NECESSARY ROUGHNESS, WEEK 8: HALLOWEEN HORROR
Woo-hoo! Sorry I missed yesterday, it was Halloween after all! And because it was my favorite holiday, I didn’t pay a heck of a lot of attention to the NFL. That and the I hate almost all of the teams, and my Redskins are completely sucking. Oh, how delightful it was going to be when there was every indication that the Skins were going to have a decent season. I was live-tweeting the Redskins games and writing a cool football column. But football is a fickle mistress, the Redskins suck (again), and these tasks have become somewhat less enjoyable. Oh well, that’s what happens when you let Rex Grossman mouth off about how the Skins “are gonna win the division”. But not every team sucks… I don’t hate all of them, and I have a job to do! So let’s get to the action!
The game of the weekend for me was the Baltimore Ravens vs. the Arizona Cardinals as the Ravens returned from the dead to erase an 18-point Cardinals lead behind Joe Flaco’s 51 pass attempts and Ray Rice’s career-high three TD’s. In the battle of the rookie quarterbacks, the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton were out-lasted by the visiting Christian Ponder and the Minnesota Vikings after a potential overtime-inducing FG from kicker Olindo Mare missed horribly. Class points were scored by the always-humble Steve Smith as he blamed his critically stupid holding penalty on the official being a “70-year old man gimping down the sidelines.”
The Bills and the Lions both seem to be back on track with wins over the Redskins and the Broncos. The fickle fans that were calling for Tim Tebow to replace Kyle Orton are now looking for his head on a stick. These are the same types of fans that will probably be looking for Rex Grossman to get his job back. However it’s pretty hard to judge the performance of back-up-turned-starter John Beck when he is spending the game getting sacked nine times… from a Bills team that until Sunday had only recorded four sacks all year.
The Philadelphia Eagles had a huge victory over the visiting Dallas Cowboys, 34-7, as the Eagles are finally starting to show the strength the team supposedly acquired over the off-season. I have talked my share of smack about Vick but no one can deny that he seems to have shrugged off the early season woes and set the Eagles on course to contend in the division. Right now it seems like the New York Giants will be their main competition as Eli Manning delivered yet-another gutsy performance as the G-Men turned back the winless Dolphins, 20-17. The Cowboys are once again teetering on the edge of mediocrity, and tongues are wagging in Dallas. Oh, the drama!
It looks like St. Louis is the place to be this week as the World Series-winning Cardinals brought the trophy over to the Rams locker room and inspired them to a 31-21 victory against a predictably flat New Orleans Saints team that scored 60+ points last week. RB Steve Jackson had his first 100-yard game in three years, and even though they are 1-6 the Rams were as happy as the Cardinals — until next Sunday, anyway.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots battled for bragging rights of the best team in the AFC, and after the Steelers 25-17 victory it would seem to be their prerogative to do so! The Steelers beat the NFL’s best offense by keeping Tom Brady and co. on the sidelines, winning their fourth straight in the process. You people in towns with teams that actually win games are SO LUCKY.
In brief, the Houston Texans beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-14, Tennessee continued Indy’s pain with a 27-10 victory, the Bengals topped the Seahawks 34-12, and the 49ers stayed strong with a 20-10 win over the Browns. And finally, the Kansas City Chiefs overcame a suddenly-struggling San Diego Chargers, 23-20 in an overtime nail-biter.
OK: since we are halfway through the season I suppose some picks are in order. The pretenders have pretty much fallen off, and we can see where this is headed — and once again the bus won’t include my beloved Redskins. In the NFC look for the Giants, Packers, Saints and Niners to take their divisions, with the Packers vs. the Saints for the Super Bowl bid… and I’ll take the Saints. The AFC is a little more confusing, and I have no idea why I picked the Jets to make it to the Super Bowl on some Canadian web show. So I will be back next week with my AFC picks. In the meantime, stay safe and STAY METAL!