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Week 9 Roundup: Patriots Get Creative, Rams D Can't Keep Up, Carolina Can't Be Stopped | The Monday Morning NFL Podcast
Tom Brady, Petri dot creative. Outlasting Aaron Rodgers on Sunday night where the saints and Rams defensive after their weight matchup more love for that panther's offense and to John Harbaugh. Be in trouble in Baltimore. We've got all that and much more from week nine on the m QB Monday morning NFL podcast. Hello and welcome to the Monday morning NFL podcast. I'm Gary gramling. He is an even it was a week nine Sunday with to just monster games this week just mind blowing matchups in and yell seats. Rams definitely lived up to the hype Sunday night game. I think for let's say fifty four minutes lived up to the hype. I would take I'll take fifty four minutes a living up to the hype the other thing. I absolutely love these week nine gains because they almost always come on the daylight savings time day, and you gain an hour of sleep. And that just does something for me. I would give I'd give ten percent of my salary. If we have daylight savings timing every single Saturday, every we just this hour on the it's just it's huge. It's unbelievable huge. So I had I had a great day to. I'd love the games today. Can I tell you what I did? Because I'm I'm simultaneously terrible son, and a wonderful on it was my mom's seventy th birthday, and I told her couldn't make her birthday brunch. Because I too much football stuff to do on Sunday. And then I realized because of the fall back I would have in our I could carve out for my. And I saw my mom on her birthday. Thanks to daylight savings. Fighting that makes terrible. I think makes you a good son. I would have taken the extra hour to get ahead on the football day. Yeah. I really I had exhausted. Everything I had to do. I was just sitting around waiting for the games. And I was like, well guess I'll see mom on her birthday. Let's get to. Let's get to the games. I hope this isn't the first time my mom ever. Listen to this podcast. Let's get to the games. Let's start with the Sonny nutter here. The the Packers at patriots the big Tom Brady versus entered Rogers part too. If you want to call it that going back to the twenty fourteen matchup. But this was I Mike Petten because I thought the Packers had a really really good overall game plan in this one. They they went coverage. Heavy heavy early. They mix in blitzes in the second half. They adjusted nicely wants a Cordeiro. Patterson started a gouging them a little bit. But they kinda kinda ran out of bodies. And they also just the patriots have too many too many things they can do to you. I feel like yeah. No. They did what we thought we talked. I think is either road at Friday a retort about Thursday on the podcast is the pet and formula would be to put a lot of. Offensive backs on the field and present a lot of different looks with those defensive backs. And then cram the middle of your d line with Kenny Clarke, Mike Daniels and and dean Lowry three really good run defenders individually. They don't always play great as a unit, but they're pretty good. They're very good individually and lean on those guys to handle the run game. So that you can play light in other areas, and for the most part that's what he did throughout the game New England adjusted wealth, and there was a fluidity to how they adjusted Tom Brady was in command. I thought Cordeiro Patterson looked a lot better at running back tonight last week. And so it was. They have a nice planet. Green bay. But they fell up against a better team. Yeah. I mean when I think back on this game. The the big moment is obviously the Aaron Jones fumble I guess next week will be due for a crippling Jamal Williams fumble in a in a Packers game here. But the the the patriots are really struggling Brady had that streak of incompletions. That was just it was it was wild. It was unusual to see and the pulled out that Eto Mun throwbacks. I mean, I'm never seen the play like that. It was a screen pass. It was a it was a lateral to Eshelman which normally if you're gonna throw off that you're gonna throw it down field, and they set up a screen with that. Which was well pretty awesome. It was great. And what the Philip door said, I believe it was him. He ran a deep over route which did two things one. It did give them the downfield option. That's Ataman looked first. But he's doing that mainly because they're assuming the free safety is going to pick up that over route. But that draws the coverage in the defense that way. So it'll mean looks they're basically the wide receiver looked off the safety like a quarterback would and then through the screen is a really well designed play they had the end around two element that also helped they always do a nice job getting James white the ball in the passing game. And then the other thing we've seen now every week and we've seen it. We say it every week. We saw a little bit more this week than last week. Are just the talent throws to Josh Gordon. Just throw them all in his vicinity. Let him win. Yeah. I mean, he almost had that other on the sideline in the first half. He's a he's becoming a major weapon here. Obviously patriots going without gronkowski in this one. And yeah, the run game is well as we said krill Patterson stepped up but your little bit. You're down a man in Sony, Michelle there are better out of those two back sets if Sony Michelle is back there typically, they also let me ask you real quick on the pass and thing and well to real quick things one the people on Twitter who had pointed out to me that he wears eighty four and was playing running back. Not my I on it. But he is not as Ignatz it as a running back and the whole team is not. Agreed. Yeah. That's what he is. And if said so publicly yet, so I'm fine with it. But yes, thank you for pointed out. The other thing is if Cordeiro Patterson who's never been refined player at any position or he's been. He's just talent out there if he can step in and within a week and a half, basically become a quality back end eleven carries for sixty one yards in the game tonight. Do we need to reevaluate? The whole is has there ever been more of a testament to the idea that running backs just plug and play interchangeable guys than Patterson doing? It's not like he's getting flashy weird designed runs easer. I formation runs behind a fullback that a wide receiver who's not refined. All the sudden doing very, well, maybe maybe the running back interchangeable argument has some water. I mean it does accent. I will say impedance case. I mean, this is this was his skill set. I mean, this was his exact skill set coming out of Tennessee. He was a guy who ever looked at and