F10Y 2019 Divisional Playoffs takeaways

by Lawrence Vos (@F10YRetro and @NFLFANINENGLAND)

DID that really just happen?

Photo caption: Rantsports.com

Not sure if I had too much coffee over the weekend and started hallucinating but I swear I just watched an NFL game where the road team went 21-0 by the end of the first quarter, then allowed their opponents to score 28 in the second, before allowing a further 23 second half points, resulting in a 20 point loss. That doesn’t happen in the real world does it? That’s a Madden score when your cousin has unlocked a cheat code after playing possum for a quarter. Believe it or not it was what happened when the Houston Texans travelled to K.C. to take on the Chiefs on Saturday. Not all playoff loses have the same magnitude or embed the same emotional scars, but this game will take a lot of recovery time for the Texans, especially QB DeShaun Watson and head man Bill O’Brien, who will have to take it right on the chin (where incidentally a small family of sparrows have nested).

King Henry looking for more than the rushing crown

Photo credit: David Boclair (SI)

It’s pretty much in the can that Lamar Jackson will win the NFLs Most Valuable Player award for his incredible season, 13 wins in 15 starts and his destruction of the QB single-season rushing record, but in the cold light of day the most valuable player in the entire league is not a Ravens one. Titans RB Derek Henry, with help from a superb offensive line, are all still alive in the playoffs, and will not be daunted by a third consecutive road playoff game. Baltimore’s 14-2 record and number one seed meant nothing on Sunday as Henry ploughed, slashed, pummelled, drove, and executed his will over the Ravens, becoming the first RB in NFL history to have three consecutive 180+ yard rushing games. Already the newly anointed owner of the 2019 NFL rushing crown, and unlikely to get the regular season MVP award, the man with a beavers tail sticking out of his helmet is 120 minutes away from winning a Super Bowl MVP.

4th and own goal 

Photo credit: Billie Weiss/Getty Images

When you enter the playoffs having gone 8-8 of 4th and 1, and the opportunity arrises to go 9-9 on these plays in a home playoff game that you are losing, but only by a TD, then its understandable to be brave. On their own 45 Coach Harbaugh decided to make s statement in the opening play of the second quarter. Problem was Lamar Jackson didn’t get any kind of exquisite block, and he was stuffed for no gain. On the very next play the Titans dialled up a miracle and Kalif Raymond picked up the receiver, or to put it another way the receiver connected with the ball. That two play series effectively ended the game there and then as the Titans didn’t need the last two touchdowns to win – they had the W when they went 14-0 up. Unlike some other AFC team that melted worse than that flying white guy in Raymond Briggs The Snowman the Titans defense stayed strong all game. 

By the time the Ravens packed their playoff bags they managed to fail to convert their second, third and fourth 4th down conversions. 

Miami motivation for revolutionary Ryan

Photo credit: Jeremy Brevard – USA TODAY Sports

There is no doubt about it, stats lie. You can make a series of stats paint a masterpiece or a dirty protest, depending on the contextual angle you adopt. Let’s look at Titans QB Ryan Tannehill’s passing output in Tennessee’s two playoff games. In two full contests Tannehill has passed for 160 yards on 15 of 29 completions and thrown an interception. In those same three contests Tannehill has thrown three touchdown passes, gained two wins (his first playoff victories) and thrown the single most important touchdown in the 2019 playoffs. When the former Dolphins passer struck gold, following a Ravens failed 4th and 1, and hit Kalif Raymond (pictured above) for his first post-season catch of his career, it was single-handedly the point the air came out of the Ravens magnificent ambition balloons. After that completion, with just 7 seconds gone in the second quarter, Tannehill only competed three more passes all game, as King Henry and the Titans defense locked down the W. Ryan is now one game from going back to Miami to play in the Super Bowl. Just let that sink in.  

RETRO – The under 100 club 

Photo credit: Malcolm Emmons – USA TODAY Sports

Throwing for under 100 yards as the starting QB (playing the vast vast majority or all snaps) and winning in the playoffs is nothing new. Back in 1974 Terry Bradshaw  the Pittsburgh Steelers signal caller won the AFC Championship against the Raiders and then Super Bowl IX with passing performances of 96 and 96 yards (17 of 36). It gets better/worse as two quarterbacks played every offensive snap of their respective victories whilst managing to throw for under 35 yards. The first time this occurred was unsurprisingly in the 1970s as Bob Griese led the Dolphins to a 27-10 win by going 3-6 for 34 yards. The second time this happened was incredibly in 2010 by none other than Joe Flacco. He led the Ravens to a 33-14 Wild Card win against the New England Patriots. Flacco’s stat line that day was 4 of 10 for 34 yards and 6 runs for 5 yards. 

