Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

02 Nov 2005

Week 9 Rundown

Here's the FO rundown on this weekend's games over at FOXSports.com. This week, Mike covers the latest game in the Chiefs-Raiders rivalry, the battle of the bounce back between Washington and Philly, and some game in Massachusetts.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 02 Nov 2005

28 comments, Last at 04 Nov 2005, 6:48pm by dryheat

Comments

1
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 6:23pm

I thought Al Dente was slightly undercooked, not overcooked, like Brad Johnson's arm is.

2
by jju (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 6:41pm

A few weeks ago, the Vikings were embarrassing and funny, like Aunt Gladys on her third martini singing karaoke Streisand ("You don't bring me flowers ... "). Now, they're embarrassing and sad, like Aunt Gladys on her fourth martini shouting at Uncle Don ("You sniff don't bring me sob flowers!"). The polite thing to do is look away.

Wow, you must have attended my last family reunion.

3
by Duane (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 6:46pm

#1: Actually, slightly undercooked is al dente. But a Yahoo People search did turn up five Al Dente's.

4
by jju (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 6:46pm

BTW, I still find the Vikings 'ha, ha' funny.

5
by Nate (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 6:55pm

I was thinking more Rita Rudner funny.

6
by stan (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 7:06pm

Re: Colts-Pats

I agree that this is not a must win for the Colts (or the Pats who should easily win the division either way).

I disagree with his analysis of what has happened in the Colts' losses in the past. As Rodney Harrison said after the AFC title game two years ago, the Pats' game plan was the simplest it had been all year.

The Pats won because they were vastly superior in both lines. They could run the ball. The Colts couldn't. They got great pressure with 3 or 4 man pass rushes. The Colts couldn't get close to Brady even when they blitzed.

Will it be different this year? Perhaps. The Colt O-line hasn't lost 3 starters to injury like last year, but the starters haven't been able to get it done in the past when they were healthy. Defensively, the Colts are better in the line and the Pats' O-line is hurting. This might well be the difference.

7
by JonL (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 8:39pm

RE: #6

I think the larger point still stands, though, that putting the weight of all those losses on Manning is a little ridiculous.

And I always though Al Dente owned the Raiders.

(sorry)

8
by urge (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 8:50pm

I have friends who are professional jugglers, they call themselves The Flying Fettucine Brothers, Al Fredo and Al Dente.

9
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 8:50pm

My prediction for the Colts/Pats game is that Tedy Bruschi gets injured on the first snap, lost for the season, and still winds up winning defensive player of the week, defensive player of the month, defensive MVP, comeback player of the year, a trip to the pro bowl, and Superbowl MVP (even though New England gets booted in the first round of the playoffs).

10
by Mshray (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 9:08pm

Hey Mike, I really appreciate the Little Feat reference (Waiting For Columbus is the best live album of all time, imho), but shouldn't it have been "through Tehachapi or Tonapah"? Those are both conceivably on the way.

Or are you implying that the road is so tough for Seattle that they're likely to drive right past their destination or make a wrong left turn on I-40?

11
by Mshray (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 9:12pm

I don't know the html for tongue-in-cheek, but I sincerely hope that previous post reads that way.

12
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 9:16pm

The greatest rivalry in the NFL is back for Round 2.

*gasp*! Sure, Raiders/Chiefs is a good rivalry, but the GREATEST? It's not even the greatest rivalry involving the Raiders. That'd be Denver/Oakland. There's all the winning streaks the teams have put up on each other, there's the horrible blood between Al Davis and Mike Shanahan (Shanny says Davis still owes him money from when he was fired), there's the looming specter of Bill Romonowski... no, Broncos/Raiders is clearly the biggest rivalry in the AFC West. Maybe in the 70's, Raiders/Chiefs was prime time, but not in the new millenium.

