Thursday Night Observations

There are two kinds of people in this world, those who hate Mike McCarthy and those who bet against him. It was nice to be in the latter group for a change.

I had the Seahawks -2.5, and from moment Chris Carson fumbled the opening play from scrimmage, it looked like the wrong side. A missed FG by Mason Crosby, a big PI penalty on the Packers and McCarthy inexcusably punting away the game on 4th-and-2 were just enough to make the difference.

Aaron Rodgers looked like himself. He moved well in the pocket, extended plays and threw for 322 yards (11.1 YPA) and two scores, one of them a perfect deep ball on the move to a tight end (Robert Tonyan) I had never heard of. The one blemish was the five sacks taken, some of which were from holding the ball too long.

Aaron Jones saw only 11 carries for 40 yards, but he scored a TD on the opening drive and went 6-5-63-1 in the passing game. If we were re-drafting today, he’d go in the second round.

Davante Adams went 12-10-166, catching two long passes. I got a lot of pushback on the SXM show yesterday when I argued he’s a good, but not great real-life receiver, but I stand by it. On a few plays, he was easily tackled after the catch, well short of the first down, despite having some space to maneuver. The best receivers have more wiggle, more explosiveness and are dangerous after the catch. They make people miss and pick up first downs in those situations more often than not. Adams is a great fantasy receiver, however, mostly by virtue of being Rodgers’ first look by a mile and especially in the red zone.

The Jimmy Graham revenge game ended early when he left in the second quarter after jamming his thumb. Graham has been useful at times, but came into the game with only eight red-zone targets and two TDs on the year.

Russell Wilson had a pedestrian game – 225 yards, 7.3 YPA, two TDs and 17 rushing yards. He took three sacks and didn’t do a lot of scrambling. He also missed a wide-open Doug Baldwin on a would-be touchdown and foolishly caught his own batted pass for an 11-yard loss rather than knocking it down. Even in PPR, that’s minus a tenth of a point.

Baldwin (10-7-52-1) proclaimed himself healthy this week and looked it. His numbers would have been a lot better had Wilson connected with him for the other TD. Tyler Lockett went 5-5-71 and drew a PI on a deep ball. David Moore went 8-4-57.

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Carson redeemed himself after the fumble, rushing for 83 yards (4.9 YPC) and a TD. He’s a tough physical runner, and it’s easy to see why the Seahawks like him. Rookie Rashaad Penny broke a 30-yard run on his first carry, a play that should have been stopped for a loss, but had only seven carries for 16 yards after that. Mike Davis – four carries for 26 yards – was the odd man out, though he did have two catches for 24 yards. For now, Carson is still the back to own.

With the Packers now 4-5-1 and a long shot to make the playoffs, I’d have to think McCarthy is toast. I’d love to see what Rodgers could do in 2019 in a better system and with one more playmaker (maybe a Ted Ginn/DeSean Jackson type) who can stretch the field.