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Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Week 9 Open Game Discussion
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

It's a milquetoast slate of games in the NFL this week, with only four contests featuring two teams at .500 or better. The action kicks off with the 1-6 Raiders traveling across the bay to face Jimmy Garoppolo C.J. Beathard Nick Mullens and the 1-7 49ers in one of San Francisco's few realistic chances to get a win and get out of the top overall draft pick. Notable Sunday games include Steelers-Ravens, Chargers-Seahawks, the Packers-Patriots Sunday nighter, and the biggest game of the week, the undefeated Rams visiting the 6-1 Saints. Use this thread to discuss them all.


259 comments, Last at 05 Nov 2018, 11:58pm

1 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Anyone else is here to see T.O. get his HOF Ring of Excellence? Because that seems to be the only interesting thing that's going to happen in this game, other than some Grudenisms post game and the Niners giving up a thousand sacks ... even though the Raiders don't have a pass rush.

4 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Not that often for there to be a starting QB whom probably 90% of NFL fans have never even heard of.

Anyway, on paper this is obviously not a good game. Still, I'd rather see a tight game between terrible teams than a blowout between the two best teams in the league. So hopefully this will be close.

5 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

I was going to ask "How the Niners are moving the ball so well?". Then I saw that the Raiders are in the bottom 5 in defensive DVOA, 29th to be specific.

6 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Streaming this on Amazon with Storm Kremer in audio. Unfortunately they are no better than the terrible twosome. Interestingly, the stream is about five seconds ahead of the tv.

12 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Yeah they've been pretty bland so far. They still have a higher ceiling than Bu/kman, who are definitely who we think they are.

Either of them could be an A-level color person, but Kremer (I think) just doesn't have the voice for play by play.

13 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Anybody know why Romo isn't announcing any game this weekend? I haven't been able to find anything about his absence, but he isn't listed for any of CBS's games.

15 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

So who's the backup to the backup to the backup? Because the 49ers might as well put that guy in the game right now.

20 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Today? It was...C.J. Beathard! He was healthy enough to dress, just not to start. Normally, it would be Tom Savage, but they cut him when Beathard was ruled healthyish.

Because a 75% Beathard is better than a 100% Savage.

16 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Can't wait to hear Gruden's assessment of his team's performance.

Or will he just cackle evilly and proclaim, "The first pick is mine! All mine!!"

27 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

I did.

2QB league, and the proud drafter of Andrew Luck, Tyrod Taylor, Sam Bradford and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Since I dropped 3 of those guys, and I traded for Mayfield, I needed a QB to start with Mayfield this week. Mullen it was, as there were literally ZERO QB's on the WW.

19 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

The Raiders didn't need to travel across the Bay, to get to Santa Clara from Oakland you just head south on 880. Levi's Stadium is just about the same distance from the Town as from the City.

23 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

I only watched the highlights, but Mullens actually looked quite good. Obviously there were plenty of classic Shanaclan PA rollouts leading to wide open receivers, but he also looked genuinely accurate on more difficult throws, hitting receivers in stride, sometimes in fairly small windows, sometimes under pressure. Is that purely a function of selection bias, or did anyone who watched the whole thing get the same impression?

24 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

I thought he looked pretty decent, with Shanny giving him a lot of half-field reads with clearly defined options, like he did with Cousins in the beginning.

Also, the Raiders suck. I mean, their D is really, really, bad. Undisciplined and uninspired, in what has to be the easiest road game for traveling on Thursday night this year.

28 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

You could tell he was a rookie - on a short week of preparation, no less - in the amount of time it took him to get the offense out of the huddle. That left him continually pressed for time trying to make his pre-snap reads. I can only recall one delay of game penalty, but the refs may have been being kind to him, because there were at least a half dozen more when the snap was borderline late (based on the TV clock).

There was also one weird false start on the Center, which Mullens immediately took responsibility for (you could see him clearly saying "that's my fault" afterwards). That's almost certainly just a prep time issue, and I really liked how Mullens handled it.

Once the ball was snapped, he looked good, but his first read was almost always open. And he probably made a few throws into tight windows, but more often than not he had a fairly generous sized window to throw into. Sometimes the window had a 5 yard radius.

