Week 4 Observationsgame logs for the Pats first 10 games that year. Oddly Wes Welker is the common denominator, just as Randy Moss was the common denominator between the 2007 Pats and 1998 Vikings another 15-plus win team and also one of the greatest offenses of all time. Maybe Demaryius Thomas will be part of some other juggernaut in 2019. It's worth noting the Vikings and Pats both lost in the playoffs.
Pick on the 2013 Pats' offensive skill players all you want, but their offensive line is excellent. This is in stark contrast to the Giants who have great skill players and a terrible line.
The Falcons botched the end game badly Sunday night, treating first and 10 from the Pats 14 like first and goal from the 14. Instead of throwing four passes at heavily covered receivers in the end zone, the Falcons had time to run the ball, get four or five yards or connect on a couple short passes.
Cris Collinsworth at least twice persisted in making a point that the reply he used to support it refuted clearly. It's one thing to make a mistake in real time, but once the evidence controverts your argument, it's bizarre to continue with it. (One of them was on a Julio Jones alleged push-off that never happened.)
With the Falcons down 10 and in the red zone with a few minutes left, Al Michaels and Collinsworth questioned the team's failed 4th-and-2 try inside the 10 in the first quarter, saying how big it would be to have had a FG and be down only seven. Of course, when they kicked the FG and got back into the red zone, Michaels and Collinsworth never mentioned how much sense it made to have gone for seven. Judging a first-quarter decision by whatever random margin applies 40 minutes later is foolish.
Troy Aikman actually called a good game Sunday, shockingly encouraging Chip Kelly to go for it on 4th and 1 (Kelly punted to Peyton Manning which makes no sense) and also questioning a bad call from a ref. Maybe it'll never happen again, but credit where credit is due.
Gary Kubiak and the Texans deserved to lose after punting on 4th and 4 from the Seahawks' 43 with 28 seconds left in the fourth quarter of a tie game. Sure, if they failed to get the first down (50/50 chance), the Seahawks with 23 seconds or so left could have completed a pass or two and gotten into field-goal range. But if they make the first down, they're already in long FG range themselves and were surely better than 50/50 to win had they gone for it. To settle for overtime was playing not to lose, and of course they lost as a result.
In the high-stakes Stopa Law Firm League, I dropped KC's defense in Week 2 for BAL, dropped BAL's defense in Week 3 for DEN, dropped DEN's defense in Week 4 for CIN. All were bad moves.
The Giants clock management at the end of the first half was laughable as they refused to use their timeouts and wound up unnecessarily settling for a mid-range FG which Josh Brown missed. The announcers of course praised the decision. Tom Coughlin and the Giants are now 3-9 going back to last year, and the margin of loss has been substantial. The last two weeks, it's been 69-7. It's time for a different direction.
Sam Bradford is a bust. Sure, he can make all the throws when he's got time, but he's not mobile, isn't good under pressure and makes poor decisions. He's not a top-20 real-life quarterback. It doesn't help that Brian Schottenheimer, the architect of the vaunted Mark-Sanchez Jets, is calling Bradford's plays.
Maybe Brian Hoyer will fall back to earth soon, but remember it was an injury to Drew Bledsoe that sprung an unknown Tom Brady and poor play by Bledsoe that gave undrafted Tony Romo a chance. And a Trent Green knee injury gave 29-year old nobody Kurt Warner his shot for a Rams team coming of a 4-12 year. Those are exceptions, of course, but it shows we really have no idea of a quarterback's ceiling.