NEW HAVEN, Ct.
— Just a few little observations as we sit a week away from the season’s second “Game Of The Century”.
– Whenever we have these “games to end all games” like Pats-Cowboys or Pats-Colts, I’m always reminded of a great Duane Thomas quote from back in the day. While playing in his first Super Bowl for the Cowboys (Ironically, Super Bowl V against the Colts), Thomas was told that this was the “Ultimate Game”. Thomas, sarcastically known as “The Sphinx” by the Dallas media, then replied, “If this is the ultimate game, then why are they playing it next year??” Plain and simple, the man was way ahead of his time on and off the field.
– Was there anything more hilarious and or hypocritical than Keyshawn Johnson’s “interview” with his cousin Chad Johnson on ESPN’s Sunday Countdown last week? Mr. “Just Give Me The Damn Ball” actually had the damn nerve to chastise Ocho Cinco about his “behavior”. No. 85 has quickly become a convienent scapegoat for a team and a franchise that’s become a cross between “Playmakers” and “Oz”. The last I checked, Mr. Johnson’s worse crime is being a bad dancer and wanting to win. Getting “counseling” from Me-Shawn is like getting hunting tips from Dick Cheney.
– I know Atlanta’s Bobby Petrino is supposed to get a mulligan this season because of the Vick incident and because he’s a rookie head coach, but just what did he prove by cutting Grady Jackson this week?
Jackson, a 6-foot-2, 350-pound run-stopper, topped the league with 13 tackles for losses last season. This year, the 11-year veteran was the leader among Falcons defensive linemen with 21 tackles, including 5.5 for losses and one sack. Conspiracy theory alert: Is Bobby greasing the wheel to draft a certain QB (Jeff Brohm) from a certain school in Kentucky (No, not Eastern Kentucky, genius!!) with their first-round pick? Hey, I’m just sayin’…..
– Note to bitter Jets fans: It doesn’t matter if Chad Pennington, Kellen Clemens, or Joe Namath is under center. The fact that Thomas Jones and others are struggling behind an inconsistent offensive line is the one of the main reason why Gang Green is having their problems this season. Did someone say Pete Kendall?? While Eric Mangini isn’t the “Mangenius” he’s been made out to be, the way he and management dealt with the veteran guard during the offseason and during the early part of training camp looks like it’s coming back to bite them where it hurts.
– If there truly is “only one October”, then just where the hell are these places that have three or four Octobers?? Could you imagine all the Halloween candy you could eat with multiple Octobers? My god, the World Series would be longer than entire NBA’s regular season.
Sorry, I’m just venting…….
FACTOID OF THE WEEK
After starting the season at 0-2, the New York Giants have won five in a row heading into their game Sunday against Miami in London, England in the first NFL regular-season game played overseas. The Giants can become the fifth team in history and only the second since 1947 to start the season 0-2 and go on to win six consecutive games.
The last team to do the the trick?? — the 1993 Dallas Cowboys, who finished 12-4 and went on to win Super Bowl XXVIII.
Tennessee’s Rob Bironas set an NFL record last week with eight field goals in a game. Who holds the franchise’s record for the most field goals in a season?
A. Al Del Greco
B. George Blanda
C. Toni Fritsch
D. Tony Zendejas
LAST WEEK: 6-8 (49-38 overall)
I should’ve known what kind of week it was going to be when even my mother said “You picked the Dolphins, son??” That should’ve been a warning. Oh, well. We probably went with a few too many upsets last week ( i.e the Fish, 49ers, Vikings, and Jags) and it cost me. While the Saints, Seahawks, and Rob Bironas’ feet came through for us, we got burned by Baltimore, Philly, and Pittsburgh. Still, I’m confident that I’ll be able to bounce back. Always striving for perfection, while not trying embarrass myself. Don’t worry, mom. I’m not picking the Dolphins this week.
GIANTS vs. DOLPHINS (At London)
Two years ago, the NFL decided to play a regular season game in Mexico between Arizona and San Francisco. Now merry old England will host a game between the Giants and the winless Dolphins. There’s probably a Benny Hill joke in here somewhere, but I just can’t think of it right now. The best line of the week was uttered by Miami’s Jason Taylor who said, “We can’t win in America, maybe we can win overseas.”
Ironically, the Fish are the home team for this game. Unfortunately, that stink that’s been following the Dolphins all season wil likely show up right around 1 pm ET Sunday afternoon — again.
REDSKINS at PATRIOTS
After douling out one of biggest ass-whuppings in recent regular season vintage, Team Tivo returns home to meet a team they haven’t beaten since the days of Jim Plunkett (Jim Who?? Hey!! Look it up, pal!!). Much of the week, we’ve heard about how this could be a trap game for the Brady Bunch. No disrespect to Grandpa Gibbs’ gang, but that had better be one helluva bear trap. Washington was lucky to come away with a win against the Cardinals last week and here’s one basic fact: Washington’s offense — 25th overall. New England’s defense — 5th overall. Like I said, that had better be one helluva trap, baby!!
COLTS at PANTHERS
Here’s the good news, Carolina fans. You will see a Super Bowl-caliber team one the field Sunday. The bad news? They probably won’t be wearing the home team colors. Yes, it will be a quick turnaround for the Horseshoes and they could possibly be looking past the ‘Cats. But seriously, do you really hink Tony Dungy will not have these guys ready for all of those possibilities. Yes, I know the “Any Given Sunday” folks think that Carolina could pull off the upset. Any other time, I’d be down for picking an upset here. But just can’t knowingly pick Vinny Testaverde to defeat Payton Manning no matter how many mind numbing commercials No. 18 does.
JAGUARS at BUCS
Dammitt, it happens everytime. We’re ready to embrace the Jaguars as a legitimmate contender and they fall short — again. What makes this worse is that David Garrard got hurt and will be out at least a month. They now face an ornery Tampa squad that got beaten by Detroit.
Former FAMU standout Quinn Gray will make his first NFL start against as tough a defense as he faces in practice. However, we all know that there are some soccer teams that score more than the Bucs at times.
This has all the makings of a 7-3, 10-7 nailbiter. For this one, we’ll take the home team.
PACKERS at BRONCOS
Let me be totally honest with you. I look at this matchup and I’m very confused. Denver was able to pull out a close one last week against Pittsburgh. I haven’t been able to get a handle on the Packers all season. We know the Cheeseheads have had a hard time running the ball and in turn, Denver’s D has been porous (allowing a league-worst average of 176.2 rushing yards a game) all season. Despite the hype, Green Bay’s D has been the team’s strength all season. The Broncos haven’t really been that automatic at Invesco this season. We’ll take a chance on Mr. Favre on the road.
Steelers over Bengals: Cincy faces an angry Steeler squad coming off a tough road loss. Hide the women and children.
Bears over Lions: Sorry, I’m not getting suckered into picking the Boys from Motown two weeks straight.
Eagles over Vikings: If Minny allows “All Day” to run all day, this could be an upset.
Browns over Rams: Holy Shakespeare, Batman!! Could Romeo and the boys get a wildcard berth??
Bills over Jets: Buffalo is a potent offense away from being someone to deal with.
Titans over Raiders: Note to Jeff “Groucho” Fisher: Sometimes you have to go for it. You can’t have Mr. Bironas saving your butt every week!!
Chargers over Texans: No matter who wins, please do the right thing and play this game anywhere but San Diego.
49ers over Saints: San Fran needs to save its season — immediately.
Byes: Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, Seattle.
A. In 1998, Al Del Greco connected on a club record 36 field goals. The Auburn standout, who played with the franchise from 1991-2000, also holds the franchise record with 246 career field goals.