Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Week 5's Trrrrrack Stars and Trrrrram Cars

As an Eagles’ fan, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to write all of these football posts, but I suppose it’s better than if I were writing about baseball.  Speaking of baseball, there are three strikes, three outs, and three Molinas (Yadier, Bengie, and Jose, if you’re counting), so I’m going with three sets of triumphs, tragedies, trends, and trail mix.  Hope it’s got that touch of sweetness to really complement the savory aspects.

Steelers 38, Titans 17

TRIUMPH: Ben Roethlisberger threw for 5 touchdowns in this game, allaying some fears about his injury status and the ability of the offensive line to protect him.  Keep in mind, though, that 4 of those touchdowns went for fewer than 10 yards (an unlikely occurrence), and Roethlisberger averaged just 6.7 yards per attempt in this game.
TRAGEDY: The Titans defense allowed over 400 yards in this game, which was over 100 yards more than their previous average.  However, part of that was a 70-yard run by a third-string running back, so let’s call this a bit of a fluke defensively.
TREND: Mike Wallace has not had fewer than 75 yards receiving in any of his last 10 regular season games, and has gained 1001 yards and scored 5 touchdowns in those games.
TRAIL MIX: The Steelers play the Jaguars this week, ending a string of four straight games against the AFC South.  Who scheduled that?

Patriots 30, Jets 21

TRIUMPH: BenJarvus Green-Ellis tallied 27 carries and 136 yards in this game, both career highs.  This one week after Stevan Ridley netted almost 100 yards on 10 carries and had everyone in fantasy leagues gobbling him up.  Green-Ellis was running well against the Jets’ front all day, and I think the Patriots just wanted to ride the hot hand.
TRAGEDY: When the Jets assigned Revis to cover Welker throughout this game, most would have expected Welker to have a down game.  Well, Revis held Welker’s receptions down (he had 5, compared to his average this season of 10), but a 73-yard catch distorted Welker’s numbers.  The play occurred due to a busted coverage by the safety, not by Revis, and the performance by Welker shouldn’t affect anyone’s perception of Revis’ cover skills.
TREND: I know I mentioned that the Jets defense was better than they looked last week, but now I’m willing to change my opinion.  The Jets have allowed 134.8 rush yards per game this year, compared to 90.9 last year.
TRAIL MIX: The Jets attempted over 35 passes per game in their first four games.  In a game against the worst pass defense in the league (not to mention a team with an offense that can put points on the board quickly), the Jets attempted 26 passes.  Huh?

Packers 25, Falcons 14

TRIUMPH: James Jones and Jordy Nelson both tied for the Packers’ team lead in pass targets (7).  Don’t be fooled, this offense runs mostly through Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley, who still lead the team in targets for the year.
TRAGEDY: Ryan Grant received just over half the touches of James Starks in this game, and gained less than half as many yards in the process.  I expect the Packers to roll week-to-week with whoever is running better that day, in a similar way as their passing attack is organized.  Grant’s got better days coming.
TREND: In his four seasons as a starter, Michael Turner has rushed for fewer than 4 yards per carry in over half of those games.  Good thing he’s been in the top five in the league in carries and rushing touchdowns over that span, or that would be tough to handle.
TRAIL MIX: Aaron Rodgers completed a pass to 12 different players over the course of this game.  That’s more receivers catching a pass in a single game than any team with at least as many pass attempts has had catch a ball all season (including so-called equal-opportunity offenses like the Patriots and Saints).

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