Justin Fields’ profession day; Packers’ offensive woes; Tom Brady’s late magic: 3 up, 3 down

After one other glorious NFL Sunday, with large underdogs successful, good groups persevering with their scorching streaks and a few dangerous groups separating themselves even additional, I assess whose inventory has moved up and down after Week 9. 


Justin FieldsChicago Bears

The Bears’ new teaching workers deciding to tailor the offense to the strengths of Justin Fields has been a optimistic growth for each Chicago and the second-year signal-caller. Throughout an 11-day break between an embarrassing offensive efficiency in a loss to the Minnesota Vikings, and a contest with the New England Patriots earlier within the season, the Bears overhauled their offense. They put Fields on the transfer, utilizing his skill to maneuver in house and throw on the run to create explosive performs. 

The Bears opted for simpler cross ideas that pressure the ball out extra rapidly, and when a throw is not there, Fields is taking off down the sphere for giant positive factors. It is modified the trajectory of this younger quarterback’s profession. 

Within the first six video games of the season, Fields accomplished solely 54.7% of his measly 116 cross makes an attempt. Up to now three video games, Fields has accomplished 65% of his 74 cross makes an attempt for 453 yards. His adjusted air yards per try is up nicely over a yard in these final three weeks, as nicely. Fields has rushed for 320 yards over the past three weeks, together with a fabulous 61-yard landing scramble on Sunday as a part of his 178 dashing yards, that are probably the most within the common season by a quarterback within the Tremendous Bowl period. The three-week complete is greater than the primary six video games of his dashing output. 

Now that the Bears have Fields enjoying with extra confidence, they’ll add extra ideas to the offense. They’ll get extra inventive in utilizing Fields’ skill to precisely throw on the run. They’ll design extra run-pass ideas that put the protection in a bind. These ideas additionally assist the offensive line as they should block for much less time and/or promote a run. An offensive line that is correctly supported and enjoying with fewer errors will make Fields much more comfy within the pocket. The inventory arrow is pointing straight up for Fields to achieve his full potential 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense 

Barely. Their inventory is only a tick up after hitting all-time low throughout Sunday’s win towards the Los Angeles Rams. The Bucs offense has principally regarded damaged, and it begins with the play caller. For starters, they run the ball method an excessive amount of for a staff that stinks at dashing the ball. 

Both the Bucs don’t self-scout and/or ignore their knowledge for dashing success charges for sure ideas. They proceed to name run performs that don’t work on this offense. The Bucs had a nine-play drive within the second quarter the place they went run, run, cross three straight instances till a subject objective try. There isn’t any creativity in any respect. It is predictable and boring. 

Then, simply when it looks as if they have one thing going, somebody drops a cross. Or Tom Brady misses a throw. Or there is a holding penalty referred to as. Nonetheless, when the Bucs wanted it probably the most, the offense got here alive. After solely scoring 9 factors with 263 yards via 59 minutes, the Bucs wanted simply six performs to go 60 yards for a game-winning landing. 

After listening to Brady (who reached 100,000 profession passing yards within the comeback win) converse on the podium following the win, you’ll be able to really feel a weight has been lifted. Tampa Bay lastly had some optimistic offensive outcomes, and it seems like this could possibly be the turning level within the season.

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks are a legit division-winning squad this season. After buying and selling away Russell Wilson and asserting Geno Smith because the beginning quarterback for this season, many analysts believed the Seahawks had been on their technique to a top-three choose. The alternative has occurred as Seattle is 6-3 with a 1.5-game lead within the NFC West. 

Seattle is doing it with a reinvigorated Smith, who’s enjoying like one of many higher quarterbacks within the NFL this season. He is finishing 72.7% of passes with a passer ranking of 107. The Seahawks have quietly had one of the best draft class lately in 2022, as evidenced by each rookie tackles blocking for a rookie working again in Kenneth Walker III, who’s the chief for Offensive Rookie of the 12 months.  Walker hammered out one other 109 yards and two touchdowns towards the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

‘We saved preventing ‘- Geno Smith on how the Seahawks saved preventing to safe the win towards the Cardinals

'We kept fighting '- Geno Smith on how the Seahawks kept fighting to secure the win against the Cardinals

Pam Oliver interviews Geno Smith after the extreme match up between the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals.

