NFL Week Seven After Action Report (AAR)
There’s been a shift in the standings and I’m not just talking about the teams on the field. As the Philadelphia Eagles top the Power Rankings heading into week eight, Brad tops the SportsIntel leader board. Silly me for betting against his Chargers!
Brad was right. Baltimore Ravens at Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings rode stingy defense and a methodical running game to victory despite middling quarterback play. Unless you’re a Ravens or Vikings fan, this game was a bit of a snoozefest. Baltimore doesn’t do anything particularly well or poorly. Javorius Allen catching eight passes for just 29 yards is a perfect microcosm of the Raven’s offense. I hope I don’t find myself in the position of writing about the 2017 Baltimore Ravens again.
Brad was wrong while being right. Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers.
Dallas won, but it was NOT close. The ‘Boys jumped on the lethargic 49ers from the outset and never looked back cruising to a 40-10 win in Santa Clara. We finally saw Dak play more efficiently and Zeke was electric scoring three times and racking up 219 total yards on 27 touches. Falling behind 14-3 half way through the first quarter simply put SF behind the 8-ball. Their rookie QB was sacked five times and fumbled twice as he was asked to drop back way too many times. I thought this would be a closer game because Dallas hasn’t looked great and San Fran has hung tough despite losing every time out, but Dallas got back to the formula that worked so well for them last season.
The fall of the 49ers is truly remarkable. Remember that they’re just three seasons removed from three straight NFC Championship Game appearances. Kyle Shanahan knew he had his work cut out for him when he took the job and became the fourth coach in four years, but this roster is even more of a mess than he realized. It’s not time to panic though. With new GM John Lynch, Shanahan will get at least two seasons. I was wrong about the back half of their schedule being easy too, so you can forget about them going over 4.5 wins as I originally predicted.
Brad was right about the winner, wrong about the spread. Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles.
Philly continues to prove me wrong. They covered the spread relatively easily and dominated their division rival for the second time this season. Blount was not effective running the ball, but Wentz picked up the slack with 63 rushing yards. He made play after play and is probably the leader in the MVP race as we close in on the half way mark of the season. If the playoffs started today, the Philadelphia Eagles would be the NFC’s top seed. The loss of Jason Peters will be difficult to overcome, but everyone has injuries to deal with. Speaking of injuries, Washington’s offensive line is in terrible shape. Four of their five starters missed snaps on Monday night as they had to shuffle players around to make it through. Kirk Cousins still received adequate protection and was able to put together a pretty good game statistically, but the ‘Skins couldn’t get much going on the ground and ultimately ran out of gas. As predicted, Washington was over matched in pass coverage with their secondary as banged up as their o-line. The upcoming schedule provides no relief with Dallas coming to town this week followed by games at NFC-contending Seattle, home to NFC North-leading Minnesota, and at NFC South-leading New Orleans.
Week Six Accuracy: 3-0
Overall Accuracy: 9-4
Danny was wrong. Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders.
I was wrong. I genuinely don’t believe the Raiders will turn their season around, but they definitely exposed a weak Chiefs secondary that may end up being their Achilles heel. I still believe the Chiefs will win the AFC West, but the last couple of weeks have exposed some serious issues with the Kansas City defense.
Danny was right. New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers.
I was right. It wasn’t hard picking Drew Brees against Brett Hundley in his first NFL start. The Saints overcame some turnovers and a slow start to close out their game against the Packers.
Danny was wrong. Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams.
I was right. The Cards are old and washed up. Yeah, that’s right: stick a fork in them, they are done. The Rams are on the rise and the balance they demonstrate offensively should scare defensive coordinators across the league. If you haven’t had a chance to watch them play, check them out and you’ll remember why Todd Gurley was so highly touted coming out of school and wonder why so many teams passed over Cooper Kupp in the draft.
Week Six Accuracy: 2-1
Overall Accuracy: 6-6
Chris was right-ish. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills.
I’ll take credit for the win, but the score line was certainly unexpected. The Bills haven’t been a high scoring football team through the first half of the season, and I expected that trend to continue. If you had told me they would need to score 30 points to win, I would probably have bet against them because the offense has been very inconsistent. That was on display Sunday, but as predicted the Bills defense made some key plays down the stretch to secure the win. The Buccaneers obviously didn’t go with Mr. Fitztragic, but as I mentioned in my pick, I was going to take the Bills even with Winston starting. Winston has been turnover prone and Buffalo has a defense that will make you pay for that. Still, Winston outperformed my expectations and he had a chance to win this game.
Chris was wrong, surprisingly. Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers.
It’s surprising not because I’m never wrong, but because they continue to struggle despite a strong start to the season. Trevor Siemian played well in the first few games of the season, and the Broncos discovered they had an effective running game. Their defense has remained solid for the most part, and they’ve been able to move the chains, but this Sunday was different. The running game didn’t get off the ground, and their offensive line started to show some cracks after a better start than anyone was expecting. I don’t think any of these factors explain their first shutout since 1992. The Chargers offense has had its moments; Melvin Gordon and Phillip Rivers mean you have the ability to put up points, but a 21-0 blowout shouldn’t have been on anyone’s radar. Still, it happened and I’m just going to have to wonder why Brad can’t admit he’s still a Chargers fan.
Chris wrong but he will be right. Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots.
I saw an article this morning that said pretty much the opposite of what I had predicted, Patriots Dominate Falcons, but I’m not sorry. I believe both teams had the opportunity to make a statement with this game, and I think the Falcons are the better team on paper. They had the most to lose in this scenario, and for me, it was a must win game. I believed a Dan Quinn coached team, should have enough experience to know they needed to bring everything they had this week, and that’s not what we saw. I was wrong about the win, but I’m going to be right in the end. The Falcons won’t be winning the Super Bowl this year, I don’t think they make it past the NFC Championship.