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Sunday, July 12

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« Footballic Ramblings: Bears Romp in Orgy of Points Chicago Fire Turning 12! »

Bears Tue Oct 06 2009

Footballic Ramblings: Fantasy Football Facts and NFL Flotsam

With the Bears holed up in their own Fortress of Solitude (Halas Hall, natch) until their tilt in the ATL with the Falcons, Footballic Ramblings decided to have a looksie at some other goings on in the NFL and its Internet-spawned stepchild, Fantasy Football. Walk with us...

So Who's Good So Far?

Both the New York Giants and Jets appear to be more gully, but you knew that already.
The Jets? Yes, the Jets! Two mild shockers: the defense (which for the past few years has been extremely pedestrian) is most like a nature documentary where the Jets are a rock python and [insert team] is a baby gazelle; particularly against the pass but especially against the run. The other surprise? Mark Sanchez the rookie from Southern Cal has surpassed all expectations in leading the offense, however, time will tell if young Jedi can keep cool or if he'll spaz out (see, the New Orleans game) in pressure situations.

The Giants have been a juggernaut inside the trenches on both sides of the ball the past few seasons and that's no different this year. Additionally, Eli Manning is packing a full bag of steady and breezy fresh with his receivers, consistently taking his time in the pocket (thanks to the O-line), finding the open receiver and then delivering a perfect pass to the receiver's waiting hands. And the whole "missing Plaxico Burress" thing? Not so much, Plax may have had a freak's capabilities and height, but, the Giants appear to have an entire fleet of receivers capable of running great routes and beating their man. Meanwhile, the running game keeps on chewing up yardage to a humming yards-per-carry of 4.2 and an average of 145 yards per game. The Giants at this point are rolling along like a Panzer tank through the Polish calvary. [A W.W.II reference? Really? -Ed.]

Meanwhile the only hope for humanity (ie: NOT Giants fans), appears to be the New Orleans Saints who have brought a defense to the 2009 season along with their traditional score a sh*t ton of points offense. The Jets very good defense, in Sunday's loss to the Saints, managed to slow down the "Drew Brees Aerial and Acrobatic Flying Circus of Touchdowns," but the Saints running game was right there to sustain a few drives. The N.O. defense happened to stop by the game and in a nonchalant, "oh, by the way" approach, drop an anvil on Mark Sanchez and the rest of the Jets offense, copping two defensive touchdowns just for kicks all the while snickering like Muttley from the old Hannah Barbera cartoons.

In spite of the teeth-gnashing following their Week One performance the Bears are all alone in second place in the NFC North. However, the steady play of Jay Cutler (aka: Jay-Bot 5000) and a much improved defensive line from a year ago has buoyed da Bears. The offense is clicking more and more every single week, with Cutler developing more of a rapport with each receiver every week and the Matt Forte-led ground game gaining momentum just as the weather in the Second City begins to turn from cool and pleasant to ugly and awful.

However, the Bear are likely going to be clawing for a wild card playoff berth if any thanks to the chokehold the Minnesota Vikings have on the division. But that's just what happens when you have an all-Universe running back, a grizzled but still capable quarterback, receivers who could pluck a feather of a flying dove and a defense that pressures the other team into mistake after mistake.

Other Good Teams?
Baltimore: as long as Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are healthy and psychotic; New England: do not bet against the Brady; Indianapolis: likewise do not bet against Peyton Manning; and Cincinnati will all be bludgeoning each other with blunt objects as they scrape for a playoff berth. In the NFC I'm buying Atlanta and holding on all teams not located in Minnesota, Illinois or New Jersey...for now.

The Bad Teams?
At the other end of the competition spectrum we find several squads all competing in the race to oblivion known as 0-16. Cleveland, Tampa Bay, St, Louis, Kansas City and Tennessee? These are your leaders at the quarter-mark of the NFL season. Please expound on their crappiness in the comments!

Fantasy Football Supernovas!

Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew: "Mister. Hey, Mister, you're on Fire!" 28 is ruling over a third of the Fantasy Realm along with Chris Johnson of Tennessee and MJD of Jacksonville.

Peyton Manning = TEH BEST EVAR OMG!!! Manning has been more Manning-esque than ever before, throwing for over 300 yards in every game thus far and inventing new methods to break the spirits of defenses? Mind Bullets? That's called telekinesis, Kyle.

Drew Brees, already has thrown for 9 TDs to 2 picks, traveled back in time to save Jon Connor, eclipsed 1,000 yards for the season in Week 4 but PeyPey Manning did it in Week 3! Numbers = Mind explosions.

Fantasy Busts (and I don't mean Cheerleaders!)

LaDainian Tomlinson: Ouch! Already one injury in this burgeoning season. LDT is on the wrong side of 30 for a running back and will be struggling for yards/touchdowns all season.

Terrell Owens: No shocker here. Buffalo fired their offensive coordinator days before the start of the season, Trent Edwards is shell-shocked and the petulant T.O. won't be helping the broken Edwards by demanding the ball.

Braylon Edwards: Question: What do you do if you're the featured wideout for a Cleveland Browns team coming off a terrible 2008 season? Answer: Accumulate 139 yards, 0 touchdowns and a horrific publicity black-eye by punching a friend of LeBron James, your city's favored son. Smooth, Braylon!

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