Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Week 9 and Midseason NFL Thoughts

It's pretty clear that the NY Football Giants are defending the SB unlike any other team since the 2004 NE Patriots went back-to-back with a 14-2 record.
The Giants are blowing away teams even when they dont play their best game (like Sunday). They have a defense that is better today than it was when they conquered history, SB XLII and the 18-0 NE Patriots "greatest offense in NFL history". They have a franchise QB, 3 outstanding RB's, a good receiving core, and a great coaching staff. I'd be shocked, barring an injury to Manning or Tuck, if the Giants don't win at least 13 games and go to the SB.
I'm not as sold on the 8-0 Titans. Yes, the defense is solid, Chris Johnson is the most exciting player in the AFC right now, Kerry Collins has been very good so far, but I dont see them beating the Steelers, and possibly even the Colts and Chargers in a big game (even though the Colts have an uphill battle just to get there).
Speaking of the Titans, what an awful job by FOX on Sunday. How do you televise an amazing game (Titans -GB Sunday), have the game go into OT and then with the Titans lining up for the winning FG in OT, they cut out to 4 minutes of commercials. Now, as Mushnick wrote in the NY Post Monday, I understand the NFL TV rules (when the local team is playing the network must cut to their game, no questions asked), however, that isn't an excuse to just play 4 minutes of commercials prior to the kickoff. We just needed 15 more seconds to see if the FG was good (which it was). I mean, only a perfect 8-0 record for the Titans was riding on it. Damn FOX.
Well, TPC said Derek Anderson will be a bust and as usual he was right (insert you're Selvin Young jokes here). Brady Quinn takes over for the struggling Anderson vs. The Putrid Denver Broncos. Quinn will do just fine at the helm.
What happened to Cutler? After week 3 he was being hailed as the Next Great Thing, now he's just a regular young QB who gets very jittery, very quick. I think he'll right the ship, but there's a long way to go before he attains "superstud" status.
The J-E-T-S are 5-3, one more win than they had all of 2007 and are currently in First Place in the AFC East. With the Patriots being average at best, and Buffalo falling off a cliff, it seems the Jets and Dolphins could steal this division, amazing as that may sound.
Chad Pennington has been brilliant for Miami and deserves MVP consideration.
The Jags are done. Too many injuries to their offensive and defensive lines have left them crippled. They will be back in 2009.
I'm still not sure what to make of these Colts. Yes, they easily could be 1-7 (instead of the 4-4 record they currently own), the defense is awful (as usual) and the offense if not nearly what it once was. However, Sanders just returned and Manning has finally looked like Manning the last two weeks. I'm not ready to bury them just yet.
How awful are the Raiders? You can make a very good case that they are the worst franchise in sports over the last 6 years (21-57). Their franchise QB looks lost, they drafted a RB #1 this year when they had two decent backs and no offensive or defensive lines. Things look very bleak for the Silver and Black.
I still think the Chargers make a run and win the AFC West, but without Merriman they dont have enough defense to compete for the AFC title.
I dont think Baltimore is as good as their 5-3 record and I dont think Cincy is as bad as theirs 1-8.
Dallas will rebound big after their bye week, but I dont think they pass Washington, Philly or TB for the Two Wild Card spots. They need to dump Phillips and get a real head coach.
Philly is solid, but their whole season hinges on Westbrook playing at full strength. He's that good and important to that squad.
Washington plays good hard defense, but doesn't have the offense to win anything. Campbell might have been interception-less prior to last night, but he also doesnt take many chances.

The Vikings are looking very good with AP running and Ferrotte throwing. They are as formidable as any outside the NFC East. The Bears are in big trouble sans Orton. He's been a major reason the team is 5-3.

I love Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. Both look like stars of the future. I would take either over Cutler today. However, I dont see either making it to the playoffs this year.

Detroit is a joke and teh Culpepper signing just adds to the punch line. What's the point of signing a washed up QB halfway through the season for an 0-8 squad? Shouldnt they be seeing what the current guys have and what the future holds? Dante is definitiley not the future.

Who would have thought the NFC South would have all 4 teams at .500 or better at the midway point?

I still don't believe in Carolina. They are 5-0 at home, which make sthem a very dangerous home team, I just dont see them beating the NFC East Boys in the playoffs.

I love Arizona and the are making the Peoples Preseason Sleeper Team prediction look great. They practically clinched their divison, Kurt Warner is having an MVP season, they have a great offense and an improving defense. Go Cards!



First Half AFC MVP- Albert Haynesworth, The best player on the best defense and the best team. Honorable mentions: Chad Pennington, Phillip Rivers and Carlton Finnegan.

