It was 21-7 Cleveland at the half, and I don’t think anyone was overly shocked by the Browns beating a Hundley-led Packers team…but there was a level of ‘stun’ because the whole ‘Aaron Rodgers rides in on a white/green & yellow horse (made of cheese) and takes the Packers to the playoffs’ story was on life support. Probably to no one’s surprise…the Packers came back, a near improbable comeback to win the game in OT.
Cleveland now falls to 0-13, and Hue Jackson runs his record to 1-28 as Browns’ head coach and 1-32 in his last 33 games he’s coached. Because NFL teams are so brilliantly run…Hue Jackson was announced to be job secure this past week.
The Packers have clawed their way to 7-6 overall and now face CAR-MIN-DET with Aaron Rodgers…a chance to run to 10-6, and holding many tie-breaking wins in their back pocket.
I’m not sure the Packers can run the table. Aaron Rodgers is a magician but this defense is really banged up and bad. It will take a minor miracle to pull it off, but GB nearly holds their own fate…win three-in-a-row and they’re very likely in the wild card.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- This was likely the last game we’ll ever see Brett Hundley (35-46 for 265 yards, 3 TD/0 INT) start in the NFL on purpose. Give him credit – he won two critical games in a row, both in OT, and racked up 6 TDs/1 INT his final three starts with a shotty O-Line, a 3rd-string rookie RB, and no defense. He’s not a true NFL starter/franchise guy, but he proved he could play…and maybe had he been given the shot that hand-picked starters are afforded, to learn, to integrate with the offense all year, every year…he might have been something. Look at Blake Bortles…
I watched Mariota and Winston on Sunday… I’m not so sure a groomed Hundley wouldn’t have been better than the #1-2 draft picks overall in 2015. We’ll never know.
-- Josh Gordon (3-69-1/6) was near-dominant against a terrible Packers secondary in the 1st-half and then he disappeared along with the Browns’ offense in the 2nd-half as they tried to play it safe…and hide DeShone Kizer…because Kizer is dreadful.
Kizer had an idiotic INT in OT to hand the game to the Packers in the end.
Corey Coleman (5-62-1/6) was benefitting from the bad GB secondary…and the extra attention on Gordon, but don’t count on as easy a time against Baltimore Week 15. Gordon is going to see all the targets that matter more times than not.
-- Jamaal Williams ( 15-49-1, 7-69-1/7) had a big game…got left open for a long receiving TD and scored one on the ground. I thought Aaron Jones (4 carries, -2 yards) would have more share of the touches…but I was way wrong.
Williams more fits what Mike McCarthy wants to do – power run the ball. I think there’s a risk that Williams does split ‘hot hand’ style with Jones, any given week…and there’s risk that when Aaron Rodgers returns that TDs will be hard to come by for the RBs because ARod usually deals them to the WRs.
-- Isaiah Crowell (19-121-0, 3-10-0/3) is going to see some FF-heat after this 100+ yard effort…as either a hot free agent pickup or as a sudden starter.
Crowell is doing better of late…but the output is up and down week-to-week. He’s unpredictable for fantasy…because the Browns are an enigma, and one you usually don’t want to take a chance on. I couldn’t use him against the Ravens next week.
-- So, what happens with all the Packers’ WRs when Aaron Rodgers comes back?
Davante Adams (10-84-2/14) had 4 TDs in five games with Rodgers earlier this season…and Adams has not slowed down. He has 15 TDs in his last 18 games. He’s a WR1 threat, WR2 floor with Rodgers.
Jordy Nelson (4-33-0/5) scored 6 TDs in 5 games with Rodgers earlier this season…and Jordy is his main TD look. Nelson goes from FF bench to WR1 like that (fingers snap).
Randall Cobb (8-39-0/8) seems like a forgotten man but when he worked 4 games with Rodgers earlier this season (missed a game due to injury) – he averaged 5.8 rec., 54.5 yards, and 0.25 TDs per game. Cobb is probably out there as an FF-ree agent too. He’s a WR3 with upside with Rodgers.
Snap Counts of Interest…
53 = Gordon
39 = Coleman
28 = Higgins
36 = Crowell
25 = Duke J
50 = Jamaal Williams
08 = Aaron Jones