So what if Zeke is a rookie? And they didn't draft him #4 overall, given that he's a prototype 3-down back, to have him in a timeshare with Morris or McFadden. Behind that line, coupled with his skills as a runner, receiver, and pass blocker, there's no way he should fall past the first round.
@Walter I don't see how you think Fitz is "fine" there, given the fact you pointed out Palmer's diminishing arm strength and generally not liking older players. I get he's produced with awful QBs and they're not running him deep anymore, but even so, the point you made about AP apply even more to Fitz. Bad pick
New England Patriots (1-0) - Previously: #1 - A recap of the Patriots-Dolphins game:
1. Tom Brady and Chad Henne combined to throw for a single-game NFL record of 906 net yards. I'd fully expect Brady to be involved in a record like this, but Henne? Well, Henne actually played pretty well considering how terrible his offensive line was (Richie Incognito seemingly had a billion holds); he was accurate for the most part and showed good command of the offense. He also proved himself as a capable scrambler (59 rushing yards). Henne is so inconsistent, and it's very possible he could regress next week (he was nearly picked off twice, including once in the end zone), but this was definitely a positive sign for Miami.
2. As good as Henne was, Brady was that much more awesome. He went 32-of-48 for 517 yards, falling just shy of Norv Van Brocklin's single-game passing record of 554 yards. While Brady looked in postseason form, the important thing is that he was barely pressured all night. Rookie tackle Nate Solder handled Cameron Wake really well. He did allow some pressures, but was also able to pancake the Pro Bowl pass-rusher.
3. The big news for the Patriots is that center Dan Koppen broke his ankle. It's possible he could return during the season, but Dan Connolly will start in the meantime.
4. I'm a degenerate gambler coming off several bad beats on Sunday, so I nearly lost it twice during this game. The first instance occurred in the third quarter. Here's what I wrote in preparation for a spread loss:
I'm really pissed off that the Patriots didn't cover the spread. They were up 14-7 inside the red zone at the end of the first half, with possession pending at the beginning of the third quarter. Brady fired the ball toward Chad Ochocinco, but the pass was broken up because of a pass interference penalty. New England probably would have scored on first-and-goal at the 4-yard line, and with a 21-7 advantage, the team could have put the game away with a scoring drive right after halftime.
Instead, the penalty wasn't called, a field goal was missed, and then Brady threw a really weird interception on a receiver screen at midfield in the third quarter, which the Dolphins turned into a touchdown.
The missed pass interference was just one of many botched calls in this game. In fact, I tweeted @walterfootball, "This is the worst officiating performance I've ever seen in any #NFL game. What an embarrassment."
When someone asked what was so bad about it, I replied, "Just the 500 missed calls tonight. That's about it."
There were phantom calls on special teams, incompletions that were ruled catches, bogus holds, and that pass interference. It was really bad.
If you think that's bad, I almost had a nervous breakdown at the end, as chronicled by these posts I made on the forum during the fourth quarter:
- 999999999999999999999999999999999999999 yards!!!!!
- The Dolphins better not get a bull**** backdoor push.
- BobLoblaw: Pats go 3-and-out, punt it, have it returned for a TD and fail to cover. Walt sets of doomsday device, destroys mankind. - Already planning it.
- Phew. Still need some first downs.
- Don't false start!
- Wow, what the ****. Brady just stood there for years on 3rd down, he could have ran for it. Now the Dolphins are going to score.
- Dolphins already at midfield.
- At the 43...
- Bull**** all week. Ted Ginn in that SEA-SF game, the Rams constantly screwing up that Eagles game. Punt and kick returns nonstop. Ugh.
- At the 34...
- At the 17...
- Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank. God.
Let's just say that I'm glad the Pats covered.
5. If you missed it, Ron Jawkorski said the word "s***" during the broadcast; he used it as an interjection (something like "s***, look at this great coverage.) I thought I was just hearing things, but Jaws later apologized for it.
Stupid ESPN. If someone wants to drop the S-bomb, they should be able to. I was actually more offended by the apology than the word.
Green Bay Packers (1-0) - Previously: #4 - The Packers are still awesome; there's nothing really else to say.
