NFL 2018: Week 10

Congrats, football fans, you've managed to stay through the halfway point of the season. For me, I've watched less football this season than any other season simply because I've been too busy being outside with my toddler. Now that the weather is turning, that'll change, I'm sure, but I'm also content to watching highlights since this season is nothing but an endless string of offensive fireworks. Unless you watch the Bills, of course.

Here's some tidbits that have stuck out to me this week:

  • The Texans have won six games in a row after losing the first three. Six!
  • Alex Smith has reverted back to the Alex Smith of old as Washington's entire offensive line is injured. That's only slight hyperbole. Already missing stud LT Trent Williams, they lost both starting guards for the season and RT Moses is playing through a knee injury. They were so thin at OL on Sunday due to injuries that defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis was next in line.
  • Dalvin Cook appears back to himself after numerous injuries as his 70 yard TD run clocked in at 22.07 mph, besting Tyreek Hill's and Albert Wilson's top speed from earlier this year. (Oddly enough, DB Devin McCourty recorded the only other speed about 22 mph this season.)
  • Nick Mullens played like a veteran in his first ever NFL action. Supposedly he has an incredible work ethic which allowed the Niners to use the full Shanny playbook instead of having to run a limited offense. Will Garoppolo give way to Mullens the same way Bledsoe did to Brady?
  • Nathan Peterman is the gift that keeps giving, the poor guy. Sunday was one of his best of his career connecting on 63% of his passes on a whopping 49 attempts. The downside is he was picked off three times and only threw for 189 yards, which means his 3.9 yards per passing attempts would be considered bad if they were run attempts.
  • Speaking of Buffalo:

    How anyone is throwing money at Bradford is beyond me. Then again, I guess checking down to a RB without turning the ball three times is something of an art, right Mr. Peterman?

  • Speaking of overpriced:

    IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/dCziXsR.png)

    That right there is the snap count and performance of Allen Robinson, currently the most expensive decoy in the league. Granted, Trubisky isn't exactly lighting the world on fire with his pass skills, but I'm almost certain my boy Pace could've signed a decoy for way less. Mr. Robinson has the second highest cap hit on the team. He's right up there with Nick Perry in terms of actively hurting a team's performance. Neither are as bad as Blake Bortles though.

  • Cordarelle Patterson used as a RB is why Belichick and company continue to be considered the GOAT. I hate them, but damned if they don't do some amazing things. Now throw the ball to Josh Gordon more often. I love watching him gobble up the ball.
  • Because we all can't seem to get enough of the dysfunction, check out this MMQB article about the Browns and Hue Jackson. This one bit stuck out to me:
    Jackson, wary of his own slipping stature, paid close attention to Haley’s press conferences in the final weeks of his two-and-a-half year run, sequestering himself in his office to watch the Q&As live, then verbally needling the coach if the message was not in lockstep with his own. Haley believed Jackson was in search of a greater degree of credit for his contributions to the team’s (relative) success throughout a 2-4-1 start to this season, according to four team sources.

    Who does this remind you of? I didn't think I could think any less of Hue Jackson but I absolutely do now.

    The Factory is the gift that keeps giving. Here's hoping for some normalcy out of Cleveland moving forward.

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

Some guys on the local ESPN affiliate were talking about the Texans having one of the weakest schedules in the NFL. Based on this article they had the easiest schedule going into the season. The talk heads were saying that as the season has shaken out the Patriots actually have the easiest schedule and the Texans have the second easiest.

I'm not taking anything away from the Texans - hell, they're my home team - but I don't expect them to do much more than beat the Bengals in the first round of the playoffs and then get smothered by the Patriots.

In a season where every other QB seems to be averaging 350 yards a game, DW is sitting at a mighty 265 ypg. What did Legion post a few weeks ago? Only two or three QBs aren't averaging over 300/game? Watson is one of those. I don't know how much of this is Bill O'Brien's playcalling and how much is Watson holding on to the ball too long and making bad decisions. He does have flashes of brilliance, but I've lost a lot of the excitement I felt when we managed to snag him.

