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[Game Preview] Week 4 - Philadelphia Eagles(0-2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (2-1)

Philadelphia Eagles (0-2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
The Eagles are off to their worst start since 1999 when Eagles coach Doug Pederson was the starting QB for the Eagles in Andy Reid’s first season; where the Eagles started 0-3 and finished 5-11. The Eagles look to be on a similar trajectory this season with their 0-2-1 start following an embarrassing tie to the Bengals last week. The Eagles have the toughest remaining schedule in the NFL this season and the Eagles look like a bad football team. There really isn’t any other description of this team. They are bad on every level and it starts from the top. The team has played undisciplined and the offensive and defensive play-calling has been atrocious and has lacked identity. It seems like the game-planning this season has been phoned in with the coaches running the same vanilla offense and defense week in and week out and expecting the players to win it for them which they haven’t. Carson Wentz has regressed to the point he is unrecognizable and is making mistakes from his rookie season. His coaches don’t seem interested in helping him with fix those mistakes either as Doug Pederson and Press Taylor have failed to recognize Carson’s breakdowns in his mechanics. Their gameplans have done him no favors either utilizing a large number of 5 and 7 step drops despite having a multitude of injuries on the offensive line and at the wide receiver position. If the Eagles have any hope of salvaging their season they will need to pull out a win on Sunday night football against the 49ers and their strong defense. The 49ers are dealing with some injuries of their own with Bosa and Sherman on the IR on the defensive side and Jimmy G and Mosert most likely missing the game on offense. The San Fran defense is still tough with an impressive defensive line and speed all over the field. If Doug cares about Carson at all he will move the pocket and rely on Miles Sanders on the ground to keep the pass rush honest. On the defensive side, Schwartz will need to continue to mix it up with blitzes like he did against the Bengals, but he will need to pull his out of his ass in the secondary and learn that his CBs should not be playing 8-10 yards off the ball when playing man coverage. If Schwartz does a lot of the same in the secondary it could be a long day because Shanahan’s offense will exploit it and lead to another Eagles loss, this time in Prime Time. The Eagles will need to figure out how to get a win this week, or this streak of 3 straight playoff appearances will come to an end. Go Birds!
General Information
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Score Prediction Contest
Sunday, October 4th, 2020
Game Time Game Location
8:20 PM - Eastern Levi’s Stadium
7:20 PM - Central 4900 Marie P DeBartolo Way
6:20 PM - Mountain Santa Clara, CA 95054
5:20 PM - Pacific Wikipedia - Map
Weather Forecast
Stadium Type: Open Air
Surface: Grass
Temperature: 74°F
Feels Like: 74°F
Forecast: Clear. Clear throughout the day
Chance of Precipitation: 0%
Cloud Coverage: 1%
Wind: West-Northwest 6 MPH
Betting Odds
Oddsshark Information
Favorite/Opening Line: 49ers -7
OveUnder: 46
Record VS. Spread: Philadelphia 0-3, San Francisco 2-1
Where to Watch on TV
NBC* will broadcast Sunday’s game to a national audience. Al Michaels will handle the play-by-play duties and Chris Collinsworth will provide analysis and Michele Tafoya will report from the sidelines.
TV Map - Week 4 TV Coverage Map
Radio Streams
List of Eagles Radio network member stations with internet broadcast availability 94.1 Desktop Streaming
Listen to Merrill Reese and Mike Quick
Calling the game on 94WIP and the Eagles Radio Network will be Merrill Reese, the NFL’s longest-tenured play-by-play announcer (44th season). Joining Reese in the radio booth will be former Eagles All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick, while Howard Eskin will report from the sidelines.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA WIP-FM 94.1 FM and 610 AM
Allentown, PA WCTO-FM 96.1 FM
Atlantic City/South Jersey WENJ-FM 97.3 FM
Levittown, PA WBCB-AM 1490 AM
Northumberland, PA WEGH-FM 107.3 FM
Pottsville, PA WPPA-AM 1360 AM
Reading, PA WEEU-AM 830 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA WEJL-FM 96.1 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WEJL-AM 630 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WBAX-AM 1240 AM
Williamsport, PA WBZD-FM 93.3 FM
Wilmington, DE WDEL-FM/AM 101.7 FM
York/LancasteHarrisburg, PA WSOX-FM 96.1 FM
Philadelphia Spanish Radio
Rickie Ricardo and Bill Kulik will handle the broadcast in Spanish on Mega 105.7 FM in Philadelphia and the Eagles Spanish Radio Network.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA LA MEGA 105.7 FM
Allentown, PA WSAN 1470 AM
Atlantic City, NJ WIBG 1020 AM; 101.3 FM
49ers Radio
49ers Radio Greg Papa will handle play-by-play and Tim Ryan will provide analysis for the game.
National Radio
Westwood One will broadcast the game nationally with Ryan Radtke handling the play by play and Terrell Davis will provide analysis.
Satellite Radio
Station Eagles Channel 49ers Channel
Sirius Radio SIRI 81 (Streaming 825) SIRI 83 (Streaming 827)
XM Radio XM 226 (Streaming 825) 225 (Streaming 827)
Sirius XM Radio SXM 226 (Streaming 825) SXM 225 (Streaming 827)
Eagles Social Media 49ers Social Media
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram
Snapchat: Eagles Snapchat: sf49ers
NFC East Standings
NFC EAST Record PCT Home Road Div Conf PF PA Net Pts Streak
Football Team 1-2 .333 1-0 0-2 1-0 1-1 62 81 -19 2L
Cowboys 1-2 .333 1-0 0-2 0-0 1-2 88 97 -9 1L
Eagles 0-2-1 .167 0-1-1 0-1 0-1 0-2 59 87 -28 0
Giants 0-3 .000 0-2 0-1 0-0 0-2 38 79 -41 3L
Series Information
Rhe San Francisco 49ers lead the Philadelphia Eagles(San Francisco 49ers lead series, 19-13-1)
Series History
Head to Head Box Scores
First Game Played
October 6th, 1951 at Shibe Park, Philadelphia, PA . Philadelphia Eagles 21 - San Francisco 49ers 14.
Points Leader
Philadelphia Eagles lead San Francisco 49ers (749-733)
Coaches Record
Doug Pederson: 1-0 against the 49ers
Kyle Shanahan: 0-1 against Eagles
Coaches Head to Head
Doug Pederson vs Kyle Shanahan: Pederson leads 1-0
Quarterback Record
Carson Wentz: Against 49ers: 1-0
Jimmy Garapolo: Against Eagles: 0-0
Quarterbacks Head to Head
Carson Wentz v Jimmy Garapolo: First meeting between QBs.
Records per Stadium
Record @ Lincoln Financial Field: Eagles lead 49ers: 3-2
Record @ Levi’s Stadium: 49ers lead Eagles 1-0
Rankings and Last Meeting Information
AP Pro 32 Ranking
Eagles No. 26 - 49ers No. 12
Eagles: 0-2-1
49ers: 2-1
Last Meeting
Sunday, October 29th, 2017
Eagles 34 - 49ers 10
The Eagles looked to win their 6th game in a row against the winless San Francisco 49ers. The Eagles got off to a slow start, only leading 3–0 after the first quarter. Late in the second quarter, the Eagles blew the game open. Carson Wentz found tight end Zach Ertz for a 1-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone off of a bootleg pass, and Jalen Mills intercepted rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown. The 49ers appeared to have some life in the third quarter, following a Carson Wentz interception, leading to a Matt Breida 22 yard touchdown reception. However, the Eagles responded, with Wentz connecting with Alshon Jeffery for a 53-yard touchdown, putting the game out of reach. The Eagles went on to win 33–10 and advanced to 7–1 on the season. Despite the win, the Eagles played a sloppy game on a rainy afternoon in Philadelphia.
Click here to view the Video Recap
Click here to view the Stats Recap
Last 10 Meetings
Date Winner Loser Score
10/29/2017 Eagles 49ers 33-10
9/28/2014 49ers Eagles 26-21
10/2/2011 49ers Eagles 24-23
10/10/2010 Eagles 49ers 27-24
12/20/2009 Eagles 49ers 27-13
10/12/2008 Eagles 49ers 40-26
9/24/2006 Eagles 49ers 38--24
9/18/2005 Eagles 49ers 42-3
12/21/2003 49ers Eagles 31-28
11/25/2002 Eagles 49ers 38-17 
Injury Reports Depth Charts
Eagles Eagles
49ers 49ers
2020 “Expert” Picks
Week 4 - "Expert" Picks
2020 Team Stats
Eagles Season Stats
49ers Season Stats
2020 Stats (Starters/Leaders)
Wentz 79 132 59.85% 737 3 6 63.9
Garoppolo 33 49 67.35% 390 4 0 118.6
Mullens 33 47 70.21% 414 4 1 95.5
Sanders 38 190 95 5.0 1
Mosert 23 148 74.0 6.4 1
Mckinnon 20 139 46.3 7.0 2
Ertz 15 130 43.3 8.7 1
Reed 11 85 28.3 7.7 2
Name Sacks Team Total
Graham 3.0 12
Hyder 2.0 5
Name Total Solo Assist Sacks
Gerry 25 12 13 0.0
Warner 28 17 11 0.0
Name Ints Team Total
N/A 0 0
Tartt/Warner 1 2
Johnston 13 673 62 51.8 45.5 7 1 0
Wishnowsky 8 377 59 47.1 43.6 5 1 0
Elliot 7 6 85.7% 54 5/5
Gould 7 6 85.7% 52 9/9
Kick Returns
Scott 3 61 20.3 25 0
McKinnon 4 87 21.8 29 0
Punt Returns
Ward 3 10 3.3 8 0 3
Taylor 2 21 10.5 12 0 1
League Rankings 2020
Offense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank 49ers Stat 49ers Rank
Total Offense 336.3 24th 381.7 14th
Rush Offense 117.7 17th 132.7 12th
Pass Offense 218.7 24th 249.0 15th
Points Per Game 19.7 27th 29.0 T-11th
3rd-Down Offense 46.8% 9th 47.2 8th
4th-Down Offense 0.0% T-28th 0.0 T-28th
Red Zone Offense (TD%) 57.1% T-20th 61.5% T-16th
Defense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank 49ers Stat 49ers Rank
Total Defense 330.7 5th 304.0 3rd
Rush Defense 106.3 9th 116.7 16th
Pass Defense 224.3 7th 187.3 2nd
Points Per Game 29.0 23rd 15.3 2nd
3rd-Down Defense 34.9% 5th 42.1% 14th
4th-Down Defense 66.7% 21st 25.0% T-6th
Red Zone Defense (TD%) 69.2% 21st 50.0% T-6th
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank 49ers Stat 49ers Rank
Turnover Diff. -7 32nd +3 T-5th
Total Penalties 19 19th 16 T-11th
Total Penalty Yards 143 16th 157 18th
Recap from Last Week’s Games.
Eagles - The Eagles welcomed the Cincinnati Bengals to Lincoln Financial Field seeking their first win over Cincinnati since 2000. After a scoreless first quarter, the two teams traded field goals in the second, before the Bengals took a 10-6 lead on a touchdown reception by Tee Higgins. Wentz responded on the ensuing drive, as he threw his 100th career touchdown pass to Greg Ward to put the Eagles in front 13-10 at halftime. After the Eagles added another Jake Elliott field goal, the Bengals reclaimed a one-point lead with Higgins' second touchdown of the afternoon. Cincinnati would pad its lead to seven points with two fourth-quarter field goals. Trailing 23-16 with just over 3 minutes left in regulation, Philadelphia drove down the field to score the game-tying touchdown on a 7-yard run for Wentz. In overtime, both defenses held strong, with neither team being able to get into field goal range until the final drive, when the Eagles got to the Bengals' 41. However, a costly false start on Matt Pryor brought Philadelphia out of field goal range. The Eagles punted the ball, and the game ended on the following play with the Bengals at their own 20. Despite his milestone, Wentz's struggles continued as he also threw two interceptions for the third straight game and finished the game with a 62.8 passer rating. Philadelphia improved to 0-2-1 with the tie, but failed to snap their winless streak against Cincinnati and fell to 0-3-2 in their last five against the Bengals, including an 0-2-1 mark at Lincoln Financial Field. This marked the Eagles' first tie since 2008, which was also against the Bengals.
49ers - The way the San Francisco 49ers played, missing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and a slew of starters wasn't an issue against the woeful and winless New York Giants, who were also missing their best player in Saquan Barkley. 49ers backup Nick Mullens threw for 343 yards and a touchdown and the Niners controlled the ball on offense, took it away on defense and had another easy day on the East Coast in a 36-9 win at MetLife Stadium Sunday. San Francisco scored on seven of its first eight possessions. It would have been all eight but a snap-hold problem led to Gould missing a 55-yarder. He connected from 52, 32 and 26 yards. The Niners' ninth possession ended the game.
49ers Practice Squad LB Joe Walker played 3 seasons for the Eagles from 2016-2018.
49ers Offensive Quality Control Coach Miles Austin played one season for the Eagles in 2015.
49ers Inside LB coach Demeco Ryans played 4 seasons for the Eagles from 2012-2015.
49ers Assistant Special Teams coach Michael Clay was a Defensive Special Assistant (2014) and Assistant Special Teams coach(2015) from 2014-2015.
49ers RB Raheem Mosert was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and was placed on their practice squad before he was signed off the practice squad by the Miami Dolphins.
Eagles Special Teams coach Dave Fipp worked as the Assistant special teams coach for the 49ers from 2008-2010.
Eagles Senior Offensive Assistant Rich Scangarello worked as the QB coach for the 49ers from 2017-2018.
Eagles Senior Offensive Assistant Marty Mornhinweg worked for the 49ers as Offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach from 1997-2000.
Eagles WR Marquise Goodwin played 3 seasons for the 49ers from 2017-2019.
2020 Pro Bowlers
Eagles 49ers
DT Fletcher Cox (Starter) FB Kyle Juszczyk (Starter)
OG Brandon Brooks (Starter) TE George Kittle (Starter)
C Jason Kelce (Starter) DE Nick Bosa (Starter)
LS Rick Lovato (Starter) CB Richard Sherman(Starter)
TE Zach Ertz
SS Malcom Jenkings (1st Alt)
OT Lane Johnson (1st Alt
Referee: Bill Vinovich
Dating back to 2005, Philadelphia has won 6 of its last 8 games vs. San Francisco. In the last meeting between the two teams, the Eagles defeated the 49ers, 33-10, at Lincoln Financial Field.
Additionally, Philadelphia has captured 4 of its previous 5 road games against San Francisco since 2002.
The Eagles defense, which collected a season-high 8.0 sacks in Week 3 vs. Cincinnati, is tied for the 3rd-most sacks (12.0) in the NFL, behind Pittsburgh (15.0) and Washington (13.0).
Brandon Graham is tied for the 5th-most sacks (team-high 3.0) in the NFL this season. He needs only 1.0 sack to surpass Hugh Douglas (54.5, 1998-2002, ‘04) for the 4th-most sacks in team history, trailing only Reggie White (124.0, 1985-92), Trent Cole (85.5, 2005-14) and Clyde Simmons (76.0, 1986-93).
Miles Sanders has produced the 7th-most rushing yards (190) in the NFL since Week 2 (95 rushing yards each against the Rams and Bengals). Sanders has also totaled 100+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his last 5 regular-season games.
Draft Picks
Eagles 49ers
WR Jalen Raegor DT Javon Kinlaw
QB Jalen Hurts WR Brandon Aiyuk
LB Davion Taylor OT Colton McKivitz
S K’Von Wallace TE Charlie Woerner
OT Jack Driscoll WR Jauan Jennings
WR John Hightower
LB Shaun Bradley
WR Quez Watkins
OT Prince Tega Wanogho
LB/DE Casey Toohill
Notable Off-season Additions
Eagles 49ers
S Will Parks OT Trent Williams
DT Javon Hargrave WR Mohamed Sanu
CB Nickell Robey-Coleman DT Kerry Hyder
CB Darius Slay C Hroniss Grasu
WR Tavon Austin
TE Jordan Reed
DE Dion Jordan
Notable Off-season Departures
Eagles 49ers
S Malcom Jenkins OT Joe Staley
CB Ronald Darby DT Deforest Buckner
RB Jordan Howard WR Emmanuel Sanders
WR Nelson Agholor WR Marquise Goodwin
OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai DT Sheldon Day
LB Kamu Grugler-Hill RG Mike Person
RB Darren Sproles TE Garret Celek
DT Timmy Jernigan
LB Nigel Bradham
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (6397) needs 68 yards to move up to 3rd on the Eagles all-time receiving yards list all-time passing WR *Mike Quick
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (34) needs 2 TDs to move into a tie for 7th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list tying WR Jeremy Maclin
Eagles DE Brandon Graham (54) needs 1 sack to move to 4th on the Eagles all-time sack list passing DE Hugh Douglas
Eagles DT Fletcher Cox (49) needs 1.5 sacks to move up to 6th on the Eagles all-time sack list tying DE Greg Brown
Eagles DE Vinny Curry (27.5) needs 2 sacks to move up to 18th on the Eagles all-time sack list tying DT Jerome Brown
49ers DE Arik Armstead(20) needs 2 sacks to move up to 20th on the 49ers all-time sack list passing OLB Parys Haralson.
Stats to Know
Receiving RBs
What if I told you the Niners have two of the league’s best receiving Running Backs? (Yes, one is hurt). What if I also told you the Eagles’ defenders are presently poop covering RBs against the pass? That about sums it up. Mr. McKinnon should have a fun day.
Matchups to Watch
Carson Wentz
This is the only real battle that matters since it's extremely difficult to win in the NFL with poor QB play. Wentz is among the worst QBs in the league to start the season and it could be a significant amount of time before he changes course. Even the most stalwart Wentz supporters must admit he is also a problem with this team right now. With that said, in order to win this game, and any game moving forward, the Eagles need Carson Wentz to improve. Philly can't use the injury excuse in this particular matchup as the Niners are one of the only teams to be in a similar or worse injury predicament than the Eagles. Even with the injuries, the Niners are able to show up and show out on a weekly basis... They are a great team. Wentz has had issues in all areas pertaining to play. He needs to be more precise, smarter, and more relaxed. This team sucks; it's likely no amount of heroism if going to pull this team from the depths of the league this season. The only thing Carson Wentz can do is his job. He's not responsible for coaching blunders, other injuries, or a GM that can't get anything right. Just get better and when he does, this team can actually be competitive.
Kyle Shanahan and his offensive genius vs Jim Schwartz and the LBs and Safeties
It should be no surprise the Eagles LBs and Safeties struggle in coverage as they did nothing in the offseason to add players that can cover. Plain and simple. This is a defense with a great defensive line, a great CB1, and that's it. They struggle to play consistent run defense now with the mediocre talent in the second and third levels. Kyle Shanahan is one of the most innovative offensive minds in the NFL; if you thought the thumping Sean McVay gave us was painful, wait until we see what's in store from the guy who mentored McVay. Shanahan lives for finding your weakest links in the LB and Safety rooms and exploiting that deficiency mercilessly. Nate Gerry is about to have his worst game ever - and that says something. George Kittle should return for this contest which is a tremendous mismatch that the Niners will exploit. Even the best cover guys in the league struggle against Kittle as he's just a monster. Shanahan will use all kinds of motion, misdirection, and play action that will cause this defense to struggle mightily absent some sort of miracle where they learn to play. I have faith that the defensive line can play well, but as we saw in week 2, all the motion, misdirection, and play action teams use can neutralize a pass rush. Lastly, can Schwartz even put his guys in better positions? Yeah, probably not.
Doug Pederson’s Offensive Game Plan vs the Niners Defense
I tried to have a more nuanced look at this matchup but it is difficult. The Eagles offense is marred by underachieving talent and injuries to start the season. Furthermore, they weren't given enough to work with by the front office but that is an entirely different discussion. Point blank: the offensive coaching staff, led by Doug Pederson, has struggled to consistently put its players in successful situations to start the season. It's not all Doug's fault but a large part of it is. There wasn't a real identity to this offense to start and that's only gotten worse 4 weeks in. This roster isn't going to suddenly improve overnight, if at all this season, so it's up to the coaching staff to help the offense succeed. There are a lot of new cooks involved in creating the offensive game plan but not enough overall direction from the man in charge. The Niners defense has plenty of injuries to key players as well; can they design a function offense built on spare parts to put up a fight? Or will they punt?
Special thanks to MikeTysonChicken and abenyishay for their help in creating this Game Preview.
submitted by Rsubs33 to eagles [link] [comments]

