1. Patrick Mahomes is back and this is great news for the Chiefs. But things are about to improve a lot, not this week, as he is not ready yet, but left tackle Eric Fisher is about to return after a groin injury in the second week.
Although Fisher is not a world champion (and certainly has never approached his first choice status), he is an excellent blind side protector for Mahomes. The decommissioning of Cameron Erving was noticeable, and the offensive line of the Chiefs, a force of the last two years, became an Achilles heel. Never before Mahomes' dislocated kneecap in Denver, he was besieged much more often than last year. He is a magician in second reaction games, but Mahomes was MVP in 2018 as he was often able to function in structure and on schedule.
As for the reactionary positions (offensive line, defensive background), there is something to say about "good enough". For example, on the other side of the ball, you see it with the Eagles' defense, which got its two usable starting half-defenders (Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills) making their appearance and starting to look like the type of B-plus defense-or-maybe-better than they had to start in the season. Mahomes can put a team on his shoulders all week, but K.C. getting the first five straight will unlock many more things in him.
The knee suffering from QB combined with the shaky offensive line is enough for Andy Reid to play the conservative game with Mahomes on his return Sunday. This boss attack will start again, but it may be in a week or two.
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2a. Sunday will inflict the quadrennial tradition of Giants-Jets. With the Giants firmly rebuilding and the Jets filling a reel that only the great Marv Albert can tell, it is certain that it will be a forgotten affair. (Or, maybe the call of the car accident will make it impossible to look away.)
Since the opening of MetLife Stadium, the game is named Snoopy Bowl, as a tribute to the beloved mascot of the Peanuts character, MetLife, and because the NFL needed one thing, it was more of brand strategy of the company.
But this year's game does not deserve the nickname Snoopy Bowl. Instead, he should be known as "Spike Bowl", named after his innovative brother, Snoopy. You know, the guy with the hat and the bad mustache teenage. He lives in the desert and delivers many lines on cacti (and the way they create inflatable objects, most of the time). And in the 80s, he served a long prison sentence for insurance fraud. (Charles Schultz has never referred to this last part, but if you read between the lines …)
Anyway, a trophy featuring this guy – who carries the same expression as most of the spectators of this game – should be awarded to the winner of the Giants-Jets this afternoon.
2b. A week ago, in reference to Matthew Stafford's phenomenal season, I mentioned as it is stupid to treat all business figures as created equal. (Most have understood the simple logic that, say, a choice of six people is more damaging than a downstream interception that is not sent back.A guy not so much, but what was he going to do, do not tweet?)
Daniel Jones, the Giants quarterback you may know better under the pseudonym "Danny Dimes," is a good example of particularly damaging turnovers. His nickname earned him his street nickname when he was a teenager in Charlotte. He was known to have broken open public phones and sold the coins on the black market (eight cents for a dime) so he could not find them.
Frankly, Jones's shots came with a dose of proper carelessness. Young shifts should have a sense of aggression when testing windows at the NFL level, especially when they are part of a rebuilding team. It's a way to measure what you can get with it. However, Jones' inability to keep – literally – the ball becomes a problem.
To go back a moment: One of the best attributes of Jones is his willingness to stay in a muddy pocket with his eyes until the last moment. It maximizes game designs and puts tremendous pressure on a defense, which is especially important for a guy with a relatively ordinary arm talent. But, because of his habit of extending games in the pocket, Jones is likely to undress. He lost seven fumbles on his seven starts.
And, while many interceptions occur at the bottom of the field and imply a change of position on the field, the escaped shift are often not. They are often recovered thanks to their position on the ground for the defense. Six of Jones' seven lost streaks are in the pocket and all but one have been recovered and / or rendered for a field position gain (relative to the player's line of play) by the opponent. The past two weeks have been 29 and 76 yards. These are game-changing games that Jones abandons and the Giants can not afford once they are ready to start winning again.
2c A little confusion: Sunday will be the first Bucs game at home since Daniel Jones beat them in his first career start. It was September 22nd. * I do my best to avoid blasphemy, but Howard Katz and his teammates do not want to suggest this program, let alone get it approved.
* – Today, it is November 10, if you did not know it. So be indignant.
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3a. Everyone is amazed at the likely absence of George Kittle for the rare good Monday night football match between the 49ers and the Seahawks. But if you watch this game and you feel it's missing something, it's probably a combination of your deep subconscious, knowing that your colleagues do not respect you and that Kwon Alexander is not playing. He suffered a torn pectoral at the end of the season last Thursday.
In the top seven group, the dominant 49ers defense managed to convince defensive linemen – especially on the edge – to attack the back ear and attack, while the linebackers clean in case of problems. Alexander has been excellent in this role.
Russell Wilson will visit Santa Clara on Monday, surely to visit the Winchester Mystery House, but probably to play a football game as long as it will be there. Wilson's skills, especially with regard to counterfeits, will create tremendous stress for 49-year-olds. Once Alexander is eliminated, Fred Warner and fifth-round rookie Greenlaw will be heavily penalized. The Seahawks are in the loop.
