I'm not saying that Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley will be fired after this week's game if the Jaguars lose to Indianapolis in London .... but, yeah, Bradley will be fired after this week's game if the Jaguars lose to Indianapolis in London.
The past two years, a head coach has gotten the pink slip after his team lost Week 4 in London. Last year it was Miami's Joe Philbin after an ugly defeat to the Jets. And in 2014, it was Oakland's Dennis Allen following a blowout loss across the pond to Philbin's Dolphins. The Jaguars will be on their bye week after Sunday's game, so it's the best time to make a change.
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Count me among the disappointed in Jacksonville (0-3) as I thought that team could win the AFC South. The Jags should have won Sunday but lost 19-17 at home on a 54-yard field goal by Baltimore's Justin Tucker with 1:02 left. Jacksonville totally shot itself in the foot in the fourth quarter, forcing three consecutive turnovers but only getting a field goal.. Blake Bortles threw two interceptions that ended drives in Baltimore territory, and Jason Myers had a 52-yard field goal blocked. Bradley is now 12-39 in four seasons, the second-worst winning percentage of any NFL coach with at least 50 games. The Jags have a guy with head coaching experience on the staff in Doug Marrone, who is the assistant head coach/offense and offensive line coach. He was 15-17 in two seasons as the head coach in Buffalo and I'd assume would get the interim job. The Jags are 2.5-point underdogs against Indy.
Here are some Week 4 early lines that caught my eye. I won't touch on Thursday's game (Dolphins-Bengals), the marquee Sunday matchup (probably Raiders-Ravens) or the Monday night matchup (Giants-Vikings) as I will be previewing them here individually. The Eagles and Packers are on the bye.
Bills at Patriots (-4.5, TBA): This line certainly could change once we find out whether it's Jacoby Brissett, Jimmy Garoppolo or someone else starting at quarterback for the Patriots in their final game without Tom Brady. Garoppolo missed last Thursday's blowout of the Texans -- I was dead wrong on that game -- and Brissett played pretty solidly in his place but also sprained his thumb. So as of now, no one knows who will be under center against Buffalo. If the Patriots sign someone like T.J. Yates on Monday, then the team is obviously worried that neither of those two will be ready. The Patriots privately think at least one of Brissett or Garoppolo will be able to go, however. Buffalo probably saved Rex Ryan's job with its impressive home win over Arizona on Sunday. The Bills certainly focused on the running game under new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, rushing for 208 yards against the Cardinals and passing for only 89. Top Bills receiver Sammy Watkins was out with a foot injury. The pick: Patriots regardless of the QB. I'm done betting against Bill Belichick.
Lions at Bears (+2.5, 46): Chicago looks like the NFL's worst team through three games and will be the NFC's lone winless club if New Orleans beats visiting Atlanta on Monday night as I expect. Jay Cutler missed Sunday night's 31-17 loss in Dallas and most likely won't play in this one. Brian Hoyer played well in his place, throwing for 317 yards and two scores. But the injury-ravaged Bears also lost top tailback Jeremy Langford to an ankle injury, and he's questionable here. Chicago's defense was down several starters vs. Dallas due to injury and allowed 447 yards. They pretty much all will be out again vs. Detroit, which has won six straight in the series. The Lions lost 34-27 in Green Bay on Sunday, nearly staging a huge rally. Detroit's best two defenders, DeAndre Levy and Ezekiel Ansah, sat out and are unlikely this week. The pick: Lions and "over."
Cowboys at 49ers (+3, 46): This line could move a bit depending on an MRI on the knee of star Dallas receiver Dez Bryant on Monday. His knee bent awkwardly in the first quarter against the Bears and Bryant limped to the sideline before eventually returning. The Cowboys are optimistic it's nothing serious. Dallas ended an eight-game home losing streak with its easy win over Chicago. Ezekiel Elliott finished with 140 rushing yards -- his 274 rushing yards through the first three games are second-most by a Cowboys rookie behind Calvin Hill's 299 -- and fellow rookie Dak Prescott had the first touchdown pass of his career as well as a TD run. We could see a QB change in San Francisco following Sunday's 37-18 loss in Seattle as Blaine Gabbert was just terrible. He's 30th in the NFL with a rating of 68.6 and last with 532 yards passing. I would be mildly surprised if Colin Kaepernick doesn't get his shot this week. The pick: Cowboys and under.
Browns at Redskins (-9.5, 45.5): Washington is the biggest early favorite on the board. I didn't think the Redskins had it in them to win at the Giants on Sunday but they did, 29-27, to save their season for now. Dustin Hopkins kicked a 37-yard field goal, his fifth of the game, with 1:51 to play for the winning points. Frankly, the Giants gave that game away with three turnovers and 11 penalties for 128 yards and led 21-9 at one point. Washington did lose safety DeAngelo Hall to a torn ACL and cornerback Bashaud Breeland to an ankle injury. It's not clear how serious Breeland's is yet. Cleveland rookie Cody Kessler played solidly in his first NFL start in Miami on Sunday but the Browns' other guy named Cody seeing his first action of the year, kicker Cody Parkey, missed three field goals, including the potential winning 46-yarder at the end of regulation. Miami won 30-24 in overtime. Parkey had just been signed Saturday with the Browns having lost kicker Patrick Murray to injury. I'd be shocked if the Browns aren't working out some other kickers this week. This game looks bleh now but originally was to have Robert Griffin III in his return to Washington. The pick: Browns, hoping this gets over 10, and under.
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