"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Time For Some Comments on the NFL Season

Sanchez is Getting a Bad Rap: I watched the Jets struggle against the Texans last night, and it sure appeared to me that the Jets' problems have very little to do with Mark Sanchez. No running game, no time to throw and inexperienced receivers add up to disaster for a defensive minded, ball control football team. Tebow may be able to help out a little bit, but what makes anyone think the offensive line will run block for Tebow any better than they do for Shonn Green or pass protect for Sanchez?

And Speaking of the Texans: So if you want to be an elite team in the NFL, you need a solid running game (check), smothering defense (check) and a efficient if not spectacular quarterback who moves the ball and avoids turnovers (check). That sounds a lot like the Houston Texans. They're currently undefeated and face a relatively easy division schedule, one without another real contender for the title. Until the Colts emerge from their rebuilding, this division belongs to the Texans, so there is a great chance that the road to the Super Bowl will go through Reliant Stadium. With a strong running game, good receivers and Matt Schaub running the show, I wouldn't count these guys out.

Surprise! Vikings and Cardinals Are Both 4 - 1: Okay, I really didn't see this coming. I knew the Cardinals had a pretty good defense, but the quarterback situation in Phoenix was such an issue that I really didn't think they could mount much of a campaign this season. True, they were a bit exposed in St. Louis, but it's still a nice start. In Minneapolis the big question was whether Christian Ponder could continue his development and lead the Vikings into a contending role in a very tough division. It hasn't hurt that the Pack and the Lions are under performing, but I'm not sure anyone but die hard Minnesota fans would have picked their team to be tied with the Bears on top of the NFC North.

Replacement Refs Are A Distant Memory: Now that the league has reached an agreement with the referees, games seem to be more under control and we're back to the normal griping about the calls. The most flagrant  errors still seem to be on pass interference calls. It's gotten a bit ridiculous on both sides, especially the offensive interference call last night against the Jets that went a long way in deciding the game. I say let the guys play. It's a physical game, so unless a defensive or offensive player gains a clear advantage, then don't call it.

The Saints Finally Break Through: Maybe it was having Sean Payton in attendance, but the Saints got their first win of the season. Actually, it had more to do with the Chargers letting the Saints receivers run around at will in the secondary. If I didn't know better, I would think the Chargers wanted Brees to break Unitas' record. Even so, someone should have told them it only took one TD pass to break it. After that they could have gone back to covering someone and trying to win the game.

Unitas: I grew up as a Baltimore Colts, and especially a Johnny Unitas fan. I'm not diminishing Brees' record setting feat in any way, but Unitas' accomplishments came in a totally different era. Receivers didn't have free rein in the secondary. Most offenses were designed to run first, pass second. There were only 12 games in the regular season, so Unitas' streak spanned almost four full seasons. Brees passed Unitas in three. Again, nice job Drew, but it was quite a streak when you consider it took over 50 years for someone to top it. And Unitas did wearing high tops...