Week 9 Thoughts: Hot, Hot Seat

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Week nine has officially marked a milestone for me this season. First the first time in as long as I can remember, I’ve made it past the first six weeks of the season without declaring the season “over”.

Week nine was that point.

I swear, just give me one paragraph to whine about the Bills and that’ll be it.  The Bills didn’t even play poorly.

I expected a full on throttle and the game was far closer than even the score indicates. Buffalo had chances that ended up as field goals and they held the Houston rush offense in check and only got picked on a few times through the air.

But this team can’t play from behind and (generally) can’t stop the run.  The offense doesn’t have nearly enough weapons to compensate when Spiller/Jackson/Johnson are having off days. They just aren’t where I thought they’d be.

So it’s nice to have gotten eight games out of the Bills before really knowing the season was over. So, hey, a half season! Yeah!

That being said, let’s dive into this week’s thoughts:

The Eagles Are Done and Mike Vick is Going to Take the Brunt —

And unfairly, might I add.  Which isn’t to say I’m the biggest supporter of Ron Mexico in the world.  He fumbles the ball unlike any other quarterback maybe ever.  Through week 9, he has 30(!!!!!) fumbles in the past three seasons alone to go with his 29 interceptions.  How the hell does one man equate for nearly 20 turnovers a season and have a job?

Even with all of that, it’s still not Vick’s fault. At least not entirely.  There has been a noticable lack of touches for LeSean McCoy.  Last night, for example. He had 119 yards but did it on just 19 carries.  When you’re getting 6.3 YPC from your main back why not just keep feeding him?

It may help some of the red zone woes the Eagles are experiencing, which continued last night with a pair of red zone turnovers and a third red zone posession that resulted in a field goal.

You have one of the best backs in football; use him to take pressure off of Vick.

But when the Eagles have to pass, Vick has all of .000526 seconds before he’s about to be murdered by an incoming defensive lineman.  There was a sequence of three plays on the first drive last night where Vick had to immediately avoid a defender and ultimately got crushed all three times and lucked out that one was ruled a bullshit helmet-to-helmet hit.

I understand he doesn’t make fantastic decisions but at least give him a chance to do so.  Yet the Walrus calls pass after pass after pass.  The Eagles line is in shambles due to injury so it won’t get any better from here on out.  If Vick makes it through an entire season, I’d be stunned.

The Niners Are the Best! No, the Giants! No, the — AHH SHUT UP —

Look. Every damn week, talking heads and bloggers alike annoint a “best in the league” and it never seems like the same team twice in a row.  Just last week, I said the Falcons were the best in the league after doubting them for the previous seven games THAT THEY WON. I’m just as guilty of being an idiot. But I’ve learned to accept the situation for what it is: there are a bunch of really good teams.

The NFC clearly has five premier teams: the Giants, 49ers, Bears, Falcons, and Packers.  And that’s the end of the discussion.  The Giants are great but have a tendency to let the wheels come flying off this time of year.

The 49ers defense is faptastic but what about Alex Smith? The Bears defense is also faptastic but what about the offensive line’s ability to keep Jay Cutler from the injured list and from being a jerky emo?

The Falcons don’t blow teams out but manage to find a way to win and the Packers offense is very good but they’re experiencing a lot of injuries right now and already had a questionable defense to begin with.

The AFC, meanwhile, has five real teams (I won’t even call them premier because I think they have two premier teams): the Ravens, Patriots, Texans, Broncos, and Steelers.  The rest of the AFC is DOGSHIT.

The Ravens are beat to shit, the Patriots can’t play defense (still) AND Tom Brady isn’t Tom Brady anymore, you guys; the Texans seem to be the clearcut favorites in the AFC but can be torched through the air, the Broncos still have to prove themselves after an okay win over the Bungles, and the Steelers are still a bit beat up but not like the Ravens.

You know what you do with that?  You take it for what it is and stop trying to crown a king.  The last two Super Bowl champs were 9-7 and made the playoffs on the last day of the season, ferchrissakes.  So your Super Bowl champions will totally be the Seahawks.

