Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NFL Winners and Losers -- Week 7

Week 6 was another awesome week in the NFL. Let's get right into the week's Winners and Losers report, along with some special awards I like to throw in for good measure.

Winners:

1. Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. The Saints welcomed in fellow NFC powerhouse and undefeated New York Giants, and they summarily dismissed the Giants like they didn't even belong on the same playing field. Even with the final score of 48-27, in reality it wasn't even that close. The Saints ran up 34 points by halftime on what was thought to be a strong Giants defensive squad, and qb Drew Brees finished the day an efficient 23 for 30 for 369 yards and four touchdowns. And the Saints' defense did a great job on the Giants' solid offense, not allowing even 50 yards rushing to any player on the Giants and holding the team to just 17 points before giving up some trash time points late in the 4th quarter. The Saints came out this week and showed the rest of the NFL that they are now officially the clear team to beat out of the NFC this season.

2. The Denver Broncos. What more can you say about this team that has now started off 6-0 in the AFC West? Head coach Josh McDaniel -- a great Erick Lindgren lookalike, btw -- shows himself to be more and more of a genius every single week in Denver, and Monday night's shelling of the Chargers was no exception as McDaniel took control of the game from his headset from start to finish. The Broncos have one of the best offensive lines in the game (as always), but it's the defense that continues to amaze me and to stymie the Broncos' opponents now 6 out of 6 times this season. And talk about doing a great job making in-game adjustments -- McDaniel takes these guys into the locker room at halftime, and so far in 6 games they have now given up 10 total points in the second half. That is one of the sickest things I've heard so far this year, but it's true. Nobody scores on the Broncos in the second half of games, the team has brilliantly-designed blitz packages, run plays, and let's be honest -- Kyle Orton is looking better and better every single week at the helm of what is by far the biggest surprise in the NFL this season in the Broncos.

3. The New England Cheatriots. I know they ran up the score and left in pussyboy Tom Brady a lot longer than they probably should have in the team's 59-0 rout of the spiralling-out-of-control Tennessee Titans. But what in the hike is up with 59 points against an NFL team, huh? I honestly don't ever remember a team in the NFL scoring 59 in a game. I'm pretty sure the Eagles have scored 58 points, once I think in that ridiculous playoff game against the Detroit Lions in the mid 90s and I think once again in the regular season not too many years ago, but I honestly do not recall seeing 59 points in an NFL game, especially when coupled with a 0 on the other side. While the Cheats have had their issues against strong defensive teams this year, against the poor teams they are still the great Cheaters of old, and Tom Brady looks awfully good back there with no pressure put on him whatsoever.

4. Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings. Is there any more exciting story week-to-week in the NFL this year than Brett Favre and what is now quite for real a quest for the superbowl? Favre led the Vikes to a huge lead early over a solid Ravens team and then he was able to make the key long throw on the game-winning drive to lead his team to victory, with Favre ending the day with a very productive and efficient 21-29 passing for 278 yards and 3 touchdowns (no picks). On the season, Favre is now a sick 124-178 (69.67%) for 1347 yards over six games, with 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions, for an overall qb rating of 109.5. That is just disgustingly great football out of Old Man Favre, and his team is responding with one of the best records going so far 6 games in to the 2009 NFL season.


Losers:

1. Mark Sanchez. Wow. 10 of 29 for 119 yards on the day, including no touchdowns and an astonishing five picks, for an overall quarterback rating of 8.3 in the game. And no, that's not a typo, Sanchise's qb rating really was 8. Point 3. Not only could Sanchise not find any of his own receivers on the day, but he clearly did not have the arm strength to move the ball well through the wind, a bad sign for a guy heading into his first NFL winter and playing in a northeastern non-dome stadium. Sanchez looked utterly and completely lost in what is clearly his worst outing of the season so far -- the third week in a row we've said that now -- and at this point you have to believe there is a full-fledged quarterback controversy brewing in New Jersey York if Sanchise has one more week as bad as his last couple have been.

2. The New York Jets. Joining in the woes of their rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez, the New York Jets' switch from boom to bust shows just how quickly things can change in the NFL these days. After a nice win to start the season at Houston, an early career-defining victory over the Patriots and then beating the Titans, the Jets started off 3-0 and were looking like the clear favorite to take down the always-tough AFC East. But now less than a month later the team is 3-3 and out of first place in the division, and the scariest part about it is that 100% of the confidence that surrounded this year just three weeks ago is gone at this point. Jets fans might or might not admit it to you right now, but the anticipation of watching Sanchise's and Rex Ryan's next game with the Jets has turned to abject dread at this point, and after losses to Chad Henny in Miami and Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick in Buffalo, believe me when I say that Oakland, Miami, Jacksonville and New England over the next four weeks is not something anyone in town is looking forward to. This weekend's loss to the crappy Buffalo Bills is especially painful because the team somehow ran for more than 300 yards but still lost the game to an inferior opponent. The Jets are now at the precipice, and no matter what they do during the week, that's where they will stay until the come out and beat the Raiders on the road next Sunday afternoon.

