2018 Week 11 Preview: Ross Jacobs' Notes
Ross Jacobs is a budding football analyst/scout and a long-time friend of FFM. He’s been working on a project all season watching/studying all the games/studying the line play as a key indicator for handicapping and fantasy play.
Weekly, he’s been sharing his notes on each game with me…what he saw with the games that just happened and what he sees coming up with the games about to play.
I’ve enjoyed reading his study notes on the games all season and asked him if I could share them with the FFM audience, and he was happy to. So, please enjoy Ross’s takes on the games more from a line of scrimmage/O-Line standpoint but with an overall view of seeing all these teams and taking notes for data analysis all season.
These are his notes for the upcoming week's games…
*Forgive typos, just notes transcribed.
Week 11 Preview:
Panthers -4.5 at Lions
So much for the great offensive line I touted all year. I'm really not sure what happened, but suddenly this Detroit offensive line is leaking like a sieve. If they can put things back together then this is still a dangerous team, but Stafford is only decent when he's well protected. The Panthers have been solid/decent all year, and I like them to cover this line. Knowing my recent luck though Detroit will bounce back and destroy Carolina. I'll take the Panthers to cover though.
Cowboys +3 at Falcons
I'll take an order of Atlanta and a side of Dallas getting their ass whipped please. The Cowboys will probably make me look like a fool once again, but I just do not believe in this team, and while I think Atlanta is also overrated they seem to be improving. RC has already covered all the big injuries, but the Falcons won't have Deion Jones after all and that is a significant blow. Dallas however is massively banged up especially at offensive line, and as I've pointed out they have been pretty bad there all year. Throw in several injuries and the weak Falcons pass rush could make some noise here. Put me down for the Falcons in my Blazing Five.
Bengals +4 at Ravens
I can't touch this game without knowing who is starting at QB, but I assume is will be Lamar Jackson and I think he can do enough to cover this line. The Ravens have lost 3 in a row, but it's been against 3 very tough opponents and the Bengals have been falling off. This looks like the kind of game the Ravens seem to smack people, so sign me up for a possible beatdown.
Vikings +2.5 at Bears
Trubisky is playing like a boss right now, but the Bears really haven't beaten anyone impressive during this win streak while the Vikings have finally started heating up after their early panic. Having Mack back is huge, but the Vikings are looking strong and as long as Riley Reiff is healthy the offensive line should hold. I think the Vikings are actually the better team, so I'll gladly take the points and make this a Blazing Five pick.
Eagles +7.5 at Saints
Yes the Eagles have been up and down and somehow choked to Dallas, but I think they can hang here. The Saints are obviously very good, but they aren't unbeatable. Drew Brees basically can't be touched right now, so the Eagles are going to need to be at the top of their game offensively, but the Saints can struggle with that at times as they don't have a great pass rush. It's a lot of points to a decent team, so I'll side with the Eagles here.
Titans +2 at Colts
Thank you Titans for smacking the Patriots because now everyone actually thinks you guys are good. Now maybe Tennessee is pretty decent, but I want to see one more before I believe it. The Colts on the other hand looked quite good early (despite the multiple losses), but have struggled a bit recently. I look for them to bounce back in a big way here mostly because they have a nice offensive line that can keep Luck protected against a good Titans front seven. Colts make the Blazing Five.
Texans -3 at Redskins
I am going to keep betting against the Texans until I'm right! I know I seem stupider every time I rail against this team, but I just do not like the look of things here. They have benefited in a big way from a pathetic schedule, and while it doesn't really get harder here, they aren't going to get any turnovers barring an Alex Smith meltdown. RC doesn't like a patchwork Redskins line going up against Clowney and Watt, but they played ok last week, especially the defense. I think these are both average or below average teams, so I'll take the points as usual.
Buccaneers +2.5 at Giants
I'm getting the better team and points? Yes please! I'd love to bet this big in the Blazing Five, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is still a thing. You just cannot count on getting a consistent performance out of that guy. I think he should be able to land a few balloons against a bad Giants defense though, so I'll ride with Fitzmagic this week.
Broncos +7 at Chargers
Don't like the Chargers, haven't all year. I've bet them a few times when the line looked skewed, but this is one where they are getting too much credit. This is absolutely not a Superbowl team. Case Keenum always scares me, but I think the Broncos defensive line can harass Rivers into some mistakes. Broncos to cover.
Raiders +5.5 at Cardinals
How sad is this? Even the Cardinals are giving up nearly a TD to the Raiders. What has this world come to? I am all over this line for all the same reasons RC has already outlined, but it was even juicier earlier in the week. The Cardinals are simply better at every single position, as is every team when they face the Raiders. David Johnson could have another monster game here. Blazing Five number four.
Steelers -5.5 at Jaguars
The Steelers have been on a roll, and I see no reason why Jacksonville would be able to slow them down. They are simply better across the board. Bortles is going to be pressured constantly while Big Ben will be sipping margaritas as he hands off to James Conner 32 times. Easy Blazing Five pick for the Steelers to cover.
Chiefs +3.5 at Rams
Umm, how are the Chiefs not the favorites here? They have been whacking people while the Rams have struggled to close games out. I'd absolutely love to put this in my Blazing Five, but in obvious shootout scenarios like this I try to avoid it because it's so easy for one team to win by 7+ off a single turnover. I don't think the Rams can stop the Chiefs at all though so the Chiefs really just need a stop or two to beat the Rams, but you just don't know with these two juggernauts. I'll take the Chiefs and the points happily.