Don’t want to perpetuate any prophecies or myths in the NFL
Have you heard of self-perpetuating prophecies — or self-perpetuating myths?
Basically, my best way to sum them up is that no matter what evidence comes up, it’s used to prove the theory, whether it supports it or contradicts it.
Which probably isn’t so bad if the theory is true, but these prophecies usually seem to turn out to be myths.
I’m thinking that’s what’s happening with running quarterbacks in the NFL and their propensity to get injured and miss significant amounts of game time.
It came up this week after Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts was hurt — better to say injured considering his name — in the Eagles’ win over Chicago.
This epitome of the running QB — maybe second only to the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson in that category — was hurt on a short run after he was hit a number of times during the game.
See? Stick to the pocket, bud!
People are looking at all the QBs going down in the NFL and linking it to all the running these signal callers — read “amateur running backs” — are doing nowadays.
I’ve been in that camp — I figured that reckless runners like Jackson and Josh Allen of Buffalo were just asking to get knocked out of games.
And both have suffered injuries during the past month or two.
So, you see, these QBs should just sit back in the pocket and throw the ball and they’ll play until age 45 like Tom Brady.
Uh, yeah, except Allen’s injury on Nov. 6 was to his elbow on an attempted sack by the New York Jets as he was throwing.
Where’s the running involved there?
OK, then let’s look at Jackson’s injury on Dec. 4 against Denver.
This was a knee injury. Something you’d expect out of a crazy runner like Jackson, right?
Except it happened the second time he was thrown to the ground on a sack in that game.
Not much running there either.
Arizona’s Kyler Murray just went down on Dec. 11 against New England without any defender — or teammate — anywhere near him. One of those always-bad non-contact injuries.
Dak Prescott was injured back in Week 2 — during September — when he slammed his thumb into the helmet of a Tampa Bay defender.
Couldn’t run from that one, huh?
Since then, the Bears’ Justin Fields was hurt on a run.
So really, it’s seems like a mixed bag when it comes to QB injuries.
You could say some of these mobile QB injuries were caused by running, but also that some were caused by NOT running.
I’ll leave the root cause of all this to the graduate students at MIT or Cal-Berkeley … or, heck, no reason that NMU shouldn’t get involved here.
Now onto this week’s picks, something maybe I should also leave to the experts. But I won’t:
Today, 8:15 p.m.
Jacksonville at New York Jets — I’m invoking the “reverse momentum” theory, picking the team that lost last week over the one that won. In this case, it’s the Jets, 23-19.
Saturday, 1 p.m.
Atlanta at Baltimore — Two losers … last week, that is. But Baltimore ought to have one of its top two QBs available. Ravens, 30-24.
Detroit at Carolina — OK, I’ll finally relent and pick Detroit when they aren’t a slam-dunk favorite. Even though it goes against reverse momentum. Lions, 33-27.
Buffalo at Chicago — Sure, the Bears are competitive. But when it comes to actually winning, I’ll take 11-3 over 3-11. Bills, 34-24.
New Orleans at Cleveland — Deshaun Watson is probably going to get better as the weeks go on, even though I find it easy to root against him. Browns, 24-17.
Seattle at Kansas City — Two teams that seem to have lost their way, but KC certainly has to have a lot more potential bounce-back. Chiefs, 26-24.
New York Giants at Minnesota — I’m not sold on Minnesota — you have to play pretty bad to fall behind 33-0 at halftime, even if you pull off the biggest comeback in NFL history. Still, the Giants’ win also kinda looks like a loss with some quirky officiating in their game. Vikings, 28-27.
Cincinnati at New England — Those wacky Patriots have their own in-house problems to diagnose, let alone what Cincy can throw at them. Bengals, 31-23.
Houston at Tennessee — The Texans must be getting a bit frustrated after all but beating Dallas two weeks ago and losing in overtime last Sunday to KC. Though my hunch tells me otherwise, Titans, 27-20.
Saturday, 4 p.m.
Washington at San Francisco — This game could supplant the other 4 p.m. contest as the game of the week. 49ers, 23-17.
Philadelphia at Dallas — The Cowboys have got to be kicking themselves for losing to Jacksonville, otherwise a win here could’ve pulled Dallas within a game of Philly. Instead, the NFC East race is all but over. But likely without Hurts, I have to take the Cowboys, 26-22.
Saturday, 8:15 p.m.
Las Vegas at Pittsburgh — Two teams in shambles, but Vegas seems to pop up more often with quality work, at least lately. Raiders, 33-29.
Sunday, 1 p.m.
Green Bay at Miami — A South Beach kinda holiday! The “Fish” know how not to get distracted by all the sights, sounds and smells of Florida in December, so I’ll take the Dolphins, 24-20.
Sunday, 4:30 p.m.
Denver at Los Angeles Rams — Denver won the Bottom-of-the-Barrel Bowl last week when the struggling Broncos played Brett Rypien at QB and capsized Arizona had to resort to Trace McSorley for most of the second half after Colt McCoy went down. Take whoever these teams are playing. Rams, 27-16.
Sunday, 8:20 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Arizona — Just read the last game’s description. Buccaneers, 27-16.
Monday, 8:15 p.m.
Los Angeles Chargers at Indianapolis — Even if the Chargers weren’t on the rebound, what did blowing a 33-point lead last week do to the Colts’ collective psyche? Chargers, 31-21.
Last week — 10-6, 63 percent. Season — 133-89-2, 60 percent.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is email@example.com.