We have reached the half-way point of the NFL season. Time to take a look at storylines around the NFL.
– SURPRISES –
- With a relatively young offensive line that has jelled, the growth of RB-DeMarco Murray, on a pace for more than 400-carries, and a much more athletic and somewhat healthy secondary.
- Offense has not hit on all cylinders because of injuries to Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush, but the defense has bailed them out, with the play of not just their front, but the secondary. They are in lst place, who could have imagined that?
- For a team with a shaky group of WRs and a star TE coming off five surgeries, and for a defense still ravaged by injuries, Tom Brady has been superb, and they own the division, and look to outscore everyone..
- Bruce Ariens is a miracle worker. He loses key guys on defense, his QB gets hurt week one, and yet they play hard, have athletes, and guys stepping up.
- The franchise is more than QB-Andrew Luck. In a span of 16-months they have found WRs to catch the ball, guys to run it, and have gotten bigger and more physical upfront with a defense that plays violent football.
- For all the changes they made in the off season, and the poor start, they seem to be coming together with a good combo of efficient QB, power RBs, and very good pass rushers. Jury still out though whether they can hold up for 16-weeks.
– DISAPPOINTMENTS –
- It is not just the same franchise any longer, despite the dynamics of Russell Wilson. RB-Marshawn Lynch has worn out another welcome; the defense lost alot of players in the off season, and they don’t scare people anymore. Was the shelf life on the Legion of Doom just one season?
- Drew Brees and Sean Payton still make a great QB-coaching tandem, but the defense is really poor. There is still half a season to get on a roll, so we will keep waiting to see if someone can ignite the flame, unlock the mystery of why they struggle.
- Coach Mike Smith is on the hot seat. A downward spiral that began last year is now in a death grip fall. Enormous OL injuries, problems with health at RB, and the secondary.
- For every good game, like last weeks 522-yard passing performance by Ben Roethlisberger, there are clunkers too, on both offense and defense.
- The record may be (5-3), but they have not been in games that make a difference in a season, losses to Arizona, Kansas City, Denver and the poor outing vs the winless Raiders. Injuries continue to be an issue, and the greatness of Philip Rivers cannot carry the team alone.
- For all the honors bestowed on Coach Mark Trestmann last year, we can ask him to return them now. QB-Jay Cutler looks as if he is becoming Jeff George. The offense is erratic, the defense poor, and injuries have taken a toll too.
- I would have thought Ken Whisenhunt would have come in a hit the floor running, but this team has QB issues and does seem to play with alot of fire. If not lst round pick Jake Locker, then who is the future with the Titans?
– DISASTERS –
- So much for the arrival of Lovie Smith and all those free-agents. They have little offense, play little defense, and you wonder what leadership saw in all the players they brought in during the off season spending spree.
New York Jets
- Blame the GM-blame the coach-blame the quarterback. The franchise is in free fall and nowhere’s near where it was in the early Rex Ryan era. QB-Geno Smith continues to play poorly, the WR corps is shaky and the run game up and down. They are wasting a really good defensive line.
- The winless start has cost the coach his job, and the GM may be the next to go. QB-Derek Carr is a gem, and they have to try to keep him healthy till they can add another group of draft picks. Anybody think Mike Holmgren is waiting in the wings to return to the NFL.