Tuesday, September 26, 2006

NFL Thoughts: Week 3 in the NFC

Saints 23/Falcons 3
I'm mildly surprised that the Saints dominated this game. Granted, there was a lot of emotion and obviously these aren't your daddy's Saints. It's not a secret why they are better on the offensive end. After going through the QB Hell (otherwise known as the Aaron Brooks Era) , New Orleans now has Drew Brees who brings credibility to the QB position. They've got a loaded backfield with McAllister and Bush, and Joe Horn is a nice go-to receiver. And although their defense has yet to be tested in the air, they have looked good against the run so far. It will be interesting to see how they fare against some of the other quality opponents left on their schedule (Carolina, Baltimore, Philly, Pittsburgh & Cincinnati are coming up in the next two months).
This game should be the wake up call yet again for Atlanta in regards to the passing game. Vick is not going to win games with his arm if they fall behind more than 2 TDs. For those who thought they'll be just fine bulldozing over (and sprinting around) defenders all year long; think again. For the Falcons to be successful in the playoffs (if they get that far this year), Vick will have to make plays with his arm and his legs. And just for the record, he doesn't have to have 300 yards passing to prove he can throw the ball effectively. He just has to make throws when it counts. Thus far he hasn't shown the ability to do that.

Packers 31/Lions 24
A banner day by Favre gives all Packer fans a warm fuzzy. I'm not a true Packer fan but even I got one. But then again I'm easy to please. Apparently so is the Lion's owner. After all Matt Millen is still around.

Bears 19/Vikings 16
The Vikings played the Bears tougher than I thought they would. Could they really contend for this division? I'm doubtful still. Brad Johnson isn't exactly tearing it up yet, but he isn't killing them either and not every team can say that about their QB. Their defense has been solid enough that even the Bears could be proud of it. Of course the Bears D is the cream of the division (and perhaps the NFL) when it comes to stopping people. And despite Grossman's interceptions (they don't call him a gunslinger for nothing) he still played well down the stretch in this game. If they can run the ball better in games to come then their play action passes will be even more wide open.

Panthers 26/Bucs 24
John Kasey kicked field goals of 51, 50, 46, & 49 yards for Carolina. As an ex-kicker I just want to give him a hug. Or shine his shoes. Or maybe we could just hang out and watch a copy of Walt Disney's "Gus" together (If you haven't seen it shame on you. I mean who doesn't like a movie about a mule that can kick 90 yard field goals?!). But I digress. Anyway I think we saw that having Steve Smith and Keyshawn Johnson both out on the field for the Panthers is a good thing (Johnson 97 yrds, Smith 112). Now I know Chris Simms was getting killed all day (what's a spleen by the way and why can we do without it?) but what's the deal with Carnell Williams? They're running game is almost non-existent. And it should be obvious by now that not too many QBs can be successful without a running threat. Not Simms and certainly not their rookie-and soon to be starter- Gradkowski.

Redskins 31/Texans 15
Is Brunnell back on track or are the Texans that bad? Well it might just be both. You know, 22 straight completions (5 yard variety or not) is not bad against anybody. He's got receivers that can do a lot with their legs so why not let them use them. It helps that Portis is back as well. His TD run shows you just how dangerous he can be. And by the way, the Texans David Carr is not looking too bad (compared to... well....himself) and his receiver Andre Johnson is a guy that should be talked about more.

Rams 16/Cardinals 14
"Just hold on to the ball and we win this thing". That's what Cardinal fans were thinking at the end of this game. But alas, Kurt Warner is your QB. We Rams fans know all about Warner's fumble problems and we giggle over your misfortune in the desert. Sorta. I mean Bulger sometimes looks like he's taking lessons from Warner. After all Bulger gave it up just minutes before in the exact same way and set up the Cardinals for the win. As I watched the end of the game it was with a small trace of sadness (but again mostly giggles) because I used to cheer for Warner when he was a star for St. Louis. But it was exactly that type of play that got him run out of town. Warner can throw for 300 yards almost every week, especially with his two stud receivers. But he's gonna kill you more times than he'll thrill you.

Eagles 38/49ers 24
Brian Westbrook is trying to silence all us doubters who say he can't be the do it all back for Philly. 8 carries for 117 yards (3 total TDs) is a nice statement. McNabb continues to impress as well. The 49ers are also making progress. They would have lost this game 38-3 last year. Tough luck for TE Vernon Davis (breaking his leg). Smith needs him for his safety valve.

Seahawks 43/Giants 30
What smells? Oh yeah-- it's that giant turd NY laid in Seattle. Holy crap they looked bad for 3 quarters. Hasselbeck was awesome until he started getting sloppy. 3 picks? 5 TDs helps ease the pain. Except for the pain of Alexander's foot which will keep him out for a while. Will it hurt the Seahawks in the meantime? I sure the hell hope so. Go Rams.

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