I love the NFL, as a matter of fact some may consider me a junkie of some sorts. While driving home, i decided, hey why not put my thoughts in the form of a blog on all things NFL. In this maiden edition i will review the league at its quarterly juncture (most teams have played 4 games). I will account for those teams that had byes as well, some fantasy and anything NFL related. I will review the teams based on conferences etc….I would like to offer a disclaimer that I don’t support any team, I just love football in general.
Starting off with the AFC East
This is a division that i feel it’s the Pats to lose, even though the Dolphins may have something to say about it. As at 8:10, the Pats are yet to play KC, but i see a win for the Pats. The Dolphins are your Jekyll and Hyde bunch, impressive win first week, and two stinkers, luckily Oakland came to town or should i say London. On the Pats, Tom Brady and his band are yet to play Pats ball, and i feel that Brady is slowly sliding. A commitment to the run or a balanced attack will help Brady in the long run. Often times i feel McDaniels (offensive coordinator) over complicates things. The Bills just benched their starting QB, so that’s that. Their D has played well though. The Jets, i think Geno would be good but being in NY and with a mouthy coach and with expectations through the roof (not sure why) the Jets will tumble. Vick will be taking snaps sooner than he wanted too. As at 11:47, the Pats were diaper dumped by the Chiefs, so much for the Pats taking this division they looked horrid.
By leaps and bounds the most complete team in that division is the Bengals, explosive on offense and resilient on D. This team is really, really good. The offensive play calling by Hue Jackson in the first three games has been outstanding. The Ravens will be nipping at their heels, but at this mark the Bengals look unstoppable. On the note of the Ravens, Flacco looks comfortable under superior play caller Kubiak’s offense, the D is bend but don’t break and they are well coached and disciplined. They will be in the conversation. The Browns may be 1-2, but i think this team is much improved under Pettine. They play hard ball, you better bring it when you play them. The team that i believe has regressed it’s the Steelers, my or my, nobody fears that D anymore. They may be 3rd currently, but i feel that they will be last when it’s all said and done.
I can’t put a pulse on this division, but i am writing off the Titans, they are just not good, they can’t compete and their QB is always injured, not that he was playing lights out, with the exception of the first game. The Jags are even in worse shape than the Titans, but hey at least they have a QB in Bortles. I felt that they will make a leap this season, but they just don’t have the talent to match the rest of the NFL. Houston intrigues me, but that ball control offense and when JJ Watt has more TD’s than Foster and Johnson that may be a problem. That slow ball tempo offense will not work when you are in a shootout, besides i don’t trust Fitzpatrick. The Colts are in a league of their own with Luck and his merry men. The Texans may be in the division lead, but they are just clip holders until the Colts hold serve.
I think this division is a two team race between the Chargers and the Broncos.. The Chargers are a very good team, and a team that doesn’t fear the Broncos. Since they have beaten the Hawks and the Broncos havent, I tip them ahead of the Broncos at this mark. The Broncos as long as Manning is behind center will be extremely good. Their D, is much improved even though they didn’t come through with a stop against the Hawks. The Chiefs are well coached and will be in the conversation, I don’t see them making the playoffs though this time around (schedule and not playing back ups). The Raiders the least said about them the better. On that note it just came across the wire that Allen has been fired, what will that accomplish anyway. I will preview the NFC tomorrow.
Hope you enjoyed my initial blog comment.. view opinions are always welcome
Now moving on to the NFC, i will start off with the most competitive division within that conference which is by far the NFC West.
My oh my, it was just a couple of years ago that this division was the laughing-stock of the NFL where 8-8 got you into the playoffs. Go 8-8 this time around and you will be cellar basement dweller. The cream of the crop is the mouthy Seahawks, I will give it to them, they back it up most of the time, but this team is stout from head to toe. Of course they lost against the Chargers meaning that they are not unbeatable. The Cardinals with their enigmatic coach Arians will nip at the heals of the Seahawks, kudos to their coaching stuff by going 3-0, 2 games without Palmer. The 49ers have been embroiled with ups and downs, much media driven and some self-inflicted, not running Gore enough. As long as Harbaugh is there , and their injured players come back, this team will be in the running. The Rams are good, but not great when compared to the other three. Bradford’s injury was tough, but Austin Davis has proven to be adequate, and their D from time to time plays stout.
