NFL 2019: Week 10

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With Legion overseas and unwilling to sacrifice his free time to make a thread for Week 10, I'll throw another one up in his absence.

The Panthers have finally put Cam Newton on IR, a move Enix has been calling pretty much from day 1. I only mention it because I thought the IG post from Kyle "not Josh, the QB or Edge, but instead the Small Handed QB" Allen was impressive:

I watched this man do everything in his power to come back from his injury. I watched him lead and be a great teammate day in day out. ⁣

Thank you for setting the example. We got you

That's professional.

We may have gushed a bit about Lamar Jackson's dissection of the Pats D, but another story of the week we may have forgotten about is Kyler Murray putting up a good game against the 49ers. Both the Pats and Niners went from being so far ahead of the pack that they're now brought down to more typical levels.

The Pats went from the best defense since 1986 in DVOA to 6th, while the Niners went from 7th best to off the top 12 chart. Makes sense, the Ravens are good, so they don't take a huge hit, while the Cards aren't particularly good, so their good performance impacted the scoring more.

The idea that the Pats have been facing fairly bad teams and feasting on them may play out as the season goes on. The upcoming Eagles->Cowboys->Texans->Chiefs->Bengals should tell us all we need to know.

The Niners rely almost entirely on their DL to disrupt offenses (yes, yes, Sherman on the back end), so it's hard to get a good read on just what the game against the Cards meant. Are they weak against a true spread offense with quick passes negating the rush? Is it because Kyler Murray is a dual threat, uber athlete who can buy time and rifle the ball? Was it because it was Thursday night? Most likely it was newly acquired Kenyan Drake, he of no game tape in a Cards jersey for the Niners' D to watch, absolutely lit up the D and put them on their heels.

Point is, any given sunday still applies. No team is infallible. I mean, the Dolphins won a game and they're not even trying to win any! That's gotta be this season's greatest f- up so far, outside of Adam Gase being a head coach.

Wed again, WTF.

Eagles get a bye this week so I'll mostly just be observing the chatter around here. Kind of wish their bye was after the Pats game, though. Rip it off like a band-aid.

A very smart piece via Kevin Clark of The Ringer on Cam: Considering Cam Newton’s Carolina Legacy: A One-of-a-Kind QB Who Changed the Position

My favorite line in a well-thought-out-and-not-petty-at-all story: There are two types of football observers: Those who appreciate how good Cam Newton was at his best, and people who do not know what they are talking about.

Here's another prediction (based on my correct prediction that Cam would end up on IR): The whole Whither Cam? discussion will suck up a lot of the NFL off-season oxygen. This has been a pretty good/fun/interesting NFL season so far, and folks are already talking about it. Gaaaahhhh!

Meanwhile, Tiny Hands Not Josh has been saying and doing all the right things so far. He's like a smirk-free Jimmy Clausen, but with some honest-to-god NFL ability. (Not a lot, but some.) He knows it's Cam's team until it's not, and he's not pretending otherwise.

Meanwhile, Part 2: There seems to be a not-insignificant number of Panther Fans who are mad online bc the Panthers didn't trade for ...

... Andy Dalton.

Anyhoo, here are the coverage maps for the weekend. The 1 p.m. Sunday games are pretty meh, but we get Chargers-Raiders (mildly interesting) on Thursday, Panthers-Packers at 4 p.m. Sunday, Vikings-Cowboys on Sunday night and Hawks-Niners on Monday. I'm liking the prime time games all week.

garion333 wrote:

\The Niners rely almost entirely on their DL to disrupt offenses (yes, yes, Sherman on the back end), so it's hard to get a good read on just what the game against the Cards meant. Are they weak against a true spread offense with quick passes negating the rush? Is it because Kyler Murray is a dual threat, uber athlete who can buy time and rifle the ball? Was it because it was Thursday night? Most likely it was newly acquired Kenyan Drake, he of no game tape in a Cards jersey for the Niners' D to watch, absolutely lit up the D and put them on their heels.

I'd credit it first to Drake finally releasing about 3.5 years of pent-up frustration from lack of use in Miami and getting a shot to play the damn game. Arizona gave him 19 touches. The only times he's ever had 19 touches in a game? The 3 game stretch of weeks 12-14 in 2017, after Miami finally ran out of other running backs to give the ball to instead of Drake. Drake gained 141, 193, and 113 yards from scrimmage in those games, respectively. 2 TDs, 0 fumbles.

