What have we learned - Week 3
You know you love Philadelphia's 1933 uniforms! You know you want to buy one today! Luckily, you can here (it's the McNabb one, but there are others). Anyway, I was so happy to see Andy Reid run the ball early on, because that really opened up the passing game. I know, shocking. Football is so hard to figure out! I know it's not going to be this easy every week, and Brian Westbrook isn't as durable as some backs (he got hurt late in the game, and let's hope it's minor), but Correll Buckhalter and Penn State's own Tony Hunt rushed for touchdowns in the second half, so maybe Reid will remember he has other running backs. McNabb didn't need to throw very much, but he ended up throwing only 26 passes. That's how it should be. The Eagles have a huge game next week against the Giants. Let's hope they didn't use up all their touchdowns!
Turnovers: Lions 3, Eagles 2. Final score: Philadelphia 56, Detroit 21. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 1-0.
Hey, good idea firing Marty Schottenheimer there, San Diego. Real smart. You know what else is smart? Not giving the ball to LaDanian Tomlinson more often. Granted, he hasn't been running all that well, but the best backs get better as the games go on, and the Chargers aren't allowing Tomlinson to wear down the defense. As for the Packers, the only reason I don't like the fact that they're 3-0 is because it means we get more and more "Nancy Boy Favre as the Risen Christ" stories. Seriously: listen to ESPN today. It's like they've touched the wounds in his palms and now they believe! Sheesh.
Turnovers: Chargers 1, Packers 0. Final score: Green Bay 31, San Diego 24. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 2-0.
The Vikings scored on the first drive of the game and didn't get another touchdown, adding just 3 points to their total. They have no hope. Meanwhile, the Chiefs won but Larry Johnson is still grumpy about how he's being used. I like Johnson because he's a Nittany Lion, but he did get 24 carries. Maybe they should have given it to him 30 times, but he gained only 42 yards on those 24 carries. So he blames his offensive line. Yeah, way to make them want to block better, Larry.
Turnovers: Vikings 1, Chiefs 1. Final score: Kansas City 13, Minnesota 10. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash.
The Cheaters are just unbelievably dominant these days. Tom Brady, who's really miffed that people are suggesting their Super Bowl wins are "tainted" (they won them all by three points, and their coach is an admitted cheater; what are we supposed to think?), is 70 of 87. In three games he has 17 incompletions! Rex Grossman throws that many in a half! How are parents supposed to tell their kids not to cheat if cheaters prosper so well in life?
Turnovers: Bills 2, Cheaters 1. Final score: Cheaters 38, Buffalo 7. Turnovers = loss? Yes, although the cheating might have had something to do with it. 3-0.
Chad Pennington had a great game. Did the New Jersey fans apologize to him at all? Probably not. Meanwhile, Jason Taylor said he "sucks." Well, someone had to say it. I'm glad it was someone actually on the Dolphins.
Turnovers: Dolphins 1, Jets 0. Final score: New Jersey 31, Miami 24. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 4-0.
Wow, San Francisco isn't that good yet. That's pretty surprising. Still, they hung around the Steelers for a while, until Pittsburgh just proved to be the stronger team. Of course, the Steelers haven't been tested yet. Just wait until next week ... when they visit the desert! Oh, the beatdown that awaits them!
Turnovers: 49ers 1, Steelers 1. Final score: Pittsburgh 37, San Francisco 16. Turnovers = loss? There's no advantage either way.
I like how "experts" still talk about the great St. Louis offense, despite all evidence to the contrary. They had a great offense, but it's just lousy these days. I do have a question about the Rams, though: in the first half, when the score was 10-0 (I think), Marc Bulger threw and interception at the Tampa 30 or so. It appeared the defender didn't get his feet down, yet St. Louis didn't challenge. It seemed like an easy challenge, so why didn't they throw the red flag? It felt like a game-changing kind of play. This passivity is why certain teams lose - they just accepted their fate meekly, so they lost.
Turnovers: Rams 3, Buccaneers 1. Final score: Tampa 24, St. Louis 3. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 5-0.
The big story in the Basin today is whether Kurt Warner should replace Matt Leinart as starting QB after Matty struggled mightily against Baltimore and Warner carved them up and almost led them to a win. Ron Jaworski weighed in this afternoon and said, emphatically, no. I say, Why not? The only reason Warner got replaced last year was because the offensive line stunk and Warner can't run. Now, however, they have a good line, and Warner can do everything better at this stage of his career. Leinart has started less than a full season, and he has a lot to learn. If his fragile psyche can't handle sitting, the Cardinals don't want him anyway. Also, Arizona got a bit hosed by the refs, as Adrian Wilson was flagged for a personal foul that helped the Ravens get in position for the final field goal. The refs said Wilson hit Todd Heap with his forearm, but it was clear he hit him with his shoulder pad. The No Fun League is trying to become the No Hitting League, either. Of course, Arizona shouldn't have fallen behind 23-6, either. But still - when did the league become a bunch of wusses?
Turnovers: Cardinals 1, Ravens 1. Final score: Baltimore 26, Arizona 23. Turnovers = loss? Not applicable.
I know nothing about the Indy-Houston game. I guess Peyton Manning played well, as did Matt Schaub, and the Texans might actually be decent. Go, Houston!
