NFL Week 6 Fallout: Collusion, Injuries, and More

As the Houston Texans and New York Giants were complaining over losing their respective stars in Week 5, the Green Bay Packers stepped up and said, “Hold my beer.” The reigning NFC North champions suffered arguably the most devastating injury of the season in Week 6 when Anthony Barr slammed Aaron Rodgers to the turf, breaking Rodgers’ collarbone. The two-time NFL MVP is expected to miss the remainder of the 2017 season.

But it wasn’t all bad news out of Week 6 in the NFL. Deshaun Watson continued his air assault; Adrian Peterson proved us wrong (again); and the Steelers took down the only remaining undefeated team, ensuring parity is at an all-time high. The Dolphins, Giants, and Bears all helped on that front, too, winning their games straight up as heavy underdogs.

If you’ve been craving some (more) off-field gossip, Week 6 came through for you. Colin Kaepernick has officially filed a grievance against the NFL, alleging collusion.

What does all of this mean moving forward? While we can’t give you concrete answers on legal proceedings involving the NFL, we can at least provide you with the odds on all the above.

Colin Kaepernick Odds

Odds Kaepernick wins his case against the NFL: 99/1

In order to prove collusion, Kaepernick’s side will need some hard evidence that at least two teams, or one team and the league, have had communications involving collusion. It is the right of each NFL owner to (not) sign whomever he pleases, based on whatever criteria he deems fitting –- including an individual’s political beliefs. It’s also not enough for Kaepernick to say, “but the Titans just signed Brandon Weeden instead of me.” Though that fact looks incredibly suspicious to football fans, it won’t get Kaepernick anywhere in a court of law.

Over/Under number of days before an outcome in the Kaepernick collusion case: 150.5

Odds Kaepernick is on an NFL roster by the end of the 2017 season: 7/2

Odds Kaepernick signs with …

  • Jaguars: 19/1
  • Dolphins: 33/1
  • Seahawks: 33/1
  • Packers: 38/1
  • Broncos: 49/1
  • FIELD: 35/2

It’s crazy that a 29-year-old QB who possesses better numbers than nearly half of the current starting QBs in the league is having such a hard time finding work.

The fact that none of Baltimore, Miami, Indianapolis, or Tennessee gave Kaepernick a look proves the pivot isn’t out of work for football reasons. If those teams only cared about winning games, Scott Tolzien and Matt Cassell never would have stepped on the field.

If the Jaguars don’t want to waste their dominant defense and powerful ground game, they’ll move on from Blake Bortles. Unfortunately, they’ll probably move onto someone like Ryan Mallett because Jaguar fans can’t have nice things

Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay Packers Odds

Odds Rodgers plays again in 2017: 33/1

This isn’t Rodgers’ last rodeo, so it would be in his (and Green Bay’s) best interest to ensure he fully recovers from this injury before returning.

Odds Green Bay makes playoffs: 5/1

Odds Green Bay wins Super Bowl LII: 75/1

The 2017 Aaron Rodgers-led Green Bay Packers were almost certainly going to win the NFC North for the seventh time in the last eight seasons, and were the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

The 2017 (insert any other QB)-led Green Bay Packers are going to be in a fierce fight with both the Vikings and Lions for the NFC North crown, and would need a miracle to get anywhere near Super Bowl LII.

Aaron Rodgers makes the Green Bay Packers contenders every year, even when the team around him is awful. Rodgers had some support this year (GB ranks 14th in total defense), but we’re about to see how valuable he truly is to the Packers. Rodgers’ bank account will be the only beneficiary.

Odds Rodgers wins MVP: 1,000/1

Odds Rodgers’ replacement wins MVP: 200/1

If all of Tom Brady, Derek Carr, Carson Wentz, Drew Brees, Alex Smith, Kareem Hunt, Russell Wilson, and Matthew Stafford get hurt, Rodgers’ replacement may have a shot at winning the MVP award.

Odds Green Bay doesn’t win another game: 82/1

Over/Under number of TDs thrown by Packers QBs not named Rodgers this season: 15.5

Over/Under number of INTs thrown by Packers QBs not named Rodgers this season: 12.5

Brett Hundley got the replacements off to a quick start in the INT department by tossing three against the Vikings, but don’t expect that every week. The UCLA product will get better with first-team reps, and Mike McCarthy will begin implementing a system to suit him. He also won’t be playing Minnesota’s dominant defense every Sunday.

Add in stat-padding games against the Browns and Buccaneers, and Hundley (or other) could turn in a respectable statline for the season.

But those games could be quickly offset if he’s asked to be Aaron Rodgers against any of the Steelers, Ravens, Lions, or Vikings (again).

Over/Under points scored by Green Bay in Week 7: 24.5

Over/Under INTs by Green Bay in Week 7: 0.5

Over/Under sacks against Green Bay in Week 7: 1.5

Odds Green Bay wins Week 7: 4/3

Overlook the five-takeaway performance from the New Orleans Saints’ defense in Week 6. It’s still a vulnerable unit that even Brett Hundley can take advantage of, especially with a week to prepare. That being said, I don’t trust Hundley to outduel Drew Brees, not even at Lambeau Field.

Odds Rodgers’ replacement keeps the starting job when Rodgers is healthy: 200/1

This isn’t going to be a Tom Brady/Drew Bledsoe scenario. This is Aaron Rodgers we’re talking about: the QB with the highest career passer rating of all-time.

