| Sunday Salutes
Week 13 Bumps, Bruises and Bow-outs
QB Chris Chandler - Sprained shoulder
QB Steve McNair - Strained calf
QB Patrick Ramsey - Jaw and foot injury
RB Warrick Dunn - Leg injury
RB Clinton Portis - Heel bruise
TE Shannon Sharpe - Bruised ribs
Baltimore Stealth Bombers
Marcus Robinson turned in an incredible seven catch, 131
yard performance with a league leading four touchdowns. It
was the first time this season any non-quarterback had scored
four touchdowns in a single game and it was a career best
for Robinson. If you did not see that coming, and not even
Robinson did, it was probably because he had only nine catches
for 76 yards on the entire year. Over the course of eight
games. And never scored this season until yesterday.
Robinson only had two touchdowns in all of last season and
only three scores in all of 2001. Robinson was a stealth bomber
- no one had him on the radar until the explosion happen and
after you run to your waiver wire, you may never see him again.
Woohoo! Are we starting over?
As everyone knows, receivers become less important the deeper
into the cold weather that the season gets. All those big
passing yards and scores of the early fall give way to more
running once the thermometer gets low and the clouds become
dark. It happens every season, naturally. Over the past four
weeks, we have seen progressively less receivers that catch
more than one touchdown in a game. The declining trend for
the past month has been 5, 2, 1 and in week 11 there were
no receivers with more than one touchdown.
And then came week 12 which by trend should have somehow
managed a negative number of wide receivers with multiple
touchdowns but it did not happen. Instead, there were a season
high six wideouts with multiple touchdowns to include Marcus
Robinson (4), Chad Johnson (3), Darrell Jackson (2), David
Boston (2), Anquan Boldin (2) and finally Bobby Engram (2).
Not bad considering only a total of 22 wideouts caught any
Of the lucky half dozen, only Engram scored a touchdown the
previous week. At least consistency is still consistently
Okay - I'm terrified of orange, are you happy now?!?
Tommy Maddox had his worst game of the season in week five
when he faced the Cleveland Browns and only managed 11 of
24 for 136 yards and two interceptions. He improved to the
point where he had scored in the last four games this season
and came off a 327 yard effort against the 49ers. But those
orange guys were on the schedule again this week and Maddox
walked away only 9 of 24 for 73 yards and one score. Somehow
the Steelers still won but the even better news is that Maddox
will not have to play them again this season.
And at current rate, maybe never again.
One if by land, two if by Detroit
When the Vikings-Lions game went into the fourth quarter,
it was surprisingly still a 7-7 tie. Though the Lions had
one of the worst defenses against the pass and were playing
on the road where they had lost the last 21 games, the Vikings
were unable to put Detroit away. Fortunately, someone read
the script in time to let everyone know how it was supposed
to end and the Vikings finished with the expected 24-14 victory.
The win was not via Culpepper or Moss or even Bennett. The
only reason the Vikings won was that Joey Harrington threw
two interceptions in the final two and a half minutes and
both were returned for touchdowns. The Vikings could have
won 24-7 but since so many of you had made bets on the 10.5
point line, the Lions went ahead and finally scored their
second touchdown with only 35 seconds left to play.
Drama 101 - Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to cry
| Comedy Lineup
|| Tragedy Lineup
||3 FG, 5 XP
Huddle Fantasy Points = 134
Huddle Fantasy Points = 27
The Greatest Win that Never Was
The Texans set the stage for a win of legendary proportion
for their franchise (legends being easier when you are only
27 weeks old). After the Patriots had battled back to throw
the game into overtime, the Texans won the coin toss and received
the ball. On the first play in the extra period, Tony Banks
threw an interception that was returned to the Houston 23-yard
line. The Texans held them on three plays since New England
was content to inch forward for their field goal.
