Limted Briefing this week with travel and connectivity issue. Hope to be back with you next on Friday morning
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If the Season Ended Today in the AFC:
Kansas City West 10-2 4-0 8-1
New England East 9-3 3-0 6-2
Houston South 9-3 3-1 7-2
Pittsburgh North 7-4-1 3-1-1 4-4-1
LA Chargers WC 9-3 2-2 6-2
Baltimore WC 7-5 2-3 6-3
Miami 6-6 3-1 5-4
Indianapolis 6-6 2-2 5-5
Denver 6-6 2-2 4-5
Tennessee 6-6 2-2 4-6
Could the Steelers fall all the way out of the playoffs? At Raiders, New England, at New Orleans, Cincinnati. 9-6-1 looks likely.
If Baltimore gets to 10-6, the Pittsburgh is in the pool for the 2nd Wild Card spot. Baltimore has at KC, Tampa Bay, at LA Chargers, Cleveland.
Can any of the 6-6 teams run the table?
Miami – New England, at Minnesota, Jacksonville, at Buffalo
Indianapolis – at Houston, Dallas, resurgent Giants, at Tennessee
Denver – at San Francisco, Cleveland, at Oakland, LA Chargers (resting?)
Tennessee – Jacksonville, at NY Giants, Washington, Indianapolis
And remember, Cinicinnati earned the gratitude of Buffalo fans last year with a road win in Week 17 at Baltimore.
So going into Week 17 could be
Pittsburgh 8-6-1 Bengals
Baltimore 8-7 Cleveland
Denver 9-6 LA Chargers (11-4)
Tennessee 8-7 Indianapollis
Indianapolis 8-7 at Tennessee
Miami 8-7 at Buffalo
Quite the mess.
Turning to the NFC, the Rams, Cowboys and Seahawks were the big winners. So too the Eagles.
NFC Div Conf
Los Angeles Rams West 11-1 4-0 7-1
New Orleans South 10-2 2-1 7-2
Chicago North 8-4 3-1 6-2
Dallas East 7-5 3-1 6-3
Seattle WC 7-5 2-2 6-3
Minnesota WC 6-5-1 2-1-1 5-3-1
Carolina 6-6 1-2 4-5
Philadelphia 6-6 3-1 4-5
Washington 6-6 2-2 6-4
Tampa Bay 5-7 2-2 4-5
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Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com with the news that the NFL thinks it has fixed and saved the kickoff – and that now it is turning its attention to the punt.
The NFL plans to make material changes to its punt play, possibly as early as the 2019 season, league officials confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday. The exercise includes a twist: the NFL will crowdsource ideas from the analytics community.
The effort will be part of the 1st and Future project, an innovation competition that culminates in a Feb. 2 presentation in Atlanta, site of Super Bowl LIII. It will continue an ongoing initiative to modernize special teams, most recently through a redesigned kickoff.
Before this season, concussions were five times as likely to occur on kickoffs than the average run or pass play, making it the most dangerous play in the game. Punts are next on that list, causing twice as many concussions, according to Jeff Miller, the NFL’s executive vice president of health and safety initiatives.
ESPN reported last month that league officials were confident enough in the kickoff changes — which were driven by internal data study — that they were ready to move on to punts.
Rich McKay, the Atlanta Falcons’ CEO who also chairs the NFL competition committee, did not commit to adopting any of the public submissions. But he said the punt has long frustrated the league because of not only injuries but also its penalty rate.
Annually, it is the most penalized play in football.
“We know our fans are not big fans of every play ending in a penalty,” McKay said, “and that’s one thing we definitely want to look at.”
The league will provide data from every punt play during the 2016-17 seasons, said Chris Sherwood, a research engineer at Biocore, a biomechanical engineering firm that works with the NFL. The data set will also include injury information and Next Gen stats, the X/Y position and speeds of every player on the field.