3b. Of course, the absence of Kittle is also likely to be a problem. The 49ers run the ball at an unprecedented pace in the last ten years (37.9 attempts per game, the highest rate since 2009, which is even heavier if we consider that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo does not run often to break the sinkers). This, of course, is due to the fact that they have protected the slopes for most of the season.
If the Seahawks accumulate points – and there is a good chance they will do it – Garoppolo will have to try to follow while missing his best weapon.
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4a. The Bears have done a great job in discovering and making known all their problems. first, it was the kickers. Certainly the kickers. One hundred percent kickers. But also it was the media. Even when it was the kickers, it was the media. But really, if you really you want to know what's wrong, the real problem is the TVs. What with satellites and CRTs and everything else.
Be that as it may, now that HGTV will no longer air in Halas Hall, this case is about to turn around for the Bears. Well, this and the fact that the whole quarter of the world for Sunday's opponent might not be healthy enough to play. Probably because of kickers, negative media and TVs in Detroit.
4b. Are not all shows on HGTV basically the same, but with slightly different people? Based on my loyal audience – the physiotherapist's office, the dentist's office, the jury room, and the commercials featuring these beautiful twins at the bank – the answer is yes.
4c. On Trubisky, it is still too early to abandon it altogether. Some guys only understand later in their careers, and the fact that he's still compared to Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson – the guys Chicago could have had – will always remain a problem he's not mastering. But in the two seasons under Matt Nagy, things went as bad as possible. The offense works for the most part, but it is unable to exploit it. Maybe Nagy is not teaching it well, maybe Trubisky is unable to support it, but it seems inevitable that the QB needs a significant change for his career to be on the right path.
Or maybe one day there will be a sudden click and everything will be fine. Strange things have happened. I can not think of any for the moment, but it is certain that strange things have happened.
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5a. If I had a hard-to-repair offense this winter, I would hire Ravens quarterback coach James Urban as offensive coordinator. Then I was sitting with a sense of accomplishment barely deserved, my offense becoming more creative, more adaptable and better equipped to solve problems. Then I would be overwhelmed by the fear that someone would pinch him to become their head coach. Then I'd probably go to the bathroom because I'd been sitting there thinking about James Urban for a long time and that kombucha is going through you.
5b. Urban's work with Lamar Jackson has confirmed his status as coach of the best footballers. Two years ago, while he was the coach of the Bengals receivers, he broken a few pieces with the best football analyst. You have made a serious mistake if you have never read it.
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6 I'm not one to have the "you have to see what you have" approach to play young QB: it's an unthinking approach and 92% of the time does more harm than good during the development process of quarter. However, it's a good time for the Bengals to leave Andy Dalton and throw Ryan Finley into the fire.
In a way, it's unfair, since Finley will have five guys who can not block ahead of him and the Ravens' defense will line up in front of them. But Finley was in college long enough to be a doctor and lawyer, playing for two programs using relatively professional systems. In theory, it should be ready as soon as possible. It was also a fourth-round pick, so the Bengals did not make major investments in his favor, in case they ruined it.
But more than anything, it's time to leave Dalton. If, as we all expect, Finley does not assert themselves as their quarterback of the future, they know they will be doing a quarterback with the choice of three choices they are likely to hold next spring . If Finley turns out to be a hidden gem, then they can build around him and spend that capital project elsewhere. Like the offensive line, maybe.
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7a. Here is an example to follow for those who love history: The Cardinals have missed the blazon only twice during the season and have not yet lost a single breakaway in 2019. The all time record for the The smallest breakaway of the season is six (2011 Saints). The record of the least lost fumbles in one season is two, shared by the 2002 Chiefs and 2014 Vikings. So be careful. If it suits you, you will one day tell your grandchildren where you were for each possession of the Arizona Cardinals of the 2019 season – your grandchildren who will not hear a word because they will play to Pokémon Go with their spirit, which is what the kids will do in 2053.
7b. A hat trick to a friend of the show Rene "Rainbow Cave" Bugner who cited one of my favorite luck statistics: the opponent's goal goal percentage (you have virtually no control over whether or not an opponent scores a kick). Rene points out that kickers are perfect against the Saints this season.
I always measure approximately the length of the field goal (in the league overall in 2019, kickers reach 85.3% out of 50, 53.5% from 50 and above, and 93.8 % of PAT). With this in mind, here are the most unlucky teams that have opposed kicker performance this season:
Baltimore +0,858 points of opponent kicks per match vs. expected
New Orleans: .797
And the luckiest teams in terms of opposing kickers were:
L.A. Chargeurs: -1.82 opponent kicking per game against expectations
7c. If you're wondering – and you surely are – the only team to have spent an entire season with opponents kicking each other is the 49ers of 2014. Because if there's one thing we all remember about the 8- The 49ers of 2014 is that no one has ever missed a kick against them. It was like their thing.
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8 Ladies and gentlemen . . . Mountain goats!
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