NFL 2020: Week 10

A blowout loss and Tom Brady absolutely sucking. The Houston Texans ownership and team President can go blow goats after firing their P.R. director for, apparently, being supportive of Kamala Harris. The Dolphins and Vikings are experiencing a resurgence. And, of course, Covid. Not a ton of earth shattering news this week. Which is nice, so we can focus on actual football.

Here’s your games this week:

Thursday, Nov. 12

Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans (-1.5, 49)

Sunday, Nov. 15

Early

Washington Football Team vs. Detroit Lions (-3.5, 46.5)
Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns (-3, 54)
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Green Bay Packers (-14, 53)
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants (+3.5, 44)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers (+6, 49.5)

Late

Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders (-4.5, 51)
Buffalo Bills vs. Arizona Cardinals (-1.5, 55.5)
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Miami Dolphins (-2.5, 48.5)
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (-8, 47.5)
Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams (-1.5, 55.5)
San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints (-9, 51)

Night

Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots (+7, 41.5)

Monday, Nov. 16

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears (+2.5, 44.5)

Thanks to the Masters (I think), there are actually more afternoon games than early games this week, with television getting two afternoon games and only one early game. This week, my early game is the Packers. This season, I’ve been able to watch a ton of Packers (for good and ill). I guess St. Louis losing the Rams (Fuck Stan Kroenke!) has given me more chances to watch the Pack. Too bad this week’s game looks to be a blowout against a very bad team. At least I get to watch Jake Luton, who I never thought I’d actually say out loud. Actually, maybe I’ll just watch the Masters, because none of those early games looks any fun to watch. Or, heaven forbid, I go outside.

The later games are more interesting, but none really grab me. I’m surprised the Bills aren’t favored by more than 1.5 points, but the inconsistency of their QB play is an issue. The Seahawks/Rams game might be a tight contest, and I love me some Aaron Donald, but Seattle doesn’t play defense at all. Likewise Sunday and Monday night’s games arent very compelling either. Ravens/Pats has a great history, but these aren’t your normal Pats. And I’ll watch the Vikings/Bears game, just to enjoy watching the Bears waste another playoff caliber defensive year. With Dalvin Cook and more experience for that young defense, I am a little concerned about the Vikings actually being good. How else do you explain a 5-4 home team being an underdog to a 3-5 team.

Not a great week for NFL games this week, at least to my eye. Maybe we should all go outside, watch the leaves turn, go for a hike in the cool air, stay 6 feet away from each other, and enjoy the real world. Or we can watch the Masters, and then do that stuff.

Let’s hear what you’ll be doing instead of watching NFL football!

This week has the small benefit of not having to watch either the Cowboys or the Jets.

But how am I supposed to pick my Survival winner this week!?

The Packers will be on TV here in Chicago, so I’ll probably watch, or at least have it going in the background. The Jaguars appear to be a mess, which means it’s the sort of game where I worry that the Packers will play down to the opponents’ level.

With the COVID situation in the Green Bay area being particularly terrible, I’ve been surprised that the Packers haven’t had a bigger issue with positive tests (or exposures discovered through contact tracing), since Green Bay is simply not a very big place – either the players and staff have been good about limiting potential exposure, or they’ve just gotten really lucky so far.

I haven’t done any rigorous analysis on this but it feels like the COVID issues have been hitting the offensive line rooms particularly hard. Several teams have trotted out there a patchwork of blockers off the streets who haven’t had any practice due to closed facilities. It’s uglier than usual, like watching the Replacements. We could theorize about why OLs seem to be catching this as a higher rate.

Damn. I picked the Titans to win, but I knew that was the safe pick; should’ve gone with the upset. The Colts are definitely a team that can beat any other playoff team, even if I doubt their capacity for a Super Bowl run.

Chargers-Dolphins looks interesting just to see the young QB’s in action.

Stop being so accurate. 17 - 17 in the third. Davante having a bad game already, fumbles. Penalties wipe out a TD. The Pack are very sloppy. Hopefully, they’ll get away with it.

Giants won, which is good. Now if only the Lions can hold on…

It’s probably because linemen are breathing on each other all game long. They’re facing each other, face to face, inches apart. Perfect way to transmit a respiratory virus.

It’s bizarro world where the Arizona Cardinals and the Buffalo Bills are televised in Chicago

Drew Lock is not a good QB.

Not long ago I thought that the Seahawks were the class of the NFC. But their defense is suspect, the o-line can’t protect the QB, and Russell Wilson doesn’t appear to have the magic that he had in the first part of the season.

How about that Cards win?!

What an exciting game.

The Bears are doing their Salute to Service tonight and in theory, they will show a video of me. I am active in my military and veterans resource group at my company and the Bears reached out to us to send in videos that will be featured on their in game video board. I sent one in and signed a waiver so they could show it but I have no idea if or when it would be televised.

Keep your eye out for the guy who gives a shout out to the 112th Signal Battalion Airborne.

I have no way to record it off the TV either so I’ll try to keep my phone pointed at the screen as well.

Nice! Any idea when that happens?

In the Giants-Eagles game the Eagles scored a TD in the 3rd quarter to make the score Giants 21, Eagles 17. If the Eagles would have kicked the extra point they would be down by a field goal. Instead, they attempted a 2-pointer and failed. What is the logic of not taking the almost guaranteed point and only needing a field goal to tie. Is there a rationale or is it just Pederson just calling his usual aggressive game?

Some of both. Coach Doug Pederson: “Yeah, the decision making there was obviously to trust my guys upstairs, and we had just converted one before and felt good with the play call and everything. And you go for it and you make it, then a field goal can win the game for you later on in the fourth quarter or whatever. At least it gives you an opportunity now to know exactly what you need to do to win the game.”

538’s win expectancy model said that kicking the PAT was a slightly better option, 52% vs 50%. Other models preferred the 2-pt try.

Unfortunately no. I haven’t gotten any info from them on it after I signed the release. The email says “in game video board” which sounds like it would be up on the board during the game but there won’t be fans in the stadium and anyone else there would be busy with the game and wouldn’t pay attention to it. We’ll see.

Not really. DLs haven’t seen the same level of issues and those are they guys they are face to face with. I’m guessing it has more to do with the film/position rooms and culture.