Posts Tagged ‘Week 4’

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.

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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 After Week 4 In The NFL

October 6, 2009

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JaMarcus Russell is still a horrible NFL QB.

The Raiders are still the Raiders.

If the Texans defense improves it’s play, they could sneak into the playoffs this year.

The Titans are this year’s surprise team, but not in a good way.

The 49ers are the clear cut favorites at this point to win the Stinker Division.

Dick Jauron is probably going to be on the hotseat in a couple weeks.

St. Louis is the worst team in the NFL, now that the Browns almost won a game.

The Buccaneers are bad, but not as bad the Rams.

The Bengals are 3-1and improved but still not that impressive.

Jim Mora, Jr. might not have been the best choice as head coach for the Seahawks.

The Seahawks have the most boring offense in the NFL.

Peyton Manning is having an incredible year so far.

The Colts might rely on Manning just a little too much.

The Chargers aren’t a very impressive team.

The Steelers seem incapable of winning comfortably even when outgaining their opponents 2-1 in yards and leading in the 2nd half, 28-0. Maybe they like to keep things exciting for the fans for all 4 quarters.

Games in Depth

Baltimore 21 vs. New England 27 – This game could’ve gone either way. At times it looked like the Patriots defense simply didn’t have an answer for the Ravens offense. Strangely, the Ravens didn’t run the ball much but should have(Ray Rice had 11 carries for 103 yards!). Tom Brady progressively played better as the game went on. The officiating in this game was simply horrible and the Pats benefitted from mostly bad one-sided calls throughout. The Ravens receivers are starting to show their age, Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton dropped passes deep in Pats territory on their last drive that resulted in a change of possession and the end of the game. It’s evident that both team’s defenses have some serious weaknesses (Pats against the run, the Ravens against the pass). Joe Flacco is the real deal, he had a few great passes in this game, including the sweet TD pass to Mason on a third and goal from around the 15 yard line.

New York Jets 10 vs. New Orleans 24 – The final score was not indicative of how close this game was. One of the more entertaining games of the year so far. The Saints defense looks like the real deal under new defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams. In fact, they look like a completely different defense than last year, aggressive, smart, fast. Free safety Darren Sharper looks like a great FA pick up and was huge in this game, returning a bad Mark Sanchez pass back for a TD. As I predicted last week, Sanchez struggled in this game and Jets fans, that trend could continue as the season goes on and more teams have game film of him. Rex Ryan’s prediction of a Jets Super Bowl appearance this year might be a year or two premature. The good news for the Jets is they did a pretty decent job on the Saints offense for most of the game. Saints running back Pierre Thomas is the real deal and is looking like one of the best RB’s in the league right now.

Dallas 10, vs. Denver 17 – Denver is 4-0 and that’s a shocker, even with their relatively easy schedule. The Cowboys talented defense played sloppily and undisciplined throughout this game. The Brandon Marshall TD pass and run should be an embarrassment to all involved in Cowboys country. The Broncos defense looks more and more impressive under ex-49ers coach, Mike Nolan. The Cowboys receivers had a hard time getting separation from an aggressive Broncos secondary. QB Tony Romo progressively played worse and worse as this game went on, throwing passes behind, in front, and high of his receivers. He laid out WR Roy Williams over the middle with an over throw, resulting in Williams leaving the game with an injury. This whole game reeked of a poorly coached game by Cowboys head coach Wade Philips.

Horrible Officiating Watch, Week 4

October 6, 2009

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Baltimore vs. New England Ron Winters and his officiating crew is by far the worst crew in the NFL. Just God awful, the NFL should be more than a little embarrassed by their performance in this game and just about every game they do. Horrible roughing the QB call on defensive end Haloti Ngata of the Ravens on a huge 3rd down incompletion early in the Ravens-Pats game, in which the Pats would go on to score a TD to take the lead. Tom Brady is out of the pocket and Ngata puts his hand up to block the pass and is called for barely touching Brady’s helmet. What is Ngata supposed to do in that situation? Change the way he plays and not put his hand up in fear that he’ll make incidental contact with a QB’s helmet thus giving the opposing offense more of an advantage? Ridiculous.

There’s another horrible roughing the QB call on LB Terrell Suggs when he barely makes any contact with Brady. I guess the NFL passed a memo to officials stating “Anyone that touches Brady will get flagged.” On this play, Brady actually waved to the official for a flag AND GOT IT. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? WAY TO GO, WINTERS!

Phil Simms, who covered the Ravens-Pats game, is a compete moron when it comes to these horrible calls, stating “you can’t protect the players enough”, uh, it’s FOOTBALL, where guys are hitting each other at full speed and they do wear pads!! He says the “players will adapt to the new rules” and ruin the game in the process?? So far they haven’t “adapted” since some of these rules run totally opposite to what football is and what these guys have been taught throughout their careers as defensemen.

