Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Week 8 Open Game Discussion

Week 8 begins tonight with Baltimore hosting Miami, a contest between two mediocre-at-best clubs that will nonetheless have serious playoff ramifications in this weird year. The week continues through all of Sunday's action, including the Steelers and Lions in prime time, and closes out on Monday night with Denver visiting Kansas City in a critical AFC West showdown. Use this thread to discuss all the action.


by drillz :: Thu, 10/26/2017 - 8:13pm

Does the NFL ever consider scheduling thursday night games for teams coming off their bye week? Teams would have ten days off until the game, and then ten days off until their next game. I believe it would at least give teams time to prepare for their next opponent, quality of the teams is another matter, yet at least short weeks would not be an issue anymore. A down side of this is that thursday games would not start until week five, which won't be popular.

by Jerry :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 3:41am

There's actually some talk of cutting back on Thursday night games, so your solution is more feasible. And it's not etched in stone that bye weeks have to start in week 4.

The idea of giving teams that play Thursday (even Thanksgiving) the previous week off makes a lot of sense. I'm not sure why the league doesn't do it now.

by Cythammer :: Thu, 10/26/2017 - 8:39pm

Dolphins have really looked like a terrible team so far this season. But, if they can win this one they'll be 5-2, which would tie them for the best record in the AFC, and at that point you'd have to say they would have a great shot to make the playoffs, especially since this looks like a year where 9 wins might be enough.

by vrao81 :: Thu, 10/26/2017 - 11:41pm

Playoffs?! Playoffs?! I'm just hoping we can win a game (with this garbage offense).

by RickD :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 5:51pm

I'm assuming this comment has expired. But even if the Dolphins had beaten Baltimore, their 2nd half schedule is brutal.
Their last six games include the Broncos, the Chiefs, and each of the Pats and Bills twice.

I'd be surprised if they win more than one of those six.

by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 10/26/2017 - 9:00pm

Fuck CBS with a bag of dicks. When Phil Simms was their #1 guy, they forced him on us every chance they got. After today, we get another weekend without Romo. the

by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 10/26/2017 - 9:02pm

Geez Moore doesn't seem to realize the Ravens can rush more than 4

by RickD :: Thu, 10/26/2017 - 9:39pm

Cheap shot by Kiko Alonso on sliding Flacco there.

by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 10/26/2017 - 9:42pm

Geez how to sort out this mess? That's a fine and suspension for Alonso, but what about the ravens lineman who took a cheap shot on him afterwards? That can't be condoned either

by ChrisS :: Thu, 10/26/2017 - 10:46pm

I can't condone it but I can understand it and Alonso deserved it. Can't believe the halftime guys said it was not flagrant. It looked like a deliberate attempt to injure

by BJR :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 8:21am

I understand where the studio guys were coming from; Flacco was not sliding at the point where Alonso made the decision to tackle him. Add in the fact it was right at the marker on a third down, so every instinct in Alonso's body, which has been trained all his life for this purpose, is to do everything he can to stop him. Therefore I don't see it as a deliberate attempt to injure. Correct me if I'm wrong but Alonso has been in the league for a few years now and I don't think has any reputation as a dirty player.

OTOH it's undoubtedly an awful look to have a high profile QB knocked out like that, and we can't be encouraging QBs to slide for their own safety if defenders then come flying at their heads. So to avoid these situations, a flagrant foul/ejection is the only solution. The game then becomes a farce, as defenders are too scared to risk tackling a scrambling QB, and players such as Alonso last night have no choice other than to give up yards on a critical play. But it's the only way forward.

Edit: partially deleted

by ChrisS :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 8:25am

Looked to my like he lowered his shoulder and then drove it into Flacco's head.

by Mike B. In Va :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 8:40am

Yeah, I think he could have pulled up a little on the hit. He'll get suspended, but I don't think he should have been ejected.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 8:39am

I agree with you. I think at the point that he lowered his shoulder, Flacco still appeared to be going for the first down. Once Flacco decided to slide, his head lowered to the point where Alonso’s shoulder was coming in. The stuff that happened after that play, OTOH was ridiculous, and should lead to some suspensions.

by Eddo :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 12:37pm

I would argue no one ever deserves a cheap shot. It's one thing to fight back when you get hit, it's another to blindside a guy even if he did just put a dirty hit on your QB.

That said, I fully expect (and hope for) Alonso to get suspended for that hit.

by LyleNM :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 12:06pm

So to sum up ejections so far this year in the NFL: 1) Marshawn Lynch for coming off the bench and shoving an official (totally justified ejection). 2) Jeremy Lane for getting yanked around by his facemask by Davante Adams (unjustified ejection...unless both players are ejected). And that seems to be it??? (Please amend my list if I've missed any.)

