Discussion of week 9 in the NFL.
The Cardinals may not be a really good team, but they’re no longer one of the worst teams in my opinion. It’s not an automatic win when you play them. The 49ers defense didn’t look dominant against them.
On the 49er side, I had question marks about Garappolo. He looked good tonight. I especially liked the way he hung in the pocket. It kinda reminded me of Ryan and Rivers. Also, Emmanuel Sanders might be the player that takes this team over the top. He was a difference maker tonight.
And Cliff Kingsbury is a handsome man.
Power Rankings heading into week 9 (i.e., after week 8)
Packers, 49ers, Patriots, Saints
The Packers defense didn’t look great against the Matt Moore lead Chiefs, which raises some questions about how good they are–although not much. I tend to think they’re slightly better than the other three given who they’ve played and how they’ve played. To me, the key to them comes down to Aaron Rodgers’s willingness to run the ball. When LaFleur wants to run or operate from more balanced formations, will Rodgers accept this, or will he change plays or complain? I feel like their Super Bowl hopes boil down to this question. (Jones looks good, but the Packers looked too one-dimensional against the Chiefs.)
Garappolo looked good against the Cardinals (and the Cardinals defense isn’t terrible). The 49ers are playing without two starting tackles (and without one second stringer), but they should be getting back players soon. (Do the 49ers play the Packers–that would be a good game?)
I have question marks about the Saints and Patriots offense, but they are close enough to those other two.
Vikings, Chiefs, Cowboys, Rams, Ravens, Eagles, Seahawks, Eagles, Colts, Texans
Too close to call for me. Colts, Seahawks, and Eagles are on the borderline for me, but they’re also close to those other teams.
3. Bills, Panthers, Lions
I’m pretty much in line with your rankings. I think you said in the past your rankings are based on their chances to win it all. If that is true, I think it’s harder for the Rams and Eagles to be in the second tier, just because the NFC has so many teams with great records, that it will be harder for them to get into the playoffs and then have to win at least a couple road games. Whereas teams like the Ravens and Colts may have an easier time in the AFC.
You mentioned teams trading and moving ahead of other teams, but isn’t the trade deadline over? Or is there another way to still make trades, as in the trade deadline isn’t a true deadline for all trades?
I think you said in the past your rankings are based on their chances to win it all.
Yes, but for what it’s worth, I’m thinking more about the capability of the teams, not really their odds based on the record and records of the teams that have to beat. If Tampa Bay cleaned up their act and became a team that could have a chance to go all the way, I would include them, even though their record makes it less likely they would make the playoffs.
You mentioned teams trading and moving ahead of other teams, but isn’t the trade deadline over?
Sorry, ignore that–I cut and pasted my previous power rankings and edited it. I forgot to delete that.
Seahawks just picked up Josh Gordon, but I think the chances of him staying on the team or even contributing significantly is very low. I know other Seahawk fans are excited. I’m not.
Don, how do you like the Cowboys pick up of Michael Bennett? It seems like a good risk. If it doesn’t pan out, they can cut him for minimal penalty. He could be disruptive on the team, though. But if it works out, he could really elevate this defense.
I will say this, though. I haven’t been an advocate of firing Garrett, but if they don’t make the playoffs, I would probably move to that camp–especially if the defense doesn’t play better (and they don’t sustain key injuries). Having said that, I still suspect the main problem is Jerry Jones. I heard that one of the reasons Jones (and his son) like Garrett is that he’s not someone who wants to take credit for their success (and I can’t remember who said this). In other words, the Joneses want to claim the most credit, if they win. If this is true, they are the problem, not the coach in my opinion.
Can Bennett play the inside? I’m pretty sure he does, but Dallas needs help inside with Tyrone Crawford out for the year. If Bennett cannot help on the inside, then he will be a rotational guy with Tank and Quinn, which will make him a little less valuable.
I think Bennett is the best when he plays inside, in my opinion (when he’s not offsides).
I’m pretty sure Bennett’s first play for the Cowboys and he was offsides.
Hahaha, I think it was; and he has another offsides a few plays later. Luckily, that was it.
This is a game that reinforces my impression that Andy Reid is similar to Belichick, in that their teams success depend a lot on their coaching. I like Matt Moore as a backup, but I don’t think he’s so good that they would be playing this well. I almost get the feeling that a decent QB in the KC offense would do fairly well. Also, the Chiefs may have one of the better OLs.
Having said that, the Vikings came up with some big sacks. Zimmer is one of the best at drawing up the right blitz at the right time. Still, it wasn’t enough.
