Week Eight is almost in the books and what a week it was. Some extremely high scoring contests this week led to some very strong individual fantasy performances. You know when Buffalo puts up 38 points that it was an offensive week. Hopefully as you read this you will find more treats than you will you will tricks.
Full focus is returning back to football, though I just want to mention this one last time: The Boston Red Sox are World Series Champions!! The celebration parade on Saturday was a fitting end to a glorious season. Wow. And if the Sox can finally win the series, perhaps that silly thing about the Redskins and their final home game before the Presidential election can be broken as well. On to the games…
New York Giants 34, at Minnesota 13
Let’s see here, the Giants coming off a home loss the week after the bye have to travel to play the high powered Minnesota offense. No problem. The Giants D shut down the Vikings offense as New York raced to a 20-nil halftime lead. The Giants pushed the bulge to 34-nil before allowing Minnesota to finally score some points in the fourth quarter. Tiki Barber (101 yds, 2 TD) had a good day before resting much of the fourth quarter. On the other side, only Daunte Culpepper (231 yds, TD, 2 int) gets a mention here. Randy Moss was in for a couple of plays, but he did not look good and was in street clothes by halftime.
at Philadelphia 15, Baltimore 10
A lot of bad blood between these two teams thanks to the off season acquisitions by both teams of Terrell Owens (101 yds, TD). A hard fought defensive battle this one was, with field goals the name of the game. Finally in the fourth, Philly was able to get into the end zone, Donovan McNabb (219 yds, TD) hooking up with Owens for the score. After which, Terrell broke into his best “Ray Lewis” celebration dance. The Ravens were able to score a touch of their own, but after that the defenses on both sides hardened and there was no more scoring.
Green Bay 28, at Washington 14
An erratic game in which both signal callers struggled, this one came down to two plays in the final three minutes of the game. With Green Bay holding a six point lead, Clinton Portis got into the end zone after a 43 yard catch and run, however the play was wiped out by an illegal motion penalty. Mark Brunell tossed an interception on the next play, and the Packers drove for an insurance score to put the game away. Ahman “It Aint Easy Being” Green (143 total yds, 2 TD) and Brett Favre (289 yds, TD, 3 int) did well for the victors while no one from the home side gets a mention in this space.
at Houston 20, Jacksonville 6
A battle of the young quarterbacks, this one went the way of David Carr (276 yds, TD) and the Texans. Both teams had trouble rushing the ball, so it was up to the aerial offense to decide this game. As is usually the case, Byron Leftwich was leading his team to the usual comeback score, but this time he was picked off by Houston, and they ran it back for the insurance that wins them the game. Jimmy Smith (117 yds) did well but it was not enough to overcome.
at Buffalo 38, Arizona 14
To be honest, I did not know the Bills were capable of scoring 38 points in one game. Seriously. With that said, Buffalo now rides a two game winning streak as Willis McGahee (102 yds, 2 TD) did very well for the winning cause. Nothing to see on the Cardinal sideline, though Anquan Boldin did get some action in his return from injury.
at Dallas 31, Detroit 21
Speaking of streaks, the Lions were riding a three game winning streak on the road, looking for their fourth (had they even won four road games in the last three seasons combined??). Dallas entered the game with only Keyshawn Johnson (2 TD) the only reciever having ever caught a pass in an NFL game, so they ran the ball early and often. While they weren’t successful from a yardage perspective, they did rush the ball 41 times over the course of the game. That was enough to wear down the Lions D and the home team takes the nice win. Vinny Testaverde (235 yds, 3 TD, 3 int, rush TD) and Jason “Returns” Witten (84 yds, TD) did well for the winners while Joey Harrington (255 yds, 2 TD, int) the only mention on the losing side.
at Tennessee 27, Cincinnati 20
With Steve McNair out of this game, the Titans put in a balanced team effort in taking their first win at home this season. Chris Brown (147 yds, TD) ran well and the Titan D did what they had to do to limit the Bengals offensive attack. Tennessee held a 10 point lead at the half, and pushed it to 14 points late in the third quarter. Cincinnati began its comeback, scoring to get within a touchdown. Alas, with little time on the clock, the Bengals drove to the Titan nine yard line, but on first and goal, Carson Palmer was sacked and lost the ball, and the game was sealed.
