12’s the Magic Number

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The Fine Fifteen

1. Denver (2-0). Two games, two routs of playoff contenders, 90 points. When Von Miller was lost for the first six weeks, the Broncos couldn’t have asked for a start any better than this.

2. Seattle (2-0). Thought I’d never see a division rivalry as physical as Baltimore-Pittsburgh over the last five to seven years. Seahawks and Niners: close.

3. San Francisco (1-1). Three of the next four at home. Noise shouldn’t be an issue the way it was Sunday night in the Thunderdome.

4. New Orleans (2-0). Unimpressive win at Tampa Bay, but the Saints are 2-0 in the division, no NFC South foe has a division win yet, and, more importantly, New Orleans has discovered a defense. Saints allowed 440 yards a game last year, worst in league history. This year: 320.

5. Miami (2-0). Excellent start for the Dolphins, with two road wins. Miami has had the best defense in football over the first two weeks, with nine sacks and foes completing just 53 percent of their passes. And Ryan Tannehill’s been efficient, completing 65 percent of his throws and keeping the chains moving.

6. Houston (2-0). The Texans, who got very fortunate Sunday in beating Tennessee in OT, have probably the most daunting 15-day stretch in the league this year starting next Sunday: at Baltimore, Seattle at home, at San Francisco.

Talk Back

Have a question or comment for Peter? Email him at talkback@themmqb.com and it might be included in Tuesday's mailbag.

7. Chicago (2-0). Jay Cutler hung in after a bad interception. Matt Forte hung in after an ugly strip-fumble by the Vikes. This is an imperfect team, but the Bears play in an imperfect division.

8. San Diego (1-1). Anyone who had Eddie Royal as the league’s touchdown leader after two weeks, you’re a smarter person than I. And 539 offensive yards, on a short week, going from west coast to east? The Chargers are better than we thought.

9. Atlanta (1-1). But the Falcons may have lost Steven Jackson, the cornerstone of their running game. He left in the first quarter of the win over St. Louis with a bruised thigh.

10. Kansas City (2-0). Alex Smith is just what Andy Reid ordered. Two games, two wins, zero turnovers.

11. Cincinnati (0-1). To prove the times they have a-changed in Bengal Land, Cincinnati must beat Pittsburgh at home when it’s expected. Tonight.

12. Green Bay (1-1). Amazing Aaron Dept.: Rodgers is averaging a 406-yard, 3.5-touchdown-pass day through two weeks. And he did his part of it Sunday after undergoing a massage/neck-maneuvering from club medics before the game.

13. New England (2-0). Most advantageous opening schedule in recent league history: Two rookie quarterbacks to start—including Geno Smith having to go on the road in a short week—followed by a mini-bye (the Pats had the three-day weekend off) and a team with some civil war issues (Tampa Bay) coming up Sunday. In Foxboro.

14. Baltimore (1-1). The Ravens’ offense and New England’s have much in common. Baltimore’s first-half possessions ended in a missed field goal, punt, punt, punt, punt and missed field goal. It was a struggle the whole way against Cleveland.

15. Tennessee (1-1). An overtime loss at the best team in the division isn’t the worst thing, especially when you consider Houston needed a desperation two-point conversion and a circus catch by a rookie receiver in the end zone in overtime to win.

The Awards Section

Mario Williams (top left) looked like a $100 million man with 4.5 sacks on Cam Newton; James Jones (top right) exploded after going catchless in Week 1; Devin Hester wowed again back as a full-time returner (bottom left); the Seahawks crowd set a record for noise.
Mario Williams (top left) looked like a $100 million man with 4.5 sacks on Cam Newton; James Jones (top right) exploded after going catchless in Week 1; Devin Hester wowed again back as a full-time returner (bottom left); the Seahawks crowd set a record for noise. (Bill Wippert/AP :: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images :: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images :: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Offensive Players of the Week

James Jones, WR, Green Bay. The enjoyable thing about watching Jones play is that he’s not just a deep threat who runs all the vertical routes in the Packers playbook and juts out of bounds. He’s a physical receiver, and his 11-catch, 178-yard day—not exceeded by a Packer since 2004 (Javon Walker, 11 for 200 from Brett Favre) showed Jones as the complete receiver he’s become. “If you let the first guy tackle you,’’ he said, “you get no respect when you come to the bench. I don’t care if it’s a 70-yarder.’’

