NFL15 Cherry Picks W4: Collision Course

2 Oct

Go-Getters & Grass-Legs

It’s early in NFL 2015, or as Steve Buscemi (Fargo (‘96)) would say, the season “still has that new car smell (gulp),” and as such, hard to be drawing too many or certain a conclusion on any concern.

While Atlanta, Denver, Cincy, Arizona and Carolina remain unbeaten, one feeling that cannot be denied is that perennial powerhouses Green Bay (3-0) and New England (3-0) appear both to be on missions to right past poor perceptions (Cheese-Melt 2015 / Deflategate), hitting on all cylinders and seemingly on collision course to meet in Santa Clara (SB50) next February.

Three games under your belts ain’t a whole lot to bank on and much can happen between now and January, but the manner in which these two clubs have been handling themselves and their opponents speaks volumes.

Besides the teams spirit, the two glamour pusses (cats) in Tom (72.2, 1112, 9-0) and Aaron (73.6, 771, 10-0) look to be early frontrunners for the individual hardware (MVP), with fellow QBs Andy Dalton (66.3, 866, 8-1i) and Matt Ryan (66.4%, 5t-2i, 946y) not far behind and Adrian Peterson who’s getting back those grass-legs and doing his part to dictate the dialogue (291, 2t, 4.9).

Also worth noting: Pack head coach Mike McCarthy and OC Edgar Bennett would appear to be taking a page out of Bill Belichck and Josh McDaniel’s playbook.

In Monday night’s contest (KC @ GB 38-28), the green & yellow engaged in a bit o’ tomfoolery (mischief) themselves in some irregular snap-counts, harkening back to Packers fake ball-down at Miami two season‘s past and the Patriots floating line versus the Ravens in last season‘s AFCC.

That anyone can do it won’t be the standard (fair-play) when NFL rules committee muses the topic.

That Haynesworth Feeling

It’s premature to tab new Eagle DeMarco Murray (Q’able W4 (ham)) a bad buy in class with former Redskin Albert Haynesworth, but the newly well compensated RB who, along with Romo & Bryant, helped carry Dallas back respectability in ’14 (2261 YFS), has been so strangely ineffective in his two outings (21a-11y, 0.5, 1td) that that dreaded Haynesworth feeling is beginning to creep into the mind.

Monster (K)s followed immediately by non-productivity gives the heebie-jeebies. Most likely it’s a health issue that should clear-up soon. Fingers crossed.

It’s a Quarter League

Half-dozen or so of W3 contests were decided in one 15-minute quarter where one team looked a bit lost while the other decided it a good time to pull away. Watch for it.

Nice Spot

Across the League: Penalties down in W3 where combined team tallies trended below 20, excepting CIN @ BAL (22), KC @ GB (19) where hosts got hit with 12.

Speaking of Green Bay, WRs James Jones (7-139, 1) and Randy Cobb (7-91, 3) are making the angst following Jordy Nelson’s injury exit seem wholly hyperbolic.

Tip o’ the cap to those who, even in loss, give it their all. CIP: Bears Jarvis Jenkins (4t-6a-2sk) & Pernell McPhee (6-1-2), Rams Alec Ogletree (5-4-2), new (old) QB Luke McCown (31-38 (81.6), 310, 1int), younger brother of Josh (CLE) in only 10th start dating back to ‘04 and ageless Raven Steve Smith (WR / 13-186, 2).

Tyrod Taylor QB (BUF / 21-29, 3td, 3r-12): I had my doubts but Rex knew best and TT is taking to it like duck to water. Scamper started bad (9-41 IND) but he appears to be fighting the rabbit habit. Rookie teammate Karlos Williams (R5 (FSU) 2015)) is doing his part to help. Through W3: 24-186 (7.8), 3td.

Patriots (JAC / 35-15) and Texans (TB / 30-14) 1st-down ratios. That’s balance.

Paul Posluszny, LB (JAX), 14t-4a: Were he a QB, that’d probably translate roughly to 600 passing yards and 7 TDs. A.J. Green, WR (CIN): 10-227, 2td.

Travis Benjamin, WR (CLE): Not that many hauls (10r), but the conversion is fantastico: 249y, 24.9, 4td. Similarly small total but Cowboys’ QB Brandon Weeden is w connected: 2g (1-1), 1td-1i, 29-33.

Bad Spot

W4 byes (NE / TEN): Though R&R&R (rest, relax & recover) may not be a goal, it should in a long season and later versions (W6-10) may offer unfair advantage.

Kansas City Sieve: Offensive line allows 7 sacks to Green Bay (Matthews 2).

4Q el-foldo: Giants foible is still the 4th set, nearly letting Redskins win get away.

M.I.A. run-games: DC, NYG, DEN, DET, STL, TEN, PHI, JAX, CLE and in serious trouble and about a half dozen other clubs in need of a boost but soon.

DeAngelo Williams RB (PIT): Had but one (1) carry v. STL (Bell, 19-62) after a 127y (NE) and 3-TD (SF) performances priorly. Wonder what Mike‘s thinking?

Bill Belichick leaving Brady in the game w/13m left in the 4th and Pats up 44-10. Tom wasn’t throwing for the end-zone but plenty of good reasons to bring in Garoppolo (came in at 1:22 for two kneel-downs). Wonder what Bill’s thinking?

Teddy Bridgewater QB (MIN): Fine C% (67.6) but 1 TD toss in 3g suggests Norv Turner and Mike Zimmer getting a little too cute with caution. No pain, no gain.

Justin Forsett RB (BAL): from 5.4 (1266y) in 2014 to 3.2 (39-124) in 2015.

Kicker’s Korner

Matt Darr P (MIA): 4-47.3, -20 (3)
Brad Pinion P (SF): 6-44.8, 4
Pat McAfee P (IND): 5-50, 1
Donnie Jones P (PHI): 9-41.2, 2
Steve Gostkowski K (NE): 3-3fg, 6xp
Andy Lee P (CLE): 4-51.3, 2
Kyle Brindza K (TB): 1-4 (58y). On a bad day he made the toughest one.


Week 4 Cherry Picks

Ravens (0-3) @ Steelers (2-1): 10-1 CBS 8:25: Ravens win
Jets (2-1) v. Miami (LDN) (1-2): 10-4 CBS 9:30am: MIA wins
Jaguars (1-2) @ Colts (1-2): CBS 1:00: Indianapolis wins
Eagles (1-2) @ Redskins (1-2): Fox 1:00: Philadelphia wins
Chiefs (1-2) @ Bengals (3-0): CBS 1:00: Kansas City wins
Carolina (3-0) @ Tampa Bay (1-2): Fox 1:00: Buccaneers win
Giants (1-2) @ Buffalo (2-1): Fox 1:00: New York wins
Browns (1-2) @ San Diego (1-2): CBS 4:05: Chargers win
Vikings (2-1) @ Denver (3-0): Fox 4:25: Broncos win
Cowboys (2-1) @ New Orleans: NBC 8:30: Saints win
Lions (0-3) @ Seattle (1-2): 10-5 ESPN 8:30: Seahawks win

Record: 9-11

Steven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Photo credits: A.Rodgers-M.McCarthy, wc.cca, M.Morbeck, 9.9.12; cherries-ripe, wc.cca Chirak, 6.24.7.
Posted: 10.1.15 @ 8:20pm EST; Copyright ® 2015



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