Eagles owner Jeff Lurie on Chip Kelly: 'The end result was mediocrity'

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeff Lurie didn’t hold back when discussing the firing of coach Chip Kelly.

“I wanted to make Chip accountable for everything he wanted to happen, that is what he insisted on,” Lurie said. “I in fact remember saying to all of you that there’s dangers in that in terms of having two 10-6 seasons in a row and whether making significant changes, you can easily achieve mediocrity. I think it would be a shame not to try but the end result was mediocrity.”
Lurie said he plans to interview all of the players about what happened.

“I want to engage them and have them understand and what they felt was lacking, I need to understand,” Lurie said. “Have them understand and take accountability but also at the same time be a sponge for what is leadership like in today’s football world. You’re dealing with 22 to 35 or more aged people and people who are elite athletes, trying to perform at the very peak of their profession and there’s a lot of issues. And what is leadership like in today’s world?

“It’s very, very different than it was 10, 15 years ago. I would like to think that we’re always gonna try and be on the progressive end of how to lead and that’s top-down, but it’s also through the head coach and people the head coach surrounds himself with. It’s a real opportunity and if I wait until Monday, there would be so much less of that opportunity.”

Lurie said the new coach needs to connect with players on a personal level and have “emotional intelligence.”
The Eagles aren’t hiring a general manager. Howie Roseman and Tom Donahoe will split up duties.
“I think the best approach is a real collaborative approach,” Lurie said. “In this case with Chip, I think there were some very good reasons to be bold about what he wanted to be able to accomplish and do. However, going forward, I think a much more collaborative approach between player personnel and coaching is the way to go. That’s the direction we would go.
“In terms of the front office and the executives and all that, Howie Roseman will remain our Executive Vice President in Charge of Football Operations. Tom Donahoe will run the day-to-day player personnel department, which is crucial hire and a crucial position in terms of player personnel. Howie Roseman will be responsible for making sure our player personnel department is as good as it gets in the NFL, he’ll be accountable for that.”
What does Lurie want in a coach?
€œI think in terms of what we’re looking for in a coach, it’€™s several things,” Lurie said. “Number one, a smart, strategic thinker, that’s a given. You’ve gotta be looking out for the short-term, mid-term and long-term interests of the franchise. Looking for somebody who interacts very well and communicates clearly with everybody he works with and comes in touch with. Understands the passion of our fans and what it’s like to coach the Philadelphia Eagles he said. It’s a unique, incredibly passionate fanbase that just wants to win. You’ve got to incorporate that in your life, in your heart and you’ve gotta be willing to do that. Another thing is attention to detail. I think all good coaches have tremendous intention to detail. And lastly amongst many other things but I’€™ll just mention a few, you’ve got to open your heart to players and everybody you want to achieve peak performance.
“€œI would call it a style of leadership that values information, all the resources that are provided, and at the same time values emotional intelligence. I think in today’s world of the way business are run and sports teams are run that a combination, and it’s not easy to have, a combination of all those factors creates the best chance to succeed. In terms of the staff, no one is eliminated, every member of the staff is under contract and yes, it’s possible there will be some interviews of some members of the staff.”
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL
Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.

A crash course in NFL Playoff scenarios

A crash course in NFL Playoff scenarios.

After a crazy week, let’s put context around the different playoff scenarios. All likelihoods discussed are based on 50,000 simulations of Week 17 and our playoff probabilities.


The Redskins are locked into the four seed – the only one of 12 seeds from either conference figured out.

For the one seed, Carolina needs a win or a Cardinals loss to lock up the top seed. The chances of that happening are 81%. Arizona has a 19% chance of getting the one seed. The team that does not get the one seed from that scenario will have the two seed.

Green Bay and Minnesota are playing for the NFC North title. There is a 53% chance that the Packers win, giving the Packers a 53% chance at the three seed and 47% chance Green Bay gets the fifth seed and travels to take on Washington next week.

Minnesota is 47% likely to get the three seed. The fifth and sixth seeds if Minnesota loses at Green Bay will be determined by the Cardinals/Seahawks game. There is a 17% chance Minnesota gets the six seed and we see a Vikings at Packers rematch next week.

That leaves an 83% chance that Seattle gets the six seed.

If the Packers travel to Washington we would project that game as a pick’em and Green Bay to be a 3.5 point underdog hosting Seattle. Based on likelihood to get out of the wild card round with a win, it is in the Packers best interest to lose Sunday.

