AAARGH - NFL week 4

I’m not sure if I want to send Josh Brown some hate mail (2 missed 47 yard field goals) or if it’s time to send the brute squad after Ray Rhodes (Seattle’s Defense allowed THREE third-and-long conversions in OT) but right now I’m pulling my hair out.

Oh well… it could be worse… I could be a Jets fan…

Feels good to be a Giants fan, knowing that Eli’s finally matured and found his groove. Now if only the Giants Pass D wasn’t so awful this season…

Early October musings:

  • The Giants indeed look much improved. They probably won’t compete for the NFC East title, but in a weak NFC, they’ve got to be considered in the driver’s seat for a wild card.

  • The Chargers are hitting their stride and look really tough. Even with the 0-2 start, I think they’ll end up with one of the best records in the AFC.

  • The Pats are in for a rough year. I still think they’re one of the four best teams in the AFC and they’ll win the division, but between injuries and a brutal schedule, they should be happy to make 10-6.

  • On October 9, the Dolphins will take the field against the Bills in sole possession of first place in the AFC East. Did anyone guess that a month ago? I’m a Dolphins fan, and I sure has heck didn’t.

  • Indy is in total cruise control mode at this point. They may not lose a game until November.

  • Is Cincy for real?

  • I don’t buy the 3-0 Redskins. 4 of their next 5 games are against KC, NYG, TB and Philly. I think we’ll see the real 'Skins by then.

  • Wow. KC just scored another TD to go up 17-0 on Philly. Both the Chiefs and Broncos are an enigma to me – they look like world beaters one week, and just horrid the next.

Washington’s defense is the real deal and Joe Gibbs’ old-school ground-pounding offense turns every game into the last 2 minutes of basketball… in other words, it’s all about scoring last rather than scoring a lot. Hell, the Redskin defense kept the Seahawks O OFF THE FIELD for pretty much the entire first half today.

Besides, TB looks like the only legit football team coming up on Washington’s schedule… KC still doesn’t know how to play defense, ditto for the giants, and Philly has a cripple for a quarterback.

p.s. is there some way I can call dibbs on Brady Quinn, Joe Smarzdja (sp?), and Reggie Bush on behalf of the Seattle Seahawks?

p.p.s. that’s right… Brady Quinn will be the best quarterback of the 2006 draft class.

Shit.

Bonerz.

Their defense may be the real deal, but the Skins could easily be 1-2 right now, if not for a miracle comeback against the Cowboys and a Seattle FG that hit the upright. Heck, they barely beat the Bears. I’d be pretty concerned about playing Philly / KC / NYG.

Haha… you can’t even go week to week with them! :D

–Dave

Considering that Leinart is a part of the 2006 draft class I’d have to seriously disagree with all the Quinn love.

Washington is a very hollow 3-0… if it wasn’t for Holmgren and his passive playcalling Seattle could have moved the ball a lot better after getting that late interception and could have at least gotten closer to the end zone for a decent FG range - instead they went stupid, fooled around with silly running plays and got nearly nowhere. I knew after they missed that the Deadskins would win.

Dallas once again pushes it to the last two minutes and this time comes up empty and two awful Bledsoe passes. He wasn’t great for portions of the game, but and the OL was somewhat suspect for a lot of plays. The use of Marion Barber III was a huge mistake and right now looks like a waste of a good draft pick. Crayton’s 64-yard TD catch 'n run was great, partially because Oakland totally went to sleep and didn’t bother trying to tackle him on the sideline. I can cut Woodson a break, I think he thought Clayton was either out of bounds or going out and pulled up a few yards short of smacking into Crayton (and thus drawing a penalty since they were really starting to rack up against the Raiders)… still not enough. Dallas defense giving up too much yardage to the Raiders and not being able to stop them before getting into FG range. Special teams was suffering too - how did Carr from Boise State go undrafted? He was their best receiver and special teams guy and obviously was packed with talent.

— Alan

Have you seen Quinn play this year? The kid’s flourishing under Weiss’ NFL-style offense. If he has the good fortune to find his way to a west-coast-offense team, he’ll amaze and delight.

Leinart? I predict he will be the next David Carr. Great in college, average in the NFL.

As for Holmgren, don’t get me started. Ever hear the truism that close games are won/lost by coaches and blowouts won/lost by players? All of Holmgren’s close losses and blown leads during his tenure with Seattle really go to show he’s not that good a coach. He just got lucky enough to have Brett Favre and Reggie White play for him.

I don’t see how you can say that Quinn will flourish in the right situation while Leinart won’t flourish at all simply because Quinn is in a West Coast offense and throws all over the place. Carson Palmer comes from the same system and is doing pretty well at Cincy.

It’s true Leinart could tank, but simply saying Quinn will do better based on a new offense for four games does not an argument make.

— Alan

Why would you think that? He’s about as close to a proven commodity as it’s going to get when entering the NFL, assuming he plays well this year. Two year starter, worked under two offensive systems (unlike the Tedford QBs), different weapons each season, pro-style offense, and against big competition. All the other QBs that have come out have had big question marks against them, and Leinart has almost none.

