No Perfect Endings, Just Luck

Fine Fifteen

1. Kansas City (7-0). Of all the things I never thought I’d type this season, Kansas City as the lone unbeaten team in football would be at the top of the list. Did you see that strange handoff/non-handoff near the goal line that Alex Smith ran into the end zone for a touchdown? He said after the game it was a designed run for the quarterback. Sure didn’t look that way to me. Looked like Smith, or Jamaal Charles, turned the wrong way. Whatever, the Chiefs are going to be playing January football this year, because the offense is good enough and the defense is great.

2. Indianapolis (5-2). At halftime Sunday night, Arizona safety Tyrann Mathieu tweeted: “Dudes in the hood be like, that boy Andrew luck sumn serious #SNF” In other words, Mathieu thinks what the rest of America thinks: Luck’s good.

3. Denver (6-1). If you can’t beat ‘em, joke with ‘em. Best sign I’ve seen in any crowd in a long time, from a Denver fan at Lucas Oil Stadium: “When you’re done w/ Luck, we’ll take him too.”

4. Seattle (6-1). Cool mini-bye, just like this week’s Giants Thursday night/Monday night schedule: Eleven days between the game at Arizona and the one at St. Louis. Players love it.

5.  New Orleans (5-1). On his bye weekend, Sean Payton cross-fitted.

6. San Francisco (5-2). Weeks 2 and 3: Foes 56, Niners 10. Weeks 4 through 7: Niners 132, Foes 51. That’s psycho.

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. New England (5-2). You may ask why I have the Saints No. 4 and the Pats No. 6, even though the Patriots beat the Saints last week. Judgment call. The Pats don’t have two cornerstone players they had last weekend anymore—Jerod Mayo and Aqib Talib.

8. Cincinnati (5-2). Andy Dalton took some giant steps in the win at Detroit.

9. Green Bay (4-2). Dom Capers Returneth: Pack foes have scored 13 points a game in Green Bay’s three-game win streak.

10. Dallas (4-3). Very impressed with the defensive effort, holding the Eagles to three points and 278 yards.

11. Detroit (4-3). I continue to think the Lions will eventually be ruined by their secondary.

12. San Diego (4-3). Philip Rivers became the second Charger to surpass 30,000 career yards in Jacksonville Sunday. I could see Rivers getting to 45K.

13. Buffalo (3-4). Kiko Alonso is becoming a cult hero/tackling machine approaching the midpoint of his rookie year. He has 70 tackles in seven games, and four interceptions.

14. New York Jets (4-3). Chris Ivory: 34 rushes for 104 yards. That’s from the Earl Campbell days, carrying the ball that much.

15. Carolina (3-3). Panthers have won three out of four by an average of 26 points. Now that’ll get your attention.

The Award Section

Robert Mathis (top left) and Vontae Davis (top right) played key roles in slowing down Peyton Manning and Co.; Devin Hester (bottom left) reminded everyone why he's one of the best returners ever; Cam Newton posted his second turnover-free game in a row. (AJ Mast/AP :: Patrick Smith/Getty Images :: Bob Leverone/AP)
Robert Mathis (top left) and Vontae Davis (top right) played key roles in slowing down Peyton Manning and Co.; Devin Hester (bottom left) reminded everyone why he’s one of the best returners ever; Cam Newton posted his second turnover-free game in a row. (AJ Mast/AP :: Patrick Smith/Getty Images :: Bob Leverone/AP)

Offensive Player of the Week

Cam Newton, quarterback, Carolina. He had the most efficient day of his NFL life (15 of 17 for 204 yards and one touchdown; no interceptions) and added 10 clock-eating rushes for 26 yards. Newton will have better and more dominant days in this league but, playing under control and disciplined, he led the Panthers to 30 points or more for the third time in the last four games.

Defensive Players of the Week

Robert Mathis, defensive end, Indianapolis. His two sacks of Peyton Manning Sunday night would be impressive enough (Manning had been sacked five times in six previous games, and the Colts got him four times Sunday), but he pressured Manning consistently and helped force him into 20 incompletions. Mathis leads the NFL with 11.5 sacks through seven games. At 32, he has the speed of a much younger player, and it was interesting to see how Mathis overwhelmingly outplayed the Broncos’ impact rusher, linebacker Von Miller, on Sunday.

