Oh no! Avert your eyes! Run for the hills! It's handshake gate. A pumped up Jim Harbaugh ran over to Jim Schwartz after the game, shook his hand too hard, and then said, "You want to taunt me from the sidelines? Well suck on that you stinking pillow biter." Harbaugh then shoved him out of the way as Schwartz turned in confusion and asked, "What the (bleep) is a pillow biter?" Schwartz then proceeded to run down the field after Hargaugh bumping into him and stamping his foot in anger wanting clarification of the insult Harbaugh had just said. Players jumped in between and fans stared from the stands wondering if they should throw their beer or not. Considering the tough economic times in Detroit, most decided to drink their beer while bragging to their friends afterwards that they did throw it and hit Iupati right in the helmet. I guess there was also a game played between the two teams but who cares about a game when watching coaches fight is so much more entertaining. Well, on to the rest of week 6.
The Falcons gave up a lot to draft Julio Jones because they felt they were just one big playmaker away from being an elite team. Well Jones has lived up to expectations but the Falcons have stumbled out to a 2-3 start. With Jones not able to play this week the Falcons did something unusual, they went back to the way they used to play. They ran the ball 35 times while trying only 22 pass attempts, and wouldn't you know it, they won. Sure the Panthers have given up more rushing yards per game than every other team in the NFL not named the Rams, but let's not nit-pick. Michael Turner led the way with 139 yards and 2 touchdowns, while the Falcons defense forced 3 Cam Newton interceptions. "We'd like to be able to do that every week," Said Matt Ryan who threw for 163 yards and a TD. Yea, and I'd like to be able to dunk a basketball and not have my kids constantly bugging me for money but we don't always get what we want.
With the Colts trailing by 3 with just over 5 minutes to play Adam Vinatieri had his 52 yard FG blocked by Nate Clements (yes, that Nate Clements) and three minutes later Carlos Dunlap returned a Pierre Garcon fumble 35 yards for a TD to seal the win. Andy Dalton had another impressive performance for the Bengals completing 25 of 32 passes, including 13 straight at one point, for 264 yards and a TD. Dalton has been so impressive for the Bengals they've decided they are willing to trade disgruntled quarterback Carson Palmer. Meanwhile, the Raiders have decided to overpay for an overhyped player one last time in memory of Al Davis. At least they still have a great running game.
The rest of week 6 after the jump...
Rams 3, Packers 24
Aaron Rodgers threw for 310 yards and 3 touchdowns, including a career long 93 yard TD to Jordy Nelson, as the Packers put up 21 points in the second quarter and are now the only unbeaten team left in the NFL. The Packers had manhandled the Rams so badly in the first half they decided to not even try in the second half so the Rams could salvage at least a little bit of their self respect. The Rams did do a good job moving on the Packers defense and got into Packers territory on 9 of their 11 possessions, but 3 punts, 1 missed FG, 1 interception, and turning the ball over on downs 3 times meant they came away with only 3 points. "For whatever reason, (whenever) we get into the red zone, we keep shooting ourselves in the foot," said Steven Jackson who had 96 yards on 18 carries. Well, I know the reason. You're not a very good team. It's not exactly rocket science. In fact, it's not even 5th grade science for that matter.
In the battle of NY, Eli Manning threw for 292 yards, Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 104 yards and a career best 3 touchdowns, and Lawrence Tynes kicked the game winning 23 yard FG with 1:32 remaining. Of course the Giants were helped greatly by Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick who threw 2 costly interceptions, including one in the 4th with around 4 minutes to play and the game tied. "This is one of the hardest parts of playing quarterback, when you don't get the job done," Fitzpatrick said. "The two interceptions I threw, you couldn't ask for better coverage, you couldn't ask for a better play, couldn't ask for a better route. They were both basically the same thing. Stevie on a go route. I'd like to give credit to Corey Webster, he made plays on both of them. That said, I feel like Stevie beat him and I under threw both of them." Oh, that reminds me. I wanted to give credit to the St Louis Cardinals for making it to the World Series. The Braves did completely collapse down the stretch and handed the Wild Card to you on a silver platter, and you have to be thanking your lucky stars you only had to beat Philly in a 5 game series instead of a 7 game one, because let's be honest, that was never going to happen, but congratulations, you did a good job.
The Steelers jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first 20 minutes of the game and seemed poised to win in a laugher over the hapless Jags. Then they remembered something. They're not really a dominant team this year. First round pick Blaine Gabbert threw for 109 yards and a TD while leading the Jaguars to 13 unanswered points before his final desperation pass from the Steelers 48 yard line fell harmlessly to the ground. The Steelers are now 4-2 but they don't look a thing like the dominant team they've been over the last decade. Now the Steelers get to travel to Arizona next week to take on their old offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and the Cardinals. "The big challenges lie ahead," said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. "We need to prepare for them." Wait a minute. Oh, I get it. The Steelers have a two-game homestand against the Patriots and Ravens AFTER the Cardinals. That makes a lot more sense. For a second I thought he was talking about the Cardinals.
Don't look now but the Eagles are back from the dead. Or at least they now how a pulse even if they're clinging to life support. But in the wide open NFC East a pulse is all you need to still be in it. LeSean McCoy ran for 126 yards and a TD, Rex Grossman had a very Grossman like day with 4 interceptions, and the Eagles realized it's actually a good idea to tackle the guy with the ball. They limited running back Ryan Torain to only 22 yards on 10 carries and watched as Grossman got pulled to start the 4th in favor of John "I thought he was going to be the starter at the beginning of the year anyways" Beck. But Grossman wasn't down after the game. "I believe in myself no matter if the whole stadium doesn't, the coaching staff doesn't," Grossman said. "Whatever the situation is, I believe in myself." That's right Rex, positive affirmation. Because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.