Elephants on the Field: Week 2


Winning at fantasy means making predictions and acting on them prior to other players. To do that, you don't always have the privileges of hindsight and deduction. You will need foresight and inference. I hope to offer a some good if not somewhat inferential arguments for why some early moves on this weekly (if I have time) post.
Fantasy thinking is often over-obsessed with statistical correlations at the expense of firm causal understanding of what is happening on the field. The forest is often lost for the trees. A combination of understanding the game of football, recognizing interconnected changes that will influence teams, and eye testing the games themselves is the best antidote to the groupthink, herd-mentality of fantasy football expertism which, time and again, proves spotty at best in anticipating changes.
Last week I posted this as "Eye-tested Takes" but I realized that's not what I was aiming for. A variety of posters and services watch the whole game and give you maximally thorough takes on every snap. I won't offer much of an opinion on players/teams I don't watch. I'll always watch enough. However, a lot of what I'll make as the case for picking up (or dropping) a player will be based on obvious things that are happening that rankings-myosis may miss.
There's always an elephant in the room that no one want's to acknowledge. This post gives fantasy advice that accounts for the elephants on the field.

Things I'm right about (so far):

1. Rivers Noodle Arm = Colts Lean into Jonathon Taylor:
With the quality of that offensive line, Mack going down, and Rivers looking like shit, Jonathon Taylor may end-up being a top-5 back this year. TY Hilton and Parris Campbell are going to disappoint you.
A bunch of commenters disagreed, insisting Hines was the guy to get and Taylor as a top-5 was nuts. This is an instance of the eye-test making people too smart. Yes, Taylor netted 22 yards on 9 carries week 1. Who cares, he was great in college (larger sample size) and more importantly, Rivers looks SOOO spent that Taylor is the only obvious bell-cow RB for what is probably the best O-line in the league. You want that. Rivers threw it 25 times in week two (down from 44). Taylor had 26 carries, 2 receptions, 110 yards, and 1 touchdown. It was obvious what had to happen in Indy but fantasy groupthink herded everyone toward Hines.
If you had the audacity to ignore me on this (/s), the good news is there's still time. His trade value has skyrocketed on most charts but he's not quite valued as a top back yet. If you get the feel someone is under-valuing him, don't wait longer because his first 2 TD game is going to make him inaccessible in a trade. The Colts defense is also looking good enough to maintain a lead throughout a game, opening-up more run play calls. (Rivers sucking is going to do that all the time anyway).
And if you still don't believe me, watch his highlights from this week and you'll see why he could be such a focal point. He does a lot of things that coaches like to lean-into: great ball security, adds 2-3 yards to the end of runs, explosive speed when he has big holes.
2.Browns Offense is fine:
Don't panic about the Browns offense. Baker Mayfield looked like trash but the running offense actually looked pretty good at times...Stefanski is the guy you need to believe in... The biggest takeway from the game isn't the Browns offense is bad, its that the Ravens defense is great.
Both Browns running back scored multiple TD's and registered more than 150 yards each week 2. Baker continued to suck and it didn't matter. Stefanski's offense is good and his coaching career is a testament to his talent. All-Ivy-League Football Player. First coaching job was in the NFL. They wouldn't let him leave for 14 years because they knew he was a talent.
So don't run from Chubb or Hunt yet. And if you have them both, start them both and don't feel bad (unless you have a clearly better option like Zeke too...then probably favor starting Kareem Hunt the larger your ppr value, but its a tough call). The Browns are a perfect storm that make both startable: (a) Both Chubb and Hunt have top-5 rb talent and it comes across when you watch them on the field. With good combinations of strength and speed, each one is TD risk on every snap. (b) Sefanski divides snaps very well. Both are getting touches-a-plenty. They just signed they're "back-up" RB to a new contract (I mean, how often does that happen in the modern NFL?). KS also divides snaps by drive, unless a drive gets very long, so even if Chubb is doing well, he's going to give Kareem Hunt a whole drive. (c) starting both is fading Baker which is smart. The Browns are going to increasingly realize that their offense is more effective with Baker doing less. They may even move to Case Keenum (their back-up, legit didn't know that last week) and that's fine for Chubb/Hunt.
I wouldn't run from OBJ or Jarvis Landry yet either, though Baker's ineptitude has got to make you worry. Think about what Minnesota offenses did over the years with Diggs, Theilen, etc. Both OBJ and Landry are going to be solid bets for big-play TD's (like OBJ's last Thursday) here and there but likely not breaking the top-10. Still, the talent ceiling is high with both so a buy-low scenario where you get them in a trade could pay-off if you bet on Stefanski more than Mayfield.
3. Deandre Hopkins is the WR1
Deandre Hopkins will be the #1 fantasy receiver this year... And most importantly, the offensive situation in Arizona is the perfect storm for his fantasy situation. Kyler Murray is good, but he's not working his way through progressions yet.
Hopkins nabbed a TD but only had 9 targets this week. I'll admit that I only watched Kyler Murray's highlights so forgive me if its there and I didn't see it, buuuuut...He's not completing passes to 2nd and 3rd reads. Its one read then run. That's great for Hopkins' stats because the further into the season they get, the MORE Hopkins is going to be involved on plays designed to chuck it to him, no matter what. Hopkins is one of those guys that's always open, and Kyler is a smart player who knows that AND knows he's not good enough yet to start looking for someone else if Hopkins is "covered". That may hurt the Cardinals at some point. But Hopkins is getting fed this season.
And obviously, a rash of injuries at WR has made this look to be a better prediction. Hopkins is already a stud in that offense and he's still learning it. His stock is only going up from here.
Its true the WR's new offenses typically do poorly. A couple of reasons why that's not true of Hopkins: (a) he's physically the most gifted receiver in the league. Randy Moss kicked ass his first year with the Patriots. Some players are talented enough that it doesn't take time, as long as they're smart as hell like Randy Moss or (b) Hopkins is an intelligent dude. He negotiated his own contract and didn't fuck it up. He wants to be G.M. Big brained guy, he'll pick up quickly. You can see that on the field, he's constantly looking back at Kyler to make sure he did the right thing on each play. (c) HOF'er in the WR room: Fitz will get him up to speed fast.
Quick note about Kyler Murray: He's tearing it up. One encouraging thing that you might not see how little he's allowing himself to be tackled. As a fantasy owner, that's encouraging because it suggests he can sustain a high running floor and not get injured. And there's an added assurance that he's putting those slides for zero yards (for example) on tape because the coaches see that too and are more willing to call more of those plays down the stretch. Still, I wouldn't compare him to Lamar Jackson last season yet. Lamar Jackson was throwing TD's to his 4th and 5th read in week 1 against the Dolphins last season. Murray may hit a scheme ceiling where defenses, especially good ones, start to take away his 1 and 2 and contain his run game (though it is strong and he has good vision).

