I have to start out by saying I’m really starting to be bothered by ESPN’s Sunday night crew. They have said stupid things in the past, but this one really set me over the edge. On the last drive, with Cleveland on the Baltimore 6, Garcia threw a pass to his tight end. Ray Lewis was covering and clearly had a hold of his jersey, pulling down while he was trying to make the catch. The ball got picked and run back for a touchdown. Now, I am not complaining about the call despite the fact it was bull; it is part of the game. However, how do the commentators respond? Theismann says that the TE should have caught the pass anyway. Paul chimes in and says it wasn’t a penalty. What? Which game were you watching? If these guys weren’t so enamored by Ray Lewis they would be able to call the game the way it should be called. I am going to send a 2X4 to Mike Patrick just so he can smack the hell out of both of them next time they open their mouth. I used to think that Joe was a pretty smart football guy, but I actually feel dumber just listening to him.
The State of Pennsylvania was split in half this week, as the premier game was the Steelers/Eagles game in Heinz Field. There was no way that the Steelers could pull off another miracle, could they? I must say, bias aside, that they look invincible right now. They dismantled the Eagles, allowing 0 third down conversions and only 113 yards of total offense. The Eagles’ weakness was badly exposed, as a lack of a solid running game really limited their offense, though when they were down by 21 it made no difference. I feel sorry for the Cowboys hosting these Eagles next week, as I feel they are going to want to unload on somebody. Sorry, Bill Parcells, but you just lost any chance to get your team on track this week in Dallas.
Pitter Patter of Big Feet
Speaking of unloading on somebody, how about the Patriots going to St. Louis and handing it to the Rams? This contained a Vrabel TD catch, a Vinatieri TD pass, and Troy Brown playing DB. Bellichick pulled just about everything out of the bag based on the injury situation he is facing. There was no was that the Patriots were going to be embarrassed two weeks in a row, and they made sure of that.
Just Plain Lousy Game of the Week: Was vs. Det – Besides some great special teams play from the Redskins (1 blocked punt and three punts downed inside the 5), this game was painful to watch. The Redskins offense is in total disarray, and I still can’t believe this team is being coached by Joe Gibbs. Detroit is not the same team without Roy Williams at 100% apparently, as the ankle injury is slowing his downfield explosiveness and teams are no longer showing him double coverage.
Just Plain Randy
While we are on teams affected by a missing WR, how inept do the Vikings appear without a healthy Randy Moss? I think many people (including myself) didn’t realize how valuable he is. It is not only the great catches he makes or the monster games he has, but his ability to draw attention from everyone downfield makes it easier to find open receivers for Daunte Culpepper. They started to get things together in the second half against the Colts, but let’s be honest, it’s the Colts. I bet everyone in the last two weeks has been scrambling to pickup WRs and TEs from Minnesota with Randy Moss sitting. It just goes to show that not everything is as good as it may seem.
Deion Update: He had one tackle, was thrown to twice on offense with no catches and only a couple of passes defensed and left with a toe injury. It didn’t make much difference however, as the Baltimore defense seemed to have Cleveland on the run for most of the game anyway.
Giant Ends Go Down
Ozarka needs to get a contract with the Giants because they sure are choking right now. They had a 14 point lead at home against Chicago of all teams and lost. All this with Krentzel going 8-21 and fumbling twice. In the giants defense (no pun intended), they lost both DEs, Strahan and Washington, to what turns out to be season ending injuries. The ability to run was predicated on a solid defense, and the surprise season may very well be in jeopardy. They blew a golden opportunity to pull within a game of the Eagles, an opportunity they may never see again this season.
I bet you will hear the people scrambling for the waiver wire to pick up Larry Johnson today. Priest Holmes has strained knee ligaments and will be evaluated further this week. I don’t think he’ll be the same runner and enjoy the same success.
The Jets are leaving the team to Quincy Carter for the next two to four weeks. Stay away from him; if Chad Pennington couldn’t get big numbers in their offense, QC certainly won’t.
What happened to all this “emphasis” on the illegal contact rule? I have seen about one penalty in each game I have watched, and about four or five calls they have let go by. Was it all for show in the preseason or are we going to have another debacle when playoffs come around?
Until next week…