There are six games left and the only one I'm confidant the Eagles can win is the second game against the Giants. It's going to be a stressful holiday season every remaining Sunday plus one Monday.

Next game is up against the Cowboys, and in Googling why the heck these teams are even rivals anyway I discovered that Wikipedia has an entire page dedicated to it. I'm now tempted to dig into the rabbit hole that is documented rivalries in the NFL. Regardless, that page doesn't really illustrate the origin, and the obviously unbiased at all times Bleeding Green Nation makes it sound a bit bland. I suppose a rivalry is just something that develops, rather than something that is sparked by any singular event.

Perhaps when I've been watching football longer I'll be able to get more fired up for these big rivalry games, but right now I just am not feeling it.

ccesarano wrote:

Regardless, that page doesn't really illustrate the origin

Almost every NFL rivalry comes down to one of these three:

1. Being in the same division
2. Being close geographically
3. Meeting in the postseason repeatedly

Eagles/Cowboys falls squarely in #1, as do the majority of actual ongoing rivalries. There's really not many that are #2 that aren't actually #1. There's a reason Jets/Giants and 49ers/Raiders aren't really primary rivalries for any of those teams, despite being located right on top of each other, as they're not even in the same conference, so they don't play often.

Same division means you play twice a year, as opposed to the once every three or four years you get from the rotating divisional scheduling.

#3 rivalries tend to be somewhat short-lived, as one or both teams eventually stops making the postseason and the games stop happening. 49ers/Cowboys was a thing when both teams were in their postseason peaks, but less so now. Patriots/Colts was a rivalry in the early 2000s from playoff games, but fizzled as the Colts ceased to be a postseason power.

NICK MULLENS BANNER PICTURE!

MULLENSANITY REIGNS

Will Garoppolo give way to Mullens the same way Bledsoe did to Brady?

I imagine Mullens is going to come back down to earth when playing against more capable defenses, but my prediction is that he will finish the season with a strangehold on the QB2 job behind Garoppolo.

The thing most striking about watching that game wasn't the success, so much as it was how the offense looked like it does when Garoppolo is at QB. In other words, it's the Shanahan system being executed the way it was drawn up. It made Beat Hard's games stand in stark contrast. Beat Hard can take a beating, but can't get the ball out of his hands on time.

garion333 wrote:

Speaking of overpriced:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/dCziXsR.png)

That right there is the snap count and performance of Allen Robinson, currently the most expensive decoy in the league. Granted, Trubisky isn't exactly lighting the world on fire with his pass skills, but I'm almost certain my boy Pace could've signed a decoy for way less. Mr. Robinson has the second highest cap hit on the team. He's right up there with Nick Perry in terms of actively hurting a team's performance. Neither are as bad as Blake Bortles though.

Unlike a lot of other Jag fans, I did not really want the team to invest in Allen Robinson, not at what was going to be market rate. The Jags now have three WRs that have more yardage than Robinson. Kinda hard to tell how good any of them actually are when they're at the mercy of the Bort, but I do expect good things from Westbrook and Chark going forward.

49ers might have a winning streak this week.

IMAGE(https://scontent-ort2-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/45488850_2246700498910433_3764401919976538112_n.jpg?_nc_cat=107&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-2.xx&oh=c3dfdcfff74a00b84fce40cfee1e0b46&oe=5C8430EB)

Speaking of Mullens and being prepared:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/DYcLVBF.png)

Great start to the Week 10 post, Garion. Thanks for putting it together.

Jayhawker wrote:

IMAGE(https://scontent-ort2-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/45488850_2246700498910433_3764401919976538112_n.jpg?_nc_cat=107&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-2.xx&oh=c3dfdcfff74a00b84fce40cfee1e0b46&oe=5C8430EB)

Now this is a great hed.

Stele wrote:

49ers might have a winning streak this week.

