Bit of a longer post today, but with the season in full swing, I have a lot to say. I would like to apologize ahead of time for the dissertation, as well as all the Broncos talk…
What’s Going on in Cleveland?
I’m truly confused with what’s going on in Cleveland. They started 0-2, and decided to trade away Trent Richardson (they traded up for him last year, easily their best player). They have since gone 3-0, which is great. Well they just lost Brian Hoyer for the season, which is a huge disappointment. But 2 days after this happens, they start shopping around Josh Gordon their #1 Receiver. The Browns are tied for 1st in their division, but it’s like they’re stockpiling draft picks for next year already. Why are they trying to throw the season?
Brady Hits a Wall:
Have we found the new DiMaggio record for the NFL? As readers remember, there is a slew of QB’s who didn’t even come close to Johnny Unitas’ record of 48 straight games with a TD pass. Brees passed this record last year, but only by a few games to reach 54 straight games. Tom Brady was the only other QB close enough to pass it, and his streak ended at 52 games on Sunday. To put this into perspective, this means that Brady threw a TD pass in every game since late 2009. As I mentioned last year, all it takes is one fluke game where your RB gets 3 TD’s instead, or a crappy weather game like last week. But I find it hard to believe we will see any QB’s get close to this record anytime soon.
Fantasy Moment of the Week:
FMQB was playing an undefeated coworker in Fantasy this week, and had several injuries and Byes. Because of this, I was forced to pick up Jaquizz Rodgers for my flex spot. It came down to Monday Night Football, and I was down by 17 points. Rodgers had 2 points by halftime and I thought it was over when he got stuffed at the 1 yardline, missing out on 6 easy points for yours truly. Yet he somehow racked up a ton of points in the 2nd half, netting him a total of…17 points, for a tie. Oh well, either way it was one of the more adrenaline packed fantasy matchups I’ve watched in awhile.
Speaking of Monday night…
The primetime schedulers have had some goofy night games this year, and yet they have turned into absolute gems! Eagles vs Redskins in Week 1 (a 4-12 vs 10-6 team last year) ended up being an awesome game. So did you Houston’s comeback against San Diego. The Giants turnover fest yet almost beating the Cowboys, and then Atlanta’s near comeback against the Patriots. This past week’s looked horrible, Jets vs. Falcons. I told FFMQB before the game, that I thought it would be 28-3 at halftime. Instead, we saw an amazing back and forth with the Falcons FINALLY scoring a redzone TD late in the 4th quarter. Geno Smith then executed an excellent 2 minute drill to get the Jets well within field goal range. Very exciting game.
God’s Gift to Man
I don’t think I’ve had a post about this recently, but would like to once again voice my shock that everybody thinks Cam Newton is the answer. First off, it’s his 3rd year in the league and he’s started 1-3 or worse in each season. There comes a certain point where you realize the experiment has failed. I think the team needs some fresh blood in there, but as a #1 overall pick, you know he’s going to be stuck there until his contract is up. There are only 7 QB’s with a worse passer rating than Newton, and he has 6 turnovers in 4 games. Second of all, how was Newton a top 7 QB in the fantasy draft this year?
Freeman’s Impact on Ponder
Thanks to a reader question, I discussed 2 weeks ago that the Vikings should not try to pick up beleaguered Bucs QB Josh Freeman. Well, Leslie Frasier must not read my blog yet, because that’s exactly what happened. Here’s why I don’t like the move. Freeman is 1-9 in his last 10 starts (Ponder is 4-6). Freeman is 2nd to last in Passer Rating this year (only Blaine Gabbert is worse). Vikings fans argue that 2 years ago, Freeman passed for 4000 yards and took his team to the playoffs. Well Ponder took the Vikings to the playoffs last year and is also averaging more yards per game than Freeman is. Freeman also only completed 45% of his passes in Tampa Bay, who easily has better receivers than the Vikings. I have yet to see compelling evidence that Freeman is better, yet they paid him $3 million for 12 games, and you don’t pay someone that much to sit on the bench (this isn’t Matt Flynn for God sake!). The impact on Ponder? He’s officially done as the Vikings QB. Should that be what happened? No. Here’s the ACTUAL reason I don’t like the move. Matt Cassel played a pretty darn good game in London against the Steelers, and I would like to see him get one more quality start. But I think Cassel is the answer the rest of the season, and not Freeman. See Stat #4 below.
