Week 6: The Late Games
Crazy set of late games as the Jags beat the Broncos, Titans beat the Seahawks and the Cards beat the Niners, ok so these results may not have happened but there was one surprise.
Jacksonville Jaguars 19 Denver Broncos 35
The Jags may not have won the game, but they may have won the respect of a few teams by giving the Broncos a scare. To celebrate a good performance, I will try and focus on the positives of this team. Firstly with Blackmon and Henne in the team the Jags look much more dangerous and as a result it frees up Jones-Drew to make some plays. The Defence is fairly weak but with players like Cyprian, Posluzny, Harris, Hayes and Blackmon, they can definitely make some plays. What I guess I’m trying to say is I don’t think this team go winless and that they might not be the worst team in the league, where they get the win? I have no idea, but at least there are signs of life.
So apparently it’s disappointing to put 35 point up on a team. Well that’s according to Broncos fans who booed their team in a match up that still resulted in an easy win. That being said, in Peyton Manning terms it was a pretty disappointing day at the office. 2 Fumbles is always 2 too many and it seemed he invoked the spirit of his brother when he threw a pick 6 to Posluzny. The Defence made some mistakes, but what is really important to remember is, they did enough to win and the Broncos are 6-0. One thing to be concerned about will be if the slight slide in Manning’s play continues when Denver starts to get very cold.
Tennessee Titans 13 Seattle Seahawks 20
A close game in Seattle as the words that are leaving everyone’s mouth still sound weird, “Tennessee win this if Locker is fit”, see it sounds weird right. Whilst I agree this is probably true, we’ll never know if this is the case. What I do know about Locker is we have about a season’s worth of bad play and 2 games worth of good, so we should see if he keeps playing at the high level when he comes back. That being said Fitzpatrick is not providing a spark that this team desperately needs to make Chris Johnson a factor in this game. The Defence still looks solid with the Defence being the standout unit on this team. The AFC South is in such a state of flux that there is every chance the Titans pip the Colts and Texans to a playoff spot and deservedly so.
So the hype is beginning to die down on a team I have never been hugely high on, so guess what. I think they deserve some hype! Ok so they lost a game. That happens, but they were in the game till the end and every other game they have found ways to win. As we have discussed with the Patriots, it’s the great teams that do that and more often than not they do. Whilst I don’t have a great deal of faith in Wilson, he does make plays when he is required to, whether with his feet or through the air. The Defence is still dominant and tend to always keep the score low, giving the Offence only a small deficit to peg it back. So whilst I don’t think they are the best team in the league, they are still dangerous and still playoff bound. One thing I did notice. Their Special Teams seem to be very good at making mistakes at the moment. In the Playoffs, these are the mistakes that lose you games.
New Orleans Saints 27 New England Patriots 30
Another contender for game of the season, well the finish of the season at least perhaps. On the Saints side we saw some uncharacteristic play from a number of players, including a below par Drew Brees and a non-existent Jimmy Graham, the Offence did however manage to score 27 pts on a decent Patriots Defence, but in this instance it wasn’t enough. I find it hard to criticise a Defence that got 5 sacks and generally played well, but making a mistake in the last 10 seconds can’t happen, when the game is on the line, if you hope your team has a decent playoff run. Saints fans I really don’t think you have a great deal to worry about, you’re still playoff bound and you were merely pipped at the post in the last 10 seconds. But if they want to have a decent playoff run, they need to get Graham back in the game.
Once again the young Patriots team finds a way to win and lifts the team to 5-1. People always talk about momentum shifts in games, but very rarely about how much a last second game winning drive can effect a season. What the Patriots have managed is a moment that might bring a ragtag team together to make a decent run at the Super bowl. Yes I am still on-board and I’ve never felt so confident. The Young Receiver is improving with every game and the emergence of Austin Collie at the end of the game, might prove to add an extra level to some clutch slot play. Add in Gronk and Vereen eventually returning from injury and you have a decent team that will cause some serious headaches. This team however is not without problems. The O-line let Brady get sacked 5 times and on other occasions let D-linemen through to force Brady to make some pretty shocking throws. They can’t be to blame for some of the poor plays however. It seemed to be a pretty even split of the young Receivers dropping the ball and Brady either under or over throwing on some pretty easy passes. Then there are the injuries. With Wilfork already out the defence suffered another blow with the loss of Aqib Talib, who managed to pretty much completely shut out Jimmy Graham of the whole game. Throw in injuries to Mayo (shoulder), Amendola (Head) and Dan Connolly (Head); the Patriots have some serious problems. Despite all of the above though, the Patriots are getting things done the hard way and I fully expect it to carry on.
