Pro-Mailbag Volume 2
We got tons of tweets, messages and emails with very often super random questions, so we decided to take a crack at some of these, while giving some insight into the weird minds of our followers. If you would like to get our thoughts on the upcoming season or basically any of those weird thoughts dancing in your old noggin, send us a tweet @promathletics or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is volume 2. I strongly suggest you check out volume 1 if you enjoy infotainment.
Which rookie is the next Dak? - Timmy O, Dallas
Just like Dak, this is going to be a case of ability and opportunity. In terms of ability, I would listen to argument about Trubisky, Mahomes, or even Kizer, but add the opportunity part and the only answer is Deshaun Watson. After he takes down Tom Savage for the starting role, he’ll have some offensive weapons to rely on in DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. Given the fact that the Texans won’t have to put up many points to win games with a top 5 defense, Watson may be in the perfect position to take too much credit as the dreaded “game manager”. Also, it’s important to remember that 9 wins may get them into the playoffs in a tiebreaker situation with the Titans.
What does Blake Bortles’ season look like? Chris T., Chicago
As we have mentioned before, Bortles is the king of garbage time stats. I mean he has
made an art of the thing. In fact, www.fivethirtyeight.com just wrote a whole piece on it. In the last 2 years he has a 111 passer rating when down by 9 or more in the last 5 minutes of the 4th quarter. Almost 21% of his touchdowns come during garbage time, which have contributed to exactly zero comeback wins. Jags leading WR Allen Robinson was recently caught on tape complaining about his throws and CB Jalen Ramsey is liking IG posts calling for his ouster. Let’s just say there is not a TON of confidence in his abilities. One thing can be said for Blake, he is consistent. He’ll probably throw 17 INTs and about 25 TDs (with 5-7 of those coming in garbage time and thus being completely worthless). I think he’ll finish the season as the starter on the road to 5 wins, but this will most likely be his last in Jacksonville.
Which fan is the least desirable to fight? Nick R., Penfield, NY
Now this is a tough one. There are so many to choose from, but the top groups are pretty
easy to identify. The 1st most obvious nominee would be Raiders fans. They’re from Oakland, they have those shoulder pads with the spikes on em, and a lot of pent up anger about the impending move to Vegas. Second on my list is Ravens fans. There is no real in depth analysis here, just the simple fact that they are mostly assholes and always seem so angry. Not sure if the anger stems from always having to defend Joe Flacco, their old stabby MLB, or their current bleach loving defensive end. Consistently losing to their ‘rival” Pittsburgh probably doesn’t help either. With all due respect to Philly, Chicago, and New York fans, I’m going to put the Bills Mafia in 3rd place. These guys just straight up get after it. I’ve seen my share of brawls in person in Orchard Park and it gets ugly. The combination of blackout city and very little to lose can have serious ramifications. Bonus points for using your car as a weapon. Honorable mention to Patriots fans, who engage in psychological warfare, just annoying the shit out of you talking about Brady and Belichick.
Is there any hope for Browns fans this year? Dave B., Cleveland, OH
While outwardly voicing pessimism and general malaise about most upcoming seasons, I contend that many Browns fans are secretly optimistic every year. There is very little logic to these mysterious thoughts, but, nevertheless, they persist. For many Browns fans 35-50, they grew up or had their formative years in the 80s. This was a time when they went to the playoffs 5 straight years, including 3 trips to the AFC Championship Game. Maybe they’re all just yearning for successes of their youth. With that being said, let me feed the dragon for a moment. By all accounts, they should have a top 5 offensive line and 2 serious threats in the backfield with Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson. My thought on starting Osweiler initially has to do with the schedule. None of the QBs will probably stand a chance against Pitt or @Balt. Throw Brock to the wolves for those 2, then make the switch to Kizer for a nice little stretch of @Ind, Cin, NYJ, which are all winnable. That probably puts them at 3-5 going into the bye. Kizer grows into the role, the ball bounces the right way, and this team could realistically end up 7-9 or 8-8, which would basically be
like winning the Super Bowl after eeking out just one win in 2016.
Who will be the 1st coach fired? Taylor S., Toronto
Real quick, 3 names come to mind, Jay Gruden, Sean Payton, and Marvin Lewis. Gruden has the tough distinction of coaching for a loose cannon of an owner. Dan Snyder loves to get in the mix and if Washington starts off slow, I could definitely see him pulling a quick trigger to be sure to squeeze the most out of the Cousins investment. Now consider Sean Payton. The Saints have been to the playoffs just once since 2012, winning the Wild Card game before bowing out in the divisional round in 2013. They have gone 7-9 in 4 of the last 5 seasons. That is a recipe for continued mediocrity. We all still have the warm and fuzzies from the Katrina Komeback season and the 2009 Super Bowl, but this is a business and you can only go 7-9 for so many years before you are forced to make a change. Don’t be surprised if that change comes this year. While those seats are pretty hot, you could grill a Tomahawk steak on Marvin’s chair. While he has put together some double digit win seasons in the last few years, he has failed to win even a single playoff game during his 14-year tenure. Considering the strength of the AFC West and the Steelers, a slow start will probably mean missing the playoffs. If you miss the playoffs, it is difficult to win a playoff game. Will this be the year the Brown family finally says enough is enough? I think so.
Some final thoughts that no one asked about.
Teams that will underperform Vegas’s expectations.
Teams that will outperform Vegas’s expectations
If you have some quandaries you would like addressed, send us a tweet @promathletics or an email at email@example.com.