Archive for October, 2011

Hal Levine 2011

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Today is the Jewish holiday of Hal Levine, or as the non-Jews call it, Halloween.

The name Hal Levine was created by my former Jewish university where I attended college. They called it Hal Levine because they thought the Jewish students would be too dumb to know that made it ok to celebrate a pagan holiday. Actually most of them were.

Last year Halloween was a true nightmare. My girlfriend and I got in a fight and broke up that night. It was an acrimonious hostile breakup, and we were both better off going in different directions. Yet she used to quote the Dalai Llama and say that “the purpose of our lives is to be happy.” So I hope this Hal Levine finds her in a state of happiness.

For me, happiness means being with my friends. I drove yesterday from Des Moines, Iowa to Chicago, Illinois, a 6 hour drive, or in my case (allegedly) about 4 hours.

Today has me flying from Chicago to my home in Los Angeles, driving to see my friends, and attending the freak show in West Hollywood. Normally I have a girlfriend and we do matching costumes. This year I am flying solo, and I honestly do not know what costume I will break out. After sleeping in my own bed tonight the next day is a plane to Florida.

So a precious few hours in Los Angeles is just enough time to enjoy Halloween.

The whole point of Halloween is for men to enjoy young, attractive women of legal age and higher dressed as salaciously as possible. The trick is to get these French maids, lady cops, and Playboy bunnies to wear those costumes throughout the year and not just October 31st. In that sense women are a work in progress.

Anyway, here are some musings from Hal Levine’s past.

For those who choose to dress up like Occupy Wall Street protesters, just understand that the Monster Mash is more than a traditional Halloween song. Some monsters deserve to get mashed.

See you in November.

Happy Halloween, Hal Levine, and Hobgoblin hunting.


NFL 2011–Week 8 Recap

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Somewhere between Des Moines, Iowa, and Chicago, Illinois, is a sportsbar. From that undisclosed location comes my NFL 2011 Week 8 Recap.

It may have been because of Halloween, but this NFL Sunday was a day of incredible shockers  and scary events from those who think they know football. In a strange irony, the Raiders had their bye week. So all the comparisons about how every day in the Black Hole is Halloween will have to wait until next week. So while there is no Silver and Black, there is plenty to report on leading up to the night of black and orange.

ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman is famous for taking major upsets and saying “That’s why they play the games.” Yet today really did have several of those games. For those who love underdogs, unfortunately most of the shockers turned into near shockers as order was restored late. Yet we did have some fantastic football, and the upset of the year.

Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants–The winless Dolphins were on the road against a very good Giants team. This was mismatch number one in what should have been an easy win for Big Blue. Eli Manning took the Giants from their own 15 to the Miami 34. Yet on 4th and 9 Tom COughlin decided to go for it rather than try the 52 yard field goal. Manning threw incomplete. Matt Moore soon led Miami to a 3rd and 9 just past midfield. Moore scrambled for 16 yards and then hit Clay for 16 more. On 3rd and 6 from the 13, defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Steve Slaton took it in and the Dolphins led 7-0 after the 10 play, 6 minute drive.

From the Giants 37, yards came easily as Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 18 and Manning hit Mario Manningham for 12 more and Ballard for another 21. Yet on 3rd and 5 from the 7 Manning threw incomplete and the Giants settled for a 25 yard Lawrence Tynes field goal to get within 7-3.

Miami took over at their own 10 to start the second quarter and Moore hit Brandon Marshall for 20. On 3rd and 1 from the 39 Hilliard gained 4. On 3rd and 6 from the Miami 47 Moore gained 11. Reggie Bush then raced 35 yards. On 4th and goal at the 1 Tony Sparano decided to go for it. With 0 wins, why not? Moore got in and the Dolphins led 14-3.

With 4 minutes left in the half the Giants got the ball back and with 2 1/2 minutes left faced 3rd and 8 at their own 18. Manning hit Victor Cruz for 11. From the 34, Manning hit Bradshaw for 10 and Hakeem Nicks for 12. With 1 minute left in the half the Giants reached the Miami 31, and Manning hit Bradshaw for 15 more. With 12 seconds left in the half it came down to 3rd and 1 at the 7. Manning hit Manningham for the score as the Giants trailed 14-10 at the break.

AFter a touchback to start the third quarter the Dolphins moved the ball again. Moore hit Marshall for 12 and Bush ran for 28 and 13. The drive would stall but Dan Carpenter nailed a 40 yard field goal to put the Dolphins up 17-10. Manning would lead the Giants to a 4th and 8 at the Miami 39, but this time Coughlin decided to punt and play field position.

Late in the third quarter the Giants took over at their own 12. The fourth quarter began with the Giants facing 3rd and 9 at their own 27. Manning hit Cruz for 26 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Miami 40, Manning hit Ballard for 22. Yet a 3rd and 7 completion came up short and set up 4th and 2 at the 10. Coughlin played it safe and the field goal had the Giants down 17-13 with 11 minutes left in regulation.

Miami punted and the Giants took over at their own 47 with 8 1/2 minutes left. Bradshaw ran for 11 and Nicks caught a pass for 17. On 3rd and 12 from the Miami 25, Manning hit Cruz, who took it all the way for the score. The Giants had their first lead of the day with 6 minutes left.

Miami went 3 and out but got the ball back with 3 1/2 minutes left. At the 2 minute warning they faced 4th and 23 at their own 27. Moore was intercepted as the Giants escaped with an ugly win. The Giants remain a contender while the Dolphins are still winless as the vultures circle around Tony Sparano. 20-17 Giants

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans–Jacksonville was 1-5 until an inspired defensive win over Baltimore last Monday night. They had to go on the road to face a Houston team coming off a 34 point win. This game also had blowout written all over it, and again it was competitive.

Houston made it look easy early on as Matt Schaub led the Texans 8- yards in 12 plays and 6 1/2 minutes. On 3rd and 3 from the 27 Schaub hit Jones for 16 and on 3rd and 12 Schaub would find Foster for just enough. From the Jacksonville 44 Schaub hit Walter for 25. Schaub would scramble in for a 2 yard touchdown to have the Texans up 7-0.

After that the rest of the first half turned into a defensive slugfest. With 6 1/2 minutes left in the half it was still 7-0 and the Texans were at their own 45. Schaub was sacked and fumbled. Roth recovered and lateraled it to Knighton, who lateraled it to Session. Eventually the Jaguars would take over at the Houston 8. Blsine Gabbert would finish the day a miserable 10 for 30 for 97 yards, but a 5 yard touchdown pass to Hill had the game deadlocked 7-7 at the half. Gabbert would miss a chance to give the Jaguars the lead when after leading them to the Houston 23, he was intercepted.

Early in the third quarter Jones returned a punt 33 yards to set up the Texans at the Jaguars 44. On 3rd and 3 Schaub hit Walter for 16. On 3rd and 5 from the 16 Schaub hit Owen Daniels for 6. On 3rd and goal at the 7 Schaub found Joel Dreesen for the score as the Texans retook the lead 14-7.

Jacksonville hung tough all game but on the first play of the fourth quarter from their own 21, Gabbert was intercepted again. The Texans took over at the Jags 40. Defensive pass interference followed by a 12 yard toss to Dreesen moved the Texans to the 13. Arriun Foster then ran for 4, 5, and the final 4 to have the Texans up 21-7 with 12 1/2 minutes left.

With 9 minutes left the Jaguars caught a break when the Texans fumbled in their own territory and Jacksonville recovered at the Houston 26. With 6 minutes left the Jags faced 4th and 4 at the 7. Gabbert hit Thomas for 5 and Maurice Jones-Drew took it the final deuce as the Jaguars were within 21-14 with 5 1/2 minutes to play.

The Texans soon faced a critical 3rd and 5 at their own 25 with 4 minutes left. Schaub hit Owen Daniels for 30 yards. A 14 yard run by Arriun Foster followed by him getting 8 more yards on 3 more carries led to a 4th and 2 at the Jacksonville 21 with 23 seconds left in the game. Gary Kubiak decided to have Neil Rackers come on for a field goal, knowing that a miss or block would give Jacksonville life. Jack Del Rio could only watch as Rackers hit the 39 yards to put the game out of reach. Jacksonville hung tough, but it was not enough. 24-14 Texans

Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans–These teams lost by a combined 103-14 last week. The Titans got shellacked 41-7, but that seemed like a squeaker compared to the Colts getting blasted into little pieces 62-7. The Colts came in winless and lifeless.

A 51 Rob Bironas field goal had the Titans leading 3-0 after one quarter in a game where neither team could mount much of anything. Yet a key play in the game came with 10 minutes left in the half. The Colts were punting from their own 7 and Bailey came through and blocked it. McCourty recovered it for the Titans to put them up 10-0.

With 5 minutes left in the half running by Chris Johnson and a defensive pass interference was just enough for Rob Bironas to kick a 50 yarder as the Titans led 13-0 with 2 1/2 minutes left. Curtis Painter was then intercepted, giving the Titans the ball at their own 35 with 1:50 left. On 3rd and 6 Matt Hasselbeck hit Cook for 32 yards, Ringer for 11, Hawkins for 6, and Ringer for 9 more. Nate Washington took it in from 3 yards out as the Titans led 20-0 at halftime. Jim Caldwell not only saw his team losing again, but unlike the other winless or one win teams who fought hard, the Colts were not even competing.

In the third quarter the Colts tried to make a game of it from their own 38. Painter hit Reggie Wayne for 8 and Austin Collie for 21. On 3rd and 1 from the 21 Painter got the yard. On 3rd and 3 from the 13 Donald Carter gained 4. On 4th and goal from the 4 with a winless team down 20, Jim Caldwell decided to kick the field goal. Perhaps just getting something was more important than a spark. Adam Vinatieri hit from 22 as the Colts trailed 20-3.

Late in the third quarter Indy took over at their own 20. Painter hit Clark for 10, and on 3rd and 8 Painter hit Pierre Garcon for 11. On 3rd and 1 from the Titans 48, Painter hit Wayne for 23 and Clark for 18. On 3rd and goal at the 4, Donald Brown took it in as the Colts were within 20-10 only 90 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Yet there would be no comeback. Painter was intercepted again as the Titans took over at the Colts 338. Ringer ran for 13 and on 3rd and 5 Hasselbeck hit Williams for just enough. On 3rd and 9 from the 14 Hasselbeck found Washington for the score to put the game out of reach. The Colts are an awful 0-8 as some are thinking of giving Peyton Manning his 5th MVP award. The P in MVP stands for player, but either way the debate about who is most valuable to his own team has ended. The Titans bounced back after last week’s drubbing to stay in the hunt for Mike Munchak. 27-10 Titans

Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers–Several years ago these teams faced off in Minnesota to start the season. The Panthers returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and won the game 24-13. They would then lose 15 straight as George Siefert was fired. This year the Panthers are 2-5 and the Vikings are 1-6, but the combined 3-11 teams still had an air of excitement as Cam Newton and Christian Ponder showed the league how rookies do it. They put on a good show and made for an exciting game.

This time it was the Vikings on the road who started with excitement as Sherels returned the opening kickoff 78 yards to the Carolina 27. Yet 3 plays yielded 0 yards and Ryan Longwell missed a 45 yard field goal, giving the fans the impression this would be a stupor bowl. That thought continued when the first play from scrimmage after the miss saw Newtong et sacked and fumbled. Jared Allen recovered as the Vikings took over at the Carolina 16. Percy Harvin did the rest, gaining 6 and then the final 10 to have Minnesota up 7-0 only 2 1/2 minutes into the game.

Newton would lead the Panthers to the Minnesota 32 before offensive holding killed the drive. Yet Carolina got the ball back at their own 10. Stewart ran for 6 and 5, and Newton went to Steve Smith for 21. Smith gained another 12 with a facemask tacking on 15 more. From the Minnesota 27, Newton went to Smith deep down to the one, and Newton hit Jeremy Shockey for the score as the Panthers tied the game 7-7 only 90 seconds into the second quarter.

Minnesota went 3 and out and Carolina took over just past midfield. On 3rd and 3 Stewart got just enough, and Newton then went deep to Greg Olsen for a 39 yard touchdown as the Panthers now led 14-7. Ponder had his turn, leading a long drive from the Minnesota 20 to a 3rd and 11 at the Carolina 17. Ponder found Harvin for 12 and a first down, but Harvin fumbled at the 5 and Carolina recovered. Newton led Carolina to their own 42, but then he was sacked and fumbled. With one minute left in the half the Vikings got it back at the Carolina 39. Ponder found Adrian Peterson for 20 and then again for the 19 yard touchdown as the teams were tied again 14-14 at halftime.

In the third quarter Carolina soon faced 2nd and 13 at their own 17. Newton went to Legadu Naanee for 22. Newton then ran for 24. On 3rd and 7 from the Vikings 22, Newton went to Steve Smith, who did what he does. The touchdown had the Panthers up 21-14 with plenty of time left.

