Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa

Week 16 Open Discussion

It's Christmas weekend, and Santa Claus has brought us four straight days of NFL football.

It starts on Christmas night, when the Vikings (6-8) travel to New Orleans (10-4).

Then there are three games on Saturday: Tampa Bay (9-5) at Detroit (5-9); San Francisco (5-9) at Arizona (8-6); and Miami (9-5) at Las Vegas (7-7).

The biggest game on Sunday sees the L.A. Rams (9-5) visit Seattle (10-4) with control of the NFC West at stake. There's also the Giants (5-9) at Baltimore (9-5) in a battle of fringe playoff contenders, and the night game pits Tennessee (10-4) at Green Bay (11-3).

And finally, on Monday night, Buffalo (11-3) visits New England (6-8).

Use this thread to discuss them all.

Comments

189 comments, Last at 29 Dec 2020, 9:42pm

141 Made the play call a little too obvious

Would have probably been more surprised if they lined up the FG unit and did some trickery. 

Game winning kick could be fun in snow.

Block taken back by penalty and they go for it. Would have taken the FG there still to go up 22 as a 30 yarder is easier than a PAT and 3 yards in these conditions is murky.

140 MVP odds??

If Rodgers throws another TD pass this quarter-- and the Packers take a 4 score lead over a legitimately good team that many thought would win this game-- HMMMMM--- Vegas must be churning those numbers bigtime... of course no guarantee GB won't squander all or most of the lead and Rodgers might have a miserable 2nd half, which has happened a few times this year

144 the Minute Collinsworth said MVP is over

In reply to by oaktoon

I knew something bad would happen... Dumb decision to kick FG to begin with, packers semi-bailed out by offsides... But that was a poor 4th down play and Rodgers ought to take a chance given ball goes over on downs anyway...

142 GB so close

to not wasting a timeout. 

Shucks.

143 First career TD for…

First career TD for Equanimeous St. Brown. That surprised me since it feels like he's been around forever. But he looks good now that he's finally healthy, and if so, with Lazard now healthy and Tonyan fully broken out, they've honestly got one of the deeper receiving corps around.

I felt like a broken record saying "the Packers receivers are fine, actually" all offseason, so now I'm going to bask in the smug glow of validation.

This will make it all the more frustrating when they only manage 13 points against Football Team in the divisional round.

150 I mean he's got 7 catches, I…

I mean he's got 7 catches, I meant more that he "looks" good - i.e., really athletic - and if a guy with his gifts is the 5th option they're in a pretty good shape. For what it's worth, he only has one non-caught target in the last 5 games, i.e., since he's been actually healthy and playing in a string of consecutive games. Not sure drops are really an issue for him (SSS issues either way, obviously).

153 Which is also indicative

28 recs on 48 targets in 22.5 games isn't really anything to write home about. Gotta earn your opportunities by gobbling up targets like Davante (which works for him, dont know if you can say that about anyone else though).

After their rookie years I thought ESB should've been ahead of MVS but then MVS outplayed him in 2 more offseasons...and idk where MVS is tonight. PFF has MVS has 112th/122 WRs this year. EQ playing slightly better but not enough to qualify yet MVS keeps playing more. 

They are athletic but not functionally strong/slippery. ESB has 1 broken tackle on 30 touches so far in his career. Lazard has 1 on 68. MVS 1 on 102. Not great. It's not really Davantes game either but he makes up for in other ways like his release. Still think you're gonna have a hard time getting people to pick them (sans Davante) unless Rodgers is coming with them. Which is why they're playing above their heads I'd say (helped along with doing free simple things like pre-snap motion). 

Then there's the fact none are on contract beyond 2021 but that's something else.

159 ESB has had one preseason in…

ESB has had one preseason in his 3 years in the league. His second season was lost to a major ankle injury during the preseason.  He was on IR to start this season too. It's hard to say what he really is. This is the middle of the second season for a 6th round pick.

 

He's a bigger player that MVS so seeing him more tonight when the team was expecting to run makes sense too. 

163 Yes in the one camp they…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Yes in the one camp they both played, the 5th rounder out played the 6th rounder.

MVS is FAST, and when he isn't touched by a defender he'll usually catch the ball. But MVS is built like a sprinter, he is by far the lightest of the WR though he's taller than Adams. Players like that always look good in the preseason. He has drop issues in part because it's easier to disrupt his timing so he is never quite where Rodgers expects him to be and his hands are only adequate.

I agree with your overall assessment of the problems the WR corps have and that it would be awesome to have a #2 option that wasn't a late round or UDFA project. MVS has developed OK. Lazard has had great development coming from an undrafted player. I'm still not sure what ESB is. His rookie year was in the McCarthy offensive. He lost most of the preseason and all the regular season his second year, which was the first year of the LeFluer offense. He lost most of this preseason and the start of this year too. He's the equivalent of a rookie, despite this being his third year.

