Football Outsiders
Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis

Week 10 Open Discussion Thread

Dalvin Cook
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Week 10 kicks off with a pair of teams hanging around the fringes of the AFC wild-card race, as the Chargers (4-5) visit Josh Jacobs and Oakland (4-4). The early slate on Sunday is pretty barren -- the Giants (2-7) "visiting" the Jets (1-7) may be the most intriguing, because at least there is draft positioning at stake -- but the afternoon and prime-time games include some dandies with two teams in playoff contention. Rams-Steelers! Packers-Panthers! Vikings-Cowboys! And on Monday night, perhaps the biggest game of the year so far, as the Seahawks (7-2) visit San Francisco to take on the undefeated 49ers. Use this thread to discuss them all.

Comments

151 comments, Last at 12 Nov 2019, 2:28pm

1 picks

Raiders 37, chargers 24
Lions 17, Bears 16
Ravens 28, Bengals 13
Briowns 29, Bills 24
Pakcers 31, Panthers 20
Sats 41, Falcons 27
Jets 19, Gaints 13
buccaners 27, cardinals 23
Chiefs 20, Titans 17
clots 38, Dolphisn 17
Rams 27, Styeelers 17
Cowboys 29, Vikings 26
49ers 30, Seahawks 20

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2 Raiders

Baby! Channeling NWE defense—hope they do better than they did Sunday.

4 I missed most of the game…

I missed most of the game until now, but I am told that the Raiders at one point had 10 points and 8 yards of total offense? That's kind of awesome.

5 If Jon Gruden is still…

If Jon Gruden is still getting defenses with Spider 2 Y Banana in 2019, it must really be the perfect play.

8 I mean the Packers sucked…

I mean the Packers sucked last week, but the Chargers D was decent tonight - allowed 5.1 yards/play (would be a top-10 full-season rate) and 18 first downs, and seven of Oakland's points came on a pick six.

I started to think "plus they were at home last week," but... that's not quite right.

7 Wow, Chargers, that was sad…

Wow, Chargers, that was sad.

I don't remember the last time I saw Rivers just plain miss so many throws. The injuries to the tackles, and the Raiders' pass rush, certainly had a lot to do with that, but he seemed abnormally inaccurate even when he wasn't under duress. Maybe he was "seeing ghosts"?

10 I don't want to write him…

I don't want to write him off - to date this season he has been perfectly ok - but there was a whiff of death-stage Peyton Manning about that Rivers performance, where he just didn't seem to be reading the field quickly enough. In particular there were couple of sacks which did involve his linemen getting beat, but I'm certain Rivers of old would have avoided with a quick checkdown. Also a couple of inexplicably air-mailed throws. He's dealt with bad line play enough in his career - it's certainly not new for him. 

9 I hate it when qbs lobby for…

I hate it when qbs lobby for 15 yard penalties after a pass rusher makes incidental contact with the qb's helmet. I wish offenses could be themselves penalized, when qbs did that.

15 Vikings are significant…

Vikings are significant underdogs in Dallas now, with Linval Joseph out, along with Thielen again. They'll need some luck.

17 It's time for more FO…

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18 Browns/Bills: Jarvis gets a…

Browns/Bills: Jarvis gets a taunting penalty after the TD, and Bills elect to take the yards on the XP rather tan the kickoff. Browns miss the XP, but I still say it's better than a higher chance of a Bills TD or FG next possession.

 

Edit, sure enough the Bills drive turns over on downs. Run defense then looks like it clamps down, but pass defense gives up a rare 3rd-and-10 first.

19 Huge automatic 1st down from…

Huge automatic 1st down from Tre White's PI on OBJ on 3rd & goal. Chubb gets stuffed yet again next play, though.

20 Bengals rookie QB

Bengals coaches not helping rookie QB, getting play in so late that they break the huddle with 10 seconds on the play clock. Watch how early Roman gets Lamar to the line

24 You can only beat the team…

You can only beat the team you are up against, but Lamar Jackson’s 47TD against the Bengals was a thing of beauty (and his passing has been pretty good too).

