Hello and welcome the first edition of FanNation NFL Scoreboard. This will be a weekly feature in which Pitt Panther, Agrippa, and PackersLP21 (LP) will recap every game from the past week in the NFL. We will also answer questions and talk about surprising and disappointing players.
Due to scheduling conflicts, we will not have a guest for the first week. Our guest for week 9 will be Dyhard.
If you would like to be a guest on this show, go here.
Now let's get started...
Carolina 27 | Arizona 23
Pitt: This has got to be a disheartening loss for the Cardinals. They were winning by 2 touchdowns with less than 7 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter. Then, the Panthers scored 2 touchdowns in 44 seconds to tie it up. The Panthers went on to win by 4 thanks to Jake Delhomme, DeAngelo Williams, and Steve Smith.
Agrippa: Boldin and Smith were great with DeAngelo Williams being the X factor on controlling the game on the ground and Steve Smith having a huge game receiving with 117 yards and 2 TD's
Philadelphia 27 | Atlanta 14
Pitt: The difference in this game was running backs. The Eagles held Michael Turner to 58 yards on 17 carries, while Brian Westbrook went off with 167 yards and 2 TDs off 22 carries.
LP: One position... one name... Brian Westbrook. He had over 100 yards more than Michael Turner.
Agrippa: Westbrook shows he can be a difference maker when healthy. Tallied 209 total yards. Atlanta may have been exposed as a flash in the pan!
Miami 25 | Buffalo 16
LP: This was one of the biggest upsets of the week, if not the biggest upset of the week. It seems as if the Dolphins just outplayed the Bills in this one.
Agrippa: Talk about upset. I don't know what's more predominant here. Miami's overachieving or Bills underachieving. One thing is for sure is that Ginn and Pennington are dangerous when they get going. Ginn had 175 on 7 catches.
Pitt: Miami was able to pull off the upset because they kept the Bills out of the end zone, allowing only 1 TD, and because of Chad Pennington who threw for over 300 yards and a TD while completing over 73% of his passes. Miami's defensive star was Joey Porter who now leads the NFL in sacks with 10.5 after getting to Trent Edwards twice.
NY Jets 28 | Kansas City 24
Agrippa: Despite Favre's 3 picks Jets pull out a win against a KC team that showed major improvement! Props to Tyler Thigpen 2nd year player out of Coastal Carolina with a stellar game with 280 yards passing 2 TD with NO PICKS!
Pitt: Although the Jets won the game, they must be disappointed by how close it was. They cannot allow a QB like Tyler Thigpen to torch them for 280 yards and 2 TDs while completing over 69% of his passes if they want to make the playoffs.
LP: Kansas City easily could have won this game. They beat the Jets in the turnover game, forcing 3 interceptions. Kansas City didn't have one turnover the whole game.
Baltimore 29 | Oakland 10
Pitt: A telling stat in this game was third down conversion. Oakland was 2/13, Baltimore was 10/18. Willis McGahee is going to have to get better if he doesn't want to see some of his carries go to Ray Rice. 2.5 yards per carry against the Raiders is not going to cut it.
Agrippa: Don't let the score fool you. An ugly game played here and Baltimore's control of the possession clock and running game was the winning formula. McGahee and Rice are a valid 1-2 punch. If only they had a passing game!
New Orleans 37 | San Diego 32
LP: Can someone say aerial attack? That is all this game was. Both Drew Brees and Philip Rivers had over 330 yards in London. LT barely got over the 100-yard mark and Deuce McAllister only had 55 yards rushing.
Agrippa: This shoot out over the pond was exactly what the Commissioner hoped for. England got a glimpse of what real football is all about (soccer fans spare me please). New Orleans without Bush played good old fashion ball with North South running mixed with some play action. Neither defense was great but Vilma's interception of Rivers seemed to seal the deal. Oyy blokes!
