Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Week 9 Open Discussion Thread

NYJ @ BUF Ralph Wilson Stadium 1:00 PM CBS
DET @ CHI Soldier Field 1:00 PM FOX
JAC @ CIN Paul Brown Stadium 1:00 PM CBS
BAL @ CLE Cleveland Browns Stadium 1:00 PM CBS
TB @ KC Arrowhead Stadium 1:00 PM FOX
HOU @ MIN Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 1:00 PM CBS
ARI @ STL Edward Jones Dome 1:00 PM FOX
GB @ TEN LP Field 1:00 PM FOX
MIA @ DEN Invesco Field at Mile High 4:05 PM CBS
DAL @ NYG Giants Stadium 4:15 PM FOX
ATL @ OAK McAfee Coliseum 4:15 PM FOX
PHI @ SEA Qwest Field 4:15 PM FOX
NE @ IND Lucas Oil Stadium 8:15 PM NBC
Mon, Nov 03 Stadium Time (ET) Network
PIT @ WAS FedEx Field 8:30 PM ESPN

Comments

1
by Dales :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 11:30am

Fourteen times before a team has started 8-0.

Half of them won the Super Bowl. 10 of them made the Super Bowl. Bodes really well for the Titans.

Of the 13 teams from that group that ended up losing a game, 6 lost their first game to a NFC East team.

Anyway, good luck Cowboys, but Go Big Blue!

ETA- I have a bad feeling about this game. This is precisely the kind of game that the Giants teams in the past 5 years have laid an egg in-- start the season like gangbusters, get into the tougher part of the schedule, and lose at home to a team that on paper it looks like they should beat. I can easily envision Barber going nuts on Blue, and the checkdowns being open for Brad Johnson.

Speaking of which, my fantasy team's QB situation is just plain pitiful. It is a dynasty league, so the only way to get starters is to draft and wait or to make a trade (and folks get rape-lust when they sense position scarcity) or get waiver-wire scraps before anyone else. With Palmer injured, its been the Brad Johnson/Tyler Thigpen show for my beloved New Jersey New Yorkers franchise. Talk about a vortex of suck!

2
by Dales :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 11:36am

FO type folks- I really wish that the stylesheet had hyperlinks in the comments underlined. Are they a different color or something? If so, it is not easy on the colorblind miscreants such as me.

46
by D :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:01pm

Yeah the hyperlinks are blue instead of black.

3
by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 1:54pm

Be sure to join a star-studded cast of your favorite FO posters for IRC football chat! cognet.catch22.org, channel #fo

Brief tutorial for the IRC-shy:

- Download mIRC from mIRC.com
- type /server cognet.catch22.org into the status window
- type /join #fo

4
by Dave :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 2:10pm

Thrilling TV matchups for the 1:00 games in Indianapolis. We can choose between the 0-8 Bengals and the 0-7 Lions. Awesome.

I guess it's better than if I was home in Chicago... I'd be forced to watch the Lions-Bears game.

5
by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 2:36pm

In Colorado the sole morning game is GB@TEN, which I am somewhat excited to watch. I enjoyed the TEN-INDY game last week; one play that stands out to me was on Manning's first half int, where Cortland Finnegan laid a sick hit on Anthony Gonzalez coming off the line of scrimmage. It looked like Gonzalez was Manning's first read, because of the hit he wasn't there, or wasn't drawing the coverage he intended to, and Manning failed to switch to his #2 or 3 read well and was off the mark toward Reggie Wayne.

I am looking forward to watching some more sick defense while I await the MNF game tomorrow!

6
by BucNasty :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 2:50pm

Kill me.

7
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 2:54pm

Tyler Thigpen caught a 37 yard pass against the Bucs? The Chiefs just pounding the Bucs? How do the Chiefs pound anyone?

8
by BucNasty :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 3:00pm

"I think we get caught up in being such a rhythm type team, looking for the best outlet, looking for the open receiver that we lose sight of just taking shots at times, just taking chances.'' - Jeff Garcia, about a week ago

I think he got a bit desperate there.

9
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 3:04pm

That was not a horse collar by Kearse.

10
by Rocco :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 3:11pm

Right now the 3 arguably worst teams in football (KC, Cincy, Detroit) are all leading by 10 points or more.

11
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 3:13pm

When did LenDale White gain the ability to break off long runs like this? The eighty yarder at one point a few weeks ago and now a fifty-four yard run?