Things I was totally wrong about: zero things!

HA! Next section!

Things I'm not right about yet but pretty soon I will be:

1. Joe Burrow AJ Green is going to be good.
If you watch the game, you see Joe Burrow fitting the ball into tight windows in clutch situations. In fact, he wasn't finding a lot of open receivers, he was throwing the ball well/correctly into great coverage and making lemonade. Also, AJ Green is looking fully healthy and like his old self.
Well, AJ Green was targeted 13 times and caught...3 of those passes for 29 yards. So clearly, the chemistry between them was oversold by me last week. Still, 13 targets is encouraging and so is the Bengals inability to run the ball. No matter how much they try, they're wretched run-blocking always leaves them down late in games and in 3rd-and-forever situations. They just let a rookie throw it 61 times.
Another consideration is that Denzel Ward was covering Green all night:
A.J. Green has had an up-and-down career vs. the Browns. Thursday’s game was on the down side, and it had mostly to do with Denzel Ward.
Green had three catches for 29 yards. Overall, Ward broke up three passes against the Bengals. And according to Next Gen Stats, Ward was making life difficult for Joe Burrow all night, forcing eight tight window passes in 11 targets as the nearest defender.
Green is still pretty low on trade value charts but stands to have a huge upside as Burrow's primary target.
2. Rodgers is back.
...are there really any physical traits that are important to his game that would fade significantly at 36 year's old? I didn't see any missing zip off of his throws. I did see fucking darts getting tossed all over the field into tiny windows.
Aaron Jones is the #1 fantasy RB right now so obviously saying Rodgers is fully back is pre-mature. However, he is impressing with some very, very pretty darts.
Also, the elephant on the field for the Packers is that Aaron Rodgers is a player driven by ego. Not a knock on him, he's just a guy who needs mojo to play at his finest. Maybe it required the stimulation of an insulting draft pick to prod him back into his HOF form. I'm not saying Rodgers can be a top 3 QB this year with Jackson and Murray running so well, but 4 or 5 doesn't seem out of reach.
Rodgers is pff top-graded QB right now btw.

Fresh takes:

1.The Ravens are the best defense in the NFL.
The loss of Earl Thomas is doesn't matter as much as what has been gained with Patrick Queen and L.J. Fort. Queen is incredibly fast and explosive underneath, getting into the backfield and making big plays. And L.J. Fort (top rated pff lb right now) combine to give them rangey-coverage, tackling, and pass break-up ability over the middle they didn't have before which has further weaponized they're depth at CB (Humphrey, Peters, Smith). Peters specifically is a ball hawk that's found a great home in Baltimore; he couldn't scheme well anywhere else but Harbaugh has found a way to give him the freedom to ball hawk. Over the long haul, Harbaugh has maintained a great defense, regardless of departures/changes, for years and years. When he has this much talent, his defenses are typically dominant.
Be warry of starting iffy players against them at any position.
They're worth trading for, I think the turnovedef TD potential makes them worth it.
2. J.K. Dobbins will break-out out as the preferred option in the Ravens backfield.
Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards have both proven to be reliable RB's for the Raven offense. But Ingram is 30 with over 200 carries in 3 of the last 4 seasons. Edwards has been reliable, a home-grown UDFA. But at 238lbs and without elite speed, he's leaving many big runs on the table.
Dobbins didn't attend the combine. But ran a 4.44 high school:
Dobbins posted a 4.44s 40-yard dash, 4.09s short shuttle and a 43.1-inch vertical jump as a high school senior at the event. There are also many reports that Dobbins squatted over 700 pounds.
He has power running balance and break-out speed that NONE of the other backs in Baltimore have. 4th rounder Justice Hill was their attempt of to develop that speed last year but didn't break out.
A couple of elephants make this one a good bet:
(a) Lamar's durability -- right now, he's taking a bunch of carries because he's the only one in their backfield that has the speed to break huge runs. If Dobbins can fill that role, Lamar Jackson can afford to take fewer chances and John Harbaugh can opt to only drop him back to pass 7 times in the second half when they're winning, like what happened in week 2.
(b) that defense -- Baltimore's defense is going to be great enough this year to take over games, making steady doses of run plays inevitable as they'll spend a lot of games up by 2 scores. Yes, they were up like that a lot last year but their only homerun hitter in the backfield was Lamar (see above, Justice Hill wasn't getting it done).
Here's an example: this is a shot from Gus Edwards' 22 yard scamper last week:
The Ravens offensive line is good at opening holes like this. While it didn't prove important in this game (BAL was up 30-16 at the time), each run like this where a more explosive player could scored is an opportunity cost for the people calling plays. And its not just points left behind, its points scored while Lamar is watching like a fan. Its points that could allow more aggressive defensive play calling. If you're a coach for Baltimore, you don't necessarily want Lamar to have a gaudy stat-line every week if you're winning. If he can throw 16 passes in a game and then sit-out the 4th quarter, that's ideal from the franchise's perspective (though not so much for Fantasy managers). Each Ingram/Edwards run that coulda been a touchdown means there's more time on the field for Lamar, larger portion of the game where they're not playing a dominant lead, and higher chance that they'll lose because points were left on the field. They need someone else hitting home runs in the running game.
Am I fading Lamar because of all of this? Not yet. Eye test = that guy is a singular talent. His throwing motion is smooth like Vick's, just a gifted, effortless release. He's also great at mostly avoiding contact (though all contact is bad contact if you're his coaches). Great decision maker too. Makes multiple reads on plays. Can't say enough about how great of player he is. Still, Baltimore is well put-together enough that they may be able to functionally win without him. So don't be surprised if, especially approaching the playoffs, Baltimore starts calling plays that don't involve as much Lamar. What's scary is that they may be a complete football team without him and he's the reigning MVP.
Finally, Dobbins had two carries last week. One was for a 44 yard gain where the blocking was good but not nearly as good as the image above. Even if the transition to him isn't fast, he could force the issue like Chubb did his rookie year, gaining 100 yards on 3 carries in a game.
No matter what, the Ravens will run by committee but there will come a point where the player to start out of the trio is Dobbins without a doubt.
3. Minshew is the truth and his team situation makes him a great fantasy player.
Minshew isn't the most talented QB in the league. But above all things, he is competitive and scrappy. The Jags are good but not great so he's going need a lot of that scrappy-iness (lol, just say that sentence out loud, you'll hear it). James Robinson is very good and they're going to lean on him a lot. But when the time for much needed yards and points, it seems like the Jags tag Gardner Minshew II's Id in at offensive coordinator. Minshew isn't likely going to be top-5 qb but he might make the top 10 and is likely easier to get than other top targets.
Part of the reason DJ Chark isn't getting the production folks hoped is because Minshew is effectively spreading the ball around. Good for the jags, bad for fantasy owners. I wouldn't panic.
One of his targets I picked-up to stash is Laviska Shenault Jr. He's getting a legit number of carries each week and averaging over 10 yards per reception. He's an interesting pick-up because he doubles as handcuffs for Robinson. Seems like his carry count could go up to 10ish no problem if the Jags lost Robinson. So pay attention to what position he's listed in your league, scoring rules about how carries count in ppr, etc. But he passes the eye test, very shifty and fast on the field.
4. Teams that are quickly turning into dumpster fires that you should across-the-board fade:
Gase is the worst. Never underestimate the ability of a shitty boss to ruin a workspace and make everyone fucking hate themselves, even though they're well compensated to play a game for a living. Listen, I know there's always gems on bad teams. But I have high blood pressure. So tuning into games with players I need to play well and watching the offense go 3-and-out 5 times in a row...I'm literally too old for that shit now so I try to stray-away from dumpster fire teams.
Kubiak has got some big Stefanski shoes to fill and he's doing a bad job so far. I wouldn't panic about Dalvin Cook yet but another bad couple of weeks and I'd start shopping him. See the Browns thing above: Stefanski may have made the Vikings offense look better than it actually was for a decade. Combine that with the defense whose secondary would be better if they were scare crows and you're looking at a team that can't plan to run the ball for more than a quarter or 2.
Teams to be worried about:
Whew, the injuries. They're basically just starting with new team. We'll see how things go.
Matt Patricia may have lost this team. And coaches like him don't recover team faith/confidence well in a loss-spiral.
BoB is going to crash that plane into a mountain while we all watch. Poor Watson, just watching Deandre Hopkins ball-out. One thing you can still bet on for awhile out of the Texans offense; Bill O'Brien is ego- and career-invested in David Johnson doing great things. He'll role with him when he shouldn't to prove to everyone that he was right to trade Nuk. Its dumb. But he's dumb.

Fortune Favors The Bold (FFTB) Predictions

WARNING: What you're about to read is not necessarily good fantasy advice, but things for me to say "told you so" about a week from now. I take no responsibility for any money you lose (and all responsibility for the money you win). Still, Alexander the Great said, Fortune Favors the Bold.
  1. JK Dobbins scores more fantasy points than CEH this week. (This prediction is backed-up by the time-honored tradition of spitting in one's hand and shaking on it so this shit is serious. Its also painful because I'm a Chiefs fan.)
  2. Laviska Shenault scores a running and a receiving touchdown tonight.
  3. Jonathon Taylor is the RB1 this week and its not close.
  4. Danny Dimes throws 3 TD's this week against the 49ers.
I'm probably wrong about most of this shit but FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD!

Thanks for reading! If I continue to be kind mostly right and people find it a good read, I'll keep posting these each week. Good luck!

EDIT: Thanks for the awards and upvotes strangers! I'll bring the column back next week. Appreciate the comments too, thanks for the banter, shit-talk, and criticism. I'll be spittin in palms again soon.
EDIT AGAIN: Thanks again for the feedback. This is fun and I'm going to enjoy doing it again next week. Some of the comments have suggested that the post doesn't really go out on many limbs. I'll do that more in the future. I've also added an extra section with a few "FFTB predictions" for this week.
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Drop your kicker week 4: Hold Andy Isabella, add Justin Jackson

