Sunday, October 29, 2006

NFL Week 8 Wrap-Up

A few half-baked thoughts following Sunday's games:

Early-afternoon games:

Not-so-dirty Birds: Amazingly, for the second straight week, the Falcons were involved in winning the Best Game of the Week. And, though I didn't think it was possible, Mike Vick was even BETTER this week than last week.

Can we all agree that if you just saw the stats and didn't know the player's name was "Reggie Bush," you'd say that – as a No. 2 overall pick -- he's been more dud than stud. (In fact, he's miles behind even being the best rookie on his own team! That would be Marques Colston.)

The Vince Young Era is in full effect. 7/15 for 87 yards passing? Who cares? How about those zero INTs? And how about that 10 yards-per-carry average, complete with a rushingTD? He did just enough to win the game, and that's all that matters.

Two words: L. J. Uh, were people really wondering if Larry Johnson was worth the preseason Fantasy hype?

Someone needs to explain the Jags. Someone needs to explain the Eagles. They get together and play and they both remain mystifying. Why do I get the feeling this is the one great game a year that Fred Taylor uses to keep tantalizing everyone?

The Giants' D is very very good. I'm not saying that Bruce Gradkowski was supposed to pick them apart, but New York totally neutered the Bucs.

It's a banner day, as the pride of Jewish fans everywhere – Texans backup QB Sage "Chosen One" Rosenfels – came off the bench to throw 3 TDs. Even in a loss, it's progress.

Apparently, Rex Grossman has excised whatever fart had been lodged in his brain during the Monday Night debacle at Arizona.

Steve McNair makes the Ravens a playoff team. I'm back to touting his "MVP" worthiness. I'm not saying he IS MVP, but you certainly can't deny the affect he has on the team when he's playing.

The Cardinals are bad... How bad are they? The Cardinals are SO bad... that they make the PACKERS look good.

Late-Afternoon Games

Shawne Merriman: 3 sacks. Think he's playing with much motivation, knowing he might be out four games in the future? (Meanwhile, Tomlinson hit the 8,000-yard mark – in his 6th season – and tied Emmitt as the 2nd-fastest player ever to 90 TDs. Sick.)

The Colts became the first team to start 7-0 in back-to-back seasons since the Packers in 1930, but let's be honest: That doesn't mean jack if they don't win the Super Bowl. That's why the game's far more important milestone was Adam V. kicking the game-winning FG. Sign of things to come down the road... when it REALLY counts?

You have my sympathy, Jets fans: I'd be upset too if I lost to the Browns. That it happened on a controversial play is kind of beside the point. (Although it begs the question why officials' "judgment calls" aren't reviewable. Totally ludicrous.)

Finally, let's make it VERY clear: Playing Ben Roethlisberger cost the Steelers the game. He threw for 301 yards and 1 TD, but it would have been 426 yards and 3 TDs if you count the two INT-TDs he threw. It's very likely this was the final nail in the Steelers' "title-defense"; the season isn't even halfway over and they are as good as done.

Use the Comments section to have your say about all the NFL developments of the day.

-- D.S.


The heroin sheik said...

Man that guy is going to have to take one nasty shit tomorrow. You should only eat krystal when you are three sheets to the wind.

The worst part of the bucs game was that Gradkowski was putting the ball right into the hands of his receivers and they were playing liek they just ate a bucket of ribs and their hands were covered in grease. The bucs receivers are pathetic and the blame should be placed solely on them for this loss. Michael clayton drops a td and galloway dropped two 30+ yarders that would have put us in the red zone. All three passes hit the guys in their hands and only one was not in stride with the receiver.

My fiancee says that the bears might as well start making a remix of the super bowl shuffle. All she knows is that our dog is named rex and the bears have a qb named rex so she likes him. She also likes that he is a gator so I have to root for him even if I hate the bears form the old NFC central days.

adnteh said...

My favorite teams are Michigan (football), Chicago Bears and the Chicago Bulls. These are arguably the three best defenses in their respective sports. I just want to say, it's *much* more fun to watch your team when they have a dominating defense than when they have a dominating offense.

Anonymous said...


Dan wondered about people questioning LJ's preseason status as the #1 pick

Going into this week, LJ was 3rd in RB's for points, behind LT and Westbrook. Yes he had a great game today with 4 TD's/155yds, but at the half LT has 2 TD's/88yds.

don't bitch to me about FFL talk, Dan brought it up.

The heroin sheik said...

it has got to suck to be big ben. He sucks. Has a super bowl winning team ever sucked as bad the following year as the steelers do this year. BEst thign is that carr was on my fantasy team and he hit the magical 150 yrds in returns which for some reason counts int returns. That sure helps.

Big D said...