Can you Adams and Eve it the Pack are back

Picture credit: Clutchpoints.com

The Green Bay Packers have been criticised as the worst 13-3 team ever, barely mustering wins week after week. Now they are the 14-3 Packers after another just about good enough performance against the Seattle Seahawks. One Packers star to shine brightly was WR Davante Adams who led all Divisional Games receivers with 160 yards, on 8 catches. His two touchdowns were the difference makers in the game, and the first time he has caught a pair of six pointers in the post-season. We know the Seahawks secondary is not the finest, after the dissolution of the Legion of Boom. One former legionnaire, the not shy Richard Sherman, now with the San Francisco 49ers, will be licking his lips as he waits for Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams to travel over to the West Coast for the NFC Championship.

A-ROD on the brink of a TITLE SHOT

Picture credit: Jflanland.blogspot.com

Wrestling fan and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers wants a chance to pin down his second Super Bowl ring, and after forcing the Seahawks to tap out he is one game away from a title shot. Rodgers will now enter his fourth NFC Championship this weekend, having won his fifth Divisional round playoff contest. He did suit up in the 2007 NFC final but this was in the third year of the apprenticeship he was serving under Brett Favre, and he didn’t get on the field. Rodgers has faced the Bears, Seahawks and Falcons in the conference championship games, and in the three games scored 21, 20 and 21. In his 18 playoff games Rodgers threw his lowest amount of completions (16) in the home win at the weekend, but that doesn’t really matter when you convert 9 of 13 third downs. In his 15th season Rodgers is easily the oldest starting QB left with a shot to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy, can he dial one up from the top rope or will he be suplexed into submission by Bosa and co. ?

GOLD RUN – CAN I HAVE A ‘W’ PLEASE BOB

Photo caption: Cbssports.com

Amongst all the bonkers momentum shifts, mind bending play calling and chaotic turnovers that took place in the Divisional Playoffs there was one team that emerged from the battlefield like Bruce Willis in Unbreakable, mildly perspiration but without a scratch or a bruise on their collective bodies. The San Francisco 49ers looked calm and composed, and with the exception of a late second quarter interception by Jimmy Garoppolo, ruthless in their efficiency. When you hold Dalvin Cook and the impressive rookie Alex Mattison to a team total of 21 yards, execute six sacks, and don’t allow a second half point, you become the Super Bowl favourite. For a team that had not made the playoffs from 2014-2018 this was a statement win and also Jimmy G’s first as a starting QB. He already has two Super Bowl rings without taking a single snap in either big game. Staying in California the Niners now remain the only #1 seed still alive. As someone who lived through a significant period of time of San Francisco dominance, including watching four Super Bowl wins, I’m not sure I can deal with another Gold Run. Might be time for me to take a ‘P’.

RETRO – Divisional playoffs 50 burgers

Photo credit: Stephen Jaffe/AFP/Getty Images)

Following the Chiefs firing up the playoffs grill and cooking a 50 burger (51) on the Houston Texans I was curious to see who had served up a similar culinary treat in the Divisional round of the playoffs in the Super Bowl era and scored over half a century. Surprisingly Mahomes and co. were the fifth team to exceed 50 points in the final eight stage (see below). Just imagine being a Jaguars fan 20 years ago as your team went up 41-0 in the first half, in only their fifth season of existence. This was a team that also went 24-0 up early, but unlike the Texans they didn’t take their foot off the playoff points pedal. The opposing QB that day – none other than Hall of Famer Dan Marino.

Jaguars beat Dolphins 62-7 (January 2000) 

Raiders beat Oilers 56-7 (December 1969) 

Cowboys beat Browns 52-14 (December 1967) 

Redskins beat Rams 51-7 (January 1984) 

Chiefs beat Texans 51-31 (January 2020) 

Thanks FOR THE MEMORIES

Picture credit: Halilsrealfootballtalk.com

Two big requirement announcements this week, one inevitable, and one on the Andrew Luck scale of shock. Happy trails to TE Antonio Gates who leaves the NFL with the most touchdown catches in league history for his position. Gates was an outstanding route runner, sticky handed and a favourite of Philip Rivers for many years. Gates only won 5 playoff games in his career and bizarrely only scored post-season touchdowns in his first and last of 12 playoff games. The much more surprising news was the retirement of Luke Kuechly the outstanding Carolina Panthers LB. The 9th overall pick of the 2012 has called it a day after 8 seasons, 1,092 tackles and one Super Bowl appearance. Kuechly may have announced his retirement but he does have to make one more decision, does he suit up one last time with his team mate Christian McCaffrey for the 2020 Pro Bowl?