That leaves us with most likely seeds: 1) Carolina, 2) Arizona, 3) Green Bay, 4) Washington, 5) Minnesota, and 6) Seattle


The AFC is a little more open with eight teams alive and no team locked into a seed .

We’ll start with the AFC South… To get in, Indianapolis needs the nine following things to happen: Colts win, Texans lose and the Ravens, Falcons, Bills, Broncos, Dolphins, Raiders and Steelers all win. The likelihood of that happening assuming Andrew Luck does not start is less than half a percent. In 50,000 simulations, that happened 37 times. With a healthy Andrew Luck, that jumps all the way up to 46 times in 50,000 times.

For the one seed, New England needs a win or a Denver loss to lock up home-field advantage. The chances of that happening are (also) 81%.

Denver and Kansas City are vying for the AFC West title. The Broncos are 81% likely to win AFC West by beating San Diego or Kansas City losing to Oakland. The Broncos currently have a 19% chance at the one seed, a 54% chance at the two seed, an 8% chance at the three seed and a 19% chance at the five seed.

Cincinnati is likely to get the three seed. The Bengals are 73% likely to get the three seed and 27% likely to end up with a first round bye and the two seed.

The Jets get the six seed if they win or the Steelers lose. The chances of that happening are 66.4%, which leaves 33.6% for the Steelers to make it in.

Then the most likely AFC seeds are: 1) Patriots 2) Broncos 3) Bengals 4) Texans 5) Chiefs 6) Jets

The most likely current Super Bowl is Arizona winning by 4 points over the Patriots. The Cardinals are 29% likely to win it all, followed by the Patriots at 18%, Panthers at 14%, Broncos and Seahawks at 8%, the Bengals at 6% and the Chiefs at 5%

Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith returning for 2016 season

Baltimore Ravens veteran wide receiver Steve Smith is coming back for the 2016 season.
Smith told the Ravens he wants to return, and he informed everyone else via his Twitter account.
Smith has previously said that 2015 would be his final season, but he changed his mind.
Smith is coming back from a torn right Achilles tendon.
Smith is entering the final year of a three-year, $10.5 million contract.
Smith celebrates his 37th birthday in May.
Smith caught 46 passes for 670 yards and three touchdowns in seven games before getting hurt.
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL
Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle

SQ Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Preview

In a game that will be mostly overshadowed by the two CFP games being played the same day, the Peach Bowl should be a terrific matchup. Florida State and Houston play each other for the 17th time in their history, but the first since 1978. Houston is riding high after winning the American Athletic Conference, but FSU has to be disappointed after having a lackluster year by their standards. Here’s what to expect from this year’s matchup: 

Major Storylines 

No Everett Golson: Upon his arrival at Florida State, quarterback Everett Golson was supposed to be the bridge between former star Jameis Winston and the future. However, Golson wasn’t able to duplicate the success he had from Notre Dame, and due to personal reasons, he will not play in the Peach Bowl. 

Golson started eight of the first ten games this season, throwing for 1,778 yards and 11 touchdowns. After starting off well, key turnovers and a head injury hindered Golson’s play. Incumbent backup Sean Maguire took over starting duties late in the season due to poor performances from Golson and will start against Houston.  

The Cougars Are Looking for National Respect: Houston is having the best season for an American Athletic team since UCF won the Fiesta Bowl in 2014. That might not sound like an accomplishment, but the American Athletic Conference was much improved this year with three teams winning at least ten games, up from only one the previous season. Houston is also the best Group of 5 team, ranked 18th in the CFP rankings. The Cougars are looking at this game as a shot to show everyone how good they are. With a win over Florida State, Houston can also put themselves in position to be considered as the Group of 5’s best chance at making the next College Playoff.  

Key Stats 

40.6 – Points per game scored by Houston this season. The Cougars have one of the nation’s top offenses, and not many know about it. Ranked 11th nationally in scoring offense, Houston has scored over 50 points four times while being held to 24 or less on only two occasions, one being their lone loss to Connecticut. If the Cougars offense is running on all cylinders, they can compete with practically anyone, especially FSU.  

15.8 – Average number of points given up by Florida State’s defense. This game will come down to the matchup between Houston’s high-octance offense and Florida State’s stout defense. Talk all year focused on FSU’s offense, especially Golson and running back Dalvin Cook, but their defense is where they shined and the main reason that they’ve been successful. While they don’t force many turnovers, only 14 on the year, they definitely stop their opponents from scoring. Ranked fifth in least points allowed per game, the Seminoles are anchored by a NFL-caliber defensive back in Jalen Ramsey, who should be matched up with Houston’s best receiver Demarcus Ayers. This game will be a classic bout of power offense verses power defense. 