Another positive is that I can only recall one throw that he forced into a situation he shouldn't have, and that one went for a huge gain when Kittle made a crazy one handed catch to deny the Raider safety a sure interception. But again, I didn't detect many situations where Mullens was forced to make tough decisions.

All in all, I was impressed, and wondered why the coaching staff has been sending Beathard onto the field. Hence my earlier comment about Beathard's injury forcing them into playing the guy who's going to cost them on draft day. But again, any NFL roster QB should be effective against a college defence, and I'm not sure Oakland's D last night was playing up to the standards of even a Division 1 defence.

30 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

I thought the only really bad throw he had was the one into the end zone before the second touchdown. That definitely could've been a pick. But the one to Kittles was a sweet dart. Kittles did make a very tough one handed catch, but the ball was right on him, chest high, in a tight window. And there was no safety behind him to pick it, which is why he was able to split the defenders on either side of him and run fifty yards with it. If a safety had been in position for a pick, he would have blasted Kittles before he secured the ball.

All in all, it Mullens was the beneficiary of some atrocious defense. He got Grudenized into greatness for a night. But he made at least four or five tight throws, and a few other good throws with dudes in his face. One was a sidearm completion on a screen when the defender got to him quicker than he expected, and Mullens threw it around him and on the money.

He definitely had the grasp of the offense, and he exhibited accuracy, with only a couple of throws being off target when they shouldn't have been. The only question is whether he can do it under fire against a legitimate NFL caliber defense.

34 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

We might be thinking of different Kittles plays. I recall the one you're talking about. I'm talking about the other one, where the Safety was already in catch pose to make the interception and Kittles reached out to snag, with one hand, a ball that was too far out in front of him, stealing it from the Safety.

44 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

I'm thinking of the one Kittles caught over the middle and ran fifty yards down inside the ten. There was no safety behind him on that one. It was clear sailing into that long run. I don't remember the other one.

The one I'm talking about was the one the that Collinsworth called a bad play design because they ended up with multiple receivers in close proximity to one another over the middle.

48 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

You guys are talking about the same play.
The ball was a bit high and n front but Kittles made a great catch. Pre snap Kittles didnt seem to know his route, so maybe thats why he ended up in the same area as wr #10.
Thought the safety made a bad play on that one.

The throw before the second TD was pretty bad across the endzone. The defender almost picked that.

All in all, I was impresses by Mullens. He looked accurate most of the times, poised and in control.
I watched the Jax Eagles game todat too and Mullens is much, much better already than Bortles.

The play design and the Raiders (lack of) defense helped too.

49 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

My memory may be failing me. Wouldn't be the first time. I was sure there was a defender settling in to make the pick as Kittles just got a hand far out enough to pull it in. No, the defender didn't tackle Kittles, whose route was a couple of yards in front of him. He was getting ready to make the pick, and was flat footed as Kittles crossed his face.

Unless I imagined it all. Didn't think I was drinking anything that good Thursday night!

62 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

I went back and looked at it. Maybe we were both wrong. I remembered three DBs around Kittles, but there were actually four. The one behind might have picked it if Kittles hadn't got a hand on it, but looking at the slow mo from the back side, the db appeared to be out of position with his momentum taking him in the opposite direction of the ball's flight. To pick it he would've needed Kittes not to touch it, then he'd have needed to make a one handed catch with his left hand while moving away from the ball. Of course, if Kittles tips it up, then all bets are off. Anything might happen then.

It was definitely a dangerous throw, but I did think it was a good throw either way. He put it in front of Kittles, chest high, where he could catch it in stride. Kittles was late on his break, not seeming sure where to go, which I think is why he couldn't get two hands on it.

All in all, it was a darn good needle thread that was probably more likely to be incomplete than either complete or intercepted. From a kid making his first start, I would say it was a pretty good throw. And Kittles made it a harder catch than it needed to be by coming late out of his break. Mullens definitely threw it to where Kittles was supposed to be, and he put it in between the defenders on either side and in front of Kittles. And in the slow mo you can see that Mullens had to throw it from an imperfect arm angle due to the rush in front of him. I'm definitely impressed by the throw and catch.

Here is a link to the replay from two angles.

