San Francisco 49ers Vs. Green Bay Packers Monday Night Football Preview

Two disappointing teams collide on Monday Night Football when the San Francisco 49ers visit the Green Bay Packers. This was supposed to be a must-watch contest with Jimmy Garoppolo and a surging 49ers team going up against Aaron Rodgers and a talented Packers team but with Jimmy G sidelined for the rest of the season and the Packers playing inconsistent football, this game could determine where both teams go next.

San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers almost beat the Los Angeles Chargers in C.J. Beathard‘s first start of the season and that 29-27 loss gave fans hope. Some even expected them to be competitive without Jimmy G but last week’s 28-18 home loss against the Arizona Cardinals was a wake-up call and this team seems to be going nowhere.

Beathard completed 34 of 54 passes for 349 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions and he added seven yards and a touchdown on the ground, Alfred Morris ran for 61 yards on 18 carries and Trent Taylor made seven catches for 61 yards and one touchdown. San Francisco had 447 total yards against Arizona’s 220, they got 33 1st downs while Arizona had just 10 and they had possession of the ball for 40:12 while Arizona’s time of possession was 19:48 but it wasn’t enough because of their five turnovers.

The 49ers are averaging 241.8 passing yards (22nd in the NFL) and 136.2 rushing yards (4th). San Francisco ranks 15th with 23.6 points per game and 29th with 29.2 points against. C.J. Beathard has passed for 647 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions, Matt Breida has 369 rushing yards and one touchdown on 49 carries and George Kittle has 23 receptions for 399 yards and one touchdown. Fred Warner has 46 tackles and DeForest Buckner has 3.5 sacks.

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers could not overcome uncharacteristic mistakes by veteran kicker Mason Crosby and Aaron Rodgers, who lost two fumbles for just the third time in his 14-year career. Crosby missed a career-high four field goals in one game and an extra point to boot.

Rodgers, missing injured wide receivers Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison, was 32 of 52 for 442 yards with three touchdowns and Davante Adams caught nine passes for 140 receiving yards and one touchdown but Detroit prevailed 31-23 despite having 18 1st downs against Green Bay’s 30. The Packers had almost twice as many total yards as the Lions (521-264) but their three turnovers and Crosby’s bad day were the difference.

The Packers are averaging 299.8 passing yards (10th in the NFL) and 101.2 rushing yards (19th). Green Bay ranks 18th with 23.0 points per game and 14th with 22.8 points against. Aaron Rodgers has passed for 1572 yards, 10 touchdowns and one interception, Jamaal Williams has 195 rushing yards on 53 carries and Davante Adams has 37 receptions for 425 yards and four touchdowns. Blake Martinez has 39 tackles and three sacks and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has three interceptions.

NFL Trends:

The San Francisco 49ers are:

3-7 ATS in their last 10 games against NFC opponents

2-6 ATS in their last eight games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game

1-4 ATS in their last five games overall

2-9 ATS in their last 11 games in October

4-11-2 ATS in their last 17 meetings with the Packers

1-4-1 ATS in their last six meetings in Green Bay

The Green Bay Packers are:

5-1 ATS in their last six home games against a team with a losing road record

19-9-1 ATS in their last 29 games in October

This spread may seem difficult to cover but the Packers already covered a large spread in their 22-0 home win against the Bills in Week 4 and this game could head in that direction. Green Bay can’t afford another loss, Aaron Rodgers is trying to prove why many consider him the best quarterback in the NFL and San Francisco has not much to play for after losing Garoppolo for the rest of the season.

I just can’t see a turnover-prone quarterback like C.J. Beathard keeping up with Aaron Rodgers, who will be facing one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Beathard has had at least one turnover in all eight games he’s thrown a pass and he’s had two or more in half of them.

NFL Pick: Packers -9.5 (-110)

Odds via Jazz Sports

Jake Walker runs OddsandNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter (@Walker_J23)
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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%).

