Week Three: Scoville Sweats
Last week’s PICANTakes were a huuuuge swing and a miss. I was actually laughing at how far off they ended up being. I mean, it wasn’t THAT far off, compared to how far out on the limb they were. I felt like that haggard old fool on the sidewalk holding the cardboard sign reading, “The End is Near!” There was a moment where I told my wife how crazy they were and she told me to take out the trash (in a tone that made me feel like she told me to yesterday).
I predicted Jonathan Taylor to break away for 200 scrimmage yards; his volume was there, but he ended up with 110. I forecasted tough sledding for the Panthers and for them to fail to reach the end zone versus Tampa Bay, but that only lasted the first half before Christian McCaffrey did his thing TWICE before leaving with a high ankle sprain. The Seahawks were predictably dominant on offense against New England, but never could put them away for the big win I was hoping for. Cam Newton blew away everyone’s expectations with an eye-popping back-and-forth shootout with Russell Wilson in a fantastic game to watch. Cam did not turn it over as I predicted, either. My final peppery prediction was the closest one to actually hitting. The Los Angeles Chargers, led by my favorite rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, held down the mighty Chiefs as long as they could before succumbing in overtime. The Chargers grinded away clock with an effective running game, featured more Austin Ekeler in the passing game, and their secondary stayed physical and shut out Tyreek Hill completely before the long touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. The game was an under 47, but not under 40 as I pictured. I guess I could call that one a push.
What does a guy writing hot takes do after a rough outing? Some might come down to earth a bit, conservatively turning down the dial on the aggression meter. I say to hell with that. I’m going with BIGGER, HOTTER, CRAZIER takes that will have the faint of heart sweating through their early Autumn blouses. Don’t forget to @ me on Twitter and tell me how wrong I am and how stupid these predictions are sure to be!
Josh Allen Will Rush for over 100 Yards
Buffalo has been a surprisingly explosive offense this season. Granted, they have faced the Jets and Dolphins, but Josh Allen has shown a new precision to his game. The strength of the Rams defense is their pass coverage and rush. They were successful in harassing Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz into below average performances. At the same time, Los Angeles has been vulnerable to the power running game. The Bills are without their power back Zack Moss this week, and Devin Singletary has not yet been entrusted as a three down workhorse. I expect to see a combination of designed runs for Allen, combined with his incredible scrambling ability to really be showcased in this game, as Aaron Donald and Michael Brockerswill be chasing him around the pocket all day.
There Will Be FIVE(!) 100 Yard Receivers in the SEA/DAL Game
This game will showcase two of the best offenses in the NFL. Passionate DFS players will flock to this game in swarms to get pieces of who they think will be the top performers. I won’t be specific to who the five players will be, but with so much receiver and quarterback talent on the field with suspect pass defenses, I will have my popcorn ready. I don’t know if this has ever happened in an NFL game, some stats person will have to look it up. Either way, if this one hits, I will be taking an EPIC victory lap.
The PIT Defense Will Score More TDs Than the HOU Offense
We might have to wrap Deshaun Watson in tissue paper like an antique coffee mug before Sunday’s game against the Steelers. I love Watson as a player and Dabo Swinney was absolutely right about him being a Michael Jordan type talent, but Bill O’Brien traded away his Scottie Pippen. He also runs a system that gets Watson killed against teams with strong pass rushes. Enter the Steelers who apply pressure on nearly half of their opponents pass plays. Watson’s protection this season has already been atrocious and his All-Pro possession receiver is lighting it up a thousand miles away in Arizona. This is going to be a train wreck and I can totally see Pittsburgh running in multiple defensive scores.
Nick Mullens Will Score More Fantasy Points vs NYG than any Jimmy Garoppolo Performance for the Rest of the Season
I opined back in 2018 that Nick Mullens was a better quarterback than Jimmy Garoppolo. I stand by that opinion even now. Without one recognizable starter on the field for the 49ers, it will be interesting to see the Shanahan system at work against a truly putrid defense from the New York Giants. Expect a lot of passing work for the running backs Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson, as well as tight end Jordan Reed. Brandon Aiyuk, Kendrick Bourne, and Trent Taylor also should see some targets against one of the worst secondaries in the entire league. Mullens is a good decision maker and throws an accurate ball. He also has a sneaky rushing floor that was on display in 2018 when Garoppolo was out with his ACL tear. I smell a QB controversy brewing.