3. Philadelphia Eagles. What do you even say about the Eagles, who had been utterly trashing bad teams week after week all this season, but then went out on Sunday and lost to Jamarcus Russell and the Oakland Raiders 13-9? I mean, just one week ago, the Giants visited Oakland in their own stadium, took a 21-point lead within minutes, and it was never even as close as that again on their way to a 44-7 rout of the league's thought-to-be worst team. So far in 2009, the Raiders had given up 24, 10, 23, 29 and 44 in their five games, while the Eagles had scored 38, 22, 34 and 33 in their four games, so it wasn't hard to predict where this game was going. But then the Eagles show up and lay a complete egg, managing only three field goals after inexplicably throwing the ball 46 times as compared to only 14 rushing attempts, and at the same time the Eagles' defense allows hapless Oakland qb Jamarcus Russell -- who couldn't even sit the bench in my dead grandma's touch football league -- to go 17-28 for 224 yards and a score. Do those look like Jamarcus Russell numbers to you? 17 for 28? 224 yards? A passing touchdown? Who is this guy, and how on earth do the Eagles expect anyone to respect them after a performance like this? Can they even respect themselves? Easily the biggest embarrassment of the week in the NFL, hands down.

4. Washington Redskins. For what must be the first time in modern history, the Washington Redskins have somehow faced winless opponents in each of their first six games this season. That's the 0-0 Giants in Week 1, followed by the Rams, the Lions, the Bucs, the Panthers and now the Chiefs this week. In the Chiefs game, after finally benching qb Jason Campbell in favor of Todd Collins (omg), the Redskins failed to score a touchdown, gave up a safety and got beat down by Todd Haley's previously 0-5 squad. Against those six winless teams so far in 2009, the Redskins now shockingly fall to 2-4. 2-4 against the NFL's winless, in a year where the worst quarter of the league is worse than it's ever been. And with that and the Raiders' win this weekend over the Eagles, I am thrilled to present the new Worst Team in the NFL award, to your 2009 Washington Redskins.

5. Redskins head coach Jim Zorn. So let's see...Mort, Berman and everyone else in the national sports media is either calling for your job or reporting that you will be fired during the team's upcoming bye week. Now you can't score and lose to the 0-5 Chiefs for your 4th loss to a winless team in just six weeks this season, and after the game you go to the press and directly blame yourself for poor coaching, and within minutes management announces it is stripping you of your play-calling duties. Hmmmm. Hope you have a good real estate agent, Jimmy.

With the Raiders' qb apparently being possessed by someone with some actual skills this week against the Eagles, this week's Jamarcus Russell award has to go elsewhere, in this case to Jake Delhomme of the Carolina Panthers. In a win against the 0-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Delhomme finished the day 9 of 17 for 65 yards, one score and two picks. In a victory. Man does Carolina stink out loud this year or what?

TO Watch: 3 catches for 13 total yards in the overtime win against the Jets this weekend. For the season, that is now 15 catches for 215 yards and one touchdown, in six games for the formerly good wide receiver. Plus at least four or five bad drops for good measure.

Lastly, I was thinking this week how funny it is what perspective can do to one's opinion of a given team. For example, look at three .500 teams right now in the NFL: The Jets, the Ravens and the Jaguars. These teams are all sitting at the identical 3-3 records after six games, but just look at how differently the three teams are perceived by fans (including myself). The Ravens to me are a very solid team, they have a great defense and a constantly improving, strong-armed quarterback in Joe Flacco. I have very little doubt that, come season's end, the Ravens will be in the playoffs and a team that nobody wants to run into in a big spot. Then there are the Jets, who started off the season 3-0 but have now dropped three straight to drop back to .500 through six games. The Jets, sitting with the exact same record as the Ravens, are not confidence-inspiring at all at this point, as I would say it is very much in doubt right now whether the Jets can bounce back and make it to the playoffs. Shit, at this point after watching Sanchise's balls twist in the wind last weekend, I'm not even sure if the Jets have a guy whose arm is strong enough to make it in this league. And then we can look at the Jaguars, who also rose to 3-3 this week after beating the winless Rams in overtime. This team also has that same record through six games as the Jets and the Ravens, but I don't think anybody in their right mind would consider picking the Jags to make a playoff run. They're not particularly strong in the passing game, their defense is suspect compared to previous years, and the team's three wins this year are against 0-6 Tennessee, the 0-6 Rams (in overtime, no less) and the 3-3 Texans who have been up and down. So while the fans in Baltimore may not be worried, believe me when I say the Jets fans in New York metro are crapping their pants right now, and I'm pretty sure the (few) fans in Jacksonville aren't even considering the playoffs a realistic outcome for their team come the end of the 2009 regular season in the NFL.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Bayne_S said...

Let's not sell the Buccaneers short, they have managed to lose to two of the teams you have listed as contending for league's worst.

11:51 PM  
Blogger BadBlood said...

1999 - Jacksonville 62, Miami 7. In the PLAYOFFS!

1:48 AM  
Blogger PokahDave said...

It should have been 61-0 with the safety that wasn't....

2:16 AM  
Blogger Blog Post said...

hows poker going?

11:26 PM  

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