Well, technically since there are 17 weeks to the season, we were halfway there halfway through last week, but for the purposes of this post, we will say now we are at the halfway mark of the 2008 NFL season. There are plenty of surprises and dissapointments to go around and now as we enter the downhill part of the race for the playoffs, we will see which teams will be little runaways and which ones are livin' on a prayer. Yes, I do realize Bon Jovi is lame now.
It's Rexy time
The fates have yielded Rex Grossman another shot, not to be the starter but to keep the Bears on track in the NFC North. After Orton went down against the Lions, Grossman had 2 TDs, and one pick of course to lead the Bears to a 27-23 win at home. It may seem unfair that Rex will have his first start this week against the Titans and the number one scoring defense, but those are the breaks. With Orton's status as of this moment still unknown, it looks like Grossman will be in there for awhile. I hope he has been paying attention on the sidelines and not thinking of his conquests off the field. Having Matt Forte should help though.
That Catfish Jacksonville pick not looking so hot now
Not that my New England/Dallas pick is looking any better but the Jags were the trendy AFC pick this year and they have preceeded to fall on their face due to losses up front on defense and injuries up front on offense. I wonder when was the last time a team lost consecutively to the Browns and Bengals? It may have been only a few years ago when the two teams were somewhat decent, but this year that is not a good two game stretch. The Bengals ended their donut streak with the 21-19 win.
Brady will start next week! Oh, Brady Quinn...
Following the 37-27 Browns' loss to the Ravens on Sunday, it has been announced that Quinn will get his first start in a football game since LSU spanked him and Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl a few years ago. I felt Romeo Crennel gave Derek Anderson ample opportunity to get the team into playoff contention and if the Browns had won they would have been a healthy 4-4, but instead they fall to 3-5, 3 games off the division lead. The Ravens keep pace with the Steelers and it seems their offense is starting to develop into a cohesive unit and a lot of that ahs to do with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
Titans defense taking turns
This Titans team is reminding me more and more of the Ravens' 13-3 team of a few years ago lead by Steve McNair. The offense is minimal, but they have enough of a running game to get down the field. The defense, of course their centerpiece and the ability for different players to step up in their games bodes well for the rest of the season. Against Indy it was their secondary making big plays, and most of the time it is their defensive line lead by Albert Haynesworth, but on Sunday it was the Linebackers, especially Steven Tulloch who lead them against the Packers in the 19-16 overtime win. Even when the game went to overtime, it appeared the Titans had control the whole way. Chris Johnson has to be near or at the top of the list when it comes to backs catching screens out of the backfield. Last week I said it will be interesting to see how the Titans handle the pressure as the weeks go on, and on Sunday it appeared that the answer was very well.
The Blue Suede cometh
Earlier this season I mentioned how Matt Ryan and the Falcons were beating the teams they were supposed to beat. On Sunday Atlanta embarrassed an organization that many feel should be embarrassed when they beat Oakland 24-0. This year, the Falcons have beat the lowly teams on their schedule, Detriot, KC, and the Raiders 96-35 collectively. The Raiders are in complete disarray and it will be a long cold winter by the bay as long as Al Davis still has his icy grip on the decision making for the team. The Falcons are only 1 game back in the NFC South, and just because I like the picture, here's Blue Suede and his invisible Statue of Liberty in honor of Election Day.
Dallas does an impressive lawnchair impersonation
There is a popular motivational book out there called "Talent is Never Enough" and the Cowboys might want to read a few passages and do some of the self-exercises. With 13 pro-bowlers on the team, you would think they would unite together and make up for Romo being absent but the team is playing with zero belief right now and the lack of performance on the field is magnifying the problem off the field. The Giants took full advantage in their 35-14 win and the Cowboys will only face equal if not harder games ahead.
Jabar Gaffney invokes the ghost of Reche Caldwell
The Reche Caldwell drop in the RCA dome 2 years ago in the AFC Championship game will haunt me as a Pats fan forever. I spent the first half of that game drinking Negro Modelos and getting bombed as the Pats jumped out to a 21-3 lead. The second half was mostly a haze after I spent halftime leaving slurred voicemails on friends' phones, but I will never forget when Reche dropped that ball and I bet neither will he.
Fellow former Florida Gator Jabar Gaffney dropped a wide open TD pass in the Colts 18-15 win Sunday night. The David Thomas personal foul and the New England timeout mismanagement were bad too but if Gaffney catches that pass they would probably be an afterthought. The Colts remain alive in the playoff hunt and the Pats move into a three way tie for the division.
Must...refrain...from...profanity laced tiraid of Berman
Chris Berman really thought he was the cat's pajamas last night as he interviewed the presidential candidates during halftime of Pittsburgh's 23-6 win over Washington. Surprisingly, TWWL hyped these interviews as much as possible and thanks to Xtra Medium and his stick work on the remote we avoided them. I generally have no interest in mixing politics with sports but if Berman and company wanted to bang the drum so be it. My problem was at the end when they were going to commercial and Berman says get out and vote because it is our duty and privelege. For some reason this makes me want to stab his face with a rusty screwdriver. I know how important voting is douchebag! I don't need a f$#%king sports broadcaster telling me that on the eve of the election. AHHHHHH! What a douchebag! Sports + Politics + ESPN= DO NOT WANT! Oh yeah, the Steelers defense is really carrying the team and Leftwich was solid.