New England 23 | St. Louis 16
Agrippa: This was a closer game that the score would lead you to believe. Cassel's 2 picks cannot be encouraging in a game NE had to grind out against one of the worst teams in the NFL. Props to the rookie Donnie Avery out of Houston who caught for 163 yards in a losing effort.
Pitt: Although they won, the Patriots cannot feel good right now. To only beat the Rams by 7 when they're without Steven Jackson is embarrassing for a team that wants to be playoff bound. They need to step it up if they want to play in January.
LP: I really thought the Rams could have pulled off another upset this week. St. Louis beat the Pats in total yards, passing yards, receiving yards.. but what killed the Rams was penalties. St. Louis had 9 penalties, which accumulated for 63 yards! That just shouldn't happen...
Dallas 13 | Tampa Bay 9
Pitt: This game was great if you hate excitement. Neither offense could do anything, the teams combined for 4.6 yards per pass attempt and 2.6 yards per rush. At one point, the crew calling the game fell asleep (True story). The Cowboys ended up winning to keep their playoff hopes alive. Everyone watching ended up falling asleep or went outside to watch their grass grow, a more exciting alternative.
LP: I am disappointed on how the Bucs played this game. They could have beaten the roller-coaster team that is called the Cowboys.
Agrippa: Well let the SEE.....SAW. Dallas up/Tampa down. Beat down a solid Carolina team two weeks ago only to loose to a Romoless Dallas? All the credit here had to go to Dallas's D stepping it up when in dire need. Close game but newly acquired Williams's TD reception making the difference in a D dominated game
Washington 25 | Detroit 17
Agrippa: PORTIS PORTIS PORTIS....Without Clinton Washington is 2-6 easily. Portis opened up the pass game for Campbell who connected with Moss for 140 yards and TD. Campbell finished with 328 yards passing for the day.
LP: Portis, Campbell, and Santana Moss. That is it.
Pitt: It's perplexing how close this game was. The Redskins are clearly better in every way and out gained the Lions by 165 yards. Despite this they only win by 8? They're going to need to step it up to get into the playoffs with their division.
Houston 35 | Cincinnati 6
Agrippa: Red hot Houston is on their first 3 game winning streak in franchise history. Schaub shows flashes of brilliance as he takes advantage of his huge target in Johnson and makes a career day for up and coming Kevin Walter against a horrid Cincinnati team. This team is in the mix if the D can keep up the stellar play.
Pitt: Three things are clear after this game:
1. Houston is not out of the playoff hunt.
2. Andre Johnson is undoubtedly a top 5 receiver in this league
3. The Bengals will have a very high draft pick
LP: I would have chose yard work over this game... (not really, but that is how bad it was).
Cleveland 23 | Jacksonville 17
Pitt: The Browns prevailed in the battle of the "Weren't you supposed to be in the playoffs" teams. It's starting to look like Maurice Jones-Drew may not be that good. Not counting his games against the porous run defenses of Indy and Denver, here are his stats on the season:
5 games, 36 rushes, 98 yards, 2 TD, 2.7 avg
Agrippa: Cleveland is the most underachieving team in the NFL and showed it against a stout Jags defense. Close game and almost could have been a different outcome had Matt Jones brought in a very catch-able ball in the end zone in the closing seconds of this game.
Seattle 34 | San Francisco 13
Agrippa: Seattle still has a slim chance to get back into the division picture with this win over San Francisco spoiling Mike Singletary's first game as the Head Coach. Props to Seneca Wallace stepping in here and putting together a solid passing performance with 2 TD's
Pitt: When your pass D gets shredded by Seneca Wallace and Leonard Weaver, you know you're not very good. Come April, it appears that the 49ers might be forced to use a 1st round pick on a QB for the 2nd time in 4 years.
NY Giants 21 | Pittsburgh 14
Agrippa: What a game. Many were touting this a preview of this years Super Bowl. NY's defense played a stellar game most of which up front in the trenches. Props to Giants D putting pressure on Big Ben through a lot of the game. That was the difference in my humble opinion.
