*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
Two things before we hit the overview of the game and get into the player notes…
1) Is it me or am I just actually listening, instead of treating him like white noise, but does Troy Aikman seem like he doesn’t know much about any of the players in the games he’s analyzing? It’s getting annoying. I can’t remember what QB, maybe it was Nick Mullens’ debut on TNF last week…it was some rookie, out of nowhere QB this year…and Aikman is like, “I don’t know much about this kid, but I’m looking forward to seeing him play.”
You were aware your job was to know things about football as the lead analyst probably making multiple millions of dollars per year?
The second Mullens was announced, I planned my time to watch Mullens’s So Miss tape and re-look at his output in college, to get back up to speed off my faint memories of seeing him play at a college all-star game early this year. Many college games in recent years are on YouTube, Troy…you could watch them on your phone in the limo on your way to the game?
There’s no excuse to say, at his level of responsibility, “I don’t know much about him but I’m looking forward to seeing him play.” What an embarrassment.
There’s only so many more, “I spoke to X and they said Y,” that I can take commentators this year. *Checks calendar to see how many weeks left in the season* Troy Aikman is the king of that lazy analysis.
2) I wrote about this on the NE-GB recap…I watched this NO-LAR game live before watching NE-GB live – and hands down the offenses in this game and the QB play and game plans were much better. NE-GB seemed dull after watching this game first. The opening act blew away the headliner at this Sunday football concert.
The Saints led this game 35-17 at the half. Everything going the Saints way. The Rams came out in the second half, like they’ve done every time in crisis this season, and methodically rolled their opponent…tying the game 35-35. However, the Rams ran out of miracles on the road and succumbed the final half of the 4th quarter.
The Rams fall to 8-1, still ahead (kinda) of the Saints at 7-1…but losing the all-important tiebreaker. The Rams need to keep winning to get ahead of the Saints for home field, and home field is probably the determiner of who goes to the Super Bowl between these two teams this season. We project LAR at a 14-2 finish.
The Saints can’t let up for various reasons – one of them being the Panthers, who are 6-2 and they still have two games left with Carolina. We see New Orleans at 13-3 to the finish, but 14-2 possible.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I just want to say…I watched Brees-Goff followed by Brady-Rodgers. The best of these four QBs this day, and it wasn’t even close, was Jared Goff. He damn near produced a masterpiece here. Brees and Rodgers and Brady are great, but Brady is fading from the elites quickly. The passes Goff made in this game were some of the best throws you’ll see all season…and in your life.
Like I’ve been saying for two years+…Goff is our new Tom Brady. Deal with it. Embrace it. Stop questioning it for fantasy. Prosper from it.
If Todd Gurley wins the MVP and Jared Goff doesn’t…shame on the NFL. I bet Goff won’t even be in the top 10 in voting. Where are all the football establishment geniuses who assured us Goff was a bust after his first season? He’s not a bust, he might be the single best QB in the NFL – right there with St. Patrick Mahomes.
-- Robert Woods (5-71-0/9) has been terrific all season. A clutch receiver. Great running the ball too! Nice fantasy production. But, dude…please score some TDs!! No TDs in his past 5 games.
Woods has 5 or more catches and 70 or more yards in every game this season since Week 2. Secretly…the best WR on this team. But, come on…I need some TDs over here.
-- Gerald Everett (3-48-0/5)…for the first time in two years I saw a little spark with Everett. Some confidence and a little giddy-up. Nothing yet to chase in fantasy but let’s keep watching.
-- Mark Ingram (9-33-0, 1-3-0/2) is closer to getting dropped in redraft than playing in anyone’s lineup. He’s been terrible so far this season.
3.6 yards per carry.
60.8 total yards, 2.0 catches per game in 2018. Scored 2 short TDs in his return game and none since.
Ingram is in that Jordan Howard camp…12-15 carries in a game, not involved much in the pass game, and you hope he gets gifted a short TD for FF viability.
-- Ben Watson (3-62-1/4) keeps being relevant. He’s had some eggs this season, but he’s had more useful TE1 games of late.
10+ FF PPR/PPR in three of his last 6 games.
-- So, Dez Bryant on the Saints…
I tried to tell you your Tre’Quan Smith stock wasn’t very valuable. It just died on this news.
My only interest in Dez is to get him to trade, but someone with faster fingers probably got there first.
WRs don’t just join teams and make huge impacts – it takes time with the playbook and reps with the QB. Dez is a nice piece but I’d bet heavy against him having any impact for weeks, if any real FF-impact at all.
If you claimed him today – sell him hot before the curtain is pulled back.
-- I know Michael Thomas (12-211-1/15) is good, but he had a 70+ yard TD to effectively end this game late…a blown coverage by Marcus Peters. If a ‘star’ CB is having a worse season than Marcus Peters in 2018, I’d like to know who (Bradley Roby, I see you).
My computer scouting models did not like Peters for various reasons – way back when scouting him for the NFL Draft. He plays way off/back looking for INTs and made a reputation off INTs, but he is susceptible to getting burned on catches in front of him…and now, in 2018, he’s getting torched behind/past him as well.
-- Speaking of Peters…this Rams defense is really struggling. Peters is terrible, and Sam Shields is hurt, and Aqib Talib has been out for weeks/most of the season. You can throw on the Rams all day if Aaron Donald doesn’t sack you first.
I still see people playing the Rams-DST week to week, even against Brees here. Why? Seattle, KC, BYE, Detroit, Chicago, Philly the next 6 weeks. One useful matchup…maybe two.
Don’t be surprised if you see them on waivers soon…and don’t worry if they are. They are good for Week 16 at Arizona is about all. Everything else is random/unfavorable.
-- Fantasy Playoff Notes with these two teams…
Nothing but good news for the Rams. This loss means they have to keep playing/not resting players…you’d suspect. Their schedule is favorable to Goff – when the weather turns colder across the U.S., they have the following games this week through Week 16: at LA, at Mexico, BYE, at dome/DET, at CHI, at LA, at dome/ARI. Aside from the Bears December 9th – all great weather for the finesse passing game.
Same deal for the Saints, except this Week 10 at Cincy is a bit chilly. Week 11 to Week 16: home/dome, home/dome, at DAL/dome, at TB, at CAR, home/dome. Week 15 at Carolina is the only risk to an offense that needs warmth/the dome.
Snap Counts of Interest:
55 = Josh Hill
33 = Watson
13 = Arnold
41 = Kamara
33 = Ingram
42 = Higbee
18 = Everett