Sports Illustrated has MMQB by Peter King. We here at ScoutsNotebook have MMQB by PsychoGimpy. Pete is the better babysitter, but is much less fun at a keg party. Or in a holding cell. Our man Gimp is an old friend. He’s not a scout, but is a diehard football fanatic. He is an Eagles fan so there is some bias in regard to NFC East matters, but he can be trusted to speak fairly with the other 28 teams.
Tommy and Matt do such a phenomenal job on the draft and college prospects, then with Tommy and his Eagles responsibilities and Matt’s college recruiting work, other NFL teams are a bit neglected. That’s not to say they couldn’t do it, it’simply a matter of football overdosing if they do much more. I always enjoyed Tommy’s Around the NFL segment, but I figured I’d go a bit more in depth with my observations.
Forewarning, I’m writing this a few beers in and watching the Eagles-Giants game, so if for some reason I seem really angry that Jermaine Greshman got robbed of a touchdown by replay, it’s probably because AR called a go route in 3rd and 2…again. Seriously though, this Calvin Johnson rule is awful and no one seems to know what the heck a touchdown is anymore.
I’ll start off with the topic no one will shut up about: Tim Tebow. I’ll admit, I’m not a Tebow fan. I watched the whole Jets-Broncos game and Tim Tebow is the worst QB in the NFL…for 3 and a half quarters. I think some time during the 4th quarter John Elway comes down and whispers sweet nothings into his ear, some creepy voodoo magic happens, and Tebow gains Elway’s famous miracle comeback ability. His game winning drive was nothing short of impressive. The Jets defense is no joke. Statistically speaking they’ve been one of the best defenses in the NFL since Rex Ryan got there and they may have the best defensive player in the game in Darrelle Revis. They made Tebow look like a fool for most of the game. Then, voodoo magic happened, and Tebow won the game. It’s incredible.
The real star of the Denver Broncos is Rookie of the Year candidate Von Miller. He was a monster in the backfield and he made Mark Sanchez’s life miserable. 9 tackles, 1.5 sacks, FF, and countless times in the backfield rushing Sanchez. After the game, Rex Ryan said as long as he’s the head coach of the Jets, Sanchez will be the man at QB. What did I hear? “As long as I’m here, we’ll have one of the worst passing games in the NFL.” There’s a lot of debate as to whether or not Tim Tebow is an NFL QB. Well, Sanchez was by far the worst QB on the field, so if Sanchez is an NFL QB, and Tebow is better…you do the math. I’m eagerly watching to see if he can keep it up.
The AFC North is shaping up to be the most interesting division in the NFL in a good way. You could argue that the AFC West is more up in the air, but that’s more due to the incompetence of those teams than their skill. The Ravens, Steelers, and Bengals are going to go down to the wire and today’s game between the Ravens and Bengals certainly gave the race more fuel. It was a close game that came down to 1st and goal by the Bengals on the 7 yard line. The Ravens stopped them, but this is one of those games that could have gone either way with a little luck. The Ravens have done a phenomenal job shutting down good teams (wins versus Steelers 2x, Bengals, and Texans) but they’ve been miserable against some of the worst teams in the NFL (losses to Jaguars and Seahawks, barely sneaked past Cardinals). The Steelers are 7-1 against non-Baltimore teams, but 0-2 against the Ravens means they have to have a better record than the Ravens to win the division since the Ravens have the tie breaker. The Bengals are the wild card and all logic says to write them off since they’re a game behind but they still play the Ravens and Steelers once more. Crazier things have happened…
* Phillip Rivers wasn’t very good in the 4th quarter. With his team down by 11, Jay Cutler throws a pick, putting the Chargers on the Bears 16 yard line in position to make it a one score game with 9 minutes to go. Rivers goes 0-3 and throws a pick on 3rd down. Next series? Picked off on first down, game over. Rivers has thrown 17 INTs this season. His previous season high was 15. Free advice to Rivers, that’s the wrong kind of personal record to break. Maybe he’s going with the philosophy that it is better to be awful than boring. If so, congrats!!!
* John Skelton has maintained that Kevin Kolb is the starter in Arizona when healthy. His game today made sure of that – 6 of 19 with 3 picks and a QB rating of 10.5.
* 7 turnovers in one game. Sounds like a pathetic game with no offensive scoring, right? Wrong. Cam Newton and Matt Stafford combined for 654 yards, 8 touchdowns, and a combined score of 84 points. That’s one hell of an exciting game. I don’t need to tell any fantasy football player about Kevin Smith’s day, because trust me, he’s already gone if you don’t have a waiver system.
* I hate you Graham Gano!!!
* Tampa Bay is a decent team but their schedule has been brutal so far. They’ve lost 4 straight to Chicago, New Orleans, Houston, and Green Bay. 4 straight weeks against likely playoff teams? That’s tough. Outside of Houston, they were all close games. Tampa looked very good on D vs. Green Bay, holding Aaron Rodgers to his worst day of the season (a good day by any other QB’s standards, but still).
* If Pete Carroll isn’t careful, his Seahawks will win too many games to draft Matt Barkley without trading up. C’mon Pete, everyone knows you can break a few rules to get the desired outcome. Fix it.
* My Father-in-law is a huge Dolphins fan. I’ve been hearing it all day after the Dolphins beat the hell out of the Bills. Reggie Bush looks like a weapon, Matt Moore is efficient and makes good decisions, and the defense has been very good. I didn’t think the Dolphins would go winless and they had some very close losses, so this isn’t surprising. I did not expect to see them dominate a Bills team that looked to be playoff bound a month ago.
Turkey Day Predictions:
What a lineup on thanksgiving: Harbaugh Bowl, a Lions game everyone wants to watch vs. the Packers, and a red hot Dolphins team gunning to take down the Cowboys. My predictions:
Alex Smith has his worst day of the season and Ray Rice grinds the Ravens to victory.
A defensive struggle where Tony Romo continues his mind numbing inconsistency with an awful game after a good one vs. Washington.
No defense here folks. Rodgers throws for 900 yards and 8 touchdowns.