How's this for proof that there's some higher power exuding control over the football world, both Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck have led their teams to identical 5-3 records halfway through the season and have also both thrown for exactly 2,404 yards. Seriously, what are the statistical probabilities of something like that happening? It's even stranger when you consider they play for the only two teams in the NFL with a horse mascot.
Just as an aside that really has nothing to do with football, I've been listening to Weezer's Pinkerton album while writing this and I'd forgotten just how good it is. It may even be better than their Blue album. Who doesn't love a song like "Pink Triangle" which is about a guy who falls in love with a lesbian. "If everyone's a little queer, why can't she be a little straight."
As another aside, I really like Dewer's new slogan, "The drinking man's scotch". Does that make Lauders "The alcoholic man's scotch"? And what does that make me since I have a gallon of it above my fridge?
The Falcons just keep on winning and continue to look thoroughly unimpressive doing it. Maybe that's why it's hard to think of them as the best team in the NFL since they just keep sneaking by other teams. But a win is a win, right? And the Falcons sure know how to win, at least in the regular season. In the playoffs they're still waiting for their first win since beating the Vikings in 1998, and I won't say who they beat the week earlier but I will say it rhymes with Pourty Piners. Matt Ryan threw for 341 yards, Michael Turner ran for 102 and a TD, and Tony Romo and the Cowboys came up just short once again. At least this time Romo didn't turn the ball over. When asked if the Cowboys would have more success if they passed the ball more Romo said, "I'm not sure. I just think it's easy for you to look at it and say it, but I don't assess that sort of thing. In certain parts of the game, you do certain things and..." Wait, what? That's the whole quote?! You do certain things and what? Man, the suspense is killing me waiting for the conclusion of deep thoughts by Tony Romo.
Manning threw two second half interceptions, including one in the end zone, and found his team trailing on the road 20-17. But this is Manning so of course he led his team back for his 48th career game winning drive, moving ahead of Dan Marino. By the end of the game he finished with 291 yards and 3 touchdowns and finished just 9 yards short of tying Steve Young's NFL record of five straight games with 300 yards and three TD passes. The loss drops the Bengals to 1-3 at home and 3-5 overall. "Losing is bad," said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. Thanks Mr. Mackey. Losing is bad, mmkay.
The Ravens jumped out to a 14-0 lead only to watch the Browns claw their way back with 5 field goals to take a 15-14 lead, before closing it out with 11 unanswered points (TD, 2-point conversion, FG). Overall the Browns outgained the Ravens 290-282 but all 5 of their scoring drives stalled in the red zone and they even had an 18-yard TD called back after being flagged for an illegal formation. "We started fast and finished strong," Harbaugh the younger said. "In the middle? Eh, it was iffy," Sure if you want to call 8 drives that managed only 31 total yards "iffy". Especially when you consider 7of those 8 drives went 3-and-out for -2 total yards. Yes, -2 total yards on 7 drives. For Cleveland Trent Richardson ran for 105 yards and became the first rookie to rush for over 100 yards against the Ravens since 1998, while kicker Phil Dawson has now hit 23 straight field goals, 19 shy of tying the record held by Mike "I choke when the kick really matters" Vanderjagt.
After falling behind 24-7 early in the 3rd quarter the Cardinals fought back to cut the lead to 24-17, but that's when Aaron Rodgers put the dagger in their hearts. Figuratively speaking of course, he didn't literally put a dagger in their hearts since that would be illegal. Rodgers found Tom "no relation to Michael" Crabtree and Crabtree did the rest just outracing the Cardinals defenders for a 72-yard TD. It was one of the few bright spots for Rodgers who overall had a bad game completing only 14 of his 30 passes for 218 yards while also throwing an interception. Luckily for fantasy owners everywhere he did throw 4 touchdowns. "No, I didn't throw it very well today," Rodgers said. "I threw it in the dirt and got Jordy hurt and then just was off. I just wasn't in a great rhythm. You know, I made a couple decent throws for touchdowns. But no, it wasn't one of my better games." Hold on, does that mean that even the best quarterbacks in the league sometimes have bad games? Say it isn't so Aaron. I think this is where the obligatory State Farm joke is supposed to go.
