2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 11 Game Analysis: Colts 34, Packers 31
I take notes during the live watch. I re-watch the game on tape looking for hidden clues to report on. Here are my notes/takes on what I saw and how it related to FF 2020. I write anywhere from 1,000-3,000+ words on each game, and I must move fast to get to all of them through the week…so, please forgive any typos/grammar.
Watching it live, I walked away thinking -- Green Bay led 28-14 at the half, was the better team, and then just ‘blew it’. I thought the Packers +2.0 was a Bet of the Year play. My bias was all from a Green Bay perspective.
Watching it back this week – the Colts were the better team. The Packers played well and are good, but Indy is just better all-around. The Packers are still, secretly, the same team as they’ve been for the past decade – Aaron Rodgers…and random other stuff around him that’s ‘OK’ (defense, coaching, special teams, O-Line). The Packers have benefitted from a great schedule for two seasons now – whenever they get tested with a tough team to face, they tend to collapse.
The Colts were more physical, patient, sound and overcame Rodgers. The Colts ‘discovered’ Jonathan Taylor can grind the run game and eat clock and that they can win with a power run game and good defense…and that’s just what they did here. They held the Packers to just 3 points in the 2nd-half + OT. How is that possible with Aaron Rodgers? Because the Colts have a top 5 NFL defense and Green Bay, to me, like the Bears under Matt Nagy for years that no one admitted until now, are poorly coached/schemed under Matt LaFleur.
Two teams that have a ton of issues from personnel to coaching, but their QB hides/covers it all over from our attention – Green Bay and Seattle. So, GB lost here…deservedly so.
Green Bay falls to (7-3) and takes a big blow to getting the #1 seed in the NFC. Easy schedule to the finish should have the Packers finishing (12-4), but (11-5) is possible too.
The Colts rise to (7-3) and can kinda-sorta lock up the AFC South with a win over Tennessee this week. Indy is projected to finish (10-6) and win the AFC South for us, but if they lose to the Titans this week…they are in a race to the finish with Tennessee.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Jonathan Taylor (22-90-0, 4-24-0/4) was the main reason (on offense) why the Colts won this game. You look at the stat line and go (if you own him), “Ah, ha! My RB1 is back!”
Not so fast.
The case against that…
a) Taylor was barely involved in this game to start. It was the normal in-out-in-out-in-out trio and Taylor running for 0-2 yards per play, and generally no real effort to push or lean on him.
b) Taylor ran the ball well, but not like ‘wow’. He was good. He picked through the trash and made extra yards, tough yards…but there wasn’t room to really shine. He got better as he went, but it was not a dominant performance, per se.
c) The key to this Taylor event/tally was getting 22 carries…he kept getting ‘fed’ and he wore down the Packers, and he started to make larger runs as he went. Frank Reich would have to be committed to pounding the ball 20+ times a game with Taylor…and he is not. He loves his rotation.
d) Every time one Colts RB has ‘a game’ this year, they are FF-trash the following game…because Reich is committed to the moment, the hot hand…not a dyed in the wool, predictable run attack.
The case for Taylor becoming a thing…
a) They got to see what life could be like controlling the clock, letting the defense do its thing, and winning the way they are built.
b) that’s all…just one case.
Which side will win? The side of ‘what do they usually do?’
What Reich usually does is be unpredictable, almost anti-whatever happened the week prior. The game before this, Nyheim Hines was the new greatest RB in the NFL…and he had 6 carries for 2 yards and 3 catches for 31 yards here.
-- The Allen Lazard (2-18-0/4) worry for now…and later…
He’s back from his injury, first game back, plays 60% of the snaps…sees just 4 targets and junk ones at that. He looks terrific, but if he never gets the ball…who FF-cares? He’s a WR3/Davante handcuff…that if you have to play him you hope it’s a TD week.
-- The Robert Tonyan (5-44-1/5) + Aaron Rodgers connection is looking decent week after week. ‘Decent’ in the 3-4-5 catches for 30-40-50 yards likely…and then you just hope he scores a TD to make it FF-worth it.
He scored his first TD in 6 games this game. It’s more TE2 than TE1 work, but that describes everyone at TE after Kelce-Waller.
-- Well, the demise of Philip Rivers (24-36 for 288 yards, 3 TDs/1 INT) has been falsely reported by me. Every time I declare Rivers dead (for the past 5 years, I think)…he’s soon to be FF-good. When I point it out that he’s good now, and change my tune…then the demise restarts.
3 TD passes in a game in three of his last 5 games…usually against bad pass defenses (CIN and DET…and I guess GB in that mix now?). TEN and HOU the next two weeks…could be more of the same.
-- Michael Pittman (3-66-1/3) is Rivers’ new #1 WR, but that means…3 whole targets. Actually, re-watching this game, Pittman wasn’t working like a #1 WR…more working like old Tyrell Williams plays from back in Rivers’ Chargers days – Pittman just dragging across the middle, uncovered somehow, and then Rivers dumps it to him and up field the receiver goes with the ball. It would work like 2-4 times a game with Tyrell and sometimes magic happened – as it did here, one time.
Pittman had a 45-yard TD catch and run on that type of play…and 2 catches for 21 yards otherwise.
I watched years of Rivers wasting Tyrell Williams’s prime ability time, so I assume the same is headed for Pittman in 2020 – a lot of 3 catches for 45 yards and maybe a TD but not likely.
-- Tennessee lost top LB Jayon Brown in Week 11, so in Week 12 with Indy facing them…it’s good for the Colts TE trio in the passing game. The FF-question is… Which one?
Trey Burton (2-25-1/5) seems to be the one commanding the most attention. He’s starting to look a little more spry as this season goes on. He appears to be the passing game TE, but that’s been pretty sad results…2-3 catches, 25 +/- yards…but he has 4 TDs this season. He’s a low-level hope for a TD each week. I don’t see a breakout game ahead.
Mo Alie-Cox (2-16-0/2) looks like the most dangerous TE in the passing game, but that’s been good for 2-3 catches for 20-40 yards…and he hasn’t scored a TD since Week 4.
Jack Doyle (1-6-1/2) played the most snaps and had a TD here, now 3 TDs in his last 4 games…but 1-2 catches, for less 20 yards most games.
-- The Colts-DST has been a top performer most of the season…but it’s been on the strength of them killing it on some weak teams early on. They hit a tougher stretch lately and have been pretty good the past 4 weeks, but nothing like what they were for FF. The schedule ahead might be OK because they are a good enough defense to overcome, but there are no cupcakes ahead to face…TEN-HOU-LV-HOU-PIT through to Week 16.
-- The Packers-DST is nowhere near as good as the Colts but facing CHI-PHI-DET the next three weeks might make them a better play, but hard to bet against the Colts and WITH the Packers.
Snap Counts of Interest:
46 = J Taylor
29 = Hines
09 = Wilkins
45 = Doyle
43 = Alie-Cox
24 = Burton
30 = J Williams
30 = A Jones
57 = Davante
51 = MVS
36 = Lazard