Turnover, turnovers, turnovers was the theme this week with several teams killing themselves with turnovers.
GAMES I WATCHED
New England Patriots over San Diego Chargers, 23-20
New England played very poorly on offense and defense. San Diego moved the ball up and down the field on the Patriots’ defense, while the Patriots offense could do little. There was one little problem though. San Diego kept making stupid plays and turnovers that cost them game. New England should have been blowing the Chargers out in the first half with as many opportunities as they had but took only a slim lead into the locker room.
As a Patriots fan watching the first half, I feared the second half. If San Diego cleaned up the mistakes they would probably win the game. Luckily they continued to make gaffes in the second half that allowed the Patriots to barely pull off a win.
This game was a great illustration of two things. First, the great vale of Randy Moss to the Patriots’ offense. Without that deep receiving threat San Diego blanked the Patriots’ slot receivers like Wes Welker and we could not move the ball either in the air or on the ground. The Patriots will have to establish a better running attack and/or find that deep threat to stretch the defense. Preferably both. Secondly, smart teams win games. The Patriots defense took advantage of poor decisions by the Chargers to collect two gift turnovers because they are smart and knew what to do with the San Diego mistakes. And that is why they won the game.
And yes, I thought going for it on fourth down at the end of the game to seal was a good decision. We should have made that yard. Luckily the Chargers once again shot themselves in the foot by getting a penalty on the field goal and then missed the 50 yarder.
MVP: Rob Ninkovich, LB
Baltimore Ravens over Buffalo Bills, 37-34
What a wild, wild game this was. Both offenses simply moved the ball up and down the field against the other teams’ defense. I knew Buffalo has been looking a lot better with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback but I did not expect this kind of performance against the Ravens defense.
But Ed Reed is back. He forced one fumble that cost the Bills a lot of field position and collected to interceptions, which really were the difference in the game.
Buffalo’s offense has a lot going for it with two good receivers and some solid if not spectacular running backs. It’s defense is a liability, especially the front seven. But even what I consider to be a solid defensive backfield struggled in this game. Baltimore’s defense has shown to be vulnerable in a few games but Ed Reed proved why he is so important to this team.
MVP: Ed Reed
Green Bay Packers over Minnesota Vikings, 28-24
Other than the last drive of the game Brett Favre simply looked awful and his turnovers were what cost the Vikings the game. It would appear a combination of his ankle injury and mental state given revelations of his sending salacious voice and nude text messages to a Jets’ bimbo sideline report may have really taken his concentration off the game. I was also shocked to see Jared Allen be such a non-factor this year. I have only seen one game where he really had an impact, and ironically that was in the first Green Bay-Minnesota tilt.
The Packers are not looking like world beaters either though. What promised to be a great year is turning into being one where the Packers are good but probably not good enough to take it all.
MVP: A.J. Hawk, LB
New York Giants over Dallas Cowboys, 41-35
Put a fork in them, the Cowboys are done. In this game, despite turnovers, the Giants were able to thoroughly dominate the Cowboys. With Romo out possibly for the rest of the season (I can’t imagine he will come back and play if they are out of it at the end of season) the Cowboys are probably done. Especially considering their woes on the offense line.
I’m not sure if I am a believer in the Giants but they have people calling them one of the top five teams in the league. I didn’t believe in them a few years ago either and they won it all. We will just have to see what transpires.
MVP: Hakeem Nicks, WR
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offensive Player: Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee Titans
Defensive Player: DeAngelo Hall, CB, Washington Redskins
Offensive Lineman: Chad Clifton, T, Green Bay Packers
Special Teams: Dez Bryant, WR/KR, Dallas Cowboys
Rookie of the Week: Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys