• I’m not sure the Raiders got all the credit they deserve for getting what they’ve got in the past five years, so I’ll give it to them. Navigating everything the team has done to get here is a monumental achievement. After taking down their joint LA project with the Chargers and landing third in the pecking order at Inglewood Stadium (remember, the Chargers left in 2017 with fear that the Raiders would take their place if they didn’t. did not), the Raiders really seemed to be out of options.Months later, they were left with $ 750 million in public funding for a state-of-the-art building in Vegas, survived the start of Sheldon Adelson and Goldman Sachs’ project (which had given the effort its backbone from the start. ) and figured a way to run through the region’s complex politics to a stadium inauguration with a prize pool of nearly $ 2 billion.
Now we can discuss the principle of public funding, for sure, and whether team owners in any sport should have new government-subsidized palaces. But what’s clear here is this: Raiders owner Mark Davis has been way more savvy than anyone thought he would pull this off, with team president Marc Badain leading the business side.
“Mark and Marc did an amazing job –unbelievable», Says a leader of a rival team. “The strength of the Raiders is that the nickname is more valuable than where they are. Raiders can be Raiders anywhere. So finding a place where they can put down roots for the long haul is great. … I am blown away by what they have accomplished. That they created this out of thin air for the NFL, and created so much value that wasn’t there for the league, is incredible.
So how does he create value for the NFL? In Oakland, the team was one of the least financially viable teams in the league. They weren’t earning enough money to share and they were collecting a ton of extra money for revenue sharing. Going forward, they are expected to be in the top 10 of the NFL 32.
In other words, when they start tonight, they will be far from Oakland.
• Lost in the chaos of the Dallas game against Atlanta on Sunday, it was next: the Cowboys offense exploded. Dak Prescott threw for 450 yards, CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper both had triple-digit yards receiving yards and Ezekiel Elliott went over 100 scrum yards, while the line weathered the loss of left tackle Tyron Smith. All around you have seen Mike McCarthy building up his muscles to deploy the wealth of weapons he possesses.
And so there was a lingering question in my head: Whose offense is it really? McCarthy repeatedly said that the offense would remain Kellen Moore’s, and Moore would call the plays and design it as he did in 2019. But then I had heard rumors during camp that the The head coach’s fingerprints were on the unit more than what had been advertised. , so I figured I’d ask the guys who coached against Dallas the last couple of weeks.
What I Found: McCarthy wasn’t lying. It’s still Moore’s offense and the ploy Scott Linehan set up before Moore took the reins from him. But… McCarthy’s marks are there, without a doubt. A defensive coach told me, “There is [McCarthy] subtleties that manifest themselves everywhere. I was given a fantastic example of that.
If you’ve got GamePass, watch the final game of the Rams-Cowboys Week 1 game. It’s identical to the call McCarthy made in third and 20th place in the 2016 playoffs – the one Aaron Rodgers knocked Jared Cook on on 36 yards down the left side to set up a winning basket that took Green Bay to the NFC. title game. In the Week 1 2020 version, Prescott played Rodgers, Lamb played Cook, the ball fell incomplete, and McCarthy’s team lost 20-17.
• This should be a critical week for the eventual resuscitation of the Pac-12 season, and it’s interesting to see, as a college side season begins to merge, how few players who chose not to participate have signed on. with agents. The number: 19. In all college football. This hardly signals the exodus that many predicted during the summer. Ten of those 19 are from the Big 10 and the Pac-12. The four of the latter: Stanford OT Walker Little, Oregon OT Penei Sewell, Washington OLB Joe Tryon and USC DT Jay Tufele.
Going back to school won’t be difficult for guys who have retired but haven’t signed with agents (Ohio State’s Shaun Wade and Wyatt Davis are in that category, as is Purdue WR Rondale Moore). It’s more complicated for those who have done it. I’m told these guys will have to end their relationship on paper with the agents, repay any benefits they received, and then seek reinstatement with no guarantee that it will be granted (although common sense would say the NCAA would almost have to cut some breaks to these kids).
