FRAUD – The "Good Spot Falcons"
Again. The Atlanta Falcons fell flat on their faces in a good spot. This team plays like garbage every time they are in a "home run spot," sending the sheep to the slaughterhouse over and over again. Bettors still seemingly flock to this Falcons team in these games though, and what do the Falcons do in return? They ruin a bettors weekend almost every single time. The Falcons' offense failed to put the ball in the end zone in Week 11's drubbing at the hands of the New Orleans Saints, and that’s a rather rare feat. It’s just the typical Falcons though, and we frankly shouldn’t be surprised. Atlanta rushed for just 52 yards in the loss to the Saints, and backup quarterback Taysom Hill ran for one yard less than the entire Falcons team, all by himself. I learned this a long time ago about these Falcons - don’t bet them in "good spots" unless you like burning money. Ever.
FRAUD – Doug Pederson
If you watch the Philadelphia Eagles as much as I do, then you know that the biggest issue is the coaching right now, and mainly it’s head coach Doug Pederson, who draws up head-scratching calls when the team needs to clearly do something else at key moments in key games. Pederson won’t bench Carson Wentz because he knows a ton of the blame is on himself instead. The Eagles play-calling has become undone over the years, seemingly every game for that matter since the departure of Frank Reich. It’s hard to give specific examples here when there are so many instances of coaching incompetence, but all you have to do is watch. You'll soon see that this Eagles head coach hurts this team almost every week. Will he again on Monday Night Football?
FRAUD – The Packers' Defense
It was another meltdown for the Green Bay Packers defense last week in Indianapolis. My Packers allowed 20 points in the 2nd half and overtime to Philip Rivers and company, and Green Bay's record is good simply because of its offense only. In fact, look at the Packers schedule and the amount of points they’ve given up to "good" teams. Do you know how many winning teams the Packers have beaten this season? One. Also, to add insult to injury, Green Bay is tied for 2nd worst in takeaways. They can’t actually stop teams as good as some think, and they have slipped from taking the ball away from opposing offenses in a big way.
GOD – Sean Payton
Give this guy some credit here. Sean Payton's New Orleans Saints team is in a decent spot in Week 11 with Jameis Winston as the new, shiny replacement for Drew Brees. But what does Payton do? He goes against all the critics and media pundits alike, and he puts Taysom Hill in at quarterback start for the injured Brees. Sometimes good things happen in the NFL when you simply do not have to question a coach. Payton is one of those coaches who shouldn’t be questioned. Just look at what he’s done with the Saints since he’s arrived in New Orleans. The Saints have become one of the best franchises over the last 15 years, and there's not much more to say about it. If you thought he made a bad call with rolling out Tayson over Jameis prior to the Falcons game, you probably feel like an idiot now. Who dat?
GOD – Derrick Henry
It’s that time of year again when defenses get more and more tired, and Derrick Henry seemingly gets stronger and stronger. Henry ran for 133 yards against a good Baltimore Ravens defense and sealed the game with a 29-yard TD run in overtime to seal the upset victory on the road. When the Tennessee Titans have fed Henry the ball in a game 21 times or more, the Titans are undefeated in 2020. Tennessee's offense had been leaking oil the last few weeks without its starting left tackle, and it was clear that an oil fix was needed - and then some - heading into Week 11. Feeding Henry was that fix, and they'll need regular service engine checks weekly as winter arrives and Henry starts to pick up steam. Winter is coming, folks.
GOD – Patrick Mahomes
This might be Patrick Mahomes' second appearance in our "Frauds and Gods" column this year, but it’s more than warranted here. Mahomes does what he wants - when he wants - when the chips are down. If you leave this guy with enough time to get the ball down the field, then you are simply begging for a heartbreaking defeat if you’re the other team. Mahomes once again led the Chiefs in crunch time in Week 11, this time in a one-minute and 43-second drive against the Las Vegas Raiders to secure another big win. I’m still in shock that we haven’t defined what is and what isn’t enough time to get down a football field, timeouts included, and Mahomes might need the least amount of time in the entire NFL.