First, I want to thank everyone for reading last week, and also for shouting me out in this sub when my Isabella take hit. I had a ton of fun screaming in my living room when Isabella scored twice as a 1% rostered player.
Before I get to this week’s pickup, I wanted to spend a moment to review where we’re at with players I recommended in previous weeks. So far, every player I’ve recommended has gone on to score a touchdown the week that I recommended them. That kind of success rate is unsustainable. I’m bound to hit regression at some point. What I hope I’ve demonstrated so far, is that if we find data to support our claims, we can find guys on the waiver wire that the hive mind has dismissed unfairly. That’s how we win. On most of my rosters, I try and keep one slot open to cycle through players who might break out soon. To me this is a better use of your bench spots than holding a player who will likely be just barely better than what is on the waiver wire anyway. We want to shoot for upside whenever we can. Even if we’re more skilled than our opponents, we can expect to lose most leagues we’re in. This is a game with a lot of variance, so we want to make moves that might give us enough upside to win the whole damn thing.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling is in line for a huge workload with the news that Allen Lazard went to IR. This one is interesting, because I was ultimately wrong about MVS overtaking Lazard for the WR2 role on the Packers, but now that doesn’t matter. Aaron Rodgers is throwing the ball well and we should have MVS in our lineups this week, since the Falcons pass defense is terrible. Someone might have dropped MVS after his dud last week. I would double check and see if he’s available.
Corey Davis has been meh, and now he’s unexpectedly on bye this week. In smaller leagues, I might consider dropping him, but if you have the room, I would hold for now. Adam Humphries is on the Covid list, so Davis is in line for more targets if the Titans are able to play week 5. Also, AJ Brown is set to return, which might leave Corey Davis a bit more open as he battles with lesser cornerbacks going forward.
Andy Isabella is still poised to break out. I think it’s clear at this point that he’s a better player than Christian Kirk. Last week, Isabella was used more in the slot and got 2 red zone targets, which he converted into two touchdowns on limited snaps. Christian Kirk and Deandre Hopkins are both questionable for week 4 right now, and I would certainly be willing to start Isabella if both Kirk and Hopkins were to sit this week. I added Isabella in every single league where I didn’t have him already, and I think you should too. If both Kirk and Hopkins play, I’m going to keep him on my bench.
On to this week’s “drop your kicker” player of the week… Justin Jackson. Now to get this out of the way, I’m not saying Justin Jackson is necessarily going to see playing time right away. I’m not saying to add him over guys like Brian Hill or Rex Burkhead who you’ve heard about all week. As a reminder, this column is intended for people who play in deeper leagues, with at least 12 teams, where you can start 3WR and a flex, and 6-8 bench spots. This advice is also primarily for people who play in FAAB leagues, where pickups become expensive after they break out. We want to add these players before they breakout so we don’t have to use our precious FAAB dollars on them later.
Justin Jackson is third on the depth chart right now, so why are we adding a guy who Numberfire predicts a workload of less than one touch for? Going into the season, it was unclear who the number 2 RB on the depth chart would be for Chargers. A lot of people started to hear buzz about Joshua Kelley this off season, and for managers who scooped him up, he’s been a good fantasy asset so far. He’s been getting a lot more work than your typical back up RB, and this whole offense is doing a lot better with Justin Herbert under center. Kelley is still a better add than Justin Jackson if for some reason he’s still available. I would also add guys like Brian Hill over Jackson. But that’s not why you’re here. This column is for people in deep leagues who have nothing left on the waiver wire.
Joshua Kelley lost a fumble last week. Rookie QB Justin Herbert also threw an interception and lost a fumble as well. The Chargers lost their second game in a row at least in part due to those turnovers. Coach Lynn has already publicly shared that he has plays ready for Justin Jackson if he is going to be active. I imagine Jackson will get at least a few touches, based on what Lynn is saying. But what happens if Kelley fumbles again? Lynn sounded pretty angry about the turnovers at the end of the game last week, and he did start using Ekeler way more after Kelley fumbled last week. Even if Jackson is not active for this game, he still has an out if there is an injury ahead of him, or Kelley fumbles the back up role away.
I’m not saying to start Justin Jackson this week. I’m not even saying to add him over Kelley. In the two leagues where I have Kelley, I added Justin Jackson also. We’ve seen that this backfield can accommodate two productive RBs at once. Both this year with Ekeler and Kelley, and in previous years with Ekeler and Melvin Gordon. Imagine if Ekeler has a season ending injury tomorrow. You might actually have not one but two starters on a weekly basis. At one point this season Kelley and Ekeler were both in the top ten RBs in terms of touches. That’s the kind of opportunity share we should be chasing. A lot of people were drafting Jackson early this off season, since it wasn’t clear that Kelley had secured the number 2 job until he broke out in week 1. Jackson was still getting work that game before he left with an injury.
Justin Jackson comes from Northwestern, which doesn’t necessarily have a history of producing great NFL running backs, but we already saw Jackson be productive at the NFL level, so I think we can throw our college evaluations out the window, now that he’s shown he can produce in the NFL. In 2018, he had two games with over 15 PPR points helping a lot of people dealing with RB injuries late in the season who grabbed him off the waiver wire. He didn’t do nearly as much last year, but he also just didn’t have nearly as much opportunity. On player profiler, we can see that Jackson has an 84th percentile burst score, which can be predictive of RB success in the NFL. He also had a high college target share of 12.8% which is in the 87th percentile. Running backs who have a good target share in college tend to do better than those RBs whose college team did not trust them in the passing game. Joshua Kelley has a low 23rd percentile burst score, and 9.2% percent target share at UCLA, which is in the 69th percentile.
All we can really do when looking at real deep league plays is find a player who has the talent to produce, who also has a route to more opportunity. The Chargers have the third lowest implied team total according to Vegas betting lines, and we saw last week that Kelley’s usage can be game flow dependent. I think they’re more comfortable using Jackson as a pass catcher than they are Kelley. So if the Chargers fall behind, and they don’t want to give Ekeler too much of a workload, we could definitely see them turn to Justin Jackson. And then we just wait and see if he produces. If he doesn’t we simply swap him out for next week’s top waiver claims.
Please don’t start Jackson over better options this week. And speaking of better options, you can find a player I would pick up instead if I needed a RB starter this week over on my Twitter. If you like my column, consider giving me a follow.
Thanks for reading, and remember, churn that roster!
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My Proposal for Detroit's Future

Well, we lost, which means we are back to being bad. Jokes aside, the win last weekend was fun, but as I think today showed, it was merely a mirage. The evidence leans toward Matt Patricia not being a good coach, and I think it will be best that he and Detroit go in separate ways at the seasons end.
And to be clear, Patricia still has a chance to turn the season around and get Detroit into contention. I think people forget that the Titans were 2-4 last year before winding up in the AFC Championship Game. I absolutely do not believe this will happen for Detroit, but rather, just being realistic that Detroit's schedule will ease up here soon enough, and maybe that gives them the confidence they need to make some things happen. But unless Patricia makes the playoffs, I am prepared, even eager I dare say, to move on.
Now, I am obviously not Sheila Ford. But if I were, this is how I would approach this offseason.

General Manager

The biggest question, should Detroit falter is what happens to Bob Quinn. While most would probably assume that Quinn and Patricia's fates are tied together, I think it could be a little bit more complicated than that. Allow me to elaborate on this.
First and foremost, my view of the role of the GM is to work in conjunction with your head coach to create a vision for what the team will look like. The coach then goes about implementing that vision on the practice field and in games, developing and coaching the team to wins in whatever fashion they think they can. The GM goes about implementing that vision in the free agent markets, on the trade blocs, and in the draft room.
In this sense, I think you could actually argue that Bob Quinn has been effective. He has built the Detroit Lions in the image of the New England Patriots, largely by bringing in former Patriots and players with a similar skill set. In terms of swiftly restyling the team, Quinn has arguably done exactly this. He's given Patricia personnel that match the scheme both in the draft and in free agency. As the executioner of this flawed vision, Quinn has managed to reshape them. He is effective in building a wannabe Patriots. Most will focus on the wannabe Patriots, as the issue, and to a large degree, they aren't wrong. But what they miss is that Quinn has done it effectively.
Now, there are surely some poor decisions mixed in there. Quinn missed on some draft evaluations like Jarrad Davis and Teez Tabor. He did ship out Quandre Diggs for pennies and missed the window to extend Kenny Golladay before it could get more expensive. This isn't to say that Quinn is perfect, in fact, I'm not even arguing Quinn is a relatively good GM, just that he effectively executed a vision. Personally, I wish he had embraced a better vision, and for that, I'd have no issue firing him. But rather, just making the case that Quinn could stick around for another coaching hire. After all, it was Quinn who fired Jim Caldwell for his utter inability to beat good teams, only to turn around and hire buddy buddy Matty P who struggles to even beat bad teams.
If Quinn is gone, let's look at some of the names to replace him....

General Manager Candidates

The first name that usually comes to everyone's mind is Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds. A widely regarded scout during his time in Seattle, Colts current GM Chris Ballard swiped Dodds away by making him his number two in Indy. He's played a big part in rebuilding the Colts roster, whether bringing in guys like Denico Autry or Kenny Moore, or drafting players like Braden Smith and Darius Leonard. While he's clearly a top option for just about anyone, there are some questions about whether or not he even wants the spotlight of a GM position. From Bleacher Report's Matt Miller: "he doesn't particularly like the attention that comes with being a decision-maker and might not even have the desire to be a general manager." Personally, I don't think someone who is hesitant to take on a general manager role in the first place would be eager to go to the Lions, given our horrid history.
Dodds was from the line of Seahawks GM John Schneider, and he has a few other deputies who could be interesting candidates, notably Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer. Originally a scout himself, he's been in Seattle for awhile now, and was huge piece of the 2010-2012 draft classes that produced Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Bobby Wagner. Additionally, he serves alongside fellow co-director of player personnel, Trent Kirchner, who also figures to be an intriguing candidate.
Detroit may want to consider getting someone with experience running their own show, and if that's the case, Saints assistant GM Jeff Ireland could be an interesting name. Ireland was the Dolphins GM from 2008 until 2013, a time when they weren't as bad as they have been the past few seasons. Over his stretch, they peaked in year one with a playoff berth, and proceeded to go 7-9 just about every year following. So why would Detroit be interested in Ireland? Well, he has had time to reflect on the mistakes made during his time, and spent the past few years working in a better organization (the Saints) where you get an idea of new ways to approach things.
I live in Denver, and happen to be connected to a few Broncos employees out here, one of whom would actually have respectable insight, so I texted him and asked "who should Detroit consider for a new GM?". His response was 49ers VP of player personnel Adam Peters who was with Denver for a few years during their Super Bowl run. He ran college scouting in Denver, and now works alongside John Lynch in building the monstrosity that is the 49ers roster. He even made one the "GM candidates to know" lists that people put out, so it seems some others would share the hype.
Looking at other successfully run organizations, the Baltimore Ravens and director of player personnel Joe Hortiz come to mind. Horitz has been in Baltimore under both Ozzie Newsome and DeCosta, so he's clearly seen what a well-run organization looks like, one that isn't exclusively tied to a legendary head coach. He's played a large role in scouting (1998-2016), a time in which Baltimore added stars like Ronnie Stanley, Za'Darius Smith, C.J Mosley, Brandon Williams, Kelechi Osemele, and Jimmy Smith amongst plenty of others.
If Detroit wants to take a wild swing at the television personalities, like the Raiders did with Mike Mayock, the top candidate there would probably be ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, who was a pro scout with the Redskins for a few years, and worked as director of player personnel for both the Redskins and Eagles.
One person I just want to clearly rule out is Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio. First and foremost, if Bill O'Brien survives the 2020 season as head coach of the Texans, Caserio will be named their new GM. Second, Detroit absolutely needs to avoid another born and raised Patriots executive. So no Caserio. If so, we riot.
I think, ultimately for me, Ireland has too much baggage, Riddick is too much of a wild card, and Dodds isn't likely to leave for Detroit. Therefore, my top target is probably going to be Scott Fitterer, but I'd be thoroughly pleased with Kirchner, Peters, or Hortiz.

Head Coaching Candidates

Not even debating it. Matt Patricia is out. Between an archaic scheme, contentious relations with star players, and poor awareness with the media, Patricia hasn't shown he's worth it. We will be parting ways with him, and I'm sure he'll end up with the Patriots, Giants, or Dolphins in some assistant capacity.
The first name to mention is Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Everyone knows the deal here, I'm not getting too much into it. Same with Michigan-native, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. We'll be discussing less talked about candidates here.
One name that does not get a lot of hype is Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman. He remains one of the absolute best at tailoring offenses to create dynamic rushing attacks with dual-threat quarterbacks. While Matthew Stafford isn't exactly a dual-threat QB, perhaps a pairing of Roman and OSU QB Justin Fields could be a lot of fun to watch. Roman has called offenses for both Harbaugh brothers, in San Francisco with Jim where he created an offense for Colin Kaepernick, and now in Baltimore with John and Lamar Jackson.
One Kansas City coach who doesn't get as much hype as he probably should is Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub. He's a trusted assistant for Andy Reid, and historically speaking, special teams coordinators actually have a fairly high success rate. He's been highly regarded for his leadership within the Chiefs franchise these past few years.
If Detroit wants to keep a defensive focus at the head coaching spot, then Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus is one of the best in the business. Quoting CBS here, "Energetic and disciplined, he's Frank Reich's most well-rounded companion". Eberflus runs a fairly creative defensive scheme that has allowed guys like Darius Leonard to thrive, focusing on getting elite athletes across the board. His defense is so fun, that in Week 3 they actually caught more touchdowns passes from Jets QB Sam Darnold than Darnold was able to throw to members of his own team.
Another defensive mind who should be under consideration is Ravens defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale. He's been there LB coach since 2012, and their coordinator since 2018 as the Ravens have continued to roll out good defensive units no matter who they have at hand. Martindale's defense is quite the opposite of Patricia's, they blitz like crazy and they mix up their coverage often.
If Detroit is willing to give a head coach a second chance (the results on this trend are pretty mixed btw), then Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier would probably be the most intriguing second chance candidate. Quoting SBN here, "His three-year stint as the Vikings' head coach saw him lead the team to the playoffs in 2012 followed by a sharp fall in 2013. But it's hard to blame him too much when he was choosing between Christian Ponder, Josh Freeman, and Matt Cassel at quarterback". While Sean McDermott is a defensive-minded head coach in Buffalo already, he's credited Frazier with a major role in turning the Bills into one of the top defenses in the NFL.
Turning to offense, we have another Bills coordinator, Brian Daboll calling the shots on offense. Daboll was with the Patriots for a few years as their tight ends coach, before departing and finding success away from Belichick, winning a national title during his time as Alabama's offensive coordinator in 2017, before coming to Buffalo and molded the raw potential of Josh Allen into the dominant player he has been this year.
Former Lions backup QB Kellen Moore, now the offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys at only 32 years old figures to be a hot name soon. He's helped Dak Prescott continue to build his game, going from a steady game manager to a playmaker himself. Moore's a little young, but is one of the most prolific offensive minds in CFB.
Also in the rising star mold is Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, a former star QB himself. Leftwich has worked under Bruce Arians for a few years now, and helped create an offense that put up prolific numbers with Jameis Winston (and a lot of interceptions as well).
Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni has also gotten some hype from people in coaching circles, as he's helped the Colts manage the unexpected fallout of Andrew Luck's surprise retirement. If he can milk the remaining production out of Phillip Rivers, he'll be an intriguing candidate who has worked under a few quality head coaches already.
Another offensive coordinator that merits some consideration is Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. He played a major role in transitioning the Titans from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill, a move that helped propel them all the way to the AFC Championship game behind the effective duo of Derrick Henry's rushing ability and Tannehill's effectiveness off the play action pass,
Usually teams don't hire position coaches, but it's not entirely out of the blue, especially if that position coach does have interim head coaching experience like Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell. Campbell was Miami's interim head coach in 2015, going 5-7 after Joe Philbin was fired. Campbell also played TE for the Lions back in the second half of the 2000's, posting one of the better seasons a Lions tight end had at that point in 2006. He's considered an exceptional leader in the Saints organization.
The Panthers brought in college head coach Matt Rhule this past year, and if Detroit is looking to do something similar, the three names to watch would probably be OSU head coach Ryan Day, a former Chip Kelly protege who has somehow made the Buckeyes even more deadly and efficient than they were under Urban Meyer, Oklahoma heisman producehead coach Lincoln Riley, who is responsible for getting Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray drafted #1 overall, and lastly Florida head coach Dan Mullen, a former Urban Meyer protege who has had immense success at Mississippi State and now at Florida so far.
There's probably some other candidates I did not dive into. Though similar to Caserio and the GM tree, absolute pass on Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. No need to try that one a second time.
Personally, I like a lot of these candidates. There's plenty of diversity in schemes, backgrounds, leadership styles, etc. My favorite, however, is Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. The work he's done with Josh Allen is fantastic, as he's crafted an offense that fits Allen's style, and whether he'd want to keep Stafford or draft his replacement, I'd have the utmost faith that he'd mold that QB in similar fashion.

