NFL Week 8 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly

The Good:

Falcons fly high

Where’s the defense?

Atlanta remains as the only unbeaten team, and had to beat the odds to do so. Philly’s coach, Andy Reid, had never lost coming off of a bye week since he took leadership 1999. Many thought that a well-rested Eagles team might sneak up and deliver Atlanta their first loss of the season, especially since they were the Falcon’s first opponent with a winning record, but that didn’t happen. Atlanta broke out the gates early and never slowed their pace. Matty Ice delivered one of his most impressive games this season, completing 76% of his passes for 262 yards and three TDs. He displayed great pocket presence and linked up with Julio Jones on a 63-yard bomb. Overall the Falcons offense looked completely synced as their aerial attack led to scores on their first six drives. Final score: Falcons 30, Eagles 17

Teach me how to Dougie

“These Ninjas can’t hold me back!”

Doug Martin, running back for Tampa Bay, absolutely danced on the Vikings defense and totaled the best numbers of his short, rookie career. Martin found holes in the Vikings defense, and when there weren’t holes he shifted to create them. In total, Martin tallied 214 total yards, 135 of which were rushing. He displayed patience, balance and speed as he accounted for the majority of Tampa Bay’s offense and statistically lead in rushing and receiving. Watch out for him in future because this didn’t appear to be a fluke game. Final Score: Buccs 36, Vikings 17

Lone star

“The Redskins could have used me.”

Dallas didn’t have much to cheer about after an extremely painful loss to the Giants, but there was one bright spot. Overall, Dallas’ offense failed to produce, as expected under Romo’s leadership, but Jason Witten consistently performed. Hauling in 18 receptions, Witten set a NFL record for tight ends and broke the Cowboys team record he previously set. Those 18 receptions led to 167 yards. Witten continues to solidify his position as the best TE in Cowboys history, and a game of this magnitude was highly unexpected considering the many drops he had while returning from injury earlier this season.

The Bad 

St. Louis gets rammed in England

“We came all the way to London for this?”

Rapid rise in NFL popularity lead to international games played in London for the past few years. Fans in London appreciate the games, but I’m not so sure they’re satisfied with the product they received this year. New England felt right at home and blasted the Rams in epic fashion. From the Rams standpoint, how do you fold and give up 45 points? At some point integrity should kick in and lead to better play, yet they were just going through the motions. How can they help further the NFL brand when their product was equivalent to a flag football team? Final Score: Patriots 45, Rams 7

Butterfingers

RG3 had every right to be the most frustrated player this week. His Redskins were over-matched by a tough Steelers team and played like they believed it. Griffin stayed in the pocket and delivered several passes to his receiver’s hands, yet many passes fell to the turf. RG3 completed 16 of 34 passes, which is definitely something to frown upon, but his receivers dropped 10 passes. Consider the difference these drops could have made in potential scoring drives or maintaining offensive momentum. The Skins apparently had a popcorn party before the game. Everybody arrived with butterfingers.  I think its permissible to allow their receivers to wear Stick Em. Final Score: Steelers 27, Redskins 12

The Ugly

Retros

Pittsburgh decided to sport a vintage look… and it failed miserably. There aren’t enough words to describe how appalling their jersey’s looked. They were the 1934 edition for a reason and should have been left in the past. I wasn’t sure if I was watching a bumblebee documentary or watching convicts form a modern version of the gridiron gang.

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NFL Week 3 Review: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

The Good:

Win now, cry later

An emotional Torrey Smith celebrating TD

Torrey Smith’s emotionally infused play lifted his team to victory. After an early morning call informed Smith that his 19-year-old brother, Tevin, had been killed in a motorcycle accident, Torrey opted to stick with the team for Sunday Night Football against the Patriots. Tears rolled down Smith’s face early in the game as football didn’t distract him from his brother’s death. Instead, Smith managed to channel that emotion into fierce football play. Smith grabbed everything that was thrown his direction: snatching six receptions, 120 yards and two TDs, contributing to Baltimore edging New England with a game winning field goal. Final Score: Ravens 31, Patriots 30.

Jamaal Charles shows that once again the Saints ain’t play defense

sAint tackling me!

