My Hand Doesn’t Shake
Written By @Bo_McBigTime
It takes a lot to get me heated. My brother-in-law calls me “Saint Bo,” apparently because he thinks I’m the only person on Earth who is patient enough to be married to his sister. In California, we just refer to a person as “chill.” The famous scene in The Departed depicts an anxious and vulnerable Leo DiCaprio explaining to his therapist, “You sit there with a mass murderer. Your heart rate is jacked, and your hand…steady…my hand does not shake…ever.” I may have Joe Burrow-esque ice water in my veins, but nothing gets me more tilted than bad coaching.
As unflappable as I have been alleged to be, I was angry last Sunday. The Jay Cutler faded into Tom Brady and I was hurling F-Bombs at my television like Legolas’ perpetual quiver of arrows. I wouldn’t shake Nick Foles hand either. It was not just one running back riding the bench for quarters at a time, with a talentless corpse churning out single yard gains instead. It was numerous backs, healthy as a Wagyu steer, yielding touches to their backups. It transcended the “hot hand” mentality. Malcolm Brown, Jordan Wilkins, and Devonta Booker/Jalen Richard were awful and put their teams behind the sticks and off the field in a hurry.
Of course, some emphasis is put on Malcolm Brown, who took the lion’s share of touches in the Rams backfield and did absolutely nothing with them. In a game where LA should have boat raced the Giants, it was close until the end. My hot take darling, Darrell Henderson was averaging SIX yards per carry going in, and he was watching this abomination from the sideline. I was angrily tweeting through this entire game, while also cursing Frank Reich for giving Wilkins a bunch of one yard per carry work, while Jonathan Taylor and his nearly five yards per carry got cold on the bench. I understand the need to rotate running backs, but this went too far, and to the detriment of the team’s performance. I was wrong about Henderson, but I didn’t have to be as wrong as it turned out.
I did not expect the Bears to protect the ball as well as they did last week against the Colts. I was dead on predicting how terrible they would look, but I expected the late game comeback attempt to result in some risk-related strip sacks or interceptions. The Colts held Chicago to only eight points in the game, but forced just the one Nick Foles interception.
My worst take last week was probably the offensive explosion I was predicting from the Detroit Lions, who faced a New Orleans defense without Marshon Lattimore. They moved the ball efficiently through the air, resulting in three touchdown passes by Matthew Stafford, but the Saints running game was effective at keeping the Lions offense off the field. Detroit only possessed the ball for 23 minutes in the game, capping Stafford at a measly 206 passing yards, well below my guess of 400-plus and giving the Saints a shootout victory over the Lions.
My best prediction on last week’s edition of PICANTakeswas that Carson Wentz would make it through the entire game with the 49ers without turning the ball over. I am still taking the loss on this one, but the solitary turnover was a first quarter pass that was deflected into the air and intercepted. It was hardly the boneheaded pass into double coverage or awareness-free fumble we expect from Wentz. Apart from that unfortunate break early on, the game was exactly how I predicted, with the Eagles offense playing close to the vest and winning the turnover battle, and ultimately the game.
This week, we have an interesting slate. Games stretch from Thursdays night’s surprise Bears win over the Bucs to next Tuesday, where the Titans will hopefully get back on the field in good health to play the Bills. There are two Monday night games again, and the late afternoon slate features only three games. The spiciest take might be that all of these games play as scheduled without interruption from a sinister virus. As expected, I go as wild and crazy as I can with the PICANTakes. Nobody seems to care when I’m wrong, and the victory laps are all the more sweet.
Michael Gallup Will Be a WR1
The torches and pitchforks are out, so to speak. In the league’s best passing attack, Gallup has not garnered as many targets in the offense as Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Ezekiel Elliott, or even replacement tight end Dalton Schultz. Even though he erupted for 28 fantasy points two weeks ago, the hordes of myopic basement dwellers are “worried” about Michael Gallup. I am not. I am buying the hell out of this dip. His average air yards per target is still upper tier and the Cowboys upcoming schedule is Charmin soft against outside receivers. The New York Giants have been surprisingly stout against short and mid-range passing, so I am looking for another monster performance with huge chunk plays and a tuddy or two from the speedster from Colorado State.
Justin Jackson Will Lead the Chargers in All-Purpose Yards
Pepperidge farm remembers when Justin Jackson was a breakout rookie from Northwestern who balled out when Melvin Gordon got hurt in 2018. The attention went to Austin Ekeler, and rightfully so; he was explosive in that change-of-pace role and commanded even more work in 2019. Jackson, in the meantime, has battled a myriad of foot and ankle injuries and recently battled a quad strain. Jackson was on the field in seven games last season and averaged 6.9 yards per carry. This week, there is no Austin Ekeler and rookie Joshua Kelley has been inefficient and has ball security issues. Young Justin Herbert has officially snared the starting quarterback job over Tyrod Taylor and is much more keen than Taylor at targeting the running back in the passing game. Since Kelley is more of a short yardage power runner, I see Jackson jumping into Ekeler’s role and showcasing the talent that fantasy analysts have long since forgotten about.
The Cowboys Defense Will Hold the Giants Under 20 Points
On the surface, this take isn’t spicy at all. The Giants offense has not been a picture of effectiveness since losing megastar SaquonBarkley, and their defense has been exploitable in the running game, which could shorten the game considerably with Zeke on the other side. What makes this take ultra-picante is just how bad the Cowboys defense is. Dallas is yielding an average of 33 points per game so far, and the Giants have shown ability to make big plays in the passing game. I am going full Homer on this take, crossing my fingers that the Cowboys can finally get off to a good start and lean on the running game, instead of scrambling to come back on the arm of Dak Prescott. If it weren’t for Atlanta pretending the onside kick was made of plutonium, the ‘Boys would be winless. The one thing going for Dallas in this game on defense has been the resurrection of Aldon Smith’s career. If Dallas can get some heat on Daniel Jones, there is a great possibility of him turning the ball over multiple times and getting Zeke and Tony Pollard into clock-chewing, soul-crushing mode. That is how this take will come to fruition.
Kyle Allen Scores 25 Fantasy Points and the WFT (WTF?) Beat the Rams
Exit Dwayne Haskins and enter Sandman...err, Kyle Allen: a quarterback smuggled from Carolina with head coach Ron Rivera. Haskins was never Rivera’s guy, no matter how highly he spoke of his potential. Kyle Allen, if you remember, was a breakout star in his first couple of starts with the Panthers when Cam Newton was injured, before a Hindenburg-type descent into oblivion as the season wore on. The key in this game for Allen is how short his leash will be before Comeback Player of the Year Alex Smith takes the field. If Allen is struggling, as many predict, we may see Smith before the end of this game. I predict he makes some big plays in the passing game with running back Antonio Gibson and receiver Terry McLaurin. Jalen Ramsey might slow McLaurin down, but the rest of the Rams defense has not performed to expectation. I predict Kyle Allen will perform much like he did in Carolina, by showing out and then getting benched in a couple weeks. This one is risky, but I want the biscuit.