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The Ravens had to sweat a little at the end, but they held on for a 23-16 win. The Colts blocked a punt late and had the ball with 2+ minutes and 30+ yards to go…and did what you’d expect – fizzle out in the red zone and run out of downs and time, and lose.
The Colts have one more week until they fire their head coach. It will be an all new Colts team. Perhaps, one that becomes like the trendy ‘losers last year, gods this year’ team (i.e. the 2017 Rams, Jags, Vikings, Bills). Depends upon a lot of factors but it’s not crazy for a quick turnaround if Andrew Luck ever gets ‘right’. A big ‘IF’.
The Ravens move to 9-6 and almost a lock for one of the wild-card spots in the AFC. They beat Cincy at home next week, and it’s a done deal. Lose and there will be a bunch of tiebreaker scenarios to examine…and the Ravens do not hold a lot of cards against the other wild-card teams. It’s one of the issues I have with the Ravens as a playoff team – no quality wins outside of beating Detroit. They might not have a win over a team with winning record this season if the Lions lose their next two.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I thought Mike Wallace (4-60-0/6) would be money here for fantasy, and after the first series…I was gloating. Two catches for 27 yards on 3 targets on the Ravens’ first drive. I knew 10+ targets were coming, and 5+ catches and I was just waiting for that big ‘pop’ play.
Then it started raining.
Then the Ravens tried to sit safely on a lead running the ball and throwing to RBs.
It almost cost the Ravens in the end…but they snuck away with the win.
The one time I get excited about Mike Wallace…and ‘meh’.
-- Michael Campanaro (2-21-1/2, 1-9-0) did get a TD in this game, and per usual…got a handoff and took it for 8+ yards.
Campanaro has 10 carries in his career…eight of them for 7 or more yards with a yards per carry average of 13.1.
FYI, he’s carried the ball just twice in the past 9 games because…I don't know why.
-- Every time Marlon Mack (4-17-0, 2-37-0/2) got his hands on the ball in space it seemed like something big was on the verge. He’s got a little Alvin Kamara in him…and works on a team with a weak QB and no O-Line, and an offense that should throw to the RB 8-10+ times a game – and yet they continue to do little with Mack.
It’s crazy, Mack was flashing signs of being the top guy for them early in the season with flashy plays…and then the Colts just throttled him back to hardly touching the ball in games.
Chuck Pagano can’t go fast enough.
If the Colts don’t hire another defensive head coach, Mack might be the poor man’s Kamara of 2018. So could a lot of NFL running backs, but Mack’s in a good spot for it to happen IF they hire a decent head coach.
I wonder if Mack is going to be a terrific Week 17 play, as a potential ‘full starter’ as Gore starts and leaves quick? Logic would say that’s obvious…but NFL logic says Gore will play the whole game for ‘reasons’…like ‘finishing strong’!
-- A couple of IDPs stuck out in this game for the Colts…
Kenny Moore (9 tackles, 1 FF, 1 PD) is a small (5’9”) but scrappy CB, who is stepping up with Rashaan Melvin out, Moore has averaged 7.0 tackles and 1.3 PDs per game the past three weeks. He’s not a long-term excitement but he’s an IDP producer of the moment.
Rookie ILB Anthony Walker (8 tackles, 1 TFL) is back from injury. 4 tackles last week in part-time play, but more playing time this week with Jon Bostic going on IR. Walker is a legit potential starting ILB in the NFL…so-so athleticism metrics but an instinctual, experienced linebacker.
Snap Counts of Interest…
39 = Collins
19 = Woodhead
15 = J Allen
46 = Gore
15 = Mack
70 = Kenny Moore
55 = Anthony Walker (75% of snaps)
32 = Grover Stewart
02 = Tyus Bowser