What We Learnt
- The team that is dwindling only just above the worst in the league must be the New York Giants. The optimism that came with picking up Saquon Barkley, with tying Odell to a contract and having Eli happy because all his competition was traded has evaporated. Saquon Barkley set a quiet record on Sunday with 14 catches, the most of any rookie in a game. His 80 yards off that were the least in NFL history for someone with so many receptions. Eli is the probably the issue, so let’s just hope every QB after Mayfield doesn’t play better than Eli. Or the Giants clearly failed to draft with need in mind, rather they looked to reproduce the magic that saw them win Super Bowls.
- But the honest worst team in the League must be the Cardinals. I’ve already said they only produced 5 first downs, but combine that with the fact they only managed to cross midfield once in the whole game, you can see the issues they face. David Johnson never really got going, accumulating just 85 yards in two games. The biggest positive for Cardinals fans is that no individual is bad, but the whole team is. At least they’re sucking as a team.
- The Jaguars don’t look too bad without Fournette (my first round fantasy pick). This may be due in part to the necessity of spreading the ball around without him. The lessons learnt from the AFC Championship game were implemented well by Doug Marrone. At no point did he look to wildly change his game plan, instead allowing his team to do what they do. Combined with Blake Bortles playing the game of his life, you’d be forgiven if you were optimistic about the Jags season.
- Cam Newton has now rushed for a combined 100 yards in his first two games. This is interesting because the pre-season noise surrounding McAffrey and his ability to run the ball was a focus with the panthers. Cam has looked competent as well in the passing game, completing approximately 69% of his attempts. This dynamic may shift as teams see more film, but enjoy the ride for now Panthers fans.
- Sam Darnold was brought back down to earth with somewhat of a bang. This resets the pendulum hopefully, where the media tendency to over hype rookie performance. The game was closer than it appears, with the what-ifs of the world being on full display. Losing by 8 after falling down at the 1 in the first half, the Jets could point to a multitude of opportunities to win the game.
- On the flip side, Ryan Tannehill was great on paper, 17/23 with 2 TD’s. But he didn’t look great, which is always a weird one. He gave up a strip sack and at times looked very uncomfortable in the pocket. But Dolphins fans can be optimistic, given they currently sit atop the Division.
- The Texans shouldn’t have lost that game. It can be largely summed up by Watson’s final play. Down by 3, needing to move the ball as quickly he held the ball for 17 seconds, before launching a ball to Hopkins at midfield. Also stepping over the Line of Scrimmage. Proof that the rookie is still in the possible future MVP. The Titans win was a coaching win pure and simple. The Titans out-coached the Texans start to finish. Any time your first two completions are by a running back and a safety you think that maybe Mariota’s absence won’t be complete doom and gloom. Kevin Byard now has a perfect passer rating, with his 1/1 for a 66-yard TD.
The Power Rankings (Important Part)
With all the above in mind and much more, it’s time to have a look at the Power rankings for this week. The really most important part of the power rankings though is really the bottom 4. Why is that important above all else? Because it means you can start looking down your team’s schedule to see how many times you play these teams. If you support any of these teams, then instead you can begin to consider what games you’ll actually watch.
Rank 29: Detroit Lions
Rank 30: New York Giants
Rank 31: Buffalo Bills
Rank 32: Arizona Cardinals
Game of the Week