25 That was a badass throw by…

That was a badass throw by Darnold, stood in against the hit and threw a laser for the 1st. Of course, the guy dropped it. Maybe it was higher than ideal but he had both hands on it and was bringing it down to his body, he has to hold onto that. Free Darnold, seriously.

Didn't see this remarked on, but Jamal Adams made an incredible, sort of hilarious play: he blitzed, Saquon Barkley tried to pick him up, but Adams just shoved him backwards towards Jones and then literally just grabbed the ball out of Jones' hand and took it back for a touchdown.

Been in and out today so I haven't really seen much of Jones. He made a nice throw himself to convert 3rd and long just now, although the clock was clearly at 00 before the snap. I guess both of these teams need all the help they can get.

39 Darnold has talent, he just…

Darnold has talent, he just makes aggressive mistakes.  But they need to free Gase from his contract, not Darnold. That team would be so much better with Gregg Williams as head coach and Cooter calling offensive plays.  The offense stinks, and yet has more talent than the mediocre defense and decent to above average special teams.  And yeah, Jamal Adams is the Jets' best edge rusher.

61 I once brainwashed someone…

I once brainwashed someone to become a rogue agent, and they are set to activate only upon hearing a phrase that would never, ever be spoken in normal conversation.

"That team would be so much better with Gregg Williams as head coach" was the activation phrase.

26 Flipping back and forth to…

Flipping back and forth to between Jets-Giants and Browns-Bills. Kareem Hunt is back for Cleveland. Hasn't done a ton so far, but the box score says he has a few runs and a few catches, both for decent yardage-per. The Browns need all the help they can get.

The Bills had the ball and 4th and 4 at about the Browns' 40 in the final seconds of the 3rd. Bills line up to very, very obviously do the draw-them-offsides thing, but Kitchens calls timeout with 3 seconds left. It "works," in the sense that the Bills fail to convert on the subsequent play, but that's a huge waste in a close, winnable game.

30 I've had Chiefs/Titans on…

I've had Chiefs/Titans on while only seeing glimpses of this on Red Zone, but what seems really crazy about this one is that the Falcons don't even appear to be having that great of a day on offense - 4.5 yards/play. They're playing lockdown defense against the Saints in the Superdome.

29 The Falcons entered this…

The Falcons entered this week with a defensive passing DVOA of over 50%. Naturally, they've held Brees to barely 4 net yards per pass through 57 minutes of game time. Rivalry games, I guess.

31 Weird play for the Giants…

Weird play for the Giants. Jones looks to throw but he's about to be hit, and ends up turning his hand sideways as he "throws" (before any contact) so the ball comes out spinning and sideways. My best guess is he instinctively flinched anticipating the hit at the exact moment he began his throwing motion, but it was truly strange. Jets challenge that it's a fumble, and I think in some sense it was, but his arm was coming forward with control of the ball, sort of, so they had to call it incomplete. That's the Jets' second failed challenge in 11 seconds of game time, because Gase is the worst.

32 Wild finish in Tennessee!…

Wild finish in Tennessee! The Chiefs had it pretty much wrapped up, with a short FG attempt to put the lead at 8 if it's good. However, the center snapped the ball before the holder was ready, then the holder panicked and threw the ball away, and got called for an intentional grounding on top of KC losing possession. Ryan Tannehill then put the Titans on his back for a 60-yard TD drive and scored the 2-pointer himself by running through a KC sefety.

Ten is up by 3 but KC is already in FG range… and the 52-yard tying kick is blocked! Titans win!

37 Another pathetic loss by a…

Another pathetic loss by a pathetic franchise to a mediocre Titans team. Ho-hum, been there, done that. I've never seen intentional grounding called on a botched FG before, but Tennessee was pre-ordained to blow down the field and score against a D that everyone knows is gonna lay down out of habit in crunch time more often than not.

Going shotgun on 3rd and 2 and taking a sack is just what can be expected of Andy Reid. I don't know if I'd fire him for the asinine shit he does on game days or keep him for the excellent work he does the rest of the week, but I've had about enough of him, personally. 

This is just KC's lot in life. They'll end up making Dan Marino look like a huge success with one SB appearance while Mahomes will be one of the great "what ifs" after he wastes his career in KC.

