AFCS Week 11 Game Previews – stats, injury reports, referee crews, passing charts

AFCS Week 11 Game Previews

Week 11 marks what could be the end of the road for a few teams and Jacksonville is one of them. If the Colts lose, their ice will be as thin as the Jaguars. The AFCS Week 11 Game Previews will go into stats, injury reports, referee crews, and passing charts to give the reader an idea where these teams win and struggle.

This AFCS chart shows where everyone is and why the Colts need to win to help the Jags, plus the Texans need to lose. If the Jags win out, and the rest of the AFCS drop another game, we make the play offs. Yes, lots of “ifs”, but it is what it is. Win Sunday and go from there.

The turnover differential tells the story and that’s what Jacksonville must fix right now.

W L T PCT HOME AWAY DIV CONF PF PA DIFF STRK
Texans 6 3 0 .667 3-1 3-2 2-1 5-2 216 184 +32 W6
Titans 5 4 0 .556 3-1 2-3 2-0 3-4 168 151 +17 W2
Colts 4 5 0 .444 2-2 2-3 1-1 3-4 260 239 +21 W3
Jaguars 3 6 0 .333 2-3 1-3 0-3 2-4 160 199 -39 L5

Titans (5-4) vs Colts (4-5) 1:00 CBS

Referee Crew:

This is a game the Colts need to win for the Jaguars because it would tie these two teams up and Titans need a division loss. Taylor is still dealing with turf toe and Conklin remains under the concussion protocol. They look pretty healthy which isn’t great for Indy.

I believe a couple of the DNP for the Indianapolis Colts were due to rest, not ability to dress out especially since their game status isn’t given a designation.

When it comes to points allowed on defense, Tennessee is #1 least. Indy is down at 20. The question will be can Andrew Luck put up more than the 16.8 points the Titans are giving up? Indy is allowing 26.6 which is very Mariota-friendly.

Titans are also first when it comes to passing TD’s allowed at only 11 and that will hurt the Colts since they pass the ball. Indianapolis has given up 15. TN has given up 4 rushing TD’s, Indy, 7.

The Colts are averaging 28.9 passing points a game, so we see the first match-up. One would think that this number could be 22 as a split between 16 and 28. Luck has a few less, but not below Tennessee’s average.

Mariota is throwing 18.7 points, Indy giving up 26.6. So, if we split that, too, that would give Mariota 22, as well (rounding the numbers).

On paper, this game is easier for Indianapolis than it is for Tennessee because it’s at home and the Titans being passing-shy, helps them. When it comes to rushing, Indy pounds out more yards, but less scores than Tennessee, but neither team is setting the world on fire with their rushing.

Plain and simple, the Titans have relied on their defense to shut down their opponents and Mariota to do just enough when it matters. With Luck having 26 passing TD’s, and Mariota 7, they’ve got their work cut out for them.

The bad news for the Colts is I don’t think Tennessee has given up a single TD to a TE and they also are stingy with yards. With that said, the Titans haven’t had to shut down three tight ends. It’s one thing to shut down one TE, maybe two on a few plays, but three?

I normally include passing charts for the last few weeks, but NexGen was not working right, so can only include the overall chart.

Marcus Mariota Qb-grid Chart

Overall, Indy has a better chance only because it’s tough to keep the mental stamina needed to play against a big passing offense and one with three tight ends. Mark Vrabel is a good defensive coach, can he scheme up the D to negate the tight ends? He can if he can push Luck around.

Andrew Luck Qb-grid Chart

Texans (6-3) vs Redskins (6-3)  1:00 CBS

Referee Crew

This game will have the rest of the AFCS in agreement: the Texans must lose even though they’d still be in first due to division wins.

Another team that has halved its report is the Texans, it’s not coincidence both are winning.

Washington, We NEED YOU, this report doesn’t give Jags fans a lot of hope. Although (since hope springs eternal), the skins did get several players in full; however, Friday’s are walk-throughs, so it’s not as if they’re actually doing anything.

Washington is one of those teams where you look at their record and watch them play and think, huh? It’s not as if they have a great coach, scheme, QB, defense or one thing you can hang your hat on and say, that’s why.

The skins have seven rushing TD’s to Houston’s 4 and that’s the match-up. Can Peterson carry more a load with Thompson still out?

Washington has 10 passing TD’s, Houston has 17. Neither team is lighting up the NFL with those numbers. Where DC has an advantage is turnover differential.

Both defenses are mid pack or so in giving up passing touchdowns; however, when it comes to shutting down rushing TD’s, Houston is tied for second with 3. Can Washington keep their rushing attack up against a top defense?

Washington is going to need its receivers to catch the ball, something they struggle with. When that happens, Alex Smith can’t get in any rhythm and the offense just stalls out. That’s what they’re going to have to do win: catch the ball. With Houston having two banged-up CB’s, Smith will know where to target, but they’ve got to catch the ball (repeat).

Alex Smith Qb-grid Chart

As you can see, Watson is having a good season since his first stumbles at the beginning. Not to mention, he’s healthy now. Speaking of health, he’s been sacked 30 times and that’s where Washington must pounce, go after his OL. They are ranked 13th (tie) with 25.

Deshaun Watson Qb-grid Chart

As beat-up as the skins’ OL is (Jacksonville sympathizes), Smith may be grateful that Houston hasn’t done a whole lot of sacks at 23 considering they have JJ Watt. Smith is a fairly athletic guy, so his agility may save them.

At this writing, the status of Coutee was still in doubt, which helps Washington. As an aside, Smith has seen Demaryius Thomas many times as a former AFCW rival, he may be able to give his DB’s some intel to shut him down. That could be a 1-2 punch that limits Watson.

Without a great run game, it could be the deciding factor.

Steelers (6-2-1) vs Jaguars (3-6) 1:00 CBS

Referee Crew:

The Steelers look so damn healthy it’s disgusting, they make me want to punch them for this report.

What a surprise, OL players with D or Q status. The, oh crap, is Dareus being Doubtful. The DL hasn’t been bringing down the house, so this is bad news. What else is bad news is this game will be full of Steeler fans. Jax season ticket owners sold a bunch of theirs to the enemy, so there will be no home field sound advantage.

Ben Roethlisberger got his old coach back and this season, he’s made huge strides. That’s bad news for Jacksonville, the guy who Todd Hayley stifled, is gone. While the Jags have been Ben’s quicksand, the defense we’ve been seeing this season will be a red carpet.

Jacksonville’s run defense has been mediocre and that may actually be the real issue. Pittsburgh has 12 rushing TD’s. 12, that’s 4x more than Jax, who ranks dead last. Which does come down to the walking dead offensive line.

If the DL (with a hurt Dareus) can’t channel some #Sacksonville, the game won’t be winnable. Period. All those interceptions Ben threw vs Jags was in large part due to him being hurried all game(s). With a run game and time to throw, there’s nothing stopping Pittsburgh unless we see the defense that showed up last week during the second half.

Even then, they weren’t that great, just lots better than previous weeks. I know, I’m a downer, but this is based on stats. Right now, there’s only one stat that Jax is better at and that’s the passing defense. Can they keep Pitt to 200 yards and only an average of 1.3 TD’s?

Ben Roethlisberger Qb-grid Chart

No center and LT #6, one wonders how Blake Bortles will make it through this game. Jag fans know that for most of the season he didn’t have his star WR, TE or RB, so the last game to judge on an almost full starting crew was vs New England. In that game, he had his LT (1/2 the time), RB and TE.

Last week, we saw two tight ends appear and make catches. James O’Shaughnessy returned from injured reserve and a guy off the street, Blake Bell also surprised fans. Can those two make up for issues to the LG, C and LT? Tough to see. What must happen is Leonard Fournette, Carlos Hyde and TJ Yeldon go out there and shove the ball down Pittsburgh’s throat.

