Aaron It Out: 2018 Week 4: Baker Special

Hey guys! This has been a rough week for me, mentally. A very close friend of ours lost his mother this week, work has been crazy, and for some reason, mentally, I just am spent. I have plenty of these half-takes with no thoughts to finalize them, and I think that the column would be better off without them. I’ll give you a few quick items, and then we’ll get to the good stuff. Next week, I promise I’ll give you a full-on column!

  • I think that it’s great Eric Reid was signed by the Panthers today. Will Kaepernick ever be signed? I’m not sure. They say QBs are a dime a dozen but guys like Tom Savage and Blaine Gabbert still have jobs, so I don’t know.

  • Arizona’s giving Josh Rosen the start at QB this week, and it won’t turn out like our other rookie QB debuts have, I’ll tell you that much. Arizona doesn’t have the stuff around him to do much, at least not this season. However, I won’t totally count them out – having Fitz and David Johnson on your team is never a bad thing.

  • Sucks to hear about Jimmy Garoppolo going down. The Niners can look forward to another high draft pick in 2019.

  • The Browns only have one loss (they tied in week one), and celebrated their victory last Thursday big-time, which they deserved. They won’t get more than 5 or 6 wins in my opinion, and they will return to earth soon, but as a Jags fan that endured the Mularkey and Bradley eras, I know how those fans felt.

  • Speaking of the Jaguars – big ole disappointment made its debut last Sunday at the Bank. Hopefully, Jacksonville can bounce back from their loss against the Titans. I’m pretty sure they can, they seem to have the resolve to do so, but if they don’t, or if the game goes down to the wire – you can pretty much expect armageddon and an announcements of the end days in the Jax media.

AARON IT OUT TOP FIVE
1. Chiefs
2. Rams
3. Jaguars
4. Vikings
5. Eagles

PICKS AND PREVIEWS

Vikings @ Rams – The Vikings have a chance to prove on multi-platform national TV that last week was an aberration, and that they are still favorites to make the NFC Championship in January. LA’s top two corners are out for the year, and Minnesota has the receivers to burn them regularly. This depends on which Kirk Cousins we get, the “YOU LIKE THAT” one or the one that poo-pooed his team’s playoff chance at the end of last year, and how full the Coliseum is tonight. I’m going to say due to the experience here that we’ll see a Vikings win.

Texans @ Colts – Welcome to the big bucket of suck. The Texans are not good. The Colts are still trying to figure out what they are, and in an official rebuild. Let’s give it to the home team. Colts win.

Bills @ Packers – The Bills beat a team that is way better than the Packers last week. The Packers are still working on figuring out their line and also how to safely sack the opposing quarterback. I’ll call a Packers win here, but it’ll be close.

Bucs @ Bears – Ryan Fitzpatrick can’t throw the ball if he’s on the ground. The Bears may not look the greatest but they have a defense that is quickly becoming Good. Bears win.

Dolphins @ Patriots – The dysfunction in New England continues to grow. Nobody’s happy, they brought in another diva receiver and then sat him while they got humiliated on national television, and… yeah. The Dolphins look like the Pats should. QB on point, solid receivers, a defense that can at least kinda keep up with the other team. This is a conference-shaping game, and the Dolphins will win.

Lions @ Cowboys – The Cowboys are having issues on offense and injuries seem to be piling up on defense. The Lions have looked pretty good in two of the three games they’ve played so far. I’m thinking after the egg they laid in week two, Detroit is finding their way. Lions win.

Bengals @ Falcons – Cincy looks a lot better than anyone could’ve given them credit for, but their loss to the Panthers last week sort of showed their true colors. The Falcons currently have a losing record, and aren’t quite living up to expectations, but they’re entering a stretch where they could easily win 6 of their next 7 games, and this is one of them. I think Atlanta is just an all-around better team, and they’ll dominate this week. Falcons win.

