6:31 AM ETAdam SchefterESPN Senior Writer Close ESPN NFL Insider Joined ESPN in 2009 Former president of the Pro Football Writers of America and the author of four booksDrew Brees still hasn’t made a decision about his future, but the New Orleans Saints star quarterback has received calls from at least one non-ESPN network to…
6: 31 AM ET
Adam SchefterESPN Senior Author
ESPN NFL Insider
Joined ESPN in 2009
Former president of the Professional Soccer Writers of The us and the writer of 4 books
Drew Brees nonetheless hasn’t decided about his long run, however the New Orleans Saints celebrity quarterback has won calls from a minimum of one non-ESPN community to inquire about whether or not he can be interested by transitioning from quarterback to TV sport analyst, league assets advised ESPN.
This does not essentially imply Brees will retire or surely finish up in tv, however it does display that he’s going to have sexy choices following his taking part in profession.
“Drew has now not spoken with them or any person about any new alternatives,” one supply with reference to Brees advised ESPN this weekend. “Till such time as a choice is made about subsequent season, he may not be enticing in any conversations relating to or bearing in mind any new alternatives.”
Brees, who turns 41 on Wednesday, most probably can be considered as a commodity as an analyst, very similar to former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo when he was once wrapping up his NFL profession. However Brees has now not determined whether or not he needs to proceed taking part in, and that leaves the Saints in a precarious place.
Saints trainer Sean Payton stated on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown that he thinks Brees will go back to the Saints subsequent season and that he anticipates talking to Brees as early as Monday.
However the Saints don’t have any quarterbacks underneath contract for subsequent season, because the contracts for Brees, Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill have all expired.
Brees loved every other productive season with the Saints in spite of lacking 5 video games with a thumb damage, passing for two,979 yards and 27 touchdowns with simply 4 interceptions. The 13-time Professional Bowler finished an NFL-best 74.three p.c of his passes and completed with a 116.three quarterback ranking, the league’s second-best mark.
In the first round, all but one home team is favored. Could red-hot Tennessee pull off an upset at New England?Ryan Tannehill was a revelation at quarterback for the Tennessee Titans this season. He led the N.F.L. in passer rating.Credit…Christopher Hanewinckel/USA Today Sports, via ReutersJan. 3, 2020, 9:00 a.m. ETSeventeen weeks of preamble led to…
Within the first around, all however one domestic staff is liked. May just red-hot Tennessee pull off an disenchanted at New England?
Seventeen weeks of preamble ended in this. 8 N.F.L. groups will battle for an opportunity to transport on from a wild-card around that includes the winners of the ultimate 3 Tremendous Bowls and that has one recreation wherein the street staff is liked.
Listed here are our predictions for the way the video games will kind out, with all alternatives made in opposition to the unfold.
Closing week’s file in opposition to the unfold: 10-6
Ultimate regular-season file: 136-115-5
No. 5 Expenses at No. 4 Texans, 4: 35 p.m., ABC and ESPN
Line: Texans -3 | General: 43
It’s hardly ever a wonder that this recreation ended up within the Saturday afternoon time slot: The Texans (10-6) had been relegated to that place in each and every of the franchise’s six playoff appearances; the Expenses (10-6) are many years got rid of from being one of the most recreation’s elite groups. However any individual who skips this recreation may just omit a grudge fit between a thrilling offense and an underrated protection.
The Texans’ offense didn’t have an excellent yr statistically, but if issues are proper for them, quarterback Deshaun Watson can placed on an awesome display through difficult secondaries with deep passes to broad receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. And a no-frills working recreation led through Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson and Watson can chunk up the clock.
Houston, on the other hand, had blended effects in opposition to elite secondaries in 2019. It beat the Patriots in Week 13, due to Watson’s throwing 3 landing passes and catching a fourth (thrown through Hopkins), however it used to be demolished through Baltimore in Week 11, with Watson throwing for most effective 169 yards (and giving 49 yards again on sacks).
Buffalo is ranked slightly under the ones groups in cross protection potency, in step with Soccer Outsiders, and that can make it tricky for Watson to place up large numbers. A low-scoring affair that turns right into a working combat would get advantages Buffalo, as its offense succeeds most commonly through pounding the ball at the floor and depending on quarterback Josh Allen to make few errors and the occasional giant play.
The groups are flippantly matched, and whilst Houston’s home-field merit makes it a worthy favourite, there may be possible for an disenchanted. Pick out: Texans -3
No. 6 Titans at No. 3 Patriots, 8: 15 p.m., CBS
Line: Patriots -5 | General: 44.5
The Patriots had one of the most extra complicated 12-Four seasons in reminiscence. They feasted on unhealthy groups, going 9-1 in opposition to golf equipment with a file of .500 or worse whilst going 3-Three in opposition to successful groups — with each and every of the 3 wins being determined through one ranking.
Within the Patriots’ 3 greatest exams — Week Nine at Baltimore, Week 14 in opposition to Kansas Town and Week 17 in opposition to Miami (with a first-round bye at the line) — they fell flat and misplaced each and every time.
The primary likelihood for Tom Brady to turn a transfer and switch his staff again right into a juggernaut will come in opposition to the upstart Titans (9-7), who turned into contenders after a stunning transfer to quarterback Ryan Tannehill halfway thru Week 6. Mocked ceaselessly in his six-year run because the starter in Miami, Tannehill got here to Tennessee as a backup for Marcus Mariota ultimate low season and proceeded to finish 70.Three % of his passes whilst main the N.F.L. in passer ranking and yards in keeping with try.
In an offense designed through Arthur Smith, Tannehill’s potency and broad receiver A.J. Brown’s explosiveness served as an ideal counterbalance to Derrick Henry, who led the N.F.L. in speeding whilst atmosphere profession highs in just about each class. Amusingly sufficient, deficient climate, led to through a iciness hurricane named Henry, may just result in the sport being determined through working backs, which might dramatically choose Tennessee.
New England’s home-field merit continues to be an enormous issue, as is its playoff enjoy. However the Patriots haven’t performed a wild-card around recreation since 2009 (they misplaced that recreation), which must pressure domestic that this isn’t your standard Brady-led staff. The Patriots are susceptible to an disenchanted, which may glance stunning on paper, however in fact would no longer be unexpected in any respect. Pick out: Titans +5
No. 6 Vikings at No. 3 Saints, 1: 05 p.m., Fox
Line: Saints -7.5 | General: 50
If the N.F.C. have been break up into tiers, the Saints (13-3) can be within the best one, along San Francisco and Inexperienced Bay. Sadly for the Saints, a tiebreaker despatched them into the wild-card around.
Because of this, 3 of the weekend’s 4 video games are flippantly matched, however this one is a possible blowout. The Saints, powered through a high-octane offense and a just right sufficient protection, misplaced simply two times at domestic this season, and a kind of losses — Week 14 in opposition to San Francisco — got here all the way down to the overall play. The Vikings (10-6) have been 4-Four at the street.
Operating again Dalvin Prepare dinner used to be ready to observe this week, which is excellent news for Minnesota. The staff is at its best possible when Prepare dinner is wreaking havoc out of the backfield. It lets in quarterback Kirk Cousins to pick out his spots with broad receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.
However the Vikings’ offensive output would possibly not subject if Drew Brees and the Saints have their standard recreation. New Orleans broke the 30-point barrier 11 instances this season, and crowned 40 two times.
It used to be most effective two seasons in the past that the Vikings disenchanted New Orleans within the divisional round — due to a catch through Diggs that may are living without end — however that recreation used to be in Minnesota. This one is in New Orleans, and for it to also be shut can be unexpected. Pick out: Saints -7.5
No. 5 Seahawks at No. 4 Eagles, 4: 40 p.m., NBC
Line: Seahawks -1.5 | General: 45
Accidents to the staff’s best 3 working backs had the Seahawks (11-5) all however counted out upfront of an important Week 17 matchup with San Francisco. Because of a bunch effort led through the rookie Travis Homer and the unretired Marshawn Lynch, Seattle just about gained.
There’s no such factor as an ethical victory within the N.F.L., and tight finish Jacob Hollister’s touchdown round an inch in need of a landing resulted within the Seahawks’ having to play at the street within the wild-card around. But when there used to be a favorable takeaway from that recreation, it will be that Seattle’s offense can prevail simply fantastic even with out Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny.
The Eagles (9-7) know a factor or two about taking part in thru accidents. Quarterback Carson Wentz is the primary quarterback in N.F.L. historical past to cross for 4,00zero yards without having a unmarried broad receiver surpass 500 (two tight ends and a working again eclipsed that mark). He needed to cobble in combination an offense even though his best 3 receivers and his best two working backs ignored time, but Philadelphia nonetheless controlled to overhaul Dallas for the N.F.C. East crown.
This weekend might be extra of the similar. The Eagles are hoping tight finish Zach Ertz and working again Miles Sanders will be capable of go back from accidents, however neither participant is bound. Neither is proper take on Lane Johnson, which might be a devastating loss for Philadelphia if Seattle’s Jadeveon Clowney is in a position to play thru a core harm.
The Seahawks don’t seem to be the defensive powerhouse they as soon as have been, even with Clowney at the discipline, however an offense led through Russell Wilson is just right sufficient that they must be capable of get thru to the divisional around. Pick out: Seahawks -1.5
First-round byes: Baltimore, Kansas Town, San Francisco, Inexperienced Bay