January 18, 2018

Eagles 49, Raiders 20

The Philadelphia Eagles made their way across the country to take on the Oakland Raiders.  The Eagles were coming off a 15-7 loss to the New York Giants and the Raiders were coming off a 21-18 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.  A holding penalty on the kickoff forced the Raiders to start their first drive at their eight-yard line.  Completions to wide receivers Denarius Moore and Rod Streater moved them to the 41.  But they wouldn’t get much farther and Marquette King punted the ball away.  But there was a flag on the play and the Eagles were penalized for running into the kicker.  The Raiders were given another chance, but they couldn’t capitalize and ended up punting again.

Quarterback Nick Foles led the Eagles onto the field and they went right to work with their no huddle offense.  A screen pass to wide receiver Riley Cooper turned into a huge catch and run as he took it up the left sideline for a gain of 42 yards.  On third and 13 from the Philadelphia 49, Foles connected with wide receiver Jeff Maehl for a gain of 19 yards.  Passes to running back LeSean McCoy, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and tight end Zach Ertz set them up with a first and goal at the two-yard line.  Foles took the snap, calmly looked to his left and found tight end Brent Celek for a touchdown.  Kicker Alex Henery made the point after and the Eagles led 7-0 with 5:18 to go in the first quarter.

The Raiders started at their 20 and on third and five from the 25, quarterback Terrelle Pryor hit Streater on a crossing route that went for a big gain of 66 yards.  The drive would stall at the six and kicker Sebastian Janikowski made his 24-yard field goal attempt.  With 2:02 to go in the first quarter, the Eagles led 7-3.

The Eagles started at their 18 and two quick runs by McCoy moved them to the 33.  A short completion to McCoy and a couple of carries by running back Bryce Brown netted a first down at the 46.  Brown got the call again and this time he ran right up the middle of the already worn out Raider defense for a gain of 32 yards.  A short run by Brown and a short pass to Celek set up a third and five from the Oakland 17.  Once again, Foles had all day to find a receiver and he found Cooper in the end zone for another Eagle touchdown.  Henery made the point after and the Eagles led 14-3 with 14:17 to go in the second quarter.

What the Raiders needed to do here was take some time off the clock and keep Foles on the sideline.  That didn’t happen.  They gained 26 yards and punted again.  Also, McFadden injured his hamstring and did not return.  So, the Eagles took over at their 37.  Foles took the snap and found Cooper wide open for a 63-yard touchdown.  That was way too easy.  The Eagles now led 21-3 and the once fired up Oakland faithful were starting to boo their team.  I can’t say that I blame them for doing that.

The Raiders started at their 20 again and a run by running back Rashad Jennings and a completion to tight end Mychal Rivera moved the ball to the 41.  Another decent run by Jennings and a completion to fullback Marcel Reece moved the Raiders into Philadelphia territory.  A 35-yard scramble by Pryor set them up with a first and goal at the eight.  Jennings took it the rest of the way for a Raider touchdown.  Janikowski made the point after and the Eagles now led 21-10 with 7:34 to go in the second quarter.

With the offense finally finding the end zone, maybe the defense would find a way to slow the Eagles down and the Raiders could get back into the game.  Yeah.  And maybe it’ll snow in Florida in July.  For the first two plays of this drive, the Raiders actually got to Foles for a sack and forced an incompletion.  To top that off, the Eagles were flagged for a false start.  That set up a third and 16.  But that was no problem for Foles.  He looked to his right and found Jackson for a gain of 17 and a first down at the 31.  That totally deflated the Raider defense and runs by McCoy and Brown netted another first down.  Completions to Jackson and Celek made it first goal at the 15.  From there, Foles hooked up with Ertz for another Eagle touchdown.  Henery made the point after and the Eagles now had a commanding 28-10 lead with four minutes to go in the second quarter.

Both teams punted on their next possessions and the Raiders got the ball back at their 25 with one minute remaining.  Some scrambling from Pryor and completions to Streater and Rivera got them moving in the right direction.  They managed to get down to the Philadelphia 35 and Janikowski nailed his 53-yard attempt.  At halftime the score was 28-13.  Maybe that long field goal right before the end of the half gave the Raiders a spark and they’d make some adjustments and come back and win the game.  No.  There was no spark.  There was no fire.  There wasn’t even a puff of smoke.  It was more of the same in the second half.  The Eagles scored on their next two drives and with 11 minutes to go in the third quarter, the game was out of hand as the Eagles led 42-13.  That was all I could take.  I turned on the red zone channel and watched the other games.

