2017 NFL: Week 11

Thursday
Titans-Steelers

14 Responses to “2017 NFL: Week 11”


  1. Reid

    My interest in the NFL has dropped dramatically. I started watching the Titans-Steelers game, but stopped after Mariota threw his second INT. It really does seem like he’s regressing.

    I started watching the Raiders-Patriots, but soon grew frustrated and gave up watching that game. My thoughts turn to the possibility of hiring someone like Jim Harbaugh or Mike Shanahan.

    The Rams-Vikings game started off fairly well, and I think I enjoyed this more because I wanted the Rams to lose. I think one key was how the teams handled blitzes and pressure. Vikings OL did a good job of blocking blitzes, and Keenum dodged and extended plays, on one occasion making a huge (and incredibly difficult) throw. Viking seemed to have wore out the Rams front seven by the end, too.

    The Rams didn’t handle pressure as well–specifically Goff. What I notice is that pressure won’t necessarily lead to INTs, but it can lead to passes that have no chance of completion (e.g., going into the dirt).

    One last thing. I’m not 100% sure about this, but my sense is that the Vikings defense gets better as the game goes on. You know how great OCs make a adjustments and then play better in the second half? I feel like Zimmer does the same for defenses. Specifically, he’s going to have a handful of pressure schemes that will lead to big plays.

    I really didn’t have any interest in the other games, so that’s all I watched. (I did have some interest in the Cowboys-Eagles, but it wasn’t available at the time, and I wasn’t interested in waiting until it was.)

  2. Reid

    Falcons-Seahawks

    Thoughts:

    Wilson’s two turnovers were huge. The first INT was bad; the fumble is not something I would really get down on him about.

    Wilson worked his scrambling magic. I talk about how Rodgers can make some incredibly difficult throws. From the pocket, Wilson doesn’t make a lot of these perhaps, but when he’s scrambling? The degree of difficulty for some of these throws he completes is off the charts.

    Seahawk defense couldn’t do much. Falcons seemed to easily move the ball down the field. Seahawks don’t seem like a great goal line defense as well.

    Seahawk pass-blocking is good enough. Their run-blocking stinks–way too inconsistent.

    I’m leaning more and more towards changing the OC and maybe even Cable. Cable’s thing is supposed to be the run game, and this OL is pretty terrible at that. The personnel seems to have improved as well.

  3. don

    Pittsburgh, Titans:
    I don’t think Mariota has regressed. In the first half he had two great passes and two really bad ones. Of course they don’t balance each other out, but I see hope. Not to mention, Mariota is not one to throw a lot of interceptions this year. I think prior to this game he had 6 or something like that. Walker had a key drop and that really changed the game. The Steelers still don’t lot great on offense.

    Vikings, Rams:
    I don’t think the Vikings’ D is as good as they seemed in this one. They were able to stop the second highest scoring offensive team from the first drive on, yet they didn’t seem dominate. They play sound and make plays on third down which is almost as good as being dominate, in some sense.
    I really like what I seen from Goff in this game. I thought he looked better in this one, then when I saw him play earlier in the year, despite his lack of production. He steps into the pocket better than all other new QBs (ie: Mariota, Wentz, Dak, etc). I think there is a chance he can be part of this generation of great QBs.

    Cowboys, Eagles:
    Unlike what I said about the Vikings, the Cowboys D stinks on third down, especially when Sean Lee isn’t playing. The score was more lopsided than the game really was. Dallas was able to move the ball and prior to falling behind big was able to sustain drives. They just couldn’t score. Wentz wasn’t great in this one, but as usual made a few spectacular plays. I’m not sold on this Philly team being great, but they just might be the best of the bunch.

    Hawks, Birds:
    Atlanta has to be one of the worse teams to close out games. It’s them and Detroit (the old Detroit team). Not only this game and last year’s Super Bowl, but I think the Falcons had another loss this year when they should have won, and last year in the regular season as well. I didn’t think the Falcons were moving the ball that consistently, but they had great field position a lot of time. I think the Falcons had like 300 yards total on offense (Wilson had more than that by himself.). That’s not bad, but not great as well. The fake field goal by the Seahawks at the end of the half proved costly and is sort of a head scratcher. The payoff didn’t match the risk because if the guy got the first down but didn’t get into the end zone, Seattle would have had to kick the field goal anyway, because there was only a few second left in the half. But I guess they were going with the element of surprise. I mean if the guy scores, I’m saying “ballzy” and “crazy”, but great call.

