NFL Q&A with Allen and The Ace is a weekly column featured on TJRsports.com. Allen and The Ace are big time NFL junkies and are Falcon and Packer fans, respectively. Each week the guys will ask questions and discuss the previous week’s games along with picking the Top 5 Games of the Week!

You can follow Allen on Twitter @Allen_Strk and The Ace @TheAce18

Ace: Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…..

Well, that sucks. For those of you who have read this column at least once, you know my deep sigh is towards the loss quarterback Aaron Rodgers. My number one concern for this team since Matt Flynn left after the 15-1 season was what would happen if #12 went down for an extended period of time. We know he’s out 3-6 Weeks with a fractured collarbone. Who will step up? Seneca Wallace? I was upset with what I saw out of him on Monday night but after learning he took only 4 snaps with the first team offense in practice leading up to the game, I’m not surprised. The Packers defense was never a big concern this season, even with the injuries that they have sustained, that was, until Monday night. Their defense needs to step up considerably as they will need to rely on Eddie Lacy and James Starks to carry their offense. Seneca Wallace does not need to throw more than 15 times a game as long as the run game is effective. The Packers have a favorable schedule, so if Rodgers is indeed out for 4 games, they could wind up going 3-1. They’ll need him back if they want to win in December and ultimately make the playoffs.

Allen: I’ve always tried to avoid making generic statements in the intro. You know every year, we hear that “this season is going by so fast” or “there are too many injuries”. The latter part of that sentence couldn’t be more legitimate. The amount of injuries that we’ve seen this season has been absurd with the amount of stars that have or will be missing time. Another generic comment would be how football is simply being a physical sport.

Teams need to be prepared for the worst possible outcomes. This is why the pre-season is more important than fans imagine. Coaches need to settle the depth chart and determine who will be ready to step up if called upon. That’s what the Green Packers have successfully done so far this season having players like Jarrett Boykin and Jamari Lattimore, who weren’t being talked about a few months ago. Now the big question will be how Seneca Wallace or whomever they bring in to replace Aaron Rodgers plays? We’ll see how prepared Green Bay is to deal with this unfortunate circumstance.

NFL Story of the Week

In this portion of the article last week we talked about a receiver with loads of talent and passion in Dez Bryant who went on a verbal tirade on the sidelines during his game against Detroit. This week we talk about an NFL Player who’s off the field behavior has gotten him suspended from the league. Reports are that the Miami Dolphins will not welcome Richie Incognito back to the organization after apparently harassing 2nd year lineman Jonathan Martin by leaving racial slurs and death threats on Martin’s voicemail. How would you handle this situation if you were in charge of the Dolphins and would you look at employing Incognito to your favorite NFL team?

Ace: This is just an absolutely disgusting situation. It appalls me that this kind of crap still happens. The NFL is such a diverse organization. It is absolutely appalling that this moron Incognito could think that he could say these things, where he thinks he could get away with it. It’s funny too, my wife and I were watching the Thursday night Bengals versus Dolphins, even before it was reported that it was Incognito who was the driving force behind Jonathan Martin leaving the team. She turned to me and said ‘Incognito? That’s his name?’ I said, ‘Yeah, he’s a complete piece of garbage.’ 72 hours later…POOF….his Dolphins career may be over because he is in fact, a piece of garbage.

I think the Miami Dolphins are doing everything correctly. They are finding out what’s happening, cooperating with the NFL and turning over evidence to them to help them with their investigation. When it comes down to it, there is only so much you can do as a coach when it comes to situations like this. These are grown men acting like children. Joe Philbin and his staff are leaders on the field, while 99 percent of the players are decent human beings to their teammates. Sure there are things like rookie hazing, its part of the tradition of sports, but there’s hazing and then there’s taking it too far. You typically wouldn’t haze a new co-worker in a professional environment by making them buy meals, or disparaging them or humiliating them. You surely wouldn’t send offensive and derogatory texts or voicemails to the co-worker as well. Jonathan Martin did the right thing. No one, regardless of profession or income bracket should be subjected to that in the workplace. If this was going on during practices, meetings or games, I would put the coaching staff to blame, but since it seems like Incognito was doing this on his own time, the team shouldn’t be subject to blame.