Vontae Davis, cornerback, Indianapolis. When you hold a great receiver like Demaryius Thomas to two catches for four yards in your time covering him, that’s a good day. Davis, the Colts’ best cover corner since being acquired from Miami before last season, played physically and with great confidence. “Peyton’s great,’’ he said of Manning, “but we’re all football players. We just compete.” And, on this night, win 39-33.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Devin Hester, punt returner, Chicago. Rarely do you see a player return a punt 145 yards for a touchdown—but check out the Hester replay at Washington. He fielded a punt at his 19 at the far left sideline, then, to escape the coverage, ran horizontally across the field and backward about five yards, then up the right side the length of the field for a touchdown. By my calculations, Hester’s first punt return for touchdown since 2011, an 81-yarder, was in the 140-yard range. Great, great play. It’s the 13th punt return for touchdown in Hester’s career, and the 19th return touchdown overall.

Coach of the Week

Greg Manusky, defensive coordinator, Indianapolis. Odd to give this award to a coordinator of a defense that gave up 33 points and 429 yards Sunday night, but … well, you had to see the game Sunday night to understand. Manusky and the Colts’ defense planned to be more physical with Peyton Manning’s receivers than any team had been all season, and it worked, particularly with corner Vontae Davis, who padlocked Demaryius Thomas and keyed the win from the secondary. Manusky’s scheme and blitzing of a quarterback thought unblitzable created some long-yardage situations for a team used to turning second downs into firsts consistently.

Goats of the Week

Sam Martin, punter, Detroit. Martin, a fifth-round rookie from Appalachian State, entered Sunday with the league’s third-best punting average. And when he lined up to punt from the Detroit 23 with 34 seconds left in the fourth quarter of a 24-24 game against Cincinnati, all he had to do was boom the punt downfield so Andy Dalton would have too far to go in, say, the last 25 seconds of the game. But expecting an all-out punt rush, he hurried the punt—there was, in fact, no heavy rush; the Bengals lined up for a return—and shanked it 28 yards to the Cincinnati 49. Dalton threw two passes to get it to the Detroit 26, and then Mike Nugent booted a 54-yard field goal to win it as time expired.

Brandon Sowell, left tackle, Arizona. The lowest-rated tackle in the respected Pro Football Focus rankings (74th of 74 tackles before Sunday’s games) was the biggest problem in Carson Palmer’s major struggles Thursday night in the loss to Seattle. On one play, Seattle rusher Chris Clemons pushed Sowell back hard into Palmer. For the game, Sowell allowed two sacks, two quarterback knockdowns and five quarterback pressures. As Lawrence Taylor once said to Ken O’Brien: “Gotta do better than that, son.”

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399 comments
wavemkr
wavemkr

No it's not "odd" that you would give the award for Coach of the week to the Indy Def Coach.  Because the real winner is Monte Kiffin holding the #1 RB, McCoy to 55 yards and the much media vaunted eagles offense to 3 points.  But that would've required you to list a Cowboys coach, and as much as you hate the Cowboys that would be impossible, so that left you with the #2 Coach, so it's not odd at all, it makes perfect sense.  You're constant Cowboys Hatred made the determination.

wavemkr
wavemkr

Patriots lost and Cowboys won...... Peter the Patriots loving/Cowboys hating King must be having a horrible Monday :)


King, we need more Patriots coverage !!! LOL

DrColeKilla
DrColeKilla

Peter - love McCarver, dance at his retirement party, play a round of golf together, have a slice of his b-day cake.  But to "think everyone’s nuts for not liking Tim McCarver," is simply just slapping around those who don't share your effusive opinion of his broadcasting style.   

ProfessorGriff
ProfessorGriff

So Peter,


The NFL doesn't baby Tom Brady?  Which NFL have you been watching the past 7 seasons?  



LittleOne4u
LittleOne4u

Dear Peter, Part two

I have always respected your writting and insight into the sport arena.  Stories with a touch of experience and honesty in a world of 'more about me' is becoming a rare species on today's news headlines.

Having those thoughts in mind, I feel I am treated to the  Geriatric Ward when visiting the new website. I truelly am NOT, NOT draw to the big font and BIG pictures to each and EVERY article. DID i mention the BIG picture and CLICK on me PICTURE. 

If capital letters are screaming to shouting then  new design website must implies your readers are visually impaired and lack reading skills.

Yes, I understand WINDOW is your $$ backer. But please, must you sell the farm to write your stories? I hope we have not reach that point in journalism.

Thank you for reading this far down in the comments posted field. Most folks don't get past the first 10 responses. 

I hope refine the site to mirror more of your insight into sports and less of the marketing of windows software.

