Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Week 5 Thoughts- First Quarter Report

Now that all NFL teams have played 4 games, and because this market crash started when Enron and the accounting firms forced the Feds to institute Sarbanes Oxley which allowed for banks to mark to market securities at phantom prices, yada yada, TPC will give his REAL 1st Quarter report without all the BS (and hopefully won't crash any markets along the way).


Life the rest of the NFL this division has taken some wacky turns, none more so than a left for the dead Miami Dolphin team two weeks ago, that all of a sudden has victories over last years AFC Championship Game participants (SD and NE). Miami has been helped by a good D, good QB play (and mistake free I might add) by Chad "I will always love you" Pennington, good RB play by Ricky "Smoke 'em if you got 'em" Williams and Ronnie Brown. Parcells has brought a level of professionalism back to Miami. However, all that being said, they will not continue their winning ways because teams will start to figure out how to stop their single wing offense (or whatever the heck they call that bogus Wishbone) and Pennington still cant get the ball downfield.
The Pats are doing what TPC said they would do without Brady. Cassel has struggles, their running game is suspect at best and their D is no longer amongst the elite. They lost to the freakin Dolphins last week and should have lost to the J-E-T-S prior to that. They will continue to struggle, but still eke out wins. One bright spot was finally getting Moss into the offense this week.
The J-E-T-S coming off a huge win vs. Arizona are showing signs of life. They have a decent enough D, and now that Favre is getting more comfortable in the offense, they are looking quite formidable. I wouldnt be surprised one bit if the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS win the division.
The Bills are riding a 4-1 record into week 6, but TPC says dont believe the hype. They were exposed mightily by the Cards last week and they showed just how important Trent Edwards is to that offense.


Pittsburgh leads the way here at 4-1. To me, it's an unimpressive 4-1. Their offensive line is in shambles. Parker has already missed time and I wouldnt be surprised one bit WHEN Ben goes down. That's right folks, not if, WHEN. He has been hit and pummeled more thany any QB this season and no one, not even someone as tough as Ben, can take that over a 16 game season. The Pitt D lohas shown signs, but to me they haven't been much better than average. Like I said Pre Season, they will win this crappy division, but not because they are that good.
Cleveland is really making TPC's pre season prediction come true, as Derek Anderson and his NFL worst 49.9 passing rating is about to lose his job. Jamal Lewis has been unable to get on track. Things aren't going to get an easier for the 1-3 Browns as they face off against the Giants and Skins the next two weeks. Yes, Brady Quinn will soon be starting for the Browns.
The Bengals, despite an 0-5 record have actually played pretty hard. They had the Giants and Cowboys on the ropes but couldn't finish up. The main problem has been Chris Perry's fumbling problems, Chad Oco Cinco's non existence and an amazing regression on the part of once Up And Coming Superstar Chad Palmer. The offense, once comparable to the Colts is now a shell of its former self. The good news is they have shown some signs of life and their defense has played hard the last few weeks. Unfortunatley for them 0-5 is to tough a hole to dig out of.


The best division in the AFC, which tells you something about how bad the AFC has been this season.
The Titans lead the way here and are in my opinion the best Defense in the AFC-by a huge margin. Albert Haynesworth might be the best defensive player in the NFL right now. Their secondary is playing great and their schedule is still relatively easy the next few games (KC, Indy and GB). They have the most exciting young player in the AFC in Chris Johnson (the AFC's version of AP). They also have Kerry Collins as their QB and while that might be good enough for their division, and possible for the conference, he wont be winning any Lombardi Trophies against Eli or Romo. I hate to say it but if they want to win a title in Tenn., Young needs to be the QB.
The Colts, a shell of their SB winning team just a few years back, were two plays away from being 0-4 and are thanking their lucky stars they are 2-2. They got blown away by Chicago and lost a heartbreaker to the Jags, but got a gift last week against Houston and were almost beaten by the Tavaris Jackson led Vikings. Manning has looked horrible except for some 4th Quarter magic. Through 4 games he has a 79.2 QB rating (career low by far) and only 5 TD's. Addai has suffered because of their offensive line problems, Harrison is all but done. The lone offensive bright spot has been the continued development of Anthony Gonzalez. They haven't been able to stop the run at all (worst in the NFL at 188.5 yards per game), however, you can't write them off until we see what impact Sanders has when he returns.
The Jags might be the most disappointing teams in the AFC this season. They have been unable to run their two horses effectively (Taylor and Jones-Drew) because their offensive line has been decimated. Much like Indy, Jax is fortunate to be 2-3 as they easily could have been 0-5. They have not been able to run at all, Garrard while showing some signs lately, is not the QB he was last year (he's already thrown more INT's through 5 games than he did all season last year). The once proud defensive minded franchise has been putird, especially their pass D (#26 overall). I think Del Rio is a good enough coach to fix some things, but their secondary and offensive line might be to much to fix. Doesnt look as if they will make the playoffs in a year many picked them to represent the AFC in the SB.
Houston made nice strides last year, developed a decent defense an up and coming QB in Schaub and drafted a young stud in Slaton. They lost two heartbreakers the last two weeks vs. Jax and Indy. At 0-4 they are at a big crossraods but the schedule does ease up the next few weeks for them to right the ship (home vs. Mia, Det and Cincy). Like the Bengals, they aren't nearly as bad as their record states and things will get easier.


