Tag Archives: Matt Stafford

NFL Mid-Season Top Fives

I usually do a review at the NFL season’s midpoint.  Sometimes I’ll do a preview of things to come.  This year I thought a few random Top 5 lists might be the way to go.  So, here we go…

TOP 5 QUARTERBACKS

1. Aaron Rodgers GB – I hate putting him at #1 because I hate the Packers however you can’t argue with results.  The team is 7-0, he has thrown for 20 TDs and his QB rating is 125.

2. Tom Brady NE – Tom is always in the Top 5.  While the Pats have faltered a bit going into the midway point of the season, Tom should continue to produce with the help of WR Wes Welker and his dynamic duo at Tight End.

3. Drew Brees NO – He leads the NFL in yardage and at times makes this game look very easy.  Sunday night against the Colts was an indication of that.  He has been starting to turn the ball over a lot again but when you throw the ball 40 times a game you are going  to throw a few picks.

4. Matt Stafford DET – I am not sure he’ll be on this list by season’s end but he is on it now.  He has led his team to hard fought and come from behind victories and they’re off to their best start in several decades.  He is a bit banged up and the team is starting to look more human lately.

5. Eli Manning NYG – I have to give it up to Eli.  I am usually very critical of him but he is off to a great start.  He has only thrown 5 Ints and has a QB rating over 100.  He has taken this team on his back and made big plays all season.  As a team they are good but not great.  Eli makes them better and could guide them to a division title.

TOP 5 PLAYMAKERS

1. Aaron Rodgers GB – See above

2. Matt Forte CHI – Where would the Bears be without Matt Forte?  He has almost 700 yards rushing, 400 yards receiving and 3 TDs.  He is the Chicago Bears offense.

3. Adrian Petersen MIN – He is stuck on a terrible Minnesota team and has over 700 yards on the ground at the break.  He has held on to the ball for a change and put the ball in the endzone 8 times.

4. Calvin Johnson DET – The Autobot or Decepticon or whatever the hell he calls himself is “the stud” when it comes to receivers.  This guy makes Matt Stafford that much better.  10TDs at the break says it all.

5. Wes Welker NE / Steve Smith CAR – I was torn here so it is a tie.  Wes has been everything to Tom Brady.  He leads the NFL in receptions and 2nd in yards.  1st in yardage is Steve Smith with over 800 yards at the break.  That is quite the accomplishment for a WR on a bad team with a rookie QB.

TOP 5 BUSTS

1. Chris Johnson TEN – He has gone from the NFL’s top back to 35th in rushing yards with a 2.9 per carry average.  Tennessee is struggling this season but those numbers aren’t all their fault.

2. Sam Bradford STL – From rookie phenom to a total bust out.  He only has 3 TDs, 51% completion percentage, a QB rating of 72 and a team that hasn’t won yet.  Is it all his fault?  Hard to tell but Josh McDaniels is calling the plays.

3. Peyton Hillis CLE – This guy was supposed to be the Browns 1,500 yard battering ram.  He is more like the battered ram as he has missed time for a few different reasons, one being strep throat.  Really?  He only has 211 yards on the ground, 3.5 yards per carry and 2 TDs.

4. Andre Johnson HOU – Fair or not he is hurt again and you can’t produce from the sidelines.  When on the field he isn’t producing as he only has 25 catches for only 350 yards.  He only has 2 TDs and if Houston is going to contend they need production from Andre.

5. Josh Freeman TB – I could have gone a couple of different ways with the last pick but Josh and the Bucs were supposed to be floating to the top of the division, not the bottom.  Josh consistently misses open receivers, his mechanics are off and he has already thrown 10 interceptions.  His QB rating is a sad 73.1.

TOP 5 DEFENSES

1. Baltimore – They are only allowing 13.8 point per game.  With a team offense that has struggled all season they are keeping the Ravens in every game.  They also have 19 sacks, 13 forced fumbles and 3 TDs.

