by Ryan Meehan
We all remember the story of the tortoise and the hare. Week Eight in the NFL proved that a lot of teams thought they would cruise to easy victories, and a majority of them were able to sneak out of it with a win. So in most cases the hare won the race, but he still ended up looking like a complete buffoon in the process. Let’s investigate:
Giants 20, Dolphins 17
Remember when I mentioned a few days ago that Trey Wingo said on NFL Live that the Giants scale back their intensity when they are playing teams they believe they are much better than? Big Blue got housed for the majority of this game by a team that was winless and it was ugly. Domenik Hixon got injured which isn’t good. The Dolphins can go ahead and fire Tony Sporano any time now. Nobody would notice or care. They are most likely to draft a quarterback so they’re going to want to start over anyway. You at least teach the guy how to clean the filter of the Dolphin cage as opposed to waiting until the year’s over to have the both of you come out and lay an egg on Monday Night against the Patriots opening week.
Texans 24, Jaguars 14
Another 110+ yard performance for Arian Foster. Awesome statistic for a guy with such an unfortunately pronounced first name. See everybody, the Jaguars weren’t going to go on a tear after beating the Ravens last week. Schaub? I’d give it about a B-, he missed some big opportunities to blow this game wide open but he doesn’t need to be a lot.
Titans 27, Colts 10
Tennessee intercepted Curtis Painter twice and turned both opportunities into touchdowns as the Colts fell to 0-8. If I were the Texans I guess I’d be afraid of the Titans but I’d probably be more afraid of myself. I haven’t really viewed Tennessee as a dominant AFC team this year no matter what was happening. I see that Hasselbeck put up 224 yards, which I know already without looking because he is kind of non threatening in that sort of “old-balding probably-shouldn’t be in the NFL-except-for-the-fact-that my brother is an analyst on television” sort of way.
Ravens 30, Cardinals 27
So Baltimore gets down early, at one point they’re down 24-6 and it’s a total joke. Kevin Kolb looks very sharp (haven’t heard that sentence fragment much this year) and it appears the Ravens are going to drop another game against a bad team. But then Flacco gets hot and all hell breaks loose. And then the Cardinals cave on defense, because they’re the Cardinals and that’s what they stand for. Anquan Boldin gets his revenge, but everybody’s still suspect of Baltimore this week.
Rams 31, Saints 21
I don’t even know what to say. Before this one even started, I was actually hoping that the Saints would break the record for number of points in a two game set, but they didn’t look nearly as lit as they were last Monday. I bet the Rams are wishing two things after this one: That the 49ers didn’t get off to such a great start, and that they would have started A.J. Feeley from the beginning of the year. By winning this game, they may have taken themselves out of the “Suck for Luck” race, but if they are confident that Sam Bradford is their guy then this is a huge win for them even though he didn’t play at all. Saints had me believing last week but this hurts. Most of the highlights from this game did revolve around 3 sacks by Long, and deservedly so. Comparatively speaking, I guess you could say this was very similar to the loss to the Seahawks in the Wild Card round in that we figured there was no way the Saints were going to lose. So much for that.
Vikings 24, Panthers 21
Cam Newton is busting his ass, but the Panthers make the type of mistakes that cause you to come up short by 3 or 7 points quite frequently. I feel bad for Olindo Mare. It’s hard to tell what went wrong, I didn’t think the snap was that poor. Adrian Peterson still looks good but other than that there’s not a lot to see here. Although I do wish I was a huge Panthers fan so that I could paint the inside of my apartment that shade of turquoise and still avoid being committed to a mental hospital. But I digress…
Lions 45, Broncos 10
Tim Tebow had a QBR of 3.4 Sunday. There will be tons of fans jumping off the Tim Tebow bandwagon this week and rightfully so. The Lions play really, really “dirty football” which some of you may know by its other name: “Football”. After the game an unnamed Lions player said that the Lions were talking to each other mocking the fact that Tebow is even strting in the NFL and of course they were jawing at him severly after sacks. I’m not bothered by the way the Lions behave because Suh and Cliff Avril are bringing it every play and if they can back it up, good for them. And on the offensive side of the ball for Stafford to look that good coming off an injury was very impressive. The Lions just have to distance themselves from being viewed as a wild card tem. They need to go out there and say “We CAN be 13-3” because if for some reason they can in the NFC North that would be incredibly tough.
