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Thursday Night Observations
I woke up early (probably about 5 am) this morning and was unable to fall back asleep. Often when this happens, a lot of ideas pop into my head, one of which was that I should write the intro to this before watching the game, that is, after it had already ended, but before I was aware of what happened. I figured it would be an interesting experiment.
My two best NFFC teams have Rhamondre Stevenson going — I would really benefit from a huge game from him. I also have Nick Folk going in the Primetime, and I used the Patriots +3.5 in the Circa Millions, the first time all year I’ve put the picks in on Thursday.
One other thing that occurred to me this morning was I forgot to enter the Thursday night game pick in my home picking pool, the first time all year I outright forgot to do it (one week I did it, but neglected to save it.) It’s the lowest stakes error I could make, but an ever-so-tiny hedge against my Patriots pick, i.e., if the Bills cover, not entering the pick would cost me nothing.
Now I’ll watch and find out what happened.
. . .
That was bad but could have been a lot worse but for the last drive where Stevenson got a few garbage-time catches, and Folk made the field goal.
The Bills dominated to an extent not represented by the 14-point margin. The Patriots only TD was on a 48-yard swing pass to Marcus Jones. Other than that, they barely moved the ball. The Bills had the ball for 38 minutes, and the Patriots’ 22 minutes were padded by garbage time.
The Bills converted 9-of-15 third downs, the Pats only 3-of-12. When a team engineers long drives, it’s usually because they’re using up all three downs each series — it’s much easier to stomach a few first downs on first or second down en route to a quick score than a grinding 10-minute drive with 14 plays and four third-down conversions. The defense is on the field, expending more effort for much longer. The Patriots couldn’t really stop the run or the pass.
Josh Allen had a modest statistical day by his standards, but he played flawlessly other than the fumble and one near pick. Rooting against him when he’s right is torture.
James Cook (14-64-0, 6-6-41-0) looks like the 1A to Devin Singletary now, though he got me nothing when I finally used him last week against the Lions. I don’t know why they give Nyheim Hines the ball — just use him on punt returns.
Stefon Diggs (9-7-92-1) had a nice game, but it could have been so much bigger had a long TD not been called back due to a hold. Diggs just snags anything remotely in his vicinity.
Gabe Davis (7-2-15-1) scored on a great scramble play by Allen, but he’s been one of this year’s biggest disappointments relative to the preseason hype.
Rhamondre Stevenson (10-54-0, 8-6-24-0) breaks so many tackles and is involved in a big percentage of the team’s offensive plays. He fumbled once on a reception, but picked up rushers and otherwise played a great game. He’ll be a borderline first-round fantasy pick next season if he stays healthy.
Mac Jones is a little bit mobile and has decent weapons. The offense just couldn’t get it going. I picked up Jones in one NFFC league as I think there’s upside to this passing game against the right opponent. (Granted it’s only because the QBs I have are sketchy.)
Folk’s end-of-half missed FG that hit the crossbar crushed me. It would have been worth 4.8 points and cut the Bills lead to 17-10. But the Pats weren’t covering this game, either way.