Wednesday, October 2, 2013
2013 NFL Season At The Quarter Pole
So, the 2013 season already has had some interesting story lines to it and and just finished up 25% of the regular season. We've seen the JV's of the league in Oakland and Jacksonville live up to their preseason expectations of being hopeless, we've seen the addition of Wes Welker prove to everyone exactly what we thought would happen over in Denver and we have seen those dirty cheating She-Hawks up north live up to the hype and then some. I won't break down all the teams but give a sort of top tier power rankings. Here we go.
1. Denver Broncos (4-0)
Without a doubt, the most dominant team through four weeks. I know Seattle and their new legion of fans will probably cry and play the no respect card while Dick Sherman is up at 3 in the morning looking for that one person (like me for example) on the internet who will not say Seattle is the best team in the league then "relay the message to the boys" for bulletin board material then props to them for whatever gets them motivated but i digress. Peyton Manning is a robot who somehow keeps getting better despite him being 37 years old. I just keep thinking if Peyton signed with the 49ers that how much he could take of Marlon Moore and Kyle Williams making up his receiving core, no shots fired. But Denver has the offensive firepower in Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker, and the out of nowhere Julius Thomas. They have a good stable of running backs in my cousin Knowshon, Ronnie Hillman, and Montee Ball. Losing Clady sucks but Peyton gets the ball out of his hand so quickly it really neutralizes those blindside shots. Seriously, have you ever seen Peyton get touched? On defense they don't even have Von Miller or Champ Bailey yet but are still ballin. I don't know too much about their D but they keep their opponents from scoring more than their offense so their doing something right. And Special Teams is so often overlooked until you have the midget Trindon Holliday taking one back to the house every other week. A complete team but will anyone be surprised when Peyton can't get it done come playoff time.
2. Seadderall SheHawks (4-0)
I have to give the devils their due. These roided up freaks are playing out of their mind right now and i'm praying to God they do not get home field advantage in the playoffs because it will be a wrap. Russell Wilson is showing no signs of a sophmore slump and for some reason can never be sacked. Marshawn Lynch is still running as hard as ever while i count down the days until his body completely breaks down which by the way is at 665 days and counting. Dick Sherman and those corners are very smart. They hold on every play because they know the refs won't call a penalty every play. Seriously, i don't understand how Dashon Goldson gets a rep for being a dirty player when he just puts good hits on anyone who comes across the middle while Dick, Browner, Thurmond, and whoever else lines up at corner for Skinny Pete play outside the rules on every play but are considered physical. NFL logic for you. Also, the Shehawks are a damn good team on all three phases and every analyst says they are either the best or second best team in the league yet they constantly play the underdog card. I'm all for using anything as a means for motivation but that shit is getting sad. When you are the favorite going into every game i don't understand how you can portray yourself as the underdog. Dick Sherman probably chills at home in a Lay-Z-Boy rocking a robe with his legs crossed smoking a pipe and reading various message boards looking for that one person to say "you know i feel like the Seahawks are the best in the league right now, but not the best ever." Then Sherman will go on after a game and call that person out for being an ignorant idiot most likely after they squeak out a 13-10 thriller at St. Louis on Monday Night Football. One last thing on my SheHawk rant is where did all these fans come from. Last year i never met a Seattle fan and now they're popping up everywhere. Get the fuck outta here with that. I know there are a lot of 49er bandwagoners but shit at least the 49ers had fans nationwide before they were good and then the bandwagoners jumped on. No one has ever grown up liking the Seahawks if you are not from Seattle and that is a scientific fact and i can't argue with what the scientists are saying, i just blog every couple months. Shout out to Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, and Earl Thomas. Skinny Pete, Dick Sherman and every person that claims the 12th Man but not in reference to Texas A&M can go fuck themselves.