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

31– Total rushing touchdowns for Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr. (19) and running-back Kenneth Farrow (12). Houston’s offense has already been mentioned, but special attention should be put on the Cougars’ rushing attack. While Ward Jr. leads the team in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, he’ll be glad to have Farrow in the backfield. Farrow is second on Houston with 949 yards and 12 touchdowns, but missed the final two games of the season with an injury. Farrow is expected to return for the Peach Bowl and the running game will be relied on to exploit the Seminoles’ weakness on defense. FSU gives up 180.9 rushing yards a game, 53rd in the nation.  

Key Players 

Greg Ward Jr., QB, Houston: After being recruited to Houston as a defensive back and starting his career at wide receiver, Ward Jr. has turned into one of the most exciting players in college football as a quarterback. His unique style of play has only been seen by this FSU team last season when going up against Marcus Mariota in the Rose Bowl. Ward Jr. has 19 rushing touchdowns, 16 through the air and is the only quarterback to both run and pass for over 1,000 yards. The Seminoles will need to be on their toes to try and defend both aspects of Ward Jr’s game. 

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU: Cook is one of the best running backs in the country, and some would even argue that he is the best. Many thought it was a joke that Cook wasn’t in the top five of Heisman voting, especially when looking at his stats. Rushing for 1,658 yards with a 7.9 yards per carry average and 18 touchdowns, Cook was in the top ten among running backs in all these statistics. Cook accounted for almost 37% of the Seminoles’ total offense and almost 40% of their touchdowns. It’s safe to say that Cook makes the Seminole offense move.


Houston has the advantage on offense and FSU has the advantage on defense. The real deciding factor will be the Cougars’ defense against the Seminoles’ offense, where there’s a distinct advantage for FSU. Neither should be able to pull away enough to make this game a blowout. Betting against Greg Ward Jr. is hard, but the old adage of defense wins championships could apply here in the end.

FSU def. Houston 24-21

SQ Cotton Bowl Preview

It’s come down to this. The matchups are set, now it’s time to find out who’s the best of the best. On New Year’s Eve the nation will be one step closer to crowning a national champion when Alabama and Michigan State square off in the Cotton Bowl. Easily one of the most anticipated games the College Football Playoff has to offer, it pits the Big Ten against the SEC in a contest that is sure to be remembered. Here’s what you need to know:

Storylines Heading Into the Game

Derrick Henry Carrying the Tide Offense: Derrick Henry became the second player in Alabama history to win the Heisman, and deservedly so after literally carrying the team’s offense the whole season. Henry averaged the second most amount of carries in the nation (26.08), while picking up almost six yards each carry. Don’t expect to see a change in the gameplan; Henry got the Tide this far and he’s going to factor into this game as well, even with the Spartans keying in on him.

Is the Big Ten on Par with the SEC?: Two years ago, fans were laughing at the Big Ten, saying it didn’t have a snowball’s chance at competing for a national championship. Last year proved the Big Ten was back and in a big way. Not only did Ohio State win the national championship, but the conference beat two of the SEC giants (Alabama and Auburn). If Michigan State can send the Crimson Tide packing with a loss in its second straight Playoff appearance, it certainly makes the Big Ten’s argument a lot stronger.

Alabama Trying to Avoid Postseason Disappointment for Third Straight Season: The postseason has not been kind to Alabama the past two seasons, and the Tide are hoping to reverse that trend against the Spartans. Let’s just say that Nick Saban is probably happy that his team isn’t playing in the Sugar Bowl this season. Having lost to Oklahoma and Ohio State in consecutive seasons has left a sour taste in the mouth of ‘Bama fans. It’s certainly not what Nick Saban is used to after winning back-to-back national titles.

Key Stats

90 – In the past two games he’s played, Derrick Henry has carried the ball 90 times. That’s something to take note of considering that he carried the ball a total of 97 times in the four games prior to that. Will Henry get the 45 carries he’s been averaging through that span? If Henry is getting good yardage, and doing a good job of getting into the second level, then expect Lane Kiffin to keep feeding him the ball.

111 – The combined amount of rushing yards that Michigan State gave up to Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State) and Jordan Howard (Indiana), two of the top three rushers in the Big Ten. They may not be Derrick Henry, but they’re two of the best running backs that the Big Ten has to offer. Michigan State doesn’t care who they play, they’re ready for the challenge.

