Football Outsiders
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Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Let's be honest -- the biggest game of the week doesn't hit until Sunday night when the Patriots host the Chiefs. But the action begins Thursday night with the Eagles taking on the Giants in the Meadowlands. Other notable Sunday games include Steelers-Bengals, Bears-Dolphins, Panthers-Washington, and Ravens-Titans. Finally the 49ers travel to Green Bay on Monday night. Use this thread to discuss them all.

Comments

283 comments, Last at 16 Oct 2018, 9:30pm

29 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Aikman and Romo were both Cowboys' QBs. Romo tries to tell you what might happen before the ball is snapped. Aikman can't explain what happened even after the play is over.

Has the game changed so much since Aikman retired that he doesn't see what the offence and defence are trying to do? Or has he just been heavily schooled in the idea that all the viewers want to know is what the QB just did and who ended up with the ball at the end of the play?

34 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Perhaps, but I suspect there is a certain level of laziness/apathy on his behalf. He's been doing it for years, and Fox aren't firing him any time soon; does he really still have the commitment and enthusiasm to prepare thoroughly every week when he can easily skate by trotting out cliches and simple descriptions of what has just happened?

I've seen this process with announcers across several sports over the years. Hopefully Romo avoids it, but I wouldn't be confident.

40 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

I don't agree. When asked about the best teams in the NFL Aikman sagaciously picked the Rams and Chiefs. That insight is not something one can glean by just looking at the standings, it takes great analysis and pouring over game tape and statistics. (sarcasm alert)

35 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Aikman went 1-15 before Norv arrived to dumb the system down for him. He played with an All-Pro O-line, a HOF WR, a HOF RB, and the best TE of his era. It's possible Troy actually can't diagnose plays.

37 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

If you have Amazon Prime Video (I'm like 75% sure this just comes with any Prime subscription), you can switch over to the Hannah Storm / Andrea Kremer feed.

Storm and Kremer still need practice and experience (Storm especially, as you can tell she hasn't done play-by-play much before this), and the fact they are calling the game from a studio without knowing what replays are going to be shown is a minor problem, but their broadcast is much, much better than having to listen to Buck and Aikman.

(In the Amazon Prime player, there's an option for "languages" or "subtitles" or something like that, and along with Spanish, they list "Storm / Kremer" as an audio feed you can choose.)

3 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

I've been a Kamu Grugier-Hill fan ever since seeing him boot touchbacks on kickoffs when the Eagles kicker was hurt. Awesome to see him do well at his regular position, but he could possibly hack it as an NFL placekicker too.

4 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

The Eagles seem to be following the Bills' school to beat opponents. Just convert turnover into points and punt every other time. The Giants are just punting or turning the ball over.

9 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Someone behind Eli would (Definitely) work. Also, 5 guys in front that resemble an actual offensive line unit instead of the porous line the Giants have now.

EDIT: 35% of the time is Eli being inaccurate, 35% of the time is the receivers being bad, 30% of the time is the line allowing everyone to get a nice, comfy spot in the backfield right besides Manning.

7 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

I'm looking at the CBS afternoon broadcast map for this week… look at the blackout area for "Denver." It includes northwestern corner of Colorado, a desolate area that's a nine hour drive from the stadium. It includes portions of northeastern Nebraska, and even NORTHERN WYOMING, also six to ten hours away by car. Who figures this stuff out?

And oddly (but thankfully), the blackout area does not include Colorado Springs, which is 45 mins to an hour away

8 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Well, that's a way to avoid the "O-Line can't run block" part. Run a screen pass with Barkley and let him roll. Pretty much every Eagles defender that tried to tackle him went flying.

10 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Clearly the Giants plan is to have the ball either to go to Barkley or have EM drop back so often that there are many opportunities to draw a roughing the passer penalty.

12 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Like it or not, these defensive linemen ought to know by now that hurling the QB to the ground like that is going to draw a flag every single time. Just flat-out dumb play.

13 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Giants are a mess of a franchise. Hard not to see how they are going to be awful for a large portion of Saquon's prime, which makes that terrible pick even worse.

