Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tuesday NFL Musings - Week 12 Edition

Hey all!

After a long layoff, The Dwarf's Tuesday NFL Musings are back! And boy is there a lot to talk about... But before we get to my random thoughts, let's take a closer look at some of our readers' favorite teams, the Bills (Veillotron), the Broncos (Sweet LP), the Dolphins (me), the Eagles (Huy) and the Patriots (The Dick), and see how they have been doing recently.

Buffalo Bills (5-6): The Bills are currently sitting in last place in the suddenly much stronger AFC East, tied with Miami. Still, after a horrible 2-5 start in which they got outscored 153 to 100, the Bills have won 3 out of their last 4, with their only loss coming to the hands of the Indianapolis Colts. Even more impressive, the Colts only won by 1 point, 17-16. In the last 2 games, J.P. Losman has finally showed signs of coming into his own, directing his offense to game-winning drives in the dying seconds of both games. Their defense is playing well and they have the best special teams in the league, so things are definitely looking up for them. But with games against San Diego and Baltimore left, running the tables and having a shot at the playoffs is out of the question. That being said, a 7-9 or 8-8 record, major improvements over last year, are definite possibilities.

Denver Broncos (7-4): Just 2 weeks ago, the Broncos were 7-2 and on top of the world. They had the best defense in the league and seemed destined to win their division. Then, they fell, first to the Chargers and then to Kansas City, both very important division games. When they met the Chargers, both teams were 7-2 and fighting for the division lead. The Broncos lost. Then, at 7-3, they met the 6-4 Chiefs, looking to stay ahead of them in the wild-card race. They lost again. Jake Plummer has been benched and now Jay Cutler, the rookie with the big arm, will start against the Seahawks on Sunday Night Football. If he can revive the offense, Denver will be fine. Otherwise, with the Bengals, the Jets, the Jaguars and the Chiefs all in the playoff race, getting in to the post-season will be tough.

Miami Dolphins (5-6): The Dolphins are sitting 3rd in their division. The playoffs are not in the team's future, but this is a franchise that is going up in a big way right now. Joey Harrington is not exactly playing like a man possessed, but he has been providing the Dolphins with steady and reliable play at the Quarterback position. On the other side of the ball, Jason Taylor has got to be the defensive MVP for the month of November. In 4 games, all Miami wins, he made 2 sacks (9 for the season) and had 2 interceptions, which he returned for touchdowns. He has also been constantly batting down passes at the line of scrimmage. Plus, he has an amazing 7 forced fumbles this year. The defense as a whole has been playing very well, but it is the mergence of the offense that has made the biggest difference.

Philadelphia Eagles (5-6): The Eagles are going the opposite way of the Dolphins, whichwould be down. After a promising 4-1 start that saw the offense hit on all cylinders and Donovan McNabb get mentioned as MVP candidate, Philly has dropped 5 of their last 6. Still, this should not be so surprising, even though I, for one, did not see it coming. When you look at their first 5 games, the Eagles allowed 24 or more points 3 times. But, in each of those games, they scored 30 points or more. So, when their offense started to struggle to get over the 30 point mark (which, in recent years, no offense aside from Indy has been able to consistently do), they started losing games. Simply, their defense has been pretty bad all year long. They haven't been able to stop the run at all, and lately they have been dropping interceptions as well. With McNabb gone, Philly's playoff hopes have taken a big hit, but in a weak NFC, anything is possible. On the bright side, Jeff Garcia has played really well since replacing McNabb.

New England Patriots (8-3): The Patriots are having another very good season. Still, this year's team seems to strangely resemble last year's team: a very good team that is missing a little something. Their defense, while adquate, is still very thin, and just got thinner with the loss of Junior Seau at linebacker, who was second on the team with 69 tackles. Tom Brady might be the best QB in the league, but his receiving corps is mediocre at best. What helps their offense tremendously is the play of rookie RB Laurence Mahoney. When they get to the playoffs, that strong running game will come in handy. That being said, the road to the Super Bowl will go through Indy again this year, and the Patriots haven't beaten Peyton Manning in 2 years.

