Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Defence wins championships’? If not you may hear a lot of people starting to use when talking about the Denver Broncos this season. This week the Broncos managed to stay undefeated and improve to a 6 – 0 record thanks to an overtime win against the Cleveland Browns.
The Broncos offense has been misfiring a lot of late and before the 75 yard touchdown reception from Emmanuel Sanders on Sunday their offense had gone 27 consecutive series without scoring a touchdown. Hard to believe when they have future hall of famer Peyton Manning at quarterback!
Coming back to their defence though, before the game I was wondering why they were playing so well this season considering they have not added much to their roster talent wise. All became clear however when I saw Wade Phillips is their new defensive coordinator. Coach Phillips may not be seen to have had much success as a head coach but he is certainly one of the best defensive coordinators in the league.
Elsewhere in the league the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions faced off in a battle that was hard to find any defence at all, until overtime that is when both defences stepped up and forced their opposition to have several attempts at trying to win the game. The game was eventually won by the Lions but you can see what I mean about lack of defence by watching the highlights below:
The Miami Dolphins also returned to action this week after their bye week last weekend and there was certainly a renewed confidence about the team. As bad as it sounds I think the players wanted Coach Philbin out and the only way they could make it happen was to play so badly over the first four weeks!
This week however as I mentioned they were a completely different team, the defence looked hungrier than ever and managed to sack poor Marcus Mariota six times. The offense also looked to be clicking again despite a couple of bad throws from Ryan Tannehill and in the end the Dolphins won by a considerable margin 38 – 10.
Before I go this week there are a couple of teams I wanted to talk about who have not been mentioned much on the blog this year and that is Carolina and Pittsburgh.
I will start with Carolina who this week went into hostile territory up at centurylink field in Seattle. If anyone reading this is new to the NFL, I say hostile territory because Seattle fans are renowned for making an incredible about of noise! To give you an idea of just how loud it is they have recorded the fans at a level of 136.6 decibels during a game against San Francisco back in 2013. To give you an idea of how loud that actually is, it’s the equivalent to being 100 yards away from a jet engine!
Back to the Carolina Panthers now and for the last two years they have reached the playoffs by winning their NFC South division. Admittedly last year their record left a lot to be desired despite winning the division but this year before Sunday's game they were one of the few remaining undefeated teams.
I really like what Coach Ron Rivera is doing with this Panthers team, he has built a solid defence around two great middle linebackers in Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, the offense is built around a strong running game and mobility of superstar quarterback Cam Newton. Check out the highlights below to see if they managed to keep their perfect record in tact:
To finish off this week I just want to touch on the Pittsburgh Steelers who are currently playing without their star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and have been since he got injured back in week three.
Normally when a team loses their main quarterback the team’s record starts to tail off, I mean you only have to look at Dallas this year after they lost Tony Romo as a prime example. The Steelers however have a record of 2 – 1 since they lost Roethlisberger thanks largely to the play of Michael Vick who has been keeping the offense ticking over and also making so big plays with his feet. This Sunday when Vick himself also got injured they turned to third string quarterback Landry Jones who again kept the team ticking over whilst their defence stepped up and held one of the most powerful offenses this year to just 13 points.
Well that wraps it up from me for another week however be sure to check out our podcast ‘Spitball’ later in the week. Until next football fans stay safe, take care and ‘Thanks for Stopping By’.
Adri 'BallHawk' Mallows