For one week only, FMQB will now become ThMQB (Thursday Morning QB) since FMQB is road tripping to St. Louis to watch the Rams game live and in person! In all actuality, I work on writing my column every Monday, and tweak it after the MNF game. I’m already regretting dubbing myself the FMQB because I get so excited waiting for it to be Friday to publish it!
Contenders or Pretenders:
This has been one of the more bizarre years in recent football memory and it’s only Week 3! I am literally having trouble making sense of why the good teams can look bad, yet some have winning records. How bottom of the barrel teams and teams that should be having another tough year are somehow taking out the powerhouses.
We have the Steelers (2-1) looking horrible in Week 1, fantastic in Week 2, and barely beating the Colts in Week 3. This is the AFC Champion Steelers we’re talking about, I’m not convinced until I see some consistency (remember FMQB predicted they’d miss the playoffs). Pretender
Same with the Giants (2-1), Los Tramposos (Spanish for “cheaters”). They looked horrible against the Redskins and 3 quarters against the Rams, how do the they come in and defeat their rival dream-team Eagles, IN Philly! Pretender
Speaking of which, I was caught up in the hype about the Eagles (1-2) this year as well. I agreed with Vince Young that they were a “Dream Team” and couldn’t believe the big name players on the roster! Yet Philly is 1-2 and in last place in the division. Even the Rams beat up Michael Vick quite a bit, although not enough to slow down the offense. Still a Contender
Oakland (2-1) has proved they are definitely for real this year. They were 3 points away from knocking off the Bills and being 3-0, but this week’s win against the Jets was very impressive. Contender
Buffalo (3-0) is also real. Defeating the Chiefs and Raiders, the Bills were still up in the air in my book. But knocking off the Patriots, who have had their number for the past 15 games, proves that Buffalo will be a force to be reckoned with late in the season. Contender
Second bandwagon team I’ve jumped on, the Lions (3-0) also proved they are for real. In any other year, being down 20-0 at halftime the Lions would have expected to lose. They seem very confident this season, and coming back to win shows heart. They have beaten Tampa Bay on the road, a major offensive performance at home against KC, and a monster comeback on the road. Contender
Matt Hasselbeck and the Titans are a team that shouldn’t be 2-1. All signs pointed to a rebuilding year, with Kenny Britt out for the season, and Chris Johnson not performing, one wonders how they managed to lose to Jacksonville at home but beat Baltimore on the road. Could throw a twist into the AFC South with the Colts out of it, but they are still a Pretender.
The Falcons are a team that shouldn’t be 1-2. They have started off slow, but have lost to good Chicago and Tampa Bay teams. At 1-2 and defeating the Eagles, Atlanta is still a Contender.
San Francisco (2-1) has a winning record and was an overtime FG away from being 3-0! Whoah where did this come from? The NFC West that’s where! They crushed a struggling Seahawks team, barely beat the lowly Bengals, and only by internal organ damage were they able to take the Cowboys to the brink. It’s Week 3 and the 49ers WILL win the division and make it to the playoffs, however expect an early and embarrassing exit, which means that when it comes to the title, they are a Pretender.
Redskins have looked impressive up until Monday night. But their Quarterback is still Baby Face Rex Grossman, and that’s the only reason why they are a Pretender.
Once again the Chargers (2-1) are a confusing team to me. You can literally break down 3 plays which lead to them either being 3-0 or 0-3. One of my preseason favorites, they have barely eeked out wins against the Vikings and Chiefs, and yet nearly toppled the Patriots. Is this part of their annual slow start, or is it something worse? Time will tell, but I will not tell if they are a pretender or contender.
The Bears are another team that shouldn’t be 1-2, and yet Jay Cutler continues to be hit (14 sacks in 3 games). As soon as the Bears look good in one department, they look horrible in another. If they can fix their consistency issues, I feel the Bears are still a Contender.