Jets @ Jaguars – Although the Jets have looked relatively competent so far this season, they are still one of those teams in that nebulous void of “… eh?” I believe that with the record-setting heat this weekend in Jacksonville and the need of the Jaguars to have a bounce-back game, that New York will pretty much lay down for the Jags, giving the local audience a good show one more time before they head on the road for two weeks in a row. Jaguars win.

Eagles @ Titans – The Titans are bad, Mariota can barely pass, and the Eagles are getting the rust shaken off Carson Wentz. This is a game that the Eagles will win, big-time.

Browns @ Raiders – The Raiders are going downhill fast; it seems like they’re tanking to make leaving Oakland easier on them and on their fans. (I may have mentioned this a few weeks ago.) The Browns are on cloud nine with their rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield ready to tear up the NFL, at least for a couple more weeks. I could make the tie joke here but instead I’ll say Browns win.

Seahawks @ Cardinals – This game will end in a tie.

Saints @ Giants – The Giants finally won a game last week, but it was against the Texans, so that was sort of like playing JV. The Saints are starting to click after a fluke week one loss and have the opportunity to carry four wins in a row to the week six bye. I think the Giants don’t have the defense to keep up with the Saints, but New Orleans’ defense had better watch out for Saquon. This is a Saints win but it will be close.

Niners @ Chargers – Chargers win; the Niners’ season is over with their QB down.

Ravens @ Steelers – Both of these teams are having surprising starts to the season, and this will either be a really good game, which is what usually happens when they get together, or a one-sided blowout since Antonio Brown wants to prove he is the player he says he is. Here, I think that the Steelers will win.

Chiefs @ Broncos – Don’t really know what to make of Denver yet. They win a couple of games to start and then give up a stinker last week. Kansas City, however, has quickly established themselves as one of, if not the, top team in the AFC with a high-octane offense. I don’t think that will change here and the Chiefs win.

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Aaron It Out: 2018 Week 3: Catch of the Year

Week two of the 2018 NFL Season had it all: ties, injuries, controversies, and HA HA HA HA HA HA THE PATRIOTS LOST THEY LOOKED LIKE TRASH OH MAN DID YOU SEE THE KEELAN COLE CATCH IT WAS AMAZING CAN YOU BELIEVE THEY DIDN’T TRY A FOURTH-QUARTER COMEBACK?!?!?!?!!?????????

Continue reading “Aaron It Out: 2018 Week 3: Catch of the Year”

Aaron It Out: 2018 Week 1: LET’S GO!

Hello, football! Last week, the NCAA Free Money Machine started back up, with its usual course of early-season gimme games, a few interesting games, and FSU choking big-time. But our long national nightmare, the one that lasts from the first Sunday in February to the first full week of September because preseason doesn’t count and costs too much and leads to too many injuries, is over… NFL FOOTBALL IS BACK!

Continue reading “Aaron It Out: 2018 Week 1: LET’S GO!”

Bet the Board: Kickoff Weekend

Well, ladies and gentlemen it’s finally here. I’ve been basically non-existent outside of football season and it was tough to keep motivated going into the spring (and definitely the summer) doldrums. But, football season is back and I am relieved. As is typical with opening weekends, the games are either major or cupcake squashing contests. But, it’s a good way to get back into it.

Let’s bet the board!

Continue reading “Bet the Board: Kickoff Weekend”

Aaron It Out: Top One Hah-ndred

Despite making it to the AFC Championship game, and probably winning it if one play had not been stupidly officiated (Myles Jack Wasn’t Down), the Jaguars did not have any players above the rank of 14 in the player-voted “NFL Top 100.”

Here’s why the players are wrong.

For the record, here are the rankings of the Jaguars players that appear on the list:

  • 14. Calais Campbell
  • 17. Jalen Ramsey
  • 35. (are you kidding me) A.J. Bouye
  • 58. Leonard Fournette
  • 67. Telvin Smith
  • 88. Yannick Ngakoue

Six players on the list, out of a hundred, out of 32 teams, out of 1,696 possible entries. Not bad! But the ranking is crap.  Let’s look at numbers thirteen through one.