After each team went 3 and out, Minnesota took over at their own 10. Toby Gerhart gained 4, 9, and 11 sandwiched around Peterson gaining 9 and 15. On 3rd and 10 from the Carolina 42, Ponder hit Vincente Shiancoe for 12. Ponder hit Peterson for 12 more, and after defensive holding, Peterson carried the final 9 yards as the game was tied for the third time. The 12 play, 5 1/2 minute, 90 yard drive made it 21-21 after three quarters.

With 10 minutes left in regulation the Vikings got it back at their own 15. On 3rd and 7 Ponder hit Harvin for 11 and Aromashodu for 15 just shy of midfield. On 2nd and 15 from the 44, Ponder found Harvin for 22. Peterson gained another 12 as the clock ticked down. On 3rd and 5 from the Carolina 16, a completion to Peterson came up 2 yards short. After 13 plays and 7 minutes, 4th and 2 at the 13 meant a chance at redemption for Longwell. From 31 yards out he hit it, and the Vikings had the 3 point lead with 2:43 to play.

From the Carolina 24, Newton hit Naanee for 9 and Stewart for 7. With just over one minute to play, the Panthers faced 4th and 15 at their own 35. A prayer was answered as Newton hit Brad LaFell for 44 yards at the Minnesota 21. With 50 seconds left the Panthers faced 3rd and 3 at the 14. Newton ran for 6, but this time offensive holding meade it 3rd and 7 instead of 1st and 10. Newton hit Smith for 5.

In a game where these teams were mirror images of each other with 3 ties, the Panthers faced the exact same 4th and 2 at the 13 that Minnesota faced earlier. Only 29 seconds remained in the game, and veteran Olindo Mare came in to tie it and give the game overtime. Yet in a stunner, Mare simply missed it. Just like that, the Panthers had lost. Both teams were 2-6, although Leslie Frazier and Ron Rivera know better days are ahead with their quarterbacks. Newton threw for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns while Ponder threw for 236 and one touchdown. Yet neither quarterback was intercepted. As for Newton, being a rookie is no excuse to him. He wants the wins, and this time he got another close loss. 24-21 Vikings

Arizona Cardinals @ Baltimore Ravens–Despite losing to previously 1-5 Jacksonville last week, an angry Baltimore group was supposed to smash the daylights out of a pathetic Arizona team. Yet in the first half the Cardinals looked like the team that went to the Super Bowl 3 years ago while the Ravens looked awful. Midway through the first quarter from the Arizona 28, Kevin Kolb went deep to Larry Fitzgerald, who is as great as ever. Fitzgerald caught the 66 yard bomb at the 6 yard line. Yet nothing else came of it as a 32 yard Jay Feel field goal had the Cardinals up 3-0 after the first quarter.

Baltimore from their own 15 ran the ball well, and a 15 play, 6 1/2 minute drive saw 1st and goal at the 2. A loss and a false start meant a 26 yard Billy Cundiff field goal and a 3-3 game early in the second quarter. Arizona rapidly moved from their own 23 to the Baltimore 31. Yet a false start soon meant 4th and 15 from the 36. Ken WHisenhunt opted against the field goal try and punted. Baltimore took over at their own 9. From the 17 Flacco was sacked and fumbled. Darnell Dockett recovered at the 2 yard line for Arizona. Beanie Wells got a yard and then the other one as the Cardinals led 10-3.

Things then went from bad to worse for the Ravens. They punted, and Peterson returned it 82 yards for a touchdown as the Cardinals led 17-3 in front of a shellshocked home crowd at the Big Crabcake. The next play from scrimmage saw Flacco get intercepted, giving the Cardinals the ball at the Baltimore 25. Kolb hit Fitzgerald for 13 and Doucet for a 10 yard touchdown as the Cardinals were pouring it on 24-3 with 4 minutes left in the half. The upset of the year was 34 minutes away.

From the 20, Flacco led the Ravens down the field. He hit Pitta for gains of 9 and 12 and Anquon Boldin for 16. Boldin was traded from Arizona to Baltimore, and his revenge game was not going well. On 3rd and 6 from the Arizona 27, Flacco was sacked. Yet illegal contact on the defense instead made it 1st and 10. On 3rd and 6 from the 18 Flacco was sacked again, and this time it stood. Cundiff would hit a 47 yarder as the Ravens still trailed badly at halftime 24-6.

Before getting to the second half, a stroll down meltdown memory lane is necessary for the team that has suffered for most of its 125 years. 5 years ago the Cardinals went on the road and led Chicago 20-0 at halftime and 23-3 after 3 quarters. A pair of defensive touchdowns, a Devon Hester punt return, and a missed Arizona field goal at the gun led to one of the great postgame press conference tirades. Dennis Green screamed that the Bears “are who we thought they were!” and that “We let them off the hook!” The theme of this game was different quarterback and coach, but same Cardinals.

The Ravens quickly moved in the third quarter after a touchback. Flacco hit Pitta for 8 and Dickson for 14. From just past midfield, Flacco found Boldin deep for 37 yards. On the next play defensive pass interference put the ball on the one, where Ray Rice took it in to have the Ravens within 24-13.

With 5 minutes left in the third quarter the Ravens got the ball back at their own 12. Flacco hit Boldin for 23 and 9. On 1st and 20 from the Ravens 37, Flacco went to Boldin again for 27 and 21. On 3rd and 10 from the 11, for the second time in the period, an incomplete pass to Boldin resulted in defensive pass interference and the ball at the one. Again Ray Rice took it in as the Ravens were only down 24-20 after three quarters. These are the Cardinals.

Arizona needed one play from scrimmage for Kolb to be intercepted. Baltimore took over at the Arizona 22. On 3rd and 3 from the 15, for the third time in the third period, defensive pass interference killed the Cardinals. On the first play of the fourth quarter, from the 3 yard line, Rice did it again for his third touchdown as the Ravens had come from 21 points down to lead 27-24. These are the Cardinals.

After a touchback Kolb finally got the Cardinals going again, hitting Fitzgerald for 19. On 3rd and 7 from the Arizona 44, Kolb threw incomplete. This time it was the Ravens making the mistake as defensive holding kept the drive going. On 1st and 20 from the Arizona 39, Kolb was intercepted again by Ed Reed. Yet Lardarius Webb was called for defensive pass interference at the Baltimore 41. On 3rd and 1 Wells got stopped, but Ken Whisenhunt decided to go for it on 4th and 1 from the 32 rather than try the tying 50 yard field goal. Wells got 4 yards. On 4th and 9 from the 27, Feely was brought in to try from 45. The kick was good, as the game was tied 27-27 with 9 minutes left.

With one minute left the Cardinals had to punt from their own 6 yard line. A short punt had the Ravens taking over at the Arizona 44 with 52 seconds left. These are the Cardinals. On 2nd and 7 Flacco went deep to Troy Smith for 36 yards down to the 5. John Harbaugh had Flacco bleed the clock. On 3rd and goal from the 7 with 3 seconds left, Cundiff came in for the 25 yarder. Was there any doubt? It was good, and the Ravens had the biggest comeback win in franchise history. Flacco, despite the early blunders, finished 31 of 51 for 336 yards. Baltimore has a major showdown at Pittsburgh next week, who they belted in Week 1 at home. As for the Cardinals, they are still now and perhaps forever exactly what we thought they were. 30-27 Ravens

New Orleans Saints @ St. Louis Rams–The Saints won last week 62-7. The last time a team won 62-7 at home it was the playoffs after the 1999 season went Jacksonville throttled Miami and sent Dan Marino and Jimmy Johnson into retirement. Yet the next week in the AFC Title Game Jacksonville lost 33-14 to Tennessee. Yet these Saints would only have to guard against a letdown against the pathetic winless Rams. The Rams may be worse than the 1-15 team from 2 years ago. In 2002 the Rams were 0-5 at home and had both starter Kurt Warner and backup Jamie Martin injured. Some 3rd stringer named Marc Bulger had to begin his career against the 4-0 Raiders, who would get to the Super Bowl. The Rams won easily. This time it was AJ Feeley playing for Sam Bradford

Nothing came easy in the first quarter as the Saints saw Jon Kasay miss a 49 yard field goal to keep the game scoreless. In the second quarter the Rams faced 2nd and 19 at their own 3. Stephen Jackson gained 10 and Feely hit Gibson for 13 and Brandon Lloyd for 11. Jackson gained another 15. On 4th and 2 from the Saints 40, Steve Spagnuolo decided to go for it. With the Rams winless, why not? Feeley hit Salas for 17. Josh Brown would hit  38 yarder as the 14 play, 5 1/2 minute drive saw the Rams lead 3-0 midway through the second quarter.

With 1:40 to play in the half it was still 3-0, as the Saints prepared to punt from their own 30. The punt was blocked by Quinn as the Rams took over at the Saints 15 with 1:36 left. Feeley hit Salas at the 3 yard line. Salas fumbled, but before someone could blame the Same old Rams, they retained possession. Jackson took it in on the next play as the Rams led 10-0 with 1:12 left in the half. From the Saints 12, Brees needed only one play as he was intercepted.

The Rams took over at the Saints 38. On 3rd and 10, Feeley hit Gibson for 14. After defensive holding, Feeley hit Lloyd for 8 down to the 11. From the 8, Feeley hit Lloyd for the touchdown. In a span of 60 seconds at the end of the half, a 3-0 game was all of a sudden 17-0 Rams as an angry Sean Payton tried to regroup his team.

Yet in the third quarter the Rams kept rolling. Gibson gained 11, and on 3rd and 3 just shy of the halfstripe, Salas gained 8. On 4th and 2 from the Saints 35, Steve Sapgnuolo again decided to go for it rather than try a 53 yarder. Stephen Jackson broke free for a 32 yard gain to the 3, and Jackson took it in two plays later as the 11 play, 6 minute, 73 yard drive had the Rams winning a shocker 24-0.

Many of the games on the pre-Halloween Sunday saw bad teams jump out to big leads but end up losing anyway. The Rams were in total control, and with 90 seconds left in the third quarter they faced 3rd and 6 at their own 10. Feeley was sacked, fumbled, and saw Jonathan Vilma fall on it in the end zone for a touchdown. The Rams still led 24-7 after three quarters, but the game was not over.

The Rams went 3 and out and the Saints took over at their own 32. On 3rd and 1 Ivory gained 6 and Brees hit Graham for 11. On 3rd and 12 from the Rams 44, Brees found Marques Colston for 25. From the 14 Brees went back to Colston for 11 and Pierre Thomas carried it the last 3 yards. The Saints were only down 24-14 with 10 minutes left in regulation.

For those who do not remember the 2000 season, the defending champion Rams beat the Saints in New Orleans 26-21 and then faced them the next week in New Orleans again in the Wild Card. The Greatest Show on Turf fell behind 31-7, got to within 31-28, and then fumbled away the game as the Saints had their very first playoff win. A decade later the Saints were the Superpower trying to mount a furious comeback against a far inferior team.

Yet with 3 minutes left in the game, from the Saints 20, Brees was intercepted. It was the reverse of their Super Bowl win, as this time Stewart raced 27 yards to put the dagger in as the Rams led 31-14. Brees would throw a touchdown pass with literally 6 seconds left, but a day of shockers saw the biggest one of all. This was the upset of the year and maybe of several years. Yes, “That’s why they play the games.” The Rams got their first win as the Saints fell to 5-3. Any Given Sunday certainly applied to this stunner. 31-21 Rams

Lions @ Broncos–Jon Fox gave in to Tebowmania and saw his decision rewarded as Tebow led a stunning comeback last week to turn a 15-0 deficit with 5 minutes left into a thrilling 18-15 win. Yet that was over winless Miami. Detroit was 0-16, but that was 3 years ago. They have lost consecutive games at home after starting 5-0, but Jim Schwartz does not have the same old Lions. Matthew Stafford is pretty good.

Tebow did lead Denver from their own 20 to the Detroit 21, and a 39 yard Matt Prater field goal had Denver up 3-0. Detroit may not be the 1985 Bears, but those Bears trailed 3-0 in the Super Bowl and what Detroit did to Denver on this day was just as ugly. After a touchback, Stafford hit Tony Scheffler for 9 and Young for 13. Stafford then went deep to Young for a 41 yard touchdown as the Lions led 7-3 and never looked back.

Late in the first quarter from the Lions 11, Stafford hit Nate Burleson for 15. Stafford ran for 21 with 15 more tacked on for unnecessary roughness. Seconds into the second quarter, Jason Hanson hit a 50 yarder to have the Lions up 10-3.

Midway through the second quarter the Lions took over at their own 32. Stafford hit Brandon Pettigrew for 7 and Calvin Johnson for 19. Williams gained 10 and Stafford went deep to Scheffler for 28 down to the 2. Stafford hit Scheffler for the one yard touchdown as the Lions led 17-3 with 4 minutes left in the half.

Denver went 3 and out and a 17 yard punt return with unnecessary roughness tacked on had the Lions beginning just past the midpoint. On 3rd and 5 Stafford hit Johnson for 17. Morris ran for 6 and caught a pass for 7. Stafford went to Johnson for 13 and Morris took it the final yard as the Lions led 24-3 at halftime. The early games featured stirring comebacks. The late games did not.

