Black Quarterback: The Get Out the Way Episode
By Brandon Simmons
Can Gurley make it?
It’s 2 weeks before Christmas, and Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley is singing Silent Night with a few of his stats. While the MVP candidate is having a big year overall, last night, in the Los Angeles Rams’ 16-6 loss to the Chicago Bears, he was held to a very somber 28 yards against one of the best defenses in the leagues this season. He has put up less-than-spectacular numbers this year and they still pulled off wins, because the Rams offense is that explosive. However, they can be even more dangerous when he’s on, but can that happen?
When Gurley rushes for under 70 yards, it can be a very misleading stat. He It has happened 5 times this year and the Rams are 3-2 because of it. Two of those 3 wins came against the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. Those teams aren’t exactly requiring the Rams to need all hands-on deck offensively, so he could probably have an “off day” with them. The other win, which happens to be against the Kansas City Chiefs, Gurley was injured but the game turned into basketball shootout between 2 offenses daring the other to make have a turnover.
In the postseason, Gurley is not going to face the Cardinals or Niners; the defenses are more than likely going to turn things up a little and it could be a detriment to the Rams. LA is currently at the 2 seed and finish the season against Philadelphia, San Francisco and Arizona. These games are going to be crucial for Gurley in terms of him getting his rhythm together since the team will play only 2 weeks after the regular season finale. Last year, they didn’t have a 1st round bye but got bounced in the Wild Card even though they were at home. It’s possible the Rams could get roughed up and have the same effect this postseason, despite having the first round off. They might draw the Bears, Cowboys or Seahawks in that second round, all teams who can defend the run and get after the quarterback. If the latter holds true, Gurley is going to have his number called for both rushing and receiving. He will have to get over 100 yards to rushing wear down the front 7 attack of his opponents. Rams QB Jared Goff can get the ball to his receivers and make plays, but Gurley is going to serve as a major difference between how far they can go in these playoffs.
NFC Wild Card is Looking Dangerous
The Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks might be playing some interesting football when the first weekend of the playoffs come around. Respectively, these are the 3rd, 4th and 5th seeds in the conference right now and they are kind of on a roll. The Cowboys won have won straight; the Bears have won 6 of their last 7 games; the Seahawks have won 3 straight. The common denominator each of these teams have is their defenses are some the best in the league right now, particularly when it comes to stopping the run.
Out of these 3 teams, the Cowboys and Bears should serve as the most interesting of this entire playoff bunch. Right now, they are the Wild Card teams leading their divisions and most likely to hold those spots for playoff time. Should they win, it would put them in rematches with the top 2 teams of the conference, whom each of these squads both handed out losses to. Chicago and Dallas also have offenses that are not quite explosive. They can probably lead long drives down the field but when it comes to points, scoring will be a challenge at times. Therefore, their defenses tend to play at a higher level to make up for what the offense might not bring to the table.
Funny but It Isn’t
This week, it was reported the Jacksonville Jaguars were moving on from quarterback Blake Bortles, a year after he signed a contract extension. It reminded me of a meme floating around earlier this season about the highest paid quarterbacks that weren’t worth a damn talent-wise; QB’s such as Sam Bradford, Brock Osweiler, etc. It was a funny graphic at first, but then you think about it and it nothing to laugh at. Reason being, is that the list is full of nothing but white quarterbacks. Now if it was black quarterbacks, it wouldn’t make the reasoning any better, but it just shows how much more trust teams perceive to be in white quarterbacks than black ones.
It’s kind of ridiculous to throw that amount of money at players who brought your team nothing when needed the most. If you think of a quarterback like Vince Young, who led their team to the playoffs and even made a Pro Bowl, he has been way more impressive than someone such as a Brock Osweiler, who people keep throwing money at to go away. The Houston Texans signed Brock Osweiler after his lone starting season, to a $4-year $72 million deal and cut him after the first season. Since then, not only has the Texans had to pay him, but Cleveland signed him and had to shovel some money onto him when he got cut for his short time there. Then he signed with Denver for 1 year and signed another deal with Miami following year, which brought his total to over $41 million for only 30 starts. As for Young, his fallout with then-Titans head coach Jeff Fisher had him bounce around the league to a few teams, where he got chances to start some games but never won the full-time job, just like Osweiler. He finished his career earning only $35 million for just 50 starts, in which 47 came as a regular member of the Tennessee Titans.
So Bortles could very well be added to that list. He’ll get $20 million this year and possibly $16.5 million if let go before the 2019 season. That’s a lot of money to pay for someone you have completely given up on. But when it comes to the Sam Bradfords, Brock Osweilers and Bortles of the league, teams are quick to take chances and alter the franchise’s success by screwing with the salary cap. But the Tyrod Taylors and Vince Youngs are always treated with tight purse strings, only for that money to not even be spent with putting competitive pieces around them.
Shout out to he Joe Budden Podcast for breaking a story we did not know we needed. Ironically, while the NFL deals with the Kareem Hunt situation, a lot of people brought up former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. With that said, here is the funniest Ry Rice story you might ever hear:
— The Joe Budden Podcast (@JoeBuddenPod) December 8, 2018
Shut out to Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Sanchez who probably can’t wait to be out of the league again himself. In Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants, Sanchez posted a 0.0 QB rating before he was benched for quarterback Josh Johnson. It has been a said sight for the QB’s in Washington with Alex Smith getting hurt followed by Colt McCoy’s injury. Now they are left Sanchez and Johnson for one of the worst QB controversies in recent memories. There is always Colin Kaepernick they could call but we all know how that goes.
Shout out to Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry for his 99-yard run against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was the 2nd time in NFL history that such a run even happened; the first was Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett in 1983. What made Henry’s run even more amazing was the way he bulldozed and swiped away defenders during the entire play:
Shut out to the New England Patriots for giving up the Miami Miracle. On the last play of the game, the Miami Dolphins lined up in the shotgun as if they were going to do a Hail Mary. Instead, QB Ryan Tannehill throws the ball to Kenny Stills, who laterals it to Devantae Parker, who tosses it to running back Kenyan Drake; Drake is aided by blockers down the field, takes advantage of a poor-angled Rob Gronkowski to get the game winning score:
Only 3 weeks left in the regular season and there may finally be a Thursday Night Football game worth our while. The Kansas City Chiefs are hosting the Los Angeles Chargers for possible control of the AFC West. The Chargers have been quietly good this year and are only 1 game behind the Chiefs. If they win this game then next week, and Kansas City loses next week, Los Angeles might have a chance to get a first round bye…but until then…I’ll holla.
Powered by Facebook Comments