Posts Tagged ‘Titans’

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.

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What We Learned After Week 5 In The NFL

October 16, 2009

09000d5d8134f4b8_gallery_600This will be Dick Jauron‘s last year as head coach of the Bills

Wade Philips isn’t a very good head coach coach.

The Jaguars are definitely not making the playoffs this year.

The Seahawks are suddenly looking like favorites to win the Stinker Division…Not really, but anything is possible at this point.

The party’s over in Tennessee, you can officially turn out the lights on this season. Wow.

Miami suddenly looks very much alive for a playoff spot.

Dolphins new starter at QB, Chad Henne, looks like a good fit. Pennington may not have a starting spot when he returns.

The Jets are starting to show some holes.

Tampa Bay might have the worst secondary in the league. Oh how times have changed.

Other Observations –

I’ve noticed some sports writers saying there’s less parity in the NFL than there has been in a long time because of all the undefeated teams right now in the NFL. I say, hold on right there. Most of the undefeated teams like the Colts, Broncos, Vikings and even the Giants could all very easily have at least 1 loss.

Looking closer at it, the Colts could easily have 2 losses with close games against the Jaguars (14-12) and Dolphins (27-23).

The Vikings would’ve lost to the 49ers at home if it weren’t for a hail mary TD pass from Favre with no time remaining in the game.

The Giants would’ve and should’ve lost to the Cowboys but Tony Romo self-destructed with 3 very costly interceptions.

If not for an 87 yard TD pass with 28 seconds left the Broncos would’ve lost in Week 1 to the Bengals. The Broncos also trailed both the Cowboys and New England by 10 points at home before somehow managing to come back to win those games.

With the exception of the Saints and Giants, more often than not these teams haven’t looked consistently great in any of their games. That’s not to say that the teams and fans shouldn’t be excited about their teams, but looking at it from an outsider’s perspective there seems to be more luck involved than less parity. It’s a long season and based on the actual on field performances of some of these teams I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them struggle to make the playoffs when all is said and done.

A Quick Power Ranking for Week 6
1. New Orleans Saints
2. New York Giants
3. Indianapolis Colts
4. Minnesota Vikings
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
6. Baltimore Ravens
7. Denver Broncos
8. New England Patriots
9. Cincinnati Bengals
10. Atlanta Falcons

We’ll go more in-depth next week with the Power Rankings.

What We Learned In Week 3 In The NFL

September 28, 2009

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

The Houston Texans still have a pretty mediocre defense.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rex Ryan will probably get Coach of the Year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Games in Depth

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

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

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

Matchups To Watch In Week 3

September 26, 2009

Tennessee Titans (0-2) vs. New York Jets (2-0)– Last season the Jets went into Tennessee and gave the Titans a good ol’ fashion whooping and their first loss of the year. Titans could easily be 2-0 instead of 0-2 this season, but the bottomline is they will be in serious trouble if they lose on Sunday against the Jets, they simply need a win in the biggest way. Watch the hype start to rise on Mark Sanchez and the Jets if they pull out a win. Sanchez could have his biggest game as a rookie against a shaky Titans secondary. Titans QB Kerry Collins will have to get rid of the ball quickly against an aggressive Jets defense that hasn’t allowed a TD so far this season. A big play downfield may be there if the Titans look for it. This will be a very tough game for the Titans to win with the way the Jets are playing right now. The Titans could benefit from a Jets letdown after the emotional win against divisional rival Pats, plus Sanchez is still a rookie QB.

San Francisco 49ers (2-0) vs. Minnesota Vikings (2-0) – This might end up being one of the boringest games on Sunday but both teams are 2-0, so it’s worth pointing out this matchup. One of the favorites in the NFC, the Vikings have been fairly unimpressive outside of Adrian Peterson so far. The 49ers are a surprise team so far and have looked pretty good beating the two NFC West favorites, the Seahawks and Cardinals. Something has to give. If I were playing the Vikings I’d just put 9 guys up in the box to stop Peterson, I don’t think Favre has thrown a pass longer than 10 yards this season and the Vikes WR’s shouldn’t scare anyone. San Fran RB Frank Gore is one of the most underrated running backs in the league, partially due to the fact that he plays for the 49ers, but he had a huge game last week against the Seahawks. If he’s productive against the Vikes stout D-line, the 49ers could pull off the upset.

