With Big Blue having the week off, it gave me the chance to watch the other games and listen (thanks to Sirius) to the happenings around the league not including the New York Giants.
The best game of the day happened to be the last one between the Eagles and Bears, but we will get to that later, and how the Eagles choked away a game that has now put them at the bottom of the division. But before we get to how Philly found last place, there was plenty of other stories from around the league.
A couple Wednesdays ago, I said I was going to start the Wednesday Morning Quarterback, but after one edition I changed my mind. Monday is the big day for the stories, headlines, and opinions, and by Wednesday it’s time for injury reports and pre-game notes, so I thought I would join in the party created by Peter King from SI.com and start the G-Men HQ’s version of it: Monday Morning Hangover.
J-E-T-S, BRETT, BRETT, BRETT…
The G-Men come back this Sunday to play the Seahawks and then after they face the Cardinals. Now anyone who watched the Jets play the Chargers last week knows that the Jets aren’t exactly an elite football team, nor are they the best in their division (as some anticipated). So when you see Arizona traveling to play the Jets with a spread of the Jets -1, anyone would surely think a very even matched battle that could go one way or the other, or at least that is what Vegas thought. But when Brett Favre comes away with six TD passes on the day and the Jets put up a 56 spot on the board, you know that there is a serious problem here. Now if you take a look at the box score you can easily see that there was a ridiculous amount of turnovers for the Cards, but once the ball was turned over, their defense wanted no part of preventing the Jets from scoring and bailing out Kurt Warner and his inaccurate passing. Anyone have over 90.5 points in this game?
The Philadelphia Eagles are better than the Chicago Bears any which way you look at it and had Brian Westbrook not been injured and David Akers hadn’t kicked field goals like he bet against the Eagles, then Philadelphia would be 3-1 instead of 2-2. Aside from a nice first half and a couple of big plays the Bears “are who we thought they are”, and the Eagles “let ’em off the hook.” I am not sure why Andy Reid called a timeout with 4th and goal on the Bears 1 yard line if he was just going to run the same play that had just been stopped the previous three downs. And I am not sure how in his right mind he didn’t tell McNabb to run the ball in himself. Remember that running quarterback the Eagles used to have who led them to a Super Bowl berth. Whatever happened to that guy? McNabb forgot how to run, either that or he is scared to get hurt because it has been a while since anyone has seen Donovan break for one of the signature runs that he made famous.
Down in Dallas…
You gotta love the Dallas Cowboys. No team gets more hype, gets more coverage, and gets more people riding their jock, but every year (at least since 1996) they never seem to disappoint. As ten point favorites, at home, against a rival, in a division the game, the Cowboys came up short and if you take away the quick 7-0 lead they got off to, they never really controlled this game, or made anyone think that for a second they were going to pull off a win. Terrell Owens was there in the post game to talk about how when he got the ball things got done, etc., etc. (a usual T.O. media session if you didn’t happen to catch it), but I watched the game, and T.O. got the ball plenty of times and the Cowboys lost. But the best part of this game other than the Redskins winning had to be Troy Aikman calling out T.O. After showing highlights of Owens blocking and protecting the RBs in previous games, Joe Buck went on to rant and rave about T.O. saying how he does all these special little things. But before Buck could brown nose T.O. anymore, Aikman stepped in and said “that is his job” and “that is what he is paid to do.” It’s about time Aikman put the hammer down on Buck and his infatuation with the play of No. 81.
The St. Louis Blues…
The Rams lost again…yawn…and this time without Marc Bulger as their QB. Hmm, interesting. Taking Marc Bulger out of the lineup didn’t solve the Rams problems. What’s next? Bench Steven Jackson? Or maybe move the franchise back to L.A.? There really is no solution. The Rams are a bad team and will be until they fix their defense, not their offense.
Lions and Packers and Vikings and Bears, Oh My…
The NFC Central is pretty awful. The Lions are going nowhere. The Vikings are going are nowhere. The Bears barely beat the Eagles who were missing Brian Westbrook and by the fourth quarter were picking RBs out of the crowd to take carries. And the Packers lost to the Bucs and Aaron Rodgers suffered a separated shoulder. Now before the season I picked the Vikings to win the North, but then after thinking about how bad the Minnesota Peterson’s are, I figured the Packers will probably just win the division again. But on the same day that their new QB was having his shoulder separated and throwing picks, their old (very old) QB was six TDs. In 2006, this division sent a team (Chicago) to the Super Bowl and last season they sent a team (Green Bay) to the NFC Championship. This year they might not deserve to be represented in the postseason.