25 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Start of Q4, down by 21, Giants need some big plays (and a prayer, but bear with me).

With their current personnel, including O-Line versus this Eagles defence, what gives the Giants the best chance to make those big plays? Standard NFL drop back and pass catch up tactics, or hand the ball off to Barkley 3 times and hope he breaks another long run?

15 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

In Buck and Aikman's world, going for it on 4th down is some kind of weird thing the Eagles alone do. They clearly don't understand anything about it

17 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

I mean in this instance I just about agreed with them. Up 15 against a dysfunctional offense, the low variance approach is probably correct. But no doubt they would have recommended the field goal had the Eagles been down 15, or indeed whatever the game situation.

16 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

A lot of Wentz's passes look off. High and wobbly. He's still great at extending plays, and has created a couple of huge plays by doing so tonight. But this level of inaccuracy is going to hurt the Eagles against more competent opposition.

44 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

yesm, Saquon rhymes with Raekwon like the Miami Dolphins linebacker or guy from Wu-Tang Clan

my fave rap alubms all time-
Raekwon- "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..."
OutKast- "Aquemini"
Goodie Mob- "Soul Food"
Wu-Tang Clan- "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)"
Nas- "Illmatic"

whiel at it-
some of fave pro footbal books=,
The Pro Football Chronicle
The Pro Style (ahve multiple copies)
Out of Their League
America's Game
The Super '70s
The New Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football
last team Standing (book about Steagles)
Building a Champion
Pigskin
One Knee Equals Two Feet
The Game That Was

46 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Favorite rap albums of all time (off the top of my head):

Atmosphere - Lucy Ford
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Mecca and the Soul Brother
DJ Abilities - …for Persons with DJ Abilities
Blackalicious - Blazing Arrow
Deltron 3030
OutKast- Aquemini
Enter the Wu-Tang

53 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

'Raider Joe'? With that straight-up East Coast 'Best of' list it should be 'Traitor Joe'. No ride or die Oaktown OG would go Old School without Too Short, Tupac and Shock G. Don't flash that Biggie T at the tailgate if you want to 'enjoy' the last six home games the Black Hole will ever host.
Great albums though. I really believe the first ODB record is the unacknowledged Wu masterpiece. Gang Starr and Eric B would have to be on my list too, Ultramagnetic MCs, Prince Paul...so many choices from the golden age.
Haven't read any of the books you recommend so they're going on the Christmas list.

54 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

am not form California. From NJ. Mets are fave baseball team. Football is different. way it is televised and short season. baseball harder to be fan of team outside of your home area.

am fan of 2Pac, though. one of top 3 fave rappers, just can't get any of his albums into my top 5. actually like the Makaveli one the most

19 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

So, this became a 4 possession game. There is still 25 minutes to play ... but this feels like it's over right about now unless the Eagles catastrophically collapse, Falcons-style. Of course, I might have jinxed the Eagles with that so ...

20 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Didn't seem like there was any need for OBJ to catch that third down completion with just one hand. Could've easily reached out with his other hand as well and made a safer catch.

43 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

There will be a play where OBJ will try to one hand a catch that could be fairly easy to catch with two hands, the ball will go off his hand and into the hands of a defender (Bonus points if it is a pass over the middle and/or a lineman picks it off) and he should be the one guilty for that pick.

23 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

I truly wonder why D. Coordinators get all cute and run Zone Blitzes, specially when they linemen are not the best in pass coverage.

In other news, the Giants don't work on 3rd down.

24 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Are you referring to the Eagles' 3rd-and-9 conversion after the not-lost-fumble followed by the 3rd-and-14 conversion after the sack towards the end of Q3? Those were two brutal plays for the Giants when they still had a (slim) chance to get back in this.

26 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

That's a bad look. Giants coverage man just wandered past the Eagles returner after he waived for a fair catch. He wasn't even still in the TV screen when the returner dropped the punt, let alone in position to try and grab it.

27 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

We COULD possibly be headed for OT. But only if the Giants D gets plenty 3 and outs and the Giants O gets 3 TDs in 10 minutes. Which doesn't seem possible for this Giants team.

