With the full benefit of hindsight, digging into usage and opportunity can help us prepare for upcoming NFL weeks and strengthen our future roster construction. This weekly article will look at some of the standout performances – positive and negative – to determine what lessons we can learn moving forward.
As we evaluate the numbers behind the output, we will attempt to uncover whether we want to take it, and prescribe the performance as predictive, or leave it, and dismiss the results due to game script or simple variance.
Take It or Leave It – The Thanksgiving Food Edition
Turkey – Take It
Stuffing/Dressing – Take it (it’s stuffing, btw)
Gravy – TAKE IT
Green Bean Casserole – Leave It
Mashed Potatoes – Take It
Rolls – Take It
Corn Casserole/Soufflé – Leave It
Cranberry Sauce – Leave It
Cornbread – Take It
Brussels Sprouts – Leave It, gross
Sweet Potato Casserole – Leave It
Sweet Potatoes Roasted – Take It
Carrots – Take It
Pecan Pie – Leave It (kid’s allergies)
Pumpkin Pie – Leave It
Chocolate Cream Pie – Take It
What’s Thanksgiving without some football…
Mitchell Trubisky – 165 Passing Yards/1 Touchdown/2 Interceptions, 10 Rush Attempts/43 Rushing Yards
Trubisky ran into an ascending and dominant defensive line on Sunday night and compounded that by his highest interception rate of the season. Except for a week 17 rematch with the Vikings in Minnesota, Trubisky has a very favorable pass defense schedule over the next five weeks, with soft match-ups against the Lions, Giants, Rams (I think it’s safe to say after Monday night their pass defense leaves something to be desired), and 49ers. In addition, Trubisky now has more than 40 rushing yards in five of his last seven games, raising the floor of his performances by basically adding a touchdown with his legs. With the recent emergence of Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller coupled with the consistent play from Tarik Cohen and Trey Burton, this match-up can be chalked up to two dominant defenses duking it out.
Verdict – Leave It
Adrian Peterson – 16 Rush Attempts/51 Rushing Yards/2 Touchdowns
An extremely inefficient game masked by the pleasant aroma of two touchdowns – don’t overlook the 3.2 yards per carry and zero targets against the Texans. Peterson had his lowest rushing share since week five yet still was able to punch in two scores. Those two scores, in fact, were his only two in a loss so far this year. Peterson averages 4.8 yards per carry and 21.8 rush attempts during wins and only 2.3 yards per carry and 10 rush attempts per game in losses. With Colt McCoy under center for the rest of the season, the Redskins face an uphill battle for offensive efficiency. Four of the Redskins next five games are on the road, with the next three against intra-division opponents. I think it’s time to cash out on Peterson.
Verdict – Leave it
TreQuan Smith – 13 Targets/10 Receptions/157 Receiving Yards/1 Touchdown
THE BREAKOUT IS UPON US. IT IS HAPPENING. Admittedly some of this has to be chalked up to a good player dominating an overmatched, injured secondary, but Smith set highs across the board this week. He set season/career highs in:
Air yards share
Red zone targets
New Orleans ranks third in the league in passing touchdowns per game (2.5), so despite a growing percentage of rushing plays in their offense, they continue to score more via the air than the ground (1.9 per game this season). With NFC South shootouts on tap against the Falcons, Buccaneers, and Panthers twice we may not get 157 yards and 13 targets in those games, but Brees has another potent weapon to target.
Verdict – Take It