38.98% – Against Top 25 teams this season, Michigan State has converted just 38.98% of third down opportunities. It’s sort of ironic, given that the Spartans are ranked fourth in the nation in third down conversion rate (50.53%). Michigan State is going up against one of the best defenses in the country, and the Tide are great at making third down stops (27.92% opponent conversion rate). This is an area the Spartans have to do well in if they’re going to play for a national championship.

Key Players

Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State – Cook has had a relatively quiet year for the Spartans after being hyped up to have a big 2015. However, there was a four game stretch where he threw for 1,428 yards and 11 touchdowns, looking like the highly touted NFL prospect he was believed to be. When Cook is on he’s hard to beat. If his shoulder is healthy, he’ll be able to make NFL-caliber throws all over the field. The key for Cook in this game is to make quick decisions and get the ball out early. He’ll have to be on his toes with the way this Alabama front seven can get into the backfield.

Jake Coker, QB, Alabama – All Jake Coker has had to do up until this point in the season is protect the ball and make throws when needed. And to his credit, Coker hasn’t done a bad job of being a game manager for the Tide offense while Henry tears apart the ground game. But Coker will have to be a little more than a game manager in this game since the Spartans are one of the top teams at defending against the run (113.08 opponent rush yards per game).

He’ll need to take advantage of a vulnerable Spartans pass defense that ranks 96th in the country in giving up pass plays of 15+ yards (72). If Coker can hit medium range passes like that throughout the game, then it will make it that much easier for Henry to be successful. 

Why Michigan State Will Win

Michigan State is a solid all-around team that makes you beat them. The Spartans are +16 in turnover margin on the year, and they don’t commit penalties that would drag them down. Mark Dantonio is one of the best coaches in the game, and he’s going to have his team ready to win this football game. If Cook can make quick decisions with the ball and be successful on third down, the Michigan State offense should score enough points that will cover its defense.

On the defensive side, it’s stopping Derrick Henry at the point of attack. When Henry gets to the second level, it’s too late. The Spartans need to meet him at the line of scrimmage head on if they’re going to limit the damage he does. Arkansas did a good job of this, holding Henry to 95 yards on 27 carries. Limiting Henry coupled with getting pressure on Jake Coker is the key to beating Alabama, and the Spartans have the defense that can do just that.

Why Alabama Will Win

Alabama will win this game because it won’t make the same mistake that Urban Meyer made against the Spartans. The Tide will continue to give the ball to Henry even when he gets stuffed by this Michigan State defense. Henry is the workhorse that won’t quit, averaging 6.13 yards per carry in the fourth quarter. He gets stronger as the game goes on, and the team feeds off of his energy. If Henry can get it going and Coker can hit a couple of big passes early on, this game could really play up to the 10 point spread that Alabama is favored by.

The Crimson Tide defense is going to show up and do what it has done all season: wreak havoc. Wracking up 46 sacks this season, the Tide are going to force Connor Cook to make throws before he’s ready. What that will do is create a chance for the secondary to make interceptions or at least bat the ball down. Michigan State has yet to face a defense as strong as this one, and this game might not be pretty for them.


This game is going to be a grinder. It’s hard to imagine one team really running away with this one, unless it’s Alabama late in the game. Both teams are going to have success, but both teams are also going to get stuffed. Henry and Cook are going to have good games because this is the kind of environment that each thrive in. It’s really going to come down to which team makes the least amount of mistakes and who can take advantage of their opponents miscues. Michigan State has had a great season up to this point, but Alabama’s defense will just be too strong to overcome in the end. 

Final Score: Alabama 27 – Michigan State 20

Source: Ravens guard Robert "Snacks" Myers signing with Broncos' active roster

The Denver Broncos are signing offensive guard Robert “Snacks” Myers to their active roster off of the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad, according to a league source.
Myers is a 6-foot-5, 329-pound second-team All-Ohio Valley Conference selection who played in the Senior Bowl. He was drafted in the fifth round by the Ravens, but was released, signed by the Indianapolis Colts, then released and then rejoined the Ravens.
He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.44 seconds at the scouting combine, but had a 1.82 10-yard split. He also had a 27.5-inch vertical leap.
Myers was a three-year starter at Tennessee State and a two-time all-conference selection.
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL
Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.

SQ Orange Bowl Preview

The playoffs are nearing. The Orange Bowl and the Cotton Bowl will decide who participates in the National Championship. And today, I will be previewing the Orange Bowl between the Clemson Tigers and the Oklahoma Sooners. Clemson has had its most successful season since 1981 when it last won a championship, while Oklahoma has bounced back from a disappointing 8-5 season last year to win the Big 12 title.

