The GeeksverseThe Long Bomb: 2012 Week 6

The Long Bomb: 2012 Week 6
Published on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by

Week 6 was more proof that parity reigns supreme in the NFL and any team can win on any given sunday, but the biggest news came out on Tuesday.

The Eagles announced Tuesday morning that they have fired their defensive coordinator, Juan Castillo. Castillo, you may remember, started life as an offensive coach and Andy Reid made him the defensive coordinator two seasons ago, and he had never been a defensive coach at any level. And that first season was a disaster. People were calling for his head back then. But the defense has gotten a little better. A little better.

After week 6, the D was ranked 12th in the league. That’s respectible enough. Average. Which was the word Reid used to say why he was letting Castillo go. 12th in the league and average.

The offense is 31st in the league in points scored. Vick has fumble-itis and is a turnover machine. Why wasn’t the offensive coordinator let go? Probably because Reid’s success as the Eagles coach is tied directly into how Michael Vick performs. As Vick goes, so does Reid. So a scapegoat was needed for the Eagles poor performance so far and it was decided that Castillo would be it. The new DC, Todd Bowles, is safe because he comes in mid-season.

Basically Reid is saying that the defense was to blame for the Eagle’s barely winning most of their games and their loses. They’ve won most by just 3 points or less. That’s not good showing by either offense or defense.

But the Eagles biggest problem is Vick’s fumbling. Until that gets fixed, the Eagles aren’t going anywhere this year.

1- The color commentator on Thursday Night Football, Mike Mayock, is one of the smarter guys doing it. He perfectly nailed the reason for Chris Johnson’s running woes lately. He showed two graphics that illustrated that Johnson wants to go for the big gain every play instead of the 4-5 yard poundings.

This is the result of ego and the big payday. Part of Johnson feels he has to live up to the 2000 yard season and the big payday by making explosive runs on every attempt. How do you justify a big payday when you’re getting the same runs and yardage as Stevan Ridley and the undrafted Brandon Boldin?

Johnson has to realize that he’s more likely to get 2000 yards in 4 or 5 yard chunks then in failing on every attempt at the big play. You’re more likely to get the big runs the more you keep pounding it.

2- There are two commercials starring Green Bay Packers right now. One is an Old Spice one showing Greg Jennings (who seems to be in every commercial lately) running through the Patriots well in bed with his wife (girlfriend, whoever she is, she’s hot). The second, for Gillette, shows Clay Matthews knocking Patriot offensive linemen on their butts and turning the world upside down.

This is my Patriots bias showing through, but really? Do we really need two commercials showing Packers getting the better of Patriots?

And a Gillette commercial? That’s surprising since Gillette pays so much money for the naming rights to the Patriots stadium.

3- Hey Mike Munchuk, head coach of the Titans, you know those three time-outs you had at the end of the half? Those don’t come with you. You lose ‘em if you don’t use ‘em. So why on Earth did you mismanage the clock that badly at the end of the half? You had chances are more plays with the time remaining as well as your time outs. Why not give your team the chance at more points?

Not that you needed them, but… This just goes to show that a coach that wins a game does no wrong even if they do.

4- Speaking of clock management (and how it gets called out if the coach loses).. What about how Jason Garrett handled the end of the game with a timeout left? Don’t you or the team know how to run a hurry up offense? And even worse, what were Kevin Ogletree and Miles Austin doing walking back to the huddle with barely no time left on the clock? Pathetic.

5- And the normally reliable Patriots made some big errors at the end of their half against the Seahawks. It wasn’t clock management so much as it was a bad call by Tom Brady on what to do with the football. They knew what plays they wanted to run and knew they’d have enough time on the clock for a field goal but Brady just threw it away and got a penalty, which led to a 10 second run-off which meant there was no field goal and no 3 points, which would have won the game for the Patriots.

6- Russell Wilson is justifying Pete Carroll’s faith in him. Yes, he’s had a couple bad games but name me a rookie QB that hasn’t. He’s getting better and he’s got good poise in pressure situations and the pocket. The Seahawks had faith in him to make the right decisions with the ball and for the most part he did in the game against the Patriots. Takes a lot of faith to let him throw the ball that deep that often.

7- There’s basically a 4-way tie in the AFC East. All four teams are 3-3. There’s some tie breakers to help give a 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d placement but the first thing to look at is the record and right now the AFC East is anyone’s.

That’s how it looks anyways, but does anyone really think it’ll be that way for long? The Jets may have had a good game against the Luck-led Colts and the Bills may have beaten the previously 4-1 Cardinals, but they aren’t serious contenders. Miami might make a go of it, but this is still the Patriots division to lose.

8- A couple of times in this column I’ve mentioned successful fake punts and how they should be used more often, just for the element of surprise and keep the defense honest. We had two more fake punts this week.

The Jets and the Dolphins both used them to gain an advantage, and both teams won. I’d expect more fake punts this year.

9- In this week’s MMQB column, Peter King made a couple comments that made me laugh and just highlight how easy it is to spin things to the outcome you want.

The first one “Russell Wilson 24, Tom Brady 23″ was meant to highlight the maturation of Wilson. It compared the two quarterbacks directly. Which is stupid. Wilson didn’t play Tom Brady, he played the Patriots Defense which was ranked near the last in pass defense and Wilson was able to take advantage of that. Brady played the #1 ranked Seahawks defense and was still able to put up 23 points.

Just ridiculous to make that comment, especially when immediately followed by “Reeling Green Bay 42, Almighty Houston 24″. This one was meant to show that Green Bay shouldn’t have been able to beat Houston but did so surprisingly.

Why wasn’t the second one “Aaron Rodgers 42, Matt Schaub 24″? If can compare the QBs in one game, have to compare them in the other. Can’t switch back and forth. It doesn’t make any sense.

One or the other.

10- The graphics jinx strikes again. Last week it hit Jay Feeley. This week both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning were attacked. A graphic showed that Brady had thrown only one interception this year. Guess what happened next? Two interceptions. The Manning graphic? It said it had been a number of quarters since his last one. Wonder if Quentin Jammer saw that graphic.

I know the commentators need something to talk about, but I hate graphics like that.

11- Monday nights game was a tale of two halves, and I don’t mean the Chargers dominating the first and the Broncos dominating the second. The Chargers didn’t dominate anything. They got lucky. 17 of their 24 points were off turnovers. The tale of two halves was the Broncos getting better with the ball and not turning it over. The defense also ratcheted it up another notch, grabbing interceptions right and left.

12- The previous coaches on the hot seat both won last week but that doesn’t mean they’re off the hot seat.

Pat Shurmur’s Cleveland Browns got sold. New owner, new outlook. Football operations President Mike Holmgren is already gone and unless Shurmur turns it around in the last part of the season, he’ll be gone too.

Chan Gailey really just bought himself a couple more weeks. He’s shown nothing as coach of the Bills that would justify keeping him there.

Joining them on the hot seat is Norv Turner. It’s about time his tenure in San Diego was done. The Chargers are a talented team and Norv just can’t get them over the hump. There needs to be new blood there before the window closes on Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates.

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