Spiderfan's 2020 Web of Football Week 11 Edition Nov 24, 2020 23:45:52 GMT -8
Post by spiderfan on Nov 24, 2020 23:45:52 GMT -8
Happy Turkey Week SCtoC! It is I, Spiderfan the official NFL Analyst for this great website and with the Thanksgiving festivities almost upon us, it is time for me to give my pre-Thanksgiving thoughts on the happenings in the National Football League. Let us begin!
The Real Reason the Ravens lost
Last week I discussed the 7 teams in the AFC playoff hunt that all had 3 losses, which included the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans. Well, on Sunday they played each other and the Titans came out victorious in OT. Now, what you will hear from other people is that the Ravens lost because the Titans were too physical and tired out the Ravens. I disagree with that and here's why. The Titans jumped out to the early lead and managed to maintain it into the second quarter and after the Titans defense held the Ravens to field goals. The Ravens were the ones who actually got momentum and tired out the Titans because from the 2nd quarter on the Ravens were in control of the game and even when the Titans managed to take a 4th quarter lead, the Ravens offense completely chopped up the Titans defense. So then why did the Ravens lose? Because of Lamar Jackson's lack of chemistry with Dez Bryant. I know I'm biased because of my affinity for Dez, but hear me out.
Dez was open most of the time he was on the field, and in key red zone situations that resulted in FGs, Dez could have either gotten the Ravens closer to scoring a TD or scored a TD (like on the final play before Justin Tucker's game tying FG where Lamar didn't see an open Dez that would have won the game). Now, obviously Dez is new to the Ravens and hasn't practiced with Lamar that much and I understand that. However, it became clear that the halftime adjustment that Ravens OC Greg Roman made was keeping Dez on the field and not subbing him out constantly, because as CBS Analyst (and former teammate) Tony Romo pointed out the Titans were leaving Dez open. So, I would argue that what decided the game was Lamar's lack of awareness of Dez's openness (I am now coining that term). The good news for the Ravens is that they will look back on the film of this game and notice the same thing, and I would think that Dez will become a bigger part of the Ravens offense and if he does, I think that will give the Ravens the extra zing that will put them right back in the Super Bowl conversation.
The NFC Least
All 4 teams in the NFC East have been below .500 this year. Everyone has talked about it, made jokes, and poked fun. But seriously, we are now past Week 11 and the Eagles lead the division with a 3-6-1 record and fans calling for the firing of Doug Pederson and/or the benching of Carson Wentz. On Thanksgiving, the Cowboys (who have been a complete disaster) and Artists formerly known as Redskins (who often are punching above their weight class) are going to play for first place in the division despite both having a 3-7 record. Oh, and the Tinys? Despite shrinking constantly and being the butt of jokes in this column, because of their sweep of The Artists formerly known as Redskins and the buttkicking of the Eagles, they are 3-7 and very much alive in the division race. The kicker? All 4 teams play a bunch of above .500 opponents which means that whoever wins the division is likely going to have a losing record. This is going to continue to get worse, and at this point I'm rooting for the chaos.
Week 5. The Las Vegas Raiders went into Kansas City and ended the Chiefs 13 game winning streak. Afterwards? The Raiders made the brilliant decision to rub their win in, by busing around Arrowhead Stadium and taking a literal victory lap. I say that decision was brilliant sarcastically, because ticking off the the defending champions and then playing those ticked off champions in your new stadium under the prestigious lights of Sunday Night Football... won't end well. Well, it didn't end well for the Raiders, but it was a fantastic game.
If you remember during my Week 5 column, I mentioned that the Chiefs needed to play better defense if they wanted to get where they want to go. The Chiefs defense has played well, but apparently Jon Gruden knows how to beat the Chiefs defense. Ultimately, that didn't matter because the Chiefs knew how to beat the Raiders defense too, which resulted in a 17-14 score in favor of the Raiders (which I will bring up again later), and the first punt coming late in the 1st half. Right before the half Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes threw a redzone interception that cost the Chiefs at least 3 points and was only the 2nd interception of the season for Mahomes, his first also coming against the Raiders in Week 5.
The 3rd quarter went by fast with both teams having long TD scoring drives and the 4th quarter was also back and forth with the Raiders scoring on a go-head TD in the final minutes on a catch by Raiders TE Stone Cold Jason Witten. However a much more athletic and better TE, the Chiefs' Travis Kelce would score the game winning TD with 28 seconds left.
My biggest takeaway from this game? You have to beat the Chiefs in a shootout, and you aren't winning a shootout if you kick a FG at the 1 yard line like the Raiders did in the first half. That may seem like an obvious statement, but considering the Raiders lost 35-31 those 4 missed points, changed the outcome.
-How bout former XFL defacto MVP P.J. Walker? As a fan of the XFL myself, I was glad to see a XFL alum have success.
-The Believeland Browns are 7-3. 2020 isn't weird at all.
-Taysom Hill getting the start over Jameis Winston and playing well means Winston is destined to be an NFL practice squad QB like fellow bust Josh Rosen.
-I was greatly saddened by Joe Burreaux tearing his MCL and ACL. Get better Joe!
-The Broncos have a knack for winning games against opponents who actually want to go places. I think the Dolphins benching of Fitzpatrick earlier in the season has now been confirmed to be premature.
-The Colts are sneaky good. I could see them making noise in the postseason and that is shocking to me.
-The Bucs defense is legit. The offense? Not nearly as legit as it needs to be if they want to get where they want to go.
ROAD TO 0-16
1 team is currently 0-10. I will keep doing this segment until that team has a win or a tie. The team that is currently without a win or tie is:
New York Jets
How bout those Chargers? They finally ended their win streak and looked impressive against the Jets. Well, then again, everyone looks impressive against the Jets, so that probably isn't saying a whole lot because the Jets are tanking. No, for real. The ownership is keeping Gase to tank at least according to CBS' Jason La Canfora. Although, with the Jaguars continuing to lose and the Bengals not likely to win another game without Burreaux the race for the #1 pick should get interesting.
ROAD TO 16-0
1 team is currently undefeated. I will keep doing this segment until that team has a win or a tie. The team that is currently without a win or tie is:
Speaking of the Jaguars, the Steelers completely destroyed them, completing their sweep of 3 straight below .500 opponents. The Steelers will now play 4 well above .500 teams in their next 6 games, starting with the Ravens on Thanksgiving night. It is gonna be interesting that is for sure.
That is all for Web of Football this week. As always I hope ya enjoyed and hope everyone has a fun and safe Thanksgiving. This is spiderfan out.