Keeping the Passers Protected

Fine Fifteen

1. Denver (9-1). Well, I guess Peyton’s guys can block.

2. Seattle (10-1). Percy Harvin must love his new gig. Got his feet wet Sunday (one target, one catch, 17 yards) and now the Seahawks have a week off with the bye. What a country!

3. Kansas City (9-1). To those who would have the Chiefs plummet because of the loss last night, I ask you this: KC was a decided underdog, playing at Denver. If you rated the Chiefs low before the game, fine. If you rated them high and would drop them a few spots this morning, I am confused.

4. New England (7-2). Tough game to call tonight, but for the first time since Week 1 the Pats should have their IR/designee-to-return running back Shane Vereen. He was so vital to this offensive attack, and now, for the first time, he’s likely to play a game with Rob Gronkowski. Tom Brady will have close to a full weaponry, post-Hernandez and -Welker.

5. New Orleans (8-2). Drew Brees harped on turnovers, and not committing them. The Saints committed three—and still beat the Niners.

6. Carolina (6-3). Folks in the Carolinas are making a very big deal of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick coming to town, seeing as it hasn’t happened since 2005. Rightfully so. These two teams are playing like peers as the season heads for the home stretch.

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. Indianapolis (7-3). I am reminded of Dean Wormer in Animal House, dressing down Faber College student Kent Dorfman for getting a 0.2 on his grade report: “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, Mr. Dorfman.” How does this apply to the 2013 Colts? “Trailing by 21-3, 38-0 and 14-0 is no way to go far in the playoffs, Colts.” (That’s how much they’ve been behind in the last three games; Andrew Luck has bailed them out in two of them.)

8. San Francisco (6-4). Let’s see how they react to playing for the fifth seed. Hard to imagine they can finish any higher now.

9. Detroit (6-4). What I feared about the Lions secondary showed up Sunday in Pittsburgh.

10. Philadelphia (6-5). First time over .500 since opening night, and the arrow is trending upward.

11. Chicago (6-4). The more I see Josh McCown, the more I hear of Josh McCown, the more I like him. Chicago’s very fortunate to have the man playing as one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL west of Philadelphia on the roster.

12. Cincinnati (7-4). You put up 41 on Cleveland, regardless how the 41 comes, and you’re doing well. Andy Dalton has some worrisome stretches, to put it mildly, but the Bengals have a commanding 2.5-game lead in the AFC North with six weeks to play.

13. Arizona (6-4). Won three in a row. Carson Palmer with 660 passing yards in his last two (over 400 Sunday at Jacksonville). Not a coincidence.

14. New York Giants (4-6). NFL Result Weirdness Dept.: Four weeks ago this morning, the Giants were 0-6 and Dallas was 4-3. Next Sunday, Dallas and the Giants meet in New Jersey. If the Giants win, they’ll both be 5-6.

15. Green Bay (5-5). You tell me how long Aaron Rodgers will be out, and I’ll tell you when I’ll re-insert the Pack among the relevant teams.

The Award Section

Jason Pierre-Paul's pick-6 helped seal the Giants' fourth win in a row (top left), while Bobby Rainey keyed the Bucs to a second straight win over the hapless Falcons (top right). Matt McGloin was impressive in his first career NFL start (bottom left), but Antonio Cromartie let Marquise Goodwin abuse him in Cromartie's 96th start. (Al Bello/Getty Images :: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images :: George Bridges/MCT via Getty Images :: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Jason Pierre-Paul’s pick-6 helped seal the Giants’ fourth win in a row (top left), while Bobby Rainey keyed the Bucs to a second straight win over the hapless Falcons (top right). Matt McGloin was impressive in his first career NFL start (bottom left), but Antonio Cromartie let Marquise Goodwin abuse him in Cromartie’s 96th start. (Al Bello/Getty Images :: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images :: George Bridges/MCT via Getty Images :: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Offensive Players of the Week

Chris Clark, Zane Beadles, Manny Ramirez, Louis Vasquez, Orlando Franklin, the starting offensive line, Denver. The prime focus of the Kansas City-Denver showdown was how beat-up Peyton Manning would be when it was over. And these five men (plus Knowshon Moreno, who stuck his nose in there when called upon) allowed no sacks, no pressures, and had just two harmless second-half penalties. Only once all night—Justin Houston walking Franklin back into Manning—did I see any of these five men get handled by the Chiefs. A superb job for a unit that came through at the biggest moment of the year. So far.

