Tuesday, October 14, 2008

NFL week 6 wrapup

Week 6 in the NFL...

  • The Patriots were bad again. If you can't score, you can't win. But the big problem is the defense. I was concerned about it coming out of the preseason games, and it looks as if I were right to be concerned. There are ways to hide a weak unit on pass defense, but you do it with a strong one. If you can't cover, you pressure the quarterback. If you can't pressure the quarterback, you play coverage. If you can't do either, you give up lots of long pass plays. That's what the Patriots are doing now. A weak secondary without a pass rush is just begging for trouble. Cassel and the offense were awful at doing what the offense is supposed to do - score points. They were so-so on the field, generally moving the ball, but they never got into the end zone.

  • One of the excuses I've heard for the defense is that the offense keeps putting them in bad situations. That's not true. It's true that there's more pressure on the defense to be good because they can't outscore defensive mistakes, but the defense has actually had better field position this year than last. The average opponent started each drive on its own 28 last year, this year, it starts on its own 25. But the defense is allowing a few more field goals and a lot more touchdowns.

    Patriots defense - opponent drive results
    Opponent drivesTDFGNo scoreTD %FG %Scoreless %Pts/Possession



    When Brady went down, they needed the defense to step up. It has failed to do so.

  • I wonder what kind of odds you could have gotten for St. Louis (over Washington), Arizona (over Dallas) and the Browns (over the NY Giants) this weekend. If someone had seen that trifecta coming, he could retire today. I bet there are a lot fewer people remaining in knockout pools than there were Sunday morning.

  • Why does the NFL draw such ratings and revenues? Because even a game that looks like it might be a dog (Chicago at Atlanta, Miami at Houston) can have a spectacular, competitive, compelling finish.

  • I'm sure that there have been uglier NFL uniforms than the throwbacks the Titans Jets are wearing, but I can't think of one off the top of my head.

  • Two ex-Patriots finished off the Cowboys, as Sean Morey blocked a punt in OT and Monty Beisel recovered the ball and walked into the end zone.

  • Evidence that you should be listening carefully to what I say (and since you shouldn't, there isn't much of it):

    Detroit at Minnesota - "OK, I'm picking the Lions until they win. Is this the week they keep it close, get out of town without embarassment? Eh... Sure, let's say they do. Am I going all the way to predict a Lions win? On the road? Hold on, let me think about that...um...well...uh...no. No, they'll still lose by 10, but not by 14+. Moral victory, Detroit. Scoreboard victory, Minnesota."

    Philadelphia at San Francisco - "Has San Francisco improved enough to make this not a gimme? Absolutely. And these two teams are both 2-3, and Philadelphia's flying 3000 miles to play it. Here's the difference - Philadelphia's 2-3 in the NFC East, San Francisco's 2-3 in the NFC West. That's kind of like a 2-3 ACC team playing a 2-3 division 3 school."

    Green Bay at Seattle - "I confess to being shocked by this line. Do people still think that Seattle's a good team? Based on what evidence?"

  • Evidence that you should be listening carefully to what I say (and betting the opposite):

    Dallas at Arizona - "I'd love to pick the Cowboys to go out and lose this game. I really would. I just don't think that I can. Inconsistent, undisciplined, questionably coached? Yup. Too much talent for the Cardinals? Yeah."

    NY Giants at Cleveland - "Cleveland's scoring just under 12 points per game. The Giants are allowing just over 12 points per game. So, looking at a 9 point spread in a game where Cleveland's clearly going to score 12, the question becomes, will the Giants score more than 21? Yes. They will."

    St. Louis at Washington - "Some Sunday this fall, the Rams are going to put together a good effort, catch someone napping, and actually win a game. It won't be this week."

  • For the week:
    Winners: 7-7
    ATS: 8-6-0

  • For the season:
    Winners: 53-35
    ATS: 49-37-2

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