This Week’s Episode:
“The League Goes Full Russo”
The Eagles are still flying high following their 33-10 beatdown of the 49ers over the weekend. Carson Wentz – who, at this point in the season, could be a legit MVP candidate – went 18 for 32 for 211 yards, two touchdown passes and one interception, while the Eagles’ running back committee (led by Corey Clement with 54 yards and 10 carries) racked up 112 yards and one score on the ground. Expect that rushing attack to get evenmorepotent with the addition of ex-Dolphin Jay Ajayi,whom Miami traded to Philadelphia earlier this week foronlya fourth round draft pick.
In their 29-19 win over the Broncos, Kansas City managed to forcefive turnovers, including three interceptions off Trevor Siemian and two fumbles off Jamaal Charles and Isaiah McKenzie. Alex Smith went 14 for 31 for 202 yards and one TD pass, but the Chiefs’ run production was shockingly low; with just 46 yards on 22 carries, has the much ballyhooed Kareem Hunt hype trainfinallyrun out of steam?
In a freshly Aaron Rodgers-less division, the Vikes continue to roll (or is thatsail?) with an easy 33-16 win over the Browns. Case Keenum went 27 for 43 for 288 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, with top receiver Adam Thielen registering 98 yards and one TD haul on five catches. Alas, the run defensemightneed a little work; the Vikings let the Browns outgain them on the ground 115 to 88 yards and two rushing TDs touno.
Tom Brady has another great game in the Pats’ 18-13 win over the Chargers. Tom Terrific concluded the game 32 for 47 for 333 yards and one TD pass, with top receiver James White leading the herd with 85 yards on five catches. Still, questions abound about the team’s ability to stop the run; at the final horn, New England could only post 97 yards on the ground, while their defense allowed L.A. to collect 157 rushing yards and one Melvin Gordon TD.
The Steelers prevailed over the Lions Sunday night, besting Detroit 20-15. Big Ben went 17 for 31 for 317 yards and a one-to-one TD/INT split, with receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster coming out ofnowhereto rack up 193 yards and one TD haul on just seven receptions. Still, this team’s pass protection is puredookie– at the final horn, Pittsburgh’s D let Matt Stafford drop423 aerial yardson ’em, although to the Steelers’ credit, none of them resulted in end zone hauls.
The Rams took a breather over the weekend and will re-emerge this Sunday for a 1 P.M. clash with the Giants. While a lot has been made of Jared Goff’s greatly improved passing stats and the team’s consistently productive rushing attack, maybe it’s the Rams’special teamsplay that’s made them such a surprisingly solid squad thus far in the season? Heading into week nine, L.A. is ranked number one in the League in kickoff return yards (507), averaging about 29.8 yards per return. And with 21 successful field goals on the year, the Rams are tied with Minnesota and Kansas City for the NFL’s most productivethree pointoffense.
While the Bears’ defense may have held Drew Brees to arelativelylow 299 yards on 23 completions, the Saints’ rushing attack managed to add points to the board when New Orleans’ passing game couldn’t. In the 20-12 win, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara combined for 103 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground, while New Orleans’ defense held Mitch The Bitch to just 164 yards on the day – which you can roll back to 150 if you factor in the two times the Saints’ D sacked his ass.
Down 38-34 in the final minute of the game, Russell Wilson managed to hit Jimmy Graham on an 18-yard pass with just 21 seconds left in regulation to lift the Seahawks to a come-from-behind 41-38 victory. Speaking of Wilson, he finished the game 26 for 41, 452 yards andfour touchdown passes, with receivers Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson each collecting 100-plus yards on the day. It’s a good thing Wilson brought his A+ passing game, because this team’s rushing offense was just the pits; whileallowingHouston 142 rushing yards, the best Seattle could muster on the ground was a scant 33 yards.
|White men may not be able to jump, but they sure cancatch like a motherfucker.|
In a sloppy, rainy home-stand, the Bills managed to force four fumbles off the Raiders, with Matt Milano recovering a live ball 40 yards for pay dirt in the waning moments of the second quarter. In the 34-14 blowout, T-Mobile went 20 for 27 for 165 yards and one TD pass (plus one scrambling touchdown) while LeSean McCoy managed to run for 151 yards and one score on 27 carries. And the run defense was dynamite, as the Bills were able to hold Oakland to a measly 54 yards on the ground all day long.
In a defensive standstill, the Panthers’ offense provedslightlymore productive than Tampa Bay, as Carolina bumped off the Bucs 17-3 over the weekend. Cam Newton went 18 for 32 for 154 yards and a one-to-one TD/INT split (plus another 44 yards scrambling) with – of all people – running back Christian McCaffery leading the team inreception yardswith 49 on five catches. And give the Panthers’ D some props – theydidmanaged to force three turnovers out of Jameis Winston, including one recovered fumble and two interceptions.
Jacksonville had a bye over the weekend and will return Sunday for a home stand against the Bengals. At the almost halfway-point of the season, Jacksonville is the number one pass defense in the League, having held their opponents to just 161.7 aerial yards per game. Furthermore, their 15.7 points allowed average is the lowest in the NFL, and with 33 on the season, Jacksonville isfar and awaythe League leader in sacks … which, begrudgingly, makes their terrible, terrible nickname “Sacksonville”a rare case of pro sports truth-in-advertising.
