Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


What have we learned - Week 8

Sigh. Another week, another tough loss for the Eagles. Not only that, but the losses are somewhat inexplicable. I'll get to this week's debacle soon enough. This week's theme is things that make no sense in the grand, glorious National Football League.

The Eagles were desperate. They were playing at home. They were playing a team with a back-up quarterback that had lost to Houston the week before, 27-7. And the Eagles played like crap. The Jaguars dominated the game, but the Eagles gave up no touchdowns after the first drive. Yet Andy Reid continues to ignore his running game, and McNabb played poorly. Why his receivers keep dropping passes is weird, too. They need to run the ball - it's a broken record of the Reid Era, but it's true. Their defense gets tired in the fourth quarter because they get dominated in time of possession. I'm depressed. They get a week off to regroup, and if the Giants lose they're only a game out of first place, but they need to get things together. This was the easy part of the schedule. They should have won 6 games. Dagnabbit.
Thing that made no sense: With about 7½ minutes remaining, the Eagles had about a 3rd-and-7. They tried a pass, McNabb got sacked, they punted. Shouldn't that be two-down territory? They were losing 13-3 and Jacksonville had proven that they could eat up the clock. The Eagles got the ball back, sure, and kicked a field goal, but with less than thirty seconds left. I had turned off the game by then, but I imagine they failed to get the onside kick. You're losing by two scores and you're punting to a team that has chewed you up with the running game? WTF?

I didn't watch very much of the Cardinals game at all. They suck. They made freakin' Green Bay look good. Here's a fun fact: they don't play the Packers all that often, but they still have not won a game in Green Bay since 1949, when they were in Chicago. Arizona has a lot of streaks like that.
Thing that made no sense: Why wasn't Denny Green fired via cell phone in the first half? That would have been cool.

The Titans shredded the Texans, and David Carr was benched in the second half. You know you're a bad team when David Carr isn't living up to your expectations. Everyone keeps talking about how Vince Young is doing so well, but he really didn't play that well. He's a nice story, but let's hold off on anointing him the savior of the franchise.
Thing that made no sense: Houston's draft pick. Yes, I know it's be mentioned ad nauseum, but it really made no sense to pick Mario Williams when they could have taken Vince Young. Even if he isn't the greatest quarterback, he has that Michael Vick factor that puts butts in seats.

Sure, the Ravens can go to New Orleans and win, but not the Eagles. Sheesh. I like how Jamal Lewis carries 31 times for 109 yards and everyone says it's great, but Edgerrin James carried 24 times for 84 yards and everyone asks what's wrong with him. Andy Reid should watch Jamal Lewis. It's not the yardage, it's the pounding you put on the defense. They looked like they didn't want to tackle him after about a half of him beating on them.
Thing that made no sense: The Saints making stupid mistakes. Sure, Baltimore has a good defense, but New Orleans ran some idiotic plays. Why didn't they call a halfback pass against the Eagles so my guys could have intercepted it?

The Bears could have easily scored 100 points against San Francisco, and that's pretty scary. Arizona, of all teams, showed how to beat the Bears, but the 49ers just don't have the talent. I'm starting to warm up to Chicago - I like how they attack the defense when they smell a weakness, even if it leads to turnovers, like it did in Arizona. I still think they're overrated because they haven't played a good team on the road, but I don't hate them, like I do the Peyton Colts.
Thing that made no sense: Why San Francisco even bothered to show up. After hearing for two weeks how they got so very lucky, and playing at home, there was no way the Bears were losing this game or even allowing the other team in the game. The 49ers should have just taken a vacation.

The Seattle-Kansas City game was pretty exciting, and I always like seeing ex-Penn Stater Larry Johnson do well. What has happened to the Seattle defense? Whenever I turned the game on Johnson was shredding them for big gains. A blocked field goal returned for a touchdown made this closer than it should have been, because KC dominated. The Chiefs are one of the many schizophrenic teams (like the Eagles) in the NFL. You just never know which team will show up.
Thing that made no sense: The lack of tackling skills by the Seahawks. Do they even teach tackling in the NFL anymore?

Michael Vick has impressed everyone with his newfound passing skills, but all he's done is thrown a few more touchdowns. Good for him, sure, but he hasn't thrown for significantly more yardage or for a much higher completion percentage. They've won both the games, which is nice, and their running game remains as strong as ever, but he has to do this consistently, which is what I said last week. I'm still reserving judgment. I'm not sure how the Bengals lost this game, as they had a good lead and were playing at home. Oh, wait, sure I do - Marvin Lewis turned into Andy Reid! On the first drive, Rudi Johnson, a very good running back, had 5 carries. Touchdown! The rest of the game he had 7 carries. What the hell?
Thing that made no sense: Another strange punt, as the Bengals punted with about 5½ minutes remaining and losing 29-20. They were closer to their goal line and did get the ball back quickly and scored with about 3 minutes left, but I wonder if they ever got the ball back after that. If not, it was a dumb punt. Where's Woody to shed some light on the subject?

