By Johnny Sunchips
One quarter of the 2013 season is in the books and their are twenty quarterbacks on pace to pass for over 4,000 yards. Two teams historically known for their superior defense (Giants and Steelers) are shells of their former selves... and the Dallas Cowboys still cannot stand prosperity. Here we go!
1) Our old friend, Danny Woodhead is providing much needed balance to San Diego's Offense.
I thought he was done after his years in New England, but I am happy to say I was wrong. The pint sized hybrid player has found a home in sunny Southern California, and has given the rejuvenated Phillip Rivers a versatile option in his playbook. Woodhead, to date has averaged 4.7 yards on 19 carries and also amassed 162 receiving yards with two touchdowns, both coming this past sunday in a 30-21 win over the Cowboys. Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt has found a useful "tool" as the 'Bolts look to contend in the AFC West.
2) Losing Vince Wilfork will be tough to overcome for the Patriots.
Master of the obvious you might say. But you would not have known that the Monday after. As an avid fan of local sports radio, I was astounded by a percentage of callers who thought this as no big deal. Memo to those fans: Are You Serious?!? Big number 75 is the foundation, a leader, both vocally and on the field, of a defense that may have to carry your football team for the majority of the season, if not more. His command of being double teamed aids in the success of co lineman Tommy Kelly in the base 3-4 defense. Opponents will attempt to run more and may lead to less time on the field for Tom Brady. There is a downside people. I know backup Joe Vellano filled in admirably at Atlanta,but as HOF Bill Parcells once said,"Let's not put him in Canton just yet!" The wound left by Wilfork's loss is going to take more than anadhesive bandage to prevent infection.
3) First coach on the Hot Seat: Houston's Gary Kubiak.
After week twelve last season, the Texans were 11-1 and a favorite by some to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. They stumbled down the stretch and finished the season 12-4.The bloom was off the rose. They seemed to lack the mental fortitude of a championship contender. They were soon ousted from the tournament in a blow out loss to the Patriots. Thus far in 2013, they are 2-2, and after a stunning loss to the Seahawks at home,some fans were actually seen setting fire to their Matt Schaub replica jerseys! Houston takes it 24th ranked defense along with an offense that sits at 16th to San Francisco this week in a key game for both teams. If things don't turn positive rather quickly, the clock will begin ticking for the man in charge in Houston.
4) Valuable Bill in Buffalo.
Running Back Fred Jackson is authoring a nice career in Upstate New York. Undrafted out of Division 3 Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the 6'1" bruiser has been a mainstay in the Buffalo offense since 2007. Although being somewhat injury prone during that span, he is approaching4,500 career rushing yards while averaging 4.6 yards per attempt, with a career high 1,062 in 2009. He has presence on the receiving end as well, catching 222 passes for 1,865 career yards. In a blue collar town, with a "blood and guts" style of play, it's understandable why he is a fan favorite.
5) Matt Cassel will remain the starter in Minnesota.
He been tutored By Future Hall of Fame Coach Bill Belichick and the understudy for the great Tom Brady. Battle-tested by falling into and out of the graces in Kansas City, going from savior to survivor island in two seasons, a textbook case of a rise from obscurity to elite status. You know the story Pats fans. All this has brought him to where he is now. A quarterback making plays while an All-World running back takes the pressure off of him. The backup quarterback is always the most popular with the fan base when a team is in a funk, but with the Vikings; it is the best option. A second chance is one to relish ineveryday life, and Matt Cassel has one in the sport he loves.
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