74
by Becephalus :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 8:00pm

Maybe because whenever people start cramming players into narratives then tend to get surprised. Real people cannot be relied upon to always conform to pithy stereotypes. If he was really just a fat slow plodder I doubt he would have made it this far.

The Wire should win the Nobel prize for literature.

12
by Pat F. :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 3:14pm

No team deserves to win when they allow LenDale White to break a big one

13
by Key19 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 3:20pm

I'd like to just say again that the Bucs defense is considerably overrated around here. They looked bad against Brad Johnson last week and moved up in DVOA, and now they look even worse against K.C. Quarterback and K.C. Running Back. Once again, sometimes you have to take into consideration the circumstances of the game, not just the DVOA stuff. Bucs defense should've dominated the injury-depleted Cowboys last week, and they didn't. They should not have moved up even though I know that the formula for DVOA said they should.

Just as I'm typing this, Mark Bradley just caught a 30+ bomb from K.C. Quarterback. K.C. Quarterback is currently 7/12 passing for 116 yards and TD and 1 catch for 37 yards and a TD. First Brad Johnson, now this? Not the #1 defense. Sorry.

16
by Andrew B :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 3:36pm

How is holding a team to 13 points not a good defensive showing?

Usually, you win when the opponent only gets 13 points. But not if your own offense is allergic to entering the end zone.

That being said, KC is beating them like a redheaded stepchild.

The Original Andrew

14
by Dales :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 3:22pm

You can't stop Tyler Thigpen. You can only hope to contain him.

15
by Danny (not verified) :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 3:31pm

Kyle Orton is hurt... looks really bad.

17
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 3:43pm

If the Bears have to go back to Grossman for any length of time, their season is over. They need Orton; he's clearly the better quarterback.

18
by B :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 3:51pm

Really wierd play in the Jets/Bills game. On their own 20, the Bills try a fake punt, and they convert it, but the ball is marked wrong and there's a holding penalty on the Bills. Since it wasn't marked as a first, the Jets decline the penalty, but then the Bills challenge the spot, the spot is overturned, and the jets then accept the penalty, so the Bills get to punt.

19
by jonnyblazin :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 3:58pm

OK, angry Ravens fan here.
1st possession of the second half, Cleveland gets a 3 and out when two rushers run past the center before he snaps the ball and blow up the play, no offsides call.

Then Anderson throws a jump ball in the end zone, Frank Walker comes down with the ball pressed against his chest and Edwards just has his hands on the ball, TD Browns.

These officials are a complete joke.

77
by Becephalus :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 8:10pm

As a non partisan I would say they if the officials have to give someone the ball there it is the offense which wins ties. Did not look like a clear INT at all from the replay I just watched 6 times. Edwards reached under and I think got his hands on it first, but they both very quickly clamped down on it. Walker was able to pull the ball in closer to his body but Edwards also looked like he kept control and didn't bobble.

Ideally I think that would be a play where you would replay the down, but obviously that would have been an officiating nightmare. If you think the Ravens were completely robbed my guess is you are a Ravens fan or didn't see the same angles I just saw, because it was pretty conclusively a tie.

The Wire should win the Nobel prize for literature.

20
by Dave :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 4:02pm

They only showed a quick studio highlight of it, but it looked to me like the TD they just gave the Browns was a pretty clear INT. 41 had the ball secured on the ground when they signaled TD. That'd stay consistent with the bad officials mentioned in the post above.

After that first half INT for a TD by the Jets, they came back to the Bengals game and Gus Johnson said "That shows the effect one player can have on a team. Brett Favre just makes everyone better." Brett Favre, he of the sub-50% completion rate on the game at the time. That might be the dumbest thing I've ever heard anyone say.

21
by B :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 4:10pm

To be fair, Brett Favre does give the Jets a lot of opportunities to run back interceptions during practice.

78
by Becephalus :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 8:11pm

Yeah Gus Johnson gets a pass on a lot of incredibly stupid comments because he is entertaining. I also am really enjoying the way Pennington is showing up favre and the Jets this year. Go underdogs!

The Wire should win the Nobel prize for literature.

22
by terry324 (not verified) :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 4:16pm

Wow, John Henderson is a piece of shit. Way to gouge at a guy's eyes when he doesn't have his helmet on, tough guy.