39 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

There's really no point in having Odell Beckham on the team if Eli can't throw the ball more than five yards down the field.

It's not even accurate to call all those little screens over the middle checkdowns, because that implies that Eli looked somewhere else first before checking down to his running back. But he clearly knew he had no hope of throwing the ball downfield with any accuracy. God, he's terrible.

42 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

The Giants offense seems to come down to 3 tactics: Give it to Barkley, Pass it to Barkley or Check it down to Barkley. Everything else seems to fail. Hell, they are using the strategy I though the Cowboys were going to use through the season, give it 40-50 times to the running back.

49 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

I just checked the Sunday schedule on 506 Sports to check what games are on locally. Is this NFL stupid schedule week? I mean, who the *%&# scheduled a London game between two West Coast teams? I can see it being in Mexico if they wanted an international game for Seattle/Oakland. But scheduling it in London is insane. I know London games are low on the players' union priority list, but I'm already worried about fatigue injuries happening because of the travel stress.

57 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

I think your concerns are way overblown. These are world class athletes, travelling and staying in luxury, with team of staff and specialists dedicated to looking after them. They get a week off afterwards. Plenty of athletes in other sports fly across the world week after week to compete all the time.

So, yeah, it's probably not ideal for the players, but I'm really not concerned about them breaking apart because of it. I know player safety is the topic of the day, but for me this falls under 'you're very well paid, get on with it'.

59 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

It seems unlikely to me that a mild increase in fatigue would make injuries more likely in the already very dangerous sport of football. Football is dangerous because it involves large, fast men hitting each other with great force. Is that danger really significantly increased if the players are more tired? I can see it lowering the quality of the game, but increasing the chance of injuries sounds doubtful.

55 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Picks! All are probably wrong, but if I cared about being right I'd have every game Away Team 20 Home Team 23

Bucs 27 falcs 34
Chargets 24 bronws 20
Colts 20 jets 21
Seahawks 25 raides 13
Pantser 22 squirrels 19
Bills 6 texans 27
Cards 21 vikes 38
Steelers 21 bengals 27
Bears 28 dolphisn 13
Ramsn 48 brobcos 24
Ravens 17 titans 12
Jags 44 cowboys 22
Chiefs 55 oats 35
49eda 16 packers 22

60 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Bucs 28 falcs 34
Chargets 14 bronws 17
Colts 20 jets 13
Seahawks 26 raides 20
Pantser 24 squirrels 27
Bills 0 texans 20
Cards 14 vikes 24
Steelers 31 bengals 27
Bears 13 dolphisn 10
Ramsn 26 brobcos 28
Ravens 13 titans 16
Jags 17 cowboys 23
Chiefs 35 oats 30
49eda 14 packers 38

61 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

That was interesting. Not only it wasn't just a QB Sneak, it was a freaking QB Dive. Sadly, it didn't count. Good thing the Steelers are FINALLY running sneaks though. In other news, freaking Vance McDonald cannot be brought down.

62 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

You know, it is becoming more common for the Steelers to use more under-center formations. It looks weird, because I'm used to seeing the Steelers run 90% Shotgun formations. It has worked. In other news, the Steelers starting LBs can't cover the pass.

63 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Wow, wow, wow. Ben actually caught his own pass. It was for no gain (He just fell down at the LOS, to prevent fumbling or getting hit), but it was funny as hell anyway.

64 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Two turnovers in two offensive plays for the Jets. Darnold tries a deep sideline throw that really isn't open. Puts a lot of air under it and leaves it short, which is a bad combination. Malik Hooker comes over from centerfield to pick it off and return it all the way to Darnold, who at least cleans up his own mess with a shoestring tackle. Next drive, first play is a middle screen to Enunwa, who rumbles for a few yards before a Colts linebacker chops the ball out of his hands. Fortunately for the Jets, the Colts settled for two red zone field goals, or this game would have blown up.

65 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Tomlin ... Ryan Switzer was CLEARLY short of the 1st down marker by about 1 to 2 inches. There is no reason to challenge that other than punting away a timeout. Unless you are planning to QB Sneak it on 4th and need time to think about it, there was no reason to do that.

