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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Weekly Round-Up 9/24/13

Live Game Random Thoughts

A snippet of this speech being aired during the North Carolina-Georgia Tech game as the commercial promoting Georgia Tech is perhaps the most epic win of all time.

It's tough being little brother, isn't it Utah State?  ESPN should probably know better.

A lot of quarterbacks change plays at the line of scrimmage but I swear, I hear Tony Romo "kill, kill, kill" every single play.  Someone doesn't trust his OC.

It is a truly rare gem like Santana Moss that gets the chance to play so long in the NFL, while being merely "meh" as a player the whole time.  

Christian Ponder may not be able to throw for shit but man does he take off quick.   He should run every time the first read is bad.

My wife nearly fell off the couch laughing when Roethlisberger pump faked and then fumbled the ball after he hit it against his facemask bringing the fake in.  Hilarious.

Dolphin Watch

A 3-0 start has me feeling better about this season than I have in a long time.  The Falcons are a talented team and win over them, along with the beatdown the Colts gave San Fransisco, the last two victories look really nice.  Also helping with the optimism is the rest of the division.  I don't know who should be more embarassed today between the Jets, who had a mind-blowing 20 penalties for 168 yards (2 shy of an NFL record), or the Bills who actually managed to lose to the aforementioned Jets team.  As I have taken time to point out in previous blogs, the Patriots offense looks like a shell of its former self right now as well.  The Dolphins do not look like a 13-3 team, but 11-5 could take the division and that is totally achievable right now.  Now, the scorecard.

QB: B- - Ryan Tannehill's "internal clock" is hard to watch.  Holding the ball waaaaaaaaaay too long and putting the ball on the ground when he gets hit frequently.  The passes downfield looked beautiful but he needs to be getting more of them off.  The line is not good enough for him to look at the field like a TV guide until he finds a suitable show to watch.

RB: B - I am starting to question how badly Lamar Miller even wants to be a starter.  The starting job was all but given to him in the spring, then summer camp went so bad that Daniel Thomas started seeing more carries.  Miller has struggled to find much spark in the regular season as well and his days as a starter may be numbered.  Outside of one big run Sunday, Miller was pedestrian at best and Thomas actually scored a TD and moved the ball better.  Miller also had a few big drops in the passing game, one in a clutch situation in the fourth quarter.  Still, as a unit, these guys did what they needed to and Thomas actually came up big a few times in pass protection.  

O-Line: D+ - The reason I said that Miami can't be a 13 win team, these guys right here.  Tannehill was under constant duress all afternoon and allowed 5 sacks and countless more hurries.  As mentioned above, Tannehill needs to get rid of the ball quicker but part of the reason is because he is going to have to learn not to trust his line.  Pouncey can't make up for the other 4 guys alone.  

WR: C+ - During the offense, I was very skeptical of the re-signing of Brian Hartline.  It seemed that the team was rewarding him for being the only decent guy on the unit last year, despite the fact that he seemed likely to have peaked.  Hartline is the go to guy on this team, Mike Wallace is there to take all the attention off of him.  Hartline was the guy making big plays all game long and I'll begrudgingly admit Rishard Matthews (Nevada dirtbag) broke through big time in the clutch as well.  Wallace and Gibson were pretty quiet most of the day.  The corp looks strong as a whole but all seem less than spectacular individually.  

D-Line: C- - To be fair, this unit was far from 100% on Sunday, Cameron Wake left in the first quarter and never returned.  Koa Misi limped through parts of the game and spent considerable time on the sideline.  The line played the run very poorly all afternoon and took bad angles in pursuit.  Atlanta shred the line running the ball all day long, despite the absence of starter Steven Jackson.  The pass rush was non-existent for three quarters for a second straight week but in the fourth, it got going just in time to win the game.  

Linebackers: B+ - This unit took a step back from last week.  They were less helpful rushing the pass and were not as aggressive in shutting the run game down at the line of scrimmage, however these players cleaned up a lot of tackles that got through wave one in the run game.  If the tackles were not made clean, Atlanta would have blown Miami out.  The linebackers really shined in pass coverage though.  Tony Gonzalez was a non-factor after the first quarter.

Secondary: B - Brent Grimes is going to get a big contact offer next year.  He was solid all day long and came up with some huge pass breakups in the fourth quarter.  The seconds corner still looks like a weak spot though, Jimmy Wilson and Nolan Carroll were picked on all day long and were clearly outmatched by Julio Jones.  However, it's hard to hold being outmatched against Julio Jones against anyone.  