3. New Orleans (4-0)
Sean Payton has come back with a vengeance and a defense to bring back memories of those glorious bounty years. We can obviously see the effects of having Sean Payton back but it is not like they were lost and hopeless last year. Credit has to go to Drew Brees since we all assume he was instrumental in being a player-coach of sorts and now can go back to being just Drew Brees this year. It must feel nice for him to have Sean Payton back and relieving the offensive duties and scheming off of his shoulders to a degree. If the Saints can get a running game going they will be Denver's mirror image. We all know the Saints can win a shootout but if for some reason the receivers aren't clicking with Brees we still don't know and highly doubt that New Orleans can win with the 3-headed puppy known as Pierre Thomas-Mark Ingram-and Darren Sproles and whatever other undrafted running back who will randomly get 20 carries one week. Until they can discover that, Brees will keep throwing dumpoffs to Sproles so he can run wild and lobs to Jimmy Graham since no one can match up with the guy on paper. If those don't work he'll just throw to Marques Colston who will probably get another 85 catches and 1000 yards. Even though they suck at running the ball if the defense can keep that aggressiveness going while still being productive that may be enough to compensate the one dimensiality of Drew Brees and friends. Kenny Vaccarro, despite looking like an injury prone player waiting to happen, has brought some nastiness back to that D which was neutered after the whole Gregg Williams hitmen debacle. So the front office was smart in signing Rob Ryan and letting that fat man implement his system and identity onto the team. Definitely not a team i would be too eager to play come playoff team especially if you had to travel to the Superdome...game over.
4. New England (4-0)
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are the gift that keeps on giving every year. Whether it be new faces every year because their tight end murdered someone or them cutting people loose, the Patriots will most likely once again win their division, get a first round bye and promptly lose in either the division game or the conference championship. Despite Brady not having his top 5 receivers from last year at the moment (credit Peter King) the Pats are lo and behold 4-0. No wonder Brady was pissed in that game against the Jets. Once they get the Gronk back, who btw is more fragile than a piece of China, Brady can finally calm down. I think sometimes he forgets he has 3 Super Bowls making tens of millions of dollars and is married to Gisele. Maybe he's mad because Gisele is the breadwinner who knows. As great as Brady is i would have to say that the homeless Ebenezer Scrooge impersonator walking the sidelines every week is better at what he does than the great Tom Brady. I do not know how he does it every year but it seems like the secondary is always revamped but they do have some key studs on that defense every year. Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, Rob Nikkovich, and now Aquib Talib get their jobs done. We'll have to see how that defense reacts to losing Wilfork for the year since he is the engine of that 3-4 defense but knowing Bellicheck he will probably work his gypsy magic and throw shane vereen over at nose tacle just to say he did it. Seriously, when was the last time the Pats came into a game as underdogs.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)
It is amazing what a coaching change could do for a team. With a squad oddly resembling the same one that went 2-14 the previous year and ending up with the #1 pick in the draft, the Kansas City Chiefs have doubled their win from last year thanks to a new coach and a quarterback that knows what he is doing. If there is any ill will towards Alex Smith from San Francisco fans then those fans are delusional. The man was a model athlete, teammate, role model whatever other word you want to use. Honestly, him and Barry Zito should be able to get free drinks whenever they are in the city (even though they could buy any bar in the city) with the way they handled the fanbase over the years. Anyways this Kansas City team is oddly similar to the 2011 San Francisco 49ers team which saw Harbaugh come in, change the attitude of the team and revive Alex Smith's career to the point where he was actually worth two 2nd Round draft picks. The first way they are similar is that the team, as i said before, has a lot of holdovers from the Romeo Crennel/Todd Haley regimes. Second is that Alex Smith is the qb and i love that guy but he does have limitations and we have already seen them in the first four weeks. He is going to be 17-23 for 180 yards every week throwing numerous passes in the flat because he won't take any risks ever which is why he rarely turns the ball over. That means Jamaal Charles is the key to the offense. He is the running game and the checkdown guy for Smith. And like those 2011 49ers, it appears that the Chiefs defense is looking to make the jump to elite led by Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, and Eric Berry. Dontari Poe is showing flashes of the athletic ability that saw him rise from an unknown defensive tackle from Memphis to the #11 pick in the 2012 draft. It looks like the defense will keep KC in every game and it will be up to Alex Smith and company to make plays to win on offense. Then the last similarity is the x-factor of Dexter McCluster. Ted Ginn still remembered how to catch punts in 2011 and was a major player in the field position game for the Niners and McCluster is the same type of talent and he just took another one to the house as you're reading this. Shout out to Dante Hall.
