What We Saw: Week 8
Ravens vs. Panthers
Joe looked really bad
This game was a prime example of how you beat the Ravens—you put Joe Flacco under pressure and get him nervous. Flacco had a good pass rush coming at him constantly and made some terrible throws, including two interceptions, the first of which was just an idiotic, baseline stupid throw as he was running out of bounds to literally no one but a Panthers defender. It’s the kind of throw that, were he a rookie (which he emphatically is not), you’d say “oh come on, how does someone drafted to an NFL team make that throw?”
The wide receiver targets were confusing
Willie Snead led the week in targets with 11 while John Brown got seven and Michael Crabtree got just five. None of them had all that inspiring of a game, as the Panthers secondary played well and, more importantly, Flacco played like garbage. I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions from this target share though, I don’t think Crabtree is all of a sudden losing value, I think this was just a terrible offensive game for the Ravens.
Alex Collins looked good, but fumble issues persist
Alex Collins only got the ball 11 times, but he took advantage of those opportunities with 49 yards and a touchdown on a really nice run.
The Panthers run defense has been good and Collins was able to average 4.5 yards per carry against them, which is pretty impressive. However, he also fumbled the ball, an issue that has plagued him for a while now. He needs to get more carries for this offense to be effective, but I’m not sure he’s necessarily going to is he keeps fumbling. For what it’s worth, however, despite the fumble, Javorius Allen didn’t see a single carry, and Gus Edwards saw just two.
Hayden Hurst gets his first touchdown
It was nice to see Hayden Hurst get his first touchdown, but it happened in garbage time on a pass from Lamar Jackson after the game was way out of hand. I don’t think you can draw any conclusions on who the tight end to own in Baltimore is right now. Hurst saw three targets, as did Nick Boyle, and Mark Andrews led the team with five.
Lamar Jackson is so exciting
I’m just going to briefly gush over Lamar Jackson. He got to see a bit more action this game than usual, and man is he a dynamic player to watch. I am so excited to see him once he’s a full-time player, his athleticism is incredible, and he’s going to be a fun guy to watch.
The Ravens defense collapsed
There’s not really a better way to say it, the Ravens defense was terrible. Sure, there were some plays that just didn’t go their way, namely Christian McCaffrey‘s second touchdown that he caught off a defensive tip, but they also screwed up royally. They had the Panthers down at the one-yard line at one point and just left D.J. Moore wide open for a long throw to get the Panthers easily out of danger. And that was far from their only mistake. I still believe this is an elite defense, especially their secondary, but they just looked awful this week.
How did your Boom, Bust, Sleeper picks go?
When your Bust finishes with more catches and receiving yards than your Boom, at least one of the two predictions will be wrong. When WR Devin Funchess finishes with three catches for 27 yards and TE Greg Olsen’s final line is four catches, 56 yards and a touchdown, both the Boom and Bust predictions were wrong. Thank the lord for WR D.J. Moore, the man who saved me from going 0-for-6 in my Boom, Bust, Sleeper predictions this weekend. It’s been evident that Moore has the talent to be a lethal weapon, but for the first time this season OC Norv Turner utilized him in a way that allowed it to manifest. Moore finished with 39 rushing yards and caught five of his six targets for 90 yards. For those keeping track at home, that’s 12.9 standard points and 17.9 PPR points.
What about C+C? Did they look like their usual selves?
QB Cam Newton played a nearly flawless game, completing 72% of his passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns, plus rushing for 52 yards and a score. The closest Cam came to making a mistake was the ball he fumbled, but since he didn’t lose possession it’s essentially a moot point. If Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes wasn’t lighting the world on fire, Newton would definitely be in more MVP discussions. His line for the season is now: 1646 passing yards, 309 rushing yards, 17 total touchdowns, and five total turnovers.
RB Christian McCaffrey had an increase in rushing attempts from the past two weeks, but the rushing yard total was still underwhelming. The receiving yardage was really surprising, but he was tied for the most targets on the team with six. His day was saved by two touchdowns, which is twice as many as he had in the six games prior, but despite the lackluster yardage production I’m still firm in my stance that McCaffrey is worth trading for.
How’d the defense look?
The short answer is “very solid.” The slightly longer answer is that they did exactly what they should have done, which is contain RB Alex Collins and force QB Joe Flacco to pass a lot, because the more often he throws the ball the more prone he is to make mistakes. As a result, they picked him off twice and sacked him twice. LB Shaq Thompson had a monster game, finishing with 13 tackles on the day. Safeties Eric Reid and Mike Adams also had stellar games, Reid recording a sack and Adams an interception.