The Week 5 mailbag is here!! Week 4 marked the much ballyhooed and celebrated return of the regular refs. Things have settled down a lot with their return so there isn't a lot of crazy stuff to talk about this week. However, there is one bit of sad news to cover, the recent leukemia diagnosis for Colts HC Chuck Pagano. We need to put on an united front as the NFL community as a whole (that means the players, coaches, support staff, fans, bloggers, reporters, everyone) to support him in his battle against this horrible disease. It's such a shame to see a guy finally get his dream job of being an NFL head coach only to get this kind of news. In more positive news, the real refs are back! There was never a day that I was happier than seeing Ed Hochuli on the field Sunday (although seeing one of my childhood heroes, John Elway finally win a Super Bowl is up there). The Texans, Falcons, 49ers, Ravens, Bengals and Bears all firmly established themselves as the top tier teams in week 4. The Eagles continue to prove that whatever magic Eli Manning has transferred over to them as they continue to get lucky. I don't know what to make of the upstart Vikings and Cardinals just yet. Matt Ryan is a late game boss (having a Roddy White to throw to helps) while Cam Newton continues to prove that he's a fake crybaby diva that will pout and whine any time something goes wrong. The cartoon in the Charlotte newspaper was a very apt description of him. Miguel Cabrera is a beast but you already know that. Mike Trout gave a spirited run at the AL MVP but it's Cabrera's to lose. The thrilling AL East and West races are coming down to the final day of the regular season today. As with every mailbag, you can ask me about anything. I can be contacted via these mediums:
(Note: if you email me questions/comments/suggestions, please use the subject heading of 'TST Mailbag' when you do so I know who it is and please leave a comment in the email if it's OK or not to use your name when I post the email questions on here after the jump. Thanks!) Also, if you want to send a get well card/well wishes to Chuck Pagano, please do so here:
PO Box 535000, Indianapolis. 46253 or 7001 West 56th Street Indianapolis, IN 46254Thoughts on the Rams in week 4:
Offense - A somewhat average outing by this unit considering the level of the opponent's defense. An improvement over last week's nerve grating and amazingly horrifying turrible performance? Sure. They barely did what they had to do in order to get the kicker to win the game on his own. The OL is still an issue as it will be all year long. Not much praise can be had here. Brian Quick made it off the inactive list to actually seeing some time, so that's one positive in a bleak picture.
Defense - The defense continues to play out of their minds to help support an abysmal offense. They made Russell Wilson look like, well, a third round rookie QB. The return of one Michael Brockers helped matters in run defense slightly. Marshawn Lynch did rush for 100+ yards and caught a few passes however. The last Wilson pick was a bit of a fluke with the receiver getting caught by the turf monster. I'm not going to anoint Fisher's boys Chuck Cecil and Dave McGinnis as miracle workers just yet though. The addition of Finnegan continues to pay dividends.
Overall - A very ugly Fisher style win this week with the special teams and defense bailing out a barely above miserably incompetent offense. Face it, Rams fans, the kicker, Greg Zuerlein won this game for you with those monster kicks. Thursday night should prove interesting as one or both teams have proved to crap the bed playing on a short week, every week this TNF has been played so far. I'd say the Cardinals win by eventually forcing the OL to surrender and as a consequence, Bradford reverts into Captain Checkdown mode (the problem with this is, the already good Cards defense will be lathered up and pissed off by being lit up by a rookie QB last week). Let's be real here, all the Cards have to do is stick Patrick Peterson on Amendola and keep everything in front of them in regards to the run.