With this win, the Eagles improved to 4-5 and the Raiders dropped to 3-5.  For the Eagles, Nick Foles had a perfect passer rating and completed 22 0f 28 for 406 yards and seven touchdowns.  DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper and Zach Ertz led the team in receptions with five apiece.  Jackson had the most receiving yards with 150 and Cooper had the most touchdowns with three.  On the ground, Bryce Brown led the way with 54 yards on seven carries.  As a team, the Eagles rushed for 128 yards on 24 carries.  Defensively, linebacker DeMeco Ryans led the team in solo tackles with nine.

For the Raiders, Terrelle Pryor completed 22 of 41 for 288 yards and two interceptions.  He also had 94 yards rushing on ten carries.  After he left the game with a knee injury, Matt McGloin came in to mop up and he completed 7 of 15 for 87 yards.  Rashad Jennings led the team in receptions with seven and Rod Streater led the team in receiving yards with 98.  On the ground, Jennings did a good job filling in for McFadden as he ran for 102 yards on 15 carries.  Linebacker Nick Roach led the team in solo tackles with six and he was one of the few players who actually got to the quarterback.

The worst thing about seeing your favorite team get trashed is that you as a fan can’t do a damn thing about it.  I sat there and watched the offensive line get pushed around like rag dolls.  Pryor was literally running for his life as soon as the game started.  I watched the secondary get torched for seven touchdown passes.  Players were out of position and the pass rush was nonexistent.  This was like a horror movie on a football field.  So, what was the problem, Raiders?  Were you overconfident?  Did you think that since the Eagles hadn’t scored an offensive touchdown in the past two games that you could easily shut them down?

Coming into this game, the Raiders had a 3-4 record.  Those wins were over the winless Jacksonville Jaguars, the up and down San Diego Chargers and a bad Pittsburgh Steelers team.  That’s not a very impressive resume’.  Up next is a trip across the country to take on the New York Giants.  That means it’s a game in the eastern time zone against an opponent from the NFC.  I haven’t seen them win one of those match-ups in a LONG time.  If they play like they did against the Eagles, the Giants will come away with an easy win.  Until then, take it easy.

The Raider Guy


Mitchell’s Fantasy Football Notes: Week 10 (2012)

While week 9 in fantasy football was a scoring explosion compared to past weeks, week 10 for fantasy football was one known more for who was carted off the field than its performances on it.  RG3 and Aaron Rodgers had the entire week off while Michael Vick, Ben Roethlisberger, Alex Smith and Jay Cutler took half days for health reasons, three concussions and one shoulder separation.  These injuries will impact week 11 and potentially the fantasy playoffs, especially in the case of Vick and Big Ben.  This new weekly column will address the relevant activity and it’s impact in every game on the weekend’s calendar for week 10 in the NFL so let’s get right to it.

Colts 27, Jaguars 10
In this game the lack of stats tells us more than the productive ones.  Vic Ballard and Donald Brown both had disappointing yardage totals and no TD’s but the split carries is the story here.  The wide receiver position is where we see reasons to be optimistic if not outright bullish.  For Jacksonville, Michael Spurlock was productive with minimal targets while both Cecil Shorts III and Laurent Robinson were productive and more importantly, targeted significantly.  All good signs for teams slogging through a 2-QB league with Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne or for owners that took a shot on Cecil Shorts III or Laurent Robinson.  For Indianapolis, T.Y. Hilton’s emergence looks to be a bit premature with Donnie Avery being the #2 guy in this offense behind Reggie Wayne and even Avery only got 6 targets.

Bengals 31, Giants 13
Disappointing once again for Eli Manning and his “tired” arm.  TD’s are king in fantasy football and that anoints Andy Dalton into royalty in week 10 with four scores with only seven weeks to go.  Hakeem Nicks seems to be back and productive while Andre Brown and Ahmed Bradshaw both ran well in limited carries.  The big fantasy story for the Giants is TE Michael Bennett and RB Andre Brown being targeted significantly in the passing game as well as news that Ahmed Bradshaw is battling an injury going into week 11.

