Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The BDS Week Three NFL Wrap Up

Week three was very interesting.  There were comebacks and upsets galore in the early games followed by a bunch of predictable results but close games the rest of the day (well, except Ravens-Rams).  It's been an interesting first three weeks here in the NFL, but I'm going to cover the big picture around the league in my power rankings later this week, so for now I'm just going to get right into the game by game breakdowns...

Bills 34 Patriots 31
-This was a shocker if I've ever seen one.  As good as you may or may not have believed the Bills were going into this week, you couldn't have really thought they would beat the Patriots, especially if I told you they would be down 21-0 to start the game.  I'm still not believing in them yet, but I'm definitely going to be looking at ticket prices on that bandwagon soon.
-The bigger story here is the problems that New England appears to have on the defensive side of the ball.  Bill Belichick can scheme it up all he wants, but there is only so much you could do to produce pass rush when you don't have a great pass rusher on the team.  If someone doesn't step up soon, every game is going to become a shoot out.

Panthers 16 Jaguars 10
-The highlights of this game are worth a watch if you haven't seen them, because it was played in a ridiculous rain storm, and made for a highly entertaining game.
-Unfortunately for the Jaguars, the game showed even in the monsoon how over-matched they were, even when facing the Panthers.  The final score is closer than it should be, as the Jaguars scored on a cheap end of half lucky Hail-Mary in what should have been a 16-3 game.
-Might have more on this game later in the week, as I'm charting the second half for the guys over at Football Outsiders, but I doubt it.  Not sure what I would have to say.  Might just float out some tweets when I chart it.

49ers 13 Bengals 8
-An ugly game between two bad offenses here.  Both of these defenses are fairly passable, heck the Cincinnati defense might even be good, we don't know because they haven't played a good quarterback yet. They have a sneaky chance to shut down Ryan Fitzpatrick though this coming week.
-The 49ers really needed to make a change at quarterback this past offseason.  I thought they were hoping to do poorly and get Andrew Luck, but their schedule is just far to cream puff easy for them to end up with the first overall pick.

Browns 17 Dolphins 16
-Wow does my preseason pick of the Dolphins just look awful right now.  This team is just awful against the Pass.  When the other team needs to throw the ball to drive down field to score the winning touchdown in time, and you know that they need to throw it, and you still let Colt McCoy throw for over a third of his total yardage on the day on that drive, you aren't going to be winning many games in the (Ron Jaworski voice) National Football League.
-The Browns did a good job of winning a game here without their best offensive player.  Montario Hardesty looked solid in Peyton Hillis' place, but he's not the same back that Hillis is.  They will need him when they get him back next week against Tennessee.

Lions 26 Vikings 23 OT
-Through the end of the first half of this game on Sunday, it looked like everyone's early season opinions were wrong.  The Vikings looked to be in the process of blowing out the Lions until the Viking pass rush just disappeared in the second half.  From there on, it was all Lions, as their offense just marched up and down the field on the way to tying the game up.  I'll say it every week, but as long as Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are healthy, that offense is elite.
-And the opposite of elite, seems to be the Donovan McNabb led Vikings offense.  How can you not finish winning that game when you are up by 20 in the first half...Especially when Adrian Peterson is your running back?  It's just embarrassing.

Saints 40 Texans 33
-I was watching the Giants play early, so I was content, but I would have been especially excited to have seen this game.  I love defensive struggles, but I also love a good old fashioned shoot out, and that's what this was.  The story was the Texans' red zone struggles here, as they were forced to settle for 4 field goals from in the red zone.  I can't argue with their playcalling though, as on each of the red zone drives they attempted passes to Owen Daniels or Andre Johnson during the last set of downs, but failed to score.
-Drew Brees has been quietly tearing it up for three straight weeks now.  The Saints have scored 30 plus in all three games, including the pair against Chicago and Green Bay.  They would score 50 next week against Jacksonville if the Jaguars had the offense to keep up.

Giants 29 Eagles 16
-I'm a bit of a homer, but I did predict a Giants victory in my pick column on Saturday night, and this game played out much like I expected a Giant win would.  The Giants were able to take advantage of the bad linebackers and safeties of the Eagles for some big plays in the passing game, and the Giants' defensive line just dominated the Eagles' offensive line, beating up Michael Vick all game long on the way to knocking him out of the game.
-This loss has to be a worry for the Eagles going forward, as the Cowboys and Redskins have the personnel on both sides of the ball to take advantage of the Eagles' weaknesses in the same way.  The Eagles can take advantage of some of the other teams on their schedule, but are going to be in for some rough matchups in their divisional games.

