Wednesday Morning QB (Week 9)

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The NFL is an ever evolving league where new trends are always being looked at to see if they can be used to get ahead. Earlier this year I wrote about one of these trends as the n0-huddle and hurry up offence took control quickly. The trend still continues and has been a big reason to why Peyton Manning has led the Denver Broncos to a great record in his comeback year. The hurry up is not the only way to get ahead of the rest though as a number of other teams are looking at a different way to win games. This other way is nowhere close to the hurry up as it looks back to the past for the future path. All of sports do this as they look to the past to find the next step in evolution. All sports are cyclical and so the past becomes the future quit often as players and teams use past players and teams to shape their games. This is what has been happening as the 2012 season moves on as old school football has begun to make itself known once again. The days of “three yards and a cloud of dust” are far gone as the passing game has become much more evolved. The NFL is more of a passing league now with QBs breaking records in every season at a rapid pace. As with any evolution in the NFL one side of the ball takes advantage but then is shut down quickly by the other side. The passing game is still a major part but teams are beginning to figure out different ways to stop the passing game. Defences are playing with five defensive backs more and teams are grabbing better defensive backs out of college. As a result the passing game is not as effective as it used to be and teams are looking for new ways to get through the tough defences. The hurry up is one way but another way is using the old technique of getting the defence off of their game. The best way to do this is to mix the offence up and not become one-dimensional. When an offence becomes one-dimensional it is easier to defend and so teams begin to change things in order to keep the defence on their toes. This means teams need to use the run game to balance out their offence as teams are beginning to move back to the balanced offence. The perfect example of this is the Chicago Bears who have quickly become the one of the best teams in the league with a solid run game. Matt Forte has been the solid piece of the Bears offence this year that has allowed Jay Cutler to get their passing game in order. With a more balanced attack it is harder for the defence to predict what the Bears are going to do from play to play meaning the chance for a broken play is much greater. The run game has been a big part to the Bears rise but it is something else that goes along with the rushing game and the shift back to old school football as the Bears defence has returned to the Monsters of the Midway with a bit of a twist. The Bears defence has been the main reason why they have been winning as the highest scoring defence in the league has carried the Bears. Rushing and defence were always the way to win in the NFL but have recently fallen to the side. The Bears are proving that this old pattern is not gone yet as they are using it to become one of the best teams in the NFL. The old way of doing things seems to be creeping back in as the Bears are showing that old school football still works. Still there are some changes as instead of all-out rushing teams the trend is moving to a balanced attack rather than purely running. The defence is also important to go along with the rush offence but it is not enough to stop opposing offences as scoring and forcing turnovers are the key to a great defence. It is yet another trend in the NFL as teams continue to adjust and readjust to find ways to win and for some it is working as teams continue to enter into the favorites in the second half.

 

Four Quarters
(Four Quick Thoughts on Week 9)

 

Inspiration for the Colts
The Colts took a big hit this year when their head coach was diagnosed with Leukemia but on Sunday the coach would come back briefly to inspire his team to another win and an amazing 433 yard performance by Andrew Luck before going back in to the hospital for another round of chemo

 

Saints can’t stay out of the Headlines
The Bounty Scandal continues to be on the minds of everyone as it continues to make headlines including this week when head coach Sean Payton learned that his contract extension would not be honoured by the NFL making him a free agent after his year-long suspension

 

Sandy Still Making an Impact
As people continued to clean up after Superstorm Sandy on the east coast the Giants took the field against the Steelers who would choose to take a flight on gameday in order to keep the hotel rooms open for those affected by the hurricane

 

Could the Bears be the Best?
The Atlanta Falcons are still undefeated but attention has begun to shift to the Midwest where the Bears defence is scoring more than some offences and helping the Bears to a great record making them a team to watch in the second half

 

Week 9 Players of the Week

 

AFC Players of the Week

AFC Offensive POW:
Andrew Luck, QB (Indianapolis Colts)
30/48
433 yds
2 TD
0 INT

 

