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Weekly UP's! and down's in 2021 for the teams you watch


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31 minutes ago, scar988 said:

He's so much better than Bud Dupree. I know Bud is good, but Ingram for that system and what they needed, is better.

Bud was great at certain things. He is crazy explosive and athletic. He covers well, he hits like a truck, he sets a mean edge, he looks like he's shot out of a cannon when he blitzes. What he doesn't do well is rush the passer. Ingram and Highsmith can both do that at a higher level than Dupree can. I think the combo of Ingram and Highsmith is going to allow the defense to blitz a whole lot less, and still generate the same amount of pressure. We'll see how(or if) they can replace Dupree's other contributions to the defense. 

This is no knock of Bud, either. I was one of his biggest supporters on here. He has all world talent. I hope he balls out for the Titans, just not against the Steelers. 

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Week: 1

Raiders

UP

1. Maxx Crosby - 2. Kolton Miller - 3.Yannick Ngakoue - 4.Daniel Carlson - 5.Carl Nassib

DOWN

1.Clelin Ferrell - 2.Willie Snead - 3.Henry Ruggs - 4.Andre James - 5.Josh Jacobs

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Bengals

Ups

  1. Ja'Marr Chase - After a much maligned preseason highlighted by drop issues, Chase came out and played like a WR1 with a 100+ yards and a TD in his NFL regular season debut.  And this was with Burrow only throwing 27 attempts in nearly 70 minutes of game time.
     
  2. Jonah Williams - The Jonah is the healthiest he has been so far in his NFL career, and it showed as he graded very well in both the run and pass game and played like you want your franchise left tackle to play.
     
  3. Joe Mixon - Mixon had a lot of broken tackles, averaged a good ypc, and kept the ground game going leading the NFL in rushing yards for week 1, and he did it with a line that had some very questionable run blocking outside of The Jonah.
     
  4. Joe Burrow - Despite the conservative playcalling and only 27 passing attempts in an overtime game, Burrow looked great when they let him rip it a bit more.  20 of 27, nearly 10 yards per attmept, no picks, and no turnovers.  When the offense finally let him get a little more aggressive at the end of the 1st half is when he hit Chase for the 50 yard TD.  Expect him to throw a little more each week and to start taking more downfield shots as well.  With Chase/Higgins/Boyd there are a lot of mouths to feed and those mouths didn't get the number of targets they likely will going forward.
     
  5. Interior DLine - I couldn't limit this to one guy because all 4 of the guys who played were stellar.  BJ Hill with 2 sacks in his first game as a Bengal after being traded for Billy Price, Larry Ogunjobi looked like a game wrecker with a sack of his own and several pressures up the middle now that he is playing his more natural 3 tech as opposed to NT that the Borws were having him play.  DJ Reader and Josh Tupou were stout against the run and collapsed the pocket when they were in on pass downs.

Downs

  1. Trey Hopkins - Trey is coming off an injury so hopefully he gets better each week, but he got cooked in pass pro this game, and his run blocking was average to below average as well.
     
  2. Zac Taylor - Going for it on 4th and 1 at your own 30 up two scores in the mid to late 3rd quarter?  Cmon man.  And I get wanting to ease Burrow back in, but his conservative play calling in the second half almost lost them the game.
     
  3. Eli Apple - Oof.  Poor tackling, was targeted heavily and nearly all the targets were completed, just not what you want to see.  If Trae Waynes EVER gets back on the field, it will hopefully be a big upgrade.
     
  4. Run Blocking - The Jonah did a pretty good job, but the other four hogs up front were pedestrian to bad.  It's a real testament to how good Mixon was this week as he only had one negative run, despite having to make guys miss in the backfield several times.  If this improves, Mixon might have a few monster games this year.  Carman would be an upgrade in the run game, but he isn't there yet as a pass blocker.
     
  5. Tyler Boyd - Boyd wasn't bad per se, but with Burrow's limited attempts, he just lost out in terms of target share.  With Chase here now, Tee at 100%, Uzomah back, and Mixon getting more involved in the pass game, I expect this might be Burrow's only game of the season below 30 attempts.  A lot of mouths to feed, and Boyd was the one who missed out most this week.

