Everyone believed the Browns would lose this game, we’re all just shocked they hung in and almost won it…but they’re ‘the Browns’ so they found a way not to win.
Cleveland is a very sad football team, and lost its best player for the season – OL Joe Thomas…so, things only get worse from here. How they can get worse, I don’t know, but they will. If they get humiliated in London, with the BYE week after, I suspect Hue Jackson will be relieved of his duties. But, this is ‘the Browns’, so he’ll probably get a contract extension on the flight home after a 50-point loss.
Tennessee looks terrible. I’ve predicted a lot of things correctly going into the season – but the Titans as a division winner and #2 seed is not one of them. I should’ve known. Eventually, bad coaches ‘rise’ to the surface. Mike Mularkey should not be an NFL head coach…and now we’re re-reminded as to why. The offense is sputtering -- another old-school, run-first flameout offense with a young, good quarterback not improving because he has no coaching that can help him. Mariota is a great new-era QB working with literal dinosaurs on the coaching staff.
Assuming the Titans miss the playoffs this season. I wonder if Tennessee would hire Chip Kelly?
Hear me out.
An ex-Patriots guy is running the Titans and been doing a solid job. He needs to change coaches. Chip Kelly is kinda buddy-buddy with Bill Belichick, I think. Imagine if Chip Kelly is announced as the head coach – think of what that will do for Marcus Mariota’s fantasy value…just ‘on paper’!
The Computer is projecting a likely 8-8 finish for Tennessee, but 9-7 is not out of the question. There is one upside hope – the current two weeks off gets Mariota to 100%, as well as Demarco Murray. Changes are made to the suddenly floundering O-Line…and the offense finally gets in gear post-BYE. It’s not out of the question that getting Mariota-Murray to 100% is a big chunk of fixing some issues. We’ll see soon enough…three of their next 4 games are against teams with .500 or losing records.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I’ve made the same comment over and over on DeMarco Murray (18-39-0, 3-17-0/4) this season – he doesn’t look right. I think there’s an issue with him, but also with the O-Line. Murray can heal but the O-Line issues may be systemic.
I can see you trading Murray and moving on, or keeping him hoping for a post-BYE pop. Arguments go either way. I lean that there’s an unfixable problem but not a strong lean.
One thing I know – Derrick Henry (13-13-0, 2-11-0/3) is really overrated. I’ve never watched him in the NFL and was ever impressed. He’s a ‘B-C’ RB talent with an ‘A+’ image because ‘Alabama’.
-- Keep or dump Marcus Mariota (21-34 for 203 yards, 0 TD/0 INT)?
My pitch for you to keep him:
When he was healthy, for 3.5 games, he was a QB1. In 4pts per pass TD leagues, his first four games of FF scoring (4th game cut short by a half due to injury, but still fantasy good) 20.6-12.6-19.7-15.7. his worst game came against Jacksonville…and that’s not a crime. He rushed for 3 TDs in 3.5 games played. He was working. Then, the hamstring and then two recent duds against teams he should have clobbered IND-CLE. The hamstring has him hamstrung. He’s not running anymore.
What if he gets to 100% with two weeks off and is back running? He’s a QB1 threat for sure.
If you can keep him as a QB2, in Weeks 12-15 you get him vs. IND-HOU-ARI-SF…or #31-10-24-25 against the pass defenses. His schedule turns nice just when you need a boost.
Week 9 will tell us everything. If he’s back running and has a good game – full steam ahead. If he has mediocre numbers with little/no rushing – time to bail most likely. Or, “OK to bail’ if you want. He’s too good to be this bad…it has to be the hamstring. I see him purposefully falling down so as not to run or scramble.
What if he gets healthy post-BYE this week?
If he does, Rishard Matthews goes back to solid WR2-2.5 activity.
-- In the last five games where DeShone Kizer started, here’s Duke Johnson’s output has been…
11.6 FF PPG (17.0 PPR) on 20.6 rush yards, 0.40 rush TD, 5.4 rec., 59.0 rec. yards, 0.20 rec. TDs per game.
That’s not just RB1 numbers…that’s top 8 among RBs type of activity. Only the big name guys and Chris Thompson ahead of him.
As long as Kizer is there, this should keep up for Duke Johnson.
I worry Kizer can’t stay in much longer. A crushing game versus MIN this week and Hue could be gone and Kizer to the bench potentially.
-- How bad is Kizer (12-20 for 114 yards, 0 TD/2 INTs)?
3 TDs/11 INTs in his six starts.
52.0% Comp. Pct., 160.8 yards per game, QB rating 47.8.
This is a guy some experts had as the top QB in the draft class most of the draft process. A guy who football analysts crowed ‘Cleveland has found their franchise QB’ after he had a lucky pair of TD passes in a preseason debut.
-- Myles Garrett (3 tackles, 1 sack) has missed a few games so he can kinda go under the radar, but he has 4.0 sacks in his first three games…a pace for 21 sacks in a season.
He didn’t make the trip to London for Week 8 with a concussion…which means the Browns will be destroyed by more than they would have.
Snap Counts of Interest…
37 = DeValve
28 = Njoku
43 = Murray
30 = Henry
49 = Jonnu Smith
38 = Delanie