I absolutely hope that Richie Incognito never plays another down in the NFL. I would not want him playing for my Packers. I know Ted Thompson and the Packers would be smart enough not to even waste their time looking at Incognito. People like Richie Incognito do not deserve to have a profession that so many of us would gladly give up a lot to do. Hopefully he’s saved his money and invested wisely because it would not surprise me if he gets another paycheck from an NFL team.

Allen: I’m not going to go on a repetitive diatribe about Richie Incognito. The Ace couldn’t have said it better. There isn’t a person on earth, who can justify his actions. Hopefully he will never play for an NFL team again, because he doesn’t deserve it. The news honestly didn’t surprise me because Incognito was always amongst the top three, when it came to dirtiest players in the NFL. They would run a survey for players to fill out and his name would be bolded in print right there.

If there is anything, I can say that is different it would be about Jonathan Martin. Some delusional people are calling him a coward. Now if you feel that way, put yourself in his shoes. You are a second year player, who is playing right next to an eight-year veteran. Do you really want to start a fight that could potentially break up the locker room and have the team turn on you? These players play right next to each other as well, Martin isn’t a practice squad or backup player. Martin handled the situation the right away. There are situations where you handle a situation face to face, but in situations dealing with an ignorant clown like Incognito. You need to talk to the front office and take care of your business. That’s all that needs to be said. The Falcons wouldn’t even look Incognito; they were hesitant to even consider Josh Gordon because of his past drug issues. Gordon looks like an angel compared to Incognito.

Let’s revisit Allen and The Ace’s NFL Preview Article Picks and Predictions!

Check Out our preview article here!

Three Bold Predictions

1. The Dallas Cowboys will not win more than 6 games
2. Eddie Lacy will rush for 1,100 yards and 12 Touchdowns.
3. The 49ers will not win the NFC West, advance past the Divisional Round and Colin Kaepernick
will regress this season.

Ace: Let me start with my three bold predictions. I said the Dallas Cowboys would not win more than six games. A win on Sunday at New Orleans will give Dallas six win. I will say that I’m probably going to miss on this one and Dallas will win the division. It would not surprise me if they win the division with eight wins. They are not a team that I see threatening anyone come playoff time. My second bold prediction was Eddie Lacy would rush for 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns. As of right now, Lacy has 446 yards and 3 Touchdowns. He missed nearly two games with a concussion, but he’s added an element to the Packers that they haven’t seen since Ahman Green. I said that previously in the preview article. My third bold prediction involved the 49ers, saying they would not win the NFC West, go past the divisional playoff round and Colin Kapernick would regress. I really can’t make this call until the end of the season, but they’re on pace to be the fifth Seed in the NFC.

1. The Indianapolis Colts hype train gets derailed.
2. Golden Tate emerges as Russell Wilson’s number one option.
3. Cincinnati’s defense will get their well-deserved recognition.

Allen: Wow the prediction about the Colts couldn’t have been more wrong. Even though I don’t think they are a Super Bowl contender, this team will be a top contender for years to come. I’m still annoyed that they didn’t trade for a Hakeem Nicks or Josh Gordon. Could you imagine Nicks, Wayne, and TY Hilton next year in the same offense? Denver wouldn’t be the only team with three top receivers. They beat Seattle and Denver, which showed this team was ready to contend for a Super Bowl this year. Without Wayne, they don’t have enough especially with a below average offensive line. Golden Tate is nothing more than deep threat for Seattle. He’s too inconsistent to be Wilson’s go to guy. Cincinnati’s defense hasn’t been as dominant as I thought they’d be, but they have played like a top seven unit. The issue is how are they going to fare without their most valuable defensive player in Geno Atkins? They already lost their top corner in Leon Hall as well. You can’t call my prediction right or wrong, due to the injuries. They’ve played well, but they will start to struggle without Atkins and Hall. Terence Newman and Pacman Jones as the top corners will be a nightmare for Cincinnati, if they run into Denver in the playoffs.

