Sheesh Report. Nullified Touchdowns, Missed Big Plays and More from Week 2.
- 3. Brock Purdy has had better days
- 2. Jaguars were oh so close, yet oh so far away
- 1. Justin Jefferson fumbles the ball out of the end zone
- Other Painful Sheeshes
- Down at the 1-yard line
- Nullified TDs
- Mack Hollins with one helluva toe tap effort
- If only Chris Olave had slightly smaller feet
- Victims of DPI
- Garrett Wilson deserves better
- Interceptions that were NOT the QB’s fault
- Brutal drops
- Most unrealized air yards
- Slightly better ball TDs
Week 2 has come and gone. Sixteen NFL games brought joy, laughs and tears to football fans and, of course, fantasy football faithful.
Today, we’ll focus on the latter sadness and break down just how close some came to achieving fantasy football glory.
What follows is a breakdown on all the “Sheesh” moments from Week 2. I’ve watched every game and combed play-by-play data to help determine instances when:
- Pass-catchers who could have scored or picked up big yardage with a more accurate pass
- Pass-catchers who did receive an accurate pass that should have resulted in a score or big gain, but the ball was dropped
- Ball carriers who managed to get all the way to the one-yard line, but didn’t score
- Players who scored or picked up big yardage, but the play was nullified by penalty
- Other random shit that tilted fantasy football managers of all shapes and sizes
First: The Top-Three “Sheesh” Moments of Week 2.
3. Brock Purdy has had better days
The 49ers have scored 33, 35, 21, 37, 37, 38, 41, 19, 30 and most recently 30 points in Purdy’s non-injured 10 career extended appearances, winning each and every one along the way.
Mr. Relevant has obviously been a big reason for this success accounting for multiple TDs in all but two of those games along the way.
And yet, Purdy did indeed sheesh two potential chunk TDs during the 49ers’ Week 2 win over the Rams.
Both Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel were more than open enough to at least pick up a big gain, and more likely put six additional points on the board.
It would have been a lot cooler if Purdy made those throws, but the second-year QB has still thrown the ball downfield well as a whole this season. Don’t fret, 49ers fans: You seem to be in very good hands.
2. Jaguars were oh so close, yet oh so far away
Trevor Lawrence and company might have won Sunday’s matchup against the Chiefs by three scores if the teams decided to play with one-foot-inbounds college rules.
Overall, there were *four* different instances of Jaguars WRs coming down with the football in the end zone, but on each occasion they weren’t able to get both feet down inbounds.
These misses aren’t squarely on T-Law, Zay Jones or Calvin Ridley. Rather, it’s a combination of the execution just not quite being good enough to score six points against a Chiefs defense that made life difficult all afternoon.
Great job by the Chiefs secondary, but Sunday was objectively a sheeshy afternoon for Jaguars fantasy managers.
1. Justin Jefferson fumbles the ball out of the end zone
If an offensive player fumbles the football into the end zone and then the ball goes out of bounds, the defense gets possession at the 20 yard line.
Personally, I think this rule is fair. Hold onto the football near the most precious area of the field if you care so much about keeping it, ya know?
Okay, quit yelling at me: Most hate this rule — especially Jefferson’s fantasy managers after getting got on his near 31-yard TD.
Fantasy managers shouldn’t be crying too hard considering the stud WR still posted an 11-159-0 receiving line on the evening. That said: Sheesh.
Other Painful Sheeshes
Down at the 1-yard line
These players managed to get the football within three feet of the goal line, but not quite across the plane. Sadly, they did not score on the same drive:
- Bills QB Josh Allen
- Broncos QB Russell Wilson
- Eagles RB D’Andre Swift (x2)
- Titans RB Derrick Henry
- Falcons RB Bijan Robinson
- Seahawks RB Kenneth Walker
- Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco
- Bears RB Khalil Herbert
- Bills RB Latavius Murray
- Ravens RB Justice Hill
- Cowboys RB Rico Dowdle
- Seahawks WR DK Metcalf
- Ravens WR Odell Beckham Jr.
- Cowboys TE Peyton Hendershot
- Browns RB Jerome Ford (and man it was a great run too)
“Congrats” to Swift for being the only player in the NFL with two-such instances of this in 2023.
