Posts Tagged ‘Bears’

What We Learned After Week 10 In The NFL

November 16, 2009

09000d5d81439b00_gallery_600– The Packers are still very alive in the NFC playoff race.

– The Bears, not so much.

– Even with Kyle Orton struggling a little bit here and there, it still looks like the Broncos got the better of the Cutler-Orton trade. Cutler had 5 INT’s against the 49ers. No QB can have that many INT’s in any game.

– Titans are still alive for a Wildcard spot. Just thought I’d throw that out there. They killed the Bills 41-17.

– The Bills will have a new head coach next year. They might have a new city in a couple years (Toronto?).

– The Panthers are also still alive for a Wildcard spot after an impressive win against the Falcons. Unfortunately for the Panthers their remaining schedule includes games against the Dolphins, Patriots, Vikings, Giants and Saints. They’ll have to play great and hope the other Wildcard teams falter down the stretch.

– The Bengals will win the AFC North this year.

– The defending Super Bowl champs, the Steelers will be a Wildcard team.

– The Jets will not be in the playoffs this year. I think we already mentioned that on here, but just re-stating it.

– The Jags keep hanging around. The NFL franchise that everyone else keeps forgetting is even in the NFL.

– Pay no attention to this site’s “Lock of the Week”.

– The Chargers are suddenly 6-3. Even with Norv Turner at HC.

– Never bet on the Cowboys.

Other Observations

-After the Cardinals 31-20 win over the Seahawks, they now have a 2 game lead in the NFC West. With a somewhat easy remaining schedule, the Cards should win it. SHOULD is the key word here, you never know with the Cardinals, although it looks like they are clearly the best team in the Stinker Division this year.

-The Colts pulled out a miracle win against the Patriots at home. I’m sure most saw the game since it was hyped up like a Super Bowl game throughout the week. It didn’t disappoint, either. I’ve said before that I’ll be shocked to see the Colts in the Super Bowl and I still stand by that statement. The Colts defense couldn’t stop the Pats all game. The Pats were leading at one point 24-7 and then were up 34-21 with less than 4 minutes in the game. All this at the RCA Dome. It wasn’t even in Foxboro. I could see the Colts losing to the Pats, Steelers, Bengals, even the Chargers in the playoffs this year. Keep in mind that the Chargers have owned the Colts in recent years.

– The Bengals are for real. I’ve always been hesitant to put them in the contender status, but no more after another impressive win. This one against the Steelers. As stated on here before, the Bengals defense is better than their numbers would indicate and they definitely showed that all game against a really good Steeler offense.

– The Vikings came back from their bye and quietly won another game. It’s hard to not picture the Vikings and Saints in the NFC Championship game this year. The Vikes could present some problems for the Saints. Speaking of the NFC playoffs, it’ll be very interesting to see who gets the Wildcard spots at this point. The Vikes and Saints are virtually locked in at the 1 and 2 seeds. Cards look like they got the NFC West. The NFC East is up for grabs between the Cowboys, Eagles and Giants.  The 2 losers will be fighting it out with the Packers (5-4) and  Falcons (5-4),  while the Panthers, Bears and 49ers are all at 4-5. Should be crazy down the stretch.

– I’ve stated on here that the Broncos will not falter like the Jets did last year, but I may have to take that back after the Broncos loss against the Redskins. That’s a game you have to win if you’re going to be a real playoff contender. Could be a back breaker after the other recent losses. Plus, Orton got hurt. Ouch.

– Bad Coaching Decision of the Week – Everyone already knows this one. Belichick’s decision to go for it on the Pats own 28 yard line was simply crazy. Part of what makes Belichick such a great coach is his ability to think outside the box and be aggressive at the right times. This was clearly not one of those times. The Pats defense was playing well enough that you simply punt the ball. There was just over 2 minutes left in the game. Will that decision come back to haunt the Patriots? It could because right now the Bengals are in the driver’s seat for the #2 seed, believe it or not. And the Bengals have a fairly easy schedule the rest of the way. In other words, the Pats could’ve lost out on a playoff bye because of this loss and decision.

What We Learned After Week 9 In The NFL

November 9, 2009

09000d5d81406e36_gallery_600– The Giants will not be making the playoffs after losing at home against the Chargers. I’m already writing them off, especially with such a brutal schedule the rest of the way.