Turnovers: Texans 2, Colts 0. Final score: Indianapolis 30, Houston 24. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 6-0.
Everyone is banging on Mike Shanahan for going for it on 4th down from his own 9 with 4 minutes left and trailing 20-14. I say, Fortune Favors The Bold! Excellent call, and the receiver should have caught the pass. Meanwhile, the Jaguars simply ran and ran and ran. Wow, does that work? Who would have guessed?
Turnovers: Broncos 3, Jaguars 2. Final score: Jacksonville 23, Denver 14. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 7-0.
Oakland pulled the same pansy-ass crap as Denver did to them last weekend, and called a timeout just as Phil Dawson was kicking what would have been the game-winning field goal. Dawson's "real" attempt was blocked. I can't blame Lane Kiffin for doing something within the rules, but what a cheesy act. You can't win games by yourself, so you have to use some stupid rule to get a win? This is an idiotic rule that needs to be changed.
Turnovers: Browns 2, Raiders 2. Final score: Oakland 26, Cleveland 24. Turnovers = loss? No, but that's because there was no advantage.
I'd like to say that Cincinnati got shafted by the refs, but I reckon Seattle would have scored on the last drive anyway. With two minutes left, Matt Hasselbeck had a pass tipped at the line. He caught the ball and started to run, but was tackled for a ten-yard loss. He fumbled, but after he was down. The refs claimed the pass was incomplete, so Seattle didn't lose the yardage. How nobody saw Hasselbeck take about four steps with the ball is beyond me. I guess it wouldn't have mattered, because Hasselbeck was carving up the Bengals' defense anyway, but it's still something to mention.
Turnovers: Bengals 4, Seahawks 2. Final score: Seattle 24, Cincinnati 21. Turnovers = loss? Yes, especially when Cincy fumbled with a minute left. 8-0.
Did anyone see D'Angelo Hall go nuts on the drive that gave Carolina the lead for good? He got flagged for 67 yards in penalties, and then got in a shouting match with his head coach on the sideline. You stay classy, D'Angelo! It overshadowed a pretty good game by Joey Harrington. Maybe Atlanta won't need Byron Leftwich after all!
Turnovers: Falcons 2, Panthers 0. Final score: Carolina 27, Atlanta 20. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 9-0.
How stupid is Washington? They reach the Giants' 2-yard line (or so, maybe the three) with a minute left and no timeouts left, down by a touchdown. They rush to the line and spike the ball, even though they could have easily run a play. So on second down, they throw an incomplete pass that might not have been a touchdown anyway. Then they run into the line, which is what they should have done on first down! Then, with about 25 seconds left, they hurry up and run another play, and the running back gets tripped up, sealing the game for the Giants. What poor clock management! There was no reason to rush so much, and they just looked like they were panicking. Aren't these guys professionals?
Turnovers: Giants 3, Washington 1. Final score: New Jersey 24, Washington 17. Turnovers = loss? No. Stupid Washington! 9-1.
You have to bench Rex Grossman, don't you? Last year the Bears asked him not to lose games. Now, he's actively losing games, because he just isn't good enough. Meanwhile, their defense looks really vulnerable. Tony Romo continues to look good, but then again he looked good for a while last year as well. Can it last this time? We'll see. As long as Terrell Owens destroys the team eventually, I'll be happy. And he will, he will!
Turnovers: Bears 4, Cowboys 1. Dallas 34, Chicago 10. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 10-1.
That makes it 31-5 in three weeks when teams turn the ball over less than their opponents. Don't turn the ball over!
The word has also come down that cheerleaders can no longer warm up in front of the opposing team. Apparently some teams were "distracted" when the cheerleaders exercised in front of them. How could that be?
As I mentioned, my beloved Nittany Lions couldn't score a touchdown, but more importantly, they turned the ball over! Don't turn the ball over!!!!!! Michigan didn't move the ball too well in the first half, but they scored a touchdown because Anthony Morelli fumbled at his 15. Later, driving for a touchdown, Austin Scott fumbled at the Michigan 10. Scott fumbled twice last week against freakin' Buffalo, but JoePa is way too loyal to his players, so he was back in the game. Sheesh. I didn't really think Penn State would run the table, but it would have been nice to open the Big 11 season with a win. Why they can't beat the Wolverines is beyond me. Arizona State fell behind 19-0 and won, 44-32, but the game was not televised, even in Phoenix. People wonder why certain teams don't get any respect. I'm not saying ASU is a great team, but when nobody can see you play, it's kind of hard to get voted on. And then there was Georgia-Alabama. I was glad to see the Tide lose, because Nick Saban is an asshole, but what's making the rounds on the web is the video of Georgia's winning touchdown. But not because of the video, but because of the bizarre non sequitur Mike Patrick got into ... just as the Bulldogs came to the line, in overtime, losing by a field goal. Was Mike Patrick hitting the bottle before the overtime?
I just love Todd Blackledge's reaction. It's as if he's wondering whether he's been suddenly transported to an alien planet and he doesn't understand the language. It's awesome. I wish I had seen it live.
So that's it for this week. Next week: Can the Eagles go to 2-2? Will Rex Grossman ever play in the NFL again? Which coach will wuss out and call a timeout right before a kicker attempts a field goal? By how many points will the Cardinals beat the Steelers? Oh, the drama of football!