NFL Week 6 Quick Hits

The Saints came marching into the Superdome...and left undefeated

- Hello viewers of the Stock Lemon.  My name is Mike and I have been so kindly invited to contribute to the blog in as colorful a way as possible.  I will be chiming in with blurbs on the sports world as we have all come to know and love. Thanks to the staff for signing me on and I look forward to helping out any way I can. Lets get to business.

Big Ups

Big Statement in the Big Easy- The Saints found more gaps in the NFL’s #1 ranked defense than a dentist finds in the mouth of Michael Strahan.  New Orleans scored early and often and now find themselves as one of four unbeaten teams left with a 6-0 record. The Giants have looked pretty unstoppable in recent weeks, which is why it was even more surprising to see them get whooped up like they did. It will be interesting to see if this beat down was the function of an undermanned Giants secondary simply getting exploited or if Drew Brees and company truly are THIS good.  Its gotta be a lot of both.  Brees was surgical with his passes.  He threw for 369 yards and 4 touchdowns while completing passes to seven different receivers.  Just another day at the office.  Even more impressive has been the stellar play of New Orleans’ defense this season.  Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has taken a scheme that has proven to work with other teams in seasons past and fortified it with guys like Jonathan Vilma, Roman Harper and Darren Sharper to form one of the better ball hawking units in the league.  Suddenly the balance of power in the NFC has taken an otherworldly shift towards the Big Easy. Well, for this week at least.

The Brady Bunch- We all should have known this day was coming. Brady, while being his normally efficient and effective self, has not gotten out of the gates with any sort of the flash that we remember from his insane 2007 season.  Some were questioning the health of his knee, while others just attributed it to the rust of taking a season off.  Well, he finally broke out in a big way in week 6. Brady threw for 5 touchdowns…in the 2nd quarter, setting a new NFL record in the process while adding a 6th early in the second half of what would turn out to be a 59-0 shellacking of the Tennessee Titans.  Brady hooked up with wide receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker for an impressive 18 combined catches, 279 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Titans were without three defensive starters and Brady took full advantage before getting pulled early in the second half due to an overall competitive lack of interest on the Titans behalf. If this is a sign of things to come and not JUST Brady and the Pats taking advantage of an under achieving defense then the rest of the NFL should be on red alert. 

More Mojo than even Austin Powers can handle- It’s always nice when athletes talk the talk and then proceed to walk the walk. A week after voicing his displeasure with Jacksonville’s offense and calling himself the “second highest paid decoy behind Reggie Bush” running back Maurice Jones-Drew proved why he is such a key cog to the success of the Jaguars.  Mojo totaled 178 combined yards (33 carries 133 rushing, 5 catches 45 receiving) and 3 touchdowns in a dominant performance versus the lowly St. Louis Rams.

Low Downs

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…well you know- Mark Sanchez’s fast start seems like a distant memory.  Sanchez found success in the early goings of the season simply by not having to do much of anything.  The gameplan had him checking down and hitting intermediate routes without having to read an extensive amount of coverage downfield.  But it seems like as soon as he started to get comfortable with the learning curve of the NFL, the playbook opened up and since then the wheels have really fallen off.  Sanchez managed a respectable 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions through the teams 3-0 start. However, in 3 losses since Sanchez has only thrown 1 touchdown and a deplorable 8 interceptions, a far cry from the promise he was showing. This just goes to show that no matter how comfortable a rookie quarterback may look, they are simply not to be trusted. Unless of course your name is Matt Ryan.

Negatives are never positives…right?- A lot of blame can be passed around the Tennessee Titans locker room after the 59-0 debacle that was their week 6 game versus the Patriots. But when your starting quarterback completes just 2 passes for -7 yards, rushes three times for -1 yards and throws an interception… it seems like a safe place to start the finger pointing.  Last season Kerry Collins was the prototype for NFL game management. This season he has been completely the opposite and has already thrown more interceptions (8) then he did all of last year (7).  Tennessee’s’ defense has been in complete disarray all season long and decimated by injuries. So naturally the team has found its self down and out more often then not and Collins is not a quarterback that can lead a team with his arm if losing late in a game (case in point Week 6).  If Tennessee doesn’t give Vince Young a look at quarterback here very soon (like in week 8 after the bye week soon) then it would be baffling.  You would think they would at least want to know exactly what they have in VY.  You would think.

My ass is on FIRE!- The coaching hot seat is especially warm for a number of seasoned coaches this season and should provide  some interesting storylines down the stretch.  Jim Zorn surely finds himself on the hottest seat right now after the Redskins lost to yet another previously winless team and has now gotten his play calling duties stripped in favor of offensive “consultant” Sherm Lewis, aka “the dude whose gonna jack your job before the season is over.”  Good riddance.  Along those same lines, it is amazing to see how Norv Turner has surivived another dismal start to the season.  The talent on the Chargers is super bowl caliber and how Turner gets away with these under achieving coaching efforts year in and year out is almost the equivalent of getting away with murder. Its tough watching a team with this much talent wait until they have 4 losses and their backs against the wall before they decide to turn it on.  Also feeling the burn,  Dick Jauron (Buffalo),  Eric Mangini (Cleveland), John Fox (Carolina), Tom Cable (should go without saying, Oakland), (dare I say?) Jeff Fisher (Tennessee) and even though he got the dreaded vote of confidence from owner Jerry Jones last week, its tough to ask anyone to delay the inevitable, Wade Phillips (Dallas).

Play of the Week:
It’s a double homer edition this week as the Raiders got a helluva nice block from Louis Murphy to spring this Zach Miller touchdown and some extra help on the kick off coverage team.