We’re going a little off the rails here, but we’re doing it brilliantly (as always). This is going to be part 1 of a our 4 team tease. Dom is going put up a blog explaining why we’re doing this later tonight. Let’s talk football.
Oakland @ San Francisco (TNF)
Vegas: SF -2.5
DomModel: SF -1.043
Recommendation: OAK + 2.5 (teased to 8.5)
-RB Marshawn Lynch (groin) is on IR, effective 10/22.
-G Kelechi Osemele (knee) was INACTIVE weeks 5 – 8. He did not practice on Monday (10/29) and was limited on Tuesday (10/30) and Wednesday (10/31). He is QUESTIONABLE.
-DI Justin Ellis (foot) was added to IR.
-CB Gareon Conley (foot) was limited on Tuesday (10/30) and Wednesday (10/31). He is QUESTIONABLE.
-K Mike Nugent went on IR.
San Francisco 49ers:
-QB Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL. He’s out for the season.
-QB CJ Beathard (wrist) did not practice on Monday (10/29) and Tuesday (10/30). He was limited on Wednesday (10/31) and is a game time decision. If he cannot play Thursday, Nick Mullens will start.
-WR Pierre Garcon (knee) was INACTIVE week 8. He did not practice on Monday (10/29) and was limited on Tuesday (10/30) and Wednesday (10/31). He is QUESTIONABLE.
-RB Matt Breida (shoulder/ankle) suffered an ankle injury week 5. He keeps playing hurt. I’m leaving him on here only to point out that the man is a badass. He was limited all week and is QUESTIONABLE, but will probably play.
-C Weston Richburg (knee) was INACTIVE week 8. Richburg has been battling a knee issue since week 5, but had been playing through it. He did not practice on Monday (10/29) and was limited on Tuesday (10/30) and Wednesday (10/31). He is QUESTIONABLE.
-LB Rueben Foster (hamstring) left week 8 and did not return. He did not practice all week and is OUT.
-SS Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder) left week 8 and did not return. He did not practice all wee and is OUT.
-FS Adrian Colbert (high ankle sprain) was injured week 7 and is on IR (effective 10/22).
When Oakland has the ball:
Oakland comes into this matchup relatively healthy, but with two major stories that have developed in the recent weeks. For starters, they’ve lost RB Marshawn Lynch (groin) for the foreseeable future, and traded WR Amari Cooper to the Cowboys.
For the season, the offense has been pretty brutal. They rank 21st in offensive DVOA and 24th in PFF’s rankings.
Let’s start with the part that doesn’t blow chunks: their passing offense ranks a surprisingly high 9th in DVOA. We got a look at how the Amari Cooper-less offense would run last week, and it was still relatively efficient (albeit against a bad Colts secondary). The Raiders primary receivers were Jordy Nelson, Brandon LaFell, and Seth Roberts. At tight end, Jared Cook has had a fine season. They’ve also had success using RB Jalen Richard as a receiver, and have Martavius Bryant available at receiver as well. It was a bit puzzling that Jon Gruden decided to keep Bryant on the sidelines last week – maybe Bryant sold Gruden some shit weed or something.
Their run game is kinda crap (26th in DVOA), and Lynch being out won’t help. The Raiders will rely on Doug Martin on the ground. He is not good at football, but Gruden still thinks this is 2015.
San Francisco’s defense:
The 49ers come in with a very exploitable defense. Like, literally anywhere. There really isn’t any strong points.
Some positives, because I’m a nice guy: 2016 1st round pick DI DeForest Buckner has been a force as an interior rusher (31 total pressures), and Richard Sherman still has some game in him. Ok, that’s it.
TL;DR Conclusion: Oakland has an underrated passing offense that should be able to exploit the 49ers weak defense.
When San Francisco has the ball:
The big news here is QB CJ Beathard is a legit game time decision. 2017 UDFA Nick Mullens will start if Beathard can’t go. I’ve played just as many NFL snaps as Mullens (zero), and the model isn’t discounting the 49ers offense at all. Score one for us.
This offense has been brutally bad all year. Their best receiving back is a fullback (seriously). Their only consistent performer has been TE George Kittle — everyone else has either been injured or just flat out bad.
I called him out in the injury notes, but RB Matt Brieda is a badass. Dude gets hurt every game and keeps coming back for more. The 9ers run game still sucks tho.
Yeah, they also suck! What a great game this should be. They have a non existent pass rush, they can’t stop the run, and they suck in coverage.
Maybe they can stop Nick Mullens or a wristless CJ Beathard.
TL:DR Conclusion: You’re welcome for giving you a reason to watch TNFS (Thursday Night Fuck Show).
Onto game 2!
Kansas City @ Cleveland
Vegas: CLE + 8.5
DomModel: CLE +12.680
Recommendation: KC -8.5 (teased to 2.5)
Kansas City Chiefs:
-WR Tyreek Hill (groin) was injured early in the game. He initially stayed in, but left in the 4th quarter. He practiced in full on Wednesday (10/31).
-C Mitch Morse (concussion) was injured during his week 6 game and was INACTIVE weeks 7 and 8. He did not practice on Wednesday (10/31).
-RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif fractured his fibula during his week 5 game and did not return. HC Andy Reid said he isn’t done for the year, but he’ll miss time (likely around 8 weeks).
-C/G Jordan Devey (pectoral) was placed on IR.
-LB Justin Houston (hamstring) left his week 5 game and did not return. He was INACTIVE weeks 6 – 8. He did not practice on Wednesday (10/31).
-LB Anthony Hitchens (rib) was injured week 8. He did not practice on Wednesday (10/31).
-S Eric Berry is till recovering from an Achilles injury he suffered week 1 of last year. He has not practiced or played this year.
-WR Rashard Higgins (knee) left his week 5 game. He was INACTIVE weeks 6 – 8. He did not practice on Wednesday (10/31).
-LB Joe Schobert (hamstring) was injured week 6 and did not return. He was INACTIVE weeks 7 and 8. He did not practice on Wednesday (10/31).
-CB Terrance Mitchell broke his forearm week 4 and has been placed on IR. It is not necessarily season ending.
-CB EJ Gaines (concession) was INACTIVE weeks 7 and 8. He practiced in full on Wednesday (10/31).
When Kansas City has the ball:
We are back on the Chiefs, and I’m excited. For the uninitiated, Pat Mahomes does not have a human arm. I’m almost positive it’s cheating, but the NFL keeps letting that guy play. We will keep betting them.
The major injury news is TyFREAK Hill injured his groin last week. He was able to stay in the game initially, but came out in the 4th quarter. The fact that Hill practiced in full on Wednesday makes me think he should absolutely be ready to go. It’s incredibly common to at minimum limit an injured player, especially on the Wednesday practice. Hill should be all systems go.
There’s no need to further break this offense down. Everything about it is top notch, from the oline, the bionic armed QB, the run game, and the receivers. They are neck and neck with the Rams as the best offense in football.
I wrote about Cleveland just last week, and not much has changed. They are better than most would think, ranking 2nd in defensive DVOA. Last week, I mentioned injuries could be a problem in the secondary — but this week they’re relatively healthy. They have a number of options to get to the passer (Myles Garrett, Larry Ogunjobi, Genard Avery) and cover well too (Denzel Ward, EJ Gaines). Gaines missed the last two games (concussion), but his full participation in practice indicates he should be ready to return.
Their problem is their run defense, which ranks 27th in DVOA.
TL;DR Conclusion: This should technically be a great matchup, but this is 2018. The offense will win. Besides, Kansas City is more than capable of taking advantage of whatever weakness you give them. Every blade of grass must be defended.
When Cleveland has the ball:
The Browns offense kinda stinks. The biggest question coming into the week would be how things transition after Cleveland cleaned house. They fired HC Hue Jackson and OC Todd Haley. Jackson was replaced by forming defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and Haley was replaced by running backs coach Freddie Kitchen. It’s a move that for sure cannot hurt.
Overall, I think Baker Mayfield is playing better than his numbers indicate. He has decent offensive weapons (Jarvis Landry, TE David Njoku, RB Duke Johnson). The run game is going to rely entirely on Nick Chubb after the Browns traded Carlos Hyde to the Jaguars. I’m inclined to think good coaching could turn things around, but assuming that’ll automatically happen with interim in-house replacements would be silly.
Kansas City’s Defense:
I can’t imagine what Kansas City’s practices are like. It’s probably like watching a future NFL player in high school, just dunking on all the normal people that can’t play football like robots.
And that’s not just because of Mahomes, but because the defense here has fared poorly for most of the season. The good news is they are much better against the pass (13th in DVOA) than the run (32nd). They’ve also put together back to back solid performances against the Bengals and Broncos, perhaps a sign that things are improving.
TL;DR Conclusion: This is an interesting matchup. On one hand, Cleveland is going through a coaching change on an offensive unit that is under-performing. On the other, you have the Chiefs who have a horrible defense but have put together back to back decent performances.
In the end, I’ll take the bionic arm.
That’s it for now, bitches. Part 2 coming when I feel like it.