Jean Fugett’s Week 19 NFL Preview
By Jean Fugett; thanks to Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell
WalterFootball.com is proud to partner with former Redskins and Cowboys tight end Jean Fugett, Jr. Esq. Fugett grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and attended Amherst College. He was the last pick of the 13th round in the 1972 NFL Draft. Fugett made the Cowboys as a backup to future Hall of Famer Mike Ditka. Fugett eventually became a starter for Tom Landry’s Cowboys and started in Super Bowl X. He made the Pro Bowl in 1977.
As a free agent, Fugett went from being the lowest-paid starting tight end to the highest-paid with the Washington Redskins. While playing for legendary Redskins coach George Allen, Fugett attended law school at George Washington University at night.
During and after his playing days, Fugett worked with CBS, the Washington Post and other media. He went on to serve as Director and Vice-Chair of the McCall Pattern Company Management Committee, founded a Baltimore law firm and partnered with Fanfone in Europe.
After the death of his brother Reginald F. Lewis in 1993, Fugett took over TLC Beatrice International Foods, the largest black-owned and black-managed business in the world at the time. Fugett has served on committees with the NFL Players Association and on the Leadership Council for the American Diabetes Association Maryland Chapter.
WalterFootball.com would like to thank Redskins general manager Bruce Allen and senior vice president/executive producer of media Larry Michael for connecting us to Fugett. Now, let’s let Jean take over.
Week 19 NFL Preview
Last week, I was two out of four picking the games. I say I was really three out of four if the Colt-Chief game had been called at halftime. I had the Chiefs, who were outplayed the second half when the Colts came back from one of the largest playoff game scoring deficits of all time. I know something about that. More later. What will the Indy win last week mean this week when the Colts got to New England to play the Patriots?
Former Chiefs tell me blowing that lead was tough on them. It was so bad that they said they are taking it personally. To be in such a good position and not being able to hold it is painful. Teams and coaches react to losing in different ways depending on the expectations of the organization, fans and alumni. What a surprise! What could be more surprising?
How about a team that was 8-0 at home this season, losing a playoff game at home to an underdog? Of course people will continue to talk about how Marvin Lewis has not won a playoff game leading Cincinnati. Nevertheless, Lewis has done a superb job. The Bengal loss to San Diego was even a bigger surprise last week although how the Colts won is a close to a tie. The Bengals were big favorites going in. What will the Charger upset mean when they play division rival Denver?
I thought the Saints and Eagles were evenly matched last week except for two key areas. The quarterbacks and the head coaches win NFL playoff games. Sean Payton was suspended with Bounty-gate and had a whole year of waiting and preparing for this situation. Drew Brees is experienced. They were going against Chip Kelly and Nick Foles who were first-timers. That is why I believed the Saints had two edges.
Former Redskin and Cowboy tight end Jean Fugett was a Pro Bowler in 1977 and a starter in Super Bowl X.
Jim Harbaugh continues to prove that he is a good head coach; not to say Packer coach Mike McCarthy is not, but the Packers’ game plan did not have a lot of imagination. The Packer players gave lots of effort and as a result were in the game to the very end. That says a lot about the Green Bay team, the character of the team and the quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He made some incredible plays in that game. However, we must remember that the 49ers are the defending NFC Champion and now are playing like it.
I expect the Chargers to play well again this week because they had to play well at the end of the season while facing elimination weekly. They had a number of playoff type games where they could have been eliminated and they had to fight to get in the playoffs. Maybe the turnovers from Cincinnati were the difference in that game, but who knows?
Last week the Chargers were excellent in all three phases of the game. They were well coached and well prepared. When two division opponents that knows each other so well play, even though one team has a home field advantage, any team can win. We should not be shocked if the Chargers have the ball down by four late in the game with a chance to win and win.
I think Chuck Pagano illustrated through the comeback and preparation of his team that he is already a very good head coach. His game plan worked well and the offensive game plan would have worked better if Luck hadn’t thrown so many interceptions. Pagano can compete with Belichick, whom I am told I played against in college.
I think if New England has the start that Kansas City did, the Colts will not come back and win. The Colts have vulnerabilities that Bill Belichick is well aware. The Colts will try to change up some things to disguise some of those issues, but New England will certainly have the Chiefs’ game plan in mind. If the Colts do not turn the ball over, they can move the ball and score points.
The Saints proved last week that they can win on the road. I can see why Seattle is favored this week, however Seattle did not play well at the end of the season. Maybe it was because of injuries or the fact that they were coasting from clinching so early. The Seahawks have not had an important game for several weeks. The Saints have something to prove. I do not think the Saints will be out-coached or outscored this week.
Colin Kaepernick said that 49ers feel like they owe Carolina and it is hard to beat a team two times in a row in one season. I think the 49ers have a major psychological edge as NFC defending champions with a grudge going into the game. San Francisco has the edge at wide receiver and offense generally and they will score on the top ranked Panther defense.
This is a big game for Cam Newton and for Carolina to take the next step and win this game versus the 49ers. If Cam comes out the phone booth with his Superman costume, the Panthers could win because he will need it this weekend.
After the 1972 season, Roger Staubach engineered one of the biggest NFL playoff comebacks in history when we (the Dallas Cowboys) beat the 49ers at Candlestick, my first of many games there. Staubach launched his career coming off the bench to relieve Craig Morton in the fourth quarter.
We were down 28-16 with less than two minutes to play and we won in regulation, the first of many comebacks led by Hall of Famer Roger Staubach. Look it up.
Week 19 Picks
My Picks (What teams have the best QB and best head coach?)
Saints at Seahawks (Sea -8) Saints to cover and win
Colts at Patriots (NE -7) Colts to cover and win
49ers at Panthers (Car +1) 49ers to win
Chargers at Broncos (SD +9.5) Chargers to cover and lose setting up Peyton vs. Luck
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