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A tale of two games. 0-0 at halftime. The Browns missed two FGs or they would have had a 6-0, defensive-led lead…and hope…despite DeShone Kizer butchering the QB position unlike rare few.
The Jets came out of the half and drove down to take a 3-0 lead. New Browns' QB Kevin Hogan led his first drive right down for a TD because, of course, he did. That's what he does. 7-3 Browns.
The next drive for CLE, Hogan threw a pass getting hit and went off the mark some…the WR tried to adjust to make the catch but instead slowed the ball up so it ricocheted into the defender's (who he had beat) hands for a pick setting up the Jets in red zone…and the Jets scored quickly to take a 10-7 lead, later 17-7. The Browns couldn’t recover. Hogan led a long, late drive to get it to 17-14 with 1:49 left but with no timeouts, the onside kick failed and the Jets took three knees to snag the victory.
I wouldn’t say the Browns 'outplayed' the Jets, but had Hogan started from the opening whistle, I think they would have won. Hue Jackson continues to be, maybe, the most clueless coach in professional sport. How do you go 1-20 in your last 21 games in the NFL (2-24 in his last 26 as an NFL head coach)…no matter how bad a hand you were dealt? Easy – he keeps pushing nightmare QBs, plus he's awful at his job. He's authoring the demise. He had Kevin Hogan all along and didn’t see it…or didn’t want to.
You know your NFL team is out to lunch in 2018 when they hire this guy as an offensive coordinator after he gets dumped by the Browns.
The Jets are tied for first place…beating CLE and MIA, two of the worst teams in the NFL and inexplicably lucky beating Jacksonville Week 4. The clock is about to strike midnight on this fairy tale.
Most of this recap is going to be Kevin Hogan-centric, but let me clear a few other notes first in the next section and finish with Hogan.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The Jets added a practice squad RB this week, so it's pretty logical to believe both Matt Forte and Bilal Powell will be out this week. Elijah McGuire (11-20-0) gets the feature role and will thus have his bubble burst.
It's totally logical to grab him and start him for this week, but his highest value is to trade, I suspect. He's not that good. He's an RB2.5-3.0 mixing and matching with Forte-Powell usually. This week he might get RB2 love heading into Sunday…some seeing him as a different name that might be 'the man'. Rookie Derangement Syndrome, you know.
Use him like a disposable cup this week, or see if you can sucker someone in your league who may be BYE week desperate and rookie deranged. Some dynasty owners might think he's 'the future' at RB for the Jets. Ummm…no.
-- Austin Seferian-Jenkins (6-29-1/8) has a great schedule of defenses to face the next two weeks, on paper. The Pats and Dolphins are two of the five worst in action allowed to the TE. I'd worry the Patriots will figure something out here and then his bubble bursts.
I was a fan of taking a look at ASJ preseason because he has shown signs of being very athletic and physically tough/a bully back to college. I just don’t see that guy on the field right now. I see every other starting tight end I've ever seen with him…banking on Josh McCown to keep lighting the fuse.
The schedule is going to turn ugly from Week 8 on, and Week 6 vs. NE might not be the treat it seems for the passing game either. There's a little buzz/excitement for ASJ, especially scoring a TD last week (against the worst TE defenders in the league) – your best value might be to trade ASJ hot this week (or next) if someone bites.
Honestly, today, and I might eat these words, as Miller will instantly get injured…but I’d rather have Zach Miller the rest of the way than ASJ. But there's no harm in holding ASJ. He's got as much TE1 potential as any NFL starter out there.
-- Myles Garrett (2 tackles, 2.0 sacks) made his debut and had a sack on the first series…and I thought he might have 10 sacks in this game with his start. He quietly settled in after that with just one more sacks and no other tackles. Garrett will be a high sack, low tackle count DL for IDP.
However, his presence really helps this young defense with bad corners and weak safety coverage guys. Rookie safety Julius Peppers is embarrassing himself in coverage and Derrick Kindred is more run stopper but OK in coverage. Peppers is in for a position change…and he might be flirting with 'NFL bust' because he has no position to hide at. He's not menacing as a tackler and he can’t cover most receivers. Something to watch whether he 'gets it' soon or if this is what it is. The athleticism is amazing. The on-field actuality is lacking.
-- OK, Kevin Hogan (16-19 for 194 yards, 2 TD/1 INT)…
Let me give you the 'who he is', and then I want to share what I saw with his targeting.
Kevin Hogan is a mobile Philip Rivers, but not quite the passing talent of Rivers. He has that same weird, shotput style of throwing…but it works. He has the timing down. However, Rivers is a 5.00+ 40-time stiff and Hogan is a nimble 4.78 40-time runner. He also has nice agility. He's playing Houston this week, so here's a quick comparison…
6'3"/218, 4.78 40-time, 6.90 three-cone = Kevin Hogan
6'2"/221, 4.68 40-time, 6.95 three-cone = Deshaun Watson
Last year, in his debut, forced by multiple injuries in-game, Hogan came in for a spell against Cincy and ran the ball 7 times for 104 yards and a 1 TD. In a half of play in this game…4 carries for 30 yards. He's going to run…maybe more than any QB aside from Deshaun Watson…because he can, and he's usually pretty smart about it.
He's a decent passer. He's not Tom Brady, nor is he a quick flick passer like Dak-Carr-Deshaun…but he's smart with the ball. He makes nice reads and takes logical gambles/chances when he has too. He's a physically less impressive Carson Wentz.
Most importantly, to Browns fans, he gives the team a real chance to win because he's not empty like DeShone Kizer.
Who will Hogan throw to?
Unsure who he locks onto because he's never put into games on purpose…it's always in a crisis/afterthought. We don’t have a set routine for him yet. He got a full half of play in here and his targets were (whether called back for penalty or not):
5 = Louis, 3 = K. Williams, 3 = Njoku, 2 = Duke, 2 = Higgins, 1 = Treggs, DeValve
What I see on tape, he has a nice connection with Njoku and likes to work with Kasen Williams (4-33-0/5) downfield. He's not as quick to take the dump pass to Duke Johnson, but the one official target to him was a 41-yard TD. They had a 20+ yarder called back as well. I think he's smart and will use Duke if they give it to him but not afraid to go elsewhere. Kizer used Duke as a 'binky' because he was terrible at QB-ing. Hogan doesn’t have to.
Louis led in targets but the throws weren't with much purpose, a lot of deep balls/he wasn't open trying to scramble a comeback. Williams is better than Louis.
Hogan could be a shock fantasy QB in the right matchup, and definitely useful in 2 QB leagues, especially if 4pts per pass TD where running numbers matter even more.