Titans 37, Dolphins 3
Ryan Tannehill took a step back this week with three INT’s while Chris Johnson took another step closer to solidifying himself as the stud RB he once was and people thought he might never be again.  Brian Hartline stepped up big as well in a pathetic overall offensive effort by Miami.

Vikings, 34 Lions 24
There were big fantasy stats in a losing effort for Matthew Stafford and the revitalized Megatron.  Adrian Peterson once again shows that he is a beast no matter what else is going on in Minnesota.  Concerning Mikel Leshoure, you better hope he gets some goal line carries because he doesn’t do much else well.  A monster day for AP.  The story here that matters most is when Percy Harvin sits, Kyle Rudolph matters and when Harvin plays, Rudolph seems to disappear.  This is one to watch more closely in coming weeks.

Patriots 37, Bills 31
The big story here is that YES, the Patriots pass defense is THIS bad.  They are second worst defense in the NFL on 3rd down ahead of only… yes that’s right…BUFFALO.  Start every wide receiver you can find when facing the Patriots.  Can Talib turn things around??  Seems unlikely.  Mount up WR’s.  Spiller owners should be excited with the news that Fred Jackson will miss week 11 if not more.

Saints 31, Falcons 27
Matt Ryan may end up being the highest scoring QB in the NFL which means a lot of targets to go around and the player with the biggest upside for the remainder of the season on this team is Jacquizz Rodgers.  His targets can go nowhere but up and with the Falcons essentially in the playoffs there is no reason not to continue to expand his role.  From the Saints, Chris Ivory and Mark Ingram are gaining steam and may be becoming fantasy relevant.

Buccaneers 34, Chargers 24
This Bucs offense is a juggernaut, second only to the Falcons in the NFC.  Surprisingly, week 10 was not an explosive week for the Bucs versus a mediocre Chargers defense in what appeared to be a great match up.  With San Diego, a lot of passing attempts to go around but nobody to bet heavy on to catch them consistently.  Malcolm Floyd and Antonio Gates seem to be the safe bets but not enough consistent production for me to be excited.

Broncos 36, Panthers 14
It was a high scoring fantasy week for Carolina players that didn’t translate into a W for the Panthers who can probably be eliminated from the NFL discussion officially after losing to the Broncos.  Denver players didn’t produce enough and didn’t score enough to make their fantasy owners happy.  Willis McGahee seems to be a flex RB at this point and a mediocre one at that while Daniel Thomas looks to be elevating himself into the upper tier of WR’s with the help of Peyton Manning in Denver.  MORE TOUCHDOWNS DENVER.  WE NEED MORE SCORES.  Carolina’s running game appears to be non-existent which bodes well for Cam Newton, Brandon LaFell, Steve Smith and Greg Olsen owners.

Ravens 55, Raiders 20
On the two podcasts that I host on the Leatherheads National Podcasting Network (The Monday Rundown at 7:00 P.M. EST on Mondays and The Leatherheads Fantasy Football Show at 9:00 P.M. EST on Wednesdays), I have time and time again made the point that Ray Rice is not getting enough touches and in a big win versus the lowly Oakland Raiders, we once again saw or better said, didn’t see Ray Rice toting the rock.  In winning big, they didn’t need Rice but for one of the best all around RB’s and a top five fantasy draft pick in the game to only touch the ball 17 times, I wonder if this signals a transition from a trend to a fundamental offensive shift of focus by John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens.  With more of the Raven’s offense highlighting the passing game, Joe Flacco’s role was expanding and we knew this coming into 2012, but to see the significant reduction of Ray Rice’s touches is beyond what anyone would have ever expected.  As far as the Raiders go, Carson Palmer and the WR’s are becoming legitimate and must starts.  With the Raiders likely to be behind in almost every second half the remainder of this season, there is no reason not to be upset if you own Darren McFadden and you should be elated if you own Denarius Moore, Darrius Heyward-Bey or tight end Brandon Myers who all have been consistently targeted on this hot fantasy run by the Raiders offense.

