This new season-long mini-series is brought to you by the RotoUnderworld Game Analyst Team. The Game Analyst Team consists of over 75 individuals that chart and re-watch every snap from every game in the NFL between game end, and Monday afternoon. The guys you have generally not heard from before stop in to drop some tidbits from their weekly game charting process in hopes to give us a sneak peek into the depth of the games each Sunday. As the Head Game Analyst – I charted for two years and this idea was always in the back of my mind. People always share the broken-down, clean, processed reviews of games in the NFL. That’s not what this is. I asked everyone to gives me some Notes or Takeaways from their game this past week, and below are the raw responses I received.
This was a big C.J. Uzomah game with Boyd mixed in as well. With Higgins out, this could be expected. Uzomah was on the field a lot, but Cincy used a lot of 3-TE sets. They did have most of their success running to that side. We need to keep an eye on the Mixon injury. We could see a big game from any one of the pass catchers on a week-to-week basis. – Adam Verdugo
Denver increased their usage of motion on run plays and was able to have a very efficient day with both running backs averaging well over 5 yards per carry. However, the volume was not there as neither Bridgewater nor his halftime injury replacement Drew Lock was able to get in a rhythm. The absence of speedster K.J. Hamler was certainly evident as Broncos receivers struggled all game to get separation. Kendall Hinton and David Moore each played more snaps than superior athlete Albert O and all ancillary receiving options contributed very little. – Caleb Jensen
The main thing I noticed from the game is the Titans O-Line looked completely overwhelmed by the Jets front/scheme. On a lot of the 3rd and med/longs the Jets would show double a gap look with the 2 LB’s and then send pressure off the edge. Or show pressure and send just a 4 man rush and get the sack, hurry, or knockdown on Tannehill.
The Jets seemed to play a lot of man coverage. So when he wasn’t rushed from pressure, it gave Tannehill some opportunities at 1-on-1’s downfield but none of the backup WRs could really come up with any contested catches or make significant splash plays. Overall, Titans were kind of forced to just grind out drives. – Steve Mitchell
New York Jets
I wasn’t too excited to chart the Jets this week after seeing the lackluster performances they put up the first few weeks of the season, but I was pleasantly surprised after charting the game. I also think the Titans are bad and are in real trouble if AJB and Julio miss significant time with their hamstring injuries. They have duds at all skill positions except for Henry and their OL wasn’t doing any favors for Tannehill in this game.
Overall, I thought Wilson looked good though. He definitely has the arm strength to make every throw and it didn’t feel like he was forcing anything. I also think the Jets put him in a good position by not asking him to do too much and using six-man protection schemes on a lot of their dropbacks. They ran the ball, used the screen game, and generally tried to get the ball out early in the first half to avoid getting him killed.
However, as the game went on you could tell in order to win, Wilson was going to have to do it and he did. His touchdown bomb to Corey Davis was all Davis making a play for his QB and they really could have had another big play in the first half it wasn’t for a DPI on the Titans. Also, the interception he threw in the first half wasn’t his fault. His receiver fell down on the route, essentially gifting Kristian Fulton a pick.
Despite early struggles, the Colts finally came alive in this one. Carson Wentz looks healthier as he was much more mobile this game than in the game against the Titans. He was able to evade guys in the backfield in order to make plays. Also, pick props to the Colts o-line this game, they did a really good job holding up despite Quenton Nelson being placed on IR. The Michael Pittman breakout year continues as he is starting to emerge as Wentz’ go-to guy. He made some fantastic catches by going up to grab high passes and also made some contested catches in the middle of the field. It will be interesting to see how defenses play him once T.Y. Hilton comes back. – Marc Nuzzo
Not having Tua Tagovailoa will hamper this defense. Jacoby Brissett was often gun shy in this one and seemed to be timid in making downfield throws. It wasn’t until the 4th quarter in catch-up mode where he actually attempted some downfield passes and to great success. Other than that Brissett continued to target underneath receivers, and while he made completions it really slowed the Dolphins offense down. As long as Brissett is the QB, receivers who run underneath routes will continue to see the success. I’m looking at you Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki. I would not expect too much out of DeVante Parker unless Brissett starts taking more shots downfield. Also, has anyone seen Myles Gaskin? I don’t think he played a single offensive snap. The run game ran through Malcolm Brown and Salvon Ahmed, which is worth keeping track of. – Marc Nuzzo
What can I tell you about the Chiefs that hasn’t been said already? Clyde Edwards-Helaire had a nice game of 14 rush attempts for 102 yards. Guy looked like a pinball out there bouncing off defenders. He looked comfortable in that role. Second game with a 100-yard performance. Also had 3 targets and 2 receptions and 1 receiving touchdown. His counterpart, Mr. Fresh legs himself, Darrel Williams had 10 rush attempts for 42 yards and the ever-popular rando Chiefs player weekly TD.
