Good evening folks. I. B. Reporting here with a roundup of Week 7 action around the league. A few teams have positioned themseles well in the playoff hunt, while others are nearing that desperation point earlier than expected. Let’s take a look at which teams belong in which categories.
New England 45 – New York Jets 7
The Pats took care of division business in a major way, dominating this game from start to finish. Michael Vick was completely ineffective, totaling just 59 yards through the air. On the other hand, Ryan Mallett looked like he is in line to be overpaid by a QB starved team this summer. 360 yards and 4 TD’s is great for your resume, no matter who it’s against. Chris Johnson and LeGarrette Blount both had 100 yard outings, while T.Y. Hilton and Fred Davis topped the 100 yard mark receiving.
Mallett, how much of Brady’s game film do you study?
Are you kidding me? I feel like I know more about Brady than Gisele at this point. It’s all I do. I feel like I’m stalking him sometimes. Not in the crazy ex kind of way, more like the super fan kind of way. Wait, that sounds just as creepy. Next question.
Coach Whitfield, do you think we have seen the best of your offense?
I sure hope not. If so, I better start polishing my resume.
Cleveland 34 – Jacksonville 23
Each team allowed exactly 322 yards. Passing yards were 232 – 231. Rushing yards were 91 – 90. So what was the difference here? 8 sacks. There’s your game. You can’t allow a rookie QB to be sacked 8 times and expect him to have the poise to pull an upset. The home crowd tried their best to encourage him, but in the end the Browns defense would have none of it. Johnny Manziel had a low key day, which I’m sure made his publicist happy.
Coach Duke, do you think Manziel is hitting a rookie wall of sorts?
I wouldn’t say that. What I do think is that he is a rookie QB that has been thrown into the fire. As such, we can expect some aerage or bad performances. What matters is he never allows his confidence to waver. This keeps the team focused and morale high. THey believe he can lead them no matter what. That’s important to a QB, the trust of his team.
Coach King, you almost traded for a lineman at the deadline. What happened?
Indianapolis 42 – Cincinnati 14
The Colts continue their impressive run with a decisive victory over the Bengals. Stevan Ridley ran wild with 5 TD’s on the day, while Luck did what he needed to do to move the chains. The Bengals did a decent job moving the ball if you look at yardage totals, but one trip to the red zone just isn’t going to get it done. The Bengals inconsistencies really hurt them on a weekly basis, and this game was no exception.
Coach Martin, did you have any idea that Ridley would have that huge of an impact today?
Stevan’s a hell of a player, but I would be lying if I said I saw this coming. I’m just grateful it wasn’t the RB on the opposite of the field having the career game.
Coach Teague, can you explain your team’s up and down performances?
It’s my job to prepare my team, so obviously I need to improve at my job.
Minnesota 35 – Buffalo 7
Thank God for Adrian Peterson. He has officially left his slow start behind him with a 227 yard, 3 TD performance that carried the stench of “I’m still the best” all over it. If not for him, we would have been forced to keep watching Ponder and Manuel play “Who’s more inept?” all game. The Vikings defense managed 4 sacks in between Manuel’s passes to the dirt, and this game was never in question.
Adrian, you’re one of the last workhorse backs left. Do you wear that title proudly?
A title? For me? I accept you.
Chicago 38 – Miami 24
A late pass by the Bears with the game in hand drew some pointed comments from Coach Brown. Despite the anger, it was a pretty good game. A late pass by Tannehill was again to blame for Miami’s inability to mount a comeback. Miami’s running game was stifled all day, but Mike Wallace had some success on the outside. Holliday didn’t have as big a game as some expected coming in, but 172 yards and a TD isn’t shabby at all. Miami needs to fix its passing game before a playoff berth is out of the question.
Coach Boone, why throw a bomb with 3 seconds left and a 7 point lead?
Coach Brown has been talking about how dominant Grimes is since the preseason. I wanted to kill that noise.
Coach Brown, talk about your feelings regarding that final play.
Bush league. Coach Boone isn’t a man of integrity. Kneel the damn ball and win like you’ve done it before. A deep pass with 3 seconds left is supposed to invalidate Brent Grimes? Come on. This guy can’t be serious.
Green Bay 31 – Carolina 24
Coach Bugg is having a hard time finding wins right now. Cam Newton’s 3 interceptions certainly didn’t help. Aaron Rodgers didn’t have the most prolific day passing, but he kept drives alive that resulted in 3 rushing touchdowns. The Panthers racked up the yards, but 3/9 on third down is a big reason why they didn’t score more than 24. They will have a bye week to try and figure out how to salvage the season.
Coach Bugg, what are your goals for the second half of the season?
To play winning football. It sounds cliche, but sometimes it really is that simple.
Dallas 21 – New York Giants 7
Dallas secured an important division win against the rival Giants under the new leadership of Marc Trestman. Rashad Jennings was neutralized after a few good games, and Eli was forced into 2 more interceptions. Romo had a pair of TD tosses to Witten and Antonio Brown. DeMarco Murray helped the Cowboys control the clock and create manageable 3rd down for Romo to operate. Dallas will have an even bigger test next week against the undefeated Redskins, while the Giants will enter their bye week.
Coach Trestman, how important was this win for the team?
Division games are always important. With the hole we find ourselves in, every game is a must win for now. We have the Redskins next and we absolutely need to beat them to have any chance at the division. As far as I’m concerned, playoffs have started for us.
Eli, there are murmurs that you aren’t satisfied with the organization. Thoughts?
San Francisco 45 – Denver 10
Peyton Manning was helpless to stop the 49ers juggernaut. Manning threw 3 interceptions and watched Kaepernick throw a tidy 10 for 12 with 2 TDs. Frank Gore added 247 more yards and 2 TDs to his season totals. The Broncos were outclassed in all 3 phases, and Peyton was none too happy about it.
Peyton, can you turn this thing around?
Kaepernick, do you find yourself bored handing the ball off all day?
Nah, I get to see my bicep while I hand off. It’s admirable. No?
Houston 33 – Pittsburgh 16
The Texans improved to 6-2 by doubling up on the Steelers. The running game was an afterthought on both sides, but Garoppolo made his throws count. Andre Johnson and Julio Jones were the biggest beneficiaries predictably. The Texans seem to be on solid footing after a couple of early hiccups, and Garoppolo has made great strides as the weeks pass. Keep an eye on this team.
Coach Davenport, do you feel the Titans are the classic trap game?
I can’t speak to that. But I can assure you we will be ready for them.
This is I. B. Reporting, reminding you that games are won and lost in the locker room…..Wait that’s not right. I’ll get the quote correct next week.