Sunday, October 23, 2016

Week 7 NFL Notes

Aaron Rodgers completed a team record 39 passes in a single game, albeit against the lowly Bears in a 26-10 victory last Thursday.  After not being targeted once in the Packers first four games, Ty Montgomery for the second game in a row caught 10 passes, and even rushed for 60 yards. But again it was just against the now 1-6 Bears, and all those passes were required for Rodgers to reach the 300-yard mark in a game for the first time since Week 9 last season. But as ESPN’s Ron Jaworski pointed out, this wasn’t really the “breakout” game that Packer fans have been waiting for. The majority of Rodgers passes traveled five yards or less down field, and his 5.8 yards-per-pass was under his already low standards for the season. It was also noted that Rodgers was still not sharp throwing the ball downfield, and ironically had his best game in regard to raw numbers with Jordy Nelson an almost complete nonfactor, catching only one of those 39 completed passes. 

Nevertheless, this game had one positive aspect that Packer fans can take heart in. Given that the Bears allowed Rodgers all the time in the world he needed to practice the Tom Brady dink-and-dunk playbook, the Packers—down 10-6 after a Rodgers fumble recovered by the Bears for a touchdown—sliced up the Bears defense with short passes in the second half, and for once Rodgers at least looked comfortable in leading three long scoring drives, which hasn’t been a Packer strongpoint this season. Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Montgomery caught 34 passes between them, and one wonders if this is the right mix of receivers for Rodgers, with Nelson the odd-man out. 

Elsewhere in Week 7:

Chargers 33 Falcons 30 (OT) Matt Ryan passed the 200-yard mark for an NFL record 46 times, but like last week against the Seahawks he took the opportunity to throw away a game late by tossing a needless interception that ultimately cost the Falcons the game. The Chargers’ Melvin Gordon didn’t put up great yardage numbers, but he did score three more touchdowns, giving him 10 for the seasons through seven games. 

Buccaneers 34 49ers 17 Is the Colin Kaepernick experiment over? His Afro certainly hasn’t turned him into Samson. Sure, he ran for 84 yards on 9 runs, but that was easily nullified by only 113 net yards on 38 passing plays (including four sacks). The 49ers once stout defense allowed 513 yards against the on again-off again Buccaneers offense, and with the 49ers losing their sixth straight and  no end in sight with two mediocre or worse quarterbacks under center, Chip Kelly’s days must surely be numbered as an NFL head coach.

Patriots 27 Steelers 16 This game was played a lot more evenly than it should have been, with Ben Roethlisberger out. The Patriots took an early 14-0 lead and just coasted from there. Landry Jones and company did their best to keep pace and admirably so, but the Steelers repeatedly failed to follow-up promising drives with touchdowns.

Giants 17 Rams 10 On their first nine possessions the Giants offense managed seven punts, a fumble and a field goal, but a Case Keenum interception returned for a touchdown and another leading to a short field touchdown sealed the Rams doom. Each of the Rams final three possessions ended in Keenum interceptions in a game otherwise controlled by the Rams on both sides of the ball. 

Chief 27 Saints 21 After taking an early 7-0 lead, the Saints were outscored 21-0 before halftime thanks to a Drew Brees interception returned for a touchdown and further anemic offensive output. Brees came back in the second half, finishing the game passing for 367 yards, but a Mark Ingram fumble inside the Chiefs 10-yard line sealed defeat. 

Colts 34 Titans 26 The Titans looked to win their fourth game of the season after taking a 23-20 lead late, but the Colts subsequently scored two touchdowns in a ten-second span. Remember last season when we told that Andrew Luck was “regressing”? Well, maybe that rib injury did have something to do with it. Through seven games this season, he’s thrown for 2074 yards, 14 TDs and just 4 interceptions for a 98.3 passer rating.

Eagles 21 Vikings 10 The Eagles put together just one decent offensive drive the entire game, but together with a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and the defense front seven covering Sam Bradford like a wet blanket all night was sufficient to end the Vikings unbeaten record. 

Bengals 31 Browns 17 The Bengals piled-up 559 yards of total offense, yet still just beat the 0-7 Browns and their sixth-string quarterback by just 14 points. Are the Bengals a good team which has just had a string of bad luck, or is its inconsistency (especially on offense) merely being manifest more boldly in a game like this?

Lions 20 Redskins 17 The Redskins came back from a 13-3 fourth quarter deficit to take the lead with a minute left in the game, but Matthew Stafford, who threw for only 191 yards up until that point, completed four passes for 75 yards during s 49 second drive, including the game-winner to Anquan Boldin with 16 seconds to play. This is the fourth time that Stafford has led late-game comebacks this season. But let’s not get carried-away with the “MVP” talk—the Lions won those games after blowing big leads, miraculously coming to life thanks to the opponent’s defense forgetting that a game was still on.

Raiders 33 Jaguars 16 Not a game I was much interested in at all. There were no particularly standouts players in this game, particularly the quarterbacks, with Derek Carr throwing for just 200 yards and Blake Bortles throwing two interceptions. But the Raiders defense did not allow stratospheric numbers; they are now the most blah 5-2 team in the league. 

Dolphins 28 Bills 25 Well, we can at least say this for Jay Ajayi: after gaining more than 200 yards for the second week in a row, he’s gained almost as many yards as Timmy Williams did in his entire career, including that Super Bowl. Ryan Tannehill didn’t do much, but if Ajayi keeps this up, Tannehill won’t have to do anything at all except stand around and admire.

Jets 24 Ravens 16 Geno Smith started this game for the Jets, and stayed in just long enough for one lucky play when a seven-yard dinky-and-dunky catch-and-run pass wound-up finishing-up as a 69-yard touchdown. Then Smith hurt his knee with the Ravens leading 13-7 in the second quarter, and Ryan Fitzpatrick came back in to play errorless football and leading the Jets to victory. Aiding the victory was the Ravens being held to just 6 yards rushing on 12 attempts.

Seahawks 6 Cardinals 6 (OT) Isn't this just the kind of game that makes you sick if you hate the Seahawks and you have to stomach their annoying fans?  The Cardinals should have left the Seahawks on the mat bloody and battered, allowing just 130 yards of offense in regulation. Although their offense could not put points on the board, they still should have won. A blocked field goal early in the game didn't help, and a blocked punt that led to the Seahawks only points in regulation sent the game into overtime. After trading field goals, the Cardinals got all the way down to the Seahawks one-yard line, but missed a 24-yard game-winning field goal attempt. And then, predictably, the Cardinals defense decided to take a nap, before the Seahawks missed their own game-winning chip-shot field goal try, with the game ending in a tie. But I still feel the same sick feeling.

No comments:

Post a Comment