It’s hard to believe we’re past Week 8 and already to the halfway point of the season. It’s been a fun ride so far, but playoff races are heating up. I’ll get to my halfway predictions soon, but let’s start with an exciting Week 8.
Last year it was the Colts who you couldn’t trust with a huge lead over, and this year the comeback kids seem to be the Detroit Lions. Last week against the Saints, they were down by 13 points with 5 minutes left and came back to win. On Sunday across the pond, the Brits got to see an awesome comeback after going down 21-0, and finally winning it on a goofy last minute field goal. I think that’s the first time I’ve seen a kicker miss a kick, but the offense got penalized (which couldn’t be declined since they blew the whistle), and got a chance to re-kick and make it to win the game.
Sunday the Cardinals went from a team that was under the radar, and perhaps lucked into getting to 5-1, to a team that is legitimate and can play with the big boys. On the outside, the 75 yard pass with just over a minute left seems like luck. But when you hear the breakdown of the play, how Palmer changed only one route after seeing the defense, and the route John Brown ran, it was absolutely genius. The Cards are now 2 full games ahead of both the 49ers and Seahawks, in a division that is widely considered the toughest in the NFL.
How does the Colts defense shut out the Bengals in Week 7, but give up 51 points to the Steelers on Sunday? Feel bad for Andrew Luck on that game, 34 points wins in this league 95% of the time.
Stat of the Week #1:
Since the Chiefs debacle, the Patriots have outscored opponents 158-71, or an average of 21.75 points
Stat of the Week #2:
Sunday was the first day in NFL History with Four 400 yard passers
Stat of the Week #3:
Ben Roethlisberger is the 1st QB with multiple 500 yard passing games in his career
Stat of the Week #4:
Every team in the NFC South is below .500 (Car, NO, Atl, TB). Every team in the AFC North is above .500 (Pit, Cle, Bal, Cin).
Stat of the Week #5:
12 of the 16 AFC teams are at .500 or above. Currently half of the teams that are above .500 would not make the playoffs.
Stolen Stat of the Week #6:
Tom Brady threw as many incomplete passes on Sunday (5) as he did TD passes (5).
Stat of the Week #7:
Aaron Rodgers threw twice as many Interceptions on Sunday (2) than he had the first 7 weeks (1)
Stat of the Week #8:
DeMarco Murray is on pace to beat Eric Dickerson’s yardage mark by 3 yards.
Fall from Grace Stat of the Week #9:
A year and a half ago, Matt Schaub was leading a team that was a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Since then, he has had a rough season of throwing interceptions, and just got his job taken away by a rookie. On Sunday he threw his first/only pass of the season on a FG fake. You guessed it, interception.
Below are my thoughts for seeding for the 2nd half of the season. I have Seattle beating out Green Bay into the playoffs, Detroit taking the #1 seed, and New Orleans leap-frogging the Panthers (for the record, I had this written before last night’s game, FFMQB can corroborate my story). In the AFC, I have Baltimore winning the division despite getting swept by the Bengals, and the Colts finishing strong to grab the #2 spot.
- New Orleans
- New England
- San Diego
In terms of more specific scenarios. I think Geno Smith is starting for the Jets by Week 13 again, and Rex Ryan is gone by Week 14. The RGIII comeback will fall short, with the Colt McCoy having the most wins as QB by the end of the season. There will also be another tie in the NFL this year, and DeMarco Murray will beat out Peyton Manning for MVP when he gets 2058 yards.
Reader Quote of the Week #1:
“I do not play basketball. I do not have a unibrow” Anthony Davis of the 49ers
Quote of the Week #2:
“No means No!” VP of Communication, in the only time in history that quote is funny
Reader Stat/Team Stat/Stolen Stat of the Week #9:
A lot of my readers follow the Vikings, so thanks to the German for shooting me this interesting stat. Last year, the Vikings had one of the worst defenses in the league. Despite a losing record, they have turned it around to be 4th in passing yards allowed, and 8th in total yards allowed. They’re in 2nd place with 25 sacks, and have allowed 17 points or less in 3 straight games. (Courtesy Vikings.com and Chris Kuck).
Games of the Week:
Cardinals at Cowboys: If the Cardinals can pull of a win in Dallas, they’re the real deal and my new Super Bowl favorite. They may already be anyway…
Broncos at Patriots: 16th meeting between Manning and Brady. Seems like a lot more than that, but every game is exciting.
Ravens at Steelers: Battle for 1st in the uber competitive AFC North.
NFC Final Standings:
3. Green Bay
4. New Orleans
AFC Final Standings
DeMarco Murray will miss 3-5 games with an ankle injury, as usual, and not be in the conversation for MVP, even if he gets 1900 rushing yards. He would win Offensive POY though.
Winners of those 3 games:
Arizona (with Romo out), Patriots, Steelers.