The only player on Arizona's offensive line worth keeping is Daryn Colledge. He was awful as a makeshift tackle in Green Bay last year, but he's settled back into his natural LG position. Arizona briefly tried him at tackle this offseason, but wisely put him back where he's most effective.
Sean Weatherspoon demonstrated to RG3 why you don't run like that in the NFL.
A lot of draft "experts" killed Washington for spending their 4th round pick on Kirk Cousins after drafting RG3 in the first. So-called "experts", now you see why you draft for your whole roster. Cousins wasn't up to the task of pulling in the win, but the team's need to put Cousins on the field in the 5th week of the season reminded me of that criticism. You draft a full roster, not a fantasy lineup. I bet the Redskins are happy they thought reserve QB was worth investing in. Cousins may or may not ultimately work out, but the lesson is: draft talent when it's sitting there on the draft board. You never know where your "need" is going to be.
Washington really, really would have liked Brian Orakpo on the field against Atlanta. For Sam Baker, matching up against Rob Jackson was like a holiday compared to what it would have been like to block Orakpo for Matt Ryan's 56 dropbacks.
The penalty on Nick Perry for his hit on his sack of Andrew Luck was garbage. Perry planted Luck in the upper chest. The two helmets had a small amount of contact when Luck's head came downward following the hit. Luck's helmet was not hit by the impact of the hit.
The only thing that drives me nuts more than non-violating hits being flagged are the TV broadcasters saying, "yup, that was totally an illegal hit! He'll get fined this week!"
JJ Watt is not unblockable. I've seen him kept in check by some very good offensive linemen. What makes Watt so hard to defend is that he can play at any spot on the line. Unlike most 3-4 teams, the Texans do not 2-gap. They are strictly 1-gap and they shift their fronts around and run stunts, so you're never sure what gap a particular player is going to be hitting. And then you add in Watt moving between the different positions on the line, making him even harder to find. Watt tends to move inside on passing downs - you won't find him lined up 1-on-1 on the right side, against the offense's best pass blocker. The defense dictates the terms of Watt's encounters with the opposing offensive lines, and few have 5 guys who can stand up to Watt in both rushing and passing situations. Watt is a handful heads-up against even excellent offensive linemen, but he's an absolute nightmare when the defense gets to dictate the matchup and sics him on the weakest links.
Speaking of Watt, I had to laugh at the headline of this silly ESPN story: "Did Rob Ryan Want JJ Watt over Tyron Smith?" Hmm, let's see... did a defensive coordinator want his team to spend their 1st round pick on the highest rated remaining defensive player rather than an offensive lineman... gee, I'm gonna bet the answer is, "yes". Major scandal you dug up there, ESPN. Don't quit your day j... oh.
As much as I'd like to hope that the loss of Brian Cushing leads to the return of the Houston .500s, I think the impact will be less than most expect.
Michael Oher really looked outmatched against Justin Houston, and it really slowed the Ravens down. Drops by Boldin and company didn't help. Not a lot of help for Flacco. The transition to full-time left tackle has been bumpy for Oher. He hasn't been bad per se, just highly variable from one week to another.
New Orleans' trading up to draft Mark Ingram looks worse and worse every week. He's barely on the field and he's not very productive when he's there. Pierre Thomas is nearly doubling Ingram's snaps.
Eugene Monroe continues to be the lone shining star in the dismal Jaguar picture. Monroe completely dominated both Julius Peppers and Shea McClellin. It's pretty much the only part of the offense I can bear watching. Duane Brown and Ryan Clady will make the competition for the AFC Pro Bowl tackle spots awfully competitive, though.
Apologies for the Thursday game mishap last week. I'll be careful to not repeat it.
Bengals at Browns: The battle for Ohio, part 2 (already? They faced off for the first time in week 2). Last time, the Browns put up more yardage but could not win the battle on the scoreboard. Vegas gives them a decent shot at home, placing them as 1-point underdogs at home despite being the 0-5 ballclub versus the 3-2 Bengals. This will be one of their better chances to avoid going winless, and I think the Browns indeed pull it off, on their way to a 3-13 season record.
Colts at Jets: The shocking comeback Andrew Luck & Co pulled off against the Packers wasn't enough to get the oddsmakers' respect, as the Colts enter this game as 3 point underdogs to a Jets team who, save for a little fight at the end of last week's game, have looked nearly non-functional for the past 2 weeks. Mark Sanchez's accuracy - below the levels of even early season rookie Blaine Gabbert - has been so bad that Tim Tebow not only remains a threat to play, but potentially a viable upgrade. Sanchez's run as the starting QB of the Jets hangs by a thread. I think we're about to see that thread cut, and the rise of weeks of Tebowmania. God help us. Colts
Vikings at Redskins: Christian Ponder continues his efficient ascent, and has the Vikings at 4-1, after the team went 3-13 last season. A perfect example of how much difference a QB makes in today's NFL, even one who is "just" efficient. The story for Washington, of course, will be RG3's return from a concussion that knocked him out of last week's game. Washington's only chance to win games this year appears to be to outrun the bevy of points their defense gives up - and they can do that when RG3 and Alfred Morris are rolling. I'm going to wager that RG3 isn't 100% this week, and the Vikings methodically pick apart the floundering Redskin defense.
Broncos at Chargers: Peyton Manning may have lost the "Brady v. Manning" war, but one could hardly lay the blame on Manning himself, after throwing for 337 yards and 3 TDs, nearly identical from the week before. Manning has been on fire, but it hasn't been enough for Denver, who at 2-3 are looking up at the division leading Chargers. Of course, playing against the Texans and Patriots already might have something to do with that. The Chargers have gotten to 3 wins by beating up on chumps, masking some of their issues. I expect they'll have a hard time containing the Broncos passing attack.
And the die roll gives us the largest spread game:
Raiders at Falcons: To the surprise of no one, Atlanta is favored heavily at home against a struggling Raiders team. Is there any way I can spin this to possibly give the Raiders a chance? Well, they have Darren McFadden, but at 3.5 yards per carry so far this year, he's been quite disappointing (just not Chris Johnson bad). If there's a Matt Ryan injury early, Luke McCown is bad enough to fail at the throw-it-up-to-Roddy-and-Julio job. So, maybe then. Failing that, though, Falcons.
Last week's results:
Certis: 3-1 (the march of 3's continues)
Jolly Bill: 1-3
Secret Asian Man: 1-3
Season to date:
Jolly Bill: 14-9
Secret Asian Man: 9-14