16 thoughts on “2019-2020 NFL: Week 8

  1. Thu
    Redskins-Vikings

    Sun
    Seahawks-Falcons
    Chargers-Bears
    Giants-Lions
    Jets-Jaguars
    Bengals-Rams
    Buccaneers-Titans
    Eagles-Bills
    Broncos-Colts
    Cardinals-Saints
    Panthers-49ers
    Raiders-Texans
    Browns-Patriots
    Packers-Chiefs

    Mon
    Dolphins-Steelers

  2. Redskins-Vikings

    The Vikings OL ran blocked well, getting a real good, consistent push–including grinding down the clock at the end of the game (There was a unreal 3rd and 19 conversion). At the same time, they had a lot of penalties, and they looked overwhelmed in pass blocking.

  3. Packers-Chiefs

    Chiefs did surprisingly well, especially on offense. The fumble might have cost them the game. While I think the Packers are one of the best teams in the league, I didn’t like how one-dimensional their offense looked tonight (although they did run out the clock with 5:00 minutes left in the game). I think this could be their undoing in the playoffs.

    Seahawks-Falcons

    Even though the Falcons are in free-fall, Matt Schaub threw for a 400 yards. Maybe this was by design–that is, Carroll allowed yards, as long as he didn’t give up too many explosive plays. That would be the positive spin. For me, I found the Seahawk defense difficult to watch. The Falcons OL isn’t very good, and the Seahawks still couldn’t get a lot of pressure, and the Falcons even ran the ball fairly well at times. “Disgusting” is too strong of a word, but I was getting to the point where I’d want to say this.

    I feel like this is who the Seahawks are. Maybe they could get into a groove, but I think it’s unlikely. Everything rests upon their offense–they have to be good at controlling the ball and scoring. Or their defense and ST has to generate turnovers or have big plays–something I wouldn’t count on.

    Raiders-Texans

    I don’t know if the Texans had injuries, but they looked out of sorts, especially Watson. I’m tempted to say they took the Raiders lightly.

    I’m liking Josh Jacobs more and more. He doesn’t really have moves, but he can make sharp cuts and has good speed and power, although he may not be super fast or super powerful. He might be a slightly less physical version of Zeke Elliot.

    By the way, when I watch Carr, feelings of Marc Wilson come up–which is not a good thing. Wilson would make nice throws and good plays, but then he would do dumb things, too. It was so frustrating, I became to really dislike him. I’m moving in that direction with Carr.

    Bengals-Rams

    Bengals aren’t good, but I don’t think the coaching is the problem. Indeed, my sense is that they’re well coached, but they don’t have enough talent. I’ll say this: They don’t look as bad as the Falcons.

    Cardinals-Saints

    The Cardinals are not as bad as their record. I feel like if they get more pieces, they could be good. This wasn’t a gimme for the Saints.

    Eagles-Bills

    Like many teams, I think the Eagles success depends on their effectiveness and willingness to run the ball. If they do this, they can be really good. If they don’t, they’re not very good.

    The Bills are solid, but I have a hard time believing in them and Josh Allen. (I might stuck in older impressions.)

    Browns-Patriots

    Three fumbles, penalties–Browns basically shot themselves in the foot. If they played cleaner, they could have beat the Patriots. Their defense gave the Patriots a hard time, and if they had a balanced offensive attack (as well as cut down on miscues), they could have be effective.

    I thought Jim Caldwell would have been a solid hire for them, given how he cleaned up the Lions and helped Stafford. I thought of him as I watched this game.

    Panthers-49ers

    What stood out: Shanahan seems to like to use quite a bit of misdirection in his runs, at least for stretches in the game. They were clearly the better team in this game.

  4. Yeah, but do you see fear in Derek Carr’s eyes the way you could in Marc Wilson’s?

    Two teams ran similar flea-flicker-type plays yesterday (according to highlights). The Lions ran it with a deep throw to Golladay, and the Cardinals ran almost an identical play. I love plays like this.

    Kyler Murray looks like he can fling it.

    I watched the Niners-Panthers game. The standouts were Nick Bosa who was kind of awesome, and Christian McCaffrey. I don’t understand people who didn’t think he could play running back in the NFL.

    League MVP always goes to a QB, but if I had a vote Christian McCaffrey would get mine if the season ended today.

    1. Yeah, but do you see fear in Derek Carr’s eyes the way you could in Marc Wilson’s?

      (You remember that, huh? Hahaha.) No, Carr doesn’t look like Beaker.

      Two teams ran similar flea-flicker-type plays yesterday (according to highlights). The Lions ran it with a deep throw to Golladay, and the Cardinals ran almost an identical play. I love plays like this.

      One thing I’ve also noticed–more teams running the end around. Also, with McVay’s assistants becoming head coaches and other teams presumably copying him, the offenses more like something from the 90s.

      Kyler Murray looks like he can fling it.

      I agree. Year 2 is going to be key. Also, building a good OL.

      I don’t understand people who didn’t think he could play running back in the NFL.

      I suspect it’s the same reason people didn’t think Russell Wilson could play QB. I feel the same way. Even if a RB plays well, I’m skeptical they will play a long time. You could say this is true for RBs in general, but I think bigger framed, beefier RBs have a better chance at longevity.