43 "Another pathetic loss by a…

"Another pathetic loss by a pathetic franchise to a mediocre Titans team. "

 

As a fan of the New York Jets, New York Mets and the Portland Trailblazers, I resent that remark.  As far as Andy Reid goes, he needs to change his game day strategy.  But a lot of this loss is on the special teams and defense.  You let someone go for 188 yards on the ground, you will lose.  They had two kicks go awry not from misses but missing blocks and snaps.  Still, they lead their division, and they're still the favorites to make the playoffs.  They won't get home field over New England, but honestly they could go into New England and beat them in the playoffs anyway.  They just need their defense to improve.  If you really wanted to see bad football, you needed to go the Meadowlands today.

44 Oh, I don't disagree with…

Oh, I don't disagree with any of that. Of course there is plenty of blame to go around beyond Reid's weekly dumbass game strategy. I could argue the Jets have had more recent "highs" in the past couple decades compared to the Chiefs (two AFCG appearances), but NYJ has also had lower lows. Much lower. The two franchises compare favorably in that their best days were about 10 football generations ago, but yeah there's no way I'd trade in the Chiefs for the Jets.

 

90 The Chiefs had homefield in…

The Chiefs had homefield in the AFC Championship game last year, which went to overtime.  Every AFC championship game the Jets played in since Super Bowl 3 was on the road, and none of them ended up as close as last year's game.

33 After stinking for most of…

After stinking for most of the game, Mayfield marched them right down for a go-ahead score inside 2 minutes. Every time I think he's just toast, he shows these flashes of brilliance. He's another one I'd like to see what he can do with a competent coach.

Now the question is, can the Browns' defense hold on against Josh Allen and the mighty Bills' aerial attack? The Bills are already just about in FG range, so...

UPDATE: Bills miss the field goal, Browns win. The ending this game deserved.

35 Packers playing the Panthers…

Packers playing the Panthers. Look for McCaffery to have a near career day. Their defense can't stop the run. Kyle Allen may not need to throw 10 passes today.

36 Is Dave Toub losing his…

Is Dave Toub losing his touch? That botched snap plus intentional grounding by the kick holder was one of the dumbest special teams plays I've seen. Would have been better if the holder had just covered the ball.

38 Their ST has been pretty bad…

Their ST has been pretty bad this year, I don't know if actually "bad" but at least quite a bit worse than they have been since 2013. The game winning FG last week seemed like more of an abberation with the way the ST units have played so far this year.

45 I thought that was plausibly…

I thought that was plausibly intentional grounding on Rodgers - ball landed like 15 yards from Graham, and even if he'd stayed on his feet it probably wouldn't have been terribly close - and I thought maybe that's what the flag was. Announcers spent the whole time speculating about perfectly fine hits on Rodgers and the defender Graham (inadvertently) tripped, because they are the worst. Anyway, they picked up the flag. Packers punch it in a few plays later. Both teams' offenses look good in the early going here.

46 Absolute horsemanure OPI…

Absolute horsemanure OPI against Lazard. Exactly the kind of play the PI-challenge concept ought to overturn, but we know how that goes. LaFleur doesn't even bother. Instead, a long incomplete leads to a punt.

47 Believe he's been on and off…

Believe he's been on and off the injury report throughout the season, so he may not be totally healthy, but David Bakhtiari has really declined this year.

48 Woof, the Panthers should've…

Woof, the Panthers should've downed the punt within the 1, except their guy went into the endzone then touched it before putting both feet down outside the goal line, so it's a touchback instead. That could be huge in a close game so far.

50 That was a BS roughing call…

That was a BS roughing call against Carolina, on what could easily have been called intentional grounding in the end zone by Aaron Rodgers. Yes, he technically threw it vaguely in the direction of the RB, but there was clearly no attempt to complete a pass. 

58 That's just it - the ball…

That's just it - the ball was nowhere near his feet! It went vaguely to the right, about eight yards away from the RB. 

At the same time, I really don't want the refs determining the 'intent' of a pass attempt. It's a conundrum.