And then it happened. From the Houston 27-yard line, SS Ramon
Walker sliced through the line and had the first blocked field
goal in the history of the franchise, thereby denying the
Patriots the win and giving the Texans the ball. Houston drove
to the New England 40-yard line and then stalled. After swapping
a couple of punts, Brady drove the Patriots down the field
and secured the game winning field goal.
But in Houston, those close losses are getting more exciting
all the time.
Wake me when we trail by 24
The Falcons head to Houston this week and the Texans would
be well advised to not read too much into that 2-9 record
by Atlanta. Lulled to sleep by the sirens of mediocrity, the
Giants were dashed on the rocks of humility three weeks ago
by those sneaky Falcons. Two weeks ago in New Orleans, the
Falcons took a 20-3 lead into halftime before losing 23-20.
Yesterday against the mighty 9-2 Titans, before the second
quarter started Tennessee had already fallen behind 21-0.
They eventually lost 38-31 but made the Titans work for the
After seven weeks of complete futility, Atlanta has spent
the last three weeks showing that you cannot take anyone lightly
in the NFL or they will run up the score. Since the last two
teams still came back from huge deficits to win anyway, getting
the future opponents to care may still be difficult.
Sunday's Couch Commentary
23, HOU 20
were outgained 496 to 182 yards and still almost took
the win in overtime. New England complained before the
game how all their receivers were hurt and blah-blah-blah.
Brady ends up hitting nine different receivers for the
most passing yardage of any team this week. If they complain
about having no running backs next week, make sure you
start Kevin Faulk. Actually, you sort of should have yesterday
(188 total yards). Dedric Ward and J.J. Stokes have not
unpacked their luggage yet and still turned in more yardage
than Andre Johnson, Corey Bradford and Jabar Gaffney.
10, GB 20
|The "Rattay must Stay"
posters have now fallen in value and the only real positive
he did was to throw one touchdown to Owens to shut him
up for one more week. Brett Favre still tosses interceptions
but when Ahman tallies 27 carries with nary a fumble,
those Packers are going to win. 49ers still have no idea
what a road win looks like this season and Walker and
Ferguson both scored just to bother all the fantasy teams
that did not play them (which was basically all fantasy
teams by this point).
20, DAL 24
great - NOW what are we supposed to think? Just when you
write Carter off he outguns Delhomme 254 to 175 in yards
and 2:1 in touchdowns. Hambrick gets a little worse every
game but the Cowboys have won their last six home games
and hope to extend that streak on Turkey Day with some
mahi mahi flown in from Miami. Panthers have to go home
after losing their last two road games to face the Eagles.
13, CLE 6
|As proof positive of the home curse
for the Brownies, Maddox only throws for 73 yards, Jackson
outgains Bettis and the Steelers win even though the Browns
creamed them in Pittsburgh. Ward and Burress combined
are only worth 29 yards though Burress was the preferred
wideout with two catches. At this rate the Ravens and
Bengals are running away with the division with 6-5 records.
Browns would be better served to call plays in the huddle
rather than discussing what the next William Green headline
17, BUF 14
matter how good Buffalo looks early in the game, you just
know that eventually their opponents will end up on top,
holding onto their horns and yelling "yee-haw, giddy-up
you hippy cow". This week it took about 58 minutes.
Next week it will be with a New York accent. The rookie
Moorehead lead all Colt receivers with 71 yards and evidently
gets around a lot since I have heard him paged in many
restaurants and bowling alleys. Seems they are always
looking for his sister Anita too. ... wait a minute...
sounds like that Simpson boy again.
10, NYJ 13
|All Santana Moss, all the time.
At least in the final 26 seconds which against the Jaguars
is about all you need. Troy Edwards is thrown on the scrap
heap pretty fast now that they Jaguars have Kevin Johnson.
Fred Taylor gained 119 yards but required 32 carries to
get there and was later heard on the sideline repeating
his mantra this season - "Can I get a little help
here? Can I get a little help here?"
