Thursday Night Football analyst Andrew Whitworth joined Mike Golic Jr. and Mike Golic Sr. on Wednesday to take a trip around the league, including his own stomping grounds in Cincinnati.
The Bengals looked like the team everyone expected them to be before the season in a 34-20 victory over the Cardinals last week. Joe Burrow finally looked like Joe Burrow, and Whitworth took notice and thought to himself, “Woah, wait a minute, we might be back.”
Senior asked Andrew to take people inside the locker room for a player on a team whose season is already lost. Andrew said every situation is different, but when you’re on one of those teams that talent-wise doesn’t have the horses there starts to come a point where some leader in the room says to forget all the excuses and just handle how the team plays for the next eight, nine weeks. No excuses, let’s go play football. Andrew says that every year there is some team that starts off slow and then all of a sudden they start playing well, usually that comes after they start running the football and playing defense, which is the mentality part of the football game.
For some of the teams this season, Andrew says it is going to come down to who is in the locker room and who is going to step up because you can really start to doubt yourself. Like the Broncos, for instance, Andrew says you can talk about Sean Payton, you can talk about Vance Joseph all you want, but at some point, he says you have to look at the last couple of years and ask is it really about all these coaches? To him, it’s about somebody in the locker room standing up and saying this is how we play football with a sense of pride and if you’re not on that bandwagon, get the heck out of here.
Senior agrees and says he always puts more onus on the players because you can talk about coaches all you want but it’s going to be the players who decide these games. Andrew says it comes down to 11 1-on-1 matchups and if you have the guys winning those matchups you’re going to be a really good football team. Sometimes people want to praise the horses when it’s going well and want to blame the coaches when it goes bad and that’s just not the case he says. The players have to go make plays and win football games.
Speaking of teams going through a rough stretch, on last week’s TNF, Andrew saw the Bears defeat the Commanders for a much-needed victory. Despite falling behind Ryan Fitzpatrick in their pick ‘em as a result, Andrew said it felt so good to see the Bears rise up and have a game like that which is something to build on. Because leading up to last week’s game, Andrew says it was another building with excuses galore and they needed an effort like that. He thought Justin Fields looked decisive and he was hitting his reads and making things happen. Andrew said it was good to see Fields making some progression and he hopes he builds on it.
Shifting to another struggling team in the Vikings, Andrew thinks it’s interesting when people suggest Minnesota should have a fire sale in light of the injury to Justin Jefferson. In order to have a fire sale, you need to have trade partners, Andrew points out. When it comes to QB Kirk Cousins, people like to point to the Jets as a potential trade partner, but Andrew says that scenario made more sense a few weeks ago before the Jets went a little further down the road without pulling the trigger and they’re only a couple of games away from saying this season is going to be tough for them to have upside. So he thinks there are just not a lot of teams out there where you can get the type of value people think Cousins warrants. He says fans have such a weird reaction to what they consider trade value to be, as it’s real different to be trading for a guy you’re trying to “steal” from a team versus a guy that a team is trying to get rid of. He just isn’t sure there’s a great new home for Cousins right now in the current environment.
Meanwhile, GoJo and Golic is a show that always delivers the fun ...
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For more entertainment like this, make sure to check out @GoJoandGolic with @mikegolicjr & @golic + @Jessie_Coffield weekday mornings from 8 to 10 a.m. ET anywhere you can watch DraftKings Network! https://t.co/CfMDoNwloP
Hour 1: Kansas HC Lance Leipold on living up to high expectations, Colorado/Coach Prime doing more with less and Oklahoma St look ahead + Kirk Cousins Trade Talks & Rangers Sweep Orioles
Hour 2: Katie Nolan is back & hyped to be a Celebrity Jeopardy! Contestant + Andrew Whitworth on Jared Goff’s Lions, Joe Burrow’s Bengals, Justin Fields’ Bears & Anthony Richardson on IR
Watch GoJo and Golic every weekday on Samsung TV Plus, Roku, Xumo Play and DraftKingsNetwork.com from 8 to 10 a.m. ET. The show will also be available via audio on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow Mike Golic Sr. on X at @golic and Mike Golic Jr. on X at @mikegolicjr.
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