If I didn’t pay attention to the score and just watched the game for ‘style’, I would have sworn the Dolphins won this game. The final was 27-24 Oakland, but a late TD by Miami made it closer than it appeared. Neither team is all that good but somehow Oakland got a comfortable win despite Miami looking a little sharper and more energetic.
Oakland is a ‘dead team walking’. The schedule is going to finish them off. No playoffs this season. Games with NE, at KC, DAL, at PHI ahead…that’s at least 3 losses for a 4-5 team today…so, 8 losses is almost assured. They’re done. The Computer projects 6-10.
Miami has a little better outlook but not by much. 4-4 record today. At CAR, two with NE, at KC ahead. If they lose three of those 4, that locks in 7 losses and then they’d have to sweep TB, at DEN, and two with BUF. Possible, but highly unlikely because this team isn’t very good. The Computer sees 7-9 for their finish.
I have to say, I respect Adam Gase for his Jay Ajayi trade. Ajayi was such a boat anchor runner and a locker room cancer…I cannot believe the NFL intelligentsia thinks the Dolphins got fleeced. I cannot believe the Eagles made this trade, although I don’t understand what Philly is doing with personnel all year. They’re winning so it’s gold…but I still believe a Philly tumble is coming. The Ajayi acquisition only strengthens my conviction that it’s coming.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The tandem of Damien Williams (7-14-0, 6-47-1/6) and Kenyan Drake (9-69-0, 6-35-0/6) were much more dynamic as runners and receivers than Jay Ajayi ever was. Ajayi was a bruiser with no great athleticism. Give him a hole and head of steam and he was tough to bring down. Make him shift or stop and start, or catch a pass…and he was DOA.
Williams got the start and ran tough, and caught passes out of the backfield nicely…as he has for years. A very solid showing in an extended role.
Drake was the one that was most impressive. He showed more pop/speed in his work than Williams, as we suspected. What I had not seen much of before was Drake running physical – he was physical in this game. Back to college and in preseasons, Drake tended to be hesitant between the tackles and trying to go work everything outside…like Marlon Mack. Drake ran tough in this game. If Drake is going to run with physicality, he’s the clear #1 back here no matter who starts. Williams will have a role and if (when) Drake gets hurt…it’s Williams’ ball game but for now – get excited for Drake going forward.
-- Where did this TE performance come from? The two best outputs on the field where the tight ends, out of nowhere.
Jared Cook (8-126-0/9) was the much more impressive of the two. It was like couldn’t be covered…or wouldn’t be covered. The Dolphins are terrible covering the TE, so blame part of this on that.
Is Julius Thomas (6-84-1/8) back from the grave? Oakland is also awful against the TE, so there’s that. Thomas has been a ghost for 2+ years now…I’m not sure one game changes things. I would also add he looks like he’s carrying a piano on his back watching him on tape. He has lost all his high-end athleticism from years ago. I would bet heavy on a sudden TE1 return.
-- Amari Cooper (4-58-0/9) still doesn’t look right. Carr-Cooper should have torn into the Dolphins…instead it was another ‘meh’ performance.
Cooper’s numbers are coming back from WR4 to WR2.5-3.0 but the on-field look still doesn’t feel right.
-- Marshawn Lynch (14-57-2, 2-6-0/2) looked like the same Marshawn he has all year. Lost a step and underperforming most carries, but he did pop a 22-yard TD run. On his other 13 carries…35 yards (2.7 ypc).
I’d sell him hot if you could. Bad offense. Underperforming O-Line. DEN (Wk12)-DAL-PHI (Wk15-16) on the upcoming schedule…tough run defenses.
As it becomes obvious Oakland isn’t going to the playoffs, as this season is ‘lost’…I don’t expect a lot of pop out of Lynch.
-- How is it Jay Cutler (34-43 for 311 yards, 3 TD/0 INT) looks better than Derek Carr (21-30 for 300 yards, 1 TD/1 INT)?
Carr has been a giant dud…throwing for 1 TD pass in each game in five of his last 6 games.
FYI, Cutler’s last three games: 2.33 TD passes per game. In terms of pass defenses to face ahead, he has five games with bottom 7 pass defenses in his next 7 games. Cutler may be the shock FF QB to stream for the ROS. Like a Josh McCown-ish type run coming.
Snap Counts of Interest…
37 = Drake
30 = D Williams
37 = Lynch
12 = Richard
09 = Washington
06 = Cordarrelle
07 = Obi Melifonwu