The Saints finally parted ways with Rob Ryan this week, which sucks, because the Saints defense was making a late push to become the highlight of the 2015 fantasy football season. Goodnight, sweet prince. You were too good for this world.
Here’s the thing about this weekend: the Panthers are, convincingly, still undefeated. They’ve effectively eclipsed the (suddenly reeling) Packers as the NFC’s best team, they have no glaring weaknesses, and they’ll have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Which is why the New York Giants will win the Super Bowl.
Not only would a New York Super Bowl win set a pattern of the G-men beating Brady and company once every four years, but it would d be the second time the Giants spoiled a (presumably) undefeated Patriots season. Which sounds AWESOME. All that remained this weekend was to see if the Giants, y’know, still have a pulse. And they do! They showed up, which undoubtedly means that they’ll win the garbage fire that is the NFC East, storm through the playoffs, and win because of ODB doing something spectacular. I can’t wait.
Johnny Football threw for 372 yards, which is a lot, but let’s get back to that Rob Ryan defense for a second. Here’s an actual conservation that happened with a friend this week:
FRIEND: "I need a QB this week."
ME: "Who are the Saints playing?"
FRIEND: "The Redskins."
ME: "Take Kirk Cousins."
FRIEND: "Haha. No."
Kirk Cousins threw for FOUR TDS. Four! Kirk Cousins! Not only that, he was 20-for-25 with 300-plus yards passing. That’s INSANE! Kirk Cousins!
Here’s a list of bad QBs, 2015 Andrew Luck included, that the Saints have made look good this season. In order:
- Jameis Winston (14-for-21, 207 yards, TD)
- Brandon Weeden (16-for-26, 246 yards, TD)
- Sam Bradford (32-for-45, 333 yards, 2 TD)
- Andrew Luck (23-for-44, 333 yards, 3 TD)
- Eli Manning (30-for-41, 350 yards, 6 TD)
- Marcus Mariota (28-for-39, 371 yards, 4 TD)
- Kirk Cousins (20-for-25, 324 yards, 4 TD)
(Editor's Note: Eli Manning might not exactly be BAD, but six touchdown passes?? Come on, Saints.)
Once that defense got rolling, hoo boy. I’m astounded. It’s not like the Saints have a history of killer defensive backs or anything, but this is like some sort of reverse Bounty-gate. I’m not convinced Rob Ryan isn’t picking the opposing QB on FanDuel. They play the Texans this week, a team that scored 10 points last night and currently starts the smallest piece of a Russian nesting doll at QB. That doll's name is T.J. Yates, and he’ll probably throw for 700 yards on Sunday. God bless you, Rob Ryan.
Teddy Bridgewater is alive, which is nice, though I still cringed every time he took a hit. Vikings fans deserve a playoff game, man. They’re paying 10 billion dollars or something to buy Wario a big glass boat. Hard not to feel sympathetic. But the NFC North got feisty in general this week: Jay Cutler threw for 3 TDs in a big win, the Vikings moved to 7-2, and the Packers lost to the Lions at home for the first time since Reagan.
Tony Romo is back! That makes the NFC East feisty too! Feisty divisions > non-feisty divisions, in my opinion. Feistiness is good. Peyton Manning is … bad.
Charcandrick West had another big week, cementing himself as the guy mostly to get heavily overvalued during the offseason. In other news, outside of the 49ers D, it turns out the other thing that can slow Devonta Freeman down is a bye week.
I’ve talked about this at length, but the RB position has been consistently inconsistent this year, and it’s a rotating cast at the top of the running back scoring chart. This week saw Jeremy Langford and Charcandrick West hold their spots, with a weird cameo from Matt Jones. The only other notable was Adrian Peterson, who busted out a dominant 80-yard run that had people dreaming of 2012 again. I miss that AP. He’s still big, dominant, and ungodly fast, but he doesn’t break into the secondary as often as he used to and the world is a sadder place because of it. Of course, maybe the sadness also comes from the guy forcing us have a society-wide discussion on corporeal punishment. It might be that.
The Patriots, now without Dion Lewis, only ran the ball 21 times last week. It’s like Bill Belichick got annoyed with everyone who tweeted excitedly about LaGarrette Blount. He DEFINITELY tries to mess with fantasy owners. Think about it. What else left does he have to live for? He probably has to clone himself, win that clone's trust, then push that clone off the Gillete Stadium lighthouse tower every week just to feel something. Messing with fantasy owners is right up that guy’s alley.
T.J. Yeldon is out, which means Denard Robinson is IN, baby. The Jags can potentially take first place in the AFC South with a win this week, which: a) says a lot about that division; and b) means they won’t win. Don’t bother picking up Denard Robinson.
Arizona scored 39 points this week, but John Brown scored 0. I take back everything nice I said about you, John Brown. Can’t blame this one on the Legion of Boom, or whatever, since the rest of your team racked up a bundle. This one’s on you.
Is there a reason people keep pretending Roddy White is still a thing? He has 17 catches and a touchdown through nine games. He’s a WR3 or a Flex at BEST, and that’s if you’re a die-hard Falcons fan or someone who really likes seeing the name "Roddy" pop up. Which, if you are, can’t blame you. Go with god.
Dez kicked Philly’s butt, then was lukewarm this week. But he gets his QB back this week, and that Miami secondary isn’t exactly ironclad. Maybe look for a big week from Dez, if you weren’t already? You probably were. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t assume.
Peyton is out next week against the Bears, which means the Broncos receiving corps will either feast, driven by a non-zombie QB, or famine, because Brock Osweiler. Have fun being on either side of THAT coin flip this week.
PERSON WHO USED TO BE GOOD
I think it’s safe at this point to certifiably call Jimmy Graham a bust. On paper, he seemed like a steal, and plenty of people had the guy pegged as a savvy 2nd or 3rd round pick. A star TE, playing with one of the best QBs in football, in a productive offense that had lacked a true marquee receiver? Sign me up!
Well, they did sign me up, and it’s been awful. Graham caught three passes on eight targets this week, adding to his pitiful total of 41 catches in nine games, with only two touchdowns. Maybe Jimmy should have spent LESS time playing basketball in college and practice more football. (Did you know Jimmy Graham played basketball in college?)
PERSON WHO IS STILL GOOD
Jason Pierre Paul, who’s playing with house money as far as I’m concerned. He’s got a club for a hand! He’s a James Bond villain waiting to happen and I love it.
PERSON AT WHOM YOU SHOULD CREEPILY TWEET A THANK YOU
Kacy Sager, for THIS gem:
Only, you know, maybe don’t be creepy. Ladies deal with enough garbage on Twitter as it is. I know that’s the title of the bit, I KNOW. Maybe we’ll change it if these start being more tweets from actual people and less the from the Chargers talking about PF Changs.
Have a good week, everyone.