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Monday Night Observations
What a brutal game. I was down six in one league with Darren Waller going, and about 10 minutes into the edited version of the game, I’m wondering where the hell he was. I actually paused it, looked him up on RotoWire at the risk of spoiling the game (which it didn’t) and found out.
I also had Clyde Edwards-Helaire in my Primetime, who I started over Rhamondre Stevenson and Travis Etienne. Not only was he outplayed by Jerick McKinnon, but he caught a TD from Mahomes that was overruled, got tackled at the one yard-line a second time and failed to turn around on a pass that hit him in the back. For good measure, I had picked up Isiah Pacheco in the Steak League after losing Javonte Williams, and he got nothing.
I have no Travis Kelce and no Davante Adams, either. The only silver lining is I had Patrick Mahomes going in a league and the Raiders +7.5 in my pool.
On the one hand, if you have Adams you’re happy with (7-3-124-2), and I think that was a catch on the sideline late in the game. But only seven targets and three catches in a game without Waller is pretty light, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he got suspended for shoving a cameraman after the game.
Where would Josh Jacobs (21-151-1, 5-5-39-0) get drafted today? Late first round, I’d have to think. He’s the three-down workhorse, the line is decent, and he looks good. Jonathan Taylor or Jacobs ROS? During draft season, I didn’t even consider him because “he had no upside.”
Mahomes makes it look easy, but he really has no receivers other than Travis Kelce (8-7-25-4!). Juju Smith-Schuster (8-3-33-0) looks slow, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (8-6-90-0) and Mecole Hardman (5-4-73-0) are just role players. Maybe Skyy Moore will get a shot yet.
It was an interesting decision by Andy Reid to punt, up 1, on 4th-and-3 at the Raiders 46 with 1:52 left. If Adams’ sideline play is ruled a catch, the Raiders almost certainly win that game with a top-five kicker. You have to figure it’s at least 50 percent for the Chiefs to get the first down there, and if they do it’s game over. If they don’t, maybe they have a 20 or 25 percent chance to win on defense. I’d have given the Raiders at least 50 percent to drive into field goal range there, and as I said, they have a great kicker, so it was odd.
Then again, maybe Reid, being an NFL coach for 20-plus years realized they couldn’t run it, were having trouble with the blitz (and teams who will lose if you gain three yards have nothing to lose by sending the house, as a three yard pass is the same as a 46-yard TD to them.) Moreover, maybe he realized that if the Raiders got the huge stop, the emotional lift would make it more like 10 or 15 percent chance of a Chiefs stop instead of 20 or 25. In other words, you can calculate the baseline probabilities for any NFL situation with generic teams on generic downs, but what’s true on average is rarely true in a specific instance, the way the average dice roll in craps (seven) is the most common, but it’s only one in six that you get it. Coaches do make bad decisions all the time, but hitting them over the head with the generic base case (as I’ve done in the past) seems overly facile.