In the NFC, people are talking about whether dominant Philly can get to the Super Bowl with Nick Foles or not. Or they are enamored with Case Keenum trying to take the Vikings to the promised land. The Saints have Alvin Kamara, current ‘greatest RB in the universe’ lighting heart’s ablaze (when Kamara is ranked ahead of David Johnson in the mainstream next year I will lose my mind, so get ready for it). The Rams have a young head coach, as I’ve heard every time someone in football analysis mention every time they talk ‘Rams’…and the Rams just humiliated the Seahawks. Can Dallas get into the wild card? Can Green Bay? What about Atlanta…remember their soul-crushing loss to the Patriots?
Meanwhile, the Panthers just beat Minnesota and then Aaron Rodgers/Green Bay in back to back weeks…and ‘yawn’. If the Panthers win their final two games, and the Vikings, Rams, and Saints lose one of their last two…the Panthers win the NFC South AND are a #2 seed!! No one cares about the team that reached the Super Bowl two LONG seasons ago.
The Panthers have had 9 games with teams with a winning record this season…they are 6-3 in those 9 games. They beat the Patriots in New England. Everyone is so busy assuming the Eagles and Vikings are the best teams in the NFC…and the Rams, Saints if not those two…they’re blowing right past the fact that the Panthers might be the clear best team in the NFC.
I think the Rams are the best team in the NFC, but I can’t deny the Panthers and Vikings are not right there…and I’m not as sold on the Eagles. Haven't been all season…and that has mostly been wrong. Carolina is very dangerous but the loss of Thomas Davis is HUGE for the Panthers to try to finish out by winning out. If the Panther lose a game upcoming and miss out on the division title, in part because they were missing Davis…they’ll fly further under the radar come playoff time. The Computer is moving more and more into Carolina’s camp as its new favorite ‘it’ team. The Computer has been with the Rams, Jags, Bills…then Saints, Chargers, Falcons a little ahead of the wave. The Panthers are moving into a ‘radically better than given credit by the public/Vegas’ valuation.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Aaron Rodgers (26-45 for 290 yards, 3 TDs/3 INTs) came back to save the season…and tried, but failed.
He could’ve been rusty. He could’ve been still sore…but apparently looked great in all the practices leading up to this. What if this is just – a poorly coached Packers team, a QB trying to make things happen, and more importantly – a very good defense they faced? What if it is nothing to do with Rodgers’ shoulder, per se?
Rodgers had been throwing with the players for weeks and got a full practice in this week…and failed when it counted. Nick Foles came in to play on short notice never really working with the first team all year and dropped 4 TDs/0 INTs on the Giants. I’m just saying…this might be as much about the Panthers’ defense and poor Packers planning.
I highly assume Rodgers is done for the year. It would be idiotic for Green Bay to roll him out there next week…even too dumb for the NFL, who always puts franchise QBs in precarious positions in meaningless games late in the season. So, they’ll be going back to Brett Hundley Week 16. Joe Callahan was already re-signed to the team Monday so it’s just a matter of saying it out loud by Green bay officials.
-- What happens with the Packers WRs with Hundley AND if Davante Adams is shut down?
Randall Cobb (7-84-1/14) has to be ‘in play’ because it can’t be Jordy Nelson (3-28-0/6). I mean, look at those numbers in this game/for weeks. Rodgers is back and this is what we get from Jordy in a crucial game? The Jordy-Rodgers love may be winding down as Jordy slows down. He’s getting older (he’ll be 33 years old next season) and has had multiple leg and hip injuries. I think it might be ‘over’ for Jordy as a main guy. A role player in 2018, if he’s healthy enough. It falls off fast…ask Eric Decker, among others.
Cobb had 14 targets here, but guess what – he had 8 targets (and 8 catches) with Hundley in Brett’s last start (vs. CLE). Here’s the Cobb problem – Adams out, Jordy slowed…the Vikings can throw more coverage at Cobb – and he just has Hundley throwing to him.
I’d be afraid of Cobb without Adams. I’d be afraid of Adams if he can go with Hundley this week because of Xavier Rhodes…and because of Hundley.
Get the heck outta here with any Geronimo Allison talk. Child, please.
-- Aaron Jones (3-47-0, 1-6-0/2) is so clearly better than Jamaal Williams (10-30-0) it’s not even debatable. I want to get excited about Jones as ‘the guy’ for Week 16…but facing Minnesota with Hundley at QB…not great.
-- Greg Olsen (9-116-1/12) didn’t jump out at me as I watched this game and then, all of a sudden, I see he has 9 catches for 116 yards. I guess he’s OK, physically? I gave up on him a few weeks ago after a relapse and no catches…and now, here is better than ever, I guess.
-- How about our Damiere Byrd (3-25-2/4)! Five catches in his game last week, 2 TDs this week. He’s a nice little WR. I wouldn’t trust him outside of a Hail Mary play in a deeper league. However, the Panthers do face the Bucs Week 16…could be more a legit WR3 hopeful this week. I’m a fan, but 4 targets against this cupcake secondary of GB…I’m not excited yet but getting more hopeful.
I mean, the Packers are a gift to opposing WRs…and Devin Funchess (1-19-0/4) had one catch. I trust Cam to score fantasy points, but I don’t trust him to work just one target ad nausea every week.
Snap counts of Interest…
64 = Funchess
51 = Byrd
23 = Shepard
53 = McCaffrey
30 = JStew
43 = Jamaal Williams
26 = Aaron Jones