What have we learned - Week 5
Tom pointed out that I should see if I can find out how many points were scored off the turnovers. Unfortunately, the box scores on-line don't show how many points were scored off turnovers! What the crap is up with that?
Matt Leinart got injured, so the Arizona quarterback "controversy" is over, with Kurt Warner behind center. I only watched the first half, so the only things I learned was: the officials suck and Ken Whisenhunt is bold. First, Edgerrin James takes a handoff at the 6-yard line, is tackled at the one, is obviously down, fumbles the ball into the end zone where it's recovered by a St. Louis player, who is already down when a Cardinal comes up behind him and rips the ball out, which would have meant the play was dead because the Ram was on the ground, but the Cardinal player holds it up and it's called a touchdown. They reviewed the play and said the call was right on the field. WHAT?!?!?!? First, James was obviously down, and the replay clearly showed his elbow on the ground before the ball comes out. So the ball should have been on the one. Second, the instant a Cardinal touches the Ram player in the end zone, the play is dead. So if you miss the first call, it's a touchback. In no universe is that play a touchdown. Yet the Cardinals got the call. Wow - that's the kind of call that goes for New England or Indianapolis, not Arizona! Anyway, with 13 seconds left in the half, and with no timeouts, Arizona ran a running play from the 5. WHAT?!?!?!? They tried to get up to the line to spike the ball, but the clock would have run out if a St. Louis player hadn't kicked the ball. Idiot! So the Cardinals got an untimed down from the one. Whisenhunt went for the touchdown, and Warner sneaked over for six points. What an awesome call. And considering the Cardinals won by 3, an important one. Whisenhunt knows that (say it with me!) FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD!
Turnovers: Rams 3, Cardinals 2. Final score: Arizona 34, St. Louis 31. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 1-0.
Vince Young was getting all pissy because people were asking about his interceptions. He threw three of them. Of course, when you're playing a piss-poor team like the Falcons (or the Bills, see below), you can turn the ball over five times and still win. But back to Young: those were some awful passes that were intercepted. Hey, Vince - if you don't like getting questioned about your shitty passes, don't throw them!
Turnovers: Titans 5, Falcons 2. Final score: Tennessee 20, Atlanta 13. Turnovers = loss? Weirdly enough, no. 1-1.
Larry Johnson carried 9 times for 12 yards. Yes, Johnson is running poorly behind a crappy offensive line. But the game was close throughout, and you have to give your big back the ball more often and hope he wears down the defense. Stupid Chiefs.
Turnovers: Chiefs 1, Jaguars 0. Final score: Jacksonville 17, Kansas City 7. Turnovers = loss? Sure. 2-1.
Boy, the Cheaters look good. They're going to POUND the Cowboys next week.
Turnovers: Browns 4, Patriots 0. Final score: New England 34, Cleveland 17. Turnovers = loss? Yep. 3-1.
I watched about two minutes of the Carolina-New Orleans game. Didn't the Saints have a good offense last year? They're a mess.
Turnovers: Saints 2, Panthers 1. Final score: Carolina 16, New Orleans 13. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 4-1.
Chad Pennington needs to go. The J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets were still in the game when he threw one of those weak-ass passes in the flat that he throws, and it was easily intercepted and returned for a touchdown. That's the only kind of throw he can make, so defenders know it's coming. That's just sad, because I like Pennington. But he can't be the quarterback of that team, can he?
Turnovers: Jets 3, Giants 2. Final score: New Jersey G 35, New Jersey J 24. Turnovers = loss? You bet. 5-1.
The Steelers held the ball for something like 43 minutes. The Seahawks had the ball for 5 minutes in the second half. Yeah, I know, I couldn't believe it either. Shaun Alexander looks old, the defense is beat up, and they possessed the ball for 5 minutes in the second half!!!!! Sheesh.
Turnovers: Seahawks 1, Steelers 0. Final score: Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 0. Turnovers = loss? Why not? 6-1.
Why do people like Mike Martz think you can win consistently in the NFL with no running game? Detroit has a bad running game, and they couldn't stay in the game. I know that passing is the big thing these days, but the teams that win have powerful offensive lines and excellent running games. "What about the Colts?" say you. "What about the Patriots?" Great offensive lines, excellent running games. The fact that they have brilliant passing attacks make them MUCH better. But they're good because of their line and running game. The Lions apparently don't get this. Unfortunately, Washington, in the NFC East, does.
Turnovers: Lions 2, Washington 1. Final score: Washington 34, Detroit 3. Turnovers = loss? Oh yeah. 7-1.