Rob’s Stat Based PPR Fantasy Rankings for 2019 – July ’19

Talk about catching the wrath of the truthers! Hi there A.J Green fanatics! You certainly gave me some heat last month as I looked to fade Green and his dodgy toe/dodgy QB combo well and truly out of 2019. Well, good and bad news A.J Green truthers – good news, he’s gone up in this month’s rankings…bad news, it’s only by a couple of spaces and he won’t be going any higher. Sorry, not sorry.

Also, it’s with gritted teeth that I ‘had’ to add Tyreek Hill into this month’s projections. I’ve not shyed away from letting my feelings known about how I believe fantasy commissioners should have the power to remove certain players out of their leagues. Nevertheless, he’s reportedly going to back in week 5, so like the pro-ready analyst that I am (lol), I have included him this month which in turn has sky-rocketed Patrick Mahomes’ value, but dented Mecole Hardman’s and Sammy Watkins’ in the process.

Without further ado, check out my latest rankings as we head into training camp time of the year. We’re getting closer fantasy fans…we’re getting closer!

Quarterback

1 Aaron Rodgers GB
2 Andrew Luck IND
3 Deshaun Watson HOU
4 Patrick Mahomes KC
5 Drew Brees NO
6 Baker Mayfield CLE
7 Jameis Winston TB
8 Lamar Jackson BAL
9 Dak Prescott DAL
10 Russell Wilson SEA
11 Matt Ryan ATL
12 Kyler Murray ARZ
13 Mitch Trubisky CHI
14 Carson Wentz PHI
15 Josh Allen BUF
16 Ben Roethlisberger PIT
17 Jared Goff LAR
18 Cam Newton CAR
19 Philip Rivers LAC
20 Tom Brady NE
21 Kirk Cousins MIN
22 Derek Carr OAK
23 Jimmy Garoppolo SF
24 Dwayne Haskins WSH
25 Matthew Stafford DET
26 Marcus Mariota TEN
27 Andy Dalton CIN
28 Sam Darnold NYJ
29 Joe Flacco DEN
30 Eli Manning NYG
31 Josh Rosen MIA
32 Nick Foles JAX

Running Back

1 Ezekiel Elliott DAL
2 Saquon Barkley NYG
3 Alvin Kamara NO
4 Christian McCaffrey CAR
5 David Johnson ARZ
6 Le’Veon Bell NYJ
7 Melvin Gordon LAC
8 Joe Mixon CIN
9 Dalvin Cook MIN
10 Todd Gurley LAR
11 Devonta Freeman ATL
12 Nick Chubb CLE
13 Kerryon Johnson DET
14 Josh Jacobs OAK
15 James Conner PIT
16 Marlon Mack IND
17 Aaron Jones GB
18 Damien Williams KC
19 Kenyan Drake MIA
20 Derrick Henry TEN
21 Mark Ingram BAL
22 Leonard Fournette JAX
23 Chris Carson SEA
24 Lamar Miller HOU
25 Tarik Cohen CHI
26 David Montgomery CHI
27 James White NE
28 Phillip Lindsay DEN
29 Adrian Peterson WSH
30 Sony Michel NE
31 Duke Johnson Jr CLE
32 Dion Lewis TEN
33 Jordan Howard PHI
34 Peyton Barber TB
35 Austin Ekeler LAC
36 Miles Sanders PHI
37 Ronald Jones TB
38 Matt Breida SF
39 Nyheim Hines IND
40 Ito Smith ATL
41 Jaylen Samuels PIT
42 Jerick McKinnon SF
43 Rashaad Penny SEA
44 Derrius Guice WSH
45 Jalen Richard OAK
46 Tevin Coleman SF
47 Theo Riddick DET
48 Royce Freeman DEN
49 Latavius Murray NO
50 LeSean McCoy BUF
51 Chris Thompson WSH
52 D’Onta Foreman HOU
53 Bilal Powell NYJ
54 Darrell Henderson LAR
55 Mike Davis CHI
56 Damien Harris NE
57 Alfred Blue JAX
58 Dexter Williams GB
59 T.J Yeldon BUF
60 Carlos Hyde KC
61 Giovani Bernard CIN
62 Jamaal Williams GB
63 Devin Singletary BUF
64 Gus Edwards BAL
65 Myles Gaskin MIA
66 Corey Clement PHI
67 Devontae Booker DEN
68 Elijah McGuire NYJ
69 Wayne Gallman NYG
70 Darrel Williams KC
71 Doug Martin OAK
72 Bruce Anderson TB
73 Jordan Scarlett CAR
74 Kareem Hunt CLE
75 Rodney Anderson CIN
76 Kalen Ballage MIA
77 Bryce Love WSH
78 C.J Anderson DET
79 C.J Prosise SEA
80 Alexander Mattison MIN
81 Thomas Rawls JAX
82 Benny Snell Jr PIT
83 Malcolm Brown LAR
84 Kenneth Dixon BAL
85 Tony Pollard DAL
86 Josh Adams PHI
87 Frank Gore BUF
88 Rex Burkhead NE
89 Justice Hill BAL
90 Chase Edmonds ARZ
91 Justin Jackson LAC
92 Qadree Ollison ATL
93 Jordan Wilkins IND
94 Mike Weber DAL
95 J.D McKissic SEA
96 Josh Ferguson HOU
97 Michael Boone MIN
98 Raheem Mostert SF
99 Zach Zenner DET
100 Treyveon Williams CIN
101 Samaje Perine WSH
102 Dwayne Washington NO
103 T.J Logan ARZ
104 Elijhaa Penny NYG
105 Cameron Artis-Payne CAR
106 Kenjon Barner ATL
107 DeAndre Washington OAK
108 David Fluellen TEN
109 D.J Foster ARZ
110 Jonathan Williams IND