80
by Becephalus :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 8:51pm

I remain amazed that people are so surprised when professions which appeal to high testosterone, aggressive, violent, overly competitive, people are filled with players who possess those traits. Those traits are often very important for making it to the level professional sports. Not all pro athletes are this way of course, but a good number of them are.

I had several people from one wing of my family play professional sports (3 pro hockey playing brothers), they came from a family of 6 boys with abusive parents and also used to beat the crap out of each other constantly. Basically at the age of 25 they were still all acting like they were angry 10 year old boys, this works great in the world of playing hockey where emotional and social skills beyond the level of a 10 year old are not required (and generally discouraged), the same can be said of football.

The Wire should win the Nobel prize for literature.

23
by Pat F. :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 4:50pm

Green Bay has largely dominated the second half. It's largely turnovers and ill-timed drops keeping them from having the lead already. They seem to be doing a better job containing Chris Johnson and Kerry Collins hasn't been able to beat them.

24
by Pat F. :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:02pm

Spoke too soon, TEN is marching late in the 4th.

25
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:08pm

Collins has just looked awful. The Packers just kept dropping picks. That's the only reason the game has made it this far.

26
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:15pm

That's shit. They interrupt the field goal attempt in overtime to show the freaking commercials before the next game? Fuck you, FOX. You can't show the last fucking play of the game and then go to commercials? There was plenty of fucking time for that. That pisses me off.

27
by CathyW :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:22pm

Jesus Christ! How does Koren Robinson get SO OPEN the first Seattle play of the game? Come on, now, Eagles!!!!!

28
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:25pm

God, the Cowboys cannot cover anybody.

29
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:28pm

Is it too early to bench Johnson?

30
by Amazing (not verified) :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:29pm

KC ices the kicker, then false start on TB to negate a missed field goal, and now they're going for it on 3rd down...and get a 4th and 1 for a 4 yard closer FG than they originally had.

31
by CathyW :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:34pm

Jesus, the Eagles offense just looks wretched today.

39
by Rocco :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:50pm

They figure that the city is still on a high from the Phillies win so they can get away with crapping the bed this week.

32
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:41pm

Can we please bench Johnson now?

33
by Mello :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:42pm

It's never too early to bench Johnson. I don't have words to describe how awful that throw was.

35
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:46pm

I honestly don't know if I've ever seen a worse throw. How do you miss a receiver that much on such a short route?

79
by Becephalus :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 8:29pm

You realize that BB is not very good don't you? And that if he looked better they would be starting him.

The Wire should win the Nobel prize for literature.

34
by CathyW :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:44pm

Oh hey, the Eagles actually picked up a first down. Stop the presses!

36
by CathyW :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:48pm

intercepted in the end zone. just shoot me. thanks, Mcnabb.

41
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:51pm

At least your team isn't down 14-nothing with Brad Johnson at quarterback.

37
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:48pm

Game over. Giants win.

38
by Harris :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:49pm

Fuck this. I'm auditioning new football teams. I bet that Titans bandwagon is nice and roomy.

"A little celery is always nice after a good pee."

45
by CathyW :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:00pm

The Phillies high has worn off.

40
by Spoilt Victoria... :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:51pm

I'm going to rely on the Phillies to keep me sane through this game.

42
by Spoilt Victoria... :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:53pm

Or try to, at least.

43
by Spoilt Victoria... :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:54pm

Is Curtis just dropping these passes or what? I can't actually see the game.

44
by CathyW :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 5:57pm

It seems to me that McNabb is forcing throws to Curtis when he has other options available. McNabb also seems off today. Plus, Curtis did something to his hand and I don't think it's completely right.

47
by Dales :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:04pm

Dallas is doing well against the Giants' run game, but is still getting skunked.

48
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:07pm

Joe Buck: "...as the Giants overcome a first and twenty."

No, moron, they get the first down from a Cowboys penalty on 3rd and 11. It wasn't anything they did.

49
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:10pm

Depressing: On Yahoo's boxscore Dallas' top performer is listed as Roy Williams 1 rec for 28 yards. And they're right.

51
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:16pm

No, put Bollinger in! Please, dear god! Don't change your mind and leave Johnson in.

Update: Dear Cowboys coaching staff,

Owens' fumble was your fault. That ball was exposed because Johnson once again was unable to put it on target. I hate you all. Put the other QB in. I don't know that he is better. But he can't be worse.

