What have we learned - Week 7
Even when they fell behind 17-7, I didn't worry too much about the Nittany Lions. The Wolverines came out with a ton of energy, Daryll Clark fumbled on the second drive, and once they settled down and stopped making stupid mistakes, I figured PSU would take control. I knew if they scored before the end of the half, they'd be okay, and they got into the end zone to make it 17-14. Then they outscored Michigan 32-0 in the second half to blast the losing streak to smithereens. It was great to see them calm down and just let their talent take over, and now that they've had to come back from some adversity, maybe they can actually win on the road at Ohio State, which they've never done since they joined the Big Eleven. The Buckeyes have been looking good since they put Terrelle Pryor in at starting quarterback, but that's been against weaker competition (yes, Michigan State was ranked, but they always fold when faced with a little adversity). Pryor is athletic, but Penn State's defense is pretty athletic too. Of course, Penn State hasn't faced a defense as good as Ohio State's either, so this game should be fun ... if you don't care who wins. For me, it will be torture unless one team gets far ahead early. Besides the big games, you might have missed New Mexico hanging 70 on San Diego State, Tulsa blasting UTEP 77-35 (the game, astonishingly enough, was tied 28-28 after one quarter) to go to 7-0, and Arizona upsetting Cal 42-27 to set up the unlikely showdown for the Pac-10 with USC next weekend. The last time the Trojans went to Tucson, two years ago, they lost, so watch out for the Wildcats! And let's pity poor Washington State, who might be the worst Pac-10 team in history. The Cougars have won one game, over Division 1-AA Portland State (and they lost their quarterback in that game, by the way), and they've lost by these scores: 13-39, 3-66, 17-45 (to Baylor!), 14-63, 3-28, 13-66, and 0-69. Holy crap! And if you haven't seen it, here's the ref in the LSU-South Carolina game ... making a tackle. Yes, he's making a tackle. The SEC claims there will be no penalty for the ref ... making a freakin' tackle!
(The quality is pretty poor, but you can still see it.)
St. Louis 34, Dallas 14. So what the hell happened to the Cowboys? They suck. Good times!
Turnovers: Cowboys 4, Rams 0. Turnovers = loss? Most definitely. I have mentioned before that the Cowboys' penchant for turnovers would catch up to them, and it looks like it is. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you turn the ball over, you're in trouble. 1-0.
Baltimore 27, Miami 13. Joe Flacco had a darned good game, didn't he? And I guess teams are figuring out the "Wildcat" formation of the Dolphins. They'll have to come up with something else!
Turnovers: Ravens 1, Dolphins 1. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash, although the one Miami turnover went for a touchdown.
New York Giants 29, San Francisco 17. San Francisco fired Mike Nolan today. I liked Mike Nolan because he wore a suit on the sideline. Basketball coaches wear suits, and I think football coaches and baseball managers should too. Can you imagine Vince Lombardi wearing the Nike gear they wear today? Or Connie Mack?
Turnovers: 49ers 3, Giants 0. Turnovers = loss? Why not! 2-0.
Carolina 30, New Orleans 7. The Saints, like the Cowboys, are unraveling before our eyes. They have no defense, they lost Reggie Bush for at least one game, and, in perhaps the most predictable event of the season, Jeremy Shockey ripped the team. What a dick.
Turnovers: Saints 2, Panthers 0. Turnovers = loss? Of course! 3-0.
Buffalo 23, San Diego 14. Are the Bills really this good? Trent Edwards was fantastic in this game, and their defense stuffed LaDanian Tomlinson. Of course, they lost 41-17 to Arizona, so who the hell knows?
Turnovers: Chargers 3, Bills 0. Turnovers = loss? I'd say so! 4-0.
Chicago 48, Minnesota 41. Now this is a game I kind of wished I had watched. A blocked punt for a touchdown, a stupid play on a punt that ended up in the end zone for a touchdown, a fumble by a wide receiver that was recovered by a different wide receiver for a touchdown, and all kinds of other big plays. Fun game, it seems.
Turnovers: Vikings 5, Da Bears 1. Turnovers = loss? Kind of definitely. 5-0.
Pittsburgh 38, Cincinnati 10. Poor Woody! Cincinnati is just so, so awful. I can sympathize - I'm an Eagles fan! I lived through the Rich Kotite Era!
Turnovers: Bengals 1, Steelers 0. Turnovers = loss? I suppose. 6-0.
Tennessee 34, Kansas City 10. Tennessee, the league's last unbeaten team, is really good, but let's face it - the Chiefs are really bad. Lendale White had an 80-yard touchdown run where he ran up the middle and wasn't touched. Herm Edwards kicked a field goal in the fourth quarter with his team losing 27-0. This is not a good football team. And as much as I liked Larry Johnson in college, Roger Goodell has to suspend him, doesn't he? (Johnson apparently likes shoving women, which is unfortunate.)
