Finally, another 3-0 week. I love the Raiders this year, Cowboys are just playing incredible football, but literally no one can beat the Patriots. I hate to say it but I can’t see Brady not getting his 5th this year. It looks like this veteran, Hall of Fame team, will end up playing a fair amount of first time postseason players. No one really stands a chance. Alas! We’re heading towards the cold football months. Thanksgiving is upon us and now you start rooting against teams who are looking to snatch away your playoff spot. But first, let’s look back, then forward.
Biggest Takeaway: Tension in LA
Okay Rams, it’s time to start Goff. Case Keenum looks so bad it’s not even worth starting him. You’re 3-5 and not winning the NFC West this year. I read a statement by Chris Carter and could not agree more. I hated Goff coming out of college and thought he’d be a bust once drafted. That’s what the Rams have to be thinking. Throw Goff in the fire, he will get exposed, and possibly lose all confidence and end up being the Ryan Leaf of the 2016 NFL draft. I don’t think he can play. But it’s time to play the hand you gambled on.
Maybe I’m wrong and Goff will play well. I just don’t see it. Watching his preseason games, HBO’s Hard Knocks, and the vibe he gives off just doesn’t scream winner. However, you cannot trot Keenum out on the field as your QB. You drafted Goff to be your franchise star and it’s time you see what the kid can do. The fans are restless. Jeff Fischer, your job lies in the hands of an unproven QB out of Cal. You better hope he plays well once he gets his shot, or you’ll be on the unemployment line.
Best Week 9 Win: Baltimore Ravens
This wasn’t the most exciting game or impressive win. But this was a huge win for the Ravens with hopes of a division crown this year. Baltimore snapped a four game losing streak after starting the season 4-0. It felt like a must win at home for this team. It wasn’t pretty, Ben wasn’t 100% healthy, and the Ravens didn’t impress me. However, all that matters is the win. This puts the Ravens in a tie for first place. Joe Flacco’s offense looked mediocre as always. New addition Mike Wallace had an impressive 95 yard TD (the longest in franchise history during the regular season); outside of that, it was all defense and special teams. The Ravens completely shut down Bell. He was a non factor which made the game fall onto Big Ben’s injured body. Until the fourth quarter, the Steelers hadn’t scored. Baltimore blocked a punt for a TD and played great defense. Shades of a Ray Lewis run team from the early 2000s. A key win in the close NFC North for the Ravens. Will be a fun division to monitor down the stretch.
Worst Week 9 Loss: Green Bay Packers & Minnesota Vikings
The Lions had the best Week 9 of any team. At the start of the season, the division looked to be a two team battle. Minnesota and Green Bay have really struggled as of late. The Packers are crushed with injuries and no RB. The Vikings offensive woes continue. Last week showed me that this division is wide open. I’m even giving the Bears a shot to jump back into the mix.
The Vikings were up 3 with :23 left in the game. Absolutely no way you should lose this game. You have to give credit where credit is due. Prater nailed a 58-yard clutch kick to send it to overtime – then followed the game with a mic drop statement. In OT, Golden Tate showboated and flipped into the end zone sealing a crushing Vikings loss.
As for the Packers, it’s never good to start the game with the opposing team taking the opening kickoff back to the house. This team rides or dies with Aaron Rogers. He is the only reason this team has won football games this year. The guy needs some damn help. The WRs have been banged up, I could honestly be the RB, and outside of some defensive turnovers, this team lets up too many points. The Pack now find themselves behind the Lions and Vikings in the standings. Much like the AFC North, it’ll be fun to see how this division unfolds.
Week 10 Predictions:
Can’t Miss Win: Cardinals over 49ers
This is a no brainer. The 49ers are trying their best to catch-up to the Browns for the first pick in the upcoming draft. Outside of Navarro Bowman, there’s not one player you can really be excited about. Chip has a lot of rebuilding to do. The only win the 49ers have clocked in this year was in week one. The losing streak shall continue with Arizona. I don’t think the Cards have the offense to surpass the Seahawks for the NFC West crown this year, but they will not lose to the abysmal Niners. The Cardinals are way too talented on the defensive side of the ball to let San Francisco even score. David Johnson will have a field day for those lucky fantasy owners. Expect this one to not even be close. I don’t think there’s much else to say. The Cardinals have talent on their team and the 49ers do not. Good luck this offseason Chip, your NFL days are numbered. Cardinals 34-6.
Intriguing Matchup: Seattle at New England
I’m not sure if you remember the last time these two teams faced off – game was pretty good. It was the Super Bowl XLIX I believe. Malcolm Butler picked off Russell Wilson on the goal line to win the Super Bowl for the Patriots. The infamous play call from Pete Carroll to not hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch will go down in history. Now, they face off for the first time since that play in February of 2015. Do you think these teams like each other? The answer to that question is no. This will be a battle and an entertaining matchup between a loud mouth defense, facing off against a passionate Patriots offense. Brady and Gronk vs. Sherman and Thomas. Sunday Night in Foxborough. What a showdown!
The Patriots do not lose often at home. The Seahawks are not afraid of any opponent. It’s about time SNF started cranking up the marquee matchups. Looking at the way the season has shaped up thus far, this could very well be this year’s Super Bowl preview. Both teams are in first place in their respective divisions. Since Brady has returned, I haven’t seen a team that can even play with the Patriots this year. The guy is unreal and the best QB to ever play the game. Seattle’s offense has begun to find its stride, but this will be a true test. Until Bill and Tom are no longer side by side, I will never bet against them. They are too good and essentially unbeatable at home. Great game, but Pats by 10.
Biggest Upset: Vikings over Redskins
The stumbling Vikings need a win this week. I believe they get it in Washington on Sunday. Both of these offenses aren’t great. But the Redskins offense has been playing much better than the Vikings offense of late. Cousins and Bradford are mediocre QBs with decent WRs at best. Without AP for the Vikings, both of these teams are ok in the running game. It’s a snooze fest on the offensive side of the ball.
This game will be won on defense. Expect this to be low scoring. It’s going to rely on which defense and special teams can produce points is the deciding factor. The Vikings definitely outshine the Skins here. They have a top 5 defense that has a proven ability to score points. Kirk Cousins is prone to interceptions. I think the Vikings grab a pick six and big return yards from their special teams, to get back to their winning ways in Washington with a 20-16 win.
Now, let’s enjoy looking forward, and hope we were right when we take a look back. Enjoy week 10 everyone.
Gotta love a good yearly recap. It's a great way to look back at some of the year's best work, as well as track the progression of...