Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

What We Learned After Week 11 In The NFL

November 24, 2009

– The Lions and Browns should just play each other the rest of the year, that way each team can feel good about their squads, and the fans can be treated to an entertaining game.

– The Browns are still the worst team in the NFL this year. That won’t change.

– The Patriots will be the most dangerous team in the playoffs this year. Maybe not the best, but with the experience and coaching, definitely the most dangerous.

– The Jaguars are now 6-4. Holy crap. I doubt most people outside of Jacksonville even know who’s on this team expect for David Garrard and Maurice Jones Drew.

– Just when you think the Bengals are for real, they choke in the last minute against the Raiders, allowing 10 points in the last minute (!!) of the game and losing 20-17. Few teams could pull that kind of feat off, one of them is unfortunately the Bengals. Anyone remember Week 1 against the Broncos? Bengals are still in the driver’s seat for the AFC North crown, but it’s not a lock yet (would’ve been with a win yesterday).

– There’s either something wrong physically with Jay Cutler or something wrong mentally. Take your pick, but he had a flat out bad game against the Eagles, missing 3 wide open WR’s that would’ve all gone for TD’s. Not the kind of performance you want from a QB you just traded two 1st round picks for.

– Broncos are officially in trouble. I didn’t think they would fold like the Jets last year. I was wrong. I’d actually be shocked if they make the playoffs at this point, with remaining games against the Giants, Colts and Eagles. They’ll have to win at least 1 of those games and beat the Raiders, and Chiefs twice to get in.

– Eli Manning actually had a good game. I’m sure the media will let you know.

– Favre is still playing at a high level (4 TD’s Sunday) unlike last season when his play took a nosedive with the Jets. I’ll say it for the hundredth time, the Vikes will only go as far as Favre goes.

– The Dolphins are still very alive for the one of the Wildcard spots after beating the Panthers. Carolina is pretty much out at this point.

– The Cowboys offense is now the weak link of their team. That and Wade Philips. They’ve scored something like 2 TD’s in two games.

Other Observations

– The Steelers have now allowed in 8 straight games a return for a TD. That’s a new NFL record. That’s a big reason the team is 6-4 right now and a big reason the Chiefs beat them yesterday. That all points back to the questionable coaching on the Steelers team right now. The Steelers are still one of the most talented teams in the NFL right now but without the proper coaching any team can lose to anyone in this league.

– I used to think that Ravens coach Cam Cameron was one of the better offensive coordinators in the league. Not so sure after watching the Ravens this year and most notably yesterday against the Colts. It seemed like every 1st down the Ravens were running the ball directly up the gut against the Colts. Yes, the Colts run defense is suspect, but when they know you’re going to run it, the run game will not be as effective. Whenver Flacco was throwing the ball it seemed like it was all deep outs, that’s a pretty tough pass to complete over and over again. The Ravens offense couldn’t score a TD all game and the final game-deciding INT by Joe Flacco was a result of Cameron calling the same play he had called earlier in the game and the Colts recognizing it.

Bad Coaching Decision of the Week – With the game tied 24-24 in OT, the Steelers face a 3rd and 2 at the Kansas City 35 yard line. Getting at least a yard or even no yards would allow for a long FG attempt. What does head coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator call Bruce Arians call in this situation? A slow developing pitch play to Mewelde Moore, the slowest running back on the team. Recieving the pitch literally 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage, he stands no chance and is tackled for a 3 yard loss. Just a horrible, horrible call. The Steelers can’t even line up for a FG attempt and have to punt the ball. The Chiefs score on the ensuing drive and shock the Steelers in OT.

Horrible Officiating Watch – Basically, it’s the Ron Winters officiating crew watch. Winters and his crew did just a horrible job in the Broncos-Chargers game with tons of questionable officiating calls all game long. I won’t do a run down of the calls, but anyone that saw this game knows exactly what I’m talking about.

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Football Fury’s Power Rankings For Week 11

November 18, 2009

1. Minnesota Vikings – THE GOOD – Vikings look like the most complete team right now which is why they’re at the #1 spot for the first time this year. Their only loss came to the Steelers, where they looked like the better team. D-line is tenacious, Favre is playing great, run game looks great. Secondary is playing well. Vikes run defense is great. THE BAD – The biggest question mark remains unanswered – Will Favre hold up through the long haul? Defense still has lapses where they don’t look great. CONTENDER? Yep.

