2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 14 Game Analysis: Chargers 20, Falcons 17
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.
Another week…another game Anthony Lynn tries to invent new ways to look dumb/like he has no idea what he is doing and finding new ways to lose games – but the joke is on the Falcons…the Fighting Anthony Lynn’s won a game, a late game comeback by Justin Herbert to save the day.
The Chargers are better/more talented than the Falcons’, but through Anthony’s ridiculousness…the Chargers were losing this game 17-10 with just a few minutes remaining. The most egregious thing Lynn has done recently is reel Justin Herbert in to becoming a screen pass game QB because the ‘holy’ Austin Ekeler returned to action. My parents and grandparents…and wife…and kids…and my dog, combined, don’t love me as much as Anthony Lynn loves Austin Ekeler (and Tyrod Taylor).
The one obvious God’s gift Lynn has…Justin Herbert…he’s either tried to keep him behind Tyrod Taylor – or his new alternative is just having him throw bubble screens to Ekeler every other play. Wasting Herbert’s gift – downfield throwing. Hebert’s gift (and results) has been historic this season, so it only makes sense to build the offense away from what Herbert has done and make everything Ekeler-centric.
You cannot make up how utterly ridiculous/derelict NFL head coaches are. Mike McCarthy and Anthony Lynn make more money in a few days at their jobs than most of us will all year but a wide margin. I try not to dwell on it. Just weeping into my pillow quietly at night.
Once down 17-10 with minutes remaining, Herbert was unleashed and led a late TD drive – scoring with 1:10 remaining to tie it 17-17. A Matt Ryan pick on the very next offensive play got LAC back the ball with 0:36 left at their own 33-yard line. Herbert hit an 8-yard, then 15-yard pass play back-to-back, and then a 25-yard precise bullet with 0:16 left to get into FG range for the win.
None of this will register with or dawn on Lynn for his next game.
The Chargers made the mistake of beating Atlanta and thus going to (4-9) and losing the draft pick tiebreaker spot to (4-9) Atlanta. The Chargers lose when they win. Neither team is going anywhere the rest of this season, and both should be searching for new head coaches in January.
I swear, if they bring back Anthony Lynn for 2021…
You know they’re going to, right? Just to mess with me. Him and Matt Nagy are locks to retain their jobs just to torture me. Darn you NFL!!!!
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I want to point out two things about the Atlanta passing game…
1) You do realize that Matt Ryan (21-32 for 224 yards, 1 TD/3 INTs) has totally collapsed this season? It’s a borderline Carson Wentz collapse, but no one cares about the Falcons or Matt Ryan, so it’s not harped on like it is with Wentz.
4 TDs/6 INTs in his last four games.
Since Week 3, and minus his one good game in that stretch (Week 6 v. MIN, 4 TDs/0 INT), Ryan has thrown for 9 TDs/10 INTs in that span…10 games. He’s thrown for 300+ yards in a game just twice in his last 12 games. All this is very un-Matt Ryan like.
2) The best thrower/QB on the Falcons is WR Russell Gage (5-82-0/7, 1-1 passing, 39-yard TD). He’s thrown two passes this season, both beautiful deep throws…one for a TD here, and the other a 30+ yard TD to Julio Jones who dropped it.
Gage can really throw the ball, so it only makes sense that he threw his first beauty Week 2…and no one ever called the play again for 12 weeks. Oh, Dirk Koetter…you’re such an offensive guru. I can’t believe Matt Ryan has turned to crap and Dan Quinn got fired after 4 weeks when he has your utter offensive brilliance on his staff. One guarantee for 2021…Dirk Koetter will be the O-C for an NFL team in 2021, once fired from Atlanta. The NFL can’t help itself but to do dumb things repeatedly.
Aside from Gage at QB, and Koetter – Russell Gage is a really quality/solid slot WR. He kinda falls between the cracks but he shouldn’t. His last 4 games: 4.7 rec., 56.3 yards, 0.25 rec. TDs per game…along with a passing TD. He’s a WR3 with WR2 upside that he’ll throw for a TD in a game…unless Koetter waits 12 more weeks to call the play again. FYI…he won’t have a chance to do so 12 weeks from now in Atlanta…
Passing aside, Gage is a nice, legit NFL slot WR.
-- Justin Herbert (36-44 for 243 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT) is so-so-so very good. It’s a shame what Lynn has done to him lately. Anthony Lynn only wants Austin Ekeler to touch the ball. Herbert, and his successful downfield passing ways, is annoying to Lynn.
The Herbert numbers with and without Ekeler all game…
1.0 TD passes/1.25 INTs per game = With Ekeler (5 games)
2.85 TD passes/0.59 INTs per game Without Ekeler (7 games)
-- Justin Jackson (3-9-0, 3-10-0/3) was activated off IR for this game…and thus Josh Kelley (another Lynn non-favorite) goes inactive.
-- Todd Gurley (6-19-0, 2-12-0/3) looks sketchy to me still.
The speed/movement is getting back to more normal, coming off his knee issues from prior weeks…the burst was showing a bit in this game, but he’s slowing down/hesitating into contact…not like Gurley. I’ve seen him cowering into contact a bunch Weeks 12-13, but just some this Week 14 game. I think he’s subconsciously trying to protect himself. I hope the Falcons just stop forcing him out there…but they won’t.
Ito Smith (11-42-0, 1-3-0/1) will be in a support tole again this week.
-- Tyron Johnson (6-55-1/7) played a quality game here. Nothing special…just good/useful. Mike Williams got hurt very early and thus Johnson got a big opportunity.
If Williams (and Allen) can play this week, Tyron is meaningless for FF Week 15. As is Jalen Guyton (1-8-0/3).
-- LAC IDP notes…
Kyzir White (7 tackles) is back and right back into the lineup for 7 tackles…he’s been a good tackle accumulator all season, when playing.
White’s return didn’t stop/slow Kenneth Murray (7 tackles)…Murray looked good again, had 7 tackles, played 98% of the snaps. He’s really settling in now as a foundational ILB for LAC.
Snap Counts of Interest:
61 = Guyton
57 = K Allen
54 = Tyron Johnson
02 = Mk Williams
44 = Ekeler
23 = Ballage
11 = JJax
48 = Ridley
41 = Gage
28 = Powell
13 = Blake
33 = Stocker
33 = H Hurst