This article is part of our NFL Observations series.
I should be ecstatic over Sunday's results, since (1) The Team of Destiny cruised fairly easily with the Eagles; (2) The Lions knocked out the Vikings on a last-second TD, taking out five entrants; and (3) My NFFC Primetime team scored 192 points with Tyler Bass pending Monday night to lock up the league title, barring a catastrophic Week 14. But because I watch the Sunday night game Monday morning, it's always leaves an outsized impression, and in this case it was a bad one.
For starters, four more entrants were on the Chiefs, and they survived, but I also made the Broncos my best bet, and that brings my losing streak to four in a row after I had won nine straight to open the year. And this after I devoted two columns to denouncing the idea of "regression" as just something that happens when you expect it to, a self-fulfilling prophecy, so to speak.
It's true I didn't have a strong lean on the Broncos – I briefly changed my best bet to the Lions before switching back right before I posted – i.e., I really was flipping coins, in which case regression is unavoidable. So in a sense I got what I deserved. But it annoys me nonetheless, as I still believe if you can rid yourself of the "coin flip" paradigm, cleanse out that faulty mental model at a deep level, you can escape from it. I thought I was free during my 9-0 run, but I was only on furlough, and now I'm back in a regression prison of my own making.
- Teddy Bridgewater is a backup QB, not a starter
- Javonte Williams (23-102-0, 9-6-76-1) is a monster. He'll be a first-round pick in drafts next year.
- Patrick Mahomes wasn't especially accurate. His receivers didn't help with some drops, but touch on short passes isn't his forte. The Chiefs defense looks good, but forcing Brett Favre to be Drew Brees is not ideal. The offense still hasn't hit its stride.
- The Pete Carroll Seahawks are hilarious. Only he tries a 56-yard FG with Jason Myers that had no chance, and only he goes on fourth-and-short late when a FG puts them up two scores, gets the first down and then loses the ball on a fumble a few plays later. The Seahawks won anyway, but their games are always so bizarre.
- Jimmy Garoppolo throws a nice ball, but he had two senseless picks that turned the game.
- Elijah Mitchell (22-66-1, 3-3-18-0) was a workhorse again, despite leaving the game briefly with a head injury.
- George Kittle (12-9-181-2) had a monster game, and it was about time. It's odd the team can never get more than one of its star pass catchers going at the same time.
- Adrian Peterson (11-16-1) might score a TD for every team in the NFL before it's done, but he's beyond washed up. Rashaad Penny (10-35-0, 1-1-27-0) looked pretty spry. He just needs to stay healthy for more than 10 minutes.
- Russell Wilson is still not himself. I wonder if we'll ever see the real version in 2021.
- The Ravens went for two against the Steelers and lost as Lamar Jackson missed an open Mark Andrews at the goal line. I'm not against it – late in the year when players are banged up, you don't want to play an extra period if you can avoid it.
- Diontae Johnson (11-8-105-2) started slowly and dropped a would-be TD on a perfectly thrown deep ball from Ben Roethlisberger. But he always gets his, and after Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams and Justin Jefferson, has a good case for WR4.
- Speaking of Kupp, another 10-8-129-1 game keeps up his historic pace.
- Sony Michel (24-121-1, 4-3-8-0) was the workhorse in Darrell Henderson's absence. Expect a timeshare at least going forward.
- Trevor Lawrence is in a bad system, with terrible receivers and a bad coach, but he himself has shown almost nothing. Usually, there are a least some sparks of greatness for a prospect of his stature.
- Antonio Gibson (23-88-0, 6-5-23-1) has been the bell cow many had expected the last two weeks.
- With Kenyan Drake breaking his ankle, Josh Jacobs (13-52-1, 9-9-38-0) saw a huge workload as a receiver, but Jalen Richard should be back eventually.
- Jonathan Taylor (32-143-2) is no longer yielding carries to scrubs while games are still in doubt.
- Gardner Minshew got it done for us, and he'll go into the pantheon of heroes for the Team of Destiny that includes Justin Tucker, Cordarrelle Patterson, Thomas Morstead and Nick Folk, among others.
- Dallas Goedert (6-6-105-2) got a boost from Minshew, but then again, it might have just been the Jets defense that left him wide open on two deep throws.
- Miles Sanders (24-120-0, 3-3-22-0) looked great before aggravating an ankle injury in the second half. Kenneth Gainwell (12-54-1, 5-5-33-0) put up nice numbers, but looked shaky on a couple juggled passes.
- Zach Wilson looked credible in the first half then did nothing in the second. At least he showed a spark, which is more than I can say for Lawrence.
- Elijah Moore (12-6-77-1) is the Jets' WR1 by a mile now. Corey Davis aggravated his groin injury during the game too.
- I can't sugarcoat it – the Mike Glennon Giants are a doormat. I'm not sure they'd be favored on a neutral field against anyone.
- Saquon Barkley (11-55-0, 9-6-19) looked okay, but it's hard to see any down-the-stretch ceiling in this offense, especially with Daniel Jones out indefinitely. (They do get a soft Chargers run defense next week, but don't get too excited.)
- The Dolphins, who started 1-7, are in the playoff hunt. They're the poor man's Patriots.
- I started Jared Goff over Matt Ryan at the last minute in an important league. My reasoning was that "Goff" is a contraction of "Go off." Not only did he do so, but he beat the Vikings on a heroic last-second TD pass, knocking five people out of the Circa Survivor pool.
- Justin Jefferson (1-4-0, 14-11-182-1) was the second-round receiver to draft among the seemingly interchangeable DeAndre Hopkins-Calvin Ridley-A.J. Brown-DK Metcalf-Stefon Diggs tier.
- I get the Chargers and Bengals wrong almost every week.
- Ja'Marr Chase (8-5-52-0) dropped a perfectly thrown deep ball and has cratered after a blazing start. Six weeks ago, he was the second coming of Jerry Rice, and now Tee Higgins (14-9-138-1) is the clear No. 1 on the team.
- I'm too lazy to check, but I have to be 1-11 against the spread on the Cardinals. I always doubt them, and they always deliver, except when I backed them at home against the Packers.
- Kyler Murray's 10 carries and two rushing touchdowns are a sign he's back to full health. When Murray runs, he's QB1.
- The Buccaneers, who once had too many mouths to feed, now have a narrow tree: Leonard Fournette (13-44-0, 8-7-48-1), Chris Godwin (1-9-0, 17-15-143-0), Mike Evans (10-7-99-0) and Rob Gronkowski (8-4-58-2.) That's it. No one else got more than one catch or carry.
- Cordarrelle MVPatterson (13-78-0, 5-3-18) gets it done against everyone. What a waste teams didn't use him in the offense earlier in his career.