Two Completely Different Teams
I’m not one to say that a team should start to panic after only four games, but it might be getting close to that with the New Orleans Saints. Yes, I did predict them to make it to Super Bowl 49 before the season started and no I’m not changing my pick. There is still time to fix their problems with a division that doesn’t seem to have a lot of competition. What I saw from them on Sunday night was quite amazing. They were beat on both sides of the line of scrimmage by the Dallas Cowboys. Their secondary looked lost and they couldn’t bring DeMarco Murray down until he got to the end zone. Another problem for the Saints has been the running game. With the loss of Mark Ingram who has a broken bone in his hand, they can’t seem to keep opposing defenses honest. They play the pass almost every play and don’t expect Pierre Thomas or Khiry Robinson to do any damage. Also trading away Darren Sproles in the offseason looks worse and worse with each passing week. As for the Cowboys, this is a wait and see moment for them. It was an impressive win considering that their defense wasn’t expected to keep the Saints to only 17 points. The long term outlook is positive, but when playing in the NFC East I have always had trouble figuring out which team will show up. I can’t expect the Saints to continue their downfall and the Cowboys will hit a rough patch. It’s to be expected.
As with the Saints and their troubles a lot of Green Bay Packers fans’ were worried heading into Week 4. Why I have no idea. You have one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL albeit playing with a pourous offensive line once again. Yes, the defense isn’t above par, but their division opponents don’t have great defenses either. Aaron Rodgers simply said to his fans, “relax”. Little did they know that he would throw 4 touchdown passes against their arch rivals the Chicago Bears. One touchdown, which was reverted due to a penalty, was the most amazing play I’ve seen so far this year (Video Link). Rodgers under pressure and hit as he threw just seemed to fling the ball in the direction of receiver Davante Adams who caught the ball in the end zone with little effort. If Rodgers can make plays like that then I have no problem in thinking that the Packers will be just fine. So goes Rodgers, so go the Packers. They just need to do a better job of keeping him upright.
Yes, I was singing the Steelers praises last week after they beat the Carolina Panthers. Now I’m not going to start back tracking on that. They are still a good team, but they need to get back to what was working for them in the game against Carolina, running the football. Yes, Ben Roethlisberger had a great game with 3 touchdown passes and over 300 yards passing. Where was the running game. Le’Veon Bell had trouble with only 63 yards on 19 carries, but LeGarrette Blount only had 4 carries. They was some balance against Carolina with Roethlisberger not having to do everything. What happened with taking that into the next game? Obviously having 13 penalties for 125 yards didn’t help the Steelers cause. Mike Tomlin wasn’t too happy after the game and with good reason. For Pittsburgh it’s best they had this wake up call now instead of late in the season when a playoff spot was on the line.