NFL Notebook Week 8

Welcome to NFL Notebook where I introduce a written piece like it’s the evening news. I’m Dan Soden and this bit is already going way too long. Today I’ll look at the return of Fitzmagic, James Conner making Pittsburgh forget about Bell, & I’ll try my best to not complain about Eli Manning.

Buh-Bye Hue Jackson

Monday afternoon the Cleveland Browns did something they probably should have done last year, they fired head coach Hue Jackson. Jackson’s head coaching record will go down in history as 11-44-1, because no general manager in his right mind will hire this guy.

Initial reports said the Browns would likely part ways with offensive coordinator Todd Haley before cutting ties with Jackson. Clearly those initial sources were named Michelle, Baylee, & Jordyn Jackson.

I have several suggestions that are better than Jackson. The ghost of Vince Lombardi, Kyle Chandler reprising his role as Coach Eric Taylor, and Coach from Cheers.

Heros May Die But FitzMagic is Forever

On Sunday, Jameis Winston was getting cooked by the Bengals like a Thanksgiving Day turkey. The fans watched as Koetter left his prize turkey in the oven till it was dry and flavorless. Just when we all thought dinner would be ruined, he sprinkled some magic and we were back in business.

Late in the third quarter Koetter had seen enough from Winston, not sure if it was his 4 interceptions or overall incompletion percentage that did it for him, but he decided it was Magic Time!

The Bucs were down 34-16, when Fitzpatrick flew in on his magic umbrella and went 11-of-15 for 194 yards and two touchdowns which allowed the Bucs to tie the game. Unfortunately, the defense is a dumpster fire that could only be matched by Hue Jackson’s coaching record and allowed the Bengals to come down and score the game winning field goal.

It should be noted, Fitzmagic did try to control the weather

Regardless of the loss, it’s clear that Winston’s time in Tampa Bay is numbered and Fitz is on his way to another $10 million deal.

James Conner Might Just Have It

Eventually Le’Veon Bell will have to play, mainly because he wants to be a free agent in March and he needs the accrued season. However, that doesn’t mean he’s the Steelers best option. That’s right, ticket for one for The James Conner Express.

Now, I’m not saying that Conner is better than Bell, because he isn’t. Bell is an All-Pro running back who for argument’s sake can be considered a top 15 wide receiver as well. Conner isn’t that type of playmaker and probably never will be. Conner isn’t the offensive weapon that Bell has become known as, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t the right back for the Steelers.

The team for the most part has turned their backs on Bell, especially the offensive line. And who can blame them. It’s not like Bell has made them all look great and taken care of them for helping him reach an All-Pro level. So, let’s all put on our Screw Bell t-shirts on and wave our Terrible Towels as we root for Conner to take the reins.

Back to Conner, his performance against a skilled, but poorly coached Cleveland Browns sealed the deal for me. During the victory he rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns on 24 attempts. He also racked up 66 yards via five passes.

This isn’t Conner’s first “Oh Damn!” game. It’s his third in a row. If he continues he’ll hit 1,208 yards and 19 rushing touchdowns, to go along with 69 catches for 685 yards. That is just as effective as Bell, but without the contract drama.

Quick Slants

  • The Panthers have actually been pretty good this season, and might surprise a lot of people in the playoffs.
  • Eli Manning’s career is about as dead as the Giants’ playoff odds.
  • Adam Thielen grinding his teeth following his fumble loss will forever give me nightmares.
  • Todd Monken is going to get a lot of calls this off-season.

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