What have we learned - Week 6
The Eagles played their second straight game in the Meadowlands, and on the first play from scrimmage, Donovan McNabb got sacked. I thought, "CRAPPITY CRAP! NOT AGAIN!" Then, on the third play from scrimmage, McNabb threw a 75-yard touchdown pass. Who knew it would be the only touchdown of the game? Both teams decided to slug it out and not try anything that might, you know, get them some points. The Eagles have a sorry receiving corps, and they got their tight end, L. J. Smith, back but didn't use him at all. Good job, Andy Reid! There were two plays that typified the attitude of NFL coaches. On 4th-and-1 from the five late in the game, New Jersey threw a pass into the end zone. It was incomplete. This is a team that began the game with four rushes for something like 60 yards, and Thomas Jones ran for 130 yards. Good call, Mangini! Then, when the Eagles got the ball back, they were trying to run out the clock, and on 3rd-and-3 with about a minute left, Andy Reid called a run to Brian Westbrook! Holy crap, who is that coach? Westbrook picked up 21 yards and the game was over. Has Reid seen the light? Probably not, but it was nice to see that for once. He also brought in big guy Tony Hunt for two short-yardage situations and he picked it up both times. Wow! A nice win, even if they seemed to be uninterested in scoring after the third play of the game.
Turnovers: Eagles 1, Jets 1. Final score: Philadelphia 16, New Jersey 9. Turnovers = loss? It's all even!
How about Da Bears defense? Adrian Peterson ripped them apart, and afterward, two things made me chuckle. First, Peterson has one good game, and everyone is now anointing him the Rookie of the Year. He may win it, of course, but everyone is saying this based on one game? Peterson, if you recall, could never stay healthy in a college season, when he was playing against far worse defenses and in a shorter season. Let's see how he's doing in December, shall we? Second, someone mentioned that the Cardinals passed on Peterson, and how foolish that was. Arizona has Edgerrin James and two pretty good backups, and they needed offensive line help. They drafted Levi Brown, who is currently injured, but was playing very well prior to that. They needed offensive line help, and they got it. If they hadn't gotten it, Adrian Peterson wouldn't be running all that well anyway. Commentators are stupid. HIRE ME, ESPN! Da bears play the Eagles next week. Let's hope they bring the sucky defense!
Turnovers: Bears 4, Vikings 0. Final score: Minnesota 34, Chicago 31. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 1-0.
Remember when the Dolphins won, what, five games in a row at the end of 2005? And a bunch of "experts" picked them to go to the Super Bowl? And how they went 6-10 last year? And now they're 0-6? Good call, "experts." Derek Anderson, by the way, is playing really, really well. I know, who could have guessed? Well, I could have, because he played pretty darned well at Oregon State. But it's still surprising.
Turnovers: Dolphins 2, Browns 1. Final score: Cleveland 41, Miami 31. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 2-0.
The Washington-Green Bay game was pretty torturous to watch. Whenever I turned the game on, someone was turning the ball over. Did anyone want to win? At least the Eagles and Jets weren't turning the ball over, they were just missing field goals. I won't even bash R. C. Favre for breaking the interception record, because he had thrown a lot more touchdown passes than George Blanda, and he's a much better quarterback. That said, the two interceptions he did throw were awful, awful passes, and gave me hope that the "old" Favre has returned, and he's going to cost the Packers a playoff spot. That would be awesome.
Turnovers: Washington 3, Packers 2. Final score: Green Bay 17, Washington 14. Turnovers = loss? Si. 3-0.
I didn't watch any of the Cincinnati-Kansas City game, but I did hear that Marvin Lewis thought his team finally played as a team in the second half. Um, Marvin - the season is 5-6 games old - shouldn't they be playing as a team already? That's never good to hear about the team this late in the season.
Turnovers: Bengals 3, Chiefs 2. Final score: Kansas City 27, Cincinnati 20. Turnovers = loss? Oui. 4-0.
It was a battle between this game and the Philadelphia-New Jersey one to see who could set offensive football back further. I think the Mess in the Meadowlands wins! At least there were two touchdowns in this game! Vince Young got hurt, and I'm sure he'll be back, and more power to him, but he didn't get the Titans there only touchdown - Kerry Collins did. I'm just sayin'.
Turnovers: Titans 3, Buccaneers 1. Final score: Tampa 13, Tennessee 10. Turnovers = loss? Ja. 5-0.
The Jaguars gave up almost 300 yards rushing in their first game, and since then, they've turned into the '85 Bears. What the heck? It seemed they were just toying with the Texans until they decided to ratchet it up a bit. Jacksonville hosts the Colts next Monday, and this is their chance to show that they're actually, you know, a good team. We'll see.
Turnovers: Jaguars 3, Texans 3. Final score: Jacksonville 37, Houston 17. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash, but Jacksonville did return a fumble that essentially put the game out of reach.
I called a friend of mine who loves Marc Bulger and the Rams and asked him how on earth St. Louis was even going to score anything. It turns out they barely could, and Scott Linehan kicked a field goal when down 16-0 just to avoid a shutout. Go for glory, Linehan! How silly. They have pretty much no one playing for them, and it's not going to get better when Bulger comes back next week, because they still don't have an offensive line. I hate wussy field goals!
Turnovers: Rams 6, Ravens 2. Final score: Baltimore 22, St. Louis 3. Turnovers = loss? Very much so. 6-0.
