by Ryan Meehan with Coach Ryan
Week eight has come to a close here at the FOH NFL Headquarters, and there’s a lot going on around the league. I’d like to apologize once again to the British for us continuing to send them entertainment that they don’t want/understand/have any interest in. And I won’t sit here and listen to the argument that the place is packed every year because they love the NFL so much. The place is packed every year because English people will go to pretty much any event as long as there’s sufficient lighting, not to check out whether the Jaguars have figured out how to play man coverage. (Steps down from soapbox, begins article)
Panthers 31, Buccaneers 13
Rich Eisen from the NFL Network had an excellent tweet with about two minutes left in this game. It was something along the lines of “The only player within 5 feet of Greg Schiano is Dan Orlovsky”. That’s your Tampa Bay Buccaneers season in a nutshell. Some people are just too stubborn for their own good, and Schiano appears to be one of them. But if you’re a Bucs fan it has to be extra frustrating because absolutely nothing that man has done seems to be working. There’s a lot of “Fire So-and-so” talk floating around the NFL and a lot of it is speculation, but I can’t imagine that there’s anybody in that organization that thinks this is working. If you really wanted to penalize the guy, I say don’t fire him. I say making him coach the 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers until the end of the season is punishment enough.
As for Carolina, I have to hand it to them – They have turned a season where no one gave them a chance into something respectable, and now they are over .500 for the first time in five years. But I can’t seem to give them too much credit here – all of the teams that they’ve beaten this year have a losing record, and the best out of those teams is St. Louis. So beating the Giants, the Vikings, and now Tampa doesn’t exactly convince me that you’re going to catch a team like the Saints.
49ers 42, Jaguars 10
Did you enjoy the game London? Sure you did. And tomorrow you’ll forget about it, but next year we’ll still do the same thing all over again. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a single interception thrown in this game and it was pretty clean. The postgame BS quote of the day came from Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon, who said “Our season’s not over…We’re not going to just go out there and get our (butts) kicked, we’re going to go back out there and fight.” That may be a respectable attitude to have, but keep in mind they ARE also going out there and getting their butts kicked.
The 49ers have scored 30 plus points in 5 straight games for first time since 1997, but I have to think that really their only goal was to get out of here without a major injury which they did. They just have to understand that they aren’t going to average 7.2 yards an offensive play like they did here.
Lions 31, Cowboys 30
In a game that featured a lot of posturing between two of the better wide receivers in the league, as it turns out the quieter of the two ended up with the W. If you are a big football fan and don’t like Dez Bryant, I get it. He did make a pretty amazing catch for the Cowboys’ first TD in this one, but really – what a posturing pusspocket. Calvin Johnson on the other hand had a record day – 329 yards receiving but the Lions had to sort of pull this one out of their fleshy little hindquarters. This game was up and down after the piss break and let’s not forget that during the melee, they played from behind most of the second half. A lot of other teams would go apeshit on the Dallas Cowboys defense in similar fashions. This is also an example of how stats can distort a team’s true value. Because of the huge day that Megatron had, you’re unlikely to hear that both him AND Reggie Bush fumbled in this one.
I don’t know where to really put the Lions now. Like I said on Thursday, it’s not the end of the world for the Dallas Cowboys that they lost this game. Sure they blew a lead late, but how important is it really for them to not do that? If they cared about not blowing leads late, they’d 6-2 right now and maybe the NFC East wouldn’t be getting the press-lashing that it’s been rightfully receiving all year. On second thought – maybe it would…It’s funny how looking back on the Denver-Dallas game just how telling that whole thing has ended up being. Both of those teams need to go to defense bye week camp, and Dallas proved just why in this game. If it only takes your team 62 second to blow a game that they should have otherwise owned, the idea that Tony Romo is enough to save your soul is pretty insane. That’s why to me, this 329 will always have an asterisk by it.
Saints 35, Bills 17
Jimmy Graham had two touchdowns, and how about Kenny Stills with two as well? I suppose this was bound to happen – Drew Brees going against Thad Lewis isn’t really a fair fight. It would be like Manny Pacquaio fighting the guy who delivers your mail. The Saints are now 6-1 and right on track with the Seahawks, and both teams are still undefeated at home. The Bills are right back to being in the thick of the thin of things. They might be able to make a push in that division since no one else seems to want to do it but they are fast approaching rebuilding for next year.
Cardinals 27, Falcons 13
Atlanta deserves every beating they will continue to get in the media the rest of the year, because it’s reached the point where people seriously want answers. Seriously – if this team was SO good last year, why can’t they seem to put together a win against a team that on paper they should beat by at least eleven points? Watch Vegas bail on these guys from here on out – why wouldn’t you? What would give you any idea that they can (or will) turn this around? I’m hearing a lot of people say that they bet Tony Gonzalez wishes he could go back to the Chiefs since they are currently an 8-0 killing machine, but realistically – don’t you think he maybe should have retired instead? Either way, the Falcons have NO rushing game at all and it’s costing them everything.
