Over Reaction Monday, An Analysis of Week 1 In The NFL

Posted: September 10, 2012 in NFL

I think it’s funny that people don’t want to consider environments – everybody can sing in the shower, everybody can sing in front of grandma but now go sing in front of Simon Cowell, judges, huge crowds, national television exposure…not so easy now is it? Lots of smart people go on Jeopardy, fly out to LA, TV lights, pressure, two other smart people and that creepy Trebek guy “I was so much better at home when answering all these questions” Consider environment! You train for a marathon, the weather will dictate performance, 30 degrees and humid? You’re not going to have a personal best.

Yet Monday morning “oh my heavens RG3 is amazing and all those other rookie quarterbacks are losers” the rookie quarterbacks were 1-4 on Sunday, 4TD’s with 11 INT. RG3 looked good I thought, but he did face the WORST defense of the 5 rookie QB’s. His first 6 passes – I don’t believe any were past the line of scrimmage. He has a great head coach who leads the NFL, amongst active coaches, in Week #1 game wins. He has a great running game and again, he faced a mess of a franchise in the Saints as they were the 24th ranked defense last year, have a new defensive coordinator, don’t have their smartest player in Jonathan Vilma – who’s also their team leader, all the distractions of New Orleans. Listen, I thought RG3 looked really good but everyone thought that RG3 was already going to be a nice player in the NFL. Like nobody thought the guy was going to be a bust!

But Andrew Luck faced the Bears with no running game and a franchise that’s basically starting over. Russell Wilson faced a super hyper aggressive Arizona defense, Brandon Weeden faced Philadelphia’s defense ranked 8th in the NFL last year and Tannehill faced Houston’s defense which ranked 2nd last year. You gotta consider environments!! You have to consider: who are you playing against? Who are you playing with? I mean Mark Sanchez on Sunday for my Jets outplayed Aaron Rodgers of the Packers, but why would that be? Well because Sanchez faced the Bills, no NFL team has allowed more quarterbacks to post a quarterback rating of 90 in the last 2 years than the Bills. Jason Campbell had a 92 quarterback rating against the Bills. Matt Moore in 2 games had a 98…it’s the Bills!! I like what Sanchez did – I really did, but they will not score that many points for the rest of the year! By the way, Aaron Rodgers is the only reason Green Bay didn’t get crushed! Aaron Rodgers did not play poorly. I got news for you; nobody in the NFL this year is going to go 30 of 44 for 300 yards against San Francisco’s defense except Aaron Rodgers. That defense San Francisco has is not just the best; it is easily the best in the league. They are great at linebacker, they are tremendous up front, amazing in the secondary, probably have the 2nd best coach after Belicheck in the sport! Who are you playing against?  What’s the environment? Everybody can sing in front of grandma!! But can you sing in front of Simon Cowell, judges, on national television and eight thousand people? Consider the environment, the opponent, and the help your getting.

Listen, RG3 is going to be a really good player, but he faced a bad defense, a new defensive coordinator with that bad defense, they were missing the team leader Jonathan Vilma, they had a horrendous offseason and recently even got displaced because of a hurricane. Listen, Tom Jackson made a great point with Stuart Scott talking about the difference between RG3 in what he has and what Andrew Luck has saying “ Robert Griffin III had how many running plays for his team? It was 44! How many running plays did Andrew Luck have? He had 15! So when we start talking about protection of a young quarterback just beginning his career, we’re talking about a guy who is not protected by his scheme and not protected by enough talent around him. So if we’re going to make him successful, we got to give him a chance by running the football…play action pass does not work if you don’t run the football” Exactly! Andrew Luck was facing a great defense with no running game on a team that is basically starting over with a rookie head coach, that’s certainly a different ball game folks! I think RG3 is going to have a nice year but in the last 10 weeks, what do you bet that RG3 doesn’t post those big glossy numbers? Wanna read who they play? @ Giants, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, @ Dallas, Giants, Ravens, @ Eagles…think those numbers come down a little bit? Again, consider the environment!

By the way, I gotta give it up to Jay Cutler – there are some things you can draw from Week 1, I mean San Francisco was obviously very good last year and seems as if they haven’t missed a beat as their defense is absolutely incredible! The Giants lost to the Cowboys, but they’re going to be fine…you can’t get too crazy. But my favourite outcome from this past weekend – and I always try to make it a theme of my blog, the difference between true fan and smart fan. Lot of guys call radio shows saying “I’m a true fan” that really means nothing, I ask you to be a smart fan – and I think most of my audience is. But you always hear that guy saying “I never stopped screaming during the entire game…” but you should! You shouldn’t scream the whole game. If you’re a smart fan, and many of you are, when your team has the ball…be quiet because you’re hurting your team!  Jay Cutler had a great afternoon: 300+ yards, a couple of TD’s, but the first time they got into the redzone, at home, he couldn’t hear because the Bear crowd was so loud and Jay Cutler took it upon himself to come out and say this after the game “Please, please, please let’s tone it down a little bit when we’re down at the 20. You’re more than welcome to yell and scream and do whatever you want to do after we score. But please, let’s go ahead and quiet the stadium down and save it for after we score, thank you. Hopefully you guys put that out for the next home game” True fan does nothing for his team, smart fan helps his team. It’s all about winning games!

  1. Mike Crack says:

    I agree. The NFL is about matchups. The Saints D is garbage, but it is impressive what Griffin was able to do. Though it is true, he had a lot of help from the run game and the YAC. I think what was most impressive was his poise in the pocket, especially in that dome, where no team has come out victorious in awhile. I think the Redskins D should be given more props, though…Still, the Saints are hardly a defensive measuring stick.

    LOL….That Bills talk makes me sad.

    Yeah. The Indy Colts fans were some of the smartest fans in the world, It was like a library sometimes when Peyton went to the line of scrimmage.

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