Everyone loves the Giants now, but Eli Manning had another crappy game. I realize it was very windy and he did enough to win, but is he really showing that he can take a team to the Super Bowl? In Giants-land, the big news last week was that Tiki Barber called Tom Jackson and Michael Irvin of ESPN "idiots" for suggesting that he's a distraction to his team with all the retirement talk. He's right about Irvin, but for different reasons, but he should have kept his mouth shut. They were just giving their opinions. The biggest way to shut them up is to take his team to the Super Bowl. Which they won't do, because Eli is their quarterback!!!!
Thing that made no sense: A week later, it still makes no sense that Tampa beat the Eagles. Their offense proved once again that they stink. Shit. Way to go, Eagles.

With a little less than 4 minutes left in the game, Philip Rivers threw a touchdown pass to LaDanian Tomlinson with his team on the Ram 25 and leading 31-17. In the NFL, I don't care if teams run it up because everyone's a professional, but that was bad form, I thought. I wonder if the football gods will exact vengeance. My friend Mike has a man-crush on Marc Bulger, and I feel bad for Bulger, because his line stinks, and his receivers drop a lot of passes (not as many as the Eagles', but who does?). Someone is going to win the NFC East and the NFC West with 9 victories, I think. That's pathetic.
Thing that made no sense: More lack of tackling skills, this time by St. Louis. Hey, Rams - the guy with the ball is the one you want to bring down.

The Jets kind of got hosed at the end of the game. They were losing 20-13 to Cleveland in a game they had no business even being close in. I watched some of this game, and New Jersey looked awful. Yet here they were, 4th-and-4 at the Browns 20-something, and Chad Pennington floats a ball into the end zone. The receiver catches it one-handed and is leveled by the Cleveland defender, getting knocked out of bounds in the process. It's pretty clear on the replay that he would have come down in bounds, which in the NFL means it should be a touchdown. The official called it an incomplete pass, and it was not a reviewable play. Cleveland, which probably needed a break, escapes with a win. And they now have the same number of victories as the Super Bowl Champions.
Thing that made no sense: Why isn't it a reviewable play? They said it was a "judgment call" by the official, so it's not reviewable. Yet plays that are reviewable, like whether a receiver controlled the ball before he was out of bounds, are also "judgment calls." The explanation is pretty lame, and the rule needs to be looked at.

I freakin' hate the Colts, because they take up valuable playoff space when everyone knows they have no chance to win the Super Bowl. Yesterday, the Broncos ripped them to shreds with the running game, yet late in the game, they threw a couple of stupid passes, kicked the tying field goal with 1:49 left, at which point everyone in America knew the Colts would win because that's an eternity to Peyton Manning. Crap.
Thing that made no sense: Why didn't Denver put more pressure on Manning? The only teams to beat him recently put pressure on him, yet throughout the game, the Broncos rushed four, even after it was obvious they weren't touching him. I understand you don't want to give up the big play, but Manning will dissect you if he has some time, and sooner or later, hit you with a big play anyway. Sell-out blitzes can get you beaten badly, but they also freak Manning out a little. Stupid Broncos.

The Raiders won a football game. How is still under investigation. Andrew Walter, their quarterback, completed 5 passes. They gained 98 yards for the game. Ben Roethlisberger, who shouldn't have been playing because of his concussion the week before, completed 25 passes for 301 yards. But ... two interceptions were returned for touchdowns, and two more stopped the Steelers when they had decent field position. What a weird game. The Oakland offense kept giving the game to Pittsburgh, and the Oakland defense kept making one more stop.
Thing that made no sense: The whole game made no sense. This game was played in Bizarro World, and at the end, the players shook hands and said "Hello."

In another weird game, the Panthers managed to blow an early 14-point lead at home to a team with a quarterback making his first career start. I didn't watch the second half, but it sounds like Carolina simply imploded, and the Cowboys managed to take advantage. I'm not as shocked by this as some other people, because like rookie pitchers, unknown quarterbacks seem to have a very brief window of advantage until teams figure him out. Of course, Dallas gets to play Washington and Arizona the next two weeks, so even if they figure him out it might not matter. If he had played Washington this week and Carolina next week, this result would have been a lot different. But at least Terrell Owens caught a lot of balls. That's all that matters, right?
Thing that made no sense: Why did the Dallas offensive line suddenly learn how to block? Did they not like Bledsoe, so they were tanking on purpose? Ah, a good conspiracy - that's why ESPN needs to hire me, so I can stir the pot!

To finish off, I have a trivia question. What was the last Division 1-A college football team to score at least 100 points, and when did they do it and against whom? Take a guess in the comments!

Next week: midseason predictions! Possibly.

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