Here are some thoughts for this week:
Sunday Expose: Dal vs. Pit.
I had the pleasure of seeing this game in person, so my wife and I made the short trip from San Antonio to Dallas this weekend. It was a hostile situation for the Steelers, especially since they hadn’t won in Dallas since 1982 and hadn’t beaten Dallas since 1988. Cowher was 0-5 against the Boys, including the loss in Super Bowl XXX. The game itself was very exciting, as Big Ben played brilliantly completing 84 percent of his passes, with 2TDs and no picks. Bill Parcells made another coaching error in my estimation, however. With 2:35 to go, the Cowboys were faced with 3rd and 13, on their own 47 and the Steelers had just burned their final time out. A pass play was called and Vinny fumbled the ball, which was recovered and returned to the Dallas 27, setting up the winning 1 yd TD run by Bettis. Now, I realize Pittsburgh gave its worst defensive showing of the season, allowing every 3rd and long to be converted. However, I think if you trust your defense at all, you run and if you don’t convert you pin the rookie deep and make him beat you with no timeouts and have to go the length of the field to win. It was a gutsy call, trying to go for the win right there, and he ended up being the goat for it.
On a side note, there were only two fights I observed; unfortunately they were in the section I was seated in. One piece of advice to people that decide to drink excessive amounts at football games, don’t. I think I heard the “f” word more than I had when I was in the Navy, and it was in front of four sets of kids that had no choice but to hear it. Have some respect for yourself and others around you and if you want to get into a drunken stupor, go to a bar and watch the game next time.
Bash of the Titans
Mcnair carried the Titans into Houston after the dismantling of the Packers at Lambeau. However, they left their game in Green Bay. The Texans are no longer the doormats of the league (that title is now reserved for the 49ers) and they have come to play every week. Mcnair threw some horrible passes, getting intercepted four times. I have to wonder whether the injury is more than the Titans are making it out to be. We know that Mcnair is a gamer, and would probably play with a broken arm if necessary but it seems that his timing and rhythm are off, and he is not delivering the ball on target very well. A Jekyll and Hyde QB is not going to get them to the playoffs in a division with the likes of Indy and Jacksonville.
I have to give due respect to Dom Capers, who brought his team to Tennessee and handed it to the Titans. They have won three of four, and time will tell as to whether they can string a playoff run together.
Attack of the Vikings
Dante Culpepper distinguished himself as being the only player to throw for five touchdowns in a game three times in a single season, and has the most by anyone at this point in the season with 18. Dan Marino’s record of 48 in one season is in jeopardy. Dante is currently on pace to shatter the record with 58 in sixteen games. This could be a banner year for the passing game, and I hope the NFL is getting what they wanted. It sure does make Viking games exciting.
Hearing the Pitter Pat of Big Feet
The Patriots came one Bethel Johnson reception away from defeat on Sunday. Tom Brady got knocked into next week on a scramble, and he is lucky his head was still attached when he got up. He had a look on his face as if to say, ” I am never doing that again.” He is one tough guy to get up from that hit and come back to take snaps.
It’s All About Being Butch
Butch Davis stated publicly his disapproval for Jeff Garcia’s play saying he was skittish in the pocket. Maybe this week he will say something about Jeff’s mother because Garcia played his best game as a Brown (and maybe of his career) against Cincinnati on Sunday. He went 16 of 23 for 310 yds and 4TDs, with one 99 yd TD to Andre Davis. The desired result may have been achieved Butch, but there was no need to get after Garcia. If you want to belittle someone, talk to your offensive line coach about trying to give him more than three seconds to look downfield on a pass.
Just Plain Lousy Game of the Week:
Miami vs. Buffalo
Well, it was almost certain that someone would get off the o-fer, and Buffalo seemed to want it a bit more. I have to ask, how in the world does Jay Fiedler throw a screen pass with LB Takeo Spikes standing right in the passing lane? Did he forget which jerseys should be getting the ball? This game was dismal from the start and my condolences to anyone that had to watch it if there was nothing else on. I wonder if the Dolphins miss Brian Griese more than they miss Ricky right now.
Willis McGahee may be available in the wires and could be a good pickup. The Bills have said that the job belongs to Henry when healthy, but you can’t argue with 26 carries for 111 yards.
Looks like Bill Parcells Jedi mind trick on Big Ben and the Steelers didn’t work. The Steelers were able to steal one in Dallas.
Koren Robinson is about to be replaced by a little known receiver named Jerry Rice. Move over kid; take a lesson from the best and start catching some balls, will you?
On to next week…