Peyton at 37—The Best From the Best

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Fine Fifteen

1. Denver (4-0). Four games, 179 points. Everything is working. Everything.

2. Seattle (4-0). As Richard Sherman says (above), great teams win games against good teams on the road with significant obstacles. The Seahawks, down 20-3 at the half, had no business winning in Houston Sunday, and found a way to do so.

3. New Orleans (3-0). I bet Drew Brees loves waking up on game day knowing he doesn’t have to put up 35 for his team to have a chance to win.

4. Kansas City (4-0). It is Sept. 30. Kansas City has doubled its 2012 win total.

5. Indianapolis (3-1). Going West Coast/East Coast (Niners/Jags) was supposed to be harder than this: Colts 64, Foes 10.

6. New England (4-0). Tell me who could have forecast the Pats starting 4-0, including a win over a desperate Falcons team on the road, without their four biggest pass catchers from last year. Incredible accomplishment. By the way: The two teams I picked to make the Super Bowl—Pats, ‘Hawks—are 8-0. Not that I’m bragging or anything.

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. San Francisco (2-2). So … the nosetackle (Ian Williams) is lost in Week 2 with a broken ankle, and the best pass rusher (Aldon Smith) and multi-Pro Bowl inside linebacker (Patrick Willis) miss a road game on a short week against a Rams team with a fortified offense, and the Niners hold St. Louis to 188 yards and 11 points in a 35-11 rout. That’s some good depth right there, and some realization of the urgency of the day.

8. Detroit (3-1). Sunday’s 40-32 win over the Bears was the first time I’ve watched the Lions in a long time and thought, “That’s a complete team.” Detroit’s still leaky on defense, but the pressure packages used by defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham really affected Jay Cutler Sunday. 

9. Miami (3-0). Sorry, Dolfans, for pushing Miami down a few slots. Just thought a few teams leapfrogged you this week, but credit Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman for not allowing the injury to Dustin Keller to derail their plans to field a competent offensive tight end in 2013. Through three games, Charles Clay has 14 catches for 203 yards.

10. Chicago (3-1). Not the end of the world, losing at amped Detroit. But Sloppy Jay Cutler’s not going to win championships.

11. Tennessee (3-1). Catholics all over central Tennessee light candles for the health of Jake Locker’s hip. Pretty amazing that through four games, he hasn’t turned the ball over.

12. San Diego (2-2). Antonio Gates is ageless, and still really good.

13. Dallas (2-2). Eighteen tackles for Sean Lee, on the road. Not bad.

14. Atlanta (1-3). Matt Ryan needed to be better on that last drive against New England.

15. Houston (2-2). Texans-Niners at Candlestick Sunday night. Combined record: 4-4.

The Award Section

Frank Gore (top left) ended his personal slump, while Dexter McCluster (top right) helped continue the Giants'. Philip Rivers (bottom left) led the league in passing yards with 401 in Week 4, while rookie Kiko Alonso's two picks put him in a three-way tie for the league lead in interceptions (4). (Charlie Riedel/AP :: Donald Miralle/Getty Images :: Ed Zurga/AP :: Bill Wippert/AP)
Frank Gore (top left) ended his personal slump, while Dexter McCluster (top right) helped continue the Giants’ team slide. Philip Rivers (bottom left) led the league in passing yards with 401 in Week 4, while rookie Kiko Alonso’s two picks put him in a three-way tie for the league lead in interceptions (4). (Charlie Riedel/AP :: Donald Miralle/Getty Images :: Ed Zurga/AP :: Bill Wippert/AP)

Offensive Players of the Week

Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego. Maybe its Rivers’ turn. Maybe in his 10th year he’s seen his fellow 2004 draftees, Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning, with their shiny Super Bowl rings, and now he’s saying enough. The Chargers beat NFC East frontrunner Dallas to go 2-2 Sunday (and they’re still two games behind two teams in the AFC West), and Rivers completed 35 of 42 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns.

Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit. There is no doubt about it: The difference between this year’s Lions and every other year of the Stafford Era is Reggie Bush. In the first 28 minutes of Sunday’s division match against Chicago, the Lions roared to a 30-13 lead—and Bush jetted around the field for 136 yards on 14 touches. Great signing by GM Martin Mayhew.

Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco. After slumping through the season’s first three games, Gore, 30, played like Gore, 23. “A-plus-plus,’’ is how coach Jim Harbaugh graded Gore’s 20-carry, 153-yard performance in the surprising rout of the Rams Thursday night. “Very Frank Gore-like. Pure attitude.”

Defensive Players of the Week

Kiko Alonso, MLB, Buffalo. The second-round rookie is proving his worth as a rangy sideline-to-sideline playmaker in his first month on the job. He picked off two Joe Flacco passes and knocked two more away from their targets Sunday as the Bills stunned Baltimore.

Aqib Talib, CB, New England. He didn’t win every battle with Falcons wideouts Sunday night. He actually lost one. He gave up one completion, for one yard, and was huge in the Patriots’ fourth win of the young season. Talib, invaluable, is tied for the league lead with four interceptions.

Alterraun Verner, CB, Tennessee. Co-leads the league with four picks (with Talib and Alonso), and he had two of them against Geno Smith of the Jets on Sunday, along with recovering a fumble. Verner has become one of the most instinctive corners in football, and no player has accounted for as many takeaways this early in the season as Verner’s six (four picks, two fumble recoveries).

NaVorro Bowman, ILB, San Francisco. Memo to Niners defensive coordinator Vic Fangio: Blitz Bowman more. Bowman had two sacks, two quarterback hits and three quarterback pressures in the 35-11 rout of the Rams. He deflected a pass and forced a fumble too, and had six tackles. I’ve always thought Bowman to be the equal of Patrick Willis, which is not an insult to either man if you’ve watched the 49ers much. Two great, great players.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Dexter McCluster, KR/RB, Kansas City. The Giants trailed 10-7 late in the third quarter and were making a great game of it until punter Steve Weatherford booted it to McCluster, standing at his 11-yard line. McCluster never was touched, and he juked two Giants so badly that they fell to the turf at Arrowhead. McCluster’s return was the vital play of the game.

Steven Hauschka, K, Seattle. His 48- and 39-yard field goals in regulation helped push the game to overtime on a day Seattle’s offense moved in fits and starts. And with 3:19 left in overtime, he nailed a 45-yard game-winner that would have been good from 65 to win it, 23-20.

Coach of the Week

Rob Chudzinski, head coach, Cleveland. “You’re 2-0 since you gave up on the season,’’ I told Chudzinski Sunday night. He said: “Good thing nobody told that to our players.” Chudzinski may have some guys on his team looking at the brass cross-eyed for trading Trent Richardson after two weeks, but it’s a tribute to Chudzinski that the players are playing as hard as any group in the league. The defense held Cincinnati to 266 yards Sunday in a 17-6 win. “Winning reinforces the good things,’’ he said, “and these guys have worked hard. They don’t care about what the perception is on the outside.’’ Speaking of hard work, the Browns have the Thursday night game this weekend, and Chudzinski was in tape-studying mode by 6:45 Sunday night.

Goat of the Week

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore. He threw five interceptions at Buffalo, leading to 13 Buffalo points, and the Ravens lost by three. Not good.

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287 comments
STWolf
STWolf

this kind of over-reaching, over-sensationalized butt-kissing in week 4 is a complete waste of time.

jason12345
jason12345

Belicheck didn't need as many seasons to match Chuck Noll, but Noll's teams didn't play as many games in a regular season. You forgot to mention that. 

TravisHastings
TravisHastings

As for the Haiku, come on Peter! You're usually better then that! Four games in, a re-building Philly is 1-3, with loses to a resurgent San Diego and Kanas City and what is turning out to be a "best team ever?" Broncos. I'm not saying Eagles don't have issues, but the AFC West is the best division in football. If you were predicting Philly as a playoff team this year, well, that's on you buddy! 

LittleOne4u
LittleOne4u

Football needs more Manning charactors and and less of the divas and jail bait. And yes, you can be a diva jail bait person all-in-one.

GooGulsux
GooGulsux

National media will hype Peyton Manning until Broncos season ends ... but Russell Wilson is the best QB in the league.

