The Chiefs came into M&T Bank Stadium with the impossible dream, beat the Ravens at home to avoid going 0-4 this season. No way they could bring enough game to beat Baltimore at home, right? Wrong. We just need to look at two stats to find out why K.C. won.
T.O.P. K.C. 39:43 Balt 20:17
Plays 78 41
The Ravens were simply worn out by the time the fourth came around, and at one point were down 3-1 in time of possession. A couple of big plays kept them in it, but the D could not stand up when they needed it, allowing four scoring drives of 60 yds or more and an 80 yd drive to close the third. Way to have them ready to play, Mr. Vermeil.
My other observations from the week:
Pat Them on the Back
Let me begin by saying how lights out the Patriots are playing. Not only do they have a superior coach to guide them, but the secret to their success is fairly simple. First, they come to play every down, every minute, for 60 minutes of football. The Pats are a cohesive unit that simply is everything a team should be. Second, they stay healthy, which is why they won last year. It’s one thing to be deep; it’s quite another not to have to find out how deep you truly are. I think the reason they stay healthy is they deliver hits instead of taking them most times. The team does not possess an Orlando Pace, Julius Peppers or Ray Lewis, but they still get it done. In fact, if anyone can name two players on the offensive and defensive line of the Patriots, and you’re not an avid fan, you’re doing well. Lastly, they minimize mistakes and maximize on the opponent’s mistakes. They have only given up ten points on turnovers, while scoring twenty four in three games.
As many of you know, their streak is currently at 18 straight. I learned yesterday that the “streak” is not recognized by the NFL because it includes playoff games. Who cares? In the modern game, with all the salary cap and free agency considerations, this is an incredible statistic. It should be recorded when they set the record next week against Miami (and yes, they will). The NFL can put an asterisk or a double asterisk or whatever next to the stat.
No. 4 is No. 1
While we are on streaks, Brett Favre’s streak of 197 consecutive regular season starts is in jeopardy as he was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Apparently, he came back in without anyone knowing he was going in, and threw a TD to Javon Walker. It must have been secretive because the live stats on NFL.com actually credited Pederson with the touchdown, before correcting it a few minutes later. This streak is also amazing, as the closest player to him is Manning who has started every game in his six and change year career. If the streak ends, Manning is six years and one game behind. I have a feeling that Favre would go out and take a snap in a wheelchair if he could, but it may not be his decision. Concussions are tricky things, just ask Troy Aikman. Just get well, Brett and if it ends, it doesn’t change the monumental competitive spirit you have. Number 4 will be in The Hall someday. Oh yeah, and a little known RB that wears 22 tied Walter Payton with his 77th career 100 yd game, and threw his first TD pass. The seat is waiting in Canton for you too, Emmitt.
Now on to broken streaks. The Texans seem to have found a way to win two in a row. Barber shops in Houston will be crowded as the players will be dropping some weight. Now all they have to do is start dropping some more wins on teams. Carr finally gets to cut his hair as he vowed not to until the Texans won two in a row. Now he says he will cut it but he prefers it pretty long anyway. I don’t know why, so don’t ask.
The Charge is On
I realized something else that is completely unbelievable. Take a guess who has scored the third most in the league so far, behind Indy and Philly. Go ahead, guess. StLouis? Hotlanta maybe? No, it’s the Chargers (yes, those Chargers). If you guessed without looking give yourself a pat on the back; I had to look at the stats twice myself. They pounded the Titans on Sunday, putting 38 on what was supposed to be a pretty good defense. Believe it or not, there were no turnovers so it’s not like Tennessee coughed it up on their own goal line or anything. The Bolts just flat outplayed them.
When the Saints Go Marching Out
I am officially adding Haslett to my potential coaching casualty list, and removing Dom Capers for now. I know it was hot in Arizona on Sunday (kickoff was 98 degrees I believe) but they simply aren’t playing. On a reverse, Stallworth fumbled the exchange and it was runback for a touchdown, with Brooks and Stecker jogging in pursuit. It didn’t appear either one of them even made the effort to tackle the defender returning the ball. Haslett’s teams have been underachieving for years, but now it seems they have completely given up. The Aints are giving up 160 ypg on the ground, at almost 5 ypc and 9 rushing TDs in four games. Ugly, ugly display of talent. Bring back the bags, Saints fans.
Just Plain Lousy Game of the Week:
NY Jets at Miami
The revolving door behind center in Miami just keeps on spinning. Fiedler is back in the saddle in Miami, and he alone accounted for Miami’s four turnovers in the loss to the Jets. I think Wannestadt would take Dan Marino at this point, even at his age. Maybe they should try Zack Thomas at QB, at least he would crack anybody that tried to sack him. I think Fiedler was just trying to keep Matt Turk fresh, as he is going to get a ton of work this season. On the Jets side, CM was the lone bright spot, as he continues to add votes for comeback player of the year. He touched the ball 24 times for 110 and a score. No receiver caught a TD, nor did anyone rack-up more than 50 yards.
Honorable Mention: Washington vs. Cleveland. This game was pretty terrible to watch, as Joe Gibbs continues to knock the rust off his coaching.
Time for me to eat some crow. Tom Coughlin has the Giants motivated and winning games. Looks like they hate him enough to prove to him they’re not a bad team. They went into Lambeau this week and beat the Packers. Not withstanding a couple of bad decisions by Warner, this would have been a rout.
I have no fantasy advice this week, based on my team’s performance. My starters were Delhomme, Faulk, C. Brown, Ward, C. Johnson and R. Wayne and got exactly zero touchdowns. Just get me to the playoffs, Shaun Alexander.
Carson Palmer simply looked confused in Pittsburgh. I guess that’s what happens when you take a guy who started for all of a year and a half at USC, then sit him for a year and ask him to take the team to the playoffs. He is not the problem, though. I have never seen a Marvin Lewis defense not be able to tackle anybody. Good luck Marv, got nothing but love for you.