  4. Reid

    I don’t think Mariota has regressed.

    Maybe I’m seeing things, but he looks less comfortable in the pocket–almost nervous at times. His accuracy seems worse as well.

    …yet they didn’t seem dominate. They play sound and make plays on third down which is almost as good as being dominate, in some sense.

    I agree with this. They’re not dominant, but this is how they play, and how they’re effective.

    I really like what I seen from Goff in this game.

    My takeaway is a little more negative–not in the sense that I think he won’t be good–but what stands out is the way pressure affects him. He doesn’t necessarily panic, but the quality of his throws seems to drop dramatically when under duress. I don’t know if it’s a footwork thing or what, but this is a big reason they lost in my opinion. If he’s not better in these situations, I think they’re at a significant disadvantage against the other good teams.

    The score was more lopsided than the game really was.

    I agree. I was surprised by the half time score. The Cowboys were totally in this game, and the offense looked decent. What’d you think of Prescott’s play? I think his accuracy was shaky at times, but he didn’t seem to have a really bad game.

    I didn’t think the Falcons were moving the ball that consistently…

    Really? I think they were good on third downs, which usually translates to moving the ball fairly well. They were good in the red zone as well.

    The fake field goal by the Seahawks at the end of the half proved costly and is sort of a head scratcher.

    I heard Carroll liked the look, and I also heard that Jarrett ran a stunt, which threw off the long-snapper. If Jarrett doesn’t get through, it could have been an easy TD. If this is correct, then the call seems sound.

    Having said that, I’m starting to question the coaching. I feel like the team should look for a good run-based OC–someone close to a Kubiak and Shanahan. For all the talk about Cable being a really good ZBS guy, he really doesn’t seem to be in the same class as the Shanahans or Kubiak. Then again, there really doesn’t seem to be any great run-based OCs out there–not that I know of, anyway.

  5. Reid

  6. Mitchell

    I slept late Sunday, so didn’t get to see the morning games. The Raiders game was interesting but mostly because I kind of root for the Patriots anyway. If the Raiders are going to be slaughtered, they may as well be slaughtered by the Patriots.

    The Cowboys-Eagles game was interesting. The Cowboys moved the ball much better than I expected them to without their starting RB. People are saying the Eagles OL is as good as last year’s Cowboys OL, and while I didn’t see that in the passing game, the run-blocking was impressive. I’d have to see more of them (which I get the feeling is going to be the case) to say they’re as good as last year’s Cowboys line. But they are clearly pretty darn good.

    If Romo was on the Dallas bench now, would he be taking over? I think the Cowboys have to regret going all in on Dak. Not because he’s not good, but because Romo would have been better.

  7. don

    Two thoughts on Romo:
    1) Romo would have died on the field last week against the Falcons after 8 sacks.
    2) I think most people think that Romo is a better QB than Dak. But one, you cannot flip QBs every time you need a different one for numerous reasons. One being, you have to worry about Dak’s psyche if you pull him every time you think he’s not playing “good enough”. And two, although your star player is great, if he keeps getting hurt, I think there has to be a point where you say keeping star player is worse than moving forward with him. Sean Lee may fall into that category, because although fans can make the case that Dallas isn’t great without him, others may say because we cannot rely on him and we are not great when he’s not in, we may have to think about moving forward without him.

    What do you two Raider fans think of them this year versus what your expectations were going into the year? I’m guessing Reid will say his expectations were tempered anyway, because he hates their offense. But they are playing really bad right now and it doesn’t seem they have lost many pieces from last year.

  8. Reid

    Mitchell,

    People are saying the Eagles OL is as good as last year’s Cowboys OL, and while I didn’t see that in the passing game, the run-blocking was impressive.

    Yeah, I’ve heard others praise the Eagles OL. For whatever reason, I don’t get the sense that it’s really great. It’s not bad at all, but I don’t think I would ever choose them as one of the best OLs. Also, I don’t really see them as a great run-blocking OL.

    If Romo was on the Dallas bench now, would he be taking over? I think the Cowboys have to regret going all in on Dak. Not because he’s not good, but because Romo would have been better.

    This comment kinda surprised me. I don’t think Prescott is the problem. Would Romo be better? Maybe, but he’s brittle, and you can’t count on him to play the entire season. Prescott earned the starting position, and just because Romo might be a little better, that wouldn’t be a good reason to go with Romo. I think you would only go with Romo if Prescott was really, really struggling.

