Week 4 is one of the first separation weeks of the season.
We’re only at the quarter pole, and yet there are some things we can say with certainty.
For instance, the Browns are not making the playoffs this year. I wouldn’t bet my house on it, especially given that I rent, but still – let’s call that one.
Sorry, Cleveland! Kyrie Irving is awesome, so… there’s that?
What about one of the biggest surprises of the season, New Orleans? Different situation. They are not going to win the NFC South, for certain, but a Wild Card berth is not out of the question given their offensive firepower. Still… uh, Anthony Davis? Woo!
As for the rest of the NFL, well, it’s a mixed bag. Basically every team is still a contender, but there are certainly some that are simply the beneficiaries of some good luck. As for the offenders, I’m talking teams that I simply don’t ever want to watch again. Cough, the Jets, cough.
I’ll break down the NFC this week, and next week take a look at the AFC.
LET’s LIST IT!
The Falcons are undefeated heading into a week 5 showdown with Robert Griffin III and co., and with Oakland the week after, they should certainly head into their bye week at 6-0.
But am I the only one who can’t forget that ugly, UGLY loss to the Giants in the playoffs last year?
This is a soft team that’s ranked 29th in rush defense and will probably continue to get gashed on the ground. Now, that ranking is somewhat due to facing the Panthers this past week, who wracked up 199 yards with their weird option-wishbone-leather-helmet offensive attack. But I still don’t think this team is destined for anything other than a first-round loss.
Holy crap that Roddy White catch near the end of regulation was amazing. One of those catches that makes you pump your first alone in your house simply because it was so cool.
Cam Newton looks to be coming around finally, but all of this anti-Cam sentiment is ridiculous.
First of all, no one in Carolina cares because Duke and UNC are about to come back, and there’s probably NASCAR on TV.
Second, Cam Newton is incredibly awesome. He’s like a more likeable Michael Vick crossed with an actually good Duante Culpepper (racist comparisons!). Maybe he won’t lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl, but he makes them relevant, and the Panthers are basically the Jaguars with better local barbecue.
Also, Julio Jones and Roddy White are the WR equivalent of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. You never know who’s going to have the big week and it’s crazy frustrating.
San Francisco 49ers
I watched the entire Jets-49ers game for some reason, and it was honestly one of the most satisfying games I’ve ever seen a team play. It’s like when you’re in franchise mode in Madden and you just want to crush the computer in every aspect possible to boost your team’s stats.
It was a Matt Cain 2-hit complete game shutout.
It was also very weird given the loss to Minnesota the week before. Next up are three games at home versus some decent competition, then a big showdown versus Arizona (wait, what?) in the desert. By that game, we should know exactly what we’ve got in SF.
VERDICT: Contender, for now
Has the sports media finally reached the point where the snake is eating it’s own tail? The story this week has been the potential for the story to be Tim Tebow replacing Mark Sanchez, and when that story might become the main story. What the hell? Just leave it alone.
Colin Kaepernick did more in one game than Tebow has done the entire year. Why isn’t there a QB controversy in San Fran?
I don’t expect Kendall Hunter to bust out like that much more this season, unless the 49ers decide to play the Jets instead of the practice squad during their bye week.
Every single Jet is now a stay-away no-no because this team is terrible.
Honestly, your guess is as good as mine.
They have a good defense, but their offense is best described as “middling.” Imagine if someone described anything you do as middling. “Yeah, Evan is pretty good in the kitchen, but his chili is middling at best.” (Except that it’s really good you guys … because I put an entire beer in it!)
As for the Dolphins, they look like they are destined to win 5 games and put up a fight in every other one. But let’s be frank – this is a team that has hinged it’s entire reboot on Ryan Tannehill .. like Chad Henne and John Beck and Pat White before him, and that’s basically the only thing that matters this year.
Did you know the Cardinals are the oldest continuously operating NFL franchise? Mind, BLOWN.
Did any of you get totally screwed by Brian Hartline starting against you? Those random outbursts are so great unless they happen to you.
