Yawn. My failure to get excited about any Ravens game is starting to turn into a weekly problem. Let’s see if taking a look at some stats will help me understand why this is so important. Um…both guys were 16 for 27…nope. Both teams only converted four 3rd downs…nah. Wait, both teams combined for only 512 yards of total offense? That’s ridiculous. I’m not writing another word about this game.
Cowboys 31, Jaguars 17
If you wanted to know just how poor Jacksonville’s secondary is, just consider this little nugget of information: In this game, Dez Bryant had 6 catches for 158 yards and it all happened in the first half. But maybe we do need to take a look at the fact that save the Arizona game, Bryant has been putting up stat lines like this one quite frequently. He’s well on his way to having a 100 yard season, and he’s becoming the big playmaker that they drafted him to be. Dallas once again looked very slick and Romo was very much in control of the game. There was a little bit of poor tackling going on over on the defensive side of the football, but it was nothing that can’t be fixed and they only gave up 17 points. Still don’t understand why we are playing games in the United Kingdom, but as long as Roger Goddell is king of the castle it looks like we’re going to for some times.
Lions 20, Dolphins 16
The Lions just keep on rolling…I think the reason no one’s talking about them being 7-2 has to be the fact that when you look at their schedule, the Packers are really the only elite team that they’ve beaten. Miami is solid, but I expected them to lose to a team like the Lions right now. What’s crazy about this is: It was a 20-16 game where neither team could run the football. And when I watch Seattle play, I can’t help but think how badly they could use Golden Tate right now. Miami will bounce back, but the race for the NFC North crown is going to be a very interesting one to watch for sure. Good thing for the Dolphins is: At least Buffalo lost so they are still in good position to scrape up that wild card slot should it become available to an AFC East team come December.
49ers 27, Saints 24 (OT)
In the first half of this one, it looked as if San Francisco was going to run away with the game. But the second half brought a lot of sloppy play on both ends, and when push came to shove New Orleans couldn’t make it happen. Probably the biggest difference between the way that this team operates now as opposed to three years ago is the fact that they simply can’t convert on third down. Brees put up all of those incredible numbers because he was allowing himself to continue those drives before. That’s not happening now, and it’s taking the wind out of that stadium when it doesn’t. All truth be told, this was a game San Francisco absolutely had to win. The last time they played in the Superdome the power went out and they failed to win at the last second, costing them the Lombardi trophy. This time the stakes weren’t nearly as high, but as soon as overtime came around their defense stepped up and put them in position for Phil Dawson to seal the deal.
Jets 20, Steelers 17
I have no idea how this happened. The fact that there is a television on in the other room showing highlights of Michael Fucking Vick doing anything other than driving into a telephone pole amazes me to a level that even I can’t put into words on a computer screen. But this is pretty much par for the course for the Steelers, isn’t it? I mean, one week they are out scoring fifty on the Colts, and then just a couple of weeks later they pull this shit. What am I supposed to think of them right now? In a division where one bad move will almost certainly cost you a playoff berth, they seem to be doing things like this at very inopportune times. A great example would be turning the ball over against the New York four times in this game, which is pretty backwards seeing as how it’s usually the Jets‘ job to give the ball away. The moral of the story is: You can never trust the Steelers. They are so different from the team they sent to Super Bowl 43…I get that Antonio Brown is a badass, but he’s never going to have 16 straight 100 yard receiving games. And that’s precisely what they would need from him to finish with a record like 13-3.
Falcons 27, Bucs 17
Hey everybody! Look over here! The Falcons won a game against…oh, Tampa. Sorry for the alarm. Check out this awesome picture of this kid getting down at his tee-ball game.
Broncos 41, Raiders 17
Just another 340 yard, five touchdown day at the office for Peyton Manning. I am a little worried that he had two picks against the only winless team in the league, but I suppose you can’t win ’em all. Oakland had thirty rushing yards, and seemingly couldn’t do anything right in the last three quarters even though they were leading this game early on. The coverage in this game was poor…(How does any defensive player take their eyes off Julius Thomas?) and at this point you’d almost have to think that Oakland is doing everything they can to see Jamies Winston in a silver and black jersey next season.
Seahawks 38, Giants 17
I’m going to sound a lot like a bitter fan whose team lost here, but Seattle’s offense is kind of garbage. First off, anybody can do that against the Giants. Second, the pace of this game was relatively even until the interception that spun the whole thing on its head. But most importantly, the Seahawks run an offense that is so far from being multi-dimensional it’s not even funny. And how long are they going to be able to get away with that sham? Russell Wilson slides to avoid any real damage, but eventually he’s going to get nailed by somebody he can’t see and their passing game is horrendous. Even at 6-3, the trust issues that I have with the Seahawks are likely going to get exposed in their divisional games with Arizona and San Francisco. A team like the Giants isn’t exactly a good measuring stick to see if they’ve got this thing figured out. Wilson is running way too much, and I’m interested to see how Lynch runs the ball against the aforementioned NFC West powerhouses. This was not a test.
Cardinals 31, Rams 14
So, am I allowed to talk about the Cardinals now? Is it fair now that they are 8-1? Is it okay to assume that the team with the best record in the league who lost their starter to a knee injury down four points against the NFL’s biggest trap team and still came back and won by seventeen points should actually be mentioned? Let’s not forget the division they play in, which is hardly the present-day NFC South. Now I know that Carson Palmer tore his ACL and is now out for the year…But let me ask you this – If he was getting no respect from anybody all year long, why is it such a big deal that they are losing him? The answer is – it’s not and I’ll still take Drew Stanton and the other 52 guys on that squad over 80% of the league. Keep in mind Stanton went right in there and took care of business in this one, sealing the win for Arizona.
Packers 55, Bears 14
While a lot of well-deserved hatred is going to be directed in Jay Cutler’s general vicinity, let’s not forget that the Bears’ secondary played one of the worst first halves known to man. You don’t give up six touchdown passes in thirty minutes and then toss every single bit of the blame on your own quarterback. The Bears’ coverage was so bad in this one that ABC probably thought about creating their own cable news network. Something should be said for the effectiveness of Aaron Rodgers here: To get to 55 points, this guy only completed 18 passes, and a third of them were touchdowns. Talk about maximizing your opportunities…The Pack’s defense stepped up here as well.
Eagles 45, Panthers 14
Monday Night Football closed out a busy week with the Eagles getting down to business and smacking Carolina around in a manner which they probably deserve. While we’d love to all sit here and crack “ButtFumble” jokes or rip Mark Sanchez because he’s in good enough shape to pose for a magazine like GQ in the first place, he did play well in this game. His numbers weren’t that of Peyton or Brady, but I’d take a guy like this over an Alex Smith who is just a game manager. As for Carolina, I don’t even really know what to say. Four turnovers by your quarterback is trouble, and why can’t they play defense again? That’s the biggest mystery of the season to me. Returning to Sanchez, great pass protection all around, and the Eagles were able to play killer defense to turn those four turnovers into points they could use. The Panthers have the easiest schedule in the NFL to finish the season out, and even in a terrible division they are still going to blow it. Nine sacks? Incredible. Truly incredible.
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