said, well, really unrefined as a receiver. But if you just get the ball in his hands, he can do things, and he just, but that implies space, though, doesn't it misdirection into round screened Caesar handoffs between the tackles where he's reading frontside backside and reading his blocks and set up his blocks these are traditional running back plays, you might be onto something. But I think I think if someone looked at Cordeiro Patterson eight years ago, or whenever he was like a soft more in college or something like that. And said we think this guy's running back. I think it would have been in easy transition for him. I think he was that's someone should have done. So I probably should have done that the raiders had a shot on. Vikings out of shot at him. I think when you see a six in their defense when you see a six two six three guys with that kind of speed. I get. Wanting to put him outside and thinking kind of fits their better on. No. But you might be onto something a little bit. I think Patterson's I just think he's a unique guy think it's unique skill set. That's my answer to you. Andy. What a what do you think the Germain Whitehead ejection? Well, I don't think it was a big factor in the game the way I understand why it was shown again and again on TV and talked about because it's. It's kind of sensational. But this did not swing the game. Or did not deplete the secondary. All of a sudden, you know, they can live without Germain Whitehead. He should not have been tossed for that. But these guys that hit other men who were wearing helmets. There's a certain level of stupidity that goes into that. I don't mind them getting overly punished for so either his hand gets broken. Or fortunately for him. It's said he gets thrown out of the game. It's the lesser to. There's no upside to hitting a man who's wearing a helmet. That's what I've never understood. It's just I get it. It's a natural reaction. It's just it's instinctive. It's built into you. Yeah. Well, maybe result to stop late men like yourself. Gary most of us are civilized and talk to conversation with David Andrews before I slapped him slap them like like like a girlfriend would slap a guy for saying, something sexist. I mean, it was an open hand slap across the face mask. You wonder if they would Andrews said said something mildly inappropriate tool. I just I drew me Whitehead. Should've flopped then he would have gone penalty on that. That would have been that would have been embarrassing in its own, right? But at least it would have like, you know, ended up a positive thing for football team. That's what I do. He's young player hill. Learn that I'm not constantly punching people in the face. I am constantly flopping and feigning injury. And and that's. Throughout life just around the office stuff like that. This this ended up being you know, in another neat play that delayed. Flea flicker that the patriots ran. They ruled out some good stuff. I thought the it was a nother encouraging week for the Packers defense in another loss. But the now three four and one the problem is you can't keep having these positive learning experiences in losing situations. Their schedule is somewhat imposing moving forward, which everybody gets the NFL. So, you know, but it's these losses are going to start their counting. Now, they need to start winning games as they get better on defense. I think they have seven winnable games. Very winnable games. I should say seven games in which there will be favored to win those games coming up better at I think they're gonna go seven of eight they're going to the playoffs. And I think they're gonna make some noise in January. But we'll we'll find out. I guess let's go to the let's go to the other marquee game here in week nine that was Rams at saints. And we kind of said on the show. There's you know, there can't not be a lot of points in this one these offenses just too good, especially on the ramp side the app some flawed defenses. But. Yeah. I mean, the saints are obviously now the front runner for the number one seed in the NFC, and I know I have a tough time. Basically the convincing myself that the Rams are are going to be able to go in there and January and maybe win a game in New Orleans. Well, do you think it'll be a better Rams defense by January? Let's start there. Because if it was ten percent better defense today. They probably would have won this game today. Well, let's let's start with that. Because obviously the issues are on the back end the issues are are especially with Marcus Peters on the back end. What do you do what you do with this point? Well, this is exactly what we worried about. Is if the pass rush is inconsistent. And it was again today. Some of that is drew Brees in his pocket. Movement is unbelievable. It's brilliant. So the passer air Donald got home all game, and nobody noticed or nobody. It's not gonna show on paper because drew Brees just kept he looting them. But if the pass rush is not say, it's not because you're not gonna face drew Brees every week. There's only two or three guys in the league that good. So the other gains where the pass rushes struggled if they don't get home. Peter style of play is not a quip to hold up. He is an early in the down cornerback. He that his best when he plays an off. Coverage and reach the receiver through the QB read into the backfield. That's really not what they have him do though in Los Angeles. There's a lot more MandA stuff. And because of the pass rush he's asked to cover longer, and he's not responding. Very well, he's not by his standard. He's not having a very good season. Not sure if he's having a very good season by anyone standard at this point. It's well sitter. He is he is traveling with number one receivers. Now, she hadn't at any point is crease started that I think I think last week was the first time he's done it. So he had devante Adams last week. Michael Thomas this week. But yeah, those guys especially Thomas bay they beaten his lunch too. So it's one I always give a guy credit for traveling with the number one because it has such a huge domino effect for everybody else. In this case, Troy hill he's to hide and he's a fringe backup. Who's only in because they have so many injuries at cornerback. So give him some credit for that. But yeah, he's getting destroyed right now. He's Louis hat chips at some point. They'll they'll presumably have keep to lead back in the lineup. Obviously Dante Fowler was their trade deadline acquisition, and he will have some sort of increased role as your goes on. I don't know if you're Wade Phillips. He just sort of a bide your time here and say, well, we're we're gonna outscore most teams anyway. So this really isn't a reasonable to to be hitting the panic