at Kansas City 45, Indianapolis 35
It seems that whenever these teams get together, a track meet ensues that is usually won by the Colts. However, on a day where a combined total of 1095 yards of offense was recorded, the Chiefs finally get a win over Indianapolis. Player of the Week Priest Holmes (225 total yds, 3 TD) had another unbelievable day as Kansas City raced to a 17 point lead at the half. Peyton Manning (472 yds, 5 TD, 1 int) went right to work in the second half, hooking up with both Reggie Wayne (119 yds, 2 TD) and Marvin Harrison (119 yds, 2 TD) in the third quarter to close to within a field goal. Holmes would score again, but Wayne would answer with another for the visitors. Tony Gonzalez (125 yds, 2 TD) was on the end of a Trent Green (389 yds, 3 TD) offering for another score, and it was up to the Kansas City D to put an end to the scoring. They did, and they take the win. Edgerrin James (124 total yds) also did well in a losing effort.
Atlanta 41, at Denver 28
Speaking of offense, this one had a little as well. Michael Vick (252 yds, 2 TD, 115 rush yds) had a great day, and Peerless Price “Is Right” (2 TD) also gets a mention here as the Falcons put together a nice second and third quarter in taking the road win here. The Falcons scored early in the fourth to push the lead to 20 points before Denver finally scored to close the gap. Jake Plummer (499 yds, 4 TD, 3 int) had a record day, his toss to Darius Watts (86 yds, TD) providing the scoring on the play. However, Plummer was picked off on the next drive, and it was returned for a touch and the game was pretty much out of reach. Rod Smith (208 yds, TD) and Ashley Lelie (94 yds, TD) also had good performances, but it was not enough to get the win.
at Seattle 23, Carolina 17
Losers of three straight, Seattle planned to use Shaun Alexander (195 yds, 2 TD) early and often in this one. They did, and it worked. The game was close from the get go, neither team able to pull away from the other. The Seahawks used three FGs in the second half to build a lead that they were able to hold onto. Muhsin Muhammed (106 yds, 2 TD) and Jake Delhomme (248 yds, 2 TD, 1 int) played well in a losing effort.
at Pittsburgh 34, New England 20
This time, Corey Dillon did not play and the short handed Patriots lose their first game of the season. Already without most of their WR core, Dillon did not suit up, and Ty Law left the game early after injuring a foot on the terrible turf at Heinz Field (I’ve seen city playgrounds that are better). But this day belonged to the Steelers. The Steeler D (4 turnovers, return TD, 4 sacks) was the beneficiary of some early Patriot miscues, and the offense made New England pay. Plaxico Burress (2 TD) gets a mention here, and though he doesn’t get an official mention, Ben Roethlisberger had a very solid day in leading his team to the win. Next up for Pittsburgh, the undefeated Eagles. David Givens (101 yds, 2 TD) and Tom Brady (271 yds, 2 TD, 2 int) get a mention in a losing effort.
at San Diego 42, Oakland 14
Are the Chargers on a roll or what? Drew Brees (281 yds, 5 TD) completed his first eight passes of the day as the Chargers scored early and often in this contest. San Diego scored the first 14 points of the game, then ran their lead to 42-7 before letting up on the gas petal. Antonio Gates (2 TD) had a nice game for San Diego, but the day belonged to Brees. No Raiders mentioned here.
at Chicago 23, San Francisco 13
Let’s put it this way, Craig Krenzel was making his first NFL start for the Bears while Tim Rattay sat this one out in favor of Ken Dorsey. Thomas Jones left the game after only one carry, opening the door for Anthony Thomas (144 total yds) to have a nice day. All in all not the stuff that is worthy of a Sunday night telecast, in the end the Bears take the win. The Bear D (2 turnovers, return TD, 162 yds allowed) and Paul Edinger (3 FG, 2 PAT) get a mention here while the SF D (3 turnovers, 5 sacks, return TD) gets a mention in a losing effort.