One quarter of the way through the NFL season and things have begun to take a much more decisive look and feel. It is becoming more apparent who will be the contender this season, the pretenders and the the ones who never had a chance from the start. I will start this week with the team that look poised to make a strong playoff run.
The Denver Broncos continued to put the entire league on notice with their assault on The Philadelphia Eagles. This one was the last chance for Chip Kelly’s offense which looks to have been figured out in only 4 weeks. The Broncos gave them a taste of their own medicine going no huddle and showing that the Philly Defense couldn’t stop them through the air or on the ground. Manning did what he does to the tune of 28-34 for 327 and 4 Td’s with 0 INT. Manning has now matched an ALL-TIME record of starting a season with 16 TD and 0 INT’s.
Wes Welker caught his 6 TD pass of the early season and his former QB Tom Brady has 5 TD passes on the entire season. Great Job “under valuing” him Bill Belicheck.
Staying in the AFC West and with the Manning family– the Kansas City Chiefs have made their bid for the post season more of a reality with the team 4th win in a row. This team was only 2-14 last season and they have already doubled last year’s win total. Andy Reid has to be the front runner for coach of the year. The Chiefs absolutely CRUSHED the New York Giants 31-7. Jaamal Charles lead the way with 65 yards on the ground and added another 62 receiving for a TD. Special Teams came through HUGE with Dexter McCluster returning a punt 89 yards for a TD that sent the stadium into a FRENZY!
The Giants are proving that their offense is totally inept and out of sync. Manning struggled again going 18-37 for only 217 yards with 1 TD and 1 interception. He as sacked 3 times. Everyone expects the Giants to be able to “turn it on” when it counts and they still are alive despite being 0-4 because the entire NFC East is very soft this season. Alex Smith looked solid throwing for 288 yards even though he was picked off twice. His Chiefs are looking playoff bound while the 49ers still look a little shaky even though they beat the hapless Rams on Thursday.
The New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome 30-23. The Falcons looked waaaaay too complacent for 3 quarters of the game. They fall to 1-3 and if the Saints are able to top the Dolphins tonight they will be 3 games behind them. The Patriots make it to 4-0 despite having a “no name” receiving corp full of rookies. Tom Brady went 20-31 for 316 yard and 2 TD’s. The Patriots have a resurgent running game that has been a running back by committee situation as usual but they gained 132 yards collectively.
The Patriots have been impressive given all of the pieces on offense that they lost in the off season and in true Belicheck fashion they have managed to win without any big named stars on the roster except the future hall of fame Tom Brady. The Pats lost a defensive mainstay Vince Wilfork who tore his ACL in the 1st quarter and will be placed on IR for the rest of the season. It doesn’t hurt that they play in the AFC East which only has 1 other team that will be in the mix this season– The Miami Dolphins.
The Seattle Seahawks pulled off an unlikely win where they were down 20-3 at half time. When I first saw this I was ready to label the Seahawks “pretenders” for going on the road and getting blown out by worthy teams. Let’s just face the truth every game will NOT be played in Seattle where they religiously blow teams out of the water. BUT Seattle showed that they had some “cahonas” and came back to win the game in OT 23-20. Russell Wilson and the passing games was struggling so he decided to do all that he could with his mobility and scrambling for 77 yards.
The catalyst for the amazing comeback was Richard Sherman and the “Legion of Boom” defense. Houston was shut out in the 2nd half of the game and Sherman took a Schaub interception to the house to tie the game. The Seahawks are serious this year and I pick them or the New Orleans Saints to represent the NFC in the Superbowl.
As always the Houston Texans failed to win in a big game scenario at home with a big lead no less. Fans were burning Matt Schaub’s jersey in the parking lot to show their disapproval of his play in the game. Schaub had some good looking stats 31-49 for 355 yards and 2 TD with 2 INTs but the one that cost them the TD late in the game caused all of the disgust with him. Things don’t get any easier for the Texans next week as they face the 49ers.
The Detroit Lions DESTROYED the Chicago Bears yesterday. The Bears scored some late garbage time TD’s to make the score look respectable but this game was ALL Lions. Jay Cutler looked the exact opposite of how he played the first 3 weeks of the season. Cutler throw 3 INTs and 27-47 for 317 yard and 2 TD’s. Cutler and his inconsistent play will always burden the Bears in big moments.
The Lions defense and running game is what really brought the game home on Sunday. the defense held Bears running back Matt Forte to 95 yards and most of that came on a long TD run in the first quarter. Lions running back Reggie Bush had a spectacular TD run for 37 yards where he was leaping over defenders on his way to the touchdown. Bush has looked like the Reggie Bush that played at USC so far this season. It is amazing what he does now that he is in the right type of offense that suits his skill set. He hasn’t been this productive since his first 2 years with the Saints. t pick the Lions to take that next step and win the NFC North this season. They have proven they can be the Bears and are playing better football than the Vikings– and I think the offense can outplay the Packers. Time will tell as the season advances.
The Dallas Cowboys had a chance to take a decisive lead in the NFC East which should now be called the “NFC LEAST” with the way the 4 teams have played so far. Dallas went to San Diego and played a close game but came up short when it counted the most. Wide Reciever Terrance Williams fumbled the ball near the goal line late in the 4th quarter that cost the team the game. Romo for once didn’t throw any INT’s that resulted in the team losing. Dallas should have one this game but the defense couldn’t do anything with Philip Rivers who threw for 401 yards and 3Td’s on them. The Chargers are quietly a very good 2-2 team. They are only a few plays away from being 4-0. The AFC West has 3 very competitive teams this year.
Once again a special shout out and hats off to The Cleveland Browns!!! They were able to shutdown Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals to the tune of 17-6. This was moment were The Natti could have made a statement and grabbed a hold the the AFC North with the Steelers losing and the Ravens falling to the Bills– it was a divisional game versus The Browns who everyone assumed has mailed this season in and some how some way the Browns get the win. Brian Hoyer look crisped with 269 yard passing and 2 TD’s with no picks. Hoyer who was once Tom Brady’s backup seems to have benefited from the years behind him.
The Browns are showing their fans and the world that they will still show up every Sunday and come to play with the best of them. I like everyone else figured they were headed to a 2-14 or 1-15 season after the Richardson trade— and so far we have all be wrong about them. Let’s see if that can keep it going next week when they take on The Buffalo Bills on Thursday.
The Tennessee Titans blew the New York Jets out 38-13 but lost starting QB Jake Locker to a hip injury were he was carted off. The Titans have quietly reached 3-1 but with the lost of Locker for an undisclosed period of time could easily sink the team’s upstart season. The Jets looked like the typical Jets now that they are playing better teams– Geno Smith looked like Mark Sanchez with an ill advised “behind the back” fumble… someone may want to tell this man he is in the NFL not the NBA.
Geno Smith is going to have an EPICALLY BAD SEASON and after Rex Ryan is fired when the new coach is brought in Geno will be a memory of the bad season the Jets had which will force him into a backup role or he will have a very short leash where once he starts to play bad he will be benched and then traded away…. see Josh Freeman in Tampa Bay if you need a clearer reference.
As always Monday Morning Quarterback by Emperor Cole will be available every Monday morning to critic and talk about the past Sunday of NFL Football.
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