Finally!! Back in to the winning circle in a winning way getting 4 out of 5 games this week., the last few weeks I felt like we were just a break or two from a big week but you can go a whole season that way so it was nice to get one here. So far this season we have avoided any really big loss weekends and now with 2 big weeks and basically .500 very the rest of the year the overall record is looking pretty good as we move to just under 60%.
Week 8 Results: 4 Wins 1 Loss
What Went Right
- Panthers get some good luck: Before the season I wrote about how the Panthers while very good had also been very lucky last year in terms of turnovers regression. Then last week I week I wrote how in terms of turnovers and injuries they have been really, really unlucky so far this year. Well for 1 week we saw some of that luck come back, Panthers won the turnover battle this week and Thomas Davis returned a fumble for a TD. Panthers also saw their defensive line play it’s best game of the year with 8 sacks and 9 QB Hits. If they can stay healthy I see the Panthers going on a little mini run here.
- Good Nick Foles: As an Eagles fan I have seen both good Nick Foles and Bad Nick Foles closely and Bad Nick Foles is always more likely. In the KC-Indy game the Chiefs lost both their starting QB Alex Smith and starting RB Spencer Ware and didn’t miss a beat. Good Nick Foles stepped in and was great, he went 16/22 for 7.6 yards per pass, 2 TDs and had a QBR of 77.6. Meanwhile the Chiefs new found pass rush had their way with the Colts offensive line with 12 QB hits and 6 sacks. Poor, poor Andrew Luck.
- Patriots keep cashing. I took the Pats in a teaser because I didn’t quite trust this was a great spot for them but Brady and Bellicheck appear to be impervious to schedule losses or bad spots. Brady was basically perfect, passer rating of 137, QBR of 95.1 and the Bills minus Shady just couldn’t keep up early. One thing to watch in this game was the poor play of the Patriots offensive line, the Bills had 5 sacks and 9 QB hits, it didn’t matter this week but over the season you probably don’t want Brady getting hit that much.
- Chargers run game & defense: Wait what? Yes you heard me. The Chargers didn’t cover the number but won on our teaser because of their defense and run game. Phillip Rivers had probably his worst game of the year with 3 Ints including a pick 6 but the defense and Melvin Gordon kept them in it. Those are not the units anyone thinks of for the Chargers but quietly the Chargers defense has moved ahead of the offense in DVOA, 7th vs 16th , and Gordon rushed for 111 yards on 23 carries to keep them close.
- OT was nice but needed: In the Eagles-Cowboys game we got a little unlucky early with a Dallas turnover in the Eagles endzone and then later a missed Eagles FG but the game went over pretty easy and the OT score was not needed. Eagles helped by going no huddle in the 3rdquarter which helped pick up the pace and like I mentioned in the write up, matchup wise the Eagles were going to have issues with this offense and while we saw a lot of very good series by the Eagles defense , we also saw the Cowboys put together very impressive scoring drives where they had Elliot and Dez get big chunk plays.
What Went Wrong
- Maybe Stafford isn’t a MVP candidate?: Lions continue to confound me. I though the defense getting healthy would be able to play well vs the struggling Osweiller but he looked much better here and when you look at their home/road splits its clear that the QB’s issues seem much more pronounced on the road. As for the Lions offense this was a really disappointing performance, they were 3-11 on 3rd down and held to under 300 total yards of offense for the 2nd time this year, both of them on the road.