This column is going up today, because I really don’t want to have to write about Monday Night Football tonight. I’m kidding. I want to leave room for my World Series Preview tomorrow, and posting two big columns on the same day is something that doesn’t strike my fancy.
Anyways, Sunday provided a lot of fun, close games. With a couple of upsets as we approached the halfway mark, we start to figure who’s really bad, and who we may be concerned about.
New England-27 New York Jets-25
In another game that ended in a typical Jets way, it actually remained close throughout. The Jets though, didn’t score a touchdown until the second half, and still had 12 points at halftime. The Patriots played great, with Tom Brady throwing three TD passes. The Pats though, struggled containing the New York running game, rushing for 218 yards as a team. It’s definitely a plus to a pretty weak offense. Surprisingly, it came down to the wire. With five seconds left, the Jets set up for the game-winning field goal. It was blocked, which ended the game. In a incredible ending, which is typical for the Jets, the Patriots looked phenomenal.
Green Bay-38 Carolina-17
This game was a lot worse than the score showed. At halftime, the Packers led 28-3. The Panthers couldn’t get the offense going, and with no help from the defense, it got ugly. Aaron Rodgers threw for 255 yards and three touchdowns, and made his typical 2-3 incredible plays. Cam Newton, on the other hand, only threw 205 yards, Greg Olsen had a huge game, but ultimately didn’t help. The Packers dominated, that’s as simple as it gets.
Detroit-24 New Orleans-23
This was a thriller, and I’m not joking whatsoever. This was a incredible and super fun game to watch. The Saints dominated the 1st half, leading only 10-3 halftime, but it worse from there. The largest lead the Saints had was 13 points, but it’s not all about what’s on paper. The Lions didn’t let that get to them, though. Matthew Stafford threw two late TD passes, which got the Lions lead. It was a breakdown of the Saints secondary that caused it, and the loss results in the Saints record falling to 2-4.
Man, this Bears defense is only getting worse as the season goes along. Giving up 277 yards to Ryan Tannehill isn’t great, and the offense didn’t help. Jay Cutler didn’t have a good game, and we know the offense is the heart and soul of this team. Culter only threw for 190 yards. Matt Forte had a rushing TD, but didn’t gain many yards. The defense is the main problem for the Bears, and the resolution isn’t visible yet.
Another game that remained close the whole way through, Kyle Orton and the Bills got it done at the end, breaking the Vikings hearts. Orton threw for 283 yards and a TD in the game, connecting with rookie Sammy Watkins for the game winning TD with a second left. The catch was ridiculous. The day though, wasn’t all smiles for Bills. CJ Spiller, someone who I expected to get traded before the deadline, broke his collarbone, and is out for the season. Fred Jackson, another running back, was injured also. With a couple of good receivers, Kyle Orton may be able to keep this going, but it’s going to be a tough task.
I really thought this game would be a total shootout, not a blowout. If anything, this game could’ve been 27-0 Cincinnati. The Bengals just didn’t show up for a big game. Andy Dalton was horrific, and the running game never got going. Part of it resides on the offensive line, but I’ve never felt like Andy Dalton is that good. Honestly, it’s the big game issue. The Bengals don’t do well in them. It’s that simple. Andrew Luck had a huge game with 344 yards passing and two TD’s. T.Y Hilton had another great game, with 107 yards receiving. The Colts look great, and Bengals laid a egg, as they usually do in games like these.
Oh boy, we had a great game here. (Nope)
This was actually pretty close throughout, but wasn’t fun to watch at all. Blake Bortles looked like a rookie QB Sunday, throwing three picks and only 159 yards passing. It didn’t really matter, because Cleveland was worse. Brian Hoyer threw the football 41 times. He completed 16 of them.
(And the moral of the story is)
You get it. With a completion percentage like that, you aren’t going to win. The Browns pretty good running game wouldn’t work, and it was just a wall that was to hard to climb for the Browns. Too many things went wrong for them.
As for Jacksonville, the win was big, since it was their first of the season. They’re young, and Bortles will struggle. This game probably meant more to Jags fans then the team.
Man, this is huge for my Arizona Cardinals.
