I am far from a football or NFL expert, but here is what I thought of this weekend games:
Jacksonville at Kansas City: In my opinion Pat Mahomes is not only the best quarterback in the NFL right now, but is the most fun to watch. Two interesting things happened in the game. Whose backup (Chad Henne) who apparently didn’t play a down that was important in any game led the team on a 98 yard drive. However, when his team needed it Mahomes drove his team to the clutching touchdown, putting them up 10 with seven minutes to go.
Jacksonville looked tough but still needs to make some improvements to the team. Lawrence and Etienne Jr. showed their talent and kept the game close. With time this team should improve. As a side not I drafter Travis Etienne Jr. in the seventh round of my fantasy draft. He was the fourth running back I drafted, but ended up being my number two back after McCafferty. I won my league both regular season and the Super Bowl, with his help and and some luck as I won a lot of close games.
Meanwhile I could tell a big difference between Mahomes below and after the leg injury, which is critical as I think Kansas City and Cincinnati are about even with a healthy Mahomes.
Giants at Philadelphia. Not much of a game. I was not as impressed with Danial Jones as I was with Trevor Lawrence. He missed a few passes yesterday which could have made the second half more interesting. I don’t watch many games during the regular season so this might have been a bad game for him. It seems like the Giants have a lot of talent on offense and maybe Jones just needs more time figuring out how to use it better. By the way Jones threw a nice pass when the guy was wide open for a long touchdown in the second half. I didn’t think that play was his fault.
Philadelphia operated like a machine in the first half. In the second half the offense had the game won and played well enough that the Giants never got close. Hurt not only looked tough but he made good decisions out there.
Cincinnati at Buffalo. Cincinnati handled the snow, Buffalo looked like they never saw it before. I was really looking forward to Sunday’s games, but Buffalo looked totally outcoached to me. Josh Allen looked very impressive, but he lacked weapons. Even when Buffalo pulled within a touchdown in the third quarter I didn’t think they had a chance against Cincinnati.
One thing that bothers me is the announcers saying no one gives Cincinnati any respect. Last year they kind of snuck up on everybody, but this year everyone should have seen how good they are. I know this also, Joe Barrow is well respected in my fantasy football league. I was talking to out league commissioner not long ago and he was still mad that Barrow was drafted two spots in front of when he was going to pick him. In last years playoffs, it was Barrow who cost me my conference championship game. He was the starter for the other team when I played in the Super Bowl this year and I he was the player I feared.
What seems to me to be overrated is the Buffalo defense. What is happening during the post season? Is there a weakness that the other teams expose? In the last three games the Bills gave up 42 to Kansas City, 31 to Miami and 27 to Cincinnati. I mean there are excuses. Mahomes was at quarterback is why they gave up 42 to Kansas City. However, the next week the Bengals made adjustments and held Mahomes down in the second half for a game total of 24. I didn’t see any of that with Buffalo. Actually, the defense did play decently against Miami. Josh Allen made four turnovers that let Miami back in the game. However, to me it seemed that if the Bengals needed to score more they would have. After Buffalo worked very hard to get a field goal to get themselves back into the game, the Bengals went right down the field and scored again, making it look easy. Some analysis has to be done on the Buffalo defense in the off season.
Dallas at San Francisco. The game of the weekend. I thought both defense lines dominated the offensive lines. I was expecting the more experienced quarterback to put together the victory. However, Prescott didn’t put it together, and the offence line was finally able to open some holes for the running game. Some say it was due to the Cowboys defense being tired. I agree in part, but there also seemed to be a change in a running game on those final drives.
Prescott is a good quarterback, but I don’t know if he will ever be a great one. He has the tools but doesn’t seem to put them all together. He had a good game, but now a great game. The first interception was a great play by the defensive back. Brock Prudy played a decent game. He wasn’t great, but he knows he has great player around him. He is definitely an NFL quarterback, which was probably questionable before the season and it is a feel good story. Isn’t George Kittle fun to watch. He knows he is lucky to play in the NFL so why not enjoy it.
Predictions: Any of the four teams is capable of beating the others. Both the Eagles and 49ers have great offenses with the running and passing game. Not every great offense has a great running game these days. Both teams have strong defenses, but I give the Eagles the edge due to their more experienced quarterback who should be even more recovered next week.
Cincinnati and Kansas City: I think the Bengals defense can adjust better. While normally Mahomes can do more as a quarterback, I think the foot injury will slow him down and the Bengals will be playing in their second straight Super Bowl.