Arizona is a “scrappy” team even though you all probably hate that word because it’s so overused. But really you aren’t going to have a lot of players that you like on a team like that. You’re not going to wake up tomorrow and see Carson Palmer on a Wheaties box, and that’s why people don’t have strong opinions about the Cardinals. That and the fact that both the one and two seeds in that division would kill them.
Raiders 21, Steelers 18
For those of you who thought that after the Pittsburgh Steelers lost their first four games, they had once again got that spark by winning two weeks in a row – A loss to Oakland ought to remind you where you’re at now. Terrelle Pryor just ripped through that Steel Curtain like it was a pair of crotchless panties, and I still hold my position that the Steelers are going to start firing people soon. In the spirit of Halloween, foam gravestones for both of these teams as they are officially dead. But even after all of that – the Raiders would be only a half game out of first place in the NFC East. Speaking of struggling divisions…
Patriots 27, Dolphins 17
I really can’t believe that so many of us fell for the Dolphins. And I really can’t believe that the Patriots are winning some of these games either. After heading into halftime 17-3, the Patriots knew they had to make some adjustments. One of those adjustments was waiting for the Dolphins’ offense to shit the bed, which of course is exactly what happened. From that point on, it was just a race against the clock to see how many points they could score. The got 24, and won the game by ten.
This might not be the most popular angle for this website, but the Patriots are struggling. Tom Brady is 24th in the league in passing, and they don’t tend to succeed when he’s squeezing games out like this. The Patriots now are much different than in years past where they would just tear through teams. This past month, their average margin of victory is 6.5 points, and they lost two games in that span as well. Something is wrong here, but they always seem to pace it well and deliver when it counts so if I’m going to be fair I have to give them the benefit of the doubt because the past has shown us that they will do just that.
Giants 15, Eagles 7
If you had Giants kicker Josh Brown in fantasy football this week, you’re in luck because he was responsible for 100% of that team’s point total. This game was pure garbage. How about zero offensive touchdowns for either squad? How about only three rushing first downs a piece? What a stinker. The Giants have now covered the spread two weeks in a row, but seriously who even cares at this point. And with everybody else in that division losing, it brought the bar down even further. For the record, if I remember correctly last week I accurately projected how the Eagles would start this game. Ah yes…here it is…
“But after all that, really – it’s a 60% capacity Michael Vick versus Eli. And after Vick leaves the game because he aggravates that hamstring yet again, it’ll be Matt Barkley in his place.”
Sure as Boy George is skipping the Playboy rack in the magazine aisle, Vick stepped out and he left the game immediately surrendering power to Matt Barkley. He told reporters after the game that he felt the hamstring “pop” which is never good. Which leads me to ask this question…
Why do the Philadelphia Eagles have this idea that Michael Vick is of superhuman strength when it comes to rehabbing these injuries? For the same part, he got the same muscles from God that the rest of us were provided with – did he not? Now he’s going to be out for probably a month…Why did he even start to begin with?
Oh, and this was the Eagles tenth straight home loss – Not that I’m enjoying that or anything. Now we turn to Coach Ryan for a Browns update…
Chiefs 23, Browns 17
You have to give Kansas City credit, going 8-0 in not an easy task in the NFL. The Chiefs have continued to win this season due in part to their solid defensive play and their ability to win the field position battle. They’re not a team that is going to blow you out every week as was the case against the Browns but at the end of the day they just keep winning.
Cleveland had it shots although for once Browns fans can’t blame the play of Brandon Weeden for the loss. Actually Jason Campbell came off the bench for his first start of the season and played surprisingly well throwing for 293 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Unfortunately for Cleveland when they had their chances to possibly go ahead they dropped the ball, literally. Known for his sure hands Davone Bess had three crucial drops and an absolute backbreaking fumble on a punt with 7:00 left to go in the game that would have given the Browns field position close to midfield down by only a field goal. He had another drop on the Browns last offensive play of the game that would have given the Browns a first down late in the 4th as they were trailing by six.
Although there could be a lot of finger pointing on dropped passes, questionable play calling, and used timeouts the bottom line is some teams just win in tight games. Kansas City has continued to win close games and the Browns have continued to lose them. Both The Chiefs and Browns have one more game before entering their byes. Cleveland will be hosting division rival Baltimore and the Chiefs will hit the road to take on another young team in Buffalo. If the Chiefs can win at the Bills they will go into their bye with playoff aspirations and ready for a much tougher second half of the season which will present them with five games in the AFC West and a game against the very tough Colts. The Chiefs may not be able to look ahead but mark your calendars for November 17th when fresh off their bye the (potentially 9-0) Chiefs will head to Mile High to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the biggest division matchup of 2013.
