Your Week Seven early quick slants while I wonder if the Titans are the new favorites in the AFC South . . .
1. Kevin Kolb made Andy Reid’s decision at quarterback a little easier as the Eagles head into their bye at 4-3. Philadelphia led for most of the day in Tennessee, but Kolb didn’t play well. He had open receivers down the field many times and missed them or underthrew the ball. His longest completion should have been picked off by Titans safety Chris Hope. (Riley Cooper made a great play on the ball; one of three big catches he had.)
Don’t get me wrong; Kolb played some great football the last month and wasn’t a total lost case Sunday. But he missed throws consistently that Reid dialed up for big plays down the field. Kolb was lucky to have only two interceptions and he averaged under five yards per pass.
2. It’s time to start talking about Roddy White as the best receiver in the NFL this season. He dominated a Bengals defense that was the best in the league against No. 1 wideouts going into this game. (Playing without cornerback Johnathan Joseph did Cincy no favors.)
White racked up 201 yards, two touchdowns, and a two-point conversion. White lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown late in the third quarter, but then responded by taking the game over in the fourth quarter. Few wide receivers can do that. On a down day for the Falcons defense, Matt Ryan and White carried the team to 5-2 heading into their bye.
3. At 2-4, the Bengals are already three games back in the AFC North race. Their schedule is brutal and they can’t seem to put together a complete game. They did a nice job coming back against the Falcons, but ultimately the Cincy defense couldn’t stop Atlanta. Both teams topped 450 yards of offense. Cincinnati looks like an 8-8 team at best.
4. Titans defensive tackle Jason Jones has played at an All Pro level
all season. He blew up a handoff to LeSean McCoy late in the third
quarter when the Eagles threatened to put the game out of reach. That
play turned the whole game around. On a day when both defensive lines
played great, Tennessee’s front four carried the day.
5. Losing on a poor call may haunt the Dolphins all season. But it’s worth noting that Chad Henne played very well against the top-ranked Steelers defense. Four Dolphins receivers topped 49 yards. Not all 3-3 teams are equal; Miami has survived a brutal schedule and caught a tough break on Sunday. Their young quarterback is maturing fast.
6. The Steelers may have lost despite winning. Defensive end Aaron Smith suffered a triceps injury that could knock him out for the season, according to NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora. After Troy Polamalu, Smith may be the most difficult player to replace on the Steelers.
7. The Bucs are far from a perfect team at 4-2, but they have to be so excited they have Josh Freeman for the next decade. He’s a hybrid between Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger. The guy can make all the throws, is very tough to take down, and has shown a knack for playing his best when the game is on the line. Five of his seven wins are on fourth quarter comebacks.
At 4-2, the Bucs can hang around in the wild card race for a while because their schedule is mostly favorable. The Rams coughed up another game on the road and have yet to win away from St. Louis.
8. Perhaps Jeff Fisher should bench Kenny Britt for a quarter more
often. The second year wideout exploded for 225 yards and three
scores against Philadelphia. He has the tools to be a top-five receiver, but his off-field
troubles threaten to force him to miss action if charges are filed against him after his involvement in a night club fight Friday.
Eagles safety Nate Allen won defensive rookie of the month in September,
but he gave up a lot of big plays to Britt. On “jump ball” plays,
Britt is already among the league’s most dangerous.
9. At 1-6, let’s stop talking about the 49ers as a possible contender in the NFC West. Sure, their schedule is easy. But they aren’t a team capable of consistently beating bad teams. They are a bad team. Alex Smith left with a shoulder injury, so the poor fans in London may be stuck watching David Carr against the Broncos. That’s a recipe to make sure the Super Bowl never goes overseas.
10. The Panthers passing game is alive! Historically inept through the first five games, Matt Moore threw for over 300 yards, mostly to rookies David Gettis and Brandon LaFell. Based on John Fox’s track record, the Panthers won’t necessarily be an easy out each week.
11. Following the Saints’ humbling 30-17 loss to the Browns, Drew Brees has ten interceptions and four fumbles this year. He threw eleven picks all of last year. Defenses continue to make the Saints go on long drives, then capitalize on mistakes. The Saints were +11 in turnover margin last year. They are -5 this year.