Chat with Gary Horton
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, Scouts Inc.'s Gary Horton stops in to talk about the NFL season and other news from around the league.
Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.
Send your questions now and join Horton Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:01 PM)
Gary will be here shortly, everyone!
Buzzmaster (2:06 PM)
We've got Gary!
Gary Horton (2:08 PM)
Obviously this is the week we've all been waiting for. I thought the drama on Sunday afternoon with the late games was spectacular. I think it just shows us how good this league is. I think we have four good wild card matchups this week.
brandon livonia michigan [via mobile]
hi gary what are the chances the lions beat the saints?
Gary Horton (2:09 PM)
I think it's a really tall order, but they're certainly capable of it. New Orleans is playing the best football of anybody right now, and they're especially tough to beat in their own building. Their passing game is unstoppable, and Detroit's pass defense game is their weakness. However, Matt Stafford is playing at a very high level. It could be a high-scoring shootout. The problem as I see it is that Detroit cannot run the game to eat up some clock, and I don't know if anybody can stay with Drew Brees if he has a lot of offensive possessions.
robert (columbus ohio)
How long do I have to wait before my young bengals team has a chance to win the super bowl?
Gary Horton (2:11 PM)
They're one of twelve teams this year that have a chance! Twenty teams can't say that. Obviously, they're probably a year or two away, but this is a dynamic young offense that, thanks to the Oakland Raiders, have a chance to even get healthier with a lot of high draft picks. If they hit on all those picks, they could be loaded. I really like the way they're playing.
JEFF YOUNG (Tennessee)
Do you think the Titans have the ground work for a better team next season?
Gary Horton (2:12 PM)
I absolutely do. I think they have a lot of pieces in place. They need to get healthy, and if they can get another good year from Matt Hasselbeck, they could be a very competitive team.
Pat (MI) [via mobile]
Why would the Colts even consider trading Peyton? Youve seen what they are without him. Do they really think Luck can give them a winning season?
Gary Horton (2:13 PM)
It depends on whether or not that organization wants to start over. They may tear everything up, and if that is the case, it may be a combination of of them wanting to start fresh with a young quarterback. I think even a bigger issue would be Peyton wanting out of Indy. I don't think he would want to be going through a rebuilding process. Obviously, his concern is winning championships. He's certainly not going to compete with Luck, and if he feels that the Colts cannot continue to win, I think a parting could be very much in play.
Arnold (South Carolina)
who will make a surprise run at the Super Bowl? Can a 6 seed win it all again?
Gary Horton (2:16 PM)
Anything can happen in the playoffs, but I think Pittsburgh is a very dangerous team right now, because they can be physical if they need to, but so can Baltimore. The hottest team entering the playoffs is probably the Saints, but at some point they will have to play outside. I know everybody thinks the Packers are the odds-on favorite to win it all, but we've seen these teams with great pass offenses put up a lot of points, and that means that on any given day, probably all of these teams have a chance to win, with the exception of Denver. I just don't see how they can get on a roll.
who will be a surprise team next year?
Gary Horton (2:18 PM)
I think it's probably Carolina. Cam Newton is coming off a great rookie season, and he'll even be better a year from now. They'll be healthier, they have a good run game already, a good offensive line, and I see them as next year's Detroit.
Happy New Year Gary, Now that the Rams have the number 2 pick in the draft do you think they still will be able to trade that pick for for extra picks or will they have to stay put? Thanks
Gary Horton (2:20 PM)
I don't think there's any question that they can trade it. It looks like QBs are going to go 1-2 in this draft. I think what the Rams will likely do is tease all the other teams that they are considering taking one of the two QBs to entice better offers, but they will probably trade down to get additional picks. That will help them get healthy a lot quicker. They are sitting in an excellent spot in terms of trade value.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will win the Wild Card Playoffs?
Gary Horton (2:24 PM)
I think Cincinnati has an excellent chance to go into Houston and upset them. I think New Orleans' offense is too potent right now versus a bad Detroit pass defense, and I don't think Detroit can score with them. Falcons-Giants is probably the toughest game to pick for me, because I really like the way the Giants played Sunday night, but I like Matt Ryan with the no-huddle, and if he avoids the sack, he can have success. But I also love Eli Manning's play in recent weeks. I'll probably pick the Giants at home in a physical, close game. To me, Steelers-Broncos is the only mismatch of this weekend. I know everybody is piling on the Broncos, but I just don't see how Tim Tebow can have any success against this Pittsburgh defense. Not only in pass rush situations, but also in recognition of all of their pre-snap movements. The Pittsburgh offense can do a nice job of scoring, and if you can score two or three TDs, Denver is hard-pressed to stay in the game.
JeremyB666 (Kewadin, MI)
How worried should the Lions be after being torched by Matt Flynn? After all, next up is Drew Brees and we all know what he has done this year!
Gary Horton (2:25 PM)
That's a great Green Bay offense in terms of schemes. I think it also points out that Detroit is not very good at pass defense, especially when they don't have a dominating pass rush. They didn't versus Flynn. They'll face the same thing in New Orleans, but if I'm a Detroit fan, I feel good about my offense's ability to score a lot of points and stay competitive in a shootout. I firmly believe that Drew Brees will move the ball at ease against this Lions defense.
JeremyB666 (Kewadin, MI)
NFL coach of the year: Jim Harbaugh or Jim Schwarz?
Gary Horton (2:27 PM)
I would probably say Jim Harbaugh, because the 49ers have not have very many lulls in this entire season. They have stayed consistent, they look very well-coached every week, and they just don't beat themselves. That's all the result of a good coach. Detroit on the other hand has done a nice job under Schwarz, they've been up and down at times, and they can show periods of a breakdown in discipline. It probably goes to Harbaugh.
Gary Horton (2:30 PM)
I love the idea of playing these playoff games later in the day, where we get to watch them in prime time. It just makes for a great weekend of football. I know we say it every year, but I think these will be really interesting playoff games, probably because of the great offenses we have in the playoffs. That's what fans love to see. With the exception of Houston and Denver, we have ten of the twelve teams in the playoffs with QBs capable of putting up big numbers at any time. Maybe that says something about the NFL game as it is today. If Schaub was there, it'd be 11. Thanks everyone!