50
by CathyW :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:15pm

Finally, TD Eagles - McNabb to Reggie Brown.

52
by Harris :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:17pm

Touchdown Reggie Brown. My 4-year-old is going nuts. I’m a terrible father for exposing her to the lifetime of misery that is being an Eagle fan.

"A little celery is always nice after a good pee."

54
by CathyW :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:25pm

My 8 year old has given up on the Eagles (smart boy to spare himself a lifetime of torment!) and loves the Steelers now. But he still hates the Cowboys, so my work as a parent isn't completely for naught.

59
by Harris :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:28pm

Every time the kid sees anything having to do with the Cowboys, she says, "Ptui, Cowboys!" I always get a bit misty-eyed when she does that.

"A little celery is always nice after a good pee."

53
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:18pm

Finally, TD Cowboys. Manning to Mike Jenkins.

55
by Pat F. :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:26pm

Superficial and largely unfair comparison that just popped into my head:
Jamarcus Russel = Eli Manning?

#1 pick, strong arm, tendency to overthrow, quite bad in their first starting experience... it's like they're twins!

56
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:26pm

Note for the Cowboys, the guy in blue with the name Ward on his back plays for the Giants. I would suggest tackling him when he has the ball.

57
by CathyW :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:27pm

Oooh, not good - Lito Sheppard out with a groin injury.

60
by Harris :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:31pm

In his case, I would have expected a sprained labia.

"A little celery is always nice after a good pee."

64
by CathyW :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:35pm

Hey, now, that's an insult to me and my fellow women everywhere.

65
by Harris :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:39pm

True enough. So let me say, "In his case, I'm surprised he didn't sprain his sissy bone."

"A little celery is always nice after a good pee."

58
by Dave :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:28pm

Eli is trying to be as bad as Johnson in the 2nd quarter. It's working.

61
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:32pm

What did we do to deserve Johnson still being in the game?

Edit: I don't just mean that as a Cowboys fan. I mean as football fans.

Update: I hate you Brad Johnson. Are you singlehandedly trying to keep the Cowboys out of this game?

63
by Harris :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:34pm

I have an alphabetized list if you're really interested.

"A little celery is always nice after a good pee."

86
by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 11:11pm

As a Redskins fan I thoroughly enjoyed seeing both Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger play today.

62
by Spoilt Victoria... :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:34pm

Wow, Reid goes for it on 4th and 1 at his opponent's 35. Maybe prayer works after all.

67
by CathyW :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:48pm

Woo! I can't believe that the Eagles actually got a TD from short yardage! Pass to...Todd Herremans?

That should show up in TMQ's sweet plays of the week. He loves stuff like that.

104
by Andrew B :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 4:40pm

TMQ hates the Eagles and rarely comments on them. I bet he ignores it.

The Original Andrew

66
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:45pm

Note to Brad Johnson: Die, please...Except the Cowboys will still prop up your corpse behind center...then again, it couldn't be worse. So, yes, please die.

68
by I Have Been On ESPN (not verified) :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 6:59pm

As I write: Atlanta 346 yards of total offense, Raiders...3. Spectacular!

69
by Arson55 :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 7:04pm

I'm actually happy. At least it wasn't another interception by Brad Johnson. That's actually a win in my mind.

70
by Amazing (not verified) :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 7:25pm

The bud light commercials are almost as bad as the John Mellencamp truck commercials a year or two back...Drinkability? If you have to tell people it's drinkable, that's a SIGN.

72
by Harris :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 7:33pm

Bud Light: You can swallow it.

"A little celery is always nice after a good pee."

73
by JasonK :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 7:37pm

They were trying to come up with an effective response to Coors Light's "It's Cold!" campaign.

75
by Harris :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 8:01pm

They failed. They should have tried, "Bud Light: It's non-toxic."

"A little celery is always nice after a good pee."

82
by DavidL :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 10:02pm

I guess they figured "You can drink it!" isn't false advertising, while your suggestion would be walking a pretty fine line.

71
by Rocco :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 7:29pm

What exactly was Justin Tuck supposed to do there- defy the laws of physics?

76
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 8:07pm

When did Brian Baldinger become a complete moron? I know he's been mediocre before, but I never remember him blatantly being a complete doofus. Including...