Wide Receiver

1 Davante Adams GB
2 DeAndre Hopkins HOU
3 Julio Jones ATL
4 Michael Thomas NO
5 JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT
6 Mike Evans TB
7 Antonio Brown OAK
8 Odell Beckham Jr CLE
9 Keenan Allen LAC
10 Tyreek Hill KC
11 T.Y Hilton IND
12 Adam Thielen MIN
13 Stefon Diggs MIN
14 Amari Cooper DAL
15 Julian Edelman NE
16 Cooper Kupp LAR
17 Kenny Golladay DET
18 Tyler Lockett SEA
19 Jarvis Landry CLE
20 Brandin Cooks LAR
21 Mike Williams LAC
22 A.J Green CIN
23 Chris Godwin TB
24 Calvin Ridley ATL
25 Christian Kirk ARZ
26 Sterling Shepard NYG
27 Tyler Boyd CIN
28 Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB
29 Dante Pettis SF
30 D.J Moore CAR
31 Robert Woods LAR
32 Dede Westbrook JAX
33 John Brown BUF
34 Corey Davis TEN
35 Allen Robinson CHI
36 James Washington PIT
37 Robby Anderson NYJ
38 Courtland Sutton DEN
39 Alshon Jeffrey PHI
40 Marquise Brown BAL
41 Parris Campbell IND
42 Golden Tate NYG
43 Marvin Jones DET
44 Sammy Watkins KC
45 Emmanuel Sanders DEN
46 D.K Metcalf SEA
47 Tre’Quan Smith NO
48 N’Keal Harry NE
49 Michael Gallup DAL
50 Zay Jones BUF
51 DeVante Parker MIA
52 Curtis Samuel CAR
53 Miles Boykin BAL
54 Marqise Lee JAX
55 DeSean Jackson PHI
56 Paul Richardson WSH
57 Anthony Miller CHI
58 Albert Wilson MIA
59 Antonio Callaway CLE
60 Jamison Crowder NYJ
61 Danny Amendola DET
62 Kelvin Harmon WSH
63 Willie Snead BAL
64 Kenny Stills MIA
65 Adam Humphries TEN
66 Chris Conley JAX
67 Deebo Samuel SF
68 Taylor Gabriel CHI
69 DaeSean Hamilton DEN
70 Larry Fitzgerald ARZ
71 Diontae Johnson PIT
72 Keke Coutee HOU
73 A.J Brown TEN
74 Will Fuller HOU
75 J.J Arcega-Whiteside PHI
76 Mohammed Sanu ATL
77 David Moore SEA
78 Quincy Enunwa NYJ
79 Tyrell Williams OAK
80 Andy Isabella ARZ
81 John Ross CIN
82 Ted Ginn Jr NO
83 Hunter Renfrow OAK
84 Devin Funchess IND
85 Hakeem Butler ARZ
86 Chris Hogan CAR
87 Nelson Agholor PHI
88 Cole Beasley BUF
89 Geronimo Allison GB
90 Maurice Harris NE
91 Randall Cobb DAL
92 Donte Moncrief PIT
93 Keelan Cole JAX
94 Robert Foster BUF
95 Deon Cain IND
96 Josh Doctson WSH
97 Equanimeous St. Brown GB
98 Terry McLaurin WSH
99 Phillip Dorsett NE
100 Mecole Hardman KC
101 Jalen Hurd SF
102 Laquon Treadwell MIN
103 Cameron Meredith NO
104 Justin Watson TB
105 Marquise Goodwin SF
106 Allen Hurns DAL
107 Marcel Ateman OAK
108 Jermaine Kearse DET
109 Breshad Perriman TB
110 D.J Chark JAX
111 Riley Ridley CHI
112 Chester Rogers IND
113 Dylan Cantrell LAC
114 Taywan Taylor TEN
115 Josh Reynolds LAR
116 Jordan Matthews SF
117 Demarcus Robinson KC
118 Jarius Wright CAR
119 Travis Benjamin LAC
120 Jaron Brown SEA
121 Corey Coleman NYG
122 Justin Hardy ATL
123 Juwann Winfree DEN
124 Mack Hollins PHI
125 Bennie Fowler NYG
126 Cordarelle Patterson CHI
127 Tajae Sharpe TEN
128 Rashard Higgins CLE
129 J.J Nelson OAK
130 Josh Bellamy NYJ
131 DeMaryius Thomas NE
132 Chris Moore BAL
133 Marcus Green ATL
134 Brice Butler MIA
135 Jordan Lasley BAL
136 Eli Rogers PIT
137 Tavon Austin DAL
138 Ray-Ray McCloud BUF
139 Chad Williams ARZ
140 Alex Erickson CIN
141 Andre Roberts BUF
142 Kevin White ARZ
143 Daurice Fountain IND
144 Vyncint Smith HOU
145 Emanuel Hall CHI
146 Torrey Smith CAR
147 Sammie Coates KC
148 Jaelen Strong CLE
149 J’Mon Moore GB
150 Ryan Switzer PIT

