Football Outsiders

Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis

Week 3 Open Discussion Thread

Week 3 action kicks off tonight when Gardner Minshew and the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Tennessee Titans. Big Sunday games include Saints-Seahawks, Lions-Eagles, Falcons-Colts, and the biggest game so far this year when the Ravens head to Kansas City to face the Chiefs. The Sunday nighter is Rams-Browns, then Chicago heads to Washington on Monday night. Use this thread to discuss them all.

Comments

94 comments, Last at 24 Sep 2019, 1:00pm

1 Let's talk about the most interesting thing about this game

Let's talk about the most interesting thing about this game … Michael Irving's purple suit. How do I get one of these?? I know I won't be able to wear it as well as he does, but I need to try.

Second most interesting thing: the collage of old Minshew photos. I really, really hope he ends up being a good QB, because he seems bat-sh** crazy. Loved him swatting away the kid's basketball in the charity basketball game. Get that weak sh** out of here, kid!

Unfortunately, now they've kicked off and all the interesting things are coming to an end. Nice to see a holding call on the first play from scrimmage, though. Think I'll fall asleep now.

2 That fantastic start the…

That fantastic start the Titans had in their blowout road win Week 1 is fading away pretty fast. Unless they rally in this game they'll have managed to lose two straight division games to unheralded backup QBs. (I guess Brisset isn't technically a backup anymore, but you know what I mean.) I think this division still belongs to Houston.

16 Yeah, Bill O'Brien the…

Yeah, Bill O'Brien the living-embodiment-of-public-choice-economics general manager has bailed Bill O'Brien the tediously average football coach into another division title and rapid, uneventful playoff exit at the hands of some actually good team, with a little help from Andrew Luck.

6 For the life of me I never…

In reply to by Boots Day

For the life of me I never understood why the football world was so gaga over him. Yeah yeah, Speed Score; at some point "fast for his size" just means "big and slow."

10 But the thing is, he also…

But the thing is, he also doesn't break tackles like you would expect from a guy his size. Derrick Henry is also somewhat like that. I can't recall a single broken tackle by Fournette in this game. 

So if you're big but you don't break tackles, then yeah, it doesn't matter if you're fast for your size, you're still just a slow guy.

8 Is he though? I didn't watch…

Is he though? I didn't watch much of him, but I heard that Richardson was okay, except that he had absurdly bad vision. Fournette doesn't seem to have terrible vision, he just looks like he's running through molasses. I'm being quite serious when I say that I don't think I have ever seen such a slow running back in the NFL, at least in the last decade. Hell, I'm not sure I've seen such a slow running back in the college football I've watched in spurts. He looks like he has the speed and agility of a late 90's fullback.

I think he might be hiding some injury or something.

EDIT: And as soon as I say this he scampers for a 69 yard gain. He didn't look blazing fast, but he was running about as fast as the CB chasing him until he got caught. So I guess he just is one of those guys with great top end speed, and terrible agility. Makes me wonder what his 3cone time was.

Looked it up. Apparently he did not participate in that drill. That was probably smart of him.

20 He has actually one of the…

He has actually one of the fastest top end speeds in the NFL. Against the steelers in 2017 he was clocked at 22mph.

That was 2 years ago, so he might have lost some of that speed. But Fournette is fast when he gets into second gear.

7 Minshew's gotten away with…

Minshew's gotten away with some pretty, ah, daring, throws, but by and large they've been perfectly placed. I'm not sure I want to bet on him maintaining that atomic precision throughout a seasonful of hits, but if he can, they just might have their QB...

18 Apparently the Georgia…

Apparently the Georgia defensive coaches have also come up with the concept of Defeats. They call them havoc plays, and on top of the plays FO counts, UGA also includes pass hurries that result in an incompletion.

21 This morning AB has gone on…

This morning AB has gone on Twitter and said he's done with the NFL, among other things. We're now in Week 3 of the season. Arguably, a guy who caught just a few passes in one of those games has been the biggest story in the league each of those three weeks.

