Tuesday, October 03, 2006

NFL Week 4 Review

We've reached the 1/4 mark of the 2006 season, so now we should have a really good idea of what teams have a good shot at the playoffs (Bears, Colts, Ravens, Pats), and which ones are so bad that they can already start making vacation plans for January (Raiders, Dolphins, Lions, Bucs.)
What else is happening around the League? Let's use the old Clint Eastwood theorem:


The Patriots are back on top of the world
The Pats are back on the list of Super Bowl contenders after their 38-13 pasting of the over-confident Bengals. How is this good? Well all of Patriot Nation can go back to gloating about how we have the best team, and the rest of you can go back to hating Patriot Fan and wishing that Tommmy Boy snaps an appendage, crushing our hopes; you know, reminiscent of that magical era, 2001-2004. Now I'm not meaning to slam the Bengals and their great fans; after all, my wife is from Cincy and her entire family are Bengal fans, and I certainly would not want to root against the family. But John, Betsy, Mom, Dad & everyone: Na na na na na! Ha ha, you guys lost. Your team stinks, my team beat yours. We're number 1. How'd that loss taste? Like Montgomery Inn barbeque I hope! Maybe next time, suckers!

See, I handled that maturely.

Washington beats Jax'ville 36-30 in OT
Probably the game of the day, excitement wise (at least because it was on my TV.) The Redskins proved that their win over lowly Houston last week, in which QB Mark Brunnel set an NFL record for consecutive completions, was no fluke. This time Brunnel was going up against his former team for the first time, the Jags, who have one of the nastiest defenses in the league. So what happened? Shaking off a badly cut elbow, Brunnel lit up his old mates to the tune of 18-30, 329 yds & 3 TDs. All 3 touchdowns were to scintillating Santana Moss, who is beginning to resemble the electric playmaker from 'Da U' that The Skins were hoping he would be when they acquired him from the Jets before last season. Moss made 3 spectacular plays on the TDs: in the 1st quarter(55 yd-er), opening the 4th (8 yd-er) and the game winner in OT (a 68-yd work of art.) Fellow Miami alum Clinton Portis ran for 112 yards and 1 score, and the Skins proved they are an offensive force against a stingy defense. The rest of the NFC East-beware.


Bad Albert suspended 5 games
Titans Defensive End Albert Haynesworth was suspended for 5 games after stomping on the un-helmeted cranium of Cowboys center Andre Gurode. Although Bad Albert did express remorse and apologized afterwards, it was a gutless, classless, borderline criminal act that was deserved of the longest suspension in NFL history. Gurode received 30 stitches, is consulting with a plastic surgeon, and has not ruled out criminal or civil cases being sought. He also says he should be able to play next week against the Eagles. But the damage to Haynesworth's career may be irreparable.

Bengal S Kevin Kaesviharn should be suspended, too
In that Patriot/Bengal beatdown there was another classless act that hopefully will not go unnoticed by the NFL's justice department. Cincy safety Kevin Kaesviharn laid out Patriot wide receiver Reche Caldwell with a helmet-to-helmet strike in the 3rd quarter that left Caldwell sprwaled on the turf and, after the 15 yards were marched off, set up Lawrence Maroney's 25- yd TD. Many experts, including ESPN's Tom Jackson and even Tedy Bruschi have stated that they don't believe the hit was dirty or illeagal. I got 3 words for you guys: watch the tape. Kaesviharn led with his helmet and propelled himself, missile-like, into Caldwell's helmet at full speed. If that had been a QB he hit, he would be staring at a lengthy suspension no doubt about it; so why is it okay to hit a receiver like that? Watch your back, Kevin. Payback's a bitch.


Dolphins disgust fans with terrible loss to Texans
Does it get any worse than this for Dolphins fans? Losing to a Texan team that has one of the worst records in the NFL over the past 4 years (18-46) and that was win less this season under first year head coach Gary Kubiak. So what happened? The Fins played mind-numbingly awful football against a mind-numbingly awful Texan team, and the result was a 17-15 loss that basically ended all hopes of a Championship coming back to South Beach. Free agent signee QB Daunte Culpepper was terrible again (23-39, 245, 1 TD) as the immobile object was sacked 5 times (21 on the year) by a team that had only recorded 3 sacks all season. Even disappointing rookie, No. 1 overall pick Mario Williams had has first career sack against Frankenpepper. How's the hot seat, Colonel Saban? Maybe you can jump back to college and move across town and coach the 'Canes.