Leinart will go first overall and should be okay but it depends heavily on the team that drafts him. Carr was a great QB prospect but I don’t think anyone would have done well going into the Houston situation with no OL, no running game, and only one legit receiver. I don’t think any QB drafted by Houston would have done any better, and at this point Carr looks shell shocked.

They’ll probably end up toasting the coaching staff soon, and if Carr is lucky he’ll get traded to a team that’s good, well coached, but needs a QB (say, the Ravens).

I agree. Carr is a decent QB in a terrible offense. That OL may be the worst in football. I also agree on Leinart. This guy is more knowledgable about the pro game than possibly any QB who has ever come out of college. He is the real deal.

Now I like Omar Jacobs a lot, but I think Leinart is cleary the best player in the upcoming draft and one of (if not THE) safest picks in the last decade.

I like Jacobs as well and think he has potential, I think his draft ranking will be hampered by Bowling Green’s mostly dismal play this season, some of which can be attributed to him. Definitely killed his Heisman hopes this year.

— Alan

Not even “may be” - it is, compared to any other in the league over the last several seasons since the Texans became a team. They need to get rid of Capers. I mean, WTF, all he’s known for is building a good expansion team and running a good defense (if it’s full of, you know, Pro Bowlers). Because otherwise I mean, wow, what a great job he did developing Kerry Collins, right? Sheesh, by the time he was done with Kerry, Kerry was mired in New Orlenans tossing ducks and Jack Daniels shots with equal miserable aplomb. Fire him, and get Jim Fassel or whoever. Sure, he’s not doing a goddamned thing as Baltimore’s OC, but he did more with less in New York, not vice-versa as Capers has done.

I also agree on Leinart. This guy is more knowledgable about the pro game than possibly any QB who has ever come out of college. He is the real deal.

I agree, but no matter his skill, a lot will depend on where he ends up. I see the Niners getting the first overall pick again and trading it to Cleveland or Dallas or somebody looking to trade up. He could thrive in Dallas, if Parcells sticks around. He’d probably be better off in Cleveland (wow, has anyone ever said that before?), sitting behind Dilfer fer a year, getting some trigger time when Trent gets his shoulder rocked or whatever, eventually taking over by the following season. That’s also figuring Crennel can develop a legitimate defense by such time, which I think he can.

Why won’t they compete? They sure as Hell are right now. I’m not saying that Philly isn’t the safe bet, but you don’t want to see injuries taking their toll on McNabb so early in the season, his awesome play aside. Owens hasn’t put together a full season in years, and Philly will find itself in dire straits if/when gets gimped. As an aside, I gotta give props to Plaxico Burress, as he’s helped make green (but good) QBs look awesome. First, Roethlisberger and now Manning. Anyway, I just want to see a Manning vs. Manning Superbowl at some point.

  • The Chargers are hitting their stride and look really tough. Even with the 0-2 start, I think they’ll end up with one of the best records in the AFC.

I see the opening vignette for the Chargers as they host a Wild Card winner pointing to that game as their moment of truth. It ought to, as it showed a lot of what the Chargers are made of. Going into New England and not just beating but clowning the Patriots no matter how banged-up they are is huge. The Patriots make opponents nervous as Hell as a matter of course, and they use it to help them win, especially in the playoffs. I’m totally impressed with Schottenheimer’s playcalling, and it’s clear they exploited Harrison’s absence, although I believe the Chargers would have won regardless.

  • The Pats are in for a rough year. I still think they’re one of the four best teams in the AFC and they’ll win the division, but between injuries and a brutal schedule, they should be happy to make 10-6.

Yeah. You got them Chargers and Colts, and the Bengals, and there’s your four. The Broncos and Jags have up arrows next to them, but I can’t figure on them being a powerhouse, and I sure can’t think of Jax or the Chiefs as in the tops after Denver clowned on both of them. And the Raiders, who might sneak in at 5th or 6th, are finally possessing a win as of today. Suire, they’re respectable but you have to win the big games and the Dallas victory wasn’t exactly tightening my nads, seeing as how they should have blown them the Hell up.

  • On October 9, the Dolphins will take the field against the Bills in sole possession of first place in the AFC East. Did anyone guess that a month ago? I’m a Dolphins fan, and I sure has heck didn’t.

Man, how could you even without sounding like a clueless homer? Nick Saban is an upgrade over Wannstedt sure, but then so is my aunt Petunia. Teams who utterly stink one season usually put together another mediocre one with a nice 4 or 6 game winning streak at the end to set them up for a strong start the year after that. I mean, I was creaming my jeans after week one for the Niners and that win, but now they’re more or less up to what I would expect. It’s hard to expect much more from the Dolphins, after losing more defensive talent and exhuming Gus Frerotte to QB. But hey, that divisions looks pretty lame this season, so who knows?

Indy is in total cruise control mode at this point. They may not lose a game until November.

Why November? (checks schedule) Ha ha, oh, they play the Patriots. Yeah, in New England. Again. WTF? Until such time though, they get to score eleventy-billion points against the Niners, then about the same amount against the imploding Rams, and then go for three consecutive games with 8 TDs and 500 yards passing as they trounce the Texans. Then, a brief respite as they get a by and then play the Pats. Man, if Manning loses that one, he’ll be praying to black baby Jesus the Pats get knocked out of the playoffs by San Diego or somebody.

