Thursday, October 30, 2008

Week Eight Observations

1. The Bucs have come up short against two of the league's worst defenses. They scored 13 against the Broncos and 9 against the Cowboys. The Buccaneer offense ranks in the middle of the pack in both yards and points but hasn't gotten it done against the pitiful defenses.

2. Dallas won this game with 192 yards of total offense. Terrell Owens led the team in receiving for the first time this season - with 33 yards.

3. Don't be fooled by those Washington/Detroit final or halftime scores. This game was dominated by the Redskins.

4. Santana Moss is the #1 wide receiver in fantasy football through eight weeks.

5. The Lions have a problem now that they've traded Roy Williams. Shaun McDonald and Mike Furrey are short, slight, and don't jump real high. Dan Orlovsky is not very accurate. So you see a lot of balls go sailing over their receivers.

6. I have no clue why the Lions ever hand the ball off to Rudi Johnson.

7. I've said it before, I'll say it again: Chad Pennington has the highest completion percentage in NFL history.

8. The Rams have all the skill position pieces in place on offense. They are a great example of why it is not enough to have a good quarterback, running back, and wide receivers. Most NFL games are decided "in the trenches" as they say. The Rams are weak on the line on both offense and defense.

9. They could have used Steven Jackson in this game; their backups are not too strong.

10. I gushed a bit about Donnie Avery last week. This week I like him even more. He has exceptional speed and balance.

11. Torry Holt may have lost a step. Dante Hall has not lost a step, he has lost two steps.

12. Matt Cassel is playing better and better. He still makes terrible plays like sliding two yards short of a first down with no one within five yards and he has no patience in the pocket. Basically he is the opposite of Ben Roethlisberger. He seems to be getting more comfortable.

13. The Patriots are 5-2. Their five wins have come over the Chiefs, Jets, Niners, Broncos, and Rams. Matt Cassel has not played against a top 10 defense yet this season. Their November schedule is more difficult.

14. The Chargers fired defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell in an attempt to improve their horrible defense. I still expect the Chargers to get into the playoffs. Five of their last eight are at home, they play KC twice, they get Denver at home in the last game of the season, LT should get healthier after this bye, and they have the second best quarterback in the league.

15. Donovan McNabb does an amazing job weaving through traffic in an effort to find a throw and keep plays going. It would be hilarious to watch Matt Cassel or JaMarcus Russell in this offense.

16. Atlanta got robbed of a chance to win the game with a two-minute drive for a touchdown against the Eagles. One of the worst calls of the year denied Matt Ryan an opportunity at a game-winning touchdown drive. It's really too bad cause Ryan could have pulled it off. Ryan is having one of the best seasons a rookie quarterback has ever had and this could have been a signature moment.

17. Brian Westbrook had a chance to kneel down on a touchdown run before the end zone to run out the clock just as he did last season. This time, in almost the exact same situation, Westbrook took it to the house.

18. The Jets do not have an offensive identity. There is nothing they do very well. There are many different things they do decently. They involve a lot of people and mix it up. They might be better off paring it down and focusing on fewer things.

19. Arizona's passing offense is fearsome. They have the best wideouts in football and a quarterback who can deliver the ball consistently and accurately short, medium, or deep. Edgerrin James isn't getting any faster and Tim Hightower runs chaotically. Their schedule is also conducive to continued aerial assault. As long as they protect Kurt Warner and keep him healthy, expect these sort of 350 yard days from Warner to continue. I wish I had him in fantasy.

20. Joe Flacco is fast. Cam Cameron is having fun coming up with creative ways to get Flacco out of the pocket.

21. JaMarcus Russell is so inaccurate and rarely throws the ball down the field. Although he is a monster, he does not play like Ben Roethlisberer. He is more of a Byron Leftwich, only less accurate. He is still a project. It's disturbing comparing his progress to the likes of Trent Edwards and Matt Ryan. If I was a Raiders fan, I'd be very worried. When do you push the panic button with Russell?

