NFL Divisional Round Game Previews

Last week in the game previews, I also gave some game predictions. Although I thought deep down inside the Cowboys would win, I didn’t pick them because they’re the NFC equivalent to the Patriots* – we can’t stand them. The other game I got wrong was the Bears. That was a shocker. Not so much the loss, but not using Khalil Mack to get after an injured Nick Foles.

This week, let’s take a look at the divisional rounds. Every once in a while, two teams face off that the seeding is wanky, this year there are two – the Colts and Chargers. Both had early losses which landed them here and while on paper, usually you’d want to face a 5 or 6 seed, in these two cases, not so much.

SATURDAY

6 Seed Colts (10-6) vs 1 Seed Chiefs (12-4) 4:35 NBC

Referee Crew

John Hussey ref crew

No Walt Anderson for any team this weekend, so they should be cheering (except he is an alternate for this match-up so pray no one gets sick). Offensively, these teams aren’t that far off, especially if you look at the last month, not the first. Defensively, they’re worlds apart.

On offense, you have the veteran QB vs the newbie and the better defense vs the putrid. What Kansas City has going for them is home field advantage. Arrowhead stadium is LOUD. Arrowhead will be cold, snowy/rainy and miserable. Arrowhead on a good day for an outdoor team is a struggle, for a traveling dome team, it’s got to be counted as a 12th and 13th man.

I did see the Colts were outside practicing a little bit in their own nasty weather, so at least they’re trying to get ready. However, this will be their first snow game and it can’t be ignored. In poor conditions, throwing is usually kept to a minimum and the run game rules. This is where Indianapolis can gain some ground, their rushing attack was mediocre; however, over the last month, Marlon Mack and co have turned it on, while KC without Hunt has lost a lot of ground.

If teams go to the air, it’ll be up to the best defensive scheme and I don’t see KC’s man working well when trying to cover guys in a tough to see sky and slippery field.

This is bad news for KC who is ranked 29th with 19 rushing TD’s allowed and 132 yards per game. Indy is ranked 10th with 12 TDs and slightly over 100 yards. Marlon Mack was the leader last weekend in yards, plus he had a TD. This isn’t a good match-up for KC who would’ve had a chance to cream the Ravens or Texans.

Obviously, when it comes to Total points scored and TDs thrown, the Chiefs are leading with 50 TDs and 35 points per game, with Indy in second having 39 TD’s and 27 points per game. However, Luck’s short game is better than Mahones and that will be a big deal this week.

An area Kansas has better defensive stats is in the sack department with 52 compared to Indianapolis’ 38. However, the Colts have allowed a league low of 18 sacks, so something has to give. Mahones was sacked 26 times. When it comes total defense, Indy is 11th, and 10th in points allowed (21.5). KC is 31st in total and 24th in points allowed (26.30).

When it comes to defending the pass, Mahones may have a long day, Indy is tied for third in only giving up 21, but KC is 22nd with 30. As far as stopping the run, the Colts are 10th allowing 12 TD’s and the Chiefs are 29th with 19. The question is, what happens when a team that is tied for third least passing TD’s meets a team that is first in throwing them? KC gains 35 points a game, but Indy allows 21.

Indy gains 27 a game, while KC allows 26.  In bad conditions, will Mahones with Travis Kelce in the short (safe) passing game do slightly better than Andrew Luck and Eric Ebron? No one on the Colts defense can keep up with Tyreek Hill, but in a bad weather game, nature may even things out by negating the deep pass and his chance to streak away for a score.

I like the chances of Indy’s DL vs Mahanoes’ OL more than KC’s vs’s Indy OL. This game will come down to the run game and defense in bad weather – that’s Andrew Luck and Marlon Mack with some doses of TE’s. More than anything though, in a tight clash, I’m not sold on Andy Reid and his clock management skills.

4 Seed Cowboys (10-6) vs 3 Seed Rams (13-3) 8:15 FOX

Referee Crew

john parry referree crew

I don’t watch a lot of NFC games and never seek out the Cowboys, but since the NFL has anointed them, I’ve watched enough to know that the Rams have two jobs if they want to win: stop Zeke and protect Goff.

Dak Prescott needs everything perfect to win, remove one item and he can’t carry this team and I don’t think Jason Garret can, either. I’m not so sure Jared Goff is all that great with missing pieces, either, so this match-up should be a fun defensive one to watch.

Can Wade Philips and his squad draw up some plays to confuse Dak and keep him in the pocket? Prescott on the run is pretty good, in the pocket against good coverage? Not so much, his passes become wild too much of the time.