MULLENSANITY!

bighoppa wrote:

In a season where every other QB seems to be averaging 350 yards a game, DW is sitting at a mighty 265 ypg. What did Legion post a few weeks ago? Only two or three QBs aren't averaging over 300/game? Watson is one of those. I don't know how much of this is Bill O'Brien's playcalling and how much is Watson holding on to the ball too long and making bad decisions. He does have flashes of brilliance, but I've lost a lot of the excitement I felt when we managed to snag him.

Watson has significant limitations but exceptional aspects also. With Will Fuller and Keke Coutee being in and out of the lineup you're missing huge chunks of what works with Watson. So, when they're not there it's back to protect the ball long enough to throw to Nuk. Boring. Now with Demaryius Thomas in the fold you have a bit more oomph.

But, really, your OL is so bad Watson is getting sacked so much it's a miracle he's still out there. Cut the kid some slack.

Very true. The Texans line isn't good at all. They seem to be gelling a little more as the season goes on, but the pocket still collapses in about a second and a half. That's better than the half second they gave him at the beginning of the season, but we badly need to draft linemen next year.

Problem is there aren't really linemen to draft. Shouldn't have traded Duane Brown, but I'm sure there was a good reason.

Watson also causes some sacks by holding onto the ball too long, but that's part and parcel with someone who is capable of using their legs.

In other news, were you all aware that Derek Carr has been completing 72% of this passes? Holy sh*t. He's having a pretty decent year, all things considered. Sacks and interceptions are up, but otherwise not a terrible year. Granted checkdowns aren't exactly winning them games and all, but I expected worse.

From what little I have watched of the Raiders this year, he has become massively risk averse, like an extreme Alex Smith. He seems like he is playing to avoid getting hit, not win.

Bruce Irvin, a guy I've never particularly cared for but now am a complete homer for since Gruden axed him, signed with the Falcons, a team always in need of more underwhelming pass rushers.

Dez Bryant signed with the Saints. They're making their run.

garion333 wrote:

In other news, were you all aware that Derek Carr has been completing 72% of this passes?

Yes. His INTs are a bit high but outside of that, he's completing everything he throws.

Jayhawker wrote:

From what little I have watched of the Raiders this year, he has become massively risk averse, like an extreme Alex Smith. He seems like he is playing to avoid getting hit, not win.

The numbers show something different. His YPA is 7.8, which is the best of his career, and well above the Alex Smith range. His average time-to-throw is on the quicker end, but in a tie with Brees and Roethlisberger, and .01 longer than Brady. His completion percentage is near the top for both quick (< 2.5 sec) and longer-play throws. He's currently 2nd behind Jared Goff in completion percentage of "deep throws" (20 yards or more) with 56%.

The numbers aren't the whole story, and the lack of running game means there's a bunch of 7-yard completions on 3rd-and-9 mixed in there. Certainly more than a little garbage time. But I think Carr is doing better than he's given credit for, and he's a bit of a scapegoat for Gruden's inability to, you know, teach his system to a QB in a reasonable amount of time, the reason why old vets like Gannon and Brad Johnson were the only ones that ever figured it out before.

That actually makes me feel better. I like Carr, but what little I saw was a bit cringe worthy.

And for Chiefs news, this is kinda crazy. I knew they had won a lot of coin tosses, but jeez...

The Chiefs have been good at nearly everything this season, including the coin toss

What worries Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes the most going into a game isn’t the opposing defense or executing coach Andy Reid’s intricate offensive plans.

It’s the coin toss.

“It’s one of the most nervous points of the whole game for me right now,” Mahomes said.

He’s kidding, but the Chiefs’ coin-flip record is better than their overall mark, which stands an AFC-best 8-1.

That’s right. The Chiefs have won all nine coin tosses this season. They’re 9-0.

“It’s kind of running joke,” Mahomes said. “I don’t think there’s any pressure. Whatever happens, happens. At the same time, everybody knows the coin toss thing is going.”

Add in the final three preseason games, and the Chiefs have won 12 straight coin tosses.

