| Sunday Salutes
Week 7 Bumps, Bruises and Bow-outs
Nothing too terrible here unless you saw Beuerlein's finger.
Ladell Betts (WAS) - Forearm bruise
Patrick Ramsey (WAS) - Bruised hand
Desmond Clark (CHI) - Sprained toe
Adrian Peterson (CHI) - Sprained ankle
Donte Stallworth (NO) - Strained quadriceps
Steve Beuerlein (DEN) - Dislocated finger
Lamar Gordon (STL) - Sprained ankle
I just pretended they were Arizona State
Kyle Boller had his career best game yesterday with 302 yards
passing and two touchdowns. To put that into perspective,
consider that he had roughly as much - 391 yards and two touchdowns
- over the course of his four previous games combined.
Boller now has his first 300 yard game as a pro. With any
luck, perhaps soon he will fill in the gap since he has never
thrown for yardage between 152 yards and 302 yards. In other
news, Travis Taylor is averaging about 50 yards a game this
season. That's one game with 138 yards and four others that
total 107 yards.
Hmmm... one of these games is not like the others...
Be there in two minutes
For those attending the Saints game in Atlanta, loitering
at the concession booth with that cute cashier did not cause
you to miss any game changing plays. With the game only a
minute old, Warrick Dunn ripped off a 69 yard run up the middle
for a touchdown. Then within one more minute of clock time,
Aaron Brooks hit Donte' Stallworth with a "we can do
that too" touchdown pass of exactly 69 yards as well.
By the time you sat down, the score was back to a tie. The
only thing you might have missed was that Stallworth never
had any more catches in the game and Dunn only gained 13 more
rushing yards in the remaining 58 minutes of play.
Big... Low... Big... Low... Low
The Cowboys have risen to a lofty 5-1 record thanks in no
small part to their new version of the "Big 3" -
Joey Galloway, Antonio Bryant and Terry Glenn. They are the
best receiving trio according to some studio analysts and
almost as vital as the original Aikman, Irvin and Smith triplets
according to all commentators who, coincidentally, were in
the original group.
How do they determine which becomes the hot player each game?
Tracking them proves to be akin to those intelligence tests
where you must discern the pattern of a set of numbers. So
far there are only two keys that are indisputable.
1. Terry Glenn has gained the following fantasy points in
order for the past six games: 0, 11, 0, 16, 4 and 19. So next
week he has to be low again at Tampa Bay and then turn in
a 24+ point effort against Washington. Thank me later.
2. There is no rhyme or reason on the other two and if you
started Galloway (zero catches) yesterday, it may have hurt
but he just taking the new Terry Glenn path. Maybe next week.
Stop - in the name of love (flip) before you break my heart...
If any one play deserved a soundtrack, the Randy Moss "lateral"
to Moe Williams is first in line. On the final play of the
first half, Daunte Culpepper heaved a standard 60 yard "last
play" bomb to Randy Moss down on the ten yard line which
turned into a hook-and-ladder play when Moss lateralled it
to Williams who caught it in stride for a touchdown. In hoping
to get at least extra difficulty points, Moss was turned around
and just chunked it backwards over his right shoulder.
When HC Mike Shanahan was stopped on the way to the lockerroom
before halftime, he was asked if the play was a damaging one
to the psyche of his players to which he responded "it
was just a touchdown". He could have added that Beuerlein's
finger was "just a scrape really" and that his previous
decision to only carry two quarterbacks on the roster earlier
this year was "just a slight miscalculation".
Drama 101 - Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to cry
| Comedy Lineup
|| Tragedy Lineup
|| 4 FG, 2 XP
Huddle Fantasy Points = 134
Huddle Fantasy Points = 12
Okay, so we never thought to practice against that
In the Seattle game, Chris Chandler engineered a fourth quarter
drive that culminated with a one yard Stanley Pritchett touchdown
run to make the score 15-17. Needing a two point conversion,
Chandler started to roll to the right and saw the rushers
coming in. He started to go to the left, but he saw more rushers
coming in (this is Chicago blocking, after all). So he did
the unthinkable and ran the ball in for the conversion, getting
bashed at the goal line but managing to cross it.
