Sunday, October 01, 2006

NFL Week 4 Recap:
Who's the "1/4 MVP?"

It's a quarter of the way through the season (for some). What do we know so far?

Steve McNair is the "1/4 NFL MVP." His Ravens are 4-0 and the offseason acquisition showed his value with yesterday's game-winning late drive.

The Colts' escape in New York said more about Peyton Manning's ability as a two-minute drill expert than the Jets' promise as an '06 surprise.

T.O. isn't nearly as valuable to the Cowboys as T.G. (Terry Glenn). And Glenn doesn't even need to O.D. to earn fans (and catch TDs).

With a loss to the previously winless Texans, the Dolphins season can officially be called "finished." Start scouting the draft for OL.

I made a small miscalculation picking the Chargers as the No. 1 team in my "NFL Power Rankings" last week. Look for a correction.

How in the world are the Bills 2-2?

With Damon Huard's breakout performance as Chiefs QB, Trent Green might earn the rare "Double-Pipp" career-achievement award.

Sorry, New Orleans: The ride had to end sometime.

Yesterday should have been Kurt Warner's final snaps as a starter for the Cardinals.

Vince Young might just be the greatest 2-point conversion QB in NFL history. (The other 6 points? Eh, not so much.)

Maybe if Brett Favre is embarrassed on national TV for "Monday Night Football," he'll finally consider packing it in (or demanding a trade).

Commenters: What do YOU think we know after a quarter of the season (incorporating Sunday's results). Please feel free to use the Comment area to update using results from Sunday's late games.

-- D.S.


Josh said...

McNair as MVP? No way. He's looked average at best, the problem is that they were so below average at QB for so many years that its tough not to like him. He's not even the MVP of his team. That would be Ed Reed, one of the top 3 defensive players in the league.

MVP is Donovan McNabb, pending monday night results. He's a heck of a football player. Westbrook is a close second.

TJ said...

Since you referred to them so often as "my" Jags when they were 2-0, you better do it again now that they're 2-2, or else you might start to look like the worst sort of bandwagon fan.

Sheldiz said...

McNair certainly looked like shizzz the majority of that game.... but, for the second week in a row, he pulled it out when it counted. i'll give him some props for that. MVP? i don't know.... but impressive in the end, nonetheless.

Christian Thoma said...

The Colts are 4-0 without Edge. Unless Indy falters, I'd have to think the MVP is Manning's to lose.

Unless Favre leads the Pack to a 14-2 record (you know it's coming) and gets it.

MP said...

McNair: Comeback Player of the Year?

Hey, the Browns finally found a team that they can beat! Sorry Oakland!

And as usual, the Lions can't hold a lead.

It is a terrible thing to be a professional football fan in NW (or NE) Ohio right now.

Maher said...

and the best sleeper in every FFL draft this season (colston)

The heroin sheik said...

Im curious what your opinions are on the bears. My fiancee is from chicago and a bunch of her friends have said that they think this bears team might even be better that the 85 team. I think that the 85 had way more talent and was much more hyped due to having sweetness, the fridge, mcmahan, and that sick defense. Who on their team is really a star name other than urlacher? I do think that they play better as a team. The 85 team was full of egos whereas even though they are expected to be among the cream of the NFC this years team doesn't really talk much. I just hope Grossman isn't lulling us into believing he is a solid qb only to muck it up in the second half of the season. What do you guys think?

Maher said...

i don't have a copy of madden 07 around to just compare the 85 bears to the 06 bears, but I think that the players of 20 yrs ago are physically inferior to those of today. So if your gf and friends are saying that the 06 bears could beat the 1985 bears...maybe.

difference being that in 1985 the NFC was the dominant, and AFC the submissive. The tables are currently turned.

The reason people remember the 85 bears is because of the superbowl shuffle. for example, you forgot mike singletary on your list of "names" and he was probably the best player on that '85 bears D (With apologies to Richard Dent & Dan Hampton).

it is the skill players that draw attention in the NFL and get the time on ESPN. Guys like TO, CJ, LaDainian. Those are household names.

