Archive for September, 2010

New Jewish Year, Same Intolerant Jewish Liberals

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Apparently many liberals Jews should have just stayed home and skipped Yom Kippur altogether. Why bother praying if the prayers are insincere?

I was going to call today Hard Charging Monday where I come back and storm the gates and go after the left.

Then I thought I could wait a day or so and just relax, and have today be Mellow Monday.

That was until another liberal Rabbi gave another bigoted speech on a holiday that was supposed to be about atonement.

For the sake of full disclosure, I did not hear the speech. My column today is outsourced by one of my readers in Florida. I have kept the identity of the person secret at their request. I have met them once, and find the person to be believable. I will be the first person to issue a retraction if this turns out to be wrong.

Below are the words of the upset congregant, whose only sin on Yom Kippur was being politically conservative and existing.

“Dear Eric,

I met you at (place redacted) last spring and I really enjoyed your spiel. I bought your 1st book and read your blog sporadically.

I wanted to write you about an inappropriate Yom Kippur/Kol Nidre sermon I suffered through last night. Let me give you some background first:

I am a political conservative who (personal information redacted).

Last night (and a week ago at Rosh Hashanah services), I sat through 2 sermons that in which I did not feel in the least bit enlightened. In fact, last night’s sermon literally physically made my blood boil–in terms of my heart rate going up and my blood pressure increasing (I could physically feel these changes occurring as I grew angrier).

The sad thing is, I agreed with 50% of the Rabbi’s sermon. His main point #1: too many American Jews are losing their emotional connection to Israel. (So far, I’m on board with you, Rabbi. I’m thinking this will be a GREAT sermon at this point. Little did I know what was to come…)

In the course of that sermon, I was told in these exact words that:

1.) [fervently/loudly stated]: ‘Despite some of the cable media propaganda, this Administration has given MORE aide to Israel than any other Administration in the history of the USA’

2.) main point #2: anti-Semitism is still everywhere. ‘Now with the popularity of the tea party movement, anti-Semites are finding their outlet for their hatred, as they come out in droves with their swastika signs’

3.) ‘If Israel had always stood as a united country through all of time, there might not have ever been Christianity or Islam’

There were many points made, but I was literally feeling nauseated in my seat. I was made to feel extremely uncomfortable at a religious service. I go with my husband to support him and to do what I know is important to him. I also go for my own spiritual enlightenment. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to have a religious leader do his entire sermon via a completely one-sided political diatribe.

I felt the complete opposite of enlightened. Sadly, I walked away from Kol Nidre services with my blood boiling.

How would you recommend I handle this situation? I told my husband how inappropriate, offensive, and inflammatory I felt the rabbi’s statements were and I think he partly agrees, but he doesn’t think it’s worth being as upset over it as I am. I honestly never want to go back to another service by this man.

Please help!

All the best on this Yom Kippur,

(name redacted)”

I responded as follows:

“(name redacted)

Nice to hear from you. Your email to me was meaningful and important. With your permission, I want to make it the entire subject of my column on Monday. I can leave your name out of it. Also, I would like to know the name of the Synagogue and the Rabbi.

The way I fight back is not just by boycotting offending synagogues. I name names and force them to defend themselves. Some see this as attacking other Jews, but I see it as reforming Judaism by getting the liberalism out.

It is deeply offensive to use Yom Kippur to push a liberal political agenda. So as soon as I hear from you, I will get to work on exposing this synagogue.

May you have a fabulous year!

eric 🙂 aka the Tygrrrr Express”

She responded with more information.

“I forgot to mention another thing that I distinctly remember from the sermon. During the main point #2 (anti-semitism is still alive & well), somewhere amidst the tea party comments, the rabbi recalled the Helen Thomas incident in detail & repeated her words verbatim.

All in all, like I said earlier, I think his main point about American Jews needing to feel an emotional connection w/ Israel would have been right on point (I wholeheartedly agree), but for me, this got lost in a sermon that was peppered with sporadic political statements. Not to mention the fact that most American Jews who feel disconnected from Israel are at reform temples like his (and/or are politically liberal); but that part was left out.

I agreed with him also when he held up the cover of the recent Time magazine that was attacking against Israel. He scored points with me for pointing out how the press can be against Israel. But then he muddled this point by the statements I mentioned in my first message to you.

In any event, I know you’ve described a comparable synagogue experience in one of your blogs before (or perhaps Id.Big.; not sure where I read it), so that’s why I thought to write to you.

I really don’t want there to be any info that could possibly indicate who informed you of this incident for the sake of keeping the peace with my family & for their sake at their temple (and I trust that you will respect that). The temple name is Kol-Ami Emanuel and the rabbi is one who is pretty high up in the Reform sect of Judaism (from what I’ve heard)-Rabbi Sheldon Harr.

Most sincerely,

(name redacted)

P.S. I didn’t mention also that the elderly Jews in the service (and even the not-so-elderly) ones sat there nodding their heads in agreement the whole time and/or expressed shock to learn of these ‘anti-semitic’ tea-party people. It’s as if he’s completely utilizing his platform & captive audience to spread these untruths (along with a meaningful message, re: American Jews becoming closer to Israel), which to me, almost served as a mask for the other political components of his message/sermon.”

I hope that sane Jews everywhere boycott this Synagogue and stops being a disgrace to the profession that my late grandfather honored late into his life.

It may be a new Jewish year, but it looks like the same intolerant Jewish liberals have zero clue that true atonement and promises of being better people must include conservatives, and even Tea Party attendees.

I have led tea parties, and am deeply offended by another example of ideological bigotry in my own community.

Hineni. Here I am. Conservative, Republican, Jewish, and never backing down, not even to some intolerant liberal rabbi.


NFL 2010–Week 2 Recap

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

After 24 hours of fasting for Yom Kippur, going to town on a pair of gourmet hot dogs with all the trimmings may have been a bit much. The bubble gum soda made for a fun high and crash. Perhaps I will chase it down later on by eating a box of Slim Jims and watching “The Expendables” again.

Nothing else will complete this weekend like 16 games of NFL Football. I do the hard work so you don’t have to. Hail to the gods of sloth. Here is the Week 2 NFL Recap.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Cleveland Browns–Both of these teams are said to be improved from last year, which says a lot. Actually, it does not. Sometmes a pair of bad teams can play a great game. This was not that game. Yet competitively, it was not bad. An early Turnover by Cleveland had the Chiefs near the red zone. 4 plays went for 6 yards and Ryan Succop hit a 35 yard field goal to give the Chiefs the 3-0 lead.

In the second quarter, Seneca Wallace, playing the game in place of injured Jake Delhomme, led a 10 play, 5 minute drive that covered 98 yards. Hillis ran it in from one yard out to have the Browns up 7-3.
Wallace then threw a pair of touchdowns, one to each team. He was intercepted by Flowers, who returned it 33 yards to have the Chiefs up 10-7 despite no offense. Yet Wallace redemmed himself with a 65 yard touchdown to Joshua Cribbs as the Browns led 14-10 at the break. The Walrus Mike Holmgren allowed Eric Mngini to coach the second half.

In the third quarter Matt Cassel led the Chiefs 63 yards in 11 plays over 6 minutes. The drive stalled at the 9 yard line, but a field goal had the Chiefs within 14-13. In the fourth quarter Cassel took the Chiefs 68 yards in 14 plays over 6 1/2 minutes. Again the drive stalled deep, this time at the 6 yard line. Succop made another gimme, as the Chiefs led by a deuce.

Everything came down to the Chiefs having 4th and 1 at the 2 minute warning in Cleveland territory. Thomas Jones made the 4th and 1 in the playoff game last year as Gang Green shocked San Diego. For some reason he was let go. He leapt over the top on this one to again convert a critical 4th and 1 to end the game as Kansas City is a surprising 2-0 and the optimism Cleveland had from ending last year 4-0 is gone with their 0-2 start. 16-14 Chiefs.

Buffalo Bills @ Green Bay Packers–Sometimes a bad team on the road and can go into a very good team’s home and create a thrilling game for the ages. That was not this game. Aaron Rodgers moved the Packers forward with ease, although the Cheeseheads had to settle for a 44 yard Mason Crosby field goal and a 3-0 Packers lead. Trent Edwards moved the Bills backward as a 13 yard sack ended their opening drive. A punt had the Packers just past midfield. Rogers hit Finley for a 34 yard gain down to the 6, but the Packers moved no further and again had to settle for a Crosby field goal. The 24 yarder had it 6-0.

With 6 minutes left in the half the Packers took over after a punt at their own 28. Rogers hit Donald Driver for 11 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the Green Bay 48, Rodgers hit Finley for 20 more. On 3rd and 10 from the Buffalo 20, Rodgers scrambled for 12. Jackson ran it in from the one to have the Packers up 13-0 just before the opening quarter ended.

The Bills took over at their own 34 and finally got going. A defensive pass interference penalty on Charles Woodson moved the Bills 24 yards to the Green Bay 13. Jackson picked up 10, and then the final 3 himself as the Bills got to within 13-7 only 4 minute into the second quarter. The defenses clamped down the rest of the half but Buffalo was in striking distance to make this a game in the second half.

This did not happen. 4 plays and 2 minutes into the third quarter, the Bills faced 3rd and 8 at their own 39. Edwards was intercepted by Chillar. Rodgers hit Jennings for 17 yards and Nelson for 11 more. On 3rd and goal from the 7 Rodgers hit Donald Driver for the touchdown to have the Packers up 20-7.

The Bills went 3 and out and Green Bay had it again at their own 36. Kuhn picked up 7 on the ground and Rodgers continued carving up the Bills. passes to Nelson and Finely for 15 and 22 respectively had the Packers at the 20. A 10 yard pass to Jackson led to Rodgers scrambling around right end for the 9 yard touchdown as the Packers had the blowout at 27-7.

Frank Reich once led a 32 point comeback for the Bills and Jim Kelly led many comebacks. Drew Bledsoe led some. Trent Edwards did not lead one today. He was intercepted by Parrish, setting up Rodgers at the Green Bay 48. Rodgers hit Jones for a 30 yard touchdown to end the lack of suspense. The Packers are 2-0 and the Bills are 0-2, neither of which is a surprise. Super Bowl contenders have to win the easy games easily, and the Packers did. 34-7 Packers

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals–All talk hosted all action as a pair of reality divas prepared to meet the cold reality that is Ray Lewis. The first half as expected was unwatchable, as was last week’s Ravens game and most of their games. Despite playing to the strength of the Ravens, the defensive game had the Bengals putting up a field goal in each quarter to lead 6-0 at the break. Neither Chad Johnson or Terrell Owens made those kicks, but they have to be mentioned to shut them up.

The Ravens offense finally gave their defense something to smile about when they took the second half kickoff and Joe Flacco moved them 80 yards. A 31 yard strike to Derrick Mason had the Ravens up 7-6 in a game where that score could have stood up. The Bengals did drive just far enough for Nugent to nail his 3rd field goal, a 46 yarder that had the Bengals up 9-7.

Flacco completed a long pass to Ray Rice, and Billy Cundiff came in for the 46 yard field goal with 6 minutes to play. The kick was good, and for the second straight week the Ravens led 10-9. Yet Bernard Scott ran the ensuing kickoff back to the Baltimore 40. The Bengals did just enough on offense for a 4th field goal and a 12-10 lead with 4 1/2 minutes to play. The Bengals held on defense, but could not put it away. A 25 yard field goal by Nugent, his 5th, had the Bengals up by 5 with 2:48 to play.

The Ravens offense could not end their nightmare. Facing 4th and forever after a sack, Flacco threw his 4th interception at the 2 minute warning to close the door. It was every bit as ugly as expected, but this time the Ravens did not have just enough offense to win, while the Bengals won on their quiet, non-trash talking defense for Marvin Lewis. 15-10 Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee Titans– stole my phrase without proper credit when they described this game as a “slobberknocker.” Then again, I stole it from Stone Cold Steve Austin on MTV Celebrity Deathmatch. As the Mills Lane character, played Ironically enough by Mills Lane, would say, “Let’s get it on!” Forget Big Ben. These teams are about bone crushing defense.

Last week the Steelers played a game with zero offensive touchdowns until overtime. This game would have been believable with zero touchdowns. Brown then returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown to have Pittsburgh up 7-0. Tennessee did respond with a field goal and appeared to be on the way to taking the lead when Vince Young moved them into the red zone. Then he fired to the end zone and was intercepted by His Royal Hairness Troy Palomalu for a touchback.

With seconds left in the opening quarter, Dixon avoided disaster when he fumbled the snap from center. A couple of Titans tried to pick it up rather than just fall on it, as Pittsburgh retained possession. The drive ended in a field goal and a 10-3 Steelers lead. Young saw a promising drive end when his second interception and Tennessee’s third turnover was picked off by Woodley at the Pittsburgh 12.

On Tennessee’s next possession, Chris Johnson took a handoff at the 10, broke a tackle at the 20, and raced for a 90 yard touchdown. Yet offensive holding nullified that play as well. Things got worse with only 90 seconds left in the half when Johnson was stripped of the ball and the Steelers recovered at the Titans 23. With Dennis Dixon out of the game after an earlier sack and fumble led to him being carted off with a bad knee, Charlie Batch was in at quarterback. A pass in the end zone to Mike Wallace for a touchdown was nullified by a penalty to push the Steelers back 5 yards.  A 34 yard field goal had the Steelers up 13-3 in a game with zero offensive touchdowns. After the opening kickoff return, the expected slugfest materialized right on script.

The 5th Tennessee turnover came when Young fumbled and James Harrison recovered at the Tennessee 35. The cameras caught Kerry Collins, who warmed up. Jeff Fisher had had enough, and Collins came in for the benched Young. This is ironic because in 2008 an erratic Young led to Collins coming in and leading the team to a 13-3 record. Then last year Collins lost a heartbreaker to Pittsburgh 13-10, and the Titans went 0-6 before he was benched in favor of Young.  Meanwhile, the Steelers kicked another field goal off the turnover to lead 16-3.

The 2010 version of the Kerry Collins era began with a bad snap, a 10 yard loss, and a 3rd and 20 interception by Harrison for the 6th turnover. Collins was then stripped of the ball for the 7th turnover as Pittsburgh did not need an offensive touchdown to win this game. Another field goal made it 19-3.

Collins kept fighting, and a touchdown pass and 2 point conversion made it an 8 point game with one minute left. The Titans had life after a perfect onsides kick. A perfect strike by Collins had the Titans at the Pittsburgh 31. A pass to the end zone was caught out of bounds as 13 seconds remained. Consecutive false starts set up 3rd and 20. Collins had men in his face as he completed a short pass that would have been better off dropped. Out of timeouts, the clock ran out. Jeff Fisher might have a quarterback controversy. As for the Steelers without Bug Ben, they will take the ugly win. No offensive touchdowns should have Mike Tomlin concerned, but a tough road win is still good. 19-11 Steelers

Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions–Both teams lost their starting quarterback in Week 1, but for the Eagles this might be a good thing as Michael “Superman” Vick get his chance to start. Vick threw a 45 yard touchdown pass to Deshean Jackson, who split the defenders for the score up the middle and have the Eagles up 7-0. The Lions may be among the worst, but they have the Best, as in Jahvid Best. From the Detroit 24, Best picked up gains of 4, 13, and then 26. From the Philly 14, Best ran it in to tie the game 7-7.

The teams traded punts, but early in the second quarter a punt had the Lions starting at the Philadelphia 43. Jason Hanson made the 49 yard field goal to have the Lions up 10-7. The Lions got the ball back at their own 20, and from the 25, a short pass from Shawn Hill to Best went for a 75 yard touchdown. Just like that, the Lions led 17-7. Was Michael Vick done? Was Matthew Stafford irrelevant? No, and not at all.

From the Philly 26, Vick rapidly led the Eagles 74 yards in 11 plays. A 3rd and 9 pass to Cooper went for 20 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the Detroit 37, Vick scrambled for the 10 yards. From the 14, McCoy took it in to have the Eagles within 17-14 with 4 minutes left in the half.

