Are the Saints in terrible trouble? After all, of the last 60 playoff teams, only one has started 0-2, and that was last year’s Carolina Panthers.
Well, the short answer is no.
They’re not in trouble. The Saints have lost two games by a grand total of 5 points, and let’s face it, they’re still one of the best teams in the NFC.
Grant you, losing to the Browns today does not help them at all, and they’ll have to make up a little ground as a result, but don’t bet against the Saints. They’ll be there at the end.
This Week’s Sucked And Won: Jonathan Stewart & Mike Tolbert, RB (CAR). Talk about not supporting your QB! If you take away Stewart’s one long run of 22, these two combined to gain 10 yards on 18 carries.
By contrast, WR Philly Brown gained 11 yards on his single carry. Even if you put the 22 yard run back in, the Panther’s backs averaged less than 2 yards a carry. Pathetic.
What was the biggest difference between the Jaguars’ gamely putting up a fight against the Eagles last week and rolling over and playing dead against Washington? Well, giving up 10 sacks will do that. 10 sacks. TEN!
Shocking realization of the week: The Houston Texans, hands down the worst team in the NFL in 2013, currently lead the league in point differential.
After going 5-6 in field goal attempts in the season opener vs. Baltimore, Cincinnati’s Mike Nugent promptly came out and missed on 3 out of 4 this week vs. the Falcons. Lucky for him the team didn’t need those points.
This Week’s Great But Lost: Delanie Walker, TE (TEN). 10 catches for 142 yards and a touchdown. If only his fantasy football points counted for his team, eh?
As an Eagles fan, I never pass up a chance to point out when someone formerly associated with the team is either living up, or down, to expectations.
This week, it’s now New York Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg turn. Mornhinweg ingratiated himself to Eagles’ fans by panicking any time the opposing offense held the ball for more than five plays, by starting every single game with a long pass that everyone in every stadium in every city knew was coming, by calling pass plays on 1st and goal from the 1-inch line and for various other acts of stupidity, but to my knowledge, he never cost the Eagles a touchdown by calling an illegal timeout, like he did for the Jets this week, late in the fourth quarter of a 7 point game. Way to go coach.
Thursday Pick: Tampa Bay (+6.5) @Atlanta (Las Vegas Hilton)
Wow, I really don’t want to touch this game. Tampa has lost two close games, but the Falcons look like they will have a pretty potent offense all year and they are obviously much better at home. Recent history doesn’t tell you too much. The Falcons beat Tampa in Atlanta by 7 or more about half the time.
With no real feel on the game, I’ll take the Falcons. In a short week, it helps to be at home and to be the better team and they’re both.
Atlanta Falcons 28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21
“Of course, I have great ball skills as an ex-wide receiver. At that moment in the game, it wasn’t time for a sack. Let the ends rush and just get my hands up.” – Broncos DT Terrance Knighton, on his great ball skills. Knighton is 6’3”, 331 lbs.
“Typical Baltimore.” – Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger on getting drilled by LB Courtney Upshaw on the Steelers 3rd play of the game. Upshaw was penalized for roughing the passer.
“If we’ve got time on the clock we’re going to try to score a touchdown. Doesn’t matter if we’re winning or losing.” – Packers G T.J. Lang, on Green Bay’s touchdown with 8 seconds left in the first half, the culmination of a 97 yard drive.
“I didn’t say anything.” – 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, responding to a question asking what he said that got him a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for “inappropriate language.”
“My mom was wrong. She did the best she could, but she was wrong about some of that stuff she taught me. And I promised my kids, I won’t teach that mess to them. You can’t beat a kid to make them do what they wanna do.” – ESPN analyst Cris Carter, bravely rejecting the idea that corporal punishment is OK “because that’s what I got as a kid.”
“There’s no way to sugarcoat being 0-2.” – New Orleans Saints GM Mickey Loomis.
“We have to get back home and work our asses off because that wasn’t good enough, and it had nothing to do with coaching. We have to take ownership as players to get it fixed.
We lost in all phases. Nobody can point a finger at anybody else. They can only point at themselves and ask, ‘What can I do as a man to get better?’ ” – Jacksonville DE Red Bryant after the Jaguars embarrassing 41-10 loss to Washington. Truthfully, this is why you sign a guy off of a Super Bowl champion. To be a leader like this.
“We take the lead, 14-13, and from then on, it’s like watching I don’t know what. From there, it was a nightmare.” – Giants coach Tom Coughlin on his team’s play.