I’m not sure if Bortles doesn’t trust his dropsy WR’s or he’s nursing another injury, but he’s check-down Charlie and avoiding the deep throw. Against the Steelers, that may not be a bad thing because they allow about what Bortles is throwing, anyway.

They’re giving up 2.1 TD’s and 6.9 yards, Blake is at 7.0 yards and 1.33 TD’s a game.

Blake Bortles Qb-grid Chart

Here’s the bottom line for this match-up: the Jags offense has got to win the turnover battle and score first. The run game must appear and same for the run stop.

I don’t think there’s some special key the Steelers need to win, just play as they have been. If Roethlisberger doesn’t turn the ball over, tough to see the Jaguars finding a win. The last two match-ups, Pittsburgh won almost every good stat, from time of possession to first downs, etc, but it was the interceptions at the worst time that doomed them.

Jaguars musts:

  • get after Ben
  • get after Ben
  • don’t turn the ball over
  • show you care

I’ll be there amidst a sea of terrible towels screaming my fool head off, I better damn well see the same passion from the guys in black and teal. If that mindset happens, they can pull off a win.

Hit or be Hit: 16 reasons why the Jags struggled.

Hit or be Hit: 16 reasons why the Jags struggled.

There’s been lots of angst among the fans about who to blame, who to fire, etc. but, sometimes it isn’t one thing, it’s a whole lot of things. However, it’s easy to look at this team with the same coaches from last season and almost the same defensive roster and think, what happened?

Some missteps could be seen, but oftentimes there’s not much you can do to fix them. I’ve listed the misstep or mistake or unforeseen circumstance that has lead us here.

16 reasons why the Jags struggled.

  1. Blake Bortles. For his team friendly deal, they really had no choice but to keep him because of the free agents and their price tags that were available. Do you see Case Keenum being an upgrade at the same price? They could’ve drafted a rookie, but that would’ve for sure sent them back. Look around, how are they doing? Granted, the Jags are 3-5, doing as poorly as the drafted teams; however, who saw that coming?
  2. If the defense gave up after the offense stumbled week 3, then that’s on coaching and the fact we keep seeing such a disconnect in the linebacking and secondary goes to coaching. But it also goes to losing Paul Posluszny. No, he didn’t play a lot, but he was a leader and when he was out there, the defense knew what they were doing.
  3. Myles Jack was moved inside to Poz’s spot and there hasn’t been the same production. We’re missing an edge guy. Leon Jacobs hasn’t filled that role, Telvin Smith, either. There’s a void at the LB position that’s affecting the entire defense. An unseen outcome?
  4. Losing Aaron Colvin hurt, too because that changed the DB dynamic, but that was a cap issue and one they thought DJ Hayden and Tyler Patmon could fill. Unseen? Maybe.
  5. Last season, Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue and Malik Jackson had sacks because of two reasons: the DB’s playing man, shutting down the WR’s/TE’s and a legit edge guy that made Olines change their assignments. The lines losing their gap integrity allowed those three to barrel through.
  6. An offense that kept them on the field too long, lead to injuries and apathy. This should have been seen once they realized they had no receiving stars. That’s a front office fail.
  7. Too much zone because of injuries. The defense has seen DJ Hayden miss weeks, Tre Herndon, AJ Bouye and Tyler Patmon and a time or two Jalen Ramsey was also on the injury report.
  8. Man takes far more energy than zone. Zone takes more communication and trust. Trust that comes from spending lots of time together as a unit, not having a hodgepodge. That’s the issue Jacksonville has in the back half – there has been no continuity which leads to good communication and trust. The most crucial elements needed to play zone.
  9. Tashaun Gibson and Barry Church have been silent, Gibson was injured weeks ago and while he’s not on the injury report, he could be dealing with a power zapping ailment. Church showed he’s no longer invested in the team after his London outing.
  10. Jacksonville’s claim to fame was how fast they played. Have you seen that this season? No, but that could go to the injuries. It’s easier to play man when you’ve got a 5th DB out there, not a linebacker in coverage.
  11. Right now, you’ve got each player kind of doing his own thing on each play, a combo of man/zone and it’s not working. That goes to coaching.
  12. As far as offense, beyond Bortles, they lost their star WR in Marquis Lee and then their number one running back and number one tight end. Not until Carlos Hyde was brought in were any of those holes filled. That’s on Doug Marrone or Dave caldwell or Tom Coughin. One them thought these three holes were ok. It wasn’t.
  13. When you’ve been through four left tackles and the remaining O-Lineman are the walking wounded, bad things happen to mediocre quarterbacks. Add no weapons and I think even good QB’s would fail. To me though, broken record here, the lack of tight ends was the worst fail of all. Against the Colts was the first time we saw just what has been missing.
  14. The Jags lost their power back, and three tight ends, but didn’t use Tommy Bohanon more. That’s on Nate Hackett. A run-first team without the run needs a FB. In addition, a team built for the run, put a passing game on Bortles and then gave him no weapons.
  15. With all that said, the D-Line has been the most disappointing. Sure, sacks are splashy, but stopping the run is crucial and they’ve been failing at it. If teams can run the ball, they don’t turn the ball over, they can win. Is Campbell dealing with an injury most of the season why? If so, what isn’t Taven Bryan playing more?
  16. One or more of those four should be doing something and they’re not. Name one player who week after week is a guy OC’s fear. Granted, with the backend not doing a great job, it’s tougher to get sacks, but maybe if they made bigger pushes, they’d force QB’s to dump the ball quicker, setting up mistakes.

How can this be fixed? The easy answer is, stay healthy. That’s what the team had going their way last season. Since that’s not feasible, it goes to coaching and players taking responsibility for playing their guts out.

Maybe that’s the real culprit. It’s been said the easiest way to not get hurt, is to not play, to not get hurt. Yes, that needs to be re-read. The pursuer is the one hitting instead of being hit, having more control. More control equals less punishment and injuries.

Right now, the players and coaches are getting punched in the mouth from being passive. It’s time this team got proactive, accepted what’s going on, get on the same page and go HIT SOMEBODY. It’s simple, but football is about HIT or BE HIT. Fix that and we could salvage this season.

Good, Bad, Ugly, Jaguars show signs of life vs Colts

If you read the piece from yesterday, you saw in living color the problems the team has and it points to leadership. Read more in Good, Bad, Ugly, Jaguars show signs of life vs Colts to see that there was a lot of good. Good enough to win out. Good will be saved for last as incentive to keep reading.

I’m going to lay some fault for the ugly in Perry Fewell and Mark Collins’ laps. Yes, the defense is missing Paul Posluszny as a hub to balance all the spokes of egos, but the team has had eleven months to fill that role.

Granted, coaches can’t make someone a leader, especially since no one on defense has been there long; however, coaches are responsible for a disconnect.

They’re responsible for the linebackers and secondary not being on the same page, having communication issues and not trusting each other with assignments. That was ugly.

Ugly was penalties and when they happened. 8 for 61. Not all flags are equal, but Jax had ones that helped Indy keep drives going. In particular, a nasty personal foul that gave the Colts what they needed to score. That flag very well was the difference between a loss and a win.

That ugly is on Doug Marrone. Get a grip on this, it’s losing games.

The ugly was only 34 total tackles, 0 sacks, no QB hits, only three tackles for a loss and only two passes were defended. Three. That is why no sacks, since the secondary wasn’t a threat, Luck didn’t have to hold the ball waiting for a better opening.

For comparison, Indy had 57 tackles, 8 tackles for a loss, and six passes defended. Granted, Luck is a better QB and had a better OL, but this defense has played several QB’s in the last 12 months every bit as good and didn’t choke.

