02 wd0909 Optical Illusions 2 450x265 Week 11   Reflections and Illusions

The phrase “any given Sunday” was certainly evident this weekend.  Although they lost their respective games, the Cardinals, Jaguars, Browns and Panthers all came to play on the SAME Sunday, which is something you’ll probably never see me write again.

Is there any QB in the NFL who has been given less to work with than Mark Sanchez? The Jets WRs are not only lacking in talent, but they also fail to create separation on a regular basis and routinely run patterns on top of each other creating a spacing nightmare.  When you factor in the poor play of the offensive line, the inability of the coaching staff to actually “coach” and the addition of “Tebow-mania” – it’s amazing Sanchez doesn’t call a time out and simply curl up in the fetal position.

I’m pretty sure the Patriots absolutely love facing the Colts without Peyton Manning at QB. It’ll be interesting, however, to see if they still feel that way when Tom Brady is gone and Andrew Luck has a few years under his belt. And while we’re talking about the Colts, with the exception of Reggie Wayne, it sure seems like all the WRs on the Colts are about 5’2″, 140 lbs and lightning quick.

For all the offensive weapons the Dallas Cowboys have on their roster, how can they look so offensively inept for 3 quarters against a Cleveland Browns team missing their top cover corner (Joe Haden)?  The Cowboys seem to play with less heart more often than any other NFL team and that’s a direct reflection on HC Jason Garrett. While they may have gotten lucky Sunday, NFL games consist of 4 full quarters, not 2 or 3 quarters each week.

Calvin Johnson is amazing.  He battles against 3 defensive backs on almost every play and yet still finds a way to create space and be a game changer. If Matt Stafford would stop throwing passes side armed and flat footed, the Lions might actually win a few games. I’m not really sure what’s going on with Stafford, but I’m wondering if former Kansas City Royals pitcher Dan Quisenberry is now the quarterbacks coach for the Lions. For the youngsters out there saying, “huh?” just Google an image of Quisenberry’s famous side arm delivery and you’ll understand my thought process on Stafford’s poor throwing mechanics.

Well at least the Eagles found out that Nick Foles isn’t any better at ball security than Michael Vick.  No QB controversy in Philadelphia unless we’re talking about which QB gives the opposition a better chance to win.

I know if I’m on a team bound for the playoffs in the AFC, the last thing I want is to face Payton Manning and the Denver Broncos in the post season. The offense seems to be getting very comfortable with Manning at the helm and the Broncos are starting to play some very solid football on both sides of the ball.

BIG PERFORMERS

Justin Blackmon, WR Jaguars – Welcome to the NFL Justin Blackmon!  I’m glad you’re finally getting comfortable playing at the next level and exhibiting that trademark power which made you so tough to cover while at Oklahoma State. I just wish you could have told me you were going to blow things up and go for 7/236/1 against one of the toughest defenses in the league. It would have been nice to plug you into a few of my lineups after those 3/25/0 stinkers you’ve had.

Dez Bryant, WR Cowboys – The much maligned young receiving star of the Cowboys turned in a great performance posting a stat line of 12/145/1.  When Bryant is focused and healthy there are few WRs in the game who can physically dominate an opponent like Mr. Bryant. Consistency and commitment have been the big issues with Dez and hopefully we’re starting to see him turn the corner in those areas.

Andre Johnson, WR and Matt Schaub, QB Texans – The Texans found themselves in an unexpected shootout Sunday against the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars and that helped create an opportunity for Schaub and AJ to put up some gaudy offensive numbers. Matt Schaub threw for 527 yards and 5 TD’s and Andre Johnson torched a Jacksonville secondary for a stat line of 14/273/1.  I’m sure there are a few Arian Foster owners suffering from a little “pass happy” indigestion on Monday morning.

Robert Griffin III, QB Redskins – Washington’s rookie QB had his duel threat ability on full display again while dismantling the Philadelphia Eagles.  RG3 finished the day with 200 yards passing, 84 yards rushing and 4 passing TDs.

LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB Cardinals - ”The Hyphen” erupted for his second 100 yard rushing performance in his last 4 games. Finishing the game with 127 yards and a TD on the ground, Stephens-Howling was the lone offensive bright spot in a game that was kept close by a tenacious Arizona defense.

Disappearing Acts -

Dwayne Bowe, WR Chiefs – This one was injury related (neck), but it still stung owners who were counting on Bowe’s normal FF production.

Jerry Maclin, WR and DeSean Jackson, WR Eagles – DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin combined for 2 catches for 5 yards (both receptions by Jackson) against one of the worst pass defenses in the league. You can’t make this stuff up…..

San Diego Chargers offense – Even though the offense woke up late in the game, the Chargers were basically gawd awful for the first 3 1/2 quarters.  It’s time to clean house and I’m not talking about the players….HC Norv Turner, the rest of the coaching staff and GM AJ Smith all need to be sent packing.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR and Andre Roberts, WR Cardinals – Another example of lousy QB play destroying the value of a dynamic pair of WRs. John Skelton certainly wasn’t playing well for the Cardinals, but replacing him with rookie QB Ryan Lindley in the 2nd quarter wasn’t the answer. Lindley finished the day going 9 out of 20 for a pathetic 64 yards and he was even more inadequate than Skelton – if that’s even possible. Fitz and Roberts finished the day a combined 2/18/0.

Denarius Moore, WR Raiders – The Raiders’ undisputed WR #1 finished the day with 1 reception for 9 yards and Denarius also lost 5 yards on his lone rushing attempt.  The Raiders were trailing the Saints all day long and Carson Palmer was constantly looking to push the ball down the field, but sadly Moore was virtually nonexistent even with 7 targets.