An Uneducated Take: Week 11

Flavor of the Week?

by Three Point Stance Contributor Zack Couch | @ZackCouch

What a week!?!  I went 2-2 which takes me to 24-16 on the year. We saw 3 of the biggest upsets of the year and a Game of the Year nominee.  Let’s unpack this.

Lamar Jackson’s Perfection
Lamar joined rarified status this week as he achieved a perfect QBR in a dominating performance against the Bengals.  That should be the main headline for me, but what’s stayed with me was the introduction of the Heisman package in the Ravens offense.  Having Lamar, RG3, and Mark Ingram out there at the same time for an option play is going to drive defenses nuts and I can’t wait to see more of it.  Baltimore continues to show why it is the best team in the AFC.

Steelers in 6th Place
That’s right.  The Pittsburgh Steelers are now in sole possession of the final AFC Wild Card spot.  Sure, there’s 7 games to go, but their schedule almost ensures they will make the postseason.  I know I gave up on Tomlin at the beginning of the season, but if he’s able to get this team in the playoffs after that 1-4 start, he may be stealing away the Coach of the Year award from Kyle Shanahan.

Saints lose to the Falcons?!
It was bound to happen that New Orleans would put up a shit performance.  It might be time to worry just a bit.  5 of the next 7 games are against teams with playoff aspirations and throw in next week’s game against the Bucs (a team that is much better than their record) and you could have a rough run to the finish.  With that said, I still think the Saints finish with a first round bye.

Chiefs lose again?!?!
The Chiefs may not need to be in panic mode even with losing 4 out of their last 6 .  Mahomes is back and they have a winnable game against the Chargers this week before they go on bye.  They just need to get ready.  First two games after bye are home against the Raiders and away against the Patriots.  A loss in both those games would put the Raiders in the driver seat for the AFC West crown and force the Chiefs into a fight for the Wild Card in which they have losses to the Colts, Texans, and Titans.  How crazy is that?  The Chiefs went 1-3 against the AFC South.

Also, give it up for Ryan Tannehill.  That might have been the best win of his career.

Quick Takes
Bengals: I never thought I would say this, but maybe Marvin Lewis should come back.

Buccaneers: They are the most dangerous 3-6 team I have ever seen.  The ultimate spoiler.

Cowboys: Do you all even want to win the NFC East?

Rams: Somebody play Vince McMahon’s theme music…

New York Giants: How’s it feel to be the worst team in the state of New York?

Packers-Panthers: SNOW!!!!!  What a great way to end that game?  I need more of this.

Colts: How do you lose to the Dolphins?

Game of the Week (possibly Year)

As a Niners fan, the Monday night game was a 4 hour panic attack with a heavy dose of nausea.  As a football fan, what a fucking great game!!

I can’t really do it justice.  You just need to go back and watch it if you didn’t see it but here are the key takeaways from the game.

Even when playing mediocre, Russell Wilson is still more clutch than most other quarterbacks in this league, and maybe I spoke too soon by saying Lamar Jackson was the MVP.

The 49ers Defense is the league’s best defense. Down 11 in the 4th quarter, they dragged the team back in the game.

Jadeveon Clowney is a beast for the Seahawks.  Hopefully he can stay healthy for them.  Just shredded the offensive line for the Niners all night.

Josh Gordon only had two catches in his Seahawk debut, but god damn they were clutch.

Jimmy Garappolo has a lot to work on this week.  Horrible decision making and some questionable throws.

And the final takeaway from this game, the 49ers came into this game without their best linebacker, tight end, and kicker.  Then lose their best wide receiver in the first quarter, and only lost by 3 in overtime.  If they get healthy, they will once again be considered the best team in the NFL.

Look Ahead
A few games have my eye for next week with standings implications and one in particular due to how much fun it may be.

Dallas is currently sitting as a 4.5 point favorite over the Lions and without Stafford, I expect it to go higher.  I see the Cowboys covering the 4.5 pretty easily.

Jaguars are a 3 point underdog going into Indy this week and as long as Jacoby Brissett is out, I see no reason why the Jags won’t win this one outright.

New Orleans-Tampa Bay may be the game of the week.  As I stated earlier, the Bucs are much better than their record would indicate. I expect a high scoring affair.  Saints are currently sitting -5.5 and I don’t see them covering, but they should win in a very close game.

Houston-Baltimore should be entertaining for a few quarters but Baltimore will win this one handily.  I see Baltimore covering the -4 with room to spare.

New England comes back from bye to take on the Eagles in Philly.  Pats are sitting at 3.5 and should cover this to get them back on track.

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