Once the best division in Football (okay maybe it was a long time ago, but still), the AFC West has slipped mightily.
The AFC's worst team resides in the West, the KC Chiefs. Herman "LETS BULID ON THAT" Edwards had taken a franchise that developed Priest Holmes, Larry Johnson and Trent Green into fantasy monsters, and turned them into these stats from last week. LJ, 7 carries for 2 yards. Their two QB's went a combined 15-31 for 123 yards and 2 INT's. Yes, Carolina is good, but not that good. They have the 29th ranked offense and 30th ranked D. I dont see things getting that much better in KC. They have an awful coaching staff, who should be gone after this season.
The Broncos lead the division at 4-1. They are not as good as their record. Defensively, they can't stop the run. On offense, as impressive as their passing game has been, Shanahans stubborn refusal to commit to one back has hurt their running game (unlike the Giants 3 headed monster which feeds Jacobs most of the time and then brings in Ward and Bradshaw- Shanahan is rotating 3 backs). If you dont run the ball consistently, you dont win in the NFL. Ask the Pats and their Greatest Passing Attack Ever last year what it got them. Cutler has been extremely impressive as has been Marshall. They will continue to put up points, but are very suceptible to a power running game. Until they commit to both stopping and utilizing the run, they are prone to being upset (like the Chiefs did two weeks ago) any week.
You gotta feel for the Chargers. They were two plays away from being 4-0 with a game vs. Miami. So what happened? They were 2-2 and showed no respect for Miami, came out flat, and got manhandled on both sides of the ball 17-10. In the National Football League you need to do more than just show up. The Chargers didnt last week. When they play desperate, they are very good. Maybe still the best team in the league as evidenced by their win vs. the Jets. The problem is they just dont show up every week and when the do, it's for only a half (against Oakland). They started similarly last year and righted the ship, the problem this year is their defense is suspect without Merriman and the loss of Turner is being felt now that LT hasn't been 100% through the early going. While Rivers has shown flshes of brilliance, unless LT gets healthy quick and Turner makes some adjustments on D, this team is heading nowhere come postseason time.
My beloved Raiders have turned into the laughinstock of all Professional Sports Franchises. There was a time not long ago when everyone wanted an owner like Al Davis, someone with a Commitment to Excellence who would do whatever it took to win. Unfortunately, Davis has really lost it. It's like he became the 3rd Maloof brother or something. They do have talent on the field and Russel has shown some signs of being a big time NFL QB, there is just so much turmoil in Raiderville these days that I dont see this mess being fixed anytime soon.