The Seahawks protection began the season close to the underside of the NFL however has picked up steam within the final month. That is typical for a Pete Carroll unit. Just like the offense, the protection is boosted by rookie cornerbacks enjoying so nicely. The Seahawks appear like an entire staff. They play like one. They play with confidence. They’re a playoff staff.


Buffalo Payments/Josh Allen

The  Payments seemed to be on cruise management. They’re the rightful favorites to win the Tremendous Bowl and have a street win towards the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, plus a number of blowout victories this season. 

They entered Sunday’s contest towards the New York Jets as 10.5-point street favorites. Then the Payments proceeded to lose, 20-17. It is truthful to credit score the Jets protection — which is slowly changing into one of many higher items within the NFL — for limiting the electrical Josh Allen on Sunday. 

It was Allen’s worst recreation of the season, with the MVP contender reverting again to his outdated self for 2 horrendous interceptions that had nothing to do with the protection. Simply dangerous throws. 

The defeat was compounded since now Buffalo misplaced a recreation on the Chiefs (they nonetheless personal the tiebreaker) and the Miami Dolphins, who they’ve already misplaced a recreation to, within the AFC playoff race. While you’re battling for the No. 1 seed, it is arduous to have clunkers and find yourself with a first-round bye. The Payments are nonetheless my favourite to win the Tremendous Bowl, however this setback might harm their possibilities at a bye.

Aaron Rodgers

It is now a good time to ask — is Rodgers washed up? He is simply not enjoying nicely. There isn’t any technique to sugarcoat it. You may blame the play calling, not getting sufficient touches for Aaron Jones, offensive line accidents, lack of depth at receiver… however Rodgers is simply not enjoying nicely. 

There are alternatives for performs to be made, and when as these alternatives have gotten rarer by the week, Rodgers has to take benefit. In Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions, he underthrew his left deal with on a trick play from the two-yard line that resulted in an interception. He threw an off-target cross off a Lions’ helmet for an interception. He then severely underthrew a landing that may have tied the sport later within the recreation. At one level, he threw a fade when the extensive receiver ran a slant. 

Aaron Rodgers’ and Packers offense annoyed in 15-9 loss to Lions

Aaron Rodgers' and Packers offense frustrated in 15-9 loss to Lions

The Detroit Lions protection pressured Aaron Rodgers to throw three interceptions, together with two within the purple zone.

Irrespective of how a lot we consider Rodgers and the Packers offense can flip a swap to ignite the offense as we have seen for therefore a few years now, I feel that swap is completely off for the remainder of 2022. That is who the Packers are. 

Josh McDaniels, Raiders head coach

Between 1960 and 2021, the Las Vegas Raiders franchise misplaced 5 video games after being forward by 17 factors or extra. This season, the Raiders have misplaced three such video games after blowing a 17-0 benefit on Sunday towards the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Raiders at the moment are 2-6, with wins over the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans. 

McDaniels was delivered to the desert to maximise the potential of Derek Carr. The Raiders traded for All-Professional extensive receiver Davante Adams to assist Carr change into extra explosive. Earlier than Adams’ 10-reception recreation on Sunday, he’d mixed for under 17 catches over his final six video games. That is not getting it completed. 

Aditionally, the Raiders offensive line does not assist the offense. They can not block nicely sufficient to beat the play-calling. And whenever you rent a coach who’s in control of a unit (offense or protection), and that unit is drastically underperforming, the standing of that coach will likely be questioned. 

At this fee, it feels unlikely that McDaniels will get a second season in Vegas.

Geoff Schwartz performed eight seasons within the NFL for 5 totally different groups. He began at proper deal with for the College of Oregon for 3 seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 choice his senior 12 months. He’s an NFL analyst for FOX Sports activities. Observe him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.

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