2. San Francisco – Who knew Harbaugh would have such a profound influence on the defensive side of the ball.  They are only allowing 16.2 points per game and sit a top the NFC West.  The Niners have racked up 17 sacks, 8 interceptions, 1 safety and a TD.

3. Cincinnati – The resurrection of the Bengals isn’t with their young TCU QB, it is with their stingy defense.  Like a switch the defense went from bad to good in one season.  They are only allowing 18.5 points per game, 14 sacks and under 280 total yards allowed per game.

4. New York (J) – The Jets have been and should continue to be a roller coaster team all season.  One thing that is pretty consistent is that stingy defense.  They have 18 sacks, 11 interceptions, 9 forced fumbles and 3 TDs.

5. Jacksonville – The roar is back in N.Florida.  They have only allowed 84 points with 14 sacks and 7 interceptions.

TOP 5 ON THE HOT SEAT

1. Andy Reid PHI – Many pre-season polls had the Eagles as the odds on favorites to win the NFC Championship and go to the Superbowl.  Currently they sit at 2-4 at the bottom of their division.  Can they turn things around, finish 10-6 and squeak into the playoffs?  It is possible but chances are slim.  Andy will be looking for work if they can’t manage more than 8 wins.

2. Steve Spagnola STL – He has certainly built a better defense.  It is improving but the offense has been incredibly inconsistent and riddled with injuries.  Is this unraveling Coach Josh McDaniels fault?  Partially, but if they can’t manage at least 6 wins (currently sitting at 0 wins), Steve will be let go.

3. Tony Sparano MIA – Tony is a fiery guy.  He is also a pretty good coach.  However, Miami is sitting at ZERO after playing the equally terrible Broncos to an overtime loss.  A coach needs to find a way to win a game like that.  The Phins have had chances to fix the offense and haven’t.  Perhaps this is more of a front office screw up but we know that if the GM goes, so goes the coach.  I can see that happening.

4. Ken Whisenhunt ARI – Ken and coaches told the GM they were a good QB away from being a playoff contender.  Well, they traded for Kevin Kolb and they sit at the bottom of an mediocre NFC West with 1 win.  If they can’t turn it around, show some progress and end up with 6 or 7 wins, look for ownership to clean house.

5. Lovie Smith CHI – Can we ever get Lovie off of the hot seat?  I don’t think so.  There is way too much talent on this team for them to struggle like they do.  It is how they are coached.  It is the scheme.  It is the lack of adjustments, poor use of time and lack of offensive knowledge.  If they finish in 2nd and get a wildcard spot his job will be safe.  If they finish .500 or less and miss than he could get the axe.

TOP 5 TO CATCH FIRE

1. CAROLINA – Their young QB will make mistakes but he is a playmaker.  Offensively this team ranks near the top of the league and the D is improving.  Not to mention they play softies in Minnesota, Tennessee and Indy.  I look for them to finish around .500.

2. CHICAGO – Despite Lovie being on the never cooling hot seat, I think the Bears are set up for a nice run.  They get the AFC West division along with Seattle, Philly and Detroit and what they get are 7 VERY winable ball games.  The Bears should be 10-4 when they get to their XMAS Day match up with the Packers.

3. JACKSONVILLE – I can’t see them making the playoffs until Gabbert gets a better feel for the offense and the speed of the pro game.  However, the running game is good and the defense is excellent.  There are 5 or 6 very winable games on the back end of this schedule.  The Jags should make a run in this poor division but my guess is they finish about 8-8 and just a game or two back of Houston.

4. DALLAS – After a tough loss to New England, the Cowboys pounded St. Louis in response.  Statistically they are a very good and balanced football team.  They have a 5 game stretch that includes Seattle, Buffalo, Washington, Miami and Arizona.  I look for Dallas to finish with 10 or 11 wins and possibly steal this division title from NY and a struggling Philadelphia.

