In case you didn't know, things are a little bleak with another loss. Blame who you want, there’s plenty to go around, but this team hasn't beaten a team with a winning record since Houston. That quarterback has now been benched. Minus the win over the Jacksonville, the Denver Broncos are 1-4 in the last five games. There is a sliver of hope...
Over the last 10 years, 10-6 teams have the rate of 69% to make it to the playoffs. Finish 9-7, it's a 50/50 prop. Finish 8-8, just one of seven teams made it.
If Denver wins the next two, the Ravens lose, Miami beats Buffalo and loses to NE* (more on that), plus KC beats SD, then Denver would make the playoffs. There’s two more crazy ways, but just as far-fetched. I've seen some say well, Pittsburgh, the Giants and the Packers got in and won SBs as last seed Wild Cards. Those teams had Roethlisberger, Manning and Rodgers. First round QB’s.
If NE* wins next week and we defy the odds and wins in KC in December, they could let Miami win. Not that NE* would be afraid of our offense winning in Foxsboro, but scared of our defense hurting them. Literally. I believe the last time a team won a PO in NE* was the Jets and first round QB Mark Sanchez at the helm.
Every team going against the odds had a first round QB and an offense that was good, but lacked a defense stepping up until the end. Based on this, Baltimore with Flacco and their defense could stay above us. Tennessee could also jump Houston since they play the Jags next Sunday and could beat them in two weeks. Bottom line, we have two beat two teams with winning records and hope other teams below stumble.
Tennessee (8-6) 19 @ 17 Kansas City (10-4)
This was a game of missed opportunities and sloppy play. Like TB had done earlier this season, a young QB came into town and shocked this team. Maybe Siemian can get lucky, too. The record cold for sure had a hand in it. When the cold blows a fuse in the scoreboard, you know it’s frigid. Plus, one coaching fail sealed their fate.
The Chief’s third down conversion rate and RZ woes continued as twice they failed to score points on the one and Alex Smith threw an INT in the RZ.
Thanks to a fake play, Tyreek Hill ran for a 58 yard TD. Maybe KC should just try to keep their scoring attempts out of the RZ. Pretend it’s the Wall of the North.
KC had no answer for 6’2” Derrick Henry’s (Yulee’s own) two TD’s. After his second TD, Tennessee had a chance to take the lead right then, but Mariota missed on a 2 pointer.
Andy Reid being Andy Reid (or channeling some Kubiak) showed some bad clock management and weird play calls. Back to back run plays for a total of 8 yards and then throw? Using 72 seconds. Punting the ball and giving the Titans 67 seconds to get in FG range. Which they did.
To add to the Reid head scratching, was calling a time out right as Ryan Succup (former Chief) kicked a loser. This second chance ended up with three, and a cheer from Denver fans.
Injury: TT S Da’Norris Searcy, concussion, CB Jason McCourty chest, DT Karl Klug
Next up KC hosts Denver on Christmas (Dear Santa...)
New England (12-2) 16 @ 3 Denver (8-6)
In this week’s preview, I wrote we'd need ST to win the game because our anemic offense would need all the help it could get, especially if they failed. We'd need defense to hassle Brady* every play and to move Trevor to get the run game going. It would be necessary to beat them. Plus, we'd need third downs.
ST didn't deliver. Why wasn't Kalif Raymond out there? Our offense failed and ST couldn't help. Our defense did its job. Holding Brady* to 13 points is huge. However, to beat NE* you need all three parts of the team to work and a little luck.
Defense had a few weak links in the front three, but when you hold NE* to one TD, it's tough to look at them for the loss.
Have said before, will say again: a moving Trevor is a good Trevor. When he did move, good things were happening. We had a couple promising drives going where he was being used to the best of his abilities. Those ended in either an INT or a drop or a sack or a flag. FYI, we've had 490 attempts and 14 drops. Only four teams have less drops than us.
What I don't understand is not sticking to what he does well. He can make good short dump off passes, throws on the run and often hits receivers on a go route. He was starting to click with Justin Forsett, AJ Derby and Jeff Heuerman (nice to meet you, Jeff!).
Keep the mental aspect out of his plays since he lacks some basic QB tools and we'd have been able to get more than three. That means, why didn't we stick with what was working? Doing that might've also cut down on later mistakes from the team. So what, he threw an INT, don’t throw out what was working up until then. Just dump having him have to read the defense or use his eyes to throw safeties off.
Once the play calling stopped using what worked up until then, the offense imploded. Mistakes seemed to multiple. It was too much for a young QB to overcome. Shame on the coaches. Two teams scored 3 points this week. Us and the Rams. Our coaches have consistently picked the wrong players and then haven't changed the scheme/play calling to help them.
NFL next gen stats show that the average time he had to throw was 3.26 seconds. That's an eternity. Some of that time was because he was scrambling, but he often held the ball too long because NE* took away his favorite sideline throws. He also was dropping back way too far just for a five yard pass. Assuming that was the play call and not him. WTH?! He had two sacks and two hits for lost yardage that were his fault.
Our third and seventh highest graded players were Micheal Schofield and Russell Okung. With that said, RT Don Stephenson is a nightmare. Why a sixth OL wasn’t used to help him more is beyond me. Instead of keeping him in there as a sixth, Billy Turner was relieving Scho. Both Derby and Heuerman have good grades at pass and run blocking, not using them more in the second half is more WYH?!
Have to add something here. Gary, stop leaving time on the field. That’s not kicking and screaming. Doing that shows you don’t trust your QB. You’ve done it with both QB’s. That’s disheartening to fans and I’m sure to them. Give them a shot, play aggressive. Be the guy who went for a 62 yard FG. Show the same faith in your QB you tell us we should have in him.
Injuries: Denver, Derby and Green, concussions, Wolfe, neck
Oakland (11-3) 19 @ 16 San Diego (5-9)
The fact that the Raiders barely won against a team as beat up as SD would make me a little nervous if I was a fan. Then again, another week of healing for Carr could help matters. That and their defense has been improving.
One wasted time out not used by San Diego could've handed SD a win (a miracle one, true, but it is Christmas) and a collective cheer from Denver fans. What is up with AFC West coaches? Go for the throat, sheesh.
Sebastian Janikowski was the hero of the day. Four FGs. In front of a crowd that looked like a black hole of raiders. Similar to the oranging of the stadium when Peyton Manning would play them.
It’s clear that having Carr in the shotgun and pistol is limiting their play calling, hurting their offense. They turned over the ball twice in the RZ, but SD did not capitalize from these turnovers. Plus, only one scoring play in the RZ out of seven tries. Seven.
Since Mike McCoy became HC, they've won 9 games out of 30. He might be joining Jeff Fisher and Gus Bradley in the unemployment line. SD is like Jacksonville where they have oodles of talent, but nothing to show for it but broken dreams and wasted potential. They're our rivals, but I hate seeing good players get stuck on teams with poor coaching.
Phillip Rivers threw touchdowns to TE Hunter Henry (love him) and WR Travis Benjamin. Melvin Gordon was out or who knows maybe they might've pulled off the win. As usual of late, River threw an INT when time was elapsing trying to get something going. That took away any chance of SD coming back. 4th quarter woes are the narrative of their season.
Carr threw 200 yards, but most of them were empty, but they did help get their run game moving with 145 yards. Sigh.
Next up, Raiders take on Indy. This game effects us in that Indy winning would be bad if Tennessee wins, too. Too many