The Giants win! The Giants win! The Giants win! Suck on that Matt Holiday! How's your left shoulder feeling? Oh and I guess there was some football played as well this past weekend.
So if you're struggling to win on the road and you're missing so many key players you're actually down to your 3rd string RB, what's the cure? For the Steelers it seems the cure is to play in Cincinnati where thanks to stub hub there where perhaps more Steelers fans at the game than Bengals fans. Not that I can blame them. If I'd had tickets to this game I'd sell them as well. Ben Roethlisberger did his thing throwing for 278 yards and a TD, although he also threw a costly interception in the end zone, while 3rd string RB Jonathan Dwyer who was starting his first career NFL game in his 3rd season ran for 122 yards on 17 carries. While the Steelers secondary held Andy Dalton to only 105 yards despite not have Troy Polamalu. "On the road," Roethlisberger said, "in this hostile environment-I can't say enough about it." Hostile environment? Roethlisberger is now 10-2 for his career when playing in the state he grew up in, although that also includes the Browns so I'm sure that's padded his stats a little. Still, calling Paul Brown Stadium hostile is a bit like calling Utah a scary place to visit.
The Jags jumped out to a 17-3 lead but lost both Maurice Jones-Drew after only two snaps and Blaine Gabbert who completed 8 of 12 for 110 and 1 TD after they took that lead. They also had a 20-6 lead early in the third and a 23-13 lead early in the fourth. Since the Raiders have sucked in their first five games I figured it was over but somehow they managed to come back in win even though Carson Palmer completed just over half his passes, Darren McFadden could only gain 53 yards on 19 carries, and as a team they turned the ball over 3 times. Of course when you're not very good it helps to play someone who's even worse. The Jags fumbled on their first possession of overtime and Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 40-yard FG for the win. "We're definitely very fortunate to come out with a win," defensive tackle Richard Seymour said. "We're not satisfied. We understand that we have to play better, that we have to get better as a team. We can't play that brand of ball against really good football teams and expect to win." Luckily they can play that brand of ball against the Jaguars and win.
Before the start of the game a reporter told Rex Ryan that the Jets were tied for first place. His response was to point out they're also tied for last. That's because every team in the AFC East was deadlocked with a 3-3 record. After a tough overtime win and with the Bills losing and the Dolphins on their bye week the Patriots are back in first and the Jets are still tied for last. Mark Sanchez threw for more yards (328) than Brady (259) and completed more of his passes but it was his fumble in overtime that ultimately cost the Jets the game. "There's a lot of football left to be played," New England coach Bill Belichick said. "I don't think anybody clinched anything today." Come on, you're in first place of a division full of middling teams, it's OK to smile once in a while.
Titans 35, Bills 34
Man the Bills defense blows. Chris Johnson ran for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 18 carries, which just about matches his total for the year before the game, while Matt Hasselbeck threw the game winning pass with just 1:03 left to play. This isn't Hasselbeck of several years ago when he was pretty good with the Seahawks. This is Hasselbeck who's simply hoping to hang around the NFL for a few more years even if his skill set is now on par with what his brother's was in his prime. Although in fairness to his brother he has a swank job and a hot wife, or at least I think they're still married I really can't be bothered to check. After the game Johnson said of his performance, "I don't think I've ever had a bad game against them." Well in three career games against the Bills you've run for 480 yards and 6 touchdowns. Tip to all fantasy owners who still have Johnson, the Titans won't play the Bills again so sell him now to someone who thinks he's returning to his old form.
Browns 13, Colts 17
In the season's first matchup between rookie quarterbacks Andrew Luck and the Colts were able to hold on behind 2 rushing touchdowns by Luck. Yes, "rushing" not "passing". Brandon Weedon played well throwing for 264 yards and 2 touchdowns, and more importantly no interceptions, but he plays for the Browns so that means everyone else stunk. Trent Richardson had only 8 yards on 8 carries and was pulled in the second half with a rib injury and if you don't count Weeden's 13 rushing yards the Browns finished with only 42. They even botched a PAT. For the Colts it wasn't just the win that was exciting but that Chuck Pagano is back home for the first time from the hospital. They also have more wins threw six games (3) than they did all of last season (2). I guess "suck for Luck" paid off while "ditchen for Richardson" (really that was the best I could come up with) hasn't so far for the Browns.
