NFL Week 7: What We Learned
Week 7 of the NFL had its own twists and turns. We had the overhyped Luck vs Manning -- or should we say Irsay vs Manning? -- match-up, the Patriots and Jets foul up, and the Eagles' total mess up, so let's get to it.
Colts shake up Manning ... May be Jim Irsay knew exactly what he was doing last week, because Peyton Manning didn't look like a man who was ready to play Sunday night. Many of us expected Manning to come out in Indy with guns blazing, ready to go; although he didn't play badly, something was off. Maybe the emotion of the day and the week finally got to him. He kind of said so last night. Then again, maybe it was his pass protection; the Colts defense rattled him, so let's give them some credit as well. Hopefully, we'll see this match-up again in the playoffs.
Did the refs cost the Patriots the game? ... Let's be straight here, the Patriots didn't exactly play a great game against the New York Jets. They probably wouldn't even have been in this game if it was against a better team. Now, with that being said, should the refs have made that call against the Patriots? Well, it's a rule -- albeit a new rule -- and from what I know, the refs made the right call. The Patriots have no reason to complain. They went to a Super Bowl when the refs enforced a liberal interpretation of the tuck rule against the Raiders in the 2001-02 AFC Championship game. I know it's hard for some Patriots fans to take, but suck it up. Your team lost.
The Eagles miss Michael Vick ... For those of you who thought Nick Foles or Matt Barkley was better than Michael Vick, think again. Both of them played a horrible game against the Dallas Cowboys. That's the same Cowboys defense that gave up 51 points to the Denver Broncos two weeks ago. Chip Kelly's offense only could muster three points. Wasn't this guy supposed to be an offensive. genius? Maybe people now see that Oregon's quarterbacks have all been decent passers who are actually run-first. You're not going to see much of that in the NFL. Kelly's an innovator who's still got some work to do at this level. I've yet to be blown away by the Eagles, and my guess is most Eagles fans aren't blown away, either.
Signs of life for the Redskins and Steelers ... We knew neither one of these teams could be as bad as their records indicate, so perhaps we're finally seeing signs of life from both Pittsburgh and Washington. Although both are now just 2-4, the Redskins showed what they can do with a healthy RG III and that's make some noise. The Skins posted 45 on the Chicago Bears, and Robert Griffin III looked sharp for the first time this season. And although the Steelers continued to struggle on offense, their defense is starting to play better, which is a good sign for their cause. As long as they play good defense, the Steelers are always going to be a threat.
Maybe the Browns were right to trade Trent Richardson ... I'm not ready to give up on Trent Richardson, but as of right now, it looks as if the Browns were right to trade him to the Colts. He hasn't contributed much to the Indianapolis offense. In fact he's looked slow and doesn't seem at all like the same back who juke and jived at Alabama. His rake-fumble last night against the Broncos also almost cost the Colts the game. Now, as I said, I'm not ready to throw in the towel on this kid, but it does make your wonder what's going on with him. Running backs have a short shelf life, but he should't be that beaten up yet.
Week 8 in the NFL we will find out if:
- The Cowboys defense is real when it faces the Lions.
- The Broncos can bounce back against the rejuvenated Redskins.
- The Browns can surprise the Chiefs?
Don't laugh, anything is possible in the NFL. That includes having owners who actually think they make a difference on game day. It's about the product on the field, dudes.