No Thursday game.
Russ playing badly–forcing things–discouraged me and I lost a lot of enthusiasm for the season. I think it also diminished my interest in writing about the season. But Russ has played better, as has the defense, but for some reason I’m still not that enthused about writing and analyzing what’s happening.
Maybe one of the reasons is that there really isn’t a great defense? Maybe the offenses move the ball up the field a bit too easily? I don’t know. In any event, I have enough motivation to do a quick power ranking.
Steelers, Packers, Seahawks, Saints, Titans, Bills, Rams
Buccaneers, Colts, Cardinals
I’ll make one general observations. Match-ups might be the most important factor this year. It’s been important in previous years, but it seems more important this year. For example, teams can look dramatically different depending on who they play, and I this can be explained because teams match-up well or poorly with other teams, although having an off game or major injuries could explain this as well. (Also, I think teams weak in the trenches can be inconsistent.)
My conclusion is that there isn’t any great team, and that most of them have some serious flaw(s). But again, that could be said about many of the recent seasons. Perhaps what’s different is that there doesn’t seem to be any team that dominates in one phase of the game. In 2018, the Chiefs and Rams had a dominant, scoring offense. That’s no longer true–although both are much better at ball control now–and I think their teams are better off for it.
Vikings, Dolphins, Ravens
Titans have a rough start: Browns score a FG on their first possession; Titans turnover on downs and the Browns drive down to score a TD. On the next possession, Henry fumbles, Browns recover, and eventually score on a TD–17-0, going into the 2nd quarter.
This is a good test for the Titans. They do not need to abandon the run and should not do it. As Pete Carroll says, in these situations, the goal is to not try to get back all at once….
…The story of the game was that the Titans defense couldn’t stop the Browns offense; Mayfield and the Browns offense was in a good groove for most of the game.
Jets turned the ball over three times and still should have won. That says a lot. One short explanation: They lived by the blitz, and died by the blitzed. It almost felt like they blitzed on every other play if not more. And they blitzed with 30 seconds or less in the game. Carr hits Ruggs for the winning TD.
The Raiders run defense sucked. The Jets should kept running.
A lot of my worst fears came true in this. The lesser team, playing a conservative style beating the high-scoring passing offense. To add insult to injury, the Giants run over the Seahawks, on a few key drives. I’d use the expression “punched them in the mouth.” The Giants are not a great run team, and Colt McCoy was the QB.
The Seahawks offense continues to be one-dimensional. Specifically, Carson will have a nice run–and then they play action pass, forgetting about it. They never allow the run game to get into a rhythm. The result is that the defense doesn’t respect the run. Utterly horrid.
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