Another horrible call in the game was an offensive P.I. call on Ravens WR Derrick Mason on 1st down completion that is called back. There’s was no push off, just brief incidental contact as Mason ran an in and out route.

Also, it’s apparent that the Pats are allowed to run pick plays and never get called for it like some other teams.

I’m not one to put too much into “Spygate” I give the Pats full credit for their SB wins but this game was totally one-sided in terms of officiating, and it’s not the first time this year the officials favored the Pats in a game. The NFL should be embarrassed by this. It’s good to see Ravens head coach John Harbaugh mentioning it in his post-game press conference and some in the media pick up on it. Hopefully Winters and his crew are suspended. Doubtful, though since the NFL hasn’t done anything to improve officiating over the last few years.

In other games –

Seattle vs. Indianapolis – A lot of dubious illegal contact and holding calls on the Seahawks in the 1st half of the Seahawks-Colts game. Of course CBS never showed any replays of the penalties in question so we’ll just have to assume the officials did a great and fair job in some early crucial downs in the game(yeah, right).

New York Jets vs. New Orleans – Horrible helmet to helmet call on FS Darren Sharper in the Jets-Saints game where he lead with his shoulder. Just ridiculous.

Dallas vs. Denver – Horrible PI on Denver CB Andre Goodman(?) on a big third down incompletion in the 4th quarter giving the Cowboys a 1st down. If that’s pass interference then I guess any sort of contact at all between WR and CB is not allowed anymore in the NFL. If anything it was offensive pass interference with a push off from the Cowboys WR. Horrible job, officials.

The next play the Cowboys get a phantom holding call after a big run. I guess this is the NFL’s way of making up for the previous bad call? How about not calling the initial BS pass interference call on the previous play instead?

Observations From the Pregame Shows, Week 4

October 4, 2009

ESPN – NFL Sunday Countdown

ESPN does a semi-interesting news story on the Redskins and why they suck. Of course it all goes back to Dan Snyder, one of the worst owners in the NFL. Thanks for pointing out the obvious, guys.

Tom Jackson points out that Denver has only given up 16 points in 3 games and he doesn’t care who the competition is, that’s impressive. Keyshawn Johnson counters that by pointing out they played JaMarcus Russell. Really that should discount one of Denver’s games from a defensive standpoint.

IBM Insight Center this week goes a little bit in-depth about the Steelers-Chargers game…For about a minute. Why isn’t this segment longer? It’s one of the only decent segments on this show. Merrill Hoge is one of the few in-depth and interesting guys on ESPN.

It goes back to the regular crew and they say a bunch of stupid stuff that the media has regurgitated for the last 10 years about how the Steelers need to go back to “Smashmouth Football”. No, actually the opposite, they need a new offensive coordinator and they need to throw it more in obvious run situations because they don’t have the O-line to run the ball down opponent’s throats.

Tom Jackson and Cris Carter actually do an interesting breakdown of the Jets-Saints game. Still not that in-depth but somewhat interesting.

Mike Ditka replies to the segment and I can’t understand a word.

I’m a little shocked, Sal Palantonio is actually covering a game that doesn’t involve the Eagles (are they playing this week? I think they are! It makes no sense). He’s interviewing John Harbaugh, coach of the Ravens, that man is a hell of a coach.

CBS NFL Today

Charlie “Hitman” Casserly points out that the Bucs are so bad on the O-line that they need a more mobile QB than Byron Leftwich to avoid the pass rush so they’ve switched QB’s to a complete unknown guy. Wow, that’s a new one if true.

CBS talks about who has more pressure on them in the Vikings-Packers game, Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers. Dan Marino stole the words right out of my mouth “Yeah, it’s hard to turn around and hand the ball off” in a reference to Favre handing the ball of the Adrian Peterson.

CBS crew actually does a really good but short break down of the Jets-Saints game. Why can’t they do that with every game?

FOX NFL on FOX

FOX does a story about TO getting a “raw deal” from the media…Hmmmm….That doesn’t seem to make any sense at all.

Jimmy Johnson brings up an interesting point about the Redskins and how they over spend for top talent and thus don’t have any other talented players on the team.

Talking about the Cowboys running game, Johnson notes at how big their O-line is. Strahan, who played them twice a year as a Giant, noted that he could never understand why they didn’t run the ball more. Now they are and they have the #1 running game in the NFL.

Now they’re showing Jay Glazer, it almost looks like his head has been inflated like a balloon.

Terry Bradshaw picks the Saints every week.

The Fox crew is doing their picks of the day and I swear that after watching their “banter” it has made me a little stupider.