2018 NFL Thrills and Chills, Part 1

2018 NFL Thrills and Chills, Part I

By Glenn Guzzo

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

ARIZONA

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        WR Kirk’s LP Wrong: LG, +75, +59 … LT Humphries 6 run block

Oh No!            QB cards may be worst in set; RBs won’t help enough

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        LCB Peterson (6) … RE Jones (4*12 rush)

Oh No!            Poor vs. run … few turnovers

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Lee’s punting: still 50 yd at #8

Oh No!            Missed XP

ATLANTA

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        QB Ryan is near-unstoppable Wrong w/27 complete chances SP, 16 LP … Julio Jones: 2-tmd catches, max catches FP/SP … Center Mack (7,6)

Oh No!            Poor YAC ratings, except RB Coleman (B)

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        RT Jarrett (6)

Oh No!            Poor vs. pass AND run (SG at #7 across the board w/0 LB)

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Bryant’s FG: 2-10 at 49 yds; 2-7 at 57 … Punt coverage: +7/3/4

Oh No!            Blocked punt; missed XP on #11 … Punt return: Better chance of fumble than gaining more than +6

CAROLINA

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Do-it all RB McCaffrey (LG runs, LP catches, YAC-A)

Oh No!            Run right: 0 run block at LG, LT

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        MLB Kuechly (66), RT Short (6) … Run D forces fumbles

Oh No!            Poor vs. pass and no 5s or 6s in secondary)

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Gano FG: 2-10 to 49 yds, 2-6, 11, 12 to 63 yds …Only #5 KO roll that doesn’t go to EZ

Oh No!            Missed XP on #11, 12 … Yawner kick returners

CHICAGO

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        It would be, uh … good field position thanks to the D! … two pass-block 7s

Oh No!            From OT to OT, only 0-4 run blockers … Too much miss in hit-or-miss QB Trubisky, too few big plays from RBs, receivers

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        All 11 starters and two subs have a 5 or 6 … ROLB Mack: (56 w/2*12 rush) … Excellent vs. run; Good/Excellent vs. pass (5 DBs at least 5 in coverage)

Oh No!            No “No”

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Punt coverage (+6/8/4)

Oh No!            Blocked punt, XP miss on #11, KO coverage (+28/35/LG) … FG only 2-8 at 29-39 yds

DALLAS

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        RB Elliott: SG RIGHT on #10 LB, OT, ER … LP catches, YAC-A …

WR Cooper: LG, +90, +75 LP Wrong

Safety-first QB Prescott’s low INTs … LG, RT run-block 6s

Oh No!            Safety-first QB Prescott’s low completions … No pass-block 7s (0 at LG)

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Excellent vs. run … LE Lawrence (6 w/1*12 rush) … RCB Jones (6)

Oh No!            Three 4s in secondary and on DL

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        FG 2-7 to 62 yds

Oh No!            FG 2-7, 11, 12 from 40-49 yds … Boring kick returners

DETROIT

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        RB Johnson: 50 chances SG or better across the card

Oh No!            QB Stafford just OK after better card last year … Blount a bust as power back

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        RT Harrison (6) … blitz LBs Kennard (11), Davis (10)

Oh No!            Very Poor vs. pass … run D still gives +4 to +6 on #7 w/1 LB

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        If perfect XP kicking excites you, then yeah! … Otherwise, not so much

Oh No!            PR coverage: +12/14/LG

GREEN BAY

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        QB Rodgers INTs on #12 … RB Jones can make the D pay for Pass guesses …

WR Adams 2-tmd catches, max catches FP/SP

Oh No!            Drops and misfires: Imposters using names of Rodgers, TE Graham, WR Cobb

Defense:

Oh Yeah!         RT Clark (6), ROLB Fackrell (5*12 rush)

Oh No!            Very Poor vs. pass (No blanks on SP/3 Men) … SS Brice (00) …

Average/Poor vs. run (SG on #7 on all runs w/0 LB and on #8 OT, too

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Get your thrills elsewhere

Oh No!            Blocked punt; XP miss on #11, KO coverage (+29/37/LG)

LOS ANGELES-NFC

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        QB Goff, RB Gurley (43 chances SG or better, LP catches, YAC-A) combo can confuse, frustrate defenses … RB Anderson (SG on #9 RIGHT across card), WR Cooks (max catches SP/LP w/LGs will inflict pain, too … Minimum RB fumbles … Both OT are 7,6 blockers, LG is 4,6; in all, 5 of 6 run blockers are rated 5 or 6

Oh No!            But Right, Goff will get picked

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        D player of year Donald (6 with 7*12 rush) … NT Suh (6), safeties are 65 and 56

Oh No!            Average/Poor vs. run (SGs galore) and pass

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        KO: Only #8 falls short of EZ

Oh No!            FG 2-6,11,12 from 40-49 yds

MINNESOTA

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        WRs Diggs, Thielen w/max FP/SP catches; Thielen w/2-tmd catches, too