With that in mind, let's go to Notes from NFL.com GameCenter - a list of a few stupid comments I read on NFL.com's GameCenter and my thoughts on them:
1. "i agree this gy is a collage Coach it might be best to look eleswhere"
Yeah, he sucks. All he knows how to do is coach collages. Stupid photo art doesn't translate to football.
2. "llets manning start next week and take him off after the first drive so thas mean his started the gam"
What a cunning plan. Peyton Manning can't throw the ball at all, but the important thing is keeping the streak alive.
3. "Y do people only usually talk about bears D the ofence is doing really good to these last games"
People are talking about the offense; you just can't read.
Baltimore Ravens (1-0) - Previously: #13 - Forget slaying the dragon; the Ravens raped the little dragon babies when they went for two up 27-7.
I know some pretentious, holier-than-thou NFL analysts will criticize John Harbaugh for doing that, but I loved it. Good sportsmanship is overrated; I prefer kicking your rival when they're down and spitting in their face. That's what they should teach in Little League and Pee Wee Football.
New Orleans Saints (0-1) - Previously: #3 - What happened to the awesome NFC South? Every single team is 0-1.
If you're a Saints fan, you shouldn't be worried at all. The Falcons are overrated, as we saw this past weekend. Cam Newton looks great, but the rest of his team stinks. As for the Buccaneers, there's something off with Josh Freeman. Check out our 2012 NFL Draft Rumor Mill for more details.
Chicago Bears (1-0) - Previously: #12 - The Bears have great defense and special teams, and an outstanding play-maker in Matt Forte. They're a really solid team that could easily contend for the Super Bowl. But since everyone keeps underrating them - I made that mistake last year - I plan on betting on them quite often this season.
New York Jets (1-0) - Previously: #7 - Mark Sanchez, as usual, finds a way to win. Tony Romo, as usual, finds a way to lose. Some things never change.
Speaking of New York, the NFL did a good job with its Sept. 11 commemoration. Baseball, on the other hand, blew it. The Mets wanted to wear First Responder caps during their meaningless game against the Cubs, yet baseball didn't allow it because it supposedly violated uniform rules. Congratulations, a**holes. Way to conform to your stupid policies. Sure, let's forget all the people who died on Sept. 11 trying to save other people; the main concern is that these uber-important rules were followed.
Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) - Previously: #6 - I loved Chris Berman and Tom Jackson on NFL Primetime, but they were both so smug Sunday night when talking about the Eagles. Berman said something like, "The whole 'Dream Team' thing was only one guy, so you won't be hearing any of that on this show."
Well, excuse me. Look, here's the thing about the Dream Team. It doesn't matter than Vince Young and Jason Babin were the only ones who said anything about it. Most of the Eagle players are obviously buying into the Dream Team hype; otherwise, they all wouldn't have congregated to one team this offseason. It's the same thing that happened with the Miami Heat. When LeBron James (Nnamdi Asomugha) announced that he was joining another superstar in Dwyane Wade (QB Dog Killer), numerous other players were willing to take less money to play for Miami/Philadelphia. Thus, it's a "Dream Team."
So yeah, you'll be hearing more of that on this site.
Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) - Previously: #2 - Does anyone find it ironic and hilarious that Rashard Mendenhall got hurt during a blowout loss on Sept. 11?
I'm expecting a tweet soon...
We'll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing the Ravens could take the Steelers down demolition style.
Atlanta Falcons (0-1) - Previously: #5 - Ah, if only the Falcons could trade away all of their draft picks in exchange for the ability to win outdoors against good teams. In three outdoor games against the Bears, Ben Roethlisberger-less Steelers and QB Dog Killer-less Eagles, Atlanta has lost by a combined score of 76-38.
Detroit Lions (1-0) - Previously: #11 - I was watching ESPN on Sunday morning, so I'd like to thank forum member GiantsFanMike for passing on this gem by the NFL Network's Marshall Faulk, who gave the following reason for picking the Buccaneers over the Lions:
"Am gonna go with the Bucs, cuz they are at home and the Lions rush the front four."
It's a good thing Faulk's picks are inaccurate; otherwise, every single 4-3 team would be in trouble.
2011 NFL Power Rankings: Week 2 - Bottom 10
32. Seattle Seahawks (0-1) - Previously: #32 - Did I mention how much I hate Ted f***ing Ginn? Looks like Seattle fans and I have something in common for once.