Not to mention, he’s among the worst for sacks being his fault (56 of them!). Dallas’s front seven is pretty dang good and could see them giving Todd Gurley fits, which in turn will force Goff to throw more. In a throwing match-up, I’ll take the Cali dude, his 10 more touchdowns and better accuracy.

Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliot should be the stars of the game…or why one team loses because whichever defense shuts down the run game, wins. The Rams give up more yards than Dallas, but they’re tied in scores allowed at 22 a piece. To be honest, I’m not sure if that’s due to LA’s goal line stance or teams decided to throw in the red zone instead since they stunk at defending passing TD’s. Maybe getting Aqib Talib back in form will help (please).

Meanwhile, Dallas has allowed ten less, so this will be a clash that LA could find itself on the wrong side of. However, when it comes to interceptions, the Rams are killing it and that is very bad news for Prescott. He’s pretty safe with the ball, but this could force him to be more cautious which means a slower release and more chance for sacks.

IF LA can keep him contained. LA has 41 sacks which could equal a very bruised Dak. A better defense facing a better passer on one side with a worse quarterback and worse defense on the other side. This could even out the passing side and as I said above, becomes a run game duel. If that’s the case, I’ll take the team with better rushing stats, more sacks and more interceptions.

SUNDAY GAMES

5 Seed Chargers (12-4) vs 2 Seed Patriots* 1:05 CBS

Referee Crew

ron torbert ref crew

My dearest Ron, America begs on its knees for you to go against every stat in New England and please call a fair game. Amen. The snow Patriot* fans were hoping for isn’t coming. The weather forecast shows sunny and around 25. Not ideal for a warm weather team, but there won’t be winds, so that helps.

Based on the weather, we should see both sides play fairly close to what we’ve seen on offense. My guess is both quarterbacks will play a bit cautious as turnovers will be in their mind. Tom Brady‘s arm lacks the juice it once had, don’t get me wrong, he can still make deadly throws, but he’s tossing far more, what was that?, balls than before.

As far as Philip Rivers, he’s a gunslinger at heart. Taming that (like we saw vs the Ravens) will be a game plan I’m guessing. Let their better defense and close run game lead the way. While NE* does have more yards, their yards per carry are lower and the touchdowns are only two more than LA’s no doubt due to the absence of Melvin Gordon. I’d say these two are about equal in this department.

When it comes to passing, both teams are also very close. Rivers has three more touchdowns. Where the two differ is LA’s offensive line is offensive, they’ve allowed 34 sacks and unlike in places like Houston and Dallas, it’s not on him, they just aren’t good.

That is the key for NE* (in a fair called game), abuse the OL. Of course, the same is true for Brady*, not that his OL stinks, they don’t, but he struggles when pressure is his face. LA has two really good pass rushers, but Gus Bradley will need to find creative ways with some stunts to send them through the A and B gaps, not just the C’s. Or send Joey Bosa up the middle with Melvin Ingram screeching around the edge. Whatever it takes to disrupt Brady*. Rivers is better used to pressure in his face, so for him, they’ll need to actually sack him.

The key to this game is turnovers. The Chargers haven’t been very good in the differential, but the Pat’s have been and maybe last week was a trial run of how much LA can get away with without passing. Anyway, as I wrote, both QB’s are pretty close with Rivers a tad better. Including last week, they are 8-1 on the road and that’s huge. If they make it to the Super Bowl, that will weigh heavily in their favor no matter who they face. The Saints would be the worst though.

The Chargers have 38 sacks, 13 interceptions, have given up 23 passing TD’s, 228 air yards and 11 rushing. New England* has 30 sacks, 18 interceptions, allowed 29 passing TDs, 246 air yards per game and seven rushing touchdowns. In total, NE* gave up 2 more TD’s. This also is close.

Overall, the Chargers are ranked 9th in defense to the Patriots’ 21st, but when it comes to stopping scores (not including kicking ones) they’re really close. Only .3 per game separates them. We’re talking 4 points for the season.

HOWEVER, when you look at their DVOA’s, the Chargers are better – DVOA takes into consideration the teams they played. With all this said, it’s going to be a close game. Hopefully, LA learned last week that if you’re ahead a bunch, don’t take the foot off the gas and NE* is the most lethal to pounce when a team does.

If LA plays a clean game, limits mistakes and pressures Brady* all game they win. If they commit dumb penalties, they lose, that’s how close these teams are.

6 Seed Eagles (9-7) vs 1 Seed Saints (13-3) FOX

carl cheffers ref crew

This game does have the right ranking, the Eagles are the worst of the NFC teams that got in and the Rams, the best. Even so, it’s tough to say this will be a blow-out only because Philadelphia has a way of doing the impossible.

In my predictions above, I picked the most balanced teams to win. Going with that again. The Saints are far and away a better team; however, when it comes to scores against them, Philly isn’t that far behind.

Against the pass, both defenses stink. I can see Drew Brees and Nick Foles having a bunch of air yards. To note though is the Saints have given up eight more passing touchdowns. This game is inside and that will help Foles.

When it comes to stopping the run, New Orleans is a little better, that might not matter much, both teams are keeping offenses under 100 yards. Where the Saints have the run away stats is for that – the run. 26 rushing TD’s, 126 yards a game and 4.3 per rush.

That’s the game right there. If the Eagles can’t stop the run, they’re done. The Eagles are only averaging 98 yards a game, so there’s no break out chance for them in this category – they’re facing a decent run stop team.

If the Eagles want to win, they’re going to need to pass and pass often. When it comes to TD’s they only have four less. They may need to pass because of time of possession. If the Saints go with the run heavy game with short passes, they’ll use up the clock.

To counter that, Philly will need to run more hurry up unless they score first. If they can get a TD up first, now they can be more balanced, but with only 12 rushing touchdowns, not sure how.

Since this game is in the Saints’ dome, crowd noise will make the Eagles go silent snap count and I’m not so sure about that success because getting the defensive line to jump will be tougher. Little things like that will matter. I’m going with the run game and Drew Brees.

NFL Wild Card game predictions.

NFL Wild Card game predictions
Here it is, the first week of playoffs and while the Jaguars aren’t in it, the best teams, are. Instead of doing an AFCS game preview, this will replace that with my NFL Wild Card game predictions.

SATURDAY 4:35 ESPN

6th Seed Colts (10-6) vs 3rd Seed Texans (11-5)

This is a home game for Houston, they have a better record and therefore should get the nod. I disagree. Indy has a better offense, slightly better defense, much better passing and about even rushing.
In the cold of January, that rushing stat would be worrisome, but the Texans play in a dome, as do the Colts. Which means, passing and defense is what will matter more – for this game.
Houston’s defense only allows 19.8 points a game, while Indy gives up 21.5. Against QB’s, Houston is 13th and Indy 16th in total QBR. I look at this number because it shows how they did in allowing completions. The real eye opener though is how many each allowed in passing TD’s and for Indy it was only 21, for the Texans is was 28.
The Colts score 27.1 a game and the Texans 25.1.
Against the rush, Houston is third in TD’s allowed, while Indy is 10th. Both teams have the same interceptions, but Houston has five more sacks. Since the Colts have protected Luck the best in the league, the big advantage goes to Indy since Deshaun Watson has been creamed the most.
Away teams tend to do far worse in the playoffs than the home teams, usually it’s because the home team earned it by being better. In this case, Indy got off to a slow start because they have a new head coach and had a rusty QB. Both are now clicking. I chose Indy by 6.

8:15 FOX

5th Seed Seahawks (10-6) vs 4th Cowboys (10-6)

Lord, I don’t like Dallas and can’t be objective when looking at stats. Nine is the number that matters. That’s how many rushing TD’s Seattle has allowed. In the red zone, they’re keeping teams out of the end zone.
Dallas’ offense is wrapped around Zeke Elliot and the run game. Take him away and stick a dagger in their heart, their defense be damned.
Seattle allows one more point a game than Dallas and that’s coming from the pass. They’re not great against it, but when it comes to tossing them, they’ve got Dallas beat by 13 TD’s.
Dallas has to find a way to keep up in scoring in order to win. They lag by 5 points per game, hence nine is the key. Nine means the Seahawks have had games with zero rushing TD’s allowed. Do that vs Dallas and you’ve got a big win for Seattle.
In my subjective view point, Seattle plays bend don’t break defense while Dallas plays more flashy, that can get them into trouble. And FYI, Seattle has more rushing TD’s than Dallas. 15 to 13. My prediction, Seahawks by 7 because Dak Prescott will be strip sacked.