New Orleans Saints (2-0) vs. Buffalo Bills (1-1) – If only this game was played two months from now instead of this Sunday, the Bills might actually have a shot to slow down the Saints offense. The Bills best defense in this game will be their offense, if they can chew up the clock on long drives to keep the ball away from the Saints offense, they have a shot in this one. Here’s the big problem with that – the Bills run a primarily No-Huddle offense now, so that might be hard to do. I’d test that questionable Saints secondary a lot with deep balls to TO and Lee Evans. For the Saints, just keep scoring in the 40’s and odds are you’ll win. It’ll be interesting to see how long that holds up. It probably won’t stop this weekend, though. The Bills have to hope for some turnovers.

Carolina Panthers (0-2) vs. Dallas Cowboys (1-1) – It’s almost panic time in Carolina if the Panthers¬† lose this one. The Panthers might have a hard time moving the ball against the Cowboys tough defense, especially if Delhomme struggles again. If I were Tony Romo I’d just throw the ball to Jason Whitten every down. You can’t lose, unless you thrown an interception, which is always a possibly with Tony Romo. If the Panthers mix it up nicely on offense and Delhomme has a good game AND Romo gives some balls away, the Panthers can win this. Also, Wade Phillips is the Cowboys head coach, so you got that going for you, Panthers fans.

Miami Dolphins (0-2) vs. San Diego Chargers (1-1) – While the heavily-favored-to-win-the-AFC-West-Divison Chargers could easily be 2-0 right now, they could just as easily be 0-2, such is the way when your team has Norv Turner as head coach. It’s still early, but if the Dolphins lose this game there’s a very, very good chance they don’t make the playoffs this year, especially considering the Jets, Bills and Pats are in their division. LB’s Joey Porter and Jason Taylor need to keep the pressure on Philip Rivers as much as possible, the Dolphins offense needs to slow down the game. I wonder if Philip Rivers realizes that his chances of making the Super Bowl with Norv Turner as his coach is about .01%?

Denver Broncos (2-0) vs. Oakland Raiders (1-1) – The scariest thing about this game is both teams potentially could have winning records going into Week 4. At the very least the Broncos will have a winning record regardless going into Week 4 and that’s enough for one to stop and ponder things a while. Tom Cable is doing a good job so far as head coach in a tough place.

Indianapolis Colts (2-0) vs. Arizona Cardinals (1-1) – This could be a fun one. The Cardinals don’t want to lose another home game after the opening weekend loss to the 49ers, the Colts meanwhile want to keep getting as many early wins as possible to try to pull away from what could end up being a tough division down the stretch. A Cards defense that is still growing will face their toughest test of the year. The Colts defense had a very hard time stopping the Dolphins run game last week. It should be interesting to see how much the Cards try to run it.

What We Learned From Week 1

September 15, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bad Officiating Watch, Week 1 – UPDATE

September 15, 2009

officials.signals

Tennessee vs. Pittsburgh – 2 horrible calls, Troy Polamalu is called for pass interference when he does nothing but stand his ground and looks back for the ball, Titans WR tries to run through Polamalu, grabbing at Polamalu’s jersey, the ref throws flag, should’ve been offensive pass interference. A defensive player is allowed his space, just as an offensive player is, horrible, horrible call.

Max Starks, Offensive Tackle for Pittsburgh is called for holding on Titans DE when does nothing but push the Titan player into the ground after the Titans player simply falls down after losing his balance.

Buffalo vs. New England – 2 horrible calls, Patriots NT Vince Wolfork is called for roughing the passer after tackling Trent Edwards by the legs as Edwards THROWS THE BALL. Not AFTER, but AS Edwards throws the ball. HORRIBLE CALL. What is a defensive player supposed to do in that situation, just give up on the play?? What a joke. Here’s a video below of the play in question. I hope Dick Butkus never sees this, he might have a heart attack.

Bills safety Donte Whitner is called for Spearing (15 yard penalty) when he hits a Pats WR that is clearly not down yet and clearly does not lead with helmet.

I’m sure I missed a bunch of other horrible calls from Week 1. If anyone knows of any other bad calls from Week 1,¬† let me know and I’ll post them!