I know the NFL is built for parity and is designed for every team to go 8-8

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, but this is ridiculous.At this point, I’m scared to
look at our weekly game picks update. The Browns finally won (I think I picked
that one), the Bills - gasp - beat the Vikings (more on this in a minute), the
Redskins nearly doubled-up the Packers, Dolphins beat the Raiders, Lions beat
the Patriots, and I lost my first fantasy football game of the year.If there’s
anything I do know, it’s my opinions on these three topics.FALSE START: The NFL
has a rules problem - shockerRemember the off-season and the pre-season? There
was a rules controversy. It was going to doom football. Turn it into flag
football basically. The leading with the helmet rule was going to ruin
everything.Alas, it hasn’t. No, that distinction goes to the new edition of the
roughing the passer penalty. You know the one, it’s the one where someone hits a
quarterback in the pocket....and that’s illegal now.It’s basically the NFL’s
version of home base in tag.In episode 18-5 of this here column - Look! A link!
- I addressed this very rule:When a rule is being bashed by the very player it
was created for - Aaron Rodgers - you know it’s bad. Three weeks into the 2017
season, there were 16 roughing the passer penalties. There are more than double
that after three weeks this season. Roughly half of those have been levied on
Clay Matthews it would seem (not really). This penalty is bad. Like http://www.tampabaybuccaneersteamonline.com/vinny-curry-jersey ,
change it in-season and don’t wait for the off-season, bad.OFFSIDES: Josh Allen
is better at his job than Sean McDermott is at hisPhoto by Brett Carlsen/Getty
ImagesAnytime I openly bash a player or coach, I basically expect said player or
coach to then make me eat my words that week.Such was the case with Josh Allen.
Except, I didn’t bash him. He just came to the aid of his head coach, Sean
McDermott.By defeating the Minnesota Vikings in rather impressive form, my
previous comments about McDermott’s handling of the quarterback situation in
Buffalo are in danger of ageing worse than Macaulay Culkin. Now we wait for a
Culkin blockbuster in the summer of 2019.To make matters worse, Tyrod Taylor
decided to take my support of him and get benched during primetime.Maybe I was
wrong. But, maybe I wasn’t. I don’t think it was McDermott’s coaching genius
which led his rookie quarterback to hurdling Anthony Barr.Still though, it’s
enough to make me wonder if I jumped the gun - get it, offsides - on
McDermott.FREE PLAY: Bashing the UnicornPhoto by Julio Aguilar/Getty ImagesIf
Chris Conte actually had a horn on his head Vance McDonald would have ripped it
off and forged it into the finest sword in all of Westeros. He doesn’t though,
because ‘White Unicorn’ is a nickname, not a literal description of the Tampa
Bay Buccaneers safety.It was a rough play. Embarrassing. More so for him than
anyone else. The still photos of Cameron Heyward’s reaction will likely haunt
Conte for the rest of his days.It was a solid football play by
McDonald http://www.tampabaybuccaneersteamonline.com/lavonte-david-jersey ,
and one which rightfully deserved the reaction it got in the immediate
aftermath.But that was all in the moment. Afterwards, some people felt it was ok
to then make fun of Conte’s knee injury which subsequently landed him on injured
reserve.I don’t know guys, something about enjoying physical injury to another
human being just doesn’t sit right with me. While most of the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers used their bye week to get away from work and relax, Jameis Winston
stayed closer to home and continued to prepare for his first start in nearly 10
months.The No. 1 overall pick from the 2015 draft missed the first three games
of the season while serving a suspension for violating the NFL's personal
conduct policy.Winston came off the bench for the second half of a 48-10 loss to
the Chicago Bears two weeks ago. On Sunday, he resumes his role as Tampa Bay's
starting quarterback against struggling NFC South rival Atlanta.The fourth-year
pro said Thursday he's both grateful to be back and eager to help the Bucs
improve on a 2-2 start."I'm thankful I had the support of my teammates and the
(organization) throughout the suspension," said Winston, who was disciplined by
the league following an investigation of an accusation that he groped a female
Uber driver in Arizona in 2016."I worked so hard for this opportunity," to have
a NFL career, the quarterback said. "To have it taken away briefly, it can make
you reflect on things. Every day is a blessing to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer and
play this great game. I've got to do my best to take advantage of it."Winston is
taking the reins of the NFL's top passing attack and No. 2-ranked offense
overall, thanks to a record-breaking performance by veteran backup Ryan
Fitzpatrick.Fitzpatrick, who's played for seven teams during a 14-year
career http://www.tampabaybuccaneersteamonline.com/kwon-alexander-jersey ,
became the first player in league history to top 400 yards passing in three
consecutive games.The Bucs opened with upsets of New Orleans and Super Bowl
champion Philadelphia, then were outscored 68-13 in the first half of losses to
the Pittsburgh Steelers and Bears, who led 38-3 when Fitzpatrick was
benched.Winston was 16 of 20 for 145 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions
in the second half at Chicago. Sunday's start will be his first since Dec. 31,
when his 39-yard TD pass to Chris Godwin on Tampa Bay's final offensive play of
last season gave the Bucs a 31-24 upset of the Saints.The Bucs were encouraged
by the way Winston played after sitting out three games with a shoulder injury
last fall.One of the knocks on the 24-year-old has been his lack of accuracy on
deep throws. However, coach Dirk Koetter and offensive coordinator Todd Monken
said Winston has made strides since returning from the injury that hindered him
most of 2017."The thing on that is Jameis' shoulder was worse than we thought it
was for a longer period than we thought," Koetter said."Jameis is a competitor
and wants to play. We finally rested his shoulder, he threw the ball better,
period, after that," the coach added. "He definitely had to alter some things
mechanically in order to play when his shoulder was hurt. He's not the only
quarterback in the league who does that."While teammates scattered for the bye
week, Winston chose to spend the six-day break doing individual work and getting
acclimated to his normal routine."I basically did similar things I did the three
weeks I was away http://www.tampabaybuccaneersteamonline.com/vernon-hargreaves-iii-jersey ,"
Winston said. "It was kind of an odd place for me to be because I hadn't played
three games. I did get the little experience against Chicago, so I had to stay
on it."Now that he's back, Winston and the Bucs don't see any reason the team
shouldn't continue to be explosive offensively with Winston throwing to a
talented group of receivers that includes Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam
Humphries and Godwin, as well as tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate."I'm
very confident about that. We have some great (playmakers)," Winston said."You
started to see more confidence throwing the ball down the field, making those
types of throws (late last season)," Monken said Thursday. "That's carried over
from what I've seen in the preseason and the last couple of days."
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