Plays which were apparently not worthy of ejection: 1) Danny Trevathan destroying Davante Adams. 2) Kiko Alonso hitting a sliding QB so hard his helmet comes off.

Now while it's true that Trevathan got a suspension and Alonso certainly will as well, their teams did not pay a price for having them miss the rest of the game that they should have missed as well.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 3:49pm

Would really like to see the NFL put more onus on the QB to show that he is intending to give himself up.

Joe Flacco was flat-out sprinting then jumped into a feet-first slide at the last moment. That's tough for a defender to read because there are QBs who will go head-to-head and try to eek out extra yards.

The rule is there to protect QBs but they have to keep up their end of the bargain that they won't try to get every single inch they can by sliding late.

by Noah Arkadia :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 7:06pm

Especially since it's not clear he went feet first, even after watching the replay. Those half-hearted slides are one of my pet peeves. Flacco probably "slid" that way because he knew he was too late for a proper slide.

by ChrisS :: Thu, 10/26/2017 - 11:00pm

Photo of Shula, Unitas and number 24. Finally figures out it was Kenny Moore. At first I thought it was Mackey.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 8:37am

You mean Lenny Moore, not Kenny. I met him once. Extremely nice man. Had some great stories about Unitas.

by ChrisS :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 9:44am

Yes I did, thanks for the correction. I type teribly on my phone.

by ChrisS :: Thu, 10/26/2017 - 11:02pm

Dolphins offense sucks. I guess it was not all Cutlers fault.

by drillz :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 12:12am

after all that "don't doubt us" talk by jarvis landry after their momumental victory over the new york jets landry should shut up forever!

by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 12:17am

Superb uniforms for the Bsltimore Ravens tonight

like htem with gold numbers.

by Theo :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 6:50pm

I don't like it though when players wear sleeves in different colors though. White black or team color - I saw some guys wear yellow - which is nowhere to be found in the uniform.
Makes it look amateurish.

by morganja :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 12:54am

Miami coaches have to go. What an embarrassment. They can't bring Kap in because of his anthem protest? What about Suh and Alonso? Why can't they regulate the Dolphins into NCAA Division II where they belong?

by Eddo :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 12:38pm

While I think Kaepernick is getting screwed by the league, Miami is the one team that probably has a legitimate off-field related reason for not bringing him in: his pro-Castro comments from last year don't play well with their fanbase (LINK).

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 8:40am

The only vaguely entertaining part of that game was the Romo’s narration of the cat running on the field.

by Mike B. In Va :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 8:41am

Seriously. "Wait, does he get both feet in?"

We were due for a Thursday night crap game. Too bad, since most of the others have at least been interesting...

by mathesond :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 8:54am

Whew, looks like clearing out some DVR'd shows last night instead of watching the game was by far the right decision. Thanks schedule makers for justifying what appeared to be an easy call!

by nat :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 9:06am

This one's going to be interesting for its effect on Baltimore's DVOA.

Two interception returns for TDs and a recovery of an own fumble for a TD. That's a lot of value DVOA is going to consider non-predictive and thus ignore. The fumble/TD is going to be marked as a large negative play, too.

Add in Miami's already low DVOA, and we can expect the Ravens to get a lot less than fans would like for their DVOA.

by Mike B. In Va :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 1:21pm

Yeah, this game had a lot of odd stuff happen (a DL pick-six is always fun to watch) and still managed to be incredibly not worth watching.

by nat :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 2:36pm

I am so glad I missed it.

by Alternator :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 9:42pm

The two Pick-6s are still interceptions, and thus very good plays; they're just not crazy-good like the on-field results. The Ravens still manhandled the Dolphins the entire game, and their DVOA is still going to be pretty good. I doubt the Ravens fans would be all that surprised, given that the Dolphins adjustment can be mentally planned for.

by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 7:34pm

Jaguars het m. Dareus from bisls fr draft puck. Good for jaguar if dareus gives a darn. If nto, will be salary cap hurter. Bills going for crap relief

by herewegobrownie... :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 10:10am

"Bills going for crap relief"

I see what you did there - never change. :)

by Theo :: Fri, 10/27/2017 - 7:50pm

This game was over by halftime - mostly because even the Dolphins gave up on it by halftime.

by herewegobrownie... :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 10:12am

Browns lead for the second time this season. Joe Schobert continuing to be a bright spot on this team as he had an INT to give the Browns a short field.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 11:51am

How has Njoku been this season? I’ve only been watching the 2nd half and I’ve seen him drop two easy passes.

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 12:53pm

Njoku mmade ERnady Moss catch highlight thing on Monday night countdoen based off touchdown catch vs Jets. Njoku has made some plays .still learning. crap quarterbacls. when browns straighte n out qb position, Njoku could be upper half of league starting TE. Which means top 16 siucne there are 32 twems

by herewegobrownie... :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 1:32pm

He was one of the only offense bright spots going into this game, as was the other TE Seth DeValve, but neither did much today.

