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2017 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!        LT, LG are 7-rated pass blockers … RB Collins: 32 chances SG or better

Oh No!            Say it ain’t so, Joe: Flacco’s flaccid passing … Missing Yanda: 0 run blockers at both G

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        6s at RE, FS and four 5s, plus big-time pass rush from OLBs Suggs, Judon

Oh No!            A 0 and four 4s in back seven’s coverage

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        PR TD and 87-yd KOR … superb KO coverage … Tucker: FG good 2-6, 11, 12 from 50-57 yds

Oh No!            blocked punt

 

BUFFALO

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        RB McCoy: long gain on OT and ER

Oh No!            Keep your friends close: No long gain on any receiver card … Pass block 2 and 3 at tackles (with a 0 run block at RT)

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        RE Hughes (6) … a 6 (SS Hyde) and three 5s in the secondary

Oh No!            Sad sacks: Nobody higher than 5 on pass rush … 0s in coverage at both OLB

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Strong punting + superb coverage … Hauschka: FG good 2-7, 12 from 50-56 yds

Oh No!            Walk, don’t run: longest KO return is 29 yds

 

 

CINCINNATI

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Enviable Green: WR w/max FP, SP + 2-tmd catches and both +77, +70 in LP … LG Boling (7,5)

Oh No!            Boling only reliable OL (two 0 run blockers; 2 and 3 pass blockers)

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        RT Atkins (6 w/10 pass rush)

Oh No!            Two 0s, seven 4s in starting lineup

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        For Cinci, let’s just make this “Oh Yeah?”

Oh No!            blocked punt, missed XP on 11 and long gain on punt coverage

 

CLEVELAND

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        WR Gordon: max LP catches … LG Bitonio (7,5)

Oh No!            Whose side are they on? Foes catch more than Browns when Kizer throws deep Right … LT (0,0), RT (3,0)

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Three 5s on DL

Oh No!            No 5s or 6s in back seven … rookie FS Peppers has ratings like us (00)

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Um, let’s see – missed XP only on 12; no long gain on bad punt coverage

Oh No!            blocked punt … long gain on KO coverage

 

DENVER

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        WR Thomas: Max FP/SP catches

Oh No!            LP won’t be a good call ever: Longest WR catch: +40 … RT (2), LG (3) can’t protect three shaky QBs from themselves.

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        LOLB Von Miller (6 vs run, * sacker) … a 6 (LCB Talib) and 5 at the corners (a 5 at nickel back, too) and 5s at all three DL spots

Oh No!            LB and safety coverage: Three 0s, three 4s

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        McManus FG good 2-6 from 50-54 yds

Oh No!            blocked punt … long gains on both kickoff/punt coverages

 

HOUSTON

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Max catches at all depths +2-tmd catches: THAT’s an All-Pro – WR Hopkins … Throwing, running QB Watson can be the bomb – when INTs don’t blow up in his face

Oh No!            Traitor LT Clark (2,0) in pitiful OL that tops out at LG (4,4)

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        ROLB Clowney (6 vs run and * pass rush)

Oh No!            No J.J. Watt; instead: a 0 at RE (with a 2 pass rush); 0s at RCB, SS in Very Poor pass D

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Fuller’s exciting punt returns    Big-time punter Lechler (still 44 yds at #10)

Oh No!            Lechler out-kicked his coverage (+19/17/13) … XP miss at 11-12

 

INDIANAPOLIS

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Max catches: WR Hilton LP, TE Doyle FP … LT Castonzo (5,6)

Oh No!            Jail break! Pass block 3-0-2-2 from RT to LG (with 0 run blockers at both G) … Cry if you want to over RB Gore

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        6s at LE, NT

Oh No!            LBs in coverage: three 0s and a 4; secondary: a 0 and two 4s

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Kickoffs: 31 deep kicks + fab coverage … Great punt coverage, too

Oh No!            blocked punt, XP miss on 11-12

 

JACKSONVILLE

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Fournette: +90 OT, long gain ER … Pass blocking: Three 7s, three 5s

Oh No!            Don’t get behind: This offense will have a very tough time guessed Right

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Sacksonville: Two asterisk pass rushers outside, a 10 at LT and a 10 sub … 6s at both CB … eight 6s and 5s in all, led by RE Campbell (6 w/* pass rush)

Oh No!            RT Jones (a 4 with 3 pass rush) is as bad as it gets on this superior D

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        PR TD

Oh No!            blocked punt … XP miss 11-12 … long gain on KO coverage

 

