2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 13 Game Analysis: Dolphins 19, Bengals 7
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.
Here is the main game note from the team level: The Dolphins are barely better than the Bengals. They struggled to defeat that Brandon Allen-led, then Ryan Finley-led Bengals.
This game was 7-6 Bengals at the half, and you didn’t know who the better team was…it looked like Cincy, really. Miami’s defense clamped down and the Bengals didn’t score in the 2nd-half, then lost their QB in the 4th-quarter…and then there was no way Cincy was getting back into the game.
A defensive struggle/offensive ineptitude struggle – just one TD for each team in the game. Miami was 1-for-10 on 3rd-downs.
Cincy falls to (2-9-1)…losers of seven of their last 8 games. Probably going to lose out and finish (2-13-1) and snag the #3 pick in the draft. Worst thing for them is to beat Dallas and send the Cowboys ahead of them in the draft order this week.
Miami has won seven of their last 8 games and are now (8-4). They need two wins, probably, to be a wild card…but they may lose their next 4 games in an epic collapse to the finish because of the schedule and starting Tua. KC-NE-LV-BUF ahead is likely trouble. (9-7) might be their best case – and if they get to (9-7) while losing Week 16 at Las Vegas…then the Raiders are likely in, and Miami out. We see (9-7) for Miami and more out than in.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I gotta express this, first and foremost…Tua Tagovailoa (26-39 for 296 yards, 1 TD/0 INT, 3-3-0) has no business starting in the NFL. Tim Tebow was a more impressive left-handed thrower.
I’m not trying to harp on Tua because I scouted him as ‘average’ with worries…where 100.1% of the highly paid draft/football analysts all worshipped the ground he walks on. I don’t need to lie/massage my points to help me look good. There is no victory in me holding a bad hand while telling myself it’s a good hand. If you know my work – you know I am the first to admit a possible error and then a full error if needed, and changing course. I ‘call them like I see them’…and I call things better than anyone in football, especially at QB scouting. That’s not an opinion, that’s a fact. My record is on full display daily.
And what I see with Tua…is a MAJOR problem.
I re-watch Miami/Tua games hoping to see something to disprove what I see live, but it only confirms/is worse than I thought each time. Tua is a horrible NFL QB prospect right now. And I don’t see glimpses of him growing out of it.
Tua has two bad high school offense throws he makes over and over…
1) Looks one way then quickly pivots to the other side of the field and throws it before he even sees what’s happening. Tyrod Taylor comes to mind as someone who does this from time-to-time – it’s mildly deceptive occasionally, but Tua goes to this well way too much right now – and Tyrod could pull it down and run if he saw his pivot option covered right before the throw. Tua can’t run near as well.
No one throws more passes to covered receivers, to nowhere, to places where the WR isn’t than Tua in games – because the WR might change a route based on coverage and Tua isn’t even looking, he’s just throwing to what the play/route ‘should be’ or was planned first option to be.
I’m telling you he’s going to have a game ahead with like 3-4-5 picks in 2-3 quarters of play, and then the panic should start (it should have already started)…but the first time it happens it will be excused away until the next one and the next one.
2) Tua play action, rollout fake and throw short immediately. NFL defensive coordinators will figure out that Tua is always rolling to his left…and when they blitz that and cut it off, he’s done. When he faces Belichick Week 15, it’s going to be a bloodbath.
Miami’s passing game is built simplistically around Tua’s limitations. Miami has played a lot of bad teams in Tua’s initial run as starter or got up via defense and been able to stick with simplicity/protection. When a stronger defense challenged Tua so far…it’s a problem.
12 of 22 for 93 yards and 3 sacks vs. the Rams in his debut – you want to excuse it for his debut. But then 11 of 20 for 83 yards and sacked 6 times…and then benched for about a quarter vs. Denver.
You should bet KC -7.0 for this week as fast as you can, but while simultaneously taking a small, early position in betting New England +2.5 ahead now for Week 15…because the Tua exposure is coming this week most likely…in a blowout loss to KC. The risk being they’ll send Fitz into that NE game halfway and ruin it. Brian Flores seems pretty (institutionally) committed to Tua, so not sure he’ll bench him without an injury excuse.
I would call Tua a left-handed Dwayne Haskins right now, but that would be an insult to Haskins. That’s how bad this looks. I’m not joking. It’s surreal how bad he’s playing and yet how gushing the mainstream is about how great he’s playing – they see the wins, and just assume. They are about to get embarrassed here.
Tua is worse than rookie year Sam Darnold right now. And like Darnold, not the physical size/tools to fix it/change it…like Josh Allen was able to.
-- As I’m watching Tua flounder (1 of 10 on 3rd-downs against Cincinnati…are you kidding me?), I am watching Brandon Allen (11-19 for 153 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) be calm, cool, and collected against a top NFL defense with no O-Line to protect him.
Allen is better than Tua right now…and it’s not even close. And that’s not to say Allen is playing glowing football, he’s just solid in a tough spot.
I am changing my Bengals’ WR projections back to near Burrow levels…what they lose with Allen’s talent (compared to Burrow) they can make up some in volume/down in games/garbage time.
-- Allen seems to like Drew Sample (7-49-0/7) more than Burrow did.
5.5 rec., 44.5 yards, 0.50 TDs per game with Allen the last two games/Allen’s two starts.
It doesn't look magical/it's pretty basic...but it's something among the TE riff-raff.
-- Tua’s best throw is to Mike Gesicki (9-88-1/11) because when Tua throws his blind balloon balls…Gesicki is tall enough to try and go get them. He has been…or did this game. A TD in each of the last two weeks, but just 2 catches Week 12…then 9 this week. It’s all so erratic. KC is likely to have a plan for this simplistic throw.
-- Lynn Bowden (1-11-0, 4-41-0/4) is working some slot WR and some tailback, normally I’d get FF-excited about that BUT Bowden does not look like an NFL starting WR or RB talent to me. Not at all. He’s getting some touches by attrition here, but I don’t see much upside or future so far. There might be a game he gets 5-6-7 catches as the short game/quick throw guy, but not for many yards or TDs or break away after the catch ability.
It’s still early, too early to make a definitive call…but I don’t love what I see. His original draft team had the same fears apparently…trading him before the season even started.
-- Gio Bernard (13-30-0, 2-0-0/2) seems like he has fallen off a cliff the last 4 weeks, but there’s two things to consider…
1) Faced PIT-WSH-NYG-MIA the past 4 weeks…all top 10 NFL defenses. Faces Dallas this week…not a top 10 defense.
2) He’s getting the majority of the work regardless. They trust him and Zac Taylor is desperate to win. Gio should get good touches this week v. DAL. Not so hot vs. PIT Week 15. A possible gem Week 16 v. HOU.
-- Emmanuel Ogbah (2 tackles) had just two tackles and no sacks here…one of our top 3 projected IDP scorers going into this week because of the sack potential against Cincy. Miami did sack the QB 6 times in this game, just no Ogbah sacks…but not for a lack of trying – he had a stellar 5 QB hits in the game, just didn’t get his sacks.
The entire Cincy defense registered 2 QB hits on Tua, by comparison.
Snap Counts of Interest:
50 = Gaskin
31 = Bowden
19 = Laird
35 = Gio
17 = Perine