Dallas has lost its last three games (all without suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott) by a combined score of 92-22. At 5-6, they have very little room for error down the stretch if they want to make the playoffs in the competitive NFC. In three games without his backfield mate, Dak Prescott has yet to reach 200 passing yards. He has five interceptions and no touchdown passes.
The Chargers, meanwhile, are also 5-6 but trending upward in a Authentic Klay Thompson Jersey conference desperate to find two decent wild-card teams. Los Angeles has won five of its past seven games and has played tough in all of its losses this year. Its plus-47 point differential signals a team better than its sub-.500 record and a team that could do damage in the final five weeks against Cleveland, Washington, Kansas City, the New York Jets and Oakland. Philip Rivers, who turns 36 next month, had his best game of the season Thursday, completing 27 of 33 passes for 434 yards and three touchdowns.
That’s especially true on snaps resulting in play-action passes, where he posted the eighth-highest quarterback rating (107.5) league-wide this season, per Pro Football Focus. Only nine teams allowed a higher passer rating against play action than Pittsburgh’s 107.9, giving Bortles a minor ray of hope. Rattle him early, though, and this could be a wipeout.
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The focus this week was on Ben McAdoo, whose New York Giants lost for the eighth time in nine games Sunday in San Francisco. Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch announced Monday that they would retain McAdoo, at least for now, and then make an evaluation after the season. That’s unlikely to turn the heat down much on McAdoo in New York, however, amid a Giants season in which Super Bowl aspirations have given way to ugly defeats, players being suspended for violating team rules and accusations that players have quit.
McAdoo has company on the coaching hot seat with Cleveland’s Hue Jackson, Indianapolis’s Chuck Pagano and the Tampa Bay’s Dirk Koetter. Here’s a quick look at the case for and against keeping each of them.
The addition of rookie running back Christian McCaffrey could help change that. McCaffrey is small and might not last if the Panthers slam him directly into the line 15-plus times per game, but in my eyes he’s a Brian Westbrook clone who’s the perfect all-around weapon. Line him up in the slot and out wide, put him in the backfield alongside Jonathan Stewart, get him the ball with his momentum turned upfield and take advantage of his crazy quickness.
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