Posts Tagged ‘Vikings’

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.

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.

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.

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.

What We Learned After Week 6 In The NFL

October 21, 2009

09000d5d81380e22_gallery_600Jeff Fisher might be coaching another team in a couple years. Too bad for the Titans.

Apparently the Pats think they’re playing Division I football and running up the score will get them placed higher in the Top 25. I don’t care if the Titans did give up in that game, going for it on fourth down in the second half is ridiculous. The Pats still have some problems but this game could be a warning to the rest of the league.

Eli Manning is not anywhere close to being an elite NFL QB without the help of a dominating running attack.

The Jets continue to show they may be in trouble the rest of the year with Mark Sanchez struggling as a rookie QB (as predicted on here weeks back).

The Steelers quietly have one of the most explosive offenses in the league.

The Ravens defense isn’t nearly as good as it used to be.

There’s some talent on the Raiders defense.

Norv Turner is outcoached for the 100th straight time in his career. San Diego may not make the playoffs. Turner should go back to being an offensive coordinator.

Ron Rivera may have been part of a great Bears defense as a linebacker in the 80’s, but he’s not doing a very good job with San Diego’s defense as defensive coordinator.

Seattle is probably not making the playoffs this year.

Kyle Orton is playing better and better each week for the Broncos.

Other observations –

With the NFL making more and more rule changes favoring offenses, we’re seeing a lot of 300 yard passing games from QB’s along with high completion percentages. There were 8 QB’s with over 300 yards of passing in Week 6. Along with that there were 5 or 6 other QB’s with numbers close to that. I honestly miss the days of seeing QB’s actually earn those numbers as opposed to being handed it by defenses not being allowed to play actual defense. I’m sure others, especially those that play Fantasy Football, would disagree.

It seems like the days of dominating defenses are coming to an end. There’s only so much defenses can do when they are being handcuffed by new rules and refs all too willing to throw the yellow flag on any kind of contact on passing situations.

Football Fury’s Power Rankings for Week 5

October 8, 2009

1. New Orleans Saints – THE GOOD A legitimately improved defense and running game to compliment one of the best passing attacks in the NFL makes the Saints look like the most complete team as of now.  THE BAD The defense still needs to prove it each week, though.

2. Baltimore Ravens – THE GOOD Even with this week’s loss, the Ravens don’t really have too many holes and honestly looked like a better team than the Patriots. Some very bad calls in the Pats favor definitely effected the outcome. Sorry Pats fans, but it’s true. THE BAD The only weaknesses so far are an aging WR corps and a questionable to this point in this season secondary.

3. New York Giants – Giants look tough across the board and can play smashmouth football which makes them a rare breed in today’s NFL and should give them staying power as the season goes on. THE BAD They would be 3-1 if not for Tony Romo completely choking in Dallas a couple weeks ago. If you can shut down the Giants running game and make them one dimensional, Eli generally becomes an average NFL QB.

4. Indianapolis Colts – THE GOOD – Peyton Manning is having a fantastic season, the WR corps are making some great catches, the defense at times looks tough and tenacious. THE BAD – The defense at times looks very weak against the run (see Miami Dolphins game). This team could easily be 2-2 instead of 4-0 with close wins against the Jags (14-12) and Miami 27-23. Running game is non-existent and team might rely on Manning a little too much.

5. Minnesota Vikings – THE GOOD They can run the ball as well as just about anyone and they might have the best pass rushing D-line in the NFL, Favre has become a good game manager. O-line is great. THE BAD Vikes would be 3-1 if not for a last second miracle TD pass against the 49ers. Does anyone honesty think Favre will play as well as he did on Monday night for the rest of the season? Especially late in the season? The Vikings D-line won’t be playing the Packers O-line every game this season.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers – THE GOOD – If this team played as aggressively against Chicago and Cincinnati as they did against San Diego, the Steelers would easily be 4-0. That’s the good and bad news for Steeler fans in a nutshell, if this team plays aggressively on offense and defense for all 4 quarters they can and probably will beat anyone in the league, but the question is will they? Big Ben is quietly having his best season as a QB, he’s on pace for over 4,000 yards passing, O-line is playing great, offense has a lot of weapons, defense has been really good in the 1st 3 quarters of games, but… THE BAD – Defense tends to go into a prevent style D in the 4th quarter, allowing teams to get back into the game. LB’s James Harrison and Lamar Woodley, the Steelers sack duo from last season has been largely absent in that department thus far this year. The running game has been suspect thus far.

7. New England Patriots – THE GOOD – Belichick is still a great coach, the refs seem to be on their side, Tom Brady is still the QB and is having a good start so far. The offense can put up points when needed. Defense seems to be improving THE BAD – Defense still looks weak a lot of the time, the O-line still looks very shaky. Run game is non-existent.

8. New York Jets – THE GOODMark Sanchez is having a solid year so far for a rookie QB and the players seem to have responded well to new head coach Rex Ryan. The defense is much improved from last year. O-line is looking good. THE BAD – Sanchez is still a rookie QB and has already started to struggle at times, which may be a bad sign of things to come.

9. Denver Broncos – THE GOOD – The defense looks mightily improved from last year, Kyle Orton is having a solid season so far and seems to be a good fit for Josh McDaniel’s new offensive system. THE BAD – The offense doesn’t scare anyone and hasn’t been that impressive thus far. Is the defense the real deal? The Broncos will be tested in the coming weeks with a tougher schedule.

10. San Francisco 49ers – THE GOOD – Defense looks like the real deal, giving up only 13 points a game so far, almost shades of the ’85 Bears but let’s not get crazy. Shaun Hill has been decent at QB. Team should be 4-0 if not for a miracle TD pass by Favre in the Vikings game. THE BAD – The offense doesn’t look too good, with the recent signing of Michael Crabtree things could improve. Division is weak, which puts doubts into how well they will ultimately stack up with the rest of the NFC teams. All 3 wins are against divisional rivals in what has to be the worst division in football.

The Glorious Bottom 5

5. Carolina Panthers – THE GOOD – Panthers have some good players on this team, but where are they and what are they doing? Jake Delhomme is off to a horrible start. THE BAD – Bad QB play, struggling defense, players already look like they’ve quit on head coach John Fox.

4. Kansas City Chiefs – THE GOOD – Not much to be honest, there are some young potentially good players on the team. Even with a winless record, the team’s fundamentals seem to be better than when Herm Edwards was head coach. THE BAD – Defense looks real bad at times. Offense is not much better.

3. Cleveland Browns – THE GOOD – Derrick Anderson looks like an improvement at QB over Brady Quinn. Team almost got a win against the Bengals. Team unloaded Braylon Edwards, ie, taking out the trash. THE BAD – Team looks like it already has quit on new coach Eric Mangini, Defense is stinky.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – THE GOOD – The youth movement on defense only means they’ll get better. Run blocking looks good, running game is solid. THE BAD – Defense is giving up way too many points, too mistake-prone on both sides of the ball.

1. St. Louis Rams – THE GOOD – Very little, very few brightspots. O-line is full of early round draft picks and should get better, LB corps is decent. Steven Jackson is a great running back. THE BAD – QB’s are running for their lives, RB Steven Jackson faces 8 and 9 man fronts on virtually every down which might reduce the length of his career if that continues. Unknown WR’s, no depth, pretty bad defense.

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.