button. Then we'll play our style, and we'll get better playing our style. Or or do you rethink this thing kind of like we've seen the chief Stu and say we're gonna start sitting back a little bit. We're going to. We're going to sort of the aggressiveness out of this out of the back end here and just really play it safe. I think you do if forced between those options something closer to the second option. I think you have to understand what Peters is until Leib is this way as well. These are off coverage corners, so you need to be willing to play off coverage Peters did that in Kansas City. So well, they would match up inside and Peters was technically an outside matchup corner. But because it kept extra bodies insight. He usually had helped to play to you've got to find a way to give those guys help to play. Tune Wade Phillips. Well, that's why they went out traded for Dante Fowler. It's why they signed Dhamma consume who by the way did play defensive end again today Fowler played right defensive end sue played left defensive end. So we wondered about that on the on the Thursday show. What would happen with sue? That's going to be their role moving forward. It's just not a great pass rush overall. It's it's a it's got one really great player inside. And then it's good not great in a lot of other areas, and that's going to be hard to overcome. That's hard for any team. To overcome unless you're willing to blitz. And that's just not their formula this year. They also the difference between last week in this week for the Rams end up being the special teams. Call the special teams play a couple of one bad break with the spot on the on the Johnny Ecker fake field goal run. And then they they missed the kick the mistake. Fifty one yard kick. So, you know, those are the places sort of went their way with special teams, basically basically over the or the last in the game yet. Right. And then the game like this. It swings. The flow of the game to put them down and from behind. They came back though. So it's not like the special teams is why they lost again because their defense guppy, especially Peter's. But yet, you're right. The special teams was a factor. Jared Goff was excellent throughout the game. He did have a negative series late when they needed him to step up. I don't think it's anything to worry about moving forward. I'm not worried about the Rams offense. Is there anything else we need to say about the saints overloaded, Alvin Kamara and it got? The featured him again early in the game. We saw less of tastes hill in this game. And how Kamera I think not coincidentally had more designer plays for him in the first half, especially he is so good with his contact balance. I don't think anyone in the league is better at staying on balance after they've been contacted which is why he breaks so many tackles. He is a finesse runner who breaks tackles how many guys in the league have ever been that. Yeah. It's you know, he he's a little he's like a little a Super Bowl or something. He he. He. He he's he's not violent his running style. He has short choppy steps in just makes it look like he is he's going to go down easily on contact. And he just sort of does not go down. Yeah. How about my guy Gerald Everett making some place? Thing about that's my guy that was my preseason guy and Utah he won't he won't be a big deal. Did I? I'm surprised because I I know McVay loved having Jordan Reed in Washington and Gerald Everett's not Jordan read. But stylistically that's the closest they had the Jordan in what McVay likes to do is at Adam gays formation three by one sets three receivers to the one side. The tight end by himself on the other and Everett did have a big catch out of that formation in this game. But. Yeah. No, he's I don't think he's a guy. He's not the guy for anybody. He's not too bad given another couple of years. Yeah. That was that was a good one. It was a fun one yet. Some some big swings going back and forth. And and the saints are now in control of the NFC. Let's let's go to another high powered NFC south offense. Andy, this is like your favorite team in the NFL right now. That's the Carolina Panthers. Score the forty to twenty eight win over the bucks. Tell me everything you like about this Panthers. I guess we'll go with that. First of all have you read my article that I sent in to be edited to you. I have okay. And are you okay? With me having kind of the motif of I'm falling in love with the offense. Or is that too weird? And I'm going to get a bunch of red back after the show. No, no, no. It's it's it's weird. But it's good weird. It's good weird. I this offense is so well, designed the more I see the more impressed. I am with north Turner. They have continued to to do everything you want and the running game with Cam Newton, and they're leveraging Cam Newton's, mobility, and forcing defenses to defend him. And because of that they get a numbers favorable count. They're adding in misdirection now. Now. So they're changing the gap. Assignments of defenders just like the Rams do with all the jet action. It's a real hassle to deal with Carolina's incorporating it as well. And it's interesting, Gary, I was down in sauve the Rams the other day, and I asked some of their coaches about that jet action. And they said, yeah. Lot of teams copy it, but they don't know how to copy they don't know the nuances of it. Because the whole reason you do jet action is to force the second level defenders the linebackers. They have to change their gap assignments on the fly in response to the jet action. And now that you know, they're changing it you build your running plays to exploiting those changes. And the problem is not every team knows how to build the running place to export the changes Carolina's one team that would though because of the way they're running game has been set up for so many years and the Cam Newton factor there used to manipulating defenses through their scheme. So there continued to do a great job with that. And then when they do throw the ball, which is often. Off of this misdirection stuff the high lows and the different route combinations that beat zone coverage. They're a hard team to deal with they kill you in your zone coverage. So the alternative is let's play man to man. But what do we do about Cam Newton as a mobile threat? Do we put a man on him or not? And these are the hard questions they make you answer. Gosh. I mean, they had thirty plus yard runs from McCaffrey from Curtis Samuel from DJ more. I mean, they are delivering big plays indie in the run game here. Like like, no other team. The mistake. They made was the did, you know, Ryan fits Ryan Fitzpatrick, basically had them right where he wanted them which is down four touchdowns in