After that, running QBs like Murray are absolutely a problem for a team that runs their defensive line with the spread-out "wide 9" alignments that the Niners do. It pressures pocket passers and it eats up QBs that do the patented Baker Mayfield bail-to-the-right, but for savvier mobile QBs that step up, it creates running lanes on the inside. Which will be a point of struggle with two games against Russell Wilson and one against Lamar Jackson.

That said, if 3 Niners DBs don't badly misplay the play to Andy Isabella, turning it from a good intermediate pass play to an insane 88-yard TD, the game probably doesn't end up looking quite so close at the end.

Still, can we also talk about how good Kyler Murray has been? I feel like it's been overlooked this season because he's not been a stat monster, and he's not playing a lot of hero ball. He's been a crisp, efficient passer that also does damage in the run game, but rarely with big highlight runs (his season long run is 24 yards, both of his TD runs have been from less than 10 yards out).

I think there were a lot of fantasies about Kliff Kingsbury bringing in his system and racking up a bunch of yards and points, as if the NFL hasn't already internalized the majority of his spread concepts. So they're just a middle of the pack offense, and Murray hasn't quite matched Gardner Minshew's production, and so everyone is just kinda "ehh". But he's been a high efficiency, low turnover guy, and he's got the tools to reach a high ceiling.

Going back to Drake, if Arizona is smart, they will re-sign him. And give him the ball, because David Johnson isn't actually all that great a ballcarrier, not nearly enough for people to still act like he's a guy that demands the RB1 workload. Give Drake an honest workload, not even (or less!) splits with guys that are far underperforming him (Mark Walton? Really, Flores?).

A very smart piece via Kevin Clark of The Ringer on Cam: Considering Cam Newton’s Carolina Legacy: A One-of-a-Kind QB Who Changed the Position

Donvan McNabb says Hi

karmajay wrote:
A very smart piece via Kevin Clark of The Ringer on Cam: Considering Cam Newton’s Carolina Legacy: A One-of-a-Kind QB Who Changed the Position

Donvan McNabb says Hi

Randall Cunningham says please.

TheGameguru wrote:
karmajay wrote:
A very smart piece via Kevin Clark of The Ringer on Cam: Considering Cam Newton’s Carolina Legacy: A One-of-a-Kind QB Who Changed the Position

Donvan McNabb says Hi

Randall Cunningham says please.

Reposting from the week 9 thread. It's on point.

Paleocon wrote:

Whelp, I'm going to the Browns game this week. They play the Bills, so I expect it'll be two sides of sh*tty QB play.

But it's a free ticket, so no complaints here. Seriously. Heck, it's supposed to be 50 out, so I'm all for that.

TheGameguru wrote:
karmajay wrote:
A very smart piece via Kevin Clark of The Ringer on Cam: Considering Cam Newton’s Carolina Legacy: A One-of-a-Kind QB Who Changed the Position

Donvan McNabb says Hi

Randall Cunningham says please.

Warren Moon says "what y'all talkin bout?"

The coverage map for Bucs-Cardinals is kind of hilarious; parts of NW Florida, most of Arizona, and almost the entire state of Oklahoma because Kyler Murray. Interesting to see how Murray's college drives that as opposed too any normal pro concerns.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Interesting to see how Murray's college drives that as opposed too any normal pro concerns.

Also can't help but notice that Kyler Murray's blotch of Oklahoma is bigger than Baker's blotch.

I had to look up Charlie Ward and the 1994 NFL Draft. Here was a Heisman trophy winner who set records at FSU who was told, basically, that he would never play in the NFL despite the fact that it was an extraordinarily weak year for quarterbacks. The only ones taken in the first round were Heath Shuler and Trent Dilfer (both taken in the first six picks). Dilfer would go on to win a Super Bowl with the Ravens, but set dubious records as the least productive quarterback to do so AND go down as the only Super Bowl winning quarterback to not be resigned the following season. Shuler is widely regarded as one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history.

garion333 wrote:

Whelp, I'm going to the Browns game this week.

IMAGE(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/5c/fc/5f/5cfc5f7c6c7ea41f2e112c2b32c9ee55.gif)

garion333 wrote:

Whelp, I'm going to the Browns game this week. They play the Bills, so I expect it'll be two sides of sh*tty QB play.

