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: Lions @ Cardinals (By Ross Jacobs)
-Arizona led this game 23-20 late despite multiple turnovers and stupid penalties that helped keep Detroit in it. The Lions ultimately prevailed, but it was not really because of anything they did. Detroit just let the Cardinals shoot themselves in the foot all day and hung on for a win 26-23.
-Murray spotted the Lions 10 points, but other than that the defense held the Lions to a meager 13 points. It's quite impressive actually. Arizona is playing defense like a junior version of the Buccaneers. They are aggressive and hard hitting but will give up some chunk plays occasionally. They are going to get some sacks and turnovers too. They haven't played the hardest slate of offenses so far, but they've been pretty good so far. Unfortunately the schedule turns against them soon. They'll be facing some of the league's tougher offenses so I'd just stick with the juicer matchups if you are using them for fantasy.
-The offense is still a work in progress it seems. Not sure what Murray was doing here. His first interception was rather fluky, but the next two were not. They were just bad decisions. Whatever the problem is the Cardinals need to get it corrected if they have playoff aspirations. I don't expect it to continue, but it's something to monitor. One thing Murray needs to do is run more. I talked about it the first two weeks, and you saw here that he ran less and the offense stalled. That's the secret sauce these days. He has to be willing to take off early and often. It will keep defenses on their toes and make the throwing lanes easier to attack.
-I have very few notes on the Lions. They just kind of exist. Detroit has got to be the most bland team in the entire league. They aren't bad bad, but they aren't very good either. They are headed for somewhere around 6 wins or 7 wins I think.
-The Cardinals are a pretty good team, but I think they are still a year away. The schedule isn't doing them any favors either. They still have several gimme games left, but they also draw the Patriots, Cowboys, Bills, and Dolphins in addition to two games each against the rival Seahawks and Rams. It's not an easy bunch to manage, but if they can win 5 out of those 8 they should get to 10 wins and the playoffs. I think they can do it. The defense is still a work in progress but they are much better than last year, and the offense is starting to make some strides as well. There is potential here. I expect them to be very up and down this year, blowing out some good teams, and losing some that they probably shouldn't. My guess right now is they finish 2nd in the division behind the Rams with the Seahawks in 3rd.
-Even throwing a 3 INT game Kyler Murray still had a heck of a fantasy day. That's the power of running QB's that can throw as well. So long as Murray is running he'll be a top-tier guy. I still want to see him take off more, but I love that he's so willing to run at the goalline this year.
-I guess teams are unfamiliar with Hopkins? Why else would they leave him wide open so often? If teams don't start covering him the guy is going to catch 200 passes this year. I can't say I'd be shocked, but I do expect it to start slowing down a tad especially now that Andy Isabella is getting incorporated.
-Speaking of Isabella, how great was it to see him blow up finally? I've been so afraid that he was going to be buried in this offense after how Kingsbury has treated him up to this point, but we finally saw him being used on purpose and it was glorious. He is so obviously the 2nd best receiver on this squad it's not even funny. You won't be able to trade for him at a reasonable price this week, but if you wait for a down week or two people will forget and you can snap him up. I want to see more, but I think this is going to be a fairly regular thing going forward. There will still be ups and downs as Izzy isn't going to replace Fitzgerald overnight, but it should be more of a thing the deeper we get into the season.
-I guess keep using Adrian Peterson? He looks better than he has in years. He's still not going to catch many passes, but he's getting decent work and scoring chances. You could do worse as a filler RB.
-Golladay was back and looking a little tentative. He might take a few weeks to get back in a groove. He's another decent target if you need WR's. He won't be cheap, but he might be cheaper than he should be. I like him as a WR1 the rest of the year.