Sport Week 10 NFL mismatches: Why Jets, Bengals, Packers must be wary
Little lifts Jets past Flames 2-1 in OT in Heritage Classic
REGINA, Saskatchewan (AP) — Bryan Little picked a big stage to get his first goal of the season. Little scored at 3:04 of overtime to give the Winnipeg Jets a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night in the Heritage Classic outdoor game. Little scored off a 2-on-1 with Kyle Connor, tucking the puck under goalie David Rittich at the corner of the net. "It's pretty cool," Little said. "It was one of those games where I pretty much didn'tLittle scored at 3:04 of overtime to give the Winnipeg Jets a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night in the Heritage Classic outdoor game.
Yardbarker's Michael Nania analyzes the biggest positional mismatches each week during the NFL season.
Giants OLB Markus Golden vs, Jets RT Brandon Shell
Why Shell is overmatched: The Jets' offensive line is brutal, allowing 37 sacks, ranking 32nd in sack rate (12.8 percent) and blocking for a rushing attack that has generated only 530 yards. New York is the third team in league history to rush for fewer than 600 yards and allow more than 35 sacks through eight games, joining the 2001 Lions and 1992 Patriots (both teams finished 2-14).
NFL midseason report cards: 32 things we learned while grading the teams
In our midseason assessment, only two teams got an 'A' — and they might not be the teams you're thinking of. Meanwhile, two more received an 'F.'1. Patriots (A-): When you give Bill Belichick nearly a decade-long reprieve from play-calling, what does he bring to the table when resuming defensive coordinator duties? Apparently a few ideas about how to design what could wind up as the most dominant unit in league history despite (with apologies to Stephon Gilmore and Devin McCourty ... for now) the arguable absence of any Hall of Fame-caliber talent on that side of the ball. New England's 7.
At the core of the team's struggles is Shell, who's anemic as a run-blocker and pass protector. Among the 145 offensive linemen with 200-plus snaps, Shell ranks 135th in pass-blocking productivity (per-snap pressures allowed with greater weight to sacks).
In the run game, Shell produces no push, leading to stuffs galore for the Jets running backs. Since 2017 (Shell's first season as the starter), the Jets have been stuffed (gain of two yards or less and no first down) 67 times on rushes directed right tackle, third most in the league.
Why Golden will dominate: Signed to a one-year deal after four seasons in Arizona, Golden is a terrific under-the-radar pickup. He leads the Giants with 13 quarterback hits, 11th most in the league, as well as in sacks (5.5) and pressures (23).
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Golden's impact against the run is significant too. He is tied for ninth among edge defenders in run stops (run tackles that constitute a "loss" for the offense), with 13.
The Giants have predominantly used Golden at left outside linebacker, lining him up there on 200 of his 231 pass-rush snaps (86.5 percent). Over the past two weeks, he has rushed from the left on 54 of 56 pass rush snaps (96.4 percent). If the trend continues, he'll play mostly against Shell. Oh, boy.
Fantasy impact: With an historically bad offense, the Jets are a terrible option for fantasy players. This is an especially awful week to play RB Le'Veon Bell, QB Sam Darnold, WR Robby Anderson or WR Jamison Crowder.
How Golden does it: The following play is one of the rare instances in which Golden rushed from the right side. Golden could easily make plays like this one against Jets rookie left tackle Chuma Edoga, who has been atrocious since moving to the left side.
Winners, losers from Raiders' comeback win over Chargers
Oakland's playoff hopes are very much alive after a rousing come-from-behind victory at home over a maddeningly inconsistent Chargers squad.Winners of two consecutive, Los Angeles needed another victory to remain alive in the playoff race. The Raiders entered Week 10 with a surprising 4-4 record and just a half game behind Kansas City in the loss column.
Golden lines up over the outside shoulder of the left tackle, Marshall Newhouse. The Patriots slide protection to the right, and Golden is all over it, already making his move to the inside before the snap. His great timing leads to an easy sack on Tom Brady.
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Ravens CB Marcus Peters vs. Bengals QB Ryan Finley
Why Finley is overmatched: During their bye week, the Bengals changed quarterbacks, benching veteran Andy Dalton and replacing him with Finley, a rookie fourth-round pick. Since 2015, 35 quarterbacks have made their starting debut after Week 1. Those players posted an average passer rating of 79.0 (league average 92.7 this season) and a 12-23 record. Fourteen of them failed to throw a touchdown pass; 19 failed to throw for 200 yards.
Because of an offensive line on par with the Jets' awful bunch, Finley will probably struggle. The Bengals are 32nd in rush yards per game (59.5) and 31st in yards per rush attempt (3.2). In pass protection, Cincinnati is terrible, graded as the second-worst pass-blocking team by Pro Football Focus. To compensate for this weakness, Dalton released the ball an average of 2.28 seconds after the snap, by far the quickest release of any QB this season.
