Saturday, November 29, 2008
1. NY GIANTS 10-1
Last- W at Arizona 37-29; Week 13- at Washington
That the Giants went out to the desert, without their most dangerous weapon Brandon Jacobs, and still won relatively easily has brought into focus that the NFC is a two horse race between the Giants and the Cowboys, and everyone else is a pretender. They were also missing Plaxico Burress for that Cardinals game, and will be for the forseeable future, because Plaxico Burress got shot on Friday night. Can you release somebody for getting shot in da club 2 days before a game? If not, you should be able to. It is really amazing how the Giants keep shedding all these players, some of them boobs like Jeremy Shockey and now Plaxico Burress, some of them a little too me-first like Tiki Barber, and some of them pretty much OK guys like Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora and Brandon Jacobs, and yet they just keep getting better and better and better. When did Tom Coughlin get kidnapped by the pod people and become the best coach in the NFL? Because he is, you all realize that right?
2. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 8-3
Last- W at Detroit 38-20; Week 13- v. New Orleans
Remember earlier this year when we all kept hearing about how the balance of power in the league had shifted to the NFC and dur dee dur dee dur. Well, here we are entering the home stretch of the season, and the #2 team in the NFC is a team that has an offense comprised almost entirely of guys who were B and C listers 7 years ago. Jeff Garcia, Warrick Dunn, Ike Hilliard, Antonio Bryant? This is an 8-3 team? I guess with a defense like Tampa's, yes, this year it is. Their mission down the stretch will be to win the NFC South and get a first round bye. To do that, they will probably need to beat the Saints today. In Week 1, the Saints beat the Bucs 24-20, thanks in large part to Reggie Bush having 8 catches for 112 yards. Bush will be playing this week for the first time in a long time, trying to stop the Bucs from running their home record to 6-0 this year.
3. ARIZONA CARDINALS 7-5
Week 12- L v. NY Giants 29-37; Week 13- L at Philadelphia 20-48
It's really just the same old Cardinals. Suspect defense, complete inability to run the ball. The only difference is the NFC West is so much worse this year and may be the worst division since the NFL went to the 8 division format in 2002, making it the worst division ever. They are going to make the playoffs, and get a home game, by default, but it says here that they are going to be one and done once they get there.
4. CHICAGO BEARS 6-5
Last- W at St. Louis 27-3; Week 13- at Minnesota
The Bears took care of business in a gimme game against the Rams last week. This week, they play their most important game of the year. They have a primetime showdown with a Vikings team they beat 48-41 at Soldier Field earlier this year. That would have been a Vikings win had Gus Frerotte not been picked off 4 times. The last big divisional test ended in a 37-3 castration at Lambeau for the Bears, they'll have to be a lot better tonight.
5. CAROLINA PANTHERS 8-3
Last- L at Atlanta 28-45; Week 13- at Green Bay
For one quarter in Atlanta last week they couldn't get a first down or offer anything more than non-violent resistance on defense. They fell behind 17-0 to the Falcons before coming back to close within a field goal only to lose by 17. This despite getting a 100 yard rushing game from DeAngelo Williams and 168 receiving yards from Steve Smith. Now the Panthers find themselves in a first place tie with Tampa, and have to go up to Lambeau to face a Packers team who needs to win really badly.
6. DALLAS COWBOYS 8-4
Week 12- W v. San Francisco 35-22; Week 13- W v. Seattle 34-9
Everybody happy now? Romo is back and the Cowboys look like the juggernaut we all know they can be. Yes, back to back home games against NFC West weaklings were by design made to get the Cowboys back on a roll, but if you are looking at teams you definitely do not want to play in the postseason right now, the Giants are 1 and the Cowboys are 2. Of course, the Cowboys do get Cubby like yips in the postseason, and their ineptness during the Brad Johnson-Brooks Bollinger era insures that they are going to probably have to win 3 road games to get to the Super Bowl, so there's still a good chance they will come up short again.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
- The Redskins broke a 2 game losing streak last week with an uninspiring 20-17 win in Seattle. Things are going to be considerably more difficult this week when they face the Giants at home. Meeting #1 against the Giants came in the season opener, and the Skins generated barely any offense. Me, I was cruising along the Na' Pali coast of Kauai while that game was going on, and I guarantee I did not care. There were a fleet of dolphins swimming about 50 miles an hour alongside the hull of the boat, and life just will not get any better than it was that day.
-The Falcons picked up a win over Carolina last week that is going to keep them in the playoff picture for a while. They still trail both Carolina and Tampa by a game each, and a loss to Carolina would have put them at 0-3 against those teams and probably would have ended things. They now have back to back road games against San Diego and New Orleans, two teams with barely flickering playoff hopes.
- The Packers and Vikings both will have to win the NFC North to make the playoffs. Green Bay fell a game off the pace after getting embarrassed on Monday Night against New Orleans in a 51-29 loss that probably could have been 100-29 had the Saints felt inclined to make it so. Minnesota has won 3 of their last 4, including a 30-12 walkover in Jacksonville last week. They play the Bears on Sunday Night this week. A loss puts them essentially 2 games behind the Bears, because it will be their second loss to Chicago this year.
1. TENNESSEE TITANS 11-1
Week 12- L v. NY Jets 13-34; Week 13- W at Detroit 47-10
Consider the Titans armor chinked. The Week 12 game against the Jets was a matchup of the two best teams in the AFC, on the Titans home field. The Titans got killed. Their super powers are the ability to run the ball and stop the run, and the Jets green uniforms may as well have been made of kryptonite, because the Titans couldn't do either against them. The Jets rolled up an unthinkable 196 rushing yards against them, and the Titans could manage only 45 yards on 11 carries. The Titans still have the best record in the AFC, and in the league, but that game showed me that in reality they are at best the #3 team in the league behind both the New York teams.
2. PITTSBURGH STEELERS 8-3
Week 12- W v. Cincinnati 27-10; Week 13- at New England
Because there are sooo many bad teams in the NFL this year, if you can field a team of 11 guys who all run in the right direction you have a pretty good chance of having a decent record. The Steelers have definitely been a benificiary of that. This week though, they are going to have to beat a good team and they are going to have to do it away from home after having 3 straight home games. They need to prove something to me, and they'll have a chance to do it this afternoon.
3. NY JETS 8-3
Week 12- W at Tennessee 34-13; Week 13- v. Denver
Does everybody realize that the way it looks right now we are going to have a Giants-Jets Super Bowl? A Giants-Jets Super Bowl that Brett Favre is playing in? Is there ANY way at this point that the NFL does not pay off all its officiating crews to make sure this happens? I mean, when a possible alternative is Tampa Bay vs. Tennessee?? Come on.
4. DENVER BRONCOS 6-5
Week 12- L v. Oakland 10-31; Week 13- at NY Jets
Just when the Broncos start to look like a worthy playoff team by virtue of beating the Falcons on the road, they go and get blown out, at home, by the RAIDERS!? By Ashley Lelie?!?! By Darren McFadden and his voodoo cursed toe? You almost have to pull for the Chargers to get their shit together and win this division. On another note, regarding the Raiders, I had a dream this weekend where I was working for the Raiders, and met Al Davis. In the dream, Al Davis was just a prince of a guy, and he bought me a black on black ensemble so I would fit in on the sideline during the games. I doubt Al Davis is like this in real life. There is also something seriously wrong when I am dreaming of Al Davis.
5. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 7-4
Week 12- W at San Diego 23-20; Week 13- at Cleveland
Make it 4 wins in a row for the Colts. Not against cupcakes either. 3 of those wins have come against New England, Pittsburgh, and San Diego. Adam Vinatieri drilled a 51 yard field goal to cap off a 1 minute dril that was an absolute work of art to win it for the Colts. They go back on the road this week where they get to face Derek Anderson and his magical 15 of 40 arm. One note of caution though, the Colts are going to be without their center, Jeff Saturday. Teams tend to go a little goofy when their offensive line gets messed up, see Jaguars, Jacksonville for more details.
6. BALTIMORE RAVENS 7-4
Week 12- W v. Philadelphia 36-7; Week 13- at Cincinnati
The Ravens' 36-7 clobbering of the Eagles shall live on forever in my heart as the game that saw Donovan McNabb benched, and bundled up like an Eskimo on the bench, yawning. Yes, I know Donovan "silenced his critics" with the Thanksgiving win over the Cardinals. I will never be silenced in my criticism of McNabb though. I had about 10 schadenfreudegasms watching this game. As for the Ravens, they are just playing Baltimore Ravens football as good as it can be played right now. That's usually good for a playoff berth and a quick exit, but it beats the alternative.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
- The Patriots would be out of the playoffs if they started today based on conference record tiebreaker. At this stage of the game that dosn't mean a whole lot. They are riding high right now on the crest of the return of weekly 400 yard passing performances, and now we have 20 minute pregame show segments devoted to wondering if the Patriots are better off with Matt Cassel as their quarterback than they are with Tom Brady. We'll see what Matty Magic does with Pittsburgh's D this week before we consider that silliness.
The Dolphins and Bills both lurk a game out of the final playoff spot. The Dolphins had a lot of air let out of their blowholes when they dropped a big showdown at home against the Pats last week. They visit the healing waters of the Edward Jones Dome this week though, and could get back even with New England with a little help from the Steelers. The Bills broke a 4 game losing streak by thumping the Chiefs 54-31 last week. They have another game they should win this week when the Niners come to Orchard Park, but really, are there any games that a team that has lost 5 out of 7 games should win? Doesn't that mean they are just bad?