I don’t know if you can credit the Chiefs defense or point to the Vikings brittle OL, but the Chiefs defense looked way better. It seemed like the Vikings really missed Thielen. One other thing: The Vikings have a really good screen game.
Only watched the first half. I mainly stopped because it was painful (and boring) to watch the Bears offense. The Eagles seemed to run well, but the Bears red zone defense was solid. (It seems like without Akiem Hicks the Bears defense is good not great.)
The Seahawks won, but all I can think about is the defense. They might be worst then last year. Indeed, I think this is the worst defense since Wilson has been QB. It’s hard to imagine they go far unless the offense really plays well, and/or the ST/D just get a lot of turnovers/big plays. (I don’t see the D/ST doing that.) The defense saps the enjoyment out of this victory. (Seahawks kicker had a really bad day, too.)
Chargers played like the way many people expected–namely, one of the better teams in the league. Packers still look one-dimensional on offense. To be fair, part of this may be due to a plethora of penalties they committed in the first half. Still, I don’t think that explains their one-dimensionality completely.I’m not sure if the Packers defense has injuries, but they don’t look as good as they did in the first half–although the kept the Chargers out of the end zone for a long time.
I must admit that I didn’t see a whole lot of this game although I was trying to keep up with it on my phone and watching when I can. I saw maybe a third of the game. The Packer’s defense struggled to stop the run all year, and this is what cost them at least on the defensive side. The Packer’s D, played okay overall though, but the Packer o-line was really causing them issues on the offensive side as they weren’t giving Rodgers much time at all, at least in the parts I saw.
This Pats’ team’s offense doesn’t look like they can win games for this team. It will all rely on the defense. I thought the Pats’ D played better than they looked overall. I didn’t think their defense wilted a whole lot towards the end even though that they stayed on the field so darn long, but they are average or just a good defense against the run and it showed. It showed against Cleveland as well. I think it was just a bad match up for the Pats, where the Raven’s strength on offense is the Pats deficiency on defense. I think the Pats should have tried to run a little more than they did, but they struggled in that area overall too.
The Packer’s defense struggled to stop the run all year, and this is what cost them at least on the defensive side.
The Chargers ran fairly well, giving them solid balance, but this is not a description I would use for the defense in this game. I thought the Chargers passed the ball fairly well as well.
The Packer’s D, played okay overall though, but the Packer o-line was really causing them issues on the offensive side as they weren’t giving Rodgers much time at all, at least in the parts I saw.
That’s not something that stood out, unless you mention penalties. In the last two games, the Packer offense reminds me more of McCarthy’s than the McVay offense–which is features more QB under the center and play action passes.
I didn’t think their defense wilted a whole lot towards the end even though that they stayed on the field so darn long,..
They didn’t get gashed like they did in the first quarter, but the Ravens held the ball super long because they could run effectively, avoiding long yardage situations. If the Ravens can do that consistently, including throughout the playoffs and Super Bowl, they can win it all. Jackson was in very few predictable passing situations in this game, and I think that was a key to their victory.
The Ravens were a running machine on offense–playing in a largely option style offense (like last year). It’s pretty remarkable.
The Ravens defense looks a lot better from the early part of the season, reducing a lot of explosive plays via missed assignments. But the Patriot offense isn’t great, although they looked way better when they went to a hurry up in the second half.
This Pats’ team’s offense doesn’t look like they can win games for this team. It will all rely on the defense.
I agree with this.
Cowboys didn’t look as good in the first half, but came alive in the second, especially their defense.
It seemed like the Giants game plan was to let Zeke run the ball. Whatever the case may be, I thought he was punishing the Giants, and they should have gave him the ball more.
I’m beginning to think the Cowboys are not a great team. They have talent, but somehow they don’t look great. The defense played okay yesterday. Bennett’s presence shown in just one game. That’s a good sign. However, the Giants are a mess. I still think Jones can be a good QB, maybe even great, but that is not a good team right now. Is Barkley still not 100%? There were times he wasn’t even in the game.
The Cowboys defense started looking really good in the second half. The Giants looked overwhelmed. Take away the big screen by Barkley and a big run by Jones, and I think the Giants second half offensive stats would not look good.
One positive way to look at this is that division opponents play each other tough.
It’ll be interesting to see the Cowboys against other, better teams.
Shoot I also saw parts of the Steeler, Indy game. Hoyer came in and played pretty well. Indy has to be one of the most QB friendly place to play if Hoyer can play well, against a decent Steeler defense no less.
