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This game got a little interesting at the end, with Seattle closing the lead to just 6 points with 3:42 left on a 75-yard ‘miracle’ from Russell Wilson to Tyler Lockett. Jacksonville would then go three-and-out and give the Seahawks the ball back with a chance to win the game…but the Jags defense rose up and halted Seattle quickly, forcing a punt and the Jags then ran the clock out for the 30-24 victory.
In reality, this game wasn’t that close. Jacksonville mostly manhandled Seattle…taking a 27-10 lead with 10 minutes left. With their defense, the Jags should have been totally safe to win it going away at that point. However, Russell Wilson then pulled off two scramble and escape 60+ yard bomb TDs in a span of about seven minutes and suddenly we had a ball game. Jacksonville let off the pedal a little and even they were in awe of what Wilson did. Once the threat was really-real, the Jags shut down Seattle’s final drive…just a lockdown of the offense, and got the ball back and ended the game behind Leonard Fournette.
With this win, a 12-4 season stares Jacksonville in the face. The 9-4 Jags should easily win their next two (HOU, SF) before a Week 17 showdown with Tennessee. The Jags may have the AFC South wrapped up by then, but if the Steelers lose to New England…the Jaguars are within a game of a #2 seed. It’s a long shot the Steelers would lose 2 of their next 3 unless an injury to Big Ben. More likely, the Jags win their next two and either rest Week 17 or play a pesky Titans team for the AFC South title. I think the Titans will lose again before Week 17 and Jacksonville can rest their starters/not care about Week 17.
Seattle’s season is in real trouble unless they beat the Rams Week 15. A win over LAR would mean a possible NFC West title. A loss to the Rams might mean Seattle doesn’t go to the playoffs at all. Seattle is 8-5, a loss to the Rams drops them 8-6 and then they go to Dallas to face an Ezekiel Elliott led Cowboys team…the winner of that Week 16 affair alive/strong for a wild card and the loser all but done. Seattle has the misfortune of playing four of the 5-7 best teams in football in all in one stretch…PHI-JAX the last two weeks and now LAR-DAL (fully healthy DAL) ahead. I think Seattle will lose the next two games and fall to 8-6, needing a win over Arizona Week 17 to cling to playoff hope…but losses to Green Bay, Atlanta and Dallas probably means that they are a dead 9-7 team for almost every wild card tiebreaker.
I can't wait to see the look on the football analysts faces when the Rams win the NFC West and Seattle doesn’t even make the playoffs. And it’s not because Seattle is ‘bad’, they just got mauled with injuries and were dealt a wicked late-season schedule.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I’m very serious about this Paul Richardson (3-72-1/7) ‘thing’…when I watch Seattle games back, I really can’t tell who is the ‘top target’ for Wilson anymore. Many of Wilson’s throws have become him scrambling for his life and then he finds whatever is there to throw to. I don’t see a meticulous plan where Wilson is just wearing out throws to Baldwin or anyone else for that matter. Wilson is going to throw to Jimmy Graham when nearing the end zone…and everything else is just ‘happening’ as it’s ‘available’.
More often, when either in trouble or on purpose – I see Wilson ‘leaning’ towards Richardson, at worst PRich is on par with Baldwin for looks. You can see it with the raw targeting numbers of late.
Week 11 v. ATL:
5-56-0 on 8 targets = Richardson
2-40-1 on 6 targets = Baldwin
Week 12 v. SF:
4-74-0 on 7 targets = Richardson
2-32-0 on 3 targets = Baldwin
Week 13 v. PHI:
2-8-0 on 4 targets = Richardson
5-84-0 on 7 targets = Baldwin
Week 14 v. JAX:
3-72-1 on 7 targets = Richardson
3-68-1 on 6 targets = Baldwin
Last four games averages:
3.5 rec., 51.5 yards, 0.25 TDs on 6.5 targets per game = Richardson
3.0 rec., 56.3 yards, 0.50 TDs on 5.5 targets per game = Baldwin
Three of the last 4 games, Richardson has been the leading target and yards ‘winner’ over Baldwin.