65 I agree that shouldn't have…

I agree that shouldn't have been roughing. However, there was no intentional grounding there. The QB is almost always given the benefit of the doubt on those throws. Even when grounding is called, the flag is usually picked up and an announcement given that there was no grounding because the ball was thrown in the direction of an eligible receiver. 

51 I don't complain about…

I don't complain about officials much, but the degree to which these refs tilt the field in favor of certain qbs is getting to be very problematic.

52 Speaking of horsemanure…

Speaking of horsemanure calls, that roughing on Carolina... I didn't quite catch what the ref said (something about "waist"?) but the announcers seemed to think the refs thought it was one of those bodyweight fouls that were all the rage last year.

59 And then they follow it up…

And then they follow it up with a BS pass interference in the end zone (though, to be fair, hands-to-the-face call that was declined in favor of PI was legit, so it ends up the same regardless). 

53 These refs are absolutely…

These refs are absolutely horrible. But at least they are all in for the Packers.
Can anyone explain how many blows to the head Kyle Allen needs to take to get a flag?
But Rodgers gets knocked down and gets an absolute BS bailout flag

54 Credit where it's due,…

Credit where it's due, Aikman had a really interesting insight on the long pass to Graham. He said Rodgers called an audible to bring Geronimo Allison down on a short cross, Kuechley recognized that and went to cover Allison, vacating the exact area where Graham made the catch.

57 Yeah, I have to tip the hat…

Yeah, I have to tip the hat to Aikman on that one - that is the sort of commentary I always want, but so seldom get from the announcers. In fact, I've noticed improvement even from Fouts (whom I normally loathe) this year. Is it possible that Romo has inspired other commentators into actually trying to explain stuff on the field instead of just killing time with the same old football cliches? Now, if only they actually take the refs to task on the really bad calls instead of brushing it off, I'd be happy...

75 I've definitely felt like…

I've definitely felt like announcing overall is notably better this year. Maybe even the best it's ever been, although that is a low, low bar. But in almost every game I've seen, they at least try to explain non-obvious things from time to time. It might well be the Romo effect; Madden inspired a legion of Madden imitators, so maybe Romo's sudden popularity is doing the same.

I actually feel like announcers are much more critical of the refs than they used to be, too. Still not as much as they maybe ought to be, granted. But even in the Packers game here, they've kept harping on that phantom roughing call throughout the second half.

60 One of the reasons I watch…

One of the reasons I watch very lttle regular season NBA is because the star treatment refereeing makes the games more boring. This is becoming more and more of a problem in the NFL. I love watching great qbs, even great Packer qbs! Nobody without a wedge of foam rubber cheese on their head enjoyed watching Favre more than I, well before he left Green Bay. However, this is a perfectly good football game which likely will have the 2nd half ruined, because a zebra decided to give the Packers a new set of downs, instead of punting from their end zone. Rodgers is great! Let him compete! It will be fun to watch!

62 Speaking of Bakhtiari…

Speaking of Bakhtiari... completely whiffed the block on McCoy at the goal line. What a terrible sequence for GB, from the false start to Rodgers not being able to locate open receivers in the end zone on multiple plays

63 Not sure how or why that was…

Not sure how or why that was ruled a fumble by Jared Goff. His arm was clearly coming forward with the ball, and the ball landed 10 feet in front of him.

64 Even as a Steelers fan I…

Even as a Steelers fan I freely admit that the Steelers were gifted that fumble TD. I don't see that as being anything but a forward pass by Goff.

66 His weight wasn't even on…

His weight wasn't even on Rodgers. What possible interpretation was the ref going for there?
Rivera is losing his mind, and he is always composed. Any chance the second half won't be more of the same BS?

69 Heh, just as the announcers…

Heh, just as the announcers start the Kyle Allen hagiography, he throws a tremendously terrible ball that could've been picked twice, and was picked once. He had been playing pretty well, especially on that drive, but the INT and the lost fumble are huge, since the Packers' defense hasn't really been very effective otherwise.

70 The Panthers' back - not…

The Panthers' back - not sure it was McCaffery? - just stoned Savage on a blitz on that incomplete by Allen. Really nice, unsung play by whoever it was.