Browns 17, Raiders 24
Jason Campbell had to leave the game late in the first half after being hit hard at the end of a scramble that broke his collar bone. Hook slide Jason, hook slide. But that didn't slow down the Raiders. First Jacoby Ford returned a kickoff 101 yards for a TD then the Raiders faked a 52 yard FG when holder Shane Lechler threw a perfect pass to Kevin Boss who rumbled the rest of the way in for a 35 yard TD. Now the question is what will the Raiders do without Campbell who's expected to miss around 6 weeks? "This football team will be fine," Raiders coach Hue Jackson said. "This team is a little bit more resilient than everyone thinks they are." I'm sure, hence the rumors the Raiders are about to overpay with two first round draft picks (if they win a playoff game this year, a 1st and a 2nd if they don't) for also-ran Carson Palmer. As for Al Davis, the team paid a special tribute to him before the game. "I know he's looking down saying ‘Just win, baby,'" Jackson said. OK, enough already. The world isn't flat, heaven isn't just above, and hell isn't below our feet. Can we stop pretending he's floating in space above the Raiders like some scary weather balloon?
Texans 14, Ravens 29
Trailing 14-13 mid-way through the 3rd against a wounded and desperate opponent, the Ravens defense clamped down holding the Texans scoreless for the final 21 minutes. Around the same time their offense came alive behind Joe Flacco and his 305 passing yards, Billy Cundiff kicked 3 more field goals giving him 5 on the day, and Ricky Williams ran it in for a TD from 4 yards out, mainly because he just smoked a banger and was told there were ho-hos in the end zone. Flacco turned the ball over twice but he also connected twice on 50 yard pass plays that led to two Cundiff field goals. "I think it was really encouraging to see how (we) responded to a tight game in the fourth quarter," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "To come out and win the fourth quarter in that fashion is a huge statement." True, it was a statement to the fact the team you were playing was missing their best offensive and defensive players.
Cowboys 16, Patriots 20
Oh, so close. Up by 3 with less than 2 minutes to play but the Cowboys just couldn't hang on for the win. That's got to hurt. As for the Patriots and Tom Brady, they never had any doubts about the outcome of the game. "You can't not get the ball in the end zone," Brady said. See, that was a double negative so he's really saying he WILL get the ball into the end zone. I know, I had to re-read it a couple of times myself. With just 22 seconds remaining Brady found Aaron Hernandez for an 8 yard TD pass and the Patriots snuck out with a 4 point win. Despite the win it was the first time in 14 games the Patriots were held to under 30 points. The last time it happened was last year when they lost 34-14 to the Browns who's defense was led by Rob Ryan, who just happens to be the Cowboys defensive coordinator this year. Maybe everyone else should take notes on what Ryan is doing to slow down the Patriots because nothing anyone else is doing seems to work.
You knew things weren't going the Saints way when on their first drive TE Jimmy Graham was pushed out of bounds and right into head coach Sean Peyton who's leg got caught under Graham and had a torn ligament and broken bone as a result. Peyton stayed on the field, oh the wonders of pain medication, and continued to call plays from the bench, but eventually had to turn play calling duties over to offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. I wonder what it's like to be an offensive coordinator under Peyton. I imagine it's a bit like being the Vice President. Sure you have a nice title and office, but what can you really do? Josh Freeman rallied the Bucs back from their 45-point beat down at the hands of the 49ers last week to throw for 303 yards and 2 touchdowns for the 6 point win and sole position of 1st place in the NFC South. "We felt that wasn't us last week for whatever reason," Earnest Graham said who rushed for 109 yards and a TD while filling in for LeGarrette Blount. "We left that on the field. We left it there. We left it in San Francisco." I'm sure there's a heart joke there but I just can't think of one.
Devin Hester caught a 48 yard TD pass from Jay Cutler for the Bears first score and returned a kickoff 98 yards for a TD in the second half as the Bears easily handled the Vikings. They stacked 8 in the box all night, limiting Adrian Peterson to only 39 yards on 12 carries, as they basically dared the Vikings to throw on them. The Vikings, of course, obliged them by not being able to throw the ball thanks to having a quarterback that's already been kicked off 2 teams in as many years. Do you know what the definition of insanity is? It's doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a QB that's just been given the boot by two teams to suddenly have success with yours. Eventually McNabb was replaced by first round draft pick Christian Ponder who completed 9 of his 17 passes for 99 yards. "It's tough, you're 1-5 at this particular point," said McNabb. "It felt like we did a lot of great things today. I guess we'll sit down and talk but I expect to be in there next week." Maybe McNabb and Grossman could make a motivational CD.
Before the start of the season Jets head coach Rex Ryan guaranteed a Super Bowl victory. After losing three straight and sitting at 2-3 he reaffirmed his earlier statement saying he still thinks they'll win, and on Monday night against the Dolphins the Jets certainly looked like a Super Bowl team. The problem is everyone looks like a Super Bowl team this year when they play the Dolphins. Mark Sanchez threw for 201 yards and a TD, Darrelle Revis pulled Brandon Marshall's jersey over his head before intercepting Matt Moore's pass and returning it 100 yards for a TD, and Reggie Bush is wondering if it's too late to ask for a trade back to the Saints. Dolphins owner Steve Ross is also wondering if it's too late to make another run at Jim Harbaugh for head coach. "Hey, we needed a win in the worst way," an obviously relieved Rex Ryan said afterwards. "I'm just happy that we found a way to get one." Amazing what playing a crappy team at home will do for your self-confidence.