NFL 2007–Week 8 Recap

Fresh off of scoring a touchdown last week in the coed touch league I am in, I was unable to expand on my greatness. This weekend’s game was rained out. Actually, I did not get confirmation of that, but it is ugly outside, so I am going to give myself an extra bye week to rest up. Besides, Halloween season started on Friday, and that takes time.

Nevertheless, the NFL players make the big bucks because they are manlier than I am. They play in bad weather, unlike sissies who play other sports. Also, because of some stupid baseball game, there is no late game on Sunday night. I just hope the baseball game ends before Monday Night Football starts. After 24 hours, the umpire has to say, “enough foul tips, either hit it straight or you’re out.”

Below is the recap for week 8 in the NFL.

Indianapolis Colts @ Carolina Panthers–One of the storylines would be if Indy would be caught looking ahead to next week’s showdown with the Brady Bunch. An unrelated storyline was whether Vinny Testaverde would be legally allowed to collect social security while playing quarterback. Hey, they guy can still play at a high enough level. Carolina attempted to simply keep the Colts offense off the field altogether. An 18 play 11 minute drive led to a touchdown and a 7-0 Panthers lead. With the panthers leading 7-3, an opportunity was squandered when Testaverde threw an interception in the end zone. Had the Panthers gone up 14-3, they would have had a shot. The Colts offense was stifled and out of sync for most of the first half, but Peyton Manning executed the two minute drill to perfection, leading to a touchdown and a 10-7 Colts lead at the half. A Touchdown pass from Manning to Joseph Addai on the first drive of the third quarter put Indy up 17-7. The Colts rolled from there. 31-7 Colts

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears–Either the Bears are th at bad, or the Lions are not that bad. The Lions led this black and blue slugfest 13-0 after three quarters. Brian Griese did his Rex Grossman impersonation by throwing 4 interceptions, 3 of them in the end zone, killing drives. His last one sent Chicago down to defeat. The defending NFC champs are 3-5. Even more shocking, the Lions are 5-2. 16-7 Lions

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals–Two years ago Cincinnati went into Pittsburgh, torched the Steelers, and ended 15 years of futility by winning the division and announcing they were the new kings on the block. That ended a few weeks later when Pittsburgh went into Cincy, and thrashed them on their way to a Super Bowl title. The Steelers are still good and the Bengals are still bad. Water is wet. Pittsburgh bullied their kid brothers for a 21-6 lead after 3 quarters. However, an 8 minute drive by the Bengals cut the gap to 21-13 early in the fourth quarter. It was not enough, as a field goal with 6 minutes left locked up the win for Pittsburgh. 24-13 Steelers

New York Giants @ Miami Dolphins–Miami and New York flew all the way to England to play the first professional football game outside of North America. Even though Miami was playing, it was still considered pro football. Then again, even Miami is more interesting than watching soccer. For those interested in useless statistics, this was the first pro football game played in a stadium named after a character on Fraggle Rock, in this case Wembley.

By American football standards, this game was 3-0 Giants late in the second quarter. However, by soccer standards, that is an explosion of offense. The game was played in a driving rain, making both teams think they were playing Seattle.

As for the game itself, Miami lived up to their billing by having their first two possessions end in a missed field goal and a fumble. Just before the half, Eli Manning ran for a touchdown and a 10-0 Giants lead. The Giants led 13-3 late in the game. Perhaps in keeping tradition with soccer, the teams kept the game as boring as possible to please the fans. Or to be fair, the Giants have a stifling defense, and a muddy field contributed. Miami did score a touchdown with 1:54 left, but the onsides kick went out of bounds. Eli Manning threw for 58 total yards, and that is enough to beat the only NFL team to lose a game on two continents. Before the game the announcer sang “God Save the Queen.” Apparently praying for the Dolphins is asking for too much, as they remain winless. The Giants have won 6 in a row. 13-10 Giants

Philadelphia Eagles @ Minnesota Vikings–This was the Walrus Protege Bowl, with both teams coached by Mike Holmgren disciples. While Reid is every bit as much of a walrus as Holmgren, Brad Childress does not merit the Koo Koo Ke Choo anthem due to his being thin by comparison. Also, he is bald, which may or may not be relevant to the Walrus debate. More importantly, a pair of 2-4 teams were desperate for a win. Donovan McNabb had 333 yards passing, and Philly led 20-10 after 3 quarters, and while a couple field goals cut the gap to 7 points, Minnesota punted with 3 1/2 minutes left. Minnesota did get the ball back, but a 64 yard punt was inexplicably fielded at the one yard line. Minnesota started from their own 9 yard line with 15 seconds left. Then again, after the Eagles collapse against Chicago a week earlier. Nevertheless, one west coast pass later, the game was over. 23-16 Eagles

