*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
Have I not been running around saying that The Computer says the Lions are the most underrated, better teams in the NFL based on its internal numbers the past few weeks? As the Lions jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead, I was pretty sure I was a genius.
Then, like typical Aaron Rodgers…and typical NFL coaching philosophies – the Lions stopped putting their foot down on the gas pedal and tried to run the clock, which allowed Aaron Rodgers to fly right back into the game…a game they should’ve been blown out of.
The Lions held on for the win, and I mostly felt like a genius.
These are two of the better teams in the NFL. Not the best, just playoff caliber. Green Bay because of Rodgers, the Lions because they are well-coached…something I did not think I’d say after watching them this preseason.
This was huge for the Lions to get to the playoffs/maybe win the NFC North. They’re on a BYE Week 6 and then go at MIA and play SEA the next two weeks. If they win both of those games, the Lions jump to 4-3 and then The Computer would project a 9-7 finish +/-1 game. If they split their next two it may be too daunting ahead to get to 9-7.
Green Bay falls to 2-2-1…and it’s shaky. They win this week hosting SF on MNF to jump to 3-2-1. They then have issues…BYE, at LAR, at NE. They’ll be 3-4-1 heading into the second half of the season. From 3-4-1 The Computer says they’ll finish 8-7-1 at best. Unless GB upsets one of at NE or at LAR…they aren’t winning the NFC North FOR SURE, but probably miss the playoffs as well.
Fantasy Player Notes…
Let’s talk about three WRs from this game…the main reason to even talk about this game…
-- First, the easy one…Davante Adams (9-140-1/12) nursing an injury and all the other Packers’ 1st-string WRs out…facing the tough CB Darius Slay – he just goes out and is a star again. Adams deserves respect/mention among the top 5 fantasy WRs in the game.
He kept running hot when Rodgers was out last year. He’s scored against Rhodes-Slay with a mild injury this season. He’s unreal, undervalued still. His name doesn’t ring like ‘Julio’ or ‘Hopkins’ or ‘OBJ’ but it deserves to.
-- Kenny Golladay (4-98-1/9) put on a show here in the 1st-half. 1st series, Golladay made a brilliant catch for a 46-yard TD…called back by a dicey holding call on the O-Line. Soon after, next series, he caught a pass over the top of a defender, pulled away and tried to race for a score but got caught at the 4-yard line after running 60 yards…he nearly pulled off the big play TD – his second near-miss big play TD in the first 10 minutes of play. Soon after that, he saw a shot into the end zone from 21-yards out, but the ball was over thrown.
With a little luck, Golladay nearly posted a 7-158-3 line and people would have lost their minds. He’s averaging 5.4 catches (8.5 targets), 85.6 yards, and 0.60 TDs per game this season…pacing for an 86 catch, 1,369 yards, 10 TD production over a 16-game season…not factoring in several near-miss TDs.
Golladay is trading as a WR2, but more a WR2.5 side than WR1.5 side because he’s a name people don’t fully believe in. Marvin Jones has been hot for people (2017) for a stretch and then burned them/cooled off. I like Golladay as a WR1 body, WR1 targeting…trading for a WR2 price.
If you can swipe him during this buy week…you’d be wise to do so. He has a ‘bigger Davante Adams’ vibe with a lesser Aaron Rodgers QB.
-- The revelation WR from this game, maybe… Equanimeous St. Brown (3-89-0/5) arrived/made his first serious step in the NFL. He looks like Green Bay’s Kenny Golladay…even bigger and faster than Golladay. ESB looked lost during the preseason and first few regular season games, but he almost put on a show for a half here.
Rodgers’ first pass of the game should’ve been an 83-yard TD to St. Brown, but the CB knew he was beaten and grabbed ESB’s arm when the ball went in-flight and drew the P.I., which was smart…but ruined a big play for St. Brown. A few series later, St. Brown was open in the end zone in a tight window, but Rodgers overthrew him…missing out on a 21-yard TD.
In a different world, St. Brown could’ve had a 5-196-2 game and that would have sent everyone scurrying after him. Instead, Marques Valdez-Scantling (7-68-1/10) looked like ‘the guy’ by stat line, but early in this game it was ESB and then the Lions had to start accounting for him and MVS was getting less coverage/getting open in the all-pass comeback effort.
The story of this game was Equanimeous St. Brown…not Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
If ESB is about to rise…it means three things to me (and I’ve been an ESB fan back to his college scouting):
1) No Allison this week…ESB is who I’d play over MSV. Great daily league play.
2) ESB will be rising hot on the Dynasty Stash Report updates next week. And a Jake Kumerow drop.
3) An ESB breakout could mean Geronimo Allison to the slot (a bad spot) and Cobb takes a hit -- or Allison just out of the starting lineup or splitting with ESB. You may want to sell Allison before he gets bumped in this equation…he has the most to lose in a Cobb-ESB-Allison love triangle…because he’s the least talented.
-- Do you need anymore proof Aaron Jones (7-40-0, 2-19-0/3) is not the ‘lead guy’ in waiting?
7 carries Jones, 6 Williams, 4 Montgomery in this game…the same kind of pattern you see every week.
Do you need anymore proof Ty Montgomery (4-15-0, 1-23-0/3) is a useless fantasy asset and he is NEVER taking more targets as a WR?
With two starting WRs down and the backfield a mess and a 24-0 deficit demanding an all-pass comeback…Ty had 1 catch on 3 targets.
-- Kerryon Johnson (12-70-0, 2-16-0/2) was on his way to a 100+ yard game but hurt his foot and came out of the game. He may be OK after this BYE week. He’s clearly the best thing the Lions have going in their backfield.
To me, he’s still just running straight with no vision – but the reason I turned to liking him was the Lions O-Line is really good this year and they are giving him holes to pop through.
-- Since the Jets debacle Week 1, where the Jets obviously stole the signals of the Lions – Matt Stafford (14-26 for 183 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT) has at least 2 TD passes in each of his last 4 games and just 1 INT. 2.3 TDs/0.3 INTs per game the last 4 games.
-- Jimmy Graham (6-76-0/11) could not look like any more of a slug in this offense…similar to his last 2-3 seasons. Rodgers took untold shots at Graham into the end zone this game but never connected. Graham usually out of position or not making a tough catch.
It’s almost time to put a fork in any hopes that JG is a 10+ TD guy in the Jordy role in this offense. He’s just not been up to the task…although as soon as you say it, they get on the same page and he starts dropping TDs like mad. That thought keeps me tethered to him.
-- Lions DE Romeo Okwara (3 tackles, 2 sacks) played out of his mind this game. Great pressure several times this game. He has 3.0 sacks his last two games with Ziggy Ansah out.
-- DST talk…
You can use Green Bay this Week 6 vs. SF, but then you bail…BYE week, at LAR, at NE.
You might can use the Lions for 1-2 weeks after this BYE week. They are at MIA and then host SEA.
The Lions have jumped to #3 in the NFL in sacks, #5 in passing yards allowed, #10 in INTs.
Snap Counts of Interest:
34 = Willson
32 = Toilolo
77 = Valdes-Scantling
71 = Adams
60 = St. Brown
14 = J. Moore
33 = Jamaal Williams
29 = Ty Montgomery
22 = Aaron Jones