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My Week 8 Thoughts

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  • My Week 8 Thoughts

    My week 8 thoughts are a little short and not as throughly checked this week. I’ve had a lot on my docket so I have to keep this short and sweet.



    Top Story

    New England runs up the score, again

    I don’t care what anyone says about this being a professional’s game, and stuff like that. There is an unwritten rule that when the game is out of hand you start playing conservatively and even start taking your starters out. Albeit the line is admittedly vague and undetermined, but I am convinced that not only have the New England Patriots crossed that line, they’ve repeatedly done so. Throwing deep down the field with 3-4 WR sets, and going for it on 4th down when you are up by five touchdowns is just downright unnecessary. If they want to do that kind of thing then they need to recognize the risk. When a D-Lineman goes “Vince Wilfork” on Tom Brady in the 4th quarter when they are still throwing deep down the field, then the Patriots have no right to complain. Just like in Baseball when you know that retaliation is coming, it’s merely a matter of time.

    Scheme Analysis

    The existence of a shut-down corner

    I for one do not buy that such a player exists. It’s only natural; the WR knows where he is going and is running forward, the CB is backpedaling and does not know where the play is going. I remember seeing the first game Brett Favre played as a Packer, and Sterling Sharpe beat Rod Woodson twice for touchdowns. And that was when the rules favored the corners more then they do now. People have been quick to proclaim Champ Bailey as a “shut-down” corner, but I don’t buy it. I have seen him get beat far too often for that term to apply. Tonight, for example, he was beat by James Jones because he was peeking in the backfield. Does that mean he isn’t a great corner? No it does not. What it does mean is that it doesn’t matter how good the corner is, if the offense executes then he will not win. That is why teams are moving towards 2-deep safety defensive schemes; particularly the Tampa 2.

    Weekly News

    The Saints triumphant return to relevance

    He is back to being the guy we saw last year. He played near flawless football against the San Francisco 49ers. This leaves the Saints in an interesting situation. They should be able to give Tampa Bay and Carolina a good run. That being said I still like the Bucs in this division, but at least it is interesting now. The Saints are finally back offensively. I attribute this to three players getting their acts together: Jammal Brown, Marques Colston, and Reggie Bush. All three were underachieving and are now playing at a level that I would have expected out of them.

    The Titans defense just wins games

    Vince Young does not. Many will use the Titans’ 4-2 record with Vince Young as some form of evidence that he is doing his job as a QB. The fact is he has even regressed from last year, and is quite frankly playing miserable football right now. He isn’t making dynamic plays as a runner and certainly not as a passer. Some may say that he doesn’t have great receivers, and this is true to an extent, but that didn’t stop Kerry Collins last week from having a nice game. Last year he was the lowest rated passer in the NFL, and this year little has changed. The only good game he had as a passer was against the anemic Saints’ pass defense. The Titans defense, on the other hand, deserves an abundance of praise for their performance. Kyle Vanden Bosch and Albert Haynesworth have dominated O-Lineman all year, Keith Bulluck is having his best individual season, and the secondary is playing aggressive and physical football.

    Maybe Jon Kitna wasn’t crazy after all

    I picked the Lions to rise and contend for a play-off bid in the NFC, and they are exceeding even my expectations. They are 5-2 and in the conference they are in they have a great opportunity to be the wild-card. The NFC South is unlikely to get two teams in, with the winner looking to finish 9-7 at best. The NFC West is in even worse straits in regards to quality. What impresses me about the Lions is how opportunistic their defense has been. They have had struggles, sure, but they’ve made key plays when they have had to make them. After the bye week they have really clamped down on the defensive side of the ball. Even better is that now Kevin Jones is back they have a good rushing attack. Rod Marinelli has that team going in the right direction for the first time in a long time.

    This is the best London could get?

    An ugly and wet game that featured a match-up between a 0-7 Dolphins squad and a Giants team that played rather sloppily. The NFL has a chance to expand the sport, much like MLB and the NBA have done; however, in order to do that they need to give the international game their best stuff. The NFL’s supposed advantage over “futbol” is it’s high scoring, high octane play. When your game is 13-10 you aren’t showing what makes your game special. So I thought of what the NFL should have done: (hypothetically) next week the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts face off in Wembley Stadium. You have two juggernaut Quarterbacks and high flying offenses to the masses. If you give London that game between the league’s two best teams on a neutral field then the odds that the game would have created a much larger buzz in the international community.

    Hodgepodge

    Antonio Cromartie has always had incredible physical abilities. After a bad start to the season the Chargers’ young defensive backs have stepped up. Cromartie, in particular, is making tremendous strides.

    Vernon Davis has finally returned to the level of performance he was showing at the tail end of the past season. He was the lone bright spot in the 49ers’ game against the Saints.

    The Cleveland Browns’ offense has been spectacular. Derek Anderson, and I will say this again, is making the trade for Brady Quinn look like a poor decision in hindsight. Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards are making spectacular catches. The O-Line is finally paying dividends. All they are missing is a dominant RB to take the offense into the elite category.