the first half and back again. But does that. That's the weirdest thing that he he's he's a better quarterback playing from behind then he is playing in any other situation. Yeah. It was another wild one. I thought they thought the bucks might do it again. Well, I figured they tie it. And then and then lose the end as as they are as they are want to do. But tell you something else, Gary why the Panthers I think they play the saints twice in the last couple of weeks the last three weeks of the season if I'm not mistaken something like that backloaded these games there secondary has two guys who are getting better. Eric Reid is one of them. And then James Bradbury who traveled with Mike Evans in this game and not only beat Evans, but I would say borderline dominated him Bradbury is a very good jammer at the line of scrimmage, and then he's always been very good at the top of your route. So when he's on this is a whole different looking defense right now he's on. He took Mike Evans out of the game on his own today. Yeah. And by the way, the Panthers do finish the season homemade saints homemade's thousand's and then at New Orleans the final three weeks. So this is going to be real good real good holiday season for NFL fans here. What'll be interesting out. It's probably going to be for a buy week chance of this happening are slim, but if those teams play in the playoffs again like they did last year in the wildcard round they'll have played three times in four weeks, which I bet is never happened enough L history. Someone can look that up in the mail us if they want to be the wild card game, which is unlikely it's unlikely, but this is the kind of stuff that's fun. Come on now. Yeah. That is that is fun. It's gonna be you know, what those are going to be emormous games because they're going to be for a buy week and home field in the playoffs. Someone's going to be the one or two seed from those panther gal Panthers saints games someone's going to be the five or six that's a huge drills or basically playoff games. Yeah. I wouldn't basically I play play play games playoff games are elimination game. So I don't wanna go that far those are. Okay. But if you win and get the by week you get a free playoff victory. Yeah. By his then you gotta then you lose your edge in that by week. And someone else comes in had the taste of blood and ends up knocking off the divisional. That's just that's just cynical bullcrap. You could sit about anybody's bye week now. Now, you're not even talking about the scenario anymore. Patriots really hurt themselves tonight moving closer to that AFC by week with the win over Green Bay. They did you gotta grab that three seed. That's what everyone should be aiming for geez. Let's. Let's go. Let's go the AFC here. Let's go AFC north where the Steelers are after all this hand wringing about the sealers this year. They are in pretty firm control of the AFC north at this point, certainly plenty of football to go. But they go into Baltimore. And they get a win the the two Steelers notes I wanna give in this one is they were I don't wanna call officiant, but they were very timely with their play making. They they were on the field for more than thirty six minutes. They were ten for sixteen on third down. They were one for one on fourth down one huge play in this game was a Rothlisberger had scrambled. He got chased down by by as area Smith Smith came down on him at the end of the run. And it looked like rob burger had done something to his throwing shoulder. So there was also a penalty on the play. It had backed up the Steelers to their own five yard line. They were looking at. He second twenty at the time. They were protecting a touchdown lead. And Josh Dobbs came in. And they just let Dobbs row at Dobbs end up throwing a twenty two yard completion to convert the first down Rothlisberger came down came back. They ended up getting a field goal in the dry, but that was a huge play right there. And that was kind of that was kind of the theme of the day for the Steelers. They just they came up with the plays when they had to be made. On the side of the ball there. There were reports this morning, and it's tough to know how much stock to put into this. But. The ravens would consider making a bid seizing coaching move. Which to me is. It's just absurd. Yeah. Midseason would be absurd. If they want to examine the John harbach situation. Sometimes a coach's era runs. Its course. There are I don't want. This Bill Walsh who said a coach should not stay more than you should not have the same coach more than ten years in a row. Some some Bill Walsh e type guys on one big said that once I don't know if I believe that. But I would understand valuate in that situation if they want, but that is not a kind of move you make in the middle of the season that team has the ravens have thrived on continuity for too long for that to be the case. Yeah. To me just looking at the bigger picture. I think it all comes down to it all comes back to the miscalculation. They've made with Joe flacco when they could have had him on a more reasonable deal before they won the Super Bowl. Then they end up having to pay him the monster deal and Flagler has been up and down. He's been hurt. He is still. Sort of. I don't know if you'd say still rounding back into his old form or you just accept that. He's not going to be there. But regardless he just hasn't performed at the level. That is that his contract has a has demanded this point. And it's it's affected their roster building ability on the offense of side of the ball. So. It has he wasn't. I mean, he's been lately what he was prior to that Super Bowl run. Which is why they didn't sign him. So they kicked the can down the road on flacco. Because he's show he kind of tease them. But he was never the shining consistent illuminated star than the is amazing Super Bowl run, which ninety gotta pay them to good problem to have those which ever team wants to have. So I I don't kick the ravens for that. Joe flacco. I mean, what what would they what were they supposed to do? What would you? You're talking really in hindsight. Now, you saying they should have given him a long term deal before he had the great playoff run when he was a very average good. No better than good quarterback of as better navarine. But when he was a good not great quarterback. Is that what you're saying that that's an option if well, but I'm more saying they're looking at it and saying boy, this is going wrong. It must be on Harbaugh. Must be on the coaching staff. I think it's on the roster building. And I think they were painted into a corner by having a let's say a guy who has his highs been a league average quarterback the last the last three or four seasons here, and as lows has been much much worse than that. So and they are paying him a franchise quarterback contract. And that affects the way the way we talk about all the time the rookie quarterbacks and how easy it is to build around them. I mean, this is the this is the opposite of that. If Joe flacco was on a whatever mid first round pick would get at this point. It wouldn't be a big problem. But when you're paying a guy like that you need a franchise quarterback type of performance. And so if they're going to pin blame somewhere on their on their playoff drought dating back to two thousand fourteen at this point. That's realistically what it is. And it doesn't have. To be anyone's fault. But to say it's on the coaching staff. I think is a bit much. Yeah. I know I agree with you. It's a bit much in the coaching staff. I who are the big time ravensdale that have left in free agency. And we've said all they couldn't afford them. 