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FOOTBALL FREAK: Some moves at NFL trade deadline

['Journal Pioneer NFL columnist John Turner.']
['Journal Pioneer NFL columnist John Turner.']

An explanation as to why there are a lot fewer moves compared to baseball and hockey

Usually the NFL trade deadline quietly passes without too much fanfare, but there were more moves on Tuesday compared to other years.
The NFL trade deadline is usually quiet compared to other professional leagues, such as the NHL and MLB. Why is this?
First of all, football is much different game than hockey and baseball. In these sports, a player can seamlessly move from one team to another without too much difficulty, learning a new system in hockey or transferring their pitching, hitting and fielding skills in baseball. 
The transition from one team to another in these sports can be achieved in a short time span, and players can be in their new team’s lineup the next day. 
Now, this is what happens in football and the NFL. A typical NFL team has an offensive playbook of upwards of 500 plays depending on their formations, personnel and different variations of each play. 
On defence, the team will have 120 plays based on personnel, run or pass, down and distance, score in the game and etc. This is what makes it difficult to make trades in football as you can’t get a player who will immediately help your team. 
It might be four weeks down the road before they have a grasp of the playbook, but by then the team might be out of the playoff race.

Stat of the week
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw were high school teammates and friends. Both started on Sunday night in prime time – Stafford against the Steelers, and Kershaw in the World Series against the Houston Astros. Unfortunately, both their teams lost.

Sure thing
Coming off a short week and now having to play the hot Eagles in Philly is not a great way to break a three-game losing streak. Denver’s D will be a test for the Eagles’ passing attack, but when the clock hits triple zeros it has Philly winning.
Deshaun Watson and his offence is on fire, scoring over 30 points in his four starts, and Houston now has some home cooking against the Colts. Indy’s offence can’t match touchdown for touchdown, and its D has trouble stopping anyone. The Texans score 30 points again and win.
What is wrong with Tampa Bay? They made a lot of upgrades to offence, but just like the Giants they are having trouble putting it together and are a disappointing 2-5. The Saints, on the other hand, are a bit of a surprise at 5-2, but then again you have a good coach in Sean Payton and a great quarterback in Drew Brees. The Saints march to another win.

Don’t mortgage the house picks
The Giants are coming off a bye, and so are the Rams. Los Angeles is travelling to the East Coast, which can be a factor. It won’t as it’s the Giants! The Rams show why they have the best offence in football. Los Angeles wins.
The Seahawks surprisingly scored over 30 points last week while the Redskins lost to the Cowboys. Washington has too many key injuries on the offensive line to give Kirk Cousins any time to throw the ball. Seattle’s front seven will be too much for a banged-up offensive line to handle. Take the ‘Hawks at home.
The Cardinals are 3-4 and the 49ers are 0-8, but are only 2.5-point favorites on the road. Since switching to CJ Beathard at quarterback, San Fran has been blown out the past two weeks, and the Cardinals are moving to Drew Stanton at quarterback. Stanton isn’t a bad back-up quarterback, and will do enough to beat the 49ers.

Upset special
The Jets have been in every game this year despite being underdogs in most games. 
The Bills are one of the biggest surprises in the NFL at 5-2. Buffalo isn’t winning with style points, and they don’t care. 
Have a feeling, like all teams do, the Bills will have a letdown game, and The Freak thinks this is the one. A late field goal gives the Jets a home win.
Last week: 6-for-7.
Season: 40-for-5.

John Turner is a Summerside school teacher and coaches youth football. His column appears every Thursday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to

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