Saints / Colts
Wow! What is there to say about this 62-7 embarrassment that hasn’t already been said? Drew Brees pretty much does whatever he wants to do with the football, and Sunday night’s snoozer against the Colts epitomized that. Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, Marques Colston. It’s unfair. The Colts? They’re pathetic.
Jaguars / Ravens
Speaking of pathetic, what a shitty showing by the Ravens offense. The Jacksonville Jaguars held you to 0 first half first downs. How do you not even accidently get one first half first down? The Ravens defense showed up, forcing a MJD fumble on seemingly every other carry, but they were upstaged by their Jaguar counterparts. I know this is the NFL and anyone can beat anyone, but that was absolutely ridiculous.
Falcons / Lions
Atlanta turned in a solid performance and looks to have avoided a major injury to Matt Ryan. They’re off this week and have a bye the following week in Indy. That’s two home losses in a row for the Lions. Stafford’s a little dinged up, and they’re heading to Denver, a place that’s never a cake walk for visitors.
Cowboys / Rams
Welcome to the NFL DeMarco Murray. Showing how easy it is to play in the NFL, Murray took his first carry of the game 91 yards for a the tone setting score. The rookie ended up with 253 yards on the day, breaking Emmitt Smith’s franchise single game rushing record. How Dez Bryant isn’t catching at least 8 passes for over 100 yards every game is beyond me. With his talent, he needs to see double digit targets weekly. I’m eager to see which Cowboys team shows up in Philly this Sunday night.
Packers / Vikings
Aaron Rodgers is unshakeable. You can’t watch him play without coming away impressed with the control he exerts over the offense and how smoothly he consistently leads his team down the field. I’m still waiting for James Starks to have that signature game where he really separates from Ryan Grant. It’s coming. Sure he got real familiar with Charles Woodson a couple of times, but you had to come away from that game impressed with Christian Ponder. They’re a substantially more threatening offense with him under center, and with teams now needing to respect the passing game beyond 15 yards, Adrian Peterson was able to do a lot more damage. See his 175 yards on 24 carries. Jared Allen continues to dominate. He now has 11.5 sacks in just 7 games.
Texans / Titans
I really didn’t see that ass kicking coming. Without their best weapon on both sides of the ball, the Texans went into Tennessee and laid a whooping on the Titans. Arian Foster totaled 234 yards from scrimmage on the day, smashing Chris Johnson’s pathetic 45 in a matchup of showcase backs. Matt Schaub was nearly flawless, and Matt Hasselbeck threw for a ridiculous 3.5 yards per attempt. Four Texans receivers tallied more yards than Tennessee’s top receiver. Houston looks to be back on track with three very winnable games ahead – v. JAX, v. CLE, and @ TB, while Tennessee is fading badly. How they play these next two weeks v. IND and v. CIN will say a lot about this team’s heart.
Jets / Chargers
There was a Shonn Greene sighting in this one. It was his first 100 yard game in over a year, so I’m not buying just yet. Sanchez again did just enough to not lose the game. After sitting out this week, the Jets will travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills in a matchup to keep pace with New England. If the Chargers want to be taken seriously, they need to win games like this. Something tells me San Diego is going to lose at Kansas City on MNF. Philip Rivers doesn’t look right, but he says he’s not hurt. Stay tuned.
Bears / Bucs
The comeback was nice and all, but a narrow loss is a loss. Here’s some Buccaneer word association:
Josh Freeman = sloppy, indecisive
Kregg Lumpkin = ineffective
Adrian Clayborn = improving
Rush offense = non-existent
Rush defense = more non-existent
Jackson-less secondary = unskilled
Bucs primary needs – CB, WLB, RB, S, RT, C, LG
Panthers / Redskins
No one is happier about Cam Newton’s development than Steve Smith. The veteran receiver put up his fourth 140+ yard game in seven contests. That’s amazing. If Jonathan Stewart is ever allowed to be the primary ball carrier this offense would be even more dangerous. John Beck didn’t flop in his first start as a Redskin, but losing both Tim Hightower and Santana Moss to injuries won’t help his development. Both teams have what I call “show me” games this weekend. Carolina will try and post consecutive wins for the first time this season against the Vikings while the Skins will look to stay in the NFC East race by beating the Bills in Buffalo.
Chiefs / Raiders
It’s tough to win a game without a player of Darren McFadden’s caliber, especially when your QB situation is as ugly as Oakland’s. Kyle Boller was awful, and Carson Palmer was rusty as hell. They combined for 6 interceptions, and their combined QB rating doesn’t break 40. Unless Palmer finds some game, this team isn’t going anywhere. Jason Campbell may not have been this team’s best player, but his loss may have the biggest impact of any other player on the Raiders roster. The Chiefs scored on two short runs and two pick sixes, so don’t go getting cocky Matt Cassel. He wasn’t much better than Palmer. I’m predicting a big MNF game from Steve Breaston this week. He’ll be lining up against a rookie first time starter, Marcus Gilchrist.
