A quick word on college football, since it's that time of year. No major changes in the BCS picture. If it all ended today, we'd still have that riveting Alabama-TT matchup that Patrick speaks about in his excellent PNFM edition that's up now.
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