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NFL quarter in review

December 2, 2010

The Texans and Eagles kickoff in a little over an hour to start Week 13 in the 2010 NFL season, so that means we need to look at the last four weeks to see what’s happened around the National Football League. We’ll do this post with risers and fallers.

  • San Diego Chargers ↑ – The Chargers have been the hottest team since we last met here after Week 8. They’ve won their past four games by a margin of over 14 points per, beating the Titans, Texans, Broncos and Colts. While their record is still a marginal 6-5 it seems the offense, defense and special teams are all clicking right in time for the home stretch. The offense ranks second in passing yards and has a respectable running back in Mike Tolbert. The defense is second in passing yards allowed and third in rushing yards allowed. The Chargers are 19-0 in December under Norv Turner, and they have five easily winnable games left with their toughest opponent being Kansas City.

 

  • Indianapolis Colts ↓ – The Colts are fresh off a 22-point beatdown handed to them by the Chargers at home. The loss of Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai and Austin Collie has really hurt the Colts; their running game ranks 29th in the league, only slightly less laughable than Morgan Freeman’s “Oops, I forgot a page” World Cup gaffe; they only managed 24 yards on 13 carries last week. Even Peyton Manning can’t continue to make his no-name skill players above-average at their positions.

 

  • St. Louis Rams ↑ – The Rams are on top of the NFC West, which isn’t saying much. It’s kind of like winning the award for Best Comedian on TBS and E! But unlike Conan O’Brien, George Lopez and Chelsea Handler, the Rams are actually exciting to watch. Due to terrible playcalling at San Francisco the Rams dropped their Week 10 game, but they rebounded the next week and played the Atlanta Falcons extremely tough. Then, finally, the Rams won in Week 12 over Denver when rookie Sam Bradford became the first rookie quarterback to ever pass for 300 or more yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in a road victory. I bet Peter King still thinks an offensive lineman is still the offensive rookie of the year though.

 

  • Roger Goodell ↓ – Hines Ward recently said it best: “The league doesn’t care about us anyway. They don’t care about the safety of the game. If the league was so concerned about the safety, why are you adding two more games on?” That’s right. Goodell is unleashing heavy fines on players for hits that are legal but just look devastating, trying to takeout the hard-hitting and power of the game that the fans love. But then he wants to add two more games to the schedule, making it an 18-game regular season and adding more bone-crunching hits and concussion-inducing tackles. How many concussions and broken bones have to occur for Goodell and the league owners to realize that an 18-game schedule isn’t A. necessary and B. safe? But it’s all about the money for the billionare owners so I doubt the players get their way when it comes to arguging against a longer season.

MVP Watch

  1. T…To…Tom Br…ady – Ugh. It took me a while to get that out. Brady belongs with Chelsea Handler and Conan O’Brien in the group of people whom I just can’t stand. But Lady Brady is getting it done on the field. Twenty-three touchdowns, four interceptions, and he’s been even better since we last talked. And his team is in a tie for first place in its division, even though it doesn’t own the tiebreaker.
  2. Philip Rivers – Rivers is just slightly below Brady in the MVP Watch and in the list of football players who are super annoying. If his team was still 2-5 like it was last time, I wouldn’t put him here. But the Chargers have reeled off four straight wins, and Rivers is still putting up great numbers.
  3. Matt Ryan – Hasn’t thrown an interception in the past five weeks, and the Falcons are 5-0 in their last five games.
  4. Jamaal Charles – Yeah, the Chiefs can pass because they have to when they’re trailing, but Charles has been consistent all year long, is second in the league in rushing except having considerably fewer carries than anyone else in the top 13, and is averaging a league-high 6.1 yards per carry.
  5. Sam Bradford – The Rams won six games the past three years. When they win their next game this year, they will match that total already.

Top 5 Teams

  1. Atlanta – Last four wins are against teams with no fewer than five wins apiece.
  2. New York Jets – The Sanchize has been more impressive than Kim Kardashian making a public appearance this year. Wait, who am I kidding, no he hasn’t. But anyways, the Jets defense is better than Patriots, and their offense can hold its own. Hopefully that last sentence is still true in 4.5 days.
  3. New England – Win on Monday and you can move up.
  4. Baltimore – The Ravens’ next four games will determine if they are legit and a top-two team in the AFC.
  5. Green Bay – Two of the Packers’ losses are in overtime, and the other two are to division leaders.

Bottom 5 Teams

28. Denver – The Broncos can put up points, but they can’t stop anyone. They gave up 36 points to the Rams, which was a season-high for St. Louis. Their 323 points allowed are the worst in the league

29.  Detroit – They’ve got some nice pieces, but still can’t seem to put it together.

30. Cincinnatti – I’ve been driving the Bengals Hatewagon this year, and they haven’t disappointed. They’ve lost their last eight games, and the only reason the scores are close is because they just throw, throw and throw and put up garbage-time points.

31. Arizona – There’s nothing funny about being in last place in the NFC West. Just ask Derek Anderson.

32. Carolina – A minus-136 point differential and 140 points scored is good for worst in the league in both categories. However, I’d like to think Mike Goodson for helping my fantasy team(s).

Premature Playoff Picture

NFC

  1. Atlanta
  2. Chicago
  3. Philadelphia
  4. St. Louis
  5. New Orleans
  6. New York Giants

AFC

  1. New York Jets
  2. Baltimore
  3. Kansas City
  4. Jacksonville
  5. New England
  6. Pittsburgh
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