SUNDAY 1:05 CBS

5th Seed Chargers (12-4) vs 4th Seed Ravens (10-6)

LA has a big thing going for them, they travel well. 7-1 to be exact which means they aren’t afraid of playing in loud stadiums, plus they have shown time changes don’t bother them, either. In their first match-up, offensive penalties killed them. This is an area to see if it was cleaned up – it’ll go to coaching.
The Chargers have to stop the run, which they’re not bad at, but they’re going to need to be great. Baltimore is number 3rd at the run TD’s, so not a good match-up.
Against the pass, Baltimore is second in QBR and LA is 9th. Both teams on total defense is top ten. Offense is where the gap is.
When it comes to points on the board, LA has scored almost twice as many TD’s. So, this game is about slowing Rivers through the air and stopping the Ravens on the ground. Kind of funny that rivers run on the ground and ravens fly through the air but each team is the reverse. Yes, I’m goofy.
In January (outside), the run game and defense, win. No one is really talking up the Charger’s run game, but they have three less TD’s than Baltimore and more yards per carry and that’s with Melvin Gordon missing time. Both defenses have given up 11 rushing TD’s.
Baltimore keeps points to 17.9 a game while LA scores 26.8. Baltimore is scoring 24.3, while LA gives up 20.6. Based on just this, LA wins by a FG in a slug fest.

4:40 NBC

6th Seed Eagles (9-7) vs 3rd Seed Bears (12-4)

The Eagles are the feel good team this season, once Nick Foles came in and won. The difference between this season and last is one, teams have now seen enough of him in this offense to know him and two, da Bears.
When it comes to consistency, I’ll take Foles over Mitch Trubisky, but Matt Nagy has found a way to scheme around him and it works. Plus, Chicago has 50 sacks. I don’t think Nick or that OL is ready for Khalil Mack.
Where the two teams are equal is on defending the pass for the score. Both have allowed 22. This opens the door for the quarterbacks to have a decent day provided they don’t get creamed, first. However, Chicago has intercepted the pass an amazing 27 times, needless to say, that’s very bad for Foles. His mental game must be on high alert.
Foles’ total QBR is ranked lower middle, Trubisky is ranked third. Which shows he makes plays even in his inconsistency and that’s what matters. Not to mention, Nick has bruised ribs – against a team with 50 sacks. I’m not seeing a happy ending for the fairytale.
Philadelphia has done better as the season wore on, their defense found its legs, but they’re not a top team and on the road in Chicago, I predict da Bears by 14. This is my one blow-out game.

AFCS Week 15 Game Previews with stats, passing charts, injury reports, TV areas and referee crews

AFCS week 15 game previews
When games are on Saturdays, you know the season is winding down. Why do these AFCS Week 15 Game Previews when the Jaguars are out of the play off hunt? Because it’s football. Secondly, we will face our divisional opponents next season and most likely many of the same players and/or teams. Why not keep track of their stats, passing charts, injury reports and referee crews? Screen Shot 2018-12-15 at 2.32.46 PM

FOX GAMESScreen Shot 2018-12-15 at 2.32.14 PM

SATURDAY 4:30 NFL Network

Texans (9-4) vs Jets (4-9)

This should be an easy win for the Texans, but as they say, on any given Sunday… Referee Crew: brad allen ref crew The Texans look healthy with only three “questionables” which also gives them an edge. Don’t trust Bill O’Brian though, I swear he adds guys with a hang nail just to make other teams think they’re messed up and don’t need to play as hard. For the Jets, their secondary is the uh-oh.

Before we get to stats, let’s take a look at Misters Watson and Darnold. Last week, several were sure Sam was a bust, but then he found a groove and they flipped like a politician. Since Darnold didn’t play a few games, only showing last week and the overall chart. Obviously, the 21 year old rookie is far behind Watson. Neither one is tearing anyone up, though. sam darnold passing charts These passing charts tell a story and that’s both teams need a run game and a defense to win and that Watson has become comfortable with the middle of the field. Which may be the key to beating him: force him to throw to the left sidelines. Houston is 5th in allowing points – a paltry 19.9 per game. Unless your QB is Blake Bortles or someone close, allowing so little should be enough to win every game. Of the top ten teams against points, only Jacksonville and Denver have losing records and both have crappy QB’s. The Jets defense is down at 22nd and have a rookie QB, so that explains all you need to know about which team should win this game and do so handily. The area both teams are equal in is stopping passing TDs and sacks. Watson may not throw a whole bunch, but he helps the run game and that’s crucial. He tends to make critical strikes at the right moments that put his team in the best spot to win. The Jets passing game is like a ghost, only Arizona and Buffalo are worse (fellow rookies).   In short, because why drag out the conclusion, NY can’t run the ball well without Crowell, can’t pass well and their defense tries to do the best they can, but they’re on the field so much. The Jets’ weapon they used to beat Denver is on IR, they beat the Colts with FG’s and the Bills stink.