Storylines Heading Into The Game

Deshaun Watson lives up to the hype: Going into the season, Deshaun Watson had high expectations and he has lived up to them. He was the most electrifying dual-threat quarterback in the nation, as he was the only player to pass for 3500+ yards and rush for 800+ yards. He passed for 30 touchdowns and added 11 touchdowns on the ground. His arms and legs are a big reason why Clemson is 13-0 and one game away from playing in the National Championship.

Lincoln Riley proves to be a genius hire: In 2014, the Sooners were 24th in total offense (465 YDS/G) and20th in scoring offense (36.2 PTS/G). Although are neither of those stats are bad per se, Bob Stoops knew his offense could be better. So he went and snatched offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley from East Carolina and made transfer Baker Mayfield the starter. The results proved to be effective. Under Riley, the Sooners experienced a surge in offense, as they ranked 6th in total offense (543YDS/G) and 3rd in scoring offense (45.8 PTS/G). Mayfield was one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, as he passed for 3389 yards and 35 touchdowns while rushing for 420 yards and adding seven touchdowns on the ground. Although he didn’t have the same season that he had last year, running back Samaje Perinewas still very productive, as he rushed for almost 1300 yards and 15 touchdowns.  

Is Clemsoning officially dead? Clemsoning, the notion that Clemson loses football games it absolutely should not lose, seems to be an afterthought now. In perhaps the most epic rant of the 2015 college football season,Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney made sure that “Clemsoning” would never be mentioned again. He was right. Clemson is undefeated for the first time since 1981. It has not lost to an unranked opponent since 2011 and has defeated three top ten teams this year (Notre Dame,FSU and UNC). 

Key Stats  

122.5: In his last two games, Watson is averaging 122.5 rushing yards per game. He has rushed for over 100 yards in four of his last five games and has added seven rushing touchdowns during that span. Oklahoma’s rushing defense is one of theteam’s weak points, allowing 149.2 rushing yards per game. If Watson can take advantage of that, it will be a long game for the Sooners.  

19: Oklahoma has 19 interceptions this season, which is the 8th most in the nation. Cornerback Jordan Thomas had a provided key production for the Sooners’ secondary with five interceptions and 153 returned yards. He will likely be lined up against Artavis Scott, Clemson’s top receiver. If Thomas and the rest of the Oklahoma secondary are able to contain Clemson’s receiving unit, the Sooners should be able to come out on top.

166.9: Clemson has given up an average of 166.9 passing yards per game in 13 games this season. That ranks 5th best in the nation. Overall, Clemson has one of the best passing defenses in college football. In addition to ranking 5th in passing yards given up per game, it also ranks 1st in opposing completion percentage (46.1%), 14th in yards per pass attempt givenup (5.9) and 7th in opposing quarterback rating (102.2). The one area that it needs to work on is passing touchdowns given up. Clemson has allowed 16 passing touchdowns, which is tied for 40th in the nation. If the Tigers can contain Baker Mayfield and make things difficult for him, they should be able to limit his touchdown throws.   

Key Players  

ShaqLawson, DE, Clemson: Lawson was an absolute monster for the Tigers this season. The junior had 10 sacks and 22.5 tackles for losses, which was the best in thenation. He was one of three players in the nation to have 10+ sacks and 20+tackles for losses. His explosiveness on defense is a key reason for Clemson’s undefeated season. 


SterlingShepard, WR, Oklahoma: Shepard was Mayfield’s favorite target. He had 1,201 receiving yards and caught 11 touchdown passes this season. In his last five games, Shepard is averaging 130.4 receiving yards per game and has caught six touchdown passes. He is not Oklahoma’s best player, but his receiving abilities have contributed to Mayfield’s fantastic season.   

Why Clemson Wins  

The Tigers are the most balanced team in the nation. They are the only team to average over 500 yards per game and give up an average of less than 300 yards per game. Watson can take over a game with his arms and his legs. He’s also playing behind a stout offensive line that has allowed him to be sacked only 12 more times. If the line can provide Watson the protection he needs, Clemson should be able to punch its ticket to the national championship      

Why Oklahoma Wins  

Oklahoma can win this game because its offense is as good as it gets. Baker Mayfield and Samaje Perine are one of the best quarterback-running back duos in the nation while Sterling Shepard provides a spark at wide receiver. It has also beaten opponents by an average of 25 points, the best mark in college football. When it comes to running away from the competition, there is no better team in college football than Oklahoma.   


