2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 5: Game Analysis: Bears 20, Bucs 19
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 have to move fast to get to all of them through the week…so, please forgive any typos/grammar.
First things first…I think this game outcome definitively proves Nick Foles is the better quarterback in NFL history over Tom Brady, amitire? https://youtu.be/6eX3fiQLo84
Foles just never got the real shot in the league that Brady did.
Jokes aside/as far as this game really went…
The Bucs led 13-0 with two minutes left until halftime, and it looked like the Bucs were cruising, but the Bears then scored two TDs in the span of 1:12 and actually led 14-13 at halftime. All the teams could do was exchange FGs in the second half, no TDs scored, and the Bears hitting the game winning FG late to win 20-19…as Tom Brady is still awaiting his 5th-down opportunity to try and win the game.
Re-watching this, it’s so obvious Brady thought his bad 4th-down throw at the end was 3rd-down, and there was still a down to go…as he never left the field, held up four fingers signifying it was 4th-down now (right?) but everyone else was leaving the field…it was over.
Because it is 2020, and every public figure and everyone on social media and everyone in the press has to lie about everything. Brady lied/didn’t answer a direct question about it and Bruce Arians lied and said Brady knew. Wouldn’t we all love and respect and empathize with Brady if he had admitted…”I thought it was 3rd-down. My bad.” His career speaks for itself. Instead, he lies to us.
All the credit in the world to the Bears, because I thought Tampa would ‘work’ them and that the Bears wouldn’t have the backbone to fight the aggressive Bucs – but this win may have been a turning point, a stake in the ground on the Bears not going down easily in 2020. And it’s all because they have Nick Foles captaining the ship. He provides ‘hope’ for the entire team.
Both QBs were under pressure (same amount of sacks, and both hit about the exact amount as well), but Foles handled it way better than Brady, because at this stage of their careers/in the year 2020 – Foles might be the better QB under stressful situations. Look at the Comp. Pct., the money throws, and the final score – Foles was pretty damn good under the circumstances…not a starter from day one, doesn’t have the weapons the Bucs have, and he lost his very good starting center in-game among any number of other things.
Chicago is now a shocking (4-1) with a winnable game at Carolina Week 5, but the Panthers are now playing for the playoffs! We project the Bears with 8-10 wins this season, with 9-7 most likely for our models…after winning this pivotal game with TB. This game outcome could really matter later if these two teams are into tiebreaker situations for a wild card or seeding.
Tampa Bay is now (3-2)…the Jekyll and Hyde of the NFL. One week they look like Super Bowl contenders, the next week sloppy and seem lucky if they can get a wild card. The Bucs play a season-pivotal game Week 6 hosting Green Bay. Win that game, and everyone is back on-board. Lose that game and everyone will start calling for the Brady demise, which might be justified.
It just seems to me that Arians-Brady-Gronk-the defense…it’s all being pulled/coached/executed in different directions, and they just ‘hope it all works out’, but sometimes it does and too many times it doesn’t’ -- Brady is running the team, while Arians to trying to pretend he does. Probably a lot of up and down all year with this group…and maybe they gel as they go. Week 6 v. GB is huge for them to define their season (up or down).
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- We have to talk about Tom Brady (25-41 for 253 yards, 1 TD/0 INT)…actually, we need to talk about his throws/targeting preferences.
We need to talk about it in the context of why Scotty Miller (0-0-0/0) was the Bucs leading WR in yardage in 2020 coming into the game, and seemed to have a great connection with Brady…and with Chris Godwin out here, Brady not only didn’t throw to Miller – he didn’t ever glance/look his way the whole night.
Takeaways on the Bucs receivers and their connection with Brady this game/after 4 weeks…
1) There is no connection with Brady and any one receiver.
There is nothing close to Brady+Edelman here. And I’ve written about this before, the reason Brandin Cooks and Josh Gordon and Chris Hogan, etc., etc., never came through big with Brady in recent years was that Brady just doesn’t ‘make’ those other receivers anymore. He’s a random event thrower and he’s losing his touch a tiny bit month-by-month.
There’s a reason Belichick let him walk, essentially.
I’m not saying Brady is Philip Rivers bad/’shot’ now…but nothing looks cohesive yet in this passing game. It’s impossible right now how to predict where Brady is going/looking at with any consistency for FF game-to-game.
2) Mike Evans (5-41-1/9) is Brady’s TD guy…he’s leading the league in receiving TDs, but other than that it’s been a weak/erratic connection between the two. When they get close to the end zone, then Brady starts to remember Evans is on the team.