Pitt: As I predicted, the Giants won this game because of their pass rush. Big Ben was sacked 5 times and threw 4 interceptions. Steeler fans should come to the realization now that their O line will cost them a chance at a Super Bowl so it doesn't hurt as much in January.
LP: I am actually a little let down on how the Steelers played. It was still a good game.
Tennessee 31 | Indianapolis 21
Pitt: The Titans won this game because of two reasons. They had an 8 and half minute advantage in time of possession and they didn't turn the ball over, while Peyton Manning threw 2 picks to Chris Hope. The Titans are officially the new kings of the AFC South.
LP: I agree with everything Pitt just said.
Agrippa: What a game! Chris Hope has a stellar game picking off Manning twice in a game that busted wide open in the second half. LenDale White is amazing in goal line situations scoring 2 TD's on 10 carries while Johnson had some great carries in the open field. The potent run game and tough Defense is why this team is still undefeated!
LP: The biggest upset this week has to be Miami beating Buffalo. Miami was 2-4 coming into this game, while Buffalo was 5-1. The Dolphins just outplayed them on the field, and on paper. Miami had more total yards, more time of possession, and less turnovers. That pretty much explains it all.
All 3 of Miami's wins have come from better teams... the Patriots, Chargers, and Bills.
Agrippa: Agreed LP. Bills shot themselves in the foot with 4 turnovers. A fumble and interception in the fourth quarter killed any hopes of a comeback. The turnovers on top of Pennington and Ted Ginn having a field day against Buffalo's defensive backfield was just enough to get them past the Bills.
Pitt: Another upset this week was Seattle going to San Francisco and winning by a whopping 21 points. This was very surprising from a Seattle team that lost to the 49ers earlier in the year and is usually not as good on the road. This upset was a result of penalties, turnovers, and big plays. Leonard Wallace, Seattle's fullback, had two touchdown receptions, one for 43 yards, the other for 62 yards.
This upset pretty much gift wraps the division for the Cardinals. They now have 4 wins, while the other division teams have 2 wins. Barring injury or catastrophe, the Cardinals will win the NFC West for the first time in franchise history.
Pitt: The most surprising player has got to be Donnie Avery, the WR from the St. Louis Rams. He surprised a lot of people when the Rams made him the first WR taken in the draft, but it paid off last Sunday. Avery caught 6 passes for 163 yards, including a 69 yard touchdown reception.
Avery seems to be emerging as a favorite target for Bulger. Over the last 3 weeks, he has 14 receptions for 291 yards and 2 TD. He also has 4 rushes for 12 yards. He looks to be a big part of their future.
LP: My most surprising player of the week was a big part in their upset... my pick is Ted Ginn Jr. Ginn had his career-best game by racking up 175 yards and he tied his career-best with 7 catches. He averaged 25.0 per catch and had a 64-yard reception. For a 5' 11" WR that's only in his 2nd season... this was a surprising game.
Agrippa: Tyler Thigpen is my pick. This 2nd year player from Coastal Carolina is on a bad team with an even worse offensive line. One element that has been absent in KC since Green left has been great QB play. Thigpen almost lead a basement Chiefs team over the playoff contending Jets in a hard fought game. He threw for 280 yards 2td's with 70% accuracy, finishing with a 110.9 QB rating. He was clearly the better QB on the field this day but the most surprising aspect is that Brett Favre was his counterpart.
LP: The most disappointing player in Week 8 had to be Brandon Jacobs. He had his 2nd worst rushing performance this year, by only getting 47 yards on 18 attempts. Jacobs only averaged 2.6 yards per carry against the Steelers. Pittsburgh's rush defense is good, but they hold their opponent to an average of about 72 yards... not 47 yards from the 7th leading rusher in the NFL. To me.. that is a very disappointing performance by Brandon Jacobs.
