NFL Notebook Heading into Week 5


Colts’ QB Andrew Luck

  • Highest paid player in NFL history, investing in the future & his potential
  • Broke several Colts’ QB records
  • Reached AFC Title Game 2 years ago, most passing yards in the league
  • The whole Deflate-gate fiasco, Owner Jim Irsay publicly embarrassing himself

Colts’ GM Ryan Grigson

  • Was a scout for the Rams’ Greatest Show on Turf
  • In the front office for the Eagles during their NFC Title Games/SB appearance
  • Comes to Indy in 2012 and wins Executive of the Year, they went 11-5
  • His first draft, Andrew Luck was a no-brainer of course
  • But that same draft they got T.Y. Hilton, Coby Fleener, and Dwayne Allen
  • Drafted Phillip Dorsett, Donte Moncrief, and 3 linemen from rounds 2 and 3
  • Traded for Vontae Davis, who’s been their #1 corner for 5 years
  • Signed Frank Gore: top 10 all-time in rushing yards, averages 4 ypc so far
  • Signed defenders D’Qwell Jackson, Antonio Cromartie was just let go
  • Signed safety Mike Adams after a career season with the Broncos

Back to Luck

  • Career: 109 passing TD, 12 rushing TD, 58 INT, completes 58%
  • Playoffs: 3 appearances in 5 seasons, 3-3, 9 TD, 12 INT, completes 56%
  • This season: Led a TD drive in the final minute of the opener, but then Stafford came back to lead a game-winning FG drive, Lions won 29-25
  • 2 comeback efforts, got the job done against the Chargers 26-22, came up short in London, losing to the Jaguars 30-27
  • That’s 3 close games, the other loss came against the Broncos 34-20
  • They’re 1-3, Luck has 8 TD, 3 INT, next few games: vs CHI, @ HOU, @ TEN, which are all winnable games, Bears and Titans both 1-3, they can help themselves in the AFC South where the Texans lead at 3-1

Odell Beckham Jr.

  • The sideline tantrums, the tears, the victim-like interviews, maybe he should drop the Jr. off his jersey, since he’s getting critiqued for childlike antics
  • Tom Coughlin is probably out of town now because Beckham is still this way, and Coughlin is known as the disciplinarian
  • Movie Remember the Titans “Football’s fun sir,” with Denzel Washington and Donald Faison (Scrubs)
  • Who knows what to make of the chatter about his orientation, whether it’s true or not his maturity issues have taken center stage
  • Take into account the platform, it’s the New York spotlight, a mediocre quarterback in Eli Manning, who’s ranked #1, top 3, top 5, and top 10 in interceptions thrown over the course of his career
  • Right now Eli has thrown 4 TD, 4 INT, 3 of those TD came in week 1
  • Rookie HC in Ben McAdoo, we’re talking about a team that goes hot and cold, back and fourth, hovers around 8-8 every year (give or take a game)
  • They’re 2-2, close wins over DAL/NO, close loss to WAS, so these issues really arise from the Monday Night loss to the undefeated Vikings, a strong team
  • Beckham’s stats so far: 4-73, 8-86, 7-121, 3-23, no TD
  • Next few games: SNF @ GB, vs BAL, @ LA, then a bye

Undefeated QBs

  • Rookie Trevor Siemien inherited a Super Bowl roster, elite defense, elite WR tandem, had a shoulder scare last week but he’s ready to go, the week before threw 4 touchdown passes
  • Philadelphia’s homework has risen to the top early on between rookie Carson Wentz and Sam Bradford, who they traded to Minnesota
  • All 3 teams undefeated with elite defenses through the first month
  • Adrian Peterson on the sidelines, Bradford has done just enough, despite ranking 31st in OFF
  • Wentz still without a turnover, had a bye week to enjoy early success and reassert his focus
  • Has a strong supporting cast of former QBs, HC Doug Pederson and OC Frank Reich, these guys have combined to work with Philip Rivers, Alex Smith, Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Brett Favre
  • Also, backup QB Chase Daniel was in the same film room as Drew Brees in New Orleans and has implemented some of his preparation, and he learned Pederson’s offense in Kansas City
  • Wentz is an early favorite for NFC Rookie of the Year, along with division rival Dak Prescott

