Standings & Stuff: 10/6/21

Austin Ekeler and the Chargers get the Cleveland Browns this Sunday at SoFi. (Photo courtesy of Duane Barker/MidValleySports)

By Joe Torosian

—A quick look around the NFL with standings and some stuff—

NFC West Record PF PA Last Week
Cardinals 3-1-0 140 85 W, Rams, 37-20
Rams 3-1-0 115 99 L, Cardinals, 37-20
Seahawks 2-2-0 103 100 W, San Francisco, 28-21
49ers 2-2-0 107 102 L, Seattle, 28-21

Stuff:

Cardinals: I’ve gone from not believing in Arizona, to believing they can beat anybody under the right circumstances. Chandler Jones still hasn’t recorded a sack since Week 1, and this team can’t stop the run. Fortunately, last Sunday, Sean McVay stopped the run for them.

Rams: The defense is 25th in passing yards allowed…21st in rushing yards allowed…26th in yds per carry, and 6th in sacks (Jets are fourth). Seattle on Thursday night will decide whether the Cardinals game was a bad day, or something akin to a structural flaw in the Death Star. Remember that pick Jalen Ramsey had at the end of the Colt game in Week 2? That was the defense’s last take-away.

Seahawks: This team is deficient everywhere but quarterback, middle linebacker, and defensive tackle. If Russell Wilson stays healthy, they’ll compete for nine wins. All that said, they win on Thursday if the Rams fail to show up.

49ers: Trey Lance should get the start. Give Jimmy G. the week off, and run the ball because the Cardinals cannot stop the run. Also, by running the ball, the defense will be kept off the field. The Frisco secondary is vulnerable.

NFC North Record PF PA Last Week
Packers 3-1-0 95 100 W, Pittsburgh, 27-17
Bears 2-2-0 64 91 W, Detroit, 24-14
Vikings 1-3-0 94 92 L, Cleveland, 14-7
Lions 0-4-0 81 119 L, Chicago, 24-14

Stuff:

Packers: They’re going to get tested in Cincy, but should take care of business. My question is, what happens if something happens to Aaron Jones?

Bears: It’s hard to believe in the Bears. Maybe next year, may the year after, but just not any time soon. Likely to get whacked in Las Vegas on Sunday. I just want to see a little more out of Justin Fields’ arm. Very glad he is starting.

Vikings: You’ve got to believe if they lose to the Lions at home the Mike Zimmer era will be over. Too much talent to be so inconsistent. They’ve got to get it together to have a shot when Green Bay stumbles.

Lions: When Detroit gets a quarterback they’re going to be tough. But by then they’ll need someone or something else. Welcome to Detroit.

NFC East Record PF PA Last Week
Cowboys 3-1-0 126 97 W, Carolina, 36-28
Washington 2-2-0 101 122 W, Atlanta, 34-30
Eagles 1-3-0 94 106 L, Kansas City, 42-30
Giants 1-3-0 83 95 W, New Orleans, 27-24 OT

Stuff:

Cowboys: After defeating Carolina, everyone wants to crown them. Are they good? Sure, and credit Dan Quinn. Are they deep? Yes, they were able to cut Jaylon Smith. Will they win in January?…Come on, we’re talking about the Gagboys.

Washington: The issues with the team have nothing to do with the offense. Taylor Heinicke (8Tds, 3Ints, 8yds per attempt, 69% completion) is playing with all the other starting quarterbacks in the league. The rushing game is working, but if they lose to the Saints on Sunday, someone on the defensive staff needs to get canned.

Eagles: Exposed, and the exposure will only get greater as they face Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Las Vegas the next three weeks. No, I haven’t forgiven them for rolling over in Dallas.

Giants: Weird team because they are not good and far from bad. Have an opportunity to blow the world up if they can pull an upset in Dallas this week. It’s time to find out if Saquon Barkley is back…so pound him against a defensive unit giving up 4.7 yds per carry.

NFC South Record PF PA LA
Buccaneers 3-1-0 122 105 W, New England, 19-17
Panthers 3-1-0 97 66 L, Dallas, 36-28
Saints 2-2-0 94 69 L, Giants, 27-21 OT
Falcons 1-3-0 78 128 L, Washington, 34-30

Stuff:

Buccaneers: Going to Miami and would be terrified if the Dolphins could throw the ball…but the Dolphins can’t. South Florida weather combined with Tom Brady, the Bucs are going to 4-1.

Panthers: The loss in Dallas was a good grounding. They will continue to beat the teams they should and improve. They could finish with eleven wins but aren’t going anywhere in the NFC in January. Acquisition of Stephon Gilmore may mean more to the psyche of the team than two the production on the field. Carolina is still a couple of offensive linemen short.

Saints: This team feels like it’s treading water. Saints gave Marshon Lattimore a 5-year, $97,603,000 contract before the start of the season. He’s great, but that’s a lot of money at cornerback for a team with a lot of holes.

Falcons: Speaking of not going anywhere for a while…Crash and burn this this game plan…Move as many assets as you can and start over.

AFC West  Record PF PA Last Week
Chargers 3-1-0 95 74 W, Las Vegas, 28-14
Broncos 3-1-0 83 49 L, Baltimore, 23-7
Raiders 3-1-0 104 100 L, Chargers, 28-14
Chiefs 2-2-0 134 125 W, Philadelphia, 42-30

Stuff:

Chargers: Every time I watch this team, I’m waiting for a crushing season-ending injury to occur. I love the offense, there’s a lot to like…but safety Derwin James is the show. In my top ten of players to watch.

