Let's all lift our coffee mugs, water bottles, beer steins, or highballs to the following people who helped make football great in week 7:
Here's to you, Rob Bironas, for your record-breaking eight field goals including 52-yarder and a game-winner after your team nearly blew a huge lead.
Here's to you, Sage Rosenfels. That fourth quarter made up for the ineptitude of the first three-you almost pulled together the comeback of the year.
Here's to you, Kerry Collins, for giving us a good memory of you. Hopefully for the fans of the Titans and for Vince Young, this was your last game in a Tennessee uniform, and you'll have gone out on a good note. That performance could even get you a starting job next year.
Here's to you, Trent Edwards. I have a feeling that the teams who drafted QBs in the second round are going to wonder why they let you slip to the third.
Here's to you, Ken Whisenhunt, for once again breaking coaching convention and using different quarterbacks in different situations. You're very hard to gameplan against, and that should, in time, have you labeled a great coach.
Here's to you, London Fletcher. You almost lost getting a toast for that stupid taunting penalty, but the fact is, you returned an interception for a touchdown, and are the first Redskin free agent in a long time to actually exceed expectations. The defense can actually win a game now.
Here's to you, Rod Marinelli. I watched the first quarter of this game, the first time I've seen your guys play in a while. And I couldn't believe I was watching the Lions (the fact that your uniforms looked like the Panthers' didn't help). You have toughened up this team, particularly the defense, and they play with heart and ferocity. Unheard of two years ago.
Here's to you, Reggie Bush, for figuring out how to fight for tough yards, getting a TD, 2-point conversion, and a 1st-down clock-killing clincher to lock in the win.
Here's to you, Byron Leftwich. It's sad to see you go down again. Your brief post-game interview was a heartbreaker.
Here's to you, Tom Brady. I've picked you as the Game MVP nearly every week, and I still underestimate you.
Here's to you, Willie Andrews. You were a 7th-round pick. You were playing a team who drafted a kick returner with the 9th overall pick. You outplayed that guy, almost matching his total yardage on one return, when that guy had 4 chances.
And, fine, here's to you, Randy Moss. I wish you could have sucked it up and done this in Oakland, but the fact is, you're an incredible player. Those two touchdown catches were amazing.
Here's to you, Kenny Watson. But man, if you backups keep doing this well, soon no one's going to pay for a running back. RBs are quickly becoming the most replaceable players in football.
Here's to you, everyone in a Chiefs uniform. You managed to win another ugly one, and may turn out to be the AFC's surprise playoff team once again.
And a special toast to you, Jared Allen, who are now tied for the league lead in sacks.
Here's to you, Randy McMichael. You didn't hold back in the interviews, saying "Right now I am embarrassed to be a (Ram). It is pathetic." This is especially weighty, considering the alternative was to remain a Dolphin, the other 0-7 team.
I'm not sure I should encourage kicking a guy when he's down, but strategy is strategy. So here's to you, Darryl Tapp, for your Defensive Player of the Week-worthy performance. 4 sacks for 26 yards, a fumble forced, and a pass defensed. Bulger was their only hope, and you slammed right into those hurting ribs all day long.
Here's to you, 10 members of the Bears' starting offense (sorry Benson). You worked together to make Brian Griese's numbers look like a starting QB's should. 322 yds, 0 INTs, only 1 sack, 65% completions. If the defense is healthy, that'll win you the game every time. (By the way, if when I watch the game on DVR later I see some sack-saving blocks by Benson, I'll edit the post to include him as well.)
Here's to you, Tony Romo. Sure, it was mostly short passes, but 31 of 39 is always a good game, especially against a solid defense like Minnesota's.
Here's to you, Steve Spagnuolo. Your scheme fits the Giants' defense perfectly. I think you were one of the smartest hires of the offseason.
Here's to you, Osi Umenyiora and DeMeco Ryans. You each had a sack, a forced fumble, a recovered fumble, and a TD-all on one play. Beautiful stuff.
And here's to you, Michael Strahan and Justin Tuck, for teaming up for four of the Giants' 6 sacks, including a shared sack between the two of you.
Here's to you, Broncos' front 7, for finally stopping the run against the NFL's second-best rushing team. You should have fared worse without Champ Bailey taking care of the pass, but you pulled off the upset.
Here's to you, Patrick Willis. You're on pace to lead the NFL in solo tackles (once DeMeco Ryans, Barrett Ruud, Michael Boley, and Will Witherspoon have their bye weeks), giving 49ers fans something to cheer about while their team is struggling. Defensive Rookie of the Year is in sight.
Here's to you, CBS, Bill Cowher, Shannon Sharpe, James Brown, Phil Simms, and Dan Marino. I flipped over for the very end of the afternoon games, and was surprised at what I saw. Instead of simply switching over to the telecast of the Titans-Texans game, CBS was airing the men in the studio, all watching the exciting finish. And it was beautiful. Five men who have made football their life, sitting around a desk, reacting with glee to every huge play. None cared who won the game; it was all about the love of the game. It was actually more entertaining to see those five guys' reactions than to watch the action on the field.
I'd like to keep this blog as a place of positivity and celebration. So please, try to restrain yourself from sarcastic toasts to the guy who blew the game, or toasts to people who helped your fantasy team, because that's not what the NFL is about. But other than that, feel free to add toasts of your own below.