Trouble in Paradise
Saints 9, Buccaneers 0
The storyline of the week has to be Tom Brady, the greatest of all time, being shutout by the New Orleans Saints. Brady and the Buccaneers were slammed by injuries early in the game. Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Leonard Fournette all left the game in the first half. With Antonio Brown already out, Brady was left with almost entirely back-ups on offense.
This was the first time Brady was shutout in over 15 years and only the third time in his entire career. It was probably the worst I have ever seen Tom Brady play, and it will probably be the worst I’ll ever see him play because I can’t see something like this happening again. Brady completed 26 of his passes on 48 attempts for 214 yards, 0 touchdowns (obviously as they got shutout) and 1 interception. The turning point in the game however was not a result of a poor throw, rather it was when Brady tried to take off and run with the ball.
Cameron Jordan, who also sacked Brady twice, forced this fumbled late in the third quarter when the Buccaneers were driving into Saints territory. This was as close as the Buccaneers got to points, and a turnover here put the Saints in a very good place to stay on top.
There were zero (0) touchdowns scored in this game. If you enjoy watching offense your eyes were probably bleeding trying to get through this one. While the Buccaneers were certainly hindered with injuries, this game showed us the Saints defense is for real. If they can get any sort of offense rolling with Taysom Hill at QB, they have a favorable chance of winning out the rest of their season and making the playoffs.
Lions Beat the Cardinals
Probably the most shocking result from Sunday was the Detroit Lions beating the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals were 12.5 points favorites in this one (yes, unfortunately I bet them on the spread) and they seemingly never had a chance against the Lions.
The Cardinals made Jared Goff look like an MVP quarterback. Goff completed 21 passes on 26 attempts for 216 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. He spread the wealth, completing each touchdown pass to a different receiver. Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds were Jared Goff’s favorite targets in this game. Amon-Ra St. Brown caught 8 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown, while Josh Reynolds caught 6 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Craig Reynolds carried the ball 26 times for the Lions, the most carries he’s had since he was in college…three years ago. Reynolds ran for 112 yards and made his presence known. He was originally added to the roster off of the practice squad because of COVID-19 cases among active players. He showed that he belongs. Reynolds has ran for 195 yards in his first two games with the Lions. That is the second most in Lions team history.
This was obviously a fluke game for the Cardinals, however their schedule does not get easier in the coming weeks. They take on the Colts on Christmas Day next Saturday, then they travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys, and they end their season at home against the Seahawks. Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals have a lot to figure out before taking on a very strong Colts team on Christmas. With the Rams on their tail for the top of the NFC West, the Cardinals cannot afford to lose many more games (if any at all).
Jonathan Taylor MVP Argument
Call me a biased Jonathan Taylor fantasy owner, but I do believe that he should be the NFL MVP this season.
Taylor carried the ball 29 times for 170 yards and 1 touchdown against the New England Patriots on Thursday night. The Patriots have done a tremendous job of stopping their opponents’ rushing attack all season, but they had no answer for Jonathan Taylor. He has 1,518 rushing yards on the season and 17 rushing touchdowns…with three games still left.
Jonathan Taylor has scored at least one touchdown in every game since week 3. He is on an absolute tear and there isn’t a team in the league that has an answer for him.
A running back has not been the MVP since 2012 when Adrian Peterson won the award. Is this the year the MVP trophy falls back in the hands of a running back?
I Might Be a Closeted Steelers Fan
Truth be told, the only reason I was so focused on the Steelers game yesterday was because I had a wager on them to win the game.
Roethlisberger said after the game, “It had the feel of a playoff game, physically, emotionally.” Boy was he right.
At the half the Steelers trailed 13-3 at home against the Tennessee Titans. In the second half the defense buckled down. The Steelers’ defense came up with big play after big play in the second half, turning the Titans over 4 times and holding them scoreless. TJ Watt was everywhere, recording 1.5 sacks and recovering a fumble. Joe Haden also made numerous big plays including this fumble recovery that set the Steelers offense up with strong field position.
Oh yeah, and Haden also closed out the game with this tackle, stopping the Titans on fourth down in the red zone.
I enjoy watching a team play hard defense, it is often a lost art today. The Steelers have a tough end to their schedule as they play the Chiefs in Kansas City next week, and then finish the year with two divisional games against the Browns and the Ravens. As we come down the stretch of the 2021 season, the Steelers could be a sleeper team that sneaks into the playoffs.