SUNDAY 1:00 GAMES

Titans (7-6) vs Giants (5-8)

This should be a good game, who would have thought that a month ago? The NFL is crazy this year. Referee Crew: shawn hochuli ref crew On Friday, Marcus Mariota was added to the injury report, a place he seems to live on. Will it matter? Probably not unless they need to rely on a passing game. With an ab injury, it means he’ll need to muscle throws in. He doesn’t have the strongest arm, so my guess is, any tight window throws beyond five yards will be an issue. For the Giants, who are so healthy it should be a crime, Odell Beckham is the concern. However, Sterling Shepard has shown he’s a weapon, too. titans week 15 friday injury reportgiants week 15 friday injury report When it comes to passing, Manning is throwing some slow flying ducks, but they’ve found ways around it, one of which is using Saquon Barkley. Pat Shumur is showing why he was chosen to be a head coach as the team is starting to click. eli manning passing charts For some reason, there isn’t a cumulative chart for Mariota, but I looked it up. He’s 11/8, 2,330 yards, 69.1% completion, with a rating of 93.4. Fairly close to Manning which kind of makes sense in that his arm strength is off from injuries, so they have to use him differently, too. marcus mariota passing charts The Giants are 16th in scoring points, the Titans 27th. Tennessee would have the same rushing TD’s as NY if not for the Jaguars showing they forgot how to stop the run and allowed Derrick Henry to do what he wanted. Could he do it again vs the Giants? Sure because they’re not very good stopping the run, they’re down in the 20’s for rushing yards and TD’s. Tennessee is 5th for not allowing TD’s. Tennessee is also far superior against the pass, for yards, but for points? Only one TD separates them. The key to the game is the run for the Titans. Whether it’s a tailback or Mariota, they’re going to need to run the ball for several reasons:
  • limit the hits Mariota takes
  • NY is good against the pass
  • they need to keep the better offense off the field, running burns more clock
  • NYG is poor vs the run
For NYG to win they need to force Mariota to throw and contain him the pocket. When Mariota throws, take away the short hops and ones to the middle. For Manning, keep the pass count under 30. Overall, the more he throws, the less efficient he is. Play action will work since Barkley is a threat. My money is on the home team because as good as the Titans defense is, their offense will need to put up some points.

Redskins (6-7) vs Jaguars (4-9) CBS

Two things have hurt the Jaguars more than anything this season: injuries and referees. They’re playing a team as beat up as them which should eliminate that issue as a factor, but the reffing may decide (again) who wins. They’re why I started adding ref crews to these scouting reports. Referee crew: clete blakeman ref crew The Redskins make me feel sorry them and that’s a big thing considering how beat up our team is. If the Jags don’t win, it’s one of three things: bad coaching, coaches are bad, the coaches’ game plan. redskins week 15 friday injury report It’s a shocker, but the OL will be missing two. I hope Kessler has been doing wind sprints because I believe the OL is down to the bag boys from Publix. Jaguars week 15 friday injury report I’m not posting passing charts for these quarterbacks because they look like what a Pop Warner Midget game would show, plus they have 2 games, combined. Based on what we don’t know about Cody Kessler and Josh Johnson, let’s look at rushing and defenses. It’s tough to imagine either team will try to put the game in their QB’s hands, but one should. In case you didn’t know, the Jags’ run game has been poor. Between an OL that spends more time at the ER than the games and Fournette who was out for weeks, they’re ranked in a tie for dead last for TD’s. Washington has twice as many at 12 and an average 4.4 yards per carry to Jacksonville’s 4.1. They also average 114 yards a game to Jax’s 104. Not exactly the stats a run-first team should have. Since Jacksonville is supposed to have a stout defense, I’m sure stopping the run must be good, right? Looks at Derrick Henry and sighs. Jax has allowed 14 TD’s to Washington’s 11. SO, there is a little light. Maybe Fournette, Hyde and Yeldon can do something. Both teams are allowing 4.5 a rush. That’s just so pitiful I want to punch something. Moving on to rainbows. As much crap as the national media wants to throw at Jalen Ramsey and the secondary, they seem to overlook that when it comes to stopping the pass, no one is better. They are tied with Minnesota in only allowing 15. Washington is 18th in allowing 23. Dearest wide receivers, CATCH THE DANG BALL and you will win. They’re allowing a 66.8 completion percentage. Do your jobs and make that number so.

