CUTTING THRU THE CRAP
Starting this week, not every game gets a three point rundown. If you're not over .500 halfway thru the season, you are dead to me, and if there's a game where two of these teams play each other, they get the one line treatment from me.
(4-5) TEXANS 24, (2-6) RAIDERS 17
Ron Dayne and Justin Fargas running all over the place like they are Red Grange and Jim Brown. Texans lose CB Dunta Robinson for the season.
(2-6) FALCONS 20, (2-6) 49ERS 16
Alex Smith has B-U-S, and needs to hit a blindfolded halfcourt shot to avoid getting the "T". Warrick Dunn seriously rushed for 100 yards.
So, with that out of the way...
(5-4) BUCS 17, (3-5) CARDINALS 10
1. Why does Jeff Garcia always play like he's on a trampoline? Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, pump fake, bouncy, bouncy, run, bouncy, throw. It's like this on every play.
2. Earnest Graham looked like a really good NFL running back in this game, carrying 34 times for 124 yards and a TD.
3. The Cards rolled up an impressive 23 yards rushing. It took 9 weeks, but the Cardinals can take comfort in the fact that they have regressed to being exactly the same team they were in last year's dismal season.
(4-4) BILLS 33, (2-6) BENGALS 21
1. Don't look now, but the Bills have won 4 out of their last 5, and were it not for that crazy loss to the Cowboys would be working on a 5 game winning streak.
2. He may have been overshadowed by fellow rookie Adrian Peterson's breaking the single game NFL rushing record on the same day, but Marshawn Lynch had a huge day too. He carried 29 times for 153 yards and a TD, and also threw a TD pass. Add that to JP Losman and Lee Evans doing their Keymaster/Gatekeeper routine, and the Bills could hang around the playoff chase all season.
3. Ocho Cinco was carted off with about 2 minutes left in this game. He had 1 catch for 6 yards prior to being knocked into next week by Donte Whitner.
(3-5) VIKINGS 35, (4-4) CHARGERS 17
1. The Vikings have a running back who ran for almost 300 yards against a pretty good defense, and the Vikings also have a defense that is impossible to run the ball against. A golden retriever with a headset should be able to coach this team to the playoffs in the weak ass NFC. Yet here the Vikings sit at 3-5. Brad Childress is a great-o coach.
2. An English bulldog with a headset could get the Chargers into the playoffs, and they are nowhere near as intelligent as golden retrievers, yet Norv Turner is struggling mightily with that.
3. Antonio Cromartie scored the longest TD in NFL history when he ran a missed field goal back 109 yards on the the last play of the first half. Does anybody ever NOT score when they run back a missed field goal? Seriously, everytime somebody runs one of those out they end up going 100 yards. It has like a 100% success rate. I would build my entire offense around that play.
(7-1) PACKERS 33, (4-4) CHIEFS 22
1. Greg Jennings just keeps making huge plays for the Packers. Last week he reeled in the game winning TD catch in OT, this week he busts 50 some yards after the catch to give the Pack the go ahead TD with three minutes left in the game.
2. Larry Johnson left this game with a foot injury after getting in the end zone twice. It's not looking like he will play in this week's crucial game against the Broncos, and if it's broken he's out for the year. This means that Priest Holmes is going to get the start. Word to the wise, don't run out and pick up Holmes off your waiver wire. The Chiefs are averaging under 80 yards rushing a game, and in limited action Priest doesn't look like he's the guy to improve on that.
3. Charles Woodson salted the game away with an INT return for a touchdown. Between him and Randy Moss, it's amazing how restorative the power of leaving the Oakland Raiders is to a player's career.
(6-2) LIONS 44, (3-5) BRONCOS 7
1. Wow. Congratulations, Broncos. You're now the team that lost 44-7 to the Lions.
2. Something has gotten into the Lions' defense since the bye week. In their 3 games leading up to their apparently much needed week off, the Lions gave up 117 points. In their 3 games since, they've given up 30. If the defense keeps playing like this, and they have the talent to, especially up front, there is no reason that the Lions can't.....wait for it.....go to the Super Bowl.
3. There was an animated Jay Cutler on last night's South Park. It was something to the effect of Stan pointing him out to Kyle and saying "You're Jay Cutler, the quarterback for the Denver Broncos! You kind of suck right now, but my dad says you might be good someday." Awesome.
(6-2) TITANS 20, (4-4) PANTHERS 7
1. I'm watching highlights of this game, and a lot of them involve David Carr getting sacked. I've noticed that on every single one of these sacks that I'm watching, he does a pump fake first. Let me put on my QB coach hat and say, David Carr, QUIT IT WITH THE PUMPFAKES. You've been in the league how long now? This isn't the WAC anymore, you should know you don't have time to do that. Get rid of the ball. My God.
2. The hot story around the Titans this week was that there was a possibility Pacman Jones could get his suspension shortened, and possibly be back playing for the Titans this year. It turned out it's not going to happen. Still, I can't think of a team that needs somebody less than the Titans need Pacman Jones right now. They need Pacman Jones like Andy Reid needs another kid.
3. The Panthers play 3 out of their next 4 games at home. You would think that would be a good thing, but the Panthers are 0-3 at home. Anyway, it's only a matter of time before the Saints have the Panthers buried. This team is not going to the playoffs.
