Football Outsiders
Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis

Week 8 Open Discussion

Diontae Johnson
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

The week kicks off with Atlanta (1-6) at Carolina (3-4) on Thursday Night Football. Doesn't sound like much, but neither did the Giants-Eagles game last week, and that gave us plenty of highlights.

The biggest Sunday game sees Pittsburgh (6-0) battle Baltimore (5-1) for first place in the AFC North. Other notable Sunday games include Las Vegas (3-3) at Cleveland (5-2), Indianapolis (4-2) at Detroit (3-3), New Orleans (4-2) at Chicago (5-2), and San Francisco (4-3) at Seattle (5-1). On Sunday night, it's the Eagles in prime time again, as Philadelphia (2-4-1) hosts Dallas (2-5) and Ben DiNucci at quarterback. Finally, Tampa Bay (5-2) visits the Giants (1-6) on Monday night. Use this thread to discuss them all. 

Comments

126 comments, Last at 03 Nov 2020, 11:35am

1 The Thursday game should…

The Thursday game should always be hosted by a division’s last-place team. It’s the NFL equivalent of the kiddie table.

2 Falcons execute a pass heavy…

Falcons execute a pass heavy opening drive featuring a ton of play action, and zoom down the field. And then they ruin it all by settling for a cowardly and craven 20 yard field goal, on 4th and inches. Ryan is a tall guy, he would have converted by just leaning over the center.

4 Between the FG attempt and…

Between the FG attempt and the team committing several terrible, dumb penalties to sustain the Panthers' touchdown drive, Raheem Morris has made a compelling case that someone other than Raheem Morris should be coaching this team next year.

UPDATE: They've managed to blow a second timeout already, barely 10 minutes into the first quarter.

...and now Carolina responds with a timeout of their own.

.....it's 3rd and 10 at the 40, in a 7-3 game, in the 1st quarter. I cannot fathom that anything about this play is so critical that it merits multiple timeouts.

5 Is there precedent for…

Is there precedent for firing the interim head coach during the season? Asking for a friend (who is a football team based in Atlanta).

14 I had to read up on that…

In reply to by Aaron Brooks G…

I had to read up on that whole ordeal. Things were certainly different back then, lol. But yeah, it's happened!

8 Atlanta has been dominating…

Atlanta has been dominating the game. Unfortunately they keep settling for short field goals, so they have a one score lead instead of a multi-score lead like they should.  So basically they’re playing on brand to set themselves up for a gut-wrenching loss in the final minutes.

9 Good lord, Dante Fower…

Good lord, Dante Fower blatantly trips Bridgewater on a scramble - hits him right across both knees - and then Harris hits him right in the head after he's on the ground. Harris is ejected, but the damage is done; Bridgewater has been taken to the concussion protocol tent.

17 I disagree with the idea…

I disagree with the idea that the hit was late. Bridgewater the initial contact sent Bridgewater towards the ground, but then he stuck his hand out to stay up and continued to scrabble forward. Harris should be going after the QB there to make sure that he gets him to the ground, rather than standing around assuming that he won't be able to regain his balance. It wound up being a bang-bang play where Bridgewater's butt finally touched the ground a split second before contact with Harris.

The problem was the blow to the head.

12 Falcons score a TD to take…

Falcons score a TD to take what should be a 2 possession lead, but of course they miss the XP, to keep it one possession game.

15 Don't think I've ever seen a…

Don't think I've ever seen a guy fair catch a punt at his own 5 yard line before.  Not sure what risk-reward analysis went into that decision.  Taking possession at the 5 is much better than at the 1, obviously, but the potential for a touch back seems like it warrant letting the ball bounce and see what happens.

Unless returners are coached to estimate from the angle of descent whether the ball will bounce forward or just die?  There are roughly 1,000 coaches on the average NFL squad, so maybe there's a returners' coach who works on these things?

20 Well, it might have been…

Well, it might have been optimal under normal circumstances, relative to risking being forced to start at the 1 or the 2.  I'm legitimately curious as to whether returners are coached to assess the likelihood that a particular punt will bounce into the end zone or not.

In this particular case, though, almost certainly not optimal.  There was only time for one final CAR drive. but the time wasn't so tight they needed to worry about losing a second or two from the ball bouncing around.   I think the receiver should have gambled on a possible touch back in this situation, as a safety is no worse than any other type of failed drive. 

