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I left the live watch thinking the Bengals coulda/shoulda won…that Tennessee wasn’t very impressive and played a coin flip game with Cincy and somehow the Titans pulled it out in the end. Two mediocre teams entered…one of them won, the other covered the spread so I was happy.
I left the re-watch thinking…Marcus Mariota played a helluva game and the Bengals are lucky they got within the spread. This should have been TENN by 10+ instead of a late game TD heroic need for the win.
Cincy’s playoff hopes ended with this loss. They have 6 losses now, and there are for sure at least 2 more on the schedule. The Computer projects 6-10 for the Bengals.
Tennessee just keeps winning. Four wins in a row. If you take out the two games where Matt Cassel played a big role, the Titans are 6-1 this season. Sit with that for a moment! Marcus Mariota for MVP!!!
Here’s the thing, let’s assume Tennessee loses to the Steelers on TNF this week. Not a given but at PITT, let’s give them a loss…to fall to 6-4. They should then win their next 4 games in a row – IND, HOU, ARI, SF. But let’s say they lose one of them…they will then be 9-5 going into their final two games of the season hosting the Rams then Jags. Week 17 vs. JAX may be for 10 wins and all the AFC South marbles. Actually, the Titans could be at 10 wins going into that game. Actually, if the Titans beat the Steelers this week…Tennessee might be pushing towards an 11-12 win season.
Maybe The Computer wasn’t wrong with its May 2017 prediction of Tennessee as the #2 seed in the AFC afetrall? If they beat the Steelers…then it’s a real possibility.
Fantasy Player Notes…
*There are a lot of performance myths to be exposed from this game. Buckle up because some of this may semi-shock you.
-- I want to start with Marcus Mariota (25-44 for 264 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 6-51-0). I can tell you right now…STOP with the Mariota is killing me talk. I’ve been guilty of it too. Consider the following…
In this game, Rishard Matthews dropped an easy 29-yard TD pass. Wide-open, Mariota put it on him and Matthews, uncharacteristically, just dropped it. The Titans would then settle for a field goal…and miss the kick. A 14-6 or 10-6 Titans opportunity stayed 7-6 early 2nd-quarter.
Also in this game, Marcus Mariota ran a designed QB sweep from the 8-yard line and dove for the pylon for a rushing TD but was just out of bounds on the dive. Nearly a fantasy six-pointer. DeMarco plunged it from there.
Later in the game, the Titans put Cincy away on a 20-yard TD toss from Mariota to Corey Davis…but as Davis reached for the pylon he lost control and did that annoying thing that only happens to YOUR/MY fantasy guys…they reach for a score and fumble the ball on the reach…and it goes out the end zone – a TD stolen away turned into a turnover…an 8-point fantasy swing.
Had Mariota had a little more luck, he would have thrown for 300+ yards, 3 TDs, and rushed for another score. Then, you would be praising him. He did mostly everything right here and just missed glory…and now you hate him. You shouldn’t. He’s really, really good.
Mariota’s fantasy points in games this season…
Week 10 = Mariota had 19.7 FF points (21.7 in 6pts per TD pass)…nearly 36+ (40+).
Week 9 = 17.3 (21.3)
Week 8 = BYE
Week 7 = 8.9 (8.9)
Week 6 = 16.2 (18.2)
Week 5 = Hurt/out
Week 4 = 15.7 (15.7) in a half a game played, hurt and gone for 2nd-half.
Week 3 = 19.7 (23.7)
Week 2 = 13.0 (15.0) vs. Jacksonville
Week 1 = 18.8 (18.8)
Mariota was below 16.0 FF points (4 pts per pass TD) three times this season. Once when he got hurt halfway into Houston shootout. Just below it versus the very tough Jags. Once against the Browns…out of nowhere. Other than that, he’s been consistent. Actually, aside from the Browns game, he’s been pretty good for FF…with near-misses to really good.
Mariota stopped running Weeks 6-9 because of his hamstring. He announced he was running more Week 10 and ran for a season-high 51 yards and almost a TD. If he got that rushing score…it would have been 4 rushing TDs in 8 games played…a pace for 8 rushing TDs for the season. You WANT that for fantasy.
Currently, Mariota ranks #14 among QBs in PPG (4pts per pass TD)…in 8 games…but he’s really played 7.5 games…and at 7.5 games on the math, Mariota sneaks to #13 among all QBs…which is actually #11 taking out Rodgers and Watson.
I hate to tell you…the guy you hate today…he’s a QB1 right now.