– The Cardinals continue to be one of the most unpredictable teams in the NFL. After losing 34-21 at home against Carolina, they go on the road and spank the Bears 41-21.

– The Buccaneers will not go winless this year. Way to go, Bucs!

– The Packers are officially in trouble of making the playoffs this year. Losing to the Bucs could be devastating. It at least shows the Packers are not serious contenders this year.

– The Saints defense has scored more points than the Browns offense so far this year. Just for this statistic alone the Browns are officially the worst team in the NFL this season.

– Seahawk fans may not feel like their team actually won yesterday. After being down 17-0 to the Lions in the 1st quarter the Seahawks managed to scrape out a win, but not after playing a pretty poor game against one of the bottom-dwellers in the NFL.

Matthew Stafford is playing like a rookie QB.

– The Chicago Bears will not be making the playoffs this year.

– The Titans have not been officially eliminated from playoff contention. Just sayin’.

Other Observations-

– The Bengals defense is playing better than their actual numbers are showing. They had arguably their most impressive game of the season against the Ravens this weekend, shutting down Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense for most of the game in a huge divisional showdown. The secondary is playing a lot better of late.

– I’ve touted the Ravens as contenders all year, but losing like they did against the Bengals has to be pretty concerning for Ravens fans everywhere. The offense isn’t progressing as the season goes on and the Ravens defense is clearly aging and the team is not adequately replacing the older players. Losing Rex Ryan has been huge. I’m not ready to completely write this team off, but it’s not looking good.

– The Texans played their hearts out against the Colts in Indianapolis. If not for a goal line fumble and/or a missed FG in the last seconds of the game, the Texans might’ve won, but that’s what separates the best from the rest. The Texans still haven’t taken that next step. I do have to question some of the overly safe playcalling by the Texans offense in this game. A lot of run plays on first and second down even though the Colts were missing half their starting secondary and the fact that the Texans are a passing team.

– The Colts beat the Texans to remain undefeated but consider this – Peyton Manning had 40 passing attempts in the first half (!!!) and threw for over 200 yards but the Colts were only up 13-3 at halftime. That is precisely why I’d be surprised if the Colts make it to the Super Bowl. For an 8-0 team the Colts haven’t exactly be overly impressive.

– The Miami Dolphins know how to play against the Patriots. Even though they lost 27-17, the game was a lot closer than the score indicates. The Pats defense seems to struggle against the Wild Cat formation and the Dolphins defense knows how to play against the Pats passing game. They just single covered Randy Moss and covered the short passing game, which is the Pats bread and butter. Almost worked Sunday, but not quite.

– It looks like the Cowboys defense may have finally turned a corner over the past few games. Constantly underperforming for most of last year and into this season, the Cowboys defense is finally playing up to it’s potential. Defensive line is getting good pressure on the QB and the secondary, which has long under achieved, is finally playing great.

– Bad coaching decision of the week – Trailing the Cowboys 20-13 with just under 5 minutes left in the game and with NO time outs left, Andy Reid elects for the team to attempt a 52 yard FG. The ball barely breaks the crossbar. Why is this a bad coaching decision? Well, for one it’s a 52 YARD FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT. There’s a decent chance your kicker won’t even make the field goal, which would give the Cowboys the ball near midfield. But even if he makes it (which he did) the Cowboys get the ball with just over 4 minutes left, your team has no time outs left and all the Cowboys have to do is pick up a couple first downs to run out the clock. Which is precisely what they did. But even if you force the Cowboys to punt you will have no time outs left AND you still need a TD with little time left! Andy Reid can put together a good team but his on field decision making and clock management is very questionable at times.

– Horrible officiating watch – There were a number of bad calls on Sunday. In the Texans-Colts game there was a horrible unnecessary roughness call on a Texan defensive back when he hit Dallas Clark around the shoulder pads as he was attempting to catch a ball. Why is that a penalty?? There was a strange defensive offsides call on the Texans defense that helped the Colts to keep a drive alive. I sure didn’t see it on the play. Of course CBS never showed a replay so we’ll never know for sure whether there was offsides or not on the play.

