Almanac NFL – The 2023 Dutch Clark Cup: Week Five



Greetings Tipsters!

Five weeks in and chaff is being sorted. Funny thing, but the allegedly all-powerful AFC, loaded with über-quarterbacks, is in a muddle, while the NFC is a little more clearcut.

Case in point, Pittsburgh is third in the AFC, Indianopolis fifth. But let’s dak the Cowboys. They managed to net all of 8 yards on their first four drives against the 49ers, somewhat belying the not-unexpected pre-season hype. They’ve three wins by a total of 108-13 and two losses by a total of 70-26. Who have they beat? Jets, Giants, Patriots, all terrible teams. They got beat by Cardinals, who’re supposed to be terrible but are having a real dip, and the 49ers, form team of the League. They’ve got two games against the Eagles yet to go.

San Francisco and Philadephia are undefeated. Niners hit the ground running and have scored at least 30 points every game. This with Mr Irrelevant (the title given to the last player drafted) of 2022 at quarterback. Brock Purdy has never lost a game he started. Of course, it helps to have a stellar roster around him and Cluey Kyle coaching.

Eagles have seemed a touch wobbly, perhaps ‘cos last season’s OC and DC took HC jobs elsewhere – that tends to happen when you make the Superbowl – but have won three on the road. Beating the Commies by 3 points at home isn’t something to brag about too much, but a win is a win.

Detroit Lions are third in the NFC, only loss in OT against Seattle, who seem to have their number. Season started with a win in Kansas City against the Superbowl champs, they beat Packers at Lambeau and thumped Panthers as a True Contender ought to. The D has come together in a beautiful fashion, aside from those injuries in the backfield, QB Goff is in career best form and the hard running game is setting it up for OC Johnson’s flair for trick plays.

I chose Detroit Lions for my team 22 years ago. I’ll get back to that in another column.

Seahawks and Buccaneers are next on the NFC standings at 3-1, had the bye in Week Five. Bucs host Lions next week – and it’s on network telly here! 0725 AEDT Monday.

No surprise to see KC Chiefs atop the AFC. After all, they do have the best reason for the existence of extra-terrestrials playing quarterback. Pat scrambled out of a collapsing pocket on Sunday, off balance he threw a horizontal pass that curved around two defenders and hit the reciever for a touchdown. The D is looking good too. Receivers have dropped a few but part of the nature of NFL is building thru the season. Never write off a team with Reid coaching and Mahomes throwing.

Dolphins are also 4&1, at their best they can rack up the TDs with smart play, superfast receivers and Tua throwing dimes , but will he make it thru the season? He has talent but copped a couple of concussions last season, did jiu-jitsu over summer to learn to fall better. Mike, Miami HC, worked with Kyle, he’s another skinny little bespectacled geek who thinks up fantastic plays.

And beyond that, not much so far. The Bills have already lost two key D players for the season, Josh Allen wants to throw for 200 yards every snap. Jaguars are young and inexperienced and play in a weak division that’ll have ‘em in the playoffs. Bengals are 2-3 and -31 in net points, tho Joe Burrow seems to have gotten over that calf muscle problem. The Chargers are the Chargers, it does grieve me to watch Justin Herbert playing brilliantly on a lousy team. Reminds me a bit of Dan Marino.

Dan, 6’4 and 224, played 17 seasons at QB for Dolphins, set records that wouldn’t be broken for 20 or 25 years, lost a Superbowl in his second season and never again got near one. Probably the best player who never got to wear a ring. At least the winter weather was nice, beats Minneapolis.

The race to the bottom is looking interesting too, there’s a lot of highly rated quarterbacks and wide receivers likely to be drafted by disastrous franchises that will ruin their chances of a good career. QB Caleb Williams is expected to go #1 and his Dad said that he would likely stay at school for another year than get drafted by a bad team.

Cheers Tipsters

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About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.

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