Coaching - A+ - There are games where the job of the coaching staff really shows, this was one, and the largest reason I believe in this Miami team.  Atlanta had more total yards, jumped out to a big early lead, dominated time of possession, and the turnover battle was even.  Coaching was the difference.  For the seconds straight week, Miami came out and was the undoubted better fourth quarter team, forcing turnovers, pressuring Matt Ryan, and buying Tannehill just a bit more time to find his receivers.  Worth noting as well, through three games, Miami has a total of just 90 penalty yards.  They have also been outgained in total yards every week, yet still 3-0.  That's a well coached team.

Bronco Watch

The Boise State game brought a lot of flashbacks of the opening disaster at Washington.  Sure, the offense played well enough, but the defense struggled mightily.  The Boise State defense is not going to be awful this year but it does look like it could very well be on the same levels as a dozen other defenses throughout college football's smaller conferences, such as Toledo, Tulsa, or San Jose State but that will not get this team to 10 wins.  A few emerging stars are starting to show up, most notably Aaron Baltazar, who will continue to see more looks until Jay Ajayi gets his past his bout of fumbleitis.  Boise State is going to struggle from here to keep the streak of 10 win seasons alive.  BCS hopes are over at this point but the MWC championship is still a viable goal.  The success of the season from here likely will be decided in the game at Utah State.  

Top 25

Please keep in mind that this is a very fluid list and that with such a small number of games to judge a team on, they may move quite a bit week to week.  

1. Oregon - Wins against UVA, Tennessee not huge wins but better than a lot of other top 10 teams. 
2. Alabama - Dropping a spot because the O struggled again against lowly CSU.
3. LSU - The Tigers have passed the eye test with ease, now prove it games start with UGA up next.
4. Louisville - FIU not a great team but allowing only 30 total yards to an actual FBS team is incredible.
5. Stanford - Garbage time looked bad, but affordable after 3 quarters of making ASU look like garbage.
6. Florida State - Jameis Winston is living up to the hype, watch out ACC.
7. Clemson - Hard not to drop after they nearly "Clemsoned" against NC State on Thursday.
8. Ohio State - With Wisconsin next we can finally find out if that D can hold up against equal competition.
9. Oklahoma State - The way the schedule lays out, Pokes should stay unbeaten through Mid-October.
10. Oklahoma - Big brother probably won't lose any ground though.
11. Washington - Offense is rolling, now time to see how it holds against PAC-12.
12. Miami - Always a good laugh when Savannah State visits a FBS stadium.
13 UCLA - The Bruins look to be a big favorite in the PAC-12 South now that USC is Kiffining it hardcore.
14. Ole Miss - I smell an upset in Tuscaloosa this week.  The Rebels are due for a big upset.
15. Georgia - Struggled this week against UNT - Will need to be better to hang with LSU this weekend.
16. Central Florida - A victory over South Carolina this week would really put them on the map.
17. Texas Tech - The Raiders will enjoy a bye before preparing for the meat of their Big 12 schedule. 
18. Fresno State - Beating BSU a huge breakthrough for program, Rutgers over Arkansas helps them too.
19. Georgia Tech - Win over UNC will go a long way towards ACC championship game hopes. 
20. Arizona - Game against Washington will show who is really better and who is carbo loading on patsies.
21. Maryland - WVU is bad but the game shows how much the Terps have come this year.
22. Northwestern - Defense has been shaky thus far but offense is probably Big 10's second best.
23. Michigan - Wolverines followed up near choke against Akron with near choke to UConn?
24. Minnesota - No, I'll don't believe they'll stay here either.
25. Navy - Unbeaten counts for something in my rankings, even 2-0 after 4 weeks.

Also considered: Houston, Colorado, Northern Illinois, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Texas A&M.  

NFL Power Rankings

1. Seattle Seahawks
2. Denver Broncos
3. Chicago Bears
4. New Orleans Saints
5. Miami Dolphins
6. Kansas City Chiefs
7. New England Patriots
8. Cincinnati Bengals
9. Indianapolis Colts
10. Baltimore Ravens
11. Tennessee Titans
12. Houston Texans
13. Green Bay Packers
14. Dallas Cowboys
15. Atlanta Falcons
16. San Fransisco 49ers
17. Detroit Lions
18. Carolina Panthers
19. San Diego Chargers
20. Philadelphia Eagles
21. New York Jets
22. Cleveland Browns
23. Buffalo Bills
24. St Louis Rams
25. Arizona Cardinals
26. Oakland Raiders
27. Minnesota Vikings
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
29. Tamp Bay Buccaneers
30. Washington Redskins
31. New York Giants 
32. Jacksonville Jaguars

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