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami. Others had gaudier numbers (three quarterbacks had 400-yard passing days), but Tannehill showed how much he’s maturing as a pro quarterback in pulling off the 24-20 upset at 2012 playoff team Indianapolis. He went 23 of 34 for 319 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions. He led 58-, 80- and 69-yard touchdown drives. The No. 8 pick in the 2012 draft bested the No. 1 (Andrew Luck) in passer rating, 107.4-79.7, and on the scoreboard.

Defensive Players of the Week

The 12th Man, Seattle. “It’s like being at the end of a runway,’’ Al Michaels said in the middle of the cacophonous evening in Seattle. The place set a Guinness Book of World Records mark for loudest recorded sound in a stadium—131.9 decibels—and considering that a jet engine on an airport runway is about 120 decibels, you can see why the San Francisco offense had such trouble operating. The Niners were penalized 12 times for 121 yards, including two false starts, a delay of game and holding call that resulted in a safety when no one could hear with the Niners backed up in their end zone. There was also a sack/lost fumble when Cliff Avril ran around end and took advantage of the 49ers’ trouble hearing on offense.

Richard Sherman and Walter Thurmond, CB, Seattle. Sherman normally plays left corner—in fact, he’s played there about 93 percent of the snaps since the start of 2012. But he shadowed Anquan Boldin (13 catches last week) much of the night when Boldin moved to other spots on the line. Boldin had one catch Sunday night, and it didn’t come when Sherman was in coverage. He and Thurmond—filling in for the injured Brandon Browner—combined to physically blanket Boldin, holding him to one catch for seven yards and zero impact on the game.

Mario Williams, DE, Buffalo. The Bills have been waiting for the kind of Hall of Fame day Williams had Sunday in Orchard Park: a personal and team single-game-record 4.5 sacks of Carolina quarterback Cam Newton. Seems like a long time ago—through it was only seven weeks—that there were reports of Williams not loving football and disagreeing with his team on the treatment of a foot injury. He sacked Newton on the first Carolina series and again on the second, and Buffalo wouldn’t have been able to eke out the one-point win without his big plays.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Devin Hester, PR/WR, Chicago. One of the best return days for one of the best return men in league history. Five kickoff returns: 76 yards, 80 yards, 20 yards, 31 yards, and, from seven yards deep, 42 yards.

Dustin Colquitt, P, Kansas City. In a 17-16 field-position game at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City’s most valuable player was the punter in the win over Dallas. His seven punts landed at the Dallas 23-yard line, the 5-, the 10-, the 10-, the 15-, in the end zone, and at the 4-. That last one made it impossible for the Cowboys to rally in the last minute of the game.

Coach of the Week

Mike McCoy, head coach, San Diego. The Chargers had a terrible loss Monday night, blowing a 28-7 second-half lead and losing in the final minutes to the Texans. McCoy watched the tape of the big fourth-quarter mistakes, and watched them again, and again. And he decided: We’re fine; we’re not going to panic and make a bunch of changes because of one rotten quarter. His team fed off that six days later in a stadium full of rabid Eagle fans, and stole a 33-30 victory.

Goat of the Week

Greg Schiano, head coach, Tampa Bay. The choice Schiano had to make with 70 seconds left in the fourth quarter and a 14-13lead over New Orleans, with a 4th-and-3 at the Saints’ 29, in a game in which neither team had any timeouts left: He could have punted and pinned Drew Brees at the, say, 10-yard line with 64 seconds left. Brees would have needed maybe 60 yards to get into Garrett Hartley field-goal range. Or he could have the August waiver signing from Buffalo, Rian Lindell, try a 47-yard field goal. If Lindell made it, the Saints would have had to drive for a touchdown to win the game. If Lindell missed it, the Saints would get the ball at their 37- and need 30 yards to be in field-goal range. Schiano decided to try the field goal. It was shanked. Brees went 54 yards, sweatlessly, to the winning chip-shot field goal as the clock expired. Bad decision by a coach under fire.

