Monday, October 11, 2010

11 Things I Know I Know

In my never-ending battle to compete with Peter King, it has become my goal to publish this article before his MMQB gets released on each week.
1. I know that Peyton Manning cost his team three points at the end of the first half. The Colts faced a 4th-and-2 at the Chiefs' 39-yard line with 0:27 left in the first half. Colts' head "coach" Jim Caldwell tried to send on the punt team but Peyton waived them off the field. Instead, they went for it and came up short. Two completions by Matt Cassel and a personal foul on the Colts allowed the Chiefs to kick a 45-yard field and cut a six point deficit in half. Ultimately, the decision did not factor in the final outcome of the game, but the power clearly does not rest with Caldwell.
2. I know that my picks to have the best records in their respective conferences - Bengals and Cowboys - looks worse with each passing week. The Cowboys seemed to have some momentum heading into their bye week after an impressive dismantling of the then-undefeated Texans. After losing at home for the second time as a 7+ point favorite, the 'boys are 1-3. Cincinnati had their game signed and sealed but could not deliver at home against Tampa Bay. Up 21-14 with the ball near midfield and less than three minutes to play, the Bengals managed to find a way to blow it. Painful losses both.    
[I don't know what to make of it (possibly nothing), but Week 5 had an MLB-type feel with the urban battles between Bucs-Bengals, 49ers-Eagles, and Jets-Vikings; each of those cities also has a playoff team representing them in baseball]
3. I know that I agree with Donte Whitner's assessment that the Bills are the laughingstock of the NFL. One of only three winless teams, Buffalo looks hopeless in all facets of the game.
4. I know the Panthers, another of those winless teams, aren't that far behind. They lost by 17 at home to a team whose starting quarterback went 6-16 for 32 yards, no touchdowns, and four interceptions, and amassed a QB Rating of 6.2. 
[Both the Bills and Panthers have a bye in Week 6 so at least we can forget about them for two weeks.]
5. I know the AFC South will be the most fun division to follow the rest of the way. All four teams sit 3-2 after five games after Week 5's action. The Jags and Titans seem to be trending up, the Colts appear pretty neutral, and the Texans are in free fall mode but things change quickly in this division. Buckle up.
6. I know this was a brutal week for the Rams' playoff chances. They lost a very winnable game against previously winless Detroit, they lost their best wide receiver - Mark Clayton - for the season, and the Cardinals upset the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints to take the division lead at 3-2. An uphill climb to do the unthinkable just got steeper although the 49ers did them a favor by falling to 0-5.
7. I know the Falcons are the best team in the NFC right now. Sure, they only played the Browns, but it was a total team effort. If you haven't seen Kroy Biermann's highlight reel interception returned for touch down, YouTube it.
8. I know the Chiefs impressed a lot of people yesterday. Despite losing by 10, the game against the Colts was much closer than that and actually hung in the balance until late in the fourth quarter. This appears to be a team that's on the upswing.
9. I know this week the Packers would be the team most adamantly opposing the new 18-game proposal (of course, they would be joined by all other 31 teams). Green Bay saw five key contributors go down with injuries on Sunday: Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, Jermichael Finley, Donald Lee, and Ryan Pickett. Starting right guard Mark Tauscher missed the game with an injury as well.
10. I know why the Eagles were awarded a first down when LeSean McCoy fumbled the ball forward and offensive lineman Todd Herremans recovered thanks to a recent ESPN article that answered my question. An excerpt of Dr. McGee's explanation:
The ball is spotted back to point of the fumble only on fourth down. Why? Because of the scenario you just described, to prevent teams from keeping a drive alive by shoveling a fumble ahead to a teammate. (To keep a team from tossing it ahead to score, the same rule applies to two-point conversions.) On first, second or third down, if the ball is fumbled forward and recovered by a member of the same team, it is indeed spotted up at the point of recovery. That's the scenario you must have seen. A helpful hint: Watch the officials on a fourth down play. You will see them giving a signal in which they roll their hands over and over, similar to the illegal procedure signal you see the referee give when explaining a penalty. That's a reminder to the other members of the crew that they are in a fourth down scenario, and if they have a fumble the spot will go back to where the ball came out. Hope this helps.
11. I know that the Jets will win tonight, 24-19. There will be a lot of fanfare surrounding the return of Brett Favre, Randy Moss, Darrelle Revis, Calvin Pace, and Santonio Holmes, but Mark Sanchez will steal the show. 

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