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If there was any particular game in Week 2 that went exactly the way everyone thought, it was this one. The Oakland Raiders were a massive favorite at home against the New York Jets and won by a massive amount. The Raiders jumped out 14-0, the Jets scratched/clawed back to cut it to 14-10… and then the next thing you know it was 42-13 Oakland.
I would add this additional game commentary: In what universe does Marshawn Lynch get to dance like a fool on the sidelines mid-game of a blowout? The ultimate disrespect to the opponents… and the fans of the opponents. In what universe have you ever seen NFL coaches let the players act a fool like that on the sidelines… hamming it up for the fans.
You probably had one or two reactions to this…
1) You're disgusted/dismissive as 'stupid'.
2) You thought, “Good, the NFL needs to allow more fun and individuality.”
Neither feelings are wrong.
I'm just shocked a league that has a stick up its bum about most everything, and I mean the over-controlling coaches, would just smile at this. I think it's the day Jack Del Rio jumped the shark. The day where coaches that preach team, dedication, hard work, focus and whatever other crap… in this case the coach just smiled… a.k.a complicit… a.k.a Marshawn Lynch does whatever he wants whenever he wants and no one has the will to stop him otherwise. If you wonder why teams shy from Kaepernick-Tebow-Manziel… it's for this reason. The bosses do not want to lose control of their power over the team for a hyper-media focused entity.
The funny thing is... the star players are more important than the head coach in 99 of 100 cases. Yet we have an unwritten NFL code that allows the coaches to be generals with whistles cracking the whip over the players who play along with hierarchy to get playing time/touches. How many players have been in a Mike Shanahan or Mike Zimmer dog house?
Marshawn Lynch has plenty of money—and is doing you a favor by playing—so he doesn’t really care about the games per se. He is building his brand on Oakland's dime and airwaves. It is brilliant by Lynch, but it's going to come back to bite the Raiders' franchise in the end. Players don’t all realize Lynch can do this because the coach has zero leverage over him. Some players are now going to want to join Lynch in the spotlight and do the same...but without the same leverage.
Then there are other players who won't join Lynch. Other players who have an old school mentality. They don’t want to be dancing a fool on the sidelines… nor do they want their teammates doing the same. The guy they probably already don’t care for due to him eating a banana sitting on his ass during the national anthem… that guy is now dancing like an idiot mid-game. That's not how things are done in the old school.
Serious players are not going to want to join this organization. Fun-loving, play-to-the-camera players will. It seems like a harmless thing but Jack Del Rio broke the fourth wall of coaching and unwittingly handed the power over to Marshawn Lynch who could absolutely care less about wins and losses. He's a free spirit having fun and getting attention and has plenty of money so you can’t say a word because he'll just quit. Oakland welcomed this distraction when they signed him. Raiders fans think it's cool to be the rebels of the NFL again. You watch: This will bite them in the end.
This is going to have ripple effects… and the ripples are just beginning.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- What in the blue hell!!!!
I've been complaining, crying, cajoling for Minnesota and any team to please utilize Cordarrelle Patterson (3-57-1) more in the backfield—He's the greatest TD-per-carry runner in the history of football… AS A WIDE RECEIVER.
Of course, it’s never happened. He gets 0-1 carries in a game, even if the one carry was an 80-yard TD… that was good enough for the Vikings. They didn’t want to see anymore success than that. Belly fully of success, tummy hurt...
Oakland pushed Patterson a bit in Week 3 of the preseason as a receiver and then ran him as fourth receiver Week 1. So, I gave up. I was never going to speak about Patterson again.
After three years of no one doing anything right with Patterson and me finally giving up… What does Oakland do? Puts him in the backfield as a running back several times in this game. His last carry of the game? A 43-yard TD right up the middle.
It's not rocket science, NFL. It's simple math: Patterson runs for the greatest TD-per-carry ratio of all-time… so why not give a him a few carries each game and see what happens? Guess what… He scores a TD on his third carry of the game for the Raiders this week.
We're back on speaking-about terms with CP again.
I don’t think this will turn into anything special because Oakland is rotating all the RBs, but, of course, I'll be keeping an eye on it for more uptick. He's not being used as a WR hardly at all.
-- What the Jets are doing with their backfield is as much a cluster as the Jets' entire organization. Leading the charge is a veteran with one foot out of the league, Matt Forte (9-53-0), and an untalented rookie Elijah McGuire (6-29-0).
Their most successful back from 2016, Bilal Powell (6-13-0), can’t get into the rotation as much as the aforementioned Forte-McGuire, apparently.
The Jets will find a way to screw anything up.
I’d avoid this backfield at all costs, but it's not crazy to hold Powell for a bit to see if Forte is traded soon. When he is, Powell will be the main guy on a bad team in a lot of garbage time.
-- You score 45 points on the Jets, crushing them… a team with no secondary to speak of. In this slaughter, Amari Cooper (4-33-0/5) sees five targets and 33 yards and no TDs while Michael Crabtree (6-80-3/6) dances around for 3 TDs.
Cooper is the second most important receiver on this team. There is no more fighting it or wishing the opposite. It is what it is. He'll have WR1 moments and WR 3-4 moments and be a nice WR 2-3 this year, like last year. He doesn’t deserve the high rankings he auto-gets week-to-week.
-- I'm done with Robby Anderson (2-28-0/4) in this passing game. He has no special connection with Josh McCown, and in a few weeks McCown will be gone.
-- If Austin Seferian-Jenkins is ruled inactive for Week 3 because he is out of shape, as the rumors have hinted, then I will drop him from every fantasy team I'm associated with and pick up whatever.
You can’t have nothing but off-field questions about your work dedication, and this (possibly) one last chance to clean up your act—and supposedly actually cleaning it up during the offseason—only to serve a known suspension and not be in shape champing at the bit for your return week.
Snap Counts of Interest...
48 = Amari
35 = Crabtree
34 = Roberts
27 = Cordarrelle
49 = Kearse
44 = Kerley
43 = R Anderson
27 = Forte
18 = Powell
11 = McGuire