Don Shula couldn’t have helped Miami this past Thursday as they once again looked unprepared and overmatched against an opponent. A Dolphin turnaround was a bit premature seeing that they blew out Houston and Tennessee. In the next four weeks Miami has three tough road games in Buffalo, Philly and the Jets sandwiched around a home game against Dallas with most likely a healthy Tony Romo. They could lose all four even with improved play, but if they could split those games, their next four are easier and could have a wildcard chance to be determined by their final game at home against the Patriots.
Why is nobody talking about Denver going undefeated? They just had a convincing win over Green Bay and their only real remaining threats to lose are a home game against the Pats, a road game against Pittsburgh and a home game against Cincy? Very doable especially with this dominant D. It is probable that the winner of the Pats-Denver game goes undefeated barring injuries.
As for Carolina, I think there is a real chance Indy pulls off an upset tonight, but if not, they host a disgruntled Green Bay team. There run comes to an end either this week or next.
Holy Atlanta Falcons Batman. Have you ever seen a less impressive 6-2 team. In their last four games, Atlanta has lost to the Saints and now the Bucs and have barely beaten the Titans and Redskins. A softball against the Niners this next week should help, but the Falcons ship seems to be taking on water.
I would be remiss if I didn’t convey the statistical ineptitude that is taking place with St. Louis Ram QB Nick Foles. He is on pace to become the first quarterback since 2004 to play in 16 games, throw for less than 3000 yards and rush for less than 100 yards. If you guessed Drew Bledsoe as the suspect in 2004, you get a big pat-on-the-back. He also will be the 10th QB to accomplish this in the last 40 years. Meanwhile, Todd Gurley is one-man wrecking crew and his dominance is that much more impressive because he is a rookie and because defenses stack the box and essentially ignore Foles and he is still dominating.
Another huge win for Cincy this week in Pittsburgh despite the return of Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers, who fell to 4-4 have now lost star running back Le’veon Bell for the rest of the year which can be overcome if D’Angelo Williams stays healthy which is rare.
Looks like the Pats exposed the Jets as the doormat Raiders humiliated the Jets 34-20. Jets personnel can point to losing Ryan Fitzpatrick early in the game, but Fitzpatrick isn’t part of that allegedly dominant Jets secondary that let Jim Plunkett, I mean Derek Carr throw four touchdowns. Tom Brady could have easily thrown for over 400 yards the previous week if there weren’t so many drops. Not sure if Revis and Cromartie have lost a step, but this Jets defense isn’t very good right now. But I am looking forward to seeing Bryce Petty behind center this Sunday.
Thank goodness the deflated footballs are a thing of the past. No more Patriots advantages. See the Patriots were supposed to have many more turnovers this year now that they have to deflate the balls properly. Well that sure is playing out. Last year, the Pats had 13 fumbles and only lost four, this year at the almost halfway point, they have five fumbles and have lost two. So the fumble advantage seems to be a fantasy, but the interception stats will prove out. Last year Brady had nine and this year so far he has one. The Pats are 1-0 against NFL bug locker room sweeps also.
One more Patriots note. When I looked at the contract situations of Seattle, Denver, Green Bay and New England, the Packers and Seahawks have essentially tied up all their core players until 2018 or longer. The Broncos have Emmanuel Sanders as a free agent in 2017, but the Patriots have huge contract issues looming. After next season, Chandler Jones, Donta Hightower, Jamie Collins, Jabaal Sheard, Rob Ninkovich and Sebastian Vollmer are all free agents. Can’t wait to see how those negotiations go especially when Jones, Hightower and Collins are all in their prime.
Lastly, I want to blast some huge problem children and NFL troublemakers. I am not talking about Greg Hardy for trying to fight his whole team on the sideline last week, as he really isn’t a bad guy. I am not even talking about Prince Shembo of the Falcons who killed his ex-girlfriend’s dog in self-defense and at Notre Dame allegedly assaulted a nearby student. And I am definitely not talking about the 31 players arrested so far this season including six instances of domestic violence, five DUI’s (Deweys as my nine-year old calls them) and three guns/weapons charges. These guys are getting a bad rap.
I am here to point out the real degenerates in the league that are permanently effecting the reputation and bottom line in the NFL. Brace yourself for what I am about to tell you as the following players have been fined for these heinous crimes:
Brandon Marshall – Jets receiver – AKA “Green Cleated Maniac”. See Marshall was wearing green cleats to support and draw attention to Mental Health Awareness Month. Do not pass go, Do not collect $200 and Go directly to jail.
D’Angelo Williams – Steelers running back AKA “Cancerous Behavior Man”. See Williams’ mother died from breast cancer and to pay homage to her, he wrote in pink letters on his eye black “Find the Cure”. This prompted a long conversation with my children to explain the consequences of such detrimental behavior. And what’s worse is that he did this during the sham of NFL Pinktober for Breast Cancer Awareness.
William Gay – another Steelers bad seed – AKA “Domestic Violence Hater”. See Gay wanted to recognize Domestic Violence Month because his mother was killed in an act of domestic violence. What is annoying about his insensitivity is that not only is domestic violence a non-issue but it is an affront to the NFL. I mean since it happens so often in the NFL it would be better to brush it under the rug and avoid any attention for it.
This is a blessing in disguise. Can you imagine what would happen if the NFL let players run amok with the code of conduct policy for uniformity, no pun attended.
Here are some sample ideas for written designations players could wear if other NFL players want to follow the lead of these hooligans.
Alzheimers Disease – “Forget Me Not”
Attention Deficit Disorder – “Don’t Lose Your Focus”