Titans 17 Broncos 14
-The Titans are going to keep winning these games against these bad teams because their defense is so shut down.  They can smother your running attack and do a good job disrupting a short passing game.  When their running game gets it turned around, they are going to be good.
-Losing Kenny Britt is a huge loss though, as he was emerging as a elite down the field threat and seemed to have a good connection with Matt Hasselbeck.  Next man up in Tennessee.
-I'm a big Tim Tebow guy.  Kyle Orton isn't a long term answer, and they need to know whether or not Tebow is the future.  They also need to stop getting booed at home, because Mile High used to provide a good home field advantage, and they are getting booed because Tebow isn't playing.  Just saying.

Raiders 34 Jets 24
-Another upset that picked this weekend, the Raiders dominated the Jets with their ground attack and Darren McFadden.  Rex Ryan can scheme them up all he wants, but the big contracts of the Corners and the skill position players on offense mean they don't have too much going on athletically in the interior of their defense.  The Jets are discipline enough to shut down speed backs, and get to the ball great against power backs, but a power/speed combination like McFadden can really hurt them on the ground.  Don't be surprised if Ray Rice has a big game against them this week.
-The Raiders did a good job taking away Santonio Holmes all game, and holding the Jets off more often than not in the second half.  The Raiders might just have a loss to a sneaky good Bills team on their record, and may be better than anyone thinks.

Chargers 20 Chiefs 17
-It's September, and that means for some reason or another, it's Chargers suck month.  They were lucky to pull out a win here because an absolute gift of a interception from Matt Cassel to Eric Weddle.  The Chargers should come around soon, but they need to get a healthy Antonio Gates in the lineup if they want to go far.
-The Chiefs played their best game yet this season, but it still wasn't really much.  They had major trouble running the ball, and the passing game was high percentage, but not that high yardage.  This is still a football team with major holes.

Ravens 37 Rams 7
-Just like you didn't want to be playing the Steelers last week after they were embarrassed by the Ravens, you similarly didn't want to be playing the Ravens following their smackdown by the Titans, but that's what happened to the poor Rams here.  The Ravens just went up and down the field on them, and the defense was lights out.
-I still think the Rams will be interesting this year, and have a shot at the NFC West, just had a monstrous first three games on the schedule.

Packers 27 Bears 17
-It's great that the Packers are winning games, but you have to be worried by the margins of victory.  They haven't really put away an opponent yet, even though we all "know" they are fully capable of doing it.  I want to see one run away victory from this team before I go all in on them.
-The Bears had a beautiful trick play go to waste on that last punt return because of an unfortunate holding call.  The hold definitely happened on the play, it was just very early on and the player had no real reason to hold the guy.  Everyone watching Devin Hester is something you often hear special teams coaches talking about, and the play call was an amazing way to turn that around on the other teams.

Seahawks 13 Cardinals 10
-Just an awful game for anyone who had to watch this.  I'm glad I don't have to watch this one.  NFC West teams shouldn't be shown on local television until one of em finishes with eight wins.

Buccaneers 16 Falcons 13
-The Falcons had a horrible offensive day, because their offensive line just got mauled by the Buccaneer defensive line all day long.  The Buccaneers picked up four sacks on the day and held the Falcons to just 30 yards rushing.
-The Buccaneers didn't do a great job on offense though, because they couldn't throw the ball down the field, completing a long pass of just 24 yards on the day.  The Falcon defense did a good job of limiting them from big plays the whole game.

Steelers 23 Colts 20
-The Steelers played a sloppy sloppy football game, but managed to come out on top, which is a testament to how bad this Colt team is without Peyton Manning.  I'm actually worried about the Steelers after this game, because they shouldn't have let this Sunday Night game be that close.

Cowboys 18 Redskins 16
-This game was nearly as bad as the Sunday Night game, and left neither team looking good. Dallas only had Jason Witten and half a Dez Bryant to throw to, and the Redskins had problems in the redzone, because they don't have much size on the offensive side of the ball.
-The Redskins offense might have more days like this coming and less of what we saw in the early weeks.  It is helmed by Rex Grossman.

-Fred "Big Derf" Tobin

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