This was extremely tough for me to decide. I do believe that this is going to be the best matchup in the playoffs. Both teams are extremely talented and well-coached. Mayfield is one of the best quarterbacks in the country but he’sfacing one of the best secondary units in college football. At the same time,Clemson has given up quite a few touchdowns and Mayfield could take advantage of that. 

This being said, I’m going to have to go with Oklahoma. I do think Clemson is the better overall team but Oklahoma has been a different animal since its ugly loss to Texas, beating its last seven opponents by an average of 32.6 points. They also got destroyed by Clemson last year by a score of 40-6, so they will be playing with a chip on their shoulder. This game could go either way, but my gut tells me to go with the Sooners here.

FinalScore: Oklahoma 49 – Clemson 40 

Taking a Look: Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss

Laquon Treadwell is a third year wide receiver for the Ole Miss Rebels. The Rebels will surely “miss” Treadwell when he enters the Draft. He hasn’t officially declared for the 2016 NFL Draft yet, but he is strongly considering entering as an underclassmen. From the players I have scouted so far, at the receiver position, Treadwell is the best. He seems to have it all with no weaknesses. He is a 6’2”, 210 lb, big bodied receiver, who is deceptive with his speed. He can do so much and is a freakish athlete. It is incredible to see Treadwell where he is today after suffering a horrific leg and ankle injury against Auburn in 2014. He has bounced back and hasn’t missed a beat, so let’s take a look at first, his statistics from this season:

  • Played in all twelve games this season, and is slated to play in the Sugar Bowl vs Oklahoma State on New Year’s Day
  • 1,082 receiving yards with 76 total receptions this season
  • 8 receiving touchdowns and even 1 passing touchdown
  • 14.2 yards average per catch

Now let’s take a more in depth look at Treadwell:
Games Scouted:
vs Vanderbilt (2015), vs Florida (2015), vs Auburn (2015), and vs Alabama (2014)
When you watch film on Laquon Treadwell, one of the first things that will jump out to you is the way he can create separation against defenders. It doesn’t matter whether the corner lined up against him is in press coverage or zone, Treadwell will find a way to get open. The first thing that jumps out at me is how he dips his shoulder when he takes off on his route. Many times, I have seen him dip his shoulders on a corner, and gain at least two to three yards of separation. He does an excellent job of selling a pass play when the offense is actually running the ball. He will take off like he is running a post route, the corner bites, and he effectively takes one defender out of the play. He is also excellent at getting open and finding holes in zone coverage for his QB to float the ball into.
So he can get open, big deal. Can he catch the ball? In the games I watched him play in, I saw him drop the ball twice. Most of the time, Treadwell is a very reliable receiver who catches the ball with his hands. He seems to also have very strong wrists as he will win a contested ball the majority of the time. He does a great job of adjusting to the ball and has made some very acrobatic catches in his college career. The QB play was not the best this season, and so the ball placement wasn’t the best either. Treadwell didn’t miss a beat as he was able to adjust in the air and make the grab.
So, now that he has the ball in his hands, can he do anything with it? Absolutely. Treadwell does an excellent job of running with the ball after the catch. He is a very physical receiver who doesn’t mind lowering his shoulder for a few extra yards. He can be a slippery receiver who can make you miss in the open field. His physicality comes into play in the run blocking game. I have never seen such a physical blocking receiver. He does an excellent job of driving his legs, staying aggressive, and knocking a defender out of the play. Treadwell knocks one defender out of the play and moves on to the next defender in line.
There wasn’t much I didn’t like about Treadwell’s game, but there were two things that were worth noting. When he run blocks, or faces off against corners on his routes, he can get too careless and become too aggressive. Many times, I have seen flags thrown against him for unnecessary roughness or grabbing too much jersey. Second, I worry about whether his route tree is developed enough. For the first two years at Ole Miss, his primary routes were screen plays and post plays. This year, I saw his route tree develop some as he ran slants, hook routes, and a few in and out routes. He is no Amari Cooper when it comes to route running. From what I could tell, he is a an adequate route runner who seems to be a little tight in the hips, but I feel that is something he can work on and fix once he gets to the pros.
I love Treadwell’s potential. I strongly feel he will be a high first round pick. He has made an incredible bounce back from his horrendous injury last season and has put up some great stats and play on film this year. There are a lot of teams this season who are going to be looking for a future number one receiver, and I feel Treadwell can be that guy. He is an all-around receiver with the size, speed, catching ability, and the ability to make something happen after he gets the ball in his hands. I cannot wait to see what he will do in the pros.
Austin Morris is the creator of The Scouting Lab. He is a graduate of National Football Post’s Introduction to Scouting and Scouting Boot Camp. He can be reached atamorris3585@scc.stanly.edu

