5 Lessons I Learned During Week 6
1. The New York Giants are the Champions for a good reason. Every time we expect them to lose, they go out and prove us wrong. The latest example was their game Sunday vs. San Francisco 49ers, my preseason pick for NFL Champions. After the 49ers outscored their previous two opponents by a combined score of 79-3, they were licking their chops to pay back the Giants from last year’s thrilling NFC Championship game. The Giants were traveling across the country, banged up in the secondary and facing a 49er team clicking on all cylinders. Well, 149 rushing yards and 3 Alex Smith interceptions later, the Giants proved to still be the best. The scary part of this game for San Fran was the Giants biggest weapon, Eli Manning, wasn’t even needed to defeat the 49ers. Looking forward for the playoff rematch, though I’m not sure the 49er faithful can say the same as they lick their wounds.
2. Even though I wrote that the Packers aren’t as good as we all expected coming into the year, Aaron Rodgers told me and all his critics to shut his mouth. After throwing 6 TDs and 338 yards against one of the best defenses in the league, Rodgers reminded us all that he is currently the best pure passer in the game. After the Packers lost a tough game to the Indianapolis Colts a week prior, Rodgers was needed by his team and lifted them up. The Houston Texans were undefeated headed into the game and they were hosting their first ever Sunday night football game as a franchise. Mr. Rodgers came into their neighborhood and stepped on their throats right away. At first glance I was leaning towards thinking that Houston might not be as good as we thought, but after watching the game in it’s entirety, it is clear that when Aaron Rodgers is on his game, he is impossible to defend. Green Bay Packer fans were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief.
3. Robert Griffin III is the most exciting player in the league. A week after being knocked out with a concussion in only his 5th NFL game, the “experts” around the league were all advocating the RG3 stops scrambling and slides more. Griffin’s response was to rush 13 times for 138 yards and 2 TDs, including a 76 yard dash through the solid rush defense of the Minnesota Vikings. RG3 also completed 17 passes in 22 attempts for 183 yards and another TD. The Redskins are 3-3 and only 1 game behind the first place New York Giants heading into their match-up with the Champs this weekend. The craziest part of the Griffin 76 yard run was the 4.0 seconds it took him to run the final 40. At the NFL combine, the fastest runners will clock in around 4.2-4.3 with no pads on! RG3 was in full pads, looked back twice at the defensive players in pursuit and was a good 20 yards ahead of the field as he crossed the goal line. Even though many people want him to throw more and run less, I don’t think that most Redskin fans would agree after his latest performance.
4. Andrew Luck and RG3 have gotten most of the credit as the top Rookie QBs in this year’s incoming class, however it is Seattle’s Russell Wilson who has his respective team in the best position. Coming off their comeback victory against the New England Patriots, the Seattly Seahawks find themselves at 4-2 and tied for first in the NFC West, a division some are calling the best in the NFL. On Sunday, the Seahawks were down by 13 in the 4th quarter before Wilson starting airing the ball out, throwing TDs to Braylon Edwards and Sydney Rice. Wilson is backed up by the second best defense in point allowed in the NFL, only behind the Chicago Bears who have played one less game then the Seahawks. Seattle was the only NFC team to win this past weekend and Wilson’s 293 yards and 3 TDs is the reason why. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are great and deserve the accolades they have received, but as a rookie, Russell Wilson has defeated Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Cam Newton and Tony Romo. Not too shabby for a first year campaign.
5. There will be no 0-16 teams this year! Congratulations to the Cleveland Browns for winning their first game of the season, as they beat their instate rival Cincinnati Bengals 34-24. Not only did the Browns tally their first victory of the year, but they broke an 11 game losing streak dating back to November 20, 2011. It was also their first win in their last 10 games against AFC North opponents. I’m not sure how many Rookie QBs in the history of the NFL have been 29 years old, or how that is even possible, but Brandon Weeden was able to win his first ever game on his 29th birthday in his rookie year. Weird but congratulations to Brandon! Even after the win, Browns GM Mike Holmgren was told he will be fired at the season’s end, so it was a bitter sweet few days for the Browns organization. Browns fans can take solace in the fact that they won’t tie the Detroit Lions for the worse season in NFL history!