Eve of Week eight NFL thoughts

Posted: October 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

Schiano downward spiral continues

Greg Schiano “hasn’t” lost the locker room, according to Tampa Bay safety Dashon Goldson. Goldson’s smart enough not to throw his own head coach under the bus, with a glorious 0-7 start to the season doing that better than any disgruntled player could. Smart players know not to get involved in the potential drama drummed up by the media to attract readers, as doing so would likely get him labeled as a locker room diva, or cancer. Relatively important players such as former Patriots WR Brandon Lloyd and former Bengals WR Chad Johnson/Ochocinco/Johnson lost roster spots and currently remain unemployed because of their perceived diva status in the locker room.

While Schiano did good work as the coach at the University of Rutgers and displays some potential to one day be a talented head coach (he looks and acts like current mastermind Bill Belichick), today is not that day. Unless Schiano pulls off a miraculous turnaround for the Bucs and goes undefeated for the rest of the season, Schiano can expect to get fired before Christmas.

SF/Jax in London

In an apparent attempt to keep all of Europe thoroughly uninterested in American Football, the NFL will be holding the San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars contest in London this Sunday the 27th. SF/Jax, a game that is likely to end in a thrilling, edge of your seat 27-2 finish should serve as the exclamation point in the thesis as to why England and any other self-respecting country will likely never take an interest in such silly American bollocks. NFL Europe ended up being an enormous time and money sink for the NFL. If Goodell and the people who make decisions like this actually wanted to draw interest in the NFL overseas, they would have games like Green Bay vs. San Francisco or Indianapolis vs. Seattle in London. No one is going to feel like they’re missing out by watching a Chad Henne sackfest. 

The Colts are good

Andrew Luck, Chuck Pagano and the Colts organization stuck it to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos with a 39-33 victory at home, Denver’s first loss of the season. Indianapolis, while saddled with two puzzling losses to Miami and San Diego, have a collection of impressive wins against San Francisco, Seattle, and now Denver.The eager colts fan I spoke to over the internet the other day told me she was hoping for a Denver/Indianapolis AFC championship game, a playoff match up that looks about as probable as any right now.

The Chiefs are good

Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs are now the only undefeated team in the National Football League. Denver and KC play twice in three week’s time this winter. I want to say the Chiefs deserve to be honored as the top team in the NFL, but they haven’t had the honor of playing a team that would now be considered particularly good. It’s not Kansas City’s fault they’ve had a softer opening schedule, that’s probably what happens when you finish dead last the season prior. The Chiefs’ first ‘real’ test (and what a test it will be) will come November 17th at Mile High Stadium against Manning’s Broncos. If Bob Sutton and the league’s 3rd ranked pass defense can find a way to contain Decker, Thomas, Thomas, Welker, and Knowshon Moreno then they deserve to win. Alex Smith isn’t exactly Andrew Luck, or so he hasn’t been in 2013, but the Chiefs’ involvement of Jamaal Charles and superior field positioning will keep the game close. I think.

Some teams are bad but not Carolina

Baltimore and Houston have failed to maintain their status as AFC heavyweights as they’ve combined for a total record of 5-9 in seven weeks of play. Houston can point to their particularly rough slew of injuries and sudden terrible play of Matt Schaub for their sub-par performance, whereas Baltimore is merely satisfied with their super bowl slump excuse.

The NFC East is terrible at the moment. Chip Kelly’s uptempo offense expected to take the world by storm fallen short of expectations, though clearly the defense shoulders more of the blame ranking dead last in yards allowed and 26th in points allowed. Robert Griffin’s performance has taken a step back in his sophomore campaign as he’s scored eight touchdowns and committed eight turnovers. The Giants, a true football enigma, just scored their first win of the season against a Vikings team struggling with an identity crisis at quarterback.  Dallas, the team on top, has gotten three of their four wins against other NFC East teams. To Dallas’s credit, they came awfully close to beating a high-powered Denver Broncos football club this season. 

The Carolina Panthers are quietly playing phenomenal defense. 2nd in the league in points allowed. If they can steal a wild card spot, Cam Newton’s panthers could cause some trouble in the playoffs for some unsuspecting first seeds. A Seattle/Carolina revenge game might be in the works.

Why Atlanta shouldn’t trade Tony Gonzalez

A small number of NFL pundits began opining that Atlanta should trade their future hall of famer tight end Tony Gonzalez, despite his insistence that this season will be his last. Supposedly, because the Falcons already have a poor record seven weeks into the season (2-4, ATL had a bye week), and have lost Julio Jones for the season, the Falcons should just give up on this season and send Gonzalez packing for a future draft pick operating under a ‘better luck next year’ mentality. There are two problems with this mentality:

A. No self respecting head coach, GM, or owner would engage in this type of mentality on a professional level, and,

B. Wins equal Revenue.

A. Falcons head coach Mike Smith is a professional. Professionals build and maintain a winning atmosphere by winning now. If Gonzalez were dead weight, under-performing, or became overtaken by a rookie/free agent (i.e. Fred Davis has lost his job to Jordan Reed this season) then trading him would make sense. The Trent Richardson trade to Indy made sense because Richardson never established himself as an irreplaceable cog on the Browns offensive machine. He can barely crack 3 yards a carry. Gonzalez is among the top five at his position, the essential cog in the offensive machine.

B. Even if the Falcons end up 7-9 or 6-10 this season that’s still one or two wins more than they would have if they gave up Gonzalez. Gonzalez, now the focal point of the offense with both starting receivers out of the picture, would leave Matt Ryan with no premium talent on offense to work with were he to be traded away.

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