Annual NFL Award Predictions

The Ace’s 2013 Award Winners

Most Valuable Player: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

Offensive Player of the Year: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Defensive Player of the Year: Richard Sherman, CB, Seattle Seahawks

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Tyrann Mathieu, DB, Arizona Cardinals

Coach of the Year: Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs

Ace: When it comes to my annual awards, here are my most accurate predictions; The Defensive Player of the Year is Richard Sherman. He has 4 interceptions, 28 tackles and one touchdown. There are some more deserving individuals, but he’s towards the top. My defensive rookie of the year is Tyrann Mathieu. He’s clearly the favorite because Arizona, despite some struggles on offense, has been very good on defense. He has 49 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and 2 interceptions. My coach of the year is Andy Reid and I have no idea how he doesn’t win this award. His Chiefs are undefeated and their defense is incredibly scary. My MVP prediction was Aaron Rodgers and the Offensive Player of the Year was Adrian Peterson. Both guys are great candidates for both awards but I believe that Peyton Manning is the runaway winner of both awards. Lastly, my Offensive Rookie of the Year was projected to be Giovani Bernard. It’s still early, but Eddie Lacy should be the favorite with Bernard or Dallas wide receiver Terrance Williams as the other favorites.

Allen’s 2013 Award Winners

Most Valuable Player: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

Offensive Player of the Year: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Defensive Player of the Year: J.J Watt, DE, Houston Texans

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Ezekiel Ansah, LB, Detroit Lions

Coach of the Year: Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Allen: Before I start this off, let’s all laugh at my choice of Greg Schiano winning coach of the year. Who would have thought the coach of the year would most likely be the first coach fired of the year? Right now, Rex Ryan would be coach of the year. I’m aware of Reid being the most likely winner, but these are my awards. The Jets have beaten New Orleans and New England this year, which were two games nobody had them winning. Who has Kansas City beat? If they beat Denver once, it’ll make me reconsider. Speaking of the Jets, Sheldon Richardson would be my defensive rookie for the year. He’s done a stellar job, alongside Muhammad Wilkenson to make the Jets front seven into a force to be reckoned with.

I’d split the offensive rookie of the year award between Lacy and Bernard. Both players have been stellar for now, although Lacy may run away with it. He’s become the man in Green Bay, while Bernard will still have to split carries with Green-Ellis. I’m sticking with Manning for MVP and Calvin Johnson would be my offensive player of the year. I’m tired of quarterbacks getting all the love; let’s give the best wide receiver in the league an award. As for defensive player of the year, JJ Watt is still a dominator who commands double teams on almost every play. I’d still have to go with Robert Mathis, who has made the Colts’ defense into a respectable unit. Richard Sherman is a good pick, but he has a lot of support in Seattle. Mathis is having a resurgent year with 11 sacks so far.

NFL Playoff Team Predictions

The Ace’s Playoff Teams/Predictions

AFC Playoff Teams              NFC Playoff Teams

1. Denver Broncos                  1. Seattle Seahawks

2. Cincinnati Bengals              2. Atlanta Falcons

3. Houston Texans                  3. Green Bay Packers

4. New England Patriots         4. New York Giants

5. Indianapolis Colts               5. San Francisco 49ers

6. Kansas City Chiefs             6. Chicago Bears

Ace: Lastly, let’s look at my projected playoff teams. The AFC was my more accurate conference. If the playoffs were to start today 5 of my 6 teams would be in the playoffs, although my two Wild Card teams could very well be division winners, those being the Chiefs and Colts. My other picks were the Broncos, Bengals, Patriots and Texans. The Texans won’t in the playoffs and if I had to choose a team to replace them right now it would have to be the New York Jets or San Diego Chargers. My NFC picks are much worse. The Seahawks, Packers and 49ers are the teams that are virtual locks. The Bears have an outside chance and the Falcons and Giants have virtually no chance. If I had to replace those three teams, I would put Dallas in as the winners of the NFC East and the Saints as the NFC South winners. The final Wild Card spot will come down to Detroit or Carolina. The Panthers seem to be hitting a stride right now and their big test comes Sunday against San Francisco.

