Congratulations to the Patriots and Bill Bellichick for getting by the Dolphins and making it 19 in a row. Tom Brady only threw for 76 yards on 7/19 passing, but the team found the way to win. That’s just what they do, win. This is an absolutely unbelievable feat considering the salary cap and parity the NFL has driven home. The record breaker did come against the Dolphins, but no matter. The Dolphins are so bad, if there was a bomb threat and everyone in the stadium left except the Dolphins, it would still take them three plays to score. I guess the Sage Rosenfels era begins in Miami. Yeah, right.
The Patriots have to lose sometime, don’t they? It needs to be a team with a strong defense and someone that can go toe to toe with them and not be intimidated. That’s why I am predicting Pittsburgh will end New England’s streak at 21. The Steelers will be coming off their bye week, have the extra week to prepare for the Pats, and will be at home. I really don’t see Seattle coming to Foxboro and beating them, and Bellichick will beat up on Herm Edwards there too. The streak ends at Heinz Field.
While I’m on predictions, I seem to remember someone resembling myself saying about three weeks ago that Maddox has taken his last snap as starting quarterback barring injury, and I stand behind that prediction. Big Ben has led the Steelers to a 4-1 record at the top of the AFC North, despite every analyst in the football world handing the division to Baltimore this year. Roethlisberger has been efficient, strong and tough in games, going 3-0 in his first three starts. He has completed 72 percent of his passes in the last two games, throwing two touchdowns and one pick. He has command of the offense and leads the team completely. The future for the Steel City is now, and it rides on the shoulders of number 7. His numbers may not be flashy, but he plays to win and is backing up that play currently.
Still wanna be like Mike?
The Falcons coasted to Earth on Sunday with a loss to Detroit at home. Given, these are not your father’s Lions, as Mariucci has this talented young squad playing sixty minutes every week. Vick struggled desperately, with three turnovers and no touchdowns. The Lions forced him to beat them with his arm, holding Vick to 29 yards rushing on 5 carries. Many people are calling for Mora to let him play his game, but he knows that letting Vick do whatever he wants is going to get him killed. It may win some games, but he will never be around long enough to be in the Super Bowl. I think he needs to keep working on understanding the complicated offense, and use his legs to make plays in the passing game. Mora needs to roll him out, allowing him to focus on only half the field and use that cannon he has attached to his shoulder and win some games. This team was not as good as its record on offense, as demonstrated against Arizona and San Francisco. The Dirty Birds could just as easily be two and three right now.
I have watched football for a long time, but I have never seen Bill Parcells make multiple questionable, if not horrible, coaching decisions in one game. Two fourth down plays, both needing 1 yard. The first one was less, but for arguments sake we’ll call it one. You have a 6-5 230 lb QB (given he’s forty, but follow me) and a 6-3 325 lb left tackle named Larry Allen, and you can’t sneak for a yard? Instead, a touch for Eddie and loss of two yards. Next, the Boys were on their own 43, down six with 12 minutes to go, and they decide a pass to Darian Barnes, a fullback with all of three catches this year? I just don’t understand. But, that’s why he gets paid what he does, and I don’t. I just think coaches make things too complicated sometimes.
Keep Chopping the Wood
The Jaguars are in a two game skid after starting 3-0, losing their latest to the Bolts down in San Diego. What happened to the stout run defense, which gave up 176 yards on the ground Sunday? The Bolts loosened them up with the pass and ran all over them. Three turnovers, including one in their own red zone didn’t help either. To give the Jags credit, Marty has got this team making plays on both sides of the ball, and I don’t think they will be the pushovers everyone expected them to be. They can still turn it around, but the next two games become very important, as they have KC at home and travel to Indy. If they lose at the RCA dome, they can kiss the division title hopes goodbye. My advice is getting back to what you know; defense, and Leftwich must play within him and not try to make every play.
Just Plain Lousy Game of the Week
Baltimore vs. Washington: In a game of defense, the Ravens visited the Skins in what seemed to be home field advantage for both teams, considering the about 40-mile trip between the stadiums. If Ray Lewis could make it playing both ways, he should consider it because the Raven’s offense did everything but hand the game to the Skins. Too bad they didn’t want it. Boller looks like a red shirt freshman, throwing balls off target and in a different book than his receivers. Make no doubt about it, this is Ray’s team, but it should be Kyle’s. He must become more vocal and start leading the team to victories instead of hoping them along. On the other side, Brunell looks old and couldn’t hit the floor if he fell. He seemed to have happy feet all night, even when he wasn’t pressured. I think we will see Patrick Ramsey before too long. The two quarterbacks combined were 22/47 for 164 yards, 1 TD and 4 INTs. Absolutely dismal.
Deion Update: Prime time made some prime time contributions for the first time, picking off a TD pass, faking a reverse on a punt return that sprung B.J. Sams for a score, and made two tackles. He is obviously getting the benefit of calls, based on the fact that he absolutely mugged Rod Gardner and Taylor Jacobs on successive plays without being flagged.
Anyone need a KR/PR/K flex position player? Wes Welker is your man, then. Has anyone ever done this in the modern game? He kicked a field goal and extra point, and had ten returns for 142 yards. Busy guy.
If Marcus Robinson or Mewelde Moore is out there, may want to grab them. Might as well get on the fantasy train and ride Culpepper’s amazing run while it’s there.
Don’t know if you saw the ref in the Steelers/Browns game get hit in the groin by a Jeff Garcia pass. Ouch! “Get the chariots! Get the horses! Get me an icepack!” (Obscure Mel Brooks movie reference.)
I think the two game suspension was light, despite the fact he must give up an additional two game checks. Here’s why: if he was innocent as he claims, then he would have never plea-bargained. So, if he had culpability at all, then two games are not enough. I have to give it up to him because he has said he will work hard to show children what can happen when you get mixed up with drugs, and how lucky he is to be where he is. I hope it has changed his outlook.
Short and sweet, on to next week…