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NFL week four – Review: who’s hot?

I would like to take a minute and bow my head. George Blanda passed last week. As I remember him, he was a guy who simply figured out a way to win.

After my amazing week 3, 11-5 record, I was flying high. I had a good feeling for the NFL and and who was hot and who was not. Yet, week four brought me right down to earth. My predictions were worth much less than the toilet paper they were printed on. I went 6-7. Several games that I thought were toss-ups went the other way. Basically, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. So, I thought I’d spend a little time going over a few teams that I thought were hot.

Demarcus Ware

I’m going to start with my Dallas Cowboys. I do not know if they’re hot. Winning one game really doesn’t make a team hot. I know they finally played a decent game and beat the Houston Texans. I think it is anybody’s guess whether the Dallas Cowboys will play well on Sunday or not. Again, I think the key to the Dallas Cowboys is going to be Tony Romo. If he is able to throw the ball effectively, this will open up the run game. From the defensive side of the ball, I think DeMarcus Ware is emerging as a defensive leader. The defense has worked extremely well at stopping the run. In my mind, the Dallas Cowboys remain a huge question mark.

Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers appear to be the class of the AFC. They’re extremely similar teams. They played outstanding defense. Their offense is driven by the run. Ben Roethlisberger has rejoined the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are off this week, giving Ben another week to work with his receivers. It just seems that the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to get better. Joe Flacco has played better for the Baltimore Ravens. It is going to be interesting to see how these teams do down the stretch.

I am almost ready to sign off on Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets. He’s played extremely consistently. He has thrown the ball with accuracy and velocity. The Jets get Santonio Holmes back from suspension this week. LaDanian Tomlinson is playing like he did four or five years ago. In my opinion, the Jets are the number one team in the AFC.

The Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots seem to have lots of questions. The Colts offense does not yet seem to be on track. The Colts defense does not seem to be able to make plays when they need to. The New England Patriots just traded away Randy Moss. It is hard for me to see that that’s gonna make their offense better. Their defense seems to have significant issues, especially in the secondary. I’m not saying that these teams can’t fix their problems. I’m saying they have to fix their problems in order for them to get better.

The NFC is currently sad. I don’t see any dominant teams. This, of course, will work in the Cowboys’ favor. The New Orleans Saints present somewhat of a head scratcher. They don’t seem to have any defensive identity. They don’t seem to be particularly good at stopping the run or the pass. Their defense is not forcing turnovers like they did last year. Their offense looks like that beautiful 10-cylinder Mercedes that is only firing on six cylinders.

Brett Farve

The Minnesota Vikings are just like that chili recipe that I made last year. I followed the recipe exactly and the chili looked good. It just didn’t taste so good. It seems like there was just something missing. That’s the Minnesota Vikings. On paper, they look great. On the field, they’re missing the spark that Brett Favre can provide. Brett Favre seems to be missing his receivers. He is not hitting them in stride. His ball location is off. I don’t see how Randy Moss is going to help this. On the other hand, Randy Moss will open up some running lanes for Adrian Peterson. Randy Moss will demand double coverage, which will pull a safety out of the box. This should help open up some running lanes for Adrian Peterson.

Honorable mentions: I’m not sure what’s going on with the Green Bay Packers. They seem to be going through the motions, but can’t get it together. The Atlanta Falcons may be playing somewhat better. The Philadelphia Eagles need Michael Vick. Michael Vick was playing extremely well. I don’t think that Kevin Kolb is this man. The Houston Texans need Andre Johnson to be healthy. He changes the whole complexion of their offense. They need some players to step up.

By |2010-10-08T12:26:05-04:00October 8th, 2010|Sports|2 Comments

More on the Cowboys' loss

(Part 1 of this summary) If you look at the box score, the Cowboys seem to have played a halfway decent game against the Arizona Cardinals. But if you look more closely at the game, you know, just as I know, that the Cowboys looked terrible. This is not to take anything away from the Arizona Cardinals and Kurt Warner.

Our offensive line has not looked this bad in four or five years. The Arizona Cardinals look like the blitzing defense of the Philadelphia Eagles. There were men coming up the middle. There were men collapsing the pockets from the sides. At no point during the game did it appear that we had a handle on their blitz packages. We did not run the ball very well. We did not throw the ball very well.

This was the worst outing of our special teams in maybe a decade. A kickoff returned for a touchdown. A missed 39-yard field goal. A blocked punt recovered for a touchdown. I’m not sure that the special teams could have had a worse day.

Our defense played fairly well for the first half of the game. They contained the run. They forced the Arizona Cardinals into second and third downs with five or more to go. This all evaporated in the third quarter. The Cardinals had two drives — 11 plays, 60 yards in four minutes and 50 seconds; eight plays, 89 yards in just under five minutes. Larry Fitzgerald’s third-quarter touchdown was an embarrassment. This was the exact same play that was run against us last week. It was a scissor play or a pic play run by the two outside receivers. The coaching staff anticipated the play and double covered Larry Fitzgerald.  Yet we didn’t execute. Touchdown! Not really forgivable.

The cost of losing this game seems to be getting higher by the hour. Tony Romo has broken a finger on his throwing hand and will be out for at least four weeks. Matt McBriar broke a bone in his foot and probably will not be available to punt for 6-8 weeks. Felix Jones, our good-looking rookie, is out for at least two weeks with a deep thigh bruise.

Maybe this was the best thing that could have happened to the Dallas Cowboys. Maybe they can start playing with some emotion and some focus. Brad Johnson is a very capable quarterback but he is immobile. The offensive line has got to do better. Everyone has got to step up and begin to play together as a team or the Dallas Cowboys can forget going deep into the playoffs. Right now the Dallas Cowboys are in trouble. They need everyone to step up.  The coaches and the players need to do everything better.

By |2008-10-13T23:57:06-04:00October 13th, 2008|Domestic Issues|Comments Off on More on the Cowboys' loss
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