CATCH THE DANG BALL, JAGS

That’s the key to this game. While the Jaguars may want to keep the game plan conservative with Kessler, they ought to open it wide open, unless, or until he does bad. BAD, not mediocre. What have they got to lose, a play off spot? If it works, the fans are happy, they can keep him for next season as a security blanket or get a high trade partner for him. If it doesn’t, oh well. Do you hear me, Milanovich? Balls to the walls. For Washington to win, they need to run the ball. Johnson may know ten plays and Todd Wash has experience with him, plus he’s facing a damn good secondary. His best shot is at screens and shallow crossers since the edge rushing seems to have died this season along with tackling. I’m going to be at TIAA – I’m not hurt, no funeral to go to and no ER visit for puking. Knock on wood. SO, it better not rain and turn into a plodding run game. I didn’t get to the field to eat the grass, if I did, I’d say this was in the bag. If they lose, heads should roll.

Go Jags!

Cowboys (8-5) vs Colts (7-6)

You should never root for a divisional opponent to win, but dang I detest the Cowboys and since Jacksonville is out of the PO race, I hope Dallas loses. Three reasons: when Jerry Jones loses he looks like a South Park character. Secondly, every year the national media says this is the team to go a Super Bowl. Finally, they get so many unwarranted national TV games. Referee crew: carl cheffers ref crew Neither team looks all that healthy, it may be a wash, except, Andrew Luck has had a good season because this OL has done a great job protecting him. Quenton Nelson has a back issue and that could allow him to get run over. cowboys week 15 friday injury reportcolts week 15 friday injury Dak Prescott is too erratic for me to think he’s a QB I’d bet on to win a game. He throws a few elite passes a game to make people forget all the boneheaded ones. His passing charts can’t show those. They do show he’s thrown less TD’s than he’s played games. dak Prescott passing charts Meanwhile, Andrew Luck is throwing almost 2x times as many (Jags put a wrench in his record). andrew luck passing charts.png This game should be a good one. Dallas defense vs Indy offense. Jacksonville showed how it can be done, but the Cowboys don’t have the same talent. Remember, Jax also kept Mahones from throwing a TD. Indy and Dallas both have allowed the same number of passing TD’s – 19. That gives the advantage to Luck since he’s thrown more than their average and Prescott has thrown less. When it comes to air yards, there’s a .2 difference between them. Both teams allow a 97 passer rating, advantage Indy, again. So, when it comes to passing, the game is Indy’s to lose. Both teams have the same amount defensive sacks (35); however, when it comes to taking sacks, Prescott has gone down 48 times for a staggering 293 lost yards. As far as rushing defense, Indy has allowed 10 TD’s to Dallas’s seven. .2 yards also separate them for rushing yards per play. Overall, Dallas is better at stopping the run on all levels, but not by much. Which may not matter for Dallas since Indy doesn’t run a whole lot; however, Dallas does. Their offense is built off of it. Dallas has 11 to Indy’s 8 rushing TD’s. The bottom line is, the Colts are a better team. In order for Dallas to win, they will need their secondary to find a way to stop Luck and keep them from scoring because the boys lag far behind in that category. Indy is scoring one more TD a game than Dallas. That’s where their run game can help – keep Luck off the field. For Indy, the answer is to get after Dak. Sacking him shouldn’t be too difficult. If they can contain the edges, all the better because he’s better on the run than from the pocket. Obviously, Elliot is the weapon and they can only do so much, but flustering Prescott will force three and outs. Indy’s best defense is Luck throwing TDs. If Luck stays to form, they win. I’ll take his passing game over Dallas’s run game. Until next week…

GO JAGS!

AFCS Week 15 Friday injury report and game status.

AFCS Week 15 Friday injury report and game status.

Here is the final report for the AFCS games. There is some additions from yesterday which stinks for the Jaguars, but worse for the Redskins. 

SATURDAY 4:30 NFL Network

Texans (9-4) vs Jets (4-9)

This is a repeat of yesterday since they play tomorrow, so no changes.

 

SUNDAY 1:00 GAMES

Titans (7-6) vs Giants (5-8)

New York added Nate Solder, who hasn’t been all that great protecting Manning as it was. Marcus Mariota is on the list, again. Yes, he’ll play, but he’ll most likely need to arm throw.

titans week 15 friday injury reportgiants week 15 friday injury report

 

Redskins (6-7) vs Jaguars (4-9) CBS

As if the Redskins needed more injuries, they added three today, that’s 7 that are questionable. They’ll play because who else do they have? I know it’s shocking, but the Jags have two OL who will be out. Also, since the Jags brought in a kicker, I’d guess things don’t look good Josh Lambo. Which is bad for Jacksonville since he’s our offense.

redskins week 15 friday injury reportJaguars week 15 friday injury report

Cowboys (8-5) vs Colts (7-6)

Dallas added a WR to their Q list and right now, they’re not looking so great; however, their weapon, Zeke Elliot was a full go.