AFC Defensive POW:
Ike Taylor, CB (Pittsburgh Steelers)

7 tkl
0 sck
1 INT
0 FF

 

AFC Special Teams POW:
Trindon Holliday, KR (Denver Broncos)

2 KR
56 avg
1 TD
105 lng

 

NFC Players of the Week

NFC Offensive POW:
Doug Martin, RB (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

25 rsh
251 yds
10.o4 avg
4 TD

 

NFC Defensive POW:
Brian Urlacher, LB (Chicago Bears)

7 tkl
0 sck
1 INT
1 FF
1 TD

 

NFC Special Teams POW:
Sherrick McManis, CB (Chicago Bears)

– Blocked Punt that was recovered for a TD

 

NFL Standings 

American Football Conference
AFC East:
1. New England Patriots (.625)
2. Miami Dolphins (.500)
3. New York Jets (.375)
4. Buffalo Bills (.375)
AFC North:
1. Baltimore Ravens (.750)
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (.625)
3. Cincinnati Bengals (.375)
4. Cleveland Browns (.222)
AFC South:
1. Houston Texans (.875)
2. Indianapolis Colts (.625)
3. Tennessee Titans (.333)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (.125)
AFC West:
1. Denver Broncos (.625)
2. San Diego Chargers (.500)
3. Oakland Raiders (.375)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (.125)

 

National Football Conference:
NFC East:
1. New York Giants (.667)
2. Philadelphia Eagles (.375)
3. Dallas Cowboys (.375)
4. Washington Redskins (.333)
NFC North:
1. Chicago Bears (.875)
2. Green Bay Packers (.667)
3. Minnesota Vikings (.556)
4. Detroit Lions (.500)
NFC South:
1. Atlanta Falcons (1.00)
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.500)
3. New Orleans Saints (.375)
4. Carolina Panthers (.250)
NFC West:
1. San Francisco 49ers (.750)
2. Seattle Seahawks (.556)
3. Arizona Cardinals (.444)
4. St. Louis Rams (.375)

 

Key Scores:
Chicago Bears 51 – 20 Tennessee Titans
– The Bears are beginning to put the entire league on notice as they continued their strong season led by the highest scoring defence in the league as the Bears are back to their base and looking like a real challenger

 

Carolina Panthers 21 – 13 Washington Redskins
– Two of the best young QBs faced off as Cam Newton looked to snap out of his sophomore slump while Robert Griffin III looked to continue his amazing rookie year and when all was set and done it was Newton who came out on top

 

Indianapolis Colts 23 – 20 Miami Dolphins
– The visit of Chuck Pagano to the Colts locker room before the game had an effect on the rookie QB as Andrew Luck threw for 433 yards, more than any other rookie ever, and led the team to another win in what looks like a promising season for the Colts

 

Pittsburgh Steelers 24 – 20 New York Giants
– The Giants were hoping to give their fans a much-needed win after Hurricane Sandy but it was not to be as a matchup of two 2004 draftees saw Ben Roethlisberger come out on top after the Steelers crazy single day of travel

 

Next Week:
Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers (November 11th; 1:00 pm EST)
– The Carolina Panthers are hoping that their win against the Redskins last Sunday is the spark they need to get their season back on track but they will be in tough against Peyton Manning who has been great in his comeback campaign

 

Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints (November 11th; 1:00 pm EST)
– The Falcons and the Saints have had a rivalry going for the last few years as both teams have fought for the AFC South and as the Saints are on the rise and looking to hand the Falcons their first loss of the season

 

Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles (November 11th; 4:25 pm EST)
– The Cowboys and Eagles are two of the most underachieving teams this year both with plenty of talent on paper but unable to translate it to the field as they face off in a game that could see plenty of turnovers that will determine the winner

 

Houston Texans vs. Chicago Bears (November 11th; 8:20 pm EST)
– The Chicago Bears are the new flavor of the month in the race to be the favorite and they will get a true test against the Texans as two great defences go up against each other to prove who the better team is on Sunday Night

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