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412 comments
GAML
GAML

The article is about the Seahawks and the 12th man an most of the replies are about lame teams with dismal performances. 

RickGiberson
RickGiberson

Redskins should change their name to the Hogs,  Have a pig in a tux for a logo with a monocle in his eye  and a top hat!

BlaineWest
BlaineWest

Green Bay only at 12 in the Fine Fifteen? You might want to check the alcohol content of some of that brew you enjoy sipping Peter!

bryanflyn
bryanflyn

Peter,  go ahead and catch up with Breaking Bad - it's worth it.  I challenge you to watch the first episode (pilot), they're all on Netflix,  you'll be hooked!

jleland42
jleland42

Check the history; a team Peter King didn't mention in his MMQB will win the Super Bowl this year. It's a lock.

bulltorch
bulltorch

this whole breaking the record is not as impressive.. because the record they had broken was not contrived... it was actually during a game... where seattle's was them planning to yell at the top of their lungs....

lmb2171
lmb2171

what happened to the mailbag?  I haven't seen it the last 1 or 2 weeks.  Did it go away?  Get renamed?  

adamnicholls183
adamnicholls183

Can someone on Twitter ask Peter King to do some research and come back to us on the epilepsy issue.

I note the Mailbag is for Tw@tter users only which is a shame because I refuse to use that when I am on Facebook already!

JustinRitzel
JustinRitzel

Yeah the Packers ranking is a real head scratcher here. I think Peter is basing his rankings a little too much on a given team's record and not on actual play. Sure, they are 1-1, which is not as good as some other teams. But in their loss they went toe to toe with the defending NFC champs, and in their win they throttled a team from last year. Not to mention, they have the best QB in football right now, and the #1 offense after two weeks.You would think that garners a little more respect. 

Redtheidiot
Redtheidiot

Peter, how about an explanation from the league why the officials didn't call illegal formation on the last play of CHI-MN game.  Not that it will help but at least I would like to hear it.

Shane Mac
Shane Mac

Mr. King:  Here is the answer to your dilemma regarding taking offense at the team named Redskins.  It's simple.  Just substitute "Pig" for "Red" and call them the Pigskins.  It works well for this team with the Hogs in their cheering section and "pigskin" being a connotation for a football.  I doubt if the entire porcine community will be offended although they may raise a stink from time to time.

Shane Mac
Shane Mac

A few things, regarding the Wisky - AZ State game, you are correct in pointing out the problems at the end of the game.  But you said QB Stave downed the ball thinking he was positioning it for a last second FG but did it so quickly that the officials weren't sure what happened.  Wrong, Mr. King.  When Stave knelt and put the ball on the turf the whistle immediately sounded by the ref making it a dead ball.  The official closest to the ball just looked at the AZ State DL laying on the ball with his finger up his butt.  It should have been a delay of game penalty on AZ State.  I think Stave should have handed the ball to the closest official (as Coach Arians preached to his players in the MMQB story) but the real error is by the referee not taking control of the situation immediately.  

I tried to watch the replay on your page but got a black screen with the message:  "...this video has been terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement."  What's up with that?

Kudos on the tribute to Todd Helton - the great Rockie and Peyton Manning's punter at Tennessee.

Non- kudos to you listing the Packers at #12 and also making James Jones an offensive player on the week he did have a fine game)  but not putting Aaron Rodgers in that spot is a fail on your part. 


BY
BY

Horrible reason for picking Greg Schiano as goat of the week, horrible. Ever seen a punt blocked/bad snap/return for a td? If he makes the FG then Brees needs a td. Those are the breaks and no coach, not even the sainted one (Bill Belichick) can predict them. This is one of the dumbest things I've ever read in this column.

doowopdave
doowopdave

Your rankings are a complete joke. The Packers nearly beat last year's NFC champs in San Francisco to open the season, absolutely crushed last year's NFC East champs yesterday, and you have them ranked 12? The 49ers barely get past the Packers in week 1, get clobbered by Seattle last night, and you rank them 3rd? You either haven't watched the last 2 Packer games or you are a complete idiot to think there are currently 11 other teams playing better ball than the Packers right now. I agree with your 1-3 rankings and would put the Packers 4.

