I’ve been marinating on this whole Browns-Bengals debacle all day. I feel like we need to take the last couple of years and view them a certain way: a run-on sentence. That’s the only way to truly appreciate the quicksand the Browns are in. So here we go.
The Browns used the 22nd overall pick in 2012 and again in 2014 on QB’s while sorting through Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer, the first was on Brandon Weeden and the second on Johnny Manziel, supposedly after the Texas A&M product texted management asking for them to draft him, displaying just enough moxy that they actually went ahead and did it, they acquired Josh McCown in 2015, before signing Robert Griffin III and then using a 3rd round pick on Cody Kessler in 2016, they traded for Texans cast-off Brock Osweiler, and used a 2nd round draft pick on DeShone Kizer in 2017, before later cutting Osweiler and naming rookie Kizer the starter, later benching him for 2016 Chiefs 5th round pick Kevin Hogan for a game before returning to Kizer under center just long enough to attempt to trade for Bengals backup QB A.J. McCarron, only to have that trade denied by the NFL because the Browns did not properly notify the league by the 4:00 PM deadline.
Can’t wait for the draft!
So the Cleveland Browns screwed up a procedure and therefore failed to complete a trade for Cincinnati Bengals QB A.J. McCarron. Remember when we were all in awe of how the front office was operating under this regime? Only to see the Browns amass many draft picks and still fail to draft anyone of consequence?
To be honest, Myles Garrett has been injured, but looking back I’m sure they wish they had Deshaun Watson. Hell, even Patrick Mahomes at this point. Putting all their eggs in DeShone Kizer’s basket is not going to get Hue Jackson another year, I fear. And now Kizer knows you were looking to ‘better-deal’ him. Your college ex-girlfriend wouldn’t stand for that crap, so why should he?
Game 6 of the 2017 World Series didn’t disappoint, as this game much more closely resembled playoff baseball than that run-fest in Game 5. You have the teams with the most wins in each league facing off in a winner-take-all Game 7, in Los Angeles thanks to Rob Manfred reversing the 2nd worst thing in Bud Selig’s tenure. Kershaw vs. Keuchel. If that doesn’t get the juices flowing, I don’t know what will.
Game 7 of the world series reminds of the 1991 series between the Twins and the Braves. Most people will remember that game for Jack Morris going 10 innings and putting up nothing but goose eggs. And perhaps they should.
Who will supply the drama tonight? I simply cannot wait.
Notre Dame with National Title aspirations? Resurrect the ghost of Ricky Watters!
The Buffalo Bills acquire Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin for a couple of draft picks they probably would have used on underwhelming WR’s anyways, so it’s a wash. Stay away from the wings, Kelvin.
C’mon, you had no idea the Indianapolis Colts could be 2-3, admit it. It’s OK, because no one did. Yet here they are. This matchup may not be the most dignified example of professional football, but we still may be in for a decent game as these two teams are more similar than you’d think.
The one difference is in the team’s running results: the Titans simply do it better. Between RB’s Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry, the Titans have a 1-2 punch that can potent- if not deadly- at times. Throw into that mix QB Marcus Mariota’s ability to run as well, and you have a team that simply doesn’t need to throw it very often usually. Mariota’s nursing a hammy and is questionable, so that’s not nothing.
For the Colts on offense, the emergence last week of rookie RB Marlon Mack is something everyone (including fantasy owners) should be take notice of. Sure, it was against the winless 49ers, but on 25 attempts, he’s averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Frank Gore may get the majority of carries, but that situation may be in flux. QB Jacoby Brissett has performed well enough.
Defensively, their ranks against the pass and run are nearly identical.
What I’m looking at:
-Titans QB Play- whoever is under center needs to control turnovers. Passing will be at a premium, so no chucking.
-Titans pass defense- The Titans give up over 200 yards per game through the air. The Colts present challenges with WR’s TY Hilton and Donte Moncrief.
-Colts Passing- TE Jack Doyle is questionable with a concussion. Teams that don’t light it up aerially need a reliable TE. Doyle was that with 23 targets and a 73.9% catch percentage.
-Colts rush defense- Murray and Henry are tough asks for any defense. You can’t let the home team control the clock.
So how do you pick this game?
Here’s what mytopsportsbooks.com says:
“Can the Titans end their 11-game losing streak against the (Andrew Luck-less) Colts this Monday? It’s likely that Mariota will return in Week 6, but that’s not certain, and even if he does, he won’t be the dynamic running threat he usually is. But a one-legged Mariota is still a better option than Matt Cassel, who only managed to put up 10 points against Miami in Week 5.
On defense, the Titans’ secondary has been getting roasted all season, and that may continue against the Colts. Jacoby Brissett has shown he can successfully chuck the ball up to TY Hilton, and that may be all he needs to do to make the Indy pass-attack a going concern on Monday. Yet our NFL oddsmakers still have the Titans as 3.5-point home favorites, a number which will get higher if/when Mariota is confirmed as the starter. The Colts’ roster is one of the least talented in the league when you remove Luck from the equation. The defense is third-worst in the league in DVOA, per Football Outsiders, and their two wins on the year both came at home against (still) winless teams (49ers, Browns). The Tennessee offense should be able to pound the ball with Demarco Murray and Derek Henry enough to end the team’s long drought against their division rival.”