2. New Orleans Saints – THE GOOD – Another week, another win. The Saints fall to #2 for the first time this year. The reason? Too many close games and come from behind victories against inferior opponents recently. Brees is playing great, although he had a below average game against the Rams. Offense is guaranteed to score over 20 points in virtually every game. THE BAD – Defense still gives up yards and points, the team barely beat a bad Rams team. Defense is starting to show some leaks, the Rams had over 400 yards of offense. CONTENDER? Yes.

3. New England Patriots – THE GOOD – Tom Brady is still Tom Brady. Offense is really coming on strong. Defense plays bend but don’t break better than just about any other defense right now. Gameplanning is excellentThe team leaps over the Colts in the rankings even though they lost. The reason? Simply because they looked like a better team for most of the game. THE BAD – Defense definitely isn’t dominant (it may not have to be, though). Belichick outsmarted himself and Sunday and it cost the Pats a win. CONTENDER? Yep, frankly they look like the team to beat in the AFC right now, even though the Colts will probably get the #1 seed.

4. Indianapolis Colts – THE GOOD – Manning continues to be the Colts offense and is doing a good job at carrying the load so far. Defense is playing well at times. THE BAD – The Colts and their defense showed some serious weaknesses against the Pats, even they beat New England they fall in the rankings. No one can convince me that at this point the Colts are a better team than the Pats after Sunday’s game. Run game is still meek. Run defense is still a problem. With the Pats focusing on Dallas Clark, the Colts offense struggled at times. CONTENDER? Yep.

5. Cincinnati Bengals – THE GOOD – Bengals fans have to be loving this season so far with the Bengals sweeping the Ravens and Steelers. Defense is playing lights out right now. Offense is buying into the new ball-control style of running the ball and throwing it here and there. THE BAD – This team is relying heavily on their defense, the offense doesn’t score a lot of points and isn’t that explosive. CONTENDER? Yep, although the offense needs to improve if the Bengals are going to go deep into the playoffs.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers – THE GOOD – After a close, tough loss to the Bengals, the Steelers fall in the rankings. O-line is still playing well. Defense is keeping opponents to low scores.  THE BAD – The coaching on this team is a real question mark outside of DC Dick Lebeau. Offense isn’t consistent, gameplanning is suspect. Defense isn’t as dominant as last year. CONTENDER? Yep.

7. San Diego Chargers – THE GOOD – Don’t look now but here comes everyone’s favorite AFC underachievers, the Chargers. Rivers is playing great, LT seems to be coming on all the sudden. Defense is playing well at times. THE BAD – Defense was shredded by McNabb on Sunday. Defense, and secondary in particular, doesn’t really look that good right now. Norv Turner is still the head coach. CONTENDER? Doubtful, defense has too many holes and Turner is the head coach.

8. Arizona Cardinals – THE GOOD – Kurt Warner continues to up put great numbers when playing well. Offense can be explosive. Defense continues to play well AT TIMES. There’s talent here and there. THE BAD – The defense looked very spotty against an average Seahawks offense. Questionable coaching at times. CONTENDER? Same as last week, who the hell knows, I don’t even think the Cardinals know. It’s hard picturing them getting past the Saints or Vikes to get to the Super Bowl, though.

9. Green Bay Packers – THE GOOD – Packers have been playing better of late. Rodgers continues to put up solid numbers. Defense is looking really good at times. CB Charles Woodson is playing great. Running game is looking good. THE BAD – O-line might be slightly improved but still doesn’t look that great. Defense still has some weaknesses. CONTENDER? Doubtful, but with an relatively easy schedule the rest of the way, the Packers could use the big win against the Cowboys as momentum going into the 2nd half of the season.

10. Dallas Cowboys – THE GOOD – Even though the Cowboys lost, Romo put up decent numbers. Defense continues to play well for the most part. THE BAD – Romo reverted back to his choker moniker status by having a couple very costly turnovers against the Packers. Coaching continues to be a huge question mark. For most of the game, the Cowboys were either tied or down only by 3 points on Sunday but only ran the ball a total of 11 times not counting the 3 scrambles by Romo. That made no sense at all. CONTENDER? Not yet, and they probably won’t be until they get a new head coach (and maybe QB).

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.