Broncos 45, Redskins 21
The Redskins got up 21-7 early and for a second this looked scary like the original version of “The Amityville Horror”. But by the end, if was looking like the sequel to “The Blair Witch Project”. And while most people have seen one of those movies, almost everybody has seen the film where Peyton Manning lets some slug nobody team get up on him because either his defense sucks balls (I’ll get to that in a second here…) or he’s not warm yet. And as we’re well aware, at the focal point of the plot twist sure as a heart attack he’ll come back and get live on their asses.
And that’s exactly what he did, as the Broncos destroyed the Redskins in the last thirty clock minutes of this football game. You didn’t seriously think that the Skins were going to win…did you? Of course not. Teams like Washington can’t hold leads, and that’s why the Broncos ended up scoring 38 points in the second half.
Bengals 49, Jets 9
This probably won’t get the coverage it deserve, but let’s not forget that Cincinnati is now 6-2 and in total control of the AFC North. While everybody had their eye on whether or not the Broncos would be able to come back and score 21 unanswered point to beat the Redskins, this epic production of a blowout was going on in Ohio. Where I might add…that the Bengals need to start getting some credit if we’re going to be jocking the Seahawks and the Saints for the same reason. That place is becoming a vortex for teams everywhere like the Jets, and this game was pure murder.
Dalton finished the game with a 125.7 passer rating, while Geno Smith wrapped up a less than robust 51.9. As much as I have to give SuperGinger and his five touchdown passes credit here – I think the fact that when it’s no big deal when a guy like that throws for five really shows how much the NFL has gone out of their way to protect the quarterback. Whereas baseball used performance enhancing drugs, football simply protected the quarterback and their numbers went through the roof. And that’s why football is crazy popular right now, and the average person couldn’t tell you who’s leading the World Series at the moment.
Packers 44, Vikings 31
This game never had the chance to live up to the hype that occurred when the Vikings returned the opening kickoff for an 109 yard touchdown. They didn’t put up much offense afterwards, but it’s Christian Ponder so what are you going to do? Dubs from SBM brought out the best stat regarding the Vikings QB staffing issues: The Vikings have had as many starting quarterbacks this season as the Packers have had in 20 years. That’s just sad. And you know a game has gotten boring when they start showing an excessive amount of skybox shots when everyone is aware the deal won’t be made. There’s no way in hell that Richard Greico looking motherfucker is going to trade Adrian Peterson.
You know who doesn’t impress me? Green Bay. They seems to be given a lot of games like this and I’m not ready to buy a team like this that is completely dependent on its quarterback. Really tired of hearing all of the Packer backing, and although a lot of bad comments were aired during this broadcast Al Michaels did have a good point – That the Green Bay Packers are one ankle injury away from being led by Seneca Wallace. And they’d be a very bad team if that ended up being the case.
Seahawks 14, Rams 9
I think this is Seattle’s last wakeup call. Either they are going to learn from this and pound the remaining opponents on their schedule, or they will lose the next game where they are in this situation. And for the record, THEY PUT THEMSELVES in this situation and have to come up with ways that they can bury road games early and fast. If I told you a week ago that this game would go down to the last play, you’d have been able to come up with five different ways I could be poisoned before you’d have finished reading the article. The Seahawks are banged up at the offensive line, but like I said almost anybody could use that excuse at this time of year. Plus the rest of the team is in great shape so that’s not going to make for an easy out if they lose in the first or second round. This is a team that’s 7-1 that has gotten away with a couple of wins they probably didn’t deserve, and I’m not sure that they wouldn’t get smoked right now by teams like the Bengals or the Patriots if the game was played outside of Washington State.
Before this game started, I was on KUGR (http://tunein.com/radio/KUGR-s44841/) which is done out of Washington State University and I was discussing how Seattle had never really gone to that “next level” and became a 13-3 or 14-2 team that was determined to stay that way. I said that if they lose, they still might not be that team even though seven days ago on this website I proclaimed that they were for real. I made the point that games like this one were what kept them from being so dominant in the past, but if they won here it would prove that they are really the real deal. But even now that this game is over, I still can’t say that they’re on their way to becoming such a powerhouse even though they still won. That right there gives you an example of why some people are still shaky on the Seahawks.
The World Series and Monday Night Football were both in St. Louis on the same night, so if you had the chance to go down there for that…Well, I guess if you stay for the swap meet this upcoming weekend you can probably buy your car stereo back.
See you on Thursday with picks!
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Meehan and Coach Ryan