Patrick Mahomes balled out with 278 passing yards and 5 touchdowns. Two of those were his ever-popular shovel passes. Tyreek Hill: 12 targets, 11 receptions for 186, and 3 touchdowns. Just another day at the office. – Daniel Gamboa
Last week I said the Jets were the worst team in the league, and it wasn’t even close.
Well, turns out I was wrong. It is close.
The Houston Texans’ embarrassing forty burger-shutout loss to the Bills was the worst in franchise history. Davis Mills completed 11 passes on 21 attempts for a total of 87 yards and he threw 4 picks. Although he did make some poor decisions and tried to force the ball a bit this loss is certainly not on him. The o-line was atrocious. For the second straight week, the Texans had a total of under 50 yards rushing. Yes, you read that right. They had 42 last week and 48 this week. Tytus Howard and Laremy Tunsil were supposed to be a bright spot on a team with not much to get excited about, but thus far they’re not. At all. They both were getting worked all game long. Texans fans can be assured; this team is 100-percent still in full-on rebuild mode. – Chuck Passe
Tampa Bay vs New England
New England wasn’t able to get a run game going against the tough Tampa front. Jakobi Meyers looked good and got open multiple times. I thought Mac Jones looked good. Made some good throws and looked confident out there. Richard Sherman looked baaaayd but maybe just rusty?! Probably just washed. – Nick Tabs
Heavy rain in Buffalo. Houston’s D was giving Buffalo’s offense a tough time in the 1st half, by holding them to 3 field goals on drives where Buffalo started with great field position. Eventually though, due to the ineptitude of Davis Mills, Houston’s D allowed a lot of points to Buffalo, they were probably disheartened by the absolute lack of support by their offense.
Buffalo’s offense didn’t really even have to play well to win this game. Yeah, Buffalo scored 40 points, but they were starting every drive on Houston’s side of the field pretty much, whether from Houston going 3 and out and punting or The Bills D getting a turnover.
Singletary and Moss are a true 50/50 backfield, and Emmanuel Sanders is without question WR2 in that offense. Don’t know what happened with Gabriel Davis from last year to this year, but he played about the same amount of snaps as Jake Kumerow, and far less meaningful snaps than Cole Beasley.
Jaylen Waddle is so electric with the ball in his hands. He’s frequently used in motion and even lined up as an H-back for a snap or two. You can tell Miami enjoys calling up his number. It’s unfortunate that because the O-line is so bad, Brissett’s time is frequently spent running for his life and not looking downfield. I believe Waddle will continue to be used as a short and intermediate-range weapon until the Miami O-line improves in pass protection.
However, this Miami line isn’t just bad in pass pro, since they also stink at run blocking just as much. It was painful watching the burst less Malcolm Brown get empty carry after empty carry, continually running into the back of his lineman who was getting no push and created minimal openings.
I believe the Malcolm Brown high snap share was a function of Miami not being able to run the ball. For all of Brown’s lack of talent in the run game, he is the best back in pass protection on the roster. Since the team can’t run, Brissett is forced to drop back and throw more frequently. Until the team gets a functional running game, it will be tough sledding for every back on the team.
They’re all unusable in fantasy with Miami valuing Brown’s pass protection over Gaskin’s route-running ability out of the backfield.
Brissett and Parker showed some real chemistry on a few of the game’s most explosive plays. Brissett trusted Parker enough to throw deep to him in one-on-one coverage while on the move outside the pocket on multiple occasions. The result was usually either a big gain, with Parker converting the contested catch or a PI call. Because of the chemistry shown, Parker could be a sneaky flex or DFS play next week, where Miami will be forced to air it out again against the Bucs pass-funnel defense.
The Miami offense isn’t devoid of talent. Gesicki, Parker, and Waddle are all uber-talented, upper-percentile athletes. Gaskin is sharp with his cuts and decisive with his moves. It’s really a shame to see how a terrible O-line can sap the functionality of an entire offense. Only towards the end of the game was Brissett able to finally beat the Colts zone and make some explosive plays downfield, but it was ugly before that. The Colts consistently generated pressure and forced Brissett into check downs, throwaways, or scrambles. – Brett Hewling
Ben is Ben. He’s been underwhelming, to say the least. But asking him to carry this team with this offensive line and WR who have underperformed then it’ll be a disaster.
