Peyton at 37—The Best From the Best

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think this is what I liked about Week 4:

a. Brian Hoyer. Outplayed Andy Dalton. Nothing fluky about the 17-6 Cleveland win. That job is Hoyer’s until further notice, maybe until draft day.

b. Patrick Peterson, with two fourth-quarter interceptions to lift Arizona to a win.

c. The unpredictability of football: The Super Bowl MVP quarterback goes to Buffalo to play a run-of-the-mill team with both starting cornerbacks out injured. And Joe Flacco throws five interceptions, and the Bills win.

d. The brute strength of Ndamukong Suh. He’s a marvel.

e. The Kansas City defense, which has allowed 41 points in four games. It doesn’t let you breathe. The Giants ran zero plays inside the KC red zone Sunday.

f. As a means of comparison, the Philadelphia defense allowed 42 points in three quarters Sunday.

g. Pat Haden’s decisiveness.

h. Aaron Williams’ acrobatic interception of Joe Flacco in Buffalo.

i. This fun number: AFC East is 11-4, and the NFC East is 4-12.

j. The insight of Austen Lane. In his writing for The MMQB, did you notice his difference in being cut by the Jags and being cut by the Chiefs? in Jacksonville, the coach and GM met with him, then the coach met with him individually. In Kansas City, the pro personnel guy met with him. That’s it.

k. Larry Fitzgerald beating Darrelle Revis for a touchdown in a battle of titans.

l. Good job by Giants rookie right tackle Justin Pugh, holding Justin Houston without a sack or heavy pressure at Arrowhead.

2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 4:

a. The games at Wembley have this one TV problem: Not enough lights in the stadium. Every one of those games looks dark.

b. Jacksonville, outscored by an average of 24.5 points in its four losses.

c. Left wondering what happened to one of the best legs in the game, Billy Cundiff. He missed two more field goals Sunday, and it won’t surprise me to see the Browns have a kicking competition this week.

d. Giants, too, with Josh Brown in trouble after shanking a 44-yarder?

e. Terrible coverage by Chris Houston, allowing Alshon Jeffery of the Bears to get behind him up the right sideline in the closing seconds of the first half. Handed the Bears a Robbie Gould field goal as time expired at the half.

f. I’ve never seen a hole in a Dick LeBeau defense the size of which Adrian Peterson ran through for his second touchdown of the game.

g. Mike Adams, Steelers left tackle, is awful.

h. Jason Pierre-Paul wrenched his knee, and no one noticed. That’s how invisible he’s been in four games returning from back surgery.

i. When Geno Smith is bad, he’s really bad. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Rex Ryan consider playing Matt Simms.

j. Re the Rashad Johnson lost-fingertip coverage: He lost half an inch of a fingertip. Nobody wants to lose a centimeter of a body part, obviously. But the coverage was a bit over the top. Excessive.

k. I’m not saying Tampa Bay is good. But I am saying the Bucs have lost three games in the most ridiculous manner, including blowing a late 10-0 lead to Arizona Sunday.

l. Matt Flynn’s first start for the Raiders: Meh.

ICYMI

Highlights from the last week at The MMQB:


Plenty in the Tank

—Jenny Vrentas


Sacked by the NFL

—Emily Kaplan


The Game Through Her Eyes 

—Richard Deitsch


A Not-So-Simple Twist of Faith

—Jenny Vrentas


A European Vacation, and No More

—Don Banks


How Cover 2 Became an Endangered Species

—Andy Benoit


It’s Not Easy, but It Is Noble

—Andrew Lawrence


Same Old Chargers

—Iim Trotter


NFL Overseas Makes All the Cents in the World

—Andrew Brandt


Hail to the Chiefs’ Pass Rush Revival 

—Greg Bedard


Ram Soft

—Robert Klemko


A Game With No Clear End

—Austen Lane

3. I think you might be surprised to know that Bill Belichick tied Chuck Noll on the all-time wins list last night. They’ve got 209 apiece, including playoffs, Belichick in 19 seasons as a head coach and Noll in 23.

4. I think if I’m Roger Goodell, I’m walking down the hall at NFL headquarters sometime very soon to the new-owner-vetting office and asking, “Uh, did we know anything about the looming jillion-dollar judgment against the Wilf family? Or anything about Jimmy Haslam?’’ Read the stuff this week about the Wilfs, who own the Vikings and are in business with the state of Minnesota to build a new stadium, and a real-estate deal partnership gone bad … and a judge accusing them of racketeering and ordering them to pay $84.5 million to two aggrieved former partners.