43 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Put it this way: as a Texans fan, I have seen my fair share of quarterbacks with minimal experience and limited pedigree. I don't think I've ever seen any of them do things as good as the good things I saw from Mullens on the highlight reel.

32 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Absolutely true. I had great fun trying lip-read his tirades on the sideline while the Raiders were getting shellacked. At one point he was clearly saying, "we can't f---ing block anybody!". Hey, the first step to solving a problem is identifying it, right?

31 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

What's funny is that Mullens will keep the story about this game from being Gruden. This game was everything many of us expected from the guy who said so many stupid and wrong things while he was an analyst. This entire first season couldn't be much more of a disaster. And for all the talk of how the picks he has accumulated have set the organization up nicely, it's not like he did anything special. Anyone could've traded away the teams best players for picks. And while he benefited nicely from.Jerry Jones being so very bad at football, it's not like he got a huge haul out of Mack. He had to give a good pick back to Chicago in that deal. And it's very possible that Chicago's picks end up low in the first round. They are not guarantees of great players, especially with Gruden picking. And even if they hit on those picks, there is no indication that Gruden won't end up getting the least out of whatever talent he has. By my eye, whatever record Gruden ends up with in a given season, it sure looks like a competent head coach would get at least a couple more wins out of them.

Imagine thinking he was worth a ten year contract. That's just bananas.

33 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

It's really an awful situation for the NFL. Yes, getting Las Vegas to build a 1.8 billion dollar palace solves the (quite literal) Oakland stadium shithole problem nicely, but having an owner an owner in his early 60s taking a team to a new market, while either hugely incompetent, or even perhaps suffering from significant mental illness, is really bad. Maybe the league figures they can sell 50k-plus tickets a week to visiting team fans, for a highly probable victory, and that was better than, heaven forbid, the NFL building its own stadium.

37 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Maybe the league figures they can sell 50k-plus tickets a week to visiting team fans, for a highly probable victory, and that was better than, heaven forbid, the NFL building its own stadium.

The problem is they actually need to sell 100k+ such tickets every week in the southern California market, because the Rams and Chargers also need 50k road fans per week to sell out.

Pretty much all phases of the LA movement swap has turned into shit for the NFL. They got what they had coming.

39 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

At least the Rams are quite good, and the Chargers highly competitive! How many Johhny Walker Blues do you need to get into the gullet of some degenerate from Denver or K.C., to get them to pay to watch da' Raidahs!?

(edit) Now that I think about it, that's the marketing plan. The casinos buy the tickets, and then comp them to the degenerate dolts from the visiting team cities who will reliably lose 20k plus at the tables or slots, in a couple of days. Are there enough degenerate dolts? Ya' got me.

41 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

This was the new alternative NFL business model that I suggested in another thread last week. Now, if gambling and casinos are allowed around the new LA stadium, we've got our answer. That area isn't on Indian land by chance?

45 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

I can imagine that happening to a certain extent, but casinos are loath to send money players off property for five hours. That's why they have their own entertainment, which then exits customers right into the casino.

I'd also think that a perennial laughingstock football team is not going to be a big draw in a city with more entertainment options per square inch than almost anywhere in the world. They may well sellout thanks to corporate buys, but I'd be prepared to see "sellouts" with an enormous number of empty seats if I were them. And that's a big deal, as concessions are every bit a part of profitability as ticket sales. You need people to show up and buy those five dollar hot dogs and ten dollar beers.

Then again, it shouldn't be hard to make shitpiles of money (especially as compared to being in Oakland) with just a decently competitive team. But I'm not sure what the odds are on decently competitive with Gruden in charge. And if he botches these next two drafts, as he has botched talent evaluation so often in the past, then it could be a lot of years before the Raiders are anything approaching decent. The thing about a fire sale is that it means you must hit big with those picks you get back, or else be consigned to years before you can fix the disaster.

As someone who has seen this happen for decades in Cleveland, I can assure everyone that coming back from fucking up multiple high draft picks in successive years is not something you can do quickly, if at all. That kind of failure can spin out of control and just become a reinforcing mechanism.

And, of course, a bad owner exacerbates it all.

46 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Casino buses will take the visiting fans to the game and bring them right back to the casino.

