Before we look at today's NFL matchups, we had some noteworthy stuff happen on the campuses yesterday. Oh yes, we did.
- Texas shut down #1 Oklahoma's running game, and withstood 5 TD passes from Sam Bradford to knock the Sooners out of the top spot in the polls. The Longhorns' Chris Ogbonnaya went Ag-booya!, rushing for 127 yards as Texas won 45-35 in front of 92,000 plus at the Cotton Bowl.
- With Oklahoma's loss early in the day, a handful of teams had a chance to impress the computers and move into the top spot.
- #2 Alabama wasn't one of them. They had the weekend off.
- #3 Missouri laid an egg at home against Oklahoma State. Chase Daniel threw 3 second half INT's and the Tigers went down 28-23.
- #4 LSU probably has seen the last of being anywhere near the top spot thanks to the 51-21 thrashing they took in Gainesville last night.
#6 Penn State will have at the very least a spot in the top 3 after exterminating the Badgers in Madison 48-7. The margin of victory was huge when you consider that the Lions only had 64 more yards of total offense than Wisconsin had.
So, an exciting day in college football, and we can thank the BCS system for that. If we had the playoff everyone rubs their nipples to so much, all of those games would have been as meaningless as a Georgetown/Syracuse game in January.
(3-2) BEARS AT (3-2) FALCONS
I spent most of last night watching "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" with the wife. About half way thru I went into spastic colon syndrome and spent the next hour on the toilet. Coincidence? I don't think so. This afternoon in Atlanta, we have a couple of teams who have surprised everyone by having decent starts to their season. The Bears are winning with a balanced and effective offense and a tough defense, while the Falcons are battering teams on the ground with the NFL's leading rusher, Michael Turner.
Confidence Pool Pick- Bears 3
This was a game you'll never forget if you are a Bears fan or a Falcons fan. If you're a Bears fan, you're wondering how the hell you manage to lose a game after scoring a touchdown to take the lead with 11 second left. I mean, really, how do you do that without trying to do that?
I guess the way you do that is to idiotically elect to do a squib kick on the kickoff, setting the other team up on their 40 yard line with 6 seconds left.
Then you allow a guy to get open 30 yards downfield on the next play, standing right next to the sideline, which was about the only way that the Falcons could get in field goal position to stop the clock and kick the game winning field goal. No, screw that, it WAS the only way. I mean, how do you let that happen? Most NFL teams could have pulled 7 guys off the field and played 11 on 4 and still not let that happen. My God.
Final- Falcons 22, Bears 20
Fantasy Heroes: Matt Forte RB CHI 16 pts; Roddy White WR ATL 19 pts; Jason Elam K ATL 15 pts; Matt Ryan QB ATL 20 pts
(2-2) DOLPHINS AT (0-4) TEXANS
Matt Schaub returns at QB for the Tejanos after Sage Rosenfels' treated us all to a meltdown that would embarrass the Cubs at the end of last week's loss to the Colts. The Dolphins, no doubt, have all kinds of Wildcat Wackiness in store for us, although they would probably do just fine using their regular offense against Houston's underachieving defense.
Confidence Pool Pick- Dolphins 2
Sometimes, it's just not gonna be your day. The Texans were trailing this game by 6 with a little over a minute left, had the ball, and almost turned it over on pretty much every single play, because that's what the Texans do.
On this day though, the Football Gods were smiling upon them, because an almost sack and fumble was ruined an incomplete pass, and an interception was ruled a trap after a Booty Review.
Then, on 4th and 10, Matt Schaub heaved one downfield that by all rights should have been picked off, but Andre Johnson reached over the helmet of the Miami defender and pulled it in for a first down. The Texans then got down to the Miami 4, Schaub almost threw 2 more interceptions, and on 4th down he finally ran it in to end this ridiculousness. Thus did the Dolphins lose a game in which they had a fullback get 138 receiving yards, and the Texans get their greatest win out of the 7 in franchise history.
Final- Texans 30, Dolphins 28
Fantasy Heroes: Patrick Cobbs RB MIA 27 pts; Andre Johnson WR HOU 24 pts; Ronnie Brown RB MIA 15 pts; Chad Pennington QB MIA 22 pts; Matt Schaub QB HOU 21 pts
(2-2) RAVENS AT (2-2) COLTS
If the Colts had any other quarterback other than Peyton Manning, they'd be 0-4 right now. They look old, tired, and done. The Ravens defense may be old too, but they look anything but tired, and certainly not done. Manning has spent a lot of time running for his life this year behind the Colts' leaky offensive line, and you'll probably see a lot of that today as well.
