT, MICHAEL U/TB 55 Clark, Frank 15/2 95 Dobbs, Demarcus W/SF

LDT 77 Rubin, Ahtyba U/Cle 99 Francis, AJ W/Mia

RDT 92 MEBANE, BRANDON 07/3 97 Hill, Jordan 13/3

RDE 56 Avril, Cliff U/Det 91 Marsh, Cassius 14/4

SE doesn’t blitz often because they get pressure out of the front 4.

Bennett, Clark & Avril are the best pass rushers. The D line plays the run very well.

LOLB 51 Irvin, Bruce 12/1 57 Morgan, Michael CF11

MLB 54 Wagner, Bobby 12/2 50 Wright, KJ 11/4 52 Coyle, Brock CF14

ROLB 50 Wright, KJ 11/4 58 Pierre-Louis, Kevin 14/4 47 Pinkins, Eric 14/6

The LBS are outstanding. Wright is very under rated as is Wagner.

Manziel will have trouble getting outside against the front 7 of SE.

LCB 25 Sherman, Richard 11/5 28 Burley, Marcus T/Ind

SS 31 Chancellor, Kam 10/5 35 Shead, DeShawn CF12 33 McCray, Kelcie T/KC

FS 29 Thomas, Earl 10/1 23 Terrell, Steven SF14

RCB 20 Lane, Jeremy 12/6

N-B 21 Smith, Tye 15/5

Sherman, Chancellor & Thomas are outstanding. Lane is OK but Smith is coming on as a rookie.

These guys are big and fast. The 4’2 WRS of CL will have trouble getting open or catching any passes.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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Thoughts about week 15 of the NFL

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Thoughts about week 15 of the NFL

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher at ...

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher at the White House- Cropped from original image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The 49ers with Kaepernick are for real.

The win over the Pats was very impressive.  Kaepernick put the team in position to blow out the Pats but the D struggled to keep up the pressure on Brady.  It was the D that gave up the 4 TD lead but Kaepernick ended the game with a TD.  This team is nearly ready to go for it all.  The change from Smith to Kaepernick should have been made earlier in the season.

 

The Jets are a joke that is not funny.

The issue with the Jets is not only QB Sanchez but the roster’s lack of talent.  Mike Tannenbaum Jet’s GM has blown drafts and free agent signings.  HC Ryan is not the best coach in the league but deserves better players.

 

Sanchez was never a favorite of mine because he had only one year of starting at USC.  If he could not beat out John David Booty who was a 5th round pick, what made Tannenbaum think he was worth a top 10 pick?

 

The Browns are not and never were a hot team.

The Browns’ three game winning-streak was against the Steelers with a 97 year old QB that was sitting at home watching the league on TV a week before he started and two of the worst teams in the NFL.  This team is badly coached and hopefully for the fans that will be resolved after the season by the new owner Jimmy Haslam.  However, in my opinion Lombardi is not a quality candidate for the GM spot.

 

Watch out for the Seahawks.

QB Wilson is the real deal.  I told you that in the middle of the 2011 college season and often since.  He has the arm, head and mobility to take this team all the way unless the coaching gets in the way.  The D is solid and when they get their CBs back is as good as any.  At home this team is nearly unbeatable.

 

The Giants are in trouble.

The Skins are playing well.  Even the Cowboys seem to have overcome some QB and HC issues to become a contender rather than the pretender we have seen for several years.  If WR Bryant can stay on the field and be even close to effective, this team will challenge for a playoff spot.

 

The Giants on the other hand are suffering with below average QB play and a boatload of injuries.  Even some of the best coaching in the league cannot save this season.  QB Manning has suffered from a lack of protection and drops by usually reliable receivers.

 

The Bengals are in at this point and the Steelers are out of the playoffs.

The Cincy D is playing well and QB Dalton has solved his footwork issues for the most part.  He is playing consistent ball and living within his limitations of arm strength.  This is not a Super Bowl team yet but it can make the playoffs for a second consecutive season.  That has not happened in a long time.

 

The Steelers are in serious trouble.  They have to beat the Bengals and that will be a problem.  QB Roethlisberger is back but he is not healthy.  The team has an injury plagued D and a running game that is fumble prone.  Even if they back into the playoffs, they will not be a factor.

 

The Falcons need the home field advantage more than any other team.

The Falcons are as inconsistent away from home as any team in the league.  That is in part due to an average D that plays better at home.  If the Falcons get HFA throughout the NFC playoffs they will have a shot at the Super Bowl.  If not they will lose again.

 

The Texans are capable of great or terrible games.

When the Texans lean too much on the passing game they get in trouble.  They have one of the top 2 RBs in the league.  They have to keep the ground game going to keep winning.  QB Schaub is good but can’t carry the team alone.  They need to keep running with Foster.  The D is good enough to win it all but this team may not get there this season.

 

The Broncos are my choice as the best team in the AFC IF…

The IF is can Manning stay healthy?  If so, the team can go far and win both at home and on the road.  If not the team is done.  He has made the WRs much better and helped a less talented OL look good.

 

Coaching changes to look for after the season

The Cardinals will fire Ken Whisenhunt which is a shame.  I doubt it was his choice to staff the QB position with duds.  It is the GM that should be canned.  Whisenhunt is a good coach and will not be unemployed long.

 

The Browns will fire Shurmur and the staff.  Only DC Jauron may stay but that is doubtful.  My preference would be a vet NFL coach but that is not likely to happen.  No top drawer coach will want to come unless Haslam charms him with his great personality.

 

The Jags and Chiefs will change coaches as well.  Both teams have under produced and the Jags new ownership wants progress.  Chiefs’ coach Crennel is a nice guy but is not head coach material.  He will get a job as DC somewhere.

 

The Eagles have already made it clear that HC Reid is gone.  That has more to do with the team tuning out his voice than his coaching ability.  He made a couple of critical staff mistakes that hurt and the fall of Mike Vick did not help.  Reid is a solid coach that will resurface as soon as he wants to work again.

 

The Chargers will replace HC Norv Turner.  He was lucky to have kept his job this long.  He has coached his way out of the league.

 

The Bills may change coaches as well.  Chan Gailey has been the coach since 2010 and has not won much since.  He has been struggling with QB Fitzpatrick but so far the QB is inconsistent.  The team brought in FA DE Williams to help the D but that has not resulted in wins.  The GM Nix’s job is in jeopardy as well.  When you trade for QB Tarvaris Jackson you need QB help and that is not it.

 

That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.  

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