The Bengals highest profile players really did what was needed this weeks.  A lot of big money players and 1st rd picks living up to their billing.

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1 hour ago, MWil23 said:

The Browns:

1. Malik McDowell: Great game, looks legit as a DT, and the Browns may have gotten a steal after his disastrous off the field introduction to the NFL a few years ago. He's slated to start this week

2. The Browns running game minus a fumble by Chubb

3. Baker Mayfield's efficiency and vertical passing game, minus the last throw of the game

4. David Njoku's downfield ability combined with his blocking ability. He's going to either get locked up long term by the Browns or command a nice deal in free agency if he continues this pace

Any downs?

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2 minutes ago, DoleINGout said:

Any downs?

1. 3rd Down defense

2. Turnovers (-3)

3. Due to Wills and Hubbard getting hurt, the Browns are on their rookie and 3rd string LT

4. OBJ still is out returning from his torn ACL

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1 hour ago, Deadpulse said:

Also, you have impossibly high standards with DBs unless their name is Adrian Phillips 

Gotta be able to put yourself in a position to at least be competitive when the ball is in the air. Bill consistently whiffs on defensive backs high in the draft or targets FA afterthought DB's that get beat. I think I just am looking for some consistency and a lot of times it's the same guys making the same mistakes in the secondary, particularly in coverage. I think Bill is a below average talent evaluator in the secondary, average overall honestly, and struggles to develop guys there.

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I didn't watch the Pats today but it sounds like...

Week: 2

Team: Pats

Up: 1. Nick Folk (K), 2. Adrian Phillips (S), 3. JC Jackson (CB), 4. Jakobi Meyers (WR), 5. JaWhaun Bentley (LB)

Down: Josh McDaniels (OC), Yasir Durant (RT), Kendrick Bourne (WR), Hunter Henry (TE), Davon Godchaux (NT)

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6 minutes ago, DoleINGout said:

I didn't watch the Pats today but it sounds like...

Week: 2

Team: Pats

Up: 1. Nick Folk (K), 2. Adrian Phillips (S), 3. JC Jackson (CB), 4. Jakobi Meyers (WR), 5. JaWhaun Bentley (LB)

Down: Josh McDaniels (OC), Yasir Durant (RT), Kendrick Bourne (WR), Hunter Henry (TE), Davon Godchaux (NT)

Hunter Henry was great today. Not a ton of catches but a few BIG ones and a lot of great blocking. 

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Week two for the Raiders

1. Derek Carr - It's a real feather in his cap that coming off a game where he threw for 435 yards, 2 TDs, and the game winning TD pass in overtime against the Ravens he still goes on the trending up list. My main reason for that would be the fact that he was playing on the road, early kickoff, against a very solid defense (though admittedly had injuries hit them there fairly hard, especially when Watt went down), Jacobs was out, Leatherwood exited early and overall the OL had 2 guys starting that were listed as starters prior to week 1 starting, and Waller was blanketed for good stretches by multiple defenders. The team only scored 9 points entering half, but it was still good enough to take a lead into halftime. Once the 2nd half started though DC absolutely took over. He had great accuracy short, middle, and on the long ball. He had pressure in his face multiple times and he stood in the pocket and held onto the ball a second longer while taking the hit to deliver a big throw (one of the bigger complaints among the fanbase is sometimes Carr gets too happy to take the short pass and not let big plays develop). He was able to engineer a great offense even while being one dimensional. He got basically everyone involved. And in the 2nd half the most we felt like we may give the game away was when Gruden went too conservative running three straight plays when it wasn't working and took the ball out of Carrs hands. Luckily he realized it and let Carr take us home for the win. 

