Here’s Andy with his assessment of Sunday’s NFL action:
1. Reversal of Fortune – Sunday was a highly unusual game to say the least. The Patriots played a sloppy, uneven, mistake-filled first half and opened the second half by handing the Bills a beautifully gift wrapped 68-yard TD that was a truly hideous display of defensive ineptitude. At this point, my fragile psyche was headed to The Dark Side, with visions of taking a 1-3 record into a suddenly ominous looking October schedule.
Then, in a heartbeat, New England dropped the hammer with an offensive blitzkrieg the likes of which is rarely seen in professional football. The Bills, with their longtime division nemesis seemingly on the ropes, were blown of the field by New Englandâ€™s frightening display of offensive firepower.
2. Keep It Real – The Bills gave most of their linebacking corps the afternoon off on Sunday, choosing to focus on the New England passing game. The Patriots manhandled the voluntarily undersized Buffalo run defense to the tune of 247 rushing yards (6.2 yards per carry). Hope the local fans can maintain realistic expectations about the New England running game because that opportunity will not be there every week.
3. Welcome Back – Life is always just a bit rosier when Dave Wannstedt is on the job somewhere in the AFC East. Itâ€™s all good and well to try to slow down the New England passing attack, but somewhere along the way during the six consecutive touchdown/320 yard onslaught, most anyone who is not cognitively impaired or otherwise unconscious would have come to the realization that things were not working out according to plan. But Coach Dave steadfastly clung to Plan A, much to the delight of the extended families of Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden.
4. Say What? – The affable but increasingly clueless Peter King bestows co-Offensive Player of the Week honors on Kevin Kolb and Ryan Tannehill, the quarterbacks who took turns trying to give the game away in Arizonaâ€™s 24-21 overtime win against the Dolphins. It seems that turnovers when the game is on the line during the 4th quarter and in overtime are not as important as having good stats.
5. Nolo Contendere â€“ The Falcons and the Texans seem likely to clinch their divisions by Thanksgiving, if not Halloween. The ultra-early clinch is tricky business where keeping players focused can be a challenge. By the way, a bit too much noise from the Texans about being the Best Team in the League Right Now (whatever that means). Four games in, they havenâ€™t accomplished anything yet.
6. Punks â€“ You may recall the Lions doing a lot of chirping after they knocked the Patriots around in a 2011 preseason game. The reaction seemed immature and way over the top; I remember thinking – these guys do not get it. And they still donâ€™t. Now 1-3 and lucky not to be 0-4, the Lions are a waste of elite talent and prime example of what happens to a team that knows its Miranda rights better than its playbook.
7. Safety Dance – Those who may be discouraged about the play of the Patriotsâ€™ safeties might take some small amount of solace in the difficulties encountered elsewhere at this position. Exhibit A is Carolina Panthersâ€™ safety Haruki Nakamura, whose brutal afternoon against the Falcons included surrendering two TD passes to Roddy White as well as playing matador defense on Michael Turnerâ€™s 60 yard TD catch and run. But wait – thereâ€™s more! In a play you truly had to see to believe, Nakamura gave up a 59 yard pass completion to White on a play the Falcons ran from their own 1 yard line 59 seconds left and no time outs remaining. Matt Ryan threw a moonshot that Nakamura badly misplayed (the ball might have hit Nakamura in the heads had he just stood there), allowing White to make the reception which led to the winning FG for the Falcons.
8. This Week at The Big Apple Circus – What are our green friends up to now?
- The jetsâ€™ season is shaping up as an unimaginably foul, toxic green turd which is circling faster and faster in the bottom of the commode, soon to disappear entirely from sight. This is, of course, as it should be.
- In being humiliated by the 49ers Sunday, were the jets shockingly inept or did they merely reflect the extent to which they have truly sucked all along? When 49er CB Carlos Rogers suggested that the pathetic jets quit on Sunday, Le Grand Rex said the team didnâ€™t quit so much as there were just really, really tired. Maybe a little sad, too. But – mostly â€“ really, really tired.
- Meanwhile, the pressure mounts to replace the woefully overmatched Mark Sanchez with the massively overhyped Tim Tebow. As this space predicted just a few weeks ago, it’s just a matter of time. As injuries mount, the jetsâ€™ lack of frontline talent and useful depth becomes increasingly apparent (see McKnight, Joe – CB). Another lopsided loss or two (well, the next one is already in the barrel Monday night against Houston), the New York Sporting Press will begin openly clamoring for the jets to tank the season and begin the process of anointing Matt Barkley and/or Geno Smith as the greatest QB of all time.
- Local authorities in New York and New Jersey have begun gearing up for the convalescence of Santonio (the Sociopath) Holmes. Freed from the distractions of being a football player, Holmes is now expected to devote his full attention to his true calling â€“ being a public nuisance and professional menace to society.
9. Rematch #13 â€“ Brady vs. Manning on Sunday. Hard to improve on that.
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