Fancy Boys Football Mailbag: Week 14

Fancy Boys founder Matt Drufke doesn’t know anything about football. Lucky for him, Brandon Andreasen and Jack Baker do.

Each week, Matt emails Brandon and Jack NFL questions, they then immediately go and make fun of his lack of knowledge in a secret group chat. They then go and answer the questions. Here are those answers.

1. I won’t call this week’s NFL games boring, but they certainly seemed… predictable. The teams that should have won did and the bad teams stayed bad. Did anything happen this week to change what you two think about certain teams or the league?

Brandon – I came away yesterday with two main thoughts: The NFC is gonna be insane for the final 3 weeks, and the Bills are officially the team nobody wants to play in the AFC Playoffs.

With the former, we are looking at the possibility that up to 2 teams (Rams, Bears) could win 10 games and miss the playoffs while the Cowboys could very conceivably get in with 7 wins. Because of divisional games, we still have two massive, division deciding games coming up in the Vikings/Packers, and 49ers/Seahawks.

With the latter, nobody has slowed down Lamar Jackson like the Bills did. They were in the game the entire way. The Bills defense is very real and dangerous. They have a little bit of a 2017 Jaguars feel to them.

Jack – I’m not sure predictable is the word I’d use to describe a week where the Patriots lost their first December home game in forever, the Broncos stomped the AFC South leading Texans, Jimmy Garrapolo out Drew Brees’d Drew Brees in New Orleans, and the Rams beat down the team many thought to be the second best team in the NFC.

My biggest takeaway from this week is that the Patriots are not good enough to win the Super Bowl. They may get there thanks to some Belichickian magic in the playoffs, but I don’t think they’re good enough on offense or on defense (when they’re not playing the garbage fires that are the two East divisions) to win the big one.

2. I realize that often my questions are: “Weeks ago, we thought team X was one thing and now, here we are, and it feels like they’re something else.” Well, weeks ago, we thought the Colts were a legit AFC contender. But now, here we are, and they’re third in their division. Is this Andrew Luck withdrawal finally showing it’s symptoms? Or are there greater problems in Indy that they’ll have to deal with?

Brandon – Nobody is healthy. They have suffered from the attrition of the NFL season as badly as any team in the league. They tried to rush star receiver TY Hilton back from injury, and his season could now be over. Jacoby Brissett probably shouldn’t be playing but they don’t have anything that remotely resembles a competent backup.

The Colts seem gassed and the Titans are on the come up, so i’m willing to write the eulogy for the Colts at this point.

Jack – They’re one of the many teams that lives in the middle of the NFL standings, good enough to win the NFC East, but not good enough to win a real division. Jacoby Brissett has done an admirable job filling in for Luck, but he’s never going to be able to single handedly carry a team like Luck did for the majority of his career.

Long term, they’ll be fine. They have one of the best GMs in all of football and lots of draft picks and cap space to play with.

3. This year for the New York Giants has been about the grooming of Daniel Jones, which makes me want to talk about Eli Manning. Does Manning have a future with another team? If not, why doesn’t he just retire? And what will his legacy be? Is he a hall of famer or just another Super Bowl winner?

Brandon – Rings put quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame. Joe Namath is a hall of famer, and his numbers were trash. Eli will get into the HOF when he does retire.

The issue is: does Eli know it’s over? Everyone who has watched him over the past three seasons knows that he is done. But Eli might think he can still start because a lot of times, athletes don’t know they are done until someone physically tells them.

There is the possibility that he hangs on for a few years collecting a paycheck as a backup, but he isn’t a starter anymore.

Jack – Eli Manning shouldn’t be a hall of famer, but he probably will be because everyone who works in or around the NFL loves the NFC East. He should have retired three or four years ago. He’s trash. But he’ll probably end up backing up Gardner Minshew in Jacksonville because he’s probably the only player in the NFL who can spend a season with Tom Coughlin without wanting to murder him.

4. We’ve talked about the Bills before, but I want to delve into this a little more because I find this absolutely fascinating: The Bills have won nine games this year, but only one of those teams has a winning record (and the Titans seemed pretty bad when Buffalo tore through them). I get that you can only beat the teams on your schedule, but this is a bad sign for them when they make the playoffs, right? Do they have any chance to get to the Super Bowl?

Brandon – As noted above, the Bills do two things well. They run the ball well, and they play great defense. When the playoffs come around, and the goal becomes to grind down opponents, the Bills are very real. They have lost to the Patriots and Ravens, but were in a position to win both.

In the AFC, the Bills have a chance. Always a chance. 

Jack – Maybe? Their defense is very good. Their offense is real hit or miss with Josh Allen at QB. If he can make some plays with his legs, they may be able to eke out a win or two. But it will be real hard for them to keep pace with the Ravens, Chiefs, or Texans.

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