23 And the biggest story…

And the biggest story throughout the pre-season (doesn't that helmet kerfuffle seem quaint now...). One of the biggest stars in the League being repeatedly accused of serious unethical/illegal behavior is a big deal, of course, but now that he's out indefinitely I am looking forward to not having to hear about him again for a good long while.

22 Packers grab a quick lead at…

Packers grab a quick lead at home on a free play when Rodgers draws the Denver defense offsides, leading to a long TD pass to a somehow wide-open Valdes-Scantling.

24 As a Packers fan I'll take…

As a Packers fan I'll take it, but I thought #65 the LT also moved before the snap, because the Denver player was through the neutral zone and very close to making contact; I think that should have been encroachment or NZI (i.e., penalty and no play)?

25 After getting blasted off…

After getting blasted off the field their first couple possessions, Denver went to a series of runs and short passes (and a Joe Flacco scramble lol) and marched pretty much inexorably into the end zone. Looking forward to seeing how LaFleur's staff adjusts with some trepidation, since they were on their heels for about 15 straight plays. I'm not terribly worried about the Broncos' offense, but other, better teams will watch that series with keen interest.

UPDATE: Welp. They adjusted, as it were, by blitzing more, and got shredded by Noah Fant and Phillip Lindsay. Gave up a bad TD run to Lindsay but it got called back on a truly terrible offensive holding call, then got bailed out again by an awesome play by Jaire Alexander to tip away another TD, and finally the pass rush got home on 3rd down to force the FG. Not exactly inspiring.

But okay, after a 3 and out they strip-sacked Flacco and got the ball back at the Denver 5. Blitzing taketh away, but blitzing giveth.

43 If the Packs' D needed a…

If the Packs' D needed a steady diet of blitzes to keep the Broncos in check, it might not be as good as I thought it was after the Vikings' game. (Didn't see either game, just going from stats and comments on this site.)

I'm looking forward to seeing the DVOA numbers in a couple of weeks, once opponent adjustments start getting added in

26 Apparently the Bills went…

Apparently the Bills went for two earlier today (and converted the attempt) after a Bengals penalty gave them the ball at the 1. I think that's definitely the right decision, especially considering running is one of Josh Allen's strengths. I bet most teams wouldn't make that call, though.

44 Was about to say they gave…

Was about to say they gave up some garbage time points, then checked the game sheet and saw it was actually the punt receiving team and Stidham in at QB who gave up the garbage time points.

So I guess that was Stidham's last chance to get in game playing time at the end of blow outs.

28 Jackson looks terrible

Clearly has a cannon for an arm, but not accurate at all. And for some reason he seems to sidearm his shorter passes. Baltimore needed to run more to try and keep moving the chains, and not rely on his throwing. I do like Harbaugh going for it on fourth down.

29 Crazy how invisible Von…

Crazy how invisible Von Miller has been through 10 quarters. Bradley Chubb has been the best player on the Broncos defense so far this year.

30 The Eagles, despite missing…

The Eagles, despite missing their left tackle and top two receivers, are pretty much moving the ball at will. However, they can't stop fumbling. 3 of them so far, 2 recovered by the Lions, who only get 2 field goals out of it. Despite out-gaining Detroit by a pretty healthy margin, Philadelphia trails 20-10 at halftime.

31 And now Jaire Alexander…

And now Jaire Alexander makes a fantastic play on a (clever) 3rd down run against the blitz, not only stopping the first down but knocking the runner out of bounds to stop the clock.

Alexander, by the way, is really, REALLY good. I think he isn't terribly well-known yet, but he should be. To my eyes he looks like a legit #1 shutdown corner, which the Packers haven't had since... uh, my entire lifetime (maaayyybe Craig Newsome, briefly, pre-injury?). He's fantastic in coverage and is a decent tackler for a CB. His only real weakness is he can't catch at all, lol (dropped at least 2 Kirk Cousins picks last week).

UPDATE: And now he STONES Fant (who's like twice his size) and takes the ball right out of his hand as he's going to the ground. Ruled not down, Alexander nearly returned it for a TD; replay shows he was clearly tagged down, but also that he clearly had the ball from Fant when he was. Seriously, he's awesome.

