You all know the drill by now. Another solid contribution by Jeremy Wilson.
Torrey Smith- 6 catches for 127 yards and 2 TD’s is a great game, but that is only half of the story. Smith’s younger brother was killed in a motorcycle accident late Saturday night, just less than 24 hours before the kickoff. He showed up to the team facility around 4pm on Sunday and announced that he was going to play. Given the scenario, a few catches would have sufficed, but Smith had an outstanding game and one of the feel-good stories of the year thus far in the NFL.
Baltimore Crowd- The New England @ Baltimore game was littered with bad calls by the officials, and the Baltimore crowd finally reached their boiling point late in the game. They started the classic “Bulls***” chant that was so loud that Al Michaels on NBC made a comment about it. This game should forever be known as the “Bulls*** Bowl.”
Sean Payton- Special thanks to the Saints’ suspended head coach for answering the age old question in pro sports: are head coaches really that important? Yes, clearly. The Saints had a nice setup for their first win of the season with the 0-2 Chiefs coming to town, but then they got Jamal Charles’d (sp?). Payton’s team looks lost and lacks leadership on defense, something that a good head coach brings. It makes me wonder how he feels about his team falling apart, because each lost makes him look better and better.
Giants on the Road- When scrolling through the weekly slate of games, I see the Giants on the road and equate that with an easy win. Eli and the Giants are 33-17 in their past 50 road games, including two Super Bowl runs that were done primarily on the road. This past week’s victim was Carolina, and after the first drive when Eli performed surgery on the Carolina D you knew it wasn’t going to be close. Gamblers: if these guys are ever getting points on the road, take them!
Twitter- Yes, I realize that Twitter has been around the past few weeks as well, but this week felt necessary to single it out. Could you imagine how much less fun the replacement refs debacle would be without Twitter. After Monday night’s shenanigans in Seattle, my roommate who had been in his room for a while walked out to the living room of our apartment and said “ok so what just happened.” That’s the beauty of Twitter during a controversy, and when it comes to the NFL, it seems like everyone has something to say.
AJ Green- Cue Michael Irving…
HE’S A BEAST is right. Green had 9 grabs for 183 yards and a TD Sunday against the Redskins suspect defense. I watched Green play in the SEC when he was at UGA, and he took a big shot every single game and kept on playing. Tough dude.
Golden Tate- He’s a winner this week for getting away with the most obvious offensive pass interference call ever, and for sticking his arm near the ball and convincing the replacement refs that he had simultaneous possession. I can’t wait to see what kind of tricks he has up his sleeves this week!
Arizona Defense- They made the leagues most agile quarterback look hopeless as the Cardinals trounced the Eagles 27-6 (see more in the Losers section under Michael Vick). These guys are for real, and as long as Kevin Kolb cannot lose games for them under center, the defense is good enough to keep them in every game. One player to watch is second year corner out of LSU Patrick Peterson. He’s a dynamic playmaker and a rising superstar in this league. A certain college basketball personality might refer to him as a DIAPER DANDY BABY!!!
Larry Fitzgerald- The most underrated event this week involved Fitzgerald when the Cardinals were on defense. The Cardinals forced a Mike Vick fumble (which happens to be on sale these days for very cheap) and ran it back for a TD as time expired in the first half. Fitzgerald raced down the sideline with his helmet in hand and dog-piled on his teammates in the end zone to celebrate. He was the only guy on offense down there celebrating, and he almost beat the defensive back to the end zone. It’s very easy to get behind a team that has players like that on it.
Seahawks Defense- The Green Bay Packers absolutely refused to bring a tight end on the line to help pass block, and the Seahawks feasted off of that in the first half on their way to recording 8 sacks (NOT A TYPO)!! Bruce Irvin and Chris Clemons had a coming out party combining for 6 of the 8 sacks. I’m not so sure that the lime green on the Seahawks jerseys aren’t some sort of battery packs, but this defense feeds off the crowds energy and are incredibly entertaining to watch.
Matt Ryan and the Mighty Falcons- Sorry 49ers, but after soiling your pants in Minnesota, the NFL’s best team right now is the Atlanta Falcons. Led of course by early MVP favorite Matt Ryan at QB. After an emotional Monday night win at home against Denver, the Falcons traveled across the country and stomped the Chargers 27-3. That had classic letdown game written all over it, but I guess the Falcons refused to read that. With the Saints looking horrible at 0-3 and the Panthers showing early struggles, the Falcons have a great chance to rack up wins in their division and lock up home field advantage in the playoffs.
Russell Wilson- 10 for 21, 130 yards and two touchdowns on Monday night and the national media is ready to crown him king of football. I don’t get it, but I love it. Everything I read and hear about the rookie makes me like him a lot as a person. However, his numbers don’t accurately match up to the hype! You know what that makes him???— This year’s Tebow! Get ready for a lot of these comments about Russell Wilson: “All he does is win,” “The only numbers that matter are wins and losses,” He’s still a young QB,” “He had rejuvenated that entire locker room,” and “He just finds a way to get it done!”