Simply, the best division in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE this season and it ain't even close.
The defending Super Bowl Champion New York Football Giants have actually gotten better this season, despite Strahan's retirement and Uminyura's season ending injury. Justin Tuck is showing how great a player he is. Robbins and Pierce have been solid and their secondary looks strong. They have only given up 49 points through 4 games. With that being said, the Giant offense, currently #1 overall, has shown juggernaut like abilities. Their RB 3 headed monster has been unstoppable (Jacobs being the worst of the 3 at a ridiculous 5.8 YPC). Eli has built off that Super Bowl MVP performance and is now amongst the elite in the game. Their offensive line has dominated. They have tremendous depth at WR. There are no weaknesses. Right now, they are by far the best team in football.
Not far behind, the Cowboys boast the NFL's third best offense, once again led by Romo, Owens, Witten and Barber. Felix Jones has shown tremendous explosiveness as the relief man for Barber, averaging 9 yards per carry. Yes, NINE. Not a misprint. He will get involved in the offense more as the season goes on and will the Cowboys that much tougher to stop. With all that, i still don't trust Romo in the big spot. While the defensive line has shown fomidability (led by Damarcus "The Beast" Ware) the secondary has been shoddy. I think their offense is that good that only the Giants will be able to handle them on both sides of the ball.
The Skins started the season by being manhandled by the Giants and people already screaming for Zorn and Campbell's heads. Since then, they have gone 4-0 against a very tough schedule (NO, Philly, Arizona and Dallas). Campbell hasn't thrown an INT all year and Portis has had a huge start (514 yards-2nd in the league and 4 TD's). Their defense has been good and physical. The only knock is opponents have had some success throwing the ball against them. Either way, at 4-1 they are at worst, the 3rd best team in the divsion and the National Football League.
The Eagles are as good as Michael Westbrook is healthy. He is one of the 3-4 most indisposable offensive players right now, and the most valuable RB. When he plays the Eagles win. When he doesn't they lose. The problem is he is showing signs of breaking down and in the NFC East, there is no margin for error. They are 2-3. They would be at worst 3-2 if Westbrook hadn't been hurt (Chicago wont make that stand with Westbrook). With that being said, McNabb still looks shaky when games get tight and despite the huge pass rush of the Eagles, if you can handle it, you can pick apart their secondary. I like their team- just wrong division.


Also, known as the NFC's Norris Divison, or back in the pre Berman days the NFC's Black and Blue Division. The Chicago Bears-Da Bears- lead the division at 3-2 with a suddenly alive offense to go with their always physical and effective defense. The Bears are led by 26 year old Kyle Orten who has slowly developed into an extremely legitimate NFL QB. Brandon Lloyd is finally living up to his potential and Matt Forte is enjoying a real nice rookie season at RB. Defensively, the Bears are as tough as ever, #4 against the rush and #8 overall. They have impressive wins over Philly and Indy so far and even with the tough schedule, they could win the divsion at 9-7. Oh, and TPC's Hester prediction might not be that off after all (8 catches and 2 TD's the last weeks as he rounds into his healthy self).
The Vikings have shown some life now that Brad Childress finally woke up and decided to listen to TPC and get Tavaris Jackson as far away as possible from the football field. Gus Ferrotte has proven to be adequate, especially now that Berrian is living up to his contract, which might be good enough for a team with AP (the most exciting RB in football) and a solid D. Winners of two of their last 3 since the change, the Vikings now must be considered the #1 contender to the Bears for the Norris Crown.
The Packers are not the same as they were last year and it isn't all because of #4. Actually, Rodgers has shown a lot of promise and toughness and he will make Packers fans very happy as the heir apparant. The problem is the running game is weak and their defense has been awful, paricularly against the run. Lambau field is no longer a place other teams fear to walk in. The schedule isn't particularly easy the rest of the way either which makes for an interesting off season for a team one win away from the Super Bowl last year, who might just go 6-10 this year.
Then there are the Lions. The horrid franchise that let Matt Millen keep his job through 7 years of total futility (31-84 and 8-50 on the road). They give up over 30 points a game, they cant get the ball to their best player (Calvin Johnson) and I really cant write anything else except to say at least they aren't the Rams.


