My weekly review of the games around the league. Recognizing greatness and talking a little trash! Got a problem with it? Hit me up on Twitter: @TheAceWriter or tweet at the website’s page @TFINS_
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Check out the Underrated Performance of the Week at the bottom of the page too!
The Good – Lamar Jackson and the Ravens knock off the last undefeated team in the AFC. Pats’ defense gets exposed.
New England Patriots vs Baltimore Ravens. Ravens win 37-20.
The Ravens picked up the biggest win of the season on Sunday Night Football. The Patriots walked through the first half of their schedule this year, dominating teams with an overwhelming defense.
The strength of the Pats’ defense is clearly in their secondary. Stephon Gilmore leads an elite cornerback group for New England. The talented safeties on the roster make plays all over the field, as well.
The Patriots have the best secondary in the league, but they haven’t invested the same amount of resources into their front seven. Dont’a Hightower remains a household name at linebacker, but who else scares you up front?
The Ravens entered this game as the #1 rushing offense in the league. Their dynamic running game was put on display against New England, as they ran for a total of 210 yards.
A big takeaway from this game was the different run plays that the Ravens used. The Patriots linebackers simply aren’t good enough to keep up with the Ravens offensive line and playmakers. Lamar Jackson was running past defenders all night, and Belichick’s defense had no answer for it.
Baltimore put on a rushing clinic in their biggest game of the season. It will be interesting to see if other teams start to find success on the ground, against New England.
The Bad – Green Bay’s offense gets flattened by the LA Chargers. The Packers’ defense doesn’t hold their own, either.
Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Chargers. Chargers win 26-11.
Green Bay entered this game with a resounding, 7-1 record. Despite injuries at several different positions, they put the NFL on notice with their performances this season.
Aaron Rodgers continues to play at a high level. His playmaking ability, with improved production from the running back position, has made Green Bay a dangerous offense to this point in the season.
The Packers’ defense has looked formidable as well. Pass rushers Za’darius Smith and Preston Smith appear to be two of the best free agent pickups of the 2019 offseason. An athletic, young secondary, paired with a great pass rush, has lead to success for this defensive unit.
The Packers’ latest road trip to Los Angeles has caused analysts and pundits to take a second look at Aaron Rodgers and the gang.
Rodgers ended the game completing 23-35 passes for 161 yards and 1 touchdown. He was also sacked three times. The Packers’ running game wasn’t much better, as lead running back Aaron Jones was held to just 30 yards rushing.
It’s hard to blame the Packers’ defense too much. They held the Chargers out of the end zone until late in the 3rd quarter. This was the type of game where the defense needed to force a turnover to spark the rest of the team, but they were unable to deliver. The Packers’ run defense could have done a better job, as well.
The Ugly – Cleveland still can’t get it together. A Brandon Allen lead Denver team, drops them to 2-6.
Cleveland Browns vs Denver Broncos. Broncos win 24-19.
We had the Browns listed as the ugly, after a poor offensive performance in Week 8. Apparently they like this list, as they looked like trash again, in Week 9.
Baker Mayfield didn’t play as poorly as he did last week, but their offense still looks clunky. This week, the red zone offense let Cleveland down. The Browns kicked FOUR field goals before finally finding the end zone. They scored their first touchdown with 10:47 left in the 4th quarter.
The Broncos run defense had a very strong game, as Breakout Star Nick Chubb was held to just 65 yards on 20 rushing attempts. Between the two star receivers, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, these are the games where you expect the playmakers to spark the passing game. For whatever reason, Mayfield can’t get them the ball in positions to make those plays.
I have usually come to the support of the Browns defense, but they deserve some blame here, too. Brandon Allen comes out and throws two touchdown passes in his career debut against this defense? He also leads the offense to 24 points and doesn’t have a single turnover? Unacceptable.
Odell Beckham has just one touchdown on the entire season. This man is arguably the most talented receiver in the entire league. There’s no decent explanation for his lack of production. It’s on the coach. It’s on the quarterback.
The Browns were thought of as Super Bowl contenders in the preseason. Through nine weeks, they have been the biggest pretenders in the national football league.
Underrated Performance of the Week – Minkah Fitzpatrick, Safety, Pittsburgh Steelers
It was real cute and funny to laugh at the Steelers for trading their 2020 1st round draft pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick. I even questioned the move myself.
Since joining the Steelers, Fitzpatrick has been a force. The Steelers defense is criminally underrated, and they are right in the playoff hunt with a 4-4 record.
The Alabama alum balled out this week, recording 7 tackles, a pass deflection, and an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Watch him take this pick to the crib! Eat up Mink!