Monday, October 12, 2015

Birden Bomb: Week five

Welcome to this weekly National Football League column named the "Birden Bomb" in reference to my infatuation with the play in the video game Madden '96 which was known as the, as you can probably guess, the "Birden Bomb". I will provide a few thoughts on the week that was. Enjoy!

-The constant strategical gaffes are becoming too much of the norm for the Baltimore Ravens.  This is an observation going all the way back to 2014 as what happens with this Jon Harbaugh/Marc Trestman led offence is they build a lead and then they get waaaaay too passive especially when instituting their redzone offence. They had the game versus the Cleveland Browns in lockdown but  settling for field goal attempts when the more aggressive call was applicable hindered their attempt to secure the second consecutive W. Joe Flacco is on the cusp of being grouped in the elite quarterback category but part of the problem as to why the casual fan doesn't consider Flacco elite is because the offensive regimen doesn't allow Flacco enough creativity. For the Baltimore Ravens to find themselves in the win column more consistently this must drastically change.

-Is it time that Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell is officially on the proverbial "hot seat"? This is an 0-5 organization that got plummeted badly against the stingy desert dogs, the Arizona Cardinals  When analyzing the game statistics I find it appalling that the combination of Matt Stafford and Dan Orlovsky only got star receiver Calvin Johnson the ball five times for sixty seven yards. With this current offensive nucleus spanning over the last three to four years the Lions have relied heavily on the passing attack which was correlated with relative team success This year however, coach Caldwell has made a more conscious effort in utilizing the ground game which has proved very ineffective thusfar. Ameer Abdullah was a pre-season fantasy football darling as the expectation was he would provide the yin to Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate's yang. All these dreams in the Motor City about establishing the next Barry Sanders in the backfield is turning into a nightmare and it's gotten so bad that unless Caldwell caves to fan pressure and finds increased ways to toss the ball to the talented receivers, he may be on the unemployment line shortly.

-I'd like to formally sign up for audition to run for the Washington Redskins. They are accepting entrants off the street, correct?  Alfred Morris runs for 121 yards in week one and then proceeds to get demoted. Matt Jones comes in and steals the carries in week two putting on a clinic and then is pushed aside for little known Chris Thompson in week three. Preceding weeks has seen a timeshare with Joe Smith and John Quinn ready for week six action(fictional names, it was a joke). Jay Gruden, the Gruden name generally speaking has been known to be innovative with their tactics, and it's plausible that in this running back trifecta that one will be a flash in the pan and provide results the same way former Redskin Clinton Portis did. I just wish purely from a fantasy perspective that Alfred Morris could re-introduce himself to Gruden.

-If you read my earlier entry deciphering my prediction for the 2015 NFL season, you would've surmised that the Buffalo Bills were MY favourite to take home the AFC. Marcell Dareus absolutely stymied Marcus Mariota on every opportunity and my take away from this game has me questioning the mental toughness of the Oregon alum. Before the few reading this become up in arms with this opinion, keep in mind that I'm fully aware that this is just a rookie quarterback we're discussing but to those that want to protect a rookie, ponder this. Sports are in a new age, younger and younger players are now making quicker, more tangible contributions at a young age. Look at Jameis Winston, he's now found a way to lead his troops out of Tampa Bay to two wins, whereas the only win Mariota has under his belt was a romp against those very same Tampa Bay Buccaneers but that game was over after the first snap. His personal statistics are commendable, but what has to change is his adaptability when maneuvering through a tight football game.

- I will be the first to admit that I was not a supporter of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly when it came to endorsing the acquisition of Sam Bradford from the St.Louis Rams. My lack of support was well founded in the first couple weeks as that offence had no cohesion......where was prized rookie Nelson Agholor...why can't DeMarco Murray run anymore??? These questions and a lot more were being bantered about amongst football pendants but the renewed confidence in Sam Bradford has shut the majority up.  Gun slinging his way to three hundred and thirty three yards I'm starting to come around to why some experts predicted the Eagles to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. The Eagles defence still has major holes but as the New Orleans Saints were privy to on Sunday, that offence is becoming a well oiled machine.

-One of the more fascinating storylines thusfar in the 2015 season has been the resurgence of Doug Martin and the Darren Sproles-esque work of Doug Martin. Coming into this campaign, the consensus was that with a young quarterback coming into the fold like we've been witnessing with first overall pick Jameis Winston that the Buccaneers would have to rely heavily on the ground game and that was a scary proposition based on what we've seen in the last year and a half with the anemic play of Doug Martin. Lovie Smith has found the start button on Martin's motor again because he is showcasing what made him such a loved rookie coming out of Boise St.  Are the Buccaneers a playoff team? Likely not but crazier things have happened and any team accolades can rest solely on the laurels of Doug Martin. Not be overlooked however is Charles Sims who is slowly but surely gaining the reputation of being one of the best pass catchers out of the backfield.

-The Sunday nighter featuring the Giants and the 49ers was seemingly a classic but my viewing pleasure focused on the Toronto Blue Jays triumph in game three of the ALDS so I have limited information pertaining to this game. Via, Colin Kaepernick silenced his doubters as he allowed the San Francisco 49ers to remain competitive against a team I have pegged going to the Super Bowl. He didn't run much tonight and the main reason why the 49ers offence came out from th the shadows because he stayed in the pocket, used his strong arm and allowed Torrey Smith to strut his capabilities something he wasn't able to do in the first four weeks. Well done Colin!


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