2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 13 Game Analysis: Browns 41, Titans 35
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.
What happened here?
Where to begin?
How did this get to 38-7 at the half, and turn into a one-score win with TEN an onside kick away from possibly the greatest comeback in NFL history by the end?
The best way I can explain it is…this was two evenly matched teams, in a general sense. One of them caught breaks early and then it rolled downhill on the opponent from there. Then the exact opposite of that happened in the 2nd-half. I could go over all the fluky plays to allow the things that happened to happen – like the Browns stopping Derrick Henry on a 4th & 1 early in the game on a bad spot by the refs…fumbles at the wrong time/wrong place on the field, bad penalties, bad defensive gambles, great play by one of the QBs in one half, then flipped to the other QB the 2nd-half.
I guess the best way to put it is…
The Browns won the first 30 minutes, 38-7. Impressive. Shocking.
The Titans won the next 30 minutes, 28-3. Impressive. Forgotten in the wake of losing.
Should I be impressed Cleveland took a 31-point 1st-half lead? Or should I be focused on questioning how they could get thumped by 25-points in the 2nd-half of said lead? Which Browns half of performance should I focus on? Same question for the Titans?
I’m not sure there is a satisfying answer. Just another week in the NFL…in all its glory.
This was a massive win for the Browns…they now have wins over Indy and Tennessee when it comes down to any tiebreakers for the wild card…but the Browns are now at (9-3) might be ahead of them without the need for the tiebreaker.
We’ll learn everything we need to know about the Browns this week – hosting fading Baltimore. If the Browns go out and beat up the Ravens Week 14, then I’m a believer and Kevin Stefanski gets the Coach of the Year award over Bill Belichick. If the Ravens drop kick them on national TV/MNF…all the doubts on the Browns come rushing back in and the 1st-half of this particular game is long forgotten.
If the Steelers lose to the Bills on Sunday Week 14…and then the Browns go out and crush Baltimore to draw within a game of the division – it will be stunning and Week 17 vs. PIT could be for the division. If they go out, with their big opportunity, and get smacked around by the Ravens the Browns are mortal and will finish (10-6) and a nice wild card berth.
Tennessee falls to (8-4), stuck in a tie with the Colts for 1st-place in the AFC South. It will be a fight to the finish for the Titans because you never know what version of the team is showing up one week to the next. They should finish with 10-11 wins and hold a tiebreaker over Indy for the South if it’s a battle of 10-win teams in the end. Loser to the wild card.
It’s hard to read a lot into this game for FF, because how many times will these two teams be in a game like this…one of them down/up 31 in the 1st-half…a frenetic comeback 2nd-half…76 points scored?
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Baker Mayfield (25-33 for 334 yards, 4 TDs/0 INT) may be ‘happening’…I was just off by a year.
11 TDs/1 INT his last six games, but an odd pattern of TDs in games in that span. TD counts in games in that span (in order starting Week 7): 5-0-0-0-2-4.
The 4 and 5 TDs in a game is what I wanted from him…last year. But then you see the three 0 TD games and are like, what the…? But consider two of those zeros were in colder, unusually windy/high wind gust games.
If I look at Baker’s season and ignore his two wind gust games…he has 21 TD passes in his 10 other games. That’s 2.1 TD passes per game. Umm, that’s high-end action in the NFL. If the two wind gusts games were indoors/normal, maybe Baker has 25+ TD passes this year-to-date (based on his 2.1 per game pace in 2020)? That would be good for 9th best in the NFL right now…a TD away from the top 6.
My scouting…my belief on Baker…has always been – one of the best passers, one of the best vision/read the coverage throwers I’ve ever scouted. I think it’s starting to happen. I think Baker is becoming a top 15 QB…trying to be a top 10. Maybe he already is on talent.
…and if he is, then we all generally ‘like’/fear betting against teams that have QBs that give a team hope. Is that why the Browns are (9-3). Because Baker can win games as needed when the run game isn’t dominating? It’s certainly not the defense winning these games. Nick Chubb missed about a third/half the season...it’s not all Chubb. Everything got better when OBJ went out, as I proclaimed it would for two years. It’s not Rashard Higgins or Austin Hooper or the kicker.
It has to be Baker is arriving.
The 2020 pattern seems to be…beat up the lesser teams and fall to the good ones, in general for Baker this season. Beating the Ravens Week 14 is a big litmus test on whether Baker has (re)arrived or not.
Colin Cowherd. I respect you, even though I don’t hardly watch your show anymore. Can I ask you and the entire mainstream football scouting community…who ya got now – Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold? You all said Darnold in unison years ago. How about now? Ready to admit your error?
Is Baker Mayfield better to have for your NFL team now/into the future…or Lamar Jackson? Imagine asking that this time last season. What if the Browns beat the Ravens this week and Baker looks good, and Lamar looks as bad as Baker did last year doing it?
Kevin Stefanski for Coach of the Year…definitely in the running for the award, if not the favorite. We all agree on that.
How about if Baker wins this week – Baker for MVP, anyone? I mean like a top 5-10 vote, not #1. But seriously…if Stefanski gets an award for doing the impossible – what does Baker deserve for the same? Because he IS the main reason for this.
FYI, Baker Mayfield is 21-20-0 as a Browns starter…not including his debut win in a comeback relief over the Jets his rookie season. Memba that? Baker Mayfield has taken the Browns to a winning record over his three years. Who wants to trade him away now?
For Fantasy…I think we need to get re-excited, no? Baker wasn’t the issue in 2019, apparently. 2021 without OBJ and Landry…Baker could go to new heights.
-- Ryan Tannehill (29-45 for 389 yards, 3 TDs/1 INT) gets lost in all this. One of the other great reclamation stories of the past few years. Any credit for him leading this comeback? Look at those numbers.
Tannehill is 6th in the NFL in TD passes this season.
The #9 QB in 4pts pass TD fantasy PPG among QBs. #8 in 6pts per pass TD.
-- Corey Davis (11-182-1/12) is on fire for sure. But his numbers are coming in favorable matchups. This game result was awesome…but last week he caught a quiet/safe 3 passes for 70 yards.
It’s been a redemption year for sure, but it’s also been kind of erratic…kind of hiding with everyone focused on A.J. Brown in coverage. I haven’t seen any ‘wow’ activity…he’s just solid in a top 10 efficient pass game/QB.
A.J. Brown provides ‘wow’. Davis provides…’nice’/solid.
Very good schedule ahead to keep Davis rolling, however.
-- To my Corey Davis point…Rashard Higgins (6-95-1/9) rolled numbers too, but no ticker tape parade has been thrown for him.
Corey Davis has 4 TDs this season.
Higgins has 3 TDs only really playing starting Week 5, and not starting until recently.
If Tannehill is sneaky efficient causing the #2 WR to have big games…then can sneaky efficient Baker cause Higgins to have more big games ahead?
The problem is the schedule is awful the next two weeks for that to happen for Higgins…whereas Davis has an amazing schedule. But don’t write off Higgins yet…but do write him off against the Ravens, that’s a bad matchup probably.
-- Anthony Firkser (5-51-0/7) had a nice stat line but it looked really ‘nothing’ on tape. Most of it came very late, with Cleveland dropping deep in prevent and Tannehill just dumping simple passes short to Firkser. Most all his targets came in the two final drives…for the first 62-69 points of this game, you didn’t even know Firkser was playing hardly.
Snap Counts of Interest:
38 = Swaim
32 = Pruitt
30 = Firkser
36 = Chubb
35 = Hunt
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