The Sportfolio Strategists’ NFL Week 6 X-Ray Report
Karma clan, we welcome you to check out our weekly deep-dive recap of several key games from the previous week, providing you with actionable insights that see through the final score and into the most substantive key takeaways, many of which will be incorporated into future sportfolio positioning. I think we can all appreciate that relying on ESPN storylines and highlights to frame your understanding of a team's performance or the evolution of a game is a disservice to your bankroll. Our X-Ray Report will isolate critical factors that misalign with the media's broader narrative of a game, providing you with more opportunity to capitalize on mispricings in the market.
Be sure to subscribe to get premium access to our NFL Core and Aggressive sportfolios.
What we learned: Titans - This team knows who they are - Henry - Tannehill play action team who will run on you with the lead late. Their defense is still bottom 10 with a couple playmakers and a tough team to bet against while Tannehill is so efficient. LT Tyler Lewan went out with an ACL injury and JJ Watt beat his backup for Texans strip that almost turned game in favor of Texans. Texans - Watson had his coming out party, but this defense got destroyed. They even had two huge turnovers, a blocked FG and a missed Titan FG and still found a way to lose and give whatever Titans wanted.. I could see Watson being unleashed hence forth with this bad defense who really only has maybe 2-3 solid defensive starters and a terrible vanilla scheme so far.
* 3 and out for Titans to start game
* Texans run David Johnson up middle on 1st down, predictably bad. Sack on Watson and then blitz forced punt into endzone
* 2nd drive for Titans, Henry busts first run for 15 yards, play action to AJ Brown for big pass play over middle, drive right down for TD, no pressure on Tannehill, no pressure.
* Titans come up with stop on Teexans 2nd drive.
* First play of Titans 3rd drive, Henry again breaks a run for 35 yards. No pressure on Tannehill again easy drive down TD
* Texans drive right down and get TD.
* Titans right down field for TD.
* Titans get FG before half, as run out of time on drive. 21-10 at half.
* 2nd and 20 and Texans give up a 50 yard pass to TE, great throw by Tannehill between two defenders, Texans block FG attempt, gaining some much needed momentum.
* Texans right down field and TD, Titans defense looking awful.
* 3rd and 10 by Titans, Texans finally blitz, freeing up JJ Watt who gets a strip sack and recovered by Texans on the new tackle replacing Lewan who was out with ACL injury. Extra point missed by Titans. 23-21 Texans.
* Titans miss FG but stop Titans on their drive.
* Henry 1st play again this time a 95 yard TD run. Cunningham misses his gap leaving Henry 1v1 with Safety, then go for 2 and get it.
* Watson 2 plays later TD Texans on 55 yarder bomb to Fuller. Texans would be up 3 if not for the missed extra point sequence.
* Tannehill throws a toss up down the field to his 4th WR and gets picked, bad decision.
* TD by Texans on 4th and goal, go for 2 and the win but Watson gets ball tipped late throwing to wide open receiver in middle of endzone.
* AJ brown great catch with 4 seconds left, surprised Titans didn’t go for 2 there and end it without risking giving all back to Watson.
* In OT, big screenpass to Henry for 40 yards, and this D had nothing left. 3rd and Goal and Titans run Henry on direct snap, and just blown off ball. embarrassing for Texans D on all levels and all accounts.
* Titans did not deserve to win this, but neither did Texans. Both defenses played awful.
What we learned: Panthers - This offense with DJ Moore/Robbie Anderson and Mike Davis or CMC is good. Top 10. This defense is simply not, but they are well schemed for how much talent they lack. Bears - Nick Foles is the game manager this defense needs. This defense is top 5 in the NFL and won this game by getting a ton of pressure on Bridgewater and putting them in poor field position consistently with a few Foles first downs. The Bears offense lacks big playmakers, so don’t let a few nice comeback wins fool you. It’s Allen Robinson down the field or bust. And he generally does not run deep routes.
* Bears dominating up front, first sack given up by Carolina in last 3 games at own 1 yard line. Then Bridgewater forces on 3rd down and Interception by Bears tunr the short field into a 3rd and 9 TD to Cole Kmet. Trubsiky never would have completed a pass like that either.