I had Jackie Battle on my bench this week, and for some reason decided to start Dexter McCluster instead of him. And of course he exploded for 20+ points, and McCluster imploded for 0.4 points. Wonderful.
Green Bay Packers
This is a weird one given that they are already a game behind the Vikings and Bears in their division (though with a victory over the Bears in hand) and will have a real battle for a Wild Card spot unless they rip off 4 or 5 wins in a row.
Green Bay has a schizophrenic schedule: Indy this week is a sure win, but trips to Houston and St. Louis, then a home date with Arizona, then a bye, then trips to Detroit and the Giants are… kinda tough, especially for a team that has had its soul crushed repeatedly by weird calls these first few weeks.
They can’t run the ball, but that’s never been an issue in the past – it’s their lack of a pass game that’s setting off the most warning signs. I have a feeling this is a big-time regression year for them, and that 10 wins and a Wild Card spot may be the best they can get.
If the Pack had been robbed by bad calls two weeks in a row, and with the Badgers and Brewers eliminated from contention, and with their dumbass Governor (politics!), could this have been the coldest winter in Wisconsin history? Perhaps.
I think Cedric Benson is officially cooked. Texas produces some of the law-breakingest running backs: Benson, Ricky Williams, possibly Earl Campbell may have shoplifted at some point? I dunno. I’m watching Bio-Dome while I write this so I have no credibility.
Also, does any player have a worse commercial:fantasy points ratio this year than Greg Jennings?
I have so many, many angry thoughts about this game. But the Giants won a Super Bowl eight months ago so… forget it.
God bless the Eagles – enjoy this hot start! Savor it! Bask in it. I hope the Steelers hit LeSean McCoy so hard this week that Freddie Mitchell takes off his Wal-Mart greeter vest, sits down, and sobs right in the cat food aisle.
For all their luck, however, the Eagles are top-12 in both run and pass offense and defense. Perhaps it’s not a mirage? I’ll believe it if they beat Pittsburgh this week. If they get blown out, it makes the win over the Giants look ever worse in retrospect.
VERDICT: Screw You
Stephen Baldwin is somehow worse than Pauly Shore in Bio-Dome. How did he not ruin Usual Suspects? Why am I still watching this?
Well, those Andre Brown owners are feeling pretty dumb right about now.
The Bears looked like absolute world beaters Monday night, which gets ESPN completely frothing because they get to break out MONSTERS OF THE MIDWAY!!! headlines and then run Breaking News: JERRY JONES ‘DISAPPOINTED’ stories.
Seriously. Real article.
Jerry Jones is the Donald Trump of the NLF, and Donald Trump was the Donald Trump of the USFL, so take that how you will.
Also, wow, the Jay Cutler Smoking meme is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. How am I just now hearing about this? East coast media bias, probably.
Anywayyyy, the Bears with Brandon Marshall are certainly a capable team, and they have a weaksauce schedule until a home date in November versus the Texans followed by a trip to San Francisco. They have the inside track on winning this division for sure, unless Green Bay heats up like crazy.
I am now watching The Rundown.
Is Matt Forte a bigger fantasy bust than Chris Johnson thus far? It has to be Forte, Johnson, Aaron Rodgers, and Hakeem Nicks in some order right?
I need to see more Vikings/Seahawks/Lions to get a gauge on them, but I have a feeling they’re all too inconsistent to matter when it counts. Seattle lost to St. Louis? Seriously? Oy.
Last week I went 3/5 again, although I have no idea why I thought the Chiefs would beat the Chargers. That was dumb. Sorry.
This week, I think the Giants will beat the Browns (big stretch!) (oops I hope I didn’t jinx it) (crap), the Steelers will beat the Eagles, the Seahawks rebound in Carolina, the Patriots will beat their old pal Peyton Manning, and the Texans will obliterate the Jets on Monday night.
Those are my picks, unless they are wrong, in which case hey look over there!