The Stack is here on this Monday with a lot to talk about other than the NFL. First off, hope Lane Kiffin is reading the blog today. He has some more time on his hands today following USC firing him hours after USC suffered a blowout 62-41 loss to Arizona State Saturday night. Kiffin inevitably will get another job though he shouldn't...at least not as a head coach. He wasn't very good in Oakland, he burned bridges in Knoxville as head coach at the University of Tennessee and he failed miserably at USC. The Trojans simply aren't kings of college football anymore. Heck, UCLA football may even be better than USC at this point, something USC fans have to just loathe. Kiffin will find work somewhere, it just shouldn't be as a head coach.
Staying on the college football train of thought, what a game Saturday between #6 LSU and #9 Georgia. Georgia won a back and forth, seesaw thriller 44-41. If you like defense, this game wasn't for you. LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger is really thriving in new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's offense. They will be a threat to Alabama in the SEC East. Georgia has a good offense of their own with quarterback Aaron Murray. They'll win the SEC East and be waiting in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome for either LSU or Alabama. Oh by the way, LSU and Alabama play one another November 9th in Tuscaloosa. What a game that will be.
It's a big week for "the stack." There will be a baseball postseason preview tomorrow (Tuesday) and an NHL season preview on Wednesday though the puck drops on the regular season on Wednesday though the puck drops on the regular season Tuesday night. Now though, it's time to get to some week 4 reaction from Sunday's NFL games in "the stack" for today, Monday, September 30:
Buffalo 23 Baltimore 20
Someone should tell the Baltimore Ravens coaching staff that they have a Pro Bowl running back in Ray Rice. They clearly don't know. Rice rushed the ball twice (twice!) in the second half. That won't help you win many football games. Then again, neither will five interceptions by Joe Flacco. Give credit to the Bills defense and really the entire team. They played a great game.
Cleveland 17 Cincinnati 6
I mentioned in Friday's preview blog that this game was smelling like an upset. Should have taken my own advice. Brian Hoyer took advantage of a Bengals secondary missing three starters. The Bengals offense didn't help things thanks to a suffocating defense. They need to start playing inspired and driven if they want to be taken seriously. The Browns are tied for first in the AFC North with the Bengals and Ravens. Who would have thought that ten days ago?
Detroit 40 Chicago 32
No Nate Burleson to help complement Calvin Johnson? No problem. Not when you have Reggie Bush who had a big game with over 130 yards rushing. He looked fresh after missing last week's game. Chicago didn't have a good game turning the ball over too much. The Lions and Bears are tied at 3-1. The NFC North is going to be a fascinating race this year.
Seattle 23 Houston 20
The Texans had this game won and then thanks to an ill-advised throw from Matt Schaub, who has been under some heat in Houston, the Seahawks got a pick six and tied the game up. Then in overtime, the Texans had a dumb personal foul and set up Seattle for the game-winning field goal. The Seahawks are now 4-0 for the first time in franchise history. There are some major questions in Houston about the Texans. Seattle just keeps winning.
Indianapolis 37 Jacksonville 3
How boring was this game? So boring that Colts owner Jim Irsay started tweeting about the hot dogs. Good thing fans who bought a $45 ticket got two free beers. Probably needed a few more to watch the Jaguars. Ouch.
Kansas City 31 New York Giants 7
At this point, two things are obvious. The Chiefs are really good and the Giants are not. KC looks rock solid though it helps when Andy Reid is so familiar with the NFC East. Meanwhile, there are more questions than answers for the Giants. Dexter McCluster's punt return was awesome. The only thing awesome for the Giants was Victor Cruz's 69-yard TD reception. That's the only good thing to happen for the Giants all day.
Minnesota 34 Pittsburgh 27
Two winless teams went to London, one came back a winner. The Minnesota Vikings led by Matt Cassel stormed the castle in London (sorry it had to be said) were agressive on offense and the return of fullback Jerome Felton really helped the running game, but once again the Vikings defense almost gave up a fourth quarter lead. Fortunately for them, they got to Ben Roethlisberger and forced a fumble. The Steelers defense was suspect for most of the game. They still have not forced a turnover this year. The Steelers! One of the many reasons they are 0-4. The Vikings have some life in them now and a quarterback controversy on their hands. I would start Cassel.
Arizona 13 Tampa Bay 10
So that decision to go to rookie quarterback Mike Glennon? How'd that decision work out? Good until the fourth quarter when Arizona finally woke up. The dysfunction in Tampa continues. It won't end during their bye week either.
Tennessee 38 New York Jets 13
The Titans have been one of the most pleasant surprises this young NFL season and Jake Locker is a big reason why. He was fantastic on Sunday. But if he is out for an extended period of time with that hip injury, the Titans season could go quickly south. Let's hope that isn't the case.
Denver 52 Philadelphia 20
No one can stop the Broncos offense. Peyton Manning is having a season for the ages. He now has 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions this year. He is incredible and has never played better. Helps when you play against a crap defense like Philadelphia. It's going to continue next week at Dallas.
Washington 24 Oakland 14
Had Terrelle Pryor played, I think the outcome of this game would have been much different. Oakland's offense just isn't good enough. The Redskins played a good game though and got a much needed first win of the year. As bad as they've played, they're only one game back of the division lead. Have to see how they play next week.
San Diego 30 Dallas 21
Dallas' defense really hasn't improved that much have they? They were torched by a re-energized Philip Rivers who threw for over 400 yards! San Diego has played very well this yaer and could easily be 4-0. They'll be in it all year. Dallas still has questions.
New England 30 Atlanta 23
What a wild finish to this one. The Falcons had a chance to win, but Matt Ryan couldn't quite execute. The Falcons are fighting through injuries, but you can see it is costing this team. Meanwhile, the Patriots are winning with so many people contributing, many of them rookies. Kenbrell Thompkins? Over 100 yards and a touchdown. Great job changing schemes on the fly and stopping Tony Gonzalez who was eating them alive. Big time win for the Patriots. The Falcons are now in must-win mode.
Miami Dolphins @ New Orleans Saints 8:40 PM ET ESPN
A battle of undefeated teams meet at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and only one team will leave that way...unless there is a tie. The Dolphins look like they're close to becoming legit and beating the Saints would be a good way to be fully legit. Don't think it will happen. The Saints offense is better than the Dolphins and they win a game that will be closer than some people might expect.
Prediction: Saints 24 Dolphins 16
Tampa Bay Rays @ Texas Rangers 7:07 PM ET TBS
162 games can't decide who makes the playoffs? Let's try game 163! That's exactly what will happen today as the Rays and Rangers play a play-in game to get to the play-on game. The Rangers had a big sweep of the Angels. The Rays struggled against the Blue Jays. While I think the Rays are the more talented team, in Texas the Rangers are playing better right now and I think they come out of this game with a win and a trip to Cleveland.
Prediction: Rangers 5 Rays 3
Coming up Tuesday: MNF reaction, NFL power rankings and MLB postsseason preview