2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 15 Game Analysis: Cardinals 33, Eagles 26
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.
So much to unpack from this game. So much to FFM-celebrate, but let’s look at the game and then get into the players – because this was one of the most entertaining games of 2020.
It didn’t start out very entertaining…for Philly. An early safety on a sack of Jalen Hurts. The ensuing drive for Arizona – a Kyler TD scamper…9-0 Arizona. Then Arizona blocked a punt on Philly’s next possession, deep in Eagles territory…leading to a quick TD and a 16-0 Arizona lead 13 minutes into the game.
Philadelphia won the rest of the game, from that point, 26-17…but that wasn’t good enough to win the game in total.
Jalen Hurts stormed the Eagles back in this one…three TD passes in the 2nd-quarter to draw the halftime lead down to 6 points (26-20 Arizona).
Hurts actually tied this game at the end of the 3rd-quarter…26-26. A defensive struggle broke out in the 2nd-half, after an offensive explosion in the 1st-half (46 points in the 1st-half combined, just 13 points combined 2nd-half.
Arizona scored the final TD of the game…the game winner with 7+ minutes left. The Cardinals defense held off Philly on two drives from there including a couple late shots at the end zone to get the hard-fought win.
Arizona gets a quality win here and goes to (8-6). They hold a one game lead over (7-7) Chicago, but the Bears have the Jags next week and should get to (8-7), assuming there are any sure things in the NFL anymore. Arizona must get to 9 wins to have a strong chance at holding off Chicago…and two more wins/10 wins total is a lock for the playoffs. The Cards face an out-of-the-playoffs 49ers team at home Saturday…but the Niners are pesky. Arizona has a slight edge for the wild card, but Chicago owns the tiebreakers, if it comes down to it, from what I see. It may come down to whether GB at CHI Week 17…and if the Packers care about the game or not. If I were GB, I’d rather see Chicago into the playoffs than Arizona.
The Eagles are now (4-9-1) and would need to win out and Washington to lose out, and the Eagles would win the division…which if Philly wins this week (at Dallas) and Washington loses to Carolina this week…then Philly is one game out – and then hosts Washington Week 17 for all the marbles! The Eagles have a shot at this.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Well, NFL intelligentsia…do you think Jalen Hurts (24-44 for 338 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT, 11-63-1) can throw the ball effectively in the NFL now? I can’t wait for them all to gloss over it with like ‘hmmm, whaddya know Hurts threw the ball well…I’m shocked! Now, onto how great Tua Tagovailoa is…’
So many Hurts’ thoughts, let me share some with you…
1) Hurts will not be given the full credit by anyone for this effort…not just because they want to hide from their bad scouting call – but because none of THEM realize the Arizona Cardinals have a top 6-10 NFL defensive unit. I don’t care what the stats or metrics or analytics say about the Cards-D – that’s a top unit I see with my eyes over the past several weeks/all season. They’ve just had a tougher schedule, so it gets hidden a bit.
I scouted Arizona’s defense and D-C Vance Joseph poorly for 2020. I thought they’d be a joke…but they’re a very good unit.
2) If you scouted Tua as several grades above Hurts, you’re going to regret/pay for that call. Analysts will forget about it and not examine why they were wrong and go happily along their merry way with the public worshipping them. The Miami Dolphins missed on Hebert and Hurts, and it cannot be forgotten…and someone should be fired for that immediately. They won’t be.
3) Jalen Hurts IS the franchise for Philly now. I said all along, all 2020 preseason and in-season – if Hurts ever got a chance, the city would fall in love with him and it would be hard to turn back. Well…boom.
4) Carson Wentz will have to be traded, and he will be. He’ll have many suitors because the NFL hive minds still sees a franchise QB. I see a solid one, but not a franchise one. He’ll be coveted by teams without top NFL Draft picks to land QBs. He could be a Patriot. Could be a Raider. There will be a few teams in the running.
5) Doug Pederson should be fired after this season, even if Philly wins the East and goes on a Super Bowl run. He is as culpable for football personnel fraud as much as the people who still like Tua more than Hurts. Pederson fought putting in Hurts all year (and now he’ll try to take credit for it…Pederson is a nice guy, but I call bullshit).
6) Hurts is better than Lamar Jackson…and Taysom Hill, and Marcus Mariota…and any of the run-first QBs in the league right now. He has a different, unique style and I cannot believe more is not being made of his weightlifting dedication and physical strength that makes him this unique power RB playing QB. If you subscribed to CFM, you knew it in January 2020…and how it could affect his NFL play (positively).