3-1 QBs

  • Prescott has the Cowboys at 3-1 right now with his great decision making as well, presenting a good problem for Dallas for when Tony Romo is cleared to play, but there’s actually plenty of time for things to play themselves out
  • Romo is on the brink of retirement after several major back and shoulder injuries, he just might have one last run in him but the line is better at run blocking than pass blocking
  • The other 3-1 quarterbacks are Brock Osweiler, Case Keenum, then you have the combination of Jimmy Garropolo and Jacoby Brissett, all–first time starters (Osweiler and Keenum have started games due to injury but never entered the season as a #1)
  • Bill O’ Brien has been one of my favorite coaches: last 2 seasons he had 6 different starting QBs, nearly missed the playoffs 2 years ago, last year won the division and made the playoffs, and now he has a QB of the future to work with, and I say of the future because they invested in him and he’s young
  • At 3-1 they’ll have to figure things out without J.J. Watt, but a big help has been 1st round pick Will Fuller as a receiver and returner, leading the AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year race
  • Keenum and the Rams are surprising, and for the time being, forcing Jeff Fisher critics to back off, sitting #1 pick Jared Goff until further notice is paying off so far in their return to Los Angeles
  • Garropolo has people talking about him being the next franchise quarterback, whether it’s succeeding Tom Brady or being traded to another team. Brady takes back the reigns after being spotted a 3-1 record with the return of Rob Gronkowski
  • I don’t think we’re surprised to hear these quarterbacks are 3-1: Ben Roethlisberger, coming off a 5 TD performance and he got Le’Veon Bell back on the field
  • Matt Ryan just racked up 500 yards and those 2 guys may be the front-runners for Most Valuable Player. The last time Ryan had a ground game to compliment him, Atlanta went 13-3 and clinched home-field advantage.
  • Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are 2-1 coming off their early bye week
  • Joe Flacco and the Ravens, lots of major injuries overcome for their good start. Terrance West declared the new starter, rushes for triple digits
  • Derek Carr and the Raiders have higher expectations and they’ve played in 4 close games, winning 3 of them, one of the most exciting teams to watch so far. The defense isn’t doing too well but they should be making weekly strides. Cornerback David Amerson is raned the best in the entire league on Pro Football Focus. Late round draft pick Cory James emerged last week with double-digit tackles and a forced fumble. Around mid-season, the defense will be getting the suspended Aldon Smith back and the injured Mario Edwards Jr. They’re already winning despite missing key players on their pass rush so watch out.

Around the League

  • A team that will benefit by getting players back, the 2-2 Chiefs coming off a playoff appearance, Jamaal Charles got eased in last week, in a few weeks they expect Defensive Player of the Year candidate Justin Houston back in action
  • Clearly, Josh Gordon voluntarily entering rehab shows that he doesn’t want to be in Cleveland anymore. He became eligible to be activated onto the roster to play next week and he pulls this stunt. Browns HC Hue Jackson says that they are done with him. Why would you want someone around that has been nothing but trouble, nor wants to be around you. Some team will take a chance on him that’s for sure.
  • What is great to see in the land is QB-turned-WR Terrelle Pryor doing his thing. He’s the new slash, former Steelers’ playmaker that Kordell Stewart was. He passes, runs, and receives. So far, with a touchdown rushing and a touchdown reception. Other players that made the switch are WR Braxton Miller of the Texans and RB Jerick McKinnon of the Vikings, both former quarterbacks.
  • Maybe the WR-turned-QB Ryan Tannehill should take note, but I say hey, give the guy some time he’s constantly working with a new coach and offense. Give him legit time with Adam Gase before coming to a conclusion in Miami
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick deserves to be harped on for football reasons. The issue is that his contract situation took so long, that these reps so far are the ones that he didn’t get in the offseason and preseason. No excuses, but I do expect him to play better like he did last season, in which he threw the most touchdowns in a season in Jets history believe it or not.
  • Philip Rivers and Matthew Satfford need to step up their leadership Getting out to big leaders, losing heartbreakers. Even if guys are fumbling, they have to be the ones to get in their face to deliver an accountable message to get the best out of them. The Chargers can’t be happy being the best 3-quarter team in football at 1-3. The Lions, same record, rival or not, should have beaten the Bears last Sunday. That was a bad loss. These are 2 teams to watch when it comes to hiring a current offensive coordinator like Kyle Shannahan of the Falcons or the Patriots’ Josh McDaniels.
  • Speaking of a new offensive mind, that is exactly what Marcus Mariota and the Titans need. The front office has done a good job of acquiring talent. Mariota has a versatile receiving core and one of the top rushing attacks right now. The defense is gritty and they’ve been in games, just not winning them.
  • Jameis Winston is a guy that’s just not ready to play against good defenses. He’s struggled mightily against the Cardinals, Rams, and Broncos, but the schedule does get easier than that. His arrow is pointing up with Dirk Koetter in town now, who used to work with division rival Matt Ryan.
  • Cam Newton surely has his flaws such as playing hero ball, holding the ball too long, and being indecisive. He also his well-known strengths, and despite starting 1-3, has the Panthers ranking top 10 in overall offense, passing, and rushing. I did believe them to be a mirage because I can’t erase their previous 7-8-1 season where they got blown out a few times. The thing is, the defense is the problem, allowing the most points in the NFL at this point in time. Too late to reapply the franchise tag to Josh Norman, who is still controversial, but playing at a high level for Washington.
  • It’s now or never for the Chip Kelly experiment with Blaine Gabbert. Colin Kaepernick has some leadership skills and you would assume his abilities are more aligned with the coach’s style of play. The 49ers are 1-3 and Kaepernick has made big plays on a big stage before, nothing wrong with a 2nd chance with the same team.
  • Hopefully this doesn’t jynx it, but the Seahawks are actually using Jimmy Graham now. He has 2 games over 100 yards. Just maybe, Seattle took the approach to challenge and develop Graham as a blocker so that they wouldn’t have to take him off the field in running situations. If he can stay on the field to block and run routes, the offense is less predictable.