22. Ocho Cinco's decline in numbers is due in large part to Ocho Cinco's decline in play.

23. It doesn't make sense considering how productive he was the last two years, but the Browns do seem to function a little better with Kellen Winslow out of the lineup replaced by Steve Heiden.

24. It's pretty obvious why the Jaguars are not as good as last year - their decimated offensive line is not moving people around.

25. It's amazing that the Steelers have gutted out five wins with that offensive line. I don't think you can win a Super Bowl with a line that can't block pass rushers.

26. Pittsburgh's amazing defense held the Giants to 2.4 yards per rush. Although they had a rough day against the Steelers, the Giants sure have some talent at running back. Derrick Ward may be the best #2 RB in the league and Ahmad Bradshaw is the best #3 (yes, ahead of Mewelde Moore). I'd really like to see Bradshaw get some action - his talent is obvious. They can't get him on the field with Jacobs and Ward.

27. For a long time, I have wondered why the Steelers use Najeh Davenport on returns. It doesn't make sense to put a 247 pounder back there, does it?

28. There isn't much to say about the Niners other than they make tons and tons of mistakes. They don't take care of the ball and they commit tons of penalties.

29. Monday afternoon Trent Dilfer told me on NFL Live that the Colts were going to be able to hit Dallas Clark on the seam route for some big plays against the Titans, then rolled some videotape and explained why. That night Clark had seven catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns, most of the damage coming via that seam route. In the studio, Dilfer displays more confidence, accuracy, and explosiveness than he ever did on an NFL football field. He is one of the best already. The top ten NFL studio analysts:

1. Cris Collinsworth
2. Trent Dilfer
3. Tom Jackson
4. Floyd Reese
5. Steve Young
6. Tim Hasselbeck
7. Mark Schlereth
8. Howie Long
9. Mike Ditka
10. Marcellus Wiley

30. Tennessee has now beaten a team with a winning record - the 4-3 Baltimore Ravens. They will probably drop at least one of their next three - Green Bay, @Chicago, @Jacksonville.

Power Ratings:

1. Tennessee (1)
2. New York Giants (2)
3. Washington (4)
4. Pittsburgh (3)
5. Philadelphia (6)
6. Carolina (7)
7. Arizona (8)
8. Buffalo (5)
9. Chicago (10)
10. Tampa Bay (9)
11. Green Bay (12)
12. Baltimore (16)
13. Atlanta (15)
14. Miami (18)
15. Indianapolis (13)
16. Dallas (14)
17. New Orleans (20)
18. San Diego (11)
19. New England (19)
20. Houston (23)
21. Jacksonville (17)
22. Cleveland (24)
23. Denver (21)
24. New York Jets (22)
25. St. Louis (26)
26. Minnesota (25)
27. Oakland (28)
28. Seattle (30)
29. San Francisco (27)
30. Cincinnati (29)
31. Kansas City (32)
32. Detroit (31)


Blogger GambleGambel said...

ESPN has the broncos higher than falcons on their power ranking and you have them ten spots below. Wild differences in opinion or tightly grouped back?

10:11 AM  
Blogger GnightMoon said...

ESPN = wrong

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Tru said...

Brian Billick should make your top 10 commentators list

1:35 PM  
Blogger GnightMoon said...

Billick = color commentary, not studio analyst. We'll get to the color guys later in the season.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Nappy said...

I think you're slipping a little bit as the season wears on you moon. I have found many errors on the "fact based" portion of the blog. Something about inaccuracies just drives me crazy.

1) "The Bucs have come up short against two of the league's worst defenses."

Dallas is ranked #10 in the league in total defense and #17 in PPG, far from two of the worst in the league.

14) "they have the second best quarterback in the league." Philip Rivers is the #1 rated QB in the league at 107.8.

20) "Joe Flacco is fast"

That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard, he runs a 5.06 40, even you are WAY faster.

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah was going to say the same thing about flacco, but moom being way faster, i doubt it and would be willing to bet you could pick 50 random 18-34 males and MAYBE 2 could beat that time, if picked at random.

and chris collinsworth #1

almost made me throwup

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

meant 10 not 2

3:56 PM  

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