As we enter week 10 of the NFL season, this weekend’s slate of games is full of juicy storylines. Will Josh Allen play this weekend against the Vikings? If he does, how effective will he be? Can Tom Brady and the Buccaneers continue to right the ship this week against a good Seahawks team in Germany? Will the Rams continue their slide? Will the Eagles stay undefeated? How will the 49ers look on Sunday night coming out of the bye now that they’re getting healthier? How will the Colts look in Jeff Saturday’s debut as interim head coach? As you can see, there are a ton of headlines this week, just like every other week. Let’s take a quick glance around the league and dissect some of the juiciest headlines. Is the talk legitimate? Or are we all talkin’ crazy? But first, let’s recap the game from Thursday night.
Panthers 25, Falcons 15
Panthers top performer(s): In a game that featured sloppy weather conditions one Panther stood above the rest. D’Onta Foreman. After bursting onto the fantasy scene of 2022 in week 8, he followed up with a dud in week 9 (as did all of the Panthers). However, he was the focal point of the Panthers offense in this one. Foreman received 31 carries and churned out 130 yards and a score. Great fantasy production, and Foreman could be the waiver wire pickup of the year, assuming he continues to be a staple of the Panthers offense. Falcons top performer(s): Terrible loss for the Falcons in this one. Just when some of us were beginning to think the Falcons had a shot of winning the NFC South, they lose a game to the Panthers. It’s clear that this team is average at best, and Marcus Mariota limits the ceiling of this offense. Why hasn’t Desmond Ridder gotten a chance yet? Drake London had a TD in this one, so I’ll give him the nod for being Atlanta’s fantasy star. Kyle Pitts? Another disappointing stat line of 2 catches, 28 yards. If you’re still being stubborn and rolling out Pitts weekly, I almost feel like applauding you for sticking with something that clearly is not working. Just madness that Atlanta drafts two skill position players in the first round of back to back drafts and hardly gets them involved.
Last Week’s Predictions
Headline: The Bucs and Rams Will Both Miss the Playoffs. Verdict: Talkin’ Crazy (Bucs will make it, Rams won’t). Well, this one is looking pretty good, as of now. The Bucs escaping with the win over the Rams last week was massive for their playoff chances. Similarly, it was crushing for the Rams, who now have some ground to make up in the NFC West and Wild Card chases. Headline: The Dolphins are Super Bowl Contenders. Verdict: Legitimate. Another long-term prediction here, but the Dolphins won again last week versus the Bears. Their defense needs some fixing if they plan on going on a long playoff run. They’ll be tested this week against the Browns rushing attack. Headline: Jonathan Taylor Will Be Considered One of The Biggest Fantasy Football Busts. Verdict: Legitimate. I think this one will be correct by season’s end, but I do think Taylor will have a HUGE week against the Raiders.
Miscellaneous Quick Hits of Last Week:
1. I think the Chiefs cover versus the Titans. Their defense will attempt to contain King Henry, who will still probably eat, but they’ll shut down Malik Willis. Well, they got the win at least, that counts, right? Tennessee is starting to play really solid football at the right time. The Chiefs were far from covering in this one. 2. This one is extra bold, but I like the Lions to beat the Packers this week, straight up. This game was ugly as hell, but the prediction was spot on! Man, the Packers really do stink. 3. I think the Cardinals redeem their loss versus Seattle earlier in the season and Deandre Hopkins continues to put up absurd numbers. I’m gonna chalk this one up to “in season hard knocks hype.”
This Week’s Headlines/Bold Predictions:
Headline: Jeff Saturday is the Right Man to Lead the Colts Okay, this one really got me by surprise. I’m sure it did you, too. After the Colts fired Frank Reich, which wasn’t overly surprising, they made an announcement that Jeff Saturday was going to be the interim head coach the rest of the year. Now, I’m 30, so I remember Jeff Saturday as being one of the anchors of the Colts offensive line during the Peyton Manning years. One of the best centers in the league. Was always on my Madden team when I did a fantasy draft in franchise mode. This dude knows football. I have no doubt that he can walk into the Colts locker room and provide that spark, some juice, that they’ve been missing. But, do I think this will translate to wins? Absolutely not. I think this is just the beginning of a massive downward spiral for the Colts, and I primarily think it’ll be due to poor QB play. Their defense has been a letdown as well, and now Shaquille Leonard is done for the season. Colts fans, prepare yourselves for a rough second half. Verdict: Legitimate (but the Colts will still lose a LOT). Headline: The Bills Are in Trouble with Josh Allen’s Injury This one should have some caveats, but I’ll do my best to make a prediction with the info that I’ve got. Obviously, the Bills Super Bowl aspirations would be crushed if Josh Allen were to miss significant time due to injury. The AFC is muddled with teams sitting at 6-2, 6-3, 5-3, and 5-4, and the AFC East is one of the strongest divisions in the league. So, naturally, the Bills can’t afford to have Allen miss a large chunk of time. However, the injury that he sustained, a UCL sprain, is not something that subsides in one week. It’s reported that he will play this week against Minnesota. I thought the Bills would be wise this week and bench Allen, for him to return after that. It’s very risky to have Allen play in this game. If he sustains any type of impact on that throwing arm, the UCL sprain could worsen, which could end Allen’s season. I’m not expecting Allen to play at his usual superman level this week due to all these factors. Regarding my verdict, I think he’ll ultimately be okay, for now. But, I’m watching tomorrow’s game extra carefully. Verdict: Talkin’ Crazy (for now).
Miscellaneous Quick Hits
The Cardinals will lose to the Rams this week, with or without Kyler Murray. Maybe this is me hoping for this to occur for the drama on Hard Knocks, but it seems like the Cardinals are ripe for a continued spiral. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kliff Kingsbury does not make it to the end of the season. The Eagles roll against Washington on Monday night and stay undefeated. The 49ers win big against the Chargers on Sunday night. Dallas will cover (currently -4) against the Packers. JT has a massive, 2021-like, performance against the Raiders, but the Colts still lose. Tom Brady and the Bucs get the win against the Seahawks in Munich, Germany. Let’s check the receipts next week!