So that's where we stand heading into Week 13's Sunday action. It's a great time of year where the focus begins to move from Fantasy silliness to the actual action on the field, enjoy the games!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
1. CHELSEA 10-1-3 +28 GD
Recent Form- D v. Newcastle 0-0; W at West Brom 3-0; W at Blackburn 2-0
The Blues tied a 48 year old record by winning their 10th straight away match in England's top league when they beat West Brom 3-0. Nicolas Anelka lit things up with 2 goals apiece in a win over Rovers and the win over the Baggies. Then they came home and tossed in a scoreless clunker against Newcastle. Offensive help may be on the way though, as rumors continue to fly that Robinho may be flying the coop from Manchester City and headed to Stamford Bridge.
2. LIVERPOOL 10-1-3 +13 GD
Recent Form- D v. Fulham 0-0; W at Bolton 2-0; W v. West Brom 3-0
The form of the League's top 2 teams pretty much has mirrored one another recently. Both have not surrendered a goal in eons, but both had disappointing draws at home against weak clubs their last time out. Robbie Keane scored his first two EPL goals for Liverpool in their 3-0 win over West Brom, and the Reds followed up with a physical 2-0 win at Bolton that saw goals from Dirk Kuyt and Steven Gerrard. They then missed an opportunity to vault into the League's top spot when they produced a humdrum scoreless draw at home against Fulham. They are now missing Gerrard, who has a torn groin. They hope to have Gerrard back for this week's Champions League match against Marseille.
3. MANCHESTER UNITED 7-2-4 +15 GD
Recent Form- D at Aston Villa 0-0; W v. Stoke 5-0; L at Arsenal 1-2
What was with all the big shots playing scoreless draws last weekend? Man U is 8 points back of 2 teams, and desperately needs to pick up some points when Chelsea and Liverpool fail to if they are going to have a hope of repeating as Premiership champs. They missed a golden opportunity to do that when they could only manage a scoreless draw at Villa. Wayne Rooney launched one over the crossbar from close range that could have been the winner. The draw came on the heels of a 5-0 blowout win over Stoke that saw 2 goals by Cristiano Ronaldo, and a 2-1 loss at an undermanned Arsenal side that was missing big guns Emanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie. Ronaldo continues to play thru a leg injury, which has slowed him and drawn taunts from opposing fans.
4. ASTON VILLA 7-4-3 +6
Recent Form D v. Man U 0-0; W at Arsenal 2-0; L v. Middlesbrough 1-2
Villa rebounded in a big way from a WTF 2-1 loss at home to Middlesbrough. Staring down the barrell of two matches against Big 4 members after that Boro loss, Villa came away with 4 out of an available 6 points, and they themselves vaulted into the top 4 in the League. They got a a huge win at Arsenal behind a pair of goals from Gabriel Agbonlahor (actually 1, the other was ruled an own goal), and then held firm for a 0-0 tie against Man U, ending a string of 14 consecutive matches against the Red Devils that had ended in defeat.
5. ARSENAL 7-5-2 +7
Recent Form- L at Man City 0-3; L v. Aston Villa 0-2; W v. Man U 2-1
Things seemed to be looking up for Arsenal when they beat Man U 2-1 on the strength of 2 goals from Samir Nasri. They're not anymore. Arsenal is in complete upheaval after following that win with back to back shutout losses, 2-0 at home to Villa, and an ugly 3-0 loss at Man City. They've stripped William Gallas of his captaincy (more on that in the current PNFM), who questioned his team's heart, and have been struggling to score without Emanuel Adebayor.
6. HULL CITY 6-4-4 -2
Recent Form- D at Portsmouth 2-2; D v. Man City 2-2; L v. Bolton 0-1
Everyone's favorite Cinderella Boys have cooled off a little, but are still managing to grind out points here and there. A 1-0 home defeat to Bolton was probably their most disappointing outing of the year. They bounced back, though, to get a 2-2 draw at home against Man City thanks to a goal by former MCFC man Marc Geovanni, who is the Tigers leading scorer this year. Hull then went on the road to Portsmouth and took advantage of Pompey missing its leading scorer, Jermain Defoe, and got a 2-2 draw on a late goal by Dean Windass. Windass. I bet he had a great-0 childhood.
7. EVERTON 5-5-4 -3
Recent Form- L at Wigan 0-1; D v. Boro 1-1; W at West Ham 3-1
Other than a 10 minute stretch late in a match at West Ham where they exploded for 3 goals, it's been a pretty uninspired November for Liverpool's other club. They managed a 1-1 draw at home against Middlesborough when Ayegbeni Yakubu equalised in the second half against his old club, then sleepwalked thru a 1-0 loss at Wigan, ending a 5 game unbeaten streak.
8. PORTSMOUTH 5-5-4 -5
Recent Form- D v. Hull 2-2; D at Portsmouth 0-0 D; W at Sunderland 2-1
Pompey's a team that continues to fight on after selling their manager, Harry Redknapp, to Tottenham for 5 million pounds, and thru losing their leading scorer, Jermain Defoe, who suffered a calf injury playing in a World Cup qualifier for England. They responded to a 2-1 home loss to Wigan with a 3 game unbeaten streak that has put them in the top half of the table.
9. FULHAM 5-5-3 +1
Recent Form- D at Liverpool 0-0; W v. Tottenham 2-1; W v. Newcastle 2-1
November has seen a surprising run by perennial relegation candidates Fulham that has seen them take 7 out of 9 points recently, including snagging a point at league co-leaders Liverpool. Prior to that draw, the Cottagers treated their fans to a pair of home wins. Danny Murphy's second half PK gave Fulham a 2-1 win over Newcastle. Fulham got its second home victory in as many weeks when they handed Tottenham their first defeat under new manager Harry Redknapp, 2-1.
10. MIDDLESBROUGH 5-6-3
Recent Form- L v. Bolton 1-3; D at Everton 1-1; W at Aston Villa 2-1
A pair of hard fought matches against upper half sides has put Boro, appropriately enough, right in the Middle of the table, which for them is pretty good. They got a big 2-1 road win against Villa with 2 goals from Turkish forward Tuncay Sanli, then got another road point with a 1-1 draw at Everton. A win in their homecoming against mediocre Bolton would have given them their sixth straight unbeaten and vaulted them to the dizzying heights of 7th place in the league, but they laid an egg and got pounded in front of their home fans 3-1.
AND THE REST...
It looks like there are going to be a lot of teams fighting the good fight to stay in the Premiership in teh second half of the season. Only 6 points separate 11th place Man City from last place West Brom. City has reason to feel good about themselves coming off a 3-0 thumping of Arsenal, but they continue to fend off rumors that their star Robinho is going to bolt to Chelsea. Bolton is on an impressive little run of wins in 3 out of 4 matches, which has gotten them clear of relegation. West Ham continues to struggle to find consistency, and continues to play below expectations. Stoke City got its signature win earlier in the month when they beat Arsenal, as a lot of teams seem to be doing lately. Since then, they've added 4 more points with a scoreless draw at Wigan and a 1-0 win at West Brom sandwiched around a 5-0 beating at the hands of Man U. Wigan has had an undefeated November, with a tie earned at Newcastle in the waning minutes, and a nice 1-0 home win over Everton taking some of the sting out of a stinkeroo scoreless draw at home against Stoke in a match you know they were counting on getting 3 points out of. Tottenham escaped the relegation zone they've been inhabiting all year when they beat a 10 man Blackburn side 1-0. Rovers have not won a match since Sept. 27 and have plummeted into the drop zone, and Paul Ince has challenged his players to "stand up and be counted.". Sunderland has also been sinking, although they are clear by a single point right now. Their only points out of their last 5 matches came in a win over scuffling Blackburn. Newcastle is still in the drop zone in 18th place, but they've been playing well of late, as evidenced by their getting a scoreless draw at Chelsea their last time out.
TOP 5 SCORERS
1. Nicolas Anelka- Chelsea 12 goals
2. Cristiano Ronaldo- Man U 8
Robinho- Man City 8
Amr Zaki- Wigan 8
5. Darren Bent- Tottenham 7
Gabriel Agbonlahor- Aston Villa 7
LA LIGA UPDATE
- Barcelona leads La Liga, and has just been destroying all comers of late. They've outscored their Spanish competition 37-9 this year, and Samuel Eto'o leads the league with 13 goals. Archrival Real Madrid is only 1 point behind, despite having some shaky outings lately and not being nearly as dominant as Barca have been this year. Real is led by the relatively anonymous Gonzalo Higuain with 9 goals. Villarreal, Valencia, and Sevilla lurk 4 or 5 points back of the perennial powers should one of them slip up. Valencia's David Villa ranks second to Eto'o in the league with 11 goals.
SERIE A UPDATE
- Inter Milan, led by Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic, leads the Italian league, and has surrendered only 7 goals in 13 matches. Their last match was a big 1-0 home win over third place Juventus that could have produced a tie atop the standings if the result went the other way. In second place 3 points back is AC Milan, the only side to beat Inter this year. Ronaldinho is finally starting to heat up for them with 3 goals in his last 4 league matches. A 2-2 draw in their last match, at Torino, is the kind of slip up though they cannot afford if they are going to win their first Scudetto since 2003/04.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Yes I know a guy on ESPN's Page 2 does this. Now I do too. Deal.
32. ST. LOUIS RAMS (2-8)
Last Week- Lost at SF 16-35; This Week- vs. Chicago
Remember when the Rams were all hot and bothered to sign Jim Haslett long term and remove the interim tag but couldn't because the Rooney Rule says they have to interview a minority candidate? Yeah me neither. Ironically, they may now actually be better off with Art Shell or Bobby Jindal coaching them next year.
