2018 NFL Thrills and Chills, Part 2

2018 NFL Thrills and Chills, Part II

By Glenn Guzzo

Here’s a brief summary of the highlights and lowlights of Strat-O-Matic’s new football ratings:

BALTIMORE

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        QB Jackson, RBs Dixon, Edwards: the best run Right cards ever …

RG Yanda (7,6) … Deep-threat TE Andrews

Oh No!            Even Flacco a better passer than happy-feet, sling-and-miss Jackson

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Good/Excellent vs. run; Average/Good vs. pass – the D is the star of this team

Oh No!            Few turnovers

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Punt return TD on #3

Oh No!            Blocked punt, missed XP

BUFFALO

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Pass block: A 7 and four 5s … Yeah or Not? QB Allen best runner on team by far with longest gain, most SGs and big Must Run plays

Oh No!            Four 0 run blockers from RT to LG … Three traitors posing as QBs about as likely to throw INTs downfield as completions … RB “Shady” McCoy a shadow of former self … Longest RB run: 30, w/rare SGs

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Good vs. pass w/two 6s in secondary, four other 5s in back seven …

LOLB Alexander: 55 w/1*12 pass rush

Oh No!            Average/Poor vs. run

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Oh, Yawn: Nothing special

Oh No!            Kicking-game flaws in all aspects

CINCINNATI

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        QB Dalton: 14 complete chances LP Wrong … Minimum RB fumbles …

Pass-block 7s at LG, LT

Oh No!            No receivers – not even A.J. Green – w/LGs … Pass-block 2 and 3 at RG, RT …

Run block: Three 0s, three 4s on OL

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        RT Atkins (6 w/11 pass rush) leads DL with two other 5s …

Three 5s in secondary

Oh No!            Poor vs. run AND pass: 0s at LCB, MLB, RLB

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Bullock FGs: 2-10 at 40-49 yds

Oh No!            Blocked punt, XP miss on 11, LG on punt coverage

CLEVELAND

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        QB Mayfield: Awesome 16 complete chances LP Wrong …

RB combo Chubb to run (LGs, +92, +63, SGs Right), Johnson to receive (LP catches, near-max FP catches w/YAC-A) … Pass-block 7s at C, RG

Oh No!            Rec/QB fumbles: 1-4

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Average/Good vs pass with fewer completes, big plays … LE Garrett (6 w/2*12 pass rush)

Oh No!            Way too many yards on “Average” run D cards (e.g. OT/0 LB = +32 on #2, +15, 2-7 on #4, SG on #7) … 0’s in coverage at RCB, LLB, RLB

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        If you can’t say anything nice …

Oh No!            Blocked punt, Missed XP on 10-12 (yes)

DENVER

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Rookie RB Lindsay (47 chances of SG or better, with LGs, too – and SGs Right on #6 … Center Paradis (7,6), LT Bolles (7,5) …

A real FB! Janovich (5,6) w/10 LP Wrong catch chances

Oh No!

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        LOLB Miller, of course (56 w/9*12 pass rush) w/ROLB Chubb (6*12 pass rush) on other side … RCB Harris (6) … Average/Good vs. run and pass – especially vs. pass

Oh No!

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        FG 2-10 at 40-49 yds

Oh No!            Kick returners playing in short-yardage mode … Punt coverage LG … Surprisingly short KO’s at Mile High altitude

 

HOUSTON

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        QB Watson rivals Russell Wilson as best dual-threat QB …

THIS is an All-Pro: WR Hopkins: Max catches and 2-tmd catches at all ranges

Minimum RB fumbles … RB Miller’s +97 on ER Wrong

Oh No!            How do you feel about a LT (0,4) that is your best run blocker? (SIX 0’s!) Or a 4 as your best pass blocker? – Hire a new strength coach!

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Supreme run D with LE Watt (6 w/3*12 pass rush) leading three run-stopping 6s and two 5s in front seven … All four in secondary are 5s in coverage

Oh No!            “Poor” is very kind to this LP card – LGs on all available rolls w/0 Men)

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        KO coverage (+17/22/14) and punt coverage (+8/5/6)

Oh No!            Missed XP on 11

INDIANAPOLIS

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        7,6 blockers at LG (rookie Nelson), LT (Castonzo) and 7,5 at RG, Center

QB Luck’s 8/14 LP complete chances … Two TE receiver threats: Ebron (max FP/SP catches w/2-tmd catches) and Doyle … Big-play WR Hilton w/max SP/LP catches

Oh No!            Not much of a run game to keep the D honest.

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Good vs. run, mostly for forced fumbles, not yards … Rookie RLB Leonard (55 w/10 pass rush)

Oh No!            Poor vs. pass

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        +4 penalty differential … Best-in-set punt coverage (+1/2/3)

Oh No!            Longest KO return: 29 yds … Missed XP on 11

JACKSONVILLE

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Center Linder (7,5) … RB Yeldon as FP target (near-max catches w/YAC-A)

Oh No!            QB Bortles the best skill player on this team … Possibly worst run game in set (longest RB run: 25 yds) … Pass blocking at LT (0), RG (3), RT (4)

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Good vs. pass … RE Campbell (6 w/11 pass rush), LCB Ramsey (6)

Oh No!            Average/Poor vs. run w/rare takeaways vs. run or pass … SS Church (00)

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Punt return TD on #3

Best-in-set kick coverage (+10/11/12 on KO; +1/2/3 on punts)

Oh No!            Missed XP

KANSAS CITY

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Here’s what 50 TD passes and an MVP will get you: QB Mahomes a contender for most lethal passing card ever … Unfair: He’s got receivers, too, especially TE Kelce (max FP/SP catches, 2-tmd catches and big LP card), scary WR Hill (explosive max catches, 2-tmd catches at all ranges)

7,6 blockers at both tackles w/another 7 pass blocker at center

Oh No!            Penalties bound to bring back many big plays. Will the Chiefs D can get off the field in time?

