Alright, I think it’s time to switch things up a little bit. What I mean by that is that the NFL articles I write every week are lengthy articles, but they don’t really cover every angle in the NFL, and they don’t really have a ton of “what’s ahead for the next week” in them.” I’ve noticed that I start the article off with an intro, then write about 5-8 stories that occurred in the NFL the past week. I love doing that, but I’m leaving a lot of major stories around the league out, and by the time I get to the “what’s ahead” part, I found that I have very little time, and energy, to complete the task. I mean last week I posted the article less than an hour before the Colts/Texans Thursday night game kicked off. Not a good feeling when you’re rushing through the final look of an article. I also figured out that by writing lengthier sections, it becomes easier for the audience (you guys) to get bored, and exit out quicker. No one wants to read all that in their free time, I get it. So hopefully by shortening the length, and increasing the amount of sections, you’ll find the post easier to read, and more enjoyable. So with all that said, I hope you enjoy my new, and improved version of “NFL RECAP, What’s ahead.” I love writing the articles every week, and plan on doing it throughout the rest of the NFL regular season, and the NFL playoff season as well. I’ll try my best to cover as many teams as possible, and how their past week went, how their next week looks, and other future weeks look from here on out. So, again I hope you enjoy my new and improved articles, as they’ll be much easier, and enjoyable to read.
OPENING DRIVE – The Final Drive – One of the most exciting two minute finishes of the season occurred Monday night in San Diego, California. I’m of course talking about the Steelers incredible game winning drive led by second string quarterback, Micael Vick. With less than two minutes to work with, and the Steelers down by three, Vick performed some of his best football we’ve seen in a while. Clock ticking, Vick hit Steelers receiver, Darrius Heyward Bey for a nine yard, second down completion. Next play Vick drops back extremely deep, and finds Hayward Bay again, but this time for the first down. Vick’s next play was his best of the night, and in my opinion won Pittsburgh the game. He scrambled out of the pocket for a gain of about thirty yards. Vick dodged countless Charger defenders, ran at full speed, and got the Steelers into amazing field position with the game all but over. A few plays later, at the goal line, with only 5 seconds remaining on the clock, a gutsy, wildcat play was called, ball snapped to Le’Veon Bell who broke the plane as time expired, touchdown, ball game, 27-23. The headlines are screaming Le’veon Bell’s name, and yes he was a huge contribution to the win, but I give a lot of credit to Michael Vick, who had a bad night (until that final drive), and still found a way to lead the Steelers to a nail biting victory. San Diego’s definitely hurting right now as they really blew this game for themselves, and will have to play the 5-0 Green Bay Packers this week. As for Pittsburgh, it was a much needed win seeing as they’ll be facing the 4-1 Arizona Cardinals this week. Both should be exciting games this weekend.
Jamaal Charles tears ACL … again. In last weeks article I said something about Drew Brees, like how it’s almost mathematically impossible to hate the guy. Well another guy I feel completely the same about is Jamaal Charles, who sadly tore his ACL in his right knee during the Cheifs 18-17 loss to the Chicago Bears Sunday. It’s sad news for a lot of people. Sad news for the Kansas City Chiefs who are currently on a four game losing streak, and now get to play the Minnesota Vikings this week. Among other people, it’s incredibly sad for fans of the Chiefs, fans of Charles, Charles’s fantasy owners, but most importantly it’s especially sad for Jamaal Charles and his family, and friends. What’s especially sad about it is that it’s the second time it’s happened in his eight year NFL career. After just his first two games in 2011, Charles tore his ACL in the left knee, and now we know he tore the right one just last week. So awful, awful news for Charles. As far as the remainder of the Chiefs season goes, I think it ends with Charles’s injury. Obvious reason I think that, they lose their best player, and most valuable offensive weapon in Charles, and he’s one of those players that a team goes where he goes. Meaning if he stinks, they probably will too, and if he’s hurting, they most likely will too. Not only that, but like I said, they’re on a four game losing streak, and one of those losses was to the Chicago Bears… my bet, their season’s done.
Bengals a YES, Ravens a NO – Two AFC North teams that both looked great, and very similar going into the season are on totally different levels right now. In one corner you have the Cincinnati Bengals who are amongst the six undefeated teams in the NFL, and are red hot on all sides of the football. Offense, defense, special teams, the list keeps going. The Bengals are just pure flame nasty. As for the other team, the Baltimore Ravens were on a lot of NFL experts boards for early Super Bowl picks, while I didn’t even have them in the playoffs. Now I’d just like to say one thing to all of these so called “NFL experts” … WHERE YOU AT NOW? HUH? Since the start of the season began the mighty Baltimore Ravens, who were expected to soar amongst the rest of the AFC North, are now limping around not knowing what to do, acting like a chicken without a head. They’ve looked absolutely lost. Five games in and Baltimore’s lost to Denver, Oakland, Cincinnati, and most recently, Cleveland. Their one win was on the week 4 Thursday night game versus Pittsburgh, who bear in mind didn’t have Ben Roethlisberger. 1 win, 4 losses. To credit Baltimore though, every loss was by less than seven points, so there’s that … but then again, they only beat Pittsburgh by three … and at the end of the day, this is the NFL, and a loss is a loss, and right now Baltimore’s got four of them.