6. Indianapolis Colts (3-1)
After that beatdown that San Francisco suffered at the hands of Indy, I am convinced that last season was not a fluke as they continue to embark in their post-Peyton era. Andrew Luck is not there yet but he continues to impress week in and week out with his play and leadership. I still can't believe people consider RG3 to be the superior QB of the two but that just goes to show how the flash can deceive people. Not taking anything away from Thrizzle, but Andrew Luck looks like he is going to be the man is Indy for the next 15 years. Their offense got better with Trent Richardson who for some reason was being labeled a bust despite being the only source of offense in Cleveland and playing last year with broken ribs but whatever. Jim Brown is a hater btw. They also have the ageless Reggie Wayne split out wide and he is still doing his thing. Hard to believe he may actually overtake Marvin Harrison on the all time receptions list. Despite him playing with Peyton all those years he still seemed to under rated every season. Also in that potentially potent offensive mix is TY Hilton, Dwayne Allen, and Coby Fleener finally looks like he is getting acclimated to the NFL. I'll be honest, i have no idea what is going on on the other side of the ball but for 3 out of the 4 games they have kept their opposition from scoring more points than the offense so they're doing something right. With Laron Landry, Eric Walden, and Ricky Jean-Francois as their big 3 free agent signings on the defensive side of the ball, i completely expected them to suck but they're holding it down. Shout out to RJF, love that guy.
7. Chicago (3-1)
I've never been a Jay Cutler fan and always thought of him as a poor man's version of the older Brett Favre meaning he is a gunslinger with no mobility but apparently he is changing his ways under a former CFL coach. He actually looks to pass it underneath and finally looks like someone a team could have faith in to make a deep playoff run. Of course Cutler gets credit but the real star of the offense is Matt Forte. Without him, they turn to Michael Bush i believe and no one wants to do that. I even think at Louisville Bobby Petrino would rather have Brian Brohm win the game than Michael Bush. Anyways, Forte can run the ball and catch the ball equally as well and the Bears will go as far as Forte will take them. He gets injured, there goes the season. On Defense, they lost Brian Urlacher but still have Lance Briggs, Julius Peppers, and Peanut Tillman holding things down. The thing they carried over from when Lovie Smith was the coach was that they take the ball away. Scientists have done studies and it shows the more you cause turnovers the better your chance at winning is. I think there is a formula: more takeaways = less possessions for opponent = less points for opponents = better chance to score more points than opposition. I think it was one of John Locke's philosophies or something.
8. Detroit (3-1)
One of several teams in the league that no team wants to get into a shootout with and this is because of one man...Calvin Johnson. Sure Matt Stafford is nice but Shaun Hill can come in and throw jump balls to Johnson too. That being said, the Lions have made Reggie Bush useful for the first time since his rookie season. I know he had a couple 1000 yard seasons in Miami, but he was in Miami which i believe is Spanish for mediocrity. Good for Reggie though that he finally is becoming the running-receiving threat for a meaningful team in his 8th year because better late than never. He gives the Lions a running threat that they haven't had since Barry Sanders Sr since Jahvid Best unfortunately has the lingering concussion problems. Just imagine the backfield speed of Best and Bush lining up together. It takes some pressure off of Johnson because he is not the only threat on offense. Ryan Broyles should be stepping up too now since Nate Burleson broke his arm reaching for a pizza and Stafford always has Brandon Pettigrew lurking over the middle as a safety valve. The difference this year with the Lions is that their defense is stepping up. Suh and Fairley dominate the lines which as we saw numerous times in the past, (New York Giants Super Bowl runs, Auburn over Oregon in the Natty) a dominate d lineman neutralizes anything that an offense wants to do. They keep their play up on that side of the ball and it makes the offenses job that much easier with the knowledge they do not have to drop 40 every game. Nothing wrong with a 40 though every week.
9. Miami Dolphins (3-1)
I definitely did not see the rapid development of Ryan Tannehill coming this season. I assumed it would take longer since he was one of the rawer QB prospects in a very long time to come out of college but that is a credit to him using his smarts and meshing it with his athletic ability. I still don't think the Mike Wallace signing was in any way smart at all but he is helping out the offense. He gives the Dolphins a deep threat opening up the underneath stuff for other Dolphin playmakers to step up. I'm not going to lie, i can't name you any Dolphins other than Cameron Wake, Pouncy, and Lamar Miller but they are 3-1 and beat Indy at Indy.
10. Tennessee Titans (3-1)
The titans have to be one of the least feared 3-1 teams in a while. It also doesn't help that Jake Locker now has a broken hip and their season resides in the brilliant Harvard brain of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Chris Johnson still appears to have mailed it in two years ago and they evidently hate Kenny Britt to the point where they won't even let him suit up on gamedays. Again like the Dolphins, i have no idea what the Titans are about except that Delanie Walker is the shit.