31. DETROIT LIONS (0-10)
Last Week- Lost at CAR 22-31; This Week- vs. TB
"But Mr. Football," you exclaim, "How can an 0-10 team possibly not be the worst in the league?? Your rankings are flawed." No, they are not. Yes, the Lions have yet to win, but only 1 of their past 6 losses have been by 10 points or more, and 4 have been by 8 points or less. If you look at the number of touchdowns for and against, the Lions have scored 14 less TDs than they've given up, the Rams have given up 21 more than they've scored. The Rams are way worse. Too bad we will never know for sure, because they don't play each other this year.
Thank You, Week 11, for reminding me that Daunte Culpepper has Kizarny Hands that cause him to fumble all the time.
30. CINCINNATI BENGALS (1-8-1)
Last Week- Tied PHI 13-13; This Week- at PIT Thurs Night
A special thanks from Fantasy Land to TJ Houshmandzadeh, who shows up about once every month and puts up a 20 point game. Which makes him just good enough to kill your team if you own him, because then you start him waiting him for him to replicate that like you are waiting for the Great Pumpkin, and he puts up a string of 4 and 5 point stink-ors. Shayne Graham could have won the game and saved Donovan McNabb the embarrassment of not knowing an NFL rule I've known since I was 8 if he could've hit a 47 yarder in the waning seconds of OT. Coulda but didnta.
29. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (1-9)
Last Week- Lost v. NO 20-30, This Week- vs. Buffalo
1-9 isn't the record most associated with the Chiefs. It's 1-18, which is their record over their last 19 games. I urge KC fans to remain patient. It's all part of Herm's master plan to go almost two years without winning any games, and give up 30 or more points every time out. I do think it's funny that Larry Johnson was back in the lineup and fumbled twice, both of which I am pretty sure were out of spite.
28. OAKLAND RAIDERS (2-8)
Last Week- Lost at Miami 15-17; This Week- at Denver
In Patrick's latest PNFM he talks about Jim Fassel writing a handwritten letter to Al Davis expressing his interest in being the Raiders coach. I say nuts to that. If this is not a situation crying out for a reality show on Bravo I don't know what is. I would gladly plunk down an hour out of my week to watch Al Davis running 15 candidates thru a series of ridiculous challenges as he whittles the field down to his new Top Coach, who will coach the Raiders next year. I would love to see him telling someone he is tired of their propaganda and to pack up their headphones and leave.
27. CLEVELAND BROWNS (4-6)
Last Week- Won at Buffalo 29-27, This Week- vs. Houston
The Browns get a win on their Primetime Victory Tour with a last second 55 yard field goal by Phil Dawson.Yaaaay. There are still rampant reports that they are pitching woo to Bill Cowher to get him to coach them next year. $7 to $8 million bucks a year of woo. Job #1 for Cowher if I were him, get an offense that doesn't involve completing 1 out of every 3 passes thrown. I used to think this was just because Derek Anderson was really bad, but Brady Quinn was 14 for 36 against Buffalo.
26. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (4-6)
Last Week- Lost vs. Tennessee 14-24, This Week- vs. Minnesota
Aaaand that's a wrap for the Jags. They'll need people to start wearing hats on their feet to make the playoffs now. They can't hold on to a 14-3 halftime lead against Tennessee because, well, in order to protect a lead you have to be able to run and Jones-Drew diving into his offensive lineman's asses every time he touches the ball isn't going to cut it. WR Troy Williamson wants to fight Vikings coach Brad Childress this weekend though. Childress responded by saying that Williamson would be dealing with 190 lbs of "Rompin' Stompin' Dynamite". Eh. Williamson sucks as a football player and Childress sucks as a football coach. I say let them beat each other up.
25. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (2-8)
Last Week- Lost vs. Arizona 20-26, This Week- vs. Washington
Hasselbeck returned against the Cardinals and looked like Charlie Frye. On the plus side, you have to love his Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting-esque Bahston accent in those Expedia commercials. Hah-bor. It brings to mind the scene where Will is in the psychiatrist who looks like Peter Gammons' office, where looks like Peter Gammons is telling him, "No more shenaningans, no more ballyhoo".
24. HOUSTON TEXANS (3-7)
Last Week- Lost at Indianapolis 27-33, This Week- at Cleveland
It is absolutely mind boggling how the Texans defense can be as bad as it is when they've got players like Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, and Dunta Robinson on it. My personal theory is that they draft all these defensive players and then make their head coach an offensive specialist in Gary Kubiak, which makes no sense. If the defense was average instead of horrible the Texans would be challenging for a wildcard spot.
23. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (6-4)
Last Week- Lost vs. NY Jets 31-34 OT; This Week- at Miami
It's surprising that I have a 6-4 team ranked this low, but if there was ever a team that wins games because of who they are and not what they are it's this year's Patriots. They don't do anything really well, and they do some things really poorly, among them being defending the pass, a weakness which was exposed last week agains the Jets. This week they have a very crucial game at a Dolphins team that embarrassed them earlier this year in a game we will all remember as the great unveiling of the Wildcat formation that this really poor year of NFL football will always be remembered for.
22. ATLANTA FALCONS (6-4)
Last Week- Lost vs. Denver 20-24; This Week- vs. Carolina
The Falcons have been a nice story this year, but unless they can get a little better at stopping the run this story is not going to end in the postseason. The Broncos rolled up 5 yards per carry against them last week in giving the Falcons their first home loss of the season. This week the Falcons have another home game, against an 8-2 Carolina team that has been a lot of success running the ball with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart his year.
21. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (3-7)
Last Week- Won vs. St. Louis 37-16; This Week- at Dallas
A pretty well kept secret about the Niners is that they have had an absolutely murderous schedule this year. Yes, they have 7 losses, but every single one of them are against teams with winning records. I officially crown them the best bad team in the NFL, and the robot that does these rankings for me apparently seems to think they are even better than a couple of "good" teams.
20. DENVER BRONCOS (6-4)
Last Week- Won at Atlanta 24-20; This Week- vs. Oakland
The Broncos got their second road win in as many weeks thanks to an efficient running game, a well-timed big third down play to Brandon Marshall, and a costly third down penalty that killed the Falcons' final drive. The defense is still terrible, but it's been just good enough to keep the team in the game and give the offense a chance to win it. With the Chargers sputtering and a home game against the Raiders this week, the Broncos can conceivably have a 3 game AFC West lead with 5 to play after this week, which would pretty much wrap up a playoff spot.
19. BUFFALO BILLS (5-5)
Last Week- Lost vs. Cleveland 27-29; This Week- at Kansas City
Make it five losses in six games for the Bills after Ryan Lindell lost his kicking contest against Phil Dawson on Monday Night. The team that was riding high in September is now in last place in the AFC East. Good thing Dick Jauron nailed down that contract extension when he was 4-0, ay guvnah?
18. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (4-6)
Last Week- Lost at Pittsburgh 10-11; This Week- vs. Indianapolis
The Chargers have been losing all year, but at least they've been doing it with distinction. They now not only became the second team to lose a regular season game in Europe, they are the only team ever in NFL history to lose a game 11-10. They will be playing for their 2008 lives this Sunday night at home against the Colts. If they lose they are pretty much done. And you know Norv Turner is in trouble because the general manager is saying emphatically in press conferences that he isn't.
17. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (6-4)
Last Week- Lost vs. Dallas 10-14; This Week- at Seattle
Not only have the Redskins not won a game in November, they've only scored on touchdown. Last week was a statement game for them, and that statement was "We are not going to the playoffs." Now they have to go all the way across the country to face a Seattle team that has a lot of the guys they've been missing all year, and gave Arizona a tight game last week. Then it's at home against the Giants and at Baltimore. It's not looking good.
16. CHICAGO BEARS (5-5)
Last Week- Lost at Green Bay 3-37; This Week- at St. Louis
This was the first time the Bears have lost at Lambeau under Lovie Smith, and it's the worst loss the Bears have had since he's been their coach. Chicago sports talk radio has been reduced to 24 hours of rending of the garments over how the defense cannot stop anyone from throwing the ball, and the seas are pretty much turning to blood over here. If they lose to the Rams this week, I fully expect Doug Buffone and Ed O'Bradovich to commit ritualistic seppoku on the Jiffy Lube Postgame show.
15. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (6-4)
Last Week- Won vs. Houston 33-27; This Week- at San Diego
Peyton Manning is the MVP of the league this year. I will beat this drum relentlessly. Yes, the Colts finally got Joseph Addai involved in the offense in the win over Houston last week, but the Colts are in good playoff position thru the sheer force of Peyton Manning's musk right now. What's more, he's made his best commercial ever. The one that ends with him on the balcony of a hotel in San Diego drinking coffee when the cleaning lady tells him "Take a hike", and he says "I think I'll do that". That's even better than the "Cut That Meat" commercial.
14. GREEN BAY PACKERS (5-5)
Last Week- Won vs. Chicago 37-3; This Week- at New Orleans
The Packers played about as close to a perfect offensive game as you'll ever see last week. They ran for 199 yards against a Bears defense which completely shut down the vaunted Chris Johnson and LenDale White the week prior, and Aaron Rodgers spread the ball around and completed almost 80% of his passes. They are back in a 3 way tie for first, and go to the Superdome to face the Saints on Monday Night. That should be an exciting matchup of two good offensive teams who both need to win really badly.
13. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-5)
Last Week- Won at KC 30-20; This Week- vs. Green Bay
I definitely had the Saints on deathwatch last week. They came off their bye week and their win in London and just got throttled in Atlanta the week before, and Kansas City had been looking like they are actually going to beat someone one of these weeks. The Saints took care of the Chiefs though, and finally got a decent ground game going, switching to Pierre Thomas as the feature back instead of Deuce McAllister. It'll be another must win for them on Monday Night against the Packers, as they play their first home game this month. The pass defense is going to have to be better than it's been this year, ranking 23rd in yards per attempt, or else the Packers are going to eat them alive.
12. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (7-3)
Last Week- Won vs. Minnesota 19-13; This Week- at Detroit
The Bucs hold Adrian Peterson under 100 yards, which nobody ever does, and pick up an impressive, workmanlike win over the Vikings last week. Can they really continue to win with Warrick Dunn as their running back now that Earnest Graham is out for the year? Against the Lions, yes, yes they can.
11. ARIZONA CARDINALS (7-3)
Last Week- Won at Seattle 27-20; This Week- vs. NY Giants
We already know the Cardinals are going to the playoffs, as they have a 4 game lead with 5 to play. They acted like they've accomplished what they set out to do this year when they won at Seattle in what was kind of an NFC West coronation game for them last week. Beating the defending Super Bowl Champs would be another sign that they are for real, but you aren't going to beat the Giants thru the air, and that's the only way the Cardinals know how to win.
10. MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-4)
Last Week- Won vs. Oakland 17-15; This Week- vs. New England Patriots
I know I like to make fun of the Dolphins a lot for running plays that involve silly string , shaving cream pies, and Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams coming out of a clown car. I do that because they win but they don't win by a lot and it seems like they are always playing Seattle or Oakland or some shitty team and what's more playing them at home. That and I truly despise Bill Parcells. Their numbers say they are a good team, which is why they are ranked so high. They stop the run and they are very efficient on offense. This week is going to be one of those Line In The Sand games for them. They truly embarrassed the Patriots in the first meeting this year, and you know Belichick will have something for them this time. That and the Dolphins weakest phase of the game is their pass defense, something that the suddenly competent Matt Cassel may be able to exploit this week.
9. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-5)
Last Week- Lost at Tampa Bay 13-19; This Week- vs. Jacksonville
The loss at Tampa last week illustrated why the Vikings record never seems to match up to what their ability to run the ball and stop the run suggests it might be. The difference between them and a team like Tennessee, is that the Titans have proven that if they face a team that can contain the run, Kerry Collins is good enough to still beat them thru the air. Gus Frerotte is not. Add to that the impending suspension of both pieces the Williams Wall, and this may be the highest in the rankings we see the Vikings the remainder of the year.
8. BALTIMORE RAVENS (6-4)
Last Week- Lost at NY Giants 10-30; This Week- vs. Philadelphia
Give the Ravens credit, when they lose, they LOSE. Their last 3 losses have been by a combined score of 74-23. Their wins this year have come over Cleveland twice, Cincinnati, Oakland, Miami, and Houston. So far they are a team that's good enough to beat bad teams and get killed by good teams. The fact that the Giants ran at will against them when it seemed like the Ravens could keep anyone from running the ball is unsettling too.
7. DALLAS COWBOYS (6-4)
Last Week- at Washington 14-10; This Week- vs. San Francisco
Everyone was so quick to shovel dirt on the Cowboys because of how they played when Romo was out. But, I mean, come on, what were people expecting with Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger? A 4 fingered Romo was good enough to get a road division win last week. This team is good enough to beat anyone in the NFC in the playoffs except for the Giants, because that's a horrible matchup for them because their one true weakness is stopping the run.
6. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-3)
Last Week- Won vs. San Diego 11-10; This Week- Won vs. Cincinnati 27-10
In his last 4 games, Roethlisberger has thrown 1 TD and 4 INT's. Yet on the radio broadcast of the Thursday Night shnorer against the Bengals, I heard something called "Roethlisberger Magic" referred to. What?
5. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (5-4-1)
Last Week- Tied at Cincinnati 13-13; This Week- at Baltimore
I don't even know where to begin with McNabb not knowing there could be ties in the NFL. OK, first of all, I'm pretty sure Peyton Manning knows there are ties in the NFL. Tom Brady probably knows that too. Know what those 2 guys have in common besides knowing there are ties? They've won Super Bowls. Donovan McNabb did not know there are ties, and will never win a Super Bowl. Secondly, OK, even if he didn't know there are ties, why would he share that with the media? Was he expecting that like NOBODY else knew there were ties either, and it was the rules' fault for existing and not his for not knowing it? Why would you admit not knowing that? He may as well gone up the podium and said, "My cousin and I touched weiners once." It would have been less embarrassing.
4. NEW YORK JETS (7-3)
Last Week- Won at New England 34-31 OT; This Week- at Tennessee
You know what would be awesome, is if the Jets wore their New York Titans throwbacks to play the Titans today, then you'd have Titans vs. Titans. That would blow everyone's minds, man. Defensively, the Jets are alot like the Bears team the Titans beat a couple of weeks ago, they are good at stopping the run, challenged against the pass. Kerry Collins will have to beat them, and it should be interesting to see if he can. Regardless of what happens today, consider me surprised the Jets are whey they are. I thought this whole thing would flop spectacularly, but I was wrong.
3. TENNESSEE TITANS (10-0)
Last Week- Won at Jacksonville 24-14, This Week- vs. NY Jets
I think the Titans are the second best team in the NFL. But my quantitative model says they are the third best team. Why is that? It's almost entirely because they rank 26th in the league in yards per pass attempt. Can a team with a pronounced inability to throw the ball continue to succeed in the playoffs, where pretty much everyone you play can stop the run? The model says this game against the Jets is an AFC Championship preview, so I guess we'll find out a lot about that question today.
2. CAROLINA PANTHERS (8-2)
Last Week- Won vs. Detroit 31-22, This Week- at Atlanta
The quant model loves the Panthers in part because they got to fatten up their numbers playing Oakland and Detroit the last couple of weeks. The Oakland game was good for their defensive stats and the Detroit game for their offense. This team hasn't been tested since they beat Arizona 27-23 in Week 7, but they will be today. In the first Falcons/Panthers game this year, they held Michael Turner to 56 yards on 18 carries, and Matt Ryan to a 50% completion percentage, and won 27-6. If they can dominate them again today, I think they've earned their keep as at least the second best team in the NFC.
1. NEW YORK GIANTS (9-1)
Last Week- Won vs. Baltimore 30-10; This Week- at Arizona
Brandon Jacobs is just one horrifying running back. Sometimes I don't know how anyone ever tackles him. Then you add Ahmad Bradshaw into the mix and you can see why the Giants are averaging 176 rushing yards a game, which makes them almost impossible to beat. They also rank 3rd best in the league in yards per pass attempt against, so unless the Cardinals can all of a sudden run the ball today, the Giants are going to win this big matchup.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
(6-3) JETS AT (6-3) PATRIOTS
Belichick and Mangini face off with first place on the line. The Patriots won the first meeting between these teams in Week 2, but since then the Jets have found their identity, and it is as a bruising running team who plays aggressive and effective defense. Oh, and don't forget the childlike joy that Brett Favre brings to the table. Childlike joy.
I got to watch 2 primetime NFL games this week, and they were both fantastic, and both came down to the final play of regulation. While the Niners couldn't get it in the end zone against the Cardinals on Monday Night, the Patriots did against the Jets, with Matt Cassel throwing a perfect ball to Randy Moss who pulled it in and dragged his back foot ever so slightly on the pellets of old tires in the end zone turf to tie the game and send it to OT. In overtime though, the Patriots defense had absolutely no way of stopping anything the Jets did. They went right down the field and kicked the game winner. Belichick and Mangini had hot passionate sex at midfield after the game, and the Jets are in first place, and for my money are now the second best team in the AFC.
Final- Jets 34, Patriots 31 OT
Fantasy Heroes- Jets DST 11 pts; Brett Favre QB NYJ 22 pts; Matt Cassel QB NE 42 pts; Thomas Jones RB NYJ 19 pts; Jerricho Cotchery WR NYJ 13 pts Wes Welker WR NE 12 pts; Ben Watson TE NE 13 pts; Jabar Gaffney WR NE 14 pts; Stephen Gostkowski K NE 11 pts
Defensive Stud- Eric Barton LB NYJ 17 tackles; FF
SUNDAY EARLY GAMES
(5-4) BRONCOS AT (6-3) FALCONS
The Broncos are really in first place in the AFC West. It doesn't seem like they should be, because they are bad at pretty much everything besides throwing the ball, but here we are. Atlanta, meanwhile, does a lot of things well, and they probably could hand the ball off to Turner and Norwood 60 times in this game and win. Denver's starting running back today is.....Peyton Hillis! Yeah!
(3-6) TEXANS AT (5-4) COLTS
In the entirety of the Texans futile existence, they are 1-12 against the Colts, and have never ever won in Indy. You all remember the first game between these teams this year right? That was when the Texans were up by 17 and then Bungles Rosenfels started fumbling the ball over the place and the Colts somehow came back and won. Butterfingers and his crew are catching the Colts at a bad time if they want to get victory number 2. Thru the sheer force of Peyton Manning's iron will, and a really really bad game by Ben Roethlisberger, the Colts went into Pittsburgh and got a pretty surprising win last week. This is a game the Colts should win easily, but they haven't made anything look easy all year so we'll see.
(2-7) RAIDERS AT (5-4) DOLPHINS
My sources have given me a preview of a new Wildcat play the Dolphins plan on running this week. I can't reveal very much, but I will reveal that it involves a giant bottle fo seltzer water and a blow up doll.
(6-3) RAVENS AT (8-1) GIANTS
A rematch of that magical Trent Dilfer-Kerry Collins Super Bowl at the dawn of our New Century. Here we are 8 years later, and both of these teams are in contention once again, only this time it's the Giants that will probably do the ass whuppin. Flacco will be missing his best receiver, Derrick Mason, and is going to have to deal with a much more formidable defensive unit than the Texans and Browns ensembles he has depantsed recently. The Giants may have to throw the ball a little more than they'd like to beat the Ravens, but they've certainly shown they can do that too. The Ravens won't get 3 road wins in 3 weeks.