The .500 Phenoms…
If I hear anything more about the San Diego Chargers and how they are a Super Bowl contender, I might stop watching football. How can a team that is a contender for the championship trail the Oakland Raiders 15-0 at any point in a game? Every game the Chargers trail in and usually by a few possessions before they put together an all out attack in one quarter to cut the deficit or take the lead. Then again, the Chargers are 2-2 and have lost to the Panthers (who lost to the Vikings) and Broncos (who lost to the Broncos) and their wins are against the Jets (who aren’t exactly the greatest thing since sliced bread) and the Raiders (no comment). Maybe instead of always talking about the “so-called” great offensive weapons of a .500 team, the media will focus on real teams from the AFC playing well, like the Bills or Titans or Ravens.
The Fab Five
1. New York Giants
The last undefeated team from the NFC (B)EAST. How can they not be No. 1?
2. Washington Redskins
They beat the Cowboys, but lost to the Giants. Pretty easy to figure out where they fit in.
3. Tennessee Titans
The AFC is now second rate. Sorry.
4. Dallas Cowboys
A loss at home to the Skins. Devastating.
Their defense is the real deal. Once Westbrook gets back they will be back.
The Bottom of the Barrel
28. Cleveland Browns
I think the Browns are better than they have shown. But their only W is against Cincy.
29. Houston Texans
0-3 and a net point difference of -43.
30. Detroit Lions
Winless and would be lower, but they got lucky with the bye week.
31. Cincinnati Bengals
0-4 and missing Carson Palmer. Going to be a long season in Ohio.
32. St. Louis Rams
147 points against in four games. Ouch.
Oh, the picks. This has been a wild four weeks in the NFL and now the picks have taken a serious hit. A 5-7 day has the overall record at 29-30. Not exactly John Anthony type numbers, but if the Ravens can keep it close or win tomorrow I can deal with .500 going into Week 5.
What about the Denver Broncos? Where was their high powered offense? Where was the team that is 3-0 and was just throwing absolute bombs down the field? Well wherever they were, they weren’t in Kansas City today.
I thought the Chiefs were going to be alright this season when they almost beat New England. Then they lost to the Raiders and I thought they were the worst team in the NFL by a long shot. Then today they beat the Broncos and I am not sure what to think.
The Vikings lost again. Does that mean Tavaris Jackson will get another shot at being the starting QB? Imagine if Adrian Peterson wasn’t on Minnesota. They would be 0-4 with zero points scored.
How is Trent Dilfer an analyst for ESPN? Yes he did play in the NFL, but a lot of people did and 99% of them aren’t NFL analysts. Right before opening night, Dilfer said “the Giants will be the biggest disappointment in the league this season.” I am not sure why he said this or what his logic was since he did not back it up with any support, but on Sunday Dilfer actually lost all the credibility (if any) he had remaining when he said that “Jay Cutler has the chance to be the best quarterback in the league.” What league exactly is he talking about? The CFL? NFL Europe? Arena Football League 2? Because he certainly can’t be talking about the league that boasts two Mannings, Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Carson Palmer, Drew Brees, Tony Romo, and Donovan McNabb. There are plenty of other ex-players who would probably like a shot at talking about the NFL for a paycheck and I know of someone who the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” could replace.
A lot of people like to rip on John Madden for his obvious remarks in his color commentary, but the man does a good job and the broadcast with Madden and Al Michaels is a lot more pleasant to watch than listening to Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Tony Kornheiser on Monday nights.
The NFC East has a record of 11-3 and the three losses are all within the division. I don’t know anyone who would say that NFC East isn’t the best division in the league. Actually, Trent Dilfer might.
The Giants moved into first place today and they didn’t play.
On another note, Entourage has been ok so far this season. Four episodes in and nothing spectacular. The first episode was absolutely terrible. The second one showed serious promise as the show got back to having a plot. But then last week the worst episode in the series history aired, though it was followed by a somewhat decent one last night. The show has certainly dropped off a great deal since the end of Season 2 and the middle of Season 3, but I think it is about to get back in the right direction. I mean it has to because there is nothing else on TV now that the Bronx Bombers are home for the winter.
Lots and lots of coverage this week of the first place New York Football Giants, so stay tuned…