Welcome to the Wednesday War Room, where Yahoo Sports’ football minds kick around the prime topics of the day. Today, we’re talking about rescuing good players from bad teams, and Super Bowl matchups. Onward!
Question 1. We’ve got 21 teams within a game of the final wild card spot in their conferences. Looking at the bottom dozen or so teams in the league, which player would you pluck out of there to help a playoff hopeful?
It’s a travesty that DeAndre Hopkins is having an otherworldly season despite Tom Savage throwing him the ball on a Houston Texans team going nowhere. It’s also a travesty that the Carolina Panthers have basically given Cam Newton practically nobody to throw to aside from Devin Funchess, who isn’t exactly an All-Pro. So let’s fix both scenarios and let Newton throw to Hopkins for the stretch run. It would make the NFC race a lot more interesting.
I’d give Eli Manning to the Jaguars. It could feasibly happen next season, so why wait? The Jags have just about everything except solid quarterback play. I know he gets a lot of flak for his “Eli Face,” and he’s on a bad team, but the AFC isn’t exactly murderers’ row. He’s had no running game, bad offensive line play, and all his receivers are hurt. He’d be great for Jacksonville. Plus, he’s never lost to Tom Brady in the postseason.
I’m agreeing with Brandon here and sending an NFC East quarterback to Jacksonville. But instead of Eli, I’ll give the Jags Kirk Cousins. Cousins is playing some of the best football of his career with a dearth of helpers around him — Jordan Reed’s been out, Terrelle Pryor never panned out (and is out for the year) and Chris Thompson is done for the year as well. The Jaguars run the ball extremely well, and Cousins is one of the best quarterbacks in the league off play-action. It’s a match made in heaven.
I’ll get rightfully accused of making the rich even richer, but put Frank Gore on the Patriots and let him work in their stable of backs. Gore’s numbers aren’t as eye-popping as we’re used to (632 yards on 174 carries with three touchdowns), but he’s moved into the top five rushers of all time and is watching his last great NFL days waste away in Indianapolis. In New England he wouldn’t be a workhorse and could make his touches count more. And if he ends the season with him winning a Super Bowl no one would be upset. Gore deserves at least a taste of playing in February.
Shalise Manza Young
We have to give Denver’s Von Miller a chance to play for a contender. He’s just so good and so much fun to watch. What about putting him on the Minnesota Vikings? Mike Zimmer would have a ball with him.
Josh Norman is one of my favorite players in the NFL, and he’s vanished into the ether in the fog of Washington. Forget that. Pluck that guy out of DC, drop him in Pittsburgh with JuJu and AB and Le’Veon, and man, you’ve got yourself THE team to follow in the postseason.
Question 2: What would your ideal Super Bowl matchup be? You can define “ideal” however you like — best story, best matchup, best rematch, whatever. Pick from the reasonable choices on both sides of the aisle and have at it.
The first thing that came to mind when I saw this question was a Patriots-Seahawks redux. Since my preseason prediction of Patriots-Giants Part III, with Tom Brady slaying the last dragon of his career, can’t happen (thanks for the suggestion, dad … ), the next best thing would be a rematch of Super Bowl XLIX. Russell Wilson continues to show his greatness, and the Patriots’ defense has been much better after an ugly first month of the season. Add in the complete opposite personalities of the teams and the respective approach of their coaches and it just adds to the fun. –Young
Earlier in the year, I mentioned that a Rams-Chiefs Super Bowl would be amazing for so many reasons. Now there’s another layer of narrative involved. Can Kansas City climb out of mediocrity? Can the Rams continue their stunning turnaround? Can the heartland of America have the sports world’s attention for just a little bit longer? And that’s to say nothing of the Jeff Fisher memes and Alex Smith hot takes we’d get out of this. If that’s not convincing enough let me give you one more reason: Andy Reid managing the clock in the Super Bowl. Tell me you don’t want to see that. You can’t. –Schuster
How about Seahawks-Patriots 2.0? After Russell Wilson’s big time performance on Sunday night, he definitively joined Carson Wentz and Tom Brady in the MVP race. Two of the best quarterbacks — with completely different playing styles — dueling for the Lombardi Trophy would be a blast. Bring on the Super Bowl XLIX rematch! –Pereles
I want the Rams vs. the Chargers, if only to see if that caused anyone in Los Angeles to care about their NFL teams. And then I want the Chargers to win so they can have a parade that draws only opposing fans in L.A. –Schwab
My bias is going to show on this one but Minnesota vs. Pittsburgh. It’s a rematch from Week 2 when Case Keenum was thrust into action with Sam Bradford being a game time decision. He looked downright terrible but has gotten better every week since. There’s the “no team has ever played in its home stadium for the Super Bowl” angle as well. Tomlin vs. Zimmer. Rhodes vs. AB. Great matchups all around. Also, I just want to see the Vikings in a Super Bowl before I die. I could care less if they’re playing Jacksonville in it. – Velaski
I gotta go with the Battle of I-76, Philly vs. Pittsburgh. I love the makeup of both of these teams, and this would be one hell of an exciting Super Bowl. Oh sure, Pennsylvanians would be insufferable no matter how this swings, but this is the closest the NFL’s gonna get to Auburn-Alabama, so let’s roll with it. –Busbee
That’ll do it for this week. Got a question for our crew to kick around? Hit us up by emailing right here. Enjoy Week 14!
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.
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