The Stack has a lot to talk about today. From the NFL to some thoughts on the Ryder Cup, "the stack" has it so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Tuesday, October 2:
Bears bash Cowboys on MNF
Well that was a real butt-kicking. The Chicago Bears turned up the defense and picked Tony Romo off five times, returning two of them for touchdowns in route to a 34-10 win. And what about Jay Cutler? Dude was on target last night. Why can't he play that well all of the time? That's what has to be so frustrating to Bears fans. His connectionwith Brandon Marshall was on all night (7 catches 138 yards and a touchdown). Maybe the Bears were just really amped to play on Monday night. The Cowboys certainly had issues. Lack of a run game, dropped passes, not in synch. It was not a good night for the Cowboys. We'll have to see how both of these teams take what happened tonight going forward.
Colts coach diagnosed with Leukemia
Winning and losing means nearly everything in the NFL. It determines the jobs of coaches, general managers and players. However, sometimes things need to be put into perspective. Unfortuntaely, it normally takes something tragic or serious for everyone to see that. The Indianapolis Colts have found that out with the news coming yesterday that head coach Chuck Pagano has been diagnosed with leukemia. Good news though is that it is a very treatable form of the disease and that Pagano will only have to be in the hospital six to eight weeks. I say only as though it weren't a big deal, but it is very good news that Pagano won't miss more time. Colts owner Jim Irsay says he doesn't expect Pagano to coach the remainder of the year though he may make some trips to the press box later in the season. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has been named interim head coach.
Pagano said he felt fatigued and was bruising easily, but didn't think anything of it until he went into the doctor's last week to do some blood work. That is when they found the disease. Lucky for Pagano. The Colts will rally around him. Who knows how many wins that will translate to, but they will play hard for their hospitalized coach and they will play inspired football the rest of the year. What a treat it would be for Pagano if the Colts somehow managed to beat the Packers. It wouldn't shock me. Thoughts are with Pagano and his family as they go through this difficult time. May you come out of this 100 percent healthy Pagano and ready to coach for years to come.
Ryder Cup thoughts
Entering Sunday, it seemed like a U.S. victory was a forgone conclusion. They were up 10-6, the first two days had gone great. Most of the team were golfing great. The crowd was into it. Why wouldn't the U.S. win? Then Sunday morning came. Rory McIlroy needed a police escort just to make his tee time because he set his alarm for eastern time versus central time. The Ryder Cup was in team USA's grasp. And slowly, the grip on the cup weakened. America's biggest weakness was their failure to make putts. Constantly, the players failed to make short makeable putts. We're talking six foot putts. Steve Stricker was awful. Tiger Woods wasn't all that great either. Team Europe just played better Sunday. Did team USA just think team Europe would roll over? They'd never admit it. Europe was golden on Sunday. McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer played sensational. And it all added up to one of if not thee most stunning comeback in Ryder Cup history. Europe shocked the world and came back to win 14.5 to 13.5 to keep the Ryder Cup.
Did team USA lose it or did team Europe win it? Most would probably say team USA choked. Hard to argue. Missing as many putts as they did Sunday, it really was their cup to lose. But when the pressure heats up, get out of the kitchen. Ok, maybe that is not quite the saying, but there is no doubt that Europe's play helped lead some moments of anxiety for team USA and there was indeed more pressure placed upon the putts. If Europe doesn't come out of the gate as well as they did, the putts have less meaning, less pressure and team USA makes a couple. So to say that USA lost it is really a slap in the face to the players on team Europe. They certainly did their part in retaining the Ryder Cup. But team USA's failure to putt and execute a good gameplan is nothing short of stunning and they played a major role in allowing Europe to keep the Ryder Cup. It is a tough question to answer. I'm leaning towards the USA losing the cup, but definitely have to give credit to team Europe for their comeback. I'll go 57-43 that USA lost the cup. What a great day of golf though as NBC had their best ratings since 1999.
NFL Week 4 Power Rankings
1. Houston Texans 4-0
Two more defensive touchdowns for a unit that may be the best in the league. If not, it's top three or five for sure. No doubt this team is the best in the league.
2. Atlanta Falcons 4-0
Wouldn't have won the game if Cam Newton hadn't fumbled, but what a throw by Matt Ryan from his own 1-yard line with under a minute to go. That is why he is one of the elite quarterbacks in the league and why the Falcons are among the best in the NFC.
3. San Francisco 3-1
Sure it was against the Jets, but that was some performance by the 49ers defense. Their offense isn't bad either. Putting Colin Kaepernick in the mix adds an extra element to defend against this team.
4. Baltimore Ravens 3-1
Thursday night's contest against the Browns was a little too close for comfort, but Joe Flacco played really well again. He is quickly becoming a consistent top ten QB in this league. The defense is a bit of a concern though.
5. Arizona Cardinals 4-0
Speaking of too close for comfort, what about the Cardinals needing overtime to beat the Dolphins at home? But good teams find a way to win and the Cardinals did just that. Can't give up over 400 yards passing though, especially to a rookie QB. Short week looms ahead. Could knock the Cardinals from the ranks of the unbeaten.
