Thursday Night Observations

What a kick in the nuts for Alvin Kamara owners. I was all set to enjoy his monster game for my NFFC high-stakes playoffs, and he starts off with three catches for 25 yards on the first drive before leaving for good with a concussion. What made it worse was watching the 40-minute condensed version, I didn’t even realize he was out until later in the quarter when Ingram was the only back in the game. And I couldn’t check online because that risked giving away the result of the game. So I sat there hoping it was a minor ankle injury or something until the fourth quarter when they finally mentioned it was a concussion. Just an unpleasant watching experience. At least I had the Falcons ATS.

• Matt Ryan had 8.2 YPA, but threw three picks and only one TD. Most of his yards were of the after-the-catch variety too.

• Devonta Freeman had 24 carries and scored a TD, but didn’t see any targets. Tevin Coleman had nine carries and wasn’t a factor in the game. Julio Jones (11 targets, 98 yards) and Mohamed Sanu (8-6-83-1) were the only relevant pass catchers.

• Drew Brees had decent cosmetic stats (271 yards, two TDs, one pick), and his 7.7 YPA was solid. But his game-losing pick on second down, deep in field-goal range, was as bad as it gets.

• Without Kamara, Ingram’s workload didn’t change that much. He had 12 carries for 49 yards and four catches for 43. Instead it was Michael Thomas who benefitted most – with a 14-10-117-1 line. Thomas is the NFC’s Keenan Allen, a skilled receiver without an extra gear. No other Saints receiver did much.

• Dan Quinn is a moron. He declined a 10-yard penalty that put the Saints at 4th and inches, assuming Sean Payton would attempt a game-tying FG. Instead, Drew Brees easily got the first down on a sneak, and the Saints had a good chance to score a game-winning TD, but for Brees’ terrible INT. Quinn got lucky, but he was wrong to assume Payton was a nutless monkey like himself.

• There are so many holding penalties on kick and punt returns, it’s almost irrelevant what actually happens on the play. But what really gets me is when there’s a hold on a fair catch as there was in this game. The NFL has figured out pass interference doesn’t apply when the ball was uncatchable, so how can it justify a hold when the return never happened? Yes, the PI happened, but it didn’t affect the play. Likewise, the hold happened, but it didn’t affect the play. It’s a no-brainer.

The Kamara concussion ruined my morning. What a stupid way to open the fantasy playoffs.

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