Week 3 column

After three weeks of football there are only three undefeated teams left; the Steelers, Chiefs and the Bears. I didn’t see any of those teams getting off to this good of a start at all. The Steelers sitting at the top of the pack isn’t unusual but them taking it to the Bucs with their fourth string QB was sort of surprising. Key word, “sort of.” Charlie Batch had a few really nice throws but Mendenhall and the defense did most of the work. That and the Bucs defense was missing their best safety, Tanard Jackson due to suspension. Cody Grim was getting abused on those deep routes and he even literally handed Mike Wallace a TD. That’s why I don’t believe in the Bucs. They were finally put up against a good team and got pulverized.

The Bears edged out a win over the Packers a couple hours ago. I was pretty surprised since the Packers are my pick to win the NFC but games like that will happened. Green Bay needs to get a running back because Brandon Jackson wasn’t getting the job done tonight and John Kuhn isn’t an every down back. That and a plethora of penalties contributed to an ugly loss for Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers can’t carry them on his shoulders all season like he did tonight. More about the Bears, though. They’ve been very impressive the last two weeks but they got pretty lucky tonight. Green Bay handed them a few opportunities with the 18 penalties and poor special teams play. Jay Cutler had a huge mulligan on that last pass interference call that led to the game winning field goal. Speaking of which, I think Cutler has looked a lot better than last year but he had a handful of bad throws today. The first pick was airmailed to Derrick Martin and that second one, which was negated, was terribly underthrown. It’s good their offense took advantage of Green Bay’s mistakes, though. That’s the sign of a good team and now they’ve got a slight edge on them in the division.

Kansas City is the most shocking of the unbeaten teams and they had a very convincing victory over the 49ers yesterday. I really like this Chiefs team because they’ve been winning in entertaining fashion. Their win over the Chargers was fun to watch and they put on a show against the Niners by completely dominating them in all stages. Both Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles had solid games and are going to contribute well to this offense. I still think they should use Charles A LOT more than Jones, though. That “flea flicker” TD pass to Dwayne Bowe was cool to see and so was that one handed grab by Tony Moeaki. Dexter McCluster is also pretty fun to watch with his agility. The big surprise was Matt Cassell’s performance, 16-27 250 yds 3 TD, INT. That’s best I’ve seen him play in a Chiefs uniform for awhile. It was against a tough 49ers defense, too.

I have to give credit to the Chiefs defense, too. Crennell must be doing something right because they’ve only allowed 34 points all year and held Frank Gore to only 43 yards on 15 carries today. They also sacked Alex Smith 5 times, Tamba Hali having 3 of them. Brandon Flowers recorded his second pic of the year as well. This coupled with the Chargers, Broncos and Raiders losing means the Chiefs have a 2 game lead on the rest of the division. I think it’s kind of early to jump on their bandwagon but this was the first game that I was really impressed with them and I think they deserve a lot of credit for it. I expected them to improve but I saw them being a 5-6 win team at best. How much longer are Cassel’s receivers going to bail him out? Moeaki wouldn’t have to make that ridiculous catch if Cassel didn’t overthrow him. Can their special teams keep playing on this level? That remains to be seen but it’s good to see the Chiefs winning again.

Oh, and speaking of bandwagons, I’m still sticking with the Dolphins in the AFC East even if the Jets are really coming together. Henne had a good game and Brandon Marshall made Antonio Cromartie look silly on multiple occasions. Unfortunately, Braylon Edwards torched Will Allen on his long TD catch and Dustin Keller was all over their linebackers. Why the Phins kept putting linebackers on him was beyond me. Sanchez looked great, though. I’ll give them that. He looks a lot better now that the Jets have opened up their playbook a little more and let him actually throw deep. The Jets defense still gave up a ton of yards but it was without Darrelle Revis. Why Henning didn’t run the ball more is beyond me and when the only times he did run were from the stupid trick plays. The Jets saw those coming from a mile away and stopped them in their tracks. Meanwhile, Miami’s defense didn’t have an answer for Brad Smith and that combined with a blocked punt sealed the Dolphins fate. I still think they can take that division but the Jets are looking like the team everyone was hyping this preaseason.

Best Team Performance: Cowboys

Dallas needed this win the most and they go it. They exploited a weak Texans passing defense and were able to hold their offense to only 13 points. I think the most shocking thing I saw out of this game was that Roy Williams was actually making himself useful. 5 catches, 117 yards and 2 TDs! Did him and Miles Austin switch uniforms or something?