Oh, and after Week 11…he plays IND-HOU-ARI-SF. Let me put that stretch in pass yards per game allowed rankings – 31-27-23-24.
The Marcus Mariota I watched Sunday…he might help you through the fantasy playoffs. He looked 100% healthy and was on-point passing…and threw 44 times!
Don’t ask me about dropping him unless you have amazing QBs that force him out. If Mariota is going to start running the ball more because he smells a division title and #1 seed…lookout.
-- DeMarco Murray (14-42-2, 4-30-1/4) had 3 TDs and looked mostly terrible doing it.
Slow. Plodding. Tentative. 3.0 yards per carry.
Yards per carry last three games in games: 3.0, 2.1, 3.3, 3.3.
If there was ever a window to trade Murray away it’s this week.
You don’t have to force him out through because that easy Titans schedule ahead…someone’s gotta plunge for those 1-yard scores.
-- Copy and paste this every week…Joe Mixon (9-37-1, 1-3-0/3) looks surreal but why he never gets 15+ carries and especially why he doesn’t get 5+ targets a game is the idiocy that is the Cincinnati Bengals. The reason NFL people were/are insane for Mixon is his pass-catching skills out of the backfield. If true, how does he have 1 catch in a do-or-dying game here?
Someday, Joe Mixon will be the talk and envy of fantasy. Not sure when that day is. Soon, though. Might be 2018.
-- Andy Dalton (20-35 for 265 yards, 2 TD/0 INT) sucks and is probably on your waivers, right?
He has 13 TD passes in his last 7 games…1.85 per game. Including a 0 TD game versus the Jags, which is understandable. Less the Jags game, 13 TD passes in his last 6 games…2.2 per game. That’s high end.
Tom Brady has 11 TD passes in his last 6 games.
The problem with getting too excited here is 4-5 tough matchups the next 6 games. Week 12 vs. CLE if you need it.
-- Brandon LaFell (6-95-1/10) is helping boost Dalton.
In his last five games, LaFell is averaging 6.9 FF PPG (11.1 PPR) on 4.2 rec. (6.4 targets), 45.4 yards, 0.40 TDs per game.
He was shutdown vs. the Jags, ignore the Jags game and LaFell in his last 4 games: 8.0 FF PPG (12.8 PPR) on 4.8 rec. (7.5 targets), 49.8 yards, 0.50 TDs per game. WR2-level work.
I want to get excited but Denver this week and then the Steelers Week 13 may not be good either. Week 12 vs. CLE works!
-- Hold onto your britches here… Did you know the Titans defense has held four of their last 5 opponents to 20 points or fewer in games (17.4 PPG allowed last five games)?
Tennessee is currently 22nd in points allowed this season, BUT that includes the 57 they gave up to Houston in the half-Mariota/Cassel debacle. Ignore that game, and Tennessee is allowing 19.5 PPG this season…top 10 best in the league. #10 in total ‘takeaways’ this season.
Part of all this goodness is that they play in a crappy division and have an easy schedule, but guess what? After this week with PIT, it’s Brissett-Savage-Stanton…not a bad little run for the DST desperate.
-- I re-watched every Corey Davis (4-48-0/10) target in detail and I’m going to back off my earlier dismissal of him this past week or two.
Yes, he’s still not being utilized as a purposeful #1 WR. Mostly, deep ball throws down the sidelines…not just the guy making plays on meticulous routes all over the field. However, Mariota is still heaving it to him…there is some kinda trust/hope there.
Davis has that TD catch, extend for the pylon…reversed from a TD to a fumble in this game. Mid-game, Mariota threw one blindly towards Davis’s direction while under duress…and Davis was open by 5+ yards going deep but Mariota threw it 10+ yards to far. This vanilla output from Davis was almost pretty exciting or really exciting.
I’m not seeing a star yet, but better work than I thought coming out of Sunday now that I’ve re-watched it.
-- I’m not a Darqueze Dennard (4 tackles, 1 INT) fan of him as a cover guy, never have been. But I always thought he’d be a decent safety and could tackle. He’s tackling.
6.5 tackles per game the past four games.
6.1 tackles per game his past seven games.
4 PDs this season, 2.0 sacks. Not a bad little IDP output.
Snap Counts of Interest…
78 = Corey Davis
78 = Rishard Matthews
34 = Eric Decker
27 = Jayon Brown
88 = Dre Kirkpatrick
67 = Dennard
31 = Will Jackson
31 = Mixon
20 = Gio