Anybody who has grown up with an older, wiser influence in their life has heard the saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover”. I agree with that sentiment, but it’s traditionally our job as analysts to make snap judgments on the fly usually with little context to our perceived facts, outside of what immediately just happened, while that is the usual protocol I do like it when I get to look at things with a little bit of context.
Week 4 is the first opportunity to time stamp an NFL season, it’s the quarter mark. This week we are going to pop off The Wrap with a few observations and some predictions on some trends will go for the rest of the year. As you have seen with my BOLD predictions even a bit of context more than likely wont save my wretched predictions for this wacky year so we are going to call these:
SNAP JUDGEMENTS SURE TO GO WRONG: Quarter 1
The Dallas Run Game:
Holy cow, Demarco Murray is good! Its amazing what a talented football player can do when they can stay completely healthy for more than a game at a time. Murray is the league leader in rushing through 4 weeks with 534 yards and his next in line (LeVeon Bell) isn’t even that close at 378. Murray is on pace for 2,136 yards and 20 TDs, but more importantly his team is on pace to go 12-4. The Dallas Cowboys have looked really good with Murray as the lead dog. His play has taken pressure off of Tony Romo who has performed efficiently, and it has taken pressure off of that defense. If Sunday night’s evisceration of the Saints is any indication of what this teams ceiling is well, Jerry World might have to open up that roof for home games (ha!).
I’m predicting a little slippage from DMur (catchy, or nah?) but still an incredibly productive season 1,800 yards and 15 TDs. Provided of course he stays healthy.
The New England Demise:
Before the prime time Monday Night Football game, Coach Bill Belichick uttered these words,
“I think our guys are ready to go. It’s been a long week, but I feel like we have improved in a lot of areas, so hopefully, we will see that tonight.”
Then went out and got utterly embarrassed by the Kansas City Chiefs and their Hall of Fame QB Alex Smith. Ok, while that may be a bit of hyperbole about Smith -pretty sure even my fingers giggled as I typed that sentence, the fact remains that defense got shellacked and the offense may be an even bigger issue. Brady was a pedestrian 14-23 with 147 yards and two bad interceptions. Usually when the Pats struggle it can be attributed to many things but never Brady, he is consistently the sail to the ship at sea, this year though he is anchor. Brady has completed just 22 % of his passes 15+ yards down field on the season, tied with Ryan Tannehill for worst in the NFL.
In most seasons I’d blindly say things like, “It’s New England.” “They’ll turn it around.” “Belichick and Brady will find a way to win 12 games.” This season I find myself saying things like, “P.U. what is that smell? Is that New England’s offense? God, somebody take that shit out back and shoot it”.
I predict that the Pats will miss the playoffs for the first time in the Belichick AND Brady era.
They Are Who We Thought They Were, Unfortunately:
I chronicled earlier this year the Atlanta Falcons woes and the issues with the team they supposedly addressed but clearly didn’t. This team still can’t rush the passer, they still can’t protect Matt Ryan and they still have 0% chance of winning a game if their offense doesn’t muster up 30+ points in the game. For the viewing public having every week be a shoot-out at the OK corral may be entertaining, I contend that it does no good for mine and Arthur Blank’s heart (though his is much wealthier than mine and he could afford a triple bypass). While I want to stand on my pedestal and scream to the high heavens how tired I am of Thomas Dimitroff pissing on the fan base and proclaiming that it’s a rainy day, this week’s woes can’t be entirely put on the front office as the injury bug became a flesh eating disease. At one point Atlanta had starting TE Levine Toilolololololololo playing Right Tackle.
My prediction for Falcons season is a gloomy one. I believe we have seen the last win we will see from this team this year as they hobble their way to a 2-14 season. Ice will will miss his first significant time of his career, Julio will play with bubble wrap the rest of the season, Roddy White will legally change his name to “Can’t get right”, Steven Jackson will open an art gallery on the sidelines and the defense, well, the defense will do exactly what they have been doing all season.
*Hopefully that reverse Jinx works 😉 *
News and Notes:
- The biggest coaching news of the week was met with a collective “meh” as The Raiders fired God-awful head coach Dennis Allen. Oak was 8-28 with Allen at the helm. My only question is what took so long?
- Jim Harbaugh channeled his in Dick Nixon in a post-game interview. Harbaugh was asked tough question about his contentious relationship with CEO Jed York and the growing suspicion that he had lost the SF Locker Room. All this, mind you, after a win against previously unbeaten Philadelphia.
- In unrelated news, Harbaugh was seen shopping for Maze and Blue ties.
- E.J. Manuel was over drafted and now he is being benched for Kyle Orton. Good job Buffalo.
- Steve Smith Sr. is nothing short of awesome racking up 139 yards and two touchdown catches on his former team. He kept it all business on the field and all business in the post game presser, respect.
- Now that’s the Aaron Rodgers we know and love! The double check man whipped it out against GB’s mortal enemy the Chicago bears to the tune of 300+ yards and 4 TDs
Where I was right and wrong section as well as Q1 awards coming later this week!