Sunday, October 9, 2011

Notes around the NFL: Week 5

Philadelphia’s “Dream Team” loses yet again, continuing this season’s nightmare.

What is going on with the Eagles? The Buffalo Bills dispatched the Eagles 31-24 in Buffalo, marking Philadelphia’s fourth straight loss. The only team the Eagles have beaten is the lowly Rams, who still have not yet won.

What am I missing? Or maybe more importantly, what is Andy Reid missing?

I watched the entire game today and, despite the close score, the Eagles were dominated. Fred Jackson ran all over them for 111 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Fitzpatrick was extremely accurate going 21/27 with 193 yards and a touchdown. The Bills forced 5 turnovers, 4 of which were interceptions.

I know the league has changed drastically in the past few years, and Andy Reid has a history of being very pass-oriented, but for the life of me I do not understand why the Eagles don’t run more. LeSean McCoy is one of the best backs in the NFL, and he only ran the ball 11 times, but at an impressive 7.3 yards per carry for a total of 80 yards. Not only is running the ball incredibly effective for them, it also protects Michael Vick from getting hit.

Also, where has Brent Celek gone, and why isn’t he part of the game plan anymore? This was a guy who was easily one of the best tight ends two years ago, catching 76 balls for 971 yards with 8 touchdowns. Ever since Michael Vick took over at quarterback, his numbers have significantly diminished. Seeing as how he can still be a very productive receiver and an effective security blanket for the quarterback, not to mention his 6 year/33 million dollar contract, I would think that he would be more of a focus. Perhaps tight end routes take less time to develop than WR routes, and so that might also help prevent Vick from taking too many hits.

What happened to the excellent secondary the defense was supposed to have, and why isn’t that helping their run defense and pressure? While giving up only 193 yards isn’t too bad, Fitzpatrick going 21/27 is a pretty high percentage, and there seemed to be very little pressure on him throughout the game. He was only sacked once.

Lastly…the game ending the way it did just added insult to injury. You had to figure that the Bills would try to draw the Eagles offsides, and the Eagles’ lineman fell for it. Shame on you

Other notes around the NFL:

1) It seems like Indianapolis is destined to win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. If that’s the case, it’d be incredible that they would be lucky enough to have a superstar quarterback playing for the team for 30 years.

2) Adrian Peterson continues to make the case that he’s the best runningback in the league. Did you see some of his runs today? He looked quite impressive. He should get 25-30 touches a game. Anything fewer than that is a travesty.

3) Is there a team more inconsistent than the Giants? When Eli Manning doesn’t throw 3 interceptions, they’re one of the best teams in the league. When he does….well….they lose to Seattle.

4) Pittsburgh is back in business. Big Ben finally stayed on his feet as Tennessee only had one sack and one quarterback hit. Ben responded by throwing 5 touchdowns. They looked pretty impressive.

5) Even though Carolina lost a close one to New Orleans, I keep on waiting for Cam Newton to have a bad game and look like a rookie. At this point, I think we can all stop anticipating such a performance. This guy’s for real.

6) Cincy is quietly having a very good season. Even with rookie quarterback Andy Dalton leading the charge, the team is now 3-2. AJ Green looks like a monster thus far, having one of the better rookie WR seasons I can remember. Combine a pretty good offense with their sneaky good defense, and this team might be a force for the next several years.

7) Great emotional win for Oakland. Houston had a chance to win it, but Michael Huff picked off a pass in the end zone with no time remaining. Interesting that Oakland still was able to beat the Texans despite not having a great day running the ball.

8) San Francisco absolutely clobbered the Bucs. I wasn’t able to watch this game at all….but 48-3 seems pretty inexplicable. What’s gotten into Alex Smith. 3 touchdowns without any interceptions? Perhaps we should consider erasing the bust label? Nah….he still has it until he leads the team into the playoffs.

9) Tebow takes over in the 2nd half for Kyle Orton. A lot of people in Denver and Florida are happy. Tebow gave the team a spark, almost completing a miraculous comeback. However, I don’t think much is going to change in Denver Tebow is not going to be a good NFL quarterback, and Denver doesn’t have a good team regardless of who is playing at quarterback.

10) Good news for the Jets: Shonn Greene ran the ball hard and effectively. Bad news: Jets suffered their 3rd straight loss and now sit at 2-3. The offense looks abysmal.

--Adam Janet

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