NFL Week 8/9

Week eight recap, Bears talk, and week nine game picks with the former editor-in-chief, Seth Engle!

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Week 8 Takeaways

 

Bills: They got the job done, but it wasn’t pretty. They are certainly the best team in the AFC East, but I question their ability to beat any of the heavyweight teams in the AFC.

 

Patriots: Everyone is saying, “It wasn’t the system.” I’m not usually one to defend the Patriots, but it’s unfair to say that about Bill Belichick. 

 

Browns: Baker Mayfield is terrible. Six points against the Raiders is just embarrassing. They should not be a 5-3 team, and I think things are headed south for the Browns.

 

Steelers: Last week I claimed they might be the best team in football. Against the Ravens, they proved they are. Their defense is the best in the league, and it’s not even close.

 

Ravens: Again, this offense is not what it was last year, but the defense is just as good if not better. If the offense can get back to where it was last year, they will be a top tier team in the AFC alongside Pittsburgh and Kansas City.

 

Titans: I expect more from the Titans. They lost to the Bengals, and it wasn’t even close, and by doing so, they may have opened the door for the Colts to take over the division.

 

Buccaneers: I don’t know what to think of this team. It seems like they are a different team every week. That was a really close game against the Giants, and I thought Daniel Jones didn’t play too well.

 

Packers: This Packers team looks way different than it did after 5 weeks, losing two of their last three. Their defense couldn’t find a way to stop Dalvin Cook, and their offense did not play well against a mediocre Vikings defense.

 

Seahawks: That was a great bounce-back performance for Seattle. They are the best team in the NFC, and they will win the NFC West.

 

49ers: It has been a tough year for the Niners. They continue to find themselves in injury trouble and to make matters worse, they play in the best division in football.

 

Rams: After dominating the Bears, this was a surprising loss for the Rams. It seems unlikely that they will win the NFC West, but if they want to secure a wild card spot, they can’t afford to lose games like this.

 

Colts: They are tied atop the AFC South at 5-2. I don’t think Phillip Rivers is that good, but their defense is legit. Nonetheless, considering their upcoming schedule, I expect them to be a .500 team after the next several weeks.

 

What’s up wit Da Bears

 

The Bears looked better this week than they did against the Rams, but at the end of the day, they still lost. Like many other Bears games, itis easy to blame the offense and the o-line for the loss, but Matt Nagy was the biggest reason the Bears lost this game.

Against the Rams, Matt Nagy’s play-calling was a problem, but this week it was the biggest factor that prevented the Bears from winning. The Bears played a solid first half, and they were set to take a 13-3 lead into the locker room and receive the second-half kickoff. On the final drive of the first half, with about 40 seconds left,  the Saints were facing a 3rd and 13 and it looked like they were going to let the clock run out. Instead of letting the clock run out and taking a 13-3 lead into the locker room, Nagy decided to call his second timeout. Nagy was nothing short of delusional while making this decision. The logic that with 30 seconds left and no timeouts, the Bears offense could somehow drive around 50 yards and get a score, is flawed on so many levels. Sure enough, the Saints converted the 3rd and 13 and scored a touchdown, shrinking the Bears’ lead to only three points at the half. 

Then, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Bears had a 4th and five from the Saints 36 yard-line. Nagy decided to go for it, and the Bears ran what could have been the worst play of the game. Nick Foles just chucked the ball downfield off his back foot, and Allen Robinson had no chance at catching the ball. As a result, the Saints were set up with good field position, and they drove downfield and scored a touchdown. That was frustrating. I can’t help but feel like if the Bears had punted the ball, the defense would have forced a Saints punt and the offense would be set up with good field position. Nagy has to understand the identity of this Bears team and use it to their advantage. Unlike many other good teams, the Bears don’t have a dynamic offense, so Nagy should have realistic expectations for it. This game, Nagy expected too much from his offense, and that ultimately cost the Bears the game.

As for the offense, it showed a little bit of promise this week, but still nothing to be too excited about. Sure, Nick Foles did complete a few nice passes, one of them a 50-yard bomb to Darnell Mooney, but Foles’s lack of mobility continues to be a major problem. The Saints defense sacked Foles four times. The problem is that Foles has trouble throwing the ball away because he is always in the pocket. If Foles can somehow find a way to escape the pocket more often, he will take fewer sacks and make a few plays. On the positive side, Mooney looked good and Montgomery rushed for 89 yards, his highest total of the season.

This week, the Bears will go on the road to play the 5-2 Titans, who have lost two games straight.

 

Last Week’s Picks Results

 

Josh: 8-5, 24-16 Overall

Dante: 8-5, 24-16 Overall

Archie: 8-5, 26-14 Overall

Calvin: 6-7, 26-14 Overall

Ledbetter: 6-7

 

Week 9 Game Picks

 

Sunday 12 P.M.

 

Bears at Titans

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Seth

Broncos at Falcons

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Seth

 

Seahawks at Bills

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Seth

 

Ravens at Colts

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Seth

 

Texans at Jaguars

Josh Calvin Dante Archie

Seth

 

Panthers at Chiefs

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Seth

 

Lions at Vikings

Josh Calvin Dante Archie Seth

 

Giants at Football Team

Josh Calvin Dante Archie

Seth

 

Sunday 3:05 P.M.

 

Raiders at Chargers

Josh Calvin Dante Archie

Seth

 

Sunday 3:25 P.M.

 

Steelers at Cowboys

Josh Calvin Dante Archie

Seth

Dolphins at Cardinals

Josh Calvin Dante Archie

Seth

 

Sunday 7:20 P.M.

 

Saints at Buccaneers

Josh Calvin Dante Archie

Seth

 

Monday 7:15 P.M.

 

Patriots at Jets

Josh Calvin Dante Archie

Seth

 

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