19 Announcers and some other…

Announcers and some other analysts are implying that Raheem Morris is 6 inches away from being 3-0 and as an interim HC, and thus should get a shot at the permanent job.  I don’t know about that.  The Falcons have a lot of talent on offense, which is why they’re in all these games, but Morris’ decision making is questionable, and the players seem pretty undisciplined.

21 Yes I've watched their past…

Yes I've watched their past two games and there has been nothing impressive strategically. Basically there has been a bit of a dead-cat bounce on defense since Quinn left, and yes, the pass offense is still good. And they've faced 3 average-at-best teams. 

Their next game is home to Denver, so expect the Morris hype to continue for a while. But then the schedule becomes brutal, including 4 games vs the Bucs and Saints. If the Falcons compete well in those games he may have a case.

24 Is it fair to blame…

Is it fair to blame discipline on an interim coach 3 weeks into his assignment?  Discipline is a tough thing to instill in a club, I think, even if you have all preseason and some choice on roster selection.  Even tougher when you're tagged as "interim" and may not be the guy to decide if they have a job next year or not. 

When you inherit a team, I think you can kick up the emotions and maybe improve morale, but instilling discipline is kind of the opposite of those things, and I wouldn't evaluate Morris on that front, I don't think.

27 They give blue ribbons

to pigs at the fair.

In the NFL they get slaughtered.  Raheem Morris would need to show remarkable improvement to seriously be considered for the position permanently, mostly due to his previous performance as a HC. You could argue that he and other minority coaches deserve the several retread opportunities given to the Good O'le Boy's club coaches.  I would argue that we should take those away from them all instead of making the problem worse in the name of "fairness".   Fair has nothing to do with winning.

30 Rooney Rule.

In the NFL, diversity is pushed but not at the expense of results.

Case in point:  Steve Wilks' disastrous 1 year run in Arizona.  I was there for that and like most Cards' fans, we were shocked by his ineptitude.  The defense, which should have been his specialty was almost as bad as the offense with a rookie Rosen.  Blowing it up was the best thing.  What the Cards did there was miraculous given where they are now two years later.

Vance Joseph may have been a horrible hire for Denver, but he's competent as a DC at least.  

I haven't seen anything from Raheem Morris that points to his being worthy of another HC gig.  If he managed to get the Falcons to the finish line on some kind of winning steak, that would be something.

To your point about the Good Ol' Boy's club, it's the same everywhere.  I work in the Mental Health field and networking is everything.  It's the same in the NFL.  You get a rep based on your body of work (competency) and that is going to get you jobs.

I would also point out that Tomlin, IMO, is one of the most overrated HC in the NFL.  He won a SB with Arians' offense against my Cards and has mainly lived off that for years with a change of coordinators over time.  He doesn't instill discipline in his teams (like Arians) and it shows up on the field.  He wins consistently and the Steelers have a great scouting department.  Organizational talent is saving Tomlin.....

 

31 I agree in general that too…

I agree in general that too many undeserving retreads get second chances after failing the first time (Josh McDaniels clearly did the Colts a favor by backing out).  However, it should be pointed out that Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick failed at their first jobs (Carroll was a one and done with the Jets) and are now future HOF coaches.  
 

No, I’m not saying Morris is anywhere near their level.  Carroll/Belichick may just be outliers, and it’s not smart to bet on outlier outcomes.  Just like it’s not wise to bet on your highly drafted QB who’s sucked how first couple of years to have a Rich Gannon/Alex Smith late career renaissance.

22 ood weekend for drinking

and watching football. also gonna go to Polish deli for head cheese aka 1976 Raiders of cold cuts. baseball ended now can fully devote sports thinking to footabll. will post here more again startuing with making picks at least for week 8. not in any pools btu am picking games straihgt up

 

recpord so far

75-30-1

week- by-week

1: 11-5

2: 13-3

3: 8-7-1

4: 11-4

5: 10-4

6: 10-4

7: 11-3

8: 1-0

36 Welcome back!

I always look forward to your posts, esp. about the Clots.

Glad too to see you're still a fan even though the Raiders moved.

29 Just started Draft Kings...

I have Rodgers at QB and took Lockett and Aiyuk as two of my WR.

San Fran just got several people back healthy for the Seattle game, while the Hawks are down to their 4th string RB.

