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Oh, Pete Carroll…you did it again!
Pete Carroll is the older, energetic, ‘loveable’ version of Mike McCarthy – career made/saved by stumbling into a franchise QB and they ride that franchise QB to winning seasons, but because they are terrible actual coaches (personnel, etc.) they are like a student who has an A+ mind but is always getting ‘Bs’, which is still a passing grade and better than a majority of students – but in reality doesn’t live up to their capabilities. Pete Carroll has an A+ franchise QB and continues to build away from him and around a heavy run game. Mike McCarthy had A+ Aaron Rodgers and desired a big Eddie Lacy run attack.
You cannot take the run-first mindset out of these older head coaches. They won’t change. The passing game is too scary because sometimes the passes go incomplete, and even get intercepted from time-to-time. You only get an Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson once in a lifetime…and McCarthy/Carroll have ruined/under-performed the golden opportunity. They each win a lot of regular season games and won a Super Bowl, so they are bulletproof/beloved…but the reality is that they put their golden goose on birth control and should be castigated for that. Instead, Mike McCarthy is going to rob millions of dollars and steal a new team’s future with a big contract to coach in 2019…and unless they have an Aaron Rodgers equivalent (Cleveland) where he can ride the coattails of the QB to winning seasons, but always falling short in the end, and conning more people that he’s the reason for the winning, McCarthy will be dumped within three years and never head coach again in the NFL.
Pete Carroll has been pulling the same act in Seattle for years. What Bill O’Brien has done in Houston is way more impressive than what Carroll has done with Seattle since possessing Russell Wilson…but O’Brien needs to go/get fired (per fans) after another disappointing playoff appearance, while Carroll gets another ‘pass’ in playoff disappointment – because he won a Super Bowl five years ago.
Seattle is a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo/San Francisco away from not seeing the playoffs again for years.
At least Jason Garrett doesn’t interfere too much with his players by enacting a terrible game plan on them. Garrett just sits on the sideline with a blank stare intermittently clapping and dropping ‘F bombs’ to be ‘relatable’ to his players. He doesn’t get in the way all that much. Dak Prescott looked like the better QB in this game because Dak is allowed to be Dak more than Wilson is allowed to be one of the greats he is (should be even better, maybe the best in the game).
When Dallas got down in the 2nd-half, Dak showed what a great QB he was…and the Cowboys took the lead to eventually win. When Seattle got down in the 4th-quarter, Wilson could not gin up a pass game frenzy comeback. Russell had completed just 4 passes by half-time…that’s a joke of an offense. Then when in trouble, late in a game, THEN they ask Wilson to bail them out with heavy pass comeback attempt – but the team, the receiving group isn’t built for the high-powered passing game and they fell short. Nick Vannett and Ed Dickson seeing passes in crunch time is likely not going to help you score a lot of points in a hurry.
I’ve spent years exasperated by saying, “How did Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers lose that game?”
Today, exchange ‘Seattle’ and ‘Russell Wilson’ in that last sentence here.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- How underutilized was Russell Wilson (18-27 for 233 yards, 1 TD/0 INT, 3-14-1) this fantasy and NFL season…under new O-C Brian Schottenheimer?
Wilson ended up the #12 fantasy QB (4pts per pass TD, 8 or more games played) in PPG this season.
The five NFL teams with the lowest pass attempts for the entire season, listed by their QBs…
5th lowest) Josh Allen-Derek Anderson-Matt Barkley
4th) Josh Rosen-Sam Bradford
1st/the lowest) Russell Wilson
It’s like having David Johnson and not throwing him any passes despite the fact he’s a god of RB pass catching…oh, wait – that happened this year too. That coach was fired. Pete Carroll…oh, that 70+ years young scamp with the heart of a 30-year-old, he’s super-relatable and a great coach!
Carroll-Schottenheimer will be back for 2019…so, you have to continue to suppress Wilson-Baldwin-Lockett-Moore projections.
-- What Pete Carroll did utilize…the wrong running back…and did so most all season. If you want to be an all-run, all-the-time offense…fine, I guess – but Chris Carson (13-20-0, 2-0-0/3)? He’s the third most talented RB on this team. He’s not a legit NFL starter. Don’t give me: But he had all those 100+ yard games!!! Dwayne Washington had a 100-yard game Week 17. Cameron Artis Payne was a boss Week 17. Melvin Gordon out a few weeks ago, Justin Jackson comes in and does just as well.
If you’re going to go all-in on the RBs, better make it a David Johnson or Le’Veon Bell…not try-hard, limited, bad hands Chris Carson.
Every carry Carroll gave to Carson was a wasting of an opportunity. You’d rather Wilson be dropping back to pass. You’d rather Rashaad Penny (4-29-0) take those touches…who came in and popped a 28-yard run and almost housed it on his first play. You saw in Penny’s first touch that he was 10x better a talent than Chris Carson will ever be…but not for the delicate genius Pete Carroll. Had Carson been inactive this game – Seattle wins. Once again proving…the only thing holding back Seattle/their offense from more titles – is Pete Carroll, and yet in a few years, Carroll might be in the NFL Hall of Fame.