It’s been a bunch of 1-yard TDs and balloons floated out to Evans…hoping for a landing. They’ve connected for 6 TDs so far this season, four of them from 1-2 yards out, and if you ignore the six short TD passes/connections then Brady-to-Evans has resulted in 16 catches on 29 throws in 2020…for a feeble 55.2% connection rate.
3) I have no explanation why Scotty Miller didn’t even get a bubble screen or anything…just note, it should frighten you on using Miller with any confidence going forward. Brady basically forgot him like he was a 4th-down play at the end of a game.
I was so impressed with the way Brady was forcing/working Miller the prior two weeks, but I’m taking my ROS projections way down on Miller next week. It was a giant nothing this week.
4) No matter what -- Brady is trying to get Gronk (3-53-0/6) going. I think Gronk is a low end TE1 threat in some games ahead, just because Brady IS trying to make that work. Even if it isn’t open much.
For Gronk’s part, it looks like he is starting to loosen up and is moving around better now than in Weeks 1-2. There is some FF-hope here, as Brady leans on him like a crutch…but there’s also risk. Why?
4) Per the TV analysts, they mentioned Brady has been lobbying to get Cameron Brate (5-44-0/6) on the field…that he likes him a lot. Well, we hear that kinda stuff and it goes in one ear and out the other…but note that Brate caught a TD pass last week and then had 6 targets this game with O.J. Howard gone.
But extra-note: The one guy Brady was forcing things to, leaning on, had some cohesion with – was Brate…and only Brate here. I was shocked to see it.
The rise of Brate throttles back any rise of Gronk for FF, and probably vice-versa. But Brate has my attention after watching this tape. My main takeaway from this game, the mark left on my soul…there’s something to watch between Brady-Brate. I won’t bet heavy on it, because Brady had it with Miller and abandoned it -- but the Brate thing is on my radar. Not a fluke random event here for Brate.
5) Rookie WR that I love, Tyler Johnson (4-61-0/6), looked great but I know two things will happen from here after this sweet mini-breakout.
a) Johnson goes straight to the bench when Godwin returns.
b) Brady isn’t making a receiver like Johnson viable consistently. Tyler Johnson is kinda FF-screwed until Brady moves on.
-- Ronald Jones (17-106-0, 3-19-0/5) put down more tape that says he’s a better NFL RB than Leonard Fournette again. No way Jones is losing this job. I think Fournette will become a 3rd-down type back and they run them as a 60/40 duo, but unless someone gets hurt…the other isn’t going to be ‘the man’.
People still think, and fueled some more by this loss, that Fournette is going to take over as starter – it’s never going to happen unless RoJo starts fumbling or gets hurt. Jones is better than Fournette – get with the 2020 times we live in! *I am saying that to myself to make sure I don’t try to think otherwise. But I’ve been on team RoJo since the jump, sadly for me…as a universal Fournette holder/trader away of for weeks.
-- On the Bears’ side, I only have one offensive FF note…
I mean, it was the same Bears team we’ve seen all year. Foles is gritty. Allen Robinson is awesome. David Montgomery sucks (10-29-1, 7-30-0/8) but got to fall in the end zone and catch dump passes that he could not do anything with, but God Bless him, he caught ‘em.
The only note is – Darnell Mooney (2-15-0/5) didn’t further any breakout hopes here. You could see the raw talent and he is going to have his days, but this passing game is Allen Robinson and everybody else randomly happening, for now.
-- The real star of the game for Chicago, besides Foles…the Bears-DST.
This looked like a ‘bad matchup’ on paper, but after getting down 13-0, they bowed up and shut down the Bucs. Tampa Bay only scored 1 TD all game.
At CAR, at LAR aren’t bad matchups the next two weeks either. Not great, but not bad. The Bears-DST schedule is filled with OK matchups ahead, not any ‘easy/great’ ones on paper.
They might play like a DST1, but their schedule might force them to fringe DST1 or high-end DST2.
-- The Bucs-DST was on the verge of a great night early on, almost an INT return TD…another INT wiped off for a penalty. Three sacks on Foles. It wasn’t terrible. This defense is very promising and loaded with talent…more talented than the Bears, easily.
If people drop them Week 6 for their matchup with GB, maybe grab them for Week 7 at LV, and for sure for Week 8 at NYG. Tampa Bay has the kinda defense you can plug & play in most situations, even so-so ones – they’re aggressive and maybe the #1-2-3 most talented defensive unit that I watch every week. But they are very erratic…but that’s most NFL defenses anymore in the 2020 Arena League style play.
Snap Counts of Interest:
55 = ARob
41 = Mooney
26 = AMiller
17 = Wims
15 = C Patt
04 = Ginn
60 = Evans
56 = Tyler Johnson
45 = Scott Miller
57 = Gronk
33 = Brate
16 = Hudson