Top 5 Offensive Players of the Week

1. Peyton Manning 27-34 325 yds 3 TD

Well, it’s Peyton Manning doing what he does best.

2. Anquan Boldin 8 rec 142 yds 3TD

Boldin and Flacco were abusing Eric Wright of the Browns all game long. He had to bail Flacco out of a lot of messes, which is was the main reason he was brought to Baltimore. I had a feeling the Ravens would have a stat-padding game like this against the Browns.

3. Adrian Paterson 23 carries 160 yds, 2 TDs

So…why did it take the Vikings two weeks to find out that it’s AP who wins games for them?

4. Austin Collie 12 rec. 171 yds 2 TD

Another corner who got smoked this week was Perrish Cox of the Broncos. Austin Collie stepped in as the #2 receiver for the Colts with Pierre Garcon out and he did a fantastic job at it. An interesting note is that Collie now leads the NFL in receptions.

5. Tony Romo 23-30 284 yds 2 TD

Romo was the man on Sunday and he needed to be if the Cowboys wanted to win the game. That might silent his doubters for at least a week.

Honorable Mentions; Kyle Orton, Rashard Mendenhall, Mike Vick, Tom Brady, Brandon Lloyd, Tony Gonzalez, Lance Moore, Peyton Hillis, Antonio Gates, Philip Rivers

Defensive Player of the Week: Earl Thomas

Two huge interceptions against the Chargers on Sunday, one of which sealed the game for the Seahawks. This is definitely helping prove his  contract value. Also getting a shoutout from the Seabags is Leon Washington for his two kickoff returns. No special teams player of the week category and I wanted to fit him in, haha.

Honorable Mentions: Demarcus Ware, Trent Cole, Tamba Hali

Worst Team Performance: Jaguars

Taking nothing away from the Eagles, but the Jags defense looked like they were playing a scrimmage against them. They were constantly letting Vick connect on long passes and doing a piss poor job in both coverage and tackling. It was some of the laziest defensive play I have ever seen in awhile. Their offense is wasn’t much better.No wonder no one shows up to their games.

Worst offensive performance: David Garrard

Sorry to keep picking on the Jags but he was abysmal. When a team has to sign Keith Null as an “insurance” policy then you know your starting QB sucks. This was supposed to be Garrard’s “make or break” year and it’s looking like he’ll be a backup somewhere else if he keeps playing like this. Only one pick this week but a 13/30, 105 yds, 1 INT line isn’t good at all.

Honorable Mentions: Lions running game, Jonathan Stewart, Carson Palmer

Worst Defensive Performance: Eric Wright

Why the Browns didn’t put Joe Haden instead of him is beyond me. Covering Boldin isn’t an easy task but Wright was getting embarrassed.

Surprise of the Week: Chiefs and Bears are 3-0

see above

Honorable Mentions: Rams beating Redskins, Bills putting up a fight, Seahawks upset Chargers

Idiot of the week: Dan Henning

He really needs to cut down on the cute trick plays for awhile, they’re becoming way too predictable now. Ricky Williams should have had more carries and I think Ronnie Brown only ran up the middle or from the “Wildcat.” That and almost every time he calls a WR reverse, it fails. His playcalling might be what ruins Miami’s chances at winning the AFC East.

Game of the week: Falcons-Saints

What a fun game to watch between two of the league’s best offenses. Great back-and-forth action throughout the entire game and lots of huge plays. Big games for Tony Gonzalez, Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Lance Moore and Drew Brees. Then there was the horribly missed field goal from Garrett Hartley who could be looking for a new job soon. Kicking isn’t the best career choice to get into. I knew the Falcons would give the Saints a run for their money this year and winning a game IN New Orleans is huge for them.

Honorable Mentions: Chargers-Seahawks, Bills-Patriots, Broncos-Colts, Jets-Dolphins

Worst game of the week: Bengals-Panthers

Nothing like watching two horrible offenses battle each other in the rain while one team is actually trying to win and the other looks like they’re trying to screw up as much as possible. You can figure out who I’m talking about there. Carson Palmer really needs to start playing better because he is lucky he only had 2 INTs yesterday. He underthrew so many balls it’s not even funny and the Bengals only won because the Panthers are playing like the worst team in the league right now. Their offense makes the Gritz Blitz’s look amazing.

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