    One of the problems with writing about something as unpredictable as the NFL is that often you will be proven wrong. Tonight I will have to apologize to Brett Favre, and more importantly his legion of rabid fans, for saying that the Redskins’ game was going to be indicative of his performance from then on. He played great on MNF and threw one of the best passes of the season on that strike to Greg Jennings.

    Jay Cutler didn’t lead his team to the win, but he did lead the Broncos into position to make overtime. Who knows if the Broncos would have won the toss what would have happened, but he’s shown flashes of greatness. He still needs to refine his game and knock the kinks out.

    The Jets are finally going to Kellen Clemens. Now that they are eliminated from any playoff contention they will get to see what they have for the future. I personally see very good things in Kellen Clemens and have always liked him as a prospect.
    Last edited by Shiver; 10-30-2007, 01:31 AM.


  • #2
    i always enjoy reading what you think Shiver probly the best weekly post on the fourm

    Comment


    • #3
      VY hasn't regressed from last year, he's throwing it better as shown by a vastly better %, but the change is the play calling isn't as focused on his run threat and he is clearly not opting to scramble in place of letting passing plays develop. I think this is his first real season developing as the type of passer has to be as his style last year was never going to be sustainable for his career. It helped win games last season but he was always going to have to take on more of a passing focus and this is what we're seeing - for some reason I expected it to be smooth but now in hindsight that was clearly an unrealistic expectation because it's a significant change from what he was asked and directed to do last year.

      Comment


      • #4
        As far as the Pats running up the score...I agree it is pretty bushleague. However, I think they are sending a message to other teams...saying ya we are going to beat you and beat you bad. Now while I don't agree with this type of play it might make some of those lesser teams think that have no chance...rather than saying well they only beat so and so by 10 pts...I think it is a smart idea to instill fear into your opponents...but I still think it's bush league.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the good read, I enjoyed it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Sigh. I am kind of dissapointed because its shorter than usual. Good stuff though.

            "He's the leader of the next great class of NFL players." - John Elway on Matt Ryan

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            • #7
              I always love your stuff Shiv and I too have always been high on Cromartie. I really wanted to see him as a Buccaneer but even if he made it too their pick I doubt he would have been taken anyway.

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              • #8
                Yeah. Cromartie was a man to man kind of guy, right? I really liked him coming out of college, but in the Pros he kind of dissappeared for a bit. Glad to see him making strides. He has such amazing physical talent. What did he run for his 40?

                "He's the leader of the next great class of NFL players." - John Elway on Matt Ryan

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Shiver View Post
                  Jay Cutler didnít lead his team to the win, but he did lead the Broncos into position to make overtime. Who knows if the Broncos would have won the toss what would have happened, but heís shown flashes of greatness. He still needs to refine his game and knock the kinks out.
                  The first sentence is right, just backwards:

                  Jay Cutler did lead the Broncos into position to make overtime, but he didnít lead his team to the win.
                  Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.

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                  • #10
                    Actually its fine the first way.

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                    • #11
                      The England game was such a mess and mostly because of the field. Not to mention that fans had whistles in the stands and were blowing them the whole game. Jason Taylor even said it messed him up on a couple of occasions. I'm just glad no one got hurt. Although on a wet field like that it might actually be harder to get hurt because you can't get caught in the field. You would just slide.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Have to agree there really aren't any true "Shut Down" Corners in this league anymore that will completely take a way the whole side of the field anymore. With the contact rules prohibiting many corners from being physical outside of the 1st five yards, and also the sheer athleticism and talent at the Wide Receiver position now days every Cornerback in the league is bound to get burned at some point; it's just the nature of the position. Now there are still highly effective Cornerbacks that can severely limit what opposing teams can do in the passing game, and will consistently limit receivers to short gains and avoid giving up the big play with frequency, but even the best like Champ Bailey are bound to get burned every once in a while.

                        The Saints showed me that they had some character, a lot of teams would implode and turn on each other after starting 0-4 like that. I don't know whatever it was the was holding their Offense back those first four games but it looks like they got over it. Drew Brees played an All-Pro type game, Marques Colston saved up all his energy and just exploded in one game, and Reggie Bush is slowly but surely learning the nuances of being a featured workhorse Running back.

                        Not sure what's going on with Vince, didn't really watch the game much but the numbers look bad. I heard he had 2 crucial drops that could've been potential Touchdowns in the 4th quarter..and that will hurt. but I don't know why Chow would restrict the Offense so much by holding back Vince's best ability to scramble out of the pocket and make things happen on his own.

                        The Lions are impressing me, and Jon Kitna may just reach his goal. I think at the very least Detroit should be in prime position for a Wild Card in the NFC. (Green Bay will be hard to overtake in the North) The Defense is opportunistic.. yes they get beat for big plays but when turnover opportunities arise they make the most of it, and Kitna is playing at a very efficient level. Their schedule becomes a little more difficult from here on out, but this much is known: The Lions aren't pushovers anymore.