7) Hurts is a QB1 for 2021, no debate. It’s locked in. It happened that fast.
-- I wrote about Jalen Hurts first, but I should have written about Kyler Murray (27-36 for 406 yards, 3 TDs/1 INT, 8-29-1) first. Why?
I nearly cried when I saw all the Dynasty teams checking in all excited by their Week 15 playoff wins – led by this monster FF effort by Kyler. This was by design. This was a plan hatched in 2019…in the spring, in the summer of that year…ahead of the Dynasty Rookie Draft – me laying out the case to do whatever you had to do to get on Kyler. And many of you did whatever needed be done to accomplish getting your hands on Kyler.
Wish you had Josh Jacobs now (the top ranked/taken prospect in the 2019 DRD)?
Even those who flipped Kyler earlier this season for Josh Allen + stuff…you won too. You got extreme value at just the right time. Your investment in Kyler paid off in multiples.
Kyler is starting to pick the team up and put it on his back a lot of drives/times now…it’s not just the offensive pace or Air Raid (which is awful). It’s not D’Andre Hopkins bailing him out, although that helps. It’s Kyler starting to become a star…but an even bigger star for FF.
The current #1 QB in PPG for fantasy 2020…Kyler Murray.
The current #1 scorer in all fantasy football…Kyler Murray.
Tips are not required but are not unwelcome… :)
-- Who does Kyler throw to when not throwing everything to DeAndre Hopkins?
Not Christian Kirk (3-33-0/4)…this was a perfect spot for Kirk to have a solid+ game, but it’s like he wasn’t there – which is par for the course for the past several weeks. He’s done for FF 2020.
KeeSean Johnson (2-38-0/3) is starting to creep up into a trusted role. He’s going to be a starter in 2021, I believe…but not super exciting for FF. A bunch of 4-5 catches, 40-50 yards and no TDs games.
Dan Arnold (3-54-0/5), to me, is becoming Kyler’s #2 favorite option. 2.33 rec., 47.3 yards, 1.0 TDs per game the past 3 weeks. Kyler is also speaking of Arnold in interviews. He’s a TE1 hopeful week-to-week…another of these guys who was not-a-TE but converted and is growing into a legit top half of the league TE weapon.
-- Who is Jalen Hurts throwing to the most/who is his #1? I’m not ready to make that call/it’s not obvious.
Dallas Goedert (4-39-0/8) seems like he was favored through Hurts’s first two starts, but not by much.
Alshon Jeffrey (2-63-0/3) has come to life with Hurts…not fully but showing a pulse again.
Jalen Reagor (5-49-0/8), I thought might be that guy…but not even close. There’s more Jeffrey + Hurts than Reagor + Hurts ‘sync’ that I see.
I think it’s still too early to call, and still developing on who it might be…but there will be a whole new #1-2 WRs here next year anyway.
-- Just to note…Quez Watkins (3-40-1/4) got my attention here for the first time this season.
Check this out: https://youtu.be/I_5qxE6ugSI?t=15
Most NFL WRs cannot do that…a 180 and then run by everyone. There’s Combine speed, and then there’s NFL speed…that was some NFL speed.
He might be another Marquez Valdes-Scantling or Tre’Quan Smith (fast guys who aren’t great NFL WRs, but they’re fast and OK enough) – but I’ve never seen MVS or TS do something like what Watkins did on his TD in this game.
-- Dead for Fantasy…the RBs from these two teams. Dead because of their QBs taking a lot of the good stuff for FF numbers.
…and they’re both marginal/OK talents for the NFL. Nothing special.
Miles Sanders (17-64-0, 1-26-0/2) had the kind of numbers here that I think you can expect most weeks…1-2 catches 50-75 yards total…RB2-3 work because of Hurts sucking away numbers.
Kenyan Drake (10-26-0, 2-14-0/2) continues to put up weak rushing numbers, but he does get short TDs to prop himself up. I’m still not sure if Drake will be back in Arizona next season (the free agent to be).
-- I’m a fan of this Arizona defense, as I mentioned prior in this article…and the last few weeks. Their strength of schedule is hiding them a bit. Week 16 hosting the 49ers, with SF out of the playoffs…it could be a nice start for his DST.
Really good if Nick Mullens starts.
Just ‘good’ if C.J. Beathard Starts.
Snap Counts of Interest:
36 = Edmonds
34 = Drake
52 = Jeffrey
46 = Reagor
44 = Ward
28 = Q Watkins
26 = Fulgham