by Ryan Meehan (with Coach Ryan)
Week six in the NFL continued with the nonstop brigade of injuries that are crippling the current product. For a team like the Dallas Cowboys, the prize came with a cough as even though they walked away with the game they lost DeMarco Murray and DeMarcus Ware in the action. Players were dropping left and right everywhere, just like we said they would. But such is the nature of a violent game that we all love so much, so with further ado let’s check out what happened in week six…
Bears 27, Giants 21
Believe it or not, the Giants didn’t really look all that bad in the second half of this game. They were moving the ball well, but once again in crucial moments Eli’s receivers are making him look like Ryan Leaf. And with the way he’s throwing the ball at the moment – that’s a shorter trip than one might think. Think that’s a bit excessive? Consider this – Eli Manning has had eight fourth quarter picks through six games, and as of Saturday night no other guy in the league even had three. On the shelf that is the ever-changing week-to-week quarterback scale, Eli Manning is looking up at an injured Matt Schaub right now and that’s not a good place to be.
There was a moment towards the end of the game where Da’Rel Scott went down with an injury, and that means the Giants are back exactly where they started before they picked Brandon Jacobs back up. When you’re in dire need of a backfield and somebody – anybody – goes down, it puts you right back where you were before you signed the last guy: With a huge hole in your running game, and Willis McGahee back on speed dial. (Scott will miss several weeks with a strained hamstring. Fantastic…) The Bears on the other hand accomplished the one thing that they needed to do here in addition to picking up the W – They were able to get the bromance of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall back on the right track. Not like it was hard – it was basically a midsummer scrimmage on your home field where they got to test out a lot of different looks. They had two touchdown connections in the first half alone, so that was good for them – but I still have issues with the Bears not being able to really beat up on virtually the same team that lost to the Carolina Panthers 38-0. I can swing a couple points of good faith in their favor since it was on a short week, but to consider them elite at this point is still pretty out there so until they show me otherwise as far as I’m concerned they’re in the same drunk tank that the Lions are in. (And I sincerely mean that) In other NFC North news…
Packers 19, Ravens 17
Joe Flacco took too long to find his stride, and it ended up costing the Ravens everything. It wasn’t like he was getting a lot of help – Baltimore didn’t get their a rushing first down until the end of the third quarter. The Packers don’t really deserve to be proud of this win that much, they could have easily blown this game late and they did lose Randall Cobb which could very well prove to be catastrophic.
I still think that even though the Packers were missing Clay Matthews and they did win this game, there’s going to be a huge part of Mike McCarthy (other than his large intestine) that feels like they may have got away with one. If this game had been three minutes longer, they lose it and that’s something that he’s going to be reminding those guys all week. There’s just something about the Packers that’s too “middle of the road’ for me at the moment, which is not something that’s typical of a team who has such a great QB.
Panthers 35, Vikings 10
Adrian Peterson had some tragic news this week as he learned that his son had passed away due to something that’s probably too gruesome to even discuss here. That’s a life altering experience, and a football team is like an extended family so the Vikings never had a chance. I don’t really have much to say about this one because football really wasn’t the issue here. All I can say is always tell those that you care about you love them, because you just never know. Really, really sad story.
Eagles 31, Buccaneers 20
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are so bad, it’s easy to overlook them when you consider who is the worst team in the league. You could make a pretty strong argument that Jacksonville would beat Tampa right now, but it would be a useless argument and a crime against humanity if someone actually made that game happen. Nick Foles did throw for 3 touchdowns and put on a very good performance, but I just still can’t believe that the Eagles are tied for first in the NFC East. To put that into perspective, they have the same record as the Titans, Arizona, and the Rams.
Lions 31, Browns 17 (By Coach Ryan)
This game definitely brought out the Cleveland Browns that NFL fans are accustomed to and then some. The Browns went into halftime leading the Detroit Lions 17-7, they wouldn’t score again. The Lions made all the right adjustments on both sides of the ball and scored 24 unanswered second hand points to cruise to their 4th win of the season. This game had some ugly moments although only one can be called one the worst passes of all time. With less than five minutes to go and the Browns trailing 24-17 the Browns had 1st and 10 on Detroit’s 44 yard line. As Weeden’s pocket was collapsing he made the brilliant decision to roll out and try to underhand/ shuffle pass/ throw a pop up about ten yards to running back Chris Ogbonnaya that was basically fair caught for the interception. Seriously if you are reading this and haven’t seen this play, search for something along the lines of worst interception ever and it should pop right up.
