Albert Wilson, Brock Osweiler, Bye Week, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cody Parker, DeVante Parker, Frank Gore, Green Bay Packers, Jakeem Grant, Kenyan Drake, LA Rams, MarQueis Gray, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, NFL, Ryan Tannehill
We’re 10 weeks into a pretty good season now, and everyone’s left with just 6 or 7 games remaining. Bye weeks are often a bit of a distraction from football (even a pain in the arse if you’re running a fantasy football team!) but let me tell you – never have a team needed a Bye week more than the Dolphins do this coming weekend. Even last year when our Bye Week was effectively in week one due to the hurricane in Tampa, we didn’t look as beat up as we do now at any point during the season.
This week saw the Dolphins take a trip up-north to the frozen tundra that is Green Bay (ok, it’s not that bad, I know) and struggled to warm up all game. We went into the game battered and bruised, but with a surprising winning record, and unfortunately returned back to Miami even more battered, but without that winning record, so… not a great week if I’m honest!
As we know, Brock Osweiler has been under centre since Week 6 due to Ryan Tannehill’s injured shoulder, and he definitely didn’t have a good one this week. He was sacked 6 times for a loss of 50 yards throughout the game. Now, that wasn’t all his fault – the O-line was patchy at best, but what doesn’t help is his huge tell – when he’s under pressure, Brock always steps out to his right. Seriously, go back and watch the tape – he does it every single time. So the Packers knew that all they had to do was put some pressure on him down the middle, and then sweep him up after he rolled out to his right.
He’s also quickly running out of targets too. He was already without Albert Wilson (WR) and MarQueis Gray (TE) going into this one, but during the game, both Jakeem Grant and DeVante Parker left the field in a bad way with Leg and Shoulder problems respectively. Adding to that a shoulder issue for Kenyan Drake at Running Back, and it’s difficult to see where the points are going to come from. What I will say, is that Frank Gore is more than picking up the slack at the RB position, adding another 90 yards to his season tally on Sunday. [I have to add that at age 35 I find Gore’s productivity this season a feat that should be more celebrated – Ed.] And it’s not just on Offence we’re struggling – I commented on Sunday that I felt particularly bad for Bobby McCain (CB) who looks like he could have picked up a bad concussion. So, I think you can see why we badly need a week to heal up!
Strangely, we actually moved the ball fairly well. It was just the final product that we struggled with. I lost count of the number of times we got to within 10-15 yards [According to ESPN zero out of three red zone visits], but couldn’t finish it off. This lead to us only picking up 4 field goals during the game.
Here I go again, not giving our opponents the credit they deserved. The Packers looked good – it took them a little while to get going, but when they did, their game really came together. Aaron Jones (RB) was devastating, finding some huge holes in our Defence, including one especially long run at 67 yards. They fully deserved their win, and I don’t think anyone who watched that game would think anything otherwise.
What was really nice was connecting with an old school friend (and Cheesehead) Andy, now living in Australia while watching the game. He was surprised at how well the Green Bay Defence did, having had what he described as a ‘truly awful’ season to this point. The NFL really is a great connector!
I feel I’ve suitably rambled on about our game now, so lets have a look what happened elsewhere.
You’ll know by now that I have something of a fascination with the Kicking game. Well, Chicago kicker Cody Parker had a difficult week this week. Not only did he miss 2 extra points (something almost unthinkable a few seasons ago!), but also a couple of Field Goals, and all four hit the goalpost, which he couldn’t do again if he tried. I’ve said before that I feel for kickers as it doesn’t take many misses to find themselves on the chopping block, so I can’t imagine it’s a particularly nice week for him in training this week!
The Rams are marching on, with another win, making the Betting chart look like this:
They’re really making it look more and more like there’s a 2 horse race in the NFC. I caught the majority of the Bengals game this week, and while I will leave the majority of the coverage to Gee, in short, the Saints absolutely took them apart. It was a difficult watch to be honest, so I know how much Gee will have struggled with it.
And elsewhere in the pick’em competition, I’m 5 points away from Gee, and 6 from my Dad (I can’t even call it beginners luck for him this year!) which is annoying me. I feel like it’s too big a gap to catch at this late stage, but I’m sure there are some surprises still to come which may help me along.
But that’s it for me this week. Speaking of surprises, my Twitter topic this week will be surprise packages of the season – who’s not having the season that you expected them to have this year, good or bad? Drop me a line on Twitter and lets have a chat!
Until next time…