Big Ben: Making Sense of the NFL Landscape; Lamar Jackson, Raiders, 49ers

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STAMFORD, CT – Will the real NFL contenders please stand up… please stand up… please stand up. Just when we think we have the NFL figured out, Week 10 comes along and shakes it up. I’ve come to make [a little] sense of this NFL landscape. Or not.

Moving on Up

Well, Lamar Jackson put his team in the “legit” column with that joystick power spin. Sure it was the Bungles, but they dismantled the Patriots last week. Did you forget already? Jackson has answered some questions about the passing game, but teams will still look force him to throw. What else can you do?

Lamar_Jackson, Meet_The_Matts, Ben_Whitney, NFL

“Where’d he go?!”

Fakers Gonna Fake

Raise your hand if you saw the Falcons smack down of the Saints coming. That sure felt like a free week in my knockout pool. Dammit. The Falcons had one of the worst D’s in the league. The Saints were a Top 3 team. Easy one, right? Nine effing points.

Speaking of surprises, Tanne-thrill outduels Mahomes! A few weeks ago it seemed like the Pats and Chiefs were destined for the AFC Championship game. Now the Chiefs are fighting to hold off the Raiders. What’s that you said?

Sh!tbowl in the Swamp

Well, the Jets beat the Giants for “bragging rights” for NYC! Darnold was seeing Casper and a bunch of other friendly ghosts out there this week, as the Giants do not have a spooky defense. It’s hard to tell which franchise is in better shape at this point. I’ve seen some power rankings with Miami ahead of both the Giants and Jets. You know, the team that traded away all of its good players.

My future’s so bright…

Garrett’s Follies

I know every bloviator on the internet is saying it, but man did Dallas blow that Vikings game. First, the two running plays when Dak was using his aggressive hips to throw darts. Then the bizarre fair catch decision when the returner had daylight ahead.

Did Jason Garrett marry Jerry Jones’s daughter or something? I can respect a bit of loyalty but this is silly. I hate the Cowboys, so you’d think I’d want them to keep the inept Garrett in place. But it offends me that he hasn’t been fired.

Real Deal

The 49ers ain’t sexy, but they’re in the mix. Jimmy G looked a little shaky with the running game not clicking, but Sanders and Kittle were out. With the Saints coming down a peg, this team is still a contender. From there, Green Bay, New Orleans, and Seattle round out the top 4.

In the AFC, we’ve got the Pats and Ravens and not much else.

Lurking

The Chiefs offense could carry them if their defense can straighten it out just a little. And don’t sleep on the Vikings. You like that?! The pass D didn’t look great vs Dallas, but it’s a solid team.

That’s it for me. I have to go see if DangerRuss Wilson can pull off two OT wins in a row. Come back tomorrow for some angry bloviating from Angry Ward. 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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