Agrippa: My pick has to be Peyton Manning. He went 26/41 for 223 yards with 2 TD's and 2 picks. His QB rating has plummeted to a 79.0. What is going on with the Colts? I was a firm believer that they would get it going but this team is showing no life what so ever. This was a chance for Manning to bring this years Colts out of obscurity but failed miserably. He is the engine of this machine and with him stalling the Colts will be watching from home come December and January.
Pitt: My pick is Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Cleveland Browns have a pretty bad run D, ranked 24th in the NFL. Despite this MJD rushed for just 29 yards on 12 carries. His long on the day was FIVE YARDS. This year has been a disappointment for MJD, who has struggled against every team that has had a half-decent run D. He may not be so good after all.
1. What do you think about the Cowboys ending their 2-game losing streak?
Pitt: I think it was huge for them. If they lost that game, they could have very well gone into their bye at 4-5. This win ensures that they'll still have a good shot to make the playoffs if Tony Romo can came back off the bye at 100%. Although things haven't gone as planned, Cowboys fans should feel pretty good about their team's chances, all things considered.
LP: Pitt, I agree. This was huge for them right now because they are on a roller-coaster. After getting upset by the Rams last week, they needed some power going into their game against the 6-1 Giants. Like Pitt said, if Romo can come back 100% they should start winning again.
Agrippa: Guys this could not have come at a better time. The Buccaneers were red hot coming off a huge win against a tough Carolina team and a so-so victory against Seattle. All the credit has to go to Dallas defense for picking it up when it matters. A loss to Tampa would have been a huge hit for moral and could have done more damage that the previous weeks loss to the Rams. Something really has to give here though. I don't see Johnson being able to hold the gates for long. 19/33 for 122 yards is not going to cut when you have the athletes Dallas does. This should be an unacceptable game regardless if it was a win. On another note. Wouldn't a Daunte Culpepper look better than and Johnson or Bollinger?
2. After the Jets' win over the Chiefs... can they make the playoffs?
LP: Well they barely escaped the 1-5 Chiefs and they lost to the 1-4 Raiders. The Jets have to play Buffalo twice, the Patriots, the Titans, the Broncos, and the Dolphins. They don't have that easy of a schedule, and from my opinion they are not playing good right now. With Brett Favre throwing 7 INTERCEPTIONS and getting SACKED 6 times in the last 3 GAMES... Favre isn't playing good at all. I say no, they do not make the playoffs.
Agrippa: With Favre at the helm anything is possible. If you look at the AFC East there are more question marks than any other. That Division is wide open and can be conquered by the first team who decides to play consistent on both sides of the ball. Recently it has been the Patriots but with Cassel as the leader I wouldn't bet the farm it will last. Yes it is very possible they still make it in.
Pitt: They can, but I don't think they will. I think they'll finish third in their division and the Colts, Texans, Jaguars, Ravens, or Chargers will finish ahead of them. Their performance against a Chiefs team that was without Larry Johnson was, at best, underwhelming. I think they win 8-9 games and just miss out.
3. Do you like the NFL's "International Series"?
Agrippa: This is a great idea and was a great game. The blokes across the pond got too see what a football game looks like when it doesn't end in a tie. The commissioner has to be happy with the lack of defense played. The Saints and Bolts played lights out offense in a game that totaled 69 points 680 pass yards and 6 passing TD's! I don't care if it's in 3rd world South America, exposure and expansion is good for any thriving business!
Pitt: I think it's good for the sport. The more people that are interested, the more that will play it and watch it. England could one day be a producer of talent and a source of revenue for the NFL. That being said, any attempt to put a team overseas would be crazy. I'm glad that the NFL put teams over there that were good on offense, unlike last year.
LP: Yes it exposes the NFL to other countries, but I'm neutral on this. It is a good idea to help revenue and income, but then it is the NATIONAL Football League. It is called National for a reason... because it is in OUR nation. I still stand neutral.
That's all for us here at FanNation NFL Scoreboard. Have a good week.