Seahawks would be 2-2 without him.

Don't comment if you haven't WATCHED the Houston game ... the stats don't tell the story.

He's doing it with 80% of his OL on IR

wavemkr
wavemkr

you know it's been a bad week for the cowboys when Peter "the Cowboys Hating" King actually puts a positive note along side the listing of dallas at 13 on the fine 15 (note about Sean Lee's 18 tackles).  But not to be too positive about the cowboys, King puts a post about the jerry letting lottery winners inside the draft war room.  Note what's more important is that $40Mil is used for education.  This should be the highlight, instead of making fun of jerry letting someone see the draft board.  maybe jerry see's the NFL for what it really is..... entertainment and money making, nothing more.  but at least it did help the cowboy hater King post something derogatory about the cowboys.  What would a MMQB be without something negative about the cowboys from King.

GT500456
GT500456

Honestly, who was stupid enough to hire Lame Kitten in the first place?    I know Al Davis does some very unconventional things, but why would ANYONE hire Kiffin after the debacle with the Raiders?     He's clearly not suited to be anything other than a position coach in college, or  possibly an assistant coach in high school.

donald5
donald5

Peyton's problem is home field advantage now.  I'm not sure 2 home games in freezing and possibly snowy weather is in his favor.  Then the Super Bowl in New Jersey.  Does anyone really think Peyton is going to win 3 straight cold weather games against the top competition in the NFL?  

HorizontalGophers
HorizontalGophers

"What team is going to pay good money for a 53 percent passer (since the start of 2012) who goes renegade on a team when times are tough?" 

Trick question. It's Houston isn't it?

WR2


skidoo
skidoo

Seems to me the media especially is trashing Freeman and giving Schiano a good ole boys break .He is a horrible coach with that rah rah college I'm the new Vince Lombardi mentality . Especially after leaks about the drug program and not revealing it was for medical reasons

Go see 20 feet from Stardom a great Doc about backup singers in pop and rock outstanding movie

FredFlintsone
FredFlintsone

Guess so. At this rate Peyton will reach the 60 td range in a league where mid to high 20's can put any QB in pro bowl

JuanAntonioPizarro
JuanAntonioPizarro

King was right, Miami got its butt whipped and today number 9 spot looks extremely generous. The Dolphins were unable to handle the spotlight of being 3-0 and had rookie written all over: the terrible outfit (sue the designer!); Tannehill; a run defense that barely made it to the game. Another game like the one last night and fin fans nightmares will drown us in the mid to late twenties standings, something we thought we were leaving behind.

Jesus Hitler
Jesus Hitler

Well credit where credit is due...the bizarre font-size problem seems to have been fixed this week.  Better editing seems to have taken place, as well.  Much cleaner this time-- credit to your team.

As a matter of fact, I only really have one complaint, and it isn't even about you (directly, anyway).  It's to all the clowns who failed to draft Joe Fauria, as referenced in his "Tweet of the Week" comment.  Just sad and embarrassing really that this guy somehow missed the cut.  A living testament to how little attention the rest of the country *actually* pays to Pac 12 football (there are teams besides USC, Oregon, and Stanford).  ANYBODY who watched so much as a 2-3 UCLA games last year could have told you this guy would be a steal as a 3rd rounder, let alone undrafted.  Baffling case of scouts focusing in the wrong places-- particularly considering what a sexy thing a good target tight end has become in today's NFL

jlinkner
jlinkner

Can you turn off those annoying Microsoft ads that are blocking your article?  How do we turn them off.

Other than that......I love your incites!

jlinkner
jlinkner

Could you turn off those annoying Microsoft ads that we can't close.

Natick4
Natick4

I am sure someone will quickly correct me, but if in fact Peyton Manning had stem cell therapy on the injured nerves in his throwing arm, then MOST of his body is 37 years old, but PARTS of his body may not be. In fact, the most important parts in relation to playing football may be much improved.

Muscle performance is a combination of the physical characteristics of the muscle, and the ability of nerve enervation to control those muscles. I hope the guy blows away every NFL QB record there is - it's good for the game, and I like to watch his mastery on the field. But, next season the NFL has got to come to terms with non-PED augmentation issues.

