Last Updated: 2017-12-05
NFL Week 13 is in the books and it was certainly an interesting week. Here are some thoughts and insights that will help you in Week 14 and going forward based on some of my observations.
The New York Jets held on for a victory in a back and forth contest against the Kansas City Chiefs. It is amazing how much grit this team has shown after an offseason where they looked to be tanking. Josh McCown the journey man has been rejuvenated leading this team. McCown was 26-36 for 331 yards completing 72% of his passes. The biggest difference has been his ability to throw down the field and pick up explosion plays. McCown was successful on 58% of all pass attempts on Sunday which help him bring his team out of a 14-point deficit early in the game. The Jets dominated possession running 85 plays and holding the ball for almost 43 minutes. They were able to hold the ball so long because they went 13-20 on third down and had a 65% success rate. The Jets ability to consistently convert third downs this year has kept them competitive in most games, and they are tied for 5th in the NFL in third down conversions. Defensively this team struggles to stop the big plays, and that is reflective in their overall record. Do not expect the Jets to stop fighting anytime soon. The Jets will travel to Denver this week and it would be a good idea to play on this gritty team especially since the Broncos look like a team that is done for the year on Sunday.
The Atlanta Falcons were held without a touchdown at home in defeat to the Minnesota Vikings. Offensively the Falcons struggled against the Vikings defense and were only success on 35% of offensive plays. Matt Ryan was 16-29 for 173 yards, but he was only successful on 34% of his passes which means that they were short, and the runner was not able to do much after the catch. The most alarming part of the Falcons offensive performance was going 1-10 on third down. Ryan did not help his team much on third down as he was held to a 55% completion percentage on third. Minnesota was able to take away Ryan’s primary target Julio Jones, and the offense was unable to get any rhythm. The blueprint to defeat this team is take away Julio, which obviously is easier said than done. Over the last part of the season look for teams with a dominant corner to stifle this offense. The next test comes on Thursday against the New Orleans Saints. Keep an eye out on the health of the New Orleans secondary which has had some injuries as of late, but if they are active for the game it would be a great time to take the Saints in this division rivalry.
The San Francisco 49ers prevailed in a very ugly football game against the Chicago Bears. The Niners had difficulty beating a team that is totally incompetent. On Sunday the Niners more than doubled the offensive output of the Bears and squeaked out a victory in to closing seconds. The teams at the bottom of the NFL are in a battle of who can stink more. San Francisco had a 52% success rate on offense and had five trips into the redzone, but were unable to score a touchdown. Head coach Kyle Shannahan is a dynamic play caller and it shows from the teams ability to put of 388 yards of offense; unfortunately, this team does not have enough talent. Jimmy Garoppolo as expected commanded the offense going 26-37 for 293 yards and was moved the offense up and own the field. However, this team continued its inability to convert when it mattered most and had to settle for 5 field goals. The Niners continued to play inferior quarterbacks even though they traded for Garoppolo, and that begs the question how bad they want to win this season. This week the Niners travel to Houston and expect the offense to continue to move the football effectively. Both teams rank in the bottom third defensively so expect points to come easy. The over is the play in this game as both teams should be able to move the ball at will.
The Green Bay Packers were able to steal a game at home against the woeful Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brent Hundley was 13-22 for 84 yards and was only successful on 33% of his passing attempts. The Packers found a way to win the game despite being outgained by 125 yards and being dominated for most of the game. Green Bay was fortunate to face turnover prone Jamies Winston, and found a way to have one successful drive in overtime to secure a win. The Packers are ranked 24th in total defense and continue to let teams move the ball at ease. They travel to Cleveland on Sunday and while the offense is nothing special expect the defense to allow Cleveland to find offensive success. Hundley will most likely use his legs against the Browns to move the chains. Expect this game to go over the total.