The *game* is the excuse for going to Vegas, especially when your team is always a sellout and good seats are not available.

47 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

I was thinking about this the other day - what if the purpose of the Raiders is to be a perennial whipping boy for out of town fans to watch. Think about it - you go to Vegas to watch your team wail on a hapless team, maybe you put some money on it cause you know that 10 point spread is myth, enjoy your win and get loose at the casino etc etc. Having the Raiders be terrible might just be good business is what I'm getting at. Cynical as it is, Gruden provides perfect cover.

64 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

As a Winnipeger I know many people that travel for games. My dad and I drove the 900 miles to KC just two weeks ago.

But the cheapest flights into the US are to Vegas.

As soon as the Raiders are there I will be down probably yearly, as well as many of my friends, including Chiefs fans, Steelers fans, and whichever team is hot (my dad).

36 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

I expect most of the cost-benefit analysis to that contract involved getting the city of Las Vegas excited about the arrival of the Raiders, led by a Super Bowl winning coach and well known TV personality.

Are you excited yet, Las Vegas?

38 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

The current ownership situation is a bit mysterious. Maybe when Al's wife (Mark's mother) dies, enough inheritance taxes will be due to force Mark to give up control, although I imagine the 20%:Al sold to Wall Street types in 2007, for 150 million, was for the purpose of providing enough liquidity to handle future issues pertaining to such taxes.

51 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

It's unseasonably rainy and wet in my part of Colorado today, and I'm watching Texas run a desperate lateral play at the end. They made the same mistake NFL teams make, where the guy with the ball is more concerned about lateraling than actually advancing the ball.

College football is weird. You can call two timeouts in a row?

53 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

They *do* have huge rosters in college, that's a good idea.

It makes you appreciate how well-designed the play the Bucs ran a few weeks ago was, the one that almost worked. That one actually had a plan. (If only college coaches were paid enough to worry about details like that!)

54 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Predictions for today's action (road team comes first for each):

Bears 17 Bills 7
Chiefs 27 Browns 20
Jets 21 Dolphins 23
Lions 26 Vikings 27
Falcons 27 **offensive team name deleted** 30
Bucs 21 Panthers 42
Steelers 20 Ravens 21
Texans 28 Broncos 20
Chargers 14 Seahawks 24
Rams 35 Saints 38
Packers 34 Patriots 30
Titans 21 Cowboys 24

55 Picks

Squirrels 28, falcs 24
Jets 22 dolphina 17
Vikrs 27, lpins 24
Chiefs 36, browns 19
Panthers 24, buccaneers 20
Ravens 23, steelers 20
Bears 20, bills 13
Seahawks 27, chargers 21
Texans 31, bro cos 23
Saimya 34, rama 30
Patriots 37, Packers 33
Cowboys 22, Titans 17

56 Re: Picks

In reply to by Raiderjoe

Picking Rama to lose is bold.

67 Re: Picks

In reply to by Dr. Mooch

Maybe this is why the Raiders are experiencing some...Karma...

136 Re: Picks

In reply to by Dr. Mooch

Turns oit picking Rams to keep it close was the bold part

57 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Bears 35 Bills 0
Chiefs 42 Browns 15
Jets 24 Dolphins 17
Lions 23 Vikings 32
Falcons 21 Squirrels 24
Bucs 31 Panthers 21
Steelers 24 Ravens 24 (OT)
Texans 19 Broncos 21
Chargers 25 Seahawks 27
Rama 41 Saimya 33
Packers 27 Patriots 31
Titans 12 Cowboys 17

58 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Why can't the stupid NFL have an early London game TODAY, when the stupid f°•°**ng time change means everyone is awake for it?

Daylight losers time is literally the worst--it takes away an hour of sunlight right when we need it the most! This is why seasonal affective disorder exists! Ugh.

239 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

I was actually just thinking yesterday that the time shift made for a perfect football Sunday. I was able to sleep in, still get up before 8AM, and do everything I wanted to get done that day so I didn't feel bad about going to a bar and knocking back a few beers at 1PM. I want every Sunday morning to have an extra hour like this one did.

59 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

In many countries, starting Nathan Peterman would trigger a corruption investigation by gambling officials. Teams usually avoid so obviously throwing a game.

