Monday, November 4, 2013

The Informer's Monday Afternoon Reactions to Week 9

For the 10th time in 24 NFL Starts Andrew Luck led the Indianapolis Colts to a come from behind victory.

Last season Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck did not win the NFL Rookie of the Year award because his completion percentage was a miserable, by NFL Standards, 55 percent.

For some reason, when it came to voting, all the voters decided to only look at Luck's completion percentage when discussing him for the ROY, which led to them saying guys like Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III were actually having better years.

Now because everyone was trying to down play Luck's greatness, The Informer went on a two month long campaign trying speak to the merits of Luck’s rookies season; record for passing yards, lead a team from two wins to 11 wins, numerous come from behind victories, etc . . .

Unfortunately my attempts were drowned out by the crowds of people watching RG3 lead the Redskins to nine victories (Kirk Cousins was the starter for one of Washington’s wins) and Wilson game manage one of the best rosters in football to the playoffs.

All of the talking heads who voted against Luck made the same point; while his numbers were great his completion percent was so much worse than Wilson and RG3 that there was no way he was better than the other two rookies.

Well last night Luck was 18-40 passing the ball. If your scoring at home that is a very Tim Tebow-like 46 percent.

So why is The Informer opening up his “Monday Morning Reactions to Week 9 of the 2013 NFL Season” article with Luck?

Because the Colts quarterback once again proved that completion percentage is a stat that should be looked at, but ultimately it should not be used as the barometer of how we judge our quarterbacks.

Luck, who was horrible in the first half of the Colts 27-24 victory over the San Diego Chargers, rallied his team from a 24-6 deficit by throwing three second half touchdown passes to T.Y. Hilton.

Thanks to the 10th fourth quarter comeback win of Luck's career (most ever by a quarterback through is first 24 games) Indianapolis is now 6-2 with an “Andre the Giant-like” stranglehold on the AFC South.

Furthermore, after last night The Informer is willing to go out on a limb and say with the game on the line there is no other quarterback playing in the NFL today that he would rather have than Andrew Luck.

Yes the guy may miss some throws early, but at the end of the day when his team needs him the most Luck will step up and lead them to victory. He has now proven this in 41 percent of his career starts.  

Now believe it or not, Luck was not the only second year quarterback to lead an epic come from behind victory yesterday. The aforementioned Wilson found his Seahawks team down 21-0 at home in the first half to the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As you all have probably heard, Wilson and the Hawks offense woke up in the nick of time and were able to pull off the biggest come from behind victory in Seattle football history.

Obviously the Hawks come back win was very impressive, although The Informer does have one question: At any point in the game did you actually think the Bucs would hold on for the victory?

The Informer for one never doubted for a second that Seattle would win. Heck at one point when the score was 24-7 The Informer wrote in his notes: "Seattle will win this game."

(The Informer swears to "Tebow" he wrote it with the score 24-7)

Sure enough while scanning television screens during a Dora the Explorer commercial break, The Informer caught Seattle making the game winning field goal for the 27-24 victory.

Giving credit where credit is due, thanks to Wilson's leadership and the never give up attitude of this Seattle team they were able to grind out a win while playing horribly.

Honestly after watching the gritty performance it is pretty easy to see why Seattle is 8-1 for the first time in team history.

Since we are talking about second year mega-star quarterbacks, we should probably mention that RG3 sure looked a lot like RG3 yesterday afternoon in the Redskins thrilling 30-24 overtime victory over the San Diego Chargers.

The Informer’s favorite play was late in the game, with the Skins needing a first down, when RG3 flew through the air for five yards landing on the first down side of the yard marker.

The Informer liked this play because it was the first time this season RG3 acted like the real RG3, instead of a guy who was worried about his injured knee.

Washington is now 3-5 and exactly where they want to be in the race for the AFC East title. Don’t forget last season the Redskins were 3-5 before ripping off seven straight wins to steal the division.

If you’re a Skins fan there is reason to start getting excited about your 2013 football team; the main reason being the return of RG3.

