Last of the Unbeatens Fall
Well the game of the season ended up living up to everybody’s expectations. FMQB was right and wrong all at once. I was perhaps a little overconfident in Manning’s abilities. Even hobbled, I said all week that a Manning at 50% would destroy the Chieves. Well he took care of business, but it wasn’t flashy. Instead it was slow, consistent, precision plays that took care of the Chieves. Manning picked apart the defense, often finding the 1 gap in the D and exploiting that when every other receiver was covered. The real winner of this game was the Denver Offensive Line. Manning not only didn’t get sacked, he didn’t get hit, which is a blessing for an injured QB. Give the Chieves defense credit though, they held the Broncos to the fewest points scored all year (27), and the fewest TD’s thrown by Manning (1). But the Broncos
Stolen Stat of the Week:
Number of Green Bay starting quarterbacks over last three games: 3 (Aaron Rodgers, Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien).
Number of Green Bay starting quarterbacks over previous 371 games: 3 (Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn)
Stat of the Week #2:
The Giants started 0-6, and have now won 4 in a row. They are only 1.5 games back from first in the division
Stat of the Week #3:
The Bears vs. Ravens game took 5 hours and 16 minutes to complete
Stat of the Week #4:
Of the past 6 games that have been delayed either before or during the game, the Ravens have been in 3 of those games.
Stat of the Week #5:
The Eagles are in 1st place in their division, but are 1-4 at home. They just won their first home game in 14 months.
Stat of the Week #6:
The Jets have still not had back to back wins or losses this year. Their games go WLWLWLWLWL
Heidi Moment Part Deux:
When looking at the matchups last week for the Noon games, the one that I was the most intrigued with was Philly vs Washington. We were watching that game, and the Eagles got up to a quick 24-0 lead early in the 3rd quarter. Immediately, Fox came on and said they were switching to a “more competitive game.” I can understand this if it’s the waning moments of the 4th quarter, but there was 9:41 left in the 3rd, almost an entire half! Sure enough, we had to watch the score on our phones say Redskins score, 2pt successful. Then another Redskins score, 2pt successful. All of a sudden it’s a 1 possession game at 24-16, and Washington has the chance for a game winning drive with over 3 minutes left, and FOX still isn’t going back! I had to watch it via highlights, and it did fall short, but Fox shouldn’t have cut away from that game until at least later in the game.
WARNING: If you’re a Patriots fan, don’t read this section:
There, now that we got all the riff raff out (haha just kidding). After a string of rough Monday night matchups, ESPN hit gold this past week, pitting the surprising Panthers against the always solid (and popular) Patriots. A relatively defensive battle, the Panthers hung in there, and led a game winning drive to score with 59 seconds left. Even as a Patriot hater, I still knew that this was too much time for Tom Brady. Sure enough, he easily drove the field and got to the 18 yard line with 1 play left. The Panthers D then decided to let the controversy ensure by tying up Gronkowski to not be able to make a play on the ball, in what looked like a pass interference call. A flag was thrown, then picked up and said there was no penalty. (If you’re a Patriots fan and made it this far, now is when I advise you to stop reading). I have 3 reasons why I not only like the call, but why it was the correct call. First: People aren’t looking at the play entirely. There were 2 defenders covering Gronk, the one who intercepted the ball, and the one who “interfered” with him. The interceptor broke away from Gronk to go get the ball, because it was underthrown. This puts himself between Gronk and the ball. The ball would have been intercepted either way, rendering the “interference” a moot point. This leads me to my Second reason; the rulebook. Gerry Austin (A ref who reffed 2 Super Bowls) explained the rule after the game. Apparently if a ball is knocked down, deflected, or intercepted in between the receiver and the QB “at or about the same time” that contact is initiated, it isn’t a penalty. The Third: Even if it was Pass Interferance, the ball was still uncatchable. SportsScience claimed that Gronk could have caught it if the momentum of the defender hadn’t kept pushing him back. SportScience also said that contact initiated .6 seconds before the interception occurred. There is ZERO chance that Gronk could slow down, stop, come back to the ball, go through the defender, AND catch an underthrown ball in half a second. He may be a superior athlete, but he isn’t a super hero. People who claim it was a penalty need to look at the play and the rule book to figure it out. To be honest, that’s why there was only backlash for 1 day unlike the Fail Mary which people heard about all season. For an additional read, very interesting to see TMQ’s take on his Parking Lot Theory of why the flag was picked up.
Quote/Prediction of the Week:
“The Chiefs will lose, but not by more than 10” FFMQB (the Chieves lost by 10)
Quote of the Week #2 turned into Analysis:
“You know, it really doesn’t seem like there’s been great matchups this year” FFMQB. You know what, she’s right. Opening night had hype, with Baltimore vs Denver. Then the Saints have had 2, Miami for Monday night when both were undefeated, and the Patriots game. Then nothing until last week’s Broncos Chieves game. Monday night games have been streaky and poor matchups. Kind of been an odd year, but they always seem to pick up especially come playoff time. The league also is opening up the Flex schedule for next year to show some better games nationally, this year’s matchups may be part of that reason. This leads me to the Games of the Week.
Games of the Week:
Well this week, the Broncos have Part #2 in a 3 week series where Denver plays in the Game of the Week. This week, the Broncos travel to New England to take on the angry Patriots. Should be a tight game, and I actually think the Patriots will pull it out. I’m going 34-31.
Cowboys at Giants: With the Giants winning streak pitted against the Cowboys hit and miss ability. Let’s keep it rolling G-men, 24-23 Giants.
FMQB Getting out there?
Take a look at some of the usernames of people who have commented the past weeks. There’s a Christian Laettner, Tyler Hansborough, Tim Tebow, and Mark Madsen. What are the odds these are the real athletes? Slim. But hey, a blogger can dream right?