Speaking of the Contenders, They Mostly Looked Bad –

Granted, it was pretty hard for the 49ers and Patriots to look bad this week considering they were on bye but the rest of the contenders looked merely okay.

The Broncos beat a bad Bengals team in a yawn of a game.  The Giants looked positively mediocre in a loss to the Steelers at home.  The Falcons eeked out a win over the perpetually overrated Cowboys (who were too busy locking their owner out of the locker room).

The Ravens needed a late rally to beat the Browns (!). The Texans couldn’t bury the Bills, which is saying something because the Titans put up 30+ on that hellhole of a defense.

The Packers, meanwhile, looked good beating the Cardinals. Granted, you should always look good beating a team with John Skelton at quarterback but that’s irrelevant.  The Steelers definitely look like they’re rounding into form as usual in a win over the Giants.

I don’t get how this happens year after year. The Steelers look like a ‘Nam flashback through the first six weeks but then somehow manage to pull it together. Coach Mike Epps is a good one. And the Bears positively teabagged the Titans, thoroughly destroying them in all aspects. It does help when the opposing quarterback tosses a pick-six right at you though, right Brian Urlacher?

Fire ALL the Coaches! —

This might be an excellent year for axings. Despite a win against the god-awful Chiefs, who themselves SHOULD fire the lifeless corpse of Romeo Crennel, the Chargers still have Norv Turner’s head firmly on the chopping block.

Watch the Chargers string together a killer two months, get into the playoffs, and immediately lose just so Norv can keep his job.  Who wouldn’t be thrilled with that? Well, besides Chargers fans.  But they have sunshine and nice weather year round so to hell with them.

Pat Shurmer is most assuredly done.  It’s kinda his fault because he sucks but the new regime was going to replace him almost no matter what. Tennesse could lose more than just their coach.  Ron Rivera may not make it through the season.  Jason Garrett is constantly looking over his shoulder for Sean Payton these days.

Let’s not forget Andy Reid. Oh, Andy Reid. The Walrus has been enraging Philly fans for over a decade now and it makes me sad to know he won’t be in the green and black, botching timeouts, and staringly blankly into the face of doom.  Hopefully, some other team has been ignoring the Eagles the past decade and brings him on board.

“RGIII vs Andrew Luck” Needs to Stop —

I understand that this is bound to happen when you have two great young quarterbacks in the same draft class. There is breathless fapping over both of these guys on a weekly basis, which I get. But, like with the contending teams listed above, every week turns into a “who’s gonna be the greatest of all-time” debate.

Enough. They are entirely different quarterbacks.  Luck is on an inferior team in a flaming car-wreck of a division. He is and has always been regarded as the better passer.

He has a vertical aspect to his game that RGIII does not (whether that is by design or not isn’t up to me to speculate). He is in the same ugly, akward white-guy mold that Peyton Manning made famous.

RGIII might be more accurate (for the time being at least) but he’s smaller and runs better.  He’ll undoubtedly have to deal with “what if?” questions about his health his whole career as Vick does. He’s energetic and personable.

So to compare these two guys is utterly moronic. Do people compare Cam Newton and Peyton Manning? No? Because it’s the dumbest thing ever, you say? Couldn’t agree more, self.

Tune in next week when New England turns me into the emotinal equivalent of a pre-teen girl, the Texans and Bears battle for BEST TEAM EVER, and the winner of Cowboys/Eagles becomes overrated once again.

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  • Matthew Milko

    The one thing I love/hate about the NFL is how often the talking heads say one team is finished, only to say they are the best in their division two weeks later. It’s what makes it such a great league and such a frustrating one at the same time.

  • Ryan Womeldorf

    I get that it’s their job and all but it’s the same thing every week. “Team X is the best team ever! Team X is done for! No, their back!” And so on.

  • Matthew Milko

    Nature of the beast. How do you feel about the chances of the Lions getting a wild card spot?

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  • Ryan Womeldorf

    It’s going to be tough in the NFC. I still see the Saints coming on down the stretch. I could see Seattle grabbing the spot. It’ll be a battle for sure.