No byes this week means it’s a busy Sunday, but c’mon, NFL, let’s space these games out a little. There are 10 early games today and only three afternoon games.
Can someone please think of the bloggers?!?
The gems in our notes from another NFL Sunday morning include DeSean Jackson’s lack of alarm clock skills, and the Redskins’ lack of quarterback skills.
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
A tight divisional game could be highly influenced by third-down conversions. The Saints are second in the league, converting at rate of 55.7 percent.
Also, as expected both Mark Ingram and Julio Jones are active.
Tennessee Titans at Carolina Panthers
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Throwing the ball will be a challenge with wind gusts reaching 40 mph today at Paul Brown Stadium.
St. Louis Rams at Cleveland Browns
How can you tell that it’s mid-November, other than the date at the top of this post? Our two consecutive weather-related updates, of course. The winds in Cleveland today may not be quite as strong as the gusts in southern Ohio, but they’ll be pretty close.
This will lead to Colt McCoy throwing check downs the entire game, instead of just almost the entire game.
Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys
Rob Ryan’s usual rant in his Friday press conference included an analysis of how much Fred Jackson kicks the crap out of the opposition with both his power running style and blocking ability. Therefore, Ryan needs his defense to do some crap kicking of its own.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have a realistic shot at a win here, but if they lose today and continue to lose, draft critics (meaning anyone who’s everyone watched a football game) will point to Stanford’s loss to Oregon last night and say something about Andrew Luck’s inability to win the big game. And the big game will be referenced as though it’s a real, quantifiable stat, and not a mainstream media-driven mirage we use to arbitrarily manipulate a quarterback’s value to fit a narrative.
It’ll all sound very familiar.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
Surprisingly, Josh McDaniels is getting a little bit of respect in Denver long after his dismissal as the team’s head coach, because the Broncos’ recent mini turnaround has been fueled by his draft picks.
But more importantly and painfully, this is an actual line written by an actual columnist:
In the only statistical measure of an NFL quarterback that really matters, Tim Tebow has won two of three games since being named the starter.
Washington Redskins at Miami Dolphins
The Redskins have some major offensive injuries, with Tim Hightower and Chris Cooley done for the year, and Santana Moss in the middle of a lengthy absence. Even though others have filled those voids effectively (i.e. Fred Davis has far exceeded Cooley’s production), those injuries are an easy excuse for the lack of chemistry and cohesiveness on offense.
But it’s difficult for a quarterback to develop any chemistry with his offense when Mike Shanahan’s constantly spinning the carousel, and the Redskins head coach will put another quarter in the merry-go-round today and replace John Beck with Rex Grossman. The former Bears flop started Washington’s first five games before throwing four interceptions and being pulled in Week 6.
Beck’s reign under center has been worse, but only marginally. Combined Grossman and Beck have a QB rating of 69.3, and they’ve thrown eight touchdowns to 13 interceptions. Eventually Shanahan will realize that he’s stuck with two painfully mediocre quarterbacks, and keeping the carousel turning isn’t helping his offense, or his image.
Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles
DeSean Jackson has always lived in DeSean Jackson land, and his unpredictable attitude and erratic behavior are easily tolerated when the Eagles are winning. But when the losses mount, he can magnify existing frustrations. Or maybe that’s giving Jackson far too much credit, and maybe he should invest in a better alarm clock instead of using one with a separate knob for the radio alarm.
Jackson will be benched today after he overslept and missed a team meeting Saturday. His production has already been far below pedestrian (two touchdowns, four games with less than 40 receiving yards, and two fumbles lost in the last two weeks), so Jackon’s latest act of stupidity will only grow the frustration towards his performance and attitude during a season when he’s openly asking for more money.
Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Albert Haynesworth will immediately be given a chance to be lazy and ineffective.
Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks
The Ravens have looked stagnant offensively in two games that seemed like easy road wins this year, a pattern that’s resulted in ugly losses to Tennessee and Jacksonville. What’s even more frustrating is the minimal combined point differential of 18 in those two games, with Baltimore losing a Monday night game in Jacksonville by a score of just 12-7 when Joe Flacco struggled to generate anything offensively.
That’s a fate the Ravens hope to avoid today in what feels like another very easy game during a cross-country trip.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
Calvin Johnson has a special touchdown dance planned if he reaches the end zone today in Chicago that will likely pay tribute to his game-winning touchdown catch that wasn’t really a game-winning touchdown catch the last time these two teams met at Soldier Field.
Lions fans will just be happy if he holds on to the damn ball.
New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers
Hakeem Nicks had been progressing well all week after missing New York’s Week 9 win over New England with a hamstring injury, and NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora reports that he feels fine and is expected to play, while Mario Manningham remains a game-time decision.
New England Patriots at New York Jets
Randy Moss was often a lunatic and an unpredictable jerk, but he gave the Patriots’ offense something it’s sorely missing heading into another major divisional clash tonight: a receiver who can run very far, very fast.