'cause a flat guy. I guess they lost Ryan Jensen at center this year to the bucks. You got a big deal. But their offense of line's been fine. They signed Tony Jefferson and the Eric wet old recent years and their defensive still built and kept in Tak. The ravens are a good team that has. I don't think it's Harbaugh. I don't know if they found it an offense of identity still. Yeah. Over the years. And so now when the waters get little bit rough the they've got more of an identity this year. But it's not it's not a long establishing. It's not something they've been doing for a long time. It's not comfortable yet. Whatever their identity is. I think it's multi ends ball control offense. So it's a weird spot. They just feel parentally like nine and seventeen. Don't they the more? We're talking through them. They do they do. And I do think that comes back to the roster. That's I think that's that's the problem. I seven roster. You're saying it is it really is. Let's go. Let's go Lanta at Washington here. I don't know. I don't have a whole lot else to add on on the Redskins at this point. I say every week if they get an early lead they can play their style and they can win if they fall behind early. They're in trouble. They fell behind early in this one they fell behind fourteen fourteen nothing and then twenty one seven they never really clawed back. They got to within twenty eight fourteen that was it but foul CNN's got it going a big day for the run game, which I guess on the Redskins side, you're a little bit disappointed with that. Because they've been so good up front. Yeah. This is this. This is the falcons offense y'all performing like they they thought they would all year and. I guess this is something of a confidence builder for for the Atlanta defense as well. Falcons are foreign forth there right in this thing. Now, they've got to Ford four the ugly ways. So we kind of wrote them off early because they got all their losses upfront. But if they had gone four and two and lost a couple of row. Nobody would be saying they're out of it. So we got to say the falcons are in it. They're in. They're only going to be assuming everyone stays healthy. What you say that about every single team? They're only going to be better in the second half of the season as they get guys like Dion Jones comeback. Other guys will get more comfortable in their roles on defense. So I'm off the mystic for the falcons for the Redskins. The run defense thing get your attention a little bit because when you put on their film. What occurs you trying to? Okay. Why I'm watching these guys last week against the giants? Why are they five and two and it's Mason foster Zac Brown at linebacker had been absolutely rock solid, and that defensive lines been rock-solid very good run defense, which means they're making the. Game be played on their schedule most weeks. So to see the run defense this week give up one hundred fifty four yards on the ground and one hundred forty eight of that was two running backs Smith and Coleman on twenty three carries. That's a little bit disheartening. And you hope it's a one time thing if that becomes a trend Washington finish a season seven and nine. Yeah. I mean, look they haven't had a team really jump out on them with the exception that money and that game in New Orleans and protecting big leading. It seems like everyone's been been playing from behind when they played when they played the Redskins this year. So. I don't know. I don't know this. This might be something of a troubling trend going forward for this team. But yeah, falcons spin on the falcons real quick one of their issues going forward and not to sit here and break down the schedule and all that. But they already have the Panthers and saints at home at this point. They actually beat the authors at home back in week two. So they have a they have a rough schedule coming up at the second half of the season though. We'll see we'll see if they dug too deep a hole. The and you know, one more note on that Redskins run defense just keep it onto football talk is worthy of been at their best. Especially those linebackers are against MandA, ma'am. Blocking teams which more teams are doing by the way, there's a lot more man blocking the NFL seen before a lot of gap scheme and traps and pull blockers. That's man. Demand stuff. The falcons are a classic outside zone running team. And there's a big difference there. So maybe that's part of it. And you look at Washington schedule. And who else do they have that runs outside zone? Dallas is really the only team left on the schedule and Washington handled their running game pretty well. If you weeks ago, so. I there's reason to think this is a one time flash in the pan bad day for Washington's run defense. Maybe it just wasn't the right style for them to match up against. Well, we'll see let's go. Let's go Kansas City at Cleveland Browns bigger Mayfield said after the game. They didn't make wholesale changes to the playbook or the offense. It just sort of simplified some things through some things out. And the offense was was fine. It's also, you know, they went up against a chiefs defense that is not exactly a world-beating group. But ultimately, they went up against a chief seen that they defensively they just weren't going to slow down not to mention they they gave up a blocked punt deep in their own territory when they were possibly pulling within striking distance. And I I think this game pretty much went. Just about exactly as you think it would have gone. They were never going to make the wholesale changes. Because you can't in the middle of the season. You can't just rewrite your playbook. You can still a back. And that's why every time that we hear a team makes drastic improvement, and we go with what you do what you change this. We just got