Welcome to Five Hot Takes From Week 11. This is a weekly feature where I take a look at five hot takes from the NFL season, then counter them with my own opinion. The temperature of the takes I tackle will vary.
Five Hot Takes From Week 11
It’s time for this week’s list.
1. Kirk Cousins Has Earned the Right to An Extension
If that role is managing his team on simple reads behind a top offensive line, rejuvenated run game, and dominant receiving corps that creates many open looks, then sure. Cousins played well against the Packers, but wasn’t required to make a lot of difficult throws against that secondary because of how good his receivers are.
Perhaps he is limiting the mistakes he’s made in the past, but I’m not buying this whole “top-ten quarterback” stuff.
2. Carson Wentz‘s Receivers are Failing Him
This is actually true. What isn’t is that people are also ignoring Wentz’s accuracy issues. He’s a rookie, yes, but the problem is his early success was treated like something you’d see from Aaron Rodgers or Andrew Luck, and the dink and dunk scheme he was in helped make throws easy. Now that the Philadelphia Eagles have regressed, blame has shifted majorly to the Eagles’ drops.
The drops are a major issue, but so is Wentz’s accuracy. His pocket presence is developing, but in recent games he’s been throwing more erratic, and he doesn’t move in the pocket when he’s supposed to. In addition, Wentz has checked down from clean pockets several times in third down situations. That’s a no-no.
No one is suggesting these issues can’t be fixed or masked with a better receiving cast, but it shows Wentz’s early stretch wasn’t the absolute sensation people thought.
3. Jay Cutler is the Worst Quarterback in the League
Not even close. Where did this nonsense come from? He’s not a great quarterback, but he’s far from the worst. On Sunday against the New York Giants, Cutler played really well despite the absence of Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White, the injuries to Zach Miller and Kyle Long, and a poor offensive line. He was constantly making splash plays in tight windows and had great mobility in this one.
The problem with Cutler is that he has had moments in his career where he’s done boneheaded things, so his decision making is inconsistent. At his best, however, he is an explosive passer with great arm strength, and deserves to start somewhere, if not Chicago.
4. Derek Carr Carried the Oakland Raiders Monday
I like Derek Carr, but he was far from great on Monday night. He wasn’t bad, but made a few major mistakes that almost cost his team the win. The interception he threw was terrible, and he checked down from clean pockets constantly. The game winning touchdown was a screen to Amari Cooper, who did all the work.
The altitude in Mexico probably affected the receivers’ ability to catch, but Carr’s mistakes were equally as bad, if not worse.
5. The Referees are the Reason the Houston Texans Lost
Bill O’Brien would like a word with you. The calls were awful, but he had a chance to challenge an obvious first down on third down and never took it, then punted with three minutes left from the middle of the field with a timeout left.
There is no excuse for that nonsense. O’Brien can whine all he wants about the missed calls, but the Texans had momentum and it was sliced away by his decision to punt.