Sunday, October 01, 2006

NFL Thoughts: Week 4

This is the second Sunday this year that I've had an incredible amount of time and freedom to flip between channels on my NFL satellite package. Usually I'm gone part of the day and I will Tivo 2 or 3 games to watch when I get home. With the wife taking the kids today I skipped my religious obligations (It's a forgone conclusion that I'm going to hell anyway) and thus was left to hang out in sweats, ignore the shower, eat donuts......essentially live the American dream. In my joyful slothfulness I realized a couple of things about NFL football on Sundays: 1. The uneven distribution of 1 pm Eastern and 4 pm Eastern starting times for games really bugs me as a T.V. viewer. I'm left to madly try and click between numerous games I'm interested in during the earlier starting time while the later starting time only features a few games. Granted I was able to concentrate more during the Rams game today which started later, but in principle I hate this arrangement. Why not even them out? ---- and 2. I really hate Joe Buck. Why does the Fox network believe we want to hear and see more of this humongous dork to the point that they would put him on their pregame show as well as their number one game? Because he is an annual Emmy award winner? Joe Buck and the words "award winning broadcaster" make me want to hurl. It's like TV execs are consciously and deliberately trying to alienate their viewers. That's also the only explanation for Joe Theismann continuing his inexplicable run in television. But I digress. I do have some thoughts on the actual games I saw today. So without further babbling......on to further babbling about the action

Rams 41/Lions 34
I didn't realize how much I now make that hate... Mike Martz. As he was grinning stupidly and high-fiving players on the sideline after Lion touchdowns, I literally wanted to reach into the tv and pull his eyeglasses off and stuff them down his throat. Now I know how opponents felt about this guy when the Rams were winning and Martz was acting like the douchebag he is. I know... I know... I sound a little bitter about a guy who helped the Rams win a Super Bowl. But he also destroyed piece by piece that same Super Bowl team. So the feelings run deep. Anyway this win almost caused heart damage for me as it see-sawed back and forth. The Ram offense finally got on track and Bulger looked the best he has all year long. They are still not getting some key weapons involved like WR Kevin Curtis but Holt and Bruce were in fine form and RB Steven Jackson had some decent runs despite a bit of an off day for him.
I'll tell you what though, the Lions have a good receiver in Roy Williams. It's taken some time to get him productive on the field but he is starting to really show big time ability. Sure he's a loudmouth dork but he is proving that at least one of the highly publicized WR 1st round picks made by Matt Millen might just make it. If the Lion offense can play like this every week they are going to start winning some games. And yes that's a compliment towards Mike Martz (the putz).

Falcons 32/Cardinals 10
So if you are Kurt Warner and you know that fumbling the ball is what's really pissing your coach off; don't you be extra careful today with the ball? Alas, Warner just can't help himself. As he is rolling right and a Falcon defender is chasing him (even the replay showed that Kurt was aware he was coming) he continued to hold the ball carelessly and of course it was stripped and recovered by the Falcons. It's an all-too familiar scene for Rams fans and so it wasn't surprising at all for me to see Green replace him soon thereafter. It may be Leinart's show from here on out. If Warner could eliminate turnovers he would be a solid QB-- but he can't-- so he isn't. On the flip side Falcons QB Mike Vick holds the ball the same way in traffic but the difference is he is quick enough to get away with it more. Not always, as we have seen in crucial situations but at least enough to keep it from being a major issue each week. Again this week he ran well (101 yards) and with Warrick Dunn having an off game, rookie RB Jerious Norwood came through spectacularly. Still if there is a sore spot for the Falcons it has to be their redzone offense. It really stinks. They are a field goal kicker's delight. Six field goals toady for 20 of their points. Now I'm partial to field goal kicking, but even I know that if your game ball keeps going to Morten Anderson you're pretty much screwed.

Cowboys 45/Titans 14
It's too bad T.O. is on this team because Terry Glenn is the Cowboys best receiver and should be talked about more . He only had 54 yards but two really nice TDs from Bledsoe. And Bledsoe by the way is usually pretty awesome when he has time to knit a sweater in the pocket. Which is what he had with the Titans pass rush. Tennessee just really sucks. The team that is.....not the state. Put down your shotguns people.
Vince Young wasn't good but for a first start it was a performance that at least wasn't Kerry Collins-ish bad. He has promise and the Titans hope the talent catches up to the promise soon. At least we don't have to worry about his ego suffering. He seems confident enough to withstand some bad games. Also unrelated to the it just me or has his head grown a few cap sizes since college? I didn't watch enough Texas games I guess. Has that melon always been that big?

