Last week the Great White Shark Game of the Week was Denver at San Diego. The Chargers are sending a big Red Santa kiss to to Mike Shanahan after he blew the game by calling Jake Plummer’s number late in the fourth quarter on the Charger seven and down by three. Jake’s Number? Four, as in the fourth interception of the game for the Snake.
Shannon Sharpe did the un-classy thing with his criticism of coach Shanahan and Plummer, but I think it is more because he wishes he was the one Plummer was throwing the fade to. Either way, the Bronco’s managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and now trail the Chargers by two huge games.
The Bronco’s have put themselves between the proverbial rock and hard place. Instead of owning a piece of first place in the AFC West and the inside track to the division championship, they find themselves in a dogfight for a wildcard spot. It may be slim pickin’s, something we’ll find out this week as the team that has the first wildcard spot in sight goes into the Steel City for a showdown of two of the AFC’s elite teams. You know what that means…The Jets and the Steelers are the
Great White Shark Game of the Week – NY Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday December 12 th @ 4:05pm ET on CBS
Curtis Martin is close to making good on his preseason promise of a 1500 yards season. With 1,305 yards Martin leads the NFL, but faces a Pittsburgh defense ready to protect their home turf at Heinz Field. The Steelers are 11-1, having gone ten straight wins since losing to Baltimore 30-13 in week two.
Even though they are at home, this won’t be an easy game. The Steelers offensive production is down the last few games, as the Steelers have only been able to score in the teens against the Redskins, Jaguars and Bengals. Don’t expect an offensive explosion this week. The Jets have a nasty defense, ranked 6th overall in the NFL and giving up the fewest points of any team, including an amazing six second half shutouts. The Jets are playing the kind of ball Herman Edwards had in mind since coming over from Tampa Bay.
Shark Sighting – Rookie Ben Roethlisberger faces another stiff challenge this week, and it may just boil down to who does the best job of holding on to the ball. Both teams are good at the take away game, but the Jets will have to do it without sack leader DE John Abraham, who is nursing a sprained right knee.
Whale of a Game – St Louis Rams @ Carolina Panthers
Sunday December 12th @ 4:15pm on FOX
In this Tale of Two Cities, it’s like they are on opposing elevators, with the Panthers going up and the Rams going down. Mike Martz has made a number of questionable calls in the last few weeks, and it looks like he’s been reading his press clippings as he gave the 49’ers a heavy dose of Stephen Jackson early in the game. With Marshall Faulk and Marc Bulger out this week, it will be up to back ups to carry the load. In this case it’s Chris Chandler, but the question is who will tote the rock? Jackson is listed as questionable, which would leave the starting duties up to journeyman Arlen Harris. Not a name that strikes fear in opposing defenses.
The Panthers have been on a tear lately, with fifth string back Nick Goings proving he deserves a spot in the huddle with several impressive outings. This has given Jake Delhomme the support he needs and the Carolina offense had put up some big numbers.
Shark Sighting – The Panthers are doing it on the offensive side of the ball, having scored 30 or more points in three of the last four games. They’d like nothing better than to drop the Ram’s down to 6-7 and into the morass of teams wallowing in the murky NFC playoff mud.
Chumming the Waters – San Francisco 49’ers @ Arizona Cardinals
Sunday December 12th @ 4:15 ET on FOX
This week’s toilet bowl features two teams battling for…well, not much really. The 49’ers have sunk to an all-time low and travel to the pit called Sun Devil Stadium. Tim Rattay and Kevan Barlow will watch the game from the sidelines as Ken Dorsey and Maurice Hicks get an opportunity to show Niner fans if there is any hope for next year.
The Cardinals continue the quarterback carousel, announcing that Josh McCown would again get the nod this week. It’s amazing that this game will even be on television, because you know there won’t be anyone in the stands.
Shark Sighting – Nothing to see here. Move along now…move along.