63 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

You aren't far off. I expect Peterman to figure in Kap's collusion case. Although I expect Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden to be more significant evidence. And let's throw in Cody Kessler, too, as Kap is certainly better and far more suited to a Jags offensive system that calls for a mobile QB.

I'm not a guy who thinks Kap is as good as his last year in the league QB rating suggests, but it is bananas that he's not in the league. While he never proved to me that he's a guy who should be a starter, he is still better than at least six or seven guys who are starting. And he's better than most of the league's backups.

And how about AJ McCarron? How fucking crazy is it that Hue Jackson tried to trade a 2 and a 3 for a guy who is far worse than Kap?

105 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

It's one of only two realistic legal defences they have, but probably not the one they lead with.

The objective evidence is that the NFL will re-hire anybody who recently saw a ball being snapped. Landry Jones is the most recent confirmation of this.

Kap is a notable exception.

So the NFL will surely argue one of:

(a) teams really thought Savage, Weeden, Kessler, etc. gave them a better chance to win than Kap, or
(b) we didn't hire him for non-football reasons but it wasn't collusion, we all just independently came to the conclusion that having him on our team would hurt our organization, either because of locker room cohesion, attendance at the gate, etc.

The first is basically the "most of us are idiots" defence, for which there is some evidence (they could have J Jones take the stand, for example). The second is the "our fans are okay with us employing wife beaters but lots of them draw the line at national anthem protests" defence, for which the President's tweets might be sufficient evidence.

Or maybe they argue (b) for the competent teams and roll out (a) to explain the Bills' QB decisions.

66 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

You could also pull a Malcolm Jenkins and use Blake Bortles, whose name must mean "Inconsistent" in some language. And the Jags recently signed Landry Jones, who is a perfect backup QB. Not too terrible, so he can win a couple of games, but not too great, so when you someone asks "Why he isn't the starter", he throws 2 picks back to back. His INT rate is Peterman level in the playoffs too.

68 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Latavius Murray fumbled the ball and Adam Thielen recovered, but it looks like Murray managed to make the ball make the plane before fumbling.

70 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

The entire lions coachign staff is wearing NFL-branded military flight suits on the sidelines. BARF BARF BARF. FOOTBALL HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE MILITARY

75 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

So who would the Bengals want to win in Steelers-Ravens? Ravens, because the Bengals have the tiebreaker over them, or Steelers since that would likely make it an only two horse race for the AFC North?

78 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

The Ravens would be basically out of it at 4-5 so the Bengals would only have the Steelers left as serious competition for the division. I think they would rather Baltimore wins, though, since the Steelers are in first.

77 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

It's time for another season of FO gameday chat! Join a star-studded cast of your favorite FO posters as we say smart, analytic and totally backed by data things about the football real time!

Unlike Jon Gruden, FO gameday chat isn't beholden to old ways of doing things so we've migrated from slack to discord the season. Among other advantages, it makes it really easy to join, just click the discord invite link:

Please note that it'll probably take a few minutes for one of our admins to matriculate you into the chat

80 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Geez, the seas just opened on that huge run. If Dalvin Cook was a tad faster or he managed to keep upright at the end, it is a TD.

82 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

The game break lady said the Panthers scored on a double reverse, but I wasn't paying attention to the highlight. Was it actually a double reverse?

88 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

It depends on how you define a "reverse." If the QB takes the ball one direction as on a bootleg, but hands off to a receiver coming the other way, is that a reverse, or an end around? It's really a hybrid of both ideas

86 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

... Like ... how is that you go down, hit the ground, roll on the ground, release the ball and the officials consider it fumble? It was overturned, but damn.

89 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

A weird play in the Chiefs game where Mahomes gets an intentional grounding penalty on a spike, apparently for snapping the ball before the play clock started or something like that.

93 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

I don't think the refs explained it properly, but according to Football Zebras on twitter the game clock was stopped and you're not allowed to spike the ball in that situation - at least not without being called for intentional grounding.

95 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Dude, Lions, your offense line is getting beat to the tune of SEVEN sacks already (now eight). Why are you continually calling straight dropbacks? Move Stafford around!

