Hot n' Cold (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Like Tampa Bay, they looked awful this past week. Luckily for them, Josh Scobee's 59 yard game winning field goal against Indy is still in the back of a lot of people's minds. The Jags are not a playoff team in the AFC, and play in the hardest division in the NFL, but they are not far away. They seem to be missing a playmaker on both sides of the ball. MJD has been good, but not great this year, and the defense is solid. Unfortunately, solid doesn't get it done in the AFC South. [Trending: 8-8 season. Good for the best last place record in recent memory. Mediocre]
Where is Mariano Rivera when you need him? (Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins)
I don't even need to differentiate these teams from each other, because they are so similar. They are similar especially in one category: closing. They can't finish. They get SO close, it just doesn't happen. You kind of feel bad for them. It's like the Jamaicans in "Cool Runnings," they come so close to winning, but at the last second the bobsled falls apart. The Redskins have had a few games come down to the last play, and the Broncos have lost by less than a TD a couple of times. Both have a QB who can air it out (how about Kyle Orton! He looks awesome) and some good playmakers on both sides of the ball, but neither team can figure it out in the 4th quarter. I think the problem with these teams is defense. They aren't getting stops when it really matters. If the defenses can turn it around, both of these teams could be tough to beat down the stretch. [Trending: Say it with me: D- Fence! (clap clap) D- Fence! (clap clap) D- Fence! Upwards]
The rest of the rankings I will do without explanations because I am lazy, and because no one really knows who's better than who from here on out:
15. Chicago Bears [Trending: Atrocious offensive line is going to be their demise. Downwards]
14. Houston Texans [Trending: Their defense reminds me of the Pats D from 2 years ago. Nuff' Said. Literally, it is impossible to predict what will happen with them]
13.Green Bay Packers [Trending: They must get healthy, or they are going to find themselves out of the playoffs. Down, for now]
12. Miami Dolphins [Trending: Too inconsistent for the top 10. Must figure out their special teams problems. Holding steady]
11. Tennessee Titans [Trending: Thanks to a couple of blowouts, this team has the best point differential in the league. I'm still not sold. Upwards regardless]
10. Atlanta Falcons [Trending: Considered the best in the NFC until this week, they seem way too shaky both offensively and defensively. Slightly downwards.]
9. New York Giants [Trending: Would have put them higher, but they should have beaten the Lions more handily. A win is a win though. Rising quickly.]
8. Kansas City Chiefs [Trending: Two or three plays away from being undefeated, this is a very good team which remains underrated. Upwards]
7. New Orleans Saints [Trending: Almost unstoppable with a running game. Back to the playoffs]
6. Philadelphia Eagles [Trending: With Kolb or Vick, this team is the class of the NFC. Upwards]
5. Indianapolis Colts [Trending: Peyton Manning is amazing. Playoffs]
4. Baltimore Ravens [Trending: This team could be 6-0 or 2-4. Defense is very good, and offense is balanced well. Playoffs]
3. New England Patriots [Trending: If the Defense plays as well as they did in the 4th quarter and overtime (HUGE if), they are almost impossible to beat. Upwards]
2. New York Jets [Trending: Sanchez is back to planet earth, Tomlinson is still floating in space though. The defense is still great, but Revis looks mediocre. Upwords]
1. Pittsburgh Steelers [Trending: Just got back a top 5 quarterback, and were already a top team. They are the best in the NFL until they lose with Roethlisberger. Top seed in the AFC]
OK! Well, that is the last time I do a 32 team ranking! Moving on...
Lets talk Patriots football:
1) What a freakin huge win! And what a game! That was one of the most exciting regular season games that I can remember. It sort of reminds me of the Patriots-Texans game from 2003. We seemed lost on offense the whole game, but Tom brought us back in the end of the 4th, and then we won it in overtime. Thing is, our defense and special teams won it this time just as much as Tommy Boy. Great game all around.
2) Zoltan Mesko had his breakout game (wait, can you even say that for a punter?) capped off by an absolute BOMB in overtime. That punt killed Baltimore's chance at good field position, and also didn't allow a chance for a return, which always seems to swing overtime games. This is the second game in a row that may have been won by special teams. Last game it was the return unit and the block units, and this week it was Gostkowski and Zoltan. It is always nice to see the special teams get some credit, and they certainly have earned it these past couple of games.