Ugly was allowing Indy to get 83% of their third downs in the first half, going 5-6 and getting 306 yards. Allowing their three tight ends to walk all over the defense was the ugliest of all. Maybe they stunk at it because they have little to practice against.

Indy 3-3 in the red zone during the 1st Half was damn ugly

The bad was injured offensive linemen. When Blake Bortles has protection and time to throw, he can get the job done. After losing left tackle Josh Walker, already a 3rd team replacement, and center Jeremy Parnell, the run game was affected. Fournette’s production dropped 3/4 a yard in the second half.

We also saw Bortles play small, intent on getting the ball out fast (for him) to avoid sacks, but it also allowed Indy to play close which also made the run game tougher.

Then here’s the good and bad of Leonard Fournette. His bad was only averaging 2.2 yards per carry (2.9 1st half); however, he picked up key downs that has been missing. The bad was he missed easy lanes showing he lacks vision.

The good was many fold. First, and key, was we saw TIGHT ENDS. Not going to insert disco dancers and a choir singing Hallelujah, but it’s what I’m thinking. They helped block, gave Bortles a little more confidence and caught passes (wow). Plus, a beg thee, use them more.

We also saw more of Tommy Bohanon, who helped bust a run and also caught a pass. He’s been woefully underused this season. To me, the play calling was much better than it’s been in a month.

More good was we held the rush to 3.5 yards which is better than they had. Next was Jax getting 91 yards rushing, also an improvement. Bortles threw 320 yards, two TD’s and no interceptions.

Good was DJ Chark averaging 38 yards per kick-off return which can’t be overlooked. Often this season, the offense has started deep in their territory. If they can rely on 36 yard returns that’s a big relief (minus dumb flags). The average start was at the 31.

Good was 24 first downs, and 53% 9-17 on third downs, plus 2-3, 67% in the red zone (big improvement). Finally for the offense, they controlled the clock for 35:10 and put up 26 points.

You add all that up and it’s enough to win games. The second half of defense was also good. Not a point was allowed, although that partly was due to a missed field goal.

Good was getting an interception, having the Colts start at an average of 24 yards. For three quarters, the Jags controlled time of possession and during the third quarter, had the ball for 12:09. That’s massive.

Had that defense showed up from the start, the Jags would be in a manageable 4-5 situation and have a divisional win. Can they rattle off seven wins in a row? Yes, they can. Do they believe it? That’s the only thing stopping them.

Good is ten wins puts Jacksonville in the hunt for a play off birth. Ten wins, gives them belief in next season. Ten wins helps keep or get free agents. If they don’t do that, some players and coaches need pink slips because the talent is there, all that’s missing is belief and teamwork.

I still believe.

The Jaguars need a leader…or three.

I love Ray Lewis. Yes, I know he may have killed two people, but I’m talking about Ray as the football player and analyst. I watch, Inside the NFL, just to hear what he says because he always, ALWAYS imparts wisdom. This article is based on things he said, that got me thinking.

The man knows defenses even though he’s biased towards the Ravens, but he knows what it takes to be dominant. Over the last few weeks he’s said a few things and I’m cobbling them together, along with something I heard here.

Will lead off with what I heard. The first deals with the offense and that is Doug Marrone is old-school ground and pound and doesn’t know how to deal with an offense based on having to pass. Considering he got conservative against NE* in the play-offs, that seems true.

Is he overruling Nate Hackett? It could be that the reason we’ve seen some bi-polar games week to week and even inside a game may be due to this tug-of war. Which means Marrone needs to let his OC do his job or Hackett needs to lead by telling him to piss off and let him do his job.

The ground and pound does a hole in it because why not use Tommy Bohanon more to help Yeldon? Especially in the red zone. He’s been MIA in the game plans. Also, (broken record here) but who has a run game without any Tight Ends? These guys can block and with the OL we saw, they need all they help they could get.

Is Dave Caldwell or Marrone not seeing this or are they blinded to only wanting to use in-house guys? But they pulled guys off the street for the practice squad and then elevated them. Moving on because no is asking them these questions.

Defense. Overheard that the secondary isn’t communicating and there’s no trust among them, so each player isn’t doing just his job. I believe this. Boy, do I ever. The fact that the secondary had no qualms going out drinking until four AM and Ramsey didn’t go with them, says a lot.

Ramsey also pointed to the locker room when asked about issues. I read a coach’s quote recently (sorry can’t remember the coach) who said that one guy can disrupt an entire locker room, drag it down. It would be too easy to say it was Donte Fowler; however, he wasn’t at the bar in London. Maybe they didn’t invite him because he is an issue, but I don’t believe any of the DL was there.

Which circles back around to: who’s the leader? Barry Church and Bouye brought along rookies on their foolish outing. An outing that says, who cares we have a must win game that could move us up? Who cares if we dump large quantities of alcohol into our bodies a day before a game and right after flying for hours? Both dehydrate and can lead to injuries. What did we see in London?

Members of the drinking crew needing trainers. This is after a, come to Jesus meeting, held by Calais Campbell. Obviously, it didn’t work showing he’s not the leader. Or maybe he is, but not to the linebackers and secondary. Nor a few members of the offense.

SO, here we are, 3-5 and it doesn’t appear anyone is leading this ship. Not Bortles or Campbell or the coaches.

Speaking of which, if they didn’t go get a TE, are they thinking the season is over? If so, why not bench all the drinking crew for a game? He benched Fournette for missing a team photo. If they think the season isn’t over, then what message did he give to the team to instill fear and discipline?

Moving on to the secondary, the one piece of the team we thought was rocking it. If there’s no communication, if the four aren’t trusting one another to do their jobs, how is anything going to get better if there’s no leader?

The members of Denver’s once vaunted No Fly Zone often remarked how they knew how each others’ thoughts, they had such great communication and that was key. Sometimes teams find the right four guys and right coach- Aqib Talib, TJ Ward, Chris Harris, Darian Stewart and DB coach Joe Woods had it in 2015. They lost two of their members, the coach and the magic.

Is the problem with the wrong four guys in Jax or the wrong coach? Jalen Ramsey is the nearest to Talib, so it’s up to him to forget his age, kick some ass and take names because the team is dependent upon it.

Ray Lewis also said that during a game, you need that vocal leader to grab a guy and give him hell for not doing his job. Two is even better, he and Ed Reed instilled fear. That bled over to the entire defense.

On offense, you need a QB who also does that. Watch all the micc’d up films, the QB’s are going off on their guys, even mild-mannered Drew Brees is seen losing it and Peyton Manning was so fearsome, some of his teammates were petrified to talk to him. Guess what? His teams won, and won and won.

It’s (past) time for Jacksonville’s front office to look around and find the answers. I’ve seen what lax leadership at the top can do to an entire team. It needs to draft a QB who isn’t a laid-back beach guy (that makes me sad to write). They need to draft guys who eat, sleep and dream football. Young men who burn for football.

I asked Kareem Hunt before he was drafted if there was anything he didn’t like about being a running back, such as getting hit all the time. He replied that he loved everything because it all went to football and he loved football. You can’t take one anyway, you have to accept it all. His eyes burned with that answer, his passion was evident and not a canned reply. That’s what you need.

Guys with chips on their shoulders. Remember, Hunt was the overlooked back because he went to a smaller school.

Who the Jaguars are missing is Paul Posluszny

As I write this, the Jags blew their assignments after Eric Ebron scored and can be seen “discussing” what happened. So, the issue hasn’t been fixed, there is a communication problem and until that is fixed, this season is toast and maybe next one, too.

Just saw another blown coverage, this time because of a linebacker. As an aside, the Colts are using three tight ends which has steam coming from my ears.