Sticking with great quarterback performances, do you guys know what these names have in common?

Joe Kapp, Sid Luckman, Adrian Burk, Peyton Manning, George Blanda Y.A. Tittle and Nick Foles.

If you guessed the only seven quarterbacks in NFL history who have thrown for seven touchdown passes in a single game you would be correct.

Foles became the second QB this season to tie the record (Manning did it Week 1) after the Philadelphia Eagles back up threw seven TD passes in their 49-20 win over the Oakland Raiders.

Foles record setting day reminded The Informer of a very important lesson: In 2013 you never want to pick against a back up quarterback.

Think about it; first their was Cleveland Browns third stringer Brian Hoyer taking the league by storm and reminding the NFL of Joe Montana. Then there is “The Canon” Thad Lewis who is keeping the Buffalo Bills relevant in the absence of fellow rookie E.J. Manuel.

And you definitely can't forget about Case “You can call me Brett FavreKeenum turning the Houston Texans into the Houston Texans again.

Now you can add the often forgettable Foles to the list of back-ups who have produced amazing performances for teams whose seasons were on the brink. 

Honestly The Informer is starting to think the 2013 NFL Season is going to go down as the year of the scrub quarterback.

Speaking of scrubs; The Informer doesn’t know how the voting works, but if Bills head coach Doug Marrone is not the NFL Coach of the Year, The Informer will be flabbergasted. 

People can say all they want about Andy Reid in Kansas City, but the Bills coach has kept his team competitive while actually winning games this season, despite starting two rookies (One of them being the undrafted Jeff Tuel) and a guy who was a practice squad player during Week1.

What Marrone has done to keep the Bills competing is better than anything any other coach has done this season.

Just ask Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs who needed every possible break go their way to defeat the Bills 23-13. The Informer assures you the game was more in favor of Buffalo than the score would suggest.

Now despite Marrone’s team playing hard, the Chiefs moved to 9-0 heading into their bye week.

Kansas City’s next game will be in two weeks on Sunday Night Football against Manning and the Denver Broncos in a battle of the NFL’s best offense vs. best defense. 

In the words of former New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott, The Informer “CAN’T WAITT!!!”

One last question about the Chiefs: Did you know they have never been 10-0?

Is The Informer crazy, or is Drew Brees to Jimmy Graham the best 1-2 punch in the NFL. On Sunday Brees found Graham nine times for 116 yards with two of the catches resulting in touchdowns. On the season Graham now has 10 TD receptions in eight games.

If Graham keeps this pace he will easily become the second TE in NFL history to have over 15 TD receptions in a single season. Graham is also on pace to break New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski's NFL record of 17 TD receptions by a tight end. 

While Brees and Graham continued their record breaking ways on Sunday, they were not able to defeat Rex Ryan and the Jets in New York.

Thanks to a great defensive effort, the Jets were able to overcome Geno Smith's 115 yards and eight completion to beat the Saints 26-20.

With the victory, the Jets have now beaten the New England Patriots and the Saints in their last two homes games.

Not bad for a team that lost to the Cincinnati Bengals by forty points a week ago.

Also if Jets fans are wanting to look ahead; for the rest of the season the Jets only play one team (Carolina Panthers) that is currently above .500.

Just saying, at the beginning of the season many people (The Informer included) didn’t think the Jets would win four games total. Now thanks to two straight huge home wins, Ryan’s boys have a legitimate chance at the playoffs.

As the old Rowdy Rowdy Piper saying goes, “When you think you know all the answers, the NFL changes the questions.”

Hey did you all see Tom Brady finally decided to show up for the season yesterday? The Pats signal caller had his best game of the year throwing for 432 yards and 4 TD passes while leading the Patriots to a 55-31 victory over the not so vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers defense.

Did you know the Patriots 55 points is the most the Steelers have give up in the history of their franchise?

Leave it to Pittsburgh (The team New England beat in the AFC Championship game en-route to their first Super Bowl) to wake up the sleeping New England offense.
Before we move on, The Informer would like to thank C.J. Spiller, Chris Johnson (Scored his first rushing TD of the year) and Brady for their Week 9 efforts.

