*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
What a game…
Arizona started out with a bang. It was 10-0 Arizona before the Chargers knew what hit them. And then the Chargers won the rest of the game 45-0, in an effort that combined with the Oakland Raider loss may have been the final nail in the Steve Wilks coffin. Wilks has become the worst head coach in the NFL, now that Hue Jackson is no longer one. It’s a joke.
However, just like Denver kept Vance Joseph for a second season after a disastrous first season, I’m sure silver-spoon President Michael Bidwell will give in to a second season of this nightmare. It’s hard to hire head coaches as it is…does Arizona want ‘we fired the last guy after one whole season’ on their hands? They should, but they won’t. Did you see these clowns in the Amazon documentary a few years ago?
Just to prove most NFL head coaches are moronic/terrible business people, not just Wilks – Anthony Lynn allowed injured Melvin Gordon to play in a game that his team would have won if they had played Antonio Gates at running back…Gordon forced the coach to play him, in a sense.
Gordon scored a couple of TDs and with a 28-10 lead in a joke of a game, against a joke of an opponent…Gordon was still in the game, and took a double-reverse play, got leg whipped and really took a bad hit to his MCL. The thing with bad MCLs…Gordon will be out 1-2 weeks for sure, but worse is when he forces his way back, he’ll be at 80% ability. The Chargers should shut Gordon down for three weeks minimum, they won’t…they’ll rush him back to face KC and risk making it worse.
The Chargers are 8-3 and headed to the playoffs…and have delusions of winning the AFC West (one game out). A loss to the Steelers this week should cure some of that. We project the Chargers to 10-6 and the #1 wild card to head to Houston for round-one.
Arizona is 2-9 and will likely not win a game the rest of the season.
Fantasy Playoff Notes…
-- So, who do you want with Melvin Gordon out for (likely) two weeks…or more (possibly until the NFL playoffs)?
It has to be Austin Ekeler (5-35-1, 10-68-0/11)…their generic-brand Danny Woodhead. As soon as MG went down, Ekeler started ramping up…11 targets in this game.
However, I see you peering at Justin Jackson (7-57-0). Five things to consider…
1) Jackson did come and run the ball more than Ekeler. However, this game was over, for the most part, when Gordon went down. It was safe to put Justin Jackson in.
2) Justin Jackson had no targets in a game but Ekeler had 11?
3) At one point, the Chargers drove down to the red zone…it was Ekeler with a carry down to the 2-yard line, followed by Ekeler for the short score. In a game well at hand, instead of getting the rookie work, and goal line at that…Ekeler was in for the work – WHEN IT WAS 35-10.
The TD prior/to make it 35-10, from the 4-yard line… Was it a Jackson opportunity? No, a short pass TD to placate Keenan Allen.
4) Justin Jackson has not touched the ball in weeks, and then all of a sudden, he was needed some here. There has been no plan for Jackson…even when Gordon missed a game prior.
5) Jackson is a 7th-round pick who got cut and put on the practice squad. He’s solid enough of a talent. Nothing all that special but not bad. He’d be useful if used. UDFA RB Detrez Newsome (4-15-0) made the team over Jackson to start the year…he was the better RB in the preseason and continues to hang around the roster. Newson could see touches, work better and leave Jackson in the dust.
The smart money is EKELER in a landslide.
The universal clever grab & pray is Justin Jackson.
The deep-sleeper money is Detrez Newsome.
I’d go Ekeler or nothing here. Unless wildly desperate, in which case Jackson is smarter than Newsome.
-- Philip Rivers (28-29 for 259 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT) complete nearly all of his 29 passes, which is an abomination/shining example of how the Cardinals have quit on Steve Wilks/Wilks is terrible at his job (motivation, scheme, talent assessment).
-- David Johnson (17-63-0, 2-16-0/3)…another week, another clueless effort by the staff to get him the ball in the passing game. They literally run every first play of a series as an up-the-middle run to DJ. Why couldn’t they just throw a screen pass or flare pass or whatever every first play of a series instead? It’s not like he’s ever gone more than 3 yards on any 1st play of the series tote this year, because the whole stadium knows it’s coming.
Here’s David Johnson’s value forecast:
Wilks stays, he’s an RB2 we trade in the offseason if we can get RB1 money.
Wilks fired…we have hope for a rebirth back to RB1, high-end, based upon who they hire.
ROS 2018…looks like an RB2, hopefully not an RB3.
-- Cards former 1st-round pick/near-bust DT Robert Nkemdiche (8 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3.5 TFLs) woke up for a week…a huge week.
I don’t think Nkemdiche has had two great games back-to-back in his life. If he has a game next week, then I’m interested…wondering if he’s had some kind of life change.
-- Josh Bynes (3 tackles) went down (and out for the season) here and Gerald Hodges (10 tackles) took over. He’s an IDP sleeper, possibly…but I’d shy away. It’s been a revolving door for the Cardinals at ILB.
But…you know what? We’re a little closer to rookie ILB Dennis Gardeck getting some time. I bet he will later in the season – and if he does, I guarantee you (in a full start) – he’ll get 10+ tackles in a game, and at least end one person’s season with a hit so hard…whether his own guy or someone else.
Gardeck is my jam. Wait until you get a load of this guy, if you’ve never partook before. You will, soon.
-- FYI, the Chargers-DST has Jeff Driskel in LA Week 15.
-- Fantasy Playoff Notes from these two teams…
Arizona is going into the crapper regardless of who they play. I think, and I stopped tracking after a while, on eight of 10 drives, the first play, the Cardinals ran David Johnson up the middle. It’s the most predictable, useless offense in the NFL. It makes the Bills look like Texas Tech.
The Chargers CIN-@KC-BAL in Weeks 14-16…should be OK Weeks 15-16, not loving Week 16 in a must-win game for the Ravens. Without Gordon it could be messy for the whole offense during that stretch.
Snap Counts of Interest…
26 = Gordon
26 = Ekeler
13 = JJackson
18 = Newsome
43 = Kirk
43 = Fitz
20 = Sherfield
18 = JJ Nelson