If you look at the 85 roster, there are 3 HOFers on there. Only one (Walter) played offense.

2006 Bears have what you need to win a superbowl. A Solid D & Special Teams group, and an offense that can run the ball, a QB who (SO FAR) doesn't turn the ball over, and 6 games against GB, MIN, and DET.

If you asked someone 30+ who has serviceable sports knowledge to name someone on the 85 Bears they would hopefully say Sweetness...more likely they would say the Fridge and his 29.5 career sacks. Dent had 137.5 in his career.

But Dent didn't run the ball in for a meaningless TD in the SuperBore (which of course robbed Walter of getting a superbowl TD...something that Ditka is on record as saying he still regrets doing)

As good as Willie Gault was in Tecmo, I'd take Grossman (current QB rating of 100+) and Mushin/Clark/Berrian over The Headband's 86.2 and Emery Moorehead of the 1985 team...This week.

Ask me again how I feel wk13 when the weather gets cold and the kid from Spurrier's Fun N Gun has to deal with the cold and wind. If he can stop himself from beating the Bears, then they have a good shot at being in Miami come February.

Maher said...

The worst trend in sports is giving the MVP to the guy with the best stats rather than to the guy who is the most valuable to his team. Maybe it should be renamed the Most IMPORTANT Player.

As much as McNair has screwed several of my fantasy teams, he has led the Ravens to a 4-0 mark.

Ed Reed was on Bal last year when they went 6-10, allowing the 10th fewest points in the league but scoring the 25th most, and 2004, and 2003 when they lost in the playoffs to a McNair led Titans team. ooooh the symmetry :)

Put Boller under center and tell me they are 4-0 at this point?

The Edge argument is good, especially since they did run for 159 (not counting peyton's 1) today, with 2 TD's split among the platoon of a rookie and career backup. Add in we keep hearing that Peyton is the O.Coord, and teams like Cinci try to emulate the Colts's offense.

I'd say Manning / McNair can split the MVP at this point, so that way McNair can put his two halves together and have one whole one. The guy takes too much of a beating to not get something out of it.

The heroin sheik said...

I dont think that the weather will bother grossman too much as he is from indiana. I think he is a perfect fit for them because he has a gun for an arm to deal with the windy winters and he wont be bothered if it gets cold. It is hard for me to root for the bears even if only to make my woman happy, but at least they have a bunch of former florida gators on their defense in addition to grossman. Oh yeah and didn't steve "mongo"mcmichael play on the 85 bears too. I have to go check out my copy of the super bowl shuffle. Do you think a team these days would do something like that which would put a huge target on a teams back?

Anonymous said...

What did we learn?

I think the Bills are like those Bears teams from the last few years, all defense, shaky QB, win some low-scoring games, lose some low-scoring games.

The Bears are SB-bound. You beat the NFC champ like that? The Sky's the limit! They don't have a weakness!

At least Oakland scored!

I'll take Philly as the other NFC team. Reid's too good of a coach and McNabb is too good of a player not to come out of the train wreck that is the NFC East.

The NFC is now historically weak. But the Bears could win the SB.

The Patriots are also SB-bound. I still don't like their offense, but yeesh, that D is historic. They have a good schedule, this year.

I like the Bills' chances against NE at home. I don't like their chances next week against that Chicago defense and running game.

Aitch said...

Steve, The Bills have played decemt, but you can't hand them the AFC East title yet either. Yes they have played well at times, but Losman has also looked terrible at times as well. He looked lost in the second half against New England. He makes a lot of dumb throws and mistakes typical of a young quarterback. He will certainly improve. The defense is pretty impressive. They swarm to the ball and have a lot of speed. But with 5 rooks as you pointed out, you have to question whether they can go a full season playing well. Rookies tend to hit the wall in the latter half of the season. They have great WRs (great catch, cut back, and run by Price yesterday) the Bills look like they are up and coming, but not this year I don't think. Bills fans definitely have a right to be excited though, as the team appears to have a good young core.

