Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday FourCast: Week 7

Week 7 is all over. Tom Brady is on pace to shatter Peyton Manning’s single-season touchdown pass record. What’s new? And yes, I’m still eating crow thinking he’d throw only 30 TDs. So much for that. So much for the Rams who remain winless. To think that some of the wisest football folks in America picked them to be the NFC representative seven weeks ago is wild. Hindsight is 20/20. This FourCast is about 20/30.

1) Rob Bironas is a Big-Time Kicker … at least in the Regular Season

When you think of big game kickers, Adam Vinatieri’s name comes to mind. However, there’s another kicker who took the plaudits on Sunday afternoon. That was Tennessee’s Bironas. Last season, he broke onto the scene with a game-winning field goal against Indianapolis. On Sunday, he kicked not 5, not 6, not even 7, but an NFL-record 8 field goals. He made all of them. Had Bironas missed just one, he’d have been the scapegoat for what was a cataclysmic fifteen minutes for the Titans defense.

2) The Weekly Patriots Mention

In the last two weeks, the Patriots defense has given up 48 points (it’s 55 points if you count a defensive TD scored by Dallas). Over the next few weeks, analysts will pick this team apart for any weakness. If you want a weakness, how about the lack of a rushing game? This does not bode well for a team who plays in a cold-weather city. Sure, global warming will continue to aid the Patriots as weather allows Buffalo to enjoy 70-degree weather in late October. But the Patriots will eventually face ugly weather and the fun n’ gun alone will not be enough.

3) The Bills No Longer Winless

Congratulations to the Buffalo Bills! They are no longer winless. Some of you might argue that they have two wins. However, I’m not counting their victory against the Jets. As an aside, I’m not counting the Jets’ victory against Miami. In fact, it took seven weeks for a team from the AFC East not named the Patriots to win a game against a non-divisional opponent. Back to the win against the Baltimore. The Bills stuck it to Willis McGahee in his return - not by stopping him (he averaged almost eight yards per carry and scored a touch), but by the final score. Further, Lee Evans rose from the ashes. Unfortunately for JP Losman, the Trent Edwards experiment has gone full throttle and it’s no longer Losman’s job to lose.

4) I’m So Done With You, Andy Reid

I don’t care if Charles Barkley thinks he’s fantastic. What have you done for me lately? The Eagles were a minute from having an even record despite playing a single good game all season. Nevertheless, the players got complacent with a 4-point lead and the opposition pegged at their 3-yard line with less than a minute left in the game. As everyone knows, the Bears did the unthinkable and scored the touchdown they needed with :09 remaining.

Fantastic coaches don’t let their players sniff even a hint of complacency. That’s the nature of the beast that is coaching. And when you’re not doing your job, you must be held accountable. As an Eagles fan, I knew the season would be a long one because the Eagles addressed few weaknesses and made questionable picks (Kevin Kolb, Victor Abiamiri to name a couple) throughout the NFL Draft. That’s because Andy Reid, normally an outstanding talent evaluator, was focused on matters unrelated to football. As a result, the organization has suffered.

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