The Stack is here stunned by MNF. What a performance by Peyton Manning and the Broncos. More on that in a second. We'll talk that and more so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Tuesday, October 16:
Broncos rally to beat Chargers, take control of AFC West
Wow! Stunning! Amazing! However you want to phrase it, any of those words can be used to describe the Denver Broncos comeback win over the San Diego Chargers. They trailed 24-0 at the half. Nothing was going right for the Broncos. They had two special teams miscues and three turnovers overall that led to seventeen Chargers points. Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates had a great connection.
But clearly it was a tale of two halves, because in the second half, the Denver Broncos went to work. Peyton Manning was on, throwing three touchdowns to Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Stokley and Eric Decker. The defense came up with two defensive touchdowns and forced five turnovers overall for the game as the Broncos came back in stunning fashion to beat the San Diego Chargers 35-24. Rivers was awful in the second half. He looked lazy according to ESPN's Steve Young. Careless with the ball. Among some of the impressive notes coming out of this game...
- Largest halftime comeback in MNF history
- Largest comeback in Peyton Manning's history
- The Broncos become only the second team since 1993 to overcome a 24 point deficit to win a game (last year's Detroit Lions over the Dallas Cowboys was the other).
Awfully, awfully impressive. What a demoralizing loss for the Chargers. The balance of the AFC West swung heavily in favor of the Broncos after last night. In fact, I'll go so far as to say the Denver Broncos won the AFC West last night. I just don't see anyway they don't carry this momentum and the Chargers can't come back after losing a twenty-four point lead, at home no less. Don't know what's going on with Rivers, but he needs to figure it out and quick. What a win for the Broncos! What a game to finish out week 6!
Other NFL notes
Have we seen the last of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis? Perhaps. Lewis will miss the rest of the season with a torn triceps injury. The 37-year old's injury is a devastating blow to a Ravens defense that hasn't been very good so far this year. They are terrible against the run and now lose the leader of their defense. Piling on the injuries to the defense, cornerback Lardarius Webb will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. Fortunately for the Ravens, nose tackle Haloti Ngata's injury is just a torn MCL and he may be able to play Sunday against the Houston Texans.
In that same game, the Dallas Cowboys also suffered some injuries to their starters. Running back DeMarco Murray will most likely miss this week's game against the Carolina Panthers as the Cowboys fear he may have some ligament damage in his left foot. They'll turn to Felix Jones then. And the team is also a little banged up in the secondary.
The Green Bay Packers got a big win over the Houston Texans Sunday night, but the news is not all well on their defense. Linebacker D.J. Smith will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury and cornerback Sam Shields and outside linebacker Nick Perry were injured and their statuses will be determined later in the week.
Nothing like an injury filled Sunday to make up the most significant of NFL notes.
Giants beat Cardinals, even NLCS 1-1
The San Francisco Giants knew how pivotal it was to win game two. Can't head to St. Louis trailing two games to none and expect to fly back to San Francisco still playing baseball. The Giants took care of business, beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-1 to tie the best-of-seven-series up 1-1. Game three is Wednesday in St. Louis at 4:00 PM ET on FOX. The Giants got a strong outing from starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, who went seven innings strong while allowing only the one hit. He's trying to keep the Giants bullpen fresh as they head out on the road. Angel Pagan got things going for the Giants with a solo shot in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead, but it was the fourth inning where the Giants really did their damage. They scored four runs in the inning, a couple thanks to some throwing errors by the Cardinals. Heading to St. Louis, you expect the Giants to win at least one of the three games to force it back to San Fran, but October is the Cardinals time of the year. They know when to turn it on.
As for the ALCS, game three between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers is tonight at 8:00 PM ET on TBS. The Tigers lead the series 2-0. Some might say the Tigers are only up thanks to a missed call by the umps in game two. More on that and instant replay in a second. But really, the Yankees are in an 0-2 hole because of their lack of hitting. Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson..."WHERE YOU AT?!" You've gone missing and your bats are asleep. The Tigers have pitched very well so far through the first two games and Justin Verlander hasn't even pitched yet.
Of course, most everyone in the media and Yankees and baseball fans are sad to see shortstop Derek Jeter go down with a broken ankle. He suffered the injury in game one of the ALCS and you could tell his injury and leadership lingered into game two. The Yankees definitely did not have a bounce or swagger in their step. Yes Jeter is a great player, but he is, prepare for this baseball and Yankees fans, overrated. The media gushes over him. They make excuses for him. Quite frankly, it's disgusting. He was not having a good postseason and the excuses were flying in, saying it wasn't his fault. They praise everything he does. Stop it! He was great. He's still a good player, but no where near the player he used to be. Stop making excuses everytime he doesn't do something the way we're used to seeing Jeter play.
As for replay, mistakes happen. It's part of the human element that makes baseball great. At least that is what purists think. Yes replay should be expanded in the game, but where does the line need to be drawn? Strikes and balls should not be covered. That would take all day. Plus you have to give the home plate umpire a little discretion. Perhaps each manager gets two challenges a game like they do in football. Regardless if you get a call right or not, you only get two challenges a game and that play in question goes to the head offices in New York to review just like they do for homeruns. Seems like it would be a fairly easy thing to do. A bad call is going to be made that is going to cost a team a game. And granted the missed tag applied by the Yankees that should have been called wasn't game altering as the Yankees were trailing 1-0 at the time and lost 3-0, but still replay needs to evlove in the game of baseball.
And one final note on replay, a lot of debate is surfacing from Saturday's controversial ending in the Stanford-Notre Dame game. Notre Dame won 20-13 in overtime, but the talk is surrounding the fourth down play in which Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor appeared to be stuffed at first, but then on perhaps a third or fourth effort got into the endzone. Problem was, there was not a conclusive enough shot to overturn the call on the field that he did not reach the endzone. But, I think his forward momentum was stopped before he reached the ball across the endzone. At some point the whistle has to blow. And I think the refs made the correct call if they blew the play dead because his momentum was stopped. More college football talk later this week.