Matt McGloin, quarterback, Oakland. How insane is football? McGloin was camp fodder, the fourth passer in camp for the Raiders, after not being drafted last April. On Sunday, he started an NFL game for Oakland, completed 18 of 32 passes for 197 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions, as Oakland stunned Houston 28-23. Just watch him, and you see why he might have a chance to stick in the league. He’s confident, throws a good ball and looks like he has a chance to be accurate downfield.

Defensive Players of the Week

Jason Pierre-Paul, defensive end, New York Giants. Playing with a shoulder injury that required him to wear a harness restricting his movement, Pierre-Paul first predicted the play and then made it. He picked off Green Bay quarterback Scott Tolzien with two hands and ran 24 yards for the touchdown that clinched the Giants’ 27-13 win over the Packers. “All I said was, ‘I’m going to pick this off and run it to the house,” he said. Call him Soothsayer of the Week too.

Special Teams Players of the Week

Adam Vinatieri, kicker, Indianapolis. A month shy of his 41st birthday, Vinatieri was a difference-maker Thursday night in the 30-27 win at Nashville. He kicked field goals of 48, 30 and 50 yards, and he’s now an 87-percent kicker for the year. A couple of things you don’t realize about the veteran South Dakotan: He’s now close to having a split career between New England and Indy, incredibly; he kicked 10 years as a Patriot, and this is his eighth year (already) for Indianapolis. And he’s three field goals out of seventh place all-time; Jason Elam has 436, Vinatieri 433.

Donnie Jones, punter, Philadelphia. Four of his six punts in a 24-16 win pinned Washington inside its 20-yard-line (at the 2, 17, 15 and 4), but it was that last one that was one of the plays of the day. Having lost all offensive momentum, midway through the fourth quarter and clinging to that 24-16 lead, the Eagles had to punt from their 26, and Jones nailed a 70-yarder down to the Washington 4-yard-line. Robert Griffin III didn’t have a 96-yard drive in him, and the Eagles hung on.

Coach of the Week

Greg Schiano, head coach, Tampa Bay. Three weeks ago, fans left Raymond James Stadium with bags over their heads after a dispiriting 31-13 loss to Carolina. Since then, with every fan leaving this season, and this head coach, for dead, the Bucs flew to Seattle and bolted to a 21-0 lead over the two-TD-favorite Seahawks before losing in overtime; beat Miami on a Thursday night; then, on Sunday, routed the woebegone Falcons 41-28. The Bucs are still paying for the sins of starting 0-8, for sure. But 2-8, and playing hard, feels hugely different than 0-8.

Goat of the Week

Antonio Cromartie, cornerback, New York Jets. With the Jets creeping back into a disaster of a game at Buffalo, Cromartie let wideout Marquise Goodwin behind him for an easy touchdown pass from E.J. Manuel. Not why they’re paying you the big bucks, Antonio.

Geno Smith, quarterback, New York Jets. In the four minutes after the Cromartie brainlock, Smith threw interceptions to two Bills, Jairus Byrd and Da’Norris Searcy (who returned it for a pick-6). By the end of the third quarter at Orchard Park, E.J. Manuel had the edge in passer rating, 123.0-10.1. For the day, Smith was 8 of 23 with no touchdowns and three picks, and Rex Ryan had to leave the stadium scratching his head. Or worse.

.

The Falcons. You have to ask why?

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377 comments
BenderIrish
BenderIrish

Hey King, nice comments about the Colts. You do know they have had a terrible run of injuries and still win! Oh, by the way they've also beaten your #1, 2 and 8 of your top ten! Shut up!