11. San Francisco 49ers (2-2)
They did look horrible against the SheHawks and the Colts but they looked the complete opposite against the Packers and the Rams. I really hope they don't play jekyll and hyde because i'm still recovering from the past 5 years of Giants baseball. When the Niners are on, i can't say they are the best team in the league but they damn near the top. This past Thursday night against St. Louis they went back to their bread and bread aka give Frank Gore the football. As dynamic as Kaepernick is, Frank Gore and that O-line still set the tone. It is like Greg Roman is trying to get too cute with the playcalling and looks more like he's playing Madden at times than calling a cohesive and sensible game plan. Another reason they have to keep pounding the rock is because there is no receiving threat outside of Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin. I love Kyle Williams but he has to show something. He has the tools to be a dynamite slot receiver but he just needs to put it together. Everyone has high hopes for Quinton Patton but he just broke his foot. And when Jonathan Baldwin getting more playtime is considered a godsend, you know you are in bad shape. Anyways, Thursday was not only a statement game for Frank Gore but it was one for the defense as well. Despite being without Ian Williams, Patrick Willis, and Aldon Smith they put up their most dominant performance of 2013 even going back to the playoffs albeit against the Lambs. NaVorro Bowman just proved he is worth the extension he signed last year and Donte Whitner actually remembered he is a defensive back and not a linebacker. Eric Reid has played phenomenally for a rookie and already has two interceptions on the young season. While the safties are playing well the cause for concern are the corners. We all knew Carlos Rogers is on the decline but he isn't killing us but Tarell Brown man. I had high expectations for him considering he was the most consistent player in the secondary last year plus he is playing for a new contract but he has been wildly inconsistent not just in coverage but with penalties as well. Hopefully he can turn it around soon because losing Chris Culliver looks like it is hurting more and more every week. If the Niners want to win a Super Bowl they better do it fast because the core of this team will not be together for long. This may be their last season where the window of opportunity is still there. So many players will either be leaving or in need of new contracts soon and there will be no way of keeping everyone. Just a quick list of players who need new contracts soon or will be leaving: Kaep, Aldon Smith, Justin Smith, Frank Gore, Mike Iupati, Chris Culliver, Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin, Tarell Brown. They better win it all this year.
12. Houston Texans (2-2)
We all know this team has talent and that Matt Schaub is the Wale of quarterbacks. If you don't get that comparison it means Matt Schaub does nothing extraordinary but he isn't a scrub. He's just whatever. What's with Texan fans getting all pissy lately. TJ Yates is their backup. They must have forgotten that Matt Schaub IS the only successful QB in franchise history. They have had Sage Rosenfells, Tony Banks, David Carr yet complain about Schaub. I could see where they're coming from though because its not like they ever had success before so they don't know how to react to stuff like this. The offense is still legit with Arian Foster and Ben Tate in the backfield and Duane Brown manning the line. Andre Johnson is in that elite tier of receivers but probably pulled his hamstring thins morning bending down for the newspaper. On the defensive side of the ball it's no secret that JJ Watt is a stud. He does whatever he wants whenever he wants. The things he can pull off as a 3-4 defensive end is ridiculous. He deserves every bit of praise that has been heaped upon him these last two years. Other than that, there isn't really anything special that pops out on the defense. It's guys doing their jobs while Watt blows plays up when he feels like it. Don't even talk to me about Brian I Work Out Too Much Cushing. That was the worst excuse i ever heard for a positive PED test in my life. At least it was original though. What does Cushing and the SheHawk players that tested positive for PEDs have in common...yup they were coached by Skinny Pete.
If you couldn't figure out my reasoning for the rankings don't worry. I just took the 12 best teams by record (with the exception of #11 and #12) and ranked them since there are 12 teams in the playoffs. The five 5-0 teams were ranked followed by the five 3-1 teams and i chose what i felt were the two best 2-2 teams out there. I really wanted to do a team by team breakdown but that would take too long and seeing how i don't get paid for this i am not going to look for something positive to say about the Jacksonville Jaguars because God knows that would take hours, possibly days. My advice...just sign Tebow, there's nothing to lose. Peace.
A lot of good music is out there. Danny Brown's Old leaked and is one of my favorites this year. Pusha T's album comes out next week. Azizi Gibson came out with a tape, Ghost In The Shell. The Underachievers teamed up with Lex Luger to come out with another tape that wasn't as good as Indigoism but still bumps. Vic Mensa dropped Inanetape or however you spell it and that shit surprised me. Point is, it's been a solid year for music. Not great, but cool.
Rich Homie Quan
Three 6 Mafia and UGK