Week 8 Recap: Hurricane Hot Topics
While the winds and rain crashed upon the eastern seaboard, the NFL rolled on. Bunkered down in my Manhattan residence, stocked up on food and drink, I’ve worked through the storm to crunch this week’s action. Here’s what people are talking about.
Sanchez or Tebow?
The signing of Tim Tebow could cost Mike Tannenbaum (Jets GM) his job. The Dolphins embarrassed the Jets on Sunday, and the “Sanchez or Tebow” talk has hit a new high I didn’t think was possible. It has not only become the elephant in the Jets locker room, but the elephant that just keeps eating peanuts and growing. Pretty soon there won’t be enough space for the players. Sanchez was critically inaccurate on Sunday including throwing one pick, and losing a fumble trying to make something out of nothing. On the flip side, Tebow is probably the most inaccurate QB on any NFL roster. The truth about this situation is: there is no good option. The Jets faithful want a QB that can make plays but the truth is, the Jets are going to have to find one in the off-season. If the Jets lose two out of the next three (@ Seattle, @ St. Louis, vs. New England), I could see them giving Tebow a shot. Inaccurate or not, he has found ways to win, why not give it a shot when your team is 4-7? No, it’s clear now. Greg McElroy must be the answer…
New York Giants Near Collapse
Jason Pierre-Paul picked off Tony Romo for touchdown, and I’m slouched down in my couch pondering if I want to nap or not. Five minutes before the half, Felix Jones sneaked into the endzone, and you could tell this game was far from over. The Cowboys added a field goal before half, and I was wide-awake. Pretty soon, I was gnawing at my fingernails and tapping my toes. The Giants held the ball for all of 4 minutes in the 3rd quarter, and Dallas took the lead. The Giants experience in these situations showed in the 4th quarter when they drove down the field for two field goals, and ran out the game. I nearly took my thumbnail off when Dez Bryant caught a would-be touchdown at the end of the game that was ruled incomplete, but the Giants came up with the plays to win. What worries me is their lack of production in the red zone. They kicked five field goals on Sunday, moving the ball into Cowboys territory quite well and then stalling when it mattered. The secondary came up with many interceptions, but showed how soft it can be after allowing three 100+ yard receivers. The Giants need to improve in the secondary or they’ll have a hard time with the pass-happy teams come January.
Did Peyton Manning overtake Matt Ryan for MVP frontrunner?
Any questions about Peyton Manning’s health have evaporated. Something else has evaporated in Denver: any talk of Tim Tebow. This may seem like a no-brainer, but people would be talking about it had Peyton come out and not played so solidly. This week Peyton flashed his greatness completing 22 of 30 passes for 305 yards and 3 TDs. Matt Ryan also had a good game; I just think Peyton’s consistency has edged him in front. In the last five weeks, Peyton has thrown for 300+ yards each game, throwing 14 TD passes and only 1 interception. Also, in his last 4 weeks, his completion percentage has not dipped below 70%. These numbers are staggering and unmatched in the league. Right now, Peyton sits in pole position in the race for MVP.
Is It Time to Bench Michael Vick?
Shockingly, an ESPN poll on whether Vick should be benched came up 50/50. Personally, this idea sounds ill conceived. Vick has been hit (or under duress) 13 more times than the next most QB. In addition, he did not turn the ball over once on Sunday in the loss to the Falcons. The Eagles made a change at Defensive Coordinator, but the defensive performance was statistically below their season average. Replacing Vick with Nick Foles (a rookie) is not going to fix their issue, because the issue isn’t Vick. The Eagles secondary gave up big play after big play and allowed Matt Ryan to throw just 7 incompletions in 29 pass attempts. In addition, the defensive line only hit Ryan twice. They need to be better on defense, but maybe it will take a new QB for them to see that it’s not the problem. Let’s say they go that route: if I’m Andy Reid, I’m worried about losing the locker room and Vick.
What Patriots Team Will Show Up This Week?
On Sunday after going into the locker room at half up 28-7, Pats fans must have been waiting for the inevitable collapse. But it did not come, so what’s different? Looking back to the loss to the Seahawks, it was three big plays, especially the 46-yard pass in the 4th quarter that left the team reeling. The Pats started off this game by giving up that big play (50-yard TD pass). However, after this early play the defense clamped down, forced two interceptions, and did not give up the home run. This is the Pats team people expected to see week-in, week-out. We’ll see which Pats team shows up after the bye week against Buffalo.
Spogo hopes all stay safe and dry through the storm.