Steelers 25, Patriots 17
God dammit. What’s odd about this (as bossman said) is the fact that New England had completely “pwned” the Steelers and Pittsburgh was beat up to all hell. Roethliseberger: 36 of 50 and the Steelers are now 6-2 and headed in the right direction. I’m not sure they always deserve it, but they deserve it more than a lot of other squads. Pittsburgh was 10 of 16 on 3rd downs, and that’s where you make your money. (New England was 3 for 10) The Patriots have problems on defense that almost seem unidentifiable. They have the athletic ability, but it just seems like at moments they lack the know-how to stop a drive in its tracks.
Bills 23, Redskins 0
If the Redskins didn’t look fake earlier on in the year, they sure as hell do right now. They went all the way to another country and didn’t bring back any points? The nephews and nieces are gonna be pissed. If we can all admit that we enjoy certain instances in sports where teams get exposed like that, I happen to enjoy this moment in NFL history a lot. And here’s a take on Washington that you won’t agree with right away: I still think it was a great idea to bench Grossman. A great idea actually. Listen, if he got benched with them on top of the division a third of the way through the season, what makes you think throwing him back in there is going to do any good? I get it that Beck was terrible in this game but what are you going to do? You made your bed, now you lie in it.
49ers 20, Browns 10
For as much as I whiff with these picks, every once in a while I hit the nail right on the head by picking this one down to the point. It’s a shame it’s suck a quarterback’s league when it comes to the individual awards, because I love the idea of Frank Gore as an MVP candidate. He’s a smooth operator. We’re getting into portion of the season where records are really starting to matter, and San Francisco is 6-1. In an era where there ARE so many good quarterbacks it’s going to be hard for a team like the 49ers to go the distance with that style of football. They don’t exactly use the west coast offense anymore: They’re a ground and pound football team with a slightly above average QB (both in skill and in talent) that is hitting a hot streak at the right time. Cleveland’s special teams played well and that was pretty much it.
Eagles 34, Cowboys 7
Every week I watch at least one game with my father and this was it because there’s nothing we like more (other than seeing the Giants pull one out of their ass) than watching the Eagles and Cowboys beat the hell out of each other. As it turns out, only one team would beat the hell out of the other team, and the Eagles were that team. LeSean McCoy had 185 yards, ripped jersey and all. Those were the Eagles that I thought were going to show up week one: There they were. It’s hard for me not to still bite on the Eagles because they can go out and do something like that when they are under the gun. Regardless of the standings, they’re in great shape: The Redskins are playing like shit, they obviously have the Cowboys’ number, and the Giants are by far the worst 5-2 team in recent NFL history.
Chiefs 23, Chargers 20
San Diego blew this game. They has the ball deep in Chiefs territory and then Rivers fumbled the snap. Heartbreaking, but the Chargers didn’t exactly capitalize on the pace of this game: They had 9 drives inside the Chiefs 35 and they scored 4 field goals and only one touchdown. The Chargers have to realize that there are 60 minutes in a football game.
Most Noticeable Thoughts from Week Eight:
Aside from the Saints collapsing the concept that grabbed me more than anything dates back to 2000 and Super Bowl 35 where the Baltimore Ravens abused the New York Giants all day long. The Ravens and the Giants couldn’t be more alike right now. They both almost lost to awful teams today, they are both at the crests of their divisions and probably don’t deserve it, and they are most likely both frauds when it counts the most. Other fact that kept coming up was that Pittsburgh held Tom Brady to 17 points without intercepting him once.
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