Also in the running for greatest rivalry in the NFL is Cowboys/Redskins, and either the Packers/Bears or Packers/Vikings (based on history, I'd say Da Bears. Based on recent history, I'd say the Vikings). Baltimore/Tennessee had a very nice rivalry brewing, too, before they got put into different divisions. And Steelers/Bengals might be returning to its former glory now that Cinci is respectable again. And while I don't think it's anywhere near the greatest, I feel compelled to mention the Dolphins/Jets as another great rivalry.

13
by Mike Tanier :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 9:20pm

10 and 11: I almost consulted a road atlas for the Little Feat comment! What really happened is this: I was confused and thought the last Seahawks game was AT Dallas, so the trip through New Mexico makes sense.

And Al Dente is literally "to the tooth," firm yet yielding, or perfectly cooked when talking about pasta. Anyone who thinks otherwise will be haunted by my grandmother.

14
by Mshray (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 9:41pm

Mike, you got one of those List-Of-Things-To-Do-Before-You-Die? I do, and since I've been to Tuscon & Tehachapi, that means I still have to get to Tucumcari & Tonapah. My brother says I have to take him with me, but he hasn't been to Tehachapi yet. On the other hand, he's already got a picture of himself standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. So he's got that going for him. Which is nice.

15
by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Wed, 11/02/2005 - 11:37pm

The comparison between Brett Favre and Manning is kinda weird. True, Favre lost to the Cowboys in 1993, 94 and 95, but I don't remember the Packers being given much of a chance in any of those games. Even in Favre's first MVP year, 1995, Dallas were favoured to win the Championship game, so I don't remember hearing any whispers of "he can't win the big one." I think way more people have picked the Colts to beat the Pats in the last two postseasons than ever picked the Pack to beat Dallas in 1993-95.

16
by dedkrikit (not verified) :: Thu, 11/03/2005 - 12:00am

"Baltimore/Tennessee had a very nice rivalry brewing, too, before they got put into different divisions."
Yeah - I really didn't like that aspect of realignment. (and boy do I still hold a grudge against the Ravens)

17
by Sam B (not verified) :: Thu, 11/03/2005 - 12:22am

I'd say Cleveland Pittsbugh is pretty big, although the Browns are a bit outclassed currently. Browns Ravens is pure grudge.

18
by snik75 (not verified) :: Thu, 11/03/2005 - 12:58am

re: #15 if you didn't hear "Farve can't beat the cowboys" or "Farve can't win the big one" you weren't living in the same part of Wisconsin I was... and man were we delerious when we did. I bet they still haven't dried all the spilled beer out of that apartment. And I'm sure my buddy still has his treasured F*CK DALLAS T-shirt that he had made just in anticipation of the event.

19
by snik75 (not verified) :: Thu, 11/03/2005 - 12:59am

Meaning no disrespect to dallas fans, of course. Just reliving happy memories. :-)

20
by Reno (not verified) :: Thu, 11/03/2005 - 6:34am

As a Raider fan, I've continued to think of the Chiefs as bigger rivals than the Broncos, and don't see that ever changing. I never particularly gave a damn about Romanowski (being from Oakland, I'll always remember him as a 49er, and he was pretty washed up by the time he got to the Raiders), and having bad blood with Al Davis isn't particularly notable (or something that gets me riled up).

I know your a Broncos' fan Kibbles, and they are indeed a a huge divisional rival, but c'mon, they just aren't the Chiefs for us Raiders fans. We're talking decades of history, and the two teams always seem to be about at each other's level (excepting maybe a stretch in the mid-70s to mid-80s when the Chiefs were consistently horrible). The Broncos are usually significantly better or worse, and always struck me as either incredibly boring or an erratic sideshow (the early Elway years), and have always had really tacky uniforms.

I can't imagine ever getting worked up about the Broncos the way I did when the Chiefs signed Marcus Allen (screwed by Al). I was actually thrilled when the Raiders signed Harvey Williams, who gashed us a couple times.