Current Personnel

For the current personnel, it'll be important to identify which players have a future in Detroit. Whether that's based on scheme fit, age, health, cap implication, etc. Taking a look at the roster, here's my best guess, outside of one position, which is detailed in a separate section below.
Running back is a good spot for Detroit, regardless of what happens to current starting RB Adrian Peterson. I like RB Kerryon Johnson, but I am absolutely against a sizeable contract extension. Personally, I don't think paying running backs anything more than like $5 mil per year is a good investment, regardless of what back it is. So, he's fine for another season under contract, but may end up parting ways after that. Drafting his replacement in RB D'Andre Swift was a wise move. I actually like the idea of taking good running backs (2nd-3rd round) every other season. That way you never have to pay them and always have fresh legs.
Wide receiver will require some effort this offseason. Quinn massively screwed us by not extending WR Kenny Golladay prior to the season. Only leaves more time for larger contracts to be signed. For example, his spotract market value went up from $16 mil per season to almost $19 mil per season because of additional deals being signed. And with a lowered cap, that's gonna be problematic. The Lions should have at least a WR3/4 in WR Quintez Cephus, and WR Geronimo Allison opted out, meaning Detroit retains his contract for 2021. They'll likely need to draft someone early and sign another veteran, maybe even bringing back Jones or Amendola for a 1-year deal.
Tight end is pretty straight forward. TE T.J. Hockenson was a top-10 selection, and is starting to look like a very good weapon for the offense going forward. His backup, TE Jesse James is also simple: his contract is too large to retain him if he continues his mediocre play. If he can more consistently play like he did against the Cardinals, they may keep him. If not, cut for cap space. Bryant and Nauta are sort of unknowns at this point.
The offensive line may be Detroit's best spot going forward. LT Taylor Decker has been earning that contract extension so far, looking very good at this point. C Frank Ragnow will need his own contract extension soon, but he's been performing as one of the best centers in the NFL, and should remain an integral part of the unit. G Jonah Jackson looks promising as well in his rookie campaign. Detroit will have LG Joe Dahl under contract for one more year, and has G Logan Stenberg developing behind him. The bigger question comes with RT Hal Vaitai and RT Tyrell Crosby. If Vaitai continues to play poorly, he'll be cut after 2021. Crosby could easily be replaced with a better player by that time as well, but for now serves a valuable role as a decent enough spot starter.
Defense is almost entirely dependent on who a new head coach would bring in to call the shots. Many of the players on Detroit's roster are scheme-specific to the old Patriot 3-4 scheme that Patricia loves to run. Let's just assume that, regardless of the new coach, it'll be a bit more diverse, modern scheme.
On the defensive line, DE Trey Flowers is pretty scheme versatile funny enough. He can play SDE in a 4-man front or iDE in a 3-man. His contract will also pretty much require the new coach to make it work with him. And who knows, Flowers has had the intentional misfortune of playing under no-blitz Patricia, so chances are a more aggressive scheme could give him some help in pass rushing. DE Julian Okwara is also pretty versatile. He could be a 4-3 WDE or a 3-4 OLB and was a good pass rusher at Notre Dame. His brother, DE Romeo Okwara is frankly just not very good. If Detroit goes to a 4-man front in a new coach, they'll definitely want a replacement for Romeo, who is serviceable depth, but not much more. DE Austin Bryant hasn't shown enough to warrant an opinion one way or the other.
Interior, DT Danny Shelton is probably not gonna fit in a new scheme. He's an inconsistent run defender who offers little in the pass rush department. DT Nick Williams is a bit more versatile, but the issue is that he's just not very good. His career is as a pretty bland back-end rotational piece. One good season in Chicago would appear to be an anomaly. Cutting either of these two (each set to make around $5 mil cap hits in 2021) would save a net $4 mil in much needed cap space. Behind them, DT Kevin Strong is relatively versatile, but not that good. He's still young and cheap, however, so could still find a role as depth. The big question will be DT Da'Shawn Hand, who has had an inconsistent, but promising career thus far. He can fill a pretty similar role to Flowers, perhaps even being able to play as a 3-tech DT in some schemes (cough, Dan Quinn defensive coordinator). He's a piece that could at least find a useful role under a new regime, but expect Shelton and Williams to be purged within 2 years.
Linebacker is where you can pretty much just get rid of everyone. LB Jamie Collins is clearly the best player in the group, but I still wouldn't bet he'd be a for sure keep for a new regime. He struggled outside the Patriots system, during his exile to Cleveland. I think he could find a role as a 3-4 OLB, rather than the 4-3 ILB/OLB hybrid, but it's still hard to peg him in other schemes. He'll be with Detroit regardless in 2021 because of his contract however. LB Jarrad Davis should just walk at this point. Detroit is better when he's not on the field. LB Christian Jones is similar to Collins, in that he's a poor fit for most schemes, but the difference is he's not nearly as good as Collins. Could probably just trade him to whatever team Matt Patricia ends up on.
The hardest part about a transition to a new scheme would be giving up on younger guys like LB Jahlani Tavai. He's shown some flashes, but really isn't much of a pass rusher and is too old school for modern schemes. Trading Tavai this offseason to a Patriots-style team (Giants, Miami, Patriots, etc.) would be best for both groups.
Now, two guys who could be interesting to bring back are LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin and LB Elijah Lee. Both are currently fish out of water, as they're not great scheme fits for Patricia's defense. They both are on expiring deals however. I'd probably like to see Reeves-Maybin brought back in a new regime, simply because the chance for him to actually find success would go up in a scheme that fits his strengths a bit better.
At cornerback, you have a pretty good foundation. CB Jeffrey Okudah and CB Amani Oruwariye are both pretty fluid athletes with the ability to thrive in multiple schemes. In fact, Oruwariye could potentially be even better in a Cover 3 scheme, should Detroit find someone who deploys that philosophy. Similarly, CB Justin Coleman is pretty versatile, especially out of the slot. He's excelled in the Seahawks Cover 3 scheme (which is honestly my recommendation for what kind of defense to run), but is still good in man coverage. Those three give Detroit a great start. CB Darryl Roberts is built more for Patricia's scheme, so probably won't be back, but I'd expect Detroit to find another veteran like him to fill out the two deep. CB Desmond Trufant is definitely a man coverage corner, and is also old and with a checkered injury history recently. We always knew Trufant was more of a veteran bridge to Okudah and Oruwariye taking over.
Safety is interesting. S Tracy Walker is a rising star and honestly can play any scheme. He's a baller. S Will Harris is not. Maybe a new scheme gets him sorted out, but at the same time, his biggest issue is that he can't cover in man and he can't tackle. Kind of hard to be a slot safety when you struggle with that. S Duron Harmon is a quality Cover 1 free safety, but he's on an expiring contract. Detroit will likely need to find a new starter there, as Harris isn't ideally suited to free safety, and S C.J. Moore is more of a special teams piece than a starting caliber player. We still need to see more from S Jayron Kearse looks like before making decisions there.
Special Teams will require some investment this offseason. Detroit's punting god, Jack Fox, is an ERFA, meaning Detroit can bring him back for pretty cheap. They may just want to reward him and sign him to a deal for a few seasons (though COVID cap implications may prevent that). Both K Matt Prater and LS Don Muhlbach are on expiring deals, so either new deals for them, or replacements. Lions backup LS Steven Wirtel has gotten some praise as a future NFL LS, so perhaps they hand the reins over to him, given that he'd cost half what Muhlbach would, and the Lions will need every penny this offseason.

Quarterback 2021 and Beyond

If there is a new regime change, then it's not out of the realm of possibility that they look into the prospect of finding Matthew Stafford's successor. Stafford will be 33-years old in 2021, and while QB's are still able to continue playing at a high level into their late 30's, for example, Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan and Brady and Brees have all put together quality seasons lately, despite their older age. However, 35 is traditionally the drop-off age, and for a QB who relies on arm talent, it is most definitely something to watch and consider.
I'll say this first and foremost, if Detroit ends up in a position to select QB Trevor Lawrence out of Clemson, you pull the trigger on that and sort things out later. The two options behind him are QB Justin Fields, a dual-threat option out of Ohio State, and QB Trey Lance, an athletic, efficient QB out of North Dakota State. Now, personally, I'm a bit skeptical of Trey Lance. I think NDSU sets everything up for him on a platter, and the more film you watch on Lance, the more I find he struggles on full-field reads. If you can isolate his playbook to a half-field read, then I think he crushes it, but the troubles outside of that, added into the large talent gap between NDSU and literally anyone else in the FCS, makes me hesitant. To me, Lance is a slightly higher upside version of Titans QB Ryan Tannehill. In that sense, I don't really think he'd be worth the investment if Detroit is selecting in the top-15.
Now, Justin Fields is growing on me, admittedly. Rewatched a handful of his OSU games and continue to find his ability to dissect coverage to be a lot more advanced than I recalled during the season. He has a big arm, and has one of the most coveted traits nowadays: the ability to make plays when the original structure breaks down. I think, at this point, I'd probably be sold on Fields, but not on Lance, though honestly, if they did hire a competent offensive mind like Bieniemy or Daboll, I wouldn't object to it, as I think anyone who can get such massive leaps out of Josh Allen could probably get the most out of Trey Lance as well.
The bigger issue I do have is whether or not Detroit should move on from Stafford at this point. A few things can all be true at the same time, and four things I'm going to mention all are true.
  1. Matthew Stafford is not playing as well as he was in the first half of 2020, and the issues don't exactly seem to be tied to any injury.
  2. Despite not playing as well as 2020, Stafford is still one of the better QB's in the league, ranking 11th in passing yards (1,017) and 7th in touchdown passes (8). That kind of production wins games with a better defense.
  3. Detroit would be marginally restricted in the ability to build a roster around a large QB cap hit like Stafford's.
  4. The issues holding Detroit back most (its defense) would not be solved with a new quarterback. There are plenty examples of promising young quarterbacks being broken because they were put in less than ideal situations....Sam Darnold in New York being just the latest example. Unless Detroit can build a competent defense, it will not actually matter who the quarterback is.
All that just to say, let's all chill out a bit when dealing with each other's takes on what to do at QB. We don't have to draft a new QB, that denies so many of the bigger issues. We also do not have to keep Matthew Stafford, that denies the reality that plenty of teams have found a new QB can elevate the play of the team, helping them go from good to great (see Chiefs moving Alex Smith for Mahomes), and that even with Stafford, Detroit remains mediocre.
Personally, I think it's better to build a good roster and then make the change at quarterback. Right now, I think Detroit is set-up well for its OL going forward, and probably will be decent at WRB with Golladay and Hockenson and Swift and Kerryon, but the defense will continue to lose us games, and I'd hate to waste the early years of a cheap rookie QB still trying to build the roster around him. And personally, I think every bit as good as Fields and Lance is USC QB Kedon Slovis as a potential QB to target in the 2022 draft class.

2021 Free Agency Complications

Now, truly, I have no clue what's going to happen with this, but Detroit, along with the rest of the league, is not going to be overflowing with cap space. Minimal fans in the stadium means no ticket revenue. Some doomsday predictions have the cap going down as far as $175 million. Realistically speaking, I wouldn't anticipate Detroit entering the offseason with anything more than $15-20 million in cap space. If you're trying to overhaul a new scheme with new personnel, that'll be kind of tough.
Detroit has a few pieces it can cut, however. Some have been mentioned....Jesse James, Danny Shelton, Nick Williams. All could open up a little bit of change (over $10 mil if all 3) which would be majorly beneficial. Another one who could go is CB Desmond Trufant, which would free up $6 million. QB Chase Daniel could easily have a restructured contract to open up in between $1-2 million. G Joe Dahl would save $3 million if he was cut, but I don't see that really happening, as Dahl's a good bargain for a quality enough starting G. Maybe if Logan Stenberg develops into a quality piece Dahl could be traded, but that seems unlikely.