The defense is not helping much with T.J. looking like he’s playing hurt and no Tuitt or Alualu. They looked better this week than last week but that’s not saying much.
Too many avoidable mistakes are being made. It’s frustrating to watch and seeing the franchise QB play like this really is sad.
Not going anywhere this season. And it looks like Ben’s last. Time to watch these college QBs. – Mark Munnell
Darrel Williams continues to zap CEH’s fantasy upside as a TD vulture. Sad, but happening across the RB landscape. 20-plus point fantasy weeks just aren’t in the cards w/out CEH getting goal-line work despite his efficiency the last couple of weeks.
Hardman working into KC’s aerial run game. One target of 15 yards, the rest of his touches/targets were all negative DOT or considered run plays. He looks primed to break a long one or two vs the Bills on Sunday Night. A couple of WR screens sweeps this week were one missed tackle away from being house calls.
RT Niang’s worst showing by far. Just seemed off all game. Needs to rebound in a big way.
KC played a number of 3-TE sets mixing & matching their four active TE’s. They clearly like this group and their potential for creative play-calling. They’ve been stashing the small school Jody Fortson on the practice squad the past two years and developing him for a reason. Despite less than stellar measurables, he’s becoming another red-zone target w/ 2-TDs in subsequent weeks.
BUF v. KC is going to be electric this weekend. Look for KC to continue getting secondary options involved with Kelce and Hill going against a stellar coverage LB and secondary group with a top-notch defensive-minded HC. – Josh Moore
Baltimore vs Denver
After a few iffy weeks, Baltimore’s defense showed up. The Ravens defensive line is getting healthier and will be a problem for Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines next week.
Lamar is loving deep ball and threw his second 300-plus yard game in his career against a tough Denver defense. Don’t be confused though. This did not affect their run game in the slightest. The Ravens tied the NFL rushing record (100-plus rushing yards per game) in garbage time. I still don’t want any RB on their team fantasy-wise.
I’m so excited to see what Bateman can bring to this offense. But I don’t think that will tap into the work Hollywood Brown is getting. Hollywood is set to have a monster year with 3 touchdowns, 19 receptions and 320-plus receiving yards in the first 4 games of the season. A 5- 7 reception per game average is entirely sustainable, even with Bateman playing.
With a harder slate of games coming up for the Broncos, there is no question that Noah Fant should receive more work. Bridgewater is questionable leading into Week 5, and if he does not play, I expect Drew Lock to struggle against the Steelers defense but find some security in the third-year tight end.
Gordon and Williams are quite the duo. The pair had 13 evaded tackles between them and looked great against one of the strongest run defenses in the league. I know Gordon has been a “Sell High” for recent weeks, but he is not going away from this offense anytime soon. So yes, for dynasty I’d want Williams. But for seasonal leagues, I’m fine having Gordan as a weekly flex option and borderline RB2. – Ahmed Hassan
O-Line got manhandled early and often in this one. Derek Carr did a decent job adjusting and moving in the pocket, but when it looked like he was finally getting in rhythm, the Chargers secondary locked him down. A late Derwin James interception put a stop to any miracle comeback the Raiders were trying to mount.
Chargers defense is no joke this year, and if they can stay healthy they’re going to be a force to be reckoned with. The Raiders offense, on the other hand, looked a little archaic. There was one series in particular where they ran the ball three straight times for a quick three-and-out and punted which was gross. They also ran quite a bit of I-formation plays with a fullback which I guess is a Gruden special, but they were still doing it late into the game when they were trailing by more than one score. I’d like to see the Raiders move at a higher tempo next week if they want to keep their strong start alive. – James Peterman
Buffalo is doing the small things to beat every team they should beat, what are we supposed to make of the Week 1 game against Pittsburgh, though? There is a recipe to beat Josh Allen, will Kansas City expose him in Week 5? Denver was finally brought down to earth after playing an AFC powerhouse in Baltimore. The Ravens looked strong despite barely cresting 100 rushing yards for the 43rd straight week, and will have a tough matchup in Week 5 against Indianapolis on Monday Night Football.
Cody’s 1st Quarter Surprise: Cincinnati going 3-1 and leading the AFC North on criteria(Division record – win over Pittsburgh)
1st Quarter Let-down: Kansas City going 2-2 against Cleveland, Baltimore, LA, and Philadelphia.
1st Quarter AFC Championship Prediction: Buffalo 32 LA Chargers 20