back to basics. We just went simple redid what we do and the only way to get more complex as a season goes along as to have guys stay healthy. So you can build the system in grow it or have Tom Brady and grow that way, you know, guys who are in charge. So I I'm impressed at the Browns did as well as it did. Freddie kitchens their new offense. According I don't believe he's ever called plays before. So not not a bad showing by them. But not a surprising outcome either. I it's Patrick Mahomes. It's getting the word when he shows up on the bottom line, you hardly even pay attention to the numbers anymore because four touchdowns one interception. Three hundred fifty yards. Looks like nothing now. Yeah. For nothing for him. It's it's. I don't know. It looks like a two man race for for. MVP at this point between Mahomes and breeze. And we'll see what happens in the second half of the year. But yeah, Mahomes did throw the one interception in this one. And it was a it was a end of the first half borderline hail. Mary desperation throws. So. The the half was that the play. Yeah. I don't think the Bri if the Browns came back out they just had to take a knee. But was I'm looking at the play by play for that to me should not count as an interception. Yes. That's not it's not a turnover. There's no the ball is not turned over when that happens the same thing that would have happened if you'd kneeled the ball happens when the other team intercepts it in the end, there's no there's no swing in the game and no field position. So which is why the QB's are willing to throw that I hate that those Countess turnovers. So you're saying if it's literally like, let's say the Browns intercepted and fill it abounds. And there were two seconds left and they were on their own three yard line. And they just came out took a knee. You would count that as interception count that as a technicality. And then if it happened a bunch, which it wouldn't. But if it did I'd gripe on this show about how they need to correct technicality somehow, but. Plays that happen. Fourth-down interceptions are not turnovers. People always think they are. And they wanna count them in your in idiot. If you don't how could you not count interceptions at turnover, but they don't reflect the way the turnover influences the game. They don't change field position. They don't steal you a possible snaps on offense. It's the safe. If Los Angeles turnovers are better than incompletions. All right. Those quote unquote turnovers I feel like I'm probably missing something on this some some Gotcha moment that I know what you mean is think you think I'm missing something on this. And you just can't figure out what it is to point out to me. Yeah. No, I used to soom you're missing something. So now, I think I'm missing something. One one more note from this game dente ward had a hip injury. So one of the defensive rookie of the your front runners could miss could miss time for Cleveland, though, obviously this is becoming another a law season for the Browns. One more game here before the lightning around. This is the chargers go to Seattle and chargers are no-one no-one pays attention to them because they are probably not going to catch the chiefs at this point. But they've won five straight. Now, they go to Seattle and get the get a road win over over team that had a winning record. Which is some that hasn't happened often. This was a. Twenty five seventeen final charters were in control of this game. They almost figure out a way to give it away. And you know, I think the biggest issue they have at this moment is they have to find themselves kicker Caleb. Sturgis was missing quite literally everything today. The other reason nobody pays attention to the chargers because they may have had more fans at this game at CenturyLink field in Seattle today than they would if they played this game in their own ballpark down in southern California. This is the weirdest thing if this team that has no fan base right now. I mean, there are no charger fans. They're six and two. We might be looking at chargers, quote, unquote, home games in the postseason. Of course, it's going to be hard. They gotta get past Kansas City. I guess to do that. But they're not far behind Kansas game back of him game and a half if you count the tiebreaker yet game back they never beat the cheese, and they still have to go to candidates. Come on come on. We're smart that doesn't the past matchups with the chiefs with the exception of maybe this year's week to are almost irrelevant. They've only played the Mahomes lead. Chiefs one time. But they played the Andy Reid chiefs many times. That's that whole this team doesn't beat that. It's just their uniforms anymore. The guys in charger, uniforms. Don't typically beat the guys chiefs uniforms, but the guys in charger uniforms are different than the guys and the old charger uniforms. What do you think the chiefs win streaking? And the chargers is that you remember from when I probably gave this step. You're you're about the Trump me on this, aren't you? You've got I don't always it at here. I'm gonna I'm gonna let you have fun with this. I'm guessing it's at two games. Gary. That's not fun at all. That's not a that's a real guests in any way, shape or form nine. They beat them nine three times. Well, all right. That's your winning this one. I'm trying to size. My starters on that guests in two gains. And letting you run up the score on this little argument that becomes a thing. And I know it's it's anecdotal evidence. But you remember last year they played that Saturday night game in Kansas City. And everyone kinda like this is it this is the year. The chargers finally breakthrough charged around the winning streak Alex Smith was having all sorts of issues and and the chiefs they hammered him at Earl head, and it seems like that just that's just the way this this series goes this point. Yes. He hawks is far as they go. I mean, obviously, they're not gonna catch the Rams in the NFC west. Maybe they can they're sitting a foreign four. Maybe they can climb back into the the wild card hunt here. But this is a team that they'd gun a lot of takeaways the last couple of weeks they actually had. I mean, this is only the second time this season. They've had fewer than two takeaways in a game. They had they took it from the lines three times from the raiders twice from the Rams twice from Dallas three times back in a bag in September. But not overs in this one. And like I said they played from behind. Pretty much out this one and if not for some bad chargers special teams, this this might have been a double digit loss at home for the Seahawks. A big deal for the chargers to they have found their running game identity, and we wondered