Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tuesday FourCast: Week Four

It’s FourCast time and I feel like there’s almost too much to talk about. Let’s focus on a few pet peeves of mine.

Starting with…

#1: Philip Rivers and the entire San Diego Chargers outfit was highly overrated entering the 2007-2008 season.
They lost their head coach (Marty), offensive coordinator (Cam Cameron) and defensive coordinator (Wade “The Babe” Phillips) in the off-season. They also were a 14-2 team who lost a game they choked away against the Patriots. The team hasn’t won a playoff game since the AFC Title game in ’95 and had a third-year QB who folded down the stretch in their playoff game. While they have guys named LT, Gates, Merriman, and Jamal Williams, there’s no definitive wideout target. Depending on Craig “Buster” Davis and Vincent “Fantasy Stink” Jackson turned out to be quite the mistake. The defense has talked far more than it has walked (Damon Huard lit them up like a pinball machine in the 2nd half) and the entire team is crumbling. Super Bowl favorites? Not likely. Especially with a QB struggling in his second full year with 5 TDs/6 INTs and a QB rating approaching the high 60s. While it’s easy to blame Norv Turner for all of your problems, the Chargers should’ve checked their egos at the door and decided to actually win a playoff game before proclaiming themselves the hottest thing on the block.

#2: Andy Reid is lucky Donovan F. McNabb isn’t calling for his head on a platter along with the rest of Philadelphia.
Simply put, you don’t put your franchise QB on an island and hang him out to dry behind an underachieving left tackle. USC’s Winston Justice was exposed during draft camps and workouts. Yet, he still was given one-on-one coverage against one of the league’s more talented pass rushers. Nevermind using one of your two blocking tight ends, chipping defensive ends consistently with a back, or just rushing the ball on obvious passing downs in order to protect your QB. Andy Reid’s playcalling and game management was uninspired and idiotic. Whether it be his personal life, stagnant playcalling after being in Philly for a year too long, or a desire to see Donovan get smacked a few times, Reid is lucky his QB isn’t hanging his coach out to dry.

#3: Tennessee is the most dangerous team nobody is talking about in the AFC.
There are a lot of losing records for seemingly “playoff-contending” squads in the AFC. Meanwhile, after a bye, Tennessee has locked up Jeff Fisher, has that QB named Vince-something and a rejuvenated rushing attack. Despite falling just short of the playoffs last season, the Titans defense has gelled nicely and they have the moxie and the desire to make some real noise this season. With Baltimore and Pittsburgh exposed this weekend, the Titans have a real opportunity to distance themselves from struggling teams like the Jets, Chargers, Bengals and others.

#4: Tampa Bay is the quietest 3-1 team in recent memory.
-With all the hoopla over Detroit at 3-1, Oakland at 2-2, Tennessee at 2-1, Cleveland at 2-2, Washington at 2-1, Green Bay at 4-0 and even Kansas City at 2-2, why isn’t their more talk about Tampa? You can’t automatically discount them because they play in the NFC South. They’ve beaten this year’s NFC Super Bowl favorite New Orleans, along with Carolina and St. Louis. That’s right, they are 2-0 in a weakening division. They’ve also outscored their last three foes by a margin of 75-24. Despite an opening week loss at Seattle, Tampa, behind journeyman QB Jeff Garcia, has become younger on defense (insert rookie Gaines Adams and free agent pickup Cato June) and more stable on offense. Despite the schedule toughening up soon with Indy and Tennessee next on the slate, the Bucs are back behind fiery head coach John Gruden and may very well sneak into the NFC Playoffs after last season’s largely forgettable campaign.

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