* 2nd Panthers drive, Bridgewater getting rid of ball quicker and using legs. Drives to 5 yard line, but drive stalls and settle for FG.
* Bears drive stalls at the 50, playing field position after bad move by WR not getting first down on 3rd and 3, though right throw by Foles.
* Bridgewater sacked again and 3 and out on 3rd drive.
* Foles picks apart Panthers down the field and settle for FG, up 7 again.
* Panthers ran ball decently against Bears, but just too much pressure on Bridgewater in the passing game. Inside the Bears 5, once again Bears stop Panthers who settle for FG. Impressive bend don’t break.
* Bears get 55 yd FG to end half 13-6
* Foles picks up big first down on 3rd and 5 with his legs, deceptively better speed than one thinks. Drive stalls and pins Carolina again in bad field position.
* Mike Davis fumbles on a one on one giving Bears ball at Caroline 20, but Foles throw a bad interception on the next play, trying to do too much for no reason.
* Ball is deflected up in air and Bears get a pick 6, but get a lukewarm pass interference call, which was weak call.
* Bridgewater makes great throw to Robby Anderson for 40 yards. Tough throw between 2 defenders. Then Bridgewater sacked again. And missed 54 yd FG by Panthers.
* Chicago not able to run ball so Foles has to manufacture yards in the passing game. Drive down and get TD on short field. 20-6 Bears.
* Panthers get bailed out on a Pass Interference call on a ball that was not catchable in the endzone.Panthers get TD.
* Bears drive down and get FG to extend lead to 10. Panthers respond and get a FG too after a big pass to CJ Moore.
* Montgomery and Beras finally running ball better as game wares down.
* Bridgewater overthrows an open DJ Moore on 4th and 2 that likely ties the game on the drive as he would have scored on a better pass.
* Bridgewater picked on Panthers last drive.
What we learned: Lions are meaningfully better on offense w Golloday, who can create space and pick up big 3rd downs, but he didn't make them explosive. Score a bit misleading; Lions played better, but were able to pickup high-leverage downs like 3rd n longs and 4th and shorts; whereas the Jags couldn't, leaving at least 6-10pts on field. Run game and playcalling by Jags are suspect, but Minshew can make plays, if he isn't asked to repeatedly dump off. Jags do struggle in RZ, where Minshew is less potent.
*Lions 1st drive off miserable Jags punt, so start at 50, then stafford picks up big 3 n long w 25y run. Convert 4 n 1 from own 10; turn into TD. No upgrade for Lions, no downgrade for Jags.
*much better 2nd drive by Jags, starting w nice deep pass by minshew across midfield. but OL making it difficult on minshew and running game. drive stalls. FG.
*swift massive 60y run to open next Lions drive. one quick slant 1st down by stafford and inside 10y. convert 3 n goal for TD. 14-3
*minshew goes deep on 1st pass , receiver open, but ball hangs, and INT.
*Lions go 3 n out, but 3rd down PI extends drive across midfield. drive stalls and prater misses long FG, giving Jags good field position.
*minshew has good timing w receivers on quick outs; using quick dump off passes as proxy for run game; got inside 20, but rookie kicker missed FG.
*OL penalties really hurt Lions next drive, but long pass down the middle to Golloday extends drive, followed by 10y run and inside RZ. stalls, FG. 17-3
*Jags pickup a few 1st downs on 2 min drive, but minshew stripped, Lions ball in Jags territory; more OL penalties stall drive. Halftime.
*stafford tipped and picked on 1st 2nd half drive; Jags ball inside RZ; but bc kicker sucks, Jags go for it on 4th and 4, miss it.
*big golloday catch puts Lions in good position; go for it on 4 n goal from inside 5 and convert for TD; 24-3
*minshew beautiful deep pass to chark, dropped; regardless, minshew hits another deep pass, and Jags in business. minshew sturggle in RZ, but runs it in for TD here.
