NFL Wild Card preview

It’s Wild Card weekend in the NFL and I have my picks for the four games this weekend. What upsets will there be? Who will advance and who will be picked off? All this and more on the latest episode. Make sure to follow and subscribe so you don’t miss any of our latest content.

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4th & Goal: Week 16 Storylines

On our newest segment “4th & Goal” we break down the top four storylines from week 16 in the NFL. What two Pro Bowl snubs helped their teams in the playoff race? What two teams once again let down their fanbases? Why has this season been so great in the NFL and finally could Jim Harbaugh be back in the league next season? All this and more on the latest episode make sure to like and subscribe so you don’t miss the latest content.

NFL Hot Seat Special

At the quarter mark of the 2018 season, let’s dive into what will be a quarterly segment call the “Hot Seat Special”. At each quarter mark of the season I’ll give you my top five coaches on the seat. This is based not only on this season, but their previous track record. If you see a coach that you think should be on this list or that you think should not be on the hot seat comment or send us an email at: Richsportstalk@gmail.com

AFC South Preview

With Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck returning from injury the AFC South is up for grabs in 2018. On this episode of the podcast let’s go through my predictions on how each AFC South teams will finish this season. Remember to subscribe to not miss any of our latest content.

 

A perfect match? Why Hackenberg to the Texans makes too much sense

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 29:  Christian Hackenberg #14 of the Penn State Nittany Lions throws a pass during the first quarter against the Michigan State Spartans at Beaver Stadium on November 29, 2014 in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

It wasn’t that long ago when many scouts felt that Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg would be a future number one pick in the NFL Draft. Now many question if he is one of the top five quarterbacks in this year’s class. Plagued by inconsistency, poor offensive line play, and  a terrible completion percentage, Hackenberg could find himself falling hard when the Draft arrives. Scouting Hackenberg I am not a big fan. My criticisms of the quarterback are that he doesn’t through a tight spiral, has trouble pushing the ball down field with his arm strength, and trouble reading defenses. As a prospect I see Hackenberg being a bust in the NFL, unless he is drafted by one team.

Christian Hackenberg, Bill O' Brien

A reunion could happen with O’brien and Hackenberg. It would be in Hackenberg’s best chance to succeed in the NFL

The Houston Texans is the perfect landing spot for Hackenberg. Given that they are looking for a franchise quarterback after playing QB roulette last season with four different starters, Houston has never truly had a franchise quarterback since their inception in 2002. With the 22nd pick in the draft, Hackenberg figures to be available at that spot. While he fits the Texans’ need for a signal caller, the main reason this is a match made in heaven is because of head coach Bill O’Brien.

As the head football coach of Penn State, O’Brien recruited Hackenberg to Happy Valley and helped turned him into an enticing prospect after a stellar freshmen campaign. In O’Briens system, Hackenberg had his best season at the collegiate level with a 58.9 completion percentage, and 20 touchdown passes to 10 interceptions. It looked like the Nittany Lions would have a dynamic duo with O’Brien and Hackenberg, until O’Brien accepted the head coaching job in Houston.

Since James Franklin took the reigns of the Nittany Lions, Hackenberg regressed with his completion percentage and passing yards both as career lows in his final season at Penn State. Franklin’s system did hurt Hackenberg by often putting the quarterback out their with a below average offensive line and asking the quarterback to throw the ball down the field.

Now the question is does O’Brien want to recruit Hackenberg for the second time? Currently Hackenberg is the fifth quarterback on Mel Kiper’s big board. He should be available at the 22nd pick for the Texans. There are scenarios, could Houston pass on Hackenberg in the first round and hope to trade up for him in the second round? It’s possible but one thing that could cripple Hackenberg’s draft stock is the interest his former head coach gives him.

If O’Brien doesn’t draft Hackenberg in the first round, or worse not even attend his pro day, that would certainly scare off teams that could have interest. Those teams would have to be thinking “if he doesn’t want his former quarterback that he recruited, there must be some major red flags”. The lack of interest could mean that Hackenberg would have a major fall on draft day.

Will their be a Penn State reunion on draft day? Or will Hackenberg’s college regression translate into his stock plummeting during the draft? Stay tuned to find out.

 

 

Tebow Comeback? Which NFL Team Should Take a Shot?

 

Tim Tebow is getting ready for another attempt to play in the NFL. The lightning rod for criticism will once again try to prove that he is indeed an NFL player as he continues to workout in hopes of a call from an NFL franchise. The 26-year-old still remains adamant that he will play quarterback and refuses to change positions. There is no question that the circus that follows Tebow wherever he seemingly travels will make it difficult for a team to give Tebow a chance. It’s hard to win with distractions in the NFL and like it or not Tim Tebow is a major distraction. However, there is one NFL team that should seriously consider bringing in Tebowmania.

After surveying the NFL landscape I found one landing spot that would be a great match for both Tebow and the team. No, it’s not Jacksonville but they are in the same division. What about the Houston Texans?video-working-out-with-tim-tebow-vert

Not buying it huh? Let me explain. Houston has a major problem at quarterback. This year the Texans will go into the season with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, and rookie Tom Savage. And people wonder why Andre Johnson is upset with the Texans collection of quarterbacks.

The problem is that Savage and Keenum are both still very raw prospects who need another year or two to develop. They both have great upside and I really like their potential, but exposing them too soon could break their confidence heading forward. Fitzpatrick is a decent game manager, but that is about it. With a talented defense that could be a top unit in the NFL, a great rushing attack, and the weakest division in the NFL the Texans shouldn’t settle for an average signal caller like Fitzpatrick.

Instead they should go for broke and bring in Tebow. Fitzpatrick is already there to provide a solid backup plan in case the Tebow experiment fails. However, with his effect on the running game and ability to throw the ball deep Tebow would be a nice fit in the Texans offense. Tebow’s affect running the read option will help open holes for running back Arian Foster and allow Foster to have a big season.

Not only will his presence help the running game, but also with the speed the Texans receivers have Tebow only needs to hit a few deep throw a game to have success in Houston. With the weak conference they play in, Tebow could make the Texans a playoff team. We’ve seen this in Denver with a less talented defensive team and a running back that was not the same caliber as Arian Foster. With a better supporting cast and a ferocious drive to succeed Tim Tebow could be a successful quarterback with the Texans.

Granted, it would not be as a normal quarterback. Rather than using short throws to set up the deep ball, Tebow can use his legs and his supporting running game to set up the deep throws which he has greater success with. Would there be throws that will make any NFL fan cringe, yes, but Tebow could be the piece that gets Houston into the postseason.

How you ask? Despite his flaws there is one thing that Tebow is great at throughout his high school, college and professional career. Winning.