A betting trend for every NFL team heading into Week 17.

powered byTrend Machine

There is incredible power in understanding history. Though not predictive in nature, understanding how teams, players, leagues and markets have reacted to various scenarios for over 36 years and more than 9,000 games – as is the case with the information available in the Trend Machine for the NFL – is a tremendous supplement to any analysis of an upcoming matchup.

Each week we will provide trends for the upcoming NFL games, some will be team specific, others situational – how often a team covers against-the-spread after covering three games in a row.

Week 17 – Situational Trends

By Week 17 Vegas knows which teams are truly bad. In the last five years, home underdogs of a touchdown or greater in the last week of the regular season have gone 1-33 straight-up and 14-20 (41%) against-the-spread.

  • Games Matching this Criteria: Browns (+10) vs. Steelers and Dolphins (+9) vs. Patriots.

The Cardinals and Chiefs are on fire each having won nine straight games. The last 30 teams to win that many games in a row went 22-8 straight-up in their next matchup but 12-17-1 (41%) against-the-spread.

  • Games Matching this Criteria: Chiefs (-6.5) vs. Raiders and Cardinals (-4.5) vs. Seahawks.

Tom Brady and the Patriots don’t lose often but when they do, New England typically wins (40-10 straight-up) and covers (34-16 against-the-spread – 68%) the next week.

  • Games Matching this Criteria: Patriots (-9) at Dolphins.

NFL Trends – Week 17
(Note: In our date “All-time” goes back to 1978 or when the team joined the league.)

ATL -4 vs. NO The Falcons are 7-3 against-the-spread in their last ten games as home favorites against the Saints.
AZ -4.5 vs. SEA Carson Palmer is 7-1-1 against-the-spread at home with Arizona against non-divisional opponents but 3-3 ATS vs. the NFC West.
BAL +7 @ CIN In the last five years, AFC North teams that have been underdogs of a touchdown or greater to the Bengals are 0-5 straight-up and 1-3-1 ATS.
BUF +3 vs. NYJ The Bills are 8-2 against-the-spread in their last ten home games against the AFC East.
CAR -10.5 vs. TB Cam Newton has never lost as a touchdown or greater favorite, he is 11-0 straight-up and 6-5 ATS.
CHI -1 vs. DET The Bears are 2-7-1 against-the-spread in their last ten games against the Lions.
CIN -7 vs. BAL The Bengals are playing for a bye in the AFC. All-time, teams that have been favored by a touchdown over the Ravens are 5-1 straight-up.
CLE +10 vs. PIT Cleveland has lost eight straight as double-digit underdogs against AFC North rivals but the Browns went 5-3 ATS in those games.
DAL -3 vs. WAS The Cowboys are 1-5 against-the-spread at home this year and are now 3-11 ATS the last three years when Tony Romo doesn’t start.
DEN -7.5 vs. SD Denver is 3-6-1 against-the-spread in its last ten home games as touchdown or greater favorites.
DET +1 @ CHI Detroit is 2-18 straight-up in its last 20 games as road dogs against the NFC North, the Lions went 9-10-1 ATS in those games.
GB -3 vs. MIN The Packers can clinch the NFC North with a win, Aaron Rodgers is 18-4 straight-up (14-7-1 ATS) vs. the division as a home favorite.
HOU -6.5 vs. JAX The Texans clinch the AFC South with a win, Houston is 15-7 straight-up all-time as a home favorite against the division.
IND -6 vs. TEN Indy needs a win (plus a lot of help) to make the playoffs. The Colts are just 3-4 straight-up (3-4 ATS) in home games this year.
JAX +6.5 @ HOU The Jags have been road dogs in 13 straight games vs. division opponents. Jacksonville went 8-4 ATS in its previous 12 games.
KC -6.5 vs. OAK KC has won nine straight (including four in a row vs. the AFC West) and is 7-2 against-the-spread during the winning streak.
MIA +9 vs. NE The Dolphins have been underdogs to the Patriots in 25 straight games, Miami went 11-13 ATS in the previous 24 contests.
MIN +3 @ GB The Vikings can clinch the NFC North with a win but Minnesota hasn’t won in Green Bay since 2010 and is 1-4-1 ATS in its last six games in Lambeau.
NE -9 @ MIA New England clinches home-field advantage with a win, the Pats have won 18 straight as touchdown favorites vs. the AFC East ( but are only 6-10-2 ATS)
NO +7 @ ATL This is the fifth straight division game in which the Saints have been underdogs, New Orleans covered the previous four.
NYG -3 vs. PHI The Giants are 2-8 ATS in the team’s last ten home games against the Eagles.
NYJ -3 @ BUF The Jets can clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Bills but New York has lost and failed to cover in four straight vs. Buffalo.
OAK +6.5 @ KC The Raiders are 14-6 against-the-spread in the team’s last 20 road games against division rivals.
PHI +3 @ NYG Philly is 8-2 against-the-spread in its last ten road games as underdogs against division opponents.
PIT -10 @ CLE Big Ben has been a double-digit road favorite seven times in his career and failed to cover in each game (including losing outright last week).
SD +7.5 @ DEN Philip Rivers has won six of his last ten trips to Denver and the Chargers went 7-1-2 against-the-spread in those games.
SEA +4.5 @ AZ In Russell Wilson’s career, the Seahawks following a loss in the regular season are 11-6 against-the-spread the next week.
SF +3.5 vs. STL The 49ers have been home dogs to the Rams 11 times. San Francisco is 3-8 straight-up and 5-5-1 ATS.
STL -3.5 @ SF The Rams aren’t favored on the road often (just 10 times in the last ten years), but when they are St. Louis covers (7-3 ATS).
TB +10.5 @ CAR The Bucs have lost six straight as double-digit dogs to divisional rivals but Tampa Bay went 3-3 against-the-spread in those games.
TEN +6 @ IND The Titans have failed to cover in seven straight road games against division rivals (1-6 straight-up as well).
WAS +3 @ DAL The Washington professional football team is 8-2 ATS in its last ten trips to Dallas.