  • Is Cincy for real?

Yes. They play the Ravens and Browns twice each, the Packers, Lions, Cheifs, Bills, Texans again, Jaguars, and Titans. I’d say they can easily win most of those games. They also play the Colts and Steelers, but nothing is making me think any game is an automatic loss for Cincy. For the first time in decades, the Bengals don’t think they’ll lose at any point during a game. They stopped that shit sometime around a Monday night game last season when they beat the Ravens, I think. And even though at face value, the win over the Texans appears mailed in, it wasn’t. Winning in Reliant Stadium isn’t all that easy (although it’s been admittedly easier this season), and Palmer did it by adjusting his throw to hit Hoosh in the middle of the field when he was routed to go out, but saw the middle open himself and trusted Palmer to recognize it. TJ busted out as Philip Buchanon kept Chad Johnson in the bag, like any legit 2nd WR should. Johnson and TJ are both likely to crack 1000 receiving yards this season, a Bengals first. Even rookie WR Chris Henry, who was expected to make plays this season, did so and may get up into the 600s for his yardage total, which would outpace Chad and TJ’s rookie totals.

Oh, and then there’s this (from the Bengals’ website):

For the second straight game, Carson Palmer didn’t thrown an interception. For the 10th straight game, he threw a touchdown pass. For the seventh straight game, he had a passer rating of more than 100. He hasn’t thrown an interception in 82 passes, but he was upset at himself with the intentional grounding call late in the third quarter that took the Bengals out of chip-shot field-goal range. Even though it looked like he had a receiver near the play in running back Rudi Johnson.

I’ve been calling Tom Brady the second coming of Joe Montana, and now I proclaim Palmer the second coming of Troy Aikman. Why not, he’s got a bigmouthed WR and a sturdy, workmanlike RB with a generic surname too.

  • I don’t buy the 3-0 Redskins. 4 of their next 5 games are against KC, NYG, TB and Philly. I think we’ll see the real 'Skins by then.

Yeah, me neither. Their win over Dallas was clutch ( and if Brunell stays healthy, he’s a serviceable starting QB) but as the weeks go on, beating Dallas doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment anymore, and beating the fucking Bears and the Seahawks (who are now 0-9 for road games on the East coast) but for the grace of God and a shitty doink figgie attempt doesn’t thrill me. Denver’s going to beat them next week, anyhow. But I’ll tell ya, those magnificent motherfuckers helped me win a 4-team parlay card this weekend, along with that silly Chiefs/Philly score, the Raiders finally getting their due, and Atlanta still pulling the W even after Vick went out. I had the fucking Skins at -1.5, and oh boy was I flipping out at the end of that one.

  • Wow. KC just scored another TD to go up 17-0 on Philly. Both the Chiefs and Broncos are an enigma to me – they look like world beaters one week, and just horrid the next.

Ha ha, oops.

Ha, Ray Rhodes.

Cincy is for real, baby. It took me moving up here, but I made the sacrifice.

Man, how could you even without sounding like a clueless homer? Nick Saban is an upgrade over Wannstedt sure, but then so is my aunt Petunia. Teams who utterly stink one season usually put together another mediocre one with a nice 4 or 6 game winning streak at the end to set them up for a strong start the year after that. I mean, I was creaming my jeans after week one for the Niners and that win, but now they’re more or less up to what I would expect. It’s hard to expect much more from the Dolphins, after losing more defensive talent and exhuming Gus Frerotte to QB. But hey, that divisions looks pretty lame this season, so who knows?

Witness Wannstedt’s rise to prominence at Pitt… oh wait, Pitt is fucking awful this year.

— Alan

Heh – Let me amend my comment about the Chiefs:

Both the Chiefs and Broncos are an enigma to me – they look like world beaters one HALF, and just horrid the next.

Go figure out KC. They let Owens run free all afternoon and a limping QB come back from a 24-6 deficit.

Because I watched the Chargers pound them into submission last week, and I think a few more teams will do the same before the year is out. I think the Jints will finish with a winning record this year, especially in a weak NFC, but unless Philly collpases, I think the Jints are a year away from winning the NFC East.

Wow, you’re writing off the Steelers? The Bengals look much improved and arguably have the cushiest schedule in the NFL, but until they show they can beat the Steelers and Indy, I’m not ready to hand them the division just yet. I still think the Steelers are the class of that division.

The Raiders are done. After the 0-3 start, in a brutal division, they’ll be lucky to go 8-8, which might be good enough to get them third in the West.

I’d rank the AFC right now:
1 - Indianapolis
2 - Pittsburgh
3 - San Diego
4 - New England
5 - Cincinnati
6 - Kansas City
7 - Denver
8 - Jacksonville

Cincy’s game against Houston was very ugly and probably their worst performance of the season… not a great barometer.

— Alan

The Giants have scored the most points in the NFL. They are for real. I think with the Eagles limping, they have a real shot at making the playoffs and going a good ways.

The Colts will still win the SB though.