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Can You Handle The Truth?

It may have taken us 15 weeks to get here, but damn the “hot takes” its time to take into

account a real body of work and measure the strength of the what we know now. To quote a line from a mobster in a movie scene, “Now is not the time to not say”. 

JOSH ALLEN is THE best player in the AFC East.  With all due respect to the other runners and pass catchers in that conference, Allen and Pat Mahomes are embarking on a quarterback rivalry that could stretch for the next 10 seasons that we all need to just accept this and enjoy the competition. If the Buffalo Bills quarterback can duplicate what he did this past weekend in a divisional scrap in New England against the Patriots, Allen just might surprise the rest of the nay sayers in a playoff rematch and elevate himself into the odds-on favorite for future MVP voting. At minimum, he showed us what the future looks like. The physical skills that Allen possesses are elite. Sure, its going to be Mr Toad’s Wide Ride at times but when he throws with the sound fundamentals (especially below the waist) from the pocket and keeps his wits about him when making plays off script and outside the pocket, like he did on Sunday, he has no equals in the game today. 

Consistency be damned, when Allen is on his game, his 6’5”, 240-pound frame includes

howitzer arm strength but its his running skills, comparable to Derrick Henry, that takes him to the next level. The only comparison that I have at quarterback is with Hall of Famer John Elway, who probably wishes he’d have seen what others saw in Allen, the year the Broncos passed on him while searching for their elusive franchise QB. 

And when he lines up on the same field as Patriots QB Mac Jones, like is presumed to now happen twice a year for the next 10 years, it is a side by side illustration of night and day. Who are you lining up behind when all else on any particular play, breaks down? I like Jones for what he is, a game manager, but what he is not is JOSH ALLEN.

This is more truth than some haters are willing to swallow. When determining an NFC champion this year, the DALLAS COWBOYS are a team to be reckoned with. On Sunday night, they destroyed the WFT and served notice that they have a path to this year’s Super Bowl, if their cylinders are all clicking. 

It’s obvious now that LB/Edge rusher/DE Micah Parsons of the Cowboys has quickly replaced Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams as the best defensive player in football. Parsons, a rookie from Penn State, has a variety of ways that he can impact a game on a week to week basis. I don’t make that statement without deep thought. I truly think Parsons could play all 11 spots on defense, figure out how to survive, and get you out of a game. You can also take it to the bank that Parsons is going to wreak havoc with the pocket of any opponent’s passing game from any alignment up front. Teams must now account for him and double him as much as possible. Teams will lose a potential target in their offensive scheme when forced to keep an additional blocker in for protection. 

The Cowboys organization has now combined Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn’s revitalizing vision with talent, and present what has now become the calling card in BIG D, with an offense that finally showed us they have an extra level. This Cowboys team is now, not only the most talented team on paper, but also when applying the context to the field, at the expense of the Washington Football Team, is downright scary good.  I think their lethal combination on offense and defense puts the Cowboys on par with the other favorites, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers, when it comes to sorting out the hierarchy in the NFC. And the truth is-nobody wants to play the Cowboys.

JOE BURROW is now the best measuring stick for QB’s in the AFC North. Yep, the Cincinnati Bengals have finally cracked the code and found a quarterback to build their offense around. The Bengals organization now have some additional players on the stage with him. On the perimeter to support Burrow are TWO 1,000-yard receivers and this team also has a 1,000-yard running back. Per Field Yates of ESPN, Cincinnati’s offense includes Burrow’s 4,165 passing yards, Jamar Chase’s 1,163 receiving yards, Tee Higgins’ 1,029 receiving yards and Joe Mixon’s 1,159 yds rushing yards. The fact that all four players put up these numbers while being 25 or younger in the same season is a first in NFL history. 

Now if the Bengals can just keep Burrow upright. He has been sacked 47 times to this point (a franchise record) and this total should be a future indicator if this team is making positive strides going forward. They are a work in progress but in a shaky AFC North Burrow is what every one of their competitors is looking for. Sometimes the truth hurts.

I want to like Brandon Staley, the first-year coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, and his press

conference sermons, However, if he doesn’t fix one of the worst defenses in the NFL, his stint

as the head man with this team will be short. I always pause when a team struggles in the same area of expertise that got the head coach the job in the first place (see New York Jets defense and HC Robert Sales, also the Chicago Bears offense and HC Matt Nagy). Suffice it to say that if they can’t fix the side of the ball that is supposedly their expertise, they will have issues keeping the faith of a restless locker room looking for answers.

More of NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH- to come ☺

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