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Breaking Down DC Artie Burns and DT Maliek Collins

Artie Burns – DC – Miami
Burns is a third year junior and a two year starter at corner for Miami. Usually plays to the boundary side of the field. He had an exception year in 2013 with 36 total tackles, five broken up passes and six interceptions. He was a four star recruit coming out of high school with offers from schools such as Alabama, LSU and USC. He was also a top hurdler in high school with a personal best of 13.36. While at Miami he ran the 60 meter indoor hurdles with a personal best of 7.74.
Size –
6000 – 193 – 4.48
Strong Points –
Height, long arms, exceptional body control, good speed with quick feet and loose hips. Strong jam, turn and run, man and zone coverage, ball skills and hands. Willing run support player with good tackling ability.
Weak Points –
Not a burner, needs to add some bulk and strength. Can get loose in coverage at times.
Summation –
Burns has all the natural tools to be a very good corner in the NFL. The only thing he lacks is elite speed. While he was a top hurdler in high school he is not a burner. Will probably run in the high 4.4’s. He has a strong jam and can mirror receivers in press coverage. Keeps good position in zone and he has excellent hands and ball skills. He reacts quickly to the run and is willing to come up and make plays. Good tackler but needs to add some bulk and strength to be more effective at the next level. Where he gets drafted will be determined by how well he times in the 40, but he won’t get out of the second round and could go higher.
Maliek Collins – DT – Nebraska
Collins is a third year junior and two year starter at defensive tackle for Nebraska. He had a very good 2014 season statistically but his production dropped in 2015. In 2014 he was credited with 45 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. In 2015, he finished with 29 total tackles, 7 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
Size –
6012 – 300 – 5.10
Strong Points –
Flashes dominance. Has some “wow” plays. Very quick initial quickness. Has quick hands. He is a good to very good athlete with balance, change of direction and overall body control. Flashes as a pass rusher and a run stopper.
Weak Points –
Short with short arms, can struggle with double teams. Has to beat his man with his initial quickness. Production fell off in 2015. Can be slow off blocks. While he has some wow plays, he also has plays where he is a non-factor.
Summation –
Collins is going to have scheme limitations. Doesn’t have the height and arm length needed to play in a 3-4 scheme. Looks to be best suited to play as a 3-technique in a one gap 4-3. He is very quick and can be explosive but his lack of size and arm length hurt. While he has some big plays he also gets neutralized too often. He is talented but has to play with more consistency. He had another year of eligibility and should have stayed in school.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe