5 for 5 - W3 Recap
10-5 on the year after 4-1 in week 3. Let's dive in to see why we won and lost:
1. NE -7 (@ Det) - Loss (26-10 Det)
2. LAR -7 (LAC) - Win (35-23 LAC)
3. Ind +6.5 (@ Phi) - Win (20-16 Phi)
4. Mia -3 (Oak) - Win (28-20 Mia)
5. Buf +16.5 (@ Min) - Win (27-6 Buf)
NE -7 (@ Det) - Loss (26-10 Det)
Just like in week 1, the only loss came on my most confident pick. The Lions were able to attack NE's D just like the Jags did the week before. They kept Brady off of the field with an amazing 39:15 time of possession. I thought NE would do this to Det. Not letting them off the field and carving up their Def. However, Det doubled Gronk the entire game, and it worked, as no other offensive weapon was able to break free and capitalize.
In week'3 5 for 5, most of my points were coach based, such as Belichick's record after a loss. I did not consider personnel enough. As Michael Lombardi has said on GM Street, NE's defense is slow and cannot move side to side well. If you can get them running side to side, you will have success. In the last two weeks, Jac and Det were both very effective on offense. Now only the under performing Texans (week 1) are the only team NE's D has held in check. NE hosts Mia in week 4, who has an offensive coach and mobile QB. Miami is 3-0 but played weak teams and beat Oak on a few explosive plays in week 3 (more on that later), they are closer to the Jags than the Lions, but could still give NE fits.
LAR -7 (LAC) - Win (35-23 LAC)
The Rams can score and keep on scoring. Now 3-0 SU and ATS. Be careful as their line keeps increasing, LAC had a real chance to back door.
For LAC, they have played two really good teams (KC and LAR) and a bad team. It was seemingly easy for KC and LAR to score on them and keep the lead, while LAC looked really good against Buf. LAC may a "good bad team", as Bill Simmons has said about the teams who look great against poor opponents but never can beat the better teams. Chris Andrews had a similar comment in Week 4's guessing the line show, on Gill Alexander's Beating the Book podcast.
Ind +6.5 (@ Phi) - Win (20-16 Phi)
Ind was able to stay with Phi in Wentz's first game back and nearly won the game. Phi dominated time of possession (40:20) and held Ind to only 209 yards total, 68 on the ground (Phi had 379, 152 on the ground) but still couldn't pull away. Two second half turnovers and a missed FG likely big reasons that Ind kept it so close. Near the end, Phi's D had a great play to stop Ind near the goal line late in the game, a situation that could have seen Ind take the lead within two minutes left.
Takeaways, Phi looked more like what we saw last year as Wentz got back into it. He didn't have many runs (only 3 for 10 yards) but they controlled the game. I think Ind showed that it is not a bad team, but without the turnovers Ind doesn't cover. The interception and fumble resulted into a whopping 8 plays and 7 yards of offense for Ind, but 6 points from two field goals. Also, there could have been more turnovers, as Corey Clement recovered two of his own fumbles (and good for Ind for not turning it over themselves).
Mia -3 (Oak) - Win (28-20 Mia)
Check out the scoring summary in Oak @ Mia:
Oak winning by 10 in late third, then Mia exploded with 21 straight points. Those 21 points came on 4 drives, 3 TDs and 1 punt. Check out Mia's drive summary:
Those 21 points came on 4 drives, 3 TDs and 1 punt. Check out Mia's drive summary:
The explosion started with their 7th drive,
- 4 plays 70 yards (TD), Punt, 2 plays 70 yards (TD - a 52 yard WR pass), 2 plays 80 yards (TD).
Is that a fluke or is Mia a great explosive team that Oak could only keep in check for 3 quarters?
Oak had approximately 70 more total yards, with the difference being rushing (109 yards on 32 carries for Oak, 41 on 14 for Mia). Oak controlled the ball (38:31 ToP) and had 25 first downs (Mia 13). Remove one or two of Miami's big plays (a big hypothetical) and Oak wins this game SU.
Buf +16.5 (@ Min) - Win (27-6 Buf)
Going into this game, Buf was a laughing stock after being blown out twice (Bal and LAC). I figured Min would control the game, score relatively easily, and run the clock the get the game over as soon as it could. Min played @ LAR on Thursday, so easy to see them looking ahead but Buf was so bad that Min cold sleep walk through a victory.
Not so fast my friends! Survivor / Suicide pools dwindled as Buf won 27-6, jumping to early lead and holding it the entire game.
Regardless, I do not think Buffalo is any good but their pass rush got them two HUGE plays early. Overall, this was more a game from hell for Min, bad luck on fumbles and untimely penalties, with a few early plays exposing their offensive line.
The drive summaries tell the story, let's look at both:
Bills started the game with the ball and scored on their first 5 possessions. Credit to them, that's awesome. But looking at why this was a game from hell for Min, starting with the first drive. On the first 75 yard TD drive, sounds great for Buf (and it is good) but 30 of those yards came on two separate personal fouls. The first was on a 3rd and 4, that would have been a sack, 3 and out. That is not a turnover, but close to it.
Then let's look at Min's drives:
After that TD from Buf, how did Min respond? Fumbling after 3 plays when Cousins got sacked on 3rd down, giving the ball back with Buf already in FG range and a subsequent 4 plays 4 yards FG drive from Buf. From there it simply continued, Min's second drive was another sack-fumble by Cousins leading to Buf on the 25 yard line that turned into a TD. Min's offense could never get in sync, turning it over 3 times plus turnover on downs later in the 3rd quarter. Min's D got going after the 5 scoring drives, forcing 6 punts, but damage was done and without scoring support they were sunk.
Credit to Buf for jumping on Min early. As Marco D'Angleo says on the Beating the Book podcast, no team is bad as their worse game and no team is a good as their best. Buffalo proved that true and it brought us to 4-1 on the week.
Bring on Week 4.