Reich Out in Indy and A Record Week for Mixon and Fields
Week 9 delivered some punches, in particular, if you played against Joe Mixon in a matchup. Or if you’re just a really big Frank Reich fan. James Koh is back this week alongside Matt Harmon to talk about all the thrown punches on this week’s episode of Reception Perception: The Show.
Reich Out, Saturday In
How often does the hiring of an interim head coach completely nullify the firing of a coach with a winning record? That’s precisely what happened when Jim Irsay fired Frank Reich and then hired Jeff Saturday out of left field.
There are so many ways this conversation could go, as Matt points out. Should they start with the lack of experience? Maybe the fact that there are former NFL head coaches on the Colts roster that go looked over for the interim job? Or how does the locker room feel about the hiring?
It’s true that the firing of Reich wasn’t a total surprise, the rapid downward spiral from pre-season to Week 9 is a dangerous game. The product that Indianapolis ran out onto the field last Sunday was “unserious”, a great description by Matt.
It’s also not a coincidence that the two teams that have terminated their head coaches have experienced a QB carousel in the last couple of years. The Panthers and the Colts have moved on from their head coaches and are starting anew.
In fairness to Saturday, whose only experience is one year at the high school level, he was an all-time great Indianapolis Colt. And as mentioned on the show the Colts’ offensive line is hot garbage so getting an offensive line guy in there will elevate that particular part of the Colts’ game.
There’s been a lot of online talk about how this interim hiring indicates that the Colts are in ultra-tank mode and would need a scapegoat at the coaching position. Matt thinks record be damned, Saturday will have a chance to be named the head coach in the off-season. Saturday and Irsay might be besties, like the “let’s go get brunch” kind of besties.
With the likes of Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck in Irsay’s draft resume, he’s likely looking to hit on another elite quarterback in this coming draft class. Oh, and speaking of Peyton Manning – the guys discuss if Irsay reached out to Manning initially and then had to pivot to Saturday.
This firing and subsequent interim hiring has been a goldmine for comedy. At least the Colts were smart enough to hide their press conference by hosting it at the same time as the Monday Night Football game.
I tweeted earlier this week that if you’re ever feeling like you can’t do something just remember that Jeff Saturday, an ESPN analyst with little to no coaching experience, was hired as a head coach in the NFL.
I think this exchange between James and Matt pretty much sums up the hire: “If Saturday can be a head coach in the NFL, why can’t I be the head coach at Michigan” – James
“Because you’re both media personalities.” – Matt
Mixon and Fields Have Record Week
If you played against Joe Mixon this week, you likely lost. He went absolutely bonkers, nuclear, ballistic – or whichever fun adjective you would like to use. Considering where you likely drafted Mixon in the off-season, you were relieved to have this monster performance in Week 9.
Against Carolina Mixon was averaging over 6 yards per carry, compared to the sub 3.5 yards per carry he averaged in 6 of the last 8 games this season. Combine that with a game script that benefited the running back and his five touchdowns, it’s no wonder Mixon had a career game on Sunday.
Matt is hesitant about if it’s likely to occur again though. The Panthers are bad, and they played abysmal football against the Bengals last weekend. To put that into context the Bengals ran 75 plays to the Panthers’ 48.
Here’s something you all probably don’t know about me: I love a good callback. Matt nails the delivery in this segment telling James “Maybe you could be the head coach of the Panthers.”
Justin Fields also had a remarkable week, finishing as the overall QB1 in fantasy and setting a record for most rushing yards by a quarterback with 178 yards. He also threw for three touchdowns and ran one in himself.
The Bears’ offense has opened up since the Week 6 loss to the Commanders. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has Fields playing to his strengths and it shows.
The Fields conversation prompted an interesting dialogue on Darnell Mooney vs. Chase Claypool. Matt asked James who he thinks the better wide receiver is (clarifying for real football, not fantasy) and James in turn asked Matt what exactly Claypool’s role is in the Chicago offense.
I don’t want to give all the answers away, I couldn’t eloquently voice everything these dudes did about the Mooney vs. Claypool conversation if I wanted to. At least, not without just typing it word for word. But it comes down to this: both Mooney and Claypool are pretty similar in their skill set, neither is great at beating press and man coverage and neither is an alpha WR1.
Rookie Report: Garrett Wilson
Matt dropped a little taste of the Reception Perception Rookie Report and when to expect it on the Reception Perception website. Get ready for rookie reports on Garrett Wilson, Drake London, Chris Olave, and many more.
I do feel partially responsible for the Garrett Wilson talk on this week’s episode. I manifested this. Wilson had a stellar Reception Perception Prospect Profile and in the last three weeks has shown that he can be the WR1 for an NFL offense.
Film bros have to love this guy too, he is an elite separator but the best thing for Wilson’s game has been the move from slot to out wide. Since Week 6 he’s run 70% of his routes out wide. The Jets’ wide receiver room is a double-edged sword right now. It has been incredibly fun to watch Garrett Wilson prosper, but the erasure of Elijah Moore has been the exact opposite of fun.
To wrap up the show James had to eat some crow after saying on an episode a few weeks back that the Jets were looking at going 0-4 in a stretch of games versus the Broncos, Patriots, Bills, and Patriots again. Since that episode, the Jets are 2-1 with wins against the Broncos (shocker) and a huge upset win over the Bills.
Be sure to check the Reception Perception website later this week for Matt’s Rookie Report, it’s going to be chock full of that good-good.