Pats D impressed me yesterday. I'm a loyal Pats fan, but even I thought they were going to lose that game yesterday. I just thought Johnson and Houshmazilli (lol) were going to light up the secondary. But the Pats stepped up and played a huge statement game. Yes, they still have a lot of problems. But don't count them out of it either.

Pete said...

How in the world are the Bills 2-2? Are you crazy? Sure they were 5-11 last year but attribute that to poor coachind and the team rebelling. The talent was there last year and the talent is here this year. The defense is even more imporved and JP is finding his timing in the offense. Anyone who thinks the 06 Bills are a pushover team doesn't know this team.

Unknown said...

I wonder where all those Miami Dolphins to the Super Bowl "experts" are today?

The Patriots made a statement yesterday and when you can shut down the Bengals offense with Ellis Hobbs and Eugene Wilson sitting on the bench while Hank Poteat and Troy Brown match up at corner you know you're a well coached team.

Brady made Doug Gabriel look like Randy Moss yesterday and Laurence Maroney ran circles around that Bengals defense - the road to Miami runs through Foxborough.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have any ideas what's going on with the on-again, off-again play of some of these teams? How is it that the Seahawks molest the Giants one week, then get trounced the next? For that matter, how do the Bears eek by the Vikings and then trounce Seattle? The same goes for the Bengals, Patriots, Chiefs, Broncos (think back to week one), Washington's rebound, etc., etc. I mean, what's going on here? Forget the individual explanation for each scenario: for example, the Bengals were obviously hurting and had way too inflated an ego for a Patriots team looking to lay the smack down. What have we learned about these teams yet, if any? Or is this all just parity at its best where one week a team can look like the best team in the league and then the next week, they look like the worst?

Thoughts on this?

Jen said...

MVP: Joe Jurevicius
Runner up: Charlie Frye

HAHA- I crack myself up.

Joe is a great veteran to have on your team though. Geez, he's a "veteran" and he's younger than me.

I think McNair has been a HUGE addition to the Raven's offense and like sheldiz said, he's done something when it counts. I can see him in the Top 5 for now.

Everyone in the NFL seems to be so up and down, and no one is really a standout to me.

Oh, could that be because I watch the Browns every week!?

teaboyNC said...

My guy for 1/4 MVP has oly played in 2 games, both wins. Let's see Panthers w/o Steve Smith 0-2. Panthers WITH Steve Smith = 2-0! Panthers w/o Steve Smith a total of 19 pts (4FG & 1 TD). Panthers WITH Steve Smith = 47 pts including Smith's 17 Rec 199 yds & 1 TD. That will all increase once he's back to 100%. The offense is clicking with him playing now. The defense is better too b/c they don't have to be n the field as much since they are actually gaining yards and using clock on offense. He was robbed last year. Also, I will support Peyton as a Co-MVP candidate. I haven't gotten to see him play yet, BUT I've seen him on TV more than any other person on the planet this year so far. Maybe we should give him an Endorsement MVP award.

Aitch said...

nyc-steelers fan, as a Pats fan with a somewhat level head (I am from Boston so I can't be totally balanced, lol) I take this win for exactly what it is worth. I'm not ready to proclaim the Pats as Super Bowl champs, just as I wasn't ready to give up on the season after last week. No matter what you say this was indeed an impressive win. It shows that despite their problems and holes, this is still one of the best coached teams in the league. And I don't think anyone can argue that point.

