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The final was 26-20 Rams, but this game should’ve been another Rams beatdown. This was more a 30+ to 10+ type of manhandling.
The Rams dropped several 3rd-down conversions and also dropped about 4-5 interceptions…I mean ‘right in their hands’ type of picks. The Saints were down two starting CBs, so the Rams should’ve beaten down the Saints…and they did, but the score looked a lot closer than it was. The Saints fought to the end but the Rams were the much better team here.
Assuming the Rams beat Arizona Week 13, they will be 9-3 preparing to host Philly in Week 14. You want to talk about a seismic shift if the Rams win that game – the Rams will be in line to be the #1 seed in the NFC and will have peed on the media’s ‘all things Philly’ worship. I wonder how they’d spin that if the Rams beat Philly. I mean, how long can the media start every Rams discussion with “Hey, the Rams can play a little bit” or “Look how shocking the Rams are, they actually won again (despite the QB we know is secretly terrible).”
If the Rams lose the Eagles, I will have to take that week off for depression. I’m a fan of what the Rams are doing, but in reality I don’t care about NFL teams as a fan…I only care about making a profit. My other self-interest – I love watching the football media get kicked in the gut. If Goff/the Rams thump Philly, all hell is going to break loose as I smile like Heath Ledger’s Joker. I don’t want that taken away from me. I can't wait until next week, I think…I hope!
The Saints are a good team, but they got caught in a bad spot – down two starting CBs to a top-flight offense. No shame. No condemnation from me. The Saints have a lot riding on Weeks 13-14 taking on Carolina and then going to Atlanta. It’s a bad time because the Saints still may be without 1-2 of those CBs for one or both games. The Saints could lose the next two and fall down to wild-card status when they may have won the division if healthy. Hey, it happens…ask Green Bay, Dallas, Washington about the impact of key injuries at the wrong time.
I still maintain there will be a three-way 11-5 tie for the NFC South, and thus the ‘other two’ will get in via wild-card. That’s why Dallas, Washington, Seattle are pretty much toast. The team with a schedule and injuries that could knock them down and thus open the door to a 10-win team as a wild-card is the Saints, suddenly.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- No need for me to write odes to Jared Goff (28-43 for 354 yards, 2 TD/1 INT) this week. The NFL intelligentsia is warming up to him and we expected this output. He beat a wounded Saints team…no reason for a ticker-tape parade. I would just add two things…
1: Great QBs should be dealt an opportunity like (Saints injured secondary) this and stick a dagger through the opponent's heart. That’s exactly what he did. Marcus Mariota had a similar set up with the Colts and looked like half-an-idiot. Not Goff…because he’s ‘great’.
Did I mention he’s the next Brady?
2: Goff should’ve had 400+ yards passing a 3+ TDs here.
Pardon my French swearing, but Sammy Watkins (4-82-1/9) is a piece of shit as a wide receiver. He’s so bad, Dez Bryant thinks he’s bad…that’s how bad.
Watkins pulled two typical of him lazy plays in this game, which epitomizes why Buffalo dumped him and why he’ll never be a true star…
1 – On a 3rd & long play, midgame, Watkins ran from the left side…running straight and then slicing to the sidelines for a timing pass. Goff threw a bullet on point…only Watkins ran hard straight and then jogged into his cut. When he turned and realized the ball was coming he then tried to speed up and about tripped himself. Incomplete, leading to a punt. A WR who actually cared would have been full speed into the right spot and made that play…and the Rams would have added 3-7 more points to this beatdown.
2 – Goff’s only INT was a real gem by Watkins.
Sammy breaks free deep by 5-yards going down the sidelines. Goff, the deep ball master, lets it fly…it’s a little short, but all Watkins has to do is stop running downfield as fast and slow up to catch the pass. He was so open he had time and space to adjust easily.
But what does Watkins do?
He never stops running the speed he was. He reaches back with one hand like an idiot. The ball slaps off his hand and hangs up for the oncoming DB to have it fall right in his lap…like it was a tip drill. Instead of a 40+ yard play/TD…it’s a Goff INT.
Later, Watkins had his hands on a timing TD pass, but let the DB wrestle it away.
I cannot stand Sammy Watkins.
-- Josh Reynolds (4-37-1/6), I do like. And he may hit a Josh Doctson-like activity level faster than expected…partly because Watkins is such an unreliable piece of trash as a WR.
Reynolds caught a nice TD pass here, but also note – Reynolds had a 30+ yard shot into the end zone but Goff threw short on the DPI and the ball bounced off Reynolds face mask after the DB tipped it…almost a long score early in the game. Goff was just taking a shot and that’s the kind of WR Reynolds is, like Doctson – take a shot one on one…only Reynolds is a little taller/longer on reach than Doctson.
Goff also took two red zone timing shots to Reynolds into the end zone but he was covered tight and Goff threw high because it wasn’t there…back-to-back throws, the same exact play. It was evidence of another TD attempt to Reynolds. Goff seems to trust, smartly, Reynolds in the red zone. He is the most logical target for that size wise.
Arizona Week 13 might be the perfect time for Reynolds to expose lesser coverage and go off on the Cardinals with 2 TDs.
-- Alvin Kamara (5-87-1, 6-101-1/6) had a great game, but it wasn’t as great when I watched a second time. I mean, it was still great and Kamara is an RB1 no doubt in PPR. But I didn’t realize his long TD run was an untouched run. It was sweet and all, but most RBs would have made that run. 4-13-0 running the ball otherwise.
Made great plays in the passing game breaking tackles. He’s terrific for PPR…especially when the Saints are down and throwing a lot.
-- Ted Ginn (7-71-0/11) had another useful game here, but note a good chunk of that came in the two-minute drill in soft coverage. Ginn is playing great and is a legit WR3 every week, but he’s not ‘the guy’, he’s an afterthought used guy still.
And like every week, Drew Brees missed Ginn on a 75-yard TD…Ginn streaking wide-open and Brees throwing it 5-yards short for a pick that the DB dropped.
I don’t know if Brees is having a bad go of it or age is catching up…but I don’t see the same guy as the past in 2017. We mock Marcus Mariota for looking foolish of late…Drew Brees was serving picks for snacks to the Rams, but they couldn’t catch any of them. Brees threw at least 4 passes right into DB’s hands where I went “I can’t believe he threw that pass.”
Brees is still ‘Drew Brees’, but I’d continue to fear the end is catching up and the Saints want to run. For fantasy, I haven’t liked Brees all year. He’s still ‘Brees’ but some of that edge is coming off.
Snap Counts of Interest…
64 = Watkins
61 = Reynolds
61 = Kupp
32 = Kamara
29 = Ingram