I'm not arguing that the WR position has issue. I'm only arguing that ESB is in a weird position to evaluate. Though it's probably safe to say his ceiling, like MVS is WR3. Lazard like like his ceiling is a legit mid tier WR2 in the NFL.

167 ESB played a good portion of the other 2 as well

and all reports indicated he was behind MVS, and that's before getting hurt (he got hurt IN preseason 2019 and midseason this year). I know who MVS is but we're not just talking about preseason. MVS has played more than him all 3 seasons for various reasons, not just solely due to health. Calling him a rookie though is a lil too generous. He just played his 23rd game tonight. He did sit out a whole year but that doesn't mean he cant learn the playbook, etc. 

The main point is going into the year (and next year too) relying on them is risky given what we've seen. It'll be interesting to see once the playoffs roll around how they adapt if Davante is taken away. Are they worthless, no. They're pretty good at taking wide open passes to the house though. Have they warranted enough to be seen as main building blocks you can just slap some other UDFAs around and call good? Eh, I'd push back on that and tell yall to ask non fans what they think, whether they're really good in a vacuum or if it's mainly PFFs #1 QB.

168 I'm not arguing that the WR…

I'm not arguing that the WR position has issue.

And that's what I am arguing. Other than they have issues keeping them all healthy, anyway. But when they're all available, Adams and Lazard are a fine top-two, MVS is one of the better deep threats around (actually leads the NFL in Y/rec), and now St. Brown is looking promising in limited action. That's a solid group that any QB ought to be happy to have. Throw in Jones and Tonyan, and their pass-catchers, in aggregate, are better than about half the other playoff contenders' by my reckoning. Realistically, it's hard to improve on that (and the most likely route, given the cap, is for someone like St. Brown to break out).

170 They still have Devin…

They still have Devin Funchess under contract too, he opted out of the season.

I've written about it in other threads on here. The scheme is huge as far as results. LeFleur seems to be good at using offensive players at what they can do and minimizing asking them to try and do things at the edges of or beyond their abilities. There is a reason that going into this game Adams has 131 targets, and the rest of the WR (MVS, Lazard, ESB, Taylor, Shepherd, and Auston) had 127 combined.  This game it was 12 targets for Adams and 5 for all the other WR. Some of it is injuries, some of it is Adams is one of the 5 best WR the Packers have ever had. Some of it is the scheme. I think a lot of it is that the other WR are WR3/4 level skill with the best of them having a ceiling of mid tier WR2.

Now fans are also spoiled as this team has played with 3 or 4 WR that had ceilings of upper tier WR1 skill on the team at the same time. Or 2 WR1 and 2 or 3 WR2 level players. Rodgers has played with better talent at WR/TE in multiple seasons. LeFleur is still early in his coaching career so I don't want to get too hyped on him, but I think his offensive schemes are better than McCarthy. He has actually made running the ball an integral part of the offense, and made the offense more flexible. It's easier for them to exploit what a defense gives them, be that running, short passing, mid passing or coverages that allow solid deep shots. I think part of that was to allow an easier transition to when he doesn't have a HoF QB playing for him, but it does let more moderate talent thrive. 

For example. I love Tonyan, and he is quietly having one of the best TE seasons in franchise history. I've posted about him a few times. He has been the DVOA (though not DYAR) leader for most of the season. He is reliable and efficient and I feel he was a Pro Bowl snub, he has earned a decent payday. But take him out of this scheme and he will probably have 1/2 to 2/3rd of the targets he's gotten because he isn't going to get himself open nearly as much in the majority of other offensive schemes. You put Kelce on this team and he probably has 90 or so targets vs the 57 that Tonyan has, because Kelce is a better player, who would thrive in the scheme, and get open more. The corpse of Jimmy Graham got 60 targets last season in this scheme. To get Kelce to 90  Adams would probably lose some of his targets, and the other WR and especially the RB would likely lose even more though. Tonyan has done more with his targets than Graham, but not by as much as people sometimes think. He's a great player, but I think the scheme amplifies that. 

I root for ESB and MVS, even while I harp on them. But ESB has never flashed like Lazard did in previous seasons or pre core injury this year. MVS has flashed but in a different way. We've seen enough of MVS to know what he is. I like to think we haven't seen enough of ESB, but maybe I'm wrong and still wearing Green and Gold tinted glasses. 

I would like them to go for another talent that could potentially be WR1 level talent. Dillion had a great game, and with the injuries to the RB depth, if the team didn't have him who knows what the result tonight would have been. I think he's going to be a fine NFL player. But I still would have liked to see them go for a WR instead of him and see what they could have gotten for a RB in the next draft. RB take less time to develop and as Jones and Williams have proven later round players can work in this system. Though I do think Jones is a 1000+ yard rusher on most teams, I don't think Williams is, even if given the bulk of the carries.

