Monday, September 26, 2011

NFL Thoughts -- Week 3

What a wild week in the NFL.

I'm not sure which is the most embarrassing aspect of the start of the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles regular season:

First, there's the o-line's complete inability to prevent quarterback Mike Vick from sustaining a different and serious injury every week of the season. I mean, I know this guy runs around like a maniac and I know he's kinda thin to be putting himself in some of the situations that he does, but let's face it: the Eagles' protection of the qb and the pocket has been laughable for many, many years.

Secondly, there is the team's woeful lack of preparedness for Vick's missing games, the most obvious outcome imaginable to most mere fans but yet somehow totally unforeseen by the Eagles brass, who for the second straight week have sent Mike "the Statue" Kafka out to the field to protect a lead. And then watched that lead quickly slip away as the Eagles offense -- which probably would be more productive if run by Franz Kafka than Mike Kafka -- cannot keep the opposition off the field for more than a minute or two of game time when it counts. The team went and signed Vince Young in the offseason to be Vick's backup, but where the shite is he? Get his ass on the field or get me a more viable option than Kafka for now 1/8 of our season, and counting as Mike Vick sustained a broken right (non-throwing) hand in the second half of this week's game against the Giants.

And then not to be outdone, let's not forget the Eagles' vaunted "dream team" pass defense. You remember, that incredible, historical collection of all-time great cornerbacks in Asante Samuel, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Free-Agent-of-the-Year signing Nnamdi Asomugha, right? Well, how's eight passing touchdowns allowed in the past two games sound to you? Asomugha has convinced me already in several instances how athletic he is. Now he needs to show me that he can, you know, stop the people he's covering from scoring touchdowns. Until that starts happening, and until the team can find a way to protect Mike Vick, it's looking like it could be a long season in Philadelphia.

Elsewhere, although I may not be 100% sold on some of the real upstart teams so far through three games, I think we can start to make some credible generalizations about some of the teams expected to be among the league's best and the league's worst. For example, the Cheatriots are obviously a great team, but that defense just plain sucks. Again. It's been some years since there was a strong unit playing on that side of the ball at Gillette stadium, and this year certainly will not see an end to that streak. The Cheats are going to win a lot of games in the regular season like always, but they can't stop anybody, period, right now giving up by far the most yards in the NFL, more than 10% more than even the 31st place team defense in the NFL, and some 180% more than the current defensive yardage leaders in the Dallas Cowboys.

Speaking of teams with surprisingly not-good defenses, let's not forget about my Eagles -- in particularly, surprisingly, against the pass -- and also, what about those J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets? Currently slated around the middle of the pack in yards allowed through three games (against Dallas, the Jaguars, and the Raiders, two of those games at home), the Jets have been particularly vulnerable to the run, where they currently reside in 31st out of 32 teams in rush defense thus far through three games of the season, and the team continues not to look good, even when it wins big. We're going to find out real quick whether the Jets are improved from last year and ready for another playoff run, as the team's next six games are at Baltimore, at New England, vs. Miami, vs. San Diego, at Buffalo and vs. New England, which I would venture to say the team would go 1-5 in if they play equally as good as they have thus far in three games in 2011.

And let's turn our attention briefly to the reigning superbowl champions in Green Bay, who are happy at 3-0 right now but whose defense is looking downright porous in their own right. Through three games (one against offensive juggernaut New Orleans, but the other two against the much more tame Panthers and the Bears), the Pack has ceded the 4th most yards in the NFL, including allowing 1078 yards through the air, which is 15% above the 3rd-worst pass defense and just a couple of first downs behind the hapless Cheatriots in this department. The Packers have allowed the 10th most points scored in the league thus far, resulting in nearly 25 points allowed per game, which will still win the Packers a lot of games this season but which is not close to where this team should be or wants to be.

And I also think the Falcons are worth mentioning, who mostly everybody had picked for another post-season birth this year but who so far are damn lucky to be 1-2 through three games in 2011. If Mike Vick doesn't go down with a concussion and leave the game in the thoroughly unprepared hands of Eagles' third-stringer Mike Kafka in Week 2, the Eagles' 10-point 4th quarter lead at Atlanta almost surely holds and that team is looking at 0-3 right now. And yet still the team has lost both of its road games so far, both to teams they were expected to beat in the Bears and now most recently the Buccaneers. The Falcons have currently given up the 8th most points in the NFL through three games, and the passing offense is currently sitting in 18th in the NFL, and the rushing offense at 19th, both of which were expected to be well above average on the season. The Falcons better shape things up in a hurry or they might be looking at Detroit taking away their playoff spot right quick in 2011.