  5. Denver, Indy:
    The only game I saw good enough chunks of to make any comments. Denver’s D is finally rounding into form under Fangio. They seem to have played well for the last few weeks. Too bad their offense is horrible. Although in this one especially in the first half, the Bronco offense continued to grind out first downs and eating clock. I’m guessing the tables must have turned in the second half, because I’m pretty sure the TOP was close to even. Denver under a different GM, might be pretty good (sort of kidding). Brissett struggled to get going at least in the parts I watched. He looked more like he should be a game manager instead of a play maker. That being said though, at least in the parts I watched, Indy was content to keep trying to run the ball, so it’s not like Brissett had many chances to make plays. But like most ball control teams, a penalty here and a few bad plays there, and the offense is stalling. Add to that a defense that can struggle to get the ball back, and it’s not a great recipe for success. But I guess the Indy defense and Brissett made just enough plays to win. Or Denver was trying to lose this one…

    1. This was a solid game, in the sense that both teams were evenly matched and played fairly well (at least given their rosters).

      I agree that the Broncos defense played better. Because of the way they played, and the Broncos decent ball control on offense, they looked to be in control of the game (at least slightly).

      The key was the last drive in my opinion–specifically a play where the Broncos had Brissett in his grasp near their own end zone. Brissett slipped this and competed a 20 or 30 yard pass. I think Indy made another good play at some point, and they got in field goal range.

      Denver under a different GM, might be pretty good (sort of kidding).

      Coming into the season, they didn’t have a great roster, not on offense in my opinion. Now, it’s worse with Emmanuel Sanders. But I think the key was losing Kubiak as OC, supposedly because Fangio didn’t allow him to choose his own coaches. Not saying the Broncos would be great with Kubiak, but I think they could be way more of a threat and possibly a playoff team.

      1. Flacco complained about the play call at the end of the game. Two minutes left, on the Indy 45, third and five, the Broncos run the RB up the middle trying to get Indy to use their last time out. RB gains nothing, Broncos punt, and Indy drives and kicks a 52-yard field goal for the win. Flacco called out the OC, but this is the type of play call of a defensive-minded head coach. A defensive-minded head coach would never want to put their defense in a tough position. I’m pretty sure Green Bay ran a pass play to the RB in a very similar situation this week, but of course they have Rodgers. I don’t really feel there is a definite right call in this situation, I just thought of the correlation of the type of head coach to the call was something to point out. I will also say though, most fans would rather see their team “go for it” and lose rather than not going for it and lose.

    2. I don’t really feel there is a definite right call in this situation,…

      I agree.

      I will also say though, most fans would rather see their team “go for it” and lose rather than not going for it and lose.

      I don’t know about this. If they go for it and lose, I think a lot of fans would criticize the coaching (exception might be the analytics crew).

      One thing to keep in mind about Fangio’s decision. At that point, the Bronco defense had good control over the Colts. My impression was that the Colts really struggled to score–to the point where it seemed like the Broncos would definitely win, unless they turned the ball over. Indeed, as I mentioned, Brissett was in the grasp of a Bronco pass rusher, and it looked like he was going down. Had that happened, there’s a good chance the Colts would have lost.

      1. Denver was 2 and 5. As one of Tony Kornheiser’s co-hosts commented, “What are they afraid of? Losing?” There’s no hard-and-fast here, but in this case with this team, I’d play for the win.

      2. Here’s another way to look at this. If the Broncos defense was struggling to stop the Colts offense, then being more aggressive on 3rd down would make more sense. That is, you conclude the offense has to win the game. Two years ago, the Rams did this against the Seahawks, going for it on 4th down, instead of punting. The decision made some sense because in that game, the Seahawks offense moved the ball quite well against the Rams defense. Also, Russell Wilson is pretty good in these situations.

        The situation was pretty different in the Broncos-Colts game.

        1. I completely agree that how the game played out matters (ie: defensive struggle). However, whether or not it’s the right/smartest call, your team’s win-lost record should come into play in making this decision, I feel. Losing a game “not going for it” at 2-5 doesn’t seem as smart, than losing a game “going for it” at 2-5. Going for the win (ie: making a throw on third down) and getting it could psychologically snow ball into more wins going forward, where as the opposite has a much lesser impact on future game play.

          1. I heard the Broncos were 2 for 12 on 3rd downs or something to that effect. If there defense basically clamped down on the Colts offense all day, would you still go for it? Would the 2 and 10 record matter?

            Now, let me answer the question, putting aside those factors I mentioned. My inclination is to take more risks if I have a 2 and 10 record. At the same time, as I mentioned, I don’t want to deviate too far from how I would play if I had a better record. Again, for me, the goal would be to play the essentially the same way all the time. I don’t mean this literally, because the game situations can warrant playing in slightly different ways (e.g., a team won’t play a preseason game exactly the same as a playoff game).

            Here’s something that might be an example. I heard that the Dolphins ran a cover 0 blitz on a 3rd and long play, and the Steelers passed it for a TD. On some level, why not take a high risk move–if you lose, well, you’re record is bad anyway. And having a bad record, in this case, is actually a good thing. But does this seems like a good move to you guys? It doesn’t to me. For one thing, it’s almost like saying you don’t care if you win–you’re not taking the game as seriously as you normally would. Isn’t that somewhat similar to the 3rd down call? If you’re being more aggressive primarily because of a bad record, that sort of diminishes the value of the game–like you don’t really care about winning it. Do you guys know what I mean?

        2. However, whether or not it’s the right/smartest call, your team’s win-lost record should come into play in making this decision, I feel.

          You mean, if you have a losing record, you should take more chances to get wins–because they don’t pan out, you’ll have a losing record anyway? If so, there’s some logic to that.

          But here’s a potential rebuttal. To some degree, you want to play one way all the time–the one way being the smart way and the way you’d play if you were in the hunt. Additionally, and maybe more importantly, the coach should make the move that he really thinks gives him the best chance to win, period–not take more of a chance based on their record. So if Fangio thought running the ball on 3rd gave them the best chance, that’s what he should do, in my opinion.

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