by Ryan Meehan and Coach Ryan
Week seven in the NFL gave everyone a fresh start, as almost everybody didn’t look like the teams we’ve come to know them as being. Injuries were once agin huge here, as several notable players were deemed out for the year once Monday morning rolled around. We have one undefeated team left, and a lot of teams who are just a step behind. Let’s check out what happened in week seven…
Seahawks 34, Cardinals 22
On Thursday night I went up to my local bar to grab some quesadillas, but more importantly to see if the Seattle Seahawks are for real. After close examination I have determined (at least for the time being) that they do everything a championship team needs to do, and they do it well. They were hardly perfect, but no team in this league is and that’s why we love football so much. Wilson looked better (when he could hang on to the ball), Marshawn Lynch runs with a serious sense of power that about 90% of pro running backs don’t, and their receivers are on point when it comes to running their routes. And that’s just on one side of the football…
I realize I look really hypocritical here because I picked Arizona to pull off the upset, but the Seahawks’ defense is frightening. I don’t care how inexperienced of a team they were playing, I was beyond impressed by what I saw. I get that Larry Fitzgerald wasn’t totally healthy, but anytime that you can hold him to 17 yards on 2 catches (one of which was at a point where the game had been long buried) you’re dialed in about as much as you can be. And it’s not just pass defense at which the Seahawks are excelling – they had 7 sacks in this one and were all up in Carson Palmer’s face the entire night.
So not only do I feel incredibly stupid for picking against them, I feel the same emotion for actually thinking that they aren’t capable of doing this to such a severe degree. I understand that the Cardinals probably aren’t a measuring stick for whether or not your team can contend for a Super Bowl, but before this game they were .500 in what’s turned out to be the roughest division in football. I’m back on the Seahawks bandwagon for the time being, and they are now 6-1 for the first time in franchise history. Stay tuned to KING-TV, because this should be interesting.
Cowboys 17, Eagles 3
I was way off the mark…I figured this game would be an easy win for the Eagles but boy was I wrong. Nick Foles left the game early with a head injury and from that point forward Philly looked every bit as impotent as we had thought they were going to be back in July. In Foles absence, Matt Barkley threw for three interceptions in a performance where the Eagles could have easily travelled back in time and somehow lost the Civil War. The Cowboys didn’t put up staggering numbers either, and you have to wonder if this is how bad the week seven matchup is…How disappointed are we going to be when this same game gets flexed to the night game come week seventeen when both of them are 7-8 and fighting for the division crown? That’s how bad things are in the NFC East…
Bills 23, Dolphins 21
The Miami Dolphins have dropped three straight and fallen to 3-3 with this loss, and there are some legitimate questions as to whether they can still compete as a potential playoff contender. They have to hope that not only will either the Ravens or the Bengals tank, but that San Diego will have to start sucking royally in order for them to even have a shot at the playoffs. Therefore, I am officially jumping off of what is left of a very sparsely populated Miami Dolphins bandwagon. The Bills aren’t getting nearly enough credit, and the reason why that continued to happen is because jerk sportswriters like myself keep looking at every team they beat and going “Well, it’s just Baltimore and they’re having some problems this year”, or “Miami’s not nearly as good as we had expected”. Although both of those statements are true, it does show you how when it comes to putting this information in print provides us the tendency to lean in a negative direction.
Chargers 24, Jaguars 6
Not much of a shocker here, the Chargers have appeared stronger in recent weeks and the Jaguars have remained stagnant aisde from the first half of the Denver game. The Chargers have surprised me this year and whereas before I’d have thought they could only make a difference in the last month of the season if it meant spoiling someone else’s plans – but now I can honestly say three AFC West teams might make the playoffs this year if things continue as planned.
Steelers 19, Ravens 16
At the risk of sounding like a high school girl that has just received a speeding ticket, what the hell ever. All I needed to hear about this game is when Mike Tomlin said in the postgame press conference “We’re just trying to remain relevant”. True that. That’s street lingo for “We’re about a month away from you actually needing to record these interviews”. I biffed on this one as well, and being this wrong never hurt so much. I suppose I have to hand it to Pittsburgh for coming out and taking down the Super Bowl Champions, but with ever time I say that about the Ravens that title fades further and further into the background. As for Baltimore, division rivalry or not I would think this has to be an extremely embarrassing loss for them. The Ravens probably didn’t deserve to win the Super Bowl last year, and if they miss the playoffs this year, I’m totally fine with it. This was just shameful on every level – Yeah, their roster wasn’t what it was twelve months ago, but will that argument ever give you a good excuse when you play the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers?
