Football Outsiders
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Week 5 Open Discussion

Carson Wentz
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Week 5 kicks off tonight with a battle of NFC playoff contenders, as Tom Brady and the Bucs (3-1) square off against Nick Foles and the Chicago Bears (3-1).

Sunday games include the first-place Eagles (1-2-1) heading across the state to play the undefeated Steelers (3-0); Las Vegas (2-2) desperate to remain competitive in the AFC West against Kansas City (4-0); and the Colts (3-1) against the Browns (3-1) in a key AFC game. The Sunday night game pits Minnesota (1-3) against Seattle (4-0), while the Chargers (1-2) visit the Saints (2-2) on Monday night. Use this thread to discuss them all. 


174 comments, Last at 15 Oct 2020, 10:13am

131 Seattle

I'm getting Colt fan flashbacks to Manning's prime. 

That is a team set-up for post-season heartbreak, with Carson running angrily/beautifully, the WRs doing a nice job, and Wilson being a magician, but the D will sink them in the end.  Even if they end up with a 1st seed--which I suspect is a bit of a long shot--it should not be surprising for them to lose in their first playoff game because the D just can't stop anybody.  Wasting what has been a great year for #3 so far.

132 The defense wasn't that bad…

In reply to by Bobman

The defense wasn't that bad in this game. Seattle allowed 5.4 yards per play and 2.36 points per drive, which is at least average. Their main issue was their inability to prevent Cousins from converting third downs; Minnesota actually converted 3rd and short worse than 3rd and medium or long. It was their offense that really struggled, with them being unable to score without great field position until the final drive.

And on that note, it looks like it was the Colts offense that cost them in the playoffs, not their defense. Just looking at the years where their offense was good and their defense was mediocre to bad, we have:

1999: Lost 19-16 to the Titans
2000: Lost 23-17 to the Dolphins
2004: Lost 20-3 to the Patriots
2006: Won Super Bowl
2009: Lost Super Bowl 31-17 to the Saints
2010: Lost 17-16 to the Jets 

So apart from the Super Bowl loss, the defense did its job; the offense has to score more than 17 points in those games.

150 Good Point.

The 2009 SB loss was on Manning.  That pick six he threw really killed them.  Also, give credit to Sean Payton for the trick play which gave them the first possession of the second half.  

151 Even if the Colts scored on…

In reply to by DIVISION

Even if the Colts scored on that drive, they hadn't held the Saints scoreless on their prior four drives. NO still probably wins 27-24 in regulation. That onside kick was huge.

153 Holy moly that first Herbert…

Holy moly that first Herbert TD. Wilson-esque.

A couple fun things I noticed on the replay: the snap was pretty bad, but he caught it with one hand without looking; and the RT managed to block neither of the rushers he lined up against, hence Herbert's mad scramble.

The latter speaks to an issue might wreck him before long, though. This line isn't quite Bengals bad, and Herbert looks somewhat better at avoiding rushers than Burrow in the pros, but no QB can stand up to getting hit at this rate. If they're serious about him being the franchise QB, to say nothing of contending this year, they have to fix this line. Getting Bulaga back might help, but even then, they really need to be exploring the trade market. Although this is a weird, bad year to be making major in-season roster moves (the unnecessariness of latter portion of this sentence is noted).

162 isn't quite Bengals bad...

I thought the Chargers O-line started out the year as one of the poorer units, and with 3 of 5 starters out now (not just Bulaga), man, I don't know. (The 3 of 5 out is counting Pouncey, on IR, as well as Trai Turner.) We played the Bengals to start the year, haven't watched them lately... maybe? 

Didn't seem like Chargers ever had a clean pocket. (Edit: well, except on the 60 yarder to Williams when the Saints rushed three.. what the hell were they thinking?)

Contending ... well, we were projected to win 6 by Vegas preseason. neh. 


168 Maybe they are Bengals bad,…

Maybe they are Bengals bad, haha. They are really, really bad. I was just assuming Pouncey and Turner are done for the year; Bulaga might not be. As for contention, that's probably over now that they're 1-4, but with the extra playoff team and no one in the conference outside of KC and Baltimore looking like real world-beaters, and all of their games being one-score affairs, I really don't think they're far off - and the more seasons you can contend with your QB so cheap, the better.