Well that was ugly. The Titans turned the ball over 5 times, had a punt blocked and returned for a TD, watched Brian Urlacher take an interception 46 yards the other way for another TD, and saw Jay Cutler throw for 229 yards and 3 touchdowns, mostly to Brandon Marshall who had 9 receptions for 122 yards and all 3 TDs, while Matt Forte chipped in with 103 yards rushing and a TD of his own. It was so bad that longtime Titans owner Bud Adams left the game in the 3rd quarter along with just about every other Titans fan making it sound like a home game for the Bears. "It was weird," Cutler said of all the Bears fans. "I had to hush the crowd down in the red zone, and they got quiet really quick. We have the best fans in the world." Well that's debatable but I do notice a trend where teams from really cold places seem to travel well especially when it's to a warmer location. Maybe it's not so much you have great fans but instead you have fans who really want to get away from the crappy freezing place they're living in.
Last year Cam Newton set a record by becoming the first rookie QB to ever throw for more than 400 yards (432). Well his record barely lasted a year as Andrew Luck threw for 433 yards while leading the Colts in a second half comeback win over the Dolphins. He also became just the second rookie QB ever to throw for at least 300 yards in 4 different games trying him with...anyone?...anyone want to guess who was the only other rookie QB with four 300-yard games?...anyone?...anyone want to guess? The answer is Manning...Peyton Manning. Wow, I didn't see that one coming. Bonus points if you can guess the movie reference. The Colts have now won 3 straight to improve to 5-3 and have thrust themselves into the playoff conversation despite the fact most people thought they'd be lucky to win more than 5 games all season. "I mentioned before the game that you guys were living in a vision, and you weren't living in circumstances," Colts coach Pagano who's missed the last 3 games while being treat for leukemia said. "You know where they had us in the beginning, every last one of them. But you refused to live in circumstances and you decided consciously as a team and as a family to live in a vision, and that's why you bring things home like what you bring home today." Ummm...what? I get the gist of what he's saying but...what?
Remember in High School and College when you'd have a homecoming game? Apparently they have those games in the NFL as well. The Redskins wore throwback jerseys, brought in former greats, and dubbed the game their homecoming. "I look on there and it says 'homecoming.' And I'm thinking to myself: This is the National Football League. Are you serious? Homecoming," DeAngelo Williams said. "And it's not like you tried to hide it -- you blatantly put it on the front of the Game Day. And you're talking about somebody fired up today? I was (ticked)." I'm guessing he used a word other than "ticked". Cam Newton threw for 201 yards and a TD and ran for 37 more yards and a TD while leading the Panthers to their first win since week 2. They were also helped by 13 Redskins penalties including 2 pass interferences and a roughing the quarterback. "That's what nauseates you," Mike Shanahan said afterwards. Of course what people really want to know is how Newton and Robert Griffen III stacked up against one another since their both quarterbacks who are...ummm...young. Or something like that.
Buccaneers 42, Raiders 32
Rookie RB Doug Martin had 214 yards from scrimmage and 2 touchdowns last week against the Vikings earning him offensive rookie of the month for October. Well if he continues to do what he did against the Raiders he just might win offensive rookie of the year. Martin rushed for 251 yards and 4 touchdowns, three of which were for 45-yards or more. His runs helped break open the game and gave the Bucs a 35-17 lead in the 4th quarter but the Raiders did fight back. Carson Palmer threw for 414 yards and 4 touchdowns and eventually cut the lead to only three points, 35-32, but after getting the defensive stop they needed Palmer threw his 3rd interception of the game and the Bucs came right back down the field with Martin punching it in from 1-yard out to seal the win. It was a wakeup call to the Raiders who had been feeling good about themselves after back-to-back wins but then they remembered the teams they beat (Jags and Chiefs) suck and were quickly reminded that they're only marginally better than crappy. What would you call that, semi-crappy?
