Here are my re-caps, random thoughts, and opinions on NFL action from week 9.
San Diego 21
NY Giants 20 FINAL
- This was a game the Giants should have won. Philip Rivers was held to 209 yards passing. LaDanian Tomlinson was held to 22 yards rushing. But, conservative, spineless play-calling and lack of confidence did the Giants in here. The overall effort was better by the Giants. However, Brandon Jacobs inability to pound the ball coupled with three red zone failures, a missed field goal, poor run blocking by the O-line, convervative, gutless, spineless, scrotumless playcalling, and dropped passes at crucial times led to this loss. Bad enough when the players are losing confidence. Even worse when the coaches lose confidence in the players. Did Manning even attempt passes in the end zone? A seven minute drive in their opening series on offense resulted in ZERO points. Even when the effort is there, it seems they're finding ways to lose. The Giants are on track to make history. They're on their way to being the first team in NFL history to start a season 5-0 and miss the playoffs. Nice going, guys. How long before Tom Coughlin's seat is hot? How much worse does it have to get for Brandon Jacobs before they bench him?
New England 27 FINAL
- Perhaps Joey Porter should do his talking on the field instead of to the press. After trash-talking the Patrios during the week, he was held without a single tackle. Tom Brady had a solid day, hitting 332 yards passing. Randy Moss looked better than he had in a while. The defense bent, but didn't break. On the flip side, Chad Henne has to try more passes down the field. Ronnie Brown has to get more than 15 carries in a game. This is their franchise RB. Can we quit putzing around with Ricky Williams and get Brown more carries? And, how many more dropped passes will it take to get Ted Ginn benched? Good grief. He is single-handedly costing them chances to win games.
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
- The Bengals are a team that get it. They didn't try to get flashy or fancy in this one. Cedric Benson carried the ball 34 times. THAT's what you're supposed to do with a franchise RB. Carson Palmer wasn't great, but limited his mistakes and let his RB do most of the work. They controlled the clock with the running game, and played great defense. That's a formula for a win in most contests. Joe Flacco was held to under 200 yards passing. Ray Rice led the team in rushing and receiving; mostly because the Ravens WR's couldn't get open in this one. The Bengals appear poised for the playoffs, while the Ravens continue to move in the wrong direction.
Philadelphia 16 FINAL
- The big plays seemed to be missing from Philly in this one. McNabb barely completed over 50% of his passes. LeSean McCoy led the team in rushing & receiving, but still has minimal impact. The Eagles only saw the end zone once. Credit the Cowboys for coming into an environment they'd struggled in recently, and getting the job done. Tony Romo has a solid day; surpassing the 300 yd mark. Thanks to the Giants loss, the Cowboys have a full game lead in the NFC East.
Green Bay 28
Tampa Bay 38 FINAL
- This loss hurts the Packers. They had this game under control; then fell apart in the 4th QTR. They gave up 3 TD's in the 4th. Aaron Rodgers was hit so much in this one, I thought I was watching a human pin~ata. They have to make some changes on the O-line, and they have to make them NOW. The defense fell asleep late in the game and let a rookie QB in his first start on a winless team get the better of them. There is no excuse for that. Absolutely none. On the flip side, congrats to the Bucs for getting their first win and ending all of the can-they-go-winless talk. Looks like they' ve got their QB in Josh Freeman. That was a nice start to his career.
Kansas City 21
Jacksonville 24 FINAL
- Jamaal Charles got his first start as the Chiefs' starting RB, but got the ball only six times. Yeah, I don't get it either. On the plus side, the Chiefs may have found a go to guy in newly signed WR Chris Chambers. Matt Cassel has an OK day, but didn't really get it going until it was too late. On the flip side, Jones-Drew got the ball 29 times; hitting 97 yards. Maybe the Jaguars are starting to get it. Sims-Walker had another solid day with 147 yards on six receptions. The defense must play better late in games.