First, the good news for the Cowboys. Sunday, the bested their arch rivals Washington 33-19, in a game that saw Ezekiel Elliot collect 150 yards and two rushing touchdowns on 33 carries. The bad news? Well, thatsix game banfor Elliot finally takes effect this weekend, so Dallas won’t have him in the backfield until damn near Christmas. So is Dak Prescott’s143 yards, 14-for-22 on completionsperformancealonegoing to be enough to carry the Cowboys through the months of November and early December? Eh …we’ll see, folks.
The Packers had a bye last week and will re-enter the fray Monday for a home stand against the Lions. With Brett Hundley taking over quarterback duties, the Packers are on a 0-2 skid, and considering his lackluster performance thus far (244 passing yards, one touchdown and four interceptions over the course of eight quarters), one has to wonder if Green Baywouldn’tbe in the market for a free agent acquisitionifthe losing streak continues. Hey – thetwoKellensarestill unsigned, guys …
It was a close one, but the Falcons still managed to outlast the Jets 25-20. Matt Ryan went 18 for 29 for 254 yards and two touchdown passes, while the Falcons backfield outran the Jets by a 140-43 yard margin. Still, somebody’s got to do something about Matty Ice’s ball handling – dude fumbled away the ballthree timeslast Sunday, ultimately turning the ball over to New York twice.
The Titans had a bye last week and return to the gridiron Sunday for a 1 p.m. showdown against Baltimore. With eight weeks in the books, the Titans are ranked 18th in the League, offense-wise, averaging 326.4 yards per contest. Defensively, they rank 13th, allowing 329.4 yards a game.
In one of the worst Thursday night games in NFL history – oh, and you better believe that’s saying something – the Dolphins rolled over like dead porpoises in a 40-0 loss to the Ravens. Matt Moore could only get 176 yards and two interceptions off 24 completions, and the run game, combining for just 45 yards on the day, likely led to Miami trading Jay Ajayi to the Eagles. But on the plus side?At least the defense was able to knock Joe Flacco out of the game, which I assure you is the ONLY thing about this game people 20 years from now will ever remember about it.
|If you pause it at the very last frame, you can literallyseeJoe Flacco forget how subtraction works.|
You know, you’dthinkyou’d have something noteworthy to say about a team that butt-fucked another team 40-0 on live, prime time television, but honestly, there isn’t a whole let to tell you about the Ravens’ blanking of the Dolphins. Before he got hurt, Joe Flacco went 10 for 15 for 101 yards and a TD, and back-up Ryan Mallett could only collect 20 yards (albeit, with a TD throw) on three completions afterwards. So howdidthe Ravens manage to win this one 40-0? Long answer, short:three back-to-back defensive touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including two pick sixes lobbed by Matt “Fuck This Shit” Moore.
Despite the 41-38 comeback win for Seattle, you really can’t say anything bad about DeShaun Watson’s performance for the Texans. Last Sunday, he went 19 for 30 for 402 yards and four touchdowns, plus another 67 yards collected on the ground. Wait, hold on – remember when I said youcan’tsay anything bad about Watson’s performance? Yeah, I temporarily forgot about thosethree interceptions he lobbedand the five sacks he ate for minus 35 yards on the day …
Despite Matt Stafford lobbing the rock for 423 yards, the Lionsstillcouldn’t surmount the Steelers, who bested them 20-15 last Sunday night. The problem is that while no less than three Lions’ receivers posted at least 80 yards receiving (with Marvin Jones leading the pack with 128),none of them managed to find their way into the Steelers’ end zone. Ditto for Detroit’s rushing attack, which could only muster 71 yards and no touchdowns on 22 carries.
The lowly Colts gave theonly slightly less lowlyBengals all they could handle in Cincy’s narrow 24-23 win over Indianapolis. Andy Dalton went 17 for 29 in the affair, finishing the game with 243 yards and two touchdown passes. Credit Carlos Dunlap as the hero of the day for the Bengals; his 16-yard pick six with less than seven minutes left in the fourth gave the Bengals a lead they wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the game.
The Broncos’ sloppy ball handling – which included five turnovers – wasn’t the only problem for Denver in their 29-19 loss to the Chiefs last Monday night. Trevor Siemian went 19 for 36 for 198 yards, one TD andthreeinterceptions, while the team’s running back committee, despite outrunning K.C. 177 yards to 79, could only post one touchdown on 31 combined carries. And where was the team’ssupposedlyferocious defense? At the final tally, the Broncos could only muster one measly sack of Alex Smith, and one interception off Tyreek Hillin one of theworsttrick plays you’ll ever see in your life.
Even with Kirk Cousins going 26 for 39 for a one-to-one TD-to-INT split, the Redskins’ hilarious inability to a.) run the ball their damned selves or b.)stop Dallas from effectively and efficiently running the ballcost ’em a tough Sunday afternoon game to the Cowboys. With a run differential of 169 yards to just 49, it’s not really surprising Dallas managed to beat Washington 33-19 … especially when you factor in the four times Cousins got sacked, plus the twoadditionalfumbles the Redskins gift bagged the Cowboys’ defense.