In the Lions-Seahawks game there was a pass interference call on a Lions DB, even though a.) the ball was uncatchable and b.) if anything there was offensive pass interference on the Seahawk WR on the play when he grabbed the Lions DB. The Seahawks would go on to score on that drive.

In the Dolphins-Pariots game the Dolphins had to challenge a play where Miami QB Chad Henne was hit as his arm was going forward and lost the ball but the refs called it a fumble and the Pats recovered it. It’s totally ridiculous that a team has to use a challenge on a play where it’s clear and obvious that the play is not a fumble. There was horrible pass interference call on a Pats DB, when Miami’s WR Ted Ginn basically ran into him. Last time I checked a DB is allowed his space on the field. Is there a rule that I’m not aware of where a DB has to get out of the way of a WR? Pretty sure that’s not in the rulebook.

In the Cowboys-Eagles game there was horrible unsportsmanslike conduct call on Eagles DB Assante Samuels, even though he helped up the player he was supposedly taunting! I still don’t understand how the Eagles didn’t get a first down on the QB sneak by Donovan McNabb in the fourth quarter. Just a horrible spot by the refs. The Eagles challenged the spot on the field but it was bizarrely upheld, even though it was clear that McNabb had gotten the first down.

What We Learned After Week 7 In The NFL

October 27, 2009

09000d5d813b1091_gallery_600Alex Smith is still in the NFL and he actually looks pretty good.

Ron Winters and his officiating crew is probably still the worst crew in the NFL with a number of questionable calls in the Vikings-Steelers game. “Defensive delay of game”? What the hell is that?

The Falcons defense isn’t very good. Could cost the Falcons a playoff spot or a playoff loss.

Carolina is definitely not making the playoffs this year. Get ready to hear about a possible coaching change in the offseason.

The Rams look like they’re trying to claim “Worst Team in the NFL” this year but they’re getting tough competition from the Browns, Chiefs and Buccaneers.

The Cardinals are actually 4-2 after their impressive win over the Giants. Wonder how many people actually realize that. They’re suddenly the new favorite to win the Stinker Division (ie, NFC West).

JaMarcus Russell was benched probably 5 games late.

Other Observations

The Jay Cutler trade is starting to look a little one-sided right now. Consider that the Broncos got a 1st round and 3rd round pick in 2009 AND a 1st round pick in 2010 AND Kyle Orton in exchange for letting Cutler go!! Insane. Cutler has been erratic and not very impressive so far this year (he’s averaging almost 2 INT’s a game) and while he may get better with more talent around him in Chicago, there’s no doubt that Denver got a pretty sweet deal in getting rid of Cutler. Sort of funny that Orton has better numbers and has outplayed Cutler so far this year.

Why did the Dolphins call for a play action play on 4th and 13 with 2 minutes left in the game? Bizarre call. Just go back and throw it. Didn’t matter with the flag and intereception, but still…

There’s a lot of good RB’s in the NFL that you never seem to hear about, either due to that player being on a bad team (Frank Gore, Steven Jackson) or because teams are focusing more on the pass these days (Pierre Thomas).

Eli Manning has to be the most overrated QB in the NFL. He was coming out of college and continues to be in 2009. Against the Cardinals he continued to show why he’s just an average NFL QB when the Giants run game isn’t being dominant. The praise he gets from the media (Both Boomer Esiason and Trent Dilfer had him #3 in their top 10 list of QB’s so far this year) is a little ridiculous.

It’s still early but it looks like the playoff picture is already starting to come into focus just a little. In the AFC it’s a safe bet that the Pats, Colts and Broncos will be in the postseason. Not a lock but a pretty safe bet so far. Of those 3 the Broncos are the most likely to implode with their tough schedule and some question marks. With their talent level and easy schedule the rest of the way it’s a fairly safe bet that the Steelers will also get in. That leaves 5 teams (Jets, Bengals, Ravens, Texans and Chargers) vying for 2 spots. It should be interesting. Sorry, Jags fans, but I don’t see the Jags, even with a 3-3 record, getting in.

