Yep, I missed last weeks edition and I sincerely apologize I got caught up with family/holiday madness and all that it entails.
Minnesota vs. Detroit
Not a bad game to start off Thanksgiving. Minnesota was dominant in this one before giving up a late score before the half. Case Keenum is a prime example of how a team/coaching staff/scheme is so important to a player for success. Thinking bigger picture for a moment I am more and more convinced that there are rarely any truly “bad” players in the NFL rather player success at all but specifically at the QB position is so heavily reliant on the above-mentioned factors among others. The Vikings are in a great position there. If Case keeps playing like he does keep him and ship off Teddy for what I imagine would be not insignificant compensation. If he doesn’t keep it up you have Teddy who provides a good baseline of play as well.
The Matt Stafford to Marvin Jones connection looked great in this one as well. In a game that was decided in the 4th quarter, the Minnesota offense was just too good for a Detroit defense that is missing a lot on defense.
Los Angeles (Chargers) vs. Dallas
A Cowboys loss if was my second favorite game of the day only outranked by a Redskins win. In line with my thoughts about players above its clear that Prescott NEEDS an effective running game to be at his best. This should surprise anyone really most QBs do and few QBs are team-on-my-back quality. He isn't playing with confidence as evidenced by his two horrible interceptions this game. I’m enjoying his struggle though - oh and the Dallas defense is absolutely horrible right now.
Rivers picked Dallas apparent and contrary to my comments on him earlier in the season the old vet might just have a bit more left in the tank. The Chargers are making a nice second-half run and just might pull one out in the AFC West if Rivers keeps playing at a high level along with their defense.
New York (Giants) vs. Washington
It was ugly for most of the game but Semaje is looking decent. Ryker played well. Cousins and Crowder/Doctson got it together when it mattered most though and that was the difference for the Skins. I really like how our young players are coming along especially on defense this game. Kendall Fuller played great and had a game-sealing interception and Anthony Lanier had a key sack. These past few years the Skins have picked some good players and the patience with them is going to pay off. The team is in a very difficult situation - they need to win out and can not afford to lose another game this season to keep their playoff hopes alive. I hope they crush Dallas tonight.
Chicago vs. Philadelphia
Wentz is the real deal and it's painful. A couple years ago when the Eagles made that trade to get him I had hoped they would be proven fools - oh well they made the right call for their team. As you might imagine with the way the Eagles have been playing - coupled with the way the Bears are playing it wasn't close. If Wentz and Goff continue their level of play and improve 2016 might go down as one of the best drafts for QBs going 1 & 2 in quite some time especially compared to 2015 and 2012. The Eagles are rolling all we can hope for is a playoff loss out of them.
The Bears might be getting poised to clean house. Ryan Pace / John Fox have made some good picks and you can argue they just got the opportunity to get their QB but I’m not sure the owners in Chicago are going to hold on especially given the fanbase anxiety and tension in the team itself.
Los Angeles (Rams) vs. New Orleans
What an individual performance by Alvin Kamara. He should be in the OROY conversation for sure the way he’s played since about week 3. The Rams were the better team and made more efficient use of all their weapons. Jared Goff had yet another impressive game and the Ram offense simply looks great in the air and on the ground. What is the likelihood of the Rams meeting the Eagles in the NFC Championship game?
Denver vs. Oakland
Well, I was wrong - the Broncos COULD be worse with Paxton Lynch at the helm. Credit to AlmostLegit on his foresight and anyone else who expressed what’s now fact. Outside of the Talib / Crabtree fight that brief period of play by Lynch was bizarre and terrible. Not excusing his play but he was also the Bronco’s leading rusher with 17 yards. In the interest of irony, the Raiders were pulling away in this one and Trevor Simien nearly led a comeback. With a first year HC who should be held responsible in Denver?
Cleveland vs Cincinnati
Dalton slung the ball pretty well this game I’d say. In what may have been his most accurate performance of the year Dalton was delivering darts downfield to nearly all his receivers. The offense was balanced as well with Mixon running for over 100 yards. Cleveland just can’t catch a break. The individual performances aren't bad but they aren't nearly good enough and the team has yet to gel regardless of the personnel. It's the same year in and year out for Browns they can accumulate individual talent but those responsible aren’t successful for creating the necessary culture and environment to produce the consistent play.