Washington Redskins vs. New Orleans Saints Monday Night Football Preview

History can be made to close Week 5 of the NFL season when the Redskins visit the Saints in a showdown of NFC division leaders on Monday Night Football. Saints quarterback Drew Brees needs 201 passing yards to become the NFL’s all-time leader, a record currently held by Peyton Manning with 71,940 yards. Brees comes into this game third on the all-time list and he needs just 99 yards to pass Brett Favre en route to Manning.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins claimed first place in the NFC East while enjoying their bye week and they’re looking for back-to-back victories following a 31-17 Week 3 win over the Packers on September 23. The Redskins got pressure on Aaron Rodgers for most of the game, sacking him four times, led by two from defensive end Jonathan Allen.

Alex Smith completed 12 of 20 passes for 220 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, adding 20 yards on the ground on seven carries, veteran running back Adrian Peterson had a strong game with 120 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries and tight ends Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed combined to make six catches for 135 yards.

The Redskins are averaging 245.3 passing yards (18th in the NFL) and 137.7 rushing yards (5th). Washington ranks 23rd with 21.3 points per game and 2nd with 14.7 points against. Alex Smith has passed for 767 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception, Adrian Peterson has 236 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 56 carries and Jordan Reed has 14 receptions for 168 yards and one touchdown. Mason Foster has 27 tackles and Matt Ioannidis has three sacks.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints bounced back from their 48-40 Week 1 loss against the Buccaneers with three straight wins, including last Sunday’s 33-18 road victory over the Giants. Drew Brees was the second quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 5,000 yards in a season after Dan Marino, he’s one of only five signal-callers to reach that milestone and the only one to do so in multiple seasons with five.

At 39 years old Brees has shown no signs of slowing down, although his numbers against the Giants were not that impressive by his standards. Brees completed 18 of 32 passes for a season-low 217 yards and no touchdowns, ending a 10-game streak with at least one but he was still effective enough with Alvin Kamara‘s help to lead the Saints on three second-half touchdown drives. Kamara finished with career-highs of 134 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

The Saints are averaging 313.8 passing yards (7th in the NFL) and 104.5 rushing yards (18th). New Orleans ranks 3rd with 34.3 points per game and 29th with 30.3 points against. Drew Brees has passed for 1295 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions, Alvin Kamara has 275 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 56 carries and Michael Thomas has 42 receptions for 445 yards and three touchdowns. Demario Davis has 37 tackles and Cameron Jordan has four sacks.

NFL Trends:

The Washington Redskins are:

4-0 ATS in their last four games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game

6-2 ATS in their last eight road games against a team with a winning home record

9-4 ATS in their last 13 games against a team with a winning record

6-0 ATS in their last six meetings

4-0 ATS in their last four meetings in New Orleans

The New Orleans Saints are:

1-4 ATS in their last five home games

1-4 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win

2-9 ATS in their last 11 games in Week 5

1-5 ATS in their last six Monday games

The underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings between these two teams and the Redskins have a much-improved defense with a strong defensive line led by Jonathan Allen that can generate enough pressure on Drew Brees. Alex Smith always takes care of the football and although he may not have a cannon like Patrick Mahomes, he keeps defenses alert while exploiting mismatches in the middle of the field. Brees will break the all-time record for passing yards but the Redskins will cover the spread.

NFL Pick: Redskins +6.5 (-110)

Odds via Jazz Sports

Jake Walker runs OddsandNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter (@Walker_J23)

NFL Week 5 Injury Updates

Dalvin Cook is not expected to play for the Vikings in week 5. Cook has battled hamstring woes all season and sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL Network that it would take an impressive turnaround for him to be on the field.

Here’s a rundown of more updates on player injuries:

  • Tight end Hayden Hurst is expected to make his debut for Ravens against the Browns, according to Adam Schefter’s twitter feed.
  • Larry Fitzgerald, who is dealing with back and hamstring injuries, is expected to play for the Cardinals against the 49ers.
  • 49ers RB Matt Breida is expected to play in the game as well.
  • Aaron Rodgers is no longer on the injury report for the Packers.
  • Davante Adams remains listed as questionable with a calf injury and is expected to play. Randall Cobb is not expected to play in the contest against the Lions.
  • Marvin Jones is expected to suit up for the Lions.
  • Greg Olsen won’t play in week 5, though there’s a chance he suits up for the Panthers in week 6.