Jets HC Adam Gase isn’t at risk of losing his job
Things certainly haven’t worked out during Adam Gase‘s first season in New York, but it sounds like the Jets head coach isn’t at risk of losing his job. Sources told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that “Woody and Christopher Johnson currently have no plans of making a coaching change at the end of the season.” © Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports Even with the team’s putrid performance in 2019, it’s not entirely shocking that Gase will get at least a second season with the Jets.
Why Peters will dominate: He is excellent in coverage, ranking fourth among qualified cornerbacks in cover snaps per allowed reception (17.4) and 11th in fewest yards allowed per cover snap (0.8). He has improved greatly in the penalty department, drawing only one flag after averaging 8.3 per season coming into the season.
Baltimore's stud corner, acquired in October from the Rams, is an elite ball-hawk. He has three interceptions in 2019, and leads the NFL with 25 interceptions since 2015 (nine more than any other player). Against a rookie quarterback making his first start, Peters should have many opportunities to make splash plays in coverage.
Fantasy impact: WR Tyler Boyd is Cincinnati's top weapon, leading the Bengals with 67 receiving yards per game, 29th in the league. Receivers Alex Erickson and Auden Tate have picked up the pace recently, averaging 93.7 and 73.7 yards per game, respectively, over the last three weeks.
Peters, who has played left corner in his first two games as a Raven, should easily shut down Erickson, who has lined up on right side over his three-game hot streak. That would leave more targets for Boyd and Tate, but they'd be lined up against Marlon Humphrey and Jimmy Smith. This is not a good week to play these Bengals.
How Peters does it: Peters is arguably the most aggressive defensive back in the game. Sometimes he gets burned; other times his aggressive play results in magic. On this play, Peters takes advantage of a rare Russell Wilson mistake (his only interception of 2019) and takes it 67 yards to the house. Lined up against Jaron Brown on the defense's left side, Peters sags off after the snap. He gets enough depth to discourage Wilson from throwing the seam route downfield. Then Wilson comes back underneath and checks it down to Brown. The throw is awful, leading Brown nearly five yards too far downfield. Peters plays the throw aggressively and snags the misfired ball.
Mahomes with stunning 63-yard jump-pass touchdown
Mahomes continues to do things that make our jaws hit the floor. © Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports The reigning NFL MVP, back after his two-game absence due to a dislocated kneecap, raised the bar on highlight-reel worthy plays with a stunning touchdown throw to Mecole Hardman Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.Watch as Mahomes eludes pressure coming from the edge, moves up in the pocket and then throws a jump pass to Hardman, who takes it to the house. Mahomes hit em with the jump pass and Mecole Hardman did the rest @PatrickMahomes @MecoleHardman4 pic.twitter.
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Panthers WR D.J. Moore vs. Packers CB Kevin King
Why King is overmatched: Among all qualified cornerbacks, he has allowed the third-most yards (567) and by far the most yards per cover snap (2.1). The primary reason for those poor numbers is King's inability to hold his allowed receptions to modest gains.
King has missed six tackles in the passing game, tied for the second-most among cornerbacks. In turn, he has allowed 226 yards after the catch, second most in the league, and a brutal average of 7.5 yards after catch per reception (league average 4.4). Teams throwing in King's direction have gained 11.1 yards per target and 18.9 yards per reception.
Why Moore will dominate: In the midst of a breakout season in his second year in the league, Moore leads the team with 70.5 receiving yards per game (24th in the league). In Week 9 against Tennessee, he had a season-high 101 receiving yards.
Moore's skillset is perfect for taking advantage of King's weaknesses, as he is one of the most elusive wide receivers in the league. In 2018, Moore led wide receivers in yards after catch per reception (7.7). He has only posted a league-average mark of 4.4 in 2019.
The Panthers have primarily used Moore on the right side, and the Packers typically line up King at left cornerback. Expect Carolina to call Moore's number often, giving him opportunities to beat King one-on-one in the open field.
Fantasy impact: Moore is an especially good PPR play. He has averaged 6.3 receptions over his past four games, 10th most in the league since Week 5, catching at least five passes in each game.
How Moore does it: The following play is a perfect example of how the Panthers should use to Moore to exploit King in Green Bay. On third & 14, Kyle Allen fakes the end-around and the hand-off up the middle before hitting Moore outside for the screen. Carolina gets the numbers it wants with three blockers against three defenders, and Moore takes full advantage as he weaves his way through traffic for an 18-yard first- down pickup.
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