Three records were set this week, and some of them in amazing fashion. What most people didn’t realize is how amazing a couple of teams are playing in the NFC. We start in Chicago where the swirling winds created a Barnum and Bailey setting for the 49ers/Bears game. I haven’t seen wind blow like that since the last Rosenhaus/Owens press conference. I thought they were using Nerf footballs on the first two field goal attempts. Cody Pickett managed to complete one pass in thirteen total attempts. I have seen better numbers playing the slots in Vegas. As if that didn’t make for enough silliness in that game, Nathan Vasher received the missed FG attempt, hesitated, then decided to make a small 108 yard scamper to the endzone. Almost as astonishing was the fact that Brian Urlacher was in tow the entire time, running interference and lead-blocking most of the way. All of this happened while the half was elapsing. In case you forgot, Chicago is 6-3 and ready to walk with the division and their defense isn’t bad either.
The second record was set in the Vikings/Giants game, when the Vikings returned a punt, kickoff and interception for a touchdown. The mind-numbing fact about that is those were the only points scored by the Vikings, spare a last second, game winning field goal. The Giants did everything to lose that game besides take a sabbatical to Tibet during the fourth quarter. The Giants were driving to get the game back within one or tied, and Eli made a horrible pass that ended up being his fourth pick. The Vikes definitely stole one in the Meadowlands, and I’m surprised Tom Coughlin didn’t simply spontaneously combust with all the mental breakdowns. I would not want to be the Eagles next week.
The final record was not nearly as spectacular, no fanfare or special attention, but Hines Ward became the Steelers’ all-time leading receiver, passing John Stallworth. He accomplished the feat in eight years, while Stallworth spent thirteen years with the Steelers. All I can say is Ward exemplifies what a player in this league should be. He works hard every play. He blocks. He stays with a team that runs nearly sixty percent of the time, knowing that because of this, he will never be the best receiver in the league statistically. You can hit him in the mouth and he just gets up and smiles at you. He is proof that there still are players out there that play for love of the game. The Anti-T.O.
I see the playoffs being pretty enjoyable this year. Last year seemed to be the same old story: Patriots doing what they do, and the Eagles doing what they do. Both teams are a little on the ropes this year. Here are the playoff teams as I see it: the Colts, Steelers, Broncos, Patriots, Bengals and Jaguars. On the other side: the Panthers, Seahawks, Giants, Bears, Falcons and Bucs. We should actually see some exciting matchups if things play out this way. Anything can happen though, and that’s why there are seven weeks left. All I can say is I wouldn’t want to get New England in the wild card round.
Just Plain Lousy Game of the Week: BAL vs. JAX – This was the game that Brian Billick was waiting for. His franchise quarterback was going to return and salvage their season. He managed 142 yards with three interceptions. The only thing Boller and this offense are going to do is land Billick a coaching job with a different franchise.
That was one boneheaded pass by the Cowboys’ Drew Bledsoe in the second quarter, which resulted in an Eagles touchdown drive. I know he is trying to make a run for MVP, but who does he think he is, Jake Plummer?
Anyone who drafted Priest Holmes and didn’t get Larry Johnson just got a heaping dose of “I told you so”. And people asked me why I didn’t draft Priest in the 4th spot overall. Ohh, gee, I don’t know, because Edgerrin James was available maybe? That’s worked out OK so far.
Old Chucky just proved that he has the biggest balls in the league, which is what he knew the entire time.
The Texans did know they had to cover Marvin Harrison, right? The last TD pass looked like they were the only guys on the field during practice. Easiest pitch and catch I have seen this season.
Nick Saban needs to remember he has about seventy running plays to choose from. First and goal, down by seven to the Patriots and he wants Gus Frerotte to throw four times to win? Unbelievable.
Cedric Benson must have rubber in his knee not to have torn absolutely everything. His knee bent at least three ways it shouldn’t have. Make sure you get Benson’s backup, Adrian Peterson, if you have a chance. In the right matchup he could have some promise, despite the fact he ran wild on the University of San Francisco (I mean the 49ers) last week.
On to next week, next question….