Broncos: Teddy Bridgewater and the defense go down against the Ravens. Orange Crush gets a chance to reassert itself in Pittsburgh. Still not sold this team is 9-8 or 8-9.

Raiders: This is America’s Team, and they’re better than the Broncos. Not as good as the Chargers, but they don’t face the Chiefs until mid-November. Las Vegas should go 3-1 in between and be 6-2 when KC comes to The Strip.

Chiefs: If you’re Atlanta, you can give up 30-points to the Philadelphia Eagles. If you’re KC and a “Super Bowl” contender…you can’t give up 30-points to the Eagles. They host Buffalo this week and could actually give up 40.

AFC North Record PF PA Last Week
Bengals 3-1-0 92 75 W, Jacksonville, 24-21
Ravens 3-1-0 105 92 W, Denver, 23-7 
Browns 3-1-0 100 67 W, Minnesota, 14-7
Steelers 1-3-0 67 93 L, Green Bay, 27-17

Stuff:

Bengals: I want something good to happen in Cincy. The Bearcats are great, and the Bengals have a chance to be good. It’s a shame they lost to the Bears, and maybe if Ken Riley were playing corner, they’d have a chance against Green Bay.

Ravens: Need to beat the Colts on Monday and not get caught thinking about the Chargers at home the following week. Love Lamar Jackson, tough, works hard, but he can’t overcome an occasionally sloppy defense and inconsistent receivers on offense.

Browns: I see a good team, but a team that should be better. I’m not feeling Super Bowl. Baker Mayfield feels like a more expensive Mike Phipps. He can manage, but don’t expect a miracle.

Steelers: Chicken or the egg? The offensive line makes Ben Roethlisberger look old. Or old Ben Roethlisberger is making the offensive line look bad. I say both are making the Steelers look awful, cellar-dwellers, and doormats.

AFC East Record PF PA Last Week
Bills 3-1-0 134 44 W, Houston, 40-0
Dolphins  1-3-0 62 109 L, Indianapolis, 27-17
Patriots 1-3-0 71 70 L, Tampa Bay, 19–17
Jets 1-3-0 47 94 W, Tennessee, 27-24 OT

Stuff:

Bills: Go to KC, club the Chiefs, and put the fear of the Lord in the of the conference. They didn’t just win three games, they blew out three teams. Josh Allen is finding his groove, and this defense is rising to elite status.

Dolphins: I understand they lost their quarterback, but this team needs to wake up. They’re not passing and only rushing the ball at 3.6 a crack. Worse, they look uninspired. The defense needs to be better than okay against Tampa Bay, or they’re going to get blown out. And then questions are going to be asked.

Patriots: Never hated the Patriots. They’re a fascinating example of consistency. And I love how they move off people. Stephon Gilmore—who hasn’t played a snap this season—was sent to Carolina for a 6th. Should beat the Texans and may have something special waiting for the Cowboys in two weeks.

Jets: Beat the Titans and could beat the Falcons this week. Who would have thought? The plan had to have been trading safety Marcus Maye mid-season, but it’s been revealed that Maye had an unreported DUI during the offseason. Which means he could be facing suspension.

AFC South Record PF PA Last Week
Titans 2-2-0 95 111 L, Jets, 27-24 OT
Texans 1-3-0 67 116 L, Buffalo, 40-0
Colts  1-3-0 83 97 W, Miami, 27-17
Jaguars 0-4-0 74 115 L, Cincinnati, 24-21

Stuff:

Titans: There’s no other team in the NFL—well, maybe the Eagles—that bores me the way the Titans do. No team should lose to the Jets and not have someone get fired. Terrible. King Henry ought to ask for a trade. Imagine the buzz that would incur around the league with January closing in. I’m not saying it will happen, but maybe it should because Tennessee’s going nowhere.

Texans: I want to see them next year…this year…well, they’re a better watch than the Titans. How come I never hear about Deshaun Watson getting traded to the NFC?

Colts: Big win in Miami, but just when you want to believe, Jonathan Taylor’s knee is making news. Nyheim Hines is listed first on the depth chart, but with Taylor in question, you have to wonder how long Marlon Mack stays on the trading block.

Jaguars: What Urban Meyer had going for him coming into the NFL was reputation and integrity. And now—KA-BOOM! Now, he’s just a college coach who needs to win or resign. Everyone has the right to make a mistake, but Meyer’s poor choice brings everything into question. His decision to not fly back with his team last Thursday was the equivalent of King David deciding not to go out to battle with his troops during a particular spring.

Joe T.’s Record

2021 WEEK OVERALL
Week 1 7-8-0 7-8-0
Week 2 10-5-0 17-13-0
Week 3 8-7-0 25-20-0
Week 4 9-6-0 34-26-0

Stuff: I’m on the right side of things, but only eight games above .500? My daughter, with her eyes closed, could probably do a better job. Browns-Chargers, 49ers-Cardinals intrigue me the most.

Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…all five available through Amazon.com.

www.JoeTorosian.com
jtbank1964@yahoo.com
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b
Instagram: @joet13b

Be sure to read:
College Hoops Breakdown—by Riley Saxon
The Urena Express—by Steven Urena (MLB)
From The RamCave—by Joe T. (Every Friday)

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