1) Not realizing that a defensive holding (on first down) generates a 1st-and-10, rather than 1st-and-5.
2) Describing a TE's route as "he's gonna cross the field right here," drawing it on the telestrator, and then promptly... shutting up as the TE goes to the sideline, rather than running anything approaching a crossing route.
3) Claiming that because you can't see McNabb down or not (even though you could), they would overturn the call.
4) Claiming that the Eagles shut out the Rams in week 1

and I'm sure I'm missing a few hundred more.

83
by CathyW :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 10:24pm

Yes, I was pretty stunned too. The examples are too numerous to mention...he used to be okay, but he's definitely deteriorated lately.

85
by electricmayhem :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 10:40pm

The power of the mutant pinky finger is fading I guess...

81
by B :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 9:58pm

Coors: Easy to get the beer out of the can? I guess that tops "drinkability" or "cold."

84
by MJK :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 10:40pm

Watching Colts-Patriots. Just got to the half.

The Colts just got robbed by shoddy officiating. Out of timeouts, 19 seconds left in the half, Harrison catches a ball in FG range but gets tackled while in-bounds. The official signals for the clock to run, but the clock operator, apparently under the impression Harrison went out of bounds, stops the clock. The Colts run up to the line and Manning, thinking the clock is running, spikes the ball. Colts get flagged for a false start, and by rule a 10 second runoff is required. The officials, apparently not knowing how much time is supposed to still be on the clock, declare the half to be over.

Had the operator started the clock, there probably would have been ~11-13 seconds or so on the clock and the Colts would have had a chance at an (admittedly long, for Vinateri) FG.

All in all, I'm not crazy about the officiating...both teams are holding like crazy and it's going uncalled. I've seen the Colts doing more of it, but I'm a Pats fan, so that's probably my blue and silver glasses. Pats get away with a pushoff on a crucial 3rd down conversion.

Still, a fun game so far. The Pats' offensive playcalling is mystifying--they haven't looked to Moss once, and have only thrown at Welker three times, all within two yards of the LOS or behind it. Meanwhile, they keep trying to get cute with screens and pound it up the middle with Benjarvus Green-Ellis. That's working fairly well, but the Colts are starting to key in on the run, and sooner or later they're going to have to playaction to Moss...

By the way...how does someone the size of Bob Sanders play the way Bob Sanders plays and not get turned into a human pancake?

95
by Key19 :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 12:29am

Sanders does get turned into a human pancake though. Hence why he has never played an entire season. He's always getting injured.

As for the other games:

Tampa Bay should feel extremely fortunate to not have lost to the Chiefs. They would've really hurt their Playoff chances if they had not managed to wiggle out of that one.

The Bills were without Marshawn Lynch for a lot of the game and Robert Royal was their leading receiver. Doesn't bode well for them, and the score reflects that. Anyone else think that the Bills could be in trouble if they lose next week against the Patriots? As for the Jets, Thomas Jones needs the ball more. Period. Over 5 yards per carry today and is having a pretty good season overall. He's a lot better option than Favre's gunslinging though.

Rex Grossman to the rescue for the Bears? Against the Lions? What is going on in this world? Also, why only 7 carries to Forte in the first half? Good thing he came to the rescue in the 2nd half though. The Lions on the other hand have no running game.

Cincinnati wins and Cedric Benson cracks 100 yards. Another "?" moment of the week. The Jaguars have to be one of the most disappointing teams this season. Also, maybe they locked up David Garrard to a long-term deal too soon? 6 TDs and 5 INTs this year. Fred Taylor looks done to me, and Jones-Drew hasn't been very much better. I know they have line problems, but both backs have really been terrible. Very discouraging for Jags fans.

Big days from Ray Rice and Derrick Mason plus a 4th quarter collapse by the Browns gets the Ravens a win. The Ravens are now (5-3) and have lost only to the Steelers (by 3), the Titans (by 3), and the blowout loss to the Colts (who had one of their "on" weeks that week). Ravens look legit and Flacco is becoming a solid QB for what they're trying to do. The Browns looked better this week than in previous weeks but still have defensive issues.

Yet another 10+ catch and 100+ yard day from a Texans receiver. What else is new? Well, the fact that it was Owen Daniels and not Andre Johnson is pretty eye-opening. Daniels is quickly becoming an elite TE but won't get there until he finds ways to score more often. 10 TDs in 3 seasons and only 2 this year is his main issue. Texans end up losing though thanks in large part to 4 turnovers. Without Bernard Berrian's two bombs, Gus Frerrote would've been 9/16 for 78 yards. Ouch.

