Tuesday's 12th Man Report: Week 8
…in my prediction that Seneca Wallace would have a good game in leading the Hawks to victory. Two turnovers, including an INTD, didn’t hurt.
…about the Titans, Ravens, Redskins and Browns.
I Was Wrong…
…about pretty much everything else. It all seems so silly in hindsight, really.
…to pick the Steelers. Just out of principle, that was a major indiscretion.
…to think the Bengals could win? Pulleaze… They actually played well for a half, but unfortunately, playing well equaled “only down by eight.” The second half didn’t go so well, as the Texans finally finished a game properly.
…to think this year’s London matchup would disappoint. It turned out to be a very entertaining game in which one turnover or one big play could have made for a different outcome.
…not to consider Brett Favre the wildcard in any game he plays. There is ALWAYS a possibility that he might just decide to (a) heave it up for grabs off of his back foot once or twice (twice for INTs against the Chiefs on Sunday) and/or (b) throw into double-coverage deep in his opponent’s territory (Chiefs eight-yard-line on Sunday) for an INTD.
…to consider the Bills infallible against the Dolphins.
…to think the Cowboys wouldn’t learn that they needed to feed the ball to Marion Barber (31 touches).
…to give up on the Eagles. Their strong line play on both sides of the ball really impressed me in the first few weeks of the season, which included a win over Pittsburgh and the close loss to Dallas in week two. They looked tough again on Sunday against the Falcons in simply overpowering them.
With less than a minute remaining in the game, I loved watching Jerry Jones meditating in his booth. Leaning forward in his chair, with his eyes closed and the fingers and thumb of each hand touching one another, he looked as if he were trying to channel down some sort of psychic energy to his team. The Dallas defense eventually stopped the Bucs, so apparently it worked, and maybe we’ll see it again next week.
Matt Ryan and Roddy White are still getting along nicely. White had eight catches for 113 yards and two TDs.
Anyone facing a fantasy team with Brian Westbrook had to be a little disappointed in how he decided to go ahead and score the touchdown at the end of the game, instead of downing the ball and allowing the Eagles to run out the clock, like he did last year in week 15 against the Cowboys.
Shaun Alexander is not lying down on first contact anymore. Unfortunately, he’s not making anyone miss either. He’s just getting lit up and dropped for very short gains (averaged 1.8 yards per carry on Sunday compared to 5.3 for Clinton Portis). Good call Tim Ruskell (Seahawks GM) on letting him go in the off-season. And good call Bengals on signing Cedric Benson instead of Alexander. My bad. Amazingly, however, Mr. Stone Hands actually caught a pass on Sunday. Mad props Shaun.
The Redskins’ time of possession doubled the Lions’ through three quarters—and they were only up six points.
It wouldn’t surprise me if TMQ talks about…
…Matt Cassel’s effort with 9:02 remaining in the Rams game on Sunday. With his team down three p0ints, Cassel was standing at the Rams 35 on a third down play. Unable to find anyone open, he had a few options. He could have taken a sack, which would have resulted in a 52-yard field goal attempt. Or, he could have thrown the ball away and gave the kicker a 45-yard field goal attempt. Instead, he managed to escape the pocket and run forward for 4 yards, which resulted in a much more manageable 41-yard field goal attempt which Stephen Gostkowski converted. It certaintly didn't make the highlight reals, but was important nonetheless in a three-point game.
…the Ravens sweet play in which Joe Flacco handed the ball off to Troy Smith who then threw a 43-yard pass to…Joe Flacco.
Trent Edwards, who led the league in fourth quarter QB rating, was decidedly un-clutch in giving the ball away three times in the fourth quarter against the Dolphins.
In the second quarter of the Bengals-Texans game, Matt Schaub reminded me of Tecmo superstar Randall Cunningham, errrr….I mean, “QB Eagles.” In Tecmo, you were able to run your QB on one sideline and just before crossing the line of scrimmage, you could magically—in stride, mind you—throw the ball all the way to a receiver on the other sideline. Since he was such a running threat, QB Eagles was a master at this play. Schaub’s play was only half as good, but still nostalgic. He was running in the middle of the field when he stopped suddenly before crossing the line of scrimmage and hit Ahman Green on the right sideline.
Make it Official: In the fourth quarter of the London game, Referee Tony Corrente informed us that there were two penalties on the play, “delay of game on the offense and delay of game on the quarterback for spiking the ball. Only one penalty will be assessed. It will be the delay of game.” So glad you could clarify.
Good Call v. Bad Call
Good Call: On fourth-and-short from their own 47-yard-line, the Browns, instead of predictably running the ball straight up the gut, called a play-action pass to tight end Steve Heiden. Result: 50-yard reception for a first-and-goal at the Jaguars three-yard-line.
Bad Call: On third-and-short and fourth-and-short at around the Browns 37-yard-line, the Jaguars called two runs straight up the gut. Guess what the result was? Unless your offensive line is dominating the opponent’s defensive line, I see no reason for this sort of predictable play-calling--especially on two successive plays.
Matt Jones caught 8 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown, though he couldn’t come up with the game-winner, which was bobbled and ultimately dropped. In seven games, he’s three receptions shy of his career season-high of 41.
Mike Singletary needs to be fired immediately…so we can all enjoy the Coors Light commercials sure to result from his post-game tirade. On second thought, he’s sure to provide additional material in the coming weeks—let’s give him a few more games.
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