Four Down Territory

By Ryan Whitfield

Twitter: @RyanWhitfieldNE

1st Down

I’m going with negative takes on First and Second Down this week.

First, it’s been one week since the new extra point rule has been in effect and kickers and fans alike are already complaining. I am so sick of people calling kickers a gimmicky part of the game. Kickers are players and thus matter. It’s not a fluke play, it is a developed skill and an integral part of the game. Extra points were a joke and now they matter. The changed rule makes the play more challenging and adds another level of competition. And it’s still a kick that should go through the uprights 95% of the time. So to Mike Nugent and the average joe at home….get used to and shut it.

2nd Down

I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m spoiled with Bill Belichick as my coach. But god is it painful to watch some of these games. For instance:

  • Watching Giants Coach Tom Coughlin and Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett compete last week over who was better at choking the game away.
  • Watching the “innovator” Eagles Coach Chip Kelly run the ball between the tackles twice in a row on 2nd and 3rd down when it matters most.
  • Watching Lions Coach Jim Caldwell unable to get his team to respond as it chokes away a 21-3 lead.

It’s hard to watch some games, it really is.

3rd Down

Peyton Manning is done. I’m sorry but anyone who isn’t a Peyton lover or working for the World Wide leader can admit it. He has no power behind his lame duck passes anymore. Over the last 7 games last year and the opener last week his QBR is below the league average. Wow. He’s just not good anymore, right Trent?

4th Down

  • AFC West – Kansas City Chiefs – You have a budding super star tight end, a legit WR1 and RB1 and a great defense. The best home field advantage in the game,  and a declining Peyton Manning. Chiefs go 11-5 and win the West.
  • AFC South –  Indianapolis Colts – This is the easiest division to pick. Obviously the Indianapolis Colts. I stand by my opinion that this team is still majorly flawed and has about a 5% chance to make it to the Super Bowl this year. How’d Gore and Johnson look last week? I digress, The real point here is that aside from the Titans there is no competition in this division. Call me a sucker but I’m buying in on Mariotta, he’s the real deal. But, he’s a rookie and I don’t love that defense. The offense will make it interesting and they will fight for the division for the first 8-10 games. But in the end, Luck and the Colts win out here.

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