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Outside pass rushers Jones (2*12) and Ford (4*12)

Oh No!            Poor vs. pass with ouch-worthy LP card … Five defenders w/at least one 0

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        TD on PR and 97 yds on KOR … punt coverage (+2/3/4)

Oh No!            Worst-in-set -6 penalty differential … XP miss on 11

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Old Man Rivers keeps rolling with sweet passing card (16 complete changes in LP Wrong) … WR Allen: Max FP/SP catches w/2-tmd catches … WR Tyrell Williams: max LP catches … All 3 RBs have SGs Right …

7,5 blockers at LT (Okung), C (Pouncey)

Oh No!            Pass-block 3s at RT, LG

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Good vs. run w/RE Ingram (6) … Rookie SS James (65)

Oh No!            Five of back seven are 4 or 0 in coverage; six of front seven are 4 or 0 vs. run

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        PR TD on #3

Oh No!            Blocked punt, LG on punt coverage; missed XP on 10-12 (you read that right)

 

MIAMI

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        RB Gore gets tough yards Right, good yardage Wrong

Oh No!            Both guards: 2,0; 0 pass block at center, too

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        High INTs … RCB Howard (6)

Oh No!            Poor vs. run w/so many SGs, almost no fumbles, 0’s at RT, RE … Average/Poor vs. pass w/coverage 0’s at FS, MLB, RLB and no double-digit pass rushers

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Jakeem Grant: PR TD on #3; KR TD, too

Oh No!            Blocked punt, missed XP, LG on KO coverage

NEW ENGLAND

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        RB Michel’s 38 chances (including SGs Right) of SG or better …

WR Edelman: Max FP/SP catches … … No Receiver/QB fumbles

RG Mason (7,6) leads OL with three 7s, two 5s in pass block, a 6 and three 5s (plus another at TE) for run block

Oh No!            Odd to see a Brady card with blanks at #6, #7 in SP Wrong … Odd to see Gronk with no LGs

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        6s at LE (Flowers), LT (Guy)

Oh No!            Poor vs. pass depends on a 6 (RCB Gilmore), three 5s in secondary; otherwise:  LGs on every available roll in LP/0 Men (and seven chances w/1 Man) and little pass rush (none better than 7, only two better than 4)

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        KR TD

Oh No!            Gostkowski’s uncharacteristically lackluster place-kicking, including missed XP

NEW YORK JETS

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Between-tackles running by RBs Crowell (LG on #4 LB Wrong, +77, +62 elsewhere), Powell (both have SGs Right) … LT Beachum’s 7 pass block

Oh No!            Blanks and INTs reveal rookie QB Darnold’s learning curve … No RB or TE can go deep; only WR Anderson is a LP threat … shabby run-blocking with 0s at both guards and BB, 4s elsewhere

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        SS Adams (66) and a 5-6-5 DL

Oh No!            Poor vs. pass and Average/Poor vs. run w/scarce takeaways, four 0s in back eight’s coverage

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Andre Roberts: KR, PR TDs … Myers FG: 2-7 up to 56 yds

Oh No!            -5 penalty differential … Missed XP on 11, 12 … Short kickoffs

OAKLAND

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        With little help, QB Carr is more than reliable … No Receiver/QB fumbles

… TE Cook: Max FP catches, 15 LP catches Wrong … Center Hudson (7,5)

Oh No!            Ole’! Both tackles are 2,0 … Empty-handed WR crew

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        The pass D cards aren’t bad, the problem is explained below.

Oh No!            Poor vs. pass and run (no forced fumbles) … EIGHT defenders are 0’s (both ends

and three in secondary). The best pass-rush rating is 5 (with four 0’s)

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        PR TD

Oh No!            Weak punting and LG in coverage … Missed XP

PITTSBURGH

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Superstar WRs Smith-Schuster (max FP/SP catches, LP Wrong gains of +97, +75, LG) and Brown (max FP/SP catches, 2-tmd catches) w/two highly complementary TE’s and RB Conner … No Receiver/QB fumbles

RG DeCastro (7,6) leads team with four 7s, three 5s in pass block, two 6s, two 5s in run block

Oh No!            High RB fumbles (2-9, 12 Right; 2-7 Wrong)

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Good/Excellent vs. run with a 5-5-6 DL and a 5 in LOLB Watt (also 5*12 pass rush)

Oh No!            Poor vs pass (rolling the blanks on the D cards requires marksmanship) with donut coverage at SS, both ILB.

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        +5 penalty differential

Oh No!            Suicidal place-kicking: Maybe worst-in-set FGs and missed XP on 11, 12 …

LG on PR coverage … A short-yardage return game

TENNESSEE

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        RB Henry’s +99 OT – just call it a TD! Among 50 (!) chances of SG or better across card, w/SGs Right at #7 … LT Lewan (5,6) … Minimum RB fumbles

Oh No!            RG Kline (2,0) worst-in-show for interior OL with 2-3-2 pass blocking

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        FS Byard (66), RILB Brown (64 w/9 pass rush), RE Casey (6 w/7 pass rush)

Oh No!            No forced fumbles

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!                    KR TD … best-in-set +6 penalty differential

Oh No!                        Blocked punt, missed XP on 11, 12 … KO coverage: +37/43/LG

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