KANSAS CITY

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Good hands people: Breakaway RB Hunt (long gain on ER #10), explosive TE Kelce (max FP/SP, almost max LP+ 2-tmd catches) and WR Hill (max LP and 28 chances across card of long gain or better), career-best QB Smith … RT Schwartz (7,6)

Oh No!            0 run block at C

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Coverage 6s at LCB (Peters), RILB (Johnson); * pass rush at LOLB (Houston)

Oh No!            0s at RCB, FS; practically non-existent pass rush on DL and at ILB

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        PR TD … best combo of XP, FG, KO, punt, and both coverages in set

Oh No!            -5 penalty differential

 

 

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Rivers’ best deep-passing card in set … He can do it w/little risk behind pass block 7s at RT, RG, C, LT … WR Allen: max FP, SP + 2-tmd catches

Oh No!            OL will not help ground running game: All 0s and 4s

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        LCB Hayward (6) leads a secondary with three 5s … sacks without blizting: DE’s Bosa (*), RE Ingram (11) – they are 5s vs. the run, too

Oh No!            Shaky LB crew without a 5 vs. the run, pass or pass rush anywhere

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        PR TD … Kaser’s punting (still 50 yds at #7, 43 yds at #10) + strong coverage

Oh No!            Wide left: XP miss 10-11; FG good only 2-4, 11, 12 from 40-49 yds

 

MIAMI

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        RB Drake’s getaway card (esp. long gain at #11 ER, +66 OT) … WR Landry max FP/SP catches … 7 pass block at C, RT

Oh No!            Drake will get it on his own behind this wall of china (that’s a lower-case “c”): 0 run blockers at TE, RG, LG, LT

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        LT Suh (6); pass-rushing LE Wake (*)

Oh No!            In back seven’s coverage,  resistance is futile (three 0s, four 4s)

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Fine KO, punt coverage

Oh No!            XP miss 11-12

 

 

NEW ENGLAND

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Brady: most SP completions Right; most LP completions Wrong … throw w/confidence: Two 7s, three 5s for pass block … The Gronk is a scary sight w/2-tmd catches, BIG yards … Run, too, w/Lewis (31 chances SG or better across card) behind tow 6s (Gronk again), three 5s

Oh No!

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        RCB Gilmore, 5s at both safeties

Oh No!            In this 4-3, DL pass rush rates are 6-2-2-1, with no 6 run stuffers

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        KR TD … superb KO, punt coverage

Oh No!            Only 20 deep-kickoff chances, but that was strategy (see coverage above)

 

 

NEW YORK JETS

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Max catches: WR Anderson LP, TE Sefarian-Jenkins FP … RB Powell: long gain on LB #10, +75 on OT #12

Oh No!            OL can’t pass block inside or run block outside (0 at both OT)

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        RILB Davis (56 w/8 pass rush)

Oh No!            Three 0s and a 4 in the secondary

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Strong punting (70 long, still 41 yds at #10) … excellent KO coverage

Oh No!            long gain on punt coverage

 

 

OAKLAND

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        OL w/three 7-rated pass blockers and a 6 and three 5s for run block

Oh No!            Oops! – automatic RB fumbles Right … RT Newhouse (2,0) STILL can’t block

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        LE Mack (a 6 w/11 pass rush, RLB Irvin (* pass rush)

Oh No!            In coverage, 0s at FS, SS, LCB, LLB

                        

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        30 deep-kickoff chances and superb coverage … strong punting (still 42 yds at #10) and coverage (+6/2/3)

Oh No!            Cowardly punt returns

 

 

PITTSBURGH

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        THREE 7,6 blockers at RG, C, LT … TWO max LP WRs (Brown, Smith-Schuster) … JuJu’s +97 (and +69 + heavy long gains)

Oh No!            Only the WRs can go deep, making D calls easier

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        LE Heyward (5 vs. run w/12 pass rush) … Three LBs w/double-digit sack ratings

Oh No!            Oh-Oh SS Davis (00)

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        KR TD … 30 deep-kickoff chances … Boswell FG good 2-6, 12 from 50-54 yds

Oh No!            Missed XP on 11

 

 

TENNESSEE

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Underrated TE Walker (max FP catches and decent at all depths) … LT Lewan (5,6), three 5-rated run blockers, a 7 pass block at RG

Oh No!            Off-the-Marcus Mariota: More INTs than completions LP Right

 

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        FS Byard (66), RE Casey (6), both ILB 6s vs. the run

Oh No!            In coverage, SS Cyrpien (0) and nothing better than 4 at four LB positions

 

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Leg man Kern’s punting (74 long, still 41 yds at #11) with strong coverage

Oh No!            Only 18 deep-kickoff chances … Missed XP on 11