Bad news first: Marshawn Lynch is suspended for this game after going Malice in the Palace in last Thursday’s game, and the Raiders have to go to the East Coast, where they got waxed for the first of their four straight losses. Good news: The mini-bye should negate some of the big road-trip effects, and so should the renaissance of Amari Cooper and the rest of the offense, even without Lynch. The Bills seem to be doing it with smoke and mirrors, or with smarter coaching one or the other.
I normally don’t chase streaks, but considering the alternatives at quarterback in Week 8, I’ll pay up for Wentz, who faces another great matchup. The San Francisco 49ers have afforded an average of 27.9 DraftKings points to Jacoby Brissett, Kirk Cousins and Prescott the past three weeks, despite not a single one of them attempting as many as 40 passes in their games. Meanwhile, all of the other top-tier quarterbacks face lower-ceiling matchups with the exception of Cam Newton, whose erratic play this season makes him a bit less trustworthy. — Tristan H. Cockcroft
Even on a night when the Ravens’ run-blocking checks in below their normal output with a 0.13 yards before close average, a talented runner in the backfield did more than enough to create on his own. For a team that was in desperate need for someone to emerge as a difference-maker, Thursday night showed that they have one in the backfield.
Even if he’s come from the most unlikely of places, the Ravens now have no choice but to continue to feature Collins as their primary running back. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle nor keep this cat from staying in the backfield (we’re sorry, but no tracking data is available for the real cat that made a TNF cameo). Should he continue to match his efforts all season and most especially his output against the Dolphins, Collins may just be the needed piece in uncovering an offensive identity.
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