You might remember around this time last year the Patriots were basically in a giant sinkhole. Having just been pasted 41-14 by Kansas City on Monday Night Football, people were starting to believe that maybe the whole thing should just be blown up. Brady was done they said. Bring on Garoppalo. Some teams would kill to be 2-2, but for the Pats, this was evidence their dream run was over.
Since then they basically went crazy. Brady has been playing QB as well as anyone in history. They won a Super Bowl, and are 3-0 to start this season.
The message here is you’ve got to have chill.
Just how well have the Pats been going? Well pretty close to as good as anyone ever, including their 2007, almost undefeated side. But before you get carried away check out this Bill Barnwell piece in Grantland. The 2002 Patriots side also started hot before tailing off. They didn’t make the playoffs.
The Pats made it 3-0 this week making the Jags look silly. The Packers have also started 3-0 and Aaron Rodgers destroyed the Kansas City defence to the tune of 5 touchdowns. The Seahawks broke their duck pantsing the awful Bears.
Our newest member of the top 5 is the Arizona Cardinals, who obliterated the San Francisco Haynes 49ers 47-7. We’re naturally sceptical of the Cards because they depend on the health and good play of QB Carson Palmer, who hasn’t really managed to do either right since 2006.
Baltimore are officially a fringe side in our top 5 after losing yet another close one to the Bengals, who might actually be good. The Broncos will go as far as Peyton’s arm, but at the moment we’re not convinced that’s very far. The Colts are crud, largely because they have an awful, awful offensive line.
Da Bears (Are Awful)
Bears fans got their wishes when Jay Cutler missed last Sunday’s game with a torn hamstring. And of course, the Bears responded by getting hammered 26-0. Cutler’s replacement, former first-round pick Jimmy Clausen, proved his worth, going 9 for 17 for 63 yards and is already copping it from the local media.
Tom Brady narrative watch
Current Narrative: Scorched earth
It’s a weird concept that Brady would suddenly be playing well because he was cranky about the league dragging his name through the mud. Brady has done this before without any particular incentive. It’s more the pace at which he’s getting the ball out at the moment than his desire for revenge – under 2 seconds with the ball before passing. Lightning!
People Being Cranky Cos the Pats are Better Than Them
Roger Goodell Performance Rating
Rating: Very appealing
Roger has decided enough is enough and the NFL will appeal the decision that had his decision on under-inflated balls overthrown. It won’t be heard until 2016.
Oh Roger. And you were doing so well for a little bit there.
Players I love
Not so much players this week as plays. Check out this fake punt return. Basically the returning team pretends the ball is going to one side of the field when it’s really going to the other. It works because the coverage is more focused on the returner, and trying to avoid getting smashed by someone in the process of getting to the returner. You don’t normally start looking for the ball unless someone starts yelling about a shank.
The NFC East
The Giants beat the Washingtons by being marginally less awful than them. The Eagles beat the Jets because Ryan Fitzpatrick forgot he was throwing to the dudes in mostly white with a bit of green, rather than the dudes in mostly green with a bit of white. Dallas were admirable in losing to the Falcons. Without Romo and Bryant, Dallas are going to admirably lose a lot from here out.
The Raiders are officially moving out of the bottom five because Amari Cooper is very, very good.
So for the remaining residents.
The Browns lost to the Raiders. The Washingtons lost because a) Kirk Cousins is not that crash hot at football and b) their running game never got going. Matt Jones looks like a lot of fun though. The Jags will hope that no one puts 50 on them again soon, but god knows it could happen as soon as this week against Andrew Luck.
And our two newest residents of the bottom 5. The Bears were always going to be bad. But they had some excellent skill position players (such as WR Alshon Jeffrey and RB Matt Forte) that we assumed would get them a couple of Ws. At 0-3, with a weak defence it’s not looking good.
The New Orleans Saints are everyone’s second team. We’ve always had a soft spot for Drew Brees because of the the role he played in Nawlins’ reconstruction. But he’s out injured for a bit, and the team has done an awful job rebuilding on the fly. They’re weak in defence, can’t run the ball and Brees is getting old. Bad times ahead we think. And it was bad times last weekend in their loss to the Panthers.
Jarryd Hayne Watch
It was a quiet day for for the Hayne Plane Train on account of the fact that his QB kept throwing the ball away. On the plus side, PUNT RETURN!
And the Australian continues to cover itself in glory.
This Week In Songs Tenuously Linked to Football – Harry Connick JR “City Beneath the Sea”