I'm not sure why people are thinking RW is going to keep bailing out the Seahawks in these games.  As the Hawks play more progressively difficult opponents, they may get in to shootouts, but I see them losing all of them.

Cards (away) - L

Niners (home)- L

Bills (away)- L

Rams (away)- L

I don't see all of these games being shootouts, but even if they are, why would Seattle be favored in any of them given how bad their defense is?

RW is not good enough to overcome a bad defense when he plays quality teams.

 

33 picks

Clots 23, Loins 17

Ranms 27, Dolphins 17

Chiefs 44, Jets 7

Packers 30, Vikings 24

Raiders 33, Browns 28

Bils 19, Pates 16

ravebns 23, Steelers 21

itnas 31, Bengals 21

Brocnos 26, Charegrs 23

Baesr 20, Sauints 17

49ers 24, Deahawks 20

Eags 27, Cowboys 17

Buccamerrs 37,. Gaints 20

 

 

 

 

34 Raiders' Carlson clanks a FG…

Raiders' Carlson clanks a FG in the wind @ Browns. CLE/LV tied at 0 a few minutes in  Baker and Kareem then each run for a 1st down.

Meanwhile in Pitt, Lamar throws a pick6.

37 Steelers start the game with…

Steelers start the game with a pick-6 then proceed to give it all back to Baltimore and then some: unnecessary roughness penalty on 3rd down when the Ravens would have had to punt, sustaining a drive that ends in a touchdown; block in the back on the kickoff return making their drive start at the 16; then losing a fumble when barely into their drive.  Despite the bad penalty, the Pittsburgh defense is keeping them in the game, latest by forcing a Lamar Jackson fumble in the red zone.

38 Tua does a nice job in the…

Tua does a nice job in the face of a red zone big blitz and throws his 1st career TD to Davante Parker.  Game tied 7-7.

39 Jared Goff should have like…

Jared Goff should have like 5 interceptions already the way he’s spraying the ball everywhere, but the Dolphins defenders have butterfingers today.  Just now Rams about to score, but Goff sack-fumble returned 80 yards for TD, 14-7 Dolphins.

41 Fins with a balanced attack…

Fins with a balanced attack today:  one TD from the O, one TD from the D, and one from special teams.

EDIT: and their 4th TD comes from a Goff fumble the D returns to the 1 yard line, from where the O punches it in.  So I'm calling that one 1/2 a TD for each of the D and the O.

42 The Lions go up 7-0 after a…

The Lions go up 7-0 after a blocked punt gives them good field position, but it’s been all Colts since then.  Their defensive line has been dominating the Lions O-line.  Lions D not helping themselves with idiotic penalties to extend drives. 14-7 Colts, but it feels like 28-7

43 The difference between the…

The difference between the Colts defense with and without Darius Leonard is huge. The previous two games without him, the Browns and Bengals marched up and down the field. Today versus the Lions, the only score they’ve given up so far in the first half was on a drive that started inside the Colts 30 after a blocked punt. 

46 Sort of odd first half of…

Sort of odd first half of Packers-Vikings: each team had essentially two possessions, all TD drives, of 13 10 15 and 12 plays (Packers also had a perfunctory run to close out the half). Tied at 14. No one can stop anyone from gaining small-moderate amounts of yardage on every play.

56 And the Vikings open the…

And the Vikings open the second half with another 10 play TD drive. Although it was sustained by a couple DPI calls that were IMO questionable on catchability grounds (especially the second, which was on 3rd and goal).

60 The Packers are the first to…

The Packers are the first to fail to score - went for it on 4th and 10 from about the Vikings' 38, St. Brown had the ball knocked away in the end zone by Harrison Smith. He also dropped the 3rd down conversion, a difficult catch but he had it in both hands, just lost it when he hit the ground. The wind is pretty nuts today so no one wants to try FGs - and Mason Crosby is apparently injured as well, not out of the game but enough that they don't want to try anything longer than XP distance.

And the Vikings quickly score another TD, on a long screen pass the Packers had bottled up and then whiffed on all the tackles. Upset brewing in GB.

Credit to the Vikings' coaching staff for keeping the team focused and motivated after the front office threw in the towel on the season.

62 “Credit to the Vikings'…

“Credit to the Vikings' coaching staff for keeping the team focused and motivated after the front office threw in the towel on the season.”

this is why I think talk of Mike Zimmer’s job security is silly,  no matter what happens this season.

