Blaine Gabbert is a pinata that never quite breaks. Oh, there’s been swings and deep dents, but the overflowing gush just hasn’t quite happened yet. In this sense, he’s a scientific miracle, and he’d be maddening at children’s parties everywhere (that’s true even outside of this hackneyed metaphor, because completing passes to tiny targets would be difficult).
The great kaboom will surely happen soon, and Gabbert will be benched and abandoned forever. Until then, stream away against the Jaguars at every possible opportunity.
Their Week 4 opponent leads the latest visit to the defensive streaming office, with all ownership numbers taken from Yahoo as per usual.
1. Indianapolis Colts @Jaguars (percentage owned: 41%)
You know, I could just write “Jacksonville Jaguars” here, and that would suffice. But I’m
contractually obligated much more dedicated than that.
You’re well aware that the Jaguars’ offense is horrible. But have you taken a few minutes to browse through some digits, and quantify that awfulness? Don’t bother, and keep eating those Cesar salad flavored chips. I did that for you.
- Last in total offensive yards per game (230.3)
- Last in average yards per play (3.5)
- Last in points per game (a staggering 9.3), and logically, total points (28)
- Last in total touchdowns (3)
- 27th in average time of possession per game (28:02)
- 24th in turnover ratio (-2)
- 31st in first downs per game (14.7)
Surely you’re seeing a pattern here, and if you don’t, here’s a hint: the repeated use of the word “last” is a very good thing for any defense that opposes Jacksonville, an offense that’s still calling Blaine Gabbert its starting quarterback. Though in fairness, pulling the rip cord on a first-round QB is never easy, and from here on out sucking is probably a good idea, because if Gabbert isn’t the answer (umm, he isn’t), getting the highest possible pick next spring in a draft that should be rich at quarterback is wise.
If I had to pick, I’m not sure which of the above numbers is the most startling/comical, but I’ll go with the total and average points, especially since two of the Jags’ THREE touchdowns were scored during garbage time last week against the Seahawks. It was essentially a preseason game in the second half with backups infiltrating the field. Jordan Todman still wants you to shhhhhhhh.
Little Colts conversation was necessary here, because until there’s a shred of offensive competence in Jacksonville you’re streaming the defense opposing them whenever possible, and the actual name of that defense is borderline irrelevant. But just to satisfy due diligence, the Colts are currently fifth after three weeks with an average of 16 points allowed, and they’re also averaging three sacks and an interception per game.
2. Dallas Cowboys @ Chargers (percentage owned: 53%)
The Cowboys are a little more owned, but they’re still available in nearly half of Yahoo leagues. And if you’re in one of those leagues, they’re a mighty fine consolation prize if the Colts aren’t ready to be plucked.
The Chargers have shown surprising competence while passing the ball so far this year, all things considered. Those things are the breaking of their wide receivers (first Danario Alexander, and then Malcom Floyd), and an offensive line that was horribly creaky throughout the preseason (in Week 2 of the preseason Philip Rivers was sacked three times on just 12 drop backs). The latter deficiency improved, and Rivers has only been sacked a moderate five times over the first three weeks.
Now the brakes will be applied on that progress. Hard.
The Chargers had three starting offensive linemen who didn’t practice at all this week due to various injuries (Jeromey Clary, King Dunlap, and Chad Rinehart), and center Nick Hardwick will play, but he’s dealing with a leg problem that led to a missed practice this week. So the body count is three linemen down and likely to miss the game, with another hobbled. Somehow the Chargers still have to find a way to block DeMarcus Ware, and a defense that already has 13 sacks (2nd) through just three games. This will end very well for you.
3. New York Jets @ Titans (percentage owned: 13%)
Jake Locker displayed some unexpected moxie, or poise, or whatever pundit-y word you’d like to insert here. He had a career high 68 rushing yards, while averaging 8.1 yards per pass attempt. That came against the Chargers, though, and the Chargers aren’t the Jets, his foe this week. Antonio Cromartie et al are giving up only 190.3 passing yards per game, and led by Muhammad Wilkerson’s three, the Jets have 12 sacks (tied for third).
So that should be fun, along with the still plodding Chris Johnson, who may be accumulating decent yardage with two straight +90 yard games, but he’s doing it at a pace of 3.7 yards per carry. Meanwhile, the Jets have mostly served stuffing when opponents try to run the ball, giving up 79.7 yards per game and only one rushing touchdown despite having to contain Doug Martin and C.J. Spiller (who were held to just a combined 74 yards, which includes only nine from Spiller).
Honorable mention quick hits:
- Detroit’s bad ass D is owned in only six percent of leagues, and while there’s a pretty good chance they’ll be carved up through the air by a much less herp derpy Jay Cutler in Marc Trestman’s offense, Ndamukong Suh matched up against Kyle Long could lead to a lot of pressure, and a mistake or three.
- The Cardinals’ defense has been given a little more ownership love (63%). But if they’re available for you, a defense going up against a rookie quarterback in his first start (and a rookie who’s prone to awful mechanics and decisions) is always a good idea.
- Let’s end with a word of caution in the opposite direction: if you’re defensive bargain hunting and come across those fightin’ Browns (only 8% owned) with shutdown blanket man Joe Haden and Desmond Bryant’s 3.5 sacks already, they might be appealing against the Bengals, and their less than impressive quarterback. But please recall that A.J. Green is Haden’s kryptonite, as in the three meetings between unstoppable force and immoveable object, Green has 11 catches for 286 yards and three touchdowns. That adds up to a whooping 26 yards per catch, and up front the Bengals’ offensive line has only given up five sacks.