Week 4 Recap: Sweet in Beantown, Brutal in NYC
It seems only fitting to follow up the all New England (read: Boston) and New York preview with a wrap up of the same. This week had highs and lows for these two cities, to say the least. New York definitely took the brunt of this week’s misery, in such different and distinct ways. The Giants were as close to winning as it gets, only to squander the opportunity (sending me into a expletive-filled tizzy). While the Jets, well, they just got manhandled. What’s worse: losing a nail biter or just having no shot and knowing it from early on? In the end, both go in the loss column. New England also led their faithful through the ringer. It didn’t look good early, but at halftime they had some Belichick-ade. Not only did they put on an unbelievable performance, but they also made me want some Belichick-ade for my Giants, and some for us at Spogo. Just to try…
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
Whenever you have bitter rivalry games, you can always expect a close one. This game really could have gone either way.
There were questionable pass interference calls down the stretch, no doubt about it. The Eagles got called on PI twice on the last drive. The first time, Rodgers-Cromartie definitely committed the foul. However, the second flag on Asomugha was not pass interference, and gave the Giants the ball on the Eagles 27. Of course the Giants took this gift, went on to get the ball in the center of the field, run the clock down, and then kick a 42ish yarder for the win, right? In one of the more interesting calls, they throw it deep to Barden, and he gets called for offensive pass interference (a good call). The play call in this situation was, um, stupid. For a man like Kevin Gilbride (Giants Offensive Coordinator) to call such a play on 2nd and 9 when he normally opts to run the draw on 2nd and 15 (not an Evel Knievel-esque coordinator in any way) is baffling. The Giants definitely had issues other than this call. Their defense was extremely undisciplined, especially in the second half. McCoy and Vick were scampering up field at will. Defensive players were taking horrible risks while anticipating which way the play was going (secondary and linebackers got burned frequently on McCoy runs). The star-studded defensive line was also over committing to the pass rush and leaving huge lanes for a speedy Vick or McCoy. For the Eagles, they showed just how explosively fast their offense is. They have blazing speed at the quarterback, running back, and wide receiver positions. Most of all, they did not turn the ball over (most turnovers in the NFL coming into this game), which kept them in the driver seat.
New York Giants Week 5: Sunday, 1:00 PM EST, vs. Cleveland
San Francisco 49ers @ New York Jets
“hopefully we’ll never have to feel this way again” – Mark Sanchez after the game”
Jets fans have probably crawled into their caves and turned off all electronic devices this week. Nothing gets the taste of a 34-0 beat down out of your mouth. In case any would-be cave dweller has come out from hiding to see if the berating media has had their fill of Jets misery, surprise! This loss was so complete that the Jets fans at the stadium started a “We want Tebow” chant. When this happens you know all hope is lost. Sanchez had a 2.8 Quarter Back Rating. This helped him slide to the lowest QBR in the league. Well, a shaky Sanchez is nothing new; at least the Jets have their icy defense to… oh, oh right, I forgot. This defense is not the same without their best player, Darrelle Revis. The hardest felt effect is losing this locker room leader. The Jets allowed 245 rushing yards in the loss. While San Fran is definitely one of the best teams in the league, especially defensively, but no self-respecting team can take this loss (3rd worst shutout loss in Jets history) and not be panicked. To put the icing on the cake, they lost Santonio Holmes, arguably the only offensive playmaker, to a foot injury (MRI negative) in the later stages of the game (oh, he fumbled up a touchdown in the process). Don’t worry Jets fans, you only have to host the undefeated Texans on Monday Night Football next week amid a barraging of “Is Tebow the answer?!” questions. No pressure.
New York Jets Week 5: Monday, 8:30PM EST, vs. Houston Texans
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills
The Patriots first half was a 3rd grade strings band, with clashing sounds that are tantamount to a group of crying cats. Headlined by sure-handed Welker and Gronkowski having uncharacteristic fumbles (“Gronk drop ball. Gronk no spike ball. GRONK ANGRY.”) Their second half, however, was as if Bach and Mozart had a child together, and that child wrote something so beautiful it made you cry. OK so that was a bit dramatic, but seriously, they had the best half in franchise history, putting up 45 points. The 580 yards of team offense was the fourth best in franchise history. They also had two receivers (Gronk and Welker) and two running backs (Bolden and Ridley) with 100+ yards each (the second time in NFL history that two of each went for 100+ on the same team). As Andrew put it, the fans, and I’m sure the players, were in utter disbelief at the team they saw in the first half. The second half has led the most cynical and morose of fans to want to change the way they watch sports. That takes some magic. Six unanswered touchdowns will do that. What’s more exciting for Pats fans, they were wildly successful running the ball
against an expensive, but underperforming, Bills defense. They have succeeded in making Super Bowls without a hint of a running game (see: last year). Imagine what they are capable of with one?
New England Patriots Week 5: Sunday, 4:25 PM EST, vs. Denver Broncos