He ran the ball in, tied the game and then just walked back
to the sideline with no help. The often-hurt quarterback showed
no signs of being injured on his run but did say that from
now on he would stick with just handing the ball off to Jamal
Anderson or throwing to Terance Mathis.
Sunday's Couch Commentary
26, CLE 20
did not get off the Couch in time to win and the Chargers
are the final team to get into the "W" column
for the season. Tomlinson only accounted for 76% of all
Charger yardage and 55% of all Charger plays. Maybe they
should have thought about using him earlier than this?
|BAL 26, CIN 34
||Sort of hard to think what is stranger
- that the Ravens actually do have a passing game or that
300 yards and two scores by Boller are not enough to make
the Ravens be competitive. No wait - I got it. It must
be that the Bengals won and are only one game out of the
AFC North lead, behind the team that they just beat.
37, CAR 17
of hard to think what is stranger - that the Panthers
actually do have a passing game or that 362 yards and
two scores by Delhomme are not enough to make the Panthers
be competitive. No wait - I got it. It still must be that
the Bengals won and are only one game out of the AFC North
lead, behind the team that they just beat.
|NO 45, ATL 17
||Yeah, thanks there Kurt. Okay -
who else we got? Anyone? Anyone at all? High school quarterback
maybe? Anyone have a paper route when they were a kid?
24, STL 34
(tek-tum-a-fobia), n. An unnatural fear of roofs
which is incurable in the great North where they actually
need them the worst. (When a 245 pound fullback can run
76 yards for a touchdown, it is a sign that the defense
has already left the field).
|WAS 7, BUF 24
||We all told Stevie Spurrier
that if he was too rough with his toy Ramsey, that it
would end up broken and he would have to be content to
just play with his Johnson. Now he gets to spend the next
two weeks preparing to go to Dallas where they evidently
not only take care of things, they even recycle trash
20, MIN 28
the plus side, the entire Denver secondary will now be
on TV whenever they show NFL highlight films for 2003.
On the downside, the way the Broncos are going through
quarterbacks the next John Elway may actually end up being
|NE 19, MIA 13
||This is what happens when Wannstedt
uses the offseason to read "Homefield - Advantages
and Benefits" written by a guy who lives in Cleveland.
He must have missed the chapter about "if you are
not going to score, then at least cover deep".
38, DET 7
spent the postgame interview discussing how the Cowboys
are really not that good, that there is much to fix and
there were many breakdowns that were inexcusable. Actually,
Mariucci did the same thing but everyone believed him.
The fumble return for a score by Detroit was nifty, but
the game plan needs to insert some offensive scoring at
some point during the next 38 points their opponent scores.
|NYJ 19, HOU 14
||This is exactly why Las Vegas bookies
always disrespect the Texans. Because they want to make
money. Once again the AFC East standings are determined
each week using a bingo ball dispenser. And - you won...
and you won too!... and you lost - sorry Fins..
17, SEA 24
their starting quarterback, running back and wideout has
apparently made the Bears almost competitive. Now just
add them back into the mix, one at a time, until we figure
out where the problem was. Marty, you are first, okay
then Anthony and then Kordell. Hmm... Now call me crazy
|TB 7, SF 24
||In case you have not gotten over
2002 yet, this was the game that Tampa Bay won 34-6 last
year. Facing a great defense, Owens went nuts for 152
yards but only managed 36 yards last week against Seattle.
The best way to not lose much money betting on the 49ers
is to bet both sides equally.
Winner: Philadelphia 14, NY Giants 10
There were several notable games on Sunday. The Chargers
finally got a win in Cleveland where homefield means nothing.
Two of the worst quarterbacks in the league (Boller and Delhomme)
both turned in 300+ yard games. New England broke a six year
jinx in Miami because Olindo Mare cannot kick field goals
when they need it most. The Jets nip the Texans and Randy
Moss does his best Meadowlark Lemon impression but in the
end, the game of the week was not about yards and scores,
it was about the Eagles and Giants.
Home was not a kind place this week since more visitors than
home teams won, but in New York against the struggling Eagles,
the G-Men had a distinct advantage. More than anything, the
advantage was that Donovan McNabb cannot even look good compared
to Kyle Boller anymore.