It is not far fetched to think that other players will (or already have) receive stem cell therapy on a systematic basis to improve muscle tone, recovery from injury, and muscle performance. At the athletic level that most NFL players achieve, already far beyond that of mere mortal men, stem cell therapy represents an undetectable avenue of performance enhancement that in the future may make traditional PEDs obsolete. 

Again, if in fact he did have some stem cell treatment, I am perplexed as to why the sports media has so far been quiet in linking his outstanding ability and the means by which he medically treated his throwing nerves.

Oh, and by the way, we have already seen players who got better as they got older...Clemens and Bonds!

BronzeBomber
BronzeBomber

Dungy should not be in the Hall of Fame just because he sabotaged each Colts postseason by sitting everybody for a few weeks.

EricS.Ellison
EricS.Ellison

Yes. I perfectly understand why Suh was not named 1 of your defensive players of the week.

FightingTard
FightingTard

Why is it that no one is questioning Peyton? 

Athlete has career threatening surgery, comes back at 37 an is having the best season of his career. Nah nothing there sounds suspicious, lets fete him a  hero and bow down before him.

What will the media do if it turns out Manning is on something?

pee-kay
pee-kay

I have read and seen COUNTLESS stories about Peyton Manning and his great start to the year.   I have read two stories regarding a player LOSING A PORTION OF HIS FINGER!!!  And this is deemed excessive!?!??!?!  Actually, probably is.... NOT AT ALL EXCESSIVE!!!!   Just grow that finger back and move on, sissy.  

MichaelMcKinney
MichaelMcKinney

Short Term 12.  Really goo,d small film about a half way house for teenagers.  Brie Larson, as the supervisor of the facility, gives an amazing performance.

Joe R2
Joe R2

PK has wet dreams about Peyton Manning

EaglesPdx
EaglesPdx

As a comparison, that was the Andy Reid built defense that allowed 52 Peyton Points.

That was Romeo Crennel's defense that has held opponents to 10.25 points per game.

Reid might the 2013 winner of the John Gruden, "Looking good with someone else's team" award. Difference of course is that Reid, unlike Gruden, has a solid rep of building good teams which Gruden does not.  But Reid inherited a much better base in KC than he left in Philly.

Fedorg4s
Fedorg4s

So for the All-Pro team Forte is ahead of AP and Shady because they're team records are worse? Oh and then there's Troy Polomalu, who's team is win less and hasn't even forced a turnover and he's ahead of Earl Thomas who is on an undefeated team with the best D. 

It's a sin that AP isn't first for All Pro list and that Earl Thomas and Eric Berry (best two safeties in the league) aren't there together. 

liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3

& sorry, but god bless Hall of Famer Marv Levy & his 4 Super Bowl losses...but Jimmy Johnson won 3 Super Bowls essentially, beating Levy for 2 of them...& he doesn't SNIFF the Hall? Peter, use your power...you know better...

liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3

Yeah, I'm sorry, Jimmy Johnson not in the Hall is a travesty for one reason only...HE WAS THE COACH *&* GM---Jerra Jones did not draft those players or build those teams, no matter the title, & the fact the Cowboys have been resolutely mediocre since Johnson left, even with all the funds in the world, really does say something. The fact that more GMs aren't in the Hall is a joke, & one of the pound-for-pound best GM/coaches ever not getting in is so silly as to be laughable. Dungy deserves to be in eventually, but he won one Super Bowl, & he wasn't the GM of either Tampa Bay or Indianapolis.

atmorris8117
atmorris8117

I think Tony Dungy is a tough case for the HOF. He won lots of regular season games with tremendous talent in Tampa and Indy but won just one Super Bowl and had many early exits in the playoffs. Also, he never quite got the Colts defense right despite supposedly being a defensive mastermind. Further, Gruden winning in Tampa the year after Dungy left hurts his cause.

LarryYelen
LarryYelen

I live in southwestern Ontario and, as such, receive sports radio from Cleveland, Detroit, and Buffalo.  I have grown accustomed to Monday mournings from WKNR, WFDN, and WGR respectively.  This morning, though, nothing but accolades and celebration!  So I got to wondering: when was the last time the Browns, Lions, and Bills all won in the same week?