I’m not saying Richardson is Seattle’s new #1. I’m not trying to take a thin slice of recent data and go run off a cliff. I’m just sensing when I watch and re-watch these games that Richardson is more on par with Baldwin than not in the passing game flow. Richardson has 6 TDs this season, Baldwin 5 TDs. Richardson was really starting to rise Weeks 7-8 (with 3 TDs in two games and a 105-yard effort v. HOU), but then got hurt and played gimpy Weeks 9-10…and it dragged his overall numbers down a bit. He’s starting to spike back up again.
Richardson is a strong WR3 with WR2 upside week-to-week, but I especially want to point him out because you may be facing Russell Wilson this week…or you have RW, and a ‘stack’ might help you rock your opponent – or at least give you the 4pmET option to move to the stack if you need it.
-- I love Mike Davis (15-66-0, 1-0-0/2)…I love the way he’s running the ball. Tough when he needs to be, elusive often, high energy…it’s just a sweet thing to behold from a ‘found’ RB. Now, if we could only keep him healthy for a full game!
I finally figured out who Davis is reminding me of right now…Davis is running like Doug Martin circa 2015 back when Martin competed for the rushing title. Davis looks very similar – finding room to run where there is little room, and getting to the second level often and having you excited that he may be about to break one. He’s running like a legit NFL starter and he can catch passer with very good/great skill.
Only injury or a horrible matchup could hold him back.
He hurt his ribs in this game and was lost for a good chunk of it…just as he was starting to gash the Jaguars. If he is practicing and all looks well Sunday afternoon…I’m ‘all in’ facing the #28 against the run Rams defense. Davis represents the only hope Seattle has of winning this game. If he can play, I think he’ll play. Too critical a game.
J.D. McKissic (3-15-0, 5-20-0/5) is a PPR option to hold in your back pocket if late, bad news hits 3:30pmET Sunday and Davis is ruled out. I think Davis plays and is not ‘limited’…but that’s speculation.
-- Much is being made of the Blake Bortles (18-27 for 268 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT) renaissance. The football media will push this because they went all-in on Bortles so now they smell possible salvation from looking like scouting idiots again.
This game was a great example of the ‘events’ to consider on why Bortles had a good game…because Bortles still sucks out loud as a talent. He’s just getting to throw easy passes to almost uncovered WRs…because every opposing defense is overplaying the run game.
1: Leonard Fournette (24-101-1, 4-18-0/6) should be up for league MVP. He has singlehandedly taken a QB who shouldn’t even be starting in the NFL and has made him viable…and the team on their way to a 12-4 season.
2: Seattle’s pass defense is falling apart with all their injuries. Carson Wentz missed 50-100+ yards overthrowing receivers vs. SEA two weeks ago, but he still threw for 348 yards. This game, Bortles played pitch and catch against them.
If you fear this matchup for Jared Goff in Week 15…don’t. The ‘Seattle’ name doesn’t mean what we thought…we’re thinking of Seattle 2-3 years ago. This is a good front line, bad secondary defense.
-- Just a quick plug for Keelan Cole (3-99-1/3)…every game he looks a little more like Antonio Brown. He gets open all the time. He catches passes with confidence all over the field and with tight coverage. He’s going to be something someday, but temper all that enthusiasm because as long as Doug Marrone is head coach you have to be wary of the passing game output…and assuming they keep Bortles to further destroy the future of forward pass in Jacksonville. It may take a few years and a head coaching change.
Plus, I worry Cole gets the Tyrell Williams treatement…most talented guy on the WR depth chart, but ignored because of ‘draft status’.
Snap Counts of Interest…
58 = Lee
50 = Westbrook
40 = Cole
50 = Fournette
12 = Ivory
04 = Yeldon
31 = McKissic
30 = MK Davis
01 = Rawls