Saturday - Jul 20, 2019

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The Observation Deck

Some observations of this past weekend’s games…

You won’t confuse Warren Sapp with MC Hammer anytime soon

I guess the Panthers win over Tampa Bay last week stirred up some anger from the Bucs who took out all their frustrations on an unsuspecting Falcons team on Sunday. The story of this game is not the return of the Bucs vaunted defense who picked off Falcons QBs four times, compiled two sacks, recovered a fumble and allowed a net total of 136 yards. The story isn’t Michael Pittman who combined for 164 yards rushing and receiving with a TD to take center stage of the running back troika with help from Thomas Jones who coughed up a fumble. No, the story of this game is the so-called “tribute” to Beyonce that Warren Sapp attempted to pull off after hauling in a six yard pass for a touchdown. Sapp claimed to have borrowed the move from Beyonce’s video “Crazy in Love”, but he came off more like a second grader who wasn’t being allowed to go to the bathroom. Despite the poor footwork in the end zone, this much is clear: If the Bucs offense can play like they did on Sunday, they’ll have Jon Gruden doing the centipede and the head spin on the fifty yard line at halftime as special guest G-Money. Bust it!

 

All you could smell from the desert of Arizona was melted cheese…

On a day where temperatures stayed over 100 degrees for the majority of the Cardinals-Packers game in Sun Devil Stadium (yeah, like you would have thought it was 100 degrees in Green Bay), the Cardinals got their first notch in the win column on Sunday defeating the Pack 20-13. This game had the makings of yet another Favre comeback story as he drove Green Bay down to the Cardinals seven yard line in the closing seconds of the game. But one of the Cardinals free agent acquisitions, Dexter Jackson (if the name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s the reigning Super Bowl M.V.P), picked off a third down pass in Arizona’s own end zone and sealed the win for Arizona. Jeff Blake played through a bruised heel which caused him to leave the Cardinals/Seahawks game two weeks ago in the first quarter, to throw for 273 yards and a TD while also running for a score to account for both of the Cardinals touchdowns. The weather for the Packers next game in Chicago next Monday night won’t be as hot as last week’s game, but if the Packers don’t heat up, Favre may not want to return to Cheese country in 2004.

 

So much for the luck of the Bulger

I’ve seen it time and time again. The answer to the Rams quarterback controversy has boiled down to one question: “Who wins more games?”. The answer was Marc Bulger and then the Rams faced the new bully of the NFC West on Sunday in Seattle and now the question will be asked again. The Rams may have lost more than the game against Seattle in which they blew a 13-point lead to fall 24-23. All-World running back Marshall Faulk broke his hand. Without Faulk, it won’t matter whether the Rams start Bulger or Warner, they’ll need to re-invent the offense to work with Lamar Gordon and that’s not something you want to do sitting at 1-2. As far as the Seahawks are concerned, they’ve got to be flying high with a 3-0 start heading into the bye week. Not even the birth of Shaun Alexander’s daughter which delayed his arrival to the game until the second quarter, could prevent Alexander and the Seattle offense from posting over 300 yards to give the Seahawks a two-game lead in the NFC West only three weeks into the season. Holmgren’s Seahawks look to be for real. Take notice, NFC.

 

A solid running game and a tough defense. What would Marino have done with that?

The Dolphins winning combination was in full force Sunday night. Ricky Williams carried the ball a franchise-record 42 times and the Dolphin defense picked off Drew Bledsoe twice (and Travis Henry once on the ugliest halfback option pass I’ve seen in quite some time), and sacked Bledsoe four times. Looking at Bledsoe’s numbers (10/25 for 98 yards, no TDs and 2 INTs), you can tell how bad the Bills offense looked but take into account that 40 of his 98 yards came on the last meaningless drive of the game and you get a REAL sense of how bad Bledsoe and the Bills really were and how dominant Miami’s defense can be. The time of possession was staggeringly in Miami’s favor which tends to happen when a running back has 42 carries. Miami controlled the ball almost 41 minutes to Buffalo’s 19 and Buffalo’s only score came on a defensive interception. To make matters worse, Bills running back Travis Henry left the game in the second quarter with bruised ribs and did not return. Miami heads into their bye week on a high note and Ricky Williams has plenty of time to rest up for another 30+ carries in week five.

 

Some other passing thoughts….

I thought it was a misprint when I saw Travis Henry listed with negative points in my fantasy league. Nope. Only seven yards rushing and one INT. Hee-hee-hee.

Why is it when all favorites win in the early games, all the underdogs decide to come through in the late games?

It’s got to hurt getting dragged down by your hair as I saw happen to Ricky Williams on Sunday night. Can’t he tuck those dreads in or something?

It figures, the Browns are the victim of Jamal Lewis’ record-breaking performance and the next week they hold the Niners to 75 yards rushing, 40 of those yards came from QB Jeff Garcia.

Marvin who? Someone better tell Peyton Manning the difference between Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne so we can talk all the Harrison owners off the ledge.

Let me get this straight, the Pats have lost Ted Washington, Ted Johnson, Rosevelt Colvin, they released Lawyer Milloy and Ty Law missed part of the Jets game after rolling his ankle. Who is left to play defense? Will Fred Smerlas and Steve Nelson get the call from WEEI to strap on the pads?

After three weeks, we have at least five undefeated teams (the Broncos could make six on Monday night). Minnesota, Carolina, and Seattle in the NFC and Kansas City and Indianapolis in the AFC. None of those teams made the playoffs last year.

Until next week…

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