First Half AFC Best Rookie- Chris Johnson.

First Half AFC Coach of the Year- Jeff Fischer with a close second to John Harbaugh.

Biggest AFC disappointment- I like to say the Chargers D or Jacksonville, but injuries have decimated their respective teams. I'm going to go with Peyton Manning. Basically at career lows in every meaningful QB category, he's a very big reason for the Colts dismal first half. Dishonorable mention: JaMarcus Russel and Derek Anderson.



First Half NFC MVP- Kurt Warner. He has his team with a 3 game lead in first place, has played magnificent at QB (leads the NFC in QB rating, TD's, Completion %, and has only thrown 6 picks). Statistically he's been better than the more acclaimed Brees and his team is also better. Honorable mentions: Brees, Jason Tuck and Michael Westbrook.

First Half NFC Best Rookie- Matt Ryan. He's played great, both iin reality and statistically and has his team at 5-3. His future looks very bright.

First Half NFC Coach of the Year- Mike Smith, Atlanta. He took over a reeling franchise that was hurting big time from the Michael Vick saga, has a Rookie QB starting and has his team in contention and totally transformed the climate in Atlanta. There is a future in Atlanta.

NFC First Half biggest disapointment- The Cowboys. Even with the Romo injury their defense has been putrid. Dishonorable Mentions: Marc Bulger.





7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The most amazing thing is the drop off in the AFC.It looks to me like the chargers are the team that should come out of the AFC. Losing one man should not decimate a defense. Coach deserved to be fired.

Tennessee is interesting, they could have lost half there games.

N.E. and Cassel is the biggest knock on TPF. If you watch the games, a case can be made that Cassel is the worst QB in the league. And Belichek (TPF says is overrated) has been coaching beutifully.

Turner is a joke.

Arizona will clobber bad teams and lose to well coached teams. Hightower is a huge upgrade and will be a big help.

Brees is MVP.

The Ducks said said...

TPC-- You took some warranted bows (which is ok) but were vague about some of your bigger misses (which is not). Luckily, your friendly neighborhood Ducks Ombudsmen are here to clear it all up.

The Giants: True, what a great time to be a giants fan. I never thought I'd see a better NYG team than '86, but if nothing else, this one is much more well balanced. Youre still WAY WAY too high on eli though. I really think alot of QBs would be excelling with this giants team. I mean they are stocked EVERYWHERE. Eli is not exactly mobile, and he has hardly even been touched this season. Any decent QB would excel in his situation. All the RBs, greatest OL in the NFL, plax. Geez.

The Titans: You nailed this. They are a very, very weak 8-0. if that's possible. Look for a very decent but more human 5-3 2nd half. But youre wrong on the colts, they are doner than a Sarah Palin t-shirt.

FOX on the Titans game: You are dead on here too. What an absolute embarrasment. And I bleed more Giant blue than anyone alive, so that's telling you something. I agree on both your points here. You "must" switch to the giants last minute? Fine, I get it. but to miss the last 2nd FG for bills, wow, what a joke. glad mushnick nailed it too, i missed that column. and he had been missing alot lately. maybe he's back in the mix now, but i'm quickly moving over to the neil bests of the world now.

Derek Anderson: yes you were right; but:
Cutler: how do you not more clearly admit that you were wrong?
The J-E-T-S: you'r lost here, as usual. they are an even weaker 5-3 than the titans 8-0. and i was way way way way more right about favre than you were.
And know where else the Ducks schooled you? We said quite clearly only a few months back how underrated and underapreciated pennington was in an ever-underwhelming supporting jets cast. you mocked us. you hailed favre and said we were nuts on pennington. but it's time to admit that we were right about favre at 38-39 and pennington. and you were way way off on both.

More pennington: despite us being right on chad and favre, as proven by your sudden comment on chad for mvp, we must admit, now you've come way too far the other way. it must have been that last blunt. chad for mvp? uh, ok.

The Jags are not done. Wait and see. The colts are. Wait and see.


The Raiders, as you say, are a crying shame. Remember the once proud Al Davis led crew? The bad ass raiders? Ha.
You're ALMOST right on the Chargers. Except you didn't go far enough. They are going to the Supe. You heard it hear first. They have the 2nd best QB in the NFL right now.

You are correct about Baltimore and Cincy. Then again, i've been picking cincy as my upset win every week, so what do i know. i only got it right once.

