Things I Have Learned This Week
I have Learned Late-era Jeff Fisher was not a bad coach. Jeff Fisher is in the running for “Worstest Long-Term Coach Ever”. Jared Goff has gone from being so bad Blaine Gabbert made fun of him, to a genuinely good young QB. The defense is a terror. The offense has a few additions, and is playing phenomenally well. Tavon Austin still sucks, but we can still blame him on Jeff Fisher anyways.
I Have Learned that, no matter how bad you think it can be for the Cleveland Browns, it can get worse. Joe Thomas had played more than TEN THOUSAND consecutive snaps, blocking for more than 11,000 different QBs (the Cleveland Browns are so bad, they literally break space and time to find new ways to suck). Now he’s out. The good news is Myles Garrett is in the concussion protocol. Yes, good news; if he’s in the concussion protocol, he probably won’t get hurt worse this week.
I Have Learned Kirk Cousins Face Timed into a team meeting while his wife was giving birth to his first child. I don’t even know what to say about that.
I Have Learned this happened.
It’s just the practice squad, but, uh, good luck with that, Enix.
I Have Learned the idea of a Fog Bowl is way, way better than an actual Fog Bowl.
I Have Learned Green Bay is likely to miss Aaron Rodgers. Brett Hundley was 12/25 for 87 yards. That is almost indescribably bad, yet, based on Football Outsider’s DYAR rankings for the week, he was still only 20th for the week, meaning 13 QBs were worse. Cleveland, being Cleveland, had TWO QBs worse than Brett Hundley.
I Have Learned Tampa’s defense is terrible. Football Outsider’s ranks them as #32. So, Cleveland isn’t the worst at something. Adrian Peterson, who gashed the Bucs for about 400 yards two games ago, averaged less than two yards per carry against the Rams last weekend. At this point Walter Payton could probably have a 100 yard game against the Bucs.
I Have Learned Jacksonville’s defense is good enough to be enough of an unholy terror they can win easily without having to rely on Blake Bortles at all when they play bad teams. The last part of that sentence seems important.
I Have Learned Jim Irsay is using drugs again, because it’s the only explanation for how Chuck Pagano is still there. Jacoby Brissett was sacked ten times this past weekend by the Jaguars. Tampa has seven sacks this year in total. Those last two points above this? That’s foreshadowing; the sign of a quality NFL Weekly Thread writer. Suck it, Legion.
THIS WEEK’S GAMES
Per standard disclaimer, your two lowest weeks are dropped.
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: I think I might have told this story before, but, whether either it’s “in case I haven’t” or “shut up and start your own NFL thread”, I’ll tell it again. Back in 1991, I was in grad school at Northern Iowa; immediately after high school, my parents moved from Waterloo, Iowa, to the giant metropolitan dumpster fire known as “Atlanta” while I stayed behind, and, after four years in that hellhole (THERE IS SOME CHANCE I AM NOT FOND OF THE ATLANTA AREA FYI), they moved to Tampa. This coincided with me within a year or two moving in with a couple roommates who were really into sports in general, and, I thought, why don’t I just adopt my parents’ new hometown team, as I don’t really have one? As the Buccaneers were in the old NFC Central at the time, I’d actually see the games on a semi-regular basis, as the local TV station tended to rotate between Vikings, Bears, or Packers games (even then, nobody cared about the Lions), and the Bucs were divisional rivals. It seemed a good idea at the time. I literally only chose this team because my parents happened to have moved to the area at a time when I really seriously began watching the NFL, and I had no link of any sort whatsoever to the area prior to them moving down.
In case you’re wondering, I may have more than once told my parents they should have moved to Boston instead.
Deep ball issues aside, the Bucs’ offense has been genuinely good this year, and Jameis Winston has improved his accuracy and reduced his “jesus f*ck what kind of a pass was that while falling down moron“ moments he’s been known for. The defense has been a dumpster fire. A dumpster fire on a garbage scow packed with murdered puppies. I’M PICKING THE PANTHERS.
Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills: My favorite stat of the week; Bills rookie WR Zay Jones, who caught 158 passes his senior year, has set an NFL record by having the singly-lowest catch rate ever for a player with at least 30 targets. His catch rate is 21%. My favorite stat of the offseason; Bills rookie WR Zay Jones, who caught 399 passes in his four-year college career, had 4,279 yards on those passes, meaning his career average was 10.7 yards/catch. Shockingly, a guy who couldn’t even average 11 yards/catch in college doesn’t seem to be able to find any separation or make catches in the NFL.
Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks: It’s the best defense Deshaun Watson has run into yet. He’s feasted on a bunch of subpar defenses, and combining that secondary, pass rush, and the pure noise of the obnoxiously-designed stadium seems like the kind of thing that could rattle a young kid, regardless of how impressive he’s been.
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins: feel like I should do some genealogical research into Kirk Cousin’s family to try to verify he’s closely related to his wife in some way for no other reason than I want to be able to call him Kirk Kissing Cousins and oh god i’ve become chris berman please shoot me now
Pittsburgh Steelers at Detroit Lions: Remember when Detroit had a good defense? Yeah, those were some fun times. Fun times, indeed. Also, for an easy joke, Greg Robinson injured his ankle last week, and is currently listed as Questionable. I mean, it’s Greg Robinson; isn’t calling him “questionable” pretty redundant?
I Have Learned the oddsmakers went 5-0 last week and I went 1-4.
Week 7 Results
Rat Boy: 3-2
Season to Date
Rat Boy: 18-17