NFL Sunday Eve Wish List: Ryan Tannehill, Bears' Defense And Patriots' Offense
It's Saturday, which means only two things. It's our nation's weekly holiday, College Football Day. And it's the eve of our other weekly holiday, Pro Football Day -- which makes this day like [insert holiday here] eve.
So if it's a holiday, then it's time for a wish list, right? Here's what I'm hoping will come to me in a nice, neat, square package (on a plasma screen TV). These aren't exactly predictions. It's a wish list. Here's it is:
Ravens, Falcons and Titans win (which reaffirms Andy Dalton's excellence)
What do the Ravens, Falcons and Titans have in common? Andy Dalton beat them all this season. Wins from those three teams would continue to affirm Dalton and the Bengals' greatness -- even when the Bengals are on a bye.
Patience pays. The Bengals waited on Dalton to develop and suddenly he has emerged as just what they needed. He isn't breaking records but he's winning with grace. He has completed 65.5 percent of his passes for two touchdowns and one interception. Otherwise, everyone will forget about them in week 4. The blazing ginger (whose hair perfectly matches his uniform) was born to wield the Bengals' offense.
Ryan Tannehill will have a romp sesh
This wish seems counter intuitive with the next wish on this list, but I'd like to think I'm one of the few rational Patriots fans (hint: I was born in Connecticut, not Massachusetts). Ryan Tannehill played wide receiver for two and a half years at Texas A&M. Then after 774 college passing attempts, he went No. 8 overall in 2012. I repeat: the former wide receiver was drafted as a quarterback. Only three years later, he's already getting second guessed.
All along, Tannehill was said to be a project. Now they're making the kid throw forty passes a game. He's thrown only two interceptions on his 124 pass attempts. That's solid. And yes, he's only completed 56.5 percent of his passes. That's bad. At least, he's got four touchdowns.
He'd be the best wide receiver on this squad. The Dolphins need to get him some pass-catching options. They need to wait for Knowshon Moreno to return. And pull those nails out of the coffin. Tannehill is on the cusp of being a solid starter, if he gets some help. However, He will have to help himself out by having a good game against the Raiders.
Plus who are they going to turn to? Matt Moore. COME ON MAN!
Tom Brady and the Patriots Offense to Click
BREAKING: A Pats fan wants the Pats to succeed. So, ladies and gentlemen, start your vomiting. Take to the comment section with invective. But I'd love to see the Patriots' offense play good football. The Patriots and the Miami Heat (pre-LeBron's going home) are/were hated in a big way. It's a shame. Both teams play great ball -- and you're wasting the enjoyment of a really great spectacle.
That is no longer true for the Patriots. The best spectacle the Pats can muster is when analysts give scathing thoughts on the Pats' ailing offensive line. The poor play has birthed the meanest comments ever said about an offensive lineman, according to Bill Barnwell. Poor Jordan Devey never got laid -- or something like that. Bottom line: He's awful. If Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick can pull all of the talent on this team together, it could make for a very good football team. If not, their 2-1 record will be something of a mirage... which brings me to my next wish:
People think critically about the early records
Football is all about context. In a sport where things are ever-changing and the "any given Sunday" cliche is exhausted because it's so damn true, we have to look past numbers. The first set of numbers to forgo? A team's record.
The Eagles are undefeated. They faced the Jaguars, the Colts and the Redskins. They let the Chad Henne and the chicken-with-their-head-cut-off Jaguars put them in a 17-0 hole. They beat the Colts and Redskins by three. So while the Eagles are undefeated, it's time to bring them back down to earth. They're good. But they're not that good.
Conversely, consider that the Saints lost to the Falcons and the Browns. Matt Ryan looks absolutely dirty (bird) this year. The Browns' game was a blackout stroke of genius for the Clevelanders. The Saints aren't a bad team. They just had a start that was an anomaly. They'll turn it around. And also, Brandon Cooks is going to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. That is all.
Willie Young gets four sacks on Aaron Rodgers
How about some defense? Football seems to get out of sorts when the Steelers and Bears can't play defense. Bears defensive end Willie Young the NFL's second leading rusher with four sacks. I'm hoping he doubles that total against the Packers. Admittedly, Aaron Rodgers is in two of my fantasy leagues, but real football is more important. And I'd love to see a little extra bite in this rivalry.
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