Before the season started prognosticators or should i say talking heads, predicted that this will be the worst division in sport. However, at the quarterly mark some of the teams are showing resiliency. The Eagles have compiled a 3-1 record, without much help from their supreme playmaker. Hey, maybe he should tip the Offensive line some more. Injuries and suspensions has robed them off consistency with their O line protection, Mccoy is too talented, and i see them righting that ship soon. The Cowboys have been the surprise of them all, their D has played well, and they have reemphasized a strong commitment to the run. I feel that as Romo runs into form, this team will be good. However, they have a history of fading at the end. The Giants looked lost, and out-of-place the first two games, it seems that Eli is finally picking up McAdoo offense, and the D is playing well. The Washington Redskins (no political correctness around these parts), RG 3 is injured again, they played the Jags, and Cousins is who we thought he was. Can they be explosive, sure.. See Eagles game, but this team is just not good.
In my estimation, the worst football division. Boy all the teams are bad. The Panthers can’t generate any offense, Cam is injured, their running backs are injured, their DB’s don’t scare anyone, they are just not good, but someone has to take that division right?? The Who Dat Saints can’t win away from home, and even when they do at home that Rob Ryan D is really bad. The Falcons, Roddy White said it best “we feel we have to put 30 plus anytime”. Great to throw your Defense under the bus buddy, but hey he aint lying, that D sucks balls. The Bucs showed some life against the Steelers, but that is more on the Steelers dysfunction than it is the Bucs. Its a good thing they switched to Glennon, he gives them a pulse, and where were they going with that perennial backup.
This Division i feel will be competitive to the very end. The Lions are playing some good D, i didn’t have hope for them before the season started, but it seems like they got it right with Caldwell at this point. The Packers will always go, as long as A Rog is the QB, this guy is really good, their D not so much. The Bears are so scared of the Packers that I really don’t see them being able to overtake any of the afore mentioned teams. I have been impressed with their rookie safety Fuller though. The kid is really talented. The Vikings have a star in Bridgewater, McKinnon, and a good coach in Zimmerman. I still see them at the bottom of the barrel, but at least their future looks bright.
I will touch on a little fantasy, and some other aspects of NFL football later. Thanks for reading.
Its been two weeks since I wrote my initial assessment on the different divisions within football. Most i believe were spot on, but as they say the NFL is a week to week bottom line type of business. In this edition i would evaluate teams in general after 6 weeks and touch on injuries, fantasy and all things NFL.
So after 6 games here are a couple of things that we know…
-The Patriots are still the Patriots, demise be darned, these guys will win their division. It’s quite unfortunate with the Jets, they actually played well this Sunday. However, as with bad teams they will find a way to lose.
-Loosing AJ Green, changes the whole dynamic of the Bengals, with the Ravens nipping on their heels and the Browns balling out of their minds, this division will be competitive till the end. Note the Steelers are done.
- The two-way street between the Chargers and the Broncos will make for a compelling finish in that division. The Chiefs will play tough, but they are behind the two.
-As stated in my initial entry, the Texans were just acting as place cup holders for the Colts. This just in that boy Andrew Luck is pretty darn good, as long as he is behind center I am calling ten straight division titles for the Colts. Bold right-yep, but Peyton did likewise… Already they are on their way to two, and yes I am calling this division early.
Since, i didn’t catch up on the NFC, i will quickly preview todays games and everything related to the NFL. Trends and habits begin to form almost by week 7, and we are seeing that generally. The Harvin trade caught each and everyone by surprise, but based on information leaking out, this guy was a head case in Seattle. I guess old habits truly die-hard, what a bum. On the note of Seattle, this team is falling down fast, not as dominant as i thought, but as Superbowl Champs expect the best shot from everyone. Kudos to the Rams especially their special teams. And the Cardinals keep trucking along…
Few observations after the afternoon games.. I hate, hate, hate the new illegal contact penalties. Way to many flags and time and time again these are bail out calls. The NFL sucks in that regard. The Cowboys are really a legit team.. strong running game, good not great D.. and Romo can shred you if he chooses.
The Pats are still the Pats and the Dolphins as i stated will be breathing down their necks. Cutler stinks, the Bears stink. The Division is a footrace between the Lions and the Packers.