Bobby’s Thoughts For the Week

November 14, 2009

stumbled across a UFL game the other night. Woah man. So that’s what happened to Dennis Green. You’d think he would’ve just stuck with the NFL Network. Anyway, the God-awful uniforms reminded me of the Carolina Panther’s uniform. Now the Panthers don’t look that bad, but they are still pretty bad. Plus, the team is called the Panthers, could you pick a more lame, generic name? I really don’t think you can. And to top that off they have the worst logo in the NFL. Look at this thing. Carolina-Panthers-Logo

It looks like a 15 year old came up with it. If you look at it from a distance it just looks like a big black blob. With a lot of NFL teams making alterations to their uniforms I think it’s high time the Panthers follow suit.

 

570Everytime I see the Texans logo I think of something you’d see on a package of meat you’d get at the grocery store. Does the USDA have a logo for the meat industry in America? And if so does it look anything like the Texans logo?

 

1041Call me crazy but I kinda liked seeing the Bucs in their old orange uniforms last week. Look at their old logo, not only is he winking at you, but he’s got a dagger in his mouth so you know he might kick your ass! What an underrated logo.

 

 

896The Patriots old logo is so hilarious it’s actually kind of cool. With them wearing the throw back uni’s this year it might be a good idea to continue to alternate uniforms every season. There’s only so much “flying elvis” that people can take.

In other thoughts, what happened to John Madden? How rich is that guy? I actually found myself sort of missing the old fart last Sunday night, even though I’ve never been a fan of his play by play. I’m not sure Chris Collinsworth is a good replacement. On Monday Night Football Jon Gruden is doing a great job. Not only is he funny but he makes some interesting observations.

Games to Watch in Week 10

New England vs. Indianapolis – The media has been very happy this week.

Philadelphia vs. San Diego – Two teams with winning records trying to close the gap in their respective divisions.

Dallas vs. Green Bay – Dallas trying to widen their lead in the division. Green Bay trying to get back in the playoff picture.

Jacksonville vs. New York Jets – Two 4-4 teams trying to get some positioning in the playoff picture. Loser could be in serious trouble.

Lock of the Week

Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh – The Steelers should roll in this one. In their previous game in Cincinnati, the Steelers dominated for 3 quarters and looked like the clearly better team but let up in the 4th quarter. That probably won’t happen this time. The Bengals have a number of defensive injuries, while the Steelers have RB Rashard Mendenhall and safety Troy Polamalu in the lineup, both of whom were absent in the previous game against the Bengals.

Why The Indianapolis Colts Are Not Going to The Super Bowl This Year

November 12, 2009

76184544DV012_DETROITThe Colts are 8-0. Peyton Manning is arguably having the best year of his great career. The team is ranked in the top 10 in both offense and defense. A #1 seed in the playoffs is looking more and more likely at this point. With all that said, I’d be shocked if the Colts make it to the Super Bowl this season.

Why? Because this team needs Peyton Manning to play at a very high level to win just about any game they play. The Colts simply rely on Manning more than any other team relies on one player. And before anyone says Tom Brady keep in mind that the Patriots went 11-5 without him playing last year. Can anyone honestly say with a straight face that the Colts would finish 11-5 this year without Peyton Manning? Some might say that’s not really a bad thing because it shows just how good Manning is but I have to strongly disagree.

The Colts this year are near the bottom in rushing yards and attempts. Starting running back Joseph Addai is averaging just 3.4 yards a carry. In order to be a good running team you need to work at it which is something the Colts don’t seem to be very interested in doing. In last week’s 20-17 win against the Texans, Manning threw the ball an astounding 40 times in the first half. THE FIRST HALF. Because of that, and the Texans offense stumbling, the Colts outgained the Texans by a good margin in the first 2 quarters but were only leading 13-3 at halftime. The Colts got a couple breaks in the 2nd half and squeaked out the win against an up and coming team, but hardly an elite one right now.

Some might argue that the Patriots pass the ball a lot under Brady and they have a number of Super Bowl wins under their belt to show for it. There’s a couple key differences between the two teams. One, the Patriots have always (at least until recently) put more emphasis on the run than the Colts and two, the Patriots have always run a more controlled, safer passing game than the Colts. Brady, as great as he is, is part of the offensive system, complete with coaching and gameplanning to back him up, whereas Manning IS the Colts offensive system. Yes, the coaching staff does their job in Indianapolis but it’s ultimately Peyton Manning that’s out there calling the plays and running the show. That’s a ton of pressure on just one player. The Colts offense this year reminds me of a modified run and shoot offense. It’s amazing to watch Manning throw precise passes all over the field to blanketed WR’s but it doesn’t bode well for the playoffs. How well have pure passing teams done in the playoffs? Here’s a hint: Not very well.