The Colts did not have a good day with the addition of three to the list, including their rookie G Quenton Nelson. That is bad news for them because Luck has been doing well since he has had a good OL.

cowboys week 15 friday injury reportcolts week 15 friday injury

That’s a wrap for week 15 – GO JAGS!

AFCS Week 15 Thursday Injury Report & game status

AFCS, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, injury reports, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins

This week the AFCS teams face three losing teams, and one with a winning record. This is the time of year where the healthiest teams tend to win and for sure win in the play-offs, hence keeping an eye on who’s healing and who’s not. Check out the  AFCS Week 15 Wednesday Injury Report.

SATURDAY 4:30 NFL Network

Texans (9-4) vs Jets (4-9)

The Jets look a mess and without a chance at the PO’s it’s tough to see them playing hard. While Houston’s list looks fairy beat-up, too, they only need to this win to seal up the AFCS (bastards), tough to see they won’t, they can sit everyone if they want.

The Jets added Tremaine Johnson to their list ad he’s questionable.



SUNDAY 1:00 GAMES

Titans (7-6) vs Giants (5-8)

These two teams are sickeningly healthy, especially NY and that could be the difference in the game. The one thing to note though is five of the Titans ( and a couple more not listed this week) are constantly on the report. So, nagging injuries.

Redskins (6-7) vs Jaguars (4-9) CBS

Jacksonville is finally playing a team more beat up than they are, that’s a miracle like Miami’s last play vs NE*. What’s not great for the Jags is even after a mini-bye, the same guys from ten days ago are still on this list.

The good news is Calais Campbell and Jalen Ramsey aren’t on it. However, their best scorer is on it, Josh Lambo, which is NOT good. He’s like losing a QB.

Cowboys (8-5) vs Colts (7-6)

Want to know why Dallas is winning? Their injury report is half what it was when they were losing. Same for the Colts. Theirs and the Texans used to be a phone book and then both teams got a lot healthier and boom, wins came.

For the Colts having Hilton and Cox banged up doesn’t help them and for Dallas it’s having three OL and Elliot. That’s a lot of offense. The cowboys have Elliot back today and that’s huge for them because Prescott without him is not good, at all.

AFCS Week 15 Wednesday Injury Report

AFCS Week 15 Wednesday Injury Report

This week the AFCS teams face three losing teams, and one with a winning record. This is the time of year where the healthiest teams tend to win and for sure win in the play-offs, hence keeping an eye on who’s healing and who’s not. Check out the  AFCS Week 15 Wednesday Injury Report.

SATURDAY 4:30 NFL Network

Texans (9-4) vs Jets (4-9)

The Jets look a mess and without a chance at the PO’s it’s tough to see them playing hard. While Houston’s list looks fairy beat-up, too, they only need to this win to seal up the AFCS (bastards), tough to see they won’t, they can sit everyone if they want.

texans week 15 wednesday injury reportjets week 15 wednesday injury report

SUNDAY 1:00 GAMES

Titans (7-6) vs Giants (5-8)

These two teams are sickeningly healthy, especially NY and that could be the difference in the game. The one thing to note though is five of the Titans ( and a couple more not listed this week) are constantly on the report. So, nagging injuries.

titans week 15 wednesday injury reportGiants week 15 wednesday injury report

Redskins (6-7) vs Jaguars (4-9) CBS

Jacksonville is finally playing a team more beat up than they are, that’s a miracle like Miami’s last play vs NE*. What’s not great for the Jags is even after a mini-bye, the same guys from ten days ago are still on this list.

The good news is Calais Campbell and Jalen Ramsey aren’t on it.

redskins week 15 wednesday injury reportJaguars week 15 wednesday injury report

Cowboys (8-5) vs Colts (7-6)

Want to know why Dallas is winning? Their injury report is half what it was when they were losing. Same for the Colts. Theirs and the Texans used to be a phone book and then both teams got a lot healthier and boom, wins came.