A team shows its true character when they lose, how they react to losing. Do they rally together as a team, don the three musketeers motto or fall apart? Teams with good leaders, put their heads down, pull up their socks, blocks out the outside world and works harder (and stays out of bars).

I truly hope this team can bond during this game, pull off a win and show grit and leadership.

 

AFCS Week 10 Game Previews – stats, ref crews, injury reports, QB charts

AFCS Week 10 Game Previews

The Texans have a bye, so this week there are only two games in this AFCS Week 10 Game Previews. To say that the Jaguars must win and the Titans need to lose is an understatement. There will be no hope of winning a play off spot without wins throughout. If the Texans could stumble, that would best. Duh.

Patriots* (7-2) vs Titans (4-4) CBS

This game is in Nashville giving the Titans a slim chance because the refs should be more fair.

Referee Crew

patriots vs titans ref crew

Notable injury is to Gronk, but Sony Michel is back, so these two are washes. I’ve seen different reports on if Gronk is out, but it’s early, so will wait for an official statement. Also, no one ever believes their injury reports, so take them with a grain of salt.

An already beat-up Marcus Mariota will be down his tackle, which is where NE* will attack.

It’s tough muster up any kind of excitement for this game, I can’t stand either team and despise Brady*. How can anyone cheer for NE*? At this point, the AFC PO roads go through KC, LA (yes, said LAR because they could be the dark horse) and NE*. For Jacksonville, if  they were to win out, Titans winning just this game, wouldn’t be horrid to help knock NE* down.

KC is the team Jax would least want to face since they would have to play there in a tie. A tie vs NE* means Jax at home. Since winning the division is key, that means beating Pitt and so the same applies.

Moving on, the Titans defense has a chance because their defense (on a good day) isn’t bad and Tom Brady* beyond ten yards is looking suspect. His accuracy is very off this season; however, his receivers have been helping him out and he finds ways to pick defenses a part even though the zip isn’t there – like Peyton his ending years. His mind wins over strength.

Tennessee is 6th vs the pass, Jax gave the league the blueprint to beat them and the Titans may have the talent to do something similar in their house. They’re really good vs the rush and with Sony Michel back that may be key. Combine that with having 20 sacks and they have a chance. The way to beat Brady* is get in his face and bump him (I’d sack him, but if they touch him harder than a hip bump, they’ll get flagged).

When it comes to Mariota, his passing charts aren’t stellar, but he’s been hurt. New England is 28th vs the pass which could help him out; however, he’s got two hurt WR’s and a tackle out.

New England is 21st vs the run, but they’ve only allowed 3 TD’s and that’s big since Tennessee has five rushing TD’s and Mariota only has six passing. This offense has been one more of opportunity than a well-oiled machine.

When it comes to NE*, they’re 8th in passing and 9th in rushing. They also create turnovers, 11 interceptions, something the Titans don’t do well, they only have six.

Keys for Tennessee to get a win:

  1. hope their secondary finds a way to cover well enough giving them time to jam Brady*.
  2. they can run the ball
  3. Mariota runs

Keys for NE*

  1. contain Mariota
  2. play Patriot* football

Here’s the thing, NE* isn’t a speedy team, they beat you with their play calling. They love their 21 personnel and matching up Patterson (who is a true flex player) on the slowest linebacker. I don’t think TN is quite there, yet in speed and discipline to beat NE*.

Jaguars (3-5) vs Colts (3-5) CBS

Referee Crew

jaguars vs colts ref crew

The Jags injury report is smaller than it’s been in a while, but after a bye week, it should be. It is disconcerting that both TE’s (neither have more than a combined single game of experience) is on here. I just don’t understand their blasé attitude towards having no TE’s.

The good news is: no OL! Can they stay healthy is the biggest question because with a healthy line, we see good Bortles, without, we see the turnover machine. Combine that with two power backs and we could witness what was envisioned before the season was wrecked with injuries.

Meanwhile, the surging Colts are still dealing with injuries and a few of their players go off a week, only to pop back up the next. What’s to note is although they got Jack Doyle back, their other TE’s are out.

Ok, here’s some brass tacks: Jax run defense stinks, it’s allowing over 125 yards a game and almost a TD per outing. Their bread and butter was in the passing game with AJ Bouye. They were stingy with yards per pass and air TD’s.

These two teams on offense are polar opposites and if Bouye was playing, I’d say this could be a strong win. Also, since Indy is middle of the pack stopping run yards (but even with Jax in allowing TD’s), this would be a good match-up for a strong run first team.

However, do we know how Fournette and Hyde will do? How healthy is the OL, really? That’s what this game will come down to: can Jacksonville be the pass defending juggernaut and Fournette be at 2017 form?

If those two are yeses, then Jax could be on the receiving end of a win.

Must add this. Jalen Ramsey has to be a leader out there. If the DB’s aren’t communicating, missing assignments, he needs to channel some Ray Lewis and get in their face. Someone needs to be the leader of the secondary and it for dang sure isn’t Barry, drink until 4am, Church.

Looking at Indy, they’ve really shored up their pass defense which isn’t good news for Bortles if that OL can’t give him the time he needs. To me, I’d try to come out passing because Indy will be expecting the run.

Test them. See if they prepared for a heavy run defense and maybe Bortles can surprise them because that is going to be crucial if the Jags’ secondary isn’t dominant. Jacksonville can’t be spending seven minutes a drive for a rush TD and Luck throws a TD in two minutes.

The way to stop Indy is for the secondary to play man as often as they can buying time for the DL to sack him, hit him. They’ve got to take away the pass game to even things out.

It would seem prudent to play a safety high and stop the short pass which is where getting DJ Hayden could be a huge help (but keep reading). Luck is among the worst at air yards, Indy’s dink and dunk game is the short pass which is averaging 6.4 air yards. The guy throws 4 TD’s in a game with 156 yards.

He’s a surgeon in reading the field and knowing exactly where to go with the ball. That’s the bad news to leaving one safety, he lulls defenses into playing short and then lobs one deep.

Based on that, Jax will need to get very creative in the looks they show Luck. They’ve got to confuse him.

Even though Jax stinks at run stopping, better that than allowing him to pass. Speaking of which, clearly he’s a GOD in the RZ and that is what must be stopped, letting him get there.

I debated posting Bortles passing charts because they’re pitiful, but they include his running and that should be made a part of the game plan. RPO the snot out of them today. Oh, have to add that the receivers drop a lot and that does affect his numbers.

Keys to winning for Jags:

  1. defense: white on rice for the receivers
  2. DL needs to get in his face early and often
  3. OL needs to block, give BB confidence to throw

Keys to winning for Indy:

  1. pick on injured Telvin Smith
  2. pick on Patmon
  3. play press because Jax receivers rarely get separation

From the Jax coaches, we need to see some aggressive play calling out there. The season is on the line, go for broke.

Week 9 NFL Game predictions – He said/She said

Week 9 NFL Game predictions - He said/She said

He is still leading She and she is thinking to just pick what he does because he found a crystal ball that overrules stats. But, that logic went out the window when it got to the Miami game, which is one game of two picks they disagree on. Let the games begin in Week 9 NFL Game predictions – He said/She said

1:00 Games

Steelers (4-2-1) vs Ravens (4-4) CBS

Jay: One of my favorite games of the year. I’ll take Baltimore at home by a field goal

Jules: Pittsburgh is picking up steam while Baltimore is losing theirs. Roethlisberger is a streaky QB who can look brilliant and then throw 4 picks in a game. What a match-up to see. No clue who wins. Saying home team not that it’s mattered much this season except for NE*.

Bears (4-3) vs Bills (2-6) FOX

Jay: Depends on who the qb is for Buffalo, but I’ll take Chicago here if it’s against Peterman.