Ironically, Manning had his worst postseason performance of his career when the Colts won the Super Bowl in 2006 (63% comp, 1034 yards, 3 TD’s, 7 INT’s, 70.5 QB rating). Manning did play well at times, but he also struggled, the difference in 2006 is the Colts had a running game to bail out Manning when he did struggle. Running back’s Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes averaged 4 and 5 yards a carry respectively and combined for 600 yards of rushing during the postseason that year.

Some might argue that the reason the Colts didn’t get to the Super Bowl in other years was because of a mediocre defense. While that may be true to a certain extent, in most of the Colt’s playoff losses under Manning the Colts offense failed to score over 20 points, with the opposing defenses keying in on Manning exclusively and successfully shutting him down. In four successive years from 2002 to 2005 the Colts lost 41-0 to the Jets, 24-14 to the Pats, 20-3 to the Pats and 21-18 to the Steelers. Last year the Colts lost 24-17 to the Chargers. The Colts offense wasn’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard in those games.

This year the Colts will not be getting 600 yards of rushing from their running game in the playoffs like in 2006 (they barely have over 600 rushing yards right now). The defense, while ranked in the top 10 in yards allowed, have some serious question marks in the secondary with two starters out of the lineup and a run defense that was gashed by the Dolphins for over 200 yards.

Peyton Manning may win another MVP award this year but the reason he wins it may also be a big reason the Colts don’t get to the Super Bowl.

Football Fury’s Power Rankings For Week 10

November 11, 2009

NO_logo-50x501. New Orleans Saints – THE GOOD – Another week, another win. This team simply finds a way to win. Brees continues to play great, defense continues to create huge turnovers. THE BAD – Defense still gives up yards and points, when a defense turns the tide in a game with a big turnover like the Saints do it’s great but it’s not really the best way to play defense every week because eventually the opposing team will not turn the ball over. Still question marks about playing in bad weather stadiums, although it won’t matter if the Saints get the #1 seed in the NFC. CONTENDER? Yes.

IND_logo-50x502. Indianapolis Colts – THE GOOD – Manning continues to play at a very high level. Offense moves the ball when it needs to. Dwight Freeney and the Colts D-line can get pressure on the opposing QB.  THE BAD – Against the Texans the Colts had to rely on a fumble at the goalline and a missed FG at the end of regulation to insure a win at home. Secondary is in rough shape with 2 starters out of the lineup, including FS Bob Sanders who is out of the year. Running game is still sputtering, ranked 29th in the league. CONTENDER? Yep.

MIN_logo-50x503. Minnesota Vikings – THE GOOD – With a bye, the Vikings stay put at #3. Impressive road games against the Steelers and Packers, the Vikes are looking great right now. Favre continues to look really good out there. Running game is still great. O-line is playing very well. Defense seems to be actually playing better as the season progresses, the secondary is blanketing WR’s. THE BAD – Will Favre’s play hold up throughout the season or will it dip like last year? Playing home games in a dome could help. Defense has given up a lot of yards so far this year, but has gotten better. CONTENDER? Yep.

PIT_logo-50x504. Pittsburgh Steelers – THE GOOD – With an impressive 28-10 road win against the Broncos the Steelers are flying high. The Steelers no-huddle offense can be lethal. RB Rashard Mendenhall is averaging about 5 yards a carry right now and had over 150 yards against the #1 ranked Broncos defense. O-line is playing great. Defense is playing great. THE BAD – When the Steelers offense isn’t running the no-huddle it can be inconsistent under OC Bruce Arians. Pass defense tends to give QB’s a lot of easy short passes. CONTENDER? Yep.

NE_logo-50x505. New England Patriots – THE GOOD – Tom Brady is still Tom Brady. Wes Welker and Randy Moss are producing at WR. Defense is playing well. Secondary is tough. THE BAD – Is this defense good enough to get the Pats into the Super Bowl? Still too early too tell. Same goes for the run game and O-line. Randy Moss put up big numbers against the Dolphins but he seems to be slowing down at the WR position. CONTENDER? Looks like it, but again, let’s wait until they play some better competition. Next week in Indy is a good start.