With 1:12 left in the half, the Eagles got the ball back on their own 11. McCoy picked up 11, Vick hit Avant for 8 more, and a 53 yard bomb to Jackson had the Eagles at the Detroit 17. Vick picked up 12 more on the ground, and after a loss, Vick hit Jeremy Maclin for the 9 yard touchdown at the end of the half to have the Eagles leading 21-17.

After the teams exchanged punts to start the third quarter, the Eagles took over on their own 35. On 3rd and 14 Vick hit Jackson for 29 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the 20, McCoy ran for 12, a horse collar tackle added 4 more, and McCoy picked up the final 4 as the Eagles led 28-17.

The defenses took over until the Lions finally reached 3rd and 1 at the Philly 29 with 12 minutes left in the game. Best got stuffed, and on 4th and 1, Jim Schwartz sent Best into the line again. Best was buried in a green sea as the Eagle defense stopped him. The game appeared over when McCoy ran up the middle for a 46 yard touchdown to have the Eagles cruising 35-17 with 6:17 left.

The Lions mounted a furious comeback. Hill hit Calvin Johnson for 18 yards and Brandon Pettigrew for 35 more, and Best for another 21. Best carried the final 2 yards to get the Lions to within 35-24 with 4:13 left. The Lions got the ball back with 3 minutes left at their own 45. Hill hit Best for gains of 17 and 12 and Pettigrew for 11 more at th 2 minute warning. Hill hit Calvin Johnson for the 19 yard touchdown and the 2 point conversion as the Lions had stormed back to within a field goal with 1:55 left.

Hanson kicked a perfect onsides kick as the Lions had the ball at their own 43. Yet 4 incomplete passes later, the Eagles had the tough win as the Lions fell to 0-2. Andy Reid may not allow Kevin Kolb back on the field again as Michael Vick seems to be back to his old self, at least from a football standpoint. 35-32 Eagles

Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys–The Bears had the early field goal to lead 3-0, but Dallas had rookie phenom Dez Bryant. He refused to carry pads in minicamp, but he atoned quickly in this game by taking a punt return 62 yards for a score to put the Cowboys up 7-3.

Jay Cutler passed at will in the first half, and a 39 yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen had the Bears back on top 10-7.  Tony Romo then led a 13 play, 73 yard drive that consumed nearly 8 minutes. Romo hit Gronkowski, whose name sounds like that of a football player, for the one yard touchdown to have Dallas back on top 14-10.

The game became a see-saw, as Cutler needed only 6 plays to move the Bears 74 yards, with a 9 yard touchdown to Devon Hester in the back corner of the end zone giving the Bears the 17-14 lead. Late in the half Robbie Gould connected on a 40 yard field goal to have the Bears leading 20-14 at the break.

In the third quarter Romo led Dallas into the red zone before the drive stalled. Ferris’s second cousin once removed and spelled differently Buehler connected on the 28 yard kick to have the Cowboys within 20-17. Yet with 7 1/2 minutes to play, Buehler picked a bad time to take the day off. A 34 yarder to tie the game was no good as Wade Phillips searched for answers, and a kicker.

Cutler kept firing at will from the Chicago 34. 18 yards to Johnny Knox, 7 more to Bennett, and a deep ball to Hester had Chicago at the 3 yard line. Cutler hit Matt Forte for the touchdown as the Bears led by 10 with 5:16 left in regulation.

From the Dallas 26, Tony Romo quickly hit Miles Austin for gains of 17 and 20 yards. Yet a short pass to Roy Williams ended with Williams fumbling the ball away. Dallas did get the ball back at their own 21 with 2:45 to play. Needing 2 scores, Romo passed the Cowboys in range for Buehler to nail a 48 yard field goal. Buehler connected, and the Cowboys were down by 7 with 1:17 left.

Romo never got to surpass his 34 of 51 for 374 yards passing as the Bears recovered the onsides kick as Jerry Jones decided whether or not to fire the entire organization except himself as the preseason favorites to play in the big game in their own stadium fell to 0-2. Lovie Smith earned job security for another week with help from pass happy Mike Martz as the Bears are a surprising 2-0 on the year. 27-20 Bears

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers–Josh Freeman hit Ernest Graham for a 14 yard touchdown pass to put the Buccaneers up 7-0. In the second quarter the Panthers were backed up on their own 12 yard line. Yet he has all world receiver Steve Smith, who pounds his own chest after breaking his arm. He is now healthy, and a 37 yard touchdown pass from Moore to Smith had the game tied 7-7.

Freeman has been maturing in a hurry since last year’s disastrous campaign. He calmly and quickly led Tampa Bay 80 yards, with a 35 yard touchdown pass to Williams giving the Buccaneers the 14-7 lead at intermission.

While Monte Kiffin is long gone and the defense is not what it was in past years, they clamped down on the Panthers in the second half. A short field followed by little offense had Connor Barth kicking a 24 yard field goal to extend the lead. A 33 yarder by Barth in the fourth quarter made it 20-7. Moore was then it and fumbled as the Buccaneers again had a short field.

John Fox had seen enough, and Jimmy Clausen made his NFL debut. Clausen calmly led Carolina down the field with short passes. yet on 4th and goal at the 1, Jimmy Stewart was tripped up for a loss with 3 1/2 minutes to play, extinguishing any hopes of a comeback.  Clausen later threw his first interception to end the lack of suspense. 20-7 Buccaneers

Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons–Matt Ryan made it look easy early on as he handed the ball off to Jason Snelling and Michael Turner. They rammed it down Arizona’s throats before Ryan threw an easy 10 yard touchdown pass to Roddy white to put the Falcons up 7-0. The Cardinals returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, but holding nullified the play.

The teams exchanged punts when Ken Whisenhunt reminded Derek Anderson that Larry Fitzgerald is pretty good. A 29 yard completion had Arizona near midfield. On 3rd and 6, Anderson was intercepted by Christopher Owens, setting up Atlanta at the Arizona 43. Early in the second quarter the Arizona defense held, as a 24 yard field goal had the Falcons up 10-0.

With the Falcons in total control, the Cardinals took over at their own 20. A handoff around the end to Tim Hightower changed the game in one play as Hightower rambled 80 yards to have the Cardinals within 10-7.

Matt Ryan came back firing, and defensive pass interference on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had the Falcons at the Cardinals 39. Ryan went for it all on the next play, but an open receiver in the end zone was overthrown. Yet on 3rd and 5, Ryan hit Brian Finneran at the 27 to keep the drive going.  Ryan then beat the blitz and hit Snelling, who had nobody around him. The 27 yard touchdown had the Falcons up 17-7 as Arizona had no answer for the Atlanta offense. Another defensive personal foul had the Falcons on the move, and defensive pass interference on Rodgers-Cromartie in the end zone had Atlanta on the one. Snelling plunged over to have the Falcons up 24-7.

A 54 yard field goal attempt by the Cardinals with less than one minute in the half was no good, giving the Falcons excellent field position. Yet Matt Ryan fumbled, giving the Cardinals 32 seconds and the ball at their own 46. Nothing materialized as the fans booed the home team as they went to the locker rooms.

The game officially ended from a competitive standpoint when Ryan hit Finneran for a 12 yard score less than 2 minutes into the second half to make it 31-7. Kurt Warner is still retired and the team played like they have as well. Mike Smith may be an average non-descript white guy who looks like a guy named Mike Smith, but his team is anything but boring. Smith did not injure himself celebrating on the sideline this week. 41-7 Falcons

Miami Dolphins @ Minnesota Vikings–Favre-watch is an annual sport, but in this game Favre was doing the watching early on as Chad Henne moved the Dolphins down the field, mainly on a 46 yard bomb to Brandon Marshall. From the 5 yard line, a pass to the back corner of the end zone had Miami up 7-0 on the road. Favre, despite 5 early completions to Percy Harvin, ended up on his back as the Dolphins sacked him and forced a punt.

With 9 minutes left in the half, Favre barked out a hard count and 2 Dolphins obliged by jumping offsides. Favre took the free play and went deep to set up Minnesota at the Miami 21. On 3rd and 12 from the 12, Favre threw to an open Harvin at the one yard line. The ball was bobbled and batted up in the air in front of 5 Dolphins, resulting in a tip drill interception at the one. A simple off tackle run at the goal line while the Vikings were thinking safety instead became a long run by Ronnie Brown that went just past midfield as the egg on Brad Childress’s head became fully fried. The drive stalled and Miami punted. Minnesota also reached midfield before continuing this puntfest. Thankfully, halftime finally arrived.

The third quarter was every bit as ugly for the Vikings as they faced 3rd and 10 at their own 4. Favre went back to pass, and was hit as he tried to throw, resulting ina  fumble. The confused referee called the play a safety until the rest of the crew explained that the Dolphins were celebrating with the ball. The play was a touchdown, and Miami led 14-0 with only 6 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

With the Dolphins in complete command, they gave the Vikings a lifeline by having Ricky Williams fumble the ball away around their own goal line. Minnesota took over at the 2, and Adrian Peterson banged it on a second effort that had the Vikings within 14-7 as 2 1/2 minutes remained in the third quarter.

With 10 minutes remaining in the game, the Vikings faced 4th and inches at the Miami 30. Peterson appeared stuffed, but the spot gave the Vikings the first down by just enough. Peterson then took handoff up the middle, leapt over a player like  a hurdler, and got to the 12. A couple of runs did little, and on 3rd down Favre was sandwiched hard in a Fin sandwich. Ryan Longwell nailed the short field goal as the Vikings were within 14-10 with 8 minutes left in the game. Miami punted, and with 6 minutes left, Minnesota was on their own 34.

Rather than lead a time consuming drive, Favre went for all the marbles and gave his critics ammunition by throwing into double coverage and being intercepted. Miami took over at their own 25. Yet Miami fumbled the ball right back when Ronny Brown fumbled it and the Vikings took over.

A pair of runs by Peterson made it 1st and goal at the 10. Peterson has been criticized in he past for his fumbles, especially in the NFC Title Game last year. Yet on this day the Dolphins were fumbling and Peterson was hanging on. On the next play Peterson slipped, got up, and still ran 7 yards to the 3.  On 4th and goal at the 1, Peterson was given the ball of right tackle up the middle. He got stuffed short as the Dolphins celebrated the goal line stand with 2:16 to play.

Miami could not run out the clock and the Vikings got the ball back at their own 45 with 1:42 left. On 3rd and 10 Favre hit Greg Lewis for the 1st down, and  a pass to Peterson was followed by a fake spike that led to a 1st down completion at the 28 yard line with 48 seconds to play. With 38 seconds left, it came down to 4th and 7. Favre, as had been the case all game, was harassed, and threw incomplete as the Dolphins finally had the win.

Minnesota sent a private jet to Mississippi with several teammates to bring Favre back. The Vikings are now 0-2. Let’s see if Childress can hold the team together. 14-10 Dolphins

St. Louis Rams @ Oakland Raiders–For more on the game of the day, go to

4 minutes into the game Johnny Lee Higgins took a punt all the way to the Rams 25. A Darren McFadden run and a pass to Darrius Heyward-Be had the Raiders at the 10. Yet on 4th and inches inside the 5, Tom Cable gambled and lost as the running game got stuffed.

Sam Bradford is only playing in his second game, but he looks like a leader and top overall pick should look. A 10 play, 76 yard dive led to zero points when Bradofrd was sacked for a 13 yard loss and Josh Brown missed a 36 yard field goal.

Jason Campbell did start this game, and a deep strike to Louis Murphy had the Raiders moving. McFadden picked up 9 more yards, and after a near interception, the Raiders had 3rd and 1 at the 26. A running play got blown up, and Sebastian Janikowski missed the 46 yarder.

The game then for awhile turned into the Stephen Jackson show as he ran for 23 yards to the Oakland 36 on the last play of the first quarter. On 3rd and 6 from the 32, Bradford hit Jackson for 24 yards down to the 8. Bradford hit Mark Clayton for the touchdown to have the Rams up 7-0 on the road.

Jason Campbell then led the Raiders from their own 22, backward to the 12, forward to a 3rd and 5 at the Rams 36, and then backward again to midfield and a punt. The Rams went nowhere from deep in their own territory, and after the punt were called for a personal foul. The Raiders took over at the Rams 29. Campbell got the Raiders to the 11 before being sacked and fumbling. The Raiders held on, and Seabass kicked the 38 yard field goal. With 29 seconds left in the half the Raiders had the ball at their own 43, but Campbell was intercepted again as the Raiders trailed 7-3 at halftime.

At that moment the entire Silver and Black organization from Al Davis to Tom Cable decided to listen to me. Campbell was benched, and Bruce Gradkowski started the second half. I have been screaming since last year that Gradkowski deserves his shot. He got it, and the Raiders instantly responded.

From the Oakland 18, a pair of 6 yard passes to Darrius Heyward-Bey had the Raiders slowly moving. An unnecessary roughness penalty on the defense had the Raiders at midfield. Gradkowski then hit Louis Murphy for 26 yards. The drive stalled, but Seabass nailed the 41 yarder to get the Raiders within 7-6. Despite great field position, the Rams punted and took over at their own 17.

Gradkowski hit Heyward-Bey for 16 yards and Zach Miller for 24 more to the Rams 43. McFadden picked up 9 and then ran rambled for 30 more to the 4 yard line. Gradkowski hit Murphy for the touchdown and the Raiders led 13-7. On the next drive the Raiders started at their own 11, and Gradkowski hit Heyward-Bey for 33 yards. Yet on 4th and 1 Cable took no chances at punted.

The Rams continued to misfire on offense and the Raiders took over on their own 29. McFaddn ran 3 times for 18 yards and a roughing the passer penalty followed by illegal contact had the Raiders at the Rams 33. McFadden picked up 8 and Gradkowki hit Murphy for 14 more down to the 11. On 3rd and from the 4 Gradkowki fired incomplete, but Seabass nailed the chip shot 22 yarder to have the Raiders up 16-7 with 10 minutes left to play.

Bradford was intercepted by Stanford Routt, and the Raiders seemed in strong position at the Rams 46. Yet rather than run down the clock, in some very curious play calling, the Raiders kept throwing. The moved backward and punted as the Rams had the ball at their own 13. The Rams punted and the Raiders took over at their own 40 with 7 minutes left.

After a couple of successful runs, again the Raiders insisted on passing rather than grind down the clock. Hue Jackson is a respected offensive coordinator, but these were not smart calls. On 3rd and 10 from the 33, the Raiders were in long field goal range. Instead of a run, a false start followed by a pass that was deflected and intercepted gave the Rams life at their own 46. Rookie Rolando McClain then made a boneheaded play by taking a Rams receiver and body slamming him to the ground for a 15 yard penalty. Tommy Kelly got called for a 5 yard defensive penalty. From the 17 Bradford hit Clayton in the end zone. The play was initially ruled incomplete but reversed on a challenge and ruled a touchdown. The Rams were within 2 points and over 3 minutes still remained as the Raiders were in full meltdown mode.

The Raiders took over and still stubbornly insisted on throwing. An incomplete pass would have been 3rd and 9 at the Oakland 19 but this time the Rams made a stupid mistake on defense in the form of roughing the passer as Gradkowski was pushed to the ground. Everything came down to a 3rd and 7 at midfield with 2:50 to play. The Rams were out of timeouts. Gradkowski rolled out and hit Louis Murphy for 13 yards. On the next play McFadden ran up the middle for 10 more and the final 1st down. Gradkowski kneeled 3 times and the Raiders had the win.

There is plenty to criticize in this win, but the Raiders did win. Gradkowski must be the starter for the foreseeable future. It does not matter that Campbell was paid money. Gradkowski is a winner. The team rallies around him. The Rams will have better days as Sam Bradford matures, but the Raiders have the talent to compete if Gradkowski is the starter. 16-14 Raiders

Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos-Seattle had a big win last week and Denver lost, both surprising results. This was another game where order was restored. Pete Carroll was cheerleading early on when Matt Hasselbeck drove Seattle from its 20 to the Denver one yard line. Then a false start was followed by a touchdown pass called back due to offensive holding. From the 16, Hasselbeck was intercepted by Champ Bailey. Denver ended up punting, but the punt was muffed and Denver had the ball again at the Seattle 13. Kyle Orton hit Eddie Royal on 3rd down for the score as the Broncos led 7-0.

Denver got the ball back in the second quarter at their own 23 and Orton hit Brandon Lloyd for 25 yards. From the Seattle 35 on 3rd and 5, Orton hit Eddie Royal for a swing pass that reached the one yard line. On 3rd and goal Correll Buckhalter ran it in to put Denver up 14-0.

Hasselbeck again moved the Broncos but was intercepted by Brian Dawkins at the Denver 9. From the 7, Orton calmly move the Broncos in 16 plays, converting 3 3rd downs. 3rd and 14 form the 13 was an 18 yard completion to Thomas for 18 yards. Yet on 3rd and goal from the 2, Orton’s pass to Buckhalter was incomplete and Denver settled for a 20 yard Prater field goal to lead 17-0.

Seattle finally found a spark in the second half when Tate took a Denver punt and returned it 63 yards to the Denver 22. Hasselbeck hit Obomanu for an 11 yard touchdown to get the Seahawks within 17-7. The comeback did not last long as Orton methodically took Denver 80 yards in 10 plays over 6 minutes. On 3rd and 7 at their own 23, defensive pass interference kept Denver in business. A 45 yard pass to Knowshon Moreno has the Broncos in the red zone at the 16. From the one, Moreno failed to bang it in twice before finally hammering it in on 3rd down to put the Broncos up 24-7.

After a Seattle punt, the fourth quarter had Orton lead an even longer drive covering 80 yards, 14 plays, and 8 minutes. Again, defensive penalties made the difference as Seattle jumped offsides on 3rd and 10 and Orton hit Thomas for 9 yards to convert. On 3rd and 10 from midfield, Orton hit Royal for the 10 yards. 3rd and 3 from the 27 led toa  6 yard toss to Jabar Gaffney. Orton then hit Thomas for the 21 yard touchdown to have Denver leading in a romp 31-7. Josh McDaniels saw his team get in the win column while Seattle was brought back to Earth. A late Seattle score affected nothing 31-14 Broncos

Houston Texans @ Washington Redskins–This was a phenomenal football game. Donovan McNabb passed for over 400 yards While Matt Schaub fell just short of 500. Both teams had a big win last week in games decided late in dramatic fashion. More than once over the years Houston blew big leads of 17 points. This game was a pinball machine of fun. Complaining was at a minimum as Mike Shanahan kept Albert Haynesworth inactive for the game against his former protege and now coaching rival Gary Kubiak.

McNabb quickly led the Redskins from their 20 to the Houston 23, where kicker Gano banged a 41 yarder to have the Redskins up 3-0. Schaub was intercepted, setting up the Redskins at the Houston 42. McNabb went deep to Chris Cooley for  35 yard gain down to the 7. The drive again stalled but Gano was good from 27 as the Redskins led 6-0.

Schaub got going, and led a 77 yard drive over 11 plays and 6 minutes. Schaub completed passes of 18 and 14 to Andre Johnson. Arrian Foster, who became a household name last week, picked up 11 yards down to the 5. Schaub hit Jones for the touchdown on the first play of the second quarter to have the Texans up 7-6. Yet McNabb brought Washington right back from the Washington 27 with a 62 yard bomb to Joey Galloway. McNabb then hit Santana Moss for 10 more down to the one, where Clinton Portis ran it in to put the Redskins up 13-7.

The teams exchanged punts, and with 8 minutes left in the half, Schaub led the Texans from their 20 to the Washington 23. Yet a 6 yard sack led to a 47 yard field goal attempt by Neil Rackers. The kick was wide no good, which would loom very large later on. With 2 minutes left in the half, Washington took over at their own 37. McNabb went deep to Davis for a 62 yard gain to the one yard line. Portis finished the drive as the Redksins led 20-7.

Schaub started the second half by moving the Texans from their 15 to the Washington 29. Rackers hit the 47 yard kick to have Houston within 20-10. Yet McNabb kept firing, starting at the Washington 8. On 3rd and 8 from the 10, McNabb hit Moss for 11 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the 21, McNabb hit Armstrong for 20 yards. McNabb hit Williams for 34 yards and Cooley for the 22 yard touchdown to have the Redskins up 27-10. If the Texans were dead, the Redskins forgot to lock the coffin.

From the Houston 22, Schaub hit Andre Johnson for 13 yards and Walter for 14 more. On 3rd and 15 from the Houston 44, Schaub hit Foster, who took it half the field to the 6. Schaub then hit Walter for the score on the last play of the third quarter to make it 27-17. The Redskins punted and the Texans took over at their own 34. Schaub hit Walter for a 35 yard gain, setting up another Rackers field goal from 43 yards out to get the Texans to within 27-20 with a full 11 minutes to play.

From the Washington 37, McNabb directed the Redskins to the Houston 5 yard line. Yet on 3rd and 1, a false start and incomplete pass set up a 27 yard chip shot field goal attempt for Gano. He put the no in Gano as the kick that could have iced the game was blocked. The teams exchanged punts, and with 3:16 to play, the Texans took over at their own 19.

On 3rd and 10, Schaub hit Johnson for 29 yards. He then Jones for 18 more. On 4th and 10 from the Washington 34, Schaub went to the end zone for Johnson. Johnson out-jumped the defender for the spectacular touchdown to tie the game with 2:11 left. Neither team moved on their final possession and this aerial show went to overtime.

The Texans won the toss and took over at their own 12. Schaub hit Walter for 16 yards to get the Texans moving. Schaub directed the Texans to the Washington 34 when on 3rd and 4 he fired incomplete. In a very questionable coaching decision, Gary Kubiak decided not to have Rackers try the 52 yard field goal. He took the delay of game and punted. After a touchback the Redskins took over.

An unnecessary roughness penalty on the Texans had the Redskins on the move. In a complete mirror of their opponent, it was the Redskins who had 4th and 7 at the Houston 34. Mike Shanahan decided to have Gano kick the field goal. Gano made the kick, but it was waved off when it was ruled that Gary Kubiak called timeout at the last second. Shanahan had no right to complain because as annoying and disruptive as this practice is, it was Shanahan who first started doing this. Naturally the second kick by Gano was way wide and the game continued.

The Texans took over at their own 42, and on 3rd and 9 Houston was saved by defensive offsides. On 3rd and 4 Schaub hit Jones for 6 yards. From the Washington 46, Schaub went deep to Dreesen for a 28 yard gain to the 18. Rackers was brought in on 3rd down to attempt the 35 yard kick. Shanahan decided not to invoke the Shanahan disruption strategy, refusing to call the timeout. The kick was good, and Houston had completed the incredible comeback to get to 2-0 and show they are for real. Last week the Redskins got lucky, and this week the tables turned. 30-27 Texans, OT

Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Diego Chargers–While the Jaguars won at home last week and the Chargers had a shocking road loss to lowly Kansas City, order was restored in this game as the expected mismatch materialized right from the start. The Jaguars turned the ball over 6 times and Philip Rivers was an icy cool 22 of 229 for 334 yards for 3 touchdowns and a pair of interceptions while David Garrard was picked off 4 times.

A 34 yard run by Darren Sproles set up a 2 yard run by Tolbert to have the Chargers quickly up 7-0. Garrard was intercepted, but the Chargers fumbled it right back as the Jaguars were at the San Diego 43. A 44 yard Josh Scobee field goal had the Jaguars within 7-3.

On the first play of the second quarter the Chargers had 3rd and 5 at the Jacksonville 7 when Rivers was intercepted. Yet Garrard gave it right back and the Chargers began at the Jacksonville 30. Rivers hit Antonio Gates for the 9 yard touchdown to have the Chargers up 14-3. Then the turnoverfest began.

The game got ugly when Sims’Walker fumbled for the Jaguars, River was intercepted again, and Garrarrd again gave it right back. The Chargers decided to punt on 4th and 1 at the Jacksonville 47 and Mike Scifres had the punt blocked. This led to another field goal as the Jaguars were within 14-6 with 1:55 left in the half.

The Chargers took over at their own 13, and Norv Turner decided not to sit on the ball. Rivers hit Sproles for a 43 yard gain to the Jacksonville 44. 15 yards to Patrick Crayton and passes of 10 and 5 to Davis had San Diego at the 14. Following a defensive penalty, a 4 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates had the Chargers up 21-6 at halftime in a game that would be blown wide open in the second half.

Jacksonville did move from their own 18 to a 3rd and 1 at the San Diego 24 to take up the first 6 minutes of the second half, but Maurice Jones-Drew fumbled to end the threat. Rivers led the Chargers to a 41 yard Nate Kaeding field goal to make it 24-6. Another Garrard interception set up Tolbert from one yard out, and Rivers put the exclamation point on the game with a 54 yard touchdown to Malcolm Floyd. 38-6 Chargers

New England Patriots @ New York Jets–Not since this became the Tuna Bowl between Bill Parcells and Pete Carroll has this rivalry been such fun. The evil hoodie mastermind Bill Bellichick vs the big talking big gut of Rex Ryan. Revis Island and his sore hamstring vs Randy “slouch” Moss. Except Moss was guarded by Antonio Cromarite. Either way, it was on alright.

Tom Brady took over for the Patriots at their own 28 and led a 15 play drive that took half of the first quarter. On 4th and 1 from the Jets 37 Bellichick decided to make a statement. Old reliable Fred Taylor picked up 2 yards as the drive continued. At the Jets 14 yard line, the Patriots again faced 4th and 1. This time Bellichick decided to kick. After a delay of game, the 37 yard kick by Stephen Gostkowski was no good.
Mark Sanchez was roundly and rightly criticized for the loss last week, and this week his first play was an interception. However, the Jets challenged the call and it was reversed incomplete. Although the Jets punted, it was the last mistake Sanchez made all game.

From the New England 25, Brady led an even longer drive, moving 75 yards in 15 play over 8 minutes as the Patriots had the ball over 16 of the opening 17 minutes. The drive was helped along when on 3rd and 9 from the New England 46, an unnecessary roughness penalty on the Jets kept the drive alive. On 3rd and 3 from the Jets 32, Brady hit Randy Moss for 4 yards. A couple minutes into the second quarter saw Brdy hit Wes Welker from 6 yards out to put the Patriots up 7-0.

Sanchez responded by leading a 77 yard, 12 play, 7 minute drive. On 3rd and 6 from the 27, Sanchez hit Braylon Edwards for 13 yards. On 3rd and 7 from the Jets 43, Sanchez hit Edwards for 11 yards. Unnecessary roughness on the defense followed by a 9 yard gain by Ladanian Tomlinson had the Jets at the 17. On 3rd and 3 from the 10, Sanchez hit Edwards for the touchdown to tie the game 7-7

The teams exchanged punts, and late in the first half the Patriots had 3rd and 10 at their own 20. Brady fired to Hernandez, who took it for a 54 yard gain. On the next play Brady went deep to Moss for a 34 yard touchdown and a 14-7 patriots lead with 53 ticks until halftime.

From the New York 20, Sanchez hit Keller for gains of 12 and 22. A 7 yarder to Tomlinson and an 8 yarder to Edwards led to a 49 yard field goal from Nick Folk that had the Jets within 14-10 at the midpoint.

The Jets went 3 and out to start the second half but the Patriots fared worse as Brady went deep for Moss and was intercepted by Antonio Cromartie at the 3. The Jets faced 3rd and 1 at the 12. Rather than ram it straight ahead, Rex Ryan took the shackles off his quarterback and had him throw deep. Sanchez hit Keller for a 39 yard gain just past midfield. The drive would eventually stall at the New England 17, but Folk nailed the 36 yard field goal to have the Jets within 14-13.

The Patriots punted again, and the Jets took over at their own 30. After a 4 yard run, Sanchez hit Jerricho Cotcherry for 10 yards and Keller for 21 more. Tomlinson showed he still had gas left in the tank as a 31 yard run down to the 4 set up Sanchez to Cotcherry from 2 yards out. Sanchez hit Edwards for the 2 point conversion and the Jets led 21-14 after three quarters.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Brady went deep for Moss again, and again Cromartie intercepted the ball. Initially it was ruled incomplete, but on review was reversed as the Jets took over at their own 41. Neither team could move the ball on the next couple series, as the Jets took over at their own 37 with 11 minutes left in the game.

On 3rd and 1 from the 46, Sanchez ran for 2 yards. From just past midfield, a defensive pass interference call had the Jets at the Patriots 26. After a 5 yard run, another defensive pass interference call set up 1st and goal at the 5. On 3rd and goal from the 1, Sanchez hit Keller for the decisive score with 6 minutes left. Brady did rally the Patriots to the Jets 16, but was then hit and fumbled away the last chance. Rex Ryan had one more statement to make after a 3rd and 1 run by Sanchez came up short. On 4th and 1 at the Patriots 47, he had Tomlinson bang it up the middle the way Thomas Jones did last year in the playoffs. Tomlinson got it done, and the Jets ran out the clock.

The Jets are now going to double their swagger and brag about Revis Island once his hamstring becomes healthy, and return to being an insufferable group. Yet the Patriots are the kings of insufferable, and on this day all they did was suffer. Gang Green backed up their talk with a big win. 28-14 Jets

New York Giants @ Indianapolis Colts was the Sunday night game. Welcome to the Manning Bowl. Peyton went right to work, firing first down completions to Austin Collie and Reggie Wayne. Last week Manning threw 57 times, completing 40 for 433 yards. This week the Colts talked about balance. After one running play yielded little, Peyton went back to the air for a completion. Addai converted on the ground on 3rd and 1. Another pass to Wayne had the Colts at the Giants 30.  Addai picked up 10 more on a pair of runs and Donald Brown ran it to the 9 yard line. From 7 yards out, Brown ran it in as the Colts made it look easy to take a 7-0 lead after 6:45 had elapsed.

While Peyton came out firing, Eli came out handing it off. The ground game went nowhere, and the Giants quickly went 3 and out. Yet the Colts did the same on their next series and punted it back. The defenses took over until early in the second quarter. The Colts took over at their own 2, and 3 Addai runs had the at the 20. After a short pass, Addai picked up 12 more. Brown picked up gains of 5 and 9 to have the Colts at midfield. Peyton went deep to Dallas Clark for the touchdown as the Colts led 14-0.

Eli also decided to go deep, but with less positive results as the bomb into triple coverage was tipped and intercepted as the Colts took over at their own 38. A pair of Addai runs had the Colts already at the Giants 25. A pair of Brown runs set up 3rd and 1 at the 16. The next running play was blown up in the backfield as Adam Vinatieri hit the 35 yard field goal to have the Colts up 17-0. At that point the 22 running plays were the most ever in a Colts first half since Peyton joined the team in 1998.

With one minute left in the half, the Giants had 3rd and 1 at their own 48. Rather than pound it out, Eli went back to pass, was sacked, and fumbled. The Colts recovered at the Giants 45. Peyton hit Wayne, Clark, and Collie for a trifecta of 9 yard gains. A 13 yard pass to Addai had the Colts at the 3 with 17 ticks left. Peyton hit Collie for the score as the Colts led the Manning Bowl 24-0 at halftime.

Eli tried to get the Giants going when he threw a 54 yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham to get the Giants within 24-7. Yet the door shut almost as quickly as it opened. A perfect punt by the Colts, who apparently have a punter on their roster, pinned the Giants on the one. The G-Men then collapsed when Eli was hit and fumbled for an easy touchdown to make it 31-7 and end any hope of a competitive game. A fourth quarter touchdown from Peyton to Wayne was mere garnish, while a garbage touchdown late by the Giants was just that.

The only passion for the Giants came when Brandon Jacobs got enraged and threw his helmet in the stands, and risked injury to the Colts fans. One fan tried to keep the helmet but was forced to return it. Tom Coughlin screamed at Jacobs while Mr. Personality Jim Caldwell was so excited over the resounding win that he almost made a facial expression. Despite being a Jewish guy who just got through Yom Kippur, backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels did not get to play in front of the Big Blue Crowd, many of whom saw their temple prayers unanswered. Of course, this Big Blue Crowd was in Indianapolis, not New York. The Colts are back. 38-14 Colts

New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers was the Monday night game. Early on this looked like a coronation for the Super Bowl Champs as the 49ers began with a bungle. 2 plays into the game a shotgun snap sailed over Alex Smith’s head out of the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 Saints lead. The Saints took the free kick and started at the San Francisco 46. On 3rd and 1 from the 27, Drew Brees hit Evans at the 9, setting up a 6 yard touchdown from Brees to Reggie Bush to have the Saints up 9-0.

After an exchange of punts, Alex Smith had the 49ers at the Saints 27 when he was intercepted, one of 4 turnovers on the night for the 49ers. Yet in the second quarter Smith rebounded to lead a 12 play, 82 yard drive that took almost 6 minutes. A 13 yard pass from Smith to Morgan on 3rd and 2 kept the chains moving, and a 22 yard completion had the 49ers in the red zone. On 3rd and 7 from the 12, Smith hit Frank Gore for the touchdown to have the 49ers within 9-7.

The 49ers got the ball back with 7 minutes left in the half at their own 17 and Frank Gore moved the chains on the ground. On 3rd and 2 from the 25, Gore picked up 3 yards. On 3rd and 4 from the 34, Smith hit Vernon Davis for 15 yards at the 2 minute warning. Smith hit Morgan for 15 more yards and Gore ripped off 20 more down to the 12. Yet with one minute left in the half, Walker fumbled and the Saints recovered at their own 3 yard line to kill the drive and end the half.

After a Saints punt in the third quarter, the 49ers began at their own 14. After a 4 yard run by Gore, Smith did his best Drew Brees impersonation by completing a pair of deep passes, 32 yards to Michael Crabtree and 41 yards to Davis down to the 9. A couple Gore runs picked up 7 yards and Dixon ran it in to finish the drive and complete the rapid turnaround as the 49ers led 14-9.

Yet the Saints needed only one play to change momentum again. From their own 39, a pass to Pierre Thomas with a roughing the passer penalty tacked on had the Saints at the San Francisco 37. On 3rd and 7, Brees hit Bush for 11 yards. Brees eventually hit Thomas from 3 yards out to complete the 10 play, 5 minute, 61 yard drive  to have the Saints back up 16-14.

The 49ers punted, and Reggis Bush returned it 43 yards to the San Francisco 35. The Saints failed to gain a first down, but Garrett Hartley connected from 46 yards out to have the Saints up 19-14 only 90 seconds into the final quarter.

San Francisco took over at their own 20 and Gore ripped off back to back 10 yard runs. A 3rd and 1 just shy of midfield led to a long defensive pass interference call  down to the Saints 22. Yet another promising drive was killed late when Smith was intercepted again. The defenses settled in, but the 49ers blundered again badly by fumbling a punt, allowing the Saints to take over at the San Francisco 14 with 5 1/2 minutes left and a chance to turn out the lights.

This time it was the 49ers who came up big on defense when it counted most. Consecutive runs for the Saints on 2nd and goal and 3rd and goal from the 1 went nowhere. With 2:17 to play, everything seemed to hinge on 4h and goal at the 1. A touchdown would ice the game. Yet Sean Payton, who is certainly not afraid to take chances that would scare off an average riverboat gambler, decided to kick the field goal. Hartley connected from 19 yards out, but the Saints only led by 8 points. Alex Smithw as having a miserable game, but he had over 2 minutes to redeem himself.

The 49ers took over at their own 18, and Smith hit Davis at the 34 at the 2 minute warning. Smith scrambled for 12 yards and then hit Morgan for 15 more at the Saints 39. Smith hit Gore for another 18 yards, and Smith scrambled for another 12 to set up 1st and goal at the 9 with 1:26 still left. Gore ran it in from 7 yards out, as the 2 point conversion became key. Smith hit Davis, although Davis was ruled short of the goal line. After further review, it was determined Davis broke the plane and was pushed backward. Despite having a rough game, Smith came up big when it counted, as the 49ers tied it 22-22. There was just one problem. They scored too early.

The Saints took over at their own 30 with 1:19 left. Brees hit Thomas for 8 yards and then for 14 more at the Saints 41 as the Saints took their second timeout with 43 seconds left. Brees then fired to Marquis Colston for 30 yards down to the 18 and spiked the ball to stop the clock with 19 seconds remaining. With 2 seconds left the Saints prepared for a 32 yard field goal by Hartley to win it. Hartley made the kick to send the Saints to the Super Bowl last year, although this one took some time as a false start moved the Saints back 5 yards. From 37 yards out, the kick was either partially blocked or got caught in the wind. Yet somehow the knuckleball that changed direction and wobbled made it barely over the crossbar to end the game.

Mike Singletary had no answers, but the answer is simple. The Saints are the defending champions. They are very good. 25-22 Saints.


From Yom Kippur Back to Football

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Another Yom Kippur is in the books. My mother is headed to Israel. She has never been, and she will be going to the Wailing Wall. As is custom, she will place a note in the Wall asking God to look after those who need it most. She will be including my prayers as well. My father will guard the home base in South Florida, and enjoy a few days of peace and quiet without the phone ringing.

As for me, I just want life to get back to normal. When I need to reenergize, I turn to football.

Politics will return on Monday. A happy and peaceful Yom Kippur to all those who celebrated it.


Week 2 NFL Picks:

Kansas City Chiefs @ Cleveland Browns

(Browns by 2, they cover)

Buffalo Bills @ Green Bay Packers

(Packers by 13, they cover)

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals

(Ravens by 2.5, they cover)

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee Titans

(Titans by 5, they win but fail to cover)

Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions

(Eagles by 6.5, they win but fail to cover)

Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys

(Cowboys by 7.5, they cover)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers

(Panthers by 3.5, they cover)

Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons

(Falcons by 6.5, they win but fail to cover)

Miami Dolphins @ Minnesota Vikings

(Vikings by 5.5, they cover)

St. Louis Rams @ Oakland Raiders

(Raiders by 3.5, they cover)

Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos

(Broncos by 3.5, they cover)

Houston Texans @ Washington Redskins

(Texans by 3, Redskins win outright)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Diego Chargers

(Chargers by 7, they win but fail to cover)

New England Patriots @ New York Jets

(Patriots by 3, they cover)

New York Giants @ Indianapolis Colts

(Colts by 5.5, they win but fail to cover)

New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers

(Saints by 5.5, they cover)


Yom Kippur 2010

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Tonight begins Yom Kippur.

The bottom line is like many people, I am far from a saint and hopefully not a complete screwup that God regrets creating.

I have a long way to go, and to quote the theme from Smokey and the Bandit, a short time to get there.

I need to remind myself that while my blog gives me a platform, that comes with responsibility. I should not get personal, go after families, or engage in slander or libel. I should remember that politicians I disagree with are my opponents, never my enemies.

With regards to my parents, I should remember that plenty of people don’t have them. I thank God I do, and should tell them that more often. My inheritance will not be much, but I want to make my own fortune. I hope regarding what they have, that the last check they write is to the mortuary, and that it bounces.

Then again, advocating check kiting on Yom Kippur might not be wise.

I have the best friends a guy could ask for. I need to appreciate them more and let them know that.

As for romance, the Miami Shark is the love of my life. Some readers of my blog observe that I have a habit of pointing out other hot women and making salacious comments.

In real life I am in a monogamous relationship with a woman I love very much. While she knows this, I want the entire world to know that sophomoric comments about other hot women aside, no other woman comes close to the Miami Shark. She is the love of my life.

I have come to the conclusion that I am obsessed with pursuing wealth and power. This may not be very admirable. I vow never to let my pursuit of this lead to me ignoring the people I love. I also vow never to hurt other innocent human beings in my quest to get what I want. Lastly, I vow to remain the same person and not become corrupted by such power.

I am not a patient person. Lord knows I have to do better.

I also promise to continue being sincere. I will not pretend to stop engaging in bad behavior that I know I will continue to engage in.

I hope to one day be a pillar of my community. As I keep reminding myself, I have so much work to do.

Lastly, I vow to offer one more totally socially unacceptable comment before Yom Kippur starts to get it out of my system.

Delaware Senator Christin O’Donnell offered very sensitive comments about a very sensitive subject.

All I will say is I am not going to touch that one.

I think I just did.

I apologize for that remark.

As for the rest, I was very sincere. I appreciate those who tolerate me despite my many flaws.

May Almighty God weigh my good against the bad and keep me around for awhile.

I could help matters by eating healthier, but that falls into the insincerity category.

To the Jews of the world everywhere, I wish you a peaceful Yom Kippur.

To good people everywhere else, peace and blessings to you and your loved ones.


Wealth and Power vs Garbage

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Friday night begins Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. We apologize for our transgressions and try to be better people. We fast for 24 hours to cleanse our souls. We look deep inside ourselves and come to terms with who we are and how we can improve.

As this Yom Kippur approaches, I am terrified that I have come to conclusions that nobody should reach.

I care more about wealth and power than anything else.

Actually, the wealth is irrelevant. Power is what I need.

My parents have never cared about money and power. My girlfriend does not care. Most of my friends do not care.

It is not about possessions. I want nothing in terms of material goods.

I have no desire to control other people.

What I want is what every human being deserves…human dignity.

In this society, people fall into two categories.

Either people are wealthy and powerful, or they are utter garbage.

I see it every day.

I know there are so many people worse off than me, but counting my blessings got tired a long time ago. The only thing I want is to matter.

I don’t matter. Neither do most of you. You think you do. You don’t.

Unless you are in the very top class of wealth and power, you are garbage.

A pair of incidents that occurred yesterday have me ready to spit blood. In the big scheme of things they are not important, but little things add up.

I was supposed to speak to a group yesterday, as I have done many times before. I am a professional. I know what to do.

I got there in plenty of time, and found that the building where the meeting was supposed to be was locked. I knocked on the door, and could not understand what was going on. This was definitely the meeting place. After 15 minutes past when the meeting was supposed to start, I was ready to leave. Then an incredibly well dressed man showed up. I had no doubt he was a candidate. He was one of the speakers. Neither of us could figure out what was going on. He rang the doorbell, and finally somebody came downstairs.

They expressed shock that the door was locked. We went upstairs, and found that the room was empty. Nobody had showed up to the meeting.

I drove over two hours in traffic to find out that there was no audience.

These people did not offer any apologies. They didn’t care. They shrugged their shoulders.

I felt awful for the candidate. This guy has two months until his election. His time is valuable. He took time to speak to these people, and they did not have the decency or class to even bother showing up.

I make my money on book sales. I have expenditures, including hotel stay. These people did not care.

Why were the people this indifferent? Because the candidate and I had something in common…we do not matter.

Does anybody think this happens when “A-List” speakers are booked? These hosts would have spent every waking moment dialing people to fill the seats for their guests.

I then went to the hotel, where the only thing I wanted to do was get some work done online. Despite being told otherwise, the internet did not work. The technicians promised to fix it. They did manage to make the problem worse, but that is not the same as fixing anything.

Does anybody think Jack Welch or any other high-powered CEO has this problem? They just get somebody up at 4am to fix it.

All I want is for my small corner of the Earth not to be impeded.

I give a d@mn about people. I want others to care. I treat waitresses, shoe shine guys, and others with dignity, because they matter.

Yet too many people have zero interest in showing any human decency toward anyone unless they are a “big deal.”

I remember having to stop payment on a check in 2000. This was done by mutual agreement with the other party. The other party waited until 2002 before trying to sneak the check through. The airhead bimbo of a bank clerk did not look at the date, and my account was overdrawn. For three weeks I had to live on bread and water while trying to get my money back. Finally I found one intelligent man who was a decision maker. He restored my loss.
Does anybody think that Lee Iacocca has this problem?

Wealth and power is the only solution. Nothing else works. Try flying coach on an airline and seeing how little you matter. Then fly first class.

Again, these isolated incidences do not matter. The underlying theme behind them is what eats at me.

Wealth and power is seen by some as leading to abuse. Lord Acton famously replied that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Yet plenty of people I know have power and they are not abusive.

I will never be one of those guys screaming at people getting me M & Ms to separate them by color and remove the green ones.

I just want my right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I don’t need anything but for the hindrances to get out of my way.

My parents will still never care about wealth and power. I genuinely envy them. They are happy just being.

That is not me. I am going to pursue power with a vengeance and obsession that is required to get it.

Those who question why I do this should sit and continue to understand why the world has no use for them and remains indifferent to their life or death.

Wealth and power gets things done. Everything else is garbage.

What a way to spend my final hours before Yom Kippur.

I should be celebrating the beauty in life. Instead I am thinking of how the world would be a better place if certain people died.

The person I am and the person I want to be are so far apart. The chasm may never be bridged. I just know one thing.

I will not live on this Earth as human garbage.

Wealth and power absolutely does bring peace of mind if one allows it. Only those desperate to minimize their own insignificance will protest otherwise.

Besides, these people could drop dead on the street and nobody would notice.

People are not equal. Nobodies get the nobody treatment.

The goal is to be somebody.

Only power can allow for the transition, with plenty of wealth as icing on the cake of respect.


My Interview With Kat Rice

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

I had the pleasure recently of interviewing Katrina “Kat” Rice.

Miss Rice is the President of the Dallas Young Republicans.

I know some of you out there think I interviewed her just because she is a hot, young Republican brunette with spectacular (redacted). While all of that is true, she has a story to tell that every Republican should learn.

She wrote the book, “The Internet is Blue.”

I became fascinated with the title because I thought she was referring to risqué humor. While this is a g-rated book that has nothing to do with sex or salty sailor language, it is still worth reading.

“The Internet is Blue” focuses on the large technological gap that Democrats (blue staters) have over Republicans (red staters).

As with any interview, I do it in three stages. I start out with the fake interview that never happened. Then I present the doctored version of the fake interview in the great tradition of the Jayson Blair Times. Then I finally present the real interview.

Here is the fake interview.

Eric: Is it ok if I take a picture of me holding a tennis racket to your (redacted) and (redacted)?

Kat: You are a sexist male oinker who sets the dignity of women back decades.

Eric: Does this mean you will not be allowing me to do my impression of the United States Open with you as the naughty French player?

Kat: You are one question away from being punched in the face, and I pack a mean right hook.

Eric: Ok, so I should just focus on your book and ignore your underwear model looks?

Kat: Yes. That is all I want, and not a single thing more ever.

I will now doctor this interview in the way that the New York Times does on a daily basis to earn its reputation as the Jayson Blair Times.

Eric: Is it ok if I take a picture of me holding a tennis racket to your (redacted) and (redacted)?

Kat: Yes. That is all I want, and not a single thing more ever.

I have met Kat Rice in real life. She is a nice person and a smart one as well. She might still swing the right hook at me, so go check out her book to help possibly save my existence from physical harm.

With that, I present my interview with Kat Rice.

1) What is the Kat Rice story? What made you decide to write “The Internet is Blue?”

I grew up in an army house, my parents were Limbaugh Republicans, both officers and gave me a wonderful foundation. Then I went to a liberal arts college (which only cemented my conservative beliefs even though I kept my mouth shut for four years). I started my first company in online marketing there, at 18. My senior year a close friend challenged me to get involved in politics. When I graduated I finally started to attend political meetings and immediately became a true political activist. I also founded the online design and consultation company I have now, Veribatim.

“The Internet is Blue” is dedicated to my grandfather, Col. Arnold E. Rice and I wrote the book at his urging. The beginning of this year he was diagnosed with his second round of cancer at 93. I went up to visit him just as the Health Care bill passed. The day that happened I received multiple emails from conservative leaders and Republican groups whining about the bill and asking for money. The emails were form letters with no substance and terrible PR. I remember ranting to my grandfather about how useless these approaches were. I jokingly said I could write a book about everything Republicans do wrong on the internet. He said “Do it.” So much like my original foray into politics, I did it because someone I respected challenged me to. I wrote the book to be short and fast, more as a digest people could pick up and read in an hour then do something about. I wanted to finish it before the 2010 election, and quick enough so my grandfather could read it. He beat his cancer by the way and is still alive and well, a great testament to our veterans.

2) What 3 political issues are you most passionate about?

1. Political Activism in Gen Y. I don’t just mean conservative youth either. We need to all be in the business of educating and empower the younger generations. I don’t care how they vote, as long as they DO vote. Its our job as Republicans to educate and reach out to them after they’ve registered.
2. Government Transparency. We can’t fix anything if we don’t know what’s going on. Transparency stops corruption, clarifies the intentions of politicians, provides accurate tracking and follow-through and is one of the most important issues to the youth. Republicans should be all over transparency and “gov 2.0” because more transparency will only prove our policies right!
3. The Economy. Unemployment is such a huge issue. We have to fix the economy because it’s not the Baby Boomers who are hurting the most from the current recession, its Gen X & Y. The current economic situation could destroy the future of many twenty-somethings and the current administration seems bent on tackling ANY task but the job loss.

3) What does the GOP get right technologically, and what have we gotten wrong?

Wow. That’s such a big question. A lot of this is covered in the book but short and sweet.
• We’re good at connecting and following-through when we bother to. We just don’t do it enough.
• We educate better than the Left. Again, just not enough.
• Liberals tend to have “rabid” people pushing their message on the internet. Conservatives tend to be thoughtful, logical and layout compelling arguments. When we use this skill online, we win.
• We’re doing an awesome job taking over “mobile”. The NRSC app for the iphone is BRILLIANT and you should go download it right now if you have one. If we can keep up the pace in this arena it will make a difference.

• We don’t spend our money on technology the way we should
• We don’t realize what’s important on the web. Order of importance: Design, Message (I mean marketing message not a paragraph explaining boring details), Usability, then details and personality.
• Not putting Gen Y first.
• Being unaware of trends in technology. Yeah, we missed them. And then when we did figure it out (Facebook anyone?) we congratulated ourselves instead of refocusing on the next goal.
• The way we ask for money isn’t working. We just piss people off.
• Oh and we suck at SEO (that’s Search Engine Optimization, aka where we show up on a Google search).

4) You are affiliated with the Young Republicans. Are they as tech savvy as your Democratic counterparts? Is this tech gap only an issue with older people, or Republicans in general?

I would say overall yes, the Young Republicans tend to be more connected and social media savvy. This is a trait of Gen Y (and X) and less about political beliefs. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of non-tech people in the YRs but overall I think we match the Dems except perhaps in numbers.

5) 2004 was the first “blogosphere” presidential election.2008 was the first “social networking election” or “Facebook election.” What do you see on the horizon for 2012 from a technological standpoint?

Mobile for sure. Text, apps, mobile integration with social networking. We HAVE to own mobile in 2012 or we’ll keep losing elections.

6) If you had 5 minutes alone with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, what would you say to them or ask them?

I’d ask them both the same question. “What did you do when you were my age?” I’d love to know what our leaders did to get where they are. Did it start in their twenties (the age so many Young Republicans feel shunned by their own party)? Did they fight the same uphill battles? What would they do as a 20-something in the current environment? I have a heart for bridging the gap between Gen Y and the Boomers so anything related to that would be where I’d steer the conversation.

7) Who are your 3 political heroes, American or worldwide?

Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams (who I mention in my book as having an amazing social media presence, worth emulating, and is just an amazing leader in Texas politics), Abraham Lincoln (perseverance, this guy had it), Charlie Wilson (no war is too big to fight)

8.) Without delving too deeply into your personal life, what would you want Americans to know about Kat Rice the person? 100 years from now, what would you want people to remember about you, and what would you hope the history books say about you?

“I would want people to know I was an unwilling participant! I got involved because no one else was standing up for the issues that bothered me most. (If you feel this way ever, please speak up and get involved because if you wait for someone else to it will never happen!) Career politician? Not my goal. I just want to make an impact on the things that matter most to me.

For the history books: I would hope that I could be a voice for my generation and whether or not people agreed with me, they could still say I fought passionately for my cause. We’re at a turning point in our country: technology, politics, society as a whole; and I would want to be someone who stood strong for my peers and our children to keep America the amazing country we all cherish during this time.”

I would like to thank Kat Rice for her graciousness and her time. She is also the head of the Dallas Young Republicans. She is a rising star, and her book is an important read for any Republican desperate not to fall behind Democrats technologically.

We as Republicans have made many mistakes in the past. Kat Rice is trying to help cement a conservative majority for the future. Her words must be heeded.


Testosterone Tuesday

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Today is Testosterone Tuesday.

Before getting to the main event, after years of searching I have finally…after all hope was gone…found the entire version of the Lee Greenwood song “Bandit Express” from Smokey and the Bandit 3. I have searched everywhere, and can now enjoy the nobility made famous by Burt “Bandit” Reynolds and Jerry “Snowman (rest his soul)” Reed. When Buford T. Justice sees me on the highway at least I will have the right music playing.

This has been a fabulous few days for a certain Hebrew Alpha Male. It should be heaven for alpha males everywhere. Between songs about car chases, NFL football, and lots of red meat, only one thing could make things even better. This brings us to Testosterone Tuesday.

The other day right before Rosh Hashanah I went with a friend to see “The Expendables.”

Thank the heavens for this movie. I have said many times that sometimes it is time for alpha males to go watch people in the movies just blow sh*t up.

Why? Because it’s cool.

Not since “Judge Dredd” and “Over the top” has Stallone been this cool.

(Great scene 1 from Judge Dredd…Stallone…”It’s impossible! The evidence has been falsified! I never broke the law! I am the law!

Great scene 2 from Judge Dredd…bad guy Armand Assante after killing his political rivals…”Now who says politics is boring.”

Over the Top had the best tough guy character name in Lincoln Hawk, and truckers slapping each other in the face to get pumped up before arm wrestling is as good as it gets.)

In the Expendables, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jet Li, Micky Rourke, and Dolph Lundgren (as much fun to say as it is to watch) all play a role in either exacerbating or reducing problems through carnage.

While this movie was totally apolitical, Phil Donahue and other liberal pansies were nowhere to be found. Nobody sang Kumbaya in this movie.

Initially when watching the Expendables I pictured the bad guys as the Palesimians. For a moment I saw Ariel Sharon burning down Gaza. It was a beautiful way to lead into Rosh Hashanah.

Yet while the Expendables could take down Palesimians, imagine how great life could be if the few Hollywood stars who are not completely worthless took down the rest of Hollywood.

Not since Ken Wahl of “Wiseguy” fame played a guy named Boomer in the “Taking of Beverly Hills” has an opportunity to wreak glorious havoc on the worst elements of American culture been so tantalizingly close.

First the Expendables should invade an area even more corrupt and dangerous than the Middle East or South America.

That’s right, they should launch an attack from New York and take down New Jersey.

They would start with the cast of the Jersey Shore. If Mike Sorrentino thinks he is a tough guy Guido, let him contend with Stallone. I am sure Dolph Lundgren could beat the daylights out of Snookie and then force her to spell her own name right.

Once the Jersey Shore cast was eliminated, Jet Li could singlehandedly kickbox the tar out of the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Given New Jersey’s strict gun control laws, it has been impossible to give these ladies all guns and let them duel at ten paces. Therefore, karate moves by Mr. Li will be needed to eviscerate the worst garbage from the Garbage State.

(Chris Christie can join the team if he passes the initiation test that Schwarzenegger did not, taking down the teachers’ unions. Rudy Giuliani took down the mafia, but that pales in comparison to the teachers’ unions.)

Schwarzenegger was a failed governor of California because he failed to crack down on crime, as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan remained free. He could redeem himself by taking down every celebrity to the left of Jon Voight.

Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer was not in the movie, but no movie is perfect. While Guns n Roses was in the soundtrack (Schwarzenegger is a fan), not one of the characters smashed any Barbra Streisand or Cheryl Crow records. Again, no movie is perfect.

So for those who want to attack the movie as simplistic, jingoistic, chest thumping, I summon Jack Nicholson as Colonel Nathan R. Jessup. You’re D@mn right is is.

We are all expendable. Yet for one hour and forty minutes, the complexities of life were boiled down to simple principles that Neocons understand.

Take the bad guys, blow sh*t up, and shove the American flag up their hide until they go to the toilet red, white, and blue. Then pull their trousers down, and either hang the flag from their blankety-blanks or take a cattle prod and brand a tattoo of Uncle Sam on their hides.

To paraphrase a famous NFL quarterback after a Super Bowl loss, we need to take the bad guys and hand them their hides on a platter with the tray being bent.

I hate to criticize the movie, but not a single United Nations diplomat was blown to kingdom come.

Other than that, for a brief window of time, the wussification of America was suspended.

I am not in the mood to wrestle a live bull right now since if I won, the animal rights activists would bother me. So instead I will eat a dead cow after violently hitting a bottle of blood until it pours all over the steak. The blood will resemble ketchup.

For those worrying about the alpha male crash after the high, don’t worry. Gordon Gekko is out of prison any day now and ready to retake Wall Street, because Money Never Sleeps.

For now…

Long live the Expendables!

All hail Testosterone Tuesday!


Conservatives acting like leftists can defeat the Ground Zero Mosque

Monday, September 13th, 2010

In an attempt to spread a worldwide Caliphate over conquered lands, Radical Islamists are trying to open up a victory mosque near Ground Zero.

While conservatives are fuming, they need to realize that this mosque-strosity can be defeated if only conservatives would just act like leftists.

No, I am not advocating that conservatives engage in mob violence and try to burn down the property. Not every leftist tactic involves violence (although most of them do, hence the rational assumption).

The legal system is the answer.

Remember the legal system? The left uses it spectacularly when they lose electorally and in the court of public opinion. They just find activist judges to ram their agenda down our throats.

Some will say that the owners of the building have every right to build the mosque, so there is no legal issue.

Yes, they have the right to build. Yes, there is still a legal way to stop them.

The solution is for opposition groups to just seize the property. That’s it. Just take it.

No, I am not advocating that we storm the building, burn everything, and take what is left amidst the rubble (although this was done with great efficiency against my grandfather in Europe).

We simply employ the liberal judicial philosophy to justify seizing the area.

It is called eminent domain.

For those needing another reminder of why liberals should never be allowed to become judges, the eminent domain ruling a few years back in Kelo vs New London allows government to seize private property if there is a public good.

Naturally, with virtually all liberal rulings, the meaning can and has been twisted to be whatever liberals want it to mean. Public good is now whatever feels good to liberal members of the public.

Four liberal justices managed to sway one conservative judge (liberals call this bipartisanship) into violating property ideals that stretch back to John Locke.

All we need is one conservative judge to declare the area…something…anything.

Sure the owner would have to be given fair market value, but fair is such a subjective term. The land can be declared a toxic waste dump, and the owner can be given $1. By my conservative definition, any area inhabited by liberals or Islamists is toxic.

This is so easy. Liberals love it when they do it. For some reason they enjoy it less when it is done to them.

So I say find conservative judges willing to act like liberal activists for a day.

Let’s use eminent domain to seize the property. In fact, let’s use eminent domain against every Islamist property owner and every liberal apologist supporting them.

This tactic may not work, but it does not need to work. Think of this as the Palesimian strategy. Surviving is enough. Bother the other side until they can’t stand it anymore. Make the cost of being in the area untenable.

Palesimians understand this. Liberals understand this.

Only conservatives refuse to act this way.

It is time for conservatives to use the eminent domain ruling to shut this mosque down.

Then we can use the land to build a kosher pizza place. After all, that is in the public good. Everybody loves pizza.

Using liberalism as my philosophy, I said so, so it must be so.


NFL 2010–Week 1 Recap

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

After 7 long months, the National Football League has returned. Screw hyperbole. I only have one hobby on Earth, so let’s get down to football.

Here is the NFL 2010 Week 1 Recap.

Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints was the Thursday night game. This NFC Title Game rematch was tough and competitive. Unlike the game 7 months ago where the offenses lit up the scoreboard, this game was about defense. Brett Favre was at the helm, but it was the Saints with the championship banner being draped in front of a raucous crowd as Sean Payton prepared to guard against complacency.

The game started out like it would be a pinball machine, as if the Saints offense did not even have an offseason. From the Saints 23, Brees fired 28 yards to Marquis Colston, 12 yards to more, and 29 yards to Devry Henderson for the touchdown. Only 5 plays and 2 minutes covered the 77 yards as the Saints rapidly led 7-0.

Brad Childress, who is bald and Catholic, played it very conservatively early on. Knowing that Gregg Williams would be sending the house against a near 41 year old quarterback, 3 straight running plays started things off. This was followed by a punt, and it looked like the route was on.

It was not. The game turned into a defensive slugfest. At the start of the second quarter, the Vikings finally took over from their own 11 and got going when Favre hit Adrian Peterson for 11 yards. On 3rd and 2 from the 30, Favre hit Dugan for 8 yards. On 3rd and 11, Favre hit Vincent Shiancoe for 14 yards. Peterson did the rest on the ground, but the drive stalled at the Saints 23. Ryan Longwell connected from 41 yards to get the Vikings to within 7-3 to complete a staggering 9 1/2 minute, 15 play drive.

Brett Favre has always been the Gunslinger, and “the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” is not just a theme song. It is how he played in the second quarter as we saw the best and worst of # 4. From the Minnesota 31, Favre threw an ill advised pass into traffic with a man already crunching his body. It was every bit as bad as the pass that decided the NFC Title Game. You could fry an egg off of Coach Chilly’s head when it was intercepted, giving the Saints golden (and black) field position. The defense held, and Garret Hartley came in for a 46 yard field goal. Hartley was the hero in the NFC Title Game, but this kick was wide, no good.

Then we saw why Favre should keep playing, as he saved his best for the 2 minute drill. After a couple of short passes, Favre went deep to Shiancoe for 33 yards and then hit Shiancoe for the 20 yard touchdown on the next play. The extra point was blocked, but the Vikings led 9-7 at halftime in front of a surprised crowd.

In the third quarter, the Vikings punted and the Saints took over on their own 26. Pierre Thomas picked up 11 yards to get the team moving. Runs and short passes had the Saints at the Minnesota 35, where Brees hit Colston for 14 yards. Brees hit Thomas for 15 more. Thomas then picked up 5 yards, and from the one, Thomas took it in to complete the 11 play, 74 yard, 7 minute drive and have the Saints back on top. Again, the defenses took over.

Neither team could move the ball for the rest of the third quarter, but a field position game moved in favor of the Saints. At the start of t he fourth quarter they moved from their own 40 to the Minnesota 14, taking 6 minutes off the clock. Yet Hartley missed another field goal, this one from 32 yards out. Favre moved the Vikings from the Minnesota 22 to the New Orleans 44, but on 3rd and 11 fired incomplete. With 5:40 to go and 2 timeouts (1 was used on a challenge that should have been a benefit to Minnesota, but a controversial call on a catch ruled incomplete was upheld.), Childress decided to punt.

The Saints took over on their own 12. On 3rd and 1 from the 21, Brees hit Colston for 7 yards. With 2:17 to go, the Saints faced a 3rd and 7 on their own 31. This game was almost all defense, but Jared Allen and the Vikings could not get a stop when it counted. Brees hit Henderson for 9 yards to keep the clock moving. At the 2 minute warning, the Saints had 2nd and 6. Thomas barreled for 10 yards, as Favre never got back on the field. Drew Brees took some kneel downs, and the Saints again had a very hard fought victory.

Both of these teams could meet again in the NFC Title Game. It would be a game worth watching, as both last year’s NFC Title Game and this year’s season opener certainly were. Once again, the NFL began the season with a fine football game. 14-9 Saints

Cleveland Browns @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers–Not since the days of orange creamsicle pants have the Buccaneers been this pathetic. They might however still be better than the Browns. The Browns will improve once Walrus Mike Holmgren has some time. The Jake Delhomme era got off to a good start in Cleveland as he hit Massaquoi for a 41 yard touchdown to put the Browns up 7-0. A field goal had the Buccaneers within 7-3.

In the second quarter Hillis ran it in from 10 yards out to have the Browns up 14-3. The Browns were in control when Delhomme was intercepted by Ronde Barber. In his younger years Barber would have scored, but the old man ran out of gas at the 3 yard line after a 66 yard return. Josh Freeman hit Williams for the touchdown to get the Buccaneers to within 14-10 at the break. The second half was ugly, and had a nightmarish familiarity for Jake Delhomme.

Delhoome hit Moore for a 49 yard completion to the Tampa Bay 28. After a penalty, Delhome hit Moore again for 16 yards to the 22. Yet from the 15, Hillis fumbled and the Bucs recovered. The teams exchanged punts in a forgettable third quarter for anyone who loves and respects football.

With 8 1/2 minutes in regulation, the field position game of punts had the Buccaneers at the Browns 47.  On 3rd and 10 Josh Freeman hit Stroughter for 14 yards. On 3rd and 10 from the 33, Freeman hit Michael Spurlock for the touchdown as the Buccaneers had the 3 point lead with 6:45 to play.

The Browns took over after a penalty on the kickoff at their own 6 yard line. Delhomme went deep and was intercepted. The Buccaneers took over at the Cleveland 39. On 3rd and 2, Cadillac Williams barrleed for 20 yards to the 11. Yet on 3rd and 1 from the 2, looking to salt the game away, the Cadillac broke down and fumbled. The Browns took over at their own 3 with 2:16 left.

Delhomme threw several incomplete passes after one first down and with only 56 seconds left, the Buccaneers had the ball 1st and 10 at the Browns 5. Cleveland had all 3 timeouts. On 4th and 1 from the 5 with 39 seconds left, Raheem Morris decided not to kick the field goal. Rather than run the ball, Freeman was sacked for a 6 yard loss. Delhomme had 34 seconds left. He got the Browns no further than the 33 before time ran out.

The only question will be whether Holmgren fires Eric Mangini and Delhomme first or if the Glazer family decides to can Raheem Morris. Morris got some breathing room with this ugly win, as Jon Gruden remains in the Monday Night Football booth. This was not Buc ball. It was even worse. Yet the pirates of pewter pants are 1-0 with the win. 17-14 Buccaneers

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills–These teams were denying in Week 1 that they were fighting to avoid last place as Tuna Bill Parcells was glad he turned over responsibility of the Dolphins to Jeff Ireland. A 32 yard field goal had the Dolphins leading a thriller 3-0 after the opening quarter.

In the second quarter Chad Henne led an 11 play, 5 minute, 65 yard drive that culminated in Ronnie Brown leaping over fro one yard out to put the Dolphins up 10-0.  Ryan Lindell kicked a 51 yard field goal as the Bills trailed 10-3 at halftime. A field goal by Carpenter gave the Dolphins a 13-3 lead with 9 1/2 minutes remaining on a redundantly dreary day in Buffalo.

Trent Edwards went deep to Roscoe Parrish for  a 31 yard touchdown to get the Bills to within 13-10 with 5 1/2 minutes to play.  A game of terrible offense was decided by special teams. A perfect punt pinned the Bills at their own 1 with 1:48 to play. On 4th and 10 from their 1, a decision was made to take an intentional safety and rely on the defense. They needed a touchdown anyway, and this seemed safer than the 99 yard pass attempt.

The strategy was reasonable as the Bills got the ball back at their own 20 with 29 seconds to play. 3 incomplete passes and a penalty led to 4th and 15. With 8 seconds left, Trent Edwards completed the next pass for 9 yards. Canada refuses to take this team for obvious reasons. Tony Sparano saw his guys gut out an ugly win. 15-10 Dolphins

Cincinnati Bengals @ New England Patriots–The Bengals have loaded their roster with talented egomaniacs, while the Patriots epitomize shutting up and doing your job. The quiet champions struck first when Tom Brady hit Wes Welker for a 9 yard touchdown pass to put the Patriots up 7-0. Another touchdown pass to Welker had the Patriots cruising, and a 59 yard interception return by Gary Guyton had the Patriots up 24-0.  A 54 yard field goal put the Bengals on the board, but as Boomer Esiason commented, “the Bengals have 2 reality stars but only 3 points.”

This game rapidly became contenders vs pretenders. When Tate ran the second half kickoff back 97 yards for a touchdown, the Patriots had a 31-3 lead and a statement to the rest of the league. They would not be going away quietly. As for the Bengals, we learned that talk is cheap.

Palmer mounted a furious rally, starting with an 11 play, 80 yard drive that led in a 1 yard touchdown to Gresham to make it 31-10. After a New England punt, a 12 play, 73 yard drive ended with Palmer hitting Chad Ochocinco Johnson for a 28 yard touchdown. Johnson chest thumped as the Bengals trailed 31-17.

Tom Brady got the Patriots back on track with a 14 play, 69 yard drive that took over 7 1/2 minutes of the clock. A one yard touchdown pass to Gronkowski on a tackle eligible put the game out of reach at 38-17. A 14 play drive by Palmer ended in Cedric Benson scoring from one yard out, but the Bengals got no closer.

Palmer finished 34 of 50 for 345 yards and 2 touchdowns, with one interception. Brady was 25 of 35 for 258 yards and 3 touchdowns. More importantly, the Patriots had the win as the evil hoodie Bill Belichick reminded us that the Patriots are never ever gone. Marvin Lewis had nothing to say, but I am sure his team did. 38-24 Patriots.

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans–Would the Colts have a rampage after their Super Bowl debacle? Would the Texans finally take the next step? Would Jim Caldwell make a facial expression? The Colts coach is all personality. A pair of field goals had the Texans up 6-0. When Matt Schaub threw a touchdown pass, the Texans had a 13-0 lead.

With everything going Houston’s way, Schaub was intercepted by Bullitt, who returned it to the Houston 35. Peyton Manning hit Reggie Wayne from 15 yards out and the Colts were right back in it down 13-7. A field goal before the half had the Texans clinging to a 13-10 lead at intermission.

The Texans knew the way to win was to keep Manning off the field. A 15 play, 66 yard drive consumed 8 minutes. Foster took it in from one yard out and the Texans led 20-10. With 10:40 left in the game Manning went deep to Austin Collie, who got belted and fumbled at the 9 yard line as the Texans took over again. In a stunning turn of events, the Texans went 91 yards in only 4 plays, with Arriun Foster running the last 25 yards to have the Texans up 27-10.

For those who remember last year, the Texans led 27-10 in the 4th quarter and Manning brought the Colts back 31-27 for the win. In this game Manning hit Dallas Clark for a 10 yard touchdown as the Colts got within 27-17 with 5 minutes to play.

Yet the star of the day was Arriun Foster. He gashed the Colts for 231 yards, with the final 8 of them making it 34-17. Manning came right back and quickly hit Collie for a 73 yard touchdown as the Colts got to within 10 points with 1:16 to play. It was not enough as the Texans survived. Would the Colts go 2-14? Would the Texans go 14-2? Did Gary Kubiak show more emotion than Jim Caldwell? No, no, and yes. The upset had the Texans leading the division and the Colts in last place. 34-24 Texans

Denver Broncos @ Jacksonville Jaguars–A pair of average teams played a below average game badly early on, as Josh McDaniels and Jack Del Rio wanted to avoid the coaching hot seat. After a scoreless first quarter, David Garrarrd threw a short touchdown pass to have the Jaguars up 7-0. Kyle Orton came right back with a long bomb and then a short touchdown pass to Jabar Gaffney to tie the game 7-7.

In the third quarter with the Jaguars leading 14-7, Jack Del Rio decided to gamble on 4th and inches from the Jacksonville 40. Maurice Jones-Drew was belted backwards as the  Broncos had excellent field position. It was not pretty, but Knowshon Moreno made it over from one yard out to tie the game 14-14 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter.

A kickoff return past midfield set up Josh Scobee from 45 yards out as the Jaguars retook the lead 17-14 after three quarters. The game was suspended temporarily before the start of the fourth quarter due to lightning.  NFL Head of Officiating Mike Perriera eventually resumed play, and with 11 1/2 minutes remaining in bad weather, Josh Prater nailed a 54 yard field goal to tie the game 17-17.

The Jaguars came right back, and with 8 minutes left Garrard hit Osgood for the 30 yard touchdown to put Jacksonville back in front 24-17. Orton moved the Broncos within striking distance, but a touchdown pass to tie the game was ruled out of bounds. Replay showed the receiver only got one foot down. 5 minutes remained, but the Broncos had to give the ball back. Denver had one last chance, but Orton was intercepted with 90 seconds to play to end Denver’s chances. 24-17 Jaguars

Atlanta Falcons @ Pittsburgh Steelers–This game was all defense as the teams went to the locker rooms tied 3-3 at halftime and 6-6 after 3 quarters. Jeff Reed, who earlier missed from 55, barely connected from 34 to put the Steelers on top 9-6 with 9 minutes to play.

Matt Ryan was then hit, and a fumble was returned for a touchdown. Yet Mike Smith, who looks like an average non-descript white guy named Mike Smith, challenged that it was an incomplete pass. On further review, the arm was going forward and the Falcons continued. With 3 minutes to go Atlanta had 4th and 2 at the Pittsburgh 9. After initially deciding to go for it, Smith opted for the field goal and the game was tied 9-9.

The Falcons got the ball back, but with 1:40 to play, Ryan was intercepted by his Roal Hairness Troy Palomalu as the Steelers took over at the Atlanta 30. Mike Tomlin took no chances, and another field goal attempt was to give the Steelers the win. This time the kick was no good, and the game remained tied.

In overtime, a game of defense was decided by one offensive play. From midfield, Rashard Mendenhall ran all the way for the touchdown. Just like that, the game was over. Ben Roethlisberger who? Dixon was 18 of 26 for 236 yards. Ryan was 27 of 44 for 252 yards. Both quarterbacks were picked off once. This was Pittsburgh football, with hard running and defense being decided by one play. 15-9 Steelers, OT

Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee Titans–For more on the game of the day, just go to

The Raiders fumbled the opening kickoff. In a sign that maybe the team would not be cursed, they recovered it. After punting, the Raiders allowed Vince Young to run for 20 yards on the first play. Yes, he ran for it. Yet this defense is much improved, and a hit on Young caused a fumble that was recovered by Richard Seymour.

Jason Campbell had little success passing early on. A snap over his head was saved when he recovered it. On 3rd and 15 he fired incomplete. However, a personal foul for hitting his knees led to an automatic first down. Sebastian Janikowski came in for a 39 yard field goal was no good, but in another lucky break, a defensive penalty allowed Seabass to hit it from 34. The Raiders led 3-0 on the road.

The lead did not las long. Vince Young fired a pass that was broken up, but a questionable defensive pass interference penalty had the Titans in business. Vince Young went for the bomb, and hit a wide open Nate Washington for an easy 56 yard touchdown. The Titans led 7-3.

The Raiders took over at their own 20 as Darren McFadden picked up gains of 7 and 3 for a first down. Campbell then went back to pass and got sacked for the 3rd time. He did his best JaMarcus Russell imitation by fumbling. It was picked up and run in for a Titans touchdown to make it a 14-3 game. While the Raiders offensive line was giving up everything to Jeff Fisher’s defense, offensive line guy Tom Cable challenged the ruling that Campbell was down before the ball came out.

The referee split the difference, and gave the Titans the ball at the spot of recovery, the Oakland 23 as the game remained 7-3. This time the defense stepped up as Michael Huff blew up a running play in the backfield. Rob Bironas hit a 43 yard field goal and the Raiders trailed 10-3.

The Raiders took over and benefitted from an offsides penalty. On 2nd and 5 McFadden took a reverse to the Oakland 35. Campbell’s next pass was batted in the air. It would have been intercepted but Campbell himself leapt up and batted it down like a volleyball incomplete. Campbell then overthrew a wide open Louis Murphy. On 3rd and 10 Campbell scrambled and appeared to be running for a first down. Yet near the marker he went for the quarterback give up slide instead of going head first, leaving him a yard short. Shane Lechler punted again.

The Titans took over deep in their own territory, but a 3rd and 1 run around the end had Tennessee at their own 30. Vince Young evaded a sack and ran for 16 yards to the Oakland 47. The defense then held and the Titans punted. The Raiders took over at their own 9. 3 plays later the Raiders punted and Tennessee took over at their own 40.

Vince Young completed a pass and Chris Brown gashed the defense for a run to the Raiders 30. On 3rd and 1 from the 21, Young ran an option and pitched out to Chris Johnson for 5 yards. On the next play, Javon Ringer ran straight up the middle untouched for a 15 yard touchdown as the Titans led 17-3 with 3:45 left in the half.

On the next offensive series Campbell avoided a sack and threw short to McFadden, who dropped it. Campbell was then sacked and fumbled, although the Raiders fell on it to set up 3rd and a million. Lechler punted deep, the only bright spot in this debacle.

Debacle was the appropriate word as Chris Johnson took a handoff on a draw play, and raced for a 76 yard touchdown to have the Titans up 24-3 and remind everybody that preseason means nothing. The Raiders are still a mess.

With 90 seconds left in the half, Campbell hit McFadden over the middle. A horsecollar tackle added another 15 yards as the Raiders were just past midfield. Campbell hit McFadden for another 16 yards. On 2nd and long McFadden took the draw play for another first down as the Raiders called timeout with 51 seconds left in the half at the Tennessee 21. An offensive 5 yard penalty followed by a fumbled snap had Oakland going backwards. McFadden got the Raiders to 2nd and 11. Campbell went to the end zone to Louis Murphy, but the ball was tipped away. A dumpoff pass to Cartwright set up 4th and 2 with 19 seconds left in the half. Cable opted for the field goal, and Seabass connected from 30 yards out as the Raiders trailed 24-6 at the break.

The Raiders started the second half by being called for a facemask penalty on the kickoff. However, Chris Johnson lost 8 yards on a reverse gone bad. The Titans punted as the Raiders took over at their own 19. Campbell threw a screen pass to Louis Murphy that somehow lost 5 yards. Yet on 3rd and 12, Campbell scrambled up the middle. He slid again, but this time well past the marker for a 19 yard gain. Campbell then hit Figurs for 11 more yards to the Oakland 44. On 2nd and 16 Campbell hit Zach Miller for 27 yards to the Tennessee 35. The drive stalled after a gadget play backfired and Seabass missed from 53 yards out.

Any hope for the Raiders was snuffed out when Young completed a 3rd and 11 pas for 27 yards to the Oakland 20. Chris Johnson took it up the middle for the score to have the Titans rolling 31-6. Campbell was intercepted on the next series, and it was returned inside the 5. A short touchdown pass from Young had the Titans up 38-6.

The Raiders scored a touchdown during garbage time, which for the Silver and Black technically was the entire game. JaMarcus Russell cannot be blamed for this one. Winning against a good team on the road is tough, but the Raider Nation should be disgusted with the 8th straight season of pathetic efforts. 38-13 Titans

Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants–These teams could both be very good or very average, as coaches Jon Fox and Tom Coughlin come off of underachieving seasons that saw Jake Delhomme shipped to Cleveland. Matt Moore is the new leader in Carolina, and he and Eli Manning both threw 3 interceptions in this turnover plagued game.

After a Carolina punt, Manning fired complete to Godfrey. Problem…he plays defense for Carolina. From the New York 18, Moore completed a pass to Grant in the end zone. Problem…he plays defense for the Giants, equaling a touchback.

A punt return of 43 yards set up Carolina at the Giants 29, On 3rd and 4 form the 5, Deangelo Williams only made it halfway, and Jon Fox had John Kasay kick the chip shot 21 yard field goal to put the Panthers up 3-0.

Eli Manning brought the Giants right back, and on 3rd and 16 from the Giants 40, Manning hit Mario Manningham for 31 yards. Manning then hit Hakeem Nicks for a 26 yard touchdown to put the Giants up 7-3.

A strong kickoff had the Panthers at their own 45 as the second quarter got underway. Carolina reached the Giants 34, and Kasay nailed a 52 yard field goal to have the Panthers within 7-6. Manning then came out and fired a pass to Anderson. Problem: He plays defense for the Panthers, as they took over at their own 48. The teas ended up exchanging punts as Carolina took over at their own 36  with 4 minutes left in the half.

On 3rd and 6 from the 40 Moore completed a 13 yard pass to Goodson, with roughing the passer tacking on 15 more yards. Kasay nailed his 3rd field goal, a 43 yarder with 1:46 left in the half to have the Panthers up 9-7.

The Giants faced 3rd and 3 on their own 27 when defensive pass interference moved the ball 20 yards. Manning then hit Nicks for 25 yards to the Carolina 28. This was good news because Nicks does not play defense for Carolina. On 3rd and 4 from the 19 Manning hit Nicks for the touchdown as the Giants led 14-9 with only 45 seconds left in the half.

Another strong kickoff return had the Panthers at midfield. On 3rd and 2 from the 42, Moore hit Steve Smith for 10 yards, Goodson for 13 more, and Smith again for the 19 yard touchdown with only 3 seconds on the clock as the Panthers led 16-14 at intermission. The Giants also have Steve Smith, but he also plays offense, preventing another mistaken interception.

The Giants took the second half kickoff and Manning moved them 60 yards in 11 plays over 6 minutes. Yet on 4th and 1 from the 13 Coughlin decided not to gamble. Lawrence Tynes nailed the 32 yard field goal as the Giants retook the lead 17-16. Carolina tried to punt afterward, but the snap was fumbled and the Giants took over at the Carolina 38. On 2nd and 13 Manning hit Manningham for 25 yards. Manning then hit Nicks for the 5 yard touchdown as the Giants led 24-16.

Another Carolina punt had Big Blue starting at their own 48. From the Carolina 40, Manning went deep to Ahmad Bradshaw for 39 yards down to the one. Brandon Jacobs has been unhappy as the backup, and he did not help his cause by losing 3 yards. Bradhaw the starter scored the 4 yard touchdown as the Giants led 31-16.

Moore quickly led the Panthers from their 20 to a 3rd and goal at the Giants 4. Moore then completed a pass in the end zone to Thomas. Problem…Thomas plays defense for the Giants, and the touchback thwarted that drive. Manning then completed another pass to Godfrey, which was still a problem because Godfrey still plays defense for Carolina.

Carolina had golden field position at the Giants 12, and Moore fired complete in the end zone to Phillips. You guessed it…problem…Phillips plays defense for the Giants, which meant another touchback. The Giants failed to move the ball, and their attempt to punt was blocked by Hardy, who does play special teams for the Panthers.

The Panthers took the free kick at their own 39. Moore was not intercepted. Instead fumbled, and the Giants took over at the Carolina 29.  Manning was not intercepted this time. He handed the ball to Bradshaw, who fumbled at the Carolina 14. The Panthers took over at their own 10. Luckily the game was almost over, and nothing else would change.

Eli Manning did finish with 3 touchdown passes and 372 yards passing. As for the Panthers, they could take solace knowing Jake Delhomme had a miserable day in his new city. This second half meltdown was every bit as bad as the Carolina playoff loss to Arizona 2 years ago that started the downward spiral of this once good franchise. 31-18 Giants

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears–It is not fair in Week 1 to say some games should not be played. I will wait until Week 2 out of open-mindedness. It is also surprising to say that this game will be talked about for some time to come, but shockingly enough it will be, for all the wrong reasons.

Jay Cutler started strong, leading the Bears 64 yards in 11 plays in 6 minutes. Yet the drive stalled at the 3 yard line and Robbie Gould connected from 20 to have the Bears up 3-0.

Matthew Stafford calmly led a pair of drives that Jason Best capped off with touchdown runs of 7 and 4 yards to have the Lions leading 14-3 in the second quarter. Yet one play later Cutler hit Matt Forte for a pass that went for an 89 yard touchdown to have the Bears within 14-10.

Matthew Stafford started out hot, going 11 for 15 for 83 yards. Then he got injured and did not return for the second half. Just before the half, Stafford was sacked and fumbled, setting up the Bears at the Detroit 37. Gould hit a 31 yard field goal before halftime to have the Bears within 14-13.

Shawn Hill, the San Francisco castoff, was awful in the second half. Both offenses were dreadful and the third quarter was scoreless. With 10:45 left in the game, Hill went back to pass from his own 9 yard line. He was sacked and fumbled, giving the Bears 1st and goal at the Lions 1.

Offensive coordinator Mike Martz gave us the Greatest Show on Turf a decade ago. He has less to work with in Chicago, but there is some talent. Matt Forte failed to score twice and an incomplete pass between those runs had 4th and goal at the 1. Forte got the carry, and nothing else. The Lions defense stormed off the field in celebration after the goal line stand.

In a game neither offense wanted to win, the Lions failed to gain a first down and the Bears took over after a punt at the Lions 41. The Bears gained 3 yards and Lovie Smith decided to punt and play field position rather than try a 55 yard field goal. The strategy worked, and the Bears took over their next drive at their own 44. Cutler hit Forte for a 28 yard touchdown with only 1:32 to play. The 2 point conversion failed, but the Bears had a 5 point lead.

The Lions took over at their own 17 with one final chance. While the Lions have all world receiver Calvin Johnson, it was their other Johnson catching a 24 yard pass to get the drive going. Hill hit Tony Scheffler for 8 yards and Calvin Johnson for 10 and 16 yard gains as the Lions reached the Detroit 25 with 31 seconds left. Then all heck broke loose.

Hill went to the end zone for Calvin Johnson, who made a gorgeous one handed catch for what appeared to be the winning touchdown. After the play ended, Johnson put the ball on the ground. The referee called the pass incomplete, and an irate Jim Schwartz challenged the play. The replay clearly showed Johnson catching the ball with one hand, his knee hitting the ground, his hand placing the ball on the ground with full possession control, and then letting it go to celebrate. The replay review upheld the pass as incomplete, as a stunned Detroit team faced 3rd and 10.

Hill went to Calvin Johnson 2 more times, both incompletions. The Bears had the win, but the Lions can say with certainty that they were robbed. Jim Schwartz showed tremendous character after the game saying, “The day I stand up here and start blaming officials for a loss is the day I should not be doing this any more.” The Lions dropped to 2-31 over their last 33 games, but this one was hard to stomach for any NFL lover outside of Chicago. 19-14 Bears

Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams–The Rams went downhill went Kurt Warner was traded, although Marc Bulger had some success under Mike Martz. Warner has retired from the Cardinals and they were expected to immediately go downhill under Matt Leinart. Instead Ken Whisenhunt decided to save the season and get rid of Leinart. In St. Louis, the 50 million dollar Sam Bradford era begins. In Arizona, underrated Derek Anderson is the starter.

Yet a pair of teams that once had explosive offenses started out playing defense as this was far removed from the Greatest Show on Turf or in the Desert. After a scoreless opening quarter, Jay Feely connected on a 22 yarder for the Cardinals and Josh Brown answered with a 46 yarder to tie the game 3-3. Brown had another kick blocked.

Anderson rapidly moved the Cardinals 76 yards, and Tim Hightower ran it in from one yard out to put the Cardinals up 10-3. Yet Sam Bradford showed he is for real, quickly moving the Rams back 63 yards the other way. From the Arizona one yard line with time for one play before the half, Bradford rolled out and hit Robinson for the score as the teams went to the locker rooms deadlocked 10-10.

In the third quarter Josh Brown tacked on another chip shot yard field goal. The 25 yarder had the Rams up 13-10. At this point the game became a comical farce. From the Arizona 40, Anderson was hit and fumbled. The defender picked it up and rumbled to the end zone. WHile he was not showboating like Leon Lett, Steve Breaston did his best Steve Tasker, catching up and chopping the ball out at the one yard line for another fumble. The Cardinals recovered in the end zone for a touchback, starting 20 yards behind the previous play but with a new first down.

While Breaston made a great defensive play, his job is still to play offense as a wide receiver. Anderson hit him for a 35 yard gain, with 15 more tacked on for roughing the passer to have the Cardinals on the move at the St. Louis 13 as the teams began the final quarter. A short pass to Larry Grant killed the drive when Grant was hit and fumbled the ball at the five yard line. The Rams faced 3rd and 14 at their own 1. Steve Spagnuolo had total confidence in rookie Bradford, allowing him to throw in that dangerous situation. Bradford completed a 20 yard pass, although the Rams eventually punted.

Derek Anderson then had the Cardinals moving with a long pass to Max Komar, who got belted but hung on.  Another deep pass over the middle went to Steve Breaston, who took it all the way to the Rams 15. After a penalty, Anderson then hit Larry Fitzgerald in the end zone for a 21 yard touchdown to put the Rams up 17-13 with 6:13 to play. 613 is a magical number in Jewish culture, which would be relevant if Larry Fitzgerald were Jewish.

With 4 minutes left, Bradford hit Mark Clayton, who apparently is not the same fellow who caught passes from Dan Marino 25 years ago. Yet Clayton took the pass all the way to the Arizona 32. At the 2 minute warning the Rams were just outside of the Red Zone. Bradford fired to the end zone but the pass was broken up.

With 90 seconds to play, Bradford finally looked like a rookie, as his pass was intercepted by Kerry Rhodes. Rhodes should have gone the distance the other way, but he seemed to get tired, running into his own man after a 65 yard return. Nevertheless, with 1:21 left the Cardinals seemingly had the game locked up. All they had to do was run out the clock. Instead Tim Hightower fumbled, and the Rams recovered. The second coming of Joe Pisarcik lurked in the Desert.

Bradford had 3 timeouts, and fired complete to the Arizona 34. His next pass was dropped.  His 50th pass was complete at the Arizona 47 yard line. 20 seconds remained.With 10 seconds left the Rams took their 2nd timeout as they faced 4th and 1 at the 38. They ran the ball to pick up their first down at the 33 as the Rams used their last timeout with 5 seconds remaining. Bradford heaved it to the end zone, but the Hail Mary was intercepted by Adrian Wilson.

Despite 3 interceptions, Bradford will be a superstar in this league. However, on this day the Cardinals survived a thriller in St. Louis. Derek Anderson passed for 297 yards himself. 17-13 Cardinals

Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles–A couple of years ago Mike McCarthy decided to get rid of Brett Favre and go with Aaron Rodgers. The Packers are a trendy pick to reach the Super Bowl this year. This offseason Walrus Lite Andy Reid  shipped Donovan McNabb out of town. For the first time since he took over the team in 1999, he will have a new quarterback in Kevin Kolb.

The Eagles did take a 3-0 lead after the first quarter on a 45 yard field goal by reliable David Akers, but after that reality set in. Mason Crosby hit a 49 yard field goal to tie the game 3-3. Rodgers then led an 11 play, 5 1/2 minute, 76 yard drive that culminated in a 6 yard pass to Donald Driver to give the Packers the 10-3 lead.

Late in the half Green Bay went into the locker room with momentum when Crosby nailed a 56 yard field goal for a 13-3 lead. As for the Eagles, things went from bad to worse when Kolb was knocked out of the game with a concussion, leading to Michael Vick starting the half.

Vick began by running for a 23 yard gain, showing his electricity. Yet the drive was fumbled away after that, and Rodgers continued the Green bay clinic. 10 plays, 62 yards, and almost 5 minutes later, Kuhn ran it in from 3 yards out to have the Eagles cruising at 20-3.

The Eagles finally got going as Vick quickly took the Eagles 60 yards. McCoy took it in from 2 yards out as the Eagles cut the gap to 20-10. It was short lived as the Packers took over near midfield and Rodgers fired a 32 yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings to have the Packers rolling at 27-10. Vick responded by quickly leading the Eagles 79 yards. A 17 yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Macklin had the Eagles within 27-17 with a full 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Vick was not done as a short pass to McCoy led to a long gain to the Green Bay 10 yard line. The drive stalled, but a short Akers field goal had the Eagles within 27-20 with 5:43 remaining.

The Packers offense, after flying high earlier, was stuck in neutral. Vick had the Eagles moving again, as he scrambled to midfield. After a sack, Vick fired a laser to set up a 4th and 1 at the Green Bay 42 at the 2 minute warning. Vick lined up in the shotgun, tried to run it himself up the middle, and got belted by the Green Bay defense short of the first down. With no timeouts remaining, the Packers ran out the clock to preserve the win. Is there a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia? We know there is not one in Green Bay. 27-20 Packers

San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks–The Seahawks were supposed to be a mess, as Pete Carroll would bring his cheerleading style to the NFL again with a team not expected to beat USC. The 49ers entered the season with the potential to be incredibly overrated as Alex Smith stayed, Shawn Hill was sent packing, and Mike Singletary did his best Ray Rhodes impression in past seasons by scowling without the wins to back it up. This was the year the 49ers would take the next step.

The 49ers began with a pair of short drives that benefitted from good field position that both bogged down at the Seattle 6 yard line. A pair of 23 yard Joe Nedney field goals, one in each quarter, had the 49ers up 6-0. That concluded the 49ers highlights for the day.

Old Man Matt Hasselbeck led a 64 yard drive that he capped off himself with a 1 yard sneak to have the Seahawks up 7-6. A San Francisco turnover had the Seahawks at the San Francisco 13. One play later Hasselbeck hit Butler for the touchdown to make it 14-6 Seattle at halftime.

In the third quarter  Smith was intercepted by Trufant, who returned it 32 yards for a score as the Seahawks cruised to a 21-6 lead. Later in the quarter Hasselbeck moved Seattle 60 yards, with a 3 yard touchdown pass to Deion Branch ending any suspense as Pete Carroll grabbed the pompoms and cued the marching band before realizing that outside of DC, no NFL team had a marching band. Nonetheless, the Seahawks led 28-6. Those who decided not to turn the game off and do anything else were rewarded, if by rewarded one means watching Seattle tack on another field goal to end this blowout. 31-6 Seahawks

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins was the Sunday night game. Meglomaniacal owners Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder kicked off Sunday Night Football in DC. New Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan and new quarterback Donovan McNabb are the upside, with Albert Hayneworth being the downside. As for the Cowboys, they are expecting to play in the Super Bowl at the Jerry Jones metropolis at the end of the year.

Tony Romo had the Cowboys moving early with 3 first downs before the drive stalled. McNabb completed his first pass with a roughing the pass penalty tacked on. McNabb showed he still has legs, as he ran for 17 yards and a 1st down to the Dallas 28. McNabb then hit Chris Cooley for 14 more. The drive stalled, but a 29 yard field goal had the Redskins up 3-0.

Romo moved the ball again, spreading it around, with a questionable defensive personal foul against London Fletcher moving Dallas to the Washington 12. Michelin Man Wade Phillips went to the bag of tricks, but a halfback option pass was incomplete as the opening quarter ended. The second quarter had the Cowboys facing 3rd and 2 at the 4. A completed pass was just short of the marker, but offensive pass interference pushed Dallas back as Mike Shanahan decided not give Dallas 4th and 1. Romo fired incomplete, and a 34 yard field goal was no good, as Dallas wasted the opportunity.

The rest of the first half was completely forgettable until the very last play. The Cowboys trailed 3-0 and had the ball at their own 30. The choices were to take a knee or go for the Hail Mary. Romo went back to pass, and decided to throw a short pass to Tashard Choice as the clock hit zeroes. Choice was hit and fumbled. Deangelo Hall picked up the ball and ran it in for a touchdown in front of a shocked Dallas bench. A dreadful game out of nowhere had the crowd cheering as the Redskins led 10-0 at halftime.

The Redskins had virtually no first half offense, but in the second half moved in position for a 36 yard field goal. The kick was good, but Dallas jumped offsides. Shanahan took the points off the board and soon regretted that decision as McNabb was intercepted in the end zone.  However, the Cowboys continued to self-destruct as illegal contact meant the Redskins had 1st and goal at the 5. The Cowboys dodged the bullet as 3 incomplete passes meant a much shorter field goal attempt. The snap was fumbled, and the game remained 10-0.

Romo began from the Dallas 22 by avoiding a sack and finding Miles Austin at midfield. Yet on 4th and 2 from the Washington 42, Wade Phillips opted to punt.  The field position strategy worked as the Redskins remained lifeless on offense. A short field after a punt followed by some tough running by Marion Barber led to a 4 yard touchdown pass from Romo to Austin as the Cowboys were within 10-7 with less than 2 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

A very forgettable game on almost level came down to the Redskins facing 4th and 7 at the 32 with 1:56 to play. Shanahan initially sent in the punt team, but then decided on a 49 yard field goal. Despite the earlier botched attempt, this kick was just long enough, hitting the camera above the crossbar. It bounced backward, but for obvious reasons counted as good as the Redskins had a 6 point lead.

The Cowboys took over at the 20. Romo fired passes as Defensive Coordinator sent the house. With 18 seconds left, the Cowboys faced 4th and 10 from the Washington 43. Romo fired over the middle to Austin, with a defender running faster than a Kardashian to catch him. With 12 seconds left, Dallas was at the 13 with one timeout left. Romo fired to the end zone incomplete twice, giving Dallas one last shot with 3 seconds left. Even ugly games can end beautifully.

Not this one. It ended as ugly as possible. Romo stumbled, avoided a sack, and threw for a touchdown to a wide open Roy Williams for the winning touchdown. Williams was out of football for 2 years. This could have been the feel good moment of the year. Williams celebrated on the ground as teammates mobbed him.

Yet in this game of blunders, the touchdown was nullified by offensive holding. Games cannot end on a defensive penalty, but they can on an offensive one. Just like that the Cowboys lost, as Jerry Jones threatened to demolish Fedex Field before realizing it was something he does not own yet. 13-7 Cowboys

Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets was the first Monday night game. This was the battle of Hard Knocks with the trash talking pitting the biggest mouths from Rex Ryan to Ray Lewis. For those who love bravado, attitude, and bone crushing defense to back it up, this was it. As expected, this game was a low scoring bare fisted slobberknocker.

After a Baltimore turnover deep in their own territory, the Jets were 12 yards from the end zone. They managed to only pick up half of it before settling for a Nick Folk field goal from 23 yards out. In the second quarterthe Jets again began in Baltimore territory, but again ran into a Baltimore buzzsaw in the red zone. Folk connected from 28 yards out to have the Jets up 6-0.

Joe Flacco finally moved the Ravens late in the half, leading an 11 play, 76 yard drive. Willis McGahee ran it in from one yard out to give the Ravens a 7-6 halftime lead. The way this game was being played, that could have actually stood.

In the third quarter Flacco continued to move the Ravens, taking them 85 yards. However, this time it was the Jets who stiffened on defense as Billy Cundiff hit a 25 yard field goal to have the Ravens up 10-6.

Mark Sanchez was having a tough game, completing 5 of 10 passes for only 30 yards through much of three quarters. Joe Flacco had 191 yards passing around that point but also had an interception. The punting game for the Jets twice pinned the Ravens at the one yard line, as yardage did not come easy. With 12 minutes in regulation, the field position favored the Jets when a punt return had Gang Green at the Ravens 35. A 3rd and 5 pass was dropped, but Folk hit a 47 yard field goal that started outside but hooked just inside as the Jets closed to within 10-9 with 10 1/2 minutes left.

The teams traded defensive blows when it all came down to the Ravens facing 3rd and inches inside the Jets 40 wit 2:30 minutes to play. Flacco got zero surge, but when the ball was spotted the Ravens somehow had a first down by less than the nose of the football.

Yet the Jets had all 3 timeouts, and John Harbaugh went ultra conservative. 3 running plays lost yardage, took the Ravens out of field goal range, and gave the Jets after a punt the ball at their own 18 with 1:37 to play and one timeout. With 57 seconds left the Jets took their final timeout on 1st and 10 from their own 30. A metaphor for the entire game came on 2nd down when a pass over the middle led to Justin Keller getting blasted by Ray Lewis for an incomplete pass. Another incomplete pass set up 4th and 10 with 41 seconds left. Sanchez then threw a 9 yard pass to a wide open receiver who caught it near the sidelines and went out of bounds  short of the first down as the Jets found a new way to add to their history of futility by losing creatively.

Yes the Jets fought hard, but were dominated statistically. Also, those who despise the West Coast offense like I do will once again remind coaches that in situations like the 2 minute drill, you must throw the ball past the marker. The Jets talked a great game, but the Ravens got the gutty win. 10-9 Ravens

San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs was the second Monday night game. The Chiefs are supposed to be pathetic while the consistently overrated Chargers are just Norvelous. This was supposed to be a tuneup for the Chargers, and early on it seemed that way when Philip Rivers led the lightning bolts into Kansas City territory. On 3rd and 7 from the 28,  penalty pushed the Chargers back 5 yards. Norv Turner opted against the 50 yard field goal and Mike Scifre punted. On the next San Diego drive, Rivers led the Chargers 60 yards, capping the drive with a 3 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates to put San Diego up 7-0.

Out of nowhere the game turned.  Jamal Charles busted through the line for a 56 yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7.  In the second quarter Matthews ran 15 yards before getting stripped of the ball at the San Diego 28. Carr returned it for the Chiefs to the Chargers 12. Matt Cassel hit Moeaki for the 2 yard touchdown to put the Chiefs in front 14-7. Later in the quarter Scifres punted to McLuster, and the play was a McLusterf*ck for San Diego as McLuster returned it 94 yards for a score to have the Chiefs leading a stunner 21-7.

The Chiefs went very conservative in the second half, which hurt them against the potent Chargers offense. San Diego took over from their own 9  yard line and needed only 5 plays as Rivers went deep to a wide open Naanee for a 59 yard touchdown as the Chiefs clung to a 21-14 lead after three quarters.

San Diego took over at their own 10 and continued moving. A 23 yard run by Mike Tolbert had the Chargers past midfield. On 3rd and 9 from the 32, Rivers threw a pass that was perfectly defended. San Diego decided to go for it on 4th and 9 with 7 minutes left rather than kick the 49 yard field goal. Rivers threw high and incomplete as the Chiefs tried to mount any offense to eat up the clock.

The Chiefs continued to try and play it as safe as possible, and on 3rd and 3 a draw play was blown up in the backfield. The Chargers took over with 5 minutes left on their own 17. Rivers needed only 2 passes and terrible tackling by the Chiefs to reach the Chiefs 23. With 1:56 left the Chargers faced 4th and 4 from the 17. Rivers hit Naanee at the 4 yard line.

San Diego let the clock run as the Chiefs for some bizarre reason did not take their timeouts on defense, figuring that if the Chargers tied the game the timeouts would look lovely in the locker room. San Diego took a timeout with 45 seconds left facing 3rd and goal. Rivers overthrew a wide open receiver in the back of the end zone. Rivers took another timeout on 4th and goal at the 6 with 39 seconds left. The Chiefs also took a timeout. Rivers fired to the end zone incomplete and the Chiefs had the upset victory. Matt Cassel was 10 of 22 for 68 yards passing, but a defensive touchdown and a punt return score made the difference. The Chargers remain Norvelous. 21-14 Chiefs


NFL 2010 Predictions

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

The 2010 National Football League Season is now upon us.

Before getting to the Week 1 predictions, below are my predictions for the entire season.

Last year I had the Cowboys and Vikings in the NFC Title Game. I was not far off. They met a week earlier in the divisionals. Of course, I had the Titans winning it all, and they started 0-6 to miss the playoffs.

“Often wrong, but never in doubt.”

NFC East:

Dallas Cowboys: 13-3. Forget the preseason. This team is loaded. Jerry Jones will blow up the team if they do not go deep into the playoffs. The Super Bowl is in Dallas this year, and the home team could be there.

New York Giants: 9-7. The Giants are simply not the team they were 3 years ago. Few teams ever are. By running and playing defense, which has always been Giant football, they can make the playoffs.

Washington Redskins: 8-8. Mike Shanahan will install his discipline and his offense. Donovan McNabb will thrive. The Albert Hayneworth distraction will not go away. Shanahan needs 2 years to make this his team.

Philadelphia Eagles: 6-10. The ghost of McNabb will haunt them. Kevin Kolb could be good, but a drop-off is inevitable.

NFC North:

Minnesota Vikings: 10-6. This is not the same team as last year. Losing Chester Taylor hurts, and the injury to Sidney Rice is critical. Favre will not have a season as magical as last year.

Green Bay Packers: 10-6. This team is picked to be a Super Bowl contender, but only their offense under Aaron Rodgers is worthy. The defense is not much better than the team that gave up 51 points in the playoffs last year.

Chicago Bears: 6-10. This is a make or break year for this team, and they will break. Mike Martz will improve Jay Cutler, but the defense has injuries, Urlacher is getting old, Devon Hester is better as a returner thana  receiver, and the division is too tough. Lovie Smith finally goes down with the ship.

Detroit Lions: 4-12. This team will be better. Matthew Stafford will become a winner, and Ndamokung Suh will lead the defense. Next year they could have a winning record. Give them time.

NFC South:

New Orleans Saints: 11-5. Their offense will still be potent but I see them as a one year team, not a dynasty. They play in a pathetic division, which will help.

Atlanta Falcons: 9-7. They are also a trendy pick to go far, but last year was the very first time they had consecutive winning seasons in their entire history. Three winning seasons in a row will not come easy.

Carolina Panthers: 7-9. Jon Fox is a good coach, but the talent he coached to success a few years ago is gone. Steve Smith is still all world, but nobody knows anything about Matt Moore. The team has too many holes on both sides of the ball. Fox might be gone at the end of the year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-14 Raheem Morris is not building anything. The Glazers may be begging Jon Gruden to come back. Without Monte Kiffin, this defense is dead. This team is awful.

NFC West:

San Francisco 49ers: 9-7. Mike Singletary had better deliver results or he will be seen as the next Ray Rhodes, all scowl and not enough wins. This division is awful, and Alex Smith just needs the hand the ball off for this team to back into the division championship.

Arizona Cardinals: 5-11. This team was done they day Kurt Warner retired. Matt Leinart has been cut, which was absolutely the right thing to do. Derek Anderson will have offensive weapons, but chemistry takes time.

Seattle Seahawks: 4-12. Pete Carroll will turn the team around, but Matt Hasselbeck is getting ready to collect Social Security. They are a disaster.

St. Louis Rams: 4-12. Sam Bradford looks like a leader. He throws an accurate ball. It will take a couple years, but the Rams will be back…just not this year.

AFC East:

New England Patriots: 10-6. Until they are knocked off, they are still the division champs. They have a ton of holes on defense, but can still put points on the board.

New York Jets: 9-7. The Jets are talking Super Bowl. They were only 9-7 last year. This team does have talent on defense, including Revis Island. Mark Sanchez has to be more than a game manager for this team to get to the next level. Losing Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca will hurt them. Plus, the entire league wants to shut them up because of “Hard Knocks.”

Miami Dolphins: 6-10. This team is falling apart. Bill Parcells builds winners, but leaves before the roof caves in. He just left. Chad Henne is a good quarterback, and Chad Pennington could be resurrected. That is not enough. This tea is overmatched in their division.

Buffalo Bills: 4-12. This team has played games in Toronto, which had people mistaking them for the CFL Argonauts. They could beat the Montreal Allouettes, but not much more.

AFC North:

Baltimore Ravens: 12-4. This team could get back to the Super Bowl. The defense is as nasty as ever, Joe Flacco has matured, and they can run. They have every piece of the puzzle.

Cincinnati Bengals: 9-7. The Bengals just do not have consecutive positive seasons. Forget the lovefest between Terrell Owens and Ochocinco. This tea has too many egos. Marvin Lewis let’s his players run wild. This team will blow up, and Carson Palmer will regret supporting T.O. as everyone else eventually does.

Pittsburgh Steelers: 8-8. The Roethlisberger suspension will hang over the team the entire year, as they will be out of sync upon his return. Mike Tomlin won with Bill Cowher’s team. Time will tell if he can get back there again. This year he won’t.

Cleveland Browns: 6-10. Jake Delhomme will be revitalized at quarterback, but despite ending last year on 4 straight wins, the division is too tough. Walrus Holmgren will fire Mangini and rebuild.

AFC South:

Indianapolis Colts: 14-2. Can a 14-2 team be angry and just as hungry. If you’re led by Bill Polian and Peyton Manning, absolutely. They have all of the talent, and want to be a dynasty bad enough. This year they atone for last year.

Tennessee Titans: 11-5. Jeff Fisher will see his team rise or fall on the mental state of Vince Young. They should hope Kerry Collins is ready in case another meltdown occurs. This team finished strong last year after a horrid 0-6 start. They are ready to rebound.

Houston Texans: 8-8. Their first winning season last year saved Gary Kubiak from the firing line, but the Texans do not have the talent on defense to support the offensive brilliance of Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson. Bob McNair demands the playoffs this year. He won’t get them.

Jacksonville Jaguars: 7-9. Jack Del Rio is on the hot seat, and Wayne Weaver will have to fire him after this year. The division is too tough, and the Jaguars have too many question marks. The players fight hard for Del Rio, but it won’t be enough.

AFC West:

San Diego Chargers: 10-6. This team is overrated as a Super Bowl contender. Norv Turner has never won anything significant as a head coach. LaDanian Tomlinson was old but provided emotional leadership. The Vincent Jackson situation is bad. Philip Rivers will pass all over this awful division, but the playoffs will again be a reality check.

Oakland Raiders: 8-8. Getting rid of JaMarcus Russell automatically improved this team. Jason Campbell can play, but the real diamond in the rough is Bruce Gradkowski. Darren McFadden and Michael Bush need to stay healthy, but the biggest upgrade was rookie 1st round draft pick Rolando McClain. This team is finally moving in the right direction, and Hue Jackson will be a good addition for Tom Cable. Next year could be a playoff year.

Denver Broncos: 7-9. This team has been devastated by injuries, especially Elvis Dumervil. Josh McDaniels has the Belichick ego but a 6-0 start to an 8-8 finish will test the character of the team. This team could be special next year, but this year the body count is too high, too early.

Kansas City Chiefs: 3-13. This team is a trendy pick for being much improved, but the justification for that is mystifying. Matt Cassel has not proven anything since he left New England. Neither has Todd Haley. Not every New England associate is a genius. Just ask Charlie Weis. Actually, ask others about him. This team has little talent.

NFC Playoffs:

1) Cowboys 2) Saints 3) Vikings 4) 49ers 5) Packers 6) Giants (winning tie-breaker over Falcons)

Wildcards: Packers over 49ers, Vikings over Giants.

Divisionals: Cowboys over Packers, Vikings over Saints.

NFC Title Game: Cowboys over Vikings

AFC Playoffs:

1) Colts 2) Ravens 3) Chargers 4) Patriots 5) Titans 6) Jets (winning tie-breaker over Bengals)

Wildcards: Jets over Chargers (again! poor Nate Kaeding and Norvelous Norv), Titans over Patriots (that could go either way)

Divisionals: Colts over Jets (again. Sorry Rex Ryan, Peyton Manning is that good), Ravens over Titans (in another classic head-knocker between these teams. Bring your bandages)

AFC Title Game: Colts over Ravens

SUPER BOWL XLV: Colts over Cowboys, 31-27.

Now that the entire season has been dissected, here is Week 1.

Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints was the Thursday night game.

(Saints by 5.5, they win but fail to cover)

Cleveland Browns @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(Buccaneers by 3, Browns win outright)

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills

(Dolphins by 3, Bills win outright)

Cincinnati Bengals @ New England Patriots

(Patriots by 4.5, htey win but fail to cover)

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans

(Colts by 2.5, they cover)

Denver Broncos @ Jacksonville Jaguars

(Jaguars by 2.5, Broncos win outright)

Atlanta Falcons @ Pittsburgh Steelers

(Falcons by 2, Steelers win outright)

Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee Titans

(Titans by 6.5, they win but fail to cover)

Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants

(Giants by 6.5, they cover)

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears

(Bears by 6.5, they win but fail to cover)

Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams

(Cardinals by 4, they win but fail to cover)

Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles

(Packers by 3, they cover)

San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks

(49ers by 3, they cover)

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins is the Sunday night game.

(Cowboys by 3.5, they cover)

Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets is the first Monday night game.

(Jets by 2, Ravens win outright)

San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs is the second Monday night game.

(Chargers by 4.5, they cover)