The Opening – Heyooooo! Another week, another win in fantasy for me. I haven’t felt this good about my Dirty Dozen league, probably ever. It’s been so damn long since I have had a loaded squad. Here’s to hoping it continues. I currently sit in 3rd place in both leagues I actually give two shits about. What a glorious feeling this week.

Hotard Huddle Podcast – Ep48 releases Friday. As per usual, I will run the gauntlet of week 7 moments with the boys. Let’s get it! Tune in on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, etc. Listen to all episodes by going to podcast/videos tab.

As per usual, start this off with the Weekly Picks.

  • Saints -4 (Loss)
  • Panthers -3 (Loss)
  • Falcons -1.5 (Win)
  • Lions +16.5 (Win)
  • Chiefs -4.5 (Loss)

Season Record: 15-19-1

The Bengals Have Entered the Chat

Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase. Get used to hearing it. I think this is going to be a Hall of Fame duo. The Bengals not only beat Baltimore on the road, they demolished them. With the Bengals facing a 3rd and 2 up 20-17, Burrow hit Chase on a quick slant. Chase decided to make a house call breaking 3 tackles. They ended up cruising to a 41-17 victory.

I wasn’t calling them a pretender, but I am damn sure wasn’t calling them a contender. With the AFC looking fairly wide open as the Chiefs continue to struggle, I don’t know anymore. Here is what I do know. Joe Burrow is an absolute stud, not that it is any surprise. Ja’Marr Chase is on pace to have the best rookie season for a receiver ever, period. That offense is absolutely loaded outside of those two. Joe Mixon is finding running room, while Samaje Perine has been a great fill in. Then you have some great compliments to Chase with Tee Higgins, CJ Uzomah and Tyler Boyd.

As much as I hate to give credit to anything LSU, Burrow made them must see TV. Burrow is making the Bengals must see TV. After the game against Baltimore, he alluded to the SEC being louder than any NFL stadium.

It was another classic shot from Burrow. I raved about his moxie and swagger while at LSU. It has carried over to the NFL. What I love about him more than anything is how well he flirts with the line of borderline arrogance and confidence. Literally google Joe Burrow arrogant and you will find columns and opinions conveying it. Clearly, his teams respond to it. He headed the greatest college football team ever, period. The Bengals are entering the conversation of one of the best teams in the league, period.

I am here for it.

Brian Flores Free Fall

Two years ago, I would have told you Brian Flores might be the best head coach in football. He somehow managed to get underwhelming Dolphins rosters to perform to sky high levels. After an 5-11 season a few years ago, that roster had no business winning even one game.

Last season, he was being heralded for the quarterback carousel of Tua and Fitzmagic. As the Dolphins continue to shit the bed on the season, reports are outing him that there is disconnect between his players because of decisions such as that. It’s cliche, but winning cures all. As soon as the losing begins, the real stories begin to unfold. That is what is likely happening in Miami.

Unfortunately, you have to look at the coaching tree. He is a Bill Belichick guy. Unfortunately, Bill Belichick’s coaching style only fits Bill Belichick in 2021. You can’t walk in to an organization and operate under the same principles if your name is not Bill Belichick because you don’t have the hardware behind your name.

Now reports are emerging that the Texans and Dolphins have reached a deal for Deshaun Watson pending legal issues. That is undoubtedly going to cause even more of a rift. Ultimately, this is going to be the beginning of the end for Flores in Miami because of the tumultuous downfall.

Chiefs Panic Meter

Maybe I am ignorant and stupid, but I am still only putting this at about a 3.

Sure, Patrick Mahomes probably just had his worst game of his career. The Chiefs are sitting at 3-4. It is still Patrick freaking Mahomes. I still believe it is only a matter of time before this turns around. The toughest part is the schedule isn’t getting much easier. The division is ultra competitive this year. The AFC West is no longer a laughing stock. They have 4 games heading before their bye week. Those are the Giants, Packers, Raiders and Cowboys. That is not a good looking 4 game stretch as they could easily be 4-7 heading into the bye.

Unpacking what is happening in KC are a number of things. Mahomes is facing the least amount of pressure he has seen in his career. You would think more time means better plays. Not necessarily. The two principles I think plaguing his “down” year is overconfidence (forcing the ball) and uncertainty (rolling out too quick). Both of which can be fixed. I think they will be.

The reason I say down year in quotes is because his floor is still better than most’s ceilings.

See Ya Carolina

I think we found our biggest pretender in 2021 along with the Broncos. Both 3-0 and now 3-4. Panthers have just had a nightmarish downfall. This past Sunday against the Giants was an absolute disaster. They averaged 2.8 yards per play and converted just 2 of 15 3rd downs. Big big big OOOOOOFFFF. The identity is unfolding.

Jameis Winston v Trequan Smith

Not sure what the hell this was about, but I like seeing it from Jameis. Passion baby!

Marshawn Lynch is a NATIONAL TREASURE

Protect this man at all costs. Doing shots before going on national TV. Dropping F bombs. What a great guy.

Week 8 Power Rankings

  1. Arizona Cardinals (7-0)
  2. Dallas Cowboys (5-1)
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-1)
  4. Los Angeles Rams (6-1)
  5. Green Bay Packers (6-1)
  6. Buffalo Bills (4-2)
  7. Tennessee Titans (5-2)
  8. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)
  9. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
  10. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)
  11. Las Vegas Raiders (5-2)
  12. Kansas City Chiefs (3-4)
  13. New Orleans Saints (4-2)
  14. Cleveland Browns (4-3)
  15. Minnesota Vikings (3-3)
  16. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3)
  17. Indianapolis Colts (3-4)
  18. San Francisco 49ers (2-4)
  19. New England Patriots (3-4)
  20. Carolina Panthers (3-4)
  21. Seattle Seahawks (2-5)
  22. Denver Broncos (3-4)
  23. Chicago Bears (3-4)
  24. Philadelphia Eagles (2-5)
  25. Atlanta Falcons (3-3)
  26. Washington Football Team (2-5)
  27. New York Giants (2-5)
  28. Miami Dolphins (1-6)
  29. Detroit Lions (0-7)
  30. New York Jets (1-5)
  31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)
  32. Houston Texans (1-6)

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