As a guy who used his first three picks in one of his fantasy football drafts on these players, The Informer is happy today because his team is no longer in jeopardy of going 0-16. Sure it took nine weeks for The Informer to get a win, but you know what they say: "Better late then never."

For those wondering, not getting your first fantasy football win until Week 9 because your three top picks are horrendous is reason number 562 The Informer hates fantasy football.

Can someone please remind the Minnesota Vikings that they have Adrian Peterson?

Yesterday with less than five minutes remaining in their 27-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota had the ball with a chance to try and run out the clock.

So what did the Vikings, who have the best running back in the NFL, do?

They threw two incomplete passes and ran one draw play before punting. On the ensuing drive Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo took advantage of the Vikings incompetence by driving his team down the field for the game winning touchdown. 

Honestly at this point it is almost as if the Vikings coaching staff is trying to get fired.

And don’t give me the tired excuse that the Cowboys were playing nine men in the box.  All anyone has to do is watch this Adrian Peterson touchdown run and you will know it doesn’t matter how many people are in the box; if you give Adrian Peterson the ball he can‘t be stopped.

Moving along: Did you all see the Cleveland Browns beat the Baltimore Ravens 24-18? The win was Cleveland's first over the Ravens since November 18th 2007. If you are scoring at home this was also the first time Joe Flacco has ever lost to Cleveland.

The "105-Million Dollar Man" is now 11-1 all-time against the Browns.

Sticking with Cleveland, The Informer watched this entire game and came away with two conclusions; the Browns are not a bad football team and there is nothing more terrifying as a Browns fan than to hear the words “Brandon Weeden is now warming up.”

The Informer has been rambling long enough. Why don’t we wrap up today’s article with Nine Things The Informer loved from Week 9 of the 2013 NFL Season.

9. To steal a phrase from mid-90s ESPN Sportscenter: “You can’t stop Case Keenum, you can only hope to contain him.”

The Texans new franchise QB threw three beautiful touchdown passes to the long forgotten Andre Johnson. Make no mistake about it all; Keenum is the “Real McCoy” in Houston.

8. Seriously Nick Foles had seven touchdown passes. NICK FOLES!!!

7. Adrian Peterson’s 11-yard touchdown run.

At one point AP was picked up off the ground, set back down and then the Vikings RB continued to fight off at least four Cowboys before diving into the end zone.

If you are an aspiring running back right now; watch film of that run and you will see the kind of determination it takes to be the best of the best.

6. Keenan Allen, the rookie WR for the Chargers, added 8 receptions 128 yards and a touchdown to his already impressive first year numbers. The former California Bear is currently number one on The Informer’s NFL Rookie of the Year watch list.

5. The Kansas City Chiefs Defense: Yes the Chiefs gave up 470 yards, but at the end of the day they scored two defensive touchdowns while stealing a victory in one of the toughest places to play in the NFL.

4. The Informer is really impressed with the way Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers have been taking care of business the last four weeks. If The Informer had to make a prediction right now he would be saying things like the Panthers will be playing January football.

3. It was really nice to see Romo actually come through in the fourth quarter. As a person who picked the Cowboys to win the NFC East, The Informer was extra elated when Romo hit Dwayne Harris for the game winning score with 35 seconds left.

2. The Informer does not care that the Bills lost, Jeff Tuel needs to be mentioned for his performance. The undrafted rookie out of Washington State made his first career start while leading his team to over 400 yards of offense against the best defense in the NFL.

1. We are ending this article the same way we began, with Andrew Luck.

Sunday night the Colts were on the road trailing last year's AFC South division champion by 18 points, but instead of hanging his head and  chalking up a loss to one very bad game; Luck continued to grind before eventually willing his team to victory.

For anyone who still has some doubts let The Informer make it very clear --Andrew Luck is the best young quarterback in the NFL.

Enjoy Monday Night Football everyone, The Informer likes the Green Bay Packers 29-20 over the Chicago Bears in a slug-fest.

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