CODY STOOTS

The Friday Stoots NFL 6 pack

Will Fuller is a threat when on the field. Photo by Edward Clarke

Six things headed into the weekend to ponder about the NFL. Drink it in. 

1. How about Baker Mayfield playing hero in the third game of the season for the Browns. I love Mayfield. He's a baller and I believe he will be very good in the league. He can put it where he wants it with ease and as soon as the coaching gets better around him Cleveland will have a dangerous weapon. Think about the AFC at the quarterback position right now. It's incredible. 13 of the 16 teams have their franchise guy or future franchise guy. (Miami, Jacksonville, and Denver in case you were wondering.)

2. The Kansas City Chiefs have the hardest task of any undefeated team trying to stay unbeaten. While they are at home, the 49ers are coming to town. The Chiefs have allowed almost 900 yards passing in two games but thanks to Patrick (Insert Nickname Here) Mahomes and his 10 touchdowns they're 2-0. I imagine Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan will have plenty cooked up for a putrid Chiefs defense. 

3. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been one of the best stories in the early part of the NFL season. FitzMagic has the Buccaneers off to their best start since 2010 despite being a 35-year-old journeyman who seemed to be placeholding Jameis Winston's spot. The NFL doesn't usually have happy endings and stellar stories like his rarely last. The Steelers are desperate and aren't that different from the 2017 team which finished fifth in total defense. Magic isn't real and Monday, unfortunately, FitzMagic comes to an end as well. 

4. Will Fuller's return can't be understated. He's a potential star at the wideout position and is a far more complete pass catcher than many thought he could be in the NFL. Eli Apple is the Giants starting corner opposite Janoris Jenkins and he hasn't practiced. With Apple out, it could be backups on Fuller meaning another huge day for him. 

5. The Giants allowed six sacks on Sunday against the Cowboys and have allowed eight this season. Dallas didn't have to send much pressure to get some of those sacks either. The Texans have only allowed one less sack and also have put Watson in danger plenty. Each team has underperformed rushing the passer with the Giants having one lone sack and the Texans just three. When there is so much underperforming someone is bound to impress Sunday. 

 

6. The Texans and the Giants both desperately need a win. Just 2.9 percent of the teams who start 0-3 have ever made it to the postseason. The last time a 0-3 team made the playoffs was the 1998 Buffalo Bills. They were one of five teams to ever do it. None of those teams played for a conference championship. If the Texans have designs on a successful season avoiding the bad part of history is in their best interest. 

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Correa knows it's time for his payday. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Rangers made a big splash over the weekend when they agreed to terms on a 7-year $175 million contract with infielder Marcus Semien. Apparently, that was just the tip of the iceberg. According to multiple reports, the Rangers have also added arguably the most coveted player in free agency, Corey Seager. Seager and the Rangers have agreed to a massive 10-year $325 million contract.

Before the Seager news broke, many were starting to wonder if teams would be willing to hand out 10-year deals for over 300 million dollars with the lockout just around the corner. Now we have our answer, and Carlos Correa has to be a very happy man to see how the market is shifting. The Rangers not only added two incredible players, but they also made it pretty much a certainty that Correa will either leave Houston, or the Astros will have to sign him to a long-term $300 million deal, which is not likely based on their stance on multi-year big money contracts.

The Rangers aren't the only team in the AL West making blockbuster moves. The Mariners agreed to terms with 2021 AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray on Monday. Ray and Seattle agreed to a 5-year, $115 million contract.

The Angels joined in on the action a couple of weeks ago when they signed Noah Syndergard to a 1-year 21 million dollar deal.

Clearly, the AL West is on notice that they're going to have to make big changes if they want to compete with the Houston Astros who have dominated the AL recently with 5 straight ALCS appearances and 3 trips to the World Series. With Correa likely out the door in Houston, these teams might believe this is a perfect time to make a run at the division and finally knock off the Astros. Only time will tell if these deals will work, and the Astros look to have a terrific team this season whether Correa returns or not.

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