So Lets look at some of the optimistic things because there were a lot of them
A. All S's get beaten. Rooke S's get beaten even more, but Tavon Wilson has proven to be a pretty good rookie Safety who has been force to take a lot of snaps and seems to be a good tackler with a nose for the ball, who already has 3 picks. Not bad for a rookie 2nd round pick that no knew his name. He's been much better than we had a right to expect.
B. Last week the haters were calling for Brandon Llyod's head for simply being exactly what we expected Brandon Lloyd to be. He doesn't get great separation. He doesn't have "over the top" speed. What we all hoped for was that he'd be better than the guy he replaced (Deon Branch)., with a different kind of skill set.......AND he has been. So even though things can only get better for him as the season goes on and he has more tme with Brady. Lloyd is on a pace to have880 yds in receptions and 6 TDs. That's a very good year for a guy who has to share balls with the likes Welker, Gronk, and Herandez
C. Steven Ridely is just 60 yds behind the top rusher in the league (currently 4th @ 716) This despite the fact he rarely gets more than 22 attempts per game
D. For all his catching prowess, I don't think the Gronk gets enough credit for his blocking. He is awesome at it, and I wouldn't trade him for Jimmy Graham and a high draft pick. It should be noted that in addition to being a great blocker and averaging over 1000 yps as a TE, Rob Gronkowski will likely to have scored more TD's in his first 3 years than ANY receiver in the history of the game by the end of the season.
E. More OL Kudos - Seb Volmer is simply one of the best RT's in the game, and if he remains healthy the rest of the season, the rest of the league will start to see him as such
Hard to believe that Donald Thomas was the same guy who was here for a cup of coffee and looked so bad last season, could be the same guy who has filled in so well starting 4 games and playing 3 different positions this one. All HAIL DANTE!
The same can be said for Ryan Wendell, who I've been on a campaign for 3 years trying to figure out why they kept him around. Remember all the talk this off season about drafting a Center early. And then assuming either Koppen or Connolley would get the job. Who would have thought that the too short, too light, Ryan Wendell would not only get the job, he'd begin to look good doing it.
F. I hope M Cole isn't seriously hurt. I think he's earned some of Sterling Moore's snaps in some sub packages. Every time you see him in coverage he's tight on his man.
G. Rob Ninkovich just keeps on, keepin' on. He's not only on track for a double digit sack season, he already has 4 forced fumbles a couple of fumble recoveries and a few passes defended. Not bad for a guy who gets no respect.
A. If there was one person I was hoping would NOT get injured today (aside from all the usual suspects), it would have been Ron Brace. I've seen from him the same kind of surprising explosiveness (albeit from a DT/NT) that we've seen from Cunningham, though on a much more limited basis due to his inability to stay on the field. So you can imagine my disappointment when he wound up on the field again, and then flexing his elbow on the sideline.
We've got to start to limit Vince's snaps for the playoffs, and Brace looked like he was going to be a guy who was ready to step up and take some of that load.
B. Every game Chandler Jones has a few plays that make you go....... WOW. Donta Hightower......not so much. Before his injury I thought he looked like he was ready to break out and make some impactful plays. Since he's come back, he's been pretty much invisible, like he was today. Nothing bad of course, just nothing memorable. Who would have thought back in May that it would be Jones making all the noise.
C. Given that I coached a long time and have a better knowledge of what I DON'T know than most, I really shouldn't be one to complain about the coaching, especially since I thought both Matt and Josh both had great games. I just found it frustrating that I almost had to scream myself hoarse calling for Josh to call more play action passes, and then hve them work so well when utilized today. "See Josh. It's a lot easier than you think if you let it be.":
And I screamed myself hoarse...again... with others, calling for more blitzes and stunts, which also worked so well today.
I guess what I'm saying here is "Its about FREAKIN' time guys". You shouldn't have to wait for dolts like me before you start calling more of this stuff. We have the 5th best rushing attack in the league. Play action is going to work. We have a too young and inexperienced secondary with injuries. We need to create some pressure. What's so hard about that. Common Sense, right?
Nice to see it finally happen, and nice to see it work out so well
a. If you ever wanted proof that total passing yards is a useless statistic- Mark Sanchez threw for only 20 fewer yards than Tom Brady on Sunday. Both had zero picks.
who would have thought that given the 2 scores
b. Old BC friend JoLon Dunbar had a great game today for the Ram Defense. They didn't make many big plays, but when they did, it was Dunbar who made them. Just someone to think about next off season.
c. Jim Nance's rather snide and constant negative remarks are starting to irritate me. Whenever he can throw in a dig at the Pats or cast them in a poor light he doesn't miss that opportunity. Its not like its overt, more like passive aggressive
You could sense his disappointment when replays showed CONCLUSIVELY that all those PI's being called on the Rams were MORE than legitimate calls, they were obvious calls. Yet he never missed the opportunity to make it seem like those calls were questionable and affected the game. Even when he was contradicting his partner, Phil Sims.
At some point BB must have pissed him off
d. The Giants have to be the luckiest good team in the league. They have escaped a few time already this season, and after having the Cowboys gift them a 23-0 lead to start the game, they had to come from behind again at the end of the game, despite more inexplicable gifts from Dallas. Jerry Jones has to fire that HC.....or QB.......or himself.
BTW- remember the next time you want to berate our defense, the Giant's D, with all those stars on the DL and in the defensive backfield, is averaging just 12 fewer yds than ours. I wonder when Bert Breer's article on the demise of the Giants is coming out.
e. Did ever a team look more dead in the water at the start of the season than the Miami Dolphins. A new coach. A rookie QB. a bad draft class A joke of GM. A bigger Joke of an owner Out laughing stock the Jets (hard to do) during Hard Knocks. It didn't look good.
Actually its hard to think of a team that looked worse since the 2001 NE Patriots, when in May of that year, Pro FootballWeekly called them the LEAST likely team to reach a super bowl in the next 5 years......oops
So I think its time to acknowledge what a nice job Joe Philbin has done in the first half of the season. That his GM isn't the total dolt we thought he was (though his owner still is), and to recognize they they are a mere half game behind us in the AFCE and playing their best football of the season.....AND we have 2 more games with them.
I know its hard to take them seriously, but we should. They look like they are building a griitty, physical club who will have 4 very winable game next month, while our next 3 are equally winnable. That should make it a very interesting December since we play them twice in the last 5 weeks
OK. Let the bye week begin. Nothing much to do the next 2 weeks get the team HEALTHY, and have us continue to b!tch and moan about everything.