I'm not trying to talk trash, but the Broncos have just never captured my ire and imagination the way the Chiefs have, and I'm glad to see someone mentioning the intensity of Raiders-Chiefs (though having lived in both Dallas and Northern Virginia, I'd personally have to give best/most intense rivalry to Cowboys-Redskins even though I couldn't stand either team or their fans).

It's also important not to discount the AFL years in all of this. Again, the Broncos were/are much bigger rivals than the Chargers or Seahawks (did anyone at all miss Seattle when they left? I've barely noticed, but the thought of them playing the Chargers twice a year is pretty appealing now that I think about it), but the Broncos always seemed like the division's "other" important team to me.

21
by ChrisFromNJ (not verified) :: Thu, 11/03/2005 - 12:16pm

While the Resdskins/Cowboys rivalry seems to be getting a lot of love on this board, it's really just one of many intense NFC East rivalries in a division where all 6 permutations are pretty damn intense (sorry, Cardinals, but you weren't really a factor when you were around).

Other combinations are probably more bitter right now, Giants/Redskins has to be the most storied in the division (and second only to Packers/Bears in the entire NFL). We've played each other twice a year since 1932, and were the teams to beat all through the '30s, '40s, and '80s. For pure vitirol, though, you'd have to go with anybody and the Cowboys. As someone who's lived in the NYC and Philly areas, I can attest that mutual hatred of Dallas is often the only thing keeping me on good terms with my many of my Philadelphia friends during football season.

22
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Thu, 11/03/2005 - 12:37pm

Chiefs-Raiders is definitely the greatest rivalry, at least from Chiefs fans' perspectives.

23
by Scott C (not verified) :: Thu, 11/03/2005 - 2:34pm

Hey, the new SI just came in today's mail. Guess what's on the cover? Manning vs Brady. Cool.

24
by PatsFan (not verified) :: Thu, 11/03/2005 - 3:20pm

re: #23

Hmmm...

So does that mean the game will come down to Flutie vs. Huard?

25
by Harry (not verified) :: Thu, 11/03/2005 - 4:36pm

Chris from NJ,

I grew up in DC. Believe me, no-one in DC really cares that much about the Giants, it's all about the Cowboys. Granted the Giants were mostly awful back in the 1970s when I was growing up but even today the emotions haven't changed that much. That MNF come-from-behind victory would not have been nearly as sweet against the Giants or the Eagles.

26
by Jerry (not verified) :: Thu, 11/03/2005 - 9:15pm

The great rivalries are the ones where the people on both sides think it's their biggest. Teams like the Raiders, Cowboys, and Steelers were/are always considered rivals by every team in their division, but it's the returned venom that makes it special. (It's also that "if my team finishes next-to-last, at least we're ahead of THEM" feeling.)

I went to see a game in Cleveland after the Browns announced they were moving in '95, and the three loudest fan reactions were (1) "Modell sucks", (2) a cheer when Testaverde replaced an ineffective Eric Zeier in the second half, and (3) during announcements of out-of-town scores, the cheering when the Bengals were ahead of the Steelers. That's a rivalry.

27
by Luke (not verified) :: Thu, 11/03/2005 - 10:28pm

"The only bump in the road is the road itself: the Seahawks are terrible when they travel."

and what are you basing that comment on Mike? Their first up trip to Jacksonville? The OT loss in Washington?

They have had 3 pretty tough road trips so far and are 1-2 (and would be 2-1 if the game winning kick against the skins hadn't clanged off the upright)
They beat the rams in St. Louis - statistically the best home field advantage in the league over the last 10 years.
I think they are travelling well this year.

28
by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 11/04/2005 - 6:48pm

Hey, the NHL's back! Comment 12 reminds me of when I was a Bruins fan living in Rochester, NY. All those Sabres fans liked to talk about the storied rivalry with the Bruins, and how it was one of the fiercest in the league. And I'm like "who?" Oh...the Sabres....Yeah...we play them a lot.

Sorry for making a parallel with a once and future relevant sport. You can substitute Red Sox, Yankees, and Orioles if you'd like.