    (I see that Don alluded to what I just said about switching QBs. I agree with him.)

    Don,

    What do you two Raider fans think of them this year versus what your expectations were going into the year? I’m guessing Reid will say his expectations were tempered anyway, because he hates their offense. But they are playing really bad right now and it doesn’t seem they have lost many pieces from last year.

    You’re basically on point with my reaction, for the most part. However, I still expected the offense to be a lot better, more consistent–even if it’s not an offense that I like. I feel like they’re playing below their talent–and I would point to the coaches for that.

  9. Mitchell

    I guess I agree with that, but I would have had Romo starting, beginning in the pre-season. Dak did earn the starting job last season and he deserved to finish it out, but the off-season is a new story, and Romo would have been my guy. The Cowboys already had him under contract, and Dak had already been slated to be his backup.

    Which of course doesn’t say that the Cowboys would be better today. Romo could have been out in Week 3. Tyron Smith is a huge absence. Elliott would still be suspended. Bryant might still be whatever the heck is up with him. But would they be worse off than they are now? I don’t think so. I think Jerry made a mistake.

  10. Reid

    I guess I agree with that, but I would have had Romo starting, beginning in the pre-season.

    I don’t agree with this. Prescott won the position, fairly decisively. He’s the guy, and you need to start developing him. Sitting him would only slow that process. Plus, there’s a good chance Romo wouldn’t be able to play the whole season.

    To me, the Cowboys would only keep Romo if he agreed to be the backup. That is, he would have to understand that Prescott would be the starter, that there really wouldn’t a serious competition for that role. If Romo didn’t want that, then the Cowboys should move on.

    Jones has made a lot of mistakes, but this isn’t one of them.

  11. Mitchell

    So you would have sat the better QB in favor of a still-developing (although certainly adequate) second-year player? You can’t put the better QB on the bench just because he might get hurt.

    Dak earned the starting job for the duration of the 2016 season. Very few QBs should consider their starting jobs secure from season to season; at the very least the Cowboys should have made it an open competition. I’m saying this partly with hindsight, but I don’t think Dak is going to win you any games when things are falling apart, the way Romo will.

  12. Reid

    The “still-developing” QB has played at a level that can take a team to the Super Bowl and win it–or close to it. A little more development could move him into an even more elite level. Another way of saying this: Romo isn’t that much better–or at least I think I could make that claim, especially if Prescott improved during his second year. There are things that Romo does better, but there are things that Prescott does better as well. Romo could extend plays, but he wasn’t the threat to run the ball that Prescott is–and I think that has made the offense more dangerous.

    …but I don’t think Dak is going to win you any games when things are falling apart, the way Romo will.

    I think this is fair, and it’s where Romo might have the advantage. But here are things we really don’t know: a) With age and injuries, does Romo still have this advantage? That is, can he still play at a high level or has his skills declined?; b) Can Prescott improve enough to close the gap?

  13. Mitchell

    I picked Oakland for second in the AFC West, so their current record and condition are a slight disappointment, but I didn’t think this was going to be their year anyway. Nothing I’ve seen has been that surprising, honestly. They were ahead of schedule last year, and where they are now is more what I had in mind for last season. Growing pains and apparently some mismanagement. I’m okay with it for this year.

  14. don

    Re Romo:
    I can understand Reid comments. We cannot know what Romo would have been after the injury. But I cannot see him having the Peyton Manning decline. And if Romo had the Manning decline, then yes end of argument, it’s a no brainer. But if the assumption is that Romo would be back to 100%, I would say there is a significant difference in productivity between Romo and Dak. But I still would have gone with Dak. If the guy you are dependent on to win can at best play 75% of the games, and at worst miss 100% of the games, to me if you have a chance to move on from the guy you have to do that. Again I would say the same of Sean Lee.

    Mitchell,
    I totally get what you are saying about Oakland over-achieving last year. I sort of agree, and yet I also can see that they have talent even along the offensive and defensive lines, which sometimes go unsung, but can hinder a team’s success. At worse I feel they should be a playoff team. Right now they seem closer to the bottom half of the league rather than the top half. Not to mention, once you see your team succeed (whether it’s over-achieve or not), it’s hard not to have some sort of expectations barring injuries or losing key players. Up until a couple weeks ago, I still thought Oakland would turn this season around and go on a run. It’s still possible, but now I’m thinking it more unlikely than likely.

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