“Jen’s Friday Night Insights” is a monthly column by Jen Polvogt, bridging motherly and fantasy football advice. Jen approaches Week 13 of the NFL season with three years of fantasy analysis experience and five of being a mother.
As I wrap up the year, I wanted to look back to see if there was anything I learned this year. Well, whether they were “duh” moments or “ah-ha” moments, I had plenty. So, please enjoy part one of my look back from my 40th year of life!
Kindergarten is No Joke
I wrote about our experience in my Week 1 installment of “Jen’s Friday Night Insights.” But I can’t stress this enough. Prepare for kindergarten. Read articles, talk to other parents and buy your school supplies in June.
Research the school. Ask parents what to expect with “modified contact” days. And what are modified contact days? Oh, those are days that the kids are tested for two hours. You drop them off, then pick them up two hours later. We were very confused by this. The next modified contact day is Dec. 9, and we are now prepared!
Spiders Can Live in a Refrigerated Blueberry Container
The lesson here is to wash and properly store your produce as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Did you know the best way to store strawberries is in a sealed glass container? They’ll easily last several more days than if you leave them in their plastic Driscoll’s container.
What is the best way to make sure your cucumbers stay crisp? Wrap them in a paper towel and put them in the fridge. The paper towel wicks away the moisture that cucumbers naturally emit.
Health is, Indeed, Important
Taking care of your body is important. Not just from a vanity standpoint. I’m the first to raise my hand and tell you that I hate exercising. It’s the worst. It’s hard, sweaty,and requires outfit changes and additional showers.
I hate it.
But it’s lifesaving. So is dieting. Do you know how healthy quinoa is? It’s insane! The benefits of eating quinoa outweigh not eating it. It contains folate, magnesium and fiber. It’s high in protein. It’s low in fat and contains high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. It benefits blood sugar regulation, body weight and triglyceride levels. And it’s gluten-free. Boom. Now, go out there and get yourself a cup of quinoa! Here are some good recipes if you want to give it a shot.
Money Isn’t Everything
I quit my high-paying corporate job four years ago. My husband was a boom-or-bust real estate agent, we had a one-year-old son and that was about it. I just couldn’t work for “the man” anymore. So we sold an investment property, invested and saved every penny we had.
We went from eating out all the time to getting creative in the kitchen. I stopped buying new clothes. We cut out our Starbucks addiction. We cut back on our cable, internet and cell phone plans. It wasn’t easy, but we’re far happier now.
Watch Your Back & Your Bag in Vegas
Nate and I visited Las Vegas in 2008 while planning our wedding. We toured the hotels, ate great (and very expensive) food, gambled and we walked the Strip. We did everything besides catch a show. And we hated it. We had no desire to go back to Vegas.
Until this year. We planned my 40th birthday party in Vegas, then canceled it when I tested positive for COVID-19. Finally, after two weeks of recovering in bed, we decided to give it a go.
With two days’ notice, we flew to Nevada and had the best time ever. However, as the drinks flew freely, so did my awareness of my current situation. We were hoodwinked by a couple who clearly knew what they were doing. They staged a fistfight in the lobby of one of the hotels, and while I was concerned with the fight, my Michael Kors wallet (with $700 cash, insurance cards, library card, etc.) was stolen.
I didn’t realize it until the next morning when I went to pay for brunch. I was crushed and felt so violated. And I was mad that I hadn’t split our cash between Nate and myself like I always do. So, watch your back and your bag when in Vegas. And maybe subsequently take it easy on the whiskey.
So, have I learned anything since Week 1 of the NFL? Let’s take a look at two players I spotlighted in my first column of the season.
Jen’s Friday Night Insights: Week 13 NFL – “Lessons Learned?”
Drake London (WR, Atlanta Falcons)
I didn’t have high hopes for Drake London as we entered the season. I figured he’d be better than he has been, though. Entering a team with very little strength in the receiving room, London had an opportunity to duke it out against Kyle Pitts and make some big plays. Instead, we’ve seen a good receiver suffer in a poor system.
Through 12 weeks, London has generated 438 yards, 41 receptions and four touchdowns on 69 receptions. Why hasn’t he been targeted more?
Many would argue that Marcus Mariota was feeding the ball primarily to Pitts. That’s simply not the case. Pitts had 28 receptions over 59 targets for 356 yards and two touchdowns before heading to the Injured Reserve (IR) for the remainder of the season.
As Pitts exited the field for the season, many believed it would consequently be London time. Again, not the case. He was only targeted four times in last week’s game, completing two of those targets for 29 yards. It was Olamide Zaccheaus who stole the show with five receptions for 91 yards.
What? When you have a player like London on the field, you need to be targeting him more than four times. Looking ahead, will Arthur Smith and the Falcons utilize their first-round pick and feed him the ball? Only time will tell, but London managers certainly hope the Falcons have learned their lesson.
Romeo Doubs (WR, Green Bay Packers)
Much like London, there was certainly a lot of hype around Romeo Doubs entering the season. His preseason performance lit hearts on fire, and everyone was smashing the draft button on Doubs. In his season-opener, he caught four of five targets for 37 yards. In Week 2, Aaron Rodgers only targeted him three times, leaving Doubs 28 yards. The following week showed consistency for Doubs as he caught all eight of his eight targets for 73 yards and a touchdown. He maintained momentum in his Week 4 performance and went five for eight for 47 yards and a touchdown.
It wasn’t until Week 5 that things started to fall apart. As a whole, Green Bay was crumbling in front of everyone’s eyes. Coming off a three-game winning streak, Rodgers had trouble connecting with his receivers, and they had a hard time holding onto the ball. He lost all trust in his receiving corp and hasn’t been the quarterback we’ve been used to seeing over the last 15 years.
The Packers suffered a five-game losing streak from Weeks 5-9, and Doubs was lost to injury. They bounced back without him with an overtime win against the Cowboys in Week 10. Weeks 11 and 12 both landed in the L column, and Rodgers left the Week 12 game with an oblique injury.
There’s no word on who will start behind center this week, and Doubs remains questionable to suit-up. He proved that he can put up yards with an occasional touchdown if he gets the ball.
If backup quarterback Jordan Love starts in Week 13 against the Chicago Bears, starting anyone on the Packers’ roster is certainly risky. Rodgers has said that he plans to play on Sunday, but we’ll see. He has a 23-5 record against the Bears, so he could subsequently have a get-right game ahead of him, with opportunities to throw the ball to Doubs (if healthy), Allen Lazard, Christian Watson and Randall Cobb.
While there’s no real lesson to be learned here regarding the usage of Doubs, one lesson is clear: Rodgers needs learn to better trust his receivers.
I’m here to join the conversation, drink in hand, and watch the NFL season unfold. Cheers! If you choose to make any of my drink recipes, I’d love to see them. Please take a picture and tag me!
Monthly Drink Recipe:
Eggnog Martini (Serves Four)
• 2 cups eggnog (chilled)
• 4 oz Amaretto
• 4 oz brandy
• Nutmeg to sprinkle on top
• 4 cinnamon sticks for garnish
• Combine eggnog, amaretto and brandy in a pitcher
• Stir and pour into a chilled martini glasses
• Sprinkle nutmeg, garnish with a cinnamon stick and enjoy!
Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter for more motherly and fantasy sports advice @JenPolvogt.