To make matters worse Weeden attempted another pass that was almost equally as bad later in the game which luckily just went incomplete. Although you have to give credit where it is due to the Lions for making the proper adjustments and coming back on the road this loss goes to Weeden (as much as the defense wants to take the blame). Matthew Stafford who threw four touchdown passes looked poise and confident against a Browns defense that was tired in the second half and worn out by a great effort by Reggie Bush who rushed for 78 yards against a solid rush defense. As much as the focus should be on the Lions the main story of this game will be Weeden and his terrible interception. “It was a bone-headed play” was his comment regarding the interception after the game. Not just was it bone-headed but it also sealed his fate as another lame duck quarterback of the Cleveland Browns who unfortunately are stuck with Weeden until next year when Hoyer (or whoever they draft in the first round) is ready to step in.
Broncos 35, Jaguars 19
Everyone acting all hard and taking the over to impress their boys has to now pay the piper, and I love it. The spread was ridiculous anyway – any 25+ point spread will always be ridiculous in my eyes. The Broncos move into the space of the worst defensive team in the league, and remain bipolar to an almost puzzling degree. The Jaguars did a good job of making this one interesting on the road when they were expected to get blown out of the water, so as horrible as they’ve been this year, they’re to be commended for that. They got pressure on Manning, and their offense put up a pretty presentable performance considering how bad they are on paper. If youre wondering how bad Denver’s defense really is, although Justin Blackmon is a good receiver he should not be getting 190 yards against a Super Bowl contender. That’s so sad I don’t even have a joke for it.
Chiefs 24, Raiders 7
Didn’t see it, but that sounds about right. Jammal Charles had two touchdowns and Kansas City is the quietest 6-0 NFL team you’ll ever see. And it’s about to get even better for them as they have Houston next, who is slowly turning into the fish flopping all over the place at the end of Faith No More’s “Epic” video. Hopefully, the Raiders will have gotten out of there before the piano blows up. Alex Smith didn’t have a huge game here, but it’s going to be all about game management from this point forward for him.
Steelers 19, Jets 6
This one showed me that the Falcons must be a horrible team. The thing with having a rookie quarterback is that sometimes after the guy has success, he runs across a stretch where he performs poorly. This very well could be the beginning of that stretch. I can’t say that this really does much for the Steelers when it comes to confidence either – They really only had one big play from scrimmage and it was largely due to blown coverage. So they’re still on chitwatch as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t matter, in three weeks nobody will be talking about the Steelers.
Rams 38, Texans 13
After a somehow less than really depressing showing last week against the Niners, the Texans were in a position where they were being given a gift from God by having the Rams come to town. It was almost a guaranteed victory. But, somehow the Texans found a way to blow it. Matt Schaub left the game early with an injury – a move that might have had some Texans thinking that it was a blessing in disguise. (And it got weird there for a second, because fans cheered the injury) It was yet not only another pathetic display of offense, but proof that the Houston Texans are headed back to the bottom half of the league. It would be interesting to see the Falcons and the Texans play each other to determine which team is 2013’s biggest disappointment. But true to form, even if we could set that game up it would probably end in a tie anyways.
Bengals 27, Bills 24 (OT)
This game went into overtime when it probably shouldn’t have, and the Bengals look like one of the better teams in the NFL over the past 2 weeks. Andy Dalton is looking really good and AJ Green had over a hundred yards. The Bills are hard to follow because one week they’ll go out and beat the Super Bowl champions, other weeks they will look respectable in a loss like they did here, and then other weeks they’ll get ran.
Seahawks 20, Titans 13
For the Titans, this wasn’t much to pat yourself on the back about. Like Pittsburgh, they only scored one touchdown and it was because of a glaring error on the other team. The Seahawks played well and Wilson did do a better job passing, but on a neutral site I couldn’t see that they’d clobber the 49ers the way they did in week two. If they keep failing to blow games open when they should win with little to no effort, they are going to end up losing a couple (like this one or the Houston game) and that could end up costing them home field advantage, which we all know the desperately need.
The Seahawks’ play over the last couple of weeks does raise some serious questions…As far as can they be clutch when they’re on national television, I think the 49ers game showed us they can. But like San Francisco (and Denver for that matter) teams with Super Bowl aspirations are supposed to beat up on teams that are starting
Patriots 30, Saints 27
Now this was a goddamned good football game. Finally after all of the nonsense that we were sold from noon to 3PM, we were treated to something that was truly worth the wait. This was exactly as billed: Two great quarterbacks leading great teams in a game that came down to the very end. This right here is why Tom Brady will always win the “Who’s better, Brady or Manning?” discussion: Because at the end of that game when Danny Amendola got hurt and Tom threw an awful pick, he stuck with it and kept his nose to the grindstone. A lot of guys with less heart would have crawled away with their tail between their legs, but that’s what separates Brady from those average players. not saying Manning is by any means average, but it does show that the argument will always be invalid.
