Let’s go ahead and start this off with the Weekly Picks.
- Titans -2.5 (Loss)
- Steelers -4 (Win)
- Buccaneers -5.5 (Win)
- Cardinals -5.5 (Loss)
- Packers +3 (Win)
Season Record: 11-4
NFL Ratings and Viewers Update
In no surprise, the ratings fell for Thursday Night Football featuring the Jaguars and Dolphins. The game drew 5.43 million viewers dropping from 6.68 million last week. Overall, the NFL hasn’t done all that well in viewership thus far. However, this match up certain isn’t a good pulse for that. Thursday Night Football fluctuates heavily depending on the match ups. This just wasn’t a desirable one.
Sunday Night Football had a healthy 14.43 million viewers for the Saints and Packers. That number will increase as the final numbers roll in.
Week 1 Final Tally
Thursday Night Football – 20.54 Million (-7%)
Early Double Headers – 13.53 Million (+7%)
Sunday Singles – 13.59 Million (-12%)
Late Double Headers – 25.85 Million (+8%)
Sunday Night Football – 18.94 Million (-15%)
Monday Night Football (Early) – 10.76 Million (-18%)
Monday Night Football (Late) – 7.70 Million (-28%)
Week 2 Final Tally
Thursday Night Football – 6.68 Million (+1%)
Early Double Headers – 9.75 Million (-39%)
Sunday Singles – 16.78 Million (+11%)
Late Double Headers – 18.87 Million (-19%)
Sunday Night Football – 17.69 Million (+0.3%)
Monday Night Football – 15.59 Million (+32%)
Averages Through Week 2
TNF – 13.61 Million (2019 – 15.4)
EDH – 11.64 Million
SS – 15.16 Million
LDH – 22.36 Million
SNF – 14.23 Million (2019 – 20.5)
MNF – 11.35 Million (2019 – 12.6)
The Seahawks now sit at 3-0 behind the arm of Russell Wilson. His streak of dominance continued this week against the Cowboys throwing for 315 yards and 5 TDs. Keep in mind, it should have been 6 after connecting deep with DK Metcalf who fumbled after a defender caught up to him walking into the endzone. Nonetheless, Wilson now has 14 TDs in three games. He broke the old record for the first three games set by Patrick Mahomes with 13 TDs. Mahomes went on to throw 50 TDs that year.
First and foremost, Wilson is on pace to throw 74 TDs this season. The Seahawks are operating the most pass heavy offense through three weeks. When your QB is throwing TDs on 14% of their passes, good God almighty. Of course, I expect him to come down to Earth a bit. However, I don’t think this explosive offense is going anywhere.
We have seen offenses throw on roughly 60% of their snaps before. Both the 2011 Saints and Packers (Rodgers and Brees’ best seasons) threw around the same rate. Now we are seeing it with the Seahawks and football fans can’t get enough. The #LetRussCook trend is making the rounds. Unfortunately, one of the biggest stigmas that has stuck with Wilson over his career is the idea that he is a game manager because of his supporting cast early on. That stigma has led him to never getting an all-pro nod nor a single vote for the MVP award.
Of course, you have to be a product of brothers and sisters fucking to think Wilson is a game manager today. But, that stigma is still carried around even though he was never really a game manager to begin. In his rookie year, he was top 10 in completion percentage, touchdowns, touchdown percentage, yards per attempt and air yards per attempt. Since day one, he has always been able to make things happen with his feet and push the ball downfield. Game managers don’t fucking do that.
Wilson has arguably the best 1-2 punch he has ever had at receiver with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Now that Pete Carrol is letting his HOF QB drop back and throw, watch the fucking magic happen.
- Tyler Lockett – 24 receptions, 259 yards, 10.8 YPR, 4 TDs
Current Pace: 128 receptions, 1,381 yards, 21 TDs
- DK Metcalf – 12 receptions, 297 yards, 24.8 YPR, 3 TDs
Current Pace: 64 receptions, 1,584 yards, 16 TDs
Saints Struggle – Time To Panic Yet?
I am not going to beat the dead horse on Brees not being able to throw downfield. That is pretty much established and buried. Yesterday, his stat line looked much better thanks to big time YAC yards and an incredible performance by Alvin Kamara. The concerns are definitely still there for Brees, no question. Once Michael Thomas returns, they don’t go away. However, they can be masked.
Last night, we saw the defense get torched by the angry version of Aaron Rodgers. It’s Aaron Rodgers and he has his way more often than not with defenses. Shit happens.
In addition to the concerns around Brees, the defense isn’t looking great. One big red flag for them is the lack of pass rush. If you look solely at the 7 sacks, it is middle of the road through week 3. However, the pressure rate is near the bottom of the league. Through three weeks, the defense is getting to the opposing QBs on 13.9% of drop backs (24th in the league). In 2019, they finished 2nd in total pressures and 5th in pressure rate.
A couple of key factors are hindering that pass rush that we saw in 2019. First, Cam Jordan has 1 pressure on the season. He finished 2019 with 49, which accounted for 27% of the team’s total. Marcus Davenport has been missing in action. When he comes back, that should help boost them. Lastly, Dennis Allen isn’t dialing up the blitz as often. The defense’s blitz rate has dropped by 12%.
The good news is the Saints run defense is still stout giving up only 3.4 yards per carry.
The light at the end of the tunnel is despite the glaring struggles, analytics say they’re still a relatively good team. The Saints are 10th in defensive DVOA and 12th in offensive DVOA. Last year, they finished 8th on defense and 4th on offense, respectively.
To answer the question…no, do not sound the alarm. It’s week 3. The roster is still one of the best on paper. The team has plenty of playoff experience. The NFC South looks like it is going to be a train wreck minus the Saints and Bucs. Let’s not forget, they would need a non top 7 finish to miss the playoffs with the added team.
Coaches on the Hot Seat
Two names right now who I don’t think make it to the midway point of 2020, Falcons’ Dan Quinn and Jets’ Adam Gase. The Jets are a total dumpster fire who have been demolished in all three games thus far. Meanwhile, the Falcons just continue to blow leads. At some point, you have to chalk that up to coaching versus just run of the mill bad luck.
Vegas is favoring Dan Quinn at -200 to be the first coach to be fired in 2020. I’d take those odds. That seat has to be white hot at this point.
Cowboys DL Trysten Hill Needs His Bell Rung
I get it. Football is a physical sport. Emotions run high and sometimes players act on emotion. There is no excuse for deliberately attempting to injure someone and succeeding in doing so. On Sunday, Hill was caught gripping Seahawks Running Back Chris Carson’s leg before doing a gator roll basically resulting in a knee injury.
It was reported that Hill will likely be fined, but not suspended. This is an opportunity to show the NFL actually gives a shit about player safety and not just when it comes to head injuries. You can’t allow players to get caught doing this shit then leave with a slap on the wrist.
If Hill does suit up this week, I may or may not be hoping to see his knee be taken out and ending his season. I said what I said. Don’t be an asshole and intentionally try to take out people.