We’ll continue to keep a season-long leaderboard going here, but for now all fantasy managers can say is: Sheesh.
TDs usually get nullified by penalty for a good reason, but that doesn’t make the roller coaster of adrenaline any less sheeshful for fantasy managers to deal with.
No TDs were nullified by penalty in Week 1, but in Week 2 there were a whopping five such instances.
*Law and Order Music*
These are their stories:
- Eagles WR A.J. Brown hauled in a 25-yard TD last Thursday night; too bad RB Rashaad Penny was (rightfully) flagged for offensive holding. Philly had to punt three plays later.
- Lions RB David Montgomery took an 18-yard screen to the house, however an OPI call took the TD off the board. D-Mont would score a four-yard TD to cap off the drive, but Jared Goff fantasy managers were left sheeshing.
- Texans WR Tank Dell had a two-yard TD taken off the board due to an offensive holding penalty. The Texans had to settle for a field goal on the drive.
- Giants QB Daniel Jones scored a six-yard RUSHING TD that was nullified by a hold, only to cap the drive off with an 11-yard PASSING score to WR Isaiah Hodgins.
- Cowboys RB Tony Pollard skirted into the end zone from six yards out, but a hold by Tyron Smith nullified the score. The Cowboys had to settle for a field goal on the drive.
Mack Hollins with one helluva toe tap effort
Falcons QB Desmond Ridder did a great job extending the play before lobbing the football into the back of the end zone to an open Mack Hollins, who seemingly kept his toes in bounds for the 12-yard TD.
Or did he? Further review zeroed in on whether or not Hollins’ heels landed out of bounds while corralling the pass.
You can be the judge, but ultimately the NFL said no score, and the Falcons had to settle for a field goal.
If only Chris Olave had slightly smaller feet
The Saints’ stud second-year WR made an absolutely spectacular circus catch on Monday evening, but his night could have been even bigger with *just* a little more precision along the sideline.
Fantasy managers initially celebrated a 16-yard TD… only for further review to show that Olave had indeed just barely stepped out of bounds on his way to the end zone.
As Al Pacino once famously said: (Fantasy) Football is a game of inches.
Victims of DPI
Defensive pass interferences can be finicky and don’t always occur in instances when the targeted receiver would FOR SURE make the catch.
That said: They are very annoying for fantasy managers to deal with when the result could’ve, should’ve, would’ve been a chunk gain — and maybe even a TD.
The top five players in most yards gained courtesy of drawing DPI flags were as follows:
- Packers WR Dontayvion Wicks (44 yards)
- Packers WR Romeo Doubs (43)
- Bills WR Stefon Diggs (25, down to the 1-yard line)
- 49ers WR Deebo Samuel (19, down to the 1-yard line)
- Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase (17)
- Panthers WR D.J. Chark (17)
Also note that Falcons TE Kyle Pitts, Jaguars TE Evan Engram, Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett and Cowboys WR Jalen Tolbert drew shorter DPI penalties that were close enough to the goal line or in the end zone to position their offense at the doorstep.
Garrett Wilson deserves better
Although in this particular case, it’s hard to fully blame QB Zach Wilson.
Yes, Garrett utilized some silky-smooth route-running to break wide open from 16 yards out just before halftime.
Also yes, Zach’s (potentially accurate) pass was swatted down at the time of release by Cowboys DL DeMarcus Lawrence.
Great defensive play by the Cowboys, but sheesh oh sheesh it sucks to see a route like this go to waste.
Interceptions that were NOT the QB’s fault
While the box score doesn’t account for who to blame on any particular interception, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that sometimes the QB isn’t to blame.
There were roughly five such instances in Week 2:
- Raiders QB Jimmy Garoppolo had his first interception tipped on an intended screen, while the second one featured Bills LB Matt Millano inexplicably mossing Josh Jacobs on a routine checkdown.
- Bears QB Justin Fields hit Chase Claypool in the hands on a dig route, only for the Buccaneers to dislodge the ball and come down with the interception.
- Giants QB Daniel Jones hit Saquon Barkley directly in the hands; too bad the ball bounced away and into the hands of a Cardinals defender.
