Every week we’ll sit down with BetAmerica Extra columnists Ashley Anderson, James Scully and Scott Shapiro to discuss the latest news from around the NFL. This week we dive into the Antonio Brown saga, Nick Foles’ injury woes and Lamar Jackson’s breakout game.
The Oakland Raiders were unable to tame Antonio Brown. Will Bill Belichick and the Patriots have more success?
Ashley: Belichick is a no-nonsense guy, and I think he will help Antonio get his act together. It’s too early to say whether Josh Gordon will make it through a full season without suspension, but I believe he has matured and is on his way to career redemption. If there’s any team that can help Brown accomplish the same, it’s New England.
Belichick was asked about Antonio Brown potentially causing a distraction in New England: “Same thing you (collectively) said about Randy Moss when we brought him in.”
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) September 10, 2019
James: Yes. Bill Belichick and the Patriots will have more success than the Raiders. It’s a low-risk move, because New England doesn’t need Antonio Brown. He needs them to salvage his career and earnings potential. I predict Brown buys into the organization and produces on the field.
Scott: If anyone is able to tame Brown, it is likely to be Belichick. While he has made his fair share of mistakes at the wide receiver position, Belichick made a similar move with Randy Moss back in 2007. With a Super Bowl appearance likely in the cards, I am willing to bet on New England to make it work with the former Pittsburgh star wideout.
The Jacksonville Jaguars had high hopes entering the 2019 NFL season. Are they still playoff contenders after losing Nick Foles to a fractured clavicle?
Ashley: I never saw them as legitimate playoff contenders. I’m still high on the Colts coming out of the AFC South, even with Jacoby Brissett. The Texans looked tougher than expected against the Saints on Monday night, too. Rookie Gardner Minshew stepped in and played great for the Jags (22-of-25 for 275 yds, two touchdowns), but he was facing the Chiefs defense.
James: Yes. Nick Foles may return later in the season and Minshew is a revelation. Jacksonville is built on defense, and let’s remember the Chargers made the playoffs after a blowout home loss to the Chiefs in their 2018 opener.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 8, 2019
Scott: Normally I would say the loss of a Super Bowl MVP would end the Jaguars’ playoff hopes early in 2019, but the AFC South is one of the NFL’s weakest divisions. If Jacksonville can improve its tackling and play with more discipline than it did in Week 1, the Jaguars have the talent on defense to remain in the playoff hunt all season.
True or false: Lamar Jackson will have a better career than Cam Newton.
Ashley: The Louisville fan in me would love to say true, but I’ll say false for now. My biggest worry for Lamar is his health and longevity. Newton is 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds. Jackson is 6-2, 212. If the offensive line can protect Lamar and he can somehow avoid any major injuries, he’ll have a better career. But I’m worried over time his body won’t be able to handle the wear and tear. I hope I’m wrong.
“Not bad for a running back.”
Lamar Jackson’s final stats vs. the Dolphins:
✅ 17-20 passing
✅ 324 yards
✅ 5 TDs
The 22-year-old is the first Ravens QB to finish a game with a perfect passer rating (158.3).pic.twitter.com/fxZp9BHxup
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) September 8, 2019
James: True. Lamar Jackson a star in the making. He possesses the work ethic and intangibles to excel at quarterback, and Baltimore is the right place for him to thrive. He’ll keep developing his passing skills and the kid is a winner.
Scott: False. Newton has not won a Super Bowl, but he has thrown for 182 touchdowns, rushed for more than 4,800 yards and was voted the Most Valuable Player in 2015. Jackson has the upside to be a star and has shown a ton of ability, but I need to see more before I assume he will be as good as the former Auburn signal caller.