Welcome to Smallthoughts: Monday Morning Quarterbacking. Each week of the NFL season we will feature thoughts around the NFL from the action on Sunday. Each week Smallthoughts will feature Cover2Chris. Here is his thoughts from this week’s action.
Week 2 2019 MMQB with Cover2Chris
10 Things I Think I Think
- Eli Manning is done.
Eli has a rough combination of getting old and being on a bad team.
In years past, I used to be able to just say that his receivers are not catching the ball, but yesterday he just made a ton of bad decisions. He only had 2 interceptions but should have had 7.
When quarterbacks get old they usually get one of two things, get hurt over and over again, or interceptions just keep going up and up. For Manning, he was never one to get hurt and honestly interceptions has always been a problem for him. So how do we know he is done?
Manning used to serve up stinkers here or there, but the team usually would stay afloat as he would make a play here or a play there to keep them in the game.
But that is no longer happening.
The Daniel Jones era is not just around the corner, it’s next door and getting ready to move in.
The G-Men have a very late by (Week 11), so they have no room for a transition period. But they need something to change by Week 6.
- Dak Prescott is Good (when he has help)
Dak Prescott is Jeremy Renner.
For those of you unfamiliar, Jeremy Renner is best known for his portrayal of Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The problem with Renner is not his acting chops. But for whatever reason, he is ridiculously pedestrian on the silver screen when he is the primary lead (The Bourne Identity). But he is awesome when he is in a supporting role (Avengers, Mission Impossible)
That is Dak Prescott in a nutshell.
Prescott has all the tools to be a great leader in the Cowboys on-field pursuits, but when it is crunch time and the team looks to him to make a play, we are going to be disappointed.
But if he plays his role, the Cowboys can do great things. They have had dominant performances over the last two weeks but it is mainly because the team is contributing. Witten, Cooper, Gallup, Cobb, Elliot, not to mention the Cowboys offensive line is just nasty… that is not a bad combination to have in a competitive NFC East.
Maybe Jerry Jones finally got something right.
- The Packers have a defense
Let me throw some numbers at you.
1 Sack, 3 Tackles for Loss, 6 Passes Deflected, 2 Interceptions, 5 Forced Fumbles. The glaring stats are the passes deflected, INT’s and forced fumbles. These are numbers that don’t always jump out at you on the stats sheets but show the signs of a well rounded defense.
And outside of one fluke 75 TD run by Delvin Cook, the Packer defense would have only given up 9 points. As long as Aaron Rogers can get 21 points on the board, the Pack is going to win most of their games.
- Cam Newton is painful to watch
I love Cam Newton. He has been fun to watch for a long time, but last Thursday was just painful. 25 for 51 and only averaging 6.5 yards a throw, is not the stats of an all time great.
It is even more painful to watch when the cast around him cannot put up any numbers either. Christian McCaffrey could only muster a mere 37 yards, and outside one 10 yard run, he put up 27 yards on 15 carries.
All that said, Cam is not in the Eli Manning category. He is still spry and can keep a team afloat. It could just be early season jitters as the offense gets things together for a mid-season run.
But until then, cover your eyes, it’s down right ugly on the field in Carolina… it’s also ugly at those post game interviews.
- I don’t trust Lamar Jackson
OK, I get it. Lamar Jackson is the surprise of the season so far.
And in a league with Patrick Mahomes, is tied for most touchdowns through two weeks. But what if I told you that those numbers are vanity. Don’t get me wrong, Jackson has been playing well, but it has been orchestrated. Meaning a lot of his reads and decisions have been extremely simple, almost college like.
It’s hard to see once the league gets a months worth of film on him that they won’t be able to frustrate him by forcing him to make decisions on his fourth and fifth progressions. It already started this week which is why he rushed for over 100 yards. Teams were covering up his initial reads and instead of going through the rest of the progressions, he took off running.
It’s not something he cannot overcome. But he will need to adjust to the defenses adjustments in a hurry.
Expect Jackson to come crashing back to earth soon, so if you have him in fantasy, trade high.
- Kyler Murray is good! (despite his 0-2 start)
Kyler Murray is passing the eye test.
It doesn’t seem like it, but he is doing things a prototypical quarterback does to be successful. One of which is staring the the defense down and delivering the football to his intended receiver.
Don’t look now, but Murray quietly threw 349 yards and completed 62.5% of his passes yesterday. He also completed passes to 9 different receivers without a running game when David Johnson missed half the game with a hand injury.
Murray is on his game and they haven’t started winning yet. Just wait till he figures it out. The only thing holding him back will be the history of the team. With his play, he can change a culture. Let’s see and get our popcorn ready.
- Larry Fitzgerald thrives regardless of his surroundings
How many quarterbacks has Larry Fitzgerald played with? Like 9 right?
At one point, Fitzy was changing offenses and coaches like I change my underwear. And he still has put together a hall of fame career.
When Fitz had a decent QB, he went to the Superbowl and put together a performance not seen since Jerry Rice.
Very few times does a receiver make a QB, but Fitzgerald is that example. Sadly because he has played for the Bidwell’s his entire career, he could be underrated. That is a crazy thought, but until then, let’s continue watching this old man just deliver while we still can.
- Russels Wilson is REALLY Good
I am sure it gets pretty lonely in the pacific northwest. Did you know that geographically, Seattle is the furthest team away from the next professional club? Every away game is REALLY far away.
Yet over and over again, Wilson has proven that consistent play and a little rah-rah college motivation can get a team in the right position to win any football over and over again.
29 of 35 for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns on the road without a running game. The teams leading rushers had 25 rushing attempts for 122 yards. But two of those runs were 37 and 21 respectively. So take those two runs out and we are left with 23 rushes for 64 yards.
Yet Wilson still completed the ball to 8 different receivers and hold off a Steeler team that that still played well despite missing Ben Roethlisberger for most of the game.
I don’t know how good the 49ers are, but this looks like this will be a Rams/Seahawks division once again.
- Jacoby Brissett isn’t terrible
When Andrew Luck retired, the Colts were left in a flux. But the leadership of GM Chris Ballard has the team looking up. One of the best offseason moves he has made was keeping Brissett even though many teams wanted him.
Plus there is something to be noted when Brissett knows he isn’t just the “back-up” anymore.
Brissett has a new confidence and the backing of a team that was reeling due to off field shenanigans.
Brissett stepped up and delivered one of his best performances in a Colts uniform. As long as he continues to get help from the defense and support on the field, the team can make something of their seemingly lost season.
They are ready to prove that the team is greater than the sum of its parts.
- Andy Reid is a god and Patrick Mahomes is just another cog in the wheel
How many “bad” QBs has Andy Reid had? Like 1 with the brief Chase Daniel era?
Cut that out and we have a list of players like Brett Favre, Donovan McNabb, Alex Smith, even Jeff Garcia was serviceable and now Patrick Mahomes.
Yesterday, Mahomes put together a 2nd quarter that hasn’t been seen in years. Unlike Lamar Jackson, the league has had time to adjust to Mahomes and they still can’t figure him out.
It’s still early, but anybody can look at this kid and see that he is special.
If only Andy Reid could conquer his postseason woes…