- Rams QB Matthew Stafford hit Kyren Williams in the chest, only for the pass to be tipped straight to a 49ers defender.
- Browns QB Deshaun Watson kickstarted Monday night’s madness with a pick-six that wasn’t exactly the world’s best throw but still hit TE Harrison Bryant in both hands before ricocheting directly to the Steelers.
It’s probably also fair to give some slack to Russell Wilson, who clearly had some miscommunication with his receiver on the sideline pick.
Two key drops stood out over the weekend on plays that coulda, shoulda, woulda been six points:
First, Chiefs TE Travis Kelce caught one TD in his return to action, but the future Hall of Famer suffered a rare drop on what should have been a 10-yard score in the fourth quarter. Kansas City settled for a field goal on the drive.
And secondly, Bengals WR Tyler Boyd let a perfectly thrown potential three-yard TD slide right through his hands in the back corner of the end zone. Luckily, Joe Burrow immediately regrouped and hit Tee Higgins for a score on the very next play.
There were some other inopportune drops throughout the week that prevented chunk plays, albeit not TDs:
- Browns WR Elijah Moore (30 yards, caught but only one foot inbounds)
- Bengals TE Irv Smith (26 yards, caught but only one foot inbounds)
- Vikings WR K.J. Osborn (20 yards at the drop point)
- Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (20)
- Bears TE Cole Kmet (20)
It’s also tough not to be at least a little critical of Chargers WR Joshua Palmer failing to get his second foot down on what had the potential to be an eight-yard TD in the corner of the end zone, as well as Giants WR Isaiah Hodgins letting a potential six-yard score go through his hands.
We also saw stud Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase get a potential nine-yard score RIPPED out of his hands on the way to the ground — not a drop, but certainly a play fans are used to seeing him make.
Most unrealized air yards
Air yards measure the distance that any given pass travels (wait for it) in the air. So if Lamar Jackson throws a b-e-a-utiful 50-yard bomb to FB Patrick Ricard, who then takes the ball into the end zone for a 75-yard TD: We have just 50 air yards despite the gain being for 75.
Unrealized air yards are a good way to see which pass-catchers had a lot of fantasy-friendly opportunities in a given week, but simply couldn’t get the job done (job done).
Sometimes unrealized air yards are more akin to “prayer yards” because the pass wasn’t overly catchable in the first place, so grinding the ole film helps with identifying those sorts of situations.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) can't catch up to an overthrown pass while defended by Tennessee Titans cornerback Tre Avery (23) during their NFL game at Nissan Stadium Sunday afternoon, Sept. 17, 2023.
Subtracting yards after the catch from every player’s receiving yards total before taking the difference with total air yards helps us pinpoint exactly how much opportunity through the air a player failed to come down with for one reason or another.
The following 11 players racked up at least 70 unrealized air yards in Week 2:
- Patriots WR Kendrick Bourne (157 unrealized air yards)
- Chargers WR Mike Williams (113)
- Jaguars WR Zay Jones (110)
- Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill (95)
- Jets WR Garrett Wilson (95)
- Browns WR Marquise Goodwin (87)
- Giants WR Darius Slayton (85 — wild effort on this one though)
- Saints WR Chris Olave (78)
- Panthers WR Jonathan Mingo (77)
- Browns WR Elijah Moore (76)
- Rams WR Van Jefferson (71)
Slightly better ball TDs
Our previous section helped quantify the most missed opportunities through the air, but there were an additional handful of targets that I can’t help call out because it sure seemed like the following players could have put six points on the board with a bit more accurate pass.
Pressure, openness and other extenuating factors vary; none of these were complete layups. That said, fantasy managers undoubtedly jumped out of their seats for a whole lot of nothing when they happened.
- Giants WR Darius Slayton (61 yards)
- Falcons WR Mack Hollins (caught, but 57-yard TD with perfect pass)
- Ravens WR Zay Flowers (41)
- Cardinals TE Zach Ertz (37)
- Eagles WR A.J. Brown (35 — could have been DPI)
- Colts WR Michael Pittman (33)
- Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (23, 15)
- Texans TE Dalton Schultz (11)
- Jaguars WR Zay Jones (4)
- Broncos TE Adam Trautman (4)
- Cowboys TE Jake Ferguson (3)