Jaguars’ Super Bowl hopes looking up but still rest with Bortles

The best word to describe Blake Bortles is inconsistent.

Bortles can be both good and bad in the same series, quarter and game.

Yet the Jacksonville Jaguars passer was consistent in one stat in his final two preseason games — quarterback rating.

Bortles had a rating of just 64.4 in both games against the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons. How rare is it for a QB to have the same shaky rating two games in a row? The Jaguars are looking for him to do better in the regular season. His career rating is 80.8, and he was at 84.7 last year.

Bortles also had three picks in the last two games that dragged his rating down (and make him the only NFL quarterback with three interceptions this month), but it is still the exhibition season.

Continue reading “Jaguars’ Super Bowl hopes looking up but still rest with Bortles”

New book shows that Eagles’ Pederson is a true original

Doug Pederson belongs to an exclusive Super Bowl club — head coaches who’ve beaten Bill Belichick in the Super Bowl.

There are only two members of the club – Pederson and Tom Coughlin, who did it twice.

Belichick has been a head coach in eight Super Bowls and faced seven different coaches. He won five and lost to Pederson last February (when the Philadelphia Eagles beat his New England Patriots) and to Coughlin twice in a five-year span.

Pederson, though, is showing there is not one formula for being a successful head coach. He has a lot more personality than either Coughlin or Belichick, and he is very candid in his new book, “Fearless, How an Underdog Becomes a Champion” written with veteran writer Dan Pompei.

Pederson raised a few eyebrows by saying in his book he wouldn’t have taken a knee in the final minute of the first half the way Jacksonville’s Doug Marrone did in the AFC title game. It was a bad move by Marrone, but most coaches wouldn’t go public with comments like that.

Continue reading “New book shows that Eagles’ Pederson is a true original”

‘Hard Knocks’ shows the Browns are still a clown show

This is the time of year when most teams see the upcoming season through rose-colored glasses.

It is a time for optimism, not pessimism.

But the Cleveland Browns, coming off a two-year record of 1-31 and an 0-16 debacle last year, have been a bit over the top in the series “Hard Knocks.’’

When Dez Bryant came for a visit (and wasn’t signed), coach Hue Jackson, who has somehow survived this 1-31 start even though the team brought in a new GM in John Dorsey, told Bryant: “Twenty-one days baby, the Pittsburgh Steelers right here at home in front of the Dawg Pound. It will be unbelievable. This will be the greatest turnaround in sports history.’’

Don’t be surprised if it isn’t.

Continue reading “‘Hard Knocks’ shows the Browns are still a clown show”

Giants might come to regret taking Barkley over Darnold

The NFL careers of Saquon Barkley and Sam Darnold are likely to be linked for a long time.

They were the second and third players picked in the NFL Draft, and both will play in New York – Barkley for the Giants and Darnold for the Jets – where they will be under intense media scrutiny in the nation’s largest media market.

In a win-now mode and hoping to get a few more years out of Eli Manning, the Giants took the running back.

The Jets, who had traded up to get the third pick, then grabbed Darnold to be their quarterback of the future.

Barkley figures to have a more immediate impact. He’ll start the opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars — if he’s healthy. He ran 39 yards on his first carry from scrimmage in the first preseason game against Cleveland, but suffered a mild hamstring strain after making a fingertip catch of a pass in practice on Aug. 13. The Giants say he is day to day.

Continue reading “Giants might come to regret taking Barkley over Darnold”

Eagles facing a lot of intruiging decisions at quarterback

The Philadelphia Eagles seemed set at the quarterback position this year when they decided to keep Nick Foles.

They brought back Foles a year ago on a two-year deal at $13 million as an insurance policy in case Carson Wentz was injured.

They cashed in that policy when Wentz went down late in the year and Foles led them to a Super Bowl victory.

Suddenly, Foles’ value went up.

But Foles couldn’t go anywhere because he’s under contract this year at $7 million, and the Eagles decided not to trade him.

Continue reading “Eagles facing a lot of intruiging decisions at quarterback”