Monday, October 12, 2009

Thoughts on Week 5 of the NFL season

-I don't think this story is getting enough play, but the Bengals winning that game, with the death of Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's wife hanging over their heads was a nice story. The fact that they won the game with Zimmer choosing to be there with them on game day was nice, and giving Zimmer the game ball (along with the speech that came with it) was very touching. It was all around great win for Cincinnati, and I'm happy they won that game in light of what was going on with Zimmer.

-I don't know what's worse, the fact that Derek Anderson completed two passes in a professional football game, or the fact that the Buffalo Bills lost to a team who completed two passes the entire game.

-The Patriots look mortal these days. Tom Brady just doesn't look good to this point, as he probably needs to overcome the mental block of the knee surgery. That pass he missed to Wes Welker in the 4th quarter was absolutely crucial, and he also missed a TD from about 35 yards out to Randy Moss in the first half.

-What about the Broncos? 5-0. Who saw that coming? Their defense is playing lights out, and Orton played a great game this past week. They're going well, and they're getting all the breaks as well. There was one play where the ball was deflected 3 times by Patriot players only to land in the waiting arms of Jabar Gaffney. Those are the kind of breaks you get when you are going well.

-I think all the talk of Josh McDaniels celebration being exaggerated is somewhat unnecessary, but I'll admit that the celebration was a bit much. Take a second though to consider the magnitude of the game for him personally, and for his team, and all he has been through as the coach, I can see why he celebrated like he did. It was a big game, and his team is 5-0, good for him. It's not often you see have a moment like that between the fans and the coach. I thought it was refreshing.

-How about them Cowboys? I know they needed a win, but the fact that this game was so important from a team temperament standpoint, and they came out and played a very average game full of mistakes speaks volumes about them. I know a 'W' is a 'W', but it would have been a lot more encouraging if they had come out and whip the Chiefs but they did not. They left them in the game, and the Chiefs just were not good enough to take it.

-How about Miles Austin? 250 yards, and 2 TDs in his first career start. What a game for him, and what bad tackling on KC's part. It's one thing to be slippery and break a lot of tackles, but watching that game you essentially saw the same play several times. The Chiefs might want to practice tackling a bit harder in practice this week.

-The only game on locally on Sunday early was New York-Oakland. Imagine my dismay, as the Giants smashed Oakland into a fine dust. Can you say, mismatch? When asked about the game this week, Richard Seymour said something to the tune of 'The weather is nice'. Indeed it is Richard, indeed it is.

-The clock is ticking on Jim Zorn. Tick, tock. I don't agree that he should be on the chopping blocks but someone has to be held accountable, and Zorn is probably the first guy on that line.

-How about Jeremy Maclin in his first career start going for 142 yards and 2 TDs. I liked that guy in the draft and McNabb looked for him early and often Sunday, including an absolute rope on the first TD. Props to McNabb on a good game, coming back from the injury, and props to Maclin making the most of his first career start.

-Can the St. Louis Rams be removed from the NFL? The word to describe their startling ineptitude hasn't been created yet.

-Dre Bly's "display" after catching an INT on Sunday was absolute comedy. Catching the interception then doing the "Deion" when he hadn't even reached midfield, then proceeding to get stripped, all the while being down 25 points, was absolutely hysterical. I'm surprised Singletary didn't come on the field and tackle him.

- Andre Johnson is simply a monster. That TD catch to tie the game at 21 against AZ was ridiculous. In my opinion, he is the best wide receiver the NFL has to offer.

-Peyton Manning might be playing the best football of his life, and that is saying a LOT.

