Monday Morning Hangover


The Giants had no problem yesterday with the Cowboys and their backup quarterback Brad Johnson and his backup Brooks Bollinger. The two were a combined 14 for 27 with one TD and 3 INTs.

The Giants weren’t great, but they were good enough to win by 21 points. After going up 7-0 on the first drive of the game, the G-Men were able to set the tone for the rest of the game as Dallas would play behind the entire game and might not have got on the scoreboard all day if not for a terrible pick six thrown by Eli Manning.

So the Giants sit pretty right now at 7-1 and have dropped their magic number to clinch the division to eight with a chance to get it even lower tonight with a Redskins loss to the Steelers.

Meanwhile the Cowboys have found the basement in the NFC East, a bet that many people wouldn’t have dared to take in the preseason as the national consensus was that the Big D would win the Beast and receive a first round bye. Instead they sit at 5-4 after nine weeks of inconsistent football and their star QB remains sidelined with a broken pinkie while Wade Phillips throws out 40-year old arms and just about anyone with a speck of NFL experience into the main position on the supposed “America’s Team.”

But, with the bye week this week, Dallas gets a chance to regroup for their final eight games of the 2008 season, a stretch where they will need to go 5-2 for a 10-win season, which as of right now might not even get the job done given the state of the NFC.

The Dallas Cowboys are done. That’s right. With seven games left on their schedule and the return of Tony Romo on the horizon I am mathematically eliminating the Dallas Cowboys from the 2008 NFL postseason picture. Now some might say this sort of prediction is premature, bold, and even ballsy, and while our friends over at The Landry Hat probably don’t want to hear it, but it’s true.

Before this season most people though the Cowboys would win the Super Bowl. When the Patriots lost their golden boy, the rest of the people joined the Cowboys bandwagon and crowned them XLIII Champs.

There are going to be the Dallas fans who blame this season on injuries and the loss of Tony Romo, but the fact of the matter is that no one cares. And I don’t say that to be mean or rude, but that’s the truth. No one cares.

When the Yankees lost Chien-Ming Wang and Jorge Posada for the season and Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Joba Chamberlain, and Hideki Matsui for extended periods of time, did anyone care? Did anyone sit back and feel sorry for the depleted Yankees? Did they postpone the schedule or delay the postseason for the Yankees? No, no, and no. The fact of the matter is that only Yankee fans will remember 2008 as the season that nearly the entire team landed on the DL at some point. But to the rest of the world, the 2008 Yankees were the team that broke the consecutive postseason appearance streak and closed out the greatest sports venue in the world with a meaningless win against the Baltimore Orioles.

While the Cowboys won’t have the chance to break a postseason appearance streak, they will extend their postseason winless streak to 12 years and will close out Texas Stadium with a meaningless game against the Ravens in Week 16. And while Dallas supporters will look back on this year as the year a 40-year old QB was starting games to save their season, everyone else will remember the 2008 Cowboys as a bunch of individuals who failed miserably.

Since I love the Yankees and despise the Cowboys, it hurts to use the two to draw a comparison, but it couldn’t be truer.

Does this mean that the Giants, Redskins, and Eagles are all making the playoffs? No, not at all. I mean yes the Giants and Redskins will be playing football in January, but the Eagles might not be.

There isn’t a football fan in the world who thought that the Beast wouldn’t place three teams in the playoff picture, but now it is becoming less and less a reality with each week. Because even with the Eagles turning up the heat now in Week 9, there are only two wild card spots to go around and the NFC has not only become the superior conference, it has become the dominant conference.

My friend called me shortly before the game and asked if I thought the Giants would cover for betting purposes. I told him that not only would the Giants cover, but it would be an easy cover and that the Giants would make it a laugher with a 31-13 win.

While I was a bit off with the exact score, I was right on with the prediction. The Giants came out of the gates with the plan to put the Cowboys away early and they did just that opening up the game 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Out in Seattle the Eagles kept the Seahawks off the scoreboard except for one ridiculous and lucky 90-yard pass from Seneca Wallace to Koren Robinson. I thought the Eagles would make the playoffs before the season began and that the Redskins would be the lone team in the Beast that wouldn’t get into the playoff picture. Now more than halfway through the season it seems I was right about the Eagles, but terribly wrong about Washington.