Colts 31/Jets 28
Either the Jets are better than I thought or the Colts are worse than I thought. Really NY had a good shot at winning this game and perhaps without a generous pass interference call near the end they would have. The kickoff return TD for the Jets made it interesting but once the Colts had the ball back with at least 2 minutes left you had to know what the outcome was going to be. After all it's not the playoffs yet.

Ravens 16/Chargers 13
The Chargers defense took a bit of a blow in their battle to be the best. After both defenses dominated for much of the game, the Bolts let Steve McNair carve them up in the final minute. I thought Schottenheimer of course got too conservative with about 5 minutes left in the game. He talks about opening it up but really when the 4th quarter comes around his teams resort to "predictable plays 101". Rivers didn't have a great game but he didn't embarrass himself either. That's a good sign and bodes well for the rest of the season.

Browns 24/Raiders 21
I actually tuned in for a few plays of this game. I wish I hadn't.

Redskins 36/Jags 30
It took the Skins 2 losses to realize what worked for them last year. Get the ball to Santana Moss. He's fast and good and makes Mark Brunell look better than he really is. But credit Brunell for finding his playmakers and playing much better than he did the first two weeks of the season. The Jags have lost two tough games in a row now and they have to start winning these types of game if they want to be a playoff team this year.

Patriots 38/Bengals 13
Now we know why the Colts were so pissed when the Pats stole Laurence Maroney from them in the draft. He's going to have the best year of all the rookie running backs. He runs fast and hard and sheds tacklers like a young Corey Dillon. And speaking of Dillon he's not running too bad either. If this continues then Brady won't have to carry this offense and he can just get back to being the idiot magician that he is. This was just a real can of whoop ass that was opened up on the Bengals. They were getting a little full of themselves and leave it the Pats to show them that they haven't accomplished anything yet (except populate several county jails).

Texans 17 /Dolphins 15
The question Miami has to be wondering is "does it get worse before it gets better?" Right now the future looks an awful lot like the past. That means terrible QB play and physical ugly games that often times don't come out in their favor. It was the Texans for Hell's sake. Oyy..
--For the Texans, Andre Johnson continues to excel and at least Mario Williams got a sack. Hey, Bush doesn't have a touchdown yet and I'm sure Williams probably would point that out if he wasn't such a nice guy.

Panthers 21/Saints 18
Drew Brees continues to have efficient numbers. His day puts him atop fantasy boards (28/38 349 yards, 1 TD) and yet something is missing. His 3rd down numbers against Carolina weren't so hot (Saints were 4-11 for the game) and so far he hasn't looked for field stretching plays enough this year. I know the west coast offense can work but at it's worst it's just a cowardly way of throwing the ball. I'm a big Brees fan so this is hard to admit considering his numbers but I think he can play much better. Still the Saints are a tough defense so maybe he just took what was available. Keyshawn Johnson and Steve Smith continue to be a nice compliment to each other and finally the Panther running game looks good. Foster and Williams really played well against the Saints defense.

Bills 17/Vikings 12
These Bills might just become the team that nobody wants to play. They played that role a couple of years ago and today they proved that if they don't make a ton of mistakes they can hang in there. Losman particularly avoided doing the stupid things that have plagued him the past. Brad Johnson on the other hand made more mistakes than I usually see. They never really got Chester Taylor going and as a team they had some really stupid penalties. They are not going to challenge the Bears this year. Also what's with their new uniforms? They suck. I like the old ones much better.

Bears 37 /Seahawks 6
I guess Seattle really misses Alexander. Or Chicago's defense is that good. Probably a bit of both. Or the defense thing. Yeah I'm thinking the defense thing. The Bears can stop people and now they can avoid being stopped. Grossman is playing extremely well and it's just too bad that Brian Griese can't play for a team that really needs him. Because there are a lot of teams that need him including the one that let him go (cough... Gruden..cough..) But back to Grosmann. He's playing great and torching defenses with mistake free efficiency. As of now the Bears look like the best team in the NFC.

Chiefs 41/49ers 0
Talk about taking a step backwards. This game mirrored last year's performances for Alex Smith and the 49er offense. I thought they would really take it to a vulnerable K.C. team. And I really didn't expect the Chiefs and particularly Damon Huard to play as well as they did. But then again I didn't expect Janet Jackson to show me her boob during a Super Bowl halftime show either. Shit happens.

Update to come


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