Yay! Random thoughts, betting odds, and good quotes from Week 6 of the NFL!
The New England Patriots once again knocked off an opponent to remain unbeaten, but don’t buy into the “invincible” argument being thrown around. Granted, their offense is intimidating. Brady has been magnificent and Gronk and Edelman are mismatches waiting to happen to opposing defenses.
But defensively the Pats have not been great, just average. And their schedule has not been that hard, especially on the defensive side — the Week 2 win vs. Buffalo which looked so impressive at the time looks considerably less so today.
The Buffalo Bills defense is middle of the pack and they’ve recorded just nine sacks all season. That means that the Pats next game, against the divisional rival New York Jets, will be the best defense they’ve faced all year. If they run it up on New York (without forcing turnovers) then they really might be invincible.
This Week’s Sucked And Won
Adrian Peterson, RB (MIN): The Kansas City Chiefs vs. Minnesota Vikings game was the kind of grind it out, slugfest that Peterson usually wins all by himself. Instead, he gained only 60 yards on 26 carries (subtract his long of 23 and that leaves 37 yards on the remaining 25 carries — a pathetic 1.5 yards per carry average. He also fumbled and didn’t find the end zone even once. The Vikes can thank their defense for this win.
Sunday’s catch of the day belonged to Steelers WR Martavis Bryant, playing in his first game of the season. His 88 yard catch and run TD in the fourth quarter to seal the win for Pittsburgh featured multiple cutbacks and one very fine broken tackle (against S Tyron Mathieu of all people) and was a quintessential example of the phrase “run to daylight.” Well done.
Shocking realization of the week:
The league’s leading receiver is NOT Julio Jones, AJ Green, Larry Fitzgerald or Antonio Brown. Instead it’s Houston’s Deandre Hopkins (WHO?!), whose playing in what is, frankly, a pretty toothless offense, yet somehow Hopkins is putting up dizzying numbers.
I’ve finally figured out how to get rid of that STUPID timeout just before a field goal that has absolutely no correlation on whether the guy makes or misses it. The NFL should simply change the rule so that there can be no timeouts called on an opponent’s field goal attempt once the play clock is at :07 or less. That ends the practice. For good.
This Week’s Great But Lost
Philip Rivers, QB (SD): Good lord. Few QBs can outplay Aaron Rodgers, and none can do so at Lambeau Field, but that’s exactly what Rivers did. He threw the ball 65 times without throwing a pick, completed ⅔ of his passes, and amassed 503 yards and 2 TDs. What an amazing day.
Thursday Pick: Seattle (-6) @San Francisco (MGM Mirage)
How long can you continue to believe that Seattle is moments away from turning it all around? Apparently, at least one more, given that they’re favored by six on the road in a divisional rivalry game. In this particular rivalry, the home team has consistently come through. I don’t know if I’m ready to take the 49ers to win, but I’m more than ready to take 6 points.
Seattle Seahawks 23, San Francisco 49ers 20
“Well, I think I spend a lot of time on it, not a lot of wasted hours.” – Chiefs coach Andy Reid, responding to a question asking if he would be giving up play calling duties. Unless there is someone on the staff who can call plays in which Jamaal Charles is no longer out for the season, I don’t think it really matters.
“I would say he’s our quarterback. We’re going to stick with him. We’ve got a lot of confidence in him.” – Texans coach Bill O’Brien, on QB Brian Hoyer, whom he benched in week one in favor of the truly putrid Ryan Mallett. That is has taken O’Brien this long to “settle” on Hoyer should be enough to get him fired.
“This season is not done at all.” – Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, on his team now standing at 2-4.
“I don’t really think of myself as a matchup for us to key on, but the plays were there. He found the open receiver and a few times that happened to be me.” – 49ers FB Bruce Miller, who caught 3 passes for a career high 89 yards against the Ravens on Sunday.
“Today was solely on me. It was my fault. I can’t blame anybody but myself.” – Chargers rookie RB Melvin Gordon, on being benched after fumbling twice in the first half against the Packers.
“He looked good to me. He’s our quarterback now.” – Steelers LB James Harrison, on 3rd string QB Landry Jones, who will most likely start next week due to injuries.
“I’m not making excuses for anybody, I’m not trying to baby anybody.” – Washington coach Jay Gruden, after listing a variety of reasons (including the weather) why Kirk Cousins basically stinks on ice and then emphatically insisting he would not change quarterbacks.
“It’s on me. It was a communication breakdown. It’s not on those players.” – Colts coach Chuck Pagano, on the hideously stupid fake punt play call that essentially put the game against the Patriots out of reach. Don’t worry Chuck. Everyone agrees it’s your fault. No one is blaming the players.