Category Archives: Oakland Raiders

NFL Week 6 Power Rankings

The NFL season continues to move along. Week 5 saw some surprising finishes, but there are still a pair of undefeated teams that remain. After those two powerhouses, the NFL power rankings are muddied a bit. We take a look at teams 1-10 again this week, trying to sort out who is for real and which teams still have a bit more to prove:

1) The Los Angeles Rams           2018 Record: 5-0          Previous Week: 1 ( – )

The Rams were able to hold off their division rival, the Seattle Seahawks, to move to 5-0. Jared Goff converted a crucial 4th-and-1 late in the 4th quarter on a QB sneak to end the game. The Rams offense has been amazingly efficient, as they lead the NFL in yards per offensive play (7.4) and rank T-4th in fewest turnovers lost (5). Goff ranks 2nd in the league in passer rating (119.7); behind only Drew Brees. The Rams defense also currently ranks 6th in points allowed (19.6 PPG) and has allowed the 3rd fewest attempts inside the red zone (12).

2) The Kansas City Chiefs          2018 Record: 5-0          Previous Week: 2 ( – )

The Chiefs rolled right through the Jags 30-14 and remain one of two unbeaten teams. Kansas City’s defense stepped up big, intercepting Blake Bortles four times. The Chiefs defense came into the game with only two interceptions in the team’s first four games. Patrick Mahomes  had his first game this year without a TD and threw his first two interceptions of the season, but was able to get enough offense going to down the Jags. The Chiefs offense ranks 2nd in points per game (35.0) and ranks T-1st in fewest turnovers (3). The Chiefs are also the 3rd most efficient team at scoring inside the red zone (76.2%).

3) The New Orleans Saints        2018 Record: 5-0         Previous Week: 9 ( +6 )

Drew Brees, this week, became the new all-time leader in passing yards in the NFL. He did so in a 43-19 drubbing of the Redskins in the Superdome. Brees leads this Saints offense that ranks 1st in points per game (36.0) and 2nd in first downs (128). The Saints also got RB Mark Ingram back this week from suspension, and he contributed immediately rushing for two TDs. Brees found rookie WR Tre’Quan Smith three times for 111 yards and two scores, the first of which a 62 yard TD that gave his QB the all-time passing yards record.

4) The Chicago Bears            2018 Record: 3-1            Previous Week: 3 ( -1 )

The Bears had a week four bye after their week three win over the Bucs. For a team that came into the season with modest expectations, the Bears find themselves ranking 2nd in scoring defense (16.3 PPG) and have allowed the fewest trips inside the red zone (7). The Bears’ next matchup is a Dolphins team that ranks 28th in scoring (19.8 PPG).

5) The Cincinnati Bengals           2018 Record: 4-1          Previous Week: 5 ( – )

The Bengals moved to 4-1 after overcoming a 17-0 2nd half deficit to beat the Dolphins. A Bengals defense, which has struggled this season, blanked the Fins for the final 24 plus minutes of game time. The Bengals’ only blemish thus far was a loss on the road in Carolina. The Bengals rank 4th in scoring offense (30.6 PPG) and continues to have a top five scoring offense in the red zone (70.6%).

6) The New England Patriots        2018 Record: 3-2           Previous Week: NR

The Patriots, after some early season offensive struggles, have rebounded with back-to-back wins. They dominated the Dolphins last Sunday, and then beat the Colts last Thursday on a short week to move to 3-2. In the process, the Pats have moved to 6th in red zone scoring (68.8%) and rank 9th in points per game (26.6). The Patriots defense also ranks 9th in scoring (21.6) and has forced 10 turnovers (6th).

7) The Los Angeles Chargers         2018 Record: 3-2         Previous Week: NR

The Chargers took down the Raiders this past week to move to 3-2. Philip Rivers currently ranks 3rd in the NFL at QB rating (116.4) and leads this Chargers offense that ranks 8th in scoring (27.4 PPG). The Chargers offense has also taken care of the football, ranking T-4th in turnovers lost (5). The 2018 Bolts’ defense are T-10th in turnovers (8), and their only two losses have come against the Chiefs and Rams.

8) The Carolina Panthers          2018 Record: 3-2          Previous Week: NR

This past Sunday, the Panthers held off a Giants team desperate for a win. Graham Gano kicked a game-winning 63 yard FG with 0:01 remaining. The Panthers offense ranks 12th in scoring offense (26.0 PPG), and have only committed four turnovers thus far, which is good for 3rd in the NFL. The Panthers defense is ranked 15th in scoring defense (22.8 PPG) and is T-5th best at stopping conversions on 3rd down (30.8%).

