They're partying in San Francisco with the Giants heading to the World Series. They're happy in Chicago though a little nervous about the health of Jay Cutler. The Stack is here to talk about all of that and so much more so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Tuesday, October 23:
Giants move on to face Tigers in the World Series
The San Francisco Giants made some history Monday night. They won their first decisive game seven in franchise history in a 9-0 route of the St. Louis Cardinals to advance to their second World Series in three years. The floodgates opened in the third inning when the Giants scored five runs punctuated by Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma misjudged what appeared to be a routine grounder. The gaff allowed two runs to score and an additional run got in after the outfielder fumbled around with the ball. And wouldn't you know, in the ninth inning, with the Cardinals down to their final few outs, the heavens opened up and the rain poured. Matt Cain was senational, pitching 5 2/3 shutout innings and even driving in a run. Giants pitchers drove in a run in each of the last three games of the series. Coincidentally, they were all Giant wins.
For the Cardinals, this is kind of an epic collapse. They were outscored 20-1 in the last three games of the series. Where were the bats that came back against the Nationals in game five in the ninth inning? Frankly, the Cardinals didn't deserve to be in the playoffs because they were so far back of the Atlanta Braves for the first wild card spot. But the Cardinals are a magnificent team in October. They just know how to play making this collapse all that more epic. Kind of surprising. Then again, given what they lost in the offseason in Albert Pujols, it's actually remarkable that they were able to make it this far to begin with.
The San Francisco Giants will get to stay home as they welcome the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. Game one is Wednesday at 8:00 PM ET on FOX.
Bears stifle Lions to move to 5-1
The Chicago Bears did it with defense and once again the Detroit Lions offense sputtered as the Bearsbeat the Lions 13-7 in a game that seemed more of a blowout than the score indicates. The Lions offense was terrible. They couldn't buy a first down in the first half. Zero for six on their first six third down conversions. But for a late touchdown in the fourth quarter with thirty seconds left, the Lions would have been shutout. Two fumbles in the redzone. Bad, bad news. The Bears defense brought it. Brian Urlacher is playing at a high level. Julius Peppers and that front four bring constant pressure. And what about Charles Tillman? One of the top cornerbacks in the game for sure. Jay Cutler looked very good though he did give Bears fans a scare when Ndamukong Suh sacked him in the second quarter and Cutler grabbed his helmet. Just a slight injury to the ribs, at least that is what they're telling us. We'll see if the injury gets worse. The Lions are not looking like they'll have a good year this year. The Bears season meanwhile is looking kind of magical. Let's see if it continues.
For the week, picks were 12-1. Oh Buffalo. You wrecked a chance at 13-0. Let's hope the success continues this week.
NFL week 7 power rankings
1. Houston Texans 6-1
That embarrassing home loss to the Packers last week woke up the Texans. They proved Sunday against the Ravens that they are the best team in the AFC without question.
2. Atlanta Falcons 6-0
Only undefeated team in the NFL got to rest last week in preperation for the long road ahead.
3. Chicago Bears 5-1
If Jay Cutler continues to play like he did pre-injury against the Lions, coupled with that defense, the Bears may be on the verge of a Super Bowl run.
4. New York Giants 5-2
But for a few mistakes by the Redskins, the Giants could be 4-3. They have a few things to correct with the Cowboys coming up next week. Tom Coughlin will keep this team hungry and focused.
5. Green Bay Packers 4-3
Didn't we say "the Pack is back" last week? We did. They confirmed that decision on Sunday. Seven incompletions by Aaron Rodgers. Really? Injury to Charles Woodson will hurt though.
6. San Francisco 49ers 5-2
Defense is great, we know that. But Alex Smith appears to have regressed a little bit the last couple of weeks. The offense should be better than this. They need to get back on track and fast.
7. New England Patriots 4-3
Tom Brady says they've spoiled their fans with their play in recent years. That's true. But giving up a late second half lead and 26 points to the Jets doesn't exactly instill confidence in your fans.
8. Minnesota Vikings 5-2
Great game by Adrian Peterson. 153 yards and a TD. Wow! But 58 passing yard by Christian Ponder? Ouch! As the schedule gets tougher, the Vikings will lose a lot of games unless Ponder cleans up his mistakes.
9. Denver Broncos 3-3
Peyton Manning faces Drew Brees Sunday night. What a matchup that will be. The Broncos have the better team and the momentum from a second half comeback win over the Chargers a couple weeks ago.
10. Baltimore Ravens 5-2
The defense was shredded by the Texans and that is even with the return of Terrell Suggs. They've been bad all year and the offense doesn't utilize Ray Rice enough. Super Bowl dreams may be gone for this team unless they figure things out and fast.