Philadelphia back in business? After everyone just started to pour a ray of hate on Chip Kelly, and hit the panic button on the Philadelphia Eagles for starting 1-3, they ignored the noise, and quickly turned everything around in the matter of a week when they beat Drew Brees, and the New Orleans Saints. Ok, well they didn’t really turn their season around yet, but this is definitely the best they’ve looked all season. For once all year DeMarco Murray actually looked good, so I expect Rafael to write up an apologize for his pole comments on Murray very, very soon … Sam Bradford looked great, and the defense actually showed up to play for once, which is always a good thing when you’re playing professional football. Following their 39-17 victory over New Orleans, Philadelphia looks to build off from this win, and it definitely looks like a right step in the right direction. However, things get little bit tricker for the Eagles this week. They’ll face off with the Giants this upcoming Monday night.
Don’t sleep on Washington … or do. – Like the Eagles, another NFC East team seems to be suddenly proving all the doubters wrong. I’m of course talking about the Washington Redskins. And yes I know Washington’s 2-3, and just lost last week to Atlanta, but think about what their record really should be. I mean they just lost to Atlanta, but they took them to overtime, and looked really good against Atlanta, who keep in mind is still undefeated. Prior to that, Washington beat Philadelphia, who are starting to look better and better every week. As far as their next opponents go, they play the Jets this week, and then Tampa Bay next week. So not extremely tough games for Washington, but I think both will be dog fights for a team with Kirk Cousins at quarterback. And I won’t mention the fact that they play New England, and then New Orleans after a week 8 bye. So whether you’re buying in on these Redskins, or not, I don’t really think it matters truth be told. Personally I don’t envision them winning this Sunday, nor do I envision them as a postseason team this season. I just needed something else to write about, and the Redskins seemed like a good choice.
The good the bad, and the Broncos – When you talk about the 2015 Denver Broncos, they have a lot going for them, but at the same time nothing at all. On the brighter side of things they have arguably the best defense in the league, and play makers galore. The defense has practically carried them to five straight opening wins this season, and have a lot going on that side of the ball, but then there’s the offense, and when you take a look at them, thing aren’t good. The Broncos offense has looked, well, in a lack of words … bad. They’ve just looked bad. Offensive line’s looked bad, running game’s looked bad, receivers at times have looked bad, Peyton Manning has looked mostly … bad. I mean we’re talking about a team that ranks 25th in downs, 21st in passing, 20th in receiving, and even 30th in rushing. I’m not usually one to stand by stats and say they mean everything, because they don’t, but these stats are awful. Going back to the defense though, they’ve looked amazing so far. Looking at their five wins, the defense is the main reason they won those games, and they’re definitely the strongest point of the team. Which is fine, but the offense has to get better if they want any hope of beating AFC teams like the Cincinnati Bengals, or New England Patriots. And I mean if Peyton Manning’s your quarterback, it shouldn’t really be hard to fix these early problems. It should only be a while until we see the offense play it’s normal kind of football.
Pats still rolling – Wow, who woulda thunk that the team everyone suspected as cheaters would start their season off 4-0? Oh wait, I did, and a lot of other intelligente people who know their stuff did as well. Yes that’s right, the New England Patriots are in total “F- YOU” mode all season proving to the entire world that they know how to win games without using video cameras, deflated footballs, or anything else they’ve been accused of in the past decade. 2 quick facts that caught my eye as I read them about these Patriots. 1) In 2015 Tom Brady, and the New England offense has totaled 149 points this season, third most in the NFL behind Arizona, and Atlanta, who both played an extra game than the Pats did. 2) The Patriots are the only team in the NFL yet to throw an interception this season. That’s how great this offense has been so far. I mean they’re so good that it seems like I’ve written about them in every article this season to date. If I keep going, I’m gonna run out of words to describe them with! “Awesome, great, mind blowing, kick-ass, really cool!” See what I mean? It’s getting tougher as the season goes! And with the whopping 30-6 victory over Dallas last week, New England’s still the clear number one team in the NFL, and to give credit to Bill Belichick, what he’s doing with this team is completely underrated. He’s no doubt about it, the best coach in the NFL right now. I don’t think anyone’s asking “if the New England Patriots will lose this year”, they’re asking “when will they lose, and who will they lose to?” I don’t wanna put a jinx on anything, but I doubt a loss would come this week against the struggling Indianapolis Colts, who by the way are the same team that started the whole deflate gate nonsense back in January. One thing I know from being a Pats fan, and watching them play this season, don’t be surprised if it’s the fourth quarter, they’re up by 35, and they’re still throwing the ball around. That’s the kind of mentality this team’s in.
New look for Miami – One thing I’m looking forward to this weekend is seeing what direction the Miami Dolphins will take after heading into their bye week 1-3. Miami’s currently on a four game losing streak, and they just fired former head coach, Joe Philbin over a week ago. New Interim Head coach, Dan Campbell is set to make his debut this Sunday as the Dolphins head over down South to square off with the also 1-3, Tennessee Titans. The Dolphins recent struggles feel very bittersweet to me. I’m a Patriots fan, so you’d think that seeing the Dolphins season turn to turmoil would be like another Christmas day to me, but not exactly. I again have to feel a little upset due to the fact I picked the Dolphins to make the playoffs come January as a Wild Card team, and as of now they don’t look anything close to a above .500 team, let alone a playoff team. I get that it’s only week six, but then again … it’s week six!
Is it over for Detroit? Yes. Detroit stinks. Ok, next topic! No, but anyways, if you’ve been reading my latest weekly articles, watching football, or been living anywhere besides under a rock, you’d know how bad the Detroit Lions season has been. Detroit’s currently the only team in the NFL to remain winless so far this season, and it seems like that trend could continue to roll. Their next three opponents as follow go : vs Chicago, vs Minnesota, @Kansas City. Not a tough schedule, but definitely one that they’re gonna have minor problems with. As a matter of fact, I guess you were better off finishing the read after the first sentence, “Yes. Detroit stinks.” Pretty much sums it all up. Detroit’s season is done as no team in NFL history has ever gone 0-5 to start the season, and eventually reached the playoffs that season. I don’t know when that stat will change, or who will change it, but I’m positive it won’t be the 2015 Detroit Lions.
(GAME OF THE WEEK) Super Bowl 43 Reunion – Ah, now this game is one I’m very excited for. Pittsburgh’s coming off of a great Monday night victory against San Diego, and Arizona’s been playing fantastic all season. Oh wait, yeah I’m sorry. Uh, so here’s a new feature to the articles, every week I’ll include my game of the week. The game I think will be very exciting, will impact the league the most, and one we’ll be talking about for weeks. Can Pittsburgh get back to back wins with Michael Vick at quarterback? Can Arizona continue their dominance? Well we’ll just have to wait and see. However, I like Arizona’s offense too much, and I think they’re on another planet compared to every other team’s offense. Give me Arizona, 37-23.
Week 5’s player of the week : Picking this weeks player of the week was tougher than I thought it’d be, but I think I’ve found the perfect candidate for the selection. Week 5’s player of the week is Tampa Bay running back, Doug Martin. And that’s not because I have him in 4/4 of my fantasy leagues, and I now feel like I owe him something … No, it’s because Martin totaled 123 rushing yards Sunday, along with 35 receiving yards, and an impressive knot of three combined touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 receiving). Last week, Martin appeared to be the go to guy for Tampa as they found themselves in a close game with Jacksonville. Because of a large contribution from Martin, the Buccaneers defeated the Jags, 38-31, and are now 2-3 on the season. They now go into week six with a bye.
AB’s Fantasy Dream Team of the Week:
QB – Tom Brady, NE
RB – Devonta Freeman, ATL
RB – Adrian Peterson, MIN
WR – DeAndre Hopkins, HOU
WR – DeMaryius Thomas, DEN
TE – Rob Gronkowski, NE
FLEX – Dion Lewis, NE
DST – Broncos
K – Stephen Gostowski, NE
Ok, so I REALLY like the Patriots offense this week against the Colts… can you blame me? In their last three meetings against Indianapolis they’ve scored 45, 42 , and 43 points. I bet you like em now too huh?
AB’s Week 6 Winners : Finally, my favorite part of the article. I quickly pick the teams that I think will win this week. Lately I’ve been a little off, so hopefully week 6 is a change of events. My winners this week are the : Falcons, Bengals, Broncos, Bears, Texans, Vikings, Titans, Jets, Cardinals, Seahawks, Ravens, Packers, Patriots, Eagles.
Alright everyone, well that concludes another edition of “Week RECAP, What’s ahead.” Thanks for reading, enjoy week 6, and I hope to see you next week! Alex B.