*next drive by Lions was their most impressive, slow, methodical, nice balance and milked clock. TD
*minshew relaxes, Jags finally get more aggressive, and Jags rather effortlessly move ball down field. TD 34-16
What we learned: Giants got two short-fields right off the bat that converted into 10 points. Was D otherwise played well. Danny D used his legs well, something to watch for, as it was critical to extending drives. Kyle Allen is a liability when under pressure; makes bad decisions and can turn ball over. He nearly directly contributed to at least 10 giants points off TOs. But give him time, and he will be MORE than servicable. Market is still underrating Allen. As he accrues more chemistry with receivers, he's unquestionably the best QB on the team. Game could have gone either way, with both teams making big mistakes, but both able to move the ball pretty consistently. Was deserves to be rated higher.
*decent opening drive for Wash, blend of runs and short dump off passes, but hopkins misses FG, giving good starting field position to giants
*giants pickup a couple 1st downs, but stall on 3rd d sack. FG.
*allen throws easy pick, looks like miscommunication. another short-field for giants. danny dimes floats a dime to the corner from the 30 for a TD. quick 10-0 in the 1Q.
*allen opens w 30y pass to thomas; another dump off for 10 and across midfield. bk 2 bk mclaurin 10y passes moves ball, but big sack hurts. mclaurin picks all bk up, almost, settle for FG. 10-3
*danny dimes fake handoff fakes out cameraman and runs for 50y gain. settle for FG, even tho roughing the pass penalty gave giants new life.
*critical drive led by several key, accurate throws by allen before HT, leads to beautiful touch pass TD to thomas corner; cuts lead to 13-10.
*freeman looks like the best backup to barkley the giants have had for sometime; good visions, but has definitely lost a step.
*solid giants drive stalls in RZ, but PI extends drive. next play, danny dimes floats ball off back foot and incredible INT by Was along the endzone
*allen leads admirable drive down field, stalls inside 20, FG. 13-13
*allen strip sack at 50 returned for TD w 3min left. 20-13.
*allen leads 2 min 75y drive, not even needing any 4d conversions, for TD, miss 2pt conversion for win.
What we learned: Broncos' RZ efficiency is dead last in NFL, and it showed in this game. Pats' run game predictable; broncos' loading up box, so some runs have zero chance. even when passing, cam stands in pocket for 3-4 seconds, can't find anyone, and if he does, arm looks dead on throws that require depth. usually has to default to dump off. pats' repeated turnovers/sacks killed any drive that had momentum. broncos' 1st 6 drives, 6 FGs. having lindsay back provided a meaningfully boost to broncos' offense; dude is still shifty, quick, and good hands.
*big pass by Lock to Patrick gets drive kicked off and deep into Pats territory, stalls, FG
*decent momentum by pats on 1st drive, including 10y run by cam for 1st down, but results in tipped INT, broncos inside pats' 30. stalls, FG 6-0.
*another decent drive by pats, gets wipped out by 15y loss on sack of cam, holding ball for way way too long. punt from midfield.
*broncos' RZ efficiency is dead last in NFL, and it showed in this game. picked up a couple 1st downs, but stall inside RZ. 9-0.
*pats painfully move down field, but stall, sacks again hurting field position, including a bad snap over cam's head. FG 9-3.
*broncos again pick up a couple 1st downs, get into FG range, 12-3.
*cam sack and fumble inside own 20, somehow get it back, but punt.
*tim patrick looks just as good as courtland sutton; picks up another big, tough catch; complemented by a few juedy 10y pickups, broncos inside 10, but stall, even after getting fresh set of downs on pats' penalty. RZ offense lacks creativity and lock throws ball out of endzone too much. 15-3.
*cam hits izzo for big gain over middle to 50, fumble, broncos return to pats' 35. another broncos' FG 18-3.
*1st cam pass, INT, broncos inside pats' 40. broncos' drive stalls, after hamilton drop nice deep ball from lock that would have been TD.
*FINALLY get a vintage cam/pats drive. big 20y pass, then 30y run by cam. results in 1y stuff for a TD.
*bonehead bk to bk deep ball INTs by lock, allow pats to somewhat hang in the game; but cam just doesn't have it what it takes in this game to consistently move ball.