It is also possible that schools are suspending children for taking advantages in trying to get ahead of all NCAA penalties. Which is pretty wild and says a lot about what the NCAA considers important.
• A remainder of my conversation with Packers coach Matt LaFleur on Sunday night – I asked him about the work Rodgers does with the young quarterbacks in the room, and in particular Jordan Love. I’d heard that while Rodgers was pissed off about taking Love in the first place (which is natural), he never pulled him out of the first round pick. And LaFleur pretty much confirmed that one for me.
“I’ll say this: the guy has been an amazing mentor not only to Jordan but also to Tim Boyle,” said LaFleur. “He did a great job communicating with these guys. It is quite special. It’s like having another coach in the room. I go to all those quarterback meetings. He totally embraced this room. He did a great job of taking these two guys under his wing and helping them both.
“He was spectacular.”
In case you were wondering.
• Saquon Barkley’s confirmed ripped ACL couldn’t come at a worse time for him personally. He had a new coach, a new coordinator and a new system to prove himself, and now the chance to do so in 2020 is completely canceled, just 19 carries and 34 yards (an average of 1.4 yards). And that means he and the team will enter 2021 with Barkley eligible for a second contract for the first time, after an ACL tear, with no up to 20 carries under his belt in Joe Judge’s time.
It would be quite difficult for the Giants, I think, to give Barkley a Zeke Elliott / Christian McCaffery type deal in this circumstance. So Barkley would play for a new deal over that kind of injury, and if he’s not 100% on his own, you’re now talking about paying off for the fifth year thinking he’ll get there. And yeah…
Again, very difficult timing for Barkley. The injury could cost him tens of millions of dollars.
• On the other hand, a bullet dodged by Washington OG Brandon Scherff. His knee injury, according to Ron Rivera, is not as bad as initially feared and he should be back after missing a few weeks. Suffering a more serious injury while playing on the franchise label is, for many players, something of a doomsday scenario.
Ex-Bears DT Henry Melton is a good example. Chicago tagged him in 2013 and he quickly tore up his ACL in September. He made $ 8.45 million on the franchise’s bidding this fall – and $ 7.1 million over the last three years of his career (with teams other than Chicago, for that matter). Still money, of course, but nowhere near what he could have made had he hit the market healthy in 2013 or 14.
• With all of the injuries the 49ers suffered on Sunday, I’m very interested to see how Nick Mullens plays for Kyle Shanahan. The coaches there, I’ve heard, love Mullens a lot more than people realize. And given that the defense is losing Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas, it might make sense for Shanahan to open things up a bit, especially when Raheem Mostert is out.
Keep an eye out for that one.
• The Broncos are the worst team in a very good division, they’ve been ravaged by injuries (Courtland Sutton and Von Miller are out for the year) and next year’s draft class should be very strong at the top at the quarterback. The math about it isn’t hard to do: Any time Drew Lock comes back from his sprained shoulder, he could drive a team out of the playoff hunt and work to convince the franchise to stick with him in 2021.
• The Texans are now 0-2, having suffered two double-digit losses (even though they were against the top two football teams), and that makes this weekend’s trip to Pittsburgh a very big one. trip. If Deshaun Watson & Co. can snag a victory there, then they’ll get a struggling Vikings team and a fiery but under-missed group of Jags, and could be on their way. Otherwise, Houston will be 0–3, and the heat will be on everyone.
• Stat for tonight: 71%. That’s the workload of the composite shots of Raider rookies Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards, who led their positional squad in game time in Week 1. Glad to see these two tonight. . And I’m even more excited to see sophomore S Johnathan Abram, one of two Vegas defenders who played the 67 shots in Carolina last week. I know the Panthers left very impressed with him.
He could be a star in the making. And if you hadn’t noticed, quietly Mike Mayock writes really, really well for this team.