Confidence Pool Pick- Ravens 1
Hey, welcome to the 2008 NFL season, Indianapolis Colts. The Ravens defense still ranks 1st in the league after this game, but I think now it's pretty clear the emperor is not wearing any pants. Indy gives Baltimore it's third loss in a row, and somewhere in hell, Bob Irsay is high fiving Bing Crosby.
Final- Colts 31, Ravens 3
Fantasy Heroes: Peyton Manning QB 28 pts; Colts DST 18 pts; Reggie Wayne WR IND 19 pts; Marvin Harrison WR IND 2o pts; Dominic Rhodes RB IND 13 pts
(0-4) LIONS AT (2-3) VIKINGS
The Vikings somehow got a win on Monday Night last week despite having 2 punts run back for TDs on them. Actually, I shouldn't say somehow, they won by finally having one more dimension to their offense than they usually had. Bernard Berrian woke up and was the downfield threat the Vikings need him to be to give their offense some balance. Of course, none of these things are important against a Lions team that has given up. They could have Berrian and Gus Frerrotte switch places, and have Adrian Peterson snapping the ball to Berrian and Frerrotte running post patterns all day and still probably win this game by 3 touchdowns.
Confidence Pool Pick- Vikings 12
There was nothing notable about this game except how bad both of these teams played. Oh, and Dan Orlovsky dropping back to pass, and rolling out, 5 yards out of his own end zone, apparently trying to use the row of photographers as blockers since his own offensive line obviously can't block for him, happily oblivious to the fact that he has given the Vikings the 2 points that turn out to decide the game. Seriously, go watch this play on NFL .com.
Funniest. Play. Ever. It was like, "What? I can't do that?"
Roy Williams has 2 catches for 23 yards in his last game as a Lion. He is SO worth a first, third, and sixth round pick. This is like the reverse of the Herschel Walker trade for the Cowboys.
Final- Vikings 12, Lions 10
Fantasy Heroes- Calvin Johnson WR DET 14 pts; Bernard Berrian WR MIN 21 pts; Lions DST 13 pts
(1-3) RAIDERS AT (2-3) SAINTS
For a league that is so militaristic and highly drilled, there sure are a lot of train wrecks to gape at right now, and the Raiders are one of them. Their play on the field hasn't been that bad, and that makes them dangerous, but Al Davis personal crusade against Lane Kiffin's Propaganda Machine has created a circus that is the last thing a young and seemingly improving team needs. It ain't all seashells and balloons for the Saints either. They are off to a disappointing start for the second consecutive year, and in an NFC South that has 3 pretty good teams, a 2-4 start could prove too much to overcome if they can't hold off the Raiders today.
Confidence Pool Pick - Saints 11
The Raiders apparently spent their bye week getting acclimated to new head coach Tom Cable, and working hard to become even worse at football than they already were. NFL Network reported yesterday that Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh said he'd be willing to work for Al Davis as the Raiders' head coach, saying something to the effect of, "I have no problem answering to the whims of batshit crazy paranoid 130 year old vampires in tracksuits." or some such.
Final- Saints 31, Raiders 3
Fantasy Heroes: Drew Brees QB NO 32 pts; Reggie Bush RB NO 18 pts
(0-5) BENGALS AT (2-2) JETS
What was I saying about train wrecks? I give you the Bengals. Choooo chooooo! Ryan FitzHarvard starts for them today, so that's a loss. We can all have fun watching Brett Favre run around the field with his child like joy though, jumping around like a Cub fan in June celebrating TD passes against an 0-5 team. What's that old saw about how you should act when scoring a touchdown, act like you've been there before? Yeah.
Confidence Pool Pick- Jets 10
You should have heard the conversation transpiring between my brother and I between 11 AM and noon regarding TJ Housmandzadeh, and whether or not he should start for our fantasy team given the news that Fitzpatrick would be the Bengals' QB in this game.
The big debate was over whether we should start Wes Welker, playing against the league's worst pass defense in San Diego, or Housh, who has actually had a couple of 20 fantasy points despite being on this abomination of a Bengals team. I was championing Welker, while brother was for TJ. We eventually came to a compromise where we started BOTH of them, and benched...Roddy White..who had a another huge game, while Welker and Housh, each one saddled with one of the worst quarterbacks I've ever seen at a professional level, both screwed the pooch . Democracy does not work in government, or in fantasy football.
Final- Jets 26, Bengals 14
Fantasy Heroes: Thomas Jones RB NYJ 25 pts; CIN DST 12 pts
(4-1) PANTHERS AT (3-2) BUCS
Jeff Garcia gets the start today for the Somalian Pirates after Brian Griese took a shot to the elbow in his personal Mile High house of horrors last week. He faces a defense that made Jon Gruden so scared he had to stop the film and go for a walk while preparing this week. Scarrrry. The Panthers are one of the best teams in the league at this point in time. This will be a tough test for them, but it's a test I think they will pass.