Gs1
Gs1

Typical corrupt journalist. How about showing the picture the instant Brooks hit Brees? The split second before Brees subsequently started to duck. Not as clear as you say it is. An ethical journalist would have shown the sequence of photos & let the people make up their own mind. Even better yet, how about putting the pictures side by side with the more obvious clothesline on Kaepernick and contrast why one got called but not the other? Good thing you don't cover politics or the real news.

miltonmarkowitz
miltonmarkowitz

Dear Pete,

Talk about the Steeler prison attire. They did that twice last year. You would think the Rooneys would have learned a lesson and acquiesced to the Steeler Nation and burned the uniforms but there was too much retail inventory leftover and they refuse to take the markdowns. Hope we don't have to suffer another embarrassment next year and be subject to more public ridicule

son of lee
son of lee

the refs were so biased during the saints/niners game. from greer's hang gliding act when he basically hung onto the WR in mid air (injuring his knee as he came down), to vernon getting held in the endzone, to jed collins late hit on brown and kaepernick getting sacked by his neck. all of those calls were plain to the half-sleeping fan watching the game. if the refs called one of those plays...we may have a different outcome, but instead the only close call they choose is the game-defining penalty on brooks forced fumble.

son of lee
son of lee

what did you think about the sack on Kaepernick by HIS NECK? nobody is mentioning the back injury to tarrell brown caused by jed collin's diving-knee to his back sooo late after the tackle had been made. That absolutely should have been flagged, and should have pushed them back. Instead, they get a 1 yard TD plunge the next play.

gregc
gregc

You can repeat a lie all you want but that won't make it true. Brooks hit on Bree's was legal and it was wrong to reverse the play. That bad call took a sure win for the 49ers and turned it into a loss.

The refs got it wrong and Peter King is wrong too.

workinOvatime
workinOvatime

Can we please stop with the kaikus? It's like watching your dad say "hey dawg, how's it hangin??." It's embarrassing. 

EP1
EP1

I like how, now that he is winning, Cam Newton has seemingly matured and has grown since his days of sulking and being a bad leader (when he was losing). Just like how it was reported that Dez Bryant has matured because he bout PS4's for 4 people at walmart. ha... those are sure signs of maturity I tell you what! I hope the Panthers continue to play well, I really do. But lets see how mature Cam is when they either dont make the playoffs or they lose in them.

seamillguesthouse
seamillguesthouse

Again Peter King is full of himself saying that  the Drew Brees  call was THE RIGHT CALL. .../.CASE CLOSED .

Looks like a lot of former players disagree including quarterback Steve Young. 

Dolphins1972
Dolphins1972

beat Miami on a Thursday night. NO. The game was on monday. Glad that your beloved Patriots didn't have the refs on their side for the first time

Serena
Serena

So wait a second defenders can't tackle QB's around the knees, can't tackle them around the head and now according to Peter can't tackle them across the chest? 

Why not just red shirt them and make any contact with them whatsoever punishable by a 3 game suspension, that is what it is coming too if Peter thinks that the Brees sack was a justifiable penalty  

Drake59
Drake59

King claims that Brooks tackle was an "obvious" call .  His gross error of what is a penalty and what is not has been washed away with too many fancy buffets and a no host bars. That in no way was a penalty. Not even in this pathetic watered down version of NFL football. Tell Joe Montna and Kenny Stabler, Steve Young Roman Gabriel that is a penalty.. really a sickening call .. gutless and wrong.

mikep435
mikep435

i thoroughly enjoy peter king's columns but i frequently disagree with his opinions. I watched that sack of drew brees several times and it looked like brooks'  arm was on brews' collar bone. as a fan of good tough defense it seems to me that the rules are totally unbalanced in favor of the offense.

OK
OK

Goodell's Chief Spin Doctor: Patriots 20, Panthers 16

"With Shane Vereen’s return adding to the weaponry, I like Tom Brady to outplay Cam Newton, who has posted a couple stinkers in a row (56.5 completion percentage, one touchdown, three interceptions)."

The Game's Actual Result: Panthers 24, Patriots 20

Final Play: The White Quarterback throws the game's only interception in the Panthers' end zone. 

The White Quarterback, after starting 23 for 26, finished 6 for 14 with the game's only pick.

