NFL Week 6 Notes: 2008
October 15, 2008 4:18 PM
Week 6 notes on the National Football League
1) The New England Patriots are cooked. Tom Brady's absence has caused them to lose their identity and leadership. A team without an identity is a team that flounders around the field. All the Super Bowl champs are teams with identities. New York Giants: tremendous pass rush. Patriots: Brady and Belichick. Rams: greatest show on Turf. Ravens: Ray Lewis and the defense. Cowboys: Irvin, Aikman, Smith. 49ers: Montana/Young, Jerry Rice, Bill Walsh. The list goes on. If your team has no identity it's going nowhere.
2) Cheerleader of the week: Marlana Aref of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders. Her hair is kind of big, but so are her breasts, which makes everything A-OK in my book. It's actually quite difficult to find NFL cheerleaders with boobs that large; believe me, I've been looking.
3) The New Orleans Saints killed the Oakland Raiders. The Saints beat up the Raiders in exactly the way a quality team should beat up a sorry team.
The Raiders' defense gave up 34 points and allowed Brees to have as good a game as any QB has had (87% completions, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 320 yards). The Raiders' defense sucks.
The Raiders' offense managed only 3 points, Russell completed 37% of his passes, and their leading yardage gainer had 46 yards (4 Saints had more than 46 yards, and the Saints punter averaged 44 yards). The Raiders' offense sucks.
The Raiders' coaches continue to attempt super-duper long field goals and miss them, and can't get their defense lined up properly before the snap. The Raiders' coaching staff sucks.
Reggie Bush did not return a punt for a TD. The Raiders' special teams units are passable.
4) Did you see how many Cowboys fans were at the game in Arizona? When Nick Folk made the kick to send the game into overtime, the place erupted with cheers. Speaking of that kick, looks like the old call-timeout-a-split-second-before-the-ball-is-snapped strategy may finally get put to rest. Ken Whisenhunt outsmarted himself when he tried it and his team blocked the field goal attempt; game would have been over. But no, Folk got another crack at it and sent the game to OT.
5) My current Top 5: Tennessee Titans, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers. (This week's game between the Saints and Panthers is HUGE.)
6) Congratulations Richie Incognito, you got flagged for one of the dumbest penalties of all time. All your Rams team needed to do was not turn over the ball, run some time off the clock and kick a game winning 30 yard field goal. Instead, you draw a 15 yard penalty for, of all things, jawing at an official. All you had to do was shut your mouth and your team probably wins the game, but you couldn't do it. Even your teammates knew you were crossing the line when you wouldn't shut up, they tried to get in between you and the officials. But that didn't mean anything because you had something *important* to say! Luckily, your kicker made the field goal anyway.
7) That type of penalty is actually typical of a Jim Haslett coached team. I know this was his first game as Rams head coach, but he loves him some fiery football players. When he coached the Saints he had two major issues. 1) Stubbornness (played Aaron Brooks two years longer than he should have). 2) Lack of on-field discipline by his players (Saints were consistently one of the most penalized teams in the league). Hopefully Haslett can avoid those pitfalls in St. Louis.
8) Drew Brees didn't play great against the Raiders, he played perfect. I mean, can a QB play any better than that? No. If Brees is not being considered for MVP of the league this year, then people just aren't paying attention. He is the Tom Brady for the Saints, and you all see what happened to the Patriots when Brady got hurt.
9) Fantasy tip: why don't fantasy leagues have a "special teams" position on their roster. It makes no sense to combine the special teams plays with the team's defense because so many special teams players are offensive players. Why not have a position that includes the kicker's FGs and extra points, kick-return TDs, punt blocks, FG blocks, and successful onside kicks?
10) Sorry I missed last week's notes, I was at a wedding across the country and didn't get to sit down and watch football on Sunday. Maybe I'll give you a bonus cheerleader of the week later to make up for it.
Bonus! New Orleans Saints notes!
1) Holy crap! The Saints didn't turn the ball over even once! What a major turnaround on penalties (3) and turnovers (0). If they had played cleaner games all year, they would be undefeated right now. I know, "coulda shoulda woulda." But they lost all 3 games by such small margins and with such dumb errors, it's very easy to imagine them as undefeated right now. The NFC is sleeping on the Saints, but they are as good as any team in the conference.
2) Saints stat of the week: 8. Number of players to catch at least two Drew Brees passes against the Raiders. Only two of those players were wide receivers, the other six were tight ends and running backs.
3) I wonder if something is wrong with Scott Fujita. Is his knee still bothering him? He's only had 3 total tackles in the last three games. Is Jonathan Vilma stealing all the tackles now?