By the way, I found this in my old notes. I don't have who sent this to me, but they were referring to something weird the announcers said in one of the Saints-Seahawks games last year:
Did you catch what one of the commentators said about what real football is? I can't remember who said it, but here is the quote: "Real football is about two big flabby guys banging each other." Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Five hundred bucks says that Matt Millen made that statement.
31. Cleveland Browns (0-1) - Previously: #19 - Colt McCoy should just play preseason games. He could dominate in August, like he usually does, and then fake a season-ending injury every Labor Day. Maybe he could say that he tripped over a grill one year or got into a fight with Brandon Marshall's wife the next, or something. At any rate, the Browns would eventually give him a contract with a nice signing bonus based on his potential, making Colt a rich man with a hot wife. His life would then be complete, since nothing matters except for money and hot chicks.
30. Indianapolis Colts (0-1) - Previously: #9 - This Colts team reminds me of the 1996-97 San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs were a perennial playoff team for years, but David Robinson, one of the greatest centers in NBA history, who like Peyton Manning, was on the down side of his career, was lost for most of that season. With the No. 1 pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, San Antonio selected Tim Duncan. With Robinson and Duncan, San Antonio won the championship a couple of years later.
Assuming the Colts will keep Manning, it's time to start wondering who his "Tim Duncan" will be. Perhaps Matt Kalil? Kalil is a blue-chip left tackle prospect, and his presence would grant Manning the blind-side protection he's been yearning for years. With Kalil on the team, Anthony Castonzo would move over to play right tackle. If Castonzo and guard Ben Ijalana progress, the Colts could have a really good offensive line by 2013.
29. Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) - Previously: #18 - If yesterday's 41-7 home loss to the Bills wasn't bad enough, the Chiefs just lost Eric Berry to a torn ACL. At least it's not the fourth week of the preseason; otherwise, Todd Haley might make Berry play despite that injury.
28. Tennessee Titans (0-1) - Previously: #21 - Chris Johnson had just nine carries against the Jaguars, which is just inexplicable. I called up head coach Mike Munchak for an interview to find out what happened:
ME: Hey Mike, thanks for joining me. I have to come right out and ask. What happened to Chris Johnson?
MUNCHAK: Umm... do you mean C.Johnson?
ME: Uhh, yeah. C. Johnson as in Chris Johnson.
MUNCHAK: Is he good? He hasn't practiced with us.
ME: Yeah... he's only one of the top running backs in the NFL.
MUNCHAK: Oh, OK. Hey, I have some questions for you.
ME: All right. I'm supposed to be asking the questions, but you can go ahead.
MUNCHAK: That K.Britt guy yesterday looked pretty good.
ME: Is that a question?
MUNCHAK: Umm... uhh... M.Hasselbeck - he's the one who threw the ball yesterday, right?
MUNCHAK: Should I try him on defense next week?
ME: Mike, I'm beginning to think you're in the wrong profession.
27. Denver Broncos (0-1) - Previously: #22 - A recap of the Raiders-Broncos game:
I guess it's a good thing this game was on at 10:15 because only pure football fans could have stomached this mess. The Broncos and Raiders played a sloppy affair marred by careless turnovers, heavy rain and penalties (30). It seriously seemed like Denver was faced with a 3rd-and-15 on every single drive.
2. The defining play of this game occurred at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Denver was down 16-13, but had the ball deep in Oakland territory. I figured the worst-case scenario would have been a short field-goal attempt - that was until Orton inexplicably dropped the ball in the pocket despite the fact that he wasn't hit. The Raiders took advantage of this and scored a touchdown. It was a 14-point swing that cost the Broncos a potential victory.
Speaking of Orton, he went 24-of-46 for 304 yards, one touchdown and an interception. He was screwed over by some drops, but he also made some terrible throws, prompting the Broncos fans to chant, "TE-BOW, TE-BOW, TE-BOW!"
I can't blame them. Orton is mediocre at best, and while Tebow may not be very good at practice, he's a gamer who performed really well in three starts last year. The Broncos can't go with Orton much longer, and John Fox and John Elway would be incredibly stubborn not to hand the reins to Tebow.