(0-9) LIONS AT (7-2) PANTHERS
I've got a joke for the Lions.
(5-4) EAGLES AT (1-8) BENGALS
The Eagles will win this game by a lot and everyone will say oh the Eagles are back dur dee dur dee dur, then the next time the Eagles play a decent team, they'll lose because they get stopped at the goal line sometime during the game and come away with 0 or 3 points when they should have gotten 6. Their story has grown tiresome.
(5-4) BEARS AT (4-5) PACKERS
A crisp November day with a Bears/Packers game with playoff implications. Every once in a while, life is good. Life won't be good for the Packers if they can't figure out some way to stop the Bears from running the ball on them, as their run defense is terrible and Matt Forte can exploit that. Of course, the Bears have equal difficulties stopping the pass, and the Packers can exploit that too, but the Bears can use the running game to keep the Packers offense off the field, and that means I like the Bears to win this one.
(4-5) SAINTS AT (1-8) CHIEFS
I hereby crown the Chiefs the best 1-8 team I have ever seen. The Saints are pretty much toast at 4-5 in a division where they are 3 games back of one team and 2 back of 2 others. NOLA hasn't won a game outside of the Superdome all year, and I say they won't start today.
(5-4) VIKINGS AT (6-3) BUCS
An important game for two teams that are going to be fighting for a playoff spot for the remainder of the year. My first instinct is to say that the Vikings one dimension of giving the ball to Adrian Peterson is not enough to beat a Tampa team that can stop the run. But can the Bucs really stop the run? The Chiefs ran for 183 yards on them last time out. The Bears rolled up 158 on them earlier in the year. The Bucs have had some success stopping the run sometimes this year, but not all the time. Whether they have a good day or a bad day in that phase will determine who wins this one.
(2-7) RAMS AT (2-7) 49ERS
Mike Singletary's to-do list as interim coach so far reads:
1. Drop pants at halftime- CHECK
2. Send player to the showers during game- CHECK
3. Give bonkers post game press conference after game 1- CHECK
4. Blame second loss on offensive coordinator- CHECK
Now consider that the Rams are even more messed up than the 49ers are. This game could be the Mona Lisa of terrible football.
(6-3) CARDINALS AT (2-7) SEAHAWKS
As much as the other members of the NFC West, who are all 2-7, try to hand the Cardinals their first playoff spot in 10 years on a silver platter, the Cardinals are still the Cardinals, and there's always that bad team gag reflex that results in things like almost losing a game that one of the guys broadcasting was all but telling you to change the channel because it was over. Now they go to Seattle to face a horrible team who is getting their starting QB back. Will they still be horrible? Or will they be upgraded to struggling?
(9-0) TITANS AT (4-5) JAGUARS
Wow this sure feels like a trap game, does it not? I'm not sure if there is a relationship between the 2 events, but I saw Larry Csonka at Costco today buying 48 cases of Cold Duck.
(4-5) CHARGERS AT (6-3) STEELERS
Both of these teams badly need this game. The Chargers are still in the playoff race by the grace of every team west of the Rocky Mountains screwing the pooch this year. They've dropped 3 of 5 and it took KC failing on a 2 pt conversion on the last play to avoid losing a game they were favored by 15 1/2 points to win last week. The Steelers have been doing win one lose one since a 5-1 start, and the way Ben Roethlisberger is regressing we should probably all start calling him Benjamin Button.
(5-4) COWBOYS AT (6-3) REDSKINS
Tony Romo and his enchanted pinkie are back for this must-win game against their arch-rivals. The last time we saw the Cowboys, they were getting the graves of their ancestors desecrated by the Giants. They've lost 3 of 4, and the defense has given up 30 or more points in 3 of those games. And one of them was against the Rams. The Rams! My God.
(3-6) BROWNS AT (5-4) BILLS
The Cleveland Browns Prime Time Victory Tour hits Buffalo this week. Get your popcorn ready for another night filled with 2 yard runs by Jamal Lewis and certain touchdowns clanking off of Braylon Edwards hands. The Bills have lost 4 of 5 after a 4-0 start, and are on the cusp of irrevocable irrelevance for this year. That 4-0 start included wins over Seattle, Oakland, and St. Louis, who are all 2-8 now. Impressive!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Say what you want though, right now both of those teams have earned it. Especially Alabama, who went to Baton Rouge and got a thrilling 27-21 OT victory yesterday. Texas Tech, meanwhile, dealt with prophecies of Trap Game doom pretty easily, blasting Oklahoma State 56-20.
Finally, nobody has to worry about a Big 10 team stinking up the BCS Championship game this year, I don't think. #3 Penn State lost at Iowa 24-23, so that's the end of them.
What your BCS Title game is gonna be, barring some complete goofiness down the stretch, is the Big 12 champ against the SEC Champ. The SEC Champ will either be Alabama or Florida. Who the winner of that SEC title game meets will hinge on who wins the Texas Tech/Oklahoma showdown in Norman next week. If Oklahoma wins, you've got a rock/scissors/paper situation on top of the Big 12 South, where Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Texas are all tied. Texas Tech will have beaten Texas and lost to Oklahoma. Oklahoma will have beaten Texas Tech and lost to Texas. Texas will have beaten Oklahoma and lost to Texas Tech. I don't know how they are going to break that tie. Probably with a vibrating electric football re-enactment of some sort.
Of course, we already had one game this week. Thanks to the mysterious Thursday Night games that we will be having for the rest of the year. The ones that Sprint is going to be broadcasting on their cell phones. Why anyone would want to attempt to watch a football game on a 5 inch screen with the motion capture capabilities of Austin Powers' video phone from 1997 is beyond me, but I guess that's why I'm not making the big bucks.
(4-4) BRONCOS AT (3-5) BROWNS
A battle of two teams who have disappointed everybody this year. The selling point for this bow wow of a matchup is that it is Brady Quinn's first NFL start, so, if you long for the days when you could watch such fabled Notre Dame signal callers as Rick Mirer and uhhhh, Rick Mirer ply their trade in the pros, your time has finally come.
Quinn actually has a really good debut. He threw 2 TDs and no picks. Then again, he was playing the Broncos, so let's hold off on fitting him for a yellow jacket. The Browns led this one 23-10 halfway thru the third quarter. Then they decided to stop playing defense. Jay Cutler ends up with 447 yards and 3 TD, and the Broncos come back to embarrass the Browns at home and in front of a TV audience of hundreds watching on the NFL network and on their Sprint cell phones. You know what would be awesome? If just once I could have a week of Fantasy Football where a QB doesn't throw for 400 yards against me. That would be nice.
Final- Broncos 34, Browns 30
Fantasy Heroes- Jay Cutler QB DEN 39 pts; Ryan Torain RB DEN 12 pts; Eddie Royal WR DEN 24 pts; Brandon Marshall WR DEN 14 pts; Daniel Graham TE DEN 11 pts; Brady Quinn QB CLE 21 pts; Jamal Lewis RB CLE 14 pts; Kellen Winslow TE CLE 25 pts; Phil Dawson K CLE 14 pts
Defensive Stud- Wesley Woodyard DEN 10 tackles, 2 for loss
TITANS (8-0) AT BEARS (5-3)
Rex Grossman is back at QB for the Bears today. Great. It's like having to go out with your ex-girlfriend again. He probably would have done the Bears a lot more good this year if he were wearing a Vikings uniform.
It's becoming pretty clear that you won't have to be a great team to win the Super Bowl this year. The Titans proved in this game that if you plan to beat them by just stopping the run, the weathered looking Kerry Collins can do just enough to beat you by himself. The Titans are 9-0, call Mercury Morris, I think they are nearing his block.
Final- Titans 21, Bears 14
Fantasy Heroes: Kerry Collins QB TEN 23 pts; Matt Forte RB CHI 18 pts; Bo Scaife TE TEN 13 pts
Defensive Stud: Cortland Finnegan TEN 1 sack, 3 PD
(3-5) JAGUARS AT (0-8) LIONS
Not only is the Jaguars' boat taking on water, it's also caught fire, and there's rats on the ship, with the plague. They lost to one winless team last week, and now have a realistic chance to make it two for two this week. The best thing the Jags have going for them now is that the Lions fired up the flux capacitor and brought Daunte Culpepper back from 2001 to play QB for them this week. If I'm Drew Stanton, I'm not feeling real good about myself right now.
Congrats to Daunte Culpepper on being the first 350 lb man to play quarterback in the NFL. That knee is OK, until it collapses under his immense girth. Thanks to the Jaguars for sorting out the bottom of the NFL pecking order for us. Bengals better than Lions. Got it. Kevin Smith celebrates the opening of his new film "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" by scoring a TD. Is there a movie out now that either Seth Rogen and/or Elizabeth Banks is NOT in? Are they the villains in the new Bond flick? Probably. They have to be in every movie that's come out this year.
Final- Jaguars 38, Lions 14
Fantasy Heroes: Dave Garrard QB JAX 22 pts; Maurice Jones Drew RB JAX 27 pts; Kevin Smith RB 17 pts; JAX DST 11 pts
Defensive Stud: Daryl Smith JAX 7 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks
(5-3) RAVENS AT (3-5) TEXANS
Baltimore's defense has been back to dominating this year, and they've found a nice spark to their offense by adding Joe Flacco and Ray Rice, and subtracting Willis McGahee and Brian Billick. Their 5-3 record may be a little deceiving though. Those 5 wins have come against Cincinnati, Cleveland twice, Oakland, and Miami. Houston is back to Sage Rosenfels on their interchangeable Villano IV and V esque quarterback rotation. They're 3-1 at home, but those wins have also come against bad teams.