Indianaloplis 20 FINAL
- Leave it up to the Texans to lose on the week I pick them to win. Someone please explain this team to me. How do you kick a 56 yard field goal before halftime; then miss a 40 yarder when the game is on the line? Talk about letting a team off the hook. Matt Schaub has similar numbers to Peyton Manning (34-43, 311 yds). Andre Johnson was solid as usual with another 10 reception performance. The defense again played well for the Texans. The Texans played well enough to win this one. Credit the Colts defense for bending, but not breaking. Manning has another solid day, but was held without a TD in the second half. Dallas Clark had 14 receptions on the day; partly because the WR's were covered well much of the game. The Colts get another test next week when they face Bill Bellicheat, Tom "I-have-my-own-referees" Brady, and the Patriots.
Chicago 21 FINAL
- It was 34-7 at the end of the 3rd quarter. Someone please explain to me how a team can play like this on the road; yet stink it up at home. Anyone? It was an embarrasing day for the Bears D. Tommie Harris got himself kicked out of the game. Jay Cutler hit 369 yards passing, but most of it was in garbage time; playing catch-up. On the flip side, Larry Fitzgerald was the MVP with 9 receptions for 123 yards. The Cardinals now have a solid two-game lead in the NFC West.
Atlanta 31 FINAL
- It was the Michael Turner show in Atlanta (18-166, 2TD's). He averaged almost nine yards per carry and took the Falcons on his back in this one. Matt Ryan didn't have to do much. On the flip side, Jason Campbell actually had more passing yards than Ryan, but couldn't get anything going early on in this one. The Redskins did get it going on offense and defense in the second half; outscoring the Falcons 14-7, but the game was well out of reach by then.
Seattle 32 FINAL
- This is another perfect example of playing NOT to lose instead of playing to win. The Lions has a 17-0 lead in this game; then got conservative and started playing scared. From the 2nd QTR on, Matthew Stafford and the offense went on vacation; letting Matt Hasselbeck mount a comeback en route to 329 yards passing. Good teams find a way to finish games the way they start them. The Lions are simply not there yet. With the win, the Hawks are now tied for 2nd with the 49ers in the NFC West.
New Orleans 30 FINAL
- Yet again, Drew Brees found a way to rally his team from behind and found a way to win. This has become a recurring theme for the Saints. After being held to 6 points in the first half, the Saints exploded. Drew Brees spread the ball effectively; getting everyone involved in the passing game. The Panthers defense, which had played well for a half, let up in the 2nd half. As many teams have found out, you can't let up against the Saints. You must play 4 QTR for a full 60 minutes to beat this team.
San Francisco 27 FINAL
- Bud Adams is looking smarter and smarter by the week. Vince Young is 2-0. Kerry Collins is 0-6. The team just simply responds better to Vince Young being out there. Team chemistry is everything in this league, and the Titans have it right now. Chris Johnson has 135 yards rushing. Young took care of the football again and limited his mistakes. On the flip side, Alex Smith almost hit 300 yards passing, but the INT's late in the game cost the team. I don't get this defense. This 49ers defense comes off a bye week and holds Peyton Manning to 18 points and zero TD's; yet they can't stop the 1-6 Titans at home??? Does anyone have a clue who the 49ers are?
Broncos 10 FINAL
- This has to be considered a disappointment for the Broncos. The critics were saying last week that they were pretenders because they got blown out by the Ravens at home. So, how do they respond? They get blown out again - at home. Wow. The Broncos running game seems to have disappeared; along with their run defense. Brandon Marshall did what he could; hauling in 11 catches for 112 yards. But, Kyle Orton is not spreading that ball around enough. Where is Eddie Royal? Tony Scheffler? These are pretty good receivers. Why are they not getting balls thrown to them? On the flip side, credit the Steelers for finally getting their running game going. The switch to Rashad Mendenhall seems to be paying off. 155 yards on 22 carries against a good defense is a nice outing. A big win for the Steelers as they remain tied for the lead in the NFC North.