9) The Jacksonville Jaguars         2018 Record: 3-2         Previous Week: 4 ( -5 )

The Jaguars hit a lofty speed bump in their 2018 season last week, falling to the red hot Chiefs 30-14. The Jags have had trouble scoring this season; their 20.4 PPG ranks 26th in the league. That said, they still rank T-3rd in scoring defense (17.2 PPG) and are the 2nd stingiest team on defense inside the red zone (33.3%). That defense is also the 6th best in the NFL at getting off the field on 3rd down (30.8%).

10) The Baltimore Ravens           2018 Record: 3-2           Previous Week: 6 ( -4 )

The Ravens lost a tough, divisional game on the road in OT this past week to a reinvigorated Cleveland Browns team. The Ravens struggled mightily on 3rd down (4/16) against their division foe. The Ravens defense, however, still ranks 1st in scoring defense (15.4 PPG) and 1st at getting off the field on 3rd down (28.8%). Their defense is also T-3rd fewest red zone attempts allowed (12). The Ravens offense has come up big inside the red zone, ranking T-8th in converting red zone scores (65.0%).

NFL Round-Up: Five Stats And Trends To Know

With week 2 of the NFL season complete, let’s take a look around the league at some stats and trends:

  • Blake Bortles exploded for 377 yards against the Patriots. He’s averaging 323 passing yards per game during the four games he’s played with Leonard Fournette on the sideline. He has nine touchdowns during that span. With the Titans up next, he’s a value play in daily fantasy, especially if his star running back sits out.
  • The Rams have run 68 passing plays through the first two weeks of the season. They’ve had three wide receivers on the all but one of those plays. There’s room for Brandon Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp in the offense and in the fantasy realm.
  • The Raiders and Lions are the only two teams to allow at least 140 yards to each team they’ve faced this season.
  • Tight End Jonnu Smith didn’t receive a target during the Titans‘ win over the Texans, though he did play on all of the team’s 56 snaps. Delanie Walker‘s replacement could be someone to target in fantasy once Marcus Mariota returns.
  • Javorius Allen has played three more snaps than Alex Collins and has eight more targets so far this season. He should be owned in all leagues.

NFL Round-Up: Bengals-Ravens Injuries, Week 2 Fantasy Football

How bad are the Bills going to be this season? After the Ravens were down 21-0 to A.J. Green and the Bengals on Thursday night, it was the question everyone in the football community was wondering. Though as the second half went on, Baltimore climbed back in the game (sort of). Overall, it was a sloppy game where both teams lost a key player to injury.

Rookie center Billy Price left after the end of the first quarter. Cincinnatti’s new-look offensive line kept Andy Dalton clean and appears to be something the team can count on this season provided Price doesn’t miss too much time.

Baltimore lost C.J. Mosley on the defense’s first drive and the team struggled with its ballhawk on the field.

While we wait for the rest of week 2 to begin, check out some notes from around the league:

  • Jalen Richard saw 37 snaps, running for 24 yards on five carries while catching nine passes for 55 yards. Lynch missed some time because he wasn’t feeling well, so that gave Ricard some extra run. Still. he’s a must add in ppr leagues, as the Raiders will be down often this season.
  • Josh Gordon was on the field for 66 of the team’s 85 snaps, which includes 38 of the Browns 45 passing plays. Tyrod Taylor only sent three looks his way. He remains a borderline top-25 WR with upside, as his usage should increase as the season goes along.
  • Start Tom Brady against the Jaguars with confidence this week, Brandon Gdula of NumberFire contents. During the last seven games of 2017 (including the playoffs), Jacksonville’s defense gave up four 20+ point performances to quarterbacks.
  • Gdula, in the same piece, lists 11 quarterbacks to stay away from in week 2. Among the names is Nick Foles, who gets a plus-matchup with the Buccaneers.

Parsing Through Matthew Berry’s Final Love/Hate

ESPN’s Matthew Berry believes that Patrick Mahomes could be this season’s Carson Wentz, a second-year QB that finds fantasy football stardom. Berry cites Mahomes ability to run with the ball (he had double-digit rushing scores in each of his final two college seasons) and Andy Reid’s system as reasons for optimism.