3) Where did that defense come from? In the first 3 quarters, it was same old for the Pats D. They were getting killed by the pass, and couldn't seem to get off the field on third downs. By the time the game was over, the Ravens were a paltry 5-16 on third down attempts. The D did a fantastic job of limiting the explosive Ray Rice (who killed us in the playoffs last year) to just 3.1 YPC and a game long of just 8 yards. We haven't seen that in these parts since the good ole' days of Richard Seymour, Ted Washington and Tedy Bruschi.
4) Deion Branch! Welcome Back! I can't say enough about how well he played. Once the offense got into a rhythm (I'll admit, it took a while) it was so fun to watch Tom and Deion play pitch and catch. (http://www.nfl.com/videos/new-england-patriots/09000d5d81b76e41/Brady-reunited-with-Branch) It brought me back to the last Super Bowl win, where I watched Deion rip apart the fast Eagles defense for 133 yards on 11 catches and take home the Super Bowl MVP. My brothers and I met him and his whole family during the post game party (thanks dad!), and he couldn't have been a nicer dude (unlike Corey Dillon, what a JERK). I am happy to have him back, and I think he is happy to be back. There is an awesome piece about him in this weeks Monday Morning Quarterback by Peter King:
[Should be right at the top of the page. If not, this is page 2 of the article.]
5) Aaron Hernandez is human. After playing out of his mind for the first few weeks, we finally saw some chinks in the 20 year old's armor. He had two very costly drops in overtime. He would have been the goat if it weren't for Brady and Branch's heroics on the last drive.
6) The Ravens defense is unbelievably good, and they still don't have perennial pro-bowler Ed Reed. They are so fast, and so strong, they completely shrink the field. If Flacco can emerge into a superstar in the second half of the season, this team will probably be in the Super Bowl.
7) Haloti Ngata is the best defensive tackle in the league. He is also probably the third best defensive player in the NFL behind Polamalu and Peppers. He is absolutely gigantic (6'4, 350) and is extremely quick for a man his size. He wreaked havoc on the Sanchize in week 1, had a monster game in Baltimore's win over Pittsburgh (11 tackles, 1 sack), and had another terrific game this week (7 tackles, 2 sacks). He may be the only athlete in the world who could both literally and figuratively carry his whole team on his shoulders.
8) I refuse to write about big hits and concussions, because everyone else is doing it, and honestly, what do I know. But Brandon Meriweather is a moron. His hit on Todd Heap was not only vicious, but stupid. The penalty cost the defense a third down stop. Meriweather constantly gives Belichick reasons to yank him from the game, and one of these times, he is not going to be put back in.
9) Danny Woodhead. Wow. This kid doesn't go down. What an awesome game from him. He rejuvenated the running game after BJGE's TD run (he had 10 rushes for 20 yards. O, Boy.) There were some times where he literally seemed to come out of nowhere and gain 10 yards. Tom Brady needs a player like him to succeed, and he seems to thrive in the Kevin Falk-type role of checkdown reciever and draw-play runner. He is going to get a ton of snaps from here on out. Did I mention he is my height!!
On to the links:
Shaughnessy's article on the Patriots really brings home the old school feel that comes with watching the new look Pats:
As usual, MacMullen wrote a perfect piece:
I wrote yesterday that he's an A-Hole. This is just strange:
Very interesting observation (taken from Yahoo Sports):
I don't like Lebron, and apparently other people don't as well (I don't condone the racism though):
On to youtube:
RIDICULOUS one handed catch by Pierre Garcon of the Colts (look at the angle at the 31 second mark. Just outrageous):
2 Outrageous plays by the best defensive player in the league, Troy Polamalu (not from this week):
A hit that went under the radar this weekend:
I wrote about Bradford last time. This is why, most rookies can't make this throw:
Who do you start? Vick or Kolb?
Hilarious video my brother sent to me. You gotta love High School Football in Texas:
And another thing:
Even before tonight's victory over the Rangers, I felt like the Yanks weren't done. The last 3 games of the series are going to be an absolute slugfest. If the Rangers don't win game 6, the Yanks will win in 7.