NFL Week 7 Review: Un-Patriot games, flippin' defenders and poor Jay Cutler
Something is up in New England, scoring the hard way and Ndamukong Suh really hates Jay Cutler.
Patriots win but the signs aren't good
The New England Patriots are the standard bearers in the NFL. With Bill Belichick the Alex Ferguson of gridiron and Tom Brady the golden boy of QBs, they have been pretty consistent for the past decade or so.
Five Super Bowl appearances, three Super Bowl wins and 11 consecutive seasons of winning records is as impressive a CV as there is and Brady and Belichick are THE reason for that catalogue of success.
But something is not right in Foxboro this year. Maybe they will figure it out, but they don’t look good at all right now. The Patriots are 4-3 as they pack their bags for Old England this week but they could, and should be much worse off.
Denver racked up points against them down the stretch in Week 5 but they survived. Seattle overhauled them last week in the fourth quarter and the Jets should have beaten them on Sunday.
Leading 23-13 with less than six minutes to play, the Pats allowed the Jets to score a TD, then had an awful series that resulted in a punt. They followed that by allowing Mark Sanchez to march the Jets down the field again and they should have scored another TD but for Stephen Hill’s butterfingers.
A field goal tied it up and then a fumble by Devin McCourty gave the ball back to Jets. They again contrived to only get a FG but it put them in the lead. In fairness to Brady, they pegged it back with their own field goal at the death, forcing overtime.
In the extra time, the Pats won the toss, scored another field goal and eventually won when Sanchez coughed up a sack fumble. It was as unimpressive a win as you will ever see but it is part of a trend.
In their last three games, the Pats have lost the fourth quarter by a combined 34-6. This week they are in Wembley to face the St Louis Rams, just the sort of game that a struggling side doesn’t want, with all the travel and, in all likelihood, awful weather.
They do sit top of their division, and the AFC is so woeful they will surely make the playoffs barring an injury to Brady, but they are not the Pats of old. They don’t inspire fear anymore and they appear to be lacking concentration, fitness, toughness or a combo of all three at the end of games. Those three attributes were the hallmarks of Belichick’s Pats. They need to find them again before January rolls around.
TD of the week
Rather than a crazy catch, kick-off return or run by RG III this week, how about this from New Orleans Saints Joe Morgan. After the catch yards are always important. After the catch yards where you flip a defender over your head and then take another massive shot before scoring are even better.
Ndamukong Suh really doesn’t like Jay Cutler
The Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears are NFC North rivals so they play each other twice a year and the rivalry between Ndamukong Suh and Jay Cutler is far from friendly.
In December 2010, defensive tackle, and all-round beast Suh did this to Bears QB Jay Cutler.
Last season, he pulled his helmet off in another tough hit.
And last night, Suh did this, slamming Cutler’s head to the ground, while holding the QB’s non-throwing arm in a way that look it might snap off.
Cutler certainly earns his $7.7million-a-year facing Suh every season.