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Eagles Slide, Bryce Huff Conundrum; Other NFL Thoughts

Bryce Huff

– The end of the 2023 season has several teams fading as the playoffs begin. The most prominent among teams slipping are the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have lost five of six games as the playoffs start. Miami is also trending downward. The Dolphins have lost two straight and three of their last five. The Eagles (-2.5) are favorites as visitors against Tampa Bay. The Dolphins (+3.5) are underdogs on the road in Kansas City. There isn’t much to like about either team’s chances.

– It looked for a while as though we may have at least one losing team make the postseason, but it didn’t happen. 9-8 is the worst record of any playoff qualifier. One of the teams that was in the mix for a postseason berth with a sub-five hundred record was the Houston Texans. Houston was just 7-6 after getting blasted by the Jets 30-6. The Texans won three of their last four games to finish 10-7 and win the AFC South. That finish may mean a Coach of the year award for Demeco Ryans.

– Bill Belichick was uncharacteristically chatty after the Patriots season-ending loss to the Jets. Belichick indicated he was open to surrendering some of the personnel responsibilities going forward. It was odd to hear the future hall of fame coach talk about his future. It appeared from the outside that a parting of the ways might be mutually acceptable until Sunday. This revelation from Belichick puts the decision on whether the coach stays or goes squarely on owner Robert Kraft.

– Jared Goff finished second in the NFL in passing yards with 4,624. Goff threw for 29 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Goff finished the season 9th in passer rating leading the Lions to a division crown and a 12-5 record. The trade that sent Matt Stafford to the Rams seemed one sided at first but now appears to be one of those rare NFL trades that worked out well for both sides.

– The New York Jets finished the regular season 3rd in overall defense. It is an amazing feat given how little support the offense provided. The Jets offense was a three-and-out machine all year long, leaving the defense on the field for much of each afternoon. Both teams that finished ahead of the Jets in overall defense, Cleveland and Kansas City, were in the top half of the league in total offense. The Jets offense finished 31st in overall offense.

– The Jacksonville Jaguars are one of the season’s biggest disappointments. The Jaguars have a decided edge in overall talent level over any team in their division, yet still managed just nine wins.

– The Atlanta Falcons fired head coach Arthur Smith after finishing 7-10. The Falcons head coaching job will fly under the radar, but it should be one of the more coveted spots for prospects. Atlanta has some very promising young players at their core. The Falcons can add an immediate starter to that group as they own the 8th pick in the 2024 draft. Atlanta can be one of the quick turnaround teams in 2024 for whoever takes over as head coach.

– The Jets 7-10 season means they will pick 10th in the 2024 draft. One of the worst-kept secrets of the upcoming draft will be the Jets desire to add one of the two Offensive Tackle prospects rated in the top ten of the draft. Most analysts have Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu rated slightly higher than Notre Dame tackle Joe Alt. Both are expected to be selected early in the draft. If either man is available, the Jets will pounce on the opportunity to plug him in at left tackle. There is a chance that neither player will still be on the board. If that happens, the Jets would be tempted to reach for a tackle. That would be a mistake. The best option if Fashanu and Alt are not available, is a trade-down. The Jets could add picks with a trade back, grab the next highest-rated tackle, and pile up extra selections to fill the multiple spots on their porous offensive line.

– Congratulations to Jet’s offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson. Tomlinson has not missed a snap in five seasons. That is amazing durability in this age of the NFL.

– Bryce Huff led the Jets in sacks with 10. His pending free agency is a conundrum for the Jets. Huff will garner interest on the open market, but he is not a full-time player. Huff expressed his desire to play more often, but the Jets coaching staff clearly did not feel he should be on the field in early down situations. How much the Jets will pay to retain Huff is one of the major questions for the offseason. It will be interesting to see if the team feels they need Huff back and at what price.

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Nick Ferraro

This Article Was Written By Nick Ferraro

Nick Ferraro


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