 

NFL Week 5 Power Rankings

The NFL season is a quarter way finished, and we are down to only two unbeaten teams: the Rams and the Chiefs. Those teams were 1-2 in last week’s rankings, and there isn’t any good reason to change that this week. But as for positions 3-10, a little shakeup this week as per usual, and some surprising entrants into the top five and top ten. Will the Patriots or Packers re-enter the list after dominant performances against AFC East competitors? Which teams crack the top ten for the first time in 2018? Full list:

1) The Los Angeles Rams          2018 Record: 4-0          Previous Week: 1 ( – )

The Rams took down the Vikings last Thursday to move to 4-0 this year. Jared Goff racked up over 450 yards and five TDs, finishing the game with a perfect passer rating. The Rams defense was finally tested, but their high powered offense proved too much for Minnesota to overcome. The Rams rank 2nd in the league in points per game (35.0) and also have the most 1st downs (105) through the first four weeks. The Rams are tied for 3rd in the NFL with a +4 turnover margin, and are also T-2nd best in the league at converting on 3rd down (48.8%).

2) The Kansas City Chiefs         2018 Record: 4-0          Previous Week: 2 ( – )

The Chiefs appeared to be on their way to their first loss this week at Mile High. That was before Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs down the field for two fourth-quarter TD drives, the second of which was the game-winner capped off by a Kareem Hunt four-yard rushing score. In the process, the Chiefs broke the Broncos‘ streak of 65 straight wins when leading by at least ten points in the 4th quarter. It was also the first time in 37 games that the Broncos had surrendered over 300 net passing yards; which had been the longest streak in football. A full quarter into the 2018 season, it is hard to argue that Patrick Mahomes isn’t the front-runner for NFL MVP.

3) The Chicago Bears           2018 Record: 3-1            Previous Week: 6 ( +3 )

For most of the year, the buzz surrounding the Bears has been focused on their new look defense. This past Sunday, the defense again was dominant, as they held the fiery Buccaneers offense to only ten points. But the bigger story was Mitchell Trubisky’s six TD passes en route to putting up a near 50 burger on the Bucs. The Bears currently rank T-3rd in scoring defense (16.3 PPG) and 8th in scoring offense (27.8 PPG). Perhaps more impressive, the Bears have forced 11 turnovers already on defense while only coughing the ball up five times. That +6 turnover ratio ranks 2nd in the NFL to the Browns.

4) The Jacksonville Jaguars           2018 Record: 3-1          Previous Week: 4 ( – )

The Jags dominated the Jets this past Sunday, nearly doubling them up in time of possession. Blake Bortles was able to connect with Dede Westbrook nine times for 130 yards. Bortles also found Donte Moncrief five times for 109 yards, most of which came from a big 67 yard TD pass late in the 3rd quarter. I don’t think we learned a whole ton about the Jags this week that we didn’t already know. Four games in, the Jags have the best scoring defense in the league (14.0 PPG). They also commit too many penalties and have turned the ball over seven times already. Their -4 turnover margin is tied for worst in the NFL.

5) The Cincinnati Bengals          2018 Record: 3-1           Previous Week: 8 ( +3 )

The Bengals beat the Falcons this last week in a shootout 37-36. Andy Dalton led a 75 yard game winning TD drive that was capped by a 13 yard score to AJ Green. This Bengals offense has been electric thus far, ranking 4th in the league in scoring (31.5 PPG). They are also the most efficient team inside the 20 yard line, scoring on 11/13 attempts (84.6%). The Bengals are also T-3rd in first downs (98) and are the 5th best team converting 3rd downs (46.5%). The upcoming schedule for this red hot offense looks promising. They play a Miami team next week that was just routed by the Patriots. After that, their next four opponents all are among the bottom eight teams in points allowed (PIT, KC, TB, and NO).

