2022 Week 9 Recap: Jaguars 27, Raiders 20 (by Ross Jacobs)
The Raiders jumped on top of the Jags early and it looked like they would run away with it. They've battled hard all year and been a few lucky breaks from having a much better record...but I think this game was the signal that it hasn't been bad luck...they just aren't very good.
Vegas was up 17-0 at one point here and just got calmly dismantled from that point forward. I'm honestly shocked McDaniels didn't get fired after this loss. They have been such a disappointment and to blow a 17 point lead to one of the worst 10 teams in football...I think the contract is the only thing keeping him alive so far. Much more of this though and the chord is going to get pulled regardless. I'll be shocked if he survives the year. I've seen this team fighting every week, trying to figure things out, but I saw the wind go out of their sails here, that's how bad this was. Once the Jags started clawing back into it you could see the Raiders all thinking “oh no, we can't let this happen” but it did anyways. They have no confidence left, everyone hates McDaniels...how does it get better?
I think the rails come off and he's gone in another week or two and then it's another hard reset for this team. All the expensive veterans will get shipped out and it'll be full-blown rebuild mode here for the next 3-4 years.
Jacksonville has been trending down for a few weeks but this is a reminder that they are actually on the way up...sort of. The difference in this game was coaching 100%. Pederson is simply the far superior coach to McDaniels even though his team is less talented overall. He'll have them competing in the playoffs next year I believe, but how high they go is going to depend largely on Trevor Lawrence. I don't think he's “the answer” exactly, but he's not awful either. He can win to a degree in this league. This game was the best I've ever seen him, a shaky start, things not clicking, but stayed calm and started dishing the ball to his receivers in the second half. He had some really good throws here, attacking downfield more than usual, escaping pressure and delivering the ball accurately...there's hope for Trevor yet.
Unfortunately I think any success they have is still a year away. The schedule is brutal down the stretch...I think Jacksonville wins 2, maybe 3 more games tops. There's sparks of ability but nothing sustained just yet. I want to see what they do for 2023 before I pass judgment.
Fantasy Player Notes:
– Trevor Lawrence is the QB9 on the year in total points but just 17th in ppg somehow. He's still very up and down but in good matchups he's actually been a solid option, a nice QB2. It's probably not getting any better through the last half of the year though simply because the schedule is so bad.
– As Lawrence goes so goes his receivers obviously and that has dragged everyone down. Christian Kirk was on fire the first three games of the year and looked like a potential WR1 but since that time he's cracked 13 ppr points only twice with a lot of complete duds in the middle. That was my fear with him even after the strong start, that he wouldn't stay the obvious #1 target here just because the Pederson offense tries to spread the ball around so much. It's the same thing that happened during his time in Philly, there wasn't a real WR1 for fantasy because nobody got enough volume to sustain it. The top guy is going to get decent TD numbers but mediocre yards and catches. Kirk is on pace for about 75-80 catches and roughly 1000 yards...solid numbers but unspectacular in an era where Tyreek Hill might flirt with 2000 yards and Cooper Kupp is catching 150+ passes.
Kirk is the only guy worth owning though. Everyone else is just a random event. You can maybe start Zay Jones in desperation but it's been bad far more often than good. And that also goes for Evan Engram. I got sucked into his usage last week thinking it was a trend...there's no trend, nothing you can count on except Kirk. I'd rather have Greg Dulcich at this point because at least I know he's going to get targets.
– Travis Etienne stays on fire again with another massive workload. You can't bet against it right now. He's a slippery runner, but I'm still going to caution against getting too excited for dynasty...I believe 1000% that this team is going to spend a high pick in the 2023 draft on a big, physical runner to compliment Etienne. Think back to Pederson's time in Philly...they brought in Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount during their 2017 championship season and added Jordan Howard as a compliment to Miles Sanders. You could see it even towards the end of this game, they desperately want/need a closer, a big back to grind out the clock. Etienne has a role that he's very good at but he's not built to finish games. He should still have value next year but I'm betting he's more of an RB2 than RB1 as part of a committee in 2023.
– The Raiders offense is much the same thing except they have 2 options instead of one. The entire thing is built around passes to Davante Adams and runs to Josh Jacobs. That's it, that's the offense. If those two things fail, and they are failing far too often, they have nothing else to lean on. Davante is going to get his as we've talked about. He's a WR1 all day long because Carr is not reading the defense and instead blindly flinging passes to Davante every other play. It's jarring to watch honestly. At the snap Carr will turn his head to the other side of the field from Adams and then turn back after a second and fire no matter how open Adams is or not.
On the year Adams has a 56% catch rate...that's inexcusable considering his talent and further proof that Carr is nowhere near Aaron Rodgers as a talent. Ride it for fantasy this year, deal with the duds because there will be a few, but I would trade Adams away in dynasty and get something juicy for him while everyone still thinks he's got years left as an alpha receiver because I expect Carr to be gone, and even if he's not the connection just isn't great. I think this might be the last year of Adams as an elite receiver. Not saying he falls off a cliff but maybe he's just a nice WR2 next year. At that point his trade value drops drastically which is why I recommend moving him towards the end of this year before the chaos of the off-season deals him a massive blow.
– Josh Jacobs is much the same but even more up and down due to the nature of the position. I warned that he was going to have a lot of weeks like this where he takes 15-20 carries for about 70 yards and no scores...but he does have a sweet three week stretch after this next game...Broncos, Seahawks, and Chargers back to back to back weeks. That should be 3 big games for him and then I would trade him scorching hot the moment the Chargers game is over assuming your trade deadline isn't past because the schedule turns brutally against him after that.
– The only other note on LV was covered by RC in an alert a few days ago...both Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow are on IR now which opens things up for Mack Hollins again as the only other viable option. Hollins isn't great but he's an underrated receiver and has proven he's capable of putting up solid fantasy numbers. He should be a WR3 for the foreseeable future.
I know Renfrow would be out there if he was at all capable of it, but this is clearly Waller quitting on the team and I can't say I blame him. He's been practicing the last few weeks but obviously doesn't want to get involved with this train wreck going down with McDaniels. He's got his money, why put himself on the line of a failed season? I'll be shocked if he plays another game this year. In his place Foster Moreau is a decent replacement, nothing to get excited about. Whenever he's in I haven't seen any real intent to get him the ball, he's just a nice dump off option occasionally...like every other TE in the league so it seems.
– Just as Divine Deablo was emerging as a tackle machine he got hurt and was placed on IR. He was replaced by another former tackle machine, Blake Martinez who, despite barely being able to get a job this year, came in and racked up 11 tackles to lead the team...and retired this week.
The team also lost Perryman and Butler, at least for the moment, released longtime veteran Johnathan Abram, and Jayon Brown hasn't played in weeks. With all their linebackers out the team promoted Curtis Bolton to the active roster and signed Reggie Ragland to the practice squad. The only other linebacker on the roster is rookie Luke Masterson. I can't recommend any of these guys for IDP leagues, but somebody is going to have to make tackles in theory...if Jonathan Taylor is healthy and playing this week he might be in for a massive welcome back party.
*RC NOTE: Luke Masterson is promising and might be their future ILB, and the future is coming on fast with all their injuries and releases and retirements.
Snap Counts of Interest:
65 = Zay
52 = Kirk
39 = Marvin
56 = Etienne
38 = Engram
37 = Manhertz
24 = Arnold
57 = Moreau
56 = Adams
50 = Hollins
44 = Renfrow
41 = Jacobs
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