Kurt Warner: Hall of Famer? He sure looked good this week. Tied for the most 300+ passing games ever if what I heard on FOX was right. Another interesting note is that Edgerrin James did not have a carry in the game. Was he out? Either way, Tim Hightower looked solid in the starting role. On the other side though, the Rams could not run the ball at all. Steven Jackson was not healthy clearly.

Tennessee almost lost to the Packers and their defense was not as good as they usually are. Ryan Grant averaged over 4 yards per carry and Donald Driver lit them up too. LenDale White seemingly is the new big-play back for the Titans now, with a 54 yard run while Chris Johnson's long was only 14 yards. Johnson however did have over 150 yards from scrimmage. A lot has been made of Dallas' struggles and Playoff chances, but the Packers are quietly 4-4 and are down in terms of a tie-breaker with the Cowboys. Unless they come back and win the division they could be sitting at home during the Playoffs. Very disappointing team here.

Man the AFC West is bad. Denver is still the leader but are now 4-4 after losing to the Dolphins. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are 4-4 and only one game back in the AFC East. Playoffs for the Phins anyone? Brandon Marshall is officially not an elite WR.

Dallas may have lost by 21, but if you knew in the preseason that Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger would be sharing QB duties, Felix Jones would be out, and Terence Newman and Adam Jones would be out, would you really expect anything else? Honestly I don't see this being as big of news as people are making it out to be. Let's see how the Cowboys fare later on in the season at Texas Stadium when Romo and the gang are all back and healthy.

The Raiders looked absolutely horrible. End of story. The Falcons are now a legitimate Playoff spot contender.

The Seahawks are terrible. Philly didn't wake up until the 2nd quarter but after that it was all Eagles.

Colts/Patriots was actually a pretty good game. Matt Cassell does not look for Moss very often and even Welker was held in check. Peyton Manning on the other hand looked very sharp. Marvin Harrison had a decent day but he looks like he's on the brink of being done. I can't help but see him as a liability, especially when he was rolling around with an apparent back injury just before the half. I think he'll be out of the league after next season. On another note, Adam Vinatieri should be a Hall of Famer. No question. He is golden in every game-on-the-line situation he's in. He breaks a streak of 7 misses from 50+ yards tonight when he nailed the game-winning 52-yarder. I don't know what it is about him, but he is just money in the clutch. Outside of the clutch though, he is very average. He honestly should consider just taking the regular season off and signing with some Super-Bowl-aspiring Playoff team when the postseason rolls around. Is that legal by the way?

87
by Amazing (not verified) :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 11:46pm

"one of the all time great clutch kickers."

Uh huh, thanks Madden. Is that like the oh so important "intangibles" that so many claim need to be accounted for in power ratings?

91
by Yaguar :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 12:01am

Even though it worked, sending Vinatieri out for that FG was a a bad move.

88
by RickD :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 11:54pm

Wow. Killer personal foul call with four minutes left. Seemed like David Thomas was just blocking and kept blocking after the whistle blew. Foul takes Pats out of FG range.

89
by PatsFan :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 11:54pm

Boy, Belichick really took the stupid pills tonight.

Billy deserves a KCW award this week.

92
by RickD :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 12:02am

Care to elaborate?

The blown challenge was just bad luck. The Pats saw that the Colts had a player running off the field, and had snapped the ball before he left the field. So BB challenges the call, saying that there were too many men on the field.

How was he supposed to know that the Colts were trying to play defense with 10 men on the field, and that the guy running off was the 11th?

Weird.

Belichick didn't drop a wide-open TD pass. That was Gaffney. Belichick didn't commit a brain-dead personal foul to take the Pats out of FG range when they were down by 3 points and had no timeouts left. That was Thomas.

98
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 1:40am

No, but Belichick was the one who went for 3 on 4th and inches late in the game from inside the 10. They had a chance to win the game right there, and he didn't go for it.

Still, Thomas lost that game with that foul. Although, that sort of shit had been happening all night, from both sides.

101
by RickD :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 2:12am

yeah, well going for a FG on 4th down when you are down by 3 points seems like a no-brainer.

I think BB called a play with the intention of using a timeout if they could not draw the Colts offsides. I think it was a silly use of the last timeout, but that was hardly the reason they lost the game. If they'd had one more timeout at the end of the game, it would not have been enough.