Well it only took until week 7 but the Packers have back-to-back wins for the first time all season, something that took them only until week2 to accomplish last year. They also are above .500 for the first time all season as well. Aaron Rodgers, who threw 3 touchdowns a week after throwing 6, broke Dan Marino's record for fewest interceptions (42 with Marino having 69) upon reaching 150 touchdowns. Like the Steelers the Packers also benefited from Stub Hub with cheers for the Packers being almost as loud as cheers for the Rams. "I kind of expected that they'd be well-represented (well-represented get's a hyphen?) here," defensive end Chris Long said. "We just never got a chance to quiet them down." I guess scoring only 11 offensive touchdowns all season and generally stinking for the last decade can cause that.
Christian Ponder threw a second quarter touchdown pass to Percy Harvin but completed only one pass for 4 yards in the entire second half and finished the game completing only 8 of 15 for 58 yards. Yeesh! Luckily for him and the Vikings they have Adrian Peterson (153 yards and a TD) and a good defense (3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 TD). "The way we've tried to structure our team, the philosophy lends itself to winning games like this when you are not completing a lot of balls down the field in a league where so many say that's the way you have to win," coach Leslie Frazier said. "That's a formula for success." Sure, when you're playing an offensively inept Cardinals team.
Redskins 23, Giants 27
Man I can't stand Eli and his Forest Gump "ah shucks" look. The Redskins appeared to have won the game when Robert Griffin III (do I really have to put III after his name?) found Santana Moss for a 30-yard TD but Manning turned right around and threw to Victor Cruz for a 77-yard TD pass so they didn't. That's really all I have to say about that.
Jonathan Vilma finally played for the first time this year while appealing his season long suspension for bounty-gate and might as well have not showed up. Sure the Saints had 2 key second half stops, including the Bucs last drive of the game, and the Saints will point to him being a huge motivation and I really have no proof if he was or wasn't, but he didn't do much on the field so if simply the knowledge Vilma is on the field with you is what you need to succeed in the NFL you might want to find a different sport to play, and yes, this is one really long sentence. Drew Brees threw for 377 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Saints held on even though the Bucs charged the line again on their victory formation. At least I think the Bucs did since I didn't actually watch the end of the game, but Greg Schiano says they will and he strikes me as a guy who will keep doing something no matter if it never works just to make the point that no one can tell him what to do.
Is anyone else starting to get a little tired of the Cam Newton show? We get it! You're upset! Now quit moping and step up. Tony Romo threw for 227 yards and a TD, Newton threw for 233 with an interception to go with his TD, and Dan Bailey kicked 4 field goals to give the Cowboys the much needed win. "When you think about some of the adversity we've encountered this season, our focus remains on just getting better," defensive end DeMarcus Ware said. "We have been doing that, and this week being able to go out and close a game let us know that hey, we can do it." I can just hear Stuart Smalley now, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."
See, the 49ers aren't the only team hoping to win the Super Bowl this year who can lay a stinker. But before anyone overacts, which I know almost never happens among sports fans (that's called sarcasm for those who are slow on the uptake), don't forget the 49ers lost 40-8 at home to the Eagles the last time they won the Super Bowl. I'm sure it was mentioned several times after the Giants loss but I was too depressed to go online after that game so I thought I'd just be one more person to say what's already been said. Joe Flacco stunk completing only 21 of 43 passes for 147 yards and 2 interceptions, the Ravens managed only 55 yards on the ground, and their defense got pounded for 181 rushing yards. By the end if the game the Texans had held the ball for almost twice as long as the Ravens (38:16 to 21:44). "They played well. We didn't," Flacco said. "They played fast and we just weren't able to stand up to it today and give it a good fight." Sorry Flacco, you weren't simply not able to give it a good fight, you were curbed stomp. (Insert joke about new teeth and team needing more bite here)
If I didn't know better I would have thought I was watching Thursdays game all over again just with players in different uniforms. The Bears ran for 171 yards, forced 4 turnovers, and did just enough in the passing game to keep the Lions defense honest. Of course by "just enough in the passing game" what I really mean is Jay Cutler threw just enough times to Brandon Marshall who had 6 receptions for 81 yards and a TD while everyone else finished with 10 receptions for 69 yards and 1 TD. Although in fairness to Cutler he was crushed by Ndamukong Suh in the second quarter and had to leave the game to be checked out before playing the entire second half. "He's a tough guy," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. That's probably the first time someone's called Cutler a "tough guy" since his mom did after he scraped his knee. Who's a tough guy? That's right, you're a tough guy. Somewhere Farve is rolling his eyes.
Seahawks 6, 49ers 13
After a bad loss to the Giants the 49ers got back to what got them to the NFC Championship game last season. Ground and pound baby! Ground and pound! Is it just me or does that sound like and S and M mantra?