Wednesday Morning QB (Week 9)

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The NFL is an ever-evolving league and when someone finds something that works to win games everyone begins to copy them.

That has led to changes in the game with some lasting a few years and others lasting a lifetime.

There have been new formations on offence and defence that have been created to drown out the most recent evolution on the other side of the ball.

There is a constant battle to find the new evolution that can gain a team an advantage and a scramble to use that evolution to win championships.

There are also those evolutions that are discovered and that change the game forever.

That happened decades ago when the NFL passed a rule saying that the forward pass was now legal.

It changed the game forever but that change didn’t take place all at once as the passing game took come time to develop.

It has seemingly reached its peak now as the league is now more of a passing league than ever before.

The passing game has taken some time to evolve into what it has become and now it is one of the most important parts of the game.

To go along with that the quarterback has taken over as the most important players in the league.

It wasn’t always that way though as for a very long time a team couldn’t win without a solid running game led by a workhorse running back.

The backs were the player to seek and without one, little success was found on the field but as the passing game evolved they started to fall into the background.

Eventually, the running back became almost obsolete as the best running backs in college were now second round picks in the draft and most teams began going with multiple backs rather than one workhorse who could take the majority of the snaps.

The league is cyclical though and that is being proven this year as the NFL is seeing the beginning of the running back resurgence.

It started a while ago as teams began to lean too much on their passing games and defences began to plan for them.

They improved their coverage and began to scheme to shut down passing offences leading some to find their way back to a balanced offence.

With a healthy pass and run game teams could keep defences on their toes and make sure that any planning couldn’t shut down every aspect of their offence.

Teams began looking for more running backs that could fill the roles they wanted although they still seemed to concentrate on running by committee.

Last year that began to change as teams started to find those workhorse backs and rode them to plenty of success on the ground.football-sidebar

Todd Gurley easily took rookie of the year honours last year after putting up over 1,000 yards in his first year in the league.

Gurley joined seven players who ran for over 1,000 yards in 2015 as the running game began to surge.

This year it has been taken to a new level as the league is seeing another resurgence led by a rookie back.

Ezekiel Elliott is certainly giving some teams a second thought on how they structure their running games.

Elliott was passed up by a lot of teams and most of them passed on him because of the fact that the running game is not as it once was.

The Dallas Cowboys were the beneficiaries of that as they have ridden him to a great record that has many wondering just how well they can do.

The combination of Dak Prescott and Elliott, who has 891 yards through nine weeks, has been great for the Cowboys.

Meanwhile, Jay Ajayi has come out of nowhere to help the Miami Dolphins rise through the AFC East.

The running game is coming back as coaches realise that balance is the only way to win consistently in the NFL.

The young backs like Elliott and Gurley are leading the return of the running game throughout the NFL.

Fifth Quarter:
(Thoughts on this week in the NFL)

Goff’s Time?
The Los Angeles Rams seem convinced that Jared Goff isn’t ready to play in the NFL despite spending their top pick this year on the QB from Cal but after their offensive struggles over the last few weeks the demand for the rookie continues to grow

Turner Leaves
The Minnesota Vikings were one of the best teams in the league but they have begun to spin out as they struggle to gain that magic back and the first casualty of their issues was offensive coordinator Norv Turner who left the team this week

Brees’ Theory
Drew Brees is rarely an outspoken member of the NFL but this week he made his thoughts known about the declining ratings in the NFL saying that people are tuning out because of the distrust in the league

standings-w9-fw

Key Scores:
Detroit Lions 22-16 Minnesota Vikings
– After staying undefeated longer than anyone else the Vikings are on a three-game slide as the Lions handed them their third straight loss and with the win the Lions moved up in a division that continues to struggle

New York Giants 28-23 Philadelphia Eagles
– The Giants and Eagles have put on some spectacular match-ups over the years as they fight for division supremacy and they did it again as both teams had plenty of chances but in the end, Carson Wentz couldn’t get it done in the fourth quarter

Baltimore Ravens 21-14 Pittsburgh Steelers
– It has been one of the best rivalries in the league over the last few years but with both teams struggling this year it didn’t seem to mean the same although the Ravens did come out on top in another close game

Seattle Seahawks 31-25 Buffalo Bills
– There was plenty of controversy throughout the game but more so on the kick that ended the half as Richard Sherman hit Buffalo’s kicker without getting a call which defined the game rather than the Seattle win

Next Week:
Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens (Thursday, November 10th; 8:25 pm ET)
– It is a deep rivalry in Cleveland as the Ravens only came about when the team was moved from Cleveland overnight and there would be no more satisfying a win than to get their first this season against their rivals

Los Angeles Rams vs. New York Jets (Sunday, November 13th; 1:00 pm ET)
– Two teams with issues at quarterback face-off with a very real possibility that the starting quarterbacks do not end the game in that position as they continue to struggle, looking for something to get them going

Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington (Sunday, November 13th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Vikings are trying to get back on track after a rough few weeks and they may be able to do it against Washington who has not been a very tough team to beat this year although they are hoping that Minnesota continues to falter and they can get the win

Seattle Seahawks vs. New England Patriots (Sunday, November 13th; 8:15 pm ET)
– New England and Seattle have been two of the most controversial teams this year especially after Week 9 and now they face off as both have been great this year in a match between two of the top teams in the league

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