5. FALCONS – Atlanta struggled early on and have rebounded nicely the last two weeks with wins over improving Carolina and Detroit on the road.  Offensively they are beginning to get things on track and I feel the defense will soon follow suit.  To that add games against Indy, Tennessee and Minnesota and this Falcons team should be neck and neck with New Orleans at the end of the season.

TOP 5 DUMP TAKERS

1. DETROIT –  They started 5-0 and that is great for Detroit fans.  That hasn’t happened in a very long time.  However the feeling here is the Lions bubble is about to burst.  Detroit can’t run the football and they can’t stop the run.  Teams are starting to tee off on an already banged up Stafford.  To that add games against Tebow’s Broncos in Denver, Chicago, Carolina, Green Bay, New Orleans, San Diego and Green Bay again and you have an 8-8 season at best.

2. TENNESSEE – I had hopes for this team as a dark horse in 2011-12.  Those hopes are totally dashed with the subpar performance of Chris Johnson.  The defense was shredded for the 2nd week in a row.  They do have Indy twice but the other games are Cincy, Carolina, Atlanta, Tampa, Buffalo, New Orleans, Jacksonville and Houston. There is no way these guys see 8 wins, more like 6 or 7.

3. GREEN BAY – Now, keep in mind, when I say this I still think they are going to the playoffs.  When you start 7-0 you have nowhere to go but down.  The Packers are very good in areas and look invinsible to the media, but keep in mind they beat New Orleans, Carolina and Minnesota by only one score and perhaps got a little lucky in a couple of those games.  The Saints game was almost a gift.  While they are throwing the ball all over the field they are still having problems running the football.  This could be bad for Rodgers if teams can start bringing more consistent pressure.  On the other side of the ball they can’t seem to stop teams from passing on them.  The problem there is they still have games against Philip Rivers, Jay Cutler, Eli Manning, Matt Stafford (twice), Josh Freeman, Matt Cassell and perhaps a more settled in Carson Palmer.  These are some big arms against a flimsy defense.  Despite this “slump” the Pack still go 12-4 and win the division but just by the hair of Rodgers chinny chin chin.

I can’t really find a #4 or #5 so I’ll go out on a limb and say San Diego and the NY Giants could run into some issues with their 2nd half schedules.  However I don’t think they’ll “dump” but I think they will struggle a bit.  San Diego should get into the playoffs and NY might struggle to make it if Dallas gets hot.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Losing Not an Option

Tonight is a big night Chicago Bears fans.  The “undefeated” Lions host the 2-2 Chicago Bears in what shapes up to be the Bears biggest game of the season.

Win and the Bears are right back in the thick of things in the NFC Central Division.  Lose the the Chicago Bears are 3 games behind 2 teams in the division.  Losing simply isn’t an option for a coaching staff that seems to be on the hot seat almost every single season.

A loss put the Bears in a huge hole.  It is incredibly difficult to make up 2 games let alone 3.  A 3 game hole, even this early in the season, is almost impossible to recover from.  Making matters worse, after tonight the Bears already have a game against both Detroit and Green Bay in the books.  3 games in the hole with only 2 games left against the teams above you certainly puts the odds against the Bears making the post-season.

There has to be a sense of urgency to everything the Bears do tonight.  The defense must improve.  The D-Line needs to put consistent pressure on Lions QB Matt Stafford or he will throw for over 300 yards and several TDs.  They need to control the clock and move the ball methodically down the field.  Forte and Marion Barber need to combine for at least 150 yards on the ground to win.  Winning through the air isn’t going to happen for the Bears.  To win the O-Line needs to keep Cutler upright.  The game plan is simple.  They need to throw quick slants, outs and screens along with the power running game.  They also need to limit turnovers.  If they can do all of these things, they control the clock.  They control the clock they control the game.

If they get into a game plan where Cutler throws 40 times and gets picked 2 or 3 times than we know where this game is headed.  The O-Line isn’t good enough to hold off the Lions rush for the 4 or 5 seconds Cutler will need to get the vertical game going.