But he also had one or two bad play (turnovers) I think. This is kinda typical Hoyer. He can look good for stretches, but will have bad turnovers.
When I first watched Josh Jacobs he really didn’t stand out or impress me. But watching him a little more, what stood out was lateral quickness, cutting. It’s more subtle, not flashy like Shady or Barry Sanders, but he has it. He may not be the fastest or more powerful, but he’s not shabby in both categories.
You can see all these attributes in the clip below:
Players with more broken tackles than Josh Jacobs this season:
Chris Carson<end of list> pic.twitter.com/QoFNfF5kUT
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) November 6, 2019
Players with more broken tackles than Josh Jacobs this season:
Chris Carson<end of list> pic.twitter.com/QoFNfF5kUT
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) November 6, 2019
Zeke is not a guy that breaks a lot of tackles. I mean you cannot arm tackle him, but he’s not like a Chris Carson for sure. I think that is, because Zeke seems like he wants to deliver a hit. So like Walter Payton, when he knows he’s about to get tackled, he seemingly tries to deliver the blow rather than take one. This means less broken tackles because there are times he’s launching himself at the defender, but there is rarely a time when tackled that he is not falling forward. Is this a favorable trait or running style? I mean when I think of Walter I get a similar impression, so one will have to lean to say yes, because he’s one of the greatest of all time, yet guys like Marshawn Lynch will be able to get more yards after contact for sure.
Back on topic, the first time I saw Josh Jacobs I was impressed. I think I mentioned it here. He’s the entire package for sure (well not sure about receiving and blocking).
Zeke is not a guy that breaks a lot of tackles.
If you mean he’s not want to drag players hanging on him, I think I would agree, but I don’t think I would say he doesn’t break a lot of tackles. I’ll put it this way–he’s not easy to tackle, and he’s a physical runner.
Back on topic, the first time I saw Josh Jacobs I was impressed.
Do you recall the game? Early in the season, I want to say his runs don’t look that spectacular–he doesn’t have big runs, real eye-catching moves (like Barkley) or big displays of power. I kinda think of Marcus Allen, although he’s not lean like Allen.
Zeke can break tackles, especially arm tackles, but breaking tackles is not necessarily what he does or it isn’t his running style. Watch when Zeke runs between the tackles, in most cases to end the run he will dive down and under everyone and try get a few more yards. That’s his move. Or if he thinks he’s going to get tackled in space, he will lower his shoulder into the guy. Whereas other guys will stay more upright while running hoping they can slip a tackle and keep running. It’s just a different style. It’s almost like Zeke is trying to punish the defenders in some cases not necessarily run them over to keep running. Or it could be, which is probably more likely, he is trying to get every yard he can so just trying to fall forward.
It was either Jacob’s first or second game or maybe a combination of both. I thought he was quick, displayed some power, and had decent speed especially for his stature. Yeah he’s not Barkley in any sense of the word, but no one really is… But I was thinking he could be a top ten back for sure, although I still don’t know what kind of receiver he is.
but breaking tackles is not necessarily what he does or it isn’t his running style.
Yeah, I guess this is right, but when you say he doesn’t break tackles, it makes it sound like he’s more of a finesse runner, which he’s not in my opinion.
How would you compare him to Fournette? I think Fournette is a bruising back, too. Maybe he breaks tackles a little better than Zeke? Anyway, Zeke, Fournette, Carson–they are my type of RBs. I liked Jonathan Stewart, too. Frank Gore in his prime. I do not like Gurley. (Rashaad Penny is kinda like Gurley in my opinion, which is a bummer.)
It was either Jacob’s first or second game or maybe a combination of both.… But I was thinking he could be a top ten back for sure,…
Huh. Well, you saw this before me. He looked fine, but not a great back. I’m not sure if he’ll be great, but I think he could be really good.
I think James Connor is sort of a good yardstick in today’s game. I think Connor is good (He has decent moves.), but he can look great behind Pittsburgh’s line. Jacobs looked better than Connor to me, but again just running. I never noticed if Jacobs is a good receiver or blocker.
I think it’s hard to judge Connor, not only because the Steelers have a good OL, but because of their pass-centric offense (at least under Roethlisberger). If he played in a more run-centric offense, with a lesser OL, and opposing defenses gearing up to stop the run, that would be a better way to evaluate him.
Now, Jacobs is running behind a good run-blocking, but the way he’s using blocks and making defenders miss–these are things that stand out, and I’m comfortable saying he’s good and could be very good back. He looks worth the pick to me.
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