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January 17, 2020
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Bill Barnwell

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Ranking NFL trades that most impacted the 2019 season

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Trades were some of the biggest stories in the NFL over the past year, but the deals that got the greatest attention mostly ended up being disappointing. Nobody could have expected Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown to get traded within a matter of days in March. Even fewer would......
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How to survive in the NFL playoffs

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The AFC divisional round was total chaos this weekend. On Saturday, the top-seeded Ravens were bounced from the bracket in a blowout loss to the Titans, who went up 28-6 in the third quarter and barely looked back. The Texans followed Sunday and seemed to be setting up an AFC......
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Predicting roster turnover for all 12 NFL playoff teams

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Roster turnover is a fact of life in the NFL. In a league in which many players don’t have guaranteed money due in the upcoming season and somewhere between five and eight organizations typically swap out their football personnel each offseason, just about every player is on a short leash.......
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How did the Patriots get here? More than 30 events that led to an early playoff exit

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Over 18 seasons with Tom Brady as their starting quarterback, the New England Patriots have only failed to advance past the wild-card round on three occasions. Saturday’s loss to the Titans marked the first time in a decade that Brady and the Patriots won’t advance to the divisional round of......
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Barnwell’s guide to the 2019 NFL playoffs

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With the 2019 NFL playoffs upon us, you already know a little bit about the NFL’s 12 remaining teams. Let’s go a little further and try to offer up some additional insight into the remaining contenders as part of my preview. How are they better or worse than public perception?......
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Barnwell’s bizarro 2019 NFL season

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If you watched Sunday night’s 49ers-Seahawks game, you know football can come down to impossibly thin margins. If Jacob Hollister were an inch taller, the Seahawks would have a home game in the NFL playoffs. If they weren’t down to Marshawn Lynch and Travis Homer as their running backs, they......
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Barnwell’s 2019 NFL awards ballot

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With one week to go in the 2019 NFL season, I’ve pieced together my regular-season awards ballot. While I would typically wait for Week 17 to play out before making any proclamations, there really aren’t many close races this year; the winners for most of the key awards are comfortably......
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Lessons from six disappointing NFL teams

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On Sunday’s day of reckoning in the NFC East, the Cowboys were the ones found wanting. Their 17-9 loss to the Eagles dropped Jerry Jones’ team out of first place in the East. The Eagles can clinch the division with a win over the Giants or a Cowboys loss against......
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15 NFL surprises nobody saw coming in 2019, from Lamar Jackson’s rise to crummy kicking

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August seems like forever ago in NFL terms, but it really has been only 15 weeks. So much can change in the course of four months, and what might have seemed controversial or even absurd over the summer has turned out to be obvious and factual. In going back through......
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Picking fatal flaws and matchups to avoid for 2019 NFL playoff contenders

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There are no perfect teams in this NFL season. The Ravens have looked pretty close for the past two months, and the Patriots got off to one of the hottest starts in league history, but there’s no team that would be a mismatch for everybody or a favorite to win......
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Ranking the best and worst potential NFL head-coaching openings in 2019

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With just three weeks of games in the NFL regular season left to go, we’re now 18 days away from the Monday when teams traditionally fire their head coaches and officially enter the market for new leaders. Two teams have already beaten their colleagues to the punch in this regard,......
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The race for the AFC 2-seed is alive

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With seven teams competing for six playoff spots, the AFC is down to two serious battles. Sunday’s results all but locked Baltimore into the top seed in the AFC, with the victorious Ravens taking a one-game lead over the Patriots with both the head-to-head tiebreaker and three games left to......
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Meet the 2020 offseason NFL quarterback market

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It’s never too early to start thinking about the offseason quarterback carousel. All around the league, we’re seeing teams whose ups and downs are being influenced by the decisions they made at quarterback. Ryan Tannehill is sparking the Titans into the AFC playoff race, while Jared Goff‘s precipitous decline has......
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Tom Brady is showing signs of a decline. Is it real or another mirage?

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The Patriots win with such a frequency that any rare loss becomes a cause for temporary concern, but Sunday night’s 28-22 defeat to the Texans seems more ominous than most. While the defense struggled to keep Deshaun Watson from finding secondary targets like Duke Johnson and Kenny Stills for big......
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Don’t count out the Dallas Cowboys yet

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Dallas Cowboys fans are in a panic. Losing a close game to the Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts, was one thing, but a 26-15 loss to the Bills at home on Thanksgiving ruined dinners across America. It’s beginning to feel like a lost season for a Cowboys team that before the......
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Barnwell’s 2019 All-Underrated team – Picking 24 NFL players, from Tannehill to Judon

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Even by 2019 standards, Sunday in the NFL was strange. The Jets outscored the Cowboys and Patriots — combined — with 12 points to spare. The best quarterback performances of the day belonged to the Browns and Titans. The Saints won after overcoming a pass interference penalty that was triggered......
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All the NFL running backs who could get paid in 2020, and why recent deals look like disasters

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The 2017 running back class is something special. Five of the league’s seven leading rushers — Christian McCaffrey (first), Dalvin Cook (second), Marlon Mack (fifth), Leonard Fournette (sixth), and Chris Carson (seventh) — are from the 2017 draft. McCaffrey is tied for the league lead in touchdowns with Aaron Jones,......
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Making sense of the 2019 NFC playoff race

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The NFC playoff picture is a beautifully muddled mess. Sunday saw the 49ers and Vikings hold serve in their divisional races by pulling out comeback victories, leaving three of the NFC’s four divisions within one game at the top. The Saints reaffirmed their stranglehold on the South by all but......
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NFL teams and players most likely to improve or decline the rest of the 2019 season

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It’s easy to have a short memory in the NFL. When the 2019 season started, the most promising young quarterback in the AFC North was Baker Mayfield. The dominant team in the NFC West was supposed to be the Los Angeles Rams. The New York Jets were a hot sleeper......

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