11. Seattle Seahawks 4-3
The defense is phenominal, but the offense sputters at times as it did Thursday night. Doesn't bode well for a playoff run.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers 3-3
Undermanned? No problem for the Steelers. Big win in Cincinnati. Now they have to try to contain RGIII. Good luck with that. But it seems like if a team can do it, it's the Steelers.
13. Philadelphia Eagles 3-3
We'll see if the bye week and the changes on defense do anything to change the fortunes of the Eagles season this week when they play the undefeated Falcons.
14. Washington Redskins 3-4
RGIII is simply amazing. If the defense didn't lolly-gag and let Victor Cruz get behind them and eventually do the salsa dance, the Redskins may be sitting 4-3 thanks to RGIII.
15. Dallas Cowboys 3-3
Not an impressive performance against the Panthers, but the Cowboys did get a much needed win that should quiet critics...at least for one week until the Giants come to town.
16. San Diego Chargers 3-3
Chargers told their critics to take a "chill pill" this last week. We'll see how they respond this week against Cleveland.
17. St. Louis Rams 3-4
Even without Danny Amendola, the Rams are moving it on offense. Tough to match the Packers though. We'll see how they do against the Patriots Sunday.
18. New York Jets 3-4
The Jets are exceeding expectations. Can they translate it into more wins?
19. Miami Dolphins 3-3
Dolphins have a chance to get revenge against the Jets this weekend.
20. Arizona Cardinals 4-3
Arizona's offensive line woes will continue to keep this team back. Their defense is keeping them in games right now.
21. New Orleans Saints 2-4
Two in a row for the Saints. Now they get interim coach Joe Vitt back. I sense a larger run coming from the Saints, but they have to beat the Broncos for that to happen. Tough.
22. Cincinnati Bengals 3-4
Bengals offense couldn't do anything Sunday night. Someone needs to have more of a sense of urgency with this team or their season will end faster than they would like it to.
23. Tennessee Titans 3-4
Only reason the Titans are ahead of the Colts is because of the play of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. They'd be wise to keep him in even if Jake Locker is healthy even though they've said they won't.
24. Indianapolis Colts 3-3
Not the most impressive win against the Browns, but a win is a win, and head coach Chuck Pagano is out of the hospital. That is very good news.
25. Detroit Lions 2-4
Terrible red zone play (three failed trips). An offense that fails to get going until late in the game. It's all adding up to a disappointing year for the Lions.
26. Tampa Bay Buuccaneers 2-4
Vincent Jackson set a franchise record with receiving yards (216) and Josh Freeman threw for 420 yards. The Bucs defense though isn't good. A short week and a trip to Minnesota await.
27. Buffalo Bills 3-4
Seriously? When the defense needed to make one play on fourth down to win the game, they couldn't do it. Now you have guys questioning their teammates efforts. Maybe that's what it will take to get the Bills going. Right now, they're going nowhere.
28. Oakland Raiders 2-4
It took the Raiders a fumble in overtime to beat the Jaguars at home without their starting quarterback and running back. And we're expected to believe that Oakland's future is bright?
29. Carolina Panthers 1-5
What has happened to the Panthers? Might not be a sophomore slump for Cam Newton, but it's certainly not good, whatever you want to call it.
30. Cleveland Browns 1-6
Brandon Weeden continues to improve. Had Josh Gordon not dropped what would have been the go-ahead touchdown, the Browns would have two wins now.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-5
Only reason they aren't last is because they were really looking good prior to the injuries to Blaine Gabbert and Maurice Jones-Drew. 1-15 is a real possibility.
32. Kansas City Chiefs 1-5
Brady Quinn will get another start Sunday against the Raiders. Wonder when Chiefs fans will be begging for Matt Cassel.
Before we go, congrats to the Indiana Fever of the WNBA for winning the 2012 WNBA title. They beat the defending champion Minnesota Lynx. Wonder if we'll see a rematch next year....And not good news for the Green Bay Packers who lost cornerback Charles Woodson for up to six weeks with a broken collarbone. Guess they'll just have to lean on Aaron Rodgers a little more...And Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour De' France titles. He's lost all of his sponsorships. It has been a nightmarish couple of weeks for Armstrong with regards to steroids. His legacy has been tainted. One way or the other, he should just tell us, the American people the truth. I'd love to believe that he didn't do steroids. I believed him for the longest time. Now though, the writing is on the wall I feel and that is that he is did take steroids.
Coming up Wednesday: World Series preview plus other top stories in sports.