By halftime, the Giants were behind 7-3 but had only themselves
to blame. The Eagles had only one scoring drive that was aided
by a 41 yard pass interference call and a freak 25 yard completion
to L.J. Smith. Brian Westbrook had scored on a six yard run
around right end. The touchdown was the fourth consecutive
game for Westbrook to score, something that had not been done
in Philadelphia since Ricky Watters did it seven years ago.
In the first half, the Giants had two drives that ended at
the PHI 39-yard line and 37-yard line but elected to punt
instead of kicking a field goal since the Giants go through
kickers so quickly that they had no idea if Brett Conway was
good from 50+ yards.
The Giants also reached the Eagle 28-yard line before losing
a fumble. Their final drive in the first half started thanks
to an interception on the PHI 29-yard line and when they failed
to get a first down, they let Conway boot a 39 yard field
goal. Even punters can do that.
At halftime, McNabb had completed seven of 16 passes for
54 yards and Brian Westbrook had ran for 64 yards on nine
carries. In the rest of the game - two full quarters - the
Eagles had only five offensive series. They totaled one first
down and 24 yards, They never reached farther than their own
44 yard line and only once worked beyond their own 29-yard
line. You just cannot win like that. That is just 18 plays
in the second half with a net of less than 2 yards per play.
Conversely, the Giants took the opening kickoff for seven
plays before punting. When they got the ball back on their
own 38-yard line, they drove the field in 12 plays and scored
a touchdown to take the lead 10-7.
After a six play drive fizzled out, they punted and then
got the ball back on their own 37-yard line. In 11 plays,
they drove back down the field for 58 yards to the PHI 5-yard
line where on third down and five to go, Kerry Collins gets
hit by a blitzing linebacker and fumbles the ball away. Philly
recovers and dodges a bullet. Starting at their own 10 yard-line,
the Eagles put together the best drive of the half and reach
their own 29-yard line before having to punt. Only 4:23 remains
and there is no offense to use even if the Eagles had four
hours and 23 minutes.
The Giants decide to use Dorsey Levens on three consecutive
plays since he does not fumble like Tiki Barber. Actually,
he does not run like him either since he only gains nine yards
and the Giants punt with just under three minutes.
The Eagles get the ball with 2:50 left on the clock and McNabb
throws an incomplete. Then Westbrook gains nothing. Then at
the two minute warning, McNabb gets sacked on his own 19-yard
line. They punt the ball away knowing the game is over.
After three more Dorsey Levens runs that cover a total of
a one yard loss, there is only 1:39 left of this excruciating
non-drama to conclude. The Eagles have all their players on
the line except for Westbrook and one blocker. He fields it
on the PHI 16-yard line after a bounce and suddenly breaks
through the line of blockers on the left sideline. A Giant
player looks like he has the angle on him around midfield
but goes high instead of low and Westbrook continues his tight
rope run almost untouched to the endzone! He scores! In one
punt return, he covers over three times as much ground as
the offense could in the last six series and puts the Eagles
up by four points in a game that they could not get offensive
yardage even if they rode on a diesel tractor.
The Giants squander their final minute with one pass to Toomer
and Shockey and three incompletions. The final one of fourth
and four being a pass batted away by Bobby Taylor who is finally
back from injury.
The Eagles win, the Giants lose and the game proves a terrible
point once again in New York. Special teams are important
and you have to score when you get close. Take away the two
Westbrook scores and the Eagles were shut out with only 128
yards of offense and almost all that came in the first half.
But games are not about first downs, yardage and offensive
fireworks regardless of what the fantasy world wants to see.
Like in real life, the only thing that matters is the scoreboard
and everything else is just filler for the sports page.
You'd think the Giants would learn that by now. Back in
1978, the Giants were about to win a game against the Eagles
when Joe Pisarcik fumbled the handoff to Larry Csonka and
an Eagle cornerback named Herman Edwards scooped up the ball
and ran it in for the 19-17 win as time was running out.
25 years later, Herman Edwards won again on the road down
in Houston and the Giants lost another game they should have
It's the Silver Anniversary for never leaving the stadium
Now get back to work...