Steelers / Cardinals
Banged up or not, the Steelers had no business leaving Arizona with a loss. Ben Roethlisberger made sure that didn’t happen, throwing for 361 yards and 3 TDs. That secondary still can’t stop anyone, but the Steelers can’t like the fact that Rashard Mendenhall was only 13 for 32 on the ground. The NFL has its share of elite athletes, but Mike Wallace is really a joy to watch. The man is scary fast and separates better than anyone in the game. Kevin Kolb isn’t getting any better, and the Cardinals are no closer to having a franchise passer than they were before the season started.
Seahawks / Browns
275 combined passing yards in this one. Where’s the beef? Browns win a snoozer of two teams headed nowhere fast this season. Mike Tirico referred to this one as a pillow fight on MNF.
Broncos / Dolphins
What was worse – Tim Tebow’s first 50+ minutes of action or the Dolphins’ collapse? Only Tebow can look like garbage all afternoon and pull a win out of his ass to look like a savior. Losing Willis McGahee for at least a couple of weeks won’t help things.
Best and Worst
Best Teams (Previous Rank)
1 – Packers (1)
Impressively plowing through this season just like they did last year’s playoffs.
2 – Saints (3)
If you weren’t paying attention to them before last Sunday, you are now.
3 – Patriots (4)
Strong, needed win against the Cowboys helps reassert them in the division.
4 – Ravens (2)
That’s two brutal, inexcusable losses for the Ravens this year. Championship teams don’t lose those games.
5 – Steelers (6)
They’re not interested in pity, just Ws.
6 – Texans (NR)
They’re focused even without Johnson and Williams and just won the first of a possible five game streak.
7 – Chargers (7)
This is probably too high for them, and if they stumble on MNF on the road against the Chiefs, you’re looking at likely three straight losses after a game against the Packers.
8 – Bills (8)
I expect the Bills to come out of their bye focused and win their next two games, both at home, against the Redskins and Jets.
OUT – Lions (5)
Worst Teams (Previous Rank)
1 – Indianapolis (1)
Uh, that was embarrassing.
2 – St. Louis (5)
I just can’t make excuses for them any more. They’re bad.
3 – Miami (3)
Of these three pathetic teams, the Dolphins make me laugh the most. They’re inept offensively and are just a soft team.
4 – Jacksonville (2)
Bravo Jags for showing up on MNF. Where has that been, and will we see it again?
5 – Minnesota (4)
If they keep Christian Ponder under center, they’ll be off this list before Thanksgiving.
6 – Arizona (NR)
Winless since the opener, they get a pissed off Ravens team this Sunday. Enjoy.
7 – Denver (7)
Do it again Baby Jesus! Do it again!
8 – Seahawks (NR)
Their win against the Giants was a fluke. This is a average team with a low ceiling.
OUT – Chiefs (6), Cleveland (8)
Drew Brees (NO) – 27/31, 310 yds, 4 TDs, 147.9 QB rating
Aaron Rodgers (GB) – 24/30, 335 yds, 3 TDs, 146.5 QB rating
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) – 26/39, 361 yds, 3 TDs, 121.8 QB rating
Matt Schaub (HOU) – 18/23,. 296 yds, 2 TDs, 147.7 QB rating
Arian Foster (HOU) – 25 carries, 115 yds, 2 TDs, 5 catches, 119 yds, 1 TD
DeMarco Murray (DAL) – 25 carries, 253 yds, 1 TD
Adrian Peterson (MIN) – 24 carries, 175 yds, 1 TD
Matt Forte (CHI) – 25 carries, 145 yds, 1 TD, 2 catches, 38 yds
Greg Jennings (GB) – 7 catches, 147 yds, 1 TD
Steve Smith (CAR) – 7 catches, 143 yds
Calvin Johnson (DET) – 5 catches, 115 yds, 1 TD
Marques Colston (NO) – 7 catches, 98 yds, 2 TDs
James Anderson (CAR) – 12 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 FR
David Hawthorne (SEA) – 11 total tackles,1 sack, 1 INT
Brandon Flowers (KC) – 3 total tackles, 2 INTs, 1 TD
LaMarr Woodley (PIT) – 7 total tackles, 2 sacks
Carson Palmer (OAK) – 8/21, 116 yds, 3 INTs, 17.3 QB rating
Kyle Boller (OAK) – 7/14, 61 yds, 3 INTs, 22.3 QB rating
Matt Hasselbeck (TEN) – 14/30, 104 yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 38.7 QB rating
Charlie Whitehurst (SEA) – 12/30, 97 yds, 0 TSs, 1 INT, 35.0 QB rating
Chris Johnson (TEN) – 10 carries, 18 yds, 6 catches, 27 yds
Rashard Mendenhall (PIT) – 13 carries, 32 yds, 1 catch, 5 yds
Daniel Thomas (MIA) – 19 carries, 53 yds, 2 catches, 0 yds
Ryan Mathews (SD) – 13 carries, 39 yds, 4 catches, 26 yds
Dallas Clark (IND) – 0 catches, 0 targets
Miles Austin (DAL) – 2 catches, 16 yds
Vincent Jackson (SD) – 1 catch, 15 yds
Santonio Holmes (NYJ) – 2 catches, 24 yds
Nate Washington (TEN) – 1 catch, 10 yds