Arizona Cardinals 20 San Francisco 49ers 32
It would appear the Cardinals still have issues at QB, a problem they have had since Kurt Warner retired. Palmer isn’t awful by any stretch of the imagination and he does seem to be getting the ball to Fitzgerald, but he also seems to make a large number of mistakes and maybe air it out when it really doesn’t have any hope of reaching its target. But what can they do, drop Palmer? Probably not going to help, Drew Stanton won’t be any better. Rely on their run game? The run game for the Cards has been nothing short of woeful; Mendenhall doesn’t seem to have what it takes to be a no. 1 Running Back. So maybe they stick with Palmer and accept that when he’s hot, he’s really hot, but when he’s not… well he’s just pretty bad. The Defence still looks pretty good. In any game with this team you always feel like it’s only a matter of time before Peterson returns an interception for some points and Matthieu seems to be everywhere. The Cards clearly won’t make the playoffs this year, but there are signs of improvement. If Arians can get a decent QB in the Off-season, the NFC West might become very interesting.
I think it’s fair to say that Kaepernick won’t be allowed to hit Vernon Davis quite as much in the future. But in the absence of a legitimate no. 1 Receiver, he could be the piece they need to win the aerial battle. Kaepernick didn’t play the dynamic, explosive game that Niners fans now expect, but what he did do was lead the team to a victory. I don’t think it’s the last we’ve seen of the exciting Kaepernick we saw last year, but if he keeps winning games in the current fashion, I’m sure Niners fans won’t complain. The Niners Defence played great again, with a couple of worrying missed tackles. I’m looking in particular at the missed tackle Donte ‘Hitner’, had against Fitzgerald that allowed a Touchdown. Maybe reconsider the name change Donte. It might not have been the pretty, exciting game Niners fans have come to expect from this team, but what it is, is a win, which means they can keep up with the Seahawks.
Washington 16 Dallas Cowboys 31
We’re in week 6 and RGIII still doesn’t look right. He still has issues running and seems to struggle making the explosive plays through the air that won him the ‘Rookie of the Year’, award last year. That being said I think any Redskins fans who think they should trade him and start Cousins are a little crazy. I don’t think it helps that the surrounding weapons seem to be struggling, in particular Alfred Morris who looks like he’s struggling compared to last year. The Defence continues to struggle against a massively explosive Dallas Cowboys Offence. This could be a lost season for the Redskins, at which point you have to think, maybe bench RGIII and give him some rest. That being said, in this year’s NFC East, pretty much anyone could still win it.
Whilst the NFC is still winnable by pretty much 3 teams, it is really the Cowboys Division to lose. The Offence got dealt a pretty harsh blow when DeMarco Murray went down and looks to be out for the next game. Romo is however looking fantastic and the makeshift O-line is getting it done. Dez Bryant could be my choice for MVP (yes I love him), as he continues to make impossible catches. On Defence they were dealt another huge blow as it looks like DeMarcus Ware will probably be out for at least 3 weeks. Without Ware an already weak Defence is going to have some serious problems. That being said, I do think this team gets a streak going and are good for the Playoffs. They might not be the best team in the league but they do look set up to play decent football in the playoffs. I guess what I’m trying to say is, yes I do still have the Cowboys for the Playoffs.
Indianapolis Colts 9 San Diego Chargers 19
And the final game is one that makes me look a little foolish. As the Chargers win in a field goal fest. For the Colts this has to be a big worry. A team that has won games through the power of their Offence. In the running game Trent Richardson continues to look a little disappointing, but was only trusted to a small chunk of the carries. But what must be a real worry is Andrew Luck failing to score a Touchdown, which puts immense pressure on the Defence. So yeah the Defence can’t keep a team to less than 9 pts, it’s simply not how they’re set up. For the Colts to remain dominant in their Division they will need to bounce back as quickly as possible and push for a home victory against an on fire Denver Broncos.
San Diego continue to surprise by getting a close fought Defensive win, where they controlled the game for almost 2/3 of the time. Rivers played a decent, but not stand out game and did exactly what was required of him. Matthews finally hit his stride and ran for over 100 yards. The Defence did a great job of stopping Luck from scoring a Touchdown and really kept this team in the game. San Diego are beginning to look like a much improved team, that will unfortunately miss out on a playoff spot thanks to the 2 unbeaten teams in their division. However Chargers fans can rejoice that this team is definitely improving and will probably enjoy a decent season.
Main Image: AP Photo/Joe Mahoney
Featured Image: AP Photo/Steven Senne