1) When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were losing 24 to 7 late in the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers, social media was abuzz with their ‘Tom Brady is washed’ takes. It’s the norm the last few years every time Brady has a slow start to a game, but he usually figures out a way to bounce back and right on cue he did so with a touchdown pass in the waning seconds of the first half. He then tossed 3 more in the second half which gave him 5 total for the game to 5 different receivers in their 38 to 31 win.
2) I wrote this on my Thought #2 last week...
The Vikings face an equally desperate 0-3 Houston Texans this Sunday, with the losing coach’s seat getting that much warmer.
And yesterday the Texans actually fired head coach Bill O’Brien following their 31 to 23 loss to the Vikes. As a head coach, O’Brien went 52-48 in his six plus seasons with the Texans, with 4 playoff appearances, but it was his questionable work as the general manager these last nine months that sealed his fate.
3) Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia is really trying to blame his troubles on the team before he got there.
Matt Patricia was asked why people should still believe he’s the right coach to turn the Lions around.— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) October 4, 2020
“When I came to Detroit, there was a lot of work to do. That’s what we’re trying to do,” he said. pic.twitter.com/o24DOpATh5
The Lions fired Jim Caldwell after going 9-7 in 2017, and during his 4 years in Detroit he went 36-28, with only one losing season and 2 playoff appearances.
Matt Patricia is 10-25-1 during his two plus years in Detroit and he has the balls to blame the Caldwell era for him sucking?
For showing zero accountability Patricia needs to be fired.
“To come in and say that you had a lot of work to do is completely false. It’s a bunch of trash!”— Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin (@KeyJayandZ) October 5, 2020
Former Lions QB @danorlovsky7 RIPPED head coach Matt Patricia for his post-game comments about what the team was like that he inherited from Jim Caldwell. #KJZ pic.twitter.com/TigGSjI2WY
4) Dak Prescott threw for 472 yards against the Cleveland Browns, but it wasn’t enough as his Dallas Cowboys lost to 49 to 38.
Prescott became the first player in NFL history to throw for at least 450 passing yards in three consecutive games, and his 1,690 passing yards so far this year is also a new record for the most passing yards in a team’s first four games of a season surpassing Hall of Famer Kurt Warner’s record from 2000.
I wonder where Prescott will play next year?
5) Speaking of the Browns, I’m starting to believe this team is pretty good. Baker Mayfield is playing smart football, and their revamped offensive line has been doing work helping them to a league leading 818 yards (5.9 ypc) in 4 games and an astounding 307 yards rushing against the Cowboys on Sunday.
Their defense needs to tighten things up, but with Myles Garrett terrorizing quarterbacks they’re leading the league in turnover differential (before Monday night’s games).
Myles Garrett forced 2 turnovers caused by pressure in Week 4 vs DAL, giving him 6 TO-QBP through just four games.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 5, 2020
No other player in the NFL has more than 2 TO-QBP this season. Bud Dupree and Shaq Barrett tied for the league-lead a season ago with that same figure (6).#Browns
6) The Philadelphia Eagles finally got into the win column, and at 1-2-1 they’re leading the NFC East.
I would imagine one of the teams in that division will get things going eventually, but injuries have really made that division wide open. I picked the Cowboys to win it before the season started, and they’re still my pick after a quarter of the season is over.
7) Staying with the NFC East, I really hope Washington’s Ron Rivera is taking care of himself.
As the half ended, a Washington PR person handed Ron Rivera a phone (presumably for network halftime report). Rivera walked off the field leaning on the PR person's shoulder while talking on the phone. He is fighting through this afternoon.— Les Carpenter (@Lescarpenter) October 4, 2020
No one would think less of him for stepping away to take care of his body and I wish him the best in beating cancer.
When @CoachRiv2 and @NFL2Ucla surprised Ron with 400+ cutouts of his friends, family, former players and coaches/staffers he’s worked with.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) October 4, 2020
The team’s charitable foundation donated $49 a cutout to the American Cancer Society. Participants also donated directly. The total: $30K+ pic.twitter.com/UKQ922jFx7
8) George Kittle caught 15 of the 16 balls thrown his way for 183 Yards and a TD. He may be the most exciting non-QB playing the game today and for me he makes the 49ers a must watch whenever they’re on in my market.
Tackling George Kittle is not easy @gkittle46 pic.twitter.com/EqSgcTjrUn— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) October 5, 2020
9) If the Atlanta Falcons keep losing games and end up in a position to draft a quarterback, do they trade Matt Ryan and Julio Jones and jumpstart the rebuild?
10) I’ve been saying since last year that the Chicago Bears defense isn’t the same when the offense is sputtering. A defense playing with a lead can get after the opposing quarterback and take more chances, and while Matt Nagy’s 2018 offense wasn’t exactly the greatest show on turf, they were tied for 7th overall with 16 rushing touchdowns, and tied for 14th with 28 receiving TDs.
They scored and allowed their defense to play more loose, and that led to more sacks and turnovers, which led to a 12 win season.
A good defense can still help you win a championship, but these days a good offense is needed to complement it.
I stumbled on an interesting Twitter account called @ButkusStats that took a deep dive into this very subject, and I wanted to share with you some of what he said.
In 2018, the #Bears took a 1Q lead in 9 of their 16 games, with a record of 7-2 in those games. The Bears trailed at half in only 4 games all season (NE, ARZ, MIA, SF). All 3 of these teams moved the ball on the Bears defense better than expected. #ChicagoBears #DaBears— Butkus Stats & Analytics (@ButkusStats) October 5, 2020
In 2019, the #Bears took a 1Q lead in 5 of their 16 games, with a record of 4-1 in those games. The Bears trailed at half in 8 games on the season, going 2-6 in those games with the defense unable to come up with game breaking plays.— Butkus Stats & Analytics (@ButkusStats) October 5, 2020
The entire thread is worth a read, so head over to Twitter to check it out, but he capped it with another neat statistical nugget.
Further evidence:— Butkus Stats & Analytics (@ButkusStats) October 6, 2020
2018 Bears Defense:
1Q: 1 INT
2Q: 9 INT
3Q: 6 INT
4Q: 11 INT
Bears Trailing: 4 INTs
Tied: 5 INTs
Bears Leading: 18 INTs
If Nick Foles can’t get this offense in gear quicker, the 2020 Bears won’t go very far.