So here we are halfway through the season, with each team playing at least half their schedule and there’s some things that we learned that we didn’t know. As with my blog from the quarter way point of the season, I will say this again: Your team is only as good as its quarterback. I think these days the games will depend on which quarterback makes the least mistakes.
Interesting Observation from the first half of 2013:
QB Nick Foles of the Eagles has only started 3 games this season and already has more TD passes than many 8 or 9 game starting quarterbacks in the NFL, including Joe Flacco, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. The Mike Vick era in Philly may be over. Also the Case Keenum era in Houston may have begun.
Peyton Manning is still on pace for a record-smashing 5,830 passing yards and 58 TDs. However, I think you have to include Calvin “Megatron” Johnson in the discussion with 821 yards and 7 tds already through the halfway mark.
Say goodbye to Greg Schiano. After blowing a 21 point lead in Seattle and stunning the Seahawks for 3 quarters, his team falters once again and lose the game in a close one. One they were not even supposed to be a factor in. As good as they would have felt IF they had won the game in a David vs. Goliath fashion, the loss is just as deflating for the team and I don’t think Tampa can recover from this loss for the rest of the season.
Coach of the Year Watch
I will say it again: Everyone will think Andy Reid and the undefeated Chiefs, but you have to remember, he inherited a team with 6 all pro players last season, despite the bad record. You must consider Rex Ryan for this award, even if the Jets don’t make the playoffs. The fact is that everyone, and I mean everyone, wrote the Jets off, and some how, some way, Rex has made it work, despite having a rookie QB, no wide receiver, no secondary and average players at every position except center and defensive line.
Goat of the Year Watch
A hot topic this week is the story of Richie Incognito bullying fellow rookie O-lineman Jonathan Martin. Yes, this type of thing happens in every locker room, but not to the extreme that we are now hearing through voicemails and texts. Since Martin has cried out and left the team, causing Incognito to be suspended indefinitely, you can say goodbye to these types of longstanding traditions between teammates. Do I think Incognito took it too far? Yes, he did, and now every locker room in the NFL is going to pay for it.
Cream of the Crop
The Broncos and Seahawks have somewhat fallen back to earth. People don’t believe and are waiting for the Chief’s magical ride to end, the Pats and Saints have lost to the Jets, and the Bengals seem to follow up impressive wins with bad losses. With the Packers also losing Aaron Rodgers for a few weeks, you have to look at San Francisco, who has reeled off 5 straight wins and have a very manageable schedule coming up with Tampa, St. Louis, Atlanta and Washington coming up.
NCAA Bowl Eligible
After the debacle of benching Christian Ponder, benching Matt Cassel, bringing in Josh Freeman, benching Freeman, starting Cassel, starting Ponder again, the Vikings are a prime example of how to mismanage an NFL team. It is such a shame because they do have the reigning league MVP and a tremendous talent in Adrian Peterson. As I said at the top of the article, the success of the team depends on the QB. Sorry AP. You can look forward to having a new coach and probably GM next season.
The NFC East is still the worst division in football. Even at 2-6 the Giants still have a shot, although a long shot at the division. We have never seen that this late in the season where a team that far under .500 would still have a shot. We may actually see a division winner with a losing record. The other teams are too inconsistent to predict a division winner at this point, but if we see performances like Nick Foles’ on Sunday, combined with the weapons on that team, I like the Eagles to win it.
The AFC West has almost as many wins as the NFC south and AFC south combined. I think that the Chiefs will run out of steam eventually, and the Broncos will steal the divison. The Chargers, while very good and very much in all of the games they have lost, seem to just have bad luck, with losses coming by an average of 5. They can’t put a decent winning streak together to be able to overcome the tremendous lead of the division leaders. The Raiders looked terrible this past Sunday, but I still have high hopes for them and QB Terelle Pryor, just not playoff aspirations, because I think that there will be a logjam for that 6th seed come the end of the year; the 5th seed will most likely go to the Broncos or Chiefs, whichever does not win the division.
Projected Super Bowl Matchup:
49ers vs Broncos