FMQB: Time to Panic
Well Week 1 is over and we all know where our teams are going to end up. I love how some shows are already panicking about the fates of their teams this early, so this installment will have me doing the same.
Topsy Turvy AFC East:
There are 3 things that are certain in this life; death, taxes, and the Patriots winning the AFC East…Well for the first time since Tom Brady came in the league in 2001, the Patriots are alone in last place! Miami pulled quite an upset against the Patriots, scoring 23 unanswered points and shutting the Patriots out in the 2nd half with two strip sacks on Brady. Buffalo also pulled quite the upset, going into Chicago and winning it in OT. I’m not sure I can handle the playoffs without Brady, but a nice January Miami game will sure be fun to watch!
After watching the opening game last Thursday, all I could think about is the fact that somehow the Seahawks looked better than they did last year. I’m not sure Aaron Rodgers threw one ball to Richard Sherman’s side of the field. The Seahawks D held a pretty strong offense to only 10 points, with the only TD coming on a very short field. Russell Wilson also looked solid on offense, and I loved the double read option play which led to a throw and TD! All I can say is, with all the current pieces in place and if Percy Harvin can stay healthy this year, Seattle has a legit shot at repeating.
For the Record:
FMQB’s Super Bowl teams (Chicago and New England) are a combined 0-2…
Stat of the Week #1:
Peyton Manning leads the league in TD passes, yet is on pace to fall 7 TD’s short of what he did last year
Stat of the Week #2:
In terms of yards, Peyton Manning isn’t even in the top 1/3 of QBs.
Stat of the Week #3:
The leading rusher is Knowshon Moreno, a “backup” running back
Stat of the Week #4:
Brian Hoyer’s first 4 drives of the 2nd half resulted in TD, TD, FG, and TD.
Stat of the Week #5:
Peyton Manning has now beaten all 32 teams in the NFL
The Philadelphia game itself is a microcosm of what analysts are seeing with this season already. Sure the Eagles went down 17-0 and struggled, but in the end true talent prevailed and they beat the Jaguars by 17. Heck of a comeback, but that’s what should have happened anyway. Everybody who is panicking about their team already (minus Rams fans) should see that you don’t win the Super Bowl in one game just like you don’t win the game in one quarter.
Panic Mode Pt 2:
Speaking of Panic Mode, what do you think the Browns Punter was thinking when he saw Antonio Brown leaping and about to karate kick him?!?! Glad to see the Browns punter joking about it afterwards, because I doubt it was intentional. But I heard one hardcore Steelers fan proclaim that this was the greatest moment in team history due to their hatred of the Browns (like their 6 Super Bowl titles don’t match that).
Hard Knock Life:
After a dreadful season last year, the Atlanta Hard Knocks came back with a vengeance, beating their bitter rivals (and arguably a Super Bowl Favorite) New Orleans Saints to start the season. Matt Ryan may not have been clutch last season in the red zone, but apparently all you need is to get to the 35 yard line so 39 year old Matt Bryant can kick two 50+ yard field goals to win the game for you!
Back It Up:
With all the QB happy stats we’ve been seeing, it’s strange that the recent theme in the NFL is the fact that your team survives based on the quality of your backup QB. Look at Chicago last year, when Josh McCown showed he was still very capable of running a team (the jury is still out in Tampa). Yet the Rams season is over based on their lack of depth at the position. On Sunday, God’s Gift to Man Cam was a late scratch, and Derek Anderson was called up. He ended up having a solid game, and giving his team a division win that could very well be a deciding factor in December. Kudos to you Derek Anderson.
Panic or Manic?
We’re going to quickly look at some teams that lost but should have won, or teams that won and should have lost. It’s a rapid fire analysis on whether the losing teams need to panic, or if the winning teams’ fan base should prepare to be manic! (Idea courtesy of FFMQB)
Packers: No need to panic; they scored more than the Broncos did and they were the best offense of all time
Vikings: No need to get manic, played a beat up team. A win against NE could change this quickly though
Falcons: Manic! Falcons are legit this year, and their offense is back to being explosive
Bills: Manic! Well almost. AFC Wild Cards are up for grabs this year, and the Bills have a chance to be a .500 team
Texans: No need to manic. Still way to many questions
Chiefs: Panic, their D has lost 2 Pro Bowlers, and Jamaal Charles’ outing was just terrible
Patriots: No need to panic, yet…The Patriots are always winners with Brady, but if they go 0-2 in Min I’d switch this to Panic in a heartbeat
Dolphins: Manic! Moreno, Tannehill, Wallace could push this team into contention this year
Titans: Manic! 3 way race between Ten, Mia and Buf for the Wildcard spots. Locker had a sharp game against a good D
Does anybody question the San Francisco defense anymore? Four forced turnovers with a skeleton crew
Does anybody in Minnesota miss Percy Harvin anymore after seeing the explosiveness of Cordarelle Patterson on Sunday?
Watching the Vikings vs. Rams game was just painful with all the penalties that were thrown. 20 in this game
Most Exciting Non-Play of the Week:
As most FMQB readers know, after being a student of the game for the past 12 years, the catch 22 is that it’s hard to get super excited for a random play. Well it happened this week in the Broncos game for me which had me yelling at the screen. The play was when Luck tried to QB sneak it in from the 1 yard line on 4th down. He got swarmed on, but RB Bradshaw came behind him and grabbed the ball from Luck. He then ran around the defense and into the endzone, and even the camera didn’t see what was happening. Meanwhile yours truly is bouncing up and down on the couch yelling “Bradshaw has the ball!!!” over and over. But alas, it was blown dead, but that was the most exciting non-play of the week.
Never Too Early:
If the playoffs were to start today…Miami, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Atlanta and Detroit would all be representing their division.
Quote of the Week:
“There’s a feeling among a lot of us that Luck will be one of the greatest quarterbacks in the game someday, and it’s like you’re out there saying Not Quite Yet” Denver Reporter
“That’s pretty deep for a Tennessee graduate” Peyton Manning
The Elephant in the Room:
I am going to refrain from commenting too much on the Ray Rice scandal since everybody and their mom has an opinion on this, but I do have one question. What do they think happened behind those elevator doors before the video was released? TMZ threw the proverbial challenge flag, and the NFL overturned the ruling on the field. My problem with this whole situation is everybody should have realized that Ray’s fiancé wasn’t shoved or merely bumped in the elevator, but that something as violent as we saw had to have happened for her to be unconscious. So why change the ruling now? The NFL only did this to try to save face since now the whole country had seen what happened…I do however agree with the Ravens decision to release him (he’s their employee), just not necessarily the NFL’s decision to backtrack on their suspension. Let’s hope “indefinitely” isn’t longer than 6 games, otherwise Ray will have a legal argument against the NFL. At the end of the day, society’s suspension will be worse than anything the NFL could divvy out. Look for Michael Vick-like protestsIF Ray Rice ever plays another down in the league again.
Games of the Week:
New England at Minnesota: If Minnesota can win this game, will people be calling for Brady’s replacement? Also Brady vs. Cassell for the first time.
Detroit at Carolina: Potential playoff preview? Big offense vs. Staunch Defense
Chicago at San Francisco: Chicago can’t start 0-2
Philadelphia at Indianapolis: Shootout?
Miami at Buffalo: One of these teams will be 2-0
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I wish you would do game predictions. Either a lock against the spread for the week, or top 5 guaranteed wins, or just pick the winner of each game.
It’d be fun to see your record at the end of the year.
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