Joe-Pinions: Sports

25 Oct 2010 – NFL Pick ’em, Week 7 Results

Posted in Football (NFL) by txtmstrjoe on 25/10/2010

Here are our Week 7 results:

Tennessee Titans vs. Philadelphia Eagles:  We got this game RIGHT.  The Titans continued their brutalizing ways and utterly dominated the Eagles, almost doubling Philadelphia’s score 37-19.  Second-year Titans WR Kenny Britt caught seven Kerry Collins passes for a total of 225yds (Collins finished with 276yds passing) and scored three touchdowns against an obviously ineffective Eagles pass defense, suggesting that Philadelphia’s game plan was to contain Titans RB Chris Johnson.  They did that, limiting the explosive running back to just 66yds on the ground, but could not stop Britt and Collins.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals:  Another RIGHT pick.  Qwest Field continues to be home sweet home for the Seahawks as they beat the Cardinals 22-10.  The Seahawks consolidate their hold on the division lead as well as continue to establish the fact that Qwest Field is one of the NFL’s best home environments.  Newly-installed Cardinal starting QB Max Hall had a thoroughly miserable day; getting knocked out of the game early in the second half may have ironically been a personal reprieve, given his performance (4-16 passing for 34yds, 2 sacks, 13.5 passer rating).

Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders:  Wow, talk about getting things WRONG.  The Oakland Raiders jumped on the Denver Broncos’ collective throat early and crushed their blue and orange-garbed rivals, 59-14.  The Raiders scored early and often off of Broncos miscues and earned the greatest single-game total in their storied history.  They left the mile-high city on a gigantic high.  The Broncos, meanwhile, left home for a one-game sojourn to far-flung London and the world-famous Wembley Stadium.  They were probably glad to simply leave the scene of their humiliating loss to their most hated rival.

Carolina Panthers vs. San Francisco 49ers:  By picking the 49ers to win (they really really REALLY should have), I got this game WRONG.  Broken hearts beat in San Francisco as the 49ers somehow contrive to lose against the hitherto winless Carolina Panthers 23-20.  Continuing trends that are as alarming as they are now getting sadly familiar, the 49ers committed myriad breakdowns and miscues.  They were penalized for false starts, holding, and other indications of poor teaching of basic techniques by the coaching staff with regularity; in fact, the 49ers are committing more errors with each passing game, which suggests a widening disconnection between the disillusioned players and the ineffective coaching staff.  

Both the offense and defense were to blame for this latest debacle.  While RB Frank Gore was having a very good day on the ground, the offensive line was ineffective in protecting the passer.  The inevitable happened early in the second half.  On the third play of the third quarter, Carolina defensive end Charles Johnson sacked 49ers quarterback Alex Smith and knocked him out with a sprained left shoulder.  Later Smith revealed that the play was designed to have a seven-man protection; how a defensive end (not a dogging linebacker nor a blitzing defensive back) managed to have a clean shot at the quarterback with a seven-man protection call is baffling beyond description.

The 49ers tapped David Carr to replace Alex Smith, but for all intents and purposes the game was as good as lost when Smith went out.  Carr was completely ineffective at passing, looking completely out of rhythm and completely unadjusted to playing at full game speed.  The Panthers, of course, fully understood the ramifications of Smith’s exit and clogged the box with more men than the 49ers could block, completely shutting Frank Gore down in the second half.  

The Niners defense was not blameless in this disaster, either.  They made Carolina quarterback Matt Moore look like a Pro Bowl QB, allowing 308yds passing and two TDs.  The 49ers defense did seize the lead with around 13:00 minutes to go in the game when Moore threw an interception to 49ers DE Ray McDonald, but allowed the Panthers to score the decisive ten final points in the game by playing a pathetically-soft coverage scheme without sending hardly any pressure to the Carolina QB.  What’s worse was that when the 49ers did send dogs and/or blitzes, the Panthers were always able to punish the 49ers with a key long completion.

The 49ers have demonstrated that they have mastered getting leads late in the game, then surrendering the lead at the very end.  Whether they do so with inept offense or inept defense is immaterial; all that matters is that this team simply does not know and understand how to win.

The question for the beleaguered 49ers now is:  When do we just cut our losses and start over?

NFL

As I expected, this was going to be a difficult set of picks.  I feel satisfied with going 2-2 this weekend, even if I (still) feel so much pain from the 49ers’ loss.  The season’s total stands at 16-12.

I hope Week 8 brings at least a 49ers victory in London.  I’d trade doing better than 50% in my pick ’em game for a 49ers in.

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