Hey guys, welcome back to my Week 4 Review of the NFL. Quite a few upsets and stories coming out of this week, so let's address them here.
Team of the Week: Jacksonville Jaguars
-I know the Jaguars usually play the Colts tough, but I didn't expect what happened on Sunday, especially after the thrashing they took from the Philadelphia Eagles the week before. The Jags offense dominated the Colts defense. I thought this game had blowout written all over it, but instead it had upset written all over it. And what a nice 59 yard field goal by Josh Scobee to win the game. I still don't think Jacksonville is going anywhere this year, but it was a nice win by the Jags and Coach Jack del Rio.
Player of the Week: LaDanian Tomlinson, NY Jets
-Yeah, it was the Buffalo Bills run defense, but it sure looked like the LT of old this past Sunday. Tomlinson rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns, prooving he still has some gas left in the tank. Tomlinson looks like he'll play a vitale part in the Jets offense for the rest of the year, and may be the feature back by the time the season is over.
Game of the Week: Baltimore 17, Pittsburgh 14
-Sure it was a defensive slugfest. But it was close down to the wire. Joe Flacco's TD pass to T.J. Houshmanzadeth with less than a minute left gave the Ravens the late lead. The Ravens defense looked solid, holding the Steelers offense to just 210 yards of total offense. A nice solid road win for the Ravens to keep building on what is expected to be a good season for the team.
Goat of the Week: Nate Clements, CB, San Francisco 49ers
- Clements had the opportunity to give the 49ers their first win of the season on the road against a good Atlanta Flacons team with a late interception. But instead of falling down, he tried to return it, which lead to a fumble, and the Falcons scoring to take the lead. Now the Falcons still had all 3 timeouts left, so there's no guarantee that the game was over, but it would have been tougher for the Falcons to score with no timeouts left.
Other News & Tidbits
- Donovan McNabb was victorious in his return to Philadelphia, but his return ended up being the second biggest story of the game. The first was the Eagles losing QB Michael Vick to a rib injury. Vick is not expected to play this week against the 49ers, meaning Kevin Kolb will get the start. Kolb looked terrible replacing Vick. It's a good thing this is a road game for Kolb, or he might not make it out of the stadium if he plays as bad as he did Sunday.
-The St. Louis Rams are in a first place tie for the NFC West after an impressive 20-3 win over Seattle this week. Rookie QB Sam Bradford, while still making some rookie mistakes, has looked like the franchise QB he is expected to become. The NFC West is so bad the Rams may have a shot at taking the division. An 8-8 record may win that division.
-The NY Giants 17-3 win over Chicago Sunday night set back offensive football 30 years. That game was ugly. If I were the Bears, I might have just put Devin Hester behind center and have him run every play. They looked terrible for a 3-0 team, but the Giants defense also has to be given credit for getting pressure on Jay Cutler and forcing him into mistakes.
- I thought Cincinnati would be a playoff team this year, but I'm already having doubts about that. You can't lose to the Cleveland Browns and have your defense look that bad against a terrible receivng corps. Carson Palmer, while having a nice day hooking up with Terrell Owens, just doesn't look the same.
-Instead of givng a set of power rankings, I think I'd prefer to break it down into different categories:
I'm Pretty Sure Their Contenders
-NY Jets- Sanchez is quieting his critics
-New England Patriots- Offense and Special Teams are there, defense looks like it's close
-Baltimore Ravens- Looks like defense of old, but with a better QB
-Green Bay Packers- Passing offense is clicking. Rodgers looks elite.
-New Orleans Saints- Brees and Co. rebound after loss. Still the team to beat.
We Look Good But Have Some Probelms to Fix
-Indianapolis Colts- suspect defense
-Pittsburgh Steelers- will Big Ben solve the offense problem
-Houston Texans- suspect defense
-San Diego Chargers- special teams are a concern
-Philadelphia Eagles- QB problem if Vick is out
-Atlanta Falcons- Need more consistency from offense
-Chicago Bears- Offense maystruggle with Cutler out
The Verdict is Still Out
-Cincinnati Bengals- Can the defense play better?
-Kansas City Chiefs- Is there 3-0 start for real?
-Dallas Cowboys- Can they continue momentum after the bye week?
-Minnesota Vikings- See Above
-NY Giants- Can the offense find an identity?
-St. Louis Rams- Can they win the NFC West?
The Definition of Mediocrity
-Miami Dolphins- Start with 2 road wins, followed by 2 home primetime losses. Henne looks bad
-Tennessee Titans- Pass defense was gashed by Kyle Orton. Offense can't do everything
-Jacksonville Jaguars- Nice win this week, but questions still surround David Garrard and defense
-Denver Broncos- No run game without Moreno. Kyle Orton can't keep this up forever.
-Washington Redskins- The defense looked better, but they need a better overall offense too
-Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Yeah they're 2-1. but the defense is bad. They are young and will improve
-Seattle Seahawks- Look good at home, but terrible on the road. Defense will struggle
Bottom of the Barrel
-Buffalo Bills- What QB do you want Bills fans? I prefer Mallet still over Luck and Locker
-Cleveland Browns- A nice win this week, but still no QB of the future, and no pass D to speak of
-Oakland Raiders- No promising QB of the future, and defense can't stop the run. See a theme here?
-Detroit Lions- If Stafford was in, they might be better. Brightest future out of this category.
-Carolina Panthers- Competitive this week. Claussen will struggle but is learning.
-San Francisco 49ers- Early season sleeper pick, but Alex Smith has regressed
-Arizona Cardinals- Who would have thought Kurt Warner meant THIS much to this team?
I'm working on an idea for a wrestling column, and I'll ne back later this week with Week 5 preview and picks.
Until next time,