2021 Free Agency Targets

To remake the team, I'm first going to identify a few veterans who could help accelerate a quick turnaround defensively. Assuming I've gotten my wish of Detroit Lions head coach Brian Daboll, then the offense wouldn't need much reconfiguration.
There would honestly be two players I'd want Daboll to bring with him from Buffalo. They are...
Bills G Jon Feliciano - a powerful run blocker, Feliciano could either compete with Dahl outright, or simply serve as the first back-up at guard...the new and improved Kenny Wiggins so to speak.
Bills LB Matt Milano - Detroit will need modern linebackers, and Milano would be an excellent one to start with. He can cover, get sideline to sideline, and make plays in the box. I think Buffalo ends up re-signing him however.
Now, I don't want to simply switch from the Patriots West to the Bills West. But I do generally believe that any new coach should try and bring 2 or 3 players who are familiar, if for nothing more than putting pieces in place that can help introduce the new system to the current roster.
Some others however.
Detroit will probably need another starting wide receiver in free agency, and while I would absolutely love to get Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins to Detroit, he'll probably be a bit out of the price range, given how many pieces Detroit could need on defense. Some of the more financially plausible options would likely be Jags WR Chris Conley, 49ers WR Kendrick Bourne, Rams WR Josh Reynolds, or maybe Bengals WR John Ross.
Similarly, I'd love to go after Bills TE Tyler Kroft as another piece to work with Hockenson, but he'd probably be too pricey, and I imagine Buffalo will retain him rather than let him hit the market. Jags TE Tyler Eifert, Titans TE MyCole Pruitt, or perhaps Seahawks TE Jacob Hollister would all make a bit more sense. This would be dependent on cutting Jesse James in search of an upgrade.
Detroit is set on starting OL, but could use a depth piece with Wiggins and Aboushi both on expiring deals. Chargers G Dan Feeney has starting experience, though most of the options here are pretty mediocre. Could actually argue that retaining Wiggins would be the wisest course of action.
Defensive Tackle will be a MAJOR spot to address, as Detroit currently doesn't have a quality group there, and scheme change could make it worse. There are some big names like Saints DT Sheldon Rankins or Michigan-native Raiders DT Johnathan Hankins, whom Detroit should've brought in awhile ago. Broncos DT Shelby Harris is a good interior pass rusher who can play multiple roles. I'm guessing Detroit doesn't pony up the money for Giants DT Dalvin Tomlinson but I wouldn't hate that.
Defensive end would be a need if Detroit went to a 4-man front, as you'd want an upgrade over Romeo Okwara. Assuming Detroit isn't going for the big names like Vikings DE Yannick Ngakoue or Titans DE Jadeveon Clowney, a more sensible option would a stopgap option like Washington EDGE Ryan Kerrigan, who can play really any edge spot well. Colts DE Denico Autry would be plenty of fun, and if the Lions hired someone like Matt Eberflus, I'd want them to for sure make that move. One of the more under-the-radar pieces that could be more fiscally responsible would be Saints DE Trey Hendrickson.
If they go more of a traditional 3-4, then adding an upgrade over Christian Jones would be the move there. Kerrigan would still fit that one well, but other options could be Chargers OLB Melvin Ingram. Perhaps a head coach Martindale would want to bring GVSU grade OLB Matt Judon to Detroit? Though both those options would be pricy. A cheaper option would Jets OLB Jordan Jenkins or maybe Rams OLB Samson Ebukam.
Off ball linebackers, we already mentioned Milano. Bucs LB Kendall Beckwith would make some sense, as would Saints LB Alex Anzalone or Chiefs LB Damien Wilson. None of these guys would be stars, but most teams hang onto good LB's who can play off ball and cover backs, so you're probably looking for a veteran stopgap to hold over until you can draft a guy.

2021 NFL Draft

We're getting deep into this. Depending on where Detroit is drafting and who they pulled in with free agency, these would be the guys I'd be most interested in acquiring.
DT Marvin Wilson, Florida State - Like I said, Detroit needs to be a lot better at DT, and Wilson is a monster.
DE Aidan Hutchinson/Kwity Paye, Michigan - If one of these two could slip to you in the second round, that'd be great. Both very good edge rushers. Would love to grab Carlos Basham out of Wake Forest if Detroit is mid first. I also like Quincy Roche as an OLB in a 3-4.
A starting caliber WR. If they miss out on Ja'Marr Chase, then one of the Alabama wide outs (Jaylen Waddle or Devonta Smith) would suffice just fine. I mentioned the other day that Waddle is my current preferred choice for the draft at this point. Gophers WR Rashod Bateman could also be a fun addition. If they need to hunt for a starting wide out in the 3rd or 4th, Michigan's Nico Collins is an excellent deep threat, not too far from the mold of Golladay and Jones. OSU WR Chris Olave would be a clean replacement for Amendola in the slot.
I think Detroit could use a free safety like Trevon Moehrig or Andre Cisco to either immediately start, or develop behind a veteran. Moehrig may end up as a late first round option, but Cisco could be a day 2 pick that pays off immediately.
G Wyatt Davis may not stick out as a clear need, but y'all know I am an OL coach, and I think this kid is the best G prospect since Quentin Nelson, so I wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger, trade Joe Dahl for a pick, and call it a day. If C/G Josh Myers dropped to the second, I'd also be a very big fan of that move as well. I'm guessing most wouldn't like that, as OL is a relative strength to other spots on the roster, and that's understandable, but if we're truly talking best player available mentality, then Davis has to be considered right after guys like Micah Parsons, Ja'Marr Chase, and Lawrence.
As far as linebackers go, either LSU's Jabrill Cox or LB Chazz Surratt out of North Carolina could be guys who can slide into starting roles quickly. Same goes for Micah Parsons but unless Detroit's drafting top-5, they don't get him.
Few others who have appeal right now as later round prospects...TE Matt Bushman (BYU), WR Dazz Newsome (UNC), LB Dmitri Moore (Vanderbilt), CB Camryn Bynum (Cal), WR Tutu Atwell (Louisville), LB Ventrell Miller (Florida), S Reed Blankenship (MTSU), and LB Rayshard Ashby (VaTech).

Overall, a lot of different ways to go, but this would be my proposal at least. Bring in Brian Daboll, get him a veteran defensive coordinator, and then go about building a modern defense. See what you can get out of Matt Stafford, and prepare for a transition down the road if needed at that point.
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2020 Lions Fan Guide to Bandwagoning

After last season/the Bears loss/the Packers loss, it’s become clear to all of us that the 2020 Lions are a completely unsalvageable pit of despair from which there is no escape.
Patricia should have been fired at the 50 yard line of Lambeau and then beheaded for his crimes against humanity.
Quin should be exiled from the land by a pack of ravenous hounds that chase him back east across Lake Huron.
Hopefully Stafford can catch a ride on a ship to the Undying Lands and get a fat contract from a QB-needy team before he retires. Killing Barry and Calvin AND Stafford is more than I can handle as a fan, let somebody be happy for the love of god.
That said, what to do for the rest of the 2020 season? Time to pick a team to bandwagon! It’s important to pick a good bandwagon team now if you want to have a chance at riding another team’s coattails all the way to the playoffs. Let’s go through the list (by last week’s power ranking) and discuss.
The Top 5
Here’s where you go for your best bet at sure-fire contenders. This section is for bandwagoners who want to see their team go to the Super Bowl in order to get some semblance of the shine of the Lombardi trophy on your face, even if you know in your heart you cheated to get there by becoming an imposter in the fanbase of a foreign team from foreign lands.
  1. Chiefs – Last year’s super bowl winners with the new hotness Patrick Mahomes at QB and lovable BBQ-eating Andy Reid at HC, plus Travis Kelce. Historic underdogs finally having their moment in the sun is a perfect fit for a Lions fan to root for. This is bandwagoning on easy mode, the clear pick in my opinion. Number one in the rankings, number one in my cold dead 2020 heart.
  2. Ravens – The only better pick than the Chiefs is the Ravens. Lamar Jackson playing QB is probably the most fun thing you can watch on television right now period. I bandwagoned the Ravens all through last season while dreaming that Stafford’s back healing up might make a difference in 2020 (oh how young and naïve I was) and it was a great time! They imploded a little bit in the playoffs but hey, this could be their year!
  3. Seahawks – This is a nice pick for some history, familiarity, and stability. The Seahawks are always in it as long as they have Russ and Pete Carroll, and last night we watched them go 2-0 against the Pats in a serious nail-biter finish. You know you’re at least going on a deep playoff run if you bandwagon the Seahawks.
  4. Saints – Watching Brees continue to cement himself as a top all-time QB, potentially in his final year, with an actual defense, Michael Thomas, and Kamara? It’s sure to be a fun ride! Plus, the Saints are another team that knows a lot about long droughts of success, hanging around the bottom of the league, kicked while they’re down, nobody ever believing in them. They’re soul mates in pain, and it’s fun to watch those teams succeed.
  5. Packers – No. Never.
The Middle of the Pack
So you’re not looking for a sure thing, you’re interested in a bumpier bandwagon ride. The middle of the pack of is for you! These teams will have ups and they’ll have downs, and if they make it to the Super Bowl, or even the deep playoffs, the victory will be all the sweeter.
  1. 49ers – After Sunday I believe every single player on the 49ers has a torn ACL or something like that, but hey, they made it to the SB last year and they could do it again! 49ers are historic and who doesn’t like to root for a classic franchise?
  2. Bills – A true sister-ship team of the Lions. Forever frustrated and disappointed fans now getting their chance to root for a QB who throws over 400. I like Josh Allen because to hear his bio it really sounds like he just found himself in the NFL by accident and is somehow pulling it off. Plus now he’s got Stefon Diggs, who is no longer our divisional problem. Classic underdog pick, go Bills.
  3. Steelers – Roethlisberger is back, JuJu is great, and the Steelers are always in it. If you want that authentic “we’re more blue collar than you” experience, Steelers are a solid pick. Bonus: revisit the days of Ebron and watch him brick-hand pass after pass, and feel some semblance of relief that out of all the problems the Lions have this year, he’s not one of them.
  4. Titans – A great pick for the Lions fan who wants a long-shot with good odds. If Tannehill keeps his breakout alive and Derrick Henry keeps trucking people, they’re a tough team to stop. Plus now they have Clowney (how could Patricia not go after Clowney Jesus Christ are you kidding me he had a chance to grab an elite DE in free agency and shore up in pathetic pass rushers and we didn’t even hear about him trying to land him how fucking pathetic can you believe this guy… wait no don’t think about that!) Titans are a sleeper for the SB and I think they’ll continue to surprise everybody this year.
  5. Patriots – No Brady, no problem. Patriots still look great as always, plus Cam Newton is way more fun to root for than Brady ever was. Watch Belichik potentially use his evil powers for good and get Cam a ring. Patriots can feel dirty to root for but it’s also like eating a whole chocolate cake after you’ve been on a years-long diet. Sometimes it feels good just to give in.
  6. Rams – This is the team you want to root for if you’re a big NFL conspiracy theorist and think hidden capitalists are pulling the strings behind the scenes to rig games. “The NFL wants LA to succeed because it’s a huge and largely untapped market of a city. For that to work, either the Rams or the Chargers have to go deep every year until LA is turning out their pockets for that sweet football merch.” Maybe it’s true, maybe not, maybe who cares! Also a great team to watch if you want to see Aaron Donald wreck people every single play. Remember, Donald could have been ours but instead we drafted Ebron. I’m just kidding, I know you didn’t forget. How could you?
  7. Cardinals – Kyler “Calamari” Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and Larry Fitzgerald pulling this team out of the depths and into something respectable would be a fun ride to watch. Another franchise with historic pain, a dark horse long-shot, it speaks to my Detroit-hardened heart.
  8. Cowboys – Rooting Cowboys is like going after the dumb hot girl. She’s not going to amount to much but she sure does get a lot of attention. If you want to watch a lot of primetime games and hear about your bandwagon team in sports media constantly, may as well pick the Boys. Win, lose or draw, for some reason we all have to talk about them all the time. Also, it’s fun to root for Kellen Moore, and it’s fun to watch Zeke be a wrecking ball. Successful run game teams actually exist!
  9. Vikings – Ew. I guess. Kirk Cousins can play football and Dalvin Cook is a running back. Riley Reiff used to live here. Kyle Rudolph has a fun name if you’re a big Christmas person. I don’t know. This seems like a pointless bandwagon unless you really like the color purple.
  10. Buccaneers – Never count Brady out. Love him or hate him (hate him) Brady is historic and worth watching. If you want to watch Belichick-less Brady in his final year(s), reunited with Gronkowski, tearing up the ground with Fournette, this is a solid band wagon pick.
  11. Texans – Another great fit for the Lions: watch an incredibly talented QB get hamstrung by his incompetent coaching staff and wasted in his scheme, all while his good-on-paper defense continues to let him down on the field. JJ Watt is still fun to watch, and moreso if you close your eyes and pretend is 2013 and we all still love him.
The Bottom Half
Bandwagoning to win is for pussies, you’re here to bandwagon a team that is either an extra-super long-shot, or another team with no chance to pair with your Lions heartbreak. You sick son of a bitch, I respect it, but I don’t think it’s good for you.
  1. Eagles – Good pick for It’s Always Sunny fans who want to root for Jim Schwartz.
  2. Raiders – Cool uniforms, cool fans, another chance at an NFL conspiracy team due to the move to Vegas
  3. Falcons – If you can’t watch Stafford succeed, you may as well watch his buddy Matt Ryan also not succeed.
  4. Bears – Chicago is cool and nearby, and the Bears haven’t been successful in a long time, so it doesn’t feel completely gross. Any win they can get with Trubisky at the helm they damn sure deserve.
  5. Chargers – Actually looked legit good against the Chiefs with their new QB Justin Herbert, plus you got Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram on defense. This is probably as far down the list as you can go and find an actual contender. This is your longest long shot for the true masochist who still wants hope involved.
  6. Broncos – Good pick for big South Park fans. Also I guess if you’re still high on Von Miller.
  7. Colts – Their colors are similar to ours and Indiana is pretty close. This strikes me as a particularly hopeless bandwagon pick, but they do have a running back, which could be fun to watch.
  8. Jaguars – Minshew Mania makes this a solid pick. Plus it’s another cat team.
  9. Washington – Chase Young, oh what could have been.
  10. Lions – "Bandwagon? Bandwagon?! We don't need no stinking bandwagon!" Ride or die motherfucker, it's Lions Only for your fandom. You're a captain going down with the ship, you're gonna sit here and watch Patricia waste another year of Stafford's career, fail at the run game, fail to adjust, fail on defense, fail at everything all season long. Because when we go 0-16 again, you'll be able to look back and say you were there. You'll bear witness to our heroic Tank for Trevor Lawrence, and the pride that comes before the fall of the house of Quintricia. And when we see flashes of greatness from Stafford, 100 yard rushers from AD, interceptions from Okudah, and long-yard FGs from Prater, you'll be there to cheer on the Lions as always. Win or lose, rain or shine, Detroit vs. Everybody.
  11. Bengals – Root for Joe Burrow. Plus it’s another cat team.
  12. Panthers – Blue cat team.
  13. Dolphins – Tank for Tua actually happened and honestly good for them. Plus a little dose of Fitzmagic in your life.
  14. Giants – Daniel Jones is an Eli clone and honestly that kind of science should be studied. Might be worth checking out.
  15. Browns – Great pick if you’re done with the Lions but don’t want to improve through bandwagoning in any way shape or form. A true historic and present lateral move, a decision forged in Midwest hopelessness and gallons of beer. Godspeed to anyone choosing to bandwagon the Browns this season.
  16. Jets – The "just let the pain flow through me" option.
Comments analysis after 24 hours
The names I'm seeing the most after 24 hours and 48 comments are Seattle, Buffalo, Arizona, and Chargers. So 3 outta 4 you guys are goddamn gluttons for punishment! Lions fans through and through, you won't even bandwagon a sure thing, it's gotta be a long-shot underdog story of a long-suffering franchise that MIGHT have some success this year. Goddamn, never change guys.
submitted by livingthedream666 to detroitlions [link] [comments]

