Melissa's Monday Musings - NFL Week 5
By: The Football Girl | Posted: October 08, 2012
Week 5 is in the home stretch. Welcome to my random thoughts and observations. Please feel free to share your own.
49 Reasons to Love the 49ers
While the admitted 49ers fan in me would love to go all Bleacher Report here, I will not. However, the Vikings loss seems to be about the best thing that happened to Harbaugh’s squad. Since Week 3, they have won two games by a combined score of 79-3.
Yesterday’s game against the Bills was a coming out party (no stupid SF jokes, please) for Alex Smith and the 49ers passing game. Smith went over 300 yards in victory for the first time in his career. Both Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree went over the 100-yard mark. And three different receivers scored – Crabtree, Kyle Williams and Mario Manningham. That kind of output only happens on select teams, like Eli Manning and the Giants. But compare for yourself next week when the two play each other in a rematch of the NFC Championship. (P.S: I’ll be there!)
OK, ok, maybe the Bills secondary had a little something to do with Alex Smith Montana.
Awesomeness for Atlanta
Need I say more? Atlanta has pretty much sealed the division at this point but Matt Ryan has to work on his accuracy if they are going to succeed come playoff time.
ACLs Aren’t So Bad
I wrote about this in the midst of the games yesterday but Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles and now Rashard Mendenhall are really redefining what it means to come back from an ACL injury. AP started a little slower in that he has more hesitant to cut his first couple of weeks back, but he is shifting like crazy now. Charles is just bowling over defenders. And Mendenhall displayed an elite combination of cutting and appropriately shifting speeds. Whatever medical advances regarding ACL recovery have occurred in the sports medicine fields, they are working Watching these guys the remainder of he season s sure to be a treat.
Maybe it’s because the Packers have fallen on hard times or the Cardinals have been exposed by their putrid offensive line, but this season is starting to feel like a letdown in terms. While San Francisco, New England, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, Minnesota and sometimes Baltimore look playoff ready, a plethora of teams are flat out bad. As in “thank-god-for-fantasy-football-or-I’d rather-poke-my eyes-out-than-watch” bad.
It’s not that they have one bad element (like the Redskins’ secondary or the Saints’ run defense); it’s that they have a depth of issues that makes them susceptible to a blow out every week. Here my list: Chiefs, Bills, Browns, Jets, Jaguars, Panthers, Seahawks, and Rams. Am I forgetting or mischaracterizing anyone?
Appreciating Sean Payton
Before last night’s game I had trouble understanding how the Saints were 0-4. Other than the losses of guard Carl Nicks, cornerback Tracy Porter and wide receiver Robert Meachem this was largely the same team that was one less Vernon Davis miracle away from playing in the NFC Championship. I had poo-pooed the notion that Sean Payton’s absence would have this much of a deep impact. After all, Drew Brees would pick up the slack offensively in the same vein Peyton Manning did during his Indy Era. But the Saints offensive playbook is largely uninspired this year. The running back corps doesn’t seem to be used as advantageously as possible, particularly Darren Sproles who should be much more of an every-down back. And there is some odd cohesion missing from the aerial attack that had been so fluid in years past.
Maybe it was all the reaction shots of Payton sitting in the luxury box but it finally dawned on me that everyone is right. Drew Brees is an amazing quarterback, one of the best of al-time, and possibly the best leader in the game (with objectively the best motivational chant in football). But leadership does not necessarily equate to being a substitute signal caller. This team flat out misses Payton, and it is mostly reflected in their now 1-4 record. Look, the guy gets special permission to attend a game and it’s their only win. Yes, the man is fully appreciated over here, which I’m assuming is a really big deal to him.
(Gregg Williams doesn’t count in the “importance of coach” conversation because his defense was horrible both before and after his suspension.)
Drew Brees Breaking Records
Not to sound like a broken record but congrats to Drew Brees on breaking Johnny Unitas’ record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass. To sum up all the Tweets, commentary and the like, Brees is the greatest specimen on Earth. In fact, instead of all of us trying to put the greatness of Brees into words, let’s let Jon Gruden analyze his every move and pipe it into every speaker in New Orleans.
As beloved as Brees is I still don’t think many people knew this record was about to tumble until Sean Payton got special permission to see it happen in person last week. According to a very unofficial “study” by Darren Rovell, 70% of people didn’t care about Brees surpassing Unitas. Maybe it’s just been there done that with Brees and the record breaking.
Worst Announcer “Commentary”
At the conclusion of Indianapolis’ shocking and emotion win over Green Bay, FOX play-by-play man Thom Brennaman said this:
“Earlier this week Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with a form of leukemia, APL, that left untreated kills quickly. When treated, recovery rates range from 80-90%...But it’s 100% jubilation right now in Indianapolis.”
Apples and oranges, Thom.
Sir Robert Kraft
And finally, Foxboro was invaded by the British.
Hello Sir Richard Branson. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a “sir.”
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