20, PHI 33
gonna bash you with Buckhalter, then stick you with Staley
and then whack you with Westbrook. And then McNabb throws
a TD just to make you feel worse. Deuce McAllister was
the RB to keep two years ago but maybe the Saints should
have replaced some other guys too. Donte Stallworth gets
a role in "Unbreakable II" but here is a hint
- he is NOT the lead.
14, MIN 24
|Lions would be better served with
the offense practicing tackling drills instead of actual
plays. This ended up as the "Chip and Dale"
game, with the Lions saying "we cannot win on the
road - take a free touchdown" and the Vikings saying
"Oh but no, please, break your horrendous road losing
streak" and Detroit replying "On no, no, no
- I absolutely insist - here. Have another free touchdown."
The Detroit Chipmunk's next road game is in Kansas City
where they can tie the all-time record of 23 consecutive
road losses and end up in an exciting week 15 matchup
where the Panthers get to help them set the all-time record
of 24. We'll have to wait for the 2004 schedule to see
who comes after that. The Minnesota Chipmunks head to
St. Louis this week where more free TD's likely await.
30, ARZ 27
Rams break the curse of the desert even though Marc Bulger
tried valiantly four times to throw the game away. Holt
and Bruce went nuts once again and even Marshall Faulk
stopped only when he reached 100 yards. The Anquan Cardinals
tried to make a game of it but the other 52 players were
unable to get with the program. Eventually Blake will
call a time-out when he sees all 11 defensive players
covering Boldin, jog to the sideline and tell McGinnis
"I think they're on to us now".
19, DEN 10
|Okay, the Broncos committed no turnovers,
Portis rushed for 165 yards on only 14 carries and Kordell
Stewart had to play and only went 7 of 15 for 47 yards.
In Denver. And the Bears won. TRAP! TRAP! TRAP GAME! TRAP!
TRAP-TRAP-TRAP. Jake Plummer has lost all memory of Ashley
24, KC 27
was a standard hard-fought Raiders-Chiefs game where you
can throw out all the records, forget all conventional
wisdom and disregard all injured players that are missing.
And in the end, it is still Rick Mirer. Whew! Thank you
Morten. Chiefs open a four game lead in the AFC West with
only five left to play. Raiders have to go back home to
greet the Broncos who are not happy little horses right
now. And it will be a standard hard-fought Raiders-Broncos
game where you can throw out all the records, forget all
conventional wisdom and disregard all injured players
that are missing. And in the end, it is still Rick Mirer.
34, SD 27
|For two teams that have talked so
much about their running game, it all came down to David
Boston versus Chad Johnson and three touchdowns always
beats two. The whole sharing scenario between Dillon and
Rudi is less painful when they can combine for 199 yards.
Tell that Palmer kid to cool his jets - we got a real
season this time! When Marty talks about having "a
good run", he is no longer speaking about Tomlinson.
He is talking about himself.
38, ATL 31
are feasting on teams starting slowly though they never
get to finish the meal. McNair blows out a calf somehow
even though no one touched him. It was sort of near where
Vick was when he... hurt his.... FIX THE CARPET OR SOMETHING,
WILL YA? When the Titans fell behind 21-0 in the first
quarter, all they had to do is point at the scoreboard
(the "ATL" name, not the actual score that is).
Titans come roaring back with Eddie "I'm spry I tell
you, spry!" George who gains 115 yards on the ground
and Atlanta only wedges a field goal in during the 38
point run by Tennessee.
23, MIA 24
|Allow me to speak the words unspoken,
"What in the ^@#%^ was that all about?" Ramsey
left the game and will be listed this week as "Questionable:
Ramsey (everything)" and Tim Hasselbeck only added
to the legendary Hasselbeck quality of Sunday. In Miami
where the defense should be best, Canidate suddenly can
run, Coles can catch and Hasselbeck looked like the best
Redskin QB ever, including the announcing booth. In the
end, Fiedler had to save the day by skillfully doing what
Griese had been unable to do - give it to Ricky!!! Did
someone find the playbook?