And on the other side of the coin, like I said I may not be totally sold on the Bills' greatness overall just yet, but the offense in Buffalo is certainly clicking on all cylinders to start the new season. The team is currently rushing for the fourth most yards in the NFL, while passing for the 11th most for a combination of gaining the 3rd most yards in the league (431 per game) and leading to the single highest-scoring team in the league at 37.7 points per game through three efforts thus far this year. While the first defeat of the Chiefs doesn't look like much, the Week 2 win over the Raiders is already looking all the more impressive for the Bills, and the way they managed to get Tom Brady to make mistake after mistake this past weekend says it all about where this team is at at this point in the young season.

And no discussion of the year's big positive stories so far in the NFL would be complete without mentioning the Detroit Lions, who are so obviously for real that I don't think you could find anyone who is actually watching these games who would ever disagree at this point. The team has probably the best defensive line in football, and although they have not been all that in defending against the pass, the overall team defense has given up just 46 points in three games, good for fourth-best in the league thus far in the young season. And let's not forget that young, high-powered passing offense that has scored the fourth-most points per game so far this season while seeing young quarterback Matthew Stafford produce to the tune of a 110.7 overall qb rating through three games. Things are shaping up for quite a race in the NFC North in 2011.

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Blogger NumbBono said...

Your comment about the Detroit Lions here puzzles me...

"The team has probably the best defensive line in football, and although they have not been all that in defending against the pass..."

Let's see:

Passing Yds per game allowed - 188.0 - 4th best in the NFL

Opponents QB rating - 69.1 - 3rd best in the NFL

Opponents yds per pass attempt - 5.8 - 3rd best in the NFL

2 Passing TDs allowed
4 Interceptions
8 Sacks

I'm assuming you meant the Lions have a problem against the run, which is where they have some issues to work on.

12:15 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I can only hope that you continue making it a priority to point out the "mistakes" in my blog throughout the whole football season man. The brilliance of your unintended comedy is even greater than that of my football knowledge. If you can believe that.

12:34 AM  
Blogger Josie said...

Michael Vick with his concussion and broken hand....all I can say is Karma's a biatch, know.

I think Karma isn't quite finished with Mr. Cruelty to Animals just yet. Here's hoping he breaks a leg in Week 4.

Perhaps you should start calling Philly PETA, which stands for Philly Eagles Torture Animals or is philly exempt from stupid nicknames?


1:06 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yeah, cuz 32 missed games and nearly two full years in the slammer isn't enough payback already for the guy who never hurt another person. I am loving that karma argument today.

And all this time I thought Vick keeps getting hurt because he runs around like a total maniac and he gets no protection whatsoever from his offensive line....

1:17 AM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...

I think the Eagles plan was to get a mobile back up QB for when Vick got injured.

Unfortunately Vince Young got injured first.

Nnamdi probably hasn't had to actually defend a pass in 2 full seasons as his reputation and deficiency at other corner for Raiders limited his activity.

1:20 AM  
Blogger Josie said...

Oh really? Because his repeated torture against animals and not people you assume he's "the guy who never hurt another person"? Big asumption/statement considering who we're talking about, but let's set that aside shall we?

Less than 2 years for repeated torture to animals isn't sufficient punishment imho and it seems that Karma is in agreement with me.

Shana Tovah!

1:31 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Oh, sorry Josie. I thought this was America.

Btw I can only imagine what sentences you think should have been doled out for the multiple current active NFL players who have actually killed other human beings. Assuming based on your scale that 100,000 life sentences served consecutively apiece would not even begin to crack the tip of the iceberg.

1:35 AM  
Blogger Josie said...

Silly boy!

How you jump in hyperbole from a sentence of less than two years to 100,000 life sentences is a bit of a stretch even for you.

I must say quite disappointing.

The only intelligent part of your comment was This is America. I assume by that you mean that he's paid his debt to society, yes?

I can buy that, but imho payment was insufficient and Karma has played a hand in righting the wrong. This is just my opinion but I liken it to OJ, who got off scott free with murder and yet where is he now? karma baby!

Oh and for the record I do not like animals and feel particular dislike for dogs.....I got bitten by one a few months back. Regardless of that, I think there's a special place in hell for someone who tortures animals, children or anyone that is dependent on them.

Silly, silly Hoy! 100,000 life sentences indeed.

Tomorrow I will teach you about poker!

2:06 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

Vick paid a HUGE price for his crimes. I just wish people would leave him the eff alone.

And Josie ... ahhh ... I take you on in enough other places. No need to do so here. : o )

2:12 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Btw Josie I was more referring to how in that infidel country known as America, people are not assumed to be guilty of hurting other people without anyone even alleging or charging them with anything of the sort in their entire lives. I understand that I was mistaken and that here -- in Kabul -- guilt is the assumption unless proven otherwise. I thus have no choice but to recant my former comment.

2:15 AM  
Blogger NumbBono said...

Just submit all NFL related articles to me before you publish them and I'll proofread them for you Hoy.

12:59 PM  
Blogger l.e.s.ter said...

2:23 AM  

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