Here, here. Titans at home.
New England Patriots vs. New York Jets– Last year, the Pats escaped with a 5-point win in New Jersey. The Jets don’t do anything particularly well, but they are ranked 12th in passing defense. The Patriots defense has been abysmal this year, and rank 30th in scoring defense. The Jets, conversely, rank 23 in points scored. SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE, PEOPLE!. I can’t pick the Jets in this one, but they don’t turn the ball over, it will be far from easy for Tom Brady and company.
Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons- Jay Cutler just can’t help doing Jay Cutler things. The Falcons defense gives up 75 yards per game, so look for the game to be on Jay’s smokin’ shoulders. ALL THE LOL’S ON THAT ONE!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Arizona Cardinals- So the Cardinals got themselves a replacement RB this past week in Adrian Peterson. With David Johnson IR’d, the Cards have averaged 51 yards on the ground per game. The Cardinals also pretty beat up- their injury report looks like an Old Testament list of ‘who begat who’. Both teams pass the ball better than they run. Both teams defend the run better than they do the pass. But the Bucs are terrible at pass defense and the Cardinals are at home. AP won’t factor.
New York Giants vs. Denver Broncos- 0-5, eh Eli? The Giants desperately need a winnable game to have any hope of salvaging respectability this season. This game ain’t it. The Broncos will run roughshod. Start CJ if you can.
Cleveland Browns vs Houston Texans- What do we know about new Browns QB Kevin Hogan? We know he’s not DeShone effing Kizer, that’s for sure. But is that enough? The Texans defense did not look good last time out, but that was against the Kansas City Chiefs who happen to be the best damn team in the league. There’s nothing the Browns can do to win this game. They just don’t score enough points.
Los Angeles Rams vs Jacksonville Jaguars- The Jags are playing good ball. So are the Rams, as these two franchises with new head coaches square off with identical 3-2 records. The Jags defense is too much at home, but look for ‘Backs Gone Wild’ as neither team defends the run well. Todd Gurley and Leonard Fournette should be solid fantasy starters.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Kansas City Chiefs- The Steelers who looked god awful watching Ben Roethlisberger throw 5 picks, including 2 for TD’s, last week against the Jaguars. Now they go into KC to face the best team in the goddam league. The Steelers are giving up a buck-thirty-six on the ground per game and the Chiefs run for days with rookie RB Kareem Hunt. TE Travis Kelce is in concussion protocol. G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (say that five times fast) and LB Branden Albert are questionable- the Chiefs have issues. At home, the Chiefs can’t be beat.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings- Big game to shake up the top of the NFC North. The Vikings won last year in Minnesota by 3, but that wasn’t with Case Keenum under center. To his credit, Keenum hasn’t been bad. Minnesota’s defense is ‘mm-mm good’, and I don’t like the Packers injuries. Vikings at home.
Detroit Lions vs New Orleans Saints- These teams are pretty even. The Lions lost DT Haloti Ngata and that’s a hole. I have a sneaky feeling the Lions give away one on the road here.
Los Angeles Chargers vs Oakland Raider- The new team in L.A. faces the former team from L.A., but not the former team from L.A. that left and came back to L.A. Got it? The Chargers are struggling but they still have QB Phillip Rivers, who may be in the regression part of the bell curve, but the Chargers rank 6th in passing yards. They just don’t score much. Oakland gets QB Derek Carr back at home, but the Chargers rank 4th in pass defense. Still, Oakland is tough place to go into and the Chargers don’t exactly have momentum right now. Raiders.
Chicago Bears vs Baltimore Ravens- Game 2 in the Mitchell Truth-bisky era for the Bears. Going into Baltimore, who somehow is 3-2 despite looking like a lukewarm turd at times, is a tough ask of a young QB. The Bears put up a fight, but the Ravens prevail.
San Francisco 49ers vs Washington Redskins- Kirk Cousins current team vs his future team? Maybe? The 49ers cut LB Novarro Bowman, their leading tackler. They’re shopping RB Carlos Hyde, their leading rusher. It’s selling time for an 0-5 team and there is no way they go into Washington and win this.
There’s my take on Week 6, leave love or hate in the comments. Check back Monday afternoon for my Monday Night Football preview!
Here’s our first edition of this year’s power rankings, now that we some decent data to figure out who these teams are. Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Some thoughts about tonight’s Eagles vs Panthers Thursday Night Football game:
The Eagles are banged up in the secondary and we’re already surrendering more damage through the air than the British in the late 30’s.
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart is battling an injury. Wash. Rinse. Release. Of course, he’s not going to be released but that guy has been hurt so much, the Panthers should rename the injury report the “Jonathan Stewart News and Notes Page”.
If the Eagles win this game, it’s time to seriously address how high the ceiling is for this team.
Same for Carson Wentz.
Panthers TE Ed Dickson was huge last week. It may happen again.
I picked up Eagles WR Nelson Agholor in fantasy, so that means he’s guaranteed to never see the end zone again. Sorry, Eagles fans.
Cam Newton needs to come to the podium with any non-Dannon yogurt from here on out.