There were several great games this week. Three overtime
affairs, big performances around the league, some big upsets,
a trap game or two and whole bunch of favored teams sprinting
at the end to get their "W". Looking back, how could
you not love an overtime game that ends with 85 points scored?
Okay, aside from the fact you did not start any of the players?
Winner: Seattle 41, Baltimore 44
Let's set the stage for this frenzied affair.
At the half, no one was surprised too much that the Seahawks
had gained a 17-3 lead. Matt Hasselbeck already had 132 yards
passing and two touchdowns while Anthony Wright only had completed
three passes for a total of 37 yards. That's all - just 37
yards. Jamal Lewis had 40 yards on 11 carries and the game
looked like a lost cause since Baltimore could not throw the
And with that, let's pull down the lock-bar on this roller
coaster and please - keep your hands inside of the car at
The Ravens took the opening kickoff and thanks to a 43 yard
pass to Travis Taylor, reached the Seattle 13 yard line on
third down and three. Knowing that this was Lewis territory
(as are all other places on the field), the Seahawks were
surprised when Marcus Robinson caught his second pass in the
game for a touchdown. Realize that Mr. Robinson had only caught
two passes once this season - otherwise he had eight games
with only one catch in each. And no scores. Lightning strikes
Since the score became 17-10 so suddenly, Matt Hasselbeck
wasted no time. He threw once to Darrell Jackson for 19 yards
and then hit Koren Robinson with a 38-yard touchdown for a
safer 24-10 lead.
On the next series, Anthony Wright starts at his own ten
yard line and after one Lewis run, Wright fumbles the ball
and recovers it himself for a five yard loss. One incomplete
later and they punt, only it shanks and goes out of bounds
at the Baltimore 29-yard line.
Seattle does not gain any yards but still kicks a field goal
to make the score 27-10. This is easy. Almost not fair. This
is sort of like a roller coaster car chugging up that hill
slowly with only about 23 minutes left to play. Time to get
loopy! Here we go! Hands inside!
Ravens take the kickoff, four plays to midfield and on third
and five, Wright hits Marcus Robinson with a 50 yard touchdown.
It is his second score! Whee! 27-17!
Seahawks get the ball on their own 20-yard line and on first
and ten, Hasselbeck hits Darrell Jackson for his second touchdown
in the game on an 80 yard bomb! Oh wow! Whee! 34-17!
Ravens get a good kick return to midfield and after four
plays are at the Seattle 25-yard line. On second and ten,
Anthony Wright hits Marcus Robinson for another touchdown!
I swear! His third one! This loopy stuff never ends! All the
change is flying from my pockets and I no longer realize what
is up or down anymore. 34-24 and three touchdowns scored in
the last three minutes! What? There's more? 38 points in the
third quarter and there is still more? Whoa!
The Seahawks take over on their own 46-yard line since special
teams coverage is not so special in this game. Hasselbeck
is throwing to Engram and handing off to Alexander. When the
fourth quarter finally comes, the Seahawks are on the Ravens
5-yard line and on third down, he throws to Bobby Engram again
for a touchdown! It is now 41-24. This is no longer a gridiron
war, it is a "nuclear winter starts here" event.
Baltimore takes over but tries to throw to Todd Heap. The
game slows down. Todd is not meant to be today. Four and out
and they punt and the Seahawks reach the Ravens 36-yard line
before opting to punt. Already hard to kick a 53 yard field
goal and since they are up 41-24, they figure to make it tough
on the Ravens.
The Ravens only manage five plays to reach their own 30-yard
line and have to punt. But Ken Lucas muffs the punt. He muffs
the punt! You idiot, he muffed the punt! Already on the Seattle
35-yard line, first down has Lewis slicing off right tackle
for - HE FUMBLES! He fumbles the ball! DOH! Seattle takes
over. What a heartbreaker. I cannot take this much longer.
