Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today I want to touch on what I found to be the most interesting stories from week ten of the NFL. I'll bring up records, predictions, scheme, and of course, a couple hot takes. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
This game was a huge 45-21 blowout in favor of the Carolina Panthers. Miami is now on their third straight week with an embarrassing prime time loss, and after starting 4-2 they are 4-5. I first want to talk about the Panthers. Everybody is freaking out today about them today, claiming they could be the best in the NFC. I'll talk a bit more about that later, but for starters I want to eliminate Carolina from that conversation. Miami is the team everyone beats when they need to either right the ship, or when they need to make a statement. Last night was statement night. Carolina put up 548 yards (a franchise record) and scored a touchdown on five straight possessions. Here's the thing though, this win isn't as impressive as it looks. Miami has been terrible recently, and this game was close until Jay Cutler threw what was probably the worst interception of the year. After that, Miami's defense was on the field for so long without much of a break that Carolina walked all over them. Everyone has been able to do that though, so using this game as an example and justification for calling Carolina one of the best isn't valid.
Now it's time for a hot take. Miami is going to end this season 6-10. I know it doesn't sound like much right now, but I'll add more in a moment. Miami has the third hardest end schedule playing the Patriots twice, the Bills twice, the Broncos, Chiefs, and Buccaneers. I see no way Miami stays in Playoff contention and beat these teams the way both sides of the ball have performed. Here is the second part of the take though: next season, if the majority of the roster stays intact and Ryan Tannehill is healthy, Miami is either the five or six seed in the AFC. The loss of our (I'm a Dolphins fan that's why I say "our") starting quarterback was extremely detrimental (last night for example, Tannehill would have never thrown that interception, and the game would have been much closer), and we had to completely change our identity halfway through the season due to the Jay Ajayi trade. We should be facing the AFC South and NFC East, both of which feature solid teams, as well as dumpster fires. Miami had one of the hardest schedules this year, but next year we should come by wins more easily. We have shown flashes all season, but this year the Dolphins clearly can't put things together. Next year should be different.
The Patriots and Broncos also had what wasn't a very competitive game, with the final score coming out to be 41-16. The Broncos lost this game early, allowing 14 special teams points, which you cannot spot Tom Brady and the Patriots. Unlike the Falcons, New England isn't known for blowing leads. After this game, many are talking about how the Pats are back and how impressive this win was. Just like my evaluation of MNF, I don't see this being true. The Pats defense played well because they faced...sorry I started laughing just thinking about it...BROCK OSWEILER and the anemic Denver offense. Also, the Pats offense looked good partially because of Denver's scheme. The Miami defensive coordinator, Matt Burke, and Denver head coach, Vance Joseph, run the same scheme. Both have had success with it in the past but this season both Denver's defense, a very talented unit, and Miami's, not nearly as talented, have struggled. Both defenses have had their bright spot, but when you look at the tape it's usually great players making great plays, and not the scheme and play calling putting the players in the best spot to succeed. I think New England is dangerous, but in no way are they "back." Denver is not the team they used to be.
We are headed back to the best team in the NFC conversation. To date, I still see the Eagles being number one but my god I didn't not expect this from New Orleans;I don't think anyone did. Their defense has been over performing week by week, forcing the Bills to bench Tyrod Taylor this past week. The offense, despite the trade of Brandin Cooks, has still been successful, lighting teams up less through the air and more on the ground than usual. Drew Brees is still playing a high level of football, but running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara have taken the load of of his shoulders. They look, especially after beating one of the better teams in the AFC (Buffalo), like at least a top three team in the NFC.
Some people say I hate the Cowboys more than Steven A. Smith, if that helps you get a visual of how happy I was to see Dak Prescott sacked eight times. The Cowboys without Ezekiel Elliot are lost, and although the absence of Tyron Smith was more to account for the sacks than Zeke, you can still see that this team lacks an identity. Alfred Morris struggled running the ball in the first half which put Dallas in the hole, forcing obvious passing situations over and over again. This lead to the sacks, and the physical (as well as mental) beat down of what many people thought would be the best team in the NFC. Now, in all honesty (hot take alert), I don't even see Dallas making the Playoffs. They end the year with the Eagles, Chargers, Redskins, Giants, Raiders, and Seahawks making for a very difficult end of year schedule. I can only realistically see them winning 3 of these games, max, leaving them an eight win team. Sorry Jerry Jones, everything can't always go your way.
I predicted the Jaguars winning a close one this week, and boy was I right. A blocked field goal that somehow still went through the uprights gave the Jags an overtime victory against the Chargers, who were widely taken to upset Jacksonville. Now the Jags are 6-3, and in the thick of things in the AFC. I like them to win the division over the Titans, but if they can't do that I don't see a world in which they miss the Playoffs. Leonard Fournette was held in check this weekend getting only around 40 yards from scrimmage, but that isn't going to happen every week. He will continue to lead this team, and in my opinion, win rookie of the year. I like the Jags right now, and I think that this win really shut up those who didn't believe in this team.
High School Senior from Connecticut obsessed with sports stats, facts, and management.