Week seven is (mostly) in the books, and that certainly was a weird one! Nearly every game had a Burn The Tape designation for at least one team involved, except, weirdly, Browns-Colts? The day was full of strangeness. Deshaun Watson disappeared, the Patriots showed up, Bijan Robinson had a lil tummy ache, and the Ravens blew out the Lions! Let’s take a look at some of the early storylines from week seven to see what happened, and if we should worry about some of the hysteria surrounding the games. Let’s dive in!
Is it Time to Cut Deshaun Watson?
It’s clear that Deshaun Watson just doesn’t have “Being a Starting Quarterback in the NFL” in his mental wheelhouse right now. He was medically cleared to return to action, with no injury to his shoulder, before last weekend’s game against the 49ers. This week, he returned to action, took a nasty hit, was cleared of a concussion, and just… didn’t come back. It’s unclear if he suffered a reinjury of his shoulder or if the Browns just plain decided they didn’t want to deal with Watson anymore. After all, he suffered an interception and was one-for-five for 5 yards in this game before disappearing. So, after giving his fantasy managers fewer fantasy points than Aiden O’Connell, who didn’t even start today, are we moving on from Watson?
Personally, I wouldn’t do it. Watson had more than five pass attempts in three games this season, and while he’s looked terrible in them, his legs still had him finish as a top-ten quarterback in two of three of those games. It’s likely that Watson’s shoulder injury that cost him time was the reason why the Browns benched him today. The strange part of it all is that there were no designations in this game. I would say that you can—and should—roll Deshaun Watson out there next week against the Seahawks, but if he self-benches again, then you can move on.
Could Tyson Bagent Be Better For the Bears Than Justin Fields?
The short answer is absolutely not. The long answer is absolutely freaking not, what is wrong with you? Bears fans call for Bagent to be the quarterback over Justin Fields because they smacked down the Raiders. But, they smacked down the Raiders, mostly because the Raiders’ run defense was particularly awful on Sunday. The passing game was a nightmare, with Bagent averaging only 5.6 yards per pass attempt. To contrast that, the passing games in Washington-Giants and Atlanta-Tampa Bay were all dreadful; all four quarterbacks had higher yards per pass attempt than Tyson Bagent.
What you should be calling for, is continued D’Onta Foreman usage. Foreman dominated the Raiders on the ground, averaging as many yards per carry as Bagent and finishing with 16 carries for 89 yards and 3 catches for 31 yards, finishing with three total touchdowns. Some want to point to a dreadful Raiders run defense as the reason for this, but it’s never been this bad. For the season, the Raiders are 23rd in defensive DVOA, while ranking just worse than the middle of the pack in missed tackles per opponent carry (12th), explosive run rate (12th), and plain old yards per carry (also… 12th). They’re not a good run defense or a bad run defense, but they certainly looked like a bad run defense.
Foreman was the biggest and best game by a Bears running back so far this season, and it was just the third time all year that a Bears running back had a double-digit fantasy day, even in PPR. A lot of that had to do with there being no Roschon Johnson and no Khalil Herbert, but it appears as though the strong running D’Onta Foreman might have grabbed ahold of the running back job.
Should We Panic About Bijan Robinson?
The Bijan Robinson did a disappearing act on Sunday, finishing with just ten snaps (six in the first half, four in the second half) and one lonely solitary touch (a carry for three yards). So, what happened? Was Arthur Smith afflicted with an acute case of Extreme Arthursmithitis? No, Bijan Robinson, by all accounts, was dealing with an illness today. Some are asking why he was getting snaps here and there, and not all game long. I am not a doctor, but I figure that if a player is only playing a little bit, he’s probably dealing with some gastrointestinal distress. Some real ding dongs on Twitter (I refuse to call it X) are talking about how the game is rigged and he got his carry so that he would register a stat and lock in his betting props. That’s some of the stupidest nonsense I have ever heard and why people hate sports betting. It turns people into gibbering morons.
Anyway, to the Bijan of it all. Falcons’ Head Coach Arthur Smith said after the game that Bijan started feeling really bad after warmups started (which was after the injury reports, you ding dongs on Twitter), so they decided they weren’t going to “overdo” it with Bijan and basically keep him glued to the pine because if he took too many hits, it wouldn’t just be Desmond Ridder evacuating his bowls on live TV.
So why the carry at the end of the game? Well, the game was on the line at the end, and I’m sure that Arthur Smith hoped that that carry would go for more than 3 yards. Smith and Bijan took a calculated risk to secure the victory, and whatever happened, happened. To quote the What A Time to Be Alive podcast, “Sometimes diarrhea is worth it.”
So, don’t panic about Bijan. He can’t control when he gets ill, just like Desmond Ridder can’t control the football as he crosses the goal line, or Drake London can’t control the football as he crosses the goal line… Just monitor the injury reports, and if it really is an illness, then we have nothing to worry about. Just don’t go spinning conspiracy theories, Agent Mulder.