154 very bad secondary failure by Saints

Patrick Robinson lets Mike Williams fly past him for a 64-yard TD pass on 3rd and 10.  Baffling.  

How can they give up a play like that in that situation, in a tie game with less than 4 minutes left in a tie game??

155 Hell of a playcall by the…

Hell of a playcall by the Chargers with 4 minutes left in a tie game, 3rd and 10, set up to look like an out for the 10 - haha nope! Mike Williams suddenly pops up downfield with about 20 yards between him and the nearest defender, a little pitch and catch, and he almost literally waltzes into the endzone. (Terrible, terrible coverage by the Saints there, too.)

This game has been an interesting lesson in what a pass rush does and does not get you. The Saints have basically lived in the Chargers' backfield, and it didn't do a ton to hold Herbert down in the first half, but it seems to have worn him down, leading to worse decisions and less accurate passes in the second half. The Chargers, meanwhile, have mostly left Brees untouched, and while he wasn't able to do much for most of the first half despite that, he's slowly but surely picked up steam over the game, mostly finding quick-ish passes down the middle.

156 Taysom Hill made a…

Taysom Hill made a difference for once - looked like a RPO on 3rd and 10, he rolls, out, safety drifts over to double the receiver in the endzone, leaving a nice open path for Hill to walk it in. The Chargers' missed XP looms large - tied game with under a minute left.

157 Good lord, risky throw by…

Good lord, risky throw by Herbert pays off handsomely: Williams outleaps two defenders for a 30 yard gain. I think that was the actual playcall - Williams has a head on both of those guys - but that's a lot of faith in the receiver and the rookie QB.

And the Chargers Close Game Curse holds fast: kicker doinks the game-winner. Onward to overtime.

159 In OT, saints kick a fg and…

In OT, saints kick a fg and the chargers can't answer, failing on 4th down when williams is short of the first down. 

160 The Saints are probably…

The Saints are probably going to win, they have the lead and the Chargers haven't done a heck of a lot since the first half, outside of a couple of long passes, and also they are the Chargers, but if they were facing a team that wasn't under some ancient curse, wasting a play on Taysom Hill in OT would be a much bigger deal. He's got the proverbial unique set of skills, but there's no reason whatsoever to have him in essentially the wildcat instead of Brees with the game on the line. I really don't understand why, if they love him so much, they don't just use him as a 3rd or 4th receiver more, like Randle El back in the day. It's always some gimmick.

And yes, Herbert to Williams gains 6.5 on 4th and 7 and it's over, 30-27 Saints. Very nice play by Lattimore to hold him just short. And unfortunately, it looks like Williams might have gotten a hamstring injury for his trouble.

165 Wow, Bojorquez with a 74…

Wow, Bojorquez with a 74-yard punt, and with the holding penalty on top of it Buffalo just flipped 84 yards of field position.

166 Josh Allen turning back into…

Josh Allen turning back into a pumpkin? The first pick wasn't his fault but the second definitely was - and he got away with a million bad throws and questionable decisions before this.

I am a little ambivalent about whether the Titans should be on the field under these circumstances, but they are, and they are certainly not the team that looks like it hasn't been able to practice for a couple of weeks.

167 Gase just released Bell. …

Gase just released Bell.  Got nothing for him, it's a straight cut.

Rather than rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic, he's setting them on fire on the way down.

169 This is why I don't think…

This is why I don't think Gase is going anywhere any time soon: Bell, and Darnold, weren't "his guys." He'll probably get an offseason to draft or sign "his" QB and RB, and another half-season at least to show whether or not he can win with them.

I'm not saying he should, I consider him to be the single worst coach in the NFL right now, but I think he will.

173 That game felt a lot closer…

That game felt a lot closer than the final score. Not saying that the Titans didn't deserve to win or anything, but I wouldn't be surprised if DVOA shows this as a close game, where the Titans got all the important plays/breaks.

Allen looked more high variance than he has before, but I'm still incredibly impressed by him.

174 Alshon Jeffery?

I noticed there isn't a lot of mention about the Eagles WR Jeffery.  Are there any thoughts to what his value is the rest of season, and whether he will be the #1 WR on that team?