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 12:54pm

McKinnon nice quality performanc.e helping my fantasy tea,

by joe football :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 1:19pm

Time for another season of FO slack gameday chat! For people who are already in, just go to https://kotakuites.slack.com/messages/fo/details/. For anyone that wants to join a star-studded cast of their favorite FO posters for gameday chat, just email me at gamadict@gmail.com and you will receive an invite

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 2:06pm

I'm sick of seeing teams "punt" on the free kick after a safety. There is NO WAY that results in anything besides better field position for the other team. Amendola fielded the kick at the 30! then returned it another 16 yards, right after another 16 yard punt return.

This is a case of NFL coaches feeling scared to do a "different thing" even if it would increase their win probability

by PatsFan :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 5:07pm

I wouldn't be so sure. The other options are a placekick without a tee or a dropkick.

Not being able to use a tee will hurt the placekick quite a bit compared to what you see on a kickoff.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 5:49pm

I didn't know that. Possibly because I've never seen it happen

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 2:51pm

Tom Brady's decline is slow and steady, he doesn't seem to be falling off a Manning cliff--YET. I predict 2018 Brady falls off a cliff

by RickD :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 5:59pm

I'm not seeing any statistical support for a claim of decline. He's leading the NFL in passing yards. He's probably in the top 3 in most QB stats.

Compare his numbers with the last two MVPs: Cam Newton and Matt Ryan. He's having a much better season than either of them.

by Steve B :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 3:07pm

Per usual when playing NE, the opponent has to beat the refs, too. BS penalty wipes out a TD for the Chargers.

by Steve B :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 3:23pm

For all the talk about their defensive issues, anyone else think NE is in BIG trouble offensively if Gronk goes down again? I know they overcame it last season, but that was with Edleman.

by RickD :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 6:02pm

Presumably any offense would be in trouble losing an All-Pro. Pats have already lost Edelman and Hogan appears to keep having issues. But Gronk seems healthy, Amendola has been terrific, and the past two weeks they've been thriving by rotating through four productive RBs. I honestly think this is the best group of RBs that the Pats have ever had.

by Cythammer :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 3:41pm

Every week I can't decide if I actually want the Jets to win or not.

by mehllageman56 :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 7:17pm

Neither can they.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 3:43pm

Dan Fouts has been pretty good today. His partner Ian Eagle, not so much.

by DavidL :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 3:47pm

The Eagles' offensive line was getting absolutely crushed by SF in the first half no matter how many extra blockers they kept in. The loss of Peters is obviously huge, but this was a group failure unless JP was regularly blocking two or three rushers at a time. In the second half they've been relying way more on play-action and bootlegs than jumbo sets, to much success.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 3:57pm

Is it me or does CBS have an aversion to showing Anthony Lynn on TV? Seems they show other Chargers coaches, but not him.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 4:35pm

Is there any support to this Jason Witten Hall Of Fame thing? He's been very good for a long time, but Hall of Fame? It's arguable, but this fox booth keeps fucking repeating it over and over

by Cythammer :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 4:41pm

It's my impression that he's generally considered a lock to make it.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 5:23pm

That's gotta be because all the best TEs for most of his career were in the AFC. I always thought Chris Cooley was just as good a TE and a better blocker than Witten.

by Joshua Northey :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 5:51pm

Umm witten has nearly 3X the yards and receptions and twice as many touchdowns, and was more consistent for a higher profile team? This is an odd comment.

You are comparing a 2 time first team all pro with 10 pro bowls (yeah not the greatest measure) against a guy with 2 pro bowls.

by JIPanick :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 8:17pm

At the height of his powers, Witten was the best TE in football. His better blocking made up for Gonzalez and Gates' better receiving ability. He is and should be a stone cold HoF lock.

by Raiderjoe :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 5:42pm

would put J. Witten in Hall of Game oence I do it

as someone noted, perhaps c. cooley better blocker but fin.e Witten good quality blocker, good quality receiver for logn time. maybe would not argue witten for top 5 tight end ever btu think is among top 20 ans that, to me, is good enough.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 6:55pm

To be fair I'm the only one here making a case for "no" right now xD

Edit: almost!

by RickD :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 6:06pm

If "this fox booth" includes Troy Aikman, that might be a tell.

Witten shouldn't be considered a slam dunk like Tony Gonzalez.

There are not a lot of TEs in the Hall of Fame.

by BJR :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 4:56pm

DeShaun Watson sure is fun to watch

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 5:06pm

What is with these announcers? That's the second time they've said something that was directly contradicted by looking at the screen.