You start to feel bad, then you’re like “No”
FMQB mentioned last week how I felt bad for Matt Flynn, who finally got his chance to start and had a rough outing, before being demoted to 3rd string. This week the Raiders straight up cut Flynn, who is now out of a job. Let’s take a look at how Flynn managed to work the system. In 2 years, Flynn got paid $14.2 million dollars and ended up starting 1 game. He got to tell everybody that he was an NFL Quarterback, make top notch pay, and yet not have the pressure or injuries that a normal starting QB goes through. Sounds like a pretty nice gig if you ask me.
2 Down, 3 To Go:
One of my favorite parts of new seasons is seeing how far into the year that teams go before their first loss. It’s especially fun when you get to Week 12,13,14 and start to hear whispers of benching all your super-stars for the playoffs instead of going for perfection. Well we’re halfway to that point, and we still have 3 undefeated teams. Somehow 2 of the teams hail from the same division. The Broncos are only a surprise in terms of their dominance, but were expected to be here. The Chiefs are a huge surprise after their 2-14 season last year. And the Saints fall in the middle. Two teams got knocked off the quest for perfection last week (Patriots and Seahawks), so it will be interesting to see how far these 3 can go. Also excited for the Week 11 matchup between the Chiefs and Broncos.
As Luck would Have it
Andrew Luck is at it again. He engineered another 4th Quarter or OT game winning drive to knock off the undefeated Seahawks on Sunday. It was his 9th such drive in just 21 games in his short career. With the Texans faltering and the surprising Titans without Locker, the Colts are prime to start running away with the division.
As I was Saying:
High hopes for the Texans this year has turned to questions about where the team will be heading in the future. Matt Schaub now has the dubious record of 4 straight games of having an Interception returned for a TD. Watching the 49ers game was interesting, even the commentators pointed out that the defense had a “Trap Coverage” where the corner would come off his man and go to the guy Schaub was actually throwing to, leading to the first pick. Rumor in the league is that the Texans have become incredibly predictable, and Sunday night proved this. This could easily be Schaub’s last week if he doesn’t pick it up against the Rams.
Answer me “What is more true?” Are the Jaguars one of the worst teams we’ve seen, or are the Broncos one of the best teams we’ve seen? I think there’s a legitimate argument for both. Case in point, the spread for Sunday’s game in Denver. The Broncos are favored to win by 28 points, a new record spread. To be honest, I’m not sold the Jags will be even able to cover the spread, my money would be on the Broncos.
The New York Toaster Strudels record shows signs of an awful team, as they fell to 0-6 last night against the Bears. The stats of the game also show signs of an awful team (Eli had 3 INTs, 1 returned for a TD). But watching the game was a completely different story. The Giants running game looked sharp, Brandon Jacobs looked like he was back in his prime as it took at least 3 defenders to take him down each time. Manning also looked sharp on all but 3 plays. Completing quite a few deep passes over 20 yards. They also only lost by 6 points, on the road, to a team that should be tough in the playoffs. I’ve watched 2 of their 6 games, and turnovers are the only reason they lost both games. If they can get the turnover machine fixed, I can see the Giants making a bit of a run to finish 7-9.
If the Playoffs Started today…
Half of the teams would be different than last year’s teams. Love the parity!
Stolen Stat of the Week:
Combined, the Manning brothers are .500
Stat of the Week #2:
Carolina is 1-3, but has outscored opponents by 16 points
Stolen Stat of the Week #3:
The Jaguars have scored a league low 51 points through 5 games. On Sunday, the Broncos scored 51 points in 4 quarters…
Stat of the Week #4:
Matt Cassel has as many TD passes in 1 game, as Freeman (and Ponder) do in 3 games
Stat of the Week #5:
Somehow the 0-5 Giants are only 2 games back in the division
Stat of the Week #6:
The Saints have a 4 game lead in their division through 5 games. Think it’s safe to buy a Saints home playoff game ticket
Reader Stat of the Week #7:
Adrian Peterson has more yards through 4 games, than he did with his (near) record breaking season last year.