Seahwaks 28, NY Jets 7
The Jets don’t have much fantasy relevance unless Tim Tebow can somehow tear the starting QB job from the cold, dead hand of Rex Ryan.  Shonn Greene appears to have the RB carries almost completely too himself but the production from those carries is miserable.  Jeremy Kerley is getting some targets and he has some big play ability, but how do you make big plays when your QB can’t throw the ball well enough to get it to you?  As for Seattle, it is all about  Marshawn Lnynch.   If Lynch can manage to survive the season, he is going to be one of the hardest worked RB’s in the game–if not the history of it.  Only Arian Foster has more carries this season and may pass him by season’s end.  Ride Lynch to the ground and ignore the horrible Jets all together.  Oh, and maybe you may want to claim Golden Tate because he throws the ball better than Russell Wilson.

Cowboys 38, Eagles 23
In a game that saved the Cowboys season and officially ended the Eagles one, we saw what many fans were hoping for and what most fantasy owners dreaded, Nick Foles in and Michael Vick out.  An offensive line that singlehandedly can be blamed for the abysmal Eagles season in this fantasy expert’s opinion, finally got Michael Vick knocked out and it could be awhile before we see Vick play again–and it may be with another team next season.  Nick Foles made one play, a 44-yard TD on a broken coverage, while Tony Romo, who didn’t sparkle, did make a few highlight reel plays and was able to get it done for the Cowboys.  Felix Jones seems to be finding his groove and Jason Witten is officially the only true, reliable player to catch Romo passes.  For the Eagles, Jeremy Maclin was targeted over and over, which is normally a good thing, but for me its a mirage.  This offense can’t overcome an offensive line that leaks like a swiss cheese built boat and refuses, not unlike the Ravens, to get its superstar RB the ball.  If your thin then Maclin seems to be a consistent play, but I rank him as a WR3 at best.  I would downgrade him from there with Foles at the helm.

Rams 24, 49ers 24
In a rare tie in the NFL, this was a game where an injury was possibly the best thing that could happen to a struggling fantasy owner.  Alex Smith looks to be sidelined due to a concussion which opens the door for the fleet afoot Colin Kaepernick.  The issue here is that the 49ers have a tough matchup versus the Bears in week 11 (a team who also lost their starting QB in week 10) and this may be the only week Alex Smith misses.  So the one week where a fantasy team owner that picked Kaepernick has a chance to start him, it may be better to sit him due to the matchup and then lose the upside to a returning Alex Smith.  I can’t even recommend holding on to Kaepernick even if you have the roster space because it seems unlikely he gets any playing time.  He is an intriguing guy if you are desperate.  As for the Rams, Stephen Jackson had a big game versus one of the best run defenses in football and that may give some breathing room to Jackson owners who can feel the footsteps of Daryl Richardson right behind them.  Danny Amendola came back from a life threatening injury to have a big game and it looks like he is a reliable WR3 if not even a WR2 in the right matchups.  Oh, and if you are truly desperate make a claim on Rams punter Johnny Hekker who was 2-2 for 40 yards passing.  Who knows how often he throws the ball but he is still a better play than Mark Sanchez so keep that in mind.

Texans 13, Bears 6
The biggest story of this game was defense.  Both that Chicago’s didn’t score and that it suffocated scoring with the exception of Arian Foster and Brandon Marshall who both hit the century mark.  From an NFL matchup perspective, this was the game of the week.  From a fantasy perspective, it was almost entirely irrelevant.  The Bears lost Jay Cutler before halftime to a concussion and Jason Campbell will have to lead the Bears in week 11 vs San Francisco.  A tough loss for the Niners both in week 10 and week 11.

Steelers 16, Chiefs 13
Perhaps, the biggest fantasy story in week 10 was all the injuries with the Steelers potentially losing Big Ben Roethlisberger for the season as possibly the biggest one.  The Steelers continue to mess with fantasy ballers heads by playing musical carries.  Is it Rashard Mendenhall?  Is it Jonathan Dwyer?  Is it Isaac Redman?  Week 10 predictors say Dwyer, but with Mendenhall coming back the picture remains muddled.

Time for Week 11!!!