70 Oh it's ludicrous, unless…

Oh it's ludicrous, unless Zimmer himself decides he's done (at 64, he's getting up there in age). I don't think he's a capital-G Great coach but he's a good one, and they're unlikely to find a better one in the next open search. Even after dismantling their signature defense and sending their best receiver packing, they're 2 points from 3-3 (and about to log a convincing win against the division leader, it appears). He's not only earned enough benefit of the doubt to get another season, he's clearly still good enough that there shouldn't be any question of retaining him on purely football grounds.

103 Yeah, the Vikings got some…

Yeah, the Vikings got some great individual performances out of guys like Kendricks and Smith, and Zimmer also seemed to be right on top of what the Packers were trying to do on O. Big difference from Week 1 where Rodgers was able to make quick, decisive reads all day long and they had WRs running free down the field on multiple occasions. Very few opportunities like that today.

48 Not a lot of passing offense…

Not a lot of passing offense today (bad weather?). Roethlisberger has 24 yards, Mayfield has 38 yards, Tannehill with 66 yards, Carr with 68 yards, Cousins with 75 yards, Rodgers with 78 yards. 

53 Pats down 7-6 in what could…

Pats down 7-6 in what could be just about their last stand this season. Although, the way Miami is playing, they might be the ones who win the division rather than Buffalo. Interesting Miami is blowing out LA without Tua doing much of anything. The team would probably be better off with Fitzpatrick. Since they are actually a contender to be hosting a playoff game, I think moving to Tua remains a bad move.

54 Halftime of Steelers-Ravens…

Halftime of Steelers-Ravens and Pittsburgh can't keep an offensive drive going nor do they have an answer for the Ravens rushing attack.  20 offensive plays for PIT and 0 points on offense, 46 plays and 17 points for BAL.  The radio announces said that Roethlisberger's elbow was being looked at by the team doctors, which could help explain being 4/10 passing.  Lamar Jackson's play actions and draws have been very effective at keeping drives alive, especially after the Steelers defense had been worn down from overuse in the second quarter.

57 A lot of teams with good…

A lot of teams with good records struggling today. The 5-1 Packers losing to the 1-5 Vikings. 5-1 Titans against 1-5-1 Cincinnati. The 5-2 Rams losing to Miami. The undefeated Steelers are also losing, although considering the opponent that's not a surprise.

59 Wow, Dalvin Cook has his…

Wow, Dalvin Cook has his FOURTH touchdown of the game. Four TD games are rare these days, but that's the second time in seven games a RB has had four TDs against the Packers after Raheem Mostert did it last year in the playoffs. There is still a lot of time for Cook to get to five or even six TDs too.

76 Most by a Viking since 1979,…

Most by a Viking since 1979, apparently.

According to PFR, 6 TDs in a game is the record, last achieved by Gale Sayers in 1965. I'm actually kind of surprised, I thought some pre-SB old-timer like Jim Thorpe or Crazy Legs Hirsch would've had like 8 in a game at some point (to be fair Thorpe's statistical record looks incomplete).

Anyway, still a chance at history for Mr. Cook, as they get the ball back in decent field position and will likely be looking to run a lot, against a defense that can't tackle...

61 Pittsburgh’s defense trying…

Pittsburgh’s defense trying its best to singlehandedly win this game..another INT sets up a short TD drive to get the Steelers back within 3.

75 Excellent halftime…

Excellent halftime adjustments to contain Jackson plus Robert Spillane (replacing Devin Bush at LB) continuing to ball out result in sucessive stops. Big Ben is finding receivers as well. Steelers up 21-17 and have the ball back.

63 nvm

it put this post in the wrong area.

68 Smart play by Allen to get…

Smart play by Allen to get BUF its 3rd TD.  3rd and goal from the NE 3, BUF goes spread and the NE safety (middle LB?) runs out wide to cover the RB, and I'm thinking "how could they stop Allen if he runs up the middle?"

Allen spots it, too, and gets the easy TD.  BUF back on top.

72 Ugh, Stafford throws a bad…

Ugh, Stafford throws a bad pick six and the Colts will be putting this one away. 
 

The Lions are a middling team that will remain in the edges of the playoff race because of a soft schedule, but nothing more.  Because of the schedule, unfortunately Patricia will likely keep his job, but there hasn’t been much progress by his coaching staff in 3 years to suggest that he should.

