Hey there! Welcome to Front Row Feature, a Border Fuel MVP exclusive, where we discuss weekly NFL topics.
This week we’ll be taking a look at the Carson Wentz situation, with Eagles head coach Doug Pederson now out the door, options for the 49ers to finally find a true franchise weapon at quarterback, and my predictions for the NFL’s Divisional Playoff games.
But, before we dive into that, I’d like to let everyone know that starting next week I’ll be debuting a NFL-themed podcast called “Go Run A Route”. Much like this column, we’ll be hitting on big topics, predictions, and ideally get to some fan questions as we go!
Without further ado, let’s dive into topic #1 for this column.
Carson Wentz trade destinations
By moving on from coach Pederson, the Eagles are surely hoping that they can find a replacement that’ll be instrumental in a Wentz revitalization. However, Wentz’s options outside of the Eagles franchise have to look appealing to him, and here are a few to consider.
Indianapolis Colts – Coach Frank Reich saw his team fall apart down the stretch against the Buffalo Bills, largely due to inaccuracy from QB Philip Rivers.
Wentz formerly worked with Reich while the latter was a QB coach with the Eagles. The Wentz-Reich relationship played a huge part in the Eagles reaching the Super Bowl in 2017, so it’d be an understatement to suggest that this bond couldn’t improve the Colts’ chances next season.
Pittsburgh Steelers – The Ben Roethlisberger-led Steelers just fell on their faces against the Browns, a team that hadn’t won a playoff game in almost three decades.
Roethlisberger looked drained and emotional following Sunday’s playoff game, which begs us to question if he’s going to hang ’em up. If so, a cross-state trade may be perfect.
The Steelers would do well to add Wentz to the fold and remain competitive in a very tough division.
San Francisco 49ers – At the end of the day, Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t the guy. His brief flashes over the past few seasons have led to some false confidence in his abilities and his visit to the Super Bowl last season backed it up.
The reality is that Garoppolo carries very little special talent and simply is “just good enough”. While he may be an improvement for a team like the Patriots this offseason, he is more of a speed bump for a 49ers team that has a tight Super Bowl window, that could close sooner than later without a shift at quarterback.
Options for the 49ers at Quarterback this offseason
As mentioned before, the 49ers’ relationship with Garoppolo should be coming to an end.
The injuries, compiled with the inability to win big games when the running game is lacking, should lead the 49ers to explore other options.
Here’s a list of potential avenues for coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. to explore.
Carson Wentz – At the end of the day, this most be the most ideal situation.
For one, the 49ers are in win-now mode, which leads to bringing in a former MVP candidate.
There’s no telling where the Wentz-Eagles relationship stands and Shanahan’s flexibility with quarterbacks could be very enticing for Wentz.
Mitch Trubisky – Trubisky has had his moments with the Bears, but failed to show anything to suggest the team should extend him this season.
As such, Trubisky could be a cheap option for the 49ers, and partnered with their dominant rushing attack could prove to be lethal.
As mentioned earlier, Shanahan’s quarterback coaching prowess could be perfect for attempting to repair Trubisky’s reputation.
Deshaun Watson – Probably the most desirable match for 49ers fans, it may also be the most costly and thus the most unlikely.
The reality is that Watson is unhappy and could want out of Houston, but the 49ers could have tough sledding to compete with other teams who have more to offer the Texans in a trade.
The NFL’s Divisional matchups set up potential for huge upsets
Again this week’s section will be short. Last week, I went 1-2 in the AFC and 3-0 in the NFL with my predictions.
Below are my winners and losers for this weekend’s Divisional games.
Kansas City Chiefs over Cleveland Browns
Baltimore Ravens over Buffalo Bills
Green Bay Packers over Los Angeles Rams
Tampa Bay Buccaneers over New Orleans Saints
The AFC was a bit of a surprise to some last week, but at the end of the day, I think the Ravens are the second-best team on that side behind KC. Don’t get me wrong, the Bills are very very good, but the team largely goes as Josh Allen does and he showed some weak points against the Colts. The Ravens should be able to capitalize this weekend.
Now, the NFC side isn’t as tough in my opinion. If last week showed us anything, the Seahawks were simply not up for the task this season, much like the Steelers. I think the Packers wax the Rams this weekend, while the Brees-led Saints struggled to put up points with the Buccaneers.
Thank you for reading! What’d you think of this week’s Front Row Feature? Comment below to let me know!