Curtis (Indy), oh man, where do I start? You call McNair and Brady over-hyped (I'm not saying that is true to a degree) then go on to extoll the virtues of Peyton Manning, who Im sorry to say, is equally if not moreso. I'm actually unlike most Pats fans in as much as I like Peyton. He seems like a decent enough guy, he certainly makes fun of himself and doesn't take himself too seriously as evidenced by all those commercials he does. And no one can deny his skill as a player. BUT, he is EVERYWHERE these days. Find me one player in any of the 4 mjor sports who is as hyped as manning without ever having won anything? Also, how can you call the AFC east the worst division in the NFL. The Bills aren't great but they are playing well, as are the Jets. If Miami's O line can figure it out, they are a talented team. This certainly isn't the toughest division in the league this year, but the worst? Hardly. What about the NFC north? Chicago not withstanding, that is a terrible division. I understand your hatred for the Pats, given the Colts inabilty over the last few years to beat them in big games. But come on man, give some credit where it is due. They may not be a super bowl lock, but I think you have to include them in the conversation of top contenders.

Also, don't be too enamored with your Colts. while, yes, they are 4-0, they also look more beatable than at any point last season. And Peyton still has to prove he can win the big game. Say what you will about being a field goal away from goin to the super bowl last year (I forget was that kick for the tie and overtime, or for the win), but the Colts would not have been in that position at all if Bettis had just gone down instead of figthing for extra yardage and fumbling the ball.

Unknown said...

Curtis - just to add on this week's dismanteling of the Bengals wasn't the first good game of the season played by the Patriots they actually dominated 3/4 of the game against the Jets which is more then I can say for the Colts.

If you had seen the Patriots/Jets game it was basically all Patriots until two insane touchdowns including a catch and RAC by Cotchery that would never be duplicated no matter how many times you tried it.

Also I find it interesting that you would call the AFC East the worst division in football when two of the AFC's 4 worst teams play in the same division as your beloved Colts.

I'm not saying that the Patriots are a shoe in for the Super Bowl but you at least have to put them in the conversation.

Unknown said...
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Mikepcfl said...

God forbid, for the first time I am agreeing with something Michael Irvin said. When talking about the Colts yesterday, he said they couldnt win the Super Bowl because they cant run the ball and also cant stop the run. As much as I hate Irvin, he is right there. A team has to run and stop the run to win the Super Bowl and win playoff games. The Colts havent proven they can do that in January.

Myles! said...

"Oh and to those Patriots fans. Congrats on playing your first good game of the year. That's fantastic 1 good game in 4 is terrific. If you didn't play in the worst divison in football you wouldn't be a playoff team. NE will make the playoffs but they are a far cry from those super bowl teams."

Eh? Let's look at the respective divisions of the Pats and Colts, and we'll be able to say who really has the easier road the playoffs. Try to think objectively for a second, although I know that may be an impossible task for someone who's so deluded as to think that the Colts are worthy of the title of the NFL's best despite having never won anything, and despite having barely eeked out a 3-point victory over the Jets while simultaneously stating that the Pats' 7 point victory of the same team wasn't a quality win.

Good teams:
Jacksonville (S), Buffalo(E).
Right now? The teams are about equal. Make of it what you will, but both are 2-2. After losing to the Redskins, Jax has clearly dropped to the "upper-middle of the NFL pack", so to speak. The two games that they won were both basically gift-wrapped by the opposition's suspect QBs, so you'll have to forgive my lack of enthusiasm where the Jags are concerned, despite whatever Shanoff might think this week. Until Leftwich definitively proves that he is better than Losman (and to this point, unbelievably enough, he hasn't), the two teams won't be substantially different.

Mediocre teams:
Jets (E).

After the way the Jets played Indy this week, you either have to a) admit that the Jets are pretty good, or b) admit that the Colts aren't an elite team right now. I'm more inclined to go with option as, as you should be too. It's the truth.

God-awful teams:
Miami (E), Tennessee (S), Houston (S).

And, to be honest, if any of these teams has *any* chance whatsoever of turning things around, it's the Dolphins. Culpepper sucks, and their O-line isn't great, but the cellar dwellers of the "powerhouse" AFC south have far more problems than even that. Seriously, the Titans have already given up (starting Young), and Houston never even had a hypothetical chance to begin with.