CIN_logo-50x506. Cincinnati Bengals – THE GOOD – The Bengals top their win last week against Chicago with an even bigger win against rivals the Ravens. Offense is more balanced than it’s been in a long time. They’re moving the ball. Defense is playing better than the numbers would indicate. Secondary is playing better as the season progresses, they had their best game of the year against the Ravens.  THE BAD – Offense doesn’t score a lot of points, still question marks about how good the defense really is, especially against the pass. CONTENDER? I keep writing this team off and honestly I’m still not convinced they’re contenders. Depending on how well they play next week against the Steelers, which has become the biggest game in years for the Bengals, they might get in there.

DAL_logo-50x507. Dallas Cowboys – THE GOOD – Tony Romo has put together a string of really good performances. Offense is balanced and productive with the run and pass. Cowboys defense continues to improve and live up to their potential. Terrence Newman and the secondary has looked like great in recent weeks.  THE BAD – Defense still gives up chunks of yards, although they’re improving. Tony Romo is still a question mark in terms of consistency. Wade Philips is still the head coach. CONTENDER? With this team of under achievers they’ll have to put up a few more impressive wins against quality opponents before they can be labeled a contender.

DEN_logo-50x508. Denver Broncos – THE GOOD –
The defense is still playing well, despite giving up 21 points to the Steelers in the 2nd half of Monday’s game. O-line is very solid. Secondary is full of veteran Pro Bowlers who are playing well. Coaching and gameplanning has been good for the most part. THE BAD – Is this a complete team? Sure doesn’t look like it, offense doesn’t score a lot of points or instill much fear in opposing defenses. Kyle Orton is a pure game manager who had a horrible 2nd half against the Steelers. Opposing defenses don’t have to honor the deep pass much. Coaching and gamplanning can be questionable at times. After a good gameplan in the 1st half against the Steelers, the opposite was true in the 2nd half. CONTENDER? Doesn’t look like it unless the offense can improve.

PHI_logo-50x509. Philadelphia Eagles – THE GOOD – McNabb is playing solid. LeSean McCoy looks great so far. Defense is solid across the board. THE BAD – The same as last week, offense is very inconsistent. Andy Reid seems to make questionable coaching decisions at times. Defense may not be as good as it used to be, although injuries have something to do with that. Does McNabb have that “IT” factor? Honestly, it seems like he doesn’t care out there sometimes, but that’s just a personal observation. CONTENDER? Not convinced, but with a schedule that includes road games against San Diego, Dallas, Chicago, Giants, Atlanta and home games against the 49ers and Denver, the Eagles can definitely prove they are!

ARI_logo-50x5010. Arizona Cardinals – THE GOOD – When Kurt Warner is on, he’s really on. He had 5 TD passes against the Bears. Larry Fitzgerald is really coming on right now. Defense can look good at times and isn’t giving up a ton of points. THE BAD – The defense, outside of the Giants game, generally does not look very good and is ranked accordingly (21st). Run game is pretty bad (31st). CONTENDER? Who the hell knows, I don’t even think the Cardinals know. It’s hard picturing them getting past the Saints or Vikes to get to the Super Bowl, though.

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.

Bobby’s Thoughts on the Midway Point and Predictions for the Rest of the Season

November 7, 2009

– The New York Jets will not be making the playoffs this year, losing at home to the Dolphins last week is a huge blow, knocking the Jets down to 4-4 instead of 5-3. Their remaining schedule is tough enough to prevent them from getting in (they’ll basically have to go 7-1 or at the very least 6-2 just to get a Wildcard spot). Sorry, Rex Ryan, the Jets aren’t going to the Super Bowl this year. Although I do expect to see a Sports Center clip of Ryan saying something crazy in a post-game news conference later this year.

– The Denver Broncos will not have a second half collapse like the Jets had last year, although they may end up with a record not quite as impressive as their current 6-1 record.

– What happened to Brandon Jacobs? It seemed like the media have totally forgotten about him and maybe for good reason. He has just under 4 yards a carry, just 2 TD’s and seems to be getting less carries as the weeks go by and is on pace for just over 1,000 yards, which isn’t that impressive really.

