NFL Nuacht – Week 5 AFC State of Play
The Patriots are sputtering their way to their 9th championship in a row, as the Bills were unable to push their advantage this week against the Bengals. Belichick and Co. are leaning on TB12 to drag them through the current sticky patch, while Tyrod force feeds Charles Clay, and leaves it up to their solid D to come up with the stops. Clay’s injury now means a plan B needs to be found. The Jets are screwing up their draft position you would think, but they have found some nice “cheap” talent while they develop their young stars of the future in Adams and Maye. The Dolphins look to me like a team that can’t stand for Jay Cutler being the gunslinger of choice. To my eyes, I don’t think the demeanour of players shows that anyone on that line or in that offence would willingly take a hit for Jay. They are picking up the cheques waiting for Tannehill’s return, while Cutler is cashing cheques until his final act is done, and he can swan back to Fox. Meanwhile, Adam Gase’s day are numbered in Miami.
Is Big Ben done? He’s asking himself that question after the disastrous outing against the Jags at home, yet the Terrible Towels still sit atop the division, and will surely now lean on Le’Veon Bell to stabilise the show, when they go on the road to Kansas. The Ravens have bounced back from their own debacle in London to be right there in it at 3-2 also, as they concentrate on their “less is more” strategy. Sometimes defence is the best offence. Bill Lazor is dragging Andy Dalton up by the bootstraps, and has got the Bengals back on at least an even keel and this makes A.J.Green happy…. though he did his best to make a game of it on Sunday with all those tipped passes and the fumble. The Browns are succeeding in making it look good losing as they develop their rookie QB and all those picks they’ve made in the past few drafts. Myles Garrett showed fans what they can expect from their 1st round pick this year. They stand at 0-5. Mission accomplished so far.
The division that no one wants to win. Once more, no one has taken control of the division, but the Jags are showing signs that they might be turning a corner as they have operated efficiently with their marquee 1st round pick, Leonard Fournette, while their defence continues to be a coming force in the game. They’ll be hoping it’s the corner they are turning and not a roundabout. The Texans have found a QB that can do things QB’s are supposed to, unlike the line of predecessors that have come and gone under Bill O’Brien, but the injuries now to J.J.Watt and Mercilus might have thrown a spanner in the works to their season ambitions. The Titans will hope for the speedy return of their franchise QB. Mariota is a major loss to a team that relies on his athleticism so much, while their defensive backs continue to struggle mightily this season. Indianapolis has just honoured one great QB when they unveiled the Manning statue last weekend, but all thoughts shift to whether their current iteration can even get on the field this season. The Colts without Luck are just that, luckless. They do not operate at the same level offensively without him and their defence is allergic to the ball. They leak points left, right and centre, but are still not out of it at 2-3.
Now the Chiefs are a serious outfit. 5-0 in what was supposed to be a nightmare division. Alex Smith has got the hint and is firing bombs, while 1st round pick Mahomes looks on. They have managed to draft a star RB in Kareem Hunt in the 3rd round, and boy does he look value for it. He suits Andy Reid’s style to a tee. They also have Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and a (normally) stout defence, which only further advances their credentials. In Denver, they have a mean defence and a lame duck QB. Trevor Siemian is not going to lead this team to glory in my view, and it’s perhaps a missed opportunity for Denver given the calibre of players surrounding him. The Raiders were many people’s pick for a Super Bowl run this season, and Beast Mode’s homecoming has not gone to plan. With Derek Carr struggling with a back problem and Amari Cooper not being able to do his job in catching the ball, the preseason enamour has faded. Los Angeles newbies, the Chargers are 1-4 without particularly playing badly. Things can only get better surely for Rivers & Co. Joey Bosa is enjoying himself though, he is most definitely a stud and Melvin Gordon can play ball, confirmed! 1st round pick, Mike Williams is on his way back to at least provide some electricity to the Bolts.
This OTI Piece was written by Eric Flynn. Eric is a San Francisco 49ers fan from Cork, Ireland. Huge fantasy focus on game weekends. He has been playing Fantasy Football for over 6 years in all types of leagues, having started out in IDP leagues. Check him out on Twitter @EricJohnFlynn