Passing Stats

Cam Newton

19 for 28, 209, 3 TD, 0 INT

The White Quarterback

29 for 40, 296, 1 TD, 1 CHOKE INT

Which Patriots will Goodell's Chief Spin Doctor blame for the loss?

The offensive line, for not protecting The White Quarterback?

The receivers, for not catching each of The White Quarterback's passes?

The running backs, for not gaining the necessary ground yardage to take the pressure off The White Quarterback?

The defense, for allowing the non-white quarterback to throw his third touchdown pass of the night with less than a minute left in the game?

The Patriots coaching staff, for failing to develop a proper plan for The White Quarterback?

Just who will Goodell's Chief Spin Doctor blame to defend The White Quarterback?

Sdwalt
Sdwalt

Lots of SF fans upset, if your team would have played better, you would have won.

djbake6798
djbake6798

As a Niner I understand the call (they way over protect the qb- especially superstars)- but what gets me is Brees didnt see Brooks coming and actually stepped towards Brooks and ducked (changing the target). I know it's a bang bang play and it was high and it was very violent- but it's football.

WillWillis1
WillWillis1

I'm unclear on why you have a section for Special Teams Player of the Week. Don't you and the other Hall of Fame voters teach us every year that there isn't a place in the game for special teams? 

NeedARealGM
NeedARealGM

"With 3:18 left and San Francisco up by three in a crucial game between the Niners and Saints, linebacker Ahmad Brooks sacked Drew Brees and forced a fumble, which the Niners recovered. The problem was the sack, and the mechanics of it"....and that, my friends, is why the NFL will never again be the great game it once was....like it or not, agree or not, the NFL as we know it is over. 

Mulva
Mulva

I disagree with the Ahmad Brooks call and Peter King's description of it. 

 Sure, a "clothesline" to the neck sounds like a personal foul, but it wasn't "clothesline". Brooks had his arm out to hit and WRAP UP Brees. He didn't propel himself or use his helmet as a weapon. He used the "heads up" method to try and wrap him up with his arm while his helmet/shoulde rpads were not used as a weapon.

I thought it was a bad call in real time, on replay and I still do even with PK's biased account.

And I'm a Broncos fan so no dog in the NFC fight...

KirkNewsted
KirkNewsted

I agree on the Ahmad Brooks call, but the niners should have kept the ball.  The penalty shouldn't affect possession.

KirkNewsted
KirkNewsted

"The more the NFL can hark back to a simpler day, a muddier day, the better."

But play a Superbowl outdoors in New York?  Never, says Peter King.  Hypocrite.

RomarioDelLago
RomarioDelLago

Had to to just laugh at Drew Brees sheer arrogance to act like he has a right (at all) to have some sort of "chip" on his shoulder over the NFL sanctions of his cheating team, the Saints.  Here's a chip for you, Brees, you whiner, YOUR TEAM CHEATED and got busted.  Stop whining, stop acting like you were the victim and play football fairly and honorably.


Pathetic cheaters. 

PWINGS
PWINGS

"....Week 11 made it clear again: The QB is sacred!"

Incorrect. The QB is NOT sacred. However, the ratings and TV revenues ARE sacred. Evidence: What were the TV ratings for Packer games before the Aaron Rodgers injury? What are they now? What were the TV ratings for Patriots games before the Tom Brady injury in 2009? What were they after? The NFL's protectiveness of the QB's is nothing more than protecting the "goose that lid the golden egg". Fans watch games to watch TD passes being scored. Fewer TD passes = lower ratings = reduced advertising revenue. This is the same reasoning behind tightening the rules protecting WR's downfield and limiting contact by DB's in pass coverage. Please don't confuse concerns over TV revenue with concerns over players health. They're not the same thing. They're not even close!

Jon8
Jon8

As I have said for many weeks, the Jets are overrated! I also believe the Panthers are overrated!

The Redskins and the Falcons need an off-season, top-to-bottom-overhaull!!

DavidMManzi
DavidMManzi

Doesn't anyone realize where the Steelers got their throwback uniforms? They stole them from the Three Stooges who wore them in the episode "Three Little Pigskins." But the Stooges wore them better. No contest.