Cheers

P

Richard Long
Richard Long

$1,200 to spend the night in Indy.  And we talk about a bad economy 

Danny5
Danny5

hey Peter, what would be so wrong with a Denver at Cincy playoff game?  This is the same Cincy team that has beaten both Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in a awesome game at HOME and busted Brady's record td pass streak at HOME in beating New England.  I for one would love to see a Broncos at Bengals playoff matchup, think it would be a great game...

cfr
cfr

some things i know i think 1. whats said on the field should stay on the field. 2. hair tackles can break necks and should  be illegal, and horse collar tackles should be legal since a player is just bringing someone down by the shoulders.

skidoo
skidoo

What a sad state of affairs for Bear fans . We don't know how to act. Sure we've lost are share of games but we at least knock the snot out of folks now we score in the 40's and lose. Somewhere Papa Bear is shaking his head

M30
M30

"2. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 7:

a. That wily, experienced veteran, Sheldon Richardson of the Jets, saying NFL officials baby Tom Brady. After less than two months playing real games, that is some quality opinion, Sheldon."  

Aww, how cute.  PK has to protect his man-crush against the big, bad rookie.  Just beg him for it, PK.  It's obvious.  

JesseReynolds
JesseReynolds

Page 5, #5: Why Whisenhunt was fired. Arizona decided to build from the outside in and now we are like a plastic surgery valley girl. Beautiful on the outside, empty on the inside.

carlburkhalter47
carlburkhalter47

Peter, why must you start every column with quotes from interviews you (and you alone -- oooh!) conducted immediately after a game?  The lead pages in your column aren't necessarily devoted to the prime stories of Sunday's games; it's as if the MMQB exclusive access is the determining factor.  

MVolzer
MVolzer

How about a jeer to Andrew Luck for that RIDICULOUS flop he took to draw a Roughing The Passer penalty on a Broncos lineman who barely even bumped into him. Manu Ginobli would have been too embarrassed to take a fall from that little contact. Don't try to sell me on it being a smart play or good gamesmanship, its bush league and cowardly. The NBA is handing out retroactive penalties for plays like that. I'd love to see the NFL set the example and hit Luck with a warning or fine to keep this sort of thing from becoming a trend.


Nathan16
Nathan16

Cardinals offensive line picks include a whopping 3 picks in the first 3 rounds. The o-line is 5 of the 22 starters (22.7%); add key non-starters like slot receiver, nickle back, and situational pass rusher and that's still 5 of the 25 most important players (20%). The Cards drafted half that many with only 3 of 30 possible top three draft picks. This trend improves throughout their draft picks with 13 of 70 (18.6%) possible draft picks before compensatory picks. However the lack of attention at the top of the draft is shocking. Compare that to their 7 defensive backs or 4 receivers taken in the top three rounds even through Boldin and then Fitz were already on the roster.

bayman
bayman

So, Sheldon Richardson isn't qualified to offer an opinion because he's only been playing real games for two months?  How many real games have you played, Peter?

gmartin711
gmartin711

Remind us please, how long have you been playing "real games"?  Or does your "real games" requirement apply only to actual NFL players and not to sportswriters?  Because if playing "real games" is a required qualification to have an opinion regarding NFL football, Sheldon Richardson is infinitely more qualified than you are.

Bottom line: that is some quality opinion, Pete.

maafla1
maafla1

What difference does it make how long Sheldon Richardson has been in the league?  He can see what is obvious even to a 10-year veteran, you can't breathe on Tom Brady without getting called for something.  Stop being a shill for the Patriots, Peter.  It's bad enough you shill for liberal politicians.

JamesAnthonyBryan
JamesAnthonyBryan

Big iffy calls? Both were correct calls. Timing may be iffy but refs are not supposed to take into account how much time is left when they make calls.

JamesAnthonyBryan
JamesAnthonyBryan

Jets win and you only have negative things to say? How about Rex outcoaching Belicheck for the second time this year?

beekay31
beekay31

For anyone who ever played baseball at a competitive level, McCarver is just annoyingly funny to listen to.

Mike N
Mike N

Classic Bum-

A reporter asked him why he took his wife on road trips and Bum said was too ugly to kiss good bye!

SteveLarone
SteveLarone

Coincidence is a funny thing. Jets are 4-3 but would be 2-5 without some big iffy calls that went thier way, on thier home field, on a year the giants are really bad, and on a year the SB is in NY. I really do think it is a coincidence (The jets did play well enough to win yesterday) but it will be interesting if they get any more "breaks"

boogah11
boogah11

So, Peter, YOU'RE the Tim McCarver fan???   If you actually enjoy this guy's ramblings (and they are truly ramblings in the way a 98 year-old grandpa rambles these days), then you must have truly enjoyed his "Cardboard Box" rant during game 5 of the ALCS where 'ol Timmy went ballistic over the fact that his birthday cake was delivered to the booth in....wait for it.....A CARDBOARD BOX!!!  http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2013/10/16/4847134/tim-mccarver-birthday-cake-red-sox-tigers

DeeEmm1
DeeEmm1

It's not a huge surprise that there are more California Rams fans. This is where they're from, they should have never left. Plenty of folks out here in the LA area still wear the old Rams colors, it's like they know their team will come back someday.

unclebucsi
unclebucsi

I think everyone’s nuts for not liking Tim McCarver. I love listening to him. 

