This has been a busy week for the Water Cooler Quarterbacks. Being on a middle school campus means having to deal with pesky things like parent-teacher conferences and preparing to record grades when the quarter ends in another week. For that reason, football discussions were a bit disjointed and random. Here are the top six things we found time to talk about.
#1 - Manning's 500th pass
This was a pleasant event and it was celebrated by even the non-Broncos fans in the group. A true milestone was reached here. Interestingly enough, we came across this article by Chase Stuart at footballperspective.com. Stuart took a look at how many seasons and quarterbacks it took for each franchise to reach 500 touchdown passes. It's well worth a read. The only question we had was whether or not Manning will break Favre's career record of 508 touchdown passes this Sunday when he faces a Jets defense that is ranked at the bottom of the league in pass defense.
#2 - No way is Tom Brady done
We had to laugh at the sudden surge of stories detailing how Brady was washed up, that he's leaving New England at the end of the year, that
#3 - Kudos to Wes Welker for the record he set Sunday
Almost lost in the hoopla surrounding Manning's 500th touchdown pass was the fact that Wes Welker set a record in last Sunday's game as well: the most career receptions by an undrafted player. Welker caught seven passes which gave him a career total of 854. This gives him 5 more catches than the previous record holder -- WR Rod Smith of the Denver Broncos.
#4 - Who will be the first team without a win to win a game
This was a question which some of us thought would spark a lively debate. Which team -- Oakland or Jacksonville -- would be the first to win a game in 2014. Oakland is 0-4, Jacksonville is 0-5. Oakland has been outscored 103-51 while Jacksonville has been outscored 169-67. Strangely enough, the response in the group was both unanimous and immediate: Jacksonville will be the first to win a game. The best that can be said about Oakland is that it is like a sinking boat that has been trying to patch its holes with duct tape. There was an interesting footnote to this discussion: one of our members commented that Oakland is so bad that they'll even manage to mess up and win one more game than Jacksonville, miss out on the #1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and miss on getting a premier franchise player.
#5 - No more unbeatens in the league in 2014.
There was some surprise within the group that both Arizona and Cincinnati dropped their first game this last weekend. We figured that one of them would win -- most of us were picking the Bengals for that role. Not only did both of them lose, but they both lost big: Denver defeated the Cardinals 41-20 while the Bengals were destroyed by New England 43-17.
#6 - The NFL overtime rule
This topic was raised by one of the non-Broncos fans in the group who was irked that Manning and the Broncos never got to have a possession in the overtime loss to Seattle. As a high school coach and avid college football fan, his belief is that both teams should always get at least one possession in an overtime. There have been five overtime games in 2014. In two of them (Denver-Seattle and New Orleans-Tampa Bay) the team that won the toss scored a touchdown and the game was over. In the other three, both teams had an opportunity to be on offense which led to the teams that lost the toss winning the game. His suggestion was to give each team a possession beginning at the defense's 35-yard line and 4 downs to score. If those two possessions end in a tie, then go to a sudden death format.