Cleveland Browns @ St Louis Rams–While this was an exciting game from a competition standpoint, one bad team and one awful team tend to get less coverage than games that matter. A see-saw back and forth game had Cleveland up 24-20 over the Rams after three quarters. Down by 7, with one minute left, a 3rd and 20 from their own 13 was reduced to 4th and 5, where an incomplete pass was offset by defensive pass interference. Cleveland then jumped offsides. They had 14 penalties for 101 yards, one more than Oakland. Yet unlike Oakland, they were winning. Bulger was intercepted on the next play, and the only Rams turnover on the day sealed the loss, as the Rams fell to 0-8. At least they have one less loss in Europe than Miami. Cleveland is a very quiet 4-3. 27-20 Browns

Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee Titans–The game of the day meant a trip to the Superbowl five years ago. Much has changed. The Raiders defense played well for much of the first quarter, and Vince Young had few running lanes. Seabass kicked a field goal on the first drive from 50 yards out. Unfortunately, Daunte Culpepper looked very slow. Yes, the Titans have an aggressive defense, but a few years ago Culpepper would have escaped. He had several passes deflected, and he fumbled once inside his own 5 yard line. Luckily the offensive line bailed him out. He threw some dangerous passes that miraculously fell incomplete.

Tennessee has Rob Bironas, who bailed them out in a history making way last week. This week his 35 yard field goal tied the game up at 3-3. Seabass responded with a 43 yarder to put the Raiders up 6-3. A 54 yard field goal right before the half put the Raiders up 9-3 at the half.

One of the things the Raiders did in the first half was convert some critical third downs. The Raiders led in first down by the exact score of the game, 9-3. Tennessee had none in the second quarter. The 10th Raiders first down was impressive as Culpepper ran on 3rd down and 9, making it to the sideline past the marker.

Unfortunately, the running backs had less success running. Albert Haynesworth dominated Robert Gallery, frustrating Lamont Jordan. Also, the Tennessee 46 defense stacked the run. Justin Fargas had some modest success. Oakland inexplicably threw one of those despised west coast passes short of the marker, ending a promising drive. Lechler’s punt was inexplicably fair caught at the 5 yard line. Tennessee moved the ball into Oakland territory before a sack of Young coupled with a penalty for him spiking the ball pushed Tennessee out of field goal range, even for the superhuman Bironas.

One of the reasons the Raiders lose games is because the defense gets tired from being on the field all game. The Raiders converted a 3rd and 17, only to have it nullified by a penalty. They kicked field goals rather than score touchdowns. Yes, they were winning, but they were one touchdown away from losing. The key to the game would be if the defense could hold up with virtually no help. When Lendale White is running for big gains, there is something wrong. As predicted, Tennessee scored a touchdown for a 10-9 lead, which for the Raiders offense is often insurmountable. In addition, the Raiders, who had cut down on penalties this year, were flagged throughout the day.

With 12 minutes left in the game, Oakland faced 3rd down and 20 for the umpteenth time. Culpepper was sacked, fumbled, and had one of his many almost disasters finally become an actual disaster. Tennessee recovered inside the Oakland 10. The Oakland defense did everything it could to wilt and give up a touchdown, but two dropped passes somehow led to a field goal and a major dodged bullet. The Raiders were only down 13-9, but unfortunately their offense had to go back on the field.

On the next series, Culpepper fumbled the ball on the first play, and somehow Lamont Jordan recovered it for a four yard gain. However, on the next running play, a three yard loss set up another 3rd and a Tennessee country mile. They should have just punted on 3rd down and taken the offense behind the barn and shot them. Shane Lechler had a 70 yard punt. Yes, he is fabulous. His accomplishments would be more appreciated if the entire offense was not worthless.

With 5 1/2 minutes to go from their own 13 yard line, Culpepper was sacked. A ray of hope came in the form of a 15 yard face mask penalty against Tennessee. That in Raiderland is what the team calls offense. The Raiders kept the ball on the ground, and a critical 3rd and 3 was converted on the ground. So with the team moving effectively running the ball, the team naturally had Culpepper throw a deep ball into coverage that was intercepted with 2 1/2 minutes left.

Tennessee was inside their own 10 yard line, and the Raiders had all their timeouts left. Tennessee then did a Raiders impression by fumbling the snap, but Vince Young fell on it. The Raiders got the ball back with no timeouts, but 2:12 seconds on the clock. Also, they started on their own 47 yard line. They officially had every chance in the world to win. A pass to Ronald Curry got the ball to the Titans 26 yard line at the 2 minute warning. Again, the Raiders had every chance to win this game.

A false start gave the Raiders 14 penalties for 100 yards. Culpepper was then sacked for 2nd and 19. On 4th and 14 with 1:21 left from the Tennessee 35, Culpepper threw a pass to Mike Williams beyond the marker that was perfectly thrown. Williams dropped it. The Raiders lost. A disgusted Warren Sapp looked like he was going to punch somebody. He should have started with the entire offense. Given how pathetic they are, he might be able to take them singlehandedly. After all, he has heart and they don’t. 13-9 Titans

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets–49 states probably watched a better game than this game. It was 3-3 after 3 quarters. With the Bills leading 6-3 in the fourth quarter, it was a game of backup quarterbacks. Chad Pennington was benched, and Trent Edwards was injured. J.P. Losman made the play of the game…the only play of this dreadful game…with an 85 yard touchdown bomb for a touchdown with under 4 minutes remaining. 13-3 Bills

Houston Texans @ San Diego Chargers–With everything the City of San Diego has been through, I maintain that playing this game in Qualcomm Stadium was the right thing to do. The entire NFL, as always, pitched in. Blood drives were done before the game. Governor Schwarzenegger flipped the opening coin toss. As for the game, two very big plays started the San Diego machine rolling. A 50 yard touchdown pass by Philip Rivers to Antonio Gates made it 7-0. On Houston’s next series, a simple punt became a disaster. The snap sailed over punter Matt Turk’s head into the end zone for what looked like a sure safety. However, Turk, with nobody around him, compounded the problem by tripping and failing to fall on the ball, or even bat it out of the end zone. Antonio Cromartie fell on it for a gift touchdown and a 14-0 Chargers lead. On the next series, a Houston running back named Echemandu ripped off a 20 yard gain. If his name sounds familiar, it is because he was very impressive for the Raiders during the pre-season. It was good to see he landed somewhere.The Texans had the ball for 12 minutes in the first quarter, yet trailed by two touchdowns. Cromartie also returned an interception of Matt Schaub 69 yards for a touchdown. The Texans had 5 turnovers on the day.

Several San Diego players had damage to their homes, and they played like they personally blamed the Texans for causing the carnage. They led 35-3 at the break. Like the NY Giants after 9/11 and the Saints after Katrina, San Diego had emotion fueling them. Also, they are an overwhelmingly talented team. The Chargers failed to score in the second half, but one can forgive their boredom. There would be no miracle comeback for the Texans, even though Sage Rosenfels entered the game. The only hope for San Diego at this point is that the Chargers remain on fire while the rest of San Diego heals from the devastation of the flames that burned through their beautiful city. In the movie Anchorman, Will Ferrell’s character Ron Burgundy kept saying, “Stay classy San Diego.” Today, they did. A classy performance by the team and a classy show of resolve by the city was punctuated with a win. 35-10 Chargers

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers–This game started out as Buc Ball, but it was the Jags playing it. They pounded the rock down the throats of Monte Kiffin’s defense for one touchdown, and intercepted a Jeff Garcia pass for another touchdown. However, down 17-3, Garcia threw a gorgeous 58 yard touchdown pass to Joey Galloway to cut the deficit in half. Garcia is one tough hombre. He got blasted at the end of the first half, lost his helmet, and somehow remained conscious. Down by four at the half, he led the Bucs back. 20 straight points had Tampa Bay up 23-17, when Jacksonville retook the lead with 12 minutes left. Both defenses made critical stops throughout the game, and a sack by the Bucs forced the Jags to punt from deep in their own territory at the 2 minute warning.

With 1:43 to play, the Bucs started from their own 34 with no timeouts. On 3rd and 10 from the Jacksonville 45, Garcia went for the long ball and overthrew a wide open receiver. On 4th and 10, several things happened on one play. Garcia threw a pass to Ike Hilliard that looked like it was caught for a first down. However, in mid air, Hilliard was belted. The ball popped into the air, and was intercepted by Reggie Nelson. Nelson was then quickly tackled by his own player to keep from running and fumbling it back. It was a smart play. Nevertheless, very curious play calling by the Buccaneers left people scratching their heads. Yes, Coach John Gruden looks like a genius if the pass on 3rd down is caught. However, the Bucs only needed several yards or so for a long field goal attempt. On 4th down, it would have been a 62 yard kick, and although Matt Bryant made one from that distance to beat Philly, it was wise to go for it on 4th down. Jack Del Rio keeps telling his players to “keep chopping wood.” They scratch and claw, and today, that was enough. 24-23 Jaguars.

Washington Redskins @ New England Patriots–In an attempt to create a storyline, the Redskins were the only team Tom Brady had never beaten. Of course, these teams play every 4 years. meaning Tom Brady has only played them once. Knowing Bill Bellichick, he probably told the team that Brady’s career would be a failure if the Pats lost this game, since it might be his very last chance against them. Such is the way a master motivator tries to fire up a team for a barely meaningful interconference game. The real showdown is next week when they play Indy.

The Patriots jumped to a 14-0 lead, and football rules required that the game continue. In short, the Redskins were blasted into little itty bitty pieces. Bill Bellichick will most likely say that Tom Brady has never beaten the Redskins in Washington, DC, and that he expects better. Nevertheless, even he will have a tough time finding flaws with this one. He will let the players enjoy it before focusing on the showdown next week.

The Patriots led 45-0 when apparently it was learned that New England has a backup quarterback. He scored a touchdown to make it 52-0. With three minutes left, the Redskins scored a touchdown. After a moment of panic and berating his team, Bellichick decided not to put the first stringers back in the game. Brady had 5 touchdowns, three in the air and two on the ground. Linebacker Mike Vrabel forced three fumbles, and caught a touchdown pass on offense. 52-7 Patriots

New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers–The Saints are quietly creeping back into contention after a horrendous start to the season. The 49ers remain overrated. Drew Brees had two touchdown passes in each half, and the Saints led 17-0 at the break. They coasted to a win, as Brees kept firing. 31-10 Saints

Green Bay Packers @ Denver Broncos was the Monday night game. The Broncos needed an actual drive taking several minutes and several plays to take a 7-0 lead. Brett Favre needed one play. A touchdown bomb tied the game 7-7, and after 17 seasons he still has a cannon. Jay Cutler shows flashes of brilliance, but let’s check back in 5 years, much less 15 years. In one of the more bizarre occurrences in football, the Packers had a 98 yard drive that only led to a field goal, going from their own one to the Denver one. Both teams broke down in the red zone, with Denver fumbling the ball away at the Green Bay one yard line.

Down 13-10, Denver drove down the field and got near the Green Bay goal line with seconds left. Unable to get into the end zone, the Broncos tried to kick a field goal in a haphazard fashion. It worked in the opening week of the season, and it worked again. Jason Elam has icewater in his veins, and the game went into overtime. The Packers got the ball first, and were unable to maintain a long, sustained drive. Unfortunately for the Broncos, this is because the Packers, led by Brett Favre,  just like in the first quarter, needed only one play. The coin had barely been flipped when an 82 yard touchdown bomb ended the game in front of a shellshocked Denver crowd. Green Bay is 6-1, but the real story is that Brett Favre will never go to the Hall of Fame because at this rate he will never stop playing. At this rate, he should stick around. After all, the West Coast short passing game allows him to dink and dunk 82 yard bombs for touchdowns.  19-13 Packers

In early February we play the Superbowl. The following week we play the Pro Bowl. Next week, we play both. In the 1970s the Steelers battled the Raiders. In the 1990s the Cowboys and 49ers slugged it out. The 21st century brings the Colts versus the Patriots.

The season is half over, but the preview of the AFC title game is on the horizon.7 days to go…let’s get it on!


6 Responses to “NFL 2007–Week 8 Recap”

  1. Jersey McJones says:

    My Jets! What the heck happened this year???


  2. Cyber Pastor says:

    Well, my Colts went on the road and beat two teams that have given them problems in the Jags and the Panthers. I was worried that they could get caught up in all the media hype of next week’s game, and when it was 7-3 and almost halftime I thought my fears were coming true. Oh me of little faith. What was I thinking? Dungy was in charge and he told the team not to even talk about the New England game after beating the Panthers, but to enjoy their latest victory and start talking about New England later this week. And Peyton is never going to be guilty of looking ahead, so goofy me – but all the media was talking about next week’s game a week early and I wasn’t giving enough credit to the professionalism of both the Colts and Patriots in taking care of business this week.

    That said, will this week’s game live up to all the hype?????? I will definately be tough to do, as one article I was reading called it one of the biggest regular season games in NFL history. I realize that because of the hype it’s more than just a normal regular season game. but I don’t think it’s a game of historical importance.

    All I can say is “Go Colts”!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Smokin Joe says:

    Your wrap-up of the Pats/Skins game was by far, the funniest wrap-ups I’ve read in a LONG time.

    Man I’m glad to be back.

    Go Patriots!

    While they might get lambasted about going hard until the 60th minute has expired, I bet Jabbar Gaffney is thrilled he gets a chance to get some playing time. And all the 2nd and 3rd stringers get some game-time experience. And I mean real-time, Pro-Football speed experience, none of that dink-dunk that kills the clock and deviates from the original gameplan for the game.


  4. Smokin Joe says:

    And hate to double post but will anyway:

    O/U on references to the phrase “Battle of the Unbeatens” in regards to next weeks matchup to the Colts and Patriots : 13.5

    And I’m taking the Over.


  5. Cyber Pastor says:

    Come on Joe, give my Colts some love man!!!!

  6. I predict the Patriots over the Colts by 14. The Patriots are playing as near perfect football as it gets. Amazing.

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