Talk about toeeing the line, TPC. "Dallas will rebound big" but will not pass ANYONE in their division? How can you possibly be wrong on this call? youre right either way. and how can a team rebound "big" yet not gain even 1.5 games on on of 2 teams ahead of them. what's a "big" rebound, man? 5-3??? geez, take a freaking stance, man.

by the way, you're wrong anyway, dallas is gonna fall apart even more in the 2nd half and look for --you heard it hear first-- cowher to be in big d next season. it says here that those who say he's "too big" for jerry were saying the same about bill parcells before he took over too.
and if for some reason jimmy doesnt get cowher, look for billick to be the guy. which, i think, would actually be the best move.
Philly is only as solid as what they do this sunday. If they win, they roll. If they lose, they are done. And incidentally, philly is my pick for upset of the week vs. my giants. Not that i will mind being wrong on that one. this is the first week i have picked the giants to lose. damn objectiveness. look for philly to collapse if they lose this week though. in that way, philly is much like the french.

Washington: I agree with you.
The Vikings: I agree.
The Bears: i mostly agree but think they can overcome RG to some degree. they may get a playoff win.

Totally with you on Aaron Rodgers (the 1st in the next pool of great QBs) and Matt Ryan. But you are wrong on rodgers not making the playoffs. look for a big GB win this week.

Another shocker? Yes Detroit is a joke but they will win this week too.

You are 100% wrong on arizona. look for another KW injury and a huge huge 2nd half collapse. arent you glad i am putting this all in writing tpc?

Duck Views: Just admit it. After the 1st half, the ducks were more right on head-to-head issues than tpc was. its all in writing man.

ThePeoplesChamp said...

Ducks,

For the record, you can go to the left hand side of the page and see every comment and post written.
To make things easier, here is teh link:
http://thepeopleschampblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/2008-fearless-football-forecast.html

For the record, so far I have had two major misses that were not due to injury. Selvin Young who I thought was a good 3rd round pick and Devin Hester as a WR#1. Every other prediction has been dead on.
You can say what you want about Eli, but he is the main force on that offense. You take him out they arent the same. You saw how they performed without Plax and without Jacobs (last year).
We differ on opinion but statistically he is having by far his best season and his 4th quarter numbers, as usual, are off the charts. he is money. Plain and simple.

How exactly wrong was i with Cutler? He's on pace for 33 TD's and 4500 yardds and he has done it with ZERO running game. Plus, I said my 7th round pick would outscore your 3rd rounder (Big Ben) and I think i was dead on. In fact I said my 3rd rounder (Favre)would outscore him and I'm probably going to be right.
How am I wrong about the Jets? They have an excellent D, a decent offense, they are tied for first in their division and just beat, on the road, one of the teams they are tied with. Please explain how my prediction of a 4-12 team making a run for the playoffs is "way off" when they are 5-3, tied for 1st in their division, at the halfway mark.

While your at it, explain the same thing about Arizona who has a 3 game division lead. Do you even read the nonesense you write?

I dont see how I was wrong on Favre or Pennington. Yes, Favre has had his moments but he brought instant credibility to that offense and look at Thomas Jones year for proof. You have to respect the downfeld game and he has brought that. With pennington, my quote was "Pennington will show he has a lot left in teh tank". please, read what I write THEN tell me how wrong i am. I did attach the link for your ease.
And unlike you, I have proof in writing. Where exactly did you "school" me on Pennington, especially considering I said he would have a good year?
And I didnt say he was the MVP. Not even close. I said "he has been brilliant for Miami and deserves MVP consideration". Which is 100% true. he has Miami at 4-4 largely because of his play, a team that won 1 game last year.

Why is me saying Dallas will rebound big but not pass 2 of the 3 teams ahead of them for the playoffs crazy? They arent as good as those teams and have a tougher schedule. They also arent as bad as they have been the last 3 weeks.

I dont think the Colts are that good, i just hate counting out that type of team, especially whe their 2nd most important player just returned.


Here's what I dont understand. If I;m right about Minny (winning the division) and the Bears will win a playoff game, are you saying teh Packers will pass Philly, Wash, Tampa and Dallas? If not, explain then how Rex will win a playof game?

Nad once again. My sleeper team of 2008 was Arizona. I said they will win their divion. They are 5-3 with a 3 game lead, the largest divisional lead by far this season.
So explain exactly How TPC is "100% wrong on Arizona"?

This was a lot easier for you when we didnt keep the crap you write, now your foolishness is perserved for eternity.

The People Rests.

ThePeoplesChamp said...

Mr. Anonymous,


For teh record, you seem to read like the Ducks.

Here are my comments on Cassel:
http://thepeopleschampblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/matt-cassel-good-bad-and-ugly.html

I wwas hoping he would do well (because he was on my fantasy team) but was very leery of it. Read the article and the comments.
And although he has been average at best, he is not the worst QB in the league.