LarryYelen
LarryYelen

Amazing how you didn't pick Matt Schaub as goat of the week or, at the very least, the co-goat of the week.  Flacco's decisions may have been bad (a couple of the picks were unlucky), but you don't see the throw that Schaub chose to make--he wasn't under duress--at any level above high school.  Put another way: can you imagine a certified NFL stud QB, such as Peyton Manning or Brady or Brees or Rivers or even Cutler, attempting that throw on his worst day?

TravisHastings
TravisHastings

@LittleOne4u Mannings have a diva streak. Remember when the boys were drafted and Archie called San Diego and told them don't draft Eli because he won't play there? Can't get much more diva then that! 

GrogChe
GrogChe

@donald5 Have you bothered to see his stats in cold weather?  He continues to perform at high levels.  Even in the Raven game the td he placed with Knowshone was perfect--even the commentators said that the weather was not effecting Peyton's arm.  BUT he throws one interception and suddenly he can't play in cold weather--sounds like the same type of propaganda coming out of Obama's mouth

donald5
donald5

@Jesus Hitler Well these are the same "clowns" that all passed on Arian Foster as well.  (the same guys who picked Fauria were clowns for whiffing on Foster, right?)  Is this a living testament to how little attention the rest of the country pays to the SEC?  Spare us the "nobody pays attention the PAC12 garbage".  The scouts don't give a flying flip about ESPN contracts or when the games start.  They watch the games regardless.  Read his draft profile.  A TE that gets tripped up a little too easily after the catch and does not block well in the run game.  While he should have been drafted, I hardly see it as a travesty worth some completely tangential and off topic rant on the MMQB.

FredFlintsone
FredFlintsone

@Natick4 good point. we can build em faster stronger than ever before. Fast forward 10 yrs from now. Stem cell Manning just threw his 100th TD for the season

JPM
JPM

@Natick4 Re: Stem Cell Therapy ... definitely intriguing.  Can you cite some proof or, failing that, a link to some reasonable speculation?

JahliSuwaghaman
JahliSuwaghaman

@FightingTard Manning has never been the biggest, strongest, or fastest QB.  PEDs don't make you any smarter and the only thing different with Manning at this point (post injury) is that he might be even smarter.  He's not threading needles 20 yards downfield like he used to even but, he's as good as ever at reading defenses.  His performance this year stems from extended familiarity with his teammates and his maturation as a QB (He could have won MVP #5 last year, and could get it this year).

RafalPruszyn-ski
RafalPruszyn-ski

@FightingTard He didn't just come back. He played last year. He has had time to heal and get work in with his receivers. His performance is not out of the ordinary for him. But yes, I agree that he is doping. the name of the drug? Wes Welker.

Shane Mac
Shane Mac

@liquidmuse3 Didn't Jimmy leave the Cowboys because Jerry Jones want him to relinquish the GM job?

Mike26
Mike26

@LarryYelen Larry, it was an incredibly stupid decision and play; however, he WAS under duress.  Everything else you said was correct.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@TravisHastings @LittleOne4uSo you have one tiny example from only one of the brothers in, what, 26 combined seasons?

Some diva streak.

Anyway, that incident with Eli was more business-related than anything else; Archie was convinced San Diego would be a dire career move for Eli.  So you can get *much* more 'diva' than that example, actually.

Carnifex
Carnifex

@GooGulsux but that doesn't make him the best QB in the league, just the one most valuable to his team. You're saying you'd turn down the chance to have Peyton, Brady, or Rodgers on your team?

RafalPruszyn-ski
RafalPruszyn-ski

@JahliSuwaghaman @FightingTard At this point he is a lock. I know, its early, but if he keeps this up, he is shattering records at the most important position and the team will go very very near undefeated. Who can match him this season when he has nearly twice as many TDs as the next guy? 4 TDs a game would come out to 64..round down and he can realistically go for 55 to 60. He would shatter the record by Brady.

GT500456
GT500456

@leehwgoc @Joe R2 So true, leehwgoc.    I wish The Lonely Island had put PK into their "Jizzed In My Pants" video with a line about Tom Brady.

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