FMQB: The Bumbling Browns
Week 9 indicates the halfway point in the NFL, with most teams playing 8 games (minus the small handful who haven’t had their Bye’s yet). There is still plenty of season left, but some teams have pulled away from the pack while others are already faltering. Either way, a picture has begun to be painted. It’s very refreshing to see a bit of parody in the NFL, with a few teams we haven’t seen in the playoffs in awhile/constistently (Cowboys, Raiders, Falcons, Giants, Vikings, etc.). Before we get too excited though, my halfway Super Bowl prediction is Patriots Seahawks.
Oakland is Legit:
I think the reason I keep saying this is because I’m just so shocked to say it. They’ve had 15 years of terrible football, so it’s fun to see them back. Either way, they just dismantled the supposedly staunch Denver D. They rushed for 218 yds, with 3 rushing TD’s. This team has good QB play, a strong run attack, and good defense. That’s the recipe for playoff success, and it could be interesting to see what they’re like in January.
Richard Sherman rant:
Richard Sherman is probably the most polarizing figure in the NFL. This typically means that a person either loves him or hate him, but somehow he has become a person that you can flip flop your own emotions on him several times. Watching him speak, press conferences, or even reading his blog; he’s one of the most well spoken and intelligent people out there. You have to respect him for that, he’s a very intelligent guy and a true spokesperson for the NFL. But then somehow he gets onto the field, and turns into a dirty cocky player that everybody can hate. He completely crushed the Bills kicker at the end of the 1st half, zero chance he was going for the ball.
Seahawks Skirting the Rules:
While we’re on the subject, doesn’t it seem like there have been a lot of very goofy endings of games mainly resulting in referee judgement calls? Every single one of them goes in favor of the Seahawks. You had the Fail Mary, granted that was a few years back now. Then you had the Monday night game where the ball was batted out of the back of the endzone for a safety. Then the Pass Interference call against the Falcons, and there were several in the Jets game too. Now you had this game with the refs literally blowing 4 calls in a short sequence. How does this keep happening to this one team?!?! The thing that makes it worse is that Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, and Richard Sherman have a nonchalant attitude about each one…. “I didn’t see a flag there” or “oops, I guess I was offsides.”
The fact that these refs aren’t being disciplined, or that somebody in New York didn’t stop it is beyond me (they had 1 game to watch). The refs blew the roughing the kicker call, then said that Carpenter had to leave for a play since the trainers came out (way to punish a team for player safety concerns), then they screwed up whether the kicking ball should be in or not, and finally they hovered over the ball with the playclock running only to leave with 2 second left on the playclock. Of course there’s a delay of game at that juncture, it should have been called on the refs!
Stolen Stat of the Week:
In each of Detroit’s 5 wins, they have trailed in the final 90 seconds of regulation
Stat of the Week #2:
Dallas and Oakland are a combined 9-0 on the road, neither team made the playoffs last year
Stolen Stat of the Week #3:
Eli Manning is quietly sneaking up into the conversation of All-Timers. His 2nd Super Bowl essentially made him a lock for the Hall of Fame, but his other numbers are removing any question mark about it. Manning has had 202 straight starts (that’s 3rd most all time). He’s 9th on the list for most passing yards, and 7th for most TD’s!
Stat of the Week #4:
Proof the game is changing? 7 of the top 16 QB’s in regards to most passing TD’s in NFL history, are still actively playing the game. Jay Cutler of all people has more TD passes than 14 Hall of Fame QB’s!!!
Stat of the Week #5:
At 6-3, the Broncos are in 3rd place in their division, there’s only 2 other divisions in football where they wouldn’t be in 1st place.
Stat of the Week #6:
The Saints started 0-3, and are suddenly in 2nd place in their division after winning 4 of 5.
Stat of the Week #7:
Blair Walsh, leads the league with 3 missed extra points, and is 75% for field goals (26th in the league)
Stat of the Week #8:
The Cowboys 7 game winning streak is the longest in team history since 2007
Stat of the Week #9:
The 49ers are the 1st team in NFL history to allow 7 straight 100 yard rushers. I find this unbelievable, especially since the age of running backs is over. But surprised the old record was 6, when literally some crappy defense legitimately had a chance to see Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders, and Emmitt Smith within a timeframe like that. The other thing I find unbelievable is that it wasn’t 4 years ago when the 49ers nearly went an entire season without giving up a rushing TD! Very quick fall for that team.
Poor Timeout Management:
The Bumbling Browns started the game with 12 players on the field, and had to use a timeout the first play of scrimmage (first team in 5 years to do so). Stupid mistakes are a reason teams like this go winless.
The 2nd mistake also cost the Vikings a win. Down 4, they led an impressive TD drive in the waning seconds of the game. But they egregiously called a timeout WAY too early in the final drive. Getting to the 1 yard line on 3rd down, you literally only have 2 plays left in the game. For arguments sake, let’s say you’re mindful of a 10 second runoff, or a defensive penalty that runs time off the clock. But with 2 plays that’s rare, and either way let it tick down to 15 or 16 seconds. Instead they called one at 27 seconds left, literally ensuring that the Lions would get the ball for a couple plays. Sure enough, the Vikings scored the next play, and gave Detroit 23 seconds. Sure, it’s improbable to get into Field Goal range and spike the ball. But it’s also plenty of time to do it, why not make it impossible for them to win? That one’s on the coaches.
- I don’t see a Win in the Browns future…anywhere
- I can’t believe Roethlisberger played this week, 3 weeks after a torn meniscus (same injury that cost Adrian Peterson the season)
- The Cowboys are 7-1, and only play 1 team above .500 down the stretch. That team is the quickly deflating Vikings
- The Dolphins have quietly won 3 in a row, the Steelers and Vikings have both lost 3 in a row
- Carson Wentz has turned into an INT machine since his nearly record breaking start. Well not really, but he’s had an INT in 3 straight games; and both of his 2 INT games came on back to back drives.
- Dang, Jimmy Graham finally showed up in Seattle! Of course I played against him in Fantasy, being up 20 felt pretty good until halftime
Halfway- Teams to Watch:
- Don’t be surprised if the Giants start making a run, similar to their Wild Card Super Bowl runs
- Same with the Chiefs, they’re the quietist 6-2 team in history it seems
- I see the Lions winning the NFC North, and the Saints sneaking into the mix as well
Quote of the Week:
“If I didn’t want to get hit, I’d be playing Tennis” Russell Wilson, reacting to Cam Newton’s remarks about not feeling safe. Bravo!
Quote of the Week #2:
“Isn’t this the endzone where Blair Walsh missed a 27 yard field goal?” UND fan giving Gopher fans crap while walking past TCF Bank Stadium
Non Football Stat of the Week:
The Cubs victory parade was the 7th largest gathering in human history! 5 million people showed up. Other events in the top 10 include pilgrimages, high end funerals, and a Rod Stewart concert. What?!?!
Game of the Week:
Sunday Night Football hit another jackpot with Seattle at New England. Should be an awesome rematch of the Super Bowl 2 years ago.
The Browns are 0-6 since Pryor suggested they could win out.