[Game Preview] Week 1 - Philadelphia Eagles(0-0) at Washington Football Team (0-0)

Philadelphia Eagles (0-0) at the Washington Football Team
The 2020 Philadelphia Eagles season is the franchise's 88th season in the National Football League and the fifth under head coach Doug Pederson. The Eagles will try to improve on their 9–7 record from 2019 where they made the playoffs, but lost in the NFC Divisional game against the Seattle Seahawks. They will begin that journey Sunday afternoon as they take a trip down 95 to face off against the division rival with a new name Washington Football Team. To go with the name they also have a new coach in Ron Rivera who is looking for a fresh start after spending the last nine years as the Head Coach of the Carolina Panthers. Rivera inherits a defense that has 4 first round picks on the defensive line that will be facing off against an injury riddled offensive line of the Eagles as they will be without starting LT Andre Dillard and starting All-Pro RG Brandon Brooks. The Eagles bought back former LT Jason Peters who will look to protect Carson Wentz’s blind side. IF the Eagles OL is able to give Wentz time, he proved last year against the WTF that he has great chemistry with Jackson who has torched his former team in the past. Defensively Eagles fans will get their first look at their revamped secondary which will include Pro Bowler Darius Slay and Jalen Mills at safety. They will look to keep Terry McLaurin under control as he burnt the Eagles secondary in both games last season with long TDs. If the Eagles can get a lead early, I think their defense should be able to keep Dwayne Haskins under control and force the second year QB into some turnovers. Always fun to start the season vs a division rival and happy to have some football again in these crazy times. Go Birds!
General Information
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Remember to join us on Discord during the game!
New to the Eagles? Take a look at our New Fan Page!
Score Prediction Contest
Sunday, September 13th, 2020
Game Time Game Location
1:00 PM - Eastern FedEx Field
12:00 PM - Central 1600 FedEx Way
11:00 AM - Mountain Landover, MD 20785
10:00 AM - Pacific Wikipedia - Map
Weather Forecast
Stadium Type: Open Air
Surface: Grass
Temperature: 77°F
Feels Like: 79°F
Forecast: Mostly Cloudy. Humid and partly cloudy throughout the day.
Chance of Precipitation: 5%
Cloud Coverage: 69%
Wind: South 6 MPH
Betting Odds
Oddsshark Information
Favorite/Opening Line: Philadelphia by -5.5
OveUnder: 42.5
Record VS. Spread: Philadelphia 0-0, Washington 0-0
Where to Watch on TV
FOX will broadcast Sunday’s game to a regional audience. Kevin Burkhardt will handle the play-by-play duties and Daryl Johnson will provide analysis. Pam Oliver will report from the sideline.
TV Map - Week 1 TV Coverage Map
Radio Streams
List of Eagles Radio network member stations with internet broadcast availability 94.1 Desktop Streaming
Listen to Merrill Reese and Mike Quick
Calling the game on 94WIP and the Eagles Radio Network will be Merrill Reese, the NFL’s longest-tenured play-by-play announcer (44th season). Joining Reese in the radio booth will be former Eagles All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick, while Howard Eskin will report from the sidelines.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA WIP-FM 94.1 FM and 610 AM
Allentown, PA WCTO-FM 96.1 FM
Atlantic City/South Jersey WENJ-FM 97.3 FM
Levittown, PA WBCB-AM 1490 AM
Northumberland, PA WEGH-FM 107.3 FM
Pottsville, PA WPPA-AM 1360 AM
Reading, PA WEEU-AM 830 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA WEJL-FM 96.1 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WEJL-AM 630 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WBAX-AM 1240 AM
Williamsport, PA WBZD-FM 93.3 FM
Wilmington, DE WDEL-FM/AM 101.7 FM
York/LancasteHarrisburg, PA WSOX-FM 96.1 FM
Philadelphia Spanish Radio
Rickie Ricardo, Macu Berral and Gus Salazar will handle the broadcast in Spanish on Mega 105.7 FM in Philadelphia and the Eagles Spanish Radio Network.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA LA MEGA 105.7 FM
Allentown, PA WSAN 1470 AM
Atlantic City, NJ WIBG 1020 AM; 101.3 FM
Football Team Radio
Washington Football Team Radio Network Larry Michael (play-by-play), Chris Cooley (analysis), Rick “Doc” Walker (sidelines).
National Radio
Satellite Radio
Station Eagles Channel Football Team Channel
Sirius Radio SIRI 105 (Streaming 825) SIRI 81 (Streaming 831)
XM Radio XM Streaming 825 XM 226 (Streaming 831)
Sirius XM Radio SXM 380 (Streaming 825) SXM 226 (Streaming 831)
Eagles Social Media Football Team Social Media
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram
Snapchat: Eagles Snapchat: WashingtonNFL
NFC East Standings
NFC EAST Record PCT Home Road Div Conf PF PA Net Pts Streak
Eagles 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 NA
Cowboys 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 NA
Football Team 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 NA
Giants 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 NA
Series Information
The Washington Football lead the Philadelphia Eagles (85-80-6)
Series History
Head to Head Box Scores
First Game Played
October 21st, 1934 at Fenway Park in Boston, MA. Boston Redskins 6 - Philadelphia Eagles 0
Points Leader
The Philadelphia Eagles lead the Washington Football Team (3591-3386)
Coaches Record
Doug Pederson: 6-2 against the Washington Football Team
Ron Rivera: 3-2 against Eagles
Coaches Head to Head
Doug Pederson vs Ron Rivera: Tied 1-1
Quarterback Record
Carson Wentz: Against the Washington Football Team: 5-2
Dwayne Haskins Jr.: Against Eagles: 0-1
Quarterbacks Head to Head
Carson Wentz vs Dwayne Haskins Jr.: Wentz leads 1-0
Records per Stadium
Record @ Lincoln Financial Field: Eagles lead the Washington Football Team: 10-7
Record @ FedEx Field: Eagles lead the Washington Football Team: 14-6
Rankings and Last Meeting Information
AP Pro 32 Ranking
Eagles No. 11 - Football Team No. 30
Eagles: 0-0
Football Team: 0-0
Last Meeting and Last Meeting at Site
Sunday, December 30th, 2018
Eagles 37 - Washington Football Team 27
The Eagles looked to keep their playoff hopes alive and and opened up the scoring with a Jake Elliot FG in the first quarter. The lead was short lived as Dwayne Haskins hooked up with Terry McLaurin for a 75 yard touchdown pass. The Eagles went into half-time trailing 10-14, but took back the lead in the 3rd quarter on a Miles Sanders TD reception that put the Eagles up 17-14. The Eagles and Washington Football Team traded TD passes in the 4th quarter before the Washington Football Team regained the league with a pair of Dustin Hopkins FGs put the Washington Football Team's up 24-27. Carson Wentz answered the call leading the Eagles on a four and half minute 75 yard touchdown drive that culminated in a Greg Ward TD reception. The Eagles defense forced a fumble on the ensuing drive which was returned for a TD by Nigel Bradham for a nail in the coffin putting the Eagles up 10 with no time on the clock to give the Eagles the win.
Click here to view the Video Recap
Click here to view the Stats Recap
Last 10 Meetings
Date Winner Loser Score
12/15/2019 Eagles Football Team 37-27
09/08/2019 Eagles Football Team 32-27
12/30/2018 Eagles Football Team 24-0
12/3/2018 Eagles Football Team 28-13
10/23/2017 Eagles Football Team 34-24
9/10/2017 Eagles Football Team 30-17
12/11/2016 Football Team Eagles 27-22
10/16/2016 Football Team Eagles 27-20
12/26/2015 Football Team Eagles 38-24
10/04/2015 Football Team Eagles 23-20
12/20/2014 Football Team Eagles 27-24
09/21/2014 Eagles Football Team 37-34
Injury Reports Depth Charts
Eagles Eagles
Football Team Football Team
2020 “Expert” Picks
Week 1 - "Expert" Picks
2019 Team Stats
Eagles Season Stats
Football Team Season Stats
2019 Stats (Starters/Leaders)
Wentz 388 607 63.9% 4037 27 7 93.1
Haskins 119 203 58.6% 1365 7 7 76.1
Sanders 179 818 51.1 4.6 3
Peterson 211 898 59.9 4.3 5
Ertz 88 916 61.1 10.4 6
McLaurin 58 919 65.6 15.8 7
Name Sacks Team Total
Graham 8.5 43
Ioannidis 8.5 46
Name Total Solo Assist Sacks
Jenkins 80 62 18 2.5
Collins 117 78 39 1.0
Name Ints Team Total
Gerry/Jones/Darby/McLeod 2 11
Dunbar 4 13
Johnston 71 3292 61 46.4 42.3 28 4 0
Way 79 3919 79 49.6 44.1 30 4 0
Elliot 26 22 94.6% 53 35/37
Hopkins 30 35 83.3% 53 21/22
Kick Returns
Sanders 14 314 22.4 67 0
Simms 32 819 25.6 1
Punt Returns
Scott 6 43 7.2 13 0 4
Quinn 16 78 4.9 15 0 9
League Rankings 2019
Offense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Football Team Stat Football Team Rank
Total Offense 360.8 14th 274.7 31st
Rush Offense 121.2 11th 98.9 22nd
Pass Offense 239.6 11th 175.8 32nd
Points Per Game 24.1 12th 16.6 32nd
3rd-Down Offense 45.4% 4th 29.1% 32nd
4th-Down Offense 33.3% 28th(t) 42.9% 22nd
Red Zone Offense (TD%) 66.7% 3rd 48.8% 27th
Defense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Football Team Stat Football Team Rank
Total Defense 331.7 10th 385.6 27th
Rush Defense 90.1 3rd 146.6 31st
Pass Defense 241.6 19th 238.9 18th
Points Per Game 22.1 15th 27.2 27th
3rd-Down Defense 34.2% 4th 48.9% 32nd
4th-Down Defense 61.1% 27th 63.2% 22nd
Red Zone Defense (TD%) 55.8% 14th(t) 61.0% 27th
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Football Team Stat Football Team Rank
Turnover Diff. -3 22nd +1 13th(t)
Penalty Per Game 6.8 9th(t) 6.6 14th(t)
Penalty Yards Per Game 52.3 9th 52.2 8th
Recap from Last Week’s Games.
Eagles - N/A
Washington - N/A
Washington Football Team’s HC Ron Rivera was the Eagles linebackers coach from 1999-2003.
Washington Football Team’s QB coach Ken Zampese worked as an offensive assistant for the Eagles in 1998.
Washington Footbal Team’s CB Ronald Darby played the previous 3 seasons with the Eagles.
Eagles LS Rick Lovato briefly signed with the Washington Football Team during the 2016 season for two weeks.
Eagles WR Desean Jackson spent 3 seasons with the Washington Football Team (2016-2018) after he was released from the Eagles.
Eagles backup QB Nate Sudfeld was drafted by the Washington Football team in the 6th round of the 2016 NFL draft and played one season for them before being cut in 2017.
Eagles backup TE Richard Rodgers was signed with the Washington Football Team this past offseason before being released Sept. 5th and signing with the Eagles.
2020 Pro Bowlers
Eagles Football Team
DT Fletcher Cox (Starter) P Tress Way (Starter)
OG Brandon Brooks (Starter) G Brandon Scherff
C Jason Kelce (Starter)
LS Rick Lovato (Starter)
TE Zach Ertz
SS Malcom Jenkings (1st Alt)
OT Lane Johnson (1st Alt
Referee: Brad Rogers
The Eagles have won each of their last 6 games vs. Washington, marking their longest such streak since 12/16/01-12/12/04 (7 games). Philadelphia is 14-9 (.609) all-time at FedExField.
Carson Wentz has posted a 5-0 record vs. Washington since 2017, completing 128-of-185 (69.2%) attempts for 1,460 yards (292.0 per game), 14 TDs, 3 INTs and a 111.1 passer rating.
Fletcher Cox has 12.5 sacks in 16 career games vs. Washington, which are his most against any NFL team and the most by any NFL player vs. Washington since 2012. Only four players have more sacks vs. Washington since 1982: Lawrence Taylor (19.0, 1982-93), Michael Strahan (17.0, 1994-2007), Justin Tuck (15.0, 2005-13) and Simeon Rice (14.0, 1996-2005).
The Eagles have won 8 of their last 9 season openers, which are the most opening day victories in the NFL since 2011.
Philadelphia is 4-0 in season openers under head coach Doug Pederson (since 2016). Pederson is one of two head coaches in team history to win 4 straight season-opening contests, join-ing Greasy Neale (6, 1942-47). The Eagles are one of only five NFL teams to start the season 1-0 in each of the last four years, joining Baltimore, Green Bay, Kansas City and Minnesota.
Draft Picks
Eagles Football Team
WR Jalen Raegor DE Chase Young
QB Jalen Hurts RB Antonio Gibson
LB Davion Taylor OT Saahdiq Charles
S K’Von Wallace WR Antonio Gandy-Golden
OT Jack Driscoll C Keith Ismael
WR John Hightower LB Khaleke Hudson
LB Shaun Bradley S Curl Kamren
WR Quez Watkins DE James Smith-Williams
OT Prince Tega Wanogho
LB/DE Casey Toohill
Notable Off-season Additions
Eagles Football Team
S Will Parks QB Kyle Allen
DT Javon Hargrave CB Ronald DArby
CB Nickell Robey-Coleman LB Thomas Davis
CB Darius Slay RB Peyton Barber
S Sean Davis
WR Cody Latimer
