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There’s nothing worse than watching the Ravens play…especially on a solo night game…so you get to drink all their Ravens-ness without the clutter of all the other action going on simultaneously around the league. Watching the Texans play is pretty close in awfulness…which made this a very painful MNF game. The ratings were the worst for MNF in a long time and I saw a lot of empty seats in Baltimore for a team going for the playoffs…so, apparently, the world agrees with my assessment, even Ravens’ fans do.
The Ravens’ win ends Houston’s false playoff hopes but keeps the Ravens’ chances very much alive. They have a good chance too. If they beat Detroit at home this week…I think the Ravens are in prime position for the #6 seed wild-card. Likely, they will be a 9-7 team and that will be good enough for the AFC. Week 14 at Pittsburgh is a loss waiting to happen but then at CLE, IND, CIN to finish out. 9-7 is very plausible for them…sadly…or luckily for whatever #3 seed draws this virtual BYE of an opponent – likely the Jags or Titans (whichever wins the AFC South).
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Well, we can close the book on Tom Savage (22-37 for 252 yards, 0 TD/2 INTs). His NFL career as a starter will be over soon…either just playing out the string or getting benched in a few weeks for T.J. Yates.
Savage isn’t horrible. In fact, early in this game -- he looked pretty good, early on. You give Savage time, and he can deliver passes wherever you want them. The Texans jumped out 7-0 and the upset looked underway. As the game wore on, the protection broke down and Savage showed he does not have the ‘it’ throwing over the middle. His two INTs were bad throws into traffic. He was good on most of this throws, but in crunch time he wilted.
Sayonara, Tom Savage. We hardly knew ye. Maybe without all the injuries and on a different team…but it doesn’t matter anymore. It’s not you, it’s me…
It’s a dump pass league and Savage keeps trying to throw everything downfield. That era is over.
-- Savage didn’t have any issues throwing to DeAndre Hopkins (7-125-0/10), man…he put some nice passes in just the right spot for Hopkins.
Kudos to the Ravens for not realizing every throw was going to Hopkins and just trying to cover him one-on-one, to no avail. People are trying to tell me Jimmy Smith is the top CB in the game…yeah, right. He couldn’t handle Hopkins at all.
Hopkins is just a surreal catcher of the football. I always downgrade him because of the lacking athleticism but I underestimate how great of a catcher of the ball he is. Every Texans QB throws to him as often as possible so he’s going to be a top 5 WR threat for fantasy for a long time. I didn’t think he would be, but he is.
Before I get too sentimental on Hopkins, I have to remember last year when he disappeared with Brock Osweiler…so there is something to be said for a QB being able to hit him, to make him purr. Savage does. Watson did. He needs a QB to help him soar.
-- Speaking of clueless defenses, Danny Woodhead (4-22-0, 4-23-0/4) was allowed to float out of the backfield and was open without defenders in the camera shot on almost every catch. How is this possible? The Ravens have no passing game, just dump passes to Woodhead and the Texans weren’t covering him that tight. Fortunately, Flacco kept trying to go downfield to no avail and didn’t burn them with more Woodhead.
DW is still a legit RB3 in PPR with RB2 upside. He’s due for a 7+ catch game soon. It’s the safe way out for Flacco.
-- Braxton Miller (5-43-0/6) got more work than usual. We’ll have to see if this was a blip. I have still never been impressed with Miller as a WR or after the catch going back to scouting him at the Senior Bowl.
-- Ravens LB Patrick Onwuasor (8 tackles, 1 PD) continues to shine – 8.3 tackles in his last 3 games. He’s really stuffing plays nicely up the middle.
-- Dylan Cole (2 tackles), who I’m over the moon with was back from his hamstring injury. Now that Houston is out of it, I’m hoping they push Cole to get him ready for 2018. He starts – and he’s a top 10 linebacker for IDP.
Snap Counts of Interest…
47 = Boyle
41 = Ben Watson
28 = Maxx Williams
31 = Collins
22 = Woodhead
15 = Allen
63 = Ellington
54 = Braxton Miller