Posts Tagged ‘Steelers’

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.

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.

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.

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.

Football Fury’s Power Rankings For Week 8

October 28, 2009

NO_logo-50x501. New Orleans Saints – THE GOOD – Same as last week, pretty much everything at this point. The defense still gives up points, but the offense once again is out running it. THE BAD – Still question marks about the defense and this team playing in cold weather stadiums later in the season. Brees had 3 INT’s against the Dolphins, which could be a sign that teams are starting to see how to defend the Saints passing attack. CONTENDER? Oh yes.

IND_logo-50x502. Indianapolis Colts – THE GOOD – Same as last week, pretty much everything, although the defense has some question marks. THE BAD – Once again, A LOT rides on Peyton Manning, if he plays poorly or even at a level below what’s he currently playing at this team will probably lose, especially to the better teams in the league. CONTENDER? Yep.

MIN_logo-50x503. Minnesota Vikings – THE GOOD – The Vikes actually leap frog over the Steelers, even though they lost to them. Why? They outplayed, outcoached and outgained the Steelers at Heinz Field. If not for a couple bad breaks they win that game. Favre is looking good, defense is looking tough. THE BAD – Secondary still has some big question marks, the Vikes run defense got gashed by the Steelers running game for a lot of 10+ yard runs. CONTENDER? Yep.

PIT_logo-50x504. Pittsburgh Steelers – THE GOOD – The Steelers are still ranked high in most offensive and defensive categories. The Steelers showed against the Vikes that they’ll be very hard to run against. The offense is loaded with talent. THE BAD – Defense still hasn’t been as dominant as last year, even with their 2 TD’s against the Vikes, they allowed almost 400 yards of offense at home. Secondary needs to play better in pass coverage. Coaching staff is suspect at times. CONTENDER? Yep.

DEN_logo-50x505. Denver Broncos – THE GOOD – With their bye, same as last week, coaching staff is doing a great job (so far), D-line is looking like one of the best in the league, which will do wonders for the rest of the defense. THE BAD – Bronco’s offense gets the job done, but barely. It sure doesn’t scare anyone. CONTENDER? Probably, but get back to me in a few weeks after they’ve played the Ravens, Steelers and Chargers.

NE_logo-50x506. New England Patriots – THE GOOD – The offense is gelling, the defense is looking better and better. THE BAD – With two dominating wins over teams in disarray (Titans, Bucs) it’s easy to get real high on this team right now. Still question marks about the defense and running game. CONTENDER? It’s looking like it, but we’ll see once they start playing better competition. Nov. 15 in Indy looks like a good start.

ARI_logo-50x507. Arizona Cardinals – THE GOOD – The Cards shoot up out of nowhere to the #7 spot with their impressive win over the Giants in NY. The Cardinals defense is playing better. Offense can be dangerous. THE BAD – Defense still has some big question marks. Kurt Warner is starting to show his age. Offense has the worst pass to run ratio in the NFL, which is usually never a good thing. CONTENDER? Doubtful, this team could easily drop out of the rankings. Of course that was the case last year as well and looked what happened.

NYG_logo-50x508. New York Giants – THE GOOD – The Giants can still run the ball, D-line still has some ferocious pass rushers. THE BAD – Eli Manning seems to struggle more often than not when the weight of the offense is put on him. Secondary is starting to look very shaky. CONTENDER? Looked like it a couple weeks ago, now not so sure.

CIN_logo-50x509. Cincinnati Bengals – THE GOOD – One of Cincy’s more impressive wins in recent memory this past weekend against the Bears. Believe or not but the Bengals have the leading rusher right now (Cedric Benson), defense is better than it’s been in years. Carson Palmer has been solid leading a safer, more ball-control offense. THE BAD – Just how good is their defense? It’s only ranked 20th in yards and near the bottom against the pass. Offense doesn’t put up a ton of points. CONTENDER? Probably not.

GB_logo-50x5010. Green Bay Packers – THE GOOD – Aaron Rodgers continues to play at an elite level. Defense continues to improve with aggressive new 3-4 defensive scheme, currently ranked 3rd in yards allowed. THE BAD – O-line still has question marks in pass protection and run blocking. Run defense still needs a little bit more improvement. CONTENDER? Could be, we’ll have a better idea next week against the Vikes in a huge divisional game.

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.

Football Fury’s Power Rankings For Week 6

October 21, 2009

Just a note about our rankings, they are based on how well these teams are playing as opposed to overall record, unlike most power rankings. Now let’s get to it.

NO_logo-50x501. New Orleans Saints- THE GOOD – Pretty much everything at this point. The defense still gives up points, but the offense is still out running it. THE BAD – Still question marks about the defense and the effectiveness of this team playing in cold weather.

IND_logo-50x502. Indianapolis Colts- THE GOOD – Like the Saints, pretty much everything, although the defense has some issues as well. THE BAD – If Manning has a bad game this team will probably lose. That’s a lot riding on one player.

PIT_logo-50x503. Pittsburgh Steelers – THE GOOD – Offense is ranked 3rd, defense 5th, that’s pretty damn good. Big Ben leads the league in passing yards. THE BAD – Running game is still suspect. Defense hasn’t been as dominant as last year.

MIN_logo-50x504. Minnesota Vikings – THE GOOD- Team seems to be getting more confidence with each new win, Favre continues to play well. THE BAD – With the team ranked 13th in offense and 18th in defense in yards, there’s still question marks to how good this team really is.

DEN_logo-50x505. Denver Broncos – THE GOOD – head coach Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan seem to be doing wonders for this team. The defensive line is playing lights out right now. THE BAD – The Broncos offense still doesn’t really scare anyone.

NYG_logo-50x506. New York Giants – THE GOOD – The Giants still have a great running game. Defense is still great at attacking the QB. THE BAD – The Giants seem to really struggle when forced to play out of their comfort zone, ie, if they get in a shoot out with another team. If you take this team’s running game away they will probably lose.

NE_logo-50x507. New England Patriots – THE GOOD – The offense is starting to get better and better as well as the defense. THE BAD – Still question marks about the defense and running game.

BAL_logo-50x508. Balitmore Ravens – THE GOOD – Joe Flacco continues to play really well at times, defense can still cause problems for teams. THE BAD – Defense is not nearly as good as it used to be (ranked 17th currently) with aging players and the loss of former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan to the Jets. Injuries have hurt this team.

GB_logo-50x509. Green Bay Packers – THE GOOD – Aaron Rodgers continues to play great, O-line is playing better, defense is improving each week (ranked 8th currently) – THE BAD – O-line needs to continue to improve, still some question marks there. Same goes for the run defense.

ATL_logo-50x5010. Atlanta Falcons – THE GOOD – Offense is playing very well at times, Matt Ryan is playing at a high level. Defense is keeping teams out of the endzone. THE BAD – While the defense is keeping teams out of the endzone right now, it is giving up a lot of yards which could be a very bad sign for the future.