2. Henry Ruggs III - Ruggs had a quiet rookie year where he had some big plays, but it was basically big play or nothing and he dealt with some nagging injuries all year, he started off week 1 this season with a respectable but quiet 2 catches for 46 yards, though there were a couple plays he got open for what would have been a big play and Carr didn't see him. But in week 2 he showed what he is capable of doing with a 5 catch, 113 yard, 1 TD performance. Including 2 plays of 30+ yards, one of which was a 61 yard TD. The other being a 30 yard reception where he got open on a roughly 15 yard in, made the grab and showed some nice acceleration and strength for some YAC. A lot has been made about how much his speed alone opens up the offense even if he isn't getting as involved as consistently as we like, because so far he has almost exclusively been used on deep routes. Today was a positive sign that we are more willing this season to use him in different ways and he can succeed and the long ball homerun shot is still always a possibility. 

3. Jonathan Abram - Last year Abrams was probably my most frustrating Raider to watch. Constantly out of position. Playing undisciplined. Playing wreckless always looking for the big hit and regularly hurting his own teammates. But so far this season he has looked like a totally different player. Inside Bradleys scheme we are using him more in line with his strengths. Letting him play the S/LB hybrid, let him see plays develop in front of him and come down hill and attack, letting him play fast. And he has responded with playing with a ton of intensity still, but a much more controlled variety. But lets not talk about the stiff arm from Harris he was on the receiving end from lol. 

4. Trayvon Mullen - 2020 was a tale of 2 halves for Mullen. He started off the season looking like he was ready to become one of the best young corners in the NFL. The 2nd half he looked like a legitimately bad CB. So far this season? Looks like the guy we saw last year to start the season. I have barely heard his name called, which is usually a good thing for a corner. He hasn't given up many receptions. And he hauled in an INT off of Ben in the 1st half this week. Amazing what a scheme that lets him play to his strengths and a pass rush that has been balling the first two games can do for a secondary huh?

5. Solomon Thomas - Thomas didn't make much of an impact week 1. I don't even remember seeing him play. Which most NFL fans would say checks out seeing how he hadn't made much of an impact in any game since being a top 5 draft pick a few years back. However against the Steelers he may have had his best game as a pro. Playing exclusively at 3 technique for the Raiders Thomas was able to wrack up 2 sacks, a few more pressures and hit Ben a couple more times on top of the sacks. Last week it was Philon that was playing well on the interior as the guy we brought in as sort of a lottery ticket. This week it was Thomas. Crosby and Yannick have been playing so well and if it continues we just need the group of 3-4 guys on the interior to take advantage of the attention Crosby and Yannick draw. At least for one week Thomas was up for the task. He looked very good. 

I'll post my 5 trending down in an additional post so this one isn't too lengthy. 

Edited by Mr Raider
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5 trending down for the Raiders 

1. Damon Arnette - Casey Hayward mans the other CB spot opposite Mullen and Nate Hobbs has been the starting nickel CB (and both have looked good through 2 weeks), Arnette has been buried behind all them, but when forced into action on the boundary today he continued his streak of not looking very good from last season. He made one very good play down the field to break up a pass, however he also gave up a 40ish yard pass to Claypool. Now him getting beat on one play one on one against an athlete like Claypool when the safety help never came isn't the end of the world. It's the nature of the beast in the NFL sometimes, but not only did he get beat by a step, he also showed zero awareness to get his head around to find the ball, and after he gave up the catch he showed clear frustration while he jogged past Claypool who had hit the ground when hauling in the pass and Arnette showed no interest or awareness to touch him down. He completely took himself out of the play after giving up the catch and allowed Claypool to pick up another 10+ yards. I'm worried about the recurring theme of Arnette not showing a ton in terms of on field ability, but also letting his emotions get the better of him and compounding the issue of giving up receptions with bad effort, lack of awareness, low football IQ, and seemingly every time I see him he has the worst body language on the team. He didn't even play a full game yet it was fairly obvious to see why the former first round pick (smh) has been buried behind Mullen, Hayward, Hobbs in just his second season after being a first round selection. 

