News, Notes & Rumors for week 14


NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on or the archive of the shows on On Monday Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discuss the Browns game and the results of the weekend. On Friday Tony Williams Giants beat writer for Metro New York joins Samantha and me to preview the upcoming games.

Check out the Draft podcast from Thursday Dec. 12th former NFL scout Kelron Sykes joined me to preview the 2014 NFL Draft available on



The officiating in the NFL has hit an all time low. While some pass interference flags are phantom calls other receivers can get mugged without a penalty. The NFL has no credibility with me what so ever. These clowns are worse than the replacement refs ever were. At least the scabs tried to get the calls right. Having officiated several levels of football, the one thing I always told my crew before a game was if you didn’t see the foul don’t call it. The worst part is that because the NFL is so afraid of the officials union there is no punishment for the vast majority of these pinheads. As long as they can get away with bad calls without recrimination there is no incentive to be more accurate. These old over-weight dolts will continue to ruin the game without remorse.


Coaching is also suffering a decline. Tackling is a lost art. Defensive players seem to prefer the big hit rather than the boring wrap up and drive through that I taught my players. Pass defenders seem to ignore the ball which draws pass interference calls. In zone coverage the players fail to defend players coming through their areas of responsibility. Some teams are better in these areas than others but few could match those that played the game in the 70s and 80s.


The NFL announced that the first of three games in London next season will start at 1:30 PM local time. That is 9:30 AM on the east coast and 6:30 AM on the west time zone. Players are not going to be happy with that because it is not safe. This is just a money grab by the league. Before the league tries to build interest in the game in Europe, try to get some in Los Angles.




Bengals 42 Colts 28 – Early in the 3rd quarter the Colts closed the lead to 21-14. Then the wheels came off the pony cart. The Colts O is not the same in the outdoor weather. It was not so much QB Andrew Luck. The problems were an O line that could not protect Luck and the fact that there was no running game for the Colts. Luck was the leading rusher with just 32 yards. Undrafted rookie WR Da’ Rick Rogers caught 6 for 107 yards and 2 TDs. He replaced former starter Darrius Heyward-Bey. The Colts D could not stop Andy Dalton (3 TD passes and a TD run) and the Bengal O. The Bengals scored the next 2 TDs and the Colts never got close again.


Chargers 37 Giants 14 – The Giants have never had much success playing on the west coast. Giants QB Eli Manning returned to his giving ways again throwing 2 interceptions and only 1 TD. The G Men were never in the game. The Chargers were up 24-0 at half time including a killer TD pass with just 19 seconds left in the 2nd quarter. The Giant D which had been playing better over the last few weeks was unable to stop the Charger O.


Chiefs 45 Redskins 10 – Redskins special teams were not that special. They gave up a 95 yard kickoff return for a TD and yard punt returns of 74 (TD) and 48 yards. QB Robert Griffin was very inconsistent throwing the balls early in the game. The Chiefs built a 37-0 lead before the Skins scored. The Skins’ D continued to be horrendous and the O looks inept. It is hard to run when a team is behind by 5 TDs. The Chiefs needed the win badly having lost 3 consecutive games. They won’t win the division but will be in the playoffs as the 1st wild card.


Eagles 34 Lions 20 – The Lions came to Philly and so did the snow. The Lions lost 3 fumbles and the Eagles threw an interception in the weather. The snow did not slow down Eagles RB LeSean McCoy who ran for 217 yards on 29 carries for an average of 7.5 yards per attempt. He also scored twice. The Lions O did very little. A 1st quarter drive scored a TD and that was about all the O could do. The Lions’ special teams scored on a kick return and a punt return and yet the team lost. That is very unusual. Teams with two non-offensive TDs win more than 85% of the time. The Lions (7-6) are clinging to the division lead by just a half game over the Packers (6-6-1). The Eagles did nothing in the first half then exploded for 40 points in the second. Just think how much fun the Super Bowl will be in New York in February!


Saints 31 Panthers 13 – The Panthers used an opening drive and a great punt return to kick 2 field goals. But then the Saints D shut down the Panthers and QB Cam Newton without another score until the 5 minute mark of the 4th quarter. Meanwhile the Saints built the lead to 31-6. The key to the game was the pass protection the Saints O line gave QB Drew Brees. He had time to allow pass patterns to develop. He threw 4 TD passes. The Saints D got pressure on Newton and got 5 sacks. Newton is not accurate enough to be able to overcome a 31-6 lead. He also does not have enough quality receivers to allow that kind of comeback against a quality defense.




The news about Redskins coach Shanahan benching QB Robert Griffin indicates to me that the team is trying to recover a draft choice by showcasing QB Kirk Cousins. If Cousins does well he could bring a 2nd round pick but never a 1st.


Rumors about Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater returning to school are not likely to be true. He has taken a beating behind a bad O line. If he wants to get more than being big man on campus, he needs to declare for the draft. He will be the top QB prospect on my board.





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 He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .

He also edits .

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

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