Z. Smith should've been flagged for the facemask there. Although it did seem more incidental than malicious, he did grab and turn.

71 Truly bizarre sequence by…

Truly bizarre sequence by the Rams. They insert Blake Bortles on 3rd & short, and have him run a read option, which is stuffed for no gain. Followed by placing Jonny Hekker in the shotgun on 4th down, not even selling the fake, and he throws an interception. Goff is not playing well, but on short yardage plays you might just want to trust your regular running game?

73 Full credit to Brian Flores…

Full credit to Brian Flores and his team. From looking like the worst team in NFL history, they've been growing more competitive week by week, and now win on the road against a pretty sold Colts team (albeit starting a backup QB). Miami might have found themselves a coach.

95 Full credit to the Dolphins, but...

Hoyer was truly terrible today. He’s receivers bailed him out of some bad throws even. I don’t remember a drop at all today, which has been a problem with the Colts. 
 

Again, to the Dolphins credit they scored when given short fields. Basically, they sold out to stop the run and gambled that Hoyer couldn’t beat them. They were right. 

77 Really not sure about that…

Really not sure about that decision-making by LaFleur on 4th and 3 at about the Panthers' 37. I get not attempting the field goal, even though a make would ice it (cough), due to the conditions. Going for it seemed aggressive but a make would've ended it, and a failure wouldn't give them great field position, especially since they need the TD (and 2pt conversion). Instead, they try to do the Rodgers hard count special, fail, take the delay of game to take the FG possibility away, and then punt. They down it at the 10, so it's a long field but they don't end up really pinned against the end zone. I have to think going for it was the right call, especially with how effective the run game has been today, but even if they're going to punt, may as well do it from the 37 instead of 42?

And a couple of plays later they're in Packers' territory. Although Kyle Allen seems determined to throw the game-losing interception...

79 I agree that going for it…

I agree that going for it would have made more sense, but if you're not going to run a play or attempt a 52 yarder in the snow (and their previous attempt at that distance was no good), punting from the 42 does give you a little more leeway in trying to pin them deep. A 4th and 3 is just hard enough that I can't really fault him for not going for it, even though I think that would have been the better call.

78 Absolutely should have been…

Absolutely should have been intentional grounding on Allen there. There wasn't even a checkdown to pretend to be throwing at the feet of.

80 Panthers getting ref help on…

Panthers getting ref help on this last drive. First, Allen should have an intentional grounding earlier, then DJ Moore gets away with a pushoff on a critical fourth down.

81 Hot taek, the officiating…

Hot taek, the officiating this game hasn't been good, but it also hasn't been one-sided. They bailed out the Panthers about a hundred times on this drive, culminating with an offsides call in which the defender didn't even take a step.

84 A healthy Cam Newton scores…

A healthy Cam Newton scores at the end of the game there. All this talk about Kyle Allen, but the Panthers would be much better off with a healthy Cam Newton.

85 "healthy" is the operative…

"healthy" is the operative word there. I don't know why but I've seen a lot of Panthers games this year, and Kyle Allen is way better than Newton was the first couple of games, when he was clearly hurt. If Newton can come back healthy, great, but with his age and the beating he's taken throughout his career, I do think that's a significant "if," unfortunately.

I do think Allen has the potential to be a solid starting QB (subjectively, I actually think he's been better than Minshew, at least based on what I've seen of the latter), but probably not a great one. He's at the point where opposing teams are starting to scout and adjust for him specifically, and he's struggled some but held his own against everyone but the Niners. We'll see if he's able to adjust productively. If he plays well down the stretch, he's probably got a bright future, and Carolina might have a difficult decision to make. If not, well, they won't.

87 Allen looks to be one of…

Allen looks to be one of those career borderline starter/ mostly a backup QBs who may occasionally fool "experts" into believing he can be top half QB. I'd wait until I knew if Newton was healthy before naming Allen the starter. A healthy Cam is still better and a legit starter with special skills.

The trade Cam talk is nuts. He's still under contract for next year. He's not that old. Roethlisberger has taken a similar beating in his career and has played well as an older QB. I don't think Newton is ready to give it up yet like Luck did. But he needs a decent backup because he's not going to be available for 16 games most years, just like Big Ben. 