Replacement Refs- I really don’t want to beat a dead horse on this subject, mainly because there’s a long line behind everyone on every sports network ever. Last week I argued that these guys weren’t changing the outcomes of games, and after the chaos in Seattle everything has changed. A deal had to be done after that, and it was. I’m going to miss these middle school teachers and insurance salesmen that were put in charge of regulating America’s biggest and most powerful sports league!
Sports Math- I’ve always loved the absurdity of this subject, and the first three weeks of the NFL have rekindled this flame for me. Sports Math is the art of comparing two teams that haven’t played each other by their common opponent(s) and the score differential in those games to determine who is better. Sports Math is also known as ‘how idiots say that their team is good.’ Example: How good are the Falcons? So they beat the Chargers in San Diego, but are the Chargers any good? The Chargers beat Oakland, but Oakland is no good because they lost to the Dolphins last week but then they turned around and beat the Steelers this week. So are the Dolphins any good? Well they beat the Raiders who beat the Steelers, but they lost to the Texans and the Jets, and the Jets got creamed by Pittsburg, but the Dolphins beat the team that beat Pittsburg, so shouldn’t the Dolphins be way better than the Jets? I mean the Jets killed the Bills who killed the Chiefs, and the Chiefs were also killed by the Falcons, but they beat New Orleans this week but it looks like the Saints suck so the Chiefs probably still suck too… See what I mean? It’s a beautiful league calculation that at some point makes every team look equal, aka pure madness.
Matt Schaub’s Ear- Schaub’s performance against the Broncos = Winner. Schaub’s ear after taking this blow the head = Loser. Sorry Schaub’s ear…
Saints- Winless and still giving up points like it’s their job! Their defense looks passive and unmotivated, which is a clear indication that without a good bounty program that team is nothing!
Panthers- During the preseason, Center Ryan Kalil took out a full page add in the Charlotte paper guaranteeing a super bowl for his team. So far this year, Kalil and the offense look like a glorified triple option run by a run-of-the-mill high school team, but less creative. The Panthers need to start winning some games to have a chance at the wild card, because they sure aren’t beating the Falcons for the division title. A chance for me to eat those words is this Sunday as they travel to Atlanta. Surprise me, Carolina.
49ers- Last week’s best team traveled to Minnesota and laid an egg in a game where they allowed Christian Ponder to dissect their defense. Coming off two big, emotional wins will be their excuse unless they lose to the Jets in New York this week, then we’ll sound the really big concern sirens.
Broncos- Warning: this Broncos team is not very good! No running game and a quarterback who can’t put the zip on the ball like he previously could. They have been down by 3 touchdowns in each of their last two games, and both times have come back to make it look close on the bottom line of ESPN, but they can’t fool everyone. Peyton’s body is just not back yet or will sadly never be back. Example: in the past two games, they’ve had rookie Brock Osweiler warming up on the sideline for a possible hail mary throw. You just can’t have that in the NFL.
4th Quarter Patriots- What happened to this team in the clutch? They used to be the best closers in the game. This week they had a chance to run out the clock with 4 minutes left for the win, and they had to punt it away. The week before they drove down the field and instead of trying to pick up more yards, they sat on the ball and settle for a long field goal that ending up missing. The 1-2 Patriots are still a top three team in the AFC, and with an easy schedule ahead, don’t be surprised if they rip off eight or nine straight wins.
Bill Belichick- The man full of one-word answers and little emotion was irate after his team lost on a very close field goal. The only thing left to do then is to run down the official and grab his shirt. Check it out…
Michael Vick- Mr. Walking Turnover is living up to his name with three more fumbles this week, including one in the redzone that was returned for a touchdown as time expired in the first half. I used to love watching this guy play, but now it is just painful. He keeps scrambling into defenders, making it impossible for his offensive line the give him a pocket, and his decision-making is horrendous. If I were him, I would check down every pass into a run play for LeSean McCoy so that his fantasy owners can get some dang points!
Blacked-out Chargers- Congrats San Diego! You blacked out the game on television to force more people to travel to your stadium to watch the Falcons blow you out! Just a tip here, don’t score just three points during a game when you get blacked out. That will in fact NOT drive more fans to the stadium.
Sanchez & Tebow- There was a series near the goal line during the Jets v Dolphins game when Tebow came in to power the ball in, but got tackled in the backfield. Next play—Sanchez comes in and throws an interception. What were the Jets thinking when they paired these two up? Did they think that bringing in a former starting QB (Tebow) would help their fragile franchize QB (Sanchez)? Also, why would you have Tebow at tight end and have Sanchez throw him the ball? They really don’t have any better option at the tight end position? Result of the play—the ball clashes off Tebow’s helmet for an incompletion. Subplot—Tebow could intentionally drop all of Sanchez’s passes to lower his QB rating. Probably not true, but its literally the only thing that makes this offense halfway exciting.