NFL Notes: Week 7

– Following a 5-0 start, the Lions faltered against the 49ers last week and did the same this week against the Falcons. At least they’re losing to quality opponents. The loss of Jahvid Best is worrisome. I don’t think the Lions are built to run the ball, but Best makes a huge impact in the passing game. Against the Falcons, they couldn’t move the ball consistently, as they lacked a sound running game and a consistently short passing game. A team that boasts neither of these abilities won’t be able to control the ball.

– Best is featured in the passing game and averages 4.5 catches and nearly 50 yards a game. Those short, high percentage looks need to go to someone and I think Titus Young should get that opportunity. He was one of the most dangerous players in college football at Boise State and made some big catches earlier in the season. He’s a dynamic player.

– Pass-heavy offenses like the Lions wouldn’t be so widespread if not for the impact of Tony Gonzalez, who now trails only Jerry Rice in career receptions. He revolutionized the tight end position with his ability to run routes and catch like a receiver at 240 pounds. Paving the way for tight ends like Antonio Gates, Jermichael Finley, Aaron Hernandez and Jimmy Graham the tight end position is essentially the third receiver in a standard set, rather than the sixth lineman as it used to be.

– I hate to break it to you Broncos fans, but Tim Tebow is not the answer. I give him all the respect in the world when it comes to having winning intangibles and being a standup guy. He’s hard to not root for. With that said, he is inaccurate, struggles with reading coverages and has an unbearably slow release. Watching him slowly windup and throw is like watching paint dry and it’s not going to cut it at the NFL level. Enjoy it while it lasts, but beating the mighty Miami Dolphins is fairly common in NFL circles. To Colorado — and more specifically Denver dwellers — fight the urge to let those expectations reach the altitudes of the Rockies.

– Aaron Rodgers is a good example of how quarterbacks should help with protection calls. Oftentimes, inexperienced quarterbacks defer to a seasoned lineman, generally a center to make the calls in pass protection. In a perfect world your quarterback will make those calls because you want him to be in control of all aspects of the game. Rodgers’ progression is clear when you look at his past three seasons sack totals of 50, 31 and 12 times this year, putting him on pace for about 26. His offensive line isn’t particularly better, his ability to set the blocking scheme and understand that aspect of the game is the varying factor.

– What a joke of a game between the Colts and Saints. Peyton Manning’s career seems all the more impressive when these bums are 0-7 without him. They gave up 62 points. What really ruffles my feathers are the Sunday and Monday Night Football schedules this season. Check it out, you might end up wishing you were watching the Saints throw salt into the wounds of the pathetic Colts when you’re snoozing through your second Jaguars’ game in two weeks.

– The Vikings gave the Packers a good game and could have won on Sunday. Not only do I question what the parents of Viking’s head coach Leslie Frazier were thinking when they sat at the dinner table with their list of baby boy names and settled on Leslie, but I also question Leslie Frazier’s play-calling decisions against the Packers. Poor decision-making must be hereditary.

– The man doesn’t understand the concept of feeding the beast. Adrian Peterson looked like a man among boys on Sunday. After rattling off a few impressive runs Peterson will look poised to put the team on his back. Frazier will answer by putting the ball in the air with their rookie quarterback and sub-par weapons. Peterson said publicly that he is, in fact, frustrated. Give him the damn ball, Leslie.