Tight End

1 Travis Kelce KC
2 Zach Ertz PHI
3 George Kittle SF
4 Hunter Henry LAC
5 Evan Engram NYG
6 O.J Howard TB
7 Eric Ebron IND
8 Jared Cook NO
9 Trey Burton CHI
10 Jordan Reed WSH
11 Chris Herndon NYJ
12 Vance McDonald PIT
13 Delanie Walker TEN
14 Austin Hooper ATL
15 Jordan Thomas HOU
16 David Njoku CLE
17 Noah Fant DEN
18 T.J Hockenson DET
19 Irv Smith Jr MIN
20 Darren Waller OAK
21 Mike Gesicki MIA
22 Jack Doyle IND
23 Mark Andrews BAL
24 Jason Witten DAL
25 Kyle Rudolph MIN
26 Greg Olsen CAR
27 Jimmy Graham GB
28 Nick Vannett SEA
29 Matt LaCosse NE
30 Dallas Goedert PHI
31 Josh Oliver JAX
32 Cameron Brate TB
33 Blake Jarwin DAL
34 Tyler Eifert CIN
35 C.J Uzomah CIN
36 Ricky Seals-Jones ARZ
37 Ian Thomas CAR
38 Jake Butt DEN
39 Gerald Everett LAR
40 Deon Yelder KC
41 Jesse James DET
42 Vernon Davis WSH
43 Ben Watson NE
44 Rhett Ellison NYG
45 Alize Mack NO
46 Tyler Higbee LAR
47 Geoff Swaim JAX
48 Charles Clay ARZ
49 Dawson Knox BUF
50 Will Dissly SEA
51 Dwayne Allen MIA
52 Jace Sternberger GB
53 Jordan Akins HOU
54 Jonnu Smith TEN
55 Luke Willson OAK
56 Nick Boyle BAL
57 Trevon Wesco NYJ
58 Nick O’Leary MIA
59 Josh Hill NO
60 Hayden Hurst BAL
61 Kahale Warring HOU
62 Drew Sample CIN
63 Jeff Heuerman DEN
64 Seth DeValve CLE
65 Zach Gentry PIT
66 Jordan Leggett TB
67 Adam Shaheen CHI
68 Mo Alie-Cox IND
69 Maxx Williams ARZ
70 Foster Moreau OAK
71 Luke Stocker ATL
72 Virgil Green LAC
73 Richard Rodgers PHI
74 Xavier Grimble PIT
75 Marcedes Lewis GB
76 Rico Gathers DAL

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions for my rankings. Feel free to @ me or @F10YFantasy.

Rob Grimwood – @FFBritBaller

Feature Image Credit: Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis