By BRAD DEGNAN
There was no shortage of tricks, picks, bad football by good players and exciting finishes in week seven. League records were tied, franchise records were made and ten teams scored more than 30 points. The Raiders led the scoring onslaught putting up 59 at Mile High against the lowly Broncos. Oakland ran for an astounding 328 yards behind Darren McFadden and his 165 rushing yards and four total touch downs. Coach Josh might want to start looking over his shoulder. The last two times that the Broncos were beaten by more than 3 touchdowns at home against the Raiders the head coach exited after the season. Wade Phillips and Mike Shanahan were patrolling the sidelines the last two times that happened. Jason Campbell took a lot of heat last week for his 10.something quarterback rating; well he improved that mark by 117 points this week.
The Giants knocked out yet another quarterback Monday night when Michael Boley wrapped up Tony Romo and road him to the ground breaking his collarbone. Romo is expected to be out six to eight weeks. You may think, “Well there goes the Cowboys’ season.” Actually, the Cowboys’ season was lost three years ago when they hired Wade Phillips.
The Bills lost another heartbreaker to a really good team this week. They took the Ravens to overtime after they had jumped out early on my Super Bowl favorites. Ray Lewis then gave an inspiring speech to his defense and that seemed to rally his troops. The Bills had 506 total yards in the game most coming from Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 374 passing yards. An untimely fumble in over time though exposed the Bills as the team that they really are. The Ravens have some serious questions that need to be addressed if they are to indeed make my prediction come true.
Jay Cutler essentially said after the Bears and Redskins game that DeAngelo Hall isn’t very good. Really? Hall’s four picks off of Cutler (one a pick six) seems pretty good to me. Who isn’t very good is Cutler. He’s starting to look a lot more like the guy who led the world in interceptions last season.
League-wide there were 9 interceptions returned for a touchdown Sunday the most ever in a single week.
If you were wondering who leads the league in interceptions this season it’s Eli Manning with 11. Honorable mentions go out to Drew Brees and #4 each with 10. Brees threw just 11 picks last season while #4 had thrown just 7.
Aaron Rogers is the happiest guy in the league today. Albeit a short schnide, he finally got off of it. Rogers beat the old man Sunday night for the first time. Rogers certainly didn’t look great, but was effective enough to outduel the turnover prone #4. It doesn’t get any easier for the Vikings as they travel to New England next week to take on Tom Terrific and Hoodie.
Trick plays were abundant for the Browns’ special teams as they got up early on the Champs and stayed up. The first bit of trickery came when Josh Cribbs fielded a punt and threw the ball across field to Eric Wright who ran down to the Saints 19-yard-line setting up the games first three points. Later in the first half, punter, “Fast” Reggie Hodges took the long snap and bolted right up the middle of the field. The Saints were caught unawares and Hodges flew down the field untouched for 68 yards to the Saints nine-yard-line. That led to another field goal. Is the ManGenius back? Brees could never get on track. He threw four interceptions including two to David Bowens who returned both for touchdowns. The second of which he capped off with a very awkward somersault into the end zone; ala Reggie Bush. Bush has a little bit more athleticism.
A side note on Bowens v Brees; Drew Brees’ wife gave birth earlier in the week to a baby boy they named Bowen. Weird.
The Britt’s are invading. Kenny Britt helped the Titans manhandle the Eagles Sunday with seven catches for 225 yards and three touchdowns. The Titans took away the wind from the Eagles in the fourth quarter with five unanswered scoring drives including three touchdowns.
The Dynamic Diva Duo and the Bengals visited the Falcons Sunday, but it was another receiver who out shined the gasbag wide outs from Cincinnati. Roddy White made 11 grabs for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile Carson Palmer finally looked impressive throwing for 412 yards and three touch downs in a losing effort.
The Chargers continue to do their best impression of the Cowboys. They outgained the Patriots 363 yards to 179, but had 4 turnovers in the first half. San Diego was unable to overcome their mistakes falling to the Patriots by three points at home. The Chargers have turned the ball over 18 times so far this season; they only had 17 all of last season.
Next week we get to look forward to that game every fan circles on the schedule when it is released. This season’s installment of the Wembley Stadium Bowl will feature the Broncos and the 49ers. Anytime you have two teams that are a combined 3-11 it’s just compelling football. Place that game in London and it… Never mind there’s no way to spin this little slice of crap. If the Niners lose though look out for some players to not make the plane ride home.
The NFC is officially on notice; while they have four teams with two losses at the top of the conference, the AFC has three teams with one loss and five teams with two losses. The teams that sit atop the NFC right now are the Falcons (playing respectable ball), the Giants (who look good against the girls teams), Tampa Bay (they will burn out) and Seattle (probably win the West). Put those teams up against the likes of say: The Jets, Patriots, Steelers, Ravens, the entire AFC South and who do you think looks like a stronger conference? Come the end of the season there’s going to be a serious log jam of NFC teams with 8-8 records trying to vie for playoff spots. It’s not going to matter; at this point no one will win against the very physical AFC.
So long folks, sorry for all the stats.