Sunday, October 29, 2006

NFL Thoughts:Week 8

Here's what I thought about this week's action:

Chargers 38 / Rams 24
As a Ram fan this game was a painful reminder that their defense is still an Achilles heel. They couldn't stop the run at all and Rivers passed the ball effectively when he needed to. Still, despite my team getting spanked, I'm strangely optimistic. I consider the Chargers one of the better teams in the league and yet the Rams were able to still move the ball on them. And you know who Bulger reminds me of? Drew Bledsoe. No not the dude in the visor that's standing on Dallas' sidelines, but the early version in New England that picked apart defenses. Like that younger Bledsoe, Bulger is immobile but fairly accurate and a has good pocket presence. Which means of course the Rams better enjoy his production while it lasts. Charge QB Philip Rivers has that same feel behind center but obviously has more mobility. I continue to be impressed with him.

Colts 34 / Broncos 31
I'm sure all of Denver was saying the same thing I was when the Bronco's Mike Bell broke that big run and they went down and scored their last TD in this game. --- "Scored too fast, left too much time for Manning". So of course Manning carved them up and set Vinatieri up for the game winner. Best game of the day to watch in my opinion. Plenty of Manning to Reggie Wayne (10 rec, 138 yards 3 Tds) --which is nice to see because he really is nearly equal to Harrison in talent---plus like Harrison he seems like a nice guy. Also plenty of camera shots of Mike Shanahan giving us the usual creepy eyes --- an added bonus during Halloween time. The Broncos have to kick themselves over this one because Plummer played great (for the first time all season), and their running game shredded the Colt defense (not a shocker). Had their defense played up to par they win this in a laugher.

Falcons 29 / Bengals 27
If Vick keeps this up he and his Falcons may just be back on my "must Tivo" list. I don't think it's a stretch to say that Vick is on fire. He has never had two weeks like this his entire career (7 passing TDs). This is the QB we thought we were getting when the hype began 5 years ago. He was going to revolutionize the position as a threat with his legs and arm. Somewhere between balls being thrown at guy's feet or overthrown by 15 yards that promise got a bit waylaid. Now it's back and what are we to think? Is it all just a big tease before he crashes back to his one-dimensional self? Since I'm really not a Falcon guy, I don't give a crap. But as a football fan I'll enjoy it while it lasts.
Seriously though would you have bet Vick would have a better passing day than Palmer?

Cowboys 35 / Panthers 14
We would be silly to write the Panthers off this season but they sure are a weird team so far aren't they? They gave the Cowboys a little help with all their mistakes but still I'm mildly impressed with the performance of Tony Romo. He's mobile and made some nice throws. If he turns out to be decent the rest of the season and helps send Dallas to the playoffs I may just have to stick my head in a blender.

Ravens 35 / Saints 22
It's no surprise that Reggie Bush didn't break out against the Baltimore defense. Still his rushing stats for the season are a real disappointment so far. If he ends up as just a receiving threat from here on out then he won't be quite the steal of the draft that New Orleans thought he was. The worst thing about this win is that now Raven coach Brian Billick's already inflated ego just got bigger. I'm not buying the offensive genius tag he got years ago in Minnesota. His Baltimore years have effectively popped that balloon. So the fact that they scored 35 this week doesn't exactly have me quaking in my boots if I'm playing them next. Also, if you tell me that you think Jamal Lewis is back to his old self then I'd have to call you a liar. Not to your face of course.

Raiders 20 / Pittsburgh 13
So that's a little weird. Oakland just beat the Super Bowl champs. The Raiders starting QB, Andrew Walter, was 5 for 14 and an interception. That's right. 5 complete passes. Stew on that one for a minute Pittsburgh. After looking fantastic last week (at least until he looked not so fantastic being carried off the field) Roethlisberger played like he couldn't remember his own name let alone the playbook. Yes that was the Raiders you lost to Ben. No I didn't stutter. Yep, the one with Art Shell coaching.

Bears 41 / 49ers 10
I guess Grossman is not one to dwell on the past is he? After one of the worst QB performances I've ever seen (last week), Rex returned to his 06 form and torched the 49er defense. That is if you want to call what they had out there as 'defense'. The 49er offense is slowly coming along but their defense is definitely a long way from competing. Chicago meanwhile still boasts a ferocious "D" and as a team they are the class of the NFC.

Giants 17 / Bucs 3
Plaxico Burress and his one handed TD snag was the catch of the day. Everything else about this game was forgettable.

Packers 31 / Cardinals 14
So when does Dennis Green get canned? Soon? The end of the season? Leinart's game against Chicago was such a tease. Now he's had two straight crapola games. Bummer for him. Meanwhile, I love that Packer RB Ahman Green had another good game. And who the hell is Vernand Morency? All he did for the Packers was average 9 yards a carry on his way to 101 yards. If Favre can get that kind of running game consistantly then the Packers are back in business. ----Of course it was Arizona. And they suck.

Chiefs 35 / Seahawks 28
Gracias K.C. That was a much needed Seattle loss for Ram playoff hopes. They kept me guessing though after they decided to make it interesting in the 4th quarter. Still, how about the backups QBs in this game? Huard's been playing like a starter this year (continues to amaze me) but Seneca Wallace showed some good instincts out there as well. He made some dumb mistakes but overall Seattle has to be encouraged by his play. They will need that in the next few weeks. Seattle is still a very good team. They are hurting with injuries right now but I'm not counting them out yet. If they can survive a couple of game without their stars they'll be primed for a stretch run. Damn them.

Jaguars 13 / Eagles 6
Was this as ugly as that score sounds? How have the Eagles fallen so low after a great start to the season? I'm baffled by their poor play. I know Garrard is going to get support to supplant Leftwich as the Jags QB but I'm not convinced he would be the answer either. He's had plenty of opportunity to impress before and he just seems to have valuable backup written all over him. But if your backup is better than your starter ( a real possibility in Jacksonville) then what do you do? Anyway, nice game by Fred Taylor (15 carries 103 yards) and another great game by the Jags' defense.

Titans 28 / Texans 22
Didn't watch a lick of this but apparently the Sage Rosenfel era has started in Houston. I mean has David Carr ever thrown 3 TDs in 17 minutes before? Start looking over your shoulder dude.

Browns 20 / Jets 13
Maybe I was wrong when I called Plaxico Burress' grab the catch of the day. The Jet's Chris Baker sure made a heck of reception at the end of this game. And I do think it was a reception. He would have come down in bounds in the endzone if he hadn't been pushed out. Terrible call by the refs that screwed the Jets. This is one of those stupid things that need to be fixed in the rulebook. Because it's a judgment call it's not reviewable. Say what? This seems like a classic example of what should be reviewable. What the hell is replay for if not to help calls like this. Time for a rule change.

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