NFL week 6 power rankings
1. Atlanta Falcons 6-0
When you're the only undefeated team remaining in the NFL, regardless of how you win, you deserve to be number one. The Falcons know they need to and can play better.
2. New York Giants 4-2
What a beatdown the Giants laid on the 49ers Sunday. They look like they've re-gained their Super Bowl form. And they're starting to get healthy. Scary.
3. Chicago Bears 4-1
On a bye, the Bears claimed sole possession of first in the NFC North with a Vikings loss. The defense is dominant and if Jay Cutler can keep it together, this is a dangerous team.
4. Houston Texans 5-1
The Texans were just beat soundly by a hungry, angry team Sunday night. Self-inflicting mistakes (penalties) are correctable. The Texans will be just fine.
5. Green Bay Packers 3-3
The national media and the pundits may have awoken the next sleeping giant. The Packers played angry and with something to prove against the Texans. Offense was sharp, but injuries on defense may doom this team later on.
6. Baltimore Ravens 5-1
Opposing teams can run at them at will and they are not running the ball with Ray Rice enough. Severe injuries to the defense (Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb out for the year) may be too much to overcome.
7. San Francisco 49ers 4-2
The 49ers maybe were beleiving the hype too much heading into their game with the Giants. They got popped in the mouth. They will help regain their focus with Seattle coming to town.
8. Seattle Seahawks 4-2
Great win against the Patriots. The defense played outstanding and the offense did enough to get the win. They'll have a say in who wins the NFC West at the end of the year.
9. Denver Broncos 3-3
Some performance by Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the second half. They may have won the AFC West with that performance.
10. New England Patriots 3-3
Weren't the Patriots supposed to be really good this year? Tom Brady made some uncharacteristic mistakes that cost the Patriots the game. That and the pair of rookie safeties that let Sidney Rice get behind them for the game-winning touchdown.
11. Minnesota Vikings 4-2
The Vikings defense couldn't contain RGIII and their offense sputtered in the red zone leading to their second loss of the year. Still the Vikings played with the Redskins and should compete in the NFC North.
12. Arizona Cardinals 4-2
The quarterback carousel for Cardinals will stop on John Skelton this Sunday against Minnesota...or maybe Kevin Kolb again. Until the Cardinals get consistency at the most important position on the team, they won't be going anywhere.
13. Philadelphia Eagles 3-3Don't know what the Eagles are doing, but they need to figure it out...and fast. They are far too talented to be blowing ten point fourth quarter leads at home. Get LeSean McCoy involved more.
14. San Diego Chargers 3-3
Dr Jekyll-Mr. Hyde performance by the Chargers may snowball into a bad finish to their season.
15. Washington Redskins 3-3
Some performance by RGIII. He'll need another performance like that and thensome to beat the Giants this week.
16. Detroit Lions 2-3You know, if the Lions could figure out that they need to score in the first three quarters and not just the fourth quarter, they'd be pretty tough to beat.
17. Cincinnati Bengals
I don't know what it is about the Bengals, but they are failing to live up to expectations. They're soft. A.J. Green is having a phenominal year and they are failing all around him.
18. St. Louis Rams 3-3
Great defensive performance and the offense was good too piling up 462 yards but Greg the Leg? Come on man. Three missed field goals really cost the Rams a win.
19. Dallas Cowboys 2-3
Bad late game management leads to another hair-pulling and frustrating defeat for the Cowboys and their fans. Until the Cowboys do the little things right (and they've shown no reason to think they can do that to this point), they won't be making the playoffs.
20. New York Jets 3-3
The Jets need Shonn Greene (161 yard, three touchdowns) to run like that the rest of the year to have a chance.
21. Buffalo Bills 3-3
The Bills found themselves in desert, at least on defense. Then again, they were playing the Cardinals who are starting to look like the team we thought they were. But hey, a win is a win.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers 2-3
No excuse for the Steelers losing that game to the Titans. It just seems like the Steelers don't have "it" this year. Don't know when or if they'll regain it this year.
23. Miami Dolphins 3-3
When you get outgained 462-192, you shouldn't win any football games. The Dolphins did, but it wasn't pretty.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-4
Josh Freeman was awfully good against the Chiefs (328 yards, three touchdowns). Then again, it was against the Chiefs. Do it against the Saints, and it will be slightly more impressive.
25. Indianapolis Colts 2-3
Probably a little mentally exhausted after the Packers win, they got taken behind the woodshed against the Jets.
26. New Orleans Saints 1-4
Drew Brees and the Saints need to forget the bounty scandal and focus and getting a second win in a row. Should be achievable against the Bucs.
27. Tennessee Titans 2-4
The Titans looked like a completely different team Thursday against the Steelers. Don't know if this is the team we'll see the rest of the year or not. My guess is not.
28. Carolina Panthers 1-4
Wonder if Cam Newton spent the bye week sulking because he couldn't play.
29. Cleveland Browns 1-5
Finally after the Browns were getting close over the past couple of weeks, they got a win over their in-state and division rival. Snapping an eleven game losing streak is nice too.
30. Oakland Raiders 1-4
The Raiders were game against the Falcons. Darren McFadden must regain his form. Hasn't looked like himself this year.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-4
The Jaguars were promoting their London game next year during their bye week. Maybe they should be focusing on trying to assemble an NFL team to play in that game too.
32. Kansas City Chiefs 1-5
When you haven't led for a second during the season, you deserve to be at the bottom.
Coming up Wednesday: MLB playoff talk and college football thoughts