Week Five: NFL Wrapup
So, we’ve got quite a race…with Dave Doughty’s creatively named ialwaysforgetmypassword at the top of the standings, he’ll win if his hometown Ravens pull the upset tonight. On the other hand, there are four other teams right below him who are picking the Broncos. If Denver wins, it’s tie-breaker madness and I can’t begin to take the time to sort that out.
Did I say that the Ravens were an underdog? Well, no, but I did imply that. It’s because for the entire week, they were up to four point underdogs – and then, as the lines closed, it was made an even line. (Or, rather, the line was taken to OFF, which amounts to the same thing.) I’m not really sure why this was – I’m assuming there was a late injury that I can’t quite place, but – anyhow, it’s odd.
On the other hand, it all but ensures that this will not be the third Push of the week. Good lord, when there are only 14 games, having two pushes (STL-GB, CAR-CLE) is mildly retarded. I would like to call on owner Mike Lang to rectify this immediately.
Some observations from yesterday, despite the fact that I only saw pieces of a few games. One – I think the Steelers are experiencing some massive, massive hangover from the Super Bowl. Or, conversely, they just aren’t that great. Good, but not great. (Coincidentally, Good, But Not Great is the working title of my memoirs.) The Chargers? Well, if I were a betting man – and, seeing as this post refers to the Pick ‘Em league, I guess I am one – I’d take the Chargers-Bears as the most likely Super Bowl matchup right now.
That discounts the Eagles, however, and man, are they playing well. What I loved about the post-game interviews was two things – one, that Donovan McNabb refused to gloat about beating T.O. (aka The Player Who Shall Not Be Named), saying it was all about getting a win, etc. Pure professionalism…but the second thing I liked was that you could just see the twinkle in his eyes, the suppressed grin, that he LOVED the fact that Owens was essentially shut out and throwing a massive temper tantrum on the sidelines.
Sunday’s Washington-Giants game was a toss-up for me but now I wonder why. The NFL is remarkable, for a team like the Redskins to look so dominant a week ago against a staunch defense like Jacksonville, and then get bitch-slapped by the Giants a week later. Did Mark Brunell pass for 100 yards? Just a terrifically ugly game.
As I noted last week, I was somewhat terrified that the Raiders would sneak in their first win against my 49ers. And for awhile the Niners let the Raiders stay in the game, due to some bad calls once again by Mike Nolan. (Or Norv Turner, actually. Not sure who is in charge of that.) But, sooner than later, the Raiders imploded. And Art Shell stared vacantly on the sidelines. The Raiders, as a 49er sideline reporter said, puts the funk in dysfunction. Did you know that the Oakland offensive coordinator was running a bed-and-breakfast for the last few years? That Shell essentially just recruited his old staff, even though almost none of them were considered NFL caliber enough to be coaching any time recently? I mean…good god, isn’t this time for Roger Goodell to stage an intervention with Al Davis?
The 49ers have shown an utter inability to run up the middle for goal line yards. I’m not sure why anyone doesn’t just try the Walter Payton method of jumping OVER the line, but there’s gotta be a reason. And until the team figures out a way to gain those three feet or so, they can’t fully turn the corner. But two wins is two wins, and I’m happy about that. Especially since they beat Oakland, the real turds of the NFL.
The Titans are 0-5, but they almost caused the biggest upset – and Survivor pool poison – by narrowly losing to the Colts. If I were a Colts fan, and I am not, I’d be substantially worried right now. They almost lost to the Jets and Titans are consecutive weeks, and while winning those games is all that really matters, this team looks less than impressive. You glass half-full folks might suggest that this will take some pressure off of Peyton Manning and therefore he might actually succeed in the post-season after his notable failures, but I am just glad to know that I won’t bet on them until Peyton actually has a ring. (And not one from a vending machine.)
OK, that’s probably enough – I won’t watch the game tonight though it should be competitive. Good? Maybe not, but competitive. I’ll post again tomorrow with the results. Good luck, y’all.