UNDEJS30
UNDEJS30

I know I am echoing some other posters in saying this, but what is Peter King smoking DROPPING the Packers 6 spots after one of the most dominating offensive performances in NFL HISTORY??  Let's briefly review the season up to this point.  The Packers lose a thriller of a game, ON THE ROAD, to the defending NFC champions while missing two starters in the secondary who happen to be their top safety and top slot CB (Hmmm...wonder how Boldin and V.Davis were so dominant in the slot??)  Even with that obstacle, it was a game that went down to the wire, with GB leading halfway through the 4th quarter.  The Packers bounce back the next week by sprinting out to a 31-0 lead against 2012 playoff team Washington midway through the 3rd quarter before coasting the rest of the way. En route to this blowout, they become the first team in NFL HISTORY to have a 450 yard passer and 125 yard rusher in the SAME game...the QB (Rodgers) becomes only the second player in NFL HISTORY (along with Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle in 1962) to throw for at least 475 yards and 4 TD's without a pick. The Packers are one of the oldest teams in the NFL with a history that goes back over 90 years, and Rodgers ties the record for most yards in franchise history (and this game actually mattered unlike the previous 480 yard game with nothing at stake).  They also have a 100 yard rusher for the first time in 44 games, snapping the longest streak in the NFL for that (and it wasn't close).  With ALL these developments in clear view, and considering how SF only dropped to #3 in the rankings after getting THROTTLED in a non-competitive game to their arch rival, HOW can you justify dropping Green Bay ONE spot (let alone 6???)  How can you say 11 teams in the league are better than the team who just put on one of the most impressive offensive displays in league history?  You can't say the defense justifies the drop in the rankings, because the defense had given up 0 points midway through the 3rd quarter and were holding their end of the bargain....this just shows the list has NO thought  put into it.  It is just someone claiming to be an "expert" throwing garbage against the wall at random while not actually watching the games of the teams he attempts to rank.

On a related note, I LOVE James Jones, he is a great WR....but how is he the offensive player of the week over Rodgers?  Jones did not score a TD and he fumbled the ball into the endzone, costing the Packers a TD while giving the Skins the ball on the 20.  Rodgers, meanwhile, was breaking records and played flawlessly.  Tell me again how Jones is the offensive player of the week?  That makes no sense...Jordy Nelson had 2 TD's, Cobb had 9 catches, over 100 yards, and a TD...and Starks broke the 44 game streak while averaging over 6 yards per carry and scoring a TD of his own....Again, it is nonsense.  Rodgers didn't even get a mention for his historic feats beyond briefly pointing out his two game averages so far this year. Pick it up, Mr. King.  I usually enjoy reading your work, but this week's column really has shaken my trust and confidence in your credibility.  I'm not saying GB should be #1, but no reasonable person would drop them 6 spots after the performance they had.

FrankStrazzulla
FrankStrazzulla

dont know which Seattle crowd is tougher: the Seahawks or Sounders?  Imagine if you imported the end-zone fans at the Soundsrs to the Seahawks?

ianlinross
ianlinross

I think Manziel is a throw-back. Kind of a Bobby Lane type of player. He's young, famous, a competitor, and he's going to enjoy himself. And he's not going to do things the NCAA's way. If he matures and grows into a well-rounded player, he's going to win somebody a Super Bowl. 

In the meantime, I hope somebody gives him Brett Favre's number for special counselling.

MatthewCortina
MatthewCortina

Green Bay throttles Washington and drops from 6 to 12? I get RG3 is struggling but you can only play who you play. Houston struggling two weeks in a row, Miami at 4??, San Diego?!, Cincinatti could be 0-2 after tonight! All ahead of GB in these polls. I'm not saying they're #1 but jeez...

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

As for Manziel, people are giving him too much automatic, sole credit for what MIKE EVANS actually made possible for him against Bama.

Evans was the real star of the Aggie offense last Saturday.  The Bama DBs absolutely could not cover him AT ALL, and it allowed Manziel to pad his stats after those two game-changing picks he threw (those interceptions are basically why the Aggies lost).

