The ‘A Gap’- wk 7 NFL editorial by Josh Slocum

The ‘A Gap’

week 7 NFL editorial by Josh Slocum


Was this the week of the terrible play? The MNF game featured a terrible Texans offense, SNF was a snorefest again, the 49ers, Jaguars, Bears are all massively underachieving, the Browns can’t keep a QB healthy and the Saints can’t stop anyone.


Who would have thought:

That the Cardinals would dominate their game to the tune of 46 minutes from 75, put up 443 yards but only 6 points?

The Seahawks o-line were terrible, constantly allowing Wilson to feel pressure and only blocking enough for 52 rushing yards.

And then there were the kickers: Cantanzaro may be cut after his game winner from 24 yards hit the post (and other failings this year) and Hauschka potentially felt sorry for his fellow kicker when he missed the next winner from 27 yards.

At least Blair Walsh feels better now.


Thankfully, it was great to see:

The ‘Ice Man’, Adam Vinatieri who this week broke the record for consecutive field goals with 43.  He’s a far cry from the kicking debacle that was SNF.

Matthew Stafford continue his terrific form, leading his Lions to their 3rd comeback win in a row in his 100th game.  Stafford is now enjoying career best QB rating of 105.7.

The Saints may be struggling but Drew Brees continues to play well.  He had his 100th game of throwing more than 300 yards.

Melvin Gordon continues to be a red zone threat, adding another 3 TDs to help his Chargers win in Atlanta.

Jay Ajayi back up his terrific performance last week with another 200 yard game, this time against the in form Bills D. He joined Ricky Williams, Earl Campbell and OJ Simpson as the only men to reach that feat.

Julio Jones put up just another 174 yards.


Wasn’t good that:

 Geno Smith did his ACL. I‘m not a fan by any stretch but it’s sad to see injury take away an opportunity.

Jaron Brown was also trying to grasp a role after John Brown didn’t play for the Cards, but he too suffered a torn ACL.

And one of the more bizarre injuries was for Texans lineman Derek Newton, who tore patellar tendons in both of his knees. That will be one tough rehab.

Arian Foster announced his retirement.  A stellar career cruelled by some big injuries.


How was:

That bizarre turnover by Brock Osweiller? The ball ‘fumbled’ in his hand before coming out.  Well, it did according to the NFL rules committee.

The AJ Green Hail Mary catch. He had an even better catch later with a one handed in stride down the sidelines.

Landon Collins INT for a TD. What a game winner that was.

The catch by Golden Tate after the ball ricocheted off a Washington back.


No surprise that:

 After seeing the Steelers give up a chunk of yards to Jay Ajayi, that LeGarette Blout would feature prominently in a Patriots win. It’s a credit to Belichick his Pats can run the ball when they need to.

The Broncos D smother the returning Brock and the Texans offense.

The Colts bounced back against the Titans, who own them.  Luck has never lost (8-0) and they have won 10 straight against their AFC South rival.


Trending up:

In the battle of the 2 franchises that spent big in the offseason, it was the Raiders defense finally held up against a foe. But was that just the Jags?

The Eagles D at home did a number on the Vikings and continues to be a force there.

My ‘reach man’ of the draft Leonard Floyd has started to prove me wrong with a breakout game against the Packers.


Questions over:

 The Falcons needed a win at home after the demoralising loss to the Seahawks but didn’t get it. HC Quinn’s decision to go for it on 4th down in OT was a decision full of panic.

The Houston Texans must be wondering if HC Bill O’Brien can judge and coach QB talent. After vouching for Hoyer last year he said that Osweiller was the man to get for this year.  He just became the man to throw for the 2nd fewest yards (131) when attempting 40 passes or more (41).

The 49ers should also be wondering what their HC Kelly thinks is a good defensive co-ordinator. Firstly Kelly’s own Eagles finished last when defending the run in 2015.  Secondly, he then went and hired the Brown’s DC Jim O’Neill whose Browns finished 3rd last and now?  The 49ers are on track to be one of the worst rushing defences in league history.  And be the 3rd side only to give up over 500 points.

When the 49ers play in Miami in a month’s time, Jay Ajayi could be the 1st man to rush for 1000 yards in a game.

Gus Bradley was a man under pressure before the season. Now that his Jags can’t play well on either side of the ball, it’s a matter of time before he is removed from his job.



Looking forward to watching:

 The Packers on the road visiting the Falcons. Can Aaron Rodgers continue his climb back into form?

The Eagles against the Cowboys. A pair of rookie QB’s have made the division interesting again and we have another rookie in RB Elliot going against the Eagles new look D.


Born into the red and white of the South Melbourne Swans, I remember being amazed at age 7 to see a team with our colours that actually won something when the 1984 49ers won the Superbowl. I've been following the red, white and gold ever since. Of recent times my frustrations at not winning a Superbowl since 1994 can be heard occasionally on the aussieguysnfl podcast.

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