Leftover thoughts from week 2 of the NFL 2012 Season
“Go West Young Man!”
The NFC West has decided to remove the “Worst Division” label with an old school flair that would make Vince Lombardi proud. This division features three teams that will absolutely knock the socks off the opposition without worrying about their lack of ability to play arcade style offense. The 49ers, Cardinals, and Seahawks “ball” on defense — ya know, the side of the ball the NFL has done its best to render useless. Imagine the surprise of opposing offensive coordinators when they realize that these teams actually play defense and cover receivers.
The powerful 49ers look poised to follow this business model all the way to the Super Bowl. Remember, they were a play away from making the Super Bowl last year, and this year’s team added a few key players on offense to go with an already stingy defense. The 49ers have already defeated the Green Bay Packers on the road. The Detroit Lions fared no better in week two. Both of those wins were against teams that are expected to make the playoffs. The future’s so bright for the 49ers, they’ve got to wear shades.
Speaking of non elite quarterback play, aren’t the Cardinals undefeated with Kevin Kolb playing the most important position in football? Now, the Cardinals added a win over the Patriots in New England. A win that announced that the Cardinals could indeed dominate the vaunted Pats offense. How many teams have claimed victory over the Pats in New England? The Patriots notched 15 wins against one defeat the past two years. Last year, only the NY Giants made it out of New England with a victory. Now, Arizona joins that list.
The Seahawks rebounded from a road loss to Arizona by soundly thrashing the Cowboys in Seattle. Does that loss to Arizona look bad now? The benefit of hindsight says no. The Seahawks have allowed the leagues’s lowest point total this year (27). The Seahawks so dominated the Cowboys, the Cowboys resorted to blaming injuries as the reason why Marshawn Lynch found running room in the second half. Well, what the Dallas coaches did not reveal was that those injuries happened with about seven minutes left in the game. The game was practically over by then.
The Rams proved that they could out duel RGIII, and they are the closest team in the NFC West that resembles the league’s current desire to build video game offenses. If the Rams are tagged as the worst team in the NFC West, they can take refuge with the fact that the other “bad” teams in other divisions are worse. Anyone want to take the Raiders over the Rams? Didn’t think so.
Look out for the NFC West this year.
“It’s always about the money.”
After week one’s victory against the Titans, the AFC West’s New England Patriots looked unstoppable. Brady threw the ball at will. New England revealed a defense that added young playmakers with more speed to the ball. However, this past week proved that one injury to a key offensive player (Aaron Hernandez) can derail what the Hoodie Genius planned to do all along, which was to find every possible way to ignore Wes Welker.
The Giants have revealed a flaw in the Patriots offense. The Giants defensive line pressure always bothered Brady in the past match ups. Remember the Super Bowl throw away that resulted in a safety? Brady can’t move well – he is the quintessential pocket passer. No big deal as long as the receivers find openings for the hot read. Good to know that the Hoodie Genius made the right decision to start an all pro receiver, right?
Not so fast, my friend. Julian Edelman started over Wes Welker against the Arizona Cardinals. Really? This has nothing to do about the salary negotiations, right Bill? Sure, maybe someone can explain the merits of not starting a healthy all pro receiver versus a great Arizona defense.
“Dazed and Confused”
There was no surprise that the Jets stalled at Pittsburgh. What qualified as surprising was that after Tebow made a cameo appearance and moved the offense on the ground, Tebow was not allowed to run the option play that allowed him to throw. The setup was perfect. Wasn’t that scenario the purpose of Tebow? Wasn’t he supposed to stretch the field with option plays, and then deliver a long ball that would leave people wondering how the pass made it to the receiver? This was the perfect time as he could not wreck Sanchez’s scintillating passing completion rate (10/27 or 37%).
Also, what jersey was Reggie Bush wearing against the Raiders in week two? Was he wearing a USC jersey? He sure looked like the Reggie of 2005. He ran between the tackles, shook defenders, and looked dangerous all game long.
The referees called a ton of penalties this past week. One could bet that the yellow flag was sure to follow after every punt or kickoff. The odd thing was that it looked like the referees could have called more penalties. Maybe the theory that these referees are similar to substitute teachers has some merit in that the players, like the students, push the substitute authority to the limit knowing the substitutes do not want to “rock the boat”.
Listed below are the penalties called in week two of 2012 and 2011.
Week two penalties 2012
Number of penalties for the away team: 115
Number of penalties for home team: 98
Week two penalties 2011
Number of penalties for the away team: 97
Number of penalties for home team: 87
These numbers do show that the referees called more penalties this year. Obviously, these numbers don’t tell the whole story, but wouldn’t the existence of a story evaporate if the NFL would end the referee lockout? The money involved is peanuts compared to the NFL’s worth. Make the deal, Roger. Protect the integrity of the league and the players.