NFL News & Views @ NFLRT 9/29

This week’s questions… 

1) There were 14 games played on Sunday and almost all of them went against the script… 11 of the 14 games had either the underdog winning outright or they covered the spread.  

Which game was the biggest surprise … the one you never saw coming … in its final score?

Chad:  I’d say the Jags/Ravens game just because of the score and the Blake Bortles air show that occurred, that included hitting Marcedes Lewis 3 times for Touchdowns.

Dan: Jacksonville’s dismantling of Baltimore was the biggest surprise of the week for me. I wasn’t expecting that game to be within a score with Baltimore winning. I wasn’t expecting Baltimore’s offense to not move and their defense to get absolutely torched by Blake Bortles and company who are playing without Allen Robinson.

Was it because it was in London? Is Jacksonville better than we thought? Is Baltimore way worse than we thought? Who knows, but this had to be the biggest shock of the week.

David: Buffalo. Denver has been on a roll, and Trevor has been looking good, and the Bills have not been able to do squat. So, of course the Bills defense gets 2 turnovers and drops 26 points on that defense. Just amazing.

Joe: Truthfully… The Jets /Dolphins final score.

The fact that the Jets won was a big enough surprise. But, the fact the Jets held Miami scoreless until almost no time… 6 seconds… was left on the clock? That was unbelievable.

2) There are now five teams that have an 0-3 record this season… which team, if any, can still get back into the playoff picture? Why? 

Chad: I don’t think any of them can: The Chargers and the Giants are in divisions that wouldn’t allow for slow starts.

The 49ers and Browns are still bad teams even though both showed offensive skills in Week 3.

And, the Bengals I just don’t see rattling off a 10-3 run to get to 10-6 and the Playoffs.

Dan: Out of all the teams that are 0-3, I think the only team with the best chance at making the post-season and the most surprising 0-3 team is the New York Giants. They have a very good defense, Eli Manning isn’t that bad and their offense did improve with the addition of Brandon Marshall to accompany Odell Beckham Jr. And, they’ve changed their offensive formation so they’re not running the same personnel time and time and time again.

I had the Giants making the post-season as a Wild Card and still think they’ll be able to turn their season around and steal a Wild Card slot from somebody in the NFC.

David:I really can’t see any of them making the playoffs. The Giants might be the best team of the lot, but they are looking at the Iggles and Cowboys in the division, and the NFC East isn’t getting 3 teams in the playoffs.

Joe: None of them will sneak back into the playoff picture. None of them are any good, or at least good enough to come back it their divisions to win the division.

Even the Giants who I had picked as one of my Super Bowl teams.

Shows you what I know about handicapping football. Right?

3) If you had to grade the Texans’ Deshaun Watson’s season so far, what grade does he deserve? Why? 

Deshaun Watson

Chad: I’d Say B-.

He’s making mistakes, but he did get a road win against Cincy and he hung with the Patriots for 60 minutes. If, Houston had a secondary they probably win that game.

Dan: I’ll give him a C. He didn’t look too bad against New England last weekend besides the two interceptions he threw, but he’s improving. Starting off the season completing just over 50% and throwing only a touchdown and an interception against Jacksonville, he has improved each week, rushing for a touchdown and 61 yards in week 2 including no passing TDs or interceptions and increasing his completion percentage to 62.5% against a bad Cincinnati team. He did look much better against New England with a 66% completion percentage, 9.12 yards per pass (way up) and rating of 90.6, which is 15 points higher than week 2 and 30 points higher than week 3.

He’s improving each week, but right now, he gets a C.

David: A+ He’s got the lockerroom, he’s winning over the city, and he’s doing well on the field as well. I can live with completing 2 of 3 passes in the NFL. I’m not happy with the chances he takes with his legs, but if I’m a Texans fan, I’m thrilled I got him for a QB.

Joe: At least a “B.”

He has made some bad decisions on the field, threw a few picks (3), but overall he has shown he can run an NFL team and that he is a mobile QB who can run if he has to.  

4) The Jets beat Miami and did it relatively convincingly… is this just a proof of the old saw that “On any given Sunday, any team in the NFL can beat any other team” or are the Jets maybe better than the so-called experts (as well as most fans) have said they would be?   

Jets beat Dolphins 20-6 in possible tank derailer…

Chad: I think it’s more of any given Sunday issue. Don’t get me wrong, Josh McCown is a serviceable QB who might get 2-3 more wins out of them, but they are not a good team.

Dan: I think this is a sign of “any given Sunday.” The Jets are a bad team all-around, besides their defensive line, but I think this is more of a concern for the Dolphins and their fans. They have Cutler leading them, Jay Ajayi didn’t look good last week and their team just isn’t performing and more overrated than people are thinking about them.

I think, based on last week, Jacksonville will beat the Jets by a couple of scores and Miami will be beaten handily by the Saints and Drew Brees-led offense.

David: No. Jets still suck. Just happens to be when you take a bottom tier team that isn’t prepared and simply has a bad matchup for them. McCown didn’t make mistakes, and the Dolphins did.

Joe: I think it is the “Any Sunday” rule in effect. I still see the Jets contending for the first overall pick in next year’s draft.

If, they can string together a few more wins, then I might change my tune. But, I ain’t gonna hold my breath waiting for that to occur. 

5) How good is KC’s Kareem Hunt? Will teams eventually spot something on film and figure out how to defense or is he that rare RB who just might be something special?   

Kareem Hunt rushes for 1 of 3 TDs versus Pats

Chad: I’ll admit I didn’t know about him coming out of Toledo and into the Draft and have gotten to love him because of the numbers he gets me in Fantasy, but he did average over 6 yards a carry in nearly 800 collegiate carries so they really didn’t figure it out in College. Eventually, I think the NFL catches up to him, but I think he could be a diamond in the rough.

Dan: I think Kareem Hunt is that special, rare running back but he’ll slow down. He’s a special combo back that can catch and be a dominant force out of the backfield in screens, dump-offs and regular passes as well as be a dominant running back out of the backfield. He’s been having a good season so far and I think he’ll continue for the rest of the season. He doesn’t turn the ball over which is a huge upside to his future and him being a duel threat makes him one of the rare, special running backs. He’s going to be a very wealthy Darren Sproles in a couple of seasons with a better run game out of the backfield.

He’s a special player, and if you have the opportunity to watch him, take full advantage of it.

David: 3 games in and he’s making everyone look bad.

Joe: Considering I had never really heard about this guy before this season, (admittedly I don’t follow college ball real close until the end of the college season but still…) I would say real damn good.

Lets’ see what he does over a full season but if he keeps this up he could be something special.

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