86 If you'd told me before the…

If you'd told me before the season that after 9 games the Rams and Steelers would have the same record, I'd have said, "Yeah, that sounds about right." If you'd tole me the same after week 2, I'd have laughed in your face. Yet here we are...

89 If you told me that the…

If you told me that the strength of the 2019 Steelers was going to be the defense, and that said D would carry an usually ineffective, checkdown heavy offense, I definitely would have laughed. And yet ... somehow, someway ... that is working ... I definitely don't know what's real at this point

92 I just saw it pointed out…

I just saw it pointed out that the Steelers are 5-4, starting Mason Rudolph and Devin Hodges at QB, with their 4 losses being to the Patriots, 49ers, Seahawks, and Ravens. And outside of the Pats blowout, the other three losses have been by an aggregate of 9 points. Chalk this up as a positive for Tomlin’s resume. 

93 Randall Cobb remembered what…

Randall Cobb remembered what to do on a free play after all those years with Rodgers. Smart play by both Cobb and Prescott.

102 Can somebody explain what…

Can somebody explain what happened in the Saints game. Both teams had similar yardage stats and there weren't many turnovers. Was it just bad red zone offence on the Saints part and good red zone offence for the Falcons?

103 Anyone watching Niners…

Anyone watching Niners-Seahawks? I tuned in a bit late myself. It's close - closer than it seemed like it would be at first, when San Francisco was up 3-0 but utterly dominating on defense.

There was a play where the Seattle receiver (I think Lockett) was hit helmet-to-helmet TWICE and no flags were thrown. Sherman in particular looked to me like he was basically spearing, had his head-neck-spine all parallel to the ground. Astonished there were no flags thrown. I expect there will be at least one, maybe two, fines this week.

Crazy play near the end of the half, DK Metcalf has a long catch and run along the sideline where he successfully danced around/over/through a defender while staying in bounds, but then got stripped by about 3 49ers right near the goaline. Initially ruled out of bounds, on review it's a turnover, SF ball at the 2 where the ball was stripped, although the defender went into the end zone; they said his momentum carried him in, so the ball is spotted where he got it. I actually thought it maybe came out again and then was recovered in the end zone so they plausibly could've gotten a touchback.

I was hoping they would rule it a safety (ie, that he had the ball outside the end zone then went in voluntarily), not because I actually think that's the case, but because as a disinterested 3rd party I would've found it very funny. Especially with the San Francisco audience ready to go nuts over the takeaway.

104 I stopped watching the game…

I stopped watching the game in disgust after the first 49ers drive, which was low-lighted by the officials extending the drive multiple times on 3rd down with flags for phantom penalties.  I'm a lifetime football fan, but I've almost gotten to the point where the NFL is unwatchable this year.  The refs are just making stuff up.  Not judgment calls, just out and out imaginary penalties.

I tuned back in for the Clowney TD.  Yeah, that play by Tartt was great football.  The refs even used replay correctly to get the call right.

The speed of the game has passed the capacity of the officials to judge it correctly in real time.  The NFL has the money to invest in technological solutions to identify penalties more quickly and accurately, and needs to move in that direction.  The on-field guys should be spotting the ball and govening substitutions only.

 

107 If you liked that, you'll…

If you liked that, you'll love how they just flagged Clowney for "lowering the helmet as the second defender to hit the QB," apparently a penalty now, to bail out Garoppolo a few plays ago. Ever the sportsman, he promptly rectifies that chicanery by handing the ball straight to the defense, setting things even.

I guess I don't mind the uneven officiating as much as you do, but especially with the PI fiasco this year it does feel worse than it's ever been. They really need to rethink the rules and referring on a fundamental level - including major technological upgrades - but it's hard to see it happening any time soon.

Credit where it's due, they just nailed the spot on that Carson near-TD in real time. I thought even in slow-mo he got the ball over, and one of the announcers was sure he was down 3 yards short, but when they went frame-by-frame it turns out the ball should've been exactly where they called it, in real time. They're really good at what they do, but the rules committee has made their job impossible.