35 Entertaining sequence for…

Entertaining sequence for Denver. Alexander stops a sure-fire TD run (he's awesome, but the Packers need to not be constantly be in a position where the CB has to make 1-on-1 open-field tackles against RBs and TEs...). Flacco then throws a rather nice comeback fade thing that's ruled out as the receiver literally had one toe out of bounds. 4th and goal from about the 3, handoff to Lindsay who's stuffed, except #66 from the Denver line essentially tackles him (Lindsay) into the endzone, ripping him out of the Packers' grasp and throwing him forward across the line for the TD. But then Denver doinks the extra point off the upright. Seems fitting somehow.

36 Philip Lindsay is really,…

Philip Lindsay is really, really good. He's basically carrying this offense.

As another commenter noted, Jaire Alexander is having a huge game. He created a turnover out of nothing on a routine tackle, ripping the ball out of Noah Fant's arms.

Broncos are keeping it close, but they're making a lot of mistakes to overcome as well as getting some bad luck. Between losing fumbles, having a great touchdown run called back on a phantom holding call, missing an extra point, etc, they need to be close to perfect from here on out, or hope for some luck or Packers mistakes.

37 Other than some timely…

Other than some timely turnovers the Packers D has been regularly giving up huge chunks of yards. And the offense has benefited from those short fields. Still really not looking formidable at all.

38 Back to back sacks seal it…

Back to back sacks seal it for the Pack. (sorry) One was a pretty nice play by Gary for his first NFL sack, knocking his guy straight back then shedding cleanly to get Flacco.

I'm not suuuuper worried about the Packers' offensive struggles so far, since I expect Chicago, Minnesota, and Denver to be 3 of the better defenses in the League this year, but I am a little concerned. In particular, Rodgers seems to give up on plays fairly quickly and just kinda chucks it at people's feet now. I guess he spent the offseason studying the ouevre of Donovan McNabb. It's especially weird from a guy whose whole Thing was extending plays well beyond what seemed possible. I'm hoping it's a conscious decision to save himself and his teammates some pointless hits, and not some kind of mental burnout...

39 Wow, after a the Eagles…

Wow, after a the Eagles block a field goal and get the ball at mid-field, I was positive this was going to be another Lions-esque meltdown, but Mack Hollins has a horrible drop on 4th and 15 that would have given Philly 1st and goal at the 5. Lions run out the clock.

I know Philadelphia had a ton of injuries, but if you're a Super Bowl contender with a deep roster, you cannot lose this game at home. Now Dallas has a 2 game division lead on them.

40 Bills go to 3-0. I suspect…

Bills go to 3-0. I suspect they'll still be in the lower half of the league in DAVE this week despite the good record. Next week they get the Patriots. I feel that game could establish some sort of record for largest point spread between undefeated teams.

42 Haven't been able to see…

Haven't been able to see much of Kyler Murray before now. He's got some real skills, but his decision-making seems questionable, although oddly for a highly-drafted rookie, he seems to be too conservative - ran out of bounds for a loss instead of throwing it away, throws little check downs when they need big yards. Of course, as I type that he lofts a beautiful bomb right into the guy's hands and he drops it, so maybe it's good decision-making in the context of an awful team...

I've actually been really impressed by Kyle Allen, in for Cam Newton on the other side. Apparently they knew each other as kids and were teammates at Texas A&M a few years ago. Anyway, he seems to have a nice arm and throws accurately on the move. Don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but at the very least games without Newton don't have to be completely hopeless.

46 Terry Bradshaw had an odd…

Terry Bradshaw had an odd and frankly worrisome halftime show, struggling to pronounce "Minkah" and leaving a long silence trying to give a shout-out to his mother. It was noticeable enough that one of the other guys had to "jokingly" acknowledge and deflect it. Given his age and public comments on having symptoms of CTE, I'm worried about his cognitive health.

94 Terry

lots of people flub a canned joke, but I have to agree that something seemed "off."

47 Just turned on Saints…

Just turned on Saints/Seahawks. Bridgewater throwing with the accuracy that resulted in the Vikings drafting him. Nice to see him get his career restarted. It reportedly killed Zimmer to move on from him, Bridgewater being such a pro to work with, especially at his age.