2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 15 Game Analysis: Packers 24, Panthers 16 (Short Report)
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 normally 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.
SHORT REPORT is a ‘just the facts’ report on this Week 15 game with a Week 16/title week focus for conveying what we need to know.
Shocking game here. Really, one of the most stunning games of the week…but it’s going to get lost under the weight of the Sunday games (this game was SAT. night) and the fact that most people thought this was over at halftime.
It was 21-3 Green Bay at halftime, and I had commented to someone that Carolina looked like they weren’t interested in being there – it was cold, their season is effectively over, and they were unprepared for the field conditions…slipping and sliding all over the place.
Then something shocking…something radical happened…
Carolina completely shutdown Aaron Rodgers in the 2nd-half…they shut the entire Packers offense down in the 2nd-half – and there was little reason/hope for them to do so…they could’ve just mailed it in, and no one thought differently about getting crushed by Rodgers. Honestly, Carolina was probably the better overall team here. To me, it seemed like Carolina didn’t account/plan well for the cold, misty, slippery field to start this game -- they fumbled a goal line TD event (slick ball did not help) and they dropped several passes and slipped and fell in coverage too much. Despite all that, Aaron Rodgers could not produce offense on demand in the 2nd-half. Actually, he weas running for his life in the 2nd-half.
At one point, late, the Panthers deployed a strategy of kicking a field goal (on 1st-down) before the two-minute warning to cut the game to a one score game and use the two-minute wartning to their advantage…then they fully kicked off to Green Bay, daring them to try to get a 1st-down and thus win the game – they couldn’t, but almost. Carolina got the ball back with less than a minute to go 70+ yards, but they ran out of time. Green Bay wins, but it felt like a loss…if anyone really watched it to the end.
Green Bay is now (11-3)…a very weak #1 seed in a very weak NFL Conference (compared to the AFC). Watching Carolina slip and slide all over Lambeau is the reason #1 seed matters here. The only way Green Bay is getting to the Super Bowl is if they home field advantage their way to it. Week 16 v. TEN is going to be a battle. GB should finish at least (12-4) and get that top seed with the Saints and Rams losing this week.
Carolina falls to (4-10) but this game was a moral victory and a glimpse at how much coaching matters. Matt Rhule and his staff coached a near masterpiece here…on the road, season over for motivations, down 21-3 at the half, and they had the inferior team. Carolina is going to be a dominant team of the next decade…and should start to show the signs of it in 2021. I’m selling everything I own to bet the Carolina over next year…with every loss in 2020, that over/under is going to stay lower. They’re (4-10) but they’ve played like a (9-7) team they just got a bad schedule and bad breaks at the wrong time (and not having CMC hurt as well).
WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW FOR WEEK 16:
-- Curtis Samuel (2-6-0, 4-42-0/9) got good opportunity in this game, but he dropped at least two passes…if not three. Simple passes, like little swings out of the backfield. Not normal for him.
Is there a concern? Not really. I mean, I hated it that 4-5-6+ PPR points were tossed away here – but it was cold and foggy/damp and the ball was squirting out on a several Carolina players. Teddy Bridgewater (21-35 for 258 yards, 0 TD/0 INT, 4-26-1) fumbled at the goal line twice, but one of them counted – and no one is suggesting he’s a problem. It was just that kind of game.
-- Speaking of Teddy…he ran for a TD here…his 4th rushing TD in the past five games…his 5th rushing TD of the season, making him top five among all QBs in rushing TDs. He fumbled at the goal line for a 6th TD early this game…then fumbled again near the goal line for a 7th rushing TD possibility.
I don’t know what is causing it, but Teddy has gone mad running – and he’s thin-framed, so he’s going to get hurt if he keeps it up. Good for his FF numbers…bad for everyone else’s (Mike D, CSam, etc.).
-- Another useless FF week from Allen Lazard (5-56-0/6) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (0-0-0/1). Before you totally write them off…one of them is probably going to score a TD this week facing Tennessee’s defense in Green Bay. I bet on Lazard for whatever it is worth (which means big day for MVS).
-- Mike Davis (14-59-0, 2-2-0/2) is becoming RB3-ish too much now. If Christian McCaffrey is returning, CMC and Mike D. will probably split time Week 16…and both be FF-useless. But if McCaffrey says he’s going to play, it’s going to potentially be like a Week 15 Keenan Allen event – you’re almost forced to start him Week 16 if he’s active.
CMC owners, the best thing that could happen is that they shut him down so you don’t have to sweat it.
ANY 2021 FUTURE THOUGHTS (Dynasty Offseason or Stash Items):
-- Just one note here…
A.J. Dillon (1-18-0) came into this game during the early phase where it looked like GB was going to win by 100+ points. He took a carry and ran straight off tackle and people bounced off him like he was the Incredible Hulk and mere mortals were trying to stop him – it wasn’t happening. 18-yard jaunt.
Just a reminder, to myself (and anyone else interested) – A.J. Dillon is a freak show. He is plus-sized, all muscle, thick, a high-end athlete in speed/burst and near un-tackle-able with any head of steam. He’s going to matter in fantasy in the years to come.
-- GB rookie UDFA LB Krys Barnes (6 tackles, 1 TFL) did it again. Played 45% of the snaps and made a ton of tackles again. That guy is addicted to making tackles. One of the top tackles-per-snap IDPs in the game. The future looks IDP promising here.
Not sure he can matter much for Week 16, because he is still not playing a full game. He’s just rotational right now. Starting, but not playing full games.
SNAP COUNTS OF INTEREST:
60 = Davante
48 = Lazard
40 = MVS
56 = A Jones
05 = Dillon
04 = Jamaal Williams
62 = Robby A
58 = Samuel
56 = DJ Moore
37 = Mike D
24 = Rodney Smith