However, I have to take an issue with something in this game: The Patriots fans that left when the Saints went up 24-23. Really? You’re going to turn your back on the guy who won three Super Bowls for you (and took you to two others) when there’s the chance that he’ll get the ball back? That’s not the way you treat a first ballot Hall of Famer. Now I know this is just a cross section of Pats fans who did this, and that not all Patriots fans would give up that easily. This includes Koz who is a huge Pats fan, and I’m sure has as much of an issue with this as I do. I just don’t understand how you pay hundreds of dollars for tickets for your party to go see a legend like that, and then walk out just so you can beat traffic. Those aren’t football fans.
Seriously if that’s you…you shouldn’t be at a football stadium to begin with, you should be at home looking up what Cat Stevens changed his name to after he converted to Islam. These are the same assholes who wanted to get out of that parking lot because despite their “hardcore big city mentality” there is a hole in their soul that would widen substantially if somebody were to scratch their Prius. Worse yet, their Dave Matthews Band CD might skip and they might spill some Samuel Adams’ “Autumn Northeastern Liberal Prick” all over their cargo shorts. I’m really doing my best to work a lot cleaner around these parts nowadays, but honestly those people can go fuck themselves.
But even with all that said, I can’t let that change the fact that this was one of the more entertaining games to watch in recent NFL history. It was an instant classic, and who knew that the Saints would be leading the game with three minutes left on a day where Jimmy Graham had no catches. They almost pulled it off, but although Rob Ryan has done a hell of a job down there you can still see where they painted over the Skid Row poster that was glued to the wall. In other words, they’ll figure it out – they’re almost there but just fell short on this day.
49ers 32, Cardinals 20
Vernon Davis totally exploded in this game for 180 yards and looked like the weapon that San Francisco used to make it all of the way to the Super Bowl last year. Beating the Cardinals isn’t exactly monumental, but it keeps the 49ers within a game of first place and they look healthy as a horse. Don’t get me wrong – they still have issues. They’re next to last in the league in passing, even after this game. But that can almost be a good sign, a sign that regardless of the stats Kaepernick can make it work when the game is on the line. If the Cardinals were in the NFC East, they’d be in first place. Speaking of that sad foursome…
Cowboys 31, Redskins 16
This isn’t going out on a limb, but it’s not a very popular take either – so I’m just going to come out and say it. Robert Griffin the Third is not very clutch at all. All of the Subway and Adidas ads in the world aren’t going to change the fact that he still holds on to the ball for way too long, and although he did convert a lot of third down passes he also threw some passes that were completely abysmal. That said, there are some other things going on with that team that aren’t fault but could be a question of leadership. The one thing that stuck out to me was that if Alfred Morris had looked like he did in that touchdown run a little more in the earlier games, Well…we would still be sitting here bashing the Redskins but it would only be because of the nickname controversy. Additionally the Redskins are still garbage on defense, and now this team is 1-4 with no signs of recovery in the near future. As for the Cowboys, I’m sure all week we’ll have to listen to how they are finally on track and are the sure favorite to win the division. Hardly an impressive feat, I still believe that because the play in the NFC East is so poor there’s just no way whoever comes out of that mess will be competitive in the postseason. Romo had some good reads and did make some good throws, but the big plays where the game got broke wide open were more of a result of bad coverage – and tackling that was even worse.
Chargers 19, Colts 9
I don’t know, I may have had the Chargers pegged wrong but I’m not going to get called out for it because they don’t have enough of a chance to make it work that I’ll have to stick up for them down the road. The same reasons I was talking trash about the Chargers in preseason still ring true, and there’s just enough things wrong with them that I should still look safe. Plus the two remaining undefeated teams in the NFL are in that division, so the Chargers shouldn’t be in the hunt. Or should they? That sixth spot may end up being available after all, and then won’t we all look stupid? Houston certainly hasn’t produced, the North is still pretty iffy, and a lot of people still don’t believe in the Dolphins yet. Stranger things have happened.
Much of the same lack of real confidence that I have regarding the Chargers can also be stated about the Colts. They still lose games like this that by no means should have been difficult for them, and they look a lot more like the team that lost to the Ravens Wild Card weekend week one than the team we saw the first five weeks. Andrew Luck was not good, and they are going to get stuffed by the Broncos next week at home. At least he still does have a pretty good attitude in the postgame press conferences, but then again so did a lot of other guys who weren’t successful in the long run…
Bonus Comment for the week:
Just because the Atlanta Falcons had a bye, let’s not forget how disappointing of a season they’ve had. Next week they won’t be guaranteed to not lose, so we’ll be following that closely.
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