In this week’s edition of Buy or Sell, Joel, RahimAli and I take a look at if the Colts can end yet another winning streak this weekend. We also discuss if the Ravens, with only three games left, can overcome the Steelers in the AFC North. Finally, we wrap up talking about the winners and losers of the recent blockbuster trade between the St. Louis Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks.
RahimAli: After Ending the Texans’ Winning Streak, the Colts Will End the Cowboys’ Winning Streak This Weekend
Cullen: Selling the Colts. The Colts have been inconsistent the past two weeks. Against one highly ranked defense, they were shut out, 6-0. Against another, they won, 24-21.
What will this team do against yet another highly ranked defense? And this team features a potent offense, too, led by the trio of Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott and Amari Cooper. Neither the Jaguars nor Texans featured as potent of an offense (though Houston’s has the potential).
Thankfully for the Colts, this game will take place in Indianapolis. However, that home-field advantage won’t be enough, and the Cowboys will keep their winning streak going.
Joel: I’m going to sell the Colts ending the Cowboys’ five-game winning streak. And no, it’s not just because I’m a Cowboys fan.
I don’t think this will be an easy game for the Cowboys, as they have to face the No. 8 ranked offense (points per game) of the Colts. Andrew Luck has been playing pretty well lately, but like Cullen said, this offense has been inconsistent over the last two weeks. Dallas currently has the No. 2 defense (points allowed), which will present a challenge for Luck and his offense.
One reason why the Cowboys have been so good defensively this season, is because defensive backs coach Kris Richard has done an outstanding job of taking away the opposing offense’s best weapon. For example, last week against the Eagles, Dallas held TE Zach Ertz to five catches for 38 yards. They held Wentz’ best weapon in check and forced other players to make plays. I feel like they’ll do the same against the Colts, probably focusing on T.Y. Hilton. If they can take away him or whoever their primary target is in this game, things will be a lot more difficult for Luck.
There’s also the fact that the Colts rank 24th in rush offense, while the Cowboys rank third in rush defense. If they can shut down the run game, as they usually do, it will make things even more difficult for Luck. Although I do think the Cowboys will win, I don’t think it’s going to be a blowout. Dallas almost never blows anyone out. They like to let teams hang around right until the very end for whatever reason.
Joel: The Baltimore Ravens, Not the Pittsburgh Steelers, Will Win the AFC North
Cullen: Thanks to their Week One tie against the Browns, the Steelers are currently juuuuust ahead of the Ravens in the AFC North. But the teams have drastically different schedules the rest of the way.
Pittsburgh hosts New England this Sunday before traveling to New Orleans. Then they’ll be wrapping things up at home against Cincinnati. That is a tough schedule to end the season. In the coming weeks, the Patriots and Saints still have a lot left to fight for, so they won’t be resting starters. Plus, the Steelers are still down James Conner, who apparently won’t play again this week. The Steelers need to win one of their next two, and I’m not sure that’s going to happen.
Baltimore, meanwhile, has officially moved on to Lamar Jackson, who played solidly against the Chiefs last weekend. No, the Ravens didn’t win, but were that game in Baltimore, they probably would have. To end the season, Baltimore welcomes Tampa Bay before traveling to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers. The team’s final game comes at home versus Cleveland. None of these three are cakewalks, and yet the Ravens should win at least two of them: against the bumbling Bucs and surging Browns. The game against the Chargers is a toss-up.
So, if what I think will happen happens, then the Steelers will finish 8-7-1 and the Ravens will finish 9-7. By winning percentage, the Ravens prevail. So I buy.
RahimAli: I buy into the idea the Ravens will win the AFC North! The Steelers just don’t look like the same Steelers team many people probably had making it to the Super Bowl. At least almost everyone here at Fourth Quarter Sports thought it was going to be the Steelers or Patriots representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. Of course, this was before any of us knew about Le’Veon Bell missing the whole season because of his contract (yes, contract, not an injury or suspension like in the past). To be honest, that is what has hurt the Steelers more.
