Quick Slants from Week Six early games

Before James Harrison takes out another Browns receiver, here’s a look at Sunday’s early quick slants.

1. The Texans won the battle Sunday 34-31 over Kansas City, but it’s
hard to see them winning the war.  This looks like the worst defense of
the Gary Kubiak era, which is saying a lot.  Now they have to win
without middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans for the rest of the season.

was so impressed by Matt Schaub and the Texans offense for their
comeback with virtually no margin for error.  Houston has played four
home games this year and a third home loss would have been devastating. 
Still, can they make a habit of such insane comebacks?  This defense
isn’t playoff caliber.

2. Chiefs fans may kill Charlie Weis for calling a pass on
third-and-two when a first down could have essentially won the game. 
Kansas City has won by making aggressive calls and Matt Cassel converted
a lot of third downs all day, so I can’t fault him for the call.  It
just didn’t work.

3. Has there ever been a more immediate win-win trade than Deion Branch to the Patriots?  Tom Brady found his old friend nine times for 98 yards, including New England’s final touchdown of the game and two key first downs in an overtime victory.  Yep, Branch has caught as many passes for the Patriots as Randy Moss this year.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks saw big efforts from their two young starters.  Mike Williams (yep, that one) caught ten passes for 123 yards.  New starter Deon Butler had four catches for 47 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown.

4. Branch’s touchdown came after Tom Brady bought time in the pocket and Branch reversed his route to come back to Brady.  That’s an example of their old chemistry making a difference.   Brady has really improved his movement in the pocket from last year.  This was a vintage win for a team that struggled in the fourth quarter of games last year.

5. The Saints and Eagles won despite their kickers.  David Akers missed three kicks, but he will have time to turn things around.  Garrett Hartley hooked a 33-yarder for New Orleans.  Sean Payton may have to sign a veteran not named John Carney.

6. Kevin Kolb completed every pass he threw that traveled over 20 yards in the air.  So much for his lack of vertical ability, not to mention Atlanta’s defensive improvement.  I don’t think Philadelphia’s 31-17 win over Atlanta creates another quarterback controversy, though.  The Eagles can be careful with Michael Vick before their bye, but I’d still bet heavily on Vick getting the job back when he’s fully healthy.

7. New Orleans finally looked like New Orleans again, connecting on vertical passes and throttling Tampa Bay 31-6.  It’s a great sign they came out running in the game very successfully.  Chris Ivory had 158 yards on 15 carries.  With Atlanta’s loss in Philadelphia, the Saints are tied for the NFC South lead at 4-2.

8. The Bucs want “respect” but they’ve lost at home to New Orleans and Pittsburgh by a combined score of 69-16.  Tampa could win eight games partly because of a soft schedule, but they have a long way to go.  No shame in that; mediocre is progress.

9. Chicago’s offensive line and clock management continues to be laughable.  The Bears blew a huge chance to open up some room in the NFC North in their 23-20 loss to Seattle. 

10. The NFC West has rightfully taken a lot of heat this year, but it scored two big out of division games on Sunday. The Seahawks finally looked competent on the road, and the Rams won at home against San Diego.  Maybe an NFC West team will win nine games this year.

11. The Chargers were Sunday’s biggest loser.  They are 2-4, with all four losses coming on the road.  For the first time, you couldn’t even blame special teams for this one.  Their receiver group is banged up with Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd, and Legedu Naanee all hurt.  New England comes to town next week with a chance to put their old nemesis in a huge hole.

12. The Packers have lost three games by a combined nine points and they have a score of important injuries.  Those are the excuses.  The reality is that the Packers don’t play like a smart, well-coached team.  Kudos to the Dolphins for getting a huge road win to get to 3-2.  That win looks even bigger with the Steelers coming to town next week before two more road games.