49ers 31, Titans 17
I think that the fact that Anquan Boldin is out there making acrobatic catches speaks volumes about what San Fran can do when they set themselves up for greatness. They needed a two possession victory and they got it. Their defense played very well, but here again the story will remain the team who lost. Regardless of what you may read or hear, Jake Locker had no business playing in this game. This is a perfect example of how franchises listen to athletes more than they listen to trainers. The Titans were going to lose this game no matter who started, and even with countless recent examples of guys being rushed back into the field of play (the first five weeks of RG3 being a great one) they still continue to put dudes into the role of chief head-rattler when they have at least a couple more weeks of recovery left. Athletes will say that they are good to go no matter what, and if they are asked a month into rehab what their zipcode is as long as they don’t draw a picture of a cheeseburger on the whiteboard they’ll end up playing. I understand selling tickets, but I also understand protecting your assets as well and if Locker was shoved back into the mix this quick than they plan to keep him there a while. Ridiculous.
Falcons 31, Buccaneers 23
The Falcons got one step closer to becoming relevant again, but I think we can all agree this was a pretty unimpressive win against a team that even they should have beat by a lot more. Or should they have? They continue to limp around against the rest of the NFC South knowing that when they finally blow the whistle somewhere around week 14 they will be mathematically eliminated. It seems weird to me that Matt Ryan has always been a guy whose statistics have flourished because of bullshit games like this one, and he didn’t even throw for three hundred yards. There’s a lot of different things wrong with the Falcons, too many to list here. The same could be said about Tampa Bay, but nobody cares.
Redskins 45, Bears 41
In a wild game where Jay Cutler went out with a groin injury and Josh McCown got shoved into the mix, the Washington Redskins were able to stave off a final surge by the Bears long enough for them to remain a talking point in the struggling NFC East. This one became a race to see who would hold the ball last, and even though the Bears had it at the end somehow they still lost. Too little, too late, and now they will be faced with a lot of backhanded comments regarding how their chances are heading into week eight after the Packers picked up a big victory. Cutler is expected to miss 4 plus weeks, but I have this weird feeling it’s going to be a lot longer than that…Personally I’d be just as worried about Briggs missing the same amount of time.
Jets 30, Patriots 27 (OT)
You can’t win ’em all, and the football Gods just got back at Tom Brady for his heroics last week against the New Orleans. The beneficiary here is the New York Jets, who are 4-3 but let’s not get all excited about that just yet. The good news for them is Geno Smith now has another late game winning surge, and the latest is against one of the greatest to ever play the game. Speaking of which it should also be noted here that Brady didn’t throw a single touchdown pass in this game, something that is very rare. I still hold my position that even though these teams are only separated by a game in the standings, the chances of the Patriots making the playoffs are around 90% while the Jets’ chances hang somewhere in the forties. The Jets won’t be playing in January, New England will. And as far as the “bad call” at the end of the game, the Patriots usually consider themselves to be too good to be worrying about a game being close enough for that to matter so I don’t really see why they should let this bother then any further than the flight home. It was the right call, but it’s a dumb rule and I’ll just leave it at that.
Packers 31, Browns 13
The Cleveland Browns have managed to go from talks of making the playoffs only a few weeks ago to demanding the head of quarterback Brandon Weeden on a steak. When quarterback Brian Hoyer went down to injury a couple of weeks ago Weeden was able to come in and lead the Browns to a comeback victory over the Buffalo Bills and things have gone completely downhill from there.
Give credit to the Packers, they played a good game and although there was a decent amount of time where Rodgers wasn’t able to move the ball effectively against the Cleveland defense they were able to do what they needed to win without much trouble. Unfortunately for the Packers they may have lost yet another one of Rodgers’ favorite targets when tight end Jermichael Finley went down late in the game and had to be taken off the field in a stretcher. The good news is that although it is a neck injury he is able to move all his extremities although I have to guess he will be missing at least a few games. Luckily the Packers schedule doesn’t seem to be too hard from here on out so they should still be able to keep on being a team on the way to the post season.
The Browns on the other hand are a team that has to be frustrated. There is a lot of young talent on that team that all seems to be getting wasted because of the poor play of Brandon Weeden. For yet another game he looked lost and like a quarterback who has completely lost his confidence, something Browns fans are all too familiar seeing in a quarterback. One week removed from the worst interception of the year and Weeden attempted the same pass again, luckily just falling incomplete this time. There’s talk out of Cleveland about a quarterback change but with Jason Campbell next on the depth chart you have to think that even if the switch is made the result will still be the same.
Panthers 30, Rams 15
This isn’t exactly a game that has staggering playoff implications, but I do find it interesting that the Rams are able to absolutely dismantle teams one week, then get tossed around by bad teams in other ones. There was a bit of a skirmish in this game to say the least, and it led to Chris Long getting ejected and dodging some projectiles on his way out of the stadium. (Stay Classy, Charlotte… As for St. Louis, Sam Bradford has a torn ACL which means he’ll likely be watching the rest of the season from the sidelines. This is precisely why the NFL is crazy – you wouldn’t expect to see such passion come from two teams headed nowhere fast.
