This week around the NFL we discuss the divisional weekend games and what new head coach will have the biggest impact. Also, if Joey Porter should rejoin the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend. Welcome to our weekly NFL mailbag.
Who wins this divisional weekend? -Terry S. (Detroit, MI)
After a lackluster wild-card weekend featuring a 13-point victory by Houston over Oakland as the closest game, divisional matchups should be more entertaining. Other than the heavily favored New England Patriots each of the other games currently has a spread of around four points or lower.
Saturday’s NFC kickoff in Atlanta with the Falcons and Seahawks should be entertaining as the two battled to a two-point Seattle win in Week 6. On Sunday, both games are expected to be extremely close as Kansas City attempts to win a home playoff game for the first time since 1993 and the red hot Packers visit the Dallas Cowboys.
Who wins? I’m taking the Falcons, Patriots, Steelers, and Packers.
What new head coach will have the biggest impact on their new team? -Jeanna T. (Surprise, AZ)
My first indication was Sean McDermott in Buffalo. He’s a proven defensive coordinator who has had success and despite the Panthers struggles this season their defense improved drastically from start to finish.
McDermott can provide steady leadership and a quality product if given the support he needs. However, the Bills still reside in the AFC East playing New England twice a year and the upstart Dolphins. Not to mention the remainder of the schedule with games against Denver, Oakland and on the road in Kansas City, Atlanta, and Carolina.
The Chargers Anthony Lynn comes to mind as the coach who can provide the biggest turn around. Despite having no prior head coaching experience and managing a move from San Diego to Los Angeles, Lynn can get the Chargers back on track.
San Diego will return numerous offensive stars who were sidelined with injury and if quarterback Philip Rivers commits to the move they should be competitive. Even in the AFC West, San Diego will be the beneficiaries of a high draft pick and seemingly easier schedule in 2017.
Five Questions: What do we need to know before the divisional round?
Scouting Report: How will Watson translate to the NFL?
Awards: cover32’s end-of-season awards
Mailbag: Bienvenidos a Miami
After his arrest and dropped charge, should Pittsburgh assistant Joey Porter rejoin the team this weekend? -Tom E. (Moon, PA)
No. Porter should not be allowed to rejoin the Steelers until the entire process has been resolved. Yes, the charges were dropped for aggravated assault, which carries a penalty of state prison upon conviction, but two remaining charges apply.
District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. released a statement indicating his reaction to the surveillance video made available following Porter’s arrest.
“Today our office was able to view surveillance video showing multiple angles of the events that led to the arrest of Steelers’ coach Joey Porter. Following that review, it is the position of the office that the only charges supported by the video are summary disorderly conduct and summary public drunkenness,” Zappala said.
Both remaining charges carry $500 fines and up to 90 days in jail, each. Until these two are also resolved Porter should not be allowed on the sideline.