Hmmm. Maybe there is a discernible difference between Schcrub and Sage "Bungles" Rosenfels. Bungles is the one who everytime he plays personally creates at least 3 turnovers. Today he threw 4 INTs, so he exceeded his quota. I demand the Houston Texans begin justifying their existence. Otherwise they are to be banished with the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Charlotte Bobcats to the Island of Misbegotten Teams. I read in some magazine this week that Andre Johnson is the best WR in the NFL. Excuse me, my eyes just rolled into my throat.
Final- Ravens 41, Texans 14
Fantasy Heroes: Willis McGahee RB BAL 25 pts; Todd Heap TE BAL 17 pts; BAL DST 12 pts
Defensive Stud: Ray Lewis BAL 8 tackles, 2 INT
(5-3) BILLS AT (5-3) PATRIOTS
A big, big game in the AFC East. The Bills have dropped 3 of 4, and this is a line in the sand game for them. A win, and they'll be around all year, a loss, and they are in big trouble.
The Bills offense is brutal. What the hell is wrong with Marshawn Lynch? 3.5 yards per carry this year? 3.3 in this game? Get your ugly self together and stop playing like Cedric Benson would ya. Senator Trent Edwards hasn't been any good since he came back from his injury either. The Pats control this game easily behind the running of undrafted free agent Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis. I anxiously await the Ben-Hur themed photo shoot for ESPN the Magazine that certainly is in his future.
Final- Patriots 20, Bills 10
Fantasy Heroes- BenJarvus Green-Ellis RB NE 18 pts; Wes Welker WR NE 12 pts
Defensive Stud: Ty Warren NE 7 tackles, 1 sack
(4-4) SAINTS AT (5-3) FALCONS
Again, another game where we have a team that surprised in the first half, but who we're still kind of wary of. This is certainly the biggest game the Falcons have had this year. It's an even bigger game for the Saints. The NFC South is unforgiving, and a loss here puts them in last by 2 games and probably presents them with an unclimbable mountain to get back in contention. The strength of Atlanta's defense is their pass defense, with NFL sack leader John Abraham. That's a bad matchup for the Saints. The only thing they do well is throw the ball, and if they have problems there, it's going to be a long day for them.
Matt Ryan is making every highly touted quarterback who came in and played like a boob their rookie year look really, really bad. Speaking of quarterbacks who looked really, really bad, Drew Brees was picked off three times and posted a 66.9 quarterback rating. Unfortunately for anyone who like me was playing against him in Fantasy, he threw the ball 58 times and had over 400 yards and 2 TDs, so I think he also had 66.9 fantasy points. Oh and one of those TDs was a totally extraneous play to Lance Moore on the final snap of the game. I shall make it my business this offseason to invent a better form of fantasy football that is not so fucking retarded.
Final- Falcons 34, Saints 20
Fantasy Heroes: Drew Brees QB NO 27 pts; Matt Ryan QB ATL 21 pts; Michael Turner RB ATL 15 pts; Jerrious Norwood RB ATL 15 pts; Marcus Colston WR NO 16 pts; Lance Moore WR NO 13 pts; Roddy White WR ATL 12 pts
Defensive Stud- Chievous Jackson ATL 3 PD 1 INT
(2-6) SEAHAWKS AT (4-4) DOLPHINS
Everyone who is any good at football on Seattle is injured. Now they get what I think is the longest possible flight for a road game in the NFL, going from one corner of the country to the other to face a Dolphins team that is feeling really good about themselves. Miami needs a win to continue ascending up the AFC East standings, Seattle needs this and the rest of their games to hurry up and be over so they can put this steaming turd of a season behind them.
Add 3 to the Dolphins' total of TDs on goofy trick plays. The first came on a flea flicker bomb to Ted Ginn. The second came on a Wildcat handoff from Ronnie to Ricky. Then came Ronnie Brown running the option as QB and running it in from 20 yards out. They also ran an innovative play where Pennington threw the ball to a guy on the other team, who ran it into the opposite end zone for a TD. There was one more time where they lined up with 2 kickers wearing Sarah Palin masks, and Ricky Williams running an end around on a unicycle. That didn't work so well.
Final- Dolphins 21, Seahawks 19
Fantasy Heroes- Ricky Williams RB MIA 18 pts; Ronnie Brown RB MIA 11 pts; Ted Ginn WR MIA 12 pts; SEA DST 10 pts
Defensive Stud- Channing Crowder MIA 9 tackles, 2 for loss
(4-4) PACKERS AT (4-4) VIKINGS
These teams have already met once this year, on the first Monday Night of the season. The Packers won in large part because Tarvaris Jackson had a horrible 16 of 35 game. Tarv Jackson isn't a problem for the Vikings anymore though, so the Packers and their brutally bad run defense are going to have a hard time slowing down Adrian Peterson, who averaged 5.4 yards per carry in that game. All signs point to a Vikings win here.
Adrian Peterson is putting this Vikings team on his shoulders and saying "Come with me, come with me to the playoffs." The game-winning drive, 7 plays 89 yards. 6 plays, 84 yards were all Adrian Peterson. In the sea of mediocrity that is the NFC North, it says here that the team with the one truly great player is going to be the one that comes out on top, that's the Vikings. Aaron Rodgers threw for 142 yards and took 2 safeties. Why is he getting worse the more he plays instead of better? Right now the QB putting the most points on the board for the Packers is Gus Frerotte, who threw 2 INTs for TDs. Maybe the Vikings offense needs to work on their tackling, I don't know.
Final- Vikings 28, Packers 27
Fantasy Heroes- Packers DST 20 pts; Ryan Grant RB GB 13 pts; Adrian Peterson RB MIN 30 pts; Chester Taylor RB MIN 16 pts
Defensive Stud- Chad Greenway LB MIN 7 tackles, 1 sack
(2-6) RAMS AT (5-3) JETS
The Rams' magic Cubby Dust has totally worn off. The Jets are pretty much a lock to be tied for first with either the Bills or Patriots next week, at 6-3. Then they go to New England and Tennessee, where bad things may transpire.
My God, are the Rams ever making up for those 2 weeks of competence after Haslett took over. Hey Thomas Jones thanks for scoring 3 TDs when you are playing both of my fantasy teams. If the football karma police were doing their job you would have broken both your legs when Mangina kept giving you the ball in the 4th quarter of a 41-3 game.
Final- Jets 47, Rams 3
Fantasy Heroes- Jets DST 18 pts; Thomas Jones RB NYJ 34 pts; Dustin Keller TE NYJ 18 pts
Defensive Stud- Eric Barton LB NYJ 10 tackles, 1/2 sack, Fumble Rec.
(4-4) COLTS AT (6-2) STEELERS
If it wasn't for this game, you'd have yourself some prime napping time after the early games end. Unless of course, ending your Sunday with the Oakland Raiders and Brian Baldinger on the mic is your idea of a good time, and I'd much rather be sleeping or in a medically induced coma if need be for that one. The Colts won the first of what I've been told is a series of 9 consecutive must win games last week, a gritty 18-15 win over New England. Pittsburgh hopes to keep themselves alone on top of the AFC North, because those pesky young Ravens, or is it old Ravens? I guess the defense is old and the offense is young) just will not go away.
OK, if Peyton Manning isn't the MVP of the league this year then they ought to stop giving the award. Without him this year, the Colts are the Bengals. With him, they are somehow 5-4 despite having an offense with a running back that cut by the Raiders, and one viable wide receiver. Marvin Harrison is beyond finished. He has lost 3 steps. He's slower than me. You can see Manning throw the ball at least 5 times a game to where he thinks Marvin is going to be, but Marvin is 1 yard away from there because he's too slow now. Done.
As good as Manning is and was in this game, the Colts don't win if Ben Roethlisberger doesn't stink up the joint. He threw 3 picks, one of which put the Colts in Steelers territory and in position to score the winning TD. They also may not win if rookie DT Eric Foster does not absolutely stonewall Mewelde Moore on 3rd and goal from the 1, causing the Steelers to settle for a field goal and costing them 4 points that would have sent this one to OT.
Final- Colts 24, Steelers 20
Fantasy Heroes: Peyton Manning QB IND 27 pts; Mewelde Moore RB PIT 21 pts; Reggie Wayne WR IND 19 pts; Hines Ward WR PIT 13 pts
Defensive Stud- Dwight Freeney DE IND 2 sacks, FF
(6-2) PANTHERS AT (2-6) RAIDERS
The Raiders will try to rebound from the worst game any team has ever played in any professional sport. Seriously their loss to the Falcons last week was voted as such by a committee specializing in such things, replacing a 37 point loss by the 1985 LA Clippers to the Seattle SuperSonics. If Sebastian Janikowski can kick two field goals, he will replace George Blanda as the Raiders leading all-time scorer, and be presented with George Blanda's head by Al Davis.
Andrew Walter posts a 31.1 rating. Jake Delhomme posts a 12.3 and gets picked off 4 times. 22 of 61 pass attempts were completed by the teams playing in this ridiculous display that looked like a Week 1 XFL tilt between the San Francisco Demons and the Memphis Maniax or something. All that was missing was the pre-game dash to the emergency room to decide who gets the ball first, and Jesse Ventura threatening to fight one of the coaches from the broadcast booth.