                        Cromartie, great physical abilities looks like he's finally starting to settle in. Derek Anderson is playing lights out; not sure if this is a flash in the pan type things or if he really developed into a Pro Bowl caliber QB, but either way I think the Browns invested too much into Quinn to trade him away. I think we'll see the Brees/Rivers, Kitna/Palmer part Deux situation play out in Cleveland. Favre still has the cannon, that was a beautiful clutch pass in OT to Jennings for the win.

                        Looks like your boy Penny was finally benched ;) Have to say I agree with the decision, while I can't blame all the Jets recent problems on Pennington his physical limitations were restricting what the Jets could do on Offense too much. Will Clemens fare much better? Probably not early on.. he'll go through struggles especially behind that O-line but at least he'll receive some valuable playing experience for the future.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Champ was inactive last week and there's a good chance he was still feeling the effects of that. Is he a Primetime type shutdown guy? No, but he is the closest thing to it in the NFL.


                          Originally posted by Scott Wright
                          Terrellezzzzzzzz Pryorzzzzzzzz!
                          Originally posted by njx9
                          do i tell you when to flip the burger?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CutlerChris View Post
                            Champ was inactive last week and there's a good chance he was still feeling the effects of that. Is he a Primetime type shutdown guy? No, but he is the closest thing to it in the NFL.
                            Bailey is getting all this flack, but he was inches from batting the ball down.

                            http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d803bc832

                            If that throw wasn't perfect, or Bailey wasn't coming off of an injury, Bailey makes an amazing play saving a TD, and everyone is talking about his brilliance.

                            I think it's funny.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Auron View Post
                              Have to agree there really aren't any true "Shut Down" Corners in this league anymore that will completely take a way the whole side of the field anymore. With the contact rules prohibiting many corners from being physical outside of the 1st five yards, and also the sheer athleticism and talent at the Wide Receiver position now days every Cornerback in the league is bound to get burned at some point; it's just the nature of the position. Now there are still highly effective Cornerbacks that can severely limit what opposing teams can do in the passing game, and will consistently limit receivers to short gains and avoid giving up the big play with frequency, but even the best like Champ Bailey are bound to get burned every once in a while.
                              Champ Bailey can shutdown average receivers, even above average receivers. But he has been dominated by players like Chad Johnson, Terrell Owens, and even Jerry Porter.

                              The Saints showed me that they had some character, a lot of teams would implode and turn on each other after starting 0-4 like that. I don't know whatever it was the was holding their Offense back those first four games but it looks like they got over it. Drew Brees played an All-Pro type game, Marques Colston saved up all his energy and just exploded in one game, and Reggie Bush is slowly but surely learning the nuances of being a featured workhorse Running back.
                              I still don't like their defense. That said they only need to go 5-3 to put themselves in a nice position for the NFC South crown. I would not be surprised to see 8-8 win both the South and the West.

                              Not sure what's going on with Vince, didn't really watch the game much but the numbers look bad. I heard he had 2 crucial drops that could've been potential Touchdowns in the 4th quarter..and that will hurt. but I don't know why Chow would restrict the Offense so much by holding back Vince's best ability to scramble out of the pocket and make things happen on his own.
                              I saw both of those drops. It hurt his stats, but that still didn't change the fact that Vince isn't doing anything well at this point. If you are going to be a bottom of the barrel passer you need to compensate with athletic ability. Why he isn't doing that is beyond me.

                              The Lions are impressing me, and Jon Kitna may just reach his goal. I think at the very least Detroit should be in prime position for a Wild Card in the NFC. (Green Bay will be hard to overtake in the North) The Defense is opportunistic.. yes they get beat for big plays but when turnover opportunities arise they make the most of it, and Kitna is playing at a very efficient level. Their schedule becomes a little more difficult from here on out, but this much is known: The Lions aren't pushovers anymore.
                              I like that the defense is playing much more sound defensively since the bye week. It looks like they used that extra week to tweak some things and now they are playing opportunistic and sound defense. Will that hold up? I don't know.

                              Cromartie, great physical abilities looks like he's finally starting to settle in. Derek Anderson is playing lights out; not sure if this is a flash in the pan type things or if he really developed into a Pro Bowl caliber QB, but either way I think the Browns invested too much into Quinn to trade him away. I think we'll see the Brees/Rivers, Kitna/Palmer part Deux situation play out in Cleveland. Favre still has the cannon, that was a beautiful clutch pass in OT to Jennings for the win.
                              I think the Browns may just put a nice tender on Anderson and trade him ala Matt Schaub situation. If Brady Quinn isn't good then it will be a poor decision; however, they really don't have an alternative considering they put in a 2nd round and 1st round pick to get him.

                              Looks like your boy Penny was finally benched ;) Have to say I agree with the decision, while I can't blame all the Jets recent problems on Pennington his physical limitations were restricting what the Jets could do on Offense too much. Will Clemens fare much better? Probably not early on.. he'll go through struggles especially behind that O-line but at least he'll receive some valuable playing experience for the future.

                              I think it has been a few weeks too late. If they put Clemens in against soft defenses like Cincinnati and Buffalo he would have had an easier transition. Now he faces the Redskins' defense.

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