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

So how are you feeling about picking the Pats for the Super Bowl (again) this year, King?

Still scratching my head over that one.  Mystifying how you believed a team that relies on an offense which lost Welker and Hernandez, and will subsequently rely on rookie starters and a notoriously injury prone #1 receiver replacement in their absence, will somehow be *better* than last year's team.

I used to argue against your perceived Patriots bias, but after that preseason prediction, I'm having to reevaluate you.

Hawk29
Hawk29

@bulltorch actually if you they had been reading the decibels during Beastmodes run, or when Romo fumbled in the play offs that  the record was broken then.  Also, it had to be spontaneous and they couldn't put on the board to make noise now, which is why the official record didn't happen until the 3rd quarter. 

Adrian4
Adrian4

@bulltorch Actually this was far more organic than the previous record. That was done at a soccer game in Turkey where the crowd was specifically told when to yell at the top of their lungs. I was at the Seahawks game, there was never any written or audio announcement in the stadium about the record. The 136.6 decibels just came on a regular defensive play.

djs425
djs425

@bulltorch actually it was contrived but even if it wasnt, it still counts. Tell Guinness what their criteria is though. I'm sure they'll laugh at you

Mike26
Mike26

@JustinRitzel The Packers are the bestest team ever all the time and should always be #1.

nyjets011269
nyjets011269

@BY Totally agree.  A kicker should be able to nail a 47 yard FG.  

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@doowopdave So they lost one and won one, they're 1-1. Was that your point? Or was it that they have lost two in a row to the same team that was just clobbered by someone else?

Mike26
Mike26

@doowopdave The Packers are the bestest team ever and should always be #1.

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@UNDEJS30 There are fewer things as pathetic as someone getting so bent out of shape by a few spots on someone's 'Top 15" list that they write a book about it. Lame. Get over it. Green Bay may have had a good game, but they scare no one.

adamnicholls183
adamnicholls183

@UNDEJS30 excellent comments. Let him and the other so called experts under rate us, we can have the last laugh when we beat the Media darling Peyton Manning and the Broncos in NYC.

patsfan94
patsfan94

@leehwgoc No, their defense giving up 10 yards a play was why the Aggies lost.

gbgentleman
gbgentleman

@Redtheidiot @Shane Mac Currently the Redskins should keep the name...I mean I'm be ashamed (and blushing red) if I played as badly as they did in the last couple of weeks.

benseattle
benseattle

@Redtheidiot @Shane Mac  

Excellent post.  If you like fact-free, don't-bother-with-reason, skip-the-cogent-arguement mindlessness demonstrated here.  THIS topic is why "Washington Redkins" isn't immediately banned and if not, then does that make the New York Niggers okay with you and the rest of the NFL?

FrankStrazzulla
FrankStrazzulla

@Redtheidiot @FrankStrazzulla have you ever watched a Sounders game?  they average 45,000 per game and have had recent sellout crowds....in other words, please know what you are talking about before shooting off your mouth!

adamnicholls183
adamnicholls183

I agree as of today, but one has to support his team until the bitter end

Hawk29
Hawk29

@evileyefleagle Boeing was headquartered in Seattle since World War 2, but about a decade ago they moved to Chicago.  They still employ more people in the state of Washington than any where else, so while their office is in Chicago now because of the tax breaks, we still take pride in Boeing as a major employer.

evileyefleagle
evileyefleagle

I looked up Boeing.  They're listed as a Chicago firm.

I also looked up Lombardi and World Series Trophies.  Seattle's not listed.

benseattle
benseattle

@Joebuckster @FrankStrazzulla @Redtheidiot  

Man, do I love a public display of ignorance.  If you need to find Seattle, just look up Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Costco, Nordstrom, Weyerhaeuser and Boeing.  When you're bored (or "starved") head to the symphony, ballet, Bumbershoot or Hempfest.  Try the Mariners (better yet, don't.) 

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@FrankStrazzulla @Redtheidiot Soccer sucks, that's why he doesn't know (or care) what you are talking about. Just like the rest of us. Seattle is just starved for entertainment, obviously. Where is Seattle again, by the way??

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