At the beginning of the season, FMQB said that the division was Houston’s for the taking. I am sticking with my guns on this one. The Texans (2-1) are very close to being 3-0, and their only loss was in a shootout with the powerhouse Saints. Interested to see how they do with the upcoming Steelers, Raiders, and Ravens. But they are still Contenders.
Time to give Kubiak some props:
Speaking of Houston, in the 2006 NFL Draft, the Texans personnel decisions were radically questioned by just about everybody in the league. In that year, with the #1 pick they chose Mario Williams while giving up the chance to own the speedy Reggie Bush or fresh champion Vince Young to be the face of their franchise. Analysts and fans alike were shocked, and thought it was downright insane to miss out on those 2 explosive players. Here we are 5 years later. Reggie Bush is a backup RB for a team that is 0-3. Vince Young is a backup QB for a team that is 1-2. Neither one are still with the teams that drafted them. Meanwhile Mario Williams has 50 sacks in 5 years, believe it or not that’s more sacks than Ray Lewis has in 15 years! He has also only missed 3 games in his career due to injury, while Young and Bush’s explosive play has led to lingering injury problems. (Bush has missed 20 games due to injury, Young has missed 29 games due to injury or being benched). Gotta hand it to you Texans, that was a bold franchise decision that worked wonders!
“And That’s Why They Play The Game!”
Last week FMQB made a plea for Flex-scheduling to be able to avoid having to watch the Steelers kill the Manning-less Colts. Boy was I wrong, not only was this an exciting game, the Steelers actually had to come back to win the game! Freeney and Mathis absolutely wrecked havoc on Big Ben. And Polamalu was flying into the backfield on several plays, one of which I swore he was going to take the handoff instead of Joseph Addai! It was an exciting game nonetheless, much like Green Bay vs. Carolina the week before. I may not write off bad games on paper anymore (although not too excited for Tampa Bay vs Indy next Monday).
Stat of the Week #1:
The Bears rushed for a measly 13 yards on Sunday. Jay Cutler had 11 of them.
Stat of the Week #2:
The Bills, Lions, and Browns are a combined 8-1! Last season they went a combined 15-33.
Stat of the Week #3:
Alex Smith’s TD to INT ratio is the same as the 49ers record, 2-1.
Stat of the Week #4:
Kansas City’s leading rusher is a Wide Receiver. He is also leading the league in yds/attempt and is 26th in the league for rushing yards! Who is in 2nd place for yds/attempt? Michael Vick, a quarterback (who is also in 20th place in the league for rushing yards).
Stat of the Week #5:
Four of the top 8 leaders in receptions aren’t Wide Receivers or Tight Ends. It is 3 RB’s and a FB.
Stat of the Week #6:
There have been 3 kickoff returns for TD’s this season, they all came in Week 1.
Stat of the Week #7:
Tom Brady was intercepted 4 times all of last season (960 minutes of game time). In a span of 22 minutes in Sunday’s game, Brady was intercepted 4 times by the Bills.
Stat of the Week #8:
The Eagles have what I will argue as 3 of the top 6 cornerbacks in the league right now (Asomugha, Samuel, Rodgers-Cromartie). In nickel packages, this means that a top 6 corner is covering the offense’s #3 receiver. Yet the Eagles have given up 8 TD passes, which is dead last in the league for pass TD’s allowed.
Quote of the Week:
Proof that Vikings fans now have no faith in their team, FMQB and FFMQB (Female Friday Morning QB) were driving during the second quarter of the game on Sunday. After going into halftime up 20-0, FFMQB asked “What are the odds they blow this one too?” I proceeded to have faith in the Vikings, after all they were up by 20, but FFMQB wasn’t having it. Sure enough, we get in the car later to hear that the Vikings blew their 3rd lead in a row. In their first three games, the Vikings have gone into halftime leading by 10, 17, and 20 points. They are 0-3. What are the odds that Ponder is brought in by Week 6? I have been saying it ALL YEAR, but watching them play has only been fueling my prediction.
What if the Vikings ARE Good!
