NFL round-up, week 15: Detroit Lions stun Cardinals; Saints hold Brady’s injured Bucs to zero

☑️ On course for an xG of 54.11 in 22/23
☑️ 5% conversion rate against (lowest)
☑️ March & Trossard high performers

#Brighton’s metrics have been of the highest quality this season. But they also show De Zerbi where he can improve.

#BHAFC | #LIVBHA
https://thegeniusplaybook.com/what-will-the-roberto-de-zerbi-era-look-like-for-brighton/

🔹 @MiamiDolphins 15-27 @Bengals 🔸

The #Dolphins suffer their first defeat of the season in Cincinnati. A statement win over an in-form team moves the #Bengals up to .500 and back on track after a tricky start.

Here’s the @NextGenStats angle from last night. ⬇️

#TNF

🔥 Top 10 most aggressive QBs heading into Week 4, according to @NextGenStats.

Jameis Winston tops the list, with the #Saints heading to London for the first of 3 #NFLUK games.

Will Burrow or Tua find themselves on this list by the end of tonight?

#TNF #Bengals #Dolphins

🐯 15. #Bengals [+3]

Joe Cool & co. have the chance to move up to .500 after a strong win over the #Jets last week.

🐬 3. #Dolphins [+5]

Tua, Tyreek and Waddle have lit up this Miami offense so far. Can they keep it up?

#TNF #RuleTheJungle #FinsUp
https://thegeniusplaybook.com/the-playbook-nfl-power-rankings-2022/

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Were you busy doing something productive this weekend and didn’t get the chance to watch much football? Don’t you worry! I am your Huckleberry and will gladly recap the week’s biggest games and biggest stories.

Lions route Cardinals, stun the world

In a game script that even Franz Kafka would characterize as patently absurd, the Lions notched the season’s biggest shocker, dominating the Cardinals by a score of 31-10. Lions QB Jared Goff, the crestfallen number one overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, had his best game of the season, throwing for 216 yards and three touchdowns. The city of Detroit has not been this happy since Henry Ford announced that he had found a way to make work even more rote. As for the flagging Cardinals, who have now lost two in a row, they seem to be playing their worst football of the year. December is usually not the time to try to work kinks out. If the Cardinals continue their slide, they will likely start the playoffs on the road, a far cry from the first-round bye they looked poised to earn earlier in the season.

DETROIT, MI – DECEMBER 19: Detroit Lions quarterback Tim Boyle (12) and Detroit Lions fullback Jason Cabinda (45) celebrate a touchdown during a regular season NFL football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions on December 19, 2021 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Bengals eek out a victory over the Broncos, improve playoff outlook

In one of the lowest-scoring games of the week, the Bengals did just enough to earn what the kids call “The W”. The play of the game occurred early in the fourth quarter in the red zone, when Bengals DE Khalid Kareem ripped the ball out of Broncos QB Drew Lock’s hands. The Broncos would never threaten the endzone again, dropping a game that was crucial to their playoff hopes.  I figure now is as good a time as any to eulogize the Broncos’ season.

DENVER, COLORADO – DECEMBER 19: Khalid Kareem #90 of the Cincinnati Bengals takes the ball from Drew Lock #3 of the Denver Broncos during the fourth quarter at Empower Field At Mile High on December 19, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Dearly Beloved, we gather here today to remember The Broncos. The Broncos, like most NFL franchises these days, fell victim to a perpetual state of mediocrity. Their defense, which ranks second in league in points allowed per game, is gone far too soon, done in by the absence of a serviceable QB. When you are grieving you are not supposed to ask what if, but what if Broncos Executive John Elway could actually scout QBs? Why couldn’t John have just drafted Dak Prescott instead of Paxton Lynch in 2016? What is it about tall QBs with rocket arms that he finds so alluring? Broncos fans, I won’t tell you that dealing with grief gets easier, but I will let you know that you are not alone, unlike the Broncos defense which sadly was abandoned by their offense for the entire season.

With the win, the Bengals moved into a tie for first place in the AFC North.  They face the Ravens next week in a game that will go a long way in deciding the division. The Bengals, who haven’t won a playoff game since 1991, know they will need to play much better if they hope to end their 30-year drought.