Just Hide, Baby: Raiders lose at home to Browns
In the words of Scooter Rizzuto & Harry Carry "Holy cow!" Can it be this bad out there by the Bay? How on earth can a team that has so much talent (Moss, Porter, Jordan, Gallery, Janikowski, Sapp-uh, never mind that last one) lose to a team quarterbacked by Charlie Freakin' Frey? I guess because the Silver & Black have had to resort to using Andrew Walter as their QB after free agent bust Aaron Brooks got hurt. Throw in the fact that WR Jerry Porter has been disgruntled and attempting to submarine the team and new/old Coach Art Shell all year, Randy Moss has claimed the place is crazy, and guys like Sapp and Gallery have not played up to their potential, and you have the makings of an awful football team. Trouble is, it's going to get even worse before it gets better. Good luck, Art- you wanted back to the Black Hole, you got it. But congrats to Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel, the former Pats coordinator who has the Browns headed in the right direction. He could be next years' Lovie Smith.


Pats win 53rd straight after a loss
One of the most impressive streaks in the game is this stunner: the Patriots have not lost back-to-back games since 2002, second longest streak in league history. So all those fools who went against them (ah, including yours truly) should have kept that stat in mind and realized that there was now way that New England was going to lose to Cincy. It just wasn't meant to be.

Mushin Muhammad coverts 54th straight 3rd down
The only stat that comes close to the one above is this one: Bears WR Mushin Moose Muhammad converted his 54th consecutive 3rd down reception for a 1st down. My question is, why do the Bears look to anyone else for the conversion? In their 37-6 drubbing of NFC Champion Seattle, Bears QB Rex Grossman failed to convert 3rd down passes to Bernard Berrian, Thomas Jones, and Mark Bradley. Why? Why look for anyone else when you've got a possession receiver who, in the words of Double Down Trent, is so damn money?!



New England (3-1)
With 3 winnable games (MIA, @BUF,@MIN) before facing Indy on Sunday Night Football Nov. 9th the Pats are back in the driver's seat for the East title.

Indianapolis (4-0)
The Colts won a squeaker, 31-28, in the Meadowlands, but they still seem off-kilter from the loss of Edge James, although they did gain 160 on the ground. Pats/Colts, Nov 9th, NBC SNF. Be there, aloha.

Ravens (4-0)
They won't make any NFL highlight films, but their punishing defense, led by Ray Lew & Ed Reed, and opportunistic offense, under the rejuvenated Air McNair do just enough to win; perfect formula for a Super Bowl run.

Bengals (3-1)
Despite the complete & total ass-kicking they suffered at the hands of the Pats, this squad is still one of the best in the AFC. With a bye next week, then another one after that (@ the Bucs), they should rebound real quick.

Jaguars (2-2)
Disappointing that they allowed 36 pts to the Skins, almost as many as they had allowed in their 3 previous games combined, but that D is good and Leftwich is becoming a very clutch QB. They'll be there in the end when the dust settles in the AFC.


Da Bears (4-0)
After dismantling the Seahawks 37-6 Sunday night in front of a national audience no one can deny that Lovie Smith's boys are currently the cream of the conference. We knew they had the defense, but 37 points on offense? Rex the WonderGator strikes again.

Saints (3-1)
I'm not going against America's team as long as they keep playing hard, like they did in Sunday's close loss to Carolina, and as long as they have the Bucs at home this week. Look for Reggie Bush to have his breakout game in that one. Can you say 4-1?

Falcons (3-1)
I can't put them ahead of the Saints, who crushed them in their homecoming game, but this Falcon offense is SCARY. They are running all over everyone, and on top of that CB Deion-Angelo Hall (3rd pick in win ov. St.L) is emerging as the top DB in the league.

Eagles (3-1)
Now that Donovan McNabb has rid himself of that 225-lb. migraine he looks like the Don of old-last night he ran for 2 scores as well as tossed a pair in Philly's burial of Green Bay, 31-9. But with the perennially injured RB Brian Westbrook hurt again, Philly may suffer.

Seahawks (3-1)
Sure they looked rancid in their loss to the Bears. But as I said earlier Sunday, that was not the team to get healthy against. As long as Deion Branch works his way into the offense and Shaun Alexander comes back in a few weeks, the Hawks will be okay.

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