Monkey Knife Fight: Thurs. Night Football Week 10
Steve Pimental breaks down his plays on Monkey Knife Fight for Thursday Night Football Week 10
I was completely wrong about how last week’s Thursday Night Football game would unfold, but I daresay I was not alone. Tevin Coleman got stuffed while Matt Breida ran wild. Kenyan Drake looked great in his Cardinals debut, and the Cardinals scored more points against the 49ers than any team all season. Jimmy Garoppolo set new season highs for pass attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns. Needless to say, I didn’t see those things coming, though the 49ers passing the ball more was at least somewhat predictable. Fortunately, I still managed one MonkeyKnifeFight win, as Tevin Coleman , Kenyan Drake and Emmanuel Sanders combined for two touchdowns. This week offers another unique challenge, as the perennially underachieving Chargers face an Oakland team that features a pretty good offense and a pretty bad defense.
Over Under 2/2
Philip Rivers Over 300.5 passing yards
For as moribund as the Chargers’ offense has been this season, Rivers has topped 300.5 passing yards in five of his nine games this season. He has been held under that by the Bears and Packers the last two weeks, but Oakland’s defense, and especially it’s secondary, is simply not good. The Raiders are allowing 311.9 passing yards per game this season.
Derek Carr Under 275.5 passing yards
The Chargers are allowing 224.1 passing yards per game. Derek Carr has topped 275.5 passing yards in three of his eight games this season, though they were his last three games. He certainly is capable of throwing for a lot of yards, but I don’t expect it.
I don’t like doubling down on my previous pick, but if I think Carr will go under 275.5 passing yards and Rivers will go over 300.5, I’m obviously picking Rivers.
Henry has had more receiving yards than Allen in three of the four weeks since Henry returned from injury, and Allen only topped him by six yards in the other game. I don’t know why Allen’s production has fallen off a cliff, and I don’t really expect it to continue, but I’m not going to bet against what I’ve seen the last four weeks, I’m taking Henry.
Ekeler’s usage in the passing game has been up-and-down since Melvin Gordon returning. Ekeler has caught four, two, seven, three and 15 passes in the last five games. In those same games, Williams has caught three, three, four, five and six passes in his last five games. I’m a bit concerned Philip Rivers won’t have to check down to Ekeler because Oakland won’t be able to cover the receivers or tight end, but I also don’t trust Williams to get more than a handful of targets. In the end, the half a reception for Williams is too much to pass up. Give me Mike Williams .
This is probably the toughest of the three contests this week. On the one hand, I expect the Chargers to score the most touchdowns. On the other hand, the touchdowns figure to be more concentrated in Oakland. I’m awfully tempted to pick Tyrell Williams , who had scored a touchdown in all five of his games before getting shut out against Detroit last week. You could also make an argument for Hunter Henry , Darren Waller and Austin Ekeler . Even Mike Williams is tempting. I have to figure he is not going to go scoreless for much longer, considering he scored 10 touchdowns last season.
That being said, Gordon and Jacobs were relatively easy calls. Gordon has four touchdowns in his last three games, while Jacobs has scored two touchdowns in three different games this season. As for Allen, I just think it makes sense to bet on one of the best receivers in the game against one of the worst pass defenses in the game.