In the NFC it’s a pretty safe bet that the Saints, Cardinals and Vikings get in. Of those 3, the Cards are most likely to falter with some question marks here and there. That leaves 3 teams fighting it out for the NFC East (Giants, Cowboys and Ealges). That could get wild with the Giants showing some serious weaknesses of late. The two teams that don’t win that division will probably be battling it out with the Falcons and Packers for the two Wild Card spots. Of course the Packers could still win their division, especially if they win a huge game next week against the Vikes. I’d also include the 49ers in the mix but it just looks like they’re at least a year away at this point, maybe Alex Smith will make me change my tune, though.

What We Learned In Week 3 In The NFL

September 28, 2009

With teams keying in on the New Orleans Saints passing game, it really opens up their running game.

The Houston Texans still have a pretty mediocre defense.

With Detroit Lions finally winning (Congrats!) the Browns take firm control of worst team in the NFL.

Browns coach Eric Mangini may not last the season, it looks like the Browns players turned on him in Week 1 after the 1st half against the Vikes.

As already noted on here, Browns QB Brady Quinn continues to look like the bad choice at QB for Cleveland. The Browns are looking like a bad choice for an NFL team.

The 2009 Baltimore Ravens offense is the best ever assembled in Baltimore.

Redskins coach Jim Zorn will probably be on the coaching hotseat soon.

Don’t ever think the Pats are done as a team with Bill Belichick still as head coach and Tom Brady at quarterback.

The Buccaneers still have a bad team, bad defense, bad offense, it’s bad. It might come down to this team and the Browns for worst team in the NFL this year.

Denver Broncos might be one of the least unimpressive 3-0 teams ever.

JaMarcus Russell is indeed a bust at QB and that probably won’t ever change.

Rex Ryan will probably get Coach of the Year.

Brett Favre can actually throw it more than 10 yards. Vikings are pretty fortunate to be 3-0, but that’s the NFL for you, there is some luck involved.

49ers are the new favorite to win the Stinker Division…Again, that could always change next week. They should be 3-0, though, which is mighty impressive. They look like the most complete team in the NFC West.

Chicago Bears are 2-1 but probably won’t make the playoffs.

There is no difference between QB Matt Hasselback or QB Seneca Wallace starting for the Seahawks, they’re both equally unimpressive and both put up the same numbers whenever either one starts.

The Miami Dolphins went down fighting with a valiant effort against San Diego. With the way the Jets and Pats are playing right now, Miami is virtually out of the playoffs with an 0-3 record.

With Chad Pennington out with an injury, the Chargers still had to win a close one at home against the Dolphins. Such is the way with Norv Turner as head coach.

Games in Depth

Tennessee 17 vs. New York Jets 24
Kerry Collins when given time to throw in this game was deadly accurate and it’s a good thing since his receivers were never open at all throughout this game. The NY Jets defense plays aggressive and the Titans offense really struggled at times because of it. The Titans made way too many mistakes in this game to win it, which didn’t happen a lot last year. Mark Sanchez got off to a great start but the Titans defense started to put the clamps down on him later in the game. The Jets are looking great right now, but I can see Sanchez start to struggle as more teams get film on him and opposing defenses start to gel. Don’t be surprised if the Jets struggle later in the season a little. I’m not ready to write off the Titans but they’re clearly looking at a Wildcard spot at best right now.

Pittsburgh 20 vs. Cincinnati 23
The Steelers give another game away by not putting the Bengals away early in this one. Offensive miscues and questionable coaching decisions have cost the Steelers in the last two games. The Steelers defense is struggling to get pressure on opposing QB’s which didn’t happen last year, giving up 20 points in the 2nd half is a big concern to Steeler fans everywhere. Cincy’s improved defense didn’t look so improved in this game with the Steelers tearing up their D for over 200 yards of offense in the 1st half alone. The Bengals play a more ball-control offense now, Carson Palmer looked uncomfortable early but played well in the 2nd half without the Steelers getting any pressure on him. The Bengals offensive line looked great as did the Steelers O-line.

Indianapolis 31 vs. Arizona 10
Turnovers kill you and they sure killed the Cardinals in this game. The Cards offense was able to move the ball only to give the ball away at the most inopportune times. The Cards probably abandoned the run too early in this one. Last week the Dolphins ran all over the Colts but the Cardinals only attempted 12 runs the whole game. Meanwhile Warner had to throw it 52 times for only 332 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT’s. The Colts on offense stayed aggressive throughout the game never letting up, something the Steelers could learn from. The Colts defense looks pretty good but needs to improve if the Colts want to be legit Super Bowl contenders.