6:58 PM - Phil Simms just refferred to Peyton Manning as "one of the most clutch players in history".

Um... really? Ya sure about that one, Phil?

Big D said...

Also... as a lifelong Pats' fan...

If Vinateri kicks a game-winner here to beat the Broncos - how am I supposed to reat? I despise both teams, so should I just be indifferent to the entire situation?

Maybe be a little happy, so that New England can give Indy its first loss next week...

Ingrid and Jim said...

Raiders win! Raiders win! Raiders win!

Pittsburgh sucks! Pittsburgh sucks! Pittsburgh sucks!

MoL said...

In the For What It's Worth Department...the Browns and Steelers now have the same record. He he he. As much as the Browns suck this year, the fact that the Steelers are playing so horribly makes me smile. At least everyone knew the Browns were going to suck.

Jared said...

When are people going to realize Big Ben is a mediocre quarterback? The Steelers won the Super Bowl on running and defense, and anytime Ben's throwing more than 18-20 passes they're probably going to lose.

Jen said...


It's nice to be on the winning side in the NFL once in a while.

Too bad I took a HUGE dump in my pool. WHY do I pick SF even when they are getting a zillion points!? I should know that's a sign that they still won't cover!

Rams/Chargers was my stumper....took the wrong team in that one.

Big D said...

I'll admit - the Steelers "suck-ti-tude" is probably my favorite subplot of this season.

Even moreso, since I picked them 3rd in their division just after Labor Day - just ahead of Cleveland.

Of course, I also picked the Jaguars & Dolphins to finish with double digit wins, so the fact that I'm looking at a good possibility of being one for three doesn't make me all that happy.

Jen said...

meta~ Amen to that! :) I like when the Stillers suck.

Anonymous said...

upon further review...

default yahoo scoring

LJ put up 33 pts
LT put up 30 pts

want to retract that statement now dan?

ben shouldn't have played after 2 concussions in 3 months or whatever it has been since he pulled a jay williams.

as a raiders fan, my season has been made...even if they are screwing up the draft. maybe I won't be stuck with Brady Quinn now..

Jake C said...

anyone notice ND get dicked over again in the polls? USC loses to unraked Oregon St but stays ahead of teams (ND included) who loss to ranked teams (ND to the #2 school).


chipp said...

P Manning: 32/39, 345 3-0; 437 yds, 34 pts - WOW, that Denver offense sure is good! Will people finally shut up about how good they are now that they've played a team with something better than a practice squad offense? Too bad I hate IND...

OAK is now tied for the 5th longest winning streak in the NFL!

NYJ offense only gets 2 FGs? Chad: 39.3% completion: Ugh.

LDT: 7.3 YPC - Rams run over.

Barber Bowl: Tiki 2.6 YPC, Ronde 7 T & Plaxico TD right over him - it's a wash.

Trouble in CHI: they've been outscored 10-0 in their last 2 quarters (by my staunch 49ers no less). :)

SEA v KC: Both QBs looked OK. LJ: 39 carries? How long will that last?

McNabb under 60% for the year: he has too many floaters that kill drives.

Jeff Fisher is a good coach: PIT was smart to keep Cowher during a few down years and TEN should keep Fisher. [Aside: His career could mirror Cowher's - long tenure, a Super Bowl loss, and a few down years. He should be around for the rebirth of TEN.]

I expected BAL to falter with Billick calling plays - oops. I still think they'll go down hill, but who's there to catch and pass them now?

Speaking of: Rudi finally got another TD, but 12 for 46? 22:52 TOP isn't going to help your D.

3 straight no INT games for Favre. Wait until it gets cold.

14-7 CAR in the second: I keep wanting to think highly of CAR, but 23.5% on 3rd down? Not going anywhere until that improves.

chipp said...

Sorry, make that the DEN defense that I'm bashing on. Their O looked pretty good (against a suspect IND D) which makes them contenders.

Mega said...

Horatio- wasn't this Carr's first real "bad" game of the season? From what I've read he has been doing fantastic so far, even though he still has no offensive line.

Oh and does anyone still question on whether the Bears are the best team in the NFL?

Myles! said...

"it has got to suck to be big ben. He sucks. Has a super bowl winning team ever sucked as bad the following year as the steelers do this year."

Off the top of my head, I'm thinking Broncos in 1999, after Elway retired and Davis' knee got blown out. That collapse was a hell of a lot more understandable than this one though.

Brew City Legend said...

Hey, on the Sage Rosenfels; don't forget about his 4th quarter 275 yard, Multi-TD performance for Miami in a comeback win against the Bills.

Marcus T said...

As a Steelers fan this is one bad season to watch. It's one thing if we didn't have the talent. Like in '03, we went 6-10, but Maddox was never the same after that neck/head injury he suffered the year before, and our O-Line was in shambles. Hey, that's fine, we don't have the players.

