THREE & OUT: WEEK SIX RISERS, FALLERS

October 16, 2018

 

 

"Three & Out" is a weekly feature where we highlight three teams that dropped as well as three teams that moved on up in the ScouTurf team rankings formula based on their performance from their previous game.

 

We watch every NFL game from the previous weekend before making an assessment, and these are this week's big winners and losers:

 

THREE UP

Los Angeles Chargers

Don't look now, but the Chargers are 4-2 for the first time in as long as I can remember and they went on the road to thump a Cleveland Browns team that has been playing good football. Their only two losses so far this year? The undefeated Rams and a 5-1 Chiefs team. They may not win the AFC west with how well Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense is playing, but they are probably the favorites to win a wild card spot in the AFC if you asked me today. The craziest part about it all? They haven't even had their best defensive player Joey Bosa, who should be returning in the coming weeks. The Chargers next five opponents? Titans, Seahawks after a bye, Raiders, Broncos, Cardinals. Barring injury, that's likely a 9-2, worst case 8-3 record heading into Week 13, so things are looking pretty good for Bolts fans right now. 

 

 

Atlanta Falcons

Just last week, they were in the three down column but a nice bounce-back, coordinator-firing win against division rival has them stabilized. The Falcons are 2-4, but three out of their four losses have been by a touchdown or less. The offense is finally firing on all cylinders (Julio Jones has the most receiving yards by a WR through the first six weeks in NFL history) and the replacements for some of their crucial season-ending injuries to their starters are starting to pick up the slack. Head coach Dan Quinn made a huge gamble in putting his ancient kicker out there to hit a 57-yard field goal, but fortune was in his pocket on Sunday. Imagine if DeSean Jackson didn't drop that last second Mike Evans lateral, though?

 

 

Houston Texans

Don't look now, but the Houston Texans are on a three-win streak, which sounds great. You would like for it to be against better teams than the Colts (in overtime, btw), the Cowboys (in overtime, btw), and Bills (with Nate Peterman in the final two minutes, btw), but three wins are three wins. Their awful offensive line have an enormous test against a pissed-off Jaguars defense (see below) this week, but for now they can bask in the reflective glory of victory. On the positive, J.J. Watt is playing at the dominant level that he was at pre-injury and Jadeveon Clowney is finally healthy and playing like he's in a contract year. On offense, it looks like they found a gem in slot receiver Keke Coutee (we had a nice grade on him, btw) and if Watson can start distributing the football more quickly, he can mitigate the performance of the offensive line. The offense should only get better when power back D'Onta Foreman comes off the PUP list in the next few weeks.

 

 

THREE DOWN

Jacksonville Jaguars

What the hell was that? The Jaguars defense should have been a match up nightmare for the sinking ship Scott Linehan Cowboys offense, but instead they looked like they were complete out of sync. Dak Prescott was able to carve them up on QB keepers and zone read plays and took advantage of Cole Beasley out of the slot for a big day. As bad of a performance as the defense had, the offense was somehow worse. There just isn't much confidence that fifth-year quarterback Blake Bortles can overcome even a three-point deficit and the issues are as much mental as they are physical through six weeks. The eventual return of Leonard Fournette could help, but this team is certainly facing an enormous look in the mirror moment going into a week seven must-win match up against the Texans.

 

 

Oakland Raiders

What have you done, Mark Davis? I feel for you, Raiders fans. First your pudding head owner decides he's moving the team to Sin City, and then he fires a decent coach and life-long Raiders fan to give the worst contract in sports to a media cartoon in Jon Gruden. Said head coach steals so much money from his team that your broke owner can't put enough money into escrow for an extension of their former Defensive Player of the Year, trades him away, and then laments not having a pass rush. Gruden then throws his front office under the bus saying he wanted Derwin James, whines about having to take a trip to London that permeates into the rest of the team, and then publicly lists half his young players on the trade block to further blow everything up. He literally made Derek Carr cry. He was CRYING. It's ok to cry, too, Raiders fan. This is abuse.

 

 

Chicago Bears

From being the hottest team in the NFL after their young quarterback throws six touchdowns to losing to Brock Osweiler after a bye week of preparation. The NFL comes at you fast, and that's what Matt Nagy will continue to learn in the NFL. For some reason, the Bears defense who was a top-five unit heading into week six totally forgot how to tackle, and the offense couldn't capitalize on an absolute gift of a goal line fumble by Kenyan Drake in overtime. Even with this brain fart, they are still tied for the top of the division with the Vikings and everything seems like it's going to be okay - until you realize they have the Patriots this week.

 

 

Here are the ScouTurf roster rankings following week six:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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