2. Corey Littelton - This one may not be fair either because to be trending down you usually have to start or shown at some point with your current team that you were ever "up" to begin with. Has not been the case with Littelton. The Raider defense has looked like a totally different unit from the worst in franchise history of 2020, but one player that hasn't seen the positive improvement is Littelton. A "prized" free agent signing before last season his entire Raider career consists of highlights of him surrendering catches, having terrible technique resulting in countless missed tackles, poor angles, and getting washed out when run at. Obviously we didn't expect Littelton to be a run defense thumper. But he has yet to show the ability to be a positive in terms of manning up TEs or erasing the flats from cheap gains from backs and such. He's been very bad. 

3. Alex Leatherwood - Leatherwood looked ok in week 1. He had a very bad rep against Houston who got the sack, but overall for a rookie starting week 1 he was solid if unspectacular. While he was on the field in week 2 he looked significantly worse. He was giving up pressure rather easily, had a penalty or two, couldn't generate any holes run blocking, and then he had to leave the game and was unable to come back due to an oblique injury. So he kind of has to go here, mainly because the team has looked so good through 2 weeks. As much as I thought his selection was a reach, it hasn't been panic time type of bad. Of all the people on this list, he's the one I'm worried least about. A rookie making his 2nd start, on the road, against Pittsburgh and Watt (who was on the field for about the same amount of time as Leatherwood) is a situation a lot of rookie tackles would struggle. And injuries happen unfortunately. 

4. Andre James - Another OL on the list. I wouldn't say he was terrible this week. I don't remember him getting killed in pass protection, but he had a bad snap or two, which is just inexcusable at the NFL level, the running game could do virtually nothing all game, and fair or not James is under a microscope because he was basically given the starting job with zero starting experience and almost zero playing experience period after Hudson asked to be released and IMO Gruden and company trying to make it seem like it was a move they planned from the beginning. We are paying Hudson the same money he would have got here to play for the Cardinals and likely be his usual high end starting self, and we gave an extension to James before we even saw what he can do. All of that erases any benefit of the doubt. And if he struggles with getting the snap right game in and game out, how well is he handling the complexities of calling blocking assignments and actually blocking interior defensive linemen in the NFL?

5. Clelin Ferrell - Not much to say here except he's our Solomon Thomas while he was playing with the 49ers lol. Ferrell was ridiculously drafted 4th overall in 2019, and since that time he has done very very little. He's had like two games in his career where he got a sack or two and some consistent pressure. He has been ok/pretty solid at setting the edge in the run game, but I mean you just aren't drafting in the top 5 to be a great run stuffer. He started off week 1 with some questions about weather he was a healthy scratch or if he was left inactive due to an injury that had him listed on the injury report early in the week but he wasn't on the final injury report before the game. I think it's fairly obvious why he was a healthy scratch... Because he's clearly an inferior player to Crosby, Yannick, Nassib, and we have guys like Koonce who was drafted in the 3rd round they hope can eventually be an impact pass rushing specialist, and we have guys like Thomas who can fill in if injuries hit as a run stuffing bigger end. There was talk that Ferrell would be a contributor for us this season pass rush wise by playing on the interior, but I think it's obvious that he doesn't offer as much ability to rush the passer from the interior as what we saw this training camp from Jefferson, Thomas, Philon, and McCoy before he was lost for the year. It's pretty apparent that Ferrell just doesn't have the skills currently to deserve playing time over those guys at either spot. Perhaps a change of scenery will help him and going to a spot without the top 5 pick expectations. But I would expect this is his last season with the Raiders. Ferrell seems like a good guy, great teammate, never heard he isn't a hard worker, but with where he was selected and the expectations for him it will be hard for him to not be listed on the trending down list as long as he is on the roster and is inactive for games like week 1, or as was the case against the Steelers he was active and virtually non existent. I legit couldn't tell you if he played a snap while being active. If he did he did nothing of note. While the DL as a whole has been perhaps the nicest surprise of the entire team to this point so it's not like the entire front has played poorly. 

Edited by Mr Raider
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Week 2

Raiders

UP

1. Derek Carr - 2. Hunter Renfrow - 3. Casey Hayward - 4. Solomon Thomas - 5. Henry Ruggs

DOWN

1. Alex Leatherwood - 2. Damon Arnette - 3. Clelin Ferrell - 4. Corey Littleton - 5. Kenyan Drake (good in the passing game though)

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