So I have this friend. I don't want to name him here, but let's just say his name rhymes with Vince. OK, so his name is Vince. Doesn't matter. Anyway, we were chatting in the middle of the less than glorious tie between the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. He mentioned he wasn't too glued to this NFL season because there weren't enough interesting story arcs.
In honor of that conversation with my friend who's totally not named Vince, and since we're pretty much at the mid-season mark, here's some story arcs to get excited about:
» The Raiders are good again. They've had a great run lately and QB Derek Carr is coming through in the clutch. He just had a monster game and they won despite their best efforts to lose with 200 penalty yards. They play the Broncos this week and it's the first time the two teams have been 6-2 or better after eight games since 1998.
» Matthew Stafford is quietly having the best year of his career, oddly enough without Calvin Johnson. I know it's common practice to not talk positively about the Lions, but he's on pace to set career highs in completion percentage and passer rating this season. He's also thrown 9 TDs and 0 INTs in his last four games. If he comes away with a win against the Vikings, he could start becoming a dark horse MVP candidate.
» What's a collection of story arcs without the Cowboys? There's still drama surrounding what will happen when Tony Romo is healthy again. Romo has been great for the Cowboys, but Dak Prescott is giving them VERY little reason to look back. You compare both of their first seven games as starters, and Prescott has a better passer rating, more total TDs, less picks and a better record. Granted, Prescott has a much better team around him than Romo did back when he took over. But this could be the start of an era.
Enough with the rambling. Let's get to the ratings
Moving On Up
Chicago Bears' signal caller Jay Cutler went up one point. Wait... what? I know it was linked above, but the guy that did this, went up? Well, I guess Alshon Jeffery could've looked for the ball, and it was a solid game against a Minnesota Vikings' defense that looked unbeatable two weeks ago. Cutler is now at 79 OVR.
Moving On Down
Six bold predictions for Week 9
5.OK, so saying Dez Bryant is going to have a big game against the Browns might not be THAT bold. But I'm looking to Cleveland to stack everything they can in the box to stop Ezekiel Elliott, leading some one-on-one matchups for Bryant. The Cowboys fed Bryant with 14 targets last week. Look for that to continue.
3.As an LA native, this is a little painful, but I see the Carolina Panthers waking up and their defense will make its presence known. The Rams' best player, Todd Gurley, will get shut down against a defense that's only allowing just 3.3 yards per carry. That's an NFL best. This one is going to get ugly for Rams fans.
2. Why not keep the tie trend going? Let's have another one in prime time, this time on Monday night with the Bills in Seattle. Buffalo's offensive inconsistencies will continue against the Legion of Boom and the Seahawks will be on their heels all day as the Bills attack their weak offensive line. The world might end after this election, so why not end things off with a tie!
1.Just hearing the name Allen Robinson will immediately cause nausea from some fantasy owners and Jags fans alike. I don't think all their problems will be solved by ditching an offensive coordinator, but Robinson is their best offensive weapon. He had 15 targets last week, and look for the Jags to keep feeding Robinson. He'll get over 150 yards and a TD for his best game of the year.