No Sleep Till Football

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NFL POWER 32 – 2016 WEEK 5

#1 Computer Hope Sam Bradford has made 4 starts for the Vikings and the Vikings are 4-0 while Bradford has completed 70.4% of his passes for 990 yards & 6TD. He hasn’t thrown an interception yet. Minnesota is the last undefeated team in the NFL after the 31-14 beatdown of Houston & you have to wonder if there is a loss on the schedule. To be fair, if Minnesota defends home field, there might only be one, when the Vikings play in Green Bay. The only problem at this point is that they need to run better.
#2 Computer Hope WR Sammie Coates had the best game of his career Sunday in Pittsburgh’s 31-13 win over the Jets. Coates caught 6 balls for 139 yards & 2TD including a 72-yard TD on the 3rd offensive play of the game for the Steelers! A physical monster at 6’2/215lbs with 4.4 speed, Coates is about as athletic as you can get, but was just a rookie last season. If he emerges as a legit opposite weapon to Antonio Brown, then Pittsburgh’s offense just got better and that seems impossible given how good it is!
#3 Computer Hope Seattle had a bye this week but got good news when Buffalo beat the Rams because it vaulted the Seahawks to 1st place all by their lonesome! Atlanta’s win over Denver sets up a pretty darn good game next ween between the Seahawks & Falcons. I don’t think Tevin Coleman is going to be able to get loose on Seattle they way he did against Denver, but Vic Beasley’s emergence last week could be interesting because Seattle doesn’t have the best offensive line. A potential NFC Championship preview.
#4 Computer Hope THAT was impressive. Beating Denver is one thing, but beating them at home is another. What’s amazing is that the game wasn’t as close as the score let on. Atlanta was up on Denver 23-6 late in the 4th quarter before the Broncos put up 10 garbage points to make it 23-16. Matt Ryan didn’t have a great game which we figured against the Denver pass defense, but the man didn’t make any errors either. How about the play of Vic Beasley!? The OLB had the best game of his career with 3.5 sacks!
#5 Computer Hope Paxton Lynch’s first career start didn’t go so well as the Broncos lost a home game to Atlanta 23-16. It wasn’t even that close to be honest. The loss brought to light some cracks in the Broncos defense. They are outstanding on the D-Line and in the secondary but Tevin Coleman exposed them a bit with a RB hitting intermediate routes out of the backfield. That’s a LB’s job. They need to get better on offense too. Siemian is a better option than Lynch and they need a 3rd option for the QB to throw to.
#6 Computer Hope A 23-16 win is a 23-16 win and the Packers improved to 3-1. Aaron Rodgers has reminded the media & fans to relax before & I wonder if he’s giving the same advice now that there are whispers that Green Bay needed to do more against the Giants than they did. I still think something is going on with Rodgers. In his last 16 regular season games, the Packers are 9-7 but Rodgers is completing just 57% of his passes for 3702 yards with 29TD & 11INT. It’s not bad but it’s not Aaron Rogers either.
#7 Computer Hope The 30-19 road win over the Rams was impressive especially given how well the Rams defense has been playing of late. The Bills are this close from being a 5-0 team and you can’t help but marvel at the change in offense since Greg Roman was fired as OC and Anthony Lynn was inserted. Under Roman the Bills averaged 19PPG and 277YDS & went 0-2. Under Lynn the team is averaging 26PPG and 327YDS. Given parity levels in the NFL, an extra TD’s worth of points makes a huge difference.
#8 Computer Hope That didn’t take long. In Tom Brady’s first game back from a 4-game suspension, the future Hall of Famer passed for 406 yards & 3TD leading New England to a 33-13 win over the hapless Browns. The Patriots were virtually flawless committing no turnovers & very few penalties. They were 8 of 17 on 3rd down and dominated time of possession. Rob Gronkowski came alive catching 5 balls for 109 yards although TE Martellus Bennett caught Brady’s 3TD passes. It’s one helluva start for Brady.
#9 Computer Hope I think it’s safe to say that Ezekiel Elliott is the best RB in football right now. Against Cincinnati, Elliott went off for 134 yards & 2TD on only 15 carries! He also caught 3 balls for 37 yards, leading Dallas to 28 unanswered points which gave Dallas a 28-0 lead before Cincinnati scored some 4th quarter garbage TDs that made it 28-14. We are getting a lot of talk about Dak Prescott and rightly so, but the Cowboys are winning because of Ezekiel Elliott & that massive offensive line that blocks for him.
#10 Computer Hope The Raiders didn’t play all that well in beating San Diego 34-31 on Sunday and were more the beneficiaries of the Chargers continuous ways in figure out how to lose games, but the win gets them to 4-1 which is all that matters. I don’t get to mention kickers all that much but Sebastian Janikowski hit two big field goals for Oakland, one from 56 and one from 48 yards. Keep in mind that if both of those miss, Oakland loses 6 points and the Chargers get great field position on both missed attempts.
#11 Computer Hope It can’t feel good to lose a game like that. Philly got behind early to Detroit but fought their way back to a 23-21 lead with the ball late in the 4th quarter. RB Ryan Mathews fumbled the ball late in the 4th which led to a Detroit FG & a Lions 24-23 lead. Philly would get the ball back with a minute 30 left to play with no timeouts. Not great but not awful either except Carson Wentz threw an interception on the first play of that drive giving Detroit the 24-23 victory. Turnovers & penalties hurt!
#12 Computer Hope Much ado about nothing, Kirk Cousins in his last 3 games has completed 69% of his passes for 739 yards with 6TD and 2INT. All three games were victories as Washington has improved to 3-2 on the season. Next up is a home game against the Eagles who are coming off a disappointing loss to Detroit. If the Redskins can win their 4th straight, they’ll move to 4-2 and in 2nd place in the NFC East and likely the #5 or #6 seed in the NFC playoff race. That’s a far cry from their 0-2 start to 2016.
#13 Computer Hope The bad news is that losing to Buffalo in the Coliseum 30-19 is a tough loss to take. The good news is the Rams were never really out of the game and if they weren’t -3 in TO margin they probably beat Buffalo and get to 4-1 on the season! Todd Gurley ran the ball well and the Rams dominated time of possession, but they beat themselves. LA has done a good job getting turnovers & getting pressure on opposing QBs. If they can avoid beating themselves with turnovers, they’ll win a lot of games.
#14 Computer Hope Kansas City is coming off a bye week and will be in Oakland this upcoming week. I don’t think the Chiefs are as ugly a football team as the Ravens are at this point but I think we are coming close to the point of not being able to distinguish between the two. At this point, it is becoming clear that Kansas City is losing the battle in the trenches. Teams are running on them and the O-line is getting Alex Smith killed. Not Andrew Luck-Colts bad, but it’s a problem that needs to be fixed pretty soon.
#15 Computer Hope It’s amazing what happens when you give David Johnson the football and let him work. Johnson hammered away at the 49ers defense rushing for 157 yards & 2TD on 27 carries. As a team Arizona ran the ball 37 times compared to 28 passing attempts. They also relied on their defense to get takeaways which they did, forcing San Francisco to commit 3 turnovers. That’s the formula for Arizona. Let Johnson work and picks your spots in the passing game. There is no need to force passing attempts.
#16 Computer Hope The Bengals aren’t where they want to be at 2-3 to start the season, but if you are looking for silver linings you can certainly point to a front-loaded schedule that is brutal. Cincinnati’s 3 losses are to Pittsburgh (4-1), Dallas (4-1) & Denver (4-1). Next week they play the Patriots in New England who are also 4-1. It’s likely Cincinnati starts the season 2-4 but they rest of the schedule is decisively easier & the Bengals could still win 10-11 games. On the other hand…they don’t beat elite teams.
#17 Computer Hope You can’t be completely surprised the Ravens have dropped two straight to the Redskins and Raiders. They got to 3-0 on a steady diet of Cleveland, Jacksonville & a week 1 miracle against the Bills. They are probably closer to 0-5 than 3-2. The defense is still terrific and it’s almost impossible to run on the front-7 but for some reason the Ravens can’t move the football. Firing OC Marc Trestman might help a bit, but when I’ve watched Baltimore, they simply don’t look explosive on offense.
#18 Computer Hope Losing to the Vikings 31-13 is bad enough but if not for a garbage TD pass to DeAndre Hopkins at the end of the game, Minnesota could have beaten the Texans 31-6 which has to make us wonder…how good is Houston? Over the past 3 weeks Houston was embarrassed in Foxboro by the Patriots 27-0. They came back home to play the Titans and needed a close win to get that one. Now they drop a game to the Vikings by 18 points! By the way, in his last 4 starts, Osweiler 4TD & 6INT. That ain’t good!
#19 Computer Hope The Saints are coming off a bye but have a great opportunity this week as they welcome in a reeling Carolina team that might not be playing with Cam Newton. I’m interested to see if New Orleans makes any adjustments on defense because if they give up 30+ to Derek Anderson then you might as well put a fork in this team right now. I still believe in New Orleans though. A win here puts them at 2-3 & Atlanta could lose to Seattle putting them at 4-2. That’s only 1.5 games behind for the Saints.
#20 Computer Hope There is a running joke asking why God hates the Chargers so much, but SERIOUSLY!!!! WHY DOES GOD HATE THE CHARGERS!!? San Diego’ loss to Oakland runs their record to 1-4 and yet they still have a point differential of +10 which is 2nd best in the AFC West! They are inventing new ways to lose games at this point. San Diego might legitimately have 12 starters not be able to play on Sunday against Denver due to injury. You really never know what is going to happen here.
#21 Computer Hope The Lions win a game against Philadelphia and it makes you wonder what the hell was going on in losses to the Bears and Titans!? Instead of 2-3, the Lions probably should be 4-1, but they’ve been living on the edge all season. All 5 of their games have been close & they don’t break either way when it comes to turnover margin or sack differential. The next two games will be very important for Detroit. They get home games against the Redskins & Rams. Those wins would be big steps forward.
#22 Computer Hope I don’t want to jump to too many conclusions about Tennessee’s 30-17 win over Miami because the Dolphins are terrible, but this game had to go a long way towards giving the Titans quite a bit of confidence. Tennessee ran for over 200 yards and Marcus Mariota was brutally efficient going 20/29 for 163 yards & 3TD. The Titans didn’t commit a TO and didn’t allow sack putting them +2 in TO margin and +6 in sack differential for the game! The Titans have this type of upside as a team.
#23 Computer Hope Jacksonville was on bye last week but before that they had went to London and defeated the Colts 30-27. I’m excited to see what happens this week when the Jaguars go into Soldier Field. The Bears lost this week in Indianapolis so Jacksonville should be OK even with it being on the road. It’s a springboard game for the Jags in my opinion. Get a win here & get to 2-3 & the season could change. Houston is looking shaky at the moment so I don’t think the Jags are out of the AFC South race.
#24 Computer Hope A win can heal a lot of wounds but Indianapolis didn’t necessarily beat the Bears on Sunday. Chicago dominated this game from a statistical point of view and if the Colts didn’t have Adam Vinatieri kicking 50+ yards FGs all game long then Chicago, who is a bad team, would have beaten Indianapolis at home. Andrew Luck was sacked 5 times bringing his season total to 20! Luck in pace to get sacked 64 times which would be an NFL record. This team is Luck & TY Hilton, and that’s about it.
#25 Computer Hope Well, at least Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t throw 6 interceptions! The Jets are in massive free fall at the moment having lost 3 straight by the combined score of 82-33! That’s an average score of 27-11! EEK! Let’s forget about what the Jets do poorly. Let’s focus on what they can do. This is still a solid defensive team. The offense can score with Fitzpatrick isn’t turning the ball over & look at the remaining schedule. The Jets could get to 9-7 which isn’t bad. Maybe not playoffs but above .500.
#26 Computer Hope The Giants and Redskins are going in opposite directions. The Redskins started 0-2 and then won 3 straight. The Giants started 2-0 and have now lost 3 straight. The Giants have a lot of work to do. They need to run the ball better as historically they are a better team when Eli isn’t throwing the ball 600+ times a season. They also need a better pass rush. As team they have 4 sacks through 5 games and 2 of those sacks came from DBs! New York could win their next 6 so let’s see what happens next.
#27 Computer Hope The Bucs didn’t do anything particularly well except take advantage of the Panthers playing poorly in a 17-14 win, but Tampa Bay will certainly take the win & get to 2-3 which puts them in 2nd place in the NFC South. Tampa hurts without Doug Martin & Charles Sims. Jacquizz Rodgers rushed for 101 yards on Carolina but it took him 30 carries to do so. I respect Dirk Koetter’s insistence on running the football to keep it away from the Panthers, but that isn’t showing much faith in Winston.
#28 Computer Hope The 29-23 loss to the Colts is hard to swallow but there was so much good that happened for Chicago. Brian Hoyer almost threw for 400 yards along with 2TD and no picks. Jordan Howard looks like he can be an effective every down back in the NFL. Cam Meredith had a great game & could be the opposite receiver to Alshon Jeffery. DE Willie Young got really loose which led to 3 sacks but a lot of other defenders such as Jonathan Bullard & Akiem Hicks looked good. I really like this team.
#29 Computer Hope The 49ers haven’t won much with Blaine Gabbert at QB so why not give Colin Kaepernick a try but I think that is going to blow up in Chip Kelly’s face especially considering that Kaepernick is going to have to face off against the Bills defense that has been exceptional in getting to the QB and creating turnovers this season. I watched the Arizona/SF game & while Gabbert wasn’t fantastic, I think the guy has upside. On the other hand, I’m not sure he’s ever going to solve his accuracy problems.
#30 Computer Hope It’s easy to overreact to what is happening in Carolina and I’m not a fan of Cam Newton but let’s be honest here. The Panthers were 15-1 last year. They were 6-1 in close games and +20 in TO margin. Those stats were going to regress back to the mean. It’s impossible for them not to. In Newton’s 4 games as QB the Panthers were 1-3 but 0-2 in close games & -3 in TO margin. Newton is taking a beating & that’s troublesome, but Carolina wasn’t a 15-1 team last year. They’ll bounce back soon.
#31 Computer Hope It might be time to completely blow the team up and start over. Miami is terrible and if they hadn’t already beaten Cleveland, I’d have them ranked dead last. Ryan Tannehill so far has actually gotten worse under Adam Gase and the defense is atrocious. You can certainly make an argument that Miami is suffering a lot of injuries. The O-Line hasn’t been consistently on the field together because of injuries and of course Arian Foster can’t stay healthy. What a mess of a team at this point.
#32 Computer Hope In baseball, a team wants to set its starting rotation and leave it alone. At the end of a 162-game season if all goes well, each starter will have 30+ starts and teams that get this generally rack up a lot of wins. In the NFL you want to have your starting QB remain healthy because he’s the starter for a reason. When Cody Kessler went down against New England last week, the Browns used their 4th QB (Charlie Whitehurst) and 5th QB if you want to count Terrelle Pryor. That isn’t stability at QB.

October 12, 2016 - Posted by | Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Power 32, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Week 5

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