Allen’s Playoff Teams/Predictions

AFC Playoff Teams              NFC Playoff Teams

1. Denver Broncos                  1. Atlanta Falcons

2. Houston Texans                  2. Seattle Seahawks

3. Cincinnati Bengals              3. Green Bay Packers

4. New England Patriots         4. Dallas Cowboys

5. Miami Dolphins                  5. San Francisco 49ers

6. Baltimore Ravens                6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Allen: The horrifying prediction of Tampa Bay making the playoffs is haunting me. Anything Tampa Bay related can’t be a positive thing at this point. Atlanta and Houston have dealt with several injuries, so it doesn’t bother me as much. The other wrong prediction will be Miami and Baltimore making the playoffs. It seems like neither team will make the playoffs. My AFC picks would be Denver, Indianapolis, New England, Cincinnati, Kansas City, and the Jets. Cincinnati will fall off due to the injuries of Atkins and Hall. Indianapolis has dealt with the difficult part for their schedule. Now they will get some favorable matchups and Luck will lead them towards a bye. It sounds insane to put the Jets in there, but they seem to be the most stable team right now for that last spot. Miami and Baltimore are dealing with major offensive line issue, along with their passing attacks being very stagnant. San Diego’s schedule is brutal in the second half playing Kansas City and Denver twice. Tennessee doesn’t have enough offensively, while their front seven on defense is getting manhandled. The Jets will squeeze in there by continuing to play smash mouth football.

Seattle and New Orleans will be the top two seeds. Rob Ryan has made that defense into the aggressive unit that they were in 2009-2010. I’ve been so impressed by their blitz packages and how much the secondary has improved. Due to Rodgers missing time, Detroit would move up to the third seed. They have a favorable schedule and really are started to hit a groove. Other than their secondary, this team doesn’t have any major flaws. You know by now that I’m sticking with Dallas as the fourth seed, along with San Francisco as the fifth seed. The last seed will come down to week 17 between Chicago and Green Bay in the elimination game. Even though it will be in Chicago, you can’t bet against Aaron Rodgers and a better defense. Chicago’s defense isn’t the same and Clay Matthews will be a huge difference maker in that one. Green Bay will make it as a sixth seed, which will immediately make them the ultimate dark horse.

Elite NFL Mind Challenge

We both had a terrible week! Each of us went 1-4. You hold your two game lead! You sit at 28-17 and I am 26-19. Let’s make our picks!

The Ace’s Picks

Detroit Lions (5-3) vs. Chicago Bears (5-3)

Detroit is well rested and getting healthy. They’ve got a stretch of easy games leading up to the Thanksgiving showdown vs. the Packers. Hopefully they’re not out of it by then. I think Chicago has the confidence and with Jay Cutler coming back, they knock off the Lions.

Winner: Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers (5-3) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5)

Well…the bright side of the Rodgers injury is that he might be out three weeks. The downside is that he might be out three weeks. This is a home game, Philly might be cocky, but they need to stop Eddie Lacy. Baby Beast Mode runs wild and the Packers get a win.

Winner: Green Bay Packers

Denver Broncos (7-1) vs. San Diego Chargers (4-4)

This game will be much closer than people think. I think Philip Rivers is hungry to get back to the playoffs and his teams have been fairly competitive this season. Three of their losses have been by six points or less. Denver knows they need to win to keep pace with Kansas City. Including this game they have 3 of 4 on the road including at Kansas City and New England with their only home game being against the Chiefs. I think Denver wins late.

Winner: Denver Broncos

Carolina Panthers (5-3) vs. San Francisco 49ers (6-2)

I’m excited for this game! If I was head coach Ron Rivera, I would stress that this game is huge for so many reasons. A win will arguably put the Panthers in the conversation of playoff teams, it will set them up to be a contender for a wild card spot (heck, maybe even a NFC South Divisional Title if they keep up with the Saints) and most importantly, the head to head tie-breaker against the 49ers if they both end up wild card teams. I’m going out on a limb and I’m taking the Panthers in an upset.

