As I sit here trying to punch out a Plaxccident free column, it is literally two dergees out. On the bright side we have a Monday night game to be proud of (Tampa-Carolina). Trying to sort out all of the "junk" from week 14 and I'm not talking about Visanthe Shiancoe. And we're off...
It's December, try telling that to visitors going to Green Bay. Is it really possible the Packers just lost back to back late season home games to Houston and Carolina? Their defense does absolutely nothing to stump the Schaub (28-42, 414, 2 TD) and Steve Slaton contiues his impressive rookie campaign with 126 on the ground after a solid Monday night performance against Jacksonville.
Interesting note, Houston began the season at 0-4, Buffalo started the season at 4-0, both now reside at 6-7.
Turns out the hot coaching candidate out of Dallas was actually Tony Sparano. Can we give this guy coach of the year yet? The Miami Dolphins at 8-5 look primed to run the table, assuming they get by AFC East killer San Francisco. Oh and it gets better for Sparano, both of his son's play for the University at Albany Great Danes. The Great Danes shutout Jacksonville 28-0 for the Gridiron Classic in frigid weather at University Field in Albany, which is also home for Giants training camp. Meanwhile it was dome sweet dome for dad in Oh Canada.
Sticking in the AFC East and on the positive, at least for the New York Jets, the Rams don't still play in L.A. The Jets now 0-3 in Cali and have gone underground after mention of a "Subway Super Bowl." Meanwhile San Francisco said we'll gladly keep the Giants, but New York you can have your Jets back. And how about Shaun Hill, wearing that # 13 Steve Bono jersey with pride.
What a comeback engineered by Matt Cassel out in Seattle, the Pats could easily finish up with 11 wins and still be on the outside looking in come playoff time.
The Lions keep the dream season alive, one could make the case against two horrendous defenses in New Orleans and Green Bay in the final two games that Detroit could sneak away with a win, but where's the fun in that?
From worst to first, the Giants offense was a carpenter's dream, flat as a board. Give Philly credit, clearly they wanted it more and this was their Super Bowl. As I mentioned in last week's column, given their history that if they could knock off the Giants, they ought to be heavy favorites to run the table. Just a complete clinic by the Eagles defense and assuming they get by the monsters of Monday night (the Celeveland Browns) you tell me who you'd rather be, the Eagles at 7-5-1 or the Dallas Cowboys at 8-5? Bad day to be a kicker at the Meadowlands.
Speaking of Decemburrr, the Cowboys are looking absolutely frigid. Their defense was tenacious, in Ben Roethlisberger's lap more than kids on mall-Santa. Yet the Cowboys collapse was a textbook display of how to give a game away. Granted they didn't have Marion Barber to salt the game away late, but if you're Dallas you have to get a little more aggressive in that spot. If you're scared get a dog, but you let Pittsburgh's defense get a whiff of a sense of fear in you and they smell blood, they'll come after you ears pinned back and sure enough they did. The Steelers put up 17 points in the 4th quarter and blank the Cowboys in the process. Steelers in my mind still tops in the AFC, finally win a crucial home contest. With the Cowboys is it Tony Romo-verrated?
The team that will play both of these squads in the following two weeks, the Baltimore Ravens looked sharp once again, mauling the Washington Redskins.
Meanwhile the team that used to reside in Baltimore, the Colts get what amounts to two bye weeks in a row with Cincy and Detroit. Am I the only one who believes that fighting for one of the last Wild Card spots will serve Indy better in the post season? The Colts haven't lost since game 5/1/2 of the World Series.
We now have eight teams in the NFL sitting at 8-5, of that group (Dolphins, Jets, Pats, Vikes, Broncos, Cowboys, Falcons, Cardinals) who would you take? Is it ok of I call you Sunshine? Because in that case I'd be taking the team from the Sunshine State, the Miami Dolphins.
In other news, the Tennessee Titans now changing the name of their stadium to "Dangerfield" seeing as they still can't get any respect. They sure did get Cleveland's attention. Tennessee will finish off with two statement games, should they choose to play them against Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. Remember folks defense wins championships and the Titans are 3rd in the league.
Holy Carlton Fisk the Cardinals win their first divisional title since 1975.
After dropping three big one's on the road to the Saints, Cowboys and Broncos, a big measuring stick for the Buccs in Carolina tonight.
That's it for this week's overview, until then stay warm and for the love of God keep your Shiancoe in your pants.