For the Record:
In their last 10 regular season starts, Peyton Manning is 10-0, Josh Freeman is 1-9, and Blaine Gabbert is 0-10. Oh, and Tim Tebow is 6-4…
I Can’t Help It
Well I made it just about to the end of the blog without talking about the Broncos (well almost), but that streak has ended folks. Not only will the Denver vs. Dallas game probably be the game of the season, the Broncos are officially amazing. Neither D could stop the other team, and it’s crazy to think that literally the first team to 50 points would win it. There was 1 punt the entire game, and only 2 turnovers. Manning threw his first interception of the season (broke the record for most TD’s thrown before an interception with 20). Romo had one of the greatest performances of all time, and unfortunately all anybody will remember is his last minute interception. But he had 5 TD’s and was only 48 yards shy for the most passing yards ever in a game. The Broncos are on pace for crazy offensive numbers and points. The fewest they’ve scored all year is 37 points.
Quote of the Week:
“We’re playing a good NFL football team, their defense is stingy in the redzone” Peyton Manning, while somehow keeping a straight face
Games of the Week:
New Orleans at New England: Should be an interesting matchup, should have been against 2 undefeateds. The Patriots don’t look excellent at the moment, but Gronkowski is expected to play this week. I’m expecting a shootout, with a last minute interception sealing the deal. Saints 35, Patriots 31
Jacksonville at Denver: The only reason this is the game of the week is I’m curious to see how bad of a beating this turns out to be. My score, Broncos 45, Jaguars 6
Green Bay at Baltimore: I think this is going to be an intriguing game between 2 teams that are deciding whether they are elite or mediocre. Packers 24, Baltimore 23
Washington at Dallas: These division rivals always have good outings. Washington won both games last year, but look for that to change with RGIII getting pummeled in a hard fought game. Cowboys 31, Redskins 21
Compiled Reader Questions:
Q) What team with a 3-2 record has the best shot at making the playoffs/will win more games?
A) There are a surprising amount of teams with this record (some teams with byes are 2-2, but I’ll count those too). In the NFC, I say the Packers and 49ers will make the playoffs, the 49ers winning more games. The Bears are on the cusp, but I have the Lions and Cardinals (3-2) missing the playoffs. For the AFC, I have Baltimore and Cincinnati making it with the Bengals having the most wins. Miami, Tennessee and NY Jets missing out.
Reader Question #2:
Q) How long will it take the Steelers to be a contender again? Does Big Ben have another shot at a playoff run with this aging defense or do they have to start from scratch?
A) Very good question! The team went 8-8 last year, and at 0-4 already I think that 8-8 would be a victory for them this year. In reality, they should have a fairly high pick in the draft, I see them finishing at 4-12. Not only is their Defense aging, but their offensive line has been rough. They are also dead last in rushing, averaging 58 yds per game. Ben is getting sacked 4 times a game and is in the bottom half of QBs in rating. He’s also 31 years old at this point. With so many issues, they definitely need a start from scratch. In saying that, 2 decent drafts or free agency periods, they could get back there. But they’re also in an impossible division with young and upcoming teams. So LONG STORY SHORT, no, I don’t think that we’ll see Big Ben in the playoffs in a Steeler uniform again.
Reader Question #3:
Q) How many points will the Bills score in the Super Bowl this year?
A) Ahhh, curse the day I promised to answer every reader question! Let me phrase my answer carefully. The Bills haven’t exactly had a history of winning Super Bowls, so to answer your question “Not enough points to win the Super Bowl.” I also thought about saying “negative points,” but that’s about as likely as the Bills actually making it to the Super Bowl…
It has been 1 day since a NFL star was arrested on gun charges, or in court for a hearing on Murder charges…