What We Learned From Week 2 In The NFL

September 22, 2009

SanchezJets
The Denver Broncos might be one of the worst 2-0 teams in recent memory.

The Tennessee Titans might be one of the best 0-2 teams in recent memory (although that defense ain’t looking so good right now, that secondary is overrated without Albert Haynesworth applying pressure on the opposing QB).

The Browns might have edged out the Rams and Lions for worst team in the NFL right now.

The Ravens look like the most complete team in the NFL RIGHT NOW (that could change in a few weeks), from offense to defense to coaching. John Harbaugh is already a great head coach as far as I’m concerned. The Ravens defense is still really good, the scary thing is they have an offense now, which never happened up under former head coach Brian Billick.

The Seahawks are once again, paper champs, always have been probably always will be.

The Cards suddenly seem like favorites once again to win this Stinker Division, BUT…

The 49ers might be one this year’s surprise teams, they are so far.

Mark Sanchez looks like this year’s Matt Ryan and the Jets defense is looking like the real deal, but it’s been only 2 games.

Matt Ryan keeps playing beyond his years.

The Saints will score more points than any other team this year and probably won’t be close, but can they out run their own defense? That’s the real issue with this team. So far they’ve played a team with a rookie QB and a team with a back up QB and in both games have given up over 20 points.

The Patriots, like I thought, have some real issues. Their defense looks average and only scoring 9 points in ANY game could be a real cause for concern. Tom Brady doesn’t look too good behind a shaky O-line. Don’t know how Belichick is going to solve the problems on this team this year, but if he does it’ll further solidify his legacy.

The media won’t be hyping up the Eagles this week, but will talk ad nauseum about Mcnabb and Vick.

Games in Depth
AAronRodgers
Cincinnati, 31 vs. Green Bay, 24Aaron Rodgers has to be the most frustrated QB in the league right now, he’s looked great so far this season, like last, but his WR’s keep dropping pass after pass and his O-line hasn’t protected him. Cincy’s Antwan Odom snagging 5 sacks says it all. Overall, Cincy’s defense was tough against the run but Rodgers would’ve had over 300 yards if his WR’s caught the passes they should have. Green Bay’s defense took a step backward from last week against Chicago, they had serious problems stopping RB Cedric Benson. Carson Palmer was solid but kept Green Bay in the game with 2 very costly INT’s, one returned for an INT and another that set them up for a TD deep in Cincy territory. Both these teams could be dangerous against as the season progresses and these teams start to gel. Yes, I just said the Cincinnati Bengals could be a dangerous team this year, they should be 2-0 right now.
ChicagoBears
Pittsburgh, 14 vs. Chicago, 17Jay Cutler looked decent doing a lot of dump offs and going after SS Tyrone Carter, who was replacing Troy Polamalu and it paid off for 2 TD passes. The Steelers offense looked great on the first drive of the game and then promptly disappeared until the 2nd half. The Steelers seem to rely on their defense just a little too much and it hurt them in this game when the Bears drove down in the last 3 minutes to kick the game-winning FG. The Steelers playing style seems to keep any team in the game, regardless of who it is. The Bears defense, outside of the D-line, looked very average. That secondary needs work. The Steelers need Troy Polamalu back ASAP, Carter just isn’t a starting SS.
EliManning
NY Giants 33 vs. Dallas 31 – Anyone see Tony Romo‘s numbers in this game? 13/29 127 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT’s. Wow, I smell Pro Bowl! What makes it all the worse is the fact that the Cowboys compiled over 200 yards of rushing. Giants had no business winning this game, and their defense looked alarmingly bad outside of nabbing 3 INT’s. Eli Manning played a solid game but far from spectacular outside of a couple drives. Both these teams need A LOT of work as this season progresses.

What We Learned From Week 1

September 15, 2009

There’s was a lot of sloppy play as teams shook off the rust during opening week of NFL football. Let’s get down to business.