(4-4) SAINTS 41, (5-3) JAGUARS 24
1. Maurice Jones Drew had a 100 yard kickoff return for a TD in this game. Well isn't that special. You know how many fantasy points I get for that? It's somewhere between 0 and zero. Other than that he had 5 carries for 28 yards. I'm done with you Maurice. Go sit on my fantasy bench next to Sakmon Gado.
2. Marques Colston has gone completely bonkers the last two weeks. A guy that looked like he was being hit hard by the sophomore jinx had 3 TDs in Week 8, and 10 catches for 159 yards in this game. Couple that with Drew Brees going off for 445 yards, and the Saints' offense is every bit as threatening as it was in 2006. I feel threatened by them right now.
3. Jack Del Rio's future in Jacksonville is pretty much riding on the Jags' next 4 games. They're all tough ones. First it's at Tennessee, then at home against the Chargers and the recently resurgent Bills, then on the road against the Colts. Especially crucial will be the games against Buffalo and Tennessee, as those are both teams the Jaguars will need to beat out for a wild card spot.
(5-3) BROWNS 33, (4-4) SEAHAWKS 30 OT
1. Jamal Lewis scored 4 TDs for the Browns, and for my fantasy team, and my fantasy team still lost. I cannot get over the feeling that I have somehow let him down.
2. On the first drive of OT, the Hawks had 4th and 1 on the Browns 45, and Maurice Morris got stuffed for no gain on a play which pretty much decided the contest. What does that say about Shaun Alexander's current level of abilities when Maurice Morris and not him is getting the ball in this situation?
3. Mike Holmgren said it all when asked about his team's ability to pick up a crucial first down on 4th and 1/2 a yard when he said after the game, "We used to be pretty good at it. We're not very good at it now." There, there Mike. At least you are not Andy Reid. You may even be a little less fat than Andy Reid.
(5-3) REDSKINS 23, (1-8) JETS 20 OT
1. The Redskins rolled up 296 rushing yards in this game. I think the blame can be placed squarely on the shoulders of Chad Pennington.
2. The most notable thing about those 296 yards was that 196 of them came from Clinton Portis. Up until this game I was sure Portis had already suffered some sort of season ending injury. Last time I saw his name in print it was on my fantasy league's waiver wire where some guy had dropped him and picked up Justin Fargas.
3. I heard that the Jets are considering trading LB Jonathan Vilma (who can't be incriminated in this defensive performance because he didn't play) because they've found a replacement for him in rookie David Harris. They say this because Harris had an obscene 24 tackles in this game. I say, well, part of the reason he had 24 tackles was because the Redskins ran the ball 48 TIMES. They did this because the Jets, including Harris, could not stop them from running it effectively. Meanwhile, Eric Mangenius got the dreaded vote of confidence from the Jets' owner this week. Carmelo Anthony was right when he told us all to Stop Snitchin, just look at Mangini.
(9-0) PATRIOTS 24, (7-1) COLTS 20
1. I'm not going to sit here and stroke my beard and debate with myself on whether or not the Patriots are going to run the table this year. They will. This team is not losing a game this year. They were down 20-10 in the 4th quarter, with the refs seemingly doing everything in their power to hand the game to Indy (New England was slapped with 146 yards in penalties in this game), and what did they do? They went all late 90s Michael Jordan Bulls on us and just said, "Uh uh, we're not losing.", and they just ripped the game right out from the Colts hands. If they can do that to the Colts, they can do that to anyone. 19-0. Guaranteed.
2. I wrote in this week's GDITHOOS that I could see Joseph Addai running for 200 yards in this game. Ok, he didn't run for 200 yards, but he did have 226 yards from scrimmage against the mighty New England defense.
3. Following the Pats win, Don Shula, the man who coached the 1972 Dolphins to the last undefeated season in the NFL, and who lost a lot of weight on NutraSystem, said the Patriots season would be "tainted" by the Spygate thing if they break that Dolphins' team record. Uh huh huh huh, he said "taint".
(7-1) COWBOYS 38, (3-5) EAGLES 17
1. Awesome job by McNabb, completely taking the air out of everyone in the stadium not wearing a star on their helmet by fumbling the ball away on the first play of the game. He is a bigger bitch than that woman Joan Collins used to play on Dynasty.
2. That was an innovative gameplan the Eagles used on defense. Usually teams go into games trying NOT to get ass raped by the other team's best player instead of leaving him wide open all night long.
3. So there you go, TO has officially had the last laugh on the Eagles. He went into their house and hung 174 yards on them on national TV in a blowout win that effectively ended the Eagles season. Let that be a lesson to all of you: being a team player is for sissies and communists.
(6-2) STEELERS 38, (4-4) RAVENS 7
1. You can go ahead and stick the fork in the Ravens, I am officially declaring them dead. Beginning in Week 12 they've got a 3 week stretch that sees them at San Diego, then at home against New England and Indy. I don't see them winning any of those games, which gives them 7 losses (at least), which means no playoffs.
2. Ben's 5 TD passes in this game gives him 20 on the year, which is not only more than he threw in the entirety of his miserable 2006, but also more than he threw in the Steelers' Super Bowl winning 2005 season.
3. Aside from Ben, this game belonged to Steelers LB James Harrison. He had 10 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks, an interception, a fumble recovery, 2 forced fumbles, and a hellacious hit on Ed Reed on a punt return that sent the football flying about 10 yards thru the air.