Is it really already week 6? It seems like only yesterday we were debating the value of JJ Stokes over Michael Ricks. Ricks of course wins hands down because he is still on an active roster.
One third of the way through the regular season now, and some things become self-evident. The Patriots, owners of The Streak, haven’t lost a step. Corey Dillon hasn’t lived up to some peoples expectations, and is on target for others. Daunte Culpepper is proving he is the best quarterback in the league this year, and Marvin Harrison is still waiting for Peyton Manning to look his way.
Tiki Barber continues to stretch his league leading rushing and yards from scrimmage position. There wasn’t a soul in the Shark Tank that would have made that prediction. Kerry Collins is losing ground fast and may soon be replaced by Marques Tuiasosopo, while Kurt Warner, who most expected would be backing up Eli Manning, has led the Giants to a 4-1 start.
This week features a clash of the titans, a surprise contender from the west, and a game few outside the AFC East care about. Here then, are this weeks Tank TV Games to Watch.
Great White Game of the Week – Seattle @ New England
Sunday October 17th @ 1:00 pm ET on FOX
The Seattle Seahawks had a chance to come into Foxboro undefeated and looking the part of a true contender. But a breakdown reminiscent of the Houston Oilers wildcard playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills in 1993 left a shattered Seahawks team strewn about the field, a stunned Seattle home crowd silent and in mourning.
The Patriots on the other hand extended their record breaking win streak to nineteen and remove any lingering doubt as to their greatness. While the Buccaneers of 2002 could consider what it might have been to be a dynasty, the term fits the Patriots well.
Thus the stage is set for one of the most important games of the early season. The Seahawks come into Foxboro having played 234 minutes of shutdown defense. Prior to the debacle at the end of last weeks game, the Seahawks has surrendered 13 points in three games, and only 23 in those first 234 minutes of the season. St. Louis doubled that point total in a little over eight minutes. New England on the other hand has done what they have been quietly doing for the last couple of seasons, finding ways to win. Miami didn’t even challenge them much after the second quarter as they won easily. Now these two teams meet in what will surely be billed as a potential Super Bowl preview.
Shark Sighting – New England hasn’t shown the quick strike ability that the Ram’s have, but don’t underestimate Tom Brady. Brady tends to step up in clutch situations, which is one reason why this team has been so good for so long. Seattle will be primed to prove that last weeks breakdown was a fluke, but New England isn’t about to roll over and play dead for them. This should be one hell of a great game.
Whale of a game – San Diego @ Atlanta
Sunday October 17th at 1:00 pm on CBS
Marty Schottenheimer began the season almost as a footnote, as many predicted his job in jeopardy following a disappointing 4-12 season. Many pundits picked the Chargers to finish last, and Drew Brees was expected to give way to rookie Phillip Rivers by this time.
Funny how a winning record can change all that.
Marty has the Chargers playing well, and a 3-2 start has them one game behind the Denver Bronco’s for the AFC West lead. The Chargers invade Atlanta where the Falcons have retreated after getting hammered by the Detroit Lions last week.
Michael Vick was supposed to show why he should be considered an elite fantasy quarterback this year, but he has been a big disappointment. In fact, Drew Brees has started to make believers out of naysayers while trouncing Vick in fantasy points.
Whoulda thunk it?
Atlanta has built a 4-1 record behind a rejuvenated defense and a more conservative Vick. They’ll need to step up big against an improving Chargers team that is no longer surprising people.
Shark Sighting – Michael Vick has had a severe case of fumblitis this year, having coughed up the ball eight times in five games. Add the three picks he has tossed and suddenly Matt Schaub is looking good. No Worries, Vick won’t be replaced, barring injury. But he’d better figure the West Coast offense out pretty soon or they may be looking up at a train from San Diego that ran right over them.
Chumming the Waters – Miami @ Buffalo- Like Kissing Your Ugly Step Sister
Sunday October 17th @ 1pm on CBS
Buffalo hosts Miami this weekend in what can only be described as a meaningless game. Buffalo and Miami are a combined 0-9 and the winner will only be slightly better off than the loser, as neither has much of a chance of catching division leaders (and a combined 9-0) Patriots and Jets.
Buffalo is a better team than their record might indicate, having lost three games by a combined eight points this year. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that they’ve scheduled a home coming dance immediately following the game, since the Dolphins look to be the softest game on their schedule. Buffalo at least has shown some sign of life on offense, and this week may be the beginning of the end for Travis Henry as Willis McGahee is favored to start the game.
Shark Sighting – The running back carousel continues for the Phish as recently acquired running back Brock Forsey gets his first start of the season. The second year player out of Boise State was the assistant water boy in Chicago last year, but managed to record a 100 yard game in his only start. Ricky he ain’t, but this year that’s actually a good thing. Too bad Buffalo has a solid run defense. I like Forsey but this is a tough place to make a good impression as a running back.