Random Thoughts from around the league:
  • Good to see the New Orleans Saints still on top of their division at 7-4. Drew Brees is my pick for MVP this year. He has turned this franchise around and he is making 6th and 7th picks at wide receiver look like Jerry Rice. Consider these statistics: 275 of 413 (66.6%), 3463 yards, 19 TDs and 10 INTs. If you project that on 16 games, it makes 400 of 601 for 5037 yards, 28 TDs and 15 INTs. Wow! Only Dan Marino has broken the 5,000 yard mark in a single season. Sure, Philip Rivers looks really good in San Diego, but Drew Brees is playing like the best QB in the league right now.
  • This past weekend, Brees, the classic drop back quarterback, faced off against Mike Vick, the most "lethal" weapon in the league. Listen, I will never argue that Vick is not a very dangerous runner. That being said, he is an awful, as in really very bad, quarterback. Statistics of 9 of 23 fro 84 yards should never be accepted from any passer in this league. The fact is, even with very limited pressure because of the best rushing attack in the league, Vick is still unable to see the field well. He is now in his sixth year in the league and he still can't read coverages. To top that off, his accuracy is mediocre at best, as he regularly overthrows or underthrows his receivers. The real loser in all this: Falcons back-up QB Matt Schaub. Schaub is a very promising young QB. Numerous teams inquired about trade possibilities this summer and all were turned away because of Vick's injury history. If I was coaching the Falcons, I would take a cue from Bill Parcells and Mike Shanahan and I would put Schaub in there pronto.
  • Speaking of Parcells and the Cowboys, I have been a longtime supporter of Drew Bledsoe, but it seems like yanking him in favor of Tony Romo might've saved the Cowboys' season. It is hard to accept that any guy with a name like Tony Romo can have this much success, but the kid is really looking good.
  • The Giants are in a big mess right now and almost sound like the 2005 Eagles with all the in-fighting that's going on.
  • Could the real Jacksonville Jaguars please stand up?
  • Looks like Byron Leftwich could become a Raider next year. That would be good news for both player and team, but that offensive line needs help.
  • In the Sunday game between the Jets and Texans, both teams rushed for 52 yards combined, but still managed to put 37 combined points on the board.
See at you the end of the week!

Dwarf out

8 Comments:

At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Sweet LP said...

Hey Dwarf... have you given on your football predictions?

anyone knows when Havlat will be back?

 
At 5:46 PM, Blogger The Dwarf said...

I didn't really give up on them... It's just that writings 3 times a week is a lot, even for someone with nothing more to do than work and watch tv and play golf. Plus, writing my predictions on friday means there is only one day to comment on the NHL column, which isn't much... But as a favor, I'll bring them back this week.

Havlat has started to skate again. He's about a week away from returning.

 
At 11:19 PM, Blogger Nick the Dick said...

Sounds like Dwarf should become a R5 with almost 2 kids to have more free time to write on the blog...

So LP, les radiologistes ont bonne presse en ce moment...

 
At 5:31 PM, Blogger Veillotron said...

We can see that little Marv has started the rebuilding process... Playoffs will be for next year.

By the way, the NFC is so shit, it's unbelievable. It seems that even with Sweetness at QB, the Dwarf as receiver, Huy taking kicks and the Dick calling the plays, a team would have a chance of making the playoffs... Even when people said that the AFC was weaker, it wasn't that bad (in fact, the division wasn't weaker, it's just that every year THE dominant team was in the NFC...).

Dwarfoun, I am surprised you have not mentioned LT in your random notes... I have never seen him play, but I sure hope he will beat Emmit Smith to the record (and that he will win also this stupid dance contest on TV - twice)

On the hocky side, hey poolers, if I keep my streak, I might jump into 3rd place soon!

 
At 5:44 PM, Blogger Veillotron said...

Dudes,

I just saw on YouTube the video of Michael Richards (Kramer) going into a racist rant...
This is pretty bad - is this thing all over the US or do people not give a shit?

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger Nick the Dick said...

It is all over the place with the alcohol problem of Lindsay Lohan, the engagement of Eva Longoria, the divorce of Britney Spears...

But Danny De Vito made an appearance on a morning show with Barbara Walters and he was drunk because he had party'd all night... pretty funny!!!!

 
At 11:39 AM, Blogger Nick the Dick said...

BTW who's on top of the AFC East and has a perfect road record (5 victories?). Yeah... just learn to love'em ...

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger Veillotron said...

Yo Protege,

Like I said, never give up on your team... Garcia, baby, Garcia...

 

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