ESPN’s Adam Schefter checked in for his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss his pick of the Patriots to lose, along with news from around the NFL. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
The red-hot Patriots take a six-game winning streak into Sunday’s game against the visiting Lions, but Schefter is on the record as predicting a Detroit upset.
“The Patriots over the last six, seven weeks have developed into the most consistent team certainly in the AFC, maybe in football — the most reliable team in the AFC, and maybe in football,” Schefter said. “I think they’re the surest thing we have going at this point in the season, on November 21st. Now, things can change on Sunday, and I expect the Lions to play a very strong game.”
Schefter explained that he has a friend in Denver who is a big bettor who tipped him off to a reason why the Lions could pull off the win.
“He always says that whenever the Vegas money, the line, whatever he’s got, is hovering around 90 percent of the money on one team, that’s always a sure sign that it’s going to go the other way. Like last night [the Raiders upsetting the Chiefs]. And this is one of those games where it’s hovering right around 90 percent for New England.
“Now, New England’s a better team, New England’s been the hottest team. It’s the reason I’m picking Detroit in this game. I’m the only one. … I picked them to win, which is crazy, and I’m sure they probably won’t. And again, New England is the best team. But I’m doing this on the basis of what my friend in Denver told me. He said. ‘I’m just telling you, everyone — everyone — is on New England. And whenever it gets like that, that’s where it gets a little dicey.’ ”
Concluded Schefter with a laugh: “So, based on that very scientific formula, I am picking the Detroit Lions to win the game.”
Earlier this week Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was suspended by the NFL for the remainder of the season, although the players union is fighting the ruling.
“I think the league made a very strong statement,” Schefter said. “And I think what has gone on here is, we’re living in a different day and age and a different time. It’s a situation here where the league had gone soft on a lot of different disciplines for players involved in domestic violence, child abuse, anything of that sort. I think, with all the criticism that the league brought upon itself, the league said, ‘We will not do that to ourselves again even if it means we have to over-punish, over-discipline somebody. They can appeal it, we fight it in court, and if we lose then it’s the judge’s fault that overturned our decision if people have a problem with that.’
“And this, to me, was the safest thing — the safest thing for the NFL to do. We can agree with it, we can disagree with it. You can say it’s too harsh — it probably is. But the fact of the matter is that the league knows that there’s no way anybody can criticize the league for doing what it did with Adrian Peterson now.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
On the situation in Washington with Robert Griffin III: “I think all of this was going on last year. It was going on. Except that Mike Shanahan was viewed as, I guess, the perpetrator, the bad guy, the guy that was responsible for this, and they wound up firing him. And so I think we take a step back now and maybe we view that a little differently. This was going on last year, right? But because they wanted Mike out of town at that point and they were done with him, it was his fault and not the quarterback’s fault.
“So now they made the coaching change, they brought in a guy that supposedly is going to get the best out of the quarterbacks, and they have Jay Gruden working with RGIII. And we’re still seeing what we saw last year. I mean, what are we seeing this year that’s different than what we saw last year? Nothing. Nothing. Except last year he was coming off the ACL, and last year it was easy to blame the head coach. So now he’s not coming off the ACL, the head coach was fired, they brought in a head coach, so, what are we doing this year to explain this? I think that’s the only difference.”
On the Raiders almost blowing their first win Thursday night because of excessive celebrating in the final seconds of the game: “I think it just goes to show you, sometimes these young guys, they have to learn how to win. Like, that’s not what you do to learn how to win. And so the veterans, the veteran presence of the Raiders stepped in.
“How many times do you see a team that’s trying to run out the clock call a timeout because it has no other choice than the alternative that it’s faced with? That’s what the Raiders did. As a defense with the lead, and with the Chiefs having no timeouts, the Raiders defense had to call a timeout to prevent a penalty being called, to prevent Alex Smith running a play against a Raiders defense that was out of place and unprepared to play at that particular moment. Yeah, I mean, it was very Raider-like. Fortunately, they got away with it and were able to come away with their first victory of the season.”