3. Darren McFadden's a stud. He gained 150 yards on 22 carries. If he can stay healthy, he'll contend for the rushing title.
4. I actually thought that Trent Dilfer did an OK job for the most part as the color analyst until he started slurping Orton amid the Tebow chants. Forum member Blue5213 said it best:
I'm surprised Dilfer can talk this much with Orton's dick in his mouth.
Forum member Ragnarok also wasn't a fan:
I would rather have a woman announcing this game than Trent Dilfer. Worst quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl and thinks he is God's f***ing gift to the sport.
I do want to take issue with something Dilfer said though, when he called Raiders fullback Marcel Reese a "matchup nightmare." Look, I get Reese is versatile, but a nightmare? I don't think opposing defensive coordinators have nightmares trying to figure out how to stop him.
Speaking of which, the biased Raider announcers in the preseason said the same thing of Reese, so maybe it's in the water. Or maybe Al Davis is paying people off to talk highly of his players. I can only wonder how many unsacrificed virgins Dilfer received for that comment.
5. Speaking of Undead Al, I immediately thought of what he might say when Sebastian Janikowski drilled a 63-yard field goal just prior to halftime:
"And that's... why... you spend... a first-rounda... on a kicka... he's a great... playa..."
26. San Francisco 49ers (1-0) - Previously: #30 - A mostly accurate post by forum mod CKane: "Walter may murder Ted Ginn this week."
Murder? I'm not a monster. I prefer torture. Perhaps waterboarding or urineboarding, or even Big Bang Theory-ing. Tie a man to a chair, pop in Big Bang Theory DVDs, and make him watch a couple of episodes. He'll yield in no time.
25. Carolina Panthers (0-1) - Previously: #28 - Cam Newton had an incredible performance at Arizona, but the team still lost. The offensive line still can't block, while the defense seemingly blows coverages every other play. The season-ending injury to Jon Beason obviously doesn't help matters.
By the way, I'd like congratulate Steve Smith yet again for actually trying hard. Way to go, Steve. I know playing football for a seven-figure salary can be grueling sometimes, but I'm happy to see that you took time out of your busy schedule to put forth some effort into a game.
24. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) - Previously: #31 - The Bengals could be 2-0 if they beat the Broncos next week. Mind blown.
I have nothing interesting to say about their win over the crappy Browns, so here was a funny post from Facebook friend Jeremy D:
Since you love inept TV announcers, I thought I should tell you that Jim Mora Jr. has referred to the Chargers as "San Francisco" about eight times, and said that they lost "Darrell Sproles" to the New England Patriots.
I didn't hear Mora say that, but I did catch him and his broadcast partner doing something weird in the booth. Mora was showing the play-by-play guy some sort of maneuver, and the two men eventually had their arms wrapped around each other, almost as if they were embracing each other prior to having some passionate man sex. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
23. Miami Dolphins (0-1) - Previously: #27 - I already discussed the Patriots-Dolphins game, so here are more Notes from NFL.com GameCenter:
1. "rex is giving sanchiz a foot massage"
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
2. "man dont go in the sand diego radiers room they will ban u"
I wonder how many people are Sand Diego Raiders fans.
3. "Did anyone forget who won the suerbowl last year? cause im afraid alot have, the NEW ORLEAN SAINTS!"
I can't wait until the Sand Diego Raiders and New Orlean Saints play each other.
2011 NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. San Diego Chargers (1-0). Previously: #8
12. Dallas Cowboys (0-1). Previously: #10
13. Houston Texans (1-0). Previously: #15
14. Washington Redskins (1-0). Previously: #24
15. New York Giants (0-1). Previously: #16
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1). Previously: #14
17. Oakland Raiders (1-0). Previously: #26
18. Arizona Cardinals (1-0). Previously: #23
19. Buffalo Bills (1-0). Previously: #25
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0). Previously: #29
21. Minnesota Vikings (0-1). Previously: #20
22. St. Louis Rams (0-1). Previously: #17
Run Defenses, Pass Defense, Pass Protection:
Something new this year - I'm keeping track of precise run defense, pass defense and pass protection rankings in Excel. The benefit to this is that it'll be broken down by week. Here are the download links: