October 12, 2008

Debunking the Myths of the 2008 NFL Season

After five weeks of the 2008 NFL season, we thought we knew something. Week 6 showed us that we were wrong about lots of those things. You could call today "Debunking Day." We here at ECB will run down the NFL myths that were debunked today.

Myth #1: The Colts aren't the same team without Bob Sanders
The Colts were underwhelming in their first 4 games, and lots of the blame was placed on Bob Sanders' injury. The Colts came alive against Baltimore today, looking like the Super Bowl contender they've been in recent years.

Myth #2: The NFC East is the league's toughest division
Last week there was talk that three of the top 5 or 6 teams in the NFL were in the NFC East. Today two of them lost to bad teams in the Rams and the Cardinals. The Cowboys and Redskins are still likely to make the playoffs, but both the NFC and AFC South might be tougher divisions.

Myth #3: Joe Flacco is a prodigy who will lead the Ravens deep in the playoffs
It was tough to be down on the Ravens after close losses to the Steelers and Titans. Joe Flacco looked decent in both games, and even with a tough schedule the Ravens looked poised for a run at a wild card slot. With three interceptions in a 31-3 humiliation in Indianapolis, the Ravens look to be at least a year away.

Myth #4: The Redskins are for real
Sure, they're 4-2 with one of the easiest schedules in the NFL, but the Redskins are not one of the best teams in the country. They could still make the playoffs, but the Rams exposed the Washington offense. St. Louis had given up at least 30 points in 7 straight games, but the Skins could only manage 7 points in the first 3 quarters. Their "ownership" of the fourth quarter wasn't even enough to best the lackluster Rams.

Myth #5: The "Wildcat" formation is a gimmick
Sure it was against the Texans, but the Dolphins may be on to something.

Myth #6: Dan Orlovsky is a big-time NFL quarterback
What, no one believed that myth?

[Update: Tirico Suave has the video]

Myth #7: Tom Cable will turn around the Raiders' season
Guess not.

10 Responses:

wideout91 said...

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J-Red said...

I think Orlovsky rolling out the back of the end zone and taking ten steps so far out of bounds that he almost hit the goal post as if nothing happened was hilarious. Not as hilarious as Pete Kendall single-handedly brainfarting away all the Redskins' momentum for the year in the 2nd quarter, but still hilarious.

Also, I challenge that the Colts myth has been debunked. I had wood all week for the opportunity to start Marvin Harrison in fantasy in his matchup against Frank Walker. The Ravens were dead when the injury report came out Tuesday, and they knew it as well as I did.

"ben" said...

All week? I think you're supposed to call a doctor after four hours.

Adam said...

You obviously didn't watch the Redskins-Rams game. You say the Rams "exposed the Washington offense?" The Redskins offense dominated. The reason they lost was because of three fumbles, not lack of production. Washington is 4-2 thanks to a "weak schedule?" They beat Dallas, Philadelphia, Arizona, and New Orleans. Four of the best offenses in the league, and you think their schedule is weak? Clearly, you know nothing about the NFL because you're just shooting in the dark.

J-Red said...

With regard to the Redskins offense "dominating", I would point out that they allowed four sacks. One of the fumbles came from a pass tipped up by strong pressure and caught (inexplicably) by Pete Kendall. That fumble was the direct result of right-side blocking ineptitude.

I think Brien was referring to how easy their schedule is the rest of the way, with lots of cupcakes and home games against the divisional opponents.

Jeremy said...

I wouldn't call a home game against a divisional opponent in the NFC East "easy."

Brien said...

Jason's right, I meant that for the season, they have one of the easiest schedules in the league. If you look at the original context, I mention their schedule talking about how they could make the playoffs.

And last I checked, turnover-prone offenses are bad offenses. Rather than say the Redskins had bad luck yesterday in their turnovers, I would say they had extremely good luck by not turning the ball over on offense in the first 5 games.

J-Red said...

No, Jeremy, those three games aren't easy. It's the other 7 that offer up a lot of wins if they just show up, play D, and hand it off to Portis.

Someone was quizzing me this weekend on a study that evaluated the most cost-effective place to spend money in the NFL. I knew the study would say "kicker", and it did, but the correct answer is offensive line depth. If Jon Jansen can't pass block, and for whatever reason you're not willing to beat the sorry-ass Rams just on the ground, you're going to give up sacks and turnovers.

Pittsburgh is the only team this year that can give up a ton of sacks and not lose because of it, and it's mostly because Roethlisberger is such a hoss to bring down that he doesn't fumble or throw lame duck desperation heaves.

Brien said...

Anyone still want to defend the NFC East?

J-Red said...

The only way to defend the NFC East now is to pretend to support the AFC North as "underrated". My integrity won't let me stoop that low.

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