Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday FourCast: Week 10

For the most part, it was a bland week in the NFL. We saw Manning lose the game for the Colts. We saw the Rams step into the win column by shellacking a Saints team that was on a four-game tear. We saw the NFL's sweetheart, rookie RB Adrian Peterson, go down with a knee. We saw the Cowboys take a step towards winning, arguably, the toughest division in the NFL. Personally, I made the trek to FedEx Field to watch my beloved Redskins hand the game to the Eagles. Please forgive the foul mood.

#1: Fighting for Old DC

I'll put my money on the young guys. Don't get me wrong. I love Joe Gibbs. He deserves to be a Hall of Fame coach for what he did in his first stint with the Redskins. However, it's a good thing you can't be stripped of that HOF at the end of his name. His second try has been far from spectacular. This team is a perfect example of what happens to a talented team with bad coaching. Yes, I said it. BAD COACHING.

Every time the referee said, "Number 79 has reported as an eligible receiver," everyone in the stadium knew there was a 95% chance that it would be an off-tackle or a sweep. If Clinton Portis wasn't such an amazing back, he would have had as many yards as carries. The worst call of all was the draw on 3rd & Goal from the 7 yard line. I didn't know Norv Turner was coaching our team again. The "collaborative effort" that Gibbs and Saunders are deploying on offense is worse than anything this team has tried yet in the second Gibbs era.

Poor game and clock management during the second Gibbs era has resulted in 13 blown halftime leads in four years. In the first Gibbs era, the team blew 11 halftime leads in 12 years. The team should go another direction next year with the coaching, and more importantly, hire a GM. A new owner?

#2: QB showdown in the Steel City

Anyone that watched (or caught highlights of) the Browns and Steelers saw two of the brightest young QBs in the league take steps into the next level. On one hand, you have Ben Roethlisberger who looked like a superstar, and on the other you have Derek Anderson who stepped into the spotlight as a possible franchise QB.

For Roethlisberger, it has been a long road back from his motorcycle accident which culminated in the worst season of his career. This year has been his coming out year. Big Ben has already eclipsed his career high in TD passes with 22 in nine games. As a result, Ben has put the critics to sleep.

Derek Anderson has had a much different road. A 5th rounder drafted by the Ravens, Anderson found himself a free agent shortly after, and signed with the Browns. The knock on the strong-armed QB out of Oregon State was inaccuracy. This season, Anderson quieted his own critics coming out of nowhere and leading the Cleveland Browns to a winning record after nine games. A restricted free agent at season's end, and starting over a first-round draft pick, returning to the Browns could make things complicated. Look for a team like the Falcons or Ravens to attempt a move. Either way, Anderson has earned himself a nice payday.

#3: The Class of the NFC

As I've pointed out in the past, I have to give fellow writer Sum credit for picking the Packers before training camp as one of the top teams in the NFL. The Packers are winning with what has become a novel idea these days ... consistency. All Brett Favre and the offense have to do on a consistent basis is score 17 points or more and they're a 6-3 team. However, with the offense averaging 25+ points per game, the Pack are a dominant 8-1.

The defense is led by a core of of young linebackers that play all over the field. The defensive backs are covered deep by a young QB of the defense (Nick Collins) who is playing up to the promise of his rookie year after an off year. A pair of veteran CBs are having great seasons. Lastly, a versatile defensive line has become an underrated group that leads the attack on opposing offenses.

On offense, there's only one name that stands out. Favre. A classic gunslinger, Favre is once again showing us why he is one of the top QBs in NFL history. He spreads the wealth among a plethora of receivers. Against the Vikings, he had eight receivers with 3-5 catches in the game. Not to get too cliche on anyone, but like a fine wine, Favre gets better with age.

#4: Spitting in the Face of History

Another week and the Patriots still haven't lost. Of course, it didn't take much effort this week. I covered the Patriots and their possible road to an undefeated season the last time I did the the FourCast. While that possibility is still alive, another possibility of a streak of sorts is still alive. The Miami Dolphins could go winless.

Until the last two games, the defense has had trouble stopping anyone. They gave the Jets the only win of their season and they allowed the Raiders to have their highest scoring output. The offense has actually had several decent games; however, the defense has been blown out of the water in all of those games. Last time I did the FourCast, I talked about how the Patriots should go undefeated to stop those old Dolphins from the 1972 team from popping the cork on a bottle of champagne every season. Wouldn't it be ironic if the 2007 Dolphins were to go 0-16 as well?

1 comment:

summy said...

Thanks for the props on the Packers...I just wish I'd had the balls to stick with them in my final projections!