This year? We have the talent. We just keep shooting ourselves in the foot. It was Big Ben this game, the Cincy game was blown because of fumbles by Coclough and Haynes. Last week was the 3 fumbles by Holmes, Okobe, and Parker that cost us. All of these resulted in a very short field and very cheap touchdowns for our opponents.

Subtract those boneheaded mentally retarded plays and we are 5-2. Just disgusting. But mark my words, next year, we'll be back.

Lastly, I don't blame Cowher for starting Big Ben. Look, if Batch had started, we would have won, but how would Big Ben have faired against Denver and NO the following weeks?

Look what happened when he was just thrown back into the mix against the Jags, Cincy, and San Diego. 3 very tough games. Let him get back on his feet with an easy W. But oops, he shit the bed.

mark said...

@eric: No, watching your team when they have a great offense is MUCH more fun than watching a team with great D. The whole "Peyton Manning, Football Genius" thing is way overplayed, but having that offense makes for fantastic theatre. Your team is never out of it, you never know quite what they'll pull out of the hat--and it also means (for cap reasons) that the defense sucks, so you're never quite sure how many points is going to be enough. Watching the Colts is sometimes nerve-wracking, but it's never ever boring.

The Bears last year, when they really had no offense but were winning games on defense, were about as entertaining as watching the Chicago River freeze over. Trust me, I know--I live in Chicago, and if you live here you're force-fed the Bears, and when you admit to even a little indifference about them, people look at you like you're some strange traitor. (And I have also spend more than one procrastinating afternoon at work last winter watching the river, too...)

@ Big D: Indy will win next week. The pattern, you surely have realized by now, is that they beat the Pats, even in Foxboro, so long as there's nothing on the line. It's the games that count that they drop.

paul said...

The Packers are now 3-4, which is not too bad. The Bears beat them 26-0 in Green Bay. The Lions are horrible, but when the Bears played them they'd just come off a close loss to the Seahawks and were brimming with confidence. Bears beat them 34-7. Minnesota had had big wins against Carolina and Washington and was unbeaten. Bears went in, played badly, and still won 19-16. Seattle came in unbeaten and confident. They'd lost Alexander (who had been ineffective anyway) but had just added Branch. The Bears beat them 37-6. The Buffalo Bills came in having just upset the Vikings, McGahee leading the league in rushing, and Losman suddenly looking like a real QB with a future. The Bears beat them 40-7, Losman hasn't (and will never) recover, and McGahee is still wondering what happened. Then came the trap game. The Cardinals gave it their all. Hot young QB, Monday Night showcase, chance to salvage the season and Green's job. They were up. Bears played the worst game, offensively and defensively, they'll play all year. Lost time of possession 40 minutes to 20. Turned it over 6 times. Scored 3 points on offense. Were down 20 with a quarter to go. Won anyway. This week, the Bears were up 41-0 at half. That's the second biggest halftime lead in NFL history. The Bears were up 10-0, and before Alex Smith ever saw the field the game was over.

At home they've outscored their opponents 152-30. No other NFC team has any fewer than two losses, which means if they beat the Giants in NY, they'll all but lock up home field. Crown their asses.

mark said...

Let's rephrase that Bears post a little more even-handedly.

So far, the Bears have beaten...

--The Packers, who mostly suck.
--The Lions, who thoroughly suck.
--The Vikings, who are at least decent.
--The Seahawks, who were missing their main offensive threat, and in any case are clearly not the same team they were last year.
--The Bills, who pretty much suck.
--The Cardinals, who are not only cover-your-eyes awful, but who nearly won.
--The 49ers, who just plain suck.

So . . . whom have they beaten again?

Compare the Colts, who have already beaten two certain playoff teams (Giants and Broncs) one other legit contender (the Jags), and one near-contender in the Jets.

Daniel said...

You can only beat the teams on your schedule. I don't remember reading any quotes from the Bears saying their asses should be crowned. Good teams beat the teams they're supposed to beat. The line on the Niners game was 16 1/2. They covered that (41-10).

Same thing with the whole Urlacher 2nd most overrated player poll SI did. 29 out of 361 players polled thought he was the most overrated. Urlacher didn't nominate himself for Defensive Player of the Year. Did it make the Carolina loss feel any better? He is a great linebacker. That he draws attention from the media, who are the "raters," isn't his fault. Don't tout him so much, and he won't be overrated. That doesn't make him less of a player though.

chipp said...

Is Huard doing well enough that he will get trade/free agent offers (I'm not sure of his current contract status) to become some lame ducks savior? Oakland, Detroit, Green Bay, Tampa, Washington, and Houston should all have off-season QB competitions.

