13 thoughts on “2018-2019 NFL Week 6

  1. Eagles-Giants

    I just watched the first half. Thoughts:

    Last year, with Wentz, I think the Eagles were really great at extending drives and controlling the clock. In the first half, they weren’t very good at this.

    But this was mitigated by the Giants offense, as the Giants couldn’t extend drives and do much. Manning didn’t look good; Barkley was impressive. I had doubts about him, as he seemed like a smaller, shifty back, that couldn’t take the pounding. I’m not sure he’s a pounder, but his speed and shiftiness are impressive and he does have power. In a way, he reminds me of Shady McCoy. Both are not my type of backs in general, but I think they’re both good.

  2. Seahawks-Raiders

    Story of the game to me: Raiders OL was porous, horrid. Also, Raiders defense wasn’t very good. Seahawks ran the ball well. If the performance suggests that a substantive change has occurred, namely that they offense is gelling, Seahawks could be dangerous.

    Seahawk defense had a few shaky series, where they let the Raiders convert on long yardage situations and drive down the field.

    Oh another note: Wilson threw a pick, which I put the blame on him. He’s been throwing dangerous passes, at least one per game. It’s not a good pattern. He better get that corrected.


    I watched a lot of this game. The Chargers defense seemed to either have great coverage or they confused Mayfield. I think that was a big part of why the Browns lost. The game was a bit closer early in the game, because the Browns won the field position battle, but the Chargers offense got going eventually.

    Man, when it Joey Bosa coming back? He could really take the defense to the next level.


    I didn’t watch all of this, but the Bears defense didn’t look great–or they were missing some key players.


    Emmanuel Sanders catches what looks like a TD pass, and then taunts the defender. Turns out it wasn’t a TD, and the Broncos instead of being on the one yard line are now on the ten. They don’t get in and have to kick a field goal. They may not have scored on the one, but if they did, they outcome could have been much different.

    Broncos did a decent job of getting pressure on Goff. Denver’s offense couldn’t do enough.


    Three Panthers turnovers put them in a 17-0 hole in the first half, and almost dug their way out of it.

    I don’t know if “ageless wonder” is the right word to describe AP, but I thought of it. He made a difference.


    What comes to mind: Patriots defense hold Chiefs to three FGs early, while the Patriot offenses scores a bunch of points to create a considerable lead. One of these scores comes from a Mahomes INT, which starts the Patriot offense near the Chiefs goal line.

  3. Some general thoughts about the NFL so far.

    Still no great defenses

    I don’t think I feel as strongly as Louis Riddick, here, but his tweet did resonate with me:

    I’m disappointed that there doesn’t seem to be any great defenses, and I don’t mean all-time great, but just really, really good. I thought the Jaguars and Bears had a shot, but they looked really bad yesterday (and the Bears looked bad against Brock Osweiler! Khalil Mack was hurt, but still). I don’t know what’s the deal. In response to Riddick’s tweet, Seth Joyner mentioned a lack of fundamentals. I don’t know enough to have an opinion on this, but whatever the case may be, I don’t see really great defenses, and that is disappointing. The teams are in flux right now, so I’m hoping that can change.

    It’s All About the OL

    On the Ringer podcast, Clark and Frazier (guys I’ve been liking a lot more) mentioned the Cowboys offensive improvement. I think they mentioned Beasley and coaching, but the biggest difference between the Cowboys offense yesterday and in some of the previous games has been the OL. First and foremost, they’re not committing penalties or doing things that lead to long yardage situations. Maybe teaching, scheme adjustments, or protection calls have improved–I don’t know–but the OL performed a lot better yesterday.

    Something similar can be said about the Seahawks as well. Some Seahawk fans believe that the Wilson is a big reason for the OL problems–either dropping back too deep, scrambling unnecessarily, or holding on to the ball too long. While these could be factors, to me, attributing Wilson as the main problem seems crazy to me. In my view, the entire offense is playing better because the OL is playing better. (They have healthy running backs as well, and in the last two games their pass catchers got open enough times.) I don’t think the issue is play design, play calling, or Wilson. The OL is just playing better.

    On the flip side, look at the Raiders. The Raiders OL looked liked the the Seahawks OL in previous seasons–making the Seahawk front four look like a great pass rushing unit (which they are not). When that happens, an offense has no chance.

    On another note, one pleasant surprise this year is that I don’t really notice a lot of dysfunctional OLs. Off the top of my head, the worst OLs don’t make it impossible to have some success. I should clarify this–the OLs in the last two weeks haven’t seemed awful. In the first two weeks, the Cowboys, Seahawks, and maybe the Giants OLs have been kinda bad. Then again, the Seahawks OL, even in their worst moments this year, haven’t been as bad as their worst moments in the last three seasons.