– Speaking of the Giants, they are not making the playoffs unless the Cowboys and Eagles implode, which could happen.

– The Cardinals have a relatively easy schedule the rest of the way, look for them to finish 9-7 or 10-6 which will be more than good enough to win the NFC West. Of course the Cardinals could easily end up 7-9 and miss the playoffs all together, this team is fairly unpredictable, but they do have an easier road than their closest competitor, the 49ers.

– If I were Jim Zorn I’d kick Dan Snyder in the nuts. Yeah, he’d get fired and possibly arrested, but wouldn’t it be worth it? The chances of Zorn being succesful in Washington with Snyder as owner is about the same as being successful as a  head coach in Oakland with Al Davis as owner. It just ain’t happening.

– If I were Philip Rivers I’d kick Norv Turner in the nuts. Yeah, he’s get fined and probably traded, but wouldn’t that be good for Rivers? Having Norv Turner as your head coach means you’re not going to get to the Super Bowl. Ever.

– Speaking of Rivers and the Chargers, I see San Diego fighting tough through the second half of the season, but it won’t be enough. With games against Philly, the Giants, Denver, Dallas and Cincy, I see the Chargers finishing 8-8 or 9-7 and just missing that last playoff spot (that spot is going to the Texans, who will make their first playoff appearance in franchise history).

– The Green Bay Packers are clearly at least a year away from being one of the better teams in the NFL as last week against the Vikings showed. They may make it into the playoffs but they’re not doing any damage if they get there this season. O-line needs to be improved, defense is still adjusting to a new 3-4 scheme, young players are still learning their roles, WR’s need to be more consistent. They may be really good next year, though. I will however have to change my Super Bowl prediction.

– What ever happened to Terrell Owens? Oh, that’s right, he went off to play for the Buffalo Bills which is like the NFL equivalant of being sent off to a Siberian prison. The less I have to hear of him, the better.

– Remember when former KC head coach Dick Vermeil said it was time for RB Larry Johnson to take the diapers off? It was true and funny then and it’s still funny now! And Johnson still needs to take those damn diapers off!! I think it might be too late actually.

– It’s almost like the defending SB champs the Steelers aren’t even playing this year, everyone is talking about the Saints, Colts, the Pats, the struggling Giants, the Ravens beating the Broncos. The Steelers are just quietly flying under the radar. The Monday night game in Denver could be bigger than a lot of people realize. If Denver wins, it could help them regain momentum and a possible #2 seed in the playoffs, but if Pittsburgh wins they in fact could end up with the #2 seed considering the relatively easy schedule they have the rest of the way. Huge game.

– If I were the Browns I’d consider firing Eric Mangini at the end of the season. I don’t see anything that he does that helps this team.

– The officiating in this league has continued to be a joke this year. I’ve given up posting weekly officiating posts. Just not worth it.

– You can just tell the media wants to jump back on the Cowboys bandwagon, but they’re a little scared. I’d be scared too with Tony Romo at QB and Wade Philips as head coach.

Biggest Surprises of the Year (In a Good Way)

1. Denver Broncos (6-1) – This one is a no-brainer. New, inexperienced head coach, new QB, new coaching staff. No one picked them to start the season like this. So far, so good.

2. Indianapolis Colts (7-0) – No doubt some picked the Colts to do well, but sitting right now at 7-0 with a new head coach, no running game, questionable defense and injuries is pretty impressive and pretty surprising. I guess Peyton Manning is the MVP of the league.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) – I thought the Bengals would be tough this year, but most certaintly didn’t see them starting off 5-2. With a bend but don’t break defense and a new ball-control offense the Bengals are finding ways to win games this year. Marvin Lewis is having one of his best years as a head coach so far.

Biggest Surprises of the Year (In a Bad Way)

1. Tennessee Titans (1-6) – Another no-brainer, who would’ve thought the Titans would be 1-6 right now? No one. Losing Albert Haynesworth might’ve been a bigger blow to the team than previously thought.

2. Carolina Panthers (3-4) – Considering how good Carolina looked last year it’s pretty surprising to see them play this bad for most of the season this year. Maybe it’s time to find a new coach.

3. New York Giants (5-3) – The Giants have a winning record but considering how badly the team has played in the past month it’s a little surprising.

