Some observations of this past weekend’s games…
Trying to keep up with the Johnsons
Chad, Rudi, even Jeremi got into the act as the Chiefs are no longer prefaced with the undefeated adjective after 24-19 loss to the Bengals. Now let’s look at the Johnson’s on the Bengals a little closer (get your mind out of the gutter). Chad Johnson, the one who guaranteed victory a week ago, was limited by cramps but still managed to post 74 yards on seven receptions. Rudi Johnson, who has turned Corey Dillon into a part-time player, rumbled for an impressive 165 yards rushing. Rudi has now rushed for 347 yards in the past two games. You read the correctly, that 347 yards in two games. Jeremi Johnson, he of only eight carries and 12 catches prior to this game, made his presence felt as he scored the game’s first touchdown in the third quarter giving the Bengals the lead for good. The victory by the Bengals and the loss by the Ravens meant that the Bengals were in for first place for the first time in 13 years. The Chiefs may still be the best team in the NFL, but on this day it was the Bengals who stood tall.
Revenge is a dish best served late
Stephen Davis saved his best for late in the game as his 3-yard TD run with just over a minute to play turned out to be the game-winner as the Panthers knocked off the Redskins 20-17. Not only did Davis rumble into the end zone for the game-winner, the key play of the drive was a 4th and 1 on the Panthers own 38-yard line in which the Panthers converted the first down with Delhomme tossing a pass to none other than Stephen Davis for a 25 yard gain. Davis’ 98 yards rushing was far from his season best total of 178 yards, but it couldn’t have been any sweeter against the Redskins and Steve Spurrier who cast aside Davis just a year ago. With the Redskins backfield in shambles and the rumors floating about Spurrier’s future in the NFL, Davis has gotten the last laugh even without a big game on Sunday. Instead, it’s another Disney-type happy ending for Davis. Did you ever wonder what happens to the bad guys in Disney movies? Ask Steve Spurrier in about a month.
Ay, Daniel-san. Now student teach teacher
With all of the hype surrounding the Patriots-Cowboys game and the Belichick-Parcells saga, if you expected to see some onsides kicks, flea-flickers, and statue of liberty plays, you tuned into the wrong game. What you did see was a defensive battle where field position was more the story line than the trick plays. Neither team posted 300 yards of offense, but three interceptions and some costly penalties from the Cowboys gave the Patriots all they needed to go to 8-2, including their sixth straight win, and remain atop the AFC East with a two game lead. What would the Patriots look like if they were completely healthy? Would they be the ones that the ’72 Dolphins would be watching intently right now? The starters are slowly coming back which just gives Belichick more weapons in his arsenal en route to his second playoff appearance in three years. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have fallen to 7-3 with two of those losses coming within the past four weeks. Parcells may find his six-shooter a couple of rounds short as the Boys come down the stretch, but this season has already been a fun ride in Big D.
850 yards of offense and Hunter the punter is the lead story??
That’s what happens when a fake field goal leads to the touchdown that turns out to be the game winner. Hunter Smith who is the punter as well as the holder on field goals, took the snap with just over three minutes to play and scooted for a 21-yard score on a play where the Jets were completely caught off guard giving the Colts the 38-31 lead and the victory. There was some other “stuff” that took place here. Peyton Manning threw for 401 yards WITHOUT the services of Marvin Harrison and Marcus Pollard. Edgerrin James ran for 127 yards and three TDs. The Jets had some big time performers as well. Chad Pennington continues to get the job done as he threw three TDs despite only completing 11 passes. Curtis Martin cracked the 100 yards rushing mark for the third time in the past four games. The rarely-used Jonathan Carter not only made his first catch of his career (1 62-yard TD reception), but he also returned a kickoff 90 yards for a TD for the Jets keeping them close. But when all was said and done, the former Notre Dame punter got the last laugh and his fifteen minutes of fame.
Some other passing thoughts….
The Bills have now gone three straight games without scoring a touchdown. It’s tough to circle the wagons when you’re knocked flat on your back.
If all you saw on Deuce McAllister this week was the final stats, you missed half the story. At the half, McAllister had rushed for only 20 yards. McAllister’s 179 yards rushing could have been even better had he not fumbled on his way into the end zone in overtime which was recovered by the Falcons. This was McAllister’s second fumble of the game, as the first one came with just over two minutes to play in regulation as the Saints were driving to tie the score.
The Bucs may be 4-6 and on the verge of being eliminated from getting the chance to defend their crown, but four of their six losses have been by three points and this week’s loss was by just seven points.
If Justin McCareins gets cut by the Titans in the offseason, at least he knows he can pursue a career as a juggler in the circus.
The Broncos completely own the Chargers. After Sunday’s 37-8 beating, Denver has out-scored San Diego 74-21 in their last two meetings. There’s not enough Flutie Flakes in existence to make up that difference.
How bad have things gotten in Minnesota? The Vikes lost their fourth straight game this week thanks to six turnovers. Look at the records of the teams that the Vikings have lost to: Raiders (3-7), Chargers (2-8), Packers (5-5), Giants (4-6). Hey Mike Tice, you’ll need more than a change of facial hair to right this ship, my friend.
Until next week…