Anyway that's all part of the perpetual NFL talent evaluation argument. How do you really determine how good a player is in a vacuum, because the interdependencies in football are huge. I mean heck on of Dillions TD runs may not happen without a great block from Lazard, a WR. We know that some players, like Rodgers and Adams are clearly great players regardless of many other factors, but even though would they be as great as they are with lesser coaching early in their careers? Rodgers especially completely reworked his mechanics during his 3 years on the bench behind Favre and defied the trend of other Jeff Tedford QB's in the NFL. So yeah it's a tangled mess. 

All that being said I would be more comfortable with better WR talent. I'm still curious what Funchess will do in this offense, and getting him on the field next year should shore things up a bit. But I would like to see more talent flow into the position. 

145 I did not see the offsides…

I did not see the offsides on the non/blocked FG. I guess the line itself kind of bent into the neutral zone?

The Packers graciously rectify that error by granting Tennessee a 17 yard sack on 4th and 3.

177 FG offside

I think the left side of the Titans FG defensive line arced closer to the line further from the ball. Without visible yard lines, a player sighting a straight line across the field was probably nigh impossible. I think the two outside guys crept up to see the ball and at least one lined up offsides. No one jumped; the penalty was clearly for lining up offsides.

Sure, ticky tack call. 

147 Thank you refs

Really didn't see that offsides on the blocked FG. Maybe one of the guys inside of the player it was called on, but that looked like a huge gift to GB.

 

So that's a huge gift. The illegal hands to the face that kept the other drive alive was legit though.

152 Credit to Pettine

Don't know if they can keep it up in the second half because Vrabel will adjust and take advantage of those openings at the mid level. But the scheme is working so far for the Packers defense. It would be nice to assume the Packers are prepared for the chess game, but I don't have enough trust in the defensive coaching or Kevin King for that matter.

I also expect at least one, though let two, more Packers special teams screw that will give the Titans points or great field position.

178 The weakness on that play…

The weakness on that play was lack of outside contain discipline. Both Preston Smith (pretty sure it was him at end) and Darnell Savage behind him crashed inside the tackle to attach Henry. One needed to maintain outside contain; neither did. Just left a huge gap.

156 Oh man, I saw Jones step out…

Oh man, I saw Jones step out in real time, but the refs somehow missed it, and so did the Titans' review people, so the Packers were able to run a play before any challenge and lock in the yards. Scored a play later.

In a just world, well they'd get that right on the field, but they would also have a video referee to correct that.

179 Video Ref

I'm with you on an extra ref in the booth to review video in real time like the college game. If the booth ref can stop play before the next snap, the play can be reviewed. If he can't, the play on the field stands. Let's get rid of the coach challenges. 

161 AJ Dillon got his first 2…

AJ Dillon got his first 2 career TDs, too.

Still not sure that pick was a wise use of a 2nd rounder, but having a 3-deep RB group has been very helpful this year. And while RBs may be mostly fungible, that man's strength certainly is not, goodness.

162 Adams Best Rodgers WR Ever

Sorry Jordy and Greg-- but this guy is HOF caliber. And where are all the critics saying WR 2nd round after what Dillon did tonight??

180 Two Decades

Although it defies logic, (I mean most of these BIlls weren't around), but it looks like the Bills are trying to exorcise twenty years of frustration against the Patriots in one game.   Fourth downs. Fake punts. Hard hits.  Not halftime yet, but I have never seen a BIlls team quite like this.

181 Cam Newton out, Jarrett…

In reply to by Digger

Cam Newton out, Jarrett Stidham in.  Patriots for the first time in forever don't know what the future of their quarterback is.

182 Why did NE punt from…

Why did NE punt from midfield on 4th-4 down 22?

Even the announcers were scandalized.

183 Between that punt and…

Between that punt and putting Stidham in (not that Newton didn’t deserve to be benched) it seems like Belichick threw in the towel mid way through the third quarter here. 

185 Agree

Judging by this and recent games, Belichick has no interest in building a contemporary NFL offense this year.

188 Painful

It’s almost painful to watch, “almost” because there’s some schaudenfraude.  
I truly think Belichick decided to write this year off and see what can be done next year.  Not irrational, as 2020 hopefully will be an outlier year.

186 Anybody doubting Josh Allen anymore?

I mean, my cubicle at work* is adorned with a Bills shirt I shredded when they drafted him, and even I’m not dumb enough to keep doubting him right now. 

Also, if the Chiefs were to play the Bills next week and play that same sloppy football they’ve been playing for the last two months, only two things would be certain:

1. They would fall behind by double digits again. 
2. They would NOT come back to win. 

* Not that I’ve been there since mid-March!

189 I'm not doubting

But it's amazing how perception changes instantly in this league. First Baker was the best and the rest trash. Then Lamar was the best, rest trash. Now it's Allen.