73 Cin leading Ten 24-7 with 7…

Cin leading Ten 24-7 with 7 minutes left to play. This one may be over, and one of the bigger upsets this year. 

79 Justin Zimmer, who couldn't…

Justin Zimmer, who couldn't get off the Montreal Alouettes' practice squad during his brief CFL stint, just punched the ball out of Newton's hands inside the BUF 15 with 30 seconds to go as NE was driving to either tie or win.

BUF is now threatened by only MIA for the AFC East crown as the NE 2020 season sinks into waters of Lake Erie.

80 Packers score a TD to make…

Packers score a TD to make it 20-28, and go for 2 (it's close, but after review it's awarded, 22-28). The announcers say that's due to "analytics" but I think they forgot about Crosby's injury.

82 Now I'm wondering what the…

Now I'm wondering what the Packers would do if they tied the game up at 28, pre-PAT. If Crosby is too injured to kick at all they could opt to have a non-kicker attempt the XP. From short range the odds might still be better than going for two again.

84 That would've been…

That would've been interesting. I'd think the punter ought to be able to make an XP at a better than 50% rate. Although it would've been fun to see the backup QB take the try... or Rodgers.

It's academic now, though, as Rodgers gets stripped on the last play of the game. Vikings finish the upset, 28-22.

105 I wonder

if teams have an emergency placekicker/holder who do a few runthroughs in practice to have a chance at getting the timing right.  I don't doubt that the punter could put the ball through the uprights from 33 yards out more than 50% of the time from a static hold - the question is could the backup holder get the snap down properly and could he get the kick off accurately under a rush.

107 I'm surprised teams have…

In reply to by DGL

I'm surprised teams have moved away from using the backup QB as the kick holder, and gone to the punter instead.  Not just to have the punter as a backup kicker, but also to keep more fake FG plays available for use.

81 Colts special teams DVOA…

Colts special teams DVOA going to take a huge hit this week. They were near the top, but have had a punt blocked and two missed XP this week. 

112 Colts ST

Yeah, they have been unexpectedly solid with a rookie K and unknowns returning punts/kicks.  (Isaiah Rogers!  Wait, who?)  Still, their O showed signs of life despite the ST stumbles, so I bet they rise in the rankings due to that rather than fall due to ST failures. Mostly efficient passing game (at one point in the 3Q IIRC, Rivers had like five consecutive incompletes... sigh)  and almost competent run game. 

Hines justified everybody's preseason assessments of him, but I do miss Mack.  Did Kelly play the full game at C?

85 Steelers get a big 4th down…

Steelers get a big 4th down stop in the red zone but don't get a game-clinching first down on the ensuing drive.  Baltimore is drained of timeouts but starts from their own 36 with 52 seconds left, get a big gain on 4th and 2 from their own territory, but Cam Heyward goes down injured on the play. It does't end up gifting Baltimore some seconds on the clock, and I'm not sure why that was.  the final series starts with 0:08 on the clock but ends after two incompletions, Fitpatrick perfectly defending the second one in the end zone.  3-2-1-exhale.  What a squeaker to put the Steelers at 7-0.

114 Romo's comment

Any idea what Romo was referring to at the end of the game.  He claimed he thought he knew what Harbaugh pointing at his head meant but refused to say what it was. 

87 Caught the end of Rams…

Caught the end of Rams-Dolphins: some very questionable play by Goff and the receivers, as they get the ball with a minute left down 11 and let the game end after 4 completions in-bounds. Goff threw a couple of 10-yarders up the middle, and then 2 receivers caught it near the sideline and neither managed to get out of bounds. It looked like they may not have realized the clock was still running after the second as they were pretty lacksadaisical getting set up to spike it - although by that point they were functionally out of time anyway.

88 Teams with winning records…

Teams with winning records playing teams at .500 or under went just 3-4 in the early afternoon window. Packers losing to the Vikings and the Rams to the Dolphins were surprising, but the big shock is Tennessee losing to Cincinnati.

91 I'm stuck with Niners…

I'm stuck with Niners-Seahawks and it's been over for a long time. Niners went toe-to-toe for a couple of possessions but it's been all Seahawks since. They have no prayer against DK Metcalf, who has career highs in receptions and yards, including two great TDs, one on one of the better long open-field runs I've seen in awhile, and another with the DB hanging on him like a remora (flagged for DPI). Most amazingly, Seattle's been able to get pressure on the QB, at least intermittently with some well-timed blitzes: 3 sacks on the day, 2 by Wagner.

