2018 Week 15 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 16 Preview
Buccaneers +7 at Cowboys
I have said all year the Cowboys are overrated and even though I don't care for the Bucs with Jameis Winston at QB I'm still going to take the points here and hope for the best. Dallas does not have a good offense and Tampa has been showing a little bit of ability on defense. I just can't justify the Cowboys giving up 7 here. They'll probably score 40 this week and make me look like an idiot.
Bills +13.5 at Patriots
This looks good for the Bills based on trends. Their defense has been playing very well and the Patriots have looked completely out of sorts, but this is another one I just cannot bring myself to bet on that direction. It's the Bills with Josh Allen vs Belichick and the Patriots! How does this not end badly for the Bills? It's a lot of points and looks bad on paper, but give me the Patriots.
Falcons -3 at Panthers
The only reason this line is -3 is Taylor Heinicke, and I'm not going to argue it. The Panthers have struggled on offense because of Newton's arm, and now Heinicke is supposed to be an upgrade? Doubt it. I don't love the Falcons, but they should be able to win this you'd think. Falcons without confidence for me.
Jaguars +3.5 at Dolphins
This is backlash for losing to the Redskins, but Miami has got to be one of the luckiest teams I've ever seen. How they have won 8 games is beyond me. Give me the points and the Jaguars for my Blazing Five.
Giants +9.5 at Colts
I haven't bet against the Colts all year, and I'm not starting now. I've hyped them up as a top team even while they sat 1-5. This defense is rising and the offensive line is beastly. Luck finally has time to throw and whaddya know he looks like old Andrew Luck. Funny what a great O-line can do for a QB. Go ask Dak how costly losing a great line is. Colts for the millionth week in a row make my Blazing Five.
Texans +2 at Eagles
Whoa. Didn't see that coming. Is there a little Foles love going on finally? All the man does is win. I really, really hope the Eagles make the playoffs and win another Superbowl with Foles just for the absolute chaos that would ensue. The Philly fans would instantly begin mocking Wentz every time he didn't win by 40. They might anyways. Oh and the Texans are participating in this game as well. We all know I'm no fan of theirs and think they are shockingly overrated, but I'm not sure Philly should be the favorite here either. Beating the Rams was nice, but can they do it again against a playoff team that isn't struggling? I acutally think they can, and so even though I'm very likely biased here I'm going to take the Eagles.
Vikings -6 at Lions
Call me crazy but I'm digging the Lions here for some reason. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm getting the feeling there's an uprising coming. Every time the Vikings start to look good they let everyone down, so after that somewhat fluky big win last week this could be the time. The Lions have played a brutal schedule but haven't looked too bad on the whole. If this was -7 I'd be all over it in the Blazing Five, but 6 is just ok.
Packers -3 at Jets
I don't love the Packers, but they should annihilate the Jets. I'll be surprised if the Jets can muster 17 points, and I don't see how Rodgers doesn't get to at least 24. I can't find a reason to not include this in my Blazing Five. Go Cheeseheads.
Bengals +9.5 at Browns
Umm, say what? Now I love me some Baker Mayfield Browns, but 9.5?? Whew. That's an awful lot of points to a not completely terrible Bengals team even if most of their top players are out. So many goofy things can happen to keep a score close. On paper this one feels like a take the points and pray game, but I do love the attitude that Mayfield is inspiring in these guys. I said it back in January, players want to go to war with him and that is priceless. It feels unintuitive, but I'm going to side with the Browns here.
Rams -14 at Cardinals
Oh boy, another huge line being laid by the Rams when they haven't been playing worth a damn. At this point though they are playing as much for seeding as for their dignity. They absolutely need to destroy the Cardinals or their playoff opponents are going to be feeling way too loose and confident. Wouldn't be surprised if Aaron Donald covers the line by himself. Bet he has a forced fumble for a TD and maybe a strip sack fumble that lets Goff punch in a short TD. I'll take the Rams for an overdue bounce back.
Bears -4.5 at 49ers
Yeah the 49ers have been playing inspiring ball, and even more surprisingly Nick Mullens is still getting it done, but how long can this go on? They've been fortunate in the schedule recently, but now they get the league's best defense. This could be a tough out, but I like the Bears to hold their ground. They are just so tough right now and seem to be getting better every week.
Steelers +6.5 at Saints
Didn't see this coming. I was expecting closer to 3 for the Steelers. I have to take it. The Saints are one of the league's best, but Brees isn't invincible. The defense has been very good, but all the Steelers probably need to do is get to 20-24 to cover, and I think they can manage if they go all-in on Jaylen Samuels. He could be enough of a surprise factor if used creatively to surprise the Saints. I'm betting the Steelers get back in the mix in a big way. Blazing Five pick here.
Chiefs -2 at Seahawks
You know Mahomes is going for the TD record and MVP. They haven't been playing the best, but even though they lost to the Chargers they controlled the game for like 55 minutes. They are the best in the AFC and top 4 in the league. The Seahawks are like 10-12. I expect Mahomes to come out firing and try to light it up. Easy Blazing Five for the Chiefs in my opinion.
Broncos -3 at Raiders
Yuck. I really hate this line. Two bad teams that play ok one week and awful the next. I guess I'll take the Broncos because why not? I've really got nothing here. They both suck, and I want no part of this game.