Honestly, it just baffles me that an Indy fan could start playing the schedule card. Neither division is great, at the moment, but even now the AFC is better, and used to be by an even greater margin.

Myles! said...

It's also funny that you can complain about Manning being overlooked with a straight face, despite the fact that he's won 2 out of the last 3 MVPs.

Maher said...

the colts had 160 on the ground and are known as a passing team. If Irvin wants to talk about why they can't win the superbore, he should point out that the D is giving up WAAAAAY too many points.

Chaddogg said...

"How is it that the Seahawks molest the Giants one week, then get trounced the next? For that matter, how do the Bears eek by the Vikings and then trounce Seattle?"

To answer your questions:
1) The Seahawks played the Giants at home, and the Giants are NOWHERE near as good as the Bears.

2) The Bears win was in the Metrodome, a tough place to play any year. The Vikings are not a bad team and Brad Johnson is not the type of quarterback that gets exposed that much by the Bears D (i.e. he doesn't make mistakes, but then again he's not going to single-handedly win a game either). Plus, watching the game, if you take away Grossman's moronic interception that was taken back for a TD, the Bears pretty much controlled that game from start to finish.

Aitch said...

Yes they had 160 on the ground yesterday against the Jets. But I don't think the jets are known for their run defense, especially sans John Abraham. Let's say hypothetically that the Colts reach the super bowl vs the bears. They ar not moving the ball on the ground vs that defense.

Indy still has the same problems that they have had for the last number of years. They spend a lot on offense and have some great weapons there (Harrison, Wayne, Stokley, Clark) but they are still suspect on defense. And as has been pointed out in other comments, in January you cannot rely solely on the pass. You have to be able to run the ball at least a little bit...make the opponent respect the run. Otherwise all you'll see is nickel, dime and quarter defenses that will shut down the passing game.

Aitch said...
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Aitch said...
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Myles! said...

Btw, as I sit here watching PTI, it occurs to me that the media at large is vastly overcomplicating the implications of the last 2 weeks for the Pats. Quite simply: Shanahan's Broncos has Belichick's Patriots number. The Broncos beat the Patriots because the Broncos can do things to them, for one reason or another, that other teams can't. Nothing more and nothing less.

As a Pats fan, the Broncos are the only team in the league that I truly fear . Not the Colts, Bears, or Steelers. Just the Broncos. This is why I didn't panic after last week, and why I wasn't surprised this week. As long as the Pats don't see the Broncos in the playoffs, I'm not worried.

Chaddogg said...

Fear the Bears....everyone should.

I wouldn't put it past Chicago to post a nice little 46-10 score on the Pats this season....

Myles! said...

17-10, maybe, but it could just as easily be 17-10 Pats. No way either team scores 46 on the other's D. By fear, I mean that I'm pretty sure the Pats would lose. I see Pats/Bears as a 50-50 proposition.

Maher said...

So the Pats beat Cinci and everyone has them in the superbowl?

How come on ATH today no one picked PITT as biggest disappointment *so far*?

SB Champs at 1-2 and tied for last (in wins) in their division? With their only victory against the Dolphins.

Unknown said...

I don't think anyone has the Patriots in the SB but you have to admit that not a lot of people picked them to not just beat but dismantle the Bengals, and also NO team in the AFC has looked above and beyond better then everyone else. That leaves the door open and when that happens we go back to the usual suspects.

The Patriots have to be talked about as SB contenders because they've been there. The Colts get talked about because they're always tough to beat during the regular season, and then Chargers, Bronocs, Bengals, and Ravens will all get some hype to.

I just think there are a lot of people impressed with how one sided that Patriots/Bengals game was and that got people thinking that if you give Brady/Belichick a yard - they take a mile. That game might have been what gets them rolling and since the other top teams (aside from the Bears) all looked pedestrian yesterday that leaves a lot of people talking Patriots today.