Fancy Boys Football: Mailbag Week 7

Week 7 of the NFL season is in the books. Matt Drufke has questions. Fancy Boys Football expert Jack Baker has the answers. Let’s mailbag.

Jack, I don’t want to say you’re bad at predicting things, but you said the Titans would be the last unbeaten team, and here we are and the team that beat the Titans is the ONLY unbeaten team. Tennessee almost tied the game, but they were also down 20 in the third quarter and Pittsburgh held Derrick Henry to a very pedestrian 75 yards and Ryan Tannehill is an ok quarterback, but he ain’t winning you games. Did the Steelers give the NFL the blueprint on how to beat the Titans? Or are they just a team who has the personnel to do so?

I wouldn’t say they gave the NFL the blueprint for beating the Titans, it’s not like the Titans are unbeatable. The game came down to a field goal at the end and the Titans inexplicable ability to kick field goals bit them in the ass once again.

Also, Ryan Tannehill may have been a pedestrian QB in the past, but since taking over for Mariota in week 7 of last year, he’s been a legit MVP candidate. Here’s his numbers compared to Patrick Mahomes:

  • Ryan Tannehill last 15 games: 12-3 record, 3,966 passing yards, 35/7 TD/INT, 5 rush TDs, 117.3 quarterback rating
  • Patrick Mahomes last 15 games: 12-3 record, 3,899 passing yards, 30/6 TD/INT, 4 rush TDs, 103.8 rating

The Steelers have a great defense, a never ending line of great young wide receivers and a QB who’s making great at sexually assaulting women and throwing touchdown passes. Wouldn’t be surprised to see these two in the AFC championship game.

Jack, I don’t want to say you’re bad at predicting things, but in the first mailbag we had a conversation about Tom Brady’s old and new teams, and you said that while the Buccaneers will be a better team, the Patriots will have a better record. Yet, here stands New England at 2-4. What’s going on in Foxboro, and can Bill Belichick turn it around this season? (AUTHOR’S NOTE: In fairness, I also said that betting against Belichick was a bad idea.)

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, the season is still young. The Patriots have been bitten by the COVID bug in a way that no other team has. While Tennessee lost a bunch of role players, the Pats lost their QB. That’s a big deal, especially for his first year in the system. Also, the Bills are collapsing, the rest of the AFC East is hot garbage and they have a chance to turn it around.

Jack, I don’t want to say you’re bad at predicting things… actually, I don’t have any more of these, plus you clearly know a lot about football and it would be mean for me to keep doing this. Let’s talk about running QBs. Currently, there are two teams (the Ravens and Patriots) where their quarterback is also their leading rusher, and there could be a third in Arizona if the Kenyan Drake injury is long-term and Kyler Murray surpasses him. The rule of QBs who love to run was always: hey, enjoy it while it lasts, because these guys won’t get through four seasons before a defensive lineman grinds their knees into fine powder. Is the running quarterback a trend we should expect more of (to quote Shakira, are teams just willing to “Try Everything”), or did we just wind up in a time where these three dudes happen to all be playing at the same time? 

Thanks to the spread offense, teams are letting QBs run like never before. More receivers on the field means more smaller defenders and fewer behemoths there to devour those running QBs. In addition to the guys you mentioned, Josh Allen, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes and even Daniel Jones have been known to take off for big gains.

QBs are protected much more so than ever before and that’s helping them stay healthier for longer. They’re also better at avoiding big hits than Steve Young, Randal Cunningham and running QBs of the past.

This is most certainly a trend that’s going to continue. When you have athletes like Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray on the field, you want the ball in their hands as much as possible.

Which is more likely at the end of the season: that any NFC East team will have a winning record or that any NFC West team will have a losing record?

As much as it pains me to say it, the NFC East is more likely to have a team with a winning record. While I don’t think they will, the NFC West teams are all extremely talented and get the added benefit of 4 games against each of the teams from the NFC East. That’s like 4 bye weeks that count as wins for each of those teams.

Halloween is this weekend. If you could dress up like one player, which would you dress up as? And why do people still give out Bit O’ Honey when it’s basically like giving a child inedible poison?

People give out Bit O’ Honey for the same reason some people give out Candy Corn, they just don’t care. And in the spirit of not caring, I’d go as the person who cared least out on the football field.

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