Jules: The Bills gave NE* a hell of a game, if they had a QB who’d been with the team more than a week, clearly would’ve won. The problem is, Nathan Peterman is back starting, so I say Bears even if Tribinishy is all over the place.

Buccaneers (3-4) vs Panthers (5-3) FOX

Jay: Ohh ohh its fitzmagic…..uh-uh…The Panthers by 6

Jules: Panthers. People forget that Fitzpatrick had lost his magic because teams had film on him. That happens, again. Plus, Newton should carve up that atrocious defense.

Chiefs (7-1) vs Browns (2-5-1) CBS

Jay: Chiefs. Next

Jules: Chiefs, no need to explain why.

Jets (3-5) vs Dolphins (4-4) CBS

Jay: Tossup game, but I’ll take Miami at home here

Jules: Here’s my first emotional pick. I can’t stand Asweiler, so going for the Jets to pick him apart.

Lions (3-4) vs Vikings (4-3-1) FOX

Jay: Hard to see Minnesota losing a “gotta have it” division game at home. I don’t see it happening

Jules: Can the Lions be who they almost are or will Minnesota stop the Jekyll and Hyde? Tough to pick MN losing two weeks in a row at home with the super stars of Diggs and Thielen.

Falcons (3-4) vs Redskins (5-2) FOX

Jay: This is an interesting game because it’s the high flying offense of Atlanta meeting a stingy Washington defense. Home field counts here. Redskins in another last possession type game.

Jules: Washington is the most shocking 5-2 team by far. You watch them play and think how are they winning? And you watch Atlanta and think, how are they losing? Think the skins defense wins.

Texans (5-3) vs Broncos (3-5) CBS

Jay: I don’t see the Broncos scoring. I see Houston scoring. #analysis.

Jules: I really want Denver to win because the Jags need the help. However, Keenum is ranked 29th in TD-INT, you can’t do that against a good defense, plus Demaryius Thomas was done dirty and will pump Houston with all the info.

4:05 Game

Chargers (5-2) vs Seahawks (4-3) CBS

Jay: Fun game coming here. Seahawks will run the football to death here and I think that’s enough to get the job done in a squeaker.

Jules: LA is coming off a bye which means Rivers will have all his weapons, but Seattle is playing far better than earlier in the year. This should be a good game, I’m torn who to pick. Better O or better D. LA has only allowed 3 rushing TD’s, so I pick them.

4:25 Games

Rams (8-0) vs Saints (6-1) FOX

Jay: Fun game. I think the Rams are just a touch better. I’ll take the Rams with very little confidence

Jules: Another good game. Going with LA because NO defense isn’t good vs the pass. They should do well stopping Gurley, but Cooper Kupp is back and that makes up for it.

8:20 Game

Packers (3-3-1) vs Patriots* (6-2) NBC

Jay: Patriots. I think they’re the better football team all around.

Jules: I don’t think this game will be as good as everyone is hyping. NE* looked like garbage against the Bills. Good for them GB doesn’t have a defense otherwise they’d get blown out. Only picking NE* because the home refs will most likely make a call that helps them pull out a squeaker.

Monday 8:15 ESPN

Titans (3-4) vs Cowboys (3-4)

Jay: Another garbage Monday night game. I’ll take the cowboys by 3

Jules: Yuck and double yuck. Trying to think of why to pick Dallas to win to help out the Jags. Their defense is why against a bottom ranked offense.

BYE TEAMS

Bengals, Colts, Jaguars, Cardinals, Eagles, Giants

I am a pissed off Jaguar fan, aren’t you? Will they survive?

Jaguar fan

I have no idea what possessed so many from the Jacksonville Jaguars to go out drinking, so much that they racked up a £50,000 bill. This Jaguars fan doesn’t care why.

This is what I know – if members of the team who weren’t playing wanted to go have fun like DJ Hayden, fine. Having Barry Church and Jeremy Parnell there, too is flatly inexcusable. Not to mention, they thought it was ok to skip out on the bill and then get in a fight when confronted about it.

Fighting, along with the tab amount indicates drunk and belligerent. I have to ask, where were the coaches?

Did they know? Was there a curfew set? Reports say they were “detained” at 4AM and spent the next nine hours at the jail. NINE HOURS. Nine hours cuts into sleep and practice time, meetings, physical therapy, whatever was planned.

This is early reporting, so I’m sure some of these things are wrong, but this is a bad look no matter how you slice it.

If indeed they were out to 4 or even 1 AM so close to a game, the question is, why? Most teams have curfews and bed checks when traveling. Was one done? If it was, did the coaches just not know where to go looking?

I find that tough to imagine since no one goes anywhere without a phone. Where were the team captains? Center Brandon Linder is a “C”. Was he there with Parnell? Not like this Line is setting the world on fire with their blocking and can afford to be guzzling champagne like they won a super bowl.

As fans, we’re invested in this team and seeing such reckless behavior is maddening. It’s a distraction because coaches and team personnel had to spend time on this matter instead of focusing on the game. It’s not as if the Jaguars can afford to waste precious time dealing with idiocy like this.

Before SB 48, John Fox let his players go out in New York City and they posted themselves having a good ole time. Remember what happened next? An absolute beat-down. Not to mention, several of the players were sick, which partying I’m sure didn’t help. Know who didn’t go out? The Seahawks.

Know who wasn’t arrested in London? The Eagles.

I’m sure some think this is no big deal, but it is a big deal, a Big Freakin Deal.

Shad Khan has many business dealings in London, this looks bad on him. Worse than if the players got in trouble in Jacksonville. That game is on an international stage, so you can bet the NFL is none too happy, either. This reflects poorly on the entire franchise from Tom Coughlin on down.

For the players who didn’t go out, who were studying their playbooks and give a damn, this is just another division in the locker room. Jalen Ramsey indicated there’s a few who were an issue. Wonder if it’s the group who went out?

Not thinking ahead is laziness and a lack of caring. It’s one thing to go for an early dinner, it’s quite another to still be there at 4AM.

While the four that were arrested were all in the secondary (need I remind that 90 points have been given up in the last three games), reports indicate others were there, too. They just weren’t arrested/detained.

I hope none of this matters, that they go out and ball. I hope I’m pissed for nothing, that this is just a tiny blip on the way to Atlanta. I hope this wakes the coaches and locker room up and they rally together to fight back against the perception out there. A perception that looks like some players don’t give a damn about being prepared.

I hope this ends up being a scene from the Replacements and they all start singing, I Will Survive, then go out and kick some ass. (PLEASE)

Jaguars/Eagles and Colts/Raider game preview – stats, reffing crew, passing charts and more

Because the Texans played Thursday night and the Titans have a bye week, this AFCS south Jaguars/Eagles and Colts/Raider game preview is short. In case you’re just dying to read the Texans one, click HERE for the analysis.

Eagles (3-4) vs Jaguars (3-4) 9:30 AM NFL Network LONDON

Referee Crew

jaguars:eagles ref crew

The London games are a big deal to the NFL because they’re a cash cow, so this crew should be fairly good, a change of pace for the mostly bad ones who’ve officiated at all the Jaguars home games.

The Eagles are in pretty dang good shape because they still have actual starters (healthy ones) in their line-up. Below is a good list half way through the season.

The Jaguars, on the other hand is literally missing 1/2 their starters on IR. To make matter worse, AJ Bouye is out. And they put LB Donald Payne on IR. They added CB Dee Delaney from the practice squad to the 53.

The pundits outside of Jacksonville keep freaking out about the team as is they’re losing with a healthy team. As if Bortles has had his WR1, RB1, TE1 and LT1 to work with. I’m sick of other teams getting a whoa is me for their beat-up teams and Jax, gets a, WHAT HAPPENED IN JACKSONVILLE?!

