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Monday Night Observations
You never want to read too much into a single game, but the Browns dominated the Bengals to such an extent it’s hard to take Cincinnati seriously as a contender. Ja’Marr Chase’s absence was big — if you don’t have to account for the home run ball, you can be much more aggressive on the short stuff. But this game was largely won on the line of scrimmage, and the quarterbacks and receivers didn’t matter much.
No one in my Primetime wanted Nick Chubb (23-101-2, 1-1-3-0) — he slipped to 4.11. Chubb is on pace for 1,787 yards and 21 touchdowns. And there’s a decent chance Kareem Hunt gets traded.
Amari Cooper (7-5-131-1) threw a senseless pick on a trick play early in the game, but still got his. It made sense for the Cowboys to keep the younger CeeDee Lamb, but give me Cooper straight up in real life for 2022.
The Browns at 3-5 aren’t that far out of contention in a weak NFC North. But they play at Miami and at Buffalo after the Week 9 bye.
I was surprised to learn the garbage time handoffs to D’Ernest Johnson were his first of the year. Imagine dominating in the one game you got a chance and then not even touching the ball for half a season. As I mentioned, Hunt could still get traded, though Johnson’s role would probably be much smaller.
Joe Burrow is a great fantasy QB because even in a game without Chase, where he had no protection and that was futile in the fourth quarter, he still got his 232 and 2. Floor is more important than ceiling.
Joe Mixon is like Saquon Barkley without the elite skills. He’s getting the chances, but there’s so often no room to run, and he’s not able to create big plays on his own.
Evan McPherson had a terrible game, missing a field goal and a PAT. I don’t know why the Bengals were even trying PATs, down 25-6, but they were. (I have zero McPherson, so this was enjoyable for me, becuase it obviously hurt a lot of people. Between McPherson getting a point and Dan Carlson getting zero, it was a tough week for the non-Justin Tucker premium kickers.)