  1. At Thirteen, DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans: The player that both A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey shut down in both of their matchups last season, ranks ahead of them. How does this make sense? It doesn’t.
  2. At Twelve, Luke Kuechly, LB, Panthers: Did he stay healthy all year? Nope. However, he is a pretty good defensive player. I agree with him being probably on the same level as Calais and Jalen.
  3. At Eleven, Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks: And it’s the top 20 so we’re gonna start falling all over ourselves to praise the QBs. Wilson had 11 interceptions last year. 3 of those were in the December 10th game against the Jaguars. How did this oh so great player end each of his drives against the Jags in that game? Punt, punt, punt, INT, missed FG, INT, FG, TD, punt, INT, TD, TD, downs. Are you kidding me?
  4. At Ten, Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers: Okay. Rodgers is probably one of the all-time greats. But he got injured last year and was out, what, half the season? How is he on here?
  5. At Nine, Von Miller, DE, Broncos: Am I the only one who remembers the Broncos sucked last year?
  6. At Eight, Drew Brees, QB, Saints: He’s getting old. I guess I agree with this one.  He did play pretty good football once the Saints got like four games into the season and figured out what they were doing.
  7. At Seven, Aaron Donald, DE, Rams: The Rams were one of the only teams that gave the Jags trouble last year.  I respect this ranking.
  8. At Six, Todd Gurley, RB, Rams: 2017 Offensive Player of the Year, 1,305 yards rushing – I guess I can kind of agree with this one too.
  9. At Five, Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers: lol

  1. At Four, Julio Jones, WR, Falcons: I mean, ok? Man, there’s not a lot of wide receivers at the top of this list.
  2. At Three, Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles: A big reason Philly went to the playoffs this year. Okay.
  3. At Two, Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers: One of the only players to actually beat the Jags’ corners on a few plays this year.  I can respect this.
  4. At One, Tom Brady, QB, Patriots: No.

 

Okay! So, yeah, that sucked, and why is Tom Brady ranked so high? Is everyone scared of him or something? Myles Jack wasn’t down.

Here’s my rankings, voted on by me, for the top 20 players of 2017. I’ll do them in reverse order to keep you scrolling.

  • 20. LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills
  • 19. Cameron Jordan, DE, Saints
  • 18. Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
  • 17. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars
  • 16. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
  • 15. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
  • 14. Everson Griffin, DE, Vikings
  • 13. Khalil Mack, DE, Raiders
  • 12. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots
  • 11. Luke Kuechly, LB, Panthers
  • 10. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
  • 9. Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
  • 8. A.J. Bouye, CB, Jaguars
  • 7. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
  • 6. Drew Brees, QB, Saints
  • 5. Aaron Donald, DE, Rams
  • 4. Calais Campbell, DE, Jaguars
  • 3. Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles
  • 2. Jalen Ramsey, CB, Jaguars
  • 1. Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers

I know, I know, there’s four Jaguars on there, but they had a great year last year. One of the best defenses in the league and Fournette had more yards than the offensive rookie of the year, Alvin Kamara.  Agree or disagree, we need to get off the Tom Brady number one wagon and let some of the new stars shine.

Aaron It Out: The Dead Zone

We’ve made it, folks. We’re here. It’s the dead zone. Mandatory minicamps are ending today (if they haven’t ended already), and NFL teams are taking the dreaded six-week break. No football news until the end of July! Whatever will we do?

No, literally, what will we do? Baseball is incredibly uninteresting right now, golf is searching for a storyline, Nascar is back in the dumps, and nobody really cares if LeBron signs somewhere else (he won’t).

Here, now, from the esteemed tastemaker Yours Truly, are a few recommendations of what to do as ESPN attempts to fill its top ten with horrible baseball highlights.

