Gil Brandt threw the full weight of his 84 years of life, draft and NFL knowledge at Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews this week.


I told him not to come out, stay in school, [that] he’d be a third-round choice, said Brandt, the longtime NFL personnel guru. He came out. He’ll be a third-round choice. He’d be a lot better off because there’s a weak class next year. He’d have a chance to move up.

As a redshirt junior, Andrews was a consensus All-American and Mackey Award winner (best tight end) who was Heisman winner Baker Mayfield’s favorite target. Those honors matter only a little compared to the harsh realities of NFL Draft evaluation. Andrews is one of what is expected to be a record 112 underclassmen betting their skills matter enough to get them drafted in the first two rounds, where the real money is.

Then when he hit the locker room, he heard fullback John Kuhn saying that they needed 11 players back out on the field to line up for the formality of the two-point conversion.

So I just turned around. I didn’t expect I was going to be the first guy leading the troops out there. We were just trying to get the game over and be done with it, Morstead said. Once we got out there, Case Keenum said, ‘Hey we’re gonna take a knee.’ I said, ‘You better,’ because I was already hurting.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma. The New York Post is thrilled with this selection, as it’ll provide years of fantastic cover art material. Mayfield is a somewhat unconventional quarterback who might just help the NFL move into the future — or, what we’ve seen in college for years — on offense.

Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State. Ideal pairing. Chubb is the best pure defensive end in this class and the Buccaneers had the fewest amount of sacks in football this past season.

I’ll just say that’s self-explanatory, Jack said, via Interesting. That’s all I’m going to say.

Jack’s play didn’t involve a penalty, but it did involve a potential gaffe by the officiating crew. On a play early in the fourth quarter, Jack stripped Dion Lewis of the ball and likely would have scored a touchdown, but the play was blown dead after he gained possession of the ball.

Rosen’s game is a lot like Eli Manning’s when he joined the Giants in 2004.


Yes, the Broncos need a quarterback. No, they’re not locked into taking one with the No. 5 overall pick. General manager John Elway will likely be very active with what could be the best free-agent quarterback group in a while, and I don’t doubt his recruiting skills.

Whether it be Kirk Cousins, Tyrod Taylor or one of the Vikings’ signal-callers, for this mock, let’s assume he lands a veteran quarterback.

Sam Darnold, QB, USC. Darnold to Cleveland, mixed with a bridge-starter veteran, seems like the most logical pair of decisions the Browns can make to stabilize the quarterback position.

Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA. In this situation, Rosen sits behind Eli for at least half the season before taking over.

And after finishing the regular season on a blistering 74-22 run, it’s fresh off a week in which it nailed the Eagles’ upset over the Falcons and went 3-1 overall. It was the second straight week in which the model correctly predicted an outright upset. Anyone who has followed its advice is up big.

With the conference title games here, the computer simulated both games 10,000 times and came up with some surprising results.

Marrone brought the folder to his press conference, holding it like the Ark of the Covenant. I find it hard to believe how so many people have an opinion on how to beat New England and no one’s really … done that, he said.

Yeah, first grade class. Thanks for your silly playbook. However, Marrone did add in one vote of confidence.

I’ve got to get through this, he said when it was introduced. This is from the Bolles first grade, and this has the answers that maybe I’m looking for, maybe how we can stop the Patriots.

The Patriots have been a juggernaut all season, boasting the No. 1 offense in the NFL. The Jaguars’ immensely talented defense might hold the secret to beating them, but if they don’t, perhaps Bolles School can give Marrone the edge that he needs. Marrone has quietly been emulating Bill Belichick anyways: just look at that cutoff sweatshirt.

He’s coming in as Jon Gruden, Kingdon said.


The Titans need a turnover early and have to limit what Rob Gronkowski does in the passing game (Travis Kelce was lighting them up last week before a first-half concussion) so they can feed Derrick Henry and let him run downhill. That’s not going to happen though. The Titans are 24th in pass defense against tight ends and 32nd in pass defense against running backs per Football Outsiders DVOA. Their two biggest defensive weaknesses line up squarely with the Patriots biggest strengths on offense. Gronk and Dion Lewis are going to have a first half dance party and then the Pats are going to grind out a second half win that might look closer than it ever was. They won’t want to risk Brady and Gronk getting hurt in a blowout but still win comfortably. Prediction: Patriots 31, Titans 14

What a delight, a very popular matchup for the bosses at the mothership (Jags-Titans is basically the same thing though, so we’re good either way). When the two teams met in Pittsburgh earlier this year, we got a real treat that came down to the last second and a controversial call.

Just minutes before the Browns and Giants kicked off on Monday, reported that Brock Osweiler would be in a position to wrap up the Browns’ starting quarterback job if he looked good against New York.

Well, if Cleveland’s first offensive series was any indication, Osweiler definitely hasn’t wrapped anything up yet. After starting the game 6 of 7, Osweiler turned into the Osweiler you remember last year and threw an interception on a tipped ball.

The interception ended a Browns’ drive that had started at the Giants’ 39-yard line after Cleveland got a huge punt return from rookie return man Jabrill Peppers. Osweiler might end up winning the starting job, but it’s unlikely that he clinched it on Monday night.

In the first 48 hours after the injury, Brady’s hand was in such bad shape that he had no idea if he was going to be able to play against the Jaguars.

Minnesota has one more shot to win the game, entering the two-minute warning with the ball at their own 36-yard line.


Saints 21: Vikings 20 Two catches by Ginn got the Saints to the red zone and Kamara finished the comeback. A 14-yard touchdown catch stunned the home crowd. The Vikings blew a 17-0 lead.

The Vikings couldn’t manage any points after multiple flags killed their drive. The Saints also got a huge break by blocking the punt, setting up Brees with great field position with around five minutes left.

Reasons to be excited: They’ve proven they’re an elite team that is able to overcome any obstacle, no matter the circumstance. They lost franchise QB Carson Wentz, left tackle Jason Peters, running back Darren Sproles and linebacker Jordan Hicks before him, and still pushed through the NFC to reach the Super Bowl for the third time in franchise history.

Reasons to be concerned: Well, there’s the whole Brady-Belichick thing. They’ve dominated the league for the past couple of decades, winning five championships. One came against the Eagles after the 2004 regular season. They’re going against legends, and doing so without their best player, Wentz.

The blue Smurf Titan isn’t one of the characters at the bottom of, so I’m not sure what detour this is supposed to be from our main narrative. I also can’t find Croc anywhere, which, if he truly is absent, would make this one of the few images he doesn’t appear in all season. I wonder if D.K. and S.M.G. (Social Media Guy) are just messing with me because I’ve made such a big deal about finding Croc in every image, but I think that’s giving these blogs way too much credit.

Speaking of D.K., some readers have reached out to me on Twitter or Instagram with links to the artist’s personal Instagram. I appreciate the hustle, but you guys can stop I know who’s making the comics. I have reached out to ask him about it and he much like S.M.G. last year would prefer not to go on the record.

Honestly, I respect that. He wants his work to speak for itself, and while I have absolutely no idea what it’s supposed to be saying, I appreciate his commitment to his craft and the TB12 method of making people’s heads spin when they try to apply logic to it.