Matt Cassel is not a good enough QB to run a 2-minute drill. And even with another timeout, the Pats would still have had less than a minute to drive the field, and that's assuming that the Colts would have played as passively as they did at the end of the game.

102
by DavidL :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 3:04am

By getting his video guy(s) to count the men on the field, maybe? If FOX can do it, the Pats can, and you've got to review the tape before throwing the flag anyway, just to be sure you really did get the snap off before the last guy was off the field.

90
by Yaguar :: Sun, 11/02/2008 - 11:56pm

Very unprofessional-looking string of plays.

After a play that would have made for 3rd and 1, David Thomas takes a cheap shot at a Colts player, who flops a little bit for extra effect, and draws a flag. Then the Pats run a cutesy play that fails miserably on 3rd and 16. Then they decide to go for it on 4th and 17, but take too long to decide it, and barely get the play off in time. Cassel throws a terrible pass, which Bob Sanders picks off, even though he would have been much better served batting it down.

93
by RickD :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 12:10am

Well, the Pats lost, but I saw a team that had little difficulty moving the ball for the most part. They still don't seem to have a deep passing game, and that hurts them. But, on the positive side, they did a good job protecting Cassel. A QB who had been getting raped by pass rushes left and right was not sacked once, even though the Colts had both Freeney and Mathis coming at him.

On the Colts' side of things, it's clear that they don't really have a rushing game yet. Their passing game looks to be in reasonably good shape, though they will probably face tougher pass rushes than the Pats had to offer.

This was a must-win for the Colts, and they did win. They could not drop to 3-5, not with the schedule they still have. With road games at Pittsburgh, San Diego, Jax, and Cleveland, they have little margin for error and really need to sweep their home games (including a season finale against Tennessee - if the Colts are lucky that will be a meaningless game for the Titans).

94
by morganja :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 12:28am

Thomas is an idiot. Not only had the whistle blown but the runner was down in front of him and in the process of getting up to go back to the huddle. The Colts defender wasn't playacting, he was blindsided. Even if Thomas was deaf and somehow didn't notice the ball carrier had already been tackled, how do you miss the fact that everyone else had stopped playing?

Given the situation, that has got to be the stupidest play of the year so far.

99
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 1:42am

Typical Morganja, altering reality to take shots at the pass.

yeah, it was a dumb move, but Thomas CLEARLY wasn't facing the runner.

100
by RickD :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 2:05am

It was a dumb move, but if Thomas came out today and said he didn't see the play was dead and that he didn't hear the whistle, I would believe him. He was simply continuing a block after all. It's not like he took a swing at somebody or made a late hit.

Come to think of it, I've never seen "unnecessary roughness" called on a player for executing a block after the whistle before. I don't even think I can think of an instance where it was called on an offensive player, though I'm sure it's happened at some point.

96
by tornadot :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 1:14am

I'm not confident Denver can beat any team right now, ugh.

97
by TerryW (not verified) :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 1:33am

I just wanted to note how ridiculously sick Tyler Thigpen's catch was. He was in full-stride and caught it over-the-shoulder.

http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d80c25797&campaign=ec0009

103
by morganja :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 1:07pm

It happens often. Never to the Golden Patriots before, maybe. But it is a common penalty for teams which get penalties called against them. Do you all ever even watch football? It takes a real idiot to defend Thomas' screw-up. I can't believe you people sometimes. Is there no penalty that the Patriots commit that can't be rationalized away? It was a stupid play without any excuse whatsoever. It cost them the game.

105
by B :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 9:44pm

Wooo, surprise onsides kick! Recovered by the skins, though. I wonder if it's true that coaches are more aggressive this year, sure seems that way.

106
by FireOmarTomlin (not verified) :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 9:53pm

Max Starks inexplicably watches a batted pass hover over his head and lets a Skins defender pick if off.

Great coaching by the Steelers as usual.

107
by Rocco :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 9:54pm

Can someone please taser Max Starks?

108
by FireOmarTomlin :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 10:00pm

In hindsight, drafting Mendenhall and Sweed and ignoring the OL sure was a great decision, wasn't it?

109
by JasonK :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 10:02pm

Roethlisberger has some comically tiny smears of eyeblack tonight.