The Cardinals, who probably could have made the playoffs in a weak NFC West, are now onto the third quarterback, Tim Rattay. Why did their offensive line suddenly suck when Warner went in? Very odd. Ken Whisenhunt strangely got away from Edgerrin James for a lot of the game, even though he scored their only touchdown and was running quite well. Given that his quarterback was coaching high school football earlier that week, that probably wasn't the best idea. Everyone is talking about how great Vinny Testeverde played, but here's something interesting: the Cardinals wanted him, offered him a deal, and he accepted, then decided it was too far away from New York. Then the Panthers called, and he took their offer. I have nothing against Vinny, but that seems a bit cheap. That's a nice win by the Panthers. They're 4-0 on the road and 0-2 at home. What the heck?
Turnovers: Cardinals 5, Panthers 0. Final score: Carolina 25, Arizona 10. Turnovers = loss? Sure. 7-0.
Down 38-24 with early in the fourth quarter, Wade Phillips kicked a field goal. I hate wussy field goals! The Cowboys had the ball at the Cheaters' five-yard line, for crying out loud! Fortune Favors The Bold, Wade! The Cheaters don't stop for crappy little field goals, do they? Heck, no! Boy, New England looks good. I want Philadelphia to beat them in Foxboro, but I also kind of want them to go 16-0 and then lose in the first round to a 9-7 Jacksonville team. That would be sweeeeeeet. Patrick Crayton, the Dallas wide receiver who is only starting because of an injury, promised that his team would be in the Super Bowl. After that loss. After the Cowboys have beaten nobody. Shut the hell up, Crayton. What an idiot.
Turnovers: Cheaters 1, Cowboys 1. New England 48, Dallas 27. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash.
Norv Turner went to Damascus, and the Jesus of Running Backs - Jim Brown - appeared to him. "Run thou the pigskin with LaDanian Tomlinson, you idiot!" said the Brown, and lo! Turner's eyes were opened, and he gave unto Tomlinson the football, and yea, the football gods rewarded him. Tomlinson's line - 24 carries, 198 yards, 4 touchdowns. Hey, that guy's pretty good! Duh.
Turnovers: Raiders 3, Chargers 1. Final score: LaDanian Tomlinson 28, Oakland 14. Turnovers = loss? Why not? 8-0.
I love games like the Sunday night one. Seattle turned the ball over, gave the Saints an early lead, and New Orleans suddenly played like they did last year. This probably won't save their season, but it's really amazing how close in terms of talent the entire league is (yes, even New England). The Saints got a lead, Reggie Bush made some nice runs, and suddenly, the Seahawks looked like the winless team. Very odd, but it just shows how important the little things are. Like, you know, not turning the ball over.
Turnovers: Seahawks 2, Saints 1. Final score: New Orleans 28, Seattle 17. Turnovers = loss? Yes; the Saints' first touchdown was on a fumble recovery, too. 9-0.
Just like last week, if you turn the ball over, it really helps to be playing an awful offensive team. New Jersey tried to make the game competitive, but the Falcons weren't having any! It looks like the Giants are going to be 6-2, which they were last year. Then they went in the tank. We'll see how they handle success this year. Poorly, I will wager!
Turnovers: Giants 3, Falcons 1. Final score: New Jersey 31, Atlanta 10. Turnovers = loss? For the second straight Monday Night, no. 9-1.
We're up to 60-9 for teams that turn the ball over less than their opponents. Shocking, I know.
College football continued to be completely wacky. Penn State demolished Wisconsin, which was nice to see, but who can tell what's going on in the Big Eleven. Michigan is back, Ohio State is inexplicably #1 after beating Akron and Kent State, and nobody wants to win the conference! Everyone is handing the championship to the winner of the Michigan-Ohio State game at the end of the season, but the Buckeyes still have to play in Happy Valley, and with the way this season is going, who knows where the two teams might lose? Meanwhile, LSU's bizarre playcalling opened the door for Cal, who then promptly lost to Oregon State when their quarterback decided to run the ball toward the end zone with 14 seconds left, comfortably within field goal range, no timeouts, down by three. That's just dumb. Tom is apoplectic about the loss (I never thought I'd actually call someone "apoplectic," but I think it's appropriate), but I don't think the quarterback should be cut from the team. He's a backup, he's trying to make a play, and he got carried away. Yes, it's an idiotic move, but if Jeff Tedford wanted to kick a field goal, he should have instead of running another play. It's a really bad loss, but with the way things are going, if Cal wins out they might get a shot to play for the National Championship anyway. Meanwhile, at least the computers figured out that the third-highest ranked team in the Pac-10 was actually leading the conference, and Arizona State opened the BCS rankings at #8. The Sun Devils have a week off and then they actually have to play some tough teams. We'll see how they do. Finally, Woody! chided me a bit for not giving any love to his unbeaten Cincinnati Bearcats. I hadn't seen much of Cincy, and then, last weekend, they lost. Oh well. I have nothing against Cincinnati, and I even have a bit of a soft spot for them, since Penn State once beat them 81-0 (ouch). But we'll see how their season plays out now that the dream is dead. I honestly can't accept South Florida as #2, so maybe the Bearcats can beat them. I don't think they've played each other yet. Go, Cincy!
Another fun week in the football world. The less said about the Sold-Their-Soul-To-Satan Rockies, the better. They can't win the World Series, can they? Satan wouldn't be that cruel, would he?