In others, was that Jordan Berry punt? That was way too far to be from Jordan Berry.

66 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

So Trubisky finds Taylor Gabriel along the sideline for a 47-yard pass (good throw, better catch). Finally something good from him. Then on the next play he overthrows Jordan Howard on a checkdown.

I know people were downplaying his 6 TD game two weeks ago because his receivers were so wide open, but I’m very concerned about how badly he’s missing open receivers today.

67 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

It is somewhat worrying that your QB is not very accurate on deep passes, but it's not the end of the world. It is very worrying if your QB overthrows a checkdown or a screen. That was what I expected out of Josh Allen, but I expected Trubisky to be A-Ok

68 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Geez. All day to throw for Ben, enough for him to direct his receivers. And it is World of Tight Ends, because Vance McDonald and Jesse James are having a good day.

69 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

So, Big Ben tried to go over the top to Brown to the endzone. He was held by Kirkpatrick, with no flag because of reasons. Next time they try, it is Ben to JuJu (Who wasn't held) and it works. No TD, but it is at the 1, which could mean Conner plunge time.

Correction: MEANS Conner plunge time. Also, Chris Boswell has TWO straight converted extra points.

70 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

All right ... the Chargers-Browns game looks a bit more of a blowout than I though. Is Phillip Rivers having a good day?

71 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

The Browns CONTINUE to be hosed by the refs! When will it end? Russell Okung false starts by an easy ½ second, and the Browns D possibly lets up expecting a penalty that never comes. Rivers treats it like a free play, and Williams smokes Denzel Ward for a TD for the 2nd time this quarter

75 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Seahawks-Raiders is going exactly was expected as it would go. The Raiders doing nothing and the Seahawks winning. And Josh Allen has 45 passing yards .... uhhh ... is that ok? I'm not miss reading that? I knew he was bad, but that bad?

77 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Utterly brutal series from Pittsburgh to end the half. They score a TD with ~45 seconds left, then concede a long punt return, with a tacked on penalty for illegal formation, before playing prevent defense all the way into the end zone to allow the Bengals the easiest TD imaginable. Bad look for Tomlin and co.

78 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

T.J. Watt jumps offsides on 3rd and 8. Followed by T.J. Watt making a tackle for loss on 3rd and 3. And he lost his helmet too.

79 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Oh for goodness sake! Marvin Lewis just punted on 4th & 1 from the Steelers 40 yard line. They just went down the field for a TD in 30 seconds right before halftime. I thought this kind of garbage was being rooted out?

81 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Brown is getting tackled to the ground, and Burfict, being the dick he is, shoulder rams him in the head like in the 2015 playoffs (Was it the 2015 playoffs right?).

EDIT: Wait, what is Brown doing on the field. Wouldn't he be in concussion protocol for that hit?

82 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

GRRRR .... Boswell kicks a 20 yard FG. Why, when you are so close to the goal line, you send the FG unit? Just QB Sneak it, either you score or give the opponent the ball at the half inch line.

83 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

So the Bears have scored 21 points in the 3rd quarter after being shut out in the first half. I’m really happy to see them leading 21-10, but the obvious question is why wasn’t the offense playing more like this in the first half?

86 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Ridiculous but slightly funny play in Bills-Texans. Chris Ivory is literally dragged down by his hair. The defender had hold of nothing but what appeared to be one long coil of hair, but that was enough to get him down from behind. With short hair Ivory would certainly have escaped.

One play later Peterman throws for a TD to give the Bills a lead. I have no idea why Peterman is even in at QB.

87 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Hmmm ... WiFi ain't lit today. Ben to Brown is pretty much off today. Everyone else is coming up big though (Specially McDonald and James. And Conner. And the Defense as an unit), so that's helpful.

91 Re: Week 6 Open Game Discussion

Chargers keeping doing end-arounds, Browns keep failing to stop them. At least three of them on just this one drive for big gains. 35-6 Chargers. Gregg Williams must be an idiot.