They have focused all their attention on the Triple B’s over the years and it impacted them earlier in the season. Like Cullen said, thanks to the tie with the Cleveland Browns in the season opener, that will be the biggest difference maker for the Steelers winning the division. The Steelers’ defense isn’t all that great and their offense has been inconsistent. What was once a 7-2-1 team with a two and a half game lead over the Baltimore Ravens is now a half game lead after three straight losses.
In our weekly picks, I really wanted to pick the Steelers to beat the Patriots, but I just don’t think they have what it takes to win. If it’s not Big Ben throwing interceptions in the end zone, it’s Antonio Brown not being the AB we all know. Or it’s the struggling run game, which was pretty nonexistent against Raiders last week. Was it because of the Conner injury? No, I think it’s the lack of effort and intensity the team is giving.
I mean, let’s look at the Ravens and what they have done. Three straight wins with a back-up rookie quarterback and a much easier road ahead of them. I’m sorry to say it Steelers fans, but your chance at making playoffs is over, especially if you don’t win two of the next three games. I mean, honestly, the record Cullen predicted could actually happen. If it does, the Steelers, a preseason AFC favorite, will miss the playoffs all together. Oh well! Go Ravens!
Cullen: Both the Cardinals and Diamondbacks Won in the Paul Goldschmidt Trade
RahimAli: I buy this! Regardless of the prospects the Diamondbacks received, I love this move for both teams!
For the Diamondbacks, it’s all about the future. They knew their chances of keeping a player like Goldschmidt would be costly. They frankly don’t have the type of money to be tied down to an aging veteran who is still at the top of his game. I mean, the Diamondbacks don’t want to have a terrible contract attached to them like the one the Baltimore Orioles have in their Chris Davis 7-year, $161 million deal. I doubt that Goldschmidt will ever be as bad as Crush has been, but at least they will be able to have more young pieces to add to an already young team and hopefully be able to rebuild for it!
For the Cardinals, it’s about ending their postseason drought and making it back into the playoffs as a Wild Card or knocking off the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs in the National League Central. Both the Cubs and Brewers have continuously made moves to make themselves better. Now it’s time for Cardinals to join in. The Cardinals have Goldschmidt and Ozuna together. That gives them the best chance to improve on what was nearly a postseason for them last year.
They also don’t have anything holding them back in terms of wanting to win it all now. For them, it is exactly that! With catcher Yadier Molina nearly at the end of his time with the club, and all these other young players coming through, it’s about the time for the Cardinals to win it again! And after this season, if they don’t like what they get out of Goldschmidt, or he didn’t work well with what they had planned, they can let him walk into free agency and let another team pay him the money he’s going to earn.
That’s probably what makes this deal so good for both teams. The fact that neither one will really be Impacted by the decision that is made by the end of this time next year. I would really hope that Goldschmidt would cap the 2019 season off with an MVP honors!
Joel: I’m going to sell this trade being a win for both teams.
I do think it’s a win for the Cardinals, but not the Diamondbacks. The Cardinals are getting a spectacular player in Goldschmidt. He’s a consistent player who will help a team that wasn’t too far away from making the playoffs last season. This trade could put them into the playoffs this coming season. They did give up a couple of nice pieces, but I think Goldschmidt’s consistency and big-time playmaking ability outweighs that.
I don’t like it for the Diamondbacks because of what I’ve previously said about them trading Goldschmidt. I would have waited until closer to the trade deadline. Who knows? The Diamondbacks may have been able to really compete for a playoff spot this coming season. It’s not like they were too far away from making the playoffs last season with a record of 82-80. I feel like the Diamondbacks maybe forced themselves into a rebuilding period just because several people thought that’s what was going on.
This definitely isn’t one of the worst trades I’ve seen, but I wouldn’t call the Diamondbacks winners. I think the Cardinals got the better end of the deal on this one.
And there you have it! Now, what do you think?
- Can the Colts snap the Cowboys’ winning streak like they did against the Titans?
- In the final three weeks, can the Ravens overcome a half game deficit to win the AFC North?
- Was the Paul Goldschmidt trade a win-win for all involved?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!