You know I just want to make a quick observation about the BCS debacle this year. Even though I would rather watch a Florida/Ohio St. game just to see if the Gators can compete with the Buckeyes, it probably would have been better overall had Michigan got the 2nd slot. Then the SEC would howl again and a major conference like that getting really pissed is what we are going to need for a few years to push the NCAA and college presidents towards a playoff system.
Now for this past weekend's NFL observations:
Cowboys 23 / Giants 20
I can't believe the Cowboys look like the favorite in the NFC right now. I would have laughed in your face if you would have told me that a month and a half ago. But the Cowboys have something the Bears and Seahawks do not right now: Good QB play. Of course Romo is going to be overhyped now because he's on the Cowboys but for the most part QB ratings don't lie. And Romo's QB rating is 102.4 His pass that put the Cowboys in position to kick the go-ahead field goal was a beauty. It makes me want to puke just thinking about it. Martin Gramatica though? I can't believe Parcells thinks Gramatica would be better than Vanderjagt. I mean the "idiot kicker" missed a few kicks this year but there is a reason Gramatica hasn't been able to hold a job the past couple of years. I think Parcells just can't stomach the idea of a kicker making the amount of money Vanderjagt was making. Being an ex-high school kicker (and someone who had a Morten Anderson football card stuck inside my helmet for good luck) I would have to call him a prejudiced son of a bitch. Whew. Glad I got that out of my system. At any rate, even though it is painful for me to say this, the Cowboys look like the team to beat in the NFC right now.
Bengals 13 / Ravens 10
I sure hope the Bengals can make the playoffs. Lets face it, they will be much more interesting than the Chiefs, Jags or Jets. Unless you are a fan of those teams of course. But for the rest of us, the Bengals and possibly the Broncos would be much more entertaining as playoff options.
Chargers 24 / Bills 21
The Chargers are primed for the #1 seed and Tomlinson has solidified his standing as the #1 back in the nation again after sharing (or even losing that title in some people eyes--ok my eyes) to Tiki Barber the last couple of years. He is a TD machine. Merriman is back and his two sacks against the Bills prove there is no rust for him to shake off.
Jets 38 / Packers 10
If NY beats the teams they should (which is the rest of their schedule--Bills, Vikings, Dolphins, Raiders) they will be in the playoffs. That's amazing and a huge surprise for me this season. Mangini ought to be looked at for coach of the year without a doubt. And how about Jerricho Cotchery? The third year WR has made some great catches this season.
Bears 23 / Vikings 13
Wow. Brad Johnson and Rex Grossman had QB ratings of 10.3 and 1.3 respectively. Except that's hardly respectable. It just boggles your mind that both could play as bad as they did on Sunday. If Grossman plays anywhere close to what he did to start the season, the Bears would still be talked about as favorites for the Super Bowl. But if defense wins championships, offenses sure lose a lot of them as well. If Chicago wants to compete in January Grossman better get better in a hurry.
Seahawks 23 / Broncos 20
Damn that Josh Brown. He killed my Rams twice and then he goes and spoils Jay Cutler's debut. Not that he wasn't spoiling it himself. Because he was. He looked bad, cold (of course it was below 20 degrees) , nervous and pretty overwhelmed. We'll see in these next couple of weeks if he can help salvage Denver's season or not. On the other hand the Seahawks are lurking in the NFC. They haven't looked great but if Hasslebeck can take the next couple of games to get back to form then they could be dangerous again in the playoffs. He's the key regardless of how Alexander plays.
Browns 31 / Chiefs 28
I think this loss is going to doom their playoff chances but they could still spoil somebody else's plans. Decent game by Trent Green even in the loss.
Patriots 28 / Lions 21
This is why I think the Patriots can't be written off in the playoffs yet. Brady single handedly won this game with pass after pass in the last two drives. I think he was something like 14 of 15. I still want him on my team if I'm down in the 4th quarter. Of course since I'm a Brady and Patriot hater he'd have to go through some kind of bizarre hazing ritual if he was to join my team. Probably something involving leather dominatrix lingerie, duct tape, and a Barney the dinosaur costume.
Steelers 20 / Bucs 3
I wasn't even remotely interested in this game. Whatever happened to the Carnell "Cadillac" Williams? After an amazing 4 games to start his rookie year he's been non-existent since. I know he's struggled with injuries but still. He sure looks average.
Titans 20 / Colts 17
This would have been a jaw-dropper upset early in the season but the Titans (and Vince Young) have looked pretty decent lately. And we all know now that Indy can't stop anybody's rushing attack. It's going to be the death of them in the playoffs.
Falcons 24 / Redskins 14
The running game is back (256 yards) for Atlanta. It would be cool to see Vick get over 1000 rushing yards this season. He'll never be a complete QB but he's amazing to watch as he flys around the field. I hate to see Dunn get less carries but at his age and with how good Norwood is it's probably for the best.
Jags 24 / Dolphins 10
Jacksonville is the bi-polar team for 2006. They can't decide if they are good or average. It changes week to week and it's going to cost them a playoff spot. Fortunately for them this week they were good again.
Texans 23 / Raiders 14
Saints 34 / 49ers 10
Deuce McAllister had 136 yards, yet Bush gets the headlines. 4 TDs and 131 yards receiving help make that happen. I'm still disappointed with Bush the rusher but there is no denying Bush the receiver is making an impact.
Cardinals 34 / Rams 20
You know, I read Peter King's Monday Morning QB article today and he has some interesting Bill Belichick's quotes that detail the Patriot coach's observations of the Detroit Lion offense. Basically Belichick says it's scary playing a Mike Martz offense because you never know what they are going to do. Yesterday I found myself wishing at times that the Rams new offense had more of Martz in it. I know I have ripped Mike Martz quite a bit (and rightly so--as a head coach he drove me nuts) but he does have some innovative and effective elements of his offense that I think the Rams should try and recapture. And no I'm not talking about taking all 3 timeouts early in the 3rd quarter or leaving your QB unprotected the entire game. Those are things the Lions are welcome to. But the Ram offense is starting to look pretty stagnant and that's a crime with all the talent they have. And defensively? Let's not even go there. They gave up 34 points to the Cardinals. Enough said. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go staple my hand to my desk to ease the pain.