Words seem inadequate in the face of Redskin S Sean Taylor's tragic death. There is nothing that I can take out of this senseless killing other than the hope that it may give us all some pause to treasure and respect life. RIP Sean.
GIANTS-VIKINGS Next Up: BEARS
Last week I said:
He (Sinorice Moss) might be well used trying to stretch the field next week otherwise with the powerful Vikings running game and their ability to stop the G-Men second unit runners might make for an unpleasant Sunday.
It turned out to be even more unpleasant than either the Giants or I could have imagined. The Giants yearly second half collapse may be in full swing.
QB Eli Manning was only effective when he threw to Vikings defenders who showed their appreciation by returning 3 of their 4 picks into the end zone. The Giant running game was ineffective and though they out gained the Vikings, 309 yards to 251, their problems started in the first minute of play when lightly regarded QB Tavaris Jackson hit WR Sidney Rice with a 60 yard TD pass.
Mark Twain said, "There are lies, damnable lies and then statistics." The Giants held RB Chester Taylor to 77 yards on 31 carries but he was generally effective and when he wasn't, Jackson was gaining 38 yards on 5 carries and completing 10 of only 12 passes for 124 yards. Jackson did enough to win even if his defense scored more points than the offense. Viking coach Brad Childress has gotten heat for starting Jackson but the 2nd year QB is now 5-2 in games that he has started. The rest of the Viking QBs are 0-4.
The Giants sacked Jackson 4 times but all were for minimal losses. DT Fred Robbins had a big games with 1.5 sacks and 8 tackles (I especially liked his sack after he lost his helmet) and Osi Umenyiora added 2 more but this team is relying on the strength of their DL and it's not working.
There is a malaise in the Giants that you see when TE Jeremy Shockey doesn't run out routes and misses blocks. The OL that had been solid in their 6 game winning streak is missing blocks, making mistakes and taking bad penalties and Manning has that deer in the headlights, ‘get me outta here' look again. The Giants are in trouble.
The Bears are a shadow of the team that played in the Super Bowl last year but the Giants can't run on them and I don't believe the Bears feel that Eli can pass on them. Lucky for the G-Men then that Rex Grossman is Da Bears QB because no one in the NFL can be pressured (or not pressured) into more mistakes than Rex, except perhaps Eli.
Sorry to see RB Cedric Benson go down for the season just as he appeared to be getting some rhythm so the Bear version of Adrian Peterson should carry much of the load.
The Bears are coming off an emotional win vs. the Broncos. Look for an ugly game but I think the Bears will prevail.
DOLPHINS - STEELERS
What can be said about a games played in a bowl of soup? It was like watching a biting contest between newborns but it was competitive and there was the tension that any single play could win the game. Leave it to the Dolphins to find a way to lose. You have to give the Fish credit for not dialing it in.
I was impressed that there were only 3 turnovers and that QB Ben Roethlisberger completed 18 of 21 passes in the shower that used to be Heinz field. Speaking of Heinz, WR Ward was special catching half of Ben's passes for 88 yards whether he was required to lay flat out or not. Dolphin QB John Beck showed some intelligence and potential but I want to see him throw in better conditions because he seemed all-out to throw the ball 40 yards in the air.
Don't put too much stock into what happened in this game and years from now, when all fields are made of plastic, you can tell your grand kids what you saw and the awful conditions that old time football players had to play in. I'll tell my grand kids about the Green Bay - Dallas Ice Bowl.
This was closer than the Indianapolis game for the Patriots who were fully extended to win. It's clear that the Patriot defense starts with their reliance on their offense to keep pouring on the points because their defense is aging and it has holes. There are better defenses but not better offenses than the Patriots.
Trying to defend the Patriot receivers is like trying to get bubbles out shelf liner (you know that plastic stick-on stuff). Press down on one side and it appears on the other. The Eagles limited WR Randy Moss to 5 catches and only 43 yards but WR Wes Welker was huge with 13 catches for 149 yards and Jabar Gaffney caught a neat TD pass just before the half. Eagle CBs were aggressive against Moss to contain him.
John Madden got some attention when he said that the Eagles had given the rest of the league a blueprint of how to play the Patriots. This may sound astute but you still need the materials to build the building.
QB A. J. Feeley played a fine game but it was the tenacity of his receivers that impressed me. They caught everything thrown near them and several times held onto balls in traffic. Not normally so courageous and reliable a group (WR) I tip my cap to them for such a solid effort.
I think everyone is wondering how the Eagles could be so patient for 56 minutes only to surrender the game with a late, unnecessary pick in the end zone. Well, of all the things that might have been saddest are those of tongue and pen, and late picks in the end zone.
Good try Birdies.
Game of the week: Green Bay at Dallas
Wish I could see this one; promise to tell me about it? Cowboys have too many weapons:
Dallas 31 - Green Bay 23