The Cards took a bye last week and return this Sunday for an intra-NFC tilt against the 49ers. Averaging 333.1 yards per game, the Cardinals’ offense is ranked 16th in the League. Allowing 352.7 a contest, their defense ranks 19th overall. Oh, and just so you know –their probable starting quarterback for Sunday’s game trains while dressed asSupergirl.
The Chargers kept it close against the Pats, but they nonetheless managed to drop a tough one 18-13. Melvin Gordon’s ground production (132 yards and one TD on 14 carries) was nearly 40 more yards than theentirePatriots’ backfield could accumulate on the day, but Philip Rivers’ play at quarterback was shaky, at best. He finished the game 17 for 30 for 212 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio –and he also got sacked for anastonishing 20-yard losson one down.
|Give Zach Miller some credit – dressing asSycho Sydfor Halloween is a pretty novel idea.|
With Marshawn Lynch, David Amerson and Gareon Conley out for the game – plus Jamize Olawale exiting the game early, and Marquette King clearly not playing at 100 percent – the Raiders marched up to Buffalo and got their asses kicked 34-14. Although Derek Carr eclipsed 300 yards again, he finished the game with a one-to-two TD-to-INT ratio, and the backfield could only muster a puny 54 yards on 14 carries. Rumors are flying that Todd Downing’s time as the team’s offensive coordinator might not be long for this earth; so will the Raiders try to angle Bill Musgravebackto the team by season’s end? Stay tuned, folks – the personnel drama could getthickin a hurry.
The Jets hung in there, but they still succumbed to the Falcons 25-20 over the weekend. Josh McCown went 26 for 33 for 257 yards and two touchdown passes, but the Jets’ run game completely sputtered out. At the final horn, New York could only accumulate 43 yards on the ground, while their defense allowed Atlanta to rack up 140 running the ball.
Despite outgaining the Saints on the ground 157 yards to 101, the Bears nonetheless dropped a tough ‘un to New Orleans over the weekend, 20-12. Alas, the only thing people will likely recall about the game isthegruesomeleg injury of Zach Miller– who, in the wake of the freaky, stomach-churning accident, might possibly have tohave his leg amputated. And adding insult to injury?The apparent touchdown he caughtwhilebreaking his leg was overturned by the referees just moments later.
Jameis Winston had a lackluster showing in the Bucs’ 17-3 loss to the Panthers. Going 21 for 38 for 210 yards, the former FSU QB couldn’t record any TD passes and lobbed two interceptions in addition to fumbling the ball away once. Factor in the three times he got sacked, plus the fact he could only scramble for 13 yards on the day, and you’ve got to start asking yourself someseriousquestions about the long-term viability of America’s most famouscrustacean thief; is the problemjusta shitty o-line, or is thereal issuethe guy with the ball in his hands?
Even with Jacoby “Whisker Biscuit” Brissett going 25 for 39 for 233 yards and a two-to-one TD-to-INT split (with that one interception ultimately leading to a game-closing pick six), the Colts just couldn’t get their offense to whiff end zone. In the 24-23 loss to Cincinnati, the Colts’ backfield combined for 115 yards, a sum almost twice the rushing output of their opponents. Alas, Indy couldn’t find a way to convert those yards into touchdowns, and as a result? The final score on the billboard really shouldn’t surpriseanybody.
The Giants took a breather last week and return this Sunday for a home stand against the Rams. Averaging 296.4 yards a game, the G-Men’s offense is ranked 27th overall; allowing 379.4 yards per contest, their defense is ranked 24th in the League. Also of note: averaging 16 points a game, the Giants have the NFL’s third worst scoreboard numbers, with only Cleveland and Miami recordingfewerpoints a contest.
Yep, stop me if you’ve heard this one before – the Brownslost another game over the weekend. Still, the 0-8 wonders at least kept the gamesomewhatclose, and even led the Vikings 13-12 at halftime. Of course, the Brownsstill beingthe Browns, they would give up 17 unanswered points in the final 17 minutes of the game en route to a 33-16 loss, which, in a way, kinda’ makes the Browns thereverse Harlem Globetrotters;they always find a way to lose, their opponents makethemlook like clowns and instead of entertaining the masses with their patented tomfoolery, they do everything in their power to make people in Ohio and abroadhate the game of football.
And following the team’s dismal performance against the Eagles Sunday, YOUR San Francisco 49ers have officially eclipsed the Cleveland Browns (whom at least have the decency to stay competitive for a quarter or two) as the absolute WORST team in pro football. In the Niners’ 33-10 loss to Philadelphia, C.J. Beathard went 17 for 36 for 167 yards, one TD and two interceptions, in addition to scrambling for 40 pointless yards on six carries. Oh, and he got sacked four times for negative 23 yards, had ten passes deflected and got hitafter the throwTWELVE times. Hell, at this rate, it’s not like Colin K. is going to make the teamany worse– that is,if Kaepernick doesn’t get snatched up by the Patriots first…