Posts Tagged ‘ Matthew Stafford ’

The Best & Worst of Week 11

It’s NFL Wednesday, and it’s time to kick this day off with the Best & Worst of Week 11. Send all NFL related questions to thesportsexpress@gmail.com, post them on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/thesportsxpress, or on the Facebook fan page here:

This week had some great moments. Two of the worst teams are on the best side, and the whole AFC North is on the duds for this week. And it took two years for this ordeal to happen? What am I talking about? Just stay tuned and find out.

THE BEST

Brett Favre- Many people thought that the offseason drama that he caused about retiring and unretiring (again) would result in the same disaster that was the New York Jets. Instead it has been the opposite. Favre had the highest completion percentage of his career (88%) completing 22/25 passes and four touchdowns. This season, he has 21 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions. The Vikings were at 10-6 team before he signed. Now they are on the verge of a potential Super Bowl trip and Brad Childress can thank him for his contract extension that he received.

The Cleveland Browns & Detroit Lions- The Browns and Lions played the best, and most entertaining game of the season and week. It was filled with drama, excitement, and the toughness displayed by Matthew Stafford after a time out was called (see worst of the week: Eric Mangini) was simply amazing. Stafford’s five touchdowns were the most by a rookie QB in 72 years (Ray Buivid did this for the Chicago Bears in 1937). The Browns showed more offense in this game than they have all season long. Brady Quinn was impressive, throwing for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. Who knew that the worst can bring out the best?

The Kansas City Chiefs- The Chiefs stayed in the game throughout against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it’s always said when a good team (and World Champions) plays a team that has struggled and not seen great times, and the bad team hangs in the whole game, they start to believe. The Chiefs started to believe and wanted the game more, and they showed in their overtime win. Has anyone noticed that this team is now 2-0 without Larry Johnson on the team? The Chiefs, Lions, and Oakland Raiders all won on the same day for the first time since September 30th, 2007.

THE WORST

The AFC North: The Bengals (with the aforementioned Larry Johnson) lost to the Raiders, in which they gave up the game and blew a seven point lead in the closing moments. The Steelers lost to the Chiefs, the Ravens came up short against the Colts, missing huge opportunities to capitalize off three Colts turnovers and a missed field goal by Billy Cundiff made the difference again. The Browns lost to the Lions, which was made by a bad decision by…..

Eric Mangini: Mangini is on here for a couple of reasons: 1. Your team is up 24-3, in the first quarter, you had to just coach up your defense, tell your coordinator to do something… the secondary just was flat, and Stafford torched them for 422 yards. 2. This was the real thing here: you suffered a terrible pass interference call on Hank Poteat, and the red hot Stafford is out of the game w/ a shoulder injury. The ice cold Daunte Culpepper enters the game, and “Man-genius” decided to call a timeout. For what?!?! This allows Stafford to enter the game with one arm and find Brandon Pettigrew for the GW touchdown. Too bad this is his last season in Cleveland. There’s no way he stays after this one.

Kris Brown: For the second straight game, against a DIVISION opponent, and to top this off, this is a HUGE rivalry game for your team, the Houston Texans. The score once again, was 20-17. And you missed for the second straight game. These two misses from the last original Texan has hurt this team, and they really could be looking at 7-3 instead of 5-5. The rope has to be getting tighter for the normally reliable kicker. Tough week for him indeed.

THE BEST OF THE WORST

Brady Quinn: Fellow blogger, The NFL Chick, said it best: He can throw a pass for more than eight yards. Quinn was very efficient on Sunday, going 21-33 for 304 yards and the four touchdowns to zero interceptions, giving him a QB rating of 133.1, which is very good. He was poised in the pocket, and this should really boost his confidence for the next game. Too bad his game was overshadowed by the dumb decisions of his head coach and the defensive side of the ball.

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NFC North Preview- Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions were a mess in 2008.

They tried… they really did try, especially down the stretch.

But they lived in infamy. The Lions set the lowest point for NFL futility by going 0-16. The first time in NFL history since the schedule went to 16 games that a team lost all their games that season.

But with a new coach, and a new QB both in their first year, the Lions will look to right the ship. The Lions altered their logo, not really a change like they claim, but it is a symbol of a new beginning, and Detroit looks to reverse the futility that has plagued this franchise for many years. With the Pistons, Tigers, and Red Wings all having success in MoTown, it’s the Lions that want the same.

Daunte Culpepper is the starting QB right now, but if he is going to be hurt, expect Matthew Stafford to be ready to go in the wings. The focal point of this offense will be Calvin Johnson at WR, and then they have a decent running game in second year running back Kevin Smith. If the Lions can get a second threat at WR, whether by Tight End, or at WR, it would be helpful. Scott Linehan, former Rams coach, is the offensive coordinator, and it is a plus that he worked with Daunte Culpepper in Minnesota. Head Coach Jim Schwartz has a great situaiton, simply because Culpepper is in the second year of his two year deal, and Stafford can sit out and learn the offense and the ways of the NFL. By this time next year, he’ll be even more ready.

On defense, expect different looks from Detroit. They run a 4-3, but Schwartz will do with this team like he did as defensive coordinator in Tennessee with the Titans and give opponents different looks and blitz packages. With new additions Julian Peterson and Larry Foote from Seattle and the defending champion Pittsburgh, respectively. These guys will bring leadership to the locker room. The Lions gave up 517 points last season… that’s an average of 32.3 PPG. Gunther Cunningham, the new defensive coordinator will preach discipline, but his Chiefs teams gave up numerous points during the early 2000s under Dick Vermeil.

There’s nowhere to go but up after an 0-16 season. Detroit has the Dolphins 1-15 turnaround and Atlanta’s revival in the post-Vick era to look upon for inspiration. The Lions will definitely win plenty of games, but not right away. Next year they will definitely be a wild card team.