Over the last 10 years, Reid’s QBs have scored 2755.4 fantasy points (ESPN scoring) which would be the fifth most out of all NFL team had Reid been his own squad. Yes, there’s chatter of Mahomes making too many mistakes for the Chiefs and surely he won’t be as risk-adverse as Alex Smith. However, 19 QBs are going ahead of him on average in ESPN drafts and with this kind of upside, its difficult to find that the risk is not worth the potential reward.

Berry’s final Love/Hate column is worth a read. The longtime ESPN scribe is shifting his work more to TV and podcasting and it’ll be sad not to read this column on a weekly basis. Make sure you check out his last one and if you can’t read the whole thing, we’ve got you covered with some of Berry’s fantasy analysis below:

  • In three of the past four seasons, Redskins coach Jay Gruden has been top-12 in passing percentage and Alex Smith comes to town with at least 15 fantasy points in over 60% of his fantasy starts. That’s more than Russell Wilson (59.4%), Philip Rivers (59.4%) and Cam Newton (51.6%) among other, as Berry notes.
  • Be cautious of starting Ben Roethlisberger on the road. The Steelers QB is averaging 23.26 fantasy points in Pittsburg vs. 13.97 fantasy points on the road over the past four seasons.
  • Josh McCown, Jay Cutler, Eli Manning and Joe Flacco are among the QBs who had more games with multiple TD passes than Derek Carr last season, Berry adds.
  • Saquon Barkley should be a great fit for Pat Shurmur’s fantasy-friendly offense. As Berry points out, while Shurmur was in Minnesota and Philly, his offenses ranked in the top six in red zone rush percentage.
  • Berry is high on Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper, citing how Jon Gruden has had at least one 1,000-yard receiver in each of the 11 years he’s been a head coach.
  • Some of Marvin Jones Jr.’s production appears to be tied to the health of Kenny Golliday. In the five games last season that Golladay was out, Jones averaged 10.2 targets. But in the 11 games, Golladay played, Jones averaged just 5.1 targets.

Teams With No Chance To Win Super Bowl 53

It’s hard to say “there’s no chance” when it comes to sports, specifically the NFL where year-to-year parity reigns. The Action Network went through 10,000 simulations to find each teams chances at making the Super Bowl and winning it.

According to the site’s simulations, the following teams have a less than 0.1% (or nearly zero) chance at holding the Lombardi Trophy:

Oakland Raiders

  • Over/Under Win Total: 8
  • Super Bowl Odds: 35/1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Over/Under Win Total: 6.5
  • Super Bowl Odds: 80/1

Chicago Bears

  • Over/Under Win Total: 6.5
  • Super Bowl Odds: 80/1

Buffalo Bills

  • Over/Under Win Total: 6
  • Super Bowl Odds: 150/1

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Over/Under Win Total: 8
  • Super Bowl Odds: 100/1

Arizona Cardinals

  • Over/Under Win Total: 5.5
  • Super Bowl Odds: 150/1

Miami Dolphins

  • Over/Under Win Total: 6.5
  • Super Bowl Odds: 150/1

New York Jets

  • Over/Under Win Total: 6
  • Super Bowl Odds: 150/1

 

Odds via Bovada. Photo Courtesy of Corey Coleman’s Instagram (@CoreyColeman).

Raiders Round Up: Mack, Defense, Carr, Lynch

The Raiders and Khalil Mack appear to be in a standstill with the team reluctant to offer him a massive new deal. If Oakland decides to trade Mack, it’ll turn an area of weakness into a complete wasteland.

During the 2017 season, the Raiders were tied for last in DVOA (with Green Bay) on defense when they didn’t get pressure, according to Football Outsiders Almanac (a 474-page piece of statistical literature which is definitely worth buying).

Subtract Mack from the equation and the team’s pass rush could be one of the worst units in all of football.

Here’s more from the Bay Area:

  • Oakland defense took a step backward in 2017, though it was able to improve at preventing yards after the catch. The Raiders allowed 5.0 YAC (14th in the league) last season after being dead last in 2016 with average YAC allowed of 5.7.
  • Derek Carr and the first team played just one series during the team’s first preseason game. Carr went 2-for-4, tossing two targets to Jordy Nelson, one to Griff Whalen, and a missed aerial bomb to Martavis Bryant.
  • Marshawn Lynch looked explosive, running for a 60-yard touchdown on a play that was called back because of a hold on rookie Kolton Miller.
  • SB Nation examined Miller’s debut and found that he did well in pass protection due to his solid technique. Miller played with both the first and second units.