The Patriots missed the playoffs after their first SB win (7-9).

paul said...

Who ARE good teams? The Giants are 5-2 and played the Colts really tough. The Seahawks destroyed the Giants. The Bears destroyed the Seahawks. The AFC is the only legit conference? Ok. The Rams beat the Broncos. The Seahawks beat the Rams. The Bears killed the Seahawks. More? The Bills almost beat New England. The Bears killed the Bills.

They're literally doing all they can. According to what you're saying, with their schedule so far it's impossible that they're the best team in the league- whether they are, or not. That's BS.

Also, while the AFC had a good day today, season record says the two leagues about dead even. The "elites" in the AFC aren't beating anybody either. New England's big win is Cinci. Cinci, who lost to Tampa. Indy's big win is the Giants or the Broncos. Who've been pasted by the Seahawks and Rams, respectively. And on, and on.

Check the head-to-head records. The leagues are closer than you think. The NFC just has more competitive balance and has had some key injuries to Seattle.

paul said...

Also, it's the NFL. When through eight weeks one team has scored the most points and surrended the fewest, and lost no games, that team is without a doubt the best team in the league. It's hard to argue otherwise.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

I still can't summon any concern about NFL football action, but I can ask random stupid questions about people.

What's up with Bill Parcells twisting TO's hat and giving out kisses on the sidelines?

Has anybody ever dressed as trashy as this Romo guy in a postgame press conference?

That's all, really.

Christian Thoma said...

The NFC is the Mountain West this year and Chicago is Boise State. The AFC is still way ahead and will win the Super Bowl.

I would like to modify the above quote. See if you can catch the connection:

The NL is the Mountain West this year and St. Louis is Boise State. The AL is still way ahead and will win the World Series.

Lesson (hopefully) learned.

Christian Thoma said...

Speaking of the Packers, does anyone else see an 8-8 season for them?

They're at 3-4 (oddly, the only team in the league at 3-4).
Remaining possible wins:
San Fran

Remaining likely losses:
New England

They also play Minnesota twice. It's conceivable they'll steal one. 8-8.

Of course, I'm secretly rooting for 12-4, but I am a realist. 8-8 would be a nice improvement after last year.

Christian Thoma said...

if you don't make the playoffs, does a respectable record make a sound?

If you sucked the previous year, yes. If you won the Super Bowl, no. But take heart--New England was lousy after their first SB win. And then won the next 2.

Big D said...

@ Mark:

Not sure what "pattern" you're referring to here, but Indy has only won one game in Foxboro in recent memory - last year in the regular season.

They haven't beaten the Pats, in Foxboro (or Indy, for that matter), other than that one game, since about 2002. I might be wrong, but I cannot remember one other time that Peyton led the Colts to a win over New England since then.

That's why when the schedule comes out every year, all of the "pundits" around the New England area talk about how the schedule makers did the Colts no favors - they keep putting them in Foxboro, usually after the mid-way point of the year.

I think it's going to be a hell of a game next week. I would love to see the Pats win, but I hope Belichick has more sense than Shanahan and makes sure to leave no time on the clock for Peyton to work with...

Kevin said...

I see 8-8 for the Packers. I agree with your projected wins/losses. One other thing to take into account is that the play Chicago in week 17. If the bears are 14-1 or 13-2 then, with homefield advantage locked up, they may play back-ups and give the Packers a chance. I'm still holding out for 12-4 too though.

Bobman said...

@chipp : The Patriots missed the playoffs after their first SB win (7-9).

They were actually 9-7 in 2002, just barely missed the playoffs. Worse teams have made the playoffs since.

Steve said...

Who else could you reasonably have as MVP other than Peyton? He's on pace for 4500 yards, 34 tds, 4 ints and 16 wins.

Anonymous said...

There's no way the Bears should be favored, they're in an incredibly weak conference.

Here's how you predict the Super Bowl:
Denver beats NE
NE beats Indy
Indy beats Denver.

No one else matter, it's just rock-paper-scissors in the AFC playoffs, and no one else can be taken seriously, certainly not Mr. Grossman. So whatever order these three teams play each other in the playoffs this year decides everything.

Christian Thoma said...

There's no way the Bears should be favored, they're in an incredibly weak conference.

Did you miss my earlier point? Didn't anybody learn anything last week?

Besides, the AFC-NFC matchups are split right now, 16-16. The idea that the AFC is stronger than the NFC is laughable.

chipp said...

Overall the two conferences are about equal, but at the top there is a dominence in the AFC. The big three "should" beat 15/16 NFC teams regularly. Despite not wanting to think highly of them, Chicago looks competitive with IND, NE, & DEN.

@Solomonrex: Excellent Rochambeau AFC prediction! Spots 4-6 become REALLY important for seeding in that scenario!