Up The Gut Week 8: AB “more headache than reward” for Brady, Bucs

Antonio Brown Patriots
Photo credit USA Today Images
By Shaun Morash

Cold Open

The hypocrisy and inconsistency in how quarterbacks are treated in this league were never more clear than Monday morning when it was announced that Jon Bostic would not be suspended for his vicious hit on Andy Dalton. To lead with your head, lowering yourself like a torpedo, at a quarterback is disgusting and unnecessary. Dalton was ticked even if his Cowboys teammates didn't act like he should be.

The NFL did not announce a suspension in the wake of that hit, sending a message that anything goes when torpedoing yourself at a quarterback, right? Well not exactly. Imagine that kind of hit on Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, or heck even a Matt Ryan? There would be an investigation, there would be a suspension, there would be no doubt. 

Andy Dalton stinks, and he was treated like a piece of gum on the bottom of Roger Goodell's shoe as a result. The NFL is rightfully focused on getting enough guys to play every week without having tested positive for COVID-19, but that shouldn't lead to the Wild Wild West when it comes to dirty plays and injuring players in an already dangerous game without a virus.

Ten Yard Gain

1-Odell Beckham Jr. has a torn ACL, yet again another season with games and/or a season missed due to injury for the former slam dunk Hall of Famer. How the Browns, at five wins, respond in the second half of the year will be telling for his future. Should the Browns roll and Baker Mayfield take off without forcing the ball to #13, the Browns may think twice if the juice is worth the squeeze. If Baker struggles, Beckham's ego will go through the roof and may come back as a justified me-first player. Something to keep an eye on. 

2-Daniel Jones became a meme, a GIF, and every other punchline last Thursday Night. However, after falling down, he didn't let the embarrassing moment ruin him. He navigated the Giants into the end zone three plays later. He also put a pass on the money to Evan Engram late in the fourth quarter to seal the Giants first win in Philadelphia since 2013. Only Engram dropped it, the Giants defense collapsed, and of course Daniel Jones took the brunt of the heat. The kid has all the tools to be a franchise quarterback, but the Giants’ ineptitude may ruin him the way the Texans ruined David Carr.

3-Four yards in a second half of an NFL game is hard to accomplish. The Jets did just that after having a lead of all things over the Bills at halftime. You will walk more yards from your couch to your fridge and back at some point today than the Jets could move the ball in the second half. NFL teams get four yards by accident on a single play in a whole game. Not getting four yards while trying in a second half is a laughable notch on the Adam Gase belt. 

4-Antonio Brown is more headache than it is reward for the Bucs. Depth is never a bad thing at a position of strength, except when you throw in that the Bucs are now hitting their stride and we are in a season where one player doing something stupid off the field could disrupt you greatly if they end up getting COVID-19. Antonio Brown is the lead clown to not follow rules and even disrupt a huddle where he comes back complaining he is open. What I am saying here is there are so many variables that could go off the rails for Tampa Bay, and how many more wins does this signing actually bring them? 

5-Knock Jeff Garcia all you want, but he is right. Cam Newton dressing like a moth, or like he played dress-up in a hamper, is his thing. He loves the style, he loves the fashion culture, but loving those things while playing bad on a bad team comes off as having priorities out of wack. Your play is enough of a laughingstock Cam, you can relax with the outfits until that gets straightened out. 

6-Trevor Lawrence isn't going back to college. He also isn't going to force his way away from the Jets. The risk of injury isn't worth it, and being the toast of the biggest city in the plant is too enticing. Adam Gase is as good as gone, and where else will Lawrence cherry pick to go? The dysfunctional Giants or Jaguars? Give me a break. Lawrence going back to school would ensure one thing: The Jets likely end up with the No. 1 overall pick again next season. 

7- A snow game before Halloween? One of my favorite sporting events to watch is football in the snow. It could be two Division III schools or two NFC East teams since they are basically the same thing, it does not matter. That being said, watching the Chiefs and Broncos look cold in Denver on Sunday reminded me: Stop rushing summer when we have it!

8-The Cowboys should absolutely look to trade for Ryan Fitzpatrick before this week's deadline. They can win this NFC East obviously, giving Fitzpatrick a default first trip to the playoffs. He was playing good football, and the Cowboys need something for that locker room to believe in.

