Big Ben Whitney: Rapid Fire NFL Week 15, Hedging Misery Bets for Vegas

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN –NFL Week 15is in the books and we’re separating the contenders from the pretenders, the wheat from the chaff and the wanna-bes and the bes. Let’s rapid-fire this b!tch.

It’s a buyer’s market for statuesque QBs

Eli Manning was playing his way back onto the Giants’ 2019 roster, said the NFL Network last week. Whoops. It was a stinky performance by the Giants, as no one appeared interested in tackling Derrick Henry if it meant using other body parts besides arms.

Speaking of Henry, it seems like he plays well at the end of every season after stinking most of the year. He turns it on late, people think he’s primed for a big breakout the next year, and then he gets drafted three rounds too early in Fantasy. Does that guy sit on the couch all summer?

With Joe Flacco rumored to be gone from the Ravens after this season, the market for completely immobile Super Bowl winning QBs might be pretty saturated. I suggest trading in your stock in for pork bellies or frozen concentrated orange juice futures.

The Rams’ season gets carted away

Aaron Rodgers is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but man, he holds the ball way too long sometimes. Live to fight another day, A-Rodge.

Jared Goff of the LA Rams has had six games this season where he didn’t throw for over 300 yards. Cooper Kupp did not play in five of them. Goff has thrown for over 300 yards only twice without Kupp, in the barnburner vs KC and in Sunday’s desperation comeback attempt vs the Eagles and their fifth-string secondary. He’s only had one game where he had Kupp and didn’t thrown for 300 yards; Week 1’s anomaly vs the Raiders. Key takeaway: Kupp is surprisingly important to that team.

The Eagles looked done last year after Wentz went down, so you never know. But it sure looks likethe Bears rattled Goff badly. The blueprint for beating the Rams has provided to all teams. They havetwo get-right games against the Cardinals and 49ers, but the road to the SB looks like it’s going through New Orleans in the NFC.

This man is the architect of the Colts’ revival, not a middle school gym teacher

Gronk looked like a shell of himself on Sunday, with two catches for 21 yards. You’ve got to hand it to Billy B, he’s as heartless as Mr. Potter, but he knows when to send a guy packing. If Kraft didn’t step in for Brady and Gronk agreed to go to the Lions, the Pats would have another high round draft pick and be set up to continue the dynasty. Don’t worry, Satan would have made sure Garoppolo’s ACL stayed intact.

They basically have the same weapons on offense as last year… plus Josh Gordon. They lost Dion Lewis but James White has picked up the slack. Brady and Gronk are transitioning from solutions to problems.

Darius. Tacking machine.

That was a pretty dreadful showing in Pittsburgh. You have to make to make sure the witch it dead, but this sure feels like the year it all comes apart. They have get-right games against the Bills and Jets left, but it feels like a second round exit and major changes await.

Will there be a QB competition once the Eagles re-sign Foles or will they just cut Wentz? Either way, I might thrown $50 on the Eagles to win it all. Not because I think it’ll happen, but because it will hurt a lot less if it does. Call it misery hedging.

Bill Bellichick enjoying his retirement in 2019

The Cowboys were bludgeoned by the Colts on Sunday and Colts’ GM Chris Ballard should be getting the lion’s share of the credit. He traded down a mere three spots to get two second rounders from the Jets and took “generational talentQuenton Nelson to protect Luck. Then in the second he took Darius Leonard, who leads the league in tackles. He doubled up on the O-line with their other second rounder and took another guard, Braden Smith, though he ended up playing RT. On Sunday, Nelson and Smith were busy not letting Luck get sacked and opening up holes for Marlon Mack and Co to the tune of 178 yards rushing. Leonard was tackling everything that moved and knocking down key passes. Grigson’s home run draft has put the Colts into My Power 10. 

Giants tried to hand tackle Henry

And since no one asked, here is my Power 10:

  1. New Orleans – the most complete team is set to enjoy cajun home cooking throughout the playoffs.
  2. Kansas City – They have struggled a bit since the Hunt video emerged, but Mahomes is too good and a nearly healthy Eric Berry is a difference maker.
  3. Los Angeles ChargersPhillip Rivers usually doesn’t get it done in crunch time, but he’s never had a better team. Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen need to get healthy.
  4. Chicago Bears – I think they’re a year away from making real noise, but the D can’t be ignored.
  5. LA Rams – They are struggling, but you can’t write them off yet. They have to regain confidence vs the Cards and Niners.
  6. New England Patriots – the end seems near, but Billy might have a few tricks up his sleeve. (Illegal ones, obviously.)
  7. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers could win it all or get knocked out in the first round.
  8. Houston Texans – This is a solid team, but I don’t think they’re a real threat. They lost to the Giants after all.
  9. Indianapolis Colts – Three road wins in the playoffs seems unlikely, but after the drubbing of the Cowboys, they have to be in here.
  10. Dallas Cowboys – They real Cowboys are likely somewhere in between the team that held the mighty Saints to 10 points and the team that got blanked by the Colts. But with that running game and defense, they can still make some noise in the playoffs. It’d be nice to see the Giants knock them out of the playoffs in Week 17 and put Jason Garrett on the unemployment line. That would mean the Eagles get in, but a bittersweet win is about the best we can hope for at this point.
  11. Just missed: Ravens, Vikings, and Eagles. Don’t count them out.

Come back tomorrow for Angry Ward, who is sure to give me a hard time for including the Cowboys. Follow us on Twitter at @BenWhit8, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

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About the Author ()

Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.

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