Steelers somehow beat the Titans despite barely moving the ball

168 yards – that is how many yards the Steelers gained in their win over the Titans. To say the Steelers’ offense is ailing would be a drastic understatement. Ben Roethlisberger, a two-time superbowl champ, is so far past his prime that even Adam Sandler wishes he would just rest on his laurels. The Steelers, who must win-out if they hope to make the playoffs this season, have a remarkably bright future once they decide to move on from King Tut. The Titans, on the other hand, continue to lose games they have absolutely no business losing. Two of their five losses this season include losses to the Jets and the Texans. Since the Titans lost RB Derrick Henry, the titular character in the movie “Predator,” they seem perfectly content treading water until Henry’s possible return in the postseason.

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – DECEMBER 19: T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter over the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field on December 19, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Saints shutdown the Bucs, move to .500

The Saints were able to shutout the defending Super Bowl Champions in a game where there was not a single touchdown, winning 9-0.  The Bucs were plagued by injuries throughout the contest, losing WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and RB Leonard Fournette to various ailments. Who would have thought that football, a game where players run into each other as fast as they can, could be so deleterious to one’s health? Without his best skill-position players, Tom Brady looked every part of the 44-year-old uggs-wearing charlatan that I have always suspected he is. This game could prove to have a resounding impact on playoffs if the Bucs are unable to overcome their mounting injury woes, or Tom Brady could just find a way to make another Faustian Bargain and win his 8th superbowl. If I am being honest, the latter is more likely.

TAMPA, FL – DECEMBER 19: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nose Tackle Vita Vea (50) attempts to get thru the Saints double team during the regular season game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 19, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Miscellaneous Musings – Recapping the biggest stories of the week

Earlier in the week, Urban Meyer was fired after only 13 games as head coach of the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars.  Meyer, a man who has helmed three college football national championship teams, has been seemingly embroiled in controversy the entire season. In today’s world where schadenfreude is rampant and people take any chance to thumb their nose at something, I must be a voice for the voiceless and figuratively stand up for Urban Meyer. Urban Meyer comes from the most-maligned demographic that there is – people rightfully grappling with the consequences of their turpitude.  I mean can we really blame a 57-year-old man for not knowing the difference between right and wrong, for not knowing that it is not okay to physically kick a player of his, for not knowing that as the face of a NFL franchise he really should not be fraternizing in public with women who are not his wife? I say we give Urban Meyer a 10th chance. He clearly has learned nothing from the first nine.

The NFL had a slew of games this week postponed due to coronavirus outbreaks in a stark reminder that we are still in the midst of a pandemic. It’s worth mentioning, though, that Fantasy Football is currently in the playoff part of the season. Every year fans pour over stats in an attempt to gain an upper hand on the virtual gridiron. I say all of this to inform you of the fact that right now, statistically speaking, you most likely know someone who was eliminated in the playoffs this week.

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☑️ On course for an xG of 54.11 in 22/23
☑️ 5% conversion rate against (lowest)
☑️ March & Trossard high performers

#Brighton’s metrics have been of the highest quality this season. But they also show De Zerbi where he can improve.

#BHAFC | #LIVBHA
https://thegeniusplaybook.com/what-will-the-roberto-de-zerbi-era-look-like-for-brighton/

🔹 @MiamiDolphins 15-27 @Bengals 🔸

The #Dolphins suffer their first defeat of the season in Cincinnati. A statement win over an in-form team moves the #Bengals up to .500 and back on track after a tricky start.

Here’s the @NextGenStats angle from last night. ⬇️

#TNF

🔥 Top 10 most aggressive QBs heading into Week 4, according to @NextGenStats.

Jameis Winston tops the list, with the #Saints heading to London for the first of 3 #NFLUK games.

Will Burrow or Tua find themselves on this list by the end of tonight?

#TNF #Bengals #Dolphins

🐯 15. #Bengals [+3]

Joe Cool & co. have the chance to move up to .500 after a strong win over the #Jets last week.

🐬 3. #Dolphins [+5]

Tua, Tyreek and Waddle have lit up this Miami offense so far. Can they keep it up?

#TNF #RuleTheJungle #FinsUp
https://thegeniusplaybook.com/the-playbook-nfl-power-rankings-2022/

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