The NFC South is the worst, most putrid football division in football, all the teams suck. No ifs or buts about it. As a matter of fact all teams are closer to arse than most people realize. The Colts are good, the Bengals are regressing: Clearly they miss AJ, as a matter of fact without AJ this team is average and the Ravens will take that division. The Browns, what can i say given prosperity they turn around and fall face down. Will add more info, later this evening…
I really need to find a way to consolidate my posts, will figure it all out somewhere along the line. My last post caught on excerpts from around the league, i have observed that parity which used to be the calling card of the NFL is no longer the case. 17 teams either have loosing records or are at .500, not sure what the reasons are, but it makes for a bad product come Sundays. Add the multitude of flags and i am gradually loosing interest in the games on Sunday. There have been a bunch of shut outs and blow outs that i find myself tuning in to something else. Words of Mark Cuban ring loud, maybe perhaps the NFL has gotten to big for itself. One thing i know is that there should be a better product.
I have always said i wanted to touch on fantasy, i am the proud owner of 4 teams… Yes this is a significant reduction from the 36 that i used to have when i first started about a decade ago. I did manage each and everyone by the way, but as time has gone on i have reduced my responsibilities so to speak. Just like how trends and patterns shape up, one gets a feel of their team around this time. Either you will make the playoffs 3 out of my 4, or your team flat-out sucks. At this point in time the only thing i can advice is don’t over think things, go with your gut and don’t be afraid to make trades. I do that every year. I will have a Top 10 for teams later this week. I feel teams from 11-20 are all interchangeable considering how bad the league is.
Illegal contact penalties also known as throw the ball up, brush your shoulder against a pass catcher and see flags come flying out. It’s truly magical if you ask me. Goodness me this aspect of the NFL has made games unwatchable to those of us fans of the game. It doesn’t give DB’s any chance whatsoever to play the ball. I get so frustrated watching this unfold game over game. Soon enough I will be tuning out of this mess called soft ball. And yes, I went there. At the 8 game mark there are more illegal contact penalties than the whole of last season combined. Horrid.
I wanted to write an excerpt on games last week and then i realized as many of you know, the NFL is a week to week thing. There are constants, such as NFC South is a really bad division, Raiders, Bucs etc you get my drift. However, it’s a week to week league and that makes it exciting to a certain extent. I still can’t stand the flags and that surge in scoring but the NFL has been undergoing that transition in recent time. A couple of observations, Palmers injury to the Cardinals is huge, did i honestly see them as a super bowl contender 9 games in, NO. Are they a very good team yes and a tough out, even with Palmer i really didn’t see them doing much, come playoffs. The AFC North has literally been flipped on its head with the Browns, yes i said it the Browns currently in first place. God knows that the loyal fan base of Cleveland needs this, after years and years of disappointment. Trust me i know i lived in Ohio for 5 years and went to a couple of Browns games, i don’t support any team in general, but its good to see Pettine and his folks turn things around. Can they hold on?? Who knows we will see.
I also wanted to touch on how games have become un-watchable from a competitive viewing standpoint, Sunday Night horrible, Monday Night wont even comment. Prime time games, short turn around, shift in competitive balances are rendering these games a snooze fest. I stayed a little longer when watching the Packers/Bears because i was playing against Forte and was checking when he would be put out if his misery. Either than that if you are not a fan of either team, I am sure Bears fans slept early, vested interest, betting, fantasy and what not, you probably moved on. This system can not be put in place if this continues, the NFL will gradually lose viewership. Views translates into dollars and the NFL should find ways to make games much more competitive, if its taking out some Thursday Night games etc, so be it.
Living in the DMV gives me a unique perspective of getting a pulse check on both the Ravens and the Redskins. One is a seemingly a better ran franchise with the exception of the Ray Rice case, i wouldnt go back to the Ray Lewis incident. Well, the other a dumpster fire for all intents and purposes. Let me touch on RG 3 for a minute. Personally, i think he has always been the problem. i think geting Shannhan run out of town was a big mistake by the Redskins. This dude spends his time on twitter and any outlet on social media trying to defend himself against his “haters”. If he spent half as much time trying to perfect his craft and not listening or paying attention to negative drivel, he will be better of for it. This social media banter reminds me of kids in high school and the kids i used to teach worrying about what others have to say, back and forth and general pettiness. There is a reason your team is in the dumps, reflect on yourself first and foremost.
I touched on the fact that the NFL is a week to week league, kudos to the giant slayers, by that i mean the Rams. You cant sleep on them, even though they wont make the playoffs disregard them at your own peril. Arizona is doing well, that is great staunch D and ok Offense. I still am not buying into them just yet. I feel like its a team, if and when they get a bye will be bounced out in quick order, but thats just my opinion.