-While the Jets did lose, the performance of Braylon Edwards was very encouraging. He brings a dynamic at the WR position that I have never seen in my years of following the team. Ultimately, that and Mark Sanchez' resilience were the only things to be encouraged about on this night. The defense' performance was embarrassing, and I thought the coaches did a bad job as well. Hopefully it was just a bump in the road for the defense, although I was and still am worried about the lack of a ace pass rusher. Schemes and exotic blitz schemes can only account for so much

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thoughts on Week 4 of the NFL Regular season

-Brett Favre looked like vintage Brett on MNF. As much as I have 'Favre fatigue' and as much as I think Rodgers is better overall and was better Monday night, Favre still played an excellent football game. The Packers took Adrian Peterson out of the game and forced Favre to beat them and he obliged. The TD pass he threw to Sidney Rice in the second quarter was a Hall of Fame throw.

- I thought, especially given the circumstances, that Aaron Rodgers performance was absolutely magnificent. Yes, I know he threw an INT, and had a costly fumble, but the Vikings front four was killing the offensive line (and subsequently Rodgers), all night, and he still managed to light up the place. That kid is a really good QB.

-Steve Smith (the NYG version), is absolutely putting on a clinic week in and week out. The guy just knows how to get open. He works all of the field, and has excellent hands. Smith and Eli Manning have incredible chemistry, and it shows in the numbers, and how often Manning looks to him on 'big' downs.

-Mark Sanchez finally played like a rookie and it cost the Jets big time. I thought it was especially evident on the fumble in the endzone when he should have just thrown it in the first row. Although, considering the fact that he threw a INT that just went for a TD, it would be nice to know why the Jets are even throwing inside their own 2 anyway.

- The Jets defense is absolutely for real, and having Calvin Pace back just makes them that much better.

-I really, REALLY do not like Brian Schotteinheimer. I'll leave it at that, before I break the computer and am unable to finish this entry.

-Can we just call the Rams 'The Ringling Brothers'? Good lord, they are bad. Steve Spagnoulo, I hope you are enjoying the fatter paychecks because that is all there is to enjoy in St Louis at the moment.

- Trent Edwards is the worst QB in the NFL not named JaMarcus Russell.

-To put JaMarcus Russell's ineptitude in perspective, Shaquille O'neal's free throw percentage is higher than JaMarcus's completion percentage. Enough said.

-Jay Cutler is the man. As damn near everyone knows, he's my favorite active NFL player. He makes the players around him better, and that TD run was awesome. He really put his body on the line, and won.

-To this point, I think Johnny Knox has made a good case for himself as the Rookie of the Year.

- Peyton Manning is a machine. The man simply is not real. 70% completions and 9 TDs in four games thus far this season. Are you kidding me? Best QB in the league, and this year's MVP to this point. I know I gush about him every week, but I do it because I think football fans take him for granted. '300 yards, ho hum'. He's ridiculous.

-New England is like the character in the horror movie that just won't die. I picked against them the last two weeks, and they've shut me right up. Oh by the way, next time how about catching the ball, Mark Clayton?

-Tennessee is awful. Is it a combination of things, or did Haynesworth make that big a difference? I personally think it's a combination of both, as they haven't played well and haven't been able to catch a break either. Soon it's going to be Vince Young time in Nashville, and given how bad he is, there might be a lot of bottles of 'Tums' purchased in Tennessee.

-Denver is 4-0. I never thought I'd see that. The Denver defense is playing great, and McDaniels has done a great job of changing the "laid back" culture up there. Though, the amount of props Kyle Orton is getting is actually nauseating. He stinks. He has contributed next to nothing to the 4-0 start. He's bad, and him being on a winning team (a classic media misconception) doesn't make him any more or less, bad.

-That play by Brandon Marshall to win the game Sunday was excellent. It was a poorly thrown ball, Marshall 'Mossed' Terrence Newman and came down with the ball, then proceeded to run up his 'YAC' total, owning half the Dallas defense en route to the endzone. Good for him.

-San Diego is the league's paper champion every year. I think the first half of the game Sunday night was a 30 minute snap shot as to why. That team is poorly coached and poorly prepared every single week. If not for Philip Rivers, god knows where that team would be. They have all the talent you need, but their coaching staff is absolutely dreadful.