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Week 15 Insights

Chiefs @ Chargers

Jerry Tillery and Uchena Nwosu are names to watch on this defensive line. Both have made plays, the former cutting a run short from the 1-yard line and the other with an incredibly athletic interception.

Why is Staley calling man coverage against the Chiefs? Kansas tied the game in the fourth quarter because Travis Kelce was able to shed his defender and run wild for 69 yards.

As much as I downplay Keenan Allen, I’m thinking Keenan Allen may truly be a vector on offense.

Brandon Staley’s defense takes too many chances for my liking. Playing man coverage every now and then, not maintaining gap integrity in their pass rush…it’s costing them points. Where’s the discipline and the consistency?

Spagnuolo’s defense is getting it done though. Actually managed to stop the Chargers on a hurry-up drive. The defense was playing pretty soundly in both coverage and pass rush.

The Chargers lost this one because of Staley. Staley gambled too much with man coverage and risky pass rushes. The defense had one job - limit both Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. They achieved neither. Both managed to eat against a Los Angeles defense that allegedly values pass coverage.


Patriots @ Colts

Jacoby Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, and Damien Harris are the skill players standing out on this Patriots offense. Whether all three of them can merit vector status remains to be seen.

New England’s offensive line never fails to impress me. They’ve held up remarkably well in pass protection, the only major breakdown being a sack from DeForest Buckner.

The Carson Wentz experiment has been a dismal failure. Shame.

I think Hunter Henry is a vector on offense. New England’s two touchdowns have come via him and Mac Jones being on the same page.


Cowboys @ Giants

Once again, the Cowboys with their pass rush have been stifling.

Giants have found life in their offense behind Saquon and Booker.

Solid use of skill personnel from Kellen Moore to open up men around the field. On one third down, Moore had Elliott line up as a fullback with CeeDee Lamb as the tailback. It was interesting enough to trip up the Giant defense.

Tony Pollard may be a vector for this Dallas offense. Zeke just isn’t the same force he was when he started out.

Dak has been serviceable, but elite? Nah. Demarcus Laurence on the other hand, has been pretty damn good.


Titans @ Steelers

Titans are not wholly committed to running the ball. Nor is their ground game fully developed or predicated on any layered complexity. It’s disappointing, especially when their predictable bootlegs aren’t there to quite compliment the running game.

Steelers won this game courtesy of their defensive line just overpowering Tennessee’s own offensive line. It wasn’t a pretty finish. It took three turnovers for Tennessee to finally give up the ghost. I need to verify whether Ben Roethlisberger turned the ball over at all. So far though, his offensive line held up remarkably well.

Tennessee’s inability to move the ball under pressure is an indictment on both Tannehill and the offensive coaching. I know they’re missing so many of their key players, but it’s still pretty damning that the Titans are unable to score much with the weapons at hand. D’Onta Foreman had a great game though.


Packers @ Ravens

As I feared, the Packers came into the game woefully underprepared. Lack of gap integrity when rushing the passer, not playing hard coverage against Mark Andrews…it’s not good. Aaron Rodgers was a bit slow to start out the game too.

The Packers have adjusted in the second half by opting to run the ball against Baltimore’s defense, given that unit is much more committed to guarding against the pass than the run. I like that, especially given Baltimore has possessed the ball for considerably more time than Green Bay. Green Bay needs to win back time of possession to win comfortably.

Just poor defense from the Packers on a late touchdown drive against the Ravens. Pass rush was neutered, thanks in part to the tempo, but the Packers were all too happy playing a very vanilla defense. No blitzing, no contesting quick passes. On the touchdown play, the Packers only had 10 men on field. Worrying. Joe Burry was doing a damn fine job as well, but his credentials need to be called into question. The next game will tell us quite a bit about whether Burry can actually develop sound game plans.

Now compare that to Baltimore’s defense who was able to force a three-and-out from the Packers defense.

Green Bay’s prevent defense has been absolutely limp. I will never again take a Matt LaFleur team giving away more than three points. Vegas knows this and set the line accordingly.


Falcons @ 49ers

Falcons were bailed out by a lucky penalty on one drive. Shawn Hochuli is by far the most dangerous referee when it comes to betting. His penalties can change the course of a game.

San Francisco with three separate goal-line stands in the game. When the area of field has been shortened enough, their linebackers and safeties can make up for their cornerback deficiencies. It’s honestly easier scoring on San Francisco on explosive plays than red zone plays.

It looks to me that the 49ers defensive front is specifically built to expose bad offensive fronts, what with all the tricks and the pass rushing prowess among their defensive interior.


Bengals @ Broncos

Khalid Kareem standing out on Cincinnati’s defensive line.

Short passes aren’t there for Joe Burrow. Denver’s linebackers stay disciplined in zone coverage, forcing Burrow to hold on to the ball a tick or two longer. Unfortunately, the offensive line can barely hold out for one more tick, let alone a few more.

Trey Hendrickson clearly a difference maker on multiple occasions. Sam Hubbard has flashed too, though he’s yet to declare any real impact.

Tee Higgins may be a vector for the Bengals.

Lou Anaramo’s blitzes have seen some success. Yet one more feather in his cap here. And outside of one drive, Denver has yet to really establish its ground game.


Cardinals @ Lions

Amon-Ra St Brown is a force on this Detroit team.

Isaiah Simmons has played something of a swiss-knife role on defense, acting as both coverage linebacker and blitz rusher. But his impact hasn’t been noted yet. He could have picked a bad throw from Jared Goff, but he couldn’t handle the ball. He could have prevented a touchdown pass had he been a tad bit quicker with the pass rush, but he wasn’t.

Detroit has a beat on this team and their love of crossing routes across the middle of the field. Nothing is coming easy for Kyler. Detroit seems all too content plugging up the middle with zone defenders, daring Murray to throw down the sidelines.

That being said, Kliff Kingsbury still has some solid plays on his call sheet. Full-frontal bootlegs, running the same play three times in a row to prey on an opposing defense expecting something different…


Washington @ Eagles

Philadelphia definitely has enough weaponry on offense. Jalen Mills, Miles Sanders, Dallas Goedert…and possibly even DeVonta Smith.


Seahawks @ Rams

The Rams have Sony “Playstation” Michel, Cooper Kupp….and not sure who else. Robert Woods is injured and Tyler Higbee may not be consistent enough to be classified as a vector, especially if COVID slows him down.

The Rams are still very predictable on offense, still insisting on running that same play on third-down-and-medium that the editor from the Ringer found them running time and time again.

Yet, the Seahawks were virtually powerless against the Rams ground game and Cooper Kupp. Interesting.