1. First Down

Man, the last seven days have been polar opposites for Earl Thomas. Last week we talked about how much of a game changer he is and on Sunday he broke leg against the Cardinals. It just so happens that it’s the same leg he broke a couple of years ago.

Thomas was in the midst of a contract dispute with the Seahawks. Earl wanted a long term deal and had no problem voicing it. This is what he had to say after playing the Cowboys in week three.

It’s no secret that since the Super Bowl in 2015 the Seahawks organization has been in a tailspin. The team, specifically the defense, hated that Carroll and his coaching staff have coddled Russell Wilson while holding other players accountable. Numerous reports have suggested that teammates believe that the coach and organization wanted to make Wilson the hero, leading to the infamous interception instead of handing it to Marshawn Lynch for the go ahead score. Since that game Seattle has slowly dismantled the defense, mostly in part because Wilson received a massive payday.

Flash forward to the present. Thomas breaks his leg against the Cardinals Sunday and is carted of the field. Before leaving he had a little message for the Seahawks’ bench.

That’s right, Thomas flipped the bird towards his bench. I’m not a betting man but I’m willing to say that’s more for Pete Carroll and not his teammates. People will say it’s unprofessional and they’re right, a fine is most definitely coming, but the frustration that’s been building over the past years has hit its peak. Earl’s greatest fear was getting hurt and damaging his earning potential during free agency next year. Of course, that’s exactly what happened and he’s lost millions.

This is exactly why Le’Veon Bell won’t report to the Steelers until week seven. Football is the most violent game on earth and players need to use whatever leverage they have to earn as much money as possible during their career.

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Fans will foolishly side with the organization and start spitting out cliches like, “well, they signed the contract” or some derivative of that while completely ignoring that a team can cut a player the moment their production dips. The NFLPA needs to start getting players ready for a lockout because that’s the only way to avoid these issues.

Side bar: I don’t believe that a successful lockout will happen because, unlike the NBA, the players aren’t united. That’s understandable since the number of professional football players are much greater than basketball. It’s also worth noting that NBA players have more power because there’s only one Kevin Durant walking this earth. There are plenty of left guards that can replace someone on strike. Even if the product suffers fans will still watch because in the NFL people care about the jersey while in the NBA people care about who is in the jersey.

2. Second Down

One of the most frustrating things to watch as a fan is a team ruining the flow of an offensive drive by putting in a new quarterback to run a gadget or a special “package” of plays. They rarely work and it’s a complete waste of time.

Looking at you, Baltimore.

Sunday night while playing Pittsburgh the Ravens decided to trot first round pick Lamar Jackson out to run wildcat type plays or just to be a distraction. The play usually ends up with him running the ball into a wall of defenders and him taking an unnecessary hit.

Baltimore needs to cut that foolishness out immediately. It’s disrespectful to Flacco but, more importantly, it’s disrespectful to Lamar’s talent. He’s not Tim Tebow, he can actually contribute to an offense by using more than his legs.

We get it, you drafted him in the first round and you want him to see the field in some fashion but if you’re going to play your rookie quarterback then you have to go all in. Cleveland gave the reigns to Mayfield, Rosen is starting in Arizona, Josh Allen is in charge in Buffalo, and Sam Darnold is starting in New York. No wildcat or special plays, they’re running the show.

Another thing, this Ravens team is actually good, they don’t need gimmicks to score points.

Make up your mind Baltimore, either play the kid or don’t.

3. Third Down

The Titans are 3-1 after beating the defending champions Sunday in Nashville. Tennessee has two divisional wins under their belt and first year coach Mike Vrabel is an early front runner for coach of the year.

The most impressive part is that this team keeps finding ways to win even with a depleted roster. Mariota can barely feel his fingers and shredded the Eagles secondary after being down 17-3. Corey Davis is finally starting to look like the talent they drafted in the first round.

This Titans team will have multiple opportunities to prove themselves; they still have to play the Patriots, Ravens, and Jaguars one more time. With that being said; this team is legit and a real threat come playoff time.

4. Fourth Down

Eric Reid signed to the Panthers last week. The former Niner is known for standing by Kaepernick since he started kneeling for the anthem. Many, myself included, think Reid was blackballed as well. During his press conference Reid kept showing his support for Kap and said that his collusion case against the NFL would still be ongoing.

That, everyone, is what staying true to yourself looks like. Reid could’ve easily thrown Kap under the bus and stopped the investigation since he now has a job. A lesson we all can learn.


5. Extra Points 

Fitzpatrick came back to earth Sunday so the Bucs let Jameis take a swing. Let’s see how that turned out.

If Tampa Bay winds up being in the top ten in the draft don’t be shocked if they resign Fitz, let Winston walk, and draft their future signal caller.

This Julio stat is so mind blowing that I really don’t have any commentary for it.

Your weekly reminder that Jon Gruden traded Khalil Mack because he, “wanted too much money.”


@ me madads14 

As always, thanks for reading.

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