110
by Telamon :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 10:04pm

Anyone know if Big Ben is married? I ask because they were playing up some comments about how the Skins' Cheerleaders used to practice outside the visiting locker room to distract the opponents. They just showed a crowd shot of the Hogettes with a sign saying "At least we won't distract you." Good stuff.

Anyway, apparently the league has banned cheerleaders from such shenanigans. So THAT'S why they call it the No Fun League.

113
by JasonK :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 10:17pm

Wow. A completely out-of-the-blue Michael Chabon reference. I might have to revise my opinion of KSK...

115
by Telamon :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 10:24pm

The awesome, it broke my mind!

Chris: What the hell are you doing?

BEN: PRACTICING CALL OF DUTY 4 IN MY HEAD TO STAY FOCUSED. HINES TOLD ME I NEED TO KEEP MY MIND ZEN BUT I DONT KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS SO IM KILLIN THE TURRURISTS.

Classic.

118
by Telamon :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 11:08pm

They just showed Big Ben running up the tunnel with 0:32 left in the half, and THE ENTIRE CHEERLEADING SQUAD FOLLOWED! This is too funny.

112
by Dales :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 10:13pm

The Skins are impressing me tonight. That is a good defense.

114
by FireOmarTomlin :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 10:20pm

Spaeth should be cut for assuming that would be ruled incomplete.

116
by JasonK :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 10:34pm

When are punt coverage teams going to learn that putting one's hands up in the air while blocking someone in the back only serves to signal quite clearly to the officials "Hey, look at me! I'm blocking this guy in the back!"?

117
by Telamon :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 10:38pm

Dudes I Love:

1. London Fletcher

2. Jaws

119
by FireOmarTomlin :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 11:11pm

Lamar Woodley is turning into an absolute beast. In another year he might actually be awesome enough to cancel out the abortion of a 1st round pick Timmons

120
by FireOmarTomlin :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 11:32pm

Captain Windmill in @ QB for the Steelers

Not a good sign for the weeks ahead, Big Ben can't even move his right arm due to shoulder.

121
by FireOmarTomlin :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 11:41pm

What genius decided it was a good idea to QB sneak at the goalline when the QB already has a gimpy shoulder, by the way?

122
by Telamon :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 11:47pm

You PLAY to WIN the GAME!

Herm has shown that player safety is irrelevant.

123
by FireOmarTomlin :: Mon, 11/03/2008 - 11:57pm

How could Tony Kornholer and Jaws possibly think that was not an interception after seeing the replay(s) ?

What a joke.

I thought 2 feet down after, and upfield turn of shoulders was supposed to be possession via a "football move" ?

124
by B :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 12:04am

I can think of a clearer Int/Fumble that was ruled incomplete.

127
by FireOmarTomlin :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 12:14am

Oh, I'm sure I remember a few worse calls in the same scenario myself. I just can't believe that after watching the replay, they really seemed to think incomplete would be the right call on this play.

131
by Rocco :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 12:44am

I'd almost blocked that from my mind. Thanks for refereshing that play.

125
by B :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 12:08am

When did Leftwhich turn into a stud QB? I figured his lack of mobility and slow release would lead to him getting killed behind the Steelers O-line, but he's looking good so far.

126
by Rocco :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 12:12am

The line remembered how to block, and the receivers stopped dropping passes.

128
by FireOmarTomlin :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 12:19am

What a complete lie by Tirico there about Mewelde Moore.

Tomlin didn't put him in (as the discussion is making it seem) during the Ravens game until after Carey Davis also got hurt. They were totally content running the FB up into the line on 1st/2nd down for 1-2 yards a play until then. Moore only got up the depth chart after getting that 2nd RB injury in a single game and , yes, did THEN use the chance to prove himself as being worthy. Even drunkarse everyone in the sports bar , after seeing him play for 3 minutes, was wondering why he wasn't put in immediately when Mendenhall got knocked out.

129
by FireOmarTomlin :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 12:24am

What a horrible spot in real time on that Campbell scramble

130
by FireOmarTomlin :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 12:27am

Ball should be at the 1.

132
by Steelerfan1977 :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 10:27pm

STEELERFAN1977

PLZ tell me why tomlin elected to kick that onsides first goddamned play of the game?

132
by Steelerfan1977 :: Tue, 11/04/2008 - 10:27pm

STEELERFAN1977

PLZ tell me why tomlin elected to kick that onsides first goddamned play of the game?