CB Kendell Fuller
RB JD McKissic
G Wes Schweitzer
Notable Off-season Departures
Eagles Football Team
S Malcom Jenkins QB Case Keenum
CB Ronald Darby CB Josh Norman
RB Jordan Howard CB Quinton Dunbar
WR Nelson Agholor TE Vernon Davis
OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai WR Paul Richardson
LB Kamu Grugler-Hill TE Jordan Reed
RB Darren Sproles OT Donald Penn
DT Timmy Jernigan CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
LB Nigel Bradham CB Kayvon Weber
G Ereck Flowers
LT Trent Williams
Eagles QB Carson Wentz (97) needs 3 passing TDs for 100 career passing TDs.
Eagles TE Zach Ertz (35) needs 1 TDs to move up to 7th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list all-time tying WR Jeremy Maclin
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (6276) needs 192 yards to move up to 3rd on the Eagles all-time receiving yards list all-time passing his mentor WR *Mike Quick
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (34) needs 2 TDs to move into a tie for 7th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list tying WR Jeremy Maclin
Eagles DE Brandon Graham (51) needs 3.5 sacks to move to 4th on the Eagles all-time sack list tying DE Hugh Douglas
Eagles DT Fletcher Cox (48) needs 2.5 sacks to move up to 6th on the Eagles all-time sack list tying DE Greg Brown
Eagles DE Vinny Curry (27) needs 1 sack to move up to 19th on the Eagles all-time sack list passing DT Darwin Walker
Washington Football Team OLB Ryan Kerrigan (90) needs 1.5 sacks to become the Washington Football Team's all-time leader in sacks passing Dexter Manley (91).
Pro Football Focus Matchup Charts courtesy of PFF Edge (
WDB Matchups (CAPS = expected shadow coverage)
PFF Stats to Know
Play Action Passing
[Threshold = QBs with at least 20% snap count of the QB with the highest snap count of Play Action for the season] In the 2019-2020 season, no QB had a worse completion rate via Play Action than WFT’s Dwayne Haskins at 54.9% and only 2 others had worse such Passer Rating. For comparison, the Eagles’ Carson Wentz was at the top of the bottom 3rd in both metrics. Whereas has Wentz fared near the top of Play Action % of snaps during his NFL tenure and his completion % and Passer Rating have both ranked near the top in each of ‘16-‘18, in 2019 he did not do well in that respect. How Wentz performs in Play Action with injuries at the OL and WR positions, as well as how much the coaching staff will even ask him to turn his back to this particular DL and keep it...I’m not sure.
Matchups to Watch
Washington Defensive Line vs Eagles Offensive Line
NFL battles always start in the trenches and this is perhaps the biggest advantage the WFT has against the Eagles in this Week 1 tilt. Washington always had a formidable front that lead to intriguing battles between the two teams but the addition of Chase Young and the injuries the Eagles have already sustained make this match up concerning for Philly. The Eagles projected Week 1 starting OL prior to the injuries was, from left to right: Dillard, Seumalo, Kelce, Brooks, and Lane Johnson. Now, the Eagles will start: Peters, Seumalo, Kelce, TBD, TBD. Lane Johnson has practiced everyday this week in a limited capacity which makes me believe that he'll start but it's an uneasy feeling knowing he's working his way back from injury too. The logical guess at RG is Matt Pryor, but they've also tried out Nate Herbig in practice. Either way, the Eagles have a massive downgrade at RG with Brandon Brooks out. Fortunately, the Eagles may have accidentally upgraded in the short term with Jason Peters at LT but the depth in the trenches is already spread too thin. The Eagles are lucky to be as deep as they are on the OL given they aren't totally screwed (yet) but the current state of line makes this a very formidable match up for the Football Team (get a damn team name, jerks) to take advantage of. Additionally, they aren't just deep at EDGE, they are deep at DT as well. Payne, Allen, and Ioannidis are very stout and capable of dominating opposing OLs. Washington's roster is very thin but it isn't on the defensive line. They have more than enough ammunition to put the Eagles in difficult situations. This mismatch will force the coaching staff to be creative in their run designs and how they give help to the OL in pass protection.
Washington Secondary vs Eagles Passing Attack
The Eagles much beleaguered WR room went through a mini-makeover in the offseason and a lot of new, young, and fast faces were added to the mix. What they lack in proven talent, outside of DeSean Jackson's return, they make up for in athleticism. One thing Howie Roseman said this offseason was he was frustrated with the lack of speed on the team. It took him a while to understand that athleticism does matter. It's not just that the new group of receivers are fast, but they all have strong overall athletic profiles. But as previously mentioned, this is an unproven group going up against a very weak opposition. WFT brought back Kendall Fuller this offseason, who was a real good jack-of-all-trades player in the secondary for the Chiefs last season. His status for Sunday is questionable given his limited participation this week in practice. Opposite him is former Eagles favorite Ronald Darby. If I'm Doug Pederson, I make it a point to go after him all day. Even when Darby is at his best, which isn't often these days, he has absolutely zero ball skills. Washington may play Fabian Moreau if Fuller can't go, which is another defender the Eagles should target. Jimmy Moreland and Landon Collins are quality players, more so the latter, but they can't hide the deficiencies that should be easily exploitable by the Eagles. Remember, Philly put up over 30 in week 15 last year with less in the WR room than they currently have against a secondary that really isn't better than it was then. If Jalen Reagor is able to go, that would add another dimension to this offense the Eagles have lacked for a long time. If the Eagles can do a good enough job slowing down Washington's front, they are more than capable of picking apart a subpar secondary. And I didn't even talk about Ertz and Goedert! Or Miles Sanders through the air!
Washington Offensive Line vs Eagles Defensive Line
Despite the current injury limitations on the Eagles defensive line, this is a matchup that heavily favors the Eagles. Haskins finished 2019 on a positive note in his last 3 starts prior to his ankle injury; one thing he's never been known for is his pocket ability and ability to avoid taking sacks. Put a statue behind a bad offensive line and you are going to have issues. Trent Williams is now gone having finally forced his way out and his logical replacement, rookie Shaadiq Charles, isn't likely to play in week 1. Wes Martin, their starting left guard, is a below average player himself. The only player on the Washington Football Team's offensive line that is good is Brandon Scherff. While the Eagles aren't 100% on the defensive line, they are one of the few teams in the NFL with likely more talent and depth on their defensive line than the Washington Football Team's. Barnett has been limited in practice and has missed the last few weeks with another injury and his status is questionable while Hargrave is likely to miss a couple games as well. The Eagles still have Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, the return of Malik Jackson, and a lot more to throw at this beleaguered unit. Additionally, this is a defensive front that is always stingy against the run under Jim Schwartz even when the DL isn't at peak health. There are a lot of matchups to exploit and Schwartz has a lot of options to exploit them. For his faults as a coordinator with secondary scheming, Schwartz is a God at maximizing the talents of his pass rushers. Given the current state of the Washington OL and Haskins own difficulties under pressure, this is a juicy match up for Philly.
Washington Passing Attack vs Eagles Pass Defense
Washington is incredibly thin and young at the skill positions but that isn't the sort of thing that has deterred the Eagles from allowing big plays in the past. This is a secondary, and really a pass defense in general, that went through a major shake up this offseason and for good reason. The Eagles defense was pretty average per DVOA which was encouraging given what they had, but they consistently allowed big play after big play in 2019. Opposing WR1s absolutely shredded Philadelphia last season as they were automatic monsters against an overmatched, elementary secondary. Darius Slay and NRC were added to the mix and should provide immediate help to this unit. Avonte Maddox will start at CB2; while this is an iffy move, the additions of Slay and NRC should allow the Eagles to help him out a bunch. The Eagles finally have players that can play in man coverage and one of the best CBs in the league in shadow coverage. Schwartz has admitted that he will allow Slay to shadow receivers but likely not 100% of the time. This makes sense as it should be a matchup-specific thing... this is that time. Furthermore, allowing Slay to shadow receivers will lead to considerable scheme changes on defense as they can't play the coverages they've played the last four years while shadowing receivers. What does this look like and how quickly does it come together? Terry McLaurin is the only real commodity at receiver for Washington and he's a tremendous talent. Even when he was the only real receiving threat last year, he still tore the Eagles apart. Another major change for the Eagles is in the safety room with the departure of Malcolm Jenkins. The Eagles added Will Parks to the room but he will miss the first 3 weeks due to injury. They also retained Rodney McLeod; this could be a good thing or bad thing depending on which Rodney shows up. If another year away from knee surgery helps, then he'll be fine. But if last year's version shows up then the Eagles have a big problem. Lastly, the Eagles will be starting Jalen Mills at safety. Apparently, the cure for being a bad cornerback is a position switch to safety despite never playing it in the NFL. All that being said, the middle of the defense is slower and more unknown than it has ever been. LB1 is Nate Gerry. LB2 is Duke Riley. Mills is the new Jenkins. Will Parks is out. Does McLeod have enough left in the tank? Offenses are fast and innovative; the Skins lack a lot of talent on offense but their new offensive scheme could lead to some issues in the middle of the Eagles defense. If I'm Washington, I lean heavily on motions and play action to confuse the middle of the Eagles defense. Get guys who struggle to cover to cover your athletic RBs then take plenty of shots to Terry McLaurin. The Eagles are clearly better at CB than they've been in years but have considerable question marks in the Safety and in the LB rooms as it pertains to pass defense. Better CBs should lead to better pass defense overall but there are matchups to take advantage of. Washington might not be the best team to fully exploit these weaknesses, but they could.
Special thanks to MikeTysonChicken and abenyishay for their help in creating this Game Preview.
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A topsy-turvy NFL Week 2 saw injuries to notable players interspersed with a multiple double-digit road wins and another game where the Miami Dolphins looked like they could potentially be the worst team the NFL has seen in decades. Outside of a couple of spots – one a sacrificial-lamb road trip for Miami to Big D in which Miami is already a three-touchdown underdog — Week 3 shapes up as ... Compare this week's NFL odds, money lines, point spreads and totals. Check out live NFL odds and NFL lines for the best online sportsbooks at Sportsbook Review. There are three common NFL betting lines: the side, total and moneyline. Side: The side refers to the point spread. While the odds can fluctuate, most sides are -110, meaning you have to bet $110 ... NFL Week 3 Odds: Betting Lines, Spreads For All 16 Games. It's shaping up to be a great week of football We are regulated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement as an Internet gaming operator in accordance with the Casino Control Act N.J.S.A. 5:12-1 and its implementing regulations.

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