Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Oct 2005

Week 8 Rundown

Here's this week's look at upcoming games from our man Mike Tanier. This week, Mike warns the world about the dangers of "bandwagon leg" and searches for New England's lost swagger.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 26 Oct 2005

25 comments, Last at 29 Oct 2005, 10:29pm by Murr


by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 3:01pm

The Broncos face an Eagles team this week that caught the Chargers napping late in the fourth quarter last Sunday. The Eagles also came from behind to beat the Raiders and Chiefs. But they don't want to make a habit of playing catch-up against AFC West opponents.

I think they've already made it a habit.

by JasonK (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 3:26pm

Nice rundown, although I don't know anyone could come up with the verdict that Bears-Lions and Dolphins-Saints are anywhere close to worth watching. I'm guessing that Mike picked them because he had more to say about those teams than, say, the Redskins and Giants (a big game somehow banished to "nutshell"-land).

by johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 3:37pm

Why are people so focused on the Brown/Williams Dolphins running game. The Dolphins passing game is so horrible at the moment it's hardly worth watching who's carrying the ball.

by Tom Kelso (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 3:58pm

I'm pretty sure it's Eagles @ Broncos, Mike, not the way you have it. Philly has already had Oakland and SD visit Vet II this year.

Chris Simms stole ALL the Patriots' swagger? It might look like it, but remember Junior probably had some in reserve from his days at UT, where they swagger without justification out of habit.

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 4:29pm

I just want to point out that the Strokes arn't new wave. They're more post-punk or something. You know, this has to be the most musical football column on the web.

by pawnking (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 4:56pm

I'm with JasonK RE: Washington and the Giants. Halfway through the season these teams are playing for first in what's become a tough division. What's boring about that?

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 6:21pm

Considering the fact that Bears/Lions was filed under "games you should watch," Perhaps this report was filed in bizarro land.

by Mshray (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 7:00pm

So this week, Garcia will be throwing to the likes of Scottie Vines, not to be confused with Bobby Strokes, Tommy White Stripes or Franz Ferdinand.

That's a great line Mike. Keep 'em coming.

(although to be fair B is right in #5, I doubt any of those bands would classify themselves as New Wave)

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 7:04pm

Definitely the most musical football column on the web, and references from multiple popular music genres in the same column, no less! It takes a sharp eye to catch the Bob Dylan reference, and it's especially interesting used in juxtaposition to Brett Favre....Good column, as usual.

by James Gibson (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 7:10pm

What's the difference between New Wave and post punk? I thought they were the same. Give me some concrete examples.

by thad (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 8:31pm

new wave=flock of seagulls
post punk=genx

by John P (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 10:45pm

While the Bears - Lions might be ugly (O.K. will be), it is far more important than Washington - Giants. Bears - Lions is a match up of division leaders, and in the NFC North, a one game lead halfway thru the season might be enough to lock up a playoff birth. Meanwhile, no matter who wins WAS - NYG anyone could go to the playoffs from the NFC East.

by Jake (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 10:53pm

When did the Pats have "swagger"?

by mactbone (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 1:33am

Re Music References:
It doesn't matter because they're all indie rock bands. That genre is exemplified by Pavement who you may have heard through their song "Cut Your Hair" or their appearance on Space Ghost:Coast to Coast. A pretty good explanation of the genre is in my link.

I was definitely surprised to see that the Bears actually got some press. This weekend's game is for first place in the division and since they've already played each other it will help determine tie-breakers.

I'm really surprised at how quickly everyone has jumped on the NFC North is teh suck bandwagon. It's not like they're the NFC West with the possibility of a 6-10 division winner as late as the 10th week or so. While I was waiting for the game tonight (yay Sox) I regrettably saw Salisbury try to argue that the NFC North shouldn't be able to send the division winner to the playoffs. It's not like there's only one team in the division at .500 or above *cough* the NFC West and the AFC East *cough*. Just because the prognosticators blew it on the Pack and Vikes doesn't make this an awful division - the Bears and Lions have good defenses and the Vikings have the talent to win more than 5 games.

by KillerB (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 10:19am

Post-punk isn't Generation X - they're best exemplified by early-90s grunge, aka Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, etc.