if they would under Anthony Lynn who is there's another MandA ma'am, blocking coach it's MandA ma'am, blocking stuff is picking up around the league and Melvin Gordon's. Very good running behind man blocking. And we've seen that one hundred thirteen yards on just sixteen rushes in this game today. Both teams ran the ball. Very well. That's what's going to make things different for the chargers this time. That's why they might not. Let's assume the at least decent on the kicking side of things which I know it's a big assumption based on history, which I guess who decided really matters with the chargers if let's say they get decent. They're they're run game. Identity is going to be what makes them different than past chargers. Teens pass teams at always teased us, these this one can deliver on the promise that they run the ball this. Well, okay, they enough. I'll keep an open mind that they they maybe can win a game in Kansas City later on this year. But for now, let's let's go to the lightning ish round. Four more games to go from the week nine Sunday slate here let's start with the Vikings. Just completely steamrolled the lions in Minnesota. This was a a game that in the first half. The difference was red zone performance. Vikings. We're getting touchdowns while the lines working field goals. I mean, the the lines were overwhelmed in the second half. Ten sacks four the Vikings in this one of Matthew Stafford and this this lines office just looked completely disjointed? And you gotta think. That that golden teacher trade. I I just don't understand the golden eight trade. Yeah. Because he's who you throw the ball to before the defense could possibly ever say give up a few sacks. Let's get the ball out on the perimeter in space. That's what they would do. It's this should not be happening with Detroit. They were not good in their pass blocking against Seattle last week either. And they have too much talent along that offense of line to in this way. It's a very good offense of line when you look at the individual pieces and we've seen that at times in the running game in by the way steam of the show there another team that's done a lot with MandA man blocking and that's our identity, but they didn't have the run game today didn't produce twenty four carries sixty six yards. Stafford sack ten times he gained six yards on five rushes. So he's running for his life at other times. It looks like bad bad day and excusable given the amount of talent that the lions have. And I know the Vikings are a great deal line. And maybe we should talk about them on the Thursday show. Gary they're looking like the Vikings again that we came to expect but bad performance by the lions. Yeah. They are second half for Everson. Griffen in this one. So GME back Stefan digs didn't play in this. Dalvand cook did come back to seventy yard run. And didn't do a whole lot else for the Vikings who the offense didn't have to do a ton in this one Houston. Demer texans. Get another win here, Texan teve. I see they've quietly won six straight and quietly things the word because it hasn't been a terribly impressive six game winning streak. They are sitting at six and three which is obviously great shape in the AFC, south division. The broncos. Look, we knew the Broncos at issues they moved to marry his Thomas, they're they're obviously they have an eye on the future at this point. But. That's shows events. Joseph makes them weird in game decisions. And that was probably the difference in nineteen seventeen Texans when here in which ends on another team for some reason assuming that they're just gonna make a fifty one yard kick at at the end of the game. And they didn't well. They were at mile high. So consider that forty five yard kick or something like that. But I hear I completely hear it you're saying and even a forty five yarder. Whatever translates to bio high. Yeah. I think teams don't try to get extra field goal yards. Very often. I think we need to see more of that need to be better. There. Do you know I didn't see this game. Not the beginning of the game on television. How was Damaris Thomas received? His first game was at his old team which has happened a few times in history, but not very many. They had a at some point. I feel it gives in the third quarter. They did yawn some sort of. Thank you Damaris type of thing on the Videotron. If I remember correctly, I was sort of happing attention at that point because a saints ranchers going on, but they also crowd cheer him. When he got his first catch. I don't think I was a paying enough attention. That's that's a tear. Halting the answer. I know. But it was saints Rams is on the other TV at think, I probably was enthralled by that. But yeah, he still has his he still lives sweet there at at mile high and. Actually, not gonna be able to sell that super quickly. I don't know how that works would a player sell the suite. We we have no answers on anything on this. We did we offer this bits within the lightning round next next game. It is it is and Vance Joseph, man. That's that's it. That's gotta be better with these special teams decisions and kicking field sixty two yard. He tried to sixty two yarder at the end of the first half. Which all it did when they missed was just gave the Texans the ball back in Broncos territory and let them kick their own field goal. And then they lose points. It was just it was absurd. It was upsetting to me. Chicago at at buffalo here the bears role forty one nine. Look Nathan Peterman, they played it as conservatively as humanly possible with him this week, and he was fine. He executed. These short simple throws. They were not trying anything bold. And I don't know. I if you believe in biorhythms or or like, some sort of weird energy that that comes on people. I mean, Terrell Pryor has a bowl bounce off his chest and turn into interception. They had Jones actually a heads up play. Maybe my favorite defensive play of the day. Kendall fuller or excuse me. Kyle fuller is the is the his his the bears player. Basically jumped on zeta-jones on a pass that was within the one yard area outside the line scrimmage where there is no defensive passenger fearing so full or basically blasted zeta-jones ball bounce off. Jones hands turns into a pick six. It was in ugly statistical Dave for Peterman, again ends up with three interceptions, though, two of them were most certainly not his fault. He was even driving their seven nothing early and Peterman was driving the bills when Jason Croom caught a ball and had it ripped away by Eddie Jackson who then ran it. Back for touchdown. So bills have to. I mean bills offense has to stop. Giving touchdowns is a start. This is a very thorough recap of a lightning round game. Where the score