Final- Panthers 17, Raiders 6
Fantasy Heroes- DeAngelo Williams RB CAR 22 pts; CAR DST 13 pts
Defensive Stud- Julius Peppers DE CAR 7 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 FF, 1 PD
(1-7) CHIEFS AT (3-5) CHARGERS
I spent all afternoon trying to place a bet on Bodog.com that the Chiefs would cover the ridiculously big spread on this game. I finally got my account all setup, but then it said that my bank was a "hostile bank" and would not allow me to make a deposit into my Bodog account. Fuck when the Chiefs cover this 15 1/2 point spread, the way I see it Citibank owes me 50 bucks, and I'm going to take it out of their ass. If I could have coupled that 50 bucks with the 40 dollars I earned filling out my Longitudinal Study of American Youth survey this afternoon, I could have retired to Honduras just off of what I made sitting on my ass watching football today. But nooooo.
The Chiefs tie it on the last play of the game to send it into overtime. Except then Herm decides to go for 2, so it's not tied, and they get stopped. So they lose. The Chargers were this close to being 3-6 and having their season be over. How is a team with that much talent that plays in a division that bad where they get to play the Raiders, Chiefs, and Broncos twice apiece almost 3-6? That's a little ridiculous. Oh and Tyler Thigpen is now the best Fantasy quarterback in the league.
Final- Chargers 20, Chiefs 19
Fantasy Heroes- Tyler Thigpen QB KC 30 pts; Tony Gonzalez TE KC 25 pts; Mark Bradley WR KC 14 pts; Philip Rivers QB SD 24 pts; Malcolm Floyd WR SD 13 pts; Antonio Gates TE SD 12 pts
Defensive Stud- Quentin Jammer SD 4 tackles, 3 PD
(7-1) GIANTS AT (5-3) EAGLES
Among more bets I would make if I could, I would bet on the Giants to win and cover, I would bet the over on number of times McNabb shows up his receivers making frustrated gestures at them after incompletions, and the over on the times Madden calls McNabb "a warrior" or some other retarded superlative.
The Eagles are now 0-3 against their own division, with 2 of those losses coming at home. Somebody explain to me why everyone is opening their veins over the Cowboys being 5-4 despite not having a quarterback this year, but the Eagles are still seen as an elite team when they are also 5-4 and can't beat anyone who is any good. I no understand. Anywho, Hank Baskett and Kendra Wilkinson are getting married, and Hef is having the wedding at the Playboy Mansion. That is why Hugh Hefner has the biggest balls of anyone who has ever walked the Earth. Now he's in Hank Baskett's head for life, while Hef just finds another 20 year old piece of hotttness to play with his old balls.
Final- Giants 36, Eagles 31
Fantasy Heroes: Brandon Jacobs RB NYG 26 pts; Kevin Boss TE NYG 12 pts; Donovan McNabb QB PHI 27 pts; DeSean Jackson WR PHI 14 pts
Defensive Stud- None
(2-6) 49ERS AT (5-3) CARDINALS
Is this a flex game? Did they change the schedule so that we may actually all get to see Singletary's head explode on live prime time national television? I can't figure out any other way the 49ers would be on Monday Night Football.
Tony Kornheiser told me the game was over with 2 minutes left, but I kept watching anyway. Because even though it is not my job to know these things, I know that Arizona cannot run the ball and thus cannot ever run out the clock on anything. And what to my wondering eyes do I see but the Niners having a chance to win it on the last play of the game from the goal line. There is a quick restart after a Booty Review, and the Niners give it to their backup running back, who gives us a Jones-Drew special where he plunges into the line with his eyes closed for no gain. Game over. After the game, Singletary, accompanied by the "I Didn't Do It" Dancers, blames the play call on Martz.
Final- Cardinals 29, 49ers 24
Fantasy Heroes: Josh Morgan WR SF 11 pts; Kurt Warner QB AZ 32 pts; Steve Breaston WR AZ 14 pts; Anquan Boldin WR AZ 22 pts
Defensive Stud- Karlos Dansby 1o tackles, 2 PD, INT
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
JETS (4-3) AT BILLS (5-2)
The Line: Bills -5
It's Saturday Night, and so far this week I don't think any more members of Brett Favre's Fave Five have been revealed, so there's a little less drama surrounding the Jets than there has been recently. The Jets since their bye week have been squaring off with awesome teams like the Raiders, Bengals, and Chiefs, and really should have lost 2 of those (they won 2, but the Chiefs outplayed them last week). The Bills followed up a feel-good home win over the Chargers with an ugly loss to the Dolphins that saw their secondary get scorched by Chad Pennington and Ted Ginn Jr. That could mean Favre has a big day, and if the Jets defense continues to play like its been playing (8th overall in yards allowed), the AFC East could get a lot tighter.
For the fifth time this year, the Jets defense held their opponent to under 50 yards rushing. That's pretty bad ass. I've been a Jets hater all year, but that's only because any time Brett Favre's name is even mentioned on my TV I go into convulsions. If they win because of their defense and their running game, which is exactly what they are doing, that's fine by me. Speaking of Favre, he threw one TD pass in this game, to the other team. He and Matt Millen will have to hug it out back at Matt Millen's ranch on a tractor built for two this week. As for the Bills, 4-0 turned to 5-3 really fast, and next week they go to Foxboro. And there is something wrong with Marshawn Lynch. I don't know what, but something.
Final- Jets 26, Bills 17
Fantasy Heroes- Jets DST 19 pts; Thomas Jones RB NYJ 15 pts
Defensive Stud- Kris Jenkins NYJ 5 Tackles, 2 Sacks
(3-4) JAGUARS AT (0-8) BENGALS
The Line: Jaguars -7 1/2
The Jaguars get the 0-8 Bengals this week and the 0-7 Lions next week, so if they don't get their shit together here, I don't know what to tell you. If they are not 5-4 two weeks from now it's time to start firing people.
Things have officially reached Defcon 5 in Jacksonville, or Defcon 1, whatever Defcon is the worst Defcon. A loss to the winless Bengals has brought to the forefront what's been evident about this team all season, that they are an underachieving mess that would embarrass Al Davis. Jack Del Rio has taken such drastic measures such as rearranging the locker room and removing all the TVs, and sending linebacker Mike Peterson home from practice in the continuation of a spat that began when Peterson did a Lex Luger posedown after a sack with his team down 21-3 to the Bengals. All these things are nice first steps, a nice second step would be to tell Maurice Jones Drew to start opening his eyes when he gets a handoff, and perhaps think about NOT running 70 miles an hour right into his offensive line every time.
Yay for the Bengals and their first win. TJ Houshmandzadeh knew it was coming, he said leading up to the game, “We’re 0-8, but I think we’re a good 0-8 team, if that’s possible." To answer your question TJ, no, that's not possible.
Final- Bengals 21, Jaguars 19
Fantasy Heroes- Chad Johnson WR CIN 15 pts; Cedric Benson RB CIN 16 pts; JAX DST 12 pts; Maurice Jones Drew RB JAX 11 pts
Defensive Stud- James Joseph CIN 15 tackles, 2 PD
(4-3) RAVENS AT (3-4) BROWNS
The Line: Browns -1 1/2
This is already the second time these two teams have played this year. The first meeting came when people still thought the Browns were good. A 21 point second quarter for the Ravens dropped the Browns to 0-2, and then everybody knew they weren't good. The Ravens ran it 44 times for 151 yards in that game, but last week they gave the Browns a lot to think about by running some goofy Wildcat stuff in a win over the Raiders. This is a big game for both teams. The Browns can get back into the playoff race for real with a win here, and the Ravens can make it 3 in a row and give themselves some breathing room in the wild card race.
Midway thru the 3rd quarter, the Browns were up 27-13, looking like they were going to get to 4-4 and set up for a second half playoff run. Next thing they knew, they were 3-5, their fans were screaming at them, and they've benched their quarterback. Brady Quinn should be the answer to all the Browns problems. It is totally Derek Anderson's fault that Braylon Edwards dropped another TD pass, Ray Rice rushed for 153 yards, and Derrick Mason had 9 catches for 136 yards. But, Derek Anderson seems to be the sacrifice the Island demanded, so here we are.
Final- Ravens 37, Browns 27
Fantasy Heroes- Ray Rice RB BAL 19 pts; Derek Mason WR BAL 21 pts; Joe Flacco QB BAL 21 pts; Mark or Michael Clayton WR BAL 14 pts; Braylon Edwards WR CLE 14 pts; Matt Stover K BAL 13 pts; Phil Dawson K CLE 11 pts
Defensive Stud- Terrell Suggs BAL, INT for TD
Go Get Em, Doofus
(3-4) TEXANS AT (3-4) VIKINGS
The Line: Vikings -5
Thanks to the rampant mediocrity in the AFC, the Texans, like the Browns, are a team that has been able to rebound from a horrid start and now find themselves with a still-realistic chance of making the playoffs this year. For Minnesota to say the same, they need to win today, because a 3-5 record is pretty much a death sentence for most of the NFC. Things are already looking pretty bleak for the Vikings though, because their two big defensive tackles tested positive for Trimspa or something, and probably will be going away for a little while very soon.
And the team who still has a realistic shot at the postseason is.......the Vikings. Adrian Peterson has righted himself following a 3 game stretch early in the season where he failed to rush for 100 yards in a game, bottoming out with a 32 yards on 21 carries stinkeroo against the Saints. He had 139 yards in this one. Couple that with the Texans penchant for turning the ball over just when it looks like they are about to score, and the Vikings get a win that saves their season, a season which Brad Childress' job probably depends on. The Texans will be depending on Sage "Butterfingers" Rosenfels for a while, as Matt Schaub tore his MCL in this one, ending the Texans unprecedented three game streak of competent quarterback play.