(Let’s start that over, homerism alert)
This was really impressive by the Rams. They pulled two special teams trickery plays on the Seahawks, and one went back for a TD return by Stedman Bailey. The Rams dominated this game. Being up 21-6 at halftime was incredible. Austin Davis, who is very confusing, only threw three incomplete pass, but only had 152 yards. He also threw two TD’s. Davis has shown flashes, but has also had some awful games. There’s no way you can evaluate him, yet. The Seahawks laid a egg here. I’m not concerned about them, because Russell Wilson had great game, passing and running wise. The defense is what isn’t clicking. This shouldn’t have happened against the Rams. Seattle hasn’t lost back to back games since 2012.
This was huge for the Rams, but their not a threatening team to anyone.
Another close, but boring game on Sunday. These two teams had no separation throughout, but it’s a miracle the Redskins pulled it off. Kirk Cousins was benched for the 2nd half after a decent performance in the 1st half. I was a little surprised by the move, because Cousins was 10/16 for 139 yards at halftime, but a pick was thrown. It may be just a test for Washington, who expects RG3 back soon.
Now, I wrote that column with the mindset that RG3 was going to be out for they year, because when I posted it, that was the expectation.
Anyways, Colt McCoy did great, and threw a 70 yard TD pass on his first play. He only threw one incompletion.
The game ended with the Redskins kicking a game-winning field as time expired, which gave them the win. Honestly, the Titans shouldn’t feel good at all, because giving up a drive like that to a Colt McCoy led offense isn’t great.
That’s all I’ve got on this game. I already spent to many words on it.
Talk about a blowout. The Falcons defense just collapsed, and I thought we could’ve seen a ton of points here. Joe Flacco threw 2 TD’s with 258 yards, but also had two picks. Justin Foresett had another monster game running the football, with 96 yards. The Ravens just dominated. Matt Ryan didn’t have a great game, with 228 yards and TD. The accuracy was pretty ugly though. The real problem with the Falcons is horrific line play. On both sides. The offensive line can’t block, which led to 68 rushing yards for the whole team. The defense is a mess. Really, I don’t know anyone can fix it. It’s only going to get worse for Atlanta.
Kansas City-23 San Diego-20
This was a really fun and competitive game. The Chiefs made a statement against San Diego, which only puts them at 3-3, but the slow start paved it. Neither QB put up huge numbers, with Alex Smith and Philip Rivers not getting above 230 yards passing. The Chiefs running game stole the spotlight, with a huge Jamaal Charles game. Brandon Oliver had 67 yards, as the Chargers running game never sparked. The Chiefs drove down the field with under two minutes, and broke the tie with a field goal with 21 seconds to go. The Chargers got the ball back, and after one throw, Rivers threw a pick, which ended the game. The Chiefs are 3-3 after the slow start, and even though they aren’t the same team as last year. It’s pretty respectable for being in a tough division.
This game shouldn’t have been this close, but really, it doesn’t matter to me. 5-1 is wayyyy better than I expected.
(Let’s talk about the game now)
Carson Palmer had another good game in his second game back from injury, throwing for 253 yards and a TD. Andre Ellington had 83 rushing yards as the Cardinals dominated the Raiders. Ellington was the also the Cardinals leading receiver. The Cardinals defense played a lot better this week, shutting down the Raiders already weak offense. Derek Carr threw for only 173 yards, and really didn’t play well at all. The Raiders the league’s only winless
team, and Darnell Dockett let their rowdy fans know.
Dallas-31 New York Giants-21
Yet another pretty fun game, the Cowboys continued their shocking season, beating the Giants to improve to 6-1. Tony Romo threw for 279 yards and three TD’s. DeMarco Murray had yet another 100 yard rushing game, as he is the league leader in rushing yards. 151 yards receiving from Dez Bryant contributed to the win. The Giants didn’t play well enough win this game. Eli Manning had a decent game, but he did throw three TD’s. The real problem for the Giants is the running game, which needs to improve, but rookie Andre Williams had a decent day. Really, the Giants are average, just average.
Denver-42 San Francisco-17
On a historical night in Denver, the Broncos steamrolled the 49ers. Peyton Manning threw 4 TD passes, including number 509, which broke Brett Farve’s record for most career TD passes. The Broncos dominated the game, as they should have. Colin Kaepernick didn’t have a great game, with only 263 yards. The 49ers running game never got going aagainstthe stubborn Bronco defense. San Francisco’s WR’s though, had a decent impact and had multiple guys over 50 yards. The 49ers lost a game they probably weren’t confident about winning anyways.