But it's a free ticket, so no complaints here. Seriously. Heck, it's supposed to be 50 out, so I'm all for that.

As a bonus you will probably get to see some dizzy bats, table smashes, and butt luges in the parking lot!

Paleocon wrote:

I had to look up Charlie Ward and the 1994 NFL Draft. Here was a Heisman trophy winner who set records at FSU who was told, basically, that he would never play in the NFL despite the fact that it was an extraordinarily weak year for quarterbacks. The only ones taken in the first round were Heath Shuler and Trent Dilfer (both taken in the first six picks). Dilfer would go on to win a Super Bowl with the Ravens, but set dubious records as the least productive quarterback to do so AND go down as the only Super Bowl winning quarterback to not be resigned the following season. Shuler is widely regarded as one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history.

I feel like there's a bit of revisionist history when it comes to Charlie Ward, to try and shoehorn him in as a central example of the NFL's racial bias on quarterbacks, when I think he more appropriately belongs on the fringes of the discussion.

A few things:

- While he no doubt was approached about possible position change, Ward was given the opportunity to go through the draft process as a quarterback. He worked out as a quarterback at his Pro Day in April.

- Ward skipped the NFL Combine in February. He was invited, but he was playing college basketball at the time. Playing college basketball instead of attending the NFL Combine communicated pretty strongly to NFL teams that Ward was a basketball player.

- Ward told NFL teams that he would not sign if he was drafted outside the 1st round. Going into Combine week, he was considered by most to have a mid-round grade (which of course he didn't boost any by not showing up to the Combine)

- He did show up for the NBA's version of the Combine, which was held the day before the NFL Draft

- Ward was listed as 6-2 in the FSU media guide, but he measured 5-11 at his Pro Day (despite later still listing himself as 6-2 during his basketball career)

- His arm strength was... OK.

- As for "but he won the Heisman!", back in the early 90s, that did not indicate great things at the NFL level for QB prospects. The QBs right before him that were Heisman winners: Ty Detmer, Andre Ware, Gino Torretta. The next 3 QBs to win the Heisman after Ward: Danny Wuerffel, Chris Weinke, Eric Crouch.

One could argue that the NFL was not keen enough on Ward's physical talents, and that's fair, but he's being featured in the NFL QB race discussions far more prominently than he merits.

Paleocon wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:
karmajay wrote:
A very smart piece via Kevin Clark of The Ringer on Cam: Considering Cam Newton’s Carolina Legacy: A One-of-a-Kind QB Who Changed the Position

Donvan McNabb says Hi

Randall Cunningham says please.

Warren Moon says "what y'all talkin bout?"

Seriously?!

Moon was a pocket passer (and a good one; go look at his stats), and so was McNabb. Vick was a bad fit in a West Coast offense -- most of his runs were no-one's-open-f**k-it-I'm-outta here -- and Cunningham was a scrambler.

Vick was and is still the best runner of the bunch because he was so damn fast. But he wasn't running RPOs, and he wasn't running in between his tackles, and he sure as hell wasn't trying to vault over the goal line.

I will admit to thinking the story hed is misleading. The fact that Sam Darnold and Danny Dimes are starting NFL QBs says that the NFL QB position hasn't really changed all that much.

Yeah, the article makes it clear that RPOs are the staying power. Granted you don't see most other QBs running quite so much up the middle and doing so much goal line work, but that's also because of Cam Netwon, the rapidly declining due to injury version.

He's absolutely one of a kind almost entirely because he's built like a tight end who plays QB. Cunningham and Vick were never that.

garion333 wrote:

Yeah, the article makes it clear that RPOs are the staying power. Granted you don't see most other QBs running quite so much up the middle and doing so much goal line work, but that's also because of Cam Netwon, the rapidly declining due to injury version.

He's absolutely one of a kind almost entirely because he's built like a tight end who plays QB. Cunningham and Vick were never that.

I hear folks making the Cam/Lamar comparison way too often and I have to remind them that they are very different kinds of runners.

*Legion* wrote:

The next 3 QBs to win the Heisman after Ward: Danny Wuerffel, Chris Weinke, Eric Crouch.

Weinke was almost 30 and Crouch was basically playing a different sport. I don't think you can use those two to say anything about viability of Heisman winners in the NFL.

