That old Led Zeppelin song “Over the Hills and Far Away” provides us a workable theme for yesterday’s NFL action as we sort through a thousand images flashing before our eyes, the channel changer warm to the touch after nearly eleven hours of abuse.
We discover players previously thought to be subject to the ravages of time and the game, plus victims of recent and distant injuries are not yet over the hill; some who are, and some nearly forgotten like Cedric Benson, who this morning leads the NFL in rushing yards. Among our lasting observations:
10) Why would you ever consider a Marvin Harrison when you have an Austin Collie (eight receptions, 97 yards, two TDs) and a Pierre Garçon? Sorry Marv, over the hill and far, far away. As for the Titans defense, giving up 16 points per GAME more than last year, maybe not over the hill, but far and away off the mark.
(Note to broadcasters: stop mentioning how tough Chuck Cecil was as a player. We can see how his toughness is really paying dividends for the Titan's defense.)
9) Mike Brown, safety, Kansas City, missed two critical tackles of Miles Austin of the Dallas Cowboys yesterday, one in the fourth quarter that went for a TD, and the big overtime TD as well. Mike, the glue factory awaits.
8) T.O. is a non-factor in Buffalo. He has done nothing, both far and away. The Bills might as well have signed Buck Owens to serenade the locker room after another embarrassing loss.
7) Jacksonville lost 41-0 to the Seahawks. To the SEAHAWKS!!! Incredibly Jacksonville’s next three games are all against winless teams. Talk about a blessed little sunshine over the next few hills not far away.
6) Did you notice that the Broncos lined up Andre Goodman and not Champ Bailey on Randy Moss all day? The same former Dolphin Andre Goodman who got repeatedly torched by Moss during the magical 2007 Patriot season. Yesterday’s result: Moss one reception for 36 yards.
5) Frontrunner for Coach of the Year: Not Quite Over the Hill Marvin Lewis? Or frisky puppy Josh McDaniels?
4) On another matter, do the Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Cheerleader uniforms come in a cleavage version? It’s a really great cause, but frankly, nuns dress more provocatively.
3) Tampa Bay: missing the not so over the hill Jon Gruden? Maybe Derrick Brooks, too?
2) How can the San Francisco 49ers win by exactly 35 points one week and lose by exactly 35 points the next week on the same field?
1) And now, the not yet over the hill and far away stats of the week: Brett Favre 18/24 for 232 yards, Kurt Warner 26/38 302 yards, Matt Hasselbeck 18/30 241 yards and four touchdown passes, Carson Palmer 18/31 for 271 yards and another last minute win, Donovan McNabb 16/21 for 321 yards and three TDs, and finally, even Daunte Culpepper 23/37 for 283 yards against the Steelers.
In total, our not quite “Over the Hill and Far Away” QBs passed for 12 TDs and a whopping 1,653 yards yesterday. Pass the liniment boys, you earned it.
And Zep, rock on.