Impressions from Week Ten of the 2015 NFL Season

Oh, my God! I have so many more options to play with now that I updated my blog! I should’ve done this years ago! I look forward to the future.

My ramblings aside, allow me to ramble a bit about Week Ten. I won’t say much, as I pushed this off far too long to give a detailed review without killing my sleep schedule, but allow me to get in a few key points from the week. One such example is this picture:

nfl upsets 2

This is a screenshot from NFLPickWatch.com. It shows the favorites to win each game in a given week as deduced by “NFL experts'” picks. You see all of those underlined teams? Those are the teams that were favored to win, some more than others, but lost. All but 3 teams favored to win lost. And teams favored to win by an overwhelming margin (90% or more) were 3-5. To say this was the most bizarre week of upsets so far would be an understatement. It also shows with how bad of a week everyone had with picks.

The best record this week with picks came from 2 people: Merill Hoge and Bart Scott. They finished 8-6. Everyone else was 7-7 or worse. Just a weird, weird week.

But I’ll get to the heart of the matter by highlighting key games.

[Jacksonville @ Baltimore]

An officiating error allowed Jacksonville to run a final play, which led to Elvis Dumervil’s facemask penalty, which led to the game-winning field goal. Now, while this in itself is bad, also note that Baltimore had plenty of chances to put Jacksonville out of reach. Joe Flacco was having a great game up until the second half when he started churning turnovers like RG3 in 2013.

Should’a, would’a, could’a.

[Chicago @ St. Louis]

This is the first time I’ve actually seen St. Louis play a game on TV. One thing became very apparent to me: Nick Foles is awful (at least in this game). Many times he overthrew his receivers or simply wasn’t in the same timezone. Perhaps it’s the play-calling or the receivers not getting open—wait, that’s not it because he missed a lot of open ones! The way he performed this game, I questioned whether St. Louis could win another game.

Jeff Fisher must’ve felt the same way, because he benched him for Case Keenum following the game. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Also relevant: Chicago is a fairly good team. They’d have a winning record right now had they closed the game against Detroit at Ford Field.

[Detroit @ Green Bay]

Dear Lord. What is happening to Green Bay?

Aaron Rodgers is playing scared. The offensive line is crumbling. The running game is fragile. The receivers can’t step up. Where is Randall Cobb?! Wasn’t he a Pro Bowl player last year? Shouldn’t he be more, I don’t know, something? Things are just not right in that organization. They need to fix it, and soon.

After all, they lost to a very bad Detroit team. At home. Who played almost as badly as Green Bay did. Yuck.

[Miami @ Philadelphia]

Aaaaand cue the media thinking Philadelphia’s shit again. I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t go as far as to call them “shit,” just horribly inconsistent. The team scored 16 points in the first quarter and a half, I believe, and then did nothing on offense until near the end of the game. Then Bradford got hurt and Mark Sanchez did what he did best and helped no one win anything. A good game defensively for Philadelphia, as that is consistent, but the offense just isn’t clicking this year.

Miami? Good moral victory. Not much more to it than that. They aren’t going anywhere this season. Not that I can tell, anyway.

[Minnesota @ Oakland]

Thinking people may have underestimated Minnesota’s defense a bit, huh? They certainly aren’t now. Minnesota’s consistently been one of the better teams in the NFC. Ever since getting their ass kicked in PRIMETIME in Week One to San Francisco, Minnesota has been 7-1, with their only loss coming from a close bout with Denver on their turf. To say their season has been impressive so far is an understatement. They aren’t being looked down upon now.

A bad loss for Oakland, but they’re still an up and coming team. It seems like the hype surrounding this team prevents them from any discouragement, as they know they’ll be better with time. Who knows, though?

[Kansas City @ Denver]

Well. Don’t I look stupid for being so overconfident in Denver? Peyton Manning, once again, seems to be conveniently “injured” and playing anyway. This only furthers the argument of whether or not a starter should be playing hurt as opposed to a healthy back-up. Either way, Osweiller didn’t look all that great, either. Give him some slack, though. Not many people would’ve expected Manning to be benched on a record-setting day.

But man, what a win for Kansas City. Their defense is s-t-o-u-t. I’m really impressed. This’ll be quite a test for any offense to go up against. Now if only their offense could do a little more….

[Arizona @ Seattle]

It didn’t happen the way I thought it would, but Seattle imploded after a second sack strip from Carson Palmer gave them their first lead of the night. This defense, man. Seattle really misses Dan Quinn right now. And if I may, Carson Palmer = best quarterback in the NFC West. Then again, he doesn’t have much competition.

Lots of good vibes with this Arizona team. Their defense can be shaky at times, especially with the pass rush, but are overall solid with a very capable offense. This is a very dangerous team that can go places, granted everyone can stay healthy. Could this be another magical 2008 run? Time will tell.

[Houston @ Cincinnati]

Perhaps the biggest upset of the week (or even the season). Cincinnati’s offense played like complete shit. Andy Dalton had a poor night. Tyler Eifert had a poor night. Jeremy Hill had (another) poor night. Hue Jackson had a poor night. The offense was frustrated with the lack of efficiency and it festered over into a self-implosion. I don’t blame them; it was ugly to watch. Their defense however? Thumbs up, guys. Great game. You kept your offense in there until the very end.

What can I say? A good moral victory for Houston. Maybe they can boost their confidence heading into the coming weeks, but I don’t see them taking the division. Their defense looked good last night, but Dalton and his receivers were playing like piss, so I’m not sure if I can take their performance all too kindly. How about T.J. Yates, though? He did enough to win. He’s now 2 1/2-0 (didn’t start this game) against Cincinnati in his career. He’s a kitty killer.

All in all, a bad week for picks, but a hilariously confusing number of outcomes decided by bad calls and inefficiency by teams’ offenses. No one knows how the NFL works. Not even the NFL knows how the NFL works. The number of upsets this week is a testament to that. Almost like the games were fixed, but no one believes that, right?

  • Week Ten Pick ‘Em record: 5-9
  • Overall Pick ‘Em record: 89-57

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