November 5th, 2012
Many teams in the NFL have not gotten off to the greatest start, but if they make a couple adjustments, they could be playoff contenders.
The New England Patriots are still close to winning their conference, sitting at the top with a 5-3 record, but bad decisions have cost them the three tight games that they lost and allowed a nail biter to evolve against bitter rivals the New York Jets. I think that they should pass the ball more with an elite quarterback like Tom Brady, instead of attempting to improve their running game.
The same goes for the Detroit Lions. They are sitting at the bottom of the NFC North with a 3-4 record. All of their opponents have at least five wins. Their quarterback, like Tom Brady, threw for over 5,000 passing yards last season. Their running game has been very productive, but it has not been enough. Last year they took over 70% of their snaps out of the shotgun. This year, the percentage has not been nearly that high. Last week when the Lions played their game against the Seattle Seahawks, I noticed that they were taking a lot of the snaps out of the shotgun. Stafford threw his first two touchdown passes in the first half this season, a third touchdown in the fourth quarter, ran one in for a touchdown, and threw for over 350 yards. The Lions should take more shotgun snaps.
The Baltimore Ravens have a record of 5-2, but four of their five wins have been by a touchdown or less. Plus, the recent performance against the Houston Texans proved that they are desperately missing linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Ladarius Webb, who are both out for the season with injuries.
The Kansas City Chiefs may be the worst team in the NFL right now. They are 1-7, and have committed around 30 turnovers. Nearly 20 of those turnovers were from Matt Cassel, who has thrown eleven interceptions and fumbled the ball eight times. If they want to start winning against teams other than the Saints, then they need to start holding onto the ball.
Speaking of the Saints, they are another team in need for some huge changes. After trading away their first two draft picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, they only selected one defensive back in the fifth round to support their weak secondary. While Drew Brees is continuing to make history in the record books, the other side of the Saints playing has not been nearly as effective. Even when the failure of their secondary has continued to hurt them week after week, they chose to do nothing at the trading deadline to improve it. The Saints need a better secondary if they want to do well this year.
The Carolina Panthers, who ironically have their only win against the Saints, are also doing terribly. Cam Newton, who put up records for most passing yards and touchdowns ever thrown by a rookie quarterback, is not doing that well. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New Orleans Saints, and the Carolina Panthers all in the NFC South doing so badly this year, the undefeated Atlanta Falcons look like they have already clinched the playoffs, and it is only half way through the year!
Although a lot of these teams are doing well, there is always room for improvement.
NFLRUSH Kid Reporter