SemperFiDTM
SemperFiDTM

You kill two flies, yet "relocate" a ladybug? Thats textbook speciesism Peter. For shame.

GustavoRodriguez
GustavoRodriguez

How in the world umpire Corrente saved  or protected Brees AFTER the bam-bam play was over?

Does the league think that kind of penalties will be preventing those kind of plays from happeningin?


rickberk
rickberk

Peter, you were in Grand Rapids and went to Ruby Tuesdays looking for local beer?  That's weak.  Should have gone to HopCats.  50 local craft brews on tap. You'd have been in heaven.

sedeibel
sedeibel

You find irony in the '10 things' section. See 1i where he says Colston is "terminally underrated" yet omits him from 1d. where he's talking about the great receivers. I'm thinking...he's underrated because of people like you Peter!! Not a media darling = underrated.

ReddickHarris
ReddickHarris

Mr. King, I read and enjoy your column all the time, whether or not I agree with you, which I do most of the time. I enjoyed your paen to Bailey and I shared your sorrow. I have shared my life with four rescue dogs, two of whom I have had to put down. I stayed with them until the very end and held them in my arms as they took their last breaths. Each one was/is different and brought so much pleasure to our lives.Thank you for sharing Bailey with us.

There is another rescue dog wanting for you.

I am a supporter of the Beagle Freedom project. You should check into it.

Thank you.

Reddick Harris


stianv83
stianv83

@Serena Look closely at Brooks' shoulder and where it is. In case you don't know your anatomy, the neck starts at the shoulders, and go up to the jaw.

mjhellund
mjhellund

@Serena Check your glasses and take another look at the photograph, ma'am.

Goon
Goon

@OK I'm sure you hear this a lot, but you're an idiot. 

JPG
JPG

@OK "The White Quarterback" - ?

Can we please keep racism out of the story.

Please.

Gs1
Gs1

@Mulva King also fails to mention the more obvious clothesline on Kaepernick that wasn't called. That was a true clothesline.


MatthewWayneWilson
MatthewWayneWilson

I think the Ninerz should be investigated for cheating after your coach praised a player for a hit on the QB that was deemed illegal. What's the difference between that and paying a player a few bucks for an illegal hit?

kingma183
kingma183

@RomarioDelLago  It is amazing how ignorant you are!! The Saints were not santioned for cheating.  Drew Brees is a man of incredibly high character, all he does is give back to his community, and last time I checked there is no report whatsoever of Drew not playing football "fairly and honorably".  Being upset about a call is one thing, but you have no right to make false accusations and act like you know the least bit of what you are talking about!

Jerkzilla
Jerkzilla

@Jon8 Jets aren't over rated, everyone thought they would suck this year.  They have played over their heads at times and played their way out of the top 5 draft pick they deserve.

cozmikrebl
cozmikrebl

@SemperFiDTM  To be fair though flies are hard to relocate unless you have a lot of time and patience. Sadly they are on my 'kill list' as well. Brown reclusive spiders residing on the ceiling on the other hand, those are fun to do battle with while trying to capture/release.

George
George

@rickberk True that

but then king wouldn't have been able to savor their healthy and super nutritious deep-fried four-way sampler.

Gotta' keep up that pk no-neck look, ya' know!

:D

Serena
Serena

@mjhellund Look where initial contact is made, what do you want the defender to do let Brees go when Brees' knees collapse?

OK
OK

@JPG

Only if your willing to overlook the blatant racism that is The NFL's Chief Spin Doctor at SI.

SportPage
SportPage

@kingma183 @RomarioDelLago Drew Brees lost any right to call himself  "a man of incredibly high character" when he first claimed there was no such thing as bounties in the Saints locker room, and then afterward claimed he knew nothing about it.

Jon8
Jon8

@Jerkzilla @Jon8 

If the Jets do not make the Playoffs, and I believe they will not, then they have flopped and Ryan should be fired!

kingma183
kingma183

@SportPage @RomarioDelLago and by the way obviously he would claim there was no such thing as bounties in the locker room if he claimed he knew nothing about it.  The only question is weather or not he was lying about it.  And I'm guessing you have no evidence suggesting he was

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