Tuesday, September 25, 2012

4th and Inches - Three Weeks Down

The NFL has now completed three weeks of the season and as always there are plenty of surprises and disappointments.  I'll mainly address the Bills and Falcons here but also touch on a few other noteworthy (to me anyway) tidbits.     ATLANTA FALCONS:  They are now 3-0 and have beaten two good teams in Denver and San Diego.  No matter how you shake it 3-0 is a good start.  With the next three games against Carolina, Washington, and Oakland they have a good chance of going 6-0.  That would be outstanding but I am not expecting it though Atlanta will be expected to win all three and should be.  Their offense is playing extremely well with the "we'll take the training wheels off Matt Ryan" effort showing big dividends.  He is hitting almost 70% of his passes and has an outstanding TD to interception ratio.  Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez have all looked good in the passing offense as well.  Running back Michael Turner is the one skill player who hasn't looked that great.  He bounced back some against San Diego but needs to keep it up for the offense to stay on track.  The defense has also played well.  Overall I don't think I could ask for much more.  The schedule gets more difficult the latter part of the season so they need to build on these successes and be ready as the competition stiffens. 
BUFFALO BILLS:  I would have liked a better showing against the Jets but Buffalo is 2-1 and that is a good start.  With New England and San Francisco up next I'd be thrilled with a 3-2 start...but that won't happen.  That means Buffalo will have to take care of business against those teams they can beat and make a good showing against the power houses of the league.  C.J. Spiller is averaging 10 yards a carry and is the hero so far.  He was injured in Sunday's game against Cleveland so Bills' fans have to just hope it won't be too serious.  The passing game is going backwards just as it did the second half of last season.  Ryan Fitzpatrick is hitting only 57% of his passes while averaging less than 200 yards a game.  There is definite work that needs to be done there.  The defense isn't great but is good enough to keep them in games even against better teams.  Overall some positives but Buffalo definitely doesn't seem ready to compete with the big boys.  Again if they can just beat the average teams in the league consistently and throw in an upset or two this season can be a "win". 
RANDOM:  Who would have thought Kansas City would beat New Orleans?  Oh wait my wife did.  I figured they'd be one ticked off 0-2 team and would have took it right to the Chiefs.  They did but for only one half.....Gotta love the way Houston looks.  They seem to have it going on both sides of the ball.  Again that is an easy division and they could easily have home field advantage going into the playoffs.....And who thought Arizona would be 3-0?.....Who wouldn't have loved to see the Week 3 Detroit-Tennessee game?  Overtime, 85 total points, 46 points in the 4th quarter, 2 touchdowns in the last 18 seconds by Detroit after Matthew Stafford was hurt.  Really?  Was this the NFL or the old Joe Montana Sega video game? (Me and Deion Sanders were unbeatable!).....I've been able to watch Andrew Luck play.  He may not be lighting it up with unbelievable numbers but he looked good.  I didn't see anything that said he can't be one of the best quarterbacks in the league someday.....Who knows what New England could have done the past few years if they just had a real defense.  This has to fall on Bill Belichek as while a few defensive picks have worked those are few and far between.  Nice to have a top 5 offense but they've proved many times that their offense will only get them so far.  Ok, sometimes that is to the Super Bowl.....Horrible ending to the Packers-Seahawks game.  The replacement refs are an embarrassment.  But with all the issues I'm not sure Roger Goodell will ever back down from the negotiations with the union.  This could be a season we never forget, for all the wrong reasons.   

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