Super Bowl Prediction

Steelers/Saints

Football Fury’s Power Rankings For Week 9

November 4, 2009

NO_logo-50x501. New Orleans Saints – THE GOOD – The Saints just keep rollin’, although they had a close one at home against the Falcons Monday night. Offense has so many weapons, they can run it and everyone is a threat to catch the ball. The WR’s and TE Jeremy Shockey are making great catches for Drew Brees. The Saints new aggressive defense thrives on creating big turnovers. THE BAD – Defense still gives up yards and points, still question marks about playing in bad weather stadiums, although it won’t matter if the Saints get the #1 seed in the NFC. CONTENDER? Yes.

IND_logo-50x502. Indianapolis Colts – THE GOOD – Manning is still playing at a very high level. Offense moves the ball when it needs to. Defensive secondary is playing very well and should only get better with Bob Sanders back in the lineup. Colts are giving up a league-best only 13 points a game THE BAD – Run defense is still pretty bad (Frank Gore ripped off a 50+ yard TD run on Sunday), running game is only 30th in the league in yards. That’s usually not the recipe for a SB champ, but things are a little different in today’s NFL so time will tell. CONTENDER? Yep.

MIN_logo-50x503. Minnesota Vikings – THE GOOD – With impressive road games against the Steelers and Packers, the Vikes are looking great right now. Favre continues to look really good out there. Running game is still great. O-line is playing very well. Defense seems to be actually playing better as the season progresses, the secondary is blanketing WR’s. THE BAD – Will Favre’s play hold up throughout the season or will it dip like last year? Playing home games in a dome could help. Defense has given up a lot of yards so far this year, but has gotten better. CONTENDER? Yep.

PIT_logo-50x504. Pittsburgh Steelers – THE GOOD – With a bye the Steelers are where they were last week. Big Ben is playing great, defense is still stout, James Harrison is still James Harrison (8 sacks through 7 games) the WR corps is one of the more underrated ones out there. O-line is playing better than they have in years. THE BAD – Still question marks about the run game, will it continue to improve as the season progresses or will it become a non-factor like last year? Questionable coaching decisions at times. CONTENDER? Yep.

NE_logo-50x505. New England Patriots – THE GOOD – Also with a bye, the Pats get ready for their stretch run. Offense is putting up yards and points, defense is playing well for the most part. THE BAD – Still question marks about the run game and how good the defense will be against the better offenses in the league. CONTENDER? Looks like it, but let’s wait until they play some better competition.

DEN_logo-50x506. Denver Broncos – THE GOOD – Defense is this team’s backbone and is still playing great for the most part, allowing a league-best 266 yards and under 14 points a game. O-line looks very solid. Orton is doing a good job as a  game manager. THE BAD – Is this a complete team? Offense is pretty average, which puts a lot of pressure on the defense. Is the defense as good as the numbers indicate or are they overachieving? Are the Broncos this year’s 2008 NY Jets? A great start only to flounder the rest of the way and miss the playoffs? Lots of questions which should be answered over the next month or so. CONTENDER? Maybe, still too early to tell with this team.

PHI_logo-50x507. Philadelphia Eagles – THE GOOD – After demolishing the Giants, the Eagles may have turned a corner on the season. Young talent on offense is paying handsome dividends for the team. McNabb, at this point in his career, seems to play great or pretty mediocre. Usually the former. Defense has been playing better. THE BAD – Offense is very inconsistent. Andy Reid seems to make questionable coaching decisions at times. Defense may not be as good as it used to be, although injuries have something to do with that. CONTENDER? Not convinced, but with remaining games against Dallas (twice), road games against San Diego, Chicago, Giants, Atlanta and home games against the 49ers and Denver, the Eagles can definitely prove they are!

CIN_logo-50x508. Cincinnati Bengals – THE GOOD – With a bye, the Bengals are playing smart sound football and perhaps overachieving a little with their record. RB Cedric Benson is having a great season so far, Carson Palmer has looked fairly solid at QB. Defense is improved from season’s past. THE BAD – Defense is giving up a ton of yards through the air, offense doesn’t put up a lot of points with a more ball-control offense than previous Bengal offenses. CONTENDER? Probably not.

BAL_logo-50x509. Baltimore Ravens – THE GOOD – With an impressive 30-7 win over Denver, the Ravens could use that as momentum for the rest of the season. Jim Harbaugh is definitely one of the best young head coaches in the NFL. Joe Flacco is the real deal at QB. Offense is moving the ball and is very balanced. Defense can still make big plays, especially at home. O-line is playing great. THE BAD – Defense isn’t as good as past Raven defenses. WR corps is aging. Even with Ed Reed in the secondary the Ravens are only ranked 19th in pass yards allowed. CONTENDER? Even with a 4-3 record, the Ravens are a contender. This team could easily be 5-2 or even 6-1 if they got a couple breaks here and there.

DAL_logo-50x5010. Dallas Cowboys – THE GOOD – Tony Romo has over 900 yards, 8 TD’s and 0 INT’s in his last 3 games. Not too shabby, even if 2 of those games were against the Chief and Seahawks. Offense is balanced and productive with the run and pass. Cowboys defense has done a good job against the run so far. THE BAD – Defense has given up a lot of yards, Tony Romo is still a question mark in terms of consistency. Wade Philips is still the head coach. CONTENDER? This team is a real enigma, who knows if they are or not, I’m going to have to say no right now. Team is way too inconsistent and Wade Philips is still the head coach to consider them legit.

What We Learned After Week 8 In The NFL

November 3, 2009

09000d5d813e25c6_gallery_600Kerry Collins may never start another game as an NFL QB. Constantly under the radar during his career, he’s had a pretty good run as an NFL QB, better than most, that’s for sure.

The Jags aren’t going anywhere with David Garrard at QB. Great back up QB, not a great starting NFL QB.

The Browns are doing their best to be the worst team in the NFL. With the Bucs on a bye week and the Rams winning, the Browns are really flying high right now in the “worst team in the NFL” spot.

Brett Favre may actually lead the Vikes to the SB. I didn’t believe it, but he looked great against the Packers. Still, we’re only halfway through the season.

The Giants are in trouble.

The 49ers have a lot of heart.

Jets fans learned the hard way that special team blunders can cost you a win, even when your team is outgaining the other team by an almost 4 to 1 margin. The Dolphins had only 100 yards of offense!

Carolina and Arizona are two of the hardest teams to figure out.

Other Observations

Jets head coach Rex Ryan reminds me of a coach from the 80’s, sort of outspoken and perhaps over aggressive to a fault. In their loss to the Dolphins yesterday, the Jets attempted two 2 point conversions when it wasn’t necessary at all. Neither attempt was successful, If the Jets had just kicked the point after on both scores that game is 27-30 at the end of the game instead of 25-30. In other words, the Jets at least go into OT. The Jets had almost 400 yards of offense to just 100 for the Dolphins. No way should the Jets have lost that game. Part of that goes on coaching.

Not to beat a dead horse BUT Eli Manning continues to look like an average at best NFL QB. In his last three games, all losses, he has 3 TD’s, 6 INT’s, is averaging around a 50% completion percentage and his QB ratings are 45, 51 and 51 in those 3 games. Just awful. Meanwhile, the Giants, in an effort to improve their pass defense, forgot to cover the run against the Eagles. RB LeSean McCoy averaged 7.5 yards a carry and FB Leonard Weaver averaged 9 yards a carry and the Giants secondary still looked horrible. The Giants could be in serious trouble with a remaining schedule that includes the Chargers, Falcons, Cowboys, Denver, Minnesota, and Philly (again). That’s a painful looking schedule, especially with the way the Giants are playing right now.

A team constantly under the radar is the Houston Texans who had a fairly impressive 31-10 win against the Bills in Buffalo. Matt Schaub is having a Pro Bowl year, they have one of the better offenses in the NFL and the defense continues to slowly improve. With a 5-3 record and a remaining schedule that includes the Jags, Titans, Seahawks, Rams and Dolphins, the Texans could end up getting into the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. It’s there’s for the taking. I’m thinking the #6 seed. It’d be pretty neat to see that happen.

The Broncos were knocked out of the ranks of the unbeaten in their loss to the Ravens. How did it happen? Offensive ineptitude. You have to give credit to the Ravens defense of course, but the Broncos offense only had 200 yards of offense and they just don’t put up a lot of points and it will probably stay like that for the whole year. A lof of pressure rides on their defense to play great. Their D wilted in the second half against the Ravens offense, but a lot of that was due to the Broncos offense not able to sustain any drives. Broncos defense remains 1st in the league in yards allowed and while the Broncos offense is 14th in yards, they are only 20th in points scored.