Monday, December 11, 2006

NFL Thoughts: Week 14

I was only able to catch 3 games this weekend. I saw the annihilation of the Colts defense, the dominance of Ladainian Tomlinson, and the near perfect performance from the Saints offense (flexible scheduling--what a novel idea!).

Saints 42 / Cowboys 17
It's a good thing Philip Rivers has turned out to be the real deal. If he had ended up being another Ryan Leaf the Charger's decision to let Brees go (with the way he is playing this year) would have been one of the worst personnel decisions in the past 10 years. Luckily for both the Saints and the Chargers, things have turned out nicely. In fact it would be pretty cool if these two teams could meet in the Super Bowl. And it would even provide us with a nice little story about QB mentoring. Except for the fact that the media would play that out within 3 days and then we would be ready to throw up at the mere mention of the Brees/Rivers relationship by gametime. But I digress. Anyway, Brees was awesome against the Cowboys and if his receivers are healthy he has a lot of weapons. I actually didn't think the Cowboys were that bad Sunday night. The Saints were just flat out good.

Giants 27 / Panthers 13
NY still has life but the Panthers are now in deep doo-doo.

Ravens 20 / Chiefs 10
I'm guessing that nobody wants to play the Ravens defense when it comes playoff time. As long as McNair can "manage" a game and not lose it for them, this team has to be seen as a legitimate championship threat.

Jaguars 44 / Colts 17
What a butt-whooping this was. This Colts defense is so bad against the run that I have no confidence at all in their playoff hopes. Watching this game you could sense Manning's frustration of knowing that he had to score on every possession or they weren't winning. It's almost a crime that the Colts have failed to significantly upgrade their defense in the past five years. Last year's defense was the closest they have had to something that could be called decent and they have taken a huge leap backwards this year. As far as the Jags go, they shouldn't get too excited about this win considering everything I just said about the Colts. Still, just I said in the pre-season, Maurice Drew is a huge talent and needs to see the ball as much as possible.

Falcons 17 / Bucs 6
I don't see the Falcons making the playoffs. I just don't. Especially if Dunn and Norwood don't recover quickly. Vick is capable of winning another game or two by himself but it's more likely that his usual 150 yards passing and 1-2 turnovers will doom them in the end.

Chargers 48 / Broncos 20
The Broncos are prepping for next year. It's not a travesty this year if they don't make the playoffs. After all they were going nowhere even if they made the postseason with Plummer. It's good to get Cutler the experience and plan on possible run for 2007.
What can you say about Tomlinson this year? After a couple of sub-par years (for him anyway) he is back with a vengeance and is every fantasy owner's wet dream. Also, I think that Rivers is finally understanding how to use Antonio Gates (7 rec, 104 yards, 2 TDs). If the Colts can't make it to the Super Bowl, this is the AFC team I would want to see play for it all.

Dolphins 21 / Patriots 0
Probably the most shocking score of the day for me.

Eagles 21 / Redskins 19
Jeff Garcia has two good games in a row. When did that last happen? Probably back in the days before Terrell Owens was calling him gay and around the time we were wondering what a dude that looked like he came from Ireland was doing with a Latin name.

Titans 26 / Texans 20
-I 'm just imagining the average Houston fan today and their thoughts toward the previous draft. Most of the season we have talked about Bush not being drafted by the Texans but because of the huge popularity of the Longhorns (and Vince Young in particular) in the state of Texas we have probably underestimated how many people felt pissed about the Texans passing on Vince Young. This game only serves to twist that proverbial knife a little deeper.

Vikings 30 / Lions 20
I've got to quit picking the Lions. Why do I keep thinking they can improve? John Kitna was a backup in Cincy for a reason.

Cardinals 27 / Seahawks 21
This game just reinforces for me what a chance the Rams blew this season for a division title. Seattle has been injured, and less than stellar for much of the season. In fact if I think about this any longer I'm going to walk outside and throw myself into oncoming traffic.

Bengals 27 / Raiders 10
The Bengals are on must-win status for a playoff push and as long as they can avoid a 10 player arrest weekend (not out of the question though) they just might make it. By the way just imagine if Sebastian Janikowski had played for Bill Parcells. He probably wouldn't have made it out of pre-season.

Bills 31 / Jets 13
Buffalo is looking much improved the past few weeks. Losman isn't playing badly, Lee Evans is playing like a man on fire, and McGahee has been solid. That was bad news for the Jets who really needed this win. Pennington has got to play better in the remaining games or their postseason hopes are dead (if they aren't already).

Steelers 27 / Browns 7
It says a lot about the Steeler's season (and the Brown's) that they were the only NFL game of the day (Thursday) and they were probably the 3rd story on many sports newscasts that night.

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