What post-punk means depends on whether you mean punk the first time around (like the Ramones, in which case just about anything mid-80s is post-punk) or the rock bands gaining popularity in the wake of all the pop-punk nonsense of the late 90s/early Aughts (think Blink 182 or Bowling for Soup), in which case the likes of Franz Ferdinand and The White Stripes qualify.

What none of those bands are is "indie rock." If it's played on commercial FM radio in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, it ain't indie.

by Arthur Fonzarelli AKA Fonzie (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 11:38am


They acquired in 2001 after the Ravens left it floating around in the wake of getting thrashed by Pittsburgh in the Divisional playoff round.

by MikeT (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 11:55am

Since Philadelphia doesn't have a modern rock station anymore, I have a hard time coming up with accurate labels about current rock bands. I really like Franz Ferdinand, though.

Once a week, I must get a home-road game wrong. Never thought I would do it to an Eagles game though.

And "Games You Should Watch" often comes down to "Games I have interesting material on." I didn't want to make Dolphins-Saints "must flee tv". Think about it.

by Bassett (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 12:02pm

Thank God I am spared, if just for a week from having to pay attention to my own team's problems... now I can just be critical about other teams...

/That's much more fun...

by MdM (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 12:14pm

I didn't get the music references, and I'm a professional musician :). I must be showing my age!

Frankly, I'm not surprised by the NFC North's incredible ineptitude. What surprises me is Washington. I thought they were a just a little flash in the pan, but they have been fairly consistent this year. I laughed after the 2nd or 3rd week when a Wash fan was saying they could take a game or maybe two against my EAgles. But now that doesn't seem so funny! This league is so strange....what was up is down and what was down was up. How a team that played so bad last year can play so well this year just mystifies me.

Maybe Wash and NY will turn out to be medium sized flashes int he pan or actually ARE good really intrigues me! The upcoming divisional games will be fun!

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 12:50pm

I saw a couple Wash games this season, and the offense was really struggling to get in synch. Then I saw thier practice last sunday, and they looked really good. The offense was clicking, Brunell looked like the Brunell of 4 years ago and Portis looked like the back we saw in Denver. I can't wait to see how this team performs in a real NFL game.

by thad (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 1:07pm

Well the skins have stuggled on offense have struggled at times this year. Last year they mostly sucked every week. Brunell seemed incapable of throwing the ball deep and the the o-line was pretty bad, it seemed Portis had very little room. I am not saying they are great this year, but they are 6th on off dvoa, last year they were 28th. The line is better, mostly due to the return of Jansen I would say. Brunell is playing way better. I don't want to say they will be great for the rest of the year, but so far i think they have really improved.

by TomC (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 3:34pm

I didn’t want to make Dolphins-Saints “must flee tv�. Think about it.

Yeah, it would have taken a sick, heartless bastard to mine that comedy gold. (The late HST on Page 2 springs to mind.)

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 5:13pm

Re: Washington Offense

It's not the same as last year. They added in Jansen and a new C (Rabach), plus improvement to the young LG Dockery have shored up the interior. Last year the center and guards were getting blown up a lot, this year Brunell has more time. The WRs have been updgraded as well, Coles is a small possession WR and Gardner is a 4th string WR who is more inconsistet than Plaxico. Portis has probably been as big of a surprise as Moss, in that he's not getting any long runs but still is wonderfully consistent at getting positive yardage.

Look at the good offenses in the NFL over the past 2,3 years... Kansas City, Indy, Seattle, New England Philadelphia, St Louis. They've all had time to work together in the offense and with the same personnel. Teams that undergo drastic changes to the offensive lines, and QB should expect to go through struggles.

It looks like the Bengals, Redskins and Giants are starting to have emerging offenses this season, which is great for football fans.

by James Gibson (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 7:41pm

Back to my comment above. Take a band like Talking Heads - I've heard them listed as both post punk and New Wave. And until other people said Generation X, I thought genx was some band I'd never heard of.

by Murr (not verified) :: Sat, 10/29/2005 - 10:29pm

Since Philadelphia doesn’t have a modern rock station anymore, I have a hard time coming up with accurate labels about current rock bands.

I have two words for you, Mike: satellite radio. I purchased it right after WHFS (DC/Baltimore) went Latino, and I'm kicking myself for not buying it years ago. Every musical genre you can imagine, with multiple choices for most - it's a glorious thing.

I was very depressed when I heard that WDRE got off the modern rock format -- that was one of the best stations I ever heard, back when I lived in Philly.