GO TO THE MOVIES. Have you been lately? There is some good stuff out. Avengers: Infinity War just broke two billion dollars at the box office. If you haven’t seen it yet, go. Also, Solo is an absolute treat. The camaraderie between Han and his loyal sidekick Chewbacca is fun to watch unfold. Go to see Incredibles 2, the movie everyone who went to see Avengers has been waiting to see for nearly 15 years. For a laugh, Tag is coming out soon. A dinosaur movie, a new Ant-Man movie, a new The Rock Saves Everyone movie, a new Denzel movie, and a new Mission Impossible movie are all coming out before the preseason ramps up. Go spend some time in a dark room with strangers.

GO TO THE COUCH. Call your boo over to Netflix and chill, or Hulu and chill. There’s a lot of cool stuff out. If you’re on Amazon, and dig science fiction, I cannot recommend The Expanse highly enough. It’s awesome to watch. Full of irreverant humor, amazing cold opens, and a spectacular cast, the entirety of Brooklyn Nine Nine is available on Hulu and has five seasons of material for you to binge. Over on Netflix, there is a great old-school-style comedy special featuring Steve Martin and Martin Short that was perfectly fun for me to watch.

TAKE A GETAWAY. Hop on Google Maps, look for something 4-6 hours away, book a hotel for a day or two and go there. Look up “things to do in __________” and make some notes. Talk to the front desk at the hotel, get some local info. You could wind up doing a 2-3 day trip and saving some cash by avoiding tourist destinations. Or, pick a tourist destination and go where the crowds aren’t.

GO ON AN ADVENTURE IN YOUR TOWN. There has to be something a friend has done and posted about on Facebook that made you say, “I’ve always wanted to try that!” Well, do it. Pack yourself and the family up, and go have a fun time without leaving your city.

TAKE A TOUR OF A SPORTS FACILITY. Nearly every football stadium gives tours this time of year. Also, if you have a Nascar track nearby, they almost always feature some sort of “experience” that is available. Stadium tours are a cheap way to familiarize yourself with the home of your favorite team and to see some cool stuff you may never see otherwise. Look at the team’s website for more information, although you might have to click around a bit, or send the team a quick contact email.

There’s a ton of stuff to do instead of constantly refreshing Pro Football Talk… or Bench Points! Hope you have a great summer and we hope to see you back when training camp gets rolling!

Andrew Luck, Former Elite QB

On Saturday, May 12th, a new report came out reminding us all that it has been 496 days since Andrew Luck has thrown a live pass.  Yesterday, the Colts scrambled with the local media to ensure boilerplate quotes on Luck were distributed with panache.

Luck is “doing all the activities” that don’t include throwing, including footwork and other crap.

Luck is “completely engaged” during these OTAs, going to meetings and stuff.

Some additional facts:

Luck is now on his fourth offensive coordinator.

Luck has a backup that played nearly the entire 2017 season and is looking for contract money in 2019.

Luck has to play the Jaguars’ defense twice a year, and will also face the Super Bowl-winning defense of the Philadelphia Eagles early in 2018.

He hasn’t thrown a live ball for nearly 500 days.

I’ve not played football myself, but I know enough about the game to know that throwing in practice and throwing in a live game situation where variables must constantly be accounted for and living, breathing men who want to add to their sack total by smacking the ever-loving crap out of you are two steps and a swim move away from you are two extremely different things.  Throwing a Nerf football a few yards to a trainer and throwing a real football 35 yards to the right shoulder of T.Y. Hilton on the left sideline to score the game-winning touchdown are also two extremely different things.

And having your throwing shoulder injury be horribly managed by an organization that had to burn through two GMs before realizing it had to build up the offensive line in order to protect its QB (whoever that may be) certainly complicates things.

Andrew Luck may come back but he won’t be the same.  I just think there is no way – and the Colts have no one to blame but themselves for it. Luck may be one of the most wasted talents of his generation because of the awful way he was managed by the Colts through his injury and the complete lack of coaching staff consistency.

Time will tell, and I may be wrong, but I don’t see Luck striking for the Colts anytime soon.

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