Apologies to the FMQB fans, but I need to run another 2 for 1 special in honor of a Black Friday that I lounged around. Keep in mind that this goes 2 weeks back again. I should be on the ball the rest of the season and not have these late or double posts.
Well it was Thanksgiving week everybody, one of the more exciting times for football fans as it is socially acceptable to lounge around and watch 9 hours of football on Thursday, and then another slate of games on Sunday. Time to Break out the Turducken!
Streaky NFL: (before Thanksgiving)
A lot of streaks this year in the NFL, teams that started off hot are now out of the playoff race, teams that were disappointments are now right on the cusp. Take a look at some of these numbers.
Remember last year when Tampa Bay went 4-0, then lost their remaining 12? Well a similar output this year had them at 2-4 for a disappointing start, but they have now won 4 in a row.
Broncos had their killer first stretch and their ridiculously easy second stretch. At one point they were 2-3 and in the talks of the most disappointing team in the NFL, but with 5 wins in a row I’ve seen them at #1 in some power rankings.
The Saints were an abysmal 0-4 to start the year, then 1-5, but have won 4 in a row and are a game out of the playoffs. If they can somehow make the playoffs, that’s gotta be a first.
The Eagles were an impressive 3-1 to start the season, but have since lost 6 straight and talks of benching their $100M QB and firing the longest tenured coach in the NFL have changed from whispers to legit possibilities.
Very quietly, Green Bay has won 5 in a row. With their phantom win, they actually should be 8-2 and in the talks of #2 seed.
That’s Why they Play the Game:
Would just like to point out that the Jaguars had a very impressive outing on Sunday. Against a team they had no hope to beat, away game in Houston, and their starting QB taken out just minutes into the game. Very impressive by Chad Henne (who is now the starter for the year, convenient how Gabbert was placed on IR after that performance…), and Justin Blackmon finally showing up for once and showing the type of WR he can be in the league.
Is anybody else super surprised that Dallas is only 1 game back from winning their division? They have mightily struggled against the Browns and Seattle, and have barely eeked out wins against Tampa Bay and Carolina. If they make the playoffs this year, they deserve it, as the back end of their schedule is tough.
Thought to Ponder:
If you say that Tebow is Terrible, is that considered blasphemy?
Stat of the Week #1:
2 of the top 5 rushers this year are rookies
Stat of the Week #2:
Justin Blackmon and Andre Johnson combined for 509 yards of offense
Stat of the Week #3:
San Francisco’s Aldon Smith already has 15 sacks for the season, on pace to break Strahan’s sack record of 22 ½ sacks
Back to Life, Back to Reality:
Alright we’re back to the most recent slate of games…Week 12 had another crazy slew of games, including an odd Thanksgiving. The Texans won because of a horrible non-call followed by a stupid rule regarding challenge flags. The Cowboys looked awful, came back, but not quite enough. And the Jets essentially had everybody shutting their TV’s off before halftime.
Stat of the Week #1:
The Patriots scored 3 TD’s in 52 seconds
Stat of the Week #2:
All 49 of the Patriots points came in 2 quarters, they were held scoreless in the 1st and 3rd quarter.
Stat of the Week #3:
The Texans played 2 overtime games in 5 days, essentially playing 10 quarters of football when everybody else played 8. Also, the teams they faced in OT were a combined 5-16.
Stat of the Week #4:
We’re into December, and the last Philadelphia team to win a game was the Phillies (who didn’t even make the playoffs).
Stat of the Week #5:
The power rankings always show the highest a team has been, and the lowest. The Eagles have a crazy spread, where they were ranked #1 and are now ranked #30!
Chargers are officially horrible:
The Chargers are literally 2 key moments in games away from being the #3 seed in the AFC. The first moment happened at halftime the first Broncos game, where they somehow blew a crazy lead. The second key moment happened this past Sunday. Trying to right the ship, the Chargers were doing a good job against a top 5 team in the Ravens. They had the Ravens at 4th and 29 with under 2 minutes in the game to go. Sure, you play a prevent defense on this play (and they did a good job covering 4 guys with simple instructions to “run far.” But you need to keep a player or two right at the first down sticks so they can head off any play heading that direction. By the time Flacco had to dump it off to Ray Rice, he had 30 yards to run to make the first down, with 8 defenders back there to stop him. How do you let him go that far without even getting touched?!?! His blocking was even horrible, it was like returning a kick and having 2 guys block for you. That play right there officially deems the Chargers horrible.
A plea to the schedulers:
I’m getting sick of the way teams play division rivals in 2 out of 3 games, and to be honest I feel like it takes away from the competition of the game. There should be one divisional matchup in the first half of the season, and one towards the very end. The Steelers can pretty much completely attribute their missing the playoffs (because they will miss the playoffs) this year to the scheduling. They were forced to play their main divisional rival without their starting QB because he happened to have a 3 week injury where the Steelers played the Ravens twice during. The Vikings are also playing the Bears 2 out of 3 weeks. What happens if the Vikes play the Bears at the beginning of the year when they were hot, do they pull of a win? Nobody knows. Not taking into account the Giants of last year, playoff teams should be decided by those who consistently play strong all season, not just for 6 games.
Like to take a moment to remember Drew Brees’ amazing TD pass streak, as this will be the new Joe Dimaggio streak for football. He had 54 straight games with a TD pass, over 3 full seasons without missing a game. What’s impressive about this is the fact that one mistake or fluke game breaks the streak. One game where you have 40 yard passes that get down to the 2, and then you get 3 rushing TD’s to win the game instead. But no, Brees was so talented that he didn’t have any of these games until Thursday. In a previous post I listed the crazy hall of fame QB’s who couldn’t do this, but I’m going to predict that Brees holds this record for another 40 years, even in the new pass happy NFL.
Bye Bye Fireman Ed:
Fireman Ed, the most famous NFL fan, said that he is retiring his outfit for the Jets. He was always fun to see
Most Insensitive Quote of the Week:
It was tragic to hear about the Kansas City Chiefs player who killed his girlfriend, and then committed suicide in front of his coaches. But there were 2 Family Guy style, politically incorrect, and very insensitive comments that were too funny not to post.
“I’d do that too if I played for the Chiefs” Anonymous
“I hope it wasn’t Dwayne Bowe” Anonymous 2
“Why, cuz he’s on your fantasy team?” Anonymous
Smith vs Kaepernick
Controversy of the season this year is what the 49ers are seeing right now. It’s been discussed in and out, but I need to put my 2 cents in as well. First off, I’ll NEVER be on the Alex Smith bandwagon. I’ve seen him struggle too much the last 7 years. Yes, he’s turned it around these past 2 years, but his strength is his efficiency. He manages the game. He wins the field position battle, and the time of possession battle. But if you’re ever down by 14 and need a comeback, Smith isn’t going to be that guy. When we were at the game, Smith struggled mightily throwing 3 picks. The only time they could semi-drive the ball was when Kaepernick was in. That Monday night performance that Kaepernick had was incredible. In the battle of the backups, Colin looked like a 5 year starter, and this was against one of the best defenses in the league against the Bears! Only time will tell if Harbaugh is making the right choice, and it’s very difficult to bench a winning QB for the “hot hand,” but I think this is the best move for San Francisco.