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New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas and tight end Jeremy Shockey have had a lot to celebrate this season. Through week six the Saints are looking like the best team in football. – Jeff Lewis for Sentinel
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Staff Writer
Saints are the best in the NFL
Over the past 10 years the NFL has been a league driven by parody. Every team gravitates to the middle. Well this year is a lot different. There is a major division between the haves and the have-nots.
Well the New Orleans Saints are showing that they sit on top of the “haves” list.
The match up between the undefeated Saints and the undefeated New York Giants was supposed a battle between Super Bowl contenders. But it was clear that one team, the Saints, is just on another level.
The Saints offense has been good since they signed quarterback Drew Brees. But their defense has always held them back. Well that has changed. Now when their offense is lighting up the scoreboard their defense is handling their business.
That is exactly what happened against the Giants. The Saints scored touchdowns on their first three drives, while their defense held the Giants to a field goal. The game was pretty much over at that point, and it was only the second quarter.
The Saints went on to win 45-27.
The Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, and Denver Broncos are all looking very good, but the Saints look like they have the best balance on offense and defense.
There’s a lot at the bottom
The bottom of the barrel of the NFL is stock piled with some really bad teams. There haven’t been this many bad teams in the league in a while.
The St. Louis Rams look like the worst, having lost 16 games row, dating back to last year.
The Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, and Buffalo Bills are just horrible.
But the Tennessee Titans, who were 13-3 last year, may be the worst of the bunch. 59-0! Really? How does that happen in the NFL? How does that happen with professional players?
The New England Patriots are good, but are they 59-0 good? Or are the Titans just that bad?
The Titans better not blame it on the horrible weather. The field was covered with snow, but that did not stop Tom Brady from competing 29-of34 passes (85%) for 380 yards and six touchdowns, five of which were in the 2nd quarter (an NFL record).
Brady’s back up, Brian Hoyer, competed 9-of-11 passes (81%) in mop up duty.
Titans quarterback Kerry Collins, on the other hand, completed 2-of-12 passes for minus seven yards and one interception. The Patriots had two return yards off of interceptions, which was nine more passing yards than the Titans had all game.
At some point the Titans have to play Vince Young. What is the point of rolling out Collins every week, when he is only completing 54% of his passes, and has only five touchdowns compared to eight interceptions? Collins is not the quarterback of the future, so they need to find out if Young is.
But Titans management might want Young to take the field. If he does and plays well, then they may have to stick with him next year, when his base salary goes up to $7.25 million and he has $4.25 million in potential bonuses, giving him a cap number of $14.21 million. If they let him rot on the bench then they can simply cut him after the end of the season.
Yep, the NFL is nothing more than a business.
That business has also hurt Browns quarterback Brady Quinn, who was benched in favor of Derek Anderson early in week three’s game.
Was Quinn playing all that bad? No. Has Anderson been better? Not at all. He’s been even worse.
Quinn had completed 60% of his passes, with a rating of 62.9. Anderson on the other hand has only completed 44% of his passes, and has a rating of 41.7.
Two weeks ago against the Bills, Anderson completed 2-of-17 passes, and this past week against the Steelers he completed only 9-of-24 passes. That’s a 21% completion percentage over the past two weeks. Ouch!
So why is Anderson playing over Quinn? Well, according to Quinn’s contract, he is eligible for $11 million in bonus money if he takes 70% of the snaps this year. It does not appear that the Browns want to pay that, so they just benched him so he would not get the amount of snaps necessary to receive that bonus.
Yep, gotta love the NFL.
The “Sanchise” is struggling
After the New York Jets started 3-0, rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez was called the “Sanchise.” But he’s been looking like a rookie as they’ve lost three games in a row.
This past week was the worst. After throwing three interceptions two weeks ago in a loss against the Saints, in this past week’s loss against the Bills he threw five interceptions.
In the Jets three wins, Sanchez has thrown four touchdowns and two interceptions. But over this three game losing streak he has thrown only one touchdown and eight interceptions.
The Jets racked up 318 yards rushing against the Bills, but when the quarterback throws five interceptions, chances are they are going to lose, which they did, 16-13 in overtime.
Weekly JaMarcus Russell Report
Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell wasn’t half bad this past week. Against the Philadelphia Eagles he completed 60% of his passes for 224 yards and a touchdown in the Raiders 13-9 victory.
Not too bad. Well, except for the two interceptions that he threw. So even when he’s good, he still stinks.
The Raiders defense won this game. Their offense just chipped in here and there.
The Eagles should feel embarrassed that they lost to the Raiders. They are supposed to be Super Bowl contenders, how in the world do they lose to a team who looks like they are going to extend their record of consecutive 11 loss seasons?
Random thought of the week
You know when a player scores a touchdown, and then dances around the endzone to show everybody that he just did something great.
There will always be that guy who will say “just give the ball to the ref and act like you’ve been there.”
Well, people who say that probably have never been there, at any level. Pop Warner, high school, college, or pros. If they had ever been there they probably would have been dancing around too!
So if you’ve never been there, you probably shouldn’t talk.