Thursday, September 21, 2006

NFL recap, September 18

Hey, like I said, I had a bad weekend, and not just because a certain team that used to be called the Spartans played like, well, what John L. Smith's boys have resembled at times ...

So, games that I watched ... it was my first full week of Sunday Ticket at home (because I was on the road for week 1):

Detroit 7 at Chicago 34: Yeah, it was that bad. I switched over after the second quarter because I couldn't take it any more. It wasn't so much the Lions' inability to move the ball (at least Kitna is accurate - completing about 75% is pretty good) as it was their inability to stop the Bears. The three-yard TD drive didn't count against the defense, but the four drives from the Bears' side of the field did.

When the guy who is arguably your most talented player doesn't see anything wrong with celebrating a first down when the game is already out of reach, and later explains it by saying that the score doesn't matter to him, you've got problems. (Question: if it had been Mike Williams instead of Roy Williams, would he even have finished the game? Would he still be on the team?)

People are piling on Kevin Jones again for not getting 100 yards. Well, the two teams the Lions played had pretty good defenses, I think, and the Lions' O-line hasn't shown it can do the job consistently, so I don't see why you'd expect him to run the ball well.

Up next: Green Bay. Detroit's favored by somewhere in the neighborhood of a touchdown. What does that say about the most talented team of which Favre's been a part?

Houston 24 at Indianapolis 43: Yawn. The most important thing that happened here was that Vinatieri aggravated his groin and might or might not miss some time (he must have brought Bill Belichick's disdain for the injury report with him from New England). The Outsiders may just be right about Joseph Addai (and my fantasy teams hope so), because he certainly looked much better against the Texans than Dominic Rhodes did. Then again, it was the Texans.

News flash for commentators: you aren't always going to notice when a DL is having a great game, so please stop telling us how Houston needed to draft Reggie Bush. Houston didn't need a player, they needed a lot of players, but couldn't find anyone to take the #1 pick, and they would have looked really dumb if they'd have taken Bush and if Davis had stayed healthy. Teams don't generally run the mid-80s Cleveland offense these days, although you might wonder if maybe Atlanta is or could be doing it ...

Other notes from week 2:
— I don't think Michael Vick can play 16 games as an option QB without getting hurt, but we all agree that he can't be a conventional pocket passer, so what's the harm in trying?
— Hey, don't blame us, Cleveland. You wanted another team.
— So, Cleveland's not very good, and Green Bay's pass defense is very bad. Next week, we find out that apparently New Orleans was under water for a while, and lots of people stayed in the Superdome. I bet they skip the part about how large sections of the city will never be rebuilt partly because certain presidents are great at making promises and awful at coming through with the money to pay for them (end political rant).
— So, Daunte Culpepper makes bad decisions in the pocket. You don't say?
— Um, no, Minnesota's not that good, but they're in the NFC North, so they don't have to be. Split with the Bears and that might get them into the playoffs.
— Dear Philadelphia, games are still 60 minutes long.
— How about that Art Shell? Sure turned things around in Oakland. Okay, to be fair, he's made about as much difference as Rod Marinelli, but then again, Marinelli wasn't running around for 10 years claiming that no one would hire him. Art, I think I know why no one else would hire you, and why Al won't be asking you back for a third term, if he survives this one ...
— ... and to make matters worse, Mike Nolan isn't doing so badly with the guys on the other side of the bay.
— Wait, Arizona's not the team to beat in the West? All that talent isn't coming through for them yet? Raise your hand if you think Matt Leinart is the missing piece for this puzzle. Put your hand down, Matt.
— It's a little too early to be seeing Bad Jake, isn't it? The Broncos haven't even played Indianapolis ...
— It almost looked like Belichick packed it in at halftime, too. Good thing the Jets still aren't ready to contend in the East.
— Hey, Tennessee isn't very good this year. And I saw today that Chris Brown was injured. Oh hey, off in the distance, it's the sun, rising in the east.
— Washington-Dallas in football is almost like Yankees-Red Sox in baseball – except that Yankees-Red Sox really does go back for decades – in that if you're not a fan of either team, it doesn't take long to get really tired of having the games forced on you over and over and over again. At least in the NFL, you can root for a tie.
— I missed most of Pittsburgh-Jacksonville as I watched the Tigers beat the White Sox. Well, that's not entirely accurate. I didn't watch most of it. I don't feel like I missed anything.

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