Injuries are what happened and the players are really bummed because they know neither side of the ball is playing with anywhere near a championship roster. To make matters worse, there’s nothing that can be done, so it’s a helpless feeling.

Their IR list would make any team in the NFL a contender and they know it.

The Jaguars have an excuse for their cliff dive, but the Eagles do not. I’m not sure what’s going on there other than a Super Bowl hangover is real. They’re a team that seems as if it isn’t focused.

The good and bad news is that can be fixed – the bad news is it could happen in London. Philly can afford to miss the playoffs this season because their ring buys them time, for the Jags, their fans got a taste of winning after so long without and they’re not happy.

A win would be huge, keeping them in contention for the AFCS and maybe they go make one big trade by the deadline for A *#ING TIGHT END. If they lose, we could see a fire sale to set up for the draft next season.

3-5 and two games back from the Texans (and in a tie for last if the Colts win) is bleak. 4-4 and getting a bye keeps hope alive with maybe a 10-6 record.

Moving on from the what ifs, to what the is. When it comes to passing TD’s, Philly has 11 and Jax, 10. The difference is, Bortles has 9 interceptions and the Eagles only have two. That’s the game right there.

The rush per yards for Jax is better, believe it or not considering that TJ Yeldon has had to be the leading back, but Philly has 6 TD’s to Jags’ 2. Jacksonville is first at allowing passing TD’s (only 6); however, that was with AJ Bouye and a healthier secondary that’s going to be fielded on Sunday. Not to mention a sober and rested Barry Church.

Meanwhile, Philly has allowed 10, so if the offense can get anything going with new addition, Carlos Hyde, the play-action pass could be where it’s seen. Philly typically plays a safety high and Bortles is able to find the holes left because of it. If the WR’s can catch the ball, they have a chance to put up points.

Philly has kept a low 4 rushing TDs and Jax is at 6. While I’d say the Eagles should take advantage of the Jags poor rushing defense, missing so many in the secondary may make them go to the air and rack up points.

With linebackers now an issue, Jax defense is vulnerable across the board. Actually, with Barry Church and Ronnie Harrison being complete douches and putting fun over the team, I think we lose. Breathing fire as I just read what they did while writing this.

Here’s the bottom line: we could see a role reversal IF the offense cuts out the turnovers, and Jeremy Parnell pulls his drunk head out of his ass because the Eagles defense isn’t tops at anything. They’re a good team for the Jags to face and if Bouye wasn’t hurt, Church and Harrison idiots, I’d feel comfortable in them winning this “home” game.

This week 7 passing chart is sad, but will say, the incompletions were due to many drops over bad throws.

borltes passing charts week 8

Wentz is clearly a better passer, one who would’ve been slowed with the defense from the first four weeks, but this one? Tough to see.

wentz passing charts week 8

Carlos Hyde has the weight of all Jaguars hopes and dreams on his shoulders because without him, this run-first team is DOA. And clearly, the defense doesn’t care based on a night of drinking and arrests in London.

Colts (2-5) vs Raiders (1-5) 4:05 CBS

Referee Crew

colts:raiders ref crew

This isn’t up to date as Cody has been felled with illness (I swear I didn’t give it him), but I believe all the DNP’s are out and Jack Doyle is a go.

For a bunch of senior citizens, the Raiders are looking in pretty good shape. Maybe that’s the key. However, if they had a pass rusher they could win this game, but Andrew Luck without pressure is like ringing the TD dinner bell.

Oakland lost Beast mode and that’s a huge blow since they were already at the bottom for rushing TDs. They have company down there with Indy, but Carr has only thrown 7 TD’s to Luck’s 20.

Yes, 20 and that’s the game. Tough to write more than that. Oakland is 19th in allowing passing TDs and second to last for best QB rating. For those who own Andrew Luck in FF, they must be dancing, it’s tough to see the men in black and silver slowing hi down.

For defense, Indy is tied for eighth in passing TD’s allowed which isn’t good news for Derek Carr.

When it comes to stopping the rush, neither team is burning down the house; however, neither is burning down the house with their backs.

carr passing stats week 8

In between getting sacked last week, Carr threw as far as my grandma can. Luck has receivers who drop a lot of his passes, so these charts don’t show that.

luck passing stats week 8

There’s just not a lot to say about these two teams. Both aren’t very good, but one has a top notch quarterback. The other is dependent on scheme and it’s clear that Carr is struggling with yet another coaching change.

On paper and for the eye test, the Colts have the edge which I wish wasn’t the case because if they win and the Jags lose, which based on recent behavior they should, a Colts win puts Jags in a tie for last.

Everything I wrote about injury excuses goes out the window when at least three starters go out drinking and staying up late before a game. That attitude says they don’t give a damn. That’s a losing mentality and a cancer in a locker room. If Doug Marrone doesn’t cut it out, this season is OVER.

AFCS Week 8 Preview – Houston Texans vs Miami Dolphins

AFCS Week 8 Preview - Houston Texans vs Miami Dolphins

We do scouting reports on our enemies to keep track of injuries, games, stats so we have an idea of what we may face when playing our divisional foes and common opponents. Lets dive in to the AFCS Week 8 Preview – Houston Texans vs Miami Dolphins, as this is late.

Below are passing charts, stats, referee crew and injury reports.

Dolphins (4-3) vs Texans (4-3) THURSDAY 8:20 FOX

Here’s the Referee crew

dolphins vs texans referee crew

At first glance, Miami looks to be in bad shape, but most of their players were FP. Missing tight ends could hurt though because they’re the perfect safety net and an additional wall against a pass rush.

dolphins week 8 wednesday injury report

Looks like Jacksonville helped do a number to the Texans. I’m trying to care.

texans week 8 wednesday injury report

Deshaun Watson is the kind of QB teams hate – he’s not a guy who you can plot out and say here’s where to attack him because he plays by the seat of his pants. He’s a slippery guy who makes or extends plays off his legs.

Miami is 28th in total defense and 30th against the run. What does Houston do well? Run the ball.

Watson is one beat up mess having been sacked a 1,000 times, but guess what? Miami is way down in 29th in sacks. Which means, he may get a chance to breathe (literally).

Watson isn’t tearing it up with his arm, far from it, but during games, he finds a way to make crucial strikes during over times (yeah, that’s a snarky remark). Seriously though, just when you count him out, he pops up like a gopher and delivers a strike.

deshaun watson week 8 passing charts

Not much on Osweiler passing charts, but what’s to know is this guy thinks he’s the greatest coming of all QB’s. He said he’d pick himself to win a game over John Elway and Peyton Manning. After being benched by the former for the latter.

Because of that, he always screws up – his arm can’t deliver what his ego thinks it can. This Houston team knows that. I could see them playing Man2 or starting off in zone playing loose, let him get a rapport with just one WR and then in the second half, play press. Then they can start jumping routes on desperate throws.

This about when the wheels start to come off for him. He begins to look like a competent QB and super man wants to burst through. That’s when he starts taking chances he shouldn’t. Houston is 16th against the pass, which is ok, but they have JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney who can seriously wreck your day.

While they may not be great at keeping catches down once they’re released, or really high in sack totals, Houston tries to make you hurry up. That’s when mistakes are made.

brock osweiler week 8 passing charts

Not sure I’ve seen a chart where one has flipped so radically like above. I believe the green area from 2017 was targeting Demariyus Thomas because he had 3 TDs during Osweiler’s three games. With his favorite target, Albert Wilson gone, Amendola may be his go to guy.

There’s the key to beating the fins: give him Danny in the first, take him away in the second. Adam Gase can make the most of what he has, but then it’s up to Osweiler to stay in his lane – the average lane. He will chafe at it, especially if he has to play from behind and he will make cringe worthy mistakes.