    Don, do you think there is a noticeable scheme/coaching change with the Cowboys offense, or do you agree with me that the OL is just playing better?


    Have you guys watched the Ravens defense? I hear people saying they’re great/really good. I don’t really see this. (Same as last year as well.) I’m not saying they’re bad, but when I think of a really good/great defense, they wouldn’t come to mind.

    1. Re: OL

      I thought of some OLs that looked bad in certain games so far. Cowboys. Jaguars, against the Chiefs and maybe against the Cowboys. (I think they’re down to their 3rd LT.)

      Vikings and Panthers have looked a little iffy, but not so bad that the offense is completely dysfunctional. I think the Cardinals haven’t been all that great, too, but I haven’t watched them a lot.

  4. Man, what a shootout that KC-NE game was. The last quarter and a half was a thrill ride. I do like a good defensive matchup better than a shootout, but man, those long yardage plays in the fourth quarter were PRETTY. Gordon. Gronk. Edelmann. Hogan. Even White was targeted 20+ yards down the field.

    This is only my 2nd Patriots game this season, but I loved the offensive looks in this one. Does Michel catch the ball too?

    Gronk will never be the Gronk of old, but man. That one late-game catch he made where the only nearby defender was a DB, about five yards off? As soon as Gronk made his move with the ball, you were like, “No way can that guy bring him down,” and Gronk not only held the defender off, but he did a nice slippery twist move that moved him away. It was pretty!

    I don’t think this matters a whole lot, but the Brady-Belichick interactions on the sideline looked like two guys totally in sync. The Patriots are the best team in the AFC. I think their only contenders for the AFC title will be Baltimore and KC, and KC’s defense is so horrible they could conceivably miss the playoffs altogether if the Chargers keep clicking.

    1. Does Michel catch the ball too?

      My understanding is that he has good hands, but I think the Patriots threw more to White, but I could be wrong about that.

      The Patriots are the best team in the AFC. I think their only contenders for the AFC title will be Baltimore and KC, and KC’s defense is so horrible they could conceivably miss the playoffs altogether if the Chargers keep clicking.

      I don’t know what it is about Baltimore, but I find them underwhelming–or at least not significantly different from teams like the many other OK to good teams. I need to watch them more closely, especially on defense.

      As for KC, I think Justin Houston has been hurt (although they weren’t great when he was playing), and Eric Berry hasn’t played. Getting those two back could make a huge difference.

      Still, it seems like really explosive offenses are almost accompanied by defenses that aren’t very good, or good but not great, at best. The Rams defense is not very strong, for example; same with the Saints. The way I explain this is that the offenses are good at scoring, but not good at controlling the clock. This can lengthen the game and subject their defense to more snaps.

      In watching the Rams, they seem to be better at controlling the clock, but still not as good as a good conservative offense. (Rams are really good at getting chunk plays, both in the running and passing games.)

      1. Well the Ravens sacked Mariotta 11 times Sunday. The Titans may be lousy, but did anyone else sack Marcus 11 times? There’s something there! 🙂

        1. The Seahawks DL destroyed the Raiders OL, but I wouldn’t conclude that the Seahawks are a great defense based on that.

        2. Yeah, I never said great. And the Seahawks didn’t log 11 sacks. I heard this morning it was 11 sacks on 22 drop-backs or something like that.

          1. But as you alluded to, those stats may be more indicative of how bad the Titans are (which is my point about Seahawks-Raiders comparison).

          2. Sure. And Jason LaCanfora says the two Titans tackles have been playing hurt. Either way, you can’t just dismiss 11 sacks.

  5. 49ers-Packers

    First quarter, and part of the second, both teams didn’t appear to have a defense. The Packers defense seems pretty horrid for most of the game. The Packer offense, surprisingly, gets into slumps. They ran quite a bit of pro style offense, and they seemed pretty effective. I really don’t know what’s wrong with their offense. It could be that the Niners are solid defensively.

    If they get the great draft picks, that could set up the Niners for several years to come, competing for the Super Bowl.

  6. This may not be eleven sacks, but this is total domination.

    But really this is more a function of the Raiders OL rather than quality of the Seahawk DL. Seahawks OL have played like this on multiple occasions over the past three years. It’s so crazy to me.


    Yep, you can’t function with an OL like this. And that’s what Russell Wilson has had to deal with.

    (On another note, Dee Ford or whoever was playing against the Jaguars RT two weeks ago had a similar performance. The Jaguars RT was overwhelmed and abused all day.)

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