Hey guys, consider this a guest-shot attempt at a regular column here in Football, and later on in whatever sport happens to be pertinent and in-season at the present time. I'll pretty much just recap everything significant (and even some insignificant stuff) that happened in the league this week. I'll give opinions on some stuff, and maybe try to make it funny, but it all depends on what kind of material the games provide. Any and all feedback would be appreciated.
Steelers/Giants was an exciting kickoff to the week, and as I said in an earlier thread, I was most impressed with the work Eli Manning did, especially behind a patchwork offensive line. For him, the future looks significantly brighter than it did a week ago.
The Steelers finally got a big game out of their offense, but the injuries may finally be catching up to these guys. The special teams have suffered because of injuries to starters on both offense and defense, as the depth chart has been all screwed up. Also, the team has to be concerned with a lack of big plays out of the defense over the last two weeks.
The Redskins D was once again solid this week, as they topped the 49ers, and LaVar Arrington was finally back in uniform. Joe Gibbs stated that Patrick Ramsey would be his starting QB next year, and some stability in that regard is certainly a step in the right direction. On the other hand, the Niners seem to have a stranglehold on the number 1 pick next year.
Mike Vick once again restored my personal faith in him as a QB, and his TD dive was probably the play of the week. In spite of the loss, the Panthers will probably still make the playoffs this year, and with the T.O. situation unfolding like it has, they have to be considered a very dangerous team if they do get into the field of 6.
The Texans put up a good effort, hanging a 24-5 defeat on the Bears. Alot was made by the announcers of how impressive it was that the Texans went into a cold-weather city and won, but given the difference in talent on the two teams, I'd say it's a damn good thing they did win, because the Bears had no business being close in that one.
The Bills crushed the Bengals, and in the process made Marvin Lewis look like a genius for naming Carson Palmer the starter, as Jon Kitna looked about as good as I would have out there. Meanwhile, the Bills season looks like it's going to come down to a showdown with the Steelers, and because of the Patriots loss tonight, that could end up being a meaningless game for the Steelers. Provided both the Bills and Steelers win next week, you have to like Buffalo's chances of getting into the playoffs, as the Steelers will almost certainly be resting most of their regulars if they clinch homefield throughout next week.
The Chargers clinched their division, and there's really not much else to say about this game except that Antonio Gates is a beast at TE, the Chargers are going to be a tough out for anyone in the playoffs, and the Browns are showing their apparent affection for Terry Robiskie by playing like absolute dogs for him. It's safe to say he won't be around next year. The Chargers do have a game against the Colts coming up that is now bigger than ever.
Don Muhlbach is the saddest man in the NFL right now, as his crappy snap snatched defeat from the jaws of at least overtime for the Lions. In my mind, the Vikes did nothing to dispel the notion that they don't have what it takes to make a deep post-season run, as it took another team choking for them to pull this one out. I will say that Duante to Moss for 82 and a touch was sweet.
The Jets crushed Seattle, once again proving the vast superiority of the AFC, and cementing the Seahawks, at least in my mind, as the biggest disappointment of the season to this point. For the Jets, next week's game against the Pats now looms bigger than it did, as they have a chance to push the Patriots closer to an improbable spot in a wild-card game.
The Eagles...well if you think they had a good shot at the Super Bowl (as I did) that thought has to have changed. I'll be so bold as to say that no single player not named Peyton Manning meant more to his team than Owens did, and without him I'm not even sure the Eagles can be considered the NFC favorite anymore. Enjoy Todd Pinkston people.
The Chiefs crushed the Broncos, and I severely doubt the ability of Denver to recover from this one, as they weren't in it from the very beginning. Larry Johnson is playing his way into stardom in the very near future for the Chiefs (or maybe someone else). It's nice to see that he apparently "took the diapers off", even though it seems that he still despises Vermeil, as he should.
The Saints beat the Bucs, effectively ending Tampa's playoff hopes and proving that the Saints are the most schizophrenic team in the league. If they somehow manage to back into the playoffs, I wouldn't be surprised if they made it to the NFC Championship game.
The Cards crushed the Rams, and now it's mathematically certain that an 8-8 or 7-9 team will make the playoffs in the NFC. Me, I hope the Cards win that division, if only because they have Larry Fitzgerald and It's a homer pick in that respect. Plus, the Seahawks and Rams have no heart between them and don't deserve shit.
The Jags disproved the theory that a warm-weather team can't beat Green Bay at Lambeau when the weather gets nippy. IMO, Fred Taylor had one of the best games of his career, given the circumstances. Donovan Darius should be fined for his Rodney Harrison-esque hit on Robert Ferguson, as a regular tackle would have sufficed. Football's a violent game, and Darius may have expressed remorse at Ferguson's condition, but a dirty hit is a dirty hit.
The Raiders and Titans engaged in a meaningless but entertaining shootout that proved that Billy Volek just might be a nice alternative if Steve McNair retires (or maybe even if he doesn't). Though the Raiders won, Volek was the star of this game. He will be the most added player by Fantasy Football players this coming week.
Peyton didn't get the record, but he did get an important win, and in the process pushed the Ravens further from the playoffs. I thought the Ravens gave a good effort, especially on the fast-track at RCA, but even a defense's best effort in the dome will probably be for a losing cause against Manning and the Colts.
Finally, the Dolphins made a lot of friends in Pittsburgh, offing the Pats with a stunning comeback from 11 down with just over 2 minutes left. A.J. Feeley made some gutsy throws, and Tom Brady made one of the worst throws of his career. Now the Pats are going to have to fight just to ensure a first-round bye, let alone homefield throughout.