We couldn’t find any consistently kept records on coin-flip streaks, but the Chicago Bears won 14 straight in 2016-17. That included one before the start of an overtime game. The Detroit Lions, who don’t have a sterling history of success, also won the coin flip in 14 straight games in 2004-05. In 2013, the Carolina Panthers won eight straight coin flips. That’s noteworthy because they’d lost 13 straight flips to start the previous season.

Deadspin unearths the legendary rant of Jerry Burns. Worth watching the video and reading the article, f*ckers.

Rat Boy wrote:

Deadspin unearths the legendary f*cking rant of Jerry f*cking Burns. Worth watching the f*cking video and reading the f*cking article, f*ckers.

FTFY

Get home, eat dinner, turn on the game, already 21-7.

That was the best Tide commercial in the history of Tide commercials.

I've been kicking around this idea in my head on how to fix Thursday Night Football and it involves stealing an idea from the movie business. Every game, have a live orchestra playing all the classic tunes from NFL Films as the game's going on like a movie score.

Edit: Also, hot take: Eric Reid was ejected because he knelt.

My idea on fixing Thursday night football is to not have it.

Radical thinking.

I just want Mayock back on Thursday Night. Then at least I would learn something while watching terrible games.

Bad Panthers are bad. I'm scared to look at Panthers Twitter. I'm sure it'll be 50 percent FIRE RIVERA, 25 percent START DEREK ANDERSON and 40 percent* I HATE FOOTBALL AND THE PANTHERS SUCK.

(* the joke is that we're in the South and that we're bad at math. And football.)

Honestly, though, Fat Ben can throw a good deep ball, something that Carolina can't seem to stop, and the Panthers O'line hasn't seen that much blitzing all season. It was a perfect storm, and the Panthers were George Clooney and the crew of the Andrea Gail.

I don't read Barnwell as religiously as I did five years ago, but today he said something new (to me) that blew my mind:

If you look at each NFL team's sack rate going back through the 2001 campaign and split their seasons into halves, it would stand to reason that the sack rate in the first half would be predictive of the sack rate in the second half, given that you're working with the same pass-rushers. Drew Brees is consistent from half to half. Why wouldn't Von Miller be consistent, too?

As it turns out, though, the correlation of determination between a team's sack rate in Games 1-8 and their sack rate in Games 9-16 suggests that 1 percent of a team's second-half sack rate can be explained by the first-half sack rate. In other words, it's close to useless as a predictor. To put this in context, the teams with the 30 highest sack rates in the first half since 2001 took down opposing quarterbacks 9.9 percent of the time. Over the second half, they collectively sacked passers 6.4 percent of the time. Meanwhile, the teams with the 30 worst first-half sack rates saw their takedown percentage double from 2.9 percent to 5.8 percent.

With that in mind, teams with subpar sack rates should improve on defense over the second half. While that group includes teams like the Raiders and Giants, more notable contenders like the Patriots (3.2 percent, 31st), Falcons (4.8 percent, 28th), and Saints (5.2 percent, 27th) could ride some regression toward the mean to improved defensive play.

Likewise, you might be concerned about those defenses that are riding a sack high to stay afloat. The obvious candidate here would be the Lions, who top the league with a 9.6 percent sack rate despite spending most of the first half without star edge rusher Ezekiel Ansah. When you remove sacks, the Lions rank 30th in the league in QBR allowed (85.6) and passer rating (112.5). The Vikings (9.0 percent, second), Broncos (8.3 percent, third), Packers (8.3 percent, fourth), and Cardinals (8.1 percent, fifth) might also suffer some in the second half.

Well, damn...

Also:

Rat Boy wrote:

Also:

Later there's this: https://twitter.com/RapSheet/status/...

Basically, Flacco is undergoing the same tests Ryan Grant went through before he failed his physical and his contract was torn up.

IMAGE(https://i.giphy.com/media/329R8vL26frCZgNAf3/giphy.gif)
It's that time! Lamar time!

Yesssssss