This week was all about #deflategate. The match-up that spawned a thousand hot takes was renewed again this week. It was neither the rampant revenge that New England fans wanted, nor the redemption that Colts fans had thought they earned. As Bill Barnwell put it, is was really just a very good team beating a not so good one.
The difference between the Colts and the Pats can be demonstrated in how they handled crucial third downs. Here’s the Patriots running a sweep on fourth and short. Even though the defence makes an excellent read, they overplay the runner, allowing Julian Edelman to pivot and dive for the yardage.
The Colts. Well. I can’t really explain this one.
As Al Michaels says, ‘you tell me’.
The Pats v Colts scoreline made the game seem closer than it was. Their dominance hides the fact they are in struggle town. They’ve basically lost their entire O-Line – the people who are meant to keep Tom Brady upright. The only way to beat the Pats is by knocking Brady down. You can see how this will be a problem.
The Packers and the Broncos both headed into their byes undefeated. The Packers discovered that James Starks may be a better running back than Eddie Lacy. The Cardinals lost because you can’t trust Carson Palmer (it’s a scientific fact).
The Bengals are legitimately good, even if Andy Dalton is the whitest man on earth. They took care of the Bills this week and are 6-0 too.
Here’s a controversial position. I reckon the Jets, who I’m pretty sure I’d included in the 5 down section for at least the first week, might actually be proper good. They’ve got an elite defence (thank you Darrell Revis and that D-Line) and for the first time since I can remember they’ve got a decent offence. We get an excellent opportunity to find out if the Jets are elite this weekend because they’re playing the Pats. Good times.
Da Bears (Are Awful)
The Bears were kind enough to ensure that Lions didn’t go winless anymore. It went to overtime, where Stafford discovered that if he just hurls the ball as far as he can, chances are Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson will catch it.
Tom Brady narrative watch
Current Narrative: Always a step ahead.
People Being Cranky Cos the Pats are Better Than Them
The Colts fans were balanced in their approach to the Patriots.
Roger Goodell Performance Rating
Rating: Expert PR manager
Last week we brought you the story of the NFL refusing to let DeAngelo Williams wear pink to honour his dead mother. This week Roger took his PR management to the next level, fining a player who wore his dead father’s name in his eye black. Either Roger is the most principled man on the planet. Or potentially not very good at his job.
We report. You decide.
Players I love
Jamie Collins is a linebacker for the Pats. And he did this in a crucial part of the game last week.
This Week in Aaron Rodgers is God
The Packers are 6-0. Aaron Rodgers has a QB rating of 115.9 (that’s a lot). And he still thinks the Packers need to improve.
Mostly just the other Packers though.
The NFC East
After Eli’s badassery last week, I had hoped that the Giants were going to emerge from this craptacular division. Instead, they decided to turn up on Monday football and play like clowns. They lost to division rival Eagles, who managed to stave off a week of piping hot takes about coach Chip Kelly by winning. The Washingtons lost, and the Cowboys managed to pass another week without Romo and Bryant by not playing at all.
Last week we put the Saints here, and like the blessing it is, they went out on Thursday night and pantsed the Falcons (who curiously didn’t seem to be aware that tight-ends are eligible receivers). Unfortunately they’re still crap. The Jags. Well yeah. They’re the Jags. Tennessee are here because Marcus Mariota might be out for a while (oh, and they’re 1-5).
Oh and check it out, it’s Andy Reid and the Chiefs busting in to the bottom 5.
Jarryd Hayne Watch
Rough week for our man Hayne. Missed a blitz pick up and fumbled a punt return. Of course the Australian media were shocked his side managed to win despite a poor game from their third string running back.
This Week In Songs Tenuously Linked to Football – Prince, “Purple Rain”