149 Spotting the ball tends to…

Spotting the ball tends to be something the officials are good at, except when their line of sight gets blocked from the sideline view.  It should also be one of the easier areas of the game to upgrade technologically, but doesn't come into play all that often.

Holding penalties, hands to the face, pass interference, illegal contact to the head in all it's myriad forms … these are the biggest problem areas, and I think it relates to a combination of poor viewing angles and the pace of the game.  As a first step, move some of the officials upstairs, still with their individual responsibilities for different parts of the game, and let them call the game from there.  They'll have better viewing angles, a few more seconds to decide whether a play needs to be reviewed, and hopefully a lot fewer phantom penalties because they thought they saw something that wasn't there.

 

105 You know, Seattle has…

You know, Seattle has generally been content to rush 4 against Garoppolo and make him beat them, and so far he hasn't shown much. He just airmailed an open receiver and got picked (to be fair, it looked like they might have had a 5th rusher that time). As dominant as the defense has been (0pts, although that looks to change imminently, and some slick takeaways), their offense hasn't done much better against the Seahawks' D. It almost reminds me of the Make Mitch Play QB defense Green Bay used in Week 1. Not great for a guy with a 9 figure contract.

His situation is so weird - he only just went over 16 starts in his career a few weeks ago - so he needs the opportunity to have some growing pains... but this is suddenly a win-now team, and Kyle Allen could replicate this performance for 1/40 the price, just saying.

110 Well that escalated quickly…

Well that escalated quickly. Suddenly it's 21-10 Seattle behind two horrible Garoppolo turnovers. Make Jimmy Play QB has been extremely, disturbingly (for the Niners) effective - they just went 3 and out for -1 yards, and it's an improvement on the last couple of drives - and the Seattle defense has been downright bad this year, per DVOA. He hasn't had a ton of help - a bad drop on 2nd down there - and you don't want to read too much into one bad day, but the fact that he's had so much time and still hasn't been able to do anything, has to be worrisome going forward.

111 Welp, uh, Niners blitz and…

Welp, uh, Niners blitz and get to Wilson, who is stripped at least in part by his own lineman (???) who takes the ball and promptly fumbles it to SF, who take it to the house. They get the 2pts on a slick playcall well-executed by Garoppolo. 21-18 Seattle, and it feels as close as it looks.

I am annoyed that they didn't throw a flag the play before, when sliding Wilson was hit by no less than 3 defenders, all of whom but especially the last two could have avoided it - and one of them (Thomas) got hurt. Looked like Bosa might have been shaken up too, they bonked helmets. All else being equal it doesn't change much (deep thought) since they would have taken that fumble back from anywhere on the field, but if they're serious about player safety they have to call that.

112 Ohhh man, Seattle comes so…

Ohhh man, Seattle comes so close to getting the pick (that one was all on the receiver, he had it then bounced it up) but it hits the ground, and San Francisco hits the tying FG. Huge break for SF there. 21-21 all.

113 Yeah, the no call was a pretty bad look

"well, he tried to get a hard helmet-to-helmet hit on a sliding QB, but he failed and went helmet-to-helmet with his teammate instead, so, uh, no foul I guess"

Bad for player safety, and bad for perceived fairness when they've called multiple on the Seahawks in much more marginal circumstances.

114 Has there been a target to Josh Gordon yet?

He's been in there on a lot of plays but I don't think I've seen Wilson even look his way.

I guess if he doesn't know the playbook yet they might just be having him run deep decoy routes every play.

117 "This is the test. This is…

"This is the test. This is all on Jimmy G right here," say the announcers. He immediately throws it directly to the defender, who drops it in an act of supreme mercy.

121 That's at least 3, maybe 4,…

That's at least 3, maybe 4, that a defender has gotten both hands on and dropped. That's not sustainable for any QB who's not mid-'90s Favre (and even then...). If Seattle loses this they'll be kicking themselves all week.

120 Wow, they got into FG range…

Wow, they got into FG range despite their own best efforts - two dropped picks in about 4 total passes, two tight conversions, one aided by a monstrously dumb NZI - and now it's heading to overtime. Nice clutch kick by a rookie free agent in his first game ever I believe.

