Another Week In The Books That Proves Just When You Think You Know The NFL, You Have No Idea
Denver Broncos 13 @ San Diego Chargers 21
The Broncos need to find an answer at QB, and fast- The Broncos are on top of the football world right now as they are the defending champions. Their defense is plenty strong enough to bring them back to the promise land. Problem is they aren’t getting any production from the quarterback position, and it’s hurting the offense as a whole. The quarterback position is so bad the Broncos might just be regretting shipping Mark Sanchez to the Cowboys. You can bet if he was still on the Broncos, he would be getting his chance.
The curse is broken!- After having leads in every game this season, and finding a way to loose all but one of them, the curse has been broken! The Broncos didn’t go away without a fight, and actually recovered two onside kicks to give themselves a fighting chance. Difference is this time the defense came through, and apparently the curse has been broken. For a week anyway.
San Francisco 49ers 16 @ Buffalo Bills 45
At least fans can stop complaining about Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protest- Well, the fans in San Francisco at least. After making a change at quarterback the 49ers offense still looked flat. Kaep completed less than 50% of his passes, and din’t provide the spark the 49ers were looking for. At least now people can stand against Kaepernick for not just his beliefs, but his poor play as well.
Defense and Offense; the Bills are starting to emerge as a potential threat to the Patriots in East- The turnaround of this team has been absolutely amazing. They are winners of four straight, outscoring opponents
Jacksonville Jaguars 17 @ Chicago Bears 16
Jaguars weren’t ready to call it a season yet- With the game and hopes for the season looking bleak, the team pulled together and won their second straight game. It wasn’t pretty on the offensive side of the ball, but facing a 13 point deficit in the fourth quarter, the offense did what they had to do and pulled off the victory in the Windy City. With the amount of talent they posses on the offensive side of the ball, it’s hard to believe they won’t get it together. Hopefully that is sooner than later for the Jags playoff hopes to remain alive and well. Even after the rough start, they are only a game and a half behind the first place Texans that they haven’t faced yet this season
The Bears forgot there is four quarters in a game- After playing well for three quarters, the Bears as a team fell asleep in the fourth quarter. With the promise showed on offense by rookie Jordan Howard and Brian Hoyer, the Bears just haven’t been able to get the W’s to back it up. They led practically the entire way in this one, and were caught napping when it counted most.
Los Angeles Rams 28 @ Detroit Lions 31
Regardless of the passing attack, Todd Gurley is officially experiencing a sophomore slump- Yes, the passing attack has been pedestrian at best, but Gurley hasn’t been helping matters any. After winning the Rookie of the Year Award last season, Gurley has averaged just 2.9 yards per carry after averaging 4.8 yards per carry as a rookie a year ago.
Matthew Stafford is on top of his game right now- Matthew Stafford is enjoying an excellent season, and he has been nearly perfect in his last two games. In the last two games, Stafford has completed 75% of his passes and thrown for seven touchdowns. For the season he has completed 68.9% of his passes and is on pace for 4,395 yards, 37 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Not bad for a guy in his first season without all-pro receiver Calvin Johnson
Pittsburgh Steelers 15 @ Miami Dolphins 30
No Ben, big problems- Without Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers offense had trouble getting anything going against the Dolphins defense. He did only miss one season in the second quarter, but was obviously hurting for the remainder of the game, as evidenced by his knee surgery. Even though they posses big time offense weapons, the league leader in touchdown passes is the glue that holds it all together. Without Big Ben, the Ravens and Bengals just heard a door open…..
Solid offensive line = solid play- This was a game that no one gave the Dolphins a chance to win. After being a liability for most of the season, the offensive line was stellar, and as a result, the Dolphins had 222 yards rushing, and Ryan Tannehill didn’t turn the ball over. Keeping it going is going to be key to them turning their season around. Now it just remains to be seen if they can actually do it.
Cincinnati Bengals 17 @ New England Patriots 35
The NFL needs to make an example out of Vontaze Burfict- This guy is just plain out of control. Take this game alone. His hit on Martellus Bennett and stomping on LeGarrette Blount should have had him tossed out of the game. With the NFL saying safety is their number one concern they need to make an example out of Burfict before someone get seriously hurt. Did we forget about his hit on Antonio Brown last year? He obviously did, but suspending him for a year might make him remember.
Tom Brady already ranks 22nd in touchdown passes after just two games- After being suspended for the first four games of this season, Tom Brady wants nothing more than to have Rodger Goodell be forced to hand him the Lombardi Trophy at seasons’ end. He is doing a pretty good job so far this season showing the world that he is going for that, throwing for 782 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions in just two games.
Carolina Panthers 38 @ New Orleans Saints 41
The Panthers pass defense is an absolute mess- First they give up 300 yards receiving to Julio Jones in one game and now this? It seemed like every time the Saints passed the ball, they had a receiver wide open. Blame Cam if you want, but the fact of the matter is the Panthers are 1-5 because of the defense, not the quarterback.
Is Drew Brees getting old? We hadn’t noticed- Drew Brees is an ageless wonder. He is on pace for 5,546 yards this season and 45 touchdowns. Not too shabby for a 37 year old. With his 465 yard performance in this game, Brees broke a tie he had with Peyton Manning for most 400 yard games in his career. He keeps up this pace, and this won’t be the only record Mr. Manning hold that Brees will break…..
