Only two undefeated teams remain: the Titans and the Giants. While Tennessee squeaked by Baltimore on an iffy roughing the passer call, the Giants obliterated the Seahawks. At this point last season the Patriots, Colts, and Cowboys were the undefeated. While parody is again being pumped into the conversation of the NFL, this year it seems it really is a reality. Some of the teams that have been dominant recently either do not have their usual divisional leads or have not won in convincing fashion. The Giants have been the only team that has flat out dominated, but will that go away once they start playing the rest of their divisional schedule? More thoughts on the week that was after the break.
Ronnie, you are the wind beneath the Dolphins single wing.
The Dolphins have doubled their win total from last year and had their first winning streak in 2 years by downing the Chargers 17-10. I thought the Chargers would be prepared for the formation but it seems they only studied it by looking at this picture:
Brown ran for 125 yards and a TD in the game while LaDanian Tomlinson only managed 35and fell short on a 4th and goal in the final quarter. The belief in Tony Sporano is growing in south Florida but in San Diego Norv will no doubt be a target of frustration for Charger fans. San Diego started slow last year and finished strong, but it's not a good habit to get in, especially with Denver being much improved.
Don't forget about the Titans.
The performance put in by Kerry Collins in the beginning of the Titans' 13-10 win where he threw 2 quick INTs leads me to believe that Vince Young could be the starter for this team and do an equitable job. Young can give a 17/32, 163 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT performance can't he? Either way the Titans strength is their defense and running game and that is the way Jeff Fisher likes it. The Ravens are increbibly close to being 4-0, but a few bad sequences against Pittsburgh and Tennessee have led to two losses. They need to increase their margin for error by increasing their offensive production so when a ref throws a bogus personal foul flag, it does not cost them the game. The Titans defense is tough, but only Cincinnati failed to score more points than the Ravens against the Titans this year.
Some Sage-ly advice: WHEN YOU'RE UP BY 17 IN THE 4TH DON'T GO FOR THE HELICOPTER ELWAY!
Honestly, I feel bad for Sage Rosenfels and he probably feels worse about his mistake than anyone. It's easy for everyone to armchair this one and say just take the slide, but in the heat of the moment, Sage wanted to be the man. He just didn't realize in this case, ducking for cover like a sissy would have made him the hero. Instead the Colts came back and won 31-27. I feel bad for Texan fans, but I don't feel any worse for them just because they have been through a hurricane; I feel as bad as I do for any team that isn't good and blows a chance to beat a good team. The Colts have pulled their two wins out of you know where because the weaker teams have folded late in the game. That's what makes Peyton and company great; we may play like crap but you make one mistake(or three) and we will make you pay. The Colts are 2-2 and not looking especially sharp, but don't be surprised if the Colts do this to the bad teams on their schedule over and over again and squeeze a playoff run out of this. So to recap Sage, when playing a regular season game and winning by 17 in the 4th, slide, don't get this look and go for it:
When you are in the Super Bowl and driving for the go ahead score, then you go for it and hold onto the ball:
They might be...Patriots?
The Giants decimation of the Seahawks 44-6 as mentioned earlier lends credence to the thought that they could emerge as a dominating force in the NFL. Eli and the offense seems capable of scoring on anyone in the league and Justin Tuck and the defense are solid despite losing Strahan and Osi. There are some interesting parrallels between the Giants and the Patriots after they won their first Super Bowl. Long time defensive coaches from the Parcells tree much maligned in the past after bringing other franchises to the playoffs and not having a good media relationship win their first title in the underdog role. Unproven quarterback leads game-winning drive and is named Super Bowl MVP and begins to open up the offense. Players with not much expected from them stepping up and making plays. Fans of the team becoming more and more unbearable. Just kidding on that last one, Giants fans were always annoying. Just be careful Giants fans, or you will become like Red Sox fans and turn into what you hate.
Side note: Got to love They Might Be Giants, any group that has the lyrics, "He wants a shoehorn, the kind with teeth, people should get beat up, for stating their beliefs" deserves a nod.
Momma said they was my magic shoes!
The Blue Suede of Atlanta is doing the unthinkable for the Falcons after leading them to a 27-24 win at Lambeau Field. Rodgers will most likely catch grief for the loss which sends Green Bay under .500 even though he was over 300 yards and had 3 TDs with a hurt shoulder, but Ryan Grant has not exactly been gangbusters so far this season and the defense which was seen as the strength of the team has been riddled with injuries. The Falcons now sit tied for second in their division and with one more win would equal their total from last year. Ryan was so giddy he even posed for a little invisible statue of liberty on the field:
Dallas star popped all those breath-savers for nothing.
It is hard to give a moral victory to a team that has acted so immorally off the field and so horribly in the front office, but the Bengals deserve some credit for their 31-22 loss in Dallas. Chad Johnson had 3 grabs for 43 yards, outshined by his teammate T.J. Houshmandzadeh(championship) who caught 2 TD passes. The Bengals would eventually bungle the game though even after recovering a surprise onside kick. Terrell Owens was relatively quiet execpt when he broke for a 57 yard score. Afterwards Owens was reluctant to address questions related to his comments following alst week's game. The debate about T.O. rages on, but it is certain the Cowboys have not looked particularly sharp so far this year.
Legends of Zorn
When the Eagles jumped up out to a 14-0 lead, many who thought the Redskins could not handle the tough road test two weeks in a row thought they were right. However, the Eagles only scored 3 more points in the whole game. Washington again played ball control with Clinton Portis who ran for 145 yards, while Philadelphia suffered another injury to Brian Westbrook, this time in the form of broken ribs. The Eagles also got stopped on the goal-line for the second straight week. One of the smartest things Zorn did as he took over the head coaching job is that he kept many of the assistant coaches that Joe Gibbs had on his staff. This not only keeps continuity with the players but the coaches themselves were good coaches and have gotten the Redskins prepared to make it through the last couple of weeks. The rest of their divisional games will not be at home and after being picked to tank in the NFC East, the Redskins might end up winning it.