And it appears Garoppolo has aggravated an ankle injury - or, perhaps, the game is hopeless and they don't want to risk anything - so he's been pulled at the start of the 4th, and Nick Mullens is in.

Mullens immediately has more success moving the ball than Jimmy G had in the last couple of quarters combined, although that's not saying much. I do think Mullens is a pretty solid QB and is likely to have a long career as a backup - and quite possibly might get an ill-advised big contract in the next couple of years to be someone's starter. Glennon style, baby.

92 Why did SF rush a play to…

Why did SF rush a play to avoid a review of a fumble that would have resulted in their being awarded a TD? Did they think it would have been ruled a batted ball into the end zone?

94 I think that was to get the…

I think that was to get the offsides - it's basically a free extra try, makes sense to me - although I might not be remembering the sequence correctly. I don't think that was batting in the end zone but I get maybe not wanting to give the zebras a chance to overthink it, when accepting the down just means 2nd and goal at the 1.

96 Oh, I didn't know that…

Oh, I didn't know that. Thanks! And never mind about that then. I guess they just didn't feel like it was worth the challenge...

Actually, this just occurred to me: on a reviewed fumble recovery (since he was initially ruled down), can the recovering team be awarded the TD, or is it just placed at the 1? The rules about advancing fumbles never quite made sense to me, and review throws another monkey into the wrench, so to speak.

97 Just noticed I got Chargers…

Just noticed I got Chargers-Broncos on the NFL app in time to see the Broncos complete the comeback, with Lock throwing a nice TD on a scramble as the clock hit zero. The receiver caught it right near the sideline and essentially sat down before sliding out of bounds, leading to officials initially disagreeing on the call, and Gene Steratore having to say "he got that cheek down" on broadcast television, which made me giggle since I'm 12. They get it right in the end - TD good, he got that cheek down - and they hit the XP for the win. Although it looked like a bit of a brawl at the end with someone on the Chargers possibly throwing punches after time expired; said someone may be getting some hefty fines in the near future.

Speaking of, I saw a clip of Javon Wims in Chicago getting ejected. Apparently the DB poked his teammate through the facemask, so between downs he ran up and slugged said DB a couple of times. Seems... disproportionate... and he was sent to the locker room early.

I can only follow that game on the gamecast but they are going to OT. I'm taking that as further validation of my spicy "the Bears are sort of for real" take - that defense is strong enough to keep them in the game against anybody, and with mediocre but competent-ish QB play, they can keep winning ugly. Probably not enough to lift a trophy in February (or whenever...), but enough to make that 7th playoff spot, at least.

98 That sounds about the right…

That sounds about the right take on the Bears. I missed the first half but in the second half they've been mostly inept on offense. They got it together enough to have one decent TD drive, which drew them within 3. Their game-tying drive was mostly a product of the fact that even a bad offense can make progress when they are forced to go for it on fourth down.

 

In OT we are about at the stage where the best Chicago can hope for is a tie.

110 I would not be surprised if…

I would not be surprised if Linval Joseph gets suspended for that fight (if its allowed anymore - dunno about the new CBA).  He throws a Bronco down after the play and then tries to slam him down by wrenching the players helmet around.  He the exchanges blows (though mostly taking them) from another Bronco.  First bit wasn't that big a deal, but the helmet throw was nasty.

99 Troy Aikman of all people…

Troy Aikman of all people has made a good point about clock management. The Saints are opting to kick with 1:40 left in OT, which opens the door for Chicago to have a shot to drive for the win if the kick is missed.

102 Yeah he was dead-on, too. It…

Yeah he was dead-on, too. It felt like the Saints were about to completely botch the whole end-of-OT situation, but Lutz came through.

Aikman and Buck also surprised me with how they were almost openly advocating for Trubisky during the 2nd half. I mean, I'm starting to think I agree with them that he's a better option than Foles at this point, but it was a little much.

113 Clock management

Yeah, my wife and I were having the same conversation.  Her take:  Payton must have a ton of faith in Lutz.

My take, yeah, sure, but so what?  If he DOES miss after you've run two plays, then you end with a tie 99.9% of the time.  If he misses with 1:40 on the clock, maybe you lose 10% of the time...?  Does he not have faith in the rest of his O to not fumble the ball away?

115 And Nagy inexplicably burned…

And Nagy inexplicably burned his last timeout, meaning that the Saints had the option to run the clock all the way down and ensure a worst-case scenario of a tie. (Or, they could have run the clock down below a minute and kicked on 3rd down, preserving the chance to still get a kick off if the first snap was botched, but leaving the Bears with a lot less time if the kick was missed).

104 Well that Rams-Dolphins game…

Well that Rams-Dolphins game was interesting. Rams outgained the Dolphins 471-145. They outgained them by more than 3-1. +326 net yards. 

THREE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SIX.

Yet somehow lost by 11 points. Well it's not that much of a mystery. A sack fumble on the opponents 10 yards line returned for a TD is a nice 10-14 point swing all by itself. 4 other turnovers certainly doesn't help.

But I actually came away from this game encouraged, if that doesn't sound too crazy. That defense is looking not simply good, but outright great, even missing Ramsey. The offense was bad in the first half, but there's tons of talent. Take away the turnovers and the rams win that game by four touchdowns.

Unfortunately the Hawks seem to be having a stranglehold on the NFC West right now.

116 Anyone watching bucs giants?…

Anyone watching bucs giants? Surprisingly giants lead 7-3 and have  been outplaying the bucs, thanks to their OL pushing the bucs D-line around 

117 Tampa Bay not looking like a…

Tampa Bay not looking like a number one team so far tonight, though 100+ seconds left after Giants second TD could be enough time for them to get going. Giants OL and blocking in general seems to be giving TB Def problems.

118 Daniel jones looks horrible…

Daniel jones looks horrible. I swear the giants are winning in spite of him. He's overthrowing open receivers and just threw an awful pick.

123 With you on that, but the…

With you on that, but the Giants scheming and whole-team blocking to make something out of very little on a lot of plays seemed very good. In terms of keeping Jones from losing the game the offensive gameplan and execution seemed pretty good.

119 When Jones gets pressured,…

When Jones gets pressured, it's like he's looking for a red shirt to throw the football to.

Good commentary tonight.  On both of Jones' INTs, they pointed out open guys who would have had near automatic TDs if Jones had looked at them.  I don't so much blame Jones for not finding them as he was under pressure, as I blame him for throwing to TB players in order to avoid taking a sack.

120 If you didn't watch the NYG…

If you didn't watch the NYG-TB game, try to find a highlight of Arians patrolling the sidelines dressed like a suicide bomber.  He's totally geared up in the oddest possible way.

PS NYG loses on a missed 2 PAT as Jones throws too late and inside to an open Lewis. letting the TB defender break it up.

124 Borderline DPI on the…

Borderline DPI on the breakup (flag thrown then picked up, I could see it going either way), though I'm not thinking it is as controversial as the NFL headline writers want me to think. Seemed as though there was an almost tackling the receiver holding going the other way on the TE going across the middle though that was completely unflagged.

Not that any of this means the Giants would have converted on a second go or won in OT. They should probably have won earlier if Jones hadn't just thrown the ball away twice on second downs rather than throwing poor picks.

125 I was good with the flag…

I was good with the flag being picked up.  Just a bad throw by Jones.  There was lots of real estate in front of Lewis he could have thrown the ball to, or he could have thrown it where he did but earlier, instead of hesitating when he saw Lewis running free.  What's the opposite of throwing a guy open?  throwing him covered?  If so, that's what Jones did, he threw Lewis covered.

126 I wasnt, but it didnt really decide the game

Should have been PI, defender hit the receiver before the ball got there and wasnt looking back for the ball.  That said, I agree it wasnt a good throw.

Just another bad throw by Jones.  He overthrew wide open receivers 4 or 5 times in the game on what would have been long gains.  Had he been on the mark on even a couple of them the Giants probably win the game.  Tampa secondary didnt look great in this game.

 

Edit:  I will add that I have 0 confidence that if the PI had been called the result would have been any different.  The chances of the Giants getting the 2 points, stopping the Bucs from getting into field goal range in what remained in regulation, and winning in OT were very low.

121 I gotta admit that last…

I gotta admit that last giants drive was pretty amazing, giants managed to convert a 4th and 5 and 4th and 16 before getting the td. Alas, the 2 pointer failed and the onside kicm recovered by the bucs.