What the Dolphins have going for them is Texans’ injury report. Their defense is pretty banged up which could make it tougher to implement what they need to do. If any team knows how to stop the former Texan QB, it’s the Texans.

As you can tell, I’m not an Asweiler, er, Osweiler fan. But I also despise the Texans, so it’s tough to think the Texans, even with Bill O’Brian often making some really stupid game calls, can win.

If the Dolphins want to win, they must run the ball, make Osweiler get rid of the ball quickly for the boring yards and be content to dink and dunk. Don’t turn the ball over. While Watson and the Texans aren’t quite yet firing on all cylinders, other teams giving them the ball is why they’ve won.

Houston and Miami are tied at 11th for differentials, making this a big key. The Texans are 14th in total defense, so check mark there.

Houston is better at quarterback and running, so more checks. When it comes to points scored, Miami is 20th and Houston 18th. Hence, if Miami wants to win, it has to come down to taking the ball away from Houston.

Not rocket science, but there you go.

For Houston:

  • force Osweiler to be his own enemy
  • watch Kenyon Drake

For Miami:

  • Hit Watson to force turnovers
  • Try to slow DeAndre Hopkins

Maybe they’ll both lose. I won’t shed a tear.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning should give Jaguars fans hope. Read why.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning should give Jaguars fans hope

Sometimes lost in the heat of the moment, is the ability to take a step back and look at other thoughts. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are names most fans don’t put in the same sentence as Blake Borltes, but maybe they can.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have been benched

One September 24th back in 2014, Tom Brady threw two interceptions (including a pick six), gave a fumble and was so bad, they lost 41-14. During that game, he was benched in the 4th quarter.

At that point, they were 2-2 had lost to the Miami Dolphins, and Brady was only completing 59% of his passes. The headlines ran the gamut from asking if this was the end of Brady, to wondering about Belichick and the New England dynasty.

“Tom Brady stunk so bad his job security is up for discussion” – New York Post

After the benching, they went on to Cincinnati, blew them out 43-17 and finished the season 12-4 with home field advantage.

A little over a year later, during the third quarter of a game, Peyton Manning was benched after throwing four interceptions. He was so bad, his passer rating was 0. He completed 5-20 for a total of 35 yards. They too lost to the Chiefs, 29-13.

The Broncos were 7-1 going into that game, but then lost three more, ending their season 12-4. That last win against the San Diego Chargers was the difference between home field advantage and the #1 spot, or being the 6th seed and playing three straight on the road.

Manning threw 17 interceptions in ten games to 9 TDs, 5.1% int rate. He had a total 67.9 rating and only completed 59.8 of his passes. B-A-D.

Both New England and Denver were counted out after those benchings. The media had their quarterbacks dead and buried and fully expected their back-ups to remain the starters.

A funny thing happened tough, both teams, who suffered through a litany of injuries throughout the seasons, emerged with rings.

Down, but NOT out

I’m NOT saying Blake Bortles is Brady or Manning. Nor am I saying Doug Marrone is Belichick (he is better than Kubiak, though), only that overreactions are easy and it happens to every team, fan base and the media.

Are the injuries to Jacksonville far more severe than those to NE* and Denver? Yes, but Jacksonville is playing in a division that is lacking a dominating team to overcome.

As a reminder, the 2012 Ravens won a Super Bowl with an 11-6 season. Denver lost to their division opponents, the Chiefs and Raiders. NE* lost to Miami and the Bills.

All is not lost.

Carlos Hyde can put the run back into the run-first game plan. After the bye, Leonard Fournette and he could be a powerful 21 personnel grouping that helps the banged up offensive line and most importantly, Bortles.

With the run game back, the offense can burn more clock. This helps the defense. Not to mention, if they can be the team they were set up to be before the injury bug struck with a vengeance, they can score. When they do, that makes defenses have to pass more. Guess what?

Jacksonville is #1 against passing scores

The defense is set to defend against the pass and they do that remarkably well. When teams have to go to the air, it means less wear and tear on the defensive line to defend against the run.

If offenses can run all day and avoid the ferocious secondary, why wouldn’t they? That’s what’s happening. To make matters worse, Calais Campbell, the anchor, is dealing with a hip injury which zaps his power and now everything is a snowball.

The defense just needs some rest from the bye and a little help from the offense. His name is Hyde, Carlos Hyde and I wish he could wear the 007 number. If he can be what they hope, he’s our secret agent man.

Right now, it’s easy to panic, to want to throw Cody Kessler into London. That’s the wrong mindset.

  1. it’s a loser mindset. It says, you’ve conceded defeat, and don’t trust that Hyde can replace Fournette for one week. Blake has won the last three times in London. It’s a big deal playing there. Not just the time change. Tossing in an inexperienced QB into that isn’t going to change anything except disrupt the locker room even more.
  2. if fans (or coaches) want to enter the loser mindset, then play Tanner Lee, not Kessler.  Toss him to the wolves, ride him the rest of the season and then see if drafting is the answer, or he is.

What I know is this defense, who is also banged up, can win. It just needs a little help and that can come from a run game. If fans want to enter panic mode, fine, but let’s wait until  after London. Mr Hyde may actually be our Dr Jekyll on the field of play and slay those in his path.

Tight End: quick way to right Jacksonville’s listing ship?

Jacksonville Tight end

Jacksonville fans are looking for answers to stop another week of sub-par performance. Maybe another tight end is the answer? Two teams who recently made last minute winning drives, used extra protections.

In the case of New England*, they employ extra running backs and in Green Bay it’s using three tight ends. Those two teams have a common issue – a need to help their quarterbacks.

Tom Brady no longer can toss the ball longer than ten yards and be consistently accurate and Aaron Rodgers needs an extra body to protect his.

Why say tight end instead of running back? Because an experienced tight end gives the biggest bang for the buck.

Blake Bortles needs help and getting Leonard Fournette back won’t solve everything because the offensive line is so banged up. Not to mention, I think if they play him too soon, he’ll end up on injured reserve. While a good running back can aid in his OL doing better, they still need to be healthy.

Enter the tight end. He can block, catch and did I say, block? We also saw a tight end act as a running back Monday night in Green Bay and run with the ball. The beauty of tight ends is how versatile they can be in the right plans.

The chicken or the egg?

Does a tight end help an offense/quarterback or does the quarterback make the tight end? When Phillip Rivers was learning, did he make Antonio Gates or did Gates help him succeed? That can be debated for a while, but what we do know is Jacksonville hasn’t ever had a stud tight end.

Mark Brunell has been the closest quarterback that could be called successful and even his completion percentage rarely went over 60%. Maybe tight end should be a higher priority?

Tight End Stats

There is one TD from TE’s in Jacksonville. One. The three tight ends combined, have 240 yards, 17 first downs. Two of them, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Niles Paul account for the TD and 11 of the downs – both now on Injured Reserve. Did they add anyone to the 53 man roster, except bringing up David Grinnage from the practice squad? No. That leaves only James O’Shaughnessy and Grinnage.

Patrick Mahones has Travis Kelce and his 468 yards. Vance McDonald and Jesse James in Pittsburgh have 548 yards and 24 first downs. Of the top five offenses, only the Rams and Chargers have used their tight ends little and that’s because their receivers and catching running backs are tearing it up.

However, they are out there blocking, giving their QB’s time, plus they do add an extra wrinkle. It’s tough for defenses to defend good TE’s. If a team double teams them, it leaves an open wide receiver.

Gronk has 405 yards, and 17 first downs. As Carson Wentz eases back in, he’s targeted Zach Ertz 67 times, racking up 24 first downs. Tampa Bay has OJ Howard and Cameron Brate in the top 20 and they have 5 TD’s. The Colts have a losing record, but without Eric Ebron, they’d be 0-5 and not given any team a run for their money. He has 16 first downs, six TD’s and 326 yards.

