Ross Jacobs has been an FFM correspondent on NFL games and NFL Draft matters for the past few years. He is going to be writing up some of his notes on various games he’s watching/studying this year. Typically, he will have written/submitted his work before mine, so this is a look at the same game with different eyes...and you can compare and contrast or find some new takeaways.
2020 Week 3 Analysis: Bengals @ Eagles (By Ross Jacobs)
-Nothing about this game surprised me. The mainstream media is still trying to wrap their heads around the fact that the Eagles aren't very good. Actually they are pretty bad. Injuries and a depreciation in talent the past few years have robbed this team of the magic of their Superbowl run a few years ago.
-As bad as Philly is they are still better overall than the Bengals. There was one factor that caused them to tie this game instead of win it, and that factor is Carson Wentz. I noticed it in week 1. He's playing as bad as I've ever seen him. Like rookie year bad. He made a few spectacular escapes from pressure this game, but on the whole something just looks off with him. Now I've never been the biggest Wentz fan. I thought he was very overrated coming out of college, but over the past couple years he's developed into an NFL-worthy passer at minimum. The only thing I can figure is he's pressing because he knows the talent is not there around him. It just looks like he's trying too hard to make a play, but he's not getting away with it like he has in the past. Some of the decisions he's making are just plain bad. Whatever the issue is I don't think it's going away. He probably isn't going to keep throwing multiple interceptions every game, but this fan base is rabid and it wouldn't shock me if they started demanding rookie Jalen Hurts get in the game.
-Hurts could help this offense a little because he's got the mobility to threaten defenses running the ball, and that can help open up passing lanes. He's just one more in the line of athletic guys with decent passing skills that's taking over the league.
-I've talked about it a ton this year. The revolution has happened and most people still haven't figured it out. They think the mobile QB thing is just happenstance or it's going away eventually. It's not. The future has arrived finally. In the past the running QB's just didn't have the passing skills to threaten defenses with. Now these guys have gotten good enough that you can't just clamp down on the run game. They'll eat you alive with playaction passes and screens. It will probably take another year or two before the realization fully dawns on NFL coaches, but unless you have a Patrick Mahomes level passer you're better off with a mobile guy than a big-armed statue. Pure passing QB's are going to be rare in the NFL very soon, and they are going to be virtually non-existent in fantasy. They simply can't keep up with the numbers being piled up by the running guys.
-One guy that can survive in this new climate is Bengals QB Joe Burrow. I've raved about this guy since I first saw him last year at LSU, and nothing is changing now. He is the most complete, polished, accurate, sophisticated rookie passer I've ever seen. He's already one of the best 10 QB's in the league. He just does not have any help. The Bengals should keep Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon, and completely revamp their offense around Burrow. Oh and in addition to his lethal passing skills he also has enough speed to make defenses pay if they leave the middle of the field open. He's not a running QB by any stretch, but he's not a statue that you can blitz without worry either.
-Speaking of Tyler Boyd, I completely missed his emergence in this offense last week. This is why you need to read every word that RC writes. He saw this coming and got everyone on the bandwagon. Boyd is a legit WR1 the rest of the year. There were flashes of it early on, but somewhere around the 3rd quarter you could see the light click on with Burrow. Normally Burrow just reads the field and delivers the ball to the open man like clockwork, but these receivers aren't getting away from coverage but you could see the moment Burrow realized it and started really delivering the ball to Boyd with purpose.
-I already said it several times, but these two teams suck. The Bengals are going to come in somewhere around 4 wins this year, and the Eagles will be doing good to get 6.
-If you have the space Jalen Hurts is a nice stash for your bench. I'm not saying it for sure will pay off, but he has far more upside than whatever random WR 4 or 5 you have now.
-If you didn't go trade for Boyd last week you can still get him. He'll be more expensive coming off his big week, but most owners don't really believe in him like you and I. Everyone still thinks Green is the top dog in Cincy. He's not. This is the Boyd show now. Don't overpay, but I promise you he's still available for a reasonable price in most leagues.
-These two defenses are great targets in fantasy. I'd start RB's against the Bengals and WR's and QB's against the Eagles.
-RC has been on a WR hunt recently, and one guy that could fit the bill as a nice filler if you can get him is Greg Ward. He'll get picked up off waivers after his 8 for 72 and a TD day, but if you can snag him he'll likely be an ok play moving forward. Injuries have wrecked this receiving corp once again, and Wentz needs someone reliable to throw to. Ward was his safety blanket out of the slot here. This could be a thing.