The big thing is about Trent Green taking a "cheap" shot at a defensive player when he tried to block him. I don't know - Green was in front of him, the guy probably could have seen him, and Green is certainly not going to stay high on him. The defender is an idiot for taunting Green on the field and for bashing him afterward, but I can see his point. The main thing about this is that it was a legal block, and whenever it's brought up for a vote to make it illegal, it gets voted down. So the owners obviously don't care about the players who get blocked at the knee. So there. And Trent Green should never be allowed back on a football field. Unless he wants to be a vegetable in fifteen years. If so, then fine.
Turnovers: Texans 2, Dolphins 1. Final score: Houston 22, Miami 19. Turnovers = loss? No. Of course the Dolphins couldn't take advantage of more turnovers! 7-2.
You have to play a perfect game to beat Indianapolis, and Tampa didn't. Oh well.
Turnovers: Buccaneers 1, Colts 1. Final score: Indianapolis 33, Tampa 14. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash.
What happened to Denver? Mike Shanahan will never be fired, but it's worth noting that last year, when the Broncos were 7-4 and in the heart of the playoff race, Shanahan benched Jake Plummer and put in a rookie, Jay Cutler. Denver won one more game and stinks this year. Good call, Shanahan!
Turnovers: Broncos 3, Chargers 0. Final score: San Diego 41, Denver 3. Turnovers = loss? Yes, but I don't think anything would have helped the Broncos. 8-2.
Every so often, we get a game that sets football back 60 years. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Baltimore-San Francisco game. Three field goals for the Ravens, more points than first downs for the 49ers. Good job, you guys!
Turnovers: 49ers 1, Ravens 0. Final score: Baltimore 9, San Francisco 7. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 9-2.
I was so happy to see R. C. Favre* throw that shitty interception on Sunday night (well, in the highlights, because I didn't watch the game). You'll notice that three teams this weekend turned the ball over 5 or more times, and two won, while the Packers ALMOST pulled this out. If you're going to turn the ball over a lot, make sure it's against a shitty offensive team! Maybe this will cause Favre to turn back into his own bad self and start hucking footballs to the opposition. That's good stuff when that happens!
Turnovers: Packers 5, Bears 1. Final score: Chicago 27, Green Bay 20. Turnovers = loss? Yes, pretty directly. 10-2.
I listened to the crucial play in the Monday Night game on the radio. I heard the Bills, holding an 8-point lead with about 6 minutes left, possess the ball at the Dallas 11. It was 3rd-and-8. I actually said, "Run it up the middle. You can't throw the ball!" An instant later, Trent Edwards threw an interception that was returned 70 yards. The Cowboys were nice enough to turn the ball right back over, but Buffalo's anemic offense couldn't do anything with it, and it led to the game-winning touchdown and field goal. You have a rookie quarterback, an easy field goal to put you up by 11 with 5 minutes left, and you throw the ball. WHY?!?!?!?!? WHY?!?!?!?!?!? That was the dumbest call EVER! Why are coaches so stupid? I know FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD, but in this case, you're pushing your luck way too much. That's why Dick Jauron is a lousy coach and the Bills are a lousy team. That call was truly unbelievable. What a waste of five interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, and a fumble by Tony Romo. I just don't get it at all.
Turnovers: Cowboys 6, Bills 1. Final score: Dallas 25, Buffalo 24. Turnovers = loss? No. If any team could somehow squander SIX turnovers, it's Buffalo. Sheesh. 10-3.
If you're wondering, the record of teams that turn the ball over less than their opposition is now 51-8. Don't turn the ball over!
College football continues to be fun because nobody wants to run the table. USC should be ranked far out of the Top Ten, and it shows once again why preseason rankings should be done away with. Arizona State is 6-0, played Stanford on the road and beat them 41-3, then played Washington State on the road and beat them. Granted, those are the two worst teams in the Pac-10 (right, Trojans?), but winning two straight Pac-10 road games is nothing to sneeze at. Yet because they weren't ranked at the beginning of the year, they're only 14th. I have no idea how South Florida is ranked in the Top Five. I have no idea how Penn State got more votes for the Top 25 than Michigan, considering they have the same record and the Wolverines beat the Lions. What a crock. It was nice to see Penn State play some defense and play a little offense (after their leading rusher was kicked off the team), but their coaching continues to hold them back. It's sad to look at the team and realize that it's pretty much the coaches and not the talent. As long as someone can knock off LSU (thanks, Florida, you bums) and Ohio State (I like Cal, so I have no problem with them), this should be a fun season down the stretch. Maybe Penn State can beat the Buckeyes in Happy Valley!
I'm sorry for the rather lame "analysis," which is worse than it usually is. I just didn't see many games. But that's why you come here - the more half-assed, the better, right?
* Instead of calling him "Nancy-Boy" Favre, I will now be calling him "R. C." Favre, for "Risen Christ." All the sportwriters seem to think he's come back from the dead career-wise, and they all want to have sex with him anyway, so he shall now be R. C. Favre. Yes, I'm pure evil.