For the Colts having Hilton and Cox banged up doesn’t help them and for Dallas it’s having three OL and Elliot. That’s a lot of offense.

cowboys week 15 wednesday injury reportcolts week 15 wednesday injury report

AFCS Week 8 Game Previews – stats, referee crews, passing charts, injury reports

AFCS Week 8 Game Previews

Both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Indianapolis Colts have bye weeks, so this preview is only the Texans and Titans. Unfortunately for the Jags, based on stats and watching the two teams, it looks like the Texans will win in this AFCS Week 8 Game Preview.

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

Referee Crew

Texans week 9 ref crew

The Texans are still beat-up, but somehow still find ways to win. Clowney has been on a tear lately, so his injury hurts. Pun intended.

The Broncos have a couple of key injuries that Watson should be able to use and tear the Broncos up.

The Broncos operate efficiently off their run game and while Lindsey has been their bell cow, Freeman hasn’t been a schlub, but add him with a banged up Janovich and more just got dumped on Case Keenum.

That’s a bad thing if you know stats and his is ranked 29th for TD-INT ratio. The last thing Denver needs is more throwing from their $25M man. In addition, they’re down a starting and back-up CB and their starting SS.

For the Texans, their secondary is also banged up, but Keenum shouldn’t strike fear, he’s thrown an INT in every game he’s played, ranking him dead last in that dubious category.

Denver is third in rushing, Houston 5th; however, the Broncos have 9 rushing TD’s compared to the Texans’ 4. That’s the ball game right there. Keep them out of the red zone where they score and game over.

Houston is 15-7 in TD-INT, so Denver’s secondary is going to have a long day. Strangely, the Texans’ defense is the exact same. They’ve allowed 15 passing TD’s and intercepted 7.

Bottom line, this is a bad match-up for the Broncos because Houston has only allowed two rushing TD’s, the very motor Denver must have to win. In fact, their OC this week said he wants to run the ball even more.

In addition, Demaryius Thomas was recently dumped and one can imagine he’s not too happy and won’t mind pumping the Texans with everything he knows which is everything.

Sure, the Broncos know all about DT, but who are they going to put on him? He may be a little slower in his step, but he’s good route runner, he’s big and if they cover him, that’s an open guy elsewhere.

Denver is ranked 28th against the run and 16th against the pass. With their secondary gasping for breath, doubtful that number increases. This is bad news for Jaguar fans who need a Texans loss.

No comment on these passing charts because they tell the story of who’s safer with the ball and maybe a harbinger of the day to come.

Titans (3-4) vs Cowboys (3-4) Monday 8:15 ESPN

Referee Crew

The Titans look pretty healthy sad to say.

Cowboys are a little banged up, also sad to say.

This is another game the Jags need some help with a loss by the Titans. Fortunately, this one seems more doable than the Texans game. While Dallas will be short-handed, their secondary, which is second against the pass is healthy.

They’ve only allowed 8 passing TD’s. Not to be left behind, TN has only allowed 9, so the passing defenses on these two teams are evenly matched.

When it comes to stopping the run, both teams are also close – TN has allowed 3, Dallas, 4. Both teams are also behind the curve when it comes to giveaways. Each are in the negative.

Which means this game will truly come down to who turns the ball over, least.

When it comes to total offense, both teams are way down in the dregs of the awful. Both teams are 30 and 31st in passing – they like to pass to the other team. Prescott is 50-50.

Tennessee is worse, but they had Gabbert for a couple of games and a hurt Mariota.

The only difference that separates these teams is Zeke Elliot and even he isn’t burning up the charts. I like to use TD stats over yards because who cares if you can throw and run between the 30’s if when you get in the red zone, you get a FG or zip?

Some teams have a lot of empty yards, so it’s the points that’s worth looking at. The cowboys have five rushing TD’s and Tennessee has three. Kind of pitiful.

In case you were wondering, both teams have missed two field goals and made all their XP’s, so the kicking game may not be a factor.

Neither QB is tearing it up, but with the game in Dallas and Dak doing better with the ball than Mariota, the edge goes to the Cowboys.

 

 

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.

Image result for tv viewing chart for week 6 nfl

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)

AFCS Week 6 Friday Injury Report – Game status, too.

On Fridays (with Sunday games), teams typically have walk-throughs, so it’s usual to see players have upgraded statuses on Fridays. Here’s the AFCS Week 6 Friday Injury report, Game Status

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

Buffalo may be the healthiest team in the NFL. This alone could give them the edge, especially since their safeties were full go’s.

If the Texans lose and Bill O’Brian wants to save his job, he should say his team was too banged up. Truthfully though, if they can’t protect Deshaun Watson, that answer will be valid.