As per usual, start this off with the Weekly Picks.
- Colts -3 (Win)
- Seahawks -6.5 (Win)
- Buccaneers -7 (Push)
- Vikings +4 (Win)
- Bills -3 (Win)
Season Record: 15-4-1
NFL Ratings and Viewers Update
Week 4’s Thursday Night match up hit a season low. No surprise there because of the match up. As I said last week with Thursday Night games, they fluctuate because they occasionally have some pretty big stinkers. It drew 5.4 million viewers, which shit on postseason baseball. Why? Because baseball sucks. Check out the final tally on week 3’s numbers below (lag time for complete ratings) as well as this video on how we all feel watching the Jets.
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%)
Week 3 Final Tally
Thursday Night Football – 5.43 Million (-14%)
Early Double Headers – 11.68 Million (-15%)
Sunday Singles – 16.57 Million (-11%)
Late Double Headers – 22.79 Million (+1%)
Sunday Night Football – 17.80 Million (-4%)
Monday Night Football – 14.02 Million (+32%)
Averages Through Week 3
TNF – 10.88 Million (2019 – 15.4)
SNF – 18.14 Million (2019 – 20.5)
MNF – 12.02 Million (2019 – 12.6)
Philip Rivers Talking Shit Will Never Get Old
Philip Rivers may be 38, but he still plays the game like a 15 year old kid. It’s never not fucking awesome. He was mic’d up again this week and was caught talking shit to Bears linebacker pre-snap. Check it out.
This video came a year after the gem he provided against Yannick Ngakoue and the Jags last season. After throwing a 90 yard touchdown, he starts screaming about it only for the Jags defensive end to take notice.
For someone with 9 children, that son of a bitch still has the highest of motors and energy. Stay young Philip, stay young.
Navigating Your Fantasy League Through Covid
Without minimizing the actual illness and the shit people are going through with Covid, coronavirus is making it harder to navigate fantasy football teams as teams have begun to experience outbreaks. Unless they take a break and implement a bubble strategy, that is likely to continue.
For my fellow my commissioners out there, I wanted to share a strategy that my league is currently implementing that can help prevent people from getting shafted on uncertainty with players and games.
- Leave any player you wish in your starting lineup (Ex. Steelers and Titans)
- Before Thursday Night (if someone is playing then) or noon on Sunday, designate a replacement player should the game not take place
- If the game in question is played, said player will remain in your starting lineup
- If the game is postponed, the replacement player is retroactively placed in your lineup. Commish can adjust the points accordingly.
- If replacement player goes off and original player started plays, you don’t get the option to say never mind and take the points
It is a win/win strategy for your league. No one will get shafted. There is a clear contingency in place. It is fairly easy to go in and change some points around. Because ultimately, this virus will continue to be a thorn for the NFL along with fantasy owners.
Pump The Breaks on Brees
Yes. Drew Brees’ passing chart looked much better this week. He was finding people downfield and completing passes more so than he did in the previous 3 weeks. Brees went 9/14 beyond 10 yards of the LOS which included one of his two touchdowns. In fact, the TD came beyond 20 yards.
Is he back? Calm down.
The Lions defense is awful. They have one of the worst pressure rates in the league on opposing QBs. They only make the QB uncomfortable on 3.7% of their drop backs. They also have one of the worst run defenses. They played 63% of their snaps in man coverage compared to 37% in zone. Brees was able to torch them in zone completing 88.9% of his passes against it. Even in man, when a veteran QB has all day throw, bless your heart.
That being said, they controlled the game. The opened up the second half with a long drive to essentially put the Lions on ice. They did this without multiple key players. So it was a good win and a much needed one, but let’s not get carried away on real deficiencies of the Saints.
The Saints always fall victim to their own arrogance. I have talked about this since 2016. It has continued to be a problem. The fundamental problem with the Saints against the Raiders and Packers, they didn’t attempt to establish the run. This is something we have seen in the playoffs. This is something we have seen in the regular season. When they get cute and try to rely solely on the arm of Brees, they lose more often than not. That trend continues, they’re 2-0 when they run 25 times and 0-2 when they don’t.
I wrote a column back in 2017 that highlights these things: https://hotardhuddle.com/2017/10/29/the-defense-is-not-that-good-the-saints-just-stopped-stat-whoring/
To drive this home, the Saints are 1-6 in the playoffs when Brees throws 40 times. One of which is the Bears in 2006 where they had to throw. They are 7-1 when they throw under 40 times. The lone loss is last year at home against Minnesota where Brees’ turns around and hands it off 12 times compared to the 36 drop backs. You have to keep defenses honest.
Bill O’Brien is the first to get chopped
Houston Texans parted ways with Head Coach and GM Bill O’Brien. Sucks to suck. Everyone sort of saw the writing on the wall after trading DeAndre Hopkins and then starting 0-4. However, I thought for sure Falcons’ Dan Quinn or Jets’ Adam Gase would be the first to go.
One idea I thought of earlier is I expect Gase and Quinn to be fired before the end of the season. Another coach who is likely on the hot seat is Lions’ Matt Patricia. I feel like he will also be fired mid-season. That made me wonder if we head into Black Monday without seeing any Head Coach lose their job. Aside from those four, I am not sure anyone else will be on the chopping block.
Ok Browns. I See You!
The Browns trounced the Cowboys in a shootout on Sunday 49-38. They are now 3-1 a quarter way through. Baker Mayfield is starting to look more comfortable. I hope that continues because I love me some Baker.
The offense had three rushers go for more than 70 yards including receiver Odell Beckham who had a whale of a game, finishing with 3 touchdowns. One in which he caught from fellow receiver Jarvis Landry. They poured it on. The AFC North looks like it could be a competitive division in 2020.