Some observations of this past weekend’s games…
How do you spell MVP? H-A-L-L
Everyone knew the Broncos-Chiefs game was going to be a close affair decided by one or two big plays. What no one expected was Donte Hall’s improbable punt return with 8:05 to play that sealed the win and kept the Chiefs without a blemish in the loss column. Hall’s punt return marked his fourth return TD in four games which is an NFL record but more importantly, it was the second game-winning touchdown in two weeks. Thanks to Hall’s return, which appeared to have disaster written all over it after Hall went backwards about five yards, the Chiefs notched another division win and for a team that has never been 5-0, the return gave what once was a one dimensional Kansas City team some serious thoughts towards the post-season. I could have sworn that somewhere in the distance during Hall’s return I could hear the faint chant of “Prime-time, Prime-time, Prime-time…”. Yes Deion, he is THAT good.
I guess some guys really can’t go home
There were plenty of “coming home” stories this week in the NFL and none had the Disney-type happy ending. Mike Holmgren returned to Green Bay with former Packers QB Matt Hasselbeck leading the way for the Seahawks. The end result: Green Bay 35, Seattle 13 in what turned out to be the biggest blowout of the week. Granted it was the two turnovers and the inability of the Seattle defense to stop Brett Favre that really hurt the Hawks and not any decisions by Coach Holmgren. Emmitt Smith played his first game in Big D wearing the opposing team’s colors. The end result: Dallas 24, Arizona 7 and Emmitt left in the second quarter after rushing for -1 yards on six carries. Steve Mariucci brought his new team the Lions, and most pundits thought into the Lion’s den, against San Francisco. The end result: San Fran 24, Detroit 17 in a game that the final score doesn’t tell the whole story as Detroit never led thanks to two costly Joey Harrington INTs. The home teams held up their end of the bargain and sent the former stars away with their preverbal tails between their legs.
Three-headed RB keeps Vikes undefeated
So you say you’re sick of trying to decide between Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett? Each week you flip a coin between Trung Canidate and Ladell Betts or Olandis Gary and Shawn Bryson? Well the Vikings have raised the stakes, my friend. No longer will you be able to make an odd or even decision on which member of the RBBC in Minnesota to roll with as Mike Tice unveiled the unprecedented RB-a-trois! Moe Williams was the main cog in the Vikings running machine compiling 71 yards on just 11 carries with 2 TDs. Rookie Onterrio Smith, who Mike Tice predicted would reach the 100-yd rushing mark, posted 63 yards on 13 carries. Even Doug Chapman got into the act by carrying the rock 10 times for 22 yards. Regardless of the splitting of the rushing duties, the fact is the Vikings RBs posted 156 yards rushing and you knows what that spells? Victory. Gus Frerotte has filled in admirably for the injured Dante Culpepper feeding Randy Moss as much as possible and Minnesota is now an impressive 5-0 heading into a bye week. My only question is who draws the short straw once Michael Bennett returns?
Eagles and McNabb bum-Rush Redskins
There has been much discussion about the Rush Limbaugh comments regarding Donovan McNabb last week which subsequently cost him his job on NFL Countdown. I won’t get into that only to say I’m still not sure what ESPN thought would happen when they hired this guy? His nature is to stir controversy and that’s exactly what he did. End of story. Let’s move on and as Tom Jackson said, “Get back to talking football.” Personally, I don’t know whether or not McNabb used this past week’s events as motivation or not, but what I do know is McNabb didn’t enter the season as the top ranked fantasy QB for nothing. While McNabb’s performance on Sunday didn’t light up the fantasy world (16 of 30 for 157 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs), it was enough to give the Eagles their second win of the season and their first win at home. With the Cowboys and the Giants on the Eagles schedule the next two weeks, McNabb has the perfect opportunity to continue to turn things around for Philly since we all know as McNabb goes, so goes the Eagles. Look for McNabb to build on last week’s performance and start posting big fantasy numbers. Now’s the time to trade for him. If you wait another week, you may be too late.
Some other passing thoughts….
If Jeff Garcia doesn’t start using the QB slide soon, he’ll be watching from the sidelines before you know it. I saw him take one hit where I thought his back was going to snap in half. Was that Terrell Owens holding his legs?
The Bears beat the Raiders this week sending the defending AFC champions to 2-3 on the year and the Raiders two wins were by a combined six points over the Bengals and the Chargers who have one win total. Oakland suddenly looks more “old” than “experienced”.
10-1 says both Byron Leftwich and Mike Cloud are going to be scorching the waiver wire across the fantasy football nation this week.
Are the Saints pulling a reverse Mike Shanahan? Joe Horn was questionable with a bruised left knee and Deuce McAllister was hospitalized Saturday night with a virus and was also questionable for Sunday’s game against the Panthers. So what happened? Horn posted four catches for 56 yards and a TD while McAllister rushed for 124 yards and also caught four passes for 59 yards. Hopefully, you didn’t sit one or both of these guys and got burnt from “over-managing”.
“He Hate Me” returns! The former XFL’er, a.k.a. Rod Smart, who is now returning kicks for the undefeated Panthers had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown this week against the Saints. Doesn’t it seem like the XFL happened like 20 years ago?
The Jets didn’t lose this week!! Oh yeah, they were on a bye. Oops.
Undefeated teams update: And then there were three – Vikings, Panthers & Chiefs (possibly four with the Colts playing Monday night against the Bucs). I’m still willing to bet that at least one of the teams still undefeated do not make the playoffs this year.
Winless teams update: The Chargers, who are on a bye this week, and the aforementioned Jets are the only ones left without a notch in the ‘W’ column. Is the Maurice Clarett lottery already underway?
Until next week…