Neil Reynolds' Week 14 Mailbag

It's that time of the week when you're watching re-runs of the Thursday night game and counting down the hours until another regular season Sunday unfolds. To help pass at least 10 minutes of that time, here is this week's mailbag offering. Enjoy!

Do you see Russell Wilson at Mile High next season? And if so, are they instant Super Bowl contenders with the likes of Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon, Noah Fant, Patrick Surtain II, Bradley Chubb and Justin Simmons? – Dan from Torquay (@dan_thetall_man).

That list of talent you just reeled off is going to make Denver an attractive destination for a veteran quarterback like Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers or Deshaun Watson, that's for sure. There is particular reason for excitement on the offensive side of the ball, with the only obvious missing piece being the quarterback.

The Broncos know they have to be in the market for a QB, even if it were someone like Rodgers at the end of his career. That worked out pretty well with Peyton Manning. But of those three I mentioned, my preference would be to take a run at Wilson.

I feel like we're approaching the end of an era in Seattle, but it's hard to prise starting quarterbacks away from their teams without giving up a massive haul. That said, the rest of the talent is pretty much there in Denver so it's time to push the chips into the middle of the table and to make a big quarterback move.

Do you agree with many of the pundits who say that the New England Patriots are the favourites in the AFC? Can Mac Jones handle a shootout against the Kansas City Chiefs or the Los Angeles Chargers? – Greg Whitehead (@greg_packers)

It's going to be a fierce race for supremacy in the AFC, but New England have shown they are for real, winning seven in a row. That kind of sustained success in today's wild NFL is no joke. So, Bill Belichick's men have to be taken seriously.

To your second point, I don't think they need Mac Jones to win a shootout. They've just won a game in which Jones attempted just three passes. Three! They've already beaten the Chargers while holding Justin Herbert to 24 points. They've also held AFC playoff-chasing teams in Cleveland (seven points), Tennessee (13 points) and Buffalo (10 points).

And while the Chiefs are a major threat once again after winning five in a row themselves, they are not exactly operating at a high level on the offensive side of the ball. They are winning with an improved defense leading the way. There are no guarantees New England are going all the way to the Super Bowl, but if they do, they won't be asked to score 35 every week to get to Los Angeles in February.

Do you think the Raiders moving to Las Vegas was a mistake? I went to Oakland a couple of times and it was fantastically intimidating for any away fans. Vegas just seems like holiday central for away fans and the team are like a tourist attraction now. The heart of the Raiders has gone. – Matthew Williams (@cufcmattmate).

Given the state of their old stadium in Oakland, a move was inevitable and necessary. But I get the departure from the spiritual home of the Raiders has come with some issues. It is going to take time to build a fan base in Las Vegas.

But you make a good point. So many people who go to Las Vegas fly in for four or five days and out again. They may be sitting in their hotel rooms saying, 'Shall we go and watch Barry Manilow or the Raiders tonight?' And if they choose the Raiders, they're hardly going to be super-invested in the outcome of the game.

You are also right to point out that visiting fans are going to circle their team's game in Las Vegas and make a weekend of it. The highest-priced tickets available on the secondary market heading into this season were all Raiders games in Vegas, with the exception of Tom Brady's return to Foxboro. It is a genuine conundrum for the Silver and Black. One that only winning and winning for quite some time will solve.

Are either of the Los Angeles Chargers or Cincinnati Bengals for real? They've played really well at times and beaten some good teams, but I just don't see them being consistent enough for postseason success. – Dave Roper (@daveroper77).

Both are good teams who are led by exciting young quarterbacks in LA's Justin Herbert and Cincinnati's Joe Burrow. Each of those guys is capable of getting hot and taking over a playoff game or two in January.

The Chargers and Bengals are also loaded with playmakers who can win a playoff game or two. Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams and Keenan Allen for LA; Joe Mixon, Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins for the Bengals. And both defenses have shown they can step up at times.

I don't see either team being the one seed in the AFC and that means they will need to win three games to reach the Super Bowl. As good as both teams can be, you are right to point out their inconsistencies and their penchant for blowing hot and cold, so I agree that sustained postseason success likely eludes them. That's the sign of young teams who still have some growing up to do. Ask me the same question heading towards the end of 2022 and I might have a different answer for you.

Marc Sessler, Dan Hanzus and Gregg Rosenthal. Snog, marry or throw off a cliff? – Callum Smith.

I think, for the fictional purposes of this question, I would have to snog Dan Hanzus. What can I tell you? It's that glorious head of hair. I'm filled with a confusing mix of jealousy and admiration every time he pops up for an in-game hit on Sky Sports NFL.

I'd probably marry Rosenthal. I can picture us settling down every night with our dinners on trays, spooning pasta into our mouths with our left hands while scribbling furiously into notebooks with our right as we grade every quarterback in the league. The only interruption to our wedded bliss would be when pieces of meatball fly out of our mouths as we scream at the TV, frustrated at the sight of yet another Sam Darnold meltdown.

And that leaves me throwing Marc Sessler off a cliff. It's not that I don't love Marc because I do. I just think, of the three Heroes, he would appreciate going out in headline-making style. I'd like to think Marc would rappel down from the roof of SoFi Stadium on February 13 and steal the Vince Lombardi Trophy before sprinting to his rental car Ferrari and racing 100 miles per hour to the nearest coast (and cliff). He would then put the pedal to the metal and go down in NFL lore. What a way to go!

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