Chat with Ashley Fox
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com NFL columnist Ashley Fox stops by to chat.
Fox joined ESPN.com in 2011 after 11 years as a writer and columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she covered the National Football League, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Philadelphia 76ers. She also has worked at the Louisville Courier-Journal and Sports Illustrated. A North Carolina native, Fox lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband, daughter and son.
Send your questions now and join Fox on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Ashley Fox (4:00 PM)
Greetings everybody. Thanks for joining me for this pre-Thanksgiving chat. Let's get going.
Rich (New Jersey )
Hi Ashley, with 5 games left which will be the most interesting race for the playoffs, NFC North, NFC South or NFC East?
Ashley Fox (4:03 PM)
That's a tough one. I will say the NFC North. The Lions have really squandered an opportunity to grab the division by the throat with Rodgers and Cutler both on the shelf. They haven't been able to get that done, which is why the Packers are still in the mix even after all of the losing. I believe that Dallas will ultimately win the East and New Orleans will win the South, but the Panthers will make the playoffs.
Looks like Monday night is for home field in the NFC. Who do you like NO or Seattle?
Ashley Fox (4:05 PM)
It sure does, doesn't it? I know it heresy to pick against the Seahawks at home. They haven't lost there since Russell Wilson became the quarterback. They're 12-0 at home with an average margin of victory of 17.9 points per game. It is impressive to say the least. That said, they will be without two of their top cornerbacks against a Saints offense that sports the league's second-best passing attack. If any team has a chance to knock off the Seahawks at home, it is New Orleans. I'm going with the Saints.
Mike P (Greater KC Metro)
Taking what you saw two weeks ago with the Chiefs in Denver and assuming both Hali and Houston play, can the chiefs beat Denver this weekend? I feel like Tom Brady and the Patriots exposed Peyton Manning a little bit and with the Bronco D-line missing a key piece i think Charles can have a field day up the middle
Ashley Fox (4:08 PM)
I think that is a huge assumption that Hali and Houston both will play against Denver. Hali maybe. But Houston doesn't look good. And missing even one of those guys would be a problem. Look what happened last week when they went out. San Diego carved up the Chiefs. In the first game against Denver, the pass rush wasn't much of a factor because Manning was getting the ball out so quickly. I like Kansas City a lot and think they are going to be a tough out in the playoffs, but I don't like their chances against the Broncos.
Fred (Kingsport, TN)
P Manning injures both ankles, one a high ankles sprain, and has yet to miss one play because of them. Jay Cutler injures one ankle, a high ankle sprain, and is missing his third consecutive game because of it. Does that say more about Manning or Cutler?
Ashley Fox (4:10 PM)
If a guy is injured, he's injured. Cutler tried to come back and he couldn't do it. I'm sure he's dying to play. His contract is up after this season and he has a lot to prove. So if he could play, I'm sure he would play.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi, Tennessee @ 5-6 currently has the last playoff spot, the Steelers, Ravens, Chargers, Jets and Dolphins, also 5-6, follow, I think the Chargers will get the final spot, your thoughts on who'll be the last one in?
Ashley Fox (4:12 PM)
It's a muddled mess, isn't it? I'm not completely sold on the Chargers because their defense isn't very good. I wouldn't be surprised to see either the Steelers or the Ravens sneak in. That's suddenly become a big game tomorrow night between those two. Whichever team loses is probably out of it.
Ed (Queens Village)
Early Happy Thanksgiving Ashley. I feel Rex Ryan is coaching for his job. If Jets don't make playoffs but retain Rex I feel they are accepting of being mediocre after 3 straight years of missing playoffs. Agree or disagree?
Ashley Fox (4:16 PM)
I think Rex is a good coach. That we're even talking about the Jets making the playoffs is a testament to that. He's got very little to work with there and breaking in a rookie quarterback who was a second-round pick. But yes, he is coaching for his job under a new general manager. Do they have to get to the playoffs? Not necessarily. But they have to show progress and that they're moving in the right direction.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Would a Seahawk Super Bowl have an asterisk next to it with the players on the rosters testing positive for drugs?
Ashley Fox (4:19 PM)
Not officially, no. But it is a fair question. And it is a topic that would be examined exhaustively if they make it to the Super Bowl. Golden Tate called Browner and Thurmond "selfish," and he is so right. You could throw in stupid, too. To not realize where that team sits and what it wants to accomplish is just silly. And they haven't been the only ones. The list, sadly, is long. What we should be talking about is how good the defense is, how well Wilson has been playing, how they're the only 10-1 team in the league, how they're dominant at home. Instead, there are questions about suspensions. It's not a good look.
Jon C (Chicago)
Do you think the Bears should sit Cutler when he comes back for a couple of games and let McCown keep the starting position? He's obviously been more in sync.
Ashley Fox (4:20 PM)
I'm never a proponent of a player losing his starting job due to injury. It obviously happens. Happened to Alex Smith last year. Happened to Michael Vick yesterday. But once Cutler is ready to go, I think he should get his job back. Now, if he plays poorly or can't be effective, I think you hook him for McCown, who has shown he can play.
Jim (Portland, OR)
Hi Ashley, The pitt vs Balt rivalry has great football for some time now. It's lost a little something this year with both teams down a bit. How do you see Thursday's game playing out? Can Rice take the heat off Flacco and lead them to a win or does Big Ben extend a few plays and throw some crazy passes for the win.
Ashley Fox (4:25 PM)
Yes, both teams are down, but the beautiful thing about this rivalry is that it doesn't matter. These teams really dislike each other. They are typically very physical games. I think Rice should be able to do some damage, which would help Flacco immensely. I found it interesting that Flacco was so outspoken about his dislike for the wildcat. Think we've probably seen the last of that in Baltimore's offense. I will take the Ravens, because they're at home. But I bet it will be close. And nasty.
Hi Ashley, which two do you trust more for 100 yds this week McCoy , Forte, Spiller or Lynch. and which WR do you trust more this week Keenan Allen, Pierre Garcon or Michael floyd
Ashley Fox (4:28 PM)
I'll take Lynch and Forte. I love McCoy, but Arizona's defense is really tough. I would think that they will want to take McCoy out of the game. And I'll go with Michael Floyd. He and Fitzgerald are going to be a tough matchup for the Eagles. Floyd has had 100-yard receiving days in each of the last two games, including 193 against Jacksonville two weeks ago.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What NFL Teams Share their Stadiums with College Football Teams?
Ashley Fox (4:30 PM)
I'm not sure the exact breakdown on all of them, but it does happen a lot. For example, Temple uses Lincoln Financial Field. Jerry World hosts all sorts of events.
I would like your take on bullying in the NFL. Is it real, imagined, or something made more than it really is?
Ashley Fox (4:33 PM)
League wide I don't think it is a problem. It was a problem in Miami. There is hazing and such done to rookies, where veterans make them carry their shoulder pads or buy their dinner. It happens, not everywhere but it happens. And then some coaches don't allow it at all. Andy Reid is strict about no hazing of any kind. But is there bullying, per se? I don't think so. But you have to have a strong stomach to survive in an NFL locker room, because there are jokes and pranks and whatnot.
RAYGORDONREID ( OMAHA NEBRASKA 68183)
QUESTION TOAshley fox at 4.30 pm SUNDAY BRONCOS OR CHIEFS
Ashley Fox (4:33 PM)
Broncos. Chiefs lose their third straight.
Ashley Fox (4:35 PM)
Okay. Thanks for joining me. Hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving. Enjoy the day and the football.