101 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Vikings have been getting plenty of pressure, but quite a few coverage sacks too. Would be too convenient to place a lot of blame on trading Golden Tate, but it sure seems like Stafford has had nowhere (or no idea where) to go for much of the afternoon. It was still a game until he both literally and figuratively tossed it away there.

102 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Apparently when they were down 35-7 the Bucs went for it on fourth and goal and converted rather than taking the basically useless FG. Now they are down by just 14 and have the ball. That shows the value of going for TDs when you are down huge instead of merely trying to make the scoreline look a little better.

110 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Was the Jets - Fins game as exciting as the final score suggests, or was this an old-fashioned slugfest between two dominating defensive units?

113 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Talking about the Broncos trading D.T. and the teams' reaction, I think the announcer just said "Emmanuel Sanders was hugging the lunch lady the other day"

… ....what… ?

115 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Interesting play. So, on 4th and 1, Brees takes the snap, flicks it to Hill, who looks downfield for Brees, but he's covered so Hill just ran himself for the 1st.

117 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

My worries from last week pop up again. The Rams Pass D is good enough. Alvin Kamara is pretty elusive, that's a fact. But how 3 guys (Facing 1 blocker mind you) simply fail to wrap up Kamara. Where is the run D?

116 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

So if a team is playing the Bill's with Peterman in, do you even rush the passer?

At this point a sack or throw away feels like a win for the offense.

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

120 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

He had two picks in his first 14 passes.

And thus having sated the defense, his next 35 only resulted in one pick.

He approaches passing like cicadas approach reproduction. Eventually the predators will simply become full, allowing some passes to survive.

118 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Vance Joseph doesn't know the NFL rules, and loses a challenge because of it. Somebody on the Broncos sideline should take the challenge flag from him and hide it, if he's not going to be mature enough to use it like an adult.

129 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Drew Brees dives and losses the ball. No one touches him, and the Rams pick it up. Unlike the times the Steelers ran a QB Sneak, Ben got down and he lost the ball after being down, that is a live ball. The officials rule the play dead, then the Saints just go on. McVay could have challenged that, because it is a fumble.

131 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Zuerlein missed that Field Goal try (It was a 50 yarder). That's six points the Rams just lost, and they could be critical.

133 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Of course Vance Joseph is a fan of "icing" the kicker. Fairbairn missed the "iced" kick and made the second. Of course.

147 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Joseph, and the Broncos in general, seem considerably better than last year. Yes, he needs more help with challenges, but he is not the only coach in the league with that problem (nor the only one to still spend timeouts on opponent kickers, though at least in this case the timeout wasn't going to be used for anything else).

It seems to take quite a lot of coaches some time to learn how to Head Coach as opposed to just do their speciality. The biggest systemic mistake I think Joseph has made this year was to go a day later to the East Coast days - assuming that was related to the defence falling apart and missing so many tackles as the game went on. I'm not as down on Joseph (or his team) as many fans seem to be, though not as high on them as DVOA at the moment, though they have had a tough schedule.

137 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

It seems like Joe Buck is doing Aikman's job of adding "color" today. Aikman seems even more confused and somnulent than usual.

139 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

The Broncos lead the league in pass rushers in the backfield flying past a quarterback without hitting him.

140 Random crazy Mahomes factoid

Mahomes had 3 TDs this week. His team only punted twice.

Turns out that's normal. On the season, Mahomes has 31 TDs, the Chiefs have punted 23 times.

I noodled around Pro Football Reference, the only times in NFL history a player has scored more TDs than his team punted, over a 16 game season, was Tom Brady's 52 TDs to 44 Patriot punts in 2007 and Brees's 47 TDs to 46 Saints punts in 2011.

Brady had a 1.18-to-1 TD-to-punt ratio.
Brees had a 1.02-to-1.

Mahomes is at 1.35.

143 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Redzone highlights the big hit on Lindsey that causes him to go flying. If he had been wrapped up instead of going for big hit it would have been a loss of yards instead of incomplete.

145 Re: Week 9 Open Game Discussion

Wow, do I hate that punt on 4th and 4 from the Rams' 41.

Payton is seeing this game differently than I am if he thinks making Goff and the Rams go an extra 20 to 30 yards is a better deal than giving Brees and crew a shot to gain 4 yards to reach scoring range.