Tag: adrian peterson

Random thoughts and good quotes from Week 6

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.

DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

Can Julio Jones do this? Actually, yes, just a little less often.

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

N-F-Yell

“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.

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Which QB Can Stay Healthy? NFC North 2014 Preview

Quarterback health is a big issue for the Bears and Packers who are in contention to win this division, while the bottom half both feature teams in a transition phase.

The Bears offense was great last year, even after Jay Cutler got hurt, but Chicago needs Cutler healthy to maintain their offense performance this year as backup Josh McCown is gone.

On defense, I’m looking for an improved performance (in particular Jared Allen should have a good year as NFC North transplants seem to come up big), although the Bears defense was so bad last season they almost can’t help but be better.

On paper, the Green Bay Packers are probably the best team in this division but there are several red flags for Green Bay that have me putting the second.  Aaron Rodgers is one of the four elite QBs in football, and the Packers have the best skill position talent in the division, but the line is suspect – it’s what got Rodgers hurt last year, which could hold the offense back, in particular RB Eddie Lacy, a breakout star.

On defense, I don’t like Green Bay’s personnel OR their coaching – the Packers are inept at making adjustments.  Losing BJ Raji for the season really hurts Green Bay, who were already very susceptible to the run.

It wouldn’t shock me if the Detroit Lions completely turn themselves around this season, even though I have them missing the cut.

Detroit is hoping that a talented but badly mistake prone offense can be cured with a coaching change.  I’m not so sure, but I do know that Calvin Johnson alone is worth the price of admission.

On defense, the change is likely to be more pronounced, as the Lions will scrap the idiotic wide 9 in favor of a 3-4/4-3 hybrid scheme.  Detroit has a great front 7, but the secondary remains a major weakness and that’s something that scheme alone won’t fix.

You have to wonder how long Adrian Peterson can continue to be an elite back or, more specifically, whether he can do it long enough for Teddy Bridgewater to take over as Minnesota’s starting quarterback.  That figures to happen sometime during this season, as Matt Cassel is just a plug-in starter and the Vikings will not be competitive this year or probably next year either.

Can AP still dominate three years from now?  You have to wonder, but that’s how long it will take Minnesota to develop Bridgewater, replenish the skill positions and rebuild the defense.   Sadly, the Vikings are a candidate for worst team in the league – only Peterson elevates them above that.

Predicted Finish:

Chicago Bears (10-6) (3rd seed; NFC Divisional Round)

Green Bay Packers (9-7)

Detroit Lions (7-9)

Minnesota Vikings (4-12)

Games to Watch:

Week 1 – NY Giants @Detroit:  If this is indeed a new-look Detroit Lions team, then winning the opener, at home, against a Giants team looking to find itself, would seem to be a must.

Week 10- Chicago @Green Bay:  The Bears come off their bye week to showdown with the Pack.  After this, 5 of their last 7 are at home, so winning this one could be a clincher.

Week 11 – Philadelphia @Green Bay:  The Packers playoff chances will depend on their two games with Chicago and a handful of NFC showdowns like this one with fellow bubble team the Eagles.

Week 11 –  Minnesota @Chicago:  If I were looking for a spot to break in my rookie QB, it would be probably be here, after the bye week, on the road, against a subpar defense.

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