Bengals 27, Lions 24
Bengals kicker Mike Nugent his the game winning field goal as time expired and the Cincinnati Bengals are 5-2 and every bit deserving of that record. I am buying everything Bengals related, not just because this is the second time they’ve won by this score but because Cincinnati is one good football team and although their defense does have a tendency to give up big plays, they make clutch stops and win games. If those two things end up in the same grey area, then we might have a problem with here but for the moment I’m buying them. Until then I’m standing behind a team who’s beaten the Patriots, the Packers, and now the Lions. Big road win here, and this was the best game of the afternoon.
Chiefs 17, Texans 16
The Chiefs are now the only undefeated team left in the NFL at 7-0, even if by just a point. In their defense (which has been pretty good so far this year) absolutely nobody saw Case Keenan throwing for over 271 yards. I want to say that Arian Foster leaving this game with a hamstring injury was enough to be the difference maker, but was it? I’m going to say no here…Look at the margin by which they’ve lost some of the other games (SF and STL) and I’m not sure they win this one. The point here is that personnel isn’t the Texans’ only problem…Also, if anybody reading this can explain how a 2-5 team is ranked first against the pass I’d love to hear from you in the comment section. Kansas City does need to play better if they are going to be considered amongst the upper upper echelon of teams in the league. Wins like this one just aren’t going to do it two months from now.
Colts 39, Broncos 30
In the week leading up to Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis, Colts owner Jim Irsay had some choice words about why they were moving in a different direction when they decided to part ways with Peyton Manning. In some weird way, it must have got into his head because he was 29 for 49 as the Colts handed the Broncos their first defeat of the season. This game was everything as advertised until the second half started…then it just turned into a sloppy mess. It was like someone had spent 150 plus hours setting up dominoes over an entire city block and then some asshole opened up a fire hydrant and ruined everything. Peyton Manning is criticized (and rightfully so) for coming up short in big games, namely his many playoff losses as well as the regular season matchups with the Pats in the old AFC East that it took him years to overcome. As great as he is and as much as we will never ever see another quarterback that gets rid of the ball that fast be accurate, he does lose games like this one.
What’s strange here is that unlike in his brother’s two Super Bowl wins, the second and third quarter ended up being so crucial to their inability to improve to 7-0. Whereas those points in most NFL games remain relatively passive, this is where Denver failed to establish and made it too hard to comeback no matter how well they regrouped heading into the fourth. Once again the Broncos’ defense is putrid at best, and will be the death of that team at worst.
With all the negative stuff floating around, you really have to hand it to Andrew Luck here…The real story in this game is how a kid who had the world placed on his shoulders with the inheritance of this entire franchise playing in a new building was somehow able to ruin the night of the dude who had that building erected in the first place. The news was a bout Peyton, but the stat sheet was about Luck – he was as masterful as one can get and at 5-2, the Colts are a serious threat but a torn ACL for Reggie Wayne is bad news that may kill their buzz…and season.
Giants 23, Vikings 7
I’m not going to lie to you, I didn’t see any of this game because I was at the Eagles concert. For a bunch of guys that old, they were actually pretty decent and when somebody offers you suite tickets to an eighty dollar show where you get to eat cookies and potato chips while you watch a band that’s had numerous #1 hits – you take it. To this day, the only two things that I disagree with The Dude about are the fact that Walter brings up Vietnam when it has nothing to do with the situation at hand and I do in fact like the Eagles. By the way, I hadn’t eaten much because Monday was such a busy day for me so let’s just say that there weren’t any cookies or chips left in that suite when I eventually ended up putting my coat on.
As for the Giants game, when I got home there was the usual ESPN slurping of Eli Manning and how he’s had it all along and he’s finally back. That’s hilarious. 0-6 is a hell of a time to find your stroke, and let’s be honest the Vikings are awful. The Giants’ defense had seen more of Josh Freeman than Minnesota had, and the Vikings are the ones who signed him. Although I didn’t catch the game, Dubs informed me that the Giants held Adrian Peterson to only four first half yards and I read yet another ludicrous Jon Gruden quote on Twitter. Like I said I didn’t see it, but one of the more hardcore sports blogs posted that he actually said “There’s nothing more I enjoy than seeing Eli Manning throw a shoulder fade to Hakeem Nicks”. If that is true, Gruden has had an awful year and easily has the most boring sex life known to man.
Coach and I will be right back at it on Thursday with your picks and the breakdowns of every game. Also don’t forget to check us out on Twitter on Facebook and stop by the website for interviews with some of the hottest comedians and metal bands around. See you then!
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Meehan and Coach Ryan