Carolina vs. New York (Jets)
McCown + Anderson = WOOSH. McCown giveth but he also taketh away with a foolish fumble in the second half which turned the tide of the game. After that, the Jets lost a little heart on defense and special teams with both units giving up key plays. It's still a bit hard for me to gauge the Panthers. Given the difference in record the game shouldn't have been as close as it was but then again a few of the Panthers wins this season have come in a similar fashion. Let’s hope they start losing.
Buffalo vs. Kansas City
I would bat an eye if someone in the Bills coaching staff got let go for that horrible Nathan Peterman experiment last week. Not thinking Taylor is a franchise guy is one thing but he is more than serviceable and has exhibited that he can when games to at least get the team in position for a WC spot. Why the Bills thought starting Peterman (against the rising Chargers) was a good idea was beyond me and they essentially lost a game because of a lackadaisical whim. Kansas City has struggled on offense these past few weeks and don't look like the same team we saw earlier in the year. Alex Smith was picked off by Tre’Davious White (who I liked a lot pre-draft) to seal the deal for the Bills. Kansas City is going to have to regroup fast to turn things around to ward off the Chargers.
Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta
Julio Jones is back. Tevin Coleman is better than Devonta Freeman IMO. I can’t believe with the way the season has gone the Falcons are still in position to win the division. It was closer than the final score led on at one point with Ryan Fitzpatrick nearly leading a tying 4th quarter effort if not for a dropped pass on 4th down. The Bucs didn't run the ball enough in this game and were in too many situations where it was all on the QB. This has been the story for them - along with an inconsistent defense all year long. Firmly at the bottom of their division, I wonder where they will look in the draft.
Seattle vs. San Francisco
The Hawks started this game off poorly when Wilson tossed an INT on the first play from scrimmage. San Francisco has an anemic offense and the 49ers couldn't capitalize all game. C.J. Beathard got hurt late in the game thus signaling the start of the Jimmy G era in San Fran. Seattle survives off Wilson’s ability to extend plays but they have been winning in his good graces most of the time considering how their defense has been affected by injury. Do you think its possible than Kyle Shanahan falls into the category of good coordinator bad head coach?
Indianapolis vs. Tennessee
The Colts are still plagued by their two biggest problems a bad o-line and a bad defense outside of some nice individual plays both those units don’t perform well in key moments and it limits things on offense. That said the Colts could have won this game but Brissett and the offense didn’t do enough to pull it out. I really am not sure how the hell the Titan’s got to 7-4 based on what I’ve seen as a whole all season.
Miami vs. New England
Miami never had a chance. I’m not sure what they do in the offseason but I imagine they’ll be looking to get a running back relatively high. Tom Brady is stiff as hell but the man knows how to navigate a pocket - just another trait that makes him the best but its still always impressive to me to analyze those moments. Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead are forming quite the tandem for the Pats. A few weeks ago I thought it was going to be a Patriot vs. Chief AFC title game now I think its Patriots vs. Steelers (stunner).
Jacksonville vs. Arizona
Who would have thought Blaine Gabbert and a rookie TE would have done the amount of damage they did to the Jacksonville defense. The Jags must not have studied Ricky Seals-Jones on tape. I would have never thought the Cardinals would be in the position to win this game but with good play from Gabbert with support on the ground from AP they put themselves in position to win the game with that FG. With how good the Jaguars defense has been its a shame the offense hasn’t backed them up enough - put a slightly more competent QB in Jacksonville and they might be a 1 loss team instead of being in a division race with the Titans.
Green Bay vs. Pittsburgh
What a game by Brett Hundley. The young guy is coming along well and I didn’t expect the performance I saw out of him on Sunday night. It was clearly the best game of his career and if the Packers were a better overall team but specifically had a better defense they would have one this game. Blake Martinez had a heck of a game though and has been a solid selection for the Packers. They played a much better opponent and without Aaron Rodgers supplying that extra bit of magic they lost a close one. Packers fans should be encouraged by their young backups performance against a playoff team though.
Do you think Roethlisberger, Bell, and Brown are the best QB, RB, WR trio in the league? If not who is?
Houston vs. Baltimore
I don't have anything to say about the Texans until they replace Tom Savage. Baltimore won because of Tom Savage.