Oh No!            Five 4s and a 0 in main seven run blockers (no 6s)

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Good vs. pass: Low complete % on team cards, three 5s in secondary … RT Joseph (6), LE Hunter (5 w/4*12 rush), FS Smith (56)

Oh No!            +33 OT, +44 ER on #2 w/SG on #7 for LB/ER

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        70-yd punt and +2/5/4 coverage

Oh No!            Blocked punt, missed XP … FG 2-6 40-49 yds

NEW ORLEANS

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        QB Brees: High completions, minimum INTs … WR Thomas: max catches and 2-tmd catches at all depths … Pass blocking: three 7s, two 5s; both OTs are 7,6

Oh No!            High RB fumbles

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Supreme run D w/few yards, high fumbles; LE Jordan (6 w/1*12 rush); 8 defenders have at least one 5 or 6

Oh No!            With these suicidal SP/LP cards (and great run D cards), just guess “Pass” and duck.

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Punt coverage: +1/2/3, FG kicking (2-10 at 49 yds)

Oh No!            Missed XP

NEW YORK GIANTS

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Rookie RB Barkley: 13 run chances of +40 or better (LGs Wrong on #3 across the card) and LP catches with max FP catches and YAC-A … WR Beckham: Explosive max catches at all depths (23 LG chances) … Minimum RB fumbles

Oh No!            Only 0 and 4 run blockers, with poor pass blocking on right side

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        ROLB Vernon’s 11 pass rush, with little help

Oh No!            Average to Poor vs. run and pass: SGs galore vs. run, three 0s, five 4s in pass coverage

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Excellent FG, kickoffs, punting and coverage

Oh No!            Missed XP

PHILADELPHIA

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Center Kelce, RG Brooks: both 7,6 and RT Johnson (5,6) … TE Ertz: Max FP/SP catches, 2-tmd catches

Oh No!            High RB fumbles (2-8 Right)

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        Good to Excellent vs run led by LT Cox (6 with 10 rush), four 5s

Oh No!            Poor vs. pass w/three 0s in back seven

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Johnston’s punting (still 50 yd at #7) and coverage: +3/5/4

Oh No!            Missed XP on 11

SAN FRANCISCO

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        Record-setting deep-threat TE Kittle w/2-tmd catches, LP LGs, +82, +85 …

HB Breida: SGs Right on #6 across the card with 47 chances of SG or better in all. Also max FP catches, YAC-B … Juszczyk the rare FB w/LP catches and LGs … LT Staley (5,6)

Oh No!            High RB fumbles (2-8 right) … Interior OL: 4,0,4 run blockers

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        RT Buckner: 6 with 1*12 pass rush

Oh No!            Very Poor vs. pass with low INTs, no blanks SP/3Men. 0s at both safeties …

Run D cards cannot force fumbles

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        KO return men: #1 has TD, #2 has 90 yds … All kickoffs #2-11 into EZ

Oh No!            Blocked punt, missed XP on 11

SEATTLE

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        QB Wilson running less, passing more – with good results (20 SP complete chances Wrong, 13 LP with huge 24 SG end runs Wrong … Big-play WR Lockett w/max LP catches and 2-tmd catches… LT Brown (5,6)

Oh No!            RT Ifedi (2,0)

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        MLB Wagner (66), RLB Wright (64) … pass-rushing RE Clark (2*12)

… Will force many fumbles

Oh No!            Four 4s on DL, 0 at RCB

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        FG 2-6 at 56 yds

Oh No!            Blocked punt, missed XP on 11, KO coverage (+35/24/LG)

TAMPA BAY

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        LG Marpet (7,6) … Max LP catches for explosive WRs Evans, Jackson

Oh No!            RG Benenoch (0,0) … INT-prone QBs Fitzpatrick, Winston and weak RBs

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        RLB David (6,5), RE Paul (1*12 pass rush)

Oh No!            Average to Poor vs. run (SG at #7 on all runs w/0 LB) and worse – Very Poor vs. pass (three 0s, three 4s in back seven)

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Good KO, punt coverage

Oh No!            Worst PK — Missed XP 11 and 12; FG 2-5, 11, 12 at 40-49 yds; short KO’s … Blocked punt, too … Weak kick returns

WASHINGTON

Offense:

Oh Yeah!        RB Peterson +90 OT, LGs in LB, ER and SG Right at #4 for all …

LT Williams (7,6)

Oh No!            LP not worth it with three atrocious QBs following injured Smith (FP and SP won’t work well for them, either) …

LG Bergstrom (0,0) w/0 run block at Center, too

Defense:

Oh Yeah!        LOLB Kerrigan 46 with 8*12 pass rush … three 5s in secondary

Oh No!            0s at LE, LCB … SG-rich run D (e.g. #7 LB even with 1 LB)

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        FG 2-6, 12 up to 56 yds

Oh No!            LG on punt coverage … Missed XP

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