Tennessee 10, Pittsburgh 13 – The Titans offense needs to find a way to score more points, plain and simple, it could be their achilles heel all year. Kerry Collins looks solid at QB, just like last year. Big Ben continues to show he is one of the most clutch QB’s in recent memory. The Steelers defense needs Troy Polamalu back as soon as possible, just not the same defense without him, especially in the secondary. Santonio Holmes picked up right where he left off last year, he could have his best year of his career. The Titans secondary had 2 Pro Bowlers last year? Could’ve fooled me. Steelers pass protection looks improved from last year (so far). Titans will be very hard to run against (shocker!). Don’t be surprised to see these two teams meet each other again this season.

Miami 7, Atlanta 19 – It seems like it takes a Goddamn Christmas Miracle for the Dolphins to move the ball on offense. 2, 3 yard run here and there and a bunch of 5 yard outs to WR’s that aren’t even open. It’s almost a thing a beauty, almost. It’s obvious the Wildcat was born out of necessity. Matt Ryan should have an even better year this season than last.

Minnesota 34,  Cleveland 20 – Brady Quinn might not be the answer at QB, it’s still early but he had more than his share of blunders and he seems to lack much heart to be honest. The Browns seem to lack mental toughness, they gradually gave up as this game went on (they were leading at halftime). Favre may have a good season if he continues to simply dump the ball off at 5 yards at a time. The Vikings defense might be a little overrated.

Denver 12, Cincinnati 7 – Unless you’re a fan of one of these teams, it’s probably a good idea to avoid watching them play if possible. Like I thought, Cincy’s defense looks tough (outside the last TD), the irony is their offense doesn’t look so good. Kyle Orten looks to be a good fit in Denver’s new offense. Chad Ochinstinko is overrated and a wimp. So is Carson Palmer. Denver’s defense is mediocre and has to rely on the other team to make mistakes, like botched snaps on FG’s.

Dallas 34, Tampa Bay 21 – Dallas’ defense has a lot of work to do if the Cowboys are going to be a real contender this year, giving up 8 yards a run to twice-injured Cadillac Williams has to worry Cowboys fans. Tony Romo puts up good numbers against mediocre competition. Tampa Bay might win some games this year that they shouldn’t.

Philadelphia 38, Carolina 10 – This might be John Fox’s last year as head coach of the Panthers. Jake Delhomme now has like 20 INT’s in his last 2 games. Is Philly that good or would any team beat the Panthers with the way they played in this game? Time will tell.

Detroit 27, New Orleans 45 – Drew Brees is a TD machine, Fantasy Football nerds probably want to go out on a date with him. Saints D seems to be marginally improved, probably too early to tell, though. The team did give up 27 at home against the Detroit Lions. Matthew Stafford might have some real growing pains this year as a rookie QB, he had a decent first start all thing considered.

St. Louis 0, Seattle 28 – The NFC West might be even worse than previously thought and the Rams might be the worst team in the NFL. QB Marc Bulger might have a rough year, he looked very frustrated against the Seahawks. Matt Hasselback threw for 280 yards and 3 TD’s. Ouch, Rams fans. With the Cards losing at home, the Seahawks suddenly seem like heavy favorites to win the division but the season has just started.

Chicago 15, Green Bay 21 – Aaron Rodgers will make the Pro Bowl if his WR’s learn to catch the ball and his O-line learns to block. The RT for the Packers was owned all night. The Packers defense looks a lot better and more aggressive under new defensive coordinator, Dom Capers. Jay Cutler may have a rough season if he keeps throwing 20 risky passes up for grabs per game. That was his problem in Denver as well. He’s like the heir apparent to Brett Favre, talented, rocket for an arm, but questionable decision-making. Ironic that he plays for Chicago and not Green Bay. Jay Cutler doesn’t like to get hit. Chicago’s D looks the same as last year, great against the run, not so good against the pass.

Buffalo 24, New England 25 – I guess no lead is safe from the Pats. The Pats may struggle to run the ball this year. The Pats may struggle to protect Tom Brady. Brady and that offense have some rust to shake off. Trent Edwards is a pretty good QB. The Bills no-huddle offense may pose some problems for teams this year. The Pats defense has some big time question marks. The officiating is a joke in this league.