Belichek is 5-3 this season, and has struggled to get there, depite the schedule. The ofense is totally diffferent than last year an dteh only reason is Brady. A great coach makes teh system not the players. It's why the Giants D is so great. They lose Strahan and Usi and they are still dominant. Thats teh mark of great coaching. Belichek is a good to very good coach (and I'm not even sold on the very good part yet) who had a QB who made him look like a great coach. They struggled to beat KC, should have lost to the Jets but Mangini blew that game. Barely beat an awful SF and St. Louis team, got blown out at home and totally outcoached, not making one adjustment against Miami, got blow out by a SD in their best performance of the season and lost to a Colt team that has been hugelt dissapointing. They played one good game all year vs. Denver. With Brady they are 7-1 at worst. Without they are 5-3, barely.
The facts still have it that Belichek is barely a .500 coach in over 100 games (actually below .500) without Brady. Thise are facts son.

Turner is such a joke he's 3rd in the league in rushing despite playing with a rookie QB. He's on pace for 1600 yards and 12 TD's (TPC predicted 1200+ and 10-12 TD's). I'm sure there are 20+ NFL teams that would love that joke as their featured back.

I cant argue with Brees being MVP. He's in the discussion. He has taken a mangled offense (every single one of the skill players have been out with injury- Bush, Shockey, Colston and Deuce) and hasnt missed a beat. He was great in SG and is even better in NO.

Anonymous said...

The biggest mess up was the NE Patriots. TPF said the team was riding Bradys coattails and that Cassel would be fine and Belicheck was overrated.

He was exactly wrong. They are winning despite Cassel thanks to Belichek.

Arizona will be ok against average to below average teams until Warner get hurt. However, they switched the offense to 3,5,7 step drop-throw timing thing, which is Warners forte and safer.

November 7, 2008 10:37 AM

ThePeoplesChamp said...

Anon,

Here is what TPC actually said and I quote the WHOLE prediction:

"TPC's Take

I think the easy schedule really helps here. I think Belichek is a good coach who became a great coach because of Brady. His record over 100 games proves me right. If the schedule was a bit harder, I would say the Pats wouldn't even be a .500 team. Unfortunately, they have the easiest schedule in the NFL this season and Belichek won't lose to inferior squads.
I think Cassel will have a modestly succesful season. I'm thinking around 20 TD's in a much more ball controlled offense than the run and gun from last season. I think Morris becomes a must pickup as he will carry a much larger load this season.

I picked up Cassel because the outside chance that Belichek tries to throw another eff-you type dagger up there is very intriguing and the upside is there and there weren't that many other better options. I'm just not sold on it."


I said they will win BECAUSE the easy schedule and BECAUSE BELICHECK is a good coach who wont lose to inferior squads. READ!!!
I said Cassel will be adequate, which is very arguable to this point.
They are winning exactly because of what I said- there wins are against SF,Rams, Jets, KC and the Broncos. They should have lost to the Jets. They played one good game all year and that was against Denver. Cassel was great in that game (but every QB is against Denver).

The team is riding Brady's coattails, at least offensively.
They were the #1 Offensive team last year, and arguably the #1 team of all time. One player changed from then. They are now 23rd in the league. That one player is Brady.
Their opponents record is a combined 26-40. That's an easy schedule. Not a question.
Again, read what I write not what you want to think I wrote. The facts are clear as day.

As for Arizona, who cares why they are 5-3 and lead the division by 3 games? If they use a system that benefits their QB, isnt that a god thing, a smart thing by the coaching staff? That's exactly why i predicted them to win their division when the whole world was picking Seattle or jumping on the SF or St. Louis bandwagon.

Anonymous said...

"I think Belichek is a good coach who became a great coach because of Brady."

"I think Cassel will have a modestly succesful season. I'm thinking around 20 TD's"

He lost the best player in the league and his top running back. His back up QB can not get Moss more then 4 catches in a game and they are still near the tops in the standings. That is better then good coach.

Harping on his record when he was younger or his record before he had his players is a waste. His teams records and the way they have played these past few seasons speaks volumes.

Brady is amazing, but the rest of the team never has been. They never had star recievers (B4 last year) or star running backs and they have been at the top the NFL every year. I love Brady but Belichek has been awesome. His streak vs the colts said enough.

Watch Cassel play. It is the saddest thing I have ever seen. They are scared to have him throw the ball and every team he has to he lets the team down. You really need to watch him to understand.

In 8 games he 7 TD's and 7 Int's and an 83 QB rating. This is against one of the easiest schedules in NFL history. This is with one of the best recievers in the NFL.

Just watch him play, it is really sad. If you watch him and how they treat him you will see