So, for the first time EVER, the Bears v. Lions actually means something.  The Lions are young and hungry.  The Bears talented but getting old.  It should be interesting to see where this goes but Bears fans know, losing is NOT an option tonight.

Leave a comment

Filed under Football

NFL MOCK DRAFT 2009

1st ROUND PROJECTION
DETROIT Matt Stafford QB Georgia
ST.LOUIS Jason Smith OT Baylor
KANSAS CITY Aaron Curry LB Wake Forest
SEATTLE Eugene Moore OT Virginia
CLEVELAND Brian Orakpo DE Texas
CINCINNATI Michael Crabtree WR Texas Tech
OAKLAND Jeremy Maclin WR Missouri
JACKSONVILLE Peria Jerry DT Mississippi
GREEN BAY Everette Brown DE Florida State
SAN FRANSISCO Mark Sanchez QB USC
BUFFALO Michael Oher OT Mississippi
DENVER B.J. Raji DT Boston Col.
WASHINGTON Tyson Jackson DE LSU
NEW ORLEANS Brian Cushing LB USC
HOUSTON Malcolm Jenkins CB Ohio State
SAN DIEGO James Laurinaitis LB Ohio State
NY JETS Josh Freeman QB Kansas State
DENVER (from Chicago) Robert Ayers DE Tennessee
TAMPA BAY Aaron Maybin DE Penn State
DETROIT (from Dallas) Rey Maualuga LB USC
PHILADELPHIA Knowshon Moreno RB Georgia
MINNESOTA Percy Harvin WR Florida
NEW ENGLAND Clay Matthews LB USC
ATLANTA Paul Kruger DE Utah
MIAMI Kenny Britt WR Rutgers
BALTIMORE Clint Sintim LB Virginia
INDIANAPOLIS Evander Hood DT Missouri
BUFFALO (from Car.thru Philly) Brandon Pettigrew TE Okla. St.
NY GIANTS Darrius Heyward-Bey WR Maryland
TENNESSEE Mohammed Massaquoi WR Georgia
ARIZONA LeSean McCoy RB Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH Eben Britton OT Arizona

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Singletary is Now Dr. Phil

That title says a lot considering he was a cerebral assassin at MLB for the Bears in the 1980s. 

Mike is the current head coach of the 49ers and, besides dropping his pants in the locker room, did a pretty good job of getting the Niners back to respectability. 

However, he appears to be at it again.  Mike and company are going into their first NFL draft and quarterback has to be a priority for this team.  They will be looking at guys like Stafford and Sanchez in the 1st Round and possibly a guy like Pat White or Graham Harrell in the middle rounds.

Stafford is by far the number one QB in the entire group.  He had a successful career, led his team to bowl games and did well in the combine.  He is probably the only “can’t miss” prospect at this position in the draft.

Singletary was questioned about their interest if Detroit takes a pass on Stafford in favor of an OT or LB.  Apparently Stafford wouldn’t submit to a psychological profile for the team which led to this comment by Singletary.

“If you’re going to look at drafting a guy in the first round, and you’re going to pay him millions of dollars, and asking him about a divorce about his parents, if that’s going to be an issue, uhhh, then you know what, maybe he doesn’t belong here.”

So let me see, a guy doesn’t want to talk about his family and now he can’t be a successful NFL player.  Did Mike really just say that? 

Who really cares what happened in a kids youth?  I have been on numerous interviews in my career and never did the “would you take a psychological profile” ever come up. 

With jobs like FBI, police, psychiatrist and even teacher taking a psycological test or meeting with a doctor might be relevent.  But, do you think a QB from Georgia would fail grasp an NFL playbook and toss a ball down a field because he was upset that Daddy left Mommy years ago?  He scored threw the roof on the WonderBread Test.  He is a very smart guy.  He played successfully in the SEC and is a great character guy.  Stafford has everything working in his favor.  However, according to the Niners, don’t you dare come here if you won’t sit down with our shrink.  Really?

San Fran fans, if this is any indication of how things are going to go around the Bay Area this fall I think you are in for another rough season.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized