So I’m going to focus on 2 guys today. Andrew Luck, and Eli Manning. Both are amazing talents. Both were lauded as being the next elite QB in the NFL. Both have had their successes and their failures. And both have their critics. I believe that both are a perfect example of how little the media and public ever looks at the team, and we get too caught up in just what the QB is or isn’t.
2 reasons this comes to mind. 1 is because I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to the greatness of Odell Beckham as his star just continues to rise. The other is because on my favorite radio show on Friday, the Dan Patrick Show, Andrew Perloff offered the same opinion that I’ve had lately which is that: is their not a pattern with Eli Manning enhancing these WR’s?
Today it’s Beckham Jr. 3 years ago it was Victor Cruz. Before Cruz it was Hakeem Nicks. Along with Nicks it was Mario Manningham. Before those guys it was Steve Smith and Plaxico Burress.
Nicks, Manningham, Burress or Smith were never better than with Eli. But this just gets completely ignored for some reason. And then Eli hasn’t been as good since winning his 2nd Super Bowl. Well, you need an offensive line in football. It is so undervalued. Look at Tony Romo the last year as compared to when the Cowboys offensive line was trash. The guy was the butt of everyone’s jokes and how he would never win anything. Well he was carrying the Cowboys on his own! Same with Eli recently. He’s had to carry the Giants. The offensive and defensive lines are nowhere near as good as they were in 2007 or 2011.
This leads me to Andrew Luck. People in football will tell you that the Colts offensive line is the worst in football and has been the last 3 seasons. The Colts front office is a bit of a joke. Ryan Grigson seems like he knows what he’s doing, but he gave up a 1st round pick for Trent Richardson when it was already looking as though Richardson wasn’t the back he was thought to be. In April’s draft, with the Colts DESPERATE for help on the O-line and on D, he took Phillip Dorsett. Awesome talent, and absolutely ZERO need for a team that already had T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, and Donte Moncrief. Suspect moves to put it nicely.
This all comes up because I’m starting to hear people question Andrew Luck moving forward, and they’ve been questioning Eli Manning for years. They are elite QB’s. Luck getting these Colts teams to the playoffs is insane. In 2011 the Colts were 2-14. Without adding much at all other than Luck, they were 11-5 and a playoff team in 2012. Think about that.
Does anyone think those Giants teams which won the Super Bowl were good?! They weren’t. Eli Manning made them a Super Bowl winner. Do both guys throw a lot of picks? Yes. Because they both have so much talent and belief in their abilities, not to mention the burden of having to carry their franchises without much help, that they are naturally going to force balls into tight quarters in an attempt to make something out of nothing. Brett Favre did the same thing, Terry Bradshaw did the same thing, Joe Namath did the same thing.
Tom Brady has BILL BELICHICK as his head coach. I believe Brady is probably the best of all time, but he’s had maybe the best coach of all time his whole career…in a COACHES LEAGUE! Tom Brady missed the 2008 season, and the Pats went 11-5 with MATT CASSEL! This shit is NEVER black and white.
Manning has Tom Coughlin, a damn good coach and that is likely why they have 2 Super Bowl titles. Luck has had a man nicknamed “the mad tweeter” as his owner, and a GM who gave up a 1st round pick for a bad running back (in a pass first league). Chuck Pagano has done a solid job as head coach (not worth running off as it appears they’re going to), but he’s not Belichick. Not even close.
It drives me up the wall when people just look at what the QB does and not at the entire team, in a sport that is as much of a team game as any.
As for my picks against the spread…yikes. Week 1, 4-1, I was laughing. Last week, 2-3. I called the Steelers/Niners game pretty much bang on, then couldn’t have been more wrong about the 3 I got wrong. I was also wrong about the Panthers and Texans but luckily for me it ended up with a Panthers 7 point win (came down to the final play).
Indianapolis at Tennessee
Everyone is down on the Colts, and a lot of people are likely still sky high on Mariota. Remember, the Colts were stopped by elite D’s. The Titans don’t have an elite D, and Mariota shouldn’t give the Colts D too many issues. I don’t think the Colts run away with this one, but suggesting they win by 6 or 7 should be a safe bet.
Jacksonville at New England
I just have a funny feeling this will be a somewhat close game, closer than 14 points. The Pats have had a habit of playing down to their opponents at Gillette (I’m thinking most recently of the Raiders game in week 3 last season). And the Jags are ok. They aren’t great, but they are at least starting to pull out of the gutter of the NFL and into respectability. Pats win, but I don’t think its a blowout.
Buffalo at Miami
The only thing that scares me here is the humidity in Miami this time of year makes it a TOUGH place to play. Supposed to feel like 34 Celsius, which is 93.2 Fahrenheit, so that’s pretty hot but I don’t think it is unbearable like it can get. Before the start of the season I may have picked the Dolphins here, but the Bills are more talented and the Dolphins appear to have a lot of issues. Not to mention, I believe the Bills in the short term (first month or so) are going to be a very tough offense to game plan for. Very gimmicky.
Chicago at Seattle
This is a MASSIVE number, and I’m going with it. The Seahawks are at home, desperate, and pissed off. They easily could be 2-0. It’s not as though they lost to the Browns and Raiders at home. So with Jimmy Claussen at QB for the Bears, and a weak O-line, and a still weak D, and the Seahawks so pissed off, I just think even though it is so tough to swallow this many points that it’s the right/logical pick.
Denver at Detroit
So I got a pretty desperate Lions team at home which is likely better than they’ve showed to this point facing a 2-0 Broncos team which is likely worse than their record suggests. Lions are winning this game outright.
Follow me on Twitter @TJ_Soups