Does this ride ever end?
After four plays net a six yard loss, Seattle punts the ball
and THEY BLOCKED THE PUNT! OH MY! They blocked the punt! They
blocked the - HEY -ED REED HAS IT AND, AND, AND HE SCORES
A TOUCHDOWN! For the love of - it's 41-31. I need a break
The Seahawks take the kickoff and knowing that they are going
to run to kill the clock that is now under six minutes left
to play, they throw it to Mili and Robinson with an Alexander
dash to reach the Baltimore 31-yard line. On first and ten,
Mack strong busts up the middle and NO WAY! HE FUMBLES! What?
Ray Lewis recovers? I feel feint again!
With only 4 minutes left and down by ten, the Ravens reach
the Seattle 39 yard line with 2:47 left to play and on second
and two, Wright is sacked for 16 yards. On third and 18, he
gets sacked AGAIN for ten more yards. Hey - it is now the
two minute warning, fourth down and 28 yards to go and in
the words of Ray Lewis "are you ready to go?" Why
yes, I think I am - let's do this thing!
Wright hits Frank Sanders for a 44 yard gain for a first
down! Wright hits Lewis for 8 yards. He hits Sanders again
for four yards. With only 1:17 left to play, he hits NO WAY!
YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME! ROBINSON FOR A 9-YARD TD!?!?! Oh
my, where is my glycerin? Stop this car! I demand - stop it!
I cannot take this! Is anyone listening to me?
The Ravens still have time outs and go for the onside kick
but Alex Bannister covers it for Seattle. With 1:11 left,
Alexander for six yards, time out! Alexander for three yards
- time-out! Alexander met at the line on third and one - TIME-OUT!
On fourth and one, Hasselbeck dives for that first down and
there are bodies crashing and struggling and, and ... and
he does not make it. They are giving the ball to Baltimore
with 39 seconds left on the Ravens 33-yard line. Can it be?
First down - incomplete to Robinson (like we did not ALL
see that coming).
Second down - incomplete to Robinson (bucket does not reach
the water in that well anymore) but wait - Marcus Trufant
had pass interference of 44 yards! With 25 seconds left, Ravens
are on the Seattle 23-yard line. Lewis runs up the middle
for seven yards, Wright spikes the ball with four seconds
left on the Seattle 16 yard line and Stover trots onto the
field to nail a 40 yard field goal to FREAKING TIE THE GAME
AS TIME EXPIRES! It's like going on a roller coaster and when
it finally pulls into the station - it takes off again!
Seattle wins the toss but after five plays, Hasselbeck is
sacked on third down and they punt to the Baltimore 21-yard
line. Wright runs for eight yards, Lewis for 14 and then Wright
to Taylor reaches midfield. Then Lewis, Lewis, incomplete,
Lewis and incomplete finds the Ravens still around midfield
with third and 15. Take a guess what happens next.
Marcus Robinson catches a 19 yard pass down to the Seattle
32-yard line. First down.
Lewis, Lewis, Lewis reaches for Seattle 24-yard line where
on fourth down, throw the bucket away, train is in the station,
cut the power, fat lady is a'singing and Stover is good on
a 42 yard field goal for a RAVEN WIN 44-41 IN OVERTIME! RAVENS
WIN! AN INCREDIBLE COMEBACK! I'm exhausted. I think I am going
to be sick now. "No Mas."
So a thrilling and astounding game ends. Anthony Wright goes
from 37 first half yards to 319 yards and four scores in the
game. There were 65 points scored after halftime and the Ravens
won not by stifling defense or handing off to Jamal Lewis
38 times. They won it because Anthony Wright found Marcus
Robinson for more touchdowns than Robinson had caught in two
years. When it came down to it, they were ready to go. They
were ready to get the job done. They were always down but
never beaten. They never gave up. They won.
So here's to you, Mr. Robinson. Heaven holds a place for
those who play...
Now get back to work...