The Eagles now control their own destiny after a horrific 2-3 start to the season as they were the only team giving the NFC East a bad name. But they have since righted the ship with the return of Brian Westbrook and are now winners’ of three straight.

I didn’t think the Colts would lose last night to the Patriots and I was happy to see Indy pulled out the 18-15 win at the hands of Bill Belichick. The Colts were as desperate as a team could be looking to get back on track and form some sort of rhythm with a team that has been marred by injuries the entire season.

Congratulations to the Cincinnati Bengals who were the 31st team to join the win column in the league.

And a not so happy day for the Detroit Lions who might remain winless in 2008. The Lions had a 23-13 lead at halftime and were not able to close the deal against the Bears. If they couldn’t win yesterday, I am not sure if they will this year.

J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS! I was shocked probably more so than anyone, but the New York Jets beat the Buffalo Bills and you have to give them credit. It was an improbable win at least in my eyes considering the Jets barely beat the Chiefs and lost to the Raiders the week before. But good for the Jets who have made the AFC East a whole lot more interesting.

NE 5-3
NYJ 5-3
BUF 5-3
MIA 4-4

But then again it couldn’t have been this interesting without the rise of the .500 Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins lost to the Jets in Week 1 (a game I am sure they wish they had back) and have not looked back since. The Dolphins went to Denver and beat a great team at home in the Denver Broncos. But then again anyone who has watched even one Broncos game this year knows they are anything but the real deal. The Broncos are trying to beat records in the turnovers department and have a defense that I am not sure cannot even be considered a “defense” given the definition of the term.

The Dolphins would give this award a run for its money, but ladies and gentlemen the G-Men HQ’s 2008 Comeback Team of the Year Award goes to the 2008 Atlanta Falcons. If I could summarize what has gone on with the Falcons over the first half of the season, one word comes to mind. Wow. There is no one and when I say no one I mean no one. Not even the most die-hard of Falcons fans who eats, sleeps, and breathes Atlanta Falcons football thought that a season like this was possible. At 5-3 the Falcons are not only a the biggest surprise of the season, but also a serious playoff contender. I would like to apologize to Matt Ryan who I did not think was capable of being an NFL quarterback and a big hand to the Falcons front office, management, and coaching staff for completely turning around a franchise in such short time.

I understand that the Falcons only beat the Raiders, a team that might have some trouble clinching a playoff berth in the CFL, but the Falcons did win on the road. And that is the same road that the Jets lost on at Oakland and the same road that the Bills needed overtime on to come away with a W.

1. Tennesse Titans – The Giants would beat them, but it would be kind of ridiculous if I put the G-Men here over a team without a loss.

2. New York Giants – Another week, another win, and this time it was against the Lost ‘Boys.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers – Might flip flop with No. 4 after tonight.

4. Washington Redskins – See No. 3.

5. Carolina Panthers – A bye week for the Panthers, but they remain the most underrated team in the league.

28. Seattle Seawhawks – Pretty bad.

29. Cincinnati Bengals – Bad.

30. Kansas City Chiefs – Awful.

31. Oakland Raiders – Terrible.

32. Detroit Lions – The worst.

A 6-7 week so far after a nice 10-4 performance last week. The season record is at 69-60 and I am taking Washington tonight.

This game should be a battle the way the Giants and Steelers battled last week. The only difference is that Steelers are on the road now and they are a completely different team on the road. Had this game been scheduled for the Steel City I would have a hard time taking the Redskins here who had a hard time beating the Lions on the road. But Washington will be home and for that reason I like their chances. However, as much as I think they will win, I still want them to lose. A Redskin loss drops the Giants magic number to seven and puts Big Blue two games ahead of the second place Redskins. So, on that note…GO STEELERS (even though I think you will lose).