Look at the teams the Vikings have blown leads to: Chargers, Buccaneers, Lions. These are all playoff caliber teams with a combined record of 7-2. What if the Vikings had hung onto 1 or 2 of those games, they might be in the discussion of Contenders. Perhaps they turn it around against the Chiefs and Cardinals.
Horrible quote of the decade:
Remember when Kellen Winslow Jr. was with the Browns, and he freaked out at reporters and ranted “We are Soldiers!” Well Tony Romo got as close to being a soldier on Monday. He wore a Kevlar bullet-proof vest to protect his broken rib and battered lung. This also came in handy with the rumor that Carrie Underwood and Jessica Simpson were seen at the stadium. Does anybody actually believe that “Before He Cheats” wasn’t written about Tony Romo? How about “Cowboy Casanova” when Romo happens to play for the…Cowboys.
There are 3 teams that are undefeated this year, 2 of them are the Lions and Bills.
Vick gets hurt Again!:
After coming back from a concussion the week before, Vick ended up badly bruising his hand (initially thought to be a break) against Los Tramposos. Time and time again FMQB has talked about how banged up Vick is getting. The preseason was awful for him, even the Rams were knocking him around. It’s week 3 and he has already left the game twice for what could have been major injuries. I had an Over/Under 4 games missed due to injury at the beginning of the year, that prediction is looking pretty good as well.
On a side note, mouthguards are supposed to dramatically reduce the risk of concussions due to the jaws not slamming in on each other. QB’s typically don’t wear mouthguards as it is tough to understand the play that’s being called. But after a QB’s first concussion, most will return with a mouthguard. Vick doesn’t wear a mouthguard, and the blood he was spitting out was due to biting his tongue. When he returned Week 3, it was once again without a mouthguard.
Colt’s QB Competition is now a QB Conspiracy:
Before knowing anything for sure, I hate to say that Kerry Collins’ concussion wasn’t legit, but did you see the play that it supposedly happened? Not only was his head not hit (or hit the ground), he didn’t look phased at all as he immediately started jarring with the ref. But afterwards they showed Collins on the bench, with no trainers around him, sitting there looking frustrated with Curtis Painter warming up. It took nearly a half hour in real time to show trainers escorting Collins to the locker room. This all just seems fishy to me if the NFL is cracking down on concussion safety. Collins is completing 49% of his passes and has 481 yards in 3 games. He’s 29th in passing yards, 30th in passer rating, it’s obvious he isn’t getting the Colts offense. So they needed a spark. It’s hard to justify benching your free agent QB signing, but it’s my contention that Collins isn’t actually hurt and it’s an excuse to get Painter in. Painter had the best drive of the season for the Colts on one series. Just saying…(cue Twighlight Zone music).
Oh how the Immortal have fallen:
This week, God’s Gift to Man Cam only had 158 yds passing. Granted, this is 4X as many yards as McNabb had in Week 1, but after the 400 yard performances this looks pretty weak! What’s the only difference in this game? The Panthers actually won! On a side note, Cam’s immortal status has apparently angered the Football Gods, as they cast down a torrential monsoon for this game. Quote from one analyst watching the game “It sounds like they’re broadcasting in the shower!”
Obscure Scores of the Week:
At one point in the game, the Panthers led the Jaguars 5-3.
At one point in the game, the Redskins were winning 16-15. Only after the 9th field goal of the game did the Cowboys win 18-16.
The 49ers won their game 13-8.
Games of the Week:
Redskins at Rams (Why? Because I’m there!)
Lions at Cowboys (Could be a test for the Lions, but an exciting game is sure to happen)Over/Under Field Goals by the Cowboys vs. Calvin Johnson catches!
Steelers at Texans (Which team sinks to .500, which team is legit)
Patriots at Oakland (Oakland might have what it takes to take down Tom Brady)
Jets at Ravens (Rex Ryan vs. his old team)
Next Week: A detailed description of the Rams home game!!!