In the third quarter, from the Denver 38, Tebow was sacked for a 14 yard loss, fumbled, and saw Avril take it 24 yards for the touchdown as the Lions led 31-3. Midway through the third quarter Stafford would go deep to Johnson for a 56 yard touchdown as the Lions poured it on 38-3.

Tebow would lead Denver to 4th and 2 at the Detroit 33 before throwing incomplete. Then in the fourth quarter on 3rd and 5 from the 8 he was intercepted by Houston at the goal line. Houston went coast to coast for the 100 yard touchdown as the Lions led 45-3.

Tebow would mount a furious comeback that would get Denver into the end zone once, but that still left them 5 touchdowns short of a comeback. Detroit righted the ship to get to 6-2 while Denver fell back in their division. The Lions would mock Tebow’s Christian faith by dropping to their knees after the touchdowns and doing mock prayers. It was classless, but Tebow needs better performances to avoid this. Stafford finished 21 of 30 for 267 yards and 3 touchdowns while Tebow was 18 of 39 for 172 and the interception. 45-10 Lions

Washington Redskins @ Buffalo Bills–Both of these teams started out hot at the beginning of the year to defy expectations, and then regressed backward. Yet today saw some separation in a game that was neither interesting nor close.

After an exchange of punts Buffalo took over at their own 20 and Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Nelson for 26. Fred Jackson gained 5 and 13. On 3rd and 2 from the 28, Brad Smith took a wildcat 5 yards. Fitzpatrick then hit Chandler for a 20 yard touchdown to have the Bills up 7-0.

The second quarter began with Fitzpatrick fumbling, and the Redskins taking over at the Buffalo 31. Washington got to the 16 but soon faced 4th and 25 back at the 31. Graham Gano had his 49 yard field goal blocked, concluding anything resembling a highlight for Washington. Mike Shanahan chucked Donovan McNabb, benched Rex Grossman, and saw John Beck get beaten up. Meanwhile, a 34 yard defensive pass interference penalty against the Redskins led to a 37 yard Ryan Lindell field goal as the Bills led 10-0.

Fitzpatrick moved Buffalo from their own 45 to a 3rd and goal at the Washington 8 with a chance to pad the lead, but he was intercepted in the end zone to kill the drive. Yet Washington went 3 and out and the Bills took over at their own 20 with just over one minute left in the half. On 3rd and 4 Fitzpatrick it St. Johnson for 5, but only 35 seconds remained in the half. On the next play Jackson caught a pass and took it 46 yards to the Washington 23. Lindell connected from 44 as the Bills led 13-0 at halftime. Outside of Buffalo and Toronto, the second half was worthless.

On the first play of the third quarter after a touchback, Jackson ran for 43 yards, then for 4 and 2. On 3rd and 4 from the 31, Fitzpatrick hit St. Johnson for 7. Jackson ran for 2 and 7 and on 3rd and 1, Fitzpatrick hit Chandler for the 15 yard touchdown. Buffalo led 20-0 with a full 26 minutes to play. It did not matter. Buffalo would add a field goal in the fourth quarter as the Redskins got blanked to continue their slide. Buffalo meanwhile has gotten to 5-2 a year after Chan Gailey saw the team start with eight straight losses. 23-0 Bills

New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers–Both of these teams are very good, getting to a combined 7 Super Bowls in the last decade and winning 5 of them. Yet the patirots always beat the Steelers, especially in Pittsburgh. Bill Bellichick owned Bill Cowher and he owns Mike Tomlin. The Patriots always beat the Steelers and to even play the game is a waste of time. With New England coming off a loss, they were not going to lose consecutive games for the Evil Hoodie.

Pittsburgh began at their own 32 and on 3rd and 4, Ben Roethlisberger hit Heath Miller for 11, 10 and 19. On 3rd and 11 from the 23, Roethlisberger went to Miller again for 15. On 3rd and goal at the 5 Big Ben hit Mewelde Moore for the score as the Steelers led 7-0. New England went 3 and out, and Roethisberger took the Steelers on a staggering 16 play, 8 minute drive from the Pittsburgh 13 to the New England 9. Yet on 3rd and goal Big Ben was sacked. On the first play of the second quarter, Shawn Suisham hit from 33 as the Steelers led 10-0.

Yet the Patriots always beat the Steelers. With Pittsburgh in total control, the Steelers soon faced 3rd and 17 at their own 15. Big Ben was intercepted by Gary Guyton, as the Patriots took over at the Pittsburgh 8. Tom Brady hit Deion Branch from 2 yards out for the score. Despite having 0 offense, the Patriots only trailed 10-7.

From the Pittsburgh 24, Roethlisberger hit Emanuel Sanders at midfield and Mike Wallace for 7 more. Roethlisberger found Brown for 9 and Wallace for 14. On 3rd and 4 from the 7, Roethlisberger went back to Brown for the score as the Steelers led 17-7 with 2:40 left in the half.

From the 20, Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for 23. On 3rd and 2 just past midfield, Brady hit Wes Welker for just enough. Brady went back to Gronkowski for 17, and Stephen Gostkowski hit a 46 yarder to have the Patriots only down 17-10 at halftime.

The second half was a war of attrition as Roethlisberger led aanother 14 play, 7 minute drive. They simply kept Tom Brady and the Patriots offense off of the field. From the Pittsburgh 27, Roethlisberger got them all the way to a 3rd and 2 at the New England 3. Yet Roethlisberger then threw incomplete, and Mike Tomlin was taking no chances. Suisham hit the 21 yarder as the Steelers led 20-10. Brady finally took the field and led the Patriots from their 21 to the Pittsburgh 24. Yet Gostkowski’s 42 yarder clanked off the upright as the Steelers still led by 10 points.

Roethlisberger led another long drive, as 11 plays took another 6 minutes off of the clock. On 3rd and 12 from the Pittsburgh 30, Roethlisberger hit Brown for 19. Yet again went Pittsburgh got down deep they could not reach the end zone. On 4th and 3 from the 5, again Tomlin was not going to gamble. Suisham hit from 23 and the Steelers led 23-10. Yet 11 1/2 minutes were left in regulation and the Patriots coming back was inevitable. They always beat Pittsburgh.

New England punted, and the Steelers took over at their own 33. Roethlisberger quickly hit Wallace for 16 and Rashard Mendenhall ran for 18. On 3rd and 3 from the Patriots 26, Big Ben threw incomplete. Suisham came in for the 44 yarder to all but ice the game with 6 minutes left. Naturally the kick was no good, the score remained 23-10, and the Patriots comeback was inevitable.

From the New England 33, Brady hit Welker for 8, Branch for 16, Gronkowski for 10, Kevin Faulk for 18, and back to Welker for 8. On 3rd and 2 from the 7, only 4 1/2 minutes remained. Yet the STeelers entered the neutral zone, making it 1st and goal. With 2:48 to play, on 4th and goal at the one, Brady was intercepted. Yet Pittsburgh was called for defensive holding. Instead of game over, it was 1st and goal at the one. Brady hit Hernandez for the touchdown. 2:35 still remained, the Patriots were within 23-17, and the inevitable comeback and 24-23 Patriots win was happening again. They have gotten pretty much every favorable call in the history of refereeing since Tom Brady began playing.

With all 3 timeouts left, the Patriots were expected to kick it deep. Yet Bill Bellichick decided to go for the onsides kick anyway, and it was a terrible kick that did not even travel 10 yards. Pittsburgh took over at the New England 37. Again they had a chance to put the game away. On 3rd and 1 from the 28, Redman got the yard. The patriots were out of timeouts, and with 2:10 to play Pittsburgh had 1st and 10 at the Patriots 27. A field goal would again ice it.

Redman lost a yard as the 2 minute warning was reached. This should not have mattered because a couple runs into the line would pretty much almost run out the clock. For some bizarre reason, Roethlisberger went back to pass. He was sacked for an 11 yard loss. On the next play he was sacked again for an 8 yard loss. This play calling was insane. Although only 28 seconds remained, the Steelers faced 4th and 35 at their own 48. They punted, and the Patriots got the ball back at their own 22. They were 78 yards away and had 19 seconds to do it. Anybody who thought the game was over never lived through the Tuck Rule. New England always wins the close ones and they always beat Pittsburgh.

For once, not this time. Brady was sacked by Brett Keisel. The Grizzly Adams looking fellow got past his grizzled opponent Matt Light and caused the fumbled. Troy Palomalu then punched at the ball until it went out the back of the end zone. After further review, the call stood. This fumble was not being overruled, and it was a safety. The Steelers exercised some demons. A cynic would say let’s see what happens in a playoff game. Yet on this day, New England dropped two straight to fall to 5-3 while Pittsburgh is in first place as they prepare for their showdown at home next week against bitter rival Baltimore. 25-17 Steelers

Cleveland Browns @ San Francisco 49ers–First Carmen Policy went from the presidency of the 49ers to that of the Browns, and years later Walrus Mike Holmgren has gone from being a 49ers assistant to the President of the Browns. Holmgren learned from Bill Walsh, who was an assistant under Paul Brown before being the head coaching legend in San Francisco. Yet on this day, the storyline was another very good team at 5-1 under Jim Harbaugh against a bad team that is still experiencing growing pains with rookie coach Fritz Shurmur and young Colt McCoy.

On the second play from scrimmage McCoy fumbled, and the 49ers took over at the Browns 20. On 3rd and 5 Alex Smith threw incomplete, but defensive holding kept the drive going. Frank Gore ran it in from 4 yards out as the 49ers led 7-0. The best play for the Browns all day was a good punt that pinned the 49ers at their own 1. Yet 11 plays and 7 minutes later, the 49ers had moved 88 yards to a 4th and 1 at the Browns 11. Surprisingly, despite not making it on 3rd and 2, Jim Harbaugh decided to play it safe and kick the field goal. David Akers hit from 29 as the 49ers led 10-0.

In the second quarter the 49ers had a chance to end the game early as they moved from their own 17 to 2nd and goal at the 1. Gore lost a yard, got it back, and this time on 4th and goal at the one, Harbaugh decided to go for it. Gore got stopped. Cleveland took that goal line stand momentum and punted, as the 49ers got it back at their own 36. Gore ran for 14 and 5. On 3rd and 6 from the Browns 32, Smith hit Braylon Edwards for 12. On 3rd and 1 from the 11, Smith ran for 9. Smith would hit Michael Crabtree for the 2 yard touchdown as the 49ers led 17-0 with only 90 seconds left in the half.

Yet from the Cleveland 17, McCoy worked the clock. On 3rd and 2 from the Browns 47, McCoy hit Norwood for 4. With 8 seconds left in the half, facing 3rd and 5 at the 49ers 44, McCoy hit Josh Cribbs for 11. Phil Dawson drilled the 52 yard field goal as the Browns were down 17-3 at halftime. An epic comeback was in the works, if by epic comeback one means dull unwatchable football.

With 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter the Browns did reach the 49ers 34, but McCoy was intercepted. With 7 minutes left in the game the Browns faced 4th and 1 at their own 42. McCoy got the yards. On the next play McCoy hit Moore for 12, and on the following play McCoy went deep to Cribbs for a 45 yard touchdown. With a little over 6 minutes left in regulation, the Browns were only down 17-10.

Yet from the 49ers 25, Smith led a time consuming drive that bled the clock. On 3rd and 3 Gore only gained one yard, but a critical defensive facemask was a killer. With 3 minutes to go and the 49ers facing 3rd and 3 at the Browns 32, Smith hit Sopoage for 14. Nothing says 49ers glory like the Smith to Sopoaga connection. At the 2 minute warning the 49ers faced 4th and 4 at the 8. Akers hit the 26 yarder to put the game away and end the lack of suspense. The 49ers may have won ugly, but at 6-1 they are a serious force. As for the Browns, they are the Browns. 20-10 49ers

Cincinnati Bengals @ Seattle Seahawks–The Bengals are 4-2 by beating bad teams, and Seattle qualifies as a bad team. Cincy began at their own 26, and on 3rd and 6 Andy Dalton hit Caldwell for 8. On 1st and 20 the Bengals benefitted from a defensive personal foul to keep them moving. Scott ran for 11, 4, and 1, and on 3rd and 5 at the Seattle 30 Dalton hit Leonard for 6. The Bengals would settle for a 34 yard Mike Nugent field goal and a 3-0 lead, but there was more to come. Seattle went 3 and out, and Jones returned the punt 63 yards to the Seattle 26. Scott gained 9 and 3, and Dalton hit Simpson for the 14 yard touchdown to have the Bengals up 10-0.

Seattle took over at their own 21 and a defensive personal foul gave them a first down in place of offense. Charlie Whitehurst hit Zach Miller for 17 and Sidney Rice for 15. Stephen Hauschka would hit a 47 yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter to have the Seahawks within 17-3.

The second quarter saw White hurst throw an interception, and later on with 5 1/2 minutes left in the half the Bengals took over at their own 16. On 3rd and 1, Seattle jumped offsides. On 3rd and 6 from the Cincy 35, the Seahawks were caught for defensive pass interference. On 3rd and 11 from the Cincy 48, Dalton hit Lee for 14. From the Seattle 43 at the 2 minute warning, Dalton went deep to Green for the touchdown as the Bengals led 17-3.

Seattle took over at their own 35 and on 3rd and 4 Tarvaris Jackson found Obomanu for 32 yards to the Cincy 27. On 2nd and 15 Jackson found Baldwin for 21. With 19 second left in the half the Seahawks faced 3rd and 7 at the 8. Jackson hit Miller for 5 and the Seahawks took their last timeout with 14 seconds left. On 4th and 2 at the 3, Pete Carroll decided to go for it. In a bizarre set of circumstances, a running play was called. Marshawn Lynch got the 2 yards for the first down but the clock ran out with the Seahawks one yard short. Carroll put down his USC pompoms and remembered how much the NFL game is different.

In the third quarter Daltonw as intercepted again and the Seahawks took over at their own 9. Jackson went deep to Obomanu for a 55 yard gain. Lynch gained 9, but on 3rd and goal at the 7 Jackson threw incomplete. Pete Carroll apparently learned his lesson as a field goal had Seattle down 17-6 after three quarters. Only 4 more kicks and they would be in the lead. That was not happening.

Dalton was intercepted again, and the Seahawks took over at their own 21 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation. On 3rd and 11 Jackson went deep to Baldwin for 31 yards and to Rice for 35 more yards. Jackson hit Tate for 9, and Lynch ran for 3 and then the final 2 for the score. The 2 point conversion failed, but with 9 minutes left Seattle was only down 17-12.

From the Cincy 38, defensive holding moved the ball 5 yards and Scott ran for 16 more. Nugent hit a 48 yard field goal and the Bengals led 20-12 with 5 minutes left in regulation. Yet Seattle punted on 4th and 18 from their own 7, and Tate returned it 56 yards for a score. With 3 1/2 minutes left the Bengals were up 27-12. White hurst moved the Seahawks to the Cincy 35 but threw incomplete on 4th and 10. With 49 seconds left it was Jackson in as he and Whitehurst combined to not produce many points. Jackson was intercepted by Nelson, who returned it 75 yards for the final touchdown as a 5 point game was broken wide open in the fourth quarter. The Bengals are 5-2, and Marvin Lewis continues to see his team beat up on patsies. Yet it is nice to know that once a pair of egomaniacal wide receivers with reality shows leave the team, they do better. 34-12 Bengals.

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles was the Sunday night game. Both of these teams are struggling and way behind New York in the standings although Walrus Lite Andy Reid has seen the Eagles turn the corner after a disastrous 1-4 start. Jason Garrett still does not know what he has with his roller coaster team and up and down quarterback Tony Romo despite the big win last week. These teams have played many classics over the years, and 31 years ago played in the NFC Title Game. That game was uncompetitive, and so was this game.

Philly took over at their own 21 and jumped all over Dallas right from the start. Michael Vick went to Jeremy Maclin for 24 yards. McCoy ran for 21. Vick scrambled for 15. On 3rd and 9 from the 12, Vick hit Maclin for the touchdown. Philly led 7-0, and they made it look easy because it was. Philly got the ball back at their own 10. On 2nd and 9 Vick hit Captain Morgan Brent Celek for 19. Vick ran for 11, hit Desean Jackson for 12, and saw McCoy run for 11 and then 34. McCoy took it the final 2 as the Eagles led 14-0.

Romo was then intercepted, giving the Eagles the ball at their own 33. On 3rd and 8 Vick scrambled for 9. From the Dallas 46 Vick hit Celek for 15. On 3rd and 8 from the 29 Vick found Avant for 20 and Celek for the 9 yard touchdown. He still had his Captain Morgan swagger as the Eagles led 21-0 with 10 minutes left in the half. At this point the Eagles simply coasted. Vick led a 13 play, 6 minute drive from their own 13 to the Dallas 4, and Henery hit a 23 yard field goal to have the Eagles up 24-0 at halftime. In the third quarter it was another 13 plays, another 6 1/2 minutes, and Philly moving from their 24 to the Dallas 5. Henery connected from 26 as the Eagles led 27-0 after three quarters.

Late in the third quarter on 2nd and 18 McCoy ran for 22. On 4th and 1 from the Dallas 35 Andy Reid decided to go for it. McCoy got 2 yards as the third quarter ended. McCoy would run for a 13 yard touchdown to have the Eagles pouring it on 34-0. Romo has had some epic comebacks, and he did lead one on this night. Yet needing 5 touchdowns, Dallas fell 4 touchdowns short. As for the Eagles, they finally look like the team everyone expected them to be when the season started. As for Dallas, Big D stands for doubt. 34-7 Eagles

San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs–The Chargers are a very good team that has a tendency to underachieve for Norvelous Norv Turner. The Chiefs began 0-3 and looked worse, yet have been beating up on weaker and injured teams to get to 3-3. The Chargers won the earlier game in San Diego, but only 20-17. This game will be talked about for some time, especially the ending.

After a punt the Chiefs took over at their own 33. Matt Cassel led them to a 4th and 5 at the Chargers 18. A 36 yard field goal had the Chiefs up 3-0. Philip Rivers needed one play to throw and interception, and Dexter McCluster needed one play to fumble it back. Both quarterbacks were intercepted twice, and in a game of turnovers, one of them loomed very large later on. Late in the first quarter Rivers was intercepted again, giving the Chiefs the ball at their own 23. On 3rd and 1 Cassel found McClain for 14, with 15 more for unnecessary roughness. Cassel then went deep to Baldwin for a 39 yard touchdown as the Chiefs had a surprising 10-0 lead after the first quarter.

The second quarter was a slugfest where Novak hit a 44 yard field goal to get the Chargers within 10-3. Later on San Diego would fumble deep in Kansas City territory, and the Chiefs would fumble it right back. San Diego would lose yards, and on 4th and 22, a 52 yard field goal try was no good. Ryan Succup would hit from 47 as the Chiefs led 13-3 at halftime.

The third quarter had the Chargers move up and down the field. Rivers would finish 26 of 41 for 369 yards and the 2 early interception. Yet the Chargers kept settling for field goals. Novak connected from 44, 24, and 26, with the second one coming after an interception of Cassel. Yet the Chargers trailed 13-12 after three quarters.

Kansas City took over at their own 26 and on 2nd and 3 Cassel hit Pope for 11. On 3rd and 2 from the Chargers 48, Cassel gained 7 and Battle got 11 more. From the 24, Battle ran for 5, 18, and the the last yard to have the Chiefs up 20-12 with 12 minutes left in regulation.

After a touchback, Rivers hit Patrick Crayton for 18. On 3rd and 13 from the 35, Rivers hit Vincent Jackson for 27, Mathews for 14, and Brinkley for 20 down to the 2. Brinkley took it in as the Chargers finally reached the end zone. Rivers went to Brinkley again for the 2 point conversion as the game was tied 20-20 with 7 minutes left.

The Chiefs went 3 and out and the CHargers got the ball back at the Kansas City 48 with 5 minutes left. All they had to do was bleed the clock and kick the winning field goal. On 3rd and 18 Rivers hit Crayton for 19. At the 2 minute warning the Chargers had 1st and 10 at the Chiefs 25, well within Novak’s range. On 3rd and 1 from the 16, Jacob Hester got the yard. This was critical because the Chiefs were now out of timeouts. A field goal was only 33 yards, and the Chargers could run the clock down to almost zeroes, kick, and go home. It was over and the Chiefs were helpless.

Then came the miracle at Kansas City. With one minute on the clock, Rivers could have taken a knee, and gotten the clock down to 15 seconds. Another knee would have taken it down to almost zero before the kick. Yet somehow, Rivers fumbled the snap and the Chiefs recovered. A quarterback-center exchange was botched. Cassel would move the Chiefs to the San Diego 45 before being intercepted again, but it was the Chargers who were shellshocked as the game went into overtime.

In overtime the Chargers went 3 and out and the Chiefs took over on their own 19. Cassel hit McCluster for 12, Baldwin for 11, and McCluster again for 13. On 3rd and 14 from the Chargers 47, Cassel hit Steve Breaston for 17. Battle gained 9 and 6 more. On 3rd and 7 from the 12, Todd Haley was taking no chances. Succop came on for the 30 yard try. It was good, and the Chiefs had the stunning win. People still insist San Diego is a good team and the Chiefs are not, but they are both 4-3, tied for first place with the Oakland Raiders. The Rivers fumble will be talked about for years, as a certain Chargers victory became a defeat. 23-20 Chiefs, OT


Reevaluating JaMarcus Russell

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

One of the best pieces of sports journalism I have ever read involves a recent interview with former Raiders Quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

The column is lengthy but worth it.

Whether or not one believes JaMarcus Russell, the man is a human being. He has been labeled one of t he biggest busts in NFL history. He has been called fat, lazy, and dumb.

I was thrilled when the Raiders drafted Russell. I totally thought he was the best choice. Initially I thought he did not have the talent around him, but he simply regressed. Cutting him was the right decision.

Yet Mr. Russell is saying that he has been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

This is very serious. I have sleep apnea, and in 2003 I had surgery. The doctor said I could have died before age 40 (I am now 39). Reggie White died of sleep apnea at age 43. It is a scary illness to have.

Sleep apnea can make people lethargic, and often exhausted even after sleeping.

Mr. Russell must get treatment for this illness because it is a life and death issue.

Jay Cutler was diagnosed with diabetes, and he is now having a successful NFL career. Mr. Russell has the talent to play football. America is a society of second chances. The one unforgivable sin is being seen as a quitter, but if Mr. Russell truly was physically impaired, that has to be taken into consideration.

I saw him enter a game on the road against Denver with the Raiders down 19-13. He came in off the bench and led the winning touchdown drive for a stirring 20-19 win over the Broncos. The guy has the ability.

So many people from Ryan Leaf to Todd Marinovich have failed. Maybe JaMarcus Russell will end up in that category. Yet if he truly is suffering from sleep apnea and can get it treated and even cured, I genuinely hope he gives football one more shot.

Good luck Mr. Russell.


Dolphins @ Giants

(Giants by 10, they cover)

Jaguars @ Texans

(Texans by 10, they cover)

Colts @ Titans

(Titans win)

Vikings @ Panthers

(Panthers by 3 1/2, they win but fail to cover)

Cardinals @ Ravens

(Ravens by 13, they win but fail to cover)

Saints @ Rams

(Saints by 14, they win but fail to cover)

Lions @ Broncos

(Broncos win outright)

Redskins @ Bills

(Bills by 6, they win but fail to cover)

Patriots @ Steelers

(Patriots by 3, they cover)

Browns @ 49ers

(49ers by 9, they cover)

Bengals @ Seahawks

(Seahawks win)

Cowboys @ Eagles

(Eagles by 3 1/2, they win but fail to cover)

Chargers @ Chiefs

(Chargers by 4, they cover)


Occupy Wall Street and Gun Ownership

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Liberals robbing liberals…ain’t it grand?


October Hate Mail

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

I really have nothing to say today. I could say something anyway, but then people would confuse me with Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

I could just be useless and take up space, but then I would get lumped in with the Occupy Wall Street Protesters.

Thankfully, police are finally breaking out the tear gas on these miscreants, but not frequently enough.

Meanwhile, angry leftist savages do not like to be told they are angry leftist savages. They respond by acting like, shockingly enough, angry leftist savages.

So here is some October hate mail. Actually, this all came in the last 24 hours.

If I had anything better to offer today  I would, but this is Obamaworld where everything is of low quality.

So enjoy my hate mail while I enjoy a peaceful day in Oakland.

I will not be visiting the protests in Oakland. I am simply leaving a wreath at the Coliseum for Al Davis and headed home.

With that, here is some of my hate mail.

Robert Moskowitz
[email protected]

Why do you make a fool of yourself in public by writing factually incorrect sentences and drawing inferences (botulism in hot dogs?) that you cannot support with evidence or logic? Is the money you're earning enough to make you do this? Is there some other motivation that makes you averse to living in the evidence-based world? There are already two major conversations going on in America, and when you write like this you relegate yourself to the children's & cult-members' table.

I'll be interested to see whether you respond to this email at all, and if you do, whether you resort to insults or attempt to provide actual verifiable facts to bolster your original assertions. Of course, you could just spew more of what you've already put into your column. I've bet five dollars with my brother on my best guess as to how you'll respond. Do me proud, Eric. Do me proud!



Analysis: Metaphorically or not, any guy yelling “Do me, do me” to me is kind of creepy. Now if a woman wants to send me that message, I will evaluate her by the quality of her Halloween French Maid’s uniform.

Bill Dalbey
[email protected]

Here's my question.  Just how big an asshole are you?  I only managed to read a few paragraphs of your bullshit diatribe against the occupy wall street protesters.  I got as far as your assertion that the Tea Party demonstrators were "civilized", in contrast to the OWS folks.  Yeah, real civilized.  The kind of people who cheer at the execution of 234 people in Texas, who want folks who choose not to buy insurance to die, who boo Iraqi war veterans because they ask a question about gay rights.  Do the world a favor and go live in a cabin in the woods somewhere.

Analysis: Before cheering 234 people executed in Texas, I need to know whether they were for raising or lowering taxes. If they were Keynesians, get rid of them. As for gays, fine, be gay if you are male. You are reducing my competition for women. Lesbians are selfish, never thinking about my needs.

Ken Beach
[email protected]

Violent Protest? Street of NYC were ever sanitary?

The only thing we can do is be hot dog vendors and shoe shiners?

I am not protester, but I found you work to be A BIG PILE OF SHIT!

add this to the list of complaints that you have.
"Only date Jewish republicans" how smug and narrow minded you are out there in "LA"

Analysis: Actually yes, the streets of NY were quite sanitary when Rudy Giuliani was in charge. As for this fellow not being a protester, perhaps someone should tell him that it does not even require filling out an application or doing anything that involves proper spelling. The protesters are not the best and brightest, and would welcome him to the protests.

Paul Berlenbach
[email protected]

Eric, after reading your column I can only assume you're an uncaring asshole…  Yah, the rich "earned their money"    Tell me how its possible to earn "millions, where some wallstreeet insiders and CEO's earn 10's or 100's of millions of dollars" each and every single year – whether their off vacationing in the Hamptons, Aspen, or  one of their penthouses in Paris…   And none of this "hard" earned money is at the expense of middle class employees working many hard hours… The Company I work for "IBM" is doing quite well, so well that it was deemed necessary to fire me and asked me to hire my Indian replacement..  Luckily, after working there for 15 years being a top contributor and having contacts I was able to find another job within IBM so I am currently gainfully employed – even though my new Manager had to literally jump through hoops in order to get my tranfer approved.  She had to prove that her attempts at hiring employees from Russian, and Mexico, and India for over a year were not working out and they were not qualified to fill the position she was looking for.  Only then was she able to secure my position.  Over the past 3 months my group has added an additional two employees and looking for more – one  from Russia, the other from Mexico… Now I could see how this would/could be necessary if IBM wasn't doing so well, but that doesn't seem to matter these days.  I'm expecting to be let go by IBM like many of my colleagues at some point – its really just a matter of time…  CEO's, and the "ultra" Rich are selling this country short by their practices "ALL" in an effort to enhance the bottom line and their  already bulging pockets…  How Rich does one have to be before putting thousands of "US" families welfare at peril for the only reason being to increase EPS by a few dollars…  Sam Pamilsano who is leaving IBM at the end of this year – filthy rich I may add is guilty as the rest of them…   Yah, I'm sure you agree a hedge fund manager that makes $500 million dollars or more should only pay 15% taxes because he "earned" his money.  If you don't see whats happening out there to the US middle class then I can only assume your blind or just don't care…  If you just don't see it then forgive my rant, otherwise in parting I'd like to add…  Fuck off…

Analysis: I remember when IBM hired the best and brightest. They used to actually make computers. If this is the class of people working at IBM then I may have to sell my shares. As for the Indian who replaced this fellow, most of the Indians I talk to on the telephone are exceedingly polite. This American fellow could learn some manners and then maybe he would be employable.

Matthis Chiroux
[email protected]
You must be the most intellectually bankrupt conservative author I've recently read, and that's a hard race to win. I never directly respond to what I read, but you…Your rhetoric is as hollow as the position you take up: that somehow life is better for the 99% when the 1% get their way all the time, or that somehow justice in this country functions equally for all regardless of class. While I've tried to understand what logic your position claims to offer, to me your only academic ideas equate to economic bigotry and the bulk of what you write is indicative of an intellect weak in areas of critical thinking. A perfect example is your simplification of leftist thought to, "we want what they have." This is as ridiculous as saying conservative thought equates to "I'm keeping what I stole from you." Honestly, do you have intellectual standards, or are you just a shock jock? Does your editor understand the concept of molding arguments around premises and conclusions, or is it all about creating social inflammation through the use of hyperbole? Isn't that what you accuse the protesters of doing? Creating hyperbolic social inflammation just because they're unhappy?

What's sad is your attempt at vast left-wing character assassination actually hurts America as a whole, including conservatives, because whether you agree with the protesters or not, America's economic plight is serious. Rather than engaging in a dialogue that highlights your difference of opinion, you give us this "leftists are parasites" diatribe and further entrench the standoff and inflame folks like OWS. You're throwing fuel on that which burns you. Besides being juvenile, it's just counterproductive.

So my last question would be, I guess, do you know when you call whole groups of people "parasites" how much of a bigot that makes you? I'm sure you know this is literally what Hitler said about the Jews, mister 'I only date Conservative Jewish Women.' How do they react when they here this Nazi shit roll off your tongue with such conviction? Your hatred is no different than theirs was. You should be ashamed of what you have become, Mr. Golub, and the Washington Times should be ashamed of publishing you.

Finally, somebody invoking Hitler. I was worried I would encounter 5 or 6 liberal diatribes without comparing me to Hitler. My mustache is not as bushy or distinguished, rendering comparisons of me to Hitler, Captain Kangaroo, or even Rollie Fingers invalid.

Sean Braig
[email protected]

Come on now what is with this BS. mass media that it is called it which in effect is controlled by corporations to control the people this is why it is called programing. This country is clearly not serving the people the system is ran by secret societies that will get there time in hell.. Want to know the news read Z magazine or go to I support my brothers and sisters protesting we are sick of this shit period.

Analysis: This may not be hate mail given that the message is incomprehensible to me. As for supporting his brothers and sisters, he should encourage them to go get jobs so he would not have to do so. As for the rest, it is like listening to boxing promoter Don King. It makes sense to somebody somewhere, I guess.

John K
[email protected]

You're a fucking moron.

[email protected]

fuck you dick head.

Analysis: These people are definitely liberals and absolutely went to public school. They may be the same person or even worse, dating each other. I pray they do not reproduce since the hate mail from that demon seed would be even worse from a class and grammar standpoint.

Ok everybody, once again the angry left shows exactly who and what they are.

Say it with me now.

These are liberals. This is how they behave.


Occupy Wall Street–The Real Victims

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Once again, leftists are wrecking the lives of ordinary people.


Joe Biden threatens to keep talking unless Obama jobs bill is passed

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Joe Biden…’nuff said.

Pass the Obama jobs bill or life will end…unless it doesn’t.


Liberals declare war on American citizens

Monday, October 24th, 2011

The Tea Party contained patriotic Americans. Occupy Wall Street are uncivilized savages. The differences really are that stark.

This is also a movement steeped in anti-Semitism. All movements have virulent strains, but this is a dominant part of the movement. Jews have been murdered in the past for alleged (and often mythical) financial misdeeds, and the verbiage coming out of the Occupy Wall Street lynch mobs are every bit as demonic as the Jew-baiting rhetoric of decades past.


NFL 2011–Week 7 Recap

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

The early games were some of the most boring games in NFL history, unworthy of any further description. So here is the NFL 2011 Week 7 Recap from my home in Los Angeles as I try to stay awake due to a combination of fatigue and bad football.

Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins–Normally a 1-4 team on the road to face an 0-5 team would simply be a bad game. Yet the Tim Tebow era has begun in Denver, and the Broncos faithful were electrified in their last loss when Tebow nearly pulled it out. Kyle Orton was absolutely not to blame for the Denver woes, and John Fox kept him on the roster as the trading deadline passed. As for the Dolphins, trading all 45 players may have helped but Tony Sparano did not find any takers.

The highlight of the first quarter was a missed field goal by Denver. Out of respect for the game of football no further elaboration is necessary. In the second quarter Dan Carpenter hit a 38 yard field goal to have the Dolphins up 3-0. Matt Prater missed a second field goal to keep the Broncos scoreless. Willis McGahee would fumble, giving Miami the ball at the Denver 40. Thomas gained 14, but on 3rd and 3 from the Denver 16, Mimi fumbled the snap. They retained possession and settled for another field goal and a 6-0 lead in a game the league refused to cancel out of boredom.

The third quarter saw the first third down conversion by either team. With 6 1/2 minutes left in the half the Dolphins took over at their own 28. On 3rd and 1 Moore hit Bess for 4. Moore went back to Bess for 12. On 3rd and 6 from the Denver 43 Moore hit Marshall for 12. Moore went back to Bess for 13 to the Denver 18 as the third quarter ended. On the opening play of the fourth quarter Moore hit Anthony Fasano for a 16 yard touchdown as the Dolphins led 12-0 in a game that had enough action for anyone who finds action irrelevant. Of course the 2 point conversion failed.

Miami got the ball back at their own 25. Moore hit Clay for 17. On 3rd and 7 from the Denver 41, Moore hit Hartline for 15. The drive stalled but Carpenter connected from 43 as the Dolphins led 15-0 midway through the fourth quarter. The Tebow experiment was a failure and the Dolphins would get their win.

Not so fast. After an exchange of punts, Denver took over at their own 20 with 5 1/2 minutes left. Tebow hit Thomas for 15 and Knowshon Moreno for 9 more. On 3rd and 1 Ball gained 2. Tebow then went deep to Willis for a 42 yard gain. On 3rd and 3 from the 5 Tebow hit Thomas for the score. Denver still trailed 15-7, and with 3 minutes left they were already out of timeouts.

Yet these were the hapless Dolphins they were playing, and the onsides kick was recovered by Denver at their own 44 after it appeared Miami had it cleanly. On 3rd and 1 Tebow gained 4. On 3rd and 3 at the Miami 36 Tebow found Eric Decker for 5. Tebow then went deep to Fells. In triple coverage, Fells made a diving catch at the 3 yard line. With 25 seconds left, Tebow hit Fells for the score. On the 2 point conversion try, Tebow took it himself and made it standing up. A 15-0 Miami lead with 5 minutes left had evaporated into a 15-15 tie and overtime. 6 points through 3 quarters had given way to a 24 point fourth quarter.

Each team punted in overtime and the Dolphins took over at their own 15. From the Miami 43, Moore was sacked and fumbled. Denver took over at the Miami 36. 3 plays netted only 2 yards, and Prater came in. He had missed 2 shorter ones, and this one was from 52. Prater hit it, and the Broncos had the improbable comeback win. Despite 55 terrible minutes, the final 5 and overtime will have Tebowmania at a fever pitch. Denver is 2-4 for Jon Fox, while at 0-6 Tony Sparano has to wonder why he even wants his job after one of the worst losses in Miami history. 18-15 Broncos, OT

San Diego Chargers at New York Jets–The normally slow starting Chargers are 4-1, proving that Norvelous Norv Turner is the greatest coach in football history. They face a Jets team that thanked its lucky stars it was playing woeful Miami last week, since the Jets are not much better. Ground and pound has disappeared this year and Rex Ryan will see his defense tested by Philip Rivers early and often. If this was a playoff game the Jets could wait for San Diego to self-destruct, but in the regular season that is asking too much.

The Jets got the ball and less than 2 minutes into the game Sanchez was hit as he threw. The ball made it to Dustin Keller who bobbled it several times before Donald Butler ripped it out of his hands. Butler took it the other way for a 37 yard interception return as the Chargers jumped to a 7-0 lead in front of a stunned home crowd.

The Jets took over at their own 20 and Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes for 8 and Plaxico Burress for 15. Shone Greene broke free for a 24 yard gain. Yet a 3rd and 7 pass came up short and on 4th and 1 from the San Diego 16, Rex Ryan opted for the field goal. Nick Folk connected as the Jets were down 7-3.

Late in the quarter the Chargers took over at their own 24. On 3rd and 2 Philip Rivers found Malcolm Floyd for 8. On 3rd and 5 at the Chargers 45 Rivers hit Antonio Gates for a pair of 12 yard gains as the quarter ended. From the Jets 31, Rovers hit Vincent Jackson for 15 and Mike Tolbert ran for 4 and 8. On 3rd and goal from the 2, Rivers hit Gates for the touchdown and the 14-3 Chargers lead.

The Jets took over at their own 23. A pair of defensive penalties moved the Jets to their own 46. A 16 yard toss from Sanchez to Holmes followed by another defensive pass interference had the Jets at the San Diego 25. Ladanian Tomlinson gained 19 and Sanchez hit Burress for a 3 yard touchdown to have the Jets within 14-10 midway through the second quarter.

The Chargers took over at their own 13. Tolbert gained 29 and on 3rd and 1 Rivers hit Floyd for 28 more. On 3rd and 1 from the Jets 12, Tolbert gained 4. After defensive pass interference, Tolbert took it in on 3rd and goal from the 1 to have the Chargers up 21-10 at halftime.

A field position game midway through the third quarter saw the Jets taking over at their own 45. Greene gained 10 and on 3rd and 5 Sanchez hit Kerley for 10. On 3rd and 7 from the Chargers 27, Sanchez hit Kerley for 8. Greene gained 15 and Sanchez hit Burress for the 4 yard touchdown as the Jets trailed 21-17 with 3 minutes left in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter saw Rivers lead his team from their own 23 to a 3rd and 5 at the Jets 25. Rivers was then intercepted by Darrell Revis, his 3rd in 2 games. Last week Revis took one back 100 yards. This week he only returned it 64 yards to the San Diego 19. Greene ran for 10 and Sanchez hit Burress for the 3 yard touchdown to have the Jets up 24-21 with 9 minutes left.

With 5 1/2 minutes left San Diego faced 3rd and 6 at their own 41. Rivers was intercepted by Wilson, giving the Jets a short field at the Chargers 47. On 3rd and 3, defensive pass interference moved the ball to the 20. On 3rd and 1 Snachez got just enough, although it appeared he was short. Yet with 1:48 to play, on 3rd and goal from the 3, Sanchez was sacked. Folk made the field goal but the Chargers were only down 6. They had 0 timeouts, but 90 seconds to work with from their own 24.

With 11 seconds left San Diego faced 4th and 3 just shy of midfield. Rivers threw incomplete as the Chargers fell to 4-2. As for the Jets, after three straight road losses they have won consecutive home games. The Jets had the short week after the Monday night win while San Diego had 2 weeks to prepare. It was not enough as the Jets got to 4-3 with the win. 27-21 Jets

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans–Yes the Texans have been devastated by injuries, losing Andre Johnson for a while and Mario Williams for the season. Yet it is always something with them as Gary Kubiak cannot seem to get them over the hump. They are playing for first place against a Titans team that under Mike Munchak seems every bit as gritty and resilient as in years past.

Midway through the opening quarter the Texans took took over at their own 8. On 3rd and 8 from the 21, Matt Schaub found Arriun Foster for 26. Unnecessary roughness moved the Texans to the Titans 27. On 3rd and 2 Foster gained 3. Yet a sack killed the drive and the Texans settled for a 32 yard Neil Rackers field goal and a 3-0 lead.

In the second quarter Matt Hasselbeck was intercepted, giving the Texans the ball at their own 13. Schaub went deep to Owen Daniels for 34. Arriun Foster gained 7 and 10. An unnecessary roughness penalty moved the ball to the 12. Schaub hit Joel Dreesen for a 10 yard touchdown to have the Texans up 10-0. Houston got the ball back at their own 6. On 3rd and 1 Schaub hit Derrick Mason for 7. On the next play Schaub found Foster, who outraced everybody for a 78 yard touchdown to have the Texans up 17-0 on the road.

Houston got the ball at the Tennessee 48 with 1:52 left in the half. Schaub hit Daniels for 18. With 4 seconds left in the half the Texans faced 4th and 1 at the Tennessee 11. Gary Kubiak made the easy decision as the field goal had the Texans cruising 20-0 at halftime.

After a Tennessee punt the Texans began the third quarter at their own 8. Schaub hit Walter for 20 and Foster and Tate had a pair of 17 yard gains on the ground. Tate then ran for another 24 as the once proud Titans defense was a sieve. Foster would take it in from one yard out as the 92 yard drive quickly and easily had the Texans up 27-0.

Tennessee took over at their own 24 and finally got going needing only 4 scores to take the lead. Hasselbeck hit Ringer for 17 Hawkins for 12. Ringer gained 25, and on 4th and goal at the 5 Hasselbeck hit Cook for the score as the Titans needed only 3 scores down 27-7.

2 more scores were added, but they both belonged to Houston. Arriun Foster ran it in from 5 yards out and McCain returned an interception 38 yards to complete the blowout. Houston is 4-3 and in first place in the division with the thrashing of Tennessee. 41-7 Texans

Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions–The underachieving Falcons face off against an angry Lions team that lost its first game last week to fall to 5-1. Mike Smith is average non-descript white guy who looks like a guy named Mike Smith, while Jim Schwartz is a fiery leader who almost got into fisticuffs with his opposing coach last week. Both of these teams have some serious offensive talent, and a pair of Matts in Ryan and Stafford could produce a pinball machine game.

The Falcons soon faced 3rd and 12 at their own 25 when Matt Ryan was intercepted by Wright, giving the Lions golden field position at the Atlanta 15. Matthew Stafford was soon sacked and the Lions settled for a 43 yard Jason Hanson field goal and a 3-0 lead.

Later in the period Eric Weems returned a punt 37 yards as the Falcons took over at the Detorit 26. On 3rd and 9 Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez for 14. On 3rd and 1 from the 5 Michael Turner got stuffed. Mike Smith on 4th and 1 opted for the field goal, and Matt Bryant hit from 23 to have the game tied 3-3.

The Lions fumbled the ensuing kickoff as the Falcons took over at the Detroit 28. On 3rd and 12 Ryan hit Roddy White for 14. Defensive pass interference moved the ball to the one. On the next play defensive pass interference happened again. On the next play Detroit jumped offsides. Finally Ryan ran it in to have the Lions up 10-3 as the first quarter ended.

Detroit began the second quarter at their own 30. On 2nd and 2 Nate Burleson gained 10. From midfield Stafford hit Tony Scheffler for 9 and Williams gained 18. The drive would stall as Hanson kicked a 38 yarder to have the Lions within 10-6.

With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half the Falcons took over at their own 19. From the 31, Ryan went deep to Gonzalez for a 30 yard gain. Turner gained 19, and from the 18, Ryan found White just before the half as the Falcons had a 17-6 lead in front of a nervous home crowd.

A field position game in the third quarter had the Lions at the Atlanta 46. Stafford hit Brandon Pettigrew for 9, and Morris ran for 31. A 34 yard field goal attempt was blocked, but defensive offsides gave Hanson another try from 29. Hanson hit it as the Lions were within 17-9. After a touchback Atlanta soon faced 3rd and 8. Ryan went deep to Douglas for 49 yards. They got nothing else but a 47 yard field goal by Bryant had Atlanta up 20-9.

Detroit took over at their own 16. Stafford hit Pettigre for 9 and on 3rd and 4 from the 34, Stafford hit Calvin Johnson for 9. On the next play Stafford went back to Johnson, who broke tackles and sprinted for a 57 yard touchdown to have the Lions within 20-16.

Atlanta took over at their own 20 and Ryan hit Gonzalez for 10. Turner then broke fee for a 50 yard gain. The fourth quarter began with the Falcons at the Detroit 18 with a chance to create some daylight. Instead Ryan was intercepted to kill the drive. Detroit punted and the Falcons got it back at the Lions 47. On 4th and 2 Mike Smith decided to go for it. Ryan threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. Bryant would kick a 40 yard field goal as the Falcons had a 7 point lead with 8 1/2 minutes left.

Detroit went 3 and out, and Ryan moved the Falcons from their own 23 to the Detroit 32. Yet a pair of penalties killed the drive and the Lions got it back at their own 13 with 3:20 to play. At the 2 minute warning the Lions faced 4th and 5 at their own 37. Stafford hit Pettigrew for 7, with a personal foul tacking on 15 more. On 3rd and 10 from the Atlanta 41, defensive pass interference meant a first down. Yet on further review the ball was tipped, and instead it was 4th and 10 with 1:38 left. Stafford fired incomplete.

Atlanta gutted out a win, but all the conversation will be about Jim Schwartz and the Lions. After a 5-0 start they have lost consecutive games at home. To say they are the same old Lions is ludicrous, but winning and losing are both contagious. Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford limped off the field, and everyone in Detroit knows how competitive the Lions are without him. 23-16 Falcons

Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers–The Redskins blew a chance last week to end the season of archrival Philly. Also, Rex Grossman was benched in favor of John Beck. Beck starts this week. Across the field from him Cam Newton has lit up the league as the Panthers may be the most exciting 1-5 team in football history.

From the 20, the Panthers soon faced 3rd and 9. Newton scrambled for 25 and hit Felton for 17 and Shockey for 9. Stewart ran for 14 to set up 1st and goal at the 6. Yet the defense stiffened as the Panthers settled for a 20 yard Olindo Mare field goal to lead 3-0.

Late in the first quarter the Redskins took over at their own 13. Tim Hightower ran for 17, 2, and. Defensive offsides meant a first down. Hightower ran for another 17. The second quarter had Hightower gaining 3 on 3rd and 2. Yet on 3rd and 2 from the Carolina 13 Beck threw incomplete. Mike Shanahan went for the field goal and Graham Gano hit from 31 to tie the game 3-3.

The second quarter continued to see field goals as the end zone remained elusive. Mare hit from 45 to put the Panthers back in front, only to see Gano hit from 49 to make it a 6-6 thrillfest. With 30 seconds left in the half the Redskins fumbled in their own territory, giving the Panthers the ball at the Washington 34 with 21 ticks. Shockingly enough, the Panthers settled for a 45 yard field goal and a 9-6 halftime lead.

2 minutes into the third quarter saw the Redskins facing 4th and 2 at the Carolina 40. Mike Shanahan decided to go for it, and Beck was sacked for a 7 yard loss. Newton quickly went deep to LaFell for 37 yards. Newton then ran it in for a 16 yard touchdown to have the Panthers up 16-6.

The first half saw no touchdowns but both offenses moved in the third quarter. From the Washington 18,  Beck hit Davis for 22 yards and Paulsen for a pair of 24 yard gains. On 3rd and goal from the 4 Beck scrambled for the score as the Redskins were within 16-13.

Carolina took over at their own 20 and Newton quickly went deep to Steve Smith for 33 yards and then for 15 more. On 3rd and 2 Felton gained 3. Stewart took it in from 3 yards out to have the Panthers up 23-13.

Washington went 3 and out and Carolina took over at their own 35. On 2nd and 17 Newton hit Smith for 18 as the third quarter ended. On 3rd and 4 from the Washington 37 Newton gained 7. On 2nd and 17 from the 37 Newton went deep to Smith down to the one yard line. On 3rd and goal at the 2 Newton hit Brad LaFell for the score. 12 plays and 65 ayrds consumed 8 1/2 minutes. With 8 minutes to play the Panthers were safely in front 30-13.

After a touchback, Beck led a furious rally. He hit Paul for 14, Gaffney for 15, and Davis for 17 and 14. On 3rd and 10 from the 20, Beck hit Paul for 11. Beck found Davis for the 7 yard touchdown as the Redskins were within 30-20 with 5 minutes left. One minute later the Redskins got the ball back, but an interception of Beck ended hopes of a comeback. Carolina tacked on a field goal to complete the scoring as the Panthers improved to 2-5 and the Redskins lost their second straight to a one win team. 33-20 Panthers
Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers–The Bears throttled Minnesota last week, and Lovie Smith always seems to look like a genius when Devon Hester fields punts. The Buccaneers had a huge statement win last week over New Orleans, even knocking out their coach with a leg injury.

After an exchange of punts the Bears began at their own 19. Matt Forte ran for 4 and then broke off a 22 yard run. Defensive pass interference soon had the Bears at the Bucs 32, when Forte broke free and raced to the end zone to quickly have Chicago up 7-0.

The defenses took over. From the Tampa 48, Jay Cutler was intercepted by Jackson, who ran it back to the Chicago 12. On the next play Josh Freeman was intercepted, giving the Bears the ball back at their own 2. Matt Forte was then tackled in the end zone for a safety as the Bucs were down 7-2.

In the second quarter the Bears took over at their own 21. Forte ran for 13, and on 3rd and 1 Marion Barber ran for 29. On 3rd and 7 from the Bucs 25, Cutler went deep to Williams for the touchdown as the Bears led 14-2. With 2 1/2 minutes left in the half, the Buccaneers took over at their own 7. Lumpkin gained 13 and Freeman hit Williams for 18 and Briscoe for 20. With 27 seconds left in the half the Bears had 3rd and 3 at the Bucs 18. A 2 yard pass bled the clock and on 4th and 1 a field goal was in order. Tampa Bay trailed 14-5 at the half in which both teams wondered why they had to travel to London for this. The fans were wondering when the soccer game would start.

The Bears began the third quarter after a punt at their own 45. Cutler hit Johnny Knox for 23. On 3rd and 11 from the Tampa 33, Cutler hit Williams for 12. Forte ran for 9, and on 3rd and 1 from the 12 Barber took it in as the Bears led 21-5.

The fourth quarter began with the Buccaneers at the Chicago 47. Freeman hit Lumpkin for 10 and Parker for 9, with unnecessary roughness moving the ball to the 14. Yet Freeman was then intercepted by Brian Urlacher. Urlacher would fumble it but Benn recovered it as the Bears took over at their own 32. Cutler was then intercepted and the Buccaneers had it right back at the Chicago 21. On 3rd and 4 Freeman hit Williams for 13 and Winslow for the 2 yard touchdown. The 2 point conversion failed but the Buccaneers were within 21-11 with 12 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

Chicago punted and the Buccaneers got the ball back at the Chicago 48 with 10 minutes left. Freeman hit Winslow, and on 3rd and 7 from the 3, found Briscoe for the 7. Freeman then it Briscoe again for the 24 yard touchdown as the Bucs were within 21-18 with over 7 minutes to play.

Cutler led a time consuming drive from the Chicago 29. Forte gained 6 and Cutler found Hester for 15 at midfield. Cutler hit Williams for 15 more. After a false start, Cutler hit Forte, to turned it into a 36 yard gain down to the 4. With 3:44 to play 3rd and goal at the 4 resulted in a sack. Yet a facemask on Aqib Talib instead gave Chicago 1st and goal again. Tampa Bay held again and Robbie Gould made the 25 yard field goal. Chicago had a 6 point lead, but the 12 play drive with the mistake by Talib took 2 extra minutes off the clock.

The Buccaneers took over at their own 28 with 1:50 to play. Freeman hit Parker for 15 and Williams for 18 more. A 16 point game was not only a 6 point game, and with 37 seconds left the Bucs faced 3rd and 10 at the Bears 39. Freeman was then intercepted to kill the last threat. The English crowd in Wembley stadium shrugged, but Lovie Smith and Raheem Morris saw some excitement at the end after it appeared to be a blowout. 24-18 Bears

Seattle Seahawks at Cleveland Browns–A pair of bad teams come together to play a game only a Walrus could love. Mike Holmgren was coach and general manager of the Seahawks before becoming president of the Browns. As for the players, somebody somewhere will care. The first quarter was scoreless. Maybe caring was too much for even one person. The entire first half consisted of 2 Phil Dawson field goal attempts. One was blocked, a the Browns led 3-0 in a game that took football back to the glory days of 1875 when Harvard and Yale fought the scrum. Seattle kicked a field goal of their own in the third quarter to make it 3-3 after three as the game was preempted for reruns of 1950s game shows. No, not really. With 11 1/2 minutes to play Dawson hit a 53 yard field goal as the thrillathon had the Browns up 6-3. Dawson had a 24 yard field goal blocked with 3 minutes left, but Seattle responded with nothing. Mike Holmgren was a Happy Walrus. Pete Carroll misses college. 6-3 Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers at Arizona Cardinals–These teams met in a thrilling Super Bowl only three years ago, yet have gone in separate directions since then. Mike Tomlin got his team back to the big game last year, while Ken Whisenhunt has seen his team collapse since the retirement of Kurt Warner. Pittsburgh is still searching for an identity after a much tougher than necessary win at home last week, but Arizona is a mess.

Kevin Kolb began by throwin an interception to Clark, giving the Steelers excellent field position at the Arizona 31. On 2nd and 15 Ben Roethlisberger hit Brown for 16. A defensive facemask put the ball on the 11. Roethlisberger hut Heath Miller for a 12 yard touchdown to have the Steelers up 7-0 early. Midway through the second quarter the Cardinals faced 4th and 6 at the Pittsburgh 39. Ken Whisenhunt decided to punt and play field position. 2 plays later the Steelers faced 1st and 14 at their own 5. Big Ben went deep to Mike Wallace, who outraced everyone for a spectacular 95 yard touchdown and a 14-0 Steelers lead.

Arizona took over at their own 20 and Kolb ran for 11. On 3rd and 2 Kolb hit Larry Fitzgerald for 13 and Housler for 20. On 3rd and 8 from the Pittsburgh 26, illegal contact on the defense meant an automatic first down. On 3rd and 6 from the 17 it was defensive holding as the Steelers were giving it away. Smith ran it in from one yard out to have the Cardinals within 14-7.

Pittsburgh got it back at their own 25 but only 1:14 to work with. On 3rd and 10 it was the Cardinals giving away a gift with defensive holding. Roethlisberger hit Brown for 20 to midfield. Defensive pass interference followed by illegal use of hands had the Steelers at the Arizona 31. Yet on 3rd and 1 from the 22, Moore lost a yard. Shawn Suisha hit the 41 yard field goal as the half expired to put the Steelers up 17-7.

After a punt, the Cardinals began the third quarter at their own 11. Smith gained 11 and Kolb hit King for 10. On 2nd and 18 from the Arizona 27, Kolb found Stephens-Howling, who took it all the way for a 73 yard touchdown. The Cardinals were within 17-14 with plenty of time left.

After a touchback Pittsburgh soon faced 3rd and 6. Roethlisberger went deep to Heath Miller for 21 yards and then for 17 more. On 3rd and 5 from the 35 Roethlisberger hit Brown for 13 and Emanuel Sanders for 20 down to the 2. After a loss Big Ben went back to Sanders for a 4 yard touchdown to have the Steelers up 24-14. The Cardinals took over at their own 7, and one play was all Kolb needed to get flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone as the Steelers led 26-14.

The fourth quarter saw the Steelers just grind out the clock and salt the game away as Suisham connected from 33 and 39 to make it 32-14 and put the game out of reach. Kevin Kolb would get the Cardinals one more score but they never saw the ball after that. The Steelers are still in the hunt in the AFC North while the Cardinals are a disaster in the NFC Worst. 32-20 Steelers

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders–For more on the game of the day go to

The Raiders are 4-2 but are hurting badly. First they lose Owner Al Davis, and win an emotional couple of games for him. Yet last week quarterback Jason Campbell went down with a broken collarbone and is out for the season. The Raiders made a stunning move before the trade deadline, getting Carson Palmer out of retirement. It will cost them a first rounder and maybe even a second first rounder, yet Palmer barely has had time to learn the playbook. Kyle Boller will most likely start. The Chiefs have won a couple games after an 0-3 start but are a horrible team with injuries of their own. Yet in this hated rivalry, anything can happen. For the third straight week, this will be a major character test for the improved Hue Jackson Raiders.

Conversations about heart, guts, and character are fine but in the end without players the games are a nightmare. The Raiders went 0-4 in preseason playing with backups as their starters were out with injuries. This game not only was the first without Jason Campbell, but stalwart kicker Sebastian Janikowski was out with a hamstring injury. Darren McFadden left the game early in the first quarter with another foot injury. So backups in at quarterback, running back and kicker meant for a nightmarish day.

The Chiefs took over at their own 23. After an incomplete pass, there were 4 straight penalties, 3 by the Chiefs. This was before the next play could even be run. The Chiefs would punt, and the Raiders began with gift field position at their own 48. Kyle Boller ran for 7 and McFadden gained 2 to set up a critical 3rd and 1. Hue Jackson immediately went to the bag of tricks, bringing out Boller and bringing in Terrelle Pryor. After starting as a receiver, Pryor moved under center, took the snap, and got the yard. Yet Pryor was called for illegal motion for not being set for a full second. Instead of 1st and 10 the Raiders faced 3rd and 6. Boller came back in and threw a sideline pass that was intercepted by Kendrick Lewis, who raced 52 yards to quickly put the Chiefs up 7-0.

The Raiders went 3 and out but the Chiefs would punt it back as the Raiders were forced to begin at their own 2 yard line. Michael Bush gained 14, but 2 plays later Boller went deep and was intercepted for the second time. The Chiefs took over at their own 39. On 3rd and 7 Matt Cassel hit Dwayne Bowe for 8. and Steve Breaston for 12. On 3rd and 7 from the Oakland 35, Cassel went back to Breaston for 19. Cassel went to Bowe down to the one yard line. McClain got the carry and fumbled the ball short of the goal line. The ball bounced into the end zone, and after a mad scramble the Chiefs fell on it for another touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

After a touchback the Raider mounted their only sustained drive of the game. Taiwan Jones ran for 14 and Bollerhit Darrius Heyward-Bey for 14. On 3rd and 5 from midfield, Boller hit Jacoby Ford for 10. Michael Bush then ran 35 yards to set up 1st and goal at the 5. Bush got the next carry down to the 2. Bush got it again and was stopped at the one. On 3rd and goal Bush got it again and got nothing. With 11 1/2 minutes left in the half Hue Jackson decided to go for it on 4th and goal at the one. Bush took it and got stopped cold. The goal line stand deflated the Raiders.

The Chiefs went 3 and out and again the Raiders had great field position just shy of midfield. A false start, an ineligible man downfield, and a sack turned 1st and 10 into 3rd and 29 from their own 30. Bush gained 19 and the Raiders punted again. Kansas City punted it back and with 4 minutes left in the half the Raiders were backed up to their own 2 yard line.

Boller then fumbled the snap, fell on it, and made sure he was out of the end zone to avoid the safety.  The Raiders punted on 4th and 7 from their own 5, but received a break when the Chiefs were called for illegal use of hands. On 3rd and 1 from the 19 Bush gained 4. Boller found Heyward-Bey for 21 and Boller then scrambled for 20. With one minute left in the half, Boller had moved the Raiders 62 yards to the Chiefs 36. Yet on the next play Boller went deep and was intercepted for the third time. Matt Cassel would throw a Hail Mary interception as the half ended, but the Raiders trailed 14-0 due to a completely dysfunctional offense.

The Raiders began the third quarter after a touchback, and Boller threw 3 straight incompletions  and punted. Like in the bad old days, punter Shane Lechler was the lone bright spot. The defense began making the dumb mistakes of years past as well. Michael Huff was called for a facemask. Curry was called for a personal foul. On 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 7, Arenas took it up the middle for another touchdown as the Chiefs led 21-0.

Hue Jackson had seen enough of the Kyle Boller interception show, and he was benched as Carson Palmer came in. Palmer was signed on Tuesday, and only 5 days later was seeing live action down 21 points. This was not the way to ease him into the game. From the 20, Palmer’s first play was a laser to Heyward-Bey for 18 yards. The crowd held its breath as Palmer came up limping. A personal foul for a hit on Palmer’s knee added 15 more, but this was the same type of hit that devastated Palmer in a playoff game after the 2005 season. Luckily Palmer was ok, and Bush gained 8 and 2 for another first down. On 4th and 8 from the Chiefs 35, Hue Jackson decided to go for it. He did not have Seabass so a 53 yard kick for a new kicker was not desirable. Yet a false start killed the Raiders as they punted.

Both teams went 3 and out, and a Lechler punt had the Chiefs at their own 3. Cassel led them to a 1st and 10 at the Oakland 41. Cassel then went deep and was intercepted by Van Dyke at the Oakland 22. On 3rd and 9 Palmer found Heyward-Bey again for 21 as the third quarter ended. On the opening play of the fourth quarter Palmer found Kevin Boss for 11. Palmer was moving the ball well, but on the next play it was deja vu all over again as a different quarterback made the same mistake. Palmer threw a sideline route that was intercepted by Brandon Flowers. Flowers took it 58 yards for a touchdown. Practically the entire fourth quarter remained, but it was only going to get uglier for the Silver and Black.

Palmer led the Raiders from their own 45 to the Chiefs 16 yard line. Palmer threw a pass to Denarius Moore at the 9. It bounced right off of Moore and was the fifth interception of the day and the second for Palmer. It was totally Moore’s fault, as the Chiefs took over. The Raiders got the ball back at their own 33. and Palmer hit Jones for 30 yards. Yet on the next play Palmer was intercepted for the third time, the sixth Oakland interception on the day. Late in the game Todd Haley would show his lack of class and sportsmanship by throwing deep incomplete to the end zone rather than run out the clock.

The second half was a mirror of the first half. In each half the Raiders gave up one touchdown on defense and one on offense, gave up 3 interceptions, and saw one offensive drive bog down very deep in Chiefs territory. This is one of those games where Hue Jackson may wish to just burn the game tape. The Raiders fell to 4-3, failing to capitalize on the San Diego loss. The Chiefs are 3-3 in the very tight AFC West. The Raiders have a bye week next week and in 2 weeks are home against Denver. The Raiders did not overlook the Chiefs. They simply had too many injuries to overcome a terrible game by Boller. Palmer has 2 weeks to learn the offense and save the season for the Raiders. 8 straight division wins ended in ugly fashion. After a pair of emotional wins for Al Davis, the Raiders had nothing left today. 28-0 Chiefs

St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys–The Rams are a winless disaster while the Cowboys keep losing games late in the fourth quarter. Tony Romo watched helplessly last week as his defense wilted under a late Tom Brady assault. In 2007 Steve Spagnuolo guided the defense that shocked Romo and knocked the Cowboys out of the playoffs. He does not have nearly as much defensive talent this year.

5 minutes into the game the Cowboys faced 1st and 19 at their own 9. Murray took a handoff and raced 91 yards for a score. It was his first NFL score and the longest score in history for a debut touchdown as Dallas led 7-0. After a fumble recovery, the second quarter began as Dallas faced 2nd and 21 at their own 45. Tony Romo went to Dez Bryant for a 34 yard gain and then to Robinson for 17 more down to the 4. On 3rd and goal at the one Romo hit Jason Witten for the touchdown as the Cowboys led 14-0.

The Rams took over at their own 15 and on 3rd and 3, Dallas jumped offsides. With Sam Bradford out and Feeley in his place, the winless Rams were already in comeback mode. Feeley hit Hoomanawanui for 16. On 3rd and 3 from the Dallas 46, Stephen Jackson ran for 40 yards and then capped it off with the 6 yard touchdown to have the Rams within 14-7.

The Rams got the ball back and quickly faced 3rd and 8 at their own 15. Feeley was intercepted by Jenkins, giving the Cowboys the ball at the Rams 30. With 1:18 left in the half Dallas had 1st and goal at the 9. The defense held, and a 30 yard Bailey field goal had the Cowboys up 17-7 at halftime.

After an exchange of possessions, the Cowboys took over at their own 12. On 3rd and 10 Romo found Bryant for 13. On 3rd and 2 from the 33, The Rams were called for 12 men on defense. The drive would stall at the Rams 33, but Bailey connected from 51 as the Cowboys led 20-7.

In the fourth quarter the Cowboys took over at their own 22. Murray ran for 5 yards and then broke free for another 43. Romo hit Bryant for 10. From the 23, Tanner ran for 17 and then the last 6 to have the Cowboys safely ahead 27-7.  Feeley then fumbled to give the Cowboys the ball at the Rams 34. On 3rd and 10 from the 20 Romo went to Bryant for the final score of the game. Dallas is in the hunt in the NFC East while in the NFC Worst the Rams are the worst as they remain winless. 34-7 Cowboys

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings–The 6-0 Packers take on the 1-5 Vikings. Also, Leslie Frazier has benched Donovan McNabb as Christian Ponder gets his very first NFL start.  To throw Ponder to the wolves against the defending champions may seem unfair, but at least he will have the home crowd to cheer him up when he gets driven into the ground repeatedly.

The first play from scrimmage had the Vikings at their own 27. Naturally Leslie Frazier would play it conservative with his rookie. No, not at all. Ponder went for all the marble with a bomb to Jenkins. Initially ruled a touchdown, it was reviewed and placed on the one yard line for a 72 yard gain. Ponder hit Vincente Shiancoe for a 2 yard touchdown as the Vikings led 7-0 after only 3 plays and one minute.

Green Bay took over at their own 9 yard line. Aaron Rodgers hit Jermaine Finley for 11 and Jordy Nelson for 14. From just shy of midfield, Rodgers went deep to Greg Jennings for 26 and ones for 16. Rodgers then hit Randall Cobb for 7 and Kuhn for the final 2 to tie the game 7-7.

The first quart ended with Minnesota accepting a punt at midfield and Adrian Peterson then running for 11. On 3rd and 3 from the Packers 32, Ponder hit Percy Harvin for 6  and Jenkins for 15. Peterson ran for 10 and then the last yard to have the Vikings back on top 14-7.

After a touchback Rodgers hit Quarless for 21 and Jones for 15. On 3rd and 5 from the Vikings 35, Rodgers hit Jennings for 7. The drive would stall as the Packers settled for a 39 yard Mason Crosby field goal to get within 14-10.

The Vikings took over after a touchback with 5 minutes left in the half. On 3rd and 6 Ponder found Shiancoe for 9. On 3rd and 8 from the 35 Ponder found Harvin for 9. Peterson ran for 29 yards, and with one minute left in the half Ryan Longwell nailed a 52 yarder to have the Vikings up 17-10.

After a touchback Rodgers hit Starks for 13 and Nelson for 16 more with 15 more for roughing the passer tacked on. Crosby hit a 45 yarder at the gun as the Packers trailed 17-13 at halftime.

The Packers exploded in the third quarter. On the second play from scrimmage Rodgers went deep to Jennings for a 79 yard touchdown bomb. Just like that the Packers led 20-17, and they were just getting started. Minnesota punted, and Randall Cobb returned it 42 yards to the Minnesota 32. Rodgers hit Jones for 27 and then went to Finley for a 2 yard touchdown as the Packers led 27-17.

The Vikings soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 40, and Ponder was intercepted. From the Minnesota 45, Green Bay moved easily until 3rd and goal at the 4 saw Rodgers get sacked. Crosby hit from 24 as the Packers led 30-17. Ponder was then intercepted by Charles Woodson, giving the Packers the ball at the Minnesota 35. Despite moving backwards, Mike McCarthy decided to have Crosby try a 58 yard field goal. It was good, and a 20 point eruption in the third quarter had the Packers up 33-17.

Adrian Peterson ended the third quarter with a 54 yard run, but the fourth quarter saw the Vikings get nothing more on the drive. Longwell hit a 46 yard field goal to have the Vikings within 33-20. Green Bay quickly went 3 and out as the Vikings took over at their own 7.

On 3rd and 6 Ponder found Shiancoe for 22. On 3rd and 7 from the 36 Ponder ran for 12. On 3rd and 13 from the Minnesota 45 Ponder hit Greg Camarillo for 16 with roughing the passer adding 15 more. On the next play Ponder hit Jenkins for a 24 yard touchdown as the Vikings were within 6 with a full 8 minutes left.

Green Bay punted, but the Vikings were forced to start at their own 2 with 5 1/2 minutes left. Ponder got them as far as the Minnesota 36 before the Vikings punted back with 2 1/2 minutes left. It was up to the defense to get a stop. Starks ran for 15 as the Vikings took their first timeout. On 2nd and 11 Starks ran for 20 as the Vikings took their last timeout. With 1:17 left, everything came down to 3rd and 7 at the Minnesota 43. Starks ran for 13 to put it away as the Packers got to 7-0. Ponder clearly sparked the Vikings, but they are still 1-6 with the loss. 33-27 Packers

Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints–The collapsing winless Colts travel to face the Saints, who are coming off a loss where Coach Sean Payton was injured on the sidelines. Coach Payton will coach the game from the press box, but a coach may not be required to win this game. These teams met in the Super Bowl 2 years ago and produced a thriller as the Saint shocked the world.  Yet without Peyton Manning, the Colts are what they were before he arrived, a team prepared to take the #1 overall pick. Jim Caldwell still has not made a facial expression, but even worse is that his team has shown no emotion or life.

3 minutes into the game the Colts faced 3rd and 5 at their own 40. Out of the shotgun, the ball was snapped when Painter was not even looking. The Saints recovered at the Colts 41. Drew Brees hit Marques Colston for 7, Darren Sproles for 9, and Colston for the 14 yard touchdown to have the Saints up 7-0 only 6 minutes into the game.

The Saints got the ball back at their own 19. Mark Ingram gained 6 and Pierre Thomas another 10. Brees then went deep to Thomas for a 57 yard gain, setting up Brees to Colston from 4 yards out as the Saints led 14-0.

The Colts fumbled it away as the Saints began at their own 48. Darren Sproles ran for 16, and Brees hit Colston for 9 and Moore for 10. Brees would hit Sproles from 6 yards out as the Saints led 21-0 still in the opening quarter.

The Saints began the second quarter at their own 31. Brees immediately went to Moore for 26 yards and Robert Meachem for 18 more. Brees hit Graham for 14 and Collins took it in from one yard out as the Saints led 28-0. The Saints got it back at their own 42 and for the 5th time in 5 tries Brees had the Saints marching down the field. The only difference was that this time on 3rd and goal at the 5 Brees fired incomplete. Jon Kasay got bored of kicking 18 yard extra points so instead he kicked a 23 yard field goal as the Saints led 31-0. Curtis Painter is not Peyton Manning, but Jim Caldwell knows that neither of those men play defense. Apparently neither does anybody else on the Colts.

The Colts finally got a shell of something when Carter ran for 42 yards. Painter hit Garcon for 15 and Carter took it in from 2 yards out as the Colts were down 31-7. Yet the Saints still had 1:52 to work with from their own 18. On 3rd and 8 Brees hit Sproles for 9 and Colston for 9 more. Brees then went deep to Colston for 39 more. Kasay connected from 47 as the half ended as the Saints had a 34-7 lead. Coach Payton was banned from ever coming back to the sideline, since the press box seemed to be working just fine.

The misery for the Colts continued in the second half. From the Saints 25, Brees kept firing. He hit Ingram for 6, Graham for 13, interspersed with runs by Ingram and Thomas. Sproles gained 14. From the Indy 17 Brees hit Colston for 13 and Graham for the 4 yard score as the Saints led 41-7. The Saints got it back at their own 40 and Ingram ran for 11. Brees hit Colston for 12 to set up 3rd and 1 at the Colts 28. Ingram gained 6 and 8. On 3rd and 3 from the 15 Sproles ran for 13 and Brees hit Graham for the 2 yard score as the Saints were carpetbombing the hapless Colts 48-7 late in the third quarter.

Brees was done for the night, as Sean Payton wisely decided not to risk injury to his superstar. In only 3 quarters of work Brees finished a ridiculous 31 of 35 for 325 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. In case anyone cares, Daniel is the backup quarterback. Yet unlike Curtis Painter, Daniel came in and was only asked to protect a 41 point lead for one quarter. Handing the ball off helped. Sean Payton was not trying to run up the score. All he did was order handoffs. The Saints began at their own 40, and on 3rd and 1 Ingram raced for 20, Thomas for 11, and Sproles the final 16 to make it 55-7. 9 scores on 9 possessions had the Colts at the bottom of the barrel, and 12 1/2 minutes still remained.

Again, Sean Payton was not running up the score. It was not his fault that Curtis Painter then threw an interception to Torrence. It was not his fault that the defenders failed to tackle Torrence, who made it 42 yards the other way for the 10th score of the night. The Saints led 62-7. Yes the Saints are one of the best teams in the league and the Colts are one of the worst. Yet this game did start 0-0, and should not have gotten to his point.  Forget jokes about Jim Caldwell being expressionless. He does care, and he has no answers. He does not yell and scream, but the whole team is in pain and that includes him. At this point Painter was 9 of 17 for 67 total yards and one interception for a score the other way. He was done for the night and Dan Orlovsky came in. Orlovsky was on the 2008 Lions team that went 0-16. Now he was entering with his team 0-6 and down 55 points. The score got no closer but no further away as the Colts fell to 0-7 with the loss. 62-7 Saints

Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars–The Ravens are very good and the 1-5 Jaguars are very bad. Jacksonville did give Pittsburgh all they could handle last week in Pittsburgh, but Jack Del Rio knows that Baltimore is going to throw the house at rookie Blaine Gabbert. John Harbaugh should enjoy seeing Ray Lewis and company tee off in this mismatch.

In terms of surprises and the any given Sunday (or Monday night) truism, this is why they play the games. In terms of quality football, this is absolutely not why they play the games. Fumble after fumble after fumble after fumble after fumble meant a miserably played football game. The Jaguars even fumbled inside the Ravens one yard line to miss a touchdown chance. The Ravens took backwards to a new level, ending one drive on 4th and 43. The Jaguars managed a drive of 17 plays, 76 yards, and 8 1/2 minutes that failed to reach the end zone. The only person who showed up in the first three quarters was Josh Scobee. He kicked one field goal in each of the first three quarters to have Jacksonville up 9-0. Billy Cundiff had a 52 yard try that went so far wide it looked like a soccer corner kick.

With 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation the Ravens got the ball back at their own 10. 90 yards away needing 2 scores is difficult when the first 55 minutes brought them only 56 total yards of offense. Yet Flacco found Rice for 9, Smith for 9 more, Rice again for 9, and Dickson for 4 just shy of midfield on 3rd and 1. Flacco hit Pitta for 15, Rice for 11, Smith for 20, and Anquon Boldin for the 5 yard touchdown. Jacksonville clung to a 2 point lead.

The onsides kick went just shy of 10 yards before bouncing backward and being recovered by the Ravens. Since it never went 10, Jacksonville took over with 2:02 to play and the Ravens having 2 timeouts and the 2 minute warning. That 2 seconds was a big deal. Everything came down to 3rd and 7 at the Ravens 34. Jack Del Rio played it safe but a run only gained 1 yard. With 1:48 to play Del Rio decided to have Scobee kick a 51 yarder. This was a big gamble since a miss would give the Ravens excellent field position needing only a field goal. Del Rio trusted his kicker and pumped his fist as Scobbee nailed it to have the Jaguars up by 5 with 1:43 left.

Flacco had 80 yards to go this time instead of 90 but on 2nd and 10 he was intercepted by Coleman. Unlike some defenders who then try to run it back all the way only to fumble it back, Coleman smartly and immediately went down to preserve the upset. John Harbaugh has a good team that played a terrible game. Jack Del Rio has a bad team with a rookie quarterback that rose to the challenge of the Monday night lights. Blaine Gabbert threw 0 touchdowns and threw for only 90 yards, but he made 0 mistakes and got his first NFL win. Maybe this is why they play the games after all. 12-7 Jaguars

My presidential decision

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

I have reached a decision regarding the White House in 2012.


Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins (Pick)

(Broncos win)

San Diego Chargers at New York Jets (Pick)

(Chargers win)

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans

Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions (3 1/2)

(Lions win but fail to cover)

Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers (3)

(Redskins win outright)

Chicago Bears (1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(Buccaneers win outright)

Seattle Seahawks at Cleveland Browns (3)

(Browns cover)

Pittsburgh Steelers (4) at Arizona Cardinals

(Steelers win but fail to cover)

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (6)

(Raiders win but fail to cover)

St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys (13 1/2)

(Cowboys cover)

Green Bay Packers (10) at Minnesota Vikings

(Packers win but fail to cover)

Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints (Pick)

(Saints win)

Baltimore Ravens (9) at Jacksonville Jaguars

(Ravens win but fail to cover)