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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

SHAKING UP THE PLAYOFFS

By Marc Lawrence — Six NFL playoff games down, seven to go. The offseason is nearly here – and for 24 teams, it already is – bringing the opportunity for every team to get better and make changes as they prepare for the 2021 season. ESPN’s NFL Nation asked how will free agency shake out? Who will land playmakers in the 2021 draft? How will coaching shuffles alter the direction of a handful of franchises? All 32 teams need something this spring. With it they identified the biggest area of need for each team as we enter the offseason. For instance, the Miami Dolphins need playmaking offensive weapons. The Dolphins were one of the NFL’s worst teams in receiver separation and yards after contact in 2020, showing they need more speedy, elusive players who threaten defenses. Miami’s offense simply wasn’t good enough to compete with AFC elite …

The Cincinnati Bengals need to shore up the offensive line. When quarterback Joe Burrow suffered his season-ending injury, it was clear that the Bengals needed to revamp their line. Between the draft and free agency, the Bengals should attack this unit in the offseason …

The Philadelphia Eagles need to find a coach/quarterback. The search for a new leader begins after the Eagles fired Super Bowl-winning coach Doug Pederson on Monday. Once they make a decision on that front, attention will quickly turn to the quarterback situation, and whether to move forward with Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts or both. The odds Wentz remains in Philly have likely gone up, however, and the incoming coach will influence how it plays out … To read each team’s needs click here.

Trending Today

Though he won’t be on the field for Sunday’s AFC divisional showdown in Kansas City, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. thinks his Cleveland Browns could upset the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs. “Don’t be surprised this weekend when they win… just throwin it out there,” tweeted OBJ. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield took issue with Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster saying before their wild-card game last week that “The Browns is the Browns.” Meanwhile, that ESPN reports that around Cleveland this week billboards have popped up, with the Browns and the city adopting Smith-Schuster’s trash talk as their new playoff slogan. Let the trash talking begin.

Grinding Out The Profits

From this week’s Playbook Midweek Alert Football Newsletter: The Cleveland Browns are a wobbly 0-14 SU and 1-12-1 ATS versus .800 or greater foes since 2015. Then again, the Kansas City Chiefs haven’t covered the spread in two and a half months since they beat the New York Jets on November 1.

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