5. I think the Bucs need to cut Josh Freeman. Today.

6. I think these things are always tricky. You don’t want to be giving in to players who are trying to shoot their way out of your franchise. But the Bucs are in a delicate time. They’re in a poisonous relationship with Freeman. They owe him $6.4 million, guaranteed, for the final three months of a lost season, and every day he spends on campus with the team is an ugly one. It’d be one thing if there were a team out there dying to trade for him. I was in touch with the Jags and Browns on Sunday about their prospective interest. Each has more than $17 million in salary cap money to spend now if they choose, and could afford to take on a new Freeman contract. (It’s assumed he’d try to go somewhere and get a new contract, because he’s due to be a free agent after the season, and it seems stupid to trade something of substance for Freeman just as a three-month rental if he’d hit the market after the season.) Each team told me the same thing: No interest. The Bucs should give Greg Schiano a chance to save his job and save the 2013 season, and the only way to do that is to cut Freeman loose now.

7. I think it’s too late now, but Freeman should have stood his ground, worked his way back to the job and showed future employers he can fight back from adversity. What he looks like now, to the other 31 teams in the league, is a guy who had trouble with a coaching staff, played poorly, overslept for the team photo (if that’s a true story) and started whining when he got yanked. 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?

8. I think the Vince Wilfork injury from Sunday night—reported to be a torn Achilles tendon, which would be a season-ender—comes at a spot where the Patriots have precious little depth. How many more good players can New England lose and still be New England?

9. I think Rob Gronkowski is healthier than most injured players working their way back to playing shape, and he’s not playing. This is a strange story, folks. The Patriots might be able to sweep it under the rug for now, and it might even be a good idea for Gronkowski to sit for two or three more weeks, because he might be at the stage of his career that cries out for the conservative physical approach—he might have only a limited number of snaps in him before he breaks down again. Who knows? But there’s something odd about a story when a guy practicing like Rob Gronkowski says he’s not ready to be Rob Gronkowski in a game.

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

a. Was that the Minnesota Twins on the field in the last couple of weeks, or the New Britain Rock Cats?

b. What if Henderson Alvarez threw a no-hitter and nobody noticed?

c. Loved The Lyman Bostock Story, about the Angels outfielder shot to death while in the wrong place at the wrong time in Gary, Ind., late in the 1978 season. Congrats on a job well done, Bruce Cornblatt.

Talk Back

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

d. Kudos, too, to Rory Karpf, for his revealing Book of Manning documentary. Most of us never knew about the tortured life of Archie Manning’s dad, and it was a story artfully told.

e. When you finish third instead of second in your rotisserie league because Washington pitcher Tanner Roark left the last game of the year, a totally meaningless game in Arizona Sunday to everyone in America but me, with a 2-1 lead after seven innings and had the bullpen blow it and thus not get a win you needed, and when the guy you’re chasing gets one meaningless (but not to us) final strikeout from Kenley Jansen, allowing him to move up one slot in strikeouts … well, you’re probably in rotisserie baseball a little too deep.

f. Sorry. I can’t demonize the retiring Andy Pettitte forever for his one detour into PEDs. I can castigate him for it, and I can always think of it when I think of him. (If it was more than that, I will stand corrected.) But I don’t think of him as a consistent PED user. And so I rather enjoyed watching the last inning of the last game of his life, his first complete game after 167 incomplete ones, Saturday night in Houston. “It’s a shame we gotta get old,’’ he said afterward.

g. Coffeenerdness: Nobody likes a coffee nerd, and so when I started to tell the barista at Starbucks the other day that she was making the macchiato wrong (espresso on the bottom of the cup, with milk on top, which it shouldn’t be), I caught myself and shut up.

h. Beernerdness: Happiness is having six Flower Power IPAs in the refrigerator for use sometime in the next week or so.

i. Really interested in seeing the Julia Louis-Dreyfus/James Gandolfini movie. Got any others for me that are must-sees?

j. My World Series guess: Oakland over St. Louis in seven.

Who I Like Tonight

New Orleans 24, Miami 12. Honest comment from Sean Payton Saturday, asked if he has to counteract all the positive attention his defense has gotten this month. The Saints, 32nd and last in team defense last year, are fourth this season in their 3-0 start. “Honestly you’re always kind of paying attention to [it],’’ Payton said. “You guys [reporters] have a difficult job. What sells in your industry is something to either extreme, but the 85 percent in the middle is typically what we deal with on a weekly basis. Bill [Parcells] was really good at this. When it’s all [favorable], you’re making sure [to tell players] we have a lot that we have to improve on, and you show them the tape and emphasize that. I think just eliminating the outside distractions and eliminating what we call ‘the noise’ is more difficult today than it ever has been because of the amount of coverage and the amount of exposure to the game.’’ But facts are facts: The Saints are 3-0 largely because of the giant steps they’ve made on the less-famous side of the ball. The Saints are 144 yards stingier per game on D than they were a year ago, when they allowed more yards than any team in history. Expect blitzes from everywhere tonight, Ryan Tannehill.

The Adieu Haiku

Chip’s balloon has burst.
What a difference a month makes.
DeSean: Play DeD.

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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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