Turnovers: Titans 0, Chiefs 0. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash, but notice that even though the Titans didn't force any turnovers, they didn't commit any, either. Don't turn the ball over!
Houston 28, Detroit 21. This had to be the least-watched game of the weekend, right? I bet jai alai would have gotten better ratings. To be fair, jai alai is frickin' awesome. Maybe the Texans and Lions should have played jai alai!
Turnovers: Texans 1, Lions 0. Turnovers = loss? No, because bad teams often don't take advantage of the turnovers they get. 6-1.
Oakland 16, New York Jets 13. I shouldn't take such pleasure in watching R. C. Favre fail, should I? Well, I do. Sorry!
Turnovers: Jets 3, Raiders 0. Turnovers = loss? I should think so! 7-1.
Green Bay 34, Indianapolis 14. At one point in the fourth quarter, Green Bay had more interception return yards (161) than Payton Manning had passing yards (160). That's pretty awesome.
Turnovers: Colts 2, Packers 0. Turnovers = loss? Considering that both Colts TOs went for touchdowns, I'd say yes. 8-1.
Washington 14, Cleveland 11. At the end of this game, the Browns were driving for a tying field goal and they kept throwing deep passes when they only needed about ten. What's up with that? And then Phil Dawson missed a 54-yard field goal that might have been good from about 44. Good move, Cleveland.
Turnovers: Washington 1, Browns 0. Turnovers = loss? Again, a bad team wins the turnover battle but not the game. 8-2.
Tampa 20, Seattle 10. I wonder how many people in the area watched this game instead of Game 7 of the ALCS. Baseball has fallen so far off the map that a regular season game against a crappy Seattle team probably did better in the ratings in the Tampa area. But I don't know for sure. Tampa held the ball for almost 42 minutes, by the way. You're going to win a lot of games with that time of possession.
Turnovers: Seahawks 2, Buccaneers 1. Turnovers = loss? Sure! 9-2.
New England 41, Denver 7. This game got out of hand in a hurry. I turned it on at one point and it was 13-0 in the second quarter. Then it went nuts. The Broncos aren't good enough defensively to turn the ball over so much on the road.
Turnovers: Broncos 5, Cheaters 0. Turnovers = loss? I would say so. 10-2.
Tennessee: 8 turnovers, +6 margin, 6-0 record.
Green Bay: 8 turnovers, +6 margin, 4-3 record.
Chicago: 11 turnovers, +5 margin, 4-3 record.
Philadelphia: 7 turnovers, +5 margin 3-3 record.
Cleveland: 7 turnovers, +5 margin, 2-4 record.
Pittsburgh: 5 turnovers, +4 margin, 5-1 record.
Tampa: 11 turnovers, +4 margin, 5-2 record.
New England: 7 turnovers, +4 margin, 4-2 record.
Miami: 4 turnovers, +4 margin, 2-4 record.
Washington: 5 turnovers, +3 margin, 5-2 record.
St. Louis: 6 turnovers, +3 margin, 2-4 record.
Atlanta: 5 turnovers, +2 margin, 4-2 record.
Indianapolis: 8 turnovers, +2 margin, 3-3 record.
Oakland: 8 turnovers, +2 margin, 2-4 record.
New York Giants: 4 turnovers, +1 margin, 5-1 record.
Buffalo: 9 turnovers, +1 margin, 5-1 record.
Jacksonville: 8 turnovers, +1 margin, 3-3 record.
San Diego: 9 turnovers, +1 margin, 3-4 record.
Kansas City: 10 turnovers, +1 margin, 1-5 record.
Carolina: 9 turnovers, +0 margin, 5-2 record.
Arizona: 12 turnovers, -1 margin, 4-2 record.
New York Jets: 13 turnovers, -3 margin, 3-3 record.
Detroit: 9 turnovers, -3 margin, 0-6 record.
Cincinnati: 13 turnovers, -3 margin, 0-7 record.
Baltimore: 13 turnovers, -4 margin, 3-3 record.
New Orleans: 13 turnovers, -4 margin, 3-4 record.
Minnesota: 15 turnovers, -5 margin, 3-4 record.
Dallas: 13 turnovers, -6 margin, 4-3 record.
Seattle: 11 turnovers, -6 margin, 1-5 record.
San Francisco: 18 turnovers, -8 margin, 2-5 record.
Denver: 16 turnovers, -9 margin, 4-3 record.
Houston: 14 turnovers, -9 margin, 2-4 record.
Next week the Eagles are back, so I'll be watching more games. Theoretically, the analysis will be better!