It's the Raiders that are making Rivers' stats look better than they should.

I made fun of Mayock as a GM but I’m not sure the Raiders didn’t knock it out the park in the draft. Time will tell but with another draft like the one they just had Raiders might not be a joke.

iaintgotnopants wrote:
*Legion* wrote:

The next 3 QBs to win the Heisman after Ward: Danny Wuerffel, Chris Weinke, Eric Crouch.

Weinke was almost 30 and Crouch was basically playing a different sport. I don't think you can use those two to say anything about viability of Heisman winners in the NFL.

Point is that he's smack dab in the middle of a long run of Heisman Trophy winning QBs that could not translate to the NFL, therefore attempting to use Ward's Heisman Trophy as an argument about him being treated unfairly by the NFL is not sound.

The trophy is commonly used as a supporting argument for Ward's NFL viability, as if he won it in the current era where college style QBs more seamlessly transition to the NFL. But he won it in the early '90s when that was far less the case.

TheGameguru wrote:

I made fun of Mayock as a GM but I’m not sure the Raiders didn’t knock it out the park in the draft. Time will tell but with another draft like the one they just had Raiders might not be a joke.

I wouldn't go that far. Clelin Ferrell has been terrible, more or less. It isn't that he has no future, it's where they took him.

Josh Jacobs was the best RB of a fairly bad class, but I think Richie Incognito and Trent Brown are the best move they made this year. Even if he's a POS. The guy has been playing some of his best football and has elevated their line back to where it used to be. And that's what you HAVE to do with Carr.

TheGameguru wrote:

I made fun of Mayock as a GM but I’m not sure the Raiders didn’t knock it out the park in the draft. Time will tell but with another draft like the one they just had Raiders might not be a joke.

Until last night, Clelin Ferrell was a non factor, and he's still miles behind the rest of the 2019 edge rusher class.

Jonathan Abram is still probably a moron, but he's missing this whole season so he's not a factor anyway.

They really only are getting value out of 1 of those 3 first round picks. They're getting more out of the rest of their draft, which is a credit to Mayock, but that's not what's really different about this year.

What is different is that Jon Gruden is delivering on offense the kind of "genius" he's been credited with in the past, and which people have aggressively mocked in the years since his Bucs Super Bowl teams. The notion that the offensive game has passed him by has been well and thoroughly debunked. Gruden right now is running one of the top 10 offensive schemes in the league, arguably one of the top 5, and is held back by a lack of true offensive weapons.

Derek Carr has made that year 2 jump that is common with QBs in the verbiage and concept heavy offenses that guys in the WCO coaching tree run. He's completing over 70% and has the 6th best passer rating in the league. For the first time since it happened, he's looking like pre-broken-back Carr.

Besides Carr, it's Josh Jacobs and Darren Weller, and then basically nothing else. Tyrell Williams is a solid WR2 miscast as a WR1 (which of course he wasn't expected to be, because of you-know-who). Their starting "X" receiver right now is Zay Jones, because they literally don't have anyone meaningful to put in the spot. Hunter Renfrow is their second leading WR, being their main slot receiver. The team's 1st, 2nd, 3rd RB and 1st and 2nd TEs all have more yards and catches than any of their "X" receivers.

I'm no Gruden cheerleader, but that dude is over in Oakland making an absolute sh*t-ton of lemonade, and in a just world, he would be a serious Coach of the Year candidate. (You know, for 2nd place, behind Baby Shanny).

There are only lemons because he jettisoned his two best players.

garion333 wrote:

There are only lemons because he jettisoned his two best players.

Well there's certainly that, although I think they would still have a lot of needs even with those guys in place.

They better hope Thursday was Ferrell starting to figure things out, and not just a fluke. And they have to find a real WR1. Then maybe they'll have at least somewhat filled their self-inflicted voids.

Brissett declared OUT for Sunday!

$WAG MODE ACTIVATED

*Legion* wrote:

Brissett declared OUT for Sunday!

$WAG MODE ACTIVATED

Before the season Chad Kelly was their 4th string QB, they're now starting their 3rd string QB, and yet they're in better QB shape than the Broncos have been all year.

LJ8 ruled questionable for Sunday

Paleocon wrote:

LJ8 ruled questionable for Sunday

But practiced on Friday, so is probably a go.

Wonder what bug is going around.

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