123 Holy crap, Wilson bailing…

Holy crap, Wilson bailing out everybody, including the refs for that abominable in the grasp call. Just give him the MVP right now.

129 Oh wow, I thought that was…

Oh wow, I thought that was blocked in real time. Damn, poor kid. That might be the end of his NFL career right there, the way teams have acted the last few years...

132 Easterbrook's "stop me…

Easterbrook's "stop me before I blitz again!" thing was always silly, but mannnn, when the D lined up like that you could see that Wilson run coming a mile away.

139 Way too soon

He got the ball three times with a chance to win it. Picked once. Stopped a second time. Only on the third time-- after the SF kicker missed a chance to win it-- did he succeed. There are precincts yet to be heard from in BAL, HOUS, GB

142 Yeah, had Greenlaw not…

In reply to by oaktoon

Yeah, had Greenlaw not intercepted Wilson, Hollister would've gotten yet another game-winning TD and Wilson would have had quite a good game, especially with how masterful that drive had been. But the interception really brought his performance down.

135 Wow, Seattle pulls it out…

Wow, Seattle pulls it out. Subjectively, I thought they were the better team on the balance (at least over the portion I saw), but that was a really closely matched game. Might be an NFC Championship preview.

137 It does seem like they're…

It does seem like they're destined to match up 3 times this season, but I feel like the NFCW winner is going to be the #1 seed and the loser is going to be #5. That puts them on course for meeting in the divisional round unless #6 upsets #3.

140 Packers and Saints Both Play Niners

If they each win, then given tiebreakers it would have to be Seattle getting the best record. This could go all sorts of directions. 

As of now the playoffs would be:

#3 NO vs.#6 MINN

#4 DALL vs #5 SEA

SF #1-- most likely to play DALL/SEA winner

GB #2-- most likely to play NO

But these teams are so close anything could happen.

147 Unlikely

I'd bet quite a bit that they won't be seeing each other in the NFC Title Game.  SEA is the yearly Smoke and MIrrors/Lucky Rabbit's Foot Team this year.  So far this year they have:

-1 Point Win Over a Terrible Cincy Team

-2 Point Win Over Pitt when Pitt was awful

-1 Point Win Over Rams when the Opposing Kicker Shanked the Game Winner

-4 Point Win Over the Self Destructing Browns who blew the game

-OT Win vs a Pretty bad TB team

-OT Win vs SF where SF's Kicker Shanked the game winner (2nd time SEA won cuz of a Shanked Game Winner)

 

SEA's most likely outcome is a 1st Round Playoff Loss (assuming they make the playoffs)

138 What Did We Just Learn?

1. Any notion about there being historically great teams-- based on early DVOA metrics-- is out the window. Jimmy G might have been picked three times in the 4th Quarter and Overtime on another night-- yes, he had injury limitations with Kittle and Sanders out, but this is the NFL. Injuries happen. The Niners are very good-- but hardly great.

2. The supposed MVP frontrunner-- as Booger McFarland seemed to want to pronounce every other minute-- did produce the final winning drive. He also threw an interception to kill a previous drive and was also forced to punt in the OT and would have been the loser if the 49er kicker had kept his nerve.

3. 5 teams-minimum-- could represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, and the Cowboys are the 6th and might be as talented as most of the other 5.

4. Home field advantage is totally up for grabs now-- the Niners could easily lose at least twice more, and perhaps even three or four times with GB and the Rams at home, and road games v BALT, NO and SEA.

5. It's a heckuva season brewing

141 "Any notion about there…

"Any notion about there being historically great teams-- based on early DVOA metrics-- is out the window."

Their defense might still be in the running. SF just went up against an elite offense and forced them into a measly 4.6 yards per play, one interception and four or five fumbles (depending on if Wilson and Ifedi both fumbled or not). That's pretty impressive stuff.

148 Historic Teams

I think people should take DVOA with a Grain of Salt until the supposed Great Teams actually play against competition with a pulse. 

NE's "big" win so far is a 6 Point Road Win against #25 DVOA BUFF with a backup QB

SF's "big" win so far is against #16 IN DVOA CAR