was forty one. Sir. Because I didn't see a lot of this one. And I can't wait to watch it on film because it's going to take me half as long as it normally would because it looks like I can be done around. Halftime. They was twenty eight nothing. I'm just sort of go fund me for Nathan Peterman or something. I can't get a break. The bears scored for read foster points out to me the bears scored forty one points and had one hundred and ninety yards of total offense. If you look at everything, but turnovers and points. This was a good day for the bills. Final one game with no offense touchdowns that would be the Brock Osweiler dolphins. Get another win. They beat the jets thirteen to six at their place. So they sweep the season series. And it looks like they are going to finish second place in the AFC east. If you're following that kind of thing dolphins are within within shouting distance of a wildcard spot if they can sort of catch a couple of breaks in the second half of the year. I wanna talk about Sam darnold just real quick, Andy, he's he's regressing. It was four interceptions. He threw a horrid pick six in this one in the fourth quarter that made it an insurmountable ten point deficit with eleven minutes to go. But. I don't know. I mean, do you take him out you put mccowan in at this point just to sort of say, let's let's take a breather. I would I guess that's that's. That'd be a great question to ask coach because that's a psychological emotional question. How quarterback handles himself, and what that means for his place in the locker room. And all these variables that guys like you and me who studied the game from the outside. We really can't connect with. I do know this darnold had some issues throwing into underneath coverage. This year the first game against the dolphins. TJ McDonald got him on a just a very rookie interception that pick six you talked about Jerome Baker another rookie, but a linebacker Kiko Alonzo had near -ception underneath defenders are getting some of these picks against darnold, and that's not a good sign. It is not let's say that's a wrap for the Sunday action here that means it is time for our thing of the week. Andy would you like to go first? Or would you like to go set note by apps absolutely want? You to go first. Okay. I will make my thing in the week sort of sort of inspired. My dick Mullins and the Thursday night her and kind of thinking, you know, it's it's nice when these guys toil and whether the developer not as backups they know the system, and if the system is good, and they execute it. Well, they can win games. But I I really liked the fact that the Steelers put Josh Dobbs out there today the add to put him out there. They were they were facing an obvious passing situation. And you'd think they would have just pulled back played a conservative run the ball James Connor then gotten Dobbs out the field that they they let them basically play it as if he was a real life starting quarterback and he delivered a big throw twenty two yards. Going back to the summer when Rothlisberger got all that criticism for. For being a little bit briskly with Mason Rudolph as far as comments go that was sort of misconstrued and Rothlisberger point was more. Josh Dobbs has been there. Josh Dobbs making progress, and and he someone who the Steelers should have more trust in with was sort of more of the takeaway from that. And you kind of saw today I thought it was a nice moment for Joshua Dobbs. You overall really good dude too. Oh, g Gary, do you know Joshua Dobbs? We did a lot of Joshua Dobbs coverage because he is a. You just name drop them, which is fine. I dry named role. I'm more than you. Do. I drop a lot. He is. I shouldn't say he's a very easy. Very bright young, man. I'll say that. He's what he's he was an aerospace engineer at Tennessee was that it. I should've read it. I guess I didn't read it. My thing the week. My thing of the week is running backs in the passing game. And especially on check downs. We think about and we'll we need to talk about this at greater length because the Steelers are one team that does it really well and a lot of people lately have been talking about James Connor and his receiving numbers. He's got better stats and levian Bill. It's it's the way you design your check downs for your running backs. James White's big part of it. Anyone who's ever played refilling rivers? He's been been ficiary. This Alvin Kamara of course, at times who's much more than just a check down receiver. All these guys are but the most productive running backs in the passing game. Play offense is doing nice job of understanding. The check downs not just are crap button. It's a big part of what we do. And it's a part of our passing game. And it leads to meaningful yards. And there's it's worth examining further because I think of I think it's becoming a bigger deal with offenses. All right. That was good thing. You've talked about that a little in the past faster. You get it down there. The more of an opportunity give that back. I'm trying to think of how I can add a name drop at the end of my thing of the week here on the check downs, and I've never met James Connor. But you know, sometimes rothlisburger throws no big deal. But I did meet rothlisburger ones. He's a nice guy. Real good guy. Big deal. We were both good guys, actually. Self and. Yeah. For a guy you had that extra hour of sleep your awfully grumpy at the end of the show, Andy. It's gonna be a rap for this one. Thanks to researchers read foster and Ryan Taylor would make it sound smart. Every week. Thank you to producer, Shelby Royston and the guys canes thirteen who make it sound good. The most of all thank you to you. For listening to this episode of the QB, Monday morning NFL podcast. You are the best. We'll be back with the deep dive show on Thursday. And we will have the mini mailbag who skipped it last week because we're we're kinda jerk Simi had trade deadline, but we will have this weeks of send the question to talk that at the MTV dot com or Twitter. Andy underscore or underscore sl. We're both on Facebook as well. Jenny Brenton's Connor or will join the MTV podcast with Albert breer on Wednesday. We'll be back Thursday. And then of course, Albie on the Friday the gambling show with Jimmy trainer. And Scott gramling. Listen and subscribe to the NFL podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Including the MTV dot com dot com, apple podcasts Spotify, Stitcher. Tune in and other podcasts providers. We will see you guys Thursday. Tip of the hat to Albert another strong. Addition of 'em QB. Did you know your favorite team has a daily podcast on the locked on podcast network? 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The MMQB: 10 Things