"It looked like Dez had already gone by him" as you can see Dez several yards behind the foul hahahaha

by BJR :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 5:09pm

Watson, Fuller & Hopkins are lighting up Seattle's defense. They must have six 20+ yard plays already. Easily the most entertaining game I've watched this season.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 7:08pm

Seattle's run game is garbage. 3 rbs have combined for 5 yards on 16 carries.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 7:25pm

Neither team in Seattle bothered to play defense. Nearly 1000 total yards in that game.

by Anger...rising :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 7:27pm

Bill O'Brien is such a coward. With an offense that's moved up and down the field all day, you run into the line and fall down three times? Because it's so important to give Seattle the ball back with 1:39 left and no timeouts as opposed to one that you can't risk stopping the clock with an attempt to actually pick up the first down that would ice the game?

by BJR :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 7:56pm

In fairness....Houston's offense had been almost entirely on deep passes, which was obviously not appropriate in that moment. But yeah, at least attempt some misdirection using your extremely mobile QB.

by Mr Shush :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 8:38am

I was pretty much throwing things at the screen with that third down call. If you put the ball in Watson's hands, everything is very much on - including the run. The running backs have been getting nowhere all night. Try and convert and end the damn game.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 9:47pm

I don't often praise BigBen & his gunslingin' ways, but good for him for not being afraid to throw downfield

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 10:03pm

Agreed. Not only is it fun to watch, but at least attempting those passes has an effect on how the defense plays you, even if you don’t complete them.

by Eddo :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 10:14pm

I don't disagree, but there aren't that many QBs that don't attempt downfield passes. In the same game, Stafford's taken several shots downfield, and even Mitch Trubisky in a dialed-back offense took three downfield shots earlier today.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 10:02pm

Detroit is surprisingly winning at halftime, but if the Steelers manage to avoid committing any more turnovers, they have the talent to eventually pull away in the 2nd half. The Lions Willes up regretting not converting 1-2 of those red zone opportunities into touchdowns.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 10:40pm

Detroit's had 3 red zone opportunities and turned them into 2 field goals and turnover on downs. They need touchdowns.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 10:44pm

And Juju blows up the lions with a 97 yard td catch.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 10:46pm

Going for it in 4th and goal was the right decision/process, but man, did the results end up blowing up in Caldwell’s face.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 10:57pm

That's why they kicked the FG on the next fourth and goal.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 11:07pm

Man, Stafford is having a fine game against an excellent defense, but his pass catchers have been letting him down with drops , and now that fumble by Tate.

by BJR :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 11:26pm

We are going to have to start looking up 400+ yard passing games where the team did not score a TD.

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 12:50am

Joe Montana adn 49ers pulled off that feat vs Squirrels one time


by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Sun, 10/29/2017 - 11:25pm

God that draw play was an awful call. When your running game has been shit for years, in what universe does that have a chance to succeed.

by ChrisS :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:17am

I watched the Seahawks game just before the Lions and watching Sea & Det try to "run" the the ball I wondered which team has a worse running game. By DVOA it is Detroit and it is not close, but that includes Wilson who is very effective running the ball and Chris Carson (now on IR) who was non-terrible. Non-QB rushing this week, Seattle had 17 runs for 3 yards, Detroit had 21 for 60 yards, disadvantage Seattle.

by Cheesehead_Canuck :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 9:35am

Terrible news that Zach Miller might lose his leg.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 9:54am

Omg that’s fucking awful:

by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:15am

I don't remember guys, in decades past, suffering non contact knee injuries that pose amputation threats, like they do today with some frequency. Obviously, surgical techniques are miles ahead of where they were in 1977, or even 1997, so why don't we have retired NFL players in their 60s with one leg, having lost one due to injuries suffered in a game or practice? Is weight training resulting in way too much torque being put on connective tissue?

by Andrew Potter :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:08am

I'll have more on this in the injury extra point, but basically this is specific to the type of injury he suffered: a knee dislocation carries risk to both the nervous and vascular system in the leg. Thankfully, a dislocation this extreme is rare -- except, apparently, in the NFC North.

And yes, a contributing factor in ligament and tendon injuries such as ACL and Achilles tears is the mass of the player.

by LyleNM :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:42am

Right, wasn't this specifically what they were worried about with the Bridgewater injury?

by Andrew Potter :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 12:01pm

Exactly this, yes. A knee dislocation can tear or rupture the popliteal artery (where the blood flow from the femoral artery continues through the knee and down the leg), which is obviously a major medical emergency. It sounds like this is exactly what happened with Miller. This occurs in roughly 40% to 50% of anterior or posterior dislocations.

It can also cause nerve damage, usually to the peroneal nerve.

(As I understand things. Usual I Am Not A Doctor disclaimer applies.)

by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:43am

I wish some sort of frame to mass ratio metric were developed. Obviously, some frames that would have carried 170 pounds in 1992 are now carrying 210 pounds, and some 220 pound frames from 25 years ago are now carrying 260 or even 270.