A Day of Football
Posted Oct. 15 at 06:48 AM
Sometimes you go to a football game expecting to see one thing, only to see something entirely different. That was me yesterday, attending Jets-Colts to see the continued emergence of top pick Andrew Luck as an NFL superstar, instead witnessing the revival of Shonn Greene, who I've been throwing dirt on since last July.
Luck ended up throwing for 280 yards, and if you just watch highlights of his 2 interceptions, you might not think much about them -- one tipped off his receiver's hands, the other was a great defensive play in the end zone. It's easy to say the story was about the Jets offense rolling over Indianapolis' terrible defense, building a lead that forced Luck to carry the team on his shoulders, struggling against a good defense.
And that's true, but watching the game live -- and we had pretty good seats -- it was apparent Luck just had an awful day. He missed a lot of throws, and ones that could have been game-changers. Donnie Avery got behind the defense for a bomb, and Luck underthrew him. Coby Fleener got open, and Luck sailed it over his head. On the end-zone pick, Luck stared his receiver down; the Jets appeared to bait him into the throw. This defense is definitely more burnable without Darrelle Revis, as I suspect we'll find out when Tom Brady faces them next year, but it isn't finished, either.
Key takeaway: Luck's a rookie, and he's not completely there yet. He'll make some mistakes, and given the quality of Indy's defense, there are going to be a lot of weeks where the Colts get down quickly, and it will be too much and too tough for Luck to get the team back up. He did it against the Packers last week. Maybe he'll do it next week, at home, against Cleveland. But great as his future may be, it's still in the future. Some defenses -- Chicago in Week 1, the Jets yesterday -- will have him struggling out there.
As for the Jets, they're a classic front-runner, bully team. (Which isn't intended as an insult, it's just how they are.) Get a lead -- which are in short supply with their offense -- and they suddenly look like a real team, flying around on defense and actually doing the ground and pound they talk about each week without accomplishing. A home game against a bad defense (Buffalo in Week 1, the Colts yesterday) lets them do those things. Next week they're at New England. I won't be starting any Jets.
But credit where it's due. Shonn Greene had his best game since that great postseason a couple of years ago. He looked like a running back, hitting holes, fighting for extra yards, busting tackles. Few have been harsher on Greene than I have, and while I doubt he has my comments on his locker or anything, perhaps he somehow sensed the guy who trashed him mercilessly was sitting near the goal line where he ended up blasting in for 3 TDs.
The question now is, what's next? For Andrew Luck, he'll be fine. There are plenty of soft defenses, including his own, so there will be more games where Luck has to pass a lot and has a lot more production. Wayne, Avery, Fleener -- those guys are going to be good most weeks. Wayne finished with respectable numbers even while being covered by the underrated Antonio Cromartie yesterday. He can play.
For the Jets, uh, all due respect Mr. Greene, but I think it's reasonable to at least consider selling high. The upcoming schedule is New England, Miami, Bye, Seattle, St. Louis, New England. Things actually look OK in the fantasy playoffs (Week 14 Jacksonville, Week 15 Tennessee), so he'll have a few games where he'll be usable. But in the next six weeks I expect to use him against St. Louis, and that's about it.
I may not see another Jets game this year. It's too expensive, it takes too long (crossing the George Washington Bridge afterward was so excruciatingly slow I was looking for the Green Goblin to pitch me off it), and you miss most of the other games, forcing me to watch tape basically all day Monday (and limiting this column; apologies. Next week I'll be back to zipping around the league).
But it's good to go every once in a while, to remind you that games are different live, to get to see stars up close and see how they really play. To watch what happens and draw your own conclusions, rather than being led down a merry path by the TV crew calling it and the camera angles the networks give you.
And maybe to remind me that sometimes I'm wrong -- to an extent about Luck, and even moreso about Greene. Put a guy on too high a pedestal, or too deep a hole, and you'll have a lot more climbing, or digging, to do the next day.
Posted by DAVID DIGREGORIO | Oct. 15 at 07:40 AM
Off topic, but I noticed your IDP rankings have Trent Cole rated very high. Typically he starts out great and fades later in the year. This year he started out terribly, and I see no reason to expect improvements. The eagles haven't had a sac in their last three games. Drop Cole way down.
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Oct. 15 at 07:52 AM
Yeah, Cole is usually an IDP star because he's a productive pass rusher who also gets plenty of tackles. This year he's not doing either. He slipped quite a bit in the projections that will come out tomorrow.
Posted by PETER DEBIASE | Oct. 15 at 12:51 PM
Andy: I'm glad you enjoyed the game. I believe you are a Jets fan so it must have been good to see your team dominate Indy yesterday. Now if they can only keep that running game hummin. I really had high hopes for Garcon coming into the season, but with more bad news coming out of DC today, what are your thoughts on dropping him? It seems like the only way this injury is going to get better is if they shut him down since it seems like he can only continue to aggravate it by playing. With bye weeks coming, I really need some WR depth since I am carrying Garcon and Amendola (he won't be back for another three weeks minimum). Thanks.
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Oct. 15 at 01:54 PM
I'm not exactly a die hard but they're local. Hard to be optimistic about Garcon. I think B.Powell got hurt yesterday so you can drop him for a spot, right? But yeah, I dont see Pierre as undroppable. Seems he may need to be shutdown, though I have no real info there, just what I have read, same as you.
Add a Comment
Already a registered user? Please sign in to add comments.
To add comments, you must become a registered user of our site. To register, please click here.