First, I have a disclaimer/complaint. I’ve mentioned before that as FMQB, I have the unique position of talking about the Week 4 games, plus one Week 5 game before anybody else can. But this is the 3rd week in a row that the result of the Thursday Night Game has affected the stats I have already compiled. So here’s my disclaimer, if you ever see a stat involving a team that played on Thursday night, that stat WAS true after the first week, but since my column wasn’t intended to cover the new week, it may not be completely accurate anymore.
Anywhoos, back to football. We’re at the quarterpole of the season. Always an interesting barometer on how the season will go. Teams have been surprisingly good (Vikings, Rams, Chargers, Cardinals), surprisingly bad (Cowboys, Lions, Saints, Jets), and a few right where we thought they would be (49ers, Eagles, Falcons, Ravens, Texans). But keep in mind that there are still a lot of games to be played. Think back to last year, and the streaking hot Buccaneers were off to a 4-0 start. How’d that work out for them? Oh yeah, lost 12 in a row.
Stat of the Week #1:
The Patriots became the first team since 2008 to have two 100yd rushers and two 100yd receivers.
Stat of the Week #2:
Christian Ponder is the only starting quarterback that has not thrown an interception. The next fewest INTs? RGIII with only 1.
Stat of the Week #3:
Greg Zeurlein is the first kicker in NFL HISTORY to make 2 kicks of at least 58 yards in a game. He’s also perfect on his first 13 kicks, 8 of those from 46 yards and out. Looks like Leg-a-tron is here to stay! Oh, and he’s only played 5 games in his pro career.
Stat of the Week #4:
How important is the Quarterback position in this day and age? If you look at the top 14 QB’s in passer rating, each team they lead are at or above .500.
Stat of the Week #5:
The Cardinals and Vikings are a combined 7-1, the Saints and Lions are a combined 1-7.
Stat of the Week #6:
With the replacement refs back in, average game time immediately dropped by 8 minutes.
Stat of the Week #7:
The Rams haven’t been above .500 in nearly 6 years. Way to go!
If the Playoffs started Today:
Arizona and Houston would be the #1 seeds. Would anybody have expected that 3 years ago?
Surprisingly, the Jets would be in the playoffs.
Crazy Fantasy Turn of Events #1:
Not that anybody cares, but I went into Monday night ahead by 5 points, and my opponent had Michael Bush, RB for the Bears. With Forte out the previous 2 weeks and Questionable for this game, I knew I was screwed. But thankfully, Forte played and was a strong enough force for the Bears that they only got Bush involved on a few plays, netting him 1 fantasy point. Late in the 4th quarter, the Bears were on the goal line and put Bush in, I thought for sure it was over. There was a holding call that backed them up 10 yds, whew. But then a pass to Marshall in the endzone was called a pass interference call, ball on 1 yd line! The Bears snap it and give it to Bush, but the play is blown dead. The Cowboys were able to challenge the play (new rule this year), since the ball was tipped. Play reversed, field goal, touchdown averted, matchup won!
Crazy Fantasy Turn of Events #2:
FFMQB recently got into Fantasy Football and has turned an 0-2 team into a 2-2 team. With all her players playing on Sunday afternoon, she had a hefty 50 point lead going against McCoy, Tony Romo, Brandon Marshall, and DeMarco Murray. This is right on the edge of being safe, her opponent would need a pretty strong game from all players to make up that gap. Of course, McCoy, Murray, and Marshall end up having outstanding games and the gap is dwindling. When Marshall scores the game sealing TD, it puts her opponent up by 1 pt, essentially losing the game for FFMQB. But all of a sudden Romo comes in and throws an INT with 4 minutes left in the game, knocking him back 2 points! Crazy turn of events ended up giving her the win 100-99.
Quote of the Week #1:
“Packer Nation Fell on the Sword to Protect the Shield” Packer fan…love this quote!
Quote of the Week #2:
“Packer fans are wishing the replacement refs were back” Joe Buck after a blown fumble call
Should the Jets throw in Tebow over Sanchez?
Before the Jets panic, they have a very tough schedule to start out the year. And it doesn’t get easier with the Texans and Patriots the next two games, so it’s not all on Sanchez’ shoulders. But Tim Tebow has completed 100% of his passes, with 0 INT’s. Just saying…
Icing the Kicker Rant:
A new trend the last decade is for coaches to call a timeout right as the kicker is about to try a game winning FG. Conventional wisdom says that with more time to ponder the kick, the kicker will overthink it, or the pressure will hit him, and he will miss the kick. To be perfectly honest, I’m completely sick of this tactic. In week 2, Mike Shanahan (who basically invented this tactic) called a timeout at the end of the half. Greg the Leg went to miss his first kick, but got a second chance and nailed it (crucial in this close game). In week 3, same result. Joe Philbin called an icing timeout the instant before the snap, in which the Jets missed the field goal, but made the second try. Both teams lost by 3 points…What I don’t get is these coaches are basically telling the opposing kickers “I dare you to make this game winning field goal, but I’ll be nice and give you a practice shot first.” Kickers can get a feel for the wind, distance, and what the rush is going to be in a game situation. Why would you do this?!?! I can’t even count the number of times this happened last year. Adam Vinatieri came out and said that icing the kicker actually helps him calm down. I read one article (sorry don’t have exact stats) that showed that a kicker is 2% more likely to make a kick after an icing ploy. Andy Reid tried the same thing on Sunday night, and he was 1yd lucky that the Eagles didn’t lose because of it.
Sweet Drive of the Week #1:
Matt Ryan getting pinned at the 1 yd line with :59 seconds left, and actually driving the Falcons into FG range. You sir have ice water in your veins.
Sweet Drive of the Week #2:
RGIII had a very nice 2-minute drill to win the game for the Redskins this week right after a Buccaneers score. Strong performance for the rookie.
Upset of the Week:
Look for the Titans and Hasselbeck to Shock the Vikings. Hasselbeck is a very underrated QB who took the Titans to a 9-7 record last year. Their defense is atrocious, but I expect the Titans to hang in there offensively.
It has been 12 days since our last arrest! Apparently the record is 33 days, that’s pretty pathetic.