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Week 8 Judgements: Kansas City cooking at home again

by | CBSSports.com Senior Writer

1. So it was a close call. It was also another Kansas City victory. And, with it, the Chiefs became the seventh club in league history to win their first four home games one year after losing their first four. Now the bad news for the rest of the AFC West: Four of the previous six teams finished their seasons unbeaten at home.

2. So San Diego is struggling. Its quarterback is not. In fact, at the rate he's going, Philip Rivers will wind up with nearly 5,300 yards passing and over 600 attempts. That's what can happen when your team falls behind by 12 or more points in six of its first eight games.

3. Let me see if I have this straight. Donovan McNabb was pulled in favor or Rex Grossman near the end of Sunday's game because Grossman is "more comfortable" and "capable" with the two-minute offense than McNabb? Wow, you don't have a quarterback controversy, Washington. You have a quarterback problem. And, Donovan McNabb, you may never have a contract extension.

4. Whew, I'm sure Denver fans feel a whole lot better knowing that Josh McDaniels is safe through 2011.

5. The more I see of Tarvaris Jackson the more I understand why the Vikings want to keep Brett Favre in the lineup. Favre on one leg is better than Jackson on two.

6. I watch that game-clinching, 80-yard drive by New England, complete with two third-down conversions and 61 yards rushing, and I wonder: Where in the world did Logan Mankins' leverage go?

7. With two more losses, the Cowboys should pull the plug on this season and get started on 2011 -- which means starting third-string quarterback Stephen McGee. All you have to lose is another game, and big deal. McGee has a future; Jon Kitna does not. So find out what you have while you can.

8. And that, folks, is what I mean about Calvin Johnson being the best wide receiver in the game.

9. I'll tell you who should get votes for Executive of the Year: Rams GM Billy Devaney. He not only has St. Louis back on its feet; he has it in the thick of the NFC West race. Devaney rebuilt the Rams' offensive line, gave them a franchise quarterback, added key defensive players and a solid head coach and now we're talking about them as a threat to Seattle ... or is that Arizona? I don't know, you tell me who wins the West. The more I see of it the more I understand why Mike Singletary is convinced his 49ers aren't out of it.

10. Defensive Rookie of the Year? It has to be Detroit's Ndamukong Suh, who leads his team with 6.5 sacks and clinched the Lions' defeat of Washington with his first pro touchdown.

11. That makes four blocks of Mike Scifres' punts in eight games. Prior to this season, he had one in his pro career. Now he's two-thirds of the way toward tying Harry Newsome's single-season record of six blocks, set in 1988, and tell me what -- other than blocks -- he and Scifres share. I'll spare you the trouble: Multiple deep snappers. Newsome went through four that season, and Scifres is on his fourth this year.

12. The New York Jets not only aren't the best team in the NFL anymore; they may not be the best team in New York.

13. After watching Randy Moss quit on a potential touchdown catch, then hear him call out the Vikings' coaching staff, Minnesota should be relieved he won't be doing interviews the rest of the season.

14. The NFL can't be serious about establishing a team in England permanently. It's not so much the practical improbability of scheduling, say, a road trip to the West Coast as it is staging Sunday's Denver-San Francisco game in London. C'mon, now, if you're dead set on getting someone interested in a car why wheel out an Edsel with two flat tires? This must be payback for the Spice Girls.

15. Sorry, but I don't want to know how the NFL proves if those photos were of Brett Favre.

Five things I like

1. The Saints in all black on Halloween. You want to scare the Pittsburgh Steelers, right? That's a start.

2. David Garrard in the first half and Drew Brees in the second. Garrard was 10 for 10 for 126 yards and two TDs vs. Dallas. Brees was 20 for 22 for 191 yards and two TDs against Pittsburgh. Guess we can hold off on more questions about what's wrong with these guys.

3. Josh Freeman in the fourth quarter. When I think fourth-quarter comebacks I think John Elway and Freeman. OK, I think John Elway. But five of Freeman's eight career wins are fourth-quarter comebacks, including four this season.

4. New England's throwback uniforms. Hooray for the red, white and blue.

5. The Saints' goal-line stand. They stuffed the Steelers three times at the 1, forcing them to take a field goal, and tell me that wasn't the wake-up call New Orleans needed.

Five things I don't

1. Regular-season international games. I don't care who's involved. They're competitive disadvantages to the home team. Plus, they cost people in the good ol' U.S. of A. one of eight home games. If you want to take a game to England export the Pro Bowl.

2. Anything about the Chargers' special teams.

3. The Cowboys' pass defense. It has holes larger than the roof at Texas Stadium. Over the last two games the Cowboys have surrendered eight touchdowns passing, and forget about Wade Phillips as a head coach. He must do a better job as a defensive coordinator. On second thought, forget it. He's toast no matter what.

4. Favre carted off the field. I swear, there was so much bleeding from his chin it looked like Antietam.

5. Minnesota's tackling. Whatever happened to what was once the league's best run defense? I mean, now it gets torn apart by BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead? You gotta be kidding me.

Just asking but ...

  Who's this week's favorite in the NFC West?

  Donovan McNabb or Rex Grossman?

  Anyone seen Jared Allen?

  Does this mean a moratorium on talk about an all-New York Super Bowl?

  Why did Randy Moss quit on a potential touchdown pass he could've caught? Because a flag was thrown? C'mon, let me ask it again. Why did Randy Moss ...

  What should we make of the New Orleans Saints now?

Significant numbers

0 -- Minnesota sacks the past three games

1 -- Randy Moss catches

3 -- Straight games where Kansas City has run for at least 200 yards

4 -- Straight games with a Terrell Owens touchdown

8 -- Touchdown passes surrendered by Dallas in the past seven days

10 -- Dan Carpenter field goals the past two games

21 -- Straight games with a Philip Rivers TD pass

545 -- Oakland yards

2002 -- Last time Oakland was 4-4 through the first eight games

83-30 -- Final score of the San Francisco Bay Area vs. Josh McDaniels' Denver Broncos the last two weekends

My top five

1. New England
2. Baltimore
3. Pittsburgh
4. Indianapolis
5. N.Y. Giants

My bottom five

32. Buffalo
31. Carolina
30. Denver
29. Dallas
28. San Francisco

Next weekend's three best games

Indianapolis at Philadelphia ... Time to re-jump the Michael Vick Era.

Tampa Bay at Atlanta ... Fourth-quarter Freeman vs. Matty Ice.

Kansas City at Oakland ... AFC West starts to sort itself out.


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