Sunday, November 05, 2006

NFL Thoughts: Week 9

Another week in the NFL has baffled me. The Bears lose at home to a 1-win team. The Vikings allow less than 10 points to a 2-win team and still manage to lose the game. Umm...ok. Whatever. The motto for the league ought to be, "Don't bet on us"!

Thoughts for the week's action:

Chiefs 31 /Rams 17
Bulger played great again. The defense stunk again. How long must Ram fans suffer these defensive collapses? Also, despite Ram fumbles helping the Chiefs dominate the first half, the refs helped give away the game for good in the second half. Isaac Bruce was flagged for a bogus offensive pass interference that negated a 3rd down conversion as the Rams were driving to tie the game up. Next Chief possession, they flag the Rams defensive back for a bogus defensive pass interference. Both replays showed they were blown calls. Game, set, match. The Chiefs go on to score again and the game is over. It's tough enough to win when you dig your own hole but when the refs go ahead and shovel dirt on top of you it's impossible.

Redskins 22 /Cowboys 19
Bill Parcells said in a post-game interview (about their failed two point conversion attempt early in the game) that he goes by a chart to plan out his two point conversion attempts. Chart? I just want to know who this genius is that came up with this "chart". Probably the same guy that gave former Ram coach Mike Martz tips on calling time outs. Two point conversion chart? It's the most moronic thing I have ever heard of. Any sane person should know that you don't go for two points until the 4th quarter when you know you will need them. Still, the Cowboys lost partly because of this, so despite being bugged by the fact that a future hall of fame coach making millions of dollars should know better, I'm giddy with the thought that the Parcells might use the "chart" the rest of the season.
Dallas won't feel any better about it but it's a fluke win for the Skins. Terrell Owens, dropped a sure TD pass (keep em coming dorkwad) and Vanderjagt's blocked field goal at the end followed by a face mask penalty (another gift by the refs who should have awarded five yards for it but inexplicably gave them 15 yards---and the win) ensured another victory for a team that didn't deserve it. ---Somehow I'll fight through the injustice of this one.

Dolphins 31/ Bears 13
So I guess Chicago was teasing us last week with another blowout win and a great game by Grossman. Now we know the Cardinal game wasn't just a fluke. 2 out of the last 3 weeks the Bears defense has looked pretty average and Rex G. has looked like Aaron Brooks. It's not time to panic but it is time to stop printing those Bear Super Bowl champion t-shirts. For now.

Giants 14 / Texans 10
How do the Giants keep winning ugly like this? If style points were required for victories, NY would have as many losses as wins.

Colts 27 / Patriots 20
This was weird for me to watch. Pleasantly surprising-- but weird. I expected much more running from Dillon and Maroney. Oh sure they gashed the Colts for quite a few 5+yard runs but I kept expecting the 20 and 30 yard breakout runs. I also expected Brady to outplay Manning, but Payton showed that he is the reason Indy is 8-0. He is the MVP of the league. Nobody is more important to their team in my opinion. If he ever has a bad game they'll lose because their defense isn't good enough to bail him out. So considering that I'm a "glass is half empty" kind of guy when it comes to the Colts, I'm still skeptical that they can make it to the Super Bowl with that D. By the way how weird was that to see Vinatieri miss two field goals in a stadium where he made so many? What's up with that? Perhaps he is secretly still on Belichick's payroll. Or maybe Belichick did some Manchurian Candidate type brainwashing before he let him go. It's possible.

Saints 31
/ Bucs 14
Drew Brees is perfect for a "west coast" attack. He excels in the short to mid-range throws and he manages a game really well. Sometimes that west coast style can bug me but when it works how can you knock it? No rushing attack? No problem if your passing game doubles as a running game as well.

Chargers 32 / Browns 25
Not as close as the score indicates but still not a banner game for the Bolts. Too many penalties and too many stalled drives. Still Tomlinson was awesome. Again. And Rivers was efficient enough for the win. Considering how several good teams lost when they shouldn't have over the last two weeks, I'm ready to cut San Diego some slack.

Broncos 31 / Steelers 20
Did you hear that? That was the sound of a Super Bowl champion team crashing and burning. Also in the distant background you can make out the faint sounds of a QB controversy. Listen, it's kind of catchy. Charlie. Charlie. Charlie. When the call goes out for Charlie Batch to start for your team you know it's time to throw in the terrible towel. Pittsburgh might scrape back to .500 by the end of the year, they may even go on a bit of a winning streak for 4 or 5 games, but there is not a chance in hell they catch the breaks like they did last year and make the playoffs.

Lions 31
/ Falcons 14
I recorded this one to see if Vick could keep up his all-world play on the ground and the air. He got half of it right. Still he didn't lose this game by himself. The Falcon defense got shredded by Kitna and Kevin Jones. Quit cackling Mike Martz. I mean it. Stop it. Anybody have a shotgun?

Bills 24 / Packers 10
When Green Bay turns the ball over a lot they always lose. End of story. Favre has to have mistake free games from himself and his teamates to win. Nice game though by Ahman Green and Donald Driver.

49ers 9 /Vikings 3
Yeah. Capture the magic.

Jaguars 37 / Titans 7
Vince Young throwing the ball 36 times doesn't bode well for Tennessee. Meanwhile Jags QB, David Garrard played well enough that he should probably start the next game. And Byron Leftwich should keep his trap shut and realize that he's in a good spot. He's recovering from injury and the backup guy is always liked more. So as soon as Garrard struggles, he's sitting pretty. Unless Garrard doesn't struggle. Then he's screwed.

Ravens 26 / Bengals 20
Second straight week Palmer is outplayed by an inferior passer. That's embarrassing. The Bengals are bad on defense, bad on offense and receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh did act like a little baby out there on that final 4th down play for Cincy. But to be fair it was absolutely a pass interference that should have been called and it did cost them the game. Another blown one by the refs. That's at least two games today possibly decided by a referee messing up calls on pass interference plays. Still, just like the Rams, the Bengals really should be playing better than this and if they really want to point the finger they better pull out a mirror. They've sucked.

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