Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Football Roundup: Good, Bad, and Ugly

Empty seats, another loss and a really stupid joke. This picture pretty much sums up the Jags as a franchise.
 By Jeremy Conlin (@jeremy_conlin) and Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Every week, editors Jeremy Conlin and Joe Parello bring you the good, the bad, and the ugly from the pro and college football weekend that was.

The Good

Demaryius Thomas

If you had him on your fantasy team, or you played against him, you know what I'm talking about. Thomas shook off any thoughts that Emmanuel Sanders might be Peyton Manning's new favorite target, grabbing eight balls for 226 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Going over the 200-yard plateau is one thing, but averaging over 28 yards per catch is certainly another. Thomas is Denver's most explosive option and if he gets going, with as well as Sanders has clicked with Manning, it could be another historic season in the Mile High City.


The Patriots Don't Suck!

I'm just going to keep jumping on and off the bandwagon until the end of the season.

After one of the worst losses in the Brady/Belichick era, the Patriots did what they always seem to do - lay the smackdown after a loss. They seemed to find a combination on the interior of their offensive line that works - Jordan Devey and Marcus Cannon were kicked to the curb (or, at the very least, relegated to only being used for running/playaction sets) and Ryan Wendell and Dan Connolly held strong at guard. Rob Gronkowski looked vaguely healthy, and Tim Wright made his first real contributions - expect more from him in the coming weeks.

New England has two reasonably easy games coming up - at Buffalo and home for the Jets on a Thursday night, but their schedule turns ugly after that - Chicago, Denver, bye, at Indianapolis, Detroit, at Green Bay, at San Diego. The Pats will need to use this win, and hopefully their next two games, to build some momentum to springboard themselves for Weeks 8-14.


The Bad

Alex Henery

It was a rough day for Henery, who's two-week stint with the Lions couldn't have gone much worse. He was signed to replace rookie Nate Freese, whom the Lions cut three weeks back. His 1-2 debut against the Jets was nothing special, but the bottom fell out Sunday against a Bills team starting Kyle Orton at quarterback.

Henery's 0-3 performance in a three point late game loss crushed the Lions, as he twice had the chance to extend a 14-3 lead to two full touchdowns, then missed a late fourth quarter field goal that would have given Detroit the lead with just a minute to play.

Henery's streak of 22 consecutive field goals made way back in 2012 now seems like a distant memory, and it will be interesting to see if he ever gets another chance after Sunday's stinker, inside a dome, no less.


Top-Ranked Football Teams

Four NFL division leaders lost in Week 5, but the real shocker was No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, and No. 6 of the college ranks all falling. The solace that each of those teams can take away from the ordeal is that they lost early in the season, and that they aren't alone. Let's be honest here - it's much more likely that Alabama wins out than Ole Miss. And it's more likely that Oregon wins out than Arizona. So even though those teams hold head-to-head wins over their more prestigious rival, a loss later in the season would drop them below the team they beat, in all likelihood.

Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn, Texas A&M, and Alabama are all in the SEC West, which means they all play each other eventually if they haven't already. It seems more likely than not that the SEC West champion will have TWO losses come the first weekend in December. Will a two-loss team be able to make the playoff? What if Florida State and Baylor run the table, Michigan State's only loss is on the road at Oregon, and Oregon rights the ship for a one-loss Pac-12 title? Could the SEC be conceivably shut out, despite having a good argument that the conference has five of the best ten teams? It's gonna get weird.


The Ugly

Jaxson de Ville (the Jags mascot pictured above)



Florida Gator Quarterbacks

Gator freshman quarterback Treon Harris came in for the benched Jeff Driskel and led Florida to 10 straight points in a comeback 10-9 win over Tennessee Saturday, then was promptly arrested for sexual assault several hours later in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Putting all the "I knew he had Jameis Winston potential" jokes aside, the social media reaction from my Gator fan friends really shows just how disappointed they are with Driskel. Most are saying "I just can't see Driskel start another game!"

So, after everyone raised a huge fuss about Ray Rice getting a lenient punishment from the NFL, all it takes is poor quarterback play for die-hards to completely exonerate someone accused of sexual assault, provided he is an upgrade under center.

Yeah, sounds about right.


Brady Hoke's Job Security

I think I'm just going to keep posting this every week. Hoke and the Wolverines lost to Rutgers, falling to 2-4 on the year. With Penn State and a trip to Michigan State looming, Michigan could very well have to win four in a row, including a road game against Ohio State, just to go bowling in Detroit.

Yeah, he's already fired, I don't know why he's still on campus.


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