9- The Titans should earn respect even in a loss to the Steelers Sunday. They are a good field goal away from overtime and an epic comeback over another AFC elite. A team that is so run-oriented proved that no deficit is too big for them to come back in. Tennessee is legit, and Mike Vrabel may be the third-best coach behind Bill Belichick and Andy Reid in the AFC.

10-If the Cowboys and Eagles playing a clown car of a Sunday Night game has you uninterested by the second quarter, I would like to give an NFL detox show recommendation. HBO had the premier of their newest soon-to-be hit mini-series, The Undoing, last week. It has all the makings of another True Detective or The Night Of. The perfect weather-is-turning show to invest yourself in on the couch is finally here. 

Five Games to Chew on

5 Raiders @ Browns: Life after Odell Beckham Jr. begins for the five-win Browns against a Raiders team that has come crashing back down to earth. Three weeks ago, Las Vegas was in the conversation for best team in the AFC after beating the Chiefs. Now, what exactly are they? This game could decide the final Wild Card spot in the AFC.
4 Saints @ Bears: The Bears’ offense looks so bad it makes my heart actually hurt. Nick Foles can't hit streaking wide receivers, and the run game is three yards or nothing. Yet their record has them in contention. The very unimpressive Saints travel to what should be a cold Solider Field and must deal with that Bears pass rush. The winner of this game will feel much better in the public's eyes. The loser will have nobody trusting them. 
3 49ers @ Seahawks: Any NFC West game is now must-see TV. The 49ers, despite injuries, have played their way back into the contender conversation with their division rivals. Russell Wilson, with three interceptions, had his worst game of the year against Arizona, so expecting him to have back-to-back stinkers is probably unrealistic for the 49ers. This game will fall in the hands of Jimmy Garoppolo. 
2 Patriots @ Bills: The Bills followed back-to-back losses with a very unimpressive eight-point win over the Jets. Now they host a Patriots team that is playing even worse than they are. We have waited a long time for a passing of the torch in the AFC East. Can the Bills wake up and own this moment? 
1 Steelers @ Ravens: The first of two monster games between these two rivals in the month of November. The second helping will come on Thanksgiving Night. The Steelers probably stopped being underrated after their win over the Titans. Their defense, without Devin Bush, will get another test in a big way versus a well-rested Lamar Jackson. Can the Ravens do enough to slow the Steelers’ pass attack to keep the scale tilted in Lamar's favor on the other side of the ball?

My Picks

Another 1-2 week, albeit by all of three points, has us at 13-8 on the season. For this week:

Colts -2.5 @ Lions: The Colts come off their bye week rested and ready to travel to a Lions team that had the benefit of another Falcons collapse a week ago. The Colts’ defense is top-10-worthy, and I have a hard time imagining the big plays will be there for Matt Stafford in this game. The Lions are a suckers’ bet over the last year-plus, as they are just 5-12 against the spread in their last 17 games. 
Packers -7 vs Vikings: The Vikings as sellers began last week when they dealt linebacker Yannick Ngakoue. The Packers’ offense woke up and bounced back off their loss to the Bucs by punishing the Texans. Green Bay has already made the Vikings into a laughingstock once this year; the good times will continue to roll with another double-digit win here. This spread could scare some away – Green Bay hasn't been this big a favorite over Minnesota in more than five years – but this is far from the division rivalry we remember.
Titans -5.5 @ Bengals:  This is another line that seems out of whack to me. Yes, the Titans play a lot of close games, but the Bengals have guys checking out and looking at the trade deadline. This is the kind of defense and coaching staff in Tennessee that can make things a nightmare for a young rookie QB. I expect the Bengals to be making business decisions when it comes to Derrick Henry tackles. The Titans roll. 

Football Food of the Week:

Chorizo Jalepeno Poppers.  If you listened to The DA Show last week, you may have heard this suggestion, and it is a doozy. Head to @EastBayCook on Instagram for a ton of great ideas, but this may take the cake – and, er, popper. Buy fresh jalapeños and cut them to open up the inside. Chop up some chorizo, cook it, and mix it with cream cheese and it would appear like some shredded cheddar. Stuff that mixture inside the jalapeños and then wrap those bad boys with bacon. Grill them until that bacon and jalapeño is good and crispy for you and serve. You get the heat of the pepper, the oink of the bacon, the gooey of the cheese, and of course the pop of the chorizo in every bite. Now this is a suggestion! 

Thanks for reading as always. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @MrazCBS.