Here are my NFL re-caps, random thoughts, & opinions for week 8:
NEW ORLEANS 35 FINAL
- The Saints record remains perfect, but they were not perfect on this night. Michael Turner was able to come up with 151 yards rushing on 20 carries; over 7.5 ypc. Matt Ryan managed almost 300 yards through the air despite completing less than half his passes. The Saints offense was solid as usual, but the turnovers kept the Falcons in this game until the 4th quarter. Drew Brees continued his historic MVP-type season; completing 75% of his passes for 308 yards.
NY Giants 17
PHILADELPHIA 40 FINAL
- Right now, the New York Giants are a disgrace to the game of football, the NFL, their coaches, themselves, the FOX Network that airs their games, the city of New York, and all of their fans nationwide. It's one thing to lose three games in a row. Losing streaks happen. Fans can understand that. But, it's quite another thing to see your team come out and play with no intensity, no passion, no urgency, no conviction, no pulse, no inspiration, no discipline, no focus, no determination, no drive, no interest, no aggression, no life, no enthusiasm, no effort, no energy, no fight, no gonads, no guts, no testicular fortitude, no pride, no dignity, no character, no self-respect...........well, you get the picture. Eli Manning is playing like some 14-year-old street punk trying to make his High School Freshman team. They're paying Eli Manning $16 million per year, and in his past three games, he's thrown 3 TD's, 6 INT's, lost a fumble, and has completed less than half his passes. That's just unacceptable when you're a former Superbowl MVP QB; especially when you're making that kind of money. Brandon Jacobs is afraid to get hit all of the sudden. The Offensive Line can't run block or pass-protect anymore. The offensive play-calling is so predictable right now, the Cleveland Browns could probably stop the Giants. The Defense doesn't blitz anymore, pressure the QB, cover receivers, deflect passes, stop the run, nor tackle well. Not sure what you call that scheme. They can't come up with INT's even when they are in position. Special Teams is poor. Even worse than the poor effort and focus is the non-chalant attitude of the team. The players are saying to the press that they've been here before and are not in panic mode. Oh, really? True, in the past, they've bounced back from poor play, but never have I seen this poor an effort and focus from the team. So, when is it time to panic? In week 13' when you're 5-6 and have lost SIX games in a row after starting 5-0? How much more can a team disgrace itself before realizing change is needed? I don't even recognize this team anymore.
NY Jets 25 FINAL
- The Jets still have a very good defense. Ronnie Brown was held to 27 yards rushing, and Chad Henne only managed 112 yards passing. Credit the Dolphins special teams for this victory. Ted Ginn has flopped as a receiver, but has become invaluable as a kick-off returner. His two TD's were the difference in this game. On the flip side, Mark Sanchez and Thomas Jones had solid games against a very good Dolphins defense, but the special teams let the Jets down in this one.
DALLAS 38 FINAL
- Matt Hasselbeck had an OK day; completing more passes than Tony Romo did. But poor tackling and poor pass coverage on defense did the 'Hawks in on this day. When Miles Austin was well covered, Romo got Sam Hurd involved more. The Cowboys didn't put up huge numbers, but took much better advantage of scoring opportunities than the Seahawks; which is why the score differential is so huge. Both teams struggled to get the run game going.
BALTIMORE 30 FINAL
- Some analysts are saying that this loss exposed the Broncos as pretenders. I disagree. I think that's a dumb thing to say about a team that didn't lose its first game until week 8. Your team is doing something right when you start your season at 6-0; regardless of your competition. The Ravens defense deserves the credit for this victory. They got after Kyle Orton all day and never let up; creating turnovers and scoring opportunities; something the Broncos had been able to do up until this game. The Broncos were held to 218 total yards on offense. A Ravens defense that had been dormant since September really stepped it up in this one.
SAN FRANCISCO 14
INDIANAPOLIS 18 FINAL
- Credit the 49ers for coming off their bye week and taking it to one of the best teams in the NFL on the road. The 49ers defense was outstanding. Peyton Manning put up big numbers, but was held without a TD pass for the first time this season. Reggie Wayne did have a big day; 12 receptions for 147 yards. The 49ers offense was OK; but couldn't score in the 2nd half when it mattered. Still, despite the 4 game losing streak, I think it would be a mistake for any team to take the 49ers lightly going forward. Michael Crabtree has proven that he can come in and contribute immediately.
