Denver should have won this game. Not that they played great but in a battle of two teams that are not all that great Denver had 341 yards to 190 edge -- and converted 57.1% of their 3rd-downs…and still lost. A Brock Osweiler pick in the end zone to cap an impressive first drive, a blocked FG in the game for Denver…Denver being Denver, and the Bengals capitalized.
Denver’s loss ends their season, effectively. No real shot to get into that 8-8 hunt for the final wild-card in the end. They admitted as much by turning to Paxton Lynch and giving him his five-week audition. The Broncos have to fall further to begin a total rebuild process. It’s underway…
Cincy is now very much viable for that projected (by us) 8-8 final wild-card spot. They’re 4-6 and assuming a win over CLE Week 12 they will be 5-6 and right in the thick of it as we look next week. However, the schedule ahead is likely to halt them in their tracks. PIT and CHI the next two weeks, and unless they upset the Steelers, which is not out of the question, they’ll be a projected 6-7 heading to MIN Week 15. A loss there sends them to 6-8 needing to win out (DET, at BAL) to get to 8-8…and it’s probably too tough a task for a mediocre team. If they beat PIT Week 13 on Monday Night Football at Cincy – then we’re talking.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Stop me if I’ve said this before… Joe Mixon (20-49-0, 2-0-0/2) looks fantastic, but had garbage numbers and how stupid are the Bengals to not throw to him 5-8+ times a game? He’s second among all RBs in ‘catch rate’ (% of targets caught).
Insult to FF-injury…two goal-line shots for Mixon in this game, stuffed both times.
Someday, the world will marvel at Mixon’s running-receiving skillset for fantasy. He is the next Le’Veon Bell waiting to happen…only Cincy likes what they see in Teletubby Gio Bernard. That will change soon enough, it already is.
-- Devontae Booker (14-44-0, 5-54-0/6) made another push to become the main RB for the Broncos…out-carrying C.J. Anderson 14-13 and out-targeting him 5-2 in this game.
I’ve been sensing the move coming but know this…CJA isn’t going anywhere. At best, this is a split. Now, with a new O-C – Jamaal Charles might get a more legit look. It’s anyone’s ballgame, but Anderson is always going to get touches. The Denver O-Line stinks…so, finding hope in this backfield is fleeting, to me, unless Jamaal breaks out.
-- Tyler Kroft (2-12-1/3) is killing me. I thought I hooked on to low-end TE1 gold in some desperate places a few weeks ago when he was Eifert 2.0, but the last three weeks he’s had 2-1-2 for catches in games. I don’t know what’s happening. I don’t see anything different on tape. He has a hand issue that’s popped up but he’s still playing and seeing targets.
If he doesn’t score a TD versus TE-giving CLE this week, I don’t know what I’m going to do with him. I want to believe that TE1 option from several weeks ago is still sitting there waiting to happen. He flames out vs. CLE and I have to assume I got head-faked or he really is hurt and they’re using him more as a blocker/decoy.
-- Andy Dalton (15-25 for 154 yards, 3 TDs/0 INTs) has 16 TDs/4 INTs in his past 8 games…the 8 games with the new O-C promoted after the old one was fired after Week 2. Carson Wentz has 19 TDs/5 INTs in his last 8 games and is considered a god. Dalton has similar production in yards and TDs/INTs in that span and is still despised.
223.8 passing yards, 2.38 TDs per game = Wentz last 8 games
217.4 passing yards, 2.00 TDs per game = Dalton last 8 games
I get that ‘wins’ is worth celebrating, but why people so hate Dalton and so revere Wentz is the problem with football analysis. It’s all emotional and rarely logical/analysis based.
Dalton should be in-line for another quality output game versus the Browns this week.
-- Austin Traylor (4-36-0/5) is a big, lumbering TE that I don’t give a second thought to…but for some reason Osweiler was going to Traylor in key spots and Traylor was coming down with everything with guys draped all over him. His scouting metrics don’t get me excited but the way he was used in this game and the chatter I heard from people observing practice have drawn me in to keep an eye on him.
If they never used Virgil Green, I don’t know how they’d use this guy.
-- Paxton Lynch starts this week for Denver and I have no idea what to expect.
He’s had a year to grow.
He didn’t look that good in the preseason.
He was pretty bad in three games last year, but he was never a true starter to have reps with the starters. And one of the games he was fed to Jacksonville.
Demaryius Thomas had a good run with Lynch last year… 5.7 rec., 68.0 yards, 0.67 TD per game.
Emmanuel Sanders – 6.0 rec., 65.7 yards, 0.33 TDs per game.
We don’t know what the new O-C has in store.
I worry the timing with Thomas isn’t there/developed, but easy throws could be had to Demaryius to get him settled in. Thomas also works the middle a lot, so that might be an issue for Lynch not wanting to throw there.
I really just don’t know. I only have guesses.
Snap Counts of Interest…
54 = Traylor
41 = V. Green
48 = D. Booker
30 = CJ Anderson
04 = Jamaal
47 = Kroft
18 = Uzomah
35 = Mixon
20 = Gio