Wow.

CMFJ
CMFJ

"... the new boss not really caring about the narrative America had been obsessed with in the days before..."

The question I had leading up to the game: are people really as interested in this story as the sports media is?  I'm a Broncos fan and while it was a sort of interesting side story, it was fairly far down the list of what I wanted to read about the game.  Manning seemed embarrassed by the coverage and Luck clearly had no interest in the role the media had cast for him.  That didn't seem to really make any difference to the media, who plowed ahead and made inane proclamations before, during, and after the game.

One of my favorite moments was in a show earlier in the day when someone proclaimed that nothing like this - a beloved HOF caliber player that was not able to finish his career with his original team - had ever happened before.  He paused and then tried to sneak in a mention of Favre returning to Lambeau with the Vikings, clearly not wanting facts to get in the way of hyperbole.

Devilsreject97
Devilsreject97

@wavemkr Wait...what??? The Cowboys knocked out the starting QB for the Eagles = game over for anything at that point...

 Meanwhile the Colts defense beat the Broncos, a team that dropped 50+ on the Cowboys, and pretty much beat everybody else by double digits.... I'd say that's more impressive than a team getting beat without its #1 or #2 QB available..

cdizzle
cdizzle

@LittleOne4u I believe there's an email address to which you can address your feelings.  

Devilsreject97
Devilsreject97

@cfr LOL!

Yes, grabbing someone by the back of the pads and yanking down on them should be legal. You have no clue how harmful that is. That kind of tackle is what broke Terrell Owens ankle back when he was with the Eagles. Imagine me picking you up and just slamming you to the ground. That's what a horse collar tackle is like. If idiots want to wear their hair 2 feet long and sticking out of their helmets, it's legal to grab. When I played football, hair wasn't allowed to be outside the helmet. You either cut it or didn't play....

Devilsreject97
Devilsreject97

@MVolzer 

So a cheap hit on Andrew Luck shouldn't be penalized? The QB was no longer involved in the play, the ball was several yards down field, and the Broncos player knew the rules that a QB can no longer be hit at that point. The Broncos player was an IDIOT for even doing it. You want to get upset at Luck for the stupidity that a Broncos player showed? Hell, I'd wager Peyton would have flagged  his own player for that nonsense.....don't be so dense..

Mike26
Mike26

@MVolzer Why should he jeer Luck for doing something that Manning, Brady, etc. have been doing - and being rewarded for - their entire careers?  It's gamesmanship and he's just reaping the benefits that young players don't usually get in those situations.

unitcaptain11
unitcaptain11

@maafla1   Look up the definition of "liberal" in the dictionary.  You should be a liberal too.  Jesus and the founding fathers were 'liberals".


JamesAnthonyBryan
JamesAnthonyBryan

Big iffy calls? Both were correct calls. Timing may be iffy but refs are not supposed to take into account how much time is left when they make calls.

BillAbendroth
BillAbendroth

@DeeEmm1 Yeah.  The Rams will go back to LA, right after the Giants go back to New York.

DeeEmm1
DeeEmm1

@unclebucsi he's awful now. he used to be a great color guy that knew the stats, but the game passed him by years ago.

beekay31
beekay31

@CMFJ It's called lazy journalism.  Attempt to fabricate and steer a story so you can write what you want to instead of covering what is actually occurring.

rskins09
rskins09

@CMFJ    With all the unnecessary hype I thought it was  The Academy Awards II ...

CrystalWeeks
CrystalWeeks

@unitcaptain11 @maafla1 Actually, the founding fathers fought against unreasonable taxes which by today's standards would make them definitely NOT liberal.

SteveLarone
SteveLarone

Actually I thought the Raiders got jobbed. I also thought the Saints got jobbed last week, and yes, I think the Pats got jobbed this week.

humdrumdrumhumming
humdrumdrumhumming

@Supernaut @DeeEmm1

Yeah, because there's just so many Cleveland Rams fans overwhelming the website from their old folks homes, while polishing their WWII purple hearts, just to skew the numbers.



Team history


Jon8
Jon8

@DeeEmm1 @unclebucsi 

How did the game pass him by exactly?

Did the rules change and he failed to keep up?

Did the way the game is played change, somehow?

Did he become unable to see the field?

Did he become unable to express his thoughts?

BTW, I am not a McCarver fan, I am a Vin Scully fan, but I do not see how the game passed McCarver by!!

Jon8
Jon8

@rskins09 @CMFJ 

That little poison dwarf Costas was so obviously unhappy, at the post game, that he could not read from his script!

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