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+++ date = 2022-01-02T12:00:00Z headline = “Week 17 Insights”


Cardinals @ Cowboys

Arizona nearly picked Dak off on two screens, of all plays. Arizona’s defense has gained a read on Dallas' offense. Not good for Kellen Moore, who prides himself a creative mind on offense.

Michael Gallup deserves consideration as a vector.

AJ Green is definitely a vector for the Cardinals offense. He’s come through on critical downs in multiple games.

Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence has flashed on multiple occasions, but the Cardinals have matriculated the ball through a combination of trick plays, clever scheming, and the Dallas defensive backfield being caught slacking.

Kliff Kingsbury fourth-down play at the goal line was a thing of beauty. Roll Murray out on the bootleg with the impression that he’ll try and run the ball in. And then have him pass the ball to a receiver leaking out into the end zone.

Honestly, the Cowboys are a strange bunch. In primetime moments, this team excels beyond expectations. But in multiple games this season against much lesser opponents, Dallas hasn’t exactly been playing like a championship contender. We’ve seen this in their way unexpected loss against the Broncos earlier in the season as well as their less-than-stellar showing against the Giants. But it became far too obvious today against Arizona. These Cowboys weren’t exactly the same winning brand of football that was so resoundingly successful for them the past few weeks. Perhaps they were experimenting with new concepts? Perhaps this organization doesn’t really believe much in practicing hard in weeks where they’re slated to contest against perceivably inferior opponents? Either way, going into next year, we have to be very carefully siding with this team in situations where they’re obvious favorites. Going back to his Green Bay days, Mike McCarthy and his teams seem to have a knack for slacking off.

Dak running the ball has bailed him out on a few downs.

Chandler Jones has really shined, even without Haasan Reddick playing.

Dak is problematic. Not sure why.

Dallas regularly rotating defensive linemen in and out of downs has been terrifically effective. Even their depth linemen have been winning their battles in the trenches. It’s mostly through clever scheming and Kyler’s mobility that Arizona’s offense has found some rhythm on offense.

Chiefs @ Bengals

Travis Kelce’s ability to improvise is pretty damn phenomenal and a godsend for an offense partly predicated on Mahomes' ability to scramble.

The interior of Cincinnati’s defensive line needs to be questioned. They haven’t held up all too well against the run or incredibly obvious short yardage situations.

Bengals are rolling into single-high safety looks way too much for their own good.

It’s the Baltimore game all over again. Kansas City is gambling with blitzes, but Burrow’s reading these some of these blitzes too quickly and throwing the ball to Ja’Marr Chase running sideline routes against single coverage. Kansas has been hitting home on some blitzes, but other blitzes have not only failed, but given Burrow plenty opportunity to move the ball way downfield.

I can see why Kansas in inclined to blame the referees in this game for some bad calls…

49ers @ Rams (Week 18)

The 49ers defensive front has honestly been impressing me. Their tackles in particular have been pretty ruthlessly winning their battles up front. Surprisingly, the only pass rusher I’ve seen that has yet to make a real impact is Nick Bosa.

Von Miller has made some key plays, particularly against screen passes.

Tyler Higbee with a few clutch catches. Can he sustain this type of production?

San Francisco is seriously impressing me.

The Staley defense isn’t built to handle power running teams.

49ers @ Titans (Week 15)

Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry, and Bud Dupree have flashed on multiple occasions for the 49ers.

On San Francisco’s end, Nick Bosa has been throwing his weight around on a few plays.

Tennessee’s increased blitzing in the second half has been paying off.

San Francisco has some wickedly creative plays.

Chiefs @ Broncos (Week 18)

The Chiefs committed much more to the short game to great effect, ending their opening drive in the second half with a touchdown.

Melvin Ingram has been a force lately. Ingram was crucial in closing out this game.