The Patriots were coming off a gutsy performance with only 3 healthy players at the end of last game. With Asghar on the mend, and Noman Laasi lost for the season, this game was anything but a given. However, the Patriots may have found something with the injury to Kumail Meghani – they’re somehow more effective on offense. This is what we expected the Patriots offense to look like all season, and they may be hitting their stride. The offense was buzzing with each receiver having at least one TD, 4 catches, and 3 players with at least 2 TDs. For the Lions, it was more of the same. They were missing some key players, and are unable to get a stop when it matters most, in the red zone. They were finally able to get Ammar Jessa going with 11 receptions and 3 TDs, but he was the lone bright spot. With just one win on the season, it may be time for the Lions to work the phone lines and make a trade or two.
The Chargers had a putrid performance in Week 7 (last week) when Danial’s statline read 3/12 w/ 4 INTs at the half. While Danial Ali didn’t throw an interception this week, the result is still a loss for the Chargers and not much of the blame can be put on his shoulders. The Chargers are often just fielding 6, and when their players have been there, they haven’t produced. Dropped balls have been a theme, and the lack of a #1 receiver without Danial Ali catching is a problem. It’s fair to wonder if the Chargers will be going back to Hani Mamdani at QB, or perhaps make a trade with the Lions for a QB. Alternatively, we’re running out of things to say about the Colts. They remain undefeated, and are now looking at a Warriors-like season. They played without their most dangerous weapon, and still won with relative ease. They have the Steelers next; who gave them their only tie on the season (the only blemish on an otherwise perfect record).
This has been a recap Murtaza Shah has been waiting 3 years for; the last season he played in the MFL. In his first game back in December, he showed us what the league had been missing with a mesmerizing one-handed catch and just like that, he was back. Now, to the game. The Steelers may be the most enigmatic team in the league. At times, they seem like world beaters, giving the best teams a run for their money, and at times, they play down to the level of their competition. While they’ve now won 2 in a row, it hasn’t been impressive. Their 21-14 victory against the Chargers should have been a blowout. The Steelers only led 14-0 at half in a game where the opponent had only 3 completions and 4 INTs at half. This week, they were well on their way to a blowout with an early 14-0 lead, but they let the Jaguars stick around. This should have been a tie, but more on that later. One thing we have to give the Steelers credit for, is the distribution of passes. In the past, Taleb Zaidi hasn’t diversified his attack, and chooses a go-to target, and he gets majority of the targets. There seems to be a concerted effort this year to share the ball, and it showed this game with each player having at least 2 receptions. The Jaguars seemed to have awaken from an early season siesta. They have gone from looking like the worst team in the league, to one of the more potent defensive lineups in the league. The lack of a true #1 receiver may be their shortcoming, but they’ve chosen to do it by committee, where each a different leading receiver feasts. This week, it was Ahmed Al-Waili pacing the team with 7 receptions, and Mohammed Altahan with 3 TDs. This game came down to the wire with the Jaguars scoring 2 TDs in the last 5 minutes. They decided to go for a 2-pt conversion, and they were unsuccessful. The loss drops them down to the 3rd seed. Coincidentally, the team that leapfrogged them in the standings also has a loss due to a failed 2-pt conversion.