This lack of tight end depth in Jacksonville should be addressed. The Oline is hurt, Fournette isn’t going to make everything all better. He has as much power as a bandaid on an arterial bleed. Adding some beef that can block, catch and maybe even run will help.

Many have mentioned trading Donte Fowler, Jr., for a few different positions, maybe TE could also be an option? There are a few teams with serious issues on defense who might be open to that thought. Give up some offense for more defense, which in turn would make them need less offense.

The NFL is about acheiving the right balance, teams that do, are still playing through January. At this moment, the Jaguars are listing and a tight end may help right the ship.

 

AFCS Week 6 Preview – TV areas, stats, injury reports, reffing crews and QB charts.

Included below are the TV areas, stats, injury reports, reffing crews and QB charts in this AFCS Week 6 Preview. Add it all up and maybe it helps you pick a winner or at least get a feel for our enemies.

The first map is for the 1:00 games, if you’re interested. There may be a mistake though because further down is the map for the Jags game and it doesn’t match up for the areas they show for the Denver game, both of which are at 4:25.

Image result for tv viewing chart for week 6 nfl

Bills (2-3) vs Texans (2-3) 1:00 CBS

The Bills are pin the nose of the donkey. Who knows what is going to be a hit and what’s not? This game may come down to which quarterback survives. These two have been sacked a combined 40 times.

Last week, a doctor was listening to Deshaun’s heart and breathing. If I were the parents of Josh Allen, I’d be worried about the 22 sacks he’s taken, too . Both teams have dished out a lot of them, but not as many as they’ve allowed.

Referee Crew

ref crew

Injury reports

Obviously the health status favor the Bills, every player was full. I’m envious, they could win just from these.

texans injury report week 6

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Passing Charts

NexGen doesn’t add rushing charts unless a QB has done a few. Watson is running for this life. Hey, Jets, Watson will pass, a lot and run a bunch, get your track shoes out.

deshaun watson passing charts

Dear Houston, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Bills are a run-first team (even though they’re mediocre at 3.5 yards a carry). That’s where you need to beat them. Since the Texans kill in the run game with only one allowed score and 3.4 yards per carry, it’s going to be a long day for the Bills, if Allen is off.

josh allen passing charts

Houston is tied for 14th against the pass for yards, but when it comes to allowing passing TD’s they’re way down at the bottom at 28th. They’re also third worst at QB rating, so this is a chance for Allen to show more.

Buffalo is tied at 11th for giving up passing scores, 18th for yards. Based on that, Watson should have a good day (if he survives it). In addition, Buffalo has given up 5 rushing TD’s. Bottom line, unless Watson is hurt, it’s tough to see the Bills winning, healthy roster or not.

Colts (1-4) vs Jets (2-3) 1:00 CBS

Not sure what to say about this match-up. The Jets aren’t good, but Indy is an ER waiting room on a Saturday night.

Referee Crew

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Injury Reports

Did you think, good God, do these lists end? Cody (who made them) said he got writer’s cramp – I can see why. Truly don’t know how the Colts have a chance unless the Jets just roll over and play dead.

Passing Charts

Clearly the veteran, Andrew Luck, is far and beyond rookie Sam Darnold, but I post these for readers to see trends.

andrew luck passing chart

What’s to note is Darnold is at 60% which is pretty good for a rookie, especially with few weapons. You can also see that his coaches don’t quite trust him, yet. 22 attempts with 3TDs – they may want to open things up a bit against Indy – if any team should be tested, it’s the Colts.

sam darnold passing charts

Indy’s defense is ranked 22nd total, 26th against the pass for yards, but tied for 11th in allowing score. Against the run, they’re ranked 18th for yards, but 22nd for scores. So, the Jets need to pass down the field and run it in for touchdowns.

The Jets are mid pack in giving up yards and TD’s against the run. Something to note – Denver has a really good run game and they still lost, so not sure how much that matters since Indy’s game plan is for Luck to throw until his arm falls off.

As poor as Indy is against the pass, they’re among the best at not allowing big plays. In fact, they’re first at that – 38 yards was the longest. Considering last week, Darnold was bombs away against the Broncos, it could be interesting to see how that ends up.

Where the Jets have a chance to win is on defense, believe it or not. They have 14 sacks, 7 interceptions and Luck’s Oline will be his undoing. Edge goes to NY.

Jaguars (3-2) vs Cowboys (2-3) 4:25 CBS

Referee Crew

(once again, we get a crew with newer guys)

ref crew jags

Protect Bortles, win the game. It’s that simple. Jacksonville has a third team starting LT (which is why Ereck Flowers was signed) and the other four on the OL have been on the injury report for the last three weeks.

Blake Bortles doesn’t release the quickly and when he does get it out fast, it’s often wobbly. He’s not a QB who can toss a beauty downfield while his feet or legs are wrapped up. Good Blake needs time.

Injury Reports

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Sigh. The “good” news is Dallas isn’t in any better shape and Lawrence being iffy should help against a pass rush.

Passing Charts

blake bortles passing charts

dak prescott passing charts

Oiy. Dear Jamal Charles, #DUUUVAL begs you to do good things so Bortles doesn’t have to throw 61 times. And really, there were like 70 passing plays called (sacks, penalties included) which is absurd.

Jacksonville and Dallas are ranked very close with 17.2 and 19.2 points given up a game; however, when it comes to yards given up, Jax is first and Dallas at 8. When it comes to giving up passing scores, Jax is first and 4th for least QB rating.

Basically, when it comes to passing, Jax is King, stopping the run is where they slip and why stopping Ezekiel Elliot is a must. The Jags are giving up 100 yards average a game, to the rush, but same as TD’s for passing – only three.

Dallas has allowed four rushing TD’s, and six passing. If the line can give Blake any kind of time against Dallas’ tied for 7th sack rate, he could do well. If not for last week, this would be a confident win for Jax. Best guess is the first drive for the Jags will say the day we’re in for.

The game may boil down to Zeke vs Jags’ DL because Dallas is 4th in rush. Stop him, could be game over because Prescott hasn’t shown he could do well against a secondary like Jacksonville’s.

See all that red? That’s who will be watching this game. The blue is for the Ravens/Titans. Jags must win this game.

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Ravens (3-2) vs Titans (3-2) 4:25 CBS

This could be a good game or a snooze fest. In some areas each are very good and in others, fairly bad.

Referee Crew

ref crew ravens

Injury reports

week 6 ravens injury report

About even with injuries for both teams, neither looks great for their defenses.

week 6 injury report titans

Passing Charts

joe flacco passing chartsmarcus mariota passing charts

Joe Flacco is passing the ball everywhere, but not getting a lot of traction with 8 total TD’s, however; injured Marcus Mariota has three. Not sure this is a good match-up for Tennessee.

Tennessee and Baltimore are very close in passing defense (5/6). Against the rush, the Ravens are kicking it, allowing only two TD’s and 3.9 yards per carry. Considering that Tennessee is a run-first team, that’s not great for them. The Titans have only allowed one TD, 4.4 yards per carry.

In passing, Flacco is 9th vs the 27th ranked Titans. Will say though that their stats aren’t good at painting the picture because they had Blaine Gabbert and an injured Marcus, who is looking better.

In rushing, 15th (Titans) and 25th (Ravens). This game will come down to the Ravens stopping the Titans’ rush because while Marcus is doing better, don’t think he he’s ready for a Raven defense and their 15 sacks, especially with both their tackles having been on the injury report.

This could be a low scoring good defensive game to watch and rushing wins the game. (Go Ravens)