Preseason week 3 Overreactions
Can you smell that? No I am not referring to that spectacular odor emitting from your trousers after last night’s burrito festival, I am referring to ever approaching NFL regular season. This past weekend featured the best week of preseason football that we’ll get, the “dress rehearsal” for week 1 where we really got to see what our favorite teams are made of. Some appear to be made of gold, others a smelly combination of those things you found in the back of the fridge at the end of each college semester, but one thing is for sure- in two weeks this will all be for real. So let’s get right to it.
Our loser of the week and quite possibly the regular season is the Buffalo Bills. I can say with some level of certainty now that we’ve seen the Bills play a full four preseason games that this is definitely not their year, maybe next, but definitely not this. EJ Manuel was terrible and the Bills’ offense is so boring that even though I was prepared and had the game on from the beginning, I still had to watch it again on replay because I was unable to stay awake of the first half. It was fairly painful watching EJ rifling balls into the feet or well behind the intended receiver. In fact, the only ball that was really well thrown was the one that ended in an interception because Scott Chandler decided that would be an opportune time to tie his shoelaces. The rest of the offense does not matter, the NFL is now a passing league and if your QB is not at a minimum competent, you are screwed. On the defensive side of the ball we did see a little more hope, but it seems that Jim Schwartz is implementing his rules on discipline, so you can bet the D will suck before long.
Next up we have the Jets. The Jets actually played fairly well in the first half, Geno threw a TD pass that was no doubt intended for the guy who caught it and it really does look like he might be showing some signs of improvement. A couple more years of steady increase and he might be a competent QB yet. The biggest issue for the Jets on offense will be whether or not Woody can get some of the J&J researchers to grow extra fingers for the team’s wide receivers. If the technology isn’t ready, or the NFL frowns upon this idea (but why would they, it would mean more offense?) the Jets are screwed on offense- Tom Brady can make incompetent WRs look good, Geno Smith cannot. As always the defense looks like something Rex Ryan thought up. They’ve got quick feet and swarm to the ball at every given opportunity. Maybe if they finally find Dimitri Patterson wandering up and down the Garden State Parkway this defense could hold the jets in a few more games than many would like to give them credit for.
Now we have the winners. Well we have to call them that because of the final score, but the Fins don’t look like winners to me. The offense is still average at best with the Tannchize at the helm (it might be time to ask a little Moore of them…) and no matter what Miko says, that defense is far from great. It’s good to see that the blame game has started up whenever Tannehill throws an interception. I really think that Mike Wallace might officiate the ceremony when Ryan and Lauren renew their vows, and that his completion % is hovering right around the Mendoza line. All this may be true, but Plastic Joe found a way to motivate his team and willed them to victory, as long as the Fins have that kind of steady leadership at the top, I see no limit for this team.
And now for what you are really waiting for- The New England Patriots look like they are in early season form. The Pats came out a little slowly, but after a couple of adjustments they made the Panther look like the tame house cats that they really are. The offense was a joy to watch, Shane Vereen scored two touchdons and has not yet been placed on IR and it really looks like Tom Terrific trust Thompkins. It’s been a long time since a Patriots WR has a ball bounce off his face then Brady goes right back to him on the next play. As for the backups, Jimmy Football is going to make all those folks who have been saying, “You Pats fans just wait until Brady retires,” awfully pissed. We also got another glimpse of why Bill Belichick is the best coach in the NFL and why everyone else still has so far to go to catch him. Brady got sacked early on and so Bill elected to put in Mallett in the first quarter. Now, many Pats fans decided that was a good time to kill themselves; fearing Brady was injured, but no it was just Bill messing with the Mallett having him get up on a moment’s notice. Now to the defense, I said last week that the next time Chandler Jones beats his man clean and gets a sack it would be the first time. Well now we’ve seen not only the first time, but also the second- Jones actually did this on third down as well. He looked dominant, something that I certainly did not think he was capable of. Now the linebackers are looking good; Mayo was out, but Jamie Collins is a beast and was still able to break Cam in half. The secondary looks like the crème de la crème on this defense, shutting down everyone on the Panthers (with the exception of future HoFer Kelvin Benjamin) and creating time for the line to get a few extra coverage sacks this year (if Chandler Jones read this he’d be required to stay seated for a half hour).
There you have it, once again we have one good team and three dogs in this division. We’re getting ever closer to games that count and the “Overreaction Prediction Special” stay tuned.