I turned on the NFL Channel when I got home from work and they were getting ready to show New England’s 35-34 loss to the Indianapolis Colts as an “instant classic.” I wanted to puke. Does that mean I am going to be subjected to highlights of this game the rest of the season, and possibly in perpetuity, like I am Super Bowl XLII highlights?
So the NFL wants to extend the regular season to 18 games? Just off the top of my head I can name several marquee players this week that were injured: Cedric Benson, Brian Westbrook, Troy Polamalu, Kyle Orton, Terrell Suggs, Joshua Cribbs, Michael Turner, and Ronnie Brown. I may be forgetting a few, but you get the picture.
Last week I said was that a crash I was hearing, the Denver Broncos coming down to earth? This week I really did hear a crash as they lost to the Washington Redskins. Granted Washington probably played its best game of the season, but Denver has lost three in a row. Meanwhile San Diego is on the rise. Their game this weekend will be an important one for both teams.
While Denver is looking like pretenders, the Cincinnati Bengals look like contenders. They have swept Pittsburgh and control the AFC North.
Speaking of Cincinnati, doesn’t it just figure they would sign Larry Johnson? He fits right in.
Finally, what is up with the Dallas Cowboys? The entire NFC East is a mess. They were horrible against the Packers.
And Aaron Rodgers, who I like a lot, needs to get rid of the ball faster. He is taking a beating but against the Cowboys he could have avoided some of the hits.
Brady Quinn looks like a bust. Alex Smith already was one.
Finally I am crushed that Ronnie Brown is out for the season with a foot injury. I don’t like the Dolphins and would just as soon see them go 0-16 but I love great football players and what Brown was doing this year running the Wildcat formation was phenomenal. Now the AFC East has lost two great running backs in Leon Washington and Ronnie Brown, both who I have a great deal of admiration for. No, I’m not like the Jets fans who cheered over Brady’s injury last year and crowed that they were the new team in the AFC East. I have more class than that.
GAMES I WATCHED
Indianapolis Colts over New England Patriots, 35-34
I wrote my comments on this already, you can see it here: https://cdbaker.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/bill-belichick-is-afraid-of-peyton-manning/
The synopsis, the Patriots have a lot of positives to take away from the game. They basically gave the game away, and I’m not just talking about Bill Belichick’s no infamous call on 4th and 2 from their own 28 at the end of the game. I just hope they can rebound and beat the New York Jets this weekend. I don’t want to go into a tailspin. I think they will beat the Jets, and can beat the Saints.
Indianapolis at 9-0 and a relatively easy schedule could run the table and go 16-0. But I don’t think they will.
MVP: Reggie Wayne, WR
San Francisco 49’ers over Chicago Bears, 10-6
Oh my, two bottom feeders rolling around in the muck. Jay Cutler looked awful with five interceptions. Granted some of them were partially the fault of his receivers but this was really a joke. Cutler, the big bad, I am going to be the leader of the team, I’m the next coming of John Elway, I am going to have input into the 53 man roster. I love seeing this whiny brat, wannabe John Elway get his comeuppance. He looks awful, his team looks awful, and the Bears got what they paid for.
San Francisco’s offensive didn’t look much better. Four interceptions (not counting the one late in the game) and you only score 10 points? Even a mediocre offense would have blow the Bears out of this game and made it a laugher. I’m sorry but Alex Smith just does not look like the quarterback of the future to me. The quarterback position on this team needs to be addressed.
What the 49’ers do have is heart, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, and a solid defense. I think Mike Singletary is taking this team in the right direction.
MVP: Frank Gore, RB
Cincinnati Bengals over Pittsburgh Steelers, 18-12
The Cincinnati Bengals have swept the Pittsburgh Steelers and have proven to be a real contender in the AFC. Their defense continues to play extremely well and I am very, very impressed with their offensive line. They have one of the best offensive lines in the league. And while the offensive did not score a lot of points, they did enough to win and they basically controlled this game for the most part.
Pittsburgh is a great team as well but they certainly are not the same team without Troy Polamalu in the lineup. While Pittsburgh is on my list of teams I least want to see win, I hope Polamalu recovers. I love watching this guy play.
Rookie running back and kick returner Bernard Scott had a superman game, running a kickoff for a touchdown and filling in for the injured Cedric Benson.
MVP: Bernard Scott, RB/KR
Green Bay Packers over Dallas Cowboys, 17-7
Dallas is a hard to team to figure out, as is Tony Romo. Sometimes they look like an upper echelon team and sometimes they look like the Cleveland Browns in a different uniform. This week they were atrocious and so was Tony Romo. A lot of that can be laid at the feet of an offensive line that looked overmatched by the Green Bay Packers.
Charles Woodson, Green Bay’s veteran cornerback had a career day with two forced fumbles, a sack, and an interception. He was all over the field. It helped that the Packers defensive line was able to get penetration into the Dallas backfield. A shout out should go to Packer defensive tackle Johnny Jolly who disrupted numerous plays.
Dallas lost their left tackle Mark Colombo during the game, which is scary given that they are weak at the tackle position. Flozell Adams is a joke. And that was part of Dallas’ problem.
Meanwhile I thought Green Bay’s offensive line played better than they usually do, but Rodgers was not helping them much by holding onto the ball too long and taking hits. He needs to get out of that habit, fast.
I love seeing Dallas lose so this was a fun game to watch.
MVP: Charles Woodson, CB
Baltimore Ravens over Cleveland Browns, 16-0
Cleveland looked pathetic and inept in this game. Eric Mangenius sure made this team look better this year, didn’t he? That was one of the worst displays of professional football I have seen since, well, the Tennessee Titans laid down against the Patriots earlier this year.
Brady Quinn is really starting to look like a bust. He played horribly, as did his receivers, and the entire offense.
But Baltimore had no business looking as awful as they did either. The score was 0-0 at halftime. Baltimore, despite having three good running backs, even and excellent one in Ray Rice, had no business looking this bad and out of sync. They played down to the level of competition.
As one of the announcers said, the best unit on this night was the Browns defensive line. The dominated the action. I feel back for not giving Shaun Rodgers a shout out on my Midseason Pro Bowl team. When he gets it going he is almost unblockable.
This game was badly marred by Brady Quinn’s low block on Terrell Suggs that will knock him out of action for an undetermined amount of time. And then Joshua Cribbs got jacked up and hospitalized on the last play of the game that certainly looked like a cheap shot by Suggs’ backup, Dwan Edwards.
Both teams say the cheap shots weren’t intentional. I guess I will take their word for it.
This was a forgettable game, otherwise.
MVP: Ray Rice, RB
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Offensive Player: Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans (232 total yards rushing and receiving)
Defensive Player: Charles Woodson, CB, Green Bay Packers
Offensive Lineman: Sebastian Vollmer, T, New England Patriots
Special Teams: Bernard Scott, KR/RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Rookie of the Week: Bernard Scott, KR/RB, Cincinnati