Both teams had winning records in 1988, part of a four-year stretch in which either the Browns or Bengals played in the AFC championship game. It’s true. All of it.
They knew what the hell they were doing because they knew who they were. That started with head coaches Marty Schottenheimer and Sam Wyche, old-school hard-asses who embodied the identity of those Rust Belt AFC outposts, especially when December rolled around.
That’s not to say it’s inevitable that Wiggins will follow the same path. But the similarities are obvious. The Wolves, having Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler, are no longer as reliant on Wiggins. That could be a good thing in the end for his development—perhaps his defensive progress will meld with finding himself offensively and he’ll be the star or near-star we would all love to see him become. But it’s also true that he might continue to be marginalized on a team with better players than he is, and that max contract will not look good in the ensuing years.
I’ve always been something of a skeptic about his likely stardom. But the entire story of Andrew Wiggins has not been written, and could still go in any number of directions. As more than one person likes to point out, he’s yet to turn 23.
Falcons will need the running game to win the NFC South — Usually it’s Jones who acts as a one-man wrecking crew against the Bucs, but it was Freeman who did most of the damage on Monday. Freeman ran over and around Bucs defenders, including a bruising 22-yard run in the second quarter.
Even Ryan got into the act against the decimated Bucs, with 29 yards on three rushes, as the Falcons ran for a season-high 201 yards on Monday. The Falcons will need that type of balance to knock off the Saints (10-4) and Panthers (10-4) over the next two weeks.
There are, however, points that are more problematic that others. The start of a season, or right before it begins, would be a great example of that. Memphis had two players, guys who over $18 million combined is tied up in, that this happened for- JaMychal Green (ankle injury in the first game), and Ben McLemore (foot injury month or so before training camp). Their seasons are reflective of their time lost…kind of