Confidence Pool Pick- Panthers 8
Apparently the Panthers defense followed Gruden's lead and went for a walk during this game, and their offense. Somebody get the Panthers some quarters, they shit the bed and need to wash their sheets. The Bucs looked like last year's Bucs, with Jeff Garcia back at QB, which means he'll probably be randomly benched for no reason next week. Warrick Dunn can apparently still play a little too, as he topped 100 yards rushing.
Final- Bucs 27, Panthers 3
Fantasy Heroes: TB DST 16 pts; Warrick Dunn RB TB 14 pts; Steve Smith WR CAR 13 pts
(0-4) RAMS AT (4-1) REDSKINS
As bad as the Lions and Bengals are, the Rams are much, much, much worse. Think about THAT.
Confidence Pool Pick- Redskins 14
Now think about THIS. The Redskins, who had won 4 in a row, including wins over such luminaries as the Cowboys and Eagles, go out and lose at home to this Rams team. Oh, the Rams tried to lose this game, they really did. O-lineman Richie Incognito told an official that he had a stinky vagina or something like that while the Rams were trying to kill the clock for what would have been a decisive 34 yard field goal attempt. So that turned into a 49 yard field goal attempt. Josh Brown nailed it anyway, and the Rams won.
Play of the game came at the end of the first half, with the Skins driving for what probably would have been at least a field goal, Jason Campbell had a pass batted in the air. Redskins lineman Pete Kendall caught it, and tried to run with it. He ran with all his might, for 2 yards, then he fumbled, and the Rams ran it in for a go ahead TD. After that the Redskins looked traumatized, which can result in things like losing to the Rams. Jim Haslett, 1-0.
Final- Rams 19, Redskins 17
Fantasy Heroes- STL DST 16 pts, Clinton Portis RB WSH 27 pts; Josh Brown K STL 15 pts
(2-3) JAGUARS AT (4-1) BRONCOS
The Jaguars offense makes me absolutely sick. Spastic colon sick. I fully expect them to go with their usual game plan of 40 passes and 15 runs even though they are facing the absolute worst run defense in the league. They fall behind by a touchdown, then it's panic button time and throw every down. Yes, I have MJD and Fred Taylor on one of my fantasy teams, and am very very angry. Meanwhile, Marshall Faulk just said that the Broncos are ready to die for Jay Cutler. I don't know how the Jags can compete with that.
Confidence Pool Pick- Broncos 9
Hey, Maurice Jones-Drew, thanks for making it to the 2008 season. The Jags gave MJD 22 carries, and lo and behold, he not only didn't melt or turn to a pillar of salt, but he ran for 125 yards and 2 TD. They may want to, I dunno, look into the possibility of giving him the ball more than 5 times a game?
The Jags were aided by 3 Denver turnovers, and a PI penalty late in the game that the Broncos found kind of questionable, but, guess what, after that Ed Hochuli/Chargers game, the Broncos have lost the right to bitch about the referees for the duration of the season. Broncos corner Dre Bly goes down in my book of football idiots by saying after the game, "I guess they’ve been evaluating us and say we won games we shouldn’t have won. So, I guess they’re going to get a call against us." Of course, the referees are now conspiring to blow calls against you since you had one blown for you earlier in the year. It all makes sense now. God is a giant spaghetti monster.
Final- Jaguars 24, Broncos 17
Fantasy Heroes: Maurice Jones-Drew RB JAX 28 pts, Marcedes Lewis TE JAX 12 pts; Michael Pittman RB DEN 13 pts
(4-1) COWBOYS AT (3-2) CARDINALS
Here it is, the Cardinals chance to get a seat at the big boy table for real. They looked awful good in last week's win over the Bills, and just awful in the loss to the Jets the week before. The Cardinals have one dimension, and can't run the ball. That won't get it done against the Cowboys.
Confidence Pool Pick- Cowboys 7
Anything interesting going on with the Cowboys? I mean, besides their quarterback getting hurt, Pacman Jones getting the heave ho, or them losing again, on a blocked punt in OT no less, and going into panic mode and trading for Roy Williams?
This trade, it makes no sense. I don't see how you make this team better by adding another WR with an over-abundance of estrogen when you already have one who seems like he's about to go home and start doing situps on his driveway already because he's not getting the ball enough. What exactly is the thought process when you find yourself thinking, "You know what this team really needs to get over the hump, to win a championship, to achieve greatness? We need somebody who is playing for the LIONS. That's what we need. And dammit I'm going to trade three draft picks to get it." I'm typically a pretty pro-Cowboys dude, but this moronic deal is the beginning of the end for them.
