Vince Wilfork is done for the season, the Saints expose the Dolphins, and Kiko Alonso performing just as Ryan Bradley predicted. Week 4 of the NFL Diary.
For the most part, the 2013 season has been filled with inconsistencies and with them amusing shotgun reactions from professional analysts. It’s impossible to use a single game analysis to predict a full season. Especially in the first half of the season. We have five undefeated teams left. Does that mean the Patriots, Chiefs, Saints, Seahawks, and Broncos are the best five teams in the NFL? Hardly.
For their part the Patriots look like they are starting to gel, but another key injury, this time to Vince Wilfork, could be hard to overcome. The Seahawks have looked rough in weird moments, the Chiefs are playing on pure emotion, and the Saints are rebounding from last season’s disaster of a year. The only team that has looked solid pretty much from beginning to end of every game is Denver. And I’ve been a vocal doubter. Mostly because I have a hard time seeing them stay healthy. We’re far from the end of the season, so there’s a lot to be seen.
The Dolphins were exposed against New Orleans. If the offensive line can’t protect Tannehill, you can bet his sophomore season will go downhill real quick.
Jay Cutler looked like the apathetic mistake prone quarterback we’ve all come to know and… well… expect. Again, you can’t judge these things on a single game. But if past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, games like Cutler had against Detroit have to have Bears fans a little nervous.
The Cowboys continue to play the game of not being able to fire on all cylinders. Romo has had his best start to a season in his career, but the defense let him down something fierce in San Diego.
It’s early, but having predicted he’d be an impact rookie, I can’t help mentioning that Kiko Alonso on the Bills is looking not only like a Defensive Rookie of the Year so far, but even a Defensive MVP. Through four games he has 32 tackles (19 solo), a sack, four interceptions, one fumble forced, and one recovered. He leads the team in tackles and interceptions from the Middle Linebacker position.
The Bengals lost a head-scratcher to the Browns. I don’t even know what to say about that.
After getting run over (literally) two weeks in a row, every team the Rams play might go with a run first, pass never offense.
Four teams are playing chicken with the “time to play for next season” line in the sand. The Steelers, Giants, Buccaneers, and Jaguars are all winless through four games. If any of them have a chance at breaking even this season it’s probably New York, but their locker room is starting to fragment, which is never a good sign. Coach firings may be on the horizon for all these teams.
And your Eli Manning update? He’s thrown for six touchdowns, nine interceptions, and lost two fumbles. His passer rating this season (69.1) is 28th out of the 34 quarterbacks who have played so far. The biggest question on my mind is what would it take for Eli to be benched. And if he were to be benched, would the Giants go with Curtis Painter or begin rebuilding with Ryan Nassib (who in the long run may turn out to be one of the steals of the 2013 draft).
Photo: AP/Bill Wippert