This article is part of our NFL Observations series.
I caught only bits and pieces of the first game – Adrian Peterson's rushing TDs (I benched him for Melvin Gordon at the last second in a league where I badly needed points) and Matthew Stafford's senseless pick-six to J.J. Watt. I had the Lions plus three and also took D'Andre Swift with my first pick in our Thanksgiving Day draft.
Plus, the streaming from my phone to the TV needed to be refreshed every five minutes, which was annoying, and, as usual, the commercials which I normally avoid, were unbearable. Then my daughter and her eight-year old friend decided to wrestle me, and I had to abandon them and the game altogether, start carving the turkey instead.
- Remember when Deshaun Watson was the weakest of the Tier 2 QBs (Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray)? Now Dak's out for the year, Wilson has slowed down, Murray is banged up and Watson is surging. That the Texans don't have a running game doesn't hurt, either.
- That's a lot of targets (12) for Marvin Jones for not a lot of yards (48.)
- Gibson (20-115-3, 7-5-21) looked explosive as the workhorse, and Peyton Barber (11-57-0) saw backup work over J.D. McKissic. Gibson is a top-10 back right now, and the ceiling is top-five.
- McLaurin (9-7-92) made a DK Metcalf-esque tackle on Jaylon Smith who would have a pick six had the WR not coming flying down the sideline to make the tackle. It prevented the Cowboys from tying the game, a big play at the time.
- I like Mike McCarthy's willingness to take chances this year, but the fake punt on 4th-and-10 down only four with 12 minutes left was some @Real_Man_Would thinking.
- Andy Dalton is at the stage where he's okay if the blocking is there, but in big trouble if it isn't. This was a tough matchup, especially after losing both his starting tackles in the first half.
- I'm sure Ron Rivera is a nice guy and all, but they were laying it on a little thick. Even Frank Gore doesn't get that level of obsequiousness.