Unreal the randomness of football…Russell Wilson literally gets Carroll into the Hall of Fame. Carroll purposefully traded for signed Tarvaris Jackson, Charlie Whitehurst and Matt Flynn before falling ass backwards into Wilson…a now he’s seen as a coaching genius. He doesn’t draft Wilson, he’s fired the following season and back coaching in college (if the cheating at USC was swept under the rug by then).
-- Finishing one spot behind Wilson in FF PPG among QBs (#13)…Dak Prescott (22-33 for 226 yards, 1 TD/1 INT).
Prescott has nowhere near the gifts of Wilson, and that’s not a slam because I love Dak – but Dak was being held back earlier this year with a collection of WRs that made no sense. Once Amari Cooper was added, and Michael Gallup pushed as a starer, it freed things up…but also helping was the schedule being incredibly soft in the 2nd-half and the ‘finding’ of Blake Jarwin – oh, and Dak having a monster game Week 17 against a backup group defense for the Giants (a game that moved Dak from outside the top 18 QBs YTD to #13 to finish 2018).
Next season, Dallas will have a tougher schedule, in theory, and Dallas will run a watered-down version of what Pete Carroll does…all-run all the time, if they can get away with it.
When Dallas needed Dak, like when Seattle needs Russell…Dak tends to deliver, but Dak will never be high-end for fantasy or carry a team to a Super Bowl until a new coach/Elliott gone/they build the offense around him.
-- Amari Cooper’s (7-106-0/9) 10 games as a Dallas Cowboy this season (incl. playoff)…
11.9 FF PPG/17.9 PPR on 6.0 rec. (8.5 targets), 83.0 yards, 0.60 TDs per game. WR1 work for sure.
Odd pattern to his Dallas journey so far. Two huge games, a few good games, and four games under 40 yards receiving. I still think Amari trends towards a WR2, like a WR1.5 next season. Gallup-Jarwin getting better will help take some coverage heat off Amari, but then also will take some targets as well.
-- Blake Jarwin (3-15-0/3) vs. Amari Cooper the last 4 games, since Jarwin has been FORCED to play…
4.7 FF PPG/9.7 PPR on 5.0 rec. (8.0 targets), 47.3 yards, 0.0 TDs per game = Cooper
8.7 FF PPG/12.7 PPR on 4.0 rec. (5.3 targets), 46.8 yards, 0.75 TDs per game = Jarwin
Jarwin is FINALLY getting used properly, and still not enough, but is FINALLY showing to be the guy I wrote about in the preseason as a Very Deep Sleeper (Season 4 returning in May 2019).
Can Jarwin be a TE1 in 2019? Sure, but do you trust Jason Garrett and friends to figure this out – or will they go right back to Geoff Swaim/ignoring Jarwin? I really don’t know the answer, but if I had to guess…guess against ‘logic’ and ‘Garrett’ finding each other.
**Coming Very Soon – College Football Metrics 2019 subscriptions will be opening up and the new season will be under way. I have been going through the East-West game prospects and beginning the first full scouting reports since December 2018, and they’ll be the first things you see out of the gates when we open up.
I’m shocked by a few of the East-West prospects…some potential ‘wow’ prospects in a game there usually isn’t much ‘wow’ in because they all usually wind up at the Senior Bowl. Not this year. The East-West games will have dynasty rookie draft sleeper wheels turning early.
Haskins-Grier-Lock-Stidham…other? What’s up with this oft-labeled weak QB draft class? I’m not sure it’s that weak…depends upon your perspective. We’ll be analyzing and computer grading all the top QBs and discussing what I mean by ‘perspective’.
It’s NFL Draft overload season…it’s Fantasy title defense or title chase study season… Here comes our 8th year of College Football Metrics to the rescue!**
-- Leighton Vander Esch (10 tackles, 1 PD) is so very good. I wonder how far he’ll go in my Rookie of the Year voting/tournament (publishing in a few weeks)?
He’s so good, I see Sean Lee looking like a depressed hound dog on the sidelines and I think…what are you going to do? You’re not better than LVE, sorry. I can’t believe I’m typing that in 2018/19.
Why Russell Wilson kept trying to dump passes to Vannett-Dickson (7 targets total) with Vander Esch toying with them in coverage – I don’t get it. It’s another reason why Seattle lost/why Dallas is the better team – Dallas’s corners took out the WRs/the Seattle offense played super conservative until the end, and they dared Wilson to beat them with dump passes to slow TEs and allowing a slow RB to carry the ball. Pete Carroll fell, happily, into the trap.
-- Speaking of dominating IDPs…Frank Clark (4 tackles, 1 TFL, 3 QB hits) is arguably up for Defensive Player of the Year. A guy who disappointed in college and then blew up in the pros. Another great game for him here. He and Demarcus Lawrence could be the two best pass rush DEs in the game now.
-- Seattle 6th-round rookie we liked for the NFL Draft, Jacob Martin (4 tackles) is starting to shine a bit.
Limited playing time and no sacks in his first 9 games, in his last 8 games (incl. playoffs) 3.0 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. A career high 4 tackles in this game.
Martin ran a 4.59 40-time, with a 6.90 three-cone, and 23 bench reps at his Pro Day.