I have to start out by making some comments about what everyone is probably tired of hearing about, the events that happened with athletes last week and this week. With the WWF in Detroit, people seem to have forgotten about the Clemson-SC melee and even the Porter-Green ejections from the previous week. I think every athlete should take a hard look at themselves and what they are doing and remember why they are participating in professional sports. If they are only in it for money, fine. These guys work hard and play hurt and deserve to make a great deal of money. I also accept the fact that idiotic fans are going to be part of it, and the people watching can’t all have IQs above the national speed limit. However, a line was crossed that shouldn’t have been, and now the price has to be paid. Many players have no regard for anyone but themselves, much less the fans or even their teammates. I think it is reprehensible what professional sports has become, and hopefully things will change. The referees and security forces at games need to do a better job controlling things, and not be afraid to toss players or fans that get unruly. How many games do we see each week where players go after each other (regardless of who started it) and not so much as a penalty flag is thrown? They need to be held accountable on no less than a game-by-game basis.
Ok, on to this week’s observations
You da Manning
Peyton Manning cannot be stopped. I know that they were only playing the Bears, but rumor had it that they had a pretty good defense. Peyton shredded them for four TDs, not to mention Edge running wild for 204 yards. PM now is on pace for 56 TDs, and an amazing 11 INTs. That is better than 5 to 1, which is unheard of. Marino had a 3 to 1 ratio in his record-setting year of ’84. The playoffs are going to be fun with this team in the mix. If the playoffs began today, and the highest seeds won their games, Indy would be matched against Baltimore and then go on to New England. Bring on January, I can’t wait.
Peyton’s brother Eli didn’t fare as well, but played pretty well for his own regard against a tough Atlanta team. He is still a rookie, and his decision-making is evidence of that. He will continue to get better and I have a feeling you will see some very good things from him, if the Giants can build around him. They need to work on protecting him first, then protecting the leads he can build and he will be all set.
Eye of the Tiger
While we are talking about rookies, Big Ben sure looked like one for the first time since the Miami game. You always have to worry about a Marvin Lewis coached defense, and it seems that he had every defender on the field after number 7. The Steelers’ protection broke down on many occasions, allowing 7 sacks and two turnovers. All that being said, the Steelers D brought their game and obliterated Carson Palmer in the second half, forcing a safety (for the first time in four years) and allowing only 42 total yards. I have a feeling that Ben will spend countless hours watching film and be much better against a very good defense in Washington when they visit Heinz Field next week.
Red in the Face
Speaking of the Redskins, they were in the game with the Eagles for first half, but they forgot to come out of the locker room after half time. I can’t understand why they abandoned the run so quickly. The best defense against the Eagles is to make sure their offense doesn’t get on the field. McNabb did one of his now-classic run around for about a half hour and throw it sixty yards tricks, except he didn’t get the ball off and Jermaine Haley (all 305 lbs of him) planted McNabb from behind and forced a fumble. When Donovan got up it looked like he wasn’t sure what city he was in, much less that he was playing football. One other notable snafu for Mcnabb was when he lined up behind the guard, instead of the center. “Unless you’re going to kiss me sugar, get your hands off my ass!” (Gratuitous Any Given Sunday quote). Now that’s downright embarrassing, but not as embarrassing as the whipping they handed the Redskins.
Another thing, do I have to sit through commercials what seems to be every eight seconds? I was watching one of the games and within forty seconds of game time there were three commercial breaks. Are the commentators so incompetent that they cannot talk during a thirty second timeout, or are we just playing football between commercials? I love many of the marketing ploys that are being broadcast, but it is getting absolutely ridiculous. I have no idea how the players can maintain their concentration. No wonder every kid is on Ritalin these days.
No Roar in the Lions
Someone needs to check Mariucci’s office to make sure he isn’t hanging from the light fixture after that display on Sunday. The Lions were up 19-7 with 7 minutes to go in the third and they gave up an 18 and 15 play drive to the Vikings, both TDs, while going three and out on three straight possessions. I guess you could say the only reason they were up was because of special teams, and the Dante Hall-like play of Eddie Drummond; but if Millen and Mariucci think Joey Harrington is their QB of the future, they need to schedule the cat scan immediately. I mean, 91 yards passing against the 30th ranked defense against the pass? Sheesh. If that isn’t bad enough, Peyton Manning is coming to town for turkey day. Good luck.
Carolina was aware that Nick Goings was part of the active roster, right? 121 yards and three TDs later, they certainly know now. Too bad it won’t be enough to save a dismal season, but a valiant effort. Got to give some kudos to Delhomme, for playing with a hairline fracture in the thumb on his throwing hand, he is a gamer ala Brett Favre.
Just Plain Lousy Game of the Week: NYJ vs. CLE: To anyone that was forced to watch this, my condolences. There were as many punts (17) as points in this game. I thought watching paint peeling was satisfying after this display. The Jets squeaked out a go-ahead TD with 5:32 left on a nifty run by Justin McCareins. This was the only noteworthy occurrence, besides increased rumors of Butch Davis losing his job, maybe before the end of the season. Maybe he can get a job with Hoover because he just plain sucks.
Don’t bother with Mark Campbell on the waiver wire, he will be a one hit wonder. Before Sunday, he had ten catches for 140 yards in ten games.
I absolutely love Budweiser’s answer to the Miller Lite ref commercials. If you didn’t see them, a bunch of referees throw flags and take all the Bud Light, and take off in a van. In the second one, cops pull the van over and confront the thieves. After they are confronted the refs jump shout “RUN!” and jump over hedges, etc. Very funny.
The last six weeks are going to be great in my opinion, as we see what teams truly have in them as they make the run for the playoffs. Bring it on!
Also, congrats to San Diego for sweeping the Raiders for the first time in 12 years, Marty ball has really taken shape.