Updated 2017 NFL Futures

Odds to win Super Bowl LII

  • New England Patriots: 8/1
  • Philadelphia Eagles: 9/1
  • Kansas City Chiefs: 19/2
  • Seattle Seahawks: 10/1
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: 12/1
  • Carolina Panthers: 16/1
  • Atlanta Falcons: 19/1
  • Houston Texans: 19/1
  • Minnesota Vikings: 22/1
  • Dallas Cowboys: 24/1
  • Denver Broncos: 29/1
  • Los Angeles Rams: 29/1
  • Oakland Raiders: 33/1
  • Detroit Lions: 66/1
  • New Orleans Saints: 66/1
  • Jacksonville Jaguars: 66/1
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 66/1
  • Tennessee Titans: 66/1
  • Washington: 66/1
  • Arizona Cardinals: 75/1
  • Cincinnati Bengals: 75/1
  • Green Bay Packers: 75/1
  • Los Angeles Chargers: 75/1
  • Buffalo Bills: 99/1
  • Indianapolis Colts: 99/1
  • New York Jets: 99/1
  • New York Giants: 125/1
  • Baltimore Ravens: 150/1
  • Chicago Bears: 150/1
  • Miami Dolphins: 150/1
  • San Francisco 49ers: 250/1
  • Cleveland Browns: 300/1

With Aaron Rodgers down, the NFC is completely up for grabs. The Seattle Seahawks seem like the obvious team to slot in as new favorites, but they have far too many issues on their offensive line to be relied upon; the reigning NFC-champion Atlanta Falcons are not nearly as dangerous offensively this season, averaging just 24.2 PPG -– compared to 33.8 PPG in 2016; the Dallas Cowboys have not been as dominant in the trenches and may be without Ezekiel Elliott for six games; and the new NFC North favorite, Minnesota, simply doesn’t have the quarterback play to win a Super Bowl.

The Philadelphia Eagles jump to the top of the NFC pile as a result. Their defensive front, anchored by Fletcher Cox and Timmy Jernigan, has been unstoppable through the first six weeks. The group is largely responsible for Philadelphia ranking ninth in points allowed. Add in the third-ranked offense in total yards, led by a young and upcoming QB with a powerful offensive line in front of him, and you’ve got the makings of a Super Bowl champion. The Eagles’ dominant play in the trenches must continue, though, as the pressure they are putting on opposing passers is allowing them to hide their horrid secondary.

In spite of not looking overly impressive this season, the New England Patriots remain Super Bowl favorites because of two men: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The former has continued to produce at an elite level even with his top weapons constantly getting hurt; and the latter has proven time and again that he can fix just about any situation. When January hits, I’ll side with Brady and Belichick over Alex Smith and Andy Reid.

Odds to win NFL MVP

  • Tom Brady, Patriots: 5/1
  • Carson Wentz, Eagles: 11/2
  • Alex Smith, Chiefs: 7/1
  • Russell Wilson, Seahawks: 8/1
  • Deshaun Watson, Texans: 9/1
  • Derek Carr, Raiders: 12/1
  • Kareem Hunt, Chiefs: 14/1
  • Cam Newton, Panthers: 19/1
  • Drew Brees, Saints: 24/1
  • Jared Goff, Rams: 33/1
  • FIELD: 23/2

Prior to Week 6, the NFL MVP was going to Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, or a Chief. But now Rodgers is unlikely to play another game this season, Brady threw another interception — his second — and the Chiefs proved to be mortal.

Brady does remain the favorite, but Carson Wentz has quickly played himself into the conversation. The second-year QB has the Eagles atop the NFC with a 5-1 record. His 13 TDs and three INTs are a big reason the Philadelphia offense ranks sixth in scoring.

Carson Wentz calling out signals pre-snap. (By Keith Allison (Flickr) CC License)

Wentz isn’t the only pivot to burst into the MVP scene. Houston’s rookie QB, Deshaun Watson, has thrown 12 TDs over his last three games, while posting a passer rating of at least 103.4. But before you get too excited over Watson, remember who he’s been lighting up: the Titans, Chiefs (in garbage time), and Browns. If he can pull off a win in Seattle after Houston’s Week 7 bye, his MVP odds will get a whole lot shorter.

Odds a coach is fired before Thanksgiving: 5/2

Odds a coach is fired before the end of the 2017 regular season: 1/4

Odds to be the first coach fired

  • Ben McAdoo, Giants: 7/3
  • Chuck Pagano, Colts: 4/1
  • John Fox, Bears: 7/1
  • Dirk Koetter, Buccaneers: 7/1
  • Hue Jackson, Browns: 9/1
  • FIELD: 17/3

Ben McAdoo gained a modicum of job security with a 23-10 victory in Denver in Week 6, the Giants’ first W of the season. Or did he? McAdoo was promoted from OC to take the offense to the next level, yet the Week 6 win came after he relinquished play-calling duties, which is a bad look for the third-year coach. It feels like it’s only a matter of time before McAdoo is searching for work.

Dirk Koetter is quickly shooting up this list. Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay offense are not progressing under Koetter’s guidance, and management invested heavily on that side of the ball this offseason. If the Bucs can’t get their season turned around quickly, the organization may be forced to find a new mentor for its franchise QB.

Perry

Perry is a regular contributor to MTS and a die-hard Broncos fan. Yes, he does remember the five Super Bowl losses, but likely remembers all your teams shortcomings, too. Consider yourself warned. Though his love for the Broncos may seem unconditional, Mr. Port never mixes his emotions with gambling.