NFL Insider notes: Why Ray Rice merits a chance, why the Jets are so bad
Also, where the change will come in Green Bay and a crazy Lions stat
With the season running out, I wanted to take one last shot that this ends up on the desk of a running back-needy GM and urge someone to sign Ray Rice. He is keenly aware of the harm he has done and is doing the work, daily, to try to prevent others from doing the same and offering a lot more than just lip service about addressing domestic violence issues. He would be an asset to the locker room and the community and a true role model for other players. He is also in insane condition, as motivated as anyone you will find and he will literally donate his entire paycheck to domestic violence causes and organizations.
Yes, there might be some initial backlash, but let him meet with the media for 90 minutes and answer every question and express his remorse as only he can; he will win people over gradually with his words and, most importantly, his deeds.
With Thanksgiving on the horizon, I can assure you no one would be more thankful and grateful for the chance to play football again, and he could make a difference on the field as well -- especially to a team like the Seahawks that has a chance to do something truly special.
More notes from around the NFL:
A.J. Green's absence for the Bengals cannot be overstated, particularly this week with the season on the line in Baltimore (and especially with Ravens top corner Jimmy Smith ailing again). Green has played eight games against the Ravens and had more success against them than any other team. If you extrapolated his stats vs. Baltimore to a full season it would be 82 catches for 1,452 yards and 12 TDs. Huge loss.
Want a reason the Lions could hold on to their division lead? Somehow they are in first place without getting a sack from Ziggy Ansah. He's been hurt some, but still -- 287 men have at least a half sack in the NFL this season and he isn't one of them. Bet that changes against the Vikings lowly offensive line this week on that fast track in Detroit.
The more evaluators I talk to, the more I hear about the roster as the primary reason for the plight of the Packers. Expect some sort of change in the front office.
Even after facing the lowly Raiders defense, the Texans are still tied for the fewest 20-yard plays in the NFL and their 15 offensive TDs are tied with the Bears for the second-fewest. Give me the Titans or Colts to win the AFC South.
Why are the Jets so bad this season? You could boil it down to the red zone. Jets quarterbacks (mostly Ryan Fitzpatrick) are completing 45 percent of their red-zone passes with just eight TDs to five interceptions. By comparison, no other NFL team has more than two picks and a QB rating of 52.4. That rating would be a poor completion percentage. The league average red zone rating is 98.3. It adds up to too many turnovers, too many field goals, and now, too many losses. And I'd be playing Bryce Petty, by the way.
On the other side, much credit for the recent surge by the Bucs goes to their red zone work. Jameis Winston has 15 TDs to zero picks in the red zone with a rating of 104 and the Bucs are the only team in the NFL with two targets with five red-zone TD receptions or more. Getting Doug Martin has been a boost as well and I bet they stay within shouting distance of the Falcons from here on out.
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