ST. LOUIS 17
DETROIT 10 FINAL
- Despite the return of Matthew Stafford, the offense came out flat in this one. Stafford took no chances with deep passes until it was too late. Either he doesn't trust his WR's, or the coach has him on a leash. Either way, no point being conservative when you're 1-6. On the flip side, Steven Jackson was a stud, rushing for 149 yards and a TD. The fake field goal by the Rams in the 2nd quarter was a thing of beauty. It turned out to be the difference in the game. The Rams do need more weapons on offense. The Lions need Calvin Johnson back pronto.
CHICAGO 30 FINAL
- Derek Anderson managed to complete six passes this week. He now has 2 TD's; 9 INT's on the season. His QB rating is now 36.2. The GM has been fired. What more will it take to give Brady Quinn another chance? And, they don't want to fire Mangini? I just don't get this Browns organization. On the flip side, Cutler wasn't spectacular, but didn't have to do much in this one. Matt Forte got in the end zone twice in this contest.
BUFFALO 10 FINAL
- Houston took a while to get it going. They were actually trailing in this game until the 4th quarter. Matt Schaub had an unspectacular, but efficient day. The story of the day was Ryan Moats, coming off the bench and rushing for 126 yards after Steve Slaton was benched for his fumbling issues. The Bills defense played well for most of the day, but they don't seem to have enough going for them on offense. Terrell Owens DID had five receptions on the day; his most in one game for the season so far.
TENNESSEE 30 FINAL
- It's a shame it took the owner of the team's involvement to circumvent Fisher's stubbornness and get Vince Young back out on the field. He's not a great QB, but he WINS. Isn't winning what really counts; not personal feelings or grudges? Vince Young didn't have to do much. But, when called upon, he was poised, ran the offense with confidence, and didn't make mistakes that cost the team. He only had three incomplete passes on the day. The TD pass to Nate Washington was a thing of beauty. Oh, and by the way, he's 19-12 as a starting QB. Nothing flashy, but the offense responds to him. Chris Johnson was a beast; rushing for 228 yards on 24 carries. The Jaguars simply couldn't keep up despite 177 yards from Jones-Drew. The Jags need more from their passing game and their defense.
SAN DIEGO 24 FINAL
- The Chargers weren't exactly playing their 'A' game in this one, but they'll take the win. They were held to 3 points in the second half. Rivers was efficient, and Vincent Jackson had a nice day with over 100 yards receiving. Good news for the Chargers is they get a Giants team next week that's hapless, careless, emotionless, characterless, effortless, convictionless, scrotumless, gutless, spineless, worthless, useless, pulseless, lifeless, prideless, passionless, disgraceful, disgusting, disinterested, disconnected, lack-luster, lethargic, slow, lazy, soft, weak, lame, uninspired, undisciplined, unfocused, undetermined, unaggressive, unenthusiastic, undignified, unintelligent, moronic, pitiful, pathetic, complacent, non-chalant, putrid, ...........well, you get the idea. On the flip side, the effort by JaMarcus Russell and the Raiders was better, but the WR's simply aren't stepping it up enough. Too many trips in the red zone; only to have to settle for field goals.
ARIZONA 21 FINAL
- The Panthers can thank Kurt Warner for this victory. Warner turned into Jake Delhomme in front of his home crowd, throwing 5 INT's on the day. You won't beat ANY team in this league turning it over like that. The Cardinals are 3-0 on the road; yet just 1-3 at home. Yeah, I don't get it either. Delhomme only attempted 14 passes this game, and the Panthers used the running game to take advantage of the turnovers and scoring opportunities to get the job done.
GREEN BAY 26 FINAL
- Brett Favre continues to prove me wrong with another solid performance. I still think he will wear down later in the season, but so far so good. Shocking to me that a Packer team who Favre trashed to the press let the Vikings imposed their will on their way to a 24-3 lead at Lambeau in the 3rd QTR. The Packers offense got it going after that, but it was too late. I really thought the defense would step up at home and make a contest out of this game. The offensive line is letting this Packers team down as well. They need to give the guy some time back there. That was ridiculous Sunday. Clearly, I have over-estimated the Packers and under-estimated Favre this season.