Final thoughts of the week:
--There's no way the Pats can lose that game. Brady's ill-advised throw was a knife in the back, and it might end up costing them their season.
--Eli Manning will be a good QB in this league. When the kid gets some weapons and an O-Line, watch out.
--Ben Roethlisberger proved that he can carry an offense instead of just "manage a game", which was the knock on him. He wasn't rattled by his two INT's, and marched the Steelers right down the field for the winning score when it mattered most.
--Larry Johnson and Billy Volek will be stars in this league in the very near future.
--The Carolina Panthers will win the NFC if they make it into the playoffs. You heard it here first.
Anyway, that ends the column. I know it wasn't exactly humorous, but this format is one of many that I've been throwing around in my head. I've got some much shorter (and probably better) versions that I'd like to try out, so once again, any feedback would be very appreciated.
(Way too early) Super Bowl Prediction: Steelers 27, Eagles 17
Nice column - I like the every game recap, and the opportunity this opens to discuss the games this week.
Bengals - well, considering the lack of playing time, I would kind of expect Kitna to be a bit rusty.
Browns - wow. Just pathetic. I was at the game, and seated by the end zone where the Browns recovered the fumble on the punt in the first quarter. When McCown threw the INT on the very next play with no Browns nearby, our group just groaned. The game pretty much ended right there. Injuries this year have crushed the team, and whoever takes over next year will have a good foundation to start with. The challenge will be to keep them healthy and find some good players with the kickass draft picks we should be ending up with. (#2, here we come!)
It is amazing to me how things have swung around from 10 years ago. The AFC looks so much more dominant as a whole than the NFC.
Teams I am rooting for: Patriots & Packers. Teams I am hoping get the playoff shaft: Denver and Baltimore. I hope the Browns continue to lose so we can get the better draft position.
"Lita holds a Stone Cold Steve Austin home pregnancy test. What will the Bottom Line say? “Hell Yeah” or “Eh-EH”?" - Raw Satire, 6/15/04
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." - George W. Bush
Us Pittsburgh fans are extremely pleased with the Dolphins. It gives us breathing room and allows to lose one fo these last two games and not lose home field advantage. Ideally we can off the Ravens this weekend and then sit everyone that last weekend against the Bills.
(Artist Formerly Known As) WIENER OF THE DAY! July 6, 2002! If I lived back in the wild west days, instead of carrying a six-gun in my holster, I'd carry a soldering iron. That way, if some smart-aleck cowboy said something like "Hey, look. He's carrying a soldering iron!" and started laughing, and everybody else started laughing, I could just say, "That's right, it's a soldering iron. The soldering iron of justice." Then everybody would get real quiet and ashamed, because they had made fun of the soldering iron of justice, and I could probably hit them up for a free drink.
Good recap, much love for the Steelers, gets much love from me, but not in a homosexual way. Anyway, you bring up some good points about the Steelers, the defense did not show up, so I am hoping that it was due to the fact they were not afraid of the G-Men and were waiting to pick Kyle Boller off left and right this weekend. I do think the extra day off and the fact that if they can beat, excuse me, will beat Baltimore on Saturday will go a great deal into getting them ready for the playoffs at home.
As for the Pats, I think their magical season has hit the skids. They have been in way too many tight games lately and with playing the Jets on Sunday in a game the Jets need to win to at least get homefield for the first round. I don't see them going into the playoffs on a real high. I do think the Pats will get the second seed and for some reason, no one can win in Foxborugh, so maybe they can get in with the Steelers self-destructing in the second round or get past the Steelers in the AFC championship game. But for some reason, tradition always holds that a dark horse will get into the Super Bowl regardless of what happens.
"All faith reguires is giving into the possibility of hope."
Originally posted by The ThrillThat being said...must prepare to KILL THE VIKINGS...
I dunnon Thrill. Blasphemous as this may be, I'm not sure I want to win this Friday. This team isn't going anywhere (other than home after maybe one or two playoff games). I guess I'd rather not have to spend my money on a home playoff game.
Originally posted by HitTheSnoozeButtonThe Carolina Panthers will win the NFC if they make it into the playoffs. You heard it here first.
Putting aside the fact that I hate the phrase "You heard it here first," I agree with you that the Panthers are a huge threat in the playoffs. Their record is an indication of how bad they were to start the season, but they've been surging lately (with only that sliver of a loss to Atlanta to slow them down.) That said, Atlanta just beat them, who's to say they wouldn't beat them again? And even though the Eagles lost Owens, that leaves them with almost the same team they had last year. Not the team that lost in the NFC Championship game (without Westbrook), but the team that beat them in the regular season last year (was it Week 9?).
I'd like to see a matchup between the non-T.O. Eagles and Carolina (I'm certainly not counting the encounter earlier this year as the Panthers were decimated with injuries and hadn't found their stride yet), but I don't know if I want that match to be in the playoffs. I know that the Panthers are a threat, and as an Eagles fan, I'm rooting against Carolina.
(edited by EddieBurkett on 21.12.04 1425) You're gonna carry that weight...
I believe the Eagles won that game by 10 points? And that John Kasay missed 3 field goals and a PAT?
I really don't think that game would happen again.
Edit: Correction, the Eagles won 25 to 16. John Kasay doesn't have the worst game of his life and the Panthers win the game.
(edited by Jaguar on 21.12.04 1456) "During his term in office, George Bush has relentlessly continued to be president—despite the clear benefits to America his absence would bring to the lives of citizens everywhere."
I'm hoping for that BC vs Utah game in the Fiesta Bowl so we can just be rid of this BCS silliness once and for all. Does anyone know if they're going to "re-align" the BCS because of all of the upcoming conference shifts?