6. New England Patriots 2-2
So about that potential 1-3 start? The Patriots showed against the Bills just how explosive and how good they can be with that second half performance. 45 points. Wow!
7. Philadelphia Eagles 3-1
Three wins by four points. That's going to give Eagles fans and the coaching staff a heart attack. But the Eagles are winning close games and that's gotten them to an NFC East best 3-1. Plus LeSean McCoy won the Twitter feud with Osi Umenyiora.
8. Chicago Bears 3-1
What a performance on MNF by the Bears. Terrific defense and Jay Cutler was amazing. If the Bears get performances like that every week, they'll win the NFC North easily.
9. Green Bay Packers 2-2
The Packers were almost hosed again, but got a crucial win that will hopefully help them forget about the loss to Seattle even if the regular refs weren't great to them. They still don't look like themselves though.
10. Cincinnati Bengals 3-1
A.J. Green continues to impress. He is becoming a top five wide receiver in the league and the Bengals are 3-1 with three of their first four games on the road. They're looking good.
11. San Diego Chargers 3-1
Nice bounce-back win for the Chargers on the road after getting run over by the Falcons at home last week. They'll stay in the AFC West race with the Broncos all year.
12. Minnesota Vikings 3-1
Raise your hand if you had the Vikings in a tie for first for the NFC North lead. Yeah I didn't think so. Special teams was great against Detroit. This team has a chance to shatter expectations over the next few weeks if they don't let their early success get into their heads.
13. New York Giants 2-2
Despite being 2-2, the Giants look like a team that will be there all year, especially with Eli Manning playing as well as he is. Only problem though is that their two losses are in the division. They'll overcome that though.
14. Denver Broncos 2-2
Peyton Manning looks like he is getting back to form. Impressive game against the Broncos. If that continues, the Broncos will be very tough to beat in the AFC.
15. Dallas Cowboys 2-2
Not sure what that performance was against the Bears, but it wasn't good. Five INT's by Tony Romo? Ouch. Some of them weren't his fault but still.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers 1-2
Steelers got healthy over the bye week. James Harrison and Troy Polamalu should play Sunday and they'll need them when they play the in-state Eagles.
17. Seattle Seahawks 2-2
Tough to play an early kickoff game on a short week after what the Seahawks went through this past week. There will be growing pains with Russell Wilson as evidenced by his three interceptions against the Rams.
18. St. Louis Rams 2-2
Rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein is the rookie of the year right now. How can you not when you're deadly accurate and boom field goals of 58 and 60 yards with ease? He's their best offensive weapon.
19. Buffalo Bills 2-2
So Buffalo, is all that money you paid to Mario Williams and the rest of your defensive guys worth it? Allowing 45 points to the Patriots in the second half?! I'd want a refund.
20. Detroit Lions 1-3
Lions special teams are anything but special. They will hold this team back. Well that and an offense that can't seem to score through three quarters.
21. Washington Redskins 2-2
Impressive last drive by RGIII, but the Redskins have several flaws including kicker Billy Cundiff who is lucky he made that game-winning field goal or he'd be out of a job today.
22. Carolina Panthers 1-3
Cam Newton rebounded nicely, but the Panthers defense imploded at the end. is Newton pouting or showing how much losing means to him under that towel? That's up for much debate in Carolina.
23. New York Jets 2-2
No Darrelle Revis, no Santonio Holmes for a while. When is it Tebow time? Jets will be lucky to win two more games the rest of the year.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-3
The Bucs offense just can't seem to get going fast enough, but their loss goes on the defense this week. How can you not cotain RGIII on that final drive?
25. Tennessee Titans 1-3
At least Chris Johnson finally showed up this season. It's going to be a long year in Nashville.
26. Miami Dolphins 1-3
Dolphins fans can only hope that Ryan Tannehill and Brian Hartline can continue that chemistry they displayed against the Cardinals.
27. Oakland Raiders 1-3
Yes the Raiders have been hit by the injury bug, but surely they can put together a better performance than the one they showed against the division rival Broncos.
28. Kansas City Chiefs 1-3
Arrowhead used to be a place that opposing teams couldn't get a win in. Now it's like a home away from home. The Chiefs looked lethargic against the Chargers are in major trouble.
29. New Orleans Saints 0-4
The nightmare season for the Saints continue. They played probably their best game yet a bad penalty negated a made field goal. A missed field goal ensued. It's that type of year in the Big Easy which is feeling uneasy about this team.
30. Indianapolis Colts 1-2
A game against the Packers is the last thing on the Colts' players minds in light of Coach Pagano's health issues. They'll fight for him though. They have to.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-3
Man that week one performance from Blaine Gabbert seems like such a long time ago. The Jaguars are a bad team. Plain and simple.
32. Cleveland Browns 0-4
Close just doesn't cut it for the Browns and their fans. Ten straight losses now. When will the nightmare in Cleveland end?
Coming up Wednesday: Baseball playoff picture and more.