That’s right, Bryan and I are back again with our What We Learned article series, where we look back at what went down in the NFL and clue you in on some things we learned. And yes, we are competing with our other article series, Who’s Winning, to see which one is the most popular NFL article series on the site.


Irsay Vindicated With Win?

Bryan Lienesch (@BCLienesch) – Peyton lost in his return to Indy, the much anticipated Sunday Night Game. Pigskin, does the Broncos losing vindicate Jim Irsay for what he said about Manning?

Pigskin Pig – It was still a terrible comment, no matter who won last night’s game. Irsay became Vice President and General Manager back in 1984, and how many “rings” did Irsay win without Peyton Manning? None, and in fact, there was only one year before Peyton came along that the Colts even won a playoff game. This wreaks of Irsay feeling gutted by what Manning has been able to do out in Denver.

Bryan Lienesch (@BCLienesch) – I completely agree. It was just one game. It doesn’t change the fact that Irsay’s comments basically mean Luck has to win him at least 2 Super Bowl rings to not be a failure and it doesn’t change the fact that Irsay was completely thankless to the man who hand-delivered him a successful franchise.

Pigskin Pig – That stadium should be named after Peyton Manning at this point. I can understand wanting to draft Andrew Luck because they weren’t sure that Peyton’s health was going to hold up. And I can even understand wanting to trade him away to help build up other parts of the team from a salary cap perspective. But for all the times I remember hearing that Peyton turned down a bigger contract, or wanted to find ways to make his salary a “cap friendly” number so the team could put Super Bowl quality players around him… the fact that Irsay had the nerve to say anything disrespectful about Peyton is terrible… and I’m hoping that the Colts and Broncos meet in the playoffs. At this point, I’m wondering if Colts vs Broncos is a bigger rivalry in 2013-14 (and beyond) than Colts vs Patriots.

Bryan Lienesch (@BCLienesch) – I wouldn’t go that far. Keep in mind, its just the owner. Andrew Luck just kept his head down through all this and played football. Again, we have to remember it’s just one game. Even with last night’s loss, the Broncos still have the better record. I, too, would be curious to see a rematch in the postseason.


Is Kansas City the Head Chief of NFL?

Pigskin Pig – With Denver’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the Kansas City Chiefs are the only remaining unbeaten team. Are they really worthy of being the top-rated team in the league in anyone’s power rankings?

Bryan Lienesch (@BCLienesch) – Certainly, we have to at least consider them a Top 3 team until they lose, but THE best? I just don’t know that I could go that far. If Peyton Manning doesn’t throw that interception last night, maybe the Broncos win and maybe we’re not even having this conversation right now. If I had to choose, I’d still put Denver #1 with Kansas City #2, looking forward to their first match up this season.

Pigskin Pig – Even though they’ve got a change at head coach and Quarterback, I’m still having a tough time believing that the Chiefs are going to be able to keep this up. The fact that they had the top overall draft pick, getting only 2 wins last year, has me thinking that they can’t possibly get to the AFC Championship Game.

Bryan Lienesch (@BCLienesch) – Well, the fact that they’re undefeated means they’ve kept it while 31 other teams haven’t. Denver is still the most impressive team, but that Indianapolis loss closes the gap significantly..

Pigskin Pig – You don’t think the Saints or Seattle have made enough of a case to take the top spot over either of the two AFC West powerhouses?

Bryan Lienesch (@BCLienesch) – I have serious questions about Seattle’s prowess on the road. They’d have to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs to convince me they could make it to the Super Bowl and I don’t think they’ll do that. As for the Saints, they’re built almost the exact same way the Broncos are. But, to me, the Broncos are built BETTER under that blueprint.

Pigskin Pig – With as much motivation as Peyton Manning had against his former team this past weekend, you’d have to think that he’ll be similarly motivated if he gets the Broncos to the Super Bowl this year and it happens to be against those Saints, the team that kept him from getting that second ring the last time he made it to the final game.

Bryan Lienesch (@BCLienesch) – Probably still wouldn’t have been enough for Mr. Irsay.


How High Can The Jets Fly?

Bryan Lienesch (@BCLienesch) – With their win over the New England, the Jets not only have a winning record now but are just one game behind the Patriots in the division. We thought this team would be a disaster this year but, Pigskin Pig, do we actually have to consider the Jets a potential playoff team?

Pigskin Pig – Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. The Jets held their own against the Patriots the first time around, and squeaked out a victory against them this week, but the rest of their resume isn’t impressive. They almost lost to the Bucs in the first week of the season, they nearly lost to Atlanta and barely beat the Bills. None of those squads are playoffs-bound. Their only other game, against a good Titans team, they lost by 25.

Bryan Lienesch (@BCLienesch) – I don’t think we’re getting ahead of ourselves by saying they have the potential to make the playoffs. At 4-3, they only have to go 5-4 the rest of the way to make it to 9-7, which might be enough for Wild Card consideration. Considering they’ve already pretty much done that, I wouldn’t say it’s outside the realm of possibility.

Pigskin Pig – I’ll be shocked if they win the division, especially with Gronk back for the Patriots and Belichick figuring out he’s got some weapons in the running game. The Broncos or Chiefs, one of those teams is getting the first wild card spot, so that leaves one left. The Bengals and Ravens are going to be fighting for the North, and you never know what the Titans are going to do in the South. The Chargers might end up with 9 wins, too, and I’d say they have more weapons than the Jets.

Bryan Lienesch (@BCLienesch) – I’d be shocked if the Jets stole the division, too. That being said, I was shocked when the Dolphins nabbed it from the Patriots a few seasons ago. Beyond that, I heard a lot of maybes in there. That’s where I am. Maybe they do make it in, maybe they don’t. But either way, a ‘maybe’ right now means there’s potential.

Pigskin Pig – I’m reminded of that scene from Dumb & Dumber where Jim Carrey’s character says “so you’re SAYING there’s a chance!”

Bryan Lienesch (@BCLienesch) – No, it’s a bigger chance than that. If you’re looking at Dumb & Dumber odds, it’d probably be in reference to one of those teams the Jets have already beaten.


Big Time Injuries from Week 7

Pigskin Pig – Sam Bradford tore his ACL, Reggie Wayne did too, Jermichael Finley got a neck injury… which of the three would you say was the worst of Week 7?

Bryan Lienesch (@BCLienesch) – I’d have to say Wayne. The Rams aren’t going anywhere this season and the Packers have already shown how backup role players (i.e. Jarrett Boykin) can stand up when needed. The Packers have played fine without Finley before and they’ll do so again. But Wayne? That whole offense in Indy looks completely different without the veteran presence of Reggie. T.Y. Hilton is now your go-to guy and it’s time for Coby Fleener to wake up and start contributing.

Pigskin Pig – I’d have to agree. Reggie Wayne has lead the team in targets in most of their games, and when he wasn’t. When T.Y. Hilton was the one to lead the team, you can bet he was able to be successful because of Reggie Wayne’s presence on the other side. How he’ll do as the top option when Heyward-Bey is on the opposite side , that’s another question. For the short term, we’re on the same page. But will the Rams need to find themselves a new franchise QB?

Bryan Lienesch (@BCLienesch) – No. I mean, if they still thought Sam Bradford was the answer up until this point, the injury should give the Rams front office no reason to change their mind. Just get Dr. Andrews to work on him, call him superhuman, and he’ll be back for Week 1. The upside here is Bradford wasn’t a mobile quarterback to begin with.

Pigskin Pig – Forget “mobile”, he hasn’t shown to be much of a quarterback at all.