Vikings 20, Seahawks 30
If you like old school, grind it out football games this was the game for you. Adrian Peterson tore through, around, and over the Seahawks defense for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns but it wasn't enough for the win as Marshawn Lynch ran for 124 yards and a TD while Russell Wilson (173 yards, 3 TDs) far outplayed Christian Ponder (63 yards, 1 interception). It was the second time in 3 games Ponder failed to throw for at least 70 yards. It was so bad that Seahawks fans thought Rick Mirer had come back to play wearing a Vikings uniform. "We kind of are one-dimensional right now," Vikings receiver Percy Harvin said. "Adrian is running the ball incredibly well, the line is block for him real good, so we just have to dial up better pass plays." Sure, the problem with your passing attack is play calling. Do you hear that Arizona? All you have to do is call better pass plays. Oh, and actually have some form of running attack.
With no hotel rooms available thanks to hurricane Sandy, the Steelers had to arrive the day of the game and it might be why they looked so sloppy early on. Roethlisberger fumbled and argued with officials as it was returned 70-yards for an early Giants TD, they botched a fake FG, and gave up 86 yards in pass interference penalties, but they overcame a 10-point 4th quarter deficit for the road win, ending the Giants 4 game winning streak in the process. Of course what probably helped the Steelers the most was how inept Eli Manning was. He completed only 10 of his 24 passes for 125 yards as well as throwing a costly interception. If it had been Mark Sanchez out there playing people would be already chanting for his backup. Who is Eli's backup anyways? Oh, it's David Carr. Well maybe they wouldn't have been chanting but they sure would have been mad. But Eli's not Sanchez, mainly because he's won 2 Super Bowls in 5 years, while Sanchez's biggest accomplishment is having really hot, barely legal girl friends. "That's as disappointing a loss as we've had in a long time," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "Not to be overly reactionary or emotional, to play against a very good football team like that ... we wanted emotionally to win the game so badly for obvious reasons, for our neighbors who are struggling, who needed some type of inspiration and we didn't provide it." Unless you were hurt by the hurricane and you really hate the Giants. Then I'm sure it was really inspirational to watch them blow a 10-point 4th quarter lead.
Chiefs 13, Chargers 31
Well this game told us nothing. The Chiefs are a bad team who turns the ball over a lot, Romeo Crennel never should have been given another head coaching job, Norv Turner somehow still has a head coaching job despite the gradual decline of what was a really good team when he took over, Philip Rivers (18/20, 220 yards, 2 TDs) like Tony Romo keeps showing flashes of greatness which is enough to get their teams to stick with them much like a slot machine that sometimes pays out but will eventually eat all your money leaving you with nothing but a headache thanks to all the free drinks, and the Chiefs kicker has a name that cracks me up every time a read it, Succop. Did I miss anything?
In the "What the hell happened to our season" Bowl the Saints were able to jump out to a 21-3 halftime lead and hang on for the win. The minute Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson took an interception 99-yards the other way for an early 7-0 Saints lead you knew it was going to be another long day for Michael Vick and the Eagles. What makes the Eagles 4th straight loss so mind boggling is that Andy Reid continues to let the turnover prone Vick sling the ball all over the field despite having one of the best running backs in the game with LeSean McCoy, who finished with 119 yards on 19 carries. Yet Vick threw the ball 41 times and was sacked on 7 other pass attempts. Keep pounding that square peg into that round hole Andy. If you hit it hard enough it just might go in. Most telling of all, the Eagles had 1st-and-goal four times in this game and were outscored in that situation 7-6 thanks to Robinson's TD. The win and low amount of point given up also masks the fact the Saints became the first team since 1950 to allow at least 400 yards of offense in 8 straight games, while their on pace to shatter the record of most yards given up in one season. Forget about knocking a player out, maybe they should start a pool awarding defensive players money if they just do the job they're being paid to do in the first place.
If the Lions beat the Jaguars in Jacksonville and no one in Jacksonville saw it, did they really lose to the Lions?
I read somewhere that this was the score of the game but I didn't actually see it or read anything else about it so it might be just a rumor. But what I really want to know is why are a bunch of guys named Bill trying to fight with people from Texas anyways? Get it? That was a pun. Yes I'm very clever.