19 responses to “Quick Slants from Week Six early games

  1. “Branch’s touchdown came after Tom Brady bought time in the pocket and Branch broke off his route to come back to Brady.”
    That is not an accurate description of the play. Branch did not break off his route. He just added to it by reversing direction across the back of the end zone since he had already run the planned route to completion and Brady was still scanning and running around. It was a great effort by Branch to not give up on the play but trying to play it up as some sort of hot read by Branch is a complete mis-description of the actual play. It wasn’t chemistry, it was effort. Let’s not get carried away here.

  2. This is the third consecutive season that the Packers looked freakishly good in the preseason only to be relatively meh in the regular season. They don’t suck. They just aren’t all that good.
    Vikings and Packers both look pretty soft so far. So much for all that preseason trash talk. Bears too. Hell the Lions might be able to get back into this thing.

  3. yea, with all the injuries the packers are just average. still in the division race tho – no one will run away with the NFCN

  4. cletustreichel says:
    October 17, 2010 7:32 PM
    really contra? making a comment just to be a prick?
    you must be new here

  5. The Packers look amazing in the offseason because McCarthy treats those games as if they were real games, to make himself look good.

  6. The pass interference call against Kansas City on Houston’s last drive was the WORST penalty call EVER! That official should be fired.

  7. homerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomerhomer
    Greg Rosenthal is the biggest Pats homer
    “That’s an example of their old chemistry making a difference.”
    “This was a vintage win ”

  8. Quick Slants: San Diego’s now 2-4 and are coming off a ridiculous loss to the Rams. Philip Rivers and Co. may want to start planning for next season.
    NOTE to NFL: Rams are for real

  9. 1 – The Texans clearly are not ready to take the AFC South. Indianapolis and Tennessee will battle for the division while Houston and Jacksonville will be spoilers.
    2 – While a specific call or two can be not faulted, overall Charlie Weis is proving he can’t coach; it showed in Indianapolis and it shows in other games during the season.
    3 – Branch may have matched Randy Moss’ number of catches, but he didn’t approach Moss’ production (three touchdowns versus one). Even so, Branch proved doubters wrong and the Patriots offense cleared a hurtle.
    4 – The Saints and Eagles got back on track.
    5 – The Falcons hit a pothole.
    6 – The Packers are not as good as advertised.
    7 – The Vikings are still in contention.
    8 – The Cowboys need to fire their coaching staff and also their quarterback.
    9 – The Bucs need to do a lot more to warrant respect. Even so, their overall effort is a start.
    10 – Why did anyone think the Bears were a good team? Because of Jay Cutler and Mike Martz? Those guys are flops.
    11 – The Rams will surpass nine wins this season as The Greatest Show On Turf is beginning to return to life.
    12 – The rest of the NFC West will have to settle for nine wins if any of the division’s other teams reaches that number.
    13 – The Chargers will be the worst 11-5 team in the league if they reach even that high.

  10. @Mike Daly
    You lost all credibility with that last comment. The only way the Chargers will see 11-5 this year is to buy a ticket.
    You are saying that they will go 9-1 the rest of the way? And the one is coming next week against the Pats.
    So they will need to go 9-0 to end their season against the Titans Texans Colts and…oh yeah to of their division rivals that have already beaten them.
    Stick a fork in them, they are done.

  11. Actually the Packers were not very good in preseason either, so that argument goes out the window. Offense is killing the Packers at the moment, with all the injuries on defense, they still keep this bad offense in each game.
    Dropped passes and overthrows on 3rd down are the bane of the Packers. The run game has never been great, just good enough.

  12. So let me get this straight
    The Vikings are “still in contention” but the Packers totally suck, are overrated, “paper champions” blah blah blah even though GB is 3-3 and MN is 2-3?
    Also, the last time I checked great things were also expected out of Minnesota and they’ve looked pretty pathetic. They barely beat a bad Dallass team and if not for the turnover happy Lions maybe they lose that one as well.
    The reality is that all the teams in the NFC North have a bunch of question marks, but outside of Detroit somebody has to win the division. Not that it will really matter in the grand scheme of things anyway.

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