If you didn’t notice Jamaal Charles’ name has an extra “A,” why, because he’s just that awesome. Last season Charles injured his ACL in week one and sat out the entire season. A slow start had many Charles supporters questioning if he could manifest the potential displayed in previous seasons because he’s struggled to find rhythm totaling 90 yards on 24 carries in the first two weeks of this season. Right when people began to write him off, Charles taxed the Saints’ atrocious run defense for 233 yards and a TD. There isn’t a need for statistical backing to illustrate how terrible the Saints have been, but to make it quick: 2 Quarterbacks, not running backs, achieved career-high rushing yardage this year vs. the Saints, and they’ve given up over 100 points in three weeks. Final Score: Chiefs 27, Saints 24.

80 yards to victory

Shorts stretching to break the plane

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been one of the NFL’s doormats in recent years, but this wasn’t the case on Sunday. Andrew Luck had just led the Colts down the field for a Vinatieri field goal that seemingly doomed Jacksonville to a fate they’re all too familiar with– losing. Everybody believed the Jags would lose except for quarterback Blaine Gabbert who said, “I told the guys going out onto the field, We’re going to win. Right here, right now.” The following play Gabbert connected with Cecil Shorts III on an 80-yard TD catch and run that sealed the game. Final Score: Jaguars 22, Colts 17.

Raider’s steal one from Steelers

Janikowski celebrating game winning FG

Last week I jokingly stated that the disorganized Raiders risked compiling an 0-16 record. This week, I have no problem eating those words. It appeared that my prophecy might remain on track, but Oakland dug deep, took a page from Pittsburg’s book, and racked off 13 unanswered fourth quarter points to seize the game as time expired. Beating the Steelers, one of the NFL’s elite teams, might be exactly what Oakland needed to separate from their losing ways and jumpstart their season, especially since Roethlisberger threw for 384 yards, four TDs and no interceptions. Final Score: Raiders 34, Steelers 31.

The Bad & Ugly Combined:

Its official, the replacement officials are terrible

Ref on left: touchback. Ref on right: touchdown

Week after week the replacement refs’ terrible calls catastrophically affect the outcome of games. This week has been no different. There’s an array of available examples to illustrate this point, but none will cause more upheaval than the last second jump ball of the Seahawks-Packers game. First, the officials missed Golden Tate’s blatant offensive pass interference when he pushed Sam Shields down. Secondly, it’s clear that the Packers defender possessed the ball before what some believed was a simultaneous catch. Tate, the receiver on the play, appeared to have only one hand/arm on the ball as the defender came to the ground. One official signaled touchdown, and another signaled touchback. Green Bay had this game taken from them, and before the lockout ends, the playoff picture will be greatly skewed. If the referee lockout doesn’t end this week, don’t be surprised when the replacement refs appear on the “ugly” list next week. Final Score: Seahawks 14, Packers 12.

Eagles’ offensive line has been defenses best friend

Need i say more?

Mike Vick has possibly been criticized more than any player in the NFL this year, but it’s becoming clear that more of his criticism should be shared with a few teammates. Vick’s offensive line refuses to give him time to drop back and survey the field before a defender breaks through and threatens to bruise his ribs again. It’s incomprehensible how the same linemen can zone block and create holes for a running back, but can’t give their quarterback more than 2 seconds before he’s forced to break containment, or is simply knocked on his ass. Their lack of protection ensure it’s only a matter of time before Vick sustains another injury from hanging in the pocket and getting blasted by a 300-pound lineman. Final Score: Cardinals 27, Eagles 6.

Superman Cam encounters kryptonite coated Giants

Sideline behavior

Dejected, frustrated and battered; what do these words have in common other than ending with –ed? They’re all adjectives to describe Cam Newton’s sideline demeanor/composure as he helplessly watched New York’s bench players, Ramses Barden and Andre Brown, dismantle his defense. Yet, each time Cam took the field, disaster struck. The Giants arguably have the best defensive line in football, and their relentless pressure forced Cam to throw three INTs. If Cam is Superman, then the Giants’ defense is an oversized barrel of kryptonite. Final Score: Giants 36, Panthers 7.

This poll was a no brainer