Game Reviews: Jets @ Chargers and Texans @ Cowboys
Jets 0 – Chargers 31
Game Summary: The Chargers used a balanced attack on offense and the emergence of Darren Sproles look-a-like Branden Oliver to jump to a big lead early and this was never really a game. The Jets offense never got anything going. Geno Smith was eventually replaced by Michael Vick but the Jets could not avoid a shut out.
- The first thing on everyone’s mind is “Is Branden Oliver for real?” I think yes. The difference between Oliver and Donald Brown in this game was night and day, Brown never went anywhere against the Jets D while Oliver absolutely punished them with his quickness, strength, and vision. It was all on display on a drive early in the 2nd quarter. On a short dump-off pass, Oliver was slammed into by a defender, but stayed on his feet, ran a few more yards, and punished another defender for a 7 yard gain. Later in the same drive, he gets another dump-off pass on a 3rd and long, but this time in open space. He makes several defenders whiff on his way to a 30+ yard play. Then to cap off the drive, he shows nice vision, weaving his way up the middle for a 11 yard TD. Oliver was undrafted out of the small MAC school Buffalo, but he was a beast in college, with multiple 200+ yard games in his career. While my guess is Brown “keeps” the starting job (assuming he plays), I almost guarantee Oliver gets more touches. As a duel threat out of the backfield, he’s one of the top RB plays on both DraftKings and FanDuel priced at $5,500 and $6,200 respectively, especially against Oakland.
- Phillip Rivers really dissected the Jets D (like most QBs this year). He spread it around to all of his WRs and TEs and having watched Rivers play in multiple games this season it just seems very hard to predict which receiver will benefit the most on any given day. That being said, Malcolm Floyd once again failed to get a red-zone target so he’s probably my least favorite play out of the group, even though he looks solid.
- Antonio Gates had 2 TDs, but I credit the ineptitude of cornerback Antonio Allen more than Gates. Allen is listed as the Jets #2 corner but was on Gates throughout the game, my guess is the Jets like to put the 6’1″ Allen on their opponents bigger receivers. This could be a huge boon for Julius Thomas, Allen was just awful in coverage against Gates in the Red zone, giving him easy scores on both TD catches.
- Lastly, let’s talk about Geno Smith. Everyone likes to pile on Smith and blame him for the Jets poor offense, but I thought his O-Line really let him down here. He was under pressure all game and never was comfortable in the pocket. A more experienced QB would have certainly fared better than Smith in this situation, sure, but the Jets can’t expect a young QB to succeed under duress the whole game. I’m not playing Smith in daily fantasy anytime soon, but I just wanted to point this out.
Texans 17 – Cowboys 20
Game Summary: The Cowboys looked like the much better team here, but a few costly turnovers early in the game kept it close. The Texans finally showed something late in the game when Arian Foster got things going, and pushed it into OT, but a deep jump ball to Dez Bryant in OT allowed Dan Bailey to kick the game winning FG.
- I said in an article early in the week that DeMarco Murray was one of my favorite RB plays in week 5, not because the matchup was particularly good, but because Dallas was going to feed him the ball consistently. This is exactly what happened, Murray was an absolute workhorse all game carrying the ball 31 times for 136 yards. If it weren’t for his fumble and some key 3rd down stops, Murray almost certainly would have had a TD here. It was also encouraging to see Murray catch several balls even though he looks kind of awkward as a receiver. Jason Garrett has stated this week he’s going to try to play Murray less, which makes sense because he was worked incredibly hard in this game, and his matchup with Seattle is just terrible this week. He’ll probably do nothing in Seattle, but that will not worry me at all.
- Dez Bryant is a beast, he proves this to me every time I watch him. He’s always in play no matter what the matchup.
- Terrance Williams caught a deep pass in the 2nd quarter, and a deep TD in the 3rd. But as for how he looked, he just doesn’t seem much better than an ok #2 receiver. He’s not a great player by any means and I would totally avoid him against Seattle this week.
- Let’s talk about Ryan Fitzpatrick. Now, I don’t like to draw too many conclusions when watching a player on the road, but Fitzpatrick just seems completely mediocre. If it weren’t for Arian Foster’s great 2nd half, Houston likely would have been shut out, and it’s not like Dallas has a great defense. He was able to make a few good throws, but that’s about it.
- Who’s better between Hopkins and Johnson? While they are different players, I rate them about the same. Hopkins seems like the more dynamic player though.
- Arian Foster looked good in this game (and very healthy), but his fantastic game had a lot to do with Dallas’ poor run defense, especially when Foster got to the outside. Dallas’ secondary is just terrible against the run. It will be interesting to see how the Cowboys fare at Seattle this week, given they will likely be down in the game and won’t be able to control the clock. I think it’s possible that an elite runner like Lynch will just destroy them.