6) The Baltimore Ravens            2018 Record: 3-1           Previous Week: 9 ( +3 )

The Ravens secured a huge win Sunday night in Pittsburgh, downing the Steelers and holding them to only 47 second-half yards. The Ravens defense stepped up huge down the stretch, and Joe Flacco was able to handle the not so elite Steelers defense for 363 yards and two TDs. He also connected with the speedy John Brown three times for 116 yards and a score, including a 71 yard catch and run in the 2nd quarter. The Ravens are one of two teams, the other being the LA Rams, to rank within the top five for both scoring offense (5th; 30.8 PPG) and scoring defense (T-3rd; 16.3 PPG). The Ravens defense is also 2nd best in the NFL at getting off the field on 3rd down, allowing conversions on just 27.8% of attempts.

7) The Philadelphia Eagles          2018 Record: 2-2          Previous Week: 3 ( -4 )

I do not see a three-point OT loss to a better than expected Titans team as a dagger to this Eagles season. And most weeks, it wouldn’t cause them to slip this far at all. What does worry me slightly is the Eagles rank T-26th in scoring (20.5 PPG) through the first four weeks. Another troubling stat about this Eagles team is they have put the ball on the ground 11 times so far, losing five of those fumbles. Their -3 turnover ratio is T-2nd worst in the league. Defensively, Philly has been solid. They rank 3rd in the league in defensive 3rd down conversions allowed (28.3%) and have only allowed seven scores on 16 red zone attempts. Their 43.8% defensive red zone percent ranks 6th best in the NFL thus far.

8) The Tennessee Titans          2018 Record: 3-1           Previous Week: NR

Last week, I mentioned the Titans were tied with the Jags stout defense for best red zone percentage and best at keeping teams out of the red zone entirely. This past Sunday, they found themselves backed up in the red zone at the end of regulation, but held tough forcing a FG to take the game into OT. Again in OT, the Eagles had a 1st and 10 inside the Tennessee 20, but had to settle for a FG. The Titans defense has come up big inside the 20, allowing a league-best 20% of drives inside the red zone to result in a score. They also rank 6th best in the NFL in overall scoring defense (18.3 PPG). Marcus Mariota led the Titans from 14 points down midway through the 3rd quarter. Mariota finished with 344 yards and three total TDs (1 rushing). He also found his #1 target, the 5th overall pick of 2017’s draft Corey Davis, nine times for 161 yards that included the ten yard score in OT.

9) The New Orleans Saints         2018 Record: 3-1          Previous Week: NR

The Saints took down the Giants this week to move to 3-1. Drew Brees leads this offense that ranks 3rd best in the NFL at 34.3 PPG. Brees has been extremely solid to begin 2018, he has 1295 yards, eight TDs, and zero INTs through the first quarter of 2018. The Saints have also added seven rushing TDs so far, five of those by the 2nd year man Alvin Kamara. Defensively, the Saints haven’t gotten off to as hot of a start this year. They rank 29th in the NFL in points allowed (30.3 PPG) and have surrendered the 3rd most yards through the air through four games.

10) The Green Bay Packers          2018 Record: 2-1-1          Previous Week: NR

The Packers rebounded from a tough loss to the Washington Redskins by blanking the Bills 22-0. That shutout was the Packers’ first in eight years, and included a total of seven sacks of Buffalo rookie QB Josh Allen. The Pack defense also forced three turnovers and held the Bills to just 3/16 on 3rd down. Aaron Rodgers, still suffering the lingering effects from a Week 1 knee sprain, wasn’t his normal self. However, RB Aaron Jones was effective on the ground, running 11 times for 65 yards and a score. He could prove to be a real difference maker going forward for this Packers offense. At the least, he could take some pressure off of Green Bay’s all-pro QB until his knee is 100%. This Packers defense is playing better than last year’s team that ranked 26th in scoring. So far in 2018, they rank 11th in scoring defense (20.8 PPG), are T-9th with five takeaways, and also rank T-4th in the league in sacks (13.0).