Baltimore Ravens 23 @ New York Giants 27
Will the Ravens defense disappear if Terrell Suggs misses time?- Last year, the Ravens were decimated with injuries. Joe Flacco was probably the most talked about injury, but the loss of Terrell Suggs broke the back of the defense last year. It is being reported that he tore his bicep against the Giants, but he wants to play though it. That may be too tall an order, and the Ravens better find someone to step up and take over the leadership role on defense. With the Steelers loosing Big Ben there is a door open in the AFC North, the Ravens just need to avoid a collapse like last year
Giants get back on track just in the nick of time- After a rough three weeks, the Giants are back in the win column. It took some last second prayers and late heroics by Odell Beckham Jr., but a win is a win. Now if the Giants could just get OBJ to stop pulling 15 yard penalties every time he scores….
Cleveland Browns 26 @ Tennessee Titans 28
The Browns young offense may have some promise after all- Cody Kessler looks like he has promise! Do the Browns finally have a quarterback? Given their track record, it’s way too early to say that, but the young kid who went into the season third on the depth chart is showing a lot of promise. Speaking of promise, Terrell Pryor is a rare player that has made a successful position change. He had a two touchdown performance in this game and seems to get better every week. The Browns may be 0-6, but the offense might have a future.
Marcus Mariota is right now playing like he should have been the number one overall pick last year- Let’s give credit where credit is due, Mariota is playing quite well right now, and his best receiver is still a tight end. The Titans actually have a running game this year and that is helping out, but Mariota is making better decisions and protecting the ball better as well. He has the Titans at 3-3 and right in the middle of the AFC South discussion.
Philadelphia Eagles 20 @ Washington Redskins 27
The Eagles are beginning to look grounded- After an amazing start by the Eagles defense and Carson Wentz, both units have started to look flat the past few games. The defense gave up nine points per game in the first three, and 21.5 points per game in their last two. Wentz completed only 50% of his passes against the Redskins, and he needs to recapture some of his early season magic in order to keep pace with the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.
The Redskins have officially pulled a complete 180- Everyone kind of wrote the Redskins off after two ugly losses to start the season that seemed to have the locker room divided. Since then the Skins have been taking care of business, rolling off four straight victories including two division match ups. Nothing but crickets coming out of that locker room now as a team that looked destined for a long season has started to look like they are interested in defending their division title.
Kansas City Chiefs 26 @ Oakland Raiders 10
Andy Reed is money after the bye week- What is the best remedy for a team led by Andy Reid after getting utterly embarrassed on national television? The bye week of course. Andy Reed is 16-2 in his coaching career following the bye week. Talk about knowing how to regroup.
In a big time division game, the offense failed to show- What the heck happened? After showing the world a high powered offense capable of scoring from all over the field, the Raiders offense mustered just 10 points against the same defense that gave up 43 points to the Steelers in the last game they played. The Raiders offense scored a touchdown on their opening drive and were held in check for the rest of the day. If the Raiders want to end their 13 year playoff drought, they better find a way to win these division games.
Dallas Cowboys 30 @ Green Bay Packers 16
Even the Cowboys defense has been a big surprise this season- All attention for the Cowboys have been on rookie sensations Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot, and rightfully so. While they were doing their thing, the defense was quietly over performing. The defense ranks 7th in points per game allowed and even though they don’t get the glory, are a huge part of why the Cowboys are 5-1 and in first place in the NFC East.
Mike McCarthy needs to figure out what is wrong with Aaron Rodgers, and fast- At one point and time, he was the best quarterback in the league. Now he is just a shell of his former self. He doesn’t have the same zip on the ball, isn’t as accurate as in the past, and his decision making skills leave much to be desired. Some one needs to make Aaron happy again, and fast. If they don’t the vikings will completely run away with the division and the Lions might creep past the Packers in the standings.
Atlanta Falcons 24 @ Seattle Seahawks 26
The Falcons got a raw deal- Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but if you don’t believe that Julio Jones was interfered with on the 4th down play in the closing moments of Sunday’s game, you’re either a Seahawks fan or delusional. There is a reason why Jones almost made a spectacular one-handed play, and that’s because he was unable to lift his other arm to try and assist him with the catch. This non-call was an embarrassment to the referees that covered this game.
Russell Wilson has ice in his veins- This guy has done it all since joining the league, including a ring. Wilson led his Seahawks to another come from behind victory in this one, the 20th time in his career he has come back to win in the fourth quarter or overtime. It may be Matt Ryan that has the nickname Matty Ice, but their is ice water in the veins of Wilson as well.
Indianapolis Colts 23 @ Houston Texans 26 (OT)
Frank Gore is not happy with the Colts- This is not a prediction, this is the cold hard truth. After becoming the first Colts player in four years to break the century mark on the ground albeit in an overtime loss, Gore was quoted saying “I didn’t sign up for this”. He of course thought he was coming to the Colts to play for a winner, and without an offensive line or a defense the Colts just aren’t who he thought they were.
After a miserable game, Brock Osweiler made the throws when it counted- Again a credit where credit is due situation. After receiving a massive payday to man the helm in Houston after limited experience, Brock hasn’t lived up to expectations so far this year. This really isn’t a problem however, as Brock made the throws he needed to put Houston in position to win, and they did just that. As long as they are in first place and he plays clutch, the boo birds will be kept to a minimum in Houston.
New York Jets 3 @ Arizona Cardinals 28
The Ryan Fitzpatrick era is officially over in New York- Not very surprising here. The Jets now rank dead last in scoring offense, and the Fitz experiment ends in a tragic fail. Geno Smith will take over as QB for Gang Green, but chances are we will see one of the young guns behind center before the year is over.
As they would say in NBA Jam, the Arizona Cardinals are heating up- The Cardinals started out the season rough, matching their loss total fro, all of last season by week 4. With two wins in a row now under their belt, they are going for their ‘fire’ by facing the division rival Seahawks. A win in this contest all but erases a bad start, as the Red Birds will be over .500, and within a game of first place with a victory over the team on top of the division.