Final- Vikings 28, Texans 21
Fantasy Heroes- Gus Frerotte QB MIN 24 pts; Steve Slaton RB HOU 11 pts; Adrian Peterson RB MIN 21 pts; Owen Daniels TE HOU 15 pts; Andre Johnson WR HOU 12 pts; Bernard Berrian WR MIN 18 pts, MIN DST 13 pts; HOU DST 11 pts
Defensive Stud- Jared Allen MIN 2 sacks, FF
(0-7) LIONS AT (4-3) BEARS
The Line: Bears -12 1/2
These teams already met once this year, in Detroit, and the Bears beat the Lions by like 100 points. That doesn't bode very well for the Lions today. They did sign Daunte Culpepper to a two year contract this week though, so if you couple that with their addition of Rudi Johnson earlier this year, all they need now is a time machine that will make it 2004 and they should be able to do some damage.
It got ugly for the Bears for a while there. They gave 3 TDs in one quarter, to the Lions. They trailed by 10, their quarterback went down with a bad looking injury, the fans were booing, and Rex the Wonder Puppy comes bouncing onto the field. All of a sudden this pleasantly surprising season the Bears are having started to look like it was taking a very unpleasant turn. But the Lions being the Lions, they found a way to send the home fans happy (as long as they aren't their own home fans, of course). The Bears get the win and are all alone on top of the NFC North at the season's halfway mark, and Orton's injury reportedly isn't as bad as it looked like it might be, so if you're the Bears, you kind of just want to put this one behind you and move on to trying to knock off the Titans this weekend.
Final- Bears 27, Lions 23
Fantasy Heroes: Dan Orlovsky QB DET 21 pts; Kevin Smith RB DET 10 pts; Matt Forte RB CHI 14 pts; Calvin Johnson WR DET 15 pts; Shaun McDonald WR DET 12 pts; Rashied Davis WR CHI 12 pts
Defensive Stud: Lance Briggs CHI 10 tackles, FF
(5-3) BUCS AT (1-6) CHIEFS
The Line: Bucs -9
The Chiefs got into the Halloween spirit a week early when they emerged from their sarcophogus and threw a scare into the Jets last week. What is really horrifying though, is the KC run defense, which has given up 197 yards a game this year. That should be a good thing for a Bucs team that could not get anything going at Dallas last week.
I remember watching this game on the Ticket, and when the Chiefs went up 24-3 the broadcaster doing the game said, "The rout is on". I was like, "Aaaaaaaah I bet not amigo". When you're on a 1-16 run, you have to be up 42-3 before "the rout is on". Wasn't it Herm that said, "You play the games to win the games"? Why exactly are the Chiefs playing these games right now then? I remember watching this game on the Ticket, and when the Chiefs went up 24-3 the broadcaster doing the game said, "The rout is on". I was like, "Aaaaaaaah I bet not amigo". When you're on a 1-16 run, you have to be up 42-3 before "the rout is on".
A loss is a loss is a loss, but on the bright side, in the last two weeks the Chiefs have given two potential playoff teams all they can handle, and Tyler Thigpen has looked like one of the better young quarterbacks in the league. they've done all this without Larry Johnson. LJ is supposed to be back this week, but if I'm Herm I tell Larry that he can go spend the next couple of months punching women in the face if he wants because the Chiefs really do not need him and his perpetual sourpuss right now. They can go right on losing every week without him by less than they'd lose by with him.
Final- Bucs 30, Chiefs 27 OT
Fantasy Heroes- Jeff Garcia QB TB 20 pts; Jamaal Charles RB KC 11 pts; Kolby Smith RB KC 10 pts; Antonio Bryant WR TB 19 pts; Tyler Thigpen QB KC 21 pts
Defensive Stud- Barret Ruud TB 13 tackles, 1 sack
(4-3) CARDINALS AT (2-5) RAMS
The Line: Cardinals -3
I said earlier that a 3-5 record is a death sentence for MOST of the NFC. Not for the Rams or any other NFC West team though. There, you can start printing playoff tickets at 3-5. The Cardinals get another chance to salt this division away this week, after failing to do so when they fell apart after leading at Carolina 17-3 last week.
Me and my brother went balls out for the Rams this week. We picked up Donnie Avery for the fantasy team, and the Rams defense. Few teams had been playing better of late and we were going to turn this to our advantage. We even painted swirly lines on the side of our heads. Then the Rams go out and get sat on by the Cardinals. Oops. Making things worse, the team we were playing against was comprised almost entirely of Arizona Cardinals. Even Steve Breaston. I've about had it with Fantasy Football.
Final- Cardinals 34, Rams 13
Fantasy Heroes- AZ DST 14 pts; Kurt Warner QB AZ 31 pts; Tim Hightower RB AZ 18 pts; Anquan Boldin WR AZ 14 pts; Derek Stanley WR STL 14 pts; Torry Holt WR STL 11 pts
Defensive Stud- Antrelle Rolle AZ INT for TD
(4-3) PACKERS AT (7-0) TITANS
The Line: Titans -4 1/2
If you look at each NFL weekend like a WWE pay per view, as I always do, this game's not bad as a curtain jerker leading up to the double main event of Giants-Cowboys and Patriots-Colts. Green Bay is coming off a bye week, and the Titans are coming off a hard fought Monday Night win over the Colts that pretty much locked up a playoff berth for them. If the Titans are ever going to have a letdown, this seems like a likely time for it.
Well actually, this game turned out to be the Main Event of the weekend. Both of these teams played to their strengths, with the Titans pounding it with LenDale White and Chris Johnson, and the Packers able to gash the Titans secondary for some big pass plays. The game went into OT when Rob Bironas missed a long FG at the end of regulation. The Titans won the flip and got a big pass play to Johnson, and this time Bironas nailed the FG attempt to end it. A really good football game.
Final- Titans 19, Packers 16 OT
Fantasy Heroes- Aaron Rodgers QB GB 23 pts; Chris Johnson RB TEN 21 pts; Donald Driver WR GB 19 pts
Defensive Stud- Jacob Ford TEN 2 sacks, FF
(3-4) DOLPHINS AT (4-3) BRONCOS
Broncos -4 1/2
It feels like the Broncos haven't won since our whole economy went Communist. Actually, they have won one game recently, but only one. After a 3-0 start they've lost 3 of 4, culminating in a 41-7 kick in the balls from the Patriots last week. Lucky for them, they still hold a 1 1/2 game lead in the AFC West. The Dolphins beat the Bills pretty convincingly last week, and can put themselves squarely in the playoff picture with a win in Denver today.
The Broncos lose and it leads to a fiesta of quotes involving Brandon Marshall, who was upset that he had only 2 catches for 27 yards.
- Brandon Marshall on Jay Cutler's interpretation of defenses: "When the quarterback sees 1-high or cover-1 (coverage), he’s got to be on the same page as me and get the ball to me But it’s a team game, and oh, well.”
-Brandon Marshall on Dolphins WR Greg Camarillo who had 111 yards against the Denver secondary: "“I mean, I don’t even know that (Miami) receiver’s name who caught all those balls."
- Brandon Marshall on the Broncos game plan: "“I mean, when I look at it, it’s common sense. If I was a receiver going against our defense and they’re stacking the box and we’re playing a 1-high defense and eight in the box, and the DBs are 10 yards off of me, I’m going to catch 10, 12 balls a game."
-Joey Porter on Brandon Marshall: “He’s one of those soft receivers, where he has to have the ball all the time. If he don’t get it, he’s going to mope and cry. He did it to himself.”
Final- Dolphins 26, Broncos 17
Fantasy Heroes: Dolphins DST 13 pts; Ronnie Brown RB MIA 14 pts; Jay Cutler QB DEN 27 pts; Greg Camarillo WR MIA 13 pts; Peyton Hillis RB DEN 19 pts; Eddie Royal WR DEN 12 pts; Dan Carpenter K MIA 14 pts
Defensive Stud: Will Allen MIA 1 INT for TD, 1,000,000 frustration points on Brandon Marshall
(5-3) COWBOYS AT (6-1) GIANTS
Dallas pulled it together and grinded out a win at home against Tampa last week, even though their offense looked largely inept. This week the Cowboys will be without Jason Witten, and if Brad Johnson stinks it up again may have to resort to Plan "B" as in Brooks Bollinger, and their defense is decimated as well. Actually more than decimated. "Decimated' means they would be missing 1 in 10 players, and they are missing more than that. This is the second heavyweight bout in as many weeks for the Giants, who KO'd the Steelers on the road last week.
The Cowboys get pounded, and now they are doomed again. Dooooomed! Let's face it, there's 2 paths the Cowboys can go down right now. Tony Romo comes back healthy and the Cowboys are much improved over what they are with an expired Brad Johnson or an inept Brooks Bollinger behind center, they have a 6-2ish second half and get a wildcard spot. The second path is Romo doesn't come back healthy and the team continues to stumble towards a .500 season. It's not that complicated. The only thing outside of Romo not being there that is really wrong with this team is that their run defense is below average. Other than that, they are still a good team.
Final- Giants 35, Cowboys 14
Fantasy Heroes- DAL DST 16 pts; Eli Manning QB NYG 22 pts; Brandon Jacobs RB NYG 19 pts; Derrick Ward RB NYG 14 pts
Defensive Stud- Justin Tuck NYG 6 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks
(4-3) EAGLES AT (2-5) SEAHAWKS
Will the Eagles be able to win without having their magical week after the bye week powers at their disposal? Will Mike Holmgren and Andy Reid dress up like each other for Halloween? Would anybody notice the difference if they did?
(4-3) FALCONS AT (2-5) RAIDERS
After a tumultuous beginning to their season, the Raiders have settled into a nice little mediocre groove. A couple of weeks ago the Jets came out to Al Davis' Mausoleum and got a loss hung on them. The Falcons are very Jet-like in their ability to play football, so I would beware if I were them.