Now that the season is a quarter over (for all but four teams), you can start making reasonable assumptions on what could (and should) happen the rest of the way. For example, the Tennessee Titans are 0-4 and welcome Peyton Manning & Co. to LP Field next weekend. My football insight tells me the Titans will be 0-5, wondering again what happened to last years’ defence, and focusing on 2010. Who knows, we may even see Vince Young.
Still with the Titans, Jeff Fisher is topping many writers’ lists of head coaches on the ‘hot seat’. He’s been with the team since 1994, and seen them through some great times, and some terrible ones as well. If Fisher is let go by the Titans, he will be unemployed for less than two weeks if he wants to be.
Other coaches clearly under fire around the league are; Jim Zorn in Washington, because anyone who loses to Detroit should be fired on the spot; Dick Jauron in Buffalo, although not entirely his fault, he has Trent Edwards at quarterback; and Tom Cable in Oakland, because he has a better punch than his offence.
What happened to the NFL’s premier pass rushers from last season? DeMarcus Ware racked up 20, Joey Porter notched 17.5, and Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison had 16. Fast forward to this year, and Ware has no sacks for the Cowboys. LeMarr Woodley had 11.5 sacks last year for Pittsburgh, and has none thus far in 2009. Porter? Two. Harrison? Three.
Offensive coordinators are clearly preparing differently for these players, and it’s up to the respective defensive coordinators to utilize their pass rushers in a different fashion. Mike Nolan is getting the most out of the five-foot-eleven Elvis Dumervil, he’s got eight sacks. So to does Antwan Odom in Cincinnati. Pass rushers are paid a premium amount in the NFL, but maybe it’s time for teams to reconsider that game plan with sack totals fluctuating so rapidly.
Finally, there are currently four quarterbacks on pace for over 4,500 yards passing in Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady. A fifth, Joe Flacco, isn’t far off the pace. What ever happened to the run-based NFL? Here’s your answer – the quarterbacks in the league right now are incredible. Manning is on pace to shatter Dan Marino’s single season passing record of 5,084 yards (projected for 5,344). Quarterbacks generally receive all the spotlight, and with these guys in the league, it’s for good reason.
TWO POINT CONVERSION
– I don’t think I can watch the next Monday Night Football with the Minnesota Vikings. If I have to hear Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski salivate into their microphones over Brett Favre one more time, my ears will start bleeding. Unfortunately for me – Week 16, Vikings @ Bears
– the San Fransisco 49ers are going to re-open negotiations with first round malcontent Michael Crabtree. I hope he signs, then gets humbled by being benched for five weeks by Head Coach Mike Singletary because he has to learn the playbook and get in game shape