The Carolina Panthers are showing people there are juggernauts outside the East. Carolina has dominated their early schedule with a balanced offense led by the Renewed Jake Delhomme (second year back from Tommy John surgery) and the running of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. Their defense has been just as much of factor (4th overall), especially their #3 pass defense. They have given up only one passing Td since week 1. They have wins against Chicago, SD and Atlanta. They have held Adrian Peterson, Michael Turner and Larry Johnson in check. They will to continue the same of play in the leagues second best divsion.
The surprise squad in the NFC has to be the Falcons. Granted, 2 of their 3 wins have been against KC and Detroit, but last weeks win vs. GB brought some credibility to Atlanta. Michael Turner has been a pleasent surprise to everyone (but TPC) with his league leading 543 yards rushing and 6 TD.s (and a healthy 5.3 ypc). Matt Ryan has played as well any Rookie starting QB that I can remember. He's living up to his draft spot and more (#3 overall). His given a new face to a franchise that desperately needed one after the Michael Vick fiasco. Their weak spot is their defense as they haven't been able to really stop anyone. They won't contend for a playoff spot but they could eke out 6-8 wins this season and that is a great season when you are starting a rookie QB.
Tampa is playing typical Tampa football. Running the ball well behind Graham and Dunn (this guy seems to stick around and produce forever) the Bucs have the #8 rushing offense in the league. Their QB situation is merky at best with Greise and Garcia playing who isn't hurt this week. Really doesn't matter as they both stink. Antonio Bryant is emerging as a good #2 receiver and the defense is playing adequately. Through a tough early schedule they have a 3-2 record and I wouldnt be surprised to seem them finish anywhere from 6-10 to 10-6. I havent figured them out yet.
The Saints are really the divisions major dissapointment. They have an offense that just wont quit, led by Superstar (thats right folks, that's what he is) Drew Brees and Reggie Bush- the most exciting RB in the league when he isn't actually being utilized as a RB (if that makes any sense). They have suffered injuries to their #1 WR (Colston) and recently acquired TE, Jeremy Shockey, but still produce-4th in total offense, #1 passing offense. The problem is they make mistakes at bad times (like last night) they make questionable coaching decisions (again like last night) and play no defense. With all that, they still could be 5-0 with a few plays played differently. Another squad that could win 6 in a row and I wouldnt be shocked. Very difficult division to figure out.


The Arizona Cards and my man Kurt Warner are tops in the division at 3-2. They have beaten the teams that they expected to and even one not so expected (pummeling of Buffalo this week). Their offense can score with anyone in the league (147 points through 5 games). You can make a very good case for Warner as a legit MVP candidate (10 TD's and a 102.5 QB rating). James has shown a little more life than most thought he had left. Fitzgerald is a stud of mega proportion. Boldin gave us a big scare but he seems to be okay. Biggest question is how good (during their 3 wins) or how bad (like against The J-E-T-S) is their defense? If Warner stays healthy this team goes no worse than 9-7 and wins the division easily. This Sunday at home against Dallas will be very telling. They are 8 and 2 in their last 10 home games and this is a big test to see where they really stand.
The rest of the division is quite awful and I dont even want to write about them. Seriously. The 49ers have shown some signs of improvement with Martz as their offensive co-ordinator. J.T. O'Sullivan has shown some promise as an NFL QB (although not as Martz called him "the best I have ever coached"). Frank Gore is back to his studlike ways and Isaac Bruce ( 14 receptions 275 yards and 4 TD's) has discovered the fountain of youth (or something perfromance enhancing). Still, they are 2-3 with their two wins are against Seattle and Detroit. I dont expect much more than 6 wins for this squad. Which should be good for second place.
What in the name of Starbucks is going on in Seattle? Sure every receiver from Oregon to Washington has gotten hurt and now taking cover. They still have a good QB in Hasselback and the best Left Tackle in the game (Walter Jones). For crying out loud even Julius Jones has shown some life. The problem is they cant stop anyone besides the Rams (the Giants scored 44, Buffalo 34 and SF 33). You dont win in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE giving up 33+ points a game, especially when you have no one to throw it to when you're down that big.
Finally you have the Rams. The good news is the Rams are improving, each of their 4 losses are by a smaller margin than the previous week. The bad news is their last game- their best- they lost 31-14 to the Bills. It doesnt get much better after the bye. At Wash, Dall and at NE. They will be 0-7 before you start needing to wear a jacket. You think they want Mike Martz back?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone blame the financial crisis on accountants and sarbanes oxley.

This is the reason for the crisis:

Should the republicans have stopped it?
No, The housing Market was pushing the economy, any Republican who would have stood up and said to stop the Mortgages would have been branded a fool.

Do we need regulation or can the market regulate itself?
No regulation needed. The truth is the bankers screwed up. They never would have purchased all the mortgages and mixed them in complex derivitives if they had brains. They were foolish.

They are greedy and buying worthless securities should not have happened based on greed. It happened based on stupidity. Also, mortgage brokers are low lives. They were loving the commisions and encouraging refi's and taking loans based on rising RE values. (We all got the calls and junk mail. This happened on the main street level and not wall street level.

Force Banks to hold mortgages they give for 10 years before assigning them. Problem solved.

Credit Card and Mortgage solitications should be outlawed.