Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Fleece & Flog's NFL Top Five Week 11

The maturation of Rex Grossman is an interesting thing to watch. From throwing the pigskin off his back foot to tucking the ball and taking a sack, Rex's improvement has been noticable. Sure he played with what looked like a sense of fear against the Jets, but to my eyes that was more game planning than anything else. He rushed some throws that ended up behind or at the feet of his receivers, but at least they weren't in the arms of defenders eithers. In fact, Rex probably made one dumb throw all game that luckily went threw a defender's hands.

It's funny how the coaching staff scared Rex into a game plan. They probably had the offense play eleven on thirteen to simulate extra pressure from blitzing, and in the first half Rex still thought there were thirteen guys out there. Sure there was a Bernard Berrian drop that didn't help, but he gets a small pass for trying to play hurt; Rex could have put that pass on his numbers instead of over his head. All in all there really wasn't that much pressure on Rex, and TJ and Ced's running made the day much easier for Rex to handle.

But he'd better get used to the rest of the games being this way. The way to beat the Bears is to pressure Rex, and we'll see if his second year of playing (he's finally made it past 16 games of play in his fourth year) has continued improvement. It sure looks like it to this Bears fan.

Onto the Top Five---------------------------------------------------

  1. Da Bears (9-1): Yeah, this is a homer pick. Yeah, the defense kinda bent but didn't break. Yeah, they only scored 10 points last week. BUT...they won for the second week in a row on the road. They didn't allow a single point scored on the road. They beat a hot team on the road. Did I mention they were playing on the road? (Next week: @ 7-3 New England Patriots)
  2. Indianapolis Colts (9-1): They finally lost a game...on the road...against a hot quarterback...and a tight defense...shocking! Not really. Going undefeated is the hardest thing to do in professional football. Now if someone will just shut up those '72 Dolphins. (Next week: 5-5 Philadelphia Eagles)
  3. San Diego Chargers (8-2): This team has competing values. There's LT and Philip Rivers on one hand -- the guys you really root for, and then there's Marty Shottenheimer and Shawne Merriman -- the former a coach with a Napolean complex, the latter a poster boy for a chem-lab in each NFL training complex. I'm not jumping on this bandwagon just yet. (Next Week: 2-8 Oakland Raiders)
  4. Baltimore Ravens (8-2): This is another team with a god-complex head coach. And don't think Brian Billick's not patting himself on the back right now for the genius behind installing himself as the team play caller. At least Jamal Lewis is happy. Oh, and how does that sideline feel, Ray Lewis, like somewhere god wants you? (Next week: 4-6 Pittsburgh Steelers)
  5. New England Patriots (7-3): They absolutely crushed GB in Lambeau this week with a 35-0 drubbing. That home loss to the Jets kinda pissed Tom Brady off just a little huh? The defense was more pissed; they knocked out Brett Favre and his back-up, Aaron Rodgers, in the same game. (Next week: 9-1 Chicago Bears)

Thanksgiving week is upon us and along with turkey and dressing we actually get a Thursday night football game. Yes, for the first time in over 30 years, someone other than Detroit and Dallas will be playing a home game on Thanksgiving: Denver will be playing at Kansas City. For me the game of the week is the Bears on the road in New England. A win there should finally validate Chicago as the best team in the NFL, and it just might clinch the NFC North title too.

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