Winner: Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys (5-4) vs. New Orleans Saints (6-2)

I love how desperate the media is to get Rob Ryan a head-coaching job. Sure his twin brother is the coach of the Jets, but you don’t compare a head coach’s record to a coordinator. Anyway, rant over. Dallas is coming off of a devastating loss followed by a come from behind win. It’s hard to say what team will show up here. New Orleans was humiliated by the Jets in a game, where most people had them favored. It’s hard to say what team shows up for each club. I’ll go with the home team.

Winner: New Orleans Saints

Allen’s Picks

Detroit Lions (5-3) vs. Chicago Bears (5-3)

This is easily the toughest pick this week. Will Jay Cutler play and how effective will he be? That is obviously the big question; along with how can Chicago’s defense stop Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush. Detroit’s pass rush is going to be too much to handle as well. Chicago’s front seven has been riddled by injuries and it’ll affect them trying to contain Bush. Detroit proves to be the team to beat in the NFC north for now with this victory.

Winner: Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers (5-3) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5)

I’m still not a believer in Philadelphia. Nick Foles has had two big games, which were against Oakland and Tampa Bay. You can expect Green Bay’s defense to tighten things up, after being completely outplayed by Chicago. Foles will have a long day and Eddie Lacy will carry the load for Green Bay.

Winner: Green Bay Packers

Denver Broncos (7-1) vs. San Diego Chargers (4-4)

San Diego really blew a great opportunity last Sunday in Washington. Now they have to play a rested Denver team, who needs to keep on winning to get them home field advantage. San Diego’s defense has played better than expected, but they still lack playmakers. Peyton Manning will have another field day and Denver will win comfortably.

Winner: Denver Broncos

Carolina Panthers (5-3) vs. San Francisco 49ers (6-2)

This is a massive test for Carolina to prove if they are legit contenders in the NFC. They haven’t beaten anyone relevant yet if you look at the five wins. The front seven is among the best in the league and I’m expecting this to be a defensive slugfest. Cam Newton is still too erratic for me to rely on in big games. San Francisco will pounce on his mistakes. They will make Carolina one-dimensional by eliminating the run game and Newton will throw multiple interceptions. San Francisco will pull away in the fourth quarter to keep Seattle on their heels.

Winner: San Francisco 49ers

Dallas Cowboys (5-4) vs. New Orleans Saints (6-2)

Dallas is in another Sunday night game. I couldn’t be more excited, while most of America moans about it. This is a bad matchup for them, especially in the always-loud Superdome. Without DeMarcus Ware, the pass rush is non-existent and the secondary’s tackling has been poor all year. It should be competitive, with Ware coming back but New Orleans will pull away in the end. Drew Brees should have another huge day, along with Jimmy Graham. You can expect a much better performance from New Orleans’ defense this week, after being gashed by Chris Ivory last week.

Winner: New Orleans Saints

Ace: As we get later in the season the games start to mean more. I’m very excited for a handful of matchups this weekend. Once I get my yard work done on Saturday, I’m looking forward to 12 hours of football on Sunday. Great matchups at each of the start times, aside from Monday night. Thanks to Allen for joining Macho Men Radio on Tuesday night. Go back and check out the show as well. Enjoy the weekend!

Allen: We’ve talked more than enough. I’m going to keep this brief. The schedule is full of great games this week, so I can look forward to that. I’m not sure how I’ll stay interested in Miami against Tampa Bay, especially with the Incognito incident constantly bringing brought up. Tampa Bay may finally win a game this year. That’ll be something huh? Other than that, enjoy your weekend as usual. I’ll be hoping that Roddy White finally comes back and finds someway to escape Sherman island.

You can follow Allen on Twitter @Allen_Strk and The Ace @TheAce18

You can hear The Ace on Macho Men Radio with C-Mac every Tuesday night on BlogTalkRadio at blogtalkradio.com/machomenradio