Final- Cardinals 30, Cowboys 24 OT
Fantasy Heroes: Tony Romo QB DAL 31 pts; Marion Barber RB DAL 24 pts; Patrick Crayton WR DAL 14 pts; Steve Breaston WR AZ 18 pts; Larry Fitzgerald WR AZ 13 pts; AZ DST 17 pts
(2-3) EAGLES AT (2-3) NINERS
These would be the Brian Westbrook-less Eagles, who are considerably less dangerous than the other version. Philly is Phinito if they lose this game, as there will most likely be two 5-1 teams in their division ahead of them for a wild card spot, and an undefeated team ahead of those teams. This was the team that a lot of people were picking to go to the Super Bowl. Not me though. I hate the Eagles.
Confidence Pool Pick- Niners 4
Let's sample some of the post-game rhapsodizing after the Eagles came back from a nine point deficit late in the third quarter to beat the mighty 49ers.
Andy Reid says about Donovan McNabb, "“He stayed upbeat. That’s when leaders lead.”
McNabb kisses him back, saying, "Anything I receive individually is a tribute not only to this team, (but) to the big guy that drafted me in ‘99."
Nicky says, "Get me two buckets. I need to diarrhea and vomit simultaneously."
Final- Eagles 40, Niners 26
Fantasy Heroes: Donovan McNabb 22 pts; Correll Buckhalter RB PHI 27 pts; Frank Gore RB SF 19 pts
(2-3) PACKERS AT (1-3) SEAHAWKS
Like the Eagles, the Seahawks are another team fighting to avoid irreversible irrelvance this week. They'll have to do it with Charlie Frye at QB, who is there third string quarterback. It's a phrase that has been kind of played out, but I think is very applicable here: Good luck with that.
Confidence Pool Pick- Seahawks 6, but that was before I knew Hasselbeck wasn't playing, now I have no idea
We've finally found a team that Green Bay can beat in the wake of their QB's shoulder falling off, and their secondary getting real old and bad real fast. That team is a team that has Charlie Frye playing quarterback, and Koren Robinson as their best receiver. Remember, this is the guy that was so awful in his last start, that not only did he get benched, he got traded a couple of days later. He threw for 83 yards in this game, so maybe it's time to pack those bags again.
Ryan Grant carried 33 times for 90 yards, an average of 2.7 yards per carry. The human body is 2 yards long, with the arms on average maybe another yard. So if you can get to the line of scrimmage and fall down every play, you can average 3 yards per carry. He averaged 2.7, so he obviously needs to work on his falling down.
Final- Packers 27, Seahawks 17
Fantasy Heroes: Aaron Rodgers QB GB 27 pts; Greg Jennings WR GB 14 pts
(3-1) PATRIOTS AT (2-3) CHARGERS
I don't know how they expect us to watch this prime time game when both of these teams just got ass-raped by a Dolphins team that had lost 20 out of the 21 games they played before that. Needless to say, these teams ain't what they used to be. The Patriots are still 3-1 though, thanks to a weak schedule. The Chargers always take a little while to get it rolling, and I think they get it rolling tonight.
Confidence Pool Pick- Chargers 5
Congratulations Matt Cassel. You are officially the worst quarterback I have ever seen. The second worst is Matt Leinart. So I guess it makes sense that you were his backup in college.
Final- Chargers 30, Patriots 10
Fantasy Heroes: Philip Rivers QB SD 32 pts; Vincent Jackson WR SD 21 pts; Malcolm Floyd WR SD 13 pts
(5-0) GIANTS AT (1-3) BROWNS
The indestructible, undefeated, Super Bowl Champion Giants juggernaut rumbles into Cleveland to take on a bumbling Browns team that they pummeled in the preseason, and is missing Kellen Winslow, who is probably their best player. It's quite obvious here that nothing can possibli go wrong. Possibly go wrong.
So, of course, this being the NFL, the Giants go out and lose 35-14, and the game probably wasn't even that close. The Cleveland fans were chanting "Over-rated" at the Giants at the end of the game, which I guess when you think about it means, "You are losing to our shitty team? You must not be that good."
Maybe the Browns aren't that shitty though. They have won 2 in a row, and they were supposed to be pretty good this year, and 2 of their 3 losses have been against Dallas and Pittburgh, who are pretty good. They go to Washington and Jacksonville in the next 2 weeks though, so they still probably will be 2-5 at the end of that. Sorry.
Final- Browns 35, Giants 14
Fantasy Heroes: Derek Anderson QB CLE 26 pts; Derrick Ward RB NYG 12 pts; Brandon Jacobs RB NYG 12 pts; Jamal Lewis RB CLE 14 pts; Browns DST 13 pts; Braylon Edwards WR CLE 23 pts; Plaxico Burress WR NYG 11 pts